Thursday, November 24, 2022

Thanksgiving Day fun run memories

I'm currently a retired runner and have retired several times. But there was a time when I was a fun runner and would enter a couple fun runs each year. One of my favorites was the Run to Feed the Hungry, a very large (probably over 17,000 runners) Thanksgiving Day fun run in the city where I used to live. I would enter the 10k distance and each year I tried to run a better time. I believe at my best, I completed the 10k distance at about a 7:18/mile pace. I have many pleasant Thanksgiving Day memories running it, along with my son who was an excellent high school track distance runner.

I came out of retirement last in 2019 and ran a couple fun runs and also trained for a goal of running one mile on a high school track in 7:30 or less. I trained hard and finally achieved this goal on the last day of Summer 2019 (age 64) with a time of 7:20. Then, I retired again.

I have plans of coming out of retirement again on New Year's Day 2023. I'll slowly begin training for a 5k fun run in April 2023. I'll train with my little grandsons who will enter the kid division 1/2-mile run. It should be fun.

Regardless of how I do - I don't believe I'll set any personal "world records" - I'll have fun on fun run race day and will always have my forever to cherish Thanksgiving Day fun run memories.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, October 24, 2022

Three up and three down

In my bodyweight exercise training journey, like others, I’ve been seduced into volume training for reps and sets of an exercise. For pull-ups and bar dips, for example, I’ve had a fascination with 100-rep workouts. Many of these workouts were timed; how fast could I complete 100 reps. I’ve always liked the game “Beat the Clock” but, truth be told, often it was the clock beating me. But I’ve always had fun trying.


Another variation of training with these two exercises has been adding weight and seeing how heavy of an added weight I could use to perform a single rep. Or how many reps of, for example a five-set effort, I could complete with a given weight, with progress measured by adding weight or trying to complete more reps with a given weight. Progressive resistance has always been the name of the game in my fitness training department.


Lately, I’ve been toning done the volume and doing something different that is currently a joyful change from my past training efforts. I’m doing a single set workout when doing pull-ups and bar dips. Yes, a single set for the day, no more and no less. To make it a beneficial single set, I’ve incorporated pause holds during the reps. My current variety of this is to hold a three-count at the top and bottom range of the exercise. Here are two recent videos of me doing this for pull-ups and bar dips:

Pull-ups with 3-count pauses

Bar dips with 3-count pauses

Add fitness training variety to your bodyweight training by incorporating pause holds with your reps like how I’m doing, three up and three down.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Work faster old man!

Yesterday afternoon, I decided to work on my Navy Seals burpees speed and gave myself a quick test of how many Navy Seals burpees I could complete in one minute; I completed nine.

Work faster old man!

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Thursday, September 22, 2022

At a gentleman's pace

You get older and realize the fitness stuff you did as a younger man can't be done, or if it can be done, it takes a lot of hard work begging the question is it worth the effort.  My great friend and now deceased Mr. Tommy Kono - America's greatest Olympic weightlifter - best explained it when he told me the following:

"When I was a young man, I trained to get better.  Then as I aged, I trained to maintain what I have achieved.  Now, as an older man, I train to survive!"


Is this now me talking to myself?


Not yet is my initial answer but maybe yes.


Regardless, there comes a chapter in one’s middle-aged man fitness journey when the road traveled is a bit slower.


Like, for example, my workout the other day at the park, consisting of 100 double-pump burpee pull-ups done at a slower pace.  The workout was still hard, but I got it done at a pace that was age-appropriate for me.


I’ve arrived at a point in my life where my fitness pursuits are being done at a gentleman’s pace.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

I'm still living and training


I'm still at it but doing it off the cyberspace grid.  I'll be back eventually.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, February 28, 2022

The pull/push part of my last workout


I’ve been doing weighted pull-ups and bar dips lately in my fitness training and am pleased with the recent progress made reclaiming my strength. I say “reclaiming” because whatever I’m currently achieving with my training – weight used, reps completed and time to complete a specified workout - is what I’ve done in the past. At this point in my gracefully aging fitness training pursuits, there’s nothing new under the sun and this includes workout performance.

Sometimes I’ll do the weighted pull-ups or weighted bar dips on different days but sometimes, I’ll pair them together as a superset. When I need pushing variety, I’ll substitute the weighted bar dips with double kettlebell overhead press work.

Other exercises I’m including in my training are double kettlebell rack squats, an occasional kettlebell complex or chain workout and burpees. I’ve discovered the challenge of Navy Seals burpees and have been trying to get about two workouts a week doing 100 repetitions of them. I’ll also do other burpees work because it (the burpee) has become my primary cardiovascular-respiratory conditioning exercise. Like other burpees enthusiasts, I “hate” burpees but love the benefits they provide. And they keep my humble. 

Here’s part of my workout last Monday.  I’ve been off since then because I caught the flu and had to take a training time out. I’m projecting to be ready to get back with my fitness training tomorrow or the next day and am sure I’ll notice the time out.

 Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, February 21, 2022

67th birthday 100 burpees party


Father time continues to tick tock forward for everyone, including all the middle-aged men of the world, and that includes Pierini Fitness.

Recently, Father Time added one year to his age which now reads and sounds as age 67.  How time flies when we’re having fun.

I’m blessed and grateful to thus far be enjoying good fitness, health and wellness.  These are things I’ll never take for granted.  I’m smart enough to know how it could all change – as in end – in a heartbeat as it recently did for an internet fitness forum acquaintance who passed from lung cancer, and two cousins who passed from COVID.

So, what did Pierini Fitness do on his 67th birthday?

He had a 100 burpees party at the park but guess what, nobody showed up, so he celebrated alone.  Here’s the action:

He had a great time at his 67th birthday 100 burpees party.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, February 14, 2022

I am now on my way out


Some of our fitness brothers from different mothers we know upfront and close; they may be gym workout or running partners. For those of us who frequent and participate in internet fitness discussion forums, we have these other fitness brothers that we befriend in cyberspace.  

Our sense of these fellows is influenced by their internet characters, imagination and sharing of fitness experiences and knowledge.  Sometimes, these cyberspace relationships evolve to an upfront and close acquaintanceship when discovering that someone might live within our striking distance.

This was my case with one person who I just learned over the weekend has Stage 4 lung cancer. He “dropped this bomb news” at the internet fitness discussion forum he established years ago.  He shared how he’s close to the end of his life.

Wow, that was hard to learn!

The title of his discussion topic where he made his announcement was: “I am now on my way out”.

His message was brief, but he did express two thoughts that will stick in the minds of those who know him for a long time.  The first was that he was very weak so he wouldn’t be reading any best wishes messages that forum members may express.  The second was that he wanted everyone to know that each of us are in his heart.

It's likely that will be the last time I’ll ever hear from him.

Death news, including eminent death announcements, are hard to swallow and the lump in my throat that arrived upon reading this news still lingers. 

I had the privilege to know this person beyond a cyberspace acquaintanceship, having spent time with him about four times, including one time when I introduced him to Tommy Kono, America’s greatest Olympic weightlifter.

Our gatherings were made possible because he lived about 45 minutes from me.  I vividly remember one time when he and his wife visited my wife and I at our home.  We had an enjoyable conversation, including an equitable exchange of middle-aged man wit and wisdom.  Shortly thereafter, he relocated to another state, but we still had awareness of each other via his internet fitness discussion forum.

In a private e-mail I sent him sharing my prayers and well wishes, I preceded it by sharing all of this.  While I’m unsure if he’ll read it, it would be nice if he did but what I hope the most is that he’s comfortable and pain free during the remainder of his life.

The title of his fitness discussion forum announcement may one day be how I make my eminent end-of-life announcement that “I am now on my way out.”

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, February 7, 2022

Green bananas anymore


Like many older people in training, I periodically spend time in a stuck zone about various matters, such as how much time there is remaining in my life here on planet earth.  I won’t say that I’m obsessed or possessed about this, but I do ponder it more now than I did twenty, thirty or forty years ago.  I believe most people in my age zone do.

One day when getting out of my car in the grocery store parking lot, I noticed an older person gimping along stiff legged with his rear end slightly sticking out.  He was sporting a forward lean in his posture while inching along, ever so slowly, towards the grocery store entrance.  “Another old turd”, I thought to myself while I, too, gimped along in the same direction.  Then, in a moment of rigorous honesty, I self-confessed that, like this person whom I had just passed judgement on moments earlier, I am also another older turd. 

These visual moments give me opportunities to be honest about who I really am and that my clock is getting closer to midnight, also known as the end of my life.  Only God knows how close to midnight I really am.  It may only be 10:00 pm on my aging clock so I’ve got some time to go.  Fate, however, may have a different plan and before I know, my aging clock can quickly advance to, say, ten minutes before midnight.

Spending time yesterday with my four little grandsons and being the numbers guy I am, I intuitively calculated how old I would be when each of them turns age 18.  The answers to my math quiz ranged from 77 years to 81 years.  It’s possible that I may still be living then but, again, only God knows.

I then pondered whether I would ever get to know my great grandchildren.  I could go on and on with this future wondering and suppose there’s nothing wrong spending time doing this.  A retired person has got to have something to do and something to ponder.

Like, when will my day come when I won’t buy green bananas anymore.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, January 31, 2022

Invite you to my funeral


One thing about gracefully-aging is acknowledging that my clock is ticking towards an eventual date with the Grim Reaper. As a former older colleague once said when I asked him how he was doing, and he replied:  I’m getting older and there’s nothing I can do about it.”  Recognizing this as my truth is being honest and transparent rather than some delusional thinking that I might live forever.

So, the clock towards the end of my life continues ticking, one second at a time, one minute at a time, one hour at a time, one day at a time and one year at a day. When it will all end, who know; I don’t for sure and never will. It’s a mystery of sorts having the potential to bring unwanted misery so it can best be handled, by me, with a little humor.

I recently had a chance to have such humor when talking to a younger man, young enough to be my son, who had just finished a landscaping project for me. He’s a joker of sorts, quick with his wit and words and very capable of beating me to the punch with a one-liner that gives both of us a roaring laugh.

He recently did this the other day and I had to one-up him with my own quick wit, and I tried and did deliver a clever response to what he had told me.

What was it that I told him?

I said, “Robert, I like you and you’re my man, so I’m going to invite you to my funeral.”

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, January 24, 2022

During my 66th year of life


Good day Pierini Fitness sports fans, I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Mine was good enough, or as financial guru Dave Ramsey would say, “Better than I deserve.”

Anyway, I suppose I start this new week in a reflective mode, looking back at the past twelve months of my life. Why am I doing this? It’s because my 66th year of life is slowly ending. In less than one month, my aging clock will strike 67 years and I’ll continue in my journey of trying to live a good and honest life. And while I’m at it, continuing in my fitness, health, and wellness journey as I, hopefully, continue to gracefully age.

Since 2008, my Pierini Fitness blog has been a cyberspace sanctuary where I share what’s on my mind. And during my blogging history, patting myself on my back, I’ve composed and shared some wonderful reflections of me being a middle-aged man. As expected, I did have some blogging time-outs where I was missing in action or AWOL as it’s known in the military. But let’s call them blogging sabbaticals because that sounds more sophisticated.

I’ve always said that when I’m an old man sitting in my rocking chair on the front porch crapping my pants and watching the world go by, I’ll always be able to go back to my Pierini Fitness blog and take great delight in the many blogflections I composed over the years, providing me countless opportunities to reminisce about a life well lived.

However, there will be a big empty spot about my 66th year of life because my blogging the past year has been more hit and miss. This is a shame because it wasn’t like I was sleeping the past year. There were many wonderful life experiences and joys I experienced but I failed to capture them in a written middle-aged man reflection.

This will be my loss about who I was and what I did during my 66th year of life.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, January 17, 2022

My fitness training confirmation biases

I recently attended a continuing professional education seminar about best investments and investment strategies.  One term presented in the course, catching my attention, was investment confirmation bias. 

It was explained as an investor’s tendency to seek information that supports their beliefs, bias that leads to focusing only on information that reinforces their opinions about an investment, and selectively choosing which information to use resulting in a lack of diversification and investments that are too risky.

This confirmation bias term distracted me for a moment, making me think about what confirmation biases I may have in my middle-aged man fitness training journey. 

For example, what are my tendencies to seek information that supports my beliefs about my fitness training?  How do these tendencies result in me focusing only on information that reinforces my opinion about my current training methods?

I’m currently in the fitness training minimalist “camp” of primarily doing pull-ups, bar dips, kettlebells, and burpees in my fitness training rotation.  This means I’m excluding a lot of other training modalities such as isometrics, resistance bands, barbells, dumbbells, clubbells, maces and other fitness gadgets to name a few.

How much fitter could I be, and more efficiently, if I opened my eyes with a willingness to diversify my fitness training methods, and to seek out new knowledge about these other training methods?  What cardiovascular-respiratory conditioning and strength endurance levels am I “leaving on the table” with my current minimalist approach?

Am I doing too many burpees at the expense of something else?

While I continue pounding away this week with my status quo fitness training, maybe I should spend some of my rest and recovery time between exercises and training workouts thinking more about my fitness training confirmation biases.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, January 10, 2022

Doing the singles thing


There’s a training cadence to meet the needs of everyone if you spend some time searching for and reading about it. From the time-tested beginner barbell training protocol of three sets of eight reps to the German Volume Training protocol of ten sets of ten reps. 

Whatever you want, it’s yours to be had; all you must do is show up and do the work and, more likely than not, you’ll make fitness training progress if the protocol you use has a progressive resistance component to it.

I’m currently playing around with singles. One way I trained with singles was doing a singles progression of about eight to ten rounds with the final rounds being about 90 percent to a personal best attempt depending on how I was feeling and how I did with the previously completed rounds. Then, I’d close with a bonus round using a weight that was about 65 percent of my one repetition max. I’d completed as many repetitions as possible which gave me a nice closing muscle hypertrophy feeling that the singles didn’t deliver.

Recently I started singles training for double kettlebell overhead press, double kettlebell rack squat, weighted pull-ups, and weighted bar dips. While nothing is cast in stone, the workouts completed thus far have been of 20 singles every minute on the minute. 

Time will tell what return on my training investment doing these singles gives me. As a minimum, experience lifting something heavy for me should make lifting something not as heavy a bunch of times easier to do. So long as the singles training has a progressive resistance component to it, I can’t help but thinking this training will be fruitful along with the other work I’m doing.

Here’s a recent workout using a pair of 24kg kettlebells and doing a singles workout consisting of 20 singles done every minute on the minute.

It’s kind of fun doing the singles thing.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, January 3, 2022

Resurrecting weighted squat work

For one reason or another, I dodged weighted squat work in my 2021 fitness training. I can almost count with the fingers on my hand the weighted squats I did last year.  The squat training abstinence party is over.  This year I’ll be doing weighted squat work regularly in my fitness training.

One of my excuses was that I was running and didn’t want the weighted squat work to get in the way of my running workouts.  Not that I was doing any spectacular running workouts, but that was my excuse.

Another excuse was that I was doing some regular burpees workouts and didn't want squat work to get in the way of these intense workouts.

I had no problem making excuses, like many other aging middle-aged man fitness warriors who dodge the squat, blaming it on bad knees, a bum back or that don’t want their legs to get any bigger than they already are. 

I’ve done weighted squats at various times over my fitness training life and there’s no doubt that they’re good for me. Having a little age on my bones and knees aren’t legitimate excuses for not doing weighted squat work. I just must be sensible about the work I do, and I will.

Recently, I tested myself with a pair of 24kg kettlebells and was able to do five reps. It was hard because I was sporting squat depth rust and weak wheels from squat training neglect. This result has become my day one benchmark to measure progress.

Then a couple days later, I did a squat workout consisting of 20 rounds of double 24kg kettlebell rack squat singles done every minute on the minute. It was a hard workout, but I finished it and, honestly, wasn’t as sore the next day as I was expecting. Here’s my effort:

It feels good resurrecting weighted squat work.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Happy New Year 2022!


Happy New Year 2022 Pierini Fitness sports fans and my sincere apologies for my prolonged AWOL here. I was gone for almost six months. This is terrible and there’s no excuse for it.

I have no excuse other than blogger lethargy. I’ve been living my gracefully aging middle-aged man life and had a productive fitness training year but selfishly didn’t take the time to share as I’ve done so often in my past. Maybe 2022 will be different; I hope so.

Until I can get back in my groove writing my middle-aged man reflections about living and dying, gracefully aging, and trying my best to live a good and honest life, I’ll focus on sharing what’s going on in my fitness training. I’m training as a usually have – at parks and at home doing pull-ups, bar dips, kettlebell work and burpees. Much to my surprise, I’ve not done any running workouts in a while. So, once again, I suppose this qualifies me for the designation of “retired fun runner.”  We’ll see.

Stop by and check out to see what I share in the new year and hopefully you’ll walk away with a great fitness training workout idea occasionally.

Until then, take care, be safe and Happy New Year 2022!

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum