Work Outs: January 10 – 16, 2021 (Steam Locomotive Video, Forest Elves, and Paint Cat)

We like to go hiking on the trails at Henry Cowell State Park in Felton, California, which is about 15 minutes from our house. On one of our hikes in December 2020 we happened to be in the right place at the right time and I took some video with my cell phone of one of the steam trains making its way past us. The edited video is a bit over a minute and a half and you can check it out here or by clicking the video below.

The trains are run by an outfit called Roaring Camp and Big Trees, which offers rides through the redwoods and also offers a service shuttling people from Felton to nearby Santa Cruz and back again. The train in question is a Shay locomotive called the Dixiana and was built in 1912 by the Lima Locomotive Works of Ohio. Roaring Camp got their hands on the train in 1962.

Sun, January 10th

Afternoon Workout

  • Recumbent Bike: 30 Minutes, Levels 9 – 14 for the first 15 minutes and 10 – 15 for the second half of the session. I followed this video again. The workout was interval training along with some upper body range of motion work and getting off the bike for some quick calisthenics. I did four sets of leg lifts for 12 reps each. (Coach Kim doesn’t give us much time before we jump back on the bike!)
  • Mostly static stretching for 20 minutes.
  • Walked 5.17 miles.

Calories: 2096, Protein: 135 g.

Mon, January 11th

Morning Walk: Three miles. I went back to the park a couple of hours later and jogged two miles over mostly flat terrain. Calories: 2150, Protein: 125 g.

Tues, January 12th

I did the “Taekwondo Follow Along Class – White Belt – Class #1″ from Global Martial Arts University in the afternoon. I’ve taken a little Taekwondo in the past, but figure I’ll start at the beginning again since I didn’t keep up the training.

Afternoon Walk for 3.43 miles. Calories: 1797, Protein: 137 g.

There are a lot of forest elves living in Henry Cowell Park and one sees their anonymous handiwork quite a bit on the local trails. Their talents run to more than just decorating trees at Christmas. I ran across this little scene on top of a pile of rail ties not too long after taking the train video and I thought I’d include it here since it kind of fits with the whole railroad motif thing.

Wed, January 13th

Morning Walk: 3.35 miles and an afternoon walk of 3.92 miles for a total of 7.27 miles for the day.

I warmed up for the deck of cards by doing a bunch of high energy vacuuming down in the cellar and then worked the Taekwondo white belt “Stances” lesson on the Global Martial Arts University site.** The lesson taught the difference between a sparring stance and fighting stance, ending with drills.

Deck of Cards Workout

SuitNumber CardFace Card
HeartsAlternating Stationary Lunges + Front Kick Stretch (2-ct) 10 Goblet Full Squats (30 lb. DB)
ClubsDead Bugs (3-ct)10 Cossack Squats (Four Point)
DiamondsStanding Side Crunches (3-ct)30 Squats
SpadesSnap Kick Exercise (2-ct)10 Rom. Dead Lifts (15 lb. DB’s)
AcesBlack = 20 Full SquatsRed = 20 Hindu Squats
First Joker20 Bridging Exercise (2-ct)
Second Joker60 Supine Leg Windmills (ea. way)

I noticed some irritation in the top of my right quad in the upper rectus femoris area when I was about half way through the deck. I learned long ago not to try and work through an irritation because this is the body’s way of trying and get you to stop doing something before there is a full blown injury. The only exercise I noticed this with was lunges, so I substituted kneeling squats (2-ct) for the remainder of the deck.

Toward the end of the deck I managed a few three point Cossack Squats. I still have some work to do so far as getting my heels flat on the mat when I’m fully in the down position, which is one of my current goals.

Deck of Cards workout music: Mirror of Souls album by Theocracy. Calories: 2081, Protein 150 g.

Thur, January 14th

Morning Walk: 3.12 miles. Calories: 2045, Protein: 132 g.

Fri, January 15th

Morning Walk: 3.89 miles.

Afternoon Work out | Weight Lifting Music: Aggressive Metal Songs Volume 1.

  • Reviewed Taekwondo white belt “Stances” lesson and did the “Switching” lesson on the Global Martial Arts University. “Switching” highlighted some of the basic mechanics of switching the legs for kicking.
  • Arnold Press: 25 lbs. x 12 reps, 30 lbs. x 7 reps, 25 lbs. x 2 sets x 8 reps
  • DB Bench Press: 25 lbs. x 12 reps, 30 lbs. x 3 sets x 8 reps
  • Incline Push ups (4th stair): 4 sets x 10 reps
  • DB Lateral Raises: 12 lbs. x 13 reps, 15 lbs. x 8 reps, (15 lbs. x 6 reps + 12 lbs. x 5 reps), 12 lbs. x 12 reps
  • DB Front Raises: 12 lbs. x 4 sets x 9, 8, 9, 9 reps
  • (Super Set)
    • DB Prone Rear Delt Row: 8 lbs. x 12 reps, 10 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps
    • DB Hammer Curls: 20 lbs. x 4 sets x 10, 8, 8, 7 reps
  • (Super Set)
    • Face Pulls: 12.5 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
    • DB Flies: 12 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
  • Tricep Pushdowns (tricep handle): 45 lbs. x 12 reps, 50 lbs. x 3 sets x 9, 8, 8 reps
  • (Super Set) One-Handed Reverse Grip Tricep Pushdowns (d-handle, ea. arm): (12.5 lbs. x 5 reps + 10 lbs. x 5 reps), 10 lbs. x 3 sets x 8 reps +
    • (Set #1) Dead Bugs (2-ct): 20 reps
    • (Set #2) Crunches: 30 reps
    • (Set #3) Small Shoulder Circles (each way): 70 reps
    • (Set #4) DB American Swings: 30 lbs. x 12 reps

Calories: 2057, Protein: 161 g.

Sat, January 16th

Rest Day. Went to the chiropractor for routine maintenance. I tried to get Paint Cat to come down cellar and train with me (maybe some HIIT work chasing rats around?), but she said, “Naw, I’m good right where I am,” and after I thought about it I decided to join her. So ends another week.

Roxy is nobody’s fool.

Calories: 1887, Protein: 142 g. (I lost 0.8 pounds this week, so my total loss is 18.8 lbs.)

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.

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.

Work Outs: December 6 – 12, 2020 (Undermined Tree and Squash Cache)

Sun, December 6th

I found this stand of trees interesting because when I was on one side of the hill nothing appeared amiss, but when I climbed over to the other side I saw that erosion had exposed their root systems. I imagine these trees probably won’t be upright much longer. I’ll have to see if I can find them again one of these days and see how they are doing.

When I see stuff like this I often find myself thinking about applying what I see out in Nature to my life or to life in general.

I remember being introduced to the rudiments of this sort of thinking in high school and it came up quite a bit again in more depth during my freshman and sophomore years in college. Once I learned more about it, I realized that it was probably just as well that the teenaged me hasn’t gone around telling people she was a Transcendentalist.

Even so, I did churn out reams of poetry along what I then thought were transcendental lines, though a lot of it was probably incomprehensible. I don’t have any of those poems now, though I think a couple might still survive if any of the (now) dusty journals they were published in are still kicking around. I wasn’t keeping good track of such things back then so I don’t even remember the names of said magazines and journals.

Mon, December 7th

While I kind of wish that I still had saved more of my old work, I don’t think my misplacing them is any great loss to American Letters. Still, I’m a bit more careful about such things now. Perhaps there is lesson about all this in the plight of the undermined trees?

Rest Day. Calories: 2600, Protein: 104 g.

Tues, December 8th

Morning Walk: 3.31 miles.

Can’t use the basement today for working out because of paint fumes. Plus I don’t want to drag my cat litter fitness bag upstairs and make a bunch of noise with it while my husband is trying to work in his office, so I dug out my old 8 lb. medicine ball, which doesn’t get much use these days, for the Tuesday deck of cards workout.

Deck of Cards Workout

SuitNumber CardFace Card
HeartsMB Walking Lunges + Front Kick Stretch (2-ct)10 Hindu Squats
ClubsKitchen Counter Push-ups x 210 Cossack Squats (Partials)
DiamondsBent Over MB Rows x 2 + Side Kick Stretch (2-ct)10 MB Full Squat and Reach
SpadesMB Torso Rotation (2-ct)10 MB Rom. Dead Lifts
Aces (any suit)/JokersBlack = 20 Full Squats
Red = 20 Hindu Squats
Joker = 10 Full + 10 Hindu Squats

Calories: 1965, Protein: 117 g.

Wed, December 9th

Morning Walk: 3.27 miles.

Captains of Crush Gripper (T):

  • (Set 1): Right = 6mm x 5 reps, Left = 12mm x 5 reps
  • (Set 2): Right = 4mm x 5 reps, Left = 12mm x 5 reps
  • (Set 3): Right = 4mm x 5 reps, Left = 12mm x 5 reps
  • (Set 4): Right = 4mm x 6 reps, Left = 12mm x 5 reps
  • (Set 5): Right = 2mm x 3 + 2 reps, Left = 10mm x 5 reps
  • (Set 6): Right = Closed x 2 reps, Left = 8mm x 5 reps

Calories: 1980, Protein: 140 g.

This little pile of squash and such caught my eye when we were out in the woods a couple of days ago. Although the picture makes them look sort of front and center, they were a bit off the beaten trail and I almost missed them. Apparently someone doesn’t want people finding their little cache. Hopefully the creatures out there, who enjoy such things, will but failing that I’m sure our mycological friends will set things to right eventually.

Thur, December 10th

Morning Walk: 3.49 miles. Calories: 2036, Protein: 140 g.

Fri, December 11th

Morning Walk: 3.11 miles.

  • Arnold Press: 25 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps, 25 lbs. x 9 reps + 20 lbs. x 3 reps
  • DB Bench Press: 25 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
  • Twenty-One’s (FR 12 lbs., LR 10 lbs., RD 12 lbs.): 3 sets
  • Super Set
    • Tricep Pushdowns (tricep handle): 40 lbs. x 15 reps, 45 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps
    • Light Spring Bar (over head): 8-S, 8-P, 12-S, 6-P
      • I tried the heavy spring over with a supinated grip over my head. I could barely bend it, which was where I was at some months ago when I started bending the heavy bar at chest level. Changing up an exercise can sure make it a lot harder or easier!
  • (Super Set) One-Handed Reverse Grip Tricep Pushdowns (d-handle, ea. arm) 12.5 lbs. x 2 sets x 12 and 15 reps, 15 lbs. x 2 sets x 8 reps +
    • (Set #1) Dead Bugs (2-ct): 20 reps
    • (Set #2) DB Hammer Curls: 20 lbs. x 12 reps
    • (Set #3) Two Handed DB American Swings: 20 lbs. x 15 reps
    • (Set #4) Small Shoulder Circles (each way): 60 reps

Calories: 2057, Protein: 137 g.

It isn’t a big deal or anything, but whoever dumped this stuff should have taken the stickers off first for various reasons, not the least of which is no stickers would have made my close up way better!

Sat, December 12th

Morning Walk: 3.0 miles.

I was planning on lifting some weights but I ended up spending the day having fun with the family instead and didn’t want to interrupt our good times with rows and pull downs, though I enjoy lifting weights and was a little tempted. I’ve been working out a decent amount lately, so I’m sure my body won’t say no to an extra bit of recovery time.

Calories: 2540, Protein: 141 g. (I was the same weight as last week, so my total loss is 17.2 lbs. so far.)


Work Outs: Nov 29 – Dec 5, 2020 (A meatloaf and a spider.)

Sun, November 29th

I made a planted-based meatloaf today using this recipe from Karissa’s Vegan Kitchen.* I made a double batch and went somewhat by the recipe, but with some differences:

  • I used dried, minced onion because we were out of onion powder.
  • I used Panko bread crumbs.
  • I went half and half with Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce because we were almost out of the former.
  • I mixed the ketchup into the loaf before cooking instead of putting it on top as the recipe suggested. Additionally, I brushed a tablespoon of barbeque sauce on top before cooking.
  • I cooked the loaf in a Pyrex loaf pan instead of on a baking sheet.

We enjoyed the finished product and I also liked how easy it was to make. (Meatloaf in general is a pretty easy recipe.) I used Impossible Burger meat this time. The next time I might try Beyond Beef, which we highly favor for taco night. The only possible negative I noticed this time was that it had a somewhat compacted texture. This did make it easy to slice and would make for good sandwiches.

Mon, November 30th

Morning Walk: 3.30 miles. Calories: 2054, Protein: 135 g.

Tues, December 1st

Morning Walk: 3.10 miles.

I didn’t like how my left index finger felt today when I was doing some warm-up sets with the hand grippers, so I decided to give the Captains of Crush a miss today. One thing I’ve learned over the years is not to “work through” small things like this.

Deck of Cards Workout

SuitNumber CardFace Card
HeartsWalking Lunges + Front Kick Stretch (2-ct)10 Hindu Squats
ClubsStair Incline Push-ups10 Cossack Squats (Partials)
DiamondsBent Over FB Rows + Side Kick Stretch (2-ct)10 FB Shovels (2-ct)
SpadesEven: Leg Raises
Odd: Standing Side Crunches (2-ct)
10 FB Rom. Dead Lifts
Aces (any suit)/Jokers20 Full Squats

I found a pair of exercise handles at the thrift store the other day and used them for the first time today for push ups.** I won’t use them all the time, but I like having them and the price was certainly right. I used them to do push-ups with my hands in a neutral position, where the palms are facing each other.

These also might be useful for my husband, because he is prone to having wrist problems when he does push ups in the usual way with his hands flat on the floor.

Calories: 2115, Protein: 134 g.

Wed, December 2nd

Morning Walk: 3.28 miles. Calories: 2223, Protein: 113 g.

Thur, December 3rd

Morning Walk: 3.16 miles.

Captains of Crush Gripper (T):

  • (Set 1): Right = 6mm x 5 reps, Left = 12mm x 5 reps
  • (Set 2): Right = 4mm x 3 + 2 reps, Left = 12mm x 5 reps
  • (Set 3): Right = 6mm x 5 reps, Left = 10mm x 3 + 2 reps
  • (Set 4): Right = 6mm x 5 reps, Left = 10mm x 5 reps
  • (Set 5): Right = 6mm x 5 reps, Left = 10mm x 5 reps
  • Arnold Press: 20 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
  • DB Bench Press: 20 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps, 25 lbs. x 12 reps
    • I did this today instead of incline push-up’s I’ve been doing lately. The cellar stairs were unavailable because of an on-going home improvement project.
  • Light Spring Bar (over head): 8-P, 5-S, 8-P, 5-S
    • P = pronated, S = supinated. Doing this with the bar over my head instead of at around chest level makes the exercise a lot harder.
  • Super Set
    • DB Flies: 10 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
    • Tricep Pushdowns (tricep handle): 40 lbs. x 15 reps, 45 lbs. x 3 sets x 10 reps
  • (Super Set) One-Handed Reverse Grip Tricep Pushdowns (d-handle, ea. arm) 10 lbs. x 15 reps, 12.5 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps +
    • (Set #1) Dead Bugs (2-ct): 20 reps
    • (Set #2) Standing Side Crunches (each side): 20 reps
    • (Set #3) Small Shoulder Circles (each way): 50 reps
    • (Set #4) DB Front Raises 10 lbs. x 15 reps
  • (Exercise Complex) Wrist Pronation and Supination (light wood axe) 12 reps, DB Hammer Curls 15 lbs. x 15 reps, DB Lateral Raises 12 lbs. x 12 reps, DB Shrugs 30 lbs. x 12 reps, Alternating One-Handed KB American Swings (2-ct) 15 lbs. x 15 reps, Full Squats 20 reps, Calf Raises 30 reps, Spread and Raise Hands (light orange band) x 25 reps, External Shoulder Rotation (black band, ea. arm) x 12 reps

I found this little sprite lurking on the resistance tubes that I often use as part of my warm up. So I did what anyone would do and asked if I could work in for a few sets and then did my thing. All went well until I noticed the spider crawling on my arm when I was in the middle of doing some light external shoulder rotation work. Had a little laugh and relocated the beastie someplace better for all concerned. Silly sprite!

My little friend, as far as I can tell is some sort of “grass spider” or funnel web spider of the genus Agelenopsis. It looks a bit like a hobo spider, but the markings as well as the shape of the thorax and abdomen seem off for one of those. I’m not a spider expert though by any means.

Calories: 2303, Protein: 114 g.

Fri, December 4th

  • Morning Walk: 3.09 miles.
  • Standing Cable Rows (straight bar): 65 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
  • Straight Arm Pull Downs (purple band): 4 sets x 12 reps
  • Super Set
    • Fitness Bag Bicep Curls: 4 sets x 12 reps
    • Face Pulls: 10 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
  • Exercise Complex: Wrist Roller (cable) 15 lbs. x 1 winding, Bell Tower Crunches (ea. side) 17.5 lbs. x 12 reps, Fitness Bag Cleans x 12 reps, Side Kick Stretch (ea. leg) x 12 reps, Internal and External Shoulder Rotation through frontal plane (orange band, ea. arm) x 12 reps, Reverse Flies (purple band) x 12 reps, Bicep Curls (fitness rock) x 12 reps

Calories: 2540, Protein: 141 g.

Sat, December 5th

Morning Walk: 7.11 miles. (I was down 3.2 pounds for the week, so my total loss is 17.2 lbs. so far.)

* My husband went plant-based a little under year-and-a-half ago. I consequently also eat a lot of plant-based meals, though I remain a mostly plant-based omnivore.

** Technically, it was the second time. The first time was when I wanted to make sure they weren’t cracked or otherwise compromised, so I tried them out by knocking out a few push ups on the thrift store floor, much to the amusement of a lady and her daughter, who were further down the aisle looking at glassware.

Captain of Crush Grippers

This post was originally on my now defunct workout blog. I decided to rework it a bit and present it here. I hope to get some painting done on Frank’s Pig Demon this weekend. My goal is to finish its trident and tidy up the base coat on the cloak and such.


I added a new Ironmind Captains of Crush gripper — the “Sport” or 80 lb. gripper to my little collection of hand and forearm strengthening devices. The series goes up to a magnificent 365 lbs., which I’ll most certainly never be able to close though my husband might someday.

I bought the Sport gripper because I wanted a warm-up gripper lighter than the “Trainer” gripper (100 lbs.), which is what I’m working on getting better at closing. I can close the Trainer maybe once or twice with my good hand and almost close it once with my left. I’m working toward being able to close the Trainer five times with either hand. Hopefully by the end of the year….

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Right now we have up to 237.5 lbs., which in Ironmind parlance is Level 2.5. I originally purchased the set as a Christmas present for my husband and we kept them on the coffee table. These days they live in the basement we are putting together as our home gym.