Another bleah day but

22 more take miles on the bike; half hearted stretching. I’ll have to set up something that works; maybe longer, no bike workouts on M, F, pull up, push up, deadlift, 30 minute bike on W, stretch and longer bike on Tu, Th, and what I am doing now on S, S.

Glute: still tingles. Shoulder: basically well, though going off of NSAIDS has brought my overall body stiffness back! I probably have full body arthritis. I need to keep moving.

Classes start in 3-4 days and we’ll see how a “ok, we are all vaccinated and wearing masks” approach works for omicron…we WILL get some waves…possible enough to put us online for a couple of weeks?

This prof at Ferris State has clearly had enough. Ok, they do NOT have a mask nor a vaccine mandate (we do) but this video, which would get us fired, was about

  1. plagiarism
  2. doctrine of predestination
  3. asking students to take the class online.

Yes…these are weird times. Most have just “moved on” though people are getting sick and ending up in the hospital left and right.

And you see someone (probably anti-vaxx) going on about their wife in serious trouble (ICU/ventilator) and mentioned that they had “gathered together” over Thanksgiving …and giving prayer directions for certain parts of the lady’s body.

What are you going to do?

Belts and things

The local situation: December 22, December 29, January 6. Metro area: 179K, 56 percent vaccinated.

Via the New York Times:

Let that sink in: from the start of the pandemic until now, 1 out of every 345 people in our metro area have died of COVID. And deaths are ticking up.

The county, bless their hearts, are tying. They now feature daily (including weekends) walk in clinics and testing. I really comment the effort.

But as of right now we are at about 350 new cases a day and something like 2-3 deaths a day on the average. Omicron isn’t likely to lower the death toll because, while it is more mild than delta on a case by case basis, it spreads much more easily and what it lacks in morbidity and mortality it makes up for by spreading easier. So while it is safer on an individual level, given that you have covid, it is more deadly on the community level.

If you think of it as Russian roulette: yes, you get to play with more empty chambers, but far more people are playing.

Schools: I am getting sick of the SCHOOLS MUST REMAIN OPEN being touted by politicians, so-called “experts” and “blue check” pundits.

Seriously, this is better than going online for a few weeks (IF conditions warrant)?

The CDC they are screwing up..not so much on the science but with communication. Their “5 days” isolation is very misunderstood; it is if you are asymptomatic OR if your results are “resolving” AND you are fever-free. The public absolutely sucks at conditional statements.

And they have to watch what they say: pointing out that 75 percent of the COVID deaths come from those who have at least 4 comorbidity factors is being interpreted as “it is ok if the disabled die”, which it is NOT what they are trying to say. But it was a bad way to say it.

Bottom line: if we know who is most vulnerable, we can get better at protecting them.

Tension in society Yes, people knowingly go out there with COVID; that is documented. And around here, I’d say less than half of the people wear a mask. Given the sky high case rates, it is a good idea to assume that at least 1/5 of the people you see have COVID and to protect yourself.

And I’ve noticed this: we have an indoor mask mandate and when you to into the Riverplex, they remind you to put one on. But when you get upstairs, most have taken them off. So, I’m done for a while, at least until this spike is down.

Then I’ve notice that the Riverplex is doing a membership drive.
Some don’t go because they have a mask mandate. Others (like me) stopped going because it isn’t enforced in the upper areas, at all.

And I understand why: it gets tiresome to tell adults to do what they should be doing, especially when they revert the very second they aren’t being monitored.
We are a nation of toddlers. And I don’t miss their company.

Workout notes

Yesterday: pull ups (-4 F) 5-5-10-10-5-5-5-5-5-5 outside with rehab
push ups: 3 sets of 25 on the floor (touch the chest), 1 set of 5-floor, 5-step 1, 5 step 2, 5 step 1, 5 floor.

bench press: 8 x 135, 5, 5 x 150 Swiss), 5 x 150 straight bar (went fine)

curls: 3 sets of 10
rows (single arm) 3 sets of 10
shoulder presses: 10 x 93, 10 x 103, 10 x 103 (ok)

rehab.

Today: 30 minutes bike AFTER:

10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 224 (no belt)
3, 3, 3, 3, 5 x 260 (belt); went fine, zero pain.

Note: I added a hole to my belt; evidently I am just slightly too fat for Titan’s XL belt (34-41, though my pants are 36..should have gone with 38-45 XXL)
And by using a weight plate instead of a hammer on the screw, I cut my finger.

Dec 31-Jan 2

Well, I was supposed to have gone to the Colts vs Raiders game, but COVID rates were higher than I was comfortable with. So I sold the tickets and..yes, skipped the Giants at Bears game as well. Watched a LOT of TV-ball though, and Tracy was over on Jan 1 to watch the Ohio State Rose Bowl win with us.

I have stuff to get off my chest; well, not really. It is what it is and you can’t make people smarter.

Direct course preparation starts tomorrow. I’ll see if I can get a better room for two of my classes. I have a feeling I’ll do much what I already did in the Fall…didn’t anticipate that.

Workout notes: December ended with a very conventional workout.
Pull ups and chin ups went ok; 60 reps total, in sets of 5-10.
Push ups: fine, 100 total: 30 sissy, 20 deficit (flat), 20 feet up, 20 flat, 10 feet elevated (flat)
Bench press: 2 sets of 5, 1 set of 10 with 135 (Swiss Bar)
rows: 3 sets of 10 each arm (60)
curls: 3 sets of 10
seated press: 2 sets of 5 with 103, set of 10 with 93

Jan 1: deadlifts and 30 minute bike. Aggravated that back tweak slightly; my guess: I’ve seen that belts are recommended when your max reaches 1.5 times your body weight (200 lb, 314 lb) for sets when you are doing 85 percent of your max (267)

And surprise, surprise, I notice the back at about 265-270. Go figure. So I ordered the belt:
10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 224, sets of 3 every 3 minutes: 270, 270, 270, 275, 275 (*)

Sunday: 1 hour (59 minutes) cycling, snow shoveling (no problems with the back)

Another day with good old delta

Yes, omicron has arrived but right now, the dominant strain is still delta and we are at 18.36 percent positivity (as of 29 December). We are getting creamed.

Yeah, we sold our NFL tickets; can’t risk it at my age and with my elderly wife.

I know that the CDC is catching heat; the argument is that they are recommending something that people might actually follow rather than something safer that they won’t.

I can’t defend everything they recommended; for example my wife followed their “vaccinated adults don’t need to mask” and ended up with a breakthrough that required BAM treatment (late July).

But some of what they said “back when” was reasonable advice at the time. Example: the older variants of covid required a larger dose (viral load) to infect, so cloth masks did provide some protection..and they still do a decent job of filtering droplets released by the wearer.

But sure, now that delta came a long, you need a better mask (NK-95, KF-94) for personal protection.

I admit that I’ve become a bit bitter. Last year, I was whiny about being toward the back of the vaccination line.

Now, my anger is mostly at the COVIDIOTS who won’t get the shot, now with those who won’t mask in indoor public places and institutions who won’t create and enforce vaccine mandates.

And yes, I am still steamed at liberals who, back in the summer of 2020 were all “no large gatherings, unless it is a protest we approve of” and those who wildly exaggerated the efficacy of vaccines by using statistics in a very stupid way.

Yes, it does turn out that outdoor stuff wasn’t that bad, but one needs consistency when one makes recommendations. Liberals were downright hypocritical at the time and, well, why would a conservative trust what we say?

There is a ton of blame to go around.

But there are those doing things right.

Workout notes

Pull ups were harder than usual: weight gain? Cold? (29 F)

5-5-5-5, 10, 5-5-10-5-5 (chins, wide grip included)

push ups: 30 sissy, walk 10 (hard), 10 deficit, 10 legs up the steps (touch the chest).

Deadlifts: 10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 224, 10 x 244 (all low); technique is improving a bit. Felt slight back tingles and decided to end with the 10 x 244; it was the best I’ve done at 10 reps and 244 is more than what I could do in Jan, 2020.

Awful local numbers

12 percent positive rate..with a LOT of testing.

Today’s workout: leisurely; no areobic. Some rehab.

pull ups: 5, 5, 10, 10 (3 penalty set) 5-5, 10 singles, 5-5

push ups: 30 sissy, 30 feet elevated, 2 sets of 15 deficit, 20 flat (touching)

rows: 3 sets of 10 with 60 (single arm)

bench presses: (Swiss bar) 10 x 95, 10 x 115, 7 x 135 (cautious)

curls: 3 sets of 10

shoulder presses: 10 x 93, 5 x 108, 5 x 108, 5 x 104 (better ROM?)

Felt ok.

Airing of Grievances: Trap bar deadlifts

Today: some rehab, 30:30 on the bike after some deadlifts:

10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 224 (safely called a warm up these days)

Working set: 5 sets of 3 x 270 low, taking care of my back (big breath at the bottom); right at the knife edge of stiffening up toward the end.

That was enough for today.

Progress: well, it was 2 years ago that 240-245 was my tough one rep max; now 240 goes up 10 times…easily, and I’ve gotten 314 low handle (ok, after my working sets; dumb idea).

Best sets as of now: 10 x 240, 5 x 274, 1 x 314. Can I improve some more? I think so, IF I keep improving technique and give my body a lot of time to adjust. Today, I was limited by not wanting to aggravate that back tweak from 3 weeks ago. Each rep was, well, sort of easy.

And yes, I score an 84 on the Army’s trap bar deadlift contest. I want to improve.

Now about the exercise itself. Yes, other athletes use it. This is Quenton Nelson, all pro guard for the Colts. He might be a bit stronger than I am.

This exercise has its detractors:

It has its defenders too:

For me: it is a concession to age. It allows me to pick “sort of” heavy stuff off of the ground and not hurt myself in the process, and I enjoy doing that.

Ending Physical Therapy and thoughts

I posted this on Facebook:

My last PT appointment was yesterday. I’ve made great progress with my shoulder and decent progress with my glute (a tougher injury to recover from) I noticed that most in the clinic while I was there were elderly (ok, some ..ok..many …were age peers). I also noticed that many were trying to recover from very tough things…to be able to walk, do functional things. I was there for sports injuries and felt a bit guilty about it. The PT …(who was trying to get this old man to feel better) told me that I was where I was (in terms of what I could do) due to decisions I made and things I’ve done (deliberately stayed active)And when I think about it, yes, it was *part* of the story. But much of the story was simple good fortune: a job that doesn’t break my body and gives me time to work out, not having a severe accident which disabled me, not getting a severe illness (up to now) or being born with a disability …these are factors that I did nothing to “earn”. So I might say that I was lucky (up to now…luck can change at any time) and I did things to take advantage of said luck.And that brings me to part II.

I know a lot of aging runners and some aging lifters. It seems as if many of us have that one period in our sporting life when everything clicked…we were as fast/strong/whatever as we were going to be..and then things like age/illness or circumstances meant that period of our life would be gone forever…”you can’t go home again.” Oh, I get that. I am not ever going to see certain performances again (average performances in the great scheme of things). But I can focus on activities that are fun for me and to still do the “continuing rehab” that will enable me to enjoy the fun activities just a bit longer, albeit at lower levels and to keep some level of independence (e. g. if I can do squats and pull ups, I can get up when I trip and fall, and if I can comfortably do 10 reps with 100kg in the deadlift, I won’t win any contests but I can move boxes around the house without risking my back.

And yeah, I ended the day with a slightly achy glute.

Now for the workout: I wanted to get out early; I really didn’t. I did get 31 minutes on the bike and some stretching; part of my rehab included planks of various types, chest taps, weightless squats, etc.

pull ups: 40 singles every 10 seconds, 10, penalty set of 5 then 2 sets of 5 chins. (65 reps total)

push ups: arms elevated (“sissy”): 2 sets of 20, feet elevated: 2 sets of 20, full, touch the bowl push ups: 2 sets of 10 (100 reps total)

deadlifts: 10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 224 (slow..1/2 count at the bottom), 10 x 246 4 inch handle, 10 x 270 high handle.

Then the bike after rehab.

The deadlifts felt…good. Pull ups felt, good. And I think that I can finally squat to a deep position without turning it into a stripper squat.

Conceding to age

I admit that when I work out, I take care to avoid injury, even if it means cutting it short or just quitting.

Today: rehab, deadlifts, 2 miles of walking in just over 30 minutes (stretch at 1 mile..probably should have stretched at 1.7 but I wanted to finish), and some banded walks.

The deadlifts:

10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 224 (all went ok; focused on hip hinge)

251: 3, 3, 3, 3, 4 (on the 3 minutes, did not push the last set)

274 (4 inch handle), 3, 3 (ok, but fatigued)

300 (8 inch) 1 set of 3; felt it in the back on the 3’rd rep and called it quits.

Ok, that is 35 reps with “working weight”; probably enough for one day.

Workout catch up

Kind of busy and dead this week.

Tuesday: I had my PT reeval; we will do 3 more “every other week” sessions.

Shoulder: progressing nicely. Glute: stalker injury…first 8-9 minutes feel like old times, then “never going to give you up” mode.

Monday; pull ups, push ups (including 10 almost flat at the end), seated presses, curls, rows, 32 minutes bike (10 fake miles)

Tuesday: yoga; 2 16:30 ish miles on the riverfront…then the PT later

Wednesday: pull ups, push ups, deadlifts (10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 224, then 10 x 260 high); had to wear a sweatshirt, 32 minutes bike

Today: yoga, 2 mile walk (usual 2 stretch breaks), 33 minutes bike; legs sort of sore.

And the beat goes on; tomorrow I give an exam for a prof out with COVID.

Almost the end of the Chiefs season

I caught Saturday’s game with Barbara, Vickie and Harry. The Chiefs lost 6-3; two of the Chief’s runs came on solo home runs..and the relief pitchers teamed up to walk in a couple of runs.

I’ll catch the action later today for the last game of the season.

On my own: I did some deadlifts, walked 2 miles (breaks at 1.1 and 1.4 miles) 15:40 mile 1, 16:22 mile 2, and some rehab; doing the banded walks with the blue band was an eye opener.

The deadlifts: 10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 224 were ok

on the 3: 5 sets of 3 x 251 these were ok but NOT super easy.

two sets of 3 x 274 with the 4 inch handle.

High handle (8 inch) ugh…3 singles with 310 (on the 1); last one was just plain bad. Slight back strain.

10 x 260 high handle finished it.

Pick up Tracy in 1 hour.