Summer of Fitness 6: Treading Water

Well it’s clear at this point in the Summer of Fitness that I won’t be reaching my goal weight by the end of the summer. It’s been six weeks, and I have yet to break out of the upper 240s in weight. This week’s weigh-in was no exception:

  • Today’s Weigh-In: 248.4 lbs
  • Last Week’s Weigh-In: 247.4 lbs
  • Weight Change: +1 lb
  • Overall SoF Weigh Change after 6 Weeks: -3.2 lbs
  • Average Calories Eaten per Day: 3339

Here’s the weight goal chart in all its annoying glory:

The only solace (slim as it is) that one can find in this is the fact that my Wife claims my upper chest looks more toned (I don’t see it, but then, I never see it), so perhaps I’m adding muscle as well. Frankly, it’s not exercise that is my problem, it’s the amount and kinds of food I eat. Clearly I need to focus myself if I’m going to get down at least into the 230s by the end of summer.

Since I promised this last week, I’ve included a narrative about my weight-lifting program below, for those that are curious or interested. For those not, you can skip it. Cheers.


The fitness routine I use was designed by a former student fitness trainer at Central Michigan University’s Student Activity Center back in 2009. It’s a program built, so far as I can tell, around consistently varying the reps and weight of sets during lifting to overcome plateauing and build in variety (from day to day and week to week I am never doing the exact same exercise). The specific exercises are also interchangeable with other similar ones, so if I ever do get bored with one exercise, I can substitute another. In the close to two years I’ve been working with this program, I’ve never gotten bored of it, so I guess that’s a testament to…something.

My little black workout book, in which I keep track of the weights, reps during sets, length, and other data that amuses me. Yes, I'm a historian, and I'm anal. Deal with it.

Having used it so long, I also have some fairly detailed records on what kind of progress I’ve made (or not made, depending upon your point of view). Looking in my little black exercise book, I can see for instance that when I first started, I could only do 65-75 lbs on the Front Pulldown machine at the highest reps (12-15). Earlier this week, it was around 100 lbs.

The lifting consists of four targeted days, each with a specific focus on a set of muscles, and each session is supposed to be followed by cardio of some sort (I don’t always do this, depending on time constraints). As such, these workouts take me about 1.5 hours, give or take. On off days, I am supposed to do more cardio by itself (this, as well, I don’t always do…). In total, the program is on a fourteen week cycle. Weeks 1-4, the reps are set at 12-15 per set. For weeks 5-9, the reps are 8-12 per set. And for weeks 10-14, the reps are 6-8 per set. Weight is increased during individual sets (with three sets per exercise) and also with each jump in reps. If you’re curious, I have transcribed the program below. If you have any questions, I’m happy to help (keeping in mind that I’m not a fitness trainer whatsoever). A notation of (m) means that exercise is done on a machine, not free-weight.

Day 1: Back and Biceps

  1. Front Pulldown (m)
  2. Standing Bicep Curl
  3. Dumbbell Rows
  4. Seated Incline Curl
  5. Cable Rows or High Row (m)
  6. Cable Curl or Machine Curl (m)
  7. Crunches (started w/ 100)
  8. Leg Raises (started w/ 30)

Day 2: Shoulders and Triceps

  1. Seated Shoulder Press
  2. Skull Crushers (EZ Curl or DB)
  3. Seated Lateral Raises
  4. Flat Dumbbell Extensions
  5. Bent Over Rear Lateral Raises
  6. Rope Press Downs (m)
  7. Rope Crunches (m)
  8. Decline Leg Lifts (started w/ 30)

Day 3: Legs

  1. Squats of V-Squat (m)
  2. Leg Press (m)
  3. Seated Leg Curls (m)
  4. Straight Leg Dead Lifts
  5. Leg Extensions (m)
  6. Standing or Seated Calf Raises
  7. Leg Press Calf Raises (m)
  8. Rope Side Crunches (m)
  9. Cybex Side Crunches (m)

Day 4: Chest

  1. Incline Bench Press
  2. Hammer Curls
  3. Flat Dumbbell Press or Dips
  4. Pronated Wrist Curls
  5. Flat Dumbbell Flyes
  6. Supinated Wrist Curls
  7. Decline Twist w/ Ball
  8. Single Arm Top Cable Crunch (m)

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