Eric Van De Vens Blog

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Running Day 16 update

It would appear as though this weeks running, while helpful overall, has had some consequences. I have surmised that more rest is needed, at least for the time being. The 20 pounds of weight loss combined with the other activities, has left me somewhat tired and run down. Hopefully, I can get “rejuvenated” over the weekend! Of course, there is good news. I am sleeping soundly and wake up at 4:30-5:00 am refreshed, every day!

Yesterday, along with the many other chores I had to perform, was the day to find a gym. I had a choice of three in the area, but since one is going out of business, that limited my search to two. I had already been a member of one of the remaining gyms, so I only really needed to check out the newest gym, Retro Fitness. I was originally hesitant because I thought that they opened at 6:00 which would place me dead smack in the middle of two long school zones on the drive back home. Much to my delight, on the front door of the establishment, the hours of operation were posted. Open at 5:00 am! Yea!! My other concern was that this gym, would be like some of the other chains that are basically, “meat markets” full of posers, preeners, and the like. Fortunately, this doesn’t appear to be the case.

I went inside and met with the owner, Joe, and he showed me around. The gym is only a year old and everything is new. All of the equipment is modern, even the free weights. The weights are all padded metal plates, which is nice because there is always some “Ape” who has to let everyone know how hard he is working out, by slamming the weights on every machine he is using! That is one of my pet peeves! It appears as though the owners of this gym are also fairly strict regarding returning the weights to the rack as well as wiping off the machines after you workout. Two more of my peeves! The machines are also state of the art as although they are similar to some machines I have used in the past, they are more “body-friendly” and seem, at first glance to be better suited to older individuals as the machines do not appear to put  excessive strain on the joints, while effectively targeting the muscle being used. This will most likely benefit all users.

As my legs are going to be the focus of the next three months of training, I decided to test out some of the leg equipment. The leg press machine operated smoothly. There wasn’t the clanging of weights usually associated with these machines. Of course, I had to figure out how to use the machine first! Once I figured out how to release the weights, yes, I actually do read instructions on occasion, the machine was very easy to operate.

Unknown to me, someone was using the machine and asked if he could finish. I said OK, sorry, I didn’t see you. He replied, “I just wanted to get done before you started taking off weights”. I informed him that the three 45 plates a side…is what I use as a warm up! After he was done, I got in the machine and slowly pressed the weight up, then let it come down. The action of the machine was very smooth. I then pressed the weight back up and removed my left leg, and repeated the exercise with just my right leg. Down and up for a quick 6 reps, just to get a feel for the machine. Now, for the left leg!

Whenever I work out my legs separately, I always have the other leg nearby, just in case something goes wrong. It would be somewhat embarrassing to be stuck in the leg press machine until someone can rescue you! It has happened before. I got stuck once with 900 pounds on the machine and a couple of the guys had to help me out!I wasn’t too embarrassed as it was 900 pounds and my third set when it happened. 🙂

I slowly let the weight down with my left leg. The noises that come out of my knee, sometimes, scare me! Crunching, cracking, on occasion, it is reminiscent of a “Fourth of July” celebration! I then pressed the weight up, relatively easy compared to my right leg. At least my upper quads appear to be almost equal in strength, which is good. I am not as far behind as I thought! After a quick 6 reps, that was enough to get a feel for the machine and since I wasn’t wearing my brace, I didn’t want to tempt fate. The six total plates equal 270 pounds, which seemed to me to be light. I may have to weigh these weights to make sure they are accurate. 🙂

When I got out of the machine, I shook my legs, which I have always done. I won’t be doing that anymore! When I shook my left leg, the entire knee locked up! There was a stabbing pain from the back of the knee and I thought I damaged something severely. Fortunately, this wasn’t the case as a little manipulation and all was well. I hadn’t even joined this gym yet and thought I was already injured! The good news is that all of the other machines I tested operated smoothly and easily. From a strength point, I may not be in as bad a shape as I thought. We will see when the workouts start in earnest on Monday.

Here is a workout worksheet I did in Excel which will monitor my progress.

weight training

Feel free to download it and modify it for your workout.

This morning there was slight pain in my left knee, nothing more than usual, and slight pain in my left ankle, which is new, as well as the constant ache in my right calf. Today and Sunday are off days and then the real work begins Monday. A mile and a half run followed by chest and arm workouts. That will be followed at night by 10 shuttle runs. Monday night and Tuesday morning should be fun! I may have to purchase the industrial size canister of “Icy-Hot” and just submerge myself in it!

I will  journal the weight training on a separate category  from the running. Although I will now have to make two posts, the running will probably be just updates and not as long-winded as this post! I am expecting a few setbacks here and there, but, I am very confident that the weight training combined with the running will yield very positive results. I am not overly concerned with injuries as I have never injured my self in any sport or any type of training, however, as I am not 25 anymore, I do intend to restrain my self somewhat!

Have a great weekend!


February 19, 2011 - Posted by | Running | , , , , , , , , , ,

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