We Just Want to Pump … *clap* … YOU UP!

As far as weigh in results go, this week wasn’t all that great for either of us:

Jenny: +1.2 lbs
Jason: +3.4 lbs

Slacking On Your Tracking
Both of us were slackers on our tracking last week, and my mother and grandmother had their semi-annual garage sale which includes many baked goodies that they always insist we take some of; and since everything those women bake is full of absolute win there was no saying “no”.

It was a lack of tracking combined with eating things that we know for sure weren’t low in Points. With no idea of what was in all of the things we ate we couldn’t have even made an educated guess on some of those things. It was a tasty recipe for disaster. Was it worth it? No, not really.

Exercise, Shmexercise?
Jenny was struggling with some pain and tiredness which caused her to skip some of her morning walks last week. Maybe a few extra days would have helped reduce her gain, but overall I think the baked goods from Granny and our tracking were the real reasons for her gain.

After weigh in last week, Jenny decided she wanted to do something to make up for those days that she skipped walking, so she offered to join me at the gym over the weekend instead of walking around the neighborhood like she had been doing. We started out on treadmills, but the treadmill that I usually use was already taken when we got there so we took a pair that I’ve never been on before that are older and smaller than the one that I’m used to. After just a couple of minutes on the treadmills, Jenny’s hips started to hurt so she decided to head out to the track instead. We think the problem was the treadmill itself, as she said it felt like it forced her to walk different than she normally did because it felt too narrow.

After a couple of laps on the track though, the pain went away and she was able to put in a full 45 minutes of walking. She got just over 5,000 steps from that walk alone plus another 2,500 or so for the rest of the day, and we both had a good time while we were there.

Are You a Girly Man!?
When I first starting going back to the gym I went in following the only form of weight lifting that I was familiar with, which is what I learned in school during football practice – an aggressive system that’s designed to constantly increase strength. There’s nothing wrong with doing that kind of workout, except that I’m not really interested in building muscle right now. I’m way more interested in losing weight, and that means focusing on the amount of time I’m working out instead of how much weight I’m lifting.

I know that a part of my gain this week can be contributed to the system I started with, because I was right back to finding my max for each machine/lift and then following a routine that would push those numbers higher. Adding muscle does help with weight loss, but when you’re following that sort of a program you spend less time actually exercising because you’re doing larger amounts of weight that you can’t sustain for long periods of time. It does build the muscle just fine, but you don’t get as much of a workout doing that as you would doing more reps of a lighter weight.

So I cut out that program and switched to one more focused on cardio and endurance. I’m still alternating days between upper and lower body, but instead of doing nothing but weight lifting during my time there I’m also alternating between cardio and endurance. It’s a two week cycle since I’m only going during the work week so it ends up being three days of upper body and two days of lower for one week, then three days of lower and two days of upper for the next week. I’m also focusing most of my lower body days primarily on cardio because I think I’ve already got a good deal of strength in my legs. I do want to build some muscle back particularly in my arms, so I’m still focused more on weights for the upper body days but I’m not doing it aggressively like I was before.

I would probably be better off following an actual workout designed by someone who knows what they’re doing instead of making up my own, but at least I have enough previous experience that I’m not totally lost.

There are a couple of guys at the gym that are big on the heavy lifting, and it does sometimes make me feel like a girly man when they’re lifting what I used to, or more, and I’m over here lifting a fraction of that after having lost so much muscle over the last 12 years or living a sedentary life. It’s alright though, it just gives me more motivation to keep going back.


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