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Your Backup Hobby
I set up a homemade backstop, and fired about 100 rounds today. It’s a break barrel, and if I shot 100 rounds every day I’d end up with arms like Popeye.
By December, I purchased a cheap set of resistance bands, but they weren't ideal. Many of the exercises require a stable post or pillar, and the only qualified items inside my house are structural support posts encased in thin wood paneling. So the pillars were okay for light resistance, but as my strength improved, I worried that I break the wood. Also, the bands are not a great alterative to weights. The resistance is negligible until you approach full extension, so you don't activate your muscles fully through the whole range of movement. It has finally gotten warm of enough where I can start using the clothesline posts in my backyard to anchor the resistance bands, but there is still the limited range of resistance.
So I have been walking. I have always walked to the grocery store, which is a half mile round trip plus some carrying some weight. But last winter, I started doing a one-mile walk which gradually stretched to a 2.5 mile walk, two or three times per week. But it's time-consuming and not very challenging, so I plan to resume running this week. And my second dose of Pfizer should reach full efficacy by this coming weekend, so I will finally return to the gym.
I had a nightmare last night about the gym, revealing my underlying anxiety about going back. The gym actually re-opened last fall, but I saw in the news that there was a cluster of COVID cases traced back to that location, and I think there was a second shut down in November. I assume there will be hassles like wearing a mask and wiping down equipment after each set. Hopefully the pool will be open, but maybe the hot tub and sauna will still be shut down. Though fully vaccinated, the idea of being around a bunch of sweaty people is worrisome, and I am definitely uneasy about the prospect of dealing with a moderately crowded locker room. When I have driven past in recent months, the parking lot is often about 75% full, as opposed to 90% before the pandemic.
Keep up the good work.
You're right about the meditative aspects - it's a challenge (for me at least) to stay still enough to give the gun a chance to hit the target. Air rifle shooting also has an aspect I haven't seen in gunpowder plinking - all pellets are not created equal, and you'll have to find the ones your gun likes.
CranBerries wrote: For a long time air rifles were one of my "special interests." I love the meditative aspect of it, that you have to slow your breathing to make the shot. Utah air guns is down the street from me and everything there costs $1,000. It's like what happened to bicycles. There's also a slingshot scene now where custom builds with exotic materials cost $400.
I might order some of the really expensive pellets, just to hear what they sound like when they go transonic. My gun is supposed to be able to shoot a light pellet that fast, although conventional wisdom I've been reading says that transonic is bad for accuracy - the pellet is just close enough to the speed of sound that it will tumble when it slows down to below the speed of sound.
As for the cost, I think everything is like that. There are cheap products out there, then there are decent ones, then you're spending big bucks for marginal improvements. I've got a bunch of shitty $20 fishing reels, and a really nice $100 one. The limitations of the $100 one haven't made themselves apparent yet, so right now I'm good. The same with the air rifle - if I ever get to the limit of my equipment, maybe I'll buy a better one, or maybe I'll take up welding instead.
Side note: I read yesterday that .22 LR cartridges are hard to find, and expensive if you can find them at all. Supply and demand and all that.
This weekend I made a pull-up assist device. For whatever reason my triceps are strong enough that I can do weighted dips, but my biceps need help. I was using resistance bands but the problem I was running into is that the assistance they provide is not constant over the range of motion of the exercise. They give a lot of help at the bottom (when they are stretched out) but progressively less as I’d get to the top (as they contract). And I needed more help at the top. Thus: device. Has a cable running through two pulleys; weights attach to one end, a stirrup to the other. Provides constant tension through the whole RoM, and can be very specifically weighted (with microplates if necessary) to provide just enough assistance. Goes on and off the rack in under a minutes. I’m not super handy or mechanical so it felt pretty good.
There are certain exercises that I have been missing at the gym. I'm a big fan of the assisted pullup and dip station, though I can do unassisted sets of pullups when I'm in peak condition. I also really miss this one machine where I sit down and lean back against weight resistance. It is an excellent workout for the lower back, and nothing that I am able to do at home works as well. And swimming in general.
I found deadlifts, Romanian in particular, have been great for my lower back. Suitcase carries are good too.
I also really miss this one machine where I sit down and lean back against weight resistance. It is an excellent workout for the lower back
I think once I move back to the US next summer I'm just going to buy a dumbbell set, bench, and pullup/dip rack. And get the oldest boy to do it with me. He'll be turning 13 next year. I've got the room to get a full set up to 50 lbs without much problem.
Hopefully the dumbbells work better for you.
The real game changer though is Tempo. My wife got it for me for Christmas. It’s similar to Mirror, Peloton and all that with an on-screen trainer and a proprietary weight set (extremely nice DB/BB with plates). I’m going about an hour a day on it almost every day and it is outstanding. The station gives you some form feedback, counts reps, measures heart rate, and has leaderboards but it’s really amazing how having a coach on screen saying stupid motivational shit actually works. The classes and instructors are generally very good to excellent and some of the classes are are absolutely diabolical. There are some great boxing classes and Yoga is coming soon apparently.
I’m not lifting huge weight but I’ve increased quite a lot since I started it in January. Sometimes the weight recommendations are wack (sorry machine I am not shoulder pressing 85lbs yet) but it tracks everything. To date I’ve lifted 380k lbs and burned 28k calories over 130 workouts.
Music selection is decent, it has a a few stations and you can also BT whatever you want.
Downside is price. The station is big bucks and it takes a while to get due to supply issues. It’s $39 a month and that includes unlimited live and recorded classes. There is a bench, a kettlebell, and a squat rack coming that I’m the waiting list for.
I'm still doing squats, I just shifted from an o-bar trying to do 200+ lbs to holding a 50 lbs dumbbell in each hand. I think it was the balancing act plus trying to push the limit every time that killed me. The stronglift app also had you doing squats every session. Also I like to listen to podcasts when lifting. If there isn't enough time for a new one finishing off with music.
Shellhead wrote: Squats punish you for bad form. I only did them when I was supervised by a personal trainer, and gave them up soon after my training sessions were used up. Other than counting reps, l like to let my mind wander while I am lifting and can't be bothered with close attention to form. I usually stick to machines or simple movements.
Back when I started lifting I was trying a paleo thing and the whole community was gaga for olympic lifts. I've shifted my opinion to thinking dumbbells are; safer, less overhead, cheaper, and require much less machinery to do safely. That and I spent some time chatting with a flight attendant who wanted to become a fitness trainer, on the tarmac for two hours. He was totally buff and spending his life in quarantine (three days in LA, fly to Guangzhou, two weeks there, fly to LA repeat ad nauseum) and he said he just did dumbbells.