Thursday, November 17, 2011

Get Up!

It was really hard getting up this morning.
It wasn't pain although the back was a little stiff, instead I just wanted to stay in bed for another 10 to 12 hours.
At least that was what my body was saying and it had a very convincing argument.
But my mind knew I had promised to meet several people starting with God and I always hate to miss that One.
I am sure He would understand but then again He might not, so I rolled out of bed to begin the day.
The clock was telling me it was 5:20 AM.
After getting ready and putting on exercise clothes I went to my first meeting.
My mind silenced as I awaited the Supreme Instructions and who knows how it will end but I am giving it my best shot, I pray.
Next to the gym to meet with my training partner and my trainer.
Every now and then my mind and my body say, "Go home".
It has gotten louder of late.
It may be the pace, the routine or a little of both
Last night I went to Spin and this morning will train and have a scheduled run followed by a protein shake and a couple of protein bars, some vegetables and a grapefruit.
Tonight I will go to Boot Camp, return home and eat some more vegetables, some form of protein, possibly fish or chicken and after a glass of red wine sink into bed dreaming of a Caribbean tomorrow.
Where is the comfort food, the high calorie, low nutritional density food that never fills you up?
Oh, what the hell, get over it.
I did meet with the trainer and my training partner.
It was a very tough session and my partner at the end could barely get dressed for work as his arms did not want to go over his head.
My arms were actually hot from the increased blood flow as I was getting on my long jogging pants for an outdoor run and facing the cold, 42 degrees, weather.
The wind makes it seem colder but the sun is out.
Once I had reached the site I set my watch, located the satellites and started.
3.7 miles later, 49:14 minutes later, covered in sweat, this run was in the books.
I felt great although breathless but was sad it had ended.
Now I know why I get up.
I got up easy as a seven year old always ready for high adventure.
These days the adventure may not seem as high but it is still there and is ready for the taking if you can just get going.
It really helps to have meetings scheduled especially if He is first because you never want to keep God waiting.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Learning to Run

The last time I ran was in High School.
I ran sprints and wasn't very good but no one else tried out for the 660 yard dash so that became my specialty while at the seminary.
I hated running then and that hate for running aged as I aged.
Then came Boot Camp.
The timer for station switches was usually the run and when it was my turn you could hear every one in the room groan.
The trainer even tried to soften the impact by telling me to only do two laps instead of three or four but I would have none of it and ran the assigned number.
In time I actually got better and my speed picked up and one long time member of Boot Camp recently noted that she no longer knew when I was running as I was doing about the same time as every one else.
Then 3 or 4 moths ago something in my brain tripped or died and suddenly I decided I wanted to become a runner, long distance, train for a half marathon.
A few people said they would help me and a bigger number offered to run with me, etc.
I wasn't sure as I suspected it would be hard to start running at 64 so I wanted to run alone.
I started on the treadmill and began following a training program given to me by an excellent and avid runner at the gym.
Now I am running outdoors and occasionally with others and I have to say the experience is amazing.
Am I good, no, but it has only been a hand full of months.
Do I like it, you bet I do.
It frees the mind to wander down as yet unexplored alleys.
Sleep is much better.
I am no longer timid about saying to my wife, "I am going to go and run 5 or 6 miles, see you in a day or so".
I do have an appetite again if only I could remember to eat.
So far my joints haven't been a problem and it does get you out in the fresh air.
So I guess an old dog can learn new tricks.
I just need to avoid getting run over in the gutter.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Medicare Part Deux

I told some people at he gym, "As soon as I get my Medicare Card I will take you all out for Pizza".
Surprise, you can't buy Pizza with a Medicare Card.
You can get open heart surgery, admitted to a hospital, a scooter, maybe a lift chair and on and on but by George you can't get Pizza.
Just goes to show, the Pizza Lobby wasn't big enough when the benefit design people were working on the card.
All joking aside the Medicare Card is kind of daunting.
Seems a lot of doc's are getting testy about seeing Medicare patients.
Plus now you need to buy so many different options.
Part A is for hospital care.
Part B takes care of the providers or so it is said but you really need to buy a Medicare Part B supplement and then you need Part D and if you fail to get Part D you are penalized later if you need to suddenly pick up Part D.
It is all rather confusing and I was a provider in the past and thought I understood a little about the program.
Well the gym is a whole lot more understandable.
Pick up that weight and do a curl followed by a overhead press.
Do that maybe 30 or 40 time.
Now do bent over flys with that weight maybe 30 or 40 times.
The trainer stands in front of me with a sly smile on her face as the sweat starts rolling down my forehead and back.
I actually pay to endure this pain because it is easier to "hurt" oneself when someone is standing over you.
I don't think too many people would push themselves to muscular failure especially when no one is looking.
The pain went on for about 30 minutes and then the trainer said, "Going to run"?
"Today is run day and looks like I am scheduled for one hour".
I went up to the cardio floor and found an empty treadmill.
I set the speed at five miles per hour, not much more than a really fast walk and headed out.
One hour later I had run five miles and as measured by the scale, had lost three pounds of water.
This was nothing other than a simple morning in the gym and I felt like I had been reborn.
Medicare Card or not I do think I might have some Pizza this weekend but only after the Saturday weigh-in.
I guess I will have to find some cash to get Pizza for the others

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Medicare Card?

I ran 3.2 miles on Tuesday.
It was slightly uphill on the way out with a good breeze in the face.
The time was 42 minutes.
I went to Boot Camp in the evening and returned to the gym this morning.
This morning was a lift day focusing on the chest.
Tonight is Spin Night.
Between the AM and the PM I went to see an expert on Medicare Part B, Supplements and Medicare Part D.
I sat there listening, wondering how I suddenly got to Medicare age.
I realized I was "no longer in Kansas" but I wasn't on the yellow brick road either.
Lots of witches, goblins and flying monkeys can inhabit one's imagination as one tries to foresee the future.
Just remember, there is no future beyond now which keeps recurring every second for most of us.
If you are looking to the future all of the time, you are going to miss the present, trip on a rock and really hurt yourself.
So back to Medicare.
I have the card.
I am going to put it next to my Gym Membership Card.
I just betcha my Gym Card can "beat up" my Medicare Card any day of the week.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

More About The Core

Are you losing distance on the golf course?
Having trouble standing up from a chair?
Low back pain?
Pants getting too small at the waist?
Ever feel like you are shuffling when you walk?
Afraid of stairs both up and especially down?
These are all possible symptoms of weak core musculature.
The core muscles include the deep stabilizers (transversus abdominus, lumbar multifidus, pelvic floor muscles, diaphragm, internal oblique and tranversopnialis group) and the superficial movers (latissimus dorsi (lats), erector spinae, iliopsoas (hip flexors), hamstrings, hip adductors (inner thigh), hip abductors (gluteus minimus and medius), gluteus maximus, rectus abdominus (6 pack), and the external oblique).
A good core is first stability followed by mobility with the addition of flexibility
There are multiple exercises to improve the core but a trainer can get you there faster than a "Do it yourself program".
Once you have the basics and know how to avoid hurting yourself, then go full bore.
You will first be seen to be old when posture and balance deteriorate.
You will first feel old when bad posture and bad balance become chronic.
There is no age that truly defines old.
Old is best defined by inaction, lassitude and a "shrinking" attitude.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Let's All Workout

Friday was tough.
Had to get a hard workout completed in 30 minutes.
My lift partner was on a tight schedule. Used the machines. No rest move, move, move.
Hit back, legs, chest, shoulders.
Was an intense "Cardio" workout.
Saturday was a good day.
Ran 5 miles, lifted with the trainer and ended with Boot Camp.
Spin on Sunday.
Today Monday, a good back workout and then 30 minutes on the treadmill and back to Spin tonight.
Good article in the paper today. "Never Too Old For Exercise".
If everyone would exercise I guarantee there would be significantly less people needing acute health care.
Even strengthening the Core would improve balance in the Boomers and as they age they are going to need it.
Tomorrow start with a run outdoors followed by weight training and evening Boot Camp.
Anyone can do it.
It just takes a little time, some desire, some effort.
Stay tuned to get started.
More about the Core tomorrow.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Now we know why some animals eat their own children

An open letter to the Executive and Legislative Branch of the US Government:

Ladies, Gentlemen, I use the terms loosely, it is time to go home.
You really have no authority to lead this great “wounded” country.
You are damaging it daily and failing to even recognize the harm you are inflicting.
This country was founded by great men who would find you, the "supposed leadership", to be traitors to the ideal and purpose of this country.
Therefore you must resign, leave and allow more rational people to take on the mantle of leadership.
This country was founded to allow all men and women an equal chance to worship and find happiness.
It was founded to allow anyone, who was willing, to work and risk all for success.
It was not founded to let government be all things for all people.
It was not set up as a socialist state, a monarchy or a government over the people but a government by the people, a Democracy.
The states were invested with the power.
The founding fathers warned of the dangers of big government and tried to set it up so that limited government would be the future of the federal government.
Today the politicians are more interested in self-preservation than country.
Today the politicians are more interested in their own return to Washington than any constituency or the country in general.
The two party system is most interested in preserving it’s own life and is sucking the life out of America.
Political correctness and legislative stupidity is sending businesses, jobs and wealth overseas.
Today the business of government has become growing more government.
It has failed and is failing the populace of this country.
You are not leaders and possibly not even bad people but you are certainly misguided and wrong principled.
Our next wars should be a War on Debt, a War on the Failure of The American Educational System, a War on Big and Bad Government, a War on Ignorance and Apathy and Finally a War of Innovation and Creativity.
It would be better for all of you to return to your homes and let real leadership restore the faith in and purpose of America.

Let us then turn this government back into the channel in which the framers of the Constitution originally placed it.
--July 10, 1858 Speech at Chicago, Abraham Lincoln

Monday, July 4, 2011

To Iron Or Not To Iron

Seems an appropriate question for the gym on the morning of the 4th of July.
I am in the gym early and only a few are there, all gathered into one corner of the building.
The trainer is there along with the "Bad Boy", "No Sugar Please" and Runner.
I join the group and soon we are talking about Iron.
You would think it was dumbbells, or a new supplement, or possibly someones biceps, you know "just like Iron".
But no, something much more mundane, the problem with Linen Clothes.
Runner was talking about the need to go home and "Iron" some Linen Shirts
I commented that I had recently purchased several pairs of Linen Slacks on sale and loved how they wore but also complained of the need to "Iron" these after washing them.
"Well", said the trainer, "It is so fruitless, all that work and the minute you sit down, here come the creases".
"If you are going to live in the Islands and pursue the life of Hemingway then that is another matter".
"If you are a great and unforgettable author then the rumpled look is fine".
"On the other hand if you are in main street USA you had better try to keep your creases".
"In spite of that", I said, "I still like the look and feel of Linen".
"So I like Runner will have to do some "Ironing" today as I expect to wear the slacks tonight".
The conversation meandered down other paths as everyone kept pumping their respective "Iron" some on the bench, some standing, some just holding the "Iron" dead in their hands trying to follow the twists in the conversation.
So in reality the gym isn't all muscle and grunting but a "family" interested in Linen, diets, recipes and all other sorts of daily routine that makes life what it happens to be.
So pump "Iron" or "Iron" your Linen Shirts, Slacks, etc. or take your One-A-Day with "Iron" but keep coming back, join the fun, the conversation, the exercise and soon you may turn all of that "Iron" into Steel.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Another Day in "Paradise"

It is that time of year.
It is vacation time.
I have to wonder, now that I am semi-retired, why do I still call it vacation.
It really is a change of location and an opportunity to spend an extended period of time with grown children and more importantly grandchildren.
It does not qualify as a true vacation as I have nothing to vacation about.
I enjoy the work I do now; gym work is liberating.
In the past I worked and earned a living and gave away life.
Now I live to work to earn healthy life.
The first week was devoted to golf.
I was really bad until the last nine holes on the last day, my partner and I played with two gentlemen who hit the ball a ton, drank lots of beer and smoked cigars.
I didn't smoke cigars or drink beer but I began hitting the ball a half of a ton, putting, chipping and ended up with 44 on a respectable course.
I thanked these two free spirits because for nine holes some of their "karma" came to roost on me.
The second week will be devoted to children and grandchildren.
I have six of the neatest grandkids in the whole world.
Their parents, my children and their spouses are pretty neat too.
This week we will build sand castles, swim in an ocean, spend time at the pool, go to a Princess Party, color, watch cartoons, hug a lot and just rejoice in family.
Sadly two of the grandchildren and my eldest child will be absent this year but I am promised I will get the full Monty next year with a two week visit.
These are the times that make the days fly, these are the times that make me young again.
These are the times that define vacation.
In reality you don't even need to change location; as long as you are in the presence of family be they young or old, you have before you the makings of a great vacation.
Why do we have to get old to learn this?
Oh, I did adopt those two cigar smoking, beer drinking golfers; they helped my game more than all those lessons and they really don't want to be in the will as long as I supply the game and the beer.
So here is to my wife, Paradise, grandchildren and children along with Bill and Pete.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

An Observation

June 20th, 2011: 151,000 people died throughout the world today.
Some died of cancer.
Some died of trauma, related to suicide bombs, unsuspecting and innocent except for living in a dangerous part of the world.
Some died in surgery.
Some died in their beds at home with family at their side.
Some died of Military Interventions, in Libya, some died in Africa and many had no idea a trip to the market was going to be that dangerous.
Every day about 150,000 human beings die.
Every day some die at their own hands, pill, hanging, exsanguination, overdose, drugs, alcohol.
Yesterday it was announced that a certain person associated with the Jackass Movies died in a high speed Porsche crash.
It was suspected that alcohol was involved.
Where does this piece of news rate among all of the other deaths?
It is a death, it is sad, it did not have to happen.
Roger Ebert tweeted about it and was castigated.
Grief should not be the vehicle for attack.
I prayed for the soul of the person, I know this is "passé" in modern society but I also prayed for the many innocent victims of random and non-selective violence.
We as humans have free will and if we choose to use bad judgement and die as a result, at least we had the choice and the possibility of a different outcome.
Many of those who died yesterday didn't have the choice.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

When Endorphin Tsunamis Crash on Limbic Shores

Sometimes art and exercise conspire to create a unique and powerful inner storm.
Such was the effect tonight in spin class when the song "Shinedown-Second Chance" coincided with a powerful hill climb.
The resistance was turned to "pain" and the tempo, sprint.
It doesn't take a lot of imagination to realize that oxygen debt and lactic acid will soon have the upper hand.
But then something magical happens, at least for me.
I am transported.
The art and the exercise, like reinforcing waves, lift me out of myself.
I am singing, first in my mind, then out loud.
This is something I don't do, even in church during a solemn high mass.
I don't have the voice to sing.
But there it is, I am singing, out loud, unabashed.
A strong wind is swirling in my soul as it expands, ending the pain and closing off the real world.
I am "blind" to the surroundings.
The music enfolds me and I am no longer spinning but instead floating above the fray, Nirvana, I think the Mystics call it.
Unfortunately it ends too soon.
The endorphins finally quell and the Limbic shore is once again baked in the oven of now.
"Lets do it again", says the trainer.
I want you sucking air at the end, not singing".
"You hear that Ken"?
I mentally bow, "Yes Master, Grasshopper has much to learn".
The music starts and I can't help it, the transport is under way.
This time I sing in my mind.
I can do it louder in "hear"  because only I can "here".
Nirvana, still is there.
The endorphins still crash on the Limbic shore.
I hope the trainer goes for number three.
I may just transport out of here forever.
As I go I need to remember to thank her for showing me the portal.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Medicine, Glutamine, Maybe L-arginine, Lots of Protein and Finally Chocolate Milk

Lowering one's Cholesterol is a good thing.
The medicine is very effective but can have side effects such as severe muscle pain and damage.
I went generic.
The symptoms were subtle at first, arm pain, some shoulder weakness, leg cramps and a general feeling of going down the "tubes".
It was at a dinner that some kind lady mentioned all of the muscle issues she had had with a generic statin and it hit like a ton of bricks, "Duh" those were my symptoms.
It seems the side effects may never go away even after going back to the name brand stuff.
Is it time for Red Yeast Rice?
Seems glutamine, a semi-essential amino acid promotes metabolism, protects muscle under stress from breakdown and in my own anecdotal report alleviates muscular pain associated with exercise and has been very helpful in reducing the pain from the statins.
When I forget to take it, I know within three days that I am missing something key in my routine as exercise begins to hurt a whole lot more than usual.
So whence l-arginine?
Seems l-arginine is a big source of Nitric Oxide in the body. NO helps regulate vascular relaxation supports increased blood flow along with oxygen delivery to the end organ, in this case, muscles and has been shown to promote the production of growth hormone plus enhances protein production and fat metabolism.
I have not yet started l-arginine but I am sure it will become part of my new diet.
On to the proteins, 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day; this is a tough prescription but if you are going to work out several times a day for several hours, such as a one hour climb on the stair master, a one hour spin, one hour of interval training or one hour of intense weight training then you are going to need a lot of protein.
The body is not particular and if pushed will begin to"burn" the endogenous protein such as your own muscle and you will find increasing weakness over time.
This is the best sign that you are not getting enough protein in your diet.
Good sources of protein; fish, chicken turkey, eggs, yogurt, beans and occasionally lean red meat and if you are still short a Whey Protein Shake can help fill the void.
Remember 5 oz. of salmon provides 34 grams of protein so to get 160 grams would require almost one and one half pounds of salmon per day.
Well, maybe you are a grizzly.
Last but not least, my favorite, low fat chocolate milk: Post-exercise consumption of lowfat chocolate milk was found to provide equal or possibly superior muscle recovery compared to a high-carbohydrate recovery beverage with the same amount of calories.
So you might say, "he has gone off the deep end", and I guess I have but when you feel this good being in the deep end seems OK.
So bring on the Amino Acid Pâté with the Chocolate Milk Spritzers and keep the party going.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Grow Up

We sent you to Washington to cut the deficit.
We sent you to Washington to stop the slide into mediocrity.
We sent you to Washington to put this country back on course.
We did not send you to shut the government down.
We did not send you to worry about your perks and your benefits.
We did not send you to continue the stupidity of the past.
The Moderates, the Conservatives, the Left or whatever you are called need to hear the American People.
We want smaller Government.
We don't want someone telling us how to live.
We want to decide how and where we worship even if it is a quiet prayer in the classroom.
We want our children to pray if they wish to.
We want to decide how to spend our money.
We do not want to have a group Washington Insiders telling us how to believe, how to live, how to raise our children and how to die.
Pay off the debt.
If you have to, raise taxes.
Simplify the Tax Code.
Help Americans earn the Dream.
It is not worth much if it is "given to them".
If you can't make it better then go home.
I will not hate you for failure but I will despise your limited vision of the Future.
If we can no longer dream of the stars couldn't we at least dream of the Inner Planets.
Dream the dream of America, Freedom, Peace, Innovation, Hard Work, Worship and Hope.
If these values fail to inspire then go home and sit in the corner and sulk.
But don't try to remake America.
America is more a vision, more a hope, more a dream than a place and everyone should be allowed to pursue that dream.

Friday, April 1, 2011

An Exercise of the Mind

Alter-egos danced last night
Neath a Moon that shined so bright
Too soon forgot their daytime face
Too soon forgot their daytime place
Found again youth now past
Balanced on a chasm, vast

Toyed with things now best forgone
Hearing now the Siren’s song
Hearing sounds of crashing waves
The keening wind through hollow caves
The song of nature sings to them
They enjoin the primal hymn

The clothes of shame now fell away
They danced on sands
Where they would lay
Drinking in night’s misty dew
Spinning drunk on life renewed
Felt the surge of passions fire
Would too soon burn on that pyre

Glistening forms now intertwined
Flames on flames jumping higher
Breathless sighs and silent moans
Hearing now loves true tones
Enchanted by the living poem

When at last the embers dying
They found release both in crying
For all the time now gone and spent
For all the dreams torn and rent
Then finding finally, renewing sleep
As the night turned ere more deep

The Sun was first to find them there
Covered by the seas own hair
Just Impressions on the beach
Where alter-egos strove to reach
Existence beyond dreams at night
Where silent hopes could take flight
But shattered in the new days light

Thursday, March 17, 2011

So Now I Have to be a Gymnast?

Just imagine that I am hanging from a High Bar and have been able to hold my legs up in the “Pike” position, (curved like a U with feet higher than my head).
Now further imagine that I am able to rotate my legs from the hips, first to the right and then to the left, 15 times each side for a total of thirty rotations.
This is one of the “ab” exercises that Sparta has surfaced as a new challenge in the gym. (This same exercise was also featured in the movie, The Fighter)
I have to work on this one and basically become a gymnast.
I have started hanging from a high bar, raising my legs at the hip until my feet are above my head and then I try to hold this position for at least 15 seconds and try to repeat this 15 times.
This is a chunk of work and as of yet I remain unsuccessful.
The second new “ab” exercise is just as wicked.
Imagine lying on a bench with just the back of your head, neck and shoulders touching the bench while your body is at a 45 degree angle, suspended on a hope, a few fragile ligaments and mainly muscle.
The shoulders, neck and especially the upper “abs” all feel the pain in this exercise.
Supposedly, the local record for this exercise stands at 45 seconds.
This also requires one to become a gymnast.
The question, can you become a gymnast at age 46 (transposed 64).
I think, yes, Hell Yes.
It is interesting, the amount of pain one can endure, it is s lot more than anyone would expect and becoming a gymnast does require some pain.
I guess I have always wanted to be a gymnast and now I have the opportunity at 64 (transposed 46) or 8 which is the square root of 64 or 24 which is the product of multiplying 6 times 4.
Hell, who really needs to know the age at this point, once you have decided to get it done.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Spinning 110, Degrees That Is

The Spin Room is a circular room about 20 feet (give or take a few feet) in diameter.
It has at least a 9 foot ceiling.
There is a ceiling fan and three floor fans.
There are 12 bikes each placed about 2 to 3 feet apart.
The circumference of the room is 78 feet, (give or take a few feet), giving each bike a space of about 6 feet including the bike.
Volume of the room is calculated by the equation 4/3*Pi*r3.
The volume is approximately 4800 cubic feet.
The ambient room temperature at the beginning of class is 75 degrees, (give or take a few degrees), at the end of class the temperature approaches that of a South American Rain Forest, humidity and all.
I have never taken the actual temperature at he end of class but it is something I want to do.
I am sure the temperature is approaching "110" or maybe 89 degrees with 100% humidity.
It feels like late August in the swamps or Evansville.
Every article of clothing is soaked through and through.
If I was smart enough I could get some heat transfer equations and use the specific heat of air to calculate the average energy flow but this is beyond me.
Take it from me though, a lot of energy and heat transfer is occurring.
Twelve people burning anywhere from 12,000 to 15,000 calories in one hour in a closed box, it does get close and sometimes the odors are less than "White Shoulders".
But I will keep going back, where else can you go for a ride in a sauna, through a rain forest with great music and a leader who likes to ride up mountains.
"Steamed Spin" certainly beats "Hot Yoga" with fewer residual calories.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Chasing Sparta

Someone said it tonight, to Sparta following a rather vigorous Spin Class, "I don't see how you keep doing this same "shit" day after day".
She was heading down to do a Power Pump class.
I interpreted the comment to say, "Wow, how do exercise hour after hour and keep going"?
The answer was quick, "Sitting behind a desk is harder and it kills much faster."
Great interchange, great discourse, great concise conversation.
It was all there, either use it or lose it, either try or die.
The real answer is movement, continuous, lots of it.
Stay still and the bad things overtake you.
Obviously this is an oversimplification but even in Genesis it states, "Thy shall earn thy keep by the sweat of thy brow".
No where does it say, "He who lives the sedentary life style shall find life everlasting".
So today in Boot Camp, at least 34 participants all eager to "kill" themselves for Sparta.
So who is relevant in all of this.
Everyone is relevant, all of the participants, all of the people looking in, wanting to join, (had a conversation at dinner with a gentleman), "I am trying to get to the point I can join Sparta's Boot Camp".
Sparta is relevant.
She is the reason all of these people are wanting to join.
I looked at her today as I was running my two laps, as I was hitting the mitts and I saw complete commitment to training, to improving the lot of we, the less fortunate.
She has some spectacular genes, I have no doubt of this, but if we could all follow her discipline, her program, genes or no genes, we would all be much richer in health and fitness.
Will we live longer, I don't know, don't care.
All I want now is to do what she is trying to teach.
Go hard or go home.
Don't waste time, she is giving us her best.

Monday, February 21, 2011

22 Grams of Protein

I am trying to refine my diet to achieve ideal weight but the goal of 160 pounds continues to elude me.
My shirt size has gone from XL to M.
My waist size has dropped.
I feel good but would like more mass and 18 pounds less fat.
So what is the right amount of protein intake per day?
Most of the formulas would suggest 105 to 145 grams of protein a day for someone exercising at my intensity level.
Until you try you would be surprised at how hard it is to eat 130 grams of protein a day without a lot of protein shakes and those don't satisfy the need to chew.
Then someone put me onto Greek Yogurt, still not really chewable, but with a thicker consistency.
I found one with 15 grams of protein per serving until a friend told me about a Greek Yogurt with 22 grams of protein per serving.
It is expensive but it tastes good and goes great with whole grain granola.
Cottage Cheese has 15 grams of protein per serving, the addition of fish 4 oz. (22 grams of protein), chicken or turkey 4 oz. (19 to 20 grams of protein) rounds out the daily intake along with a protein bar that supplies 31 grams of protein------- protein intake 90 grams plus a 40 gram protein shake, a grand total of 130 grams of protein per day.
80 oz. of water, a large dose of fiber along with fruits and vegetables still leaves me trying to figure out how to lose the next 18 pounds.
If only Red Wine was high in protein and boosted metabolism, then life would be grand.
It probably was and did in the Garden Of Eden but that is a whole other story.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Once Upon A Time In Mexico

The last two weeks were spent in Mexico.
I love Mexico, especially the Baja Peninsula.
The weather in February is spectacular.
The Bay of Cortez is filled with Gray Whales and Humpbacks.
The catch of the day can be Tuna, Dorrado, Mahi Mahi, Snapper, etc.
The sun shines every day.
The sunsets literally take your breath away.
A full Moon in the Baja screams love and dancing the slow songs.
The desert while arid has a beauty all it's own.
The Mexicans are truly the best artisans I have ever witnessed.
The stone work, tile work, architecture, pottery and art are incredible.
I really believe I could get lost in the Baja and stay forever.
Here is the rub.
I need to exercise, I need my endorphins.
I guess I could lift rocks and run hundreds of miles but in the end I love the gym.
The resort, Fiesta Americana, has a gorgeous gym, weights, treadmills, ellipticals, machines, mats and all sorts of equipment.
The one thing they don't have is Sparta.
It takes a "wicked person" pushing you beyond your limits to make progress.
But in the end it is a personal issue to succeed, so do 15 Intervals, run 9 miles and hour for 2 minutes and then walk three miles and hour for one minute and repeat the sequence 15 times.
That will begin a good sweat.
Next go to the free weights and push yourself to do the most weight you have ever done without crushing your skull.
Then drink 15 gallons of water and skip all Margaritas for the week and get ready to re-insert into regular life------------
but wait--------anybody willing to get lost in the Baja,
Give me a call, maybe it can be arranged for the rest of our lives.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It Was a Good Birthday

The message was on the phone.
"Can you train at 8:30 in the morning"?
Sure, I text back.
I show up, "What are we doing today"?
"Sounds good".
The next half hour tests every idea I had about arm strength.
Lots of reps, standing, seated, on the incline and finally the 70 pound bar with repeated curls, this at the end of the session.
I finally get a good solid 10 reps which ends training but means it is time to go play in Boot Camp.
Sparta announces my birthday and my age 64, so the first thing we are going to do is 64 squats.
"Why can't you be 21"?, someone says.
I would if I could.
Boot Camp is big, 30 plus people, the pace rapid and the exercises intense, multiple push ups, squats, runs, hit the mitts, hit the heavy bag and so on.
Toward the end I am laughing because it is the only thing I can do without hurting.
The final challenge, 64 throw downs.
Then on to the weigh in, the final insult, I have gained 1.4 pounds and assured my team of last place again.
I can't wait to be 65.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Old But Not: A Paradox

Birthday coming soon.
Can't access Medicare yet but close.
Hope I never have to use it.
I know my age but talking to my wife last night said, "I feel like I am 30 years old. I know I feel as good or maybe even better than when I was 30".
Her comment, "I feel 16".
"Stop there", I said. "That is underage in any state".
"No seriously, I feel 16".
These two people are crazy, you might be thinking: instead ask yourself, "Is this all from exercise and a good diet"?
I submit for your consideration that in fact this is the direct result of exercise and well controlled diet.
I recently ran into a friend at the airport who commented on my weight but ended up saying, "Well you may live three years longer but I will have enjoyed the journey more".
I didn't say anything because I don't think he has enjoyed the journey as much I am now enjoying the journey.
I may drop dead tomorrow, I may get hit by a bus, a meteorite might fall on me and leave nothing but smoking ashes but until that instant in time when it stops I will have enjoyed each and every moment so acutely that I can't stop laughing.
A patient recently asked me, "Why are you always laughing"?
"It is a release valve for happiness".
He looked at me and said quite clearly, "you ain't all there".
"If you believe that then you are in trouble".
"Why is that".
"Well, I am your doctor".
That gave him some pause and not the refreshing kind.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Horse Power, Flys and the Gym

The set up:
Incline bench, the Smith Machine, two twenty five pound plates on a 15 pound bar.
The lifter lies on the incline bench with the bar resting on the upper chest, about 4 inches below the clavicle and presses the weight upward.
This is good for building chest muscles, the "pecs".
The routine:
Lifter begins:
1. 10 repetitions followed by 10 push ups.
2. Back on the machine-11 reps followed by 10 push ups
3. now 12 reps followed by 10 push ups
So it goes all the way to 20 reps followed by 10 push ups.
That equals 165 reps and 100 push ups; total amount of weight raised: 10,725 pounds.
If the weight travels 36 inches (the average arm length) the lifter is generating 32,175 foot pounds of work.
One horse power is equal to moving 32,580 pound one foot in one minute.
It took about ten minutes to complete the exercise so theoretically 0.1 horsepower was generated without taking into account the push ups.
Those were thrown in just to add hurt.
After this exercise we weren't offered any hay or oats, no sugar cube but went directly to the bench to finish with dumbbell "flys".
With all the horse power and the flys I felt like I should be in a stable but after that work out, I wasn't.
I was sore.
Then on day two the real soreness started.
I can honestly say even after five days I still feel like I should be put out to pasture.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Are you Fit

Picked up a book in the airport.
Men's Health Training Guide.
The definition of fitness: A few examples:
1. Bench Press 1.5 times body weight
2. 100 push-ups
3. more than 40 chin-ups
4. etc, etc, etc.
These ranges were suggested for men aged 20 to 29.
Look up exercise and fitness for the "older adult"; aerobic exercise in 10 minute intervals, moderate weight training 2 times a week; it was condescending to say the least.
So I began grading myself as I will soon be 64.
I can't bench press 1.5 times my weight but I can do 15 reps on the dumbbell bench press with 75 pound weights in each hand. Maybe with a trusted spot I might go for a bench press of 230 pounds when well rested or alternatively get my weight down to 100 pounds.
I need to run 1.5 miles in under 10 minutes to be as fit as a 25 year old. This will have to wait until spring.
I will never be able to touch the rim but hell I couldn't even dribble a ball and was banned from the basketball court for being so bad.
I can do 50-18 inch box jumps and maybe that would get me close to the rim.
I can leg press 2.5 times my body weight and in fact can leg press almost 4.0 times my body weight, does burn the "glutes".
The push ups are not easy but I can do the whole 100 on a good day.
Swimming 700 yards in 12 minutes will have to wait until late summer. I hate cold water.
Can I run 300 yards in less than a minute? We will see this spring.
Yes I can touch my toes. It does hurt in the hamstrings but so what.
I can not do 40 chin ups and was hoping to get to 25.
How much weight can you hoist in under 5 seconds?
I know I hoist 178 pounds every morning I get out of bed and in under 5 seconds but with a lot of groaning.
I am working on hoisting a 35 pound kettle bell over my head 50 times in less than 4 minutes.
There was no mention of the core so I want to add, hold a plank for 4 minutes; I am at 3:30 minutes and still working on it.
I would like to see a revision to the exercise recommendations for the older adult as the older adult in this day and age is still frequently working to take care of his 20 something year old kids and needs encouragement to keep going "hard and strong" to the end.