Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Week Three, Tuesday Workout

Today was a good day. My right knee is still a little bothersome, but, that is ok. I just figured out a different way to workout. When I first started working out, the personal trainer I had a session with showed me a circuit workout, one that was different from the one I described earlier in my blog. So today, since I needed to give my knee a rest, I decided to work my core out and do the other circuit workout.

I first did the ab workout that I did on Monday. After sitting up Monday night trying to remember all the exercises, I put my plan into action today. I did the various exercises and I have to say, I gave my core a workout! I plan on doing this workout all this week to give my knee the rest it so desperatley needs.

Next, I did my circuit workout. It consists of eight different exercises. The main objective is go through this workout in about six to eight minutes, doing it three times. Using dumbbells, the first exercise is bench press, doing that 20 times. I use 20 or 25 lb dumbbells. The next exercise are one- armed rows, 2o times each arm. Following the rows, I did deadlifts, again using dumbbells. The fourth exercise is straight arm presses. You squat, stand up, then press the dumbbells over your head. The fifth exercise, and to me this one is the toughest, are simple push-ups. Sometimes the simplest exercise is the toughest. The next exercise is where you take 5-10 lb dumbbells, lunge out with each leg and at the same time do a "fly" manuever. You do this one exercise, 10 on each leg. The seventh exercise is a kettlebell swing, squat and swing the dumbbell between your legs and then over your head, 20 times. The eighth and last exercise are step-ups. Using the workout bench, step up twenty times each leg.

The great part about this workout is that it also works you out cardiovascularly. Because you are doing all these exercises at a high pace, it really raises your pulse. This is why the workout is good for when you may have a leg ailment like sore knees. Happy working out!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Week Three, Monday Workout

Thought I would change it up this week. I ran five miles this morning. It was great but, I have run into a snag. My knee. Yep, my right knee to be exact. It hurts and it hurts bad! I do not really know what the problem is, I just know it hurts. I ran through the pain today, but I am thinking that I am going to have to cool it a little bit this week. So I have a plan.

The big plan, I have decided is to do my circuit workouts combined with abdominal work. The wife and I usually do a abdominal class on Mondays and Wednesdays. It is really tough and it is going to be a nice change of pace. All the moves are hard to explain, so as I do them, I will try to put them on here.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Week Two, Rest of the Week Workouts

It has been a few days since I last wrote. The last half of the week was kind of crazy. I had to drive the wife around because she moved to her new office across town and had various errands that needed to be run. I also started spring semester classes at UNCW. On top of that, I put in a few more applications for jobs. Right now, I will take anything as far as a job goes. It is getting to be critical status on the unemployment front. This brings me to the point behind this post. Mental health is as critical as physical health. Going to the gym and breaking a good sweat is a way to cleanse the mind if you will. I ran four miles the last two days of the week and on Saturday I did my circuit workout. My right knee was hurting me a little bit so I took Saturday off and just did the circuit. Getting back to the mental side though, the running really helped me clear my mind. I got on the treadmill and like Forrest Gump, I just ran! I set up the pace I wanted, put in the iPod, and just let my mind go. When I got off the treadmill, I feel like I have lightened my load. Running gives me a chance to let go and clear my head. You should give it a go sometime. I think it works.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Week Two, Workout #3, Pyramid

Yesterday I had a great Pilates class. It really stretched me out and I felt better for it. That was a good thing too. I have tried to get into a routine as far as the intensity of the workouts. I want to build up to a pinnacle in the middle of the week that reaches peak intensity. Monday, I ran a nice easy pace for a few miles and did my circuit workout. Tuesday, longer miles at a faster pace. Today, by design is my hardest day. I ran four miles, but instead of just running at one continuous pace for the miles, I warmed up for 3/4 of a mile. I then alternated upping the pace on the treadmill for the next 2.5 miles. I would run a 1/4 mile at a "sprint" pace and then back off for a quarter. Like I stated earlier, I did this for 2.5 miles. After my run, I went straight into my circuit workout. I did this by design so I would tax my body. I want to take it just past my threshold. This will acclimate my body for when I run The Warrior Dash. The only snag that came today was the wife. She called in the middle of my circuit so I had to cut it short so I could pick her up. I swear, that woman is working against me, LOL. No, seriously, she is great. She wants to workout more, but always seems to have something else going on. That is for another post for another time.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

NASCAR Pre-Season Rankings

Well, college football is finally over. It is roughly one month til they drop the green flag on the Daytona 500, so I thought I would throw my two cents worth in on a power ranking of sorts for Sprint Cup drivers.( Total disclosure: this is assuming they all declare they are running for the Sprint Cup. Right?) So here it goes....

1. Who else could be? Til you beat the man, he will still be the man. I know that I am going out on a huge limb here, but hey, its my list, if you do not like, put your comments in at the bottom. Anyways, JJ has proven even when he is not at the top of his game, he is still the best and so his team. So who is going to challenge The Champ?

2. Well, first up to challenge The Champ, why not the guy that came the closest last year to dethroning him. If not for some unlucky or dim-witted pit strategy, we might be talking about Denny Hamlin this off-season as the target everyone will be gunning for this season. Hamlin led the series with eight victories, was second in top-five's with sixteen, and had the most top ten's with twenty- six. He is young, hungry, and extremely pissed off. Now if he can just channel that inner beast, he is going to beat tough to beat in 2011.

3. Speaking of channeling energy. Rowdy has all the talent in the world. With the new rule of all drivers having to declare what championship they want to run for this year, this should help Rowdy focus in on what helps pay the bills for his fledgling truck program. Of course, he could surprise everyone, say the hell with it and run a full time truck schedule, just so he does not have to fight the JJ Express. Yeah right! The guy is such a competitor, a year older, and pound for pound the best driver out there. I do not like the guy, but there is no denying his talent or cajones. He can just plain get it done.

4. Smoke a little smoke. Tony Stewart I think has flown under the radar the past couple of seasons. He has qualified for the Chase under his own banner the past two years. No reason to think he can not make it a third. He is known for having a fiery temper, but since owning his own team, the guy to me seems as cool as a cucumber. He is not going to go out there and win a ton of races, but when the checkers are in site, I expect him to be there to fight it out. Nothing in this guy says quit, that is what makes him such a tough out.

5. Happy Harvick had a great season last year. He led the Childress resurgence, again, and along the way made a lot of fans. In short, you screw with him or any of his teammates or if the mood strikes him just right, he is going to dump you and not be sorry. I love it! I swear, he was a one man Gibbs wrecking crew. Logano, Pocono, dumped. Hamlin, Homestead, dumped with the title on line no less. He has the attitude, Richard Childress has rejuvenated a stagnant organization, now let us see if like the Atlanta Falcons, RCR and Harvick can put together back to back successful seasons.

6. Jeff Gordon, I swear, something has to give. He runs up front week in and week out, yet the man has no wins to show for it. He talks about how every week if they run up front, that eventually the wins will come. Well, its going on two years now, he is running up front, and still no wins. The man's won four championships, his protege' just won his fifth. If that does not fire up the "old man", then I have no idea what will. I have him a little low to start the season, but I think once he and Alan Gustafson gel, I think the winless streak will be over and a fifth title will be a real possibility.

7. Cousin Carl. He is a feisty son of a bitch. I do not particularly like him, I think he is a dirty driver, but when he keeps his head, can drive the wheels off a car. I then get to see what I think is a pretty cool celebration, the back flip. If not for anything other than because I can not do one. I think if Carl, like Kyle, can keep his head, he is a dangerous contender for the title. You do not think Carl and Kyle are related in some way do you? He just seems to go through one of those lulls in the middle of season that he can never seem to overcome down the stretch. Consistency Cuz, that is the ticket.

8. Red Bull Racing/ Hendrick Motorsports driver Kasey Kahne is going to surprise people this year. I think a lot of people are deeming this a throw away year. That must have been helluva sell job to get Kahne to jump to Toyota for a year. I guess the end result it what he is looking at: getting a chance to run for the best organization in NASCAR. Now, if he can take care of his equipment, that whole my brakes are garbage stuff I did not buy. I just think he hard on equipment, good driver, wins a few races, but still hard on equipment. He is going to keep his crew chief busy for sure.

9. Matt Kenseth. He has never missed the Chase. He is as consistent as JJ in that way, other than that, he is no JJ. The man has ice water running through his veins. I think that is also his problem. That aw shucks midwestern attitude just does not work anymore. Yes, he won a title, he out pointed everyone and basically lulled everyone to sleep. That is how he was able to beat the crap out of everyone back in 2003. I think it takes a little more these days. He is great for sponsors, but I do not think great enough to win a second title.

10. Joey Logano. I think this is going to be his breakout year. He is going to win multiple times, get a lot of top five's and ten's, and because he is still young, will be somewhat inconsistent. He is going to be fun to watch, on and off the track. Remember Harvick and JPM? Going to be interesting to see how much he takes this year. Our little boy is growing up right before our eyes.

11. Jamie McMurray. Last year's feel good story just keeps getting stronger. I do not believe he is going to win all the big races, but he is going to win. He is going to cry and he is going to win some more. He keeps his nose clean, his head down, and with a little more consistency he could move up the board in a hurry.

12. What? Did you think I was going to do a list and not put Dale Jr. in it? I mean, I am follower, sometimes not for my own good, but, it is a new year and new found optimism. He has a new crew chief, again, so why not dream big and think he can get off the schnide and win a few for ole Junior Nation. I do not ask a lot, just drive with a little passion and act like you want to be out there with the best and want to be considered one of the best.

Week Two, Day Two

Workout complete. Did a half hour Pilates session. Man, was it great! I have been really tight and stiff in my back and shoulders. After a half hour, my back and shoulders felt awesome and I was so much more flexible! If you are not doing Pilates and can, I highly recommend it. To try and explain what exercises my trainer did to me would be futile. My body was contorted in ways I never knew my body could go into. I also ran 4 miles at about 7:15 pace. Doing the Pilates really helped with this too. I felt and was more loose and therfore I felt inclined to go a little fast today. All in all a great workout today. I really do not have a lot more to add. Somedays, I have a lot to say, others, not so much.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Week Two, Monday Workout

The first week of documenting my workouts and so far, so good. I run about 20-25 miles a week. I do anything from long slow runs to interval training on the treadmill. I also have been doing a circuit workout. I usually do those every other day. I have done some other workouts, but not at the frequency of these two types. I played in a softball tournament this weekend and for the month that I have been working out, I could really tell a difference. I was not "gassed" running the bases, my arm was not sore, and overall, I was not sore today. I felt good and what better way to celebrate, than to go to the gym and get it on! One difference today was that the wife came along for her workout with me. It was a snow day around here, so we spent a little time together in the gym. One of the great things about it snowing at the beach, is the fact that people stay in. They do not go out and well that makes for a lot of room at the gym.

Mondays are usually a breaking in day. What that means is that I do not do a heavy workload, but rather a short intense workload. I ran 3 miles on the treadmill and broke out a really good sweat. I then turned to my circuit workout and that went better than expected. It has been a week since I started the new circuit workout and today I felt good. I think the next step is to step the resistance during the workouts. I also think I am going to start and do a every other week with my two circuit workouts. What I am starting to do too is up my mileage in my runs and then go right into the circuit workout.

Tomorrow morning I get a taste of Pilates. I really hope I like it. One bad side effect I have been feeling since working out is not being able to get really good and stretched out. I am hoping this will help. Stay tuned.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Day 7, Workout- Weekend Notes

Sundays are normally rest days. Played softball this weekend in Savannah. The weekend started great. We were 2-0 going into our last game Saturday night. We looked like a bunch of monkeys fuckin' a football( thank you Randy Quaid via Days of Thunder) and got beat by a group of guys that I although they beat us, I will not admit they are better than us. Well, we put that behind us for today. Unfortunately, we did not shake it. We promptly went out this morning and got spanked and spanked good. Got beat 16-1. Thank you very much, thanks for your money, now head on back to North Carolina 2-2. So the first weekend of what will be many more softball weekends to come is over and quite honestly, I am rather relieved. Now I can get back to my workout routine and that I am really looking forward too. Some exciting stuff is coming up this week. I start a new semester of school at UNCW and my wife, Erin, starts her new job at her new law firm. Hope everyone had a great weekend. We'll see you around the blogging world.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Workout, Day 6

No workout today. Playing in the SSAA Winter Worlds in Savannah, GA. So far so good. We won our first game 16-1 and then won our second game 18-3. We play again at 10pm tonight. It has been in the mid 50's and WINDY! Winds have been blowing between 25 and 30 mph all day. Chapstick is in high demand for sure! So anyways, Saturdays and/or Sundays is usually my rest day, so playing ball this weekend is really not interfering with my training. Besides, a nice side effect from all the training is that it really helps me stay fresh when I play softball on the weekends and I do play a lot of softball. I will update as we move on through the tournament.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Workout, Day 5

Day 5 workout was pretty simple. Stretch and run. Ran 3 miles, just wanted to take it easy today. I am headed to Savannah, GA this weekend for a softball tourney. Do not want to be too sore that I can not move around out on the diamond. Seems like it was just yesterday that I played in my last tournament. Well, it is a new year and with a new year comes a new softball season. Ready or not, here I come! Also, I found out today that I get to do my Pilates session next Tuesday. When I was upstairs this morning stretching, I was watching a guy go through his session. He did not look like it was a pleasant experience! LOL Oh well, bring it on! I need such a good stretch, I will take whatever pain comes with it. If I can ever figure out how to mobile blog, I will keep everyone posted on how we do down in Savannah.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Day Four, Workout

Well, I woke up today fully expecting to learn how to get more flexible. I was looking forward to my Pilates instruction only to get a text from the instructor that she would not be in today because she was sick. Oh well, I say, it does happen. No big deal. So, I headed off to the gym, thought I would get in a little run. I had worked really hard the past couple of days using the new workout routine I learned and I was kinda feelin' it! Before I go on, I would remiss if I did not tell you that before I do anything in the gym, I do two things: 1- I have a cup of coffee. I read somewhere that a cup of coffee, straight black, gives you a pick me up. It is low in calories and the caffeine boost you get helps you get "up" for your upcoming workout. 2- I stretch. I do a series of stretches, mainly my lower body because I do a lot of running. The first stretch I do is standing up, legs together and touch my toes. I then cross my legs and touch my toes. I alternate my right and left leg on top . This helps get the hamstrings loosened up and also helps a little with my back. Next I sit down and stick one leg out and tuck the other leg towards my body and lean forward and try to touch my nose to my knee. I hold it for a 10 count and do each leg three times. Again, this helps the hammies and my back. Next, I tuck both legs in a "butterfly" position. Your heels should be tucked in towards your groin region. I then wrap my arms around the outside of my legs and while I am pushing down with my legs towards the ground, I am providing resistance with my arms trying to not let them touch the ground. I then bring my arms to the inside of my legs and the opposite of the first exercise. This helps stretch and strengthen the groin. The last stretch I do is what I call the "pretzel". You sit up, tuck one leg into your body, you then cross your other leg over the lower leg. Then you try and touch your nose to your shoe. Hold for a 10 count. Next you come up and twist your upper body and put the opposite arm over the leg that is over the leg tucked into your body. You then switch legs. There you go, now you have some stretches.
So onto today's workout. I did a treadmill workout. I decided to do a incline interval workout. I ran three miles with a steady increase in the degree of the incline. I started at 0% and at the peak was at 7%. Now this does not sound like a lot, but it is! I thought I would be doing a light workout today and all of a sudden I was knee deep into a hill workout! I thought to myself, "holy shit!", I am killing myself. My next thought was, "well, you started this you idiot, so now finish it and do not adjust either!" Now Mamma and Daddy did not raise a puss, so I trudged on. The second mile was the toughest. The last mile, I was just thankful that it pyramided back down on the incline. It made it feel like I was running down hill. My legs thanked me for it! All in all it was a good workout because I know not all the terrain in North Georgia is going to be like it is here at the beach. So doing a little hill work in retrospect was a good thing.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Workout Day Two, Soreness is a Bitch!

So day two of training for Warrior Dash has come and gone. I woke up sore in places I did not know you could be sore! The workout yesterday was great. To try and get the soreness out, I hit the treadmill. I ran 5 miles at about 7:30 pace. I may have pushed it a little too much. I do not know if I pushed it too hard yesterday or today. All I know though is my legs were jell-o! My back hurt, my shoulders hurt, but, the burn was awesome! I know that in the end, it was a good burn and a good soreness.
Because of the soreness both after yesterday and this morning, I decided to do yesterday's workout again this evening. Now I do not normally workout at night. A couple of reasons for this: 1- I have already worked out for the day. 2- It is just too damn crowded! Its really hard to do a circuit workout when you have to wait on machines. I mean I do understand that other people workout too, I just do not like waiting. On a side note, I was doing my back extensions and I shared the machine with this just ungodly hot woman! She was wearing a camouflage hat too. I mean I am just a man, only looking, but I am a one woman man. Wanted to put that in there just in case my wife reads this, lol! So anyways, back to the workout. I did get a good workout in this evening even if it did take me a little longer than I wanted.
A little preview for tomorrow, I am going to try Pilates. I want to get more flexible and I have heard good things about Pilates. When I am running on the treadmill, the Pilates area is right behind the treadmills. It has peeked my interest for sometime now and thought now is also the perfect time to try it out. I will let you know how it goes tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Workout, Day One: Boy Was I in For a Surprise!

Day one of blog diary for workout routine. I got my ass kicked! My trainer, Matt, came in with a workout routine to get me in shape for the upcoming Warrior Dash. We started with ladder exercises to warm up. It consisted of five "steps" three times each. That was just the warm up and my legs were already at a HIGH BURN! I thought, damn, what else does he have in store for me today. Little did I realize, we were just getting started. Here was the workout for today, all stations consisted of anywhere from 10-15 reps, three times each.
1. Snatch into press- done with about 55-65 pounds.
2. Medicine Ball work- what you did was lay out, butt in the air and lunge your feet forward even with the medicine ball, rotate to each side, come out of that, stand up, and throw the ball in the air. Let me tell you how much fun that was! I have done a lot of things exercise wise in my life and that one hurt A LOT!
3. Dumbbell work- Lay two dumbbells out to your side. Get in push-up position. Do a push-up, then do a row with each arm. Stand-up, do a curl with each arm, that is one rep. Yeah, sounds like fun huh? Do it 10 times, 3 sets after you have done what you have already done and come back and tell me how much fun your having then!
4. Box Jumps- this one was probably the easiest exercise. Jump up and down on an 18 inch box, you want to do it as quickly as possibly, with your feet off the ground as much and quickly as possible.
5. Chest flies- go to a chest machine, put whatever weight you are comfortable with and do 3 sets of 12 each.
6. Reverse flies- cross your arms and do opposite of chest flies. The only rest you get here is when you are doing the other exercise.
7. Back extensions- simply put, go to a back machine, grab whatever weight is appropriate and do back extensions. You then move right into what I call the half medicine ball knee to chest exercise. Using a balance ball, you bring each knee to opposite chest.
8. T-Raises- using whatever dumbbell is appropriate, do a T exercise.

Needless to say, I was a whooped puppy after this workout. The burn was great and as crazy as it sounds, I can not wait to do it again!

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year's Resolution

It's the first week of January and like the Big Ten losing like every big New Year's bowl game, it's time for that time honored tradition of making resolutions. Now I don't normally make said resolutions, but since I have this wonderful blogging forum, I thought I would take a dive and make a couple. My first resolution, I am going to get in and stay in shape. So far so good. I got a little help and a head start a couple of weeks before Christmas when I was let go from my job. Since that point though, it has allowed me to have time for the gym. I really enjoy it too. I run anywhere from 3-5 miles on the treadmill and about every other day I do a circuit training routine.
I got started on this little adventure by pure chance. I have a friend that ran his first 5k road race on Thanksgiving weekend. After a few beers and some smack talking about how I whoop his ass, we bet a 6 pack of beer that I could do that very thing. The kicker was that I have to spot him four minutes. Now, back in the day when I actually could run, this would have been no problem. The problem now though is that I am about fifty pounds heavier and twenty years older. The first few days were tough, but, I am into a routine and now I feel bad when I do not go.
The other reason for working out on a daily basis is a race they call "The Warrior Dash". Another friend of mine told me about this fine event when we were on vacation with them down in Key West. This event is 3 or so miles of pure T hell! Not only do you run on a cross country style course, but you navigate such obstacles such as a fire pit, stacked hay bales, a log roll, and barbed wire mud pit.
The other thing I resolve to do on a daily basis is blog about my workouts and maybe some of the things I see. Maybe throw a little nugget of wisdom in there and maybe a little bullshit to boot.

Happy New Year everyone!