Ramblings of a lapse gym rat – Week 1
First Week – The experience of true pain
After getting married a little over one year ago my gym routine predictably fell into oblivion. The pasta piled up, the gym became a distant memory, and my hard earned muscle shrank. All that was left was a bag of bones, and a newly acquired beer belly.
One day after being out of breath after climbing some stairs I decided to get my lazy ass back in the gym. What follows is my journey to add some meat to my bones and wave goodbye to the waistline that now follows me everywhere.
I have decided to start with the main lifts (Squat, Bench, Deadlift and Overhead Press) then throw in some bodybuilding style moves to blow the dust of all my body parts. I also want to ensure than some form of conditioning is done every week.
Back Squat (theoretically 5×5)
Overhead Press (5×5)
This was a painful reminder as to how far gone I am. I start with squatting my bodyweight, and sitting in the bottom position for a while. My hips, adductors and lower back all feel like they are experiencing movement for the first time in a century. After a couple of minutes of warming up I feel comfortable enough to make it to the bar.
The empty bar doesn’t feel bad, and the movement comes back nicely. I then throw on 10kg on each side and bust out a comfortable 5 reps. Feeling optimistic, I go for one more set of the 40kg just in case. I can feel my inner thighs and upper hamstrings giving me grief, but nothing I can’t handle. I decide to up it to 60kg. This was my warm up weight in the past. I descend into the first squat, an all of a sudden I am beset by the hot wailing of my hamstrings and glutes. They are so pumped full of blood that I can barely move. Like a good gym rat I take a couple of breathes and go for another rep. Halfway down reality hits me in the ass, if I move another inch I am going to collapse. I bravely re rack the weight, and decide legs are done for this session.
The overhead presses went surprisingly well, I managed to get out 3 sets of 5 reps at 40kg. No I’m not Jim Wendler, but it’s a start.
Day Two: Back and Biceps
Bent over Row: 3×12 at 40kg
Pullups: AMRAP Bodyweight
Dumbbell Row: 3×12 at 24kg
Hammer Curls: 3×12 at 10kg
Barbell Curl: 3×10 at 25kg
Day Three: Chest and Triceps
Dumbbell bench Press: 3×12 at 25kg
Close Grip Bench: 3×12 Very slow at 25kg
Skull Crushers: 3×12 at 25kg
Rope Pulldowns 3 x way too many
After these three rather light sessions, I was finished. I had overdone the tricep extensions by a long shot. Not normally one for isolation exercises, for some reason I just felt compelled to keep going. I didn’t feel that I pushed myself too far in the moment. However, for the next week I could barely contract my arms. I was brushing my teeth by bobbing my head up and down, eating my stooping forward like a dog at water. Sleeping became a horror show for me, every turn tormented me and woke me up in searing agony. I became tired from the unrelenting pain, it followed me everywhere, I began to wonder if it would ever go away. Crying was not an option since wiping my eyes would be impossible, so I let the brutally slow passing of time heal me, well, time and loads of anti-inflammatory gel. The crushing, terrifying pain is gone now, but the emotional scars will take time to heal.
I didn’t manage to deadlift this week, I was in too much pain.
After a healthy dose of deep heat and father time, they got better.
Lesson from the iron: Getting swept up in the moment and doing more than you planned is sometimes good, however, there are always going to be consequences. Be passionate in life, but remember that sometimes undirected passion results in 3 Litres of deep heat and chronic pain.
Gym tune of the week, might explain why I was so stupid with the tricep pulldowns:
To read the adventures of next week click here.