Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
I thought Terrieha would want to spend the weekend relaxing with each other, but I couldn’t be more wrong as she kept driving me to work around the house and yard all weekend long. We decided that we should probably take a day off from working out so on Saturday morning we went for a short trail run at Keisel Park and then took Sunday off. Unfortunately, we spent the rest of the weekend unpacking and setting up our office. For some reason, this room has seemed to take the longest out of any other in the house. I don’t know if it’s because of all the paperwork or the size of the room (it is quite small so finding the right place for something can be extremely difficult). There is also the problem that even though Terrieha and I have been together for over six years, we’ve never spent the time to thoroughly organize, condense, and combine our two sets of files, largely for good reason: I LOATHE paperwork! I tend to think of myself more as a big picture kind of person so I knew this was going to be a challenge for the two of us.
After almost two days, we finally had everything worked out and somewhat manageable in the office. Below are some pics of it. First off, the green was NOT our doing; it was completed by the previous owner for some unknown reason. With all of the work going on around the house, I really haven’t felt like taking on another painting project just yet…so in a few months, I’ll get around to making it a more neutral color. The big posters are research posters from Terrieha’s and mine masters degree. Feel free to check out more information on them here. AND yes, I know the paint color is really horrendous, but that is easily changed…and will be!
On another note, my mother-in-law and sister-in-law (the same SIL that stayed with us for several weeks earlier this summer) got into town in on Monday for a few day stay. Most summers, my MIL returns to her roots and stays at her family’s property in the western part of Virginia. Since we actually hadn’t gotten to see Terrieha’s mom since our wedding, and her mom hadn’t seen our new house, the proximity of Auburn to her mother’s return path to Florida made for a great opportunity for some catch up time! So far, one of the best things to happen is that we were able to convince the MIL that Tigertown was a tiger exhibit, put together by Auburn University, and that she would be able to pet a real tiger! Though I know the petting part isn’t possible at LSU, they do have a similar exhibit for Mike the Tiger so it wasn’t that farfetched. To say the least, it was hilarious to see her quivering in her shoes like the cowardly lion. For those that don’t know, Tigertown is not a tiger exhibit, but rather a large shopping center made up of primarily big box stores. The most danger we had yesterday was when my SIL, Tabitha, straddled one of the concrete lions and tried to ride it like a bull! Though the climb up was quite treacherous for her uncoordinated self, it didn’t up like this.
I know today’s blog was a bit of a diversion from the normal material, but don’t fret, life will return to normal tomorrow. I have some great photos that I took of Lolo Jones at an LSU Invitational earlier this year. They really exhibit great sprinting form and catch about the first 10 meters of her start. I also have some great videos of triple jumpers, as well as barefoot running, that I have taken that I will get posted in the next week or so. Since I feel like staying busy, coming up in the next days will be the debut of my Fitness & Training page. While I don’t want to give away too much just yet, it will be similar in format to my research page in that it will be in a state of constant development containing an ongoing list of new publications. Hopefully, it will be a great source for individuals to seek out exercise and program design ideas.
Finally, I’d feel guilty if I didn’t post anything about my workouts for the past few days. Yesterday was a two-a-day with a morning workout consisting of 6*300m at about 85% [I walked 200m (3 to 3:30 minutes) for recovery]. The evening workout consisted of some tennis with Terrieha and Tabitha. This morning was a brutal hill workout: 1 mile warm-up, then 2 sets of hill repeats. Each set consisted of 4 climbs and three descents of the same hill. The hill was about a quarter-mile in length and on an 18% or so grade. Each set took about 8:45 which is a slight improvement from the week before. In case you’re wondering, no workout tonight…hopefully! :-D
Sunday, July 25, 2010
I’ll be the first to admit it: I have a lot peeves and I’m more than willing to get on my soapbox singing loud for all to hear. Since I am aware of how personality works, I’ll often just rant to my wife in order to blow off some steam, at which point, I’ll let it go and move on. But, and this is a big one, the following two items are issues that have bothered the crap out of me for years: walking for exercise and what I have termed “hero workouts.” I’ll get to more of an explanation on both later, but I wanted to let it be known that I was originally planning to discuss these items separately. After mapping out the plan (in my head) for the walking for fitness article, I realized I was going to sound like one heck of an insensitive dick (careful!) to a lot of people. So I tabled that one for a little bit and switched to the “hero workouts” piece; yet again though I realized I had a problem, only this time I was going to come off as a failure of a coach. I fought over this for a while (again, in my head), and decided that if I merge the two, that perhaps I’d come off as just a dick for a coach, which is probably more in line with my true persona. Since we’re now all caught up on my internal strife and better understand where I’m coming from, lets start the education process for the day!
One of the most frustrating items in the world for me is when I walk into a park, gym, or other fitness oriented location and witness a large group of able-bodied individuals, decked out in full workout clothes (with a water bottle and IPOD in tow), walking! Bear in mind, I have no problem with this mode of exercise for individuals with noted orthopedic or cardiovascular problems, or even individuals that are in the beginning stages of a workout program, but what I have trouble understanding is how the human body’s main mode of transportation has parlayed itself into a mode of exercise for so many twenty or thirty-somethings. What happened to going out for a short run, game of pick-up, climbing stairs, or just doing something that plain old makes your body sweat, burn calories, and taxes the cardiovascular system!!! I’m well aware of the American Heart Association’s and the American College of Sports Medicine recommendations for Physical Activity & Public Health and that normal-to-brisk walking constitutes moderate intensity exercise. But guess what: hiking, stair-climbing, aerobic exercise, bicycle, rowing, and any other number of countless exercises can meet these minimum recommendations as well. Further, since these are the minimum recommendations for maintaining our health, why are so many people willing to accept the minimum (assuming they even walk at least 5 days/ week) when they are in their physical and mental peak (again the twenty or thirty-somethings)!We should be celebrating our two or three decade old bodies by challenging them to do things that we won’t be able to complete during our fourth, fifth, or sixth decades of life. By no means, am I advocating that every man, woman, and child need to become marathon runners, Olympic weightlifters, or diehard fitness enthusiasts. Rather, I believe that we should use fitness and exercise as an opportunity to push ourselves, sweat a little, and ease some of the carnal stress that we build up during our daily rush hour and cubicle filled lives. With that being said, I have always been extremely wary of supporting the adoption of “Hero Workouts.”
Hero workouts is a term that I came up with myself, though I highly doubt I’m the first person to use it. By my definition, a hero workout is something that ignores all physiological, biomechanical, or nutritional logic for adaptation. Rather it is a mass compilation of exercises and self-inflicted punishment designed for no other reason to determine who is the most mentally tough (crazy???) person in the group. One of the more popular groups out there is a program known as Crossfit which has branches all over the country. In Colorado Springs, there was a running (really it was more like crawling) route known as The Incline that I would occasionally participate in. The incline was simply an old cog railroad that was a mile in length, gained over 2000 feet, and had an average gradient of 41%. My PR was somewhere around 38 minutes which is halfway decent (though there is a freak of nature that can do it in 18 minutes). My big gripe with these programs is not so much with the participants, but more the practitioners that design and promote them as a great workout for all. I’ll be the first to say that I’ve been known to design workouts for my athletes intent on making them puke, though it was always meant to break through some type of mental barrier or teach a lesson (For instance: don’t go out drinking all night on Thursday, because I’m going to kill you at 5am on Friday). For most people, even accomplished athletes, these hero workouts are extreme and they serve as a type of release of that carnal stress that I referred to earlier. While I can totally empathize with that feeling, the point of certain exercises (e.g. Olympic lifts, plyometrics, speed work) often get lost during these programs. Rather, they’re thrown together in a manner meant to fatigue you, raise your heart rate to new levels, and leave you crawling on the floor. If that is what you are seeking, then by all means, go get it; but, realize what you’re doing. Hero workouts are an overload to the body’s system, and if the workouts are done correctly, eventually it will break down, or if not done correctly, you’re missing the point of the workout itself (though they’ll never admit this). Anybody that instructs another that trying to do as many power cleans as possible in one minute will make you more powerful is either lying to you, themselves, or both. It’s no different than somebody telling a new runner that they should run 26.2 miles everyday if they want to run a fast marathon.
In the end, I guess I would like everyone to heed this piece of advice: Just like a great scholar does not makes a great teacher, a great athlete (by way of looks or on-field success) does not make a great coach. It takes a greater understanding of exercise science, but also, an ability to critically think about the process at hand. In the end, if you’re seeking changes in your lifestyle, seek out an educated, licensed, and credentialed individual with a track record of long-term success. Anybody can put together a workout, but it takes dedication to create a masterpiece such as this…or this!
Friday, July 23, 2010
Yesterday, Terrieha and I had a little free time so I decided to work on my honey-do list. In the midst of a painting project, I realized I needed to make a run up to the hardware store as I was quickly running out of caulking and primer. We had eaten a late breakfast since I had dragged my love out for a little cycling workout in the morning. I grew up a cyclist, so this is probably my number one passion; unfortunately for my wife her runner legs still haven't quite adapted to the idea of high cadence RPM's. Anyhow, it was now about 1:30pm and I thought it would be a good opportunity to try a new restaurant in downtown Auburn: Cheeburger Cheeburger. Admittedly, I knew nothing at all about this restaurant, but based on it's name and location (between a Greek Restaurant and Pita-Pit AND plus being in a college town), we thought it might be some type of healthy/ vegetarianish type of "burger" restaurant. As soon as we walked in, I knew we were wrong (MAJORLY)! Basically, Cheeburger is a replication of an old-fashioned diner that serves HUGE Angus burgers, milkshakes (over 300 different kinds), and other similar diner food. Though I knew it would without a doubt upset a former professor of mine, Bob Seebohar, who constantly preached about the need for athletes "to eat so you can workout rather than workout so you can eat," I knew I had another grueling working coming later in the day...so what the hell!