Today was leg day.
I always done a full body workout three times a week as my weights workout, but something’s been niggling at me to start doing splits instead. This means that you only work upper or lower body, and you’ll do more exercises per body part.
I’m a bit nervous about how my legs are going to feel tomorrow, as I got out of that workout shaking so hard it was difficult for me to get on my bathing suit. After a workout like that, you bet I soaked in the hottub before I showered and dressed in street clothes. Places hurt that ordinarily don’t, which means there were muscles I wasn’t working. The axillary exercises I’ve added are gonna add up.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not much of a fan of what they call “spot work”. You really do want to treat your body as the integrated system that it is. This means big compound exercises. But your body adapts to any stress you put on it, so if you do something different, that means you’re doing something you’re not adapted to.
There are people on both sides of the strength training fence that like to jump up and down about their exercise being the best. “Free weights are for sissy poseurs who are only working out for cosmetic reasons. For functional strength, you’ll need to do body weight exercises.” or “Body weight exercises only take you so far. After you get to a certain level of strength, pushups and other body weight exercises are really only cardio.”
A) Anything is better than nothing. Never get so damn bogged down in the idea of the perfect workout that you don’t move your butt. That’s always the really important thing.
B) Bodies adapt to a specific stress. If you go real hard core with bodyweight strength training, you bet you’re going to be better at it than a weightlifter who doesn’t do much bodyweight stuff. There are few (non-triathlete) runners who can keep up with me swimming. It’s because I swim a lot. My body knows what to do, my muscles are trained for that specific movement, and I do it often enough that I’ve adapted to it. Even though I swim well enough that I’m considered pretty good and reasonably fast by almost any standard, I can’t translate that into running. I never run. If you’re worried about all-around adaptation, go for the Crossfit stuff. It’s pretty good.
I’m already starting to feel creaky in the thighs and butt. I find myself glad that tomorrow is a swimming day.