Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Back from the Gym

I just got back from the gym. Strangely, I still don’t look like Brian Urlacher. I did chest, upper and lower back and abs today and did 30 minutes of cardio on the ellipsis machine burning roughly 530 calories. I feel great, even if I’m not yet urlacheresque.

I’m learning a lot about pacing. First, working out generates fatigue, which I have to manage fairly carefully. I have to have my off days and even if I feel like I can take on the whole world on my off day (a very nice side effect of working out), if I try working out on my off day, the next day sucks irredeemably badly. I can do legs and a very pathetic cardio (150-200 calories max) on Mondays, because that’s my post-Avonex day. I may need an afternoon nap that day.

The sleep is really important because I’m finding that for the first time ever working out, I’m actually seeing results. I never pushed hard enough before, ironically because I took all those injury warnings so seriously. Kevin the Trainer pushed me for the first two weeks and I noticed that just as I was beginning to lose the strength to keep the form, where I would have stopped, he would always push for five more reps. I always thought that where you were beginning to lose the ability to keep the form was where you were supposed to stop. Apparently, you are supposed to stop at the point you think you’re about to drop the damned weights on top of yourself. Who knew?

So, every week now, I’m noticeably sore. So, every week now, I need to get proper sleep and I may need to add naps in here and there to rest. Sadly, I don’t think regular working out gives me more productive time the way it does for some people who say, “I’m so busy I have to work out just to handle it.” On the contrary, I feel the time loss sharply. I think it does improve the quality of the time that I don’t spend working out. I feel a lot better. But since I have so little productive time, I don’t know how well I’m going to be able to keep this up next term. I have to TA again, which means another five-day week at the U with 75-minute commute each way. That’s an increase from five hours commuting to twelve and half hours. The fatigue gets to be unreal.

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