Wednesday, October 1, 2008

(Reluctantly) Pumping Iron

The year I turned 38 was also the year of my very last killer workout routine (this one). I heaved and hoed, and bent myself in unusual shapes in hopes of getting unusual results. And, in fact, the results were impressive -- perhaps more impressive on the bar than they were on my bod, but impressive nonetheless.

As I was taking note of the new records I was setting, the penny slowly dropped: this was as good as I was going to get. Ever. Oh, I could take another stab at it after a two-month lay-off, perhaps paying stricter attention to my diet, but I knew there were aspects in which I had reached my physical limit. My elbows were especially clear on this matter: when it came to that hallmark of masculine oomph, the bench-press, I wasn't up for any further "progress."

When I finished the program, I took a break. The break grew longer than I'd intended, but eventually I dragged myself back into the garage and went through a few routines. And that's roughly what my "pumping iron" amounts to these days: a basic routine that gets the blood flowing and keeps the dust from settling in my joints. Ideally I do this twice a week, with one day heavier than the other. Most workouts last 15-20 minutes; I never break 30.

Five years on, this "program" has succeeded in keeping me fit enough to rake leaves in the fall and sand in the spring. It also allows me the chance to listen to workout music, which leads to my next posting...

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