Friday, February 18, 2011

Front Lat Spread

So what happens when you think you can make yourself look better by posing like a body builder? Well take a look below, it's a total failure!

What you see above is called a Front Lat-Spread. It's supposed to inflate the area between your arms and your ribs, giving you a bigger upper body look by flexing your latisimus dorsi. As you can see in my picture, no such event is occuring! Oh well, I really thought all those pullups would have given me some banging' lats, but I guess I'll have to setlle with the ones I have for now and keep working on weighted pullups. Perhaps after I do another shredding phase, upcoming for summer time, this lat spread might actually look half decent, until then... I'll keep working on it.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Full Blown Angie

Ever heard of an Angie? Me either, until I tried to look up a respectable time for 100/100 pullups/pushups. Turns out there isn't any real metric to measure your level of fitness based off how fast you can riffle off 100pullups and 100pushups (in any order your mind can come up with). I found it easiest to do 10pullups followed by 10pushups, rest for a few seconds, then hammer out some more.

I did this style workout on Wednesday. I was able to clock a pretty respectable time (I think) of 11minutes 43 seconds. But in my process of looking up this 100/100 routine - popularized by Brett, the blogger - I found a cross-fit exercise called "The Angie" Named after some woman named Angie I guess, but it's 100pullups, 100 pushups, 100 situps, and 100 squats. It looks like anything Sub 20minutes is a good time. With much exhaustion I was able to finish my Angie in 16min 53 seconds, which I thought was amazing. Turns out there are people in the cross-fit world that so sub 10minute, which blows my mind. That's less than 1.5sec reps (on average) and trust me, there's a lot of huffing + puffing towards the end of each set.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Five Finger - but no discount.

Ever since I went white water rafting back in the summer, I've noticed a lot of people are wearing funny shoes with individualized toe compartments. Turns out they are called Five Fingers and they are made by Vibram. In typical fashion - hostile takeover - these shoes have populated my gym exponentially fast. At first I saw one person wearing them, then 2 or 3, then 10 or 12, now just about everyone is wearing them. So it got me wondering, what's so nice about these shoes that everyone is wearing them? So I asked, and the trainer said "Oh we'll they're very comfortable and great for you feet."

I decided it was unwise to then comment on how it makes his feet look big and that it almost resembles the worst possible case of gang-green I've ever seen (think Mr. Deeds). So needless to say, I spun my wheels - debated going to try on a pair - and finally told myself I'd go try them out.

I ended up at Eastern Mountain Sports, not too far from my house one weekend, not too long ago. Made my way to the shoe area in the back of the store. A kind gentleman came out and asked me "What size are you" and I said 10.5 and he said "Oh, these shoes don't go by standard shoe sizes, but 10.5 that's probably a 43 or 44." I should have gotten up and left the store at this point in time, but the gentleman was already in the back room looking for some shoes. He came back with 4 sets of five-fingers. Two closed shoe, two open shoe, but for sizes 43 and 44 of each. He asked which paid I'd be more interested in and what I'd be using them for. I said "For wearing on my feet." But instantly knew he meant what situations I'd likely find myself wearing THESE shoes over say sneakers - which I typically wear everywhere, so I said "At the gym"

He handed me a pair of closed-shoe size 43. I struggled for a bit, and he handed me the 44. I struggled for a bit longer. A couple minutes go by, and I still haven't gotten my foot into the shoe. He then suggests, "Maybe you should have you try the open shoe pair first." GOOD IDEA. So now I can actually get my foot into the shoe, but my pinky toe decides it wants to be somewhere it shouldn't be. After multiple attempts and about 10 minutes I finally get 1 shoe on with all toes in their appropriate slot. The clerk at this point says "Ya, I really wish they trained us in some way to properly put these on."

I was exhausted from pulling, tucking, nudging, levering, and jamming my foot into this abomination. He then asks - "do you want to try the other foot?" I said let me just walk around with this 1 on and see what I think before I waste another 10 minutes of your time. I walked around and was delightfully under impressed. I took off the shoe, much faster than I was able to put it on and let the gentleman know that I would not be interested in the shoes. He seemed okay with that, which was nice, and I left the store.

I later looked up some prices online. The cheapest pairs come in around $75 and go up to about $150. And considering I could get some great multi-purpose sneakers for that price, I don't see why I would get a situational shoe for that price. Some people swear by them, I just think they got douped into forking over $100 for a crappy pair of shoes that take 20 minutes to put on and burn 100 calories in the process. I don't think these shoes are my thing.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Urge to shoot rising...

Don't be alarmed anyone, I don't mean shoot a gun! I mean snap a photo of myself. It's been ages since I've had the opportunity to present myself to anyone reading out in internet-land. I truely believe that ofter the past few months I have been able to gain some meaningful muscle mas (maybe 4-5lbs). I know it's not an earth shattering achievement - but I'm semi proud of it. The road ahead will involve more bulking followed by a strict lean phase, to hopefully get me in the best shape I've ever been!

Yesterday I hammered out 152 pullups/chinups. Quite possibly a personal best, I'd have to check my P90X sheets to confirm or deny this feat. Overall it feels pretty good! Since my arms/back are pretty sore today, I'll probably lay off the pullups. I might do just a handful so I have a reason to post on the million pullups page. Aside from that, I just wanna heal up and put in another solid workout later this week.

My Piano restoration is nearing completion. I'm just one polyurethane coat away from perfection. If anyone ever offers you a free piano and it's in decent musical condition - I'd suggest considering it. If it's a little rough around the edges, a few weekends and about $75 spent at home depot will put a nice new look on the piano and you'll be feeling great about your aquired furniture (make sure you have 3-4 strong people with you... pianos weigh like 400+lbs).

Geatin' ready for the gym! Later people!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Superbowl Sunday

Did any of your superbowls end with a pushup competition? Probably not. Most people took yesterday to be a time to eat lots of potato chips, pizza, wings... then wash it down with beer then questionably drive home when the game's over. We really need to break these habits people. Even if it's "One day this month" or "My cheat day" we really need to erase these phrases from our mind. Cheat? Cheating who!? YOURSELF!

Hopefully you did better than most on Sunday and you brought a veggie platter or drank water or at the worst had a reasonable dinner before leaving your house and skipped a lot of the snacks. Yes it's fun to get together and enjoy a good sporting game, but does it really have to come at the cost of all the hard work you've been doing? Next time you're going to a party ask yourself that question. I bet you'll eat a few less Chicken Wings if you're conscious about what you're doing.

Aside from that... Congratulations to the Packers! You're the champions!

Keep up the good work everyone! I know it's just one day, try not to let it throw you off course!

(for the record I won the pushup competition 78 straight up - granted a few people looked like they might puke due to alcoholic consumption - another reason to lay off the sauce)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Yesterday Snow-fail

Hyped up about a snow storm? Well from my experience... don't be! Everytime the news/weather channels hype up a snow storm saying catostrophic things will soon be coming your way and you'll be buried under 4' of snow... chances are you'll get a light dusting and maybe a few inches of wintery precipitation. This is exactly what happened to me yesterday.

Tuesday night was talk of doom and gloom, and that all schools in the immediate area were already closed for Wednesday. So in my preparation for the storm of the century, I brought my laptop home with me and planned to work from home. I woke up Wednesday morning to some light flakes coming down and about an inch of fresh snow on my driveway. Promptly removed it and wondered what all the hype and commotion was all about.

From now on - I do not want to trust the weather channel/news regarding wintery conditions. I'll use my own judgement. Or perhaps not let the hype get to me. Ad for fitness - Today will be weighted pullups. I'm not sure if I will go with my standard 40lb weighted pullups or up the ante to say 60ish lbs. We'll play it by ear. The intent is to alternate between Pullups, situps, Pushups, and V-ups. Let's just call it an "UPS" exercise. Maybe I'll wear all brown and deliver packages?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

FEB 1st! Best holiday of the year!

Another donation day, yesterday. This was a great month to give blood. I should have been tooting my horn, trying to get people to donate to the red-cross, because January was give a pint get a lb month! Where if you donate a pint (of any blood product - whole blood, platelets, plasma, double-red) you get a lb of dunkin' donuts coffee! I know it sounds superficial and materialistic of me to donate blood because I get goodies, but it's so easy! Everyone should do it!

Either way this is my 2nd lb bag of coffee this month :-D I really enjoy having it in the house - not really for myself, as I'm not a big morning coffee drinker... but in the event I have guests, I have delicious coffee for them to consume and it's basically free. (I had to drive to the donor center).

But guess what glorious day it is today? Did you say Feb 1st!? That's correct. If you're wondering what's so special about February first... if you haven't yet been to the gym today, then perhaps you are unaware that today is the official "I'm done with my new-year's resolution day" which means the gym that I go to, which for the past month has looked like this:

Is now starting to look at lot more like this:

With the exception that there really isn't any football on the TV's anymore except for this weekend - which happens to be the superbowl. On a side note, that 2nd picture is actually MY gym! So I hope that my workout today resembles that photo in more ways than just it being empty!