Sunday, September 30, 2012

Friday, Saturday and Sunday sept 30

Ugh. Friday, the thing that was a lighthouse in my life, giving hope and direction to a frantic rush of days. Frdays have fallen. They are no longer the path to safe days of physical activity; they are now frantic. I finished work to fight my way to thecar dealership, then to two different venues to pick up children or drop off paperwork. I signed papers and changed diapers. Kthen I had to get home and clean, then laundry. It was a miracle I got up and did gymnastics with my boy Saturday morning. Then had a bit of a nap, then off to rugby. Which to be frank, was a disappointment. How some guys can train all summer and then during a post season run, give up and stop playing during the best time of the year to play... Is beyond me. Temperature was awesome, light wond, some clouds ... But 15 degrees at kick off was perfect. But, there wwere guys on the field who should not have been there. More importantly, some guys were not there who should have been. We lost. Sunday was Run for the Cure in Burlington. I ran/jogged 5 k on a nice pleasant morning. Sunshine, lots of yoga pants and everyone wearing pink. Was nice too see that my fitness is ok; finished with a bunch of guys at about 27 minutes without much effort. Sweaty, but with lots in the tank. I also just discovered that the Trek or Treat is the night before a big rugby game. Imma thinking I do a Grey Cup run at the end of November instead...

Friday, September 28, 2012

Thursday Sept 27

Today was ok - still frantically trying to get back into a routine, but it's coming along. At least I've gotten a decision about a vehicle today. That should help.

Rugby tonight was non-contact. Lots of passing and running. To be honest, I needed to work on that aspect of my training. Afterward, I did my usual for three rounds:

 7 x 50m sprint
20 feet up push ups
20 seated knee tucks

 After I got that done, spent some time rolling on my medicine ball. I'm finding that helpful in reducing the knots in my legs. My Quads especially. Oh, my quads. I'm still on the damn ball at home, watching movies or surfing, trying to get my glutes and piriformis muscles to relax. I'll keep trying, man.


Anything red or pink hurts after training

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pause for a "How I Did It Post"

On Facebook, I was reading a follower's update that had the frustration begin with the line "Overheard at Goodlife: Bro, what's your max curl?" ... I just don't know where to begin with that one. How frustrating it must be to have to listen to such crap. Every. Bleeping. Time. You. Train.

I have had enough similar experiences at my local LA Fitness, that I'm giving up my recently started membership. I'd rather spend the money on stuff I'll use in my own gym.

I did respond to my Facebook friend's post; the response was that people liked my gym and wanted something similar. I promised that I would post something entitled "How I did this". This post is fulfilling that promise.

It all starts with a space. I know that some of my other Facebook friends (Think East York Kettlebell Club, for example) work out in their storage area of their condo. I believe he calls it "his dungeon" and stores only his bells in there for his workouts. A tour of his space can be found here. For me, though, I had a living room when I lived in a condo about 7 years ago. I had to train outside of my child's bedroom, usually late at night ... and so I didn't do much training, I'm sorry to say. I had to find something better.

Instead, my wife got pregnant and we needed a bigger place. We started looking.

I moved into a small two story town home, with an unfinished basement. About the same time, I "found" kettlebells and the way to use them. I bought a few things off of Zach on eBay and I was off to the races. I watched Youtube, I read blogs and books and I was pretty happy at what I was seeing. For a while I training with my kettlebell in my basement. I'm sorry to say that I had to get it finished, and put down a nice floor. That was the end of my training there; I lost my space and decided to take the garage. At the time, it was gross. I painted the floor and bought four cheap pink and purple puzzle mats for too much money. I was disappointed, but I knew that I wanted to train and do more stuff.

As a brief aside, I found Mike McNeil, of Orange County Fitness. It is his hat that is in the picture at the start of this post. A very hard training guy, lots of ideas and smarts about training, nutrition and ways of improving both. Since I have known him, though, life has seemingly taken a series of gigantic craps on
his head. I know he'll come back from adversity. Find him and like him on Facebook. It's worth it.
Another guy I found a lot closer to home is Chris from Empire Fitness in Toronto. Look him up, too. I learned a lot about being resilient and looking around for stuff to think about.
Quiet and effective
A few months later, Underground Strength Training website ran a charity promotion and I was able to get inside information about how to train and with what to train. I also found how to use simple and cheap objects for training. Sandbags, rope and logs. Now sandbags I could get for less than ten dollars, rope was also cheap at the local Canadian Tire. Logs, on the other hand, I had to look for. Synchronicity has been one of my strengths after turning 30 and at the time, my brother bought a cottage. I found logs at the bottom of the lake and hauled them out.

Yes, this is me.
I use Kijiji and Craigslist and Ebay to find and buy cheap things. I got 50 lb hex dumbells from a guy who  wanted rid of them. I got 250 lbs of crappy vinyl/cement weights from a house on the other side of my small city for 50 bucks. I wish I had a picture of the dolls in the floor to ceiling case he had in his basement. I was glad to get out of there without being eaten.

I found Extremekettlbell.com and made friends with the owner, and bought a TRX off of him in addition to more bells. I just expanded slowly; not all at once. I'd save fifty bucks and buy one thing. Some months, I'd jsut save the money. At one point, during a drought of finding nothing online, I spent five minutes at work looking one day. It paid off and got wall to wall to garage door wrestling mats for a cheap price that night. Seems a Martial Arts studio was closing. Timing and patience.

I also started using Facebook and Twitter to discover and learn about different training ideas and people. I got and intalled my own chin up bar after chatting online with Craig, the Turbulence Training guy.

Later, I found out about making a Bulgarian training bag from materials I could find anywhere.


 Matt, the The Strength Shop guy is always posting great ideas about training. In fact, one of his ideas is a so called "Fire Drill", in which I carry everything out of the garage, put it on the front lawn .... and then put it back. Of course, I clean the garage at the same time. I do this twice a year.

Would someone shut off that alarm?!
The past few summers, I've also hit garage sales on Saturday morning. This past summer, I found a home gym for twenty bucks. as a whole, it was not very good. I got it home and refashioned it in a couple of ways. I took the bench off, as I already had a pretty good one from Craigslist. I took the foam handles off of the leg extensions and put them on my chin up bar. The remaining parts I either set up as a squat rack or gave away to the local scrap guy a week later.

Which reminds me, one thing I have to mention is that I now keep a few bells in the back of my vehicle. Yes, the roll around sometimes, but it's worth it. Depending on the time of year, I get to drop my kids off at school, and then get to the beach or local park to train. If you've never done that, you should at least try. Safety, of course, is always number one. If it isn't a place you feel comfortable in, move along. I now have like four of five spots I like to train when the weather is good.

At the local park


Finally, I keep my eyes open when I get around my neighbourhood. I found a piece of telephone pole a while ago and washed it and stored it to let it dry. I found a cool spot on the local beach to drive to that has monkey bars and sand underneath. Later on, while walking with my kids, I found a big rock, perfect for deadlifts and throws and such. One neighbour taught me to use uTorrent and now I have access to a huge library of training videos, ebooks and MP3 files from all over the world.

In the end, I honestly think my space is not complete.  I know that I will be moving again in a short period of time to a bigger place. With all the training I have been doing, I'm hoping that will lend leverage to my position about getting an extra room designated as a training room. Who knows, one thing I have learned is that you have to be willing to be flexible and be willing to train anywhere with anything.

Monday Sept 24-Wed Sept 26

Oh, man.

Seems it just won't stop coming. A sick wife means I have to go to meetings in the evenings. On rugby training nights. And ... I'm sorry to say this, a lot of my fellow Centaurs are also finding ways of not making training.

Right now, it's about 19 degrees outside. For my American friends, that is about 65 degrees. Not cold, just chilly. Compare that to the 40 C / 90 F degree heat in July that we trained in. I like this time of year. Except for the lack of light while doing sprints. Meh, I had to attend a meeting instead of training.

And tonight, another doctor appointment for a sick child. I'm going to go nuts if I just don't get in my garage soon.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Saturday Sept 22 and so on.

Yeah, I'm in this pic. Not going to say where ... but w/e. Well, I'm slightly disappointed, I must say. We lost, not by much, but enough that we're back in a League that really, we shouldn't be in. Meh, whatever. Stuck ... and having to go on a tear next year ... again.

Finished the season at 12 wins, 2 losses. I played a lot of rugby this summer.

I'm not quite done the season yet, either. There are a number of post season cups and events being help for the next few weeks, so my on pitch training will continue.

Seriously, though. my off pitch training is just sucking at the moment. Since the car crash, I've been so busy getting paper work done not at work, it's killer. Having sick children and a sick wife is also not habit helping. I'm wondering about when my September will calm down and I can get back to a regular life, training and work mode.

 Sunday I stretched, but had a squawky set of children with me for most of the day. Monday I went looking at replacements for the van and went and did the groceries for the week.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Friday sept 21

I did a regular day at work, ate better and did a crap load of stretching in preparation for tomorrow's rugby game.

It's the show, man. One of those moments athletes get put into every once in a while during their athletic careers.

Big game, no question.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Wednesday Spet 19

Work is good, still driving the rental, haven't heard how much the damage will be costing me, still not getting my diet under control, still working out, though.

I did this for three rounds:

30 kb two handed swings (a 30 lb round then 2 50 lb rounds)
15 kb cleans (same thing)
15 snatches each side (only the 30 lb bell)
20 feet up push ups
20 seated knee tucks (one round of hanging knee tucks)
5 chin ups - still working to get them unassisted.

Not quite ready to snatch the 50 lb bell for a full round, Quite yet. I'm working my way up to that. The chin ups are a fair disappointment for me - I used to be able to do them without help; I guess not working on them all summer was a bad thing. ....and I want to be able to leap small 2m walls at the Tough Mudder next spring.


Tuesday Sept 18

Ok, let's get this out of the way ; I had a car accident today.

No, I'm not hurt. No, none of my kettlebells went for a fly when I got hit. I'm fine.

The van's passenger side is moved way in; I'm ok. I got a ride to the automotive shop and then got picked up by a car rental place. I got a rented ride within 2 hours of crashing. I was at work by 10am. It's all ok.

I picked up the rest of my stuff from the old van after work, then was able to pick up my family and take them for a ride later on. They were worried about me, but when they saw that I was ok, they worried less.

No, I'm sorry to say I didn't get a chance to workout, well, except for rugby training.

Oh, and then I did the usual finisher:

7 x 50 m sprints
20 feet up push ups
20 seated knee tucks

I'm ok.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Friday, Sat, Sun and Monday Sept 17

Friday was another busy day around my house - I did my rolling routine later on in the day, trying to get my body ready for rugby. Saturday was a rugby day ... we won, but it was a struggle. Meh, it has set up this weekend to be "the moment" for the year. Sunday was a recovery day - and my boy was sick with an ear infection. What a drag. Monday I was at home with the boy and wasn't about to go to daycare. Man, at home, playing with him was cool, but I would have preferred a nice boring day of work, working out then playing with him. I did get a short training run in, and learned a bit more about Nike+ on my daughter's iPod. I did fix it, well, I made it so that we could use it, and it seems to be ok. On with Tuesday.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Thursday Sept 13



ok, man ... you get the general idea of the day ... it just didn't feel right for most of the day, man. I'm still not used to this morning shift at work. I much prefer the mornings to train rather than what I'm doing. Not much can be done, except to look forward to the next shift and be happy for what I have.

Ate this:

Breakfast smoothie and a coffee on the way in

Lunch: vegetabels in hummus, almonds, tea and tuna.

Dinner: pasta night! with water to drink.

After training: new hot pot cooked chicken (mmmmmm) on a piece of bread. Smelled yummy.

Did about an hour of contact rugby tonight. Lots of lifts of people. Got some throws in, too. Lots of physical activity and, at the end, did my usual three rounds of this finisher:

50m x 7 sprints
20 push ups
20 seated knee tucks

Did some stretching and rolling afterwards. Felt good.

Wed Sept 12

Well, today wasn't bad. Still getting back into the "getting the kids to school before work" groove, but I'm safe to write that I'm getting better at dealing with it.

Anyway, I ate this today:

breakfast: smoothie, coffee on the way in to work

lunch: tuna, almonds and water. Oh, vegetables and hummus. Really am liking these pre-cit vegetables in a small bag at the grocery store. Lazy, I know, but made for my lunch. Carrots, brocolli, cauliflower and peas all together in my stomach are awesome.

Dinner: Used up the end of the chicken in a stir fry night over rice. Water to drink.

Did this ass soon as I got home from work ...

30 two handed swings (with the "new" 50 lb kettlebell)
10 cleans (with the 30, 40 or 50 lb bell)
10 snatches with the 30 lb bell
20 push ups - various hand widths
20 seated knee tucks
5 chin ups

Need to get back into the hanging knee tucks; will do that Friday.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tues sept 11

Take a moment and think about the changes that have happened since 2001. Monumental just doesn't seem to cover it.

Go, hug your loved ones and come back.

I ate well today until the union meeting after work

Breakfast: smoothie -frozen fruit and milk in a blender, coffee on the way to work

Lunch almonds, tuna with vegetables and hummus, water to drink

Dinner quick pizza with a pizza dessert

After training... Somersby cider

Got to rugby on time and went into full contact rugby. Kinda hard on the body, but fun.

Did "the usual fucking crap Chesser does after training".... Nice...

50m x 7 sprints
20feet up push ups
20 seated knee tucks

Felt good.



Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Monday Sept 10

Right. I need to return to the good habit of writing down what it was I stuffed into my throbbing gobsmacker. Here it is:
Breakfast: Tim Horton's Sausage bagel BELT - with a coffee. I'm going to have to look that up again, but it's something like 500 calories.

 Lunch: carrots and hummus, tuna out of the can, almonds and water. Snack: almonds and OJ at home

 Dinner: pasta with tomato and mushroom sauce, glass of red wine for dessert.

 After school got a chance to play with my new 50lb kettlebell.
Did this for three rounds:
 30 two handed swings
10 kb cleans
10 kb snatches (did this one each round with the 30 lb bell)
 20 push ups
20 seated knee tucks
5 chin ups (had to go back to assisted chin ups .... drag ...)
 the first two exercises done with the 50 lb bell were pretty hard - I think I've been coasting with the 30 lb bell all summer, to be honest. Of course, I've been doing a fair amount of training otherwise. Glad to see that control over my nutrition is returning, slowly but surely. Now, I just need to get to bed a little more early and be able to stay in bed without interruption....

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sat and Sun September 8 and 9

Saturday saw Windsor RFC come and play in Burlington. I played tight head prop, again ... and we won ... again. Defense was pretty solid, as we didn't let them on the score board. I had a few pick and goes, taking a lot of ball in hand.

However, I'm left with a nagging thought about my skill level - I keep wondering about how, when my club was in a league above, did I play differently than I am this year ... it's just curious. Aside from being a good deal fitter than the last few seasons, I don't quite get that I should be playing that much better .... the coach is also good, but I'm not sure I'm that good of a student. ;)

In any case, we won and we're still on track for promotion to the league above. Two more regular league games, the last one being the most important.

Prep for today's game involved a lot of rolling on my medicine ball and stretching. I felt a whole heck of a lot better than I did before the last rugby game. Ugh, that was awful. Ate better before the game, and the usual crap after.

Sunday I spent stretching and playing with my new 50lb kettlebell. I picked it up Thursday after training; I found it on Kijiji. Right near my house. I'mma going to play with it next week, too.

Pics to follow. Just to break up this not pic posting binge I've been on, here is a random pic from my hard drive:

Oh yeaaaahhhhh ... my team went to the Montreal Irish Des Oneill Rugby tournament last weekend. I'm slowly hearing some of the stories from that weekend. Oh, man ... makes me want to go next year, I must say. Although, I'm pretty sure I said the same thing this time the last few years, too.

Friday Sept 7

Friday ... was a weird little day. I ate not very well, as Ihave yet to get my nutrition back under control. I ate out. Too much "out".

I did get a shrt run in, after work before having to pick up my kids. I'm sorry to say that my iPhone is too old to run the new version of hte Nike+ app, so I had to be resourceful. I borrowed my daughter iPod touch and put the new app on there. During the run, the thing fell out of my armband and the screen broke from hitting the pavement.

Being a man means that sometimes you have to deliver bad news. I got home and told my daughter that I had broken her iPod and that as such, I would be replacing it. I did get some tears, but I'm pretty sure that my kid knows that she can rely on me. In any case, I have to replace that this week. Expensive run.

I got picked to play firsts, too, by the way ...

Friday, September 7, 2012

Thursday Sept 6

Thursday, as the song goes, is a training night. I got through the shortened session and did this: three rounds of 7 x 50m sprints 20 push ups 20 seated knee tucks I felt like I struggled going through this finisher, more so than usual. I have something up with my sinuses at the moment, it feels as though I'm breathing through a scuba snorkel sometimes. \Lots of fluid coming out of the nose, too. My son has the same thing, too, I'm sorry to write. I got selected to play first team rugby this weekend, too. Should be a good show, man. I'm still working on my list of training events this winter, too. I should have a better idea of what's what by the end of next week.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Sept 1-5

Oh my. The last few days have been a real blur. One child sick, then another hospitalized ... kind of stressful. And someone poking around in my personal life, too. Drag. Anyways, I got two of my kids off to their care this morning and then, finally, got a workout done in my home gym: 20 two handed kb swings 15 KB cleans 10 Kb overhead presses 10 Kb snatches 20 push ups 20 seated knee tucks Not bad, but this cold or infection is really getting in my way at the moment. Coughing like there is fluid in my lungs, a lot of fluid in my sinuses, but not coming out ... ew. I over shared. Sorry. On with tomorrow!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Aug 19- Aug 31

I played some rugby, went back to my spinting after training and generally stayed as active as I could while recovering. I've also been working on my annual goals (my year runs September to June, thanks to my job... so its almost my New Years Eve....) picking my events, too. In speaking with friends and family, I'm putting together a list (to be posted here, of course) of events i'm planning on doing this winter. Training, of course, will happen in my garage and the local LA Fitness, which I recently joined. I just can't afford the weights for deadlifts right now. Now, back to finish my holiday.