120 Days of Awesome – Day 3

Exercise – Arms

Arms and abs today. This went so much more quickly than legs. I was out of the gym in 1.75 hours. I tried tracking my workout on MFP. Their database is flaky, or I’m clueless (probably the latter). This is day 3. I think this will be the easiest week, to be honest. I anticipate pushing through a crappy attitude come next week or the following week.

Workout – (weight x reps) x sets

Arms

Superset:
Preacher Curls – (10 x 12) x 4
Standing Barbell Curls w/EZ Bar – (10 x 12) x 4
Standing Dumbbell Curls – (15 x 12) x 4

Superset:
Rope Pushdown (40/50/60/60 x 12) x 4
Rope Overhead Extension (40/50/60/60 x 4)
Tricep Dips to Failure << 11 3 3 4

++

Abs

Hollow Body Hold – 3 x 30s (add 1 more set next time)
Tuckups – 3 x 11 (+1 each workout)

Sleep

I only got about 6 hours of sleep last night. Today I’ve been highly distracted. I’ve found it difficult to focus and remain focused.

Food

No meal planning today, but still plenty of food for quick meals. I’ll keep assembling until I can’t. We finished a batch of turkey broth that is fabulously delicious. I’m looking forward to many more mugs of that stuff.

Meditation

About 20 minutes of meditation today. It was more difficult to keep my attention on my breathing than it was yesterday (because of sleep, I think). I didn’t fall asleep today, like I almost did yesterday.

Time With God

Still chugging through Proverbs. There is a lot of good stuff in there.

The Long Burn

Got a list opt-in form set up on the front page. Started working on the “just what is ‘120 Days of Awesome!’?” post. There’s a lot there and I want to dig in to the method I used so that others can repeat the process.

You have to do something, and – in the moment – you don’t feel like it. What do you do?

When you know you ‘have’ to do something but don’t feel like it?

This morning my alarm went off at 5am. I opened my eyes just a little and silenced my phone. My wife and dog lay quietly, still asleep. I knew that if I opened my eyes all the way it would be difficult to get back to sleep. I lay still for a few minutes, letting my mind run.

I could reset my alarm for 6am. That would be ok. I could start the day a little later and still get everything done that I needed to. I could skip today at the gym. What would it hurt?

I reached up and set my alarm for 6am. I felt tired. I didn’t want to spend all day feeling tired. The extra hour of sleep would help me to feel more awake later in the day. I put my head back on the pillow and began to drift off.

I lay there. My mind began to drift and all the things I had set out for today seemed to parade by. If I don’t get up now more than half of those will remain undone. My entire week will go sideways while I try to catch up. I sat up. In a few minutes I was putting together my workout plan (which I should have assembled the night before). Within 30 minutes I was out the door, on my way to the gym.

What happened?

Let’s consider the pivotal moment: I was drifting off and the day’s tasks entered my mind. More importantly, the consequences of inaction played out before my mind’s eye. I saw what would become of my day, and what would become of my week. The recognition of real consequences bypassed the feelings I had in the moment and tilted the lever of choice in favor of action.

How can you apply this right now? Get a piece of paper and write out the questions below and your answers to them. Don’t use a word processor. Pen and paper are a must. Be as vivid as you can when describing the outcomes.

  1. What are you avoiding?
  2. What will happen in the next 24 hours if you don’t do it?
  3. In the next week?
  4. In the next six months?
  5. The next year?
  6. Five years?
  7. Ten years?

This won’t work for you in the moment. Rather, it is meant to anchor the consequences to inaction before the moment of action arrives. Repeat the above steps for the most common three things you make excuses for or avoid (or want to create a habit around).

For your perusal I’ve included my answers below for getting up early (and going to the gym).

  1. What am I avoiding? (What do I want to establish a habit doing?) Getting up at 5am.
  2. What will happen in the next 24 hours if I don’t get up now? I’ll get a late start to my day. I will feel like I’ve missed the most productive part of my day. I won’t complete everything I wanted to today, and that will roll in to tomorrow as I try to catch up. I’ll feel like lazy garbage for getting behind and I’ll likely break a personal rule and hate myself a little.
  3. What happens in the next week? If I keep not getting up all the tasks from this week will run in to the next. I’ll feel even more lazy and frustrated with myself.
  4. In the next six months? I will be really far behind on some things (having abandoned tracking progress completely to avoid overwhelm). Other things I will have given up on entirely out of frustration and lack of progress. The idea I am lazy will begin to build up in my thoughts. Self-loathing will increase. I will likely quit going to the gym to ‘make time’ for ‘more important’ things. I will procrastinate because I feel overwhelmed by what I’m still trying to do.
  5. Next year? I will have gone to the gym somewhat sporadically (as before). I will have forgotten or deliberately suppressed projects and ideas from before. The ‘lazy’ narrative in my mind will predominate. Self-loathing will be the backbone of my identity.
  6. Five years? My life will be mediocre. I will be overwhelmed, overweight, and have little idea how I got to 34 weighing 210 pounds, no business (despite lots of ideas and passion), no future, and a broken spirit. I’m stopping here. This is really depressing.

120 Days of Awesome – Day 2

Exercise – Legs Day

I did not account for the shear volume of work on legs day. I struggled through the starting weights I picked. I expect to adjust weights until I can barely complete all sets and then progress from there.

Workout – (weight x reps) x sets

Legs

Leg Extensions – (20 x 25) x 4
Superset:
Leg Press – (70 x 50) x 4
Weighted Walking Lunges (0 x 20) x 2 << Should have been x 4 << I’m ashamed of this. I need to take the time to do every set the right way.
Hack Squat Machine – (0 x 20) x 4 >> 20 10 10 10 << I’m ashamed of this. I could have done 20 every set.
Romanian Deadlift – (95 x 12) x 4
Laying Leg Curls – (35 x 12) x 4

++

Calves

Standing Calf Raises (0 x 75) x 5 >> 75 75 79 75 79 << I did these while I ate lunch.
Seated Calf Raises (35 x 50) x 5

Sleep

I was down at 9ish and slept well most of the night. The dog wanted to go out at around 2:30. I didn’t have much trouble getting back to sleep.

Food

I don’t know if my metabolism is going in to high gear or if I ate something carb-heavy for lunch, but my blood sugar seemed to crap out about 4 hours after lunch. I did a bunch of meal prep today, but I didn’t get a chance to meal-plan for the remainder of the week. I’ll be flying blind and leaning on leftovers. Tomorrow (having food to eat) I’ll do meal planning and shopping.

A site I lean on heavily for delicious recipes:

Nom Nom Paleo

Meditation

I mis-set my alarm today and wound up doing 30 minutes of breath-focused meditation instead of 15 minutes. That’s not a bad thing, though. The time flew by and I had a bunch of ideas.

The book I’m working from is called Teach Yourself to Meditate by Eric Harrison. It is an easy read and explains the concepts of meditation very clearly.

Time With God

I’m in the book of Proverbs around chapter 20. There is a lot of good stuff in there. I think I’m going to start Proverbs over and record verses that are relevant to The Long Burn, business, discipline, laziness, etc. I may even start sharing them on Twitter with movers and shakers. I’m so grateful that God has put in a place where I can pursue this in a serious way. My hope is that I can help people, who – like me – started life lazy or mediocre (or both). While I have an idea of where I want to take this site, I’m open to where God wants it to go.

The Long Burn

I didn’t get a lot of time today to work on the site directly, but I did keep a notebook by me and wrote down ideas as they came in. I don’t know what it is about physically oriented tasks, but I get in the zone and the ideas just flow. Note: the ideas don’t flow when my blood sugar drops out. I need to figure out what that’s about.

120 Days of Awesome – Exercise Routine

I’ve committed to doing something that I haven’t done in about 5 years: working out daily for an extended period of time. This is a record of the routine I hope to follow and the decisions I made concerning its structure and implementation.

The whole routine is an adapted Dwayne Johnson workout featured on his instagram from a few years ago. It was titled the ‘Hercules Workout’ because it was what Dwayne Johnson did six days a week for a couple of months leading up to the filming of Hercules. It is a six day split featuring two leg days and 50 minutes of moderate cardio as a pre-workout.

Monday – Cardio + Chest + Abs

Tuesday – Cardio + Legs + Calves

Wednesday – Cardio + Arms + Abs

Thursday – Cardio + Back + Calves

Friday – Cardio + Shoulders + Abs

Saturday – Cardio + Legs + Calves

Sunday – Rest + Stretch

 

I’ve done weekly splits before, but I’ve never done a single-day split (one day per region of the body). This will be an interesting experiment in balancing food, sleep, and volume.

 

Workout – Sets x Reps

Chest

Incline Barbell Bench Press – 4 x 12/10/8/6

Flat Bench Dumbbell Press – 4 x 12

Incline Hammer Strength Press – 4 x 12

Flat Bench DB Fly – 3 x 12

Superset (perform each exercise back-to-back):

  • Cable Crossover – 3 x 15
  • Dips – 3 x failure

 

Legs

Leg Extension – 4 x 25

Superset:

  • Leg Press – 4 x 50
  • Weighted Walking Lunges – 4 x 40 steps

Hack Squat Machine – 4 x 20

Romanian Deadlift – 4 x 12

Laying Leg Curls – 4 x 12

 

Arms

Superset:

  • Preacher Curl w/EZ Bar – 4 x 12
  • Standing Barbell Curl w/EZ Bar – 4 x 12
  • Dumbbell Curl – 4 x 12

Superset:

  • Rope Pushdown – 4 x 12
  • Rope Overhead Extension – 4 x 12
  • Tricep Dips – 4 x failure

 

Back

Pullups – 4 x failure

One Arm Dumbbell Row – 4 x 12/10/8/8

Hammer Strength Two Arm Row – 4 x 10

Close Grip Pulldown – 3 x 12

Cable Row – 3 x 12, with double drop set each set

Superset:

  • Rope Pullovers – 3 x 15
  • Rope High Row – 3 x 15

Dumbbell Shrugs – 4 x 12, hold 15s last rep each set

 

Shoulders

Hammer Strength Shoulder Press – 4 x 12/10/10/8

Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press – 3 x 10

Standing Side Lateral Raise – 4 x 12

One Arm Cable Lateral Raise – 3 x 20

Reverse Fly Machine – 4 x 12

Bent Over Lateral Raise – 4 x 10

 

Calves

Standing Calf Raise – 5 x 75

Seated Calf Raises – 5 x 50

 

Abs (adapted from Gymnastic Bodies post)

Hollow Body Hold – 3 x 30 seconds + 30 second seal stretch

Tuckups (progresses to v-ups) – 3 x 10 + 30 second child’s pose

 

Finally, I’ve added stretches interspersed with the weightlifting because I’ve come to enjoy my daily stretch routine and I don’t want to give it up just because I’m starting something new. This is a modified “daily limber” from the Gymnastic Bodies introductory course. I stretch for just under a minute between bouts of lifting. This adds a little time, but it is much more efficient than doing this at a separate time.

 

Stretching

Wrist Mobility (4 positions)

Cat and Seal

Capsule Stretch

Shoulder Extension

Straddle Stretch + Left and Right Sides

Butterfly Stretch

Pike Stretch

Thoracic Mobility

Downward Dog

Ankle Mobility

 

This morning the whole thing (chest workout + cardio + interleaved stretching) took me two hours and fifteen minutes. I’d like to compress the time scale if possible. We’ll see what the next week or two brings. I’m guessing that familiarity will speed the whole thing along somewhat.