Saturday, February 05, 2005

Saturday's Workout (2/5/05)

Two workouts today: strength and swimming. For strength training I'm currently in what's called the Power Endurance (PE) phase, the purpose of which is to "develop the capacity to quickly recruit most of the fibers for a movement, and to sustain their use at a high power output" (I didn't make that up by the way; it's from TrainingPeaks.) My translation of that is an explosive, rapid tensioning of the muscle followed by a slow release. Yeah, whatever.

With a long bike ride yesterday and the prospect of a fairly long run tomorrow, I focused on abs and upper body stuff using medicine balls, stability balls, hand weights and resistance bands. The Pretenders' debut album and the harmonica blues of Charlie Musslewhite kept me company.

Doing this workout at home deprived me of the Saturday night comedy show at Lifetime Fitness featuring Igor, Boris and Natasha. Not their real names, I'm pretty sure, but names I've assigned them since they speak some vaguely eastern European language (Russian? Polish?) Igor and Boris are iron-pounding weightlifters gone to seed. You know the type: shaved heads, fat guts and biceps that'd stop bullets. Natasha's a piece of work all her own; blonde hair from the best bottle money can buy, and awe-inspiring, ready-made breasts right out of some plastic surgeon's catalog. Her cantilevered bras must've taken carbon fiber fabrication to new, er, heights.

Anyway, her role in the whole melodrama seems pretty limited; pour herself into skin-tight, disgustingly-colored Spandex, studiously avoid anything even resembling exercise or exercise equipment, and spend the evening cooing "Oh, Igor, you're SO big and strong..." My, my, Boris, what BIG muscles you have..." All in a voice resembling Ginger from Gilligan's Island. Boy has she ruined THAT image for me!

Of course I have no idea what she's really saying. She could be telling Boris and Igor that they have eyes like pigs and breath like goats for all I know. Good times; resistance training AND comic relief. Hardest part of the workout is suppressing laughter so's the iron-pounders don't pound me.

Next I jumped in the pool for an hour-long session beginning with some slow, Total Immersion-based triple switch drills. The main set started with swimming a 100, counting strokes each 25 meters. This count (20) became "N." Then I swam 5x100s keeping the stroke count per 25 at N-3, or 17, followed by another 5x100 at N-2. This drill teaches you to relax in the water; the focus is NOT on speed, but on maintaining good form and being patient with the lead arm.

This workout sucked (or, more accurately, the workout was fine. I sucked.) I was out of breath in the triple switches, my form was all over the place, my shoulder and arm hurt, blah, blah, blah, whine, whine. Should've stayed home on the couch. I've learned that some days ya got it, some days ya don't. This was definitely one of those "don't got it" days.

On the bright side, though, I was able to maintain the lower stroke counts. And when I was doing it right the water drowned out the noise from 100 screaming banshees (often referred to as children) in the family pool next door. Thank heavens my kids are all teenagers or older. They're occasionally rude and/or condescending but they seldom scream like banshees any more, at least not without provocation and very seldom in public.

60 minute run tomorrow. I love running. Yahoo!

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