The Slacking Season

Well, well, well.  I finally feel like I have a moment to breathe and get something down worth reading.  As you may know from my previous post, this summer has been a crazy one, and mostly due to my desire for lots of activity around a lot of things – vacations, family, fitness, and health & wellness in general.  I can’t complain, and the mania continues a little as the seasonal aisles in my second home (Super Target) begin to bloat with back-to-school regalia.  I’ve received word that I’ll need to begin my bound-spiral-without-perforated-paper-in-it scavenger action to maintain good standing with the Art teacher.  But I digress.  Onward to the 5 x 5 conclusion and the subsequent slacking.

As I related a few weeks back, I began the 5 x 5 program with the anticipation of building back some muscle I’d lost from my injury this year.  I completed about 5 weeks worth of this workout, though I can’t even really say that each week was complete at all.  I did manage to hit the gym at least 3 out of the 5 planned days.  However, in looking back at my workout log, I see that nary a bit of cardio was executed.  I’m talking like once per week.  WOW.   All in all I’m not sure I’d try the 5 x 5 again.  My best results have come from the solid 5 days, working each body part twice using 4 x 8.  Heavy weight, but not overboard like I tended to do with the 5 x 5.

So What Gives?  Why The Slippage?

school's out chalkboardREASON #1 – SUMMER

Around my little corner of the universe, no school means no schedule, and no schedule is basically chaos for me.  I know I should be more flowy with it all, but I like things planned out in an orderly fashion, and there just ain’t no orderly nothin’ about entire days off with children.  Now don’t get me wrong.  It’s super nice to wake up whenever you wake up (or in my case when the small person lets me know it’s time to do so).  However, the rate at which the day unravels beyond that loosey goosey waking hour is so quick that it’s 7pm by the time I realize that although I’ve wrestled the swollen Slip-n-Slide onto the deck steps to drain, paid the ice cream truck WAY too much money and fished the frisbee off the roof for the thousandth time, I haven’t made it into the shower yet, much less the gym.  It’s good, and spontaneous, and fun for sure.  It’s just a tough environment to work in the workouts.


A.  This website/blog and all that goes along with it – I never ever expected to make money blogging (like ever).  But akin to anything one becomes passionate about, the desire to be successful at it has driven me for 11 months now.  It’s kept me quite busy, thanks to all of you.  And even though I’ve not been as active with posting as I’d like to have been the past few months, the key is that I’ve been very busy in terms of promotion and upkeep.

B.  The Shirts (and totes) – Again, never intended as a money-making venture, but it’s just so dang fun, that I’ve put a lot of heart and hours into it.  So far I’ve made a little bit in commissions, but overall it’s more of a creative outlet than anything.

C.  The Supplements – Now this one is aimed at collecting some cash.  I endorse tons of stuff ALL the time, so why not finally get paid for it?  My launch for this business took place just before we left on vacation last week, so needless to say it seized priority.  I’ve also received my first paycheck, so I feel confident that I’m heading in the right direction!


Couch PotatoThis time last year I was completely arrogant in assuming I’d never become a victim.  Yet here I sit…still injured, unmotived (yes I said it) and lacking the muscle I’d originally set out to build.  I don’t blame the 5 x 5 workouts per se.  The program was just the straw that broke this (decrepit) camel’s back.  Not only did I over do it with the heavy weights, I burned out any spark left in me that was yearning for progress.  WHY did I do that?  Well, sometimes you can push too far in reaching for you goals, and it’s a hard lesson learned because now I’m worse off than when I started 5 weeks ago.

During my very first 5 x 5 workout, the little weight I added to my bicep curls caused what I thought was a slight injury in my forearm.  I kept coaxing it along with the same heavy weight week after week, and now it’s affecting my other lifts.  My shoulder is back to being sore after having made some progress before the 5 x 5 experiment.  It’s not terrible, but just another signal that I’ve been training too hard.

So the reason behind my slacking is basically a dominoical threefold (that’ll be 75 cents please :))  I’m not working out because it hurts.  I’m less muscular because I’m not working out.  I’m not motivated because I’m less muscular and not seeing progress.  This is the death of me because progress is one of my biggest carrots.  Take that away and it’s a bleak-looking salad.

So What Now?

Now I go back to my good ‘ole 4 x 8 with major adjustments for the forearm issue.  Forget progress, I’ve just gotta get back in the swing of things.  I feel good because I did miss the gym a little while we were on vacation last week, and I have to add that I’ve still been eating pretty well.  This has been THE reason I’m still able to wear all my clothing (as you know this is my barometer – I still hate the scale and will avoid it at all costs).  My goal is 5 days, but I may have to reduce it to fewer based on the injuries.  I’m allowing myself that caveat in order to heal properly.  However, I will be dialing up the cardio to 3 times per week just to feel more in shape.  If I can’t lift as heavy as I want, at least I can keep my conditioning on par.

All that said, I’m hopeful.  It’s comforting to know that I was able to build and maintain more mass using lesser weights than I did when I was really pushing it with the 5 x 5 routine.  Once again, moderation is knocking at the door (thanks Mom) and this time I’ll be answering!

I hope your summer is treating you well, and my ramblings help you to understand and embrace the mantra that has become the battle cry of this lifestyle.  It. Is. A. Journey.

Had any slacker moments?  What’s your journey looking like?