Week 3 started on Bank Holiday Monday (26th August) and I don’t particularly like Bank Holidays when I’m busy at the clinic. Everything is squashed into less days and I feel a fair amount of pressure to get things done and manage everythiing. This week I had more pressure as I ‘m getting my fitness back and needed to keep the momentum going. Some of you may know that I’m looking to invest in some software and a new device (a Mac Book) so I can be a lot more productive and everything is compatible on one device. A few other things I had to contend with, which meant that I just couldn’t be bothered to run or get to the gym. I let the stress and frustration get to me and I saw training as a negative rather than a positive.
Even now I look back and think, ‘Could I have done better?’. Could I have just got over it and got on with what I needed to do? I do have to prioritise my work, and things will have to be sacrificed and regrettably it was my fitness and some time off from rehab. I know some of you that are shocked, with some clients I can be quite strict and demanding with rehab and being consistent. After all it is for your own good! But I am human who can make a mistake or two, and I regret it because I did notice a setback in my progress with rehab. The L big toe was still numb, still tight but it was causing me any grief. The progress was stunted. I felt I had had gone backwards and I was disappointed in myself. But I planned to sort myself out the week after. In week 3, I did manage to get on the foam roller and the tennis ball twice for my L leg and L lower back so I wasn’t completely useless and lazy. I did combine this rehab with reading emails on my phone and sending messages… Men can multitask!
I had to get back on track, so this week I make sure I ticked a few boxes… Get to the gym 3 times & run twice. Simple, and it was, bu I had to and glad I did as I had more confidence to push myself. Leg strength has improved a lot, particularly in m L leg. I’m able to do Back Squat 4 x 12 reps at 50kg and feel comfortable. I had a rough plan with this workout, I wanted to push myself on a compound exercise, and if I felt confident, progress to single leg work, which is what I ended up doing…
Seated Leg Curl 4 x 10 reps 10kg, L leg struggled for a slow eccentric contraction (straightening the knee going back to the start position) but I did my best and took my time.
Curtsy Lunges (standing leg on a bench) 3 x 20 reps, I found this hard but my glutes were being challenged a lot, especially the L side. Managed to do everything with a couple of breathers in between sets. In hindsight, I should have removed the bench so can balance better but it was worth a try. I just feel I could have got a lot more from the exercise. I’ll upload a video of this exercise soon.
Double Leg Romanian Deadlift 3 x 12 10kg, felt quite good doing this probably because I wasn’t balancing!
With my upper body workouts I tend to foam roll my legs, but use my arms and upper body to produce the movement. This kills to birds with one stone, I can foam rol my quads, calves, glues and hamstrings and warm up my upper body at the same time. I’ll make a note of putting a video up for this, it’s very handy for those pushed with time for flexibility. Back is getting stronger which was a goal of mine, my chest is awful! I had DOMS in my triceps and chest for days!!! I didn’t moan once 😉
At the end of the week I thought I would assess my progress, and compare the exercises from the first week. I’ve only selected the videos of the L leg as this will show my progress better. Here is the evidence…
Single Leg Chair Squat Week 1 Single Leg Chair Squat Week 4
It’s clear and obvious that I’ve improved! More strength, better technique, more control, less apprehension, more confidence…I felt great after this! Did 10 reps in total before I thought I would fall into the door! Week 4 is far from the perfect example, but I am very happy with the progress. If I had done this in Week 3 I probably wouldn’t have been so lazy!
Single Leg Romanian Deadlift Week 1 Single Leg Romanian Deadlift Week 4
Similar to the Single Leg Chair Squat, you can see I’m able to balance better and go through the range of movement with more confidence. I am not consistent with the see saw technique, trying to keep my non weight bearing leg in line with my torso, but I got better towards the end. This time I managed 12 reps before I felt too fatigued to do the exercise well.
Reverse Lunge with Hip Flexion Week 1 Reverse Lunge with Hip Flexion Week 4
Can you see a pattern? With this exercise, the changes are obvious, but the one I was happy with was the amount of strength I had in my L foot. I could regain my balance using my foot rather than my arms. I know I am wearing trainers in Week 4, I did forget I had none in Week 1. Yes it is easier with trainers on, I’ll remember next time! Regardless, I knw I’m abe to perform these exercises better and with confidence.
With regards to running, I’ve been able to run for longer but I’m still not confident enough to get away from walk/run intervals at the moment. The most I’ve done is 2 min walk, 5 min run which was relatively demanding, about 4.5km, nothing too intense which s what I want now while I’m improving my strength. So far so good with my symptoms, my L foot doesn’t feel so numb or stiff, but I’ll be looking to increase things soon and writing down a plan to keep myself on track.