Monday, September 29, 2008

Upper at Home

I made a point to leave work on time and get home for today's training session. Even the abbreviated workout with what I consider light weights was challenging. I think I underestimated the ground lost while I was sick.

Today I did the  following:

Warm Up - 12/12 Swings x 12k
Kettlebell Snatches - 5/5 x 16k, 20k, 24k
Overhead Press - 5 x 20k; 3/3 x 40k, 40k, 40k, 40k
Turkish Get Ups - 3/3 x 12k, 16k, 16k
Renegade Rows - 5/5 x 16k, 16k, 16k
Knee Raises - 8, 5

I am shocked at how hard the snatches were. I stopped with one set with the 24k, since even with the sock on my hand I was afraid of skin tears. Everything is down, but at least it should be easy to bring back up.

My nutrition was a little better today. I ate all of the foods I am supposed to for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This included two protein shakes. I also had a scone from Starbucks and a bag of Doritos, but all those calories are doing is keeping me out of a deficit. The junk also curbed my desire for a meal out.

I'll may go for a run or do a lower body workout tomorrow. It depends how I feel. Recovery first.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Moderate Run

Today I went for a 3 mile run at a moderate pace, followed by 20 minutes of stretching and foam roller work. My original intention was to include an upper body weights workout between the two, but I was tired.

I could have forced it, but I am choosing to train under the assumption I have impaired ability to recover. The upper body workout will be tomorrow evening instead. Hopefully keeping these easy gets me back on track.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Lower at Home

This weekend I decided to go with a lower / upper split for my weight training. Given the lack of motivation this week, I figured something low volume would be easier to break back into. I need the aggression lifting gives me to find the drive to go lift. It's a vicious cycle

I did the following:

Warm Up - Walk around the sub-division
Deadlifts - 5 x 20k, 60k, 80k, 80k, 80k
Box Squats - 5 x BW, 16k, 24k, 32k, 32k, 32k
Knee Raises - 8, 8, 8
Grippers - 5\5 x T, #1, #1; 1/1 x No Set #1

During the workout, I even caught a tiny little snake. My wife put it in the grass. Deadlifts were interesting, this is the first time I have picked up a weight over body weight in some time. My hands were burning and ached from it. I need to get back into the heavy weights, I think.

On the nutrition front I have been doing ok. My diet still has too much food from eating out, but my patterns do result in holding weight steady at 160lbs. Given all the other aspects of life I am juggling at this time, I am ok with this. I do think a push down to a leaner body composition is due at some point, but my recovery needs to be prepared to accommodate it.

This new netbook computer represents how I would prefer for day to day home computing fit in my life. Boot up something small and quick, hit my websites, send out a few emails, update my blog, and get offline. I should do my work computing at work and only pull out a more powerful machine in the event of professional development at home or some extreme crunch time at work.

So far, however, I have been using it in ADDITION to my other computing. Doh! It's tweaked now though, so things should improve.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

New Computer = No Weights

My new computer arrived today. To no surprise, I spent my evening playing with it instead of lifting weights. This things is super tiny, almost to the point of being comical. I can see how the 10" version holds so much appeal for people. I'm not sure I can use it for serious work, but it definitely works for quick web browsing or message boards. Video is a little choppy and I need time to get used to the keyboard. Overall though, for $500, I am happy.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Basic Exercise

Yesterday I played DDR for around an hour, setting several new records on Expert level songs. Given that I have not played for several months, I have to attribute my success to the Earth shoes. The negative heel has made my feet much more tolerant of bouncing around on the DDR pad. Awesome.

Today I made a point to leave work at 5, with the intent of running and lifting. I got in from my 3 mile run just in time to meet my wife on her way home. It turns out she had a crummy day at work, so my lifting time went to her instead. A worthy trade off - I'll lift tomorrow.

My nutrition still has large room for improvement. The fact that I did not eat out today or yesterday is an accomplishment, sadly. The microwave does appear to help in a small way. Ultimately I need to refocus to make significant progress on the body composition front. For now, however, I lack motivation.

UPS tracking says my new computer will be delivered to my work tomorrow. I am super excited!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

More Exercise

My available free time continues to be compressed. Yesterday I walked three miles. Today I did the following:

Warm Up - Run 3 Miles
Jump Practice - 5 x Low, Low, Med, Med, Max, Max

KB Box Squats - 5 x BW, 24k, 32k
One Arm Press - 5/5 x 12k, 16k, 20k
Knee Raises - 5, 5, 5
Renegade Rows - 5/5 x 16k, 16k, 16k

This workout was extremely demanding for me to finish, likely due to the energy expended running. My workouts over the next month or so are likely to mirror this style. Work is offering growth opportunities that require me to put a lot in. I enjoy the time spent and am learning daily, but it definitely does not help my training. The running is necessary for my mental health and well being.

This morning I setup the new over the range microwave - on the counter. My wife is going to arrange for installation, eventually... My new MP3 player arrived and is charging now. I picked up a 4GB Sansa Click. A coworkers just got the new iPod touch. It's cool, but I cannot justify $300 for a music player. I did decide to order an Asus Eee PC 901. I expect it will be excellent for traveling and is likely to replace my laptop for daily web browsing.

I may do some grip work tomorrow. I do not anticipate any hard training until Tuesday.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Due to a variety of life events outside the norm, this week has been extremely busy. Today was simply an exercise in doing something. I did:

Warm Up - Run 3 miles
Jumps - 5 x Low, Low, Med, Med, Max, Max

Done in a Circuit
Turkish Get Ups - 3/3 x 12k, 16k, 16k
Deficit Axle Deadlifts - 5 x 63k, 68k, 68k
Hanging Knee Raises - 5, 5, 5 (I got ab slings, they're great.)

Not fancy, but better than nothing. Saturday I expect a full training session.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Poor Training Week

This morning I stretched for 20 minutes. It is the most training I've done since Monday.

I got sick with something that absolutely wrecked me. Wednesday I went home from work at 1pm. That night, my wife said I was shaking the bed so hard with my chills that she couldn't sleep. Thursday I stayed home sick and spent the entire time sleeping. I missed my favorite day of the work week and couldn't even enjoy being home. I ached from so much consecutive time sleeping.

Friday I was back at work, functional but still sick. This weekend has been continued down time. We did order the microwave yesterday evening (online) and have an installation guy to call once it arrives. Over the range microwaves are hardly worth the trouble IMO, but it's what this house requires.

My unicycle came. I put it together, but the seat is too tall for me. I need to figure out the proper way of shortening it without damaging the bike. It will be some time before it fits in my priority list though. I have a lot of catching up to do now that I feel better.

I will pursue some light activity Tuesday. With bowling tonight, I expect an early evening Monday.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Limited Activity

Last night I was wound up from lifting and worked until around 11:15. I'd guess I only got 6.5 hours of sleep.

Today I woke up tired and became achey through the course of the day. Due to my fatigue, I ate poorly while at work - protein shake, granola bar, football sized burrito, chips, and two 3" chocolate chip cookies. Food is a surprisingly good substitute for sleep in the short term. I did at least go for a mile walk in the early evening.

Unfortunately, it has become clear that I am getting sick again. Working with so many new people who have children, it is unclear whether I have any real control over this. My pattern recognition is certainly tingling.

Fortunately I have VPN access setup for work as a result of the prior cold, and construction on my roof is complete. Compared to last time, I am much better equipped to moderate my activity if needed. I know the VPN works, because I used it again this evening for more work. I think my phase of the crunch time is almost complete.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Rainy Day

Today was my first day back to eating normally. By 10am I was extremely hungry. A granola bar helped me make it to noon, but the lunch I brought was not enough. A bag of chips and a cookie later, I barely made it home with energy to lift. I need to get back in the habit of my morning protein shake, as well as get used to less food. The football sized burritos are just more filling.

My training was done around 6pm in the garage. The weather was cool and rainy, just how I like it. I did:

Warm Up - 10/10 x 12k Swings; 5/5 x 16k Snatches
Axle Deadlifts (1.5" Platform): 5 x 63k, 73k, 73k, 73k
One Arm Press : 5/5 x 12k, 16k, 20k, 20k, 16k
Box Squats: 5 x BW, 16k, 24k, 36k, 36k, 36k
Renegade Rows: 5/5 x 16k, 20k, 16k, 16k
Rapid Jumps to 14" Box: 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5

I am intentionally choosing exercises that will limit the weights I can handle. This workout was fun.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Moving Forward

Today I walked around 5 miles. I also ate out quite a bit.

I am making a few changes to my lifestyle, in an effort to kick start progress:

1. The microwave has been broken for the past month. My credit card shows I ate out 18 times in that period, which excludes the 2x a week my work brings in food for us. I think there is a relation and am making a point to get the microwave fixed this week.

2. I am pushing to get back on eating my home food for lunch at work, ideally 3-4x a week. The cottage cheese had gotten boring, so I went to whole foods yesterday and bought 3 weeks worth of Tofurkey slices. This should make another significant impact on my diet.

3. Rather than focus on strength training as my primary source of activity, I am now looking it as a 2-3x a week add on to my goal of daily activity. Walking and running will form a significant component of this general activity, but I may also bike, rollerblade, play DDR, or do some other crazy stuff.

4. I've invested a couple bucks in improving my home gym, since that's where most of my training will take place. I ordered a pair of ab slings to help work my way up to an L-sit. I also ordered - brace for it - a unicycle! I doubt I will be very good at it, but it should be fun to try and help create daily activity. A metal DDR pad is on the short list come Winter.

5. The internet and video games have been eating too much of my valuable time with meaningless activity. As a strong introvert, the social stresses of starting a new job caused me to look for isolated electronic outlets for my free time. Now that I have settled into what appears to be my best job to date, I need to move back to a more balanced lifestyle. Initially, I have shifted video games out as a priority and am reducing my daily internet commitments.

6. Moving forward, I resume my bowling league next week. I'll also have the daily activity to distract me in the evenings and really look forward to training in my home gym again. I have a new book I really enjoy and am making a point to spend time walking outside with my wife.

I suspect these changes will lead to a happier life overall, regardless of the impact on my training.


This evening I finally made time to process videos to go online. Here we go:

08-02-2008 Grip Together
Mike on the Axle -
Steve on the Axle -

Mike and Steve both got some time in on my FBBC axle. The full set of bumper plates looks massive on the bar.

08-09-2008 Test Day
1/3 BW Kettlebell Press -
1/3 BW Double KB Squat -

These lifts are rather anti-climatic. I've hit the valley where I am skinny enough to be small, but not lean enough to be muscular. The weights are usually relatively easy for me, but due to a depleted state I found them challenging. I think they are a testament to the fact that it is time to evolve my training approach.

Fourteen Dollar Kettlebell
2/2 Snatches -

"It has a handle like a kettlebell, I bet I can rack it!" - That's the first thing I thought of when this showed up on my porch. Amusingly, my wife was far more impressed by lifting this than any of my other kettlebell lifts, even the 36k one arm snatch. Go figure.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Competing Priorities

This week was not a good one for training. I went out to eat for most of my meals and got very little sleep while my friend was here. I am glad to have spent the time with him and would not have done anything different, but my training definitely took a step back.

This morning I got back to it:

Warm Up - Run 2.5 miles, 10/10 x 12k Swings
Practice Jumping - 5 x 12", 12", 18", 18", 18", Max, Max, Max
One Arm Press - 5/5 x 12k, 16k, 20k; 3/3 x 20k
Axle Deads from 1.5" Platform - 5 x 63k, 63k, 68k, 68k
$14 Kettlebell - 1/1 x Press, Press, Snatch; 2/2 x Snatch

I have video of the $14 kettlebell snatches that will go up later. It was fun to play.

Running is listed as a warm up, but honestly it drained me. This couple passed me on the way back, and my ego could not handle watching them just run off. I notched up to their faster pace for the last mile of my run. When I finally turned off the path, my sides were cramping and I was struggling to breath, but at least I kept up. I am sure it did not help my lifting.

I am struggling with progress towards either dropping weight or getting stronger. I have decided to stop worrying about strength so much for the next two months. I am going to play around with increasing my activity to the point where I can eat more loosely but burn out the diet. We'll see how it goes. The opposite approach has resulted in my getting sick twice so far this year, so I can't do any worse.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Home Really is Better

This morning I woke up with one goal in mind - hit my workout before my friend gets here. I've got a buddy coming in from Hong Kong, so the next two days will not be for training or eating healthy. With that in mind, I did the following:

Warm Up - 1.5 Mile Run; 10/10 x 12k Swings
Vertical Jump Practice
One Arm Press - 5/5 x 12k, 16k, 20k, 20k
Box Squats - 5 x 16k, 24k, 32k, 32k, 32k, 32k
Renegade Rows - 5/5 x 16k, 20k, 20k
KB L-sits - 10s, 10s, 10s

My strength and endurance are both returning quickly now. This was vastly more fun than training at the gym. I got to run in the forest preserve, do my jumps at the local park, and play with kettlebells barefoot outside. No one disturbed me, and I chose the music. Home lifting rules.