May 18, 2006 posted by

Getting Slow

This morning I’m sore, tired, and starting to ‘get slow’. Getting slow is a term a friend and I used to use to denote the early stage of a training process when your body is in breakdown, particularly your fast-twitch fibers, and you are litterally slower than you were before. It’s hard to get out of bed, hard to walk around, and even harder to do anything quickly.

I often get mail from people complaining about their exercise program making them hungry, weak, tired, or leading to unwanted weight gain in the early stages. They are upset because the program promised to do just the opposite. But that’s how exercise works. Your body breaks down in order to re-build. It’s a process, part of which is a negative effect that leads to a positive. So before you get fast, you get slow. Before you get strong, you get weak. And so on.

So I’ve been very busy this year. Exercising, but with no plans or focus–just trying not to atrophy. This week I, completely serendipitously, rode my bike hard the last three days. Last night I woke up a bunch during the night and this morning I’m sore, and slow. I’m about to go back on the road. It’s a working trip but my bikes are coming, so I’ll try and stay on it and work through this point. Because it gets better, and rather quickly too. But if you don’t stay with a program you could wind up in a perpetual state of breakdown, never realizing any more. This is why exercise programs are called ‘programs;’ you’ve got to see them to their end if you want to find out what they will do for you.


  • Hi Steve,My concern is my 15 year old daughter. I should start by saying that the hospital took her from me when she was born and placed my 10 lb. baby in ICU because she had a fever, and gave her antibiotics intravenously for 3 days. At 2 months, (even though I was breast feeding her) she had a yeast diaper rash that was so bad her sores were bleeding. The pediatrician offered me an oral antibiotic and I decided to not take her to the doctor again unless she was dying. I used an otc fungal cream to clear up the rash. I dont know what your views on Candida but I believe she struggles with it to this day. Since turning 15 she has gradually increased in weight to 160 lbs. She is also 5’8″ as well but she is so discouraged with the trend she is in. She finds it impossible to curb her sugar cravings (im not her supplier). We are doing turbo jam together but after 2 months I have lost 15 lbs. and she has gained 5. She claims to have regular joint pain making most aerobic forms of activity unpleasant for her. She is trending toward low energy as she gets older, which concerns me since I have hypothyroidism. We’ve dieted, gone low carb, worked out and she feels that she is now run down and constantly fighting cold and flu like symptoms. (she has struggled with chronic bronchitis since infancy) We do take multi and joint supplements everyday. She is so discouraged with her lack of progress and I am running out of ideas. She is such a beautiful young girl, and I hate to see her self image sliding steadily downward, and feeling hopeless. Do you have any suggestions about what area of her health would be most effective to act on?Christina

  • Christina,Sorry to hear about your daughter. Certainly, at 16 she need not lose hope. I would actually recommend seeing a doctor. I would tell them the issue and make them do some testing. However, she needs to have the motivation to change her diet, which sounds bad. Sugar cravings are probably just as much mental as physical. Plus, they begin a vicious circle because eating sugar creates more cravings. So all she can do is stop and deal until this goes away–which isn’t long, btw. A good way to get into shape is to find a sport. It neededn’t be a team sport, which can cause problems if she’s not good. But if she likes being outside, teach her to ski, ride a bike, climb, skateboard, waterski, surf… anything. Creating a passion for movement and all other problems tend to fix themselves. The worst thing that can happen is that she not do anything proactive about it, because then it will continue to get worse and worse.Good luck,Steve

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