Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Challenging your body vs. breaking it
After a while, the workouts that used to challenge you are now easier and burn less calories. You begin searching out newer, harder workouts to get the calorie burn up and give you that soreness that you both love and loathe. We went from doing things we thought were hard back in the day like Tae Bo, Powerstrike, Turbo Jam and even a few of the higher impact Gilad videos to upgrading to higher impact. HIIT and tabata workouts became the goal. They put your body through the paces with high impact for a shorter amount of time. We added things like Turbo Fire (which have workouts varying from longer medium impact workouts to HIIT workouts up to 30 minutes), Supreme 90 Day, Power 90, Amy Dixon and others. For a while, it seemed to be working but instead of losing weight, we were leaning out. That's fine when you're closer to your goal but when you're still close to 300 lbs, a lean 300 lbs isn't gonna get you on a zipline with a weight limit of 240 lbs. The Mr and I would throw ourselves into these workouts and give it our all. If we weren't soaked in sweat and feeling like a rag doll afterward, it didn't feel successful. The problem was then we'd spend the rest of the week feeling broken...literally broken. Hobbling around, sore every day to the point we uttered the phrase "I feel like I've been hit by/dragged behind a truck" more often than I care to recall. Even a full rest day wouldn't give us the relief we hoped for.
Everything in the media was telling us that unless you were breaking your body down to build it back up and make it harder, faster and stronger, then you weren't doing exercise right. Well that was fine...until it wasn't. I finally broke my body when I got Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome and muscle issues. I was forced into non-weight bearing exercise for a time and then a slow build up with low impact. When I wasn't blowing it on the weekends, I was actually losing weight. Could this crap we're being fed about exercise needing to be extreme and all pain for gain not actually be right for the average person?
That mentality seems to dominate our exercise culture these days. I see stuff like this pop up in my feed all the time...
I might've believed that even as recently as a year ago but I'm sorry that mentality does not fly with me anymore. While I get why some people respond to that kind of message, I feel it's actually a little irresponsible to promote it. I mean look at her. How many people do you know that look like that?? How many extreme athletes do you know? I'm pretty sure the majority of us are just looking for workouts we can easily fit into our busy schedules and if they can be fun over feeling like exercise, then bonus for us. But instead we're spoon fed this mentality that we're not exercising with some extreme attitude then why bother? That mentality may be how true athletes train but not the average person. I'm not saying do something so light that you're not out of your comfort zone and sweating but I don't need to "put my body through the pain", thank you.
I'm finally over that injury I gave myself from our New England vacation and know how to keep it at bay. I'm not going to go back to some batshit mentality of 'break it down to build it up' again. Frankly, I'm too old for that crap. Maybe if I had the joints of a 20 year old it would be okay for a time and if I gave a crap about being 10% body fat. But I don't.
If I put intensity in my workout without doing box jumps, slamming down on my knees like a jackhammer and trying to see how far I can push my body before I end up back at the chiro...I can still lose weight. I have been doing low to medium impact and three strength sessions with focus on legs and upper body without feeling like being dragged by a truck and seeing results. Adding speedbags or punches in places where an instructor is babbling or there is a lull does a lot to keep my heart rate up and burn more calories. It also helps that I've cut 100-200 calories daily in places I didn't need extras.
I still do Turbo Fire (not the HIITs), Walk Away the Pounds, Power 90 (modified if need be), Tae Bo, Gilad, Powerstrike and Fitness Blender workouts and while we do feel a little burnt out since we can recite dialogue...they get the job done. Over the summer, we plan to add more outdoor activities to shake things up but when it's zero outside, we can't even think about that right now but it's something to look forward to. No...they won't be high impact but I can assume we'll be sore and work our bodies in new ways.
It's fine to try out fitness trends to see what may and may not breathe new life into your fitness routine but it's not worth breaking your body over.
Have you ever tried a more extreme workout or fitness fad that was detrimental instead of helpful?
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