Saturday, June 11, 2005

The Cheesecake in My Future

On Friday I woke up late (9:00am instead of the 7:00am I'd wanted). I went to the pricey supermarket where they had Quaker Oats on special, did some more running around, and then headed to the gym around noon. I wasn't sure if to go again this week since I'd already gone Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and this would be the 5th workout. What clinched it was the fact that this coming Monday is the Jewish holiday of Shavuot. Shavuot meant that 1. the gym will be closed on Monday and 2. I would be having a cheesecake splurge that day. There's a tradition to eat dairy foods on this holiday, and every bakery in the city is touting its cheesecakes, quiches, et cetera. In addition, the scheduled workout was my quad-dominant day (yay squats) and I would like my squats to catch up with my deadlifts asap. More on weights later.

Speaking of Monday, because it is Shavuot there will be no WW meeting, so the stats won't be updated for another week. I'll do a home weigh-in on Monday just to see where things are in comparison to last week.

So off I went to the gym on Friday. The gym, you will recall, is not a fancy shmancy gym. The changerooms are small and so are the lockers. Furthermore, some of the lockers have doors that don't quite close properly. In an attempt to close my locker door, I caught my right thumb under the lower edge of the door, and then stood there using unladylike language as a large blood blister formed on my thumb. On the positive side, I thought, at least it did not break the skin, and the pain from the blister would distract me from the hard work I was about to do. I found man-in-charge and asked if he had a band-aid. He had this surgical tape stuff, which I wrapped around my thumb to protect the blister from catching on anything and bursting. While painful and distracting, the blister did not affect my grip as much as I had thought it would. It was more of an annoyance when it came to writing down my sets and reps then it was during the actual lifting since, when I grip the bar it's the side of the thumb that rests against the bar, and when I write it's the actual pad of the thumb that rests against the pen. The penmenship was lousy but as long as it's readable, fine.

The workout itself was good, weights went up again. When I got home I looked at the workout log and pulled out a few stats. For my max set of bench presses I am currently doing 9 reps at 35 Kg (77.2lbs), a.k.a 48% of bodyweight. For my max set of squats, 9 reps at 32.5 Kg (71.7 lbs) a.k.a 45% of bodyweight, and for my max set of deadlifts I am pulling 10 reps at 42.5 Kg (93.7 lbs) or 59% of bodyweight. First, note that this is a ridiculous situation; women do not bp more than they squat, period (unless they're bp specialists and never squat, of course.) By the end of the next cycle I'll be squatting and deadlifting much better numbers than I bench press. Second, I could get all depressed about this, because last year, my trusty workout log informs me bluntly, I was pulling 175 lbs for a set of 3 on my deadlift. But I'm not. I'm pleased that I'm back in the gym, pleased that the weights are rising on everything since I returned to the gym, happy with the improvements in my squatting form and just generally happy to be moving iron again. (And grateful to be alive and moving, as the passing of Yona Melina reminded me this week.) Besides, it is all a function of bodyweight to me now. My goals (2x bodyweight on squats and deads, 1.5x bodyweight on bench) are all a matter of my lifting weights rising and my body weight shrinking, meeting somewhere in a happy middle.

At the gym I ran into one of my schoolmates from Pardes. He's going back to the US soon to attend medical school. For the record, he claims that he told me at the beginning of the school year that this gym had a squat rack. I say that if that were true I wouldn't have spent so much time checking out all those other gyms in Jerusalem. Whatever. The point is that I finally found this place and started lifting again. At any rate, he's a very nice guy and he'll make a great doctor one day. He asked about the upcoming trip to Australia, and I said that it's 98% confirmed, but that I'm not going to worry about it until I get 100% confirmation. Incidentally, whatever the %, I've already gone online and found that there are at least two gyms in Melbourne that look like they'd have squat racks: one's called BodyWorld, and the other's called Better Body Fitness. I have no idea if either of them is close to where I'll be staying (since I don't yet know where I'll be staying), but it made me feel better just to find them online. Amazing, eh? I find out I may be going to Australia and the first thing to come to mind is making sure I have a place to work out.

Update: This post edited to add a line and a link.

3 Comments:

At 5:38 PM , Blogger M@rla said...

I love the way the Jewish holidays all center around delicious food! I thought that was just a stereotype, but apparently there's truth behind it :)

 
At 5:54 PM , Blogger Mich said...

There's a joke that most Jewish holidays can be summed up by the sentence: "They tried to kill us, we won, let's eat!" :-)

Fortunately, Shavuot does not follow this pattern but rather has the joy without the other part.

 
At 5:57 PM , Blogger M@rla said...

I mean to say too, how impressed I am with your weights! I work out at home, with dumbbells, so I can only go so heavy. But I make up for it with slow counts and horrible reps. I used to have a bench and bar, and gave it away. Boo! Well, maybe eventually I'll get another or even - this would be so unlike me - join a gym.

 

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