Sunday, March 20, 2011

Once a week

So, I’ve been away for a while now and I’ll just highlight some of the workouts from this week. It’s been a good week for some new PR’s and some improvement since I’ve been in Afghanistan. Past the three month mark now, only 3 more to go.

The diet is still the hard thing out here. I’m working on eating as healthy as I can and will really work on my diet when I get back and can start cooking for myself. I think that is when I will see some of the more persistent fat start to melt away. For now, I don’t worry about the scale or the look. I worry about the results and at this moment I’m seeing plenty so I’m not worried.

Past week’s workouts:
3x3 Press
125, 130, 135

Dead lift’s on the minute. 1 on minute 1, 2 on minute 2, and so on.
135#’s 20 + 5
Rest 5 minutes
225#’s 10
Rest 5 minutes
315#’s 2 + 2
This one hurt and my hammies were tight as hell for the next 3 days.

20 min AMRAP
5 pull-ups
10 push-ups
15 sit-ups
I knocked out 15 rounds plus 8 push-ups. This is three rounds and change more than I did two months ago and I felt great after the workout.

7 x 1 Bench press w/ dumbbells
90, 95, 100, 100, 95, 95, 95 (first time I have ever pressed 100’s)

21, 18, 15, 12, 9, 6, 3 Push-ups
3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21 Sit-ups 7:37
3 min rest
21, 18, 15, 12, 9, 6, 3 Box jumps (30”)
3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21 Kettle bell swings (1.5 pood) 12:18
I have been slacking like crazy on my burpees. Tonight when I get to post this I’ll see where I left off. I’ll be making them up over the next couple of days until I’m all caught up. I have some good friends on their way to Australia that are doing the 100 day challenge with me. So, I need to get back on the trolley.

Friday, March 18, 2011

To Hell with the Army

So, my internet has been cut.  In their spare time, a few people set up internet for about 300 people on base.  Apparently it was cutting into their real work time and the Army knee-jerked and decided to shut it down.  I can't access blogs, including my own, on a government computer.  So, I will only be able to post about once a week or so since I don't really feel like waiting in line to use a computer at the MWR just to post.  I'll keep going and it should pick up in a few months when I'm finally out of here.  I'll try to post tomorrow about this past week. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Well Rested

Today I felt well rested.  It’s been the first time in a long time.  Today was a good workout morning.  I had tons of energy and wanted to do more.  I cut it a bit short to make sure I wasn’t too wasted for tomorrow plus, I’ve needed a bit of rest lately.  The two-a-days have been putting the hurtin’ on me.
12 min AMRAP
3 x 185# bench press
5 x 185# Squat
I finished 8 rounds.  
Followed by some Power Clean form practice.  I am moving more weight a lot easier than I have ever done before but I could still use some work.  I think the next time I go in to work on them I will bring my camera and tripod and tape myself to see how my form is.  
I also did my 50 double unders and knocked them out in 2:52.  I was excited.  I made it to 25 in record time.  I was super winded but I’ve approached them with a much more relaxed style and it’s paid off for me.  

Thursday, March 10, 2011

One of Those Days

Today I thought my alarm had gone off twice and that I had one more coming.  I was wrong and over slept.  I still had plenty of time to come in and workout.  I just wasn’t feeling it.  I think that these two-a-days that I’ve been doing and the no rest days is already catching up to me.  
Morning workout
3x5 Dead lifts
265, 285, 295
I could have gone a bit higher but like it said, it was an off sort of day and I didn’t want to push it.  
3 rds for time
15 75# squat snatch
15 burpees
This was supposed to be 5 rounds but I was running out of time and needed to get to work.  I also did 50 double unders in 3:29.  This was my best time yet and I knocked out 15 and 10 unbroken.  I still have to use two single unders in between.  One to decelerate and the other to get set.  When I can knock them out 25 at a time consistently I’ll move on to DU’s with only a SU in between.  
3x7min intervals w/ a 3 min rest between each.  I ended up having to stop after two intervals.  Today was gorgeous outside and I figured I would try running outside.  I only have my five-fingers to run in and no other shoes.  So, I underestimated how many tiny, caltrop-like rocks were on the running trail.  After the second interval I called it so my left foot would stay intact.  That and I can’t run as fast as I need to maintain the level of exertion necessary when trying (unsuccessfully) to dodge tiny rocks.  I had forgotten about the burpee challenge and made up yesterdays’ two.  I didn’t count the burpees from the workout.  They were during my warm-up.
Day 3:  3 (5) Burpees  Total:  6

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I haven’t been on a bike in a while.  Exercise bike or regular bike.    Today the treadmills were taken and I got on the bike.  I enjoyed it. 
Today’s workout:
30 min hill climb on bike.
I didn’t have a hill to climb and most of our workout machines are broke out here so I couldn’t use the hill climb function.  So, I just put it on 13 and did my best to maintain a better than 3 min mile pace.  I was able to knock out 10.82 miles in 30 minutes.  

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

How Long is One Minute?

Normally I consider the minute to be the time equivalent of dollars to money.  They’re not worth much and you can’t do much with just one.  To me, and most people, time is one of the more precious commodities out there and we never have enough. It’s the one thing in which, once it’s gone you can never have it back.  As I look at the list of goals that I would like to accomplish in my lifetime, the efficient use of my time becomes a big deal to me.  Today I was reminded of how much you can accomplish in one minute.  
If you ever want to know the eternity that a minute can be do some sprints.  Initially the minute isn’t so bad.  You take your rest and the next minute of work comes.  Now you start to notice the halfway mark.  Soon after that you start breaking it down into 20 second intervals.  Hoping that the next 20 seconds will somehow go faster than the last 20.  Then it’s 10 seconds.  Soon you stop focusing on time and work on your pace.  It keeps your mind off of the time.  Then you start to wonder if you turned off your music in your ipod would your body use less blood in your head to transfer those sounds into something you can understand.  Maybe that blood would go to your legs or lungs to give you more oxygen.  Then you wonder if closing your eyes would have the same effect.  
Ok, I’m taking it a bit far but I’ve said it before, sprinting hurts.  You can accomplish a lot for yourself in that minute.  If you do anything hard for a minute you can accomplish a lot.  And, like dollars, minutes add up.  

1 minute ladder (Rower, damper setting 5)
1 min on, 1 min off, 1 min on, 50 seconds off... 1 min on 10 seconds off, 1 min on 20 seconds off... 1 min on, 1 min off, 1 min on and done.  
All efforts are all out.  
3 rds for time
400m run (Subbed row today due to gym size)
21 kettle bell swing 53lbs
12 pull ups
I feel that this was a pretty poor showing.  I wasn’t really into it this morning.  It was one of those morning’s where you don’t want to get up at all, much less go kill yourself at the gym.  I’ll do her again one of these days and see what I get.  I think my shoulders are finally getting to the point that I can start kipping again.  We’ll see.
100 Day Burpee Challenge
Day 1:  1 Burpee Total:  1 Burpee

Monday, March 7, 2011

I Wish That I Knew What I Know Now, When I was Younger

Today was a strength day.  It was some hard work but time in between each set for me to think.  For some reason I remembered when I first started working out.  A little about me, I’m a nerd.  I like reading, playing video games, reading comics, and other nerdly things.  If it wasn’t for the fact that there was plenty of backpacking and a great cycling program in my boy scout troop, I wouldn’t have been very active in my younger years.  
So when I finally realized that I was starting to get overweight after high school I joined a globo-gym and hired a personal trainer.  I learned about the nautilus machines, was introduced to the hack squat machine, and lunges in a rack.  There was the calf raise machine, bench press, and the lat pull-down machine.  As I look at what I was doing compared to now I wasn’t lifting smartly, my form was off, and I was stuck in the 3 sets of 10 mode no matter what the workout.  On top of that I was working my muscles in isolation which is rarely how they work in the real world.  They work with each other so why work them separately.  The exercises that I knew were limited and the amount of variety I had was not that great.  This lead to me not enjoying working out.
Fast forward to now.  I’ve read Starting Strength and have cleaned up my form so that I’m doing my lifts correctly.  I’ve gone from hack squats and lunges to proper squats, walking lunges, dead lifts, press, push-press, jerks, cleans, and snatches.  I’ve introduced kettlebells, jumping rope, sprints, rowing, burpees, and box-jumps.  I’ve learned countless others that allow me to slap together a workout that will not only push my strength but my endurance as well.  I’ve gone beyond the three sets of ten repetitions.  I’ve come a long way and still have far to go.  Weights that seemed impossible years ago, hell three months ago, I’m now moving with far greater ease than I would have ever thought possible.  
The whole point of this isn’t to lament what could have been but to celebrate how far I’ve come.  I could have kept doing the same old things but instead I kept searching for new and better ways to do things.  With a bit of knowledge, hard work, and the willingness to stick to it (probably the hardest part of the formula) you can make great fitness strides in a far shorter time that you would have ever thought possible.  
I was thinking about my poor burpee performance from yesterday’s Filthy 50.  I figure burpees are like pull-ups.  You’ll never get better at them if you don’t do them.  So, tomorrow I’m starting the 100 day burpee challenge.  It works like this.  On day one, you do one burpee.  On day two, you do two burpees.  On day 50, you do 50 burpees and on day 100, you do 100 burpees.  If I miss a day I have to make it up on the next day.  There’s no pushing the workout to the next day.  I imagine this will suck around day 50 or so but I’m really hoping to see an improvement in my burpees.  
 Today's workout:
7x5 Press
95, 105, 115, 120, 125, 120, 120
7x5 Bench Press (dumbbells)
55, 60, 80, 80, 80, 80, 80

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Gut Check

Every once in a good while you need a good gut check for a workout.  Today was that day.  It was a Filthy 50 morning.  I was very happy with my performance until the burpees.  They took me nearly 10 minutes alone.  I don’t know why I was having so much trouble with them.  It looks like it’s time to do some burpee work.  If there ever was an exercise that I’ve never heard anyone say are fun, it’s burpees.  There is nothing pleasant about them.  
I realize I complain a lot about my workouts but I really do like them.  There are even exercises that I like.  I like dead lifts.  I like cleans and snatches (take that last one how you want).  I think the Olympic lifts are fun.  They are explosive and I need a dose of that in my life.  I’m not big on being explosive.  If I were to have a power animal it would be a sloth.  This is because I don’t like moving faster than necessary.  What’s the point?  This is part of the reason why I like Crossfit.  It ensure it get the intensity that I know I need in my workouts.  
Filthy 50:
For time
50 box jumps (I only have a 30” box)
50 Jumping pull-ups
50 kettle bell swings (35#)
50 lunge walks
50 knees-to-elbows
50 push-press (45#)
50 back extensions
50 Wall ball shots (20# ball, 10 ft target)
50 burpess (boo!)
50 double unders
My time on this was nearly two minutes slower than my last time.  I am about 5000ft higher in elevation but it’s no excuse.  If I can knock my time on my burpees in half I would have knocked 5 minutes off that time.  
I came back to the gym in the evening to knock out a Tabata row, the treadmill was taken.  I maintained 100m or more per interval.  I’m pretty beat and I’m sure that I’ll sleep like a rock tonight.  
I did not do so well on my calorie intake today.  I’ve been doing good all week and today I ended up having some cake and ice cream.  It was Sunday but I still need to be better about my eating habits.  I’m definitely watching my portions and I’m consuming more protein but I’m trying to balance it with fruits and veggies.  
Tomorrow will be a strength day.  I’m looking forward to it.  

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Spiced Winter Ale... Yeah or Nea

It sounds great.  It’s cold and snowy out here and this would be the perfect thing at the end of the day.  The only problem was that Murphy was against me on the brew day.  I started this bad boy up and right after I added the hops the hot plate I was using stopped working.  I had no way to get a fire going quick enough to finish the job since all the wood was wet.  I tried keeping it as warm as I could for as long as I could but no dice.  
It’s light on flavor, tastes a bit watered down, and there is no hop aroma or bitterness to balance out the sweetness that does come through.  There is a good spice aroma and I think this beer would have been great but it was not meant to be.  
For the hops to add bitterness they need to be boiled.  The bittering agent in hops is a resin that needs the high heat to be properly broken down.  The longer the boil the more bittering flavor you can extract from the hops.  I had none of it.
Oddly enough I’m not as upset as I thought I would be.  I’ve learned something.  I’m also not brewing under ideal conditions.  I’ve had two that have turned out awesome so far and two more in the hopper that I have high hopes for.  With three batches left unbrewed.  I’m hoping a bit of magic will happen in the next week and the Spiced Ale will somehow get better but that’s just wishful thinking.  

Cardio and Double Unders

Today was a 2k row for time.  7:42::5.  I looked online and compared my results to some of the other members on the Concept 2 webpage and I’m around 7 or 8 hundredth down the list.  I have a ways to go and I can’t  wait until this one comes around again.  I know I can do better.  
Double unders are still the bane of my workout existence.  Today I did two rounds of 50 with a three minute break in between.  It took me 4:02 and 3:30.  Occasionally, I can knock out a few unbroken but normally for me to have any consistency I need to do a double under and then a single under.  Today it wasn’t working and I seem to be having issues with my timing.  So, I added two single unders followed by a double under.  I was able to produce greater consistency.  My goal was to shoot for 5 at a time.  If I hit that I would keep going.  
The plan is to keep this up until I’m consistently hitting 5-10 at a time.  Then I will up the number until I’m comfortable.  Then I’ll move back to my single unders followed by double.  I don’t know if I’m the only person that has had this much trouble knocking out double unders.  
I type all of my posts into a word processor that checks for spelling.  I rarely use it to check my grammar but I was curious today and it ended up starting at the top of the document.  In an earlier post I used the word bitch to describe a workout.  The workout was a named workout and the name was a woman’s, much in the way that hurricanes used to be named after women.  My proofreader told me this:  Bitch - sexist.  Avoid using this word to refer to women.  I can’t fault it’s logic but it tickled me.