Arlington now has RowVigor studio
August 8, 2016
This morning I met with coach Fola Awosika of Row Vigor for my Foundations class. I was the only one in the class so I got to spend some great time chatting with Fola about Row Vigor. Fola quickly discovered that I have been rowing and erging since 1988 so he gave me back my free credit for another class such as To The Core, Heart-to-Heart, or Erg Flow. Currently, RowVigor is a pop up studio attached to the Saffron Dance studio at 3260 Wilson Blvd in North Arlington, VA.
To the Core: Keep your abdominals in beach-ready form all year around. Sculpt, shape, shred with these hardcore functional movements. Reduce lower back pain and stiffness and tighten up your core simultaneously.
Heart-to-Heart: This is the ultimate in cardiovascular fitness. An array of cutting-edge rowing concepts produce an extremely challenging, calorie burning, kick butt class. Prepare to be totally drenched and exhilarated all while training the most important muscle of all, your heart.
Erg Flow: Stroke form and rhythm are key to an efficient rower whether on the water or on the erg. Increase muscular strength, stamina and mobility while perfecting you optimal form and cadence using erg flow.
Foundations: This is a required first class for any student new to ROWViGOR™. ‘Foundations’ introduces new students to the indoor erg with proper form. This class will help you gain confidence to create your most effective and efficient workout.
Building muscle for rowing
August 1, 2016
I’ve actually worked How to Build Muscle for Rowing Review into my workout. The workout is very simple: seven machine-based workouts, four on one day, skip a day, three on the other. I started out with Betsy at the King Street XSport Fitness so that I could get my max weight sorted out as a baseline: leg press: 240lbs, chest press: 110lbs, lat pulldown: 120lbs, ab crunch machine: 70lbs; then, shoulder press: 55lbs, bicep curls: 90lbs, and triceps extensions: 70lbs. So, that’s the baseline. I’m starting slow as I haven’t been weight training a lot in a couple-few years. But I am recovering quickly — very quickly.
Here are my numbers so far — I’m working out at my local XSport Express:
|Leg Chest Lats Abs Day|
|Shoulder Bicep Triceps Day|
|Leg Chest Lats Abs Day|
The program is interesting: 6 weeks of the Build Phase, 4 weeks of the Fail Phase, and then 2 weeks of recovery. The Build Phase should have 12 sessions and a maximum of 18 workouts. Each session is defined by the book: first session, 8 reps of max weight for three sets.
Session 2, the one I am in, says, “using your ten repetition maximum, complete 3 sets of 8. But this time, try to exceed 8 repetitions per set and stop when you reach failure. Rest for 60-seconds between each set.”
Session 3 will be even weirder, “using your ten repetition maximum, complete 3 sets of 10 repetitions. But this time, try to exceed 10 repetitions per set and stop when you reach failure. Rest for 60-seconds between each set.”
To move on from session 2 — which I feel like I can already do — I need to do 30 reps total per each exercise and to move on from session 3 I need to complete a total of 36 reps for per each exercise set. Get it? It’s incrementally progressive. I feel like when I did my max weight last week my muscles weren’t warmed up so the lifting is easy this week; however, the way the system works, it speeds up if the weight’s not challenging enough, and it backs off if you’re struggling.
And if you fail to “pass” your session, you repeat it again until you pass, which means this system isn’t going to hockey-stick, where the weight gets added and compounds until you’re lifting the equivalent density of a collapsed star or white dwarf.
Once you hit the Fail Phase, you no longer track your track your sets and reps. Instead, you lift until you can no longer move the weight. Then you’ll decrease the weight and keep on lifting until you can move almost no weight at all. Total spaghetti arms and legs those four weeks!
Then, the Rest Phase is simple: do no resistance training at all for two weeks (this phase is not optional, though keep up with protein supplementation)
Believe it or not, the workout includes drink 20-25 grams of protein or more within a half-hour of the workout, so I have been doing that with Muscle Milk that I get at the XSport Fitness fridge; that said, I will be moving over to a milk+whey protein+creatine mix right after I pick up some sort of milk. I’ll vary between soy, almond, rich, and cow’s milk.
Now that I am no longer sort after these very short weightlifting sessions, I shall add some serious cardio to the mix, adding rows in my Concept2 Indoor Rower, adding runs around the neighborhood to see if I can get my mad-slow but reliable 3-5-mile jogs back into the mix (at an aspiration 12:00-13:00 pace, especially in this heat).
I will also start today with the kettlebell swinging I had promised myself and you I would be doing, taken from the pages of Get Fit, Get Fierce with Kettlebell Swings: swinging a kettlebell for 90-seconds every 60-minutes all day long.
Starting with a blue 12kg bell I will set my GymBoss MiniMax for the workout and then stop what I’m doing every hour to two hand swings for a minute. One mistake I did make before that I won’t make again: don’t swing your kettlebells without stretching your body.
Even though you’re only doing work for 60-seconds, you really should cool down and stretch for a couple minutes out of the hour. So, give yourself a good 5-7 minutes around that 60-seconds of intense kettlebell work to cool down gracefully so that you don’t seize up — it’s happened to me.
Out of the frying pan onto water
July 21, 2016
Remember when I was running 5ks? It seems like only yesterday I was literally kicking ass and taking names at 9Round Penrose and doing Pacers-sponsored 5k races. Well, that took a break.
I caught some sort of bug and tried to use my human immune system to fight off the invading armies with sleep, liquids, OTC drugs, and some some healthy living.
After ten days, it wasn’t working. I visited the INOVA clinic down the street on Columbia Pike and actually said no to what would have ended the debilitating acute sinusitis that then became some sort of acute ear infection — another ten days.
Finally, I went back and was prescribed a ZPACK: ten more days.
Then, ten more days to recover from the cough, congestion, sputum, and sore throat.
Well, in the middle of that, I was cordially invited to become a full member of Potomac Boat Club, something I had been interested in doing since I was a teenage college rower on GWU Crew.
The boathouse at the end of Water Street in Georgetown is an athletic club. The one you can see from Key Bridge or Rosslyn. The one with the red floating dock with the bright white star on it.
But I am back to square one. After close to forty days of sleeping a lot and rarely working more than three or four hours-a-day, I am returning to this blog, the RNNR blog, and getting back on track.
How to Build Muscle for Rowing Review
July 17, 2016
I used to freedive by myself as a teen growing up in Hawaii
June 24, 2016
I used to freedive by myself as a teen growing up in Hawaii. I carried a Nikonos III and a knife. I tied my leg to a 100′ white nylon line that tied to a float and a dive flag. I launched from Kaimana Beach.
Whenever I got hungry, after a couple hours or so, I would tuck into the plentiful sea urchins, tapping open a hole on tip with the butt of the dive knife, like in this photo, but with my fingers instead of a spoon and spiced with brine.
I didn’t drink water until I ended up kicking to shore. I wore these fins and ignored things like shallow water blackout and the buddy system.
I could easily hyperventilate, take a deep breath, and then kick down to the the Mahi Ship Wreck.
Ha ha! Memories of Hawaii.
Smoky Chipotle Refried Beans
June 6, 2016
- 3 cups dried pinto beans
- 1 medium white or yellow onion, chopped
- 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
- Half inch piece dried Kombu seaweed
- 1-2 dried whole chipotle peppers or canned chipotles in adobo to taste
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons dried epazote (can substitute cilantro)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 and a half teaspoons sea salt
- Soak the beans in water to cover by 2 inches, 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse the beans in a colander a few times, then transfer to a large pot. Add the onion, garlic, seaweed, chipotles, and spices. Add water to cover the beans by 2 inches. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium-low heat for about 1 hour, or until the beans are soft and cooked through.
- Drain the beans, reserving 4 cups of the liquid, remove the seaweed. Remove the chiles, or leave one in if spicier beans are desired. Cool the beans for 15 minutes, then place in a food processor along with half cup of the liquid and process until smooth. If desired, you may thin the beans with additional cooking liquid.
- Return the pureed beans to the pot with the olive oil and salt. Simmer over low to medium-low heat for 20 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Serve warm.
- Refried beans keep refrigerated for 5 to 6 days or freeze well several months.
I’m swinging a kettlebell for 90-seconds every 60-minutes
May 4, 2016
I mentioned that I had become obsessed with Don Fitch‘s deceptively easy Get Fit, Get Fierce with Kettlebell Swings ebook back in October of last year, right after I realized that swinging a kettlebell for 90-seconds every 60-minutes can very well be punishing if you go from cold to hot without ever warming up and cooling down.
I started doing this sustainable workout and quickly injured myself.
Well, almost 8-months later and I am back at it. Starting today, I am trying it again and have been doing it all day — or, at least since I got in to the office at around noon.
Because I don’t want to hurt myself, I am easing myself into kettlebells by doing all my swings using a light-for-me 12 kilogram competition kettlebell that I bought from Christian’s Fitness Factory AKA CFF-FIT.
A reminder, if you’re going to engage in 90-seconds of vigorous kettlebell swings every hour, all day long, every day, even with only a single 12kg bell, then a stretching regimen is essential. 90-seconds is longer than you think so use the lightest weight you can in order to swing your kettlebell with perfect form for a minute-and-a-half every hour over the course of the entire day.
I’m giving it a go, though I don’t want it to replace other things I am doing like running, like my running commutes, my Concept2 rowing pieces, challenging 30-minute full-body workouts at 9Round and streaming workouts via DailyBurn.
Why am I doing it? Well, it gets me off of my duff or away from work for at least 90-seconds every hour. Sometimes I am on my treadmill desk or working sitting on my Swiss Exercise Ball and it’s not too essential that I swing every hour, other times I disappear into sedentary work on my office’s sofa and having my GymBoss beep at me that it’s time to swing my a kettlebell for 90-seconds really breaks through my tendency to hyper-focus and lose an entire day lost in work from deep in the couch.
I have the GymBoss set up to repeat 12-times even though the book recommends 8 sets for a total of two minutes.
I feel like the only stretches that I will need to do at the end of every 90-second session are the calf-stretch, the standing quadriceps stretch, standing hamstring stretch, and the hip adductors (inner thigh) stretch — what am I missing?
Anyway, please let me know in the comments.
Wish me luck! Good luck to you, too!
Running: Wed, 4 May 2016 11:17:26
May 4, 2016
- Activity: Running
- Distance: 0.85 mi
- Duration: 00:30:03
- Average Speed: 1.7 mph
- Average Pace: 35:21 min/mi
- Calories Burned: 580
- Start Time: Wed, 4 May 2016 11:17:26
Running: Wed, 4 May 2016 00:25:06
May 4, 2016
- Activity: Running
- Distance: 2.25 mi
- Duration: 00:38:46
- Average Speed: 3.48 mph
- Average Pace: 17:13 min/mi
- Calories Burned: 464
- Start Time: Wed, 4 May 2016 00:25:06