Getting fit for the knife

Back in November when I saw my doctor, I weighed myself in her office and clocked 134 lbs–the heaviest I’d been in a few years. This wasn’t the heaviest I’d ever been though. When I worked as a musician, I packed on quite a bit of weight due to the free beer and pub food. At 20 yrs old, I hit 160 lbs–quite a bit heavier than what’s intended to be on my rather diminutive frame.

Later that year, I started hanging out with a friend who frequented the gym. (OK, truth be told: I had a crush on her.) I got hooked! My training program was designed by Erik Alstrup, the 1998 Canadian Men’s Bodybuilding Heavyweight Champion, and all-round great guy. By the following spring, I’d dropped 40 lbs and was pressing 450 lbs with my legs, quite a bit more than most of the men at the gym.

Around this time, I also met my GF and I credit the gym for keeping me going during those intense first few months of love. I would play a gig until 2am, go to my GF’s apt until sunrise, walk home and gather my gym stuff, ride my bike 30 minutes to the gym, workout for 2 hrs and maybe play some squash, spa for 1 hr, go to physio (traction and knee treatments), head to campus for class, eat dinner, play another gig… etc. I was running on empty, but flying anyway. (Erik used to whisper in my ear as he’d pass by me doing sets: “You’re an animal!”)

My weight has fluctuated a bit throughout my adult life, and I know that I’m happiest when I’m fit. The major motivator this time around, aside from general happiness, is chest surgery. I really want to be in great shape before going under the knife, both to get best results and to speed healing.

I started working toward losing weight immediately after that doctor’s appointment. Since then, I’ve dropped to 119-121 lbs. My ideal weight is probably around 115 lbs. Here’s what I’m doing to get there:

Morning Workout

  • Yamuna Body Rolling (really helps with my back)
  • 150 situps
  • 2 sets of 75 push-ups (girl-style still–guy push-ups hurt my lower back)
  • 3 sets of shoulder presses, 15 lbs, 15 reps
  • 3 sets of incline chest presses, 15 lbs, 15 reps
  • 3 sets of chest flies, 15 lbs, 15 reps
  • 3 sets of bicep curls, 20 lbs, 15 reps
  • 3 sets of shoulder shrugs, 20 lbs, 15 reps
  • 3 sets of bent over rows, 20 lbs, 15 reps
  • 3 sets of reverse flies, 15 lbs, 15 reps

This takes about 45 minutes, sometimes a little longer.

Midday Walk

  • 50-60 minutes of fast walking, lots of hills, 2 lbs weights strapped to each leg (2 lbs isn’t much, but it is effective. I’ll amp it up to 5 lbs per leg later this month.)

Evening Workout

  • This is the same as the morning workout with one important exception: I sometimes miss this one entirely!

Next up, I should start upping the weights and lowering reps to get more bulk, and diversifying the exercises a bit.


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