Just upped the ante on planks by kicking the weight up to 35 lbs. at this rate, I may need an assist by the end of the year...
Iron-ing it up 4 days per week now, and will hold steady for a few more weeks before I kick it up to 5 for some serious muscle shredding.
Diet-wise? Let's just say I'm erring on the side of 'protein.... and MORE protein.' I expect a Vegan protest outside my house any day now...
For cardio, I've been riding the bicycle to & from the gym and, of course, to and from work. (Though the 'from work is largely down-hill, and less-than-challenging.) Pic below is from the commute home.
Grind on, people!
Whadup, gang! It's been a long time, thought I should drop an update.
First, transitions: after stepping away from being full time at Kenzai, I've been busy working a new gig with a small math education start-up here in the Bay. It's been fun/challenging/intriguing/frustrating/uplifting... the whole roller-coaster of working for a small company where one literally 'builds the plane while flying it.' (Are there any start-up airlines? Hmm...) I work with INSANELY smart people, while getting to be my usual fun-tastic, outgoing self. All while working to better the world. Triple-win! It's about to get busy as we turn to expanding our funding base, and I wade into some very new and interesting professional territory. But I'm stoked.
I've also just moved to new digs, juuuust a bit further south of the old pad. New town. (Oak-town! aka Oakland, New routines to get down. CA.) New roomies. They are very chill, and as far as I know, I've left behind the rowdy French UC Berkeley student neighbors. (OK, it has nothing to do with their being French, just young and irresponsible.)
But thankfully the 'old' routines are still solid. The coffee is still black, or with just a touch of half-&-half.
On the health front: back in the workout game, baby! I've joined the 'Y' and have been hitting the gym for some Iron-style metal-pumping. Took a couple days off due to the house move, but have otherwise been rock solid: 3X per week for the past month. The foundation is being laid for a much longer-term muscle construction.
The feet are still a bit gimpy; while walking, hiking biking are A-OK, running is still off the menu for now. Appointments with some next-level med pros are on the calendar, fingers crossed for more progress.
The diet is strong; nothing formal, just keeping it clean 90% of the time. And when I do indulge? It's more likely to be with extra protein powder & banana, or fattier cuts of meat (see attached street-food photo).
We'll see where the 'beefier' diet and lifting takes me in the months ahead (mental note: do need to eat more veggies), but I look forward to having some Kenzai buds along for the ride. And, at some point here in 2018, I may have to take on the final installment in the trilogy: Kenzai Body 3!
Until later--or, rather, sooner...
Top photo by Pawel Kadysz on Unsplash
It's still bad, but looks like O'Hare is taking baby-steps. Depending on the cost structure, this could address some unmet demand and take on the crap-vendors.
Iron: Forged! GRADUATION POST
Done and dusted!
Psh. The last workout almost felt like a warmup next to the sessions of the past 5 days.
What were the take-aways from this last, grueling 3 months of training?
First, it's good to pause and consider where this year started (see the gimp-tastic photo below). I literally couldn't walk without excruciating pain, much less squat with a loaded barbell on my shoulders. I'm still not really running, and only recently started adding back in some rope work--slowly, gingerly.
This is where the training kicked in: I decided to meet myself where I'm at, and simply do what I can safely do. Thankfully, that turned out to be a LOT.
In my much younger days, I had fantasies about lifting weights and getting BIG. Or, at least, bigger. It first started out with free-weights and Ah-nuld's 'Encyclopedia of Body Building.' Then it was Nautilus machines at the YMCA. Later at uni, I even had the good fortune to have a roommate who was, for all intents and purposes, an actual body-builder. (Were it not for Guiness, weekend parties and hot coeds, he probably could have competed at some point). I'd do the odd workout with him, stringing a few weeks together before studies, work, or the aforementioned Guiness would put a halt to my efforts.
Looking back, I realize that even if I had kept up a consistent effort, my crappy diet and horrible sleep habits would have put a hard ceiling on any progress I was hoping to make. My old buddy knew this, and was constantly making fun of my 'bird-food diet,' encouraging me to eat WAY more, and way more protein. He was so very, very right.
So this time was different--much different. With the exception of a few missed workouts during two out-of-state trips and a house move, I successfully hurled cold metal around 6 days each week for 12 weeks straight. When it came time and the Nutrition Team opened the flood gates, I at like a f$%*! HORSE. Actually, more--I was definitely pretty liberal with the protein powder, and that Tony Montana reference in the earlier blog post actually wasn't that far from my reality during the last month. (Yes, I ATE the powder. NO, I did not actually snort it.)
Sleep wasn't perfect, but I made it a point to prioritize it--unless I had a hard-and-fast deadline or meeting in the AM, I gave myself permission to sleep in, and let my body's needs, rather than the alarm clock, determine when I got up. Not every day, certainly, but enough.
And it worked--I've gained more muscle mass in a short period of time than I have since I worked as a farm hand
in high school, when I basically worked for weeks on end, ate like a F$%&*#! horse, and slept as much as I wanted.
A HUGE thanks to my teammates for sharing the load, literally. No matter how sore or grouchy I was, knowing you all were out there aching, sweating, and cursing along with me made all the difference. A big, heavy 35-lb plate 'GRACIAS' goes out to Ward for leading us through the wilderness week after week, and addressing our questions. Even though this was a Beta, and we were sort of 'building the airplane while we were piloting it,' we still flew pretty damn high. Finally, thanks to P-dawg and Chen for yet another great program!
If you're thinking of doing this... well, don't think. Just put on those gloves, get your joints moving, crank up the tunes and grab some steel. Forget about all of those times weight training didn't work--this time, it WILL.
Make these the 'Iron Years,' and realize you're living in the 'Golden Years': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ij99dud8-0A
Still here, gang! Congrats to the Asia Ironers who've made it across the finish line!
Been busy with travel and work this past week and then some, headed to Denver where I caught up with friends. Workouts were OK, I managed to get in the Big Three (legs, chest, back) but missed the smaller muscles Saturday due to lack of gear and time. And the diet, well, what happens in Denver stays in Denver. (I now have a favorite BBQ joint in Louisville).
Pictures are from a day hike at Red Rocks.
One more workout to bag, then we're tying a ribbon on this thing!
...after finishing off that 6-lb bag of protein powder.
And damn. Supersets, er, combos! The burn!
Still getting used to 1-armed landmine presses; I was doing them 1 arm at a time, but it looks like they may actually be alternating, which would be a bit easier...
Keep forging, guys, almost to the end of our 90 days of muscle-making!
Grinding on, with the help of my co-conspirators on Kenzai Iron. Another week of single-muscle-group exercises, the biggest obstacle is still getting into any kind of regular sleep rhythm; today I'm at a deficit, and damn, I really feel it.
On 5 hours of sleep and an intense training program, I turn into one big, testosterone-and-protein-fueled baby-man. Cranky as hell, and prone to punching things. (But not people, even though, you know, Berkeley).
So I'm admittedly using this blog update to procrastinate a bit on kicking off what's gonna probably be this week's 'suck-y' workout: chest.
It's time like this that I dust off and crank up the crunchy guitar, thumping base and driving, relentless beats. For workout tunes, I gravitate toward the music of my youth, which tends toward a focus on the destructive, perhaps not a bad theme for shredding some muscle.
First up, some KMFDM from '98: https://youtu.be/wy6Y3jTWY90
Let's do this...
Just saw this on the interwebs:
Stay safe out there, HKers!
The advice from my sleep tracker truly reflects my current energy and mood. 10 hours sounds about right...
Long time Iron-mates, I've been far too absent on the blogs! I finally made it out for some weekend camping in the Sierras. Wow! It was amazing spending time in actual mountains. The ankles did OK, I managed to do some legit hiking and scrambling over rocks. And damn! Stair-stepping up those boulders was easy after all the hammering away at the legs.
Unfortunately, I also brought along a nasty cold virus, which multiplied and spread throughout the bod, turning my nose, sinuses and throat into a flowing mountain stream of snot and phlegm. (Probably didn't help that I went swimming--twice--in an actual, cold mountain stream).
I missed one workout due to the trip but have managed to keep up with the rest this week, but cutting a couple sets to aid the recovery.
Hoping to catch up on sleep and get back to a saner sleep schedule soon, really dragging today and not relishing the thought of more leg torture. Hoping coffee and banana can power me through!