Matters sporting…

Let me point out that I am keenly aware of how ordinary my athletic abilities are. I’ll put it this way: when swim coaches saw me swim, they frequently asked if I had swam in high school. NO ONE asked me if I swam in college.

Or, one time, a New Balance shoe rep looked at me..and guessed my 10K run time within 1 minute and my bench press within 10 lbs…upon observation.

It is clear what I am: a gym bro who likes to do physical stuff but isn’t particularly good at it.

I’ll comment more later in this post. But I suppose that what this means is my videos are for me to look at and to determine what I should do next..and I got some valuable feedback from seeing them.

Today: rotator cuff and hip hikes before pull ups (still rested between sets)

5, 5, 10, 5, 5, 5, 5, then 6 singles then a set of 4: 50 reps total. the ones in the set of 10 were not high quality. Some chins..some standard.

bench press: 10 x 134 then (all “light touch and go..NO BOUNCE”)

3 x 184, 4 x 174, 4 x 174, 5 x 170

shoulder press: barbell: 3 sets of 10 x 92, 10 x 44 dumbbells

rows: 4 sets of 10 x 134

push ups: 40, 30, 10

headstand (went ok t0day)

very leisurely pace; took about 90 minutes.

My videos: I note two things: 1. Height looks MUCH better from behind ..the side angle is deceiving and 2. The set of 10: quality suffered in the second half; you can tell that by the bend in the elbow and how close my forearm got to the body. Note: it was 14 F outside…extra clothes were almost like light weights.

Set of 10: bad toward the end.

Set of 5: better quality.

Same quality (later set); but the height “looks” better.

Chins…not my best (note the disgust in my voice); I had rested a bit too much between sets.

35 to 40…getting tired..

Bottom line: cold weather, lots of clothes and too much body weight (200-205) makes these hard for me right now. 190 would feel better, as would warmer weather.

Sports Commentary

I’ve become something of a fan of Alan Thrall’s youtube channel. He is a gym owner and a coach who has had a modest amount of success in competition. He appears to be very down to earth and in tune with the fact that other people have different goals. So here are a couple of his videos;

  1. Why do people stop lifting?

I can just say what happened to me: I vary what I do per life circumstance. When i ran, I considered other activities supplemental. Then I got hurt running and so walked and swam. But I would injure myself in these activities…and I have not been to the pool in several years.

It now makes sense for me to get back to the pool but ..well..with vaccination I think I will return. And, as I age, well, if one activity gets more time and effort, the others either stop or get less. I have weight stuff and will probably stick with that until I am medically no longer able to lift. Same with walking.

And yes, I like the personal challenge though I am not setting PR’s in anything any longer.

And speaking of injuries:

Now, there is quite a bit of wisdom in what he says. That being said: I know that swimming improved when I changed my hand entry from “thumb first” to “pinky first”; it gave my shoulders more room to rotate.

But…as he points out…and increase in training (volume or intensity) that is too sudden is usually the main culprit. That point is pure gold.

Brace day 3

Side note: I have some foot numbness (especially at night) and I’ve noticed that it has crept up just a bit.

Workout notes: I weighed in 199.5 …what?
Pull ups: not that bad; 3 sets of 10, one of 7-3 (close, normal), two of 5. Rotator cuff
bench press: 10 x 132, 3 sets of 5 x 176 (arch, but butt touching the bench)
seated shoulder barbell: 10 x 79, 10 x 88, 9 x 88
rows: trap bar: 3 sets of 8 x 134
outdoor: 3 sets teach of the following:
chins (5)
standing shoulder press dumbbell (40’s) 10
single arm row (58? 60) 10
push ups on bar (10)

It all felt good; was about 80-90 minutes.

Note: glutes are bit sore??? We’ll see how deadlifts go tomorrow.

When I stop too soon

It was sticky. 75 F, 79 percent at the start, (7 am), 81 F, 62 percent at the end. Yes, my Garmen cheated me of some distance in lower Bradley Park (to be expected: tree cover, lots of tight turns; I was “cheated” about .02 miles per lower loop..I know, not that much. But still I was doing ok with the jog (3 lower loops..5 miles) and then I walked.. then it was like a needle to my left glute 1 mile later. I paused to stretch it out.

I was able to finish; first 5 miles of jogging were fine, last 3 miles of walking hurt. Interestingly enough, Saturday’s longer walk was fine, but that was after deadlifts.
I need to stay with my glute them daily. And I might need to spread it out a bit and focus on my posture; leaning forward does it no favors. Right knee was ok.

I am watching our tree come down; long gone are the days of just chopping it down and yelling “TIMBER.”

Step back day..kind of

Weights only. The gym opened at 7 so I did deadlifts at home first:

I started mixing sets of front squats (these felt good) with hex bar dead lifts..though I am listing them separately:

front squat (sets of 6)
20 (empty bar) Note: the non-olympic bar weighs 25 with collars; the weights I have a are 20 kg, 8 kg, 4 kg, and 1.5 kg.
41 (25 + 16)
51 (25 + 26)
67 (25 + 26 + 16)

Hex dead: (sets of 6)

Romanian dead (straight Olympic bar)

Weight room:
pull ups (5 sets of 10: ok)
rotator cuff
bench 10 x 135, 3 x 185
incline: 4 x 150 (weak)
decline: 10 x 165
clean and press: 7 x 100, 10 x 95
dumbbell shoulder press: 10 x 45, 10 x 45 (each arm)
rows: 2 sets of dumbbell rows: 10 x 60, 1 sets of 10 x 110 machine
head stand and 2:30 plank.

Note: I felt the side tug on the pressing movements and pull ups more than on the deadlifts. I did feel it..though I wouldn’t call it “pain.” It did make me cautious.

Saturday Deadlifts and snow

Let me be clear: I resumed deadlfing after a long hiatus; I had reached a rather pedestrian 425 (in the gym) as a 21 year old (200 lb), discovered it again as a 35 year old (320 or so at 230 lbs of bodyweight) but gave it up as it hurt my back. I then noticed the trap bar, tried some and was hooked again; this time, instructional videos (like this one) have enabled me to train without hurting my back. But…confession..with low handles or with the straight bar, when I started I could not even get 225 (at 190-195 lb. of body weight).

Years of distance running, distance walking, and upper body lifting ..but I neglected to practice this.

My back is weak and legs are weak. I can do a set of 6 goblet squats with 70 lb, but my best barbell squat: 95 lb, which is less than I clean and press. I’ve got issues.

So my new obsession with deadlifting is NOT “oh, look at me..I am strong” but rather “I am trying to correct a body deficiency.” I’ve done that before; after rotator cuff issues, even a single pull up caused me pain. Now I can do sets of 10 and 15. And when I first started goblet squats: a set of 6 with 25 was…challenging.

So here goes:

Today I worked out in my home gym. Tools: straight bar (44 lb), two big collars (11 lb for the pair), bumper plates (45 lb), smaller plates of 22, 11 lb. Hex bar: 44 lb (checked this on a scale), spring collars for the hex, and 44 lb. cast iron plates.

Straight bar, conventional stance:

5 x 145
5 x 189 (“no bounce reps’)
4 x 233 (good, solid, no bounce reps)
3 misses at 255; second miss I actually got it to my knees but surprised myself and wasn’t ready to pull it all the way)

Straight bar: Sumo style:

5 x 211 (failed to touch one rep)

Straight bar: Romanian

6 x 167 (I could get below the knees before I felt the “rounding” starting)

Hex bar

6 x 176 (confession: I just got my new hex bar and wanted to try it out; easy, no knee pain)

Only slight worry: “tug” on my right side; lower part of the rib..does NOT appear to be serious.

Then, 5 mile treadmill walk in 1:01:19; final mile was 11:47. This was decent for a walk; it is yucky outside:

The weather has been weird. We went from 50’s on Wednesday to the teens on Thursday. Then it warmed; then we got 3 inches of fluffy, dry snow yesterday afternoon (see the above; it was dry when I walked to the office at noon). Now it got well above freezing and rain; cold front is coming in which will put us in low single digits.

Tammy (a racewalking friend) teased me with this snow shovel photo (she lives in Utah)

Cassie teased me earlier..a few months ago.

Some hope? (sore toe)

I wanted to be close to home in the event the storms came (and they did not); so I made a quick stop for water and bathroom and did the second loop; distances were 5.36 and 5.28 miles respectively (1:20/1:19 for 2:39 for 10.64 miles, or 15:01 mpm).

This was faster than yesterday. The toe (next to the big to on my left foot) has an impacted nail; bursting the blister …OUCH.

The body held up well, though it was slow.

Lame but

I have been busy; I am working on a project involving free throw streaks.

I did lift and run and lift:
rotator cuff
pull ups (5 sets of 10: good)
incline: 10 x 135, 3 x 155
decline: 10 x 165
military: 7 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 seated, 10 x 40 standing
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 210 Hammer machine (didn’t see the 5 lb. plates on the inside)

run: 10:48/8:47 19:36 (lane 2) then 8 laps outer lane for 3+ (walked the last 8 laps)

legs: goblet squats: 6 x 30, 6 x 40
hex dead lifts: 4 x 175 (65 lb. plates), 1 x 225 (slight tug on upper back, left side…not quite ready to push myself on dead lifts yet but 225 is embarrassingly hard for me right now)
front plank (hover really) 2:30, side plank, knee streches