Friday, August 29, 2008

Gym Culture

Pure Fitness just keeps getting better and better. Seriously!

So, back in college, and for the first few years after, I was a gym rat. And then I moved to San Diego (from the northeast), which reconfirmed my need to be outside. Prior to joining Pure Fitness, I went to a gym all of ONE time here in 4+ years. Now that I am doing some strength training, it made me realize how funny the gym really is.

First off, there is definitely a different clientele that congregate at the gym. I gotta say, I really feel bad for these people, who spend their time doing the vast majority of their physical activity inside when they live here, in San Diego. I mean, seriously, we get more sun than just about every city in the united states. At first, I was like "what's wrong with these people", but then after some time, I realized they just about everyone who goes could easily be considered metro, so I gave up the fight. Or maybe I should refer to the gym as a meat market? Going to the gym is like going downtown on a Saturday night. Everyone puts on their game face, and walks around like they are the shit! Couple the fact there is a HAIR SALON at my gym, and all I can do is laugh. But, in reality, it is a pretty bad ass place, and it does have TWO pools (inside and outside).

Here are some of the more entertaining personalities:
  • Big Buff Dude: Is easily twice as big as a normal human being should be. When he walks, he walks like he has a stick up his ass, and is so bulky, he barely moves. If you were to try to get his attention, he wouldn't be able to turn his neck to look at you because it's so swollen with muscle tissue - he would have to rotate his entire body. Besides, watching him use his arms to do anything is hilarious because his chest easily takes up 33% of his volume, which completely restricts his arm movement.

  • Flex Boy: Most likely going to be in his 20's, where's sleeveless shirts every time at gym (I admit, this used to be like this guy, but the rest isn't), and spends half of his time looking at himself in the mirror. He usually spends a solid 2 hours in the gym, but really only working out for about 30. The rest of the time he spends walking around making himself look good, flexing, and looking at himself in the mirror.
  • Huge Fake Breasts Woman: I admit it, this woman walked by me the other day, and I was completely frozen staring at her HUGE fake breasts. She could have looked at me, stopped, and smacked me and I still wouldn't have budged. Half of the gym probably was looking at me (and thinking "I don't blame him"). I mean, there were HUGE. She is completely disproportionate. This woman had to wear TWO sports bras (and no, I am not kidding).
  • I still have fake breasts, but not as big as hers: There are so many women in their 30's and 40's who have fake breasts at this gym, it makes me feel like I am in the pretentious OC. When the F did carlsbad try to be like our attention whore-ish northern cousin? Get real people, this is carlsbad-freakin-california, the home of legoland.
  • My life sucks: I feel so bad for these people. They go to the gym after a day of work, and what do they do? They either walk/jog/"run" on the treadmill, or barely spin the pedals on a stationary bike... and watch TV. What do they watch? Probably something like the news, which hasn't reported anything positive or good since it was created. What a great way to end the day - the world sucks, now back to Ken in weather ("Go outside, it's freakin beautiful out!!!")
  • The smartest man alive: One of maybe 3 men who go to an aerobics class, and workouts with a bunch of hot women that wear skimpy clothing. See video from my spin class post, or this guy. 'Nuff said.
I also gotta say that I thoroughly enjoy going to the gym, doing a cross fit (or variation of), being drenched within 20 minutes, and then I am done. And people look me and think "Wow, that guy actually came here to work out!".

and then I drink beer at home or with friends after. aaahhhhh off season - nothing but fun!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Drinking beer brings home the gold!

This past sunday, I did the Imperial Beach Triathlon in Tijuana, errr Imperial Beach. Paul and Carrie asked me a month ago shortly after LP if I wanted to do it, and my first reaction was "Dude, a 15K* bike? I won't even be warmed up by the time I finish!"

*Distances are approximate, per Koz :)

Given the amount of beer I have consumed over the past few weeks, I was curious how much this ride was gonna hurt. Realistically, I wanted this ride to hurt. I missed doing the intensity workouts in training for LP (mainly due to time constraints), and was looking to go balls out. So, because it was such a short distance race, I decided to bring my trainer to get warmed up before the race. Apparently, I wasn't the only person who had the idea - there were 2 dudes in the next rack, and another guy next to me who was spinning as well. It was fun because he seemed like a cool dude, and we exchanged some friendly trash talking! I literally got off the trainer about 90 seconds before Carrie showed up.

Carried did really well on the swim, got out of the water, Paul grabbed her chip, throw it on my calf (not my ankle!), and I was out. When I hit the mount line, the guy who was ahead of me also left his shoes clipped onto his bike, and was having some serious trouble. He was all over the place - shoes, cranks - everything was spinning, and I hate to say it, but I had a shit eatin grin on my face b/c thats something I have practiced a million times, and have it down solid!

The ride was very flat, with some head/tail winds, and a few very very sharp turns, but it was SO MUCH FUN. I roasted it. No one passed me (but then again, we were the last wave), and I flew by so many people, which in turn made me want to go that much faster. I had a monster high cadence, while pushing a decent gear, and it was such a good hurt. Definitely a teeth grittin ride for sure.

I finished the bike, Paul grabbed the chip, and all I could say was "DUDE THAT WAS SO MUCH FUN!!". I repeated that for a while, and finally calmed down. Paul ended up killing the run.

Here are the splits:

Swim Rank: 65
Swim Time: 0:10:05
Bike Rank: 13 (I beat 2 elite's, and tied another! booyeah!)
Bike Time: 0:26:14

Run Rank: 19
Run Time: 0:20:04
Total Time: 0:56:24


So, Team Amateur Endurance took first place in the mixed relay, and second overall relay. Big shot out to Paul and Carrie for kicking ass, and everyone else out there!

And of course, how did I follow up the race performance? By heading over to my buddy's Jim's birthday bbq and proceeding to drink beer and eat ... all - damn - day :)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Spin Class; The Instructors, and Denizens of

As I noted in my last post, I have been attending spin class at pure fitness, and let me tell you, it's a trip.

First off, it is freakin hard. It might be because I never did any spin classes or workouts in my lead up to IMLP, it might be because I have done nothing since LP but drink beer (as of today, I can't remember the last time a day passed where I haven't had a drink - or three - its easily been over 2 weeks) , or simply put, because spinning on a stationary bike in a hot ass room with psycho instructors just isn't easy. Let me explain.


Within the first 5 minutes of class, I am already drenched in sweat. I mean, it's like I am doing yoga in 105 degree temps like this guy (whom I trying to emulate the theme of this post after). I look around, and although I am not exactly laboring, being the only guy dripping 5 minutes into class is just odd. After another 5 minutes, I have already questioned why I do this voluntarily during my off season - in addition to questioning my sanity. I mean seriously, who needs to hurt this much after only 10 minutes, when I have another 50 to go. Usually about 1 second after 10 minutes, my towel, which is used to wipe sweat off my face, is already worthless because it is drenched - from wiping my face, and the amount of sweat dripping from my face. I could easily solve the socal drought problem through desalination of my sweat.


As anyone who has done a spin class knows that no matter how hard you concentrate, you look around, and you look around at other people to see the look on their faces, especially during the hard sets. That is, when I don't have sweat dripping into my eye balls. Anyhow, there is usually an ample amount of personalities - let me explain:
  • Clueless Young Girl: a girl in her early twenties who goes to spin class to be in shape - nothing wrong with that, right? Except she has no water, no towel, and hasn't even attempted to move her seat around, which means she literally BOUNCES with every pedal stroke. Oh yeah, she obviously has never heard of sports bra before, but I am not complaining.

  • Type A Triathlete: This guy obviously lives his life under stress, trains to reduce stress, but is so stressed about his training, it only adds to his stress. You should see him during class - he looks at everyone as if they are going to pass him ... on a stationary bike. I am thinking to myself "Bro, this is NOT a race!" and I almost want to say to him "ON YOUR LEFT!!!" to see if it could dare break his concentration and grilling.

  • No sweat girl: WTF, thats all I gotta say. This woman is easily 40 years old, works just as hard as I do, and only glistens on her forehead. I mean, I probably have more sweat on any given hair follicle on my calf than she has on her entire body.

  • Scared to sweat woman: This woman spends her life not working, watching wives of OC, or whatever stupid show I would never watch. She walks into class with those stupid big ass sunglasses, and everyone is like "You aren't outside honey - stop looking like a freakin idiot". Once class starts, its obvious that this woman didn't come here to work. I don't think her cadence ever gets over 30. The instructor might yell "ok, two more turns to increase resistance", and this women will go two full turns - easier. Afterwards, its guaranteed that she will pat her forehead with a silk cloth, and say "wow, that was great!". Shut up.


A different breed of human - no doubt.

The first time I went to spin, the guy there had done two IM's, so he kinda "got it". He wasn't psycho or anything, he just wanted to do a hard workout, which I am all about. Definitely a cool guy too.

The second time I went to class, the instructor was very different. When I walked in, I noticed that he was latin. And I don't have anything against latin people, but he was almost so latin, he came across as ... whats the politically correct way to say it? flaming. Sorry. Immediately, I picked up that this guy is gonna be psycho. Within a few minutes, he started making noises. Now, I want to be clear - I never heard one word out of him - all I heard was noises. Every time we had to switch an interval, all I heard was "EP!". And every time he said EP!, he would make his eyes really big. Another thing he wants you to do is change your hand position on the bars. So every 10-15 seconds, he would say "EP!", make his eyes really big, point at the bars in a very excited manner, with his eyes still big, yells EP! again, and then continue. Meanwhile, his legs are like pistons easily at above 110 rpm for cadence the entire session. EP!

And then tonights instructor - wow. Now, when I go to spin, I go for a leg/cardio workout, not a full body workout. I don't care about doing push ups, yes push ups, on a stationary bike. I don't care about standing out of the saddle with only one hand on the bar, I don't care about target heart rate zones, I don't care about alternating between seating and standing every other second. It also seemed that the higher her heart rate got, the more excited she got, and the louder she yelled. But the thing is, she jacked the music so loud, all I heard was ... nothing except U2's beautiful day and 50 cents in the club. Keep yelling to do push ups hot spin instructor, I am going to keep ignoring you!

But realistically people, it's not all that bad, because there are external motivating factors at spin, which can be compared somewhat to the following video :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

3 week vacation - DONE

Since LP was my last race of the season and there was ZERO rush to get back into ANYTHING - I knew there was going to be a mandatory vacation period. I consulted with the man himself, and he confirmed exactly what I was thinking!

So, what did I do on vacation? What normal people do (except work a lot): go to the beach (a lot), and drink beer (a lot), work on my tan (a lot), with the occasional frisbee toss and body surf session or two.

My homeboy Moog was in town this weekend, and we taught this NYC boy how to surf (well kinda...)
Greg and Josh...

Greg showin us how it's done...

Moog, what do you need?

Now that my 3 weeks of glory are done and over with, I started actually doing physical activity again. Monday, I hit the gym for some strength training for the first time this calendar year. The workout was:

* 4 x 20 of power clean and jerks (2 just using the olympic bar, 2 w/ the bar + 5 lbs on each side)
* 5 x 25 of leg lifts with 45 lb plates on each side
* some ab work
* 4 x 20 of close grip bench press

A pseudo crossfit workout, yes, all done in about 20 minutes (short rest), leaving me soaked. When I got out of bed on tuesday morning, I almost fell over! I hit up some yoga later that day, and yeah, I was toast.

Tonight, I hit up my first studio spin class and it was pretty cool. It was my first spin workout in months, and it left me DRENCHED. What was cool is I saw Craig Zelent there, and the spin instructor has done a few IM's, so we actually rocked the aero position for a few intervals. This was not a popular position with the non cyclists/triathletes in the class!

I am not exactly getting "back into it", but just having fun and staying in shape!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Recent Health Data Figures

Nerd Post...

Back in June, my company put on a "Health Fair", and I had some tests done:

Blood Glucose Level (non-fasting): 91
< 150: Normal
150-170: Pre-Diabetes
>200: Abnormal

For comparison, Mark Sisson is at 90! Damn, and I haven't even read the paleo diet for athlete's!

Cholesterol: 153 (don't have the HDL/LDL Distribution)
< 200 is desirable

Day before IM, courtesy of this thing:

Weight: 157 lbs (currently 154)
Body Fat: 10.3%
% Total Body Water: 61.9%
Muscle Mass: 133.8
Physique Rating: 5 (Avg Muscle/Avg Fat)
Basal Metabolic Rate: 1853 Calories (# of calories used by the body at rest)
Metabolic Age (my favorite): 12!!!!
Bone mass: 7 lb/kg
Visceral Fat Rating: 2 (1-12 is healthy)

Monday, August 04, 2008

Getting work done...

Yeah right!!!!

Really, the only work I did this past weekend was on my tan.... :)

Oh, Friday night was plenty of beer and billiards with Paul, Jay and Carrie down at the meownge. After that, it was fun, sun, and plenty of good food!

Friday, August 01, 2008

IMLP Pics and THE Finishing Video...

Here are some pics to show the nuttiness that was Ironman Lake Placid 2008...

The start coral...

I am not in this pic because I am fixing my goggles...

I am the guy not swimming again :)...

Somewhere towards the back at this point...

Get me outta here!!!

Oh my gawd - is the bike really gonna be like this???? GRRRRR (note the amount of people in the proximity)

In a much better state, hydrating via tongue hanging out ...

Another rain shot... (stolen from this guy) INSANE!

Mustering a smile on the first half of the run... (check out that heel strike! eesh)

Splish Splash, someone's taking a bath!

Smelling it down the finish chute!

Hoisting it overhead...


My $14.95 worth of glory (what, no "Ryan Denner" in this ish?)