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 1, 2016
The great thing about the holidays is the time off of work and the time spent with family. While I didn't get as much of that as I would like, I at least got to get a taste if it this year. Last year I was working by butt off and killing my body for a company that didn’t give a squat about me. All the while, I think I busted more hump last year than any person humanly possible, and I am not being a liar about that. Seriously, if you remember, I had to move a whole bunch of packages by hand across a series of moving platforms that were not exactly moving at all. Either way, how did your Thanksgiving go last year? Once again I am in a consumer/retail arena and had to deal with a lot of nonsense from people trying to get new phones and accessories even though they really didn’t have the money to do. On the other hand, I had a whole group off people that were willing to spend boatloads of cash to take advantage of Black Friday deals that seemed too insane to be true. One woman bought out her four device payment agreements so they could take advantage of a huge credit toward new iPhone 7s. She essentially spent 1,000 dollars to get over 2,000 dollars in total credits toward the phones that were going to ultimately cost her and her husband nearly 4,000 to purchase. Seems kind of excessive to me in regards to this exchange, but I guess a 25% total markdown on the total price of extremely expensive phones are worth it to some people. The fact they have the money to do this is mind boggling. In fact, my world is becoming very immersed in regard to phones, for while the frenzy to get the newest hand held cancer makers (allegedly) are turning people into vultures and greedy jerks, Apple is already talking about the iPhone 8. It was funny on the message boards on a tech magazine where I was reading about the phone and the potential prototypes. So many Samsung-philes were spitting shade at Apple, and while I do not care much in regard to the phone wars, I had to stand up for the brand that has been a reliable mainstay in my life for some 30 years. “Maybe you all should use the Galaxy Note 7s to start a fire and warm your cold hearts” is what I spouted before proceeding off into another diatribe about the greed of the common American and how this emulation of wealth and power is probably indicative of why a greedy narcissist like Donald Trump was elected for president. America is chalked full of small time narcissists that think an expensive phone will define them and bring them closer to the VIP status they so longingly beg for.
Okay, time to stop before this really takes a dark turn. I talk too much about work and how much I already hate the job even though I am about to start receiving benefits. I have already started the process of looking for other work, and hopefully companies will give me a quick turnaround because I am not really interested in working at my job for the foreseeable future. There will be one good thing moving forward…my schedule change. Right now it is a work in progress, but I am thinking of doing a schedule during the week where I show up on Monday morning, Tuesday afternoon and Thursday afternoon so I can get my pump on. This seems like the best schedule for me going forward, for this will give me a little more time in the gym and give me more leeway in regards to my personal freedom. This will also be a good opportunity for me to start getting stronger again as I go through the process of my Ragnar Del Sol training. While I could do a Monday-Wednesday-Friday thing going into the future, I feel this Monday-Tuesday-Thursday thing will be more beneficial toward the health of my body. I have an idea about how to do this, though nothing is final at the moment. I was thinking of doing some functional type of working out on either Monday or Tuesday, mixing in some heavier stuff on Tuesday and Thursday. I will probably do the functional working on Mondays, for Jon is interested in getting me in to the final stages of my Olympic weight lifting, especially the snatch. I have already been exposed to the clean and jerk, but obviously I need to be much stronger in regards to that movement as well. For weeks on end, I have been prepping myself for this sort of thing, doing hundreds of overhead squats with the barbell. Right now the weight is pretty low, but at least I have done the necessary stretching for the movements. You see, the issue for me is the idea of getting the bar over my head and keeping it steady. I had a pretty tough time with this on Tuesday, mainly because of the hell that I put myself through.
You see, I barely worked out during the previous week, and the downside of taking advantage of the holidays is the complacency. I did a little run on Thanksgiving day, but I didn’t run the previous day like I should have. Yup, I got caught up in a good nap and then decided to not run at all, making up for the laziness on Thanksgiving morning. And then after that, nothing. I didn’t do any push-up, no sit-ups and I didn’t do anything to help build my calves (like I said I wanted to do). So on Sunday night I did make a concerted effort to go on a run. I only put in four miles but it was better than nothing. You see, when you are totally of whack with your routine, you have to sort of let yourself slip back in slowly. I was thinking I would try a seven mile run that night, but the way my knee and my feet were feeling, I decided to cut it short and take the win for actually getting out there. For me, getting out of the house and doing something was key. One cannot get too complacent, at lest that is the way I feel about the situation.
I battled complacency in another way as well when I came into the gym on Tuesday. I decided to take another crack at German Volume Training. Initially I was just going to do some bench press sets at 145 or so, just heavy enough and just challenging enough to get the heart rate moving, a good way to get active after a few days off. But right as I was about to start, I said screw it and set myself up for 10 sets of 10 reps. The way German Volume Training works is to take minimal rest in between the sets. It’s a lot like High Intensity Interval Training, but the key is the set time between the sets. I tried, I seriously did. I wanted to do 10 sets at 125 pounds, but I ultimately flamed out at six sets. Technically, that was way better than the last time I attempted this, for Jon was lowering the weight on me by the time the fifth set came about. Not to mention this, I didn’t finish last time. My arms were as wobbly as lo mien noodles, but this time I finished the ten sets, even if it was at a lower weight. I wasn’t shooting for the stars at all that day, but it was a perfect start since I went right into the overhead barbell squat presses. I was already smoked from the amount of work I had to do to get the GVT done, but this made life even tougher for me. I think the most difficult aspect of the overheads that day was the mental. I knew my body was tired and a little burned out since I jumped right in to the overheads, but I also knew my mind would get in the way. You see, the toughest thing for me is letting my brain tell me that I am too tired or some other extenuating circumstance would get in the way. It was similar to when I avoided my short run the previous week. It was a little chilly, it was already six o’clock in the evening and I was a little too relaxed after enjoying a little nap with my two pups (it is getting colder, so now they are constantly cuddling with me in bed and when I sit down…unlike during the summer months). I have always been a slow starter when it comes to exerting on my own time, which is why going to Parsons Training is so important for me. I need that forced inspiration so to speak.
Speaking of forced inspiration, I finally have my assignment for my next Ragnar adventure. When Del Sol rolls around again (this time during the month of March) I will be the No. 2 runner this year. So far I am slated for 17.4 miles within the race, which is a little disappointing for me considering I wanted to be the No. 12 runner and get the 11.3-mile run on my first leg. But alas, apparently someone got the spot before me mainly because they are a good runner and specifically asked for it. Oh well. You can’t get everything in life. Though I might be able to convince my team captain to let me do the first leg of Runner 1 and then do the other two longer legs for Runner 2. Just a thought. I have always wanted to start off a Ragnar race and the 15.3 miles that is Runner One does not suit me. I’m sure Jon and Christa will be a little unhappy, considering they have both been Runner 1 and since the entire course was revamped, the combined mileage has been dropped from the original 21 miles. Anyway, I’m dropping some decent money into this thing and I want a lot of miles to justify the time and money! Since there are only three legs that have 17 miles or more, I figured getting back into Van 1 would be a good thing since the course is going to be much hotter this year. and yes, global warming does exist and just try running in the middle of the day in Arizona during February. Now add about 5-10 more degrees and you have the equivalent of running in the day time during March. They had to change the whole course around and make the legs shorter just so people wouldn’t die out there. Ragnar Del Sol used to be the longest of all the races and now it is a shade under 190 miles. Still a good distance but now I can sound like an old veteran when I would recount my stories about running in Van 1 when the total leg mileage was 110 miles, not 94. This goes back once again to my assumptions about life and getting old, a nice little blog post I wrote last week. This pretty much completes the circle, when I can start a story off “I remember when…” and then start calling the people that are suffering on the course pansies. I remember when I had to run on shoddy rocks and avoid semis rolling down the street at 70 miles an hour!” (okay that was Jon that had to avoid that. hehe).
Right now, I don’t know what is going to happen for the next couple weeks. Once again, my old jalopy that is known as a car has broken down, and I have no clue what the problem with it is. For all I know the starter could be out again. Yeesh, just when I was about to start saving some cash and look to getting a new car, this thing goes down and throws a monkey wrench into the situation. The only thing I can hope for is the darn thing hasn’t finally gone kaput on me. That would be a horrible tragedy and I would be out of a job. Ugh, let’s hope that is not the case. I guess I will have to think some good thoughts or else really start working on my running. I’m definitely going to need it. And of course, this all happens right before my birthday, which is always a stressful time for me considering I get quite anxious and paranoid at this time of year. Here is to continuing the tradition I guess.
Well, the only thing I can keep doing in this time of uncertainty is to keep pushing forward and keep training. I was pretty happy with my calf raises this past week, for I was using the 45-pound plates and was doing quite well in lifting myself up and maintaining proper balance. Maybe I can actually strengthen my oddly weak calves after all. Anyway, to see improvement in that area is a good thing for me, and I am happy to see a little bit of change in that department. Now if the darn fat that is clinging to my midsection would go away, that would be the best birthday gift ever!
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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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