Thursday, December 31, 2009

HIIT / LHT workout

After the problematic Burpee "Holy Grail" attempt the other day, I went for a more straight up workout yesterday. It went much more smoothly but man, did I work.

Here it is.

  • Burpees - 5 (warm up)
  • Bent over row - 3 X 10 (with 70 lb barbell)
  • Lunge jumps - 60 (now I'm warmed up!)
  • Deadlift - 1 X 3 (with 70 lb barbell), 2 X 8 (80 lb barbell), 1 X 8 (90 lb barbell), and 1 X 8 (100 lb barbell)
  • Triceps dips - 60 (ouch)
  • Squats - 3 X 10 (80 lb barbell)
  • Plank - side plank bends (8 each side) - plank [this is adapted from my daughter's dance instructor's exercise that she has the kids perform in class - don't laugh until you try it, then you'll cry!]
  • Bench press - 3 X 10 (80 lb barbell)
  • Biceps curls - 3 X 5 (25 lb dumbbells)
  • Plank - 60 s
This was a jam-packed workout, with not much time at all between sets and exercises, just enough to catch my breath. All of this done in 30 minutes on the nose!

I also had a couple drives-worth of snow shoveling just for good measure.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Loving the new beans!

Greg Danks, my premium coffee supplier, recently dropped off a shipment a couple days ago. So far I have sampled the Indonesian Pacamara, Burundi and the Cuban Turquino (pictured below in all its glory). They are all excellent and all very unique. I also have Dark French to sample but given what these all taste like, I am expecting another winner!

Perhaps I will do a review of each one individually in a later post.

Here is a cool site that Garth sent me in this same vein.

What I *should* have been doing

I am a bit out of order, but better late than never. I had a great Boxing Day (26 December) Lift Heavy Things (LHT) workout the other day.

  • Jumping jacks - 60 s
  • Squat / (biceps) curl / (shoulder) press - 3 X 10 (with 15, 20, 25 lb dumbbells)
  • Pushups - 2 X25
  • Lunge / curl / press / triceps extension - 3 X 10 (with 2 10 lb dumbbells)
  • Bent over row - 3 X 5 (with 70 lb barbell - explosive - or try to be)
This whole routine took about 25 minutes. I think I have to increase the weight on the rows and maybe get some heavier dumbbells or kettlebells.

I'll hopefully get this all caught up over the next few days and not have to go back in time as often.

Monday, December 28, 2009

More than I could chew: HIIT from Hell

Way more. I foolishly attempted to do the so-called "Holy Grail" of Burpee workouts with descending sets from 20 to 1 (20, 19, 18...1) as seen on Mark's Daily Apple.

My mistake was not taking his advice to maybe start with descending sets from 10. I made it to 15 (20, 19, 18, 17, 16, 15) for a total of 105 in about 14 minutes and had to quit. Anyone who thinks that they need a gym to get in shape has obviously not ever tried Burpees. After the first 3 sets I was begging for a pain old LHT workout or even a sane version of HIIT.

Whatever doesn't kill you, right?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sweet potatoes sans skins

As usual, we cooked the sweet potatoes and squash the day before the big Christmas dinner. This time though, we finished cooking them late Christmas eve and left them out on the counter overnight. The result: the easiest skin removal ever. See for yourself!

Christmas eve sunset stroll

Me, the dogs and this sunset. Pretty near perfect if you ask me.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Frosty evening walk

We went for a walk, or started, but Libby was all done after finishing her business, turned tail and headed for home. Finlay and I turned back into the chilly night (about -25 C) for another 20 minutes or so. Part way through I started thinking that maybe the tips of his ears would be getting chilly, so I gave him my neck gaiter. He didn't love it, but tolerated it. I still love the Peak XV down jacket and was very warm with only a shirt and thin fleece sweater underneath.

I have a French press and I'm not afraid to use it!

This morning's brew is Grizzly Claw (dark) by Kicking Horse Coffee, made in the press, with 18% table cream. Time for another cup.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

HIIT workout, Alberta style!

Today was a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) day. Little did I know that I would get several! There was the one that I planned on completing.

  • Jumping jacks - 60 s
  • Burpees - 60 s
  • Run up 2 flights in house/5 Burpees/Bear crawl down 2 flights in house/5 Burpees - 1:43
  • Wall sit - 60 s
  • Triceps dips - 60 s
  • Lunge jumps - 60 s
  • Plank - 60 s

This amounted to about 8 minutes of intense exercise with almost no break between each, all done in about 10 minutes.

Like I said, this was the "planned" HIIT workout. Then there was the unplanned workout. Snow shovelling. About 3 or 4 times, I lost track!

Primal eggs Benedict

Here are some pics of a my breakfast concoction of yesterday morning. They sort of reminded me of eggs Benedict without the English muffin and Hollandaise sauce (not that I have anything against Hollandaise sauce, I just haven't learned how to make it yet).

It was pretty simple:
  • dice and sautee ham (from crock pot ham), yellow pepper, red and white onion (all done in butter)
  • arrange into a "bar" in the pan
  • crack 2 eggs directly on top of the other bits
  • cover and cook on about medium until the eggs are cooked but not hard (i.e., lots of yolky goodness)
  • enjoy (dark coffee in the French press with heavy cream for me)
And now back to the coffee, marking, and reference letter writing.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Another nice stroll

The dogs and I went for another nice walk (~ 30 min) on this first day of winter. It was a balmy -17 C but with our winter wear (for the dogs - booties and coats; for me - my new Peak XV Down Jacket from Eddie Bauer, gloves, boots etc.) it literally was a walk in the park (and on the sidewalks). I just got this jacket last week and it is the warmest jacket I have ever owned/worn. The only concern with this jacket is to not work up a sweat - pretty wild when it is full on winter in Northern Alberta!

Sunday LHT (Lift Heavy Things) workout

I am trying to get into a routine but seem to be a day behind. This is my Sunday LHT workout completed in under 20 minutes. I have been focusing on movements that use a combination of muscle groups.

Here it is.

Deadlift - Curl - Should press: 2 X 10 (20 lb, 25 lb dumbbells)

Bent over Row: 3 X 10 (70 lb barbell)

Weighted Chop: 10 each side X 3 (15 lb, 20 lb, 25 lb dumbbell)

Power - Clean - Shoulder Press: 3 X 5 (25 lb dumbbells)

Plank (Yoga pose): 60 s

This was all done in ~ 14 minutes total, with little (~ 20-30 s) rest between each set and exercise.

I also had about 60+ minutes of walking with the kids and dogs (X-C skiing for the kids at the local park) and then just the dogs (45 min). It was a great day to be out (about -15 C).

Sunday, December 20, 2009

99 years young

Yesterday my maternal grandmother had her 99th birthday. Wow. All I can say is wow and happy birthday! Oh, the things she must have seen in nearly a century of living. Incredible.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A small step

Well, here I go. I finally got around to setting up a blog.

(Maybe this time I will save my post before moving to a different tab, therefore not losing my writing in the process!)

What is the point of this. That is, me setting up and (hopefully) maintaining an (active) blog? Mainly to have one, central repository for keeping thoughts and blurbs about whatever is top of mind for me at the moment. This should, theoretically, be simpler than chasing documents down on different computers and USB drives.

The plan is to post about things that are capturing my attention at the moment. These will range from current events, politics, diet, lifestyle, health, fitness, family, and of course, random thoughts, to name a few that I can think of at the moment.

Well, after all of that, I think I am done for now. I hope to get into a rhythm with writing and posting but who knows. Stay tuned to find out...