Power clean overhead press – to lunge, to deadlifts, and my yoga headstands!

Hi Bloggers, I work out a fair bit. Gym, yoga, swimming etc. So I have wanted to get my headstand done for a long time. I have a friend who can just nail it. I have tried for a while but only recently I have got the coordination and ‘core strength’ required to pull it off. It wasn’t so much an issue of strength before, but certainly coordination and balance are required.

I encourage anyone to have a go at it!

Ok, meanwhile, a bar exercise to challenge you and inspire you! I put some photos below. Try this:

Power clean – from there lift the bar up overhead – lower bar to back of shoulders – do a lunge on each leg – lift bar overhead, and lower to floor – then do 5 x dead lifts. Super fun and a real variety movement! Enjoy!

 

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hand stand

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Intermission Workout

Hi Bloggers, I haven’t been blogging fitness for a while, but I have been working out a lot. These days its a combination of weights in the gym, and swimming.

I have workouts A, B, C, D, intermission (this one), E, and F.

Intermission work out – I put this one in to break up the regular ‘heavy lifting’ routine. It uses 8 movements. There are only two sets of each of exercises in the work out. It’s a really good mix up and it will keep you fresh between the sometimes monotonous classic movements.

I have blogged about my workout routines a lot in the past, if you care to troll my blog. If you ask me I can send you my workout routine.

Ok, here we go: here are the movements in my ‘intermission workout.’

Kettle bell Turkish get ups.

Supinated pull up (reverse push ups).

Kettle bell duck under squats.

Kettle bell goblet squats.

T push ups.

Bulgarian split squats.

Knees to nose.

Skid pulls.

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Ahlan (hi!)… Shaking hands with the Arabs, craft beer, Skyping my daughter, and the failed ANZAC cookies.

Hi, Ahlan (Arabic) bloggers.

Bit of a random mixed bag for you today. I wanted to share some good things, simple things and some inspiration.

So I work out at the Y. I noticed when I got there that there was a group of maybe 6 or so Arabic speaking guys. I thought they were loud. I honestly found them a bit intimidating. In a moment of tired crankiness I found myself getting annoyed at they way they spoke.

I chided myself for being so intolerant. I am an immigrant, in this country of immigrants. Canada is known for its kindness and willingness to take in people from all nations. Especially those in need.

Image result for syriaAbout 3 years ago, when the crisis in Syria was at its height, we saw images of bomb-shelled buildings and men, women and children fatally injured and others bandaged, and bleeding. From the comfort of a computer screen I flicked through headlines, then got on with my day. 

 

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Utter devastation in Syria. I’m glad we helped these people escape this chaos.

 

Canada, via PM Justin Trudeau announced that we were going to take in refugees from Syria. At one stage, Saskatoon had taken in about 450 of them. It was on the radio a lot, especially in the first year of their repatriation, and of course I would see them around the city.

 

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The Arab States.

 

I told myself, a couple of weeks ago, that I was going to make a point of shaking hands with the young Arab men at my gym. I was going to get past any awkwardness, and say ‘hi.’ I did that the other night.

I was quite impressed. One of the guys told me that he had only been talking English for a year, and he spoke quite well. They are in high school here. He plans to study engineering. It was really nice to break down the barriers and just be friendly. I will always say hi when I see them now. He told me that they went from Syria, to Turkey for a year, then came to Canada.

Ok, craft beer. This is like some sort of East Coast obsession. I’ve been visiting some of the local breweries here. There are some really nice taps for sure. Its nice to ride my bike around town and park up and get a pint. There’s one brewery/bar that is about 2 blocks from my house, and they have a fire place, and let people bring their dogs in. Its a really nice atmosphere, but it does get noisy.

 

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The view past my pint glass at the Cider House, on Queen street.

 

I stopped at the Cider House bar last night. There was a couple of girls serving at the bar, and of course they spoke French (parle francais), so I got the opportunity to have a mini conversation in French. That was cool.

Tonight I Skyped my daughter. It was the first decent conversation that we’ve had in many, many months. I was very glad and grateful that she gave me the time to talk to her ‘ole dad. I plan to do that regularly. She’s a gorgeous young lady. Hopefully this will be a new direction in daddy-daughter relations, but we will see.

 

 

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Bridge over troubled water? The old rail bridge, now a pedestrian bridge over the Saint John River. 

 

 

Tonight, there was an attempt to make ANZAC cookies. These are the recipe that most Aussie kids grow up on. Famous for being baked back in Australia for the troops on the front lines of Gallipoli or France – because they would be put in tins and stay well preserved by the time they made it to the troops. The cookies went kinda flat, so rather than ANZAC cookies, they were more pancake like. Nice effort though.

 

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The view from Graystone Brewery. Contentment in a pint glass.

 

That’s about all I have to say at the moment. A good day. Bless you all. I hope this blog finds you well. Thanks for taking the time to read.

Namaste.

 

Last Night’s Workout and some other updates…. from ‘out of the ditch’…

Hi Bloggers,

Here’s what I did in last night’s workout:

OvIMG_6801 (2)erhead press – 5 reps of 5 with Olympic bar and 45lb plates.

One arm dumbbell rows – 3 sets of 10 with 80 lb dumbbell.

Leg extensions.

Leg curls.

Calf raises.

Machine with standing glute/ham/quad push back. (I call this horsekicks).

So we are just days away from when T bird and my babies fly away to our home country. I will be staying on in Oh-Canada. Houses on the market for sale. Kind of restructuring life and finances and everything really. It’s a great opportunity to let go of any hang ups or baggage that we’ve been carrying.

We (T bird and T bird jr my daughter) even played a game of monopoly the other night. Monopoly is very much like life. There is income, there are bills, there are windfalls, you over spend and then end up owing money. It started to resemble our life just a bit too much! Image result for in the ditch gif

It would be really interesting if they put jobs and relationships in there wouldn’t it? You’d probably have to put any sharp objects away, I am guessing.

So this guy – in the gif here, I can relate to this shit. Going awesome, get the dreaded speed wobbles, then oh-fuck. End up in the ditch. Yes, I’ve been there! My life, of late, could play like a country song. But, wait, I’m not complaining, oh, no!

But you know what? As hard as the journey has been, as depressing at times, and challenging and down right embarrassing and all of the rest of it – it’s really ok. Let me reiterate IT’S REALLY FUCKING OK!!!! HAHAHAHAHHHAAAAA.

 

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I got this, no, I got this, no really I got this!!!

 

 

 

 

Musings from the Café, and tonight’s work out…

Hi Bloggers,

This morning I did hot yoga. It was good. Calming, vigorous at times. I’ve been to two classes in the past week that really pushed the pace and it makes for a good workout. Fast flows of downward dog, chattaranga, downward dog, plank, step through, warrior 1, etc. 

Tonight I went down to the café. Had to get out of the house. I sat at a large-ish table that had just been vacated by a group of people. All the cups and plates were still out because the staff had not got around to clearing up the table. A group of people came in and started to set up a kind of band ensemble.

A lady came over and said that her friends were coming in for dessert and asked if I would mind sharing the table. I said that would be fine. Soon after however the owner of the café came over and asked me would I kindly move to another table so these people could use the table. Of course I obliged.

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So I went to the library – I got the Men’s Health Gym Bible. I used this guide as inspiration for my workout. Here’s a few new exercises that I put in tonight that are a change from my normal routine:

  • Duck under squats.IMG_6763 (2)
  • Kettlebell goblet squats.
  • Planks with knees to nose.
  • Kettlebell Bulgarian split squat.
  • T push ups.
  • Reverse push up (hanging on straight bar with feet on bench)
  • Push weighted cart.
  • Kettle bell Turkish get ups.

It was a really refreshing ‘fun’ workout. I kept the sets to 2-3 to keep moving through different exercises. I recommend this to anyone who is in a bit of a rut.

 

Yesterday’s Workout, and some other stuff.

Hi Bloggers,

I got down to the gym yesterday. It was a good workout. Something about Fridays that just gets me in the mood to workout. All the bullshit of the week has gone by and you get two days to work out and recover. Bliss! IMG_6559 (2)

Yesterday was biceps blasting day. The day before that was chest day.

So I’m at a bit of a cross roads. I might be more mobile than I’ve been for a long time – with the ex and kids moving away in about 30 days. Lots of things to consider. Options, I guess. I finished Neil Young’s book. I’ll probably do a book review on that this weekend.

I’m going to do hot yoga this morning. Kind of looking forward to it. I’ve been away from yoga for a little while, except for last Saturday. Not sure why exactly, I get busy at times and sometimes re-prioritise but essentially it has to do with any gym time I get I tend to want to do weights.

 

Anyway, I hope you are all having a good weekend.

 

 

Comes a Time…..

Hi Bloggers, as you might know, I’ve been reading Neil Young’s autobiography. Comes a Time has always been a favourite of mine. I don’t know what it is exactly, it has a nice mix of sincerity, nostalgia and reflection. A kind of honesty.

There comes a time for all of us. My ex – the T Bird came to tell me they will be here for only another 37 days. I’m trying my hardest to be present as a dad to my kids. A lot of  damage has been done. A lot of animosity has developed based on the situation between their mum and I. IMG_6494 (2)

I’ve spent the last year or so in a sort of holding pattern, knowing that the situation has been destined to be not-sustainable, and having many uncertainties in my life – work, domestic and external. Stuck yet unable to move due to financial constraints, or obligations etc.

I’ve spent a lot of that time looking inward. An examination of myself, if you will. I think this is healthy, to a point. Too much introspection can lead to self doubt and hesitation. I’ve put aside some passions. Making music, song writing, etc. All the while, just hanging on to a thread of whatever it is that keeps us going.

I want to be clear about one thing – I am not complaining, I am not bitter. The journey has been extremely challenging on many levels. At the same time, I have come through this still feeling for the most part like I am being true to myself. I’ve made changes. I’ve learned from some mistakes.

 

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So I went to gym today. I am doing my light workout – generally more reps and less weight. I did over head press, power cleans, lunges, hi step ups, and chainsaws.

 

Have a good weekend WP readers.

 

Namaste.

 

 

Today’s workout – clearing blockages…

Hi Bloggers,

Tuesday morning, I was up with the sparrows to get an early work out in before work. I had the alarm set for 4.30 am and for a nice change I actually felt like getting up and working out, as I didn’t plan to make it in extra early to work – just IMG_6396 (2)regular early.

I feel like I am clearing some blockages. The recent past has been so littered with challenges and constraints of sorts, I feel like I am starting to see or realise the way forward. It has not been clear, for a long time, and there is still much uncertainty, but overall right now I have a sense of optimism. A sense of relief, and a sense of relative freedom.

I’ve had some good critical conversations with some key people in my life. I have had to ask for understanding, for support and to refrain from judgement, as much as possible, anyway.

Ahhhh. Deep breath.

So I did my work out C today, it was all about the biceps, triceps and abdominals. Not too heavy, not too light. A good work out.

Workout C – biceps and triceps.

Preacher curls on bench

 

Concentration curls

 

Incline bench curls

 

Arm extenders for tricep on bench. Cable triceps

 

Sit ups

 

 

 

 

 

Thank F… it’s Sunday!

Hey Bloggers. Sunday. Ahhh. Had a short-ish sleep in. Hopped up, mess around a bit and headed down for a workout. As I entered my usual gym this morning I noticed the Halloween display on the entrance area. Spooky spider webs and yellow caution tape. As I was leaving I noticed some scary ghosts (the ghosts of my past??? yikes!). I’m pretty sure they were plastic sheets with balloons inflated in them and hung up with string. Close one! IMG_6377 (2)

So my gym experience this morning? Pretty good I would say. No really urgent things to do, apart from clean up the house a bit.

There was the usual assortment of regulars there – the fit couple that always work out together. He wears his hat on backwards and lifts pretty full on. He’s a grunter, and that’s ok! His GF is fit looking. They are always seen together which is nice.

I ran into one of the regulars when putting my bag in the locker. I said Hi, what are you working out etc? He was on leg day. I told him I was doing chest and shoulders. There were some other regulars in there, and some I hadn’t seen before. It was generally pretty quiet which I like.

The TV’s were off. Normally they are showing business news network or Sportsnet. Today they just had that little speaker icon that floats around the screen. I settled in for my workout. I was feeling somewhat inspired by watching part of Generation Iron on Netflix. IMG_6355 (2)

My first exercise was dumbbell bench press. I did 10 reps with 80 lbs then went to 5 sets of 5 for 100 lbs. After that it was incline dumbbell press, 5 x 5 at 70 lbs. Then I did lat raises, 3 x 10 at 30 lbs, and bent over lat raises, 3 x 10 at 20 lbs. Finished off with lying leg raises. sets of 20, 15, 10.

It was a good workout. Got it done easy enough. Some days you feel strong and able and some days the weights are heavier. It’s just the way it goes.

I retreated upstairs to the yoga room. I settled in for some meditation. It was fairly superficial, truth be told. I’d like to say it was deep and spiritual. I sat on a cushion and took about 10 mins to just settle. I was really feeling ok, and reflected on how for many times in the past 2 years, the meditation has been a rock that I have clung to – almost as if, in a personal crisis, or series of crises, it was all I had to stay sane. On this occasion, I was just feeling generally pretty good, and that’s ok!

Namaste.

 

 

Today’s workout, and one from the other day, and some other random bullshit.

Hi Bloggers,

We’ve been getting ready to put the house on the market – all part of the plan to go separate ways. So I’m at a crossroads of sorts. Not too concerned about the future, maybe a little apprehensive but also kind of excited too. The last month or so has been about fixing up houses and other loose ends to prepare for the next chapter in life.

Had a little misadventure with dishwashers. We’ve had one in the house since we bought the place, but it hasn’t worked worth a shit since some time soon after we moved in. It just stopped cleaning dishes. It ran, it made dishwasher noises, but every time you’d open the door the food was still stuck to the plates etc.

Dishwashers. A total pain in the arse. 

 

So I thought, lets buy a cheapo off Kijiji (on line classifieds) and stick that in there and then we can sell the place with a working dishwasher. We found one and drove out to have a look. Forked out $140 for the used dishwasher. Got it in today. Guess what? The bastard leaks! Ok. Pull it out again, see if there is something obvious. Of course its all this plastic moulded crap with wires coming out of it so there is no hope of fixing this thing.

We reluctantly decided to go down to the hardware store and buy a new one. There were a couple of models for $400. Of course they don’t stock them and have to wait a week. Ok, which ones do they stock? One for $650, and one really high end one. So we had to make an executive decision. We bought it.

Got the new shiny one home and glad to say everything seems to work ok so far. Just another little adventure in spending time and money to get ready to sell this house. Such is life, eh?

Ok, enough bullshit, here’s my work out, and I lost my print out of my work outs so I was going from memory!

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From today. 

 

Squats – set of 10 to warm up, then 5 sets, 5 reps.

Ezy bar curls, 3 sets of 10 reps.

Alternating dumbbell bicep curls. 3 sets of 20.

Cable tricep pull downs, 3 sets of 10.

Crunches, elbows to knees. sets of 50, 26, 26.

Calf raises. 3 sets of 10.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The other night I got a work out after work too. In this one I did:IMG_6308 (2)

 

Power clean-squats to overhead press. 10 singles.

Incline dumbbell bench press. 5 sets of 5.

Close hand push up feet on bench. 3 sets of 15.

Lat raises 3 sets of 10.

Alternating front raises 3 sets of 20.

 

From the other night. Earlier this week.