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Archive for April, 2011

My new pedometer (an Omron HJ-112) arrived yesterday and today I put it to use on a long hike with Lisa and Will at Hull’s Gulch in the Boise Foothills, as well as wearing it around while I did my mowing and cleaning.

The walk was great, as the weather warmed up enough to wear a t-shirt and shorts.

For the day (I took the pedometer off in the evening) I ended up with 11,015 steps (about 7,000 of which were apparently “aerobic,” which means more than a 60 steps per minute pace, which isn’t really a lot) and 5.56 miles of distance.

The pedometer was very easy and convenient and is supposedly quite accurate. It was interesting measuring my stride length to calibrate the pedometer; I think I have a very short stride for someone of my height due to my short legs. Even for someone with legs my length, I think my stride is kind of short. But my legs churn like a hamster.

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Weights Day 11

Left knee was really hurting the last couple days, so I decided not to do squats. But I didn’t want to keep sitting around.

Ultimately I decided to try the old upper body/lower body split. So I went with pullups/chinups, bench press, and overhead press, with some situps tossed in (for a breather and because I think I’ve fallen behind a bit on ab work). I know this isn’t quite the prescription in Starting Strength, but I’m experimenting slightly to go with what my body is telling me.

Pullups: 1×15

Bench Press: 1×5 (75), 1×3 (125), 1×2 (145), 3×5 (190)

Getting closer and closer to being able to bench my weight for a 5RM. Normally I rest about 2 minutes in between sets on the work reps, but it’s getting tougher, so I bumped that to 2:15 to 2:30 between sets, which is still within the range allowed in Starting Strength.

Situps: Physioball crunches w/medicine ball, crunches. leg lifts

Chinups: 1×15

Overhead Press: 1×5 (45), 1×3 (65), 1×2 (75), 3×5 (102)

Trying to nurse my left shoulder a bit so that it feels okay. For some reason, the entire left side of my body always breaks down first. (I’m sure it’s something weird with my biomechanics; I use to have an orthotic insert many years ago but it didn’t make my left knee or hip feel much better and it made my right side feel worse!)

Situps: Elastic cable crunches, three-way crunches

Pullups: 1 x12

All in all, not too bad today. Neck had a bit of a stinger in it. Have to see how switching up the sequence works out when it comes to the leg day.

41 minutes total for the workout.

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Weights Day Ten

Pullups: 1×15 pullups

Squats: 1×5 (75), 1×3 (125), 1×2 (145), 3×5 (180)

Set a new personal best for squats at 5RM. Squats are starting to catch up to the bench press a bit, which would finally make my exercises make a little more sense. Everything felt pretty good on all the reps here.

Bench Press: 1×5 (75), 1×3 (125), 1×2 (145), 3×5 (187)

Getting to the point with these exercises where I like to back off a bit on the increase in the weight increment. I figure if I can still average +5 lbs a week for the 5RM max for a bit, that I’ll still make good progress. 187 here felt pretty easy, to tell you the truth.

Deadlift: 1×5 (75), 1×3 (95), 1×2 (115), 3×5 (150)

Gotta say, I’m still not 100% at ease with deadlifts compared to the other two lifts. However, so far, so good. I think I’m getting much more used to the strain involved. As I noted earlier, at some point in the next few weeks I’ll probably drop deadlifts back to twice a week to offer more rest in between sessions. Might sub in some back extensions or reverse hypers on the off day, might just rest, not sure. Could consider incorporating those power cleans, but I’m not convinced that I have a suitable setup for that downstairs unless I cobble together some makeshift mini-platforms for the barbell.

Pullups/Chinups: 1×15 chinups, 1×10 pullups

Took 57 minutes total. All in all, a pretty good workout day. I definitely think I prefer working out closer to noon than early in the morning or at night. Not sure about the late afternoon.

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Day 24 Walking

This morning after dropping off the kids I walked at Veteran’s Memorial Park. I went on the northwest trail, which I’ve never done before. The Boise River is unusually high right now and I kept my headphones off, just looking at the water rushing close to the shore and listening to that bubbly whooshing sound moving water makes.

Walked about 3 miles in 41 minutes. Tried consciously to speed up my pace, which was fairly effective. The arch of my right foot is a bit sore right now.

I read today, after the walk, that some people feel the methods advised in Chi Walking (slight pelvic tilt combined with a forward lean while walking) work well for jogging but are detrimental when walking, because there isn’t enough forward momentum to let the body glide forward naturally, so the feet and knees end up absorbing more shock than they should.

So I ordered a book on Walking (which seems a little funny, cause I thought I knew how to walk, but perhaps not walk fast in an efficient way) and a pedometer. Looking forward to both of these and maybe this will help me ease some of the strain on my feeble joints. 🙂

Oh, and I’ve been walking every day, but I don’t have time or inclination every day to record the walks, particularly if they are just a stroll through the neighborhood.

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Weights Day Nine

Started at noon on Sunday.

Pullups: 1 x15 (!) This surprised me, a new one set high.

Squats: 1×5 (75), 1×3 (125), 1×2 (145), 3×5 (177)

Increased the weight by a smaller amount. This is my highest ever squat that I’m aware of, even for 1RM, ’cause I haven’t done it all that regularly.

Overhead Press: 1×5 (45), 1×3 (55), 1×2 (65), 3×5 (100)

Deadlift: 1×5 (75), 1×3 (95), 1×2 (105), 3×5 (147)

Pullups/Chinups: 1×15 chinups, 1×10 pullups

Definitely my best day ever for the chinups and pullups.

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Day 23 Walking

We did the solar system walk again, heading from the big model Sun at the Discovery Center and touching each of the planetary markers from Mercury to Pluto. It’s a fun walk and really gives you a sense of the relative distances in the solar system; you blow through Mercury, Venus, and Earth in short succession, Mars is pretty close to Earth, and from Mars you can’t even see Jupiter. By the time you get to Pluto (yes, it is now officially a dwarf planet, but they’ve left the markers in place, so in Boise, at least, Pluto still gets some love) it’s a bit of a hike.

I spent time talking to Will about managing his temper and how I could work on the tone of my voice so that my corrective comments (please pick up your shoes, put away your books, have you started your homework yet, etc.) wouldn’t upset him (I had already worked on the wording. I’m also going to try tapping him gently on the arm or shoulder rather than raising my voice to get his attention when he is absorbed in reading or watching something.  (Edit: To my great pleasure, on Monday he actually put this into effect, pausing to breath deeply rather than complain when we asked him to get started on his spelling. And he got a very large assignment done and let me check it without griping. He did an excellent job on it as well, I might add.)

Anna and I talked about some things that I believe she would prefer remained private. Suffice it to say, these are the sorts of growing pain issues that she and I have in common, so it is pretty easy to relate, though I’m not always sure that my advice helps much in the short term, because I just had to wait some of those things out myself.

Sunny weather and a great time with my wife and kids.

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Weights Day Eight

Ended up skipping the Tuesday workout when I got a late call from my folks right after my first couple warmup sets and then we ended up having a very nice conversation during which I didn’t pay any attention to the time. By the time I was free, it was too late to get started again.

I felt very tired this morning and my left hip and calf felt pretty sore. Not really sure why, though the weather took a sudden temperature drop recently and got quite wet (we had some snow flurries that melted) and sometimes that seems to affect certain joints.

Anyway, I was a bit concerned about whether I would have any energy to work out today.

I warmed up with 7 minutes of “regeneration” work with a high density foam roller, working over my hips, thighs, and hamstrings to loosen them up. I also did a 1×12 set of pullups.

Squats: 1×5 (75), 1×3 (125), 1×2 (145), 3×5 (175)

This was tiring but went just fine. Set a new 5RM max of 175 pounds.

Bench Press: 1×5 (75), 1×3 (125), 1×2 (145), 3×5 (185)

Last set of 5RM was really tough, barely finished it out, but I completed the full work set. Probably bump the bench press weight up by 2 pounds the next time, just to be safe.

Deadlifts: 1×5 (75), 1×3 (95), 1×2 (105), 3×5 (145)

The 5RM work sets were tough, but I got through them.

Pullups/Chinups: 1×12 pullups,1×10 chinups

I moved the first set to the beginning of the workout, trying to get in a fair number of reps while also giving myself some more time to rest. That last set of chinups was really hard.

The total time for the workout was 58 minutes total, including the warmup. I feel quite tired, but had more strength than I expected. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow!

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