Friday, December 28, 2012

Total Body Strength Training Routine

See your doctor before starting any exercise routine.  Exercise at your own risk.  In other words don't blame me is you get hurt doing any of these exercises.

Well here is my total body strength training routine.  I believe it works every muscle in the body.  If you don't feel like an certain exercise would be good for you either because you have an injury or you do that certain type of movement at your job and doing it in your exercise routine might give you an overuse injury, feel free to skip that exercise.  If you don't know what an exercise it go ahead and google it or you can try and find it here.

If you are not new to strength training you can follow the time numbers.  When you get tired  but the time for exercise isn't done either you rest a little bit and then do more or else lower the weight or angle.  So if you are doing Pushups regular style and you are getting tired you would drop to your knees.  If you were doing bicep curls with dumbbells you would grab a lighter dumbbell.

If you are brand spanking new to strength training follow this schedule.  It will seem too easy compared to what other people recommend on the web.
1st Week - up to 12 reps of each exercise rest for 6 days
2nd Week - up to 16 reps of each exercise  rest for 3 days or until soreness goes away
3rd Week and on follow the mins and rest 2 days in between

Cardio Warmup 2 mins each
1. Joint Warmup: Rotate and swing each joint to loosen it
2. Robot: Move 90 deg arms and raise knees in a slow robotic walk
3. High Knees 1min - Butt Kicks 1 min
4. Jumping Jacks
5. Climbers
6. Running man: Move straight arms up and down and move legs forward and back
7. Cool down Yoga

Main Workout 1 min each
1. Muay Thai Knee Raise: Balance on one leg at an 45 deg angle away from body, raise opposite knee diagonally while pulling arms down and rotating to outside of the knee.
2. Leg Circles: Lay on the ground and with straight legs make circles with pointed toes clockwise 30secs, counter clockwise 30secs
3. Wide Pushup/ Chest Flys: Alternate between the two
4. Wide Pullup/ Back Flys: Alternate between the two
5. Stir the Pots: With light dumbbells in hands in front of chest move hands in a circular motion clockwise 30 secs, counter clockwise 30 secs
6. Knee Circles: Get on hands and knees and kick leg back, bring knee up to the side, move knee forward and back down making a circular motion with your knee for 15 secs and then rotate it the other way another 15 secs, then switch legs
7. Clean and Press Dumbbells Pliae Squat
8. Arm Circles: Hold arms out to the sides and move hands in a circular motion clockwise 30 secs, counter clockwise 30 secs
9. Bridges: Lay on the Floor with your knees up, push up through your heals raising your hips and balancing on your shoulders. Lower and repeat.
10. Bicep Curls Dumbbells
11. Tricep Kickbacks or Tricep Pull downs: whichever is more comfortable for you
12. Squats: start out doing them shallow and work your way down
13. Leg Curls
14. Calf Raises on stairs
15. Angels: while gripping gravity straps and leaning back slightly or light resistance band anchored up high move your arms up and down like you are making a snow angel in the snow, keep hands linear with your body
16. Dips
Rest 5-10 mins

Abdominal Workout 1 min each
1. Ab Strap Knee/Leg Raises or Leg Raises while lying on the ground
2. Side Banana Raises:  Lay on your side and raise your legs off the ground with your oblique muscle, make it harder by raising your top half off the ground too, the more you raise your arms the harder it gets, 30 secs each side
3. W/L Sits to hold: Sit on the floor and raise your legs to balance on your rear, this makes a W with your body, move your legs out as far and you can (L) and bring the back do this till you can't put them out anymore and then hold the W as long as you can or till time runs out.
4. Toe Touches
5. Roll outs with ab wheel or gravity bands, else do reg crunches

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Rip 60 First Impressions

Well, I wanted to buy a real gravity strap system.  Something that would be last longer than what I jimmy rigged up.  I looked at all the systems available and decided to buy the rip 60 because of the ability to rotate and the handles could do both hands and feet without changing.

If you are planning on buying the rip 60 do not buy it online.  The online price is $120 plus shipping.  Meijer sells it for $100 reg price.  Right now(at least last week) it is in a price drop for $80.  I subscribe to Mperks and last week they had a 20% off any reg priced item so I bought it for about $65.  Almost half the price of buying it online.

Upon opening the package my first thought was that it looked very tough.  It looks like it will last and last.  It comes with the straps, travel bag, exercise chart, 12 workout DVD's in a case, workout schedule, and a nutrition guide.  A good assortment of stuff.

Lets start with the straps themselves.  As I said before, they are good quality.  Door hanging mechanism looks like it will work fine and it comes with a pad so the metal bracket won't damage your door.  To use it optimally though I think it should be hung from a ceiling someplace with about 5 feet of free space each way from the middle.  To do this you need a ceiling bracket with a metal loop.  Rip 60 sells their own for $35.  I'm sure I can find or make one for a lot less.  The straps adjust easily and hold securely.  One drawback to this system compared to some others is the straps connect only in the middle, which they had to do to get the rotation.  This make the straps rub your shoulders when the anchor is behind you (push ups).  In the end I think the rotation will be more of a benefit than a little discomfort.  I'm trying to think of a way to make the straps go wider and keep the rotation.  So this may not be a problem in the future.

The Exercise chart is decent.  It has some basic strength moves along with ways to make it harder and some stretching moves for each muscle group.  It's your basic shiny paper folded up.  It would be nice if they would have it laminated and rolled up instead so I don't feel like I should iron it before I hang it.

Now onto the workout DVD's.  I've only done the first DVD 2 times and it's tough.  Definitely not for beginner strength training.  It starts out with a joint warmup, then a cardio warm up with a ton of jumping jacks all in a row in various ways.  It was hard to get the moves down.  Then there was a lunge sequence in the warm up.  A lunge is not a beginner move let alone going around the clock with them.  The main workout was pretty good.  It doesn't work all the muscles and there was too many calf exercises.  My calves have been aching pretty good the days after the workouts.  The end cool down has some weird stretches in it that could hurt you.  I watched the second DVD and it's about the same, just some harder moves.  So as far as the DVD's go I am going to watch them for information on how to do the moves, but as far as doing the work out from the DVD's I'm going to say no.  They are not balanced enough and have the posibility of hurting you.  As far as the workout schedule they tell you to do the workout every day for 5 days straight and then 2 days off the first week.  Bad idea!  You should have 1 to 2 days of rest in between strength workouts.  In other words the schedule is useless.

Last thing in the box is the Nutrition guide.  If your short and don't weigh much you might be able to follow it and not feel hungry all the time.  It's based off of about 1500 calories.  I eat between 2000 and 3000 calories depending on how much I'm exercising.  It does have some good recipes and meal choice guide so it does have some use.

So to sum up the Rip60 system.  The straps are good, Exercise Chart is decent, DVD's are somewhat informational but don't follow them, workout schedule is bad, and nutrition guide has some good recipes but will probably leave you feeling hungry if you follow it.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Calisthenics - Starting Out Slow

I've tried lifting weights according to what programs tell you to do(do this exercise that works one muscle and doesn't get your heart rate up very much, 3 sets) and I think it's a bad way to do things. My muscles would get so sore and take so long to heal. I would feel like doing nothing. No ambition to do anything while I was healing. I was really hungry too so I ate and I gained some fat. My body craved protein, which it needed, but extra carbs and fat it didn't need. So I said to myself, "This can't be good for you." 

So last Monday I started doing Calisthenics. I did Jumping Jacks, Pushups, Pullups, Climbers, and Squats all 1 set. It took me about 15 mins. I was sore the next day, but it wasn't bad. Wednesday I wasn't sore so I did another set that morning. Felt good the rest of the day and was a little sore the next day. Friday I wasn't sore so I did 2 sets that day and I'm a little sore today. My muscles feel stronger and look bigger. I have energy and feel good. 

I think starting out slow is a good thing. I do cycling and you start out slow when you first start out. If you don't you will bonk and feel like crap for a few days. Same thing can apply to weight lifting. These programs try and get you to do too much too fast and all it does it put you behind and make you feel like crap. 

Calisthenics work all the muscle groups. Muscles are made to work in groups. Does working out just your bicep make it easier to lift things compared to doing just pullups. I don't think so. 

Getting your heart rate up is good for muscle building. Blood feeds the muscle and if you get your heart rate up more then more blood is flowing to the muscles to feed them. I believe this makes them less sore and heals them faster from the workout. 

It's about what you can do. I don't have a high income. I can't afford P90x or Insanity. I got all the information I needed to try P90x from the worksheets they provide free online. Calisthenics don't cost any money, except maybe a pullup apperatis. I can't do many real pushups so I do it on my knees. You can even do them on a wall. I can't do pullups in the air. I do them with my heals on the ground and somewhat assisted by my legs. I also don't go to muscle failure. Working your muscle till it's dead means that muscle will be really tired for the rest of day and you won't feel like using it. 

So give Calisthenics a try. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

2012 Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis

The Run/Walk will be a 5k fundraising event for Arthritis.  It will be held on Dec. 8, 2012 at Davenport University W.A. Lettinga Campus.  More information can be found on their website here.

Friday, November 30, 2012

New Weight Training Program Needed

In the last week I've been trying Jamie Eason's Livefit 12-week trainer.  I only made it to day two, after that my arms and chest were too sore to do anymore.
I decided that I wanted to lift weights again after thinking about my job and how the workload goes up and down day to day.  So what happens is we will have a lot of easy days in a row and then bam! we have a day with a big workload where I'm too busy to even think, I just work.  Then the day after I feel so tired and achey.  I believe this is from my body not being used to the higher workload.  If the workload was the same day to day then I would not become so tired.  So to compensate for the lower workload times I decided to start exercising more.  This will boost my overall fitness and keep me from getting tired.

In the last week I've been trying Jamie Eason's Livefit 12-week trainer.  I only made it to day two, after that my arms and chest were too sore to do anymore.  This plan would probably work for someone who doesn't have a physical job or has to do yard work at the same time like I do and did.  I also didn't think it was a good idea to do weight training 4 days in a row.  Yes they are different muscle each day, but you still have to grip the weights with the same muscles and some of the exercises share the same muscles.  This plan also has no cardio starting out.  No cardio for me means I don't feel as good.  A healthy heart helps heal your muscles faster.  After some thought I've decided to ditch this plan.

After I did some research into looking at different workout plans I've decided to do something similar to the P90x plan.  I like workout schedule of this plan.  It alternates days of weightlifting, cardio, stretching, and rest.  I also like that it uses cheaper home gym equipment that anyone can buy or find something to improvise with.   One thing I don't like about it are for one of the cardio workouts it has you do plyometrics.  Plyometrics are really intense to do when first starting out.  You will be catching your breath more than working out.  Another thing is how many exercises there are working out the same muscle.  Doing 5 sets of pushups in one session I believe is a bad idea when first starting out.  And that is in Phase 1.

So the workout plan I'm going to do is what I will call Phase 0.  It will be for people who are just starting to exercise.  It takes a while to get used to working out regularly and it should be taken slowly.

One of my other goals is to be in a 5k run(maybe the Fifth Third Riverbank Run) so instead of plymetrics I will be doing training walk/runs on my cardio days.

In my next blog post I will have Phase 0 workout plan all written out.

Best Hike I've Ever Had!

   You know the feeling when things are happening around you and your thinking to yourself, there is no way this is happening by chance ?  I think those moments in our lives are ways of God telling us how much he loves us or they are ways of teaching us lessons about ourselves.  This was one of those times.

After taking a hike with Katie and Emily on the Lost Lake Trail we had lunch at our campsite.  When lunch was over I still had an urge to hike some more.  So after a pit stop at the mens' room I grabbed my day pack and trekking poles and headed off for more adventure.

I headed out past the trail head at the end of our campground and following the trail we took the first hike on for a little bit then heading down an adjacent trail to the Lost Lake Trail called the Lighthouse Trail.  I only took this trail to get to my planned destination the Logging Trail.  This area is filled with many fallen over trees.  Some of them are broken like twigs and some are cut clean.  I climbed a wooden stairway up a steep hill slowing at the top to catch my breath.  Walking along I heard a russel to my right.  I stopped  and looked to where the noise came from.  There stood  a large white-tailed deer doe.  I glanced around to see if there were more and yep there was a buck, antlers still growing one longer than the other covered in fur.  They stood perfectly still hoping I didn't see them.  I watched them for bit and then moved on.

After arriving at the Lighthouse Trail and Logging Trail junction I headed north up the Logging Trail scanning the trail in front and to the sides of me hoping to catch a glimpse of more wildlife.  After a while I do catch a glimpse.  Up ahead on where the trail takes a bend to the left something is partially hidden behind the trees.  Wow! it's a coyote with very bushy fur. (the only coyote I've seen before this one is a dead one)  He looks at me as I look at him for a moment  and then he trots away.  This hike couldn't get and cooler; or could it?

I kept hiking delighted by all the wildlife I've been seeing.  Every now and then I would hear a russel and catch glimpses of white tails bobbing away from me through the forest.  Then I heard another russel.  This one sounded different this time.  It was more of a sliding russel than a impact russel like most animals make.  Usually sliding russels means it's a snake, but this one is too loud to be a snake.  I could tell it was in the vicinity of a clearing up ahead on the right.  Dense trees and bushes blocked my view so I crept ahead silently.  Oh my goodness!  I saw something I thought I would never see.  Two white-tailed deer bucks hunched forward, antlers locked in a duel!  I stood there and watched from behind some green foliage feeling like I'm Marty Stouffer taping Wild America.(no I didn't have a camera)  After a few minutes I think they caught my scent and looked up and stared at me with a "what do you want?" expression.  So I came out of my hiding spot, gave them a thanks for a show wave, and hiked on down the trail feeling exstatic.

On the Logging Trail there is two stone shelters.  The first one is a typical cabin style shape.  On the inside there is a long wooden bench on one side and a fireplace on the opposite side.  I guess you can use the fireplace, but you might need permission.  (There is another shelter like this one where the Ridge Trail and the Island trail meet).  The second shelter is gazebo shaped  with two wooden benched on opposite sides.  While heading south I stopped and sat at the gazebo shaped shelter for a snack of trail mix and water.  After this short stop I kept trekking south all the way to the Pines Campground where the Logging Trail ends.  I glance at the map and head back north the way I came until reaching the intersection at the Coast Guard Trail .  I take a left and headed west down the coast Guard trail toward Lake Michigan.

The Coast Guard Trail is a very winding trail that heads out to U.S. Life Saving Service Historic Site on Lake Michigan.  In this area near Lake Michigan there is an abundance of Jack Pine trees, but they are dying out.  From what I can figure out from reading information signs in this area they are dying out due it being a warmer climate than it used to be.

After reaching near the lake shore I wanted to go see this U.S. Lifesaving Historic Site so pressed on up a small sand dune, but as I reached the top I could see and hear thunderstorms in the distance on Lake Michigan.  I also saw a coast guard boat patrolling the lake shore.  I turned back knowing the beach is not a safe place during a thunderstorm.

As I'm heading back along the Coast Guard Trail through the back dunes I see a very small bird.  I was curious on what king it was so I watched it for a bit till it stopped moving so I could get a good look at it.  I saw that it's tail stuck straight up and knew it was a wren.  I took five steps after that and saw another bird.  This one I was pretty sure what kind it was, but I waited till it stopped to make sure.  Yep that's an Indigo Bunting.  Two more surprises on this hike.

Following the Coast Guard Trail East the storm was slowly coming in on top of me.  First some sprinkles.  Then light rain.  Then heavier drops.  The sound of leaves getting pummeled by water droplets getting louder at each interval.  I stopped at a cedar tree and put my rain coat on after deciding it was raining hard enough to warrant using one.  Now partially rain proof I got moving again a little faster knowing it was going to rain hard soon.  I passed the Logging Trail and the Ridge Trail.  The trail didn't seem right after this.  I kept going the way I thought it was suppose to go.  I was a little lost on where I was on the map and what trail.  After a short while I arrived back to the Coast Guard Trail and Ridge Trail intersection.  I went in a circle.  I decided and went down the Coast Guard Trail again looking carefully this time for the sign I missed.  I found the sign this time.  It was on a post underneath a very shady tree.  I couldn't see the black arrow on the post till I was a few feet from it.  No wonder I missed it!

On the right path now I hastily moved along knowing the storm would be on top of me soon.  I've always wanted to hike in a storm.  After reaching the end of the Coast Guard Trail I was at the most southern loop of the Beechwood Campground.  The thunderstorm was on top of me.  I could hear lightning strikes less than a half mile away and the rain was monsooning down.  I made it back to the campsite and found Emily taking shelter in her car and Katie out shopping.  Emily came out and met me at the canopy. We had  a quick "hi, how are you?" small talk and then she went back to her car.  I went inside my tent, took off my wet clothes, laid down on my bed and read a book.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Under Construction

It will take a while for me to get this site up and efficient.  Don't mind the mess or missing information.