Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Weak and STUPID

Yea, this lolcat picture pretty much says it all. Except the hapless kitteh is smarter than Pennsy was. Yesterday was not a good workout for me. OK, I'm reminded of the old "A bad day fishing is better than a good day working" bumper sticker, and yes it applies here as well, but I did have a bad day in the gym.

My first warning sign was when I could not execute pullups. I don't ever do these very well, but yesterday I could barely do four in a row. Dips were fine. I set up to do my pushups, but realized that it was Bench Press day and decided to save it for the bar. Maybe if I had done my pushups I could have seen the day coming and switched off to resistance bands. Instead I made my way to the bench.

So that's when I first noticed I was weak. Here's where I got STUPID.

I started out with the empty 45lb Olympic bar and did 5 or 7 reps just to get the muscles moving. Then I would add 20lb and do another mini set. This is the way I make my way up to working weight and it has been successful with all the other power lifts. Trouble is, yesteday I lost track of how much I had on the bar. I would do 3 or 4 reps and if it felt good, I would add weight. So yesterday I managed to go 10 lb heavier than I intended, and 30 lb heavier than the most I had ever done for 5 reps. STUPID.

Good news: completed 4-1/2 reps at 185. Bad news: 1/2 a bench press rep is a very bad thing, especially when you're too STUPID to ask someone to spot for you. My muscles gave out. I lowered the bar carefully onto my chest. Tried one last time to push the bar, and was transformed into a post turtle.

It was too much weight to try to sit up with. I had clips on the bar to keep the weight from sliding off, so I couldn't just tip over. And with a 180 lb steel bar laying across my chest, calling for help was problematic at best. I thought I would try rolling the thing down onto my lap, which I managed to do. Of course now I was sitting with a weight on my lap that I could either dump on the floor, or try to stand up under. I could not execute either.

About this time, two of the guys saw me flailing my legs while my shell remained balanced atop the fencepost and they came and helped me. "Dude, ask for a spot if you need some help."

Yeah. That's what anybody who wasn't STUPID would do.

So I stripped 50 lb off the bar and did 5 sets of 10, then 3x10 close grip presses at 95. The rest of my bench press day is done with dumbells (appropriately enough) so I had no more life threatening episodes, though I did feel particularly un-manly - expecially if you define a man as a thing with muscles and a brain.

The end of the story is that I woke up this morning with a cold. Yes a cold in Kentucky in July. What a treat. so I was feeling weak last night because I was getting weak. Not because I was turning into a little girl, but because my immune system had better things to do at the moment.

I got the message and ignored it. STUPID.

So now it's 1500 degrees outside, I'm in my living room, missing work with bleary eyes and a sore chest, and I think I'll take a day off at the gym.

I don't think there's anything wrong with my routine. I mean I think I can go four days straight by working different muscle groups. The fatigue was probably my system gearing up to do battle with whatever today's microbe is -- but I'm going to pay attention during the next cycle through. I may be better off doing two days then a rest day.

I'll definitely be better off being less STUPID.



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