Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Weird results from my weights class

Yesterday I went to a weights class. My first class of any sort for one and a half weeks. While I had walked a lot during our vacation, I didn't really exercise formally. So, I was really curious how it was going to go. Would I be able to keep the same weights on the bar? Or would I need to drop it? If I kept it at the same weights, would it feel tougher? or the same?

What I decided to do was to start as if I hadn't missed a couple classes. I was about to up my weights in class anyway, so instead of increasing the weights I kept it the same. I'm still a beginner, so my weights are fairly low. I used 3.5 kg on each end of the bar for warm-ups, 4.5 kg on each end for squats and rows, and 2.5 kg on each end for chest and triceps, 3.5 kg on each end for biceps and overhead presses, and I use handweights of 8 lbs for triceps, and 20 lbs for lunges.

For the warm up, it felt right. Then I added a bit for the squats and it felt right. We have a mirror in the classroom and I see I'm able to squat really well and low (but not too low). It felt great. Then we moved on, but I could feel my legs shaking. I was wondering from what? They've never shaked like that before. I wondered almost if I was having a low blood sugar attack, though I couldn't see how with what I ate for breakfast. Then I realized, my legs were just super fatigued!

When we got to the bench, I found for the first time ever that the reps didn't seem so tough which means I should add a bit of weight to the bar. When we switched muscle groups I add a kg to the bar and sure enough, I could do all the reps and only got slightly fatigued.

We did the rest of the routine and I realized I had lost zero strength and probably gained strength over the last 1.5 weeks. Great! (Not sure it will be the same with my cardio class today though!)

After class I needed to go to the grocery store and oh boy, everything was heavy. Coming home, my leg about gave out going up our huge front step. What? DId I work it that hard? By evening my legs were aching - nothing in the arms. And now, it's morning and my quads and glutes are feeling it. I feel a touch of something in my biceps, but mostly it's my legs.

Now, I don't quite understand that. I walked all vacation. I did nothing with my arms with vacation except lift suitcases and bags a couple times. Why would my arms get stronger and not ache while my legs, the muscle groups that got exercise, get more fatigued? Or, was I actually working it harder yesterday with deeper lunges and squats? (Possible with the squats, not so much with lunges). Maybe my legs were stronger and I just did more work with the same weights?

Other pluses with working out more is that now I can do a few full length push-ups and I can do planks now. Not as long or as many as they want us to do in class, but a few weeks ago I couldn't do them at all, so it's improving. And like the instructors said, I'm not bulking up, I'm leaning out. I caught a glimpse of my legs yesterday and I couldn't believe they were my legs. They looked shapely and youthful. Me???? Wow! Of course, I was far back from the mirror and couldn't see all the dimpled flesh, but weights especially are really reshaping my arms and legs in a good way.

Step class today! Yeehaw!

Stats for 8/3/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 192.6 (63 pounds lost)
Exercise total hours in 2011: 232
Total miles walked in 2011: 641/1000

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