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Home Gym Essentials

Reading through a fitness mag (ok, I admit it, I flipped through my wife's issue of Shape), I came across an article about equipping a home gym. As expected, I found half the suggestions to be ludicrous. I was quite amused that the bigger budget home gyms had a treadmill and elliptical trainer--two pieces of equipment I think are completely unnecessary for a home gym. I was likewise amused at the suggestion of the perfect pushup device; rotating handles for pushups are overrated and not worth $30.

Making progress with the old man

My dad was never a big fan of my avid interest in physical fitness and physical activities. His attempts to turn me into a nerdy bookworm were only half successful. I did turn out to become a nerd, but he fortunately never succeeded in making me forgo all physical activity to study more. In fact, his constant badgering about me not studying enough probably caused me to rebel and become even more interested in physical fitness. But last night, he didn't poo-poo my fitness expertise like he usually does.

2009/12/16: Back on the rings, medicine ball core work

Hopped back on the rings yesterday afternoon after a few weeks off. It's been a little cold, so hanging the rings outside hasn't been happening. At some point, my Floridian senses take over and tell me that freezing temperatures and stiff winds are not good for an outdoor rings workout.

  • wide supports: 3 x 15s
  • iso hold false grip pull ups: 2 rounds
  • archer dips: 2 x 4-6 reps

Freak warm December day = Outdoor Leg Workout

It had been unseasonable warm through November here in PA, then it turned cold. But we still had one last warm-ish day in December. We broke out the weight vests and took advantage of the cinder blocks and tires outside for an outdoor leg workout:

  • Lunges:
    • 20 x bodyweight
    • 20 x 20lb vest
    • 20 x vest+cinder block
    • 20 x vest+2 cinder blocks

  • Side lunges: 2 x 20 x vest
  • Tire Pushes: 2 rounds pushing 40 yds (or failure)

The next big thing

Flipping through Shape magazine (it's my wife's, honestly), I came across the page with the latest fitness fads which included some yoga hybrid workouts.  I'm usually pretty leery of fads.  By the time an idea is mainstream popular, they're usually more marketing than substance.  The resurgence of yoga is a good example.  Sure, yoga is great for you, but its sheer popularity means that a lot of people are trying to milk the popularity cow.  You get a lot of unqualified people with serious misunderstandings teaching classes just to meet the demand.  You

Random notes

  • Deadlifted 205 lbs again.  It's been a while since I went past 185 lbs since I've been working on my technique.  Technique felt pretty clean this time around, but my grip is still weak.  My grip failed long before everything else.
  • On that note, I watch other people do deadlifts in the gym.  I cringe at the sight of many rounded backs.  It must be good to be young and not feel any pain from poor lifting form.
  • You'd think that college athletes would all be fantastically fit and strong.  You'd be wrong in that thought.  I've never

Tai Cheese: A Case Study

What do tai chi and dairy farming have to do with each other? Normally nothing, but in the case of Rob Taverner, tai chi helps keep him and his dairy cows happy. I applaud Rob Taverner for his organic dairy farming and his dabbling with tai chi to soothe his cows. I however can't say that his movements (as far as I can tell from the still photo) adhere to tai chi principles.

The Cornucopia

My apartment complex actually forbids growing vegetables on the premises. It's actually explicitly specified in the rent contract. It makes me a little sad to not be able to garden here, but I did bend the rules a bit by growing basil (ha, take that evil apartment management! it's an herb, not a vegetable.). But who needs a vegetable garden anyhow? Especially when you've got friends willing to share their bounty.

Rocking the Relaxation

"Relax!"  It's a phrase you're bound to hear if you study an internal martial art, especially any of the tai chi variants.  But what exactly does it mean to relax?  According to the dictionary definitions,

relax (verb) is
  1. to make less tense, rigid, or firm; make lax
  2. to diminish the force of
  3. to slacken or abate, as effort, attention, etc.
  4. to reduce or stop work, effort, application, etc., especially for the sake of rest and recreation.


None of those definitions


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