It’s been a long time since I wrote anything here, and for good reason. The last couple of months have been extremely busy with us completing the purchase of the gymnastics club where I worked. The process has been slow and difficult but we are almost across the line. Since this blog was never really about my personal life but more about my fitness journey I did’t think it was particularly interesting to talk about the gym. However, now I am happy to say I have a massive facility that I can work out in any time I need to I can finally tie in the whole event. In fact, as I am getting older it may be time to transition from my lifetime addiction to weights and being as big as possible to a system that will take me past 50 and beyond. I know I talk about this all the time but never manage to follow through and over the last few months I have been taking a more volume approach to my training with less focus on weight and more on movements. I can’t say it’s as fulfilling as throwing massive weights around but I am still under 240 and around 18.5% fat so my body seems reasonably happy.
The other big story about my health is my heart. I started having palpitations and while they seem to have subsided for now I did go through a lot of testing and they found that I do have some damage to my heart. They don’t know what it is or when it is from but it seems like something happened. I still have to go for an ultrasound but the stress test was clean and so far I have been given a clean bill of health. I should probably figure out a way to get more cardio in to my life but I really really, reallllly hate cardio.
I am going to try to post more, to try to get back into the habit and stay up to date with anything I am doing at gymnastics and at LA Fitness. I am still doing keto, have been since the start of the summer, I didn’t opt to go for the targeted keto this time around and the net effect has been the same as when I did. Seems that carbs at the right time are OK for me but I just don’t like the fact that when I take that approach that I do still suffer from cravings.
For now my diet is extremely simple. 4 egg cheese omelette for breakfast around 10, 350g of chicken and cheese for dinner and snacks of various things like nuts and pork rinds with Costco dip. Lots of heavy cream in there too but I am trying to reduce the amount of coffee I am drinking so not as much as before.
Amazing article outlining the false fear-mongering surrounding eating too much protein on the Keto diet. Fear not, it’s all good.
It’s that time of year again and my heart is heavy as I say goodbye to some of my wonderful kids. They are moving on, away from a sport that has given them the kind of strength and coordination that nothing else can and for that reason they need something to keep them going. Hitting the gym 16 hours a week is always going to be hard to replace but there is hope with a little dedication, hard work, and the wealth of workouts that are buried right here in this site.
Where to start?
For a start, the tag cloud halfway down the right side of the page is a great place to find posts that are tagged with bootcamp, cardio etc. Once in a while I will post something like my Frosh Week series or something specific that someone has asked for. But digging through the site is hard to find what you are looking for so I am on a quest to find a better way of organizing things. Until then, I will link a few posts or tags here to get you started.
Basics on how to stay in shape after gymnastics – Some rules to follow, and choices to make
Christmas Countdown. 3 workouts to get you in the festive spirit – Christmas Countdown
Frosh Week workouts – Guaranteed to fix that hangover – FROSH WEEK
Bootcamp 3 tag – Some of the best bootcamp workouts were later in the series – Bootcamp3
If you are familiar with Crossfit here are some WODs I had completed – WODs I HAVE DONE
Here are 20 more basic Crossfit workouts for home that will cause you great suffering – 20 WODs for home
Some additional interesting educational and motivational pieces:
Health and Fitness 101
A special nod to Aly – Stop listening to yourself
Motivation. If this doesn’t get you off your ass nothing will… MOTIVATION
After this you are on your own. I am always available to help with planning and motivation as long as you are willing to listen and work hard. Here is the basic knowledge you need to schedule your own workouts:
|The simple rules for any workout program
|You were a gymnast, half body workouts are fine
|Use your basic skills from conditioning and gym
|Legs: Squats, lunges, jumps, 1 leg squat
|Arms: Dips, reverse grip chinups
|Shoulders: Handstands, HS Pushup, burners
|Back: Chinups, high pulls, rows
|Chest: All pushups, plank walk
|Core: Crunch, situp, vsnap, leg lift, rockers
|Cardio: Sprints, burpees, jumps, plank runs
|Monday: Arms Shoulders Core
|Tuesday: Legs Cardio
|Wednesday: Chest Back Core
|Thursday: Cardio and flexibility
|Friday: Legs Core
|Saturday: Arms Shoulders Back Chest Light day
It’s been a while since I have posted here, and probably a big reason why I feel like I have stalled in my progress. Not being accountable even to strangers on the internet is a liberating and damning situation. I have said before that going to the gym at LA Fitness is making me bored and predictable in my workouts and I really want to change that but I am so comfortable in that situation that it’s hard to try and implement change.
But now is the time. It’s the last day of coaching for the year, and next week we start on a new season,Â new kids and new responsibilities. Since there are major changes in the off, I figure I may as well just do everything at once and handle the changes together. The question is what? What am I lacking right now? I think the obvious answer is Olympic lifts and the WOD style workouts that I enjoyed at home the last 2 summers. Not only that but the lack of HIIT work has made me deficient in the cardio department and I need to fix that also.
After browsing through the last couple of summers on here I have come to the conclusion that only adding home work will be the solution. Not only because I will now be coaching MTWR during the summer leaving only FSY to do actual hour long gym workouts but also because the only way I can add WOD or HIIT to my schedule is to do it at home. Typically HIIT isn’t really something you want to do at a regular gym. I could of course go whole hog and try crossfit again since the crossfit Ark location has a summer special again this year but it’s still expensive especially when I have the equipment and the knowledge already.
I would like to get some KB workouts back into my arsenal, something I can probably do at least once a week with the gym girls for their 30 minute conditioning. I would like to start doing full cleans again, something I haven’t done since I felt a twinge in my left side of my back (the opposite side from normal) and I would also even like to start doing some heavy bag work since I bought a bag last year and have hardly used it, I should actually hang it on the back deck and use it out there, it would be a great cardio workout I could actually do in the morning before work.
I am definitely going to do something at the gym once a week with the new kids, they have a great conditioning program but I think they need some of my work to really make them understand what I mean by hard work. So my schedule at a minimum would be Fri Sat Sun at the gym and one day cardio / bootcamp / KB at gymnastics. That’s still only 4 days a week which means I would have to add a cardio workout before gymnastics or if I can get a day during the week where I am off or able to get home early then squeeze a cardio workout in before coaching.
I can sacrifice my shoulders and arm days at the gym since I will be getting lots of shoulder work doing HIIT / WOD work. That leaves only chest, back and legs for LA Fitness. My schedule then would look something like this… However it is suspicious in the way that I don’t have a day dedicated with enough time to do HIIT I am actually just waiting for a day off or some spare time which isn’t ideal. Looks like I will have to rethink this.
Monday – OFF
Tuesday -Â Bootcamp at coaching
Wednesday – Morning HIITÂ or OFF
Thursday – Morning HIITÂ or OFF
Friday – Chest LAF
Saturday – Legs LAF
Sunday – Back LAF
I am not sure why.. Probably because I am not on a schedule and have no specific goals in mind which is why my logging and writing has dried up. Maybe it’s time for something completely different, or maybe I need to develop (and actually stick to) some goals. If I look back to this time last year I was feeling the same thing as I am Â now, restless and in need of a change given the imminent arrival of summer.
Here are a few things I have mentioned before but still not actually managed to work on…
Front planche / lever
Back planche / lever
Splits front and middle (never done this)
Cartwheel (I can actually do this but it needs fixing)
Muscle up on bars or rings (did this once)
Kip on low bar (this may be a step too far)
Having read back my experience with WOD30 I am now thinking that maybe that would be a good idea. I haven’t done anything like WOD work for quite some time and to be honest I am getting a bit bored with the gym. The thought of loading up the bar and doing cleans and pullups and wallballs makes me all tingly… I will think about this tonight and maybe see if I can break out my schedule from my first WOD 30 and see if it’s worth duplicating.
The bottom line is I need something to aim at, something to work towards, something I can document and see results. I’m probably benching and pressing the same weights every day at the gym, I am not interested in building massive numbers any more, just staying slightly higher than most of the other people there 🙂
Stay tuned. Something is going to happen.
Also I changed the name of the blog since it’s been a VERY long time since I did any P90X or Insanity…. Which I probably should do again now I have a better floor… Hmmmm
So this has been fun… 8 days of stomach flu feeling like a human sprinkler system and no workouts. I am not sure why the sickness felt like it needed 3 run throughs just to get the job done but whatever the reason I am back now. I had breakfast for the first time this morning since last Tuesday and thankfully didn’t feel like vomiting immediately. I have been able to eat an average of one meal a day, at one point I was down almost 9lbs, most of which is just my muscles releasing their glycogen stores but hopefully I will also have lost some body fat as compensation for feeling like a human sewer all week. The sickness spread through all of us too, but interestingly my wife and daughter were sick for about 24 hours each unlike me.
So what now? I have been off for a week, nothing hurts, my back feels better and I feel like I am ready to go. I will have to do a complete light cycle before gettgin back into the heavy stuff so I guess it will be a few more days until I can really hit the gas and get back into things. I have a competition this weekend too which will be interesting, the girls have had a month to work on their issues but my feeling is that their focus has been a bit off so we will see how the results are.
My schedule is mostly the same still:
Chest Day – bench and pullovers
Back Day – machines and pullups or deadlifts
Leg Day – machines extensions or squats
Shoulders – Oly lift day. Cleans, KB Snatch, OHP
Arms – machines and DB
Leg Cardio Day – Hills, sprints, HIIT machine work with gauntlet
I have added the cardio day because I don’t want to be cutting into the summer, I would like to try and hit 230lbs before June 1st. I am right around 238 now I think. With a cardio day and a bit of participation at gymnastics that shouldn’t be too hard.
This last couple of weeks has been very busy, with our first competition of the year in Brampton, two very big birthdays in the family and of course from my perspective time passing so very slowly because I can’t have wings 🙂
The girls did OK at competition, some much better than others naturally but it was good to get the first comp out of the way and see how we can expect the scoring to be this year. Now we have about a month to get ready for the next one which seems like a while but in reality it’s only 36 hours of training.
An update on my physical condition as far as my back goes. The episode was not so bad as it could have been but then again they do seem to start simple and get progressively worse. That said, I seem to be OK now albeit a bit tentative in the gym. I have been having some serious back spasms the last few days but a heating pad and some advil seem to have taken care of it for the most part. I am still not getting enough sleep, I seem to think that I can catch up on any amount of lost sleep at the weekend but of course that doesn’t work. I need to understand that sleep like exercise is a good habit that builds on itself and will improve with time. I really would like not to be tired all the damn time…
As for my workouts, I am going lighter now with the cut, and my weight is down from about 248lbs to 239 or so. I think I am winning the Biggest Loser at work already so I can’t really complain but dieting is a pain in the ass no matter what, even if you can make money doing it. I will try to get to 235 for the weekend and then post all 3 photos I will have as a comparison. I am still sticking with the LA Fitness workouts, it’s nice to have a lot of machines to choose from especially since I have had limited mobility of late. However with some adjusted work hours I may have to start doing 2 days a week at home. That will mean a slight retooling of the system to accommodate a couple of days of Oly lifting, cardio or HIIT / Kettlebell work, all of which will be a positive change from static strength work. Today is a day off, which would usually mean a lazy evening and an early night but I am coaching and also have a downtime tonight to replace a core switch at one of our locations and while this isn’t too complicated, it’s still going to keep me away from my pillow for a few hours.
For tonight, the workout at gym will be the plyo / leg day with abs worked in, something like this I think.
Step up step down plus vsnaps 10 / 10 / 20
Jump up step down with hollow snaps 10/ 10/ 20
Squat jump up step down with 100 flutter side to side
Plank jump in jump up step down plank hold on count for 20
Front roll to jump up step down back ext to plank 10 pushups
Pistols off box 10 per leg x5
So it’s been a few coaching sessions since I finished my level 3 course and I can honestly say that it has changed the way I am coaching. Not only am I more aware of the shaping that we have been working on all year but more so the effect that shaping has on the forces created and returned during skills. I find myself able to explain some things easier to the kids due to the simple explanations Bill gave during the excellent sessions. My biggest takeaways from the course may be standard, may be a bit odd but have struck me as the following (off the top of my head):
The higher level athlete needs more coaching, not less. This was a real eye opener since we seem to give these advanced kids much more alone time to work on their skills and complete their programming.
At the minimum, you should understand the forces at play in all directions before you try to troubleshoot a broken or inadequate skill. I have been saying things as corrections for a long time without actually reverse-engineering the explanation to discover what it is that I am actually correcting. This will give you not one stick to beat a skill with but rather a quiver of arrows with which to pinpoint the exact issue.
Spotting is helpful for the athlete and the coach but the same as everything else has to have a progression and a completion.
Use progressions to save time. Doing progressions may seem like an extended route to a destination but in the end the more solid the foundation of the skill, the better it will be and the more likely the athlete is to reinforce it as time goes on.
Outside of physical / mechanical direction your best tool is trust. Build trust by showing knowledge and a capacity to adapt to your athletes. A trusting athlete is a happy and competent athlete.
Sweat the small stuff, and yes, it’s all small stuff. Gymnastics is a sport of miniscule differences and teaching the gross movements well will enable you to spend adequate time on programming for the finer details that make the difference between a good routine and a great routine.
On the personal front my back has mostly recovered from my scary episode in the hotel 13 days ago and although I have been back to the gym a couple of times for the most part I have been taking it easy in my home gym rather than limp around LA Fitness. I am very disappointed that it happened, and am still at a loss as to why, I just know that I was sore for a couple of weeks before hand so I should have seen it coming I suppose.
Related, I was supposed to start my cut a few weeks ago but postponed it so I could join in the Biggest Loser program I am running at work. If I win, which I should I will use the money to treat the other participants because to be honest I am far more prepared for what is to come than any of them.
It’s Good Friday tomorrow, I weighed in on Monday at 248 at work with my clothes on and I will be taking pictures and logging my weight to show how I look going from 245lbs of bulk to the 220 after the cut. I am interested to have some really good comparison pictures so I will try to take a comprehensive amount.
Today was the day everyone was dreading except me. I really don’t have a problem speaking in front of smaller groups of people so the presentation really didn’t bother me. Not only that, I had chosen for my topic something that we were about to cover that morning anyway, Long Term Programming. For the morning we spent our time once more on a little biomechanics review and then on to planning of both short term and long term training. At this level the recommendation is that you are looking at a minimum yearly out to a 4 year plan which falls in with the Olympic cycle. Talking about planning and all the considerations that go into it reminded me of a few things that we need to start doing. We need to get moving on the star wall for major skill recognition. We should whiteboard the major goal for each athlete per event for each month giving them an “always there” reminder of what they are doing. We should rotate the workouts into 4 weekly cycles with the 4th week being a light week. Although we don’t condition for very long, this would give me a chance to program some yoga, flexibility and mobility training right into the scheduled time slots.
Several things we talked about worked right into the Skills Ladder we have developed and that was really great to see. It reinforced that we were absolutely right to put that program in place and that it should be implemented and mandated for all comp levels. It will need some refining as we go along but the overall structure is good. One benefit it provides is the same as the compulsory program provides, that is the ability to work hard at the mandated skills while having additional skills and progressions towards the next level that can be developed at the same time.
This brought us to the presentations and to be honest everyone did OK. One person lasted 3 minutes of the 5 but most people managed to get well beyond the minimum 5 minute time limit. I am unclear as to the purpose of the presentations if I am honest, I mean they are not on subjects that can be evaluated nor that are necessarily part of the course. And I am not sure that public speaking is a prerequisite for being an effective coach but it’s a great way to keep people engaged the day of the presentations 🙂