Tuesday, February 9, 2021

New Space, New Workout

 The last few months I've been working on my basement. The 1960s paneling and horridly worn and musty carpet had to go. I improved the lighting, reinsulated, hung drywall and installed vinyl plank flooring. The space feels much more open and useful. I'm now getting set back up down there. 

Yes, I'm still part teenager.

I moved my murder of electric guitars (I think a group of guitars should also be called a "murder" just as with crows; counting, black or otherwise) back to the basement from my room and have set up a drum kit I bought shortly post-divorce. In the interest of being thrifty, I added a free couch and chair. 

I like neither the couch nor chair and have already relocated the chair to college housing. I even delivered it for the kid. The same will occur for the couch when spring shows up.  Really, furniture improvements are needed throughout the house, but it's one of those things I can be patient about.

Behold the shortlived chair and fugly, the couch

I'm mostly interested in keeping the basement an active space. For Christmas, which was shortly after the painting and flooring were installed, I bought a ping-pong table for the kids and I to enjoy. We mostly play some form of winner stays, alternating the losing player out for another. My son and I tend to play more casually. My daughter usually has her "game face" on and has taken most of the wins so far methinks.

They are here to Pump. You up!

Lastly, I set up a small workout area complete with cardio (old school fan bike), weights and suspension trainer and a few other accessories such as this fancy Stealth core trainer planking board that lets you play planking-related games on your phone to distract you from the hellfire sadistically (but voluntarily) imparted your core.

I picked up an inexpensive weight bench with a pull cable assembly a few years ago. It had mostly collected dust; then Covid hit. I had it in the garage over the summer. I'd get some lifting in before or after a walk/run. The cold weather and finished basement also allowed me to move this indoors. 

The initial setup was only meant to pull weight down; as in lat pulldowns and triceps extensions. In my motivation to augment my workout setup I bought an additional cable and pulley. Removing the leg curl portion (who uses that anyway when you have a Swiss ball and lunges) I installed the pulley in it's place. This has allowed me to clip the extra cable and add seated rows, curls, weighted side bends and even front cable squats to the mix. 

I also picked up some different grips, including a triceps rope and single hand grips. Variety is the spice of life when it comes to working out!  I do have to say I think the favorite addition though has been the suspension trainer. Really, it just hangs from the wall but the burn from the chest presses, rows, squats, curls, extensions etc. is great. Also, being at least a late spring/early summer chicken now, I tend to prefer the body weight exercises. They seems to be less risky on the joints and help me feel comfortable moving in my own skin. It also keeps me from trying to lift like I'm still in college. That type of lifting just leads to more "setbacks", largely on account of my crappy right shoulder and various levels of back and knee pain.

yep, pretty much. From The Best TRX Exercises For Beginners | Fitness | MyFitnessPal

The workout most recently has been to alternate between the bike and each of my lifts. I've been using playlists with songs of three to five minutes. I'll pedal for one song and then do, say, my chest exercises; super-setting with a core abdominal/back. I keep moving and get in 3-ish sets of 12-ish reps. When that song is up I'll hop back on the bike. I try not to slack off and find myself huffing and puffing usually into the second biking. 

While not as social, I'm definitely enjoying being able to play my music without headphones, sip ice water from a cup, and even work out without a shirt on. 

Maybe my favorite part is my cooldown. It makes for an interesting challenge to get all hot and tired and then try to play double kick rolls and rock out like Animal on the drums.

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