Monday, January 9, 2012

My Routine

I love my routine. I look forward to it every other day.
There, that’s the first thing to know about my routine, I do it every other day.
I decided on that schedule because it felt right. I liked the “burn” I felt the day after working out. Then I did some investigation and found out that lots of people work out with weights every other day, because weights cause what is sometimes called “the 48 hour burn”.  From what I gather, working out with weights burns calories for two days.
The next thing you should know about my routine is that I’m not a professional of any kind. I’m not a trainer, I’m not a therapist, and I’m not a doctor. I could be making lots of mistakes, and doing some things wrong. If you’re going to start a workout program of your own, SEEK OUT SOME PROFESSIONAL HELP. I’m just telling you what seems right to me right now. Later I’ll share some of the resources that have been helpful to me.
So here’s the actual routine:
I start by warming up and stretching. Jumping jacks, stretches, wind mills (from elementary school PE class) and windshield wipers (look it up) I’m mostly worried about my back (remember, I’m old) but I also don’t want to hurt my arms, elbow, or shoulders.
Then I hit my weights.
Here’s a couple of terms you hear a lot in weight lifting: “Three sets of eight”, and “reps to failure”.
As I studied weight lifting routines those two terms popped up again and again. I resist both of them.
I do two sets of 15 on most of my exercises. At least that’s my plan. Sometimes it’s one set of 50 reps. Sometimes it’s even one set of 15 reps. Depends on the exercise.
More importantly, I’m doing a kind of a circuit or complex.  Maybe I don’t do it completely right, but the point of my routine is that it lasts for 30 minutes to 45 minutes and I move from one exercise to the next with very little rest in between. If heart really starts pounding and I’m gasping for breath, I rest a little more, or even better, I drink a little water. I’ve learned that staying hydrated during my work out is better than resting.
I’ll need another entry to talk about specific exercises and equipment, but what’s important to say right now is that the feeling is EXHILLERATING! My muscles turn red and I am quickly soaked in sweat. It feels great!
Do I do reps to failure? This means doing reps until you absolutely can’t do another, and you’re lifting absolutely as much weight as you can. At first I didn’t think so. Sometimes I feel like I could squeeze out one more rep if I really tried, but I’m working out alone, and I don’t have a spotter, so I don’t like to risk it. But I’m doing as many reps as I can.
Do I lift as much weight as I can? Some of my detractors have told me that I need to be lifting the maximum weight possible.
Well for example, I’m sure that if I had a spotter, I could bench press more than I am currently pressing. But it would just be a couple of reps.  Right now I’m pressing as much as I can for 2 set of 15 reps without a spotter.
So I feel good about the maxims, “3 sets of 8”, and “reps to failure”

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