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Deadlifting my weight

Sunday, November 04, 2012

A few years ago, pre-Spark, I taught myself to lift weights. I trained to lift, and managed to get my upper body strength to progress from "bad joke" to "below average." I did better with lower body strength, and made major improvement to my core strength.

During that period, I was trying to control my weight by exercising. I had some results that looked like success at the time, but they didn't last. I told myself that I couldn't get down into the recommended BMI range because I was building muscle weight. I may well have been building muscle weight, but I wasn't building *that much* muscle weight.

One of my goals was to deadlift my weight. I developed that goal when I noticed I was deadlifting 185 pounds, and I weighed 190. Not far to go . . . except by the time I was deadlifting 190, I weighed 195. Then when I was deadlifting 195, I weighed 200. I caught up and actually deadlifted my weight for 3 sets of 8 at 205.

The lesson I should have learned from that is, you can't out-train a crappy diet.

I've been off and on the weight lifting wagon over the years since then. Recently, I've been off. I've concentrated on running, I haven't found time to go to the gym, and the weights in my basement were inaccessible due to house repair work. I hadn't actually lifted weights for strength training in several months.

A couple weeks ago, I let the gym membership lapse because I wasn't using it. Last week I cleaned out enough of the basement for the weight rack to be accessible. Thursday I tried a few lifts, going light because it had been so long; on Friday I wasn't sore.

For those of you who didn't catch the implication, lack of soreness on Friday means I wasn't lifting enough weight on Thursday. Re-entry to weight lifting ought to produce noticeable DOMS after the first session.

Saturday I had some Life Happens stuff go on that kept me from the weights, but today I got back to it. I'm working with a protocol of at least 3 lifts, with at least one major leg exercise, one pushing exercise, and one pulling exercise. Today's major leg exercise was the deadlift.

I started with a warmup at 135 lbs., which is the lightest I can load the bar and have it be at the correct height to lift from the floor. 10 reps of that were pretty easy, so I got ambitious and threw on a pair of 25 lb. plates. Can I still do 185? Sure thing. 3 sets of 8, and it didn't feel like the max I could do. So just for grins, let's throw on a pair of 10 pound plates and see if I can pick it up.

I could. I did 3 full reps, then picked the bar up a 4th time to put it on the rack where I loaded it. I might have been able to do 3 sets of 8 at 205, if I hadn't already worked 3 sets at 185.

This is not the most weight I've ever lifted, but I'm pretty happy with this as a first effort after several months without training for strength. I think the next most I've done on a leg exercise since 2011 was some dumbbell squats with a pair of 35 lb. dumbbells.

After the deadlifts, the incline bench press and bent over rows were anti-climactic. They went well, but not dramatically better than expected.

Now I just have to find time and motivation to make this a routine, maybe 3 days a week. I don't need to achieve personal records on anything; I just need to get some strength training in to reduce the chance of injury while running.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    As far as correcting strength imbalances with regard to running, I've found deadlifts and squats to provide the most benefit. This article might be of interest.

I don't agree with their exercise selection (I think they're far too difficult to load), but I do agree with the idea of squats and deads .... but screw the ball, use a barbell. Of course, learning to do these correctly takes time and practice. It took me months before I felt comfortable going deep in the hole with real weight.

Consider a plan like Starting Strength or Strong Lifts. With SS, you can knock out a workout in about 45 minutes, tops. Doing that 2 or 3 times a week consistently will build a significant strength base and help address imbalances.

Keep on progressing.

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COMPUCATHY 11/5/2012 9:02PM

    Sounds like you are doing great and learning a lot! Sending Best Wishes for a great November! Keep up the good work! Thanks for the encouragement! Spark on! emoticon emoticon

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 11/5/2012 8:49PM


I cannot WAIT until I can DL my own weight.

Last Thursday I managed 135 lbs x 20. I had to pause before the last two, though. And I was sore through Saturday and Sunday from massive DOMS.

At 150 lbs, it won't be long before I get there, I suspect. Maybe a month?

The other thing I noticed is that if the bar is more than about 120 lbs I need a mixed grip or I just can't hold it.

P.S. Tonight I managed step-ups with 150 on my shoulders. So I'm getting there...

It'll be pretty cool when I can DL, squat, and step-up the same amount of weight I have lost. Because that will simulate where I started from.

And seriously, if 150 felt kind of heavy (and it did), how on EARTH did I function at all, at my highest weight???

Comment edited on: 11/5/2012 10:50:55 PM

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MEXGAL1 11/5/2012 10:08AM

    Best of everything to you on getting in the strength training. I hate strength training as I age. It is just a pain in the butt and really do not see results as so much just hangs at this age anyway. But I do bowflex with my girlfriend every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
So let's just do it!
Have a terrific week

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TBOURLON 11/5/2012 9:28AM

    Well I'd like to be able to bench press my weight; now I'm not sure if that's practical or not. I'm female, weigh about 140 (goal weight 125 emoticon ) and I never thought about deadlift before. My goal is to improve my running speed from 5mpg to 6mph. Well, Saturday I ran a 5K and took about 1 1/2 minutes off my time from last year emoticon and that makes me feel SO GOOOOD!!! emoticon

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ELAYNE39 11/5/2012 8:46AM

    Congrats! Great goal. I'm currently reading a couple of books on weight lifting and have realized that I need to lift heavier. I think it's super you can dead lift so much.

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NWFL59 11/5/2012 6:57AM

    Glad you had good success with your return to moving heavy objects. I still don't know what DOMS stands for, but glad you experienced it. emoticon

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ONEKIDSMOM 11/5/2012 6:54AM

    That's deadlifting a chunk MORE than your weight. Well done! emoticon emoticon

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_LINDA 11/5/2012 12:59AM

    WOW! Very impressive results after being away from it so long!!! You are AMAZING! Way to get back into it!
Between the ST and running, you are going to be uber fit!!

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GREENGENES 11/4/2012 10:57PM

    Sounds like a great plan. Back in the day I couldn't understand my friends in grad school who liked to go "lift heavy objects" and now I am one of them. I was pretty dumb back in the day.

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BLITZEN40 11/4/2012 10:13PM

    Way to go doing so well with weights after taking a break! The cardio fitness you got from running all this time likely kept you in better shape than you thought. It's always nice to do so well right out of the gate when restarting an exercise program... it encourages you to keep on going! emoticon

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Friday long walk, disrupted eating pattern

Friday, November 02, 2012

Today was a Friday off work. The major task of the day was replacing the tires on my car, which I expected to involve an extended period of sitting on my butt and waiting.

So with the sore thigh indicating I shouldn't run, I set out for a long walk in the morning before getting the tires replaced. Went over the elaborate version of my local neighborhood running route, with all three little hills. Deliberately pushed it for walking, both for time and to see how I'd do.

I ended up walking 4.7 miles in 63 minutes, for an average walking pace of 13:24 per mile. That's faster than I normally walk, and a bit of a surprise that I could maintain that average for an hour. Okay, I did have one segment of running, under 10 seconds, to prove to myself that the thigh still had problems; but the rest was really walking.

The sore thigh didn't complain at all. The bad foot has complained a bit about the aggressive pace. I don't think I'll be as aggressive with the pace tomorrow, but perhaps I'll go for a longer distance. After all, I have a 10K coming up in 3 weeks and it's been a long time since I walked or ran that far in one stretch.

Went to get new tires at Sam's Club, and ended up sitting on my butt for about two hours. Good thing I got my 10K steps in before then. The good thing about the wait was, I wasn't eating. I was reading a book, and I didn't think about food. When the tires were done, I went back home for a late lunch. This worked out OK in part because I had thoughtfully had a snack (cottage cheese and a banana) before heading out to get the tires, just in case they took a long time.

The end result of this minor disruption in routine was that I scrambled to eat enough in the evening to fill out my recently reduced calorie range. That's okay; I've been in that position before, and I know how to manage that without turning it into a binge. It's a lot better than a disruption in routine from eating too much too early.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEALTHIERKEN 11/4/2012 12:51AM

    I Nordic-walked 4 mi. in 62 minutes today and thought I was doing pretty well. You did almost 5 mi in just a minute more. That's hoofin' it!

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GREENGENES 11/3/2012 3:25PM

    Great. That is quite a walking pace. No wonder your walk/run times are faster than my run times.

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HAKAPES 11/3/2012 1:43PM

    It sounds you have good awareness of yourself what is a real obstacle, and what is just a bump on the road. I enjoyed reading your blog! Let's ride forward!

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MEXGAL1 11/3/2012 10:29AM

    Good for you to get those steps in before having to sit and wait. I hate sitting and waiting. Seems like such a waste of time.
Have a terrific week end.

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COMPUCATHY 11/3/2012 8:29AM

    You did really well with a day that could have really thrown you off! Congratulations! Your planning and effort really paid off! Hope you have a great weekend! Let's rock November! Keep up the good work! Thanks for the encouragement! Spark on! emoticon emoticon

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ONEKIDSMOM 11/2/2012 9:36PM

    Good job. You're got your head in the game, as you put it. emoticon

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MSLZZY 11/2/2012 9:14PM

    You did well.

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UMBILICAL 11/2/2012 9:09PM

  Good idea

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Thursday, November 01, 2012

It's been a tough few days on the maintenance front, and I made some adjustments. My weight didn't go up much, maybe a pound; but it kind of lingered there, and I noticed my actions were kind of indicating I didn't have my head in the game.

I do pretty well with food when things are routine, or I can think about the non-routine situation in advance. I do less well when a non-routine situation surprises me. Tuesday I went into Taco Bell for a routine meal that is known to fit in my nutrition plan. It was crowded. Gave my order, and the question came back, which free taco did I want? Apparently I walked into a day early trick or treat special. If I'd known about it in advance, I would have changed my order to leave room for the free taco, and ordered the free taco fresco style. As it was, I ate an extra Doritos Locos Taco. I made it fit into the day, but regretted what I had to cut out later.

Yesterday, on Halloween, there was a snack day at work. I'd got an email announcing it on Monday, and forgotten. I figured I'd just ignore it, and did so . . . until a Bruegger's garlic bagel was delivered to my desk. So I had an extra bagel, plus cream cheese then later thought that maybe I should have just left the bagel in its bag, or only eaten half the bagel. That's the kind of thing I might do if I have time to think about it in advance. Oh, well. At least I went minimal on the cream cheese - a flavoring rather than a slathering. I have thought about that with bagels.

I made it though the rest of the day without taking anything from the snack cube, and I adjusted to make the bagel fit; but it rattled me to be that far off course by 9 AM. So . . . I decided to make some adjustments.

Tuesday I reluctantly admitted that I'm not going to be doing any walk/run intervals this week. The bad foot is as good as it's been since last February, and would handle the intervals just fine. But the sore thigh was no better Tuesday than it had been Saturday, when I couldn't get through all the intervals. It's looking like trying to do regular running on that thigh is a recipe for it getting better, roughly never. So it's time to take a week off, or maybe two. At least the thigh and the foot don't bother me with brisk walking; I'm going to be doing a lot of walking in the near future.

The adjustment comes in because I have to admit I won't be burning as many calories exercising as I would if I were running. So yesterday I cut my calorie range by 100 calories. Now, the way I have been eating would still fit in the revised range; but cutting the range gives me permission to eat a little less, and makes me think differently when those mid-day snack choices come up.

Cutting the calorie range might have been the last bit of motivational help I needed to stay away from the snack cube yesterday. It's my current effort to get my head back into the game, and so far it seems to be working.

You may ask, what about Halloween candy? Yesterday morning I had a trip to my eye doctor to deal with my glasses. This happened after the bagel and the decision to cut the calorie range. I was able to stare down the eye doctor's offering of Halloween candy without taking any, even though there were several kinds I like. Then on the way home, I bought a small bag of fun size Milk Duds so I'd have something to hand out. I got no trick or treaters this year, and I ate one box of the fun size Milk Duds. They fit in my revised, lower calorie range so I actually ate below the bottom of the old range. I'm pretty confident I can have the rest of those Milk Duds as a small daily treat until they run out, and not binge on them.

Maintenance is a complex thing. Sometimes, you can go for several weeks on autopilot, doing the same stuff by rote and having it work. It was that way for me in late summer. But now, I need to adjust things. The exercise has to be adjusted to accommodate recovery from injury. The nutrition plan has to be adjusted to accommodate the changed level of exercise. And most importantly, the mindset has to be adjusted to keep my head in the game.

With the mindset adjustment, I'm actually writing a blog tonight instead of playing Sudoku until it's time to head to bed. But more importantly, the changed mindset has got me to making better decisions about what I eat and how I manage my exercise. The exercise, the sleep, the nutrition, and the attitude all interact with each other. Each of them is important. Right now, that attitude or mindset is the key thing for me. Gotta keep my head in the game, or the other pieces won't fit together and work as they should.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

6BALLMAN 11/2/2012 10:22AM

    Nice blog. Thanks for writing it and your continuing contributions!

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MEXGAL1 11/2/2012 10:18AM

    It sure is hard sometimes when we do not have our head in the game. I am in the same place right now. It is particularly frustrating when you believe you are doing everything right and the scale goes up. But we can do this. Today I will be good to me and eat healthy.
Have a terrific day.

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RG_DFW 11/2/2012 9:47AM

    It may be a battle, but stay with it

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DEBRITA01 11/2/2012 9:39AM

    Like TravelGirl, I'm not at the maintenance stage yet, but read the blogs of maintainers to glean some insight into that realm. Figuring out all the pieces to ensure successful maintenance is tricky. I appreciate your willingness to share all the ups & downs as your navigate your way. You would think one could just be on auto-pilot, but life dictates that we make changes and adjustments along the way. Congrats for staying mindful and hanging in there when life throws some unexpected curve balls! emoticon

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NWFL59 11/1/2012 11:17PM

    Enjoyed reading your blog tonight. I'm actually glad to read that the mental struggle persists even once we achieve maintenance and that bumps in the 'plan' doesn't have to lead to a derailment from sensible eating with treats included. Hope your body gets back to running form soon. emoticon

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MSLZZY 11/1/2012 10:53PM

    Autopilot works up to a point and then-BANG!
Something upsets the apple cart and then the
mind takes a long vacation. Do you think it
leaves the body behind? No, it drags it along
for the ride and the bump on the end is a
doozie! Continue to make small adjustments.
Speaking of which, adjust your clocks back one
hour this weekend. Just what you wanted to hear!

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TRAVELGRRL 11/1/2012 9:06PM

    Great blog! I'm a ways away from my goal weight, but I am trying to read more blogs of maintainers -- I mean, you are who I hope to be someday!!! It's important to learn now what it's going to take to maintain, and that's keeping that mind - body - food connection.

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WATERMELLEN 11/1/2012 8:37PM

    Terrific blog, MOBY!! The "eternal vigilance" thing is a "changing it up" thing . . . for me too. Autopilot works for a while . . . and then begins to slip . . . and then I've gotta haul myself up short and figure out what I need to do new.

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ONEKIDSMOM 11/1/2012 8:29PM

    LOL! Dear Brother, you have now discovered why I blog daily (or nearly so). To keep my head in the game. It may not be obvious from what I choose to blog about, but just the very act keeps the mind "in the game".

Here's to maintenance success! However we have to adjust! emoticon

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12 of the last 5

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I've often said that the local weather forecasters have predicted 12 of the last 5 major storms. Sandy was a real storm, but didn't affect the Rochester area nearly as much as the forecasters predicted. As of Tuesday morning, the remnants of Sandy remain centered in Pennsylvania; but the storm has weakened to where I'm only seeing normal level wind and rain.

Yesterday evening I saw some heavy rain for a while, and last night I heard high winds; but this morning all looks normal. No doubt there will be downed power lines from falling trees scattered about the area, but if it weren't for the news hype I wouldn't be able to tell this was a hurricane. It's no worse than past hurricanes that made landfall in the Gulf of Mexico and had to travel all the way up the Ohio valley to get here.

Yesterday it was announced that schools would close today. No doubt the school kids will be happy with the extra holiday. I'm happy that it's not nearly as bad as forecast. There will be highlights on the Weather Channel; but I don't expect any of the highlights to be from my local area.

Edited to add: In the work email today I got a highlight photo from NYC. Apparently the flooding there is a lot worse than where I am.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDAMARIEZ1 11/1/2012 6:36PM

    It was real bad here in Ohio too! No electricity, and the rain and winds unbelievable! Many trees down on my street alone! Trick O treat is Sunday this year!

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HEALTHIERKEN 10/30/2012 2:29PM

    Your blog title was a really clever 'hook'! Yes, the media love to hyperbolize the weather forecasts just like they do everything else. Just the facts, please, just the facts!

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MEXGAL1 10/30/2012 10:34AM

    glad to hear all is well where you are.
be safe.

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NWFL59 10/30/2012 9:03AM

    Glad your more inland protected you from getting bonk'd or personally clobbered by flying debris while you were out for your intervals emoticon .

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ELAYNE39 10/30/2012 8:24AM

    Glad you are safe. If we all could only have a job where we are wrong most of the time!

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WATERMELLEN 10/30/2012 8:00AM

    Media hype: yeah. But if it got a few people in NYC to evacuate and saved lives of those called upon to "rescue" them . . . not a bad thing, maybe.

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RIDLEYRIDER 10/30/2012 7:44AM

  Yes, coastal areas were hit the worst. Glad I'm inland.

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MSLZZY 10/30/2012 7:41AM

    You are safe and that is what counts. I am so glad
I am not the weatherman. How can they possible
predict what will happen? Better to err on the side
of caution.

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ONEKIDSMOM 10/30/2012 7:35AM

    Glad you were far enough away to not get hammered. Looks like the Jersey Shore and NYC got the brunt.

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Sunday Weather Musings

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Yesterday's light mist turned into today's steady light rain. It was cold as I came home from church, and I didn't feel like going into the grocery store in the rain. So I just went home.

But the local news is full of the prediction that Sandy will be here on Tuesday. They're predicting high winds and possible flooding. Advice on how to prepare for power outages is on all the news media. Granted, the forecasters tend to over-forecast bad weather; but the national weather models show the center of the storm coming very close to where I live. The only question is, how much weaker will it get before it gets here?

So I changed clothes and went to buy the groceries that couldn't wait till Thursday. Got home, and the pedometer read 3600 steps or so.

It was still raining, and today is non-running day. Too bad, this is better weather for running than for walking. But I had to defend that 10K step streak, so I layered up underneath a breathable raincoat, and went for a walk. Didn't map the distance, but it had to be longer than 5K and shorter than 4 miles. That got me past my 10K steps, and I felt better about the day; and the walk in the rain turned out to be pretty pleasant.

Sometimes people question me when I tell them I had "good running weather" on a day when they didn't care for the weather. I tell such people that there is no bad weather; there is only inappropriate clothing. Well, Tuesday is supposed to be the peak of wind and rain here. Tuesday is also my next scheduled day for walk/run intervals.

That will test the theory that there is no bad weather, or at least test whether I have appropriate clothing for whatever weather happens to show up on Tuesday. Of course, this assumes I don't have worse problems like loss of power. After all, the weather forecasters do get it right some of the time.

Along about this time of year, I start thinking that anything I don't have to shovel is good weather. For the short term, I think I have another standard. "Hurricane Sandy" would be bad weather. "Remnants of Sandy" would be good weather.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BLITZEN40 10/29/2012 11:33PM

    Stay safe and keep us posted on how it unfolds. Hope you get to keep your lights on!

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MSLZZY 10/29/2012 8:54PM

    Quite a point of view! Stay safe!

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 10/29/2012 7:34PM

    Best wishes getting through the storm!

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MEXGAL1 10/29/2012 10:54AM

    Hope it all turns out okay with Sandy.
Be safe.

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NWFL59 10/28/2012 9:17PM

    Hope the nor'eastern predicted isn't as bad as the newscasters are predicting. Hopefully you'll be able to keep yourself upright and feet near the ground while it blows through on your interval day. emoticon

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