Everyday Systems: shovelglove: message 8 of 649

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Subject: On moving up to a 16 pound shovelglove
From: Reinhard Engels
Date: Sun, 3 Aug 2003 10:22:51 -0700 (PDT)
A couple months ago, on my first anniversary of
shovelgloving, I decided I was disciplined enough to
start messing around with a 16 pound sledgehammer. I'd
stuck with the twelve pounder for a solid year, which
I think was a good decision. Maybe I could have
upgraded earlier, but I think I would have risked
shaking my discipline. A four pound difference, though
it may not sound like much, is a lot when you swing it
on the end of a stick. I think it took a good year to
get myself strong enough to handle it comfortably and
without risk of injury.

Still, it's been hard. After two months I still can't
do my entire routine for a week with the 16 pounder.
Monday I'm fine. Wednesday I'm suffering. By Friday
I'm pretty much back to the 12 pounder. But I'm in no
rush, and I have gotten a lot stronger. 

What I did was ease into it. I did maybe ten reps with
the 16 pounder, and the remaining 40 with the 12er.
Then I bumped it to 20/30, 30/20, etc. Some movements
were harder than others, so I took these at a slower
pace. It was just a couple of weeks ago that I could
get through an entire routine on the 16 pounder. And
as I mentioned, that's only after I've had the weekend
to rest.

Freestyle is still a hell of a lot more fun with the
12 pounder. It's funny, the 16 pounder feels a little
too heavy, but the 12 pounder now feels like a toy.

One tiny nit about the 16 pounder: they only seem to
come with (bright yellow) plastic handles. My twelve
pounder is wood, and I like that better. More "tool of
my fathers," you know. 

So my advice is pretty much unchanged: for those of
you who yearn to upgrade, hold out. Discipline and
maintenance first, progress second. The upgrade is the
reward for sticking with it. Don't let it become the
excuse not to.

 © 2002-2005 Reinhard Engels, All Rights Reserved.