Having built up my home gym over Covid, and built it some more to write a book about strength training, I’ve discovered that my 58 year old body is poorly suited to strength training.
I’ll keep doing it, cos I got this book to write and it’s good for me. But man, once I got up near lifting my body weight all sorts of problems appeared.
Some of it goes back to that spinal problem I had about five years ago; the two discs fusing together and trapping nerves between them. That was the reason I started strength training and for a long time the training helped.
But it’s recently flared again and started conspiring with imbalances elsewhere. Pronate feet, scoliosis, scar tissue and broken bones from years of jujitsu. I am basically a twisted homunculus of a man.
At the moment I’m doing all of these correctional exercises. Lots of unilateral push and pull work with dumbbells and cables. None of the big, compound lifts.
It’s frustrating, but I’m hoping that in a couple of months I’ll have ironed out all of my kinks and be ready to get back into deadlifts and squats and so on.
Until then, Ted is picking up my slack.
at least you are safe from demon possession (no my joke seen on social media)
Demon: WHAT THE HELL
JB: I know
DEMON: EVERYTHING HURTS, WHY??AND WHATS WRONG WITH THIS BACK, AND MY FEET, WHAT THE FUCK MAN?
JB: idk, can I offer you a pastry?
I know the feeling, will be 65 in July and there are a couple of exercises that will cause the spinal stenosis to go supernova.
My home gym looks similar to yours except I have more cardio stuff but that leg press machine you have looks sweet.
You need a sauna/steam room, it’s worth the cost.
Hang in there and keep writing.
Just started back and using free parks equipment near the office. Body weight is a bastard. For pull ups, read let downs, but at least press-ups are going well, and the triceps presses have stopped causing cramps. Back into it tomorrow!
Can't you just get a new rig from the vat?
As well as the strength training you might need to do some flexibility work. I've tried so many times to get into yoga, and each time gave up, I just couldn't get into the whole warm and fuzzy namaste stuff.
Pilates, however, became my jam. I started off with floor Pilates which seemed similar to yoga but the instructor would go into detail on exactly what it was the exercise we were doing was going to do to our muscles and was all SCIENCE BITCHES and I finally worked out what I was missing from yoga - a clear explanation of WTF we were doing and WHY.
Then I discovered reformer Pilates and holy shit it's a workout and then some. BUT the great thing about the reformer, apart from looking like a medieval torture device, is that it ensures that your body is full supported in all of your exercises. So exercises that might fuck up an old injury or back issue can be done safely and with the full benefit because instead of having to support your whole homunculus yourself against the forces of gravity, you're lying on the reformer and it's helping you out. Still gives you a workout that will have you wondering if you died halfway through and now you're in hell, but helps rehabilitate and strengthen injured areas, and builds up your flexibility and core strength.
Go take a couple of classes at your local studio and see what you think, it might help with your back 😊
(I promise I'm not shilling for Big Reformer, even if I bought one for myself for Christmas so I could torture myself at home).
I read something about a coach relating the rule of thirds to exercise. Basically you should spend a third of the time feeling good, a third feeling like death and a third just ok.
I think we know which third you are currently in.
Homunculus. There's a word I haven't come across much. I had to look up the definition. Another side benny of the 'Burger. Lexicon expansion.
Ted's got all of the slack covered, beautifully. Give him a big pat and a nice long walk.
Developing workarounds is part of the process, and a valuable insight for your future readers. Keep careful notes.
On his deathbed, my grandfather whispered to me - 'Don't get old, it's worse than death'. Coming from the strongest and most heroic (I'll tell you his story, one day) man I've ever met, this was a serious wake-up call.
This is what gets me to the gym. Getting old sucks balls. I can't lift, I'm not fast, I look like a reformed walrus, but I still hit that metal, because, one day, it'll all be too late, and I'm not ready for that yet.
JB. We're only here because we love your stories and we love your style. You have an envious life - you make people happy and write funny stories that are prescient and cutting. No one else outside the Defence establishment quite gets your shtick, but it's fun. You make life fun for others. Keep it up, and bring back SuperDave.
I share all those ailments but I look more like your poor deflated Labrador. I keep thinking of joining the gym, but don't want to injure myself and hate it or pay money to not be able to go. Plus I only like gyms when they are empty. I might buy a home gym from gumtree, it will definitely have less people and better music. Also need a decent set up like yours, the home gym I had was too small and I lifted the machine and the weights and nearly broke it.