Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Vacation is a test.
Can you keep to the exercise regime?
You lose the comfort of the “pack”, the dominant Alpha leader and the familiar space.
The routine changes by necessity.
I am an evening exerciser but on vacation I become an early morning exerciser as I need to assist with grandchildren the rest of the day.
The body at first rebels to the new routine and on this vacation I even added a new quirk to the workout.
Janzelle explained a technique to become a runner.
Each day for the first six days, one walks four minutes and then runs for one minute. This cycle is repeated for 30 minutes to one hour.
The next six days one walks three minutes and runs two and so on and so on until you are running thirty minutes and walking 30 minutes.
The goal one hour of continuous running.
I will never become a long distant runner or a jogger but in my home gym we are running a number of laps in Boot Camp and I want to pick up the pace.
So for the past three days I now start my routine with 45 minutes of “raulking” the beach followed by a trip to the gym for the weights and the crunches.
A word about crunches; Crunches are hard to do by yourself so generally you do the harder ones just so you won’t feel like your cheating.
First, legs straight and 100 to the middle, the sides and on and on until I finished the set of 600 with side planks, 50 to each side.
The side planks make me feel very “correct” and “honest” with this session.
Now on to the weights.
I am looking for the feeling of the skin being too tight for the muscles underneath.
Can I push myself to that level?
I have a new pain and weakness in the right bicep so I go with light weights and lots of reps.
I start with curls move to triceps, chest, flys, lat pull downs and finish with shoulders, 100 palms down,thumbs up, ending with full range.
I am sweating, gallons, the temp 92, humidity 100% and my whole skin feels too small for all of my innards.
I will make it through the next two weeks but look forward to the comfort of the pack.
A lame “wolf” doesn’t last that long in the wild.

Hams and Lavender

“Jambon” is the French word for ham.
It is said the French have some of the finest hams in the world.
These epicurean delights are a symphony for the senses.
France is also famous for the lavender that grows in Provence.
The scent of lavender pervades many of the perfumes and bath products and has a therapeutic effect on the senses as well as the temperament.
Well Evansville is no less blessed.
Evansville has some of the best hams I have ever seen.
These hams come from the region and represent many counties in Indiana and some northern counties in Kentucky.
The Kentucky hams may be salted, cured and/or spicy while the Indiana hams being more sedate are no less admired.
These are well packaged hams that even the French would envy.
Along with the gorgeous display of hams comes an aroma that is what I would think Heaven might smell like.
It is the aroma of lavender and sun, a visible scent.
So, “Jambon” and Lavender are alive and well on this side of the pond.
What has all of this to do with exercise?
Visit the gym.
I would love to visit Provence but Evansville and the gym have my heart.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Salvation by The Ton

Have you ever been really sick?
Have you ever known you might die in the next fraction of a second?
I have and it is a little disconcerting.
One moment all things are going along as expected and then suddenly the arteries to your heart are more blocked than anticipated and the dye used to study them causes the pain to return and you know it is the end.
In my case it wasn’t and I woke with a tube down my throat and not sure of the future.
My wife said, “You need a trainer”.
The trainer was reluctant to accept me, I was overweight, out of shape, had a big scar down the middle of my body and “gosh, is this just a charity case?.”
I couldn't blame her.
But thank the "gods" she did take me on and you have all read of my relationship and struggles with the return.
But here is the interesting part. I was depressed. I had no good reason to keep on going. It was all too painful.
I found my salvation in the weights.
One night I benched pressed 5 pounds with each arm for 10 reps, that is 50 pounds per arm.
I added that up to 100 hundred pounds.
The legs were 100 pounds time’s 15 reps or 1500 pounds.
The curls were 5 pounds times 10 reps or 100 pounds of curls and on and on.
The total weight pushed, pressed, curled added up to an “impressive” amount in my mind of a little over 2000 pounds, one ton.
What a feat for a 60-year-old post op patient.
Where am I now?
3600 pounds for the bench, 2400 for the curls, 6300 for triceps, 14,400 for the legs, 4500 for the lat pull-downs, 2700 for the chest pulls, 7600 for the over head pull-downs or a total of 41, 000 pounds or 20 tons of salvation.
My goal, 100,000 pounds or 50 tons of salvation.
Oh, the depression, gone.
This is not only the place to exercise the body; but also the place to exorcise demons.

Friday, June 5, 2009

How Much Time Do You Need To Invest To Stay Fit

I don’t know the answer to the question and apparently most people on this earth are unsure of the correct answer.
Some years ago it was recommended that moderate exercise three times a week was adequate.
The most recent recommendations specify vigorous intense activity preferably every day of the week.
The minimum amount of time I see recommended is 30 minutes a day.
Cardio is strongly recommended.
Weight Training is strongly recommended.
If you are over 65 balance exercises and stretching are strongly recommended.
It is also beneficial if you are under 65.
Core musculature is now known to be the most critical of all muscle groups for providing balance, athletic movements and decreased injuries in athletes.
Core musculature may be exercised with crunches, side planks, leg lifts, throw downs and on and on. These exercises are strongly recommended.
So how much time does it take to stay fit?
Cardio should be intense and last at least one hour a day. Circuit training is a superb method and stair climbing is good for off days.
Weight training depending on your goals can take 30 minutes to an hour every day for different sets of muscles.
Core exercises are necessary at least five to six days a week and doing a set of 1000 crunches while mixing up the various types of moves can easily take 30 minutes.
Stretching in the form of Yoga or Pilates can take an hour three to four times a week.
So add it up:
1. Core: 2 hours a week
2. Cardio: 2 hours a week
3. Circuit: 3 hours a week
4. Balance: 2 hours a week
5. Stretch: 1 to 2 hours a week
6. Weights: 3 hours a week
This adds up to 13 hours every week of the year. The total time commitment for the year would be 683 hours or 8% of the total hours in a year.
We already spend about 11 hours a day (46%) of the year sleeping and eating.
The rest of the time we worry, work and play.
Think of the 8% as a savings account, investing it in your best asset, yourself.
Americans aren’t used to investing at these levels, thus the financial woes and the health care crisis.
We can remedy both with the above plan.
If you exercise that much you won’t have time to spend money and you will get fit.