Work Outs: May 15 – 21, 2022 (Local Flora and Fauna)

My husband and I went for a slow, relaxing walk in the woods this week. We haven’t been doing much of that lately. Instead, we’ve been getting most of our shared workouts in our basement gym, which is pretty fun. But we did get in a walk on Sunday, albeit we didn’t take it too hard because we were both sore from leg day … and for me referee training, which as I am learning more is being more strenuous.

As you can see, we had a chance to say hello (and quickly run past as if our lives depended upon it!) our old friend, Thagomizer Tree. We keep wondering what nature spirit keeps this dead tree still standing. We’re beginning to suspect it’ll still be there when all of us are forgotten, even by our nearest and dearest!

Sun, May 15th

We went for a walk in the woods for about 40 minutes. I also stretched some in the evening.

Calories: 2529, Protein: 137 g.

Mon, May 16th

  • I went to the physical therapy office this morning for an appointment I had scheduled for my leg, but they ended up working on my back. My low back started hurting a fair bit this morning though I’m not sure why. I’m going to have to be careful of it for at least the rest of this week and only do stuff that doesn’t cause any pain/irritation.
  • I had to miss wrestling class tonight because of my back. I wasn’t too happy about that, but hopefully I’ll be able to go next Monday.

Calories: 1998, Protein: 125 g.

Tues, May 17th

  • Shortly after waking up, we followed along to The Jack Lalane Show, DVD 5, Episode 4. I had to be careful and modify some stuff, etc. because my low back is still sore though it is better than it was yesterday.
  • (Afternoon Workout) I warmed up with some light sets with the weights, dancing, and light indian club work.
  • CoC Gripper (Trainer, 100 lbs.):
    • Right Hand: Closed x 5 reps, Closed x 4 sets x 4+1 reps
    • Left Hand: 2mm x 2 sets x 5 reps, 2mm x 2 sets x 4+1 reps, 2mm x 3+2 reps
    • Challenge Gripper (0.5, 120 lbs.): Right Hand, 14mm x 5 reps, Left Hand, 16mm x 0+5 reps
  • Pinch Block Hold (Hand pronated for thumbs, each hand): 2.75 lbs. x 23 sec (left)/30 sec (right)
  • (Super Set) Arnold Press: 15 lbs. x 5 sets x 15 reps +
    • Tricep Pushdowns (v-handle): 30 lbs. x 5 sets x 15 reps
  • (Super Set) DB Bench Press (no feet): 15 lbs. x 2 sets x 15 reps, 20 lbs. x 15 reps, 25 lbs. x 2 sets x 15 reps +
    • Set #1: TKD High Block (each arm) x 20 reps
    • Set #2: TKD Low Block (each arm) x 20 reps
    • Set #3: 1 lb. Indian Clubs x One Minute
    • Set #4: DB Lateral Raises x 10 lbs. x 15 reps
    • Set #5: Wrist Roller (cable) x 15 lbs. x One full unroll and roll
  • (Super Set) Zottman Curls: 12 lbs. x 4 sets x 15 reps +
    • One-Arm Reverse Tricep Pushdowns (d-handle): 10 lbs. x 4 sets x 15 reps
  • I did some stretching in the evening.

Calories: 1962, Protein: 142 g.

We like to go for short, weekend drives around the area … see the Pacific Ocean, drive through the forests, etc. This week my husband wanted to drive around a little through the University of California, Santa Cruz campus, which is very pretty. And since the theme is wildlife we had to stop for these little pedestrians out doing their thing.

Vultures are extremely common down by the ocean in the Santa Cruz area. Crows? They’re everywhere!

Wed, May 18th

  • We followed along to The Jack Lalane Show (DVD 5, Episode 3) shortly after waking up. Before the video, I balanced on the rocker board for 2:30 minutes. I did some stretching later in the day.
  • I went to physical therapy for my back. I didn’t do any exercises but they had me do a lot of stretching, and also some ultrasound and electric stimulations therapies, as well as heat.

Calories: 1998, Protein: 129 g.

Thur, May 19th

  • We followed along to The Jack Lalane Show (DVD 5, Episode 3) shortly after waking up. I did some balance board work afterward, and some stretching later in the day.

Calories: 1998, Protein: 113 g.

I really like vultures for some reason. Besides their obvious benefit, which they share with crows and the like, they are a study in grace and beauty when in the air, riding the currents looking for their next delicious meal.

Check out the pretty colors on this worthy vulture on the right. I couldn’t get a very good picture that did true justice to its wonderful, sienna plumage but you get the idea.

Fri, May 20th

  • (Wake-up Workout) We followed along to The Jack Lalane Show (DVD 5, Episode 3). I stretched a little afterward and did 2:30 minutes on the rocker board.
  • (Wake-up Workout) We followed along to The Jack Lalane Show (DVD 5, Episode 3). I stretched a little afterward and did 2:30 minutes on the rocker board.
  • (Afternoon Workout) Recumbent Bike: 30 Minutes, RPMs 75+, Manual Program, Level 7.
  • (Super Set) Monster Walks (blue band): 2 sets x 20 reps +
    • Lateral Walking (green band, each direction): 2 sets x 10 reps
  • Squats with Resisted Hip Abduction (blue band): 2 sets x 10 reps
  • Step up with Knee Raise and Raise women’s basketball (each leg): 2 sets x 10 reps
  • (Super Set) Standing Hip Abduction (green band, ea. leg): 2 sets x 10 reps +
    • Standing Hip Extension (green band, ea. leg): 2 sets x 10 reps
  • Bird Dips (each leg, with support as needed): 2 sets x 10 reps +
  • TKD Snap Kick/Leg Extension Exercise (ea. leg): 2 sets x 10 reps
  • Seated Alternating Single Leg Curls (2-ct): 2 sets x 12 reps
  • Standing Calf Raises: 20 reps (straight legs), 15 reps (bent legs)
  • Squats: I did 10 squats, rested for 10 seconds, and then did 10 more squats and so on for a total of 50 squats.
  • I balanced for 2:30 minutes on the rocker board. I also experimented with doing some band-assisted partial lunges, but I’m going to talk to the physical therapist next week before I incorporate them into my workout. I did some stretching after the workout and again before sleep.

Calories: 2000, Protein: 130 g.

I saved my personal favorite for last, which are some more pictures from the same hike as our latest visit with Thagomizer Tree. How long will it take you to spot our friend in the picture below?

Sat, May 21st

  • (Wake-up Workout) I warmed up with the 1 lb. indian clubs. I tried to keep the rest breaks between sets short (no more than 30 seconds between sets) like they have me do at the physical therapy sessions since most of the exercises I’m doing here come from PT.
  • (Super Set) Cheerleaders (lime band): 2 sets x 15 reps
    • Seated DB Front Hammer Raises: 5 lbs. x 2 sets x 15 reps
  • Bilateral External Shoulder Rotation (blue band): 2 sets x 15 reps
    • One-Handed Bent Over Row (each side): 10 lbs. x 2 sets x 15 reps
  • (Super Set) Standing Rows (purple band): 2 sets x 15 reps +
    • Shoulder Extensions (purple band): 2 sets x 15 reps
  • (Super Set) Prone “M’s” (DBs): 1 lb. x 2 sets x 15 reps +
    • Prone “T’s” (Plates): 1 lb. x 2 sets x 15 reps
  • (Super Set) Zottman Curls: 15 lbs. x 15 reps, [(15 lbs. x 12 reps + 12 lbs. x 3 reps) x 3 sets] +
    • Set #1: Push-up to Elbow Plank (4-ct) x 15 reps
    • Set #2: Dead Bugs (2-ct) x 25 reps
    • Set #3: Crunches x 25 reps
    • Set #4: Wrist Rolling (cable, flexion) x one full winding
  • I did some stretching in the evening.

Calories: 2229, Protein: 111 g.

I lost 0.875 lbs. this week. My total loss is 19.625 lbs. over fourteen weeks for an average of 1.40 lbs/week. My calorie intake for the week was 14,714.

Here are a couple of closer shots in case you couldn’t find our new lizard friend in the picture above. Click on them if you want to see a larger picture–particularly the first one where he has this sort of cheeky smile as if to say, “You’ll never find me, you stupid human!”

Work Outs: February 20 – 26, 2022 (Alligator Lizards and Buddha’s Hand Fruit)

We were out on one of our walks this week when we saw the cheeky, little sprite pictured below. I took this picture and poked around online a bit to try and figure out the species but without any luck. I asked around and one of my sources told me it is a Southern Alligator Lizard and is very common in the Santa Cruz area.*

Sun, February 20th

Rest day. I could have worked out but I didn’t want to risk being sore (especially my legs) for class on Monday.

Calories: 2000, Protein: 160 g.

Mon, February 21st

  • Did some static and dynamic stretching for 30 minutes.
  • Attended a two hour pro wrestling class.

Calories: 1716, Protein: 150 g.

Tues, Feb 22nd

  • I followed along to Jack Lalane Season 1, Episode 5. I worked with the indian clubs during the parts of the episode when Jack was talking to the audience, and also put in about 10 minutes further with the 1 lb. indian clubs. For all of the weight work I kept moving between sets by doing dynamic stretches or just light movement.
  • DB Incline Press: 25 lbs. x 12 reps, 30 lbs. x 4 sets x 10 reps, 35 lbs. x 7 reps
  • (Tri Set) Light Spring Bar (Pronated/Supinated): (6/6) reps x 4 sets +
    • Tricep Pushdowns (straight handle): 40 lbs. x 10 x 12 reps, 45 lbs. x 9 x 8 reps
    • Fitness Bag Cleans: 4 sets x 8 reps
  • (Super Set) Heavy Spring Bar** (Pronated/Supinated): (4/3) reps x 2 sets, Lateral Raises 10 lbs. x 12 reps, Russian KB One-Handed Swings (2-ct): 15 reps +
    • BB Military Press: 44 lbs. x 4 sets x 8 reps

Calories: 2000, Protein: 151 g.

Since I was in Southern Alligator Lizard mode, I poked around on my phone and found an old picture I took in the summer of 2020, again at the state park near where I live, of what looks like another very similar but slightly different lizard sunning itself on a fallen tree.

All of this talk of reptiles and such reminds me of this brown dragon I saw (again in the same park) in 2019. And of course, who can forget The Dragons of USPS?

Wed, Feb 23rd

  • Morning Recumbent Bike: 30 Minutes, Hill Program, Level 6, RPMs: 80+
  • Afternoon Walk: 3.5 miles.

Calories: 2155, Protein: 147 g.

So I saw these things at the gas station we often go to when we want a cheap, touchless car wash. It also doubles as a small grocery store. I learned that this is a “fingered citron,” which is more commonly known in many countries as a Buddha’s Hand fruit.

My first thought was a better name might be Cthulhu’s Face.

I bought one and tried to eat it like you would any other fruit, but that didn’t go too well. I quickly learned that the thing is mostly peel and is usually used as a zest or garnish like a lemon.

I did a little reading and learned that people often put these in a room because they will give off a pleasing odor that can freshen a space for up to a couple of weeks. I think that I might buy another Cthulhu’s Face, if they turn up again, and try putting one in the dining room and seeing how it goes. Seems like it might be a pleasant and natural, occasional alternative to those plug-in air fresheners my husband likes to collect.

Thur, Feb 24th

  • I stretched for 20 minutes in the morning.
  • Afternoon Workout: I warmed up with dynamic stretching and some indian club work. With this workout there was no rest at all. I went from exercise to exercise and from set to set as quickly as I safely could.
  • (Tri Set) Standing Rows (hog bar): 60 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps +
    • CoC Grippers (Guide 60 lbs.) x 3 sets x 12 reps, (Sport 80 lbs.) x 8 reps (partials with left hand)
    • Low Toe Taps x 4 sets x 30 seconds
  • (Tri Set) Pulldowns (hog bar): 60 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps +
    • CoC Grippers (Sport, 80 lbs.) x 2 sets x 8 reps (partials with left hand), (Trainer, 100 lbs.) x 2 sets x 5 reps (partials)
    • Low Toe Taps x 4 sets x 30 seconds
  • (Tri Set) DB Bicep Curls: 12 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps +
    • Front Kick Stretch (each leg) x 4 sets x 12 reps
    • Laterally Step Over Kettlebell x 4 sets x 30 seconds
  • (Tri Set) BB Seated Wrist Curls: 44 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps +
    • Standing Calf Raises x 4 sets x 12 reps (two sets with straight legs, two sets with legs bent)
    • Arm Pumping for 30 seconds x 4 sets (Did it like Jack Lalane was doing in this video.)
  • (Tri Set) DB Reverse Wrist Curls: 8 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps +
    • DB Hammer Curls: 12 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
    • Supine Leg Windmills: 4 sets x 30 revolutions
  • Evening Walk: 3 miles.

Calories: 2004, Protein: 186 g.

Fri, Feb 25th

  • Morning Recumbent Bike: 30 Minutes, Hill Program, Level 6, RPMs: 80+. Stretched for 15 minutes afterwards.
  • In the afternoon I worked with the 1 lb. indian clubs for 15 minutes and then stretched for 15 minutes.

Calories: 2000, Protein: 163 g.

Sat, Feb 26th

I put in a lot of physical labor helping with set up and tear down at a pro wrestling show. I also worked as security for the event.

Calories: 2130, Protein: 147 g.

I lost 2.25 lbs. this week. My total loss is 5.25 lbs. over two weeks.

* I thought the animal might be some kind of skink because of the head shape but my more knowledgeable source informs me that this is incorrect.

** I remember digging out the heavy spring bar almost a year-and-a-half ago now and I couldn’t even bend it for one full rep. That big, old thing is still no joke but I’m pleased with the progress I’ve made with it, especially since I haven’t prioritized or systematized working with it in a meaningful way.

Work Outs: January 17 – 23, 2021 (Dragons of USPS, Brugger, and Marmite Peanut Butter)

I was out doing some yard early during the week in the aftermath of a wind storm that knocked out power and the internet over much of the area for most of the week.* That’s not too unusual up here in the San Lorzeno Mountains in the winter, but what is kind of unusual was seeing the mail lady pull up and start delivering mail with a bearded dragon on her shoulder!

The afternoon temperatures were in the low 70’s so she was “giving him some air,” which I thought was nice. Apparently he’ll just sit there quietly for the entire shift while his human delivers letters, packages and the like. Cute!

The mail lady said it was fine to put her picture on the webernet. Many thanks! 🙂

Sun, January 17th

Afternoon Workout

Recumbent Bike: 48 Minutes, Internal Training, Levels 10 – 16, 70+ rpm’s. I followed this video from the Vive Health channel. Coach Kim’s running commentary is fun to listen to and she makes the time go by quickly. Unfortunately they haven’t produced many recumbent bike videos so I’ll probably have to try some other sites to make the pedaling time go by quickly.

Worked the Taekwondo white belt “Jab” lesson on the Global Martial Arts University site.

I achieved a small goal I set back in October of being able to plant my foot (in shoes) flat on the floor doing the side-lunge stretch. My next goal is to be able to do this with bare feet and also to switch back and forth ten times without having to use my hands. I think the Cossack squats helped with this goal.

Calories: 2001, Protein: 161 g.

Mon, January 18th

Rest Day. My husband had the holiday off so we had fun going for a light walk down at one of the local beaches near Santa Cruz. I’ll probably put up a few pictures of the trip in the next week or two.

Calories: 2120, Protein: 116 g.

He doesn’t mind being on the internet either. Muchas gracias, pequeño dragón!

Tues, January 19th

Morning Walk: 2 miles.

Afternoon Workout

  • Standing Cable Rows (Hog Bar): 80 lbs. x 4 sets x 8 reps
  • Cable Lat Pull Downs (Hog Bar): 60 lbs. x 12 reps, 70 lbs. x 2 sets x 8, 6 reps, 60 lbs. x 13! reps
  • DB Curls: 25 lbs. x 3 sets x 8 reps, (25 lbs. x 6 reps + 20 lbs. x 2 reps)
  • DB Shrugs: 40 lbs. x 12 reps, 45 lbs. x 12 reps, 50 lbs. x 2 sets x 12, 10 reps
    • On the last set I did each rep with a two second hold.
  • (Super Set)
    • Shoulder Internal Rotation with Abduction (orange band): 4 sets x 12 reps
    • Face Pulls: 15 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
  • KB Swings: 35 lbs. x 20 reps, 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Wrist Rolling (standing on 16″ box): 15 lbs. x 2 sets x 2 windings up and down
  • Twist Yo’ Wrist: (standing on 16″ box): 6 lbs. x 2 sets x 2 windings up and down
  • Seated DB Cleans: 12 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
  • Dead Bugs (2-ct): 25 reps
  • Full Squats: 30 reps
  • Walk holding Fitness Rock Overhead: 4 rounds of 20 seconds each with 10 seconds rest between rounds.

Calories: 1892, Protein: 148 g.

I have owned one lonely, red 15 lb. (6.8 kg.) kettlebell for many years and like using it for swings. It has also seen a lot of honorable service as a door stop, pressing tofu, holding down warped piece of linoleum in an apartment I used to rent, and so on.

I finally decided I wanted to swing something heavier so I’ve been grabbing onto one end of some of my dumbbells and swinging them like kettlebells. This worked well at first but I’ve noticed that as I use heavier weights it is becoming harder to maintain a good grip on the end of the weight. My hands simply aren’t large enough and the hexagonal dumbbells aren’t really suited for that kind of work. So enter Phoebus here on the right, which I recently purchased.

I’ll probably eventually get more, heavier kettlebells in the future, now that I’ve taken the plunge, but those are pretty far down the list of the gym toys I want to acquire.

Wed, January 20th

Morning Walk: 2.46 miles. I did some stretching and some restorative foam rolling and such in the evening. Calories: 2086, Protein: 170 g.

Thur, January 21st

  • Morning Walk: 1.91 miles.
  • Afternoon Jog: 2.10 miles. I did a set of 100 squats and some dynamic stretching as a warm-up. After the jog I found a nice spot in a clearing under the trees and did a Tabata Workout.
  • For the Tabata, I did an exercise for 8 twenty second rounds with 10 seconds of rest between each round. After 8 rounds, I took a one minute of rest and then repeated the process for 8 rounds of the next exercise and so on.
    • Side Kick Stretch
    • Snap Kick Exercise
      • I learned this from the Global Martial Arts University lessons I’ve been taking. It is a similar motion to using a leg extension machine. The idea is to bring your knee up like you are going to perform a kick but keep the knee elevated and do a bunch of repetitions where you are throwing a lot of snap kicks, hitting your imaginary target with your instep, without allowing your the knee to drop or your foot to touch the ground.
    • Front Kick Stretch
    • Alternating Standing Side Crunches
    • Full Squats
    • Body Weight Romanian Dead Lifts
    • Walking Lunges

Calories: 1934, Protein: 161 g.

A couple of weeks ago I was talking about peanut butter pine cones, Marmite and Vegemite in a conversation with Pat, when John mentioned Marmite made their own brand of peanut butter. That reminded me of those old commercials for Reece’s peanut butter cups where two people would have an accident and one of them would say, “You got peanut butter in my chocolate!” and the other person would exclaim, “You got chocolate in my peanut butter!” Then they’d both find that the synergy of the two together was better than either separate ingredient. So I thought that it might be fun to see if Marmite peanut butter was like that too so I bought some from Amazon.

It is giant Satsuma Season here in California again. My favorite of all the oranges!

Turns it that Marmite peanut butter is pretty good stuff. I like how it doesn’t have the unhealthy stuff that one often finds in many commercial peanut butters. It also has yeast extract and is fortified with B Vitamins and such. My husband likes it on toast or in oatmeal in the morning. I enjoy the tasty edge the yeast extract gives it, but I find it doesn’t go with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as well as regular peanut butter because of this edge, so I usually find myself still reaching for the Adams. The Marmite does work really well to my taste on a peanut butter and banana sandwich so that is good. All in all, it is nice stuff.

Fri, January 22nd

Morning Walk: 1.92 miles.

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

  • I did the Taekwondo white belt “Cross” and “High Block” lessons on the Global Martial Arts University site.
  • Arnold Press: 30 lbs. x 4 sets x 8 reps
  • Incline Push ups with scapular mobilization (3rd stair): 4 sets x 8 reps
  • DB Bench Press: 30 lbs. x 4 sets x 8, 8, 9, 9 reps
  • DB Lateral Raises: 15 lbs. x 8, 8, 9, 8 reps
  • DB Front Raises: 12 lbs. x 12 reps, 15 lbs. x 8 reps, [(15 lbs. x 4 reps + 12 lbs. x 4 reps) x 2 sets]
  • Tricep Push Downs: 50 lbs. x 4 sets x 10, 8, 8, 8 reps
  • (Super Set)
    • One-Handed Reverse Grip Tricep Pushdowns (d-handle, ea. arm): 10 lbs. x 4 sets x 10, 10, 11, 11 reps
    • DB Prone Rear Delt Row: 12 lbs. x 4 sets x 12, 10, 10, 10
  • DB Hammer Curls: 20 lbs. x 12 reps, (25 lbs. x 6 reps + 20 lbs. x 2 reps), 20 lbs. x 2 sets x 9, 8 reps

We went to the chiropractor on Friday afternoon for some “routine maintenance.” The doctor likes to give me various stretches and exercises every time I show up “because unlike many people I’ll actually do them,” and this time he gave me one that I find I really enjoy. It feels really good for the back and it is nice for people who spend a lot of time on the computer and/or hunched with a paint brush over Frank’s pig demon. It is also good for people who do a lot of pushing exercises such as push ups or bench pressing. He said I could just as easily do it standing up as well, which I did today (Saturday) when I was standing in line at the grocery store. Give it a try, it feels really good.

I have a three ring binder full of various stretches and exercises our good doctor has given us over the years.

Sat, January 23rd

Rest Day. I did some stretching and work with my Thera Cane in the evening. Next week I hope to include some pictures from the aftermath of the wind storms in our area and I’m going to start a new project of building a weight lifting platform for our home gym.

Calories: 1997, Protein: 147 g. (I lost 2.2 pounds this week, so my total loss is 21 lbs.)

* There is more wind and rain this time on the way so there is a good chance we’ll lose power and internet access next week too!