Saturday, April 18, 2009

Spaghetti arms

Short and sweet: I went to the gym. I am a wuss, but I am a wuss with spirit and strength of will.

I'm doing a lifting plan called a Stripped 5x5, except I'm doing the 3x8 variant because for some reason that's more popular with women who are starting out. It's a good solid base for several months at least, then you'll gradually plateau and/or get bored and switch to something else.

If you don't know much about weight lifting, 5x5 means 5 sets of 5 repetitions of each exercise. So a 3x8 is 3 sets of 8 reps - more reps, but fewer total sets. It's 24 total lifts, instead of 25; not a big difference.

You alternate between two groups of three exercises - group A one day, then off a day, then group B, then off, then repeat. For the first set of a given exercise, you start off fairly low, then the second set is harder, then the third set is as hard as you can complete. If you fail on the last set, back down to a lower weight.

I actually started out with a couple yoga stretches, then 5 minutes of low-intensity cardio, then some more stretching.

First, I did a dumb bell bent over row, 25/35/40. That wasn't too bad. In between each set, I'd stretch and let my arms recover a bit. I felt almost badass hauling up the 40 lb dumbbell effortlessly. Rawr!

Next, I moved on to barbell military presses, 30/40/40. I picked up the 50 lb barbell for the last set, thought "oh no way," put it back down, and did another set of 40.

Side note: I'd written down what all I was planning to do - all THREE THINGS - before I left the house. Then I left it in the house. I'd deprived my brain of oxygen or glycogen or something and I couldn't remember what else I was supposed to do, so I just picked something I thought I could perform correctly. Dumbbell bench press, 20/25/failed at 30/25. It's just shocking how much heavier a 30 lb dumbbell got in like 20 minutes. Shocking.

When I got back home, I discovered I'd been meaning to do dumbbell shoulder presses, which are at least vaguely similar. Oh well.

Tomorrow I'm going to ride Dixie first, so I don't completely run out of the will to move. Then I'll do some cardio, probably spinning. Monday is the Group B day - stay tuned for more featherweight lifting results and possibly forgotten exercises! Woop!


  1. Man..You are oit Fund..go get em! More power to you...literally!

  2. Good for you! I used to lift weights, way back when B.C. (Before Children). I stopped when I got pregnant with my daughter, then I decided to get back into it a few years ago and realized that weight-lifting and fibromyalgia don't really get along all that well. I'm thinking of trying Chi kung, or something along those lines.

  3. Kac - Thanks!

    Michelle, have you tried yoga? Yoga totally rocks, and there's infinite "easier" variations for people with limited strength/mobility. It doesn't burn calories like running or something, but it definitely makes you more flexible, stronger, and calmer. I need to take a class or two to refresh my memory, actually.


Feel free to comment!