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  1. #121
    Registered User JohnButz's Avatar
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    Always pushing forward despite whatever trials & tribulations are in the periphery. Much respect to you Brother!
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  2. #122
    Humble Megalomaniac ElrondHubbard's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by HomeGymChains View Post
    So, it’s been almost two months since my last post. Lots to catch up...

    I was able to work out consistently for the first three weeks of December, then a three-week gap while I drove across country, was busy with family celebrations for Christmas and New Year’s, and drove across country again, and then was able to work out consistently again for the past three weeks.

    I crossed the two million pound mark on my BodySpace total and hit a few rep-PRs along the way. As a fun little side note, I discovered I live in a very competitive state for powerlifting. (I’m not sure yet whether that is unfortunate or fortunate. Maybe it’s better that I won’t be tempted to compete. ) In EVERY adjoining state except one (and even in a few other states nearby) I could move there and set bench press and strict curl state records tomorrow. (For the remaining adjoining state, though, it would take a few weeks, since I would have to lose ten pounds to drop one weight class.) (On the other hand, if I just stay here and wait a few years... the 65-69 age bracket looks like I could make some noise there. )

    Due to scheduling constraints I’ve now had to break my home gym routine into five workouts of thirty minutes or less each. 1) Bench day ending with isolation for pecs and triceps. 2) Lats, ending with biceps. 3) Core and shoulders. 4) Deadlifts and calves. 5) Squats. It’s really stupid and I don’t like it, but I’m stuck with it for the moment.

    I’ve had three very positive work-related events in that time, and my treat for each was to celebrate by going to a commercial gym for a long and heavy leg day workout. I find it very satisfying to do leg press, leg extensions, and leg curls as a pleasant change from just barbell exercises at home.

    As explained earlier in this thread, it wasn’t until two years ago that I started trying to lift for real after forty years of inconsistently goofing around. I do think I’ve made progress on my own learning from the internet and even made adjustments after videoing myself a few times. The big news though is that I’ve *finally* connected with a trainer who has agreed to give me a few coaching sessions on bench, squat, and deadlift. (Also shoulders, since I have some old injuries there.) My goal is to improve my form so I can keep progressing heavier at home without risking injury. In a few weeks I’ll try to post an update about that.

    Until then, best wishes to all! (Even when I’m not posting here, I continue to follow your journals for good encouragement.)
    This was a nice read, HGC! Glad to see you're still with us. I like your approach, and your attitude. It will be really interesting to see how things go with the new trainer.
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  3. #123
    Registered User HomeGymChains's Avatar
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    I am postponing the coaching sessions until the virus is considered handled. Updates from my BodySpace log:

    Total pounds now 2.1 million.

    And for the laugh of the day, for bench press, BodySpace says my new calculated one-rep max is now 381.5 pounds. Way more than the state record for my age bracket! (was based on 180 pounds x 20 reps)
    At age 62, I've exceeded all my prior PRs. Not “over the hill” yet. :)

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  4. #124
    LIKE A BOSS MoEcho's Avatar
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    381.5lbs! Holy smokes. My dude.... If and when you go for that 1RM, VIDEO IT!
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  5. #125
    Registered User HomeGymChains's Avatar
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    Talking

    Originally Posted by MoEcho View Post
    381.5lbs! Holy smokes. My dude.... If and when you go for that 1RM, VIDEO IT!
    Thanks Heidi!!!

    I’m planning to save that attempt for a competition, though, since I’m pretty sure it would be a RAW world record.

    (But I CAN tell you what the video would look like... an assisted lift-off, followed by a 381.5 pound bar rocketing downward and crushing me. )
    At age 62, I've exceeded all my prior PRs. Not “over the hill” yet. :)

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  6. #126
    Registered User HomeGymChains's Avatar
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    Lifting and Endorphins?

    Something I have noticed is that the boost in mood I get from lifting seems to be getting greater as I’ve progressed. Anyone else notice something like that?

    I started a thread with a paper that seems to indicate that 10-rep sets with one-minute rests produce more than double the endorphin concentrations of 5-rep sets or three-minute rests. That happens to be just how my program has changed: to higher rep sets with less rest in between.

    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...hp?t=178224721


    In quarantine news, I’m eating less junk food and slowly losing body fat. (3 pounds so far)
    Last edited by HomeGymChains; 04-02-2020 at 04:14 PM.
    At age 62, I've exceeded all my prior PRs. Not “over the hill” yet. :)

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  7. #127
    Registered User HomeGymChains's Avatar
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    As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been trying to stick to lighter weights and higher rep sets for the past few months. Today I couldn’t resist going heavier for a change and I smashed a bench PR:
    Old: 200 lbs x 5 reps
    New: 200 lbs x 10 reps

    A one-rep calculator that has worked well for me in the past (not the BodySpace one!) puts me at 265, but I’m not likely to try that soon, since I have trouble doing a decent liftoff above 225. <sigh> Electronic weight log total now 2.2 million pounds.

    Just today I started reaching out to some of my old fitness partners to see if any of them would want to do videochat workouts.
    Last edited by HomeGymChains; 04-12-2020 at 10:49 AM.
    At age 62, I've exceeded all my prior PRs. Not “over the hill” yet. :)

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  8. #128
    Humble Megalomaniac ElrondHubbard's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by HomeGymChains View Post
    Smashed a bench PR today:
    Old: 200 lbs x 5 reps
    New: 200 lbs x 10 reps

    Electronic weight log total now 2.2 million pounds.

    Just today I started reaching out to some of my old fitness partners to see if any of them would want to do videochat workouts.
    That's more than a smash, that's an annihilation! Wow!
    I'm out, standing in my field.

    65 and still a newbie.
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  9. #129
    Registered User HomeGymChains's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ElrondHubbard View Post
    That's more than a smash, that's an annihilation! Wow!
    Thanks!!!
    (Reps on spread)
    At age 62, I've exceeded all my prior PRs. Not “over the hill” yet. :)

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  10. #130
    Clearly Irrational blue9steel's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by HomeGymChains View Post
    Smashed a bench PR today:
    Old: 200 lbs x 5 reps
    New: 200 lbs x 10 reps
    Great job! That's a huge increase in volume.
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  11. #131
    Registered User Athena's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ElrondHubbard View Post
    That's more than a smash, that's an annihilation! Wow!
    Originally Posted by blue9steel View Post
    Great job! That's a huge increase in volume.
    adding my huge congrats on the added 1,000 lbs in volume! wowza!

    any news on the videochat workouts?
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  12. #132
    Registered User HomeGymChains's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Athena View Post
    adding my huge congrats on the added 1,000 lbs in volume! wowza!

    any news on the videochat workouts?
    Thanks for the congrats!

    No news yet on my plan to contact former fitness partners for videochat workouts. The first one I reached out to did not reply to two emails and one text message, so I won’t press further. These things are a little delicate. If she is in a new relationship, she might not want to reveal the prior flirty workouts with me.

    2.3 million pounds.
    At age 62, I've exceeded all my prior PRs. Not “over the hill” yet. :)

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  13. #133
    Humble Megalomaniac ElrondHubbard's Avatar
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    Ah, the fitness Cassanova, leaving a trail of broken-hearted fitness partners in a wake of flirty workouts!

    I wonder how many of those old partners are still training at all.
    I'm out, standing in my field.

    65 and still a newbie.
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  14. #134
    Registered User Athena's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by elrondhubbard View Post
    ah, the fitness cassanova, leaving a trail of broken-hearted fitness partners in a wake of flirty workouts!

    I wonder how many of those old partners are still training at all.
    ditto!
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  15. #135
    Registered User HomeGymChains's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ElrondHubbard View Post
    Ah, the fitness Cassanova, leaving a trail of broken-hearted fitness partners in a wake of flirty workouts!

    I wonder how many of those old partners are still training at all.
    The fitness partner I most wanted to reconnect with won’t be able to happen. Her phone number seems to have been transferred to someone else. <sigh> At the moment, I’ve decided not to go further down the list. Maybe in the future.

    And in the continuing series of laughable BodySpace one-rep-max calculations, its latest prediction is that I can squat 851 pounds. State record here I come!
    At age 62, I've exceeded all my prior PRs. Not “over the hill” yet. :)

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  16. #136
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    Originally Posted by HomeGymChains View Post
    The fitness partner I most wanted to reconnect with won’t be able to happen. Her phone number seems to have been transferred to someone else. <sigh> At the moment, I’ve decided not to go further down the list. Maybe in the future.

    And in the continuing series of laughable BodySpace one-rep-max calculations, its latest prediction is that I can squat 851 pounds. State record here I come!
    WOW! Just replied to an old PM of yours. Sorry. I never check messages.
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  17. #137
    Registered User HomeGymChains's Avatar
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    Tried for a squat 1RM at 305 but didn’t succeed. For revenge, set a satisfying reps PR of 265 x 8 (prior was x 4).

    2.4M total in electronic logs.



    Best wishes you all can stay safe!
    At age 62, I've exceeded all my prior PRs. Not “over the hill” yet. :)

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  18. #138
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    4RM to 8RM is awesome, nicely done.
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  19. #139
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    Report

    Long time since I posted. Workouts have been somewhat irregular since the lockdown, but I’m getting into a bit of a pattern lately with shorter workouts in a four-day cycle (chest&back, day off, lower body, day off) Typically doing slow reps and careful form. Still getting some volume in, just hit 2.5M pounds.

    Purists should stop reading now. Thanks!

    Since I don’t have a rack, I had developed a pattern of doing a deadlift set, then before putting the bar back down, I would do a set of 7 shrugs and 15 standing calf raises. After that long, I would feel the fatigue in my hands and was starting to worry about losing my grip and possibly dropping the bar.

    (And yes, it was worth doing shrugs. For the first time in YEARS, out of the blue, my wife actually gave me a positive workout-related complement. We were trading shoulder massages and she actually said she was impressed by my traps. )

    So I bought a set of straps (patronizing my favorite fitness equipment store in person) and enjoyed using them for the first time. I did a reps-PR with 10 for shrugs and 20 for calves, then just for fun, worked my way up to a new 1RM deadlift PR (and shrugs and calves along the way).

    Hope everyone is staying safe. Best wishes to all.
    Last edited by HomeGymChains; 07-04-2020 at 04:36 PM.
    At age 62, I've exceeded all my prior PRs. Not “over the hill” yet. :)

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  20. #140
    Humble Megalomaniac ElrondHubbard's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by HomeGymChains View Post
    Long time since I posted. Workouts have been somewhat irregular since the lockdown, but I’m getting into a bit of a pattern lately with shorter workouts in a four-day cycle (chest&back, day off, lower body, day off) Typically doing slow reps and careful form. Still getting some volume in, just hit 2.5M pounds.

    Purists should stop reading now. Thanks!

    Since I don’t have a rack, I had developed a pattern of doing a deadlift set, then before putting the bar back down, I would do a set of 7 shrugs and 15 standing calf raises. After that long, I would feel the fatigue in my hands and was starting to worry about losing my grip and possibly dropping the bar.

    (And yes, it was worth doing shrugs. For the first time in YEARS, out of the blue, my wife actually gave me a positive workout-related complement. We were trading shoulder massages and she actually said she was impressed by my traps. )

    So I bought a set of straps (patronizing my favorite fitness equipment store in person) and enjoyed using them for the first time. I did a reps-PR with 10 for shrugs and 20 for calves, then just for fun, worked my way up to a new 1RM deadlift PR (and shrugs and calves along the way).

    Hope everyone is staying safe. Best wishes to all.
    Maybe not purist, but effective is much better than pure. Glad you're posting again!
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  21. #141
    Registered User HomeGymChains's Avatar
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    As you know, my wife is not encouraging about my lifting, so I make note of anything I can spin in a positive way.

    Last week we had a tornado warning, so we went down to the basement, where my wife seldom treads. She saw my EZcurl bar and said, “You lift that!? Unsupported!?” My interpretation of that is “Wow, you must be really strong to lift that much weight. And you should buy yourself a preacher bench.” <snerk>

    I didn’t have the heart to point out that if she cared to look around, she would see my bench press bar with more than double that weight and my deadlift bar with triple.

    - - -

    A few weeks ago I decided that I had enough of practicing super-strict form with high reps and lighter weights, so I decided that at each workout I’d add five pounds to my working sets, decreasing my reps as necessary until I find my new 1RM. It’s not working out quite the way I expected. For the past five chest days, instead of having to decrease my reps, I’ve increased my five-rep max bench PR by 25 pounds. (Looking back, I see that at the beginning I was being quite conservative and doing five comfortable reps. Now I have to grind out that fifth rep, but I’m not quite to failure yet.) I’m not sure where I’ll end up, but this is a fun problem to have.

    2.6 M pounds lifted so far. I heard a rumor that the BodySpace app may be going away, so I hope I don’t lose those electronic records. And I would miss its 1RM prediction that I should be able to bench 385.

    Sorry I’m not able to check in very often, but I always enjoy reading the threads of the usual suspects. Keep on keeping on, my friends!
    Last edited by HomeGymChains; 08-08-2020 at 12:38 PM.
    At age 62, I've exceeded all my prior PRs. Not “over the hill” yet. :)

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  22. #142
    Formerly grouchyjarhead GrouchyUSMC's Avatar
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    No chance of getting the wife to throw the iron around? She may not have noticed the heavier stuff but at least it earned you some man points with her!
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  23. #143
    Registered User HomeGymChains's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by GrouchyUSMC View Post
    No chance of getting the wife to throw the iron around? She may not have noticed the heavier stuff but at least it earned you some man points with her!
    We actually have a Weider “home gym” still in the box (one weight stack with cable connections to bench, fly, etc.) waiting for me to clear room in the basement. She had expressed interest in using that, but hasn’t given me clearance to get rid of much junk yet. (About two square yards this month so far, so it’s progress, but slow.)

    Maybe she would let me speed up the process if I told her it does have a preacher pad, so my curls wouldn’t be “unsupported” anymore. (I do have a “bicep blaster” but I think her concern is probably with imagined stress on my back, rather than achieving perfect form. )

    (Sorry Grouchy, reps on spread)



    Still hit new 5-RM on bench, but getting closer to my limits. (Ten pounds ago I was able to do five sets of five. Five pounds ago I did a set of five followed by sets of four reps. Last night I was able to do a set of five for the PR, but then had to do the following sets at three reps.)
    Last edited by HomeGymChains; 08-18-2020 at 08:29 AM.
    At age 62, I've exceeded all my prior PRs. Not “over the hill” yet. :)

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  24. #144
    Registered User HomeGymChains's Avatar
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    While cleaning out boxes from the basement this week to expand my gym, I found workout photos of me at age 25. I’d say this is certifiably “ectomorph.”

    https://imagecdn.bodybuilding.com/ga...2357-610xh.jpg
    At age 62, I've exceeded all my prior PRs. Not “over the hill” yet. :)

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  25. #145
    Registered User HomeGymChains's Avatar
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    I’ve been on the road for more than a week so far and I’m glad to see that some hotel gyms have re-opened. I wipe down the benches, wear gloves and an N95 mask, and am relieved that so far I’ve been able to work out at three hotels without anyone else in the room.

    On my route, I was able to arrange an appointment with a professional and got some good tips on bench (especially touching the bar lower on my chest) and how to pose lats. (Not that I have anything to show yet, but something to work toward. ) As a result of that, in the hotel gyms, I decided to try doing dumbbell bench presses differently. Instead of elbows straight out to my sides, I been doing them with my elbows angled at 45 degrees toward my waist. I really feel the difference. I’m hoping that building up strength at that angle will help my drive off the bottom of the lift. When I get home, I will start focusing on that bottom range with the barbell - sort of like a pin press if I had a real power cage.

    One minor disappointment: For the first time in years, I would be driving solo past York Barbell. Since I wouldn’t have to try to persuade a passenger that it was worth the delay, I was hoping to stop at the “Weightlifting Hall of Fame.” Unfortunately, even though their website said they would be open on Saturday, they weren’t. <sigh>
    At age 62, I've exceeded all my prior PRs. Not “over the hill” yet. :)

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  26. #146
    Humble Megalomaniac ElrondHubbard's Avatar
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    Reps on spread with you. I would have been disappointed in that development too. Glad you're finding ways to train even on the road. Most people don't bother.
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  27. #147
    Registered User HomeGymChains's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ElrondHubbard View Post
    Reps on spread with you. I would have been disappointed in that development too. Glad you're finding ways to train even on the road. Most people don't bother.
    Thanks for the kind words.
    Reps on spread with you also.
    At age 62, I've exceeded all my prior PRs. Not “over the hill” yet. :)

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  28. #148
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    Great introduction and story. Keep up the great work!
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    Originally Posted by HomeGymChains View Post
    It's my unique and cheap home-grown safety solution.

    About two years ago I started getting more serious about working out at home. I lost control of a bench press and dropped a 170-pound barbell on my neck -- not onto my chest, but straight down onto my neck. I am extremely lucky to still be alive, with only a few days of black-and-blue bruises. I resolved never to be in that situation again.

    I decided to use chains as a safety system for bench press. The length of the chain is set about half an inch below touch, so if I get in trouble I can slide out under it. The elastic cords keep the links headed upward from the bar to keep the lift smoother and quieter.



    Then I decided that I could also use it for squats, which I never used to do at home. Not as good as a real squat rack, since the bar starting position is at the bottom of the lift instead of the top of the lift, but hey, it's a technique, and I'm finally doing squats at home. Here's a picture with the bar hanging at the bottom of my squat setting, before I move the bench out of the way.



    Then I got tired of fussing with the "quick links" that needed a wrench to tighten and loosen, so I replaced them with "grab hooks" for instant length adjustments.



    And hey, as long as I had the framework up there, I added a pulley.



    Elsewhere in the basement, I have a powerlifting bar for deadlifts, an e-z curl bar, and dumbbells. I am working on getting more space cleared out and organized. I also plan to buy an incline/decline bench and a real rack.





    As far as why I’ve stayed with standard plates instead of Olympic...


    I had bought up three sets of cheap used standard plates over the years, which was cool because I was able to set up five pairs of dumbbells at different weights so I never had to change plates during a workout. When I started lifting more, I gradually needed to buy a few additional 25-pound plates per year. When I got even more serious in the past two years, I considered buying an Olympic set, but instead I bought two standard-plate powerlifting bars that I am EXTREMELY happy to have. (Seriously, it became awkward and dangerous to be using over 200 pounds on the bars that came with the 100 pound standard sets. I’ve had 475 on the powerlifting bars and they felt completely secure.) Just recently added a couple of 50-pound plates to make a nicer starting height for deadlifts, but otherwise a stack of 25s on the bar is fine for me. So I’m a happy camper with standard plates, but that makes me unusual.
    I am really liking the look of what you have done, considering safety.
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  30. #150
    Registered User HomeGymChains's Avatar
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    After I got to my home town, I checked into a hotel for a two-week quarantine. The first night I did use the hotel gym, but then my son had the very kind and thoughtful idea to bring weights for the hotel room.

    The only problem was that he brought two dumbbell bars and only 33 pounds of plates. I haven’t had the heart to tell him yet, but I immediately went out and bought a pair of 25 pound plates, letting me make a pair of dumbbells at 46 pounds each. So those are decent weights for high rep workouts.

    As I mentioned earlier, during my trip I did meet with a trainer. She thought I was making decent progress for a 62-year-old novice, but suggested that I add rows to improve my back (rather than my usual focus on pulldowns) and floor presses to improve the bottom phase of my bench press, so I’ve been doing 200-rep workouts for those.

    I’m looking forward to hitting my real weights to see if her suggestions have helped yet, but that will have to wait for one more week of quarantine in the den at home. (Hey, not my idea!)

    My current total is 2.8 million pounds, but I’ve been humbled by getting a friend invitation from a guy who averages 150k PER WORKOUT.
    At age 62, I've exceeded all my prior PRs. Not “over the hill” yet. :)

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