Saturday, March 31, 2012

Day 213 of 365 - Deadlift


Warm Up
Elliptical - 10 minutes at level 12, cool down to < 130bpm
Foam roller and mobility with 12k kettlebell


Work
Deadlift - 5 x 132, 190, 220, 250lbs
Overhead Squats - 5 x BW, Hollow Bar, Hollow Bar, 45lbs, 65lbs


Notes
Tired today, up waaay too late last night. It impacted my workout.


I still got my reps on the deadlifts, but skipped the work sets on squats. No point in beating myself up with poor form.



Friday, March 30, 2012

Day 212 of 365 - Overhead Press


Warm Up
Elliptical - 10 minutes at level 12, cool down to < 125bpm
Foam roller and mobility with 12k kettlebell


Work
Overhead Press - 5 x 45, 75, 85; 6 x 100lbs
Renegade Rows - 6/6 x 20k, 20k, 20k, 20k;
Half Get Ups to Seated - 6/6 x 16k, 16k, 16k, 16k
Grippers - 5/5 x Trainer, #1, BBSA, BBSA


Notes
My foam roller and fitball work is gradually becoming less painful. That is a good thing.


It was nice to get back real weights again today. Accessory work felt like a burden, but I did it anyway.


Printing out this month's 5/3/1 cycle, I opted to increase the squats by only 5lbs, instead of the suggested 10lbs. They are on the edge of giving me trouble. I think this will let me keep the semi-linear progress for a few more months.


I need to setup travel and hotel for my grip contest. I am having second thoughts on committing the weekend, even though I know it is a good idea.



Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Day 209 of 365 - Yoga

Yoga this evening went well. I was able to move a little further into some of the asanas. I am getting better at predicting what the instructor will call out. I think my progress will be limited to small incremental steps for awhile. One day though, it will all fall together, and I'll actually be doing yoga.

I spoke to the instructor a little before class, about muscle soreness and balance movements. I have almost completely stopped getting sore after class. I was at a loss to explain to her why, because I am trying really hard. I tried blaming my poor balance as the limiting factor, but it dawned on me later the problem is my cardio. I gas out long before my muscles are wiped out.

After I unfairly blamed the balances, she told me thinking during the balance is most likely what holds me back. I am totally guilty of that and tried really hard during the class to empty my head. I am bad at letting my mind go, but it did seem to help.

Amazon gave me a $10 digital video credit several months ago, for trading in some movies. It was about to expire, so I used it to download a Vinyasa Flow intermediate / advanced video. I figured it would help to watch the movements correctly. If I have one complaint about my studio class, it is that demonstrations of "proper" form are infrequent. The video looks helpful on a quick scan through, but is incredibly boring to watch. I may just need to try following along instead.

I spent the last $14 of my grocery budget for the week at Meijer last night. $35 a week is proving to be an ample budget, despite my prior analysis.

I need to stop spending time reading comics, message boards and news sites on the internet. They are impeding my goals while adding little to my life. From this point on, I am going to limit them to Friday evening only. I don't want my life to have been spent consuming the internet.



Day 209 of 365 - Front Squat


Warm Up
Elliptical - 10 minutes at level 12, cool down to < 125bpm
Foam roller and mobility with 12k kettlebell


Work
Front Squats to Box - 5 x BW, 65, 75, 95lbs
DO Axle Deadlift (band on knee) - 6 x 5 x 161lbs


Notes
The foam roller and fit ball are still painful, though better than yesterday. If I am smart, I will use them on my off days this week as well.


I forgot to use the 35lb plates on my axle. The sets were extra easy as a result. I ended up doing six sets because I lost count while watching CSI Miami.

I have not been nearly as tired today. I attribute yesterday's exhaustion to poor eating over the weekend.



Monday, March 26, 2012

Day 208 of 365 - Bench Press


Warm Up
Elliptical - 10 minutes at level 12, cool down to < 130bpm
Foam roller and mobility with 12k kettlebell


Work
Bench Press - 5 x 50, 65, 75lbs
One Arm Rows - 5 x 10/10 x 20k
KB Clean and Press - 5 x 5 x 16k's


Notes
Very tired today, like ready to nap between sets tired. I do not know why. My soft tissue work with the foam roller and fit ball were especially painful. Maybe there is a relationship? Maybe I just need to eat more? Beats me.

Fortunately it is deload week. I got my easy reps in anyway.



Sunday, March 25, 2012

Day 207 of 365 - Yoga

I did 8am Sunday morning yoga with my Mom again today. My cardio is starting to keep pace with the class a little better. As a result, I was able to focus on how I entered into movements and my breathing during them. The main points were:

1. Load my muscles, not my joints, easing in to the point of mild tension

2. Lessen the stretch as I breathe in, increase it when I breathe out, fluctuating the muscular tension with my breathing, similar to a mild form of PNF stretching

I think doing this will help maximize the benefit I get from the yoga, especially as a supplement to my lifting and sitting pain free all day long.

I also applied a few "cheats" to the class:

1. Immediately upon waking, I had a bunch of water and a greek yogurt to fuel up

2. Prior to going, I did a mobility warm up with my 12k kettlebell, including soft tissue work with my foam roller and fit ball. My hips are loaded with trigger points right now, probably from sitting too much. My upper body around my shoulders isn't too much better.

3. During the quiet laying at the end of class, I opted for some progressive muscle relaxation instead. There is no way the amount of tension I load into my body will leave by just laying there. I know I should not be loading myself up with tension during the class, but until that time comes...

4. Immediately upon returning home, I had an orange, nuts and a bunch more water - replenishing lost resources.

My expectation is all the tricks I use to help a weights session will also help a yoga session. I need all the help I can get!

No grocery shopping this week, but I did blow $21 buying food at Walgreens.



Saturday, March 24, 2012

Day 206 of 365 - Deadlift


Warm Up
Elliptical - 10 minutes at level 12, cool down to < 125bpm
Foam roller and mobility with 12k kettlebell


Work
Deadlifts - 5 x 132, 142, 176lbs
Overhead Squats - 5 x BW, Hollow Bar, Hollow Bar, 45, 45, 45, 45 ,45lbs


Notes
My right hip was tight going into this one. It feels better.



Friday, March 23, 2012

Day 205 of 365 - Overhead Press


Warm Up
Foam roller and mobility with 12k kettlebell


Work
Overhead Press - 5 x 45, 55, 65lbs
Grippers - 3 x 5/5 x Trainer


Notes
Deload week. Taking it easy.


 



Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Day 202 of 365 - Yoga

Naturally, after signing up for recurring yoga classes on Sunday, I just did not feel like doing it tonight. Since I had already paid, I went anyway. The class is getting a little more predictable, but I was still exhausted by the end. Just prior to deload week is the point in my lifting where I am most run down, and it definitely impacted the yoga.

The teacher says we should be relaxed by the end of class. I am not sure how long I will need to pay my dues before that happens, but I am not even close at this point. My body does feel more aligned though, which is really my primary goal.

I did do some soft tissue work prior to class, with the foam roaller, fit ball, footsie roller and a yoga strap. I am not sure if it helped or not.


Day 202 of 365 - Front Squat


Warm Up
Elliptical - 10 minutes at level 12, stop below 125bpm
Foam roller and mobility with 12k kettlebell


Work
Front Squats to Box - 5 x BW, 65, 95; 3 x 125; 2 x 140lbs
DO Axle Deadlifts - 1 x 161lbs, 201lbs, 228lbs PR


Notes
Very happy to get the front squats. I had a little trouble cleaning the weight and accidentally dropped it to the ground when setting it down, from about hip height. Unfortunately I was not using my bumper plates. Stupid. At least the stall matt protected my floor and my bar still seems alright. I'll use bumper plates and chalk up my hands on my heavy front squat sets moving forward.


I did not have it in me to do volume on the axle today. I went for a max instead. The PR is only 3lbs over last month, but I'll take a 3lb increase on anything in a month. Heck, I am happy to not have regressed at all after taking my last max.


Deload week starts now. Whoo!



Monday, March 19, 2012

Day 201 of 365 - Bench Press


Warm Up
Cut up produce for 45 minutes
Foam roller and mobility with 12k kettlebell


Work
Bench Press - 5 x 45, 5 x 95, 3 x 110; 10 x 120lbs
Bent One Arm Row - 5 x 10 x 24k
KB Clean and Press 5 x 6 x 20k's


Notes
Bench is starting to get heavy, but holding the weight at lockout feels quite easy, so I am still getting all my reps.


I finally did 5 sets across on the accessory work today. I still need to build up my reps on the clean and press, but it is good to get the volume.


I think the yesterday's yoga made this session go better. My shoulders, while still a little crunchy, felt much more accommodating to the weights.



Sunday, March 18, 2012

Day 200 of 365 - Yoga


What better to do on Sunday morning at 8am than attend a yoga class? My 3rd session of Vinyasa flow yoga went pretty well. I finished the session tired and sweaty, but with no skin tears. Instead of using a towel on my entire matt, I used a hand towel only towards the very end of class. Much better.


The early morning session only had around 5 students in it, so the teacher was able to demonstrate moves at the front of the class. My Mom uses the same yoga studio and was there, so I totally ended up copying her as well. The only problem is she is waaay better at the yoga than me, haha. My poor broken ego.


I was able to focus on synchronizing my breathing with my movement for the first 15 minutes of class or so, but as I started to gas out, it fell apart. I did much better in down and up dog, but am having problems with chaturanga. My crummy right shoulder does not like holding the bottom of a pushup. My Mom showed me a modification I will try next session. Until I can get the Vinyasa straightened out, I am not going to worry much about the other movements.


In talking about the class, I learned there is a relatively fixed structure to how it progresses. Once you can memorize the structure and know the moves, it becomes much easier to keep up. I have started breaking the structure down for myself, along with the associated moves for each class segment. I might not be physically gifted, but I know how I learn.


I signed up to attend twice a week from now on. My body already feels much better, from just 3 classes.



Saturday, March 17, 2012

Day 199 of 365 - Deadlift


Warm Up
Elliptical - 10 minutes at level 12, stop below 130bpm
Foam roller and mobility with 12k kettlebell


Work
Deadlifts - 5 x 132; 5 x 215; 3 x 240; 2 x 270lbs
Overhead Squats (no box!) - 5 x BW, Hollow Bar, 45, 45, 65, 75; 2 x88lbs


Notes
I am happy. Yoga tomorrow. I will focus on performing the 3 moves in the Vinyasa correctly, ideally synchronizing my breathing with my movement.

Did the grocery shopping this morning. I was right at $35. An $11 tea order on amazon is included in this, meaning I had to scrimp on fruit a little to hit my $35 goal.



Friday, March 16, 2012

Day 198 of 365 - Overhead Press


Warm Up
Elliptical - 10 minutes at level 12, cool down to < 120bpm
Foam roller and mobility with 12k kettlebell

Work
Overhead Press - 5 x 45, 65, 85; 3 x 95; 4 x 105lbs
Renegade Rows - 6/6 x 20k, 20k, 20k;
Half Get Ups to Seated - 6/6 x 16k, 16k, 16k
Grippers - 5/5 x Trainer, #1, BBSA; 2/2 x BBM; Miss/Miss x #2, #2


Notes
Just punching the clock today. I was up late preparing for a release this weekend.



Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Day 195 of 365 - Yoga


I attended an evening yoga class. It was rewarding. With everything being new, I am learning tons during each session.


My first class was labeled basic. This one was all levels. There were many, many more moves. I wrote down the names I could remember, so I can learn what they are supposed to look like off the internet. Fortunately my memory is pretty good, because I have a list of about 50 different moves to learn.

The class is Vinyasa flow, so we switch movements every 15-30 seconds. There just is not enough time to copy the other people before the next move. Also, everyone does it differently, so the goal position is unclear. To create the structure I like, I'll probably use video to analyze my movements relative to online videos. While I am so far below the rest of the class, I feel compelled to improve. That might not be the point of yoga, but it is how I am wired.


I did rip the skin on my big toe open, so I definitely will not return to class until Sunday. Improvement is very addictive, but I am not taping my foot up just to stretch. I tried a yoga toes towel that goes over the mat. It did stop me from slipping in down dog, however I think it is also lead to the skin tear.


The spiritual component is lost on me so far. Laying still at the end of class feels like an eternity.



Day 195 of 365 - Front Squat


Warm Up
Elliptical - 10 minutes at level 12, cool down to < 120bpm
Foam roller and mobility with 12k kettlebell


Work
Front Squat to Box - 5 x BW, 65; 3 x 105, 120; 5 x 130lbs
DO Axle Deads (35lb plates / band on knee) - 4 x 10 x 163lbs


Notes
Felt strong this morning. Got extra reps on the squats and bumped my axle deads by 20lbs. Fantastic.


Skipped the calf raises. I think they would mess up the yoga class I want to attend tonight.



Monday, March 12, 2012

Day 194 of 365 - Bench Press

Warm Up
Elliptical - 10 minutes at level 12, stop below 130bpm
Foam roller and mobility with 12k kettlebell

Work
Bench Press - 5 x 45, 3 x 90, 100; 10 x 115lbs
Bent One Arm Row - 3 x 10 x 24k
KB Clean and Press 6 x 20k;s, 7 x 20k's, 8 x 20k's

Notes
Yoga left me tired in all the right places. It impacted my workout, but I was able to try harder and repeat last week's efforts anyway. I plan to take another class on Tuesday evening.

I ended up spending $31 on groceries this weekend, getting me back to a $35 a week average. With the broiler proving useful for tostadas, all the broken oven costs me is pizza and cookies. For once, being a poor cook is an advantage.



Sunday, March 11, 2012

Day 193 of 365 - Yoga

I spent an hour moving and stretching in an 85 degree room.

I may add two group exercise days a week to my training program. Yoga is the hardest class I can think of, which means it probably has the most to offer. The session was certainly humbling. It is also much more affordable than kettlebell class.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Day 192 of 365 - Deadlift










Warm Up
Elliptical - 10 minutes at level 12, stop below 120bpm
Foam roller and mobility with 12k kettlebell


Work
Deadlifts - 5 x 132; 3 x 200, 225; 5 x 255lbs
Overhead Squats (no box!) - 5 x BW, Hollow Bar, Hollow Bar, 45, 45, 45, 45, 65lbs

Notes
No grip work again. Fitting it in would have required skipping my shower or breakfast. No thanks.

Shoulders were really tight. I needed on extra warm up set on the squats.



Friday, March 9, 2012

Day 191 of 365 - Overhead Press

Warm Up
Elliptical - 10 minutes at level 12, cool down to < 130bpm
Foam roller and mobility with 12k kettlebell

Work
Overhead Press - 5 x 45, 3 x 80, 90; 6 x 100lbs
Renegade Rows - 6/6 x 20k; 7/7 x 20k; 8/8 x 20k
Half Get Ups to Seated - 6/6 x 16k, 7/7 x 16k, 8/8 x 16k
Grippers - 5/5 x Trainer, #1, BBSA; 3/3 x BBM

Notes

I got my reps in, but I am feeling run down and tired today. The calf raises on Tuesday left me with crippling soreness, to the point where I am reluctant to stand from a chair.



Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Day 188 of 365 - Front Squats


Warm Up
Elliptical - 10 minutes at level 12, cool down to < 130bpm
Foam roller and mobility with 12k kettlebell


Work
Front Squat to Box - 5 x BW, 45, 95, 110, 125lbs
DO Axle Deads (35lb plates / band on knee) - 5 x 10 x 143lbs
BW Calf Raises - 5 x 20 x BW


Notes
The squats were tough, no doubt. Extra reps were not happening this morning.


Deadlifts were easy on set 1, a struggle by set 5. I need to hang out at this weight for awhile.


Reverse lunges are not happening. My feet feel weak and unstable under the load, so I am going to use calf raises to get them in balance.



Monday, March 5, 2012

Day 187 of 365 - Bench Press

Warm Up
Elliptical - 10 minutes at level 12, stop below 120bpm
Foam roller and mobility with 12k kettlebell

Work
Bench Press - 5 x 45, 65, 85, 95; 10 x 110lbs
Bent One Arm Row - 3 x 10 x 24k
KB Clean and Press 6 x 20k;s, 7 x 20k's, 8 x 20k's

Notes
These morning sessions are going well. I know it's just because I love changing things, but I'll take it!

I ended up spending $39 on groceries this weekend. The oven broke Saturday night, and that changed what I could cook for the week. The broiler and stove still work for now, so hopefully there is enought time to figure out the problem and fix it without paying a repairman.



Sunday, March 4, 2012

Day 186 of 365 - Deadlift






Warm Up
Elliptical - 10 minutes at level 12, stop below 120bpm
Foam roller and mobility with 12k kettlebell


Work
Deadlifts - 5 x 132, 185, 215; 6 x 240lbs
Overhead Squats (no box!) - 5 x BW, Hollow Bar, 45, 45, 45, 45, 65lbs

Notes
Not bad early on a Sunday morning. Time for Aldi.



Saturday, March 3, 2012

Day 185 of 365 - Overhead Press

Warm Up
Elliptical - 10 minutes at level 12, cool down to < 130bpm
Foam roller and mobility with 12k kettlebell

Work
Overhead Press - 5 x 45, 70, 85; 9 x 95lbs
Renegade Rows - 3 x 6/6 x 20k
Half Get Ups to Seated - 3 x 6 x 16k
Grippers - 5/5 x Trainer, #1, BBSA, BBSA, BBSA


Notes
My cold is gone. I am taking the warm up and accessory work a little easier for now though.



Thursday, March 1, 2012

Day 183 of 365 - February in Review


Progress against my goals in February was good, but not great. Between a cold and an unplanned for tax expense, I found my resources for personal development limited.


1. Lifting - I made my workouts despite being sick, completing my 3rd cycle of  5/3/1. I am hitting some PRs. It is all I could have hoped for. I will reserve the hotel and transportation for my grip contest upon finishing the 4th cycle of 5/3/1 in March.


2. Eat on $4 a day - I spent $59 on groceries in February, 25% of it was ice cream. My stock piles of rice and beans really got me through the month cheaply, but I was still eating on more than $4 a day. I will set $35 a week as my spending limit for March as well. There is still plenty of food in the house to support this. I did spend quite a bit of unnecessary money on Scotch, but hey, I can afford it! I am watching for a 20% of cookware coupon from Amazon, so I can finally order the pressure cooker.


3. Become competitive at pool - No pool, but I was rather social, which is really the intent of this goal. If March is as busy as this month was, I'll be doing great.


4. Maintain my home - Between being sick and owing thousands on my 2011 taxes, I just did not have the motivation to make progress against this one. There are structural maintenance things that really need to be done, so hopefully I will get on it during March.


5. Excel as a quality engineer - As planned at the end of last month, I finished the agile testing book, got the security scanner working again and ordered the kanban book through inter-library loan. I got ahold of a new tool for file comparisons that is really paying off. Using it to support some manual testing uncovered a few barriers to test automation in our API. Hopefully they will get fixed in March. I was also able to incorporate the comparison tool into our release deployment process, removing a significant source of risk in our SDLC. Topping it off, I am part way through synchronizing our version control and servers cross-environment, which will bring us one step closer to build server implementation. This was actually a great month towards my career goals. When I spend 40+ hours a week on something, I guess it is easy to improve.


All things considered, I am happy with how the month went. I really need to take care of the house in March though. I find it dreadfully boring, but it makes no sense to let my biggest asset rot away, simply because I am lazy. Maybe I can get my wife to deal with it...