In my ongoing struggle against nature (and my love of ale) I’ve joined another gym, a swish new one. This time though, I’m not going to do the usual of ‘do lots of bike, cross trainer, a bit of resistance – quit after a few weeks’. Easy to say now I guess, but I’m pretty determined, and I’ve got a new focus this time.
The most I’ve ever done for my strength is some resistance work at the gym, and some dumbbell work at home, but working out at home is difficult without a dedicated space to do it. Moving the kitchen table, then making sure a spaniel isn’t licking your face every five minutes isn’t exactly the sort of motivation you need after a day at work. This has changed though, and thanks to a friend from work who’s pretty serious about his weights, I’m on a mission to do something about me (for my size) below-par strength. There’s a couple of resistance machines I’m still using, but mostly I’m working with free weights now which is something I’ve wanted to do for a while, but always been a bit chicken to do without someone experienced with me to a) spot me, and b) make sure I don’t have horrible technique. It’s a good job I did wait for that help, because my technique was indeed, horrible. There’s a lot of nonsense talked about martial arts and weight training, people seem to think that weights = muscle-bound, no flexibility, slow. Not true.
If I can motivate myself enough to keep it all up and keep progressing, I’m hoping to keep a record of what I’m managing to do here so I can look back at my progression. So for posterity, here’s where I’m starting.
|Shoulder press||22.5KG x2||9.5|
|Chest press (Smiths)||70KG||8|
|Chest press (bench)||70KG||6|
|Bicep curl||17.5KG x2||6|
The observant among you will notice I’m not doing anything over 10 reps, and that’s because I’ve been advised to go heavy and low reps. I know there’s a huge amount of debate about what’s best to do, low weight and lots of reps, heavy and low reps, or somewhere in the middle, but this is what I’m doing. I’m doing everything (with the exception of the tricep curl – I just didn’t have time) to failure, and hopefully over the next few weeks the numbers in the first column will be going up. Explosive up, controlled down.
From a quick Google, it seems I’m on the right track: