Feeling the Burn

Yesterday on the plane, I read The New Rules of Weight Lifting for Women. While its primary author is Lou Schuler, it has coauthors for the diet and fitness parts: Candace Forsythe and Alwyn Cosgrove, respectively. That last name sound familiar? Yup, Alwyn Cosgrove is the husband of Rachel Cosgrove’s The Female Body Breakthrough, which I was obsessed with for more than a few months! The fitness approach in The New Rules of Weightlifting turned out to be almost identical to Rachel Cosgrove’s book (though the nutrition components were different), but the logic behind it served to remind me why I had been so in love with the Cosgrove plan in the first place. As a result, I ended up jumping back on the Cosgrove bandwagon: Base Phase 1, here I come!

I was a little surprised to find that I didn’t remember each move in the warmup without having to peek back at my phone (I pulled up my old spreadsheet that allowed me to track my results and auto-generate text for my workouts with a list of exercises and what size weights I had used the last time). All the moves in the warmup used to flow one right into the next, so I thought it was funny how fast I forgot! However, my body didn’t forget that much – the moves felt totally natural once I did each one.

I tried to ramp up slowly with the weights, wondering how much strength I had lost since my last workout with this plan (in March! Wow, how time flies). However, I ended up being closer to where I finished the plan than where I started.

Move December March August
Bird Dog No weight 10 lbs 10 lbs
Stepup 10 lbs 45 lbs 40 lbs
Three Point Dumbbell Row 20 lbs 35 lbs 25 lbs
Partial Co-Contraction Lunge 10 lbs 45 lbs 40 lbs
Bent-Over Reverse Fly 5 lbs 10 lbs 10 lbs

Not bad, huh? The plan also called for a few non-measurable exercises (i.e., three sets each of Forward Ball Roll, Hip-Thigh Extension, and Incline Pushups), and I felt stronger on those too. I remember I could barely do the Forward Ball Roll the first time around (it’s much harder than it looks), and I struggled with incline pushups back then – but now I banged out three sets of ten military-style pushups easily (and then did the other seven sets when I went back up to my room). Bam! What now?

Unfortunately, “what now” is soreness. My trapezius muscles are as sore as I’ve ever felt any muscles be, even when I’m sitting and doing nothing. I can’t tell if they were that out of shape or if I strained them, but my shoulders/neck are sore to the point where I can feel how tight the muscles are when I run my hand over them, and self-massage does nothing. I need some Ben Gay, stat! For now, I’ve been munching on high protein foods all day (double turkey on my sandwich at lunch, edamame as my afternoon snack) to hopefully allow the muscles to heal. Tonight I’ll try another long hot shower and also give my body the rest it deserves – perhaps a long walk through downtown Charlottesville instead of any “real” exercise? I love me some soreness to provide proof that I’m getting a great workout, but as they say, be careful what you ask for :)

Comments

  1. That one is on my “to review” list as I have read through it and had it from the library for months. But I haven’t actually done the workouts yet! Good reminder. One day soon!

  2. So true… there is a fine line between “I worked hard!” muscle soreness, and a pull. I hope in your case that it’s the “worked hard” kind!

  3. I’m thinking they’re sore and not pulled, since it’s more of a continuous ache instead of sharp pain? Hoping another good night’s sleep will help!

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