Weightlifting since September 2022

Here’s my overall journey. COVID took 2 weeks. A week after that I had a GI bug that forced me to eat bananas and tea for 2 days so I was weak as hell that week. In climbing I’m now doing 5.10+ regularly with a lot less can’t-even-get-off-the-ground failures. As soon as I do my first 5.11 I’ll try lead roping.

Workout analysis for 11/13/22 – 11/19/22

It’s my birthday! I’m spending it relaxing watching electric guitar ballads because I got an electric guitar for my birthday. I tinkered on a shitty acoustic 27 years ago but I didn’t make time or money to keep it up. But 40 is the new 20, right?

Anyway, this week was tough to fit in a workout, but I made it two times. Work was insane (I worked 44 hours this week, which might seem like nothing to people who work 80 per week but I need work-life balance and at least 8 hours of sleep). I found myself crunching work past 6 pm a few times. Next week is the Thanksgiving holiday, so there will be plenty of time to workout then. We need to offset the eating, right?

My goal was to go past 50k but this is okay. I’m not going to beat myself up over it, as it seems like I grew calves this week, suddenly.

Workout analysis, 11/6/22 – 11/12/22

This week wasn’t ideal for exercise. I took 2 days off lifting and ended up both rock climbing and lifting on Saturday (11/12/22). The first day that I took off, Thursday, was because work was way too busy for me to take any time off. Then Friday was a holiday but I spent an hour working (2x pay per hour!) and spent the rest of the day with Mom. So the volume might not be as much as otherwise. I have to remind myself that my muscles won’t disappear if I don’t work out for 2 days.

Workout analysis, 10/23/22 to 10/29/22

The hour is the rock climbing time from today. I increased the poundage on my legs a lot this week, and tried to keep up the chest stuff as well. What’s holding the chest and biceps back is joint pain on the outside of my left elbow. This makes me have to work around the elbow pain and think of exercises that don’t aggravate it. I realized that I have to work on shoulders more, also without hurting that left elbow! (Although I did dips and incline presses this week).

Workout Analysis, 10/2/22 – 10/8/22

Also did rock climbing on 10/9/22, but I didn’t record it. Rock climbing (to me) doesn’t feel truly only cardio, but it’s also not just strength. I consider it a more comprehensive workout that works a lot of different dimensions (flexibility, mobility, endurance, conquering mental issues like fear or frustration or technique, intuition, balance, proprioception, etc.), especially once you go above a 5.9 grade. I’m in the “heavy lifting” phase of my workout program, and I’m setting a lot of PRs every workout! However, this week, I need to work on my chest more.

Creatine in seniors

Sarcopenia is associated with reduced bone mass and bone strength and may be a contributing factor for the increased risks of falls and fractures often observed in aging adults. It is well established that resistance training is an effective lifestyle intervention for improving aging muscle mass, strength and bone accretion. Accumulating evidence indicates that creatine supplementation, with and without resistance training, has possible anti-sarcopenic and anti-dynapenic effects. Specifically, creatine supplementation increases aging muscle mass and strength (upper- and lower-body), possibly by influencing high-energy phosphate metabolism, muscle protein kinetics and growth factors. Creatine supplementation has shown potential to enhance bone mineral in some but not all studies, and seems to affect the activation of cells involved in both bone formation and resorption. Creatine has the potential to decrease the risk of falls experienced by aging adults which would subsequently reduce the risk of fracture. Finally, preliminary evidence suggests that creatine may have anti-inflammatory effects during times of elevated metabolic stress, such as during extended/intense aerobic exercise. 

Effectiveness of Creatine Supplementation on Aging Muscle and Bone: Focus on Falls Prevention and Inflammation

I have this giant bottle of Naked Creatine (I got it from Amazon) and I feel that it helps me retain and build muscle just a bit better, as long as I don’t forget to put it in my smoothies. Starting last week, I started to put ~5 grams of creatine into my mom’s protein smoothie, because there seems to be a generally positive effect of creatine use in adults. There’s some research into this topic.

Workout analysis, 9/12/22 – 9/17/22

Some biceps and triceps were involved with the back and chest workouts

Also, less volume and less sets but also less soreness and no exhaustion. Finding a balance.

*P. S.: This is minus the 2nd half of my workout which will be at the gym. I’ve gotten used to splitting my workouts in half (morning session, afternoon session) due to accompanying my mom to the gym, to make sure she goes and does something there. This program has a foundational phase that has 21 sets for the whole body done 2-3 times a week plus small trigger sessions in between that feel like mini-HIIT workouts. After a month I’ll move onto a phase with less reps, more sets, and heavier weights.

Workout analysis of the past week

I’ve found that it’s been hard to track resistance training with a heart rate monitor. I forget to put it on and I just rush to the gym. It’s because I don’t sweat as much and my heart stays comfortable the whole time I’m weight lifting. So I downloaded a weight lift tracker and it does an “analysis” of everything I did over a period of time. Since I’ve only had this tracker for a week, here’s a week’s progress below.

Did I really work my legs out that much?! No wonder they’re sore!

It might look like I don’t work out my arms or butt that much. But some of these exercises work out multiple body parts. This week, I did want to focus on leg work. And it’s crazy to see that I lifted 39,076 pounds in a week.

I Changed My Workout Program

Originally, when I began my fitness journey, something in me thought/felt that simply doing cardio wasn’t going to help me reach my goals. That thought was that muscle is metabolically active. If you have more muscle, you are more metabolically active. Which means you can increase your metabolism by putting on muscle. Putting on more muscle means resistance training. And resistance training is easier for me to do than cardio, because wheezing.

I wanted to switch to a program that was more pure resistance training, with a little mobility mixed in. However there are not many YouTube videos to follow of someone weight lifting and you doing what they do. During this search (within the past month or so) I started listening to the Mind Pump Podcast. I liked what I heard about these guys’ approach to exercise, so I got a couple of their programs and am incorporating them. Their resistance training program have phases to help grow strength, stability, and muscle. So I’ll try this out for now and see what kind of changes happen.

Workouts in the last month

Not including the climbing days and any walking/hiking. Also, I went to the Boston area to tour the climbing gyms in that area and those weren’t included either, but I’ll include a picture that captures what physical activity I did.

Climbing gym 1
Another climbing gym
Lots of walking (because we took the subway)
I was at my sister’s house (house sitting) and tried her spin bike, but the seat screw loosened and the seat started wobbling everywhere. I went to a nearby gym instead but didn’t bring my heart monitor.
At the gym near my sister’s house… A great workout!

Workouts since May 20

Not pictured: 3 hour climbing session out of town
Between the previous workout and this next one, I went to a festival (walked a lot), a hike the next day, and then had my 2nd COVID booster, which put me out for 2 days.
This was more cardio kickboxing but my old martial arts training “kicked” (ha ha) and I did all the kicks I knew how to do.

Workouts since May 4

I’ve been swamped at work hence the relative silence here. The past 2 weeks I’ve been trying to use heavier weights. Not included are the super long walks at festivals, trails, and parks. Also the weather is getting better so I’m using a lot of time gardening, and not going to the climbing gym as much. I am moving a lot of 40 lb. bags of soil and mulch, though. My goals have been to get at least 4 days/week exercise if not the usual 5.