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!



Last year I started blogging about my plan to lose weight and get into better shape.  Not that round isn't a shape.  My program started off OK and I saw results because doing something is better than doing nothing.  I wasn't making the progress that I wanted.  I found a new program and started doing it.  I made tremendous strides and gained strength and lost weight.

By August I had lost 19 lbs and was squatting around 240lbs and getting 205 lbs on the bench press.  Not bad for an old fart.  I think I may have mentioned here that I was putting up more than 4 plates on squats and that I was on track to be squatting more than 10 times my age in weight by my next birthday.  Had I continued making linear progress I was on track to squat more than 600 lbs.

I didn't really expect to keep making linear progress on any of my exercises but I thought I was realistically looking at:

Squat: 480+lbs
Bench Press: 280 lbs
Rows: 205 lbs
Overhead Press: 225 lbs
Deadlifts: 300+ lbs

My time frame for this accomplishment was the second week of March (this week).  I was kicking butt.  Not only was I making great progress with strength building I was losing 1 to 1.5 lbs a week.  I thought I would have dropped a full 50+ lbs in just over 15 months. 

I was on target.  I was getting it done.  I was seeing results and I was psyched.  I was so psyched that on August 18th while doing my chest rows I decided to not rest the barbell on the floor for the 2 mins between sets.  I held a 115lbs weight in the rest position between every set of 5 reps and believe it or not still managed to get all 5 sets in, although the last 3 reps in the last set were VERY painful.

I took a month off, mostly because I couldn't hold a soda without pain shooting up and down my forearm.  After a month I broke down and saw my DR.  I was told take six months off.  I didn't want to do that.  I took 30 more days off and went back the gym.  Bad idea. 

Eventually I listened to the DR. and stayed out of the gym and away from the weights.  Until this month.  I restarted lifting at a reduced weight program designed to test my forearm and get me back lifting.  What that looks like is:

Squat: 225 lbs
Bench Press: 115 lbs
Rows: just the bar
Overhead Press: 115 lbs
Deadlifts: just the bar

Normally I get off work late and there isn't anyone around at the gym, or if they are they are finishing up and going home.  I have the place to myself.  Tonight I got off work 2hrs early.  Tonight there were young guys in the gym and fat chicks who only come after the serious gym rats go home.  Tonight I had an audience, who saw me working out with just a barbell.  Even the fat chicks stopped to stare.  Having the guys shake their head was bad enough.  Having women do it too...

I've got one more work out on Thursday at the reduced weights.  If that goes well, I'll be able to start adding weight on Sunday.  If I keep from re-hurting myself, I should make this years goal, next year. 


  1. Stilicho8:29 AM

    Injuries suck. Period. But there are often work-arounds that will keep you in the gym until you're ready to get back to your regular program. One of these is the use of dumbells. You typically have to use less weight than you would with a barbell, but you can compensate with more sets and reps. You'll often find marked improvements when you return to using barbells. If the gripping on rowing/pulling exercises is causing the problem, use wrist straps to take away the need to grip as much until you can return to your regular form. Don't be afraid to use machines (like Hammerstrength bench... no grip needed... just push with heel of hand...). Some may have to give up, but you can still focus on the ones that you can do until you heal (e.g. focus on squats while waiting for arm to heal).

  2. Susan8:48 AM

    Sounds like the fat chicks were probably checking you out as possible fresh game to chase.

    Gotta be careful of those women. Remember the old Steve McQueen monster movie called The Blob? That critter had staying power and you just could not get rid of it.

  3. Stilicho, I couldn't pick up a 20 oz glass of water with my right hand without serious pain. if I took a week off then I could pick stuff up but as soon as I started lifting anything the pain was back.

    You are right about the other machines. I should have done cardio or leg press or whatever and kept some kind of progress going. As it was I got discouraged and gained back the 19 lbs plus 7 more. With watching my diet and doing some exercises I've lost the 7lbs extra that I gained but I'm just now back to what I was Jan 2014.

    I'm doing 3 things different this year:

    1. I'm focusing more on diet.
    2. I'm adding cardio
    3. I'm looking at buying a bike and adding an AM ride to help boost my daily activity.

    Sounds like the fat chicks were probably checking you out as possible fresh game to chase.

    I'd like to tell myself that, but I know disgust when I see it. Girly girls can lift the bar, a grown man should be able to do a lot more.

    1. Susan5:17 PM

      Are you sure? Fat chicks have no disgust or shame. That is a big part of their problem. But hey, you just stick with your restart program, and don't hurt yourself again.

      Because the next time, you might not bounce back from it with just a time out period. Probably the hardest thing to accept about hitting the 5th decade is the fact that you don't bounce back like you used to.

  4. What was wrong with you? Tendinitis?

    1. I tore some arm muscle and pulled/stressed tendons in my right forearm.

  5. Gaining the weight back is the worst part. I think that's what I like the most about the Fast5... out of all the diets and workouts I've tried, it seems to be the best method to keep the weight off. Without all the extra fat, physical activity is easier and enjoyable.

    Of course, gaining muscle would be great if I made the time to go to the gym... congratulations on your determination.

    1. In my case not working out because of the injury turned into me not trying because I wasn't doing what I wanted. Had I used the time to focus on diet or do cardio instead I wouldn't have gained it all back plus some.

      As a middle aged guy, lifting some weights changes your body composition which is great, but it also gives you a boost in other ways too, and makes it easier to stay with a program because you feel good.