Stepping It Up

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).

stepupThe 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!


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7 thoughts on “Stepping It Up

  1. Heck, anyone who can do more than me is definitely a jerk. And that’s not saying much given I can only handle those wimpy dumbbells of mine without ending up with shoulder or elbow muscle and tendon issues. Sigh.
    I guess that makes you a jerk. Ha ha. Just kidding.