Saturday, February 5, 2011

#296: Back to the Weight Room

James Harrison also likes throwing dumbbells around.
Especially when they're from Green Bay...
One of the things I like about working out with dumbbells is the versatility they offer. you can slip easily from one exercise to another, even combining them into a single move. This allows you to make your sets last longer, and increases the cardio benefit as well. It's a very efficient way of strength training.

I resumed weight work today with a routine of my own design. I'm just not ready for the stuff in the books yet. I need to work my way up to even the beginner level. Till then, I'm doing what I can. I did 3 sets of 10 reps of each exercise with 30 second breaks between sets. I started standing up with two 15 lb dumbbells. Holding one in each hand, the combination was a squat into a curl into an overhead press. Then reverse the three movements back down to the bottom of the squat. That's one rep. These went smoothly

The next combination was on the bench in a prone position, again with a 15 lb dumbbell in each hand. I started with both weights at my chest, pressed them up, lowered them to the sides for a fly, then raised them back up. Finally, I lowered them together up over my head and then back up for a dumbbell pullover. Returning them to my chest counts as one rep.

Then the machines. I'm not a fan of the leg press, but my hips really needed the work after yesterday's run and I felt a little unsteady about doing heavier squats or deadlifts. I put 140 lbs on the machine, and pressed the foot rest all the way out. At maximum leg extension, I pointed my toes, pushing the weight just a little farther, and giving my calves some extra work. I did this combination leg-press, toe lift in three sets of ten reps, again with short 30 second rests between.

I decided to forgo woodchoppers today, I don't remember why. Instead, I did three sets of lat pull-downs on the cable machine. Tried to start at 100 lbs, but I could tell after the second rep that I wasn't going to make it. The last set at 75 was tough, but I grunted a little harder and pulled them all.

I woke up with that same old hip pain that I experienced back in December. I was determined not to let it stop me today. I warmed up with an easy walk on the treadmill, then did my workout followed by a gentle walk around the track a couple of times. When I was finished, I was a little wobbly, but not nearly as sore as when I started. When I got home, Mrs P helped me to stretch my legs a little and that helped too. I've never been one of those "No Pain, No Gain" guys, but this time it turned out that working through it was just what I needed to do. I may know more in the morning.

We had a good rehearsal today. I'm working on a production of Glengarry Glen Ross with Actors' Guild of Lexington. We ran through Act 2 today and it went more smoothly than I expected. I know about 35% of my lines which is way behind where I want to be, but not a crisis yet. As we spend less time looking at the page, we start paying more attention to one another and there are moments where you can see the play start to emerge. This is one of the great joys of making theatre and I was so grateful to be able to be there.

The day wound up at church, performing in a murder-mystery sketch for a dinner to raise money for a couple of very important local ministries. Mrs P and I both had roles. Much scenery was chewed by all.

By now, I'm pretty whipped. It's been a good day, filled with a bunch of the things and people I love. Now I'm going to try to sleep if I can, while visions of a seventh super bowl trophy dance in my head. Who knows? A little more time in the weight room and Coach Tomlin might even have a helmet for me.

Ah, what's life for if you can't dream a little?



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