Physical Culture

As many of you know, I have been trying to get my old body back for a while now. I have developed a great group of work out buddies, lost a lot of weight, gained a lot of muscle, and developed a very strong workout habit... but there is more to be done.

I have another 40-50 pounds to lose. I'd like to get my weight down a bit more so that certain bodyweight exercises are more attainable. The pistol (one-legged squat) and the pull-up both elude me at my current body weight, and I want to reduce the load on my knees in general. I also want to work on my flexibility, especially in my upper body (my arms are so tight that I keep a BCP on staff solely to scratch that spot between my shoulder blades...).

There are about 90 days left in this semester (well, 92, but who's counting?), and I want to use them well. I plan to look fabulous when the girls (Fleur, G-Fresh, Mary Elizabeth, and Professor Noob) graduate this May. To that end, I am reiterating the rules that have brought me this far:

-No less than one serving of fruit per day.
-No less than one serving of veggies per day.
-No less than 80 ounces of water each day.
-No less than 15 minutes of meditation each day.
-No Less than 8 hours of sleep each night.

I am also making the following changes:

-adding 3 runs per week back into my program (I stopped running due to weather...)
-going back on the Warrior Diet
-packing snacks everyday (no buying food on campus)
-adding some clubbell work to strengthen my forearms and loosen up my shoulders

What is a clubbell? Glad you asked...

A descendant of the old-school "Indian Club," the clubbell is basically a really heavy bat that you swing around in specified patterns. It has been a part of the "physical culturist" tool box since that terminology was invented in the 1800s. It develops strength, flexibility, and coordination, and it's a cool, relaxing, kind of activity that feels very satisfying to do. It has, of course, some rabid followers who have very strongly held opinions regarding the merits of clubbells over everything else, but I'm looking at it as an adjunct to my kettlebell and body weight workouts.

Unfortunately, a 15 pound clubbell runs about $100. I wanted a chance to play with a clubbell without putting down that kind of money, so it was off to the hardware store for a Pope Tested, Ministry Approved ghetto-fabulous substitute. With about $30 worth of pipe and fittings, I created the papal scepter shown below.

It tips the scale at around 7 pounds empty, and it can easily be filled with sand or lead shot to pump up the weight. I tried the basic swipes, mills, and casts (that's what they call the swinging patterns) with it, and I have to say that my forearm and shoulder got a great work out. I'm debating the merits of making another one and trying to fill them so they weigh close to 15 pounds, or just biting the bullet and buying a pair of the expensive ones. Maybe for my birthday...


Cerus said...

Sounds like a plan. If I continue to join you, I hope to be weighing less than I did in junior high and at the same time reach my goal weight. I have ~40 pounds to go, starting now. 30 if I get lazy.

His Sinfulness said...

I'll be happy to guilt you into working out regularly. I kind of have a knack... :)

Teh Dr. said...

Super, I admire the improvised materials!

His Sinfulness said...

It's a bitch to swing for an extended set, but I like the way it feels on my shoulder joints. I think I might order one of the 15 pounders...

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