Monday, August 05, 2013
Well I've been on a good vacation workout streak. I lifted 5 days last week and did cardio every day, including Saturday. Took Sunday off, then back in for ST and a spin class today....I've got to do something to counteract Mom's home cooking!
(Actually, SWMBO has kind of commandeered the kitchen....making lots of veggies and thinning down the starches & carbs my mom so loves to make!)
I gave my new 5-day/week lifting routine a good run last week and will get in at least 2 days this week. We go back to Virginia on Wednesday and I'll try to check out some gyms near our new house on Thurs & Fri...in between the continuous unpacking process.
In the meantime, I'm refining my new routine. I focus on a different body part each day, only doing 3 sets of 3-4 lifts, then jump in to some cardio.
Since I'm on vacation, have more time, and really need to get back in to my routine, I've been doing 5 sets of each exercise, focusing on really good form as I build back up to my pre-move weights. The ST sessions have been taking about an hour, then I jump in to a spin class, or, something new to me at this gym, a Bodypump class...basically a cardio session with a light barbell...pretty cool actually
Overall though, this has been a great vacation. The weather in Boston continues to amaze me...after 3 years in the Florida panhandle, anything less than 95% humidity feels dry. It was 67 degrees when we woke up this morning and temps never passed 80....I love it!
SWMBO, #2 son, my mom and I have had a few good day trips out to Boston's North Shore, a zoo trip, and we went back to the town I grew up in (Winchester) to hang out at a few of my old haunts....it really is a pleasant little town...with some awesome Italian delis, nice public parks, and it now even has a Whole Foods...where were you when I was growing up!!
Peppered in between our day trips and my gym trips, I've gotten in lot of reading on my beloved Kindle, and I've even found myself taking little power naps in the afternoons!!! After 6 weeks of frenzied moving activity, this has been a welcome break!
Now if I could just start logging all my food again....may have to wait till I get away from Mom!
Have a great night Spark friends!
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Well, well well.....'tis been a while since I've blogged!
Man have we had some major life changes....much too many to put into one blog....so here's a quick reader's digest of the last month;
We packed up our Florida household goods at the end of June and moved into a 2-bedroom place until I finished up work. We hit the road north on July 10, taking our time driving up I-95 to Virginia. On the way we stopped in North Carolina to spend a weekend with our older son (#1 son). He and I lifted in the gym where I promptly kicked his ass on deadlifts! (335 lbs....he got the bar 2 inches off the floor and dropped it....I got in 3 reps!)
We arrived in Virginia and took possession of our new home....SWMBO loved it....it's 4500 ft2 on 3 floors and she has a jacuzzi tub with double sinks in a bathroom she can call her own! The packers arrived with our stuff on 18 July and they spent the next 3 days unloading, uncrating, and unboxing all our stuff....during the 3 hottest days of summer! I checked in to my new job in DC, then told them I needed a few weeks to settle in to the house and take some time off before starting up full time.
SWMBO, #2 son, and I got things as settled as we could at the new house....found all the stuff strewn across all the various rooms of the house (dining room dishes in the basement, bath towels in the living room, etc), then drove up to Boston to spend some time with my mom (she lives in Andover, a small 'burb on the Massachusetts/New Hampshire border.)
Man it's beautiful up here! I grew up in Boston and love it every single time I make it back. The summer weather is incredible! SWMBO and I spent a day in Lexington and Concord and just about swooned at how pleasant it was.....70s, breezy, and dry!
We're here until Aug 7, then back to VA to finish up the house and I start work officially on 12 Aug.
On the fitness front...well my victory against #1 son has been short lived because....I must confess....
....I went 10 days without working out!!!
New town, new job, no gym, lots to do.....blah, blah, blah, blah, BLAH!!!
So we get up to Boston to spend 2 weeks at my mom's.....my Mediterranean immigrant mom, who loves nothing better than to cook for and feed people.....and I could see a looming disaster.
But thanks to the wonders of Google, Google maps, and a credit card, I found a very cool little gym JUST AROUND THE CORNER FROM HER HOUSE, and paid them $30 for a 2 week membership....unlimited visits, and unlimited classes!
So last Thursday I went in and faced the music. I did a light legs & back session that day and a light chest & shoulders on Friday. Hit a spin class on Saturday morning, then rested Sunday.
I was a little sore...and humbled. Nothing was easy....and I had to de-load about 10-20 lbs on most exercises. Then I planned out my new routine and am giving it a go this week. Stasi trainer guy and I developed a 5-day/week lifting regimen...something I can do in about 30 minutes then do some cardio as well. I think, with my new job, I'll be able to get in about an hour-long workout each day.
The new schedule will be;
Monday - Back (deadlifts, seated rows, pull-ups, chin-ups)
Tuesday - Chest (Bench press, incline press, flyes)
Wed - Shoulders (Overhead press, lateral raises, shrugs, rear delt rows)
Thurs - Legs (Squats, leg extensions, hamstring curls, thigh adductor & abductors)
Friday - Arms (Dips, triceps ext, triceps pushdown, bicep curls, hammer curls, reverse curls)
Each of these ST session should take 30 minutes. After each ST session, 20-30 minutes of cardio intervals and voila...an hour!
Yesterday, I did deadlifts after a 2 week hiatus from kicking #1 son's ass....but I had to back the weight off to 315 lbs....and could only knock out 3 reps.
As Henry Rollins says, "The Iron Never Lies"
(Henry Rollins, for those of you old enough to remember, was the singer for the ultra-hardcore punk band, Black Flag, back in the 80s....he's mellowed out some now)
Yes, sometimes it feels like there is no justice.....how can 2 short weeks cause such a setback....hell if I know. To kickstart my system, I did a spin class after lifting yesterday.....I was beat, but it was well worth it.
Today, we drove up to Boston's north shore (Gloucester, Salem, Rockport) for another gorgeous day watching the Atlantic, then I did the chest routine....and walked into a "Bodypump" class.
Bodypump was pretty hardcore.....it's basically an aerobics class with barbells. I kept the weight low just in case (40 lbs) and was glad I did. We worked out the entire body in 45 minutes, moving the weights in all sorts of directions doing pretty much every lift I have planned for the whole week!
But it's helping me survive vacation here at my mom's.....physically and mentally. SWMBO gets up every morning at 5:00 AM and goes for a nice long walk.....and we keep each other from snacking on the myriad of crap my mom keeps pushing on us ("have another biscotti....they're so delicious!")
We go back to VA on Aug 7.....my goal is to get in 1000+ fitness minutes for our time here and 500 fitness minutes for those first 6 days of Aug!
It's good to be back Spark friends....have a great night!
Thursday, June 27, 2013
OK, life's about to start picking up speed for us here.
Tomorrow (Friday) we've got packers coming to our house to start boxing up all our household goods. The plan is to box everything up Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Simultaneously, on Sunday, the moving truck is coming, where another crew of guys will load our stuff all up on the truck, which should then depart for Virginia that night.
Saturday, in the middle of all this, SWMBO, #2 son, and I (as well as one fat, white cat) will move into a 2-bedroom apartment (furnished) nearby for the next 10 days. Monday we clean out this house and turn over the keys to the owner.
Meanwhile, I've still got a bunch of things to finish up in the office between the 1st and the 10th of July when we hit the road. Stasi guy and I agreed that our last ST session will be next week on the 5th....he gave me that evil interrogator's smile as he described our next few workouts ("Zince you vill be drivink so longe, ve vill vocus on legs (Since you will be driving so long, we will focus on legs)"
Bring it Comrade!
Once we hit the road, we're taking about 5-6 days to get there. We're taking 2 cars; SWMBO takes the mewing cat, I take the mewing #2 son. We're a good team, I keep her in sight in the rear view mirror and she calls me every 20 minutes on the cell telling me to slow down. SWMBO's usually only good for about 6 hours of driving a day, so we make plenty of stops and ususally get checked into a hotel by 5:00 PM.
As we head up I-95, we're stopping in North Carolina for 2 days to see our #1 son (the 25 year old gym rat....can't wait to get him in the weight room to see if he can out dead-lift his old man!). If all goes well, we should arrive in northern VA around the 15th, get settled in to a Residence Inn near our new place, take possession on the 17th, and hopefully.....HOPEFULLY, take delivery of all our packed up household goods on the 18th.....here's hoping!
That'll give us the weekend to get settled in then I'll start the new job on the 22d
Then will come all the usual relocation hassles; finding good grocery stores (I'm digging the Wegman's chain in Virginia....it's like Whole Foods on steroids!), getting #2 son registered for school, learning our way around the neighborhood, finding a gym, and, yes, maybe even finding a trainer!
Bottom line is we're an adventurous family, so this is like going on Safari across America....just need to make sure we don't start fattening up by eating out for the next month or so!
I'll be on SP as much as I can, but it might be episodic at best....or I might get bored out of my mind in hotel after hotel and have to blog all about it!
Have a great night Spark friends!
Thursday, June 20, 2013
About 6 weeks ago, I got hired for a new job in Virginia. We're looking forward to the move, but in the meantime, I am still plenty busy in my current job.
Last month, during a weekly scheduling meeting, my 20-something front office assistant throws down on me.
"Hey boss, maybe you should come do one of our spin classes one of these Thursday mornings....you'll see how it's done!"
In my head I quoted Richard III, "So wise so young, they say do never live long", but out loud I just peered over my glasses and said, "Maybe I should just come in and teach one of your damn spin classes and kick all your asses while I'm at it"
20-something perks up, "Do you want to teach? That would be cool!"
"Sure sign me up.....and bring an oxygen tank, you'll need it"
With everything else going on, I relegated this conversation to the interesting but irrelevant compartment of my brain. But bright and early Monday morning he hits me up with, "So are you ready for Thursday.....I put the word out, it's going to be packed! Everybody want to see what's on your playlist. I bet them it'll be full of KC and the Sunshine Band!"
"Listen you little sh!t you just make sure I get a clean bike, that the sound system works when I plug in my iPhone.....and that I have your mommy's number to call when you collapse onto the floor and start crying out her name!"
Needless to say, Wednesday night I got to cracking, putting together a high energy playlist for Thursday's class
Sure enough, it was packed this morning. Every bike was taken and everyone smiled a sh!t-eating grin that said, "get ready, the boss-man's gonna take us to Funky Town!"
20-something guy comes over to me, "You OK boss? You know it's totally different being up here in the front of the class than being one of the riders"
"Listen monkey-boy, I have spent my whole professional life enjoying being in charge, I think I can handle a spin class.....now pass me your mommy's phone number"
I gave everyone a couple of safety cues (have water handy, ease up on the resistance if you get tired, slow down if you need to), then eye-balled the front row that filled up with slim-trim Crossfit beasts and said, "All of you guys keep up the best you can....raise your hand and I'll administer CPR if you need it"
And off we went!
I gave them 50 minutes of fast/low resistance down hill, slow/hi-resistance uphill, got them out of their seats, back in their seats, had them belt out victory cries when we pushed real hard....it was a beautiful thing!
At the end we stretched it all out for 10 minutes and took a group photo (I suspect it'll re-appear in some gag going away gift). A bunch of them came up and said, "Wow, that was brutal", "Man you made us torch off some calories today!", and my favorite, "Hey those were some great tunes!"
One plump lady in her 40s came over and said, "Wow I can't believe what a sweat I worked up!"
"That's good," I said, "sweat hardens up into muscle!" She grinned and walked away happy
So now I know that I have some post-retirement options.....apparently I can successfully plug in an iPhone and get a room full of people to pedal in unison!
Here are my Digifit results
I actually got in a good workout while I was at it!
Have a great night Spark friends!
Saturday, June 15, 2013
So this was an interesting week.
I took Thursday & Friday off. Thursday, since #2 son is out of school already, we went out to Gulf Islands National Park and had a photographer friend shoot some family photos. They're getting developed now, but here's what this area I call my backyard looks like;
It really is a national treasure. If you've never been to the Florida Panhandle before, put it down on your bucket list
Friday, I took my car to the shop to get the brakes fixed, tires rotated, etc. Lo and behold, they needed to keep it overnight, so I got a lift back home and tackled the never-ending chore of getting rid of crap.
I went through 2 closets and my man-cave, getting rid of junk. Old college notebooks (I graduated in 1981), photocopied articles I knew I'd never get around to reading ("The New Technology of Compact Discs" from Scientific American, 1982), consolidated tons of wires & cables spread out over multiple backpacks (Gentlemen, how many of us DON'T have a stash of assorted coaxial cables, telephone wires, USB connectors, extension cords, audio jacks, etc. all jammed into a bag or box somewhere). Today, after picking up my car (and very likely taking #2 son and his girlfriend to see Man of Steel), I'll tackle....the clothes closets.
Yes, it might just be time to chuck out some old clothes, both those that are now too big (I'm down to wearing size 33 & 34 jeans.....yeah baby!), as well as getting rid of those old clothes that may now fit....but look too cheesy (seriously, I've had a pair of size 34 green corduroys in my closet for about 25 years....now that I can wear them, I don't want to!)
The upshot of not having my car yesterday, meant that I had to get my ass over to the gym on my own (SWMBO needed her car to take #2 son to work). It's about 2 miles from my house to the gym, so I decided to walk....in the 90 degree, 95% humidity Florida heat.
The good news is that I found my old Camelback backpack in one of the closets, filled it up with 100 oz of cold water, plugged in some good walking tunes and out I went. Thirty sweaty minutes later I got to the gym all warmed up and ready for medium weight/hi rep legs & back day.
For a little over a week now, my right shoulder has been aching like crazy. Not sure how it happened, but it's caused me to modify some exercises....even squats. Holding the bar on my back puts the shoulder in just the right position to tweak it badly.
So Stasi guy says, "Den vee vill do leg prezzez (then we will do leg presses)"
Hmmm, I didn't like NOT doing squats, but they weren't happening yesterday. But leg presses....me? You might as well have asked me to sign up for a Zumba class
But I got on there....and let me tell you....it was a whole different range of motion from squats
"You vill notiz it more in your beck und buttox (You will notice it more in your back and buttocks)", grinned Stasi guy. "It iz different, no? You leck flegsibility (you figure out what he said)"
In the end I kind of liked them. I certainly feel it today, so it must have activated a whole set of muscles I hadn't fully engaged before....and it was an excellent stretching maneuver too.....360 lbs pushing against your legs has to stretch out something.
Luckily, my shoulder didn't affect my deadlifts. I got in 2 sets of 15 and one set of 12 at 265 lbs....exhausting, but no shoulder pain.
Afterwards, I donned my Camelback, plugged in the tunes, and walked the 2 miles back home, feeling totally energized and surprisingly loose (even my shoulder....but I still popped a couple of Motrin when I got home)
Hope you're all having a great day.....and happy Father's day for everyone tomorrow!
Have a great day Spark friends!
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