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11 November 2005 @ 01:41 am
General bullshit  
I was inexorably tired tonight. I conked out on the couch for an hour or two. I woke up feeling shitty and uninspired and thinking I was going to just stumble off to bed. But I went above my goal word quota for today, and I haven't yet resorted to crap filler. Huzzah. My new total is 9406. From where I started, I should be averaging 2000 words a day to meet the goal. I'm behind because I had a crunky writing day yesterday, but I made more things happen and got more ideas and I know I'll catch up soon. I'm already catching up.

I forgot to mention that on Tuesday, I almost completed Round and Round. Almost. I did not feel up to the last set of dands, but I did everything else. I should be able to complete the workout very soon. Then my next goal will be to complete it without stopping to rest at all. Then I get to build up to Workout B. This is going to keep me busy for a while. I can tell. It is hard as hell and on some level, I dread it, but my progress has been awfully satisfying. Because they somehow manage to stretch and work everything in your upper body (including the muscles on top of your forearms and the all-important muscles that stabilize the shoulder joint), the dog series and dands have really helped with my nagging upper body crunkiness. When I started doing this workout, I would sometimes get slight numbness and other odd feelings and have to stop, but that only happens once in a blue moon now.

I've started doing a 5x5 deadlift pyramid once or twice a week. The lower body aspect of Round and Round is much more challenging than it appears (especially because your leg muscles act as stabilizers during the yoga and pushups), but I miss picking up heavy shit and putting it down. My top weight this Monday was a craptacular 120 pounds. Bleh. I haven't deadlifted in a while, though, so it's much better to err on the side of being wimpy.
Current Mood: accomplished
Current Music: Crossfade stuck in my head
Christinerabswom on November 11th, 2005 07:25 am (UTC)
this reads like an advice letter in a magazine or something
i have an exercise question for you [you seem to be a bit of an expert]. ive been running and swimming three times a week, which has been great, and ive noticed that the swimming has started to give me defined bicep muscles [yay!]. however, the rest of my arm is kind of flabby and non-muscley and i'd love to fix that. i've tried doing tricep exericses with my silly little five pound hand weights -- just the ones where you hold your arm straight up over your head and then drop the weight behind your head and the ones where you lean forward, hold your arm parallel with your body, and push your arms back and up [if that makes any sense], but it's not making much of a difference.

is there something else i could be doing? also -- if im looking to actually *see* and feel results, how much of this should i be doing -- like, how many reps and how often and things. and should i be using a heavier weight?

i am an exercise moron, but im trying to get better.
The Heavy Metal Matador: South Park - Happyrydain on November 13th, 2005 08:57 pm (UTC)
Awww, I'm flattered
Congrats on the progress you've seen thus far! ^_^ You're not a moron...you've found a routine that challenges you and that you can stick with. That's much better than most people do. And you're seeking answers to the questions you have. All this stuff I blabber about has been learned over the past four years, and I'm still learning. Trust me, I didn't know very much about resistance training when I first started.

At any rate, muscle definition is mostly the result of lowered bodyfat. It also helps to beef up the muscle underneath by increasing muscle mass. (It's also worth mentioning that your muscles can appear to have grown in a very short period of time when you start lifting or change your routine. This is because they will respond to the change by storing glycogen, which binds to water. So if you start lifting and your arms and legs poof a bit and the scale goes up a few pounds overnight, don't worry about it. It's just temporary.)

Anyway, I would suggest doing a full-body weight training routine. This will help increase your muscle mass (because, as a beginner to lifting, you can gain muscle and lose fat at the same time for a few months at least), help you lose bodyfat (because weight training is an awesome metabolism booster), and also help your performance at running and swimming. Check out Krista's awesome lifting site for lots of sound, entertainingly written information on getting started. She addresses the weight, reps, and sets question more thoroughly than I can offhand. ^_^ Also, she has several routines as well, including some that can be done with dumbbells and common household objects.

You might also be interested in bodyweight conditioning routines, which is what I've been into lately. Fish's workouts are hell, even for people who have been training for a while, but they do work, and they can be modified to be more newbie-friendly. For example, you could cut down the sets and reps and substitute easier exercises when necessary (e.g. knee pushups instead of dive bombers). As another example, the site's explanation of the dog series exercise suggests an easier modification for those who can't do it as shown. The idea is to make the routine challenging and safe for you at your current fitness level so that you improve over time. I've been very tempted to order Fish's DVD set, which has more exercise substitutions suggested as well.

Good luck!