Tuesday, May 8 – Wednesday, June 20

Ups and downs (sometimes literally)

I’ve been much better at maintaining a regular gym schedule during these six weeks than had been the case. In part it’s because my hours at the Major Home Improvement Retailer have gotten less onerous, in part it’s because the workload at my main job has been pretty reasonable, but mostly it’s because of good, old-fashioned determination. I’ve gone to the gym at least three times each week, more often four or five. Even when we were in Vermont for five days, staying at a hotel whose fitness center was largely devoid of weights, I used the elliptical every evening.

So, what about progress? Well in one exercise I’ve made amazing progress in this time span. Pull-ups, generally with the neutral grip, have been one of those off-and-on exercises for me for years. I’ll do them for a while, lose interest, start up again sometime later, lose interest, rinse and repeat. You get the idea.

Well, right about when we got back from Vermont in late May I decided that I was going to do more pull-ups, no more excuses. At that time I could manage sets of no more than four, and usually my form on the last rep would be pretty bad. In a little over three weeks, to my amazement, I’ve doubled my count – that’s right, I can now do a set of eight, and with decent form too. While I’m not yet able to do multiple sets of eight, I have done 8-7-6-5 progressions. Next up, a set of ten. I’m confident it will happen soon.

Not everything has gone so well, unfortunately. My progress on deadlifts has been very slow, so slow it’s barely above “nonexistent.” I’m considering ditching the standard bar entirely and using the trap bar in its place. In the past that worked well for me, hopefully it will get me out of the rut I’m now in.

As for other exercises, my troublesome shoulder is mostly better, and I’ve resumed barbell bench pressing. Just to avoid trouble I’m not trying to set any records. I top out at 225 and usually don’t do more than a few reps at that level. I’m also relying on pec deck flies and, more recently, dumbbell pullovers for chest work. While the pull-ups are my main back exercise, I supplement them with one-arm dumbbell rows, now keeping my feet next to each other as that’s better than one in front of the other as I had been doing. If I have a few minutes to spare I’ll do some cable pulldowns, but just as auxiliary work. s for legs, I mainly do machine stuff, leg presses and seated leg curls, though I’ve started doing squats once again, nothing heavy, and also do stiff-legged deadlifts.

In addition to my exercises I’ve been doing a good deal of research on supplements, and currently I take Redcon1 Total War pre-workout and Big Noise pump before I go to the gym, and whey protein and creatine afterwards. There’s no doubt that whey protein and creatine are highly useful, and while the two Redcon1 products aren’t as proven they do get good reviews and are worth a try.

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Published in: on June 21, 2018 at 1:52 am  Leave a Comment