Started my first session with a personal trainer last night.
Yes, I am in great shape. And no, I am not in great shape.
Years of cycling have made an incredible difference in my overall condition. I have lost a lot of weight and, more importantly, I have maintained my weight. However, I have struggled with lower back pain for many, many years. Although I approached cycling with a high degree of intensity, I did nothing around the cycling work to build up my core strength. Nor did I do anything to stretch my muscles.
At this time, the major leg muscles — calves, thighs, quads, glutes — are rock solid. So are the forearms, biceps, triceps and shoulders. No surprise as these are the muscle groups that do most of the work when riding.
Midsection? Flabby. No surprise there either. I just haven’t performed any conditioning for the midsection.
Several weeks back, significant back pain emerged. Different class of back pain from previous years. Lower right side with a numbing pain traversing down my right side from the hip to around the knee. Really painful first thing in the morning. I am not able to sit for any length of time and it is really difficult to drive a car for much longer than an hour. Really difficult.
Although it is hard to say with certainty, I suspect this happened due to an aggressive cycling program and misalignment of my pedal cleats.
What my muscles are doing, in effect, twists my body out of shape. The muscles are so tight and the midsection so underdeveloped that I am experiencing pain when I do simple things like walking, sitting or raising my right leg off the floor.
Nino from Door2Door Fitness came over last night and took me through a series of routines to assess the current state. Bottom line: very tight, limited flexibility, and imbalanced development of muscle strength.
I have signed up for 16 sessions to start the process of core conditioning. That, along with a refit on the bike, should help to address the lower back pain issues. I hope. I may need to get things checked out to rule out any other contributing factor.
Nino said that I won’t need a lot of coaching: “You strike me as a highly self-motivated and very disciplined person.”
My wife thought that was an understatement.