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  • Rip Week – the Final Day

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: Nothing starts off your morning like ACDC at full volume while doing your aerobics. There's something about that music that makes you want to move.

    (Oh, I had a question the other day asking me how a Christian can listen to a group like ACDC, since they've been occasionally linked to unsavory activities and even Satanic worship. My answer? It's music! People who would form a philosophy of faith based on music would probably base their politics on the opinions of actors. It's just music.)

    I weighed in at 184 pounds this morning, about a pound heavier than I wanted, but still within reach of my goal. I can tell you this is feeling mighty good.

    I've increased all my weights by 5 pounds for the weight session, and depending on how I feel, I'll probably set the Total Gym up to level 4 for the final Rip workout. I want to end the week on a high note, especially since I'll be taking the weekend off before returning to the Heavy lift and maintenance schedule. This ought to be an interesting day.

    You know, this is something I could have been doing all along, although on a more abbreviated schedule. But I've come to a very important realization for myself. There is no excuse for getting out of shape. And being in shape can stave off or lessen a lot of problems in your life.

    I firmly believe a regular schedule of exercise that produces endorphins can be important factor in the control of depression. And this not the opinion of an outside observer, as you all know. Staying fit has been a major factor for me in staying positive. I believe it could help anyone who is prone to depression, regardless of the reasons. Not only because it does produce endorphins, but because a workout requires you to concentrate on what you are doing. You can't do a successful workout unless you concentrate, and if you're concentrating on what you are doing, it's almost impossible to let your mind wander into the things that depress you. So for thirty minutes of the day, you are forced to think about something other than your problems or your nightmares. Anything that makes you focus on something other than your depression can't be bad.

    I know that a fit body is less likely to develop certain medical problems as well. Especially problems concerning the core of your body. Obviously the heart benefits from lean muscle tissue and less fat in your bloodstream and your tissues, but your stomach, kidneys, liver, and bladder also benefit from a well regulated diet and muscles that support their functions. And while you're exercising, you have to regulate your breathing, so your lungs and the muscles that surround them also benefit. Since your lungs and your heart work together to get an ample supply of oxygen to the brain...well, you see where that is going.

    And of course there is the self-esteem factor. Knowing you are fit gives you confidence. You can walk into the store to buy clothes and not be limited to the Extra Large selections. You can go out in public and not worry about your appearance. When you look in the mirror, the person looking back at you does so with a smile.

    Well, I have a couple more things to do before the weight session. Keep me in your prayers for safety and I'll catch up with you later.

    The weight session went well. I decided to change it up a bit (told you I get bored easily), so today's workout was Top to Bottom, Big to Small. What that means is I decided to work from the top of my body to the bottom, and begin with the larger muscle groups to the smaller ones.

    I begin with the Bench Press, then did the Seated Back Rows, Upright Seated Presses, and Standing Bent Over Rows. That covered my chest and back. Next I did my Shrugs and Flyes for my shoulders, Concentration Curls and Preacher Curls for my Biceps, and the Seated Triceps Extensions and Triceps Pull Overs. That took care of my upper body.

    For the lower body, I started with Dumbbell Squats, then Leg Extensions, then Quad Curls, and finally Calf Raises.

    I took my break, the performed my usual ab routine of 40 Crunches, 30 V-ups, and 150 Situps. I'm going to add my 30 Oblique twists to the Total Gym in about an hour, along with 30 pushups just before I do the last Gazelle aerobics.

    It's been a fun but tiring week, but the goals have been met and I am feeling pleased with myself. I think part of me was wondering if I could do it. After all, it is a challenge to maintain a diet of 1200-1500 calories for 5 days in a row, throw two gallons of water through you three days in a row, and still do all your normal activities. And working out twice a day plus aerobics and abs is a little more than a challenge. But in about 3 hours, I will have completed the Rip Week with all that I wanted to do.

    Gotta tell you. It feels GOOD!

    Final notes after the Gazelle.

    I pushed the envelope a bit and decided to go from the Total Gym workout directly to the Gazelle. As you can imagine, combining the two was a bit more draining than taking the rest in between, but it was worth it.

    I'm back from KFC, decided to go with the original idea, and I'm very happy I did. After a week of no carbs, that chicken and those mashed potatoes tasted good.

    It's been a great week, and I hope you've enjoyed reading about it as much as I have enjoyed the adventure. But more than that. If this has motivated you to embark on your own journey to fitness, it's been worth the time spent documenting it.

    Taking the weekend off, back on Monday with the first of three heavy days. I hope your day and your life is blessed and wonderful.

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