Saturday, January 20, 2018

The First Week of the New Work Out Routine

As I mentioned in a post written Jan. 11th, Monday, Jan. 15 would be the beginning of a new work out routine. Today being Saturday, I've completed the first week of the new routine.

Monday's work out consisted of dumbbell exercises for back and biceps, to be followed by an abs work out. The dumbbell exercises are as follows:

Dead lift, stiff legged dead lift, bend to opposite foot, wide row, bent over row and one arm row for the back, with alternating biceps curls, inner-biceps curls, hammer curls and seated curls for the biceps.

Wednesday's work out was for chest and triceps - to be followed by an abs work out as well - the exercises being:

Standing fly, lying fly, bench press, bench press with neutral grip, straight arm puller over followed by bent arm pull over for chest. The triceps work out consisted of two-arms triceps extension, triceps kickback, bent-over triceps extension, ending with lying triceps extensions.

Friday was for legs and shoulders. The leg work out exercises are squats, reverse lunge, side lunge, dumbbell swing through, and toe raises. The shoulder work out consists of shoulder press, lateral raises, upright row, front raises (palms in), ending with shoulder shrugs. As with the other days, an abs work out ended the routine.

On Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, the work out was the Sun Salutations.

Rain prevented me from walking on all but two days.

In addition to the exercises, I've been monitoring my blood pressure. In spite of the exercises, medication and renewed meditation, my blood pressure was showing high numbers at times. I believe the increase is due to my consumption of caffeine. During mid week, I decided to limit my caffeine to only one cup of coffee a day. This would be an afternoon cup.

Looking for a non-caffeinated way of waking up, I've decided to do five minutes of sun salutations on the dumbbell days, as well as the off days. I've found that the sun salutations lower my bp almost immediately.

I'll be changing my abs days to the Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday off days.

Monday, January 15, 2018

I've No "Core Canadian Values".

According to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Bieber Justin Trudeau, being pro-life, I am not in-line with the Canadian government nor who Canadians are as a society.

Just what I need.....another reason not to visit Canada.

You Only Dye Twice

Last March, I wrote a post on the brutality of the tropical, Philippine sun on the color of fabrics. I posted a before and after photo of brown cargo shorts that had faded after being frequently washed and hung out to dry in the sun.

Today's photos show a part of the shorts dyed last March - back and front shots of the shorts after nine months of washing and drying and front and back shots of the short after I re-dyed the shorts a day or so ago. This time I used more dye per shorts.

Last year, I used 3 sachets of brown dye, each weighing 2 grams, to dye two pair of cargo shorts. This time, I used eight 2 gram sachets per shorts. Comparing last year's after photos to this week's after photos, last year's finished color wasn't as dark as this time. Much better this time, I think.

Last year, the sachets cost 3 pesos each. Now, the price is 3.5 pesos each. The eight used on the one pair of shorts in the photos here cost 28 pesos - or 56 cents in U.S. currency. Not a bad price, I'd say.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Urbain Grandier

In was in the early 1980s that I first learned of Urbain Grandier, a 17th century French Catholic priest who was burned at the stake, after being found guilty of witchcraft in a case involving "demonic possession" of nuns in the town of Loudun, France. One of the cable movie channels (Showtime, Cinemax, or HBO) was running the 1971 Ken Russell film, The Devils. The film was based on the 1952 non-fiction novel by Aldous Huxley, The Devils of Loudun.

Being curious, I went on a search for Huxley's book. A copy of the book was supposed to be available at my local public library, but I was told that the book was frequently stolen when placed on the shelf. There was a copy available behind the main desk, but it could not be checked out. The book could only be read in the library.

Fortunately for me, there was a very nice used book store in town. The owner could find any book - for a price, of course. I purchased a copy from her. I cannot say what became of the book.

I bring this up now because the story of Grandier is told in volume four of Alexandre Dumas' Celebrated Crimes. Sadly, the series could have been entitled Celebrated Crimes by Christians. A good many of the crimes described by Dumas illustrate the horrors committed by some using God's name.

According to a Wikipedia article, the French historian Jules Michelet discussed Grandier in a chapter of La Sorcière. An English translation of La Sorcière is available at Project Gutenberg. That book is now on my list of books to read in 2018.

The Polish composer, Krzysztof Penderecki wrote an opera, Die Teufel von Loudun based on the story. I was unable to find a copy of the opera on Spotify - although many of Penderecki's works are - but a TV version of the opera can be found on Youtube.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

A New Workout Routine

I am currently doing a dumbbell routine based around a push-pull approach. Some exercises using free weights involve a pushing motion - like those for chest and/or triceps, while exercises for back and/or biceps involve a pulling motion. I have been doing the "push" workouts on Mondays and Thursdays with the "pull" workouts on Tuesdays and Fridays. There were no dumbbell workouts on Wednesday, Saturday, or Sunday. If there's no rain, I take a morning walk every day but Sunday.

I don't recall when I started this routine, but it's been quite a long time. I purchased these dumbbells in July of 2016 so, I'm reasonably sure that I've been following this basic routine since then. It could have actually been longer - I can't remember my exact routine from the days when I was using the gym in Sibulan.

I've decided to make some changes in the routine starting this coming Monday. This is not part of a New Year's resolution. I feel that this routine has become too stressful on my shoulders (the shoulders are getting work-outs on both the push and the pull days). The morning dumbbell workout can last between 45 minutes to an hour, and I've not been getting adequate rest (recovery) between workout days.

Beginning Monday, I will divide the exercises differently, as well as changing the number of dumbbell days from four to three times a week.

Monday will consist of dumbbell exercises for back and biceps only, followed by an ab workout. Wednesday will be for chest and triceps only, followed by abs. Friday will be shoulders, legs and abs. There will be no dumbbell workouts on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, or Sundays.

I'll continue to walk every morning (except Sunday) when there is no rain.

Depending on how I feel next week, I may begin doing a few minutes of yoga Sun Salutations on the three "off days" (excluding Sundays). It's been several years since I've done a serious yoga routine, and the Surya Namaskara seems like a good place to start a return.

As an aside, the photo is from July, 2016 showing the first set of dumbbells I purchased from Lee Plaza. I have, since that time, purchased addition weight plates and a workout bench.