Saturday, December 5, 2020

The First Week

I know enough about working out with weights to know that I would have to really take it easy for a while. When starting back up again, you're not just dealing with weak muscles but also with connective tissue that needs to get used to workouts. Just because your muscles can handle putting on more weight doesn't mean your tendons and ligaments can. So, I'm using weights that I used to warm up with, as expected. Still, even I was surprised at how little I am squatting.

I ride my bike a lot and I know my legs and calves are strong. However, cycling strong is not the same as squatting strong because the muscles are used differently. So I'm using warm-up weights there, too.

I am getting used to everything again. Moving the long pins in the cage as I setup for squats, then bench. The breathing while lifting. Getting my feet setup just right for squats. During the bench press I now put a pillow under my head because it doesn't like the position it's in (I can't have my head flat when I'm laying down or I get a dizzy-like feeling). It's all coming back to me.

I never lifted very heavy weights. I have long arms and legs so those long levers aren't an advantage in sheer pounds. So I could max just over 200# on the bench press and about 315# squatting, as I recall. However, I was a heck of a lot stronger then than I am now. I will be glad to get some grip strength back, too. Slowly but surely.

My workout is super simple. Three sets (after warm-up) of (all weights are just what's on the bar):

  • Squats: 6x60
  • Bench press: 8x40
  • Barbell curls: 8x30

Friday, December 4, 2020

In the beginning...

...there was Usenet and email, and it was good. Before the world wide web, we used those to communicate over the Internet (capital "I"). If more than 100 people would vote for it, you could create a new Usetnet newsgroup. If not, then you had to start up a mailing list and communicate that way (which are still used by bands (especially indie) to let their fans know about new releases). Your mailing list could forward emails that came in automatically to the whole group and/or the emails for a given day could be collected together in one longer email (a "digest") and that would be sent out to list members.

A bit of internet history: I am an internet fitness pioneer. No, really. I started the "weights" mailing list back in 1990. It was the first thing on the whole internet devoted to working out with weights. I put up a web site, WeightsNet.com in 1996 (weights.com was already taken I couldn't get weights.net because, back then, you could only get a .net domain if you were an ISP). It was a fun little project and even made a small amount of money. However, in 1998 I became a father and that took priority over the site, the list, and my weight training workouts. So, gradually, I pulled back from all three.
[Interesting note: one of the people on the mailing list also saw the commercial potential of talking about working out on the net as well as selling related products (I had my own reasons for not pursuing that). I believe he was just a teenager at the time and he really went for it. He spent a lot of $$ to buy bodybuilding.com and worked his butt off. Ryan DeLuca is now a very rich man. How cool is that!]

Fast forward 20 years to today. My children are in their twenties. I have divorced and re-married. I took up triathlons in 2008 but that has been reduced to bicycling. I couldn't take up the weights again because I had my own workout equipment but I didn't have any room for them anymore (the divorce was pretty financially devastating). However, I do now:
That's an olympic bench and bar, a power cage with pull-up bar, a pulldown/rowing machine (using free weights), a curling bar, and a rack for the weights (the dumbbells didn't make it--yet). The bench and big bar I bought around 1988 and most of the rest I bought around 1991. It has all been sitting in a barn for the last 20 years. Things are a bit rusty but so am I.

So why am I writing? Because I am now 58 and working out with weights for the first time in about 20 years. I thought I'd share what that's like. Pretty simple, really.

Slowly But Surely

I have been making slow but steady progress. I did get sweats so I could workout in cold weather (reminder: my home gym is outdoors). I even...