June 20th, 2006


Once She Starts She's Hard to Stop

I played with weights again today. Surprisingly, starting to exercise with weights has been even more fun than starting to exercise using dance books. I mean, I'm aware that dancing isn't for everyone and some people love weight-lifting. But I've always wanted to be able to dance and I've never had any abiding desire to be strong. Not that I had anything against the idea of being strong. It's just that, well, let me put it this way: if I were building my own physical stats using an RPG, strength would probably get the fewest points devoted to it. I'd like to be deft and agile and coordinated and flexible and heatlhy. Being strong would be okay too.

But for whatever reason, working out with weights has been enough fun so far that I find it hard to stop working out, just like my early dance workouts always ran into overtime. Part of the problem now as then is that I'm just learning the exercises. Everything's going slowly as I read the descriptions and look at the pictures and check my form in the mirror and try to get everything right (tighten your abdomen remember to breathe lift your arms don't lock your elbows lower your arms and don't forget to breathe).

Sunday night I used light weights for most of the exercises, since I was more trying to get the movements down than work out. Tonight I went a little heavier, but I'll probably keep doing 15 reps for most exercises for a while yet. Eventually I think I'd rather do more in the 8-12 rep range, instead of just building endurance. But I figure until I get my form to be reasonably consistent, it's better to do more and focus on practicing it correctly than to concentrate on getting the heavy thing to move.

I did upper-body exercises on Sunday, and I did them again today. I thought about doing the assorted abdominal and lower body exercises. But the thing is, I bought weights mainly because my existing dance-based workouts are so weak on upper body exercises. The only real upper body exercise I've been doing is push-ups. And push-ups are good (well, actually they're evil, but they're a good exercise) but they don't exactly consititute a workout by themselves.

Push-ups, my book tells me, are a chest exercise. I've been doing push-ups for a year now and I had no idea they were a chest exercise. I thought they were biceps. I feel so clueless.

The book also had a little chart of upper-body strength ranges for men and women. 40+ modified push-ups (those are the ones on your knees instead of toes) got the top rating for a woman between 30 and 39. I usually do around 15 regular and 15 modified push-ups; tonight I tried just doing modified to see how many I could manage. 37. I tried for 38 but collapsed. Still, I feel strong now. Rar!

In addition, the book also tells me that I'm supposed to let my muscles rest for 48 hours between workout sessions. So, for example, it'd be fine to do lower body strength-training exercises one day and upper the next, but I shouldn't do upper-body strength-training exercises every day.

And push-ups are listed as a strength-training exercise.

So that means I shouldn't do them every day, right?


Finally got my excuse to stop doing push-ups every workout! Yes!

For those of you more versed in the ways of exercise than I: if I'm wrong, please do not disillusion me. At the very least let me enjoy a respite, however brief, from the tyranny of *(!#& push-ups. Thank you.