March 2006 archives

March 3, 2006

Video tour of Metal Gym

Filed under: General

Video screenshot

Finland too far away? Fear not, for the virtual three-minute video tour of Metal Gym is here. Everything included, except for the lever adjustable competition bench that I somehow side-stepped and a closer look at some of the specialty bars, bands and boxes. Also didn’t mark out all the supplementary benches that stand here and there.


March 5, 2006

Week 9: Weak and strong

Filed under: Workouts

Wednesday, 1 March 2006: Bench weak point day

The press-centric raw bench program I sewed together after my layoff sought to address the weak incline bench, weak shoulder strength and weak bicep strength. I have been doing some decent progress on that, but this might not be enough, especially not for the biceps. After things stall, I will consider turning my accessory bench day into a pure weakpoint session and skip all the crud. Shoulder pressing, back work, cuff work and more than a few sets of biceps work might make the cut better.
Me and myself, January 4th

It is time. Henceforth, there is max effort bench day and weakness bench day. Let’s see what that does for me. The cable crossover shrugs, a shrug done by shrugging in the upper pulley of a cable crossover machine, together with the heavy rear delt work is designed to give me more strength to pull, and keep, the shoulders well retracted on the bench. The rest should be self-explanatory.

Heavy bag, 15 minutes
5 supersets:
                Seated pin press: 8,8,8,8,6 @ 55 kg/122 lbs
                Band assisted pull-up:
                          8,6,5 @ light band (purple)
                          8,7 @ light band + mini band
4 supersets:
                Cable crossover lying rear delt flye:
                          6 @ 20 kg/44 lbs
                          8,7 @ 15 kg/33 lbs
                          15 @ 10 kg/22 lbs
                Incline hammer curl:
                          4 @ 18.5 kg/41 lbs
                          6 @ 16 kg/35 lbs
                          6,7 @ 13.5 kg/30 lbs
3 supersets:
                Cable crossover shrug: 8,6,6 @ 55 kg/122 lbs
                Seated dumbell L-flye: 9,6,5 (left) @ 7 kg/15 lbs

Friday, 3 March 2006: ME SQ

Lights and gym

Everything clicked tonight. First of all, I didn’t miss the first bus as I usually do. My mind was where it was supposed to be; how could it not be as I listened to the Dark Tranquillity masterpiece Haven on my iPod with Koss Spark Plugs while sipping on an energy drink? Next to the bus stop where I change buses, the lightly falling snow was beautifully illuminated by light beams sent into the sky (and neighbouring building) by a spot light (larger pic). Once at the empty gym, I went through three PRs on the 13″ box squat ending up at 130 kg/287 lbs, a 12.5 kg/28 lbs improvement. No lateral shift this time. Three plates a side are soon mine on the squat.

VIDEO (3.1M), for the first time featuring reverse hypers on the real deal.

Heavy bag, 15 minutes
Box squat, 13″:
                5 @ 50 kg/111 lbs
                3 @ 60 kg/133 lbs
                1 @ 70 kg/155 lbs
                1 @ 80 kg/177 lbs (belt on)
                1 @ 90 kg/199 lbs
                1 @ 100 kg/221 lbs
                1 @ 110 kg/243 lbs
                1 @ 120 kg/265 lbs (PR)
                1 @ 125 kg/276 lbs (PR)
                1 @ 130 kg/287 lbs (PR)
Reverse-hyper: 2x8 @ 50 kg/111 lbs

Sunday, 5 March 2006: Family GPP

Sled pulling

Rufus loves his sled and we love pulling him. Having borrowed a car, we spent the morning at the Seurasaari Open Air Museum. While Sanna grilled us some sausage, Rufus and I enjoyed watching a game of kubb down by the ice, an old Viking game that is fairly popular here in Scandinavia. I had hoped to wrap up the nice day with a nocturnal visit to Metal, but the light sled pulling reluctantly convinced me that the biceps had again taken a beating after the squatting. Staying home instead, my biceps got a well-deserved cross-fiber massage by Sanna before being coated in the muscle rub I got from Thailand. Sauna next.

March 14, 2006

Toffe’s Gym last week

Filed under: General


I commissioned dad to snap a few pics of Toffe’s as he drove over the ice to the summer cottage last week. As you can see, the snow level is abnormally low for being halfway up Finland in early March. It’s been a strange winter. Despite some periods with below -20°C/-4°F weather, snow fall has been sparse in recent weeks (not so in Glasgow). Now that the warm rays of the March sun tends to take the day time temperature up quite a bit, one could definitively break out the barbell were one to have the opportunity for a visit. Alas… sigh.

March 16, 2006

Week 10: Sharp turn left

Filed under: General

Which way to go to New Mexico?I’ve been involved in a Tibetan digital library project for some time now in the capacity as the sysadmin responsible for the actual technical implementation. After more months of work than I care to recall, we are finally nearing a public release. Eager to get it done, both the guys in China and I have been working frantically on it for the last ten days or so. The good news is that we have made good progress, the bad news is that it was a decisive turn in the wrong direction for my back.

Monday last week, I worked non-stop from 9pm to 6.30am in front of the computer. With my brain deeply occupied with Perl code, I royally forgot to decompress every now and then. Minutes later, I was dashing hard to catch the customary bus. I made it, but at the expense of my lower back. First came the pain, two days later the lateral hip shift. I took muscle relaxants and pain killers left over from the previous pain saga, but still had trouble getting out of the bed in the morning. Decided to forget training until it had cleared. In the end, it cleared up faster than I had dared to imagine. It remains to be seen if I have managed to get past it at record speed or not as I break out the Sting Ray this weekend.