I promised I’d hold off on a bunch of boring exercise posts, but every now and then there may be a milestone I’ll want to record. Back in Dec2015 I made my first post on my new exercise kick, strength training, where I was actually surprised how a relatively short workout would lead to such a number.
Now I can report that I’ve moved 1,000,000 lbs. That I’ve accomplished in 44 strength workout sessions (137th elapsed days since starting gym) and as of today I have 45 sessions for a total of 1,038,760 lbs (at least recorded, I have some additional I didn’t note in my log). Sounds like a lot but the real strength kings might do that in a week, but, OTOH, I figure it’s not bad for a nearly 70YO guy who’s never done this before.
My first session that I recorded (and posted) had a total of 14,000lbs and today I did 31,650 lbs, which is a bit under my record of 37,395. I have a somewhat different routine now than when I started so the comparison number (to first recorded session) is 27450 or 96% higher (almost double). That’s not too bad for 3 months and 45 sessions or a session growth rate of 1.5% per session. But I’m clearly hitting my limit and it’s doubtful I’ll get much more gain. In fact it doesn’t look quite so good over the longest timeframe:
What the graph shows is that I was pretty dedicated in the beginning, steadily working up to higher levels. But then I began to get gaps (various events in my life that made gym more optional) and then, more of recent, I’ve been all over the place, doing a record high and record low workouts. Simply put, it’s hard to main the discipline on this.
Strength training is no more boring than the other things I do. And I can feel, in my body, some results. But it just doesn’t work as well for me, hard to translate reps on a machine into some kind of goal or sense of progress. Looking at my weakest exercise here’s my progress translated into average weight per rep for each session:
Once again my results have been a bit erratic of late, but really, from the somewhat unrealistic initial low (I was taking it easy) I’ve just barely managed a doubling (on a routine basis), or as the regression line indicates about a 0.4lb/rep gain over time. Not exactly setting the world afire.
And my strongest and biggest gain is about 2lbs/rep, but given that’s on a much higher base it works out the same. So more and more charts tell about the same story, about a doubling (almost any metric) in 3+ months but little more gain of recent.
And it’s that steady-state, just maintaining, that is even hard to handle/
Now I won’t go into other stats in detail, but the aerobic (or calorie) burn part of workouts have dropped significantly since I was doing them at home, when I still lived in house with exercise equipment in basement. I’ve dropped from somewhere around average of 600-700 calories (averaged over every day of the week) to just less than 300 (despite more intense workouts at the gym). I can feel that two ways, about 10lbs weight increase (just not burning enough calories) and much less endurance walking (forget about a long walk when I’ve gone from around 14 miles upper limit (needed about 20) back down to probably 8 miles (although winter cut that some anyway).
So the short answer is the results are mixed: 1) I definitely have improved my upper body strength, 2) I’ve lost some endurance, and, 3) it’s much harder to keep this up.
So I don’t know about you, everyone is different, but I think the best results are, if you can, get your own equipment and do your training at home, even if some days you only do a little (zero at gym when I don’t feel like driving there is a lot worse than when I only had energy/motivation for short workout in the basement). Gyms are fine and offer a more diversified program than you can do at home, but if you’re like me you’ll probably get better results at home.
Now it will be interesting to see if I do a post about moving 2,000,000 lbs which given the growth rate I have seen should be less than two months away. The idea of doing 10,000,000lbs is so remote I won’t even think about it.