Sunday, December 28, 2008

Week 6 - wheels done fall off

It's the holliday season, and I'm going thru a series of colds, coughs and sniffles. Feeling run down, both physically and mentally. I'll get back to it next year. Yeah. Right.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Week 6 - Day 1

Missed some time, managed to bruise a bone in my thumb, and it really hurt to do push-ups, so I took a week off to heal. Tested for entry into Week 6 on 15 Nov, and I thought to myself "I need to get to 46." Guess where I stopped? Got to 46 (barely) and dropped dead (figuratively speaking) . I obviously have some psychological issues with push-ups.

Now, the actual run was 25/30/20/9/(dnf) on a spec of 25/30/20/15/40. Obviously I'll be doing this one again. The time off definitely hurt me. Hopefully I'll be back on a regular schedule and getting it on 3 times a week until I can get to 100.


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Week 5 - Day 3 - second try

Managed to do 13/13/15/15/12/12/10/25 on the spec of the same. This time I managed to complete it, but forgot to push the limit, so I got to 25 and ran out of steam. I'll see if I can get to week 6, if not, I'll do the middle column of Week 5 next time.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Week 5 - Day 3

Managed to do 13/13/15/15/12/12/10/25 on the spec of 13/13/15/15/12/12/10/30. Missed it by that much... I was just flat out pooped. Need to do this one over again. I did write down that I should be aiming for 35, but didn't even get close.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

Week 5 - Day 2

Managed to do 10/10/13/13/10/10/9/25 on the spec of the same. The final set went well, until I got to 20, then it was the wall again. By 25, I was done physically and psychologically. I need to write down a different number for the final set, so I get to a higher point before failing mentally. I'll aim for 35...


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Week 5 - Day 1

Decided to do week 5 in the first column instead of re-doing Week 4 again. Sometimes the illusion of progress is more important that actual progress, as Column 2 in Week 4 is tougher than Column 1 in Week 5.

I wasn't paying attention to the actual numbers when I was doing the push-ups (kid wrangling and counting doesn't mix very well), so I ended up doing 17/20/17/15/22 on a spec of 17/19/15/15/20. Still having a bit of a wall when I get into the low 20's. Next is the switch from 5 sets to 8 sets - that'll be interesting...


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Week4.1 - Day 3

YEAH - finally got the third day of this "week" done. I managed 16/18/13/13/24 on a spec of 16/18/13/13/20. I was quite surprised. Did it before Dojo, so I was quite whipped while working on the new material.

I hope to be up to starting Week 4.2 using the 3rd column on Friday.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Week 4.1 - Day 2

Waited this long due to a screwed up ankle - it went 'pop' last weekend, and has finally stopped being a pain. No swelling or problems when not standing on it. Odd. Back to normal now, so it's push-up time...

Oh boy. Got through it, but had to "cheat" on the last set and do them from the knees. 14/16/12/12/(19). This time the Pecs are OK, but the Triceps are what failed and needed the relief of knee based push-ups at the end. Looks like Week 4.2 may be using the middle column instead of the tough column. We'll have to see how things go over the next few days.


Friday, October 10, 2008

Week 4.1 - Day 1.5

I have been exceedingly sore, even with lots of stretching and massive doses of Advil...

I was planning on doing pushups after Dojo (given how wiped out I was on Tuesday), but in warm-ups, Sensei switched things up & we did Burpies - or at least tried. I went straight down to the mat! My Pec's were still so shot, they couldn't hold me on the decent. Oh well. More stretching & more Advil - I'll try again over the weekend.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Week4.1 - Day 1

Finally!!! Back at it. Due to the long layoff, I started Week 4.1 with the lightweight column. Good thing, too. Just barely finished (12/14/11/10/16 on a spec of 12/14/11/10/16). I planned to go to 18, but hit the wall at 10. I wasn't sure that I'd get beyond 15, but was able to force 15 and 16. My arms felt like rubber, and the martial arts class afterwords was much tougher. I hope to do Day 2 on Thursday, and continue with Week 4.2 in the tough column before moving on to Week 5.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Week4.1 - Day 0.1

Still out of it - feeling lousy. The surgery went well, but I have been in a fair bit of pain. Going back to the Dentist tomorrow, to see if the renewed swelling in my mouth is an infection. Hope to be back at it next week. Stay tuned!

I expect I'll probably drop to the lightest load (column 1) for Week 4, then try the heavy load (column 3) if I can make it thru the week.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Week4.1 - Day 0

Well, I went back and visited the web site, and SHAZAM!!! - it has changed. And I noticed I had badly misread the initial instructions. Week 4.1 will be a completely different animal (5 sets, not just the last 3), since my test score (28) puts me in the most difficult category. I may yet have a Week 4.2 - or more... Saturday will be crazy-busy, but I'll try to get it done anyway. See you tomorrow!


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Week 4.0 - Update

Saw the doctor today.  Good news and better news.  Blood pressure is way down (was 135/90, now 118/80), and agreement was reached to switch to a different med.  Doctor believes the symptoms, if caused by the prior drug, should be gone by the weekend.  Hope to start week 4.1 this weekend (at the Saturday Dojo class, of course).

I might skip the Monday push-ups, pushing them back to Tues or Wed, as I will have oral surgery (on Monday) to remove an old baby tooth and clean up some infection in the area of the root. I can't wait!

In my absence last week, everyone at home bagged on the push-ups. We'll all be going thru Week 4 again. Nice to have everyone back on the same page.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Week 4 - Test Day

Well... Not good. Only got to 28 before being unable to go up again. Most likely a problem with will more than ability, but in this case, there is no difference. The result is to repeat Week 4 again until I can score high enough to enter Week 5.

All the usual excuses, busy at work, then traveling for work, at a cheap hotel, 12 hour days, etc...

Back at it with Week 4 - Day 4 real soon now... (hopefully this Saturday)... See you then.


Monday, September 1, 2008

Week 4 - Day 3

Today’s total was (22/20/30) on a spec of (22/20/29+).

Once again, I had problems getting thru and had to pause in the final set. I also got distracted and waited nearly a half hour between the second and third sets, and fatigue had begun to set into the shoulders and pecs. Not good.

It's been a while, as I was supposed to be on travel, but that fell thru and I ended up working all weekend on a different program instead. Lovely. Almost 40 hours over a holiday weekend. Such fun. But at least I managed to get my push-ups in - that's gotta count for something!

I hope to get back into a more regular pattern here soon.

Next time - the Stress Test - to see how many I can do as a seed for Week 5...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Week 4 - Day 2.5

Thursday came and went. For all of the ups and downs it had, none of them were push-ups.

For some reason, Thursdays seem to be my 'CRUNCH' day, where I end up pulling extra long shifts (15 hours this time). I did get home before midnight, but had to pack, as I was going on a business trip. Got to bed around 1am Friday morning. Just 10 hours later (half a hour before I headed for the airport), the trip gets canceled. Such fun. I'm beat and going to bed.

The plan is to finish Week 4 on Saturday before Dojo. Then the fun begins - Week 5 is gonna be a cast iron you-know-what...


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Week 4 - Day 2

Today’s total was (21/18/28) on a spec of (21/18/25+).

Once again, before Dojo, we did push-ups. Once again (in the final set), I stalled at 22 and had to hold in the 'up' position while I gathered my energy for the final push. Still, it's nice to be able to push beyond the minimum and move on.

I'm still a little under the weather (I hope so, at least - today's sets were brutal - took a lot out of me). Hopefully I'll be feeling better by Thursday. We'll have to see. I may skip until Friday or Saturday, just for the recovery time.

Still, the short term ache didn't really impact my performance at Dojo, and (if things hold as they have been), it will not be much of a problem tomorrow either. If that's not the case, well, ... Isn't that why they invented Advil?

I've been lax in my stretches for my pecs and my work on biceps, so I'll get on that tonight and tomorrow. Need to try to keep symmetrical, at least a little bit.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Week 4 - Day 1

Today’s total was (20/17/28) on a spec of (20/17/27+).

Just barely got thru the end of it. Worked really hard to get to 20 in the first set, but the second set went easier. The third set stalled briefly at 22 again, but a brief mental reset at the top was enough to get me on to 27. Then, I insisted I do one more, and almost didn't make it. I was surprised, as I thought I'd stall out on the way up, but made it up (and safely back down).

I didn't end up as tired or fatigued as I thought. Having completed the push-ups as soon as we got to Dojo, I was pleased as to how little impact it had on either class (we do a sword class and Tai-Jutsu class on Saturday). No real problems, just a little stiff. Still, I don't really look forward to the push-ups, but I am at least a little excited about the prospect of getting to 100.

The kids and wife are keeping busy with the program. The kids only one "day" behind me. They will probably do the program again, once they finished it and have had a chance to perfect their 'form' - they wobble like a scarf in the breeze when doing their porpises, I mean push-ups. My wife has her own schedule, and works out at a gym (she likes the treadmill - don't ask me why, it makes no sense at all), so she keeps her own notes. She says she's doing well, and she isn't necessarily tied to the idea of 100, she's just looking for a bit of a challenge and some increased bulk and strength.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Week 4 - Day 0

Today’s total was ... zilch!

Another barrage of excuses. There's a stomach flu running thru the household, and I was at work until after 9pm. Hopefully we'll get back into the swing of it on Saturday...


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Week 3 - Day 3

Today’s total was (22/20/27) on a spec of (22/20/27+).

Didn’t think I’d make it to Day 3 without a failure, but plan to just keep on going. In the 3rd set, I hit the wall at 22 and had to stop briefly in the ‘up’ position and take a deep breath and focus, in order to pound out the last few. Again, despite chanting “30”, “30”, “30” to myself, got to 27 and locked up. Having a hard time fooling myself. I may need to update my “do” sheet to list bigger numbers, that way I’ll be working from the higher number from the start. Hopefully the next ‘week’ won’t be as long, and will include a steady stream of successes.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Week 3 - Day 2

Today’s total was (19/15/26) on a spec of (19/15/25+).

Just barely got it in on Saturday. 11:53pm, to be precise. We’d skipped Dojo & did yard work and watch the Olympics (and Phelps winning more even more gold). My son was thrilled to see an guy with ADHD do well. When he got the diagnosis (my son), he thought he was done for, but has some hope now. On the pushups front, I must aim a little higher than ‘one over’, because that’s all I have been doing of late. Recovery has been quick, and not too sore, even with such large numbers.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Week 3 - Day 1.5

Today’s total was… nothing.

Ready for the excuses? I worked a 15½ hour day and got home just after midnight, so I couldn’t have done it Thursday evening even if I wanted to (and after that day, I didn’t want to). I’ll try to get it together and move on.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Week 3 - Day 1

Today’s total was (17/15/26) on a spec of (17/15/25+).

Getting started a day early, due to the heavy load (of pushups) this week – get an extra day of rest & recovery before doing Thursday’s sets. Not sure how well things will go with next time – could be a really long week as I’ve only gone beyond 17 twice now, and once just barely… And that 26 was closer to 25.875 – didn’t quite get all the way to elbows straight, and didn’t lower myself as much as land softly… But the psychological boost of going over minimum is not to be diminished. Now I just need to aim for +2 or +3 – yeah, right. Not the way the reps are increasing.

Got busy last night (worked late, hurried home, worked on the computer (overheating nVidia 9800 GXT), watched some Olympics, …) and forgot dinner, so I got up at 1:30am and dug out an old jug of protein milkshake mix and had a glass. It held me over till morning, so it did it’s job – just not sure if the ‘protein’ aspect of it is worth squat. We’ll see – I’ll try to use it a couple times a week to make sure my body has all the ingredients it needs, and to see if it helps…


Saturday, August 9, 2008

Week 3 - Day 0

Today’s total was … oops.

Now that was a brain fart. Finished at the Dojo, but had to scoot over to my daughter‘s Dance place and get her signed up for the fall classes (Ballet 2, wow!). Completely spaced the pushups. Yeah, right. Got some prime oceanfront property here in Tucson for sale, cheap! No, really. I did forget, but it does sound a bit suspicious.


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Week 2 - Day 3

Today’s total was (12/12/16) on a spec of (12/12/15+).

That’s a little better than spec, but I should have done better – got to 16 & thought “that’s enough” and suddenly, I was out of energy. Next time I need to aim for 2 or 3 over spec, not just one…


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Week 2 - Day 2

Today’s total was (11/11/18) on a spec of (11/11/15+).

Prepped with plenty of stretches and counter-exercises (curls and shoulder-blade squeezes) over weekend & Monday. Still not too stiff, tired or otherwise having problems.


Saturday, August 2, 2008

Week 2 - Day 1.5

Forgot (smirk) – got busy – Dojo had a seminar w/ Sensei Rudy of Colorado (improvised weapon fighting – defending against attacker with nothing more than magic markers – lots of pressure point activation and joint manipulation) and just blew it…

I was also a bit sore in right shoulder from shuriken throwing Friday night. On the flip side, we went (w/ Sensei Rudy) to a neat Japanese (traditional: order, sit, served) restaurant – about a half hour away, new to us but 5 years old. My wife and son had bento boxes, I had Chicken Curry & my daughter had noodles. We’ll get back with the program on Tues…


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Week 2 - Day 1

Are you detecting a pattern? Once again, after Dojo, we did pushups, and I did (9/7/12) on a spec of (9/7/10+). Still not too sore, but still leaning on the Advil… My daughter did 9/7/13, My wife and son have their own logs. Still doing stretches and ‘counter’ exercising to try to keep flexible and symmetrical.


Week 1 - Day 3

Again, after Dojo, I did (10/10/16) on a spec of (10/10/15+) – might have been able to do a few more, but was interrupted by the kids. Hard to count when they are chiming in with their totals and arguing over who did more…

And again, it wasn’t particularly difficult (until the very end of the 3rd set). Still not too sore and still taking Advil. Also doing the curls & squeezes with the resistance band (think: really big rubber band).


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Week 1 - Day 2

Again, after Dojo, I did (10/10/11) on a spec of (10/10/10+).

And again, it wasn’t particularly difficult (until the very end of the 3rd set). I wasn’t that sore, just slightly tender in the Pecs (in the region nearest the shoulder joint). I have also been doing curls with a resistance band and also doing the ‘shoulder blade squeeze’ to help stretch and to exercise some of the opposing muscle groups. I have a feeling that things will be fairly easy until about Week 3…


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Week 1 - Day 1

I did the test, and got to 18 pushups. Given my age, that made me a Level 3 (same for my son, daughter & wife).

Later in the day (after Dojo), I did the 1st day’ exercise and completed it (8/6/8) on a spec of (8/6/7+).

It wasn’t particularly difficult, nor was I particularly tired or sore. Even the next day, things were still pretty good (gotta love Advil!).


Monday, July 21, 2008

Personal History (Pt 6)

I have spent the past two decades slowly converting blubber into muscle, with my weight ranging between 215 & 235, depending on exercise levels and food intake levels. I have always had better luck trying to balance the calorie equation (fat = calories in – calories out … or … fat=food-exercise) by increasing the calories out, rather than restricting the calories in.

I’m now a bit more aware of my eating since my son hit 10 years old and started eating me out of house and home. When I was that age, my dad tried to keep up with my eating habits, and I put about 60 pounds on the old man before he conceded that I could out eat him. I’m trying to learn from his mistake and have given up the title of ‘garbage disposal’ for the sake of my health, sanity and wardrobe.


Personal History (Pt 5)

After College, the exercise for the day became the walk to and from the parking lot, and the 6 steps down to my “garden level” apartment. Suddenly I was 175 lbs, then 185 lbs and then… I started working out and slowed the weight gain, and was able to direct some of that into muscle. I topped out at 195 for a few years.

Then I got married and someone else was cooking. I got to eat real food, not just mac-n-cheese with hotdogs! However, the down side was I immediately ballooned to 225 lbs. Even after I got rid of the woman, the weight remained. When I remarried, I was more careful about my eating habits, and have managed to keep my weight stable.


Personal History (Pt 4)

In College (Undue Purversity, I mean Purdue University), I didn’t do much in sports. I tried out for the Crew team, but couldn’t hack it – especially since it was about 7 miles away from where I lived and didn’t have a car. But I did do a lot of bicycling, as it was the only kind of wheels I had.

I don’t have data on height and weight data for my Freshman year, but in my Sophomore year, I was 6’2” and weighed 115 pounds. This was in the early 80’s (during the Ethiopian Famine) and I was so skinny that I was called “the White Ethiopian”. For example, I didn’t have visible pectoral muscles (you could count ribs all the way up to my collar bones), my elbows were bigger around than my upper arms & shoulder. My knees were bigger around than my thighs, and I had a bad case of ‘empty saddles’, as my grandma used to say.

By my Junior year I had finished growing, topping out at 6’4” and weighed all of 135 lbs. By the time I’d finished my Senior year, I’d managed to get all the way up to 155 lbs (the extra weight was on my thighs & calfs due to all of the bicycling I was doing). Even at this ‘advanced’ weight, my Interview Suit had to have the 30” waist taken in by two inches!


Personal History (Pt 3)

In High School I did even less sports, doing just swimming and marching band. In swimming, we joked about how little resistance a soda straw has when pulled thru the water… We had a Varsity team, and then there was the rest of us. I had endurance, but no muscle for sprinting, so I did long distances (800 yds and longer). Didn’t win much, but never finished last.

Marching band, while not a traditional sport, is reasonable exercise, when done for an hour a day. Yeah, that's the ticket... Hey, at least I got a letter in it!


Personal History (Pt 2)

In Junior High, I played Pee Wee football (the summers before 5th thru 7th grades). I started at Defensive Tackle my first year, moved to Defensive End for the second and had to drop back to Safety the third, as my height continued to advance, but my weight didn’t. I was so light that I couldn’t fight off a block at the line of scrimmage. The good news was that I was fast and agile enough in the backfield that the whole final season that no one I was defending caught a ball. Eiteher the coverage (me) was too good, or I was able to knock the ball down (no INT’s as I had (have?) hands of stone). The only touchdown scored against our team all season was on a series of downs when I was ‘sitting’ (like all ‘kiddie’ sports, everyone plays a little, so we rotated). I was the second fastest on the playground (as measured by playing Tag). One kid was faster in a straight line (our running back) and one was better at cornering.

My football dreams ended after 7th grade, when I was diagnosed with a growth disorder (Ausschlag Slaughter (spelling?) – where the long bones grow faster than the ligaments can stretch – a constant and ongoing, although minor, sprain of the ankles, knees, shoulders, elbows and wrists). This left me with “trick” knees (sometimes they work, sometimes the don’t), loose shoulders and sloppy (flexible?) ankles and wrists (they have improved with time, a little).


Personal History (Pt 1)

In grade school, I was always moving (ADHD, with oak leaf clusters). Anything that could be raced, climbed, scrambled over, crawled under, jumped off, … While I didn’t do formal gymnastics, I enjoyed rolling, tumbling, jumping and the like. By 3rd grade I could do a standing back flip (although I landed in a squatting position). With no upper body strength (or mass), I couldn’t do much in the way of pushups or pull ups, but could do sit-ups for a half hour straight.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

How I do my push-ups

As I have problems with my wrists, I do my push-ups from a closed fist 'stance'. This isn't a problem for me, as the Dojo has nice soft (right!) mats - soft enough for my purposes, at least - and the carpet at home does just as well. Because I start up a little higher, I don't go quite to "nose down" position when doing push-ups, but stop just a little bit short of that.

Once I have completed the program, I intend to start working on other hand positions, including traditional wrist position, inverted wrist (weight on the back of the hand, instead of on the palm), finger tips and whatever else Sensei Rudy can come up with (he suggested, and demonstrated these and a few others).


100 pushups… yeah, right.

I found the website, and looked at it. Sounded too good to be true, but since I can’t get to 20 without a break, if I could double it, that would be great! I went from too skinny to a reasonable weight after school, but never built any arm strength (too much bicycling, and poor body image, plus general geekieness, if that’s a word). This will be a real challenge. I expect I will do weeks 3-6 a few times before ‘passing’. I intend to repeat days over and over until I can complete the specified minimum reps. The whole family is doing it, some on their knees.

If it works as well as I hope, the next task will be to use the same pattern for double crunches (crunches and reverse crunches at the same time, kind of like an upside down jack-knife), then on to chin-ups (but probably at half the reps – I think 50 will be plenty), then squats and then … Who knows where this might end…




My name is Ken, and welcome to my initial trial of blogging. I'm a 40-sumpthin' techie (BSEE with multiple decades of embedded software and networking experience) who is just getting into blogging. Blogging looked to be a fad, and I had little time for fads. Also, I had little I wanted to talk about. Now, I'm having some fun and wanted to see if anyone out there thought it to be fun as well.

I've been about improving myself since I was little, but rarely worried about my physical condition, as I have been in reasonably good shape my whole life, and have always been able to do the things I wanted to do (who wants to do push-ups or chin-ups anyway?). Now as I approach middle age (yeah, right), I'm looking to take better care of myself and push the limits of these old bones to see what I'm made of.

I've been keeping a log of my latest goings-on, and that will form the basis of the blog for now - it looks like I can back-date the posts, so I'll put them in chronologically and put the actual dates of the writings on the posts. I presently have only text, but hope to insert pictures from time to time.