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Send My Conscience Home in a Taxi

Externalised Memory

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Press To Failure
Drawing of a trike
Yo. Again, I've left this far too long between updates. But hey, I've been busy, including a two day trip to NSW on Tuesday and Wednesday of last week.

Anyway, it was around this time nine years ago that I started working out. Although it was only around 2000 or 2001 that I started going really regularly, three times a week. Priory to that I was an intermittent gym goer, after that I was an insane gym junkie :-)

I was going to get evildoom_bunny to take a picture of a couple of my muscles, but decided against on the basis of taste and lack of available light!

About two months ago, I got the nice man at the gym to write me a new program. I've had some interesting programs over the years, and it's been a while since I've seen a new exercise. But the new program he put together for me was insane! It must have had twice as many exercises as any I'd done before. I quickly realised there was no way known I was going to be able to do them all in one session, so I pruned out the one's I didn't really like. Three sets of three exercises for one set of muscles is a bit too much. But I kept some of the hard ones. For example, doing squats with 80 Kilos. The first time I did them (actually, three sets: 12 times 60 kilos, 10 times 70, 8 times 80 kilos) I could hardly walk the next day. Which is probably a good sign.

One of the things I've been doing, this time around, which I probably should have done more in the past, is what they call pressing to failure. I've been wary about this idea, partly because it hurts. But then, after nine years of lifting weights, something has to change to see any improvement at all.

Pressing to failure basically means you keep working a muscle or a muscle group until it simply ceases to function. I'm told it actually tears the muscle fibres, which then grow back stronger. But then, I've been told a lot of half-true things by gym instructors in the past... They might know what works, but they don't always know the real reason why.

It's a weird experience, working (say) my biceps till they stop working. I pick up the two dumbbells, 17.5 kilos each, lift one, then the other, then the first until... my arm simply stops responding. It's weird - you're sending the "command" to your arm, and nothing happens. "Lift" I say, or flex or whatever it is that my brain says to my arm. And it tries, but nothing occurs. Maybe a slight twitch. It's all I can do to get the weights back onto the rack. It must be a slight inkling of what it's like to be paralyzed. Except of course my arms still work afterwards, with a dull ache.

And it seems to be effective.

Oh, and there are occasionally new exercises one comes across. There's another instructor at my gym (Northcote Aquatic Centre BTW) who invents his own. I once saw him doing a stretch which I can't adequately describe - he had his forearms on a bench, his head underneath it, and only his toes on the floor... Strangely, my regime seems slightly less crazy by comparison!

Anyway, probably time I showered off all this sweat and went to bed...

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Sounds highly similar to what Seamus was doing last year when he was working out regularly- pressing to failure was a big thing for him in building up the muscles a lot, cos he's underweight.

He'd be stuffed for about an hour afterwards, but he was always fine after that!

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