Training Tuesdays: An Apology to My Badly Neglected Upper Body

When forced to avoid any substantial lower body exercises, one’s only option is to challenge the upper body. I have spent the last few days exercising in the only way I can: a lot of seated or highly controlled upper body workouts, along with a smidgen of core work involving positions that allow my SI to remain stable and supported. If you’re imagining something akin to sit and be fit, you’re on the right track.

In the process, I have quickly discovered that I have badly neglected my upper body strength over the years, often intentionally. It seemed a relatively pointless investment of time. Running and hiking don’t really require that I have arms of steel so, aside from a few push ups and tricep dips for good measure, I’ve let this part of my training fall by the wayside.  Now that I’ve come to terms with my feeble upper body strength, I feel compelled to apologize to my upper body.

arms Fairly accurate visual of my face when engaging my arms. Don’t let the picture fool you. In real life that barbell would be holding about 10lbs of total weight. 

Dear Upper Body,

I am sorry that I have neglected you so terribly. It occurred to me, as I was struggling to complete some exercises with measly 8 lb weights, that I have clearly left you out of my training mix. And I did it on purpose. You’re the forgotten half of my body. You see, even in your weakened and neglected state, I can still fully function in life whereas weak legs would get in the way of all my extracurricular activities. Is it fair? No. But like my dad used to tell me, life’s not fair.

Wow, upper body, I’m now also realizing that this is a terrible apology so far! Let me start over.

I am truly sorry because, as it turns out, some of your muscles are actually important to help stabilize my SI. Like, who knew that strengthening my lats might help? They’re so…geographically far from my SI. I guess what I’m really apologizing for is my ignorance. I forget sometimes that the human body is a complex system and that everything is connected to everything else. It’s such a simple fact that I don’t know how I lost sight of it.

But here’s my promise to you. I’m going to start working with a personal trainer. And, while I know she’ll be a little bit more focused on strengthening my lower half, I’m going to make sure that she puts some time into you as well. I will not let you suffer the shame of struggling with 8 lb weights. It is not cool to have the lower body strength of a 20 year old and the upper body strength of a 75 year old. I’m sorry I’ve put you in that position. I’ll fix that.

Here’s to ripped arms and strong lats and building myself back up to 15-20 lb weights. We can get back to your glory days, upper body, and we will.

Sincerest apologies,



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