[WotD] Monday, July 19

15/9/3 – Squats

Today was short and sweet, but not without its notable moments.

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Taking Laps

Not pictured: author, kettlebell, good sense

Lunch was a run, outdoors, because even in the face of Florida in July, I couldn’t stomach the thought of another treadmill session.

2.25 miles in 16:30, and, yes, it was quite sweaty and unpleasant, thank you. Followed that up with some front levers (tucked and one-legged).

After work, since I had some late-day frustration to work off, and a willing victim sucker companion in Big Dog, we took The Long Walk, but with just one kettlebell each. The asymmetry of the carry was good on the obliques, and the ability to rest one hand or the other’s grip meant no stopping (due to forearm fatigue, or anything else).

Of course, I forgot to start my fucking watch, so I have no idea how long it took. I’d ballpark around 21 minutes. This could become a regular after-work thing, since it’s easy, and companionable, yet still something with a bit of challenge to it. I could see choosing a heavier dumbbell or something to up the ante, or some similar thing.

New Workout Partners

Bell and kettlebell

Bell and my kettlebell. Yes, the cat is really that small.

They are the youngest of three sets of feral kittens that have popped out this month, and their mother has sequestered them in the garage (since the other two litters are under the front of the house).

Despite being the more bold of the two, the white one with spots (pictured above) will be Bell, because the other one is a dark tiger tortoiseshell, which is a lot closer to black.

1st Generatoion (2007):
– Bullseye (tortoiseshell female)
– Eyebrows (blue-eyed, white male)

2nd Generation (2008):
– B-2 (tortoiseshell female, Bullseye’s daughter)
– Skeet (white & spotted male, Bullseye’s son)

3rd Generation (2009):
– Rufus (black female, Bullseye’s granddaughter)
– Mini-Skeet (white & spotted male, Bullseye’s 2nd litter)
– B-3 (tortoiseshell female, Bullseye’s 2nd litter)

4th Generation (2010):
– Before (B-4), During, and After (Bullseye’s 3rd litter – light, medium, and dark tortoiseshell, respectively)
– Belfry (black) & Shingle (tortoiseshell)  (Rufus’ 1st litter, Bullseye’s great-grandchildren)
– Kettle and Bell (B-2’s 1st litter, Bullseye’s grandchildren)

The father of record for, at least, Bullseye and probably some of the subsequent offspring, is a brindle tomcat from a couple blocks away. There is also a stocky black male with white feet of unknown origin that shows up occasionally and generally gets growled at by all comers. Eyebrows is, apparently, bisexual, since he was trying to breed Skeet/Mini-skeet last year (my guess is he figured out what he should be doing and knocked up B-2, though it’s possible they’re one of the Skeets’ progeny).

Hereditary traits seem to be boldness in the brindles (Bullseye can be picked up and more or less demands head rubs), skittishness in the blacks (Rufus’ mother was “Skitz,” and they both look and act very wary, and aren’t shy about giving a big, pink-mouthed hiss at any gesture in their direction), and mellowness in the whites with brindle spots (both Skeets, though Bell is a fairly aggressive and hissy little thing, considering it could be stuffed in a coffee cup with room to spare).

I’d call it a comeback if Ice T wouldn’t kick my ass.

There's a pair of these among the mis-matched 45s in my garage.… or is it Ice Cube?

I know it’s definitely not Vanilla Ice.

Wow, how much do I suck – Google points out that it was LL Cool J.

Yea, verily, my suburban, white-bread upbringing has left me woefully insufficiently knowledgeable about early 90’s rappers. I know all three gentlemen act, in the sense that they’ve sometimes been in moderately successful television shows and uniformly, laughably bad goddamned movies. I can tell them apart, I just couldn’t remember which one of them said that line.

Anyhow, as has become apparent, despite the pulled muscle from softball (my best guess is upper oblique/lower serratus anterior based on a glance at stuff like this), now that my back is more or less un-fucked (I am a whore for traction in addition to adjustment), picking up and getting under real weight feels pretty damn good.

It’s also been reassuringly heartening to find that, while a fair amount of ground had been lost between the de-load and the injury-enforced downtime, I’m coming back fairly quickly to where I’d expect to be. Basically, I’m starting the second wave of my program as if I’d only taken a one week break, instead of six, so despite feeling a little bit weak and struggly the first time through, this second week has felt much better, and some of the results are pleasantly surprising in terms of progressive gains vs. the previous week.

Things are going to continue to be controlled and disciplined in terms of increasing loads – five pounds a week for overhead press, ten for bench, and ten to twenty for squats and deads (top set will be determined by the feel of the warmup and precursors, since these are the ones most directly affected by the back strain). I want to be able to keep working in the 3×5 set/rep range as long as possible before having to ratchet back to 3×3, though I may experiment and go to 5×3 – Saan and my coworker (“Hitman”) have both suggested, separately, that I may have more fast-twitch muscle fibers than I initially believed, and they respond better to more sets of low reps.

Frankly, I’m just happy to be picking up shit that weighs more than I do without discomfort again.

[WotD] Sunday, June 27

Slightly delayed, as I got caught up researching and writing tomorrow’s item for ShrinkGeek, but what are you gonna do.

15/9/3+ Bench Press (tri-sets with deadlifts and pullups)


Bench Press: 2×15 @ 45 / 1×10 @ 95 / 1×8 @ 115 / 1×5 @ 135

Deadlift (snatch grip): 2×5 @ 135 /2×5 @ 185

Work Sets:

Bench Press: 3×5 @ 155 / 3×5+3 @ 185 (PR)

Deadlift: 6×5+3 @ 205

Pullup: 10×5+3 @ BW (~170±)

If my record-keeping is to be trusted, that last set of 8 reps @ 185 was uncharted territory. That was a pleasant surprise.

Walking (unlike an Egyptian)

Yeah, I thought the Bangles were cute. Then again, I was thirteen, and was only just barely beginning to think that girls might be fun to look at. The song, however, remains catchy.

Walking for more than a mile and a quarter with the pair of 36# kettlebells in 90+ F heat, however, continues to be deeply unpleasant.

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I hate Ralph Maccio, by the way

Attention, Dragon Clan dipshit, John Mason has something to point out to you:

“Losers whine about doing their best. Winners go home and fuck the prom queen.”

As for the title… try growing up being a scrawny, swarthy kid named “Ralph” around the time The Outsiders and Karate Kid came out, and see how much you like the guy.

Presented without comment

This guy is STILL a better artist than I am.

This guy is STILL a better artist than I am.

There’s a reason I’m not in a sales or marketing position, and likely never will be – I’m entirely too much like the off-screen speaker, very much of the “better mousetrap” mentality.

Sure, it’s nice to have a relationship with readers (which is why blogs have comment features), but if there’s no reason to show up beyond my charming and witty repartee, why bother showing up here, instead of just shooting the shit via IM or Facebook or whatever?

Not lifting sucks

Haven’t picked anything heavy1 up all week. Went running a couple of times. Still doing pushups and pullups. Stretching the annoyed leg (which has spread the annoyance to the hamstring and calf on that side, which is fucking awesome, I assure you).

Weighted pullups have been the extent of the excitement. Woo.

Maybe I’ll bench press tomorrow after I go to the dentist.

1 Defined as “more than I weigh with the Oly bar”

“Perfect” Pushups

Perfect Pushup Handles

Helping Hand(le)s

It’s entertaining, to me, to see the enthusiasm of the FNG when it comes to attacking the pair of Perfect Pushup handles that inhabit the empty cubicle in our terrarium. I’m not sure if the combination of his guilt-tripping, combined with my encouragement/abuse, is what’s finally gotten the other dude here into banging out a couple sets a day, but, hey, whatever works. I like them because the internal rotation engages more of the upper pectorals, as well as the neutral hand position taking a lot of strain off my shoulders and wrists.

We haven’t been keeping up with this particular plan, but it’s been getting more frequent where somebody, or all three of us somebodies, will bang out a set, and then exhort the others to join in the fun. Right now the various folks are doing ~15 (CC), ~25 (FNG), and ~35 (me). We did just do the plan, based on yesterday’s 48 items, and it’s noticeably harder to do the longer set on them than it is conventionally.

Considering that I’ve been slacking on those for a while, other than my bench and OHP work, it’s probably no bad thing to be adding the volume. As I mentioned in another friend’s journal, I need to incorporate more ab/core work, so hanging leg raises, in addition to the ab wheel (which I can current get to about 12″ above the ground with my midsection now), is probably called for to cover that.