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Leaving it all at the gym -- Farmer's Carries and Bowling

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Well today SWMBO and I threw #2 son's birthday party. We invited about 20 of his good pals to a bowling alley where we rented a couple of lanes and fed them pizza, cake, and soda for 3 am I glad that's over!

Last week was #2 son's actual birthday, but he had a Special Olympics event to go to so we held the party today. He's a special needs boy and we had a good mix of boys and girls from the specials class from both school and church in attendance. They all had a blast! SWMBO and I know pretty well how to deal with most of the kids that have more serious handicaps and/or emotional needs and we helped them along as best we could, making sure they partook and felt included. They're a great bunch of kids that do some pretty incredible things, struggling but never giving up. SWMBO is fond of saying that watching them makes you want to both sing with joy and cry in sorrow.

Hell I felt so motivated I even had pizza and soda with them!

But to gear up for this event, I needed to get to the gym early and knock out some serious cardio intervals....and to try out a new exercise that has intrigued me for a few weeks now....Farmer's Carries!

I hit the bike hard for about 45 minutes, doing some pretty hardcore intervals that got me up to 90-95% of my max heart rate a few times, bringing it down to a more sustainable 70-80% in between. I had a chance to try out a new playlist and that really helped, especially with the peaks.

Then I grabbed a pair of 50 lb dumbbells.....and walked.....and walked.....and walked.

I gotta tell you, it was pretty energizing! It's quite a different thing to just hold on tight to some mildly heavy weights and walk. I felt it right where I wanted to....right in my forearms....pretty much everything below the elbow....I felt like Popeye after a can of spinach

And that is exactly why I wanted to do them. I think it's a very functional exercise, learning to walk and maneuver while carrying some heavy weights (I did a circular loop in and out of the weight room down the connecting hallway). By the third set, my forearms were radiating fire, so I re-racked the weights and went to my car.

Then #1 son called. He's our 25 year old who lives in North Carolina.....and a true gym rat. I gave him the blow-by-blow of my workout and then he asked, "Sounds good dad....did you leave it all at the gym?"

"Yeah, I had a good workout, I feel pretty good"

"I know dad.....but did you leave it all in the gym or did you have any left in you?"

I'm thinking, "who the hell raised this little son-of-a-bitch" but I knew the answer so I just answered, "I might have another rep or 2 in me, so what?"

"If you're still in the gym, you should leave it all there"

At this point, I've already walked out the door, my car is 20 yards in front of me....but the front door is 5 yards behind me.

"Seriously, you're challenging me? You're playing the guilt card on me? This from the kid who routinely complained about being too tired to take out the trash or empty the dishwasher?"

"You're call dad, I know I left it all at the gym today"

"OK, you're on! Don't forget to call your brother at the party today or I'll take these Popeye forearms of mine and crush you like an empty soda can"

"That's cute dad, considering I did my warm-ups today with your max effort!"

Children truly are a blessing!

So I went back. This time I picked up a pair of 55 lb dumbbells, cranked up the volume on my new favorite motivational song (Nickelback - "If Today Was Your Last Day")....and walked until I had absolutely nothing left and the weights were slipping through my jelly-like fingers.

Needless to say, I truly sucked at bowling....even the kiddie weight balls were tough on my grip. But my horrendous bowling brought squeals of delight to all the kids, so I didn't really care!

Have a great night Spark friends!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    emoticon I have been Looking at Kettle Bells for awhile now. I think this might be a really good reason to Stop Looking and Pick a Couple of them Up, LOL!!
    emoticon Son #1 sounds like a Fun Guy to have around!!
    1880 days ago
  • KA_JUN
    I love farmers walk! Sounds like your family can really throw it around, I like what your son said, I'll keep that in the back of my mind the next time I lift, for sure!
    1909 days ago
    Thanks for sharing this!
    For now about two years, I decided to make all my shopping with a backpack, and handbags, and carry it home. It's another easy way to cram in some exercise minutes, and I'm also more conscious about what I shop ... I have to carry it to home. Now I'll have the proper name for it, Farmer's Carries! :-)

    Thanks for sharing! I enjoy your blogs all the time, you write in a lively way that cheers me up.

    And also thanks for the comments!
    1912 days ago
    Love this! I only hope to one day have my children challenge me and keep me on my toes.

    1914 days ago
    Great--motivating----Lynda emoticon
    1915 days ago
    What a motivational blog! I know I have been going to the gym and definitely not "leaving it all there" In fact, I've been "phoning it in" the last few days. Tell your son "thank you" for me. Will leave it all there tomorrow!

    Ha! I've been doing those Farmer's Carries for a while now! Called them 'Suitcase Carries" but I only use one 20-35 lb kettle bell and switch from hand to hand as I walk around the track.

    I also do "waiter carries". And then there is one in between, shoulder level, but can't remember the name of that one.

    Check out:

    Take care and keep spreading the Spark!

    1916 days ago
    What great motivations from your son and way to take him up on that challenge! I saw the farmer carries during an episode of Extreme Makeover: WLE and it looks like a great exercise that will help you build muscle for everyday life. I am constantly carrying in heavy grocery bags and 42lb containers of cat litter, so I'm sure exercises like this would help because I know I'm straining my back when I'm doing bueno!

    When I was student teaching I had a student with Down Syndrome in my class. It was an elective class and I had never known anyone with DS before. But he was one amazing kid. He was always saying hello and would always give his all on any assignment I gave him. He gave way more effort than any other student in my class and he always had a great attitude. He was in the paper a few weeks ago for a special program they are doing at the school and I'm proud of all he has accomplished. He was definitely a joy to be around and inspirational as well!
    1916 days ago
    Delightful story. Thanks for sharing!
    1916 days ago
    Never heard of farmer carries before!

    Your son seems to have inherited your gift of persuasion! ;)
    1916 days ago
    I do paddling. During competition the coach reminds us to leave it all on the water. Thanks for your blog. Its another idea on how to train to do just that.

    And I admire you for you work with the special needs kids.
    1917 days ago
    I do paddling. During competition the coach reminds us to leave it all on the water. Thanks for your blog. Its another idea on how to train to do just that.

    And I admire you for you work with the special needs kids.
    1917 days ago
    Framer's carries... never heard of that before. I guess, I do this exercise every week when I walk with my heavy bags grocery shopping for 1 mile. I sometimes reach home and my hands and arms are falling off.
    Your son might be stronger than you but surely not wiser. You've got the brains more developed than him!
    Great bowling event and good for you for making their day! I am sure they will be talking about it for weeks.
    1917 days ago
    Wow, these sound like a fun idea, though maybe not the best idea before a bowling birthday party! =) Maybe someday for me....

    The birthday party sounds so lovely, and your description of it made me want to go bowling! emoticon
    1917 days ago
    LOL! Good for him! I've never thought of trying farmer's carries or even heard of them. Now I'm intrigued! :)
    1917 days ago
    LOVE THIS! And I love farmer's carries. Trainer #9 used to make me do them on "light days" (yeah RIGHT! His idea of a light day would make some shudder lol). He had me walk the track outside - pair of 35# dumbells for one lap, pair of 50# 2nd lap, pair of 45# 3rd lap, and then pair of 40# for the last - some light day indeed! I felt like I'd run a marathon instead of walking a mile lol.

    Keep up the farmer's carries. They improve your posture and your core, as well as all of the other benefits...

    Glad the birthday party went so well!


    1917 days ago
    Hahahaha that's so awesome :) I do walking lunges with weights but never just a farmer carry. Will have to try it out!!!
    1917 days ago
  • ALIWVU121
    Great blog! You and your son made me laugh. Awesome that you went back in though! And that's really great that you had everyone come out for your son's bday party!! Have a great week!
    1917 days ago
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