Sunday, February 05, 2012
Most folks who know me know that I can be a bit of of music snob. I love music and a wide range of music, but: if it doesn't grab me I make no bones about music that leaves me, well..."meh." There is music around that people can be raving about and I can listen to it and even appreciate what has gone into it, the musicianship, the heart & soul of the writer, performer...but in the end if it doesn't grab me I cannot react with anything but..."meh." A few artists out there I can really appreciate for their performances and how much they put themselves into their music would be Lady GaGa and Adele. But try as I may to listen to their music it just hasn't grabbed me.
So being the fussbudget I am it's tough for me to admit to these songs which are on my mp3 player. I mean...what is a song with lyrics like THESE doing pumping up my workout?
"Cuz we're gonna boogie oogie oogie
Till you just can't boogie no more" ....?!?!
But you know? Disco has left it's stamp and there are a few traces of it in me which, when I discovered health & wellness and working out my musical tastes began to morph and make room for music I once upon a time shook my head at. This is MOVING music! Time get up and BOOGIE!
A Taste of Honey: Boogie No More
Wild Cherry: Play That Funky Music
(most "white boys" have NO business trying to be funky, but these guys really do NAIL IT!)
Bee Gees: All that Saturday Night Fever stuff...You Should Be Dancin'
Lipps, Inc.: FunkyTown
And for the occasional chuckle I enjoy this one by Dr. John, not a workout tune...just fun travelin' down Nawlins way and hearing his creole soaked voice and clever, wise-cracking threats at the end of this honky-tonk tune:
How Come My Dog Don't Bark When You Come Around?
Anyone out there have some fun, silly music you like to listen to?
In other humdrum news, got the wood pellets moved to the porch...probably not a ton left after all, but a bunch. The nice part is that the two tons I got at the beginning of the heating season in October is STILL lasting...! Usually by December / January we've burned 'em up and have to go get more! So it's a pleasure to be still burning 'em and not need more just yet. Guess climate change has a few perks. Cross country skiing isn't one of them!
Sun was shining, still too cold for hopping on the bike (30 degrees) so I pulled out the poles and had a great walk / jog up through town & back. Nice to get my outdoor fix on this pretty decently laid back day!
SuperBowl's looking pretty close! I'm not for one or the other team really, just enjoy a close game!
PS...there is more of my particular mix of jazz, world, folk & new age music here:
Saturday, February 04, 2012
Great day today! Up & at 'em, off to the fitness center, there by 9 a.m. and got my 1/2 hour of strength training in before my hour-long Spinning Class.
Spinning was even MORE awesome than usual as it seemed the instructor's playlist of songs were lifted right from my own mp3 player! At least from the classic rock portion of my mp3 player. Great tunes from Queen, Led Zeppelin, the Doors, others and Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run which almost ALWAYS pushes me up a notch or two or three beyond whatever I might be doing at the time. Which happened to be a standing climb with the resistance cranked way up...didn't matter: pedal to the metal time! Whew! Great workout!
Next pleasure up? Heading uptown to join my fellow social workers (mostly, one HR fellow too) for lunch at our local health food restaurant, the Whole in the Wall:
They had been badly flooded out during our deluge back last fall, so it felt nice to have the eight of us bringing them a little extra business by eating at a local establishment rather than a big chain of some sort. LOTS of yummy, healthy food there too!
Although I hadn't planned it this way when I chose this restaurant, earlier in the morning I thought: Hmm...it's only a couple miles away (actually closer, but I decided to add a little distance), so why not leave my car at the fitness center and pull out the Nordic poles and walk / jog there?
We had a lovely lunch catching up with each other! Who'da thunk it, social workers actually being SOCIAL?!? Go figure! :-) This was the first time some of us had laid eyes on each other in decades!
Folks were curious about my poles so I gave a little demonstration after lunch and then I was OFF, back to my car!
On the way home I got to thinking...hmm...our 1st ton of pellets on the porch have been used up, mebbe better move the other ton of forty pound bags from around the side of the house to the front porch, since it was sunny and mid-30s.
But after talking with DW I decided that there was too much laundry, housework and cooking to do that I would rather get out of the way today than tomorrow. So I started in around 2 pm.
Shoulda moved the ton. Would've been way easier! Ah well, they'll wait for tomorrow...weather is supposed to be equally pleasant.
Didn't finish up everything in the house until 9 pm. Non-stop up and running around doing one thing or another...oof! Finally settling in for a bit of cyber time and crossing my fingers that tomorrow morning will be one of those rare mornings when I'm WAY successful in sleeping in! :-)
Very fulfilling and rewarding day filled with time well, well spent!
If you've got some old friends, family and/or colleagues with whom you've lost contact I HIGHLY recommend you see what you can do to spirit them up and re-connect. It is SO WORTH THE EFFORT!
Hope all is well with my SparkFamily this weekend!
Friday, January 27, 2012
Just wondered if folks out there have any suggestions as although I've been really dedicated to my workouts I seem to have hit a wall over the past several months which has been frustrating.
My wall: I use the same amount of weights on my upper body / core strength training. I use most of the upper body / core exercises which are part of the Cybex VR-1 system at our fitness center:
I typically do strength training 3 times a week, 2 sets of 15 each with arm exercises, 2 sets of 20 on the abdominals & back extensions. Sometimes I'll throw a third set of 15 on top of them. But most times on the arm strength training I find myself having to back off a notch on the amount of weight I use.
My annoyance is that for all the weeks and months I've been doing this every time I do my strength training I find myself hitting the same wall: being just BARELY able to complete the last few reps of an exercise and sometimes on my 2nd set I even have to back off a notch on the amount of weight. I know it is important to increase the amount of weight one uses when you do strength training, but it just hasn't seemed possible for me. I'm sure doing the same-old, same-old is better than not doing it at all, however I'd like to get the most out of the time I invest in my strength training.
Similarly when I do cardio at the fitness center I do 30 mins. on the elliptical, usually the Octane 3700:
and 30 mins. on the upright stationary TrueFitness CS800 (sometimes rolling hills, sometimes hill intervals):
I find myself able to reach certain fitness numbers, i.e. distance, calories burned, etc. and just all SPENT, totally soaked & dripping with sweat and unable to push BEYOND those numbers. While I realize the calories burned is not accurate in the sense that they measure the actual number of calories that I've burned, but they are at least internally consistent as a means of measuring whether today's workout was better or worse than yesterday's.
I shake things up by going to Spinning class once, hopefully twice weekly and FINALLY got out for cross country skiing this past weekend. Once or twice a week I ditch the fitness center and opt for a fast walk / jog between offices or our local rail-trail for around 3-5 miles depending.
What do you think? Is this just hair-splitting and cabin fever leaking around the edges as I wait to hit the roads again with my bike? Should I just keep on keeping on and be satisfied with this? Or am I missing something that can make a difference in my workouts at the fitness center and bring greater rewards for my time and effort?
Appreciate any thoughts / feedback my wonderful SparkFamily may have!
PS...additional info: I never do my strength training on consecutive days, always a day in between. Despite all this have not been able to increase the weight I use for a LONG long time.
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