Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Push-ups, No Letting Me Down Easy

I got a fair bit of exercise Saturday in the pool. Lots of handstands and spinning in circles, etc. Monday, after I'd thought I was in bed for good, I got up to work out. I wanted something easy, no equipment, but challenging. I settled on 100 push-ups. It took me between 45 and 60 minutes, I think. I started with sets of 10, resting between sets until I felt like I could do another 10. This took me to 80. Did a set of 5. Rested for a short while, less than a minute, then did another set of 5. I finished with a 4,3,2,1 with really short (5-10 seconds, sometimes less) rests in between.

Now, at the end of 100 push-ups, even though it took ages, I still felt it. Not a little either. Confused muscles wanted to know who signed them up for this outfit. They wanted their money back. Today, they decided to go on strike, and while they were at it, they burned down all the facilities.

I knew push-ups used a lot of muscles but I didn't count on just how often those muscles are used in everyday movement. Today, everything hurt. Laughing hurt. Pushing doors open hurt. Pulling doors open hurt. Accepting a 15 lb UPS from someone surprised me it hurt so much. My arms hurt on both sides. I expected the triceps to hurt but the biceps?! Stabilizing abs, deltoids, pectorals, but quadricepts?! And lots of little muscles around my spine.

100 push-ups in 1 hour. Not much of a goal but the workout is worth it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Workout 2008-07-16

Another workout with Orie.

A couple of minutes of jump rope with the odd double under.

Joint mobility, including lunges with elbow to instep.

A set of 10-12 air squats.

A set of 12 overhead squats with dowel.

Tuck hold for 60 seconds on parallelettes. It took me 4 or 5 sets to get to 60 seconds.

30 second plank on the rings (feet supported), one set.

Overhead lunges across the room and back with dowel.

30 second plank on the rings (feet supported), one set.

Overhead lunges across the room and part way back. When my hamstring started cramping, we switched activity.

7 sets of 5 x push press at 45, 55, 65, 85, 105, 110, 115 lbs.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Orie Inspired Cuisine

Someone I respect is slowly, indirectly persuading me to cook again, particularly, vegetables and fish.

I'm not good at following recipes. Flavors in my head scream for attention and I'm more like the child of a mad scientist with his first chemistry set. Sure, every once in a while I make a winner, but mostly I get ugly, smelly puffs of smoke and lots of frustration. I'm reluctant to cook for others because my lack of consistency terrifies me. Today, I'm home alone.

I tried to go to breakfast at a local Mexican place but they were closed. I decided to hit the grocery store instead of going someplace else. (Thank you, little Orie shaped angel on my shoulder.) The near recipe below is the result.

1/4 head green cabbage
1 smallish radicchio
1 small stalk rhubarb
1 medium white onion
4 large brussels sprouts

Slice everything into thin strips. Toss with olive oil. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder (Paula Dean's house seasoning) to taste.

Add everything to high sided pre-heated med-high skillet. Allow to cook, stirring occasionally until everything has softened and turned sweet. Add a dash of lime and serve.

What worked: The rhubarb was a surprising success. It adds a hint of flavor that I'll be craving all day. The brussels sprouts gave a slight meatiness. The overall flavor of the dish is great.

What I'd change: I'd like to replace the radicchio with red cabbage. The bitterness of the radicchio didn't mellow as much as I'd hoped and it brings down every 5th or 6th bite. I'd either use a sweeter onion or less onion. There is just a tiny bit too much onion taste. More rhubarb. I wish I'd added 2 large stalks. And, less seasoning. As happens so often in my cooking, I over-seasoned the whole thing. Mostly with pepper today. The heat is good but sometimes it gets in the way.

Would I make something like it again? Yes, absolutely. I might even consider offering it to someone else.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

CrossFit Again

To kick off my effort to reverse the recent weight gain trend, I did a personal training session with Orie. I think I first met Orie at a weekend workout at the Kirkwood track. He is an amazing guy with a deep well of knowledge about CrossFit, nutrition and human performance. I was quite excited when I heard he'd started taking on training clients after attending his certification.

We started out with some join mobility, a good thing for my troublesome shoulder. I need to write down a lot of the movements we did. I'd never done many of them.

I did a couple 500m rows on one of the Concept2 rowers CrossFit Des Peres has these days. This was my first row and it is a great workout. I think I did my first 500m in 1:58. I was supposed to do the second a little faster. Apparently 1:48 is a lot faster but that is what I did.

Next was deadlifts. I think I started with 115 lbs. We focused a lot on my form with the lighter weight and did several sets. I'm not sure how many reps I was doing but I believe I did sets at 115 lbs, 165 lbs, 185 lbs, 205 lbs, and 225 lbs. The last set seemed to be 5 reps. This was really light for me but was great for just getting back into things. Orie was careful with me and we both want to avoid the total self-destruction that can come from jumping in full bore with both feet.

Next, I did some pull-ups with a power band. I think I got 5 or 6 the first set with my grip facing forward. I adjusted a bit to the power band and switched grip for the second set, pulling off 8 reps. Switched grip again and the last set was 5 + several failed reps. I just couldn't get back up to the bar.

For a finish, I tried a 'weightless fran'. 21-15-9 thrusters with a dowel and standing mock pull-ups with a dowel. I really felt the squats at the beginning but by the end, the thrusters were the break. Those mock pull-ups burned and the lactic acid kept building up.

While I was resting afterward, pukie decided to pay a visit. I made it to the trash can but I didn't get it open and ended up cleaning up my mess. It was an unfortunate finish to a great workout. I guess my body isn't used to all the lactic acid. It seems to be the low output endurance events that get to me. I think Orie was bummed too. I broke his no pukie promise. He wouldn't have made it if he knew me better.