A new weekly (Wednesday) series from Lizard King.

music selection:  “These Eyes” — The Guess Who

waistline: 41 inches

I am starting the Strong Lifts 5×5 program.  I have a lot further to go that most would be weight-lifters as I’m certifiably ‘skinny-fat’.  I have poor balance, worse coordination, and limited body strength.  I have always been more of a geek than an athlete.  But I’ve accomplished some seemingly impossible things in my day including a 3.95 undergrad GPA, grad school, and then early retirement.  I think I can stick with this program and make halting but steady progress.

First step was to change gyms.  I have been at Planet Fitness which is effectively a cardio only gym.  There are free weights and machines but they kick you out of you lift heavy enough to make any noise.  There is an actual “Lunk Alarm”.  I switched to Gold’s Gym which is similarly priced.  Unfortunately, it started with a 40 minute “orientation” which was a prolonged sales pitch to sell meal plans and personal training.  I know it was just your job Andrew, but you came across as sort of a tool.

I did manage to steer my orientation to demonstrating the five core exercises in Strong Lifts 5×5.  It is clear that I cannot start any heavier than twenty pounds.  I’m planning to stick with the program for about a year before exploring other things so even I can only add 10 pounds a month, I’ll be lifting a reasonable amount by this time next year.

I will be taking a waistline measurement each Wednesday.  I’m already tracking body weight but I hope to exchange some fat for muscle and see that show up in a shrinking waistline even during periods my weight is stable.  I was at a 46 inch waist when I started my weight loss journey on 1MAR2015.  Today’s mark is 41 inches which might be a temporary mark as I lost a lot of fluid over the weekend to a stomach bug that had me expelling noxious substances out both ends.  I apparently devoured something the internal flora didn’t like very much.  Wish me luck, raptors.

Devour your prey raptors!

Bro, do you even lift?

Never miss another opportunity to devour prey!

11 thoughts on “Bro, do you even lift?

  • May 23, 2018 at 11:51 pm

    Good luck! I started as a training partner with a body building female co-worker when I was 35. She was 40 and ripped and needed me to work out with her and pretend I was her husband so the dogs would leave her alone. She just wanted to get thru her workout. She turned me into a 6’3″ 240 Lb creature! She also won Miss-Utah. That was 25 years ago and I still lift but much less weight. Be careful, I compressed a disk during my heavy weight lifting and it is life altering. As we age our connective tissues shrink and as it was explained to me at the age of 48 by a surgeon, give it up man….

    • May 24, 2018 at 1:54 am

      Thanks bro! I don’t plan to ever lift Olympic level weight. Just enough to move my resting metabolism up a notch so I can eat like a normal person again and still maintain a healthy body weight.

  • May 24, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    I’ve tried to get in to lifting a few times, but always found that it just took up too much of my time. I guess this is one of the benefits of early retirement, being able to pursue those goals that you didn’t have time for before.

    • May 24, 2018 at 10:05 pm

      One of the reasons I like Strong Lifts 5×5 is each workout only takes 45 minutes!

  • May 25, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    I’ve been doing Stronglift on and off for the past 6 years or so when my gym where I had included trainer went belly up. They had me do lots of exercices on machines and it never did much other than make me feel sore when they switched program. Stronglift actually made me gain weight and lose volume. Used to do that at a gym, but now I have a squat rack in my basement so I can sneak in a quick training session after kids go to bed which has paid for itself by now.

    Just like when switching from mutual funds to self managed, don’t expect to jump in and be a pro. There’s a lot to learn about anatomy in order to not injure yourself and detect wrong motor patterns that would lead to an injury. Stronglift is all sagittal plane. Don’t neglect the other 2!

  • May 26, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    Good luck with the program. I am 62 and have strength trained for 45 years and have benefited greatly. Read the 5X5 program you linked to. Super solid training advice.

    A couple thoughts..
    1 – Like Warren Buffett’s Rule #1 “Don’t Lose Money” The training equivalent is “Don’t get injured”. It is very easy to get hurt if your exercise mechanics are poor. The risk goes up as the weight you are using increases as you get stronger. Once you are hurt it is difficult to avoid compensations to your form. The program’s advice to start light to learn proper form and avoid excessive soreness are right on the money.
    2 – If there is anyone at your gym that you see doing squats, deadlifts, etc. with excellent form see if they will observe your mechanics for a set or two. Serious lifters (in my experience) are often happy to help someone doing useful exercises with a good program on a consistent basis.

    The video links with the program show very good form. Also anything by Dan John (searching you tube videos will come up with very good training info) also Pavel Tsatsouline’s Strongfirst group has excellent material.

    Best of health and good luck!


    • May 26, 2018 at 2:27 pm

      Thanks Rich! I’m starting very light. 20 pounds! A big problem for me I think is my balance. It is going to be challenging to maintain proper form with poor balance. I’m watching it closely.


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