Update on New Year Project
It's been six months since I announced my intention to use weight lifting to counter the effects of aging in the post entitled "Something New for the New Year". I started with the template detailed in the book "The New Rules of Liftng." I was happy with the results but continued to struggle with choosing the correct weight for each workout. The most efficient way of determining a proper weight is to use a precentage of one's maximum for one repititon on exch exercise..Unfortunatly no guidelines on this are provided. The result was a cycle of workouts that were too easy or too difficult. Finally in May I tested my bench press max to find it had not increased in four months. My squat and dead lift numbers were steadily going up but the bench press has always been a week spot for me so I knew I had to do something different.
In June I went to a varient of the Bill Star 5 x 5 program. A spreadsheet was availabe that needed only for me to enter my maximum weight for 5 reps on each exersice. It then calculated the weights used for each set of 5 reps for each exercise in a three day a week, 9 week cycle. The workouts went smooth and I made steady progress.
Along the way I had looked into the powerlifting sport. While I have no illusions about my abilities in a competative environment I felt preperation for a meet would help focus my traning.One federation, 100% RAW, looked attractive. They had many local meets, they forbid the use of drugs and assistant equipment and the members at a meet I attended in April were friendly and supportive of each other during the competition. The internet forum on the web site is quite helpful. It was here that I was convinced to compete
This past weekend I competed in the Freedom Cup at Standardsville, VA. The help I received on the forum resulted in a satisfying performance.
The results of six months of lifting are best understood by the numbers.
January 2007 Body weight 225 Bench press 215, Deadlift 285, Squat 265
June 2007 Body weight 217 Bench press 235, Deadlift 350, Squat 320.
I can tell you that the change in the way I feel on a daily basis is dramatic. I used to feel rundown, stiff and ill most of the time where now I feel strong. I can describe it no other way. My work capacity has gone way up and my general attitude is better. I never would have belived that I could feel so much better.
The workouts are not a chore, in fact I look forward to them.