Fitness By the Book

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It’s almost been a year since I started with Trainer. Although I was smart enough to apply duct tape to the front and back covers of my workout journal early on, I did it only from the “comb binding” outward, instead of taking the entire thing apart and covering even the innermost part of the pages.


An example of comb binding.

Which is, of course, the area subject to the most wear and tear, and thus was the first to give way. Last night I noticed that the front cover was hanging on by a single nub, so I mournfully put it out of its misery by tearing it off. And to make it a matching set, I removed the back cover as well.

Then I leafed through some of the early pages.

I don’t think I look much different than I did in January 2013. I’ve had to give away shirts and sweaters that were becoming too snug across the chest and shoulders, but if you were to look at any “before” and “after” comparison photos, I don’t think there’d be a ton of difference. (Of course, I didn’t take an actual “before” photo, so there’s no visual benchmark to measure from.)

There are several hundred pounds’ worth of difference, though. Comparing what I was capable of then to what I’m pulling off now reinforces the progress I’ve made in less than a year.

Triceps overhead extension

Jan. 21: 15 pounds (3 sets of 15)
Dec. 2: 45 pounds (3 sets of 15)

Leg press

Jan. 23: 90 pounds (3 sets of 12)
Dec. 4: 450 pounds (3 sets of 12)

Shoulder press

Jan. 30: 30/40 pounds (1 set of 12 /2 sets of 12)
Dec. 27: 90/110/120 pounds (each: 1 set of 12)

Biceps curl

Jan. 28: 20 pounds with E-Z bar (3 sets of 10)
Dec. 23: 50 pounds with straight bar (3 sets of 10)

Reverse-grip lat pull

Jan. 28: 40/50 pounds (1 set of 12 / 2 sets of 12)
Nov. 27: 120/140 pounds (2 sets of 12 / 1 set of 12)

Decline press

Jan. 21: 20/30 pounds (1 set of 12 /2 sets of 12)
Nov. 20: 50/60/70 pounds (1 set of 10/8/6)


Jan. 21: 15 pounds (3 sets of 15)
Nov. 20: 60/70/80 pounds (1 set of 15/12/10)

Q: So, do you have REALLY RIPPED ABS now?
A: Yes, but only because they sell this product at Walgreens:


It actually smells
kind of good.

But in real life, no, there’s no six-pack yet, largely because I still like to opt for pasta instead of brown rice occasionally, or a vanilla Frosty instead of fruit. Luckily, I have no plans of becoming a fitness model anytime soon. Or ever.

In the meanwhile, I’ve Franken-fied my workout journal by spiral-binding it along its right side to replace the worn-out comb binding. After all, inside it still has room to log 23 more weeks’ worth of sessions with Trainer.


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