Back in the Gym | Rad Fitness

Started exercising again. After a long layoff. Most of my life I've endeavored to remain fit .. tho now I do so for reasons related to stress-relief & a sense of psychological well-being (the head). The mind is clearer & functions better within a body that is physically fit. (In my youth, ego was the primary motivation.)

ArnoldFirst step is always the hardest. Once an exercise routine has developed, things seem to run on auto-pilot. My muscles actually start to crave work-outs.

Been at it a month now. A return to the gym follows this ugly scenario » a week of misery » followed by a week of soreness » followed by a couple of weeks of fatigue. So it takes a month just to get back up to zero .. if that makes sense.

Funny how the body seems to 'remember.' (Or maybe it's all in the mind.) So you're able to return more quickly to where you were (strength-wise) .. than if you'd never exercised in the past. We know this drill.

Used to date this 'muscle-chick,' who lived out in Rancho Santa Marguerita. (Muscular, tho not masculine. Had 'baby-pythons' for arms.) She competed. Anybody who competes is hardcore. She never won anything, but regularly placed in the top-5. You have to be pretty buff just to get INTO these competitions.

Anyway, I learned a lot from her. A walking encyclopedia of fitness she was. Heck, that was pretty much ALL she talked about.

It surprised me to hear her say DIET was more important than exercise .. and especially so when it came time to 'cut' for a competition (which involves restricting carb-intake).

"Exercise," she said, "you do for maybe an hour an day, whereas diet is a 24-7 proposition."

Anything we did together was always worked around her diet and timing her meals. Some might find this annoying, but I found it interesting. (If not somewhat obsessive.)

••• today's entry continues here below •••

[ People who reside at either end of most any distribution bell curve interest me. I like to dissect them, psychologically and try to figure out what drives them to these extremes. Outside she was hot, flawless, but inside a mess. Major issues. Exercise was how she coped. Her form of self-medication. ]

It would be easy to get carried away with nutritional supplements (and many do), but the rudimentary basics .. for someone like me, who just wants to feel reasonably fit .. involves 4 simple adjustments (in addition to eating a sensible diet, of course):

  1. A good multi-vitamin (such as Now Adam , which actually recommends 2 tablets per day) to ensure you have the basics covered, along with plenty of water.

  2. Immediately following a workout, consume a 'recovery' drink, consisting of 30-cc dextrose, 30-cc maltodextrin, a scoop or two of fast-acting protein, and 5-cc creatine. 1 rounded teaspoon = 5-cc. More here. Interesting that this page contains both the best explanation I've found, yet the worst styling. Drink half right away, and sip the rest slowly over the next half-hour or so. Some also make the case for adding a pich of salt, to adjustment electrolyte concentrations in stomach. Maybe I added too much salt, but the drink tasted horrible.

    I weigh 185 lbs. (In my dreams.) Can increase amounts depending on your weight and how hard you work-out. Harder workouts require more recovery. For me, legs days are the worst. Deadlifts kill me. Fatigue-city.

  3. Before bed drink a glass of slow-acting protein, along with some essential fatty acids (teaspoon or capsule) such as flax-seed oil or cold-pressed fish oil. (Fish oil is better.)

  4. 24-hours (give or take a few) after you exercise, your body will build muscle tissue at the maximum rate, peaking at roughly TWICE its normal rate. This then tapers back down to normal at T = 48 hours, following your workout. So make sure you have plenty of protein in your system during this time (in the form of amino acids) .. in order to maximize your efforts in the gym. Cans of tuna-in-water with a spash of soy sauce works great in a pinch. Body needs a fresh supply of protein every 3 hours or so.

  5. Careful not to over-train. It's easier than you think, especially if you're over 40. Take a week off over 6. To play it safe.

The reasons for these tweaks would take too long to detail here. If you're like me, when starting out, you just want to know the basics and get on with the program. You don't need to know everything about Photoshop to crop a simple image. Amazing how well the body responds to a little nutritional science.

For exercise, I try to focus on multiple-joint movements .. squats, deadlifts, cleans, bench press, shoulder press, etc. Nothing fancy. Focusing on the basics will take you far. (Heck, just showing up is half the battle.)

The #1 bit of advice I give future-dads (when asked) is » Start a work-out routine. When they ask why, I say, "You'll see." Being a new parent is mostly just a lot of hard work. It can be exhausting.

Remember, the body is just a chemical plant. Practice better-living-thru-chemistry. Even geeks need to be fit. And don't forget what the ancients said » Moderation in all things.

Takes 3-to-6 months to get up to normal operating speed. The older you are, the more recovery time you need. (Takes longer for old farts to recover from a work-out.) Once achieved tho, a certain level of fitness is much easier to maintain.

Goal of program is to add a modest 1/2-pound of muscle per week. So that at the end of 6 months, you've added 10 pounds muscle. And hopefully used it to replace 10 pounds fat. So you weigh never actually changes. Anything below 20% body-fat is respectable (in my book). If you weigh 200 lbs, 10 pounds = 5% (body-fat). So we will assume you dropped you % body-fat from 25 to 20.

Best way to lower bodyfat, especially after 6 months of growing muscle, is to do 45-mins cardio every morning before breakfast. Keep heat-rate below 120, cuz that's how the body burns fat. If you crank it uo to over 130 bpm, you start eating muscle (catabolize). Keep it light-n-easy. I am on the lean side, so I tend to focus more on building muscle than cutting fat.

If you replace 10 lbs of fat with 10 pounds muscle, I guarantee people will notice the difference. But not as much as you will.

Sperm racing to the eggWe all started out as gold medalists. Every one of us began life as a little sperm .. and the race was on (.. the one for the egg. The real 'human race'.) You had literally millions of competitors. Many of them quite capable, no doubt.

If you didn't win, you wouldn't be reading this right now. Survival of the fittest. That's you. Do you remember that race? The race of your life?

I'm not yet lifting the same weights I was back in the day, but I've made up half the distance between there and where I started a month ago, when I felt pretty weak.

My goal is to dead-lift my own weight. Some places set a goal to squat 1.5X your body-weight. That's a lot of weight. Too much for me.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rad published on April 5, 2010 7:26 PM.

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