Friday, March 31, 2006

Sunny Friday

I could see clear upward movement on the pullups last night. I'm beginning to believe that they will happen before I leave here. I ran out of time last night and didn't finish the last cable wrist curls, but the rest of the workout went fine. This mornng I had planned to go out for an Israeli breakfast at a nearby cafe, but I woke up later than I wanted to. Daylight Savings Time began so I was short an hour of sleep. Instead I went to the neighbourhood kiosk and got my newspapers, and then went to the gym again. Lying cable rows and upright rows were fine, no complaints from the right shoulder. The squats were solid, and the lunges were fine until the 2nd last set, when man-in-charge asked me to do the last two sets on the Smith machine.

???

The question marks represent me looking flabbergasted. He said that on my final sets I have a tendency to let the hips move back, as opposed to going straight up and down, and doing the last sets on the Smith is a way to keep the technique in mind. So I did the last two sets on the Smith, and he has a point. After one set I understood what I was doing wrong, and more importantly, I can now tell when the tendency begins during the movement. So for the next 2-3 sessions the first four sets of lunges will be at the rack and the last two on the Smith, and once things look perfectly solid again we'll go back to using the rack exclusively. So it seems the Smith does have a use, who knew?

After the gym I went to the market. The weather was sunny and it was very busy. While I waited at the bus stop for my bus home. a security guard with an adorable Pups for Peace dog came by several times. We had 85 terror warnings prior to the elections and we're two weeks away from Pesach, and even though two bombings were thwarted this week, there was one last night that left four Israelis dead (aged 63, 59, 20 and 16). And to make life that much more interesting, we also have avian flu, but Israel is dealing with it efficiently, unlike its neighbours.

I got red peppers, cucumbers, persimmons and apples, and a bunch of fruit juices/drinks. I've been invited for Shabbat dinner at the home of one of my vegan classmates tonight, and the drinks are for the dinner. There'll be 7-9 people there, and everyone brings something. I always say that I can bring anything as long as it's store-bought. I prefer to not spend my Friday cooking, and I don't think my hosts would appreciate 3 Kg / 7 lbs of cottage cheese or 10 cans of tuna (even if they were not vegan). I usually end up bringing drinks or dessert. :-)

4 Comments:

At 9:45 AM , Anonymous Bud Gibson said...

This is one of the uses machines have, forcing you into form. But, the machine has to be really good. The smith seems to have withstood the test of time.

In a related note, machines can be a good backup for when you fatigue but still want to hit aspects of a particular muscle group. Machines at least help you gain/maintain strength even if they do not force some of the other balance aspects, etc.

I pretty much always use a mixed workout between free weights and machines.

 
At 12:15 PM , Blogger Scott said...

Upward movement on the pullups is great. Out of curiosity, do you ever do any negatives for them?

 
At 2:33 PM , Blogger BethK said...

You dedication to your lifting is, as always, so inspirational, but I have to ask: What's in Israeli breakfast? (Breakfast is my favorite meal and I'm always facinated by what constitutes 'breakfast' in other countries.)

 
At 3:58 PM , Blogger Mich said...

Bud - I'm not against machines; I actually use some :-) It's just that doing squats or shoulder presses or anything else on the Smith is not at all comparable to the real thing. These exercises should have different names when one does them on the Smith. On the other hand, the most creative use of a Smith I've ever seen is John Berardi wearing an x-vest and doing dips on the top of the Smith machine.

Scott - Negatives? Sort of. Even if I only go up two centimeters, I try to lower those two cms as slowly as possible.

Beth - Israeli breakfast deserves a post all its own. There's cheeses and salad and eggs and bread and juice and coffee... the next time I have one I'll take some pictures. I usually order hb eggs and leave the yolks, and ask for cheeses under 5% fat, but the regular version can get pretty decadent.

 

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