Thursday, August 14, 2008

Upper body vs. lower body lifting and soreness

I'm somewhat baffled by one phenomenon of lifting. I've been running for 23+ years. Because of that, my lower body is way stronger than my upper body. My pathetic bench press numbers yesterday, which I won't even admit to (I did make 3 digits in weight, but not by a lot), are proof to me that my upper body just isn't that strong.

If I do an upper body lifting day, I will be tired the next day. But, I'm rarely sore. But, when I do a lower body day, my glutes and hamstrings always hurt like h*ll the next day. Perhaps my lower body is unbalanced from years of running, and I am strong enough to complete some lifts that really stress some muscles I don't use much for running. If that happened, perhaps those non-running muscles end up really beat up from lower body days.

But, why don't upper body days make me sore? On every lift yesterday, I was at the max of what I could handle. I tried more weight on every lift than I eventually did, and I was close to failure on almost every set. My goal is to end each set so that I couldn't do one more rep. I was pretty much there yesterday. Yet, I'm tired rather than sore. Oh well. It's probably only interesting to me.

I ran an easy 6 last night. Tonight I'll do six more, with 1.5 easy, 3.0 at anticipated marathon pace (7:55 for tonight), and the a 1.5 mile cooldown. My son has a soccer scrimmage close to where I'm working today (I'm at my "other" job today, an hour from home), so I'll run from there and then watch part of the scrimmage.

My son is a bit disappointed right now. After working hard all spring and summer, he's been revisited by some chondromalacia patella problems he had last soccer season and occasionally during track season. Tonight, we're going to get him some new higher-quality soccer cleats and probably some supportive insoles for them. If that doesn't help, we might send him to the podiatrist who made my orthotics for an evaluation of his foot mechanics. He had to skip half of soccer practice yesterday and simply ice his aching knees. After Monday, he was feeling pretty upbeat, after seeing that he was in better shape than most of the guys on the team. Now, he's hurting and disappointed.


David Ray said...

Tough about your son. He's too young to be plagued with knee troubles. Hope you can sort that out soon.

Jamie said...

Best wishes for your son. That's gotta be frustrating for him. Hope something works out.

Damon said...

Thanks for the wishes for my son. We went to a soccer specialty store last night and talked with them about the problems he's been having. I bet this store carried over 100 different soccer cleats, ranging in price from about $25 to over $300.

The appraisal of his current shoe is that it's a piece of junk and they thought he needed a more stable and supportive shoe, with a somewhat tigher fit. They thought that a tighter fit will give him better control when changing directions and hopefully, the precision will cut down on the irritation in the patellar tendons. We'll see how it goes with the new shoes.

The shoe he got also has a "turf version", which is a shoe with nominal cleats that has a much more stable base. They suggested he try the new shoes, and if things don't get better, that he consider the turf shoe for practice and then use the cleats just for games.

Dr. Andy said...


interesting. I get much more soreness from upper body than lower body lifting. I've always felt this is because my legs are more used to abuse than my upper body.

I do all my lifting at the same time but I think I push myself equally hard lower vs. upper body.

Dr. X