Today, I accidentally went above and beyond my normal routine. I thought I had the Ab Crunch Machine set at 115 pounds. After a set, I realized I was lifting 1o pounds more weight than I thought. This goes to show that you can easily move beyond what you think you can do.
Granted, I couldn’t crank out the last two sets at 125 pounds. But the fact that I was able to complete the first one makes me a bit on the giddy side.
That’s right…I said, “giddy.”
And as a whole today, I actually lifted just under 5,000 pounds more than I did on Friday!
How I Progress by Lifting More Weight Throughout the Week
So, I know there are people out there that can lift far more than I can. I saw one guy today cranking out a ton of reps one-handed at more than 100 pounds on the fly machine.
But, I’m also not in competition with anyone but myself. I’m not even sure I want to be that large in the first place.
At any rate, I believe in “Slow and steady wins the race.” I have nothing to prove to anyone except myself. So, I am perfectly content with doing what I can to get a few more reps or pounds in every time I visit.
Knowing My Limitations
First of all, having a clear understanding of where my limitations are keeps me from overexerting myself. Especially since I have a habit of pushing way too hard sometimes.
So when I accidentally crank out a set while lifting more weight, because I forgot to check the dial for the 10-pound increment, I get a bit excited. Something like this also helps me gauge my performance and what I should aim for next time.
This morning, I was just going to whip out 3 sets of 20 reps at 115 pounds. Now, I know I can take it up and set my goals even higher.
Coincidentally, 125 pounds on the Ab Crunch Machine is also a new record for me. This means I am getting closer to where I was a year and a half ago.
Rarely Lift to Fail
I know myself pretty well. So when I started struggling to get out the last few reps, I knew that I need to drop the weight slightly for the next set. This is because I rarely like to lift until I fail the set.
There are a lot of experts out there who say that lifting to fail is how you build muscle mass. Personally, I’d rather be able to sit at my desk and work afterward without the stress of being too sore.
And when I do decrease weight, it’s only in five-pound increments. So, subsequent sets are still quite grueling to press through if I hit my overall limit earlier.
Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of times today that I struggled for those last two or three reps. Especially on the Lat Pulldowns and Machine Fly.
But given the nature of my job, I don’t want to overexert myself. Usually, I’ll push a bit harder on Fridays simply because I don’t have to work during the weekend.
Perhaps the biggest reason why I sometimes start lifting more weight in each session is that I forget what I did last time. I’ll think that the higher weight is where I was and start from there.
For instance, I broke my record for the Machine Back Extension today because I thought 115 pounds is what I was doing last Friday. In reality, I was only doing 110-pound reps.
I mean, I even looked at what I did on Friday before going to the gym today and I still forgot. It sucks getting old, sometimes.
Still, being forgetful can have pleasant surprises in some instances. Like, breaking two weight lifting records and getting close to several more.
Increase 5 Pounds at a Time
I try to remember that I want to increase the load by 5 pounds with each exercise every time I go to the gym throughout the week. So, if I did 85 pounds on the Machine Fly today, I’ll aim for 90 pounds on Wednesday.
Now, I know I probably won’t be able to do all three sets at the higher weight. But, if I can work through at least the first, then it’s a step in the right direction.
I don’t know if I’ll ramp the Machine Ab Crunch to 130 on Wednesday, though. I was struggling at the end and had to drop it to 115.
Normally, I’ll keep it at the new weight until I am able to complete a series of 3 sets at 20 reps each.
For example, today I struggled hard to finish my sets of the lat pulldown. I also went a bit higher at the beginning than I did on Friday. So, I’ll keep starting at 85 pounds until I am able to grind out the last of all 3 sets at 20 reps each.
Keeping Keto in Mind
I also need to keep the fact that I’m really pushing the keto diet this week. This means my energy levels are probably going to be lower than before as I transition from burning carbs to burning fat for energy.
I haven’t been maintaining the diet to the best of my abilities until now. I am fairly sure that I’m going to struggle for the next few sessions.
However, that doesn’t mean I’m simply going to give up. Instead, I’ll do what I can to keep myself going forward. Because I am liking where everything is heading.
I mean, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror walking from one machine to another. I was quite impressed with where my arms and shoulders were at that point in time.
And yes, I do know that everyone looks amazing after a workout. I’m also not one who stands in front of the mirror and stares at oneself. But man, I was pretty impressed overall.
It was almost comic book superhero drawing worthy.
Continuous Effort for Lifting More Weight
So far, I have broken personal records with every visit to the gym except once. I’m hoping to keep the trend going, especially since I want to look great in October.
I think what I’ll start doing is writing down my previous attempts on a sticky pad so I remember what I want to increase next time around.
I’m really looking forward to what I can do Wednesday.
I wonder if I can lift 30,000 pounds total? Well, without using my legs, that is.