I Finally Made it Back to the Gym!

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Well, it was a week later than I had wanted. But, I finally made it back to the gym on Saturday! So, in my last post, I had mentioned how I was hoping to go the previous Saturday. Then, less than an hour after that post went live, as I was shaving, I had a cough that sent a pain in me that I’ve never experienced before. It was so painful that I could hardly breathe. Talk about a scary start to my day. Now, I should mention that it’s not uncommon for coughing to cause some irritation right below my rib cage if I cough enough. As a matter of fact, for the weekend leading up to this, I had experienced  this. But, the pain from this one cough was unbearable and not like anything I had experienced before.

So, I hobbled to my bed, and asked the wife for the heating pad. Once I got on the bed and some heat on the area that hurt, I was able to get to a place where I could be okay. After talking it over with the wife, we decided to have her take the boy to daycare and she would stay home with me. At 9am, we talked with my doctor’s office and made the decision to call 911 (a first for my wife) and I got my first ambulance ride ever. The sucky part to where I live is that I’m on the second floor and there are no elevators. So, with the assistance of several EMT’s, I was able to make it to the ground floor where I could get on the gurney for the ride to the hospital. It hurt like crazy. But, with their assistance, we made it.

After tests, blood work, a CAT scan, and X-Rays, it was determined that I had merely pulled some muscles right below the ribs. The doctor told me that thing that sucks about where I pulled the muscles is that those ab muscles are very tight. So, when you pull them, it can “hurt like hell.” However, things will get better and I was in no danger of anything else happening. So, they sent me home with muscle relaxers and pain meds.

Well, there went my plan to return to the gym on Saturday. I took Monday through Wednesday off from work to recover. When I went back, the pain was tolerable but still there. So, I nixed the gym. I needed to get to a better place first.

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So, this Saturday, I was all set to return! I made a decision to take this very slowly. This was not the gym workout to set new records or even push for them. I’m not still 100 percent from my injury. So, I decided to go in and spend some time on the treadmill, the leg press, and try the assisted pull ups/dips machine. There would be no elliptical machine on this workout and not ab work.

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All week long, I went back and forth on whether I should run at all on the treadmill. Even as I left for the gym, I was sure I’d spent 20 minutes walking on the treadmill. However, once I got into my 5 minute warm-up, I wondered how it would feel to run. So, I did. At the 5 minute mark, I completed 7 run 30 seconds, walk 90 seconds intervals using 5.5mph for the run and 3.5mph for the walk. I could have finished one more. However, on the seventh, I felt like my body  was telling me that 7 was good enough. Since I didn’t want to do any damage on this workout, I listened and walked it out.  At the end, it felt good to be running again! I was even happy to be on the treadmill! Imagine that!

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Up next was the leg press. At first, I put the weight at 40lbs. Boy was that way too easy. So, I stopped and moved it to 100lbs. I completed 4 sets of 25 reps with 100lbs. For me, on Saturday, this was just right. As a matter of fact, I did feel a little tired at the end.

Next, I headed over to the assisted pull ups and dips machine. Last year, my gym shut down for a bit and installed all new machines. At the time, I wasn’t doing the assisted pull ups and dips. So, I never got over to see the new machines. On Saturday, I learned that these machines don’t offer as much assistance as the old ones. On the old ones, I could set the weight of assistance to over 250lbs. On the new machines, the limit is 150lbs. If you haven’t used an assisted pull up/dip machine, this is how it works. The weight you select, is the amount of weight you aren’t lifting. So, if you weight 200lbs and selected the full 150lbs on the machine, you’d be lifting 50lbs of your own body weight up on each pull up/dip. This is a machine where you look to decrease the weight you are using. The goal is to get you to a place where you can do regular pull ups/dips without any assistance. Well, I tried this machine and it was an utter failure. That’s okay. I’ve learned that this machine isn’t my jam right now. I’ll get stronger as the year progresses and try again.

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At the end of the day, I’m really glad that I got back out there. I have performed way better in the past. But, I know that, with consistency, I’ll get back to previous levels in the workout. My goal for this week is to get a workout on President’s Day (Monday) and somewhere else in the middle of the week to add to Saturday. Getting up at 4:30am is going to be hard. So, we’ll see if I make it. The goal right now is progress and consistency. It feels so good to be back in the workout game!


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