Surprise! I’m Back!

It’s been barely two months since I was last in the gym. I thought it was longer. It certainly felt longer when I lifted this morning.

light squat
Photo credit: free-stock-illustration.com

Of course, it was four weeks earlier when I managed to get into the gym before that, and then four weeks before that when I was in the gym, so working out has been sporadic at best. That takes us all the way back to Christmas, and that’s the last time I participated in a regularly scheduled workout.

What happened?

After yet another cold, I experienced a relentless nasal drip which put a bunch of mucus in my throat, resulting in a continual racking cough. Nasty stuff, especially early in the morning, so it torpedoed my workouts.

Since then, other unpleasant things have been happening that physically and psychologically kept me from the gym, but today I said “screw it” and went anyway.

I was going to do just a light cardio session, but after all, it’s Easter morning and the gym was practically empty. Just one woman, who I didn’t recognize, was in the weight room. No one was on the squat rack.

As you’ll see below, I took things very, very light and did no joker sets at all. Good thing I kept things simple. I completely forgot to take my notebook, water bottle and sweat rag, so I had to remember my weights.

That’s how long it’s been since I was at the gym.

Here are the numbers, pathetic though they may be.

Lightweight barbell workout

Back squats in squat rack (raw)

10x 45lbs/20.4117kg (warm up)
5x 65lbs/29.4835kg
5x 85lbs/38.5554kg
6x 115lbs/52.1631kg

Overhead press in squat rack

10x 45lbs/20.4117kg (warm up)
5x 45lbs/20.4117kg
5x 55lbs/24.9476kg
6x 65lbs/29.4835kg

Bodyweight Back Ext in Roman Chair
x10, x10, x10

baby barbell
Image: BrooklynStrong.net

Bodyweight Mat Leg Lifts
x10, x10, x10

The thing I noticed the most about squats was how heavy I was breathing between sets given the light weights. The first thing to go when you stop working out is your stamina and the second thing is your strength. Both of those went bye-bye, so I’m going to have to work to get them back.

My Dad’s sick, really sick, so I’m going to try to drive down to my parents’ place in a day or so, which means I probably won’t be back in the gym for a week. Okay, we’ll call today an experiment and work on a regular regime later.

Even though the squats were light, my legs feel them. My overhead press was even worse, but I’ve got to start somewhere.

Anyway, I’m back once again. This time, I’m hoping to keep up the momentum. Hope to write more in a week or so.

Coincidence is God’s way of staying anonymous.

Unknown

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8 thoughts on “Surprise! I’m Back!

  1. I was worried about you, but I didn’t want to post in case you had some serious malady befall you. We’re at that age now where parents and loved ones need our care, and we ourselves suffer from various injuries, sickness, etc.

    I am glad you’re okay and happy to see you back at the squat rack.

    Take it easy, but keep slugging away. “til next time.

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  2. Wow. Glad to see you back. It shouldn’t take long for you to resume your regular schedule. Just take it easy and don’t worry about the numbers….. I know how it feels. I’ve had periods when a couple of days off lead to weeks, months etc.. I’m sorry about your dad. Re-set and start next week

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  3. Any workout is better then nothing. If the weights were at all stressful then they did the job..Even doing one WO a week will at least let you maintain . Life issues take toll on all of us,but we have to take care of ourselves first so we will be able to take care of our loved ones. Good luck,Jerry.

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  4. The Iron Triangle of weight training workouts consists of Intensity, Volume, and Frequency. After a long lay off from working out, the first priority is to re-establish the habit of frequency. That is to say, just show up at the gym a minimum of two or three times a week. Let go of past records. Just show up and establish the routine of showing up at the gym.

    Once you get there, the old work ethic kicks in, your pride will want to make you try to do the same amount of weight you did when you were working out regularly. But you should resist this temptation in order to avoid injury. Instead, rely on Volume to take precedence over Intensity.

    Returning to the gym after a long lay off must make adjustments for loss of muscle tone, central nervous system toughness, and recovery abilities. These things need to get back on track. We do this by first addressing Frequency in the gym. Then we address Volume of workouts. Volume takes care of itself when we use aerobic fitness and muscle fitness to balance out. By using lighter weights at first, we are able to rest for less time between sets. As we get stronger, we increase Intensity. This puts more stress on both muscle fitness and aerobic capacity. This requires greater rest periods between sets.

    Therefore, workouts should last around sixty minutes. There are three main reasons for a sixty minute workout. The first is for the rationale listed above: it will result in a nice balance between Intensity and Volume. The second reason is because your blood sugar gets depleted after about sixty minutes of heavy demands, after which the body turns to using muscle tissue for energy. The third reason is that once you get fatigued, your form breaks down and you risk injury as a result.

    Goal One: Frequency, re-establish the habit of going to the gym. Do not be concerned about how much weight you are doing. Just to body weight exercises if necessary. Just do the bar or 20-pounf dumbbells if you have to.

    Goal Two: Volume, i.e., work out for about an hour. You may not be able to work out for sixty minutes after a long lay off. But this is the goal.

    Goal Three: Increase Intensity. After you have hardened your mind and your body, thn you are ready to start going back over the workout logs and begin training to regain your previous weight levels.

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