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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Not much to write about

I just couldn't do it.  I couldn't bring myself to write about my own trivial issues in light of what happened yesterday afternoon in Boston.

However, I did write about something close to what I talk about here.

Marathons are exhausting, grueling events.  They’re not for the faint of heart, and that’s when you’re not concerned about a bomb going off and injuring or killing you or those around you.  Now, it’s easy to decide to not to run one of these things.
Me?  I’m going to run the Boston Marathon.
Yes, it's a political website, and you may not share my political views.  That's cool.  This isn't about politics.  It's about how this despicable act has spurred me to publicly announce that I'm going to do something.

Will it require me to get even more fit?  Yes. 

I care nothing about winning.  I want to run it, and finish it, and call it a day.  I may never run a marathon again in my life afterward.  It doesn't matter.

People died yesterday because someone wanted us to be afraid.  I refuse to be scared.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The sets down...and a whole world before me

Image from Flickr, by quinn.anya
I'm beat.  I feel it through out my entire body.  I feel it in new ways, and not just the physical.

My demons almost won, but I made a last ditch check and actually found out that I'm the one who has been winning lately.

Yeah, it's been a hell of a weekend.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Battling the demons

Image from Flickr, by oneselfsacrifice 
Today was a workout day.  Two more sets down, and might could have banged out a third if I didn't decide to do stiff legged deadlifts instead of squats.  My lower back started twinging.  Stupid, right?

Live and learn.

Still, it was a decent enough workout and I'm pretty proud of it.  The shortening of the length for each exercise seems to be paying off.  All in all, I'm pretty happy about it all.

Yesterday, I wrote about my own past with body image issues, and if I'm completely honest those issues are still here.  Today, while lifting that kettlebell, it was easy to see me slaying the demons.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Me, my body image, and the reality of diet

Image from Flickr, by
Michigan Municipal League (MML)
I like to try and write something here every day, and since I replaced my keyboard on my laptop earlier today (all by myself even!), I really want to break this thing in.  As such, I thought I'd play a little confession time and then talk a bit about my own history with diet.

First, the body image thing.  It gets a lot of press these days, and for very good reason.  Women, who are often presented very unhealthy examples of "beauty", often feel pushed to adopt unhealthy practices to reach this pinnacle of so-called attractiveness.

Well folks, this happens to guys too. 

Don't believe me?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Sometimes, less is more

Image from Flickr, by sierrafit
I said I needed to kick my training into high gear, and as I woke up this morning, I hit on exactly how to do just that.

You see, it's like the old saying goes, "less is more" sometimes.

Let me explain.

I had been doing all my exercises for one minute at a time, then transitioning to the next exercise.  I was becoming flustered because it seemed like I was getting less reps in during that minute.  What I realized was that I was pushing for to long at a time.  My muscles were giving up, and I was probably depleting glycogen stores rather quickly, so I was getting less done.

So, I decided to change things up.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Need to kick it into high gear

Image from Flickr, by cogdogblog
I'm a little late posting today, mostly because it's been "one of those days".  Family drama and whatnot.  It's enough to take you out of the zone you actually want your brain in when you're training.

However, it's also a way to recognize some cold realities about your training that you would miss in most other circumstances.

For me, it was the latter.

Monday, April 8, 2013

The joys of training

Image from Flickr, by buzzthrill
"I'm so exhausted!"

You've heard people say it, right?  You've probably said it.  I know I have. 

The problem is, they're complaining rather than bragging. 

The tired feeling?  You feel it after a training session.  It's not a bad thing.  It's the wages of hard training.  It's the price you pay for getting fit.  Rather than money, which you never get back, it's energy that will return shortly.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Tips for ADHD people to find good health

Image from Flickr, by Life Mental Health
People with ADHD have special challenges if their quest is good health.  The impulse control issues we experience make life that much more difficult when you're trying to eat good, healthy food and maintain a training schedule.  It ain't exactly easy if you're not ADD/ADHD, so the unique challenges make things oh-so-interesting.

So, how does someone with ADD/ADHD actually make it into a healthy lifestyle?

Friday, April 5, 2013

Taking aim and ADD rates and diet

Image from Flickr, by leesean
Recent information showed that 20 percent of American boys have ADD or ADHD.  This number is somewhat staggering when you realize that one in five boys in this country have an issue with Attention Deficit Disorder.  To me, it's not a big deal.  I wasn't shocked at all when I found out my son was one of those.

I've been diagnosed with ADHD since I was about six.

The Diet Doctor, who has some really great stuff, had some interesting things to say.  He compared maps of obesity and other dietary no-no's with the map of where ADD diagnosis were the highest.  The implication is that diet is the root of this particular evil.

But is it?

Today's workout and an initial review of Tai Chi

Image from Flickr, by Chefzwerg
First, my workout.  No pain, except for the good kind

I asked for a lot of advice on Google+, and got some great advice.  I decided to try kettlebell swings again today, focusing primarily on form.  I have a tendency to get sloppy and not realize it, so I spent extra time focused on my form.  No pain at all.

So, either form was the problem, or it was something else completely separate from the exercise.  I can live with that.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

A critique of 'Body for Life'

"Tom, what do you think of Bill Phillps' 'Body for Life' program?  I've heard some mixed things and was curious what you might think of it."  - Joe P.  Leesburg, Ga.

Well Joe, thanks for the question.

The Body for Life program, and the subsequent challenge, is one of those mixed things out there.  Some people worship it, while others despise it.  For those of you unfamiliar with the program, it's a 12-week challenge that incorporates weight lifting, cardio training, and diet with a "cheat" day thrown in as part of an overall attempt at transforming your body.

Strength is great...but so is flexibility, right?

Image from Flickr, by mikebaird
I've talked a lot about strength training with kettlebells and how they're also great for cardiovascular health.  However, at this point I find them lacking in one area of overall fitness, and that's flexibility.

This isn't a knock on kettlebells either.  In truth, few strength training programs do a good job of working on flexibility.  It's really a case of them being opposites in a lot of ways.

That's why, starting today, I'll be implementing Tai Chi as part of my overall fitness plan.

Why Tai Chi and not yoga?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Just a single set today

Image from Flickr, by Lars Plougmann
Today, I managed just a single set.  Unsurprising, to say the least, but I just couldn't do any more.  I felt pain, and I mean the bad kind.  Right in the pelvis during my swings.  I've felt a twinge there a time or two, but nothing like this time.  Ouch.

If anyone has any feedback on this, whether it may be technique or something else, please let me know.

Other than that though, it wasn't bad.  I dragged tail on my military presses, particularly my right arm (I'm right handed), and I have no freaking clue why, unless I just blasted things to much on Monday.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Tomorrow's workout

Image from Flickr, by FtCarsonPAO
After the fiasco of yesterday's workout, and the previously mentioned screw up, it's time to review what I was trying to do.  So, I've simplified it a good bit.

Simplicity is easier to remember, and that means I'll be able to keep track of what's supposed to be done.

Here it is:

  • Kettlebell swing
  • Kettlebell military press
  • Kettlebell row
  • Kettlebell goblet squat
  • Around the worlds
Each exercise will be done for one minute each with a two minute rest between each circuit.


Image from Flickr, by Instant Vantage
Alright, I hurt.

It's the good kind of hurt though.  The soreness that accompanies a tough workout is a welcome friend to an extent, but like a Christmas guest that's still hanging out at your at Valentine's Day, I'm ready for it to go.

It was a killer workout yesterday, with the results just being here today.  However, it's worth it.

No matter how much you want it otherwise, great things don't come easily.  If they did, they wouldn't be worth a thing.  The soreness I feel?  That's just the price I pay for getting where I want to be.

Monday, April 1, 2013

3 tips to help you eat right in the modern world

Image from Flicker, by Skistar Trysil
Eating right should be simple.  You know what's allowed and what isn't.  You know how much you can eat.  You know all of these things backwards and forwards.

Unfortunately, the real world likes to intervene from time to time.

So, what's a health conscious soul supposed to do?  You want to be social, but you don't want to go off the rails.

Luckily, here are a few tips that will help you out on that count.

Today's workout and how I screwed up

So, yesterday I outlined my workout.  Unfortunately, the version that actually got published wasn't what I meant to be published.  No, that version was really to much.  Um...oops?

Yeah, I'm sorry about that one guys.

You see, that was a first draft, but after a bit more research, I found that I had too many exercises.  This is a potential problem when you're creating on your own.  Luckily, I continued to research and realized that I might be overdoing it with that.

Here's what was published yesterday: