After reviewing all of these responses regarding free weights, I was too insecure about going to the gym yesterday - so I did not go. Today, however, I fought the urge and got there at 5:59 AM --- hoping to beat the muscle crowd. Downstairs was empty, and I would have stayed there, except that as soon as I turned the corner, this muscled Hispanic guy who looked like the Spanish image of God gave me a critical look. Well, up the stairs I bounced, as I felt unworthy of being in his sight. Yeah, I'm cerebral and have low confidence issues.
Not for long... I'm getting there..
When I was upstairs, I did my regular abdominal workout (on the machine).
Next, I went to the shoulder machine (30 lb x 10 reps x 4 sets)
Next, the lat machine (100 lb x 8 reps x 4 sets and 120 lb x 5 reps x 2 sets) __ this felt so good.
*** by this time, I felt glad to be at the gym after all ***
Next, I hit the machine for biceps and I still couldn't exceed 30 lb x 2 reps. I reduced to 25 lb and had a little better success. I got up, because people were starting to look my way when I set it at 10 lb and at 6'2" that's just shameful. I acquiesced and prepared myself to leave.
I WAS READY TO THROW IN THE TOWEL (literally and figuratively); however, on the way out, guess what ??? There were dumbbells in the quiet little stretching area upstairs (away from the muscle boys downstairs) and I'd never noticed them before.
I grabbed 12.5 lb and realized I had no idea what to do with them. I pulled up my iPhone and found the advice from BeastInTheEast (3-4 straight sets of 8 reps each). I did some curls while looking in the mirror... and became amazed at how well my biceps and forearms were responding. I did 2 sets before realizing that I could do higher weights.
I grabbed 15 lb weights and did 2 sets.
Next, I grabbed the 20 lb dumb bell (there was only 1 of them there - damnit) and I did 2 sets. My left arm struggled a bit, but I made it work.
Having done all the required sets (I was well over 4 sets), I just went back down to the 15 lb dumb bells and kept going (another 3-4 sets).
Lastly, I grabbed the 20 lb (again) and did another set before retiring for the day.
Total Gym Time: 1 hr 10 min
Total Dumb Bell Time: about 30 min
Total Satisfaction: 100% .... My shirt even got tight around the sleeve!