Saturday, January 8, 2011

Resistance training for princesses, divas, and prima donnas

I consider myself to be a hard-working, blue-collar type.  I grew up shoveling horse poop, dabbled in competitive powerlifting, and I have a motorcycle license (not that I use it, it's a relic from my crazy days). I'm not afraid of work and sweat.

But thanks to my one-legged, non-weight-bearing status, I can't lift or move anything unless I am seated, kneeling, lying down, or have my one leg propped up. So during my strength training workouts, I pretty much sit there while Jake selects dumbbells, barbells, medicine balls, bosus, stability balls, dyna disks, resistance bands, ab rollers, cable attachments, benches, seats, and boxes.  He adjusts pulleys, benches, and weights.  He loads the equipment and cleans it up.  He plans the workouts and records the efforts.

My job?  Crank out the reps and move myself from point A to point B as directed.

It's very weird, I feel like some kind of prima donna in there.

I wonder if this is what it is like to be a famous celebrity working out?!

Of course, the non-princess side of it is that Jake sees this as an opportunity to focus and bring up the intensity and effort. I have been working harder and sweating more than ever. I get no assistance to hoist myself up on the pullup bar or parallel bars for dips.  When the shoulders are burning I still have to crutch it to the next exercise. We are doing more max reps in timed intervals to boost my heart rate. My upper body is no doubt benefiting from the situation. I finish workouts in a very depleted state.

Jake has done a great job of coming up with creative alternatives for leg workouts.  We are continuing with some unilateral movements with research showing it can benefit the opposing limb. He's added some non-weight bearing leg movements that I sometimes scoff at, thinking they look like lame exercises you'd see in some women's magazine, but the next day I am feeling it! We are definitely making the most of the situation.

I'm grateful for Jake's direction with strength training workouts, but I will be glad to set aside the princess status and do my part to retrieve, load, and clean up again. Hmmm, or maybe I could just get used to this! Bring on the tiara!