Workout Journal – 3/27/17 – Chest & Back

The words of a small boy saying “I don’t wanna” were resonating in my head tonight, because that is precisely how I felt about doing my workout.

It’s not that I dislike the Chest & Back routine (although it’s not one I’d ever choose to do for fun). I just wanted nothing to do with it tonight.

The first time I did P90X Chest & Back was the first workout in the program I ever did. It kicked my ass so hard, and exposed my, at the time, pitiful lack of anything resembling upper body strength that I almost quit after one workout. My entire chest, both my arms, my shoulders and my back ached the next day in ways I’m not sure they ever had before.

I can remember telling my wife, “Well, I’m clearly too out of shape to do this.” She may have said something to the effect of, “Oh no, you bought it. No one and done for you.” Although it could have also been something along the lines of, “Don’t be a wuss.”

It was seeing Eric, the one-legged man, in the next day’s workout that led me to stick it out and flail my way through the first round of the program. I figured if a guy with a prosthetic leg could do this stuff I had to give it my best shot, at least.

Over time Chest & Back, while it never got easy, became a workout I never feared. I still have my workout sheets from the third round I did of the P90X and I look back on those in amazement. I would consistently bang out 15 to 20 reps on the pull-ups and cruise through the push-ups. And that is why I didn’t wanna tonight.

A year of doing programs that didn’t help me maintain the strength I’d built up, or doing nothing at all in the hopes my back would go back to “normal” sapped me of that capability. My first week back into this program and I was barely able to struggle through 5 pull-ups.

I get it. I really do. You don’t use it and you lose it. Heck, I have told a pile of people to be careful not to take too much time off from workouts because after only 2 weeks you’ll start to lose strength gains in noticeable ways. So why would I expect to be able to bang out 15 or 20 pull-ups when I hadn’t done anything to maintain that in over a year?

And let us not forget that I’m 50. Retaining strength is an uphill climb past 40. So yes, intellectually and rationally I know that while I’m not starting over completely, this is a big reset.

Once I hauled myself out to the living room (oh the advantages of not having to navigate my way to a gym) and moved the coffee table I was ready to go. And I actually did a lot better than I had done the previous two times through this routine.

But I’ve still got a long way to go.

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