Muscle Gnomes Hard at Work

At first glance I thought he was flexing
At first glance I thought he was flexing

Shortly after I fell asleep last night the gnomes came out to work. With their tiny hammers and little forges, they began rebuilding what I had tore down earlier that morning. Even little Giuseppe, who likes to mutter cuss words in Italian – no one can understand that foul-mouthed little bastard but he is a hard worker nonetheless – threw himself into his work. That is, everyone was working until I startled them, causing them to run off.

Truth be told, I only have a vague understanding of how the human body actually works. It is easier, not to mention more fun, for me to imagine gnomes repairing my aching muscles while I sleep than it is for me to know the complex scientific sequence.

Yesterday morning my alarm sounded at 4:00am. Having had a solid nights rest, I hopped out of bed, threw on some clothes, and began making my way over to the gym. With the FitBit Work Week Hustle Challenge in full swing, I knew that I’d have to tack on a little more cardio than I normally do to keep up.

I started off my time in the gym with a thirty minute rolling hills session on the treadmill. The incline varied from 0.5% to 2% with a steady 4mph pace. As the treadmill came to a stop I was feeling pretty good. I had a good sweat going and my body felt loose.

Standing under the barbell I began to squat. Four sets of fifteen reps left my legs burning. My last set required a few pauses in order to finish and when I re-racked the weight I was trembling. From there I moved on to four sets of standing calf raises – twenty reps per set. A couple of other excises were incorporated and I finished off the weigh portion of my gym time with leg extensions and curls.

Ordinarily, this is where I grab my keys and make my way to the car. I don’t like adding a second cardio session when I work legs because it leaves me feeling annihilated. Because I wanted to climb the FitBit Challenge ladder, I hopped back onto the treadmill. Nothing too crazy, just fifteen minutes at 0.5% incline to hit my 10,000 Step Goal first thing in the morning.

The remainder of my day went on as it usually does. I worked, played with my daughter, did a few odd chores around the house, and eventually climbed the stairs to go to bed that evening. My legs were a little fatigued throughout the day but that isn’t unusual. I fell asleep pretty fast around 9:30pm but woke up at 11:04pm with the fierce urge to pee (apparently drinking bottle after bottle of water before bed wasn’t the best idea for sleeping through the night).

When I stepped out of bed I nearly fell to the floor. My legs were fatigued and incredibly sore. It was as if I was reliving my first Leg Day experience all over again. I hobbled to the bathroom, nearly dozed off as I did my business, and hobbled back to bed. I was exhausted but was amazed at the toll my legs had taken in the gym earlier that day.

When my alarm went off at 4:00am this morning I eased myself out of bed, dreading the soreness I experienced the night before. To my amazement, I felt pretty good. There was some soreness and some stiffness in my legs and ass (squats – they don’t just work your legs) but it didn’t slow me down.

I didn’t have time to hit the gym this morning (I only go early on the days that I work from home) but I’ll be there after work. Today I’ll be working biceps and chest and I think I see a little extra cardio in my near future.

Do you incorporate cardio into regular gym sessions
or do you give cardio it’s own dedicated time?

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