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
May 14, 2017
So here I am sitting at home right now writing this blog, having met an old friend I have not seen in years and fresh from a vegan chorizo burrito from Tania’s 33. It’s been years since I have anything remotely resembling this type of chorizo (which is a chopped sausage dish in the Mexican world, but soy was used in this incantation). I tried making a delicious chorizo dish that a friend of mine posted as a recipe once, but I think I was not savvy enough cooking wise to really pull it off. Needless to say, I remembered one reason why it was probably a good thing I gave up chorizo….the burn! While the gastric burn is a little uncomfortable at the moment, it was technically considered my cheat meal of the week, so bearing with this temporary issue is worth it. However, it may be years before I try to do this again. Even though Tania’s 33 is very admirable for making some vegan friendly options available for me, a moment like this continues to beat into my head that this path is one that I will always need to remain one. An excursion will be nice from time to time like today’s cheat meal, but it will have to have sizable impasses. Either way, I was happy with the product, mainly because homemade tortillas are much better than the pre-made ones at Chipotle and I’m helping a local company survive. This also illustrates to me that if I ever do leave town, leaving the Mexican food scene in Tucson will make it worth coming back for. Now I will not go on and on about Mexican food and such, but this just an additional insight about the blog from earlier this week. When you want to live a happy and healthy life, you need to take it all the way. While I felt satisfied and pleased after a long and stressful day at work, I still felt stuffed. I remember back in the day killing a burrito like that would have been nothing for. The only impact would have been my waistline.
It is a good thing I work out a lot, mainly because of moments like today. While I had no trouble eating the delicious, massive burrito, I truthfully should not have eaten it. Maybe a smaller one would have been better, but oh well. Water under the bridge. This is the downside of being a food addict, for you often times do crazy stuff like that and then not realize how much you truly ate. Either way, these are the sort of things that happen with me from time to time, not because I lack control, but they just simply happen. Ultimately, it is part of the process for me and this just means I will have to work a little harder in the gym to make up for the transgression. But that is the whole point of a cheat meal, right? It was funny recounting my old eating habits to my old friend, for even she was kind of shocked. The never-ending bag of Taco Bell (which by the way, have not been to in almost two months!!), the never-ending bag of Jack in the Box and the never-ending bag of Hamburger Stand. Those days, just about everything food wise was never-ending. Anyway, enough about food. It’s gotten a bit trite after all these years.
Anyway, today is am important day for all of us, the day where we thank our mothers for putting up with us and letting us live rather than leaving us on the steps of a church somewhere. It is ironic for me, mainly because one of the most important moments in my life was a photo I took with my mother at the Tucson Heart Walk in 2012. I saw a photo of myself—I mean really looked at a photo of myself—and witnessed the truth. I was on a fast track to an early death. Thanks to a generous offer from her and my father, I started this journey of good health. It’s odd looking back at these sort of moments, for I feel the world is much different due to a all of these changes. I mean, back in the day, a massive burrito that I embellished in today would have been followed up with a second massive burrito. The classic joke that Mexican food will make your clothes shrink was perfect for me. Fortunately for me, the glut of such a meal will be met with my fiery desire to work out.
You see, this past week Jon gave me a little heck about my recent spat of blogs. Like any good trainer, he noticed I may have fallen into a bit of a rut. Yes, this sort of thing hits me all the time, and I can honestly say I have to do something that might interest me again. There was a reason why I sought out my one rep max on the front squat and the hang clean, which coincidentally mimic each other in total weight. When I figured out what I needed to do to get better, I have once again reconstituted those back into the rotation. With the Tuesday night training as well with John Shaver, I also have to start working of my back squats, for I definitely need to improve my flexibility in addition to my “spring” when it comes to squatting. You see, John noticed that while I am okay at weight and getting “sort of” deep, to achieve higher weights one must be able to use the natural “spring” from the lowest position of the squat to allow them to get that last push for whatever weight they are utilizing. This is a moment that allows you to use your natural body function to help you get over that hump, and if you don’t have that natural spring effect in your movement, getting heavier weights is going to be a strain. Apparently, I need to learn how to use it more, so here we go back to the drawing board. That was one lesson learned this week. This other is sometimes you need to really shake things up.
At Parsons Training and many other gyms, private gyms are offering one gym sessions with a special “Work-out of the Day” for just about anyone that is interested in doing so. For me, I have managed to do my own thing for the longest time, but now Jon is demanding I try and start doing some of these “Wods.” The instant I hear that term, I start thinking Fail Army videos of Crossfitters and wannabes alike, mainly because those are the people who have popularized that term. But like any old dog, it was time to try one of the preset ideas on the board. So on Thursday, the day a rather spirited blog was released, I did my first Wod slated out for the day. Now at first glance, the Wod for the day seemed pretty benign. There was only four listed exercises for the day…dead lifts, jump burps, kettle bell cleans and then sit-ups. This all seemed pretty easy of the most part, even though the horror that is jump burpies was not entirely clear to me.
Anyway, the challenge for me was to do four rounds at minimum, which meant for each round I would need to complete 15 dead lifts, 10 jump burpies, seven kettle bell cleans on each arm and then 20 sit-ups. Jon apparently did not want this to be easy for me, so he challenged me to try and do six sets of these exercises, and the kicker was the fact I would need to do the deadlifts at 225 pounds. Now for me, doing that much weight at the deadlift is not too hard. That is typically the weight I go with when it comes to do massive reps at the exercise, especially when I feel like torturing myself and doing 50 deadlifts in a session. This is where I overestimated everything in regards to this Wod. Here I was, doing 335 last week and I cam in rather confident of what I could do. Yes, what the heck was I thinking. My life has been full of bad decisions this past week, especially when it came to my personal life. I went to a show at Club Congress on Friday night, watching the world’s only heavy metal mariachi band “Metalachi” and getting a couple free shots of tequila. Needless to say, that was the worst decision of the night and it took me a good hour or so to really let that stuff wear off. I had been on a role that night, getting some tea from The Scented Leaf and trying “Evening in Missoula” (Jon’s favorite tea…obviously since he is from Montana), but how things change in the span of a few seconds. Fortunately I burned off the buzz with a little dancing and singing “Holy Diver.” Plus I got to meet the band’s rather beautiful violinist, who also happened to be vegan! Anyway, back to fitness and enough of this fun stuff, because this Wod was not all that fun.
With each round, I was able to survive the dead lifts, but it was everything else that seemingly got harder. The jump burps especially. Here is how they worked. Rather than jumping straight up when you got out the ground position, you basically had to do a broad jump. Let me tell you, these are definitely harder because your legs are already tired from the dead lifts. And let us not forget about the other thing that kind of bothered…which was the kettle bell cleans. Considering the amount of arm work I had done this week, I was definitely going too heavy on this exercise. I was bending my entire body and causing some issues with my arms, which were much sorer than usual the next day. I also had a little bruising on top of my arm, primarily due to me hitting the top of my arm too many times. I had to adjust and go wit the smaller weights, mainly for the sake of my body and for the sake of being able to work the next day, which was tough due to the soreness (but then again, my job is always difficult). Once I started getting the hang of what I was partaking in, the process became much more efficient. However, it was not like the process became easier on my body.
I did five rounds of this stuff, which is probably more than I should have done considering. I was still thinking about the Lord of the Rings based workout I did earlier this week, where I was doing a pretty massive number of combos that seemed never ending. Due to the dead lifting, this one was infinitely tougher. Now I have done 100 deadlifts before, but that was a light weight of 135 (which according to BroScience, is zero weight). When I did that particular exercise, that was mainly to get my body moving and burn some calories. I did 75 total lifts at 225, which was something I wasn’t particularly ready for. Now I’m gonna tell you all that might think this is easy, it truly is not. I don’t think this Wod was meant for that amount of weight, but I managed to pull it off regardless. Even John Shaver was little surprised that I managed do five rounds of that, especially when you consider the number of deadlifts I had to do. And it is not like my night ended there. After going through all of that nonsense, I went for a little two mile run afterward. You see, I have been trying to break in some new shoes and needless to say, the schedule has been altered a lot due to family and friends and such. So trying to get some mileage in has been difficult for me. I don’t even now when I will get my next run in. Yes, it has been an issue for me that just doesn’t want to go away.
I don’t know how often I will be doing these Wods and such, but hopefully I will be giving the routine at least one go a week. I still want to keep up with standard weight lifting and see where I am with most of those exercises. However, like any good thing in life, sometimes you have to illicit some change and I can definitely do some of these things on days where I am not feeling very inspired to work out. One thing that I give trainers a lot of respect for is the ability to manufacture new workouts on a consistent basis for people, making full use of the body and getting people’s heart rates moving. Let’s see how this goes.
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About Parsons Training
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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