Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Where is Lucas?

Hello, blog I haven't posted on since 2008. I received a couple of email notifications about spam comments on here in the past week, which prompted me to spend 10 minutes figuring out how to log in to Blogger. (Scary thought: My passwords haven't changed much since 2008...)

Apparently, some people are still stumbling across these old posts -- the little chart in my Blogger dashboard says this blog is getting 20-40 page views per day, which I think is pretty good for a blog that hasn't been updated in 5+ years. So I thought I'd post here to redirect folks to where they can find more of my writing: crossfitmanatee.com

You see, back in 2012, I actually started my own gym. It's called CrossFit Manatee, it's in Bradenton, FL, and running it is both the hardest and the most rewarding job I've had in my life. Anyway, over on the CrossFit Manatee website, we put up blog posts 6 times per week, and I typically write 5 of those. So if you like what you read here, head on over to CrossFit Manatee to see stuff I've written more recently.

Adios, Lucas' Training Log!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Heavy Weight as Anger Management

First, a disclaimer: I'm not angry. But I have a friend who's in a crappy situation right now, and that made me think of how I've handled similar situations in the past.

In my sophomore year of college, I punched a door. I was in a frustrating situation and I felt helpless to resolve it. Sometimes you just need to do something stupid to release all that frustration/irritation/anger, and in my case I chose to punch a metal door. Of course, I didn't realize at the time that the door was metal, and the third knuckle of the middle finger of my right hand is now about 1.5 times as big as the one on my left hand as a result of that particular little outburst.

That was the last time I chose to punch something in frustration. I found a better way of coping: full body self-abuse in the form of a ridiculously intense training session.

Whenever I'm mad -- shallow breathing, clenched fists, tunnel vision MAD -- I head to the gym. I channel the anger and the frustration into my workout. Anger makes heavy squats go up faster, and adds a nice edge to that light-headed feeling of accomplishment after a particularly challenging deadlift.

No matter how the workout goes -- whether I crush the weights I was going for or fall short on every single exercise, I always feel better after I've lifted. I've gotten the raw emotion out of the way at least a bit and can think more clearly about the problem that caused my distress in the first place.

Besides, it's impossible to feel angry when all you're focused on is trying to make sure your rubbery legs don't give out on you and make you collapse in a heap just outside the gym doors.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fitness and the Traveling Salesman

Ok, so I'm not really a traveling salesman, but I am traveling for 3 of the 4 weeks in September for my super-cool new job. I'm halfway through week one, and I just got done paying $16.23 ($15 plus tax!) for the privilege of working out in a Gold's Gym down the road from my hotel. That's highway robbery!

But I'll probably continue to pay similar fees in my travels, since hotels don't really quite understand the concept of a "fitness room." See, cardio is but one aspect of fitness. And, in my semi-informed opinion, it's the aspect of fitness that it most easily taken care of by paying attention to the other aspects of fitness, such as strength, speed, agility, endurance, etc.

But the wonderful folks at Holiday Inn and Hilton (yeah, I stay classy on the road!) seem to believe that all of their patrons' fitness needs can be met by stuffing two treadmills and an upright exercise bike into a converted guest room. If they're feeling particularly generous, they might throw in a nice big swiss ball to do crunches on.

But I'm traveling, sleeping and eating on the company dime, so it's definitely worth shelling out $15 every couple of days for a decent workout.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Doing stuff I previously couldn't

Hey Miz -- I'm alive! The new job is great, but keeping me quite busy. Thanks for checking up on me, it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

The biggest difference in my training now and my work outs of a year ago stem from one simple shift in thinking. I stopped thinking about exercising as a way to lose fat and build muscle and get "healthier," and started thinking of training in terms of improving my performance.

It's a paradigm shift that came about largely due to my exposure to Crossfit and Mark Rippetoe. They're smart folks with great ideas, and I owe my renewed enthusiasm for training to them.

The really cool thing about this is that by focusing on improving the amount of weight I can lift or how fast I can run, I'm actually doing a better job of increasing muscle mass and improving my physical appearance than I was when those things were my goals. There's also a bit of an ego boost from the knowledge that I'm stronger and faster than I've ever been, and improving constantly.

Also, as mentioned earlier, I've rediscovered my passion for lifting. I get excited every time I go to the gym, because I'm always trying to do something I haven't done before. Pushing myself like that is a great feeling. It's an adrenaline rush. It can be scary, too, trying something you're not sure you're going to be able to do. But the feeling of accomplishment when you do that thing you weren't sure you could do is amazing

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Stress & Training

It's an interesting conundrum: the more stressed you are, the less you feel like you have the time and energy necessary to train. But at the same time, the more stressed you are, the more you'd benefit from setting aside a bit of time to get in the gym and work your ass off.

Exercise relieves stress. Even better news for the lifters, Crossfitters and LSD-haters among us, high-intensity exercise is better at relieving stress than low-intensity exercise.

I don't really have any mind-blowing analysis or earth-shattering ideas to present here. This is one of the few cases in exercise science where the experts all agree, and conventional wisdom is actually wise.

This post is just a reminder to myself and anybody else out there who may have been feeling a bit overhwelmed lately and hasn't gotten into the gym: Do it. As soon as possible. As in right now, unless you're a heart surgeon in mid-operation or a pilot in command of a transatlantic flight. (In which case you probably shouldn't be reading this, anyway.)

Get your gym shorts on, go kick your own butt and forget your worries for a while. It'll do you a world of good.

P.S. I googled the word "necessary" to make sure I'd spelled it right in this post. The very first result turned out to be quite an interesting read. Good times.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

My couch fixation

At dinner tonight, my mother mentioned in passing that I use the example of moving a couch a lot on this blog. (No, I don't live with my parents. They're in town for the July 4 weekend. Although free meals and laundry do sound pretty good...)

I don't have an obsession with moving multi-person seating units. I didn't even realize I was using the couch example so often until Mom called me out on it.

Moving couches just usually jumps to mind when I try to think of an example of my definition of fitness: the ability to perform daily physical activities with ease, and the ability to perform difficult but useful physical activities, period.

So I squat, deadlift and press while most other people head to the elliptical or bust out another set of bicep curls. And that's fine. Thier definition of fitness has more to do with BMI and calories burned, while mine has more to do with performance improvements and pounds lifted.

Neither is the "right" definition of fitness. I think mine's a healthier, more practical approach than the BMI crowd, but they think their definition is superior to mine. Each camp has the scientific and anecdotal evidence to back up their claims.

But I won't be asking any of those guys I see in the gym spending hours on the treadmill to help me move my couch. They'd scuff the upholstery when they dropped it.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Moving on

This isn't really fitness-related, but what the hey. It's my blog and I'll go off-topic if I want to!

I accepted a new job at my alma mater today and gave my two weeks notice at my current job. I'm very excited about this move -- it's actually a minor decrease in take-home pay, but the benefits are much better and there's a strong possibility for advancement (compared to my current job, which has offers basically zero advancement opportunity).

On a fitness-related note, my new job is much closer to my current abode, so I'll be able to bike to work whenever the weather is nice. That's not nearly strenuous enough to replace picking up heavy things as my daily exercise, but it's always good whenever you're able to add a little more physical activity into your day.

Oh, and the new job also includes a membership at the campus gym. The current gym is no worse than your average Globogym, but a new and improved facility will open in about a year. From what I can tell, the new facility will be open to everyone from varsity athletes to students to staff, so I should have access to fancy things like bumper plates and maybe even o-lifting platforms!