25 July 2008

Gym update - July 2008

I've successfully kept up my five-day-a-week gym habit for the past six weeks. However, I have made a few adjustments to my routine.

I have a previous knee injury and have been told that squats are bad for your knees. Yet everyone says that squats are probably the number one weightlifting exercise. It's a full body movement, a very natural movement (we squat all the time in our daily lives or we should, instead of relying on our backs), and it works the entire lower body. I've been doing super-slow reps, which I think are bad on my knees. So I've switched to doing my squat reps at a regular pace. The current routine is to do one warmup squat set at 25 lb and then two regular sets at 45 lb (bar).

I also have a previous tendonitis injury (mostly in the wrists). Somewhere around the fourth week of my gym habit, I started feeling pain in my wrists. So I bought gloves with wrist wrap to stabilize my wrists and I watch my form more carefully on upper body exercises, especially bicep curls and benchpressing.

I've eliminate dumbbell flys from my upper body routine and have replaced them with dips. I think that full body movements are better than isolation exercises. Between doing three full upper body exercises -- benchpress, assisted pull-ups, assisted dips -- I work out my chest heavily, so I don't need to do flys. My current routine for assisted dips: Dips 3x8 [-75 lb]. The notation means 3 sets with 8 reps, 75 pounds less than my body weight.

I've increased my weight in a few exercises:
+5 lb, Rotary hip [42.5 lb], all four directions, both legs 2x8
+4 lb, Calf raises 3x8 [79 lb]
+12.5 lb, Back extension 3x8 [50 lb]

I find it really difficult to do a run anytime other than before breakfast. My stomach gets unsettled easily with the bouncing that comes with running. Originally, I had planned to run three times a week, on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I've cut out Thursday now because I have hockey games those nights. Maybe running would be good for my hockey game. I'm not sure.

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