Sunday, May 4, 2008


About three years ago, my insides literally tied themselves in a knot, putting me in the hospital for about a week and requiring surgery to untangle the knot in my intestines. Quite the wake up call (and the kind of pain I wouldn't wish on anyone). As recently as 100 years ago it would have been a death sentence (and a very silly way to go).

During the recovery period, I found myself remarkably weak. Lifting even small things was almost impossible. I was running fairly regularly at the time, so the lower body recovered quickly. My upper body took forever to come back.

Out of that experience, I made a commitment to try and keep a balanced fitness routine. I set a personal goal of being able to (at any given time) run a half marathon, do a couple chin ups, and bench press my own weight.

Since then, I've been doing basic weight work for the first time since college (and hating it).

Yesterday, ran our local half marathon in 1:51:00 (and hurting the whole way...never got that second wind). Was able to do 5 chin ups, but bench capped out at 150.

Unfortunately I've been capped at 150 for a while. Unless I can figure out how to dropped 30 something pounds, will need to figure out how to break through that plateau without more lifting than absolutely necessary.

Any advice that doesn't involve needles and fits into 30 reps ~3x per week?


tiggyboo said...

Hey Ray, good to hear from you - but sorry about your health travails. If it's of any comfort, my own recent Come to Jesus health moment is somewhat poorly documented here:

At the moment I'm being driven nuts by two baby monitors that, in theory, have no business interfering with one another yet somehow persist in noisily doing so. So I'm not in the mood for nuance, but more for aluminum baseball bats and unprotected objects. I'll check back in when I'm more verbal - in the meantime, take care - and good luck with the fitness gig. Oh - nice Obama coverage, too.

Marc said...

Sorry to hear you've had problems - I had no idea.

I know you have a wii fit... use it... work on the pushup exercise (and unlock the challenge). then do the tricep one (with a light weight) to break through 150 bench.

or... create a push up workout: I have found that doing perfectly formed pushups on a regular basis not only keeps me looking good (LOL) but strong. i am up to doing 50-60 slow, all the way down pushups a few times a week which may seem low to some, but it's where I'm at.

I do 30-40 regular ones, then 10-20 wide ones. i then do a final set with my hands close together until I collapse. On a strong day, I get get to 60.

I haven't benched in years, but remember doing 3 sets of 10 with 185. I'm in better shape now than I was 10 years ago.