All posts by Mustache

Halloween and a Sunday Sesh

I hope everyone enjoyed their Halloween.  We spent our with a couple other families trick or treating across base. Kash power treated with a couple of her friends, while Hot Rod enjoyed the simple things in life like the question “why” and scaring people with his HULK mask. It was a quick affair, making sure we were back to the house in time to hand out candy to all the Japanese families who were allowed to partake in the festivities (it was also a great way to secretly get rid of some of our kiddos candy. I mean the stuff rots your teeth and is laced with razor blades and AK 47s!) While the kids did that, we sat around with some of the other parents, enjoyed some beverages, told stories, and watched Letterkenny.  After the sugar high, the kids fell asleep and October was over.  The focus is now on Thanksgiving and all the food that will be wrecked in a few weeks. Friday was a bore and Saturday the kids had a sleepover.  Sunday was becoming lazy, so we kicked into medium gear and made it to the gym.

It was a simple set on Sunday.  Sunday is church. Church means deadlifts. Deadlifts are life. Well, mostly.  There is also pizza, Kurt Russel, socks with sandals, Reese’s, late night snacks, shorts and long sleeve tee weather and of course love making with the wife. But anyway, onto the boring workout stuff.

I always bring my weight belt to the gym.  Whether I am pushing, pulling, or squatting, I keep it handy. It’s a staple.  Today though, I wanted to test myself. I wasn’t going to use it.  It was a pull day, so deadlifts were on the agenda.  I only had a short window while Krissi and the kids in the MOM Gym.*

*The MOM Gym is the worst. They threw a couple treadmills, an elipticle, some dumbbells, maybe a bench (if it isn’t moved back into the main gym) and an arena for your kids to play in. Good idea, with poor execution.  It’s like they only expect mom’s to treadmill and lift some light weight. While you should always make the best of what you have, at least give moms some better tools to become the smoking hot cougars’ young men want. Rant over.

I warmed up with 3 rounds of 5 deads at 155 lbs and 5 pullups. The music started to groove with Eminem and Dr. Dre.  I began to work up to a heavy three.  The last time I deadlifted without a belt, I pulled a single at 365. Today would turn out much different.

I threw 245 on the bar and pulled it for 3 reps. Then is was 335. Then 345. Then 355. Then 365.  365 was as smooth as butter.  As I was finishing that set, one of my favorites came across the headphones.

Ooh, baby, I like it raw. 

Yeah, baby, I like RAW!

Ooh, baby, I like it raw. 

Yeah, baby, I like RAW!

I found it fitting as I added a quarter (25 lb weight for you noobs) to each side of the barbell, totaling 385.  I placed my worn chucks under the bar and set my hands.  My hips dropped into position as I took a deep breath. 

“PULL!” I told myself. One rep down.

“PULL!” Two reps down.

“PULL!” Three reps done. 

My body had felt every single one.  Those reps weren’t as smooth as butter, but they had me feeling there was more in the tank. I threw on a 5 kilo on each side and pulled 2 reps and then 1 for good measure.  The last pulls were at 407 lbs.  I was satisfied where I was and moved on to finish the rest of the training.  I stripped the bar down to 155 and did some reverse grip barbell rows for 8 reps.  I added another 50 lbs and finished with two more sets at 5 reps.  Not wanting to be done with barbell rows, I used the regular grip on the bar and busted out 3 set at 5 reps at 227 lbs (all the odd looking lbs come from adding the small, yet solid, 5 kilo weights).  I cleaned up the rack, put my weights away and moved over to a bench for some dumbbell rows. The bench I wanted was being used by some shmuck to hold his cell phone and wallet while he did standing EZ bar curls (the same guy had also used the reverse hyper extension as a place to stow his phone and wallet while he was using the smith machine. His actions really chapped my ass that day). It was a simple flat bench I could roll the weight under to the other arm after a set.  I decided not to douche it up and settled for a different bench.  I snagged a 125 lb dumbbell and went to work, turning out 3 sets of 5 reps for each arm. I wrapped up the gym sesh with a super set of reverse hyper extensions and EZ bar curls at 8 reps each. 

 I wiped everything down and started to head to the MOM gym.  I turned the corner and there was my awesome family with smiles on their faces, ready to roll.  It had been a solid day all around.  The wife told me the kids argued the entire time while she was working out, so she just turned up her music and kept on keeping, letting the kids figure their life out.  We dropped our towels in the bucket, told the gym staff to smell us later and blew that popsicle stand waving our hands in the air like we just didn’t care.

Do Work, Be Rad

Mustache

Moments Missed: A Shitty Situation

We tied a string to the front door, Lincoln ran into me, hit the string, the door slammed on accident and boom, the tooth flew into my hair, Kash had a nervous breakdown, Lincoln was screaming because Kash was bleeding, Kash was crying because she didn’t know what was happening, I was laughing because everyone was acting insane. Anyway, we have a tooth, both kids are happy now and Kash is in disbelief that she doesn’t have a tooth. Also, Lincoln is trying to pull his teeth out with his fake pliers. Happy Sunday.

                                                                                    -A message from the Wife

 

I am finally home from a long excursion over the past 8 months. It’s been about a year since I last put effort into posting to the ol’ blog.  I have been writing, just not taking the time to edit and publish.  I used work as an excuse (it can be real hectic and take up the majority of my time), and when I would have time I would distract myself with other activities.  I’ve written about passed experiences and adventures, but I am saving those for something bigger.

Since the journey started to Japan, I have spent about 80 days with them within the past year and a half. It hasn’t been the most ideal situation, but the sandwich maker and I have managed through it and continue to just figure it out.  My wife is being tested in a ways she never imagined and kicking ass at it.  There are rough patches, but those come with the territory.  One of the hardest things I have had to deal with is watching my kids grow up through a screen through most of it.   I mean, it could be worse. I could be using snail mail, not have access to a smart phone with internet, and not be able to call/text daily.  I appreciate the technology we have now-a-days, the connectivity at our finger tips.

I could sit here and be all depressed about not seeing the family and be mad at the world for the situation that I have been placed in, but I choose to make the best of it.  I don’t always make the best of it though. I have blamed people and things for where I am at, but it never did any good. I am still here. I enjoy getting updates from my old lady (like the one from above) and the joys of raising two kids. My daughter has officially started school and my son is beginning to develop his personality.  Kash is still as sweet as pie, and Krissi is beginning to see herself in her, the good and the frustrating.  My son is all boy and is giving my wife a run for her money. He likes to make all sorts of noise, eat constantly and jump on the bed (which led to his first bloody lip). One moment that my wife did not find funny at all, but I could not stop laughing about was the day after she took the kids to the zoo where they saw some monkeys…

 

It was a normal evening in Japan. I had finished up at the gym and was getting ready to crawl into my rack (bed for you non-military folks) when I received the usual facetime from my wife when she would wake up in the states. We exchanged our usual pleasantries and she told me about how they had gone to the zoo the day prior. Both the kids had a blast and Lincoln took a special interest in the monkeys. I asked to see the ol’ Hot Rod in his natural habitat. My wife begrudgingly got out of bed and walked over to Hot Rod’s room.

Now I want you to imagine all the hate and discontent that comes from a woman when she first wakes up and all the death stares one could receive when making her do something she doesn’t want to do at that exact moment.  Multiply that by about 10, and that is the look I got from my wife when I asked to get out of bed.

When my wife walked into the room, she stopped dead in her tracks. My son was standing there without a diaper on, holding it in his hand. He had the biggest grin on his face and was happy to see his mom.

There was shit everywhere, on his face, his hands, his sheets, and the walls. I heard my wife scream “LINCOLN!” as she hung up on me.

I can only imagine what ensued during the time between phone calls. Krissi was more than likely flustered and amazed. Hot Rod was happy as a clam throwing shit everywhere.  I wouldn’t have been surprised if she had taken a hose to the entire room with him in it to get everything clean.  I ended up falling asleep before I talked to her again.

When I woke up the next morning, eager to hear how it all unfolded. I got that look again when she answered. The “I am so mad at him but I love him look” wives make.  Apparently Hot Rod had acquired some bad habits from the monkeys at the zoo. Mainly the part of throwing shit everywhere. He had literally (think Rob Lowe from Parks & Rec) thrown it everywhere. The amount that was still in his diaper was amazing. He probably had taken his diaper off and just flung it around. She ended up having to hose him down in the tub, throw away the sheets, and scrub the walls and carpet. All while Hot Rod is maxin and relaxin thinking that shit is hilarious, probably eating a banana in his high chair watching minions.

I have to give it up to my old lady, I don’t think I would have had the stomach to make it through the poop infested air and quarantine my son to the tub while he was scrubbed down.  I would have taken a hose to the entire room and then him.  She puts up with a lot of shit from him, both the solid and attitude kind.  

Do Work, Be Rad

Mustache

 

 

The Whirlwind of Life: Tangling with the Unknown

I planned on turning some notes into posts today, but that is not what happened. Instead, I let my fingertips just work magic on the keyboard.

It’s been a while since I sat down and actually put a post together from my notes. I’ve been writing consistently in my notebooks, working on a bunch of different ideas and content. I’ve toyed around with shorter posts concerning random thoughts, stories and workouts (which you can read on the website). I took a small hiatus to restore the creative juices; I was beginning to get bogged down in the routine of creating. Since it’s a one-man show right now, having to come up with constant ideas was becoming a burden. I don’t want it to be at this point. I have enough to-dos with my family and working for the man. I want to get to a point where I have more time to devote to this endeavor, but it will be few more years before that becomes a reality.

I’ve been in Japan for 3 months now, while the family has been back in Virginia. The wife and I received some awesome news the other day; we will be able to live together here in Japan! Since we are a blended family, there were certain civil matters that needed to be addressed. While we planned on flying over as a family, our court case kept getting continued for various reasons. We lost our initial hearing (once it actually happened) and the appeal didn’t happen until this past week. We won. All of our money and effort finally paid off. When I left for Japan a few months ago, we didn’t know when the family would be back together. Was it going to be me flying home to visit, or them flying our here to live? To say is was a stressful situation would be an understatement. With my job, being away from the family comes with the territory. It was the unknown outcome of the court case that caused the most stress and heartache. I don’t wish this situation on anyone.

While being away, I have enjoyed the random videos I get of my kids. I watched my son smack his dome piece in his teepee and get back up like it was no big deal. My daughter got involved in gymnastics and is becoming quite the young lady (even though she is 4). I’ll be flying back to pick them up in about a month, and I can’t wait. There is still plenty to do, but we now know what direction to go. We have been sitting in a holding pattern waiting for the green light to land. My wife has been doing a hell of a job holding it down since I have been gone. Being able to facetime and talk daily has been a huge help. Both Kash and Lincoln enjoy when my face pops up on the TV (Isn’t technology is awesome?). Sometimes when I call, Hot Rod would get a hold of the phone and run off to hide, not wanting to share. If I had a weaker stomach, the motion sickness from his phone handling would have been terrible. He also enjoyed hitting the red button to end the call (future marine?). When I would talk to Kash, we came up with way to keep mom on her toes. The sandwich maker was not amused at times and used my full name a few times. 6,000 miles doesn’t really make a difference when your wife uses your full name. It still has the same effect.

The unknown can be a bitch. It’s something that is out of your control and you have to learn how to work with it. Plans can be made and executed, but it’s never a guarantee you will get the outcome you desire. We wanted to come to Japan as a family last year. We couldn’t, and we had to figure out how live not knowing when we would be back under the same roof. Sure, there are always things you learn that could have been done better, but beating yourself up over them doesn’t help. Looking back at this whole situation, I could have done some different things and maybe avoided some of this. Who knows? Hindsight is 20/20. All you can do is keep going and look to the goal. Shake off the missteps, press on, and adapt. If you have a hard time adapting, life will chew you up, spit you out and feed you to her chicks. 2017 was a rollercoaster of emotion for our family and we came out on top. While I would like life to slow down a bit, it’s still ramping up. The man has me working hard, the oldest will be starting school, and we will be living in a new country. It’s going to be awesome.

Do work, be rad

Mustache

A few drinks in: Don’t be a New Year’s gym douche

Most of my writing of late has either taken place at a bar or after lifting a bar (at the gym). It’s been convenient and helped me to chip away at being consistent at writing or posting (to Instagram) everyday. I still jot down thoughts and notes in the Bieber book, but I haven’t put much effort into turning those notes into posts. I am still developing where I want this whole shorts and sweatbands idea to go. I want to provide a different perspective to the fitness world, one that is over saturated with wash board abs, gym bros, and snapbacks.

On Wednesday, when I am able to make it back to the gym, I fully expect it to be crowded. The New Year resolution folks who want to get fit will be there. Most gym goers will complain about the “new-“comers (pun alert), but I ain’t that worried about it. The gym is life for some folks. For others it’s a hobby. For me, it’s something I enjoy , I want to set an example for my family and a challenge myself. Oh, and my job requires me to be fit. If your one of those who gets their panties in a wad about people showing up after New Years, I say remove the stick from your butt and focus on yourself. Don’t be a hater to someone is attempting to better themselves. Give ’em props. Maybe they will stick around longer than a month or two. Just don’t be a doucher, give them some pointers and help them learn the “ways of the gym.”

Those of you who are planning on hitting the gym for the new year, get some. Don’t quit because you aren’t getting the results you want right away. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t let the bro-dudes intimidate you, don’t curl in the squat rack and wear a sweatband. If you’re unsure ask for help, or surf the interwebs for info before you go. Start a routine out of a book or magazine. Don’t just wing it, that’s a sure fire way to fail. Start small and chip away. Focus on form and effort, the weight will come later. Don’t compare yourself to the others. It’s a competition against yourself. Let the professionals compete for the fitness trophies.

In general, don’t be a douche. Shit ain’t that serious.

Happy New Year!

Mustache

P.S. Here are the workouts I’ve done the past few days.

Dec 29 Warm-up

20-15-10-5

squat

Pushup

Sit up

Training

10 rounds

10x push press

10x KB swing

5 rounds

8x high pull

8x bent over row

6x slash to halo

Dec 31 Warm-up

3 rounds

x10 squats

x10 push-ups

x10 sit-ups

2 rounds

barbell complex

Training

5 rounds (increase weight until last set)

1x power clean

1x front squat

1 round

1x push press

1x back squat

1x push press

5 rounds

5x sumo deadlift

10x scarecrow

4 rounds

x15 med-ball sit-ups

x10 kettle-bell swings

Do Work: My long lost friend, the Curtis P.

After a Christmas hiatus, drinks and laundry, I was back at it today. I did my favorite lift, the clean. I did a few rounds, working up in weight. I found myself planting my right foot a couple times when I went to pop under the weight (wasn’t focused). Then I got a wild hair. What exercise had I not done in a long time that would wreck me? The Curtis P. It’s just a clean, couple of lunges and a press, no big deal. Well, it did a number on the ol quads and I felt great afterwords. I wrapped up with some kettlebell swings and med-ball sit-ups.

Do work, be rad.

Warm-up

2 rounds

x10 squats

x10 push-ups

x10 sit-ups

2 rounds

x20 single-arm KB swings

x10 squats

x10 push-ups

Training

x6 deadlifts

7 rounds

x1 hang muscle clean

x1 hang power clean

x1 hang clean

4 rounds

x4 Curtis P’s

x3 Curtis P’s

x3 Curtis P’s

x3 Curtis P’s

4 rounds

x10-15 KB swings

x10 med ball sit-ups

A few drinks in: Rally naps and massage chairs.

Merry Christmas! When it comes to holidays, booze is a must. Especially if you have annoying in-laws around. While my family celebrates in America, I am 14 hours in the future partying with friends. After I was picked up, we went t 7-eleven. The 7-elevens in Japan put the ones in America to shame. Food selection, booze, and service are all better than anything i have witnessed state side (except the ability to buy strike force energy at the counter). I snagged a fifth of whiskey for 1700 yen (roughly $17) and a whiskey mix in a can (9% alcohol). The whiskey can got me started and the bottle wasn’t bad on ice. After chowing down in some fried chicken, velveeta shells and cheese, and wontons, I was ready to crash. I was offered the use of a massage chair. It was the best idea anyone had ever had while having some adult beverages. 10 minuets in, and I was out. People were competing at Just Dance, while others were cracking jokes about the terrible dance moves. I could hear all of it. I also was enjoying having my eyes shut. My wife complains that I have old man tendencies. Having to nap mid-day is one of those. I took full advantage of the massage chair and took an old man/rally nap. It was the best decision of my day. I am a huge fan of these. Sometimes you need a quick 20 to get back in the game and hang. Sometimes though, you go down for the count. If there is enough commotion, a rally nap will get me through the day and night (depending on how early I begin to booze).

The massage chair was a great idea and loosened up my back and butt. It also help me relax to get the shut eye I needed. As soon as I came too (20 min later), I poured myself a whiskey-ginger and was back on the train. Time to whip some ass at Mario Kart.

Do work: Buck Farlow

If you ask my wife, she will tell you I’m a yuge fan of t-shirts. I was pretty excited when a package from America arrived for me the other day. My wife sent out some t’s and other odds that I meant to pack for Japan. One of the t’s that arrived was from my cousin Jason. He owns a screen printing company and dabbles a bit with his own with his own designs when he isn’t cranking out orders. This design references a hill that he trains (for triathlons) on, Barlow. It seems to be well known in the triathlon training groups in Madison, Wisconsin and everyone says the same thing, Buck Farlow. Anyway, it is a rad shirt and super comfy for fitness. So comfy, I wore it today while doing some cleans, push presses and kettle bell swings. I forgot my video recording device and had to settle for a selfie to show off the shirt.

Do work.

Warm-up

2 rounds

x10 sit-ups

x10 squats

x10 push-ups

x2 barbell complex

Training

x10 drop squats

Cleans

x3 @115

x3 @135

x3 @135

x2 @155

x2 @165

x2 @185

x1 @185

x2 @165

Push press

5 @115

5×3 @125

Front squat

5×5 @135

Kettlebell swing

4×15 @70lbs

Stretch

Doing work and a few drinks in: Sumo deadlifts and Snapbacks.

I crushed my workout today, so I decided to have some celebratory drinks. I have been to my local establishment enough, I have a “usual” (Jamo and ginger). I did my ab/core circuit today. It was day two of three (posted below). I have noticed a trend lately, sumo deadlifts. They seem to be all the rage now-a-days. Now, I am not here to knock them, but I am curious why they have become more prominent in today’s workout world? Have people with little hip flexibility given up? My concern is for the men only. When I see you only doing sumo, I think you’re a pussy. I use the sumo stance, when I want to high pull afterwords. I have nothing against people who sumo, except if that is the only type of deadlift you do. Hell, people probably look at me when I walk in with my sweatband thinking “what’s up with that guy?” Do I care? No. But, if you only sumo, you should take a little ok in the mirror and re-evaluate your life.

Oh, and SnapBack hats in the gym are lame. Wear a sweatband.

Do work.

Warm-up

4 rounds

x10 squats

x10 sit-ups

Training

3 rounds

x10 (per leg) walking lunges

x10 slash-to-halo (or back extensions with weight)

x10 bus driver rotations (use landmine)

x10 single arm ab squat (use landmine)

x10 single arm lift and twist (use landmine)

x10 push-ups with row

x10 inverted row

x10 single arm static dumbbell curl

x15 push-ups

Stretch

Do Work 20 DEC 17: 80 deadlifts

I wanted to deadlift today. I wanted to go heavy. So I did. I took the basic pyramid I used for bench the other day and applied the principle to the deadlifts. It felt great. When I tweaked my back a few years ago, I stopped trying to lift all the weight. Since then, I’ve hesitated when it comes to going heavy. I took my time today. Warm-up was good, Ke$ha was jamming, shorts were motivating and my pink sweatband was killing it. Once I was done with the heavy lifting I wrapped up with a quick deadlift/jump knee tuck circuit and some stretching. I feel it in a couple days, but it will be worth it.

Warm-Up

2 rounds

x10 sit-ups

x10 squats

x5 inchworms

x2 barbell complex

Training

Deadlifts

x10 @135

x5 @185

x5 @225

x4 @275

x4 @275

x3 @295

x3 @315

x3 @315

x3 @295

x4 @275

x5 @225

3 rounds

x10 deadlifts @135

x10 jump-knee tuck

4×10 cable pull-downs