Monday, December 21, 2009

Make It Harder (But do it slowly.)

Four weeks ago (one week after my back surgery) I was told that I was allowed, no, encouraged, to get up and walk around as much as possible. This would help me heal (among other lovely side effects of exercise). I had already been making myself walk around the house for ten minutes at a time, so once I had the formal go ahead from the nurse, I hatched a plan.

I had learned from my initial fitness quest (7 months ago) that I needed to add things slowly, and that I needed to mix things up to keep things interesting for me and my muscles.

So that week I walked inside/outside for 30 minutes 5 days a week and did some medically approved weight lifting for my arms three times a week.
Each week, I upped the walking by 10 minutes and either upped the weights by 2 lbs or upped the reps by 5.
So this week, I am up to 60 minutes of walking and 2 sets of 20 hammer curls (10 lbs.), 2 sets of 20 bicep curls (10 lbs.) and 2 sets of 20 triceps dips.

With my second post operation doctor's visit under my belt, and a number of restrictions lifted (hot tub! heating pad!) I'm ready to spend the next 6 weeks with a new plan.

Because I still cannot jump or run, I will use the incline function on the treadmill to increase the difficulty of my workout.

60 minutes on treadmill

0-12 minutes: Speed 3.2, Incline 4%
12-15: Speed 3.5, Incline 10%
15-18: Speed 1.0, Incline 2% (Walking sideways on treadmill and then backwards.)
18-30: Speed 3.2, Incline 4%
30-33: Speed 3.5, Incline 10%
33-36: Speed 1.0, Incline 2% (Walking sideways on treadmill and then backwards.)
36-48: Speed 3.2, Incline 4%
48-51: Speed 3.5, Incline 10%
51-54: Speed 1.0, Incline 2% (Walking sideways on treadmill and then backwards.)
54-60: Cool down

For weeks 2-3, I will increase the time that I do the heavy incline by 1 minute. Then after I am doing the heavy incline for 5 minutes at a time (Week 4), I will increase the current 4% incline to a 6% (after the initial 8 minutes of warming up).

I will also increase the weights I am lifting by 2 lbs every 2 weeks.
At the beginning of Week 5, I will assess how the program is going and make any changes as needed.

Sometimes this process seems very slow. But when I get frustrated, I just remind myself that the doctor "stripped muscle and drilled through my bone" and that slows me down to a reasonable pace.
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