Workout #6 (with Bernard)

My third session with Bernard, and so far, the toughest one of all. I think it’s because today focused on arms and shoulders, and I have a feeling that is where I am weakest.


Exercise group 1. I started out seated on a bench doing shoulder presses with a 20 lb. free weight in each hand. I was barely able to complete the set. One thing I noticed right away was that, while both my arms and shoulders were pretty weak, my left arm is noticably weaker than my right arm. It often seemed to lag behind and had a hard time catching up, as though it were stubborn and had a mind of its own. That was followed by a set of bicep curls. I tried the 20 lb. free weights for that and had to switch almost immediately to a lighter weight. I ended up using 15 lbs. on the shoulder presses and 12 lbs. on the bicep curls. And I still struggled. Finally, the group cycle was rounded off with a set of 20 crunches. I’m really working my abs! Repeat the whole cycle 3 times and we move on to…

Exercise group 2. This was the easiest of all of the groups today. It involved a set of shoulder lifts with 8 lbs. (yes, eight!) free weights, where you stand straight and raise your arms out to your sides so that they are parallel to the ground. That was followed by the funniest-named machine of the day, the “seated dip”. This involves sitting on a seat, grabbing the handles at your side, and pushing down until your arms are straight, and then coming back up until your upper arms are parallel with the ground. I think I was doing 45 lbs. on this but I am not certain. Last in the set was jump rope. For some reason today, I got the rope caught on my foot a few times. That didn’t happen the last time. The number of jumps increased by 10 each set, beginning with 30. Repeat the whole cycle 3 times and we move on to…

Exercise group 3. The toughest group of all. The first exercise was easy; it was the pec-fly machine and even at 30 lbs, it was no real strain. That made me feel good, and I needed it! Next was the toughest exercise of the day: bicep curls, using a weighed bar, while standing on a dome-shaped thing that was like the top-half of a large beach ball. You have to keep your balance while you do the curls. The curls were hard enough with my weak arms; keeping my balance made it even harder. Apparently, however, the balance exercises work muscles that help to strengthen your core. The group was capped by a set of jumping jacks. Repeat the whole cycle three times and we move on to…

Exercise group 4. A set on the pull-down machine, which is a machine that I worked on in my last workout. This works your triceps. After that was a tough one: with a mere 8 lbs of free weights in each hand, you keep your back straight against a surface, head back and, palms down, extend your arms out in front of you. Twelve reps of these and I thought my arms (particularly my left arm, which constantly lagged behind) was going to go on strike. Last but not least, more abs using the exercise ball. Those were actually much easier today than 2 days ago, and the reps were 20 on each set. Repeat the whole cycle three times, and we move on to…

The stretching at the end, which is always a relief. It was a good workout, but a tough one. Clearly my arm strength is virtually non-existent. Stay tuned to see if it improves.

My next two sessions with Bernard have been scheduled: 6 AM Wednesday morning and 4 PM Thursday afternoon. In the meantime, I’m to try and get in some cardio everyday and, “go easy on the carbs.”