Begin again

I just finished chemo and am looking to restart my fitness program in the next week or so once the last chemo wears off.

Just recording here my beginners exercise plan for my strength days (based on previous programs plus the Cancer Council booklet).

Key things in this plan are focusing on protecting my body from damage and preparing to run. For this I like to strengthen my pelvis, which gets weakened from lots of bed rest, and my ankles and knees, which will have to carry my weight.

I don’t push myself hard because the risk of injury is high and my body is still healing. Previous times the exercise physiologist would get to me use weights so that on my last repetition I felt like I was reaching the limits of my comfort zone.

It takes a bit of experimentation to work out what that weight is if I’m aiming for around 15 repetitions. Generally I kept the weights lower and repetitions higher to start with.

I like to do lots of stretching too at the end.

My Restart Plan – Strength days

As a rough guide, I might do:

  • 6–10 exercises. I try and alternate between arms and legs/body exercises. I have a few easier ones here which I will drop once I know it is safe.
  • 6–20 repetitions of each exercise per set.
  • 1–4 sets of each exercise per session
  • 60–90 seconds of rest between sets.

Warm up

  • 30 jumping Jacks
  • Skipping


  1. One leg balance. This is an easier one which I can beef up with weights but I will probably just drop it.

2. Shoulder press. I bought some exercise bands for this. Note: the long ones not the “booty” ones.

3. Clam shell

4. Upright row. Can be done with weights or exercise bands.

5. Wall squat

6. Bicep curls.

7. 20 walking Lunges

8. Push ups. Start with wall pushups then move to knees.

9. Pelvic tilt

10. Standing row.

11. Plank. Beginner = 0 to 30 seconds. Intermediate 30 to 60 seconds.

12. Calf raises.

13. Bird dog. My favourite exercise.

And repeat

And repeat

And stretch