I haven’t lifted heavy weight this entire month. CRAZY right? If you’ve been following me, you know I hurt my heels and I ultimately decided to just take time off of lifting this month and keep myself occupied by getting caught up in other realms of life.
I have organized so many things in the house that I haven’t been able to organize in over a year. I’ve been able to do some deep cleaning (I never have time to clean past the basic dishes/laundry/floors), I’ve been able to sleep more, I’ve been able to relax more, and I’ve even been able to take a couple classes at my local community college.
I haven’t stopped working out completely–you know I could never just stop–and besides, 30 minutes of activity daily (minimum!) is a must for all adults! So I’ve been walking on the treadmill with my weight vest (which is a GREAT way to get caught up on your favorite Netflix shows) and I’ve been doing shorter conditioning style workouts. Essentially, more short conditioning, less heavy lifting, and the results have been eye-opening:
- My appetite has gone down tremendously. I used to be ravenous all the time. Now? Not so much.
- I’ve lost a few pounds–both muscle and fat I assume. :/
- I am guessing I’ve lost some strength as well…though I still feel strong and still have great muscle definition.
- My libido has gone up. (Sorry mom–hope you don’t read this post.)
- My stress levels feel much lower because I’m not always scrounging around for time that I can’t make up.
- My heels and shoulders are feeling much better. I haven’t taken this much time to recover since I actually started lifting over 10 years ago.
- I feel a little bit more like a normal person again–time to work, cook, clean, sit down at night and relax, drink some wine, and go to bed. Doesn’t that sound so normal?
Erik and I have both thought for a long time that I was suffering some metabolic damage due to so many years of intense training and low-carb eating plus the yo-yo dieting, and this pretty much proves it.
What to do now?
We’ve established the damage, are working on fixing it (less workouts, less food fixes a lot of the damage)…but what happens next? We all know I love to lift but I’m really tired of the injuries. Am I getting too old for this?! And I’m really liking all the extra time I have to do “normal things” again.
But I LOVE love love to lift! And I think it’s the most important thing–right beside healthy eating–to do to keep myself healthy as I get older. Strength, balance, and healthy insides keep older people alive longer. But “healthy” is the key. Not stressed out and constantly broken!
So I’ve designed a new plan that I hope to start in December. It’s a 28 week training plan (modeled after a Wendler cycle) in which I’ll lift three times a week–only two lifts per day. For example, squat + auxiliary lift, deadlift + press, and bench + auxiliary. And I won’t go so heavy anymore–just enough to challenge my body without breaking it. And the other days? Conditioning-style workouts (SFCWs), walking, and yoga. And no working out for over an hour anymore–maybe only 45 minutes per day!
Whatcha think? Doable? Normal? Was I too intense before? Can I reverse my metabolic damage and keep a normal, healthy, fit bod now? I can’t wait to find out.
Time for your Strong Figure workout!
As for conditioning, I did this workout last week with Myra last week and I wasn’t so sure how hard it would be until we got three minutes in. And for the record–it sucked–but in a really awesome way. 😉
Every minute on the minute for 20 minutes, complete:
- 5 Kettlebell swings
- 5 Wall-Balls (or squat thrusters)
- 5 Push-ups
We used 45-lb kettlebells and 14/15 lb medicine balls. I was able to get each round completed under 40 seconds to ensure I had at least 20 seconds to rest before the next round. This turned out to be 20 rounds of what was essentially a Tabata workout on steroids. After we were finished and collapsed on the floor for a while, I realized we had done 100 reps of each exercise. Pretty darned cool!
If you don’t have equipment, sub burpees and sit-ups for the swings and wall balls.
Reagan Beasley says
Steph I’m so happy that you are listening to your body and that it is working out for you! I think this plan will be great for your physical and mental health! I think you’re moving in the right direction!! Just stay happy and do what makes your body feel good!!
Stephanie Wimer says
Thanks Reagan!!! <3 It does feel so good to REST! 😀
I think its great that you rested. Keep doing what makes you feel good. You don’t need injuries to hamper you. -MB
Stephanie Wimer says
Thanks MaryBeth!! I couldn’t agree more–even when it seems weird/wrong/tough/etc to stick to rest and recovery! Glad to have your support! 😀
I think sometimes slowing down is the hardest thing to do. I had to take pretty much a month off of running due to injury and while it wasn’t fun (being injured that is), I became reacquainted with old workouts that I had pushed aside in lieu of running. It honestly was just what I needed and it sounds like a change of pace has been beneficial to you as well. Sometimes our bodies just need a break and some TLC 🙂
Stephanie Wimer says
I couldn’t agree more Annmarie! 😀 Although you’re right-it’s VERY hard. I’m sitting here a day away from Thanksgiving thinking “I should do a workout…” and I could definitely do something small…but it’s nice to not worry about it either!