On Wednesday of last week, I made my first attempt at a pull-up and worked my biceps so much that I could barely move my arms for several days. Yesterday was attempt number 2 at the same workout. I prepared myself mentally for what I knew would be a tough workout, but I felt determined going into it that I would have improved over last week.
So as Misty and I walked into the weight room and she asked, "Okay, pull-ups. Are you ready for this?" I reluctantly but firmly said, "Yep." As I stood on the little stool and grasped the bar, I bent my knees and lifted my feet and Misty held them, telling me to use her to push against with my legs as I pulled myself up. For some reason, I have a hard time allowing myself to push against her, so on my first try, I pulled up but barely was able to pull up a few inches. Finally, I relented and as I tried for the second pull-up, I did dig my feet into her just a little, enough to actually get my head up near the bar. But as I did, still mostly using my arms to pull myself up (and less correctly, not mainly using my lats to initiate the pull-up movement) I felt a searing pain through my right bicep. In a split second, all the pain from last week that had finally receded was instantly back, and then some. And the fact that it was only in one arm let me know that I had actually pulled the muscle.
I did finish out the set of pull-ups (I think I did 7 or 8 of them), though I was forced to get a lot of help from my legs and from Misty. Instead of doing "super sets", as Misty calls them, where I do two different exercises back-to-back without rest - in this case it would have been the pull-ups alternated with rope bicep curls - she had me just do one at a time, resting in between each set. I did a second set of pull-ups, this time using some hand/wrist straps to help take some of the pressure off of my grip as I pulled up. The straps actually helped a lot, but a little too late since I had already hurt my bicep. My third set of pull-ups I did on the assist machine, which felt the best of all. :)
As I moved on to the next sets of exercises, my right arm was screaming at me every time I did the bicep curling motion. Misty decided to cut out the rest of my bicep exercises and we just spent the rest of our time focusing on my back exercises. I did iso-lateral rows, close-grip lat pulls, standing cable push downs and lower back extensions. It was a great workout, but I am super bummed about my stupid bicep. I spent the rest of the day yesterday icing it every couple of hours, taking ibuprofen and drinking extra BCAA's (Branch Chain Amino Acids) in my water.
Thankfully today is another leg work day, so I can let my arms rest and hopefully tomorrow my chest/shoulder/tri workout won't be impeded too much. I am LOVING these days with Misty. Every day I find myself getting more and more excited about doing work in the weight room and using strength training as the focus of my workouts. I never thought I would feel this way. Lifting weights has always been a secondary and frankly, less important part of my fitness routine due to my love of a good, hard cardio workout. I wish I would have discovered sooner that weight lifting is what will change the shape of my body. It hasn't even been two full weeks yet and I can already feel some changes. I won't say I can "see" the changes quite yet, but I can feel it coming. Besides, Misty made me look her in the eye yesterday and promise that by next summer I would happily put on a swim suit and go out, in public, and swim with my kids. I haven't felt comfortable in a bathing suit since having kids. I really, really hate to be seen in a bathing suit. That has to change. It's stupid.
Anyway, after doing weights yesterday, my schedule called for a "short run". I opted to just use a treadmill while I was already at the gym and sweaty. I did a 3.5 mile run in about 35 minutes and called it good. Today after my leg workout, I get to do Muscle Fusion X with Misty, too. It's been two weeks since we've had this class, because of Thanksgiving last week and I am super excited.