What with one thing and another, we haven't made it to the gym in the last couple of weeks.
Well, actually ... make that the last couple of months.
Oh, all right, if we are being honest and all, the last couple of years.
It's not like I've been sitting on the couch all that time. I weigh the same. I have a couple barbells at home, a chinning bar, punching bag, the little strider machine, and there's silat and walking the dogs and all. I worked up several ways to use muscle-against-muscle resistance and walls and chairs, and have been doing that. I have lost a little muscle mass, and I know I'm not as strong as I was. Last time one of the Italians came to silat class, he used more muscle than he he should and he had some to spare. Back in the day, I'd have just shoved him around. This time, I had to depend on technique. Which is what you train for, of course, to be able to overcome pure strength with skill, but, of course, I want it all.
Older you get, the harder that is to pull off.
Two years back, my wife started taking yoga teacher training. After she finished the course and passed the test to be certified, she started teaching classes, and going to work the iron and machines at the local rec center kind of fell off the radar.
So we decided to rejoin, now that things have settled down a bit. Kind of spendy for Parks & Rec -- living in the district sets us back us eight dollars a month each, with the senior discount. Not many gym bunnies in spandex, mostly older folks in sweats. You go there to work out, not to be seen. There's a pretty good weight room, and another room full of bikes, walkers, and stair climbers for aerobics. Basketball gym at the end of the hall, and a baseball and soccer field out back.
Friday nights are not busy. There were three other people in the weight room with us, and maybe five in the aerobics room.
Tonight was the first session in two years. Couple things I noticed: First, I hadn't lost as much strength as I thought. After than long a lay-off, I knew better than to try and push my former maximum reps on anything; but I didn't have any particular trouble doing sets with 75-80% of those weights. So you can maintain a certain base level with less than full gear. (Things like lat pull downs, I wasn't worried about, since I do bodyweight chins or pull-ups every other day.)
Second thing was, my endurance was less than it was. I got tired quicker. Half an hour, I was done. We went to the book store afterward and at one point when I sat on the floor to check out the books on a bottom rack, my triceps were really weak when I shoved off to get back on my feet.
Twice a week is probably going to be what I can manage doing full body workouts. Be interesting to see if I can regain the strength I had, or improve on it. At this stage, I don't want to be tearing ligaments or muscles or burning up my joints, so I ain't going down the heavy iron road in any case.