Since I have been sidelined one thing has become obvious: I have lost not only my overall level of strength, but I have also lost my strength endurance. Of the two, the endurance is the greater loss.
According to NASM it is:
The ability to repeatedly produce higher levels of force for relatively prolonged periods.
It is carrying grocery bags, vacuuming floors, mopping kitchens, weeding gardens, carrying toddlers- without getting tired and resting. It is the most basic and necessary level of fitness.
We use it every day. And I’ve lost it.
Fortunately, it is also an easy level of strength to train: find a weight that I can perform 12-15 reps to and do 3-4 sets of every exercise with full-body workout. Rinse and repeat 3 times a week.
Now, I’m not talking little pink dumb bells unless that’s the only weight you can use. When you/I hit 12 reps of a move the mind should be saying: OK, we can quit now. The body should still be able to give 2-3 more good reps. And this is a unique level of training, in that when I can DO the 15 reps, instead of increasing the weight, I will continue to increase the reps. 15/18/21/25 reps until the end of the month.
Remarkably, my STRENGTH is still rather high (doing 65# bench press and dead lifts here, and 50# rows) even though my endurance is shot. Lowering to a lighter weight would NOT be beneficial-the idea is to tire the muscles out in that 12-15 rep range so that the endurance comes back.
For the next 4 weeks this means, three days a week of:
- Full Body Exercise: Step up To Press 3 sets of 15(18/21/25) with 15# DB.
- Chest: Chest Press 65#BB (or 25#DB) for 3 sets of 15(18/21/25)
- Back: Standing 1 arm cable rows 50# for 3 sets of 15(18/21/25)
- Back:Lat Pulls 50# for 3 sets of 15(18/21/25)
- Triceps: Pull downs 30# for 3 sets of 15(18/21/25).
- Legs: Single leg Leg Press 25# for 3 sets of 15(18/21/25).
- Legs: Ball Wall Squats 3 sets of 15(18/21/25).