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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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Don't piss off your Personal Trainer!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Deter me once, shame on you (work)....Deter me twice, shame on me (I will not be deterred)

So, today had all the potential makings of another 14 hour day at the office. I got in around 6:00 AM to get ready for tons of meetings, employee feedback sessions, yadda-yadda-yadda. It was pretty non-stop from early AM till late afternoon...same as yesterday. But yesterday, I stuck around till 8:00 PM, blew off the gym, and regretted it all night

Today I came real close to blowing off the gym again

It was 5:30, I was already late for my session with trainer guy, and I was this close to calling him up and cancelling.

Instead I called him up and said, "I'm delayed, I'll be there by 6:00 PM"

Wahoo! Probably the best decision I made all day!

We worked out back and legs pretty hard for an hour. It was just what I needed, because it has been a frustrating 2 days.

Here's the beauty of it: Trainer guy looks at me when I walk in and says, "You don't look happy"

"That's probably because I'm not. Let's go Monkey Boy"

That was probably the dumbest thing I said all day.

Here's some free advice to everyone....don't get surly with your personal trainer, they'll just make your life so painful, that any other frustrations or pains you have will quickly become inconsequential.

He opens up his notebook, erases a few things, scribbles down some new things, and next thing I know, he's telling me I need to "rep out" each set.

If your not fluent in gym-speak, "repping out" means that I basically keep doing whatever exercise he has me on (did I mention we did back and legs today) and keep doing them to muscle exhaustion. No counting to 8 or 10 and we're done. Oh no, just the constant "let's go go 3 more, 2 more, 1 more, 1 more, keep going, 1 more, come on you got 1 more in you"

"How many freaking 'one mores' can you keep adding you sadistic bastard? Are you enjoying this" (I just thought it, I didn't have the energy to speak)

Next thing you know, Old Jed's a millionaire.....I can't even remember what I was frustrated about at work.....I just channeled all that hate into trainer guy, who I'm cursing for every dime I'm paying to help get me in shape. Pretty much a Charlton Heston moment ("Hate keeps a man alive"--Ben Hur)

But by the end, I felt better. Trainer guy kept my motivation up, pushed me past what I felt I could do on my own (Hey, I'm here to tell the story), and, after I fired him twice, we scheduled our next session for Friday afternoon

So, life is good, working out helps relieve even the most frustrating of days, and the difference in my thinking today is that I WILL go to great lengths to workout and I WILL NOT be deterred!

Good night Spark friends

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LAWLAW3 9/5/2011 6:15PM

  oh pay them in five pound note esp if its like 300 youre paying him and that will piss him off before you start. and one bag of pounds to take the piss it funny to do it....

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LAWLAW3 9/5/2011 6:08PM

  I always love winding uyp my trainer and he winds me up back, then we argue I train with him five days a week,and simply love winding him up any ideas would be great thanks but will call him monkey boy and gonna use that sadistic bastard quote thats funny

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DZSWEETIE2005 9/2/2011 9:13AM

    Hahaha I fire my personal trainer all the time! And he quits on me after I give him crap all the time! But it never sticks!! :)

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    emoticon. "Monkey Boy"? To your PT? Apparently you are a masochist or have a hitherto undisclosed death wish. You are lucky to still be here with us LOL!

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HEALTHIERKEN 9/1/2011 11:21AM

    Your blog titles are always so intriguing, and your posts well worth reading! "Monkey Boy" ??????!!!!!!!! You're lucky you're still alive : ) And more power to you for sticking with that trainer, and double more power to him for sticking with you : ) : ) : )

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KA_JUN 9/1/2011 8:51AM

    Great blog, suffering builds character, good for you for "encouraging" your trainer to drop the hammer. emoticon

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TIFFGETSFIT 9/1/2011 8:16AM

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!! This post was a great way to start my day :-) Good job Bicycle Man (is that annoying yet? Okay, good. Just checking ;-) Show Monkey Boy who's boss!!!!!

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    How many freaking 'one mores' can you keep adding you sadistic bastard?"

I am dying here - Laughing my arse off! Not even sure if I will be able to sleep tonight - this blog is too funny.

On Tuesday night at the gym I made some sarcastic comment to my trainer after she asked at the END of a grueling session if I was OK. I said, "Oh, yeah, in fact I could do 100 abs right now"
BAM! She had me down on the floor so fast doing those damn abs, I thought I would surely die from it. It was the most BURNING ab workout ever and, let me tell ya, I'm still in pain from it.
Still, I agree, there's nothing like a good workout to change a bad day's direction.

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JUNEBUG1944 8/31/2011 10:57PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon MONKEY BOY??? MONKEY BOY???? You are a glutton for punishment, aren't you? emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PAMSPARKS 8/31/2011 9:26PM

    Awesome post, good advice, great pics to go with it! Thanks for sharing!

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