Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. This blog is a unique perspective of one persons journey into fitness. Not all clients and participants at Parsons Training undergo the same training, and each person makes his or her own decisions regarding dietary discretions.
By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
March 9, 2017
Here is the situation I have been running into the last few months. I have been gainfully employed during this time, and I finally caught up on some bills and other things that were kind of hanging over my head (except my water bill…I always fall behind on that damn bill no matter what). Anyway, I took something of a desk job, one where I find myself sitting pretty much the entire time while endlessly staring into a computer and solving people’s problems. I don’t get much time to myself on break either, for the majority of the time is spent in the bathroom dealing with the exorbitant amounts of coffee I drink during the day. I digress though, for the most part I am just parking my butt in some of the most uncomfortable chairs known to man. During this time, there has been a decided problem in my fitness. I have been sluggish and tired. I have been tight and weak on some days. The issue that has been plaguing me is the fact my body is tightening up and when I stand up, I can hear a sympathy of pops. When you are sitting down much of the time and hunched toward a computer screen, the body starts contorting and evolving in the wrong directions. It doesn’t help either that my lower back is starting to see the issue evolve as well. My back gets so tight during the day, that standing up and stretching my back is a necessity during my lunch break. Trust me, I wish I didn’t have to do this, but it is becoming more and more prevalent for me these days. My effort in the gym is sometimes suffering due to the work. I find myself wishing my body would respond better to the situation and not regress to an earlier, less tightened stage. My right arm has been injured for weeks, and I think the lack of healing in my right arm is in direct attention to the overuse I have had. Who would have thought the massive amounts of computer work would be such a detriment to my health? I have tied my best to massage my arm and do what I can to keep it loose. I even wear this magnet bracelet that my sister got for me for Christmas. Right now, very little has helped me and I can see the effort in the gym waning. Right now, my bench press is suffering, mainly from the pain in my bicep that doesn’t want to go away. And of course, my grip is becoming affected in the process.
This has been an issue I have dealt with in recent years where my body is starting to get tight and problematic for me. While I avoid certain things these days to help with the tendonitis in my arm (like not play basketball or bowl or do too much electrical work) I refuse to start taking drugs in the process. Eventually I will find something that will help me recover better from this issue. While I will start researching on what to do with this problem, the other major situation in my life is starting to get worse….my legs are just giving out on me. Now I have written before about the issues that sitting down can do for you. The obvious is the lower back problems, which is definitely one thing that is happening. Then you have the cardiovascular issues, which could lead to a host of any problems down the line like heart disease and even cancer. There are some days where I feel sluggish from sitting up, like the blood is rushing to my head and wondering what the heck happened to my blood flow. And of course, the other little problem I have been running into is the lack of a real appetite. Some days I let my body win, and eat light. But here is the issue that suddenly arises when I get home. I crash in my workout. I also get too hungry and then I binge. I try to battle these urges, but this seems to be happening more than not. For a job that needs you to be mentally alert, it is tough to stay that way when you have a decent lunch that gives you the caloric punch you need. I seem to be rather dulled when I eat a respectable lunch. So this obviously leads me to a quandary on some days. When Jenny ultimately gets back from her injury, I will definitely have to make sure my food intake is on point or I will once again kill myself half way through the workout. So yes, sitting down all day and listening to people complain about a lot of stuff is not conducive to good health, and now back to my real problem….my legs.
For some reason, my knee has been getting weak. While there are a multitude of factors possibly getting to my knee, the fact I sit so much during the day isn’t helping. My running distance (which doesn’t help with the fact my legs have been hurting) has been severely affected and I some days don’t even feel like doing any leg work at the gym. It seems like the entirety of my legs are just messed up on a weekly basis, like I have nothing in them. It doesn’t help that my lack of energy is making it difficult for me to even go out and hit the track. Those two factors have seen my running time—which used to be pushing 9-minute miles—dip to something rather embarrassing and slow for me. If anything, I have to start taking drastic measures, and one thing that I plan to do soon is start eating less food and be more stringent with my portion control (which is the issue for me). While food will certainly help with the pressure of my legs due to my weight, the other side of the coin has to be addressed as well. I need to start walking more. I need to start stretching more. The last and obvious measures is to start getting work on the legs…and I mean some real work.
Fortunately I have a friend named Carrie that does deep tissue massage and other sports massaging, and while I was taking advantage of her services for a while, I fell off the map and stopped going for a while. But now I am doing it again, and I have also starting seeing the chiropractor on a regular basis again. Either way, I discussed one issue that has been going with my body and she decided to go through a rather difficult and painful measure to battle my problem…deep muscle scraping. Now trust me, when you check the internet to see what the heck I am talking about, don’t let the massive number of photos with people having shit tons of bruising scare you. That’s based on some other methods that I have yet to be introduced to yet, named the Gastron Technique and Cupping. The Gastrong Technique is pretty intense, for the practitioner literally scrapes trouble muscle areas with barbaric looking tools from a horror movie. Then you got Cupping, which is all about putting small glass bowls on your back and literally sucking your skin up into them. This technique apparently encourages blood flow and can help with tightness. How well it works is something I will eventually see for myself, but right now I am on the introductory side of muscle scraping.
Fortunately for me Carrie doesn’t believe in using some of he more skin abrasive instruments associated with the Gastron Technique, instead used a pretty heavy duty muscle massager that you can get from most fitness stores. Basically the wand has four five-point heads that scrape that work your muscle like there is no tomorrow. While it is uncomfortable, I can tell you just going through this treatment can be quite the workout. I was breathing so hard from the pain that I must have burnt a couple hundred calories just doing this. And it is not like I am even blowing smoke. After my first session a couple weeks ago, I was extremely sore and completely unable to get any heavy weights on my lifts. My body was in such stress and shock that it was completely revolting against me. I have done days where I do 50 reps at 135 pounds on the bench press. I had to drop down to 115 just so I wouldn’t hurt myself. I could barely do any deadlifts at all that day, resulting in a whole lot of lifts that were less my my usual. Predictably, the next session was not as horrible, but is not like the bruising is any less. My legs are just banged up and tight. The sitting is definitely taking its toll on my body, and the overtime that I have had to do for more than a month is not helping. We shall see how this all changes the next few weeks, for my body will be going through some other changes soon enough when I start looking at some other shoes down the line for my running. I feel the new shoes I got in October just aren’t doing the trick for me, but I will not really know until I start doing more work on my legs and getting my body back into a better state of being. Hopefully the work I start getting on my legs will provide some clear answers.
Now we have the other side of the process as well, and this doesn’t necessarily involve my situation with my chiropractor. While getting my body adjusted will be good from time to time, I will need to start doing some new things in my life to try and make my body much more efficient and responsive. Now trust me, you might accuse me of trying this to try and meet women (though that might be an added benefit down the line), I decided to give Yoga a try. Now up to this point in the game, I have been hesitant because I am rather intimidated by the process…not to mention embarrassed of my body. It’s like the time Hank Hill went to yoga classes to relieve his back problem, and instantly reviled because he did not look the part of being a lean and strong looking yoga attendee. Of course, this is a mental hang-up for me, mostly in the being of accepting some challenges to my body, but let’s face it this way…yoga can be good for stretching my body out. Now this is what happened to me at the very first session I attended. Jon has a training yogi on the roster by the name of Rue, and she has been offering free classes during the week to develop her technique and offer a new perspective on fitness. Now for me, I was already on the fence about the subject and on a day where I did a pretty heavy workout, I opted to give it a try. While I am not as flexible as I wish I was, I was able to get some good feeling in my body and stretch out some parts that were rather hard for me to work on. The stretched out feeling I had in my body was certainly enough to tell me to continue with this.
Now the cretin in me would call yoga advanced stretching, but it does a lot of other things with your body as well, teaching you a little more self control while also working smaller muscle groups that might be susceptible to strain and fatigue. This is definitely something I need to work on for the time being, especially if I want to get back on track and start getting better at working out again. Hopefully, the mandatory overtime at work stops soon. I tell you, it is getting old.
Right now, we will have to see what will happen me now that I have once again reinstated some old habits I use to do and try to learn some others. I definitely need these things, mainly because I really want to get back to where I used to be. The rigors of your job and your life can certainly get in the way of your fitness goals, but that means you need to spend the proper tools to get back at them. I want to become a much faster runner and get back to the old distances I used to run. I just want to be better at everything, and if this means I have to take some drastic measures to improve my body and do more down the line, then this means I really need to get one the wagon and start taking better care of myself.
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Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
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Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.
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