Monday, January 29, 2007

Working to Failure Has Its Costs, Benefits

One week ago I (Rich) started what I call my 40 Day “Fail Your Way to Fitness” Challenge (see last week’s blog for details). Well, working to failure has its benefits… and its cost. First, the benefits.

Apparently, I have lost weight. I say “apparently” because (per the rules) I did a blind weigh in and was not allowed to see the results. But Andrea says they were stellar (see scale photo that Andrea has inserted in the blog). As with most diets, I can feel the difference but can not yet see it in the mirror yet. And when trying on my suit I can see I still have a long way to go. But progress is being made!

To stay within the rules of not being “results” oriented (focusing only on behaviors and working to “failure”) here’s how I changed my workouts. Typically I would count the number of “reps” as I lifted weights. Instead, I simply started lifting and repeating the mantra, “Work to failure! Work to failure!” As such, I have NO IDEA how many reps I did on each machine. I only know the following…

1) I did more reps than I would have done otherwise, and with heavier weight.
2) I hurt like hell.

To be specific, I can barely lift my left arm (having irritated an old rotator-cuff injury) and every thing else, hurts, too! But I can honestly say that the five times I went to the gym last week were the five best workouts I’ve had in a year, including previous workouts with a personal trainer.

So… the approach is clearly working. I am working to failure. I am destroying muscle (perhaps too much!) And I am going to stick with it. March 4th (the date I need to be in my suit) is rapidly approaching, and I know I can’t think myself thin – and, as it is with every other worthwhile achievement in life – I will have to work.

More next week!

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