Goal #1: tear muscles. Goal #2: Build them back up.

After spending Sunday in pain, I had to face the fact that I’ve been slacking on the strength training. I have arthritis in my neck and if I keep my shoulders – specifically my trapezius muscle – strong, I’m usually symptom free. But Sunday, the nerves in my shoulder were “buzzing,” if that makes sense, and I was had some pretty intrusive pain while I was at rest. I was “at rest” because moving was painful.

That won’t do.

Went to bed smelling like BenGay and woke up Monday wanting to curl up with a heating pad on my neck and shoulder. But I knew that was the exact OPPOSITE of what I should do.

I know how to fix this.

I went to yoga. After an hour of stretching, my pain was nearly gone and my mobility BACK TO NORMAL. Then I trimmed hedges and vines with manual clippers for 2 hours. I woke up Tuesday very sore from the workout – and that was the goal.

Step one of muscle strengthening? Tearing the fibers of the muscle so they can build back up. (CLICK HERE to learn about it.)

Tuesday (yesterday), I did the Jillian Michaels NO More Trouble Zones DVD. I’ll admit, because I’m so out of shape, that 40 minute workout took me an hour and 20 minutes because I paused it so many times. I couldn’t keep up with the pace and I had to pause to finish reps. okay. and I paused multiple, multiple times to lay on the floor and breathe while mumbling, I HATE her.

I also walked 3 miles at an 8% incline both days because I’m stubborn tenacious.

Both days, after I finished, I made a protein shake help rebuild the muscle I had torn.

I have to face the fact that I have a chronic condition. The arthritis in my neck will NOT just go away. I’ve figured out how to live symptom free and I’ve been pretty consistent since fall of 2007, but the last 3 to 6 months, I’ve really taken the easy way out of exercise and only focused on cardio.

Strength training is HARD. But, in addition to helping me forget I have arthritis altogether, it also helps me burn more calories at rest. That’s right, the more muscle mass I have the more calories I burn while I do NOTHING.

When I first started strength training back in the fall of 2007, my body fat percentage was 51%. Today, it’s 37%. Not where I’d like it to be, but significantly better!

I’m not looking at the scale right now, because as I build muscle, I’ll likely gain weight. I won’t get any bigger because 5 pounds of muscle takes up LESS physical space than fat. So my clothes will fit better even if my weight doesn’t change! How my clothes fit is a better measure of how I’m doing than my scale.

I’ve been DETERMINED to be a good steward of this body God has blessed me with. I got lazy for a few months, but . . .


And I’m logging my progress again, on my Fitness Log, on a widget on the right side of this page, on my facebook page (which shows up in the right side bar of this page) and my twitter (tweets also on the right side of this page).

JOIN ME? What are YOU doing to be a good steward of this body God has blessed YOU with?

One thought on “Goal #1: tear muscles. Goal #2: Build them back up.

  1. Julie, had my two-year Dexa scan week before last. Two years ago, I walked away with a diagnosis of Osteopina, today I am .1 away from where I am supposed to be. That is due totally to strength training. Hard as I try, I don’t lose any weight, but that was pretty exciting news! Keep up your good work!!

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