Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Day 2 in the new job....and it's going great! It's a totally different pace than my last job. And, while I'm not necessarily "in charge" like I was in Florida, it's a whole different level of responsibility.
And I get to be pretty active....today I logged over 10K steps! So far the job's required a lot of reading to get up to speed on the ins and outs what our division does...but I long ago kept up my college speed reading skills, so I've been able to zip through the tomes nice and quick.....and so I've had time to hit the company gym!
It's a magnificent beast! Lots of free weights, tons of cardio, tons of benches, 3 squat racks, spin classes, and a decent locker room with plenty of showers...and it's clean! So today was chest day. I was all ready to go, ducked out of the ofice and speed walked over to the gym to maximize my time there....then realized I had left my sneakers in the office!!!
Speed walk back across the building, trot up the 5 sets of stairs, grab sneakers, down the stairs, and back across the building.....that added 25 minutes to my clock!!
Today was heavy chest day; bench press, incline press, and flyes. I had gotten in 3 sets of 4 at 225 lbs with Stasi guy last time we worked chest....but how the hell was I supposed to do this on my own without crushing my guts out if the bar fell?!?!?!
Well one thing being 53-years old does for you is to remove most any inhibitions or shyness. I eyeballed the biggest dude I saw within 10 feet who looked like he knew what he was doing and said, "Hey, can you spot me for a minute....I'm shooting for 4 reps"
"Sure, no problem!"
First set was tough....rep #4 was shakey. On the second set, I could only knock out 3. My spotter looked down at me and said, "You could have knocked out a 4th rep you know....you had it in you"
OUCH! That hurt! "Okay, I'll shoot for 4 on the next set, thanks"
So I got in 4 on the last set....but it wasn't easy. He spotted me and provided the barest minimum of assistance as I pushed upwards with all I had on those last 2 reps.
I think he's related to Stasi guy!
Actually, I think that's the weight training culture....success is measured by effort, not by the weight on the bar. The goal of each workout is to push the muscles to fatigue and failure. The challenge is to work through the fatigue, to keep pushing till the muscle really does fail. The trick is in recognizing the difference....to not stop just because you're tired & "fatigued"
And having a spotter does help.
Hmmmm....maybe I need to find me a workout buddy. I'm kind of a lone wolf....I like doing my own thing.....but I might need to explore the idea of lifting with someone who can push me past what i can do on my own.....that's what I liked about Stasi guy....he was a sadistic bastard, but he knew my limits better than I did.
More to follow
Have a great night Spark friends!
Monday, August 12, 2013
I have to admit, I much prefer having a predictable routine for working out than having to "wing it" all the time.
Our lives have been in constant churn since the end of June when we packed up our house and moved to Virginia. Today was the start of my first full week in the new job....and I love it!
It's very different than the job I had in Florida....it's in a very large office building and the key to getting stuff done is to walk around a lot....so I do!
I logged 15,000 steps on my trusted Bodymedia CORE armband today. And I made a resolution; I will not use elevators or escalators while in this job.....stairs only for me people! My office is on the 5th floor, so it's totally doable. There's a gym in the basement, on the exact opposite of the building from my office, so even more opportunity for walking.
I did my new ST routine today (see blog www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5439044 ). I was in a little bit of a rush, so I focused exclusively on deadlifts. I did 10 sets, slowly increasing the weight till I couldn't go any higher. Then I did a quick (10 minute) Hi Intensity Interval session on a spin bike, then showered, and got back to the office in a little over an hour.
My routine still needs a lot of refining, but I think I can make it work with just a few tweaks. So far so good.
And I like having predictable meals, Being on the road these past 2 months, then being up at my mom's, I've made too many exceptions to eating clean, and so I'm up about 6 lbs. Back to packing my own lunches (salad & chicken breasts). SWMBO is glad to have the kitchen all set up in our new place too. It's nice and big...but it does get warmer when she's cooking than our place in Florida did....go figure. In any case she's whipping up some good meals for all of us....she even concocted this weird looking, yet wonderful tasting, mash of cauliflower, spinach, lemon juice, a little garlic and voila! A very cool little side dish that makes everything from chicken to pork to veggies taste incredible!
We went through 3 heads of cauliflower over the weekend!
And I'm back to tracking my food in the tracker again as well. I made the excuse that it had become tedious and superfluous while we were traveling. Tedious, maybe, superfluous, quite possibly true....but I have empirically proven, time and time again, that when I stop tracking food, I start to gain weight....so back to tracking we go!
It's nice to be back in my Spark routine!
Have a great night Spark friends!
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!
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