If there’s one rule I believe in when it comes to working out, it’s this:
Leave it all at the gym.
What I mean by this is that, when you’re there, you should give everything you’ve got. Tire yourself out. See how far you can push yourself.
I promise it’s more than you think. And I promise, a few minutes after you’ve reached your limits, you’ll feel as good as new. You’ll even be surprised that, just a few minutes ago, could hardly breathe/ hold the pose/ move your legs any faster.
This has actually been difficult for me lately, which has made my workouts challenging – and not in the way that I like. Being injured has meant that I’ve had to think through practically every motion (as in, “Okay, should this be safe? Should I try it?”) when I much prefer just going all in. It’s been good for me to take a step back, I suppose, but man… I miss giving it all I’ve got.
Certain exercises lend themselves more easily to this whole leaving it all at the gym thing than others.
Some don’t lend well, at least for me. The elliptical is one machine that I zone out on and from which I never feel like I’ve gotten something worthwhile.
Don’t be that guy!
Running is a great example of a way to really push yourself.
You control the speed, where you’re going, how hard you’re pushing, etc. Running is exactly what you make of it.
Another great one? Spinning.
(Photo from Monica)
Though spinning is technically a group activity, it is actually a very individual workout. You control your own speed and your own resistance. You can do what you’re told, or you can go to an easier or harder level if you so choose.
I like to push so hard in spin that I have to close my eyes. I did that a lot this morning.
I’ve been taking quite a few more spin classes lately. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, which are my PT days, I can only get a workout in if I go super early. Fortunately, my gym offers super early morning spin classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays (as in, the classes begin at 6am), so it all works out. Get it? Works out? Never mind.
Anyway, the point is, taking spin three times a week, rather than one, has really allowed me to evaluate (and then push) my limits.
Today, I realized that I don’t think spinning is ever going to become easy for me. I was pushing so hard but I could also see that other people were capable of far more than I currently am. That’s great, though, because I know I have a lot of room to grow.
This morning, I left the gym basically soaked, which was gross but made me feel very proud of myself.
I definitely left it all (and then some sweat) at the gym.
This, of course, was sort of tough because I went pretty directly (other than showering… I’d feel pretty bad for my physical therapist otherwise) from spinning to PT, and those exercises (and OMG, the freaking foam rolling) really hurt.
The foam rolling today, by the way, was not controlled by me. The physical therapist rolled it on me while I was lying down. It hurt so much that I may or may not have asked her if she had ever made anyone cry before.
I also told her she was a sadist.
You know, all in good fun.
The funny thing is, she told me I’m one of her calmest patients when it comes to the pain of foam rolling. At least I was able to make a few jokes while she was doing it! She said other people have screamed.
In other foam rolling news, Mark told me the other day, after witnessing (hearing) me do my foam rolling homework, that he felt like he’d just heard me deliver a baby.
Oh, I also learned at PT this morning that I don’t just have one bad knee, but two. While this was a surprise to me, my physical therapist said she wasn’t even sort of surprised. Even more interesting? The knee that clicks and crunches (yum) is actually the knee in better shape.
Both of my knees are taped today. It’s such a weird feeling.
Anyway, though I devoured my OOIAJ so quickly that I didn’t realize until I’d already finished that I never took a picture, I did manage to snap a picture of a little treat I was given this morning.
It was amazing. It was from Porto’s. And I honestly have no idea what it was.
It’s probably better that way.
Do you leave it all at the gym? What exercise most brings that out in you?