Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Multiples of Five


5 - Pull-Ups
10 - Push-Ups
15 - Sit Ups
20 – Minutes total. As many rounds as possible.

I finished this workout with Q right before dinner and it was a little disappointing. My pull up strength has plummeted and by the end I was having a very hard time even getting 3 good reps in before assisting myself by jumping. The gym was very busy and so transitions between the exercises were very difficult and time consuming. We didn't have a good sit up area so we did situps with our feet flat on the floor on a flat bench. I need to improve pull ups, but my overall energy level is high. It's about time to increase work capacity.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

MRAPS, Jingle Trucks, and Love Handles, OH MY!


5K 35:32.

Legs were still kind of tight today so I took a leisurely 3 mile run with R.K. We've both been neglecting our running and the time obviously reflects that. My legs actually feel quite a bit looser after the run and after work I might do a little strength training. The biggest issue with running here is that all the trucks don't have to meet U.S. Emission standard. While I might be improving my leg strength with runs I'm probably getting some lung cancer as a side effect. Hmmmm lung cancer or run on a treadmill? Both sound pretty awful. Running in the afternoons seems to have less traffic, and if my schedule permits, I'll shoot for that in the future.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Lower Body - 1 Mile run fast pace. Begin run with 20 air squats and stop for 20 air squats every quarter mile.

Pyramids – 150 lbs consisting of 5 and 10 pound plates. Executed maximum reps until weight was racked. Partner dropped one plate from each side. Maximum reps. Repeat until you are only lifting the bar. Once your down to the bar, add one plate at a time until you reach your one rep maximum. Rest between sets should not exceed 10 seconds.

I did this workout with a friend of mine. I feel like there is still a lot of gas in my tank but I already know that since I haven't been active, I'm going to be sore from it. My biggest focus is a gradual increase in work to avoid injury and fatigue. The biggest issue is I don't want to miss missions because I'm overdoing anything. I'll transition to more intense workouts as time and progress allow. During the air squats I could still feel the previous air squat workout. I'm surprised how out of shape I am.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The New Hotness

So I'm deployed again. Once more I've taken "a little time off" and allowed myself to get pretty out of shape. About this time last year I was in peak condition and completed a marathon while still retaining a pretty decent amount of strength. Here on deployment I simply don't have the time or space to get back into distance running. Not to mention when I do go running it either has to be on a treadmill or next to giant army vehicles spewing pollution. It's questionable if running here does more harm or good to my lungs. Shortly after returning from this deployment I have aspirations of joining a different unit, so with that in mind I have very specific fitness goals.

Bench Press 1.5 X BW
Push Ups (2 Minutes) > 100
Sit Ups (2 Minutes) > 100
2 Mile Run < 13:30
5 Mile Run < 40:00
10 Mile Run < 90:00
12 Mile Ruck with 40 lbs < 2:45
Pull Ups > 20

The biggest issue however is to avoid injury. I don't want to ride the bench because I was reckless with my training. Aside from my fitness goals I have very specific aviation goals for this deployment as well. These goals actually over ride the fitness ones.

With all this in mind I'm trying a new fitness approach. I found a program called SEALfit that is basically crossfit with a greater emphasis on endurance. The first 5 weeks are body weight only and then there are 8 weeks of mixed training following that.

Day 1 - Intro to Air Squats
Warm-up: Watch video and practice 25 squats.
Work Capacity: Perform 5-sets of 20-reps with a 200 meter run
after each set. Log your time to track your results.
Cool Down: 1-mile walk and long stretch.
Coaching Notes: The air squat is performed with feet at shoulder
width apart, heels firmly planted into the ground, extend your arms
directly in front of you and pretend someone is pulling on your
wrists. Now push your bottom slightly backward and sit down
without bending your back. Keep your lumbar arch engaged and
tight, keep your heels firmly planted, get your hips below the knee
line. At the bottom wiggle your toes to ensure your weight is on
your heels.
Upon standing, stand up in an explosive movement and push your
hips slightly into hyper-extension. Full depth, open hips at the top,
engaged lumbar arch and firmly planted heels is the key.

This workout only took about 10 minutes, which is good because I woke up late, but it was still tougher than I thought it would be. I tried to keep good form and to run at a good pace. I saved the warmup 25 squats for the end to drive the nail in the coffin. I think this was a little light as a workout but my thighs are still burning so we shall see.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

OK seriously this time.

Some stuff came up last week and I didn't work out blah blah blah. I suck. I know. I completed the P90X Chest and Workout today and it kinda kicked my butt. I remember I was getting bored with P90X before I started training for the marathon (Followed by 6 weeks of doing jack shit) but now I've definitely lost strength. I completed 288 Push Ups and 164 Pull ups. That's down from around the 375 Push ups I had been doing. No worries though. I'm not gonna do another full iteration of p90X. Maybe just January. After that I have to go do Army stuff for the entire month of February. I did stumble upon the Cross-fit Endurance program however thanks to Fitbomb. That is definitely worth some consideration.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Faster, Stronger, Cheaper

So I'm back. Now if anyone actually read these posts I know what the assumption would be since my blog basically was set adrift across cyberspace with no one manning it anymore. The assumption would be that I gave up on P90X and got fat and lazy. Such is not the case....For the most part. Basically what happened is that work began to have mandatory workouts in the morning that were basically worthless. The time lost in the morning compounded with the time constraints of RL progression (getting trained up for my job) ensured that I would no longer to be able to maintain my previous workout plan.

The current situation isI have kept the weight off and I'm in pretty reasonable shape at the moment. I trained for and completed the Outer Banks marathon in November, which is pretty sweet but the problem is I haven't done much since then. RL progression is over and I need a new workout goal. Even though no one reads this blog I find that I am much more consistent when I maintain it.

So the plan is still under construction but I plan on doing a mix of P90X, running, and a much larger amount of weight training. I liked the result from the P90X but I'd like to incorporate more weight training and perhaps play with some cross-fit. So this will be a largely experimental cycle and if it's not working out I'll go back to pure P90X.

My second goal is to better manage my money and investments this hear. I read a book called I Will Teach You to be Rich by Ramit Sethi . It sounds like a scam from the title but basically it's just a book about budgeting and investing. Step one for January is to get my household's spending under control. I spent a good portion of yesterday forming a budget and exploring where I could cut expenses.

Verizon: cut $26 off my bill. They offer a military discount of 15% and I reduced my minutes from 1400 to 700 and cut off a charge for the navigation feature.

Auto Insurance: Cut off $27. I still have full coverage but moved some stuff around.

Direct TV: Cut off $15 by eliminating a couple channels I don't ever watch and turning in a reciver that we never watch.

Everything else I've set a budget for. I looked at how much money I spend on fast food and that alone would dramatically help both my financial and fitness goals. If we can stick to the spending goals I've set out in January, I'm gonna start investing the saved money in February. I'm deciding if I wanna pay down my loans or begin investing.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Two runs and a Nap

I've been in the Army since 1997 and for some reason I still get nervous before a PT test or a unit run. We could be doing one mile at a 10 minute pace and I'd still get a little antsy before the run. On Tuesday my Squadron conducted a four mile run in 34 minutes. Pretty darn easy run, but the reason we did it is because the entire brigade did the same run about five weeks ago and somewhere in the neighborhood of 10% of the unit fell out. On Tuesday's run I'd guess it was about the same percentage that failed again. There was really no chance of me falling out unless I somehow got injured but for whatever reason I still get nervous. I just never wanna be "that guy" that the commander is making the speech about. After the run I felt basically warmed up to go on an actual run. About five weeks ago the same run and pace was still not terribly difficult but it was more challenging than it was on Tuesday. It feels nice to see some solid progress from all the work I'm putting in.

I ended up working until about 2 AM on Wednesday and so no fitness training was conducted but I put my boy in the running stroller and did somewhere in the neighborhood of four miles tonight. The wifey is feeling pretty salty so she's going to try and do some P90X with me in the morning. That should be some fun family time.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Day 57 - Chest and Back + Ab Rippa X

Week 9 has started and I felt pretty damn good. I felt like beast flavored awesome with awesome sprinkles on top. OK maybe that's a bit much but it felt pretty damned good to get back into working out today after my infant induced hiatus. Chest and back was the same it always is but I made some pretty decent gains over last time that I did this workout. I'm up in reps and/or weight on every exercises and holding steady at 165 lbs. I stopped actually keeping track of my calories a few days ago and I'm holding steady at my current weight. I continue to check my weight everyday and if my weight starts to balloon again I'll go back to calorie tracking.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Day Whatever the Fuck it is

Let's start with a little fun with math: new baby + sick toddler + wife with stitches = workouts being a very low priority. The newest member of my clan has settled right into the his place of sleeping and playing with my wife's boobs but my oldest boy has had some issues over the last few days. He's been pretty sick and he is not happy about it. I'm still off work for maternity or paternity or whatever kinda free 10 days off work that I get for popping out another tax deduction. We really, really don't want a sick infant so we've kinda half-assed segregated the house. I have been taking care of the toddler and my wife has been dealing with the toddler. As a result I've had a sick kid on my lap about 12 hours a day. I managed to put him in the a running stroller I bought off craigslist for $20 (score!)for 3 miles earlier this week and today I ran with my buddy at Raven Rock for 5 miles.

The Raven Rock run was a smoker! We did a differ ant trail and the entire way is roots and rocks. Add the fact that you are very rarely on level ground and it destroyed me. The entire run your either climbing or descending. I faded pretty badly for the last half mile of climbing but whatever. I've hardly ran for the last few weeks. Both my wife and son seem to be feeling fairly chipper now though so I'm planning on getting back on schedule tomorrow. This actually coincides with the end of the rest week for P90X. With the break I don't think I've made any real progress from days 30 to 60 but hey I got a baby out of the deal so it's not that bad of a deal.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Day 50 - Chest and Back + Ab Rippa

Week 8 has started and this is supposed to be a recovery week, but since I missed most of last week due to my new son's birth I'm gonna get some work in. I did Chest & Back since I hadn't done that workout in a while and it delivered. I really enjoy the simplicity of this workout and it continues to be my favorite. There are hardly any weights, no crazy moves, just push and pull your body weight around til it hurts. I made very small gains since the last time I did this. Maybe like 2-3 reps per exercise. But hey make small gains every week and they turn into a big gain. As for ab ripper X, well nothing I haven't already said except I'm glad it's not every day. I'm not working this week so, baby permitting, I'm gonna work in some running and power lifting in addition to the P90X stuff.

If your getting bored or need more motivation try this little trick. If your using an excel spreadsheet to track your workouts like I am, then somewhere below the reps column add up the total numbers of push ups and pull ups that you do every week. It'll be something like "Sum(D1,D2,D4,D5)". It helps give you a big picture for the whole workout and makes you feel like you did alot of work.

My results today: (Not including heavy pants, lawn mowers and back flys)
Push Ups: 343
Pull Ups: 55

At this point I'm still tracking my calories and eating low carbs but it's not really a diet so much as how I'm going to eat from now on. I don't really care if I exceed my calorie goals or if I sneak some sweets from time to time but I no actively choose to avoid sugar, bread, potatoes, pastas, and rice. When I avoid these foods and eat high quality protein I can't eat too many calories. It's simply not possible to overeat when your that full. I had some small 190 calorie fillet Mignon steaks yesterday. One hundred and ninety calories and that includes the bacon that wraps it up. Try eating over 2000 calories of lean steak and broccoli. I dare you. You could eat 10 of those little steaks and 3 cups of broccoli and you would be at 2005 calories. Well til you threw up from having over 2 pounds of beef in your stomach. I started out at 177.8 pounds and now I'm holding pretty steady at 166 pounds. I may play around with what I'm eating a bit to cut the last bit of fat but honestly if I just stay around 14% body fat like I am now forever I can live with that.

Push Ups: So easy a monkey can do them. Ya know before it freaks out and rips your face off.

NarTube - Watch Video

Sweet Sweet Fried Chicken Sex

Somehow the comments section of the post I wrote about the KFC Double Down a few weeks ago has become a place to advertise for "no strings attached sex" and methods to quit smoking. I've deleted 5 comments so far which is impressive since I think that about 2 people actually read this blog. So let me just put this out there real quick: eating KFC has never helped anyone quit smoking or have sex. You should consider spamming a website of a different topic with actual readers. Thank you and good day you smoked chicken fuckers.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

My Baby Ate My Homework

So this week has been a bit of a blur and I went 4 days without working out. I also ate a crap ton of fast food and vending machine trash but I have a greeeat excuse. My wife just had my second son. Her water broke on Monday and the hospital in all their wisdom declared that um no her water didn't break and sent us home. I guess it's perfectly normal for a woman who is 9 months pregnant to just leak fluids for 14 hours. Clearly I'm no doctor cause I would assume that leaking tons of fluids and having contractions would indicate that shit is about to go down in a pregnant woman. Later on the next day we went back in just to play it safe and a different nurse was kind of like "Your water broke about 14 hours ago why didn't you come in?" Um ya about that. Anyways a few hours later I was holding a scrawny little 6 pound 1 ounce boy that was just perfect. The doctors were a bit concerned that he had some jaundice and he stayed under these crazy Burger King heat lights for a few days. We finally got the whole family home on Thursday safe and sound.

As far as my fitness schedule is concerned, I'm completely off schedule for the week but my body had plenty of time to heal up. So I'll count this as my recovery week instead of next week. I did a quick semi-half assed plyometrics last night and I'll do some lifting tonight. I'll be easing back on my running for at least another week or so because I don't wanna get too far from the house for too long until my wife is back to 100%. As a caveat to that I think I found a running stroller for $20 on Craigslist. Hopefully I can pick that up and I can take my older boy running. Not working out and eating trash had me feeling pretty sluggish but not that I'm getting back into the rhythm I'm already feeling better. The funny thing about the lack of working out is even though I was eating about 2300 calories a day and not working out, I still dropped a pound in the hospital. I was probably over training a bit last week. In about three weeks my wife is jumping on the P90X train as well. So in summary, everyone is healthy, I have a house full of little boys now, and life is pretty darn good.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Day 43 - P90X Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps

Well week 7 has started not with a bang but a pitiful whimper. Lifting yesterday really wiped me out for this workout. I was really struggling to match past weeks performance. In a few areas I saw losses, mostly in chest heavy moves. Some of the triceps and shoulder workouts I was able to move up to 30 pound dumbbells but not all.
I think that with the combination of all the running, the P90X, and the 1000-1500 calorie diet I may be overtraining. Last week I upped my carb intake to be 30-40% of my calories and set a calorie limit of 1500 a day. Since the change I haven't lost any weight. I realize that my total weight isn't what I should be concerned about so I'm changing my focus a bit. I did a tape test for body fat and I know those are inaccurate but it measured me at 15% body fat. I'd like to be around 10% or so but I'm going to play around with my diet a bit. I'm going back to an low carb diet and raising my daily calorie limit to 2000. We'll see what that gets me. Hopefully I'll maintain the same weight or add muscle without gaining fat. Next week depending on how this works out I'll change things up again.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Day 42 - P90X Legs and Back

I did the Legs and Back workout today, after realizing that I've skipped it for the last few weeks. The dumbbells really make a big difference on this workout. My legs aren't destroyed but during the workout I feel like I was working pretty hard. My only real gripe with the workout is that the three way lunges and the sneaky lunges are kinda worthless. During the time where Tony and his loyal minions were doing those sets I knocked out some free weight squats. Unlike most people I have an actual squat rack in my home gym so that may not be easy for everyone to do. However doing some heavy weights in the middle of the workout was a nice change of pace.

Diet update. Over the last week I've stayed around 1500 calories a day but I've roughly doubled my carb intake. I feel a lot more energy and much less tired but my weight loss has plateaued. I've been at 168 for about 5 days now. I know that the last few pounds of fat is going to be lost much slower than the first 10 were so I'm not too concerned but if there is no change in a few days, I'll go back to virtually no carbs. Once I get down to about 14% body fat or so, I'll make the decision to add mass or stay lean. Gotta say just for running purposes being lean is much nicer.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Day 41 - Mo Raven Rock

Matt and I ran another 4 miles of trails at Raven Rock State Park this morning. We ran a pretty decent pace but nothing insane. My legs are a bit tight at the moment and I was planning on doing legs and back this evening but ole Papa John interfered. My wife is pregnant and had a craving for Papa Johns for lunch so I complied. Instead of ordering an entire pizza we went in and each bought a single slice of awesomeness. I haven't had Papa John's in a long time and that single piece pretty much whipped my butt. I've felt tired and slow all day since then. As I write this it's 8 hours later and I still feel uncomfortably full. I have no idea how I used to be able to eat an entire pizza. One thing that made me laugh on the way home is I saw a Baby Ruth Candy bar that was advertising that it has 4 grams of protein. 4 grams OH WOW! Never mind the 300 plus calories and however much fat. It's got 4 whole grams of protein! That's slightly more protein than a cup of Broccoli! It's totally health food.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Day 40 - Picture day

Ok so I'm about 10 days past due for the 30 day picture but whatever. I still have a lot of improvements to make but I'm satisfied to see there is some visible progress. I hope to cut another 6-9 pounds of fat and then I'll decide if I wanna add some mass or just stay lean. Please excuse the quality of the pictures as the day 30 ones were taken with my phone. I tried to do yoga again today, I really did, but damn. It's soooo boring. I got all the way to the 48 minute mark this time and I was done. I'd check the time every 15 minutes and only one minute had passed. I do feel stretched out from doing the yoga but I simply don't have the patience to complete the workout. I'm sure it does great things for you but it's not for me.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Day 39 - Running

Two of my friends went to Raven Rock with me yesterday and we ran 4 miles along some trails that whipped me pretty soundly. I swear those stairs are the devil. The problem is even once you get up the stairs there is still a hill to climb. I actually ran in shoes yesterday which felt kind of strange after doing so much training in my vibrams but it did feel much easier than running in the vibrams. I think I am improving pretty well but I should really do more speed work. Maybe some intervals would be a good idea.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Day 38 - Back and Biceps

My biceps are done right now but my back feels OK. I managed a few gains on this iteration of the workout but nothing crazy. Mostly just an extra 10 pounds on the sets or a few extra reps. I did 22 pull-ups the first set and was down to maxing out at 6 by the end so I'd say I'm pretty smoked. My arms are still pretty weak compared to my back but they did improve a bit. Looking forward to seeing what happens next week when I do this workout.

Ab ripper X sucked as always but it is getting more fluid at least. I tried to get 30 reps on all the things that asked for 25 up until obliques. Those are still pretty tough for me.

I'm getting pretty tired of Tony's filibustering. Now that I know all the moves and my cardio is improved enough that I'm not panting on the floor after each set I find myself wishing Tony would shut up and get on with it. Next week I may have to make use of the fast forward button. Yoga is tomorrow but I'm just gonna run instead.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Day 37 - Got All Fern Gully On That Ass/Plyometrics

I have the day off of work so I drove up to Raven Rock and ran random trails for 52 minutes. Based on the campground map it was a total of somewhere between 4.5-5 miles but I also hit the devil stairs and kinda just wandered around so who knows. I was the only one at the park so it was very peaceful and relaxing to just run through the forest. I was pretty tempted to wear a thong and paint myself blue so that I could run through the forest while singing about Eywa, but maybe that's taking it a bit far. The park is 15 miles from my house if I take a bunch of sleepy back roads. After the baby is born I'm gonna talk my buddy Matt into riding our bikes up to the park doing a run and biking back. 30 miles of cycling, and 3-5 mile run should be a freakin smoker. I need to study today but I think I'll do plyometrics later on this afternoon.

I did plyometrics before dinner. I was having an urge to eat some peanut butter so I figured I better at least earn it. This workout is getting pretty easy for me. I didn't do all the excercises the way the crazy guy in the back does them but then again that asshole probably didn't run five miles this morning so I'd say we are pretty much even. This is Kyle's favorite workout by far and he was jumping around like a crazy baby for a good portion of it.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Day 36 - Chest, Back, and Triceps

So week 6 of P90X has officially started and I did my second workout of Chest, Back and Triceps. The workout went better than last week and although I've always regarded my shoulders as being pretty week they seem to be coming along nicely. I saw small improvements across the board on every exercises but nothing crazy. Sometime this week if I'm feeling antsy I'm curious to do Chest and Back from the first week. Tomorrow is supposed to be plyometrics but I think I'll go back up to Raven Rock and run 4-5 miles and then maybe knock out plyometrics later on in the day. I have Monday off from work so my energy level will be the determining factor as opposed to my schedule.

So I got a call from my sister today asking about P90X and I'm very excited for her. Both my mom and sister are going to try using the system and I am doing everything I can to motivate them to carry their ambitions through. I know that both of them are nervous about it being too intense but if they just stick with it for a few weeks they are going to have incredible gains. It motivates and excites me to see how it works out for my sister in particular. I could hear the motivation in her voice. That motivation combined with the fact that she used to be a pretty solid athlete in high school promises some pretty dramatic results. We have a deal that if she makes it to day 30 and gives it an honest shot then I can't make fun of her. I'm counting on the fact that if, scratch that, When she makes it to day 30 the results will be enough to motivate her to finish. However, if she doesn't make it that far then she gets to be forever branded a quitter and she has to post on facebook that she has a foot fetish. (She hates feet)

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Day 35 - Half-Assed Cardio/Recovery

My buddy and I wen to Raven Rock State park this morning and ran some trails for 3.75 miles. The pace was relatively slow since both of us were feeling relatively beat up, but a strange thing happened during the run. I actually enjoyed running. I've been running for years, mostly forced to by work, but I don't think I've every actually enjoyed running. The whole run I didn't feel any pain in my feet or knees and I just enjoyed the feeling of soft dirt under my feet and the forest scenery around me. The trail started out with some gravel which was kind of painful to run on with vibram fivefingers, but about a half mile in it turned to softer dirt. The entire first half of the trail was a gradual climb until you reach an scenic overlook with a great view of the river valley.

Further down the trail there are some stairs that take you down the face of the cliff. The rock walls were pretty fun to poke around in and the stairs themselves were a smoker to run up. It's been along time since I ran off the pavement, with no time schedule and no where that I had to get to after the run. All in all a good recovery run.

Friday, June 04, 2010

P90X Day 34 - Core Synergetics

My legs were feeling pretty beat up this morning so I knocked out core synergetics instead of legs and back. It wasn't as bad as the first time I did it but the workout still has me make the occasional bitch noise.
We have company coming over tonight so I also declared today my diet cheat day. For lunch I had a double bison burger that came in at nearly 1000 calories. Four hours later it still fills heavy in my stomach.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Day 33 - Are we there yet? - Cardio

I just finished my longest run to date in the vibrams. This morning I knocked out 5 miles in 45:50. My goal was 9 minute miles and I just missed that. Total average according to the Garmin was 9:11. Whatever I'll take it. I hadn't run 5 miles intentionally for a while so that in itself felt pretty good. Now time for the excuses. I think I was still a little tired from Monday's cardio fest because I felt like crap from the first step. My form was also pretty lousy today. I was running very "loud", with my feet slapping and I felt like I was impacting harder than I should have been with each step. The calorie deficient diet I'm using is also catching up and I kinda crashed around the 3 mile mark. It's you remember a road as being pretty flat when you drive it all the time, but when you run it suddenly you feel like your in the Appalachians.
Hopefully I only have about a week left of the diet. I'm down from 177.8 to 168.2 as of this morning before the run. I'm almost at the 10 pound mark in less than 2 weeks, and that is much better than I had anticipated. My original goal was to get to 169 by the end of June. I thought that 1000-1200 calories a day plus at least an hour of exercise a day would be to extreme, but other than just prior to meals I feel fine. I am looking forward to being done with it and eating some bread and pasta though. Carbs are the devil, but the devil can be pretty yummy.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Day 32 - Taking the Guns off Safety (Back and Biceps)

I did Back and Biceps for the first time today. I think I was getting a bit cocky about the P90X and then Tony showed me that I suffer from a medical condition known as Bitcharmitis. I knocked out 21 pull-ups in the first set but by the end I was struggling to get 5. This workout destroyed my biceps. I didn't realize how weak it was compared to my triceps but by the last half of the workout I was only using 20 pound dumbbells and even those were causing sweat to pop. I'm not sure if I like a whole workout devoted mostly to biceps, but it's clear that I could use some strength building in this area. Even though I know I need to do it I think I just associate arm workouts with douchebags like this guy.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Day 31- Cardio-Mania! Plyo + Run

Knocked out 3.66 miles in 30:44 this morning. Felt pretty good and it no longer feels weird to run in my vibram fivefingers. I still get strange looks especially since I wore them in the Army PT uniform, but oh well. It works damn it. Everyone else in my unit is on vacation so it looks like I won't be working past noon for the whole month of June. When I got home I was still feeling froggy so I knocked out a plyometrics workout. I thought I'd be dying since I ran earlier but it wasn't bad at all. My quads were kinda smoked but I felt like taunting the TV the whole time. "Screw you Tony! I don't need a water break. Let's do this!" My 1 year old son just learned to jump a few weeks ago so he just thought I was playing with him the whole workout. I even taught him to go flex in front of his mommy when we get done. Had a protein shake for breakfast and two chicken soft tacos for lunch. Hopefully I'll drop another 5 pounds this week and I'll be at or near my body fat goal.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Day 30 - Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps

Lordy! I get the whole muscle confusion concept. I was getting pretty damn good at doing the chest and back workout and then I did this workout. It handed me my ass pretty efficiently. My shoulders and triceps are smoked and I'm actually missing keys as I type this blog. Y presses and slow motion push ups are the devil. Somehow even the push-ups kicked my butt. I'd done this workout before but I haven't done it since I got my dumbbells. The free weights are key, bands just don't do the job. At no point did I ever use dumbbells larger than 20 pounders but every time I felt the burn. I still gotta take a few one second mid-set breaks but I hit every rep on Ab Ripper X. I even did a few extra reps on some sets.

And one for the Airborne Ranger in the Sky. Have a good memorial day.

You are 934 calories over your goal.

My parents came into town for the weekend and we had a great time. My mother however is the proverbial home chef and made spaghetti. Then she made sandwiches, and well no excuse here but, we had Snicker's Ice cream. My final tally was 2971 calories. 52% from carbs. My step dad and I spent all day (like 11 hours) building my spoiled kid a swing set. It's pretty massive and even after all that time it's still not completely done but I'm within a few hours of completion. My best buddy is throwing a BBQ today for memorial day so probably gonna slam some calories today too. I'll at least cut down on the carbs. Time permitting I'll knock out a run tonight too after I study.

Week one of the diet is in the books. Total weight loss even with my mom's spaghetti is five pounds. There isn't much going on at work this week so hopefully I can sneak out and make better exercises and food choices and at least hit another five pounds of weight loss this week as well. The goal for now is 165. I may actually go down to 160. When I get to 165 I'll see how I look, feel, and perform.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Day 29 - Core Synergetics

I'm usually not a big fan of core workouts because it is usually just a combination of planks and sit ups but this one surprised me. It started easy enough with some weird push ups but then began the evil bananas. It only got worse from there. I need to condition my core more and this was a pretty sweet workout. I wish this replaced yoga or kenpo in the first few weeks. My shoulders and arms even got a bit of burn. I never used more than 10 pounds and believe me it was plenty. I'll definitely keep this workout in the rotation. I don't think I'll be sore but I was dripping sweat from trying to hold some of the positions and it was a pretty solid aerobic workout.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Shoes? Where we're going, we don't need shoes.

My parents came into town and saw my new house for the first time last night. They stayed until fairly late and of course the rest of my free time prior to their arrival was spent cleaning the house to the wife's exacting specifications. As a result I didn't work out. I'm sorry Tony Horton I don't mean to neglect you I'm just not ready for that sort of commitment. It's not you, it's me. P90X is pretty enough. Plus running is the priority since that is my weakness at the moment and my core and upper body strength is pretty decent at the moment.

I knocked out a barefoot 3 mile run this morning. I didn't go terribly fast, just a 9 minute pace, but I felt pretty strong. My form is improving and I feel that next time I'll go longer or faster. The limiting factor is no longer calf strength when I do the barefoot running but is now arch strength in my foot. I think that will come in time. I really wish I would have got into the barefoot running earlier. When I think of how many painful years of running I've done for good ole Uncle Sam, it's kind of depressing to think of how simple of a fix that barefoot running is to my form. Now when I do wear normal shoes it feels like I'm walking around on giant foam stilts that are bungie corded to my feet. My running shoes feel the way that my dress shoes used to feel.

The diet is still going well. I weighed myself before I went running and I'm down to 172 for a total loss of 5 pounds since Sunday. Not bad. As a bonus my wife said that my abs and hip flexors are coming back in already. So motivational merit badge is awarded to the wifey. The diet makes me feel a little tired just before meals and bed time, and I tend to be dreaming of food just before bed time. The first time I realized I was kinda zoning out and thinking about food it made me feel like I was back in Ranger school for a second. As long as I limit my carbs I don't really get hungry though. It's more of a desire to snack. Kind of like when you watch a movie, you're not actually hungry but you still wanna munch a whole bucket of popcorn. Anyways I'll knock out some P90X tonight or tom morrow depending on my schedule.

Side note, my stepdad and I are going to the spec op/airborne museum today. That should be pretty sweet.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sneaky Ass Burrito

I've been doing pretty well with the low carb thing and it hasn't been as bad as I thought it would be. I've had at least 40% of my calories from protein everyday and made sure that my carbs were as low as possible. Kinda got hosed today because I ordered a chicken burrito not realizing that it had rice in it. Oh well. That thing alone was 47 carbs. Despite this I came in at 930 calories for the day. I ran 4 miles in 36 minutes this morning and according to that's around 700 calories so I think it will be alright. Just before bedtime I knocked out another 3.3 in 30 minutes with my vibram fivefingers so that I can keep working on my form and strengthen up my calves. put that at another 550 calories burned. I think this is a bit optimistic being how this puts me at a total of -300 calories for the day, but whatever I'm just a dumb pilot.
It's probably mostly due to the run but I do notice that the more carbs I eat the hungrier I am. With meals that are high protein I have the urge to eat more but it passes after about 10 minutes. It seems like carbs just burn off faster and leave me less full. I'm down about 4 pounds so far but I suspect that most of that may be water weight. Once the week is up I'll see what the actual results are. Despite the lower calories I felt stronger running today than I have in a long time. The barefoot running is getting easier too. I still have to watch my form to keep my feet from slapping but the form is feeling more and more natural. The first run I did barefoot left my calves shredded before I even stopped running. As I sit here writing this I just finished my longest barefoot run to date and I can report no pain. Well back on the P90X wagon tomorrow.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Eat Less Fattie

I've never done the food diary thing but then again I've never had to get taped to determine my body fat because I was overweight on the Army height and weight chart. It was kind of an eye opener. I'm currently 177.8 and I want to get down to 169 by the end of June. I've been totally shrugging off the P90X nutrition portion of the program and I'm now reconsidering the wisdom of that decision now that the thirty pudge just dropped in my lap. I started using the "my plate" program from I tried to do a program on my phone initially but it was to time consuming and I really like the Livestrong database. You just search what you ate (by brand ussually) and add it to your meals. You can also save entire meals that you eat frequently. By the breakdown for today I had 41% protein, 22% carbs, and 37% fat for a total of 1216 calories. That's not too bad especially since most of those carbs came from the small BK fries I had at lunch. I ordered apple fries but they screwed up the order and well it was a long ride home. I'm weak and fries are yummy. Side note BK serves ribs. WTF? They actually weren't too bad. I was planning on just getting a grilled chicken sandwich and not eating the bun but curiosity overcame me.

Came up with a super easy recipe for dinner.
4 cups steamed broccoli
1 lb chicken
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 soy sauce

Heat oil. Add chicken and stir til white. Add broccoli. Add soy sauce. Season.

Doesn't get much easier than that and it's pretty good. Did the same thing last night with shrimp. My wife bought these bags of frozen broccoli that you can just pop in the microwave so there isn't much excuse. It serves 3 with 306 calories each, 9 grams of fat, 9 carbs, and 55 grams of protein.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

KFC Double Down Sandwich Selling Like Hotcakes - Fried Bacon Smothered Hotcakes

This is kinda crazy to me. When I first saw this commercial I thought it was a gimic, but I guess people actually eat them. Clearly I am wrong.
"KFC said it has been one of its most successful sandwich launches ever. Later this month, KFC expects to sell its 10 millionth Double Down."
It actually suprises me that it is as close to a Big Mac in calories as it is. I thought it would be way more. One thing to note however is that the "healthy" grilled chicken actually has more sodium than the fried chicken. - KFC Doubles Down on Bunless Chicken Sandwich

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Day 18 - The Test *insert dramatic music here*

Didn't do crap yesterday because I had a fitness test today. It was just a diagnostic test and the results didn't matter, well unless you failed, but I was pretty curious how the P90X would translate into the Army PT test. The test consists of 3 events: 2 minutes of push-ups, 2 minutes of sit-ups, and a 2 mile run.

The push ups? Crushed it! Thanks for making me do hundreds of push-ups every week Tony! The absolute maximum score for my age group in push-ups is 72 reps. I knocked out 70 without pausing and once I got to 86 I still had a minute remaining. At that point I just got up. I feel pretty confident that I could have done close to if not 100 total but I'm brand new to the unit and it was kind of smacking of being show off since it was a diagnostic test. In my 12 years in the military this was the easiest that push-ups have ever felt, and that's really saying something since I probably had to do tons of push-ups when I was a private in the Rangers. I think the combination of the reps and an adequate rest period for recovery has made all the difference.

The sit-ups? Crushed it! I needed 82 in two minutes to max it and I hit 86 without too much effort. I didn't feel as strong as in push-ups but it was not an issue at all to hit the max. Ab-Ripper-X has strengthened my abs and more importantly my hip flexors didn't feel tired when I did the run. Gonna definitely stick with Tony's ab system.

The run? To max the run I needed to run two miles in 13:18. Yeah not so much. Two miles in 15:20 is pretty sad. It's well above failing which would have been 17:28, but still who wants to barely pass anything in life? To make it worse I watched a contestant on the Biggest Loser run a marathon last night. I've gotta get off my butt. To run you've gotta get out and run. I've been running MAYBE 4 miles a week. Probably not even that. Therefore it came as no surprise that I sucked donkey balls on the 2 mile run. All the jumping around, yoga, and playing ninja in the world will make you run fast if you don't actually get out and run. Even when I have gone running it's been pretty half assed. New plan is to run 3 times a week at a minimum. I wanna knock out 7 miles next week and then start adding up the mileage every week or increasing the pace every week after that. I've never been a great runner but hey that's why I gotta actively work on it. The only positive note is my form seems to be correcting itself from doing the barefoot running. I used to slap my feet really hard when I ran because I struck with my heel. I think the vibrams are helping to fix my stride.

We are having a recorded PT test around August and I plan on crushing that one. God I hate running but I suppose I've just gotta embrace my devil on this one.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Day 16 - Cardio

We had thunderstorms last night so when I knocked out my 2 miles this morning it was pretty muggy and dreary. It felt like I was running through a Tim Burton movie. I felt pretty slow and started getting tired before I should but on a positive note my form seems to be improving. My feet didn't slap as bad as normal and my strides were shorter. My calves are pretty tired from the run but I think that the vibram fivefingers are starting to affect my running style. Hopefully I can stop being so incredibly inefficient. I considered knocking out some interval training as well but since I have a PT test in 2 days I didn't wanna over do it. Since I don't have to work today, my original plan was to start building the boy's swingset and go fly for about 2 hours but it looks like the weather will not permit either. Oh well I need to study anyways.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Day 15 - Chest and Back (Excuses Excuses)

So on day 10 I had work until 2 A.M. and thus wasn't in the mood to do anything sweaty on day 11. Day 12 did an hour of cardio in the park. Day 13 just got busy with day to day stuff and didn't work out. Day 14 was a rest day. So altogether this week I missed 2 days, one cardio day and legs and back. I'm not terribly concerned about missing the leg workout but I really need to do more cardio. Today knocked out chest and back and saw improvements across the board. Couldn't do more weight cause I only have 50 pound dumbbells but I was able to knock out about 5 more reps on all the push-ups and 1-2 on all the pull ups. Gonna do a short run and maybe plyo tomorrow, and probably nothing but a light jog on Tuesday since I have a physical fitness test at work on Wednesday. Kinda disappointed that I won't be doing this workout again until week 9.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Day 10 - Shoulders and Arms

Felt pretty good today, as if it had been broughten as the movie cheerleaders like to say. Saw improvements across the board on both reps and weight. I really like the free weights soooo much better than the bands. My arms and shoulders are feeling pretty toasty right now. As good as I was feeling following the workout the ab ripper x slapped be back into compliance. That joker doesn't seem to be getting any easier. Of course it doesn't help when my one year old is walking up and pushing my legs down and laughing about it. Nothing like toddler resistance to amp up the intensity. Writing down the reps and weights has proved to be a good motivational tool. It lets me track improvement but more importantly I refuse to do less than last week. My computer is in the same room that I work out in so I use an excel spread sheet that works pretty well for me. You can find it here.

On Killing - Posturing and Cultural Distancing

So I’m about halfway through a book by Dave Grossman called “On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society”. It’s got me thinking quite a bit. The book itself is on the psychological process that goes on before and after someone kills another man, the methods used to overcome mental barriers, and training techniques used to prepare soldiers to kill.

According to LTC(ret) Grossman the average man has a considerable mental barrier to taking another’s life. Consider a Napoleonic era conflict where two armies are positioned shoulder to shoulder a mere thirty yards apart. With the average soldier able to hit a target at 150 yards 60% of the time the results should be devastating and very rapidly decided. The truth however is that these battles could last hours, and the artillery ended up doing the majority of the damage.

One of the early observations made in the book is a view I’ve never really considered. The thought of fight or flight has become such an overused expression that it has assumed the aura of a natural law. In truth however, fight or flight are only two of the four common results to aggression. Much more common are submission and posturing. Submission may not take the form of surrender; it may instead be manifested as suddenly finding more pertinent tasks to complete. Reloading, assisting wounded and relaying messages immediately come to mind.

Much more common in my experience is posturing. Think about what happens when two tom cats first meet each other. Most of the time there isn’t an immediate retreat or fight. Instead each tries to assert dominance while not endangering them. The puffing up and making aggressive actions and noise is posturing. Firearms provide an excellent tool for posturing. There is lots of noise, and it’s very scary, but usually there is no actual effect. When a unit receives contact and it is unknown where the contact is located it is common, especially in undisciplined units to begin firing randomly. On a purely tactical level this is insane. Indiscriminate firing consumes an infantryman’s most precious resource, ammunition at an alarming rate, gives the enemy a rough idea of the unit’s strength and location without direct observation, and exponentially increases the chances of fratricide and/or collateral damage. Despite all this not only does indiscriminate firing happen, it is encouraged among many units.

The immediate firing is often mischaracterized as “gaining fire superiority”. This is a misnomer, unless it wins the psychological battle with the enemy. Fire superiority is when incoming fire is limiting a unit’s ability to maneuver and return fire effectively. If the unit under fire is randomly shooting and not actually putting accurate fire into the enemy’s position than their ability to fire and maneuver is largely unhindered. What the indiscriminate firing does accomplish is twofold. The first is that the act of aggression no matter how impotent is much more psychologically empowering than inaction. I can testify that sitting behind a wall or hill and getting shot at while taking no action is much more frightening and stressful than actually pressing an attack.

The second reason for the indiscriminate firing is both functional and instinctive. The firing provides an effective form of posturing. This posturing can be seen almost anywhere where conflict is seen among men. I remember as a child if there was a school yard fight each “combatant” would puff their chest up and would engage in shoving matches rather than actually fight. The time I got in the most trouble in all of elementary school was when another boy shoved me and without thinking I clocked him. Everyone around me looked at me like I had broken the ritual and somehow cheated. Actual bodily harm and violence wasn’t supposed to occur. The boyhood scuffles were merely a way to assert dominance. When this posturing is used in combat it can actually be functional. In Ranger school (which is one of the most tactically vacant schools in the army) we were taught to “fire enough to make the enemy think they engaged a whole company instead of a squad”. The intent is to make the enemy retreat or be immobilized from intimidation. This mindset can be clearly seen in Vietnam where estimates range from 50,000 to 200,000 rounds per enemy killed. Is this effective? It depends on the enemy. If the enemy can clearly see that the engaged unit is misappropriating it’s fire the posturing can be empowering. Seeing the unit in a state of confusion further heightens the engaging enemy’s perception of safety and superiority. On the other hand if the enemy was also posturing and simply firing in the air or general direction of the unit without being in a position to accurately observe the unit, the posturing can be very effective indeed. Imagine a single insurgent shooting a couple rounds around a corner where he believes an American unit to be located. When his rounds, which had no real effect other than posturing, are answered by a massive show of force, dominance on the battlefield has been clearly established without a drop of blood being spilled.

I think that cultural distancing and moral distancing are the primary justifications that I see in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are hajjis. They are savages. They beat their women and molest little boys. They attacked us. They hate us. They are cowards that won’t stand and fight. They set bombs to kill innocents. All these represent moral judgments that are made as a way to assert superiority over the enemy and make killing them a just act. Many of these perceptions also are created by the language and cultural barriers that exist in the conflict. In every previous war soldiers either lived among or at least had very intimate associations with the local population. In Iraq and Afghanistan we are sequestered away on FOBs and only intermingle with the population while on missions or in very controlled settings with key leaders. I have a total of six rotations and as a direct action soldier I can only think of two positive interactions I’ve ever had with a local. In both cases the Iraqi spoke fluent English, the interaction was in that person’s home, and we had mistakenly targeted their house and entered by force. Two positive interactions out of hundreds of missions! The vast majority of soldiers that deploy to Iraq or Afghanistan will have no interactions at all with a local. Most soldiers never even leave the FOB and run the possibility of going to Iraq for a year without even seeing an Iraqi. The separation between sides becomes a clearly defined barrier for both sides. The differences in culture and lack of interactions make each side’s thought process completely alien to the other. In this situation it is inevitable that dehumanization of the enemy will occur.

I may post more on this later but I’m tired.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Last Week in TV.

-Familiy guy seems like it's trying to be taken seriously. They've always had a political undertone but the last two weeks haven't really been funny just this weird pseudo soul searching crap. They really need to stick to fart jokes. I don't need a talking dog and baby to give me life lessons. American Dad continues to be superior in every way.

-Simpsons hasn't been funny for about 4 years. It no longer even merits the DVR. I check in with it every once in a while out of a respect for my childhood.

-I only started watching Big Bang theory a few weeks ago but it's pretty great. It's nice to see nerds as the subject matter of a show without it being derogatory. Plus I think it's probably the funniest show on TV at the moment.

-Betty White was fucking metal on Saturday Night Live. I'd pretty much wrote off that show. I hadn't watched it in a few years but Betty White was increadible. Many of the skits on the show were funny based soley on her talent.

-Worst of all I've had this song in my head all week thanks Winkler. Amazing Horse

Day 9 - Supposed to be Plyo

Ran two miles at a pretty decent pace. I didn't end up getting home from work until almost six. After that there was dinner to cook, dishes to do, and a kid to bathe. My intention of knocking out the plyometrics in the evening didn't really work out. Oh well still got some cardio in. I don't have to go to work until the evening tomorrow so the next workout shouldn't be an issue. My calves still feel destroyed for some reason though. Maybe I just got slow.

Day 8 - Chest and Back

Matched last weeks reps and weights and bumped it up just a little bit. I didn't have any huge gains but I was feeling kinda sloppy so it was a good thing that I actually wrote down last weeks numbers or I may have not even done that much. Side note If you want to add resistance to push ups have a one year old climb on your back. He's gonna sneak up there if you like it or not and it makes it much tougher. Oh and by the way Tony your a dick. You know damn well that I don't need a full minute to do pull ups on the last set. Seriously.

Day 7 - Rest

Well technically I was busy at work on Thursday so that was my rest day. But whateva.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Day 6 - Cardio

Whew that was much more painful than it should have been. I ran two miles and some change in about 18:00. My legs felt pretty tight the leg workout yesterday and the cardio I did earlier this week. I've been wearing my Vibram Fivefingers pretty much all the time when I'm not at work and my calves haven't got used to that yet either. I think that my calves and stabilizer muscles have really been weakened over the years by being pampered by running shoes. When running my calves really felt like the thing that was slowing me down so hopefully the Vibrams will get them built up. Actually running in shoes felt kinda strange. After I mow the lawn I might do slow mile in the Vibrams just to really punish my calves

Friday, May 07, 2010

Day 5 - Legs and Back

This was a pretty decent workout but it's not nearly as intense as the first three days. It really feels like the need to make the total workout time uniform with the other workouts and to have a variety of moves detracts from the actual workout. I guess if you called it "Pull-ups n' Lunges" it would be hard to sell. Many of the moves were just stretched out over too long of a period of time. Sometimes if you kept in sync with Tony's minions you would be doing one rep every 3-4 seconds for like 2 minutes as opposed to knocking the whole set out in 45 seconds. The wall squats kinda felt like a punishment as. Sorry Tony I'll stop making fun of your soup jokes just let me get up. The three way lunge with the little ninja kick, sneaky lunges, toe roll isos, and groucho walks reeeeeally seemed like a waste of time to me. On the sneaky lunges I really have no idea what the point of putting your hands up is except to increase said sneakyness. I think next week when I do this day I'll do some actual squats with the free weights during the previously mentioned excersises. Whoever the blonde chick is a kiss ass. Your a dancer we get it stop doing the little florishes and toe pointy things during excersises. The only thing more powerful than Tony's humor is my mute button. Mute + radio = better workout.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Guns, Germs, and Steel

I just finished "Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies" a 1997 book by Jared Diamond, professor of geography and physiology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). In 1998 it won a Pulitzer Prize and the Aventis Prize for Best Science Book. A documentary based on the book and produced by the National Geographic Society was broadcast on PBS in July 2005.

The book itself seeks to answer why certain cultures dominated and continue to dominate other cultures. Why for example were the Native Americans ravaged by disease when the Europeans arrived but almost no major diseases ravaged Europeans. Why didn't Africans adopt gun powder and domesticate zebras? Why did aboriginal Australians remain at a stone age level of technology?

In a gross oversimplification the book argues that military and cultural supremacy ultimately arise from superior food production. Essentially he who is the best farmer ultimately rules the world.

This explanation of the last 13,000 years or so essentially equates to social evolution. Survival of the fittest on a grand scale. A dominate group will out breed and absorb or destroy it's rivals to expand and grow. Kinda explains why you don't see a family of Pygmies or Khoisans at Olive Garden on a Friday night.

It's a very persuasive argument but much like Darwin's theory of evolution that I just equated it to, it begins to get muddled in recent history. I'm not arguing that it's wrong just that I think that both cultural and genetic evolution in the human race has ground to a stand still within the last century.

Let's start with genetic evolution. In very simplistic terms let us assume that we have two tigers in the wild. Tiger one is stronger, faster, and smarter than tiger two. According to the theory, in all likely hood, tiger one is more likely to survive than tiger two, and is more desirable to the limited number of mates in the area than tiger two. Thus, tiger one will have many more offspring than tiger two. So if we follow this logic the next generation of tigers will have these dominate traits. Now let's say that we have a third tiger that is born with an mutation that is detrimental. Let's say that tiger three is mentally deficient and can barely function or learn new hunting techniques. The chances of tiger three living long enough in the competitive wild to breed are minuscule, therefore his mutation is effectively weeded out of the gene pool. Problem solved.

Now let's turn our tigers into people living in an American city. Tiger one becomes a professional such as a lawyer or doctor, tiger two becomes factory worker, and tiger three becomes a cast member of the jersey shore. In modern society does superior genetics equate to more offspring? Quite the opposite. It's estimated that birth rates to women on welfare are three times higher than by those not receiving public assistance. Definitions of success may vary but from a position of influence, education, and income those members of our society in the highest levels of achievement tend to wait until later in life to conceive and have less total offspring. If evolutionary success is based on reproductive rates, the current trend in our society is that the genetic traits of the least successful members of society are the most widespread. From a genetic standpoint it could be argued, that at least in industrialized countries, the human race is in fact devolving.

If the basis of Mr. Diamond's book is that more successful cultures eventually absorb or destroy less successful cultures how does this relate to the future? In the modern world if a nation is unable to effectively feed, educate, and protect it's citizens it is no longer an invitation to it's neighbors for conquest and genocide. There was a time when this was not the case. The English, Chinese, Roman, and German cultures are just a few examples of cultural spread by dominating their neighbors. Anyone in the world can name the basic characteristics of these cultures but one would be hard pressed to name a popular Gullah dish. With international aid to failing states and the umbrella of sanctions and/or intervention in response to wars of aggression, failing states may have revolutions, but absorption or elimination become less of a danger every year. Failing states now have began to inadvertently export their cultures to their more successful neighbors. So in much the same way as genetic evolution, superior cultural characteristics no longer translate into superior breeding rates.

The other portion of the book that I don't agree entirely with is how Mr. Diamond understates the importance of religion. Islam and Christianity provide broad justifications to martial spread of their respective religions and as a consequence the corresponding cultures. The associated religion also has a direct impact on technological innovation. I may get more into this in a day or two but this post is already entirely too long considering no one reads my blog. :)

All in all it's a tremendous book and I would recommend it to anyone.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Day 4 - Cardio Cause I hate Yoga

Played "Ultimate" frisbee with some guys from work for about an hour. It basically ended up being intervals. Lots of sprints. The fog when I left the house was so dense that I couldn't see stop signs until I was about 25 feet away. This made it incredably muggy and everyone was pouring sweat. Really seems like a game with the word "Ultimate" in the title would involve land mines, or carniverous rabies infested baboons or something. It should at least be a contact sport to rate the "Ultimate" title. Following the frisbee knocked out a mile and some change. All and all I'd say pretty good chunck of cardio.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Day 3 - Shoulders and Arms

Got through the workout but really felt like I should be doing more weight. Oh well. The back to back sets really burn you down. At the gym I was probably sitting around about as much as actually working out. Well Tony don't play that. I dunno if I was tired from the Arms workout or just low on gass but the Ab ripper X really tore me up this morning. Should probably change what/when I eat. I dunno. I wasn't at muscle failure just pooped. Gotta play frisbee at work tomorrow but hopefully I can sneak away and get a run in instead.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Day 2 - Plyometrics

Well day 2 is in the bag. Had a pretty good sweat on and hit every rep. I don't really get the point of the military march. I seems pretty easy and out of step with the other movements and feels all Hugo Chavezey. The leapfrogs are also kinda weak but I found a way around this. If you hold a one year old while doing the leapfrogs it cracks them up and makes it quite a bit more intense. I enjoy this workout because my 18 month old son has fun with it. He just learned how to jump about a week ago so watching me do this workout is like a party for him, or dancey-dance time in his vocabulary. Working out with him is a blast even if he only hits about 3% of the reps. I mean I know he's only one but I totally burned him. :) Feeling pretty good may have to go for a barefoot run with my new vibram fivefingers later today, time permitting.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

P90X Reboot Day 1 - Chest and Back

So I got to day 22 of P90X and I have decided to start over. Some stuff came up at work and as a result I missed three straight days of working out. Also I just received my set of adjustable dumbbells. Previously I was picking up plates from my free weight set. This resulted in either not having enough weight or the movements just being awkward. This iteration I’m also going to change the routine up a bit.

For starters Yoga is gay. Like strawberry waffles gay. I’m sure if I gave it a chance I’d probably get something out of it, but its just soooooo boring. I mean it is an hour and a half of just standing or kneeling in weird positions. It’s not a workout it’s just uncomfortable. My ADD starts kicking in about 15 minutes into it and I’ve never managed to make it past the 45 minute mark. “Warrior 2 to sunshine, to downward dog, to backward duck, now slowly transition into upward decepticon. Now exhale.” No thanks Tony.

The other workout I’m replacing is the Kenpo. It’s just really not a big deal. I tried it this last week while holding 5 pound plates and the first 20 minutes of punches were a smoker but as soon as the kicking starts it really mellows out and just makes me feel like I’m playing ninjas or something. Also like Fitbomb pointed out the guy that “invented” the workout Wesley or whatever his name is in the back is pretty squishy. Soooo what am I really doing it for? Yoga, Kenpo, and rest day will now become run days. I despise running in the way that fat Jewish kids hate Nazi carrots. It is the devil. However it is a job requirement that I must be proficient in this ability so I need to pay my due diligence. Plus I can get a better workout from running a few miles than an hour and a half of yoga or made for TV ninja training so why wouldn’t I?

I did Chest and Back today. It was a smoker but I think I did OK. Ab ripper X was brutal as always but at least I’m getting 95% of the reps and my hatred of the dancer guy with the dreads is simmering down. I mean have a little trouble with at least one rep you selfish bastard. I complained to my wife about him and she made me feel MUCH better. “Ya but look at his body! It’s gorgeous! You should do what he’s doing.” Thanks honey couldn’t keep that one in your head could you?

Now that I'm 30

1. I can have a 30 minute conversation about lawns and/or fences with someone.

2. It turns out I was right, there was no need to learn cursive writing.

3. I haven't put a new song on my IPOD in like 2 years and I'm fine with it. I think when you hit 30 your playlist gets locked in for the rest of your life. This explains oldies radio.

4. If given the choice between an all expenses paid weekend at the hottest club in town and a really sweet sandwich, it doesn't even really have to be a great sandwich to win.

5. OH so nooooow I can't eat a large pizza for dinner with no consequences. Why didn't I get a memo or something from my body saying that these things suddenly matter?

6. I can sing every song on Nick Jr. word for word, but I don't have a clue who 3 out of the top 5 artists on the billboard charts are.

7. I can't tell the differance between middle school kids and high school kids, or for that matter high school kids and college kids. They all just fall under the title "kids".

8. Whenever someone says "I'm not book smart, but I'm street smart", all I hear is "I'm not real smart, but I'm imaginary smart".

9. Twitter fucking baffles me. You ate a sandwich and it was yummy? Really wow! Thank god we have the technology to share that piece of critical news.

10. Turns out my dad was right most of the time.

11. I swerved to avoid a banana peel the other day. Fuckin Mario Kart.

12. I've stopped making new stories to tell. I just don't do enough stupid shit anymore for something interesting enough to share to happen.

13. I'm pretty sure that when I was in high school girls weren't as slutty.

14. I have numbers in my phone of people I never plan on calling. They are in my phone just so I know they are calling me and I can not be home.

15. I don't want your social security number, and if I did have it, I don't know what nefarious thing I'm supposed to do with it. File your taxes?

16. HGTV is on my favorites list for the TV.