Weights are still heavy

I don’t want to make this too much of a habit, but it’s been therapeutic to get these thoughts and feelings out of my head and into this blog so I am going to be pretty consistent for a while at least… 🙂

WAY back in the day… Let’s say 30(ish) years or so… I was all about the weightlifting.  I understood it very well and got the concepts of sport specific exercises.  I built myself a good program and it carried me through high school and college sports.  At one point I could bench press 250lb and squat INSANE amounts (nearly 500lb).  All of which probably accounts for my dwarf like thickness and appearance…

However, once I stopped playing baseball, I stopped lifting.  I didn’t touch weights again until about 4 years ago and even since then I have been very inconsistent.  Even during those times where I have been consistently lifting, I didn’t set up a structured program.  I just went to the gym, started at one set of machines and lifted until I got tired.  I didn’t really have a structured program.

So in light of recent events I decided to get a bit more serious about lifting weights again.  The goal is simply to increase strength and tone without building mass.  I’ve got plenty of that already.  Since my son wanted to continue lifting and he is old enough now to begin adding more weight, I went back to an old plan that I could still remember and built a full on, structured, rigid PLAN for both of us to use.

It’s pretty simple actually.  First we went to the gym and picked the exercises we were going to do.  I wanted him, for now, to do a full body workout three times per week.  He can, once he gets in shape, switch it to focus days (upper, lower, core, etc.) if he wants but for now, both of us need overall strength and tone.  We came up with about 20 exercises and then did max lifts on all of them.  We recorded the numbers and then I took them back and made a spreadsheet that calculated 65% of max.  These were our starting numbers.  We then went to the gym and, using these numbers (or as close as we could get), attempted to do 3 sets (I did 10, Sam did 8 reps).

The results, for me anyway, were sad.  I had to cut another 10-20 % off of most exercises as I just could not do 3 full sets.  On several exercises I just bonked completely and by the end, I couldn’t even finish my push ups or dips.  I just had no gas left.  I hadn’t been that spent in a long time.  Sam pretty much had the same result.

I didn’t really expect to be able to get through everything the first time (or the first few weeks actually).  I’m just not in “total body” shape.  Oddly enough (not)… the only exercises I was able to successfully complete were leg exercises.  Hmmm… ignore my upper body much?  I could probably drop the leg exercises altogether since I run and ride, but I want to work other muscle groups (or parts of them) that don’t usually get used, so I will keep them for now.  I thought that the swimming would help but not so much.

So my new goal is to bench press my weight.  I can either do this by really bumping up my weightlifting over the next 6 months or by losing enough weight that I achieve stasis.  I fear that I will probably have to do the latter…

This whole thing has been an exercise in humble for me.  My once strong upper body has atrophied from lack of use.  I can’t do one chin up.  My bench max was 180.  The only bright spot was my leg press was over 400 and my squat max was 370.  I probably could have done more if I had a belt.

It’s hard not to view a lot of things very negatively right now.  It’s hard not to be frustrated.  I put in more miles than ever last year and gained weight (not good weight) and now seeing how far I have to go with lifting… The mountain just got a little taller.  But I’ll get there.  I’m moving in the right direction.  I know that this is good for me so all I can do is have fun with it and make the gym my beyatch….

I did manage to get on a treadmill last night just to warm up a bit.  First run in 2 weeks.  And it brought to mind this quote for the day:

“If you think a minute goes by really fast, you have obviously never been on a treadmill” —unknown

First real run in 2 weeks tomorrow.  Wish me luck (or point and laugh… either works)

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