Back at The Gym Lessons

  1. You can think you have packed everything the night before for an early first gym session, but I guarantee you will forget something.  In my case I forgot spare underwear.  Hello walking home commando.
  2. You cannot go as hard as you did when you last went to the gym over a year ago.  Your body is not at that standard! This lead to dizziness, chest feeling like it wanted to implode and my groin now kills. Massage offers anyone? 😉
  3. Doesn’t matter whether you at the most expensive gym in the area, or the cheapest one, there will always be posers.  Haters gonna hate; I will be a lean, mean fighting machine in 6 months maybe.
  4. Hot girls at the gym.  They ALWAYS make the session better.  Maybe it is because you sneak a look while doing the machines, which is never as sneaky as you think, or they are lovely to watch as a distraction while you die rowing/cycling/running (yes I stupidly did all three of those today)
  5. You will have trouble walking home, take comfortable shoes to walk home in.  Thankfully I did do this one, but still my 15 minute walk took me 25 minutes.


List Challenge Round 2! Day 2: Gym

Today’s challenge was provided by Tis over at Tis Personal (Warning: Mature Content).  Her challenge is below.

“List of exercises you need to do to bulk up at the gym”

Now technically I will be trying to do half cardio, half bulking.  My family have dodgy hearts and I have suffered heart palpitations when I was younger and still come back every now and again currently.  Due to this I try to do cardio, but this also has the advantage of dropping my fat levels and making me more toned.  So I will be slightly deviating and stating what I need to do to increase my strength while also increasing my stamina.

  1. Cycling – I use a stationary bike at the gym as it is a really great way of working up a sweat and getting your heart going.  I make sure to have a setting where it is challenging enough that I can go for an extended period of time and keep my heart rate elevated, without being too hard that I cannot do it for more than 20 minutes.  I did between 40- 60 minutes trying to keep my speed consistent and do up to 40 km I think.  Also great because it is low impact on my knees.
  2. Seated Leg Press – I did this to improve my quads and hamstrings.  I used to do 120kg x 12 x 3 (12 reps of 120kg, rest 30 seconds then repeat 3 times in total).  Also great for toning your butt.
  3. Lunges – If you cannot get to the gym, but happen to have some weights in the house you can hold onto or wear if you have a weight vest then these are awesome.  I try and do these in my room when I have a little time to spare as they are good for stretching also.  Being flexible as well as strong is always good.
  4. Tricep curls – instead of holding the dumbbell horizontally you turn it 90 degrees and hold it vertically.  This activates your triceps to work.  Biceps are pretty and girls swoon over them, triceps are the ones that actually hold the explosive strength were you to ever strike someone.  That is running under the assumption you are not throwing your hips or shoulders into it to add power.
  5. Shoulder Press – a seated machine where you lift weights from chest height and push until your arms are straight above your head.  Great to increase shoulder strength as well as giving the muscles near your underarm a work out.  I have quite strong shoulders so I enjoyed this as it made them stronger.
  6. Chest Press – similar to above but you push outwards and forwards until your arms are outstretched.  A personal trainer found that my chest was my weakest muscle set when seeing what I could do, so I obsessed over this for a while.  Ended up with a quite noticeable chest and I loved that in t-shirts.  (I am vain, so sue me).  Great for pectoral muscles and triceps.
  7. Front Pulldown – A machine where you sit and your arms are outstretched above you and you have to pull the weights down to you.  Depending on the grip it works different muscle sets.  I used a fingers curling in grip (now, my brain went dirty) which worked my back and biceps.  Really good and one I enjoyed quite a lot.
  8. Crunches – All muscle groups benefit from a strong core, so if you improve your stomach, you improve everywhere else as well.  It is all well and good to do sit ups or use a crunch machine, but if you have fat already on your stomach you can overdevelop those muscles and it pushes out the fat and makes you look like you have a bigger belly! I had to drop fat while increasing my core strength and had noticeable definition in the top two abdominal muscles (the quintessential 6 pack).  Can make harder by including punches and swivels, as well as weight to your chest or throwing a medicine ball.
  9. Press-ups – easy to do and no equipment required.  Just assume the position and away you go.  I tried to do groups but sometimes I would just go all out to see how many I could do in one go.  I did groups of 20 generally.
  10. Running – also no specialist equipment required, just a road.  I do less of this to preserve my knees, especially after my accident and how much time I spend on my feet at work.  I want to avoid cortisol injections if possible.  great for weight loss, increasing stamina, and getting yourself known locally if you are friendly and smile at people.

So there you have it.  Day 2 complete.  A little silly in places, but all things that can be done and worked on by me, and some others if they wish to.


Not A Great Start

I got up early this morning to go to the gym. By early I mean half 8 on my day off to get to the gym for 10. It takes 45 minutes to walk to the gym from my house and I was bang on time when I got there. I had eaten a croissant and walked at a reasonable pace so I was feeling warmed up and prepared.

When I got in the gym I weighed myself to make sure I was correct about my weight loss. I have dropped 5.5kg in 2 months; the two months I have been working. What happened next I should have expected seeing as how my body has changed, but I didn’t want to believe it.

I was no where near the standard I was before, not even close. I tried to do my normal work out:

1Km run
15-45Km cycling
2km rowing
Weights (today legs) usually 4-5 machines

That did not work out well remotely for me. Today I actually did:

No run
10Km cycle
No rowing

The weights I did on my legs were appalling. I used to do 135Kg on the leg press, today I struggled with 85Kg. I was so tired after the cycling I thought I was going to collapse and I skipped the run because of people on the machines, and I am glad I did.

I saw some friends playing squash so I sat with them in an attempt to buoy my mood. I was happy with then, but really I was still bubbling under.

The most amusing thing was my friend when he sat next to me. He mimicked my body language perfectly. So I changed my position and he did the same. I love reading people and that was amusing to me that he effectively copied my posture subconsciously.

The gym has only made me angrier, and now I might be going out for a drink later, maybe, perhaps. This day sucks balls, this month does really. F*ck December, it is a crap month.


Tired, Wet and Tired

Can you guess what my overriding feeling is right now? It’s tired if you hadn’t guessed.

Working is knackering, and not sleeping as much as needed, combined with not eating 3 meals a day, is starting to chip away at my cheery demeanour and energy reserves. When I was 16 I could do 60 hours a week and bounce back without any difficulties. 7 years later I am struggling doing 48. The main difference other than age is that now I need to use my brain and mental facilities a lot more.

I am so grateful to have a job, I truly am. It earns me money, it looks better on my CV than the casual employ I was in. I am more than willing to work to earn my keep, but I need to get myself back into the groove of pushing myself like this for extended periods of time.

Going to the gym and smashing myself to hell for 90-120 minutes is something I can do, and the exertion leaves me feeling massively elated with the natural chemical rush, but I crash and sleep reasonably after that. This holding myself pattern for entire shifts, keeping my mind ticking over and collating figures for end of day calculations is pretty exhausting. Physical labour is easier, you take your body to the max, mental exhaustion is seriously underrated.

I am very lucky for my current place in life, but sometimes I forget how lucky I am. Still, first world problems, MMS is ranting and being whiney, and it is raining in England. Everything is normal in the world

PL&H to all.

A Pretty Good Day

Today has been a pretty good day thus far.  It is only 4:15pm but still, pretty good so far. I woke up at 9 with my alarm and promptly fell back to sleep until half 10.  Ok that might not be so good for everyone else, but that was a brilliant little snooze for me.  I had breakfast (a toasted snickers sandwich; two pieces of toast, one with chocolate spread, and one with peanut butter.  BAM!)Then hit the gym, and I hit it hard.

Here lies some slightly inappropriate thoughts, but what the hey, I am a red blooded male, and though most of my subscribers are female, I am sure they will understand.  So I have done my 1k run warm up and am on the bike sweating away doing a 10k cycle, when at about 8k in a stunning woman sits on the bike next to me and starts her session.  I was rather happy at this as there were multiple bikes free, but she took the one next to me.  Then at 9k another stunning woman hopped on the bike the other side of me.  Can you believe my luck?! Two gorgeous women either side of me exercising away but I had only 1k left….oh look I just upped my distance to 15k.  How did that happen?!

I genuinely had a sore neck, I get that when cycling, so every now and again I had to loosen my neck by stretching it, looking from left to right and rolling my head and clicking my neck.  It helped loosen it up, but having such great eye candy either side of me certainly made the exercise much more enjoyable.  The best part of it all? I smashed my 15k time by 3 and a half minutes.  Clearly attractive women near me are a great motivator.

I had a great weight session after, a fantastically hot shower, and a nice walk home via the town centre to buy a birthday card for my cousin.  Home and there were just enough chicken nuggets left for me to munch with some chips and ketchup.

While writing this blog post my day just got even better.  My dad just bought me a battered sausage.  They are the best thing to come out a fish and chip shop since scampi and I absolutely adore them, even if they are terrible for my body.  I went to the gym that counteracts what I just ate right?

Today has not been half bad to me, I hope the evening will be nice and chilled as well.  Tomorrow is Thursday, and Thursdays are always turning points in my life.  I may have some good news for you tomorrow Internet, but we shall have to see about that.  Don’t give me that face Internet, I will tell you tomorrow, didn’t anyone ever tell you that patience is a virtue? Hugs to all.

Up and Down

Today has been an up and down day for me.  This morning I woke up and looked at myself in the mirror and was disgusted at the person who looked back at me.  I went to the gym and spent 2 and a bit hours on the bike, running and doing weights.  My body ached and my lungs burned when I pushed my limits hard, but the pain was within my threshold and within my control, so I could stand it.  The shower I had afterwards was probably the hottest, most satisfying shower I have ever had in my life.  I felt sore as hell, but the hot water soothed me and made me feel alive again.  I must have spent a good ten minutes with my head under the faucet, letting the burning water pour onto my head and across me.

The walk to and from the gym it was drizzling, but I didn’t mind as I was wrapped and hoodied up, so I remained warm and dry.  When I got home I just felt a wave of weakness come over me again, and I have felt so tired since walking in, but I cannot sleep.  I have eaten well today so far and dinner is in the oven, I have exercised, applied for jobs and tidied up around the house.  So why do I feel like this?

I cannot seem to shake it, this cloud over my head, this inner sadness and gloomy disposition.   I guess I will have to put my happy mask on for the family again this evening.  Can’t have them thinking I am depressed or something.

All Those Fairy Tales are Full of S***

I have not been able to get this song out of my head.  When I was in the gym yesterday I cycled 15Km and rowed 2Km with this one song on repeat.  Not all of the lyrics are appropriate for me, but I simply adore this song.  There are two lines which I do identify with very much so.

“All those fairy tales are full of s**t, one more f*****g love song I’ll be sick”

I keep telling myself to let go, but I am very bad at that.  Another song which has a brilliant lyric in it which I have identified with years ago is James Morrison’s Wonderful World.

This album is pretty awesome in my opinion.  I am listening to this song right now and I can feel a smile tugging at the corners of my mouth.  This whole song is basically how I feel about myself.  The lyric I love in this song is:

“Who am I to dream, dreams are for fools, they only let you down”

Two rather depressing lyrics right? Yeah, they kind of are, but I am a realist deep down, so the JM one is perfect for me. The Maroon 5 one is just how I feel lately. I posted a Taylor Swift track a few posts back, that song has now been added to my “Song I Can No Longer Listen To” list.

Well I am going to catch a train to go and see my dad for the weekend. I might post again later, it depends.  This blog seems to be turning into a daily journal now.  Interesting.  I am not sure how I feel about that really, but I guess I will work that out soon enough!

Something is Still Off

Today I rediscovered an old mp3 player of mine.  I had last used it back in 2009 when I went to St Lucia, which brought back some memories.  The music on there cracked me up.  There was Incredibad by The Lonely Island, Usher, Nelly, The Ying Yang Twins, a couple of compilation albums of R’n’B and Hip Hop, some reggae and even Hanson.  I am not sure what I was thinking with that one, but it was on there and it made me smile and remember that year and all the good times I had.  I chose to ignore the bad moments of that year which include a great deal of anger, getting over an ex girlfriend and failing my second year at university, because I am being positive today.

With this rediscovered musical playlist now available to me I thought this would be great at the gym to listen to and distract me while I break my body, and it turned out it was pretty good.  I did a strong 10Km cycle, a good 2Km run and a great set of weight machines focussing on triceps, biceps, chest and back. I felt pretty good and walking home still had more music to listen to which made me smile.

The problem I am having is that there is still something niggling at the back of my mind, something which is just putting me on guard and making me conscious there is something not quite right going on.  I still have not worked out what it is or in what aspect of my life the source is, but I know something is off. I hope my brain works out what it is soon because I would like to know so I can address the issue!   Sort it out brain!

Calming down and Dramatic Arts

Yesterday I had a long conversation with a friend of mine and I could feel myself calming while talking to her.  I do not think she was the particular reason I calmed down, or that we discussed some of the things that were bugging me.  I think it was a case that a combination of discussion, a good friend even if she is hundreds of miles away and a reasonable amount of time finally passing has lead to me calming down.  I am not fully back to my normal state, I don’t think I will be until tomorrow, but this process is good.  I plan to go to the gym and get out any excess anger I have, coupled with a decent dinner and a good night’s sleep should leave me feeling reasonable tomorrow.

It feels good to not have this anger inside me threatening to overflow (again) and cause trouble.  I sound like I have multiple personalities, and in a way I think we all do.  We all have many sides to our personalities.  People express their varied emotions throughout everyday life, and they are the standard, but those who perform; actors, musicians, poets, writers and the like, truly embrace all of their emotions.  I commend every person who is able to truly express themselves, and take on the emotions of others and express them for them.  It is a beautiful talent and an admirable ability to possess.

I truly think there might be a light at the end of the tunnel soon.  I can almost see the light.  It’s about time too!


Today I woke up happy as one normally is in the mornings, but it progressed to get better.  At one point I felt really good, and a new side of me emerged.  While writing I had to get myself into a darker mindset.  In doing so I found a new part of myself I didn’t know existed.  When I get into a dark mood I am wild and at times violent, but highly physically driven.  I feel like a caged animal and it shows in both my actions and my words (or lack thereof at times, so I have been told).  This time I went dark and I was in complete control of it.  I was calculated and plotting, I felt like a devious deviant.  In writing in this way I think I really got what I wanted out of what I wrote, and am rather proud of my piece, but I am unsure if I will ever write like that again.

As much as in the moment I loved it, afterwards I felt the darkness take a turn towards sadness and guilt.  I felt that expressing myself in this way, and taking pleasure out of it was wrong.  If I were to ever perform the acts I wrote of I know I would be wracked with guilt for my actions for weeks to come.  (I write a great deal looking through the characters eyes and immersing myself in their persona, rather than a third person narrator). I wrote this at around 10am and it is around 18:30 now and I still haven’t been able to shake this feeling.

I went to the gym to try and relive this tension.  I thought I could focus my mind on exercise, breaking barriers and pushing limits might help to distract me and hopefully forget what was clouding my mind.  It did not.  I was unable to focus at all in any way. My usual 90 minute to two hour session was 35 minutes.  I couldn’t even lift what I normally do, and was breathless after my warm up and I did it slower than normal.  My mind was completely out of its normal frame and this annoyed me, and worse disappointed me.

Disappointing other people really gets me down, I try to live up to the expectations which have been put out for me since I was a child.  Not only do I loathe disappointing my family, but my friends, my work, anyone who I say I will do something for and cannot follow through I feel so horrible about myself for.  Feeling disappointed in myself just made me wonder what the hell I was doing to make myself so weak and inept today that I just feel absolutely useless.

I guess I thought I was able to regulate my emotions a little better than I am right now.  I have had many more good days than bad ones in recent weeks, but this is me dropping.  I feel like a boulder sinking to the bottom of a stagnant lake. I am not sure when I will surface from this watery hole, but I hope I do before I drown.