She’s got that “boom boom pow” and those chickens are jacking her style, apparently.
How inconsiderate, but nothing that some charcoal tablets and a quiet word with old MacDonald wouldn’t fix. “Keep that in mind Fergie,” I contemplate as I do my morning warm up in front of the TV.
The music channels have never had so much of my attention since I began my six-week quest to break the shackles on my sedentary lifestyle in an effort to live to see retirement.
It’s week three of my interminable battle with fitness and healthy living, and after enduring the monotony of jogging and solo cardio work, it’s time to work my scrawny arms and flat chest with the hope of regaining the vaguely athletic frame I once had. Enter the dumbbells.
I remember my first gym induction session, the membership of which is a hazy memory now.
After making me run in circles, jog on the spot, execute star jumps and numerous other cardio exercises designed to shred my dignity in public, the instructor set me in front of a smith machine in order to check the state of my strength and how to improve it.
“You said you want to improve your upper body strength,” he said, adjusting the payload as I positioned my shoulders under the bar.
Then, with a gloating glint in his eye he asked, “Do you just want to get a bit stronger, or do you want to look like me?”
At the time this felt like a seriously loaded question. I hadn’t the first clue whom or what I wanted to “look like”, especially as I was already feeling like a pointless puny weakling after the initial fitness test. Here’s a guy with arms like telegraph poles who clearly bench presses howitzers for a living. It was best not to set my sights too high.
“Um, I don’t know. Maybe just see how it goes,” I uttered with a justified sense of dread. If this fitness sadist had had his way, I’d have probably spent the next three years pumping iron four hours a day and downing countless protein shakes.
I can’t for the life of me remember how much weight I was being made to lift at first, or how much was added thereafter before my facial expressions contorted sufficiently for the instructor to grant mercy. What I do remember, as my vision became increasingly rose-tinted, was the yummy mummy type who wandering out of nowhere, and began working the smith machine next to me, except faster, harder and without the constipated face.
“C’mon, one last push. Do it now. Lift!” the demon trainer ordered, oblivious to my sweaty, trembling humiliation. Finally spent and swaying a little, I glanced over and made eye contact with Sporty Spice who gave me a look like she could snap my neck in a heartbeat.
I skulked away, following the instructor as he plodded off towards the next instrument of torture, with my tail well and truly between my legs. After that, I made a conscious decision to avoid iron women in the gym and conduct weight training in private.
So with that in mind I decided this week to dust off the dumbbells I bought forever ago and begin some simple basic reps to remind my arms and chest of their existence.
It’d been a while but surely, like riding a bike, your body never really forgets. Wrong! So here’s the weight training aspect. Like the cardio training in my earlier posts each day was pretty much the same.
First, load up 10kg to each dumbbell, lift and begin alternate biceps curls. One, two, three, fffffffffffour! Bollocks.
Place weights on the floor and make minor adjustment. Lift dumbbells again, this time with 5kg on each arm. Better, but a sign that things have never been worse in the strength department. Make mental note to steer clear of all forms of confrontation for a couple of weeks, to prevent getting laid out by public workers or yummy mummy SUV drivers.
Complete set of 10 bicep curls; take a breather, then 10 more.
Next, dumbbell bench presses. I lie on my back (easiest thing I’ve done so far) and begin extending arms up and down. It’s slightly unnerving having these weights so close to your face and I can only hope my quivering limbs don’t fail me. The thought of smashing my own teeth out with 10kg of metal provides enough motivation to finish the reps, however. 10 then 10 more.
God this sucks. Running short of inspiration, I decide to repeat the sequence of bicep curls and bench presses twice more before calling it quits.
I stagger up and decide that’s quite enough of that for one day, and make for the shower. I reach over to turn off the TV and practically hurl the remote through the ceiling, forgetting that most things feel quite light after all that exercise.
Snoozing dachshund goes ballistic and runs into a door in haste to get away. Pick up dachshund and console the irate creature before feeling the bizarre urge to bench press her for 10 reps. Enough. This exercise carry-on is giving me brain damage. Decide to fix the remote later.
It’s been a curious few weeks but the benefits are beginning to make themselves known, in terms of feeling more energetic and generally healthier. I suspect the weight training novelty will wear off after a while, as I’m fairly content with the streak- of-weasel-shit look. As long as I can move furniture and carry shopping without too much effort or slipping a disk, then life is peachy. But watch this space… if there’s nothing better going.
With more tension than your mother’s suspension, I am Frisco Rosso. I’m likely to deliver a few lines worth at any given moment regarding film, music, sport, books and anything morally unsound that strikes a blow between the eyes in the name of entertainment.