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Trying Something Crazy

Trying Something Crazy

I remembered something I heard a while back (from Pavel Tsatsouline, maybe?) about how old-school Russian power and Olympic lifters never did the whole set/rep arrangements that the Americans did. They'd just do another set whenever they felt like it. One set, done. A few hours later they'd feel fresh again. Another set.

Given that I'm hitting a whole new level of being crunched for time (new baby at home, and work is kicking my ass), I'm willing to try new things in order to work everything into my schedule.

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Lunchtime Workouts

Lunchtime Workouts

I have a new baby daughter at home, a wife I adore, a demanding full-time job, and no gym membership. The office where I work doesn't have a shower. And yet I logged four solid workouts last week.

So yeah. This is going way, way better than I expected. So many people (and training programs) ask, "How much do I have to train to achieve my goal?" I think it's far more effective to ask, "What can I accomplish in the time I have?"

In a more general sense, the key lies in asking not, "Where can I find what I want?" but rather, "What can I do with what I have?"

I have 30-40 minutes a day, and easy access to a bike path along a huge concrete flood control channel. I'm determined to make the most of those resources.

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Know Thyself

Know Thyself

I've been thinking often of this post by Jill Homer, where she wrestles with health setbacks that have forced her to reassess her goals for the year:

Recently I had an enlightening e-mail conversation with another cyclist about self-defining tenets and the unsettling experience of losing these pieces of our identities. People who identify as athletes are endlessly vulnerable to health setbacks, injuries, changes in circumstance, and aging[.]

Aging: check. I just turned 40. Changes in circumstance: check. My wife and I just became parents for the first time.

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Parenthood: Week 1

Parenthood: Week 1

It'll take time and experience before I can see clearly how well I'm doing in these first weeks of parenthood. Before my memory of these days fades, I want to at least dump everything out on the table so I can sort through it later. (And if we ever have another child, I'll be happy I wrote down my bag of tricks somewhere.)

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Lunchtime Workouts: Displaying Some Adaptability

Lunchtime Workouts: Displaying Some Adaptability

I want to remove the impediments to lunchtime workouts. We don't have a shower, so I need some way to feel & smell fresh after getting a bit sweaty. I've pieced together advice from various sources online, and decided to start with the following and see what works:

  1. Rinse hair with water bottle at end of workout.
  2. Locate somewhere private. (One-seat restroom is ideal.)
  3. If there's dirt/grime, scrub off with wet wash cloth.
  4. Clean off sweat with disposable wash cloths. (Basically giant baby wipes.)
  5. Towel dry.
  6. Apply deoderant.

I've done two lunchtime workouts so far (bike & run), and this seems to work reasonably well. It's not perfect, but it's good.

I plan on experimenting with different workouts to see what works. Jump rope, inline skates, running, biking, and kettlebells are all on the table.

I think the general goals are simple:

  • Frequency: 3-4 days a week, minimum. 5 days a week is optimum. 7 is ideal.
  • Intensity: I need my heart rate to hit 170+. Ideally, 180+. That will help me maintain my aerobic top end.
  • Time: 20 min at minimum, 40 optimum.
  • Type: I don't care. Everything's on the table. Barbell, kettlebell, jump rope, inline skating, running, even cycling. Whatever I can make time for.

I need to consistently hit my top-end output:

  • aerobic capacity: (HR should stay above 120 BPM, and hit 170-180+ for a total of 5+ min.)
  • strength: move something heavy in all 5 of Dan John's fundamental movements: push, pull, hinge, squat, loaded carry, and TGU/other.
  • power: lots of force, fast. Cleans & swings.
  • stamina: do sets in the 20+ reps range. Especialy full-body movements like thrusters.

Off/rest day activity means warmup & 20m stretching/rolling.

I will, obviously, post results here.

The office is close to several old, closed railroad rights-of-way. I'm very curious to explore a little on my mountain bike and see if I can put together a loop that relies mostly on dirt.

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