Posted by: wrmcnutt | January 29, 2013

Moving Iron

So late last year I started a new project.  I returned to the gym with a seriousness that I have not approached fitness with since 1980.   I’m not a “resolutionary,” one of those folks who starts a fitness program in January only to lose interested in February.  I made a commitment to myself at the beginning of November of last year to attempt to get serious exercise five days a week, but to make sure I made it to the gym at least three days a week.

And I’ve done it.  This week marks the end of week twelve.  With the exception of Christmas week, I’ve been to the gym at least three days a week for three months.  My current workout consists of a five weekday after-work regimen.  On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I do a thirty minute warm up on the treadmill, followed by about forty-five minutes of weightlifting.  I’m using an automated training program called Activetrax, mostly because it comes for free with my YMCA membership.  I joined the Y for three reasons:  location, location, location.  I’ve been a member of 2 other gyms over the years, but when it’s a 20 minute drive to the gym, plus changing and showering, I lose an hour out of my day that’s not even my workout.  Because the Y is right across the street from my office, I can step in there after work without losing any time to “getting to the gym.”  So I’ve got one less excuse for not making it to the gym.

Lower Back ImprovementSince November 1, I have lifted weights 27 times.  I have been on the treadmill 39 times.  I have jogged at total of 97 miles (56 miles this year).  I’m gonna share my lower back strength chart because it’s the most impressive looking.

I don’t use free weights.  Yeah I know: blah-blah-flexibility, blah-blah-control, blah-blah-better definition, blah-blah-better workout.  All those reasons are true. But I work out alone. Sure, there are other people around, but I’d rather not be lying on the bench, hoping some stranger will come up and remove the 125-bound bar from my throat where I’ve dropped it.  I don’t use a workout partner because I don’t want his inability to show up to be an excuse for me to not work out.

I don’t have any particular weight-training goals, and I think that’s a problem.  I started out wanted to get more fit, get stronger, and get into better cardiovascular health. But other than looking better in a bathing suit and being physically more powerful, I’m not really sure why I’ve been lifting weights for the past three months.  It’s something to think on.



  1. Weightlifting is great for your bones! Strong bones and strong muscle will make the second half of your life as livable as the first half. Being able to spring up out of a chair, and not struggle to lug around stuff is worth it’s weight in gold. Very proud of you.

  2. The latest word from fitness experts is that free weights are superior in every way to other forms of strength building. My trainer has me pumping iron–with little wussie weights right now.

  3. Truth of point made: Never use free weights that, if dropped, will compromise your physical safety if you don’t have a spotter. This leaves many operations available to you, but nothing requiring a bench or squats. Goals are also important, even if it is a certain number of repetitions at a given weight. On the practical side of things, how far can you carry your blue tool box by yourself? (A possible goal – in the Army, I had to be able to carry certain equipment 100 feet.)

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