May 222008

Yesterday I had my appointment for a fitness and body age eval at the gym, to resolve my little bet with Nathan. In the last seven months, while I did manage to shed 4 years off my body age, 10 lbs., and 5.7% body fat, all of my performance numbers stayed the same or declined slightly. So either I need a better (or just different) workout program, or I was doing it wrong.

It would help to have an actual trainer that I interact with on a regular basis, I suppose. My buddy the trainer and physical therapist, while definitely knowing his business, is in the midst of wedding planning, house hunting, and is too far away to meet up in person very often. Maybe I’ll take a shot at the Body for Life program; not to participate in the actual contest, but just as a different structured program from the one I’ve been doing. I still have an older edition of the book kicking around somewhere.

Body Age
11/13/07: 38
05/21/08: 34

Height: 6′

11/13/07: 206
05/21/08: 196

Body Mass Index
11/13/07: 27.9
05/21/08: 26.6

Max VO2
11/13/07: 40.7
05/21/08: 39.4

Bicep Strength
11/13/07: 107
05/21/08: 106

Sit & Reach
11/13/07: 9.5″
05/21/08: 9.0″

Body Composition
11/13/07: 22.8% body fat
05/21/08: 17.1% body fat

Overall Fitness
11/13/07: 60%
05/21/08: 64%

Jan 022008

The title of this entry was prompted by stairs. Specifically, trying to walk downstairs. The first leg workout after more than two weeks off is a killer. I was slightly nauseous by the end of it, but I read somewhere in Muscle & Fitness that if I puke after squats it means I’m hardcore.


Jun 282007

While sitting on this bullshit conference call, I decided to compare the results of my first workouts last August and my latest ones within the last two weeks. I was really surprised; I tend to sneer at “only” going up 5-10 lbs with each workout, or only adding a couple reps with the same weight, forgetting how much those few pounds add up over time.

Some highlights:

Exercise First Last
Close Grip Cable Rows 90 190
Decline Bench Press 180 270
Incline Bench Press 140 200
Alternating Dumbbell Curls 30 45
Dumbbell Shoulder Press 35 50
Leg Press 240 410
Hamstring Curls 90 150
Hack Squats 230 390

I was disappointed with the weights on my biceps until I remembered that, for it’s size, the bicep is one of the weaker muscles in the body. It just looks impressive when it’s pumped up. I’m really shocked at how strong my legs have gotten. Still gotta lose the gut…

Jun 192007

Last week I faced an unpleasant fact: despite being in my workout program for 10 months, I STILL have the same damn gut and love handles I started with, if not more. The muscles have grown nicely, although I’d like to see more definition, and those ropy bicep veins I find so hot continue to elude me.

I was pissed, and had no one to blame but myself. I blew off the dietary part of the program early on, frequently skipped workouts, especially cardio, and just basically did the bare minimum. I did enough to build some noticeable muscle, but not enough to really lose any fat.

The catalyst for all this was from going to IML a couple weeks ago. I couldn’t count the number of guys there with chiseled bodies who were 5-10 years older than me, if not more. The final straw was the pic I found while clearing out some old items from Gmail, which has become my motivational desktop background:

I started yelling at myself. “You’re going to be 38 years old soon. If you don’t fucking get serious about this now, then when do you plan to?!”

I got up on my institutional-sized soapbox, pumped my fist in the air, and in Howard Beale tradition announced, “I’M MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GONNA TAKE IT ANYMORE!”

I want to be chiseled.
I don’t want the fit of my pants to be a daily crapshoot.
I want to look straight down and see the base of my dick without sucking in my gut.
(Which I haven’t been able to do since 1987, and that only after a combination of boot camp, strep throat, and walking pneumonia had reduced me to looking like an ad for Save The Children.)

So, after relaying all this to my trainer, he briefly sympathized and then told me to get my ass back on his plan and not skip ONE SINGLE MEAL. He also had me recalculate my target heart rate for my cardio using a different formula to keep me in the fat-burning zone. It feels absurdly slow, but he swears he’s dropped two notches on his belt in the last month or so while getting back in shape after a shoulder injury.

I’ve been winging it the last couple days, and spending too much on food at work, but so far I’m staying on track. Aaron bought a ton of food last night but we couldn’t grill any of it, as we’d run out of gas and NO ONE in our area had any in stock. Our fellow summer grillers are hoarding it all, apparently.

Aug 172006

I’ve just received my third appreciation award this month, after two years of nothing. The first one got me a free movie rental, the second $5 off at the cafeteria, and today’s is a solid chrome cube with beveled corners that looks like a big shiny six-sided die. I’m not sure whether to roll for damage with it or carry it back to my nest. Maybe both.

I’ve never gone out of my way at work just to get awards; they just never seemed important and I don’t pay much attention (story of my life) to how my work impacts anyone else. I just do my job and move along to the next item that needs attention. I have to admit though, it does give me a small glow of satisfaction to know that other people appreciate what I do. And of course my coworkers are jokingly all, “Three in one month? You’re gonna make the rest of us look bad! We’ll have to catch up!”

Last night’s workout was pretty rough, and going down stairs afterward was a wobbly affair. Still sore today, but not too bad; it usually hits me more on the second day anyway. My schedule got a bit screwed up by going to Aaron’s graduation, which he didn’t care about and only went to because a classmate friend was supposed to be there, and wasn’t. I didn’t get to the gym until 9pm, but thought it would be much emptier.


The stepmills, treadmills, and weight machines were pretty deserted, but the free weight area was packed, more than I’ve seen during peak hours. Everyone else must have had the same idea. Lots of eye candy to distract me, however, since the free weights are where the “big boys” hang out. And I finally got someone to comment on my t-shirt mrimp gave me that says, “My Other Shirt Has Sleeves”. Some hot, built, Middle Eastern-looking guy in a white wife-beater asked me where I got the shirt, and seemed very amused by it. Plus it gave me an excuse to look directly at him instead of sneaking lecherous glances between sets.

Did I mention that I’m eating every 2.5 to 3 hours? I feel like I’m stuffing down food constantly yet, because the meals are small and low on carbs, I’m ready to eat again by the next feeding. It’s only been three days, so it’s too soon to really notice any results, but my pants seemed a bit looser than usual this morning.

Don’t forget that tomorrow night (Friday) is roadster_guy‘s combination birthday/graduation/make-a-dent-in-our-liquor-supply party at our place. No presents or cards required, unless you feel the urge to contribute alcohol. Details on his LJ, if you’re on his friends list. Music provided by iTunes, amusing puppy-like antics by brokenbryan. .

As I said to die7fox, I too thought the Ramsay’s might have been involved in their daughter’s death, but at second glance it would have been a really lame, stupid way to do it: kill your daughter, leave her body in the basement, then”discover” it later? Nuh uh, doesn’t wash.

It’s a shame Patsy died a mere two months before the arrest. I also wonder how fucked up the son after all this. All the fuss made over his sister when she was a pageant drone, then she gets murdered, THEN there’s a media circus ruining their lives, now his mother is dead. Poor kid.

Other than that I’ve only been skimming articles about current events. I’ve been losing interest for the same reason I quit collecting comics: it’s the same cycle of stories over and over again. Violence in the Middle East; our government is corrupt, out of touch, and rarely held accountable; we’re destroying the environment; people are killing each other in shockingly brutal ways. Nope, nothing new to see here. Move along.

Is it the societies we’ve all inherited that keeps this going, and if we could make a clean break from them and start over we’d do better? Or is it our very nature that built the societies as they are, and even if we did try to break from it we’d end up right back where we started?

It’s all too much for me to figure out, so I think I’ll just stare at my shiny new chrome cube some more.

Aug 142006

This weekend seemed to last forever, in a mostly good way. Friday after work roadster_guy, brokenbryan, onlylunacy and I waded through Friday work traffic to Ann Arbor to show Ashe the sights. Had dinner at Zingerman’s, which I’ve never actually eaten at before, despite getting occasional gift basket stuff from there for other people. Afterwards we wandered all over downtown on foot and by car, giving the grand tour. That night Bry got Ashe gothed up and took him to City Club, where he got completely plastered and re-decorated the side of the road on the way home.

Saturday was spent mostly at home doing nothing in particular until afternoon. The guys went on a driving tour of Detroit while I gassed up the PT and hit Royal Oak Tattoo to get some recoloring done. Over the last 7 years most of the red had faded, but the rest of it has held up very well. They managed to get me in between other appointments to redo the red areas, and the whole session only took about a half hour and $55.

Crappy cameraphone pic:

That evening Ashe’s buddy Jacob, who was visiting his family in Birmingham from Baltimore, came over for homemade sushi and sake. Nice guy, and quite a hottie. Aaron and Ashe left for the airport at about 3am for his 6am flight, and I went to bed.

Sunday I spent most of the day with Mom, who drove up from Brownstown. We went to Somerset and had lunch at Bon Vie, then whiled away a few hours at Crate & Barrel, Restoration Hardware, and Borders. After she left we decided to use Aaron’s birthday coupon at Kruse & Muer on Crooks, across from Noodles/Coldstone/Potbelly. We’d tried to go there once, but it was packed and the wait was over 45 minutes. This time we got lucky and were seated outside right away. The food is great and the waitstaff just about perfect; I highly recommend giving them a try if you’ve got some cash to burn. The entrees were in the $18 range, but very much worth it.

The rest of the evening was spent running some laundry and playing Galactic Civilizations 2, while Aaron whipped up a bunch of food for the first day of my new training routine with his buddy Aaron Loynes, a personal trainer and physical therapist. It’s gonna be weird eating every 3 hours; totally counterintuitive to what you hear about losing weight and bulking up. Hopefully I’ll still be able to move after the first workout this afternoon.

I’ve been doing pretty good working out on my own, and the reviews have been favorable, but I know I could be doing a lot better and I think this will do the trick. I just need someone knowledgeable, and not as expensive as a trainer at LifeTime, to kick my ass.

Speaking of eating, it’s time to feed Mungo again…

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