Tag Archives: resistance

Building Volume in the Shoulder Season

September is the beginning of the shoulder season.  That is to say, September represents the descent of days spent in the saddle and an increase in the number of workouts to get prepared for the upcoming ski season.  Snow may not have fallen on the slopes yet, but September is when a successful ski season begins.  It does help to have put on over 2,500 miles on my bike this summer so I am starting with an excellent aerobic base.

Switching from long rides on gravel to a high intensity interval training (HIIT) regime that emphasizes explosive movements requires some planning.  If one were to just jump right in you might find yourself spending the better part of a week walking around sore.  Never mind the chance of injury that comes from not properly executing lifts when fatigue sets in.

The key is to build volume over a period of time.  Most people like to focus on adding weight as a benchmark of progress, but if there is not a base of volume to work from injury will likely result.  Matt Owen, a St. Louis based trainer, was quoted in Outside Magazine:

We need to really build that base of general physical preparedness in order to build other stuff on top of it—strength, power, sport-specific movement. We’re going to value volume—one to two hours of work every day—over anything else at first. It’s a lot easier to get strong when you’re able to tolerate more work, more time lifting weights, and you’re able to recover faster than if we just pull you in and make you start lifting heavy.

I am not over fifty years old…yet.  Nonetheless, this advice is sound for anyone who values long term fitness across multiple physical disciplines without experiencing injury.  Once the base is set through a series of workouts a person can focus on the stuff that will really allow them to excel on the slopes.  The same thing can be said in the spring.  No one should jump on the bike and grind out a fifty mile day without first putting on some miles via series of shorter rides.

During the shoulder season, as I watch the early season snowfall reports with anticipation of deep powder days, I am working in three to four HIIT sessions a week while maintaining three or four long rides on my bicycle.  The difference from my HIIT sessions later in the year is that I have lessened the weight on most movements and focused on keeping the repetitions high.

By October I should be ready to transition into four or five longer HIIT sessions with heaver weights and more time on the rowing machine.  By December my body should be ready for the slopes.  Of course, I will be sore after my first day of bombing and ready to soak in the hot tub.  It’s tradition!

Friday Linkage 10/13/2017

Every day I think that we have reached a new low with the Trump administration.  If it is not family corruption, it is cabinet members using the taxpayer as a personal travel expense account.  If it is not crude behavior, it is stoking the fires of racial unrest.

Now it looks like Trump has set his dim sights on war with North Korea and threatening the 1st Amendment.  I know that the right wing only really loves the 2nd Amendment, but a threat to the Constitution cannot go unchallenged.  However, nothing else matters save for tax cuts for billionaires so the Republican members of Congress may grumble but they will kiss the ring of their dear leader.

On to the links…

Trump’s Plans To Demolish Clean Power Plan Revealed—Scott Pruitt has one goal in this world: make the world a better place for fossil fuel interests at the expense of everything else.  Once you understand this motivation every action makes sense.  Furthermore, Trump and his cabal are wedded to coal because they need to keep the narrative alive that Trump is saving rural jobs.

The GOP wants to repeal Obama’s Climate Plan. Like Health Care, it’s Going to be a Fiasco.—Can we all just agree that any day Trump and his cronies are in the White House has the potential to be a fiasco.  Actually trying to govern is a freaking dumpster fire.

Vintage Photos Taken by the EPA Reveal what America Looked like before Pollution was Regulated—Even Scott Pruitt’s EPA has documentation to show just how much better our country is now that pollution is regulated.  I realize that people like Trump do not like to read because it is hard, so pictures can supply the necessary knowledge.

The Two Clean Energy Bills that Could take California’s Climate Action to the Next Level—California may be burning right now, but the state is pushing ahead with aggressive climate change related legislation.  Leadership at the national level may be lacking.  States can create a critical mass to generate meaningful change.

Will Iowa Continue Adopting Wind, Solar without Federal Mandate?—This is a little closer to home.  Here is the thing, Iowa was deploying large amounts of wind before the Clean Power Plan.  The economics for that development have not changed in any measurable way that would favor a change.  Furthermore, the state already gets almost 40% of its electricity from the wind and has projects in the pipeline that will take that number north of 50% in the coming few years.  This all comes at the expense of coal because no one is retiring cheap to run wind turbines or cleaner natural gas facilities to keep an old coal boiler running.  Solar  is the icing on the cake.

Friendly Policies Keep US Oil and Coal Afloat Far More than We Thought—What is Scott Pruitt’s answer to the question of oil and gas subsidies?  He has come out vociferously against the small amount of subsidies for wind and solar, but he is silent on the taxpayer money going to prop up his friends in oil, gas, and coal.  We already knew who lined his pockets, but these questions need to be asked loudly, often, and on the record.

This Coal Baron has Trump’s Ear. What he says is Utter Nonsense.—This is Robert Murray.  He likes coal because coal made him rich.  He likes Trump because Trump likes his money, so Trump likes coal.  Too bad everything that comes out of his mouth is just garbage.

Rooftop Solar & Storage – Cheaper Than Subsidizing Old Coal—Facts will not get in the way of people like Scott Pruitt and Rick Perry pushing a dirty fuels agenda.  This is the administration built on falsity and outright lies that answers facts with “We will agree to disagree.”  The future is now and we need to keep pushing.

Solar Competitors Band Together to Help Bring Electricity to Storm-Ravaged Puerto Rico—The federal government will not help Puerto Rico in a sensible way because the sitting president does not like people who happen to be brown, don’t play golf, and don’t want to join his shitty club in Florida.  Socially conscious private industry is rising to the occasion to provide solutions in the wake of a dearth of actual leadership in Washington D.C.

Rooftop Solar Provides 48% Of South Australia Power, Pushing Grid Demand To Record Low—This graph is full of amazing insights:


We are just beginning to realize the potential of distributed renewables.

Australia Adds 97 MW Rooftop Solar In September, Set For Record 1 GW In 2017—Those will not be the last charts of that type you see from Australia either.

Let’s Take A Moment To Remember How Shitty Electric Cars Once Were—The most amazing thing, in my opinion, about the current electric vehicles on the market is that they are true vehicles.  These are not souped up golf carts or hacked conversions.  These are vehicles that can easily replace all but the longest road trips.

GM’s SURUS Fuel-Cell Truck Platform Could be a Disaster-Relief Hero—In general, I find fuel cell concepts to be half-baked.  However, this idea has real merit for a number of reasons.  The most pressing of which is made clear in places like Puerto Rico or New York after Superstorm Sandy.  People need electricity and liquid fuel runs out quickly.  Imagine a fleet of these disembarking from a Joint High Speed Vessel to a damaged seaside location.

The Empty Countryside—This story may be about rural England, but it could easily have been used to describe northwest Iowa or southeastern Colorado.  It is a long term demographic and development trend that I see no chance of abating in the near future.

Why Forest Kindergartens are the Best Schools for Our Young Kids—Maybe it is not just the forest, but the opportunity to freely apply lessons to an environment of your own choosing.

McDonald’s is Now Selling a “McVegan”—It is meatless and dairy free.  It is only available in Finland for some reason.

The Chicken Experiment That Shook the World—If there is going to be a global health crisis we are completely unprepared to deal with it will be antibiotic resistance.  It is amazing to think that so many of our problems can be traced back to a single experiment in the 1940s.  That is history for you.

Weigh-in Wednesday 1/4/2012

It’s 2012 and I am marching toward my weight loss goals.  The holidays are past and with it goes the gluttony of too much food, too much drink, and too much frivolity.  Okay, maybe not too much of those things but surely more than normal.

I would make resolutions, but I have already issued myself challenges for the cold weather months and I see no need to change those.  Warm weather challenges will come as the weather turns from winter to spring.

Weight loss and fitness seem to be at odds for me.  Working out four days a week has become the minimum and getting in six days during the week is when I feel good, but the weight is not coming down.  My clothes fit better and a new pair of jeans in a waist size down already exhibits some of the plumber’s crack problems I associate with becoming slimmer.  Nothing makes you feel better about your body image than having to constantly pull up a newly purchased pair of pants in a smaller size because everything is sliding off your waste.

I feel stronger.  After spending the day helping my brother move I was not winded and watched him struggle mightily with being sore the next day—he took full advantage of my hotel’s access to a hot tub.  And he wondered why I used credit card points for a hotel room.

Three Weeks Ago: 208.2 lbs

This Week: 210.4 lbs

To Lose: 20.4 lbs

Weigh-in Wednesday 12/14/2011

A fraction of a pound–okay, 0.4 of a pound–is progress and in one week that is pretty good.  Heck, over the course of a year that would be over 20 pounds lost.  But, in light of some of my recent backsliding it just feels like getting back to the starting line.

Hopefully, with the holiday almost here I will stop having a hectic schedule at work–being shut down between Christmas and New Years will help–so I can focus on some harder cardio workouts.  I think the problem lies less in the workouts and more in the calories consumed.

The major meals of the day are not the problem.  It’s the almost unconscious snacking at night before bed.  Last night I took a step back and thought it through.  Dinner consisted of baked chicken, broccoli, and sweet potatoes.  All good sized portions and what not.  However, I ate a bag of microwave popcorn and some chocolate.  By my estimate that was 400 to 500 calories that was added to the daily total.  Over the course of a week that would equal one pound of fat to work off.  Ugh.

Last Week: 208.6 lbs

This Week: 208.2 lbs

To Lose: 18.2 lbs

Weigh-in Wednesday

Two weeks and no progress to speak of.  Maybe even a little backsliding.  I would like to blame the holidays and being sick, but I do not seem to be out of character on my diet or anything similar.  Hmmmm….

Anecdotally, I am feeling great about my progress.  I have upped the difficulty on my cardio workouts, increased the weight on my strength training, and I fit into a pair of jeans with a 36 waist.  I have not seen a 36 waist on a pair of my jeans in a decade.  And this is not squeezing into a pair of jeans for a number’s sake.  Nope, this is the pair of pants that look better because nothing is sagging like fat guy pants.  Progress.

All hope is not lost.

Two Weeks Ago: 207.2 lbs

This Week: 208.6 lbs

To Go: 18.6 lbs

Weigh-in Wednesday 11/23/2011

It’s the day before Thanksgiving and I am concerned about my weight.  No, I am not worried about ruining my chances at getting down to my goal of 190 pounds through too much turkey, football, and beer.  Rather, I am concerned about why I am not losing weight at all.  Instead I seem to be fluctuating between 205 and 207 pounds.  It’s a good place to be after knocking on the door of 230 pounds for a while, but it is a little frustrating.  Kind of hoping for a breakthrough sometime soon.

My workout regime is yielding results everywhere but the scale.  I feel great and my clothes are looser.  Heck, my jeans are starting to look like a sick joke but I cannot own up to buying another pair until I have hit my weight loss goal.  All of my work clothes had to go through a refresh cycle because I looked like I was wearing someone else’s stuff.

I have added some strength training to my light cardio days.  Light cardio days are 60 minutes and heavy cardio days are 90 minutes.  I picked up the strength training ideas from some random men’s magazines.  One is called the “55.”  It is done by starting with 10 push up and 1 body weight squat.  After a short period of rest–20 to 30 seconds–the next routine decreases the first by one and increases the second by one.  In the end you do 55 reps of each exercise.  The other is called the “tailpipe.”  At the end of the workout I do 25 reps of bicep curl, tricep kickback, military press, kettlebell swing, and burpees broken only by 8 deep breaths.  It does not sound like much, but because it comes at the end of a workout your body is pretty well gassed.

In an effort to break things up this winter because bicycling season is almost over–the last time I was out this week there were some slick spots from frost–I am looking at a rowing machine to spell the treadmill sessions.  In college I was a fan of the rowing machines at the University of Minnesota’s rec center but that was almost 15 years ago.

Last Week: 205.4 lbs

This Week: 207.2 lbs

To Go: 17.2 lbs