At Home In the Gym
|Old Man Winter provided the mid-Atlantic region with a fast moving Alberta
clipper that dumped just enough of the white stuff on us so that both my
school system and the one my kids attend cancelled classes today. It was a
bittersweet announcement. Sure, I got to spend the day with my kids, but our
Wednesday basketball session was not to be. Wednesdays are little more low
key within our pick-up league because not as many guys show up. So it's possible to stay on the court for the whole hour and a half before work. I
decided to get back into the home gym I created in my sunroom and move my
free-weight around some. It has been almost one week since I had done any
weightlifting due to an injured thumb, excessive exhaustion, and lack of
scheduled time to get it done.
As most people know, fitness goals can be reached by a combination of three strategies: eating right, which might include cutting calories and carbs, a good cardio workout to raise heart rate levels and increase metabolism, and strength training, which increases muscle mass. Building muscle has a longer positive affect on metabolism than cardio does, and muscle mass helps burn fat as a result of that raised metabolism. I need to do all three to burn fat, increase muscle mass, and become more fit. The scale might not show improvements through weight loss because muscle weighs more than fat. But I weigh myself every morning anyway to act as a deterrent to weight gain and motivator to exercise. Today, I arrived back at my usual benchmark: 178.
I don't know much about what NBA and college level athletes do in the
weight room to become better basketball players. But I use mental imagery as I work out to get better movement and form during weight lifting. As I lift, I imagine certain muscles gaining in size, and in turn, I know that I will be more effective on the basketball court tomorrow. As I continue to develop this journal, I'll include examples of the weightlifting-basketball connection. I can only provide suggestions coming from my own experiences, but if you have stories, comments, or suggestions you would like to share, or if you have a question, drop me an email, and I'll post it here on the journal. Maybe we can help each other get fit, get fast, and feel better about our appearance and performance on and off the court.
Thanks for stopping by.
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The concentration curl is a good
|Exercise one: Bicep curl.
Seems to me like along with abs, biceps are the holy grail of bodybuilding. Every superhero we grew up with, every pro wrestler, every sports star, sports massive guns. So the bicep curl is one of the fundamental moves that we'll have to integrate into our workout. It's not the only bicep exercise in the regimen, but it's one of the first I execute. I like to warm up with a small weight first to get blood flowing. A standing bicep curl with arms outstretched helps isolate the muscle, and with good form, you can see the improvements you've made right at the start of your work out. With a thirty second rest, I go to the first round of free weight with the standing bicep curls. The weights start in front of me with palms out. Keeping elbows stationary, I bring the weight up. Since this is my first lighter set, I try to execute 10 to 12 repetitions. As I add weight throughout the workout, I'll lower the number of reps in a "pyramid" fashion.
The bicep provides a strong dribble as well as a powerful shot, which you'll need if you're going to attempt any three points shots. The triceps, located
along the back of the upper arm, are also critical in making a good shot from the perimeter, so be sure to strengthen both during your work out.
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