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.

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.

The “Walk 10” workout.

The walk home: love the sky:

I felt a bit better than anticipated.

pull ups: 4 sets of 10, one of 8-2, 2 sets of 5 chins..these felt GREAT.

push ups: I started with 20 sissy, (slanted body), finished with 20 feet elevated and 5 “touch the bowl”.

In between, I did the walk 10:

walk 1 step, do 1 push up, walk 2 steps, do 2 push ups, …etc to finally 10 steps, 10 push ups. I made myself touch the ground..so 11 reps last set (10..assessed, then 1 more). This HURT…it used to be easy..when I was in my 20’s.

I learned this from a University of Houston track athlete when I was there during the summer of 1976..for a Science Engineering Seminar.

Afterward: to the basement for deadlifts: I was nervous but got 10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 224, slowly..deliberately …and no issues, at all. No pain.

Then 31 minutes on the bike.

I sprinkled in rehab exercises and did some “balance on my left leg” exercises.

It all went well; minimal glute pain today.

Back tweak but

I am feeling ok now; I could climb over seats as usual.

Deadlifts plus easy 30 minutes bike (10 miles; low resistance)

10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 224

on the 3: 3 x 275, 3 x 275, 3 x 275, 3 x 275, 5 x 274 (switched bar, to be sure) all on 3 minutes

1 x 314 low handle (best since 1995 or so); that is what did the back in. Then 30 min. bike.

Later: academic work; Bradley game; easy 80-55 win over SIU-Edwardsville. This was their worst loss this season.

COVID-19: we’ve had a troublesome spike locally; went from less than 10 cases a day to about 100 ..the jump was 10 to 24..to 50 to 100. So, I noticed more (not all) are masking up; even in stores.

Workout

End of the Semester

Ok, time to catch up a bit; no posts for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. I did write up exams and the like.

Workout wise: Wednesday: did the bike after pull ups: 10 singles, 5-4-3-2-1, 5-4-3-2-1, then 4 sets of 5.

Pushups: variety: 30 sissy 2 sets of 10 flat/extended, 30 sissy, 2 sets of 10 flat/extended, 20 legs elevated.

deadlifts: 10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 224 low, 10 x 251 4 inch, 10 x 275 8 inch.

Thursday: yoga, slooooow 5K walk. 16:30 ‘ish pace, breaks at 20, 30, 40 minutes

Friday: pull ups, included some sets of 10; 60 total reps, lots of rehab, push ups: did two sets of 10 sissy, 10 feet elevated, 10 full extensions, 10 flat, then 10 full extension, two sets of 5 flat (exhausted)

downstairs; one armed rows (3 sets of 10 each arm), curls (3 sets of 10), then shoulder presses: 10 x 88, 10 x 98 (not quite the quality), 10 x 93 (better)

Went to the Civic Center for a COVID test (long story; B had a positive rapid test (lab), took a second which was negative, but she wanted a lab test so I went with her.

I took a rapid home test: negative; I’ll take one tomorrow as well.

Also: watched the Bradley Men beat Northern Iowa 71-69 with the winning basket coming with 4 seconds to go. BU lead early, but hot shooting got UNI back into it; they had one player with 20, another with 30..rest..not so much.

I made an embarrassing error in the first iteration of the meme; got it right this time. Maybe a final exam question?

Wednesday’s deadlift portion:

Friday:

Injury update: glute is better; far from perfect. Shoulder is a lot better.

Workout catch up

Yes, I worked out today, Sunday (not much; 22 minutes on the hotel bike plus stretching), Saturday (deadlifts, bike), Friday (standard upper body and bike) and Thursday (yoga, walk; 3 miles outside)

If there are highlights:

Saturday’s deadlifts: 10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 224
low handle: 5 sets of 3 x 270 on the 3 minutes

1 x 301 4 inch, 3 x 301 4 inch

Today: 4o singles, set of 10, then 2 sets of 5 chins

push ups: 30 sissy, 20 feet elevated, then 5 sets of 10 including 3 “touch the bowl”, 1 flat, 1 more on the bars
rows (3 sets) curls, 3 sets, then shoulder press: 10 x 86, 10 x 91, 10 x 94 (all ok)

Note: no banded walks today; did them on Friday though.

Glute pain: some on the walk back from the stadium, but it was fine after I stretched it enough. It HAS improved from last month. Shoulder is about 90-95 percent.