How to start this thing?
Starting in late 1999 and ending in mid 2003, I spent an inordinate amount of time training in Shaolin Kung Fu. As such, according to many people I knew, I was “in shape.” If I recall correctly, I’m 5’5”, and at the time weighed between 165 (74.84) and 170lbs (77.11kg). No, it wasn’t all fat. :D
From mid 2003 to mid 2008, I spent an inordinate amount of time sitting on my arse, writing software and generally doing everything but take care of myself. As such, according to many people I knew (myself included), I let myself become a Fatty McFatpants. At my worst, I believe I weighed 175lbs (79.37kg). And yeah, it was all fat.
It took me about 6 months to go from 175 to 128lbs (58.05kg); I just cut my caloric intake, did a ton of crunches and push ups, then about 3 months into it started cardio via a recumbent stationary bike.
(Yeah, that’s a very dirty mirror. :D)
I stayed around that weight until May this year, when I decided that I wanted to hit 170 again, via muscle weight.
First, I used a machine that my wife and I were given called a “Gravity Edge”, thanks to her ex-husband. In his own words, it wasn’t like he was going to use it.
After that, I started added 10lb (4.5kg) ankle/wrist weights, until I was able to use all four, for an additional 40lbs (18.14kg) of weight. Then, because good sense doesn’t prevent me from a goal that I’ve set, I added an additional 40lbs to my body weight using my weight vest from back in my kung fu days to liven things up.
During this time, I’d also purchased one of those 40lb dumbbell sets, where each dumbbell weighs a maximum of 20lbs, and had been using them for curls. Eventually, that became too light, so I took the giant nylon weights from one of them and stacked them onto the other; this brought the single dumbbell to 30lbs, which worked for a while.
It also gave me a few extra weights to balance on my lap (along with the ankle weights) to make using the gravity edge a little more difficult, and infinitely more hilarious to watch.
Now, I was and am fully aware that using machines exclusively is not good for the body. So eventually I caved and got a pair of decent, adjustable dumbbells that can take anything from two, 2.5 (1.13) plates to two 45lb (20.41kg) plates. And it had occurred to me that I’d been neglecting compound lifts - I only started with curls due to it being a very weak spot for me.
Enter the ghetto weight bench.
Why yes, that’s an ottoman, with two smaller ottoman footstools. And it may be a bit unfair to call it “ghetto”. Perhaps “makeshift” would be more appropriate, as I can guarantee it’s a hell of a lot more comfortable than any normal weight bench.
At any rate, that’s where I stand as of today. Here’s my latest progress pic.
It’s fucking cold, what did you expect?