I had a very nice workout this morning, and I just have to say…I am amazed that people can chest press 180 pounds. I haven’t actually watched them do it, but every time I go to get on the chest press machine, it’s set at some ridiculous number like that. You know how many pounds I can chest press? Whatever pathetic number it is when you don’t put the pin in any weight at all. Ten pounds or something, I imagine, and I suffer to get to the end of my reps with that. :-P

Now my legs are decently strong. I can leg press my weight (about 120 pounds) without any appreciable trouble. (And that may be a wholly unimpressive feat–I’m not enough of a gym rat to know–but it sounds a lot better than ten pounds.) :-)

26 thoughts on “Workout”

  1. I’ve never had very strong arms, but when I was in my early 20s and worked out regularly I had pretty strong pectorals. In the gym I worked out at, we had a recumbent pectoral fly machine — you lie down, put two padded rollers in the crooks of your elbows, and squeeze. It was my favorite piece of equipment.

    So anyhow, one day these two cocky young guys come in. I was a gym regular, had been for a year, and never saw the pair before. I was the only woman in there, and they started sorta sniggering to each other, “Oh look, there’s a girl, she thinks she can work out, ha ha ha!” or words to that effect.

    I just ignored it and went on with my workout. I put the pec machine on 100, did my set of 12 on it, went onto the next machine.

    Cocky Guy #1 hopped on there after me, not changing the weight setting, confident like a guy reaching down to snatch up a 5-pound handweight. He heaved, and the weights clanged back down after he’d gotten them maybe halfway up. He couldn’t budge them any further.

    The look on his face was priceless. I smiled at him and said, “That one’s kinda hard for beginners. Maybe you should try 40.”

    They left. I never saw them in there again.

    One of my male workout partners was scary strong, though. He could do quad extensions with the entire weight stack, and after a while had me stand on top of the stack. Admittedly, I weighed a whole lot less then than I do now, but he was doing sets with close to 350 pounds on it.

  2. Don’t sweat it.

    The idea is to increase the weight gradually if you’re interested in building muscle tone and reshaping. When I started going to the Y at the beginning of July I couldn’t bench press more than 100. Now I’m hitting 115 as part of my upper-body routine. So three months to gradually build the strength to accomplish that. (I’m using the Body For Life program as a guide, so it’s intensity-based. Today’s bench presses were 12 reps at 100, 10 at 105, 8 at 110, 6 at 115, then 12 at 105.)

    I’ve got a ways to go to wipe out 20+ years of potatoish inactivity, so reshaping is uppermost in my mind. I don’t know whether you’re interesting in boosting pectoral muscle mass. ;-) But even minimal reshaping/firming might require increased weight, even if you’re going up by 5 lb increments.

    The hardest part about exercise with me is the diet. Hard to reconcile the fact that you need to eat to lose weight. And that you won’t see marked loss because you’re exchanging body fat for leaner, heavier muscle.

  3. Heh. Fun story. :-)

    I’ve never seen a recumbent pec fly machine. It sounds like it would be very effective. I’ll build my way up slowly to more weight. :-)

  4. press your weight w/ your legs, I think that would make it very hard to stand up ;)

    i do not know if that logic is true, of course, but it’s always my theory that your legs hold you up, so you must be able to lift that much weight with your legs. You should try more, see what happens!

  5. Yeah, I’ll get there eventually. I’ve unfortunately never really done many chest exercises, so it’s slow going. I can do more weight on some of the other pec machines, but the chest press is a bear for me.

    My sister swears by the Body for Life program, but I’ve never tried it. I’m lucky with my weight and have to worry more about tone than anything.

  6. Heh. Yeah, but I figure you can’t be lifting all your weight when you stand. Your feet must weigh something. :-)

    I think it is different, seriously, but I don’t know how. Leg pressing 120 is a workout for me, even if it isn’t horribly hard, and when I’ve tried to go higher I end up with an aching lower back. :-/

  7. Listen to her. She’s right to swear by it.

    While I can’t claim to show results like in the pictures, I’m quite happy with the results so far. Just started my second 12 weeks and get commments all the time from one of the personal trainers at the Y about how much better I look then when I started.

    The people in those photos that BFL shows probably did ALL the tweaks and nudges recommended, taking all the supplements and such. I’ve just tried to modify my diet along with doing the exercise. No fat-burning additives — because they’re darn expensive and because if you can’t do it on your own then you’ll snap right back to where you started.

    I’d say you’re going about it the right way.

  8. Yeah, I suspect, to be quite honest, that one of the reasons I’ve never had much trouble with my weight is that I already eat pretty much the way BFL recommends–a handful or two of (usually healthy) food every few hours. Left to my own devices, I would probably rarely eat an actual sit-down meal.

    Partly, though, I’m genetically lucky with my weight and aware of that.

  9. If I want to impress people behind me in the gym, I set the weight at something I CAN do, like 20 lbs, and when I’m done I slyly slip it on up to 100.
    Maybe you’re working out after me.

  10. You have small children. Small children pretty much demand the eat-on-the-run diet. I find myself snacking all day long on carrot sticks, yogurt, cheese sticks, fruit, crackers, toast, you name it. We try to avoid junk food, but can’t resist homemade choc chip cookies once in awhile. :-D

  11. Those bozos who make fun of anyone who can’t benchpress 3x their weight are just that–bozos. So here’s a big raspberry for them! Pppfpfffthtththppt!


  12. Holy shit!! I am such a weakling! (I actually have decent muscle tone, though, I swear it!) Now, does a bench press work the same muscles as a chest press? I always use the machine, instead of the free weights….

  13. A bench press works the same muscle group as a chest press, but it’s harder with the free weights. (And when I said 250 lbs, that’s on the chest press.)

  14. I can squat over 300 lbs, and do a whole lot more with a machine. Leg extensions I usually do about 120-140 lbs for three sets of ten.

  15. So, I leg-pressed 170 today, and that was fine, too. :-/ Maybe I need to get a personal trainer for a few sessions to figure out how much I ought to be doing without hurting myself.

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