The desire to get my butt into the gym regularly seems to finally be overcoming my desire to sit on my ass and be lazy. I’ve been slowly getting back into the gym on a more consistent basis.
OY, my muscles ache! Even doing super light weights, I almost couldn’t walk the next day after my chest workout.1 I’ve even been getting up in the mornings to go before work! If that doesn’t signal how my motivation is returning, nothing will. haha Joking aside, I really have missed it. I walk into the gym and I instantly feel better. I look around and see others working out and I’m inspired. Plus, I miss the tightness my muscles used to have. Nothing is sagging or dragging but everything has clearly ‘settled’ and I hate it.
I wouldn’t say I’m back on a completely consistent schedule yet, but I’m on my way. Speaking of, I knew I’d be weak but boy was I ever. Doing a full 3 sets of a measly 135 lbs left me weak. (That is one 45 on each side of a 45 lb bar.)
You should expect more posts about my progress, and a few pics too. I tend to post quick pics to Instagram these days. So if you follow me there, you’ll see more pics.
Wish me fat-ass luck!
If you wan’t to maximize the release of growth hormones for that lovely buff chest, you better be doing at least 1 squat exercise on chest day. The posterior chain is the largest muscle group on the body. [↩]
I’m still struggling to get back into a consistent gym schedule. I just can’t seem to find the motivation I used to have. hehe I’ve gained a few pounds but overall I’m just squishy vs being over-weight.
I guess being in a relationship will do that to ya. It isn’t that I feel I don’t need to workout anymore so much as I just seem not to prioritize it like I used to. Being on a 4-day 10-hour schedule didn’t work very well for me last time I did it so I’m sure being on said shift now isn’t helping. But that is a bit of a cop-out. lol If it was important to me, I’d make it happen. I still go at least once a week, it is the consistency that is the struggle.
The irony is anytime I go to the gym, I immediately miss all the things about it that I like. I’ve just gotten complacent and content. Said duo are turning out to be a powerful combo to overcome.
Yet, I keep trying. I’ll eventually find my groove again. It may not be as intense as it was in the past but I know eventually my desire will override the complacency.
Playing with the title from my last post. So, I’m back up to 198lbs. And since I’m now down TWO belt-notch on my britches, I’m assuming the weight gain is muscle vs fat. hehehe Last Friday, I inadvertently grabbed a pair of jeans I hadn’t worn in awhile. And by awhile, I mean I haven’t worn them in over 3 years because my fat-ass wouldn’t fit. Imagine my surprise to discover later in the day they were my skinny jeans! Needless to say, it made my Friday. I’m still a few pounds away from dropping comfortably into a new pant size. One, I like my pants to fit comfy, not super tight and two, wearing tight pants can lead to a false muffin-top. And we can’t have that!
I’m still battling my little belly pooch though. That fucker is holding on for dear life. I have reached a point where the weight loss just from eating better has stopped. I guess I’m really gonna have to do some sort of cardio if I really wanna get any leaner. And speaking of cardio, I dusted off my pair of rollerblades the other day. The skates are practically brand new. I bought’em right after I moved to SF and then promptly stopped using them. Yes, I know it’s probably not cool anymore but when did I ever care about that? Skating is an excellent full body and cardio workout and I love doing it. Before moving to SF, I’d spend an entire afternoon skating. Anyway, I did a pretty decent job remembering the skill but need some practice. Cooper apparently loves my skates! He chased me up/down the street several times before he finally got tuckered out. I’m beginning to think I may have to actually invest in a skateboard for him. There are plenty of spaces here where I can take him and not worry about his safety. Hell, the MUNI yard in south of Market is just one big ole empty parking lot during the day. And they recently repaved so it is super smooth.
I switched to a new routine at the gym with mostly super-sets. OMG, I left the gym this week feeling like my chest was truly baked! I almost never leave feeling that way on chest day. My muscles adapt pretty quickly and I always have a need to find creative ways to tax them more. The super-sets are most definitely helping. The down side is trying to do super-sets on different benches in a very busy gym. I may have to move my workouts to later to make it work. So far, it hasn’t been too difficult but I think I’ve just gotten lucky so far.
I’m getting a little irritated with the invasiveness of technology at the gym these days. More and more guys are getting buried in their phones not paying attention. I’ve reached a point now where I immediately walk up and ask a person how many sets they have left. It puts them on notice someone else is waiting on the bench. You can either choose to share or you can focus on your workout and then get off of it. I don’t mind waiting but I’m sick of seeing guys just hang out endless on a machine.
And for the Fitness SF haters, it is just as true at the 24-hour gyms. Seriously, WTF? I use my phone at the gym. I text, I surf, etc. But I’m also running a workout timer between every set. The moment my timer dings, I stop whatever I’m doing and do my effin’ set! And when I’m done, I get my ass off the bench so someone else can use it. In other words, I respect the fact I am not the only person in the gym trying to get a good workout in. And I even respect not everyone might be as dedicated or at my level of working out. I am as friendly and sharing as I can be to others. But I’m so over others not returning the favor. I’ve never been a big fan of negative peer pressure but I’m beginning to rethink that now. And the next fucker who cops an attitude after I politely ask you how many sets he has left is gonna discover just how cray-cray I can get. I have no shame and will clown the fuck out of you in front of the entire gym. We all pay dues. You don’t get to park you’re ass on a bench for 15-20 mins w/o so much as lifting a weight and then throw shade when someone asks to work in.
Maybe now that I have to go during peak times, I’m just noticing it more. Has it been this bad for awhile?
No nothing so dirty, I’m refering to muscle growth. Wait, that still doesn’t sound right. lol Muscle growth as in working out, you dirty-minded hoes.
I measured my arms this week and I’m up to 16.5 inches. It’s a bit shocking to realize I’m only an inch and half away of my life goal of 18 inches. And while it doesn’t seem like a lot, that’s a good years worth of working out, or more. But, having started at just under 12 inches, I’ve come a long way.1
In many ways, I know I don’t see myself as objectively as I should. While I know my chest has grown quite a bit since then, it still looks small to me. And while I’m definitely seeing myself more objectively than I ever have, I still struggle with that one muscle. Call it narcissism, being gay, growing up skinny, or all of the above.
And speaking of, I’ve always struggled to feel like I leave the gym with a really good burn on chest day. My larger muscle groups always seem to recover really quickly so making them feel worn out is always a challenge. My new routine this week is nothing but super sets.2 OMG! I left the gym yesterday feeling like toast! My chest felt totally baked from the workout. I was so happy over something so silly. lol It’s even boosted my mood today significantly.
I look back on my life and how much I’ve grown, in this context physically, and I’m living proof anyone can do it. If a scrawny buck-fifty turd like me can put on almost 50 lbs of muscle in roughly 17 years, anyone can!
Oh and log in.
Oh yes, I was a scrawny mother f**ker as a kid [↩]
Two different exercises for the same muscle back to back before taking a rest [↩]
While some people hide embarrassing moments, I tend not to. And since I wasn’t really embarrassed I guess no worries there either.
So I’m at the gym recently. I was in a bit of a cornball mood so I’m feeling my music. I always work out blasting Spotify or Google music thru my headphones. As sometimes happens, I had to take restroom break. I enter the upstairs restroom enjoying my tunes. One of my fave dance songs came on right at that moment so naturally I start dancing a little jig. Well, in my exuberance I neglected to lock the bathroom door. I’m full swing into dancing my jig when someone opens the door! It was funny because I think he was actually embarrassed for me! lol He sort of started to apologize then saw my grin and stopped mid attempt. I shrugged it off and politely asked if I could finish my business. He obliged. I finished what I went in there for and continued with my workout.
It gets better. He happens to be next to me a little later working out. He sees me grinning like a devil so feels ok to chat about it. He proceeds to ask me why I wasn’t embarrassed. Feeling a bit cocky, my first crooked thought was to say, “have you seen this?” and point to myself. Even for me that would have been over the top and really not my style so I quickly discarded the idea. Instead, I just explained I wasn’t doing anything wrong or bad so why feel embarrassed? I was dancing a jig and enjoying myself. He laughed w/me and we split ways to finish our respective workouts.
After I thought about it, I figured most folks would have been completely embarrassed in such an unexpected interruption to what was intended to be a private moment. I laughed at the humor of it. I’m just nuts like that I guess.
My eating habits these last few weeks haven’t been that good. I haven’t been eating fast food or anything. Just not eating quite as well as I have been. The schedule change has been rough on more than my sleeping patterns.
This past weekend I made sure to get my meals for the week in order so I wouldn’t be stuck eating out for lunch every day. I didn’t go down a notch on belt for the first time in years to give it up now! lol
Speaking of, since I’ve done a decent job of weight loss, I’m down to 194lbs. I’m coming up on a new workout schedule next month. This one has been awesome and I’m glad I really mixed things up. I’ve gotten used to working muscles I always neglected in the past. Now I can structure my workouts w/o worrying about skipping the gym because I’m not focused on certain muscle groups. Little changes to habits work!
I’m back below 200lbs. It’s not a bad thing at all. I’ve lost some fat-weight in the last couple months. As much as I harped on the 200 threshold, it was more of a mile marker vs something I’m overly focused on. Yes, it was an important milestone for me but I knew it wouldn’t last exactly because I expected to loose fat-weight. I can feel the loss too. The little love-grips around my mid section are smaller and feel emptier.
I’m down to 196 actually. I’ve been really good about sticking to my eating routine. I don’t refer to it as a diet because I don’t consider myself dieting. I eat plenty of food, I’m just eating better. Less high carbs, less fatty foods, and more protein. Fresh & Easy market has been a god-send1 because they have so many pre-marinated meats for pretty much the price as plain meat, you can’t beat it! I stock up on meats and just pop’em in the oven or stove. I throw some fresh veggies on and *poof* instant meal.
I also haven’t been eating out near as much. I still am but just not as often.
Today I weighed in at 202lbs on the scale! This marks the first time in my life that I crossed the 200lb threshold! Ok, not exactly true. I crossed it once last year but it was fat-related. lol This time, I’m at my regular fat % and still over 200lbs! To say I’m giddy would be an understatement. I’ve been working out consistently for about 17 years now.1 My previous attempts met with failure back then because I was working out for the wrong reasons. Once I decided to take care of my body for my reasons and my goals, I stuck with it. When I came to SF, it was a new chapter in my life and switching to a gym like Fitness SF2 that was dedicated to muscle-building also made a huge difference.
I don’t remember the exact body weight I was at back then but I do remember it was roughly around 140-150lbs. I do remember weighing in once at 155lbs when I was still living in Boulder, which was 1995. That was also about the time I started working out in earnest. In roughly 17 years I’ve put on 45-50lbs of muscle. Sure I could have been more dedicated and gained it faster but that isn’t the point. The point is if a little scrawny weakling like me can put on that much muscle and size, anyone can. Seriously, I was so bone skinny back then it was laughable. I’ve mentioned it here probably countless times but my chest was so slight it actually sank in a little. My forearms now are bigger than my biceps were when I first started working out. It’s crazy because while I don’t see that skrawny kid anymore, he still lurks in my id. Thankfully, he is being subsumed by the new me.
The above bicep shot is a rare shot of me flexing. I don’t do pics of me flexing my biceps a lot because my biceps actually bulge out as much as they bulge up. I know it’s a bit odd but it is also sort of self-defeating when taking a bicep flex shot. lolol Of course, if I try to hold the bicep in so it bulges up instead of out, it looks like I’m cheating. hehehe Anyway, I’m just so excited. When I started out, breaking the 200lb barrier seemed like such an abstract and never-attainable goal. Honestly, back then it was mostly wistful thinking. After getting serious about weight-training, I suddenly realized my wistful goal was actually very real and very attainable.
Of course, this just makes me want to work out that much harder!
Give or take a year or two. I’m doing this all from memory. lol [↩]
A reader asked why I talk so much about being physically vs mentally fit. Good question. I’d dare say if you were a more regular reader *hint hint*, you’d know that I have used this blog over the last 8 or so years to try and work on my mental/emotional growth. From my perspective, it’s just the opposite. Lawd only knows I have my demons and have worked hard to exorcise them as best I can. Not an easy task but possible. I’m proud to say some I’ve killed off, others I’ve just beat into submission. And yes, even a few I still battle with. That is the nature of life.
I do spend time on a variety of subjects including religion,1 physiology, and psychology. I’ve always had a very metaphysical slant in my beliefs. One such book that was truly a revelation was Eastern Body, Western Mind.2 On the surface, it deals with Chakra development, but as you delve into the book it is clear the author has a strong knowledge of psychology. The combined outlook was a pivotal and truly life-changing read for me. It helped me identify and focus on healing fundamental parts of my psyche that were damaged and scarred from childhood. Seriously, I can’t even begin to tell you how much this book helped me.
Even if you don’t believe in chakras, I still highly recommend it.3 To this day, I can’t read the book w/o getting goose-bumps at some point. It was that profound for me.
As for the physical, having been very scrawny as a kid, I have struggled all my life to improve my size. Vanity certainly plays a role but I’ve mentioned here plenty of times the benefits of being physically fit. So yes, I do harp on my progress (or lack) in the gym from time to time. But, it is not the only focus in my life or even the most important. I wish more guys spent half as much time working on their inner demons as they did their pec muscles.
To this day, I still internally perk up when someone refers to me as big. While I was shoe shopping the other day, the sales clerk at Foot Locker referred to me as “a big guy such as yourself.” It was obvious he wasn’t trying to flatter me because he looked slightly embarrassed after he said it. I giggled inside because I still don’t exactly see myself that way. While my dysmorphia is not as pronounced as before, it still lurks in my id. I guess it is something you never truly get over. I don’t see myself as the scrawny kid I used to be but I also don’t think I see myself as I truly am.
As I always say, the important and often overlooked distinction is to find balance. Too much of anything can be bad for you. I don’t live for working out but I do spend the necessary time it takes to care for my body as well as my mind. I’m currently trying to see how lean I can get. It’s a slow process because I love to eat. lol
Not so much anymore. It’s become a farce of greed and control IMO. [↩]
Available in hardback, paperback, or ebook! lol [↩]
The simplest way I can think of to describe a chakra is as a point of focus. If you think it’s all mumbo-jumbo, use my definition as a frame of reference. [↩]