All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.

Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!



I accomplished something this week.  I'm proud of it.

As you know I started back to the gym this year.  I had what seemed like a decent program planned out to lose weight and get in shape.  My main goal was weight loss with a secondary goal of strength and endurance training.

Things started out OK.  OI was going slow at first and getting back into things.  I managed to drop some weight and started toning up the flab.  Clothes started fitting better and I could feel muscle hardening under the fat. 

The plan was to do a series of exercises six days a week.  I had found a guide on the internet and was giving it a shot.  My personal goal with the plan was to build up to 3 sets of 10 reps at a minimum of 200 lbs of weight or better for most of the exercises. 

Of course I didn't start out at that.  I started out with whatever weight I could do 2 sets of 10 reps with.  Every other week I would add 10 to 20 lbs to the weight.  The plan was working pretty good and I was adding weight every other week

Then I plateaued.  Four and a half months into my program I was floundering.  Some of my muscle groups were doing fine, I was improving.  I just couldn't do any more weight with some exercises.  It's not like I was hitting a wall with a 400lb bench press.  I was topping out at way less than I remembered doing when I was 17 years old.   Even more depressingly I stopped losing weight.  I didn't gain any, I stopped losing weight with tons, well not literally tons I didn't let myself go that bad, left to lose.

That's how things went for the last 5 weeks or so.  I floundered around not accomplishing much with my program.  Then I sought out some advice from another old guy, a very buff and fit old guy at the gym.  He encouraged me to try a slightly different approach for 4 to 6 weeks to see if that would help me get back on track.  So I did.

Two weeks after making the change I finally got 200 lbs up on the bench press.  I know that for some of you that sounds just plain sad.  High school me would agree with you and mock me for ever getting so soft.  Old fart me will be very happy doing 3 sets of 10 reps at that weight once a week.

I'm not going to stray from the current plan though.  Until September I'm going to try to build up my strength, not worry if I add bulk and see what my new rep weights look like come fall.  Maybe I can hit 250 or 275 on the bench by then.


  1. It's hard to pull yourself back when you let yourself go so far.


  2. Anonymous1:11 PM

    So what was the change?

  3. Susan2:23 PM

    Count me impressed. You can't really let yourself judge performance based on what you did way back in the day Res. It is self defeating, and you sabotage yourself and your efforts.

    I know your current gym rat status is a bit of a comedown from when you were a high schooler, but most of us could say the same thing about lots of activities that we still partake in.

    Being realistic will also keep you from being foolish and hurting yourself too. Not saying to stop trying, just saying that things are different now and you have to keep that in mind.

  4. I was doing multiple sets of 10 reps. It's great for burning fat and not adding bulk. I was working from light to heavy.

    I changed to a traditional focus on increasing the amount of weight each session and pushing for maximum strength.

    My plan is to go back to the 3 x 10 sets after I hit my target lifting weight. On the bench this looks like:

    3x10 Incline Bench Press @200lbs
    3x10 Decline Bench Press @200lbs
    3x10 Flat Bench Press @200lbs

    There are some problems that I have. The biggest is that my Incline Bench Press sucks. I just can't push the same amount of weight as I can on the decline or flat. I can only do about 75% on the incline of what I can do in the other two positions.

    My other exercises are doing great. My leg press is 3x10 @540lbs. I'm only squatting 3X10 @200lbs because my left knee won't take any more than that. Basically all of my lower body work is doing just fine. I'm either at target or progressing towards it on schedule. Even my lower back is doing great. My upper body was lagging behind. My cardio is behind too, but that is a motivation not a performance issue.