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I'm going to be sore tomorrow.

I've been losing some weight on the Atkins Diet, but more importantly I've been slimming down. I look thinner and my clothes no longer fit. I need a new belt, for the old one has ceased to be effective.

I noticed a couple of months ago, though, that my conditioning was seriously lacking. It's one thing to lose weight; it's a completely different thing to be in shape. And, frankly, I think the latter is more important. So, I stepped up the activities, playing a little more basketball, opting for the stairs over the elevator more often, etc. Little things, but I've noticed some progress conditioning-wise.

The other thing that has bothered me about this weight loss is that, though I may be slimming down, my body is still mostly flab. I mean, yeah, I've got some, as Tubby would put it, natural muscle. When you're as big as I am and carry as much weight around as I have been, you develop some strength. But, proportionate to the size of my frame, I'm the 6'3" version of the 80 pound weakling, with very little muscle tone and definition. And watching all those chiselled hunks in Troy last week made me more than a little envious.

Tubby had recently left a coupon for a nearby gym by my bedroom door. The coupon entitled me to a free guest pass and, if I chose to join, a discounted membership rate. The offer expires June 30. I decided to check it out tonight, since I know I won't be able to on the 30th.

The gym is decent. Each cardiovascular machine has it's own little cable t.v. attached. There are plenty of machines so that there, reportedly, is rarely a wait. And there is plenty of eye candy.

I only worked the weights tonight, since I had gotten a bit of cardio playing softball and wanted to get home early enough to sing. I admit I felt a bit lost in this sea of machines, but I was able to find the basic machines. I started with the upper body, working the major muscle groups first and doing more targeted work. I did a little bit of back and abdominal work. And I did four lower body exercises: leg press, leg extension, leg curl, and calf raise. Since I haven't lifted in a million years, I did not push myself weight-wise. I was able to finish most of my sets of 13-15 reps at a moderate weight. After all, I want to avoid injury by being too gung-ho the first time out, and my goal is toning and conditioning, not bulking up. But I know I'll feel a burn tomorrow regardless.

My goal is to try to get up early to work out before work 3-4 times a week. No one will confuse me for a workout warrior, but I hope to strengthen up and tone a bit. I figure not only will this help with routine, everyday living, it should help my singing as well. Let's hope I follow through with this.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 4th, 2004 11:45 pm (UTC)
I think being muscular is overrated. It seems proportional to testosterone levels and inversely proportional to intelligence (anger replaces smarts). Repetitive workouts may well lead to arthritis farther down the line, too.
Jul. 5th, 2004 08:07 am (UTC)
Who said anything about being muscular? And my post makes it clear that my goal is to tone and condition, not to develop a cut, muscular body.
Jul. 5th, 2004 10:19 am (UTC)
You did mention elimination of flab as part of your program of toning. Presumably, when the flab is gone, what remains is muscle. Your description of the exercises and exercise machines sound like muscle building. I guess, then, that you're saying that moderate muscle building really isn't muscle building at all, it's just toning and conditioning.

I previously failed to understand the difference.
Jul. 5th, 2004 01:17 pm (UTC)
There are different types of weight lifting. There's weightlifting for body sculpting, which involves low reps of high weights. There's weightlifting for toning and conditioning, which involves higher reps of a lower weight. And there is a broad range in the middle. I'm somewhere in the middle, closer to the high rep/low weight range. I have no desire to be muscle bound and lose all flexibility. I simply desire for my muscles to be in healthy condition and to be as strong as I should be for someone with my frame. I lift a moderate weight for 3 sets of 13-15 reps. I won't be looking like Conan the Barbarian anytime soon, but I will be healthier and fitter for it.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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