Friday, November 28, 2008


Today I wanted to keep the streak of every other day sessions alive, but needed a little variation:

Warm up with 12k Kettlebell
Front Squats - 8 x BW, 12k, 16k, 24k, 24k
Renegade Rows - 8/8 x 16k, 16k
Double Clean - 5 x 16k's
Double Clean and Press - 5 x 16k's, 16k's, 16k's
Windmills - 5/5 x BW

Nothing extreme this evening, my body still needs to return to alignment. I spent around 45 minutes stretching last night. Today my shoulder stability showed definite progress. I am way, way out of shape though.

This weekend has been productive for removing the burden of excessive possessions. Yesterday I sold 14 boxes of old clothes. Today I shipped off a few things that sold online and unloaded a car full of stuff to the Amvets trailer at Walmart. Just moments ago, someone hauled off the last remaining item - an old exercise bike I tagged with "Free" and stuck at the end of the driveway. It takes more effort to see my unwanted things are reused instead of thrown away, but I really gain satisfaction from doing so.

My life continues to simplify, and my training is better for it.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It's a Long Road

This evening I lifted again. The following was done:

Warm Up - 12k Swings, Presses, Snatches
KB Snatch - 8/8 x 16k, 16k, 16k
Bottoms Up KB Press - 4/4 x 16k, 16k, 16k
Split Squat - 8/8 x BW, BW, BW
One Arm Row - 8/8 x 16k
One Arm Curl - 5/5 x 12k, 12k
Overhead Tricep Extensions - 5 x 12k, 12k

My joints are out of alignment and the skin on my hands is tender, so nothing heavy yet. I was surprised how quickly I hit my conditioning barrier on the snatches and split squats. My shoulders are clicking on rows, so I cut those short. I need to start stretching regularly again.

The weights in the basement are working very well. The most important aspect - the new computer is down here. The wife will come downstairs and talk to me while she uses the internet. We spend around an hour chatting every evening, so this is a great way for us to multi-task.

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Little More

This evening I repeated Saturday's session, albeit with a few more sets and a 16k kettlebell. The decision to ease back in slowly was a smart one, as I found myself with sore hamstrings yesterday. I'll train again on Wednesday.

My food choices have been fairly poor since Saturday. I am not one to pass up the opportunity for deep dish pizza, nor skip out on the Indian buffet we went to for lunch today. "All you can eat" is a challenge I cannot ignore.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Slow Return

I finally did a bit of lifting this afternoon - one set of each of the following:

12k Swings
12k Snatches
12k Bottoms Up Presses
Split Squats
BW Squats

Things are creaky, to say the least.

I have given up on training in the garage. Last year when I was walking to and from work in the cold, I could barely find it in myself to lift outside. The creature comforts with my new job change that balance. I get home and have zero inclination to invest time in an unheated room. My weights started their migration into the basement this afternoon.

Over the past three weeks my knee has healed up. I've also aligned other pieces of my life. Computing has made the leap from a 5 year old laptop to a new desktop with a RAID array and 22" flat screen monitor. I spent quite a bit of time sorting my possessions and filtering out those things I no longer need. Home life has become simpler, with fewer obligations or time sinks.

For the most part, I have solved my nutrition problem, since peaking at a high weight of 169. Two lifestyle changes have helped:

1. I accept the fact that I will eat the free food at work. It is now planned into my meals and grocery shopping.
2. With the tightening economy, I am aggressively saving to paying off our 2nd mortgage, eliminating most meals out.

My build is quickly returning to normal with these changes in place. A little training will have me back at a fit 160 by years end.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Stabilization Training

This morning I stretched and did soft tissue work. This evening I lifted:

Warm Up - 12/12 x 12k One Arm Swings
Deadlift - 5 x 50k, 70k, 80k, 80k
One Arm Press - 10/10 x 12k
Bottoms Up Press - 8/8 x 12k, 3/3 x 16k, 16k
Split Squat - 5/5 x BW, 8/8 x BW
Knee Raises - 8

Mobility is returning and my knee appears to be recovering. My nutrition remains poor. I am managing to leave work on time and take lunch - stress levels are much reduced as a result.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Seeking Alignment

Over the past week I succeeded in my primary goal of reducing work related stress. My high pressure project is finishing up. On new projects, I am accounting for work / life balance when committing to estimates. I did not improve my nutrition - quite the opposite in fact. My habit of eating out every day is alive and strong. Ah well.

I did gain the motivation to train a little today. Unfortunately, it came from tweaking my knee while bowling yesterday. The misalignment that has accumulated from three weeks of little to no training coupled with lots of sitting did not fit well with heaving a bowling ball. I don't think any lasting damage is present, but I am being cautious. I also picked up a used book on bowling and will refine my movements.

Yesterday afternoon I did some light kettlebell swings and sumo deadlifts. Today I did some moderate weight deadlifts, light front squats, walks with a kettlebell overhead, and a set of knee raises. In the morning I also spent 45 minutes doing soft tissue work and stretching. The airex balance pad I got earlier this week is awesome for kneeling stretches.

I will spend this week attending to my body's need for alignment. Until my knee feels better, I am sure my motivation will be fine. Following recovery, I am not sure where things are headed. My biggest motivator for training was the frustration I felt in my old job. Lacking a sufficient channel for professional achievement or peering, I used the weights to create purpose.

The growth that came first with unemployment, and then with my new job, has changed things. I am invested in my career, on a path I find highly engaging. Going home on time is hard because I like what I am doing and enjoy the time spent working. Without that professional discontent, I am not sure where the drive to train comes from.

This is a good problem to have, but I would like the answer as well