Moving past the 2-day split…

Well, I’ve been working out at Goodlife Fitness following this 2-day split exercise routine from for a little over four weeks now. Though I’m virtually the same weight as when I started, I’ve leaned out some and feel significantly stronger. This 2-day split has been good to me so far but I feel like I’m ready to move on to a 3-day split.

The main reason? I’m really tired.

Doing the 2-day split twice a week — Monday and Tuesday, then a variation of those again on Thursday and Friday — at 5:15 AM, is exhausting and difficult for me to maintain with consistency. The early mornings are a drag but it’s the only real time I can get into the gym.

Beyond that, I’ve read on a number of sites that taking more time to rest muscle groups between workouts is better for their overall growth, and while I’m not looking to get huge, the idea of adding size quicker is a tad appealing. On the 2-day split, I only had a three to four day rest before working the same muscles again. The 3-day split will allow them to rest/heal/grow for a full week. Plus, it will allow me include more exercises per muscle group per workout, which I like.

I have to admit, it feels bizarre, almost counter-intuitive that fewer workouts per week could yield bigger results but I have yet to read an article that contradicts this. So, there must be something to it, eh? ?

Of course, now that I’ve decided to change my workout, I’m going through the same indecisiveness I went through last time when trying to pick my exercises. Thankfully, it’s a bit easier since I can pretty much combine my favourite exercises from the past four weeks to give me a solid workout plan.

I was just going to go on to the next phase in the workout schedule. However, I have no interest in doing specific exercises for my forearms nor do I care to spend the amount of time in the gym required to complete that workout. In fact, one of the things I’m hoping to accomplish with the switch to a 3-day split is a quicker, more efficient plan.

Another bonus to this is that it will allow for more cardio days throughout the run of a week. Or, perhaps more truthfully, it will allow for more opportunities to get at least one dedicated cardio workout in each week.

I’m very much looking forward to Monday. Day one: chest and triceps. ?


the Goodlife and the app for that…

So, I started this post over two months ago to say I’m tired of feeling sluggish so, I’m thinking of joining the gym, blah, blah, blah…

Goodlife Fitness

Well, I completely stalled on that post and soon after joined Goodlife Fitness. They opened a new place near my house, with “24-hour” access, it was only $17 per paycheque, and the first four weeks were free. This essentially eliminated the usual excuses I had for not joining. So, I did. :^)

A couple of months in to it, I finally feel like I’m finding my groove. It took me a while at first because I couldn’t, for the life of me, decide on a workout schedule that I liked. Yes, I had to have a workout planned in advance because I cannot stand wasting time in the gym trying to figure out what I want to do next. I looked into a few from the Men’s Health Fitness site but I either didn’t like how they split the exercises, or I wasn’t nearly in good enough shape to tackle the more interesting ones — that was a blow to the ego.

After an annoying amount of searching, my best friend “Big C” (who I’m sure was ready to slap me by this point) found a solid 2-day split workout for me on It’s essentially chest+back+shoulders+abs on the first day, biceps+triceps+legs on the second, then the third is typically taken off but I’m looking to make it a cardio day. Then a variation of the whole thing gets repeated for days 4-6 with the seventh day reserved as the rest day.

I’ve been doing that for the past couple of weeks and I’m finally starting to settle into it.

It also helps that I’ve finally settled on a workout app for iPhone too. ;^)

I tested a handful of less expensive ones hoping one would fit my workout to a “T”. Most of them were decent in terms of functionality with a few standing out: All-in Fitness ($1.99 CDN), Full Fitness ($2.99 CDN), and the Men’s Health Fitness app ($1.99 CND). I played with these three for a while but never really felt any of them “just worked”. They all had little quirks about them that required me to fiddle with them more than I’d have liked. AND, and this is a big “AND”, none of their exercise libraries had all the ones that were in my workout, which I assumed were fairly standard.

Well, like I said, I tested a fair amount if the less expensive ones but didn’t find that perfect fit. And so, I looked to the more expensive ones — one in particular, to be more precise.

Fitness Builder app logo

I had been eying PumpOne’s Fitness Builder app for a while but it’s $10 (CND) and that’s generally more than I’m willing to drop on an app without being able to test it first. Plus, it has a lower rating than cheaper ones listed above: three stars at the time of writing this. The others have four stars, four and a half stars, and four stars, respectively. So, needless to say, I kept looking elsewhere. However, after a while of not yet being able to settle on an app, I went searching for video samples of Fitness Builder’s interface and functionality. The first one had me sold and the others just reinforced that feeling.

PumpOne’s Fitness builder app has, what I would consider, all the great features of all of the solid workout/fitness apps out there: extensive exercise and workout libraries with images and video samples, progress tracking for weight and reps, rest timers for between sets, custom workout builders, etc. On top of those features, the first thing I fell in love with was that it INCLUDES ALL OF THE EXERCISES FROM MY WORKOUT! Pretty stellar first impression. ;^)

Regardless, even if it didn’t, Fitness Builder allows you to add custom exercises to the library with the ability to add support photos right n the app. Sweetness? I think so.

Another great feature is that it allows you to schedule your workouts and will even sync them to your iOS calendar so you can plan around them without having to check the app.

The rest timer is one of my favourite “little” things in this app. Most fitness apps have them but either the numbers are too small or you can’t do anything else in the app while you wait. With Fitness Builder’s timer, the numbers are small but it has a brightly coloured band that visually counts down your rest so you don’t have to pay attention to the numbers at all.

Additionally, you can log your previous set and browse through various other sections in the app to prepare for following exercises. :^D

I know this app probably has a gazillion other features I have yet to discover but for now, what I do know is that Fitness Builder does everything I like from the other apps, and does everything else I currently want it to.

All that praise aside, there is one thing that does bug me probably way more than it should: a good portion of the text and graphics are high enough resolution for iPhone 4’s Retina Display the rest is not. Seriously? How hard is it to up-sample all of your images at the same time? Sigh. Can’t win ’em all, I guess.

Now, I guess all I have to do it take my “before” photo. OH WAIT! The app does THAT too. :^P


slowly getting back into running…

Over the past week and a bit, I’ve been really wanting to get back into exercising. I’ve been feeling really sluggish and rather down as a result of it… and not opposed to whining about it, either. Well, my wife can only take so much of my whining (go figure) and the played the “I don’t want to hear another word about it unless you plan on doing something about it” card. Crap. I was already feeling down about it and now I’m not allowed to complain about feeling down? Well played, Lovely. Well played.

Long story short (which is rare for me), I’ve decided to make this my infomercial year. Y’know, the one where I get to say “I’m in the best shape of my life.” My older brother and his wife have been running/walking/quite a bit over the past number of months and they’re like brand new people. My brother alone has lost about 30 lbs and has done a few running races. Since I am no longer allowed to complain, I’ve decided to be inspired and start running again too… in the Winter. Not one of my smarter ideas, but par for the course. Whatever, I’ll just blame my brother. He showed my some of the winter running gear he got for Christmas and it made me want to go out and start running that very evening, proper clothing or not.

It wasn’t that evening but a few days later I managed to get out for my first run in months, perhaps even a year. I wore long johns and my soccer track suit and managed to run 2.5-ish km (all downhill) before I turned around and walked/jogged back home. Holy, I was sucking wind. Overall, not bad but what came of that was I knew I needed better winter running gear. Sweating in the cotton LJs in freezing temperatures was a special kind of awesome.

I checked at Costco for the same running suit my brother has but 10 days after Christmas I was told “Sorry, we won’t be getting anymore in. We’re already bringing in our Spring clothing.”

No joke.

So next, I tried to get all my stuff at my favourite store, MEC. I bought a nice and bright, manly “Orange Spice” running top with some gift money…

…but they too were sold out of the pants until next winter.

What. The. Focaccia.

Yesterday, we decided to try a different Costco. We called in advance to make sure they had some. “Our system shows we have 35 pairs of the pants in stock but it doesn’t tell us what sizes they are.” Really?

Of course, we drive over only to find out that “35 in stock” doesn’t mean they actually have them. So, now I’m whining and complaining all over HRM ’cause I’ve turned into a giant baby.

My wife, wanting to stop the whining before it got too pathetic, convinced me to go look at SportsChek, not too far away. Well, they were more than I wanted to spend but at least they had some, and they’re kinda wickedsticks…

Nike Element Shield Tights.


I went for a run this morning in a mini-blizzard (-2°C) and got to use my gear for the first time, and I gotta say, all the parts that these two pieces of clothing covered were impressively cozy. My hands and forehead, however, froze.

Looks like I’ll need to grab some new gloves and a new hat next payday. In the meantime, I’ll just have to freeze because being able to run again is worth it.



2011 weekly posting challenge…

So, in a nutshell, I’ve been pretty poor at maintaining my blog lately and I’ve decided this simply will not do. So, *copies pre-written challenge snippet and pastes into blog entry as own* “Rather than just thinking about doing it, I’m starting right now.  I will be posting on this blog once a day / once a week for all of 2011.”

“I know it won’t be easy, but it might be fun, inspiring, awesome and wonderful” but there’s a decent chance it’ll be plain and boring — I know, right some inspirin’, eh. “Therefore I’m promising to make use of The DailyPost, and the community of other bloggers with similiar goals, to help me along the way, including asking for help when I need it and encouraging others when I can.”

If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll encourage me with comments and likes, and good will along the way” e-slap me if I don’t follow through on this.

Seriously, one post a week… how hard can it be?



when cutting boards attack…

Every once in a while life throws you one of those crazy little “could have been a lot worse” curve-balls that make you feel shamefully careless and incredibly stupid.

A few Sundays ago, I had just returned home from driving my wife in to work and I was trying to quickly prepare lunch for the three of us before heading back out for the day’s errands. I couldn’t get the food together quick enough for the boys. They were starving and tired of me kicking them out of the kitchen. I asked them to go play with their LEGOS or something so I could actually finished the meal. Alas they are boys so, instead of playing quietly they decided to do laps around the inside of our house. We have one of those houses where you can do a full loop around our main level from the kitchen, to the dining room, to the living room, through the hallway and back into the kitchen again. And the boys were running circuits.

I had our wooden ½” cutting board out on the end of our counter right next to where a short hallways leads from the kitchen back into the boys’ playroom — we usually leave out on the counter because we use it for almost every meal. I also had out a couple of sharp knives on it that I was using to chop some vegetables, working away as quickly as I could.

The boys got bored of just plain-ol’ running around so they started to do this interesting looking chariot racing, er… thing. My 6-year-old, “L”, was still running around the loop only now, he was leaning forward with his arms back pulling his younger brother, “X”, by the hands so that he slid along behind. It was pretty cool to watch, actually.

I kept chopping and prepping and repeatedly asking the boys to not run through the kitchen while I made their lunch.

Finally, they stopped running. Not because they were bored charioteering around the house nor because I had finished their lunches. It was because that frightening “could have been a lot worse” thing happened. One of those things that you see play out in slow motion but happens far too fast to be able to do anything about it.

“L” was trying to get “X” to go faster and faster, and for that he had lean further and further forward. Well, the faster forward he ran the furtherback “X” had to lean as not to be puller over. Unfortunately, as the two of them ran/slid through the kitchen for the billionth time, “L” was leaning too far forward which prompted “X” to lean back even further, right as they were passing by the end of our counter… right next to where a short hallways leads from the kitchen back into the boys’ playroom… right where we always keep the cutting board… right where I just finished chopping some vegetables.

“X” leaned back far enough that he stalled his older brother’s running and they both fell over backwards. “L” instinctively let go of “X” hands in the hopes of breaking his own fall, unfortunately, this left “X” to fall back onto the kitchen tiles and crack his head, with his older brother still falling back on top of him. “L” reached out his left hand to grab hold of the edge of the counter but instead grabbed onto the cutting board pulling it off. He then buckled back and landed on “X’s” right arm and leg with the wooden ½” cutting board hitting “X” edge-first, square in the centre of his chest.


“X’s” wail was instantaneous. I (lovingly) hauled “L” off his little brother and scooped him up. It took me a long time to calm him down but once I finally did he let me check him over thoroughly and, unbelievably, there wasn’t a single bump or mark on him.

Of course now, we don’t leave the cutting board out anymore but when we do use it, we do so in the middle of the main counter, away from of the traffic lane.

What freaked me out the most (and still does to a degree) is that I don’t remember removing the knives from the board before it happened. I left them there the entire time I was cutting the veggies and must have subconsciously moved them a few seconds before the crash.

*Eesh* I just shivered writing that.

I can’t imagine…


Just downloaded the posterous iPhone…

Seems interesting enough so far. Especially since the WordPress app has been broken for the past two upgrades.

The one thing I wish it allowed was multiple accounts — not multiple blogs on a single account, multiple accounts each the with option for multiple blogs. The WordPress app already has this feature which make it even more of a drag that the latest version of their app won’t even open.

All that being said, I’ve still been trying to figure out where Posterous fits in for me. When I was still using, and on the rare occasion I would actually post something, I was using Posterous to crosspost to there and WP. Now I’m not entirely sure.

In the mean time I’ll just keep playing with it with hopes it’ll show me. ?


Wondering if I can manage to read… ONE BOOK PER MONTH!

ONE PER MONTH, you say? Pretty pathetic, I know. Truth is, I’ve never been much of a reader and I’ve only recently started to really enjoy it.

It’s a bit difficult “getting into it” so late because I’m an almost embarrassingly slow reader or, at least, not nearly as quick as I’d like to be. So, I think the goal of one book per month is a reasonable, and not entirely laughable, benchmark for my new hobby. Ideally, I’d like to read at least one chapter per night which should, by all accounts, get me through more than one book every month. Alas, I have too many thing I want to do and/or keep putting off so I’m trying to schedule it all in… somehow.

Now, I just need a place to track books read and find new recommendations.