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  • Hey, it is what it is. Here I am typing on the keyboard to get out today's article and the Monday workout is looming over me like a hungry vulture on my shoulder. Nag Nag Nag.

    I already posted the study of Romans Chapter Four earlier, then checked my email and my Facebook page (by the way, if you didn't know it, Facebook is regarded as the number one cause of wasted time in the workplace), and naturally had to check into my favorite games for a few rounds. You might remember I am a Bejeweled Blitz addict.

    But when I close this off, and it's gonna be soon....ha ha ha....I have a workout to accomplish and it will get done.

    Only changes today will be the weights. I went up 5 pounds on everything, mostly because the current weight isn't really a challenge. Anytime I can move up to 4 sets instead of 3 like I did Friday, it's time to make the workout harder.

    I'm going to work from small to large muscles today, arms then shoulders then chest then back then legs, smallest to the largest groups. Situps and abdominal work as always, and of course the ten minute aerobic to polish off. The weather has shifted down far enough that I'll be wearing sweats instead of my usual workout shorts, but that is normal for this time of year. I'll also wear a brace on my left elbow to prevent any excess strain from the new weight, and maintain concentration on my form.

    Regular checkup with my doctor tomorrow, strictly routine, and I am interested in what he'll have to say about my weight loss and my blood tests. I know he isn't going to like what I have to say about the ENT he referred me to for my sinus problems. The guy showed me the deviated septum on the MRI and then proceeded to turn me into a damn science experiment. (Let's try this, and this, etc.) Just do the damn operation, fix my nose so I can breath, and get it over with.

    Okay, enough delays. This is the procrastinator, signing off.

    I hope you all have a blessed day.

    Fred

    Post notes:

    I tried to post this on Cowbird a while ago, but apparently it is throwing a tissy fit, or the computer equivalent thereof.

    So here we go. Incidentally, you're listening to Tony Bennett and Michael Buble as they were singing to me on my Gazelle. Don't you love it?

    Workout done, and wow...do I ever feel it.

    Not in a bad way, mind you. If you'll recall, I once mentioned that if it doesn't make you sweat, it isn't exercise. I guarantee, today was exercise. The increase in weight definitely made the third set in every exercise a bit harder. I found myself cheating up the last few reps of the bicep curls and shoulder flyes. I kept the bench flat and used an thumb over grip instead of a regular overhand grip, so that in itself made a difference, but getting those last 3 reps was intense. The seated rows and calf raises and extensions were the same. More weight = more intensity.

    I'd better put a caveat here. As the kids say, Back in the day when I was a personal trainer and even before when I was in the military, I was caught up in the bodybuilding craze. I was strictly minor league at that time, benching 230lbs, squatting 450lbs, and leg pressing around 600lbs. (and yes, that makes me very minor league for then). All natural, no steroids or bench press shirts or any other additives besides whey powder, raw eggs, and a lot of Ben Gay.

    Could I work myself back to that? Probably, in about a year. Do I want to? Nope. Believe me, I am already feeling the aftereffects of those days in my hips, my knees and other joints.

    But the point is smaller weights are going to be easier for me, even when I've been out of the game for a few years. The muscles are still there, just inactive. As I return to the exercise and the discipline, the fibers remember and build quickly. After a while, the lighter weights don't really do anything for me.

    If you are just starting to use weights, use the lightest ones you can successfully complete three sets with and no more. Start your sets at 10 reps, and when you feel they aren't really causing you to work, add reps to the sets first, like I did last week. 3 sets of 12 reps, 3 sets of 15 reps. Then challenge yourself further by adding a 4th set and see if you can do that okay. When you can successfully complete 4 sets and it still doesn't feel like work, then is the time to move up in weight.

    How much weight? That's why they make 2 ½ pound weight plates. Believe me, you will notice an increase of 5 pounds to a barbell or dumbbell if you have been doing the work. When you've moved up in weight, it's time to start back at the 3 sets of 10 and build up again.

    How much weight should you start with? Enough to feel like work, but not so much as you have to lose form to complete the exercise. One of the biggest mistakes I saw in the gym was some poor guy trying to muscle up a heavy barbell on the bench press by arching his back and planting his feet. Not only have you lost form, you stand a really good chance of hurting yourself.

    Most folks in my age group work out with dumbbells in the 10-15 pound range and barbells in the 30-50 pound range, but you don't have to go that far if you don't feel comfortable with it. I've seen people get really good results with a 25 pound barbell, it just depends on your concentration and form.

    Now, if there is anyone out there who wants to pursue the Schwarzenegger route, contact me here or at my email address and I will gladly explain how to get there. Another Caveat: You hurt yourself doing something in a way I told you not to, it's on you. Hope your medical insurance is good. If you follow my instructions precisely, here or in the email, I guarantee your results and your continued well being.

    Again, I hope everyone is having a blessed day.

    Fred
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