Often, as it is in a variety of aspects of life; the little things can be overlooked and sometimes; forgotten. This post is for them.
Over the last few weeks I have done the following:
- Lost around 8lb (4kg) gradually & am maintaining it
- Achieved above body weight on a machine in the gym
- Didn’t lose my temper when I couldn’t lift the same weight (this is probably HUGE though)
- My left arm tricep deficit looks to have caught up to my right, finally.
I also seem to have increased in skill level for baking:
The are blueberry & chocolate blondies & they’re incredible!
I also made Protein cheesecake 🙂
In my training journey; I’m finally starting to see upper body definition – I’ve always had a really weak/inferior upper body, favouring my legs (I used to sprint, do long jump, cycle as well as relay when I was a lot younger) I have pictures!!
Oh, yeah….I’ve also got back in to deadlifting, now I have a stronger core/quads.
I have a crazy amount of happy going on inside me, it’s all kinds of wonderful. Andy had some awesome words to say about me today:
I’ve always believed that to truly achieve long term change that we need to really explore things for OURSELVES.
Granted we all need the correct guidance and help, something I myself have been fortunate to be afforded over the years from some very good people. However rather than just being a dictator or having people do as I say, with everything I like to get people to really find out what it is they want not only from their training but how it will make the other parts of their lives better and other peoples.
There are times when we all need to be told certain HOME TRUTHS but also times when to be asked the right questions that lead to us really looking into and researching for ourselves what we really want to achieve and how to get there, rather than just to be told this is the only way etc.
I’m unbelievably PROUD that many people I train are not only making physical progress but really making GREAT progress with other aspects of what they do.
One GREAT example of this is Sarah Watson going from a chronic debilitating back injury and addicted to painkillers along with other serious issues, to her now helping not only herself but others with their own fitness journey. Sarah does this via her own fantastically written blog: goalsforgains.wordpress.com. that covers her journey in a style that is not typical of the fitness industry.
For Sarah Watson to do this from where she started from physically is a monumental achievement as is the way she has used this to help her mentally along the way. But even more importantly Sarah has used what she has learned and is constantly still learning to HELP not only HERSELF but OTHERS aswell.
For me to see someone achieve all of this with fitness being the driving force behind it is my true idea of a success story, as it’s not just 1 person that has gained from her achievements but many others. Sarah has INSPIRED these people through being EMPOWERED to follow what inner talent she has.
This post has been a bit of a ramble, for that I apologise, just wanted to get some stuff jotted down & all of this didn’t feel like it warranted single posts.
TL; DR: Everything is aweome!!
I figure, that due to almost rendering myself unable to train yesterday due to massive pressure on my left side (that I ignored) it’d be prudent to make a post like this, as all of us at some point or another will suffer some level of injury that hinders our training; whether it be for a few days or a few months – it’s a good idea to be aware of some of the basics for training with injuries/issues.
I’ll use myself as an example; I have a series of issues with my back & sometimes it can flare up & render me to an almost immobile state – over the weekend I felt my left hip beginning to burn; the first sign of more pain to come. It must’ve been bad as I had terribly interrupted sleep on Sunday, however I still went to the gym on Monday. I was doing ok until I got to 40kg barbell squats, did one….felt a pull across my entire lower back & made a noise that may have been heard by hades himself…I heard it & I had headphones in. TBF, should’ve know as after I walked up the stairs I could feel my hips rubbing. Sounds gross & painful?? Yeah, it is. Anyhoo…..I was training on my own. SHIT! What do I do?? The urge to run downstairs, cobble my gear together & get the fuck out of the gym was my first thought. However, I seem to be growing as an individual, so I racked the bar & attempted to compose myself. I managed to (while thinking lots of encouraging things) do another one before I decided that it was probably wiser to drop the weight down, so I took 10kg off & did 10 reps before deciding that it may not be wise to continue with more reps.
Because of this, I began to wonder what would I do if I’d injured myself further or if it was a new injury & I didn’t know how to deal with it. The misconception that you should rest all injuries is still pretty popular & couldn’t be further away from the truth, resting completely can cause issues along the road – sitting immobile while you heal is gonna cause hindrance as the muscles seize up over time, making recovery longer and more painful.
You can still train if you’ve broken a limb, you can still go to the gym if you’re full of cold, you can even go to the gym after breaking your nose & recovering from concussion! That last one, I did actually do. I just made Andy aware of how I felt & whathaveyou before we began training.Which leads me to how do you know if you’re fit for the gym? I’m came up with my own little checklist:
- Does it hurt? Pain levels can vary immensely, let’s use this scale chart:
I’ve experienced all levels based on this scale. Monday I’d say I was at about a 2-4, at this level I’d still go to the gym. I’d probably still go to level 6, pushing it a little with 7 & above. So, go with this. Does it hurt? Yes. Will I be off work cos of it? No. GO TO THE GYM.
- Will it stop me from going to work? I know I’ve already mentioned this in the pain point, but it’s worthy of another mention. If you’re still able to go to work, then you’re able to train, however you may wanna take it slowly initially depending on the level of injury. There’s the flip side too; post op it’s probably best to steer clear of the gym for a while (I avoided the gym when I’d had a rather large tattoo session) When I broke my nose I didn’t go for the first week after it’d happened, so I guess to assess on an individual basis. However, if you feel well enough in yourself, then as long as someone in the gym knows you’re a little ill/post op/in severe pain so they can recommend things to do to avoid hurting yourself.
- Progress or pain? This is an odd one, (I wrote some of this at work then carried on thinking about it on the cycle home & I think this was my point) Think about the pain you have – Remember the handy scale!! Now, if you’re teetering on a 7, will going to the gym hinder your progress? Yes, probably. However, if the pain is localised to a body part that you can omit; a leg say then (imo) there’s no harm in going to the gym to do an upper body workout. Just remember if it hurts, STOP & assess the situation – can you carry on, even with a lower weight? yes, good on you – the Marines would be proud of you!
- Is it gonna be a long-term injury? I consider my back issues to be a hindrance more than a debilitating irritation; however I received some interesting reading material to my work email today that suggests my back issues are worse than I thought, but I digress…..I have friends that are trying to regain strength after months of limited training due to needing bones pinning back together & extensive physio sessions. I have had my fair share of physio & I guess my issue is long-term too, seeing as how I’ve dealt with it since my twenties. It was only when I started training with Andy that I learned how much of a complication it has been on my body, my left side is completely shot. I say is because I still have a deficit that I’m trying to correct (I’ve blogged about this annoyance before) What I will say though is that any progress is STILL progress! no matter how small, take the little victories! Did two more reps than before? Fantastic! Could lift a slightly heavier weight? Incredible! Recovery takes time & it’s frustrating, but I refer back to the previous point; going too fast because you wanna catch up to the beautiful people will only make your journey more of a struggle in the long run.
- DO NOT FORGET TO EAT! Oh, I’m not feeling too well, so I won’t have lunch or I’m not training today so I don’t need as much protein. Right? Wrong! I learned this the hard way. I started to do barbell squats; my first lot were going pretty well, then the following session I went to do them again & couldn’t. During a conversation with Andy he explained my body hadn’t recovered from the last session, or my lurgy (I had a cold when I started BB squats) and that was why I couldn’t lift the weight. I was really annoyed with myself cos I thought I was doing ok, but I wasn’t. I’ve since made a conscious effort to eat better & it’s definitely paying off dividends in the gym!
So we can learn how to get back up……..
Well, 2015 has been a bumpy ride for me & it’s only February! January saw me break my nose then about 2 weeks ago I came off my bike again & split my eyebrow & got a pretty nasty looking gash on my cheek, along with a bruise on my hip that has still to heal. The second knock, although not as damaging to my face, I did some pretty serious damage to my bike & it was out of action until this week when I finally got time to fix it & calibrate the breaks and gears.
I felt sorry for myself. I wondered the point of the gym or trying to become fitter as I seem to hit obstacles that prevent me from progressing in a manner I feel is good progress. I questioned if it was worth it or not. Getting a lift to work meant I didn’t have to take a change of clothes with me, and I could stay in bed for another hour…..who doesn’t want that?!
The reason my sub title on here is “Overcoming mental barriers, one lift at a time” is because I know my mind is my distractor. (I know that’s not a real word) My PT know how much I procrastinate; I’ve lost count how many times he’s asked me recently if I’ve been to the gym without him, the answer is I haven’t. I haven’t wanted to go. I haven’t wanted to get up while it’s still dark & train for an hour before work. I’ve stopped feeling bad for not going too, however. My wheels are fixed, I’ve been out on the bike & feel a lot better for it. I’m not giving up, I’m not giving in. Two knocks in as many months have caused a crisis in confidence – I’ve identified it & know I’ll get over it. It’s taken a few weeks but tomorrow is the start of a new week. I’m rested, I feel the need to get back to gym now. I’m not willing to lose my progress, I know where I want to be by the end of the year & taking time off away from the gym isn’t going to help me get to where I want to be.
I’ve promised those who care about me that I won’t fall again, in all honesty I can’t fall again, I don’t know how I’d cope with that mentally.