I’ll Be In The Home Gym

I went ahead and disappeared for a few days 1) Because I’ve been watching far too many episodes of The Wire and The IT Crowd, and 2) I’ve been playing in my new home gym!

“Home gym” used lightly here as it is still very much a work in progress. I set it up in an empty room in my dad’s house and there’s still equipment to add and clutter to clear out.

I’m really, really excited about it because I’m not allowed to work out in a regular gym due to my weakened immune system from chemo. When the weather was nice and I was feeling more sick, I was okay with getting my exercise with long walks. But now that we’re down to the minus double digits and I’m getting small bursts of energy again, I’ve got the bug to get some real workouts in!

For cardio, I’ve got my dad’s recumbent bike and my new elliptical. So far I am completely in love with the elliptical. It’s a real treat to just saunter downstairs and get my cardio in while watching whatever I want on television. I call it my “investment piece” based on what I’ll save on a gym membership in the long run. Plus, the equipment may come in handy down the road if I ever want to do personal training outside of a gym environment.

For strength, I got a bench, barbell, and weight plates for free from my step-dad. I already owned the confused looking dog.

There’s also light dumbbells, mats, skip rope, exercise ball, and a foam roller that I had already acquired over the years. Eventually I’d like to get some heavier dumbbells and kettlebells. I’ve also got a road bike and indoor trainer for it, but I’m in no rush to set it up with my broken arm and all. I’m going to try the Couch to 5k running program when the ice melts.

I have to say, starting to seriously workout again after six months of chemotherapy is rough. Way more rough than when I first started getting into fitness after years of smoking and drinking too much beer.

Among the many awful things chemo does, it also breaks down muscle mass. I used to shoulder press with 25 lb dumbbells, and now I’m struggling with 5 lbs! It’s really quite remarkable. And not in a good way.

I also suffered from lung toxicity over the course of chemo and I don’t feel like my lungs are quite where they were when I was healthy. My cardiovascular fitness has gotten pretty bad too. But I can’t push it too hard in case there is still a tumour wrapped around the vein that pumps blood into my heart.

Of course, there’s the added issue of my left elbow looking like this the last time we checked:

I’ve gained a lot of strength and movement in that arm over the past several months, but it’s nowhere close to being where it was before the skating accident. I still can’t bear a lot of weight on it. A push up for example is impossible. Even doing repetitions with light weights can be painful.

With aaalllll of that said, I’m really quite excited. Fitness used to be my life, and participating in it again makes me feel like me. It gives me a sense of normalcy that I so desperately crave. Plus, the endorphins do wonders for my mood. I’ll keep you updated as time goes on in the quest to get my fitness back. Maybe I’ll even update that ole’ workout page with some new workouts again!

Posted on January 18, 2012, in Cancer. Bookmark the permalink. 33 Comments.

  1. baaaaaahahahaha I already owned the confused dog


    • Buster always sits by looking confused when I’m doing something that doesn’t allow him to sit on my lap. He then attacks my face with kisses when I lay on the floor for ab work. <3 that little bugger.

  2. Participating in it again makes me feel like me…..yep – that’s how I would feel! 90% of why I work out is for the mental health benefits!

    • Me too! Plus, I like the idea of actively doing something for my health. For the past six months, looking after my health has consisted of lying in bed, taking pills, and sticking needles in my tummy. Not quite as fun.

  3. You rock, girl!!! (or whatever the most current expression for encouragement and praise that you young folks are using at the moment!)

  4. Good luck with getting back into fitness! It’s so awesome that you’re jumping back in with enthusiasm, even though things are difficult after what you’ve been through. It’s very inspiring.

    P.S. The IT Crowd is the best!

  5. This post is so full of waffles! Three cheers for you – and the confused-looking dog of Zen.

  6. Congrats! Investing on a home gym was one of the best things my husband and I ever did. I’m in better shape now than when I used to spend 2 hours a day in the gym!

  7. YAY :) I love home gyms :) I am so happy you are starting to feel better :)

  8. Yay! Love the set up and stuff you’ve added. That’s great. The endorphins would be one of the biggest things I’d miss too. Glad you can slowly get back to it!!

  9. IT Crowd will seriously never get old to me…..ever. Especially since my husband is an IT Specialist and man, does he ever have user stories.

    We just got The Wire and I hope it’s as good as it sounds…..

    oh and I want an elliptical!

  10. Hope you enjoy The Wire as much as me and my boyfriend have… soooooooooooo good. Enjoy the workouts :)

  11. I love that you are loving the IT Crowd!!! :) It’s hilarious!!! My favorite is the one where they go to the musical or maybe the episode where Moss lies and says Jen is dead. IDK, I love them all! For the record my husband has considered making a “have you tried turning it off and back on” recording for his office!

    So glad you are back to working out! I am really not supposed to work-out but I’ve been sneaking in some pilates, yoga, and walking!

    • I watched that episode last night!! The moment where Jen turns around and sees Moss as the bartender – I was literally gasping for air I was laughing so hard. I’ve worked with a lot of IT people in my various jobs and some of the stuff is dead on, haha.

  12. What a SWEET home gym! I work out at home now, and I love it. Ever try videos? I recommend Bar Method videos to everyone — they are non-impact and make a difference really quickly. Add some walking or other cardio and you’re set! =P

    • Ooooh, I will definitely look for a Bar video! These days I need exercises of lesser intensity, but still challenging enough to keep my interested.

  13. Weighting For 50

    Looks like Buster is ready to be your “spotter” when you do bench presses! BIG BIG yay for the home gym, and that your energy level is slowing coming back up!!!!

  14. I want more than anything a home gym but I live in an apartment. Which means that I not only lack the space, but more importantly, I don’t want to be that person who is loudly banging above my downstairs neighbor (even if I don’t like them)! Anyone find ways around this? I have a treadmill but I think it’s gonna go again because I feel too bad about the noise when I use it. I have had a month off from the gym and going back is dreadful.

    • Yeah, I’m hoping to move out on my own after I go back to work and now with the dog AND the home gym, it will be hard. I know you can get some heavy duty anti-vibration mats, but they are expensive and I’m not sure how much of a difference they make.

  15. That’s gonna be a great home gym! You have the best little cheerleader too! :D

  16. You are such an inspiration! I am working out and trying to strengthen my core before my hysterectomy next month. So far I’ve lost 32 pounds (but I have A LOT more to go!). I’m so glad you’ve let us in on your journey. :)

    Cath @ Home is Where my Heart is

  17. “I already owned the confused looking dog.” <– Bahaha, awesome.

    I'm loving the home gym. Hooray for getting your energy back!

  18. I’m so jealous of your home gym! I’m also impressed by your resolve. I’m sorry you have such a long way to go, but I’m confident you can work your way back up to your pre-cancer health and fitness. Especially with such a cute personal trainer :)

  19. OMG THE WIRE. My obsession knows no bounds. I can talk about it for hours.

    Also, got your e-mail–thanks in advance and I’ll keep an eye out! I’m super excited. :)

  20. That seems like a pretty awesome home gym!! :)

  21. I wish I could come train with you in your gym! Mainly so I could steal Buster.. but also I happen to know you’re a pretty great drill sergeant :) Glad you have a home gym so you can get your pump on xoxo

  22. love the at home gym! and so glad that you are getting back into it!
    and love the little confused dog – so cute :)

  23. what a JOY to see! I love how this makes you feel like YOU. It’s a new you, a stronger one that is ready to get movin’! Nice set up, for real. I’m quite jealous… in the most loving way of course.

  24. This is awesome! I’m so happy that you found such a great solution to the gym issue- and I’m more than a little jealous of all your space and equipment. :)

  25. I’m glad you’re feeling well enough to get back to exercising! You’ve got a really nice set up at home, which is a huge plus! I understand that it can be tough when you aren’t able to do something you love.

    I’ve done a few weeks of the “couch to 5K” then I just kinda stop… I’ve been using the elliptical and bike inside lately and doing yoga but I’m wanting to change up my cardio.

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