This New Year’s I made a resolution to get my old body back. You know, the one I had back in New York eight years ago, when I was training in Kung Fu four times a week and bench pressing well over 200 pounds.
My evil plan was severely marred by a repetitive strain injury on my right hand [It was agony for 3 weeks in January], then an extremely arduous and unhealthy road trip for 3 weeks, making the Stormhoek films.
No matter. My hand seems to have mostly recovered, and today I finally went and joined a gym, used the free weights [i.e. barbells, instead of machines] and had my most intense workout I’ve had in years.
Nothing fancy- just bench press, dead lifts and squats. This was after a long jog in the park. Besides the pain I will no doubt be in tomorrow morning, I feel terrific.
I’ve done a lot of sports in my life- rugby, Kung Fu, running and tennis being the main ones. But it was always weightlifting that gave me the most joy. I know it sounds boring, but there’s something very meditative and Zen-like about hefting heavy objects around.
The other thing I like is what I call “the burn”, when you feel your muscles constantly rebuilding themselves, all over your body. And let us not forget the highly addictive endorphin rush.
I’ve never been into body building per se, I’ve always just like the process of lifting free weights. I find it extremely therapeutic. Plus it comes in handy when friends need help moving furniture or whatever.
I see Jason Calacanis has started a new exercise regime. Good luck to him with it. From what he seems to be saying, I don’t want to lose weight so much, I’ve weighed pretty much the same for the last 15 years. How much of it was fat and how much of it was muscle is the real issue to me.
Protein shakes. Yum.
[UPDATE:] Jason Calacanis launches The Fatblogging Movement. I’m in.
Pics of you in previous condition?
Keep it up. I started working out (again) about three months ago, and I’m seeing a big improvement in muscle definition with the technique of low weight/high reps. I’m burning off that flab around the gut, too.
The bitch about the whole thing is that my metabolism has slowed a good bit now that I’m in my late 40’s. What the hell, I feel better anyway.
Well done! Gosh all those discussions about health in the last 3 weeks have had an impact! Cant imagine a guy as smart as you lifting really heavy weights though.:) perceived image and all that… Inspiring though !
Lifting weights is enjoyable in its own way, I must agree. May I encourage you to think about any diet changes with the point of view that this will be a change that is good for you in thirty years. That mental adjustment has been huge in helping me to choose foods and food routines that are good for me and I will be doing for a long time to come.
I’ve been on a yoga kick, specifically bikram yoga, aka hot yoga. Nothing like a room heated up to 110 degrees to get a good sweat going.
Best of luck!
The best kick out of a good workout is the endorphin rush. The feel good factor. It’s probably the reason why so many people get addicted to excercise.
Hugh, great to hear that you’re back on the exercise track. I have lifted weights for 8 years, played basketball regularly for 15 years and I just added swimming three times a week to my “repertoire”. Exercising is one of the best things I ever decided to do for my life. Now if I could only kick my chocolate addiction….
Although motivation to exercise is rather easier to come by as the weather improves! Good effort though-I’m a big fan of the lunchtime workout to re-focus.
Good luck Hugh. It’s tough going once you get over the initial ‘oh wow, I’m working out and it feels good’ high (I know from personal experience) so hang in there and keep us posted.
Good luck! It’s great to do something healthy you enjoy. One of the reasons why I dance instead of doing any sports is that dance distracts me better from the fact that training is repetitive. The only physical activity I can do without the deadliest boredom is stretching; I like my suppleness as much as you like your “burn”.
But it’s not just a matter of personal taste. Remember to stretch after exercise!
Hey, me too!! Cheers!
I personally hate exercise… well, unless someone else is involved 😉
Forget this old body stuff…I want my young body back!
Just start cycling to work a few weeks ago and, it is hard man, But amazing how much fat disappears so quick. You may hate it but it’ll help shift the fat I’ve found. Good luck.
There’s no way in h*** that you’ll ever find me posting my weight, even if I was supermodel thin. It’ll be interesting to see if any high profile female bloggers get on board.
My bet is it being a boys club.
It’s not about losing weight imo. I think it’s a pointless excercise weighing yourself every day to see if you’ve lost that all important pound. I couldn’t think of nothing worse.
Seeing improvements when you look in the mirror should be the primary goal.
Love the card! Actually, I’d argue that being interestED might actually be more important than interestING. From “The fred factor” by Mark Sanborn
The seven Bs of relationship building:
1. Be real
2. Be interested (not just interesting)
3. Be a better listener
4. Be empathic
5. Be honest
6. Be helpful
7. Be prompt
Hugh – I’ve lifted weights off and on for many years, but it’s only been in the past six months that I got myself into an ideal gym/schedule setup and started following it religiously. Now I’m bench-pressing my weight (165#) in sets. I like it for just the reasons you said – meditative calm, endorphins, sense of re-knitting yourself better than you were before. In general, it just gets the stress out. Plus you end up looking better in all your clothes! Keep it up.
I’ve been doing this ‘power of ten’ thing for about a year. You only work out once every five days. You set the machines or free weights to a weight where you experience muscle failure at 8-10 reps (can’t lift to full extension). Your reps are ten seconds up and down (very slow) and you never let the stack hit bottom. I do around eight different groups per workout and it takes 20 minutes. You are fried after.
The reason you wait the five days is you are breaking down muscle at the end of the reps (failure point). You then need to give it the full 4-5 days to rebuild. There’s a book and they recommend a fairly healthy diet.
This works unbelievably well- better than a much more macho workout I used to do. There’s no stretching because of the slowness. And it is very difficult to injure yourself. I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in and I’m about to turn 52.
Those who exercise too frequently are just reinjuring the muscles everyday and never letting them recover and build.
I was not always as you see me now, this fine specimen of manhood. I am 40 pounds smaller than I was 20 years ago and I can easily jog five miles. I had a few traumas that motivated me. First, I got misdiagnosed with lung cancer, then I got accurately with diabetes. The former motivated me to stop smoking stone cold. I never went back. The former got me to change my diet and exercise. The more I succeeded, the more motivated I got. I see pictures of myself from 20 years ago and I look younger now. Keep it up. It’s worth it. Big time.
Good luck! I’m in the same boat – have gained 20lbs since moving here back in June. Been hitting the gym very regularly the last month and results are starting to show.
Here’s a link you might like: http://www.crossfit.com/
What kind of kung fu did you do? I did wushu for a few years back in Vancouver.
Evan, I did Northern Shaolin, which I guess is a form of wushu.
This is where I trained: http://www.usashaolintemple.com/
I’m trying to walk off 100 pounds, and writing about it online. Sounds like there’s more fatbloggers every day.
You can do it! 🙂 (I’ve lost over 70 so far, still 80ish go) — we’re all in this together Lady Rose