A New Phase of Strength Training

Today being Sunday, it was cross-training day, which meant a boring workout on the stationary bike. For the next month, though, I’m also going to add a core workout and make sure that I am foam rolling. The reasoning behind this is that  a) I should probably be doing preemptive foam rolling to prevent excessive tightness from making me take a break and b) by building core strength, I will hopefully get better balance and not cause so much tightness in my legs from trying to stabilize all the time. Today’s workout made both of my hunches very clear to me. First of all, there were areas that I did not even know were tight until I foam rolled them and experienced a ton of pain (quads). Second, I thought I had a strong core from doing a million planks and crunches, but the oblique workouts were really hard, implying that my holistic core strength is less than I imagined it was.

For now, I’m going to alternate between two core workouts and see which one I prefer, and I’ll probably stick to that. I did this one today, and thought the moves were good choices, but I was a little confused about how long/how many reps I should be doing some things for (especially the plank lift). Next week I’ll try this one. I’ve done it before, but it was a long time ago. I think I will like the simplicity of AMRAP in 45 seconds and that it will be more challenging, but I wanted to give the other a chance because it incorporates more (and different) moves. I’ll see what I think – perhaps I’ll even combine them.

Additionally, after my week hiatus from lifting (as recommended in NROL4W), I must return to it tomorrow. I looked at Stage 2 of New Rules, and I could already tell I was basically going to hate it, so I’m going to switch to an adaptation of this plan. I’ll add squats one day and deadlifts one day, and switch out some inconvenient moves for others that are more convenient, such as substituting in lateral pulldowns for chin-ups, as I don’t think I’m strong enough for a chin-up (yet!). As my mid-week run has increased to 5 miles, I will only do this 2 days a week (Monday and Friday).

I also have random good and bad news today. The good news: I start teaching for the summer tomorrow! I am very excited – I get to teach an upper level research design class all on my own! I have about half of the lectures and assignments prepped, which I think will help me since the course is very short anyway (4 weeks) and I am going to be very busy lecturing 2 hours a day, holding office hours, grading, working out, and doing fun summer things (like indulging in excessive amounts of ice cream and alcohol with my friends taking long walks with the dog while the weather is nice). The bad news: I slammed my finger in my car door and while I didn’t think I hurt it badly (it’s not really swollen or anything), I apparently cut it and it’s kind of stiff, so I’m afraid it will affect my lifting grip. We’ll just have to see.

Only someone as clumsy as me could manage to do this. Why didn’t all those years of sports give me the gift of coordination???

Oh, and other good news: despite my crazy eating this week and the fact that shark week is approaching, my weight remains in my normal bingey-water weight range (about 5 lbs up), which suggests to me it will return to normal once the sharks leave.

2 thoughts on “A New Phase of Strength Training

  1. Aside from a foam, you can try a tennis ball – roll your foot on it, step on it, sit on it, roll your butt muscles on it. You’d hit spots the foam can’t reach. But since you are doing your half-marathon soon, you may want to postpone the tennis ball till after the race.

    • Oh a tennis ball – good idea, I have a million for the dog (some not being chewed on)! I guess I had thought of the tennis ball being the inferior alternative incase I don’t have a foam roller.

      I do find that it really helps with soreness in major muscles, but I bet the tennis ball would be nice for small areas like the particular spots where my IT band gets tight (I can feel them on the side of my knee and hip) and my soleus muscle.

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