OK with Exercise, Not Thrilled about Effort: or I want a Workout that Doesn’t Require Work

I like being in a shape other than round. I like the post-exercise feeling of accomplishment. I just don’t want to work, perspire, sweat, pant, and feel tired when I finish. Or ache the next day. Which may be why I liked snowshoeing so much when I got to do it. It made my knee and hip feel better, no one else was around to bug me (usually), and since it was below freezing, I didn’t perspire as long as I layered wisely and loosely. Alas, the gym is not like that.

Your humble author’s ancestors came from a place where having an efficient metabolism meant the difference between survival and disaster. And mine is very, very efficient. I conserve food energy quite well. How well? At one point in grad school, I met with a nutritionist to see about getting my eating habits aligned with my desire to lose weight. According to a reputable calculator, given my activity level and age, I needed 1800 calories/day to maintain my weight. Nope. I needed 1400 to maintain. This is walking three miles a day five days a week at least, plus doing an hour of weights twice a week.

In order to fight both the middle-aged spread and osteoporosis, I lift weights. Before my back injury I could leg-press 350 lbs and do  pull-ups with only 40 pounds supported. That came to a screeching halt with said back injury and a shoulder injury last year.

(Ladies, be very, very careful when doing shoulder work. Very careful. We don’t have the supporting muscles and other advantages the guys have. Go slow and always start with less weight than you think, and beware machines designed for large males. The wrong angle, even with light weights, can cause problems.)

Unlike most women, I do have to be careful about bulking up. I put on muscle very easily and look a bit like an off-season power lifter (more padding than is really desirable). This makes things like knee-boots and tight sleeves a bit of a challenge. It also means I don’t do calf exercises or much with the triceps and biceps specifically, because they get enough attention with other things. On the other hand, the triceps do need a little more attention than I’ve been giving them, as I discovered recently.

I got to the gym early enough that I actually had the weight room to my self mostly. Yeah! So the cable machine was not in use for once. I had not done push-downs or overhead triceps work in a while (months, perhaps over a year) and decided to start with a light weight. First rep – no problem. Second rep – hmmm. Third rep – I’m starting to feel the burn. And that was just the push-downs. The overhead cable triceps work? Ow, ow, ow, ow. The back of my arms ached, burned, squalled, complained, moaned, and generally let me know that I needed to do this more often.

Yuck. And then I went to the cardio area and found that the hot trotter (aka treadmill) available was under the one fan that refused to turn on.

I needed that shower when I got home.

Anyone know of a workout that doesn’t involve work?

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3 thoughts on “OK with Exercise, Not Thrilled about Effort: or I want a Workout that Doesn’t Require Work

  1. “Anyone know of a workout that doesn’t involve work?”

    Not really, but I see advertisements for products that supposedly do so, all over.

    Up until a year or two ago I had the opposite of your metabolism. While admittedly more strenuously active than you, I needed 8000 to 10,000 calories a day to maintain, until my metabolism finally decided to start slowing down the last couple years. I’ve had to adjust to not consciously choosing foods with the highest calorie content, because suddenly I discovered that I can gain weight in areas other than the shoulders and upper arms (which tended to grow and shrink seasonally, due to whether they were being used or not).

  2. Several years ago, Mom had this book titled “Dieting Made Easy”.

    When I saw it I said to Mom “I didn’t know you liked Science Fiction”.

    Mom gave me her Dark Brown Look and Dad chuckled. 👿

  3. If you ever find the workout that works for you but you don’t need to work at, you’ll make a fortune selling the routine to all of us lazy folks. 🙂

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