Well, we’re switching up our barbell programming. Nick wants to be leaner for surfing; he already inadvertently lost tons of mass in the move. I’ve moved many times, from all kinds of places to all kinds of other places, and the one thing the moves all had in common is that you don’t get enough to eat, and what you do get is lackluster. I don’t know how humans did it, for all of human history. It takes a lot of kitchen-centric domesticity to make it all work, seemingly.
Anyway, the blessing and curse of putting on lean muscle mass is that you don’t tend to put fat on, no matter how much you eat — but then if you don’t eat enough you can’t even keep on the fat you have. Dr. Greg Doucette mathed it out for me once, and I don’t remember, but it’s essentially like: lean muscle mass gains are hard-won, but also hard-lost. You can work all year and only put on five or ten more pounds *of muscle*. But, those pounds of muscle metabolically work around the clock for you, and all that compounds over time as you add more. Relative to the obesity and quick fix mindset many Americans are prone to, it’s just not a sexy-enough or fast-enough cure. Jeez, I even got some kind of promotional email the other day for an apparently meth-based weight-loss pill, which promised to help me shed pounds fast. I mean, pounds should come off at the same speed you put them on, imo, because otherwise what the hell is even happening?
Anyway, I like being plugged into a fitness paradigm that makes sense long-term, in this fashion. I have these disorienting moments, sometimes, where I feel too padded, or it just seems like, no matter what I do, my ectomorph body doesn’t really change, despite all this barbelling. But then I remember — oh yeah, I haven’t remotely managed my diet in months, or done any cardio in living memory. I used to work pretty hard to stay at the weight I preferred, through intermittent fasting, lots of walks/jogs/sprints, and only eating heavy meals once in a blue moon. It’s been a blue moon like every hour on the hour now, for a long time, thanks to fire camp meals and traveling during COVID with heavy truck equipment and all that. I’ve been literally eating gas station pastries and Taco Bell half the time, and I’m still at the right weight. I mean, I should be a diabetic rhinoceros by now. I’m not at my dream weight, but my clothes fit right, you know? It’s all getting back on track, since coming here to Hawaii 3 weeks ago, but there has been a lot of trying new vegan places, overeating out, overeating at home, under-eating at home and realizing I need food now and the closest thing is cinnamon rolls at the McDondal’s drive through, that kind of thing. So yeah, if I gave even one iota of a shit about food and/or did one iota of regular cardio, it would probably all come together pretty quickly.
The takeaway: doing barbell in a reasonably routine way makes it possible to live, otherwise, like King Henry VIII, without much visible consequence.
Anyway, we’re changing our programming so Nick can surf better. I suppose I could get really fixated on a result for myself and insist on personal programming but I’m just kind of happy to be along for the ride. I look just fine at my current fat percentage and amazing at a lower fat percentage and no matter what programming I run, I still look like an ectomorph, so who really cares.
So yes, I’ll describe the change in programming here. But first, this caveat: I didn’t get a chance to blog this morning, so I’m blogging now, but I’m frankly such overcooked spaghetti following a long, good day, plus a long, good workout of the variety I’m attempting to gird my loins to explain, I’m 85% certain nothing I write is very engaging because I feel on the verge of sleep at this very moment.
So, the old programming was like: three work sets of 3-5 reps of one thing, and that one thing would be EITHER a squat, a push (bench or overhead press) or a pull (deadlift, power cleans, snatches, and/or pull ups). Basically. I mean, insert fire season and COVID lockdowns; it’s all been TBA, as they say in the course catalogues. So that one thing, then maybe subsidiary things after — like barbell rows after the work sets of deadlift, for instance.
So now Nick wants to try doing all three — squat/push/pull — every single day, five days a week, with each set comprising like 10 reps, and maybe three to five sets of each.
“It will suck at first,” he acknowledged.
“At first??,” I said. “It will just always suck!”
Anyway, we did it, trading out sets with my brother who’s learning all his basic lifts right now, and it was actually really fun. I don’t know how fun it will be every single day 5x per week but we’ll see, I guess. Had to drop work weight way down of course. Nick was trying to chivvy me into a faster pace to add a cardio/circuit component, but I just lumbered around at my normal snail’s pace, glaring at him. One thing about me is I just won’t be made to do things which have moved beyond the point of feeling “good for me” to the point where they’re feeling bad for me. I’ll just get through a couple of these new workouts, at whatever speed, and then see how I feel about turning the intensity up.
Oh god, I’m so sleepy, the yawning contractions are getting closer, but I feel I have to report that I threw a pool party today and it was wildly successful, in my mind at least. I think we have friends here, for sure now! It was us four, of course, plus the little bugaboos, plus two other families including six little kids, four parents, and an ambient coworker who looks like Santa Claus. The kids are all homeschooled by their respective moms, who met in a homeschooling group, and are highly intelligent, well behaved, exuberant, nice children. They were so exuberant, in fact, that Buffy absconded to her hiding place in the closet, but Milo had a big time. The four people, ie two couples, who have spawned these wonderful younglings, are all shiny, funny, smart, nice people, who are all older than Nick and younger than me lolll. Our age gap is enough that all of our new friends can just fit inside its spacious brackets. That actually shocks me, when I realize it, because I’m so accustomed to being around Nick that I don’t think of him as someone dramatically younger than me, or myself as dramatically older. Weird.
Anyway, the new friend-families are both either vegan or v-curious, so we had a nice spread of vegan yummies, and our big open rental house is wonderful for gatherings despite its lack of furniture. There’s just, you know, less sitting than there might otherwise be, haha :)
I really must go to bed soon so I can wake up and try to write something better tomorrow, but let me just say in closing: I’m shocked how much I miss my guitar. It’s in the U-box, which should be here any time. I have more often had a guitar with me and felt guilty for not playing it, than not having had it with me and this sensation of…absent relationship. I miss singing. I miss using my voice in that way. I miss using my mind in that way.
Nick and I were listening to Chris Knight songs, on the way back from Hilo last night, and I thought: it’s as if I don’t even know how to play guitar anymore. It scared me. But I think the same thing when I hear songs I recorded, that I know I know how to play. I haven’t had my guitar in Hawaii, I didn’t have it during fire season, I didn’t have it during our shelter in place across nine different states. But a million years ago, before all that, I was practicing quite a bit and playing a singer/songwriter’s open mic every Thursday evening, in Albuquerque. It wasn’t a good scene for me, I wasn’t a good match, but it was something.
It was something.
I’ve never been through a time like this, where regardless of my relationship to performance and my own interests in live music, the economy won’t allow participation. I can’t get a gig, I can’t go to a gig, I can’t lean in that direction. It’s…an enormous loss that I’m only feeling in fits and starts. But I miss my guitar. And if I have friends, here, I can just play for them. I think that’s what I’m feeling. I want to be that person, again, hopefully better than before.
Ughhh I miss my guitar. I did not expect it to suddenly hit me like this.
I’ll link a song for you to listen to, while I make good on this narcolepsy and call it a day.