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.
Since we have so many guys and gals here getting on the heavy-duty fitness bandwagon, here's my update. Friday is mostly Heavy Calisthenics Day for me - moving day - and each time it is different to prevent habituation. This morning 5 am:
- 3-minute elliptical warm-up - Four sets of leg press, just 340 lbs, 15 reps each after an 100 lb. warm up of 20 reps. I can do it. I can do more. Barely. Grunting. - A four set rotation of heavy rope variations, step-and-press with heavy ball, and big ball wobbly planks - Four sets of jump (speed) rope alternating with variations of heavy ball slams. (I am working towards 100 jumps without slip-ups). How is your jump-rope coming along? It is a tough calisthenic exercise. - 3 sets of hamstring curl with big ball to balance the leg presses
Yes, that is mostly intense cardio/general fitness, not strength, on Fridays. One hour, more or less, with minimal breaks for a sip of water or coffee. I can feel my heart pound for about an hour afterwards and I can not climb the stairs. That is the good sign that I have exerted myself to my max. One hard-boiled egg with salt for breakfast is enough for repair.
Tomorrow is my normal cardio day regardless of global cooling: 5 minutes stair machine intervals, 10-20 minutes elliptical intervals, 25 minutes treadmill intervals (while watching the Food Channel), with plank variations plus calf lifts with 20-30 lb. weights between each item. Could do more, but the trick is to find the right amount and be done with it. No point in over-doing it but a good point to doing it.
Sedentary people like me without manual labor jobs need to move with intensity - or face decay. Mrs. BD's knee problems were solved by some weight loss plus weight- lifting and other leg-strengthening exercises. Bad knees need weight loss and muscular compensation. It is a vulnerable joint, like the shoulder. These joints were just built to get us past breeding age.
After almost 8 months, I am getting to the point where I can truly begin to work hard, and all of the aches and pains in the first 6 months have resolved by building strength and endurance. Remarkable adaptation of the middle-age body, but nothing ever gets possible before the bar gets raised. Goals! 10 reps of 200 lb. deads!
I started about the same time as you and have made great progress: My deadlift max is up to 300# and I can now do sets of 10 at 270# without too much trouble. Back squats are up to 275. I can't do strict pullups yet (using bands) but I'm getting close.
20-30 minute cardio workouts are still tough for me but they are coming along. Burpees are not my friend.
A cheaper version of the sorinex roller would be to use furniture gliders or, if you want fancier, Valslides. I like the idea of attaching bands, though without bands and using full range of motion is very tough! I think a band could go around the feet and then you could have the feet on the sliders.
A great source for home/less expensive exercise hacks is Ross Enamait: http://rosstraining.com/blog/ The guy is very impressive, interesting and motivating.
I am curious how anyone with serious knee trouble can do ANYTHING with weights that didn't further damage their joints. Now, admittedly I'm an idiot who destroyed their knee joints by running numerous marathons, training 100 mile plus weeks year after year on asphalt in cities (back in the day, female runners with day jobs unable to find men who could run as fast as them had to train alone in SAFE places, not necessarily on the surfaces that are the best for knees). I agree that weight loss helps a lot. Relieves pain when walking around and carrying the forty pound gardening supplies and doing all the other chores. But what I notice as the knees have got worse is that even putting on heavy shoes ends up causing trouble. Like many people who used to work in a hospital, I wore Dansko clogs most of the time. Great for people who work on their feet. But these days they make the knee pain worse. By extension, lifting weights, doing anything with weights also. I end up falling back on what I consider wimpy and worthless exercise of the type I used to sneer at when a runner. Walk 4-5 miles a day. Swim 1/2 a mile to a mile 3 or 4 times a week. Walk 8-10 miles a day on weekends (and take pictures of beautiful things to distract from screaming knees). I consider this old lady-ish, and pathetic. But unlessl the knees get replaced, not much else is feasible.
Also, I personally loathe the gym and being around everyone's germs. I'd rather run 15 miles alone. Alas, not in the cards any more....Lap swimming is DISGUSTINGLY dull, but it does at least tone one a bit and is very stress-relieving, and I amuse myself randomly passing the obnoxious young whippersnappers in the lone lap-swimmers lane who assume I am old and busted. Meanwhile, the middle school swim team kids of adorable cuteness and enthusiasm charge thru the waters like young porpoises, at least twice as fast as the fastest of us horrible adults.