In addition to reducing my calories & carbs during lockdown, I re-started my lifting routine. I’ve lifted off & on since 1987 and have no illusions about becoming a bodybuilder, but this new practice feels different.
I’ve made several changes to my routine that make it easier to complete each day. This means I’m more likely to actually do the workout.
In no particular order, where’s what I now do:
I quit using the bench & now only lift the various dumbbells. There’s a wide range of exercises that work my arms, chest, shoulders, neck & legs. By increasing the reps (repetitions) of various sets (completion of a fixed number of reps), I’m getting a significantly better workout than I did when the bench was used. I’d grown to really dislike the bench & was finding excuses not to lift.
This removes that blocker, makes the lifting convenient & has resulted in a new daily habit that is producing results.
Higher reps with lower weight
The dumbbells are obviously lower-weighted resistance than the plates I used with the bench. This means that I needed to increase either the number of sets or reps of each exercise in order to gain value.
I have increased both the sets & reps with weekly targets for total reps of all combined exercises. I’m currently meeting a daily target of 300 repetitions of all lifting exercises.
I’ve long avoided pushups, crunches + other floor exercises because… well, they’re hard. You can’t “sort of do” those exercises. It’s a binary: that was a pushup or it wasn’t.
Those are now an integral part of my routine. I will do sets of 20 pushups (depending on the day, the number of sets vary) followed by crunches. I now really enjoy doing crunches as I can feel the burn pushing out beyond the number I did the day before. That’s progress & it’s noticable.
My daily target for combined floor exercise reps is 200. I’ve been reaching this goal for a couple weeks now.
Multiple daily walks
I’ve been taking daily walks for several years now, dating back to before I got my first tracker, through two different Fitbits and into my current Apple Watch. I enjoy it but my commitment to a single 1.5 mile daily walk was insufficient. I’ve doubled that.
This provides a decent-ish cardio routine that puts me outside for approximately 40 mins per day. Recently that’s dropped down to 30 - 35 mins per day, as my pace has improved. It’s nice to have this fully instrumented on the watch - I monitor my pace in real-time & try to improve each day.
It’s a fantastic use of positive reinforcement that produces results.