“Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” – Ernest Hemingway
No comment necessary on this one. We’ve all been there.
See you tomorrow.
Michigan got hit with SNOW today. It is so nice to see this white stuff everywhere as we approach Christmas. In light of hazardous driving conditions, I did a bodyweight exercise routine today. Because today was a chest and Triceps day I focused on doing a variety of pushups (wide, close, and normal placement) and one of my favorite triceps exercises, bench dips. I just kept running through these things until my chest and arms were screaming.
I can’t stress the importance of personal safety. If you aren’t comfortable driving to the gym, adapt and improvise. Today and probably tomorrow will be too nasty out to risk a drive to the gym. So, I’ll be coming up with some interesting things to do to hit the body parts I need to.
See you later today folks!
Today, I wanted to digress from a daily quote and talk about time with the family. I love the holiday season. It’s a time when employers offer very loose PTO schedules. It is also a time when most companies are slowing down a bit to begin preparing for the first quarter of the new year.
Today we went Christmas shopping and had a great time. We went to a few places and had some pizza for a snack mid-way through our many stops. I really enjoy the time I get with the family and hope you get some time with your families as well.
My sister and her boyfriend are swinging by on Christmas Eve and will stay through until the day after Christmas. I can’t wait! It will be a time of great food, a lot of laughing, and even playing some ancient board games that we all love.
I hope each of you has an opportunity to really enjoy your loved ones, share some gifts with one another, and eat some great food together. I’ll be offering some more things on this topic later in the month as we approach Christmas.
Until next time…
Today was leg day. I was supposed to hit this yesterday but had a dental appointment that stepped on things. The current program I am using follows what is called a “pre-exhaustion” technique. The routine starts with lying leg curls, leg extensions, leg presses, and ends with squats. See how this works?
You start with exercises single-joint exercises, then progress to a compound exercise (squat). It is a great technique if you haven’t tried it. You can do the same with a chest – triceps day, back – biceps day, even with a shoulder day.
I hope everyone had a great Tuesday!
See you tomorrow!
“I learned that we can do anything, but we can’t do everything…at least not at the same time.” – Dan Millman
I used to be a consummate multitasker. I’d be on the phone, while looking at my email, thinking about a project later that is coming due, and gandering at Facebook or a menu at a restaurant I was contemplating for lunch. Obviously, this is a horrific way to conduct business.
The book that got me thinking this way was Getting Things Done, by David Allen. In his book, he talks about categorizing tasks into contexts. These contexts could be phone calls, computer work, reading, writing, etc. By putting your to-dos in a context-driven format, you will be more focused on getting “like” things done. For example, if I have to call 40 people today, I focus on making those calls in one big chunk on my calendar. Time chunking is a great way to remain focused on one single group of to-dos.
As you move from one call to the next, you become more efficient as you go, because this is a collection of tasks that all require the same actions. Look at the number, type the number into your phone, dial the number, run through your agenda with the person your talking with, terminate the call, and document the call in your CRM software.
You can do this with anything you have to do. I chunk my time to do the writing for school, writing for my blog, writing for my book. I chunk my time into reading the various books I have on my reading list. I chunk the time for hitting the gym and exercising. I chunk the time for eating, meditation, etc.
I combine this chunking with a disciplined use of the Pomodoro technique to remain focused on the one thing my “time chunk” has me doing. If you can run your day this way, I promise you will see a huge jump in your productivity.
The lesson today: Do one thing at a time or group like things into a time chunk on your calendar. Use some means of timing yourself so you stay focused on that task(s) until your timer goes off and it’s time to take a break.
Until next time…
Today, I had to take off. I had a dental appointment and the mouth is a little sore. Anyway, folks. I’ll be back in the gym tomorrow. The Dentist told me that the pain should subside in a few hours and bleeding will not be an issue after a few hours.
See you tomorrow!!
You never really think about this disease until you’re affected by it. My Dad was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia last year. As soon as I got the news, I retired from my job and drove home to spend as much time as I could with my Dad before he forgets who we are and who he is.
This video is about Beth’s Dad. I can relate to this because I’m experiencing it every day. Some days are good for Dad. He talks, he listens, and he understands what’s going on. Other days, and more of them lately, he stares out our living room window unaware of what’s going on.
My Mom and Dad are celebrating their 55th wedding anniversary this month and I can tell my Mom isn’t taking this too well. She gets mad at him, she gets frustrated, and all the rest. I can only imagine how horrible it is to see the man you love literally fall apart before your eyes.
If you have someone in your family that is suffering from this horrific condition, feel free to share here if you’re comfortable. If not, I get it.
All the best,
Yesterday I hit shoulders, the fourth workout of the week. Today is an off day. Tomorrow I’ll be at it again.
When I work shoulders I like to hit the Traps and the three heads of the Deltoids. Shrugs for the traps and rear, side, and front lateral raises. I finished off the workout with shoulder presses.
It’s a good overall workout and one I enjoy because my shoulders are my weakest body part. I dedicate an entire day to shoulders and nothing else. As we approach the holidays a 4-day workout is best for me because I want to relax and recuperate as we approach the new year.
Today we are getting a lot of snow. It’s been sprinkling down all day and it is sticking. I really enjoy this time of year, particularly the snow. Some don’t. I guess it is still new to me since I’ve been away living in states like Arizona and California that don’t see a lot of snow unless you live in the northern parts of those states.
If you live in a state like Michigan, please be careful. Being dedicated and getting to the gym is important, but not as important as your safety. With every snow comes traffic conditions that can be very dangerous, particularly when the snow is wet and freezes. Make a judgment call. If the conditions are just too nasty, do a bodyweight workout routine instead and avoid driving. There will be a few days this winter that I’ll be doing just that. It’s just not worth risking it.
Well, that’s it for today folks.
I hope you had a great weekend. See you tomorrow!!
“Don’t waste a single second. Just move forward as fast as you can and go for it.” – Rebecca Woodcock
This is one tough order to fill. Can we ever just move forward as fast as we can without some period of rest and recuperation? I don’t think we can.
Our reality is filled with cycles. We awake, and we sleep. We work and rest. Even our hearts have pauses between the beats.
I think each of us has a consciousness about when we work best and when we just need a break. These breaks could be a nap, relaxing on the couch, doing some mindless web surfing, or taking a breather at the gym. We must have periods of rest that accompany our work.
When we work, we should focus on the work. Like I’ve said before, I use the Pomodoro technique when I am doing focused work. I work for 25 minutes, take 5 minutes for a break and again and again. Try this for yourself. Maybe 25 and 5 don’t work for you. Maybe 30 and 10 or 45 and 15. Whatever the break down is, use that as a starting point. Heck, you can even reduce these numbers. Say you start with 15 minutes and take a 5-minute break. Whatever you start with, begin with this and adjust the numbers as you gain more comfort with it. The timer on your phone or computer is just fine. There’s no need to download an app for this.
If you’ve never done this before, you’ll find that your focus muscles will need work. It is so easy to drift off and do something else. If you find yourself having difficulty with focus you can also use another tool that I have used over the years with great success—meditation.
Meditation in its simplest form is literally nothing more than focusing on the breath. Breath in. Breath out. Again, you’ll find this to be a little challenging initially. I use two different meditation apps to help. One is called Calm; the other is called headspace. There are probably a number of others out there, but these are the two that I gravitated to. You’ll find over time that you’ll be more relaxed and focusing will be much easier. You can focus on your breath at any time.
So, remember that there are cycles of work and rest. During our work, we should focus on the work and nothing else. Pick one task, focus on it until you’re complete. If it is a big task, break that into smaller tasks that can be accomplished with one or more 25-minute periods of work. Once you’re done, move on to the next and so on.
This stuff works if you give it a chance. You’ll find yourself getting more done in a shorter amount of time and you’ll automatically be more productive. I hope you give this a try. Feel free to reply to this posting with any questions, successes, or challenges you come across.
Until next time…
Today was a back and bicep workout. The workout involved bent over rows, lat pulldowns, reverse grip pulldowns, deadlifts, shrugs, dumbbell and preacher curls. I felt a little sore this morning, but after I started moving, the soreness dissipated. The lesson: Don’t let muscle soreness discourage you from going to the gym. Muscle soreness is part of the game.
I’ve talked a bunch about my workouts and things related directly to exercise, but I haven’t addressed things to do after the workout. Well, you’ll want to get some nutrition quickly. I like to drink a protein shake right after I’m done. I also like to eat some fast-acting carbs to replace what I’ve just burned through in the gym. Typically, these carbs could be gummi bears, sweet tarts, or even pixie sticks to replace the glycogen as quickly as possible.
Most of the experts out there call this time the “window”. I don’t know whether there is anything special about this 30-minutes, but why not? When I’m done working out I’m hungry. So, I consume a good amount of protein to fill me up.
What are some other things I do to recover from a hard workout from time to time? I hit the sauna, take a nap, hit a hot tub, or float in the pool. I have not gone as far as getting a massage, but who knows, that might be an option as well at some point in the future.
The point I’m trying to make here is that you need to take care of yourself after the gym so you can recover and prime for the next session. Nutrition is one way, but relaxation is also another way to give yourself some time to recuperate. I hope some of these suggestions help, particularly if you are finding that you are overly sore. Spoil yourself after a hard workout. It’s a reward. You went to the gym, hit it hard, and now you deserve something nice.
That’s it for today folks.
See you tomorrow!