Upper/Lower body challenges

Hit the gym this morning and today’s tasks were to record how many push-ups and smith machine squats we could do.

smith-squat1The push-ups were slightly modified so that we started on the ground and had to rest our body on the ground for a second before we pushed back up.  I could do 30.

Smith machine squats have been part of my routines so I’m more confident with them.  This was slightly modified so that our butt had to make contact with a bench so that everyone squatted the same depth.  I was able to do 109 (20kg).

After the challenges I just did a few random gym exercises at my leisure.

Food:  All bran and a smoothie for breakfast.  A burger and fries for lunch in town (tsk) and a can of tuna with crackers for dinner. A nashi for supper.

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Weights with bro

Yesterday my little brother arrived in town. We walked to and from the gym and went through my weights program together.  My brother is a lot stronger and skinnier than me, but some things quite surprised me.

I do squats in the Smith’s Machine (easier) but he does them with a barbell.  I can only do about 40kg while he does 120kg! Though, I do more of the lighter weight to tone, where he does only 5 of the heavier weight to gain muscle.

What surprised me was when it came to doing exercises that I’ve been doing for a few weeks but he never does; his ability was not much better than mine.  It made me think about how practical these gym exercises are in the real world.  Are we building up general strength, or are we simply working on our abilities to do one specific, limited movement?

I was able to bump up a couple of weights.  Bent over rows I’m now using a 26.5kg barbell (from 20kg),  12 on the incline shoulder press (from 12kg), 16.5kg on the barbell curls (from 15kg) and even the dumbbell lateral raises that I find so difficult I managed to do at 5kg (from 4kg).  Progress!  🙂

Oddly, despite putting up my weights, I left the gym feeling I hadn’t worked out very hard.  Probably cos I wasn’t sweating much.  My brother said it’s probably because there was a lot more resting in between sets today as we took turns.  I vowed to do something to raise my heart rate for a bit longer the next day.

Walking Activity 7.61 km | RunKeeper

Today I completed both my gym routine (weights) and a walk with the Manawatu Striders club.  Both went really well.

I can now manage 10,10,8  with the lateral raises  (working my way up to the 3×12 that my program specifies).

Smith machine squatsI’m still finding squats in the smith machine quite difficult.  I’m only doing 30kg which is significantly less than most people can do (my little brother does way more!).  I wonder if it’s something to do with my lordosis (excessively curved spine) and what I might be able to do about that…   It is getting my heart rate up a lot, which is the point after all.  I guess I’ll make small gains over time.

I recently decided I wanted to get into walking/running so made contact with Manawatu Striders.  They meet Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.  At this stage I think I’ll go along on Tuesdays.

There was a good turn out at tonight’s meeting – about 20 people.  We went for a walk up Summerhill drive.  I was really surprised with how fast these mostly older people could walk!  I got talking to a nice lady and we ended up being at the back of the pack despite me thinking I was walking pretty fast.  Anyway it was a nice walk.  Could feel it in my glutes and lower back – but no pain, no gain, right?

Nice healthy dinner of tuna and vegetables tonight, with strawberries and yoghurt for dessert.

Walking Activity 7.61 km | RunKeeper.

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