Monthly Archives: April 2010

Training, 4/30/10

Probably the last time I train at Powerhouse/Energy fitness in Golden Ring as they make the transition to Spunk Fitness; off to the Colosseum on Sunday.

Squat
45×5
95×3
135×2
3×2 @ 185
3×2 @ 225
Felt strong, but struggled with form a little, probably should have skipped the briefs.

Deadlift
6×1 @ 225

45 degree hyper
4×5

Pull down abs
5×15.

20 minutes treadmill.

Actually really excited about the change; I can use a new environment.


Training 4/28/10

Bench Press
45×10
95×5
135×3
185×3
225×3
245×3
245 felt heavy and I was a little shaky, that should improve over the next month

DB Incline
3×12 @ 50

Chins
5 sets of 3

Pressdown
2×10 @ 120

Face Pull
3×10 @ 120

20 mins treadmill

My gym got sold. It’s becoming a Spunk Fitness.

We offer a full free weight section with dumbbells up to 75 pounds – and no higher. The average person can achieve a great workout with these weights or less. We also offer two smith machines, modular towers with upper and lower pulley systems , leg machines as well as incline, decline, flat, and adjustable benches.

So I guess I need to go find a new gym.  I’m not shooting for ‘average’.


Jim Wendler and Mark Rippetoe

If you are at all interested in strength, you need to watch this.  It’s the most recent of Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength video series, with Jim Wendler from EliteFTS.

My favorite line:

What’s more functional than a 600 pound deadlift?

A 700 pound deadlift.

It’s worth the 75 minutes you’ll spend on it.


Surprising new study

A new study finds some surprises when it comes to what causes premature deaths.

A combination of four unhealthy behaviors — smoking, lack of exercise, poor diet and substantial alcohol consumption — greatly increases the risk of premature death, a new study has found.

The study, published in the April 26 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, included 4,886 people, aged 18 or older, who were interviewed in 1984-1985.

Wow.  I would never have guessed it.

Lucky for us, the researchers have a solution,

“Modest but achievable adjustments to lifestyle behaviors are likely to have a considerable impact at both the individual and population level,” the researchers concluded. “Developing more efficacious methods by which to promote healthy diets and lifestyles across the population should be an important priority of public health policy.”

Great.  The government will fix it.


Training, 4/26/10

Squat
45×5
95×5
135×3
185×3
225×3
275×3
Felt rock solid, didn’t want to push it yet, still taking small steps.

Leg Press
1×15 @ 90
3×15 @ 180

Seated leg curl
4×10 @ 45

HS Standing shrugs
45×12
3×10 @ 90

Situps
3×5

20 mins treadmill


Productivity Tip: Early to Rise

Improving your productivity is more than just implementing solid processes, it’s building solid habits. One of the most important habits I’ve built to improve my productivity by gaining time is to standardize the hour I wake/rise every morning.

A consistent early start time will improve your productivity. While not everyone is productive at the same times of day, and not everyone’s work conforms to early rising in a traditional sense, moving your wake up time earlier should result in more productivity, regardless of your schedule. I happen to wake at 4:55AM every day; my work day can start at 6AM (many of the folks I work with are also in the office that early, and on days I’m on the road, I’m often headed out the door earlier than that).

So here’s what I do…

I set my Blackberry alarm to go off every morning at 4:55. I don’t have a set routine every morning as I often have to get up and get out the door right away to get somewhere; but on the days I don’t have an early AM meeting, it’s pretty standard.

When the alarm beeps, I turn it off, take a big deep breath, stretch, and get up. Even if I don’t want to get up. Even if I was up until 12:30. Up. Now. Continue reading


Why I’m not a Tea Partier

It was one thing when they shouted ‘Run Sarah, Run”.

But this is really all I needed to know this isn’t my movement.

At the Gilbert protest, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio delivered the keynote speech.

Arpaio touched on a number of issues, including his chain gangs and his problems with the federal government.

If Joe Arpaio is part of any movement, I’m not.  Limiting the rights of people to come into this country has nothing to do with limiting the size and scope of government.  In fact, it’s the opposite.  If you think you need permission from the government to work, you aren’t really interested in limiting the power of government.

Edit:  And apparently I’m not the only one.


Repost: Value is more than dollars

This is post from July of last year that fits in nicely with my usual Friday series on building wealth.  It’s been a busy week, and I haven’t had time to write anything new.  I should be back with original content next week.  If you want to read more in my series on building wealth, please click on that category in the sidebar.

The Simple Dollar has a nice post up on the value of frugality, I thought I might add a bit on the subject of value, dollars, and time.

The writer at The Simple Dollar was asked:

I don’t see why I should spend fifteen minutes making a batch of homemade laundry detergent just to save a few bucks when I could spend that fifteen minutes building my career. Most “frugality tips” seem like a waste of time.

There’s a pretty simple way to look at this, and the poster points it out pretty well. If the value of the 15 minutes is higher than the value of the laundry detergent + the cost of purchasing detergent, then certainly your time is better spent doing something else.  (BTW, the cost of homemade detergent is higher than just 15 minutes of time!)

Another example:  My employer pays me about $50 an hour (it’s more complicated than that, as I don’t ‘do’, but rather ‘manage’ and ‘think’ and ‘plan’, so my employer is paying me more for my work product than my time, but time is the simplest way to look at things for our purposes). That’s as good a starting point as any to value my time.  I hire someone to clean my house every two weeks, and pay her $80. $160 a month just on housecleaning to some is an extravagant expenditure… but do the math. It would take me about 3 hours to clean my house.  Thats $150 of value of my time, assuming I like cleaning as much as I like my job, which isn’t true at all.  I would charge you $100 an hour to clean your house (which is why I don’t run a housecleaning business).  So $160 a month to get back 6 hours to do something I want to do, is a huge bargain for me.

It isn’t all about dollars, frugality of time is as important, isn’t it?

If that’s the case, be honest with yourself about it. It’s not just about earning money, it’s about personal enjoyment, and you’re accepting that the return is less (or possibly nonexistent) because you enjoy doing it. That’s great, but it doesn’t mean that the frugal task has any less value.

Here’s an example. One of my cousins is a meticulous housekeeper, to the point of being obsessive. Yet she enjoys it. She’d far rather be doing that than engaging in other activities. Sure, it serves as great maintenance on her home, but it doesn’t put much financial value in her pocket. What it does do is make her feel good when she sees her sparkling clean house. She often chooses that for a Saturday afternoon instead of networking within her career.

Everyone has different values for time, as well as values for enjoyment.  I was making small talk with a friend’s husband a couple of weeks ago, and we got on the subject of wine (to his credit, we were meandering around for something to talk about other than the weather, and even though he’s not into wine, he at least sounded interested so we could not stand there in silence while the ladies were inside going on about weddings or shoes or whatever).  We were discussing the cost of wine, and how hard it is for me to spend more than $30 on a bottle for something I’m just going to drink.  I was a bit uncomfortable, as I had recently purchased a $70 bottle of wine.  He pointed out he would regularly spend $200 on 4 hours of golf, and that it’s worth it because he loves it.  He then just asked me if I really liked the wine.

Made that $70 look like a value play.

Don’t focus on the numbers, focus on the value.  Sure, the basics still apply – if you are in debt and want to build your net worth, you may need to give up golf and wine for a while.  But once you are comfortable and on track with your goals, use more than just dollars to measure value.  You’ll find bargains everywhere.


Wow, here’s a shocker

The health care reform bill will raise costs.  I mean, who would have predicted that?

But the analysis also found that the law falls short of the president’s twin goal of controlling runaway costs. It also warned that Medicare cuts may be unrealistic and unsustainable, driving about 15% of hospitals into the red and “possibly jeopardizing access” to care for seniors.

The mixed verdict for Obama’s signature issue is the first comprehensive look by neutral experts.

In particular, the warnings about Medicare could become a major political liability for Democratic lawmakers in the midterm elections. Seniors are more likely to vote than younger people and polls show they are already deeply skeptical of the law.

Of course, we should wait, as this information has not been blessed by The One.

The report from Medicare’s Office of the Actuary carried a disclaimer saying it does not represent the official position of the Obama administration. White House officials have repeatedly complained that such analyses have been too pessimistic and lowball the law’s potential to achieve savings.

That mean old math making people pessimistic.

In addition to flagging the cuts to hospitals, nursing homes and other providers as potentially unsustainable, it projected that reductions in payments to private Medicare Advantage plans would trigger an exodus from the popular program. Enrollment would plummet by about 50%, as the plans reduce extra benefits that they currently offer. Seniors leaving the private plans would still have health insurance under traditional Medicare, but many might face higher out-of-pocket costs.

In another flashing yellow light, the report warned that a new voluntary long-term care insurance program created under the law faces “a very serious risk” of insolvency.

I guess we’ll just need another bill to fix this one.  I trust them, don’t you?


Not gay enough?

Three bisexual men are suing the Gay Softball World Series (I had no idea..) because their team was disqualified after organizers decided they were not gay enough.

Three bisexual men from the San Francisco area have filed a lawsuit claiming they were discriminated against during the Gay Softball World Series in the Seattle area two years ago.

The Seattle Times reports that the men filed the federal complaint Tuesday against the softball tournament’s organizer, the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance. It alleges that after another team complained, the alliance ruled the three men were “nongay,” and took away the team’s second-place finish.

I, having consistent positions, believe that any group, including the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance, have every right to determine the qualifications for membership or participation, and they can use whatever standard of gayness they wish.

But whatever prism you use to view the world, you have to see this as funny, right?   Is there a gay-o-meter?  Isn’t this the perfect time for the application of Chris Rock’s gayness test?


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