Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Fitness Info That You May Find Useful

I read two studies recently that I've incorporated into my workouts.

I need to get stronger and more fit to keep up with Eli 19.5, but my mental tolerance for workout intensity has always far exceeded by physical tolerance. I've always worked out at a higher level than my body could really handle, all the way back to my own 19.5 days.

Because of that, I've gotten injured. A lot.  

Now, I'm trying to address this in a structural manner. 

Body-weight squats are a terrific way to build up your legs, but I have some long-term funk in my left knee that means my knee always hurts when I do them. Plus they were hard on my back. 

A few weeks ago, I stumbled on a study (The Effects of Modified Wall Squat Exercises on Average Adults’ Deep Abdominal Muscle Thickness and Lumbar Stability) about modified wall squats that shows a method of doing squats that takes pressure off my knees. As a bonus, the program they tested significantly increases your abdominal strength as well. 

Each rep is held in two positions, the first as parallel to the ground as you can (for five seconds), and then raised up about fifteen degrees for another three seconds. 

The full workout is ten sets of ten, and I'm nowhere near that, but after a few weeks, I'm up to six sets of ten (with about a minute between each set). It's hard, but my knees and back don't hurt. 

The link above includes images so that you can see the correct form in very clear detail.

I've also done weight training many times over the years, with the typical me result: injury. I figured if I wasn't lifting every other day, I wouldn't be getting a benefit, so I'd stopped. 

That was incorrect. 

Here's the study: Comparison of once‐weekly and twice‐weekly strength training in older adults. What it found was that strength training once a week captures the same strength gains as more frequent training if each exercise is done to the point of failure. 

Hey, that's right up my alley. 

I'm lifting every fifth day now. I use a twenty-pound dumbbell, have six different exercises, and do each one to muscle failure. I'm not getting hurt, and it's also easy to stay motivated when you're not lifting every other day. 

I don't know if this produces visible increases in muscle size, but I don't need that. I mean, I'm super sexy already (NARRATOR: he is not). I just want the strength.

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