Recently I jumped onto the workout program at Gymnastic Strength Training after listening to Tim Ferriss’ interview of Christopher Sommers. I like the way it programs things for you. I can not stand the way the video coaching works. It clearly took work to make videos for every step and sub-step, but then they made these tiny core mistakes that drive me WILD. Clearly no one else seems to care, though. Cause no mention is made on the forums about anyone else taking issue with it. All I want is a bit more verbal direction during exercise, and less silent doing of the exercises on a video while expecting me to be some odd rotating position. I tend to complain.

So far, other than the video issue, I am enjoying the program. It is clearly something I can build on. It feels like a much more sophisticated experience of Convict Conditioning. The best part is that while I am sore like I would be normally, I am not nearly as tight. This aspect of the built in mobility training is fantastic.

The courses are a bit pricey, but so far that has helped me be more regular in my workouts than I normally am.

When I get really Depressed I have a tactic that almost always works. I sit down and start making a list that will define the morning of my day. It is a morning routine that I plan in minute detail. It works even better when there is a nighttime routine also.

Last time I made it I had 28 steps to follow on a sheet of paper I kept next to my bed. I followed every step without thought during the next 2 hours and by the end I was confident, accomplished valuable daily goals, and fed for work. After 4~5 days I felt okay again and stopped following the plan so I could spend more time with my Girlfriend at night. There have been times where I lived this way for months.

One of my big challenges is finding a way to do something like this while having a significant other. I value people over systems, but the system is perhaps the most important tool I have for fighting depression. Honestly, that is a topic that might take years to figure out. Right now I have something else in mind.

I’m not sad enough to follow my routine.

A weird idea, right? However, I find that I am happy enough right now that it isn’t this do or die importance pushing me to sit-up and drink water and start the routine. I wake up or go to bed whenever because things will be alright and nothing terrible is going to happen if I don’t. I’m not going to spend the day in bed, or miss too many meals, or lose my job cause I didn’t follow the routine. If I were depressed and struggling, then I’d also be forcing myself to hold onto the routine by my finger-tips just to keep my lifestyle afloat until calmer times.

I need a way to connect those darker times to why I follow a routine whenever I have the chance to follow one. If I could just make the routine my Default way of living through the first 2 hours of my day. I bet I could also cut down on the time depression steals from me.

I was listening to a podcast interview of Seth Godin by Tim Ferriss and they were talking about how to write well. Seth mentioned starting and regularly writing in a blog. He clearly meant writing a blog to say things about the world and how things will turn out, but I’m not ready to do that yet. It did make me want to write more often. Write more terrible stuff. So eventually I will write something good.

Paragraphs and Poems

Laying in my bed I was thinking about the first time I learned how to write a paragraph. Really the beginning of my learning to write anything that wasn’t just practice of how to write a letter or learn grammar.

A paragraph begins with a statement of it’s purpose. After that you write about supporting ideas, which I think of as premises, that make that statement a reality. Finally, the paragraph wraps up what it said in some sort of synthesis, and has to be three sentences long.

I really enjoyed sitting and thinking about the first time I learned about paragraphs. I have no idea where I was other than guessing by the school I went to etc. etc.. However, I can almost hear the voice of the woman explaining it to me. I wonder how many times people think about these sorts of things? Do published authors think back to when they learned the structure of a paragraph, or the first time they were required to think up their own 5-paragraph essay?

I think about whether there is anything more complex, in prose, other than the paragraph. Essays work in a similar structure. Research Papers have the same Thesis, Premises/Evidence, and Synthesis. Poems are entirely different. Fiction even does a similar activity with foreshadowing and other devices. I’ve written poetry. I’ve attempted to finish many research papers on-time. I kept excellent journals. Almost the only thing I’ve written in most categories, besides things you could actually make money from, and I often feel like you are always writing a Paragraph or a Poem.

I always feel like writing on here like LiveJournal in the early days. Just spilling sloppy teenage angst all over the page.

It would make sense today. I had a close call with a low glucose last night. In the middle of having some existential doubts this week. It seems that miniture existential crisis are becoming a pattern for me. Not good. 

I guess the last one I just post-poned or wasn’t fully resolved. Or I pushed through another goal? I did get the job I wanted, finally. It isn’t a life-long commitment. I doubt I can pay for my diabetic medication working as a Barista. I enjoy it though, and it is a good experience surrounded by friends. Maybe reaching that goal has opened a new challenge for me. I hope to write more later. 
I just don’t feel comfortable with my life right now. 

I sprained some muscle or tendon in the bridge of my foot, among other unpleasant things. So I stopped with working out for a bit while letting my foo heal. It took a week or two. I did do some push-ups and upper body work near the end cause I got bored.

 

Now I’ve been doing a bit of a holding pattern by doing Stronglifts 5×5 for 3 weeks. I want to check out Gymnasticbodies.com but I just started a college course in Positive Psychology and have had more hours at work so I am waiting until either there is less for me to focus on, or I get less committed to Stronglifts. Then I’ll check out that gymnastic strength program.

On Tuesday I worked out again. My calves were still feeling like blocks of wood so I went with an upper body HIIT consisting of One-Arm Kettlebell Rows and push-ups. This was significantly harder than the Kettlebell swings. I used my 36lb kettlebell, and I just barely made it through the last session of push-ups. I am working on how to keep count of my rounds. The first time I did it just writing numbers in my smartphone during the rest periods, but in looking for a less complex method I found an old row counter in my knitting supplies and used that instead. I will stick with that method, it was nice and simple.

My next workout will be Sprints, which should be later today. My mood is kinda strange, but no particular reason for it. I plan on just pushing through that and getting my sprints done. I think it will help that my girlfriend wants to do them with me ^_^

Yesterday I did my first High Intensity Interval Training(HIIT) ever. I was doing 15 seconds work with 60secs active rest, and I did 12 rounds of that. It was only 30 minutes when I added my jogging as a warm-up or it, but maaaaan. My calves feel like blocks of wood. I decided to do kettlebell swings as my work, and jogging as my rest. Eventually I switched to just walking quickly as I was not getting actual rest. My kettlebell is 36lbs, and I wore my vibrams to workout. I know this is disjointed, but I wanted to make sure I got SOMETHING written about it.

Honestly the workout itself wasn’t hard. I think tomorrows workout, which I will be doing sore, will be harder to stick with and finish. It is upper body stuff, a mix of kettlebell rows and push-ups. I don’t think it is a good idea to run on this calves until they soften up a little bit, so Sprints will wait till thursday.

Wish me luck!

So, today and tomorrow I am going to be getting some basic measurements of my fitness. I’m thinking of simple stuff since this is the first time I have ever seriously considered cardio as my main workout.

Weight
Bodyfat%
Resting Heart Rate(RHR)
Blood Pressure
Total Inches

I am also thinking of doing tests I am a bit unfamiliar with:

VO2 Max
Movement Archetypes
Range of Motion
Endurance test

I am not sure f I have the stuff to test all these things, but I am going to do as many of them as I can.

Had a hard day; a rough day at work and some weird emotional reactions to simply being hungry.(which is out of character for me)

My job is just a simple $8/hour job I got after a friend wanted me to apply at the sweets shop they were excited about coming to town. It is strange having a job you did not have any strong desire to have. Especially when you did not need the work. I am sticking to it because it would be nice to have more normal work experience on my resume in case I need it. However, you get to see how managers interact with an employee who they think wouldn’t leave because they need that money. It isn’t abusive, but it is often rude.
I wonder how easy it would be to create a friendly work-place if where I work is considered, by my more experienced co-workers, friendlier and more pleasant than their other experiences. I hope the owner either realizes, or when I do eventually leave understands what I tell them, that the managers and fellow owners need more training themselves. The employees need practice, but the owners and management really need to learn a smoother way to communicate or I worry about the business surviving.

Turns out my friend Omar Mulla works at an Orange Theory Gym so I’ll be able to chat with him about how to best start playing around with HIIT! He already told me about the Tabata workouts, and I am looking at that information. Always exciting to find out you can use a friend as a resource and not just rely on books.

I think I am going to do Sprinting, mostly because I’ve never run much and it would be novel for me. The hard part for me is figuring out how much rest I need and when my body is telling me to rest. I don’t have any idea how to do that with Cardio.