Nothing much to report really, which begs the question… oh, well. As the great Magnus Magnusson was wont to say, I’ve started so I’ll finish.
Head colds have been hanging around the house. And most unwelcome visitors they are too. It would seem half the country is suffering, and anecdotally, it’s easy to imagine the very mild weather we’ve been having has a part to play here. Certainly there are Lesser Celandines flowering up the Avenue. But that sort of ‘mild Winter won’t kill the bugs’ pseudo-science is amusing at best. I have no evidence to back it up. Healthcare professionals: feel free to comment.
The upshot is that training has been curtailed this month. What I have managed to do is start my gym programme.
The programme is designed (by me*) to work on core, as well as build strength in the arms and legs. It’s focusing on, well, to be honest, it’s rather random, but the plan is to build base fitness with lightish weights and more reps (repetitions), and then slowly add in some more exercises with increased weight, and some more dynamic exercises too.
For now, the routine is fairly simple, and uses most of the common exercises you would be familiar with, assuming you either work out in a gym, or own a book on gym work-outs, or once browsed the internet and came across ‘ten common gym work-outs.’ Or some such. Suffice to say this short post is not replete with wonderful diagrams and video clips.
The sessions take place first thing in the morning in the station gym across the road, at about 7.15am, each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I warm-up with 5 minutes on the rowing machine, then do a dozen step-ups onto a box with a barbell. Yes, I should know what the weight is but I don’t. I am essentially avoiding squats in order to preserve my knees. It’s not that I suffer particularly with knee problems, but at my delicate age (49 this year), I am going to start looking after the joints as best I can. And avoiding squats is part of this master plan. I throw in heel raises while I’m up there (with a little calf stretching, as I am perched on the edge of the box). It’s a little added effort which is no harm when you’re in the gym. Maximise your time in there; there is always something else you could or should be doing, and I am not any great fan of working out. I’d rather be running, cycling or swimming. Or walking the dog. Or chopping logs… you get the point.
The step-ups with weight is an easier version of the squat. And for any gym bunnies out there; yes. I know the squat is king. It’s a great work-out. But then I also like my knee caps where they are.
After the step-ups, I do a dozen clean and clears, again with a light enough barbell. Then it’s bench press with a weight I am comfortable with, for another dozen, and while I’m there, a dozen leg presses, coz the damn thing is at the end of the bench…
After 20 sit-ups, it’s on to the lateral pull down thingy, and another dozen of those. I finish off with a few chin-ups, and when I say a few, I mean very few. Five or six on a good day. I do three sets of this, and then warm down with 5k on the exercise bike.
So that’s it. The patent-applied-for, simple enough unironedman routine. I’ll do that three times a week for at least a month, and then add in some more explosive exercises such as box jumps. I have an aversion to lunges, so won’t be doing those. I will, though, (pinky promise) do my very best to use the foam roller that’s there, and also stretch a little afterwards. I really do promise to be very good…
Yeah, well, whatever. We’ll see. I don’t love the gym and the gym doesn’t seem to love me either, so the feeling is mutual. Once we start clocking up the miles on the bike, and building in the runs and swims, the gym programme will certainly change. I hope to keep it ticking over and not drop it entirely.
Below, gratuitous shot of Magnus Magnusson of Mastermind fame. The other dude is Magnus Samuelsson who I didn’t realise I had been watching in the excellent Arne Dahl. We love our Scandi-noir here in this house! I look a lot more like the one on the left…
* So no, I am not a gym instructor. I just made this up after reading a few things; some of which came from The Triathlete’s Training Bible I mentioned in a previous post, by Joe Friel. Not a bad book at all.