It’s funny how I can be totally demoralized about working out one day and absolutely on the ball the next. Such was the case from yesterday to today. Maybe it’s the dusting of snow and the sunshine, maybe it’s because I missed volleyball last night and have a bunch of excess voltage needing to express itself.
Whatever it was, today’s workout was easier than most.
I’ve done 7 days out of 70. Knowing that I still have 10x the work ahead of me is making me want to quit – especially because I’ve been super busy with web design work this past week. The internal argument that “I’m too busy to do even a short workout” is very attractive (in terms of a reason to quit) but I know that’s bullshit. Change is hard, so I’ll keep going.
This is starting to feel a lot more like crossfit than I’d originally expected, but the need to keep these videos under 5 minutes 25 seconds (max video length on my phone) has removed much of the time I would normally have used to rest between sets. So my heart rate gets way higher than it otherwise would, and stays there for a couple minutes.
These sprint workouts do make sense for me though. I can’t really invest a ton of time into a workout every day, but even a short workout (if intense like this) can get my muscles burning and make me feel like I’ve made some progress. Or at least, won out over my lazier self.
I’m still figuring out what time of day is best for these workouts. Morning is tough – my energy is usually low in the morning and begins to flag in the evening, so it seems like the best time is somewhere between noon and 3pm. This would also leave a few hours of rest before evening sports, if that’s a factor.
Today’s routine was probably the best mix I’ve had so far in terms of getting some representation in power, plyo and general strength. The days that I just do pushups/dips feel a bit like a cop-out. Hitting 20 jump lunges was a challenge, and my legs are burning from it (probably compounded from the power cleans).
From a mood standpoint, getting outside and workout out on a rainy day seems to be a good way to force some outdoor time and suck in some fresh air. Without a reason to be outside, I’d be indoors all day getting cagey.
I don’t know if Youtube will keep this video up or not because it has Motley Crue in it, so hopefully it stays:
Today’s workout took place in a park by the Toronto Ferry Terminal on an oversized picnic bench. It was a good height for box jumps, and I’ve been negligent with plyometric exercises so I was happy to get this one in.
I need to stop saying what I’m going to do before doing it because I clearly don’t have a very good understanding of how many of anything I’m actually able to do. In today’s box jump workout I fatigued pretty quickly and then switched to sit ups and push ups out of fear that my phone was going to cut the video short.
Today’s workout was recorded first thing in the morning so lighting was a bit of an issue, but you get the idea. Improvisation was necessary to accommodate Isla’s desire to absolutely dominate me on the pull-up bar (and with me lifting her that many times, definitely contributed to the workout). Also, at the end of the video I thought Isla was concerned about me doing pushups (she’s never seen that before) but actually she was in the middle of shitting her pants.
Today I woke up dreading another hour long workout, so much so that if I wasn’t publicly committed to doing this (and posting the video) I’d probably have skipped today altogether. So instead I’m going to change the program slightly to make it much more flexible and achievable.
Instead of doing 50 of one movement, I am now making it so I can do 50 of any movement. In my head, I was going to do 25 dips and 25 pull-ups today, and that was far more appealing than doing all 50 pull-ups only, or all 50 dips only. Doing different exercises also cuts down on the time needed between sets because you’re not necessarily using the same muscle groups. This of course cuts way down on the total length of the workout. Yesterday I was lifting for about an hour. Today I was done in about 6 minutes.
This flexibility is going to go a long way in ensuring I stick to this program long enough for it to become a habit (which, according to Google, takes 66 days). I’ll commit to posting a set of 70 videos, then deciding whether I’ve established the habit and can stop the videos or whether it’s still a struggle and I need to keep going.
Here’s today’s (much shorter) workout… with a tangent about how squirrels stay warm in the winter thrown in as bonus material:
I’ve been thinking about how I don’t want to get fat and weak in February when I cut way down on sports in order to help make time for baby #2. Until now I’ve been playing sports 3x per week. I’ll be cutting down to only one sports night per week, so I need to recover the deficit if I’m to maintain my current physical state(ish). Reasons for wanting to do this range from the superficial (I don’t want to lose muscle/feel like I’m getting weaker) to the emotional (I get cagey if I don’t exercise every day).
When change is necessary, simple is good. Complexity, for me, has often become a barrier to following through on past efforts to change my behaviour. Enter a dead-simple workout schedule – one that is also flexible enough to tolerate days where I’m feeling low energy (keep in mind the inevitable sleep deprivation inherent to every new and repeat parent).
1000 reps per month breaks up nicely into 50 reps/day chunks and lets me take the weekends off. It also allows me to choose easier or more difficult movements depending on how I’m feeling. I’m also locking myself into the routine by committing to posting each workout online. This way I’m socially obligated to keep going with it or face looking like that asshole who does plenty of talking and not enough of the god damn.
Enough rambling, here’s Day 1 of the 1000 Rep Month:
Post Workout Review
That was way harder than it needed to be. To be truthful, I had initially dreamed up a 3000 Rep Month routine but changed it to 1000 when I realized how much god damn time it can take to do even 50 reps of anything. Better to keep the reps lower and play with the intensity instead of struggling to make it to 150 reps of something every day (and probably doing a shitty job of it). 50 reps also felt like a nice intersection of quantity and quality in my head, whereas 150 reps simply scared the shit out of me.
Also I had a brutal energy drop after, probably due to a precipitous plunge in blood sugar levels, highly caffeinated blood and an early wakeup. I recovered by drinking juice, but for tomorrow I’m going to drink juice before and during the workout to see if I can prevent the post-workout energy slump.
Splitting wood brings me joy. So much so that I’ve made a video detailing how it has completely replaced my previous workout with an olympic barbell. It’s just one of those things that makes you feel like a beast. It’s probably in our DNA to get satisfaction from splitting wood, and one of those rare things we can do which is super destructive yet legal and socially acceptable.