Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Personal Progress Update July 14th, 2021

by Derek Benoit, July 14th, 2021

NOTE: at the time of this writing, I do NOT have any relationship with Bowflex. I wouldn’t mind one!

I finished up this personal progress update just after a good speedy session on the treadmill. Credit: Shutterstock

Some Progress Still Being Made

I’m happy to report more steady progress rebuilding my strength. I’m not diesel, nor do I want to be. My ultimate goal is to be in legitimate mountain shape. Heavy pack, miles of hiking, steep hills and all that. Thus my goal requires me to be as strong as possible, while staying as lean as possible. Think mountain goat. Excess bulk will not be my friend.

I’ve successfully corrected some issues with squatting. My form is GREATLY improved. I’ve careful to protect my knees, yet not backsliding my hips so far as to encourage excessive forward lean. Forward lean means that the resistance is horizontally further out from your hips because of the extreme angle of your back. Consequently, more pressure is put on the lower back, which wasn’t particularly strong to begin with. Additionally, the excess lean seems to promote a disjointed lifting motion. In essence, the quads are pushing at one rate, and the glutes are pulling at another, or at different times, or a combination of all of the above. Either way is not good. During such an ill-timed motion, these muscle groups don’t work together. They work relative isolation, limiting the benefit of the exercise and risking injury.

Issues Creeping Up

I’ve seen some new symptoms emerge in the past seven days. I’m experiencing fatigue, insomnia, and anxiety. While I have a history of anxiety, I haven’t battled it for years. I’m feeling anxiety in situations that have been very comfortable for me over the past several months. Having made huge progress in my speed and endurance, I basically whiffed on every cardio workout during this past seven day period. Every, single one. Outta gas, and not having nearly the same duration. No injuries, either. I stretch, warm up, and cool down religiously.

Additionally, I know for a fact that my parathyroid levels have been very high over the past year, which makes me suspicious of an increase in such level. It’s a byproduct of lower kidney function. Having said that, I confess to doing cardio in the midevening period consistently for the past month or so. Strength routines with my Bowflex are always in the afternoons. No exceptions. The risk of a blood sugar crash (your body pulls glucose from your blood stream to replace glycogen used by muscles. There is a delayed effect of such a few hours after my strength routine, so should I do an evening stint, going to bed becomes risky.

The Plan Moving Forward

Yes, I’ve already scheduled a follow up with the appropriate specialist, and spoken with a covering physician. That much I have covered covered. I’m going to force myself to do all cardio in either the mornings or afternoon. Whichever fits better. I’ve also cut down on coffee… which sucks, but has to be tried. If these changes work, and the fatigue, insomnia, and anxiety go away, then I have my answer. If not, then it’s time for more blood work. Such is life! I’ll get back to where I was, then surpass those capabilities!

The plan also, eventually, includes upgrading the ol’ treadmill. As mentioned before, I have a Bowflex home gym. I really like it so far. I’m going to take a look at some of these:


I’d have to save for a while, but it’ll be worth is!

-Derek Benoit


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