My gym workout routine takes about an hour.  It’s neither too hard nor too easy, and is enjoyable.  I like to do 10 reps on a small weight and work up by small increments to the max that I can push.  On some exercises that can mean 15 sets of 10 reps, on others just 4 sets of 10 and then 1 set of 5.

A few weeks ago I came across some blog post that mentioned that a guy could work out harder if he took pain killers before working out.  I’d never noticed any pain while working out, so that didn’t seem applicable.  Then one day I had taken pain killers in preparation for some minor surgery, and went to the gym.  I worked unusually hard that day.  In later workouts I became aware that actually mild pain was limiting how hard I pushed myself.  It’s always a surprise when what was unconscious becomes conscious.

Anyone who works out regularly knows that some days we are inexplicably strong.  And on other days we just don’t have as much mojo in the gas tank.

Yesterday I tried an experiment.  I prepared myself for the gym with stimulants.  I drank my maximum dose of tea, my maximum dose of theobromine chocolate extract, and took 1/4 pill of ritalin.  By maximum dose I mean the amount that gives me benefit without causing negative side effects, such as being jittery or losing focus or having an upset stomach.

Ritalin is used in conjunction with other medicines for pain management, and is known as a performance enhancer.  So it’s both a stimulant and pain killer.

I did my usual 1 hour workout, went to get a haircut, then came back and repeated the full 1 hour, using the same weights.  That’s the biggest workout I’ve ever done in my life.  It surprised me, as usually my workout leaves me close to spent.

Without the stimulants, I doubt I’d have had the interest or willpower to do a full second workout.  With them it was fun and easy.

I had just enough energy to pay attention to one of my girls for a bit before crashing asleep at 8 pm for a three hour nap.  Then a few hours work before another 8 hours of sleep.  I’m unusually tired today – I assume my body isn’t used to dealing with that much muscle tissue breakdown all at once.

I workout three times a week, as I’ve heard that a two day recovery is essential for maximum growth.  If you go every other day you won’t grow as much muscle as if you go just three times a week.  So I like to work extra hard on that 3rd workout day before the long break.  But at my age and with my workout routine, my weight and what I lift remains within a static narrow range.  I’m never that far off from a lifetime peak, even though I’m a small guy.  I get a bit bigger if I use HGH, but not that much.

I’m expecting that using low dose Ritalin once a week will make a noticeable difference to how hard I work, and my average weight.