Pain and Gain

When I got my new job I was finally able to afford to start weight training again. It had been several months since I could work with machines. Freeweights are okay, but I much prefer working more than one muscle at once. Plus, it takes less time. I’m also much more motivated if I know that the gym will charge me whether I come every week or not. No use wasting cash.

Yesterday I went with my roommate who loves the weight machines as much as I do. We’ve been contemplating the ab crunching one for a while since we both love the twisty abs/obliques machine. I tried the crunch last week and found it very useful, so I did it again yesterday. First set of 10, the weight wasn’t enough so I barely felt it. Second set the weight was right and my abs said “Heeeeyyyyy!” Third set, I crunched while alternately raising my legs in turn, which really made my abs go “Waaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!” Since the first set had been a bust and I did the leg thing only on the third, I thought, “I should do one more set.”

I am not always as smart as I look.

I crunched down and pulled one leg up. My abs said “All right, I have put up with this shit 30 times already! No more!” and I said, “No pain no gain!” On the third rep, my abs said, “Fuck that! [CRAMP]” and I said, “Quit yer bitchin’.” On the seventh rep, my abs said, “I’m sorry, maybe you didn’t hear me before, I said [CRAMP].” I said, “89…. 10….! OH JESUS OWWWW!

I stretched a bit to make the cramp go away, but it was so bad that any time I made a hint at bending forward (like to get my water bottle) my abs said, “We are still cramping and we hate you!” I had to hobble quickly to the stretching area and have my roommate spot me as I bent over backwards on a balance ball. A few minutes of that finally took care of it, but wow.

My overall goals for weight training are not to become overly muscled. I basically want to tone and be in good shape. I don’t do that thing where I just keep going and going until I collapse, making the weightlifter face. So I have no idea why I didn’t listen to my abs and, instead, pushed them until they mutinied. I guess I’ll know better next time.

The other aspect of weight training is that the next day I’m always sore and stiff. Only a little, usually, because I always stretch before and after and then the aforementioned not pushing myself to crazy limits. But I still have to resist walking like a stiff person when I am stiff :) The only way to break the pain-stiffness cycle is to keep moving and not give in to the stiffness. But oh my, today my abs are all, “LOOK WHAT YOU DID TO US,” and it’s painful to stand up, bend over, and any number of other movements. I’m not alarmed, as it’s not acute pan. But it’s definitely time to pay for yesterday. And I knew it was coming. Gah.

This will all be worth it soon. I weight train so that I will be strong enough someday to kick someone’s ass if the need arises. Also, when I’ve built up some muscle, I’ll consider some self-defense classes or martial arts training. I’m not feeling in any particular danger, I just really want the ability to beat the shit out of someone if I need to.

(Does that sound too violent?)

1 thought on “Pain and Gain

  1. I feel like self-defense classes are probably more helpful than weight training if it’s an issue of defending yourself. (Unless you’re the instigator in this ass-kicking scenario, which is cool too.) If someone’s coming at you with a knife or something, better to be able to dodge it than to benchpress your attacker. Also, self-defense classes are a form of exercise anyway so you’d probably build some more muscle that way too.

    Anyway, stay safe. And try not to kick anyone’s ass unless you really need to.

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