We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Wednesday, December 30. 2015
Building strength, power, and endurance are our goals (along with minimizing disgusting body fat) until we reach a point of satisfaction and can move into fitness-maintenance. The "Body-building" is not a goal per se, but some of that accompanies strength improvement. Vigor and "functional fitness."
I did heavy weights this morning. It is so damn difficult mentally and physically. On several sets I reached muscle failure and pain before meeting my boss' expected goals du jour. There is no way for an amateur to do weight work without a trainer (need a spotter, a constant technique-correcter, and somebody to push you harder and to raise the weights each week). He said "Good, we're breaking down those muscles, tearing those fibers." Indeed. Body feels like jello.
A little liquid carb and protein are supposedly good after heavy weights - and an Advil: Why Bother With Recovery Drinks? I need to do that, but one salted hard-boiled egg is all I can handle in the morning on a normal day. Carbs feel revolting to me before 6 pm unless I am in a diner with a friend. Part of my problem is that I do not really like food very much, however elegant and fancy. It just doesn't do much for me or my soul. Just makes me tired.
"Recovery" time and nutrition do not apply to cardio (aerobic) exercise and conditioning, only to heavy resistance efforts where it can take 3-5 days for recovery and reconstruction of a given muscle group. We only do dead lifts once a week, for example, but we push it to the max - to the point when one asks "Why the hell am I here doing this when I could be in bed instead of lifting this f-ing Volkswagen only to put it down again at 5 a.m.?"
Strength does not necessarily correlate 1:1 with muscle size. How Do Muscles Grow? The Science of Muscle Growth.
It is interesting to learn that cardio exercises (aerobics), over time, can reduce muscle size and power. Cardio training and strength training do not mix well, in fact, because the body responds to them differently: Controlling Muscle Breakdown
Still, most of us white-collar, sedentary fitness-seekers want improvement in all areas so we have to do the best we can with them. Push them all and hope for the best. If we were peasants in the fields, we'd be in better shape. Over the next four or five months I hope to build towards a simplified work-out of multi-muscle-group exercises: Dead lifts, bench press, chin ups, pull-ups, rows, barbell squats, step-ups with military presses, planks. That will have taken one year in May 2016 to maybe reduce my wonderful trainer from 3 to 1 or 2 days/week.
That, plus combos of jump (speed) rope, stair machine, elliptical, treadmill for the cardio part on my "off" days. In total, moving with maximum exertion and intention 40-60 minutes per day, 5-6 days/week for the indefinite future. I gave myself 12 months to get into half-decent condition for my age, and have approached it with total dedication despite my lazy-ass body yelling "Stop! I don't feel like doing this!"
"I don't feel like it" is the death of decadent Western Civilization and of the human spirit. It is spirit-less. So is gluttony, and all of the other deadly sins. I think Character, like muscle strength, is built through pure, ungratifying, unpleasant effort. I have almost always done my best with that. On occasion, not - to my endless shame.
To look at me with clothes on, no difference is noticeable except for better posture and slight bulging in the shoulders of my old suits. I was never in bad shape, but was beginning to lose fitness and energy over time and to create a small paunch. I am glad to see that some of my pals are getting on board with this pursuit of the fountain of youth.
(At some point in the future, Crossfit (the regular, not the competitive version) might be a good addition to a maintenance work-out program, and more fun with a cohesive random group and lots of exercise variety. Their programs seem to push you to your personal max, whether you are fat or a 95-lb hollow-chested weakling, 18 years old or 80 years old, an athlete or a heart-attack survivor or stroke patient.)
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While I admire your discipline and persistence, ditto your self-denial, and absence of gluttony, you sound a bit like a medieval flagellant. I found this Google book somewhat relevant (I couldn't copy the applicable sentences, so just read til you get to the second paragraph and you will see what I mean).
Asceticism, self-denial and inflicting pain on the body have a long history in the spiritual life, WAY before we all began exerting ourselves to look sexier, or to attain a personal goal, or to live longer. Likewise, no one ever runs a marathon just to make it to mile 26.2. It's as much spiritual as physical. Here endeth today's unsolicited silly theory...
I've probed this topic before but let me be blunt:
How has this exercise regime affected your sexual stamina?
Like the song says "If you ain't loving, you ain't living!"
I've noticed that his right arm seemed bigger in one of his pictures.....
You say that if you were a peasant in the field you would be in better shape but that is not accurate. Compare yourself to people of the same age who have been working in physically intensive jobs and you might find some who are in good shape but most are pretty beat up. Even if they have strength and endurance they also experience wear and tear. And this wear affects the entire body, aging it faster. People in their 50s who do physically hard work are ready to retire because their body just cannot keep up. People who have "white collar" jobs are still functionally stable in their work.
Well, as Bird Dog noted a while ago, I have a physique which could be adequately described as "Roosevelt" in design - Theodore not Franklin.
And I'm fairly content with it - I am over weight, but I can hold my own, I do have a health issue with Rheumatoid Arthritis coupled with some minor spinal stenosis and I live in the allergy capital of the entire world, but for somebody who's been through the mill a time or two, I'm ok. I exercise (water aerobics) and water walking - which, by the way, is a great aerobic exercise - never knew that until I started - works for me.
I have a long time friend who switched from marathons to cross fit - he's convinced cross fit is the best overall conditioning program there is. He's not competitive, but he does his gym work faithfully and is in great shape - he's older than I am by six or so years.
Something to think about.
TR died at 64 of a massive MI.
Packed a lot of life in before that.
True, but I'm well past that age at 70.
And according to my Cardiologist, the old heart is doing just fine and my cholesterol are ridiculously good for some reason.
"I don't feel like it" is the death of decadent Western Civilization and of the human spirit. It is spirit-less. So is gluttony, and all of the other deadly sins. I think Character, like muscle strength, is built through pure, ungratifying, unpleasant effort.
I agree with you, BD. Material abundance, technology and cheap goods from China have created weakness among men in our society. We have become a passive, consumptive society, thinking everything can be addressed by punching buttons on a smart-device screen. The fact is that if someone turned the power off for seven days in America, the country would collapse.
We do not have a good future unless men realize our weakness and adopt a culture that fights against it. I don't think we have to take as dramatic steps as occurred in Sparta, but our culture needs to change.
P.S. I would have added easy sex without commitment to the list of things weakening men, but that is a whole additional discussion.
Though I ran into an unexpected setback this month when a pacemaker suddenly had to be implanted, I nevertheless can report a loss of 27 lbs. since early November. I'm not worrying about building muscle at the moment, only reducing size to something safer. Luckily my pacemaker places no restrictions on my activity, so I'm back at the gym daily.