rydra_wong: (strength -- pudgy)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
In the last few weeks, I've been going to the gym for the first time in ages.

In the past few years, I've generally been doing bodyweight and kettlebell stuff at home as strength training, and now I've decided to get some barbell work done again, and in particular get back to deadlifting -- partly because I've been having a run of back aches and would like to build up my back strength again, partly because I'd forgotten just how much I enjoy deadlifting.

So I thought I'd check in here and see how everyone else is doing: getting into anything new lately? Learning some new things? Switching training plans? Buying, making or enjoying any new heavy things? Re-starting after time off, or looking to get started? Lurking shyly in the comm?
coffeetime: (Default)
[personal profile] coffeetime
Hey, lifters, is anyone still around? I'm still having issues and still trying to lift and not giving up, darn it! And I could use some company.

Since I had the metal taken out of my leg (if you were here a while ago, you'll remember I broke it badly in 2015) I have had full range of motion and I still do a lot of physical therapy exercises to maintain balance, improve small muscle coordination etc. That leg is still not the same size and shape as the other one. I am also doing a lot of yoga to improve balance and stability, and I know from doing one-legged standing poses that the formerly broken leg is also not as strong as before I broke it. I wish I could hit on the exercise(s) that would best help me build that leg back up and get its strength back. Calf raises just don't target more than a small area and also there's a weird hollow on the outside of my shin a few inches below the knee, like I just lost mass there and it will never return. What brilliant plan am I not thinking of?
commodorified: a stuffed polar bear on wheels. (bear on wheels)
[personal profile] commodorified
If I'm gonna keep my current steel-framed sturdy commuter bike I'm gonna need better muscles for taking it up and down stairs and things, let me tell you what though. Does that count?

Anyway. Does anyone know of a comm with an ethos similar to this one and to [community profile] disobey_gravity for bicycling?

If not, were I to start one, how many people here would be interested?
snippy: Lego me holding book (Default)
[personal profile] snippy
I posted this on my personal DW and [personal profile] azurelunatic suggested I post here.

I have started weightlifting.

Years of medical issues, surgeries, surgical recovery have left my upper body less strong than I want to be. I have a goal: I want to be able to lift a suitcase into the overhead bin when I fly. I put a number on that goal: 50 lbs.

I started on June 31. I am doing deadlifts. That's all. I started with a barbell with no weights on it, but the bar weighs 37 pounds (it's the lightest bar in the gym). THAT IS A LOT. I did 2 sets of 8 repetitions with good form, 3 times a week for the last two weeks. AND I HAVE BEEN IN NEAR-CONSTANT PAIN THE WHOLE TIME. My upper back and chest are aching, stabbing messes. The pain makes me cranky and short-tempered, and interferes with my sleep.

So I read a bunch online and decided to step down the weight. Last workout (Sunday) I used two 8-pound dumbells. That's 16 pounds. That's 21 pounds less than I was lifting the last 10 days. I did 2 sets of 8 reps with good form. I am still in pain, but it isn't keeping me awake. It makes me cranky, but much less so. I'm supposed to work out tonight, but it's been 48 hours and I am still sore.

I'm considering only working out twice a week instead of three times, with more time between workouts to heal. I will probably give up weightlifting if I'm in this much pain all the time. IT IS NOT WORTH IT.

Any suggestions?
rydra_wong: Tight shot of the shins and arms of a young woman (weightlifter Zoe Smith) as she prepares for a deadlift. (strength -- zoe deadlift)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
“You just get stronger”: How Powerlifting Saved My Life by Alyssa Keiko (brief mentions of weight loss, suicidal ideation)

I wasn’t happy. So late in the year, in November, I started lifting again, in part because it kept me out of our house. I’d lost the gains I made before, and I was frustrated by having to start over again. But I was trying to love my body again, love its strength, even though my partner had rejected it time and time again. Lifting made me strong. Lifting made me care less.
alexseanchai: Purple lightning (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
So I think I am joining the Y—I am currently on a week-long guest pass, have worked out Sunday and today, and I am quite tired but I feel good (or, y'know, would if the brainweasels would fuck off, but that's a different story)—and today I learned how to use the circuit machines. Ten reps each machine to start, low weight—

Guess who totally spaced on noting down what weight the Y staff member set each machine to. Guess who therefore has no clue what to put the machines on on the visit after next. (Next visit is gonna be straight cardio, I think.) Halp?

also nutrition question )


Feb. 19th, 2016 04:10 pm
commodorified: They say one thing and another thing and both at once I don't know It will all have to be gone into at the proper time (at the proper time)
[personal profile] commodorified
What if I were a 46 year old woman who is both active (bikes, swimming, hiking, snowshoeing) AND somewhat disabled/in chronic pain (scoliosis and a dodgy shoulder at the top of my back and hyperflexibility/sciatica/bursitis at the bottom) AND I'd tried doing weights (machines, largely, due to a horrid fear of breaking myself through incompetence if I tried free weights except for curls) and then got bored and stopped doing it ...

And I suddenly decided that I wanted to be able to pick up my own weight (190, +/-) and hold it over my head and put it down again?

Where would I start? Should I start? Is there some other goal I should consider first or instead? What kind of time/money/energy commitment am I looking at here?

My local community centre has a good weight room and my favourite trainer in the world works there and I can afford to buy some time with her. So there's that.
alexseanchai: Purple lightning (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
Supposing I start lifting weights again. Given my carpal tunnel diagnosis, do I have to worry that lifting weights will cause further wrist injury?


Jun. 13th, 2015 08:52 am
rydra_wong: 19th-C strongwoman and trapeze artist Charmion flexes her biceps while wearing a marvellous feathery hat (strength -- strongwoman)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Hieu Truong destroys all articles ever written about women weightlifters/powerlifters (okay, just most of them):

The Toast: Woman Lifts Weights, Continues Being a Woman

“Strong is the new pretty,” she says, as she chalks her hands for her 120lb log clean and press. “However, I have to make sure I’m the old pretty as well or I won’t get any sponsorships or any significant financial support to continue in any sport I love.”


This female lifter is completely unlike the kind of woman you tend to think of when you think of female lifters, because she loves the color pink. She loves the color pink so much that she has painted herself entirely in neon pink prior to a meet, in order to blind the other lifters. Once, she painted the referees in the middle of introductions and was stopped by a weight loader before she got to the meet director.


Many girls her age are usually preoccupied by trivial things, like attracting boys, or following up on the latest celebrity gossip, or doing well in school so they can finally escape the clutches of their overbearing parents. This girl is different. She lifts weights. Doing this very masculine activity makes her 95% more interesting than any other girl her age, aside from all of the girls around the world who work on farms or often carry around their younger siblings or their own children.
lizcommotion: Person with prosthetic legs doing pilates (aimeepilates)
[personal profile] lizcommotion

I fired my PT for reasonz, but I know the kinds of exercises I need to do because of prior PT. I'm starting with basic IT-band/hamstring/calf stretches, like that one where you kind of lean against the wall and stretch your back leg out or the one where you lay on the floor and pull your knee up to your chest.

I do *way better* at exercising if I have a list of things I can just sort of go down with ticky boxes (ignoring ones I'm not up for that day, adding if I want to). Basically, something to riff off of.

Also, I'm a visual person so seeing words like "that hamstring exercise thingy" or a stick figure drawing *can* work but I am less likely to do exercises if that is what I am basing things off of.

so here's my question: does anyone know of an online resource for drawings or photos of people doing basic stretches/strength-building exercises?
Books available from the library might be okay as well, I'd just have to do more fiddling.


rydra_wong: Tight shot of a woman's back (Krista of stumptuous) as she does a pull-up. (strength -- pull-up)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
From The Hairpin:

Melinda Misener: How To Do Pull-ups

Occasionally I tried to do unassisted pull-ups. Halfway up, I’d get stuck. The feeling wasn’t as painful as it was puzzling. Up, I told myself. Go up.

In time I saw that this stuckness, rather than any physical pain, was what made me so reluctant to try. I wondered how many times I’d overlooked powerlessness as the source of my discomfort. I philosophized: was it wiser, in general, to make peace with impotence or resist it by any means possible?
lyorn: (Default)
[personal profile] lyorn
Hi you all,

I'm back to doing front squats and I'm at a loss at what to do with my arms and how to even begin fixing it. Read more... )
ratcreature: RatCreature is thinking: hmm...? (hmm...?)
[personal profile] ratcreature
Like for example, I recently noticed that when doing sideplanks, it is somewhat easier on one side than the other, i.e. I could hold the plank longer on one side than the other if I hold it as long as possible. Also when doing split squats, I can do it slightly easier on my left than my right leg. How do I best help the "weaker" side to catch up in an exercise?
coffeetime: (Default)
[personal profile] coffeetime
I fell down the stairs last week and broke my lower leg in two places, so I'm in a splint (post-surgery and will probably get a cast at some point). I'm glad I do so many split squats--that is what's giving my good leg the strength to deal with life on crutches, though it is extremely fatiguing. The other leg gets a workout in the quad and especially the hip flexor, but not the glute. And I'm going to be like this for up to 12 weeks.

I am impatient to get to the gym and do upper body, but right now just getting in and out of my second-floor apartment with crutches is all the workout I can manage...it is HARD, and my lats and traps are exhausted. My body is tired from the surgery. So no formal gym workouts yet.

How can I keep the glute on the injured side strong, and how can I stretch that aching, tired hip flexor given that I mustn't put weight on the foot? I can lower it for a few minutes, not too long because it swells and hurts.

Anyone with tips for recovering from or living with an injury like this, I'd welcome those too. Thanks!
lyorn: (Default)
[personal profile] lyorn
I'm currently doing 5x5:
Workout A: 5x5 squats, 5x5 bench presses, 5x5 barbell rows
Workout B: 5x5 squats, 5x5 overhead lifts, 1x5 deadlifts
(yes, my shoulder is much better ;-) ).

I wanted something simple, straightforward, and strength-focussed this winter, because I felt mentally exhausted -- not up to my usual programs that tend to be more complex and focussed on core and coordination. Doing fine so far.

But the workouts barely take 20 or 30 minutes. They are sufficiently challenging physically (and let's not talk about mentally, it was a hard year), but I feel there should be something else I should be doing?

I'm still not able to do a pull-up or push-up, otherwise I would be considering those. I have access to a good, if somewhat crowded gym.

Is there something like a simple ten-to-fifteen minute add-on program that would fill some gaps that might exist?
rydra_wong: Weightlifter Cheryl Haworth with a barbell over her head, yelling. Text: "SHOUT." (strength -- shout)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
New role model: Willie Murphy:

Jezebel: 77-Year-Old Competitive Power Lifter Is Inspiring, Kind of Terrifying

Over double bodyweight deadlift, hell yeah. That's not "it's so cute that she's a little old lady and lifts weights"; that's a SERIOUS strength accomplishment at any age.
ratcreature: RatCreature is thinking: hmm...? (hmm...?)
[personal profile] ratcreature
I've been doing the easier side plank version where you are on your knees and can hold that for a while now and wanted to switch to the more difficult one, where the support is your feet, but I keep slipping or wobbling and it is uncomfortable on my feet to try to support my weight on just the side of one foot. How do people do this?

In most of the pictures I've seen people wear sport shoes, and I'm doing my exercises at home on a mat barefoot. Is that the reason, that the shoes stabilize the feet? Can I position the feet some other way for something more stable that's still harder than from your knees?
ratcreature: RatCreature is thinking: hmm...? (hmm...?)
[personal profile] ratcreature
I suffered from some nasty lower back/sciatic nerve pain during the last months. Both my primary care physician as well as the orthopedic specialist thought that there isn't anything particular wrong with my back (like a disc injury or such), but that it was the unspecific kind of back pain due to weak muscles, bad posture, being too sedentary etc. and that it ought to improve with exercise.

So I had about a dozen physical therapy sessions, also took a class for back pain exercises, and thankfully my pain got indeed better, albeit with ups and downs. But of course I should keep doing the exercises to remain pain free, yet the ultimate goal of "I want the pain to not come back" alone isn't great to sustain motivation for me. It's too general and doesn't really offer any accomplishments to work toward and such.

Because the exercises I learned are basically a mix of bodyweight strength exercises, balance exercises and stretches, I figure that I should be able to use the strength exercises to measure progress somehow for motivation. I enjoy tracking things, but I'm not sure how to go about it with exercising.

I mean, I have noticed some progress with exercises becoming easier, so I can manage more repetitions, and sometimes when there were different versions I can now even do the more difficult exercise than just the easiest kind (though overall my fitness level is still pretty bad, like for example I can't manage any push-ups, not even the easier kind where you are on your knees rather than toes, but am still at the level where you push against a wall). But I'd like to properly track things and have a couple of realistic, concrete goals so I see improvements.

I tried looking at the bodyweight strength training books in my library to get an idea for how this is usually done, but I have to admit that the books I found were all rather off-putting. Like the ones aimed at women all seemed to be a horrible assemblage of body image and weight loss issues, and the ones aimed more towards men had a slightly different set of body image and weight loss issues that were almost as awful and often mixed that with some kind of, I guess, weird power fantasies? I'm sure there must be decent strength training books out there, but my skimming led me to think that it is one those genres you best not venture into without recs. So I mostly backed away from consulting those.

Basically I'm looking for advice with which kind of exercises or exercise progressions (like with the different kinds of push-ups getting more difficult) are good to see your progress and motivate yourself, when you don't track increased weight like with lifting stuff.
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