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Oklahoman writer loses weight, gains power

In week eight, Ken Raymond's weight loss total reached 20 pounds, and he lifted more weight than he has in years.

BY KEN RAYMOND Modified: May 30, 2010 at 12:06 am •  Published: May 30, 2010
Week eight
What an exceptional week!

I hit two significant milestones and participated in something really fulfilling ... that I can't tell you about yet. You'll have to check in next week to hear about it.

The milestones, though — those I can discuss. I'm proud of both of them.

First, I lost three pounds this week. That means I got rid of that pound I gained last week and dropped two more. Why is that a big deal? Well, psychologically, it's always better to find that you've lost weight when you're, you know, trying to lose weight.

Beyond that, it's significant because it means I've lost 20 pounds so far. Twenty pounds in two months.

If you ask me, that's pretty darn good.

Second, I benched 200 pounds this week. I haven't lifted that much since my mid-20s.

That weight total comes with a caveat. I did it using a weight machine, not free weights. It's harder to bench press that much weight — or any weight, really — using free weights, because your support muscles have to control the wobble and tilt of the bar. On a machine, your stronger arm can compensate for your weaker arm; with free weights, you're only as strong as your weakest muscle.

But still! The fact remains that my arms and chest are now strong enough to move 200 pounds of iron — five straight times. They weren't that strong two months ago.

It's a funny thing, too. Tuesday night, I decided to attempt lifting all that weight out of curiosity as much as anything else. I'd been doing two sets of 25 chest presses at 125 pounds. I figured if I could do that with relative ease, I ought to be able to lift a much heavier weight a few times.

Sure enough, I did 200 pounds five times, each one more difficult than the one before. I was pumped after that. I fired off e-mails to some friends and text messages to others. I posted on Facebook. I wanted to tell people I passed on the street.

I didn't plan on trying that much weight again for awhile. Fat-to-fit Blog

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Staff Writer Ken Raymond began a yearlong weight loss and fitness journey on April 1.

Here are his stats:

Age: 41

Height: About 6 feet 1 inch

Beginning weight: 307 pounds

Current weight: 287 pounds


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