Work Outs: January 3 – 9, 2021 (Christmas in the Forest and Peanut Butter Pinecones)

I took an “active rest” from December 20th through January 3rd where I didn’t lift any weights but we did do a fair amount of hiking on the local trails. We got a little bit of a surprise out on one of our usual hikes, which made me smile, when we stumbled upon the Christmas Grove a few days before Christmas. Someone had spared no effort!

I’m making a couple of changes to my training with the start of the new year. First, after a few months of working in the 12 – 15 repetition range, I’m going to decrease that to 8 – 12 reps for many exercises and increase the set intensity a bit. I also decided to up my protein intake to about 150 grams per day. Finally, I’m going to pay a bit better attention to how much rest I take between sets, now that I’m aiming a bit more at muscle hypertrophy, and keep it in the 1 – 2 minute range rather than “just going when I feel ready,” though I’m still going to do that too.

Mon, January 4th

  • Arnold Press: 20 lbs. x 15 reps, 25 lbs. x 3 sets x 10 reps
  • DB Bench Press: 20 lbs. x 15 reps, 25 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps
  • DB Lateral Raises: 10 lbs. x 2 sets x 15 reps, 12 lbs. x 2 sets x 12 reps
  • DB Front Raises: 10 lbs. x 12 reps, 3 sets x 13 reps
  • (Super Set)
    • Face Pulls: 12.5 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
    • DB Flies: 10 lbs. x 15 reps, 12 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps
  • (Super Set)
    • DB Prone Rear Delt Row: 5 lbs. x 12 reps, 6 lbs. x 12, 15, 15 reps
    • DB Hammer Curls: 20 lbs. x 12, 8, 8, 7 reps
  • Tricep Pushdowns (tricep handle): 45 lbs. x 12, 10, 8, 8 reps
  • (Super Set) One-Handed Reverse Grip Tricep Pushdowns (d-handle, ea. arm) 12.5 lbs. x 4 sets x 10 reps +
    • (Set #1) Dead Bugs (2-ct): 20 reps
    • (Set #2) Standing Side Crunches (each side): 12 reps
    • (Set #3) DB American Swings: 20 lbs. x 15 reps
    • (Set #4) Small Shoulder Circles (each way): 60 reps

Calories: 1969, Protein: 151 g.

The Christmas Grove is a place where several trails come together and in addition to regular trees is also home to many Messed Up Trees. Besides the stand of trees pictured above, the forest elves also decorated single trees dotted around the grove as well. I thought it was rather nice of the elves to include a tree with edible decorations.

I have to admit the peanut butter and popcorn pinecone was a little tempting, but I resisted with some gentle help from my husband. “You really aren’t going to eat that are you!?”* I relented ostensibly because while I love peanut butter I’m not going to eat that stuff that is loaded with hydrogenated fats and palm oil. I am a peanut butter connoisseur after all!

Anyway, between the carrots, cranberries, popcorn, persimmons and so on it was a veritable smorgasbord for the critters. I hope whoever cleaned off that pinecone enjoyed it!

Tues, January 5th

Afternoon Walk for 3.43 miles. Calories: 1984, Protein: 154 g.

Wed, January 6th

Morning Walk: 3.14 miles and an afternoon walk of 3.44 miles for a total of 6.58 miles for the day.

Deck of Cards Workout

SuitNumber CardFace Card
HeartsAlternating Stationary Lunges + Front Kick Stretch (2-ct)10 Goblet Full Squats (30 lb. DB)
ClubsDead Bugs (2-ct)10 Cossack Squats (Four Point)
DiamondsStanding Side Crunches (2-ct)30 Squats
SpadesSingle Leg Balance Jacks (2-ct)10 Rom. Dead Lifts (10 lb. DB’s)
AcesBlack = 20 Full SquatsRed = 20 Hindu Squats
First Joker10 Full + 10 Hindu + 10 Squats
Second Joker30 Hip Raises + 50 Supine Leg Windmills (ea. way)

Stretched for 30 Minutes after doing the deck of cards. Deck of Cards workout music: Ghost Ship album by Theocracy. Calories: 2021, Protein 159 g.

Thur, January 7th

Morning Walk: 3.48 miles. We went for another walk in the afternoon for 3.54 miles. Our total for the day was 7.08 miles. Calories: 1985, Protein: 159 g.

Fri, January 8th

Morning Walk: 3.51 miles, and a 3.25 mile afternoon walk for a total of 6.76 miles. Calories: 1846, Protein: 159 g.

Here is a semi-lonely little tree in another part of the grove. My friend, Daniel (of Imperial Guard fame) said, when he saw the picture on Facebook, that it made him “think of the classic Charlie Brown tree,” and I can see that. It is a little weedy, though I don’t think it has quite managed to achieve a Charlie Brown level of weediness. 🙂

The Charlie Brown tree still had its ornaments when we walked by in the afternoon today, but I did notice that some of others were returned to their natural state with nary a plastic holiday ornament to be found. I’m hoping that whoever put up the decorations finishes taking them down by the end of the month. If they linger into February I might pack out a bagful each time I go by. Hoping I won’t have to though.

Sat, January 9th

A bit of new notation today: The bang or exclamation point after a rep number means that while I completed the indicated reps, I’m not happy with my form at that weight, typically for the last rep or two.

Morning Walk: 2.22 miles.

Afternoon Work out | (Music: Disturbed play list.)

  • Standing Cable Rows (straight bar): 70 lbs. x 13 reps, 75 lbs. x 3 sets x 9, 8, 8 reps
  • DB Pull Overs on Bench: 30 lbs. x 4 sets x 10, 9, 9, 8 reps
  • Pull Downs (d-handles): 60 lbs. x 8! reps, 55 lbs. x 3 sets x 12, 11, 12 reps, 60 lbs. x 8! reps
  • DB Bicep Curls: 20 lbs. x 12 reps, (25 lbs. x 5 reps + 20 lbs. x 3 reps), (25 lbs. x 3 reps + 20 lbs. x 2 reps + 15 lbs. x 3 reps), 20 lbs. x 8 reps
  • DB Shrugs: 30 lbs. x 15 reps, 35 lbs. x 15 reps, 40 lbs. x 15 reps, 45 lbs. x 13 reps
  • Seated DB Cleans: 10 lbs. x 15 reps, 12 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Cable Crunches: 40 lbs. x 4 sets x 15 reps
  • Exercise Complex
    • Fitness Bag Pick Up and Shoulder: 8 reps
    • Standing Side Crunches (2-ct): 25 reps
    • Wrist Roller (cable): 15 lbs. x 1 winding and unwinding
    • Internal and External Shoulder Rotation taking place anterior to frontal plane (orange band, both arms) x 15 reps**
    • DB American Swings: 25 lbs. x 15 reps
    • Heavy Spring Bar: 4 reps (P) + 4 reps (S)
    • Internal and External Shoulder Rotation (black tubing, both arms): 15 reps
    • Face Pulls: 15 lbs. x 15 reps
    • Dead Bugs (2-ct): 20 reps
  • Captains of Crush Gripper (Sport):
    • (Set 1): Right = Closed x 10 reps, Left = Closed x 9 reps
    • (Set 2): Right = Closed x 9 reps, Left = Closed x 5 reps + 4 reps
    • (Set 3): Right = Closed x 8 reps, Left = Closed x 4 reps + 4 reps
    • (Set 4): Right = Closed x 7 + 1 reps, Left = Closed x 4 reps + 4 reps

Calories: 2020, Protein: 154 g. (I was the same weight as the last time I weighed myself in mid-December, so my total loss remains at 18 lbs.)

* No I wasn’t, but I did have fun seeing the look on his face when he thought I was going to try a sample. I do love peanut butter after all!

** I’m going to have to poke around and see if I can find a proper name for this exercise.

20 thoughts on “Work Outs: January 3 – 9, 2021 (Christmas in the Forest and Peanut Butter Pinecones)

  1. Pingback: Work Outs: January 17 – 23, 2021 (Dragons of USPS, Brugger, and Marmite Peanut Butter) | Ann's Immaterium

  2. Pingback: Work Outs: January 10 – 16, 2021 (Steam Locomotive Video, Forest Elves, and Paint Cat) | Ann's Immaterium

  3. Great post on those Christmas trees in the woods!
    We have finished packing and renovating today and are now entering the selling mode, this is where we go and live in the garage while the put in fancy furniture for prospective buyers to admire!!! .
    I will try to post a report soon, that is when I regain some energy!!
    Oh ! even though I’m a Australian I much prefer Marmite over Vegemite but I’m yet to see it in the peanut butter form!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Pat. I found another tree picture on my phone when I was working on my workout post for next week so I put into this post.

      The best of good luck selling your home. I hope you get the price you are looking for and don’t have to live in the garage for too long. Isn’t is summer where you are? The summer months are the best time to sell a house, generally, here in the US. Is it the same in Australia?

      That Marmite is good stuff but I’m not too sure about Marmite peanut butter. I like their product enough so I’m going to try it — I see they have it on Amazon. The ingredient list looks promising and high quality, which is what I’d expect from them. The only thing about it is I wouldn’t want to eat it too late in the day, since it is full of energy-giving B vitamins but it does seem like a very nice thing to eat before or after a workout or early in the day. (I often have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a glass of milk for breakfast.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Ann, yep it’s summer but you wouldn’t know it 🤔it very mild and wet strange seeing as we had bush fires this time last year. Like the US it is the most popular time to sell and I feel we will do well as to the price . I to love peanut butter and jelly for breakfast and as you say I only have Marmite then to.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I hope you do well for the price and that the rain doesn’t cause problems in the areas that burned like they are forecasting for where we live. (They are evacuating some of the areas around the large “burn scars,” which they’ve given names to.)

          I asked John about this but I thought I’d ask you as well since you and he probably know more about Marmite products than I do. I wanted to buy some more Marmite peanut butter because my husband really enjoys it on his morning oatmeal, when I ran across something called “New Zealand Sanitarium Marmite Spread.” Would you happen to know if this is very different from regular Marmite? Being a spread, I wonder if it is closer to Vegemite?

          Liked by 1 person

          • Thanks Ann , not long now to the auction and we feel we will do well. As to the Marmite , we get the Sanitarium one here but we can get the UK one in specialty section in Super markets , having tried both they are different in taste , Now that’s started a big discussion with the family I’ll purchase both and we will do a taste test and get back to you with the results🤔🤓

            Liked by 1 person

            • Good, I hope you do!

              Great, I’ll look forward to hearing what your family thinks of them, thank you. I mentioned the Sanitarium Marmite to my husband and he is intrigued simply by the name alone.

              Liked by 1 person

                • We got some of the Sanitarium Marmite in the mail today. We found it to have a similar consistency to Vegemite but a bit less salty. For me it is about even with Vegemite, though I’ll have to look at the nutrition numbers to see how they compare. Taste-wise, to us, they are about the same. I’ve been eating a breakfast a couple of times a week lately where I make some toast, put some butter and Marmite on it and then a piece of breakfast sausage and then an egg. (The only thing that isn’t plant-based is the egg. Hubby gets scrambled “Just Egg” product.) I think the Sanitarium Marmite will be a nice substitute for the regular Marmite. Where the regular stuff is great, I think, is the fact it has a consistency similar to honey so you can drizzle it on stuff like potatoes or vegetables rather than having to spread it.

                  I’ll be curious to read the results of your family’s taste test. 🙂

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Well Ann what you say pretty well domes up what we have decided, the three girls that like Vegemite think the UK is very similar to the above but don’t like the runny consistency and find the sanatarium to sweet . As for myself I find Vegemite and the regular Marmite to salty and would prefer the Sanatarium on if I had a choice . Just to add more confusion My number one is an Australian product called Promite which is even a little sweeter still, one thing is I did like the regular one forty years back when I was living in the UK and don’t recall it being runny or that salty 🤔either they changed the recipe 😉or my old pallet is worn out 😅😅.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • I find the Sanitarium stuff a bit sweeter than I’d like as well, more so probably because I started limiting my intake of artificial sweeteners a few months ago in an effort to cure a problematic sweet tooth (it seems to have worked) and since then I’ve noticed that I’m more sensitive to sweet flavors, though this makes fruit taste really good now. So I was wondering if the Sanitarium brand was sweet or if it was just me, but it sounds like I’m not alone in this. 🙂

                      I do find Vegemite and Marmite a bit too salty, I agree. Who knows, it might be your poor buy faithful palate but if I had to put money on it my guess is they changed the recipe from 40 years ago. I think Marmite might make a lower sodium variety and I’d like to try that someday and see how it tastes, though we have three full jars of regular Marmite sitting in our pantry so it might be awhile.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Ha ha ha ! Yep After purchasing all varieties we also have a good supply, but as The rest of the group think The Sanitarium is sweet it will be down to me to finish it🤓and yes , just shy of my 66th I wouldn’t trust my old 👨🏻‍🦳palate 😅😅

                      Liked by 1 person

  4. Like the decorated trees! 🙂 As far as peanut butter goes, there is now a Marmite peanut butter and it is very nice (not sure if you have Marmite in California)! And, finally, you’ve listed an exercise I can do – face pulls! My wife tells me frequently to stop pulling faces! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi John. Yes, I thought the decorated trees were pretty neat and kind of surprising to run across when one is walking through the forest.

      We do have Marmite (and Vegemite too) in California. I tried it a long time ago (when I lived in Texas) back when the musical group Men at Work was popular because they had that song “Down Under,” where someone gives the singer a vegemite sandwich and at the time I thought it was some sort of weird slang for a punch in the face (not sure why I thought that, the lyrics don’t really support that interpretation) but then I learned later after some effort (this was during pre-Internet days) what it actually was. I tried Vegemite and liked it a lot.

      Many years later I tried Marmite and while I find I like the taste of Vegemite slightly better, I like how Marmite has a consistency more like thick honey so it is easier to spread/pour. I particularly like it on avocado toast and baked potatoes. Good luck. We also have a jar of each in the house!

      I’m glad you finally found an exercise that you can do! I think three sets of dark frowns, followed by a complex of smiles, looking surprised, scared and revolted, followed by a cool down of pensive stares is just what the doctor ordered! 🙂

      I had no idea there is a Marmite peanut butter. I’ll have to look into it. Thank you for the tip.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, John, I was curious, since you and Pat are Marmite experts, I was poking around looking to buy more Marmite peanut butter because it is a pretty big hit with my husband, who favors it on his morning gruel, and I saw something called “New Zealand Sanitarium Marmite Spread.” Would you happen to know if this is very different from regular Marmite? Being a spread, I wonder if it is closer to Vegemite?


  5. I would think that the critters in your area would feast on that one tree but maybe they somehow haven’t found it yet. I’m a big peanut butter fan myself but I wouldn’t be at all tempted to taste any. Got a good supply around the house to prevent that sort of thing 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m with you, Kuribo. It did seem to take awhile for the critters to feast on the decorations but maybe that was because of the human smells and the fact that the area is pretty frequented by people being the junction of several different trails. They have since either gotten over their inhibitions and most of it is gone now so that’s good.

      I’m glad they got to the peanut butter (the now much abused pine cone is still hanging from the tree) because that removed any temptation on my part, though I’m a little sad too because it was fun teasing my husband with threats to eat it and he was a good sport to play along. Glad that you have plenty around the house yourself. I’ve noticed that one effect of all of my “threats” was that we went from sometimes having the stuff in our larder to now we always do and furthermore my husband makes sure we always have a “back up jar” in the pantry “just in case, lol. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great progress on your workouts Ann, the decorated trees added a very festive feel, and I think your husband made a good choice convincing you not to eat the peanut butter, as you never know what had a lick before you ! LOL

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Dave. I’m having a lot of fun with the workouts and building up my home gym. You are probably right about the peanut butter pinecone. I’d hate to catch scurvy or something from a rogue squirrel or stealth deer or something. 🙂


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