I did free squats for the first time since I twinged my knee. The weight wasn't that much (a pair of 45lb plates, plus the bar), we just focused heavily on stance and correct movement. Some things I learned were I really don't like doing it without a pad (as I don't have a hard thick pad of muscle behind my neck (yet?)), I start overshooting my toes with my knees when I get tired, and even this light weight take a lot out of me, even when it doesn't feel very "heavy".
Then leg presses. Did the first set at last time's weight, and then went MUCH heavier, adding another two 45s to the two 100s (plus the sled). That created a load sensation I haven't felt for over a month, but I gritted my teeth, "went away", and did the set. And did then did it again.
Then came leg extensions cycling with unloaded lunges. The first set concerned me, my knee started getting hot. The OTHER knee, the one I hadn't twinged before. But it was just the first set. Whew.
Then seated calve raises cycling with ball squats. I got 30,30,25 on the calves, and had to stop early on the last set only because the arch of my right foot started to burn. You must stop when that happens, because if you pull or even mildly inflame that muscle, which runs along the bottom of your foot, you cannot run, and cannot walk well, for at least weeks, while it heals.
Then nautilus leg curls cycling with ball leg curls. The first hits really low, just above the knees, the other hits really high, up into the ass, and also really really works all the little standing balance muscles in the legs.
Then came the standing calves. This machine is interesting. You stand up in it, with your toes and the front of the soles on a grip bar with the heels handing out in space, and heavy padded "arms" are on your shoulders, and it pushes the entire weight down on the shoulders, so it's carried by the shoulders, straight back, straight hips, and straight legs, all the way down to your feet. Then you stand up on your toes, and dip down so your toes are pointed up.
My calves are rather large and are rather strong for someone of my novice strength, for whatever reason. Chance genetic factors, probably. I was able to add another 15lbs to this ex today.
Finished those at 1:00 pm, and so shook Steve (the trainer)'s hand, confirmed the regular time for this Friday. (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, noon, noon, noon).
Finished off with a cycle between the hip aductor and hip abductor machines, this time both set to 100 lbs, up from the 90 of last week.
I've been rereading this and past gym LJ posts of mine. I sound like I'm turning into a jock! I'm not (I hope). I've just found something else to geek about. None of this comes "naturally", none of it even "feels good" while I'm doing it. It burns hot and unpleasant towards the end of each set, and I can "feel it" in my body 24x7, like my muscles are slowly being salted with a very very fine cement, and they are slowly starting to "set". "Hard like a rock" is seeming less metaphorical from the inside. It may soon be time to really add stretching and flexability stuff to the mix.
But, I do like the geek-about-something-new factor. And I do like seeing my self doing and improving at something that I always thought I would never be any good at all at. And I do like, for the lack of a better term, the "moral strength" that comes from regularly winning the mental battle between "I know I should" and "But I dont wanna, I wanna do something pleasure instead!".
And I like being stronger. The weekend I was in Utah, I helped my dad take a large truckload of tightly packed 40-year-old spruce trees cut down from around his mother's home, and feed them to a woodchipper. A few years ago, I would have been only willing and able to pull out the lighter pieces. This time, I was able to pull apart and cut apart (with a pair of heavy pruning shears) the entire load, and while "glowing" a bit at the end, was only lightly winded. That felt good.
I like having more endurance. I was able to dance pretty hard pretty long for two nights in a row, at Westercon, and that was fun.
And I want to be even stronger. I want to be at least strong enough to be able to controlled skydive wingstrut exits without the fear and distraction of having to strain with all my might againt that gale force wind.
And I do have to confess, I'm slowly looking better in the mirror too, and I really like that.