More Kettlebell Muscle + Kettlebell Burn Extreme = ?

Going to Florida on Easter Sunday and decided to do a hybrid of Kettlebell Burn Extreme for 2 weeks before I went down.  Vanity, vanity vanity.  Other than blinding everyone with my epidermal hue, at least I won’t have a paunch.  Since finishing Extreme two months ago, I probably gained maybe 2-3 lbs. back.  I have not creeped up over 186, mostly staying in the 184-185 range.  Respectable and my diet  has not been great.  A fast once a week has been keeping it off.  For a workout, I have been doing the Long Haul which is fat burning kettlebelling at its finest.  I’ve also traveled for my new job to San Francisco twice and the last month, and my diet was a free for all.  As in free to eat everything!  I didn’t work out there either.  Just walked 5 miles a day and ate and drank what I wanted.  Love that Anchor Steam Ale.  Also, we went to Tornoado’s in the Lower Haight and had some Russian River.  Loved that bar. 

I figured Sunday would be a good place to start.  Had a big lasagna dinner on Saturday night and fasted all day Sunday until 1:30 Monday, about 40 hours.  Also had my cold shower Sunday.  Forgot how lovely that experience is.  For Monday, scale said 183.2, which really means around 185. To break the fast I had 2 eggs, 4 egg whites and a 1/2 bag of spinach plus a cup of oatmeal.  Dinner, a porterhouse steak, sweet potato and salad.  Instead of doing 4 meals, I broke it into 2 big ones.

Instead of doing the heavy presses and ballistics from Burn Extreme, I opted for a new complex to partner with the Long Haul after finishing the Wolf.  I picked the Olympian 2.0.  Monday was medium day and I did it as a chain.  Clean, Press, Squat, Push Press, 5 times around the chain equals 1 set.  4 sets.  Rest ratio is 2:1.  I did the first two sets with double 55′s, did the first three chains on the third set as well, but then had to drop to 45′s.  Did the final set with 45′s.  4 rounds, 8:30 seconds.  I was bemoaning that I lost strength, but then I realized that I’m doing 40 reps of presses and push presses in 8 minutes.  That will fatigue anyone.  Did the cold/hot contrast shower for recovery.

Today, I did week 7, heavy day of the Long Haul; 4 sets (thank God it was only 4), Work to rest ratio was 1:1.  I’ve never had two and half minutes go by so fast.  I was able to do each exercise for the full 30 seconds for the first two rounds.  The last two rounds, I did double clean x 10, squats x 5, presses x 5, snatches x 5, swings x 10.  Heart rate was 208 beats per minute.  The misery index was a dime.  The double snatches were the worst part.  Between grip and shoulder fatigue, I had to really concentrate my form.  You tire more when you bear down. 

Finished with a walk up the street with my dog.  Daisy decided the middle of the street was a good place to take care of business.  I had to chase her to the woods.  She knows better, I mean she’s only 9.  That extended the walk when I grabbed the shovel to remove it.  Nothing says king of the road like holding a spade of dog crap extended away from you and trying to breathe as little as possible.  After that, had a cold shower, which wasn’t as unpleasant as Sunday because I was so hot from the workout.

Broke a 17 hour fast with a tablespoon of coconut oil, 1 egg, two egg whites and broccoli florets.  Tonight will be a steak, salad and more broccoli.  Low carb day is tough, but the results the next day are great.  Great debate is whether to see the last two episodes of Breaking Bad or start season 3 of Game of Thrones.  I want to get Breaking Bad over with, but the last episode was tough to watch.  Dark, violent, twisted and sad.  Probably watch Game of Thrones. 

So the schedule for now for two weeks will look like this

Sunday Fast

Monday, Wednesday Friday Carb days

Tuesday, Thursday, No Carb days

Saturday, Cheat days. 

Goal is to get below 180.  Haven’t been down below there in over 6 years.   I don’t have a way to measure body fat so going by scale weight.  Ideally 177-178.  Stay tuned, cheerio

Emptying the Drawer of the Mind

It’s been a while since the last post.  New job, travel, and really having nothing of any value to say have caused the lack of participation on my part.  Feeling ambitious today and as I was reading Sports Illustrated’s Baseball Preview, I could feel everything falling into place.  Let us get to our topics for the post.

1.  Fitness.  My workouts have been consistent, steady and strong.  What I’ve been doing is More Kettlebell Muscle by Geoff Neupert.  I”m doing two programs, 6 days a week.  The Long Haul which is a 9 week kettlebell complex program in which you do exercises for time.  I’m in week 6 and using double 45′s  RIght now the rest periods have been shortened to a work:rest ratio of 1:1.5.  Next week they are being shortened to, gulp 1:1.  There are three different workouts.  Easy Day, which is 90 seconds of continuous work.  Medium Day, which is two minutes, and Heavy Day which is 2:30.  Heavy day is downright torture, because the first exercise is double cleans, which will fry the grip.  The first two rounds are tolerable then it takes a turn down toward the rims of hell.  Oh, and then you get to do double snatches at the 90 second mark.   I have figured out how many reps I can do of each exercise in 30 seconds, so I’m not looking at the clock.  

Results are my conditioning has gone through the roof.  I’ve taken my pulse and a month ago when I was doing it, my heartbeats per minute were in the 190-200 range.  Now it’s around 170.  I cheated yesterday, instead of doing the rest periods, I did a round every hour and threw in pull-ups.  After I finished, I noticed something that hasn’t happened in over a year.  Blister in the upper palm.  Too much chalk.  My only complaint about this complex is the dilemma.  So the theory is, once your form slows or breaks down, you should cut the set short.  However, if you cut the set short, you’re not doing it for full time.   And putting double cleans at the front of the complex will tax your grip, making the double snatch down right dangerous.  I’ve just cut the reps down and held the bells in the rack. Not that, that is an enjoyable process.

The other complex is the Wolf which is a leg program.  I’ve been doing it as a chain.  I used double 55′s for easy and medium day and double 45′s for heavy day.  The reason I’ve dropped down is because of the inclusion of the double snatch on heavy day.  Safety > than ego.   Each workout only takes 10 minutes, but it’s taxing.  Front squats tax your shoulders making the presses during the end of the chain challenging.  You are doing 20-30 reps without putting the bells down.  I’ve been throwing some pull-ups and pushups in for good measure afterward.  This is a 6 week program and I have one week left.  Five rounds work to rest ratio 1:1.5.

2. Travel/Life/Job

I have a new job working out of the house doing inside sales for a healthcare software company.  I’ve finished the fourth week and it’s going well.  As a creature of habit, I’ve been still working out in the morning.  Get it out of the way.  i hate having it over my head until lunch or the evening.  Plus, I can shower and shave afterward.  I don’t miss my old job at all.  Haven’t given it much thought really.  It has been emotionally draining learning something completely new.  I travelled to San Francisco 2 weeks ago and have to go out there again next week.  Then, the family is going to Florida, during April vacation and from there I’m going to Dallas for 3 days.  When in San Francisco, I took three days off.  Didn’t even come close to going to the fitness center.  I walked the city instead, logging 5 miles a day. It’s my favorite city that I’ve been to, and would move in a heartbeat if I could.  On vacation, I’ll probably do some running, sprints, jump rope etc.  Since doing Kettlebell Burn Extreme, I’ve been able to keep my weight in the 184-186 range, mostly on the lower side.  My diet hasn’t been really clean, but somehow, I’ve managed to keep it off.  I don’t think I can hold below 182-183 for long.  What I’m going to do when I get back from San Francisco and all the Chinese food I plan on eating again is to  do the Burn Extreme Program for two weeks.  But, I’ll do the Long Haul and a new complex for my workouts.  We leave to go to”beautiful sunny Naples Florida” as my photographer friend Darren says on all his Youtube videos reviewing camera lenses on Easter Sunday.  Yes cold showers included, which I wimped out on my Lenten obligation.  You can’t stay in a luxury hotel and take a cold shower.  You just can’t.  Diet is 85% of everything so this 45 year narcissist is going to see if he can turn his 4 pack into a 5.  No chance of a 6.

3. NCAA Tournament  My bracket were looking great last night until Louisville blew a 7 point lead with 4 minutes left.  I had them losing in the final.  Even Michigan State cooperated and beat Virginia.  But Rick Pitino, who has made career of over coaching and almost single handedly put a nail in the Celtics coffin, didn’t have the answers to stop Kentucky in the final minutes.  To tell you the truth, I’ve been to two Providence College games this year and other than that, couldn’t name you 10 guys in the NCAA.  The one and done crowd and lack of time has wreaked havoc on my attention span.  My theory was to go with teams that have played together for 3 or 4 years like Florida and Wichita State.  And always bet against Kansas, because Bill Self will find a way to underachieve in the tournament.  Oh well, I still have 3 of the final four but can’t win.  

4.  Baseball preview.  I was reading some of the team previews from Sports Illustrated today and my head started filling with opinions.  Watching the 2013 World Series film Thursday night just reinforced my thinking.  The fawning over the St. Louis Cardinals has got to stop.  If they played in the AL East, they would be a 88 win team.  Their division with the Cubs and Brewers is weak.  Yes, they have good arms, yes Wainwright is a great National League pitcher.  When you see an ERA in the NL, just raise it at least a half a run because of the pitcher.  The lineups are weaker.  Wacha is going to be a good pitcher, but as the Red Sox proved last October, wait until the 2nd or 3rd time around the league when hitters make adjustments.  That World Series wasn’t even as close as it seemed.  The Red Sox lost two games because of errors and beat Wainwright twice.  I love the depth this year in the Red Sox bullpen and think that Grady Sizemore will be a pleasant surprise.  The best way to describe the Yankees is flawed.  CC doesn’t hit 90 on the gun anymore, lots of question marks on in the bullpen.   Up the middle, Jeter and Roberts lack range.  All the performance enhancing substances that  Mark Texeira took have taken their toll.  82-85 wins tops.

SI is drooling over Oakland and pick them to go to the World Series. For all the credit Billy Beane gets from the stat geeks, let’s discuss the number of playoff series wins the A’s have under his leadership.

1.

2.

3.

Oh that’s right, zero.  Giants look good, but I think the Dodgers are better.  If the Giants were smart, they would start thinking about moving Buster Posey out from behind the plate in the next couple of years.  The body and knees can’t take the pounding of catching and by the 7th or 8th inning, your hands are sore from catching 95 mph BB’s.  Plus, throw in foul tips, pitches in the dirt, etc. you shorten the career.  The Nationals have a nice staff but they have to take the chains off of Strassburg.  He has pitched into the 8th inning once in his career.  The Tigers made an incredibly stupid move giving Miguel Cabrera a 10 year contract.  He’s good for another 5 years, but look at all the long contracts and how they’ve fared.  A-Rod, Texeira, Fielder, Puljols, Crawford all signed contract over 6 years and none of them have lived up to the contract.  

I bet Stephen Drew is kicking himself about not taking the 1 year $14 million offer from the Red Sox.  That was a 55% raise from the year before.  Scott Boras gave him some bad advice, and when you tie a draft pick to signing him, he’ll be lucky to get $7 million this year.  

Why do so many young pitchers need Tommy John surgery?  Very simple answer, they throw too hard.  Instead of pacing themselves, every pitch is max effort which causes too much stress on the elbow.  You don’t max out every time you workout, it’s the same with pitching.  So many guys throw 95-100 these days.  I’m sure guys in the past could as well, but they paced themselves.  Throw 92-93 with movement and stop trying to strike every one out.  

5.  Other thoughts.  I don’t get poetry at all. I lose my focus in the first line.  The president of my company put out a poem yesterday and he lost me.  I don’t get the hype surrounding the Grateful Dead.  I like their music, the musicianship is excellent, but not to the cult like status of following them around.  LinkedIn has completely jumped the shark.  It’s turned way too social vs. business.  I don’t need to see banners of inspiration.  Brain puzzles and riddles have got to stop.  I busted a former colleague of mine last week.  He made the mistake of answering the riddle of “think of a country without the letter “a.”  He answered Peru, I thought Belgium.  Anyway, I needed a contact at his company so I wrote him to make better use of his time and get me the name of the Director of Benefits.  He atoned for his sin by telling me.

I also find LinkedIn to be a place where marketing people and internal recruiters justify their existence as key cogs in the corporate machine.  If I could I’d hide the stupid articles from “thoughts leaders.”  What a stupid term.  I still like Twitter, it’s amusing, I wish it would go to 160 characters.  As you can see I’m like a priest in front of a full congregation on Easter Sunday, I’m a little long winded.  As someone who is a believer in proper English, I hate selling out and missing punctuation to get my point across.  People don’t take Twitter personally like Facebook.  No thumbs up buttons, no likes.  Unfollow in a click of the cursor.  As time goes on, I’m not a believer in deleting tweets.  If you put it out there, keep it.  It is a journal of how you feel at that time.  It also will help in being more disciplined on what you throw out there.  

Of course some people are incorrigible.  I have a relative who will remain nameless who on Facebook asked about “breast pump tips.” Over sharing to the level of embarrassment.  I told my brother what he should write back, but he didn’t want to upset the apple cart.  

Anyway that is all.  Cheerio

Ch Ch Ch Ch Changes

It’s been almost a month since the last post.  What’s been happening?  Lots of stuff.  For 10 days, I had a full house with my parents up from Florida and we dog sat for a 120 lb. boxer/mastiff mix.  My house never seemed so small.   After 17 years 3 months and 17 days, I am out of the executive search business.  Why?  Well, first, I received a great opportunity with a growing company in the healthcare software field.  I get to work from home (say prayers for my poor wife), the money will be better and there are a lot of parallels between the jobs.  Second, I was cooked worse than a burnt steak teeming with gristle.  I couldn’t deal with candidates anymore.  The worst were men in their 20′s.  Hiding behind the keyboard instead of making decisions.

I had a great run in recruiting, with two great firms.  Made a lot of friends on the candidate and client side.  But in the end, I became jaded.  At 45, I couldn’t imagine doing it for one more year.  And I wasn’t looking!  It fell into my lap.  I was bored out of my mind, and just numb.  This will be a great and fun challenge for me and I’m excited.

Recruiting is the toughest sell there is.  You’re dealing in human capital.  Here are the steps.

1.  Get a client to engage your service.  (Why they should use you and differentiate yourself)  In my opinion, in a candidate shortage  market the easiest part of the job.

2.  Once you have a job order, recruit candidates for the job.  Ideally, the passive job seeker who is not on the job boards, but interested in a better opportunity.

3.  Convince the candidates to have their resume sent for the job.

4.  Meet candidate discuss their expectations and how the rules are going to go.

5. Convince the client why these people may not have qualifications A-Z, but have A-T and why they are a good fit to interview (an unrealistic client is a time waster)

6.  Prepare candidate for interview

7.  Get feed back from candidate and start closing him if interested and find any hesitations

8.  Give candidate’s feed back and sell him to client.  Then get feedback from client

9.  Repeat steps 6-8 2 or 3 more times

10. Close candidate and client on salary.

11.  Present offer, get them to accept, prepare them how to give notice, and for the 5th time, educate them why they shouldn’t take a counter offer.

12.  Follow up with candidate for the next 2-3 weeks and hope they follow through on commitment

13.  Ah lucky number 13.  Cross your fingers that they make it the 90 days without downloading porn, harassing the opposite sex or embezzling money.

The problem is you can only control so much and everything is on spec.  Yes, you can make great money.  Yes, you’re building companies, one placement at a time.  Yes, it allows you to have a great network across businesses, industries.  I just couldn’t take depending on people anymore.

Anyway, it’s all good, I’m in a new role now and wish I had made the move 5 years earlier.

For workouts, I finished Kettlebell Extreme and have kept the weight mostly off maybe a pound or two.  Feel great and bought More Kettlebell Muscle.  40 different programs that last 6-9 weeks.  Workouts are all under a 1/2 hour and deal with complexes and chains using double kettlebells.  Burn fat and build muscle.  The lightest bells I had for doubles were 55′s.  Fooling around with one of the workouts, I realized that although I can do 5-7 double snatches, I can’t do them in a complex or a chain.  Time to borrow my buddy Billy’s other 45.

These complexes are brutal.  I’m doing the Long Haul and the Wolf.  The Long Haul is doing exercises for time.  I figured out the number of reps I can do of each exercise in 30 seconds so I use the rep number.  3-5 rounds work : rest ratio 1:2.  Meaning if the complex took 2 minutes, rest 4.  I’m in week 3 and had heavy day today which was work for 2:30 seconds, rest 5 minutes 5 rounds.  Heart rate after the first two rounds was 200 beats per minute.  Brutal. I did two rounds of the 5 then dropped the reps down to a complex of 5 reps each exercise.

The conditioning isn’t the worst part of this.  First, it’s the grip.  In 30 seconds, I can do 14 double cleans,  The forearms are fatigued.  Then, squat time.  Ten reps, and the back of the shoulders are tired from holding the bells in the rack.  Then presses with pre-fatigued shoulders, 8-10 reps, followed by double snatches.  Did I say my shoulders were tired?  Finally an oasis!  20 double swings.  Do heavy double swings sometime and let me know how your traps feel the next day.  I can deal with huffing and puffing, it’s grip and shoulder fatigue, plus the anxiety of the next set.  Conditioning here is batting cleanup.  9 week program, on week 3.

The other 3 days, I’m doing the Wolf, which is a chain with lots of squatting.  For easy and medium days, I’m using 55′s, but on heavy day, there’s a double snatch so I’m dropping to 45′s.  Two weeks through, these workouts are only taking 10-12 minutes, but you’re tired after doing 20-30 reps without putting the bell down.

I’ll stick with this for awhile  I have to travel to San Francisco next week, so it might be a good week to recover a little and take some days off.  For Lent, I’m giving up hot showers.  There, I said it, and will stick to it.

Kettlebell Burn Extreme 28 Days and Done

Yesterday was my last day of Kettlebell Burn Extreme.  It was a smashing success.  I lost somewhere between 12-15 lbs. and not much strength.  I might have lost a rep on the press, but because of the lighter weight, the pull-up numbers are higher.  My weight has been all over the place.  As low as 180.4 which is a 15.4 lb. loss to 183.8.  My best guess is somewhere in the 182-183 range.  I took before and after photos, and trust me it’s pretty significant.  My waist and love handles are gone.  I can’t believe how well this program works.  I always knew fitness was 80% diet, but when you really integrate it, it’s more like 85-90%.  The workouts were challenging, but not that hard.  The cold showers were, at best tolerable, at worst to paraphrase Macklemore and Ryan “freaking awful.”  You just had to survive them.  It was all diet.

I learned a lot about how my body works and what works for me mentally and physically.  Here are some personal lessons.

1. The 36 hour fast is more effective than the 24 hour fast.  I’m not talking about the extra 12 hours.  It’s how I would approach food.  When I do the 24 from dinner to dinner, as soon as the 24 hours is up, it was a gastric free for all.  Not bad food per se, but too much.  In the morning after 36, I’m not hungry.  Just black coffee please.

2.  The low/no carb day was harder for me mentally than the fast.  You’re mind is made up to not eat for the day.  At night during low carb was tough.  I was more hungry having not eaten for 7 hours as my last meal was at 2 PM than not eating at all.

3.  Cold showers and alternating hot/cold are great for recovery.  Sore joints have gone away.  As a matter of fact, I started the shower hot today and found myself alternating.  Wanting to alternate as a matter of fact.  I might do the straight up cold once a week for mental toughness and the multiple health benefits.

4.  I didn’t really miss the fruit or dairy as much as I thought.  I like green vegetables in an omelet.  I didn’t use a lot of condiments.  Just straight up.

5.  I loved the cheat days, but didn’t go crazy on doughnuts or chips like a I thought I would.  3 plates of Chinese Food and 3 beers were enough.

6,  I learned how to portion control by eating much slower.

I plan to incorporate the cold water therapy, cheat days and 36 hour fasting into my weekly routine.  I haven’t figured out what to do for kettlebell workouts yet.  Almost there, but not etched in stone.  Probably some complexes and chains, while working on mastering the double snatch.

Today, I took a day off from the gym, fasted until Noon and had two small roast beef sandwiches and an orange.  Tonight, honey mustard pork chops, sweet potato and broccoli.  The issue with following such a strict program is you ask yourself, what now?

Well worth the $47, 5 stars, highly recommend it.  Even if you’re not into kettlebells, you could do the workouts with barbells and dumbbells.

Week 3 Almost in the Books and More Man Rules

On my cheat day Sunday, I had a sandwich for the first time in a couple of weeks, as well as an apple and an orange.  For my workout, I wasn’t feeling it with the 70′s, so I used the 55′s and did 49 reps of presses and squats in 25 minutes.  That afternoon we went to Providence.  My wife went to the mall, the boys and I went to see the Providence Bruins.  I had 2 beers and a handful of popcorn.  My kids didn’t realize there are only 3 periods in hockey.  They just don’t watch it.  Sad, I know.  Afterward we went to Siena on Federal Hill.  I had wine, bread, eggplant rolletini, a veal chop and trufffle fries.  Also, ordered a coffee and Sambuca, but my wife didn’t like her chocolate martini because there was too much vodka, so we switched.  Channeling my Alan Harper, I never felt more masculine.

Monday, day off from working out and fasted the whole day.  No problems there.  Next morning, Tuesday, 185.6, 10.2 lbs in 15 days.  I then did my ballistics, double cleans and swings in a fasted state.  Hit my numbers.

Wednesday, it finally hit me on heavy day.  I just can’t eat before working out.  I don’t feel good, I don’t have the time, I’d rather have a big breakfast afterward.  The week before, I did 10 sets of 3 presses with the 70′s before dropping the reps.  This week, I did 5 and they weren’t going up.  The squats were easy.  I stayed with the 70′s for the squats, and dropped to the 55′s for the presses.  Got 42 reps of each in 14 sets.

Thursday, I had a lousy 5 hour sleep.  Couldn’t fall asleep and woke up at 4.  Never went back to bed.  Did medium ballistics.  12 sets x 7 with swings and cleans.  This was a gut check, as I was doing a new set every 50 seconds.  Followed that with a cold shower.  Low carbohydrate day.  3 eggs, two 6 oz. hamburg patties, a package of frozen spinach and a tablespoon of coconut oil gulped down as quickly as possible. Stayed in the cold shower for 8 minutes today.  I’ve mentally accepted once I’m over the initial shock, that it’s not going to get any colder.  Breathe deep,

Friday, I weighed myself, 184.2.  12.6 lbs.  Did easy day presses and squats with the 70′s.  20 sets of 2, I felt really good.  Sets of 2 are my favorite.  just blast out 2 reps with as much tension and explosion as possible.  Ate chicken, broccoli, beans and eggs.  I’m finding, I’m just not that hungry.  I ate my first meal at 8, and my second meal around 2:45.

Today, I did heavy day with cleans and swings.  I was dreading it, but did 11 sets of 8 in 20 minutes.  No real problems.  The cold shower today was awful.  There are some days where it’s tolerable.  Not the case today.  Absolute misery.   The water hurt hitting my back while I shaved.  It felt like needles.  The good news my joints aren’t ever sore.  Coincidence?   Low carbohydrate day, and on a Saturday too.  Eggs, chicken and more broccoli.  Going out tonight to see a band.  “put your hair in curlers, we’re going to see a band, bip bop bee bam bop bip bop bee bop bam”  Apologies for the horrific Paul McCartney lyrical reference.

For Super Bowl Sunday, cheat day, I’m going to wail on some Chinese food.  Lo Mein, Peking Ravioli, Fried Rice, Sweet and Sour Pork, Szechuan Chicken with Peanut, General Gao Chicken…Wash it down with beer and root on my Seahawks.  If, God forbid, the Broncos win, which unoriginal newspaper will have a picture of the Meadowlands with with the headline “Peyton’s Place?”  Then we’ll have to listen to that dweeb Mike Goldberg, go into superlative mode with the nauseating is Manning the best ever conversation?

The fat is melting off of me.  I’m back in fighting shape.  Though, I feel more tired, I’m still hitting most of my numbers.  This program is all diet.  You’re not eating fruit, so there isn’t a lot of sugar.  No dairy, which I haven’t really missed.  What’s been hard for me, but not that hard is my last meal is at 2 PM.  From the time I get home until I go to bed, no food.  My wife, who is a great cook and kids are eating dinner and the aroma is in the house.  At night, I stay busy.  It may sound weird but preparing the food, doesn’t make me want to eat it.  On Wednesday, I decided to start playing the piano.  If playing piano was just the right hand melody, I’d have it locked down like David Foster.  But throw the left hand chords in, and it’s tough.  I’m playing She Loves You by the Beatles, which seems like a simple little ditty.  No, no, no it’s not.  Chords change from F to D to G, while playing B Flat.  I spent 30 minutes on it, frustrated. It’s is like a puzzle to me.   Once I sit down, I’m focused.  I need to find the time.

I’ve also remembered more of my “man” rules.  This has been a popular point of discussion where I’ve been called, “out of my mind.” to “hilarious” to compliments.  So due to unpopular demand here are more.

84. English measurements only.  You lose me as soon as you start using metric measurements.  For example, I’m 85 kg and have lost 5 kg’s on my diet….I’m not multiplying by 2.2.

85.  When Billy Squier or .38 Special comes on the radio, don’t touch the channel.

86.  Everyone needs a guilty indulgence.  Gossip sites, 70′s soft rock…It’s all right, enjoy it.  Great 70′s soft rock  includes, Bread, Ambrosia, Dan Fogelberg, England Dan and John Ford Coley, Seals and Crofts, and Climax Blues Band.

87.  No boxes with the witty adages and quotes on LinkedIn. If you are one of the lucky 1100+ linked in with me, you’re getting banished to the purgatory known as hide posts.   Save it for that social cesspool known as Facebook.  That way I don’t have to see it.  The only good thing about Facebook is the stock price.  Period.  I’ll re-join once they put a thumbs down button in.

88.  The best hangover cure from a big night out and you need some grease in your gizzard, is cold Beef Lo Mein from the refrigerator.  If the grease has coagulated on the noodles, even better.

89.  Boston events that I could care less about are: who wins the Hasty Pudding Award (most Bostonians hate Harvard), the Beanpot (unless you’re an alumnus of BC, BU, Harvard or Northeastern you don’t care), the Marathon.  (I live 15 minutes from the start and my wife grew up a mile away, never been) and the Fenway Opener. (Though this year it will be fun with the flag being raised, most times, it’s 45 with 20 mph wind.)

90. If your mad and typing an email or dialing the phone, wait 24 hours then decide.

91.  No high fives to women.  They are dorky and awkward.

Happy Saturday!

Kettlebell Burn Extreme, 2 Weeks Down 2 To Go + My Man Rules

Two weeks into this program.  It works, period.  I’m down 9 lbs.  186.8 as of this morning, although I did go a little off the reservation in regard to the diet, Friday and Saturday.  I had a good eating day on Thursday, no/limited carbohydrates and turkey meatloaf for dinner.  Scale had gone up to 188.8.  However, when I got to work, I kept making a B-line to the men’s room.  I couldn’t believe how much water I was holding.  Anyway, Friday night, I had some drinks and a whole Porterhouse Steak.  About twice the size of the portion I should have had.  I also tried cooking it in a cast iron pan.  John Romaniello had an article on his website about the best goddamn steak you could ever cook.  So I tried it.  Came out perfect.  Friday’s workout which, I had no interest in doing, was  an easy day of presses and squats.  Once I got downstairs, the fatigue went away and I did 18 sets of 2 in 25 minutes.  Sets of 2 are perfect for me.  I can be explosive and use perfect form.  That’s two more sets than last Friday.

On Saturday, I did double swings and double cleans.  Heavy day.  Did 10 sets of 8 each in 20 minutes.  I gloved it.  I still loathe double cleans as has been previously mentioned before.  Got through it.  Later I went to my buddy Tommy’s house.  I hadn’t spoken to my buddy in awhile.  I saw him on a car dealership ad a couple months back and rang him up out of the blue.  Lo and behold he starts telling me about this fitness tool he uses called kettlebells.  Well, we have to workout together, so I went there.  He has Rogue kettlebells and they are awesome.  I told my wife there is no way his form can be any good because everyone’s form is awful when you start.  Being the athlete he is, I shouldn’t have doubted him.  His two hand swing form was excellent.  I taught him the one hand swing, the clean, snatch, Turkish getup and adjusted his press a little bit.  He had the goblet squat down.  I wanted to try my one hand switch snatch test with a bell with grit, and at 24 kg vs. the 25 kg I have.  I did 30 on each side with one hand switch.  I thought the bell 2.2 lbs would make a difference, it still felt the same.  The callouses below my fingertips were barking after doing cleans in the morning and this 4 hours later.  Afterward went out for some Prime Rib and scotch.  That was the only meal I ate yesterday and it was around 3 PM.  No carbs, just a salad.

Today is a cheat day, going to see the Providence Bruins while my wife shops and then we are all going to Federal Hill for dinner.  I’m not going hog wild, going to keep it clean other than dinner, but I’ll eat some fruit, have a protein shake, maybe have a sandwich.  Just won’t eat any garbage.  I’m doing ladders of presses and squats today.  I’m actually starting to like the alternating cold/hot shower and adapting? to the straight cold which I’m taking today.  Friday it was 3 degrees outside when I had the cold shower.

As a soon to be 45 year old middle aged man, I have developed rules and opinions to live by that are my own.  Whether it be fashion, fitness, investing, conducting business, and living there are certain “core values”  (there is your token overused phrase) for the day.   You may not agree and might think I’m a closed minded Cro Magnon, but you all have them.  Write them down sometime.  Here is my indulgence for the cyberworld to see.

Fashion Rules

1.  Match your socks to your pants or shoes.

2.  Pay extra for a pair of shoes and keep them shined.  When you stick your foot in, you’ll know where the extra money went.

3. Black belt and shoes with navy blue.  You can make the argument for brown, I’ll disagree.

4.  Use the 1/2 Windsor knot for a tie and the long part of the tie should end at the mid point of your belt buckle.

5.  The only jewelry a man needs are a watch, a wedding ring and cuff links.  Necklaces, bracelets and earrings out.  I don’t care if your necklace is 24k gold, has a cross or is sharktooth.  Lose it.

6.  When wearing an open collared shirt, wear a v-neck t-shirt underneath to hide the white.

7.  No colored t-shirts under a collared shirt.  It shows you lack sophistication and fashion sense.

8.  If you’re going to wear a suit, put on a tie.  Don’t look like some venture capital wannabe trying to prove you’re hip.

9.  Don’t wear a button down collar with a double breasted suit.

10, Leather coats rock.

Grooming

11.  Floss your teeth every day.  I can’t even begin to tell you how important this is.  From halitosis, to heart protection, to protecting your gums.  Take the 60 seconds and do it.

12.  Use exfoliation soap before you shave every other day.  Your face will feel like a baby’s.

13.  Clean up the lettuce on the back of your neck once a week.  Have your wife / girlfriend do it.

14.  If you’re going to grow a beard, grow a beard.  None of the 3 day old George Michael stubble.  The 2013 Red Sox had beards and were world champions.  If you’re going to grow it, be a champion.

15.  Shave in the shower.

16.  In the winter use moisturizer after showers on your legs, arms and face to stay youthful.

17.  Be wary of a bald barber.  He doesn’t have respect for your hair.

Fitness

18.  Lose the running shoes when you lift.  Bare feet or flat soled sneakers.  Think of squatting on a mattress with your arches a mess.  That’s what you’re doing when you work out in running shoes.

19.  Do pullups.  In between sets of everything except rows.  Sets of 2,3, or 5.

20.  The best ab exercises are squats and pullups.

21.  The only exercises you need for barbell training are Bench Press, Military Press, Pullups, Rows, Squats, and Deadlifts.  Compound movements.

22.  Set a goal and stick with a program for 4 weeks.  Workout for the goal, not the stimulus.

23. Take a week off every 3-4 months.   Do nothing and let your body completely recover

24.  Sprints and jumping rope are in.  Jogging and Elliptical are out.

25.  Don’t offer unsolicited advice in the gym, unless someone is about to kill themselves.

26.  If your gym doesn’t allow chalk, they don’t care about your safety.  Find another gym or sneak it in.

27.  Workout outside when it’s nice out.

28.  Log your workouts to track your progress.

Money

29.  Don’t buy coffee.  Make it at home.  $2 x 7 x 52 =$728.  A year’s worth of home coffee is about $100.  Think what you can do with that $628.

30.  Invest money in a mutual fund or a stock every month.  I’m not talking about a 401k.  Stick to it.  If you pay off your car, add that money to it.   Doesn’t matter if its $100, $500, or $2000.

31.  Monitor the stock market and pick an industry or stock you are interested in.  A good rule is a price/earning ratio over 40 is an overpriced stock.

32.  Pay off your credit card every month.  That 19% interest vs. the 2% savings account in the bank is a 17% loss for you.

33.  If you don’t need it, don’t buy it.

34.  If you must buy it, don’t pay retail.  Buy on line if possible.  I bought my son a $225 baseball glove for $96 on E Bay.

35.  Negotiate your cable and phone bills.  If you can’t get what you want, call a competitor.  Verizon Fios to Comcast to Direct TV.

36.  Never take the car to the dealership for repairs unless absolutely necessary.  Believe me those show rooms weren’t paid for by selling cars.  Find a trusted mechanic.

37.  The library is a great free resource for DVD’s, books CD’s.  Don’t buy them on iTunes and Netflix.

38.  Don’t live paycheck to paycheck.  If you are, cut costs, if that doesn’t work, find another job.

39.  Always tip at least 20% for good service.  Your generosity will make up for the lousy day your server is having.  Plus it’s easier to calculate in your head.  However, if the service stinks, well, you don’t employ them…

Life in general

40.  Nothing good happens being out after midnight.  Don’t make it a habit.

41.  Stop at a yellow light if at all possible.  Is 60 seconds worth a life?

42.  When someone makes eye contact with you, smile and say hello.

43.  Be an alpha male.  If something bothers you, express your dissatisfaction.  Don’t let it build up into resentment.  Beta males are passive aggressive and let it build up.  Silent treatments, gaslighting and being a little bitch are all examples of beta males.  Stand up for yourself and take charge.

44.  Men own dogs not cats.  Dogs start at 50 lbs.  I love animals, even cats, but I would never own one.  All a dog asks is you feed them, play with them and take them out.  In return, you will have unconditional love and loyalty.  Dogs don’t need caffeine, alcohol, drugs or anything else.  We should all channel our inner dog.  Society would be a lot better.

45.  Be grateful and express it.  When life is bad someone else’s life is significantly worse.

46.  If you love somebody, tell them every time you see them.  Let them know how important they are.

47.  Let it go.  If you’re not getting a return in a relationship let it go.  Toxicity is unhealthy. Surround yourself with positive people.

48.  It’s better to be alone than in the wrong relationship.

49.  Have empathy for others.  It’s not all about you.

50.  Hold the doors for people, offer to  help.  It will come back around.

51.  Return calls, emails, texts from friends and family.   If someone has taken the time to contact you, call them back.  No one is that busy.

52.  Volunteer.  I coach and when I’m doing it, I forget everything else.

53.  It’s okay to say no.

54.  Be a parent to your children not a friend.  Sometimes, you have to drop the hammer.  Stick to it.

55.  If you push your kids to do better, push yourself.  Monkey see monkey do.

56.  Tell your kids, whatever they do, don’t do drugs, drink or gamble.

57.  Learn how to cook.

58.  It’s not barbecue unless you are using charcoal.  If you can, have two grills, a charcoal grill and a gas grill when you don’t have the time

59.  The best steak is a porterhouse, medium rare.

60.  Say no to light beer.  Life is too short to drink urine described as low calorie low carb beer.

61.  Scotch is mother’s milk.  the best scotch is the 2nd one.

62.  You should listen twice as much as you speak.   That’s why God gave you 2 ears and one tongue

63.  Think before you act.  Running on emotions is wasteful.

64.  Limit your expectations.  As George Carlin said, “understand how stupid the average person is and realize 1/2 the people are dumber than that.”

65.  If someone insults you, or takes advantage of you, don’t lower yourself to their level by being vengeful.  Their time will come.

66.  If you’re going to fail, go down swinging.  Don’t let someone else cause you to fail.

67.  Take up a musical instrument, paint, create.  Art is so important.  You may not be able to deadlift twice your body weight any more, but you can always play the piano.

68.  Read books, shut the TV off.  Have one day a week where you unplug from the computer and television.

69.  Find a passion.  But don’t be obsessive.

70.  In the bedroom take care of her needs first.  Pride yourself on that ability.

71.  Foreplay starts in the morning.

72.  Limit your porn use, it’s not reality.  Realize that is someone’s daughter who is being preyed upon.

73.  Be gentle and romantic.

74.  Understand when you are self destructing, i.e. drinking too much, gambling, etc.  you’re either trying to hide from your problems or trying to reclaim a high you once had.

75.  Happiness is not the highs of life, but a nice steady stream of contentment.  These are the good old days as Carly Simon sings.

76.  Live for today and tomorrow.  Carpe diem!

77.  Limit your information on Facebook or other social networks.  99% of your friends don’t need to know everything.  Discretion.

78.  Happiness comes from within.  Someone or something shouldn’t be the source.  If so, you’re priorities are out of whack.

79.  If you insist on getting a tattoo, put it where you can hide it.

80.  Leave the phone in the car when you are out to eat or at someone’s house for dinner.  No one is so important that you need to check your phone every time it buzzes.  Playing with your phone during a dinner is one of the highest forms of rudeness there is.

81.  Try everything once as long as it’s not immoral or against the law.  If it piques your interest give it a go.   I’ve realized I stink at skiing and am frightened of the damage I could do to myself

82.  Mind your business.  Don’t get involved in stuff that doesn’t matter to you.

83.  Try not to judge people.  No one is perfect, we’re all flawed.  They probably think you’re train wreck too.  I had this couple that were friends of ours.  They would rip into this other couple we are friends with who are,  we’ll call it “experimental” behind closed doors.  Our ex-friend who wore the armor of morality was a raging alcoholic who would get blitzed every weekend in front of his kids, and is unforgiving.  Who is worse?

I’m sure I left a few things out, but I have to get my workout in before I coach basketball.   Happy Sunday!

Kettlebell Burn Extreme, Days 9 and 10

Survived the fast and cold shower on Monday.  Shower was awful, spent about 6 minutes in there and was shivering when I got out.  The funny thing about the fast is physically I didn’t feel hungry, yes my stomach felt empty, but not dying of hunger.  Watched 3 episodes of Sons of Anarchy season 2.  Woke up Tuesday, 189.0.  6.8 lbs in 8 days.  I decided to extend the fast and skipped the pre-workout meal.  Did light ballistics for the workout.  20 minutes of Double Swings Outside the Knees and Double Cleans, ladder style, 2,4,6.  66 reps apiece.  Threw the gloves on to protect my hands.  “Spoiled” myself with an alternating cold/hot shower.  One minute cold, one minute hot.  I can deal with this.  I only ate 3 meals.  First was a cup of oatmeal and a 2 egg/4 egg white omelet with broccoli after the workout.  Tasted fantastic breaking a 36 hour fast.  I had my second meal at 11 which was chicken cutlet, broccoli and a mix of kidney and black beans for carbohydrates.  Third meal at 2 PM was the same.  I was full at 2:30.  Drove home in a snowstorm, 90 minutes to get home.  The Buick fishtailed a couple of times and a hill start in gear low 1 wasn’t pretty.  Made it home and immediately had to take my son to basketball practice.  4 inches of snow on the ground, the Buick barely made it up the school driveway.  I couldn’t believe I made it.  When I picked him up, took my wife’s 2010 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer edition.  This was the last year they made the SUV version of the Explorer.  Threw it in 4×4 High.  It was like Marshawn Lynch.  Complete Beast Mode.  What a difference.  That night, I had some hunger pangs around 9 PM, but my stomach felt smaller as I was laying down.

This morning, I slept in as I was working from home, the scale said 188.2 lbs.  Lowest I’ve been in 6 weeks.  7.6 lbs 9 days.  9.2 lbs. since New Year’s Day.  Because I was home, I decided not to workout until lunch time.  Broke a 20 hour 30 minute fast at 10:30 with the same egg omelet as yesterday, but had some beans instead of oatmeal.  Didn’t feel like cooking the oatmeal.  I did my workout at 1:00.  Heavy day of presses and squats.  I did 10 sets of 3 and grinded out 7 more reps after that for 37 presses, 14 sets, 25 minutes.  Did 39 squats.  Supersetted both.  Cold shower was uncomfortable, but not as unpleasant as Monday.  Best part was it was about 10 degrees outside.  Shaved in the shower as well.  A lot of fun putting a cold blade to a numb face.  One positive aspect of the cold shower is my skin feels softer and glows a little more.  Post workout meal was the rest of the omelet, broccoli and beans.   My 3rd meal at 4:30 was a chicken cutlet, spinach and a half a baked sweet potato.  Last meal at 6:45 was the same thing.  I was supposed to play soccer tonight but got caught up in helping my son study for his Algebra mid-term.  Fingers crossed.

Tomorrow is a medium ballistic day of swings and cleans.  No starches tomorrow and only 3 meals.  The plan is eggs and spinach for meals 1 and 2, Last meal will be turkey meatloaf and green beans.  I get to take a hot/cold shower tomorrow, YAY!!!!  It’s going down below 0 tonight, so a little warmth will go a long way.

Three more days until cheat day.  I really like the results I’m getting with this plan.  The workouts are short, basic and simple.  The cold water is for recovery and fat burning.  What’s funny is I haven’t felt the arthritis in my right knee since I started.  Coincidence?  Who knows.  You just have to have the discipline to follow the diet and the fasts.  I think you can be really successful being 90% compliant with this diet.  Why 90?  Well, portions are supposed to be fists, you might eat a little more than that.  You might start a cheat day early or you might have a couple of small adult beverages.  I’ve used ketchup and hot sauce on the eggs and salad dressing on the salad.  However, I haven’t used butter or seasoning on the sweet potato or vegetables.  No reason to get too rigid, close enough is good enough.   I ingest 2000 calories when I have carbohydrates, about 13-1400 on no carbohydrate days.  I didn’t bother counting the cheat day.  Didn’t care.