One thing that many of my readers will not be aware of is the fact that I am an avid fitness buff. I like running, biking and especially lifting weights. I find powerlifting to be fun. Due to the Coronavirus epidemic closing my local gym, I haven’t been able to attend the gym since February. As a result, I haven’t lifted any weights in six months.
This is the first time in close to a decade and a half that I’ve gone for more than a week or two without going to the gym. These months of social isolation have sucked. I have to admit that I’ve resented every minute of it. What I resent more is the fact that I’ve gotten a LOT weaker. I’m basically back to 0 in terms of strength. There’s nothing quite so disheartening than losing more than a decade of hard work due to forces outside of your control.
The time has come to begin again. I’m writing my adventure down in hope of inspiring some of you to hop back on the fitness train. It’s never too late to get healthy.
I want to start going to the gym again now that it’s open. To stay safe, I’m planning on going to the gym only twice a week until a COVID vaccine becomes available, while wearing a mask the entire time. Usually I go four or five times a week, so this is a reduction in total workouts. The gym provides lots of hygiene wipes and hand sanitizer to keep everything clean. Finally, I’m going to the gym before dawn, before anyone else has the chance to get the place dirty and while no one else is there. Hopefully that’s enough .
This was the first week that I’ve been able to return to the gym since the beginning of COVID lockdown. And I am SORE. It’s great! But I am really weak, which isn’t great.
I am running a variation of the nSun’s workout program. Ordinarily nSuns is a 4, 5 or 6 day a week program, but I adapted it for 2 days a week. Why am I using nSuns? Because I got my best results in the past from nSuns, and I want best results now, so I’m using it again. What is nSuns? Look here.
Right now, I’m doing whole body workouts. I’m doing all four major lifts each time I go to the gym (Bench Press, Squats, Deadlifts, Overhead Presses), with nine sets for each exercise. This is exhausting, but I have two days of rest after each workout so I have plenty of rest. I’m making up for lost time so I’m pushing as hard as I can right now. We’ll see how fast I can recover my strength. I expect that eventually I won’t be able to do all four major lifts during every workout, at which point I’ll cut back to doing just two or three of them.
My eventual goal is to exceed my former max-strength. Here are my stats from back in 2018:
- Bench Press: 215lbs
- Squats: 275lbs
- Deadlifts: 320lbs
- Overhead Press: 120lbs
Today my stats are:
- Bench Press: 45lbs
- Squats: 45lbs
- Deadlifts: 45lbs
- Overhead Press: 45lbs
A barbell weighs 45lbs, so effectively I’m setting my starting point as close to 0 as I can manage. I want to increase my strength steadily in the months to come, and by starting close to 0 I hope to avoid injury by moving too quickly increasing weights.
I was never super strong. I exercised mainly because I found it to be fun. But it sucks losing what you once had.
As I’m only lifting weights twice a week, I’m going to be doing cardio and some stay-at-home exercises every other day of the week in an attempt to increase my general fitness. I’m going to provide daily updates to my twitter feed to keep myself accountable. My goal is to exercise daily for a full 365 days. Each day I don’t exercise, I add three more days to my final goal.
One final thing. I’m hoping to lose a bit of fat too. In a further attempt to keep myself accountable, I’m writing down my weight and bodyfat percentage (as measured by my home scale).
Today my stats are:
- 16% body fat
These numbers are pretty good, honestly. This is the leanest I’ve ever been. I used to weigh 270lbs back in 2016, so this is a high-water mark (or low-water mark?) for me.