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Listening To My Body and the Weather!

Cold Michigan Running!
Cold Michigan Running!

Vacation From My Shed Gym

Back in 2022 I bought 3 pieces of exercise equipment and started my shed gym. I use the BowFlex SelectTech 552 dumbbells, the Trx suspension trainer, the Trx Bandit, and the 80-pound dumbbells filled with concrete from Rockweights. For cardio I ride my Peloton inside my basement and run outside. For over a year I ditched the commercial gym and exercised consistently every week in my shed.

I loved the fact that I didn't have to wait for a piece of equipment. No guy sitting on bench playing on his phone for 5 minutes in between sets. My shed is also never closed and I can walk in and start working out immediately.

My shed gym might make working out more efficient and convenient but there can be some drawbacks. Those drawbacks are temporary but it's currently making my training bumpy. Since signing up for the Ironman 70.3 in Michigan in September 2024 I don't have time to put my training on hold. I want to layout a couple of the difficulties I'm experiencing as well as my solutions.

Setback: The WEATHER

Big Snow Storm in MIchigan
Big Snow Storm in Michigan

Like I said I've been working out in my shed for over a year now and that includes a winter. In Michigan that means 3 months of cold weather. Most days will be in the 30's with some occasional 20 degree days. Why do I mention temperatures? My shed gym is not heated or insulated. If it's 85 degrees in July I'm sweating before I lift a weight and if it's 20 degrees I'm layered up from head to toe to keep warm. Then there is running. Obviously cold weather running can be done but it's not always fun! The last 10 days has been the on the extreme end of that cold spectrum. Half the country has been under an artic blast and Michigan has been right in the middle of it. The 8-12 inches of snow that fell in 2 days wasn't fun but that wasn't even the worst of it. The part that stopped me dead in my tracks has the been the temperature. When it's -3 degrees out not factoring in 45 mile an hour wind gusts it makes out door activities painful. I have a Portable Buddy Propane Heater I have turned on before but it's not going to heat up a space that size in that cold. Then there is the running portion of my Ironman training I've been building. This last weekend I was supposed to run 9.8 miles for my long run on Sunday. I'd be willing to give it a go but the trails and sidewalks do not get plowed around here. With that amount of snow I'd have to slow my run/jog down to a march in those conditions!

Setback: I'm Beat Up!

Incline Rows in My Shed Gym
Incline Rows in My Shed Gym

The endurance portion of my training for my Ironman 70.3 has been going well. I'm adding time on to my runs and Peloton rides and it seems to be getting easier. The weight lifting portion of my training I've been struggling. My shoulders are hamburger right now. It's effecting all of my upper-body lifts. My bench press movements, shoulder presses, and rows all seem to agitate that pain. I've been working out 5 days a week with a rep range of 8-12. It's worked well in the past but maybe I should have pulled back when I decided to take on Ironman training. I don't know if I'm overtraining but I definitely feel like I'm breaking down my body instead of making it stronger. My strength training program has to change to accommodate the added triathlon training workload.

Solution: Planet Fitness

Purple Machines-You Know Where I'm At!
Purple Machines-You Know Where I'm At!

So Hell has frozen over and my upper body is medium rare. Both of these are setbacks but I feel like they are temporary. A temporary problem needs a temporary solution. The answer is going down the road to Planet Fitness and getting a membership. For 10 bucks a month this is an affordable fix and I can cancel and go back to exercising in my shed gym. Here are the two biggest reasons I signed up.

  1. They got treadmills!- It's cold as shit outside with a foot of snow on the trails right now. I don't want to run outside. Treadmills costs thousands of dollars so that seems like overkill for a couple months of use. For 10 bucks a month though it's a great deal to rent one and get my runs in. Let me tell you something running for 2 hours on a treadmill is tough and it tests your mental strength as much as your legs but no frostbite!

  2. I need some variety in my training!- We all know free weights are the best way to work your muscles for numerous reasons. With my fatigue/injuries I need some variety in my training. A week in and I've been really using cables and machines for a different workout than I'm used to. I'm still hitting every bodypart but it's at different angles and I'm doing much higher reps (15-20). I'm hoping that will challenge my muscles but less stress.

Back to Counting Macros

Myfitnesspal Macros
Myfitnesspal Macros

I haven't been counting Macros in a few months and I think that is why my weight loss is stagnate. I'm falling back into old habits. I'm not eating pizza, burgers or ice cream. What I am doing is probably eating a little too much of the healthy food sources. I'm over confident with my ability to eyeball portions I'm putting on my plate. Before I was using Macrostax and got some pretty good results while using the app. The only drawback on using Macrostax is that its a little pricey. When I first wrote my review of it Macrostax it costed $19.99 a month. Well when I looked at this week they upped it to 29.99 a month. That is just not worth it for an app that I could replace if I wanted to spend the time counting macros on paper and pencil. So with Macrostax out I decided to take advantage of the MyfitnessPal premium free month offer. It's 19.99 a month or $79.99 per year. I'm still playing around with app because there is a lot of functions there. I like the simplicity of Macrostax but MyfitnessPal seems like a better value so far. I got 4 weeks to make that decision.

More Storms Coming!

More Michigan Storms
I'll be on the treadmill!

As I finished typing this post out I just got done running outside on my long run (10.6 miles) at a park that keeps its paths plowed. It was roughly a mile course that looped around the park. So 10 1/2 times I ran around that thing. Fun Fact: they were doing a 5k there that morning so I was running with them but in the opposite direction. I think I heard the "wrong way" joke 20 times that morning!

I ride my Peloton at home and did my shorter runs and weight lifting sessions at the local Planet Fitness. That worked well this week and it's a good thing. Just as we get cleaned up from the last storm we are under a weather advisory until tomorrow. Snow, freezing rain, and a "wintry mix" are on the menu. This is January in Michigan and that's never going to change. I now have a plan in place no matter what the weather throws at me!

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