Life sans Naproxen

My shoulder no longer needs Naproxen. But that “overall stiffness” has come back; wonder if I have an arthritic body. Possible.

Today: deadlifts: 10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 224 (all ok)

sets on the 3: 3, 3, 3, 3, 5 with 265 (I did mind my back; no problem)

Then after stretching, 1:04 on the bike (22 fake miles); 4-15-3 was the break down (4 easy, 15 medium, 3 hard)

Some glue tingles.
I did watch a Bradley Women’s game: They lost 68-61 though Bradley did rally to take a brief lead in the second, half, fell down by 14 and rallied to cut it to 3 with 3 minutes to go.

Still too half hearted

I need to step up my rehab.

Locally: positivity is 29.48 percent, though the recorded number of cases was under 300 today. Fewer tests, I suppose.

I am almost at the point of writing lessons

Workout notes:

pull ups: 40 singles, set of 10, 2 sets of 5 (wide, chins)
push ups: 4 sets of 25 with lots of rest, rehab in between. Included 1:40 headstand.
deadlifts: 10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 224 (all easy, sans belt)

10 x 251 4 inch handle. Went great (belt), pain free, but I didn’t want to push my luck.

bike (30 minutes; 10 fake miles, including 3 hard, 5 medium, 2 easy.

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.

Covid on the up, up, up

Horrible numbers; positivity is 28.2 percent. And check out the deaths: I’ve never seen this many recorded in one day here (179,000 people)

Yes, the deaths were probably delta and omicron appears to have 1/3 the morbidity of delta…but given the spread is so much higher, that is a lot of people in the hospital.

And yet, not that many care. Why?

And that is sort of the rub: if you get it, YOUR symptoms are likely to be “nasty flu” or less; same with those near you. The very bad cases will be there, but likely somewhere else. So, unless you work in a hospital in a high risk area, you are unlikely to notice that much, save it might be harder to get some things.

The opioid crisis is a bit like that for me: I read about it; I can look up the numbers but it doesn’t appear to affect my day to day life that much.

I am seeing the arguing over schools too. But two key things that people tend to miss:

  1. Teachers and staff are much more at risk than students, and yes, their health matters and
  2. Staff/teacher shortages: just not many, if any subs.

Also, conditions differ from place to place: I am sure that in districts where everyone is vaccinated, everyone has KN-95 and wears them, and the school has a great ventilation system and substitute teachers/staff readily available and not many high risk teachers, sure, not going remote might be possible.

But many (most?) districts are not like that.

Workout notes: pull ups (14 F), push ups (indoors) 5 sets of 20, rehab, deadlifts:

10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 224 (ok, back slightly sore from shoveling)

8 x 246 (quit at rep 8 when it did not feel right; unbalanced and twisted); aggravated the back tweak a bit.

30 minutes bike (8 miles harder)

Note: some glute tingle on one-legged stands; still doing better without the excessive walking.

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.

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.

Omicron arrives

Current positivity rate: 11.2 percent.

For contrast:

The silver lining is that omicron, while more contagious, appears to be less harmful, at least to vaccinated people. But remember it is summer in Africa. And in Denmark, the “hospitalization per cases” ratio might be lower, if the cases are high enough, hospitalizations might be up.

So what am *I* doing: masking indoors, doing most of my social stuff outdoors or in big arenas (with mask), shaving my beard for a better mask fit, and not spending unnecessary time indoors especially in places that don’t have enforced mask mandates.

No eating indoors with strangers. And even in the gym: I do a lightly attended morning yoga class and then go outside or go home (treadmill and bike).

Workout notes pull ups went ok; 2 sets of 5, 4 sets of 10 (including 1 set of 10 chins), 2 sets of 5 (wide, chin)

push ups: 30 sissy, 30 feet elevated, 2 sets of 10 flat deficit, 1 set of 20 flat. After my second set of 30, a visitor of my neighbor gave me the “are you ok” look.

Then downstairs for deads: 10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 224, 10 x 240, none were that hard.

29:30 for 1o miles on the bike; then stretching.

Glute DOES feel better than yesterday; a lot better.

Almost free

I have one medical deferred final yet to grade. Legs: kind of dead. Back: much better but still some tenderness.

Today; pull ups: 40 singles, nice set of 10, 2 sets of 5 chins.
Push ups: 30 sissy, 25 feet elevated, 20 feet elevated, 10, 10 deficit, 10 normal.

Deadlifts: 10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 224, 10 x 240 (slightly too much) which is a rep PR.

bike: 32 minutes, plus some rehab; some “stand on one leg”.

COVID: we are in hot water here. Last week: positivity was 8.6 percent and that appears to be heading up, up, up.

Relaxing Weekend

Of course, grades are coming up. That will be a challenge but I have several days to get it done.

This weekend: watched Army Navy, did some stuff:

Saturday: reduced deadlifts and 32 minutes bike:

10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 224

3 sets of 3 x 260 low (should have stopped at 2). Reps were painless but felt the back after the 3’rd set and quit. Funny: the back bothered me more after the hike and after mulching leaves, but still, I did not want to push it.

It felt fine the rest of the day and the next?

Sunday: walk and rehab: rehab, 1.3 walk, rehab, 1.1 walk, rehab, 1.1 walk all at 16:20-16:30 mpm; did banded walks (felt the back), Warrior 3 with shoes, chest taps, etc. Full rehab sets between walks which were mostly non-stop.

Shoulder pain: this has gone very well…might reintroduce some bench pressing in the near future.