Posts Tagged bicycle crunches

How Did I Become “Obsessive” About Exercise?

Somehow, unbelievably, magically for the first time in my whole life, I am exercising every day. For 33 continuous days (and 35/36), I have done either push ups or bicycle crunches. It’s for three minutes or less. Not a big deal in time. But huge in terms of discipline. At least I am doing something. Even on the 16 days of the 33, when I spent as many as four hours on the tennis courts, in the woods hunting or hiking, and ice skating.

One day I played 2 1/4 of doubles tennis with one group, then another two hours with a second group. Next I drove 1 1/2 hours to America’s only jai alai fronton outside of Florida, practiced jai alai to near exhaustion for 45 minutes, watched a tournament, then drove home for another hour. It was close to 12 am when I dropped down to do 75 push ups (45 non-stop and then five sets of six each). That’s when I heard that I was obsessive.

Sometimes I didn’t even remember to do them until midnight or 1 am. But no matter how tired I was, I did them. This is an unprecedented accomplishment for me, and I am both proud and astonished to have achieved this challenge.

It all began when I wrote that I “could” do exercise every day if I had to. But I was too lazy. I guess it was so easy to say that I could do something that I had never done. But then I had to see if I was all talk and no action. So I began this routine. IT IS VERY HARD SOME DAYS. Especially when I am tired from other activity, forget about it, fall asleep watching TV and then wake up and remember that I HAVE to keep the record going.

It’s the continuity that I am most proud about. A few push ups or crunches over 2-3 minutes isn’t going to build much muscle. Especially compared to the guys in the gym 3-4 days a week for an hour or two each time. But I am showing myself that I can be disciplined if I want to. And my numbers are going up: I am now at 78 push ups total (after an initial 45 or so non-stop) and 250 bicycle crunches (although only a max of 176 in which both elbows touch both knees). At least I am improving. Pretty terrific.

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Exercise Update

Since July 30th, I have only been to the gym once, because my right arm and both shoulders started aching. I thought it might have been “tennis elbow” or that I had hurt myself doing pull ups. The orthopedist said it was a mild case of whatever it was, and that nothing appeared torn. I needed rest and time. In spite of that advice, I continued to play tennis and practice squash, noticing that the aches were minor after each match.

ira balancing on one foot on the trampoline—9/23/09

ira balancing on one foot on the trampoline—9/23/09

I have also been to a physical therapist five times for two hours each visit. In addition to arm exercises, I am now doing lat pull downs there and working a lot on my right ankle, which has not healed completely since I sprained it on May 12th and interrupted my racket sports for over a month.

One exercise requires me to stand on my right foot for two minutes while throwing a five-pound ball to the therapist who throws it right back to me…but I am standing on a trampoline! This is very hard. It stresses and strains the whole leg. Amazing how much I improve with each session as the muscles strengthen. The therapists can hardly stay up on one foot when they try it, and they are on the solid floor.

During this injured, two-month period, I lost my momentum with exercise workouts, became lazy and undisciplined and basically stopped almost everything. For no physical reason, I eased up on my abs workouts, which could have continued without any problem. I only did crunches four times in all of August. Pretty sad and really bad. I had been doing a minimum of eight times a month.

September has been better. Disgusted with my inaction, I started the crunches again and have actually set records. I worked on the abs eight times: Read the rest of this entry »

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More Gym Records—500 Crunches and 11 Chin Ups

Went to the gym today–the 7th time in the month–and there was another exercise hour at home. So I might make 9 sessions this month! Set two new records today: did 300 bicycle crunches–this was three sets of 100 each (up from 290 in four sets!). Then I did 200 crunches using the exercise ball for my legs with back on the floor (up from 150).

After that, another record, sort of: did 11 chin ups followed in five minutes by just 6 pull ups. Previous record is 10+8…maybe it still stands if I look at the totals. But 11 is 10% better than 10, and I am a bit closer to my goal of 25. Sure have to gut out the last two.

Not pleased with the minimal growth of my lats. May have to change the routine more. But the abs are appearing. One gym rat said he sees his abs best when brushing his teeth. Maybe that is where I take the next photo.

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