Friday, March 2, 2012

Men in Black

It has been an interesting last few months. On might say a painful experience, a pain in the neck.

During the summer I hit my head and compressed my C5-C6 disc. A life changing experience. Short term, the last 6 months, has seen me grumpy due to all the inflammation in my neck and shoulders. No relief from Chiropractors. Massage therapy lasted an hour. More beer and Snickers.

Financial worry always come to mind when one is not working. What if I can't work doing what I love to do. I told myself stiff neck or not, come March, I'm going back to work. What else could I do. Some told me you just to have to deal with the pain.

I have given up Disc Golf and taken up weight training. I ask myself, did 35 years of the twisting motion do me in or just old age at 57. I now walk around conscientiously thinking about not hitting my head. A concept I will need to follow for the rest of my life along with staying in shape and watching my diet.

In once since I'm lucky, it could be worse. While the space between the joint is almost gone I have no nerve issues. My recent diet changes and exercise program feel like they are helping. I have seen a noticeable reduction in the inflammation. Most days it's gone although this morning being 63 degrees here in the office I feel a bit stiff. After this blogging I will do my exercises.

I had always hoped taking a vacation in January to visit my folks up in my home town of Seattle would give me the rest needed to heal me up. In one way it did but not how I had expected. More life changes. A new life in a gym or at least that was my personal trainer's wished.

Back in the early 90's I was having a back issue. Not sure how it happened but I joined Golds Gym and found Lee Ramos, an aspiring professional body builder and trainer. Lee did wonders for me and I had a pain free, competitive Disc Golf season and memorable carrier reaching a ranking of one of the top 100 in my division. Thanks Lee.

After 3 months in the gym with Lee

Days of wearing white

I had always kept my time with Lee in the back of my mind and thought how great it would be if I could bring him here to Kingston and train us all. I thought that maybe while is Seattle I would look him up again. You Tube was the answer.

Arm Training by Lee Ramos - YouTube - Lee Ramos Profile and Pics!

Lee was not easy to find. I stopped by the old Gold gym and they sent me to another gym. He was not there either and their referral also came up empty. Back on the web I found W8 Lift  W8LIFT Personal Training Studio  I sent the owner, Dave Brinkman, an email and a few days later I had a message in my in box, Tom, give me a call TeamLeeRamos

W8 Lift was only only 3 miles from my folks downtown Bellevue Apartment. I set up a consulting appointment with Lee at 9 am. Lee asked me to come back at 7 pm and we would begin. Begin what I asked? Circuit training. Huh? OK!

I borrowed a Nike outfit from my dad, Satomi the camera, and off we went.

Lee started me off with 10 minutes on the tread mill and then ran me through 90 minutes in the gym. How do I do that again? It all felt so foreign to me. I was clumsy and only using 5 pounds weights, gee, what a wimp.

Tread Mill

First Stretch

Second Stretch

Assisted Hamstring Stretch

Never in my life have I felt a stretch like this. Literally took my breath way. I thought Lee was going to ripe my muscle from my bones. He pushed harder. Ahhhh! Then he did the other leg. Ok now get on the floor and we re going to do your   Gluteus Maximus.

Ahhhh! stop, stop......
My breath returned again.

Actually when he was done my legs felt good. I don't think I would trust anyone else but Lee to do these kind of moves on me.

So now it's on to the flat bench and leg lifts to work the abs and back

Another Abs routine
From here we moved over to the Incline Bench for a series of dumbell routines to work the arms and shoulders. Head back looking up. Lee's method here was to give my neck support while doing the moves. This head postion is also part of the new techniques being used. For me to isolate the specific muscle being worked along with something I didn't quite grasp about nerves. A clarification question I will have to ask.

Side Dumbbell Raises, 3 reps of ten

Tom, stop here

Working the Biceps

I think this is called a Front Dumb Bell Press for the shoulders

I had hoped Satomi could have documented all the moves and routines to help me remember them all but earlier in the day I had been messing with the camera settings and we were moving through them so quickly that she was only able to document a portion of them. 

More Stretching

On to the legs
More legs
The Triceps
And last, the Lat Pull Down machine.

Without a gym in Kingston it is up to me. I will fill you in more in a future post.

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