I have not been posting much but I have been doing stacks. I sense the distant rumble of some vicious workouts over the next hill.

I got stuck for time a couple weeks ago and had about a half hour of weight rack time to kill my back and chest, and decided to do my old cherished Darden Stack. It’s a sort of giant set. Ellington Darden, so far as I understand it, had a lot to do with designing Nautilus workout equipment — does anyone remember when Nautilus was the new cool thing?  Am I dating myself? Anyway he is in his seventies and still killing it, so the Net tells me, though I can’t find anywhere the book I took this workout from, one of many screeds he issued on “high intensity training”. When you got thirty minutes you want high intensity. I used just the upper body half of a break-in routine that he cooked up three decades ago.

First you ballpark what you can huck for twenty reps on a series of upper body lifts and line it up by the bench because you are not going to want to waste time going and looking for weights. Then you cinch up the belt and grab a pair of dumbbells, even though it says a bar in the book because I broke my elbow when I was nine and the arms will never straighten out at the same angle, and do a whack of shoulder presses, fling the dumbbells, grab a Z-bar, go to 90 degrees at the hips and row the fucker up to your abs till it don’t come up no more, grab another pair of dumbbells and knock out as many bench presses as you can, grab another and crank some bicep curls with your elbows locked hard to your floating ribs — this is where it gets intense because you start to get that air-pumped, stretched feeling in the arm muscles and the dumbbells are coming up kind of as if under water — then fling the bastards and drop to the bench to execute a set of dips.

Make a woofing noise as you crash down on the last dip to amuse your trainer friend who is currently abusing a gym member a couple of stations down the free weight line. Repeat.

Late in the day the strange air-pumped feeling returns to your shoulder girdle and you feel odd tractions within the muscle bellies that make you at one with the cosmos. Also you experience a sudden craving for disgusting whey protein gels that look like Dr. Jekyll cooked them up.

It has been way too goddam long since I stacked it up. We all have our ups and downs. I have been just barely keeping my head above water lately, for whatever reason, but I am hearing the siren song of blown-out muscles. Some people download porn, I do this. I can’t explain it.


3 thoughts on “Stacks

  1. I just finished a very well written fiction novel (Before the Fall, Noah Hartley) where one character got his childhood inspiration from Jack LeLanne. Now there is a name to date us (yep I recall Nautilus being the new hot trend in the local Gold’s Gym). It was interesting to read that Jack was really the first to promote physical fitness to the masses. I can’t say I feel the same gra you do, but last week I have to move a pallet of 80 boxes and each box weighed 8.2kg. Early in I realised this was one heavy mofo, and dragging it uphill was quite the challenge. Afterward I had this interesting burn in my forearms (back was just fine, by the way), so I added up the weight and was immediately quite proud of myself.

    • Oh I love calculating workout volume. And you should be proud.

      Jack La Lanne was probably the first on TV, but there were fitness magazines in the 20s and 30s, some with very tough looking women. I used to do LaLanne stuff on the living room floor when his afternoon show came on, I’m sure it was before I was eight. By the time I was ten I was doing lower abdominal hanging raises off the end of my spool bedframe, no idea how that thing survived.

  2. NB: A slip of the finger chez Rochester accidentally and egregiously deleted your recent comment. I am trying to find it in the bowels of WP Comment Hell, but if I fail, please be assured: your well-wishes were passed on to Ms. Fiend.

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