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Thread: Can progress be made without consistancy?

  1. #1

    Can progress be made without consistancy?

    I've been trying to exercise more recently to make the physical improvements that I know are possible. But the hardest part about it is what it would actually take on my part to make those improvements. It's not too difficult to go hard 1 or 2 days but to keep at it when your time and energy and drive is depleted is not so easy. But my thinking is the only way to gain anything is to give it everything. I think one day could make or break my chances. My body is used to years of being in a wheelchair and resting and relying on it. The only way for improvement is sweat and tears and consistancy. This month I've decided to as many days as I can give everything to my workouts and do my best not missing a day unless I absolutely have to.

    I think if I can put in a solid month that eventually it will be ok to miss a day or maybe go all out 2 or 3 days and miss a day. But right now I think my best chance is to look at this month as a test knowing that no matter the results I did what I had to.

    Any tips and ideas and success stories are greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,

  2. #2
    I see you are 37. Working the same muscle groups every day at your age is not productive. When you work a muscle you tear it down. You need to give it time to rebuild itself to become stronger. For your age it should take 3-4 days with proper diet and lots of water.

  3. #3
    Hi Ian, what baldfatdad says is true. The body needs rest days. Rest is a very important aspect of recovery.
    Whether you're looking for general health benefits or functional recovery, one can't do more than 3 days in a row without a rest day, and even that is extreme. Otherwise you never have time to rebuild and instead, start breaking down.

    Train hard, but listen to your body and rest when its needed.

  4. #4
    I concur with the previous 2 comments...

    Eric Harness, CSCS
    Neuro Ex, Inc
    Adaptive Performance and Neuro Recovery

  5. #5
    Thank you guys for your response. I usually listen to my body pretty good but am not sure when to rest. What are the effects if you don't let your muscles rest? With my sci I've wondered, if I work a muscle hard and then spend the rest of the day in my chair if that muscle needs less time to recover since I'm not using it.

    I agree with you guys and know I need rest days. It seems hard to break though, when I take a break I feel like I should have not and that maybe I lost my oppurtunity. I feel like an able bodied person can more easily go by the workout rules and make progress but an sci person needs to fight harder for progress. Finding that effective route that will help me and not hurt me is what I need to learn. I do believe that pushing as close to the max before you need to take a rest period could be effective. Is 1 full day of rest / no exercise a sufficent amount of rest time before you get back at it?

    I don't know all the technical terms or even the proper way to do exercises but I know that doing what I can is better than not doing anything. I have this idea, if I could just learn the basics of how the body moved and muscles worked and practice simple routines or movements and divide them into whatever number of "building blocks" that I could follow that I could follow it. I could work on block one and two however many days, for 10 minutes or however long was needed, and work on blocks 3 & 4. But the point for me is focusing on a specif block would be less daunting than thinking constantly about the big picture.

    I'm realizing that with sci progress can't come easy, but it can come. And what it takes for progress will take everything you have in you and even more. And deciding if it's worth it is a heart breaking descion. I do believe that it is worth it.

    Please give some ideas and plan ideas for how many days would be effective to go hard and then how long to rest. It would be awesome if I could scan my muscles and see the optimal time to restart my workouts.

    Thank you again guys,
    Last edited by tryharder; 03-07-2014 at 03:12 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Boise, ID USA
    I agree with all of this advice, but it is geared towards weight lifting or high intensity exercises. If you are doing lower intensity work for cardio, like endurance training for cycling, you can go just about every day. I think it is really tough for SCI guys to judge how hard to work because we don't have great sensation of our muscles. I too wonder if our lack of ability to fully fire our muscles might mean that we can work out more often.
    C1/C2 walking quad, SCI from 4/2010

  7. #7
    cajun my injury is at c2 as well. I use a power chair and it gives me great independence. I practice walking with a upnfree walker theraputically. I'm very thankful but know that I can do more. How hard did you have to fight to get to walking? I'm not saying "walking" is my goal, but it is possible and there's no reason for me to back away from it. But if you don't mind I'd like to know if it was a struggle for you.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Boise, ID USA
    tryharder, it's all relative. It was a struggle for me, but not nearly the struggle that some people have. My muscle strength is not bad and came back fairly fast. My bigger problems at first were balance and blood pressure. When I came home at 3 months, I could walk about half of a mile. By a year after my injury I walked 10 miles one day. It nearly did me in. I have not walked farther than that, and my walking has not improved since then. I still get a little wobbly if I walk a mile. Riding a bicycle is easier and more fun for me so that is what I usually do for exercise, almost every day.
    C1/C2 walking quad, SCI from 4/2010

  9. #9
    Just to interject. I think you have to push your limits constantly. but it doesn't have to be the same muscle groups or the same type activities. If your mentality is such that you are going to feel like you wasted a day if you rest, then you have to structure your work outs accordingly. Maybe during the week do resistance style workouts maybe 3 days alternating muscle groups. The other 1 or 2 days you could do yoga or some type of balance and stretching routine. Then on the weekends try to work in a recreational activity that doubles as a work out. A bike ride, kayaking, wheel chair sports, etc. It is best to have at least one day of rest if you are working hard. Take Sunday off.

  10. #10
    Flying has some good advice. If working on strength, I don't push the same muscle group for two days in a row...except for abs and glutes. Those, I can do back to back. Maybe do arms one day, then legs, with some cardio as well. Then try yoga or pilates, rest day, then start the cycle over. You'll find a pattern that works. It's a delicate balance with SCI. The same rules about muscle tear down and recovery apply to us. But, we tend to lose ground quicker than ABs.

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