May the Fourth be With You.

Sunday, July 2 | Arms

I took Luke for a “local” walk this morning, traveling from our house to Carrier Park and then French Broad Park. Yup, we turned around and followed the same course in reverse.

I waited until lunchtime to work out.

Bench Press
10 @ 75, 9 @ 85, 7 @ 95… 3 @ 145, 2 @ 155, 1 @ 165#
Immediately complete max reps strict and unbroken HSPUs

Whilst I’m not liking bench press more I’m hating bench press less. It’s often a psychological challenge when the weight gets heavier, you know, because I don’t have a spotter.

I was pleased that I was able to complete all rounds without failing. I did attempt 170# just for the hell of it and, well, had to bail. Crash, boom, pow!

I completed 1, 3, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, & 2 strict HSPUs. If rest were allowed I most certainly could’ve completed more. Every workout should have an intention.

10-min AMRAP
20/leg bicycles
Max rep strict pull-ups*
1 strict HSPU
*Score = total # of pull-ups

My, how I miss a pull-up bar, for the yoke is ungainly and it’s exceedingly difficult to keep grip. Uhm particularly when hands are sweaty from having just been placed behind sweaty head. Ha!

I completed, 6, 5, 5, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 3, & 3 strict pull-ups for a score of 42. As I completed a total of 10 round, that was also 200 bicycles per leg and 10 strict HSPUs in addition to 14 performed earlier in the workout.

The most challenging activity? Bicycles! Oh, my aching core…

Monday, July 3 | Pisgah

I am obsessed with both the album and the song “Take All My Loves” by Rufus Wainwright. I. Can’t. Stop. Listening. I had the album on repeat as Luke and I walked 5.25 along the Blue Ridge Parkway. As I knew I’d be completing a grueling workout the next day, I rested.

I am almost halfway through 30-day challenge of playing 4 octaves of major scales. I practiced “Boating” by Bartok, one of my favorite pieces. One of my favorite ways to truly learn a song is to play the notes without making any sound. Huh? One must press the keys without making a sound. It take much discipline.

Tuesday, July 4 | “1776”

I had a difficult time sleeping, as I felt a pain in left hip/buttock. I was convinced it was arthritis and that I’d never be able to exercise again. I took 2 Aleve and the pain eventually subsided. In celebration of the Fourth, Luke and I went for a 4-mile walk in Carrier and French Broad Parks. The first thing we saw was a sign written in Spanish, English, and Arabic that said “No matter where you’re from, we’re glad you’re our neighbor.” I love Asheville!

I programmed the following in celebration of Independence Day. (I wish we were independent of that idiot currently in charge of the country.)

Complete 100 reps of the following:
– 20″ box jumps
– 45# sandbag hang power cleans
– Hand release push-ups
– Lunges
– 45# sandbag push presses
– 44# kettle bell sumo deadlift high pulls
– Abmat sit-ups
– Abmat back extensions
– 20# to 10′ wall ball shots
– 35# KB swings (pull + snatch)
– 45# sandbag front squats
– 60# KB stiff-legged deadlifts
– Knees to 90
– 45# sandbag bent over rows
– No clap burpees
– 176 double unders

Didya do the math? That’s 1776 total reps. This. Was. Difficult.

As I knew this was going to be a test of endurance, I paced myself from the start. It was very hot in the garage, and I sweated profusely. I consumed 3 bottles of water — and used a half a roll of paper towels. Often the most challenging thing was keeping grip on kettle bell and (most difficult) yoke.

I kept track of elapsed time.

– 20″ box jumps | 4:46
– Hand release push-ups | 12:25
– 45# sandbag hang power cleans | 15:56
– Lunges | 19:19
– 45# sandbag push presses | 26:30
– 44# kettle bell sumo deadlift high pulls | 37:46
– Abmat sit-ups | 40:20
– Abmat back extensions | 44:50
– 20# to 10′ wall ball shots | 54:13
– 35# KB swings (pull + snatch) | 1:03:57
– 45# sandbag front squats | 1:12:30
– 60# KB stiff-legged deadlifts | 1:18:46
– Knees to 90 | 1:24:31
– 45# sandbag bent over rows | 1:31:10
– No clap burpees | 1:44:14
– 176 double unders | 1:49:17

A few things to note:
— The use of the sandbag for push presses and bent over rows, in particular, added a whole new dimension to the workout. As previously mentioned, the sand is always shifting in the sandbag, and I never knew what to expect. I had initially considered using a 45# barbell but am glad I did not.
— I slowed down considerably beginning with wall ball shots. I was having a difficult keeping the equipment dry enough to handle.
— Luke got bored and was sometimes a distraction. One time I walked to the top of the garage stairs to let him inside. Jeff then let him outside with me again, per Luke’s request. He wasn’t laying outside garage when I was finished SDHPs so I went outside and called him. Jeff had let him in through the front door and then let him outside once again. He joined me for some Abmat sit-ups.
— The most unbroken reps I completed were lunges, and that was a mere 50.
— I completed 50 lunges forward and then backward. Reps were total and not per leg.
— I told myself to not complete 5 or 10 reps at a time, but often did just that.
— There were many times today when I told myself “mind over matter,” but it was truly matter over mind. I just couldn’t complete another rep of wall ball shots, push press, bent over rows, etc., not matter how much I wanted to.
— I often sat on the box to rest. I often had to gather additional dry paper towels.
— My shirt, shorts, socks, and shoes were drenched midway through the workout. I was quite literally dripping, and often had to wipe the floor to avoid slipping.
— I may have completed 110 KB swings. Yup, I lost count.
— So that I wouldn’t lose count during burpees, I completed sets of 10 and marked on paper. I finally caught my second breath 30 reps into the round. By the way, even though there was no jump and clap on the count of 3, burpees at this point in the workout were fucking miserable. And I love burpees.
— Double unders would’ve gone better if I didn’t keep catching rope on box, paper towels, and squat rack. Dammit. I kept count: 32, 65, 87, 120, 149, 175, 176. Yup, I failed the very last rep. Dammit, dammit.
— Even though I attempted to stay hydrated, I was nonetheless parched and I sounded like Kathleen Turner when I told Jeff that I wanted to go to lunch.





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