Ken Larsen's web site - Gym exercises


I belong to O2 Fitness at 257 S. Elliott Road in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  I go about three times a week to work out with light weights.  I like O2 a lot.  It has a good variety of equipment and classes, the staff is friendly, and it's only a mile from house.  Recently they replaced all the lockers and made other upgrades.  They do a good job of keeping it clean.  If you want to check it out, give them a call at 919-932-7115.


I just use the machines and free weights and employ my own workout routine which takes me about 90 minutes each visit.


In early 2015 I underwent radiation and chemotherapy treatment for a tumor that was found on my tonsil.  It was successfully treated, but the treatment left me in a weakened state and 30 pounds lighter.  I credit three months of workouts at O2 along with an outdoor running regimen for restoring my energy level.  I'm still 25 pounds lighter than my pre-treatment weight, but I actually prefer my lighter frame.  The radiation messed up my saliva glands, so eating can be troublesome.  That will eventually come back.  For the complete story of my cancer battle, see my lengthy health blog at


(January 13-15, 2016) I was hospitalized to have my gallbladder removed.  I credit my gym visits for helping me rebound quickly from the surgery.  Details can be found on this web page:


The gym regimen I use is called "Weight Stripping" (aka "Drop Sets").  I'll go on a machine and set the weight to say 60 pounds.  I'll do as many reps as I can before fatigue sets in ... typically 15.  Then, I'll quickly lower the weight by 5 or 10 pounds and continue on.  When more fatigue sets in, I'll quickly drop the weight another 5 or 10 pounds and continue.  I count my total reps and don't quit until I've completed at least 50 reps ... sometimes as many as 100.  Then, I'll go on to a different machine and repeat the same weight stripping process on it.


The Matrix machines at O2 Fitness are perfectly suited for weight stripping.  The weights on them can be downwardly adjusted very quickly, and they can be adjusted in increments as little as 2.5 pounds.


I believe weight stripping is great for people like me who just want muscle tone.  I don't want to bulk up.  It should also be effective for anyone who wishes to lose weight. 


Here's my routine:





Weight Stripping?

Starting Weight (lbs)

Total reps


Shoulder press machine





2 Lateral Raise machine 1 Y 40 50  
3 Triceps extension machine 1 Y 80 50
4 Biceps curl with dumbbells 1 Y 15 70 I start with the 15 lb dumbbells and switch to 10 lbs and then to 5 lbs.

Pectoral Fly machine






Seated Row machine





7 Lat pull down machine 1 Y 70 50
8 Bench press 2 N 45 2 sets of 20+ I alternate these with the leg raises.
Abs 9 Leg raises 2 N 0 2 sets of 50 I alternate these with bench presses.
10 Declined ab crunches 6 N 0 6 sets of 60 I do a set and then do a different exercise; then return for next set, etc.
11 Rotary torso 2 N 90 2 sets of 20  
12 45 degree side-side 4 N 0 20 I do a set and then do a different exercise; then return for next set, etc.
13 Ab crunch machine 1 Y 70 200  
Legs 14 Leg extension machine 1 Y 40 50  
15 Leg curl machine 1 Y 50 100 "
16 Glute machine 2 N 20 20  
18 Lunges 2 N 2x10 20 steps  


I don't necessarily do the exercises in the order shown.  The availability of the equipment largely dictates the order. 


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