Fitness Tracking: “Avenger, Assemble!”

Wow! Would have thought that after only a day I’d sit down and work on what I’ve accomplished over 24 hours. I think as I work on this I’ve already got some patterns growing that I will try to enforce. Mainly, let’s just see if I can make Saturday my “what I’ve accomplished” day.

MONDAY

sad panda
Sad Panda, the new mascot for “when workouts flop”

Thinking back, Monday was sadly a bit of a failure. My gym partner and I were both feeling under the weather, and I had caved in on cutting our gym time short. As such, my usual cardio of 500 calories worth of elliptical came and went without much huzzah. This usually is done using the cardio setting and raising the heart rate goal to 151 (80%). Though I did make a decent sweat, I did not continue on to do my strength training afterwards. My gym partner (my mother-in-law whom I shall call “J” for the sake of anonymity for now) did her thing, but she is my ride for the most part and she wanted to get home due to exhaustion. I do try to be supportive on the matter to keep her their, but in this instance I was feeling like crap too.

Too bad the second I left I felt regret for not doing more.

WEDNESDAY

shoulders arms

This time around I wasn’t going to cheap out, and I let J know that ahead of time. She is struggling with some pain in her foot, but she agreed that the last session wasn’t long enough (she has her own fitness goal that I’m helping her achieve). As always, I began my struggle on the elliptical, but I suffered one of my usual problems. I’m 6’6″, and I don’t quite fit on most machines as they were intended. The heart sensors on these machines don’t seem to work half the time for me and I need it to register to give resistance. Frustrated it wasn’t working, I turned it over to quick start and set it to level 15, forgetting how much time I’d actually spent on it.

Now imagine me, big ol’ tall guy trying to turn his body around to look at another woman on the treadmill and trying to make a rather unsuccessful attempt at pantomiming “how long have you been on your machine?”. She didn’t get the message, but I don’t blame her as my motions were little better than pointing at my wrist, pointing at her, then stretching my hands apart whilst hitting my knee on the machine. She shrugged at me, and I turned back around to just guess I needed another 25 minutes.

Now it was time to hit the weights. Covered in sweat and my caloric count accounted for, I headed to the free weights to work on the arms and shoulders, my main target to look sexy. I did 3 sets of 21’s (bicep curls where you do 7 from legs to waist, 7 from waist to chest, then 7 all the way), 12 reps. Started with my last success of 20 lbs, but did the second two at my new record of 25. Huzzah!

Then is was shoulder shrugs (I don’t know what they are called, so bare with me) where you hold weights in your hands and simply shrug with only your shoulders. Last time I tried this I used 45 lbs and felt like I short-changed myself. This time, 3 sets, starting at 50, then 55, then 60 with some serious strain at the end. Found a new limit, and this makes me smile.

After that it was sitting machines. Tricep curls (I’ve forgotten the weight but it was a struggle for sure), lateral pull down (60/70/70 with an incomplete finish), and lastly another machine meant for chest and biceps (I’ve forgotten, I’m terrible at recording). At the end of it all I was a flabby mess of sweat and sore arms, but I feel amazing afterwards.

Ended the night at home, looking in the mirror and wondering if my man boobs were getting toned. Made a note that I need to document better.

FRIDAY

abs

Last night was the reason for my curious title. “Alex,” I can hear you not asking, “why are you saying Avenger when you have a partner for the gym?”. Well, it’s because I had to fly solo last night. J said her foot was too much to risk getting on the treadmill and that she’s waiting on a sock that’s supposed to help her cope. I personally don’t know how a sock fixes it, but I’m not doctor. Girding myself up, I took off at the usual time to visit a mostly empty Planet Fitness.

Cardio was a new triumph. Now on my own time, I hit the quick start at 15 for 25 minutes, but seeing that I’d already hit my cardio goal of 500 calories, I bumped up the level to 18 and burned off another 100. Four extra minutes and another hundred calories. I was PUMPED.

Strength training was abs and core. Funny thing is that all the ab machines but one in my planet fitness are called “ABS”. So I can say without any funny business the following:

  1. I did the ABS machine maxed out, 205 lbs, three sets and hardly broke a sweat.
  2. I did the ABS machine maxed out, 215 lbs, three sets, the last one made me strain
  3. I did the ABS machine maxed out, 205 lbs, three sets and struggled like hell on halfway through the second set, still fully completed.
  4. I also did a machine (the only one with a name that I’ve forgotten) that worked the obliques, maxed out at 205, minimal difficulty even when I added 10 to each set.

I followed that up with the rowing weights. I was able to do 70 pounds for the second two sets, my panting becoming obscene and hoping no one pulled the “lunk alert”. The last one, the lateral pull down machine, (which is my MORTAL F***ING ENEMY) kicked my ass with my first attempt of 65 lbs easy enough, but when I added 5 more pounds it I was grunting like a water buffalo in mating season. It was pretty bad.

Went home, thought about writing this then but couldn’t find the strength. Instead I sat down with a glass of whisky (Makers Mark) and turned on Netflix. Started to watch the new “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon” movie, but I didn’t have the strength to sit through it all.

IN SUMMARY (AKA TL:DR)

Though the week began with the threatening of a slump, I’m glad I ended it with some zeal. I want to personally thank fitwithnogym for being my first like on my blog, giving me the drive to want to write this post. Hopefully I find a way to make this a little less winded, which will come with time I’m sure.

PS: Forgive the gratuitous use of hulking body builders for my images for “what section I worked”. I tried to find some superhero’s to crop, but still new and with little patience, I could not find a picture of the Hulk’s shoulders I liked.

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