Monday, August 17, 2009


So call me Fickle but I've taken a break from the swimming. I had a decent routine going but 2 things got my mind off of it. One is...I'm fickle. I didn't see incredible results within a month so I got bored and tried some other exercise routine. Since I didn't feel that I was sweating while in the water, I felt that it was useless. So I started doing more treadmill/exercise bike/stepper routines for cardio. Trying to put in about 45 min each workout. An even stronger that I put the swimming aspirations on hold is the great warm sunny weather outside. I have my great basketball shoes a ball and a court that I enjoy playing on. So why not take advantage of all this until the gloomy wintertime comes around and I have to stay indoors for exercise. At that point an indoor heated lap pool will be perfect. I will still jump in the pool every now and then but not the 4x/week I was doing.
I also got annoyed with lifting weights. For the longest time I was rarely using weights for strength training. Instead doing traditional exercises such as pullups and pushups dominated my routine. Why I got sucked into lifting, I do not know. It seems so unnatural and isolating muscles can not be a good thing. Sports, fighting, killing a wild beast with your bear hands; common denominator? None require just one muscle used at a time which is exactly what using weights and machines usually does. So I picked up an exercise band with little handles on it. It has good resistance and is lightweight. It can be used in a multitude of exercises for strength and flexibility training. What I like most about it is the dynamics of a stretch band. The more you pull, the greater the resistance. That couple with the natural instability of rubber forces me to coordinate various muscles at a given time in a dynamic fashion. After only a couple workouts I notice different parts of my body feeling a bit sore, proof that those muscles are being used without being "targeted" durin the exercise.
Changing a workout routine is great as it keeps things interesting for my ADD mentality. It also forces my muscles to constantly "think" and work together for the various exercises. Most important fact is that I am continuing to push my body and burn calories while developing a strong core which will come in handy for any sport I may partake in.
Oh yeah diet: blah, blah, blah. Veggies, fruit, fiber, minimal sweets. Too much alcohol and some questionable late night food a couple times a week.
On one last note, I have decided to give up alcohol altogether for the month of Ramadan. Not a sip, not a glass of white wine with my fish dinner, not a beer while watching football....none. I'm not sure if my purposes are religious but rather to detox my body and my poor fatty liver. I hope that a month of detox is a great lesson and will lead to moderation in the future.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Let's get competitive

Finally bought some new basketball shoes and a ball this weekend. I've been starved for competition and late night drunken ping pong matches don't really cut it for me. It is absolutely ridiculous to workout so much just for the sake of working out. I want to see results not just in the mirror but also on the court, any court. Basketball, tennis, soccer...bring it! What I'm going to TRY to do is be active everyday. All this talk about allowing your muscles to rest every other day is lame. Did Hercules have a strict Monday-Wednesday-Friday lifting schedule? Did Achilles only go jogging on odd numbered days and relax at a spa on the weekends? No, they did not. But FlexE you're not some great heroic mythological figure, you are just human. Um, clearly you are not able to grasp the potential of my athletic prowess. Ok, I'm getting ridiculous here but you get the point.
So I am going to try to go swimming in the morning before work and play ball on those same afternoons and on the other days continue my 3x/week lifting schedule. I might even combine legs and chest or back and legs, etc to make it 2x/week. I prefer to spend the majority of my time outdoors competing. It drives me to be better and makes me feel great. Even if I lose, knowing that I gave it a full shot just motivates me to get back on the court and do better. I want to speak of a past triumph regarding basketball but maybe it's better said on a different post when I have more time to get into it.
Hope this blog is motivating some of you to get out there and be active too. Hopefully I'll put up some "after" pics in a couple months that will motivate me and the readers alike to continue a healthy lifestyle.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Destined for greatness

A close friend always says that I'm TOO tall by one inch. He's 6'1". A short little fellow in my opinion. Now here's proof that in fact I am genetically predisposed to be much greater than him. However, stick me next to a 6'3" guy and clearly he is a freak of nature. Being tall is one thing but anything above my perfect 6'2" stature is just absurd. I'm being bias you say? Silly silly readers.

Monday, July 27, 2009

1st day of the new 0 to 1650 swim workout.

I'll paste the week two workout here:
WEEK two:
200 for 12 breaths
100 for 10 breaths...repeat 3 times
50 for 6 breaths...repeat 3 times
25 for 4 breaths...repeat 3 times
total: 900 yards

I assume that I'll do this 3x for the week. Before moving on to week "three". So today was day ONE of my first WEEK. I started off strong but had a little internal battle between wanting to stop since I had just finished a full leg workout and had a long night of work and reminding myself of a previous post about not holding anything back during my workouts. Swam 200 yards (half breaststroke, half crawl) took 12 breaths and did 2-100s but then I started cheating. Not so much on the yardage but actually the breathing. On average I took twice as many breath breaks as was listed in the workouts. Meaning instead of a 10 breath break, I counted up to 15-20. Nevertheless I finished the full workout and hope that by the 3rd time I do this this week, I will have done it with the correct amount of rest breaths.
To swim a mile is a great achievement in my book since swimming has always been my achilles heel. I have gone bike riding for long lengths up and down mountains and gone jogging for an hour with ease. However, swimming is very intimidating. I have convinced myself that it is because my body is not made to float but that is just a ridiculous excuse. Hopefully by the end of the summer I will comfortably jump in the water and enjoy a good mile or two of swimming without feeling like my lungs will give out.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Swim Workouts
Randomly came across this website and I'm going to give some of the workouts a try. I figure it is a good way to keep the workouts competitive instead of just doing leisurely laps back and forth a few times a week. I will TRY not to burn out on this swimming thing but I am excited about the prospect of swimming a mile without feeling that drowning midway is a better option.
I'll start with the swim a mile in 6 weeks program and start on week two. Meaning that by the end of August, I should be able to swim the mile. Wish me luck.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

What are you holding back for?

I had just finished a long night shift and got home for my usual breakfast then sleep routine. But instead of getting home at 10, it was only 7:30. I thought I could go for a workout. Had 2 celery sticks and little peanut butter for some energy then went down to the gym. I started my workout and kept convincing myself why I couldn't finish a particular set since I was so tired. And how hungry I was so it made it tougher to lift. Then I looked around and wondered how many people at the gym where so concerned about their recent calorie intake vs. workout performance. So I pushed through all these negative thoughts holding me back. I finished set and did extra set. Put on heavier weights and just stopped thinking about all the petty details. Then I went for a swim. 10 laps into it I was again exhausted. Instead of taking a breath every 3 strokes, I switched it to 2. Each lap felt farther and a mysterious current was constantly coming against me. I slowed down my strokes to preserve the oxygen in my system. Then I decided just how ridiculous I am. So I started taking long full strokes with as much energy as I have. What's going to happen? My muscles will give out? I will drown in a 4 ft deep pool? The lifeguard will point and laugh? No, none. So I spent a good 20 laps of taking full strokes. Tired on some laps, revitalized at others. I barely took a break when I hit the wall, just enough to turn around and keep going. I must say despite it being after a long work day and tough lifting session, those last 20 laps were my best yet.
Andre Agassi, an incredible tennis player still well after his prime, had a philosophy that resonates in me.
In an interview about his workout routine he said it is better to workout intensely for a short period of time instead of a long drawnout session.
As a kid I tended to "save" my energy during a game. Especially soccer, with so much running around during a game, I was concerned that if I ran at full speed in the beginning of the game, I may not have anything left at the end.
Then came football. There was no jogging or 50% in football. The plays were so short and quick that I had no choice but to go all out on each play. And it paid off tremendously. I would knock the other guy down easier, make plays more often, and truthfully, have a better time. I started having this mentality during soccer matches too. Again, a great payoff. Why I have forgotten how good this feels I don't know. But it is a feeling that I tasted yesterday in the pool. So no more holding back during my workouts, playing sports, etc. Naturally I will apply this to my personal and professional life too, but that will be posted on another blog. Let's keep this one focused on my what will be chiseled abs one day.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Another week

Getting ready for a night out. I've been good for most of the week. Lifted three times. Legs (always start with that to get it out of the way), then chest/triceps on Tuesday and back/biceps on Wednesday. Stuck in a few rounds of swimming and I think that counts as a full week of working out. Today I just went for a swim before going out. Did 30 laps. 15 freestyle 15 breaststroke. Everyone remember how much each lap was? That's right, about 75 feet. 30x75= 2250 feet right? Woohoo! Would love to get that speedo at this point but I made a promise to reach a goal first. So this post is a lie. I started it before going out. But now I'm back home at 4 am finishing up this blog. I had a good night and ate some "chicken n' rice" but I really regret it. I have been taking care of what I eat with good fish, quinoa, greens. To eat some greasy food with Grade "?" meat, is just such a shame. I don't think I enjoyed it all that much either. But I was with a good friend and sometimes that makes it all worth it.
Here are a few pics of what I've been enjoying for grub. Ahi tuna steaks are great, tough like meat, health
y like fish! The orange stuff are carrots I chopped up and threw on the pan. I used to love carrots. That story will come on another post when I have nothing else to talk about....


Saturday, July 11, 2009

How much do I weigh?

I started off at around 220 a few weeks ago but I don't have a scale anywhere around to see if I've lost/gained/stayed the same. I'm assuming I lost weight but who knows what the Friday night binge driniking/eating are doing. I had some incredibly disgusting blueberry pancakes last night. I don't mind unhealthy food but what's the point if I don't even enjoy it?
So I did a good leg workout today. I've been lifting 3x/week. One day dedicated to legs. Squats, lunges, an exercise for quads, one for hamstrings. So I'll be sore in a couple days and struggle to walk up stairs. I'm tired and don't have much else to say right now. Come to think of it, I shouldn't even post this, it sounds a bit boring. Whatever, hopefully I'll have better things to say next time.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Keeping on

So what's a blog if I don't keep posting? I've been good about skipping out on muffins and excess food, etc etc Lots of fruit, greens, fish, quinoa. And a few piece of sweets with my tea. I thought this might balance out the excess cortisol in my system from working nights. I need to skip out on heavy breakfasts though right before I take my 6 hour day nap. Kind of like having an unnecessarily big dinner at the end of the night. I realized my legs have gotten really strong. I squeeze in a leg workout once a week and walk around endlessly at work. The cortisol though does its number on my midsection. I'll keep fighting until this month and the night shift is over. Eating great, being healthy blah blah blah.
My workouts have been good too. I try to lift then go for a swim. I'm lucky enough to have a 23 meter lap pool in my building. I know, I'm loaded. So loaded that I spent 1/2 hour deciding if it was worth dropping $15 in the clearance section of Modell's for a pair of swimming shorts. So 23 meters, how many feet is that? A bit over 75 I think. We'll go with 75. Why not just use meters? Well, when I calculate how far I've gone, it'll sound more impressive.
I started a couple weeks with 12 laps. I decided to keep increasing the laps. 14, 16, 18, 20, then 30 yesterday. Some breaststroke, some crawl. No backstrokes though. I always worry about my head hitting the wall. I'm not the best swimmer but I've taken courses and hope that in due time I'll get better. I realized this morning that it actually does work your muscles. After 18 laps, my arms wouldn't move. So let's calculate: 30 laps x 75 feet= 2250 feet. Good stuff. I'm hoping within a month or so, I'll put in 50 laps easily in 1/2 hour. Once I get to a 100 I might even venture to go euro and buy some speedos. Poor lifeguard sitting there. Might be in 2 months, maybe 2 years, we'll see.
I stuck a pic of what I had for dinner tonight. I had some wine leftover from last week so I thought I'd pour some in the pan with my ahi tuna. Mmmmm. I'm using the smaller plates now, I figure once I get the Euro speedos, I should start eating their portions too. By the way, my place isn't jaundiced. The yellow was just my camera setting.
Well have to get to work for some cortisol pumping fun overnight. I hope everybody has a great July 4th and be safe. ERs are already packed with drunk driving morons and burn victims.

Friday, June 26, 2009

First Post

So it's 12:33 Firday night and actually started this blog only 1 day after I thought of doing it. I thought of setting up a "getting in shape" blog. Update my progress. Don't know if anybody will care to read this or care that some random dude is working out and not shoving a bunch of sweets into his belly at every opportunity. If you don't, there's a cute little red "x" at the top right of this screen. Just click it.
Anyway, since I came back into town, I've tried to buy only healthy foods (and alcohol). I also have some great sweets from Iran and chocolate from Germany that I brought back from my trip. The intention was to give it out. But I was in confused daze of jet lag when I came back and now I don't really have any friends around to share it with.
Anyway, I've been using the new pool in my building. It's 23 meters (75 feet) long so it makes for a good workout. Anyway, I've used it 3 times and lvoe it. I'll try to post what kinds of workouts I've been doing on this blog and how much I've beeen swimming.
My last 6 sessions of lifting included 2 days of legs, 2 back/biceps, 2 chest triceps. Won't bore you with the details now but I have started swimming which is great. I bought a pair of swimming shorts and goggles. The shorts are good except on the breaststroke, it restricts my leg movement. Might have to move to wearing speedos...yikes.
The 1st day in the pool I did 10 laps, then 12, then 14. I could go on and on but I'm more concerned about how much I can do in 1/2 hour. The last few sessions took about 15 minutes. We'll see...
I took a couple pics to do the whole "Before and after" thing. I don't look that bad. That's not my incredible vanity but rather just being honest. Judge for yourself. I stood up straight and didn't put effort in to tuck in but I didn't try to make the pics worse than I am just so I feel like I've improved when I take pics again in a couple months. Also, I haven't figure out how to turn the pics right side up yet. Anyway, it's late and I'm enjoying a drink with some chocolate. Yeah yeah, not the best diet but it's my night off of work and I've been good the rest of the week.
Let's hope I keep up with this blog but more importantly my plan to really get in shape.
Take care,