Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Upper body lifting

Last night, the gym was crazily crowded. I really need to lift in the morning, especially on days when I've got bench presses scheduled. It seems that college boys are mostly interested in the vanity lifts. They want to do bench presses, biceps curls, and anything that makes their upper body look bigger. When I hear them talking about "triceps days", I find myself laughing quietly.

I lift for a number of reasons, but I think my reasons are very different than those of the typical male college student. They seem to focus on acquiring the muscles that will be noticed by females. I'm certainly not beyond vanity, but I'm quite happy with the one female in my life, so I'm not in the gym to turn my body into some sort of evolutionary advertisement.

My lifting is more about how my body performs rather than how it looks. I like being strong and seeing my lifts increase. I like the power I feel when climbing mountains, due to doing lots of leg work in the gym. I feel like lifting helps my bike riding. And, I know it helps my skiing. I think that lifting helps me to control my bodyfat levels. And yeah, I like it when my wife notices changes that come from lifting. My wife has certainly transformed her body through lifting and she is way fitter now than she has ever been.

On squat days, the only people I have to contend with to use the squat rack are older lifters. The older lifters know the value of squats and deadlifts and they do these lifts regularly. It seems that the college students do these lifts on occasion, mostly because some program tells them they "have to".

End of rant, I suppose.

So, I waited a while for a bench to do my bench press/bent-over supinated barbell row superset last night. It was an interesting superset, alternating between 3 reps and 9 reps. On the 3-rep sets, I used my highest weights for these lifts since last winter, which felt good. I'm thinking that by December or January, I'll be ready to set PRs in all three of the power lifts - bench press, deadlift, and squat.

After the first superset, the rest of my workout was something that didn't require the in-demand equipment, and I got through it fairly quickly. I worked hard and my arms are sore today.

Tonight after work, I'll get out for a hilly but easy-pace five mile run. I'll probably be wearing tights and rain gear for the run - it's that time of year. By tomorrow morning, wet snowflakes will be hitting the mountains.

The weather for the race on Saturday morning looks ominous - cold, pouring rain, potential thunder, and just maybe some wet snowflakes at higher elevations. If it's really wet, the route I've used for this race in the past could be dangerous. There is one small cliff that I've climbed on the upper mountain in the past. It's truly a small cliff, no more than 8-10 feet high, but a fall would not be pleasant. And, if it's icy or raining, it could be extra-exciting. Because I ski at Mad River Glen fairly often, I know the mountain well. I'll have to figure out the best route based on the conditions on Saturday morning.

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