Limits, Expectations and Goals
Let’s talk for a moment about limits. I know that I am getting older, I get it, I don’t like it but I know that there is nothing that I can do about it. I take that back, I can’t stop getting older but I can change the definition of aging as it pertains to me. ‘Old people can’t’, ‘People your age shouldn’t’, these are artificial restraints that may apply to some, but do not necessarily define me. I don’t view life and a continuous, inexorable crawl towards the grave. Life is for living and for the living. I don’t view limits as absolutes, I see them as challenges.
My expectations likewise are constantly changing. As I grow I see new opportunities every day. Things around me change and I try to change with them. To resist change is to be left behind. I like to think of change as adaptation, of better fitting in with new surroundings.
I try to set realistic goals. Goals that can be reached maybe not today or tomorrow but within reasonable times. Time is on our side if we learn how to use it as a tool instead of an impediment. When we were younger we thought, “I can’t wait to be older,” because age was a limiting factor in the way we viewed what could make us happy. Now we wish we were younger, I wish I would just make up my mind.
Back when I started going to the gym there was a sign posted on one of the walls titled, “Benchmark Movements.” There were things listed there that most of the people in the gym could do some if not all of. I could not do any of them. I was too fat or too out of shape or too inflexible. Always some reason and that bothered me. It still does. These things are some of my goals. Pistol squats, pull-ups, double unders, hand stand pushups, all of these things that fit people should be able to do. These things are going to be addressed in upcoming installments, they are achievable goals.
Using What We Learn About Ourselves
My workout today involved two concepts, moving explosively and moving with strength. The first part of the work is a variation of a CrossFit ‘girl’ workout called Grace. A classic rX Grace is a 135# barbell floor to locked out overhead, 30 times for time. My best PR is 9:10. I haven’t done Grace or any Oly lifting in a while so to get the benefit without potential for injury I’m doing 1/2 Grace, rX weight, 15 reps for time. That is the explosive movement portion.
Overall strength is expressed in the squat. It uses the most amount of muscle you can recruit in a single, compound movement. One of the first ‘programs’ I followed when I started training myself is called 5×5. 5 Basic lifts, 3 per day, 3 times a week using a linear progression. Each time you do an exercise you add 5 pounds more than you lifted the last time, easy. If you are 25. My squat stalled out at 175# and I stopped for a time rather than risk injury. This is smart.
I am starting this series of lifts again but this time I am going to allow for a longer period of recovery by altering the progression. Instead adding 5 pounds each time I squat I am going to a weekly progression. Starting today at 20# off of my last weight of 175#, Monday will be 155#, Wednesday will be 160# and Friday 162#. The following week, Monday will go down to 160#, Wednesday 165# and Friday 167#. This will allow me to progress at 5# a week and really modify the recovery process. My thinking is this, by allowing the recovery to catch up to increased stress more adaptation or growth of new tissue can occur as body resources that were used for recovery are freed up.
Do not attempt anything like this yourself, yet. The workouts I post are ones that I have personally done, I only record them here to document my progress. There is a substantial learning curve both physically and mentally involved in doing this sort of workout. I have been doing CrossFit for four years on a daily basis, I have done several versions of Grace at least 8 times and have been coached in the specific movement many hours by professionals, thanks John. The weight that I am using in the squat was worked up to over a seven week period by squatting three times a week, you simply cannot jump into a weight like that without getting hurt. I personally have hurt myself weightlifting, using too much weight while doing a movement that I did not understand. It took three weeks to recover from that injury and I was very lucky. I would not wish that amount of pain on anyone, please be careful.
135# Barbell Floor to Overhead 15 Reps for time 4:36
155# 5 sets of 5 reps
Eggs and Chorizo with Cheese
3 eggs(216 cal.)
4 oz. chorizo(285 cal.)
2 oz. queso fresca(160 cal.)
16 oz. 2% milk(244 cal.)
Post Workout Recovery drink
2 granny smith apples(206 cal.)
1/2 cantaloupe(75 cal.)
1 cup water
1 can tuna, drained(90 cal.)
This combination supplies 74.3 g. carbohydrates and 20 g. protein to aid in recovery. Recovery drinks/foods need to be consumed within 1/2 hour of the end of the workout for maximum effectiveness. Do not forget to hydrate before, during and after your workout. This particular smoothie has a lot of fiber in it. Metabolizing this amount of fiber may take additional fluid, keep this in mind during the day and drink some extra water to compensate.
4 oz. spinach(28 cal.)
5 oz. cucumber(16 cal.)
1 avocado(180 cal.)
1 oz. sunflower seeds(165 cal.)
2 Tsb. thousand island dressing(90 cal.)
Chicken and peppers(447 cal.)
For those of us just starting out, today’s workout is:
1/2 mile walk, this is the warm up, then
Burpees-Stand up straight with hands at your side. Get down into the pushup position and then get back up and clap your hands over head, that’s one.
3 sets of 10 Burpees
5×5 System in all it’s glory: http://stronglifts.com/5×5/
If you have any questions please ask, I would be happy to answer them if I can, or suggest someone who is smarter and better looking than I am to give you the answer you are looking for.