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I started an organized program of weight lifting on January 16, 2005. I read here how most people who take up lifting as a New Year's resolution quit by Valentine's day. I'm still around, and there's been some newer newbies than me show up since I started.

Recap for the folks who haven't followed my history. I started lifting at the tender age of 49, with no social support or sports history. I bought equipment and lift at home, with no gym membership and no trainer. I made extensive use of internet resources and some use of books to figure out what I was doing. It can be done.

A year ago, I lifted weights that I wouldn't post because they were embarassingly low. I'll post some of them now, for comparison's sake.

The first cycle of lifts in January 2005 included:

dumbbell bench press: total of 20#, 2 sets of 15 reps
dumbbell squats: total of 30#, 2 sets of 15 reps kicked my butt
dumbbell stiff-legged deadlift: total of 40#, 2 sets of 15 groping for form
dumbbell shrugs: total of 40#, 2 sets of 15 reps working hard

The most recent cycle of lifts in January 2006 included:

bench press: 77.5#, 3 sets of 10 reps
back squats: 140#, 3 sets of 10 reps, and about ready to do 145#
Romainian deadlifts: 150#, 3 sets of 10 reps, limited by grip strength
shrugs: 135#, 3 sets of 10 reps, and about ready to do 140#
conventional deadlifts: 175#, 3 sets of 8 reps, limited by grip strength

This morning I weighed 193. I doubt I'll ever bench my weight, but I think I'll eventually squat my weight. I'm not all that far from deadlifting my weight, between advancing on the deadlift and hopefully shedding a few pounds of fat from my waist.

This won't win me any strong man awards, and might not even win me best of age class in anything, but I don't think it's too bad for a 50 year old cubicle dweller who was never a jock even in his youth.

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