Friday, July 24, 2009

Should I Do Crunches Everyday?

I was chatting with a fellow gym junkie (yes, I am calling myself a gym junkie despite the current state of affairs which I will tell you about in a sec') and we get to talking about abs. I share with him my current routine...

2 sets of 25 crunches
2 sets of 25 bicycle crunches
1 set of 10 hanging leg raises
2 planks - 1 @ 1 minute, 1 @ 30 seconds.

He then asks how often I do this and I proudly share that I do it every time I go to the gym. So he tells me I should not be doing ab work on consecutive days, "abs are muscles just like all other muscles and they need time to heal before working them again." I know I've heard this somewhere before but something just makes me feel like I should do them every time I go to the gym. I don't always go on consecutive days so it's not always an issue, but when I do, should I not do abs? This is important because I want to get the most out of my workout, but it's even more important because I don't exactly love working my abs. An excuse to pass on them now-and-again would be nice. Might even motivate me to hit the gym two days in a row! It would also occasionally save me time. Of course, it would also cut down on the overall ab work I do, but maybe that's okay? I tried this out last week, skipping abs if I had done them the day before. What do you think?

So this question would be even more interesting if I were actually going to the gym. Yep, it's been over a week since I've been. The last time I went was last Friday (not this past Friday but the one before that!), some, er, 9 days ago?! There are some small good moments tucked into this week, all thanks to my new mommy friends. On Thursday evening I went for a nice long walk (thanks Lauren!) and today I went on a nifty little 10 mile bike ride (thanks Michelle!). But, alas, no gym. I've slipped into a bit of a funk and I'll let you know more about why once I figure my way out of it. I just don't feel like going into the downer details just yet.

In any event the bike ride today was good for my spirit. You might remember the last time I got on my bike wasn't so inspiring. This time was great, I felt stronger, even though I was slow as molasses, and had a fun time. It helped that I had some good company. Not riding alone makes a difference. So we meant to ride 11 miles so (the other) Michelle could get a feel for the tri ride (she's doing the tri with me and it's her first one and I'm so excited for her!). But my bike computer wasn't tracking distance for some reason and despite my stopping to fiddle with it I couldn't get it to work. We had to guess on distance and ended up doing only 10 miles. It was great, the weather was lovely, it wasn't too windy and my legs held up just fine. It actually made me remember why I was getting so much into road cycling before pregnancy derailed me (ha! a pun) for a bit.

Speaking of road cycling, I still really like my bike. I felt so comfortable on it today, once I was warmed up I actually felt like I could go on a longer ride. That's a good feeling! And I think I have finally decided on my name for my bike. Tillie. 10 points if you can guess why I chose that name. So Tillie and I are looking forward to the Tri for Fun in two weeks. I need to figure out what I'm going to wear. The clothes I wore the last times I did it might be a wee bit tight on my bigger post-baby body. I'll have to figure something out.

Well, Marek is waking up. Mommy duty calls. I'll close with a picture or two...

At the free SF Symphony in Dolores Park. Man, it was a HOT day! Don't worry, I kept Marek in the shade once we snapped a couple pictures. I went to this event last year too.

Later that day the three of us having dinner at Pacific Catch. Such a funny face on Marek!


  1. Do you want do do abs every day? I've always heard that it's better to do them after you do your cardio, but if you want to you could do them every day. Personally, I'd do them after cardio.

    Love the new pics!

  2. OMG what a big boy he is becoming... and so beautiful! I can't wait till I have baby pics to share!!

  3. I'm not an ab expert but my abs shrink naturally with my weight loss. I hardly ever work them out and yet they shrink. One thing you can do on a daily basis is work on keeping your stomach sucked in. This will strengthen ur abs as well.
    Your baby is super gorgeous! I can't wait to have a baby with my fiance cause the baby will be dark skinned like alex who is hispanic. Yay babies!

  4. Maybe do different ab exercises to keep from getting bored with them? MPF's article about ab/core training links to some alternative, non-crunching exercises.

  5. The changes that motherhood brings are very difficult on a Mom. Even with the best intentions we let things go to take care of others. Our time is not our own anymore. Don't be so hard on yourself as you adjust to your new life, just don't quit. It may take longer than you expect but you WILL get where you want to be! Marek is such a lovely little boy and SO happy! You are doing a great job as his Mom!

  6. I do not do ab work on consecutive days. I'm with your gym buddy...muscles need a chance to rebuild and repair before destroying them again.

    Ha favorite fitness theory of all time!

  7. I personally feel that if you are not utter sore from your ab work, that it won't hurt you do do them everyday. But that's just me!

    In case I forget to tell you....good luck on your tri!

    Question for ya....I have a trek hybrid bike (actually a nav...which is the comfort bike). I'm thinking about getting a road bike...and since you say that you love yours.....I mean, since you love Tillie...what is Tillie????

  8. "body builders" usually rotate muscle groups so that they do not use them every day...if you are not increasing your work out or doing a lot of exercises, it might not make a big difference. People also do "hard,easy," meaning a tough work out one day followed by an easy one the next....pretty much the same idea.


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