New year, more exercise and better food choices

Well, it’s official, I’m overweight. I weighed myself a couple of weeks ago and topped the scale at 234lbs. Now that isn’t too crazy considering I’m 6’6″ tall, but still overweight nonetheless. I am most comfortable around 220 to 225. I noticed an additional problem after visiting the Dr. for a physical. I have high cholesterol. My Dr. isn’t concerned because my good cholesterol is quite high, but my overall cholesterol was around 221.

So, like so many others I am vowing to make better food choices and exercise on a more regular basis. As a method to push me along in my journey, I am going to post my successes and failures. To get the ball rolling, I will share my first weight training routine.

I have lifted weights on and off for years. It has proved very useful for shedding excess pounds and toning my flabby exterior. I chose a modified power lifting program for my first routine of the year. Power lifting routines are generally several sets of heavy weight at very low reps. This particular routine had a mandatory warm up routine. This consists of two separate workouts that are alternated over a 3 week period. This is where it gets interesting.

The workout started with 2 sets of 15 reps on squat. Since I was treating this as a conditioning, I threw a couple of 25 plates on for a total weight of 95lbs on the bar and I went at it. No problem. Easy workout, but by the time I got to 12 or 13 reps, I really wanted to stop. Good choice on the weight, even if it was far less than I would normally use for a workout. The second exercise was a static lunge. I have never done lunges. Only girls do lunges. They look like you have a problem walking or that your trying to pull something in your groin on purpose. A static lunge is indeed static. You simply take a step forward with one foot so that you are in midstride and hold that position. To perform the exercise, you simply lower your body and then raise it again. It is helpful to think of almost kneeling with your back leg. Your back knee will almost touch the ground and your front leg will form a 90 degree angle. So, here I am about to perform my girl exercise. I took the plates off of the bar which left me with the weight of the bar (45lbs). I stepped forward with the left leg and proceeded to do my 15 reps. The whole time, I am thinking that this is REALLY difficult. I’m breathing hard and thinking that I really don’t want to do this exercise again, but I have my other leg. I take a short break to catch my breath and attempt to do the same thing.

My body refuses to bend my legs. When I finally do manage to start the movement, I realize that there is NO way I am going to be able to support this bar. I am falling over. I am using all of my body just to keep myself from crashing through the gym mirrors. I finally regain my balance and get back to the starting position. I wisely decide to re-rack the barbell. Obviously, I am seriously weak on this side. I then attempted to perform the lunges with only my body weight. This too was very problematic. I still had a horrible time keeping my balance and in the end I only managed 12 of the 15 reps.

So, in the end, my girl exercise thoroughly kicked my butt. Hopefully, the movement will become easier over the following weeks. This proves to me that even if you think individual parts of your body are strong, you may have weaknesses that are hard to spot. Variation in your routine can help to not only find these weaknesses, but to strengthen those areas.

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