Monday, August 9, 2010

Gym regimen – August 2010

9 August 2010
Ur-Workout: 50+ mins

1. Bench press: 10, 8, 6, 6, 6 @ 50–70kg

2. Pullup: 12, 11, 11, 10 @ bodyweight

3. Barbell military press: 10, 8, 7 @ 25–40kg

4. Barbell curl: 10, 8, 6 @ 30–40kg

5. Dumbbell "Dutch door"/"Elbows out" tricep extension: 10, 8, 7 @ 12–17kg
[This, apparently, works the coveted "part of the tricep near the inside elbow," which enhances bench press over time. In a seated, semi-prone position, lower dumbells to chest and extend overhead. Like opening Dutch doors with the bottom part of your fists, see?]

6. Leg extension: 15, 15, 15 @ 20–40kg
[In lieu of the squat.]

7. Leg curl: 15, 15, 15 @ 15–25kg

8. Standing calf raise: N/A
[Moratorium on calf raises, due to injury, explained below.]

9. Kneeling rope pulldown: 20, 20, 30, 30 @ 73kg

10. Wrist curl: N/A
[To be done on an off-day.]

+++

I haven't updated my gym regimen in a while because I hurt my foot last weekend (I was being careless with my weight at high speed) and haven't gone back to the gym until this afternoon. I did two workouts at home last week, not without profit, but had to confine myself pretty much to upper body only. (And there goes my beloved rope jumping for a few weeks. Sad face.) I saw no reason to record the workouts from last week, since they were just some curls, chest flyes, presses, and the like for trying out a nice new little dumbbell set which a friend bequeathed to me.

It felt really nice to get back in the gym and I am happy to report that it seems the only thing I can't do for a while are squats, deadlifts, and calf raises, since the nature of my foot injury prevents me from pressing down too hard on the ball of my (left) foot. But I discovered I can still do leg extensions and curls, so we're basically still onboard. Hogh five!

Another reason I really enjoyed this workout is that I could get it done so quickly. Between my recent post about Mary's new knowledge and getting to work on time this afternoon, I knew today would be the perfect experiment to see if I could really keep the Ur-Workout to the advised time of 45-60 minutes. Even once my foot feels better again and I swap leg extensions out for squats, I can still get it done in under an hour. Another high five, on me!

Interestingly, I felt much stronger on the bench press. This is due to three things: 1) I have honed my bench press form, which enhances my efficiency for raising the weight; 2) I have actually gotten stronger with a week or two off from heavy lifting (after a month+ of heavy lifting); and 3) the weights at Central really may be eroded lighter than those at World Gym. I'm not discouraged by the third factor, since I must admit today was a lighter workout than I could have done. My first time with the Ur-Workout, I decided to play it safe. (But there will be blood, in due time, don't worry.) On my last set of bench press, for instance, I was still able (inadvertently) to raise the bar higher than one of the catches and accidentally swung the left head (!) over the catch till a guy pushed it back over for me. No high five this time, but it does show I can push myself a little harder next time. The guy who helped me was rather "big" but kept doing reps at a partial range of motion. Sigh.

Now, here's something interesting. In an earlier post, I noted how my left arm (esp. the tricep muscle) is weaker than my right arm. Today, however, a guy (yes, that partial-range-of-motion guy) helped me load plates on my last set of bench press… but left 2.5kg off the right side, which meant I did three reps heavier on my left arm. So my left arm got that much more of a challenge to bring it up to speed. (Forgive me: I'm a philosopher even about my muscles.) Add to this the fact that I have recently had to use my left tricep much more to take weight off my left foot, a kinesthetic bias which will only be sharpened during the 2.5 day hike up Taiwan's famous Jade Mountain next Tuesday through Thursday. Also, while in that earlier post I admitted that dumbbells allow one to train weaker sides more precisely with variably heavier dumbbells, I could feel today how using barbells (esp. on the military press) also forces the weaker muscles to keep up with the stronger side, otherwise the barbell goes goofy and off-kilter. So there's room for everyone and everything at my table o' yikzercize!

Ah, so, after hearing Noam Chomsky lecture tomorrow morning at Qing Hua University in Xinzhu––about "poverty of the stimulus"––, I will be back in the gym for another Ur-Workout. Stay tuned. And keep sending me more donations. I mean, really, what else would you do with you procrastination that isn't flagrantly immoral, if not for FCA?

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