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Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Never (Forever?) Gymless

My big return to the gym is not happening this year. Maybe not until this time next year.

I'm fine with that.

For a while, I gnashed my teeth at the stupid and irresponsible, whose refusal to follow common-sense masking and social distancing protocols has turned what could have been a tenacious but eminently manageable epidemic into a mass-death national disaster. In addition to making gyms unsafe. But getting upset about idiots is in itself pretty idiotic, so the only workable alternative is to accept and adapt. Hopefully these newfangled vaccines work.

Still training on the push-pull-legs split, using an isometric-dynamic protocol. 4-5 isometric exercises for 3-4 sets each, then 3-4 dynamic exercises using the old reliable 3sx10 protocol. A steel pipe works great as a barbell - I can even do front and back squat isos. After the workout, I typically go for a 45-minute walk/run. On pull days I also do sprints.

Overall, I'm making good progress. Bodyweight is back up to 210, more or less where it was before I quit the gym, only leaner. Zero noticeable muscle loss, although I have no ide where my strength is at. Working out in fresh air is a boon and fits into my new schedule perfectly. Best of all, I can do this new routine anywhere.

I still hope that someday things will go back to normal, so I'm keeping my gym membership (it's incredibly cheap and work pays for it anyway). It would be good to know where I stand exactly on the big lifts, and how effective my weightless workouts have been with regard to retaining strength.

Even if/when I'm ready to head back to the iron, I'll most likely switch to an abbreviated barbell routine and do most of the work with bands and bodyweight.

It's been a hard year for many, although I was fortunate to not suffer any impact from the pandemic. So I shouldn't complain about not being able to go to the gym. But for the first time since I started this blog, I have no end-of-year lifting numbers worth mentioning. My last real workout with weights was in early February, so in the 1.5 months that I lifted I hit the following weights:

Squat: 515 lbs. x1

Standing overhead press: 235 lbs. x 1, 205 lbs. x 3

Deadlift: 535 lbs. x 1

Bench press: 385 lbs. x 1, 365 lbs. x 3, 335 lbs. x 7

Here's hoping for a better 2021.