Garstor's World, My realm of 3D art, LEGO and atheism

Archive for the ‘Fitness’ Category

The Bad News About The Gym

Sunday, April 16th, 2017

Last week was brutally stressful. Even with the “Good” Friday Christian-torture-porn day off…

Friday afternoon, I was in the local Good Life Fitness to begin getting myself back into shape. I learned that I have a long row to hoe ahead of me. I am basically right back to my worst condition. I am about the same weight and body fat percentage as when I met my first personal trainer – the very cool Patrick – back in Texas.

I tipped the scales at 262 pounds and about 32% body fat!


Getting Back To The Gym

Sunday, April 9th, 2017

At last!

It has been a long time and all the work that I put into my body with Patrick, Isaac and Josh has been lost. But that does not need to be a permanent situation.

I’m going to get it back.

On Friday, I signed up for Good Life Fitness. The gym takes up the entire second floor of the building where I work.

I’m on-call this week, so I start working out this coming Friday.

CN Tower Stair Climb For Charity

Monday, October 24th, 2016

Moneris buildingMy colleagues and I at Moneris began climbing the stairs in our building as an afternoon break and for some extra fitness. One day, seemingly as a joke, someone mentioned climbing the stairs of the CN Tower.

That quickly became a serious idea. We looked at our stair climbs as a form of training.

The CN Tower stair climb for charity has been around nearly as long as the CN Tower itself. Normally, the stairs are reserved for maintenance personnel only (and it shows on the inside). But once per year, people climb the stairs from outside the tower, up to the observation deck. The donations raised benefit the United Way.

There are 1,776 steps and 145 flights in the CN Tower. We have 21 flights at work and managed to get to the point of climbing, coming down the elevator and climbing again 4 or 5 times. By our math, that was about one CN Tower worth of climbing.

The Moneris DBA Stair Climbing TeamI’m probably in the worst shape of the entire team. At the 96th flight, my right knee was hurting enough that I couldn’t put much pressure on it. That definitely slowed me down.

My time was 35 minutes and 14 seconds.

I’m proud of all of us. We raised $500 for the United Way. We’ll likely do it again next year – faster.

Back To Gold’s Gym…

Saturday, December 27th, 2014

My plans did not workout (hahahaha, get it?) as I had hoped.

I remain very upset with how Gold’s Gym Irving has treated my three awesome trainers. However; the distance to Texas Family Fitness in Coppell is a deal-breaker. I have not worked out in quite some time and I have returned to some very poor dietary habits.

The only way to overcome this and lose this re-gained weight is to workout every night after work. The only way to do that is to swallow my pride and return to Gold’s.

Fortunately, the new year is always the best time to join a gym. There will be great deals on membership fees.

Nearly Back To Square One

Monday, October 20th, 2014


I’m floating around the 240 pound mark again. It’s been years since I was that heavy.

Getting over to Texas Family Fitness regularly is a big challenge. I’ll definitely need to check with their personal training options to see if I can get myself back on track. Damn do I ever miss Patrick, Isaac and Josh.

I may be heavier than I want to be but at least I haven’t lost my leg strength. I can still press over 800 pounds. The range of motion in my shoulders still limits what I can do with my upper body though.

It cannot be said enough! UGH!

Fitness Stumbles

Sunday, August 24th, 2014


I tried to get my remaining personal training sessions refunded. What the large print giveth, the fine print taketh away…

Barring that, I thought I would workout the remaining sessions with one of the remaining neophyte trainers. Bah again! What a wretched and miserable experience! Nobody there can hold a candle to Patrick, Isaac or Josh.

So I quit Gold’s Gym completely.

Yes, this has taken a toll on my health. My weight has begun to rise again. I cannot deny the convenience of how close Gold’s is to my house. But I cannot deny how angry I am with their management.

We stumble in order to get back up. Yesterday I joined Texas Family Fitness in Coppell. It is a half-hour bike ride away instead of three minutes. But I have to get back up and get my weight back under control.

A Big Change For My Fitness

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Gold’s Gym has done it to me again.

For the third time now.

…And for the last time!

I have had three fantastic personal trainers. Three times, Gold’s has forced their hands and made them move on in order to better their career and finances. I believe an employer should be helping build-up and employee. They ought to be encouraging – and compensating appropriately – the employee for their skills improvements.

Gold’s refuses to do this. They want me to pay more for personal training but not compensate the trainer. They are just pocketing the extra cash.

I’m going to miss training with incredible people like Patrick, Isaac and Josh. But now, I’m going to carry on my own. I hope I can keep up the intensity.

More Personal Fitness Records

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

Wow! I am still blown away by the progress of my workouts this year.

I’ve been working out with a trainer for over 3 years now. At first it was my body fat percentage that was dropping. When I first started working out with Patrick, I was measured at 34% body fat. Definitely obese at over 250 pounds (I may have even exceed 260 pounds at one point).

As much as my food intake habits have changed; that remains my weakest link. I’ll sometimes break down on my willpower and order a pizza from Dominos…but generally, I try to keep my protein consumption high and my fat consumption low without sticking to some given diet plan.

It is great that Isaac has started recording my personal record attempts. This drives my determination and inspiration; it also serves as a means to analyze myself afterward. Are there ways I can improve my stance or technique?

Here are my recent videos.

This is 225 pounds squats using a Smith Machine. This helped me practice getting a good depth with the squat since it can sometimes feel intimidating getting so low to the ground with a lot of weight on your shoulders.

On February 8th, I did sets of Romanian deadlifts using 110 pound dumbbells. This is currently the heaviest dumbbells available at my gym as they recently got rid of their bigger pieces (I am not sure why). The limiting factor for me with this weight is my grip. I am quite certain that I can get a few more repetitions if I used wrist straps.

Early February was an awesome time for personal records at the gym! On February 11th, I did a leg press set of 1080 pounds. That was my heaviest leg press weight yet. Best of all, I actually got several reps. Man! What a rush that was!

We tried to add 50 pound and do 1130 pounds. I managed to get one small rep but I tried a slightly deeper second rep and failed. The sled came down and pinned me into the back rest. I wasn’t hurt; the safety blocks did their jobs. It took two trainers and me pushing to get the sled off of me though!

Back on January 14th, I managed to get a single deadlift of 305 pounds. So close to the magic 315 pounds that six plates would be! Just under a month later, February 13, I managed to get two sets of one rep at 315 pounds!

There are two more fitness videos to post. I’ve signed for more sessions with Isaac and we’ve got our sights set on even bigger records.

Personal Fitness Records

Monday, January 14th, 2013

As 2012 flickered to an end, I wrote about some of the more important changes in my life. I mentioned my weight plateau combined with my strength gain.

225 pound deadlift 2During last week’s workouts, that strength gain was made apparent. I broke 3 personal bests. What a great feeling!

Previously, I had managed to deadlift 225 pounds. This is 4 plates of 45 pounds plus the 45 pound bar. On Monday, I matched that best lift weight and was feeling good about that.

Isaac started adding weight; we put two 25 pound plates on and I managed to do that with a strange ease. Then two 10 pound plates…

Then two 5 pound plates…

I switched grips to an over-under style. That helped out tremendously – especially given how fragile my shoulders are. It is so easy to strain them when I workout hard.

But I managed a single lift with that 305 pounds. That is just a mere 10 pounds away from simply using six 45 pound plates! That made me feel invincible! Awesome!

This is the video that Isaac took of that lift. It is just a single rep, but it is still my current personal best:I am looking forward to getting that extra 10 pounds added!

That was just the Monday! I went on to out-do myself on leg presses by doing 810 pounds for 3 sets of 10 reps. I have done heavier; but I have never gone that heavy with that many reps.

On Friday, January 11th, I did my best decline chest press with 195 pounds of weight:

Who knows what the next few weeks at the gym will bring? Hopefully some more solid gains like these!

The Waning Hours Of 2012

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Here it is. December 31st 2012.

What a ride! The silly Mayan stuff. A terrifying American election. Horrific tragedies (followed-up with spectacularly stupid ideas) and personal failures and extraordinary pride and world-beating accomplishments.

There were many big changes in my own life this year too:

  • I left Microsoft for Azaleos.
  • Only to have Azaleos begin a morph into Avanade.
  • In health, my weight seems to have plateaued again between 216 and 220 pounds; but my body fat percentage has dropped and I have definitely become stronger than ever.
  • Early in the year, I dove into the 3D art world with Carrara and toward the end of the year, I began to continue that journey with LightWave.

Of course, now Americans (and us ex-patriots living here) now have to face the so-called Fiscal Cliff. I think the CBC’s Washington Correspondent Neil Macdonald described it perfectly:

What other democratic nation’s leaders, after all, would deliberately design a fiscal disaster and aim the country’s economy straight for it?

And then stand back, holding news conferences, double-dog-daring each other to step over some imagined line, chanting the political equivalent of nana-nana-boo-boo?

My own thoughts about the Fiscal Cliff? I hope this country plunges over that cliff. Yes, that will hurt me…it will hurt everyone. But the United States cannot carry on mortgaging its future and it has been doing that for so long that ending the cycle and recovering from it will hurt. Taxes should be raised. Spending in the military should be cut. Spending should shifted to building up infrastructure – especially building several new nuclear power plants (like military spending, this creates jobs for tens of thousands of people for several years and will cut pollution and foreign oil dependence).

So what happens tomorrow? In about 18 hours, I’ll start to find out.