Friday, September 28, 2007

Yet Again: The Muscles of Friday

I've had to slow things down considerably on the muscle building front this week due to back pain that's a result of my severe lumbar scoliosis. I had been doing an upper-lower split along the lines of: upper body, lower body, upper body, rest day; repeat. But now I've switched to a full body workout every other day, three days a week, using only exercises that don't place a load on my spine. It's frustrating and humbling, but necessary: the pain has been getting so grim it's curtailing my QOL in a very ugly way.

So my main exercise now is assisted pullups. This is a great compound exercise that works almost all upper body and core muscles. Four weeks ago I needed a 50 pound assist; now I can do five pullups in a row with only a 10 pound assist. Big w00t! So even though it seems like things are moving at a snail's pace, invisible to the naked eye, progress is actually happening at a pretty respectable rate. If all goes according to plan, two weeks from now I should be able to do five unassisted pullups in a row. And after that, well, the sky's the limit.

My upper body workout now consists of many sets of assisted pullups with various grips; flat bench; assisted dips; assisted one-arm pullups; reverse rows hanging from the Smith Machine; and bodyweight pushups. For now lower body is bodyweight squats, lunges, and step-ups; glute bridges with my feet on a large Swiss ball; and reverse heyperextensions, except on days when those hurt.

In a way the photos I've been posting are deceptive, because what looks like progress is sometimes really more about getting the light right, catching it in a way that's flattering and maximizes definition. I haven't quite figured this out yet, but here are two different shots with light from slightly different angles, in an attempt to be brutally honest. I want to be able to look at these a few months from now and see what I really looked like, not just what I wished I looked like.

Kickin' ass

Takin' names


Blogger Trasi said...

They sure as hell look like they are getting more and more definition every time you post, Liz. Seriously nice looking arms.

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting. To my eye, you look quite fit in both photos, equally fit in fact, but each highlights a different arm.

In both photos, you look like you could probably kick my ass with either arm tied behind your back. Not that you would, or should. Just sayin'.

10:49 AM  
Blogger Lark said...

It's not just a trick of the light!!! You look fabulous. No amount of artful lighting could create the impression of definition if it wasn't there to start with.

5:20 PM  
Blogger Yankee T said...


9:23 PM  

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