Pumping Iron – the origin story for my future physique


Last week I completed a Wellness Orientation at the local YMCA.  During which the trainer and I walked through all of the weight machines and figured out what settings they should be at. He also introduced me to the networked exercise tracker they use on said devices. It is a nice piece of software. I can view my progress on each machine individually, at a terminal, or online from the comfort of my own home.

The linked equipment automatically sends the weight, sets, and reps to an online portal for me to view and track. Which is nice since I’m not the best at keeping track of things in the moment and don’t always have the best record of remembering to do so later. I wanted to do the same thing on the elliptical machine but didn’t quite figure it out. Oh well, there is always next time. The software from the equipment does give you some neat pieces of info as well. Such as during my last workout I lifted a total of 6,970 lbs over the course of 11 exercises.

I’ve been back twice to use the equipment.  The first time, I didn’t understand the rotation so messed up on reps and sets.  The last time, yesterday evening, it all clicked (even if I missed one of the machines somehow, facepalm). I now have a nice baseline (minus that one exercise) with which to judge my progress against. I have added each exercise to MyFitnessPal so I can add them to my daily diary. Side note, lets just say I love having that one place to funnel all my info into. I will have to do a write-up on it another time.

Back to the point of this post. The plan is to try and use the machines 2-3 times a week, throwing in elliptical running on those days to keep my cardio pumping as well. Below is the numbers I’ve got for the exercises. It would have been nice if the weights were more impressive, but I’m starting at a pretty low point of strength.  I hope to look back at these numbers a year from now and cheer my progress. Here’s to sore muscles and increased strength.



The First Mile is Going to be Tough


Last night was interesting for my fitness growth. As I’ve written in the past I’m not a runner and have a long road ahead of me before I’m any good at it.  The first step was to create a plan for myself. My first milestone was to run 1 mile in one evening. I’d be ok with breaking it into 1/4 miles with 1/4 breaks where I walk it off.

So last night I decided to push myself and go for it.  I walked for 1/4 of a mile then kicked it into high gear, or as high a gear as an overweight mid 30’s ex-smoker could go and jogged 1/4 mile. It took me 2 1/2 minutes to do it. My legs and lungs burned. I walked it off for another 1/4 mile. Gritting my teeth I did the next quarter mile at the same jogging pace. 2 1/2 minutes later I had now run a whole half mile.

While I may not be running on a beautiful beach like the picture above shows, I was still ecstatic to be running. The next round of walking then running went very much the same as the first two. As I ended my cool down and prepared to run that final quarter mile I worried that I wouldn’t be able to finish.  Well “F’ it, I told myself and began the first of 5 laps. Full four letter word said in my head of course. The first lap wasn’t bad, the 2nd ok, the 3rd I almost gave up and stopped jogging. But like anyone crazy enough to torture themselves I pushed on.  Before I new it I finished the 5th lap and had just finished my first mile of running.

As I walked my cool down 1/4 mile I couldn’t help but feeling some sense of accomplishment.  But, and of course there is a but, I wanted to do better. after the Cool down I did another 1/4 mile jogging.  If I hadn’t been on a crowded indoor track I may have thrown my arms up in the classic Rocky celebration. Not since I was 17 had I run 1.25 miles in a week, let alone an 1.5 hour timeframe.

Now that I know I won’t die if I jog for any period of time, I can move forward with my plans. Eventually I’ll be running a 5k marathon, but until then I’ll work towards 1 mile in one complete stretch with out walking. This time next month I hope to be celebrating that next milestone.


Image taken from: http://goo.gl/O0THZ6

Courtesy Creative Commons: http://goo.gl/jM8bIi

Running is Hard


Went to the gym tonight and spent the first 15 minutes walking. Then I got the harebrained idea to try jogging. It has been a couple years since I had done that.

Long story short I made it 5 minutes at a decent run before I had to stop. 18 years of smoking and inaction have taken their toll. So a new goal is to get to 10 minutes by the end of the month.

I know it doesn’t seem like a lot but that will also get me close to a mile.  Well see if I can keep from having to go to the hospital. Keeping my fingers crossed.