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 www.hundredpushups.com, 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.