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Endurance Strength Training.....the recovery spin class

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Well needless to say, after yesterday's endurance strength training session, I was a tad sore this morning. ( www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5094529
)

Don't get me wrong, it was a good sore, the kind of sore that reminds you that you have muscles in all sorts of weird parts of your body. It's the kind of sore that says, "hey dumbass, why did you decide to start using us after all these years, we've been pretty happy atrophying away down here!"

As the morning wore on, I wasn't shaking it off, so I made secret plans to duck out at lunchtime and sneak in a spin class under the guise doing some "management by walking around"

Quite possibly the smartest thing I did all day!

Now when I'm in town, it's tough to break away during the day to hit the gym. On the road at conferences and other meetings I have to attend, I've got more opportunities. But this week has been fantastic!

At last week's scheduling meeting, I told my front office staff to leave me wide open this Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday....miraculously, they listened and did just that! Tons of white space on the calendar....I don't think I have been so productive in months. I knocked out tons of things on my never-ending to-do list, got caught up on a bunch of professional reading I had let slack off, prepared a bunch of reports that needed some undivided attention, knocked out tons of correspondence, and basically networked like a madman.....plus I got in a lunchtime workout Tuesday & today.

I strolled in to the spin class today still feeling a little wobbly from yesterday's lower body endurance workout. As I got on the bike I seriously questioned my own sanity and wondered if I hadn't made a monumental blunder attempting a hard cardio session after a tough ST workout.

But once curvilicious instructor gal started pumping up some Black Eyed Peas ("I got a feeling") the world seemed just right and next thing you know I was revving it up past 90 RPM and steadily pushing up the resistance.

And then my legs started loosening up and it felt as if some biophysical miracle flushed out all the leftover lactic acid from yesterday. Hill climbs, sprints, intervals, you name it, I was all over it. 50 straight minutes of pretty damn hi-intensity cardio on the bike, punctuated by 30 second breaks to towel off the sweat and chug down a few gulps of water.

Yeah, so maybe there is something to this endurance strength training after all.....sheesh!

Have a great night spark friends!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PLMITCH 10/12/2012 10:26PM

    emoticon emoticon

"endurance strength training"...sounds painful! But I'm sure it was good!

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SAFARIBABE 10/12/2012 9:23AM

    Nothing beats a good turn on the bike! Maybe you can rent one in Hawaii and go for a ride up one of those volcano things.

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BERGBA7 10/12/2012 2:45AM

    Yep, as crazy as it sounds, a workout while being sore can help recover. I do not really understand how that works, but found that it also works for me.
You seem to have found your balance - strength, cardio, food - I think just that is maintenance. Doing something you like that makes you feel good, strong, healthy, happy and balanced. One day you might just stop loosing weight and there you are on "maintenance". To plant a flag on the day you realize you want to stay just like you are is a celebration of achievement ~ don't miss that happy moment!
Enjoy your sweating and have a nice trip to Hawaii.
emoticon emoticon

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ADVENTURESEEKER 10/11/2012 11:38PM

    Gotta love a good workout!

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Endurance Strength Training....love it....hate it!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

So I really enjoy my workout schedule. I try to get in 3 days of ST plus 3 days of cardio in any given week.

Cardio varies between riding my bike (my supercool Trek which is also my avatar), working out on the elliptical, taking a spin class, and any other activity to get my HR up to 80-90% of max

For ST it's a little more complicated.

Now I freely admit that I've been working out with a trainer for these past 3 years (I'm pretty sure he received some Sadism 101 training as an East German Stasi agent or quite possibly was a Russian Spetsnaz animal cruelty specialist). He changes up routines on me periodically and definitely pushes me past what I would normally do on my own on a regular basis.

We basically alternate doing a heavy weight/low rep workout, followed by the same routine with medium weight and higher reps.

For example on squats, I do 240 lbs for 5 reps (4 sets total) on a heavy day, then do 165 lbs for 15 reps (4 sets also) a couple days later.

You would think the heavy weights are the tough days.

Oh No! No, no, no, no, no......the tough days are the medium weight/hi rep days. "These are the days we train for endurance", says Stasi trainer guy (imagine Arnold saying this).

Today was such a day!

Now I consider myself a fairly tough-minded Mo-Fo. I can endure all sorts of privations & pains. I've run marathons, spent days in the woods eating only what I can catch, and all sorts of other weirdness.

But endurance ST is a whole other ballgame.....I don't think there's a tougher thing I do (at least I think that right now, at this moment, today)

Right as I get to 8, 9, 10 reps, I realize, "Scheisse, I still have 5 more of these to do!"

Meanwhile, my glutes, hamstrings, & back are screaming, and I am getting an incredible aerobic workout as I am huffing and puffing for all I'm worth (Stasi guy says it's technically an anaerobic workout...."Screw you Stasi guy" I mutter to myself as I focus on reps 12 & 13)

Man, oh, man what a combination though...strength training and endurance. I used to think endurance meant running (or biking) for long distances, usually measured in hours. In the ST world it's about how long can you stretch out that time where you are stressing your musculature with repetitive movements while bearing a load. Yes each set is over in under 2 minutes, but it sure feels like hours to me!

But I've come to believe that you have to do both. Doing heavy weights is good to build muscle and strength, but I know a lot of folks that do just that, and are explosively strong for a minute or 2, but ask them to do something repetitive and they're out of Schlitz pretty fast.

Lifting less heavy weights for a higher number of reps is also great for building muscle strength & tone, but also helps build mental strength where you learn to recognize the fatigue and work through it as well as building up your stamina, which may be a better measure of overall health than just the amount of weight you moved in a day.

By Jove, maybe I've got it....maybe I can fire Stasi guy, quit my day job, and become a Personal Trainer myself!

Have a great night spark friends!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOWFATFOODIE 10/13/2012 4:02PM

    I totally agree. my program actually does rotate weeks of heavy lifting with weeks of high reps. Right now its crazy 20-30 reps with active rest in between.
I'll take those 8 reps at high weight any day!! Something about going over 10 is a mental game... usually I have to count to 10 twice to avoid that panic of 18...19...20.

Definitely switching up routines (not just weight but different lifts too) every couple of weeks is generally a best practice.
After my 12 weeks (I'm in week 9), I'll be working up a 4 day ST routine that changes up every couple of weeks, focusing on the parts that need the most improvement...

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SAFARIBABE 10/12/2012 9:20AM

    Ach you LOVE it! You KNOW you love it! You love getting beat up by Stasi guy, and most of all you thrive on the rush of success when you finish AND can still crawl to the car! LOL

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GREENGENES 10/11/2012 7:07PM

    Great. Personal trainers sound like they can be very beneficial but not something I've ever thought about and certainly not in my budget. However, I've noticed a few students (former varsity athletes) at our fitness center working one on one with other students and I've thought about asking them if they would work with me and how much they would charge but I don't think I'm ready to go that route yet.

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LISAINMS 10/11/2012 1:46PM

    You do need both! I see so many at the gym that do either/or. They are missing the boat.

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BILL60 10/11/2012 9:50AM

    Gold stuff!! I personally dislike bike speed intervals and hill repeats. While they're made for increasing endurance and strength, I would much rather do a 50-miler than a lousy 1hr intervals/repeats workout. They truly humble you.

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CHEEKY1000 10/10/2012 10:41PM

    Okay, seriously, you said picture Arnold...but all I pictured were Hanz and Franz "Pump you up!" LOL

I did some lunges and squats on Sunday. Did a relatively easy workout since I haven't used the muscles other than running in months. Did I say easy? Today was the first day since Sunday that I could actually get onto and off ...the...uh...toilet (shhhh) without crying. Okay, maybe I didn't cry, but holy guacamole did it hurt and I was definitely grimacing if not crying. On Sunday, the workout felt fine--even considered adding weights. Sooooo glad I didn't. So, at the moment, I'm in awe of you. I'm pretty sure 5# (let alone triple digits) would break me at the moment. LOL

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ACCEPTHECHLNGE 10/10/2012 10:20PM

    Be careful, BEATLETOT and I, both, speak German. emoticon LOL.
Actually I was born and grew up there. To picture Arnold pushing you, makes me laugh.
I certainly don't work out at your level, but I have worked out with a trainer for this past year, and it definitely makes a big difference.
Keep it up!!!

Comment edited on: 10/10/2012 10:30:40 PM

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CHRISKENANDKIDS 10/10/2012 9:58PM

    Ooooh! Sounds good and awful at the same time! :)

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Just exactly what is Maintenance???

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

OK, I freely admit, these days I've been a blog slacker. No real good reason....it's not like I lack things going on....I'm mostly on a pretty stable glide path working, eating, exercising, life, yadda-yadda-yadda.

I've read a lot of blogs & commentary lately on people in maintenance. Hmmmmm......maintenance.....exactly what is THAT?

I've been a pretty steady 178 - 182 lbs now for 4-6 months. I'm wearing 34 inch jeans....but need a belt to hold them up so I don't look like this


I work out because I enjoy it and feel better when I do. I don't view exercise as a tool to counteract the food I eat....this is a pretty huge mental shift. I recently re-wickered my food plan to significantly reduce my carb intake and feel tons better for it.....I feel in control of my appetite for the first time in......DECADES!

So what the hell is maintenance?!?!?

I don't know, mostly because I don't think I've thought my way through it yet.....most of the stuff I've read from folks in or approaching maintenance have said it's pretty much an extension of what they've been doing to get down to their goal weight anyway......I don't think I'll plant a flag, stake my claim, and say, "Today I declare that I am in MAINTENANCE"


In any case, life goes on and thanks to SP, I can handle all the many minefields out there much better today than I could before I joined. This week I've got a dinner event on Thursday night, a going away luncheon on Friday, SWMBO and I are hosting a backyard party for about 30 folks on Saturday afternoon, and Sunday.....

....I fly to Hawaii for a week!


I got a call from the corporate leadership a few days ago and was told I HAD to attend this meeting in Honolulu.

Oh alright, if I really HAVE TO!

Maybe I'll have an epiphany about maintenance as I sit on my breezy lanai, sipping my morning Joe and gazing out upon Diamond Head


Have a great night Spark friends!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOWFATFOODIE 10/13/2012 3:56PM

    Enjoy Hawaii... I don't think I'll ever choose to say I'm in Maintenance either. I don't work well in "leave things as is"-- I'm on or I'm off. If I'm not progressing, then I am regressing.
Right now its body fat percentages. We'll see when I make that goal what is next-- probably being able to do pullups, handstand pushups or something equally "impossible" for me now.

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 10/11/2012 2:56PM

    Good for you - you are living your life and maintaining better than most of us! Have fun in Hawaii!

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SAFARIBABE 10/10/2012 7:23PM

    Maintenance....maintenance is actually owning a pair of pants that fit right!! All of them even!! (Hint Hint!!) Now why can't my boss ever order me to meetings in Hawaii. Well I guess you get ordered to enough places like Deluth (nothing against Deluth, I'm sure it's lovely). LOL Shame all those fruity drinks with umbrellas are high carb!! emoticon

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LISAINMS 10/10/2012 2:51PM

    Maintaining AND a forced trip to Hawaii? Well...don't suffer too much!

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MILLIE5522 10/10/2012 1:23PM

    Green green green and I'm not talking about veggies either! emoticon

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BEATLETOT 10/10/2012 12:21PM

    Hey, and that pic of the boys with the shorts also show maintenance! Glad to see you blogging!

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ELAYNE39 10/10/2012 9:51AM

    You poor thing. Hope you are not suffering too much in Hawaii.

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BILL60 10/10/2012 8:40AM

    Surely you need someone to carry your suitcases.

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ADVENTURESEEKER 10/10/2012 1:50AM

    Ooooh darn, Hawaii! If you must...

Enjoy your time!

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ACCEPTHECHLNGE 10/9/2012 10:49PM

    Life is tough, isn't it? As long as you have a gym in the hotel, you will be ok and 'maintain', unless you are drinking too many Mai Tais. Enjoy!!!

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Istanbul - I need a vacation from my vacation!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ahhh, it's nice to be back home! Here I sit on my favorite chaise lounge, looking out our windows onto the stormy seas as I get caught back up on logging food and blogging adventures.

I got in last night after a surprisingly uneventful flight with stops in Paris and Atlanta (yes Fangfacekitty, I had a nice experience with Air France....good food, lots of decent movies to watch, and friendly flight attendants)

But man I need a vacation from my vacation!

I arrived in Istanbul on Saturday 22 Sept. Checked in to the Renaissance Istanbul (owned by Marriot) which apparently opened up only a few weeks ago. My room had a great view of the bridge over the Bosporus and to my incredible delight, the gym was equipped with the latest Lifecycle bikes, treadmills, & ellipticals.

They even had a squat rack with free weights, a TRX room, a pilates room, and some concept 2 rowers! I was in heaven! I got in a good workout to shake off the transatlantic flight, then went to visit the rest of the family who was in the thick of wedding planning.

Sunday was great....the wedding went off without a hitch. They picked a beautiful spot in a little boutique hotel (Hotel Les Ottomans - www.lesottomans.com/ ) right on the water.
.
Yours truly danced a good part of the night away with my sister (mother of the groom) and any bridesmaid within reach, then promptly logged about 120 aerobic minutes into my spark tracker later that night.

Monday was supposed to be a recovery day, but after I complained that all of my clothes had suddenly become all baggy this year, my sister insisted on taking me shopping to some of her favorite spots. We may not actually be brother and sister....somehow she has the genes that actually enjoy shopping.....mine are recessive.

She hauled my ass over to a bunch of Euro-boutique men's shops and no matter how difficult or picky I was, just kept hauling sports coats off the racks and telling me all about them ("See this stitching on the lapel, that's done by hand!") After 4 hours of this madness (and the realization that she wasn't going to stop until I picked out something), I settled on a sporty looking dark number with subtle azure stripes that I'd be comfortable wearing on casual nights out.

Tuesday my 35 year old nephew (her other kid) took the day off and we did the grand Istanbul walking tour. We started at one end of the Golden Horn, winding our way through twisting alleys, until we hit the waterside, crossed the bridge across the Golden Horn, wound our way through more streets until we hit the maze of the spice bazaars



Once our noses couldn't take it any more we hit the grand bazaar where I picked up a few trinkets for my front office folks


We found our way out after a few wrong turns, stopped for some tea, then picked up the pace to hit Haga Sophia before a big crowd of German tourists got ahead of us.



Being a history buff, I took every opportunity to school my nephew at every historical monument from the importance of the famed triple walls of Byzantium, to the 1000-year old sword carved initials into the railings of Haga Sophia by Vikings hired to guard the Emperor, to how the first use of cannons in a siege took down those same walls in 1453. Amazingly, he listened and enjoyed my lecturing!

Then we decided to rest, and so took a ferry ride to the Asian side where we walked another 5 miles through twisty streets and seaside vendors as we gazed back upon Europe!


According to my Bodymedia Fit, we walked 35,000 steps that day, which roughly equates to about 17 miles. And if that wasn't enough, we had reservations for dinner that night to take my sister out for her big 60th birthday! We did it up nicely. Nephew found a cute little spot in a high rise where they converted the balcony into a dining area with a view of the Bosphorus.


Anyway, the rest of the week was just as hectic. Wednesday I took my mom for a ferry ride out to the Princess Islands for lunch and a horse & buggy ride, Thursday nephew and I did another walking tour, though this one only logged 18,000 steps, and Friday I took myself out for another adventure where I could just relax alone.

In the meantime, I got in 3 good days of ST at the hotel, stayed relatively carb free (except for some very excellent chocolate cake on sister's birthday and a serving of baclava to die for at the wedding), and felt quite fetching as the good-looking, wide-shouldered, flat-bellied, 52-year old who can still dance up a storm when the music is right!

Have a great night Spark friends!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLAIREINPARIS 10/8/2012 8:38AM

    What a beautiful city and a fun blog! It sounds like you had a fantastic time!
I wasn't looking forward to having to travel to Istanbul for work at some point in 2013, and now I am! Thank you!

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ALLYTHEATHLETE 10/6/2012 10:24PM

    Sounds amazing!

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MARZIPAN22 10/5/2012 11:56AM

    We were in Istanbul this past Spring and my husband really loved it (he was an art history major way back.) Your photos were wonderful and I was so happy to know that you had a lovely, busy time. It's terrific that you kept up with your fitness goals (and then some, I'll bet !!)

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BERGBA7 10/3/2012 3:55PM

    Wow! I love city trips and this one was great! Walking for sightseeing is one of my favorite workouts! Great you enjoyed it and had some good time with your family!
emoticon emoticon

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HAKAPES 10/2/2012 5:35PM

    Wonderful journey...
I love the title of the blog! :-)

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GREENGENES 10/2/2012 12:45PM

    35,000 steps!?!?!? Awesome "vacation". What a great adventure.

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HEALTHIERKEN 10/2/2012 11:46AM

    ". . . good-looking, wide-shouldered, flat-bellied, 52-year old . . . "
Ain't it great to be able to think of yourself in this way???!!!!!
Congratulations on your health and fitness accomplishments. : )

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SAFARIBABE 10/1/2012 7:49PM

    WOOT!!! I knew you'd come thru with some photos for the state-side stranded of us!! Glad you had a great trip. As for those shopping genes....rest assured you and your sister are truly related. It's a woman thing -- well most women. Just look at SWMBO if you don't believe me. LOL Remember when y'all went sofa shopping? Glad you're home. Hope you can have a few days before jetting off again.

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MILLIE5522 10/1/2012 4:31PM

    I love dancing! Its the best way to burn those calories.
Great pics. I must go there one day.........

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REBECCATKD 10/1/2012 12:26PM

    Gorgeous pics! Sounds like a wonderful -- and busy! -- vacation.

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BILL60 10/1/2012 10:03AM

    Super adventure!!

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JTROBERTSON 10/1/2012 9:44AM

    Looks like a beautiful place. emoticon

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LIVELAUFLUV 10/1/2012 5:26AM

    Glad you had a great time! I hear you on needing a vacation from your vacation though. After our Alaskan cruise, I needed a week to recover and get back into the groove of reality!

Great job with your steps, and activity level while you were on vacation! Keep up the good work.

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ADVENTURESEEKER 10/1/2012 2:33AM

    Sounds like you had a most fabulous time!

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WOUBBIE 9/30/2012 11:32PM

    Yumm! It sound like a delicious time in the best possible way!

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PROT358 9/30/2012 9:42PM

    Wow, that sounds fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing pictures and your experiences. That is the one place I have to go before I die. So beautiful and so much history. I'm glad you enjoyed yourself and stayed on track!

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CHRISKENANDKIDS 9/30/2012 8:02PM

    That sounds fantastic and exhausting all at the same time! Whew! Sounds like a great vacation!

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SHERYL_B 9/30/2012 7:32PM

    Glad you had such a good time. It sounds amazing!

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Istanbul.....no Bull - Part Deux!!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Well I admit, I have neglected my blogging of late. September has been an unusually busy month. I've been on the road from Las Vegas to Norfolk to New Mexico these past few weeks, all the while still trying to do my day job in Florida. Luckily I've got a brand new VP that is real good about keeping up with the workload while I'm on the road.

But now I have to take some real time off and get my ass over to Istanbul for a wedding this week, so I am likely to be even more off the net next week
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5012592


All is not lost though. I cashed in some hotel points and am basically staying for free at a Marriot right near the Bosporus that promises wi-fi, a pretty decent gym, and even a modernized Turkish steam bath on the premises!




It's been a mad cap ride these last few weeks though. I finally got back in to the office this past week (I sent my VP on the road to take on some of these meetings instead of me), and got caught up on everything from our budget, to making decisions on some senior manager hirings that absolutely had to get done before I depart. I finally made it home around 9:00 PM last night, but I think I can rest easy this next week that things will run well while I'm away (I always tell my guys, "No one is irreplaceable"......I guess that applies to me as well!)

That basically meant that I had to greatly curtail my gym time this past week. I hit the weight room pretty hard Mon & Wed, but that was about it. However, if I must say so myself, I was fairly magnificent setting some personal bests on squats (225 lbs), deadlifts (240 lbs), overhead presses (110 lbs), and bench presses (210 lbs). Pullups continue to be the bane of my existence. I am stuck at 3 and mildly frustrated that I can't heft these 180 lbs of me over the bar more than that....oh well, just another mark to set on that wall!

I plan on doing a whole bunch of walking around Istanbul though. My biggest challenge might be sticking to low carbs for the next week. All of my classic weaknesses will be on display there.

Baklava


Fresh baked bread


Rice

So I'll focus on those things non-carb like,

Kebabs



Fish


Chicken


And lots and lots of salads

Have a great day Spark friends.....next blog comes from the Bosporus!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JULIAMOONCHILD 9/27/2012 7:29PM

    OMG! I hate you! Just stopped by to thank you for the comment you left on my recent blog, (Hoss is so into carbs, there is simply no use talking to him about my new program), and although I just finished off a hard boiled egg on toast with light mayo and a thin slice of tomato, I am ready now, having looked at these wondrous pictures of FOOD, to eat my keyboard. Not one item pictured here would I pass up .... Every piece of those breads on display would be eaten with a Robin Hood lust for bread and ale. Oh dear, I am nearly off the deep end with these pictures ...
Having said that, however, I implore you to post MORE pictures, especially of food. Seriously, I think they may have brought forth fat devouring digestive juices to my system and already I am feeling thinner just from the looking - Or perhaps it is but water loss from all of the drooling....

What a great trip - Do share more!

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SAFARIBABE 9/22/2012 11:16PM

    Sounds like a wonderful trip!! I'm positively jealous as I've always wanted to go to Istanbul. I hope you have a safe journey and a marvelous time! A little baklava is good for the soul!! Who knows, maybe it will inspire you into the 4th pullup! Have a blast and wish the happy couple all the joy in the world on their marriage from your Spark friends!!

P.S. Don't forget pics in your next blog!

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FANGFACEKITTY 9/22/2012 3:34PM

    Have a wonderful trip, even if you have part of it on Air France. Stay away from the baklava, it is evil.

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ALLYTHEATHLETE 9/22/2012 11:01AM

    So awesome! I used to live at Incirlik Air Base. I could have lived on ekmek and tangerines and been perfectly happy! Do they have a gold market in Istanbul like they do in Adana?

Have fun!



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PROT358 9/21/2012 10:12PM

    So happy for you, and a wee bit jealous :) I'd love to see pictures if you find the time! Maybe Istanbul No Bull - Part Trois? Hope you have a lovely time!

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BERGBA7 9/21/2012 12:49PM

    Safe travels and have a great time in Istanbul! I did three times one chin up today. Continue working on those pull ups!
emoticon emoticon

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HEALTHIERKEN 9/21/2012 11:17AM

    We loved Istanbul! Crazy time in the Market. Every merchant who tried to sell us something demonstrated that his goods--leather, amber, silver, were the "real thing" by trying to set them afire with a pocket lighter. Never did figure out what that was supposed to prove : )

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WOUBBIE 9/21/2012 10:24AM

    Meat on a stick For The Win!!!

Enjoy your trip and be safe!

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CLAIREINPARIS 9/21/2012 10:09AM

    Have a fabulous time! I look forward to reading what you think of Istanbul as I'll have to go for work at some point, probably during 2013.


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JONESINATOR 9/21/2012 10:02AM

    Wow you're killing it in the weight room! I've got to up my game...

Do you do bent over back rows with a barbell? That and lat pull downs help a lot with overall back/arm strengthening that directly carries over to pull ups.

And have an amazing time in Istanbul (so jealous) BUT you still have to try some baklawa, at least a little bit!

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GDEDES147 9/21/2012 9:59AM

    i admire you. i have the hardest time when i travel. it's as if my brain goes into "why the heck not"... somehow it doesn't count. you are incredible, and i wish you all the best
emoticon


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