I have a plan!
Good morning, boys and girls, and welcome to another day of fitness and energy with Fred. Normally, I wait until after my workout to write this, but I have a few things to accomplish today, so I thought I would get this posted first. You see, I have a plan. Do you?
Having a plan is a lot more important than you may think. Take a look around you and ask yourself how many people out there have a plan and how many have just lived their lives according to the whims of the moment. The former folks are the ones with the nice cushy jobs and nice cars and nice homes, the one whose lives are …. nice! The latter folks, not so much.
Does this mean we all have to be raging hormonal Alpha types to succeed? Of course not! But in order to make sure our quality of life is going to be as good as it can as long as it can, we have to have a plan to take care of this machine we call a body. So tell me, what's your plan?
If you've been keeping up with this journal, you know my plan is to accomplish six workouts a week, three anaerobic and and three aerobic. My goal is to (a) feel good and be able to keep up with my spouse, my children, my grandchildren, and my great grandchildren, and (b) to set a good example for others by being able to do so.
Sounds pretty mundane, doesn't it? Not to look like Ahhnold, or break into the fitness industry, or even to impress my friends. I just want to stay healthy and be able to live as long as I can. And while I know that's really up to the Lord and His plans, I want to do my part. So I have a plan.
Now at this point you might be saying, “but Fred, what about Alzheimer's, Diabetes, and a plethora of other diseases which strike without warning to everyone?”. No argument there, things happen which are out of our control. But that doesn't mean we throw up our hands and let the chips fall where they may. While I have no hard statistics here to back me up, it is my experience that people who take good care of themselves live longer and generally have a better time doing it.
Case in point, my father. About seven years ago, I asked him why he exercised about 5-6 days a week. Now my dad does some anaerobic exercises with wrist and ankle weights, but his main exercise consists of walking. At 81 years old, he walks between 500 and 560 miles a year. Oh, and at a pace of around 5 miles an hour. As he would say, “Not too shabby.”.
His answer to me was “Son, do you know I have outlived every other male in my family?”. He wasn't talking about his brothers, but his uncles and his father and their father were all dead before their 73rd birthday.
I thought about it and realized I had never known my father when he wasn't physically active. When I was 8 or 9, I have memories of going to the base gym to watch dad play basketball with some of the other instructors from his school on Great Lakes Naval Station. Later on are memories of the family bowling, walking, playing tennis, or badminton or something else. When dad was overseas, mom would try to pick up the slack and make sure we stayed active.
But getting back to this entry, being active doesn't mean the aches and pains won't come. Stuff happens. But even then a healthy body is in much better shape to fight off that stuff than one in a less healthy state. If you have diabetes, for instance, and you just let it take over, there are a whole slew of issues that can occur, and some of them you can combat. Poor circulation can be improved with proper aerobic exercise and a healthy diet. Weight loss lessens the strain placed on your body that will require stronger and more frequent medication. These things keep your quality of life good. And that keeps you from falling into a well of resignation.
Okay, off the soapbox for now. Today's plan is to accomplish the following.
3 sets of 10 repetitions -
Slow Count Bicep Curls – on 1, you quickly and smoothly lift the dumbbell as far and as fast as you safely can, then count 2, 3, 4 slowly until the weight is at the lower position. Do these right, and the last set ought to feel like you are trying to pry nails out with your fingers.
Slow Count Shoulder Flyes – Same thing, fast up and SLOW down. Important thing to remember here is form. When you make your lift, your hands should go no higher than your shoulders. Any higher and 1) you're wasting energy, since anything above a horizontal place the trapezes takes over, and the extra height actually makes the lowering harder, and 2) by going past the horizontal, you put additional stress against your rotator cuff, six small and very important muscles that support and help to balance and control your arms. Ask anyone who's ever torn one. They'll tell you they would have missed the experience if they could have.
Seated Rows (bicycle handle x 6 sets, half up, half down.
Slow Count Bench Press – yep, same as above except I'm lying down lowering the weight to my chest. The reason I am doing the arm and shoulder exercise first, then doing legs and back before doing my chest is 1) to give the arms a rest, and 2) to task my arm and shoulder muscles so their ability to help the chest is reduced. It's a technique used to strengthen the muscle tissue by forcing it to work harder. Since the arms and shoulders are already weakened from the first exercise, the chest muscles must work harder to lift the same weight.
150 situps on the exercise ball
100 side crunches on the exercise ball
Approximately 10 minutes on the Gazelle, depending on when the 4th song ends.
The advantages to varying the workout are muscle confusion and increased energy. When you aren't doing the same routine, day in, day out, you look forward to the exercise. Human beings love variations.
Tomorrow is my aerobic day, and other that deciding which music I'll listen to, there isn't a lot of variance there. But I have a very large selection of music, don't you? After all, this is the age of instant downloads and all sorts of places to get what you want. Well, within reason, I guess.
I'll do my anaerobic exercises on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday this week, and my aerobics sessions on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Sunday is my off day, so I'll do a few things around the yard to keep busy. Maybe I'll end up with some honey-do's to add to my day. You never know.
But one thing I do know. And I know it because I took the time to figure it out. I have a plan.
I hope you're having a blessed day.
PS: Hope you don't mind me throwing a little Jerry Lee ala Iggy Pop at you this early in the morning.. Hit It!