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My Exercise Program

randomlychad  —  January 9, 2015 — 6 Comments

For the past six months, I’ve been exercising. Exercising harder than I ever have in my life. Unlike my wife, whose goal is to be trim and fit, I’m looking to add lean muscle mass. My hope is that, after reaching what I feel is an appropriate weight, to cut fat. Being that I’m 45 it’s proving somewhat difficult to shrink my midsection. Where just a few years ago I was able to drop forty pounds just by doing low carb, it’s not proving quite as easy this time. Although admittedly I previously didn’t include rigorous strength training in my fitness regimen.

The long and short of it is that while I’m not gaining weight, I’m not losing it either. I chalk this up to muscle being denser than fat (that’s what he said). 😉

Here’s what I’ve been doing for the past several months:

Peak 8 high intensity interval training for cardio on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. This includes a three-minute warmup, followed by a thirty-second sprint, followed by a ninety-second walk. The sprint is repeated seven more times (for a total of eight). I cool down until my heart rate is back in the 120s. Out of the twenty-two-and-a-half minutes spent on the bike/elliptical only four total minutes is spent sprinting. Thus I only spend a little more than an hour doing cardio every week.


My Tuesday and Thursday weight training regimen includes:

Dead lifts: 300lbs lifted 10 reps x 3

Unassisted pull-ups: 25 reps x 2

Squats: 300-320lbs: 25 reps x 2

Bench press: 200-230lbs: 10 reps x 3, or 25 reps x 2


My Saturday workouts inlcude:

Dead lifts: 300-320lbs: 10 reps x 3, or 5 reps x 3

Bench press as above

Tricep cable pull-downs: 15 reps x 3

Bicep arm curl machine: 70-80lbs, 10 reps x 3-4

Hammer bicep curls (rope handle), 140-155lbs, 15 reps x 3

Straight arm pull-downs (for the back): 15 reps x 3

Hammer machine double crunches (for abs): 75lbs, 50 reps x 2

Spinal rotation (for erector spinae, obliques, and abs): 140lbs, 15 reps x 2/each side

Caveat lector: if you are going to try these exercises, please do your due diligence, and research them online. Read up, and watch YouTube videos. Proper form is key (and is the grammar of weight training if you will) . Bad form can hurt you. Please be advised that if you try these exercises, I’m not a doctor, or a personal trainer; I’m not recommending them, rather just reporting what’s worked for me. You are on your own. Any liability for injury rests solely with you.

Thanks for reading!

What does your exercise program look like?


Prayer is like working out; the muscle it exercises is faith. Like going to the gym, or spin class–or anything, really–it’s a discipline we develop. And it can only be developed in the doing.

Thinking about doing a thing (like prayer) is very much different from actually doing that thing. I could, for instance, stare at the muscle mags at the bookstore all day, and not put on any new muscle. The difference lays between the very great gulf betwixt intention and action. The gentleman in the top photo didn’t lift all the weight upon the back of his intentions; no, he put in the work. He trained.


In other words, intending to pray is akin to intending to exercise: not worth a hill of beans. Prayer is the active exercise of our belief, our communion with the unseen. It’d where the rubber of life meets the road of faith. It’s part and parcel of our spiritual disciplines. It’s part of our training. Remember the verse from Hebrews? “He that comes to God must first believe that He is, and that He is the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”

Prayer–like exercise, like writing, like the arts, like honest work, requires this: diligence.

Have you prayed today? If not, when’s the last time you did?

There’s no time like the present. Don’t put it off anymore. Exercise your faith (and not just your body).

For a number of years, I’ve suffered from hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). Because of this, I’m forced to supplement my underperforming gland with synthetic hormone.

I guess it’s helped. After losing about forty pounds a few years ago doing low carb, my body seems to have settled in the 210s. Even with supplemental thyroid, I don’t lose–or gain.

I decided to do something about that. Beginning about five weeks ago, I hit the gym. I’ve been going six days  a week, alternating cardio, and weightlifting, days. This had worked out for the most part.

I say “for the most part” because I’ve hit some speedbumps on the road to wellness:

I strained my low back doing squats (my fault–I wasn’t wearing a belt).

I’ve begun experiencing what are termed “exertional headaches.” For a phenomenon this common (all over the Internet), I’d never heard of them. Guess I’m in the lucky ten percent of the populace that gets to experience:

                            

I know that’s gross–but it’s exactly like what an exertional headache feels like. In my case, it presented as an intense bilateral pain in the base of my skull. Having never had a headache like this before in forty-five years of life, I thought I was going to stroke out. Yes. It. Was. That. Bad…

Having since read up on the phenomenon, I’m not as concerned. However, I’m bummed. Because the only cure seems to be time. Time to heal whatever damage I caused via poor form, straining, performing the Valsalva Maneuver (holding one’s breath to stabilize the thoracic cavity).

It’s a bummer because I was making progress, getting stronger. But it is what it is. Pain is warning which tells us that something is awry. My body didn’t like something, and I’ve got to slow down. It’s not as young as it used to be, and I’ve been (he who knew very little exercise) pushing it pretty hard.

Now it has pushed back.

If I’ve learned anything, it’s the lesson of the Tortoise and the Hare; namely, that slow and steady wins the race.

These speedbumps will be overcome. And I will be the best me I can be.

For Jesus.

For my family.

For my friends.

And coworkers.

You see, I used to view the gym as a temple to the self, as a form of self-worship. I don’t see it that way anymore. I see it as taking care of the one and only temple God has given me: my body (the temple of the Holy Spirit). At the same time, that while “physical exercise profits little,” and that “godliness profits in all,” there’s still value in exercise.

It’s a way for me to buffet (not buh-fay) my body. I’ve spent a lifetime buffeting, eating what I wanted. Now, I’m eating, and exercising, for a purpose. And that purpose is many-fold; chief among them is to be used of God for as long as He wills.

At the same time I’ve been pursuing physical fitness, I’ve also been pursuing spiritual, mental, and emotional fitness via: Bible reading, prayer, a faith community, and counseling.

If this is what a midlife crisis is, it’s not that bad. 😉

In closing, I’d like to say this:

All praise and glory to God, for in Him I (we) live and move and have our being.

Since about February of this year, I’ve been on what can be termed a “carbohydrate-restricted” diet. I’m sorry, I mean, don’t call it a “diet”–it’s a lifestyle. This lifestyle has been great for my waistline–I’ve lost close to 40lbs–but hasn’t improved my sleep apnea.

Not one bit. I thought by losing weight, I would improve my nighttime breathing. Well, not so much. In fact, if anything, the apnea has gotten worse.

Not only that, though I’ve lost weight, my total serum cholesterol is 212, and my LDL is 143. Not such good numbers.

This, despite my “lifestyle,” and moderate exercise. Guess it’s all in the genes, or something.

Thanks, mom and dad! Thanks a lot.

Anyway, I thought I could get a handle on this without any additional doctor visits, etc. But it’s not looking that way. (You in the peanut gallery: shut up! I know full well it sucks to be middle aged). So, it looks like another sleep study is in order, and with a recurrent staph infection in my left nostril, a visit to the otolaryngologist (otherwise, like Treebeard, known as an ENT) as well. I hate going to the doctor!

All of this added to what my wife is going through health-wise: diabetes, adhesive capsulitis (“frozen shoulder”–for which she has been enduring painful physical therapy thrice-weekly for sometime now), and various other health issues as well.

Added to which, our son has had some issues with bullies at school.

All of which is to say that this introvert’s heart is on overload. Life is too much right now. So much so, that I presently don’t really care about my healthy regimen. I mean: eat right, exercise daily, die anyway, right? So I may as well eat what I enjoy.

Awesome headspace to be in, right? Can I get an “Amen?”

As you can probably guess–if you read yesterday’s post–I’ve been somewhat surly and withdrawn lately. If you don’t believe me, just ask my wife. 😉

I’m sorry if this sounds like a pity party; that’s not why I’m sharing. I’m just trying to be real with you.

Insofar as I know, I ain’t dyin’, but I feel–chronically–only about half alive. I guess what I’m saying is: I could use your prayers.

Thanks, and God bless!

How can I pray for you?

Already Broken

randomlychad  —  September 22, 2011 — 6 Comments
'Broken Egg' photo (c) 2008, Tal Atlas - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

More, Lord?

I mean, I know we’re not dying and all.

But it’s been a hard week–a hard couple of weeks.

You know that Offspring #1 had mono, right? That he missed a week of school?

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