Yoga and weights: getting the mix right…

I think that my walking took a beating as I lost leg strength. Goblet squats are helping. But I’ve stopped doing yoga (save a few back/ab exercises) and now I am stiff. I’ll add yoga after weights.

Workout notes: weights then a little bit of yoga (sun salutes, abs, headstand, very stiff. Held plank for 2 minutes…not that hard)

weights: rotator cuff, pull ups (2 sets of 5-5-5, 2 sets of 10…went ok)
bench press: 10 x 135, 3 x 190, 5 x 185
incline press: 10 x 140
military: 15 x 55 dumbbell (seated, supported), 10 x 50 standing, 10 x 40 standing
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 55, 10 x 60

Did goblet squats yesterday.

Walking: 5 miles last night; Barbara conked out at 3.6 miles. Too hot for her.

June 9, 2017 Posted by | walking, weight training, yoga | Leave a comment

Hey, my eyes are down here!

Workout notes: treadmill 4 mile run; tried to warm up a little bit quicker but my first attempts at 6.7 mph (1:30, 2, then 5 minutes) were a bit ragged. I was at mile 2 in 21:06 or so; I finally got to 6.7 again at 24 minutes into it and was able to throw in 6.8, 6.9 and 7 at the end. Total time: 38:36 for 4 miles…then some free squats.

Run notes: I have a feisty friend who (teasingly?) admonishes me to not check out her butt; when she passes me she turns and says “eyes up…my eyes are up here”. So seeing this yoga photo made me chuckle..and I made this meme:


October 26, 2016 Posted by | big butts, Friends, running, spandex, yoga | Leave a comment

You won’t keep that New Year’s Resolution to workout unless…

I saw this on a friend’s wall and it made me laugh:


And yes, many of my sports and fitness minded friends have laughed about seeing the gym crowded early in the year only to become empty later.

Jan1st Gym

There is some research that talks about this. It appears that some of us are programmed to like working out and others are not.

And, let’s face it: all of us HAVE to do stuff we don’t want to do.

So, what about those who don’t have the desire to exercise built into their nature?

One approach that works for some is to make exercise a social thing. One can do this with a spouse or good friend (some have used me for this purpose) and one can either join an exercise class or develop a “community feeling” for a set workout period. I see many in the Riverplex who do this, even with me (e. g. someone noticed that I had a hair cut and a shave).

It is also my personal opinion that one should find an activity that they either enjoy or at least are more tolerant of.
I am lucky in there is a lot that I like to do (though I am not good at it) but even I need people; that is probably why I do more of those 5K races than I should.

If someone knows that they are goal oriented, one can make it a goal to, say, finish the local major race (e. g. the Steamboat 4 mile in Peoria) and join a group that is designed to get people to do that (like, say, the Illinois Valley Striders Building Steam program).

All of the well-intended resolutions in the world have a low probability of success if there is no concession made to a person’s nature.

I note that several of my friends who are very, very fit (finished marathons or beyond, lead several exercise classes, etc.) workout mostly in groups or with a friend.

This is why I am not a big fan of home exercise equipment. It can help…those who are genetically programed to do it anyway. And I do use our home treadmill when I am pressed for time OR when it is snowy/icy outside. But I am one of those who will “do it anyway.”

December 28, 2015 Posted by | workouts, yoga | , , | Leave a comment

Still a bit sore

Workout notes: 3 mile walk after weights (Bradley Park). Note: there is now a police car which hangs out on Parkside; that keeps the driving speed down. 🙂

Weights: rotator cuff
pull ups (5 sets of 10..better)
incline presses: 10 x 135, 4 x 165, 7 x 150 (dug deep on these)
military/Hammer Machine rows/pull down superset: 3 sets of 10 each exercise:
40 lb. dumbbell for the military, 200 for the row, 160 for the pull down.

I did some headstand too.

September 16, 2015 Posted by | weight training, yoga | 2 Comments

oh my back!

Workout notes: swimming; I did see Ms. Vickie at the Riverplex.

500 warm up, 5 x 50 fly/free, 5 x 50 back/free
12 x 50 fist/free on the 1:05
alternate 100: pull, free (5 of these)
75 side, 25 free.

I went to the office to work. That chair just kills my back; so I invested in a better chair. Well, see how it goes; it sure felt comfortable at the store and more comfortable than the best chair we have in our house.

Last night: the pain referred to my right hip; stretching the back made it feel better. I need to be serious about my daily back PT and perhaps 10-15 minutes of yoga a day.

June 15, 2015 Posted by | swimming, yoga | | Leave a comment

Bias of many types…and a walk

Today’s workout: end of “leisure” workout. I did my 8.1 cornstalk course in 2 hours (some rain…I didn’t get that wet) and then 2 more miles on the treadmill: 12:00/11:20 to get 23:20. I wanted to do at least a little faster than marathon pace.

RIP: BKS Lyengar, famous yogi and author of Light on Yoga.

Here he is in 1977 when he was in his late 50’s. What flexibility, strength, and body control!

Survivorship bias: this is the annoying tendency to see, say, a dozen successful companies, see what they have in common, and then conclude that what they have in common is what made them successful. Nope; you have to see how many companies did those same things and WERE NOT successful, among other things. From the article:

This is what Pomona College economist Gary Smith calls the “survivor bias,” which he highlights as one of many statistically related cognitive biases in his deeply insightful book Standard Deviations (Overlook, 2014). Smith illustrates the effect with a playing card hand of three of clubs, eight of clubs, eight of diamonds, queen of hearts and ace of spades. The odds of that particular configuration are about three million to one, but Smith says, “After I look at the cards, the probability of having these five cards is 1, not 1 in 3 million.” […]

Smith found a similar problem with the 1982 book In Search of Excellence (more than three million copies sold), in which Tom Peters and Robert Waterman identified eight common attributes of 43 “excellent” companies. Since then, Smith points out, of the 35 companies with publicly traded stocks, 20 have done worse than the market average.

Depression I talked about depression in an earlier post. Here is some of what science knows about it right now:


See the subtle racism here? The idea is that this black Attorney General who has spoken out about race relations is somehow too “emotionally invested” or biased to be even handed. Why would a black Attorney General be any less evenhanded than a white one? And shouldn’t we be far more concerned with an Attorney General who did NOT see race relations as a problem?

Here: Kansas City police officer posts a snarky post about Michael Brown’s character (the dead teenager in Ferguson) and shows a photo of a young black man with a gun and money in his mouth. But this black man is some guy in Oregon…not Michael Brown. It is amusing that police officers everywhere are telling us to not to rush to judgement but… 🙂

I suppose that given that we have 300+ million people in this country and a lot of police officers, a few are bound to be crackpots.

Racism in sports
Sadly, some African American athletes have racist stuff directed at them. Here is an example (Eddie Chambers, an elite boxer)

August 20, 2014 Posted by | boxing, racism, science, social/political, statistics, walking, yoga | , | Leave a comment


The windows are rattling from the thunderstorms. But I got my run in ahead of time.
I woke up sore and stiff. So I backed off of the idea of an interval workout:

4.2 mile Cornstalk classic (outside)
5K on the track (middle lane): 8:51, 8:51, 8:39 (26:41), 27:37 total (slow last lap).
Then 18 minutes on the bike (5 miles); this hurt at first.

I do have to watch my back on the bike.

I’ve returned to doing back stretches (McKenzie, down dog, up dog, Camel, Standing Back Bends) , but nothing quite this extreme:

August 19, 2014 Posted by | running, spandex, yoga | | Leave a comment



corin-riggs-3 (1)

I got to get back to doing it. (via: GIYP)

August 28, 2013 Posted by | yoga | Leave a comment

Some Science for the end of April 2013

Woo and yoga
Someone asked me how I could like yoga and be down on “alternative (quack) medicine”. Well, there have been some rigorous studies done on yoga and it CAN be recommended for physical therapy purposes (e. g. back aches). Via our National Institute of Health.

This Tiger Frog from Ghana is a cutie:


Movies: I want to see this one:

Note: my beef with religion, at least as practiced in the west, is that too many of them require people to accept “miracles” (resurrections, parting seas, virgin births, etc.) on “faith” (sans evidence). So once you “accept” that the laws of science (naturalism) can be suspended at set times, then, well, why trust science with anything? Seriously: if there is, say, water on your basement floor and a pipe joint above that with green on the joint…well…if you didn’t SEE it drip, then maybe the water and the green just appeared because of the work of some devil or pixie? Why not…if suspensions of naturalism are allowed?

My beef is NOT with religions that don’t require acceptance of miracles.
It is my opinion that a deity/spirit/whatever that is interested in humans and human affairs makes no sense, but that is the realm of opinion.


How about a storm that has an eye 1250 miles wide and winds of 330 miles per hour?

The eye of a super-hurricane at Saturn’s north pole looks like a peaceful red rose in a fresh bouquet of pictures from NASA’s Cassini orbiter. But don’t be fooled: That rosy appearance is merely due to the false colors ascribed to infrared wavelengths.
This storm’s eye measures 1,250 miles (2,000 kilometers) in diameter, about 20 times wider than the average hurricane’s eye on Earth. The outer clouds at the hurricane’s edge are traveling at 330 mph (530 kilometers per hour), which would be off the scale on our planet. The vortex whirls inside Saturn’s mysterious hexagonal cloud pattern, and it’s not going anywhere.


How do you like this image of the moon taking from space near the earth?


Here is a picture of a solar eclipse via Scientific American:

Miloslav DruckmĂĽller, a mathematician at the Brno University of Technology in the Czech Republic, and his colleagues were on Enewetak as the eclipse’s shadow raced toward them from the northwest at more than twice the speed of sound. This composite of 31 images from the eclipse shows the solar corona, the wispy “atmosphere” of the sun peeking out from behind the moon as well as the cratered, rayed surface of the moon itself.

Back on Earth Again
This species of fish, commonly found in China, Russia and Korea, has been found in New York. It is an invasive species.


Even more interestingly, it can actually breathe outside of water for a short period of time (days) and even hunt.

April 30, 2013 Posted by | astronomy, atheism, biology, frogs, nature, physics, religion, science, space, yoga | , , , , | Leave a comment

Stretching and Grumpy Cat

Did I tell you that I LOVE Grumpy Cat!




Probably the main reason I gave up 6 am yoga is that my runs right after class were usually horrible. Perhaps this is why:

Now, two new studies are giving us additional reasons not to stretch.

One, a study being published this month in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, concluded that if you stretch before you lift weights, you may find yourself feeling weaker and wobblier than you expect during your workout. Those findings join those of another new study from Croatia, a bogglingly comprehensive re-analysis of data from earlier experiments that was published in The Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports. Together, the studies augment a growing scientific consensus that pre-exercise stretching is generally unnecessary and likely counterproductive.

Many issues related to exercise and stretching have remained unresolved. In particular, it is unclear to what extent, precisely, subsequent workouts are changed when you stretch beforehand, as well as whether all types of physical activity are similarly affected.

For the more wide-ranging of the new studies, and to partially fill that knowledge gap, researchers at the University of Zagreb began combing through hundreds of earlier experiments in which volunteers stretched and then jumped, dunked, sprinted, lifted or otherwise had their muscular strength and power tested. For their purposes, the Croatian researchers wanted studies that used only static stretching as an exclusive warm-up; they excluded past experiments in which people stretched but also jogged or otherwise actively warmed up before their exercise session.

The scientists wound up with 104 past studies that met their criteria. Then they amalgamated those studies’ results and, using sophisticated statistical calculations, determined just how much stretching impeded subsequent performance.

The numbers, especially for competitive athletes, are sobering. According to their calculations, static stretching reduces strength in the stretched muscles by almost 5.5 percent, with the impact increasing in people who hold individual stretches for 90 seconds or more. While the effect is reduced somewhat when people’s stretches last less than 45 seconds, stretched muscles are, in general, substantially less strong.

They also are less powerful, with power being a measure of the muscle’s ability to produce force during contractions, according to Goran Markovic, a professor of kinesiology at the University of Zagreb and the study’s senior author. In Dr. Markovic and his colleagues’ re-analysis of past data, they determined that muscle power generally falls by about 2 percent after stretching.

In short, the lengthened, relaxed muscles stored less energy.

But on the other hand, the benefits from a stronger core were also gone. Hence I might return to yoga, but take the evening class the way that I used to. It does make my back and hamstrings feel better and I am not disciplined enough to do full routines AFTER running or lifting (I do a few poses…sometimes).

April 5, 2013 Posted by | humor, yoga | | Leave a comment