Thursday, 8 November 2012

At Home Upper Body Routine

So I got lots of questions, comments, messages, and emails last week about my focus on upper body training vs other more conviential running focused strength training techniques.

I wanted to explain that this part of the Strong is Sexy plan is tailored specifically to my body post-op. Crossfit offers a well rounded strength training routine that I will be doing 2x/week, and then I will be doing 1 upper body focused workout/week at home.

Because I did not get breast implants for kicks I was not adding implants to already existing breast tissue. In fact I added impants because I had no breast tissue left. So the implant needed to go underneath the muscle because the skin is obviously not thick/strong enough to support it's weight.

Everything was done with the help of Alloderm tissue. The surgeon used a type of donated tissue (known as Alloderm) to expand the chest wall and create the necessary pocket to accomodate the implant. That pocket is also where my pacemaker was placed.

In other words there is a whole lot of foreign material kicking it under my chest muscle.

The muscle eventually heals and integrates itself with the alloderm - absorbing it as part of the body. And a scar tissue forms around the implant (and in my case pacemaker as well) to keep them in place. Eventually being the operative word here.

I have struggled with my upper body strength since the surgery, and have had a lot of problems with swelling and brusing, particularly on the left side because of my robot heart. The scar tissue has not yet fully formed. And I often find that my pacemaker shifts, especially during high impact activity like running, leaving my chest bruised and sore. It is hard to explain but imagine having a metal box bounce around inside your body, brusing you from the inside out. And while my muscle continues to heal, I basically have one large incision runing across the middle of my chest.

So yeah... that is what is going on with me right now. With my docs saying that to make a full recovery I should expect a full year (aka March 2013 - still 5 whole months away).

The whole strength training push really has stemmed from all of this. I hope that by shifting my focus to strength and rebuilding, I will actually be able to help aid in my recovery. I want to start 2013 feeling strong and healthy. Not to mention hopefully leaving all of this medical drama behind me.

This routine is a great upper body workout, that targets the chest, arms, abs, and back. So you are more than welcome to make it part of your weekly routine too!

What you need:
  • Set of 10 lbs weights
  • Set of 5 lbs weights
  • weighted medicine ball (mine is 7kg)
  • Stability Ball (I do exercise 1,2, and 4 balancing on the ball)

Hope you all enjoy!
Remember Strong is Sexy and Healthy is Fabulous!
Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,


  1. Thank you!! This sounds like the perfect upper body routine for me once I get the go ahead from my docs. I am SO ready to get back to my exercise routine! I am still only 17 days post bilat. mast. and TEs placed, so I probably have a little while before I can start running and pumping iron. But I am going for my first fill next Monday and exercising is the first question on my list to ask! For now, I'm just going on nice easy strolls'll do for now, I suppose:)

    1. YAY! Big steps ahead girlie!

      Just be careful for exercise. I jumped back in too soon in hindsight, because they gave me the green light. And I really probably should have taken more time off.

      But I totally understand the urge to just get back into your old routine. Trust me!

    2. Yes, easy and slow is the name of the game right now! I certainly don't want to do anything that will hinder my recovery or results AT ALL. But with that being said, I AM excited for when I do get the go ahead...even if it's slow! xoxo

  2. I never would have thought of all that affecting weight lifting. I think that looks like a great endurance set up. I love doing exercises on the stability ball.

  3. Awesome job K! I do love me some strength training!

  4. My arms are so long that when I do chest flys...I really feel like I'm flying! lol

  5. Honestly, I have been so super impressed with all that you have done and accomplished since your surgery. You've come a long way and I think that it's so smart that you're focusing on strength and rebuilding. I definitely think that it will help in your recovery. Keep it up. You're doing great!!

  6. You are amazingly strong and I am always impressed by how much you share of your story. You inspire me. If you can do all you can do, I can run my best on December 9th for my third marathon.

  7. Great post and workout!
    Cheers,Tara xo

  8. Once again, I am impressed with all that you are doing after all that you have been through! So great that you keep pushing the limits!

  9. You continue to amaze me. Keep getting better and stronger. You go girl!

  10. Looks like a great workout. You're honestly such an inspiration I can't express it the way I wish I could. You are SO tough!! Keep it up. :)

  11. it's so cheesy but I stalk you.
    youre awesome...

  12. Girl you are an inspiration! Keep ROCKIN!! =)