Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween book

Booooo Booo Boooo Booooo Booo Booooo Booooo Boo Boooooo
Where's the K? I'm waiting for the K.
Oh, here it is, at the end of Boo

This halloween I picked out some child-friendly peanut free mars bars for the kids. Being a bad neighbour, I also picked out some M&M peanut treats. After all, what would halloween be without peanut candy?????? Peanut the green wins my nomination for super hero.

One lucky kid gets an extra special halloween treat today. That kid gets a book instead of candy. What a lucky kid, you say. I think so too. Feed the mind instead of the body. Entertainment without a sugar spike and hyperactive behaviour. I guarantee you this, the kid won't appreciate it now but they'll always remember the halloween when they got a book in the loot bag.

The story book came in the candy box and I think I'll give it to the next door neighbour's kid. Actually, I'll give her and her brother a big handful of candy too. They're both cuties and their Mom won't mind if I stuff their loot bags. I'll give both of them a can of pop as well. Just to make their bags feel extra full.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Rest day and then back to work

Yesterday was rest day, except for a short walk. Today was back to the routine with a couple of changes. (3 sets of each)

Warm up - plyometric side jumps off the step X 20/side
abs windshield wiper X 12/side
bench press (smith machine) 60 lb X 12
V-sit 20
Javorek complex 8 lb X 6 of each exercise (Moved this set to an earlier part of the routine and had much more success. The big muscles were not as fatigued.)
V-sit with medicine ball twist 20/side
good mornings with military press 18 lb X 12
squats 18 lb X 15
4 pt shoulder press on bosu 10 lb X 12
skull crusher 18 lb X 15
rotator cuff 8 lb X 10

Overall, much better workout. I'm still increasing the weights to the point where I am finally feeling a good workout. The ab exercises are progressing well, too. Drank lots of water today and feel good overall.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Experimenting with core workouts

Today started with a walk at Lemoine Point and ended with a core workout. I started with a list of ten exercises and tried each in turn. There were some great results from some items on the list but not much effect from others. I'm not sure if it was poor form or too few reps. I'll keep experimenting and will nail down a killer core workout soon.

Here's the list of ten in the order that I performed them:
  • swiss ball forward roll out
  • front plank
  • side plank
  • hanging leg raise
  • lateral V-up on bosu
  • windshield wiper
  • leg raise on bosu
  • dead bugs
  • ass kicker (crunch with a punch)
  • V-sit with medicine ball twist
Keeping straight legs during some of the exercises was very challenging. I ended up moving to bent legs to prevent arching in my back. I'll keep working on these exercises and see how things shape up.

Phase two of core workouts is reducing fat. This will come in time as I ramp up my aerobic activity and reduce processed foods in my diet. One thing at a time though. Don't want to change too much all at once or the charm of living a healthy life will quickly wear off.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Weights and Abs

Today I did the weight workout that I had promised myself yesterday, but put off because of the weather. In true Babe fashion, I warmed up with a Large double-double coffee and a muffin from my favorite breakfast place. Then I did the mental preparation necessary for a significant workout like this by surfing the internet for a couple of hours.

Finally it was workout time.
Stage one: weigh in. 158 lbs
Stage two: warm up. 3 sets of 60 step ups alternating with an ab routine using spinal rotation called the windshield wiper.

Stage three: the workout. 3 sets of each
Bench press (smith machine) 60 lbs X 12 reps
bosu crunch with knee up 12
one arm dumbbell row 20 lb X 12/side
situps 30
incline pushup 20
bosu lunge 12/leg
dead bugs 25
javorek complex 8 lb 6 of each exercise
swiss ball bridge with hamstring 12
4 pt shoulder press on bosu 10 lb dumbbell 12
horizontal wood chop 15 lb X 12/side
tricep pulldown 20 lb X 20 reps

Step 4: analysis
This was a longer workout than a person would normally do when they select a weight routine. There are a couple of reasons for this.
  • I am experimenting with some new exercises. Some ideas came from the internet and some from an exercise video. Once I've perfected the form then I will include them as part of a regular (and smaller) workout.
  • Light weights and resistance movements mean that I can do more repetitions on each muscle group. I am not maxing out each muscle (yet) and still have some room to increase weight. For the time being I think that I will try super-sets rather than going heavy but there are many options to try in the future.
  • I was feeling really good during this workout and didn't want it to end. My energy was good, mood was good, music on the radio was good. Why stop a good thing?
My goal right now is to continue working on my core and to experiment with different exercise routines to see what gives me the best result.

Go fitness!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Weather dictates PT

Today I went for a walk in Lemoine Point park. It was a gorgeous sunny day so I took advantage of the fall weather and enjoyed the outdoors. I also spent about four hours getting the garden ready for winter.

Weights were originally on the agenda for today but since there is a 90% chance of rain tomorrow I decided to switch the workouts around. I'll spend tomorrow in the basement doing weights.

See ya tomorrow.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bosu video workout

The Bosu came with an exercise video and I decided to try it today. The workout will be quite familiar to anyone who has done aerobics and step workouts. The unstable dome of the bosu adds an extra challenge to the workout and it will take time to build up speed and agility.

This workout focused on control and balance. It is very different from the strength training workout that I did on Tuesday, but I think that doing this bosu workout twice a week will lead to visible improvement in a short amount of time.

The most challenging exercises for me were the core exercises where the hips were balanced in the top of the bosu and the remainder of the body was elevated into a plank position. This can be done in the forward and side positions. Very hard to do but would be a great exercise for toning the core.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fun factoid

Did you know.... chocolate milk is becoming a favorite post workout drink among serious athletes. The combination of protein and carbs helps speed muscle recovery and gives the athlete some quick energy.

Run in the rain

Today's workout was a run at Lemoine Point. It was raining slightly which suited me quite well since it kept the trails empty of people. I don't have an exact distance but I believe that it was 7 km or slightly longer. Overall, I'm pleased with today's effort.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Workout partner

The fitness challenge went out and it has been answered by Ultimate Fitness Fanatic Eric. Here's an old photo from 1987. I think I have some work to do to keep up with him. It's good to have a long distance workout partner and I invite more people to join us.

Today's workout was a robust routine that concentrated on the upper body. The Men's Health website had a good upper body routine which I tried and liked. The routine is featured in a video clip called "Javorek Complex". It consists of five arm and upper body workouts with a set of dumbbells. I had to downsize to 8 lb dumbbells because I found myself cheating on the bent over fly portion of the workout. It's my weakest area and I'll work on increasing the weight lifted while keeping perfect form.

Here was today's workout (I did three sets of each):
Warm up - Step ups 60, bosu vsits 20/side
Bench press (smith machine) 50 lbs X 12
Situps 30
Incline pushups 20
Forward lunge with 10 lb dumbbell 12/leg
Dead bugs (abs) 25
4 pt shoulder press on bosu with 10 lb dumbbell - 12
tricep pulldown - 20 lb X 20
bicep curl 15 lb dumbbell - 12/arm
rotator cuff 5 lb

Fall colours

Mother nature is showing some mercy on my garden. Rain and moderate temperatures are providing some relief to my drought stricken shrubs and some of them are showing their appreciation with flowers and gorgeous foliage.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Running in your running shoes - what else would you do with them

Normal pronation provides about a 5% movement during your stride. This acts as a shock absorber to distribute your weight and the force of your movement.

Over-pronation means that your foot rotates too far to the inside and is not as efficient at absorbing the force of your movement. Good shoes correct for this tendency by providing motion control which leads to greater stability.

The other common gait problem is supination which does not provide adequate rotation of the foot. This can be corrected with the proper shoes and/or with orthotics.

For more information about gait and running shoes, I recommend that you visit the Runners World website.

PT this morning was a seven km slow run. We ran through the training area which was quite scenic. The temp was 17 degrees C which is pleasantly warm without being too hot. I would have preferred to run at a slightly faster pace but we were doing it as a group so everyone had to stick together. During the rest of the day I drank more than the usual amount of water and am completely hydrated now.

During the day I had some free time so I went to the local Canex store and bought a new pair of running shoes. My feet over pronate, which means that there is a pronounced rotation movement towards the inside of the foot. I usually buy shoes that correct for this gait pattern and prevent knee injuries. I`m going to go break in the new shoes with a quick walk through Lemoine Point. Talk to ya later couch potatoes.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Home gym

Here are a few pictures of my home gym. I have been collecting pieces of equipment over the past five years or so and now have quite a good collection. The nautilus equipment came from Costco and it offers a huge range of exercise activities. The other equipment that I use consists of free weights, mats, ab roller, step and stability ball. Not very high tech but you can do an amazing range of exercises with these few pieces of equipment. I don't have any powered cardio equipment such as a treadmill or stairmaster because the park is so close that I can walk to it from my house and do my cardio outside.


It's time to get real about working out. To track progress I am going to publish my measurements and revisit them periodically. I pulled an old exercise book off the shelf and I am going to share my measurements from Thanksgiving 2005 as a comparison with today's measurements. Every six weeks or so I'll publish an update and we'll see how things go.

Today's workout started with a long walk at Lemoine Point. It was gorgeous out today. Afterwords, I did a little home workout. 3 sets of each exercise
Step ups 60
situps 30
bench press 40 lb X 12 reps
bosu vsit with medicine ball 20
swiss ball 1 arm dumbbell press 10 lbs X 12 reps (This is mostly an ab exercise)
lunges with 10 lb dumbbell 12/leg
4 pt shoulder press on bosu 10 lb db X 12 reps

The bosu is a new piece of fitness equipment for my home gym. I've used them at commercial gyms and found the workouts quite challenging. It was hard to track one down for home use, though, because they are not sold in many fitness stores. Let me know if you would like more info on bosu workouts and I'll be glad to send it.

Hot tubbing is a hard workout

PT this week has been a wild ride of monster workouts and workouts that were monstrously fun. Here's the re-cap:
Monday - Troop run of 6 km. Weather was good, group was good to run with, some joking around which made the workout fun.

Tuesday - Circuit training. Six assorted exercises with some lap running in between. Overall a pretty good workout but I need to improve my chin ups. (I was doing assisted chin ups and need to get my fitness level up to doing proper chin ups)

Wednesday - Sports morning. I was on the water polo team but since the other team forfeited we just had a fun morning. Some lap swimming until the guys found some plastic balls and started trying to hit each other in the head with the balls. Good fun followed by some hot tubbing and a couple of minutes in the sauna.

Thurday - Pool again. Twice in one week is almost unheard of. This workout was led by a fitness instructor. The program was 18 minutes of continuous lengths, any style. Then we did swimming sprints with pushups and crunches on the pool deck. Finished off with another round of hot tubbing and a short sauna session.

Friday - Finished off the week with a PT session at a local restaurant. French toast and ham accompanied by seconds on coffee. This fitness lifestyle is pretty good!

Am I more fit now than at the start of the week? No. Did I have fun? Yup.

Happy workouts to all of you.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Pain is weakness leaving your body

Sitrep: Today I am feeling the pain from yesterday's workout. My hamstrings and glutes are burning and I am feeling twinges in the shoulders when I move my arms around. My arms, chest, back and core are not sore at all so this tells me that they were not adequately exercised. I'll make ammends today.

Workout (yesterday):
07:30 - 08:00 circuit training - pushups, squats, leg raises, crunches, running laps in between sets.
08:00 - 08:40 light weight routine:
hamstrings - straight leg deadlift - 25 lb bar X 12 reps X 3 sets
quads, glutes - forward lunge w/ 10 lb dumbbell - 12/leg X 3 sets
pectorals, triceps - chest press - 15 lb db X 12 X 3
deltoids, trapezius - upright row - 25 lb bar X 12 X 3
deltoids - 4 point shoulder press - 10 lb db X 12 X 3

Nutrition: Yesterday was high in sugar and fat, with some healthy food mixed in between the snacks. Not enough water intake which is affecting me this morning.

weight 160 lb
injuries none

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Fitness challenge

Hi folks,
I am going to start a six month fitness program and you are invited to join me on this journey. I'm still trying to decide what the end goal should be. It should be challenging enough to need six months worth of effort, but not so hard that it leads to injuries. Do any of you have ideas for me?

One thing that might work well for me is to do several four to six week mini challenges. The reason is that a six week period is long enough to see some positive results while still being short enough to stay interested in the fitness routine. In the past I have found that I get bored easily and have to change my workout every month or so. Having several short goals that eventually lead to successfully completing a major fitness goal would be a practical solution to fight boredom.

Fitness is more important to me than weight loss. While I do have a few pounds that could usefully be converted from fat to muscle, weight is not a big issue for me. My goal is to increase energy, feel better during the day and sleep soundly at night. I would also like to improve my flexibility and conditioning.

There are some good fitness ideas on the Men's Health Magazine website. The core workouts look challenging and should produce some amazing results. The speed and plyometric workouts are also challenging and look quite interesting. The website has several interviews with athletes who give fitness tips that are designed to improve speed and agility. I am in the process of reading through the fitness tips and this weekend I will design a workout for myself that will keep me engaged until my trip starts next month.

Please let me know if you have any good fitness websites to visit. I would also love to have some workout partners. If you are interested send me a comment or an email and we'll get started.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Thanksgiving garden

Hi folks,
Here are some pics of Babe's Thanksgiving garden. Hope you all have a great long weekend. Cheers.