is a daily acquirement we share regardless of age, gender, creed,
talent, status, genius or willingness. Growing older is eventually
reckoned with most respectfully. Twelve to thirteen, nineteen
to twenty-one, thirty-nine to forty, fifty to one-hundred. This
patchwork of life captures our hearts and minds and molds us faithfully,
unerringly and continuously till the lights go out... or till
there are no more bananas on the cart... er... canaries in the
cage. Everyday I learn something new, something significant to
add to the building and landscape and roadway. With age and perceived
limitations there appear options, the challenge of compromise,
a charge for improved skills or accuracy or patience. Long live
week I recognized an old, familiar feeling. My workout was before
me and had the appeal of an ole smelly wet hound dog. I love dogsall
animals for that matteryet this matted flea bag needed a
grooming. I walked the perimeter of the gym to make sure the floor
and mirrors were sufficiently clean for my workout. As I cleared
the lifting platform and unloaded an Olympic bar, I realized how
much I missed bentover rows. At the same time I suggest their
inclusion in big workouts for a powerful and massive back, I cast
my eyes down as the performance of this bad boy bites at my shoulder-bicep
connection... like, snap.
and considered. While we all know you can't teach a dog growing
older new tricks, the dog can certainly insist on doing old tricks
cleverly. I stuck a couple of thirty-fives on the knarly bar and
turned to the locker room to put on my gear. Don't you move till
I warm-up and finish my ab work, I said under my breath. Talking
tough to the weights is one of my old tricks. It works. Like I
said, everyday ya learn something new.
Some guy on
a trial pass asked me while I was doing my crunches if anyone
was using the platform. That's two strikes against him. He's hamburger.
I completed my mid-section, dusted my hands with rosin and stood
before the waiting bar. It was light enough to be safe and heavy
enough to make a statementlocate the workload, define the
injury and its weakness and set a groove. So far, so good.
I bent at
the waist, shuffled my feet to a rather close fifteen-inch placement,
relaxed the knees sufficiently and extended my arms to grasp the
bar four inches from the collars. I gave the beast a little tug
to determine its presence and a few more with vigor to adjust
my body to a most efficacious position. In standing to evaluate
and oxygenize I discovered what I was doing. I was re-introducing
myself to a favorite exercise and it was exciting, interesting,
curious and challenging. It took time and focus and hope. This
movement is worth it and will add dimension to my soggy-dog workouts.
Wishfully, dimension to my back.
largely, resumed the memorized stance, tightened the body with
might, turned up the volume on the targeting mechanisms and pulled
through several test repetitions. Ouch, Ouh, Oh, Ah, Ah... there's
a passage through the eye of the needle. If I can... yes, there
it is again. Stay tight, extend slowly, reverse the motion with
control, no abrupt tugging. Contract, take advantage of the negative
and be grateful. That's the broad action I've been missing, the
potential systemic demand, the lifting of steel from the floor
to the chest like a brute (There's a brute in everyone, Stella)
and the fulfilling reunion with a respectful taskmaster.
is to address the exercise as a vaguely familiar unknown, promising
yet formidable, and commit yourself to understanding and nurturing
its action and effects. Today you belong to each other. Of course,
if the red zone is immediate, you are off to other adventures.
a track of motion that recruited "the whole" without distressing
"the screaming parts." I pulled the bar in toward my knees on
the ascent, and, like a friendly torpedo, curved the line of action
outward to reach the target zone of the lower pec. My exact solution
to complete the ultimate broad-back mission is irrelevant. Your
way will match your needs. The approach, however, is one we might
very well share.
of sets required establishing sureness and success are not to
be counted. Relatively small weight increments from set to set
allows you to warm up the region, observe the progress, achieve
an encouraging muscular pump and tightness and develop confidence.
Ve must sneak up on ze enemy. Six reps per set are the limit and
the time between sets is gauged according to your thoughtful and
sensitive inner bodybuilding teacher-subject budding guru. Hint:
Take your time, don't drift. Stay tight, rustle your nerves, be
positive and serious. Smile.
I added fives
until I reached one seventy-five. I assumed my position with the
heavier weight with extreme concentration considering the narrow
groove and consequences and the might of the grip. Temptations
to go up were intelligently dismantled and I peacefully (and intact)
went to some minor, more playful moves content with the old bone
I had dug up and chewed on. Next week I'll re-invent steep dumbbell
inclines. Or not.
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