Sunday, September 30, 2007

Strength

Today was a scheduled strength workout, and for once I felt good.  The day started with a healthy breakfast, a free haircut from my wonderful wife, lunch and a movie with my dad, and some time playing video games.

When I went into the gym at 4pm, I was ready to lift.  I did:


KB Front Squats: 5 x BW, 12k, 20k, 16k's, 20k's, 16k's, 20k's
DO Axle Deads from Knees: 3 x 73, 143, 193, 193, 193, 193
Overhead Press: 5 x 45, 65; 3x95
Push Press: 3 x 105, 115, 115; 1 x 125, 135
Renegade Rows: 5/5 x 20k, 20k, 20k
Bike 3.5 miles (Needed an ice cream)
Practice Pistols: Singles off of boxes from 18" to 14"


Nothing of note on the squats.  My posterior chain suffered the most from over working the last two weeks, so I varied the deadlifts to take it easier on myself.  The overhead presses I felt weak on, so I decided to switch them up with some extra push presses.  Those went better than expected.  I had to try 135 twice, but with some focus I got it up.


The renegade rows suffered from my extra time on the overhead work.  I was annoyed at that and decided to take a break.  All day I'd been wanting ice cream, so I biked to the gas station, got some, and biked back.  It was fun to be on the bike with nothing but my helmet, my lock, and $5.  A key for the lock would have been nice, but I forgot it.


After I got home, I played around with the pistol variations.  There was marked improvement in my ability to get off the boxes since my last workout.  Between the 6" ledge in my garage, the 8" cases of water, the 3/4" stall matts, and the 1" 45lb plates, I am able to make platforms of most heights.  I will work my way down inch by inch over the coming weeks.  At this point, I do not think what I lack is strength.  I think I lack the stability and practice applying my strength in the bottom position of the movement.  We'll see how it goes.


I am feeling confident about my training plan again.


Planning Effectiveness

At some point after college, I fell out of the habit of planning for effectiveness on a daily and monthly basis.  I am not really sure when it happened.  I think it was around a year after graduating.  Without external schedules of full time college, half time work, recreation, and a long distance relationship forcing it, I let the advantage slip away.  There is really no reason for it other than sheer laziness.  Planning of this nature is a proven tool for getting more out of each day.  Rachel knew this as far back as high school.  Looking to when she used the planner in high school and college, that too was when the volume of what needed to get done was so large there were no other options.


I suppose part of the reason I stopped doing it was the result of reading the Effective Executive and the 80/20 principle.  I learned that there are a few keys tasks I complete each day the generate most of my success for the day.  The corollary to that was my laziness kicked and I realized I could get what I want with limited effort, so why work harder?


I think there is another reason planning fell out of favor with me.  Previously though I was taking the right actions, I was chasing the wrong goal.  I thought my reward for all the planning was long term success.  I savored the thought of greatness, measured through financial well being.  Once I achieved that, I was confused and did not know what to work towards.


What I am beginning to find is that success doing things is its own reward.  You can account for all the major factors for success in a few hours per day, but with nothing worthwhile to fill the rest of that time, the low value use of the remainder becomes detrimental to mood and attitude.  Laziness, sadly, is not its own reward.  I really wanted Office Space to be right ("Nothing, I'd do nothing"), but it is wrong.


An idle mind festers, gradually decaying.  Without occupation, detrimental thoughts build to fill the idle time.  Eventually they create enough overhead that the few hours a day that are needed for success are paired with another 12 hours a day of garbage thoughts.  These thoughts need to be purged, as they burden every task one does.  They also inhibit mood.


Looking to the more successful, happy people I've known, they all plan their time on a regular basis. I think this is a two fold tonic.  First it ensures the person is getting quality out of their time.  It is not a case of doing more with each day for the sake of accomplishing as much possible to reap rewards.  Rather, it is a case of making the most of each hour of the day, planning to enjoy the rewards of time well spent.  Either way the destination can be reached, but planning makes for a better journey.


The other benefit of the planning is it provides a set period of each day where the overhead, detrimental thoughts can be purged from the mind, either for corrective action at a later period in time, or simply to a piece of paper so they can be forgot about.  This is a tremendous, overlooked value of planning.  Who wants to think about negative things all day?  Not me.


It is time for me to resume maintenance of a day planner.  While I have a PDA, I do not think that is the solution.  The purpose of doing this is to simplify and focus my life.  Adding an electronic device that needs to be charged and maintained does not do that.  Instead, I will get a simple paper day planner.  While in college I had a small Franklin Covey binder that worked very well.  Their planning system was effective, and it is an easy way for me to resume doing this.  However, I'm not sure what I can get today, so it may be a longer term solution.  Either way, at some point today I will get a day planner and start using it.


Subsequently, each morning when I get up and each evening when I leave work, I will update my day to day plan.  I suspect that from that, making time to do the monthly and yearly planning will evolve.  If not, ultimately I will schedule this.


It is very hard for me not to view this as creating work for myself.  I know a little planning actually makes my life much easier, but for so long I have been focused on doing as little as possible to enjoy each minute.  I now know that is not the trick though.  I have the most fun and am the happiest when I am working towards goals.  I enjoy the small daily successes that come with full use of my time.  It is who I am, and I need to act on that knowledge.


Saturday, September 29, 2007

Faster then Joggers

This morning marked the first time since I resumed running that I actually ran faster than other people on the path.  Right as I was starting my trip up to the North Trail Head, I saw a group of a dozen weekend runners on my tail.  Not wanting to get caught up in that mess, I put on a little speed and toughed it out.  Later I passed another pair that was on a longer run than me, but I'll take what I can get.


Endurance progress is still coming swiftly, which I enjoy.  I do not expect distance to increase next week, however.  I will lift weights Sunday morning.  My bodyweight hit 189 this morning, so technically I could test for some of my 1/3 bodyweight kettlebell goals with the 28k kettlebell, but I am not prepared to.  Either this new approach will get my strength headed back in the right direction, or when November starts I will have to trim back the running to get my strength up for Gripmas.  We'll see how it goes.


Wild Ride

While Friday morning was originally planned for a long run, Thursday afternoon I got a better idea.  I planned with my boss to take a vacation day on Friday, and then decided to clean up my old bike for a ride.  My dad brought it over for me when I moved in 5 months ago, and it has been sitting in the basement since.


Thursday night I brought the bike upstairs and over the course of two hours did the following:


o Adjusted the seat height and tilt
o Oiled the chain and gears
o Removed the toe clips
o Removed the bike bag
o Tuned the brakes


Luckily the tires were already filled with air.  Friday morning at 7:30 I headed out to finally get my public library card.  I was shaky at first, but by 8:30 I'd made it 5 miles to the library and felt enthused.  I got my card, used the internet, picked up a few books on origami, then decided to head out for lunch.


A couple miles later I found myself at Fudruckers pounding down a veggie burger, frings, and a chocolate shake.  Then it was off to Walgreens (hairs scissors, no more $40 hair cuts for me), Game Stop (new video game), and the book store.  After awhile at the book store I still had energy, so I rode the miles to my parents house and spent the afternoon with my mom and her dogs.  I finally convinced her to let me setup my old digital camera for her.


My dad got home about 4 and gave me a ride home with the bike.  I am grateful, because to go from no riding in several years to 15 miles in a single day left my butt sore.  My muscles and conditioning held up quite well, but my sit bones ache.  Bike seats are not designed for comfort.


Overall it was a great day for me.  The weather was beautiful, I accomplished some needed errands, I spent time with my family, and I opened a new level of freedom for myself.  Between the bike and the library I now have a wide range of new (free!) ways to spend my time available.  I am looking forward to seeing what this brings.


Incidentally, when my overtime started, I decided to stop using the internet at home.  Now that it is over, I've stuck with the change and am reaping great rewards from it.  New adventures are resulting on a weekly basis.  I was using the internet instead of living and am glad I've fixed that.


Thursday, September 27, 2007

What a Mess

I took some vacation time to go home from work at 2pm yesterday to lift.  I was tired of being there and wanted to do something fun.  However, the running has been cutting into my recovery more than I expected.  I ended up doing the following:

Front Squat: 5 x 45, 65, 95; 3x115; 1x135
Back Squat: 1 x 115, 115, 135, 165
Clean and Press: 115, 115, 115, 115
Kettlebell Push Press: 5 x 16k, 20k, 24k; 1x28k
Pistol Practice: Down to 18" box, off of boxes as low as 16"
DO Bending: 7" x 1/4" CRS

That's it.  I'm weak from the running.  Looking back, I was never able to support 2 hard lifting sessions and 4 hard runs a week.  The most I've ever tolerated is doing that every 8 days with this pattern:

Day 1: Lift
Day 2: Run Long
Day 3: Run Fast
Day 4: Rest

However, my lifting really stagnates and is tough under this approach.  I think the solution is to increase the ratio of lifting days to running days, so I do something like this:

Day 1: Run Long or Run Fast, Mobility in the evening
Day 2: Lift
Day 3: Rest or Walk
- Repeat 2x Per week, including one rest day by feel

The former approach is more effective for my running, but my goal is not running.  I'll rest today, and then start this approach on Friday.  Most likely, I will take a rest day on Saturday as well, since I need time before lifting hard.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

North Trail Map

Speed run to the North Trail Map and back today.  Of couse, with the humidity this morning, I'm not sure how much faster the pace was then yesterday's distance run.  I did my best though.  The running has become challenging enough that I am not doing my mobility work afterwards.  I will do it tonight, as I did last night.

Weights in the morning.  It will be fun.


Monday, September 24, 2007

North Trail Head

Last night I went to bed at about 8pm.  This morning I woke up at 5:30am ready to go.  By 6 I was out the door.  My run went well.  I decided to take the longer run today, putting as much space between it and my next session with the weights as possible.  I'll do a shorter, faster run tomorrow.

I skipped mobility work this morning to make time for food preparation for the week.  I may do it tonight.  Body weight was 190 this morning.  Given my food choices over the past week, this was an unexpected sign of progress.  For example, yesterday's lunch was macaroni and cheese from Noodles, followed by an apple crisp with cinnamon ice cream from Oberweis.  Calories in vs. calories out I guess.

I am back on normal hours at work this week and expect my recovery to improve as a result.


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Weekend Review

Saturday I spent most of the day at work, but I did make time to walk around 4 miles in the forest during lunch.  I took a new path through the trees I'd been tempted by for awhile.  It was pretty good for a grass path.  Not too many bugs.  I'm lucky the forest preserve is so well maintained.

Today (Sunday) I lifted.  It went like this:

Kettlebell Squats: 5 x BW, 20k, 16k's, 20k's, 16k's, 20k's
Romanian Deadlifts: 5 x 95, 135, 185, 185, 185, 185
Bottoms Up KB Press: 3/3 x 12k, 16k, 20k, 20k, 20k, 20k
Chins: 2 (best in several years)
10 Minute Snatch Test: 7 x 5/5 x 24k = 70 reps

I was dragging the whole workout.  By the time my pressing came along, I knew things had to get switched up.  The bottoms up presses were fun, and it feels great to have repped the chins.  The snatch test finally woke me up.  It also almost made me puke.  With practice I think quite a few more reps are attainable for me, but this was a good start.

I am still very tired from the past two weeks.  I made a point to rest this weekend, but catching up takes time.


Friday, September 21, 2007

Distance, then Speed

Motivated by the accurate distances I mapped yesterday, today I decided to run to the North Trail Head and back.  Total distance was 4 miles, with 3.5 miles running.  It was hard work for sure.  This will end up as my speed run once my conditioning levels off from beginner's gains on the running.  The run was followed by mobility work and a longer than usual cool down.

I will take tomorrow as a rest day and lift on Sunday.  I may take a bike ride or walk to the far mall if time allows.  Last night some new tea and balance bars arrived, so that should help my food choices.  It's not that I'm hungry at work, so much as that I am bored.  Trying new tea and eating balance bars alleviates both of those.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Distances

I have over estimated my distance traveled on foot.  From here out, I will use the following values:

From Home to:
Trail Entrance - 0.2 mi
Work via Roads - 0.67 mi
Work via Forest - 1.0 mi
Near Mall - 3.75 mi

From Trail Entrance to:
North Map - 1.25 mi
North Trail Head - 1.75 mi
Gas Station - 1.75 mi
Movie Theater - 2.33 mi
Far Mall - 4.75 mi

 - I usually walk to work via roads.  Maybe 2/3 of the time I walk home through the forest.  This means my daily walking is around 1.5 miles a day.

- My warm up and cool down for a run is the distance between my house and the trail entrance, so 0.2 mi either way.

- My current run has been round trip to the North Trail Map, 1.25 mi each way, or 2.5 mi total.  Add in my warm up, and that means each morning I run I am traveling 3 mi before work.  No wonder it has felt easy.

- My next big goal will be to get my distance run up to the North Trail Head, or 3.5 mi total.  That will give me 4 mi total distance on a run day.  My long runs a few years ago were 6-7 miles, so this is still easily reached.

- The distance to the far mall on a bike is essentially nothing.  I really need to do it at least once.


Running on Will Power

I have a difficult time turning my brain off and falling asleep by 10pm when I get home from work at 8pm.  The only thing that really works for me is drinking, but that results in crummy sleep anyway.  So, this morning I was running on about 6 hours of sleep.  Luckily my endurance doesn't seem to be impacted.  I ran my distance, I ran it faster, and it felt easy.  Tomorrow will be a longer run.

The area I am suffering in is my food choices.  My dinner last night was most of a loaf of french bread, a plate of fruit salad, and a giant cookie.  It was all left overs from a meeting early in the day.  When I get tired, I like to eat.  Of course, the massive amount of carbs could be why my run felt easy this morning.  Ah well, only a few days until I can rest and things get back to normal.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Rough One

The overtime at work is catching up to me.  I had a 55 hour week last week and am on track for more of the same this week.  Add in time to commute, eat, bathe, etc., and it doesn't leave enough for sleeping. 

In any case, I toughed this one out:

KB Squats: 5 x BW, 20k, 16k's, 20k's, 16k's, 20k's
DO Axle Deads: 5 x 95, 163, 163, 163, 168
Overhead Press: 5 x 45, 65, 90, 90, 90
Push Press: 4x115
Renegade Rows: 5/5 x 20k, 24k, 20k, 20k
Side Bridges: 30s / 30s; 20s / 20s;
Standing External Shoulder Rotations: 3 x 10/10 x Black Band
Overhead Sledge Levers: A few with the 6lber, then work my way down to 26" on the 8lber

Overall it was pretty good.  The worst part was between sets when my axle started rolling away and I had to chase it down the driveway.  I guess the garage floor isn't totally level. 

I plan to get more sleep starting Saturday night.  It will be critical to avoid burn out.


Monday, September 17, 2007

Weekend Review

On Saturday I walked 3 miles, watched the movie Superbad, then walked three more miles.  I followed that with some mobility work.  It turns out 3 miles from my house there is a 30 screen movie theater.  The prices are horrible ($9.50 a ticket), but I can walk there and they have $5 budget showing on weekend mornings.  Another 2 miles down the road there is a mall with all sorts of shopping, I may bike there at some point.

On Sunday I lifted.  It went like this:

KB Squat: 5 x BW, 20k, 16k's, 16k's, 16k's, 16k's
Romanian Deadlifts: 5 x 95, 135, 185, 185, 185, 185
Overhead Press: 5 x 45, 65, 90, 90, 90
Push Press: 4x115
Renegade Rows: 5/5 x 20k, 24k, 24k, 20k
Standing External Shoulder Rotations: 3 x 10/10 x Black Band
2.5" Rolling Handle Singles
Play with 6lb Sledge for wrist work

I am happy with the workout and only slightly sore today.

This Morning I went for the same run I did on Friday, possibly a little faster, then did some mobility work.  After my shower I spent an hour cooking for the week.  I've got 6 boxes of romaine lettuce, six boxes of carrots, celery and snow peas and 4 boxes of whole wheat pasta and broccoli.  Between that and the pre-made food I buy from the store, my eating is taken care of through Friday night.

I weighed in at 191 this morning, so the plan is working.


Friday, September 14, 2007

That was Easy

Endurance work this morning.  I originally planned to move up to running 80% of my distance, but I felt good, so I ran it all.  Even as I finished, I was thinking it was easy and I could do more.  Man I wish the weights worked like this for me.  I followed the run with some mobility work and cooled down by taking out the trash.

Next week I will stick with this distance and focus on completing the run a few more times.  Once I have that down, it will be time to start alternating between runs for distance and runs for time.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Strength

The overtime at work is starting to interfere with my sleep, but it didn't impact this workout.  My knees are also tired from the combination of lifting and running, so tomorrow will be limited to just a walk.  Today I did:

KB Squats: 5 x BW, 20k, 16k's, 16k's, 16k's, 16k's
DO Axle Deads: 5 x 73, 123, 163, 163, 163, 163
Overhead Press: 5 x 45, 65, 90, 90, 90
Push Press: 3x115
Renegade Rows: 5/5 x 20k, 20k, 20k
Side Bridges: 60s/60s; 45s/45s
Standing External Shoulder Rotations: 3x10/10xBlack Band

Overall it was a decent workout.  Given the running, I have no complaints.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Race to Gripmas

This morning I went for a run / walk of about 45 minutes, traveling the same distance as yesterday.  I only ran 50% of the way however, giving my body a bit of a breather.  It was still work.  I followed the run with a brief session of mobility work.  Things felt pretty loose already, and there's no sense in over stretching.

Official yesterday, I will be racing Mike Amos to Gripmas on December 8th.  I am working on dropping weight to improve my relative strength.  He is working on dropping weight to compete in a lower weight class in strongman.  I will hit 180 by Gripmas, he will hit 225. 

Not one to let a friend down, my sights are set on 175, targeting a 1.5lb drop per week.  This ensures even if I hit bumps in the road, I will reach the finish at Gripmas.  I'm counting on Mike to meet me there.

It's on!


Monday, September 10, 2007

Further Endurance

Yesterday I walked with my wife, around 45 minutes in the morning and 90 minutes in the afternoon.  The weather was awesome. 

This morning I covered the same distance as prior mornings, but ran approximately 2/3 of the distance.  I will wave up to about 80% of the distance on this Friday, and hopefully run the whole thing next Monday.  As planned, I hit my mobility work this morning after the run. 

I also took the time to make pasta yesterday and prepare my vegetables today.  A major project at work has hit crunch time, and I have committed to working at least 50 hour weeks for the next two weeks.  Preparation with my food is key to this not disrupting my sleep or training.  I'll also be disconnecting the modem at home for this duration, preventing the internet from taking me out.


Sunday, September 9, 2007

September Grip Together

Saturday was the September meeting of the Chicago Grip Association.  There was a small turn out this month, but we had a good time.  Mike made it out to lift.  We did the following:

Grippers - Nothing of note for me.  Mike hit the #2 righty and was pretty close to the 2.5.

Blobs - Mike brought over a loadable blob made from PVC Caps and an old dumbbell handle that was pretty sweet.  He also managed to get a little air under my 40lb blob.  With a little training on his device, he will lift the 40.  I tied my PR with the 32.5lb blob, but was not close on the 35.

FBBC 2" V-bar - I hit a PR here of 138lbs.  The bar is slowly but surely seasoning.  I like this much better than the 1" V-bar.  I think Mike was close on 173, but I'm not sure if he got it or not.  He tweaked his hand placement a little bit and that seemed to help.  He also pointed out that you can train the last two fingers of the hand with a palm facing the body grip, which I hadn't really tried before.

FBBC DO Axle Deadlift - I either tied or hit a new PR here with 218lbs.  I can't remember if I've lifted that before.  I think Mike got up 253.

FBBC Bomb - We just played around with this a bit.  I did a 60lb lift in accordance with the rules, then we tried lifting it from straight over the top.  I couldn't even get 33lbs to go up that way.  Mike got it up though.  The lift according to the rules really seems like more of a novelty event than a good training tool.

1 3/8" PDA Wrist Roller - I was just showing this to Mike and did 25lbs both directions.  He went all the way up to 75lbs.  I was disappointed with the knurling and hump on the roller when I got it, but didn't know if i was expecting too much for my $120.  After watching Mike use the thing and talking to him about it, I'm more confident that the design flaws are problematic.

Kettlebell Bottoms Up Press - I went up to the 24k bell with each hand here, which ties my PR.  It is also at the limit of my pressing strength.  I need to work on that.  There's a lot of technique involved with these, but Mike still managed to get the 16k and 20k kettlebells up.  I don't think he quite got the 24k, but he was close.  A little practice and it would go up for him, the strength was there.

Right as we were finishing up, Pat and Tom stop by.  I was too tired to lift anymore, but we chatted for about 45 minutes.  Pat's closed an Elite and Tom's bent the FBBC Bastard, so they are definitely into this stuff and great guys to talk to.  More and more I am appreciating grip for the people it puts you in contact with than just the hand strength.

Overall I had a great time.  As always, overall body strength equated to bigger grip lifts.  It's good to get the perspective of other lifters on training as well.  Mike's been there and done that with most of this stuff, so it's interesting to hear what he has to say.  He's been in this long enough to be able to focus on training vs. lifting the most weight possible, which is a great balance for me.  Tom and Pat have both clearly spent a lot of time thinking about the grip training and understanding the finer details.  It was good to hear what they have to say.

I get more out of these once a month meet ups than I do from the entire month spent on the internet reading about lifting.  Training with others really is one of the keys to success.


Saturday, September 8, 2007

Strength

Today's workout had to be balanced with the grip together, which meant avoidance of grip lifts during my pre-grip together full body workout.  I did:

KB Squats: 5 x BW, 12k, 20k, 16k's, 16k's, 16k's, 16k's
Romanian Deads: 5 x 95, 135, 175, 175, 175, 175
Overhead Press: 5 x 45, 65, 85, 85, 85, 85; 1x95;
Push Press: 1 x 95, 115;
One Armed Rows: 5/5 x 20k, 20k, 24k
Side Bridges: 40s/40s; 30s/30s
Grippers: Singles up to the BBM righty, BBSA lefty.  Failed on #2 righty and BBM lefty;
Standing External Shoulder Rotations 3x10 with Black band

My strategy of holding back on the weights while I build up my endurance is working.  An unexpected benefit is my shoulder prehab is actually getting trained and getting stronger.  No one had arrived when I did the grippers, but I couldn't resist trying them while I was warm.  They are down, but I don't know if it is because I am weaker or because my hands are tired from the Vice Gripper.  I've been playing with it during the day at work.  It's fun, we'll see if it pays off.

The grip together went well.  I had a few PRs and will write it up later.



Friday, September 7, 2007

More Endurance

Today I did a 45 minute walk / run, followed by some mobility work at the end.  This time I managed to run all the way out to the halfway point.  Then I walked back.  The distance covered was the same as yesterday, but I was around 5 minutes faster.  Again, I stopped running not due to fatigue, but fear of soreness.  I wasn't too sore today, we'll see how tomorrow is.


Thursday, September 6, 2007

Endurance

This morning I went for a 50 minute walk / run with a mobility session at the end.  I'm not particularly eager to run, due to excessive vertical motion, but the bugs in the forest are much more forgiving when I am moving quickly.  I'll probably suck it up and focus on building up to a run over the full distance I am covering before going any further.

I was surprised how easy the running felt, given that I have not run more than a block or two in years.  Long slow distance work just comes naturally to me.  I held back for fear of excessive soreness more than anything.


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Full Body

I hit a 3 mile walk yesterday morning, followed by a mobility session.  That went well and set the stage for a decent full body workout this morning.  I did:

KB Squats: 5 x BW, 16k, 16k's, 16k's, 16k's, 16k's
DO Axle Deads: 5 x 73, 123, 163, 163, 163lbs
Overhead Press: 5 x 45, 65, 85, 85, 85
Renegade Rows: 5/5 x 20k, 20k, 16k
Side Bridges: 20s/20s, 30s/30s
Standing External Shoulder Rotations: 10xBand, 10xBand

Accommodating the impact of the endurance work on my weights is something I am still learning to do.  Everything but the squats felt heavier than expected.  My original plan was 4 working sets for each exercise, but I reminded myself that now is not the time to really push the weights.  I backed off when fatigue set in, for once.


Monday, September 3, 2007

Endurance

This morning I walked 4 or 5 miles, then did stretching and mobility work.  I felt very relaxed once done.  After some pizza for breakfast, I had a 3 hour nap with really deep sleep.  It was awesome.  Then this evening I went for another 4 mile walk with my wife.  The weather today has been excellent, and I've really enjoyed it.

I am tracking on the food, at 2100 cals and 80 grams of protein right now.  I'll get another 400 cals and 25 grams of protein before bed, from a balance bar and some milk.  I doubt I'll track this on a daily basis, but it's good to see I'm able to hit the numbers.


Sunday, September 2, 2007

Weekend Review

I did make time to lift yesterday, but it did not go as well as I would have liked.  Since I haven't been lifting, I haven't been attending to mobility work.  My joints were feeling out of balance going into the workout.  I then opted to bump up to the heavier weights I picked on Wednesday, even though cumulative stress from all the walking had my legs a little tired.  Sure enough, I got through two cycles of warm ups with my barbell complex, ground through one cycle with my working weights, and decided it was best to quit.

My body wasn't real happy with the way I went into that workout.  I'm not sure why I insisted upon trying to push ahead given the circumstances.  I've done a review of what went wrong, and basically I need a little more structure if I am to lift only twice a week.  So I've defined my workouts:

1. Warm Up
2. KB Squat or Front Squat
3. DO Axle Deadlift or Romanian Deadlift
4. Overhead Press
5. Renegade Row
6. Side Bridges / Shoulder Prehab

I'll also be adding mobility work to the end of my endurance workouts.  The endurance work can be done within minutes of waking, so I'll get that time by walking out there door as soon as possible in the morning.  I know from prior experience it takes me 15 minutes to be ready.

This means my week will look as follows:

M: Endurance + Mobility
Tu: Endurance + Mobility
W: Weights
Th: Endurance + Mobility
F: Endurance + Mobility
Sat: Weights
Sun: Rest

I am going to supplement this by ensuring I eat at least 2000 calories and 100 grams of protein per day.  I don't eat out much anymore, and I stopped buying any real junk from the store.  It's easy to do when I'm just picking stuff from Peapod off the internet.  It's not like I get to eat anything I buy for at least 24 hours anyway.  Now the problem I have is not eating enough because my food is boring. 

Incidentally, last week's decision to eat more resulted in my body weight hitting 193 this morning.  I will not reach 189 next weekend as planned, but I'll be close.  The challenge I am going to have moving forward is maintaining at least some strength as I progress.


Saturday, September 1, 2007

Food is Good

Over the past week I have been focused on intentionally eating more food, backed off on the weights, and threw a few walks in.  Sure enough, my enthusiasm has rebounded and my body weight dropped another pound to 194.  I was just trying to do too much.

On Thursday I walked maybe 3 miles in the morning, 2 in the evening.  Friday, another 3 or so in the morning.  Friday afternoon was my performance review at work, which went well all things considered.  Now that I've been with the same company for 5 years, I get an extra week of vacation.  Whoo!  It also looks like I can get the company to pay for some of my PMI meetings and training seminars, which will be great.  That stuff is expensive.  I tried to get a shorter worker week with no success, but got a nice bump in pay.

As a result of the burnout last weekend, I've been paring back to the essentials everywhere.  Life just seems to go better when I do that.  I've decided to budget $60 a week for groceries and reduce my reliance on prepared foods.  I'm working on pulling away from time on the internet as much as possible.  I've cut my gym sessions to twice a week and am enjoying the time spent in the forest instead.

Overall, I am happier for doing these things.  It's funny how the same things that I gravitated to when I was just starting out are the best things for me now that I am more established.  Money really doesn't buy happiness.

On that note, I got paid yesterday, which means $100 to blow!  I'm getting pizza