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The Workout Journal – 09/06/2014 – 09/08/2014 by Frederick Smith

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  • 09/06 – Saturday workouts are a delight. No time crunch, no rush, take your time to cook breakfast, get the laundry started, and even write out a blog or tow.

    Expository writing is a catharsis of sorts. The Workout Journal, the Bible studies, the poetry, all things I wanted to do since I was a young teenager. For a long time, life got in the way; jobs, children, marriages, and other commitments filled my days. Now, I write.

    The Workout Journal began as a way of keeping on track. I began at 235 pounds, technically on the edge of obesity, and wanted to make sure I stayed motivated.

    These days I weigh 180 pounds and am well on my way to my fitness goals, but the Journal has become more than a habit. I publish it now to help motivate others, to encourage them to start on the journey to health and fitness. Believe me, it is a journey worth taking, and the cost is so affordable, nothing but blood,sweat, and tears, followed by confidence, well-being, and Joy!

    Studying the Bible came as a re-commitment to example for my family. This is my fourth time through the Bible, but this is the first time I have asked the Spirit to guide my reading and my pen. This time, I am studying to share, with a mission to open the language of the King James version to those who find it intimidating or unreadable.

    I'm still finding my “voice” as a poet, using techniques gleaned from reading other poets and from my days at San Diego State University in the classroom with Glover Davis and Steve Kowit. Though many years ago, their influence is with me still.

    The workout was completed, the walk with Olivia, the cardio on the Gazelle and Stationary Bike, the morning 50's (Squats, Bend Overs, and Pushups), and 450 ab repetitions with crunches, leg ups, bicycles, situps and oblique twists. Same routine I do every other day. It's a good workout and is getting more effective every time I do it. Might have to add something pretty soon, but it's good for now.

    09/07 – Sunday is my day of rest. No workout at all, but Olivia the Shih Tzu still gets her morning walk.

    On Sunday, I like to enjoy the peace and quiet of the morning with a light snack of home canned okra pickles and my newspaper. Catch up on the local events, work the Sunday Crossword puzzle, read my Bible, maybe even watch a little football in the afternoon. Sundays are a day of reflection and rest.

    How does that relate to workouts? Actually, rest is a very important part of your routine. No matter if you are just starting out or an experienced enthusiast, your body needs some “down time” when you are in a cycle of exercise to repair and replenish the muscles you've been tasking. If you don't let the body heal properly, you will never achieve your goals.

    At least one day a week, take the time to consider the blessings in your life; friends, family, health, all those things we often take for granted. In those quiet moments are the jewels that make life worth living. Remember to take the time to appreciate them.

    09/08 – Monday. A new week, a new day, a new opportunity to move forward and grow. A new day to learn.

    I don't know about you, but learning is a constant thing with me. I'm always looking at web sites and magazines devoted to poetry, fitness and Bible studies to see what I can learn. And there are new insights every day.

    Today is Chest and Back day, and once again the weights have moved up ten pounds to 140 pounds. I'm making excellent progress toward my goal of pressing my body weight (180 pounds) and plan to be able to do that by the end of this year, if not sooner. The only down side is I'll have to spring for a couple of 50 pound plates, which are way more expensive than they used to be. But it's worth a couple of dollars to do it right.

    Olivia and I started out with her walk, 5 blocks at a nice, steady pace to get the blood pumping. After we got home, we went down to the basement and I got on the Gazelle while she curled up on the bicycle seat to watch me. Ten minutes later she jumped off the seat (guess she was keeping it warm for me) and curls up by my side as I complete another ten minutes on the bicycle. I've been slowly increasing the resistance of the bike over the last couple of weeks, and each time adds a new challenge to make my three miles and complete the five mile circuit on both machines.

    After that, back to the main floor to begin the morning 50's with a few stretches thrown in between each exercise. I like to save my pushups for last on Chest day to warm up for the lifts.

    The Chest and Back routine is simple but effective (see the attached photo, taken today). I begin with three sets of five reps flat bench press, then do seated rows with the vertical handle, then change the bench to a 30° incline to complete another set of presses, then change the handle to the bicycle handle and complete a second set of seated rows. Each exercise gets three sets of five reps.

    I polish off on my Total Gym, which has been set at level seven for some time. I have an older unit, so level seven is the highest available, but it certainly is not a disappointment. Since I have been moving up ten pounds per week, these last sets are extremely effective pumpers. The secret to getting a good workout on the Total Gym is the same as with Nautilus or any other equipment. Explosive lifts and slow, steady descents. I do three sets of ten reps on these two exercises, the Chest Press and the Long Seated Row.

    Well, that about sums it up for the last three days. I'll continue to post this week, but I'll be on vacation from 9/14 – 9/21 at the Davis County fairgrounds in Bloomfield, IA for the annual Bluegrass festival. I'll be taking my exercise ball and a small bench with a couple of resistance bands to keep me trimmed, but a week away from the weights won't be the last of me. Oh, and I'll be taking my Martin as well. After all, can't miss the opportunity for a week long jam session.

    I hope you are having a blessed and wonderful day.


    By the way, if you want to watch the video for this music, it's on youtube. You might want to make it full screen and check out the faces.
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