Wednesday, May 23, 2007

progress since May 12

My old workout at the gym, as reported back on May 12th, was:

1. 10km (approx. 27-28 min.) on the NordicTrack thingy (it's actually a ??? 835 elliptical trainer), now at Tension Level 3, which seems to be about where I need to be. Level 1 was a good place to start; it broke me in easily. Level 2 turned out to be a bit more of a challenge than Level 1, but was still a bit easy. Level 3-- ahhhh, that gets me sweating within a single minute (not that that's hard to do), and it keeps my heart rate around 160 for the remaining 26 or 27 minutes. That's actually higher than the maximum safe training rate for someone my age (146 beats per minute is about where I need to be). I usually hit 10km before I reach 30 minutes, so I spend the remaining 2-3 minutes checking my pulse and chugging along much more slowly.

2. 3 sets of 10 reps on the pullover bar, set at a measly 40kg.

3. 3 sets of 10 reps on the bench press (variable grips), set at a measly 40kg.

4. 3 sets of 10 reps on the lat bar (variable grips), set at a measly 35kg. Believe me, it's going to be years before I can once again do proper pullups. The most I've ever done in my life is a single set of seven, and that was while I was living in Switzerland. I'm not even ready to try negatives at this point.

5. 1 set of 5 reps of standing dumbbell side raises, 9kg.

6. 3 sets of 5 reps of dumbbell curls, 9kg, varying between hammer curls and regular curls.

Now, I'm doing the following:

1. Still the same cardio workout: Tension Level 3 on the elliptical trainer, set for 10km and 30 minutes. I usually finish in 27 or 28 minutes and use the remaining time to measure my pulse (still around 160) and to bring myself back to earth.

2. For the pullover bar, the weight is now set to 50kg. Some progress here as I explore my limits. Because of the machine's strange pulley system, I suspect I'm not pulling the full 50kg, which is why I've been able to ratchet the weight up in such a short time.

3. Good improvement on the bench press. 3 sets of 10 reps (or, alternately, 6 sets of 5 reps), how at 45kg. Considering how much I weigh, this means I'm still not ready to blast out 60 taekwondo-style, on-your-knuckles pushups, but it does mean that something's happening to the old chesticles, not to mention the triceps. Am getting those punching muscles back in working order. I used to be able to slam the shit out of a 70-pound bag. I've never been quick, but I do hit hard. (I guess the 70-pound bag remark is a bit like saying I can deck a third- or fourth-grader. Yeah, I'm proud of that.)

4. For the lat bar, I now do 40kg, same sets and reps. Still lame. If they had a pullup bar, I'd be trying negatives about now.

5. Dumbbell raises remain the same.

6. Today, instead of doing curls with the 9kg dumbbells, I found and switched over to the curling machine, where I barely managed to do two sets of 5 reps at 40kg (about 88 pounds). I'm going to be working on that.


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