Tag Archives: eating right

Training With Prior Issues/New Injuries

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.

69-380x380

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!

 

Advertisements

Motivation Requires Sacrifice

Whilst I was walking home from the school run my mind wandered to my Instagram post from this morning, I’m a massive convert to TimeHop; I find it fascinating to read over my posts from years ago – talk of cookies, eating whole tubs of ice-cream, being overwhelming tired & having pain that excruciating I needed steroid injections to stem it. Along with many, many rage posts.  It’s strange to read them sometimes & others have me instantly flashing back to the precise moment that they happened.

Anyway. Back to Instagram…..I walked past the mirror mid-getting dressed & I was pretty fucking pleased with my reflection.  My other half reckons I can’t walk past a mirror without looking in it & he’s right. I make no excuses for my narcissism, and have no intention of changing. I don’t make it a habit (much) to take photos of my reflection; in fact a massive pet peeve of mine is those who snap selfies in the mirror & look at their reflection instead of the camera lens.

I’ll admit, changing has not been easy – there are still days where I don’t want to cycle to work, let alone the gym and sometimes I will allow the want to be “lazy” and get the bus. I always pine for my bike when I do though.  However, the point in this post is to give some of my tips to stay the course & become the person you’ve only ever been able to dream about.

Zig-Start

TIPS:

  • Invest in a Personal Trainer – I know this may seem like a major expense, but even if you see them once a month & then follow a programme they have set for you will help!  In my early weeks going to the gym I only went if I felt like it. Paying to see Andy meant that I had to go, he sets me things to do without him & I know the next time I see him, he will ask if I’ve been to the gym since the last time we met.
  • Stay the course – It sounds easy enough; Go to the gym, train, ???, PROFIT. It really isn’t that simple though. We have, as a human race become so dependant on machines to do things for us. Yes, technology has advanced so we don’t have to hunt for our food or walk miles to get to places but does that mean we should be complacent with our health?  Training requires effort, it’s hard graft – if it was easy then everyone would do it.
  • Nutrition. Nutrition. Nutrition – Food!  Glorious food!  Anyone who reads this regularly will know I love food.  What you eat is tantamount to what you do in the gym, if not more so. Reduce the carbs & increase the protein is a good starting point.  I didn’t realise what a negative effect not eating correctly could do.  Seriously.  All that effort put in to training to lose it from eating poorly? Don’t forget to stay hydrated too!  I’ve seen what dehydration during sports looks like & it does not look like a pleasant experience.
  • It will hurt – After my first leg day I wondered if I’d ever be able to walk again properly. I wish I was joking, but I’m really not. When I was much, much younger I used to run cross-country at school & my legs never hurt to the degree a proper leg day gets you. It’s not just your legs either; ever tried to take a sports bra off after doing a silly amount of skull crushers & chest presses? No? It’s almost impossible.  How about laughing after crunches?  I’ve done it, it gave me muscle cramp in my abs which I couldn’t stretch back out for ages!
  • Weights! – If there is another reason to invest time with a Trainer, I can’t think of a better one than learning to use weights effectively. When I started going to the gym I spent most of my time on cardio machines, wishing I was fitter or dead….whichever was gonna come faster!  Cardio has its place, but I now believe it should be for warming up as opposed to the reason you go to the gym. Lifting heavy shit is awesome & with the right guidance is really, really awesome.  The feeling of beating a personal best? Incredible!  I did 90kg the other day – a good 20kg more than my body weight.
  • REST! – I know I’ve said stick at it, eat well, train hard but all of that work & effort is worth nothing without looking after yourself. I have two rest days a week – my days off work & Saturday is an “Only cycle” day, as the gym opens too late for me. The most important thing is to give your body the recovery time it needs, if that’s 4 rest days a week to begin with then so be it.  However, never drop them entirely. They are vital!

Doing Makes a Diff Pic


Mmmmmm Protein!

I keep posting images of what I’m eating to Instagram & Facebook, but not adding them here in such a routinely manner. However, I’ll only add here if I feel I can explain what I did in a way that makes cohesive sense.

Anyway. Tonight for dinner I made roast chicken breast, with roast peppers & quinoa.  Allow me to show you:

2015-02-23 21.55.44Mmmmmm.  So, quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is a new thing for me-I’ve only been eating it since the start of the year & it’s an ideal alternative to pasta (in my opinion) I still don’t really eat a lot of carbs, some days it feels like that’s all I eat but then I don’t really touch them for days.  I can easily live without bread & pasta, so it doesn’t bother me.  Ahem, swift digression.

This is raw quinoa:

2015-02-23 20.54.56

It’s a grain, wiki informs me it’s grown mainly for its edible seeds.  You take one part quinoa to 5 parts water & let it boil for 20 minutes.  I’m terrible with weights & measurements, so my measuring doll cups were out….I used half a cup to 2 & a half cups water.  I also added a vegetable stock cube to my water.

Then (because it’s easier) I use frozen, pre cut mixed peppers, apply oilve oil & garlic then in to the oven…..er, about 160 degrees & cut up chicken breast on another tray in the oven for about the same length of time.  I mixed them together once they were out the oven:

2015-02-23 21.54.49

I love how much colour can go in to food!

Then dish it out 🙂

One thing I have noticed is that as I’ve gotten older my food has become a lot more varied.  For example, a few years ago I would not have entertained even looking at peppers, but now I love them…..red being my favourite!


A Detailed Progress Post – Number 1

So. 5 months in from when I vowed to stop being a lazy/easy option out/take all the painkillers kinda person. Let’s see where we are….

IMG_20140805_201821

Me. August 2014 First day back at the gym. So happy!

Wow.  I’ve not looked at my “starting” images for a long, long time.  I’ve mostly used the “month 1 progress” image, I’ve just looked.  Wow.  Er, wow.  I know I’ve progressed, but wow.

I’m gonna attempt some detail about my progress, but I’m not sure what I’m going to add, so I may ramble.  Anyhoo, first up I thought it’d be good (read: heinous) to have a starter image with a recent one, so here you go:

Holy Shit! I mean, I know I’m smaller than I was, but O_o  I’m kind of appalled with myself for accepting how I was for as long as I did.

*A quick calculation gives me around 13″ total loss – but I’ve gone up in certain places due to muscle growth*

I’ve been told to be more accepting of praise, positive comments & to accept that I am actually an inspiration.  I’m gonna try to accept it, my before & during snap shot is probably gonna help me to take the encouragement head on instead of shirting around it.

2015-01-15 10.00.15-1 2015-01-15 10.01.59-1

Possibly the most surprising about my “fitness” journey is how much has gone from my hips; around 5″ so far.  The trousers I’m wearing in the above images I bought in April 2014 & when I did they fit just below the natural waist line.

I never actively sought weight-loss, but it is a pretty big side effect of lifting weights & cycling over 100 miles a week, most weeks.  However, I guess it’s kinda contradictory in terms as I *did* change my eating habits, which then has helped the weight loss.  Although that might be a little weird as I eat more now than I have in years! Don’t get me wrong; there are days where I won’t have prepped food, or I’ll give in to a craving. However I can reign it back in….I’ve never really been “overweight” not in the morbidly obese sense anyway.

Part of my desire to change my eating habits was down to being told that under eating can have a worse effect on your muscles and can in-turn make you flabbier than you were.  That was new information to me, I’m not sure how I thought it worked, but I never thought of working out could lead to less definition – but this is why there are trained professionals out there to be able to guide the clueless………..

2014-12-25 20.56.212015-01-02 20.07.04

Perfect examples of what I eat, steak with grilled courgette & Teriyake Chicken with cauliflower “rice”. Most of our food is prepared on the day, but I will make things in advance – especially for work as rushing out to find something to eat can be disastrous, even if you think you’re choosing the healthier option, you might not be.

*I think I’m losing my point….hang on*

Oh, yes.  Here we are:

IMAG0838One of my favourite images of me, I use it as my profile pic on Fitocracy & The Neila Ray Forum – both insightful, and both extremely different websites; worthy of a look though.  I’m not overly active on them, but they’re there, as well as xxfitness on Reddit.

What I adore about that image is the way the lighting in my bathroom seems to capture the new definition in my back.  It’s pictures like this that help me to get up at 05:30 every morning & cycle to the gym….I say every morning; 3…sometimes 4 mornings a week.  Mostly three, but it’ll get to 4 more regularly.

PicsArt_1416422720529PicsArt_1416423720700

My PT commented the other day that my progress pics are usually of my back, but I do sometimes take pics from other angle, however I hate them.  This post is supposed to detail my progress though, so I’ve added them. Er, Images with grey leggings are from about September, black leggings images are November.

Today (February 2nd) I whacked the leg press on 93KG & managed a decent amount of reps, I remember it wasn’t too long ago that I struggled to do 50KG….I *did* try to go over 100KG, but I didn’t move! Then there’s also the fact when I started cycling I could just to say cycle stood up – cycling today was predominantly stood up.  I have to keep stopping to blow my nose though cos me & cold weather don’t get on.

I *think* that is it for this post……………..