Thursday, July 31, 2008

Well I thought I had Weak Legs

So I'm still pondering why my leg strength seemed to abandon me on Mt. Shasta.

I'm wondering if it has to do with a combination of altitude not delivering enough oxygen to my muscles, and perhaps the smaller stabilizer muscles needing more strength work.

If it's the previous that's a bummer as I have no intention of moving to a higher elevation.

I've noticed that I still have balance trouble with lunges - they do a lot of them in the Body Pump class and I hate them but realize that I absolutely need to do them. (This site says that they are the king of leg strength builders.)

I found another site here that says that doing a "wall squat" (sitting in a chair position against a wall sans chair) is a good leg strength evaluator. So I decided to try it. It says that 45 seconds for men is excellent (39 for women - don't know why it's less for women as women's legs are strong). I did 1:00 and this is with my feet sliding on the floor some, so I repeated it with a non-slip surface under my feel. Then I did 1:15. This is so not fair - why does all this strength go away above 8000'? Maybe I should just climb with oxygen (absurd at such low elevations).

I'm going on a mountain bike ride Saturday with Wombats (a pretty easy ride, but there is a climb), so I'll see how I do climbing on dirt at low elevations. Got to also figure out how to do assisted lunges in case I lose my balance. Right now I can do them, but don't sink very low.

1 comment:

Elf said...

Well, I thought, how hard can this be? Even though I know that my thighs aren't as strong as they need to be.

I managed 20 seconds before everything just exploded. Now the muscles have SO much unhappy stuff to say to me. So, OK, for 52 years, is that really equivalent to 30 seconds for a 35-year-old? Somehow that reduction seems so unfair. I want to be fitter than a 10% reduction in capability for every decade.

The thighs were one of the 2 things that really got to me on the last 1000-foot climb out of Havasu Canyon, so I know that they need work. So does the physical therapist. :-)

Thanks for the pointer.