End of Summer Update

Just a little update since it has been a long while since I wrote anything here. I was talking to my mother the other day about my stress levels which are currently just north of Pluto and part of what she said, not in so many words, was that my updates could serve as a mitigation strategy for my stress. I don’t really talk to people about my issues and regardless of what my doctor says I don’t think I am the type to benefit from seeing a psychiatrist (although I think maybe I will at some point do it just to prove him wrong) so my writing, at least in the past, has been something of an outlet for me. Not having that pressure valve of being able to vent to my computer may have taken a larger toll than I had imagined and so with that I will make a concerted effort to update on a more regular basis than I have.

I am also keenly aware that my workouts must be getting stale since I really haven’t made any changes in quite a while. I have fallen into the maintenance of doing gym workouts and keeping my weight steady and let’s all just be honest for a second and understand that the whole function of my workouts is to keep my weight in check. As long as that is working I have no reason to change until I get bored. I haven’ been getting bored because I have so much going on with the other gym that my workouts are processional in nature and require very little in the way of change to be successful. it is certainly true that owning the gym has come at a high cost to my free time and my creativity. The fact is that I am up every day at 530am to get to work then back home from work to work out, grab some food and go to coaching which ends with me getting home around 9pm. They are long days for sure and it’s hard to stay productive and energetic with so much physical demand but also hard to address my stress situation while balancing workplaces.

On the other hand the gym is running smoothly. Summer camp has been absolutely amazing with rave reviews from everyone involved. We recently did a whole gym rearrangement and everyone who has seen the new layout loves it. The place looks very professional and like a serious gym. We are transitioning to a new software system too, something that the parents can use to see their child’s progress and that we can keep much better records of families and payments. The groups are running smoothly but we are getting to the stressful time of year when we realize that summer is over and competitions are right around the corner and we are already behind…With everything going on it has been a busy and very stressful summer but visits from the family and the advent of a new dog have served as reminders that not everything in life has to be so stressful and that happiness is everywhere if you look closely enough.

There is an elephant in the room however, and that is my blood pressure. Since seeing my cardiologist my BP seems to have gone from an in office 180/105 to last visit when it was 140/85. However I have been having episodes recently of splitting headaches accompanied by very high BP again. I was tested at Occupational Health the other day and my BP was once again 182/101. I am really not sure what is causing these episodes, it’s not every day but probably once every couple of weeks that it happens. On the upside my heart rate is down, I am able to do cardio at the gym to help offset the BP and I am still able to maintain my weight at around 235. I think that this year I should try to get down to a stable 220 and see how long I can hold that just to see if a few pounds also makes a difference. As a related note my kidney function is slightly impaired, they think that is due to the high blood pressure so she took me off the BP med with the diuretic and left me on coversyl regular.

I admit it’s pretty scary having these episodes and knowing that my BP is so high that it’s impairing my function is something that needs immediate attention so I am working on a plan to make things better. Eternally hoping of course that it’s possible to make it all better.

Off My Chest

We live in a world where controversial news stories are force fed to us 24/7 and the more debauched the story the greater the thrust. The current climate has us inundated with sexual misconduct allegations from every field from teaching to coaching to Hollywood producing and it’s making my life and the life of all the other responsible authority figures so much more difficult. It’s important to note that it’s not just men, that there are many stories of female teachers in particular being accused of sexual crimes against children and frankly it’s making me sick. Are we really living in times when these crimes are rampant or is it a case as with the Catholic Church that these things in the past have remained buried with the victims remaining silent through fear of retribution? Whatever the case may be it’s having an effect on how I feel I am viewed while doing the one job that is my true passion, that of gymnastics coach.

I have been coaching for almost 15 years now and I have been lucky to have met some truly wonderful athletes some of whom I am happy to call my friends and whom I have had the absolute pleasure in seeing grow from tiny humans into confident, intelligent and purposeful women. It breaks my heart to think that someone would take advantage of their position in order to manipulate or coerce a child into doing something that they know is wrong. Sadly these things have come to light in our sport and as a male coach in a female dominated sport I can’t help but feel scrutinized for every action I take. It’s cast a sad shadow over the sport and the people I love but I will not allow it to poison the passion I have for gymnastics coaching.

Since the very start, I have committed myself to trying to educate and coach my girls not only in the sport of gymnastics but also in life skills, to give them the tools to handle the stress and competition they will face out in the real world. I think it is critical that we prepare them as they go on, using the drive, commitment and dedication that gymnastics requires to face the rest of their lives with the kind of determination that can make them successful in anything they choose to do. The girls I have coached have touched my heart in so many ways, and although I know I can’t protect them from the inevitable heartbreak that life will bring in all it’s forms I hope that I have given them the strength to get back up and carry on.

I can’t stop being who I am as a coach. I can’t stop caring about these kids just because other degenerates have chosen to abuse their power and position and I refuse to allow sensationalized news stories to steal what should be the greatest experience of these kids young lives. What I can do as a gym owner now, not just a coach is to ensure that we do everything we can to provide a safe environment in which these kids can flourish. There is nothing that fills my heart with pride more than watching my girls go out and tackle life with the passion and aggression that they show in the gym and I will be damned if I let anyone take that away from me.

December Update

It has been a very hectic month or so for us, with the gym up and running, coaches meetings, theme weeks, Elves on shelves and finally managing to get the security system to cover everything we need. We have had boys going to qualifiers and doing very well and the rec program is running almost at capacity with another full winter session coming up. With the change in my hours I have been able to get to the gym on a regular basis making maintaining my weight and conditioning a bit easier. After the summer run I was down to 236 at around 17% BF which is down a little from during the year. I spent a lot of time around 18-19 so dropping just 1% was quite an achievement. That was before the carbs came back of course. Have I mentioned that I hate the carb reload that I do every year? It’s my chance to relax with my food a little and try to put on a bit of strength that I typically lose on Keto. However, this year it’s had some really weird effects that I am not happy with, mostly it has made me strangely emotional. It is supposed to be until Christmas, but to be honest I really don’t like what I am feeling so I think enough is enough and I am done with the reload. It is hard to explain the difference it makes to me but I will try.

Every day I eat the same food. It’s irrelevant to me. I don’t think about it, I don’t look forward to it, I don’t even consider it a treat or an event, it just is… However, bring some carbs back into my life and suddenly I can’t wait until 11am to eat. I can’t seem to control how much I eat and I am constantly hungry, a feeling that I just don’t have any other time of the year. I am up every couple of hours during the night to go to the bathroom and therefore I am short on sleep which makes things so much worse. The worst part of this is that I am targeting carbs which means that I am only eating them at certain times and I am keeping them under 100g and it is still messing with me. I want to say also that the carbs I am on are only yam, oats and blueberries so it’s not like I am eating sugar or grains but still the effects are very noticeable and like I said for some reason this time I find myself irrationally angry and sad at the strangest things.

So I think I am done, I still want to go for sushi before I stop but after that it’s over and back to keto and my emotionally stable life. And sleep I hope.

As for my gym performance I was able to bench 400lbs again last week which is a really good sign that my shoulder that was bothering me for a few weeks is finally getting better. I still feel a bit of a sting when I overhead press but I suppose with any shoulder injury that will take time to go away. At least now I am able to get back to weighted dips and flat bench which is a relief. I have also been working on the hack squat in an attempt to change the shape of my lower thigh area, something I think I lack. I know after my back surgery that my right leg won’t ever recover but it would be nice to have a little more size around my knee which I think may be working. It’s actually really embarrassing doing a new exercise because my weights are very light but to be honest a little humility in the gym is good for me.

I had my last heart ultrasound this week and I am still waiting on the results. The tech wouldn’t tell me the results because I suppose they aren’t supposed to and probably aren’t actually qualified to make a diagnosis. Once I get the results I will put them here but so far from the holter test, the stress test and the first echo they haven’t found anything wrong but they keep going back to the same question about if I ever had a heart attack which I find disturbing. Hopefully this last ultrasound will tell them exactly what it is they think they see in there.

As usual my conclusion is that I should probably be doing more cardio. And by more I mean any. Probably 10 minutes on the stairmaster would be a good start and it’s not that hard but it’s about the most boring thing I can imagine and time seems to slow down to a snails pace. I hate cardio. Hate.

Owning The Future

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.

The Most Savage Workouts – How To Stay In Shape After Gymnastics

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
Sunday: Off

 

 

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If You Want Change… Change.

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, 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 - Bootcamp at coaching
Wednesday – Morning HIIT or OFF
Thursday – Morning HIIT or OFF
Friday – Chest LAF
Saturday – Legs LAF
Sunday – Back LAF

The Problem Is Lack Of Focus

focusI 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  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…

Handstand hold
Front planche / lever
Back planche / lever
Handstand pushup
Splits front and middle (never done this)
Cartwheel (I can actually do this but it needs fixing)
Roundoff (same)
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

I Am Alive!!!

stomach fluSo 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.