Friday, April 30, 2010

Stress Relief

No pics for today. It's a dreary, windy, sad day in South Louisiana. I could smell the oil on the wind last night, and I heard on the news the oil slick has touched shore. The leak still hasn't been plugged, and it looks like they will be drilling a relief well. This could take weeks and weeks. I can now say that crude oil smells a bit like a marina in July, when sniffed from a distance. My company is under contract with BP, so I will not publish any thoughts on the subject.

My trailer-mate here in the camp had on The News today, and it got me riled up with the over exposure of news and opinions spun out in a far reaching direction to the right or left, depending on the network of your choice. All the goings on and the current political situation (more accurately the very public reaction to) just had me a smidge out of sorts. I could tell when I was swearing under my breath and getting mad over the touch pad on my computer, and wanting to throw my laptop through my trailer wall, that I was primed for a good "Dance with Helga" workout. I incorporated weighted sprints with a full 5 gallon water jug, and a concrete paver block. The block is roughly 4" x 16" x 16" and I am unsure of the exact weight, but using a standard nominal weight of 150#/cubic foot, or 12.5#/cubic inch, the block weighs around 82 pounds. I guesstimated somewhere between 75# and 100#, so that's about right. I suck at math, so please correct me if I am wrong.

So here is the workout:

Warm-up: (after carrying everything to my workout area)
50 D/U
15 handstand push-ups
sledgehammer swings

Workout -- 5 rounds For Time:
20 Sledgehammer Blows (alternating sides)
10 Heavy Block Presses (concrete block)
1 50yd Sprint with 5gal water jug on shoulder

50 Crunches
50 Oblique Crunches (25 R/L)
50 Flutter Kicks (4-count)

Dinner: Rock Cornish Game hen stuffed with lemon...

The workout was completed in 12:30. I was fighting pukie at the beginning of round 4, but the beauty of a sledgehammer is you can imagine the face of someone you dislike in your head on your hammer target. Here is where the Stress Relief comes into play. There is a particular face I had on my tire this evening. I picked up the pace at that point, and was back in the game. It was a challenge having to power snatch an odd object over my head to facilitate the shoulder presses in the last two rounds, but the form doesn't change much from using a bar to odd objects. You still need to be centered, and dip under the weight just like in an Olympic lift. Granted, it isn't as pretty as a flawlessly performed Power Clean, but I would have hurt myself if I tried to fight the concrete up with my arms. I only had to break up the presses on the last two rounds, and that was just to insure I didn't drop the thing on my head. I will definitely be incorporating more weighted sprints into the workouts as well. I think a good 400m jug run might be in the future.

All in all, this was good stress relief. Helga dances like a champion.

I'm definitely feeling hammered... nyuk nyuk nyuk.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Meet Helga

Helga is a svelte 8 lb. sledgehammer with a wooden handle. She has an old-school flair to her, and despite only weighing 8 lbs., she has a knack for puttin' a hurtin' on an old tire -- she showed me today. We found an old tire on the side of the canal by a bridge, and She immediately hated that tire. It wasn't long after we rolled the guy home, that she was hammering the crap out of said tire. Bayou tires suck. We hate them. We punish them with brute force and become stronger and meaner.

So, with less personification, I had a good workout today. I picked up a sledgehammer last night from wallyworld for $19, and during a run this afternoon, I found Stumpy the swamp tire by the side of the canal under the bridge. No mosquitoes in sight.

My workout started with an after flight run that was supposed to be 3 miles, but I couldn't overcome the mental block and run the whole time. While walking (feeling like a wuss), I found the tire, and my running partner and I rolled it back to the trailer I sleep in while on the job. With no gym facilities to speak of here, a good workout is a nice treat that breaks up the day, and gives a beautiful rush of endorphins. I decided to use the Tabata Protocol to get my fix of power and pain.

The workout consisted of: 32 rounds of 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest each. The first round is Sledgehammers alternating L/R, second round is squats, and third round is push-ups. The sledgehammer may never leave your hands, and may not rest on the ground during squats. Push-ups are performed holding the sledgehammer under your hands on the ground.

Now I attempted to do all the squats Over-head, but I had to let it down on my shoulders sometimes, so I didn't put it in the total. Likewise, some push-ups were with the feet on the tire, but since it's only 10 inches and I was inconsistent, I left that out as well. Basically, it equates to one hell of a 16 minute workout that sneaks up on you. By alternating the rounds in threes, I didn't burn out completely with every exercise. I suppose it can't be considered a true Tabata protocol without hitting each exercise for 8 rounds consecutively, but it still works. I feel it now over 4 hours later, and I am going to venture a guess that I will be hurting tomorrow. Helga will be a cursed name in the morning. For now, I will keep riding this endorphin wave, and eat my mushroom and leek soup with pork waiting for the beeper to go off for a call to save the day.

Helga and I will play again tomorrow. She's great stress relief.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


I apologize for not updating the blog the past month. I have many things to talk about, but not the words to put them in. Focus and motivation have been on other tasks. Family and work are primary to an online journal.

There will be more ranting and raving in the near future as well as music reviews (good music this summer) workouts and recipes. Until then, roam through my links.

Enjoy the spring if you are in the Northern Hemisphere.