Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Change The Game: Ls and Ups workshop doldrums. Part two.

The tough thing about stopping my entire kettlebell program to work on Ls and pull-ups, was that I feared I'd lose progress on my bellwork intensity and endurance. Not only was it a tenuous new skill, it was necessary. How else could I expect to achieve the needed results when new muscle synergy had to come in to assist the work? Those muscles needed extra rest and I had no choice. Same muscle fatigue and failure repping happens when I sprint. Those crazy leg muscles give walking something to reconsider when it all boils down to it. I'm just a nub on the floor after a new muscle challenge. It's tedium, but necessary tedium...

So after the summer of drills, I settled back into a nice kettle and endurance lifting sandwich. What I hadn't expected, was that the L practice completely disappeared again, much to my dismay. At this point, they don't seem to be able to coexist together peacefully. Having said that, I realize that to some end, if I do not work on the muscles that ultimately are the weakest link to my overall strength, I may never get strong. Relying on building strength to get more strength is the ultimate test of whether you know or not why you're in the gym. Come to the gym, have a plan...but don't have the plan of lifting to build strength, with the strongest, most capable muscle groups your body knows. What good will come of it? More compensation on an already weak link?

Ultimately I think I just began to lose hope. I was cramping so much when practicing L sits that I felt I needed a muscle kinetic chain captain, like an innervation specialist, to give me a once over, hopefully fixing the muscles that enjoy cramping. That was one of those blind, uneducated hopes that it wasn't in fact the anatomical system that was disturbing my balance. At the same time, my back is much stronger and so are my legs. My L raises with both bent and straight legs have definitely improved. My hanging L raises hurt, but mostly due to the grip, though I became confused as to which was causing the greatest amount of pain after awhile. Or was the cramping due to my reduced carbs and heightened fake sweetener intake? I could never tell.

There is definitely some merit to doing what you are good at, but not at the cost of your overall fitness gains.

If there isn't a nice bit of relaxed tension and happy confusion, brought in by a little angry accomplishment, you're not at the gym. Maybe you're in the kitchen, or in bed even. After all, you may as well be, if you didn't come to the gym to get a little frustrated at how crazy hard that last exercise was.

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