Back to it…

It happens with me off and on – I get on a good roll with working out, then I fall off the wagon. Well, it’s time to get back on it again.

Last time I stopped was rather weird – I’m not used to living in multi-family dwellings. In fact, it’s something I’ve avoided most of my life, but I finally had to break down and do it for various reason, though Kat and I are looking for a house together just about every weekend (we got close once, but the houe we were looking at ended up not passing inspection – and the owner wasn’t going to make any moves to fix the problems.)

So the moment I have access to a house to work out in again, I’ll be using it. But for now, I have to change my routine considerably. Now, despite the fact I have to deal with the *boom*boom*boobooboom* that comes from downstairs at least once a week they complained about the noise. (Last time they were booming it up downstairs I set the sub flat on the floor and cranked up Hank Williams, Jr singing “Buck Naked” – sure, it’s a little petty, but if I’ve gotta put up with it I’ll get revenge on from time to time.) Funny part was when the landlord showed up to complain, he looked at me funny and said “Weird – I would have expected you to be a whole lot louder to have gotten a noise complaint.”

This changes what I have to do for Cardio. For me, anything counts as cardio as long as I can break a sweat for an hour or so (and, even then, I intermix weights into the middle of the cardio, so the entire session never has a break between workout modes, the heart rate stays high, etc.) At one time it was Dance Dance Revolution – which, when played on Heavy mode has a calorie burning ability that surpases running.

Now I need to find something much quieter for cardio – and I’m still trying to figure that part out. I think I’m going to run some experements for a while to see what works. I don’t mind doing something different. As much as I like having a routine for stuff like this, shaking things up gives an opportunity to find a better way.

A number of the things I’ve tried that are quiet don’t have the cardio and calorie burn effects I need – Tai Chi, for instance, feels good, does great things for my posture, and provides a good “energized” feel, but doesn’t do anything to keep the heart rate up. So I’ll be experimenting a lot to find what works.

Along with finding new ways to work out and keep the heart rate up during my workouts, I’ve built myself a new tool and a new set of procedures for working out. I’m a numbers geek – I like to be abgle to quantify thing. For instance, am I slowly reaching my goal of wearing 32’s again? Am I consistently keeping my heart rate in my target range?

Things like that are fun for me. Yes, I’m a geek at so many levels. Originally I had plans for an iPhone app, but I don’t really have time to create exactly what I want. I was looked into some sort of plan for WordPress, and happened to run across a plugin that had the core idea of what I wanted – but it lacked quite a few features I wanted, wasn’t flexible enough, and there was a laundry list oof things I would have done differently. So I began re-writing pieces of it… when I was done, there wasn’t anything left of the original plugin besides the GNU license file. This was a “spare time” project, so it didn’t get done overnight.

The added benefit of rewriting the plugin is that I’ve submitted it to the plugin archive for other people to make use of. I write articles on WordPress stuff (usually quick fixes for specific problems) on, which always gets me traffic. An actual full-bore plugin sort of helps add just a bit more page rank fodder and traffic for the company site.

So what does it look like? Here’s a working sample (it’s pulling from my first workout, and “leadup daea” that I put into the site.):

[plotovertime field1=”Weight” field2=”Heart Rate” field3=”Resting Heart Rate” field4=”Workout Length” field5=”Gut” field6=”Chest” field7=”Bicep” field8=”Setups” field9=”Pushups” field10=”Dips” width=”700″ height=”400″ type=”LineChart” maxdays=”30″]

(If you’re here because you read reference to the WordPress plugin, it’s called Plot Over Time and you can download it from or from the WordPress “Add Plugins” area of any WordPress based site)

I’m also adding a weekly picture (warning: I’m not wearing a shirt. It’s not a pretty sight.) The goal is, once again, to be able to quantify the changes. All of my workout progress will be available online here under the Workout Log section of my site (if you’re ever really, really bored you can flip through what will hopefully months and months of data 😉

On additional thing about a visible progress system – I get rather determined when things are quantified with a sort of score system. That means I’ll probably be a whole lot more likely to stick to it 🙂

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