Saturday, June 26, 2010

Push Up Challenge

Some of my friends and I have decided to take up the 100 Push Up Challenge. The point is to complete a work out over a few weeks with the goal of being able to complete 100 Push Ups at once. Hence the Name. I started the workout last week and even though I was starting at a level that should have been easy for me to complete I almost did not make it. On the 2nd week I was not able to complete the work out. I am at the point where I have to decide to either do this work out or do my normal gym workout, but not both. So starting this week I will go into a cut mode and instead of trying to bulk at the gym I will go for a lot more cardio, and just the work out on the PU Challenge. No weights for a few weeks. I am not really happy about not being able to work out at the gym, but I really want to do the PU Challenge. On the happy side about this, in a few weeks I will be doing the “Freedom Run” Half Marathon, so I guess cutting the weights a little and working on my run is a good idea.

You should check out the challenge.

A few of the people that have been taking on this challenge are having problems with their shoulders and I suggested that some shoulder workouts might help. I was asked what some shoulder exercises were and instead of trying to explain on the forum that we are using I thought that I would be able to explain it better on here with pictures. So thanks to my buddy Chris here we go.

The first 3 exercises can be done from a sitting position or standing and with or without weights. Do the reps in a slow steady rhythm. About one full rep per second (without weights) or slower with weights. If doing without weights I would not suggest doing more than 50 reps at a time. With weights I do sets of 15. But as always work out to your own limits. Start out with light weights if you are going to use weights at all and work your way up. Oh and by the way. Being sore the next day is a good thing. As long as it is soreness that goes away over 2 to 3 days. If it lingers it might be bad. I tend to hurt for 3 days when I work out my upper body. 4-5days when I work out my legs.

#1 Military Press ( Shoulder Press)
Starting with arms in a pushup position but with arms pointing up instead of in front of you. On count 1 raise your arms until they are straight up. On count 2 lower your arms back to the starting position. That is one rep. When you come back down do not let your elbows drop lower than the starting point which should be level with your shoulders.

#2 Overhead Hand Clap or Lat Raise
Starting with your arms at your side. On count 1 in one motion raise your hands straight out to your side and up above your head until they “clap”. Count 2 reverse until your hands are again at your side. It is the same motion that your arms would do if you were doing jumping jacks but without the jump. If doing this with weights (Lat Raise) only raise your arms to the point that they are out to the side at shoulder level. The full motion with weight added has been known to cause muscle damage.

Top Photos - Over Head Clap
Bottom Photos - Lat Raise

The old way to do this exercise in the ARMY (the over head clap) was to start with your hands straight out to your sides at shoulder level. Count one was to raise your hands above your head, count 2 was to lower them back to the starting position. The motion of stopping your arms at shoulder level instead of lowering them all the way down to your sides caused problems with the muscle group in the shoulders and has been removed from the PT manual. (Note: this is not the same as with the Military Press. As far as I know with your arms being bent at the elbow with the military press there is less pressure on your shoulder so it does not cause muscle damage.) If you do the full motion it still works out the shoulders without the muscle damage.

#3 Arm Circles
Starting with your arms straight out to the side at shoulder level. Make small circles to the front and rear. The circles should not be more than 6 inches in diameter. (I would not suggest doing this with weights.)

Not putting pics in for the next two due to not having time to get to the gym today. If anyone needs help I can come back and put some pics in, but I think they are easy enough to figure out.

#4 Dumbbell Shoulder shrugs.
Start with your arms at your side. Now shrug. Yep just like you are saying “I don’t know!” You can use a straight up and down motion or a circular motion. As the name would suggest this is done with weights. I find that just shrugging even a bunch of times without weights really takes no effort.

#5 Barbell Shoulder shrugs.
Almost the exact same thing as #4 but instead of your arms being at your sides they will be both in front and behind you since you are holding a barbell. Make sure that you do both front and back shrugs.

I hope these help with your workouts. If they do and you would like more let me know what you would like me to talk about and I will work on more exercise blogs.
A big thanks to my friend Patch for standing in for the pics.

And in case you did not know, I am not a professional physical trainer. I am just a 13 year soldier. But I did stay in Holiday Inn Express.
If any of you are professionals and would like to through in your comments feel free.

Back To The Sand

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Summers Commin’

“I’m Hot, Your Hot, He’s Hot, She’s’ Hot”
~ Buster Poindexter ~

The seasons they are a changing.

Three months ago the weather was still hanging on to the last little bits of the winter. We had cool days and cold nights. Every once and a while I even had to turn on the heater in the CHU. But not very often.

Two Months ago spring was in full effect. Spring here is a mix of heavy rains mixed in with extreme winds which with rain or not brings in the dust storms. Some days the dust storms would be a lot of light dust over a few days. And by light dust I mean heavy enough to cancel flights, but still light enough were visibility would be up to a quarter mile. It turns everything brown. Or well, more brown.
Heavy Dust storm are more like walls of dust a few hundred feet high that blow in cause a lot of problems and then are gone within an hour or two. The heavy storms bring with them a lot of static storms that cause all kinds of problems with our communication gear, and visibility down at times to feet. And of course they turn everything brown-er. The temps stayed mild for the most part. Some days it got as hot as the 90’s yet still could drop down to the low 40’s at night. Most days the temp would just hang around the 70’s.
Spring lasted about 2 months with really shocked all of us. The seasons here are knows to change from the cold of winter to the heat of summer in days, not months. So two months of mild temps even with the mixed in rain and dust storms was very welcomed. The worst part of it is that when it rains here the ground instantly liquefies and ground that seemed like rock turns into 6 inch deep mud. And it is nasty thick stick to everything mud. But once the sun is out the mud is gone. It is like magic!

This month it all changed. Summer has hit here and it has hit hard. The temperature quickly rose from a 70’s average to highs well in the triple digits. This week alone the high has been over 120 each day. The lows drop in to the lower 90’s yet the nights are already feeling comfortable. This morning the temp dropped all the way down to the mid 80’s and I felt cold.
The rains should be gone for the most part for the rest of the summer, as should the really bad dust storms. That is not to say that the high winds are gone. Every day is windy and the wind makes it feel like an oven as soon as you walk outside. It is so hot that it is painful. Your eyes burn, your skin is on fire. Your clothes heat up so bad that even when you are back inside where there is A/C it takes a while too cool off.
We have 4 months left here and all 4 months will be hot. When we leave here it the temp will still be in the 120 range. But back home it will be in the upper 60’s maybe the 70’s and we will all be frozen. Putting on a jacket is something that I am very much looking forward to.

But for now I will slather on the sun screen, and try to beat the heat.

Back To The Sand.