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Adjusting my Exercise Plan

June 9, 2020


Another Monday morning arrives and I’m looking forward to the new exercise plan. As I mentioned in the last post it was decided that I increase the resistance to make the exercise harder but reduce the duration of the exercise to 5 minutes. The idea is to make my lungs work harder which will keep improving my breathing.

So, I increased the resistance on the brake pad to what I thought was achievable and set the clock and started pedalling for 5 minutes. It was a lot harder on my legs than I thought it was going to be and my lungs were working hard as well. This made me happy in a strange sort of way and I finished the 5 minutes completely out of breath and with pumped up legs. Because it was harder, I reduced my cadence to 85, it was noticeably slower but still hard work to push the pedals.

I did the same later on in the day with the same results, and was happy with the days efforts, feeling that I was getting better with the exercise I was doing.

Then I was going to bed and took my compression socks off and saw that my veins were worse again. The ones that were already there were blue again and there were some new ones to go with them and they were equally blue; this didn’t make me happy at all. This morning I looked at them again and they were back to being faint blue which is how they looked after a few days of rest. This made me wonder what to do.

But if you think about it there is really only one logical way forward and it goes back to the resistance or duration thing I mentioned last time. I think when you exercise you have two choices;

  • If you want to build muscle you increase the effort, or in this case the resistance, and reduce the duration of the exercise, this is what I did for the 5-minute exercise yesterday.
  • If you want to improve your breathing and tone your muscles you reduce the effort, or resistance and increase the duration of the exercise, this is what I did successfully last week.

I think my muscles are already big enough, so I just want to exercise them, but I do want to improve my breathing and improve my circulation, so the right option for me is the second one.

The mistake I made last week (it wasn’t the mistake of my exercise plan) was to increase the resistance by too much which in effect put me into the first option. This made the muscles in my legs work too hard which meant they needed more blood which increased the pressure in my veins which gave me more blue veins. I’m only guessing at this, but it does seem logical to me.

On reflection, I think the right thing to have done would have been to stay at the 10-minute duration I finished last week at and slightly increase the resistance and see what the results were. But I’ve lost that opportunity now because my legs are stinging because of the new veins that have appeared, for me this is very disappointing. So, today is going to be a rest day for the bike, and so long as my veins feel better, I’ll return to the bike tomorrow.

But I’m not going to do nothing today as I want to keep the exercise momentum going. My friend said that I also have to include some strength exercises which I haven’t done so far, and she knows that I have some dumbbells that are gathering dust. The dumbbells are adjustable with different weights, but at the moment they are 9.3kg each which is just over 20 pounds in weight. There are a few different exercises I can do with them but the only ones I can do today are the ones which don’t include using my legs in the exercise.

I don’t have a strength exercise plan yet and I’m not sure what all of the individual dumbbell exercises are called, so I’ll describe the exercises I’m doing with them today instead;

  • Curls, I think everyone knows how to do these.
  • You put one knee and one hand on a chair, you keep your shoulders level with the floor and with the other hand lift the dumbbell vertically up and then back down, so the weight nearly touches the floor, and repeat.
  • The same position as above but raise your elbow holding the dumbbell so it’s level with the floor and your forearm holding the weight is hanging down, and then push the dumbbell behind you so your arm holding the dumbell is level with the floor , hold it, and and then slowly let the dumbbell go back, and repeat.
  • Stand up holding the dumbbells by your side and push both your arms sideways away from your body, and slowly let your arms return to your sides, and then repeat.

I did 20 reps of these exercises and can feel the effect, my arms are a little pumped and I can feel my muscles which is good. The weights were too heavy for me to repeat the reps and get the maximum benefit from the exercises though, so I’ll reduce the weights for next time so that each dumbbell weighs 6.8kg or 15 pounds, I think this will let me do 3 sets of the reps.

I’ll ask my friend for an exercise plan for the dumbbells which will make the routine a lot more organised and beneficial, as to be honest I don’t really know what I’m doing with them at the moment and that’s not a very good plan at all.

I’m hoping this week is going to go well. It is a setback about the veins but on the plus side it has shown me that I have to increase time and effort in the exercise slowly, and I can learn from that and not make the same mistake again.



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