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What do you train when everything hurts?

Arrggh! Sort of feel I’ve been in a car crash. Abs annihilated, back broken, hamstrings hammered, shoulders smashed, pecs perforated, quads quaking, lats…ummm…lacerated?
Anyway, I feel mangled, which is great and I couldn’t be happier but it does mean I was not entirely sure what to train today. According to the schedule today is a conditioning day, which is gym-speak for doing something really hard until you are a little bit sick into your mouth. If the truth be known I wasn’t really in the mood for brutality incarnate but I was in the mood for a little something. Given that my cardio conditioning is next to none existent I thought it would be for the best to just do some good old fashioned fitness training.

Now, a quick word about cardio only training it is, to be blunt, quite shit.
It isn’t very good at fat burning, it just isn’t. 1 pound of body fat has 3500 calories in it, so to lose that pound you would need to do about 5 hours on a cross-trainer. Which unless you’re deranged you won’t manage in a week.
It isn’t even that good at making you that fit. At least not how most people in the gym do it. To get fitter you need to get your heart rate up above 85% and hold it there for at least 15 minutes. Now that doesn’t sound to bad, and indeed it isn’t to bad to actually do. BUT it is way harder then most people train. You should not be able to chat to the hot girl/guy next to you, nor should you be able to read a book/watch a movie/listen to an audiobook or text your mate to arrange a trip to the pub.

Anyway sometimes a cardio only session is the sensible option. As unfit as I am getting my heart rate above 85% was not going to prove hard to do. Also most cardio training is non-eccentric in nature. Which basically means that there isn’t much load going through the muscles in the negative or lowering phase of the movement. It will get lots of lovely fresh oxygenated blood flowing through my damaged muscles without leaving to many waste products behind. Which should, in theory, leave me feeling less stiff and decrepit. I have my doubts.

Anyway this is what I did:

15 mins cycling – started easy and increased the level until I got my heart rate up to 150bpm then held it there for the remainder.

6 mins stepper – keeping above 155bpm

6 mins cross-trainer – keeping above 160bpm

Sprints on treadmill – I was actually feeling pretty good at this point and so decided to apply myself – 15 x 30 second sprints working up the speed to 16kmph. Still not that fast but loads better then my recent efforts.

That’s all my little ones,

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