DOMS and Cholesterol: the Highs and the Lows this week
Friday, September 16, 2016
So...I have been CrossFitting (but not regularly) for the last nine months. When I was younger I was really active-swimming, softball, racquetball, bootcamp type exercises and I LOVE lifting weights. Over the last 10 years or so I have fallen off the wagon and have just performed "normal" health club stuff such as elliptical, the occasional strength training class or training for a 5 or 8 K (which fell by the wayside after my bunion surgery as well as my ACL repair). Fast forward to past New Years-decided it was time to shake it up. I signed up with my local box in February from a Groupon with one month for a great price. I attended the foundation classes and found out how really stiff and tight my muscles have become from my more sedentary job but fell in love with the bootcamp/lifting challenge and the CrossFit family atmosphere. Many of the people are younger and faster, but there are a good number of us Masters (over 40) that work just as hard and are cheered on just as much. It's all about personal gains.
Although I have not gone as regularly as I would like (only get there 1-3 times weekly, including yoga classes which are challenging as well) I will say this is one of the best things that has happened for me. The owner has actually called me if I was off for more than one week to see where I was because he forgot I was going out of town. People are really friendly and supportive. The coaches are there to help you with form, support and challenges. If you have an injury there is always a modification you can do to help you continue to grow and achieve gains. As long as I don't sabotage myself and talk myself out of the WOD (Workout of the Day) because it looks too tough I can do what I need to to improve. I had two non-CrossFit related injuries and I was able to modify some workouts, but was becoming frustrated that I wasn't making scale gains even though I was pushing myself while I was in class.
This brings me to my current week. Since starting CrossFit I have taken a good look at my food intake. I am not a junk food junkie but unless I track I had no clue as to how many calories a day I would eat and would GROSSLY underestimate my carbs/fat while overestimating my protein. What an eye opener when I started tracking and making myself more aware of what I actually do. I also make it a point to drink at least 64 ounces of water or more daily even though I really disliked to drink plain water. I still saw no real weight loss, but now for some non scale victories that I noted from my new health screening results for my work insurance discount...
I have lost three inches in my waist. I have lost 2 inches off my thighs. I have GAINED 1/2 inch in my chest (from lifting so the girls look a little higher!) I lost 1/2 inch off each arm. My lean muscle mass has increased. My body fat levels have decreased. Better still my total cholesterol is well below 200 which it hasn't been in 10 years, my triglycerides are down below 45 (which is great!) and my HDL or good cholesterol is in heart protective range! Better still is I am no longer pre diabetic as my fasting blood glucose is less than 100!!!
Armed with this fantastic news, I returned to CrossFit this week with renewed energy. I performed the WOD which involved 90% triceps or arm work, then showered and went golfing for 9 holes, then returned to yoga that night to stretch where we performed mostly leg openers but also some arm work. This is where the lows come in-gave myself such a good case of DOMS on the back of my arms that it's difficult to brush my hair, scratch my neck, close my bra or drink my coffee. Took some Ibuprofen which I don't like to do with some help but now, can't work out today due to the DOMS.
So, lesson learned-ease in and push yourself but don't overdo. I will get in a good walk/jog a little later and may get some yoga in tomorrow after work and pace myself for next week.