Evolving workouts

Throughout this journey, my workouts have changed. As I have said in the past, my weight loss workouts were cardio, stability, core strength, and low level strength training. The goal was to lose weight and tone. Last year, I started using more intense workouts. At least they seemed pretty intense at the time. However, as I look back at those workouts today, they were really no more intense than what I am doing now – just different. It’s funny how perspective changes. Here is a sample leg workout from those early weight lifting days:

Superset 1 (x3)
Bodyweight Squats, 8 reps
Plie Squats, 8 reps
Superset 2 (x3)
Jump Squats, 15 reps
Stiff-Legged Deadlift, 8 reps
Superset 3 (x3)
Leg Press, 15 reps
Walking Barbell Lunges, 30 steps
Superset 4 (x3)
Stationary Lunge, 12 reps
Lying Leg Curl, 10 reps
Superset 5 (x3)
Seated Leg Curl, 10 reps
Leg Extensions, 10 reps

Standing Calf Raises, 12/10/8 reps

A current leg day workout is:

Leg Press 30, 10, 10 reps

Leg Press Calves (same weight as above) 25 ea (feet straight, toes in, toes out) x 3 sets

RDL (stiff legged) 15, 12, 10, 8, 6 reps (with increasing weight)

Bench Squats (BW) 4 sets of 25

Kneeling Leg Curl 30, 10, 10 reps

Adductors 30, 10, 10 reps

Abductors 30, 10, 10 reps

Butt Machine (not sure of actual name – works quads and glutes) 15 reps x 3


Back Extension (BW) 30, 10, 10

Side Extension (BW) 30, 10, 10

Decline Sit-ups (BW) 30, 10, 10

Prone Leg Lifts (BW) 30, 10, 10

Ab Crunch Machine 30, 10, 10

Plank 60 sec straight arm, rest, 60 sec on forearm

Stretch x 5min.

Some differences include the way I work calves and the elimination of lunges. I cannot do the standing calf machine due to my mild scoliosis (that broken rib is a long lasting reminder of this one). And, I do not do lunges because they make my knees hurt. Muscle pain is awesome, joint pain is not a sign of anything productive in my world.

Of course, recent health issues have led to some of the changes in my workouts (i.e. increased reps with lower weights). Although newer research does appear to indicate that muscle growth can occur using this technique, I do not claim to have the knowledge base to make this claim. I have consulted with some certified trainers (who are also friends) and the consensus is that while some muscle strength will continue to improve, the greatest benefit of this type of training is endurance.

Another change in my workouts is that I have evolved from steady walking, to jogging, to high intensity interval training (which I loved), to swimming. Once my cardiologist told me that I could no longer do HIIT, I could not bear to just jog on the treadmill. I kept having the urge to sprint. If you have followed my blog, you know that swimming is not a new activity for me. And, after just less than 3 weeks swimming (MWF) while resistance training (TThSa), I am swimming at a pace close to (possibly better than) that which I swam in my 20’s (yes, half my current age).

My research on strength training for swimming indicates I should be doing the following in my strength training (x’s indicate I am already doing these):

  • Squats x
  • Leg Press x
  • Leg Extension
  • Leg Curl x
  • Lat Pull-down x
  • Seated Rowing x
  • Bent-over Rowing x
  • Lateral Raise
  • Shoulder Press x
  • Bench Press x
  • Dumbbell Curl x
  • Push-up
  • Abdominal Work x
  • Assorted Stretches x

To paraphrase a trainer friend, maybe for now you have to work on being Lance Armstrong rather than Arnold. Okay, I’m flexible. What about nutrition? Does that change?

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