When to Add NEW Exercises to Your Workout!

Weight-Training-Crushes-Cardio-For-Fat-LossThis is a topic that I come back to a lot because there are so many different ways for me to look at it. Am I adding new exercises because I want to learn new ones? Are certain exercises causing unwanted pain and being replaced with others that are more comfortable? Is there a medical reason? These are just a few of the reasons to add new exercises to a workout.

My obsession with the gym has only started in mid October (7 months) and during that time I have learned a lot. I started off with just a handful of random exercises to having a 15 exercise workout everyday, which is too much for me, or at least was at that point. Thanks to a few friends and the BodySpace app by BodyBuilding.com (not a plug but still showing support) I was able to learn more exercises to work out various muscle groups in my body. While learning more exercises I was able to teach myself various other exercises to work out the same muscles which I could use to either extend my workout or to offer variety to the exercises that way they didn’t become boring.

Several months after starting my gym obsession I came down with a nice case of either tennis or golfer’s elbow and had to back off on some of my workouts. My legs loved/hated me during the time period. I lowered the weight on exercises that didn’t cause me as much pain and I avoided the ones that hurt. It sucked because the ones that hurt the most were the ones I loved the most. I should mention that it was my fault I got the elbow injury because I was doing the same 15 upper body exercises everyday, 5-7 days a week (with 1 day for legs mixed in).

This injury was a blessing and curse. It forced me to separate my workout and to learn more exercises. Some of these new exercises have replaced ones that I was doing prior to my injury and some of them I ditched once I was feeling better. The curse from this is that I haven’t been able to kick the full extend of the injury and it keeps coming back. Currently I am avoiding doing any exercises where my arms are tended and supporting all of the weight at the hinge of my elbow, curls are a prime example. This is allowing me to find new exercises using machines or different ways to lift where my elbows are getting more support from the rest of my body. Knowledge is power!

Now some exercises are just uncomfortable to do. Seated leg curls are a good example for me as I could never find a comfortable position on the machine and it caused a pain what I did not need to have knowing that I probably wasn’t in the best position to use the machine. I was able to replace this with squats and other leg exercises which allow me to take this machine out of my workout entirely.

I have also recently replaced concentration curls with preacher curls and a few other bicep machines which have helped. Concentration curls were fine but for some reason when I put the weight down at the end it caused a sharp pain to my right shoulder. Since I dropped the concentration curls I have not felt this pain.

There are more reasons than what I have listed to change an exercise in your workout but these are the few reasons that I have run into and so far I have yet to look back.

If you have any more reasons to add, feel free to comment them below!

Cheers!

 

 

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Deadlifting, Internet, Moving and Back Pain

Barbell_DeadliftFinally go the internet at my house and it has been great to have, but sadly all of my time outside of work and the gym and has been dedicated to putting the house together, more moving and unpacking.

This past weekend was entirely spent packing up stuff from our parents houses on Saturday just to spend the entire day on Sunday loading it all into a uhaul truck and bringing it to the house. Was exhausted by the time we were done and my back was killing me. With the number of boxes of COLLEGE TEXT BOOKS that my wife had packed, there was no need to go to the gym. Found boxes of homework that she kept from high school, HIGH SCHOOL!!!!

Between the workout that I got from packing and moving and unpacking, and the soreness in my back from moving beds and totes along with other fun stuff, I really wasn’t in the condition to go to the gym on Monday…BBBUUUTTT I did.

I ended up going to the gym on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and I planned on taking a rest day on Thursday as my body was shot from everything I have been doing all week and my back was sore since I didn’t rest it from moving but I decided to go to the gym anyways and thought to myself, this feels like a great day to do deadlifts. Yeah, I roll like that.

My big reason for wanting to deadlift on Thursday was that the gym I like to go to is going to be closed Friday and Saturday and they close early on Sunday and I have been trying to get a deadlift day in weekly so I can keep working on my form. The form is getting better BTW.

Stepping the weight back from 200 to 135 and working on my form is definatly helping. Maybe I forced myself to lift more weight too fast? I know I was able to handle over 200 but I guess my form got messy as I added more weight. Going to increase the weight slower this time and I have my friend Opi helping me via video messages. It is going well and I am feeling more comfortable as I slowly increase the weight this time so I don’t hurt myself. I have added videos to my Instagram, I will be making a collage of them for YouTube but add me oin Instagram and check it out!

 

Cheers!

Wrist Wraps?

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I get a lot of people coming up to me and asking what I have wrapped around my wrists and why. It isn’t a big deal but it is amusing that people need to ask what wrist wraps are and their purpose. After explaining what they are and why I wear them they stare at me as if I have 3 heads.

I wear them for the wrist support. They help keep me in line so I don’t hurt myself and give me the extra mental security to give my all in my lift without worry. “but why don’t you just wear gloves with the velcro strap?” because I like to feel my weights.  When you can feel the weights it feels like more of an earned achievement of lifting them. I want to to feel like I earned my rest afterwards.

In the long run you need to do what you feel the most comfortable with. If sleeves irritate you when lifting than don’t wear sleeves. If your wrists bother you than wear wraps. I prefer the ones with the thumb loops because they help keep the wrap in place.

Gym Equipment is so Expensive

Still blogging via cell phone.

So I’ve been trying to find a good and inexpensive home gym set up. I’ve been looking at years sales and Craigslist and other online marketplaces rhyming with hesay and coming up short. I thought I had a winner, and I went out to look at it.

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What I liked about it was that it was an all-in-one machine. Had an adjustable bench with bench press, barbell, leg extension, lat pull down, preacher perch and came with 250 pounds of weight (standard 1 inch). When I got to it I saw that the bench pivots left and right and locks into place and pending which was it faces is which exercises are available. Sadly it didn’t securely lock into place in order to use the bench press or pull down. For me this took a big hit out of the machine and I had to pass on it.

The weight alone may have been worth the price especially if I could have talked the price down since the bench wouldn’t lock. (probably could have fixed it?). But I got the feeling that part of the bench was bent which is why it doesn’t lock.

So now it is back to the Internet to try and find another deal on a good home gym set up. Luckily I’m not in the biggest rush but it would be nice to find one sooner than later.

Moving soon!

ed-moving-boxes_480-largeMoving this weekend and I can’t wait! Sadly it means I won’t be able to spend time at the gym but at least I will get a little bit of exercise moving boxes and furniture!

It will be good for me to do as well because I remember how difficult it was for me to move some of the furniture the last time I moved 2 years ago, way before I started really going to the gym. I am expecting to see a difference in how I move and how heavy everything feels to me. By that I mean I expect everything to be a bit lighter, except for my wife’s collection of text books from college…

What will be good for me in terms of this move is that I will have far more room to do what I want to do! I can set up some weights in the basement and be able to use it as a home gym when I can’t get to the real gym, or for some post workout or unable to sleep nights! I will also be making one room a studio room, I will have my digital drums and guitars etc. inside it so I can play when I want.

I also will have my studio computer set up in the room and I have just upgraded it! I have shot several vlog videos for my upcoming YouTube channel, so stay tuned in for updates about that and subscribe when you can!

 

Pain but Not Painful

moving-septic-systemIt seems like I am always having elbow issues and this time it came from playing with a vicious 9 pound dog belonging to my mother in-law. I smacked my elbow into the couch and where it doesn’t hurt me 99% of the time and it doesn’t prevent me from doing anything or make me feel weaker, it hurts like hell when something pulls my skin.

For example if I am resting my elbow on the couch arm, it doesn’t hurt! But if I slide my elbow forward along the couch I am in extreme pain to the point where I am flailing. Not sure if it is possible nerve damage? Maybe I did some bone damage? I don’t feel anything out of place or different when I feel around but who knows.

The important thing for me is that it hasn’t stopped me from doing what I need to do in life and at the gym. I have been doing my workouts at full strength and even raising my PRs as I do it! Luckily for me it also hasn’t prevented me from packing up my apartment as I am moving in a few days!

Looking forward to the move, and I will be posting updates, especially as I build my home gym! Granted it won’t be much more than I can find for cheap on Craigslist, but it will be great to have a place to go when I can’t get to place!

Cheers!

Hitting a Snag

Seems like a lot of times when I start to gain momentum I end up hitting a snag one way or another. I can understand every now and again but it get tiring when it happens so often. At least this time it wasn’t caused by the weights.

I was rough housing with a vicious dog, I mean vicious, growling, teeth baring, slobbering 9 pounds of fury. I was pouncing with the dog in my in-lawdemons living room when I guess my left arm flung backwards and crashed into the couch. It hurt a lot at first, almost like I smashed into an object (which I did) and was electrocuted at the same time. After the initial pain went away it felt better and I thought I was through it, no big deal. Now when I put my elbow down or extend awkwardly I feel an instant severe stinging to the same place each time. It makes arm rest hellish.

On top of this, I have been getting dizzying headaches the last few days. I tried to power through one over the weekend and was unable to. Was planning on going to the gym today but once again got another headache and didn’t even want to start.

If anyone has any suggestions, please share! Headaches are not fun!