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Archive for July, 2011

The destination or the journey

It’s often said that half the fun is getting there. Or the fun is in the chase. Well, I’m here to say that the journey of cutting to get leaner is not a pleasant experience. The destination is a far happier and better place to be.

The Journey or The destination

 

With that said I have hit the 20 pound mark for weight loss. Based on the daily records I kept, I’ve broken the 10% bodyfat barrier and am currently around 9.5%. I noticed at the gym last night while working out that I look the same size or larger than I was when I started all this, which is funny. Sadly it takes some extra blood rushing through the muscles to really get this look, whereas being a little heavier makes it look natural. Then again being heavier might look bigger with clothes on, but with bare arms or chest, the aesthetic value decreases rapidly.

But I’m not done yet! I’m shooting for 8% or lower this time around. I won’t go beneath 200 pounds. Heck, I may not make it beneath 210 before I start eating drywall, but I’ll do what I must!

It goes without saying that I am SOOOO looking forward to bulking back up a little. Hope to stay under 10% when I do it, which may make it a slower bulk than is typical.

In the meantime, I continue to move heavy weights a dangerous number of times. Last night it was benching 275 for 6 – 7 reps (4 sets worth) on a declined bench press. Afterwards I finally found a station that I could break out an often unused exercise – the reverse hyper.

The reverse hyper was made famous by Louie Simmons, a beast of man who runs the Westside Barbell in Akron, OH. He used it to do therapy on his back after he screwed it up (broken vertebrae or damage to a couple of discs, I don’t remember the details) to recover and go on to squat an amazing amount of weight (over 800lbs)…and all at the tender young age of 51!

Louie Simmons, Westside Barbell owner and Reverse Hyper creator

 

Anyhow, I took a station set up for preacher or scott curls. I took the curl bar off and faced it in the opposite direction it was intended for. I used a chain to tie some weights between my ankles then leaned against the pad and grabbed on to the seat with my arms to stabilize myself. Bent over, in a rather compromising position, I proceeded to raise my legs until they were parallel to the floor and pointing straight out behind me, weights and all. One of the guys working there had no clue what I was doing and watched me, then admitted it looked pretty cool. I explained how it decompresses the spine while allowing the spinal erectors, glutes, and hamstrings to get a killer workout and he admitted he was going to have to try it.

It beats the hell out of back extensions, that’s for sure! Safer than almost any other lower back exercise too. The images below give you an idea of how it’s done. Disregard any resemblance the pics may have to a fully grown man getting amorous with a medicine ball…

Reverse Hyper starting position Reverse Hyper fully extended

Categories: Weight Lifting

Odd Moments in Life

Ran into a wall at work today so we decided to reconvene tomorrow after our critical path is opened up again. My department is networking our assembly line and taking it from wireless to wired. That makes it faster and increases our uptime. Wins all around – but we needed the maintenance dept to mount a switch cabinet this afternoon.

So I’m home now and, after doing some homework, I’m idly curious as to the outcome of this Casey Anthony trial. Mind you I wouldn’t have cared much for it at all if my wife had not gotten sucked into watching it every day for several days now. I figure this sort of thing happens far more often than it should (for the record it should happen 0 times), so why is this piece of trash worth watching more than anybody else? No good answer for that, aside from the media and public opinion is fickle.

The oddness of this moment isn’t the trial or the work, it’s that I’m home alone. The kids and my wife are off on a play date. For the record, the kids are the ones playing with their friends. My idea of a play date involves only my wife and I and, if I were to describe it in detail, it would certainly raise this blog to an adult only rating.

So here I am, sitting alone. It’s weird. I’ve got tons of things to do, it’s just the silence and lack of additional stimulus (e.g. requests for my attention to watch a fashion show, a ballerina dance, a somersault, etc.) that has me a little light headed.

Categories: Uncategorized

Holiday Weekend Productivity

It’s been an interesting holiday weekend. On the one hand I’ve got a four year old who clearly informed us last night after a particularly loud firework that it, “scared the hell out of her.” Yes, shame on her for using such language and we corrected her on it, but it was a difficult thing to do, considering the amount of laughter we had to swallow.

Then there’s my wife and her fascination with the Casey Anthony trial. I’ve been eavesdropping because it’s impossible not to when she’s right beside me. My opinion is that she’s deserving of a belly wound and then being dumped about 350 miles off the Florida coast, but I’d like her to be tied to the prosecuting attorney as well. An interesting situation, to be sure. I don’t envy the jurors for what they have to decide based on what they feel is the truth versus what has been proven.

Casey Anthony awaiting "justice"

Casey Anythony

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Great White Shark

Great White Shark

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Smiley Face

Justice

But little of that is productive, at least for me. I’ve managed to finish the first part of a anthology of sci-fi stories I’m writing centered around some space-based stuff. Tentatively I’m titling it: Vitalis. Thus far I’ve finished two parts, 1 and 4 (don’t ask). The first part was intended to be around 10k (they all were), but it ended up at 30k words. The fourth part is 13k, still longer but not quite as bad. Part two is next.

And outside of that I’ve made a slew of website updates. Redesigned my personal website, for example, and even made some bug fixes and changes to the Novel Concept Publishing website. Still a little more work to do, but I’m hoping to get that done this afternoon.

Oh yeah, had to do some school work this weekend too, then there’s me continuing the learning curve on marketing, twittering, and trying to weasel my way into doing some sort of blog tour or something. Matter of fact, if anybody happens to be interested in swapping blog space for interviews, reviews, random nonsense, or anything related please let me know! I can be reached at jason@booksbyjason.com.

Categories: Uncategorized

So do you like to try new things?

July 2, 2011 1 comment

I believe that quote came from the movie, “Go”, but I might be wrong. Anyhow, as uncomfotable as the question can be (depending on he context), in this case the answer is yes. I’m expanding my horizons, you see, and trying different ways of doing things. Why just this morning I brushed my teeth with my other hand – it was amazing!

Now that you’ve digested that, I’m also trying some publicity stunts. No, I’m not jumping off of a building and trying to use my underwear as a parachute. I’m trying a book giveaway at Goodreads. The book is Voidhawk and I’ve got five copies burning a hole on my bookshelf just wanting to get into somebody’s hands.

Check it out, the book is about…well…it’s a little unusual. A fantasy novel based on the concept of using magic to fly through the Void (space). Complete with pirates, evil and oppressive governments, and all sorts of intra-ship dynamics between characters. I’ve been told it has a resemblance to the short lived sci-fi series Firefly, only without technology. It has also been responded to warmly by anyone who’s heard of and enjoyed Spelljammer, a role playing game from years long past.

Categories: Writing

Less Cushion for Pushin’

As the subject clearly implies, this is about me being six weeks into losing weight and my performance in the gym. If you thought it was anything else then shame on you.

Six weeks in and the scale this morning read at 221.5. Calipers agree I’m down to around 10% bodyfat, which is a loss of 20 pounds in six weeks. I’m sure it hasn’t all been fat – that would be either miraculous or the result of some really good (and legally unavailable) drugs. In spite of that, my progress in the gym has not suffered.

Sure, being on reduced calories and working out has its challenges and yes, suffering is involved, but My reps and / or weights have increased on the exercises instead of decreased. For low volume and high intensity that’s possible due to improved CNS recruitment (a trained nervous system can recruit more muscle fibers; more muscle fibers means more power). Thing is, I’ve been lifting light and going for more sets and reps (typically a 4 sets x 6 – 8 reps scheme). That can have something to do with the central nervous system, but it’s often the result of increased muscle mass / size. On a diet, that’s unusual – unless it involves training in a way the body is not accustomed to.

I’ve spent the last few years training high intensity, so shaking things up like this definitely threw my body for a loop. Now I’m starting to stagnate though, so it’s time to change it up. This was a great experiment though, and something that I learned from . It also helps to cement my position that changing one’s body is entirely in the hands of the owner of said body. The tricky part is avoiding the idiot trainers and bullshit gimmick supplements – both of which outnumber their beneficial counterparts at least 3 : 1. And of course the media steers people in the wrong direction most of the time as well – there’s no press or controversy to be had in telling people they need to work hard and be dedicated.

I’m not done yet though – I’ve got 4 – 8 more weeks of cutting remaining, my goal is to get down to the 8% bodyfat range. I’ve seen the shadows many times so I know I’ve got abs, I just want to see them up close and personal this time. It will be a real mental struggle for me to drop below 220lbs, and it’s not about food it’s about the self-image I’ve developed over the years of seeing myself as a bigger guy.

On the other hand, dropping down that low puts me in an awesome anabolic state when I upp the calories again – should be able to put on some great muscle to regain my “big guy” mental status!

Categories: Weight Lifting
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