Back to Massive Friday Night workouts as we ease our way back into bulking season.
Back to Massive Friday Night workouts as we ease our way back into bulking season.
Back from vacation in a big way.
But now comes the tricky part of transitioning from winter/building mode to endurance/cardio training in a kayak on water.
This year will be a more difficult transition than past years because I’ve become part of a new gym culture but I’ll put that aside for a few months as I ramp up functional training.
Knowing February is my last month of lifting heavy in the gym before I transition to conditioning for kayaking season in March, I went a little beast mode in the gym after work today.
I’m going to feel this one tomorrow.
Most of you know I talk about brands I love and have no sponsorship arrangements with anyone. If I ever get a free gadget for review I will disclose it. If I ever have a financial incentive to promote a product I will also let you know.
That said, I post screen shots from some of my workouts while wearing the Atlas Wearables 2 wristband.
I’ve now been working out with it for a full year and it has been an integral part of my training and progression.
I have no ties to the Atlas Wearables company but just wanted you to know this is one piece of gear that has become an invaluable tool in my training regimen.
Here is my original written review and my video review is directly below.
Buy now through my Amazon Affiliate link:
Atlas Wristband 2: Digital Trainer + Heart Rate Band
The results of my paddling and gym training for 2017. I didn’t paddle nearly as much as I wanted to the second half of the year due to a drought so I stepped up the volume in the gym.
On to 2018.
And boy was it a big one.
I had a couple days off from work and I planned a recovery week starting tomorrow so I hit it hard during the lead-up this past week.
Just over 191,000 lbs. total volume this week. I would not recommend this type of training to anyone.
I’m now ready to enjoy the holidays and give every muscle and joint in my body time to rest and recover.
My shoulders will be in the best shape ever come paddling season in the Spring.
It provides me a quick summary of where I ended up last week in the gym.
I finally made it back out on the water today during a well-earned day off.
I managed to paddle 10 miles in the Thunderbolt-X kayak and took it easy so I only averaged 5.7mph. It was a cold, breezy day so I had to wear a full wet suit which definitely constrains the natural paddling motion.
Nonetheless, it was an extremely enjoyable paddle and the water was clear as crystal. I also spotted a flock of turkeys on shore which was a bonus.
Taking the Thunderbolt-X out for a spin with full wet suit
Then after attacking an item or two on the “honey do” list, I dropped off my son and his friend for basketball practice this evening and hit the gym while they were at practice. It wasn’t my typical #MFN (massive Friday night) workout, but I managed some good volume in a somewhat crowded gym for a Friday night. Usually I can have the place to myself on a Friday night but not tonight.
I focused on bent over rows and flies and worked in some squats.
It was a good training day.
Oh, and I’ve gotten myself into dietary ketosis and I hope to stay here for a good, long while.
And in the interest of transparency, here is my starting point for this current “cut,” according to the Skulp Aim.
Compared to Jan., 2016. They obviously re-scaled the index since then as it now appears as though Muscle Quality is on a scale from 1-100. It’s a shame I don’t have a direct comparison.
I was out of the country this past week and due to jet lag with disrupted sleep patterns, long work hours, and my own stupidity, I was only able to hit a gym twice last week. Last Sunday and last Tuesday.
I flew back from overseas yesterday so today my typical Massive Friday Night Workout (#MFNW) had to become a Massive Sunday Night Workout (MSNW.)
Massive Sunday Night Workout recorded on the Atlas Wristband
Dinner was a grain-free “Fat Head” pizza featuring bacon and provolone cheese
I did a lot of total volume so I had a lot of time to clear my head and reflect on my life and my upcoming training over the next few months.
Typically I undulate between lifting heavy at low volume and then lighter but higher volume over the winter months and then try to back down and cut some fat and go into dietary ketosis in time for kayak racing season in April.
I’ve decided to do things differently this year.
I’m going No Beer No Wine (NBNW) effective immediately along with going very strict on my No Sugars, No Grains (#NSNG) lifestyle. I will stay as strict as I can through most of kayak racing season, my 100-miler with Vinnie Tortorich down the Bayou LaFourche in Louisiana at a date yet to be determined, probably late April or early May, and the James River Rundown some time in June.
Bayou Lafourche, LA
I know there will be some weeks where this will be difficult if not impossible over the holidays and with some scheduled business meetings, so I’ll allow for these brief setbacks but get right back on the horse immediately afterward.
I’ll get in as much paddling time on the water and on my indoor trainer as possible and let my gym time fill in the gaps rather than making gym time the centerpiece. I also want to get back on the bike and work in some more cardio training. I’ll let my body judge what my gym training will look like, but I anticipate fewer workouts with moderate weights and reps with a focus on legs and core. In short, this is going to be an extended period of leaning out and cardio conditioning.
I also want to get back in touch with my guitar as it has taken a back seat for the past year or so and has collected too much dust. That had always been an important part of my mental health and I need to bring it back into my life for some balance.
I also hope to get back in the gym later this week to record a new episode of “Exercises for Kayakers” for my YouTube channel. The next exercise will be a modified bench press.
I’ll keep you informed as I try this new style of training and living.
Changes are in order.
We’re having a drought here in Central Virginia so I have not done much paddling during a time of year where I typically love being on the water and logging many of my annual kayaking miles.
So in the absence of much to talk about in terms of my kayaking and on-water adventures, let me explain several of my recent posts involving fitness tracking technology.
I started searching for a fitness and gym tracker a few years ago in order to log and track my training both in the gym and on the water. Being able to track paddle cadence on the water and progress in the gym would be very useful.
I started out with the Amiigo device, then moved to the Xiaomi Amazfit Arc followed shortly thereafter by the Atlas Wearables Wristband 2.
As a result of reviewing those units in YouTube videos and on this blog, two other companies reached out to me and sent me devices to evaluate in exchange for fair and honest reviews. Those devices were the Actofit Wearables tracker and the MBHB Sport Smart Bracelet.
I have also researched countless other devices to find the right one.
So far not a single device meets all my needs.
Many of them do not count paddle strokes as “steps”, some are not reliably waterproof, and some do not have the battery life to last for an all-day outing or ultra-marathon kayak trip or race. Some let you train new movements or exercises while others do not.
The one device I am truly in love with is the Atlas Wearables wristband for in the gym. It recognizes my exercises, lets me train new ones and allows me to enter the amount of weight on the bar or edit the number of reps right on the wristband during my workouts. It has completely replaced my clipboard with paper exercise log in the gym and the online dashboard lets me review my training progress and areas of focus over time. It is a great training tool for the gym, but is not intended for all-day wear.
I am looking forward to seeing what Atlas Wearables comes out with next. This is the one company that seems to be truly innovating and delivering on their promises and their customer service and support is awesome.
Aside from the Atlas device, there are many, many other fitness trackers out there that all do the same basic things and maybe have one or two unique features such as blood pressure measurements that set them apart. There is no lack of affordable trackers with basic functionality if that is what you are looking for.
But, again, I have not yet found one device that meets all my needs.
I have also been approached by a few companies doing market research asking me what I’m looking for in a fitness tracker so I thought I’d share what I’m looking for in a next generation device.
My ideal next-generation fitness tracker would be/have:
I just don’t understand why this device is so elusive. There are trackers already that do all of these things, but not one single one that does them all.
If you find it or know of this elusive beast, please let me know.