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No Expectations: Is it Cold Here, or is it Just Me?

Yet another reason I hate this time of year.

Winter is upon us.  Well, technically it's still Fall, I guess.  But for me, anything under 60 degrees is Winter.  I hate the cold.

So late last week was my first workout in, well, less than ideal conditions.  Let me explain.  My trainer holds our workouts in the Crossfit area at Hercules Fitness, which is a converted parking garage in the back.  Or, more accurately, a garage in the PROCESS of being converted.  Meaning it isn't yet fully enclosed.  Meaning it's partially open.  Meaning as the calendar turns to November and December, it gets bloody cold out there.

I'll just say this -- when people say to warm up before exercising, make sure you are WARMED up.  I usually get to the gym about 10 minutes early and do a little time on the treadmill before starting my workouts.  It became clear to me last week that I literally need to step it up a bit.

The regimen didn't seem that much more difficult than usual, but after my first rep, I was done.  I had to jump and lift a barbell over my head, which wasn't happening.  Even after my trainer took the weights off, I could barely do them.  Then I had to hang from a bar and lift my knees to my elbows.  Then I had 30 jump ropes.

Bottom line, the cold just felt like extra weight on me.  It was harder to lift, harder to jump, harder to breathe.  I know hot air expands and cold air condenses, but does it actually weigh more?

All I know is, before my next workout, I'm running a marathon.

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Gerry November 08, 2011 at 04:28 PM
It's important to warm up before any type of physical activity. I ended up with tendonitis in my right elbow because I didn't properly warm up before doing an upper body workout, one cold morning in my garage. I could hardly grab anything with my right hand, the next day. The pain was terrible. It was really bad since I'm right handed. It's taken ~3 years to completely rehab it to a point that my right elbow is mostly pain free now and much stronger (thanks hammer curls). Even now, I use a tennis elbow brace during workouts. Like I said, warm up before any physical/repetitive activity. I just purchased a new piano a couple of weeks and have been playing it every morning when I get up because I love it so much. You guessed it, now I'm starting to get tendonitis again, but now on my left elbow. Time to start warming up with scales. Oh well, live and learn, yet again. As for the feeling of being weaker in cold weather, cold environment = decreased heart rate = less oxygen to your muscles. Step up your warm up routine on cold days and you'll be good to go. For my warm up, I usually jump rope until I get my heart rate elevated and start to sweat (a cup of coffee pre-workout helps, YMMV). Also make sure you properly stretch those muscles before and after a workout.
Selina Williams November 10, 2011 at 11:20 PM
That's why we need a gym with steam room and sauna.

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