3 Hours Working Out


I did a plyo workout very similar to Wednesday's workout. I also did my upper and lower body workouts, since I skipped yesterday.

  • full ladders
  • Shuffles: 10 yards down and back = 1
    2 - 3 - 4 - 5, 30 second break between sets
    with 6# ball, 5 - 4 - 3 - 2
    I concentrated on keeping my butt low, working on strengthening my quads and glutes
  • I of pain: 21+, 21+, 20+ and 19+ seconds
  • Quick feet drills: 3 sets
  • Jump rope: 3 sets:
    1. 100 jumps in 51 sec. 3 goofs
    2. 120 jumps in 53 sec. 0 goofs
    3. 130 jumps in 58 sec. stopped on first goof
  • Lunge jumps: 3 sets of 15

Next was my upper body workout. I started with the 3# rotator exercises. 3 sets of the 6 exercises.

Upper body exercises were:

  • Chest press on machine, 50# 12.10.10
  • One arm row: 13#/12 18#/12 18#/12
  • Lat pull downs: 50#/12 60#/10 50#/12 (bump up)
  • Sitting rows: 60#/14 65#/12 65#/12 (bump up)
  • Lower back extension 50#/12 70#/12 90#/12
  • 20# bow draw 3 sets x 12 rep
  • Rope tricep pushdown: 30#/12 35#/12 30#/12 (bump up)
  • Bench dips 3x12
  • Bicep curls: 2 x 5# + bar / 12 reps, 10# + 5# + bar / 12 reps, 2 x 5# + bar / 12 reps

Gino wandered over and we talked about working out, motivation (in particular, how well the Mental Game of Baseball is working), listening to music when working out, sleeping well, odd hours (he says baseball players go to bed at 2:00 am, and wake up at noon) and tryouts. I like talking to him. He understands more about this process than I do, that's for sure.

Next was lower body weights:

  • 3 sets of 12 squats at 120# on squat machine
  • Around the world 3 sets with 5#
  • Hamstring curls: 40#/12 45#/10 40#/12
  • Calf raises to exhaustion, which was 50 lifts for each toes pointing straight ahead, outside and inside
I struggled walking after those.

I intended to do forearms, abs and cardio at home, but Ben & Lisa came over for dinner. I'll play pickup tomorrow morning at Gunn and do abs then, too.

Ugh. I am not keeping up with this workout. 3 hours today and I finished only 2/3 of the workout. Man.

ASA MVP pre-Thanksgiving workout


G has decided to help me go all-out on my workouts preparing me on my road to Team USA. Instead of working on building muscle with weight-lifting, we did a full plyo class. The class was made "worse" by the presence of another trainer, who was learning the game plan. Having a new guy watching means, of course, we have to show off. Well, at least I did. G did say a couple times that the workout was harder than most because I'm training for team USA, which made me feel good.

We started out with ladders. We had a few more than we normally do. Nominally, we had

  Ali shuffle
  facing sideways, L over R in, L below R in, repeat
  facing sideways, with left foot in, R top bottom, as above
  facing sideways, RL in, RL below, RL in, RL below
  facing sideways, LR in, LR below, etc.
  L hop in/out, R hop in/out
  "hopscotch" with only L foot, again with only R foot
  hopscotch L-R-both
  quick feet: LR in, LRL out, RL in, RLR out 
  cross over: L cross over (foot lands perpendicular to the
    direction of travel), RL out, R cross over, LR
  hip switch (L outside on L, R outside on R, twist, landing
    with feet perpendicular to direction of travel), twist
    back, landing with feet on outside, repeat advancing one
    square.  repeat with other foot first
  two taps: heading L: LR in, LR out; heading R: RL in, RL out
    I caught up to Kris on these.  Zoom!
I was tired already after the ladders. I zipped along hard, both trying to keep up with Kris and showing off for the new guy.

We started the workout outside, with shuttles. With an 8# ball, we shuffled down and back throwing the ball back and forth between each other. We did a progression of 2 lengths (down and back), 4 6 8, then back down 8 6 4 2.

At the first 6, it became apparent that I wasn't doing them correctly. Instead of lowering my butt and staying on my toes, I was shuffling on my heels and leaning forward ("hunching over"). So, at 6, we rolled the ball instead of throwing it. The point was to practice lowering the rear and staying on the toes. We rolled for the 6 & 8 lengths, returning to throwing for the remaining 8 6 4 2.

Next came the "I of pain" shuffles (perhaps spelled "eye of pain", not sure). 5 cones, each spaced 3 steps (~3 yards) apart. Starting at cone 1, run to cone 2, run backward to cone 1, run to cone 3, run backward to cone 1, etc. Kris did 4. My times were 18.3, 17.9, 18.2, 18.0, 17.9. I did 5 because my time didn't decrease each time. The first 17.9 I cheated on, and didn't go all the way back to cone 1 on one of the backward runs.

Next were some quick feet drills. Ugh-a-rooni. Using a Reebok Step, with one riser, we did 1 set of 3 exercises, and 2 sets of 4 exercises, each for 30 seconds:

  • feet together, jump on the Step, jump off to the side, jump on the Step, jump off to the other side, repeat
  • bound over: two feet together, jump over the Step, landing on the other side, spring immediately to jump back over the other way, continue
  • single step: RL step up, RL step down, LR step up, LR step down
  • single step with crossover: same as the single step, but step up with the outside foot, using arms to explosively bound onto the step

3 sets of jump ropes were next. My goal was 120 jumps in a minute. If I didn't make it, I had to continue with 110 jumps in the second minute. If I didn't make that, it was 100 jumps in the next minute. This trend would continue until I managed the required number of jumps in a minute.

I didn't make it.

I went all the way down to 90 before I was so tired I couldn't manage more than 4 jumps without missing a jump. So, I threw down the jump rope and just jumped for a minute. Even then I had less than 90 jumps, so I had to do them again. Argh.

Kris had the great idea of jumping on the cement, since the cushy floor was causing problems for him. My second jump rope set was no problem, hitting 100 jumps in 52 seconds. Whoo! The third set was back on the squishy surface, and I managed 100 in a minute. Barely.

Next were 3 sets of lunge jumps using the Step. Using the Step meant our lunges were deeper, and the jumps harder. The first set was 15. We had sets of 15 because I stopped 15 times when trying to jump rope. D'oh. When G realized I hadn't swum today, he added another 5 on sets 2 and 3.

Last were abs.

  • bicycles
  • single leg V ups
  • partner throw downs
  • side to sides with 25# (!!!)
  • lying down, 25# straight up, lift straight up
  • lift feet up, hold weight up, lift weight to touch feet
  • lying down, weight (8# at this point) over head, do V up bringing weight over to touch knees
  • 6-12" leg holds
  • lower back: supermans, twist lifts, lift straight up.

My upper butt and butt sides hurt.

I'm in trouble


I told G about the World Games, and about the tryout camps. I gave him a probable tryout date, and asked him to help me train. His eyes got real big when I was explaining everything. He then asked me what I am willing to sacrifice to improve my chances of making the team, how long was I able and willing to train a day to be in good shape for the tryouts.

When I told him 4-6 hours would be my maximum, he nodded and said he was willing to help. We then spent the hour planning out my training schedule. I have to say that, yes, I'm in trouble. Starting tomorrow, I'll be working out about 2 hours a day for the next week, building that up to 4 by mid-December. I may hit 6 at the beginning of January.

Not like I'm already overworked. Something's going to give.

ASA MVP class of ass kicking


G was back at ASA today, so our twice weekly ass kicking happened again today. We were horsing around at the beginning of class, and jumping to touch a hanging cord. When I jumped, I think I jumped all of 6". G started laughing at me. I almost cried from embarrassement. All this crying lately. Bah.

May not have time to write it all up, so here's an outline until I do have time. Kris ended up doing a slightly different workout because his upper body strength is much greater. Of course, that just means that G can torture him with heavier weights, more explosive exercises and more lifts. Heh heh heh.

warmup of 3# lifts (front, side, back, front with "pouring")

We also practiced throwing a rubber ball against the wall.

ladders (the usual plus: quick feet of one foot per square
  and high knees; and facing sideways, RL tap outside, then
  RL inside)
  We also did zig-zag ladders, where we went forward, then
  shuffled sideways, then forward, then sideways, etc.

More arm warmups: 3 sets of throws with a 1.5# weighted 
  1.  Stand about 10 feet from a wall, back to the wall,
  left foot in front.  Bend over and cross arms near the
  floor, explosively standup and throw the ball backward
  2. Start the same way, explosively stand up, twist and
  throw the ball at the wall (throwing normally, like a
  3. Same as 2, but throw the ball like a frisbee (same
  motion, but with a ball)

As a interesting aside, we took the balls in our hands,
vertically, bouncing it back and forth between our two
hands.  We did this for a minute, then grabbed a baseball
(it was SOOO light!) and threw it against the wall.  The
ball was so light we could really zing it in.

Wide grip lat pull downs (25# x 3 sets)
Bent over rows (30# x 3 sets)

Sideways lat pulls (standing sideways, with a little 
tension on the cable/handle (25#), pull the handle 
across the chest, and extend the arm.  If done 
explosively, it's doable.  Since we were concentrating
on exposiveness and transfer of momentum/power from 
the lower body to the upper body, this is the first 
time I was allowed to use momentum to lift a weight.

Torturous 180° plank (push-up position) hand walks
2 sets of 25 (where 1 = 180°, 2 = there & back)
I did 25 & thought I was done.  Nope.  Had another set.

Sledgehammers with an 8$ ball (3 sets of 12)  I tried
hard to get the ball to bounce over G's head.  Don't
think I managed to do it.

narrow grip chinups (managed 5 & 7 assisted)

Chest passes (Kris threw too hard, so, G had to work
with each of us individually)

 1. Crunches
 2. V upa
 3. Bicycles
 4. Lowerback/superman
 incline ball toss 
 single leg V ups
 incline partner pushdown
 incline leg throwdowns

The workout was hard, hard, hard. I, once again, nearly cried when it was over. I can't lift my arms. I am already sore. At least I had a protein shake when it was over.

Run of distractions


Today's run was a run of starts, stops and distractions. It's amazing I managed to run it under 20 minutes, actually.

Kris and I went out with Annie for my loop run. She was distracted and distracting. She has to stop at every corner (for training reasons), so Kris kept stopping. Then there was the cars driving, stop lights to cross, skunks (!!) jumping out from behind bushes, the works. Annie was excited, we were not amused.

Teeth cleanings and memories


It seems I can never get to a dentist appointment on time. I don't know what it is, but even when I try really hard, I still end up late. Sigh.

Had my teeth cleaned this morning. I'm fairly religious about my 6 month teeth cleanings. They may average every 6.5 months, but I go nominally twice a year. I was at the dentist about 2 months ago with some sensitivity in my lower right molars. Turned out to be bruised roots from clenching my jaw, and not cavities, so I'm trying not to clench so much.

As a result of said tooth sensitivity, today's cleaning was surprisingly painful. At one point, the dental hygenist (can I just call her the tooth fairy?), jabbed the little hook thingy into my gum between two back molars and pulled. When my gum didn't immediate come out, she puzzled, "Something sticky is in there."

Yeah, my flesh!

The experience reminded me of my dentist/orthodontist from childhood, Virgil Gassoway. My aunt Sonnie was quite enamoured with the fellow, and encouraged us to see him as our dentist. At some point, I think Mom was enamoured, too, so off we went.

For the record, Gassoway had horrible "bedside" manners. When tightening a band on one of my braces, he slipped and gouged the inside of my jaw. I was gushing blood. His response? "Hold still, I'm not done." No apologies, no cleaning of the gushing blood, just a "hold still damn child lest I beat you when your mother isn't looking."

I had more head X-rays with that man than the rest of my life combined. I suspect he'll be the cause of any brain cancer I get when I'm 97.

He was also my first orthodontist. Somehow Chris managed to avoid braces as a child. Beej and I were not so lucky. The deal, however, was that we went to Gassoway. Now, Gassoway wasn't really an orthodontist. He wasn't trained to do any moving-of-the-teeth, only cleaning-of-the-teeth and repairing-of-the-teeth. Actually, he didn't even do those well. He was recently (5-6 years ago maybe?) sued for leaving a broken drill bit in the tooth of a patient and filling the cavity anyway. Ever wonder why mamma keeps buzzing when she walks through the airport metal detector? Blame Gassoway. (not really)

To do orthodontics, Gassoway would take photos and molds of his patients mouths, and take such documentation to orthodontia conventions. What would you do with this mouth, he'd ask. He'd then come back, and adjust the braces or give the Frankel (which, according to my little brother who had one, is just a little less barbaric than head gear).

There's the outside thought that maybe, just maybe, I dislike the man so much because he pulled four of my teeth out (first teeth behind the eye teeth), rather than suggesting space maintainers and roof expanders that later real orthodontists suggested for me. In high-school, I wore a retainer that expanded the roof of my mouth by a 1/4", leaving gaps that, oh, I don't know, say, two teeth could fill. But saying that's the cause of my dislike ignores the incompetence of the man, and the lifelong harm he's caused.

So let's just say he sucks.

Because he does.

Bella the taskmaster


This evening, after working all afternoon on a project with Mike, I did not want to go for my daily run. I was supposed to have an SFUC game, but the weather didn't cooperate, and the game was cancelled. So, the daily 2 mile run was on the schedule instead.

As mentioned, I did not want to go on this run. So, I head into the office to start working again on the project. Bella, the short, stinky one, comes up to me and starts pawing my leg. She was so cute, I started petting her.

We often play a game of chase. It usually starts with my getting down into the doggie I-want-to-play position (think: all fours, front paws out in front, butt in the air). When Bella catches on, she'll bay, then run away, usually to the other side of the house. I get up and chase her. When I catch up to her, she bays again. I then turn and run the other way to the other end of the house. She chases me, and bays when she catches me. We then repeat this until either I get tired, she gets bored or Kris yells at me for creating a Crazy Dog.

After a few moments of petting Bella this evening, she got into the I-want-to-play position and started baying. The chase was on!

We chased each other through the house for over 5 minutes. When we were done, I was all warmed up and ready for a real run.

Despite my rump being sore from last night's workout, I ran the set 2 mile loop in exactly 18 minutes. I was pretty happy (considering Tuesday's night run in 19.5 minutes).

Bella the task master. I'm right on schedule with my ultimate off-season training

New instructor at ASA MVP


Today was rainy. As a result, there were a lot of accidents on the freeways. And, as a result of that, Kris took over an hour to get to ASA, and G couldn't make it at all. After getting stuck in traffic for 45 minutes and not moving at all, G gave up, called in and went home.

Pat Frost, an ex-MLB pitcher, stepped in and ran the class for us. We started out with ladders. I started well before Kris arrived (mostly because he was taking so freaking long to get to class). I managed to get all my ladders done, and two runs at the T drill before he was ready to run.

Ladders included my favorite LR-RL etc. One leg in, both out. Hop scotch (L R together). Ali shuffle. Shuffle R first (facing sideways, R foot in, L foot in, next square R foot in, L foot in, etc.). Shuffle L first. Facing sideways, R foot in, L foot in, R foot out, L foot out, advance one square. There were a few others in there. The outside foot in horizontally, both feet outside, other outside foot in horizontally, etc. I'm sure I'm missing a few new ones.

Next was the T drill. The T had 8 steps on the base, 3 across the top of the T. I did four shuffling to the left first, another four shuffling to the right first, for a total of 8 runs. Most of my times were around 9.5 seconds, though I had an 8.9 in there somewhere, and a 10, too. P didn't do too well in telling us suggestions like, stay low, use the arms, butt down on the shuffle, don't pop up. On the runs I did things well, I ran quickly. Otherwise, I did only okay.

Next, we had ice skaters & hurdle jumps

Next was box jumps and 180° jumps with weighted ball.

Last was abs. Instead of our regular, brutal G abs, we did 4 sets of 30 seconds of 5 ab exercises. Starting with bicycles, we did swimmers (lying on our backs, arms out sideways, legs out straight in front of us, move feet up and down from 6" to 12" off the ground), then criss-cross (same position as before, holding feed ~12" off the ground, cross them left on top, then right on top, repeat). Next, we had trunk lifts (hold feet up in the air, left hips off the ground), and finally Supermans (or, lie on your stomach, hands under chin, lift head straight up. That's one set. Repeat 3 times. Four times total.

It was neat to have a new instructor. I prefer G, but I'm sure I'll be sore tomorrow. Change is often good.

ASA Workout kicking arse


Today was the first ASA in a while for me. I missed Monday's workout because of my Monday migraines. I'll tell you what: migraines suck.

Started with the ladders. We pretty much do our own ladders now, with the standard set of them. I know that G has a few more ladder exercises up his sleeves (note to self: get one or two next workout).

Today was a legs workout to complement Kris' Monday killer upper body workout. We started off with figure 8 runs. We ran around a hula-hoop, then around a ring of cones, in a effort to move the arms quickly to lead the feet into moving quickly. We did 4 of these: 2 clockwise and 2 counterclockwise. The trick of these is to move the arms fast. The feet will move arms are moving fast.

Next we had one legged squats. Using a squat machine that held a weight bar in a vertical track, with locking hooks that stop the bar from dropping, we balanced on one foot and put the back foot on a bench behind us. Placement of the front foot was important, as the front knee wasn't supposed to go over the foot. Dropping into a squat straight was also important to maximize effort on the glute, and not the hamstring.

We did 10 squats per leg, doing both legs. My first set was with the bar only, the second with 10# each side, the third with 5# each side. Three sets of both legs.

Alternating with the three sets of single leg squats was jumping onto boxes. The first set we jumped to high boxes (for Kris that means 3 boxes, for me that was 2), landing both feet, count of 10. The second set was 4 landing both feet, 4 landing right foot, 4 landing left foot; but on a lower box. In my case it was about 4" lower: a 12" box with two step risers on top.

Next we had diagonal hops/bounds. G placed a series of cones about 3-4' apart, offset about 45°. We hopped from one cone to the next, landing on the right foot at the end cone. At the end cone, we paused, sank a bit to hold the position, then exploded forward into a sprint. We did about 3 landing on our right foot. G removed one cone and we did another 3 ending on our left foot, pausing before a sprint.

Out and back sprints were next. Three cones were placed at 8m intervals. Starting at the middle cone, we sprinted to an end cone, turned and sprinted to the other far cone, then turned and sprinted back to the middle cone. We did 8 of these, each time trying to beat our initial sprint time. My first time was 6.47, my fastest (which was incidently my 10th sprint) was 6.18. The competition between the two of us was who could reduce his time each time. Whoever had the least number of time reductions had the bonus of an extra 2 minutes of abs at the end.

Kris lost.

I did an extra couple sprints because we were working on explosiveness (and discussing my lack of). I make the mistake of not exploding, or exploding the wrong direction (pulling in instead of exploding out, for example). I think I'll be practicing in front of the mirror.

Balanced "around the world" hamstring bends was next. With a 10# weight, balancing on your left foot, bend over and touch the ground in front of you, stand up, touch the ground 45° to the left, stand back up, touch the ground 90° to the left, stand up, touch the groun 45° behind you to the left, stand up. Then reverse it, touching the ground and standing up four times. Repeat with the right foot, touching to the right. That's one set. We did three sets. My lower back hurt!

Last was abs. Let me say here: I suck at abs now. My abs are so weak compared to a few months ago! The usual: V ups, bicycles, crunches, catch the ball over the head and throw back (this time on an incline), lower back lifts (with weighted ball!). Yes, once again, my abs sucked.

Migraine the 13th.


This is just the migraine from hell! Or, rather, Migraine the 13th, the return of the pain. After being awake for all of two hours, it comes back. Back to bed I go.

Ben and Lisa came over this evening to take care of me. They brought dinner for Kris and me. Lisa rubbed my head. It was nice. We watched the end of game four of the American League Championship Series between the Boston Red Sox and the, blah, NYY.

During the evening, Lisa suggested a possible link between the migraines and the intestinal tract. In particular, my head was hurting much, but the area between my thumb and forefinger, an area linked to lower GI tract in eastern medicine, was quite tense. Of course, most of me was tense. I've tried to link my recent migraines to sleep, but now I'm wondering if I'm looking in the wrong place. Keeping track of diet will help me see if there is a link between the lower GI tract and the migraines. We'll see.