Friday, April 30, 2010

23rd & 24th: The Wheels

The wisdom tooth pain had subsided by this point, but my jaw will take some months to fully heal, and these workout gave me a preview of what is to come. My strength is back on track, but when I run (on concrete is the worst) I feel every vibration right in my Jaw bone. It is bad at the beginning of the workout, in the middle I get use to it, but by the end--it is worse that it was to start with. However, I don't plan on shying away from this pain. I read a quote by Lance Armstrong the other day that has really made me think about the nature of pain and struggle:

"Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever."

Now, I know that I must respect the pain that I feel. Injuries can't be ingnored, but they are also not an excuse either. Honestly, I am begining to think that the are a gift (not like a Christmas present is a gift), but a gift like in the way that an unexpected second chance to make something right is a gift. That is how I am begining to see injuries. They are an opprotunity to see that circumstances could be much worse, the remind us just how frail an tentative our existence remains no matter how strong we feel. Injuries and pain add value to our struggles because if we didn't feel that pain or experience those injuries, we would never notice the progress that we have made or the distance we have traveled. That being said, injuries and pain are frustrating and dissappoint, some times beyond measure, but as Lance said they are temporary.

200 skips
2 long laps outside
4 stairs (Up& Down)
2 laps inside
10 dips
25 crossover crunches left
25 crossover crunches right
50 crunches standard
5 push ups

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Weds. Two-a-Day: 4/21 Sports Conditioning, Jump Rope Class, Why I Do What I Do

Weds. morning's sports conditioning class was a struggle. My first class back after the wisdom tooth. I didn't feel good about it at all. But that afternoon, I got an opportunity to go to a Jump Rope Class that I have been wanting to attend for a while now. it is held during my work, so it is hard for me to fit this into my schedule. I have been skipping rope almost daily for several months now, so I was pretty excited about the class. Also, my wife said that she would attend as well. Now, we have been married nearly five years and we dated for a year and a half before that, but in that time, I have not seen her touch a jump rope--let alone use one. For a few weeks now, she has been talking about how good she is with a jump rope. She even started talking a little smack. Now, I had some doubts about just how good she would be, but my wife is much more of a natural athlete than I am, so I didn't think that it would be out of the realm of possibility that she would be ok with it. However, she wasn't just good . . . she rocked! She was able to do a lot of steps that I still struggle with, cross her arms, and in the half hour class I only saw her trip twice! She never fails to amaze me in both small a large ways. The class was really fun. It lasted 30 mins. about 20 mins of skipping and 10 min. of abs.

Even though my wife does not join me in my workouts that often, she really aids me in my attempt to reshape my life. She has supported and encouraged me through a lot of frustrating days. And, I know that she understands that this project is not just a vain attempt to get to lose weight just to look better or just to be healthier. It is an attempt to change the direction of my life. In all honesty, I have been rather dissatisfied with my path for some time now. I am not sure when or why, but at some point over the last ten years, I really lost my way. I stopped taking what I want from life and just accepted the things that were easy. Even going to Japan, as difficult as it may seem, was really my way of escaping a bad relationship and miserable grad school experience. The only thing that I feel I have handled well is my marriage, most of the other aspects of my life have just seemed to oscillate between pointlessness and frustration, but I know that I can right the ship. I know I can but I need to build my confidence, and I need to take charge of myself physically and mentally. And that is what this is all about, my weight has been the longest running and deepest source of disappointment in my life, and I want to take it on because I know that to get the outcome that I want I will need to change so many other aspects of my life that I am sure that I will be more internally transformed than I will be externally. I need to go through this process, and I don't want it to be easy or fast. I want this to be difficult, trying, and something that will present me with every opportunity to quit or take the easy road. I need to stare down these challenges, face injury, pain, and fatigue, and overcome disappointments and failures. The alternative is that I just let life have its way with me, and I quietly hate myself more and more with each passing day until I can enjoy this life that I am privilege to have.

Yesterday was April 28th:

I weighed in at 277.2
Prior to my Wisdom Tooth, I was at 275.2
My starting weight, when stated working out: 316
Weight when I started this Blog: between 285 and 282

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tues 20th: Post Wisdom Teeth Workout

This workout was less of a chore than I thought that it would be.  My mouth was still hurting, so I didn't want to do any thing that would involve a lot of running because I knew that I would feel it in my jaw, but I didn't think that skipping rope would hurt me because it in much less jarring.  Sunday's workout problems had more to do with lack of proper healing time rather than what I was doing at the gym, so I felt that I had improved enough to do a good workout.  I had also spoken with my dentist, who had also said that I should be all right to resume my workouts. 

The Workout:

20 Intervals: 90 seconds of work 15 seconds rest.

  1. Jump Rope
  2. Step ups
  3. Jump Rope
  4. Dips/Incline Push Ups
  5. Jump Rope
  6. Prisoner Squats w/Step ups
  7. Jump Rope
  8. Lunges
  9. Jump Rope
  10. Squat Jacks
  11. Jump Rope
  12. Arm Extensions
  13. Jump Rope
  14. Crunches
  15. Jump Rope
  16. Side Crunches Right and Left
  17. Jump Rope
  18. Mt.Climbers
  19. Jump Rope
  20. Stability Ball Crunches

Monday, April 26, 2010

Weds. 4/14 Sports Conditioning & Thursday 4/15 PlyCore (900) . . . Wisdom Tooth and a bad idea workout!

These two classes were both really good, but in all honesty, I don't remember exactly what I did in them in much detail. Following the Plycore workout I went to the dentist and was ambushed with a wisdom tooth extraction! Not fun . . .not at all. I know that during the sports conditioning class we did one legged hops up the stairs, which were not fun either, but still much more fun than having a giant tooth yanked from your head. The plycore class on Thursday was really good. I remember that we did a lot of push up, Squats, dips, abs, and lunges.

I was not able to work out for the next two days, and then on Sunday the 17th I jumped rope for 30 mins, which was a huge mistake. I felt really bad afterward. In fact, I felt so bad that I ended up taking the following day off from work. this workout may have also been what caused my dry socket, which is also very un-fun! the dry socket lasted until this weekend, but didn't slow me down too badly once I got some clove oil.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

04/12 Monday PlyCore: Hell Day -- Running.


"This interval technique is a modified version of fartlek training that works really well for groups of people (6 or more). Stay together as a group, but spread out single file as you hit the trail or street. When everyone feels warmed up, the person at the back of the line increases her/his speed in order to pass everyone en route to the front, and then returns to the pace of the rest of the group, while the next person at the back of the line dashes to the front." I found this discription on the Body Results website as well as some other useful train methods.  However, I am quoting this for because this was part of our workout, and I wanted a good description.

This class was really difficult for me because I am not the best runner in the world.  In fact, running is still a struggle for me.  I need to shed some more weight before I will be close to decent.  However, I am learning that I really enjoy the running portions of our class more than anything else.  Which is strange to considering my breathing is for crap and I am hauling around so much extra weight that I am always worried that my knees will not be able to take the pounding, but when it comes down to it the most satisfying training sessions for me are always the big run days.  So, you may be getting the feeling that anything called Running Hell Day might have been . . . actually . . . Fun.  Well it was . . . after that initial "I feel like I am going to vomit" period

I got to class a bit early on this morning and was able to skip rope for around 15 min. which was really helpful because I felt warmed up by the time class started.  If I had not been able to do this, I am sure that I would have gotten sick this morning.

The workout:
Sprints up and back: (width of two basketball courts)
High Knees
Butt Kicks
skip jumps
Side laterals
For ward down and Backward back

Indian Run: around the basketball courts every class member goes twice (about 15 people)

Repeat Sprints and Indian Runs two more times.

Small cool down and H2O break.

15 dips
10 incline and decline push ups
10 step ups on each leg
4 flights of stairs (up & down)
5 chin ups
2 long laps outside:  long laps are about .36 miles and go around a quarter of the block
I did this portion of the workout twice.

After this workout, I felt like I had really put in some good work.  I felt more tired than I had in a long while.  I think that the only thing that has worked me harder in recent weeks has been the 12 days of Christmas.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Sunday 4/11: Simple Jump Rope Workout

Really not much to say about this one.  I just wanted to so something to get a good sweat going, so I did some jump rope.  I didn't want to do too much because I had a feeling that Sports Conditioning the next morning was going to tough.

Jump Rope:

15 90 sec. of work and 15 sec. rest intervals. 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sat. 4/10: The Wheel

I really enjoyed this workout, but it was more difficult than the past times that I had done it.  Changing up the order of the exercises increased the difficulty just as I thought it would.  Running on the track after doing the stairs is a lot more difficult that the other way around.  Therefore, this will be a permanent change to the way I do this workout.
The Workout;

200 skips
2 laps  around the building with side shuffles up the hill
4 flights of stairs
2 laps around the track
15 dips
25 Crossover crunches each side
50 standard crunches
5 push ups

I did this 5 times

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

PlyCore 4/8: great warm up Workout!

This workout was only special because the workout the day before had lacked energy so badly that I really need to get a good workout in the books. I always enjoy plycore class, I had recently been struggling with the class because the warm up portion of the class have been pretty brutal. Lots of core and weight exercise and very little running or abs. This is really hard on me this early in the morning. I really need to get my blood flowing, so I seem to do better on days when I can get my heart rate up early in the workout. This day was pretty much the same, but I was able to handle it much better. I think that I can attribute my level of enjoyment to my own warm up before the class began. I arrived a bit early so I was able to Jump rope for about 10 mins. before class began and it really seem to payoff for me. I just felt more energetic than I had felt recently. Also, the running portion of the class wasn't that difficult, so I was able to keep up with the rest of the class and join in the abs section at the end, which a rarity for me. The ab portion of the class was great and what I needed.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Weds. SC & a Bike Ride: Slug like workout and a great ride. 4/7

I have no idea what went wrong with this class, but it went sideways on me from the get go. I think that I wanted and needed something with more movement from the beginning, but this class started out pretty stationary. I kept waiting for some sort of energy boot to kick in, but it just never happened, and I just had to trudge my way through the workout. I don't listen to music during this class because I need to pay attention to the instructor, and I think that I really a musical energy boost to get into this class. I think that I am going to try to bring my I-pod to this class and use it when I can so that I can get my mind in the right mood.

After such a sluggy workout, I was really eger to put it behind me, so my wife and I decided to go for a bike ride after work that evening. We had a nice 8 mile ride, which we both enjoyed a lot. The ride was exactly what I needed to put my morning workout out of my mind and prepare me for thursdays Plycore class.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

dietary changes & Monday's Sports Conditioning 4/5

I've known for awhile now that I need to change the way that I eat. I eat a lot of foods that are healthy, but I often snack way too much. Also, snacking has become a way to kill time for me rather than something needed to make from one meal to the next. Slow days at work would often be filled with trips to the vending machine and peanut M&M, which are nearly as addictive as morphine. However, I have done really well since New Year's and have replaced these trips to the vending machine with fruits and veggies that I bring from home. Also, I have begun to bring mixed nuts and raisins (no peanuts!), which have really helped reduce my food cravings. I still allow myself some sweets, but I try to limit myself more than I have in the past. I know that I need to compliment my exercise commitment with better eating habits if I want to see the level of weight loss that I am striving for.

Monday's class was kind of ho-hum for me. I am not sure why really because it produced a great sweat, and I felt really good afterwards. I think that it was because I was expecting that the instructor wold be Dan, but it was Bryan instead. I really enjoy some of Bryans classes but the ones like todays are good but not outstanding. However, we did do a lot of running and stairs, which I did enjoy. I really like Bryan's 12 days of Christmas workout.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Saturday Workout: The Wheel's Second Turn.

This was my second attempt at The Wheel, and it was a much better day for it. There was a nice breeze and very few people at the gym. The Pollen wasn't as bad at the time of my workout as it had been the day before, so the outside portions were not as difficult to take. I switched up the exercises a little and overall I liked this a great deal. However, I think that next time I will do the run outside, followed by the stairs, then the run inside. I want to make this change because in my classes I always struggle when I have to run laps after running stairs, and I know that I need to improve on how quickly my muscles adjust to the change. If I can adjust to this transition from climbing to running better, I am sure it will strengthen my quads. As it is now when I come out of the stairs my legs are so tight that I can't take a long stride until about the time that I am a third of the way around the track. I know that I suffer from tight quads and hamstrings, so targeting this area for improvement is really a must.

The Wheel:

200 Skips on the Jump Rope
2 laps around the track
2 laps around the buliding (Side Shuffles up the hillside)
4 flights of stairs (Up & Down)
15 dips
25 Cross Over Crunches Left
25 Cross Over Crunches Right
50 Standard Crunches
5 Push ups

I did this five times.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Friday Workout: The Wheel (prototype)

I've started a new solo workout that I am calling, The Wheel. I'm calling it this because it it sort of reminds me of a wheel because of all of the laps. I like this workout because I know that I need to run more and do more stairs. Stairs just take the wind right out of me, and I need to build up my stamina, therefore I will be doing some variation of this routine a lot in the coming weeks. There will always be four major components of the wheel: Jump Rope, Laps, Stairs, and Stationary Exercises. The jump rope portion will always be rep based rather than timed. The laps will be both inside laps on the track and outside laps around the building. Also, the outside portion along the hillside will be something like side laterals, back peddles, or high knees. The stairs will always be touch every step because that is more difficult for me than every other. I'll vary the stationary exercises with each workout, but the will be abs, dips, squats, or something similar.

Friday's  Wheel (prototype)

Since this was the first time I did this, I was trying to feel my way through and see just how far I could push myself.  The thing that worries me most about this routine is the pounding that my feet and shins will take. 

Jump Rope 200 skips
Laps on track: 2
Laps around the building (with back peddles up the hillside): 2
Flights of Stairs : 4
Prisoner Squats w/leg lifts: 15
Standard Crunches: 50
Cross Over Crunches Left: 25
Cross Over Crunches Right: 25

I did this three times.  I could have done more, but I was doing this in the afternoom and the pollen was really bad, and my eyes were really burning, so I thought it best to stop at three rounds.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Thursday April 1st: AM Plycore & PM Bicycle Ride at Lake Johnson

Plycore Class was a lot like it has been for the last two weeks, so I am not going to go into a lot of details other than the fact that the warm up was more difficult: more push ups and chin ups. Other than that, the class was about the same. I have come to notice something about the people that take Plycore vs. those that take Sports Conditioning. There is a group of us who go to both classes, but there is also a group that only comes to SC and a group that only comes to PC. And for the most part, the PC group seems to be made up people who are in really good shape and training for some event. SC, however, has a much wider selection of people. For a long time I thought that this was because of the name or maybe the instructor, but I have recently come to the conclusion that the 30 mins difference in there start times is the main reason for the difference in who takes the class. Plycore starts at 5:30 am and sports Conditioning begins at 6:00 am, and I think that the line between people who just want to workout before work and people who are devoted to a certain level of fitness is found somewhere around 5:45 am. Also, Plycore offers a much greater opportunity to skip reps because we use the whole gym and the instructor is almost always working out alongside the people at the very front of the class, so the people lagging behind are on the honor system, but you will hardly ever see people in Plycore skipping reps. So, if you ever wonder just how devoted a person is to working out and training, just look to the 5:45 am line of commitment.

That afternoon, My wife and I went for a Bike ride at Lake Johnson in Raleigh. It was my first time to visit the lake and my wife's second. The lake has a paved trail that goes around about half of the lake and an unpaved trail that goes around the other half. We only went on the paved portion because my bike is not set up for rough terrain. I really enjoyed the course, which had a few nice sized hills. It was a really nice day,so there were a lot of people so we couldn't get up a lot of speed for the hills, which made them a bit tougher than they needed to be, but also a good little workout. Overall, we had a good time, but the pollen was really bad and hit my wife's allergies hard.

The Ride was 5.46 miles

Fitness Gauge: Weds Sports Conditioning (3/31)

This class has always been a source of frustration for me because of the size of the class and all of the rep skipping that occurs on a regular basis.  However, this week the instructor devised a way to crack down on the rep skipping, and low and behold, I shot from dead last in the class to right in the middle of the pack.  As I have said before, I know that it shouldn't matter that people skip reps, but it is really disheartening to be working so hard and still finding yourself dead . . . dead . . . dead . . . last because other people in the class are doing half the work that you are and just moving on.  So, it was really good to see that I am not as out of shape as I feel week in an week out as I trail the rest of the class.  Now, this isn't to say that I am remotely satisfied with where I am phyisically, but sign of progress are always nice.  I am not in compition with the other people in the class, but I do like to use them as a guage by which to judge my progress.  I don't think that there is anything wrong with that. 

Friday, April 2, 2010

Plycore: Monday Is Run Day and That's My Fun Day.

Plycore class was an awesome way to start my work week. Sometimes a workout will just fit your mood and this workout did just that. I had been feeling like I had lost my way a bit because the previous week had been so hectic, and I hadn't had a great workout experience since the following Monday because of the distractions in our classes in the middle of the week and my owm busy schedule over the weekend. In addition to the poor quality of my workouts, we were also having a cold spell with a lot of rain, so I was starting to see my mood slide a bit, and I needed to do something to right the old mental ship asap. That was why Dan's return as the Monday morning instructor was so welcome to me.

As much as I like and respect the other Monday morning instructors, Dan's Monday Plycore are my favorite classes at the Y. Granted Bryan's 12 day's of Christmas are quickly gaining ground, but Plycore and Dan's 900 just push me to test myself in a way that doesn't come to me naturally. It is kind of hard to explain, but when I am taking these classes I feel like there are three versions of myself out there: past, present, and future. I can run away from the past me that is out of shape and watching his life slip past him daily and I chase the futre me that is strong, in shape, and has a positive outlook. Also, these classes useully don't require direction from the instructor, so I can turn on my I-pod and really focus on what I am doing. Lastly, even though these workouts are challenging, they rarely require me to attempt an exercise that I feel might injure me more than anything I would do in the course of one of my solo workouts.

This class was by far a National Run Day, but the runs were a good combination of distances and broken up by enough exercises that I was gassed after one set. The only thing that I would have like to change about this class was that we didn't have any abs.

The Workout:

4 laps around the track (warm up)

3 sprint across the gym & back peddle back
10 push ups
15 dips
10 step ups each leg
10 Squats
4 Flights of stairs
5 Chin ups
2 laps around the track
Repeat as many time as possible in 40 mins.

I did 4 sets and started a 5th.

Sprints and side shuffles
Leap Frogs and Burpees
Repeat for 10 mins

I did 3 sets.