Updated to add links to photos, which seem intended to highlight my bad-looking gray hair… somebody give me some hair advice please…
I’m almost too tired to blog! Today’s semi-competitive workout event was a kind of combination adventure race and game of chance. With the gym being on an old Navy base, the planner of today’s workout decided to use the little roads, alleys, and loading docks surrounding the building.
To start, everybody took off in pairs, two pairs at a time, once per minute. You had to run to the starting area (a dead-end alley at a loading dock); jump up onto the dock; pick one of four numbers you were carrying on cards; and spin a wheel to determine which exercise you’d do for that number of reps. You’d do the exercise, then run around either one or two buildings depending on how many reps you’d done. This continued until you’d done an exercise for all four of your numbers and had run either a longer or shorter course in between each exercise.
My four numbers were 75, 60, 45, and 30 and my plan—like a lot of people’s, I assume—was to get my high numbers out of the way first. I picked 75, spun the wheel and got kettlebell swings. I used a 16-kg kettlebell and 75 swings went by pretty fast. I think I rested at 55 and at 70. Because 75 was one of my two highest numbers of reps, I ran the shorter course, which was probably about a quarter mile.
Next I chose 60 and spun the wheel for push-ups, which were to be done with hands on a bar about a foot off the ground. There was just enough room for two people on the bar, and I was next to a guy who’s a super jock—not that it should matter, but I felt unrealistically competitive, always hoping I can keep up with the guys. I did my push-ups in sets of 10 until I got to 40, then went to knee push-ups and did 10, 6, and 4. I ran the short course again, which seemed a lot longer this time.
My third exercise was 45 reps of ring-rows—leaning back against a pair of rings at about 45 degrees and pulling my chest up to the rings. This was my hardest drill. I tried to keep my shoulder blades tight and pull with my whole back and sides, but I guess I was tired from the push-ups and this drill took me longer than any of the others. I did one set of 15 and then quickly deteriorated into mini-sets of 5 or 3 or 2. This was one of my two lower numbers of reps, which meant I had to run the longer course, around two buildings and the space between them. Dave later said he thought this course was about 3/4 mile.
Finally, my last exercise of 30 reps turned out to be high-pull deadlifts with kettlebells. I chose the uniquely red-painted 24-kg kettlebell, used my legs to spring it up, and worried about hitting myself in the chin. But my chin was safe. A 24-kg kettlebell, pulled up by me, has no surplus upward momentum. During the 30 reps, I think I rested at 20 and 28. I’m trying to stop resting during exercises, and a good place to cut rests would be when I only have two reps left. I mean, would it have been impossible for me to do two more reps after no. 28 without stopping? Probably not. But it seemed too hard at the time.
I ran (jogged) the long course again and finished with a time of 30:52. I was pleased with my time because I had done well at resisting the urge to rest, to walk during the runs, to re-tie my shoes, and so on. It was a lot of fun to use a larger outdoor area instead of just our usual run around the same old building, especially because most of us had never even seen the hidden loading-dock areas before.
The women were given lower sets of four numbers than the men got. So we did the same drills but had a time advantage, and I think a lot of women came in ahead of a lot of the men. For instance, Tom’s four numbers were something like 80, 75, 60, and 45—a total of 260 reps compared to my 210. I asked him twice what his exercises (selected by spinning the wheel) were, but nevertheless I can’t remember. Brain-dead! Some of the exercises I didn’t have to do were wall-ball throws, medicine-ball throws into the air, 4-count crunches, V-ups, push-press, and basketball push-ups (done with the hands on two basketballs—I’d surely fall on my face!).
I didn’t even blog last night’s workout, but it was fun also, and involved kettlebell swings (24 kg), medicine ball throws, squats, and sit-ups. Afterward Nancy and I practiced handstands for quite a while, did a couple of spotted muscle-ups, and watched Tom do his second or third muscle-up. Everyone agrees that even after you can do one, it’s not something you can do reliably on every attempt, maybe not even every week, although for expert male gymnasts it is only a basic skill.
I can’t go to the gym all next week because I have to fast for a colonoscopy. It will be my first one and I’m having it at 40 instead of 50 because of a family history. I’m not going to be like Katie Couric and have it televised, but if I’m not too crabby from the fasting—and if I don’t decide it’s sharing WAY too much information—I’ll blog about it. The procedure is on Thursday morning, and I have to start severely curtailing my food intake on Monday morning.