Heavy lifting, cycling, and bootless walking

Let’s get back to the weekly rundown. Not only for the community aspect but it’s also good for me to have blog posts to look back to, and see that I can still do some good stuff in the gym (and more).

I’ve been away from the blog for a month, and been in misery and despair for a while after being diagnosed with osteoporosis and osteopenia. Like, WTF? You can read the details in this post. My head was a complete mess of different thoughts and emotions, and I wasn’t able to make any sense of it and settle down until after several conversations with my physio and trainer, and after being away distracting myself by doing NORMAL things. We went to Donegal again for the bluegrass festival, and after that my sister came over from Sweden, so I’ve had some good times recently which I really needed.

For a while I was wondering if I would ever do any proper fitness work again. But of course I will. I’m not dead yet! I have crappy bones but they could have been worse – and for this condition, weight lifting is the thing to do!

My trainer is more important than ever now, and he certainly makes sure I work on my muscles, and bones. OMG do I do that these weeks! After doing a full body maintenance program for a long time, I now do a hybrid program with some heavy strength training mixed with whatever is possible to do with my legs. It’s quite heavy lifting compared to what I’ve done recently, which is seriously challenging and I’m loving it! After months of injury and misery, pushing myself a bit extra in the gym feels SO GOOD.

Here’s how the week of fitness played out. This was the first week in ages that I did more than my gym sessions!


The Monday session was focused on legs and shoulders.These heavier lifts are done 4 sets by 6 reps.

  • Leg lifts over a dumbbell
  • Side leg lifts with resistance band over bent knees
  • Leg press with resistance band
  • Hamstring curls with resistance band
  • Upright row with bar, and left knee on bench
  • Seated shoulder press, 7 kg dumbbells
  • Forward raise, 6 kg dumbbells

This variant of leg press is a nice exercise my trainer started giving me a while back. I lie on my back, place the band under my feet, bend my knees, and hold on to the band at about knee level to create tension, then straighten my legs.

I was very happy to do a proper upright row again! I’ve been doing it with dumbbells but that’s different. It was a bit hard to place the bench properly but at least I could do an upright row with the bar like in the good old days!


Tuesday was all about work and my physiotherapy exercises for the foot (which of course I do every day).


Today was this week heavy upper body session. We started last week with this setup, and then I had a brain burnout with dumbbell chest presses, and just couldn’t do them. He’s upping my weights quite a bit for these sessions, so I simply chickened out. For today I had tried to collect some bravery and oomph (the jävlaranamma mode is coming back, yay!). I started warming up with lat pulldowns with a resistance band followed by 10 pushups (full pushups with the injured foot on top of the right foot). Then it was time for the real stuff, 4 sets by 6 reps.

  • Chest press with barbell, 32,5 kgs
  • Flyes, 10 kg dumbbells
  • Upright row, wide grip, barbell. Uncertain about weight, maybe 15-17 kgs.
  • Chest press with 12,5 kg dumbbells, I did them this time! Failure at 4th rep on last set
  • Tricep pullover, one 17,5 kg dumbbell
  • Dumbbell row, knees on bench, 17,5 kgs


Work, work, work, and some music. No fitness activity today except physiotherapy exercises.


Another good session at the gym. It was time again for some shoulder work, but first we mixed leg and abs/core.

  • Hanging leg raises from dip machine
  • Wall sits, 3 x 45 secs. OMG, these are so hard! But I nailed them this time. When doing them, I make sure we keep a conversation going for the distraction!
  • Jack knives
  • Side leg lifts with resistance band around bent knees
  • Bent over raise, 6 kg dumbbells
  • Seated shoulder press, 7 kg dumbbells
  • Lateral raise, left knee on bench, 6 kg dumbbells

Lateral raise has always been one of my hardest exercises, no matter the weight! My shoulders were the reason I started going to this gym and trainer/therapist in the first place, to begin with because I had frequent pain, but of course I wanted to build some muscle too. I do ok with most other shoulder exercises but the lateral raise… I never seem to make any real progress. Today it worked a lot better than usual though, so a big yay to that.

We had some great, empowering conversations too. A perfect session altogether! I’m beginning to feel strong and hopeful again.


Since a while back, we have a new friend in the house.

I started using it a bit after I got the boot, and did short rides to see how it worked and how I liked it. The main problem was how hot my booted leg became after a while! I did a few km a few times a week for a while, and really enjoyed it.

I got back on the bike on Saturday afternoon. I still have some days left of the Kinomap subscription, so I started the app on my iPad, and did 10k along some nice road in southern Italy. I’ll continue the route tomorrow!


Today I was back to a proper at-home workout session! Sort of. I miss my planks, but I should be able to do them soon again. And today was absolutely NO day to do core/ab work! Ouch, my abs are still smashed after the Friday gym session. Instead, I did donkey kicks, fire hydrants with resistance bands, various hip mobility, rotator cuff mobility, and inclined pull-ups with some clever handles I bought some time ago. We’ve attached them to the pull-up bar and this exercise is step 1 to get in shape to do full pull-ups.

Next week is a bit different because tomorrow is bank holiday so the gym is closed, and on Friday my trainer is away (he’s doing an ultra marathon!) but we’ve arranged two gym sessions, and I’m planning to do some indoor cycling. The rest is all about music because we have a gig next Saturday. Should be a good week!

Bootless at last

A few words about the foot

You might be interested in what’s going on with the foot. The good news is that I’m finally walking in normal shoes, after 8 weeks in the boot.

When I first took my first steps, it was awful and scary. I felt so weak in my leg and knee, much more than expected. I first walked around with the help of two crutches in the physio clinic, under supervision, and he gave me a program to follow to gradually wean off the boot and getting used to walking. It’s been anything but straightforward, with odd things going on all over the foot, pins and needles, and random aches and pains that scared the **** out of me. I thought I was doomed and the injury was back with a vengeance.

In the end of this week it suddenly started getting a lot better. According to the plan, I would use the boot outdoors for the first two weeks, and this week, ironically the foot has been much happier on days when I didn’t use the boot at all. So last night when we went to play music in the pub, I actually went boot-less.

This coming week I’m supposed to ditch the boot altogether, and I’m seeing the physio again on Tuesday. For now I have high hopes I’ll be back to some version of normal walking within a reasonable future. It will take a while before I’m back to go for proper walks, but just walking from place A to B without second thoughts will be reason for celebration. I’ve even bought a pair of nice walking shoes for the occasion!

Thanks Deborah and Kim for hosting the Weekly rundown link-up!

Read about the Liftmor study and related studies, for more information about resistance training for people with osteoporosis and osteopenia. Your starting point will depend on your own bone health level, overall health situation, fitness level and experience with training and movement so do consult a physiotherapist and/or certified personal trainer!


24 responses to “Heavy lifting, cycling, and bootless walking”

  1. Deborah Brooks avatar

    I am so glad to read you are out of the boot and back into your shoes. I must have missed your post about Osteoporosis-what a bummer. It definitely shakes you to the core to find out you have a serious issue that you had no idea about it. Been there this year too. Sounds like you have a great plan in place and strength training will make you and your bones stronger. Chin up friend!! You got this

    1. Susanne avatar

      Shakes you to the core – that certainly describes very well how I’ve been feeling about this. After all the BS this year I’m sort of still waiting for the next blow. But I’m trying to go with the flow, look forward and make the best of what I have right now. I’m very happy to have some of my attitude back. Getting out of the boot and feeling I’m on my way back to normal helps a lot. Thanks and I hope things are looking up for you too.

  2. Wendy avatar

    I’m so glad to see that your foot is on the mend and that you are back to heavy lifting! It does feel good to push yourself at the gym, doesn’t it? I’m still dealing with my foot issue–that plantar plate tear but I did get some runs in this week. It’s not pain free but it doesn’t hurt too bad. My ortho said to let pain be my guide, so that is what I will do.

    Enjoy your music gig next week! Anxious to hear about it!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Oh, heavy lifting truly is good for the soul! 😅 I’m loving it. And not only for the energy and achievement. My successful heavy lifts make me feel strong again, despite my effing bones. And that is important – the loss of my self image was one of the most difficult aspects with getting this diagnosis.
      I’m so sad about your foot. At least a fracture will heal. I’m so glad you could run this week!

  3. Chocolaterunsjudy avatar

    One of my friends is in the midst of a broken foot & in a boot — she’d never broken a bone before, so I know she’s in for a shock when the boot comes off (which hopefully will be soon).

    Feeling anything in an injured area after it’s “healed” is always alarming, but often normal, too. Before you know it you’ll be walking as if you always had been (which you had until now!). It’ll happen. Just trust the process!

    I’d noticed you weren’t posting. I’m sorry for the reason, but you will get through this. Hugs.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks, Judy!
      These bootless weeks have been extremely unsettling! Lovely to walk again but not knowing how to interpret the pain was awful. I could have e-mailed the physio in panic every day! Some days I was certain the foot would get back to square one. Now it feels better (although a bit achy tonight). I hope your friend’s unbooting transition goes a bit smoother. I’m guessing it depends on how long she’s been in the boot, and her injury perhaps hasn’t been such a long journey as mine either? I haven’t used this foot normally since April!

  4. Kimberly Hatting avatar

    Oh Susanne, this is such great news! Doesn’t it feel to give Mr. Boot the boot? I Know how good it feels, also, to get back to a consistent routine of strength training. As you know, my bike crash (and subsequent traumatized ribs) interfered with some of my strength work this summer, but I think most of those issues are history (emphasis on “most”).

    1. Susanne avatar

      I’m loving the bootless life, lol! At least now when the foot seems to be settling down after the initial shock! I never took a break from strength training (only from the blog!) but we’ve shifted to a heavier program recently which is lovely and something I needed to distract me from the misery of life. I hope your ribs settle down soon!

  5. Coco avatar

    Oh, I’m glad to see you post. I was wondering about you.

    You’ve had a lot to deal with for sure, but that is good news on the foot and boot!

    It’s great that you are really getting into strength training and heavy lifting. I’ve heard there are so many benefits of heavy lifting for women, especially as we get older.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thank you so much for your concern! Yes, I was away from blogging for a good bit there… for a while I didn’t know if I’d ever want to get back to it. But then after settling down from the initial shock I thought… since I didn’t find any inspirational content online myself, perhaps I would be able to inspire someone if I kept writing and showed it’s possible to still live a good life. So I’ll keep on rambling.
      Strength training is key as we get older! For everything, really. We lose a good amount of muscle mass with ageing, so heavy lifting, and a high protein diet, is so important to keep the body functional and protect from fractures and whatnot.

  6. San avatar

    Uff. That is definitely a diagnosis to contend with, but it sounds like after the initial shock, you’re ready to do whatever you can to get back to your fitness. Good for you. Life is a constant string of pivots for sure!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, seems like life keeps giving me rotten tomatoes! But I’ve settled down for now and I’m definitely ready to get back to living. And fitness will help manage this condition!

  7. Jenn avatar

    I was in a boot for about 12 weeks, and I hated that thing so freaking much. it was so clunky and hard to do anything, so I am glad you are able to ride with it and do other workouts.

    Your discipline and determination will definitely get you to your goals! keep on pushing!

    1. Susanne avatar

      It’s so hard to do anything with it! But I’m glad I learned to walk with it because it’s helped tremendously to live somewhat normally while wearing it. however, having it when we went to the bluegrass festival was a pain in the ***** because I had to climb up and down stairs to and from the accommodation and then again to get to the venue where the concert and Sunday night event was. Just awful!
      Riding the bike was great because there was one more activity I could do! It’s obviously more pleasant to do it now without the boot.
      Thanks Jenn! I’ll definitely keep pushing!

  8. Jenny avatar

    Susanne, I just commented on your WTF post (I’m sorry I didn’t see it sooner!) I’m glad you’re back to heavy lifting and feeling strong! I think I read that with a foot stress fracture, 90% of it is healed in the first eight weeks, and the last 10% takes up to a year to heal. Not sure if that’s completely accurate- but it would explain any lingering aches and pains. In the meantime it’s definitely strong enough to start weight bearing.
    I hope you’re going to join the Weekly Rundown on a regular basis again!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Hi Jenny, that’s interesting about stress fractures! Thanks for sharing that, it will help ease my mind somewhat. However – up to a year! I’m not surprised though, because how fracture healing works.
      I do plan to join the weekly rundown regularly again, it was just that initially after my diagnosis my mental health was absolutely shite and I wasn’t ready to share with anyone (it even took some time before I told my family!) and definitely had no interest in talking about the joy of lifting weights in the gym while I was wondering if I’d ever be able to even go back to my fitness lifestyle.

  9. Catrina avatar

    Walking around without a boot after 8 weeks must have felt very scary! So unprotected and fragile.
    This week you’ll be completely bootless – have you walked from A to B yet without having second thoughts?
    You have a great support crew: your trainer and your physio know exactly what to do and say.
    Isn’t the body amazing how it can heal itself?

    1. Susanne avatar

      It will take a while before I walk confidently. The first time walking bootless was awful! My foot felt half numb and so weak. My legs shook even a few days later when walking at home and I was so scared! Then since the end of last week it feels much better.
      The body truly is amazing!! Such a miracle that it even works as well as it does!

  10. Jessie avatar

    Lifting is so important- I’m glad you like it! I’m going to catch up now on your post about your diagnosis, I missed it.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, lifting is key to solve a lot of problems! And for overall good wellbeing too.

  11. Renée avatar

    oh my gosh I’m so glad you are out of the boot! and weight lifting is THE thing to be doing! I don’t really fully understand the diagnosis but I suppose that you are coming to terms with it all anyway.

    so sorry I’m so late catching up, good to “hear” from you again!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Oh YES about the boot!! My diagnosis basically means that I have lower bone density and a higher fracture risk than “ordinary” people but there are things to do to manage it, including lifting heavy weights! And the fracture risk is overestimated in younger women. I freaked out initially but have calmed down and will just continue living life and doing the best I can to keep my bones as healthy as possible.

  12. Debbie avatar

    It’s great to hear that you’re out of the boot and make progress toward getting back to normal walking!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, it’s wonderful! Now I only need to keep believing it will work and that the bone is strong enough!

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