I'm fascinated by The Weight Room.
Fascinated and fearful, in a way.
I go and spend time there, but I never really feel at home. I show up in the wee early hours, when I would assume that other people serious about their health and training show up, and I feel like less of an 'insider' than I would at a convention for evangelical political pundits in a presidential election year. Fearful that the moment I open my mouth or make one concerted move, I will instantaneously be discovered as an outsider and the floor will magically open up, swallow me whole, and drop me along side the New Jersey turnpike, dazed, confused, and feeling a little slimy.
I had a session with a trainer way back when I started this whole triathlon training trip and it was definitely a smart move. Realizing that I had zero idea of what machines to use and how often or, well, how...I buckled down and dropped the c-note for an hour with someone who did. She's also a triathlete, and a serious one at that. I told her my plans and she put me to work. I learned a solid circuit of exercises both on the nautilus machines (in the safe room...you know, the one with the treadmills and other familiar machines) and in The Weight Room.
I kind of felt like a fool -- an interloper or sorts. Clearly I was getting a lesson on the basics, so I was basically a beginner. I swallowed my pride and went with it and the process payed off. Over the following months I slowly became more comfortable using the free weights freely. I got used to switching out using a machine during recovery. I even figured out where to look in a room full of mirrors and buff guys without completely embarrassing myself. (Com. On. A room full of mirrors and we're NOT supposed to look? Good grief!) I began to recognize the regulars as I became a regular myself.
And, luckily, the floor never opened up and swallowed me whole. I managed to avoid the Jersey roadside and was all that much stronger for the process. Yeah. The definition in my arms alone was worth it. And, recently, we all know that I've been religiously adhering to the cheese steak diet, so I'm ever so slightly less buff than before. And when I say "ever so slightly," I really mean "shockingly." No worries, the New Year is here.
And, now that the New Year IS here, I've been working on my training plan. Finances have dictated that I need to wait until later in January to purchase my TrainingPeaks plan of choice, so I'm pulling together my own prep month plan based on an amalgamation of the bazillion books and mags I've been reading recently.
But, the weight lifting portion of the plan has forced some self-education. Last year -- when I participated and didn't compete -- the basic circuit was just fine. Any strength gain was a bonus. I was going up from the bottom, you know. But this year is different. I want my time down in the bowels of the Y -- in the dreaded Weight Room -- to be really beneficial. Well spent. So, in this process, I found a great site that y'all may be interested in visiting: ExRx.com. I've been hanging out on the Exercise and Muscle Directory section to familiarize myself with any number of variations of hip abductor exercises and what the heck the difference is between an adductor and abductor.
I found it really informative and helpful. Maybe you will, too!
And, I'm pleased to say that I've landed on a set of exercises that I think will really payoff. Yes, make me sore in an unholy and evil way. Yes, I will walk for the first week ever so slightly bent over and grunting along the way. But, bring on the high protein/low fat diet and let's tear some muscle tissue. Booyah!
Thursday, December 28, 2006
I'm fascinated by The Weight Room.