Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Iron, Man!

Every year at about this time I fall in love with the home gym again.  I lift weights throughout the year but it’s different once winter arrives.  It’s better.  During the warm weather months—and especially during the softball season—I lift weights to maintain upper body strength and to prevent injury.  Necessary, but dull.  During the winter I mix new exercises into my strength training sessions and I periodically adjust resistance and repetitions.  It’s great to see the results as I add more weight to the bars.

This week I put pushups back into the routine for Mondays and Thursdays, plus I added deadlifts to my Tuesday and Friday program.  Deadlifts are new to me and I think they will be a great addition.  They work so many different muscles that they may be the single-best exercise for overall strength.  I needed something to work the legs, glutes, core and back, and deadlifts do all of that and more.

So, on Mondays and Thursdays I target the chest, biceps, triceps and lats, and on Tuesdays and Fridays I work the legs, glutes, core, back and shoulders.  I move quickly from one exercise to the next, so there’s an aerobic benefit too.  Each session takes about 30 minutes.  On most days, I lift before I eat during a 1-hour lunch break.  That leaves my evenings free for indoor bike trainer workouts … but I’m not ready to throw myself into those just yet.

Last November and December I was doing stair climbing workouts at my office.  I liked the idea of a workout with some impact to stimulate bone cell growth.  Hiking, snowshoeing and the occasional treadmill walk will have to fill that role this winter.

The overall plan is no different: add strength but don’t add bulk.  Here at the end of November I am 5 pounds lighter than I was last year.  That’s a good start.

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