Sunday, May 1, 2011

And he rested on Day #5

I decided to rest today, Day #5 after I decided to reinvigorate my fitness plan with more frequent gym workouts. It is important to rest, and let the body repair and rebuild (or just plain build) tissues that I used during the previous 4 days of working out. As I write this, I have midly sore quadriceps, pectoralis, infraspinatus (left side), trapezius, and posterior deltoid (left side) muscles. This delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a good thing because it means I've pushed my muscles harder than usual, and that's the point of working out. The extra pain in the area of my left shoulder is a little more serious, as it is a sharper pain than just DOMS, but it's just a small (and chronic) injury attributable more to swimming than weight-lifting. I' not worried about it. It will heal up soon. So what caused all this muscle sorenes? Well, I've already outlined my activites for Days 1-3 in previous posts. Here is what I did yesterday, on Day #4:

  • Outdoor run, 2.1 miles in 25 minutes (but maybe less; I got sidetracked talking to a neighbor after my run and didn't turn off my fitness watch). The route I take features a fairly big hill at the start. As I started to climb the hill, I thought "uuugh, this is tough." But just a couple minutes later, while still climbing, I had a change in perspective. The climb wasn't that bad. I was doing OK, and I felt this way through mile 2.0. But then, as I neared the point where I could either go home or extend my run for another mile, I decided I was finished and I stopped. I could have gone further. I really could have. But this was my first run in 39 days. I didn't want to push. I promise myself and my readers that I won't go another 39 days before my next run. In fact, I'll do it again in a week or less. 
    Small waterfall at Ohiopyle State Park.

  • Hike, 2 miles or so in an hour. I walked with a friend on a trail in a park along a stream with gushing waterfalls. The trail then climbed a couple hundred feet to a hilltop. We went at a pace fast enough to count as cardiovascular exercise...except for time spent admiring the waterfall. 
  • Bench press, 105 pounds. I did two sets. The first was 12 reps, and the second was 8 reps. Not impressive, really, but it's a good re-start after a workout drought. I have the whole summer ahead of me to add weights. 
  • Rotator cuff elastic band exercises: There are several of these I do for each shoulder. I am still very weak in the external rotation of my left shoulder, but I am definitely stronger compared to just the day before. I clearly injured myself a few days ago with the 2,000-yard swim. The freestyle strokes are not the source of the injury; rather, it is the position I put my arms at the tail end of my flip-turns. It is awkward for me to outstretch my arms "above" my head as I swim underwater. Seriously, I think I have a birth defect in my left shoulder's construction that prevents me from positioning my arm correctly. Maybe this little injury has stretched the necessary ligaments to improve my swimming posture in the future. Hmmm...I'm not sure I believe this, but I can still hope.... 
  • Pull-ups: I did two. Again, I plan to increase this sum considerable as the summer approaches. 
  • Upright row, 80 pounds. I only did two reps of this. My left shoulder didn't feel strong and because it is still healing from who-knows-what (see above), I stopped after two. Hey, 2 is better than none. 
My schedule for this week has to remain in flux, as I'm not sure when the pool is open during exam week (I swim at a college pool). But whatever days I do not swim, I will bike, hike, or run. As for the gym workouts, I will start up again tomorrow for Day #6. More bench presses, elastic band pulls, pull-ups, and biceps curls on on tap for Monday. I'll add an additional exercise each day throughout the week. I 'll rest again after another 4 days. 

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