Thursday, September 30, 2004

Work out

I checked your blog and read the entries that discuss working out. I found them somewhat helpful. Are you willing to give me a big picture sketch?

Yep. I work out in order to keep the muscles moving. Not really to build strength. I suppose that if I worked out more, it would be OK for me to carefully and gradually see if it would be OK to build strength. But I have so many other distractions an diversions (often good things) that I don't get to the gym that much.

e.g. I used to be able to run five miles, but now two is my
maximum OR
I can still run five miles, but it takes a bit
longer OR
I can still do it, but it is inadvisable because I
get bad cramping from it OR

I don't think I am in a position to run five miles, at this point. This is largely because I haven't been running much. Again, the distractions, illness, travel, etc. I could probably run two miles at a moderate pace, but I haven't run much since before the glutamate poisoning incident with the protein powder. And I like to think that I could work up to a 5-mile run over a period of months. My running is effected by a sniff left knee. But I haven't been running enough to try to work that out or explore that.

In terms of weight strength, are you about as strong as you were before ALS, a little weaker, a lot weaker?

I am stronger than when I was diagnosed, but at that point it had been a very long time since I worked out. I got stronger as a result of those workouts, and I retain much of that strength. It was just that I read something scary about muscle cramps and overdoing your workout in ALS, and I decided to back off.

What do you mean by a light workout --- one set of each exercise, 20 reps max?

Yeah 20, usually with a very low amount of weight. Like I pressed 30 pounds on the arm press machine. Previously in my blog I wrote about pressing 90 pounds. But that was only ten reps. For me, 20 reps is a lot, not a lot of work, but a lot. I used to lift just for strength gain and so I used heavier weighhts sand fewer reps.

Is getting stronger a goal of these workouts?

Not right now.

Is weight gain a goal?

Well I am above 135, which for me is very good. So I am not trying to gain weight, just maintain.

How would you compare your endurance from before ALS?

Not nearly as good. I used to get out on the basketball court and just go for hours at a time. Or a 5-mile run in the hot sun. That was endurance.

Do you tire more easily?

It's not so much a feeling of being tired, as my muscles sending me signals that they don't want any more work right now. I guess that means my cardio-pulmonary system is still in good shape, but my muscles aren't as well off.

Your email reminds me that I really need to put more focus on exercise. I have been letting it slip. But I suppose it is a responsibility that I have to myself and other peopple.

Thanks for the email buddy.
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