Cleared for takeoff, ab brutality

This morning it was with trepidation that I went to UCDMC to have my “final” check up for my ankle with my doctor. It felt great, but you never know. However, my worries were all for naught as the doc basically gave me full and clear permission to do whatever, whenever for however long. Basically the only rules were “don’t be stupid”. Considering who he was talking to, it was probably good advice.

So I cruised into Ultimate Fitness with a bit of a bounce in my step, even though inside I still felt a bit off. I had my tattoo finished this weekend and that always slows a guy down.

Still I started strong, punching out a solid mile on the old hamster wheel for a warmup and then throwing down a couple minutes on the jump rope.

“We’re doing abs today”, said the Sac Fitness Fairy.

Eyebrow up I said “Ok…” and waited for the punchline.

The punchline was “We’re doing abs. And just abs. Abs, followed by abs, with a side order of abs. Guess what’s for dessert?”

The kicker was that apparently only one person had finished this workout in the time allowed, and that was SFF’s sister, who I am told is in rather solidly good shape. Even though this was workout 3 after my month off, I was still feeling out of shape.

Movement one was a situp on an incline bench, with a single dumbell press (1 bell held in both hands) at the top. We went light, 20lbs, and did 18 reps. We were supposed to flip it to a reverse leg lift on the incline but my shoulder was hurting from an mild injury I suffered over the weekend doing reverse dunks in a pool. Don’t ask. So I went to the floor and did leg lifts into a full candle instead (same muscle group) for 18 reps.

Then we did 10 roll-outs using a barbell, and 10 v-ups.

Then we went back to the top, but dropped the reps by 2 (so 16 situp/press, 16 leg lift candles) and 10 each roll-outs/v-ups. Then 14/10, then 12/10. Theoretically we were trying to get to 2 but by this time I was ready to throw up. Ab work is rough enough, but all the time spent upside down was killing me. I felt green. I must have looked green too, since SFF looked at my pale face and offered a compromise: 8 speed intervals on the mill. 45 seconds on, 15 rest.

I jumped on that like a kitten on a laser dot. At this point ANYTHING was better than being inverted one more time, and although my stomach was roiling I knew I could run without getting sick. I WANTED to run, it had been a while. So I jumped on the mill and ended up doing 10 intervals at 6.5 (45 second on, 15 off). I have no idea what actual speed it was, but using my internal “how fast am I going” gauge, I’d say it was around an 8 minute pace. Not a sprint by most people’s standards, but hey a panther has to start someplace.

And there’s a lesson here. Sometimes things conspire to get in the way of your workout. Your feet are sore, your wrist hurts, you have a blister or 12. It is ok to compromise as long as you replace your movement with one of equal difficulty and value. Actually for me the intervals were probably more important than the ab stuff. By this point I was spent and my form was terrible, I wasn’t getting much out of them. But I needed the cardio. Win win.

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