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Mike Jasper
Posted on Monday, March 15, 2004 - 07:15 am:   

One of the things that keeps me from getting too bent out of shape and keeps the carpal-tunnel pain at bay is working out at the local YMCA. I try to go every weekday morning from 6:30-7:30, and Saturday morning if my wife and I feel up to it.

I lift weights M-W-F mornings, mostly upper body stuff with a couple leg exercises between the sets that work the major arm muscles (bench press, row, pull-ups -- I hate pull-ups!).

Tuesdays and Thursdays are my favorites -- I do cardio, usually half an hour on the ellipsis machine and half on a stationary bike. I can usually get through most of the shorter articles and fiction story of the latest NEW YORKER on those days. Very cool.

I've been going pretty regularly since the start of the year, and while I haven't lost a lot of weight, I can tell a difference in muscle tone (it's still buried under too much fat, but...). And I need a new belt now.

I'm most pleased with my bench press -- I started doing a 45-lb. weight on each side of the 50-lb. bar in January, 140 pounds total -- and last Saturday I "maxed out" with TWO 45s on each side, for a total bench of 230. I've never been able to do that, not even in high school when I was working out pretty intensely for the football season (and that was about 50 pounds ago).

I'm starting to get addicted to the workouts now.

Anyone out there do something similar for exercise?
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Monday, March 15, 2004 - 07:17 am:   

I have to add that when I was doing the bench press this morning, without a spotter, I got halfway up on my 12th repetition at 190 and said "Shit." I was out of gas.

Luckily, someone was close by and lifted it the rest of the way up for me.

Sometimes I'm surprised at my own stupidity...
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Monday, March 15, 2004 - 06:42 pm:   

Mike wrote: I have to add that when I was doing the bench press this morning, without a spotter, I got halfway up on my 12th repetition at 190 and said "Shit." I was out of gas.

That is why I stick to the Nautilus machines. :-)

I try to workout four to five days a week. A workout goes as follows:

Forty Minutes of Cardio in two sets of Twenty. I'll do twenty on a recline bike to get my heart rate up and burn a lot of calories. Then I'll switch over to an Elliptical trainer (a strider) for the last twenty, to maintain a high heart rate.

Cardio completed, it is time for the machines. I alternate between two groups.

Back, Biceps, Abs, Lower Back, Rear, Quads.
-Generally four sets per machine on high weight/low rep.
-I use free weights for the biceps and it is a good day when I can actually get to the dumb bell rack.

Chest, Triceps, Abs (I do abs everytime I go), ductor muscles and hamstring.

Same as above.

A good workout generally lasts an hour and a half. If the gym is crowded, like it was tonight, it can last as long as two to two and a half hours.

I always feel somewhat guilty working out, because I wonder just how much transcription of my longhand work could be accomplished during the two hours I'm at the gym. That being said, I find that I do write better and the imagination is clearer for the effort.

Not to mention that weighing 190 beats the hell out of weighing 225.

During the summertime, I'll swim outdoors. My gym has an indoor pool, but I hate sharing lanes.

Best times to hit my local gym are Thursday through Sunday in the afternoon. Friday and Saturday nights are always clear. I'll hit it for the cardio before heading out to the dance clubs (I'd say I dance, but some would argue that it doesn't look much like dancing).

When not breaking collar bones, I try to ride a bicycle. As I get older, I find that I like riding a stationary bike at the gym, which has certain benefits that my two wheel bike doesn't offer.

It is okay about the bench press, Mike. I've nearly done the same thing more times than I can count.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Mike
Posted on Tuesday, March 16, 2004 - 11:35 am:   

Heh -- but the key word in your last sentence was "nearly," Steven! :-) I wasn't all that embarrassed, though I felt like I may have strained a muscle or 2 -- I'm still a bit sore today.

You do a similar routine to me as far as cardio goes, but you do a lot more each time -- I've got barely an hour in the morning, and I'm ALWAYS late for work.

Today was just cardio -- bike then ellipsis while reading the latest LOCUS, then some abs.
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 06:44 am:   

Ah, a really good workout today, as I blasted through all the exercises in about 45 minutes. The workout was shorter because the climbing wall was open this morning, with one of the staffers at the Y belaying. There was no line, and I've been wanting to do this for a long time, so I got cinched up, put on the helmet, and got to climbing.

I made it to the top.

This is a nice boost for me, because when Elizabeth and I tried the wall a year or 2 ago, I got halfway up and my arms died. Literally -- I couldn't feel them anymore. I had to let go and be lowered the 20 feet to the floor, and then had to watch Elizabeth scamper up to the top.

So I was quite pumped to make it to the top, even though this was the beginner section. I barely broke a sweat. So all my arm workouts are paying off, plus the fact that I didn't try to just use all arms to climb -- I used mostly legs.

It was very cool. I probably could've climbed some more. I like the strategy involved -- you've got to choose your route and conserve energy and find the best holds.

And then when you get to the top, you just... let go.
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 09:40 am:   

Well, my workout listed is the ideal workout. I'll ditch one or two particular machines if the gym is too crowded (they just now got two abdominal nautilus machines, which is good, I used to skip that one all the time).

I try to get the cardio in but sometimes my mushy knees, even with braces, are not willing. But when I get the two sets of twenty in, I always feel better, and the writing is improved as a result.

We have a climbing wall at my gym, but I avoid it for the most part. The kids are always screaming in each others ears.

I generally do my workout in the evenings after work. Between five-thirty and eight in the evening. Sometimes if the Muse has dragged me out of bed at three in the morning, I'll go get a partial workout in when the gym opens at five-thirty in the morning. But that doesn't happen too often.

Hmm, we have the St. Patty's Day parade coming through. I've got to get back to work.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Thursday, March 18, 2004 - 07:50 am:   

Didn't make it to the gym last night. Too many drunks on the roads. I'll have to go tonight and really get at it. I want to drop to 185 by July.

Mike, are you doing a strength building type workout or a toning type? I'm having better luck building strength with machines than I am with the free weights with the exception of my biceps where I do the free weights.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Mike
Posted on Thursday, March 18, 2004 - 10:51 am:   

Hey Steven -- I'm looking to tone what little muscle I have, not build strength. That's why I do high reps, lower weights. But the competitive part of me wants to keep building my bench press weight.

But I'm aiming for a good cardio workout, as I've got about 30-40 pounds I'd like to shed this year... 215 would be a nice weight to be at again (I'm about 6'2").

This morning I did 25 minutes on the bike, followed by 25 minutes on the ellipsis and 50 crunches to work off my beers and shepherd's pie from last night...
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Friday, March 19, 2004 - 07:16 am:   

Oh man, the weights were extra heavy this morning, for some reason. Maybe because I didn't have 2 cups of coffee before working out at my usual time (6:30 a.m.). So I skipped most of the free weights and did a bunch of machines and some barbells. And some abs. A good 45-minute workout, with no breaks between exercises.

I'll probably go tomorrow morning at 7:30 or so with Elizabeth, if I get all my miscellaneous writing stuff done today and early tomorrow.
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Friday, March 19, 2004 - 09:56 am:   

Per Cardio, whatever you do Mike, don't climb onto your bike and try crossing a river bridge a five in the evening. I hear you can break bones that way, if not end up a skidmark.

Great thing about PT is that if you do enough of it regularly enough, you can actually indulge more and still lose weight.

Well, I can anyway. But then I have a job that has me walking all day.

I haven't gone to the gym since Monday. Sometimes I take two or three days to let things heal up.

I'll go punish myself at the gym tonight.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Liz
Posted on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 11:39 am:   

I've just started weight training again, after a break of some weeks. I'm just aiming to get a bit fitter, rather than build up lots of muscle mass (being female, it's not really necessary). Tend to do about half an hour on various machines and I can't remember what any of them are called: leg press, bench press (I remember that one), and the general exercising-your-arms things.

It must work because some years ago I dislocated my elbow (fell over on a wet street and came down on the elbow) and the doctor at the hospital had problems putting it back in its socket because the muscles in my arm were apparently quite strong and resistant. They had to get a bigger doctor to do it.

O/wise I swim several times a week and do yoga, which I think is great if you are very sedentary. Writing is not an athletic profession, so I spend a lot of time in a chair...
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 11:55 am:   

I tell you what, if you've got an anger management issue along with depression (that would be me, unfortunately) weight training is the way to go. Not only does it bleed off a lot of heat from those two problems, it seems to help prime the imagination and clear the synapses so you can get some writing done.

That is me anyway.

Liz, I keep a log with me at the gym, not so much because I check it from month to month, but to remember to alternate between the muscle groups I work on. I'll forget and concentrate on the same group three days in a row.

I say that because that is the only reason I know the names of most of the machines I work on.

I would swim more often (I love swimming) but I hate sharing the swim lanes with two semiblind fellow swimmers driving their elbows into my nose.

Speaking of PT, I got to the gym Friday, Saturday and this morning. I did the weight machines on Friday and Saturday, and I did my cardio this morning. My knees are mush and I'm still trying to figure out the best way to get my cardio in without ruining what little is left.

I can't imagine dislocating an elbow, gads that had to hurt.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Liz
Posted on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 02:07 pm:   

A log is a good idea. They do this at my gym, but I got out of the habit, which is bad.

The dislocated elbow sent me into such a state that it did not actually hurt - it was several thousand light years beyond banging one's elbow and made me understand how people can sever their arm and walk for miles with it - shock, basically.

They gave me gas and air when they put it back in, but as stated above, failed, and did not have time to give me some more when they tried again (it was a Saturday night after a big football match and the ER was filled with large bloodstained men who had bottled one another). That hurt.

However, after a couple of weeks in plaster, it was more or less okay.
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 04:12 pm:   

Odd thing, shock after the moment when you experience some really horrible injury. I've experienced that level twice, once cutting a finger open (my right pinkie at the base joint down to the bone) and the second time when I cracked my collar bone last May.

You just sit there and stare at it like, "Okay, I know I didn't just hurt myself this bad."

The pain hits later and I'm not sure that is a good thing or not. But it is probably a survival mechanism designed to get you out of danger, away from predators, big people with sharp nasty weapons, so you can treat the damage later.

Liz, you sound like they sent you to a Veterans Administration Hospital. We should compare medical horror stories sometime. At least they could put you in a cast.

Can't put a cast on a collar bone. You get a sling. It sucks.

I've got a stenopad that I use as a log for workouts, about five by seven with a thick reinforced cardboard back. What is really interesting is to look back at when I cracked my collar bone (last May) and compare strength records up to the present.

I'm just now getting back to where I was before the accident. So they are useful for that.

Mike's playing rugby, I think if I remember his own blog correctly. He keeps it up, he'll have his own cracked bone, dislocated joint story to tell, if he doesn't already. :-)

Personally, I'm getting to old to let other grown men beat the crap out of me for a white ball.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Tuesday, March 23, 2004 - 06:41 am:   

No, I'm not playing rugby -- but my little sister is! I'd like to, but the world doesn't need a big guy like me flailing around on a field for an hour and ending up in the ER with broken bones.

Had a so-so day of weight-lifting yesterday, and a really good day of cardio today. Read four stories in the antho THE URBAN BIZARRE. Good stuff, more or less.

I need to get back into yoga, which my wife and I were doing for a while a year or three ago. My gym offers it Tuesday and Thursday nights -- just have to get off my ass and go. It's free.
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 05:06 pm:   

Fought the Wednesday night gym crowd and got the evening workout in, again skipping the cardio. I'm going to make myself get up at oh dark thirty tomorrow and get the cardio in, honest.

Here is roughly what I did.

Back, Biceps, Abs, Rear
Latflex: 4 sets, 210 lbs Max at 6 reps
Dorsiflex: 4 sets, 200 lbs Max at 6 reps
Lower Back Nautilus: 4 sets, 125 lbs Max 10 reps
Abdominal Nautilus: 4 sets, 125 lbs Max 12 reps
Barbell Curl: 6 sets, 80 lbs Max 6 reps (barely)
Seated Leg Press: 4 sets, 210 lbs Max 6 reps
Leg Extension: 4 sets, 120 lbs Max 6 reps.

The Maximum is generally the last repetition, unless I do a burn set (didn't need to do that tonight). On most exercises I do reps by 10, 8 and 6. The Abs and Lower Back I do high reps, low weight (because I want that section smaller, I'm probably the only straight guy in American that admits to wanting a wasp like torso).

I have to watch the lower back. If I pull too much weight, it feels like disks are slipping. I also have to watch anything with the knees, to include the Leg Extension.

And the only reason I can remember the stats is that I just wrote most of it down not more than ten minutes ago.

Now, if only I can get down to my goal of 180 pounds without breaking my collar bone this year.

Anyone else make it to the gym today?

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 01:42 am:   

I barely made it to the gym yesterday, but I'm glad I did -- I had a really good workout. Haven't lost any ground on the bench, and may be ready to try moving up a bit more in weight.

One thing that bugs the HELL out of me are the socializers at this gym. There are a couple guys who chat more than old ladies at a church breakfast, and they act like they own the place because they know everyone. So they sit on the machines, maybe doing one exercise every ten minutes, and TALK. All the time. Man. What a pain in the butt.

I've got 45 minutes to an hour to get in and get out, and I don't want to talk to anyone unless I'm working out with my wife. So get the hell out of my way, you chatty cathies! I'm coming through.

Don't even get me started on people who "camp out" on a machine...
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 04:35 am:   

Skipped the usual cardio workout this morning and replaced it with a wonderful, long walk in the woods behind our neighborhood (it's all Army Corps of Engineer land, next to Falls Lake). Just the dog and me -- it was great. Elizabeth dropped us off at the entrance, which was still closed to cars, and Whit the greyhound and I took off.

Probably went a mile and a half or 2 miles. So much better than doing a stationary bike and ellipsis machine! The trees are starting to come back to life and the birds are all singing like mad, and the air was nice and crisp.

I did some nice daydreaming as I walked. Of course, the 12-year-old in me was trekking through Middle-Earth along with Frodo and the gang. It's funny how much time I spend in other worlds instead of "the real world."
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 09:13 am:   

Mike wrote: One thing that bugs the HELL out of me are the socializers at this gym. There are a couple guys who chat more than old ladies at a church breakfast, and they act like they own the place because they know everyone. So they sit on the machines, maybe doing one exercise every ten minutes, and TALK. All the time. Man. What a pain in the butt.

That happens a lot where I'm at, Mike. You'll get a clump of five or six in the main walkway that just won't budge. It is one of those moments where I have to resist my urge to kick one behind the knee.

People do seem to go to the gym to socialize. While I will talk to someone (especially if she is good looking) I don't let the talking get in the way of the working out.

That said, the social types seem clog the gym on Monday through Wednesday (which is why I didn't get cardio in last night, too damned many of them).

I will rest on a machine, but this is generally to keep someone from stealing it out from under me. If someone asks, I'll work sets in with them. Or if it is obvious that they are waiting, I'll ask if they want to work in. I can usually use the rest anyway.

I lied about going in for cardio this morning. I slept in. Didn't even write anything.

The good news is that my job requires a lot of walking back and forth across a three block area in Downtown KC. So that helps.

I'm daydreaming when I walk too, Mike. In my case, that is probably not good since I'm supposed to be paying attention (well, I am paying attention, but you know what I mean).

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Friday, March 26, 2004 - 07:32 am:   

Steve -- do you ever see any interesting "business" during your shift? My current story takes place in the bad section of downtown Raleig, and I'd love to hear any anecdotes you may have heard (or lived through).

Went for another long walk with the pooch this a.m. -- I donated blood last night and didn't feel like lifting. Didn't want to damage my arm and all that. It's a good excuse, ain't it?
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Friday, March 26, 2004 - 09:25 am:   

Security wise, Mike? Most of my trouble generally comes from jerks wearing business suits (doesn't seem to matter which gender they are, either).

I lived in Downtown Kansas City from September 2001 to 2002. In the ten story building I lived in (great view is about the only thing to recommend it) we had a bomb scare, the usual drug problem, car thefts (one benefit of driving a POS is that no one will steal it), and probably the worst is that KCPD's response time is at best, four hours unless blood is drawn, then it might be two hours.

Above me on the tenth floor was a methhead who liked to howl out the window various things, wolf sounds, that it was "f-ing beautiful", that he "didn't care" and he liked tossing fire crackers out the window. Maybe a beer bottle or five. He generally did this to the tune of a song whose refrain was, "I don't care."

In any other part of the metro, I could have gone upstairs, told him to stop it, and if a confrontation erupted (as it would have with this one) I could have cheerfullly beat this clown to a pulp and it would have been a case of self defense.

In KCMO, the perspective of the cops and city gov is a bit different. Their perspective is that by going upstairs and opening contact "Hey, Guy, can you please turn the noise down?" I'm at fault if any violence ensues.

I've have given my left nut to flip that son of a bitch out of his apartment window. Knowing my luck, I'd have got caught.

My encounters are mainly with homeless people (some actually vets, some fake vets) and those are generally not issues. You ask them to stay awake, don't pester people for money, show them where the shelters are, ask them to leave if they start harassing people. My general line goes like this when they start arguing with me.

"You don't want to have this discussion. This is going to end one of two ways. You are either going to comply with my request, or I'm going to call someone down here who will MAKE you comply," which usually means armed officers, maybe KCPD (which, if they do actually show up, will simply let the clown off a block up the street as the jails are jammed to the gills and PD feels they don't have time for such nonsense anyway).

At any rate, I rarely have trouble with the street element. Most comply. Most don't want to go to jail. More than a few have warrants.

I'll give it some thought and get back with you.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Mike
Posted on Friday, March 26, 2004 - 01:35 pm:   

Thanks for the input, Steven! Good stuff, especially the bit about the cops not responding to crimes in the seedier districts (well, not "good" for the people involved in those crimes, that is, but fascinating info). That will play a large role in the story I'm working on -- how the cops just can't keep up with or care about the crime going on in the bad parts of town.

You've GOT to put the joker who used to live above you in a story. It's ALL material. And he's a great character (you can actually toss him out of the window in the story!).
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Liz
Posted on Friday, March 26, 2004 - 02:26 pm:   

Steven: ow! Collarbones are supposed to be hell to break.

I made it down the gym today, but just for a swim (due to laziness, I fear...).

The place I go to is quite sociable, but I don't mind that - people tend to chat in the swimming/sauna area and not the gym itself. Lots of elderly ladies and gay guys. It's also SF central - Gwyneth Jones used to go (haven't seen her in there for a bit) and so does fantasy writer Tom Arden.

Gwnyeth is stronger than I am. But this will lead us to thoughts of SF writers' Death Match...
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Friday, March 26, 2004 - 05:48 pm:   

Mike, I gotta take some of what I said back. Just had a clown on work release from Leavenworth cause some trouble today. First the Metro Bus people chased him off of their property (after he threatened one of them), then came over to our property and caused a ruckus.

Anyway, long story short, the Armed Officers we have had to put him in cuffs and wait for PD. PD did actually do the following:

1. Show up in a timely manner.
2. Arrest the Suspect (who threatened us, then PD)
3. Hauled him off to jail.

Which means, since he was drinking, that it will be awhile before he goes out on work release again.

Summer is coming, we'll be getting more of that kind of thing. I'll ask some of my peers and see what screwball stories they have, then e-mail it to you.

Liz, one of my earliest blog entries is entitled "My Big Fat Bicycle Wreck," which was part of my goal of getting down to 180 pounds (I didn't make it). If you really want to be bored, I can e-mail it to you. I broke it riding my bike across a bridge.

In fact, I've had terrible luck with two wheeled conveyances. I've got at least four or five stories that are funny now, but weren't at the time.

I did get upper body in today, skipped cardio (again, I'm going to get flabby at this rate), and tried to swim, but someone puked in the pool so that was a No Go.

We get a wide mix of people at my community center. Old, young, rich, poor (me, I'm poor), as for the gay, well crap, I'm in the Midwest and I'm North of the River in Kansas City. They are probably there and I don't know it. :-)

I don't believe any writers at all go to my gym.

Or they do and I don't know it.

Now it is time for soft steak tacos with rice and mild salsa. :-)

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Monday, March 29, 2004 - 08:29 am:   

Been getting lazy. Odd how the writing thread is making me more productive while this one is making me less productive.

Well, that isn't fair. I'm just lazy.

Anyway, made it to the gym this morning to do the back, biceps, abs part of my workout. Then 30 minutes on the treadmill. I've switched over to high reps and lower weight to build some endurance and tone for the summer months.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Monday, March 29, 2004 - 05:59 pm:   

Don't sweat it, Steven -- I skipped the gym today too! I'm going to be hurting tomorrow after I hit the weights again.

Liz -- I think Jay Lake and I tried to have an SF Writers Death Match at the Tor party at the last World Fantasy Convention. Lamps were apparently broken. I'm a bit fuzzy on the details -- it was late, and colorful liquor had been imbibed...

I think I could've taken Jay, too. ;)
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 06:45 pm:   

Made it back to the gym for a fast, fast upper-body workout. And lots of sit-ups. Ugh.

But I was THIS close to not going at all. So it's a good day.
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 07:16 am:   

Climbed the wall again today, moving on to a slightly harder route. Lots of fun. I thought about trying it again, then I realized how much energy I'd just spent. I need to do this more often -- it's quite fun.

Followed that up with 20 minutes on the bike and 20 minutes on the ellipsis, reading the New Yorker -- this week's story was so-so.
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 09:10 am:   

I'm going tonight after work.

Promise.

No, really. Swear!

Mike, I do ab work using the nautilus ab machine. It targets the gut a lot more effectively than a standard sit up and I don't have to worry about my size nine feet climbing into the air.

The other ab thing I like to do is get on this elevated device where you rest your forearms on these pads and do leg raises. That is another fine way to torture yourself.

Finally, if you are really bored, you can do either flutter kicks or what we called in the Army, "The Hello, Dolly!" Which involves opening and closing your legs while laying on your back, keeping them six inches above the ground.

I've got the chest component slated for tonight. Maybe if I tell myself I'm going to the hot tub after the workout, I'll actually go.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 05:55 pm:   

And I actually got to the gym today. Here is what I did.

I switched over to high reps, less weight this week. Trying to tone up the old wreck for the summer.

Vertical Press: 4 sets, 165 lbs 10 reps
Deltoid Fly: 2 sets, 150 lbs 15 reps
Incline Press: 4 sets, 165 lbs 6 reps (muscle failure, Army vets ought to know what that means)
Abdominal Nautilus: 4 sets, 125 lbs 15 reps
Adductors (I love this machine, they ought to call it "the groin ripper"): 4 sets, 140 lbs 10 reps
Seated Leg Press: 6 sets, 180 lbs 10 reps

And I actually got to swim some laps today. Had a whole lane to myself.

We have a climbing wall where I'm at, unlike Mike, I have not gotten onto it. I'm not fond of heights at all. Not one bit. Mike is the man on that score.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 06:56 am:   

Slept in today! Woo-hoo!

I also stepped on the scale and I've lost 18 pounds since the start of the year. Not bad.
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Thursday, April 01, 2004 - 07:19 am:   

Hey Mike, 18 pounds is pretty good.

You know you are making progress when you put on your favorite trousers and before you can run the belt through the loops, they fall down around your ankles. That is a good sign.

I slept in today as well. I've got class tonight. Will hit the gym tomorrow night.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Tuesday, April 06, 2004 - 09:12 am:   

Back on track, more or less. After a weekend of "good eating" -- a wedding rehearsal, the wedding the next day, and a birthday get-together on Sunday, my wife and I made it to the gym yesterday for a quick weight workout.

And today was 25 minutes on the bike followed by 20 minutes on the ellipsis, plus about 100 crunches total between sets.
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Tuesday, April 06, 2004 - 09:19 am:   

Because Tuesday is the day the gym is jammed to the gills with people who don't know what they are doing, or want to socialize, I decided to try something different.

I got up and did some old fashioned Army PT.

And remembered why I hated it so much.

Did four sets of push ups and four sets of crunches. I'm going to try and get cardio in tonight or tomorrow.

I may start doing more push ups in the mornings. It bothers me that I still have trouble with this basic exercise to this day. I was never any good at push ups in the Army inspite of being able to benchpress my body weight.

Wow, Mike, a 100 crunches. You've got me beat there. If I add up my four sets I did fifty-four crunches.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Mike
Posted on Tuesday, April 06, 2004 - 11:43 am:   

I've always hated pushups and pullups. I try to do pullups each time at the gym, and they have a nice machine that helps you with the "up" in the pull-up maneuver. But pushups -- ugh. I can do 'em, but I don't like 'em.

And the crunchs are spread apart, usually in two or three sets. And sometimes I don't do them as "perfectly" as I should...
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Wednesday, April 07, 2004 - 06:34 am:   

Man, I about killed myself working out this morning. I did both arms and legs, alternating sets without much break in between. Bench press, leg press, shoulder press, leg curls, some other shoulder press thingie, squats, pull ups, rows, lateral pull-downs. 3 sets of abs, about 30-40 per set. Some dumbbells, and that was it.

My arms are numb... ;)
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Wednesday, April 07, 2004 - 06:43 pm:   

Finally got back to the gym today.

Did the Chest portion of my workout and burned 265 calories on the recline bike, so I'm back to cardio.

Wish it had worked all of of my personal aggravation that I feel about some other things. Sometimes the gym does that for me, sometimes it doesn't.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Laura Anne
Posted on Thursday, April 08, 2004 - 06:06 pm:   

I suppose I'll get hurt if I mention that I'm not only down to my ideal weight, but my ideal weight clothing is hanging a little loose? That''ll change this week -- Passover foods are so high-calorie!

Haven't been working the weights too much - still being careful with the back and neck muscles I pulled last month -- but two miles on the treadmill 4 days a week, plus yardwork when it's not raining seems to be doing the trick. Amazing, how many calories homeowning can burn...
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 06:44 am:   

Oof. No gym since Friday. But luckily, like Laura Anne, I had homeowner chores keeping me busy for the past few days -- painted the bathroom (two coats!), broke the flushing mechanism on the toilet taking the tank apart so I could paint behind it, cut the grass, did lots of laundry, gathered junk with my wife for an upcoming yard sale (hoping to make enough for a new lawn mower, woo woo!), fixed the toilet, and finally, got in a great workout on Sunday playing volleyball with the fam while visiting for Easter.

So I guess it's okay if I skipped the gym a couple times... Right???
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 09:10 am:   

I tried running again on Sunday when I found out that the gym was closed for Easter (the bastards).

Ran exactly 800 meters (two laps) and quit.

Did I mention that I hate running?

I'm hitting the gym tonight. Got to hit the gym and do something. It is driving me nuts, not working out.

Yeah, Mike, skipping the gym is okay for you. Me, I can't get by without it.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - 11:51 am:   

Actually, skipping the gym is a bad, bad habit for me, one I'm trying like made to avoid! I need the exercise, big-time.

Got back today and had a really good workout. By the end I was about to fall over, and I could barely do arm curls. I just hope I'm not sore tomorrow.

Darn those eatin' weekends...
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Friday, April 16, 2004 - 09:31 am:   

Oy, a good couple of workout days. Cardio yesterday -- 20 minutes on the bike, 50 situps, 25 minutes on the ellipsis, 50 situps. Got through 1/4 of the latest New Yorker.

This morning I did another 45-minute workout, arms and legs both, including benching 210 8 times (another personal best!). Did everything except squats -- was running out of time. I'm feeling a bit loopy right now -- need some lunch!
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 09:26 am:   

Okay, finally made it back to the gym this last Saturday. I got in a good back, biceps, abs workout. Before that, since it was a sunny warm day, I took four laps around the mile long track at Macken Park. My knees didn't seem to mind that at all.

I had to work yesterday and have class tonight. Hopefully I'll make it back to the gym on Tuesday.

I got my own scale last night (since the gym is always losing theirs or it gets broken). Accordingly, I'm coming in at 188 pounds. If you give or take five pounds, I'm either at 193 or 183.

So I just might make my goal of getting down to 185 pounds this year. Maybe I should try for a lean, mean 175.

Summer is coming and the pools are going to open. Time for some outdoor laps.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 11:30 am:   

Man, I missed the workout today, but had a nice long hike in the woods yesterday for almost an hour and a half, so... that's gotta count for something. Right?
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 11:56 am:   

Mike, if what I did Thursday night counts. I say your hike in the woods counts.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - 07:05 am:   

Oy -- not sure if this was a good idea or not, but instead of hitting the gym this morning I took the dog for a jog through the woods, down the shorter path my wife and I usually take for our afternoon hikes. Did it in about half an hour, and it felt good.

We'll see if the legs start to get sore as the day progresses...
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 04:03 pm:   

Did make it back to the gym this morning, and had a nice, easy workout. No legs, as mine were hurtin' for certain after yesterday's jog.

Plan on doing the jog again tomorrow, and I'm already looking forward to it.
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 06:19 pm:   

Knees are still banged up but I did get back to the gym today as well. I got in a good chest and abs workout, then sat in the hot tub thinking about the future.

Mike, better get into buff shape now. Once Elizabeth delivers her package, you may not have much time to make it to the gym. :-)

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 07:12 am:   

I know, Steve -- I'm wondering how we'll juggle that. I may be able to duck out for an hour in the morning as usual, I think, just not sure when Elizabeth will be able to get there.

Did another "Run Through the Jungle" today, jogging on the trails with the pooch today. It was a bit harder than Tuesday's run -- I guess my muscles are still sore. But I jogged the whole way, and I feel damn good right now. Have to stick with this every other day or so...
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 09:11 am:   

Could do bicep curls with the baby bottle I suppose. Two hundred reps per arm. Formula might get cold though.

As a side note, a bit of advice on formulas.

Apparently my father gave me the formula straight out of the can (do they still have formula in cans?), which made me incredibly sick (according to Mom's recollection). Lots of screaming to be had if you give straight formula to a kid without the proper water mixture.

So, read the instructions. You'd think my father (being a super genius helicopter and car mechanic) would have done that.

In one of life's mysteries, I'm trying to figure out why my brand new, store bought scale tells me I'm 183 (I've not fiddled with the dial) while the scale at the gym says I'm 193 lbs.

I've got class tonight. I'll hit the gym tomorrow night while everyone else is out getting drunk.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Friday, April 23, 2004 - 10:07 am:   

I'm hoping we can skip the formula for at least a couple months, actually (that may be too much info for some people, of course...)

Went for a really great hike this morning through the woods, and got some good thinking done on a variety of issues -- job stuff, house stuff, dad stuff, and hey, even some writing stuff. I realized that I may want to dust off my baseball story/novel ideas sooner than later. I'm enjoying these hikes, even if I'm not getting a good upper-body workout...
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Sunday, April 25, 2004 - 07:21 am:   

Hiking is one of the best brainstorming/writing cures I know of, Mike. I don't know how many times I've gotten either good ideas or solved writing problems by hiking. One good thing about my current job is that it requires me to do a lot of walking (thus, I get a lot of thinking done).

If you want to get a better upper body workout, you could always get a forty pound backpack and stop every hundred yards to pump out a hundred pushups. This was a favorite torture device in boot camp.

Okay, made it into the gym Friday night and Saturday. Did forty minutes of cardio on the elliptical thing now that my knees seem to have recovered. Then I did the Back, Biceps, Abs workout.

Saturday I skipped the cardio (which I'll do this afternoon, promise) and concentrated on Chest, Triceps and Abs. I do Abs everytime I go to the gym.

When I get off work today, I'll see if I can't crank out another forty minutes on the elliptical.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Iron James
Posted on Sunday, April 25, 2004 - 09:47 am:   

I so much admire people who can work out faithfully. My doctor recently put me on a "work out or die" regimen. After two weeks of this, dying is starting to look much more attractive.
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Sunday, April 25, 2004 - 11:08 am:   

I have to workout, even though I don't always enjoy it. It is one of the ways I manage some of the other issues in my life. Lifting weights is preferable to being put away for felony assault on someone who is afflicted with terminal cranial rectal disorder.

It gets better though, James. Just have to take it slow.

I've been slacking lately, due to a number of things. This cold that I have isn't helping.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Wednesday, April 28, 2004 - 01:26 pm:   

Finally made it back to the gym. Got in a quick workout (had to drop off the dog at the vet before work, so time was short). Benched 210 9 times (got a spotter this time!) and am ready to move up to 230, I think. Soon I'll be benching my own weight. I won't say more about that for fear of incriminating myself...

We'll see how sore I am tomorrow...
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Thursday, April 29, 2004 - 06:53 am:   

Not too sore today. Got in some good cardio while reading the fourth Harry Potter book -- 25 minutes on the ellipse, 25 on the bike. Did some situps but ran out of time to do a whole lot.

The book's finally getting good, after floundering around for the first 7-8 chapters.
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Thursday, April 29, 2004 - 07:09 am:   

I made it into the gym Tuesday night and managed to do six sets on the Abdominal Nautlius, but it was so crowded that the rest of the workout was a washout.

Last night I helped a friend move into a new apartment, three flights of stairs. I'll do that again this Friday. So, not quite the gym, but I'm getting exercise.

I'd be doing a lot better if I could get over this cold/allergy that is kicking the crap out of me. Hard to pump iron when you are in the middle of a hacking, coughing, blue faced fit.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Saturday, May 01, 2004 - 09:06 am:   

Had a really good workout this morning. And I started off by "maxing out" at 250 on the bench press -- that 4 45-lb. weights with a 10 on each side, plus a 50-lb. bar. Wow. I was only able to do it once, but it felt good!

The sad thing is, I'm still not benching my weight. Getting close, though. VERY close... A week of hard dieting and I'm there. :-)
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Steven Francis Murphy
Posted on Monday, May 03, 2004 - 09:54 am:   

Got back at it last night and boy did I need to. I did back, biceps, abs, and rear, then did thirty minutes of cardio.

Mondays are always a nightmare at the gym. I may wait until around eight thirty or nine and try to get a quick chest workout in.

Mike, I've come close to benching my own weight a number of times. But pain in my joints stops me short.

I certainly bench over my Army weight of 154 these days. But I presently weigh in around the 190s so I don't suppose that counts.

I need to get back onto a diet. Too much dining out lately.

Respects,
S. F. Murphy
http://sfmurphy.journalspace.com
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Tuesday, May 04, 2004 - 07:42 am:   

Yeah, Murph, rub it in that you're under 200! I've not been under that weight since high school. At least I'm somewhat tall, about 6'2", so I don't look TOO much like a beach ball.

I've continued this thread over at a new topic, called "Working Out, Losing the lbs...."

Time to lose that weight.

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