Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. This blog is a unique perspective of one persons journey into fitness. Not all clients and participants at Parsons Training undergo the same training, and each person makes his or her own decisions regarding dietary discretions.
By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
December 22, 2016
When it comes to this time of year, I am generally in a funk about everything. It used to be for childish reasons, mainly for the fact my birthday was during Christmas time and the whole celebration seems to be a little bit reserved. It was always like people were getting ready for the real party down the road, the one that everyone waits all year for. For the longest time, I tried to petition to my parents that maybe we should have my birthday in the summer time to help me a little bit more with the disappointment of the winter season, mainly because when I was a kid, having a party at the local pizza joint was far better during the summer time mainly because there would be other kids there and the chances of talking to other people were much higher. The pizza party goers seem to disappear during the holiday season, so it leaves you with an empty feeling. Heck, this is what my cousin did for his daughter, often times celebrating with friend and family during the spring or winter months and reserving strict family time for the actual birthday. Of course, I was not very popular growing up so as I got older, I appreciated the smaller gatherings and kind of accepted the fact my birthday will always be overshadowed by the big events of the month. People will be too busy arguing over the Starbucks cup controversy or yelling at schlubs like me because they don’t want to pay their phone bill because they spent too much money getting all of these useless electronic gadgets during Black Friday, which were not really that great of a deal. Yup, Christmas time while working in retail really demonstrates how awful people can be, and how awful the season can be from a consumer standpoint. Nothing makes you despise the season more when you have to box some 400 Keurig “coffee” makers because for some reason, a lot of people clicked yes on the offer sheet before they really knew if they wanted it or not. The worst part was all of the random Star Wars merchandise I had to deal with last year. Of course, I also worked on my birthday and then had to work the next day as well, for I really had no time for myself in regards to establishing some plans. I did get off early last year and enjoyed some grub at Veg Box Cafe, but nothing crazy so to speak.
I was pretty happy this year in regards to my birthday, for I did not have to work and I was able to spend some time with my pups and family on the day. My mother was pretty sick that day, so they are not able to take me out like they had wanted to. Also, my friends were all working, so I pretty much had the whole day to myself. I watched some old X-Files video tapes (remember those!) and generally vegged out on a long and gloomy day. At least that gloom didn’t last too long, for the next day I had a pretty good gift from an old friend of mine. Now I have known my bud Scott for well over 20 years, so getting to watch a basketball game at the University of Arizona was quite a treat. My alma mater was playing an old foe in the New Mexico Lobos, an old rival from back in the 70s when we used to be in the same conference together. Some tension has been formed between the two programs over the last 20 years, mainly over an old football trophy that the two schools used to give out to the winner. The Kit Carson Rifle might not have been Carson’s rifle during the time he explored and mapped the western United States, but it was a still a pretty cool trophy.
Anyway, the trophy was officially retired out of respect to the Navajo Nation, who have a very strong distaste for Carson due to his campaign in the 1860s against the tribe in addition to his work against the Apache. Arizona won the 1997 football meeting between the schools and officially retired the trophy. Needless to say, the New Mexico fans were not happy, thinking we made the decision because it was convenient to us. Listen, I can understand the importance to Carson’s legacy in regards to mapping the US, but his record against the Native Americans was pretty awful. Retiring the trophy was the right thing to do. Anyway, Arizona and New Mexico renewed their football rivalry a decade ago…and the Lobos won both games. They demanded the rifle but the University of Arizona said it was theirs since the trophy was retired, not budging on the original edict. A couple years ago, the two teams met again in the New Mexico Bowl and a rumor was flying around that the rifle would be reinstated for one last game. Regardless of the rumors, Arizona won the game and the situation has been put to rest. So even though the Wildcats own the series 44-20 against the Lobos, it is still a bit of contention between the schools. It ain’t any different between the basketball teams. Now New Mexico is a much better basketball program, and there were some pretty competitive games between the schools in the 80s and 90s. But a more than decade long feud erupted when the Lobos home clock manager gave the team an extra two seconds…just enough time to get a winning shot set up way back in 1998. Legendary coach Lute Olson said the Wildcats would never play the Lobos again while he was coach, and it took more than 17 years for them to finally play again…which just happened to be Tuesday night!
Now, I will not go too much into details about the game, for it was pretty unwatchable. Arizona clobbered the Lobos by 31 points and it was never even that close. So many people were bored by the outcome that we were goading Lobo players to just start chucking shots and play no defense so the game could go a little faster. The couple sitting next to me seemed to be more interested in talking about the media time outs than the game. Considering the pace of the game and the number of fouls in the second half, the game went pretty fast for the most part. It was still nice to hang out my friend and his father, who was remarkably laid back due to the fact Arizona played a wire to wire strong game in comparisons to what they have been doing as of late. Anyway, due to my weird night and the fact I got caught on a long call at work (I did not leave until 3:30), I didn’t really have much time to get to the gym and do much. I still wanted to make the effort to do something different, for I really didn’t have any time to do the snatch practices that Jon has instructed me to do as of late. (sorry Jon!)
So I decided to do some High Intensity Interval Training….well sort of of. You see, with so little time at my disposal (45 minutes), I really couldn’t take my time with the training and do something more intricate like snatch practicing. http://www.bodybuilding.com/content/high-intensity-interval-training-the-ultimate-guide.html Now I wasn’t necessarily doing the core idea of HIIT like you are supposed to, but I was in spirit doing some of the same principles. Anyway, the idea behind HIIT is to choose a few different movements, something that works each body group, and do these movements continuously with a set weight and set number of reps. Eight to ten reps is typically ideal when doing this sort of thing, but it is usually about getting to a minimum number rather than doing the same number every time. The point is to keep moving and promote fat burn with the body while also extending the cardiovascular system and getting the body moving at a breakneck speed. You work each body group in the process. Now I didn’t really have the time or the space to really get this thing going in the purest sense, but watching Christa do something similar to HIIT when I showed up gave me the right idea in terms of getting a fully functioning workout while also making my trip to the gym worth it. I initially started with four workout movements, something that would get my body working in all the right places. I figured 50 deadlifts, 50 overhead presses, 50 barbell rows and 50 dumb bell presses would be a perfect way for me to start. I mainly figured this would be a perfect way for me to get some good reps in while also working a small place, for I did not want get in anyone else’s space. So I certainly had the high intensity in the workout, I just didn’t have the time or the space to get the intervals in. But let me tell you, doing 50 deadlifts to start your day at 225 pounds is not something I would recommend. Doing the said workout in 11 minutes is not a good idea either. Normally, I would say give yourself some good time between a series of reps, but due to my time crunch and the fact I was trying to challenge myself, I blew through the 50 reps whether I was woozy or not. Fortunately I did not faint, for I felt pretty light headed a couple of times there. Anyway, I then decided to do the barbell rows since I was already using the bar for the deadlifts. I only did the rows at 135 pounds, but it was a pretty good weight to utilize considering I was already out of breath from the deadlifts.
With limited time, I did the overhead presses at just 95 pounds and then did the chest presses with 45-pound weights rather than the usual 55-pound weights that would be expected of me. Usually for this sort of thing, going faster with lighter weights is much preferable than trying to do it with heavier weights, for you may hurt yourself in the process trying to do your maxes at high speeds. Anyway, since I managed to go so fast on the working out, I was able to do 100 jumping jacks and then 100 crunches to finish up the day. I was pretty darn tired, so tired that I could have broken my vegan edge if there was not a pita joint at the University of Arizona Main Gate Square, the place I parked to attend the Arizona game (okay, I lie….I would never have broken my vegan edge, but damn was I hungry). I was bored with Chipotle and a pita would have been healthier and easier to eat on the way to the McKale Center, the home court for Arizona. Despite the fatigue and the hunger, I had more than enough energy to walk across the campus and get to the game as well cheer and stand for the next couple hours. So even though I did get a full workout like I normally do, it was still a good night of exercise.
Now I would not really recommend this kind training unless you are pretty fit and healthy. I made some mistakes that night myself, for I did not drink enough water and eat enough food and woke up with a massive headache that lasted well into the next day. That's my mistake, but the good thing is you might not be as stuck for time as I was. If anything, when planning this sort of working out, I would recommend you do this sparingly, either a little at a time per workout or a half workout until you get the hang of what kind of weights will suit you down the line. The thing is, you can get extremely sore partaking in this sort of thing and doing it every day could get tiresome. For me, it was a nice way to shock my body shape, for I felt pretty darn good after the workout and was more than awake was all said and done. so here is what I would do if you ever want to try and incorporate this mode of thinking into your workout regimen. While you concentrate on reps on one day and then heavy weights on another, doing this type of in between for a shorter period of time will certainly help build that lean mass you so desperately desire. But then again, don’t take it from me. I need to get more of this into my regimen because this pocket of fat around my stomach is being quite stubborn.
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Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
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Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.
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