Saturday, November 29, 2008

Road To 405: Leg Day #2

Location: Gritty Grotto  Date: Nov. 29 2008 Time:10:15 AM

Started with a good long warm-up of 10 minutes on the stationary bike, got good and warmed up which is tough sometimes on a Saturday morning.

Warm-up Super Sets: 2 Sets of Leg Extensions and Lying Leg Curls (70 lbs x 20; 110 lbs x 12)

4 Sets of Leg Press (225 lbs x 20; 500 lbs x 20; 585 lbs x 20; 7; 675 lbs x 17)

3 Sets  of Back Squats (135 lbs x 12; 225 lbs x 12; 225 lbs x 10).  Felt very good, starting to get into the pack groove again, starting to feel easy again, hooray!

3 Sets of Stiff Legged Deadlifts (135 lbs x 12; 225 lbs x 12;  275 x 12).  Felt super easy, lower back is getting very strong, will help squats a lot in the coming months.

Barbell Lunges (2 sets: 135 lbs x 12)

3 sets of Seated Calf Raises (90 lbs x 20; 140 lbs x 15; 140 lbs x 12)

5 minutes of stretching. Helped myself to a tasty chocolate milk afterwards, delicious!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Question Period #1: Home Gym

Blogger Miss Shortcake said...

if you were trying to set up a home gym with very little $, what items would you recommend?

The truth is, all you really need is motivation!  Now you could go out and buy the latest bum, thigh or core blaster, and that is fine, they all do their job well enough.  But, just like how people get bored with their cell phones, they also get bored with their workout equipment.  We all need variety in our life, and that includes our workouts.

awesome picture found here

The key to building a home gym is getting good basic equipment that will allow you the widest variety of exercises with the least amount of clutter.

You also have to keep your goals in mind.  If you want to bulk up, an elliptical machine isn't going to help a whole lot.

Here is an example:

  • Depending on where you live, having some form of indoor cardio is nice if the weather is lousy or extremely cold in the winter (as it is in Winnipeg for the next 5 months!). 

I would recommend any sort of cardio equipment that:

  1. Is comfortable and doesn't aggravate chronic injuries (recumbent bikes are great if you have a bad back)
  2. You will actually use (some strange infomercial device isn't worth 3 easy payments of |$49.95 if you don't use it)
  3. Is effective (it actually gets your heart rate up and can get you sweating
  4. Affordable

Stationary Bikes, treadmills, even elliptical machines are fine as long as they suit your needs, and can give you a good workout when the weather outside is frightful.

As far as other equipment in your home gym, I would recommend:

  1. A yoga mat for stretching and numerous other exercises
  2. An exercise ball that is appropriate for your size. You can do many exercises that will require extra amounts balance and core strength when done on a ball.
  3. Some adjustable dumbbells and some plates that you can add-on as you progress.

With this equipment, you can work your entire body, with ease, get a some cardio and stretching in very minimal time!

  • If you live in a tropical environment, and you can get the majority of your cardiovascular exercise done outside, I say "go for it".  Ride your bike, walk the dog, go for a run, you're very lucky, so enjoy it!

Also, make sure you have some sweet tunes to listen to while you train, I recommend the following:


MixwitMixwit make a mixtapeMixwit mixtapes


I will provide a sample home workout next week. 

If you think anything else should rank higher in the first pieces of equipment to get, just let me know!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Road to 405: Back Day #1

I will only post about the two big workout days that make up the base of my routine: Back day and Leg day.  Mostly because they have the most meat and potatoes type exercises and are the most fun to talk about (for me anyway).

November 25th 2008 - 4 PM at the Gritty Grotto (University Gym)

Warm-up: 4 laps of 200m indoor track

Exercise Order:

Wide Grip Chins: 12 reps (BodyWeight); 25lbs(dumbbell between legs) x 8; 25 lbs x 6; 12 reps (BW)

Barbell Rows: 135 x12; 185 x 12; 185 x 12; 185 x 12

Power Cleans (From floor straight to shoulders): 135 x6, 155 x 6, 175 x 6, 185 x 3

Starting to really sweat at this point.

Deadlifts: 225 x 12; 225 x 12; 315 x10.  No straps this workout at all; although I did borrow someone's chalk for the last set of deadlifts.  Starting to feel a bit stronger in this lift again.

Dumbbell Rows: 3 sets of 85 lbs for 12 reps each.  Starting to fade at this point; good pump though.

T-Bar Rows: 2 sets of 90 lbs for 12 reps a piece.  Did this more for a finisher as I did not have very much energy left from the power cleans and deadlifts. 

Good workout overall, I am not going to be using straps or a belt anymore when I train to really build up my forearms strength.

Very glad tomorrow is a rest day. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Road to 405: Workout #1

As was mentioned on Monday, I have a goal of reaching a 405 lb squat within the next 12 months or doing 315 lbs for 12 reps, whichever comes first.

Here is my first leg workout on the way, kind of a bodybuilding style routine right now. Trying to build up the basic strength again, not going for power yet.

Workout was at 1pm on Sunday November 24th at the school gym.

The Leg extensions and hamstring curls were done as a non-stop superset to help take the edge off of trying to lift too heavy, too soon.

  Sets Weight Reps
Stationary Bike 5 Minutes Warm-up  
Leg Extensions 3 70, 110, 150 20
Hamstring Curls 3 70, 110, 150 12, 12, 10
Squats 4 135, 225, 225, 225 12, 12, 10, 8
Wide Stance Squats 1 135 12
Narrow Stance Squats 1 135 12
Stiff Legged Deadlifts on box 3 135 12
Lunges 2 135 12
Standing Calf Raise 3 300 20
Seated Calf Raise 3 90 20


No amazing feats of strength, but a good pump and I was sweating profusely.

All in all, quite good, did some stretching post workout, already a bit sore as write this 9 hours later.

Feel free to comment of this

Monday, November 24, 2008

Road to 405...or maybe 315 instead. No wait, make it 405!

Back the days when I was a young stallion back in my undergrad, it was nothing to go into the gym and squat 315 lbs for 8, 10, or even 12 reps good, deep reps!  But now, working hard in grad school (sometimes), married, living out on my own (sort of), it's much harder to find the time to get back in to shape and stay there for a long enough period of time.

Luckily, I do have one thing on my side...


Muscle memory is a fantastic thing.  As long as you have put in enough blood and guts at one point in the gym, you should have no problem getting back to where you once were.

Luckily, I am still a fairly young buck and this getting back to my so called "peak" should be no problem. So this time I am going to do it smart, and that requires about 4 things:

1) An Efficient Training Plan coupled with well placed intensity

2) Good Eats

3) Loads of Recovery

4) Staying Healthy

Number 4 is the most important and has been quite the thorn in my side for some from a lingual hernia surgery, dislocated shoulders and an inflamed (or elbow hampering me for the last several years. 

There is a fine balance between finding max strength while trying to avoid injury (at all costs)

So how do you do it?

At this point in my life there is no more room to get hurt, because it is those extended training periods that leads to those long term gains.

So how do I train hard, heavy and make gains without the inevitable injury?

There are a few tricks that I have adapted to my routine that seem to do the trick:

1) Warm-up thoroughly with mild stretching

2) Do several exercises before the heavy hitters (Squats, Deadlifts, Bench Press):

    • Leg Extensions, hamstring curls, leg presses and/or lunges before squats
    • Do deadlifts as one of your last exercises on back day
    • Do some incline dumbbell presses before heavy flat bench press

You'll still get a lot out the big three but the pre-exhaust exercises will take the edge off and will not tempt you to push yourself over the limit while still reaping all of the benefits that these exercises provide.

3) Make sure you stretch between sets and after you are done for a few minutes.

4) Include some light cardio on rest days to help speed recovery and keep blood and nutrients flowing to the muscles, because you are likely going to be much more sore after your workouts as you age.

With enough persistence you should be able to get back to your glory days, you'll just be a lot smarter about how you do it.

The beauty part is, you'll be able to do it faster too!  No more messing around with lousy exercise or supplement schemes that don't work, because with age comes wisdom....I hope.

Any other tricks that you know of for combining intensity with longevity, I would love to hear it!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Questions? I didn't know that there was going to be a test?!

Allo Allo,

If there is anyone out there reading this, and you have any questions regarding health, fitness, supplements or nutrition; feel free to fire me an e-mail at or leave a message or comment on the site. Every week I will post my answer to every question as they come.

Good Night!

The OddBod

dumbbells found here:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

If you're a baseball fan

I have no idea who made this or who Steve Palowski is, but these are some awesome hitting techniques!

It also sounds like Hank Hill is doing the voice-over.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mix Tape #1

What is your ultimate pump-up play list?

The songs that make you feel invincible and get you so fired up you could tear through a phone book!

The songs that you play before that heaviest set, before a job interview or the big game.

Here's a list as an excellent example:

MixwitMixwit make a mixtapeMixwit mixtapes

Think that you can beat it? Tell me your top 5 tracks if you dare to compare.

note: Rocky theme not allowed.

The funky fresh masters of the mix tape found here

Monday, November 10, 2008

You are what's wrong with the world!

I hate to say it, but while on my honeymoon in Hawaii during some down time, I got a chance to catch up on some good old fashioned American "Reality" TV!

I got to see everything from 30-year-olds who have never kissed a girl learn to be "Pick-up Artists" from a man calling himself "Mystery" (???!) to young mindless drones making fools of themselves in order to become Paris Hilton's new BFF!

But one such show caught my attention more than the others. Actually, it was just one sentence from a show; a passing comment made by a "charming" little 16-year-old girl. Previously, she had been featured on "My Super Sweet Sixteen;" a television program that showcases spoiled teenage girls and their over-indulgent parents ("but I wanted a BMW, not a mini cooper, Moooom!")

Her parents thought that it was time for someone to teach her a lesson...someone that wasn't them.

So, out she went, sent into some remote mountainous area. There, she was to spend time with people of a different culture; learning their ways, experiencing a different way of life. Scary? I know.

When they went to fetch the day's water, her caretaker told her that the water from this stream was some of the cleanest in the world. To which she replied, "I only drink bottled water".

{Image found here}

I could not believe my ears, granted she is 16, but wow...Are we that deluded to think that the only safe way to drink water is in a plastic container marked with some Spring or Glacier's name?

These bottles look good when we are drinking them. But they will not look very good 10, 000 years from now when they are filling up land fills.

This is without mentioning that many of these bottles leach harmful chemicals into the water that are now known to effect developing children [and probably adults too].

The highly publicized chemical in many plastic bottles BPA, breaks down very slowly and may even build up in our water supply over time. This could have some pretty lousy effects on those few remaining fish in the water.

{Image Available here}

Environmental trailblazers such as David Suzuki are quite outspoken about the detrimental effects of plastic bottles on both our health as well as the environment.

In fact, Mr. Suzuki will not even drink bottled water when it is offered to him at his many speaking engagements around the world. He insists on be served tap water, no matter where he is speaking.

Besides, bottled water doesn't usually taste any better than regular water. I have even heard that *gasp* it all comes from the same place!

This brings me to my next question, on a scale of 1 to 10, how awesome is David Suzuki?

{image found here}

Sunday, November 9, 2008

How aware are we?

[ image source here ]

Know what really irks me? Gets my goat? Fries my french fries in saturated fats?


Now, please don't misunderstand me. I am a huge believer in the importance of raising the public's awareness/donating to fund research/everything that goes into the prevention, detection, and treatment of breast cancer. I can "get" the pink water bottles, the pink velour sweat pants, the pink kitchenaid mixers (no way, shortcake, put the registry gun DO-OWN). However, the overwhelming pinkness of October just seems to be one pink fondue set short of commercialization without a purpose. Example? The other day, while shopping at a large chain store, I heard the following announcement of the P.A. system:

" Come to the cafeteria and help support breast cancer! Buy a BBQ pulled pork sandwich and one dollar goes to help the fight against breast cancer!"

[ image source here ]

Pulled pork, indeed. If the links between obesity, diet and cancer are true [more info available here]; isn't this ad a little counterintuitive?

You have to wonder...Who does the pulled pork money help most? Those in cancer ward or those in the board room?

I am optimistic though. While we may never fully cure cancer, people are living much longer and early identification programs are working extremely well, especially with breast cancer. I just wonder how many pulled pork sandwiches it will take? ; )

What do you think the best way to promote and support/help out in the fight against cancer?