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Duh, Winning....consistency in exercise works!

Monday, September 05, 2011

Well it turned into a busier labor Day than I had planned...but it went very well.

I started out the morning at Starbucks to have coffee with a 30-something friend of a friend who wanted some career advice and mentoring (I think he wants my job....Ha! Old age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill!) We talked for about 2 hours until SWMBO called and told me the wind was gusting to 40MPH, that sheet rain was whipping around the house, and that the waves were crashing into the backyard...."Are you coming home soon?!?"

So I told 30-something guy to finish his degree, work even harder, get out of his comfort zone, think hard about the kind of boss he would really be and to give me a holler in 6 months, then drove back home....

....right into the heart of the Storm! I forget what the meteorological term is, but as a rotating storm moves from the water over the land, in it's trail is a low pressure front that pulls and sucks ocean moisture in it's wake, generating some very impressive was pretty cool. SWMBO however doesn't enjoy nature's fury as I do and had prepared for the worst; Cat was in it's travel kennel, bike helmets were arrayed in the hallway (in case tornado blows roof off), lanterns lined up in an interior hallway with no outside walls, and a case of water in the bathroom....she's my little disaster response queen!

But our little home survived, just a few roof tiles blew off. So after stir-frying up a quick lunch, I drove on over to the gym for Monday's ST session on legs & back.

Now those of you who have read my past few days' blogging have seen my recent obsession with Hi-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Well, note to self....HIIT is not a good warmup routine for Strength Training!

I got to the gym early and hit a stationary bike to get warmed up. After about 10 minutes, I thought, "Hmmm, I can speed this up a little with some intervals, and still have time to recover before we start lifting."

Yeah, if I were 20 yrs old, maybe. But at 51, it's probably a better idea to not combine intense cardio with intense weight lifting.

Overall the session went fine, I was just a little tired going into it. But a few months ago, it probably would not have been's about the consistency. I've seen great improvements these past 3 weeks since I've been home long enough to do the ST 3x/week (Duh, winning) and the months of regular cardio and ST have helped me build a strong foundation. I'll just tone it down so that I do cardio on cardio days, ST on ST days....the two shall never again meet on the same day!

That's all for now Spark friends....good night!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BILL60 9/6/2011 7:32AM

    Well done!! However, don't get too soft on yourself. Nothing wrong with beating your body up once in a while, regardless of your age. At 66, I do it often and it helps keep me honest. HOOAAA!!

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REBECCATKD 9/5/2011 9:20PM

    Ooh, yeah, hard cardio + strength training = disaster. Lesson learned.

Glad to hear you survived the storm! Next fitness stop: kayak for possible escape routes during hurricane season. :)

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MOBYCARP 9/5/2011 8:53PM

    Yeah, over 50 there comes a time when we have to overcome the pride of being premier at everything, and do what we can do without totally beating our bodies up. We can still train, but we can't be stupid proud about it.

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POINTAFTER 9/5/2011 8:49PM

    Oh, that scene sounds SO familiar...that was my house the day before Irene. Since our power was only out for 18 hours there is STILL water in the bathtub. I refuse to waste it, so it has become my refill source for the dogs' bowls. emoticon

I've only combined HIIT with moderate strength training on the same day. Sounds like I'd better keep it that way!

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Tropical Storm Lee, Spy Kids, Hi-Intensity Interval Training, and the smartest $20 I've spent!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

So, some changes are afoot!

I'm feeling pretty darn good and enjoying it. I decided to "re-commit" to Sparkpeople a few weeks ago, to work harder at living healthier (working out, eating right, logging it and blogging it) and it's not so bad...I feel adventurous, somewhat like I did when I first joined and started checking out this whole Spark thing.

The weather here in NW Florida has been pretty nasty with TS Lee. SWMBO and I had to clear the lawn chairs & plants off the deck as the winds started gusting. I spent about 30 minutes on the roof cleaning out gutters and downspouts, coming down when she informed me that we were in a tornado warning (my comment of, "well I don't see any from up here" didn't calm her down any...I did come down, though when I heard the lightening alerts come on)

Rather than stay cooped up all day, I took #2 son to go see "Spy Kids" for a matinee. Apparently, so did 100 other parents...they even bought their newborns, God bless 'em!

So after an hour and a half of potty jokes and newborns crying, scared silly from loud cinematic sounds effects (Really people!?! What is up with bringing kids that can't walk or talk to the movies?!?) I needed a workout.

At first I was just going to do a nice, long, slow ride on the stationary bike....but then I got to thinking.....I don't want to overdo these Tabata intervals I've been obsessing about lately, but I really have enjoyed the Hi-intensity workouts.

A quick side-story....this is no sales pitch mind you, and I have no affiliation with these guys, but I did download (and paid $20 for) this amazing series of mp3s that have numerous sets of varying intervals. The music is all very techno/industrial, but the beauty is that I don't have to time a thing or look at a watch. They cue you pretty good ("get ready to go in 3-2-1....push....OK, now slow down for 30 seconds, you have 4 sets left to go") and have lots of Hi-intensity workouts as well as specific Tabata intervals, with warmup and cooldown on each. Anyway, take a listen and see if you like them:
(BTW, it took me 5 days to order these....I kept thinking it could be a scam. I couldn't find any reviews about the site. I finally used Paypal just to be extra safe. Bottom line; no problems and the download all checked out clean and music is as advertised)

So then I decided to explore some new equipment. I'm pretty set in my ways; I tend to gravitate to the same machines for cardio when I can't go riding my bike outside. But today I decided to try out the Concept2 rowing machine:

I haven't been on one of those since quitting the crew team at college many, many moons ago, so it was pretty cool.

Then I decided to do some intervals!

These were a little tamer than all-out Tabatas because I didn't want to get overly sore, breaking in a whole new set of underused muscles, so I tried 30 sec hi-intensity and a 60 sec slow & steady for 8 sets. It was great!

From there I went and did the same on a stationary bike then an elliptical....SWMBO always jokes that I should ask the doc for some Ritalin. Maybe doing many different types of intervals on different machines appeals to my inner ADHD-child.

Anyway, while the workouts are tough, I find myself looking forward to them, which is all any of us can ask as we strive to improve our fitness

Good night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AMEDEAU 9/5/2011 12:43PM

    Sounds like you had a great day... and I must admit, you are a by far better man than me. I suffered through the first Spy Kids movie and then my daughter took me to one called Shark Boy and Lava Girl. Although I love my daughter to pieces, I'm sure glad she is into older movies now ;-)

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HEALTHIERKEN 9/5/2011 12:27PM

    It's always fun to cater to that Inner Child!!!!!
And it's almost always beneficial to the Outer Adult : )

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JUNEBUG1944 9/4/2011 11:24PM

    Glad you didn't get blown off that ladder and you didn't see any twisters while you were up there! I'm sure SWMBO didn't think your comment was as funny as you and I did! I'm ready for the rain to STOP! I'll have to listen to that music...

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TIFFGETSFIT 9/4/2011 10:42PM

    Sounds like a good day (minus the toddlers and screaming----welcome to my world - bahahaha) and a good workout! Tell SWMBO I think she's too funny with the Ritalin joke. Glad the storm didn't swallow ya'll up :-)

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My Big, Fat Greek Lunch....and more Tabatas!

Saturday, September 03, 2011

So who knew that there was a large enough of a Greek Orthodox population here in the Ft Walton Beach area to hold an annual Greek Festival!

Now I'm not Greek, but I certainly enjoy a well-baked phyllo dough stuffed with spinach and feta cheese (spanokopita);

nicely layered moussaka;

orzo salad;

baklava, appropriately crisped;

and my all time favorite, the "bird's nest" kadaif;

You see, Labor Day weekend is our anniversary weekend, so this was as much a date for SWMBO and I as it was a culinary adventure. After hanging out on the back deck all morning watching the whitecaps generated by Tropical Storm Lee, we decided to hell with it, we're going out!

It was a pretty decent time, and we also got some shopping done (SWMBO had a long list of items from Bed, Bath, & Beyond, as well as me making good on the promise I made to buy her some new running shoes....cha-ching!)

So Spark friends, what else could I possibly do this afternoon except to get my a$$ over to the gym to burn off the generous helpings of olive oil and feta I consumed today!

I hit the stationary bike, got warmed up, then went into the Tabata intervals I've been talking about these past few days. I am most definitely digging them! Those short bursts of very hi-intensity, going all out, are tough as hell, but they get my heart rate way up there, I get a great sweat going, and I find that my mind is totally focused on exercise and absolutely nothing work, no home, no "I should take care of...." thoughts, just right here in the moment.

These are very short bursts over a period of just 4-5 minutes with recovery time built in. What I have found is that I can do these 5 minute Tabatas on different equipment. I started off on the stationary bike, then did some on the elliptical, then picked up a pair of dumbbells and did shoulders. So at the end of a 60 minute cardio session, I had worked out a great variety of body parts, some of them very intensely and 2 hours later, I still feel a very invigorating "burn".

That's good because my Big Fat Greek Lunch cost me 1000 calories, so burn, baby, burn!

Good night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    A 1000 calorie culinary adventure?! Awesome willpower! Although tabatas sound like they should have been part of the menu.

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HAKAPES 9/4/2011 2:35AM

    You only did 1000 kcal for this tempting Greek eating feast? That is awesome! I'm sure you controlled a lot of poriton control to do that!

Happy you signed up for the 5% challenge!

I also love those burning sessions!

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HEALTHIERKEN 9/3/2011 11:04PM

    You're the Man, GETSTRONGRRR!!!!!

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TIFFGETSFIT 9/3/2011 9:04PM

    Sounds like a great (and YUMMY) day!

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REBECCATKD 9/3/2011 8:05PM

    Oh, that 1000 calories sounds so worth it! Hey, you evened it out and went to the gym -- keep burning!

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RRP546 9/3/2011 6:59PM

  good nite to you

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Tabata tonight....then weights!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Well I took today off to make it a 4-day weekend....then I also decided that I'd take Tues-Fri off next week as well, so I'm about to enter 10 straight days off from work.....unheard of I tell you. It's OK though, I rarely get the full time off and will likely go in a few hours a few times next week.

But I digress....Today, I was a workout animal! And the plan is to continue that trend through next week.

First off I helped SWMBO with some household chores this AM....mostly being her pack mule to move boxes and "craft containers" from her studio room to our garage storage shed. I don't have the heart to claim it as cardio, and any ST benefits I got from it were from exercising patience as I arranged, then re-arranged the "craft containers" in the storage shed by season. Oh yeah, each 25 gallon tub is marked "Fall decorations", "Christmas ornaments", "Easter", "4th of July".....I could open a Micheal's franchise in our backyard. Apparently the goal is (for me) to rotate the most recent required containers to the front each season....I'm very happy to be so needed
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

But I finally broke free and made it to the gym. I actually went a little early to warm-up before lifting and decided to try the Tabata Intervals I blogged about a few days ago (
). WOW!!! I had downloaded a playlist that times various intervals and used the beginner set of 10 seconds all out/20 seconds rest (actual goal is 20 second full out/10 seconds rest)

Well I got to admit, they were pretty amazing! I tried them a few times on the stationary bike, then on the elliptical, then again on the bike (trainer guy was late). I feel pretty motivated to start doing them as part of my regular cardio workout. I was warmed up and sweating in no time. Overall, it felt great to change up the pace frequently; it helped to stay focused in a way that just droning on and on for 30-40 minutes doesn't do. Here's a link to an article that gives a pretty good explanation of them:

Lifting went great everything else, consistency is the key for me. I've been able to get in 3 good sessions a week these past 3 weeks and have felt massive improvements. I'll keep it going next week, then see what I can do on the road through the rest of September.

That's all for tonight Spark friends, have a good night!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEEBREW 9/4/2011 10:04AM

    I followed your links and read about the Tabata... really intriguing, especially the paragraph that stated a 20 minute workout proved more beneficial than a 5 hour weekly workout total.

I'm going to try it today at the gym... I can't wait!

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REBECCATKD 9/2/2011 9:24PM

    I missed your earlier blog and will have to check it out. What the heck is tabata?

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MOBYCARP 9/2/2011 8:38PM

    emoticon Congrats on being consistent, and making progress with that consistency!

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Peanut Butter stays at home!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Well I'm kind of glad this week is winding down. Lots to do, lots of demands on my time....and September is going to be a roller coaster. I'm flying to Virginia on Sept 11 (should be a hoot!), and then I'm on the road the rest of the month and into October; Salt Lake City, Orlando, Las Vegas, Charlottesville, parts unknown.

So I've got another week to get my act together and man up for a month of eating well on the road and working out, else I'll lose any gains I've recently made. I've been really consistent about working out lately, even if I've missed a day or 2, so I'm loathe to slack off there.

I'm going to take a few days off from work next week to finish up some stuff around the house, so that'll be a good chance to work out regularly and get in decent shape before hitting the road. I usually do pretty good getting cardio in while traveling...ST is a little tougher, so I might pick back up with the 100 pushup/200 situp program.

Good news; when I'm on the road, peanut butter stays at home!

Good night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    My goodness, so many places to go - Kinda makes the head spin just thinking about it. And, OMG, packing, like that would be a nightmare for me! Ahh, but you're a guy - Not such a tough job. :-)
Peanut butter - Hmmm, that's what I had last night after my ST workout at the gym. 1/4 cup almonds, 1 tablespoon peanut butter placed side-by-side on a small plate. Almonds dipped into peanut butter, one precious little almond at a time, until that feeling of ecstasy was so great, I felt I could not possibly stand it any longer. Oh, and the almonds and peanut butter were all gone anyway. Perfect timing.

Have a safe trip!


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AMEDEAU 9/2/2011 11:45AM

    Wow, that is quite a bit of travel. It's great that you are thinking about some of the pitfalls already. I'm wishing you the best to stay on track.

I know that previously, I have had issues of falling off the work-out wagon when I have traveled.

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