Well, some weight work has paid off

As I’ve aged I have had trouble getting a couple of our heavier canoes on the roof of the Forester with out help. It seemed like the canoes were getting heavier every year. (The Cruiser has grown some with age & patches and is up to ~70 lbs.) I started some time ago working with an old barbell set that came with the house. I started at about 48 lbs & am not at 10 reps at 73 lbs. nothing particullary impressive but I’m pleased. Especially as I just loaded the Sawyer Cruiser & the Nova Craft Prospector 16’ (R-Lite) without help and was able to straight arm lift to get them on.

Heading to this years Quiet Adventures Symposium where they will be a part of a “Canoes With Stories” display.


Agree!!! Regular resistance/weight training is even more important as we age. For me, Regular workouts allow me to enjoy outdoor activities at a higher intensity with less injuries.

Keep moving, pushing, pressing and lifting.


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I need to do more weight training. Stopped going to the gym when the pandemic started and haven’t gone back. I still do stretching and aerobic workouts everyday, but it is not the same. I guess I need to go back to the gym.

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Same here. The fantastic gym (complete with running track and two pools) that I had belonged to for nearly 30 years closed and was torn down 4 months before covid, when the less nice gym I had subsequently joined also shut down. I tried to stay in shape through 2020, 2021 and late 2022 by hiking in the local parks a few miles a couple of times a week and doing isometrics at home. But I even dropped the ball on that 4 months ago when I decided to buy another house and had to prep the two properties I already owned to sell them and then move into the new one. I did do a lot of painting, patching, packing and hauling stuff, but that does not substitute for a regular weekly exercise routine and I am paying for that now in lack of stamina and in muscle aches.

Not having the static machine weight circuits was a real loss in my fitness routine. In retrospect, I should have invested in a BowFlex or such like because I have had noticeable loss of strength and have begun to have lower and upper back pain that I know is from failing to maintain my core muscular integrity. I worked in heavy construction in my salad days and know well how failure during periodic work lay-offs to maintain core and arm and leg strength, as well as aerobic fitness, would kick me in the ass and lead to similar aches and lack of energy when I would return to the field on callback.

At 72 I am even more aware than ever that you “use it or lose it”. That said, I am now feeling guilty enough that I am going to take a keyboard break and go do some crunches and planks on the living room floor…


My gym at 70. Two of us laid 600 12 x 8 x 18" block at 58 lb . just a rough dividing wall. So with the mortar you’re looking at 18,000 lb each we lifted in 7 hr. Glad I retired from my masonry company after 40+ years :joy:. I can’t stay away from it. It’s use it or lose it.


I spent the winter watching cold rain and deteriorating. It has been a struggle to get back to minimal paddling shape.
Spent yesterday cruising coves and chilling in sunny spots. Muscles felt pleasantly used today as we watched it drizzle all day.

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I am in awe! Always have had mad respect for the masons that I worked around. As a commercial and industrial construction electrician I often worked side by side with the blockies, fishing conduit segments through the CMU courses as they rose.

In fact the guy who built this house I just bought was a masonry and excavation contractor and the place (built in 1945 with CMU foundation and wire scratch red brick ) is a freaking fortress. He used mortar that looks like it would withstand the Apocalypse, pristine after 78 years. Interior is Venetian plaster with granite windowsills and a pink and cream marble fireplace. And the block and steel detached contractor garage out back is now my boathouse.

He and his wife lived here their entire married lives, he until he passed at 97 and she to 103. I bought it from their kids, who had placed a bronze plaque beside the front door in honor of their parents.


97 & 103 I guess bricks are good for your health. :laughing:

Funny I drive by jobs I was on at 18 and stop and look. I can see what I did 50 years ago. I think of all the men I worked with back then that are now gone. :cry:

I look back at jobs I did in my business to see how they have with stood time. Some are now demolished and gone. One is at Captree NY sitting high on a hill near Fire Island Inlet. Joints in the brick at some corners have been eroded due to sand blowing on the joints since 1982. Time passes on no matter what. Always took great pride in my work and was proud of the quality. From zero to 89 union bricklayers and laborers it’s trying to maintain your standards. I look at old brick walls and think they had no clue what a radio, car, even electricity was. What did they talk about back then? YouTube I look at castle’s built 1000+ years ago. I always found it very satisfying.

Brick niche is as complicated as is gets and beautiful. They did it hundreds of years ago. Involves the brain with math and your hands greatly.


I can imagine construction/building work offers incredible weight training. The potential issue is overusing a specific set of muscles, leading to repetitive motion injuries (like software programmers with carpel tunnel syndrome). The way to minimize this is to do resistance training for the opposing muscles that don’t get used in your day-to-day.

BTW, resistance training does not have to be with iron weights. Could be resistance bands or just body weight. For example, my triceps are over-developed from years of striking/punching work - heavy bag, sparring. I have to intentionally balanced the triceps with biceps work, usually in doing sets of chin-ups on a bar. No weight except for what I carry with my body.

In the gym, one can also encounter another type of inbalance in training, particularly with “weight lifting”. Some have some folks (mainly men) who focus solely on upper body development. They have “incredible” upper body built, but on top of spiny legs… So much for a “solid” foundation for their body…



When I have visited England, I like to visit the partially ruined abbeys that dot the countryside (Henry VIII partially tore many down to reuse their masonry for his estates after he pretty much kicked the Catholic Church out of the country). You can see on some of the remaining stones the incised signatures of the individual masons who built the walls.

One of my friends, a retired biochemistry prof and history buff, here in Pittsburgh bought the 1888 brick and stone mansion that was built by one of the superintendents of the Thompson Steel Works in Braddock, 3 miles over the hill from me. The borough owned it and it had fallen into disrepair, but it was in danger of being demolished so my friend bought it for $80,000 and since then (8 years ago) has been restoring it on his own dime. Taught himself to lay brick and is gradually rebuilding the foundations for the demolished greenhouses that were behind the house. He has had the roof repaired as well as much damaged interior plaster (one ceiling fell on him as he was sleeping). There is some fine masonry on and in this stately home: