Friday, August 30, 2013

To whip George Foreman

Today I had an opportunity to exchange comments with a young man I know. He's a college student who shared how it wasn't easy being a Republican in a college class on environmental law with a professor who's a self-proclaimed Democrat.

I shared with my young friend to remember something my son learned the hard way - that his left-leaning professor controls the grade book.  He who controls the microphone gets the last word.  In this case, the professor's grade book is his microphone and his last word is the letter grade he gives my friend.

I remember once attending a comedy show during which someone in the audience tried getting funny and wise-guy-like with the comedian. The exchange was fun listening to while it briefly lasted until the comedian verbally-spanked this wise guy into silent submission. The comedian controlled the microphone and got the last word and so will my friend's college professor.

My final middle-aged man words of wisdom to my young friend was that sometimes the quiet approach works best in heated debates and discussions.

I've learned that if you give a good private audience to a foolish person and let him or her speak long enough, he or she will eventually lay many golden foolish eggs that will then allow you to cook and deliver a plate of late-in-the-fight knockout punches and win the debate match; sort of like Muhammad Ali's rope-of-dope technique that he successfully used to whip George Foreman.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

It was fun while it lasted

Gracefully aging is not always a smooth trip and in its journey we sometime hit a rough spot on the road that leaves our car of life with a few dings.  That’s been my recent discovery after spending some time this past year looking in the mirror.

These views are not the familiar front-facing ones that never disappoint and always please me with illusory images in my mind’s eye of my 16-year old kid alter ego.  Instead, they are rear and top views using a hand-held mirror with my backside facing the larger bathroom mirror.

And what am I seeing from these vantage points?  I’m seeing a middle-aged man who is losing hair on the top of his head.  It’s not very visible to most but nonetheless it’s a biological commotion in motion.  I wouldn’t go so far to say that I’m going bald; that’s too drastic of a statement yet, but it’s fair to say – and read my lips – “My hair is thinning and I’m losing hair.”  "Yikes!", yells this distressed middle-aged man.

It wasn't that long ago that, as a newbie middle-aged man, I sported a mullet badge of honor just for kicks. While never topically-endowed like the late great Freddy Fender by any stretch of my imagination, I wore an eccentric mullet royal crown that brought me much newbie middle-aged man satisfaction.

But that was then and this is now and despite my best efforts of being in denial and talking myself out of what’s happening, I must confess that my hair is thinning and I’m losing my hair.  Where will it all end?

Will I be the next Yul Bryner, ready for a leading actor role in a 21st century remake of “The King and I”?  Or maybe I’ll be qualified as a 21st century version of the television ad character known as “Mr. Clean”.

The opportunities are endless proving that there are blessings to be found in the crosses we carry.  This whole experience may not be like stepping on dog poop but rather finding my next diamond in the rough.  The ball is in my court and it’s up to me to make the best of it.  I truly believe that in the darkness of the night the stars shine the brightest.

I’m ready to go with the flow, to be content with the biological deck of cards that God has dealt me, and to find goodness and gratefulness in all the other things going on in my health and wellness journey.    

The best way to sum up my thoughts about my disappearing thick head of hair is to say that it was fun while it lasted.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Friday, August 16, 2013

Pierini Lower Body Dumbbell Complex

I'm a person who goes to a gym to do his fitness training because I generally do better than training at home.  Late last year, however, I purchased a pair of rubber-coated 35-lb. dumbbells and discovered the wild and crazy workout world of dumbbell complexes.  Lately, I've been doing these dumbbell complexes at home in my garage on non-gym training days and they're doing their job of keeping me on my toes.

A dumbbell (or a barbell) complex is a type of strength circuit where you complete two or more exercises with a dumbbell back to back with no rest and where the dumbbell does not touch the ground until all exercises have been completed.  You have completed one round or set once you've performed all the exercises that make up the complex.

A typical complex prescription will consist of "x" number of exercises that you perform for "x" repetitions for "x" rounds.  Sometimes a weight is prescribed or the number of minutes that you should perform the complex.  It's a general rule that you should scale all complexes to take into account your abilities and conditioning so that your efforts are productive and safe.

According to the website of Istvan Javorek, he was the first in the world to develop the concept of dumbbell and barbell complex exercises and asks that you "give credit to the creator."  There are a number of dumbbell and barbell complexes that bear his surname and a quick search on YouTube will allow you to view a demonstration of them; they're all good.

My good friend, America's most decorated and successful Olympic weightlifter Tommy Kono, recently commented to me upon learning that I had dumbbell complex fever that the great bodybuilding legend John Grimek used to perform complex workouts many years ago and that there's nothing new under the sun.  So this begs the question of who is the creator to whom credit should be given.  That's not for me to answer.

Well I've currently got dumbbell complex fever and have designed several of my own versions tailored to my middle-aged man abilities. The criteria I use in designing my dumbbell complexes is that I like ones that consist of five different exercises where each exercise is performed for five repetitions for one round.

I like my dumbbell complex to consist of five rounds with a weight and intensity that requires me to work very hard to complete all five rounds in 15 minutes or less.  This makes me work in my anaerobic heart rate zone of about 90 percent of my maximum heart rate.  It's hard work but it doesn't take long to finish and then I'm done.  I probably spend more time psychologically preparing myself for the hard work than the time it takes to do the hard work.

So let me introduce you to one of several dumbbell complexes I intend to share with you in the near future. This one works my lower body and provides a nice core challenge because it consists of exercises you perform with one hand.  I call this one the Pierini Lower Body Dumbbell Complex #1.  Why #1?  Because there's a #2 that I've designed and will share with you in the near future.

Here's a video demonstration of it for your viewing pleasure:

Give it a test drive and tell me what you think of my Pierini Lower Body Dumbbell Complex.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Saturday, August 3, 2013

My latest anaerobic cardio conditioning closer

Well how time flies when life gets in the way.  Among other things, my Dad died in May 2013 and I had a three-month sabbatical of no training.

I'm back on the fitness training saddle but off from where I was before I took that time out.  But I'll be back and hope to start adding new content here.

Here's a new entry of one of my anaerobic cardio conditioning closers that I do at the end of a strength workout.

Give it a try and let me know what you think of my latest anaerobic cardio conditioning closer.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum