In Praise of Dumbbells

Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers!

The gym was closed today, and it’s weights day today.

Being a holiday, of course I can choose to skip a workout.  I chose to skip one earlier in the week due to sleep deprivation1, so on a day I was well-rested, not all that busy and the weather being gray and gloomy, I did want to go ahead and get in the mood enhancement of a short workout anyway.

When I started lifting, I started with a set of adjustable dumbbells.  I made great progress and was happy with them.  I figured though, since I’d “graduated” to a big ole macho gym workout that today would be light.

HA!  I had a wonderful, sweat pouring off me workout quite as good as any I get in the gym.

Friends, if you cannot afford a gym membership and want to lift, do save up and treat yourself to a cheap set of adjustable dumbbells, no kidding.     Mine are a set of Athletic Works that come in a case with 40 lbs of plates in the set, but each bar can take closer to 75lbs if you have the plates for it.  I don’t, nor do I need them yet!  (The heaviest weight I put on them is about 35 lbs for a total of 70 lbs for  dumbbell squats).  The original set cost me about $30, and I may have spent an additional $30 on more plates.  Plates are relatively cheap.

Now, do I like the gym?  Good lord yes!   The feedback and the motivation is wonderful, and exploring all the neat gadgets, machines and whatnot is all kinds of fun.  But they’re not necessary.  If I’m in a situation where I can’t afford a gym membership any more, my good friends the dumbbells will always be there for me.

And if you don’t believe me, check this out:

All Dumbbells, All The Time!
Dumbbell Exercises
The Complete Dumbbell Workout

1Up with a child having an asthmatic attack. He’s fine now, thank goodness!

On Procrastination

If you can order your life in such a way as to *not* find it necessary to write 5,000 words (~20 doublespaced pages) of fiction in a day to stick to a goal, this is probably a good course for your life to take.

Think broken, can’t brane.

However, got a wonderful idea for That Damned Book, and it’s beautiful and subtle and makes a great metaphor and I love it.

The Ten Rules of Bodybuilding

In between my writing sessions, I’m looking up stuff on bodybuilding.

When you throw out all the stuff that’s clearly been paid for by supplement companies of dubious worth, it seems this is the basic advice:

  1. Lift heavy shit.
  2. Make sure every muscle in your body gets involved in lifting heavy shit.
  3. Make sure that when you’re lifting heavy shit that you don’t lift shit that is too heavy and tear something so you can’t lift heavy shit for awhile. (Your body will hunt down your ego and punish it if you forget Rule One1).
  4. Make sure that you give your muscles ample recovery time from lifting heavy shit.
  5. If you want your muscles to get bigger from lifting heavy shit, feed them enough protein
  6. If you want enough energy to lift heavy shit, make sure you get enough carbs.
  7. If you want to make sure your systems function properly while lifting heavy shit, you have to get enough fat, but not too much.
  8. While lifting heavy shit, make sure you get enough water.
  9. If you want to look like Mr. Olympia, you have to inject hormones while lifting heavy shit.
  10. You can’t be healthy only lifting heavy shit.  Get your heart rate up for a bit a few times a week not lifting heavy shit.

That’s it.  They don’t have to publish fitness mags any more.  There’s all the info you need.   So, howzat for simple?

1Don’t be a fucking idiot.