What to make of it all

I remember the 2008 election well, especially since I volunteered for the Obama campaign…EARLY (as in winter, 2007). In June 2007, they briefed us and told us what the strategy would be:
1. Hold his own in Iowa and New Hampshire
2. Play Clinton to a tie during Super Tuesday by focusing on gathering delegates in the smaller caucus states; remember that Clinton won the big states.
3. Have field offices set up in the “next 10” states/DC before the second wave of big states.

Clinton thought she was going to knock out Obama during super Tuesday and didn’t have the offices set up in those next 10 states. Obama did and he absolutely trounced her in those…it was there he built up his big delegate lead.

She basically “played him to a tie” after that but by then it was too late; she was hopelessly behind.

So…who is going to have their field offices set up…have the relationships with the local political leaders set up..who is ready to compete in Super Tuesday and beyond? Did Klobuchar and Buttigieg peak early? Will black voters vote as a block or will their votes be as spread out as everyone else’s votes?

We have a LOT of questions moving forward. I think any one of 6 candidates can win: Sanders, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Warren, Biden and yes…Bloomberg MIGHT be a player in Super Tuesday. MIGHT.

We may well have a brokered convention.

Workout notes
weights only. Still slightly weak. Weight: 195
pull ups: 4 sets of 10, 2 of 5 (not much rest)
rotator cuff
incline: 10 x 135 then 1 x 160, 2 x 155, 5 x 150 (little rest between the last sets)
decline: 9 x 170
shoulder press (dumbbells today) 6 x 50, 10 x 45, 10 x 45
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 115 machine, 10 x 200 Hammer (very easy)
goblet squats: 6 x 25, 50, 70, 70 (best in a while)
plank, McKenzies
Walk home to deadlifts:

6 x 145 form, 4 x 211, 4 x 233 (not as easy as I’d hoped)
6 x 167 Romanian
6 x 220 hex bar

That finished me off.

And there went my resolve

It happens frequently: I go to bed with plenty of resolve to “get after it” the next day…”go and get it” at that 5K, long training walk, deadlift workout, whatever.
And then I wake up the next morning: stiff as a board and slightly achy.

My GET IT becomes “ok, don’t hurt yourself and don’t embarrass yourself too badly.” I am pathetic!

The workout itself:
4 x 133 hex bar (too difficult)
3 x 189 conventional
2 x 189 Sumo (dammit..it is supposed to feel easy)
1 x 233 conventional (still too damned hard)
1 x 233 Sumo (ok)
A couple of half hearted misses at 266 (conventional, sumo (couldn’t break it off of the ground)
1 x 266 conventional (got it past the sticking point and made the lift; best in years)
5 x 238 Sumo (hard effort…but two months ago that was my best single)
6 x 189 form (was going to try another 5 x 238 set..backed off)
5 x 220 hex
6 x 145 Romanian (so I wouldn’t be stiff the rest of the day)

Then I went outside and walked my 5.3 mile course in a slow 1:27:42; I was 1:07 at 4.15 miles. (heading and Western)
There was some snow but mostly good footing; I just walked outside in the flurries to escape the treadmill.

Deadlift progression Note: lifetime PR is 425 in the early 1980’s. In 1995 I worked by to low 300’s. Long hiatus. Just returned and these tips help me to train without killing my back.

August 5, 2019: managed a “handles up” hex dead 225 (1 rep)
August: typical sets were 4 x 175, 4 x 195 (handles up)
September: 4 x 205 head dead (handles up)
November: got 4 x 225 hex dead, handles DOWN
December: got 1 x 225 bar dead, then 4 x 225
December 20, 2019: got 1 x 230 bar deadlift
DEcember 25: got 1 x 233 bar deadlift (home)
Dec 27: got 1 x 235 dead
Dec 29: got 1 x 240 dead (bar)

2020
Jan 11: got 245 hex dead (handles down)
Jan 25: got 255, then 260 conventional dead
Feb 1: got 255, 260 Sumo, 6 x 233 conventional
Feb 8: got 266 conventional, 5 x 238 Sumo.

So December saw me advance from 225 to 240 conventional
January saw me advance from 240 to 260 conventional and Sumo
November-December: 225 to 245 hex

Note: I’ve had a tickle in my throat for a couple of days..mild cough. Mild bug, I think.

Last night

The Bradley women took a 34-25 lead at the half due to a 12-2 run late in the first half. The lead expanded to 41-27 before ISU rallied to cut it to 4 going into the 4’th quarter; basically BU had a “hot shooting streak” that gave the lead. ISU tried to rally down the stretch and cut it to 2 within the final minute. But BU kept its poise and made big free throws and came up with big rebounds down the stretch to win 66-62 at Redbird Arena. It was a very poised effort by the Braves.

Vickie and Harry drove us..it was a fun outing.

SOTU and trying to get some legs

I didn’t watch; I knew that Trump would lie …

Comment about politics Argh. I wonder if we are reaching the point where the parties will end up running mega rich people against each other?
Personally, I like Klobuchar and Biden (in that order). For me, Buttigieg (love him, but inexperienced), Warren (smart, accomplished lady who isn’t good at politics), Bloomberg (at least mayor of NYC and appears to be a match for Trump) are kind of tied in my mind.

And Sanders: IF he wins the nomination (and I hope not), I’ll vote for him…and watch Trump blow him out.

But rested, I did hit the gym early:

rotator cuff
pull ups (done fast..little rest between sets: 4 sets of 10, 7, 5.
incline bench: 10 x 135, 5 x 150 (hard)
decline bench: 9 x 170 (couldn’t squeeze out a 10’th)
shoulder press: dumbbells: 7 x 50, 10 x 45
shoulder press: clean and press: 8 x 95, 7 x 95 (lower to parallel)
stiff legged dead lift: 2 sets of 6 x 95 (felt it, careful with the back)
goblet squats (mixed in) 6 x 25, 50, 60, 70 (decent depth and integrity)
back squats: (embarrassing) 6 x 45, 5 x 95, 5 x 105 (still working on what doesn’t hurt my knees; front squats just feel better.

then I walked home:

barbell deadlift: 6 x 167
hex bar deadlift: 6 x 176, 4 x 225, 3 x 225 (really got after it..these were not easy but I didn’t bounce..handles low, of course)

Legs felt pumped afterward. Back felt great.
Bodyweight: about 195.

Trying to build legs

Workout notes:

rotator cuff
pull ups: 5 sets of 10: good
bench press: 10 x 135, 3 x 185, 4 x 175
incline press: 10 x 135
decline press: 9 x 170
overhead clean and press: 4 x 100 (bad), 10 x 95, 7 x 95
dumbbell shoulder press: 10 x 45 (each)
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 115
goblet squats (scattered in this routine): 6 x 25, 6 x 50, 6 x 65, 6 x 70 (decent; not much knee pain)
barbell squats: 5 x 45 (trying to work out stance), 5 x 95, 5 x 105 (I did feel it in my legs)
plank (2:30)
headstand
home: Romanian dead lift: 6 x 167, 5 x 167
hex bar dead: 2 sets of 5 x 203 (felt it in the legs)

Bodyweight: 194.

ok..it helped that the Super Bowl ended at a reasonable hour.

Dialing back expectations

Last week I hit a “new” best in the deadlift of 260 (conventional). So I was hoping to improve some more this week. But the smallest increments I have are 5 lbs., and a 5 lb. improvement every week would mean a 250 lb. improvement this year..to 500 +. Yes, there are strong men my age who can do that but I am NOT one of them. For me..at my age and with my limitations, 5 lbs. a MONTH would be outstanding for now.

I’ll look up my progression. I need to keep diligent with my log.

Today’s workout: deadlifts then a walk:

6 x 145 regular (felt heavy)
2 x 189 Sumo
1 x 233 Sumo (sort of effort)
1 x 255 Sumo
1 x 233 conventional ..felt hard.

Then 3 misses at 266: 2 conventional (got off of the ground), 1 Sumo (wouldn’t budge)

1 x 260 Sumo (got it…was an effort) Best Sumo.
6 x 233 (tough) conventional
6 x 203 trap
6 x 167 Romanian (hard to tell if my back is what it should be)

ended with this 17 minute per mile walk on this 10K-ish course (1:48:30 total time..about 17:16 mpm)

Deadlift progression:

August 5, 2019: managed a “handles up” hex dead 225 (1 rep)
August: typical sets were 4 x 175, 4 x 195 (handles up)
September: 4 x 205 head dead (handles up)
November: got 4 x 225 hex dead, handles DOWN
December: got 1 x 225 bar dead, then 4 x 225
December 20, 2019: got 1 x 230 bar deadlift
DEcember 25: got 1 x 233 bar deadlift (home)
Dec 27: got 1 x 235 dead
Dec 29: got 1 x 240 dead (bar)

2020
Jan 11: got 245 hex dead (handles down)
Jan 25: got 255, then 260 conventional dead
Feb 1: got 255, 260 Sumo, 6 x 233 conventional

So December saw me advance from 225 to 240 conventional
January saw me advance from 240 to 260 conventional and Sumo
November-December: 225 to 245 hex

Upshot: it is undeniable that I am gaining strength ..the progress appears to be more rapid “on paper” than it feels.

35 lb strength gain in 2 months isn’t that bad.

I am a universe away from the genuine athletes

And yes, today’s workout went ok. Afterward: I weighed 196.7 with sweatpants (about 194 with no clothes) so the weight is moving in the right direction;

pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (left elbow/forearm…probably from front squats (holding the bar))
rotator cuff
incline bench: 10 x 135, 5 x 150
decline bench: 9 x 170 (wasn’t quite comfortable enough to attempt a 10’th rep..but this is 5 lb up)
dumbbell shoulder press: 10 x 50, 10 x 45, 10 x 45
machine rows: with 120: 3 sets of 10
goblet squats: first 6 x 25, then later: 6 x 50, 6 x 70 (to the sill..knees might have bowed in a bit)
clean and press: 6 x 95
back squats: (in between the first and 2’nd goblet squats) 3 sets of 5 x 95. Depth is still lacking.
plank (2:30
head stand This all took 55 minutes.

back home for 20 more minutes: hex bar squats: 6 x 176, 3 x 220 (231 felt too heavy for reps), 6 x 209
Romanian 6 x 145 (better check my back..these should have been more challenging)

Yes, I worked up a sweat. But I am not kidding myself: there is a universe of difference between what I do (and have ever done) and what the genuine athletes do.

Finding balance

Ok, when to rest, when to go easy, when to go hard? For an older athlete (or, in my case, “athlete wannabe”) this is a challenge because:

1. The formula changes with age, and the older you get, the more rapidly the formula changes. What worked 5 years ago won’t work now.

2. There is, at least for me, an almost constant background of “soreness/aches and pains” that every older person has. If I only trained when I did not have these, I’d never train at all. That is just how it is.

So last weekend’s dead lift session and 6.6 mile “run” (shuffle) left me with sort of tired legs.

Upper body was good to go though:

Rotator cuff
pull ups: 4 sets of 10 at first, then a scattered 3 sets of 5 later.
bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185, 3 x 185 (left warm limited me)
incline: 10 x 135 (slow set; almost 10 singles where I did not rack the bar)
decline: 10 x 165 (easy)
clean and press: 9 x 95, 8 x 95 (regular sized 25 plates) superset with
stiff legged dead lift: 2 sets of 6 x 95 (felt good; strict form)
dumbbell shoulder press: 2 sets of 10 x 45 superset with
machine rows: 3 sets of 10 x 115.
The above took 45 minutes

Then 2:30 plank, McKenzie (forgot to do head stand)
Walked home: did super set:

hex bar: 2 sets of 6 with 176
front squats: 3 sets of 6 with 67
sumo dead lift: 6 x 188

This took about 20 minutes and got me out of breath. But I think it was enough to make the tired legs feel better.

I can’t do both

I really struggled on my 10K run (ok, 6.3 mile run) today. Ok, it was chilly, windy and times and drizzly, and my course (Cornstalk hill plus a lower loop; 6 good sized hills all together) is a challenge. But the shuffle took me 1:24 to do as I was sore from yesterday’s hex bar deadlift session.

So..I am going to have to accept that running will be compromised and my dead lifts won’t get as good as they could get; not that it matters all that much. It isn’t as if I am competing in a contest; my goals are very personal.

So it doesn’t matter that much if my home 45 lb. plates are really that, etc. I did break down and get a hex bar (flush handles) My proposed lifting schedule:

M: easy sumo, hex or conventional plus Romanian (possibly Romanian with Dumbells); this will be to practice the form.
W: tough; for now, alternate hex and conventional; maybe alternate hex, sumo and conventional if the sumo deadlifts work out of me. By tough: work up to a hard single, followed by triples and a 6 pack
F: medium: choose the version NOT done on M, W and maybe some light Romanians

The idea is to have a 3 week rotation where I do each movement once a week: easy day Monday, hard day Wednesday, medium day Friday.
It might go like this: S-H-C, H-C-S, C-S-H where over a 3 week cycle, each movement occurs once a week, cycling between easy, medium, hard.

Here: at 1:15, you see the Romanian with dumbbells