thinkinglazy

Aspiring author and random thinker

Tag Archives: Health

On Exercise: Injuries

I have been getting injured while working out a lot lately and finally figured out why. It is crucial for one to either refrain from heavy exercise or interrupted routines. This, of course, might seem a little off to you.

Generally speaking, when you keep a regular exercise schedule your body reaches a point where it is used to the strain. Your muscles become tensed and your metabolism boosts to account for the damage caused by exercising. Additionally, you sleep soundly. When this schedule is interrupted for a long enough period of time, your body relaxes, but not your perception of how much it can handle. I have been easing off for a while now, not following any particular routine or exercising as diligently as I used to, yet I maintained the same level of effort during my sessions. This, in turn, caused me to frequently get injured because my body did not get a chance to slowly return to its formal capabilities. Basically, there is no balance between eat, rest, sleep and training.

There are two ways these unfortunate and uncalled for injuries can be avoided, based on testing various methods of coping. The first is to keep a regular strict schedule and refrain from sudden increments in your routine. Meaning that you would not jump from squatting 100 lbs to squatting 150 lbs in a few days. The second is to increase your warm-up and stretching time to make sure your body is fully prepared for rigorous exercise. During your warm up, however, you should be patient and avoid exhausting yourself prematurely. The purpose here is not to train, but to prepare for training, both mind and body.

Injuries can be annoying and prevent you from exercising regularly or negatively impact your personal life. Fortunately they can be avoided with a little care and discipline.

On Exercise: Goals

Ever since I can remember (not that long ago), exercise has been an integral part of my life and definition as a human being. However, lately I stopped exercising regularly or as regularly as I used to. Following a strict power-lifter routine for six months made me gain a tremendous amount of weight as I buffed up, but it also had its disadvantages. My food intake had increased significantly as I have put on more than 15 Kg. I also sustained a minor back injury from doing barbell rows in the wrong for (not doing those anymore). Two months ago I decided to take a short break for few weeks to recover completely, and I did. After winter kicked in here – yes, it comes a little late – I found my motivational levels dropping to the ground. Additionally, I started writing and reading a great deal and my getting busy with work, which conveniently started flaring up.

Anyway, today I woke up and I realized for the first time that I simply cannot to to the gym. It is a foreign feeling to me, one which I had never experienced before. After giving it a little though, I realized that I had not been setting an exercising goals since I finished this power-lifting routine and it caused me to procrastinate. Being swarmed with work or an exciting hobby is no reason to put opp exercising neither is it useful for increasing one’s productivity. Unless you set clear goals regarding exercising, your motivational levels will keep dwindling until they are left no more.

On Exercise: New Regiment

As with all my posts, It has been a while since I updated my exercise-related threads.

Last time I stopped, the program followed by me was strong lifts. After a grueling six months of following this strict exercise regiment, not worrying too much about food, I gained a total of over 15 Kgs – about 32 lbs. 

It is inadvisable to continue with the same regiment for over three months, based on personal experience. However, since I did not reach my plateau by the end of the first three months, I decided to go on for another three months. 

After strong lifts, I followed no specific exercise routine. Switching between weight lifting, cardio and calisthenics, I managed to maintain my gains rather well. The next routine I intend to go on with, by 1st January 2013, is a calisthenics based routine. I will rotate between different exercises and adding weights to limit my last set count to less than 8 reps. Considering the large numbers of reps I can pull in un-weighted sets, I will have to add a significant amount of weights.

I estimate that the downside for this would be the reduced stress on cardio, as my calisthenics exercises have reached a point where its a cardio routine. However, I intend to supplement the routine with daily cardio before or after exercising, depending on my energy levels during the workout.

Keep it pumping.

On Exercise: Progress

I started noticing that as I increased the weights I train with, my I keep loosing proper form, it reached a level that when I squatted I couldn’t break parallel, so I decided to take a step back in my weights.

If you don’t want to be someone that has a stiff and unnatural walk, then you should make the most out of your exercise motion, try starting from the point of least muscle stress to the point of most muscle stress.

When I do bench presses I make sure that the bar touches my chest when lowering it, and the push motion ends at just before my elbows lock, this was the form I lost at 220 lbs, now I’m back to 190 lbs to master the form yet again.

Squatting used to hurt my knees and back occasionally, but since I started breaking parallel at the ‘down’ motion, the pain is completely gone, and the soreness resonates to to areas that it didn’t reach before.

From now on I will prioritize form over gains or weight increases, this should result in a better overall posture, more flexibility and eventually getting a stronger and fitter body.

On Exercise: Journal Entry

So I’ve been exercising for 4 weeks now, 3 times a week. I keep increasing my exercising weights by increments of 5 lbs each workout, and I finally split the five exercises in a practical manner.

The problem is that I cannot add my calisthenics to the routine due to time limitations, I only have 1.5 hours each day to exercise, and whenever I exercise heavy weights I require rest the following day.

Another factor I’ve begun noticing is motivation, the routine has been established and its becoming easier and easier to start my day early, it started feeling like an obligation, like washing your teeth in the morning or making your bed.

I finally set down with exercising 2-3 heavy weight exercises and doing from 10-30 mins cardio each day I workout, I also add a minimum of 1 calisthenics exercise. Eventually I plan on working out 5 times a week with cardio substituting with my rest days, I still can’t find the energy for it, possibly due to the winter.

So far I’ve been keeping track of my progress via a sheet where I record the reps, weights, exercises and sets for each workout. I am considering replacing the workout number with the actual date of the workout, also adding my weight and, perhaps, body fat percentage.

I plan to continue with this routine for another 8 weeks and, hopefully, by then I would have a better conclusion regarding the experianced workout, so far I’m loving it.

On Exercise: A Slight Change

Remember earlier when I wrote about my exercise routine, well today while I was working out I changed a small part of it.

I now exercise on a 5×5 schedule, maxing the weights on every rep and adding from 5 to 10 lbs to the weights I lift per each exercise for each workout.

I also realized that it would be impossible to do the five exercises on one day, that would total to 125 reps of heavy weights, and I do not have more then one hour to train with work and all.

So now the days will not be split to weights and calisthenics, instead it will be a mix of the two, I will try to cram the cardio in as often as possible, not exceeding 35 kilometers a week.

How To Start: On Exercise

Did you ever feel that you want to do something but don’t know where to start? The feeling of being somewhat clueless about something can sometimes drive people away from a certain idea, goal or aspiration.

After being stuck myself in a similar situation (not exercise related though), I realized that it would be helpful if someone paved the path to a healthier life-style, that is if you are stuck in the beginners dilemma.

I believe the easiest way to begin something is to have certain steps to follow. I came up with these steps after thinking about my own personal experience, that allowed me to stay on track for over 11 years.

Step 1: Make a resolution

Resolutions are incredibly effective if you stick to them and constantly remind yourself about them, nothing beats a good resolution in terms of motivation.

A good resolution (you can call it goal or objective) needs to be difficult to achieve, yet achievable. Do not set impossible goals such as loosing 10 kg (22 lbs) in a week, goals like these would simply demotivate you.

Tell people about your objectives so that they encourage you and, most importantly, try to impress them.

These are the basic most important features of a good resolution, you might want to further look into the subject if you want to apply it to other aspects of your life.

Step 2: Start right away

When you decide you want to start exercising, just do it. You can start by exercising for 30 mins at home doing some push-ups and crunches. It is essential to start right away, the more time you spend on a thought the less and less it starts to seem appealing.

Do not focus on the minor details regarding your first workout such as exercises, nutrition and timing, it might be overwhelming and put you off. The first time you exercise just do what you know, then afterwards you would know what you need to know and, should start researching.

Step 3: Research

Research is incredibly important, but not the kind where you just read about other’s goals and achievements, you should read everything that is evenly remotely associated to exercising. Do not expect this process to end on one long sleepless night, this is a process that lasts for a lifetime. I am a firm believer that we never stop learning and should constantly strive to know more as long as we are able to maintain a healthy-balanced-functional life.

Once you read a workout, or watched a video about a certain routine, apply it and record your own progress. Progress recording should not necessarily be a written journal-like log, you can just remember where you started off and compare.

Step 4: Continuation, the final step

The final step is simply not stopping, you keep on exercising and trying out different things. Making it a habit is the most important part, not the exercising part only, but also the learning and the constant change.

These are the steps that I personally used and work fine for me, hopefully this will help you jump-start your exercising habit and make it a permanent thing.

Good luck and have fun.