In case you aren’t aware, I need to explain that one of the basic exercises available on the bowflex is resisted abdominal crunches. That is, you hook the bowflex resistance up to your shoulders while sitting on the inclined bench and do crunches against resistance. I have a bowflex and have recently begun working out semi-regularly within the last couple of weeks.
At first, I was just trying to feel out how much resistance to use for various muscle groups… my lats are stronger than I remember, my chest and biceps only a teeny bit stronger, and my triceps are noticably weaker than everything else is right now… but I’m basically just working on these, plus abs (and back exercises, for balance) and then I’m going to try to also ride my bike for cardio / lower body workout.
And at first, when I did my crunches, I did what I knew I had done in the past: about 100 straight crunches and 60 oblique left and 60 oblique right, with 50lbs total resistance (25lbs per shoulder). But while the end of those 220 crunches was a little tough, I didn’t feel anything the next day or two in my abs. So the next couple of times, I did 180 straight, 90 left, 90 right, with 50lbs and then 100lbs total resistance, for 360 crunches at each resistance, and at 360 crunches at 100lbs I had a tiny amount of soreness in my right obliques the next day, but nothing like what I used to get.
So last night I did 200 straight, 200 left oblique, 200 right oblique, 100lbs resistance. I had intended to do more straight, but wasn’t strong enough. Later, I hope to be. But 600 crunches with 100lbs resistance, and this morning I’m feeling it. It isn’t sore when I’m just sitting up straight, but when I was laying down and tried to sit up to turn off the alarm – yep, that was a workout.
(Note: I do the crunches in sets of 20 or 30, alternating between straight and oblique crunches with time for perhaps two deep breaths between sets. I certainly don’t do 200 of one type in a row. I’d probably just fail.)