Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Strong Like Bull

Resolution #6: Build some muscle (10 lbs in 10 months)
Progress: Debatable

I couldn't allow too much time to pass before I covered some of the "classic" resolutions. Everyone knows January is to fitness centers what Black Friday is to retailers. In the fresh air of the new year, inspiration strikes, and somewhere in the corner of the closet, between the stretch-goal jeans, and the tacky Christmas sweaters, the work-out clothing emerges from hiding. I will freely admit that I have fallen prey to this same routine several times, although with a slightly different focus. Losing weight has never been my problem, for I fall to the other side. Every new year I determine to either start lifting weights, doing more push-ups and crunches, or actually start going to the gym. Like most of the population though, my resolve tends to fade around January 10th, mercifully before I have had time to purchase an expensive gym membership.

I'll confess. I despise working out. You won't find me in the gym daily, in fact, it would be a miracle to find me there monthly. I tend to think of myself in good shape, from all the sports I play, but I need a prize, some reward in the here-and-now for pushing myself beyond my limits. Imagining a reward 6-12 months in the future, for trying to reach my extremes in the present day, lacks the thrill of scoring a game-winning goal on a competitive daily basis. However, with the need to develop some long-term perspective, and armed with a highly discounted gym membership through my employer, this time, I am prepared.

When I entered college, I tipped the scales at a hefty 150 lbs. I started a week early with soccer training camp, and while most of the team lost substantial weight during those first days of torture, I gained 2 lbs. My body seemed determined to counter any trends, as it sought to find a comfortable weight. By the time that I graduated college 4 years later, I clocked in at 158 lbs, only the slightest amount of which was due to the cafeteria buffet. I don't have a scale in my current residence, but the last time I weighed myself at work, I had ballooned to 165 lbs. Is it possible that I gained an additional 7 lbs of muscle since leaving my daily lacrosse practices at college? It's possible, but I'm a realist, it's not likely.

Since 165 lbs seems a reasonable weight for a healthy, 6 foot male, I don't want to interfere with nature's plans for my body type. My goal will be to gain 10 lbs of muscle over the next 10 months, while losing 5 lbs of fat, for a total weight gain of 5 lbs (170 lbs total weight). I will weigh myself at work to determine the actual starting weight, and post updates on my progress. Also at my disposal is a body fat percentage analyzer, which I will use to determine the actual fat lost vs. muscle gained. My regimen will be push-ups, crunches, and pull-ups, and any other calisthenics that strike my interest. Perhaps I will venture into using some weights later in the year, if I can develop the nerve.

Have a favorite calisthenic to share? (Can favorites even exist?) Experienced similar difficulties persevering in the lose weight/gain muscle attempts? Dare to arm-wrestle me in December? You're on, softie. Comment Below!

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