The OF Blog: Progress after two months of gym membership

Monday, April 09, 2012

Progress after two months of gym membership

I'll be posting occasional updates as such serves as motivation to get myself into a healthy condition, but I will try not to post more than once every month or so.  Ever since I joined a local gym back on February 8, I have tried to go at least twice a week and often 3-4 times a week as my body adapted to the workout regimen that I developed to target all of the major muscle groups.  Over the past couple of weeks, as the weather outside has been in the 70s and 80s, I have also begun incorporating walking 3.33 miles (or 5.1 km) in the days between the workouts, leaving an option of Saturday or Sunday as my rest day.  Although this is my goal, I have yet to get this 6 days a week of exercise/cardio to become a full routine (hopefully later this month).

Here is the workout I just finished doing, that lasted 65 minutes.  With a few variations (more weights on Wednesdays), it is my base Monday-Wednesday-Friday workout:

1.  Exercise bike for 38 minutes, starting at a medium resistance of 12 out of 25 and after 5 minutes, increasing to 14 and then to 15 after 15, 16 after 25, and 17 for the final 5 minutes.  According to the bike calorie counter (which is calibrated I think for a 150 lb. person, which I'd weigh only if they removed 40% or more of my body!), I burned 343 calories during those 38 minutes.

2.  Chest fly. 3 sets of 10, 120 lbs. each time (I started at 60 lbs. my first week, went to 70 lbs. after my second week, did 80 lbs. for weeks 3-4, 100 lbs. for weeks 5-6, and 120 lbs. for the past 2 weeks).

3.  Chest press.  3 sets of 10.  First set at 180 lbs.  Second and third sets at 200 lbs.  (On Fridays, I'll do a shorter 10-5-3 set at 200, 240, 280 lbs.)

4.  Abdominal roll machine.  3 sets of 10, pausing 1-3 seconds in the middle of each repetition.  Weights start at 165 lbs. for the first set and the 180 lbs. for the second and 205-220 lbs. for the third.

5.  Back extension (reverse positioning on the ab roll).  3 sets of 10, pausing again 1-3 seconds during each repetition.  Weights again go 165, 180, 205-220.

6.  Lat pull-downs.  3 sets of 10, at 135 lbs. (Had started using it four weeks ago at 105 lbs.)

7.  Cable rows.  3 sets of 10, at 135 lbs. (Will be increasing to 150 lbs. next week)

8.  Tricep curls.  3 sets of 10, at 70-90-110 lbs. (Began 8 weeks ago at 50-60-70).

9.  Bicep curls.  3 sets of 10, at 70-90-110 lbs. (Began 8 weeks ago at 60-70-80).

10.  I alternate between doing shoulder press (usually on Mondays), leg extension (Wednesdays), or leg press (Fridays), doing a 10-5-3 on Mondays at 150-180-225 lbs., 220 lbs. on Wednesdays, and maximum on the leg press resistance machine on Fridays (I think it'd be the equivalent of around 400 lbs.  I'm only stretching out my leg muscles and not trying to exhaust them after doing the normal 30-40 minutes on the exercise bike each workout day).

Tuesdays-Thursdays-Saturdays(or Sundays) will now be for walking for 60-90 minutes at around 3.1 miles (5 km) an hour pace.  I hope to go from walking 3.33 miles (8 laps at a local track) to 5 miles (12 laps) at month's end, with a goal of starting to jog once my weight is nearer to my target (I have two bad knees from years of playing soccer/football).

Since I began working out, I have lost two inches from my waist and have lost just over 20 lbs./10 kg. in total weight.  I suspect I have lost closer to 30-35 lbs. of fat while gaining at least 10 lbs. of muscle mass in my arms and thighs.  Biceps now measure just under 16" and calves are just under 20".  My hope is to get to a Size 36 waist by my mid-July birthday and a Size 34 by Christmas, which would be the same size as when I was 18 and weighed a svelte 190 lbs.

I've never been a fruits/vegetable person (an ex-gf claimed I had "texture aversion," whatever that means), so I've changed my diet more in eating almonds and/or 1 Rice Krispie Treat for a snack and rarely frying chicken (my favorite meal) and largely foregoing potato chips, french fries, and fast food items whenever possible.  I used to drink 3-4 12 oz. cans of Coke or Pepsi a day.  I gave that up for Lent and while I purposely broke that yesterday for Easter, I have no plans to consume more than maybe a fast food drink once or twice a month maximum for at least the next several months.  I drink now only water, either bottled or through a purifier (we get well water here, so it is a necessity at times to have a purifier).  I used to complain of weakness or even faintness after eating a meal and while I have never tested positive for diabetes, it runs in both sides of my immediate family, so I suspect the sugary drinks were making me sluggish.  In the past two months, I have not had a problem with that and I am much more alert now that I do not consume caffeine and I carefully monitor what sugars and carbs I do consume.  Hopefully when I have my semi-annual checkup in late May, the liver enzymes, cholesterol, and triglyceride counts will be all in the healthy range.  Pulse has dropped from the 90s down to the mid-70s since I began working out and soon I'll have my blood pressure re-tested to see if it's at least down to the low 120s/low 80s from the low 130s/low 90s (sleep apnea does elevate blood pressure, especially the bottom number).  Calorie intake is limited to 1700-2200 calories a day, in order that there be slow but steady loss without the body feeling as though it were starved.

Yes, these workouts have consumed much of the time that I had set aside for reviewing (I do manage to read on my iPhone while I am on the exercise bike, so that is not affected much), but sometimes there are more important things than just talking about literature, right?

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