Thursday, December 31, 2015

Simple as breathing

Thank you for visiting Pierini Fitness this past 2015 calendar year.  This chief executive blogger has tried his best to deliver original middle-aged man reflections about living and dying, gracefully aging and trying to live a good and honest life.

Some of my 140 reflections this year may have been duds or sleepers to you but hopefully others have given you some tasty food for thought, making you think about who you are and who you want to be.  If this has been your case at least once, then in some small way my mission has been accomplished.  If it happened more than once, that’s all the better and hopefully, God willing, more will be served to you this upcoming 2016 year.

You see, in the mind of this chief executive blogger, at this point in our lives our pursuits should be driven by goodness which means different things to different people.  We’ve all had our opportunities to be the center of our attention, the wise-guy, the punk, to be self-absorbed with ourselves, and to dance to the tune of a song named “Me Me Me”.

At this chapter in our middle-aged man lives, we should all be dancing to the tune of a different drummer; one that is upbeat and outward for the goodness of others rather inward-driven and for our own selfish pleasure. 

Under the law of abundance, reciprocal good will come to us from our efforts of doing good directed towards others because good is infinitely abundant.  Think of our benevolence as a calm pond on a bright sunny day.  When we look at it, we see a mirror image of ourselves that is so calm and surreal, a goodness that is ours to cherish and enjoy.

At this point in our middle-aged man lives, we should have figured it out about how to do this right. 

For us, living a good and honest life for us should be as simple as breathing.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Time for another burpee challenge

Almost seven years ago I came up with a bright idea that became known as my burpee challenge. 

Starting on January 1st until my birthday about six weeks later, I challenged myself to complete 54 burpees at the end of my workout each Monday through Friday.  There was a little self-imposed punishment in this challenge if I failed to get my daily 54 burpees completed.

The theme of this challenge was “no burpees today no food tomorrow”.  Why 54?  That was how old I would be on my birthday.

I had fun with this little challenge, stuck to it never missing a burpee day and, therefore, never missing a meal the following day.

On my 54th birthday, I completed 54 burpees for the last time and called this project a success.  Somewhere along the way I had a nice uptick in my cardiovascular conditioning and, I’m sure, became mentally tougher too.

I’ve done burpees here and there since then but not with the regularity and tenacity I had during that brief period.

So as I think about how to physically challenge myself with my fitness training, I’ve come up with the bright idea that it’s time for another burpee challenge. 

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

RIP Meadowlark Lemon

Yesterday morning’s internet reading of the news took my eyes to a headline that read: Former Harlem Globetrotters star Meadowlark Lemon dies at 83.  

This was news this middle-aged man wanted to read because it brought back a youthful memory.

Meadowlark Lemon was the leader-of-the-pack of the basketball entertainment show known as the Harlem Globetrotters.  During the Harlem Globetrotter’s prime years from the mid-1950's to the late 1970's, Meadowlark Lemon was the team’s star clown prince delighting fans with his acrobatic and magic-like basketball skills and humor.

As a young boy of less than a dozen years, I fondly remember going to our hometown Memorial Auditorium one evening with a friend to see the Harlem Globetrotters take on and “whup”, again, their perennial losing opponents, the Washington Generals.

It was a show that left both of us laughing so hard and giving us great stories to tell our classmates the following morning at school.

This was an innocent era when parents felt safe letting their young children walk the neighborhood streets, take the bus downtown and even get dropped off at the local downtown auditorium to watch an evening show of the Harlem Globetrotters Show. 

A time when black was black, white was white, good guys were good guys and bad guys were bad guys.  The goodness line in the sand was something easily visible with the naked eye and confusion, in the context of the good life, was a mere word in the dictionary.

But that was then and this is now.

The memory of this boyhood experience is mine forever and for this I’m so grateful.  Thanks for the pleasant memories and RIP Meadowlark Lemon.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, December 28, 2015

Will last forever

Friday of this week will be the first day of a new calendar year so it’s only natural for this middle-aged man, and perhaps you, to give serious thought to your dreams and resolutions for the New Year 2016.

It’s that ritualistic annual opportunity coming at the end of a year to dream and ponder about the life we’d like to have that may be much different than the life we now have.

Some of these dreams may be emotionally complex and incapable of being shared with others because they’re not sufficiently clear in our mind to be expressed with words.  Other dreams, in contrast, may be easily explainable and be great examples of dreaming at its finest.  Like winning the lottery, or finding and reconnecting with a lost friend or relative.

I recently read about how one person who has lived a long life shared how in their younger years they wanted to get in a car and go and drive all over the country.  Stop in little towns, get little jobs, live in a little room, live a simple life but learn big while making so many friends.

That was a fun read and it allowed me to experience a momentary dream-like state of being while I visualized and imagined what it would be like living this person’s youthful dream. 

But in a classic moment of both “wherever I go there I am” and being grateful for my many blessings, I was able to clearly define what my best dream is for the coming year. 

And what might that be?

One where I dream the dream I’m living at this very moment will last forever.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas Eve greeting to you

Guadalajara, Mexico - December 24, 2011
In this modern and politically-correct world in which we live, the PC police would have us believe that a good old-fashioned Merry Christmas greeting is something we shouldn’t extend to others.  If they had it their way, it would be a Happy Holiday greeting at best.

We dance to a traditional drummer here at Pierini Fitness; always have and always will.

So on behalf of the chief executive blogger and all the traditional middle-aged men around the world, here’s a Merry Christmas Eve greeting to you.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

This December 23rd

With two days to go until Christmas Day, what should this middle-aged man to today?

How about maybe nothing?


This middle-aged man is under the weather this December 23rd.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Pierini 5-To-1 Single KB Complex

Yesterday I put together another new, for me, kettle bell (KB) complex for a test drive and I really liked it.  

It’s a single KB variety consisting of the following:
  1. 5 reps of swing
  2. 4 reps of clean
  3. 3 reps of front squat
  4. 2 reps of snatch
  5. 1 rep of strict overhead press with an overhead lockout hold for a 10 full breath count.

I did my right side first, did a swing switch, and then repeated on my left side for one round. My cadence was to rest 60 seconds between rounds.  I used my 24kg KB, the heavier of the two I own.

My original plan was to complete as many quality rounds as possible in 30 minutes but right before I began, I mentally changed the planned duration to 20 minutes.  

It turns out my eyes were bigger than my stomach because I quit after 5 rounds which took me 15:20 to complete.

I really like this workout and will keep it in my KB complex inventory to do list.  Give it a try and let me know if you like it.  I’ve given it a name for ease of identifying.

Even though there’s nothing new under the sun, it’ll heretofore be known as the Pierini 5-To-1 Single KB Complex.

Pox Domini sit simper vobiscum

Monday, December 21, 2015

All those fatso middle-aged men

I just read an internet news article about how it’s now illegal in France to be an “excessively thin” model.

Apparently, the new law will require all models to provide a medical certificate proving their health and Body Mass Index (BMI) are appropriate based on their weight, age and body shape.

The new law provides for some rather steep penalties once it becomes effective on January 1, 2017.  So these “excessively thin” models have some time to beef it up so to speak.

The penalty is one that would be paid by those who employ these models and not the models themselves.  How does the potential $81,000 penalty sound to you?

Well what about here in America?

There’s nothing like it thus far but leave it to our “Big Brother” government to decide what’s best for us.  Might something similar eventually find its way here?

And would it apply to “excessively thin” models like in France or perhaps another category of less-than-desirable men or women?

Maybe a good place to start would be to go after all those fatso middle-aged men.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Friday, December 18, 2015

Talk about how it’s raining

While reading a local free weekly newspaper a couple evenings ago, there was a question asked of people on the street of what they like to do when it rains.

One person said she likes to dance while another person said she likes to stay indoors and read a book.  

The third person said she likes to take her children out for a walk.

Finally a man’s answer was next.  It was the only one. He said he likes to wait it out and then look for the rainbow.

The final two people showcased in the article were women.  One said she likes to play in the puddles and the last shared how she likes to ride her bicycle in the rain. 

Reading all these answers was a fun read while waiting for food I ordered at a restaurant.  It also gave me an opportunity to think of my middle-aged man answer.

And what is it that I like to do when it rains?

Talk about how it’s raining.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Thursday, December 17, 2015

What I’ve failed to do

Today is the 351st day of this 2015 calendar year.  How time flies when we’re having fun!

And if we want any more fun this calendar year 2015, there are only 15 days left to do so.

But life is not all about having fun or at least the prudes would have us believe.  This is true yet I don’t consider myself a prude.  There’s nothing wrong, however, enjoying our middle-aged man lives, counting our blessings, giving thanks and, yes, having fun.

As this middle-aged man reflects back on the 351 days he has lived this year, it all seems like a blur unless I methodically focus on what I’ve done and what I’ve failed to do.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Full of hot air

Recently, representatives from 196 countries around the world approved a landmark climate accord with the goal of significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions that have been blamed for “global warming”.

I’ll spare you of the details because you can read them if you’re interested.  I’m not.

But this might eventually result in the end of various bricks and mortar and cyberspace fitness celebrities/experts, particularly those who for way too long have been full of hot air.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Astonishingly excellent

Yesterday we learned how Presidential candidate Donald Trump is in excellent health and, in the words of his physician, if elected would be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.

Here’s the dear doctor’s report if you haven’t already read it:

Well this middle-aged man has been working really hard this year on his fitness, health and wellness and like the Presidential candidate also sports good blood pressure and laboratory test results.  While nobody has actually told me so, like Mr. Trump, I too am “afflicted’ with self-reported physical strength and stamina without revealing how that has been determined. 

Also noted was how his cardiovascular status is excellent.  How did he get that excellence?  Is he swinging kettlebells, doing high-intensity interval training, banging out daily burpees by the dozen, or is he just genetically-endowed in the wind department? 

I suppose blowing all his hot air on a daily basis is the cardiovascular training we all should be doing.

I have two up on Mr. Trump in that I don’t take a daily low-dose of aspirin believing that it’s not necessary, nor do I take any low-dose statin prescription medicine like he does.

In all fairness, he does have me in the hair department that’s for sure with his orange pompadour ratted to the max.

But all things taken into account, I guess this also means if elected, I too would be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.

By golly, just like Mr. Trumps’ medical report, this middle-aged man fitness dude and chief executive blogger of Pierini Fitness is astonishingly excellent.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, December 14, 2015

Magic 50

It's been a while since I've shared a workout completed so how about today?

Last Friday afternoon, I did Ross Enamait's Magic 50.  It was the second time I did this little monster of a workout.  The first time was about 15 months ago.

The workout consists of 5 rounds of the following (I used a 20kg kettlebell but the prescription is for a dumbbell):

(1)  snatch Lx5 plus Rx5

(2)  swing Lx5 plus Lx5

(3)  burpees x 10

That equals one round.

The prescribed workout is to rest no more than 60 seconds between rounds.

I completed this workout as prescribed in 13:49 which was 18 seconds faster than my previous effort 15 months earlier.  My rest times between rounds ranged from a low of 41 seconds to a high of 55 seconds.  Average work time per round was about 2:06.  The burpees I did were of the variety including a pushup and a jump with hands extended overhead.

This was definitely a hard workout.  I hadn't done burpees in over a year and now I know why.

I'll do this again once and a while but not more frequently.  It's a keeper in my fitness tool box, the Magic 50.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Friday, December 11, 2015

At this moment

The view from the grandstand is different from the playing field.

It's very easy when we're fit and healthy as a middle-aged man to gibber about how we're going to live forever or at least to the century mark.  My father did the same.  He was physically strong and had a sharp mind.  He would have been a safe bet to make of him joining the growing ranks of centenarians in America.

Then a rare form of cancer struck, or rather became apparent, and he quickly passed away at age 86 years.  There was no cancer history in his family.

So we'll all get our turn and a small slice of humble pie rather than a giant serving of ego cake about our longevity and how much time we have remaining on planet earth may actually help us cultivate a healthy mindset of this precious day of life with which we've been blessed with at this moment.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Fun time left

Averages are a point of reference that we tend to gravitate towards when they support something we believe to be true.  However, when the average isn’t what we want to hear, we’ll easily discredit it or begin a discourse how it doesn’t apply to us.

Case in point is a new report from our “friends” at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announcing that for the third year in a row, the average life expectancy for a newborn is 78.8 years.

I’ll easily dismiss this news as being not applicable to me because I’m not a newborn.

See!  I told you so.

For those of you who want to read the fine print, click this link below:  

A closer look at this report, however, provides the latest life expectancy statistics at different ages for males and females.  Studying this information reveals to me that a 65-year old male has a now life expectancy of 17.9 years.

Yikes!  That’s a little closer to home.

How time flies when we’re having fun and this little study tells this middle-aged man there may only be about two decades of fun time left. 

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Almost 122 times older than him

   An Old Man and his Grandson, circa 490, by Domenico Ghirladaio.                
There’s nothing like a little grandson to make you realize how precious life is and how old you really are.  This confession comes from a middle-aged man who constantly and jokingly tells himself how he sees a 16-year-old kid when looking in a mirror.

Exhibit A of this revelation is this middle-aged man’s youngest grandson who turned age 6 months yesterday.  While rocking him last evening and looking at him in his little eyes, I thought about how long a life he hopefully will live.  Doing a little math as I’m inclined to do, I determined it would be the year 2075 before he’ll be my age.

Wow if that doesn’t wake me up to the reality of how old I am then nothing will!  Then I pondered what the world might be like in that future year so long from now. 

And while staring little JJP in his eyes, I told my little grandson in a language and dialect that can only be best described as grandpa gibberish how I’m almost 122 times older than him.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

On Christmas Day

Do middle-aged men buy themselves Christmas presents?  I suppose some do while others don’t.  This middle-aged man is among the latter but after thinking about it and reading what others have to say, maybe he should reconsider and not be a scrooge with himself.

It’s been so long since Santa Claus has been part of my mindscape that I’ve forgotten the boyhood joy of wanting this or that for Christmas.  Maybe as part of my gracefully aging journey or actually youthful retention journey, I should ignite the dormant boyish joy flame in me and yearn for a Christmas gift or two.

And if I were to do this, what would I want Santa to bring me?  Honestly, at this moment, I really don’t know.

But I do know this, socks, underwear, cologne, clothes or a box of See’s Candies wouldn’t make my short wish list.

Neither would a pair of sheepskin slippers, a bottle of fine wine or a bottle of cheap wine for that matter, jewelry, or a all-inclusive weekend getaway to a dude ranch in Montana.

Trying to cultivate some youthful joy to round out the rough-around-the-edges me, I’ll be pondering for next couple of weeks of what I want Santa to bring me on Christmas Day.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, December 7, 2015

Pierini Fitness plays grandpa

This chief executive blogger will have to work a little harder this month delivering Pierini Fitness blogflections each Monday through Friday like he has done lately. 

It seems like two little grandsons have rolled into town and will be visiting grandpa this Christmas season. 

I’ll also have to work a little harder getting my workouts in because grandpa duties will keep my occupied.   But I wouldn’t trade any of it for all the gold in the world.

The training variety is endless, though, with the possibility of having a couple young workout partners.  I’ve got some neighborhood park training ideas.  Heck, there may even be a fitness training video or two right around the corner.  I’ve had some ideas for the longest time but they never went past the idea stage.

So stay tuned for some great sharing this month as Pierini Fitness plays grandpa.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Friday, December 4, 2015

Fitness Point A to Point B

Earlier this week I attended a continuing education seminar about personal financial planning.  There was something I learned from this seminar that I’d like to share in the context of planning one’s health and wellness and, more specifically fitness and strength.

The seminar had a very simple explanation of financial planning, describing it simply as consisting of the following:

ü  It’s all about going from Point A (now) to Point B (where you ultimately want to be).

ü  This process never changes – going from Point A to Point B.

ü  We don’t want to be tempted by and react to what we hear from the media. 

ü  We don’t want to make changes for the heck of it.

ü  A long-term strategy wins the race every time.  It’s a process by which wealth is built over time.  It’s not intended to be a get rich quick scheme.

Our health and wellness planning – more specifically our fitness and strength – is really no different. 

ü  It’s all about going from Point A (now – our current fitness and/or strength) to point B (the fitness and/or strength level where we ultimately want to be).

ü  This process never changes – going to Point A to Point B.

ü  We don’t want to be tempted by what we hear from the media and this includes the fitness gurus we haphazardly stumble across while surfing the internet.

ü  We don’t want to make changes for the heck of it.  This assumes we have crafted a well thought out and designed training plan that is point A to point B-based as discussed in (1) above.

ü  A fitness training strategy that is long-term wins the race every time.  It’s a process (fitness training) by which improved fitness (however we measure it) is achieved over time.  It’s not intended to be a get fit or get strong quick scheme.

With less than one month left this 2015 calendar year, many of us are setting new goals and resolutions for the upcoming year.  Some of these will be fitness and/or strength-related. 

Now’s a good time to give some thought to our New Year resolutions. 

We’ll begin by assessing where we are at the moment and where we’d like to be at various points in the next year.

And then, hopefully, we’ll design a great training plan and back it up with hard work for a pleasant fitness journey taking us from our fitness Point A to Point B.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum