Work Outs: December 13 – 19, 2020 (and pulling Scotch Broom)

When we moved near Santa Cruz, California some years ago I had the pleasure of getting acquainted with my now old friend, Scotch Broom. Apparently the plant was was brought into the United States “from Europe in the mid-1800’s” to add to gardens and for soil stabilization.* The stuff doesn’t look too horrible and is quite pretty when it flowers, producing lots of bright, yellow blooms.

It does come with some problems though, not the least of which is once broom establishes a foothold, it is very hard to get rid of and keeps coming back.** It reminds me of bamboo, which is the same. The plants develop a lot of seeds “that are naturally spring loaded,” so that the pods can scatter away from the parent “with the force of a tiny explosion.” That is probably why the stuff is all over the place in our area.

Anyway, this is a picture of one patch of the stuff near one side of my house before I yanked it all on Monday. Keep in mind that I’ve been pulling this stuff some years now.

Mon, December 14th

Morning Walk for 2.58 miles and late afternoon walk for 3.62 miles for a total of 6.2 miles for the day. Also spent a couple of hours today pulling broom in our yard.

Captains of Crush Gripper (T):

  • (Set 1): Right = Closed x 2 reps + 3, Left = 12mm x 6 reps
  • (Set 2): Right = 2mm x 3 reps +2, Left = 12mm x 5 reps
  • (Set 3): Right = 4mm x 5 reps, Left = 10mm x 3 + 2 reps
  • (Set 4): Right = 4mm x 4 + 1 reps, Left = 10mm x 3 + 2 reps
  • (Set 5): Right = 4mm x 5 + 1, Left = 10mm x 3 + 2 reps

Calories: 1976 Protein: 129 g.

Tues, December 15th

Morning Walk for 3.73 miles and late afternoon walk for 3.58 miles for a total of 7.31 miles for the day.

Calories: 2022, Protein: 137 g.

Wed, December 16th

Morning Walk: 3.18 miles. Calories: 2559, Protein 144 g.

I haven’t let the broom in my yard get too out of hand, but the stuff can get quite big and thick if you let it. Below is a picture I took the other day when we were out hiking. I included my five foot walking stick in the foreground for scale. I’d say the plants in the stand were up to 8 or 9 feet high in places.

Thur, December 17th

Afternoon Walk: 3.31 miles.

Captains of Crush Gripper (T):

  • (Set 1): Right = Closed x 1 + 4 reps, Left = 10mm x 5 reps
  • (Set 2): Right = 2mm x 6 reps, Left = 10mm x 4 + 1 reps
  • (Set 3): Right = 2mm x 6 + 1 reps, Left = 10mm x 5 + 1 reps
  • (Set 4): Right = 2mm x 4 + 1 reps, Left = 10mm x 4 + 1 reps
  • (Set 5): Right = 2mm x 2 + 3, Left = 8mm x 1 + 4 reps
  • Arnold Press: 20 lbs. x 2 sets x 15 reps, 25 lbs. x 2 sets x 12, 10 reps
  • DB Bench Press: 25 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
  • DB Lateral Raises: 10 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
  • (Super Set)
    • Face Pulls: 15 lbs. x 12 reps, 12.5 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps
    • DB Front Raises: 10 lbs. x 12 reps, 10 lbs. x 6 reps + 8 lbs. x 6 reps, 8 lbs. x 15 reps, 10 lbs. x 12 reps
  • Heavy Spring Bar: 8-P, 8-S
  • Tricep Pushdowns (tricep handle): 45 lbs. x 2 sets x 12 reps

Calories: 2883, Protein: 138 g. (We got some take out from a local Mexican restaurant so the numbers today are an estimate. To be safe the estimate is probably a bit on the high side.)

Scotch broom leaves grow in little groups of three like in the picture above. If we had this stuff in Maine when I was kid I could definitely see myself having done something like using an X-Acto knife to cobble together my own four leaf clover and try to trick people into believing I’d found the real thing. I went through my childhood wishing I could find a four leaf clover and keeping my eyes open for one because I wanted one like the real one my grandmother kept in a bible.

Fri, December 18th

Morning Walk: 3.28 miles, and a 4.73 mile afternoon walk for a total of 8.01 miles. During the afternoon walk when we were making a pit stop I did 100 squats and toward the end of the walk I did a little uphill jogging.

  • Standing Cable Rows (straight bar): 65 lbs. x 2 sets x 12, 15 reps, 70 lbs. x 2 sets x 10 reps
  • Pull Downs (d-handles): 50 lbs. x 15 reps, 55 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Fitness Bag Bicep Curls: 2 sets x 13 reps, 2 sets x 12 reps
  • DB Bicep Curls: 25 lbs. x 8 reps
  • Exercise Complex (FOUR SETS)
    • Fitness Bag Cleans: 8 reps
    • DB Shrugs: 30 lbs. x 15 reps, 35 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps
    • DB Hammer Curls: 15 lbs. x 12 reps
    • Standing Side Crunches (2-ct): 12 reps
    • Alternating Sets of Hindu and Full Squats: 10 reps
    • Internal and External Shoulder Rotation through frontal plane (orange band, one arm) x 12 reps
  • Stretched for about 20 minutes later when I was watching our ovens to make sure dinner didn’t burn.

Calories: 2408, Protein: 125 g.

Scotch Broom is one of those plants with a very long root and it will readily grow back if you just break off the top of the plant and leave the root. That is one reason why I generally pull it after a good rain like I did this time. The larger plants anchor themselves very firmly in dry ground and the root will often break off, even in wet ground. So I sometimes have to loosen the dirt around the larger plants, like the one below, with a trowel.

It took a bit of work, but I managed to fill the yard waste bin pictured above (mostly) with Scotch Broom and most of a second one too. So I’m probably good on the Scotch broom front for a few more months. This will allow me to turn my attentions now to the blackberry thorns, that had engulfed much of our back yard and even wrapped themselves around some of our smaller trees. Much like the broom, constant vigilance is required to keep them sorted.

Sat, December 19th

Calories: 2192, Protein: 132 g. (I lost 0.8 pounds this week, so my total loss is 18 lbs. so far.)

* The quoted material is from this article:

Warnert, Jeannette, E. “Beautiful but ecologically harmful shrubs get a foothold in California forests.” Green Blog, 14 June 2013. Accessed 17 December 2020.

** I learned, when I was reading about Scotch Broom, that there are many other types of broom, which were brought into the U.S. including French and Spanish Broom. I had no idea though I’m not surprised. The stuff all looks pretty similar but everyone around here calls the stuff we have “Scotch Broom” so that is what I’ll go with.

7 responses to “Work Outs: December 13 – 19, 2020 (and pulling Scotch Broom)”

  1. We have Scotch broom as well as the other species here in Auss and it is a big problem, I have even seen it for sale in a nursery !! great that you are doing you bit to control it. We also have black berries that some well meaning soul introduced so people that got lost had some sustenance !!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I wonder if the same people who brought broom to our area brought it to Australia around the same time? Yes, they sell it here locally too as “Sweet Broom,” which they claim is non-invasive and not the same thing as Scotch Broom. To me broom is broom! 🙂 That was nice of someone to do with the blackberries; I think the neighbors behind us planted the ones we have to form a fence-like barrier between our properties. When we first bought the house and I went out with my implements of plant curbing and such, our neighbor was terrified that I was going to whack down her “fence.” I didn’t, I just wanted to do something about the ten plus years of neglect by the previous owners of our house where they had allowed the thorns to take over much of the back yard. Even though it is a bit of work each year to maintain the thorns on my side, I like the blackberries too, and pick a bunch before I knock it back each year.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great persistence with the workouts Ann, never had to deal with Scotch Broom, but had similar dealings with Bamboo and Ivy, just never gives up and spreads like wildfire !

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Dave. Though some days I kind of have to force myself a little to work out (and the blog posts help with that) for the most part I enjoy the training. Yes, I have some ivy too, though not too much of it these days. The fortunate thing about the ivy we had is when you rip it out/kill it, the stuff has the good grace to stay gone. The ivy we have is pretty when it climbs up the trees, but unfortunately it kills them eventually.

      Ah, bamboo. Useful plant but pretty evil stuff to get rid of, you are right. We had some bamboo growing at our old place in Maine and it was pretty much impossible to get rid of without taking some extraordinary measures. I contented myself at the time with simply halting what would have been its inexorable advance.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, John. 🙂 I’d never heard of broom either until we moved to this area. The Mexican food in our area isn’t too bad. I remember the first time I had really good Mexican food, which was the first time I visited California as a civilian in the mid-90’s. Maine has a lot of good things, but when I was there good Mexican food wasn’t one of them. I remember this one restaurant in my home down that basically would serve tepid hard shell tacos that were basically indistinguishable from the ones you can make with a “taco kit” from the supermarket, but they would put it on a fancy plate, pipe in some suitable music and charge top dollar for the “dining experience.” I got quite an education when my (now) husband took me around to some good places in Sacramento, CA. He said the best places were run down places outside of town that “had chickens out front,” which at the time I found to be true!

      Liked by 1 person

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