Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Can't Win 'em All

Last night's workout was a bust.

Chest, back and abs were on deck. I usually take this one to the gym, so I can use the assisted pullup machine -- since I can't even do a single "real" pullup (yet). For whatever reason, I just wasn't feeling the gym yesterday -- something about the idea of having to interact with actual human beings during my workout made the privacy of my guest room seem much, much more attractive.

So, I planned to take my laptop up there and pop in the DVD. Except, in a repeat of the Week 1 would-be Plyo workout, PhillyGuy had forgotten to take the DVD out of his laptop before he left for class. That's OK, since chest & back is a bunch of normal moves (variations on the pushup and pullup) that even my uncoordinated ass can do without following the leader.

Here is the lesson I learned: if I expect check & back to be an effective workout, I simply CANNOT do it at home.

Here is why, in the form of a list of things I cannot do, at all:

- Pullups, on a real pullup bar, without assistance. This is a total non-starter right now.

- Pullups, on a real pullup bar, with the assistance of a chair. I CAN do these, but I'm obviously doing them wrong, because I don't feel it in my back at ALL. Instead, I feel it in my forearms and biceps. Which might have something to do with why I can't do an unassisted pullup.

- Variations on the pullups, using a resistance band secured to the doorway. Our resistance bands are not particularly "resistant" and I need to do like 40 billion pulls before I feel it at all.

- Back flies using a resistance band. Or, well, I can't do back flies using a resistance band with only written instructions, because I just can't translate the written instructions to whatever I'm actually supposed to be doing. No matter what I tried, it didn't work my back at all.

- Decline pushups. This has nothing to do with the location or the video -- I just flat out cannot do them. I try to do one and just can't get myself up. WTF? Since I do all of the other pushup variations on my knees, I substitute "real" pushups here. I get through like 4 or 5 before failure.

Sorry to be such a Debbie Downer about this, but my workout last night was the epitome of lame. I broke a sweat, but not like I would have if I'd done my workout at the gym, and I was so frustrated by my inability to do things properly that it got me really down. I'm not one to "dial it in" at the gym -- if I'm working out and not really feeling it, it's pretty much a waste of time. I could have not worked my back while taking the dogs to the dog park, you know?

GAAAAAAH. So, last night was a bust. It's fine. It happens. Time to move on and focus on the next day. Inexplicably, my SHOULDERS are sore today. Why? I don't know. I wasn't supposed to be working shoulders. What-eva. Hopefully, my sore shoulders will distract me from the fact that I'm being a whiny cry-baby about this.


  1. I'm not the best with pullups or other arm strength related exercises!
    Don't let one bad workout get you down. Rock out the next one! :D

  2. I can do plenty of push-ups, and between doing those every other day and doing yoga, I know my arms are pretty strong...but I can't do a pull-up either...so you're not alone. They're just...awful. haha

  3. So, I just found your blog. I am in week 8 of p90x too, and I have to tell you - I still can't do an unassisted pull up. I do the workout at home with a chair and yeah...you're probably right about that. But, I console myself by saying that even if I am not feeling it in my back, I am still feeling it...somewhere. That's the point right? My shoulders are super cut now, and I am nearly positive it is because of those stupid pull ups that I hate so much!