3hree Things: On My Fitness Schizophrenia

Watch out for 3hree Things every Tuesday, where Riley Breckenridge, drummer of Orange County's favorite local alt-rock band Thrice, gives his take on life in Southern California as an OC native.

fitschizo.jpg
courtesy of warriorinscrubs, sixpackstomachreview and photoshop
Earlier this week I discovered that my upper butt chub seems to have started migrating further and further up my back (again) and it also appears to be ever so slowly sneaking around my hips to take residence just above my belt. These are both troubling signs, so my fitness has been weighing on my mind as of late. See what I did there?

I'll grudgingly admit that I'm a bit of a fitness schizophrenic. During a particularly active phase, I'll be up at the crack of dawn to get a workout in, counting calories, eating sensibly, and weighing myself daily. During an phase of apathy, inactivity and carelessness, I'll sleep in everyday, make every meal a "cheat meal" coupled with a few-to-several high-calorie craft brewed bottles of loudmouth soup, and lazily limit my exercise to reading and typing. It's a pathetic fitness dichotomy that I'm none too proud of, but it is, as they say, "what it is."

In an effort clear my mind, find some commiseration and get myself on the right track, I figured I'd try to dissect this issue. Hopefully I won't bore you all to death in the process.

p90x.jpg
1) This Time Around

I haven't been on tour since last fall. (Yikes.) During that nine-month respite from the road, that fitness schizophrenia has looked something like this:

September-November: Took Adult Fitness classes (speed, agility and weight training) at a local sports performance center. Wonderful stuff. It was the closest I've ever come to feeling like I was in as good of shape as I was when I was playing baseball in college. 

Also: Very expensive and something that requires a 5 a.m. wake-up call three-to-five days a week.

December-February: Devolved into a BBQ-eating, craft-beer-drinking pile of ass meat. Wonderful in its own right. 

Also: Very unhealthy. At times it looked like I was smuggling a trash bag full of mashed potatoes under my shirt.

February-April: Surprised myself by completing P90X Lean in my garage while developing an irrational hatred of Tony Horton. Wonderful results. I lost weight, lost inches (in my waist), and felt pretty damn good.

Also: Made me so sore that I walked around like my joints had been fused. And I incorporated a post-workout routine that included writhing on the floor of my garage in pain and cursing Tony Horton.

April-present: Resume devolution into a BBQ-eating, craft-beer-drinking pile of ass meat. Still wonderful, but still not so good for my health.

Also: Decadent. Double-also: I'm embarrassed to take my shirt off when I'm at home. Alone.

As you can probably infer from the above information, my mushy midsection and I are overdue for an upswing. However, at this point in time, I'm a little screwed as far as options are concerned.

birkonianblogbrews.jpg
courtesy of Birkonian blog

2) The Problem 

I can't really afford the monthly dues at the sports performance center anymore. (See: a nine-month respite from the road = a nine-month respite from income.)

I'm trying to avoid 24-Hour Fitness like the plague because I can't stand "gym guy" and I hate scheduling my workouts around dudes who feel the need to do a pose-down between every set and don't let people "work-in" while they're trying to set their personal bench press record.

And I can't see myself doing P90X again for fear that another three-month exposure to Tony Horton's coaching and awful jokes will land me in Fairview Mental Hospital. 

waahmbulance.jpg
courtesy of the Internet
​3) About Those Other Options

I tried cycling for a while. Although, "cycling" makes it sound serious, like I was saddled up on fancy racing bike, decked out in tights and an aerodynamic helmet, barreling up and down the streets of Orange County like Lance Armstrong, when in all honesty, what I was doing was more like "riding bikes" (like we did when we were kids) alone, wobbling through residential areas like a bear on a unicycle. My road bike is an undersized rusty mess of metal pipes and chains that would probably fall apart if it were to go any faster than twenty miles-per-hour (which would also cause me to eat pavement and break my everything.) And I'm not a huge fan of grinding my taint into a pulp either, so, uh... NEXT.

For a couple of weeks, I tried pulling home workouts from the pages of Men's Health magazine, but without a gym membership I'm lacking some essential equipment. Namely, a squat rack, barbells, a slew of plates. The workouts I can manage to do with the PowerBlock dumbbells I bought aren't really giving me the cardio work I think I might need to be ready to play drums for an hour-plus every night on tour this fall. Dare I say that I miss the elliptical machine, the Stairmaster, the treadmill, the VersaClimber, the sled pulls, and the wind sprints. Did really I just type that? NEXT.

Hmm. How about running?

As a 36-year-old with a surgically repaired right knee, shoddy ankles and a history of back problems, I'm not really supposed to "run." It turns out that having joints that feel like they're filled with gravel and a spine that constantly feels like a gorilla is standing on it doesn't really lend itself to much high-impact activity. When my orthopedist told me "Yeah, I don't think running is something you should really do...at all," I smiled. Although, I did get a bit scared thinking that when the rapture comes and zombies try to kill us all, it might be nice to be able to run away rather than being disemboweled. I'd always hated running as a form of exercise anyway, but drastic times call for drastic measures. 

So I ran a few times last week and hated it. Not only because I could feel what little cartilage I have left grinding itself into nothing and woke up every morning feeling I was going to shit out my entire spinal column, but because I couldn't get past the feeling that I was being punished. Growing up playing baseball, running was always something that happened because I did something wrong. Show up late to practice, run. Miss a sign, run. Boot a grounder, run. So the whole time I'm running, I keep expecting to hear a coach screaming at me or feel like I have to run until I puke (because that's how we did it back then.) Add to that, my current state of laziness that makes me stare longingly at every motor vehicle that passes by as I wish I were in that vehicle rather than turning purple, disobeying doctor's orders and hating myself. That, or quietly cursing every more-conditioned, better-practiced runner that ends up (inevitably) passing me on the track or street. 

One thousand words later, and I'm right back where I started.

There is a solution to all of this however.

And it's probably for me to stop being such a wuss, find a gym, get out of the WAAAHmbulance, and commit to getting in better shape.




Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
24 comments
Geoff Sallee
Geoff Sallee

Check out Crossfit 714 in Orange. It's an awesome strength and conditioning facility that offers a ton of class times (so no 5AM wake-up calls) and is probably cheaper than the sports performance facility you were using before. We use barbells, sleds, sledgehammers, kettlebells, gymnastics rings, and bodyweight exercises to get people in the best shape of their lives.

Josh Wright
Josh Wright

Eh.... You're 36. You've earned the right to brewhaha and enjoy life! 

Bret Hudzietz
Bret Hudzietz

This is the number one reason why I miss touring. After I got home I felt like I was always in the best shape of my life. Fast forward 3 or 4 months and the beer gut is back and it's embarrassing to go to the beach.

Lee Martin
Lee Martin

you could do the p90x and just click silence with clues, i believe thats what it says, its the last option on the menu and you don't have to hear him talk. It's actually quite nice.

Jason
Jason

I have a neighbor who's some sort of fitness nut and apparently wants to trade me some personal training for guitar lessons. He's supposed to be legit according to a mutual (trusted) friend. Maybe you can work out something similar (see what I did there?).

David Oquist
David Oquist

Try resistance bands.  They work your muscles in a different way than regular weights that's supposedly better for you, and they don't cost you an arm and leg and you can take them anywhere without lugging around heavy equipment.

DiyDanae
DiyDanae

how about swimming? no need to feel/smell sweat, you feel weightless, even just trying to stay afloat works out all sorts of muscles... am i painting a picture here? go for it! also, THE most relaxing workout ever! you feel weightless and you'll never wanna get outta the water. can you swim?? :)

Sandra
Sandra

I tried doing P90X once. I lasted 15 minutes and told ol'Tony to go fuck himself about 5746576572 times

Matt
Matt

So Im pretty young (only 20) but the one cardio thing that I do that helps is biking. Yeah I know you said you hate it but what I do is make planned routes. I used to go on like 5 mile treks and worked up. Today, I road the Santa Ana River trail from Huntington Beach all the way to Angels Stadium. About a 30 mile ride round trip. And go on the actual streets, bike lane it. The cars make you want to go faster (yeah kinda lame but thats my motivation). I use a reallllyyyyy old mountain bike but it gets the job done. Yeah I know biking isn't for everyone but it doesnt hurt the knees, back or ankles. Just the butt....Oh it hurts the ass....

Riley Breckenridge
Riley Breckenridge

Just wanted to drop in a let you guys know how much I appreciate all of the advice that has been shared in the comments. I think I'm headed in the right direction. I'm bound to drop a few once we start touring again, but the advice shared here will definitely help me set up a regimen that I can start here at home and continue on the road in the fall.

Thanks again. 

Scott Schneider
Scott Schneider

Excellent advice from Barry Martin to read Born to Run!  As a 40+ year old guy who let himself go after ACL surgery at age 35.. I feel your running pain.  I used Couch 2 5K to get me out running again without the knee pain.  Reading Born to Run got me into distance running.  Finished my first marathon back in October and currently training for #2.  Listen to some podcast or audiobooks to help refocus your mind (great music like Thrice helps too).  Give running another shot - you might love going on runs in new cities while on tour.

Russell Obergfell
Russell Obergfell

My verson of the 3hree things ... Bronkaid (ECA stack) ..... Clenbuterol ..... Yohibime ....

patatack
patatack

Pacific Club gym in irvine is EMPTY and the only people that work out their are seniors. Doing a full remodel now and it's gonna be a heck of a gym to work out all alone in.Also check out YAS in costa Mesa. Spin for 45min then do "yoga for atheletes" for an hour. No chanting or spiritual crap, just an amazing workout with absolutely zero "gym dudes"

Coreylshepherd
Coreylshepherd

Thank you for this one good sir. I've recently pulled my fat sack that I call my body off the couch and out of bed and gotten back to the gym. Im currently in week three. All I want you to think about now is "do your best and forget the rest!" .... Seriously, shoot me if I ever have to handle that again. I did p90x about a year ago and I feel your pain all too well. After the first week of getting down the routines, I put that man on mute from fear of going ape shit on my laptop. Much as you should know, I don't care what kind of soup you're stirring to cool down. I just want to stop looking like I have the arms of a 12 year old girl but the waist of a pregnant man. Here's to getting back in shape, by whichever means are necessary. Best of luck sir, and we'll see you Oct 1st in Tempe AZ!

Medusa
Medusa

We have the same fitness regimine.  Long drum sessions are a pretty great workout.  You knew that right?

Kfleming1126
Kfleming1126

Definitely share your workout/laziness cycles. I'm in the midst of a two year lazy cycle. But you would figure drumming for an hour or two a day and sleeping with a comforter and no air conditioner would help...nope.

swamprich
swamprich

after two acl surgeries, i had to find other ways to work out that don't involve running or other high impact exercises.  i've come to discover that listening to funny podcasts (doug loves movies is my personal favorite) on an elliptical keeps me on it longer (about an hour) and keeps me entertained enough so i ignore the "gym guys".  you just have to deal with being that weird guy laughing to himself. 

Kellie Morton
Kellie Morton

My life...seriously. I can spend a couple of months working out everyday and eating right and then the next month the most activity I have is eating a whole pizza by myself. I always used to be able to eat whatever I wanted when I played 3 sports, I can't get out of that habit now that I don't. 

Eric Lightbody
Eric Lightbody

It's really an amazing book. It migh thelp to spark that running interest. Although I do feel right now like you do. Coming off of a marathon 4 months ago and now eating and drinking like there is no tomorrow.

Now Trending

Anaheim Concert Tickets

Around The Web

From the Vault

 

Events

Loading...