Progress Report: the Fifth Month

Five whole months of weight training. It’s been a bit of a blur. I still can’t believe I started this journey and that I’ve been able to keep it up so well.

This month was a bit weird. Holidays, neck injuries, scheduling difficulties… I guess this is “real life” creeping in. I’ll have to learn to do a better job of staying motivated and on task, especially since I’ll be away for two months this winter and on my honor to keep the routine going. Trainer Nick wrote me out a week’s worth of workouts and that, coupled with this blog, should give me plenty of material to work with. It’s just up to me to show up and do the work.

Before & after

Here’s my customary measurement reference table:

Metric This month Last month Beginning
Bicep 11″ 11″ 10.5″
Forearm 9.5″ 9.5″ 9″
Calf 13″ 13″ 14″
Thigh 21″ 21″ 18.5″
Neck 14.5″ 14.5″ 14″
Chest 36.5″ 36.5″ 36″
Waist 32″ 32″ 33″

Well, no HELLA GAINZ this month. Everything stayed the same. At least nothing went away (or got bigger in the case of the waist). It’s a little disappointing but understandable: there were lots of cancelled sessions this month due to injury and holidays and such. Seeing it all in a table like this really makes me want to ramp things up for month number 6.

How I look

I think one indicator of progress is that my wife tells me several times a day how good I look. I think another (possibly bigger) indicator is that I look at my self several times a day and think I look really good.

I like that I’ve removed some of the dietary restrictions I had before and my body has pretty much kept up. The holidays are always difficult, especially when I go home. I’ll be extra sure I do good and I’m looking forward to that first gym trip with my dad!

How I feel

I still feel really great. I think that “comfortable being uncomfortable” thing is really kicking in. We just had a doozy of a temperature drop here in Nebraska and I think I handled all the stress of it all a lot better than I used to.

That last HIIT with Trainer Nick was incredible. I felt so good. I could tell I really needed some good cardio and I’m learning more how to isolate the muscles in my neck to avoid injury. There’s some pretty sizable knots at the base of my skull that I need to work on but I’m doing much better overall.

Purely subjective details

Since last month, I’ve noticed the following:

  • I’ve been playing guitar wrong. I’ve had some elbow issues and I discovered it’s because I hold my guitar wrong when I play. I’ve been trying to stretch and correct my form. Wouldn’t have noticed without that body awareness.
  • Dance is easier. Speaking of body awareness, when my wife gives me dance lessons, I can hang with it and figure out what I’m doing wrong much easier instead of getting frustrated. I also feel a lot more centered over my feet.

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