A Weighty Oops

August 15, 2006

I've been lifting weights three times a week for several weeks now. The routine is becoming a habit, and I actually look forward to the time spent in the gym early in the morning.

Some of the exercises are becoming easier, others are still challenging. My old (ancient?) rotator cuff injury weakened my right shoulder more than I would have imagined. I think that I compensated with the other arm and never really knew how much strength I had lost. There is a seated shoulder press machine that really taxes my shoulders. Thirty pounds, twelve times leaves me weak and trembling. The first week or so I wasn't able to complete two sets of twelve repetitions - this week I've finally started completed both sets.

The abdominal crunch machine is another matter altogether. The trained wanted us to aim for twenty or more repetitions on this machine, for two sets per workout. I'm only using thirty-five pounds of resistance and was easily able to complete two thirty repetition sets. Last week (two workouts ago) I decided to up the reps to forty per set. Eighty felt good, and I thought maybe I should try for one hundred total.

Bad idea.

Monday morning I did two fifty repetition sets at thirty-five pounds. At the time nothing seemed amiss, but by the end of the day - and a long wait at the eye doctor's office - I was beginning to notice some stiffness when I first got up to walk. After dinner I took a short walk outside and discovered that my lower abdominals were quite pissed off at me. Four Motrin barely put a dent into the discomfort stemming from walking.

Overnight the pain lessened some, but I am still hard pressed to move about. It seems incredible to me that to few extra repetitions, only twenty more that Friday, could have such a huge impact. Unless I feel much better by the end of the day I won't be lifting tomorrow morning - don't want to make this a chronic injury. And I am not sure about kendo either. The weather forecast is for thunderstorms so maybe that decision will be made for me.

And when I do return to the gym I think I'll return to fifty or sixty total repetitions for a while.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.