I purchased a membership with LA Fitness on July 12, 2013. I had been working out with dumbbells and home exercise equipment periodically for nearly a year prior, but it was time to get serious with a real workout, a dedicated schedule and a plan.
Being a nerd and a project manager, I naturally had to measure & track, well, nearly everything. Today was a self-appointed measurement & check-in date to evaluate progress, timed to conclude my first full week back after a one week hiatus while vacationing at the trailer. Just before going to the trailer, per my workout plan created by theoctothorpe
, I did my one-rep maximum, seeing how much weight I could lift if only doing one repetition instead of my usual three sets of twelve.
I'm mightily impressed how much I can lift on the one-rep max. For two of the machines I use regularly, I maxed out their weight stacks but could still push further.
Here's a sampling of progress. There were other exercises of course but I won't bother you with the entire list...
||Week #1 (lbs)
||Week #5 (lbs)
||One Rep Max (lbs)
||Maxed at 480, could prob do 520
||Maxed at 200, could prob do 240
|Standing Cable Pushdowns
|One Arm Cable Curls
My weight has dropped from 184lbs a month ago to 176lbs today. There hasn't been much change in my weight lately, but I'm hoping that indicates less fat and more muscle. If that's indeed the case, I'm good with it. I did notice last week as I was racking up new servers that hefting them over my head is much easier than it was two months ago. :-)
In the past 45 days, I've lost an inch around my waist & hips and added an inch to my chest. There hasn't been much change in forearms or upper arms. While my BMI holds steady at 26, my percentage body fat has dropped from 22.8% to 20.4%. I'd like to get the percentage fat below 18%, then re-evaluate how much further I'd like to go. I was hoping to see more improvement on the arms, but I suppose I'll just have to push/lift myself a little harder.
Pushing myself harder though has its own drawbacks. While I haven't vomited at the gym since my first exposure in early July in San Francisco, I have come close at least once. The trigger for me appears to be overheating: once I feel the stirrings of nausea, I head immediately to a cold shower and all is well again within 60 seconds. The cooler temperatures of winter may help.
In other gym news...
I really hate equipment that doesn't list both pounds and kilgrams. Nearly everything at my gym does, but there is one set which is metric-only. It's not hard to multiply by 2.2 to get the equivalent pounds, but that's not something I want to spend a lot of time doing in mid-set.
I'm also easily irked by the gym-goers who seem to take pride in dropping the weight stacks hard & frequently. Letting go that quickly & regularly indicates loss of control and/or look-at-me validation issues, neither of which are particularly attractive qualities. Once is OK as one tests one's limits: doing it repeatedly isn't.
Most gym-goers seem to like the Monday-Wednesday-Friday routine --that seems to be when the place is busiest. I prefer 8am Sunday-Tuesday-Thursday so I don't have to wait for equipment. I also noticed this past week there are fewer people there at 6am and 7am than I would have guessed: I thought a large number of folks would work out before going to work, and a larger group immediately after work on their way home. My latter guess has proven accurate, the former not so much. Go figure.
The men at my gym have an interesting perspective on male nudity. Our campground has open changing space and open group showers so I'm many years accustomed to walking around au naturel
and showering in the open. I didn't think a gym locker room would be much different: it's a gym locker room after all, and one should expect nudity. These guys however are very uptight. Grown men wrap themselves in a towel before dropping their shorts, or wear their shorts to the shower and only remove them once their shower curtain is closed. When done, they head back to their locker, slip on their clean pants under the towel, then put away the towel. Huh? I feel like assuring them that it's ok to be a little exposed: we're all adults here. I'm fear however that doing so would send most of them instantly into therapy. ( And here's where we go TMI... )
I have a number of weeks remaining on this program before we change things. Lord knows what new tortures theoctothorpe
has planned for me... I can hear the "bwahahahah!" already.