ache all over, but don't worry about me. I can still work out in
spite of the self-inflicted cruelty. Endurance to go on day after
day needs continual hard work, cultivation and obsessing. The stiffness
in the joints, of course, is an affliction we all suffer, as the
years weigh heavy on the ole Olympic bar of life. I'll make it.
I've invested in wraps of various shapes and sizes to fit just about
everything that moves; liniments don't help, but I like the eye-watering
medicinal smell. I've got a special plastic-lined, zippered compartment
in my gym bag for tubes and jars of the stuff, mixed with bottles
and tins of Tylenol, aspirin and ibuprophen... I call it my hope
chest. Don't worry about me, though I confuse the 10s for 5s when
stumbling to change the plates too quickly (quickly... ha... I wouldn't
know quickly if it took a day and a half to happen). I think of
color-coding the weights but forget about it by time I'm in my truck
ready to head home, faint, gasping, nauseous and searching for my
keys. Don't miss the hearing, actually, because I get to concentrate
better in the silence and don't have to listen to all that dumb
noise they call music these days. Don't need ears to blast it, big
fella. Thank heaven for protein powder, eggs, bananas and milk.
If I had to chew all my muscle-building protein, it would take all
night and day gnawing with my wobbly choppers. Don't need teeth
to blast it, either. That's what I always say, though nobody listens
to me anymore. They'd listen, I guess, if I talked above a gravelly
croak and didn't stutter. Sneering doesn't help. But, don't worry
about me. I don't mind being alone; get more done, more time to
blast it. Don't have to wear that ragged "Don't bother me,
jerk, I'm working out!" t-shirt anymore. Getting older isn't
bad. Old bodybuilders never die; they just bomb away.
then... how'd I start? Oh, yes, solid, bold and mighty workouts
and their attributes: They keep you young, you know, and alert.
A good workout three times a week keeps you strong and slim or gets
you there if you're not. Exercise takes stress and strife and stuffs
it in an iron and steel compactor and crushes it. Your system is
like a bunch of parts and molecules (complex scientific information)
going off in different directions causing internal and external
confusion; weight training and good nutrition put everything in
proper order. Sleep better, stand taller, relate honestly, laugh
harder and more often, attract the opposite sex effortlessly, and
gain riches and natural authority -- cool stuff like that.
me give you this week's solid, bold and mighty workout routine,
the upper-body cluster bomb:
leg raises: Some folks forego this abdominal exercise because the
hanging alone is tough. It is for this very reason I have more regularly
included the movement in my routine. The stretching and demand on
the network of torso muscles, the straightening of the elbows and
the strengthening of the grip make this lower ab and hip-flexor
exercise an attractive bodybuilding bonus. I superset it with the
hyperextensions, 4 sets times 12-15 reps. Moderate bend at the knee,
draw legs up as tight as possible as if crunching and lower using
muscle might without the advantage of swinging. A few good reps
(2, 3 and 4) are better than applying the trapeze motion. Practice,
focus and build the muscles and numbers.
The focus is on the lower back as we slowly and deliberately arch
into contraction. No swinging or body momentum that diminishes the
muscle work and enhances the risk of excessive and damaging hyperextension.
This movement will stretch and strengthen the hamstrings and glutes.
Focus and feel the action of the back and butt.
incline Smith press: I find the guided press a beneficial variation
to the free-bar incline in exercising my front deltoids and the
muscle mass high across the chest. I'm able to exactly position
the bench to accomplish my purpose and mitigate any nagging pain
that often accompanies the standard incline. Working the bar against
the guides allows me to target the muscles in ways I cannot with
the big bar. Put power on the back burner and go for pace, tight
reps and a clear mind: 4 -- 5 sets x 8-10 reps
pullover: Start with your head at the end of a bench and a bar held
in an eight-inch grip across the chest. Lift up and back above your
face and down into an extended position toward the floor. Doesn't
that feel good? Tiny pause and up with the bar in a smooth and powerful
tug and back to the starting position. Doesn't that feel great?
Another pause, noticing the variety of muscle benefiting and rejoicing
with the ever-changing resistance, and repeat. What we have here
is a treat for the rib cage, the lats and serratus, triceps, chest,
grip, abs and frontal lobe. We're networking again, weaving the
upper body together. Don't go for power on this series of exercises,
as you'll tear yourself apart. With moderate weight in hand, you
can superset the pullover with the Smith press: 4 -- 5 sets x 8-10
dumbbell lateral raise: This takes on the expression of a bent-over
lateral raise crossbred with a row. We're targeting the rear delt
with more weight than we should, causing the lateral movement to
collapse into a two-arm dumbbell row, a very effective compromise
for the back. Focus, practice and improvise, 4 sets x 8 reps.
heavy barbell curl: You've been there, done that. What can I say
but congratulations, brother and sister? Superset the heavy beast
with machine or freehand dips. More than biceps are at work when
the weight is heavy and the body is struggling: 4 -- 5 sets x 6
I was doing dips before I was walking and talking. (Of course, I
didn't walk or talk till I was ten.) They get a lot of work done
on the whole upper body, cinching the muscles together like a well-tied
knot: 4 -- 5 sets x intense reps.
go. I hear something in the bushes. DD
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