For the 9th cycle of 5/3/1, I decided to drop the training maxes back a little bit and hit the numbers. I also decided to do it twice a week, for four weeks. Hit all the numbers, improved on the second day each week. Now that it’s over, I’m making a switch. This is what it will look like:
Monday and Thursday
Squats 5 x 5
Deadlifts 5 x 5
Bench Press and Pullups 20 minutes Escalated Density Training Starting with 165 on the bench
Tuesday and Friday
Military Press and Double Rows 20 minutes EDT Double 70 kettlebells
Reverse Lunges and One Arm Snatch 15 minutes EDT 70 lb. kettlebells
Saturday and Sunday, conditioning, (Loaded carries, TGU’s, Snatches, Sprints, Pushups, Jump Rope)
I’ve haven’t done EDT in a while and look forward to it. The key to density training is to do more reps in less time. The first day isn’t too bad, you record the number of reps. That’s your baseline. Each time you do it, you have to do at least one more rep than the last time. It gets brutal in week 4, because if you do it twice a week, it’s at least 7 more reps than the baseline. It’s great for conditioning strength and hypertrophy.
There was a thread in danjohn.net about kettlebells vs. barbells. I use them both. Which is better? Both. For building strength, the barbell is better because you can use heavier weights. It is also easier to incrementally increase. The kettlebell is more efficient in changing exercises, doing ballistic movements, and conditioning. You can get strong and put on size using kettlebells. I have, but you get stronger with a barbell. The funny thing is you feel differently when finished. For example, a goal of mine is to deadlift twice my body weight. This is somewhere between 375-380. I did 325 for 3 and 345 for 1 last week. Felt strong, but still fresh. Also last week, I did a kettlebell conditioning chain doing double swings, cleans, squats, see saw presses, alternating rows and pushups, with two 55 lb. kettlebells. When I finished the 12th set, my heart was pounding, my body was fatigued and I was a pool of sweat. For me, both are effective, I just feel different. I like my barbell workouts, but look forward and love the kettlebell workouts. The creativity, different exercises, and workouts make the kettlebells more fun in my opinion.
Have had a great summer and fall is starting even better personally and professionally, I find myself more in tune lately and have been appreciating all the great things around me. One thing I’ve made a concerted effort to do is be grateful. Each night as I reflect on my day, I list the good things that occurred in the day. Sure, there is some aggravation, but I’m letting go of it. Control what you can, let go of what you can’t. I find myself completely at peace. I literally noticed a rainbow and took a picture of it at a stoplight on Friday. I used to wake up and as I would head to the bathroom, think of how the glass was 1/2 empty for the day. I’m not there anymore. Living in the present, the NOW and enjoying life at its speed. Like many, I sometimes would dwell on what I don’t have, when what I have is more than I need.
My 27-year-old neighbor has seen me doing my sprints up and down the street. As I was pruning some bushes yesterday he yells to me, “you running a 4.2 40 yet?” Blessed with severe white man’s disease, I replied, “more like 8.2.” He says, “You really look great for your age (44)!” I said, “You could have left out the last prepositional phrase.”, “Thanks for the backhanded compliment. Does that mean I’d look like crap if I was 35?” We were laughing and it was all good, but I started thinking. Do I look good or because so many people let themselves go at my age that it enhances it? Kind of like being a heavier person in Ethiopia. I workout for a number of reasons. 1. I like it, it’s fun 2. It makes me feel young. Although, I’m middle-aged, I don’t feel it or am willing to accept it. Whether I’m playing sports or doing it, in my mind I’m still 22 and like that. 3. To maintain a healthy heart and muscles. Finally and, I admit it, I’m vain. i want to look good naked. So, I’m going with the former question and answering yes. I weigh the same as I did in college, and am 10-15 lbs over my high school weight. Just redistributed a little better.
I have never been a fan of Monday Night Football. Growing up, the Patriots were a laughingstock in the NFL. I know hard to believe if you are under 25. I was always envious of the good teams, while my favorite team would go 5-11. Plus I hated Howard Cosell and thought he was a jackass. When the Patriots were on, it was always against Miami, and they had a 19 game losing streak in the Orange Bowl and they would get annihilated. For years after one particular shit show in Foxborough in the mid 70′s, there were no Monday Night home games. Having gone to more than a few games in the late 70′s, it was a complete snake pit on Sunday afternoons. I never understood the hype. I remember ESPN keeping Monday Night statistics. Who cares? I have had Patriot season tickets for the last 19 years. I hate night games. Having to get up Tuesday for work after getting home at 1:30 AM. No thanks, I get rid of any night game tickets. Last Thursday they played in the snooze-a-thon vs. the Jets. As it was downpouring at my house 25 minutes from the stadium, I was so glad I sold those tickets. I remember one time when my father was going with us, getting stuck in a 90 minute traffic jam going to the stadium, miraculously finding my brother and our buddy in the dark in the parking lot (this was before cell phones) and passing the Outback on the way down and saying, “I’d rather get a steak there and lay on the couch to watch the game.” I am actually going to a Monday night game this year, but it’s a big road trip. My buddy’s brother in law lives in Charlotte and has seasons to the Panthers. He also has access to the University of South Carolina home games. We are flying down on a Saturday morning early, sitting in a luxury box for the Cocks and Florida Gators. On Monday, golf during the day, Pats vs. Panthers at night, flying home Tuesday. I’ll make an exception here because I’ve never seen the Pats on the road.
Speaking of the NFL, I’m so not into it yet this year. I think I’m getting a conscience about it. These guys retire and are crippled and a lot of them become broke financially. The owners don’t care and are in for the money grab. You are one injury from being cut. Yet, the commissioner and owners are asking for 18 game schedules and every team to play a Thursday night game. How can anyone recover from playing Sunday and then play 96 hours later? Your body can’t heal that fast. That $765 MM settlement for concussions was a drop in the bucket. Other than the Patriots games, I don’t have this overwhelming urge to watch it. Yesterday was 75 degrees and sunny. I mowed the lawn, trimmed bushes and finally got around to the Giants Broncos game. For the record, I couldn’t care less about the third Manning brother and how he is his brothers’ biggest fan as if he doesn’t have a life because he hurt his neck and isn’t in the NFL. There is more to life than vegging in front of the TV all day on Sunday.
I feel like a little kid in regard to the Red Sox and the postseason. This team is fun to watch and are relentless. I go to the standings and statistics every day and like their chances. This year has been a pleasant surprise coming off last season. I’m enjoying the ride and hope that Cleveland or KC catch Tampa for the final wild card spot in the AL. I would love to see Pittsburgh win the Central in the NL. For the record, Koji Uehara should be the AL Cy Young pitcher. He’s thrown over 60 innings and his ERA is 1.06. If it goes under 1, how could you not give it to him? I watched him pitch an inning and a third last week. He threw 13 pitches, 12 strikes and got 4 outs. The ball he threw was a waste pitch on 0-2 in the dirt to see if the hitter would chase.
Conversely, if I hear Bruins or the word hockey on the radio or TV right now, I automatically turn it off. It’s an instinctive reaction at this point.
In regard to Syria, the biggest act of cowardice in the US Congress was those senators, (that’s you Ed Markey D, MA) who voted present in regard to attacking. First off, we shouldn’t get involved. Syria has been a disaster for 2500 years and we can’t change it. My Aunty Kathy’s President, (she refers to him as ‘my president’) wanted Congress to decide to deflect personal responsibility, even though he wanted to get involved. Ed Markey, a 36 year do nothing Congressman doesn’t want to get involved. However, in keeping up with his mantra of The Democratic Party, God, Country, doesn’t want to disagree with Obama. So instead of crossing him and saying Nay, he votes Present. And you wonder why Congress has under a 20% approval rating. Not what you would call a profile in courage.
Don’t look back something might be gaining on you. Satchel Paige