Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Another Evaluation

I spent some time in contemplation yesterday about the best way to get my ass on the treadmill every single night without failure.  I've realized that when I do get on the damn thing I'm over-doing it.  When I climb off of it gasping for air and barely able to stand, sure it's a great workout but it's also a fast track to a burn-out.  Lately I've been getting on the treadmill, working out for 20 minutes or so (which isn't nearly long enough to boost my metabolism) and then I'm wiped out and lazy for the next 24-hours or more.  Not only that but when I did have a gym membership there was a chart hanging on the wall by the treadmills that showed various heart-rate brackets and the effects that each created.  I remember that there was a "sweet spot" for weight loss and that it said if you get your heart-rate too high you're burning fuel too fast for the body to process fat so it starts eating muscle instead.  I don't yet have a heart-rate monitor on my treadmill but I know that if I'm gasping for air and feeling weak and dizzy, my heart rate is too high.

So yesterday I scaled back a little bit on the intensity but increased the time.  I broke a healthy sweat and was breathing heavy but not dying when I got done.  I walked for 9 minutes at 3 mph and then ran for 1 minute at 5 mph.  I did that 6 times for a total 60 minute work-out and, interestingly enough, my thigh muscles were burning more last night from that work-out than they have been after other work-outs.  I've been exhausting myself before I can even really get a good burn going which seems kinda pointless.  I liked last night's routine and I'm still planning on increasing intensity and working on my stamina but I have to do it a lot more gradually.

I have to remind myself that when I started this blog, walking 3 miles in an hour was EXHAUSTING in-and-of itself for me.  The first time that I tried to walk 5 miles in one day I had to text my mom for the motivation and support to keep going long enough to get home.  Just a few months ago I did 10 miles in a single day ... I wanted to die when it was over but I did it.  I want to progress so much that I try too hard and it's really counter productive.  A steady, healthy, daily routine is, I think, better than massive death-runs.  Like the tortoise and the hare.  I'll get there but I had to remind myself that my plan was to go back to what was working and that was never killing myself - it was pushing myself yes.  Breaking a sweat and breathing heavy - yes.  But not to the point where I had to collapse on the floor for 20 minutes just to keep from passing out.  I'm sticking with the 9x1 routine for awhile.  I think I'll re-evaluate it in a month or so when I've had a chance to rebuild the muscle I lost sitting on my ass all winter and, hopefully, lose the weight that I gained back.

p.s. Weighed this morning and am at 226.5.  I will not let that get me down.  It will become more motivation to be consistent in my routine and to get Snackers to understand that we need to go back to cooking more meals at home - injured hand or not.

120 oz of water
2 cups of coffee w/creamer
1 granola bar
1 healthy choice lunch
8 oz grilled skirt steak
4 oz garlic angel hair pasta
2 cups of popcorn
Daily Caloric Intake: 1392

Yoga: 30 minutes
Walking: 6 reps @ 3 mph for 9 min. each
Running: 6 reps @ 5 mph for 1 min each
Fitocracy Points: 207


  1. Couldn't agree more. *DAILY* killing yourself is counter-productive on so many levels.

    But don't discount on *OCCASIONAL* suicide-workout. They are very, very good for forcing your body to adapt to a sudden change. Doing so daily will sap your strength and ultimately your immune system. Doing them occasionally, however, is very good for you.

    Like sprints. Sprints are great for you, much better than jogging in so many ways. But you can't go all-out balls-to-the-walls everyday or yes, you'll burn out. On the other hand, nothing but balls-to-walls will force your muscles (heart included) to grow. Taking it easy is good for fat-loss, but it doesn't cause muscle growth.

    IOW, you need to do both.
    Take it easy most days for fat-loss and energy-conservation.
    Hit it hard once in a while to grow new muscle.

    Mentzer used to teach that beginners need to go all-out about once every 5-7 days whereas highly-conditioned people only need to do it about once every 10-14 days.

    It's very important to understand this point: you CANNOT grow new muscle without pushing your limits to the edge. You can condition muscle you already have, yes, burn fat, yes... but grow new muscle, no.

    New muscle is the key to raising your resting-metabolism.

    Doing both is key. Doing both also helps alleviate boredom.

  2. I don't know about you, but I tend to overdo everything. Workouts don't have to be killers to be beneficial. Hope you find a happy medium. Take care.

  3. I don't work and hubby comes home for lunch, so my example might not be helpful; but just in case it is: we just got an elliptical and have it in the living room (where we spend most of our time). Every time I get up to use the bathroom, I hop on for 2-5 minutes each time as well as 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening. I make it a point to get at least 15 minutes in each day but I'm really working my way up to 60 minutes. Hubby does 10 minutes in the morning before work, 10 minutes at lunchtime and 10 minutes in the evening. The elliptical is harder to do than the treadmill which is why we are doing such low amounts of time (we've literally only had the machine for a week). But maybe it's something you can work into your morning, lunch and evening routine with the treadmill. :)