Half a Century

There is a running joke going through my mind.

I thought getting old would take longer.

There is more truth to that than I would like to admit. I am not ready for getting old and although I don’t necessarily feel old my cardiologist and physician beg to differ. I am, from the outside, quite a specimen for my age. I have many things to be thankful for among them the ability to function normally and to excel at the things I enjoy at the gym. But I can’t move like I used to. My notion of being able to get back into bodyweight work to do handstands and cartwheels seems like nothing more than a pipe dream at this point. If I am honest, putting on my shoes in the morning is becoming “a thing” and I have usually been awake for a couple of  hours before I can even think about being active in any meaningful way. But I suppose I should expect this. There is nothing wrong with aging, if you do it gracefully. It takes some time to get used to the slowing of the body and mind however slowing doesn’t mean quitting. With my health challenges of late I have been more cautious in the gym however adding some cardio to my workouts and lowering my weights sometimes doesn’t seem so bad. But at other times it is torture. I have a bad habit of comparing my self to others in the gym and I shouldn’t especially when the people I pick are half my age or less. But I am learning to accept what I have and what I am and be as happy as I can because in the end your happiness is what you accept as truth in your life and I think by this point I deserve some happiness. I have spent the last couple of years being angry about things I can’t change and I think along with some others around me I am finally getting to the point where I am going to let things go and accept that I am just a person trying to live my best life. My doctors all keep telling me that I need to reduce the stress in my life and so it is with great delight and medical supervision that I am going to stop worrying about the things I can’t control.

As for the gym, I am going to continue on with my cardio and my lighter weights but I am also going to start beck into my compound lifting again because it makes me feel generally more competent with my health. Lifting at the gym is great but I do tend to get into a rut and in the past the way out has always been some HIIT type crossfit work to break the monotony. My kids are back to doing torturous HIIT workouts so why shouldn’t I? After all, you are only as old as you feel right?👍

2015R1D26 – Update. Changes Are Coming.

Changed PrioritiesSo I am thinking about switching the weights up a bit for the time being.
I feel like my rep count is sufficiently high that I can split a 1 day deadlift program into 3 separate movements and still hit around the same rep count (90-150 most days). The point would be to work some accessory movements knowing that I am not going to be producing a 1 or 3 RM performance at all at the moment. What I would aim for is 50-70% max output on the main lift and then probably 5×5 at 80% on the accessory movements. It 2would break down something like this with some changes to the accessory movements over time.

Deadlift day becomes 7×5 DL, Good Mornings, bent rows
Chest day becomes 7×5 Bench, flys, triceps
Squat day becomes 7×5 Squat, leg extensions, hamstring curls
OLY day becomes 7×5 cleans, snatch, OHP or cleans, front squat, DB OHP

That gives me a 4 day weight program and a 3 day cardio program which is fine for cutting. I will need to change the accessory movements, these are off the top of my head. 35 movements on each item for a total of 105 movements total.

Which brings me to my cut. It’s been not too painful but the results are also not too impressive. I am down about 4lbs in 2 weeks but the recomp is much better that it sounds.

There are 2 additional factors here, I gave up the CE stack I was using due to joint dryness which I think was the cause of my pain and also I started creatine which should add around 3-5lbs of water weight.

I also want to note here that I am having some pain since stopping the heavy Millennium cycle. I have found that cardio is aggravating my back and hips and is a great source of pain for me. So I am back with the daily stretching but to be honest I feel a lot more delicate since I started cardio again. My knees are painful when coming downstairs, even when I sit for a few minutes they hurt. I am hoping that in another week or so they will be getting used to it otherwise it’s out with the cardio and back to the HIIT instead. I have been doing a lot of dancing and bootcamp cardio type Xbox workouts including Insanity and P90X, whatever is free basically.
The numbers are far from impressive but here you go. Today was a little off, I think I have some hydration issues. If the creatine has added 3-5lbs then it’s possible I am down up to 9lbs which would be fine.
Weight-Fat-Water-Muscle-Rating-BMR-Age-Bone Mass-Visceral Fat

January-01-15 261 25.5 52 184.8 3 2649 48 9.4 13
January-05-15 257 25.5 51.5 182.2 3 2605 47 9.4 13
January-18-15 257 24.8 51.8 183.6 3 2614 45 9.4 13
January-23-15 258 24.5 52 185.6 3 2654 43 9.4 13
January-26-15 257 25.7 51.4 181.2 3 2690 48 9.2 14

Still a way to go but getting the hang of the workouts and keeping reminding myself to cut the calories a bit means a slow road. But then again slow is how you keep it off #fatlogic…

In reality, I need to focus more and eat less. Next week should show more of an improvement.

Millennium Update 985LBS and The Psychology Of Victory

RewardShirtsI know, being so close it’s easy to plan for victory. But the truth is that I would have ordered these shirts a long time ago had I remembered that I could print them myself online. Point is, having goals is great, it’s really critical if you want to have good progress but you should also plan for your success. That means having rewards at points of significance along the way. For me, the finish line of this goal is 1000lbs. Given my back surgeries and my age going any further would only increase the risk to me which is not what I need. After this goal is met, I will have to plunge into my cut cycle which is my least favourite but will be necessary to get my weight back down. When I start that cycle, I will have planned out small rewards at each 10lb increment and also a final reward for my final goal. I will put some amount of money into the rewards in order to psychologically prepare myself to make it. I am not going to hope to hit my goals, I expect to hit them and to reap the rewards. I plan to meet those milestones and I may make them in time, I may miss the deadline but I know I will make the result. The decision to set a goal is as much a decision to succeed as it is a plan for success. The thing is that I can break down the goal into weeks, even down to the days knowing what I have to do each day to get me to the finish line, then it’s just a matter of being disciplined enough to do the work.

Too many times I hear “I’ll try” or “I’ll do my best” but at some level there is doubt in both those sayings. “I will” sets you up for a success. It programs your brain to achieve the correct outcome. It leaves no room for doubt or error. It’s a blueprint for success. Don’t misunderstand me, I realize that goals are missed every day, each step of the way there will be failure but as we know..

Your key to success is massive failure. Without supreme effort there is no failure, without massive failure there is no success.

The point here is simple, plan to succeed, to the point where you set up your rewards, prepare the victory party, believe in yourself enough to get the job done and cross that finish line.

Those shirts up there are my future and although I am too close to have any doubt, I am still not quite there. Will I make it?


Yesterday I cursed my lack of 2.5lb plates. I was going for my bench Personal Record and got up to 395 without realizing that I couldn’t add the last little bit. I was into my max rep range and my total was maxed out. If I had been in possession of those donuts I would have made 400lbs. As it stands, I repped 2x with 395. That put my total at 985lbs with my deadlift still sitting at 275 and what seems like an easy win. That said, the most dangerous lift for me is deadlift and the one that I have been avoiding pushing any further. Still, a 300lb DL for someone of my size should not be an issue, I just need to clear the ghosts of surgeries past from my mind and do the last little bit of work.

I did some cardio on Christmas Day and for the last 4 days I have had a very sore spot under my ribs in my back. Unfortunately it’s the part of my back I use most at the very top of the Dead and I think it may hurt too much to go for the lift today. So I am thinking I will give my new Xbox One Fitness program a whirl and do some cardio / bootcamp for today to get a little looser and try for the PR tomorrow. In all honestly I had images in my mind of pulling a 300lb Deadlift on New Years Eve to get the total. In reality I may be a day early.

Millennium Total 915 – Keeping Your Word.

e158f2d4d41d38e9fdcc5655e83eea7bIt’s December 22 and 2 days ago I managed to increase again up to 365 on bench. I can’t believe how fast mu numbers are increasing and I will share a bit of my schedule so we can see how its working…

Total lift numbers max
Deadlift 275
Squat 275
Bench 365
Total lift numbers max 915

That’s my total so far, only 85lbs from 1000. Maybe I will actually make it?? I shouldn’t have doubts, I was trying to get one of my gym girls to understand the value of making and keeping promises when it comes to physical activity. There are some pretty scary things that gymnasts do and fear is always a factor but you must still commit to the process and value your own word when you say you will do something. The problem is if you don’t go into training with a goal in mind then you will really just be aimlessly going through the motions.

I have set a goal of 1000lbs total for Dec 31. That means I have to make it. It doesn’t necessarily mean I will make it, but my mindset has to be 100% commitment that I will do everything I can to get there.

I am at 915. I will make 1000 in the next 9 days.

Here is what my schedule has been, stripped down for clarity.

Monday, 12/01/2014 1 Cardio 40 min
Tuesday, 12/02/2014 2 Light power cleans 5×15
Wednesday, 12/03/2014 3 Bench Light 200 rep
Thursday, 12/04/2014 4 Squat Light 175 rep
Friday, 12/05/2014 5 DL Light 125 rep
Saturday, 12/06/2014 off
Sunday, 12/07/2014 6 400 rep light squats
Monday, 12/08/2014 7 Heavy Bench PR 335
Tuesday, 12/09/2014 8 Heavy DL PR 275
Wednesday, 12/10/2014 9 Light OHP to 115. 75 rep
Thursday, 12/11/2014 10 Light Squats to 195 75r
Friday, 12/12/2014 off
Saturday, 12/13/2014 11 Heavy Squats PR 275
Sunday, 12/14/2014 12 Cardio walking 45 min
Monday, 12/15/2014 13 Mid bench 275 125 rep
Tuesday, 12/16/2014 14 light deads and cardio
Wednesday, 12/17/2014 off due to sick everybody
Thursday, 12/18/2014 15 WOD dips squat clean
Friday, 12/19/2014 16
Saturday, 12/20/2014 17 Heavy Bench PR 365 3x
Sunday, 12/21/2014 18 Cardio 2x 30 min

it seems like it’s a bit random but to be honest I will try to stick to alternating heavy light 4 day with a cardio day but I will really be doing what I feel I can on that day. I will try to do a heavy DL day today since I had cardio yesterday then a heavy Squat day then a few light days over Christmas. That will set me up for 3 heavy days at the end of the year to try and hit my goal.


The Millennium – 855LBS

Bz0hrpOCMAMOoJhSo along with my regular Oly lifting I though I would concentrate on trying to improve my sad numbers on the deadlift. After all, I would think I should be able to do the same deadlifting as I do squatting since mechanically it’s basically a very similar movement with an off centre balance. So if I can squat 245 I should at least be able to match that.

I was at 225, only because that was about my limit for mental tolerance. I couldn’t really imagine putting more than 2 plates up without my spine exploding but taking it slowly, a few lbs at a time and I have been able to increase my deadlift to 275, up 50lbs. I don’t even know if that is my limit but to be completely honest doing that weight scared the crap out of me. I have been doing heavy / light rotation so every 2 weeks I am hoping to go up a little. However, I think I may have hit a plateau, the weight is scary heavy, only because of the implication of what may happen to my back, not because I have never done it before. Should I realistically try for 1000lbs? Is it really that important as a goal? Maybe for the new year I should pick a few WODs and try to rotate through them beating my time / rep count / whatever each time. I am so focused on what I am doing that this blog is suffering. I am afraid it’s not really entertaining to do and definitely not entertaining to read…

Question remains, can I squeeze another 150lbs out? I can realiatically see another 15-25 on bench before January and maybe 30 on squat. I may have to admit that I  have bitten off more that I can chew, but as the saying goes…

I would rather choke on greatness than nibble on mediocrity.

Deadlift 275
Squat 245
Bench 335

Total 855

That said, I recently changed my warmup to being a 15 minute cardio warmup to Dance Spotlight 2014 on Xbox One. Ya, a bit ridiculous but it really does get me ready to work and it’s kind of fun. At least when nobody is home…

Last of all, yesterday I posted the workout for the girls at gym. I wanted to do a Christmas theme and I came up with the picture below but it could have been so much better, I will have to think about that…


Also, I found a WOD site that claims to have ALL the WODs that are recognized by Crossfit called wodwell.com I think for tonight I will do something off the site to honour the discovery.

One Bar 3 Girls…

21-15-9 Reps for Time
Thrusters (135 lbs/95 lbs)
Squat Cleans (135 lbs/95 lbs)
Bar Dips
Deadlifts (135 lbs/95 lbs)
Handstand Push-Ups


R14D72 – Planning Time

failing to planThis round has been a little less structured than I would have liked, at times i have felt like I was just barely hanging on to the schedule by my fingers. I know what the theory is behind what I am doing but the amount of flexibility has made it seem chaotic. After the 30WOD round I thought I would welcome a bit of leeway but as it happens it appears as though I have been rotating workouts like this:

Chest / bench day 150-200 reps up to 315lbs
Squats day 120-150 reps up to 275lbs
Cleans and pullups 200+ reps total up to 185lbs
Deadlifts and pullups 200 reps total up to 225lbs
Cardio walk/jog 40 min
Shoulder day usually strict press and kettlebells with press up to 225lbs

I am torn if I really want to try and up these weights, they are painful to look at when written like that but then again I have limitations I need to consider. As far as how I feel physically at these weights I can report that my knees are a little sore if I am not super careful about my foot positioning but the depth of Olympic squats is not bothering me. Deads are fine, my back seems to be able to handle the load OK and the pullups are improving. I feel a slight lack or inability to maintain good form with my cleans, on sets of 10+ I have a tendency to get loose at the bottom. With sets of 7 or so I am fine, just the last few that go sideways. Benching is what it is, my wrists are sore most days I am sure it’s more the cleans and KB work that is to blame for that since my suicide grip is not an issue for bench. Lately I feel like I have been struggling a bit with my higher bench, I can’t remember the last time I repped over 315 and I would like to keep my working weight at 365 for my top 3 rep sets. I have had a slight tenderness in my back this week probably due to the KB swings I did with the squats but that’s what I get for mixing days…

So the question is what do I want to do with my next round, I am only 18 days out so it’s time to start planning. I have been thinking of subbing my cardio days with bootcamp days instead, I know last time I got down to 230lbs it was while I was teaching bootcamp and I can’t ignore the fact my cardio is sadly lacking. I may try to work a 3 on 1 off schedule but I know every time I try to strictly schedule my workouts that way I feel claustrophobic and end up freestyling the thing anyway. I guess I am more of a do what you feel like person than a do what you have scheduled. I just know with working and coaching that there are days I just don’t have the gas in the tank and I need to take those days off. There are also times when I feel like doing a 6th 7th or 8th day in a row, it’s just what I feel like at the time and so far it has worked OK. I just can’t think of anything worse than sitting not working out because of my schedule when I am itching to do something.



R14 – It’s COW Time

belgian blueCardio, Oly Lifting and WODs. That is the nature of the next 3 months or so. I also have to take into consideration that there is winter weather on the way and I will not be able to stay in the garage much longer. My program will be mostly what I outilened a few days ago which looks a little like this…

I have been conscious of keeping a heavy bench day in there and also room for some specific bicep work that I can incorporate into the WOD. The light Oly / WOD days can also be bootcamp days since they are not too heavy on weights but provide enough muscular work to not be considered just cardio. The only issue I have is that I really want to increase my pullups again and as my weight falls (4lbs off this week! woohoo!) they will get easier but only with practice. I have already done day 1 and 2 of the program with Heavy DL work on Monday and Heavy bench for reps on Tuesday.

That’s a Belgian Blue BTW, not a steroid or GMO bull…

1. Heavy Oly DL Clean
2. WOD Reg WOD jumps and pullups or bench
3. Cardio DVD Insanity
4. WOD / Light Day Bodyweight WOD
5. Off
6. Heavy Oly Clean Squat
7. WOD oddball WOD stuff pullups wqllball rope
8. Cardio Insanity or MMA
9. Light Oly / WOD Snatch c&P biceps
10 Off


Monday in fact was the first time in ages that I have worked DL reps with 185. I am not sure when the last time was but this day was a full 75 rep workout which I am pretty sure is unheard of. Tuesday I did a similar thing with bench, using 225 as the working weight and managing just over 75 reps in sets of 10. That means today is cardio day and with a buffet of choices from P90X Plyo to P90X3 Accelerator to Insanity Pure Cardio and Insanity Asylum or T25 Alpah, Beta, Gamma. The worst thing is that I just can’t remember what they are all like so I can’t really make an informed choice. I will have to document them and try to make a chart of the differences. Since I have George St Pierre Rushfit (which I recall being awful) and TapoutXT and some kettlebell workouts a handy reference sheet would be good. If you already have one, please let me know.


30WOD Time – R12 REMIX

7e65aa0bdc2bc94c2724cac776e54ddbI gave up my Crossfit membership, mostly by default I suppose I just hadn’t been there to make use of it. That said, I think I am going to shake things up a bit with my workouts and try to do 30 days of WODs. Actually, I should call the gym and make sure they didn’t auto renew me…

I think it’s about time that I did something that I can actually track on here. It’s been a long time since I actually followed a prescribed workout system and that didn’t even go so well because I was so used to being off plan so to speak. In fact, R12 lasted exactly 2 days and if that’s not a massive failure then I don’t know what is.

R12, as you will recall, was supposed to look like this:

Bench and ring dips (HEAVY)
Deadlifts and sprints / laps (LIGHT)
Cleans and Squats (HEAVY)
Press and KB swings (LIGHT)
Pullups and 95lb Deadlifts / cleans / clean and press
Cardio / Yoga / MMA workout

However I was blinded by my quasi-resolution to work out with the girls at gym and that simple thought completely derailed me. What I really need is to commit to something. Anything. Because like I always tell my kids…

somethingnothingNow I have to admit I like the look of R12, so much so that instead of choosing between the Crossfit Ark WOD and the typically significantly harder Crossfit.com WOD I think I will make my choice based on R12 or Crossfit Ark WOD. I know there will be WODs that I just won’t want to do or may not be able to do effectively and that’s when the R12 can come to the rescue. The problem I have with WODs typically is that they are not a complete system of workouts when done as a daily routine. I have gone over it before so I don’t need to rehash it but basically as a daily workout, the WODs can be woefully insufficient as a balanced system. That is where having a structured, balanced system in place can help out. When the WODs for the week don’t add up to a single movement of chest press or curling movement, the traditional system can fill that gap. If you think that I am inaccurate in my assessment, just check out the follow up I did with an example of that week’s WODS. 

So, just like day 1 of when this all began back in June of 2009 I am jumping in on a whim and I am going to stick it out and see how I feel. My plan is to do the WOD that is posted for the affiliate I was a member at here in Aurora, Crossfit Ark, but I may make it easier on myself and make a choice between that and whatever they post over at Crossfit.com. The Crossfit.com workouts are  however so I will probably just stick to the Ark.

Day 1 of 30WOD

Metcon (AMRAP – Reps)
5 Rounds of

1 min of DU
1 min rest
Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)

14 min AMRAP

20 Box Jumps @ 24″/20″
15 Wallballs @ 20#/14#
10 T2B


Since I can’t actually do double unders it will be 15 minutes of DU practice.

Hitting My Stride – Finally

burpees0likes1I think I am finally finding a way to satisfy my cravings for certain workout types and managing to put to bed my fear that my intensity and time are lacking. So far I have managed to integrate HIIT rope work with each workout, I have started to get back into kettlebell workouts and I am testing my bootcamp type workouts before coaching. This means I am generally doing the following:

3 bootcamp style workouts – bodyweight, jumps, abs and functional movement
2 barbell workouts, maintaining my bench press workout and a multiple movement Olympic lift session or two
1 cardio or true HIIT workout with chinups, med ball cleans wallball etc and a bit of sprint or running work.

The schedule is still a bit random but it is tied down by the days that I do the bootcamp workouts. I have to say that adding back the functional movements like chin ups, burpees, vsnaps etc has brought back that feeling of mobility and fitness that I was missing after slipping down the Gym Rat slope after starting Body Beast in the Spring. I have gained quite a lot of size and strength but also I admit a few pounds of fat. So in turning back towards bodyweight workouts and HIIT I am going to start whittling away at that extra stored energy and hopefully be left with additional strength as protection for my ever present back aches. I do need to get a few pounds off and the sooner the better.

I did toy with the idea of getting back into a P90X or P90X2 schedule as a base for my workouts but until the extra crap is out of the basement I don’t really have space in front of the TV in order to do that. Next move then, get rid of the extra treadmill (I think my wife may have already sold it) and clear some space in the gym to enable the winter workouts to start. It’s premature I know but I think it’s going to take a little more planning than I think, and maybe a flat screen on the wall…

In addition, I did make some more purchases for the gym last week from Fitness Avenue (who have moved down the street from where they were), including:

40LB Kettlebell
Adjustable plyo box – heavy and sturdy as hell, full metal construction 16″ to 28″ height
55lb 5o ft sleeved undulation rope
45lb dumbbell
55lb dumbbell

The rope is fantastic, I have been donig undulations with it but even better is hanging it over my chin up bar and pulling it through like you would pull a heavy sled. If you wrap it twice it’s incredibly hard to pull through, great for grip strength and full back pumps!

R12D2 – Cravings or Memories

I did what I thought was theCarrot cake only logical thing on Tuesday to start round 12, I did the Full Monty.

The Full Monty

10 reps x 5 rounds = 250 reps

Hang Cleans
Shoulder Press
Power Clean

I was using 95lbs since this was not a feats of strength workout but rather a foray into HIIT for what seems like the first time in a long time. I felt pretty beaten up after, and in fact I didn’t get to 5 rounds I think I crashed somewhere during round 4. It is the best workout to get you going again, especially if you continue to fill in the strength gaps the next 2 days. In order to do that yesterday I did bench and dips and today I will be doing some variation of pullups and biceps. Those 3 days will get your whole body into shape in a hurry and with the addition of some running which will probably be today it’s going to be a great kick start to my summer workout. I am planning to get back into doing nightly workouts with my kids once or twice a week, they did tabata workouts last night which was well organized and productive for all. We will work up towards 30 minute bootcamp classes by the time summer workouts are back however it means I have to be in shape to lead them. That is around 15lbs from where I am now so I have a little work to do.

I overhear someone saying how they like to use maple syrup in their diet instead of sugar since it’s so much better. I used to think that too, especially about honey. Turns out I was kidding myself. There is no such thing as “good” or even “better” sugars.

I have been craving carrot cake and I can’t take it any longer. I’m not sure if I just want cake or if I just have the occasional fond memory of it, but either way I have been looking for recipes on Pinterest and I think I have a winner, I just have to figure out how to make the frosting taste good. Here are a couple of front runners.

Carrot cake bars

Carrot Cake