Wednesday, November 28, 2012

1st 4 Month Check In (August-November 2012)




I have decided that about every 4 months or so, I will do an overall status report, which will highlight the following things:

1.  For each exercise, where I started at, where I'm currently at.
2.  Any gains (or losses)
3.  Observations which may have contributed to the gains/losses--if any
4.  Any exercises or machines phased out (and why)

This check in will reflect start of August 5, 2012 up until my last work out date, which is November 24, 2012.

Chest:
1.       Chest Press
                Starting Weights:  10 lbs.
                Max. Weights:  55 lbs.
                Gain=45 lbs.

                Observation:  The greatest thing was when I realized there was an alternate chest press machine.  The levers are on the floor as opposed to overhead.  That difference alone made this exercise seem less a chore and more of something I’d be able to do. 
               

2.       Fly
                Starting Weights:  30 lbs.
                Max. Weights:  60 lbs.
                Gain= 30 lbs.

                Observation:  I did notice that the arc of the handles as well as the way I was holding them did have some impact on how well I could do on the machine. 

Back:
3.       Wide Grip Lateral Pulldown
Starting Weights:  25 lbs.
Max. Weights:  ½ set @ 100 lbs.
Gain= 75 lbs.

4.       Fixed Pulldown
Starting Weights:  30 lbs.
Max. Weights:  85 lbs.
Gain= 55 lbs.

5.       Seated Row
Starting Weights:  10 lbs.
Max Weights:  85 lbs.
Gain= 75 lbs.

Shoulders:
6.       Overhead Press
Starting Weights:  10 lbs.
Max Weights:  30 lbs.
Gain= 20 lbs.

Observation:  This machine is one that I consider somewhat challenging.  I have been taking this one step by step.  At one point, I didn’t think I could get to the point where I could deal with 30 pounds without becoming aggravated.  Now, I am managing. 

7.       Row/Rear Deltoid
Starting Weights:  10 lbs.
Max Weights:  50 lbs.
Gain= 40 lbs.

Observation:  This is another machine I find challenging, more because it feels awkward, even when I make proper adjustments. 

Biceps:
8.       With Bar
Starting Weights:  30 lbs.
Max Weights:  65 lbs.
Gain=35 lbs.

Observation:  I find the bar makes it easier for me to hold form, but I do have to be careful that the bar isn’t serving as a crutch as well.  When I can (mainly when it’s not as congested in the gym), I have been doing more free weights.  I have discovered with dumbbells, I can handle up to 20 pounds and with the long bar, up to 40 pounds.  That, in itself, is an increase in what I could do in free weights a few months ago.

9.       Without Bar
Starting Weights:  30 lbs.
Max Weights:  50 lbs.
Gain=25 lbs.

Triceps:
10.   Arm Press
Starting Weights:  30 lbs.
Max Weights:  130 lbs.
Gain= 100 lbs.

11.   Arm Extension
Starting Weights:  20 lbs.
Max Weights:  65 lbs.
Gain= 45 lbs.

Legs:
12.   Leg Press
Starting Weights:  50 lbs.
Max Weights:  110 lbs.
Gain= 60 lbs.

13.   Leg Extension
Starting Weights: 30 lbs.
Max Weights:  50 lbs.
Gain= 20 lbs.

14.   Leg Curl
Starting Weights:  50 lbs.
Max. Weights:  70 lbs.
Gain= 20 lbs.

Observation:  Both the Leg Extension and Leg Curl machine feel awkward to me in terms of set up, so I want to make sure I’m doing the exercise properly, even though I could probably up the weights I am using. 

15.   Rotary Calf (Calf Extension)
Starting Weights:  50 lbs.
Max. Weights:  110 lbs.
Gain= 60 lbs.

16.   Hip AB-ductor
Starting Weights:  90 lbs.
Max. Weights:  150 lbs.
Gain= 60 lbs.

17.   Hip ADD-uctor
Starting Weights:  90 lbs.
Max Weights:  150 lbs.
Gain= 60 lbs.

Abdominals:
18.   Ab Crunch (Levers)
Starting Weights: 30 lbs.
Max Weights: 80 lbs.
Gain= 50 lbs.

19.   Ab Crunch (Upright)
Starting Weights:  30 lbs.
Max Weights: 80 lbs.
Gain= 50 lbs.

20.   Ab Crunch (Recline)
Starting Weights:  30 lbs.
Max Weights:  80 lbs.
Gain=50 lbs.

21.   Lower Back Extension
Starting Weights:  30 lbs.
Max Weights:  130 lbs. (1 exp. Set)
Gain= 100 lbs.




22.   Ab Coaster
Start:  3 sets of 10 w/ no resistance
Currently: 3 sets of 20 w/ 40 lbs. Resistance
Gain= 40 lbs. Resistance (Doubled Amount of Reps.)

Observation:  At first, I was a bit intimidated by this machine, but now that I’ve gotten the hang of it, it is one of my favorite machines to get on.  I often pretend I am on a swing, trying to make my feet kiss the sky. 

23.   Torso Rotation
Starting Weights: 70 lbs.
Max. Weights:  110 lbs.
Gain= 40 lbs.

Cardio Machines:
24.   Bike
Starting Endurance:  Less than 10 minutes (Quick Start only)
Current Endurance:  Up to 22 minutes (Multiple Programs; Level 1)
Gain= 12 minutes of Endurance

Observation:  Being on the stationary bike makes me want to have a real bike.  I did have a bike a while back, but while riding it, the front wheel came off.  I wasn't hurt, though.  I do have yet to get another bike; that was years ago.  I think a bike would help with going downtown, since parking is a pain in the tail, but perhaps when I ride, I will try and find a bike trail of some sort. 

25.   Elliptical
Starting Endurance: Under 3 minutes (Quick Start only)
Current Endurance: Up to 21 minutes (Multiple Programs; Level 1)
Gain= 18 minutes of Endurance

Observation:  This machine made me want to run for cover.  At times, I would make progress and then backtrack.  It made me very frustrated.  Then, I decided to change gears and celebrate the small steps.  Almost each time I worked out on the machine, I gained up to a minute of endurance.  I have learned to pause the machine when it’s getting to be a bit much, refuel, and then press on.  Some of the different programs, especially the Heart and the Interval ones, have played a role in building my endurance as well.

26.   Treadmill
Starting Endurance: Up to 10 minutes (Quick Start only)
Current Endurance: Up to 35 minutes (Multiple Programs; Level 1)
Gain= 25 minutes of Endurance

Observation:  Depending on the program, I probably could go longer on the treadmill.  I have discovered that I do like levels of variety in my cardio, and I do like to split it between machines.  Only when I’m feeling very tired do I just put it all in one machine. 

I know there are some people who like to do all of their cardio either before or after strength training.  For me, I work best when it is split up. 

Machines I Used In The Beginning (but are currently phased out):
27.   Glute
Why:  I discovered some of the other machines I was using also did a wonderful job of exercising my glutes, along with it being hard for me to function on this particular machine.  Perhaps I will revisit it, but for right now, I’m content with the phase out.

28.   Arc Trainer
Why: My knees aren’t a big fan of the impact, even when I set it to just glide.

29.   Roman Chair
Why:  I don’t know fully the types of exercises I can do on the chair.  Plus, some of the moves I have seen people doing are equivalent to the Lower Back Extension machine that I have been using.

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