How's it going?


Whatever you do, don't ask me, "How's it going?" (or "How's it goin'?") if you don't care about the answer. I'm going to answer you, then ask you how you're doing. And if I ask, it's because I'm curious, and I would like an answer.

I'll stare at you until you answer, too.

So, save us both the embarrassment and just use, "Hello." or "Hi." or "Good morning." as a salutation. Okay?

ASA MVP mid-January workout, mostly lats


Today was a thinly disguised upper body workout that was brutal in its simplicity.

We started out with ladders to warm up. We did the long (19 square) run, doing 2 sets of only like 6 - 7 runs. I'm kinda in a rut with those. :\

Next, we did progressive box jumps, standing two foot take-offs, followed by single foot take offs with double foot landing. Single foot landing (for either) is much harder. The progressive part was G putting the exercise pads on a handful at a time to increase the height of the landing. Kris ended up at about 4', I ended up under 3'. We jumped about 3 at each height. I had some good jumps, some not so good jumps (that didn't hurt because of the landing on the exercise pad) and some stalls (where I just stood there and could not get myself to jump - very strange). We started with the two foot take off, then left foot take off, then right.

Next, we checked our vertical jump (standing, two foot jump). I managed only 14" this way, which sucks unbelievably because I've done better. I don't know if the jumps beforehand hurt my height that much, but 14" is poor, poor, poor.

Surprisingly, we started in on upper body next. We did a set each of clappers (I did 8, and did fairly well), T push ups, chinese pushups, switch-hands jump over the ball (one hand on ball, the other to the side, explode up, switching hands on the ball), and walk over the ball.

Next we did the slapping swiss ball work. Man, this one was hard. Holding the ball under one arm, hold tight because it's going to be slapped, arm straight, the ball pressed tightly against the hip. G slapped it forward, backward, up, down and every other way. Switch arms, repeat. Then, hold it out in front, and slap away. Finally, balance in a pushup position, with the ball being slapped.

We did pullups next. I am going to do a pull up. Unaided. Damnit. But not tonight. I did 2 sets of 5 with Kris' help. Inner grip, palms facing out.

Abs came last. I told G I wasn't going to be at ASA on Wednesday, so I received a beating on this one. We did the normal bicycles, Russian crunches and V ups. I then did the incline bench rotations, partner pushdowns, and round the world ball toss with the 12 pound ball.

My abs and lats hurt. And it's not even tomorrow.

13-6, imagine that


Today, after a week of crampy warning, marks the truly official number 6.

Menstruations are losing big time this year. I've had 13 migraines and only 6 periods. Each of those 6 were whoppers (so this is what it's like to be female), but there were only 6 (only 6, I say. ONLY 6. Only 6).

I forgot to mention #5, it started about November 10th. I remember because I was at the UPA at the time for the league conference.

Bah. I think I'd like to go back to 2.

Or 0.

ASA MVP after Christmas


We worked with Pat today, as G had to dash to get home before 17 closed (blame it on the rain!).

I started late, Kris had already started. We did seriously abbreviated ladders: 6 half ladders (only 9 squares instead of 19). I didn't feel completely warmed up, which is a bummer, because I really like ladders.

The first exercise was the L drill: run straight for 10 yards, turn to the side and sprint to the cone 8 yards away, turn around, run back to the corner cone, turn and sprint back to the starting point. 2 to the right, 2 to the left.

The shuffle T-drill figure 8 was next. Sprint forward 10 yards, around the top of the cone, shuffle to the right behind the cone 4 yards away, shuffle around the bottom of this side cone, then back to the top of the center cone. Continue shuffling to the bottom of the left cone, shuffle around this side cone, then back to the center cone. Shuffle around the top of the center cone, and run backwards to the starting cone. That's 1. 4 to the right first, 4 to the left first, for a total of 8.

Horse-shoes and one-footed side-to-sides came next. This was a bit of a mini-circuit. The first half was hop between two cones 2 feet apart on one foot for 15 seconds, then switch feet and hop between the two cones on the other foot for 15 seconds. Immediately switch to the other half of the circuit, for another 30 seconds. Do 8 of these sets.

The second half of the circuit was the horse-shoe jumps, which had four cones spaced 2 feet apart, each at the corner of a square. Starting at the top left cone, two-foot hop backwards to the bottom left cone. Then hop to the right bottom cone, then the top right cone. Reverse back to the bottom right cone, bottom left cone, top left cone. Continue for 30 seconds (while the other person is doing the one-legged hops between cones at the other half of the mini-circuit).

The killer part of the workout was next. We did 30 seconds of ankle jumps (legs locked, use your arms to jump up quickly, height doesn't matter, just quickness), 30 seconds of high-knee hops (feet together, jump bringing knees as high as possible, height does matter, not speed), and 30 seconds of squat jumps. We did 8 sets of these. I was unable to do the squat jumps at all. Kris cramped at set 7 or so, but finished.

Last was a shuffle shuttle. Start at the middle, shuffle 5 yards to the left, shuffle back 10 yards to the right, shuffle back 5 yards to the left. I kept up with Kris for the most part. We did only four of these.

Last was abs. We did a 4 mini-sets of 15 seconds each of raised leg toe touches, bicycles, lawn chairs (lie down on your back, arms over your head, raise your legs and arms up at the same time, so that you look like you're sitting in a Kraft-matic adjustable bed), sprinters (bicycles, but hold the twist for 1 second before switching), 6" leg holds, 12" leg holds.

I continued afterward with an upperbody weight workout: chest press, lat pull-dows, seated row (my favorite!), assisted pullups, assisted dips, pulley bicep curls.

*tink!* ASA late Dec Upperbody workout


We continued with the upperbody workouts, which was really cool, because I can see a physical difference in my upperbody, and I know others have also noticed. I have muscles! Amazing!

Kris and I did different programs because he's progressed farther than I have (he's a lot stronger than I am, let's say). We started out on the treadmill (I walking, Kris jogging), then used the punching bag to loosen up our shoulders.

Next, we did the band workouts, which works on core muscles and rotator fast twitch muscles. I showed Kris the workout. We did only two sets because we didn't get started until 6:50 (class was from 7-8 tonight, because G was scheduled for a batting practice at our usual 6-7 time).

elevated clappers
medicine ball cross with lift
swiss ball slap with pushup stance
T pushups 
close grip pull downs
tricep pushdowns
swiss ball slap with arms extended

Then we went to abs, working out pleasantly hard because Pat (not Frost) was working out with us, too.

russian crunches
V ups normal
legs straight up, medicine ball in one hand, touch ball to opposite foot
on back, with weight held straight up, press up
regular situps with medicine ball thrown to chest
partner pushdowns (I did well)
6-12" vertical up & down
cross overs
6 - 12" leg holds for 60 sec with mental torment

I think I'm forgetting things. I'll fill in as I remember them.

Oh, and about that *tink!* G told the story of how he had a 16 year old girl who was (according to her parents who may have oversold her enthusiasm to the ASA instructors) working out in the weight room (for the third time in her life) with G. She was doing wide grip pullups (of which Kris can do one unaided, I can do one with 60% of my weight assisted) with G supporting most of her weight. He told her she had to do 3 sets of 10. After seven in the first set, she gave up mentally, and wanted down. G refused, trying to get her to continue, help her out mentally. She broke down and fell forward into the lifting apparatus and *tink!*ed her face on the pulley cord of the weight machine. G felt bad, but made it a good story.

ASA workout: Upper Body!


Today was an upper body workout. Today, and the next two weeks, to give my legs a rest. My cardio for the day was a mere 30 minutes on the StairMaster (whoo - I felt like one of those old ladies I've seen working out in the gym, not for a goal like kick-ass-in-ultimate, but to lose the 5 pounds that no one in the world knows is there but them). It was so short, but my legs were fine. Kris managed an intense lower body workout on Monday, which I missed for MPUL, so this complemented it well.

I've been doing rotator-cuff lifts every day. I'm using only 3# weights, but I've been very very consistent. Today I learned how to use the elastic bands to replace those exercises. I'm not sure if I'll do both, as the previous ones work well as shoulder exercises. These exercises are ones that I often see the baseball players doing.

I did only one set of the new exercises, because we were pressed for time. From now on, I'll have to arrive 15 minutes early to warm up with these.

Rotator Cuff 2


G provided me with new rotator-cuff exercises. These are the ones the baseball kids do each time they're in the gym. Now, I too, will start doing these every day.

The first three exercises are with the bands hooked low.

  • Lower back, face away

    Face away from the wall where the bands are hooked, one band in each hand, hands together on forehead (bands go over the head). Stand in a power stance with one foot forward, moving forward so that when standing leaning back slightly, the bands give resistance. Lean forward past 90°, keep back straight. Stand back up so that the bands pull slightly back, the front leg and torso should be straight. Repeat for 10 reps.

  • Lower back, face forward

    Face the wall where the bands are hooked, one band in each hand, hands together on forehand. Stand in a power stance with one foot forward, moving backward so that when bending forward below 90° the bands give resistance. Stand up, leaning slightly back, keep the back straight. Repeat for 10 reps.

  • Straight arms, tip

    Stand facing away from the wall where the bands are hooked. Stand in a power stance with feet apart, arms straight out to the side, one band in each hand, forward enough so that the bands provide resistance. Tip to the left, stand back up, tip to the right stand back up. Repeat for 10 reps.

The last two exercises are with the bands hooked high.

  • Rotator cuff, forward

    Stand facing away from the wall, band in one hand, arm at a 90° angle, hand up, with upper arm parallel to the floor. As quickly as possible, push down so that the arm is parallel to the floor, then back up. Repeat for 10 reps. Repeat with other arm.

  • Rotator cuff, away

    Repeat as above, but face the wall. Start the arm parallel to the ground, and at a 90° angle, with slight resistance. Quickly pull the arm up so that the hand points up, then rotate the arm back down. Repeat for 10 reps. Repeat with the other arm.

That's one set. Do 3 sets.

Kris gets all the fun


I wasn't able to make class because I needed to be at MPUL tonight, so Kris went by himself. He said he had a great time doing sprinting drills. Here's what he gave me as his workout tonight.

Accelerations in the parking lot

    A twist on the catch the ball before it bounces twice, a cone was placed away from G (not sure how far). Kris ran from the starting point to the cone, planted and cut towards G. At the foot plant, G dropped a tennis ball. Kris was to catch it before the second bounce. 6-8 of these

Sprinting with bands

    With bands around his waist and G pulling backward on them, Kris did three sets of resistance sprinting. The first one was with small steps: feet moving just over ankles for quick feet work. The second was with high knees. The third was just sprinting as fast as he could.


This circuit was a doozie. Probably would have worked better if I had been there to give Kris a bit of a rest.

  • Jump rope
  • Ice skaters with bands on legs, done in a semi circle. The first set with R foot in center, clockwise, then again counter-clockwise. The next set with L foot in center, CW and CCW.
  • 4 boxes: hop over with both feet, then L, then R
  • Side-to-sides over the weightbench (nominally the same as over the wood box, but higher by 50%)
  • Frog hopping along 4 cones with both feet, land on R foot, hold, then sprint. Repeat for L foot. For the last 3, G calls out which foot to land on
And that would be two times through that circuit. Ooof. I'm telling you, Kris gets all the good ones.

Wall sit

    Sit along the wall (i.e. back on the wall, legs at 90°), 25# weight on lap.

Abs (lower)

  • 6-12" leg holds
  • swimmers
  • crossovers
  • partner leg throw downs
  • 6-12" leg holds with partner pushdown (ugh!)

When you have muscles


Here's something I bet you never realized about muscles: when you have them, you can pull them.

For the first time in my life, I pulled a muscle in my chest. I kid you not. Who pulls a chest muscle? I was in a triangle pose, stretching my hamstring, and decided to move into reverse triangle pose. When I shifted to drop my hand to the floor to loosen my hips, a muscle in my chest pulled.

It affects me only when I try to move into that pose again and when I try to do pullups. I can still throw fine. But still. Who pulls a chest muscle? And since when do I have chest muscles?

I cannot eat enough


I'm pretty much not able to eat enough food, and it's starting to frustrate me. As part of my training program I'm eating as much as I can. Literally. If I can eat, I do. I have pooped more in one day (I'm averaging 3-4 times a day for the last week) than I ever pooped in a single day before (the goldfish story excluded).

Kris says give it time: eventually, my body will adjust to the additional nutrition requirements and extra food, and process it accordingly. Until then, 4 poops a day.

The worst part is that I don't know if I'm getting the correct requirements for food. Am I getting enough protein? Vitamins? Iron? I have no idea. I wish I knew.


How much protein do athletes need?

There isn't an exact number for athletes because protein needs vary, depending on whether an athlete is growing, rapidly building new muscle, doing endurance exercise, or dieting, in which case protein is used as a source of energy (table 1). Protein requirements for athletes are higher than the current recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of 0.4 g of protein per pound of body weight, which is based on the needs of nonexercisers. Protein recommendations for athletes are commonly expressed in a range to include a safety margin (2). If you do the math (1g of protein has 4 calories), you'll see that you don't need to have 30% of your calories come from protein.

Table 1. Recommended Grams of Protein Per Pound of Body Weight Per Day*
RDA for sedentary adult 0.4
Adult recreational exerciser 0.5-0.75
Adult competitive athlete 0.6-0.9
Adult building muscle mass 0.7-0.9
Dieting athlete 0.7-1.0
Growing teenage athlete 0.9-1.0
*To find your daily protein requirement, multiply the appropriate numbers in this table by your weight in pounds.