Enjoying the Burn

1 04 2012

After a 15+ year break from lifting weights, I’m finally  back.  Adjustable dumbbells in hand and an adjustable  weight bench being shipped as I type this.  Over the years, I have really missed lifting.  But lets face it, when you’re hauling over 400 pounds around each day, the last thing you want to do is pick up anything else heavy.  Now that I’ve begun to start losing weight, I definitely feel an increase of energy and my body wants to be more active.  It’s true what they say, a body in motion tends to stay in motion.  For a long time my body wanted to rest and without changing my diet and my mindset I could never have sustained any type of serious changes when it came to increasing my physical activity.

There are definitely times I falter.   My treadmill has become “the dreadmill”.  Even with built in cable TV, I detest the thing.  So you can imagine how happy I was after weeks of waiting when the dummbells finally arrived.  I then did a very, very stupid thing.  I began lifting with them like I had never taken all of those years off.  I essentially attempted to pick up where I left off.  And for the next 4-5 days, I could not straighten either of my arms.  Before lifting, I had a romantic notion of what muscle burn felt like but it ended up being something much different afterwards.  This was a painful reminder that it takes dedication AND PATIENCE to get where you want to be.

I’ve since dialed the workouts back a little.  Maybe not even back but rather i’ve dialed them “in”.  I’ve learned that lifting can be just as intense if we focus on isolating the muscles we are working on.  Squeezing the muscle before and at the end of the rep and keeping that tension throughout the rep can be as effective as doing multiple sets of less controlled lifting.  In fact, from my experience it is more effective.

Frequency of reps is not more important than quality of reps. I still get an awesome burn.  I’m just not spending the better part of a week recovering.

I’ve also relearned something that I must have forgotten – that when reaching the point of muscle failure, simple tasks like drinking a glass of water can be challenging.  When you cannot bring a glass of water fully to your lips without it pouring out all over you = it is a sign of an intense workout.

 





And the Train Kept Rolling….

20 02 2012

And so begins week 9 of my switch to a plant based diet.  I lost a pound this past week.   That brings the total to over 46 pounds lost through diet, exercise and sickness.

I wasn’t thrilled with the weight loss this week.  I pushed myself to try to lose 5 pounds so that I could hit an even 50 pounds within 8 weeks and I ended up falling short.  I gave it a good effort but it just didn’t happen.  Maybe this is my ego needing big round numbers.  I should be content with just continuing to lose the weight.  In my mind I think it makes a good story to lose 50 pounds so quick. But the real story is this – losing weight is hard and its really  #$&*!@ frustrating at times.  You think you’ve found your personal formula for success and then weight loss slows down dramatically or stops all together.  I didn’t even want to write this blog today because I was so aggravated.

I knew that five pounds in a week was not going to be easy but I felt that with some discipline it could be done.  I came up with what I thought was a good game plan.  I tried to switch the week up by cutting back the amount of plant based fats I was taking in but honestly it just left me hungry.  I increased my fiber and protein intake but still hungry…  Miserably hungry for the last four days and the scale barely moved when all was said and done.    So I need to work harder, especially physically, if I’m going to be able to sustain the kind of weight loss that I’ve been seeing up until this point.  I really hope my dumbbells I ordered get here soon as I’m eager to throw them around and  I’m starting to hate the treadmill with a passion.  It really is becoming “the dreadmill”.  At least nice weather temps are around the corner which hopefully means a few days walking around the park which will be a pleasant change of scenery.

So after days of feeling overly hungry,  tonight I did  something counterintuitive.  I went to the local buffet.  It’s been two months since I was there and I definitely can’t put it away like I used to nor did I even want to try.  I did enjoy a nice vegetable stirfry and some sushi.  I also had some shrimp.  I feel like my body has been craving meat so I allowed myself a little bit of seafood.  There is definitely some sort of meal with beef in my future.  I thought about tying it a 50 pound weight loss as a reward.  But that sort of thinking got me into this predicament.  Food shouldn’t be a reward, at least not for me, not now.

So yeah, dreaming of beef, even if it is just a piece or two.  For now, I’m just going to increase the B12.  What I did find interesting is that things I would normally get there, like coconut chicken, just weren’t appealing to me in the least.  And if I’m going to eat beef, it’s going to be some place good and not at a buffet.

I’ve got the broccoli rabe soup in the slow cooker.  It’s been going all day and it smells sooooo good.  Pics tomorrow.

Thanks for reading!





Time Weights For No One

16 02 2012

Picked up the phone tonight and ordered a pair of Bowflex adjustable dumbbells.  It’s been 15 long years since I’ve seriously lifted weights but I’ve been wanting to begin again for some time now. I used to be really into weight lifting.  In my freshman year of college, I was able to bench press over 600 pounds (one time and only one time).  In high school, I leg pressed over 1000 pounds 31 times consecutively which was a record there.  There was a plaque on the wall in the school gym commemorating it. When I returned 7 years later, the record was still mine. The stupid things we do for glory. I didn’t walk right for days after that.

From 8th grade through sophomore year of college, I was constantly in the gym and I saw fantastic results come from my hard work.  But as college progressed, lifting was eventually replaced by partying and hanging out and I just lost the drive to drag my ass to the gym 5 days a week. A body at rest really does tend to stay at rest and so it has been.

I’m excited to get back to lifting. I don’t want to hulk up as much as I want to get cut. Cardio is boring me to tears and although I know it is very important, this will be a nice change. In a few months, I might take up swimming again as that is something I’m good at and enjoy doing. But for now, I’m going to really get an intense lifting regiment going. ‘

A friend sent me this next video and it really inspired me.  It really is the recipe for success.  In other facets of my life where I have seen success I recognize that this formula works. No matter if it is lifting weights, training for a race, excelling in a professional career or just being your very best self – the formula for making huge strides really is maximizing your performance in the limited time you have.  Time can be our greatest enemy if we don’t take advantage of it. If we use it wisely and recognize that time is fleeting, it can be our most powerful alley.  I hope this video inspires others the way it did me.  

What is your dream?  What is holding you back? Despite tons of excuses, I was the one holding myself back. I let a lot of time just slip away. That is going to change now.









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