Last night at 10 PM, I headed down to the gym to kick my own ass for a while. I was focusing on my arms, so I started with some rowing, which just gets my arms warmed up and my heart rate going, and then headed over to the assisted dip/pullup machine. I’ve been getting really good at pushing myself on that machine, and on the dips, I managed to do an entire set at level 8 (which means I was dipping about 80 pounds). Last year, when I thought I was pretty fit, I was at level 14 – go me!
However, when I switched over to assisted pullups (I rotate the two exercises for three sets each), I found I had to really add on the assisted pounds. To successfully complete a set of assisted pullups, I needed to be at level 12, and even then, I could just barely do it.
From there, I moved on to the side lateral raise machine. I do this one in rotation with the shoulder press (which I realize is a bit silly because they both work the shoulder, but whatever). On round one, I had no weight on the machine, because the base is ten pounds and that was enough to get a burn going. On round two, I added five pounds, and found that by rep ten my form was deteriorating, so I had to drop back down to ten pounds. While on the shoulder press machine that was next to the lateral raise, some totally jacked guy came over and asked to rotate in, which I gladly agreed to. He proceeded to throw on 200 or so pounds for his set before passing it off to me.
I was mortified to have to pull the pin out of the 200-some odd region he had it in and take it out entirely – only to not even be able to complete my set of 15 reps. What. The. Hell. Why are my shoulders so weak? How can my arms be so imbalanced? I headed up to my room to watch television while doing lateral raises with two pound weights in each hand. I figured if I did 200 of those (four sets of 50), it might build some endurance so that I could work up to the five pounds in each hand required for 45 reps (three sets of 15) necessary to do it in the gym. No muscle aches yet, but it normally takes 24 hours for the initial soreness to set in, and then I hit peak soreness about 48 hours after my workout.
Anyone else face an extreme imbalance in muscles like I do? I find it fascinating that my biceps/shoulders are so weak, when those are pretty functional muscles, while my triceps seem to be really strong, and I’d consider those to be muscles I don’t really use much in everyday life. It would seem that the best way for me to pick something up or carry it is to hold it behind my head…