None of this was directly down to an unhealthy choice, it was down to a supposedly healthy necessity – I’d broken a bone in my foot and doctors advised me not to do any exercise that involved putting weight on it (in other words my normal exercise routine!)
Admittedly I could have been more creative in how I adapted my workouts but in practice this didn’t happen.
One of the many results was a limited choice for work outfits for summer. A big bust, flabby upper arms and a slight belly are better off hidden under baggy black tops. The Guerrilla training I was forbidden to do would’ve sorted the issue.
Now, of course, that’s in the past. And I’m very, very grateful I can run today – I’m in my running gear as I type this and the sun is shining outside! Am I procrastinating?
Good Luck to everyone who likes working out but who’s still recovering from injury. It won’t happen overnight but it will happen! Hang on in there.
My inevitable fears over putting on weight led to an article on my pet hate – dieting. And I’ll level with you, the inevitable flabbiness caused by lack of exercise did impact on the choice of clothes I could wear for work in the unforgiving summer.
Is it acceptable to grunt or even yell during a workout?
I know there’s some controversy over whether or not letting out some vocal response actually helps during exercise.
I think we British are a bit restrained – although I have, in my time, welcomed an outbreak of whooping when an aerobics class got particularly tough.
And I plead guilty, Your Honour, to vocal venting.
Just today during a particularly arduous abs session following “insane” Guerrillas I let out a yowl which had the instructor turning round and commenting “I wondered what what was going on there for a moment!”
Had I left my inhibitions at the door?
It reminded me of that notorious deli scene in the late 80’s romcom “When Harry Met Sally”.
Again, I’m going to apply some British restraint here and suffice it to say the female lead “fakes” a response arguably more appropriate to the bedroom in a busy restaurant – to prove a point.
She “finishes” – and resumes eating her lunch, whereupon an older woman on the next table tells the waiter “I’ll have what she’s having”.
Apparently it took several takes to film that scene.
Was Meg Ryan, then, as mortified as I?
Let’s get out of the New York deli – and back into the gym.
Or the dojo, and even the tennis court.
Everyone’s familiar with Miss Piggy’s “Hi-yah!” as she wallops Kermit.
Kiai is the Japanese term for the yell or shout used during an attacking move – but in addition to the impact on your opponent, it’s also thought to teach a proper breathing technique.
Nine-time Gland Slam winner Monica Seles has been dubbed the creator of the “tennis grunt” (and you can see her in action here).
There have been calls for a crackdown regarding on-court grunting – but leading pundits point out that, just as in martial arts, it can help players focus on their performance.
But if you’re not a world class athlete and just working-out, there’s always going to be the idea that there’s simply no need to make a noise and if you do, well, then you’re simply showing off.
At this point I decided I needed a bl**dy good laugh – and courtesy of BroScienceLife, I found it.
In the YouTube video There Will Be Grunts, our guide explains: “Your grunt explains who you are. It’s your identity at the gym.
“Grunting is in our nature, it was the first language – followed shortly after by Emojis”
He then goes on to analyse variations ranging from the “lion-breath” to the “squirt-bottle”. Take a look below, but be advised – there’s swearing (“oooh language!”) .
“Grunting should be reserved for weight that’s impossible to move silently”.
A concept an English woman can relate to – my friend trained perfectly happily amid body-builders but a switch to another gym got her disapproving looks from other female gym users – for her “unladylike” grunting.
Yet as a trained fitness instructor she found this helped her achieve her targets “especially with the leg press”.
So whether you yell, scream or grunt – it would appear you’re in good company.
Inspiration’s never far away in blog-land – and Christian Boyles, of Maxed Out Muscles, has provided yet more proof.
The 21-year-old, from Illinois, US, created his website after suffering a lot of depression and flare-ups of Crohn’s Disease.
For him, the crunch point came last summer.
Christian told me: “I said “Enough is ENOUGH” and I started taking control of my life. I feel that too often we take life’s punches and we just allow ourselves to be downtrodden. I wanted to take control of my life and not allow myself to become sick again.”
So, as well as doing his best to improve his own fitness – he made it his mission to take others with him on the journey, possibly motivating them to turn their lives around.
Inspiring enough? Christian modestly adds: “I don’t personally have experience with being injured, but here are some ideas I have…”
What adaptations should I make to my fitness regime?
You’re injured, and that was possibly out of your control. Or maybe it wasn’t? Use this time in your life where you are somewhat forced to rest…as a period of reflection. These next few months can be months where you:
1) Ask other people for tips and tricks on finding effective ways to deal with injury and prevent it from happening (Which you’re already doing!) Good for you 😉
2) Spend a lot of time focusing on other aspects of your life. Take this time to re-educate yourself on the basics.
3) Look into other hobbies related to fitness.
Do you know anyone who’s survived injury to continue their exercise regime?
Elliott Hulse tore his bicep tendon when he was lifting heavy weights. He had to have surgery done on his bicep and he began doing work on just one side of his body…
What I found really interesting about this is, after he tore that tendon and went through the surgery, his videos on YouTube started to have a different tone.
His personality started shifting into what was a completely different perspective.
Before he tore that tendon he seemed like the muscle man that had something to prove and was yelling at the camera, and after he tore the tendon he seemed much wiser.
Can injury make people who enjoy exercise feel cut-off and even make them drop out altogether?
I believe it can and I hope the people that quit can learn from that experience in some way.
I personally don’t think that quitting is the most resourceful path and if anyone reading this is thinking about giving up, please don’t.
The only positive way I feel you can quit “exercise” is if you replace it with something that is equally beneficial like reading and researching something that interests you and creating a new hobby.
No matter what you decide to do in response to the resistance life has placed in front of you, make sure you’re maturing because of it in some way.
All the same, it’s surreal. It now survives high impact exercises – not only Guerrillas – but running too.
I had to replace my mobile phone recently due to wear and tear – that option simply isn’t as readily available when it’s one of your feet.
Good job the body heals as well as it does!
My battle against vile, flabby, passive femininity – my War on Soft – is making satisfactory progress to date.
Leave the wings where they belong
However my latest concern is – now the bingo wings are on their way out courtesy of my upper-body work – am I going to bulk-up?
After all I don’t want to end looking like a gorilla!
“(Women) should lift heavier since they cannot get bigger muscles because of low testosterone levels”, says exercise physiologist and author Dr Jason Karp.
Another WordPress blog CrossFit Journal has offered some reassurance this won’t happen.
With my short, stocky stature I fear I could go that way – but if I’ve being realistic, I’ve got a very long way to go before that happens, if indeed it does.
For a start, at the moment I can’t even pull myself up whether it’s on rings dangling from the ceiling or on a bar above my head – my arms simply aren’t strong enough to carry my full body weight.
That’ll change, of course!
And the majority of people in today’s class were female (don’t ask me why but the male-dominated ones tend to be more in the evenings) – and I’d say most of them don’t want to bulk-up either!
Frankly, as someone who prides themselves on being unfeminine and unladylike I’m shocked at my typically girly fear of becoming muscular, especially when I know how irrational it is, given my existing knowledge.
I reckon I need to start balancing out the cardio and reintroducing long runs.