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
November 20, 2016
As you may know already, I decided to call myself an old man earlier this week. It stemmed from a fun conversation between me and Jon when he was talking about his son, who jokingly labeled him as “Old Man” on his phone directory. I found it pretty funny, because even to this day, I list my 70-year-old father as “dad” in my caller ID, mainly because I haven’t really gotten around to changing it. I have been a bit lazy in that respect, so yes I will admit it. Anyway, Jon’s son got a little jokey with him, citing Jon’s ability to lift heavy weights as “old man” strength. I thought that was kind of funny until I realized I am only a few years younger than Jon. So yeah, that is why I decided to start calling myself an old man. Oh, and also because women under the age of 30 say I am way old as well. Yup, the dating world sure sucks at my age. Anyway, aside form the massive cramping I had to suffer through all week, I am once again ready to take on the world and do a little run today, hopefully by little I mean six miles. We shall see. Either way, with this current declaration of mine in regards life and my place in the world, I now have the ability to say stuff “used to be better” back in my day and tell the younger generations about the world before all computers were high powered monsters and you had to have multiple devices to make up the total usage you get in your average smart phone. Of course, some of the bad movies I see these days are also just rehashes of previous films. I can now call myself “old school” when it comes to life.
Now, when I say old school, I mean I appreciate the things in life before we had to get all complicated about everything. There are some day where I kind of wish I had an old flip phone, mainly because the modern smart phone these days is meant to be broken from day one. Trust me, part of my new job these days is trying to tell people they need to get insurance on their darn phones, because some of these things are costing the same amount as a crappy car or a scooter. Heck, my iPhone 6S probably has more value than my old hooptie (in fact, I know the phone is maybe two times more!). I will always tell people if something has value to you and you do not own it, protect it as much as you can. That is why I have to be so careful with my body and my health. Part of the reason for doing all the running and lifting is because I need this body to last me for a long time, and even if I spend all my time alone per se, at least it will withstand all of the rigors of life. Anyway, I had to take this week off from the running because I needed to let the body recuperate, and while I might have felt ready to do some light running on Friday, I opted not to. Trust me, I will be ready for the rigors today. Anyway, besides phones, I have now become this weirdo when it comes to watching all sorts of movies. I was watching a movie at plasma donation and wondered about the wedding scenes…why does no one seem to take pictures at the church in the movies? There was a another movie where I saw a bad guy running with a 100-pound pack on his back (filled with money of course), scaling walls, buildings, jumping cars and outrunning two equally fit police officers who pretty much drink throughout the movie more rather than actually working out. How is this logical? And how do they do it without at least getting a massive panting spell when they finally stop and seek each other out in an abandoned space? I mean, shouldn’t their heavy breathing give them away? Maybe this is not a sign of growing old but a sigh that I think too much.
There was a great little event in Tucson yesterday called the El Tour de Tucson, a massive biking event that encompasses the entire city. Most people complain because they have to cut off a lot of city blocks and inconvenience people. C’mon folks, think! They have been doing this for nearly 30 years! Doesn’t anyone watch the news? Doesn’t anyone look at the affected road maps? Anyway, I guess it is easy for me because I used to be in the sports department at the old Tucson Citizen, so we knew all about the event before most of the average people did. Anyway, the fun thing is the number of people that take on the race, with the various distances available for the general public to take advantage of. One of these days I want to take on the 40-mile challenge, but of course I have to get a bike first in order to accomplish this. But thinking about all of the bike riding makes me wonder how much longer standard bike riding will exist in this country. We already have hipsters trying to bring back the old bike that had the giant front wheel along with double decker bikes (which reminds me, how in the world do people get on these bikes?). There are bikes out there that not only reeks of bad old time science fiction, it also just looks stupid. http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/product-news/no-pedals-no-problem-german-company-launch-adult-balance-bike-video-163677 Okay, a bike where you kind of walk and let the momentum kind of carry is an intriguing idea, but not exactly a good one. I’ll take all of the butt pain inducing bikes of right now, the ones that are practical for use and practical for competition. Keep the trends peeps. You can keep the fold up bike that fits in a suitcase. Call me old school.
You can also continue to call my workout regimen old school as well. I always like trying to discover the current trends in America when it comes to fitness. For some people, it is CrossFit. For some, it is High Intensity Interval Training. For others, it is Yoga. For the extreme, it is spinning. I thought the weird barre infused yoga where you hang from a ceiling was kind of weird, but apparently a new kind of workout may hit the nation in 2017. Yup, fitness magazines are declaring 2017 the year of the “crawl.” You got that right, the stuff babies do. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/get-ready-set-crawl-yes-crawling-is-the-new-fitness-trend-for-2017-a7425406.html I didn’t just see this on the Independent, I was seeing this everywhere. Just goes to show that the lazy press will pick up any idea from others and run with it. While “bear crawling” can certainly be tough to master, this just sounds like a ridiculous idea that has no real value to it. The crazy stuff I really like to prescribe to are ideas like German Volume Training. How about we prescribe some TRX Suspension Training along with Olympic weight lifting. You know, the kind of stuff modern athletes like to do and what not. New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees pretty much saved his career thanks to TRX training. What the heck has crawling done for anyone except cause heart ache after a break-up and dirty marks on your knees? Anyway, I don’t think I will add crawling to my regimen any time soon. Heck, this past Thursday I had to really challenge myself even though my leg felt like a block of stone, which is what I aptly called the workout. You see, I was having trouble even moving my darn calf, so I felt some exercises that would utilize some good movement and force me to stretch out a little would be the best cure. I mean, back in the day, Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith always said the best way to get rid of soreness and cramps is force yourself to lift weights. I didn’t really get all of the kinks out on Tuesday, mainly because I committed the cardinal sin of trying to avoid using my legs in hopes of running on Wednesday. I should have accepted the obvious…there was no way in the world I was gonna be able to run the next day. Considering how poorly I took care of my body on Monday, I should have known better. Since I declared myself an old man, I had to settle for old man ingenuity. I started with some good old fashioned dead lifts, doing triple sets at 275 to start and finished at 325. I’ll probably go heavier next time. I was going a little faster than usual on the dead lifts, mainly because I was running late that day and I was feeling stupid. I followed those up with some back squats, and I didn’t necessarily go too heavy at 225, I was mainly going for depth and trying to stretch the muscles in my calves. As I did this, I could feel the stiffness go away in my troublesome left leg. By the time I had my sets over at 255 pounds, my leg was definitely feeling much better. I ultimately did some more work that allowed me to work my legs and the small muscles in my calves as well, doing some barbell rows (I was bent down in a lower than normal position) overhead presses and and then did some calf raises. Jenny showed me that nifty exercise, where I put my toes on a bumper weight and my heel on the floor, and force my toes to lift up my entire massive body. It was pretty shaky at first, but eventually I will try to incorporate more of that to help strengthen my calves (provided I don’t do any moshing any time soon!). Getting good ideas from others will always help you down the line when it comes to fitness!
Now under this current declaration of mine, I have to start acting like an old guy spewing some nonsense that people expect of me. I always believe in certain things when it comes to fitness standards. I may be fit but I do not look that fit, so there is that standard, but I least know what I am capable of in regards to what I can do. I came across a couple stories recently that could be their own blog posts, but I have written so much about these things the past couple years that they have become redundant. First of all, the United States once again provides lousy health insurance per dollar. http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-care/united-states-comes-last-again-health-compared-other-countries-n684851 That is really nothing new, especially when we live in a culture where we praise those that hike the price of pharmaceuticals and then just say “that is business” rather than apply a tangible explanation (especially when the same drugs cost less in other countries). It takes a special kind of stupid to believe this is because of tariffs and trade deals and what not. We all know people use scare tactics and half truths to sell their shoddy wares. I wrote in another blog how impressed I was with the long con that was the recent EpiPen fiasco. But on the other hand, maybe all these companies are prepping for the future as their ever refreshing coffers will always be filled with people in bad shape. Fitness is pretty much down all over the country, and even the Army is starting to lower a lot of their standards to get in. http://taskandpurpose.com/change-physical-standards-recognize-jobs-dont-require-combat-fitness/ I’m not gonna lie, the 16:36 time for the two-mile run is a beast, but the 35 push-ups and the 47 sit-ups are not too bad, even for yours truly if I wasn’t so old.
Now we can blame all of this on automation and mechanization, but let’s get real here folks. I talk to people that have no idea what WI-FI is and also talk to people that barely know how to use the 1,000 dollar phone they just tied to themselves for the next two years. So one final thought on this process. Old school pretty much means that you prefer to do things the hard way even though there is some easier ways to potentially do them. I guess I am just weird like that.
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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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