Friday, December 07, 2018

Trust no one

So, at the behest of a trainer at the gym who used to play professional soccer, I tried a new high-intensity circuit class today. While I don't think he was actually trying to do me in, I can't rule the possibility out entirely. I seriously thought I was going to vomit after the first circuit of 15 stations, but after a dire 30 seconds or so during the first break, I held it together and managed to get through the second circuit without incident. I was a little distressed to discover that we were doing a third circuit, but it only consisted of 12 stations since three of the other 14 participants had dropped out by then.

My satisfaction in completing all three circuits was mildly tempered by the fact that there were several girls in their teens and twenties who did as well, and who, Spacebunny cheerfully informed me later, didn't require several minutes lying flat on their back to recover afterwards. I had no idea, of course, because I was lying flat on my back with my eyes closed.

Anyhow, it turns out that high-intensity training is a great exercise for the offseason, since running, walking, biking, and lifting simply don't serve as adequate substitutes for the explosive burst-and-coast endurance that one requires for soccer. The trainer even complimented my form, and I was sufficiently high on flattery and post-exercise endorphins that I agreed to show up for the next class. Apparently there are two... fabulous.



Blogger Balkan Yankee December 07, 2018 1:34 PM  

Stay limber.

Blogger Doug Cranmer December 07, 2018 1:35 PM  

Old man Vox.

Blogger cheddarman December 07, 2018 1:42 PM  

Do you even take fish oil bro

Blogger JAG December 07, 2018 1:43 PM  

Getting old sucks.

Blogger exfarmkid December 07, 2018 1:44 PM  

I admire your determination, but: You. Are. Insane.

Blogger R Webfoot December 07, 2018 1:53 PM  

Don't die before finishing AoDaL.

Blogger Sheila4g December 07, 2018 1:54 PM  

If you have the time/are so inclined, Vox, I'd be interested to know what the 12 stations were, and how long/how many reps per station.

Blogger Johnny December 07, 2018 1:55 PM  

Yeah. Getting old sucks. You may not lose strength but you do lose endurance.

My advice is never quit trying, but don't expect the results to be as good as you get older.

Blogger Grime Knight December 07, 2018 1:57 PM  

May I interest you in some apple cider for your pre-workout drink?

Blogger Patrick Kelly December 07, 2018 2:02 PM  

Hang in there. It gets more difficult as you get older (approaching 60 myself), and you have to stay humble, learn to pace yourself and have realistic expectations.

Last week I thought I was going to pass out and wake up in the hospital, if at all, and during a much needed break noticed all the kids gleefully continuing without me.

I won't be trying multiple workout classes in a row again anytime soon.

Blogger Unknown December 07, 2018 2:13 PM  

OT, Vox, Bruce Charlton voted you his favourite blogger.

You differ in superficial ways, both in style and doctrine, but I have long thought you guys share a fundamental unity in outlook and personality.

I am glad that Bruce Charlton finally realized where his true sympathies lay.

Blogger James Dixon December 07, 2018 2:22 PM  

"It's hell getting old." - Sam Huff.

Blogger Nate December 07, 2018 2:29 PM  

getting old sucks.

Blogger David The Good December 07, 2018 2:48 PM  

HIIT is amazing.

Blogger Daniele Grech Pereira December 07, 2018 3:08 PM  

Running group exercise classes was my favourite part of being a fitness trainer. I used to run it like I ran PT in the army. For those who enjoy that sort of thing, it's a blast. But it's definitely not for everyone.

Blogger Lamarck Leland December 07, 2018 3:18 PM  

I once joined a Kung Fu school that tried the HIIT approach the very day I joined.
I gave my best, I finished last but I still finished and the approval of the team was worth it.
Then I spent 30 minutes lying on the bathroom floor in case I had to throw up my organs.
I can't imagine doing that at 50 years old

Blogger Zach December 07, 2018 3:20 PM  


I'm sure.

Getting old does suck, but I prefer it to the alternative.

Blogger Andrew Brown December 07, 2018 3:21 PM  

HIIT doesn't get easier, you just get used to it.

Blogger Latigo3 December 07, 2018 3:25 PM  

I feel your pain.

Blogger Randomatos December 07, 2018 3:30 PM  

It's all fun and games until you break a disk and can't run anymore.

Blogger Mr Darcy December 07, 2018 3:36 PM  

OMG. "You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din."

Blogger Jeff Weimer December 07, 2018 3:36 PM  

Next, they'll give you some Super High Intensity Training.

Blogger Silent Draco December 07, 2018 3:38 PM  

Only a Supreme Dark Lord of great self-confidence would recount such a tale. Spacebunny was amused, but also pleased because that's MY SDL, girls, go find your own ... elsewhere.

No comment concerning the effects. A friend of mine noted he'd rather be on this side of the grass and bitching about cutting it, than under the grass. Point. I'm pushing 60 and trying to finish the flexibility part of PT so I can get to the strength build part. Then strength training will be the worst part of therapy. Once back to normal, the extra or concentrated training needed for sports and heavy work, etc simply s%cks moose genitalia. Id' rather be complaining than the alternative.

It's like a retired sergeant once told me: better that the troops complain about PT and some small things, than let everything get quiet. Quiet was very bad.

Blogger Guitar Man December 07, 2018 4:01 PM  

I had no idea, of course, because I was lying flat on my back with my eyes closed.

I know that feeling. After my first class of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, I sat in my car in a daze for minutes. 38 years old, why did I start this just now? It got easier over time.

Blogger D E K December 07, 2018 4:13 PM  

Women recover faster, so don't worry. But I would be interested in the exact exercises.

Blogger Dirk Manly December 07, 2018 4:31 PM  

In order to assure the highest levels of quality work and productivity from employees, it will be our policy to keep all employees well rained through our program of SPECIAL HIGH INTENSITY TRAINING (S.H.I.T.). We are trying to give employees more S.H.I.T. than anyone else.

If you feel that you do not receive your share of S.H.I.T. on the job, please see your manager. You will be immediately placed at the top of the S.H.I.T. list, and our managers are especially skilled at seeing that you get all the S.H.I.T. you can handle.

Employees who don't take S.H.I.T. will be placed in DEPARTMENTAL EMPLOYEE EVALUATION PROGRAMS (D.E.E.P.S.H.I.T.). Those who fail to take D.E.E.P.S.H.I.T. seriously will have to go to EMPLOYEE ATTITUDE TRAINING (E.A.T.S.H.I.T.). Since our managers took S.H.I.T. before they were promoted, they don't have to do S.H.I.T. anymore, and are full of S.H.I.T. already.

If you are full of S.H.I.T., you may be interested in job training others. We can add your name to our BASIC UNDERSTANDING LECTURE LIST (B.U.L.L.S.H.I.T.). Those who are full of B.U.L.L.S.H.I.T. will get S.H.I.T. jobs, and can apply for promotion to DIRECTOR of INTENSITY PROGRAMMING (D.I.P.S.H.I.T.).

If you have further questions, please direct them to our HEAD OF TRAINING, SPECIAL HIGH INTENSITY TRAINING (H.O.T.S.H.I.T.).

Thank you,


Blogger August December 07, 2018 4:56 PM  

Clearly this trainer was sent by the deep state.

Blogger Gulo Gulo December 07, 2018 5:19 PM  

"I had no idea, of course, because I was lying flat on my back with my eyes closed."

Sounds like me yesterday.....after chasing a buck up to the top of a ridge line - with 16" of snow on the ground. Man could that cloven hooved ruminate run. At one point the bugger was leaping nearly twenty feet at a time.

Blogger Doktor Jeep December 07, 2018 5:45 PM  

Don't scare the kids away from fitness though. We're almost the same age and I do things that others thing are impressive - yet no big deal as I have done the same things for almost 30 years.

I'm told things like "you only live once!" and "what does it matter you going to die anyway".

But being near 50 and having having a low blood pressure plus wearing the same sized clothes I wore when I reached 17 is worth it.
Of course it would be better if 90 percent of the women in my age group didn't look like the Baron from the movie version of Dune.

Blogger Sam Sutherland December 07, 2018 5:52 PM  

I passed out at the gym once. Fell asleep right on the pec adductor! Ran out of blood glucose, I think. Then I projectile vomited all over! Huuuurrrrrrgh!

Blogger Megamerc December 07, 2018 6:30 PM  

I'm half Vox's age and in fairly good physical shape having played collegiate soccer and regularly exercising and participating in post-college sports. There are different types of workouts out there that will put me flat on my back and not others, but in other types the opposite will be the case.

For instance, up until this year I had never done sled pulls in any workout. The first time I did, my head was pounding afterward and I had to lie down in the grass. The other guys doing it with me were surprised because they were fine, and I usually run circles around the majority of them. It was mildly embarrassing.

But I think this is akin to the difference in specializations, such as between a sprinter and a long-distance runner. The sprinter will be physically spent before the first mile of endurance running, but the long-distance runner will just keep going. The reverse will be true in a series of sprints, and the long-distance runner just won't be able to keep up with the sprinter.

I imagine as we age it makes it more difficult to switch between specializations as well. Younger Vox specialized as a sprinter and a striker in soccer, and an older Vox doing a concentrated high intensity circuit is much different. I doubt the circuit lasted more than 45 minutes, which is half the length of a soccer game but with the same or greater physical demands of a full 90 minutes. Recently I compressed an hour and a half weight-lifting session to about 40 minutes by removing almost all rest time (the gym was closing sooner than I had calculated) and I was physically shaking by the end of it. Increased age would just exacerbate the effect.

TL;DR: Different workouts affect different people more than others, especially with increased age

Blogger Slagenthor December 07, 2018 10:24 PM  

Hang in gotta pay the toll. If for nothing else than you don't want to pay it again should you quit and then re-start.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine December 07, 2018 10:40 PM  

I love circuits, but then, I'm not middle aged yet. Definitely extracts a toll.

"Women recover faster, so don't worry."

The ones that are nice to look often do. But then, that's because they often have swimming regimens or something similar that trains your endurance much harder than anything else even can.

I'll tell you, a couple years of intense swimming and you'll be able to run all over the place like a jackrabbit with alternating sprints and not even notice fatigue from it.

"There are different types of workouts out there that will put me flat on my back and not others, but in other types the opposite will be the case."

Very true. Please, don't make me do sit-ups, I beg of you...

Blogger wgmeisheid December 08, 2018 7:43 AM  

Isn't the maxim "No pain, no gain?" Having been an athlete myself - football, basketball, track, and baseball, I always had respect for the guys who could do the hard work to get in premier shape, especially the football players, some of whom went to outrageous efforts to reach their physical peak.

Blogger The Cooler December 08, 2018 7:50 AM  

O carbs, my carbs, ama sabachthani? ~ The Cooler 3:16

Blogger Shimshon December 08, 2018 1:14 PM  

Vox, you will never be Scalzi's bitch. But you might, just might, one day, be Scalzi's "daughter's". Scare quotes, because, who knows. Would explain many things.

Blogger europeasant December 08, 2018 2:04 PM  

"I tried a new high-intensity circuit class today"

It's always better to break into a new system slowly. When I was in the army the training sgts made everyone run till many puked on the side of the road. Too much too soon as most of us were not sufficiently prepared. But after two months of PT most of us made it. I finished 4th in the battalion on the PT tests. The only reason I did not get a higher score was that I only did the mile run in six and a half min. I recall one 18 year old recruit did the mile run (combat boots and fatigues) in five and a half min.I'm only avg size(5'8") and weight(160 lbs.).
Start slow and easy and push yourself steadily.
I did not win the PT test but scored 1st in battalion rifle shooting which is more important then physical fitness.

Blogger Dirk Manly December 08, 2018 5:57 PM  

My last battalion commander when I was in a guard infantry battalion held shooting and physical fitness to be of equal weight.

His way of thinking was this:

1) You'd better be able to hit what you're aiming at.

2) If you're too out of shape to get there with the rest of us, you don't even have anything to shoot at, OR you're holding up the rest of us so that we don't lose you.

3) Sometimes shooting isn't even necessary, but numbers are. Fitness counts.

Now I'm in a reserve pipeline unit. Things are ... different.

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