Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

Oh, you mean *those* muscles...

For months now, I've been using the elliptical semi-regularly, and I've gotten almost casual about it. It raises a good sweat, but it doesn't affect my breathing or anything much. Which would make one think that my cardio condition is pretty good. But that's at odds with what I've observed in real-world cases, especially the few times I've tried swinging a sword or something.

So this week's experiment is to try really using the *arms* on the elliptical. I've tended to treat the thing as a low-impact treadmill, running with my legs but having my arms just along for the ride. Now, I'm trying to actually use my arms to move the thing. As it turns out, that kicks my butt remarkably fast. I can "run" on the thing for 4.5 miles easily, at a steady pace, but it only takes about 30 seconds of real arm pushing to tire me right out and get me breathing hard. And now, a couple of hours later, my upper arms are still remarkably tired.

Which is actually fine. I'd kind of hit a rut with the elliptical -- still making progress on the running side, but very slowly, and it was getting a little easy. By switching to arm-focused regularly, though, I kick it back up to being a *really* serious workout. For the moment, just 30-60 seconds of that is enough to wipe me out enough that I have to slow to a modest jog for several minutes, so it's clear that this is a fair way to keep pushing on the cardio front. And it's probably going to improve my wretched upper body strength, a necessity if I'm to be anything more than a tentpeg with sword-and-board...
Tags: exercise

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