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
December 15, 2016
I have to tell you one thing, I deal with the idea of “Keeping up with the Joneses” every day at work. I deal with people that have this sick and strange desire to maintain a certain level of decorum, illustrating their wealth and their place in society even if they cannot maintain it. It is rather sad to hear sometimes, because I always seem to get the people that are paying too much because they were snookered into the idea of “free” stuff and fancy devices that cost 400 dollars but paid only 100 or so for them. Trust me my friends, buying stuff that seems “free” or greatly discounted will always come back to bite you! I think this is why I live my life the way I do, looking at the face value of something and then assessing whether I need it or not. I kind of forgot about that sort of thinking this past week, primarily because I was sick and a little lazy the previous week.
Well, in my effort to try and be like the people I completely rail against, I too did a bad thing in regards my fitness. I went too damn hard. Now typically there is no such thing as going too hard in the gym, but in this case, going too hard when you have had nearly a week off and still recovering from a sickness….yeah, you can have some unexpected consequences. Fortunately I did not pull anything or really hurt myself, for I am not that stupid in regards to my wight lifting and personal fitness. On the other hand, I am definitely trying too hard to get back into the groove of my missed time, especially with Ragnar coming closer and closer and some other races I want to try and run in even though I am no where near half marathon distance right now. So yes, I was really trying hard this past week, for it was the first time in a long time that I was able to set myself up for three workouts in one week. After three months of doing nothing but two workouts a week, I was finally able to get the third one in. There was no doubt in my mind that I would run into a wall during the first week, and boy, did I ever. Naturally, I showed up at Parsons on Monday at 9 a.m. sharp, looking to get myself a good start to the week and try some new workouts. Initially I was going to do some bench pressing and such, but that was when I saw something glorious on the main board at Parsons Training, and I figured I would save myself the hassle of coming up with something unique.
You see, Jon is doing something that is quite trendy with a lot of private gyms, which is establish open gym times for clients and also charging a flat rate for anyone that just wants to have a specified workout waiting for them at the gym as opposed to showing up at a gym and hoping their favorite spot is not being taken over by a lot of loud, sweaty old guys that are more busy checking out the women than working out. Anyway, some might joke that I am the loud sweaty old guy…I know I am getting close and I know I am loud! But I am not a perv! Anyway, I was rather happy to see a nice little pyramid workout on the board, for Jon typically likes to give people a “Workout of the Day” which is typically quite popular with Crossfit gyms. The main difference of course is the fact that Jon’s workout will engage the whole body and is not meant to injure you with ridiculous amounts of reps for certain weights. Keep this in mind as I describe what happened to me. When I saw the pyramid, I was pretty happy because I haven’t done this type of workout in quite a long time, and I figured it would be nice to try my hand at an old idea. You see, back in the day, I used to do hundies and pyramids all the time, mainly because I wasn’t running very often and it seemed like a good idea because I was primarily using lighter weights in my workouts. These days, I go heavy to help me out with my movements, so getting a good grasp on my cardio/strength would be a good test. Everything started simply enough for me, for I started the day with 100 body squats. It went well so to speak, for I burned through those bad boys quite quickly. I was then slated for 90 V-ups, and while just doing standard V-ups would be just fine, I decided to do them with a 30-pound weight. It got pretty difficult by the time I got 50 or so, but I managed to get through the final 40 or so without a hitch. Now here is where I made a huge mistake…I did not actually look at what each exercise was on the pyramid!
I was naturally excited and such, but in my joy I forgot to actually see what I was doing for the workout, for I was met with a horrid surprise at the 80 interval…push-ups. Now, I have gotten pretty good at push-ups lately, but let me tell you, doing V-ups with a 30-pound weight actually does quite a number on your arms. So much so that just doing a set of 16 push-ups at a time was brutal. By the time I got the 80 push-ups done, I was thankful to get a mini-reprieve in the form of 70 jumping jacks, but it was short lived due to the fact I had to follow that up with 60 sumo goblet squats. Now I was still sore from the standard squats I had to do earlier, so getting through all of that was just as tough. I then had to do 50 roll-outs, which is basically getting one outhouse wheeled contraptions and using my body to roll myself forward. If anything, this really worked my core pretty hard as well as forced me to utilize my back. It wasn’t easy, but the fact that my arms were already shot from the push-ups, it was not something to be enjoyed. Now of course, the next movement was to do dumbbell chest presses, which choosing the weight was based on my own discretion. I could have gone light to save myself, but NO! I’m an idiot and had to go with the 55-pounders. Let me just say this, I never did 40 chest presses in such a long amount of time. I typically would blow through them back in the day, but not this day. Anyway, the workout continued with 30 awful burpies and then went to 20 deadlifts. You heard that right. After all of that craziness, Jon wanted me to do some deadlifts. I don’t think Jon would have told me to go with 275 pounds, but I did and I killed it. I barely had enough energy to do the clean-overhead presses. I could barely get it done at 135 pounds. That was how tapped I was with the workout. And it was not like I ended my day on that note. Later in the afternoon after walking the dogs and having some good rest time, I went on a little three-mile jog that felt like an eternity even though it was maybe 31 minutes. When I ultimately woke up on Tuesday morning for work, getting out of bed was a bit of a struggle. My legs were dying and I could barely move. And this was not the end of my work day mind you.
I went in for my standard Tuesday workout, and I was clearly not ready to do anything thanks to the work I put in on the previous day. I decided to keep things light for the most part, mainly to compensate for my sore shoulders and my overworked wrist (working a mouse all day can be awful for you). I started the workout off with 50 bench presses, starting at 135 pounds and then working about 30 reps or so at 145. I’ll admit, I was not at my best and I was feeling the hot and burn, but I pushed through that workout like a champ. I didn’t really want to overwork myself in any regards to my Tuesday workout, for the biggest problem a person will run into while tackling this situation is hurting oneself. I knew I was not feeling 100% and I knew if I did something stupid in regards to weight, I could really knock myself down for the count. So even though the bench pressing was not much in terms of weight I was getting it done in terms of reps. I did do some back squats that day as well, doing five sets of five at 225 pounds, figuring that would be a challenging weight but something that would not make my body buckle. After that, I just did some simple stuff that was more rep based than weight based, such as doing 100 split cable rows, 50 bench dips and 100 total alternating overhead dumbbell presses. I tried going beyond my standard alternating curls, but I figured at that time it would be better just to call it a night. While I know I could have done more, maybe even do a couple more workout movements, I had to call it quits. I was already shaking from the lack of food in my system and my body was sore as hell. If building my body and completely breaking down for the sake of fitness was on the docket this week, I think I did a pretty good job of pushing that mantra through.
I don’t normally subject myself this sort of reasoning to myself, mainly because I try not to push myself quite as hard as I did to start this week. But these are the kind of things you will run into time to time when you partake in a very intense workout regimen. I try my best to be the best, but even I have to understand that some days it is just not going to happen. This was why I ultimately decided to cut back my workout on Tuesday, because on Wednesday I was so sore that no matter what I did, I was hurting. If I sat down too long, I was hurting. If I stood up for too long, I was hurting. There was just no joy to my workday on Wednesday. Fortunately I survived and managed to get some rest, but it came at the sacrifice of not doing my standard Wednesday night run. Let’s face it, my legs were so sore that just walking was enough for workout for me that night. I mean, my pups were pulling pretty hard that night!
Now, you would think I would be a little more receptive to the idea of taking it easy, but like I keep saying over and over during the course of this blog, I am kind of an idiot. I don’t intend to slow it down tonight when I hit the gym after work, for its no other obligations to deal with, I intend to get some more weight work int, possibly even some snatches if I can get some good supervision in for the evening. I might even go for a shot run afterwards depending on how my legs feel after ward. Now you would think I would have learned my lesson from earlier this week, but you have to look at it this way. I want to get a good and intense regimen going for the holiday season. Like many other people, I will be doing a lot of eating and a lot less gym time in the interim, which means I need to keep my intensity up and keep my body moving in a hard and steady fashion. Hopefully, during that strange little period between Christmas and New Year’s I can get my running distance up past six miles again, a full reversal from all the days that keep setting me back during this month. The main reason for this is to really up the intensity of my running in January, so I will be ready for Ragnar and the Arizona Distance Classic (which I still need to apply for!) when the time finally comes around.
The only thing I can be thankful for is the fact I am strong enough to keep doing this sort of thing. With my birthday slowly but surely coming up (a whole four days away!) my whole schedule for the next couple weeks will be disrupted. That is the only thing I despise about this time of year, for it is quite easy to gain some poundage in the old waist department. But of course, I have the tools to make sure none of that happens. And the support system as well. At least one good thing this year is I will not have much money to go out for my birthday, so I will save some money and some unhealthy eating in terms of that. Maybe I will do something for my 40th next year, Maybe.
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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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