Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Differing definitions

I used to do a martial art, and part of that was a strength and conditioning (S&C) class. This class was a lot of fun, but it was hard-core. If you hadn't been doing it for a while, the warm-up alone was enough to nearly kill you. The rest of the class was designed to work the muscles in your body until you could barely walk, and if you didn't take showers with alternating hot and cold water that night you would not be able to make it down a flight of stairs the next day (going downward is most definitely more painful than going upward!).

I also have SVT, which means that my heart will happily beat at over 200bpm, just because it feels like it.

As a result of a few years of doing S&C on a weekly basis and having a wacky heart condition, I see "light", "moderate" and "hard" exercise differently to how most people seem to. Allow me to define the standard terms in my own words:

Light exersise (moderate walking pace; moderate cycling pace on flat ground): You aren't actually doing any work. You can hold a conversation, so you may as well be sitting all the couch and channel-surfing for all the good it's doing you.

Moderate exercise: Ok, your heart rate's up a little. You've now graduated to walking from the couch to the fridge as far as actual benefit goes.

Hard exercise: Finally, you got off your lazy arse and did something. It's a start.

You see, when I was at the gym my idea of actually doing work on the treadmill was the treadmill's idea of "STOP NOW YOU'RE GOING TO GIVE YOURSELF A HEART ATTACK!!!". My idea of a "working" heart rate is 170bpm or more, when apparently for my age it should be at around 155bpm.

Also thanks to S&C, I don't see exercise-induced muscular pain as any real kind of problem. For me, sore muscles are really just part of every-day live. You complain a little, but ultimately you just get on with things.

This means that I'm probably fitter than I think I am, but also that I'm harder on myself than I probably should be! None the less, I think I'll get back on my bicycle.

1 comment:

  1. You're lucky to have that attitude. I have all the motivation and physical vigour of a majestic eight-armed sea star.