My face is contorted looking like a space alien is coming out of my chest. Under my breath, I verbally push myself to get one more bench press. “Come on, come on, just one more, one more.”
Nope, I’ve gone to failure on my last rep of the third set. “Good work,” I quietly say to myself as I wipe down the bench. When it comes to health matters I do better when I have a plan laid out for me. And this is the case with weight training.
I’m not very coordinated. I believe that is why I chose running over softball or some other sport. Everyone can walk or run right. A good pair of shoes and an open road are really the only prerequisites. Ask me to catch a ball hit twenty feet in the air into the middle of an outfield and I’m probably going catch it with my mouth knocking out a few teeth in the process.
With running I had a group that I ran with and there was a plan, a system. Run three days a week, Tuesday’s speed work on the track, Thursday’s hill run, Saturday is long run days. The head coach Susan Paul charts out the distance you run based on the date of your marathon or half marathon event.
Most weeks you increase your mileage on long run days, pushing farther and farther until two or three weeks before your event and then it is time to maintain. We call it the blessed time for taper.
The plan that takes about six months to get you from a base of an eight-mile-long run up to that 26.2-mile capability. Follow the plan, get a reproducible and reliable result.
Marathon successfully completed, medal around your neck and the accolades from friends and family. Often non-marathoners will say “I don’t like to drive twenty-six miles, I would never run or walk that far.” The trill of the marathon and the sense of accomplishment are unmeasurable.
With marathons, everyday people can run the same course at the same time with elite athletes. The best I have done is a 4.5-hour marathon. The elite runners will run the same course in two hours and fifteen minutes sometimes faster.
Weight training has been a different creature. If I were to jump on the stage a Mr. Olympia, I certain I would be bum-rushed off the stage, handcuffed and sent for psychiatric evaluation.
But I do have a plan. I found a fellow Coach Scott Abel. He has a weight training plan titled Physique After 50. It is geared to folks like me that are more comfortable with traditional weight lifting routines without the plyometric jumps or balancing on a ball while bench pressing. It is comprehensive, it works different plains of motion and it is easy to follow. Follow the plan, do the work, get the results.
With weight training and diet modification, it is more an internal accolade. Seeing scale start at 235 and now at 185. Dress pants that I would squeeze into at a 38-inch waist and now shopping for 34-inch waist slacks. Buying extra large shirts and how fitting into mediums.
Sure there is the person that knew fat Rex and see me today saying “Wow! You look great.” But it’s really much more than that.
Feeling better when I wake up. No dread carrying heavy packages for my wife across the Target parking lot. Not using food as a constant comfort companion. Knowing I have made small changes that have added up to big results in terms of my outlook for a healthy future with Kathie, my kids, and future grandchildren.
The good news is that each one of us has the choice to make a small change every day and see the big results that are sure to come in the next three to six months.