Posts tagged exercise

One step closer…and nothing’s broken yet!

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Two months of Boulder Boogie training is now gone just like that. It’ll be January and the Highland Games again before I know it but I know I’ll be ready. Took 125# for a walk between seven and eight hundred feet last week and it wasn’t too bad. Tons of protein but not enough sleep as of late thank you ALIENS: Colonial Marines. At least in a few days Gears of War: Judgment comes out so…wait…shit…I’ll sleep again in May or something.

Despite the Sandman, I’m staying healthy and eating pretty clean and keeping any crud out there at bay. Probably due to bourbon, vodka or a combo of the two. Ramped up workouts haven’t hurt either. Still winded and beat up by the end of them all but I’m improving in strength and in speed. Ergo in power.

So last night was this:

1 300′ lap with 100# +

3 pullups +

5 dips +

7 pushups +

9 sledgehammer slams on the tractor tire +

A Handstand

10 rounds

Took about 45 minutes to get done. The point of having two precision moves at the end of each round should not be lost on you. Time was I couldn’t do a handstand even fresh but now with consistency I’m able to hold one even after lots of other taxing things have been done. Of course the threat of bashing the ground ungloriously with my face is a great motivator but I’d have never gotten there at all had I not pushed myself into the challenge.

The Boulder Boogie is ruled mainly by pure muscular expenditure but with forethought and focus you’ll get farther than someone who left that out of their training. Getting mad-dog mean is great, it’s necessary, but that’s berserker rage and the longer you can hold off seeing red the farther you’ll go whether you’re running, rowing or lugging some ornery rock around a well tread field.

And tire slams and handstands require you to focus through the exhaustion, lightheadedness and ever present voice in the back of your skull screaming “slow down or, better yet, just quit!” Hulk like force is awesome until you’re wielding a ball of steel on the end of a stick and you realize that if you let your mind wander you could end up taking out your tibia.

Precision in the midst of power is my precious. And I wants it. Figure out what you want and go after it too. You’ll be better for the chase.

P.S. I also want to be Daredevil. Have a nice day.

Fighting with the fish. And for the fish.

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There was a time I used to eat a lot of fish, then a lot of fish from Long John Silvers, then no fish at all except for Swedish ones. But now I’m back into real fishiness once more. It all came down to getting the most bang for my buck calorically each day in regard to protein intake. In layman’s terms to get the amount of the Big P that I need every 24 hours gets tough without jacking up the calories which hinders me in other areas. Beef is good, chicken is better and fish is best of all pretty much when talking about solid foods.

Ironically my taste for those items runs in reverse to their nutritional output. Beef I love and love to make beefy love to beef with my mouth all beef filled day long. Chicken is good too but you have to eat a lot of it. Then fish, specifically tuna for me, is just the worst. It tastes fishy. And it’s mushy. And I don’t like it very much at all.

But I eat it. Because I want to feed my body what it needs for when I put it through outrageous paces every day. And over the years I have discovered ways to make the fish fight not so bad actually. Mostly keeping it cold and buying the sunflower or olive oil single serve packs. I know they make flavored varieties too but you could take a dump and sprinkle cinnamon on top of it yet I’ll bet you it’s still gonna taste like shit.

And really those two oils plus the cold belay the flavor long enough for me to take the required eight or ten bites. I’m not here to enjoy it, I’m here to enjoy my life and the fish helps with that. I know it’s helping me recover and grow stronger and that knowledge becomes a proverbial spoonful of sugar. And come the end of the day I alone am making the choice to eat it all so I can joke or bitch all I want but I am going to eat it.

A lot of folks wish they were in better shape. But few really want it or they’d have their wish.

Sometimes I don’t want to lift heavy things or run faster or eat tuna but I do and when I’m done I know I’ve met one challenge for the day. Can’t lift all the weight in the world in one rep and won’t eat all the fish in the sea during one meal. Small victories are some of the sweetest. 

So the other night I did this:

5×5 Romanian Deadlifts @135# +

90# Boulder Boogie for 300′ (2 laps with 1/min btw laps) +

5×5 Pullups +

90# Boogie for 600′ (1 lap) +

5×5 Dips +

125# Boogie for 300′ (2 laps with 1 minute btw laps) +

5×5 KB swings @35# +

125# Boogie for 350′, give or take, to finish.

And that was that. I yelled and cried and laughed during the evening and I sure felt it all come morning. But I felt myself getting better too. And as I choked down some tuna the next day I did so with a smile on my face.

FYI this picture also puts a smile on my face. Have a nice day. 

Both who I am and who I’ll be

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I need to write and I need to work out later. So I’m going to write about what I’m going to work out later. A lot of times I wander into my garage with only a vague sense of where that days effort is headed. That’s served me well and, I’m sure, hindered my progress for the same reason: it’s unpredictable.

Having a general game plan is great, having specific goals is too. I say “specific” because as you know if you’ve read this blog for any amount of time my exercise regime revolves around useful muscle. As in not just pretty but also purposeful. My goals are to be as powerful as possible, to be fast, flexible and strong all working in unison.

So I run or row or lift big things off the ground or over my head or carry those heavy things around, hang off of bars, climb on top of stuff or crawl and run and row some more. Being that seemingly unfocused requires some focus. But I get bored easily. That’s why P90X and all those other workouts-in-a-box systems aren’t for me. Three months of the same exact 5 to 10 workouts? No thanks. Give me randomness to challenge my mind, body and soul. Let me hit that wall and go over or through it or under it and surprise myself. These victories come when I focus in the tornado that is my fitness plan. It’s the most fruitful yet most tenuous of paths to follow because of the variety. The focus to push beyond what’s expected or what I feel like doing on any given day is the cornerstone of all I do.

If I look at myself and what I want myself to be I know what I need to do to get there both in the gym and in the kitchen. But you are your own worst enemy as I am certainly mine. The willy-nilly approach I take to getting in shape keeps me interested but not always intense. It’s easy to wander, to take it easy or to skip it all together and with the full support of my own mind.

See why that focus is so important?

I cast an impressively long shadow and the reflection I see in the mirror is often more than what I actually am at the moment. These observations, these possibilities I observe, remind me that the better me is right around the corner, at the end of the next mile, under that 300 pounds on the bar or on top of whatever mountain I’ve chosen to climb that day. But it’s never easy. In ten years of being serious about my health I’ve improved in a lot of ways but none of it was easy.

To get sharp you need to stay sharp.

That more than anything is the reason for any success I’ve had up to this point and will be the reason for all the success to come. I might be all over the map from day to day but one thing that can’t change lest I let myself down is the intensity with which I do whatever it is I’m doing. It’s Carpe Diem covered in blood. Grab this one rep, that next step, those few seconds you have left, the five pounds more than you did last time and give those your very best. Pain, fatigue and fear can’t hold a candle to determination. 

 

With that here’s what’s on tap for tonight:

5 minutes of pushups +

THEN

300′ plate carry (90#) +

5 pullups with a :30 minimum dead hang at the end of each set +

15 ball slams (20#)

5 rounds

THEN

:30 handstands +

10 box jumps

5 rounds

THEN

5 minutes of pushups

THEN

500m sprint on the erg

 

I know what I want to become, time to prove it to myself just how badly.

Broken? Join the club.

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Yep, the A-Team.

Making cool shit out of arguably less cool shit years before MacGyver who was, now that I think about it, probably Murdock’s bastard child with that chick from Airwolf Jan Michael Vincent. What? He was a guy? But he was just so pretty and he was a pilot. Now I need to oil myself up and go play some volleyball to burn off all this energy!

But I’ll write instead. I could play volleyball right now and I am already oiled up but I’m taking it easy for a few days prior to a 5k I’ll be running around EPCOT this weekend. Even with the rest I’ll won’t be firing on all cylinders come Saturday, there’s no avoiding it. Over the years we all develop certain hitches in our get-ups but we shouldn’t, no, we can’t let that slow us down.

You just can’t.

You stop, you die.

When Hannibal and crew were outgunned and under resourced what did they do? Turn tail or worse, surrender? Hell no. They welded something together worthy of The Road Warrior from an old Dodge Dart, one oil drum and twenty feet of chain link fence. Then they went and kicked some television friendly ass.

But kicking ass isn’t always easy. Yeah I get tired, a lot, and yeah I get hurt and have nagging injuries from days long, and some not so long, ago and maybe I don’t want to write something today or go knock out forty five minutes of sprints up and down a highway overpass but even with the pain in my heel or the pinch in my shoulder or the pull in my right hip or pang in my left bicep it all feels wonderfully worth it.

Despite all the pain, life is worth it. It’s rare when you can take it all on at 100%, with everything you need, but if The A-Team taught me anything it’s that explosions can’t kill you. That and also the fact that when faced with difficulty you can simply give up or you can make something out of whatever you got layin’ around and give it all some improvised and gutsy Hell.

We all fall apart, what are you going to make from the pieces?

Building the Perfect Beast

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Putting something together here. Piece by piece, stronger and stronger. More running with more time coming off my miles which stand around 7:55 per at the moment. Of course speed isn’t my only desire. Speed plus strength AKA power is my craving. Too fast or too strong by themselves and I don’t give two shits. Power is where it’s at. So in between running days some weighty matters were attended to:

 

6 tractor tire flips + 6 pullups + 600′ of 90# carried in my arms.

(as many rounds in 15 minutes as possible: I scored 3)

 

This wasn’t as easy as I figured it would be. Which is fine. During a workout I talk myself constantly into pushing harder and generally not being a pussy. As soon as fatigue and/or pain sets in the pussy wants to come out but it’s at every one of those moments that you need to gather your faculties and hold it together.

Know you’ve got it in you to accomplish whatever it is you set out to do even if you bit off more than you can chew.

One focused thought leading to one intense action over and over and over again chain together devastation for anything standing in your way.

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