'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

04 April 2011


I've talked a few times about fitness and how important I believe it is, especially at my age. I'm just a few months shy of my 52nd birthday and I can say, with absolutely no fear of contradiction, that it's vastly easier to stay in shape than it is to get into shape as we get older. If you're fit make the effort to stay that way. If you're not there's no time like the present. I get asked from time to time what my workout regimen is like. I'm a fan of weightlifting and bicycling. The bike is my cardio training preference though I've been running a bit lately.

Weightlifting. I used to powerlift but as I've gotten along in age my joints are really feeling the beating I've given them over the years so I've (mostly) given up super heavy, very low repetition and gone with more medium weight/medium rep and light weight/high rep routines.

Bicycling. I love to ride. I've got a Giant TCR2 road bike and a Gary Fisher Black Marlin mountain bike. Lu and I like nothing better than a nice afternoon ride among the farms and fields of Hurricane. We tend more toward road riding but there are so many great trails here that there's no way we'll exclude the desert single track and slick rock the area has to offer. We also bought a roller, an indoor bike trainer when the weather turns nasty.

Running. Since I left the Army in 1985 I've detested running. I had to do it in the Academy but I usually need a powerful motivator to run. Lu, on the other hand, loves to run and has convinced me to do a few 5Ks with her this year so I've been running a bit more.

This is my gym. I've got a dip bar, squat rack, bicycle on the rollers
As well as a bench and treadmill. Behind this camera shot is an upright Bowflex machine for arm and shoulder work.
Now there's a bicycle guy out there named The Fat Cyclist (Fatty). Every year he has an event he calls The 100 Miles of Nowhere. The idea is to ride 100 miles on rollers or on an absurdly short course. I've been wanting to do it for a few years and this year, in honor of my mother, I'm going to do it. With a twist. I'm going to do a Triathlon but not a normal one. See, I can't swim. Oh I can kinda dogpaddle around and generally keep myself from drowning but I can't otherwise swim a stroke. Every time I try I look like a walrus being eaten by an Orca. Besides, swimming is for fish, dogs and sissies. So, what to do? Well I can lift so why not incorporate that instead of the swim? Genius and hard core as all get out.

The Warrior Triathlon has been born.

The Triathlon will consist of 100,000 pounds lifted, 100 miles on the bicycle (On the rollers), and a 10K run (On the treadmill). A couple of weeks ago I decided to test my fitness with a half distance attempt. I've completed every discipline except the 100 miles on the bike so I was fairly confident.

I started out with a 5K run.
From there I transitioned to the bicycle. The rollers lift the rear wheel so I put the front wheel on my squat rack platform.

Proof of distance.

After the Bicycle, 50,000 pounds. I concentrated on basic movements, Bench, Squat, Dips and the like. I concentrated on low weight with very high reps. For the half distance I did 50 reps per exercise but for the 100,000 it goes up to 100 reps per. When I last did 100,000 pounds it took me 1250 reps. The half distance was only 500 which is where I need to be, averaging 100 pounds per exercise. 1250 reps just took too long.

Dips are one of my fitness litmus tests. When I can rip them off without feeling like I'm going to have a coronary my strength is good. When I can't I need to get off my butt and spend more time putting in the effort. Right now 5 to 10 sets of 10 are very easy. I'll move up to sets of 15 or 20 when I do the full distance.

Bench is a staple and I'll need to find a lot of weight here.

Squat is another place where I'll be counting on a high lift total.

Minor body part exercises will round out the total. Overheads, curls and the like.

I made the half distance, 5K run, 50 mile bike ride and 50,000 pounds, in 4:43. That means I'm probably looking at 10 to 11 hours for the full Tri. I'll go 3/4 distance at the end of April. The event is June 4th. I also figured out the sequence of events. Lift, Bike and Run with squats as the very first exercise so my legs can recover before the bike and run.

It doesn't matter what your fitness level is or your physical limitations are. Get out there and work out. Challenge yourself. Find what you like to do and do it. Kick butt and take no prisoners. Find your motivation. It only takes a few times and it'll become habit. Heck, Murphy's Law is short a wheel and he runs (better than I do) and bikes. The alternative isn't even worth contemplation. Anyone can find 3 to 4hours a week and a workout can be as simple as a walk with a good friend.

And if you aren't doing anything on June 4th, have I got a workout for you!



Murphy's Law said...

Be all that you can be...or don't. It's up to you. But when crunch time comes--and it likely will one day--are you going to have what it takes? All it takes is a few hours a week like the man says to dramatically increase your odds.

And Hell, I should be doing that good when I get into my 50's.

Six said...

Thanks ML. You hit it on the head. Fitness in one leg of preparedness for a calamity of any kind. When it comes to self defense, nothing can take it's place.

I plan on being a mean old codger when I'm in my 80's!

Brigid said...

Kick butt and take no prisoners. My Dad is 91. People think he's in his mid 60's. He's worked out his whole life, doing nautalis still twice a week at the Y and walking and swimming. Every morning he does stretches and weights. His biggest vice is a cocktail before dinner and a beer or two after mowing the lawn in the summer. He eats no junk food except Wendy's frosty's which he seems to be addicted to. He'll probably live to be 100 like the rest of his family.

He was pushing in his 40's when he adopted me. AND another redheaded tyke. THAT alone took more guts than most people have.

Six said...

If I grow up to be half the man your Father is Brigid it'll be a life well lived. I'm just hoping to be alive at 91, much less still hitting the gym. Now I've got something to shoot for!

Ed Rasimus said...

Oh sure, try to make me feel bad. It isn't working. Flex your muscles, glisten with your sweat, attract all those young beautiful women, be the envy of young people all around you, wear the same size pants you did twenty years ago. You think that makes me envious? No way.

Remember Mario Puzo, describing a successful don in "The Godfather"? "Un capo di tuti capi"--a captain of all captains..."a man with a belly"---that would be me.

Six said...

You will always be The Capo Ed.

LauraB said...

Maybe you'd like The Memorial Day “Murph” Challenge - http://www.memorialdaymurph.com/
* 1 mile Run
* 100 Pull-ups
* 200 Push-ups
* 300 Squats
* 1 mile Run

For time: Partition the pull-ups, push-ups, and squats as needed. Start and finish with a mile run. If you've got a twenty pound vest or body armor, wear it.

An amazing amount of people do it and I have no idea how - 100 pull ups?! I cannot manage a single one.

Six said...

That is a great challenge Laura. Is that a local thing?

The DO said...

Alright. Sigh. I've done 30 days (as of Sunday) with ZERO junk food and I've done well. Now I need to step it up and start really working out. I don't know what I'll do, but after we get back from our next trip I'll head in to the gym and come up with some sort for the 4th of June. Love you, good luck!!

Six said...

Great job sweetie! I'm proud of you. We'll coordinate our efforts on the 4th. It'll be fun!!!