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Hard Core Lower Body Workout -- And Why I Quit

by Sevanne

I was in my late 30s. I'd recently recovered from a severe back injury, and I was trying to adapt to my new physicality while building up to my previous level of fitness.

I was transitioning from a strength training through weight lifting routine to using my body for resistance. I have never needed a personal trainer for encouragement, but I have consulted them in order to structure a routine since recovering from injury.

The routine given to me by a personal trainer involved doing lunges while walking down the full length of a long passageway. Each step was a full and deep lunge.

I repeated that, walking back and forth, 5 times. Then, I had to push a large free standing kick boxing bag back and forth down the same passage way, with my back against the bag, pushing it backwards while I was in a full squat.

I have no idea how much those bags weigh. I only know that my full effort and concentration barely budged it.

When I was done with that, I used the step bench. We added 4 levels. I am only 5’5”. So, it was like mountain climbing.

The most painful thing of all was the step overs. That is where you plant one foot in the center of the bench and leave it there, while you step over the bench with the other leg, planting the free leg in front of the bench and behind the bench without resting it on the bench itself.

I had to repeat it on one leg 24 times, with no breaks or pauses. I did 3 sets.

It would have been a lot less, if I didn’t have the misfortune of building up my strength and endurance prior to this. The pain was indescribable.

Once I got past that, the rest of my routine didn’t matter very much. After this, I did 3 sets of 24 side-step-kicks on the bench, before going to do my cardio: 30-45 minutes of elliptical work. Somewhere along the way, I did some modified donkey kicks.

I discovered from all of this what I have always known: exercise has to be fun for me in order for me to do it often, look forward to doing it, and to get meaningful results.

Workouts like this one only reminded me of what I lost due to the injury that I was lucky enough to recover from. It reminded me that all of the exercises that I’d done since my injury were so unpleasant that fitness needed to be a lesser priority for me.

I exercised for fun previously, and I had great results. Since my injury, since routines like this one, I no longer work out regularly.

My body actually acclimated to the above routine. Instead of increasing my difficulty, I gave it up altogether.

I was never able to find exercises that I liked as much as my pre-injury workouts, and I didn’t see any reason to torture myself like that 3-4 times a week.


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Note from Dr. Dan


You include a lot of great ideas for exercise. It shows some creative uses of the equipment and different ways of doing things.

Now, you also say, "...exercise has to be fun for me in order for me to do it often, look forward to doing it, and to get meaningful results."

I think that's true for a lot of people. Some people just enjoy the challenge of doing something new and seeing if they can do it, and that can be fun too.

But that's not for everybody. Most people need to be doing something they like or they won't keep it up.

That's why it's important to find something that is fun, whether it's hiking or racquetball or swimming. There should be something that you enjoy.

As far as your injuries, it can be hard to return to your normal activity levels. But contrary to popular belief, injured areas don't heal well unless they're used.

If you rest that sore shoulder it is likely to end up stiff and weak. The solution? Continue to use it as much as you can, within reason of course.

If you do this you may find after a while that it doesn't bother you anymore. It's worth a try.

Dr. Dan

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