The work around..

This post will be more about my COVID-19 workouts; at a later time I’ll write about some thoughts I am having.

Yesterday: stated with a hilly 5.1 mile run in 59:35; I actually “picked it up” to 10 minutes per mile to beat one your. This was the usual Cornstalk course. Then some outdoor lifting (drug my toys outside)

Pull ups: 10 sets of 5 (bar was slick…didn’t find my orange “gripper” gloves until later.
rotator cuff
dips: 4 sets of 10: getting better at these
dumbbell shoulder press: 10 x 39, 10 x 44, 10 x 44
bent over rows with barbell: 5, then 10, 10 with 94 lbs.
Clean and press: 5 singles, set of 5, triple, 2 singles all with 94 (bumper plates)
Dumbbell curls: 3 sets of 8 with 2 10, 1 “2 kg” (26 lb)

This morning: “serpentine” course around the BU neighborhood regions (almost deserted) then 3 more in a busy West Peoria region 2:16 for 8 miles total.


My outdoor set up

I wore my “Quad Cities Marathon” gloves yesterday

I spent several hours cleaning out the basement and several more putting this together. It was quite the chore: steel is very heavy and I didn’t have a torque wrench to use. I almost got a second workout doing this.

About my home gym Prior to December of last year: I had an old 1984 bench, a “cheap” Olympic bar, iron weights, a heavy duty “1 inch” bar with a lot of weight for it (including 4 20 Kg plates) and a curl bar. When I started to do dead lifts at home, I added 2 45 bumper plates and a hex bar. Then when I knew that BU would be closing, I assumed (incorrectly) that I had a week of the Riverplex left; I did not. But anyway I decided to plan as if I’d have to lift at home. So I added:

Pull up and dip bar (outdoor: “Power Tower”)
dumbbell handles with 4 10 lb. plates (screw on)
25 lb. bumper plates (to lift on the porch)
Squat racks with bench press safety catch
Then recently: that monster weight bench with spotter pins.

So, I can do pretty much everything at home, except for incline/decline presses.

How boring my “usual” life is

I’ve been MORE active than normal online. But some of that has been professional, some has been via zoom, etc.

Much of it: I’ve been spending time getting resources for students and making adjustments to my courses.

I’ve done some bland errand running (groceries, drug store, take out food) and the last “inessential” thing I did was a pick up on exercise equipment, which I plan to assemble today. By the end of the day, I should be able to do just about every exercise at home, save incline and decline bench presses. I’d added bar dips and curls and bent over rows..and power cleans. In good weather: clean and presses. And, of course, runs and walks. Workout updates below.

Society: Ideally, we’d like to drive down the cases while learning more, so that we can then do “the dance” with the virus: be able to respond effectively to minor outbreaks.

Will that happen? Ugh…we are so divided and Republicans are still skeptical. I am fortunate in that I tend to associate with liberals. And yes, I know…even at its worst, the virus will NOT kill us all, but it would kill a small percentage of a very large country, in part, due the virus itself, and in part due to other sick people (sick from other things) not being able to get care from an over-taxed medical system.

Some people are warming to Trump’s handling of the cases. But remember the norm is to really rally around the President, (like we did around W after 9/11) and that is not happening.

Workout update: yesterday: 6.4 mile walk (1:44..very slow walk)

Life goes on, with me or without me

Here, some stores have curbside service but even these might have to close. I do use takeout for meals. But with those exceptions, I am basically following the “stay at home” guidelines shown here.

Wednesday: I diligently assembled my pull up bar…incorrectly, but then fixed it. There is a slight rock (they recommend bolt-down) but using loaded dumbbells as counter weights really helps.

I also am doing dumbbell presses outside; our porch ceiling is high enough to allow for that, even during rain.

And I do bench presses, power cleans, curls, dead lifts, hex bar rows in the basement.

So, here is what I did, workout wise, over the past couple of days:

Wednesday: 6.4 mile run…very slowly…Cornstalk hill plus lower loop; 1:28 ish. I’ve really gotten slow…then assemble equipment (racks, pull up bars)

Thursday: yes, I got a great deal on this bench (150 dollars!)

But I did my own workout first:

rotator cuff and back exercises. (I forgot to plank…better work on that)

pull ups: 10-(5-5)-10-(5-5)-5-5 (the 5-5 sets were when I changed grip)

dips: 4 sets of 5 (getting used to it)

shoulder press with dumbbells: 3 sets of 10: 40, 44, 44, 1 of 5 (44) for photos

goblet squats: 3 sets of 6 with 58 (decent depth)

bench press: experiment: 10 x 134, 5 x 156, 5 x 167 (had the spotter)

rows: 3 sets of 6 x 134 (hex bar)

power clean: new 25 lb bumper plates: 3 sets of 5 x 94

curls: 3 sets of 5 with 55? (22/4.4 on each side)

I am still working things out.

Working the polls

Yes, we got 17 percent (390 out of 2300 or so) turn out at my polling location (CH 05-09) Chillicothe Public Library but early voting was heavy.

And that is one sanitized hand.

I was up at 3:15 am; went to bed just before 10 pm, and was at the polling station from 4:50 (set up) to 8:00 (tear down). 390 voters showed up (mostly Republicans) though among the D’s, Biden beat Sanders 39-19.
It was a bit of a mess all around. We had a few wipes and a lot of sanitizer …library donated hand sanitizer.

Off to run, and put stuff together…should be a good comedy show.

No excuses for me

Yes, “working out” is not important in the great scheme of things, but it keeps me sane. This is day one of my “spring break” which will be…busy.

My ordered stuff won’t be here for a few days. But I have plenty:

Walked 2 miles and found a school playground that had horizontal rails (similar to a horizontal ladder but without the rungs). The playground is one block away….and that became my pull up station.
12 sets of 5; the rail is a bit low for my height (it is designed for kids) and I had to do the pull ups with bent knees. It worked.

back home: made some adjustments:

seated dumbbell shoulder presses: 10 x 40, 10 x 44, 10 x 44 (each hand)
bench presses: 10 x 134, 5 x 156, 5 x 167 (had to keep it light; no spotter..and the racks aren’t in)
bent over rows with the hex bar: 3 sets of 5 x 134
goblet squats: 3 sets of 6 x 60 (4 tens, 2 8.8, and the handles)
cleans: 1 set of 5 x 92, 2 sets of 5 x 100 (36 kg of weight, and a 10 kg bar (approximately)
curls: 3 sets: 10 x 44, 6 x 60, 6 x 60 (used 10 kg, 4 kg plates
trap dead (squat) 3 sets of 6 x 176

This workout took some time as I have to change the weight plates AND I was still trying to figure out my routine. I think I am good to go.

Ok, about this COVID-19: what is the strategy?

Our stated strategy is to take “social distancing” measures to as to “flatten the curve” (that is, to delay when the peak occurs and to make the peak lower than our health system capacity.

How it works.

Evidence from past outbreaks of other pandemics.

How to effect social distancing.

However, the UK is taking a somewhat different approach. While they are attempting to shield the most vulnerable, they are actually hoping enough people get it to establish “herd immunity” (60 percent getting it)

They’ll institute more stringent isolation measures in time (so they hope) to NOT overwhelm their health care system. But they want to avoid a “second peak” when the measures go away..which Japan might be experiencing right now:

March 12. We were supposed to be traveling to Britain next week to look around universities with Molly, but this is not the best time to travel. Vacation canceled. At least the hotels are all refundable.

March 13. On hold to Expedia for three hours to cancel flights — the line goes dead. Repeat two more times. I try calling All Nippon Airlines. On hold for one hour — success. Flight fully refunded.

March 15. The sun is shining and people are outside. Chinatown is as busy as I have seen it in two months. The chestnut seller and fortune tellers are back. It feels good. Until I consult the NHK website: Japan just set a record daily high in new infections, with 63 fresh cases.

Are people relaxing too soon?

The mathematics of the model:

And the standard “SIR” (Susceptible, Infected, Recovered) model.

And there goes the Riverplex

I decided to order some equipment in the even that my local gym shut down. And shut down it did; the two gyms I use are closed until March 30 and April 13, respectively.

Yeah and it is the right thing to do; in the Riverplex case: many of the users are elderly, due to its “Silver Sneaker” program (discounted rate for old people). Sure, this is a Peoria Park District shutdown, though I thought that I might have an extra week.

On the way: bench press spotter stands, free standing outdoor pull up bar, 25 lb. bumper plates (for squats and or power cleans). Already purchased: dumbbell handles with 40 lb. extra plates. Given my current collection of plates, I should be able to do goblet squats, front squats, dumbbell bench presses, overhead presses (outside, or seated inside), deadlifts, hex bar dead lifts and squats, curls, and I can walk to a playground to do some pull ups (until my bar gets in)

I chose this pull up bar set over a lighter, more flimsy set that was portable. I chose the dumbbell handles for the price and because they did not have 70 lb. fixed weight dumbbells (they went up to 55); I use the 70 for the bench press and goblet squats.

Outdoor pull up bar:

When it all gets here, I should be set to do almost ALL of my usual workout…exception: my bench is a flat bench; no incline nor decline.

And in what is to be my final Riverplex visit for a while (I honestly do NOT expect it to open by March 30…May or June sounds more realistic)..I got in a 7.2 mile shuffle. The run part (6.75 in 1:27) was slow but not that bad; I did a 10 minute “warm up” by looping around the Gateway..seeing the path closed off (due to Riverplex roof construction) and going on the run portion.

This featured the big hill from the lower part of Springdale up to prospect.

First COVID-19 weekend and what a difference

Just a few days ago, we were wondering if we would travel to watch the Bradley Women’s basketball team play in the MVC tournament this weekend and about our Foreigner concert. And I was planning on teaching face to face after spring break…1 week..and looking forward to the first home Bradley Baseball game.

Did that change.

Note: Wednesday: went to Costco: plenty of toilet paper. I didn’t look for some to buy today at Hyvee (plenty at home) and, while shelves were thin on some items and out on others, there was PLENTY of food of various kinds; more than enough for the two of us for some time.

We did eat out..and wondered why restaurants insist on not using open areas ..but instead want to pack people together. We resisted a bit and had a table away from others. Come on restaurants: stop this “packing people into a section” during this time.

I’ll do some work related stuff in a bit.

But I did vote (Go Joe!) and bought some dumbbell handles at Dick’s, along with 4 ten pound plates (to add to my existing plates). I bought some bench press spotting racks online (good for squats too) And on today’s walk, I found a couple of places in a near by park that are suitable for pull ups, given a non-rainy day.

Workout notes
deadlift Saturday:
(all conventional except where noted)
6 x 145
6 x 189
1 x 233
5 x 233 (no bounce)
5 x 238 (no bounce)
5 x 238 (no bounce)
1 x 255 (nailed it)
5 x 231 hex bar
8 x 134 stiff legged

Then 5 miles outside (walking); scouted playgrounds for pull up bar suitability.

Until we meet again

Well, our university just went down..students get an extra week of spring break and then we start online instruction on 30 March and are slated to continue until “at least” April 12.
I said “good bye” to my students as, well, though I hope we guess is that we are over until August.

It was a somber day for me; I gave one final lesson and tried to make it a good one. We went over the SIR model in differential equations class. I kind of felt weepy.

Our gym (pictured above…and this is how I usually see it when I arrive at 6 am) is closed until “at least” April 12 and, realistically, probably much longer. I’ll work out at the Riverplex until that is closed too…though I might be able to do my full routine, except for pull ups, at home. And even then…maybe make space in the garage for a full blown power rack? In my basement I can do light bench presses, curls, trap bar exercises and I have another bar I can take to the driveway to do overhead presses. And I’ll buy some good dumbbell handles too…want to do goblet squats and maybe dumbbell bench presses. I’ll need about 140 lb total (70’s for dumbbell benches and goblet squats…45’s for overhead presses)

And so…I made my “final..for now” weight workout in Markin a good one:

pull ups: 4 sets of 10, 1 of 7, 1 of 5
rotator cuff
bench press: 10 x 135, 1 x 190 (easy), 3 sets of 5 x 170
incline press: 10 x 135
clean and press: previously, I did one clean, then all of my presses in a set. This time, I did a clean for every press rep:
3 sets of 5 x 95. OMG..out of breath after the first set, later sets were better. Yes, these were strict presses, not push presses.
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 200 Hammer machine
standing dumbbell shoulder presses: 2 sets of 10 x 45
head stand and plank

Took about 80 minutes.

Markin…BU Students…..Until we meet again….

Posting will be light…

Yep, my university: extra week of spring break, then “online” classes from 30 March to at least 12 April. Note: it takes a very long time to do online stuff properly (testing, etc.)

So I shall do my best, but to pretend there won’t be a degradation is to be dishonest.

This morning: yes, I went to yoga class and brought my own mat. Walked just over 5 miles in 1:22 afterward. Weight: 193.5

yesterday: weights:
rotator cuff
pull ups: 4 sets of 10, 7 ,5
lots of free squats
incline bench: 10 x 135, 5 x 150
decline: 8 x 170
clean and press: 3 sets of 5 x 95 (full range of motion) (one clean per set)
back squats: 3 sets of 5 x 95 (yes, same as clean and press)
Hammer Machine rows: 3 sets of 10 x 200
dead lifts: 5 x 175 Sumo, 5 x 205 Sumo, 6 x 175 Romanian
plank, headstand