The Hard Workout

I do this only once per week, typically on Tuesday. It’s getting warm enough that I have to hit it mid-morning at the latest. The idea is to get a full body workout, with a focus on practical performance activities, and pushing until I’m out of breath. This mix benefits both resistance to arthritis and heart health. Every exercise goes to failure.

First is the Blue Machine at the north end of the park system. On this one I do leg raises first, alternating each week between bent knee and straight leg. Next is assisted pull ups, then back-raises, followed by assisted bar dips. Last is hack squats leaning against that backboard thing. Then I ride around to the little bridge and cross over to the other trail and head to my favorite playground.

At the playground I climb up to the top of the yellow slide and grab the bar across the top, hanging so I face it with my feet on the deck. Then I row myself up and down until I can’t get my chest to touch any more. Next, I come down and around to the front of that slide and position myself to do push-ups at an incline. Finally, I step out of the and pit on one edge and do standing long-jumps back into the sand. Right now, I can do 12 in succession before I’m out of breath. Finally I stand on the lower end platform on the bottom step and do calf-risers. I change the angle of my feet after every six repetitions and just keep doing this until the muscles fail.

Then I ride down either path south and across Reno, and to the pavilion next to the soccer fields. It’s not a huge hill, but I just keep sprinting up and jogging back down repeatedly, starting from between two trees just off-camera to the right. Strict form sprinting up the hill is the point. Today, about one-third into the tenth run I pulled a calf muscle. I’ll move the calf-risers to the last station next week.

From there I ride south to the SE 15th Street entrance where the Green Machine stands. Here I typically use the sit-up board until I can’t do any more, then I do standard push-ups with my hands on the foot rests below that backboard. That’s where I’ll do the calf-risers next week. After that I’m pretty well winded. It’s about two miles back home where I hit the final exercises, stuff that simply isn’t possible at the park.

That’s the stiffest bungee cord I could buy locally. First I slide it under the chair and push my back deep into the seat. Then I pull it up around the bottom of the seat and do overhead presses. Next I stand on the cord with my feet together and do upright rowing, until my thumbs hit the bottom of my pectoral muscles. After that, with my feet in the same place I do curls. Switching to the cord under one foot, I do reverse curls. Finally, I stand on it with my feet about 12 inches (30 cm) apart and do wrist curls in both directions. The whole point of forearm stuff is to stave off arthritis; it hits the hands hard rather early if you don’t fight it.

I’ve pretty much hit a plateau on repetitions of most of these exercises. Nothing is less than 12 reps now, even the hill sprints (barring pulled muscles like today). When I hit 20-24 on anything, I shift the positioning and such to make it a little harder. This complements nicely my high tension workout, which I also do once weekly. Of course, most days I’ll do that high-tension stuff with only 3-4 reps of everything and no rest because it’s a great morning warm-up for the whole body and keeps my metabolism high.

About Ed Hurst

Disabled Veteran, prophet of God's Laws, Bible History teacher, wannabe writer, volunteer computer technician, cyclist, Social Science researcher
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