Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Fireworks

Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Day IV: Deadlifts and Other Things

E-Z Bar Bicep Curls; standing stomach vaccuums b/w sets
6 x 11.5 Kg / 25.4 lbs
6 x 17.5 Kg / 38.6 lbs
6 x 22.5 Kg / 49.6 lbs Finally. Not as easy as I like a max set to be, but definitely clean.
6 x 17.5 Kg / 38.6 lbs
6 x 17.5 Kg / 38.6 lbs
12 x 11.5 Kg/ 25.4 lbs

Lying Cable Curls; twist curls between sets
6 x 15/33.1
6 x 24/52.9
6 x 30/66.1
6 x 26/57.3
6 x 26/57.3
12 x 15/33.1

Deadlifts; 1 min cardio interval b/w sets
6 x 32.5/71.7
6 x 52.5/115.7
6 x 65/143.3 A smidge over bodyweight. I come out of the gym at 10:15pm, and as I get to the street I hear very loud noises. I look up, and there are fireworks going off overhead. No idea why (they were coming from the direction of Agron Street; any Jerusalemites know?) but it was just too funny. I think that I should get fireworks when I hit the bodyweight squat and bodyweight bench too. :-)
6 x 60/132.3
6 x 60/132.3
12 x 32.5/71.7

Hamstring Curls; 1 min cardio interval b/w sets
6 x 12/26.5
6 x 19/41.2
6 x 24/52.9
6 x 22/48.5
6 x 20/44.1
12 x 12/26.5

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Sunday and Monday

After Thursday's decline bp debacle, I got a little worried about the way the 6 rep microcycle was going. Still, I was looking forward to pullups on Sunday. The bad news is that my partial pullups stalled. I had gotten to 30cm from the bar, and was trying to go for 25cm, but for whatever reason, I wasn't moving. I barely got to 40cm from the bar. Man-in-charge watched my feeble attempts and had me switch to negatives for the rest of the sets. I climbed up so that my chin was above the bar, and then lowered myself as slowly as possible. The good news is that I liked the negatives very much. They were very hard. At first I could control the descent pretty well, but by the end I was dropping like a sack of potatoes. The negatives also made the subsquent pulldowns that much harder, but aside of the initial disappointment at stalling, it was a good session.

Yesterday was a good session. Gym was very busy, but I had the squat rack to myself for as long as I needed it.

I am again amazed by how much guys can talk. That stereotype about women being talkative and guys being silent and terse was not coined in a gym...

Monday, May 29, 2006
Day III: Mostly Quads

It is very rare for me to have any muscle soreness, but I had some on Monday (worse today, btw). This soreness from Sunday's pullup negatives meant I had no expectations from the rows. I was pleasantly surprised, because both the cable rows and the upright rows felt very strong and very smooth.

Lying cable rows; stomach vacuums b/w sets
6 x 21 Kg / 46.3 lbs
6 x 33 Kg / 72.8 lbs
6 x 42 Kg / 92.6 lbs
6 x 42 Kg / 92.6 lbs
6 x 36 Kg / 79.4 lbs
12 x 21 Kg / 46.3 lbs

Upright rows; curls b/w sets
6 x 16.5 Kg / 36.4 lbs
6 x 26.5 Kg / 58.4 lbs
6 x 32.5 Kg / 71.6 lbs
6 x 30 Kg / 66.1 lbs
6 x 27.5 Kg / 60.6 lbs
12 x 16.5 Kg / 36.4 lbs

Squats; 1 min abwork b/w sets
6 x 26.5 Kg / 58.4 lbs
6 x 42.5 Kg / 93.7 lbs
6 x 52.5 Kg / 115.7 lbs: Two happy things here: first, a new PR that is 81% of bodyweight. Second, I think this is the first time that all three work sets have been over 100lbs. I need to start thinking in imperial measurements again now that I am going back to North America. :-)
6 x 50 Kg / 110.2 lbs
6 x 47.5 Kg / 104.7 lbs
12 x 26.5 Kg / 58.4 lbs

Lunges; 1 min abwork b/w sets
6 x 20 Kg / 44.1 lbs
6 x 31.5 Kg / 69.4 lbs
6 x 39 Kg / 86 lbs I still don't like lunges, but I like what they do for my leg strength. I need to start doing a set or two with a broomstick every day, just for form.
6 x 35 Kg / 77.2 lbs
6 x 31.5 Kg / 69.4 lbs
12 x 20 Kg/ 44.1 lbs Last set done on Smith machine for form.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Tuesday and Thursday

I have no idea how I made it to the gym on Tuesday. I was so exhausted (and pre-TOM, as it turned out), that I must have just gone in on auto-pilot. It's a good thing it was deadlifts, because I'm at all sure that the auto-pilot would have kicked in for anything else.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Day IV: Deadlifts and Other Things

E-Z Bar Bicep Curls; standing stomach vaccuums b/w sets
6 x 11Kg/24.3 lbs
6 x 16.5Kg/36.4 lbs
7 x 21.5Kg/47.4 lbs If someone asked me what is the hardest exercise for me, I would say the bicep curls and the abwork that I do between the squats and lunges. These felt heavy, and they really shouldn't, since it's the second time I've used this weight for the 7 rep microcycle.
7 x 17.5Kg/38.6 lbs
7 x 15Kg/33.1 lbs
12 x 11Kg/24.3 lbs

Lying Cable Curls; twist curls between sets
6 x 13.5/29.8
6 x 21.5/47.4
7 x 27/59.5
7 x 24/52.9
7 x 21/46.3
12 x 13.5/29.8

Deadlifts; 1 min cardio interval b/w sets
6 x 30/66.1
6 x 47.5/104.7
7 x 60/132.3
7 x 60/132.3
7 x 50/110.2
12 x 30/66.1

Hamstring Curls; 1 min cardio interval b/w sets
6 x 11.5/25.4
6 x 18.5/40.8
6 x 23/50.7
6 x 21/46.3
6 x 20/44.1
12 x 11.5/25.4

Wednesday was a long school day, so no gym session. But still on track for the week as far as 4 sessions + boxing.

Yesterday was a very hot day in Jerusalem. 34C/93F, and I made the mistake of walking for 45 minutes with no hat or water bottle. Got home, drank close to a litre of water standing at the kitchen sink, then sat and read and eventually (after sunset), got up off the couch and went to the gym. Thursday was Day I: Chest, and the first day of the last 6-rep microcycle of the program. Everything was harder than usual, which is not how I like to start off the six rep microcycle. On the other hand, I was proud of myself for going in, although I had promised myself that if I felt dizzy or weak I would cut the session short. (I've been dehydrated in Jerusalem before; not an experience I care to repeat.)

Thursday, May 25, 2006
Day I: Chest

Decline Bench Press; stomach vacuums b/w sets
6 x 26,5Kg/58.4 lbs
6 x 42.5Kg/93.7 lbs
5 x 52.5Kg/115.7 lbs No, not a new PR. None of the reps were smooth; the fifth was wobbly, and the sixth was assisted. (Man-in-charge's reaction: "Don't think before the last rep!") A combination of too much thinking and a lousy grip. The left hand grip wasn't solid, and instead of stopping, racking, regripping and doing a new liftoff, I decided to go with the grip I had. Bad idea.
6 x 45Kg/99.2 lbs So we dropped quite a bit for the next two sets, going for smooth and wobble-free. Both sets felt good.
6 x 45Kg/99.2 lbs
12 x 26.5Kg/58.4 lbs

Single Arm Pec Deck Flyes; leg lifts off bench b/w sets
6 x 16/35.3
6 x 26/57.3
6 x 32/70.5
6 x 30/66.1
6 x 30/66.1
12 x 16/35.3

DB Incline Presses, palms facing each other; 1 min cardio interval b/w sets
6 x 7/15.4
6 x 12/26.5
6 x 13.25/29.2
6 x 12/26.5
6 x 12/26.5
12 x 7/15.4

Incline Skull Crushers with Tricep Bar; 1 min cardio interval b/w sets
6 x 12.5/27.6
6 x 20/44.1
6 x 25/55.1
6 x 20/44.1
6 x 20/44.1
12 x 12.5/27.6
Ran out of time and didn't do the last two cardio intervals.

Did the boxing class this morning which was great as usual. The part of the gym that we use for the boxing class has equipment for all the different classes in it: spinning bikes, bosu balls, and of course, the inevitable little pink 1Kg/2.2lbs dumbbells. As I headed out at the end of class, I noticed that a couple of the guys had decided to stay in the studio and do more conditioning work... they picked up the little pink dumbbells and were doing flurries of punches with them (punching the air, not each other). Who knew those pink things could be used for something other than doorstops?

Monday, May 22, 2006

Birthday

I was very tired yesterday. I got home from school and after doing the running around for books and such, I was on the verge of going straight to bed. But there were two birthday cards waiting for me in the mailbox. One was a frog and toad card from my sister, the other was from my gym.

How could I possibly skip a night at a gym that sends me birthday cards, eh?

So I went in and did Day II: Back, and although I was running out of steam by the end, the partial pull ups are improving (30 cms to go!) and the pulldowns are almost back at what they were when I was doing them unpreceded by pullups.

The actual birthday was today, and you know the universe is smiling on you when Day III: Squats lands on your birthday. :-) Couldn't have planned it better myself. The squats, by the way, were:
6 x 25 Kg /55.1 lbs
6 x 40/88.2
7 x 50/110.2
7 x 47.5/104.7
7 x 42.5/93.7
12 x 25/55.1
There were rows before and lunges after, but this was the highlight for me.

I had phone calls and e-mails from assorted relatives, my parents sent an e-card and a big bouquet of flowers, my study partner brought a cake to our morning class (poppyseed and chocolate glaze) and my fellow students in that morning class sang Happy Birthday to me in Hebrew. So overall it was a very good day.

My focus for the next few months will be nutrition. I'm slowing down my progress (stopping in its tracks, really) with too many little carbohydrate blips. A can of cola here, extra bread there (just because it is 100% whole wheat with flaxseeds doesn't mean it should be a food group). If I was as serious about my nutrition as I am about my training, I'd probably have that pull up by now. First item on the agenda, ramp up the veggies. Over the past few weeks they've appeared at only 50% of my meals. Not ideal. Onwards and upwards.

By the way, if anyone is short for inspiration these days, check out the May 12, May 15 and May 19 pictures at CrossFit. (Annoyingly, I can't link directly to them, you have to go over and use the calendar at the upper right corner.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Musings

I finished a little early at school today because most of the afternoon class had to get to a wedding outside Jerusalem. The plan is to go to the optical store and try on more glasses, then to the Judaica bookstore and ask bookseller about buying a few more religious books and shipping them to North America, then home, gym, homework and sleep.

Boxing class Friday morning was fun, and after it I went to the Menachem Begin Heritage Center. I had been planning to go to the center since it opened; it's only about a 20 minute walk from my home, if that.

These days, I consider exercise a pleasure rather than a chore. But I've rarely thought about it as a right, which many women around the world don't have. See this post about exercise challenges faced by women in Saudi Arabia.

[The next two links are in Hebrew] I don't care for reality tv, and I've never seen the American tv show The Biggest Loser. I discovered last night that the Israeli version of the show begins this Wednesday on channel 10. Apparently the format has been sold in 25 countries. Here it is called לרדת בגדול laredet b'gadol, or "to shrink/reduce in a big way". There are twelve contestants, six men and six women, competing against each other to see who can lose the most weight. Last night was the preview show, which I glimpsed on and off while folding laundry and eating dinner. The preview show, which grabbed the third place in the ratings with 9.1%, explained how the twelve contestants were chosen from the many that applied. I don't quite understand how someone would be willing to do this sort of show in a country as small as Israel, where everyone knows everyone. I liked the goal of a contestant named Ronen; he said that one of his goals was to do a full pull up. Now there's a goal I can relate to. :-)

Friday, May 19, 2006

A Moment of Silence

To honour Capt. Nichola K. S. Goddard, the first female Canadian soldier killed in front line combat since Canada opened combat roles to women over fifteen years ago. I'm proud of Canada for doing so, proud that we extended our Afghanistan mission, and proud of our soldiers, who serve in an underappreciated and underfunded military.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Two Months Less A Day

Two months less a day... and then my Israel adventure comes to an end, and I return to North America, first to Canada, and then, if all goes well, Kansas. So much to do between now and then. Sorting, packing and shipping my stuff (no furniture, thank goodness, just clothes and notes and way too many books), and of course, finishing university papers. I don't want to think about leaving my gym, but I have to, so... looks like KC has several 24 hour fitness places, and there's this place, which looks amazing but is 40+ minutes away from where I hope to be.

That psych course I mentioned the other day? Here's a great article from its reading list about Ending Procrastination:
According to Joseph Ferrari, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at De Paul University in Chicago, real procrastinators tell themselves five lies:
-They overestimate the time they have left to perform tasks.
-They underestimate the time it takes to complete tasks.
-They overestimate how motivated they will feel the next day, the next week, the next month -- whenever they are putting things off to.
-They mistakenly think that succeeding at a task requires that they feel like doing it.
-They mistakenly believe that working when not in the mood is suboptimal.

Wish I'd read it two years ago... I've managed to eliminate the above stupidities when it comes to training. Why is it difficult to eliminate them when it comes to my academics?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Wedding

The 6:00am workout didn't happen, but a 3:30pm workout did. I managed to squish in most of the Day III: Mostly Quads session between school and the wedding. Did the two varieties of rows, the squats, and had just started the lunges when I realised that I needed to leave if I didn't want to miss the bus to the wedding. The bus was leaving Jerusalem at 6:00pm, and I still had to shower, dress, put on makeup and so on.

My classmate D's wedding was held at Gan HaVradim - the Rose Garden - that site has an annoyingly slow intro, no English and no skip intro button, but if you want to see what the place looked like, stick with it. I love Israeli weddings, and this one was probably the best I've ever been to. Everything was good: location, music, food, friends... The eclectic music included traditional Jewish Yemenite (bride's heritage), modern Israeli and near-eastern, American and European pop.

Israeli weddings always have lots of food. This one had hors d'oeuvres and food stations upon arrival, and at the sit-down dinner after the huppah, the appetizer was a choice between grilled salmon and quiche with goose breast, and the entree a choice between spareribs and turkey. The service was excellent. The waitstaff was really nice and kept offering to bring us drinks, even though our table was at most 15 steps from the bar. I had the salmon, which I finished, and the spareribs, which I didn't. I also had some dessert and drank a lot of water, which became a necessity after each boisterous dancing interlude.

I didn't drink any alcohol except for a sip of red wine at the very end. After the last part of birkat ha-mazon (grace after meals), we said the seven wedding blessings (traditional translation, modern translation), and the bride and groom each had a sip of wine after the last blessing. Then, if they wanted to, single women had a sip of the bride's cup and single men had a sip of the groom's cup - as a good luck thing - that they too should be married soon.

There's a point in the dancing where the bride and groom sit on chairs and then the guests lift them overhead and dance around them. I was one of the people who was holding up the bride's chair, and it hit me that this was a great fringe benefit of weight-lifting: you get to make the bride and groom happy, which is a big thing in a Jewish wedding. I got home at 2:00am, went to bed at 2:30am and woke up this morning at 6:40am. Unsurprisingly, I'm exhausted today, and grateful for the existence of cafffeine. I'm going to try and get to the gym a little earlier than usual and go to sleep early tonight.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Things on My Mind



Last week was perfect workout-wise; five lifting sessions (Sunday through Thursday inclusive) and one boxing class (Friday). This week is not going to be. Those Sunday evening meetings I mentioned awhile back are back on, and tomorrow night one of my classmates is getting married, which will occupy the 6pm to midnight timeslot. So the plan is to get a workout in tomorrow morning - be at the gym at 6:00am and see what transpires. I'm not a fan of squatting at that hour, but there's really no other choice. I need some time in the early afternoon to "prettify" before heading to the wedding.

Via this article in Haaretz I learned about Harvard prof Tal Ben Shahar's Positive Psychology course. The course page is here, and the readings are here. Interesting stuff.

Remember last month's suicide bombing in Tel Aviv? It claimed two more victims this weekend. Lior, a 26 year old Israeli newlywed, and Daniel, a 16 year old American tourist, both died of wounds sustained in that bombing.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Program

In a comment to this post, Bud asked what was the logic of pyramiding my sets. The short (and unwittingly snarky) answer would have been, because it is working for me. But since the set I described is part of a program, and makes sense in the context of a program, I think it would make more sense if I described the whole rather than its parts.

When I joined the gym, man-in-charge asked me what I wanted to accomplish. I told him that I wanted to get stronger, and that I only had a year and a quarter before I had to return to North America. I also told him that I'm didn't join to lose weight or fit into a specific size, and that I wanted a program that focused on lifting. The first clue that I was in the right place was when he asked me what kind of lifting I wanted: Olympic lifting, powerlifting or just lifting for general strength. I asked for a powerlifting focus.

Based on my answers he designed my first program (first in that gym, not first ever). That was over a year ago, and he has designed several programs for me since then. My programs used to last 12-16 weeks, now I get a new one every 10-12 weeks. After each program ends, man-in-charge has you mark all the exercises with +, - or 0. + means you liked the exercise, - means you didn't, and 0 means that you are neutral about it. Programs are also adjusted whenever necessary. When hack squats caused crunching sounds in my right knee, we experimented with tempo, foot position, and eventually dropped the exercise in favour of a different one. Similarly, when the right shoulder started hurting, we dropped flat bp and flat close grip bp, switched to decline work, and added rotator cuff work. (It's fine now, thanks for asking. :-) )

My goals haven't changed since that first program. I still want to get stronger, and at some point bench 1.25x bodyweight, squat 2x bodyweight and deadlift 2x bodyweight. I'm confident that I will get all of these eventually, but I'm not in a race with anyone, and I want to get there injury-free and with good form. After the last program I also said that I want to do a pull-up before I leave Israel; consequently, the current program has a lot of back, arms and upper body work, even on those days that are technically "leg days".

The current program is a four day split. All the exercises are supersetted with either a set of ab work or a minute of high intensity cardio.
Day I: Chest: decline bench press, single arm pec deck, seated incline db press, incline skull crushers with a tricep bar.
Day II: Back: partial pull ups, wide grip lat pulldowns to chin, narrow grip latpull downs to chest, cable wrist curls.
Day III: Quad Dominant has upright rows, lying cable rows, squats and lunges
Day IV: Ham Dominant has bicep curls, lying cable curls, deadlifts and hamstring curls

I do 4-5 sessions per week. I prefer five, but as long as I get four I know I'm on track. In addition to the four (or five) lifting sessions, there's also a boxing class once a week. This is for variety and to increase hand-eye coordination.

I usually train at night, after 8pm, but I have trained earlier and later. If absolutely necessary, I will come in at 6:00am to ensure I get the minimum four lifting sessions per week, but this is not ideal. I start with a short warm-up that is mostly dynamic stretches. At that point I'll find man-in-charge and he'll mark down what my max weight should be for each exercise. Depending on how things went last time, the max weight will increase by anywhere from 1.25% to 7.5%. If I had to show the program in a short notation, it would be (6 x 50%) + (6 x 80%) + (3 x 10/8/7/6/ x 100%) + (12 x 50%).

There are six sets for each exercise:
1. Warm up set: 6 x 50% of the max weight
2. Warm up set: 6 x 80% of the max weight
3. Work set #1: Depending on the microcycle, the work sets will have 10, 8, 7 or 6 reps. After I load the bar (or grab the dbs) I call man-in-charge or guy-in-charge over so they can watch me do the set. Based on how cleanly I do it, they will tell me what my weight should be for the next work set. They will also comment on my technique, raising any points they'd like me to concentrate on in the second set. or a bench press, for example, they'll say something like "Drop 1.25Kg per side", or "Keep the chest high". Once in awhile they'll tell me to stay at the same weight for the second set. Doesn't happen too often; makes me happy when it does. :-)
4. Work set #2: Same as work set #1.
5. Work set #3: I'll always ask man-in-charge or guy-in-charge to watch all three sets for bp, squats and deads, but for other exercises I'll just ask them to watch the first two work sets.
6. Cool down / technique set: This set, also at 50%, is done at a 5-0-1-0 tempo. So on a squat I would take 5 seconds for the descent and 1 second for the ascent. I always think of it as a brain workout. It proves to me that I still have a lot left in me.

I log all sets, including the warmups and cooldown. If something went very right or very wrong I'll make a note in the log to that effect. I log the ab work and cardio minutes also. For most things I'm logging the weight, but for things like the partial pullups I'll log distance from the bar. For example, my chin is 38cm away from clearing the bar. I've recently started logging the amount of time each exercise takes, with an eye to becoming a more efficient exerciser and finishing everything in under 1.2 hours.

Comments and questions are welcome, but please note that, if you leave me a comment like "you should do Joe Blow's program instead", I will ignore you. :-) I trust my coach, I like my slow and methodical progress, and I enjoy seeing my 6 rep max weight become my 10 rep max weight without deterioration in form.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Tired

Very very tired. Lots of homework to do this week, stress due to the too-short time left until departure, and nowhere close to enough sleep. I'm still training, of course. As I keep telling newbies in the changeroom, if I only trained on days when I got sufficient sleep, food and water, I'd be in the gym once every two months.

Sunday was Day II: Back, Monday was Day III: Mostly Quads and tonight was Day IV: Hamstrings and Biceps, also known as Deads and Other Things. The three work sets on the deads were 2 x 10 x 55Kg/121.3lbs and 1 x 10 x 50Kg/110.2lbs. The 10 rep microcycle is done and I'm looking forward to doing Day I: Chest again, but this time with 8 reps for the work sets.

I'm working on a longer post that will describe the program in detail. It will be up Thursday morning.

Finished tonight's session in 1 hour and 30 minutes. Still way too slow. Each session should not take more than 1 hour and ten minutes at the most.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Lileks on Eating Healthy

I like Lileks' May 3rd Bleat, even though I don't necessarily feel the same way. First, I don't think of myself as "thinnish" nor do I care to; I much prefer strong, or solid. Second, I don't miss the old days, the ones where a common post-gym activity was eating an entire container of Haagen-Dasz, and a common response to stress was downing an entire French baguette, one butter-drenched slice at a time. And third, I like eating clean. I look forward to veggies and fruit; of course it helps that Israeli veggies and fruit taste like veggies and fruit and not like styrofoam. I've already googled for farmer's markets in Kansas in preparation for the move. That said, the quote below still make me smile:
God, how I sometimes hate eating healthy. I could have made a low-carb low-fat Mexican meal, but what I really wanted was a plastic tray laden with Taco Bell, with the glutinous chili cheese chilito, a taco packed with glistening chopped Bossie, and one of those burritos as thick as a storm drain loaded with rice and refried beans – because frying them once is not enough – and rivers of quasi-real cheese product, all doused in a quart of liquid napalm, topped off with fried dough and a rafter-rattling belch.
[...]
I like being thinnish. I feel all high and holy living on carrots and spinach and apples and protein, but some days I think of the times in college when I would order a cheeseburger with a toasty bun, an order of fries that would have single-handedly staved off Irish famine-related emigration for a week, and a malt served in a glass stout enough to hold ten tulip stems, and I sigh.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Blue Plate Special

On Tuesday, the eve of Independence Day, I went to the gym and did Day IV; here's how the deads went:

Deadlifts; 1 min cardio interval b/w sets
6 x 30 Kg / 66.1 lbs
6 x 47.5 Kg / 88.2 lbs
6 x 60 Kg / 132.3 lbs. In my gym the 20Kg plates are blue, hence the title of this post. Yeah, I know, feeble attempt at humour. :-) It's also 92.7% of bodyweight.
6 x 55 Kg / 121.3 lbs
6 x 52.5Kg / 115.7 lbs
6 x 30Kg / 66.1 lbs
The rest of the session was fine too, except I missed the last rep of my max set of bicep curls. Man-in-charge said my elbows were a tad too far forward. Stupid form break. I'm blaming it on anticipating the deads.

That evening my chavruta (study partner) came over and we studied some Talmud together. Then I walked her back to her place, taking the opportunity to observe the people celebrating Independence Day. It was beautiful. I'm going to miss this when I'm back in North America.

Spent Wednesday relaxing, cleaning my room, doing homework, and watching the hilarious Israeli film Givat Halfon Eina Ona (Halfon Hill Doesn't Answer). Sha!, which is on hiatus, has a detailed explanation of the film and what makes it so great, which saves me the trouble of explaining it. Suffice it to say that the cable channel was nice enough to run the film both Tuesday and Wednesday, and I watched it both times. If this film is available on dvd I have to buy it before I leave Israel.

Back to school yesterday. Met a schoolmate for dinner at Tal Bagels on Emek Refaim, then grabbed a bus and rushed to the store to buy boxing gloves. I got there barely ten minutes before they closed as I took the bus one stop too far and had to run all the way back. I am now the proud owner of my first, (but not, I think, last) pair of 12 oz gloves. Took another bus home, then grabbed my bag and ran to the gym, where I began the 10 rep microcycle with Day I: Chest. The max set on the Decline BP was 10x 45Kg / 99.2lbs. It was a good session, but my pacing was atrocious. I can't afford to be in the gym for 1 hour and 45 minutes. I'm going to start timing each exercise to find out where I'm losing all my time. I'm puzzled, because I don't socialize in the gym so I can't blame the pace on that.

Back at the gym at 8:30am today for boxing class, with gloves. Much better. Rope skipping is also improving. Breakfast with a fellow blogger followed. Looking forward to a weekend of studying and maybe a little strolling around in the sunshine.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Building

One Hebrew U building, two views, and me playing with iPhoto's crop feature.


Monday, May 01, 2006

Squat at 77%

I went in earlier than usual. Gym closed at 7pm because tonight is the eve of Remembrance Day. Gym will close at 7pm tomorrow because it will be the eve of Independence Day. A day of sorrow followed by a day of joy. Most tv channels don't broadcast tonight, out of respect. The Israeli news channels show the ceremony from the Western Wall, and follow with the stories of fallen soldiers.

Monday, May 1, 2006
Day III: Mostly Quads
Lying cable rows; stomach vacuums b/w sets
6 x 20 Kg / 44.1 lbs
6 x 31 Kg / 68.3 lbs
6 x 39 Kg / 86 lbs
6 x 36 Kg / 79.4 lbs
6 x 31 Kg / 68.3 lbs
12 x 20 Kg / 44.1 lbs

Upright rows; curls b/w sets
6 x 15 Kg / 33 lbs
6 x 24 Kg / 52.9 lbs
6 x 30 Kg / 66 lbs
6 x 30 Kg / 66 lbs
6 x 25 Kg / 55 lbs
12 x 15 Kg / 33lbs

Squats; 1 min abwork b/w sets
6 x 25Kg / 55 lbs
6 x 40Kg / 88.2 lbs
6 x 50Kg / 110.2 lbs: 77% of bodyweight. Used the 15Kg plates for this set, just to get used to the idea. They’re the same diameter as the 20Kg plates, just thinner.
6 x 47.5Kg / 104.7 lbs
6 x 42.5Kg / 93.7 lbs
12 x 25Kg / 55 lbs

Lunges; 1 min abwork b/w sets
6 x 20Kg / 44.1 lbs
6 x 30Kg / 66 lbs
6 x 37.5Kg / 82.7 lbs
6 x 35Kg / 77.2 lbs
6 x 30Kg / 66 lbs
12 x 20Kg/ 44.1 lbs