For about 4 months and a half, I have not been doing any kind of serious physical exercise. As usually happens during these periods of inactivity, I assume that when I return to an exercise regimen of some sort, I’ll have to start from scratch. I assume that everything gained during my last intense period of exercise will have evaporated during my period of inactivity. Actually, it seems to me that my past experiences with weight training proved this expectation to be true. In fact, this expectation turns out not to be the case.
Today, before breakfast, I hit the gym. When I came to weight training, I was expecting having to reduce the weight load to something substantially lower than where I stopped last Fall. Boy, was I surprised! I found that I can set the weight to the same level where I left off. I have to reduce the number of reps but that’s all. This is so wonderful! It lifts some psychological weight off my shoulders. (Ironically, I guess.) I used to think that if I stopped exercising my body’s capabilities would necessarily soon regress from the lack of exercise. I would feel guilty about it. Now I find that I can go for months and not regress. It is still better to exercise than not but at least if I stop for a while, it does not void my previous efforts.
As I mentioned earlier, this is different than my previous experience with weight training. I have to say I cannot be sure about what is different this time but I think that it might have something to do with how I’m exercising. Last summer I decided to be more aggressive with weights. I decided to move on to heavier weights faster than I used to. This might have made enough of a difference to shock my body into not discarding the extra muscle during the period of inactivity. I don’t know.