Archive | July, 2013

Monkeying around

Another day of dead-lifts. Dead-lifts are good for you, so Mr Dirk Venter keeps telling me. But, they really do take some focus and good old fashion determination.

You may remember that Dirk went easy on me last week. Well, you will be glad to learn that he is over whatever illness brought on that moment of kindness!

read on to learn more about today’s deadlifts routine and my first go at the monkey bars, and Dirk’s too

Training blind

Hi, and welcome to another post.

I have written a few posts now and thought it was a good time to share a little about why I started training and about why I decided to team up with a personal trainer.

There are four main reasons why I teamed up with Dirk Venter for training, two of which are directly related to me not being able to see. The reasons are:

  • to make sure I don’t disrupt anyone else’s training
  • to get good hands-on instruction on proper technique
  • to motivate me to go to training (after all I have already paid the money)
  • to be pushed harder than I am likely to push myself.

I don’t like the idea that I can’t just decide to join a gym and go like most other people. There is, as with many aspects of being blind, a need to put in extra planning and thinking and to take extra steps to achieve what might seem to be the simplest of things. This extra work takes extra effort and needs motivation. Which I try hard to maintain, but not always with success.

read on to learn more about training without sight and today’s shoulder workout

BioSignature Testing session 2 and some fun in a not-for-profit pub

Almost a week has passed since my last post. I was away in Melbourne for work and then had a busy weekend of family things that I won’t bore you with!

Today was the beginning of a new program which means, yes, another bioSignature testing session. This caught me a little off guard as Dirk had said that we wouldn’t test again until early August. I should know by now though that Dirk can, and readily does, change his mind!

I was not expecting good results, mostly because I did not eat very much or very well during my three days in Melbourne last week.

Oh and the meal I had at Charcoal Lane on Gertrude Street, on the fringes of Melbourne’s CBD, while very tasty indeed, probably wasn’t quite what Dirk would have recommended.

Hmmm, and to be honest, Dirk would not have been impressed at all to learn that we followed Charcoal Lane with a visit to a not-for-profit pub on Manchester Lane called Shebeen. Well it wouldn’t be visiting a pub that would have been frowned upon, more the beer or two I had! But all for a good cause.

read on to learn more about Shebeen, my BioSignature results, today’s leg workout and my challenges of eating well when in a foreign city

Perpetually sore

I am not going to even tell you about what I didn’t do over the weekend. Instead, it’s all about today.

Today, after doing a few hours of work on an apparent day off, I got down to my local gym with my wife for a Body Pump class. I haven’t done a Pump Class for a good while, and, oh my, the high rep mode really does hurt! Or maybe I just used too heavy weight or maybe …

I am just being soft!

Whichever way, I know tomorrow will involve a good deal of soreness. Though I am starting to wonder which days don’t. Perpetually sore!

Tomorrow is another apparent day off and I plan on getting to the gym for a run this time. Thinking of seeing if I can actually place one foot after the other for a half hour or so, even if only at a slow pace. I’ll let you know how I get on.

With shins like a hockey player

Hmmmm, thought about doing some exercise today … again. Dam it, just can’t seem to get the weekend workout thing going on. In fact, can’t even seem to get the weekend stretching or something going. But there’s another idea … how to get a good workout at home.

I smashed my knee into a wooden chest today. My fault, I left it there! Rest assured though, this is Far from the first time I have walked or run into something. Not seeing where I am going does mean that I run into things somewhat more than your average bear!

My shin bones have a good collection of old and new scarring and so many chips and dints that you could almost call them serrated – a lot like I imagine a hockey player’s shins to be.

read more on my poor shinbones, if you dare!

Oh where have those endorphins gone?

I Finally got back on the treadmill today for my second run since starting my campaign on 1 July.

And what do you know?

that endorphin rush didn’t happen this time, not during the run or after.

Oh where has my endorphin friend gone?!

Body Talk

It was a bit of a struggle running today, ankles, knees and lower back pretty well started feeling it from the start and it didn’t change.

I gotta do more of this running because I so suck at it!

My Workout

2.5Km run on the treadmill. Started on speed 8.5 and moved it up to 10.5 where it stayed for most of the run.

Nothing much doin’

Not much to report today. Another day, another dollar and another workout!

My Workout

Another chest and back workout today.

A 5Kg increase from last week making it 30Kg dumbbell flat bench press combined with bodyweight pull-ups.

I did a little better with the pull-ups this week, got six rounds of 5 reps out this time. I got 3 or four of the 5 reps out in the remaining sets using a strict technique, with the remaining reps of the set using a butterfly kipping motion just to get up but maintaining the slow release.

First things first

Oopse, ok, I was supposed to do a couple of things on the weekend.

  1. Do some exercise beyond just rumbling with the kids, and
  2. Actually sign up for Tough Mudder. Supposed to … but didn’t. It is going to be awfully hard to compete in this event if I don’t sign up for it.

But over to today’s workout.

The workout followed the same pattern as last Monday except the last 3 round finisher didn’t happen on account that I was late to the gym. Hate it when work get’s in the way of fitness, but there is no escaping the fact that it is work that pays the bills!

My Workout

Today was much like last Monday with a 5Kg increase for both exercises – making it 100kg dead-lifts combined with 5Kg weighted dips.

Today Travel Trumps Training

I travelled to Melbourne for work today and did zero exercise, unless walking from the check-in desk to gate 40 of Sydney domestic airport counts, Which of course it doesn’t, though after the leg session yesterday, any movement at all hurts. Even the movement to prepare for a movement! If you know what I mean.

I travelled with a work colleague who didn’t seem to notice my ‘sore leg walk’ or, if she did, she was polite enough not to say anything.

I actually thought about doing some sneaky push-ups or something at some stage, just so I would have something to write in this blog. Sorry, didn’t happen! Hey, but there’s an idea – some good workouts that you can do when travelling. I’ll add that to the list and keep you posted.

Happy Independence Day

Independence is very important to me. There is a perception out there that people who are blind are less capable, less efficient, less intelligent and more needy than others. Blindness is also a very frightening and confronting concept to many. No surprise really seeming that we all live in an extremely vision oriented world.

People find it very difficult to comprehend what life might be like if they were required to interact and participate in the world without sight.

It is possible though … of course!

I work hard to maintain my independence for my own sake and to also read more about independence, my leg workout and some Body Talk

Who said running was fun?

Remember yesterday I said I was feeling good after my run? Well, OK, I spoke too soon! Not feeling quite so good as yesterday!

This soreness is not entirely unexpected though. Building up some ankle, knee and general joint strength and stability is all part of the process and essential for Tough Mudder.

read on for some Body Talk and a description of today’s chest and back workout

My first run

Today I embarked on the First run of my Tough Mudder campaign. Just on a treadmill, but you gotta start somewhere right? And even running on a treadmill can be ‘interesting’ when you can’t see what you are doing!

Without constent visual cues of where I am in relation to the treadmill, I need to use other senses – primarily touch, but hearing also comes into the mix.

learn more about running blind

Dirk Venter according to Darren Fittler

I first met Dirk Venter about 5 years ago when I decided it was time to stop my slide into a ‘desk-job-slob’. He’s built like a tank and obviously loves his health and fitness career.

He is a very good personal trainer and wouldn’t dream of putting you through a workout that he hasn’t already done and probably done heavier and faster!

I am sure you know that getting fit is more than just lifting weights. This is why Dirk also integrates diet, nutrition and stretching and release into his thinking, planning and advice. Doesn’t mean I always do as I am told though!

read more about Dirk

My quest begins

Today starts my Tough Mudder quest.

My mission over the next 12 weeks or so is to build up both my strength and my running endurance. This will involve:

  • strength training
  • cardio/running training
  • some proper eating!

read on to learn a little more about me, about my first BioSignature Testing results and today’s back workout

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