Friday, February 10, 2006

physical strength = mental health

In 11th grade of high school, I was at the peak of my physical strength. My one-rep max was 225 lbs on the benchpress and I weighed 165 pounds. After a few stressful years of college filled with quantum mechanics and 3D laser data analysis, I've decided to start a semi-strict weight lifting schedule when I moved to Pittsburgh. I've been lifting weights and running on a steady basis since August and I feel great!

I'm at 172 lbs now, and almost at the 225lb bench max level. Yesterday I had a good lift and was able to get 205 lbs up 4 times. This means that in just 2 weeks I should be back to my 225lb max level! w00t! My goal is to get 240lbs up 1nce before the summer season starts, but if that doesn't happen then I'd like to be able to at least finish each chest workout with a few reps of 225lbs. I've realized that the key to moving up in weight on the benchpress is making sure that all those little muscles that you use in the chest/shoulder/tricep area get hit pretty hard every once in a while. You are only as strong as your weakest link.

I can't wait until warm weather so I can start running in the mornings. (I also might give yoga a shot in the spring.)

The question at the end of the day is: why bother lifting weights if you're not competing in a sport that requires physical strength? The answer is that physical well-being is intimately related to mental health, which directly influences the progress of my research in computer vision.