running out of time
Photo credit: galleryhip.com

I’m discovering that my new workout routine is very time-consuming. Monday, I had the luxury of spending almost 90 minutes at the gym because my son was driving himself to work, but Tuesday, it was business as usual. I had only 60 minutes max to get my exercise in and get out of the gym.

That used to be enough time, but now that’s changing. My resistance training on Tuesday takes a full 35 minutes to complete if I do everything, including building in rest times between sets at 60 to 90 seconds. That means doing a 25 minute cardio uses up every last second in my allotted schedule. Call it 8 minutes or so to drive back home, and I’ve got maybe 35 minutes to chug down a protein drink, make lunch, shower, dress, and drive to my son’s place so we can commute into downtown.

I hate rushing through any workout, but especially when I’m lifting (for me) heavy weights, that can actually get dangerous. I rely on the mirrors in the weight room to help me maintain my form, but I can’t see myself from every angle, so hopefully I’m not missing something important.

Here’s how Back Day went:

Barbell Bent Over Rows

  1. 10x 110lbs/49.89kg (warm up)
  2. 5x 120lbs/54.43kg
  3. 5x 120lbs/54.43kg
  4. 5x 130lbs/58.96kg
  5. 5x 130lbs/58.96kg
  6. 5x 140lbs/63.5kg

Barbell Bent Leg Deadlifts

  1. 10x 130lbs/58.96kg
  2. 6x 150lbs/68.03kg
  3. 6x 150lbs/68.03kg
  4. 5x 180lbs/81.64kg
  5. 5x 180lbs/81.64kg

Cable Low Rows

  1. 15x 130lbs/58.96kg
  2. 8x 140lbs/63.5kg
  3. 6x 150lbs/68.03kg
bent leg deadlifts
Photo credit: pixgood.com

Lat Pulldowns

  1. 12x 130lbs/58.96kg
  2. 10x 130lbs/58.96kg
  3. 8x 130lbs/58.96kg

Dumbbell Bent Over Rows

  1. 8x 50lbs/22.67kg
  2. 8x 60lbs/27.21kg
  3. 6x 60lbs/27.21kg

At this point, I’m dripping with sweat all over the bench and the dumbbell, trying to wipe everything down while I’m still sweating on the equipment. I rack the weight and rush over to the elliptical and barely squeeze in the 25 minutes of cardio before 6 a.m.

I was able to up the weight on both barbell exercises and deadlifted an impressive (for me) 180lbs, the most I’ve ever deadlifted. The same with the barbell rows. My previous weight at 5 reps was 120lbs and I was able to beat that by 20lbs this week. I’m trying to “check my ego” so I don’t up the weights too fast and hurt myself, but at the same time, I want to increase the weight enough to test my limits and continually challenge myself.

Before long, I should be deadlifting my body weight. After that, we’ll see how much stronger I can get.

But the barbell exercises early on in my workout routine had a somewhat negative impact on what came next. I’ve been able to do three sets of cable low rows at 150lbs for each set, performing between 8 and 15 reps per set, but since my arms and back were already tired, I decided to do a progression, doing a meager 6 reps on the final set.

The same for lat pulldowns except I just kept the weight at 130lbs. I managed to do enough reps per set to keep my in my target range, but if I had been doing pulldowns as the first or second exercise in my back day routine, I probably could have gone 20lbs heavier.

I almost skipped dumbbell rows due to lack of time, but I really hated to skip them as my final back exercise. So I decided to go a little heavier, at least for the last 2 sets. I normally use a 50 or 55lbs dumbbell, but I directly jumped from 50 to 60lbs between the first and second set. I figured if I didn’t have time to do higher reps at lower weights, I’d save time by using weights I could only pull up 6 or 8 reps per set.

When I woke up Tuesday morning and weighed myself first thing, I found I’d dropped a pound from the previous day, which made me feel a bit better. I still need to work hard and diet diligently to get back to the weight I was at the end of last week, and then continue my progress in losing fat weight.

dreamThis is a long, hard battle but interestingly enough, it’s also a “fun” battle. I’m enjoying my progress and believe I’m gaining just a bit more muscle. Really, I need to learn some way to measure my muscle growth (assuming there is any) so I don’t have to guess based on what I look like in the mirror.

Both setbacks and advances are motivating, but given the choice, I prefer the latter. I just wish I had more time.

As you read this, it’s (the dreaded) Leg Day. I’ll report on my progress in that area soon.

If we do not plant knowledge when young, it will give us no shade when we are old.

Lord Chesterfield


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