Archives For fitness

I’m not one for lists, formulas, ten steps to this, ten steps to that. But there is one secret to success that, in our quest for shortcuts, glory, viral fame, we overlook.
 
 Why?
 
 Because it’s not sexy. It doesn’t sell books, promise riches, cure cancer, or even make life easier.
 
 What is this secret?
 
 Sure you’re ready?
 
 Here it is:
 
 Show up, and do the work.
 
 Told you it wasn’t sexy. It’s not what itching ears want to hear. Let me put it this way: if even the Bible says “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,” what does that say about the rest of life, and the things that are worth doing?
 
 They’re not going to come easy. There are no shortcuts.
 
 I don’t care if you’re a writer, a bodybuilder, a homemaker, a husband, a wife, a student, an employee. The secret to success in any of those things is: show up, and do the work. Whoever said that love isn’t work, that doing what we love isn’t work, lied. Nothing ever worth doing comes easily.
 
 We know this. We all know this, but we want instant success. Conversations are the currency of any relationship; show up, and listen. Extend mercy, grace, and forgiveness. Do the hard work of humbling yourself when you’re wrong.
 
 Words are the currency of the writer; continue putting them down on the page–even if no one will ever see them. Show up; don’t give up.
 
 Iron is the currency of the bodybuilder; to grow, one must lift–and continue lifting.
 
 What do these all have in common? Grit.
 
 Grit, determination, and self-discipline.
 
 See? I told you it wasn’t sexy. But it’s true. And hard truths always and everywhere trump sexy lies. I don’t need to tell you that this requires sacrifice, a giving up of the things we like to pursue what we love.
 
 So show up, and do the work.
 
 
 

 

Photo Credit: “PAIN Knuckle Tattoo 11-23-09 — IMG_9893”, Â© 2009 Steven Depolo, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

 
There is nothing quite like pain to bring us up short. When it hurts just to breathe, how do we take that next breath? The body knows–even if the receptors in the brain are flaring up like an electrified pin cushion. We would term this bad pain. Certainly unwanted pain. 
You see, I’ve been on a journey to work my way up to a 300 lb bench press. With only a couple of months to go, I recently took a tumble, hurting my back. This is has hindered the forward momentum I had laboriously, by the sweat of my brow, built. Only fifty pounds away from my goal, I’ve had to stop. You see, when one is working out, there are good and satisfying pains of the workout (soreness), there are the pains one pushes through.

And as I alluded to above, there are the pains that quite literally take one’s breath away. We would (as I said above) call this bad pain. The thing is, pain just is. It’s a warning system to let us know when things aren’t right. In these cases, it’s a voice which must be heeded. Or else we risk adding injury to injury.

Author Jim Butcher says there’s one thing we often forget about pain; namely, that it’s for the living. The dead don’t feel it. That we feel pain means, quite bluntly, that we are still alive. Philip Yancey would remind us to look to the leper, whose deadened nerve endings deny the necessary warnings which pain brings…

I’m not going to lie: pain isn’t fun. And the season of recovery, where I must sacrifice some of the progress of made, is frustrating. But it is necessary.

There is something to be said for slowing down. I’ve been able to read more, watch some movies, rest.

Pain let me know that it was time for a reset.

What has pain taught you?

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“Behold the mobile prostate van,
Let all your trousers fall,
Bring forth a shining speculum
For this won’t hurt at all.”

I saw this on the street today. As a man of a certain age, I’ve been there–in the doctor’s office, mind you. There’s no way I’d head into some van to have my nethers poked and prodded.

NO. WAY.

In fact, after I recovered from the sheer horror and shock of seeing the smiling faces on the side of the van (I mean seriously, who enjoys the finger wave? the old guy looks happy, the guy in the middle has got a face saying “can we do that again that was kinda fun,” the football player has assumed the position, and I’m not sure what the couple is doing–lady, you don’t have one), it occurred to me that this is kind of comical. I know prostate cancer is no laughing matter, but getting checked sure is a pain in the butt!

Now turn your head and cough…

Okay, that was bad, but somehow it just doesn’t make me wanna sing ‘He Touched Me,’ you know? Because I can assure that it wouldn’t be joy which flooded my soul… You wanna know something else? When I was a new believer lo these many years ago, we would sing ‘All Hail the Power of Jesus Name’ at the church. When we got to the second verse–because I didn’t know the word, “prostrate” at the time–I heartily sang to “let angels’ prostates fall.”

Hold that image in your mind’s eye for a minute. Who’s gonna clean that up? “Angels,” came a booming voice, “pick up your prostates! Put them back. Let’s try this again. Clean up in aisle five.”

“All hail the power of Jesus name… No, no, no!”

——————————-

Okay, seriously, while our body parts/bodily functions may indeed cause us some discomfiture, the need for prostrate screening is real. Men, get checked. For your sake, for your family’s, for everyone who Depends upon you.

This has been a PSA from your friendly, neighborhood RandomlyChad. Oh, and, “Thank-you, sir! May I have another!”

My Exercise Program

randomlychad  —  January 9, 2015 — 6 Comments

For the past six months, I’ve been exercising. Exercising harder than I ever have in my life. Unlike my wife, whose goal is to be trim and fit, I’m looking to add lean muscle mass. My hope is that, after reaching what I feel is an appropriate weight, to cut fat. Being that I’m 45 it’s proving somewhat difficult to shrink my midsection. Where just a few years ago I was able to drop forty pounds just by doing low carb, it’s not proving quite as easy this time. Although admittedly I previously didn’t include rigorous strength training in my fitness regimen.

The long and short of it is that while I’m not gaining weight, I’m not losing it either. I chalk this up to muscle being denser than fat (that’s what he said). 😉

Here’s what I’ve been doing for the past several months:

Peak 8 high intensity interval training for cardio on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. This includes a three-minute warmup, followed by a thirty-second sprint, followed by a ninety-second walk. The sprint is repeated seven more times (for a total of eight). I cool down until my heart rate is back in the 120s. Out of the twenty-two-and-a-half minutes spent on the bike/elliptical only four total minutes is spent sprinting. Thus I only spend a little more than an hour doing cardio every week.


My Tuesday and Thursday weight training regimen includes:

Dead lifts: 300lbs lifted 10 reps x 3

Unassisted pull-ups: 25 reps x 2

Squats: 300-320lbs: 25 reps x 2

Bench press: 200-230lbs: 10 reps x 3, or 25 reps x 2


My Saturday workouts inlcude:

Dead lifts: 300-320lbs: 10 reps x 3, or 5 reps x 3

Bench press as above

Tricep cable pull-downs: 15 reps x 3

Bicep arm curl machine: 70-80lbs, 10 reps x 3-4

Hammer bicep curls (rope handle), 140-155lbs, 15 reps x 3

Straight arm pull-downs (for the back): 15 reps x 3

Hammer machine double crunches (for abs): 75lbs, 50 reps x 2

Spinal rotation (for erector spinae, obliques, and abs): 140lbs, 15 reps x 2/each side

Caveat lector: if you are going to try these exercises, please do your due diligence, and research them online. Read up, and watch YouTube videos. Proper form is key (and is the grammar of weight training if you will) . Bad form can hurt you. Please be advised that if you try these exercises, I’m not a doctor, or a personal trainer; I’m not recommending them, rather just reporting what’s worked for me. You are on your own. Any liability for injury rests solely with you.

Thanks for reading!

What does your exercise program look like?

When I Saw Sonny

randomlychad  —  September 15, 2014 — Leave a comment

I don’t know Sonny. He doesn’t know me. Never met the man. But I was stunned by his example:

When I heard him say he was seventy years old, I was stunned! There I was, forty-five, tired, and like the eponymous “Al” of the old Paul Simon song, “soft in the middle.” I didn’t want to be soft in the middle anymore!

When I heard Sonny say that he started working out at the age of forty-four, I was stoked! It meant I could do it, too! That I wasn’t too old to get healthy, get ripped.

If Sonny can, so can I!

So can you, my friends. So can you! Take care of the temple the Lord has given you–you’ve only got the one.

What are you doing to get healthy?