Monday, December 19, 2011

Jessica's Journey...December 19th. The "not so pretty" side of strength training.

This morning I did some deadlifts with the most weight that I have tried so far.  Two dumbbells, one in each hand...both at 52.5 pounds.  That is over 100 pounds that I am holding on to with just my palms and fingers.  It's pretty fun :)  I try to increase the weights each time and when I able to finish the number of reps I am told to do it is just an amazing feeling.

 (...I know a lot of you are thinking that I am just crazy for saying that lifting weights is a fun thing to do but...have YOU tried it?  Don't say I'm crazy until you have tried it yourself.  Deal?)

The "not so pretty" side of strength training is what happens when you lift weights.  I was done with my workout 6 hours ago and my hands still feel like they are raw.  The pain in my fingers, the bumps that are developing, the dryness and skin peeling is all just plain disgusting.  I took a picture of what my hands look like so you can see a little bit.  I have callouses that have formed and are continuing to form.  Can you see them on my hands?  

The "not so pretty" side of strength training is leading me to my next adventure...wearing gloves.  I really don't want to do this because it will just make me stand out that much more at the gym but I think that if I continue to strength train without gloves my hands are going to be in really bad shape.  

So, I could get my gloves out and wear those or...I could take this advice that I found on the Girls Gone Strong Facebook page...
 My female client was teasing me about my calloused hands the other day...But you know what?

I LOVE my calloused hands and wouldn't trade them for the world! They are a hard-earned badge of honor and I wear them proudly! They are the reason I can hold onto 350 lbs without straps, they are the reason my hands don't fail when I am using 245 lbs for reps on RDLs, they prove that day in and day out I put time and effort into challenging my body. They are the reason I don't need help moving furniture or carrying groceries or changing a 5 gallon water jug...So yes, she can tease me about my calloused hands, it just makes me love them more because they are so rare.

- Molly

I just happened to stumble on that comment today and now I may just use those gloves for spin classes.  Not sure hands still hurt :)

The other "not so pretty" side of strength training is the pain in stretching.  On Friday I tried a new exercise.  I was actually really liking it (it was the straight leg deadlift) and I worked hard at going slow so I could focus on my form.  I did a bit of research about this type of deadlift as well and was aware that without the proper form the possibility of injuring myself was higher.  It is now three days later and I still am sore on the back of my legs.  Three days!  I went to stretch this morning on the mats before I started my workout and it was just very evident how tight my muscles were as I got down on the mat.  I tried to touch my toes, which is usually not hard for me to do.  This morning I couldn't touch my toes without being in A LOT of pain.  The "not so pretty" side was me grimacing as I was trying to get the tips of my fingers to the tips of my toes.  Ouch...ouch...ouch! 

What else is "not so pretty"?  Imagine, if you will, doing 10 reps of deadlifts with a 52 pound weight in each hand.  At the end of moving with these 10 times, the dumbbell almost slips out of one hand and you then know that you can't get both weights back to the rack without either falling or dropping something.  You put one weight down on the floor as you continue to carry the second weight back to the rack.  You make it there!  Big accomplishment after just finishing your deadlifts.  Just as you get to the rack you have huge drops of sweat drop onto the weights from your face.  Now I have to clean those...but at least it shows that I was working hard this morning.  But it was still "not so pretty".

My workout today:
I did something new today...can't remember the name of it but I did have to do a little bit of setup in order for it to work.  I had to move some of the weight benches around so I could use some other machines to balance if I needed to.  To sum up what I did I had to put one leg up on the weight bench behind me and then do some lunges while keeping that leg up.  I was pretty concerned about my balance and I was glad that I had another machine by me to hold onto once or twice.  Somehow I also managed to scrape up my leg when it slipped off the weight bench but it seems to be a lot better now . It was pretty blue and purple for a little bit.  Talk about "not so pretty"...that was me today.  :)

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