As I’ve been steadily going to the gym, I’ve noticed some profound differences over the past month. So, I decided to see if I could ramp it up a bit. Doing so, I wound up breaking four personal records on weight machines. And the awesome part is, I think I can do it again on Monday.
In reality, I’ve gone 11 times since signing up with Planet Fitness. But the differences in what I did then compared to what I do now impresses the pants off of me.
What I Did on the 27th of August
I know I technically started going on the 25th. But the 27th was after being so sore and working through the pain. As you can see, I was only hitting:
- Ab Crunch Machine: 85lbs
- Machine Back Extension: 110lbs (while pushing myself)
- Lat Pulldown: 65lbs (and it took some effort)
- Machine Chest Press: 40lbs (tried to do 45 but struggled quite a bit)
- Seated Machine Row: 60lbs
The workouts with the stars are those that I either broke or matched my all-time best weight. I even spent some time stretching out, as this was when I was so sore that I could barely move.
Just three weeks later, I have moved pretty far ahead of where I was.
Last Friday, I was able to crank out:
- Machine Chest Press: 50lbs (5 pounds more than before, and I feel I can go 5 more than that)
- Machine Back Extension: 125lbs (15 pounds more than when I started)
- Lat Pulldown: 90lbs (first set was pretty intense, but still much higher than when I started)
- Machine Ab Crunch: 125lbs (40 pounds more than before)
- Machine Fly: 90lbs (I didn’t break this record because I set one a long time ago back when I was going to the rec center)
To be honest, I’m more pleased about the lat pulldowns than anything. Though, I’m working on beefing my chest up a bit, so going higher on the weights was kind of cool.
And the way I felt after the last set, I am pretty confident I can add more next time.
Before and After Photos Coming Soon!
I have just two more workouts before I do another set of after photos. For two weeks, I’ve tried to do the exact same workouts to see if there was a noticeable difference for those specific machines.
Well, visually, anyway. Pressing more weight than I did two weeks ago already tells me there is a huge difference.
The dork in me wants to create another spreadsheet for the average weight complete with a graph and a forecast of how much I’ll be lifting over the next few months.
In fact, I probably will because I love data, and it’s fun for me.
Remember, gamification can work wonders to keep you motivated to exercise. For me, setting up an elaborate spreadsheet is incredibly fun.
You’d think I was an accountant or something.
Anyway, what I’m most interested in is seeing the difference in my back. I want to get rid of the fat creases, and I’m almost positive the lower back extension and lat pulldowns are helping with that.
My Strategy for Increasing Weight
Everyone has their own strategy. And since I’m not trying to become buff as quickly as possible, I’m fine with taking it nice and easy.
Once I’m able to sustain a specific weight throughout all three sets, I increase it by five pounds next time. And then I’ll keep with that weight until I can do all three sets.
For example, Friday, I was able to press 50 pounds on the chest press machine for all three sets. On Monday, I’ll set it to 55 for the first set. Depending on how difficult it feels, I might drop it down for the next, and so on.
But, if I am able to do all three sets at 55 pounds, then I will crank it up to 60 on Wednesday.
Take the lat pulldowns. I was able to do 90 on the first set but had to drop it back to 85 so I could finish. I’ll try 90 pounds again this same way until I can do all three sets.
So, there’s a very good chance that I’ll set at least two new records on Monday by increasing the chest press and back extensions.
The machine fly record was set in February of 2020 before COVID shut everything down. So, it’ll be a bit before I can get back up to that. And if I remember right, I was only able to do like five reps.
Getting Really Excited!
In the grand scheme of things, I suppose I’m not doing too bad. After three weeks, I’ve increased my total weight by quite a bit. I’m really excited to see what happens in three more weeks.
Now, if I can get some damn cardio in, I can get rid of this excess fat.