Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The at-home-with-pinkeye Back/Shoulder/Bicep circuit

Never a dull moment...never! Yesterday I woke up with a bright red eye and eye pain, diagnosed as good ol' fashioned pinkeye. It pretty much thwarted my gym plans but I decided that was no excuse to skip a session. I had enough stuff at home to put together a sufficient workout for back/biceps/shoulders as intended.

The point of this post is not to imply that there is something particularly great about this exact workout because there's not. It's just what I came up with on the spot. It's more to suggest that when plans go awry, just apply a little creativity. My inspiration for this is fellow blogger Josie at Yum Yucky who creates killer workouts in her living room on a daily basis.

What I had to use at home were 15 and 25 lb dumbbell sets, a handled stretch cord, a chair, the Vasa Swim Ergometer (with handles rather than power paddles) and our pullup bar in the basement.

Strength training need not be complicated. It's simply a process of reminding muscles they have a job to do by providing resistance. It helps us learn to recruit more muscle fibers, and it's an opportunity to work things that aren't primary participants in swim/bike/run but are important as our second line of defense. Keep it simple! Work hard, use good form, make it count, and mix things up. Load those muscles and give them something to work against, whatever it is - bodyweight, dumbbell, medicine ball, kettle bell, barbell, stretch cord, cables, Ergometer, whatever!

Again, this is but one example I came up with in about 5 minutes. For each workout, I mix up the exercises making sure I am using a variety of grips, widths, and angles of resistance but I don't worry much about the specifics. For this, I opted for a circuit. That involves multiple exercises done in succession without a break then repeating the "circuit" several times. My son Grant was my cameraman!

This is just a little sample of a few reps each of what I did for my at-home nerdy glasses-wearing workout. It's kind of a mish-mash, but it was fun, got the job done, and it was way better than skipping the workout. I went through this four times:
  • Seated rows (Vasa Ergometer)
  • Shoulder press (stretch cord)
  • Dumbbell row
  • Single leg stiff legged deadlift (db) - my form was not great, hard without a mirror
  • Front raise (Erg)
  • Rear Delt (Erg)
  • Pullups

Interruptions to normal training flow are annoying, but they are a chance to get creative!