My first ever physio appointment

Today I had my first ever appointment with a physiotherapist.  A few things had been bugging me about my body at the gym and during my runs – things that seemed to go a bit beyond the knowledge of gym trainers.  I’d been wanting to go for a while, but hadn’t been in a position to afford physiotherapy until recently.

The first thing that struck me both when making the appointment and when turning up to it was that they seemed to think I was crazy for making an appointment when I didn’t have an injury and wasn’t paying with insurance.  "You… don’t want me to treat you?" the physio asked, stunned.  I explained to him that at this stage I just wanted some advice on a few things.  I was genuinely surprised that this was apparently uncommon.

I explained my situation to him. A year ago I had seen a podiatrist because I felt I had been walking funny; I’d felt unsteady on my feet and my right foot seemed to turn out gel-heel-wedge-spurmore than my left.  That podiatrist concluded that I had a leg length discrepancy; my left leg was one centimetre shorter than my right.  She gave me a heel wedge to put in a new pair of running shoes I bought at the same time.  I’ve been wearing that heel wedge for a year, since. It genuinely has made me feel more steady on my feet, but I’ve had a problem with my right foot going tingly and numb during my runs.

Physio-TreatmentSurprisingly, this physio concluded that I don’t have a leg length discrepancy at all.  He discovered that the reason my right leg was turning outwards was because of tight/knotted muscles down the right side of my body, including the right side of my lower back, my buttocks and my calf. To prove his point he pressed in on where the knots were and I felt pain.  He pressed  in the same places on the other side and there was no pain. He also got me to try a short calf stretch, and while I could stretch the left leg fine, my right leg was too stiff and rigid.

reverse_crunchThinking that some other problems I’d been having might be related, I told him that I find it almost impossible to keep my torso upright when I squat (I lean forward) and that my hip clicks painfully when I lower my legs in a reverse crunch.  He said the former was probably related, but the he couldn’t explain the latter at all, only to say that the exercise was beyond my ability. Odd, because other people don’t seem to struggle with reverse crunches and they’re used even on easy mode of EA Sports Active 2.  My pelvis was tilting to far forward where my back should remain on the floor.  Hard.

After the appointment I wanted a second opinion so went round the corner to an orthotics place that I know gives free friendly advice.  The guy there confirmed my leg lengths are the same, so "the physio is probably right".  Hmmm.

How do physiotherapists work out long-term muscle spasms/knots?  The physio said it wouldn’t be easy, and that it would hurt and take multiple visits (once per week).  The last time a professional told me that (a chiropractor), it simply wasn’t an option for me.  But just cos I have a little more money now doesn’t mean I want to be spending that kind of money.  Sigh… I’m not good at making decisions.  If anyone reading this has a decent knowledge of muscles or physiotherapy, I would totally appreciate any opinions or advice.


Monday weigh in and PT

I’m having a lot of trouble sleeping during the weekends at the moment.   I finish work at 10pm on Friday night and have to be back there by 8am the next morning, and probably because the job is so new and exciting I’m having trouble switching off.  I don’t know how I did it but I managed to survive the weekend on about 1 hours sleep each night.

Today I caught up and slept in til 1pm!  I had a personal training session with my weight-loss partner at 2pm, and like always it was pretty intense:

We started with a circuit of:
Barbell squat and presses  x12
workouts365.com_single_arm_dumbbell_shoulder_pressBox jumps  x 10
Incline sit ups  x 12
Press ups x MAX

We did that circuit 3 times.  Our next circuit was on the mat with a dumbbell:
Lie on our back, stand up and press
Kettle bell squats (with dumbbell)
Dumbbell on the ground, pull up and press (alternating hands)

That second circuit was incremental, so one of each then two of each etc for 10 minutes.

I weighed myself afterwards and had lost another 700g  (1 pound) this week.  I was a little surprised to be honest.  I had still been eating left over chocolates from my birthday and eating a bit of take out in town after work.  Last night I even had fish and chips.  Sometimes it seems there is no connection at all between junk food I eat and my weight.

Anyway…  I’m still losing weight… still the lightest I’ve been in years, and work is going great.  I’m a pretty happy guy.

My personal trainer is trying to kill me…

…  but I lived to tell the story!

Today is Monday which means weigh in and a personal training session alongside my workout partner.  Today’s weigh in was good – 92.5kg which is a 600g (1 pound) loss from last week.  Yesterday was my birthday so I allowed myself a few treats – I pigged out actually – chocolate, crisps and hot chips.  Not sure if that weight has gone on yet, or whether it might show up in next week’s weigh in.  600g isn’t a huge loss, but I’m the lightest I’ve been in years and I accept it’s going to get harder to maintain weight loss the closer I get to my goal  (currently 90kg).

today's weight

Today’s personal training session was a killer! We warmed up with 1000 meters on the rower (on hardest level/relaxed pace).  Then the real task began:

Row 250m, 1  DB push-up burpee, 1 dumbbell curl and raise, and 1 dumbbell step up.
Row 250m, 2 DB push-up burpees, 2 dumbbell curl and raises, 2 dumbbell step ups.
Row 250m, 3 DB push-up burpees, 3 dumbbell curl and raises, 3 dumbbell step ups.

All the way up to 10 of each.

Dumbbell BurpeeIt took me exactly half an hour and nearer the end I was really struggling. My partner and I seemed to be on the same level.  It took me a good 20 minutes to recover, and then I had a dip in the pool to cool down.

Tonight’s dinner is pork and vegetable stir fry.

Feeling good 🙂

Upper/Lower body challenges

Hit the gym this morning and today’s tasks were to record how many push-ups and smith machine squats we could do.

smith-squat1The push-ups were slightly modified so that we started on the ground and had to rest our body on the ground for a second before we pushed back up.  I could do 30.

Smith machine squats have been part of my routines so I’m more confident with them.  This was slightly modified so that our butt had to make contact with a bench so that everyone squatted the same depth.  I was able to do 109 (20kg).

After the challenges I just did a few random gym exercises at my leisure.

Food:  All bran and a smoothie for breakfast.  A burger and fries for lunch in town (tsk) and a can of tuna with crackers for dinner. A nashi for supper.

Great news (but not for diet…)

I had a really great week last week.  I got a new job which I really like, and have been training for that.  Unfortunately my diet and gym workouts have suffered a little but hopefully things will settle down with my new job and I’ll be back to normal and good habits soon.

I had 3 days off the gym in a row last week.  I went for a 5km run Saturday night, and did a high intensity resistance workout at the gym on Sunday (the lunges around the pool are a killer).  On Monday morning I had a PT session with my partner.  A rowing machine challenge (30 seconds rowing, 30 seconds rest for 10 minutes on hard/fast) and then some biking in between weights exercises. Was good – didn’t kill me as much as last week.  My weigh in was good news – back down to 93.1.

Today I was too tired to gym and worked this evening.

I’m working every day for the rest of the week but going to do my best to get to the gym when I can.  It won’t be as often as I have been, and I’m a little worried about how much bad food I’m eating (so easy to get a snack in town while I’m there).  Won’t be surprised if next week’s weigh in is a gain… but I’ll do my best to get back into good habits when I’ve adjusted to the new job.

Overall I’m quite happy at the moment.

Treadmill Challenge

high-intensity-interval-training-treadmillRelaxed for most of the day after my strenuous PT session yesterday, and surprisingly wasn’t feeling too sore or sluggish today.  At about 4pm I headed to the gym for something I’d been dreading a little – the treadmill cardio challenge.

The idea is that weight-loss program participants would do it today and then again at the end of the program to track improvement.  I knew the results would be written on the notice board so I really wanted to do my best.

The exercise consisted of a 5 minutes warm-up at 6km/h (walking) with a 4% incline, followed by one minute to return the incline to neutral. Then the speed was increased 1km/h every minute on the minute until we couldn’t go any further/faster. 

I noticed my partner had already recorded his achievement – he managed to finish 14km – so I was determined to at least equal that.

It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  The girl doing it on the treadmill next to me dropped off after 11km/h but I was still doing fine.  At about 13km/h I was starting to feel it but was determined to keep going.  I was tempted to drop off after 14km/h to equal my partner but felt I still had a little bit more in me.  I ended up finishing 15km/h.

Was very pleased with this – quite proud.  At the time I wrote it down it was the highest achievement, but other people will have done it after me.  I then stayed and finished the high intensity cardio program, having already completed the treadmill component.

Dinner tonight was baked chicken pieces, mashed potato and broccoli.  I’m feeling good.

Week 2: Weigh in and PT session

I’m going to try and get through this post quickly because I’m not feeling so good.  I think I overexerted myself today.  Now I have a headache and feel very flushed (hot) and drained – 8 hours after!

I was very good over the weekend.  Completed a high intensity cardio program on Saturday, and a high intensity resistance program on Sunday.

When it came to weighing in today, I was disappointed to discover I’d gained half a kilo (1lb), despite all my efforts. I know I had a couple of binges last week but I thought I’d worked hard enough to offset them. 

Image 1

Guess I’ll just have to try harder.  I know it can be just natural bodyweight variation so I won’t dwell on it too much.  I’ve also been really sore the last few days from the harder exercises so I’m no doubt gaining lots of muscle that will assist in fan burning down the track.

After my program partner and I weighed in, we had a session with a personal trainer (Debbie).  It’s the first time I’ve ever had a PT session. And OMG it was TOUGH:

Warm up on treadmill, and then speed upped to 14km/h (fastest I’ve ever set it to) 
Run for a minute, then 10 burpees. 
Run for another minute, 10 burpees, 10 squat jumps.
Run for another minute, 10 burpees, 10 squat jumps, 10 push ups
Run for another minute, 10 burpees, 10 squat jumps, 10 push ups
Run for another minute, 10 burpees, 10 squat jumps, 10 push ups

At that point we were both keeling over, but there was no way Debbie was having mercy.  Out by the pool we did ladders with high knees etc,  and then plank-exercisebox step ups and kettle ball swings.  Some more ladders, and then onto the mat for planking.  We did 60sec, followed by 50sec, then 40sec, 30sec and another 30sec.  Sooo tough!  Some more ladders and then some more box squats and kettle bell swings.

Overall it was an intense workout that had me sweating like a pig and painfully out of breath most of the way through. I estimate that I pushed myself about 40% harder than I would have without a trainer. 

For 20 minutes after the session I was dizzy and had to stay seated.  I took the bike ride home very easy because I was worried that I would faint.  I spent the rest of the day resting.

Tomorrow we are doing a cardio challenge at the gym, but I’ll probably leave it til the evening to give my body a slightly longer recovery period.

I haven’t had these headaches for a while – not since I first started going to the gym and I was pushing myself hard.  I’m sure my body will adjust eventually to this higher level, too.  But right now, I’m heading to bed for a much needed recharge.

High Intensity Resistance

Straight back into the gym today to make amends for yesterday’s binge.  Seeing the wall at the gym where our weight-loss challenge achievements will be posted has made me very motivated to record a loss this week  (hey, I’m a guy – we’re naturally competitive!)

Today I gave the high intensity resistance program a first attempt.  Like the cardio one, it was very tough but I got through it.

Sumo Squat Upright RowBarbell squat and press*, push ups, sumo squat with upright row* (pictured) and burpees was the first superset.  Then I moved onto cable deadlifts*, assisted pull ups, tricep dips* and cable curls*.  Out to the pool to do a lap around it in lunges  (poor practice, really as the side of the pool is often wet).  Finally some mat work:  Medicine Ball Russian twists, swiss ball plank and bicycle crunches.      *= new to me

Difficult exercises for me are the lunges (I could only do half a lap but I’ll work up to it) and the Medicine Ball Russian Twists; I’ve done them before in a previous program but I kept my feet on the floor.  Now I’m attempting to do them with my feet in the air and I feel really uncoordinated, but I’m slowly starting to manage it.


Medicine Ball Russian Twists


Ate less food than usual today to hopefully accommodate for yesterday’s binge.  Expecting my muscles to feel a little sore in the morning.  Sore is good.  🙂

8 Week Weight Loss: Schedule

I’m feeling all motivated about this 8 week challenge now. Here is my schedule for the next 8 weeks. I’ll basically be doing some form of fitness every day. If I feel like I need a day off I will take one, but my trainer says it would be better to do a lighter workout instead.

Another binge :(

Well today I woke up at lunch time, with a headache and no energy.   I gave in to a day off (everything) very easily.  I’ve basically been in bed all day feeling a bit sorry for myself.

Today I’ve eaten:  A large packet of burger rings (lunch), burger and chips (dinner)  and a chocolate bar.  Estimation:  about 3000 calories  (of my 2600 RDI).

I am a little disappointed in myself, especially as I’ve just started the 8 week weight loss challenge and might not contribute a loss for my team.  But I felt really good after the binge, which tells me my body must have been hanging out for it.

Tomorrow is another day, and I feel confident I’ll be back on track tomorrow.

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