Chair Therapy, pt. 2

When the weather is fair, I really enjoy biking into work.  The ride is 3.3 miles ( one-way) and takes about 20 minutes.  It’s  wonderful.  Saves me money, incorporates more movement into my daily life, helps me wake up in the mornings and it is better to be using a mode of transport that doesn’t rely on fossil fuel, but rather — on yogurt, spinach and the occasional pizza.


StrongLifts 5×5.
This is a really simple barbell full body workout system.  Closely related to Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strenght and Madcows 5×5. The system has an app for iOS and Andriod. The app allows one to log workouts, and is helpful in tracking progress — the interface is quite painless.

The core movements in this program are, the back squat, the press, the bench press, the deadlift, and finally the barbell row. All solid movements that recruit large amounts muscle across the body. I supplement these movements from time to time with pull-ups, dumbbell work, dips, and romanian deadlifts.


This is a style of high intensity workout that is somewhat trendy. Its strength is that is designed to create maximum caloric expenditure with minimum time spent. So what is it? Why is it called Tabata? My guess is some Doctor Tabata guy did research on exercise at a university somewhere in Asia, most likely Japan (Yay Japan!) and through his or her study developed this method of exercise.

The way it works is simple:

20 seconds of intense movement.
10 seconds rest.
Do this 8 times, for a total of 4 minutes.


I tend to go with a combination of jumping jacks, burpees, push-ups, squats or sit-ups for a quick tabata workout. I am certain the sound of me doing burpees is delightful to the apartment below me, especially at 06:30.


Mobility Work.
I purchased the holy triumvirate of system maintenance: foam roller/lacrosse ball/resistance bands. These objects illuminate the crepuscular world that is human mobility. Countless times I read about the importance of elongating muscle tissue, and the perils of repeated contracting movements without the appropriate eccentric counter-movements. Did these words push me to stretch more? No. I take responsibility for my lack of will here, but something about the use of a tool for stretching has propelled me into a routine of stretching that I strive to do daily or twice daily.

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