Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ideal Exercise II

As a glutton for punishment and since I enjoyed my time with the Anderson's, we carved out time in our Seattle vacation for yet another workout for me and the first workout with a top notch trainer for my wife.  I will leave her workout details for another post but it was much tougher than what she had done before on our own.

Worked out fasted and with 4 days recover from last workout on tuesday.  
-10 degree chest fly:  Pre-exhaust for bench.  Was concerned about my shoulder and Greg assured me it would be fine or we would stop.  He was right.
-Leverage Bench Press:  Less weight, but more time under load than Tuesday.
-Leverage Leg Press:  Killer machine that is chromed out and a bit like hammer strength.  Having leg press in middle made for a strong metabolic effect.
-Compound Row:  Neat machine with no chest pad.  Lower back doing a isometric hold of sorts while rowing.
-Overhead Press:  Happy for no shoulder pain.  Stopped shorter than usual like before, which made it really hard.

Overall around 10 minutes.  Brutal as before.  Afterward took them and a new trainer for brunch at Jak's, a good local steak and burger joint.  Beer, beef, eggs and even a bit of their speciality potato pancakes.  Oh, and some drinks....some of us more than others.

Guest post coming from Karen about her experience along with pictures.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ideal Exercise and Workout of the Week

I got to Seattle late on Monday night and after a day of setting up a booth for a conference I went to Ideal Exercise, home of Greg and Ann-Marie Anderson for a high intensity training session. Their place was almost like a museum for equipment, with various vintages of Nautilus machines all in nice working order. One particular machine that jumped out at me was a squat machine based on a 4 bar linkage. Awesome, collector's item stuff.

Talking to Greg was a bit like speaking to several people rolled into one. He is part philosopher, part physiologist, part strength and conditioning coach, and an all around good guy. Ann-Marie was great to talk to as well. I had the honor of spending a couple of hours, after my 12 minutes or so of discomfort, to hang out with them and drink a couple of beers. I learned a bunch of stuff from them and think I was still only running at around 65% comprehension. Here are a few good nuggets to pass on:
  • Greg had me stop my reps shorter of full extension than I usually do. Even with good machines the end can be easier and this change definitely made the exercise more difficult overall. The leg press was particularly difficult and I almost fell down while getting off the machine my legs were so fatigued.
  • Ann-Marie explained how negatives perform more micro trauma but having the separate fiber bundles stick and damage each other while the movement continues. At least that was how I remembered it.
  • The sets I performed were a bit beyond positive failure. Greg extended my sets by having me continue to push for a few seconds or by doing a partial rep. I could feel the difference with the metabolic response. It will be interesting to see how this affects progress and recovery. I will try this back home as well and carefully watch for overtraining. At the very least it was a great way to mix it up.
  • We discussed the issues related with having too few compound movements and spliting routines. The advice I got from them confirmed what I had suspected from my training in that the metabolic response from more single joint movements is less and leaves me feeling lacking something. I will continue to avoid splitting my routines except for some times I need to workout on reduced recovery.
  • Greg has been writing against aerobics and for proper strength training for over 15 years. Check out this article on high intenstity strength training and aerobics from the mid 90s that Greg wrote.

Anyone out there in the Seattle area should take advantage of such great knowledge and train with the Andersons if you can. It might be tough since they are pretty booked and have many clients for over 15 years, which they honor with a plaque on the wall of their gym. As I told them when I left, my visit with them made my trip worth while and I was only in town for less than 24 hours at that point.

Workout of the Week:

  • Nautilus Leg Press: Brutal. That is all I can say.
  • Nautilus Pull Over: First time I have ever done that exercise.
  • Nautilus Torso Arm: Kind of a variant of a pull down.
  • Bench Press: Interesting, hammer strength like plate load setup. The load variation is related to where the plates are moving in the arcs around the pivot point. Pretty clever.
  • Lateral Raise

I have no idea how long the entire training took, but I am pretty sure it was less than 12 minutes. It might even have been less than 10 minutes. I went from machine to machine with less than 30 seconds between exercises. All times under load were almost 2 mintues or a bit over except the lateral raise. I was fried when done, shaking while enjoying my budweiser and my breathing took around 25 minutes before I felt normal.

Was going to train again on Sunday but my wife has her heart set on a visit to Vancouver. Next time.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Today's workout

I went to the gym and did a few things, all in about 25 minutes. I did a little 6 high intensity session with little time between exercises. I didn't measure time and mostly guessed at weights. Just hard work for a good 15 minutes. After that I did chest press, seated row and leg press in an alactic, single rep fashion. I kept increasing the weight until it was super hard then did 4-5 hard reps, one at a time. I was happy that after all the rest of the stuff I could one rep the entire leg press stack. Workout was very light as compared to my usual lately. Just some nice effort on a fast morning.

Next workout is in Seattle, where I am going on a business trip. I made an appointment with Ideal Exercise where I will do a workout(brutal I am sure) on Greg Anderson's nautilus equipment.


A few links to mention today, including a couple containing movies:
  • Epigenetics: This post from Mark's Daily Apple is a must see. Take the 15 or so minutes to watch both movie segments contained in the posts. You, your children, and your potential grandchildren will thank you. Watch and you will see what I mean. We have heard about "gene expression" before and it is a complicated term. These movies bring it down to the concrete for laymen like me.
  • Barefoot Running: Matt Metzgar had a great post with a movie on barefoot running. In a few short minutes the subject went from possibly damaging heel striking to proper forefoot running. I, personally, don't think you need a special coach to learn how to run properly. Start slow and run with totally bare feet on pavement and you will quickly learn to not strike the heel. The change can be quick and profound.
  • Free the Animal: This post was a particularly good one from Richard. One takeaway I have is that it is amazing to me how quickly things get factionalized(is that a word?). Two groups who are 95% on the same track bad mouthing each other is so common and I just don't get it. Ford versus Chevy. Mac versus PC. Zero Carb versus Low carb versus very low carb. To an outsider they all seem very similar but they rip each other to shreds over the remaining 5%. Unreal. I see the same thing with Objectivists(2 camps at least 99% the same to me) and Objectivists versus Libertarians(95% or so). Can't we all just get along?
  • Fight Science: I fell into a trap on this one. The link in the post goes to a Hulu movie showing scientific tests of self defense methods. It all made sense to me while watching, but there is a problem. The intended target doesn't sit still for the punishment. They will move and evade and lessen the attack, but that isn't taken into account for the test. I should know better as this is exactly what a lot of bad science has done. We test steady state on a treadmill since it is easy to set up in a lab, but it leads to misleading results. Similar stuff happens with lab rats in diet intervention tests.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Workout of the Week 2/13

9am at our local YMCA fasted for 14 hours or so.

Big 5(10 minutes):
  • Chest Press: Same weight, up 13 seconds.
  • Seated Row: Same weight, up 14 seconds.
  • Leg Press: Same weight, up 10 seconds.
  • Overhead Press: Up 5#, down 25 seconds(under 90 seconds again). Full range of movement again. The shoulder has improved quite a bit recently.
  • Pull Down: Up half a plate, same time.
Surprisingly good results. I didn't sleep well all week mostly due to my 3 year old keeping me up 3-4 times per night. I also had a 2 minute shorter workout. I lucked out and the machines were all free right when I needed them. The delay between exercises was less than 20 seconds and many times it was less than 10 seconds. With all that I had one of the better improvement weeks. Nice metabolic work as well with the short delays.

Continued the fast for another 3 hours then had a big fritatta with leftover grass fed beef roast, bacon, leftover brussel sprouts and some fruit. Tasted amazing. Went to dinner to a friend's house for a chinese new year celebration. Other than the obligatory dumplings the food was quite healthy and delicious albeit somewhat salty.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Devany in action

Good news story and article showing Art Devany, the father of Evolutionary Fitness in action from a local Utah news source. Dude is in pretty amazing shape.

Hat tip: Richard

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Key Links Updated

Just a quick note that I updated the Key Links on the right of my blog. I had a beginner's workout that is outdated with my current thoughts on exercise. I have replaced it with 4 videos of a Big 5 workout from Dr. Doug McGuff that is the bulk of what I do for my weekly training. The videos not only show the 5 movements but show how the workout has a strong global metabolic effect that is a much better alternative to aerobics(jogging, etc.) Due to it's high intensity and low joint loads I believe that this is the best workout for anyone, particularly for beginners.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Workout of the Week 2/6

Worked out fasted this morning, as usual. Decided to up the weight on all exercises as I was over or nearly 90 seconds on each for a few weeks. Nice improvement particularly on overhead press as I can finally do a full range of movement with no pain.

Big 5(12 minutes):
  • Chest Press: Up 5#, down 9 seconds
  • Seated Row: Up 5#, down 15 seconds
  • Leg Press: Up 5#, down 11 seconds
  • Overhead Press: Up 5#, up 16 seconds
  • Pull Down: Up '0.5', down 8 seconds
Other than the overhead press I will leave all the same for next week. Overhead press goes up another 5#.

About 2 hours later had lunch at the Circus Cafe with my family. I had a bowl of clam and chicken chowder and a spinach salad with grilled chicken on it. I also finished my wife's burger. Not too much to eat, but satisfying.

Workout of the Week 1/30

Another catch up on reporting.

Big 5( 12 minutes ):
  • Chest Press: Down 4 seconds.
  • Seated Row: Down 11 seconds.
  • Leg Press: Up 6 seconds.
  • Overhead Press: Up 4 seconds.
  • Pulldown: Up 8 seconds.
Did lots of travelling this week and had less than 5 hours of sleep on 2 days which I believe affected recovery. Still progressed on 3 of 5 so not too bad.

Also working out today, a week later on a big 5. We will see how it goes.

Workout of the Week 1/22

Been slacking in reporting my workouts. Actually, I have just been very busy. Catching up on one from 2 weeks ago or so.

Little 6(14 minutes):
  • Bicep Curls: Up 2 seconds
  • Leg Curl: Up 19 seconds.
  • Tricep Extension: Down 8 seconds.
  • Leg Extension: Up 8 seconds.
  • Deltoid Raise: Up 10#, down 20 seconds. Still almost 2 minutes.
  • Calf Raise: Up 18 seconds.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Exercise and Update

Yesterday was a light exercise on a day with low intake.  I had a lunch meeting at which it would have been strange to not eat so I didn't continue to fast through dinner.  I wave my freak flag high but avoid doing so too much at work, particularly around upper managers.

Being the beginning of the month it was checking in time for Andy's "Biggest Gainer" challenge.  I had been a bit fatter than I would like so I dropped the raw milk and protein shakes and it has paid off.  I dropped a couple of pounds of fat and might have gained a little muscle to boot.  With 5mm on chest, 12mm on abs and 15mm on thigh I am now around 10.5 percent body fat, a 1.5 percent drop in around 2 weeks.  The mass gain, if any, was due to less than an hour of lifting over that same time period, nearly all Body by Science style.  By mirror I can tell the lower fat as more cuts and veins showing.

While I was at the gym for caliper check I did a 20 minute circuit.  5 rounds of the following with no grinding reps and nowhere near failure:
-Pull Ups
-Chest Press(machine)
-Bent Row

Left feeling awesome after an ice cold shower.  Made "meatzza" for dinner.  Came out really good.