My van is parked on the corner and is full of my exercise gear. People that go out for a walk, or go riding their bike through the area are used to seeing me work out on the corner and now it is colloquially called "The Corner Gym". The last time that I jumped flat footed up on to a picnic table was a year and half ago. I've lost a step. I just got a new adjustable Plyometrics Box so that I can work back up to a 30" high standing jump up. Right now all I can do is a weak sister 21 inches.
5:30 pm on April 16, 2020- Bad day today. My 50 pound resistance band broke while I had it wrapped around a street light, with my back to it and I was boxing with it. When it broke, it was like getting bitch slapped by @gibby with her martial arts training. Damn, @Cedar warned me not to piss her off! Another fine mess you've got us into! Full set of resistance bands should get here in another two weeks.
6:05 pm on April 17, 2020-Had some fun today. When some people encounter the battle ropes that are wrapped around the street light and laying across the sidewalk, they usually look to see if it's OK to step over them; most people though just walk around the street light. This afternoon a mom and her two young kids were biking down the side walk and when the two kids got there they stopped and waited for mom to explain to them what the heck those big ropes are for. I was bridged up on a large stability ball pushing up weights and I asked them if they would like to see it go. Their enthusiasm was palpable so I put the stability ball in the van and picked up the ends of the 50 foot rope, which make two 25 foot lengths and then I gave it my best Frankie Lane mule team "Hya!...Hya"! 😜 So they went home to tell daddy to get battle ropes. It doesn't take much to amuse me.
5:30 pm on April 22, 2020-I had a 100 yd sprint course set up on the sidewalk, but on the 2nd run down and back after other interval training, the sidewalk is uneven and I almost stumbled. If I had actually taken a tumble at speed, that would have been bad!. So my new modification is to go 25 yds, do three burpies, repeat till you get down to the end, repeat and move forward back to the beginning with the same interval. It's a lot harder than a sprint, but when I am winded and getting tired, it is a lot less dangerous.
5:20 pm on May 2, 2020-Resurrected an exercise set from 4 years ago when 6 of us shared a personal trainer. Blackjack-21 exercises; 21 reps apiece. Yes this is a real ass-kicker! I'm gonna be sore tomorrow for sure! Maybe I'll just take Sunday off. But I need to get back to being proficient with this one and a couple of other sets that I found on a folder on my computer. The printouts go on a clip board; the only thing to look forward to is the 30 second break after each set and a drink of water.
6:30 pm on May 5, 2020-just out of the shower and my wife says it's Cinco de Mayo and to break out the good stuff. I don't argue with her. I pour a small sip for both of us. Smooth...like an angel peeing on your tongue! This is a rare treat. I have given up alcohol for the most part. It messes with my metabolism. Heavy anaerobic exercises can keep your metabolism going hours after you stop. But the body sees alcohol as something toxic and the metabolism slows down while the body processes it. Sacrifices have to be made to stay in shape at my age.
All the way through May and all the way through June...same thing 6 days a week...until; on the morning of June 29, 2020 I acquired 2 sets "Fuel" variable select dumbbells ( select from 5 to 50 pounds) and a variable pitch weight bench. Took out toolboxes and the Cannon & it's box / fold out ramp-winch set and put them in storage to make room for the new equipment.
5:30 pm on June 30, 2020, I incorporated the weight set in my HIIT routine for the first time. 50 pounds is too heavy for me right now, so I dialed 35 for bicep curls; The idea is to select the heaviest weight that you can do 15 reps with..or until you fail; then replace them in the cradle and dial up a smaller set and do those until you fail...and so on. OK campers, this is a major work out and I'm not even talking about the rest of the HIIT routine. Now the press up on the inclined bench. I select 2-40 pound dumbbells to start and my goal is 20 press ups...I fail at 18. I select 35's and make the 20, but I fail on set 3. After selecting 30's I make the 4th set. I really like this equipment.
5:30 pm on July 14, 2020. I have a 5 day set of different routines, one for each day of the week, targeting different muscle groups. Today one circuit is 30 jumping jacks; planks (up/down/up) 10; sprint in place 30 seconds; bicycle crunches (opposite elbow touches opposite knee) 10 per side; butt kicks, 30 per side; Russian twist 10/side; 1.5 minute rest between each circuit then repeat 7 circuits total.
I am half way through my 5th circuit when this car pulls up and a guy with a mask runs up and enthusiastically asks," Are you a personal trainer?" I said no and told him that I don't need the money or the liability. This is not the first time this has happened at the Corner Gym. But most of the time, people will just slow down and watch or comment to each other "Who does that kind of stuff?"
Monday, July 20, 2020 6:00 pm. The Monday routine is (1) Pushup (standard), 15 reps; Squat (bodyweight), 15 reps; Overhead Press (db-seated),15 reps; Row (db-bent over). 15 reps; Curls (db-2 arm standing) 15 Reps. This equals one circuit, now repeat for 6 circuits, with a 1 minute break between circuits; this is part of the 5 days a week FIT After 50, Phase 1: BURN, By Mark Mcilyar. I am working to get the EPOC effect- Excessive Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption. This increases metabolism for several hours after completion of the HIIT. I increase the amount of weight by 5 pounds every Monday.
Tuesday, August 4, 3:30 pm. This is the 2nd week of Phase 2: Build, by Mark Mcilyar. He wants to "warm up" with 40 jumping jacks; 20 butt kicks each side (40 total); 20 mountain climbers each side (40 total and these are where your knees have to touch your elbows at speed). Now that the muscles are warmed up the routine is: Burpees with pushup-15 reps; plank with shoulder taps-15 per side; jump lunges (go to a lunge, then explosively jump up into the opposite side into another lunge and repeat-15 reps per side; Russian twist with a dumbbell ( I use 15# and I keep my legs elevated)-15 reps per side. This equals 1 circuit. The first 2 weeks is 4 circuits, which at this stage is pretty tough. Big EPOC effect after, though. Starting next week it will be 5 circuits...I hope I'm ready when that time gets here.
Well...here it is Wednesday afternoon on August 12, 2020 and one day after the 3rd Tuesday that I was worried about. The only modification is that I switched to 10 # on the Russian Twist. As I reviewed the videos from my trainer, he doesn't elevate his legs through this exercise and since I do, I felt entirely justified in dropping 5 #. I caught a second wind during the 4th set of burpees, which made that circuit a little easier. By the 5th circuit and the end of what was to be the 75th burpee of the day, the rest of the 5th circuit went pretty fast, but I was sweating profusely and seriously winded! But not bad for an old fart.
Saturday August 22, early morning coffee. Last weeks lightning storm set the areas around where I live on fire...and they are all out of control with almost no containment. Smoke is prevalent in the Bay Area and I have decided that it is not healthy to exercise and breathe heavily. I tried it and it made my throat sore. I am afraid that my program goals have been set back by at least two weeks; perhaps more because this program's progression depends heavily on what you have done before. I am keeping limber with stretches, push ups, and mountain climbers inside. I have a pair of 20 # dumbbells and a stability ball in a spare bedroom that I can use to keep from going to hell in a hand basket, but it is a poor substitute for an outdoors workout with heavy equipment and Mark Mcilyar's Fit After 50 program. I tried jumping up on a piano bench, but these ceilings are only 8 feet and it is close enough that I fear I will smack my head. I wonder when our air quality will get back to normal.
Yesterday afternoon, Tuesday October 27, I finally got back to where I was on Tuesday, August 11. All of the Russian Twists were done legs up, twisting with a 15 pound weight. 5 circuits with very little rest in between circuits. 75 burpees all in good form; I slowed the jump lunges down some to maintain good form. I felt the EPOC effect all evening. The fires really took me off my game and it has taken this long to get back to being as physical as I want to be. One more good week of this Phase II, "The Build", then it is on to a month of Phase III, "The Sculpt", which may actually take me to the end of the year, if I don't quit when the month is up. When this stuff gets in your blood...the endorphin highs are exquisite and the feel good is evident when people see me out and about.
Friday afternoon, February 12, 2021. I actually completed all of Phase III, "The Sculpt" of Mark Mcilyar's Fit After 50 program in mid December. Yet it is such an excellent program, I just keep adding more weights, more reps, cut rest time way back, and adding some of my own features. One is that I take two 100 pound heavy flat resistance bands and I loop one around the street light on the corner, wrap it up high and tight so there is a loop formed. Then I loop another similar band thru that loop and then I put a heavy duty steel handle thru the bottom of the bottom band. Then I stretch that system out so there is plenty of tension on it. Now I do 10 reps of wood choppers on each side which equals one circuit. The wood chopper goes from over my head all the way down to the sidewalk and I am looking to do 5 circuits in rapid succession without stopping. I know when I'm done, because it becomes difficult to keep tension on the system and it will jerk me back into the pole which lets me know that I'm done with that particular exercise.
There is an arterial feeder street perpendicular to the residential street that I park my van on. One thing that has happened to me in the last couple of months: I have had people stop in the middle of the arterial street, roll down the window and take a cell phone video...several times; both men and women. The first time it happened I thought it was odd, but the more it has happened I have to admit that it is an ego boost for me and for better or worse it makes me want to work harder...so of course I do. Seriously, how many old farts can claim a minor bit of celebrity in their High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) routine? 😎 😉
4:16 pm on Sunday afternoon, February 28, 2021. Just got into the bedroom and striped down with the ceiling fan on trying to cool down before I get in the shower, so I thought I would update. A few weeks ago, I tried on a Pair of 34 inch slacks and they fit nicely. It has been a long time since I fit into that size. No that's not the same thing as fitting into a pair of denim Levi's 34's after they've been washed, but I ain't quibbling. On the other hand, I have been putting together a bag of pants and shorts that I like and want modified to fit now. I still need a large shirt to fit my shoulders though. Like most folks, I had a little setback over Christmas and the first couple weeks of January, so I'm off my goal; in the low 180's at the moment, I have decent arm and shoulder definition and I have strong muscular legs. I'm 6'-3" but there is just a stubborn little bit of belly fat that keeps my abs from having great definition. I think it's going to have to take me to 175 to get there. I need to get back to a 500 calorie a day deficit. That translates to a pound a week…If I can stay consistent that would take about 2 months…sometime around the first week of May should be about right. OK, I've written down my new goal and committed it…so here the fuck goes! By the time I'm 69, I want to be ripped!
8:04 pm Tuesday evening, March 23, 2021 Just got the 2nd Pfizer vaccine dose…and there are side effects that aren't noticeable…until you start a strenuous workout! Symptoms are: Tiredness; Muscle Pain, Headache; Dizziness. I started the workout the day I got it, but I didn't make it a ¼ the way through. A little better on Monday, but I needed to quit about half way through. This afternoon, I struggled through the Bulgarian split squats, but it was a bitch to keep from falling on my ass! I was able to do a one legged glute press with the other leg elevated to a 75 degree straight, while pressing 2, 35 pound dumbbells 40 times alternating a leg every 10th rep. But I ran out of gas when doing squats with two 20 pound weights. I hope the hell I get back to normal in a couple of days. I should be immune to this damned disease by April 4th. Symptoms should be gone by then.
5:40 pm Tuesday evening, April 6, 2021 Just got out of the shower and thought I would update. I am now immune to this cursed disease and my body has bounced back this last week and things are back to normal. All last week was good and Saturday was my own training day and I worked long and hard figuring to take Sunday off. I'm looking for some of my friends to get their final vaccinations so that I can do a little entertaining again. I urge all of you to get your vaccinations as soon as you can.
6:20 Monday evening, May 10, 2021; After spend some time on Sunday filling some specialized sand bags that fit into a specialized sand bag duffel that you throw over your shoulders and perform squats, lunges, even step ups with. This particular system has 3 sand bags that hold 25 pounds apiece. Right now I only have two filled and 50 pounds is a little too heavy to do any functional exercises with yet. I'll need to work up to that, so my plan now is to take one 25 pound sand bag and split into two 12.5 pound sand bags. That way the duffel would weigh 37.5 pounds and that is very doable right now. It will probably take a few months to work up the 50 pounds. Good for legs, glutes, and chest…and back muscle group. I plan to work something in every day. This system is a total ass kicker!