I’ve been working hard to mix in some weight lifting with all of the basketball I’ve been playing lately. On a good week, I’ll play ball 4-5 times and lift weights 1-2 times (it’s a start, right?).
Last week was tough. Thursday was the Thanksgiving holiday here in the US. There was also a problem with one half of the basketball court on Monday, so that messed up my routine for the week. With a lot of effort, I made it back to the gym on Friday (the day after Thanksgiving).
Basketball was just so-so, but I pushed myself into into the weight room afterward. One of the exercises I’ve been doing regularly is the “Step-up”. This is where you stand on the ground, put one leg up on a weight bench or platform, then “step-up” onto it. I try to do 10 on each leg, and do three sets of them (usually holding some dumbbells too).
The YMCA where I play basketball has four “boxes” made just for step-ups, and each one is a different height. There’s a small one, one of weight bench height, one that is just above knee height on me, then a really tall one that is just below my waist.
I usually use the box that is the same height as a standard weight bench, but Friday I felt like I needed to push myself a little harder. I used the next higher box. It was scary-tall, but after a few steps I started to get my balance. I felt pretty good about it. Then the kid came up…
He was about 20 something, skinny as a rail, but strong – I saw him working the squats and deadlifts. He lined up in front of the super-tall box and started doing step-ups. But at the end of the motion he would bring the knee of his off-leg up to his chest. And he was also holding a 45-pound plate above his head. Jerk.
I’m kidding, about the jerk part. I’m sure he started just like I am, doing regular step-ups on a realistic sized box. And I still felt good about what I was doing, because it’s all relative to my fitness level, not compared to others in the gym. But holy smokes that kid was killing it!