As mentioned in my 2013 health manifesto, my exercise regimen thus far consists solely of going to the gym for half an hour twice a week. I spend the 30 minutes (if that) doing high-intensity strength training.

No surprise: How much weight I should lift for each exercise is a data-driven decision. For my first workout in years, there were no data. I had to guess. After the first few workouts, the data were clear and I could start applying some rules. 8 or more full repetitions before muscle failure? More weight next time. 4 or fewer? I probably increased the weight too much. Less weight next time.

Pick an effort I can commit to, deliver it, observe the data, figure out how to reliably deliver a bit more, repeat. Sounds like Scrum sprints, right? I learned everything I know about strength training half a lifetime ago doing high school sports, thanks to an unusually disciplined trainer. I've always been lazy in a very particular way, wanting the best results with the least effort, no matter the endeavor. I'm lucky to have been taught some great techniques along the way.

Possible surprise: I record my workout data with pen on paper. It's hard to manipulate a spacephone with quivering hands in wrist-support gloves, it's a minor distraction to even have a phone around, and I haven't found a compelling app anyway (and don't feel like writing one). Paper has its own flaws, but it seems to work so far, and in the meantime I'm not generating enormous mounds of data that I'll regret not having digitized to begin with.

A nice side effect of paper is that it fills up, a free reminder to review and introspect. I've just started my second page. What have I noticed? By feel, my body has been adapting to the workload by building muscle. What do the data say? By the numbers, the weight I can control has roughly doubled:

Leg Extension: 50 -> 90
Leg Press: 110 -> 405
Shoulder Press: 30 -> 65
Row: 40 -> 75
Chest Flys: 50 -> 100
Chest Press: 30 -> 70
Crunches: body weight -> body weight

It'll take a while before I can do 8 crunches and start needing a 5-pound plate on my chest. Conversely, on leg press, I've maxed out the machine. Nothing to be done about it but concentrate on form, and go even slower.