2013-09-30

Workout Of The Day

As I may have implied a couple of days ago, my fabulous beach vacation is over, and after spending nearly two years building up muscle mass, I am feeling the urge to get back to running again.

What the heck, I'll tell you a little story. Age twenty or so was the first time in my life during which I ever made a serious attempt at building muscle mass. Prior to that, I was completely absorbed in being a fast, competitive distance runner. When the NCAA burned me out at age nineteen, I embarked on a long personal journey through the world of ultra-running and various kinds of fitness-related physical experimentation. The "average workout week" for me looked something like this:
  • Sunday-through-Friday: Run between 10 and 15 miles.
  • Saturday: Run between 20 and 30 miles.
I did that for a long time, and it felt great. I also started adding push-ups and crunches to my regular workout days. I started with 200 crunches and I believe three sets of 10 push-ups, and slowly worked my way up from there. At age 20, I moved into a rented house with the kind of spiral staircase you might find on a boat of some sort, which I promptly put to use as an ersatz pull-up bar. I discovered that the addition of pull-ups to my daily routine added a lot of muscle mass. I had long hair back then, and my muscles were growing. I'd spend my weekends running 30 miles on mountain trails. You can imagine how good I felt back then.

This was, of course, long before my pancreas decided to die. I ate a lot of great food, drank a lot of great beer, and generally enjoyed myself in a way that only a super-fit twenty-year-old can.

The reason I bring this up is because this period of my life was the first time I discovered that human bodies can be sculpted according to the activities one chooses to perform. What I mean is that I am not sold on the idea of "mesomorphs" versus "ectomorphs." In my experience, "mesomorph" just means "someone who is husky because he/she eats a lot and likes to lift weights," whereas "ectomorph" just means "someone who doesn't lift much weights, but maybe enjoys endurance sports and an active lifestyle." You may feel free to disagree. I speak only from personal experience.

At the minimum, I have found that it is true for me. When I want to put on muscle mass, I can do so, by increasing the amount of protein in my diet and lifting a lot more weights. When I want to be skinny, I say
"Screw the weights, I'm going running." My body shape changes according to what I demand of it.

Thus, after having invested a good amount of time in pumping a lot of iron and trying to put on muscle mass, I am getting a little bored and tired of pushing and pulling on things. I want to go for a nice, long run without feeling like I'm carrying a military backpack everywhere I go.

For you, dear Stationary Waves readers, this means that my workouts of the day will emphasize running and endurance for the foreseeable future. (At least until I grow tired of being a scrawny distance runner and go back to lifting weights.)

Today's workout is as follows:
  • 3 x 10 pull-ups
  • 3 x 40 push-ups
  • Standard plank (maximum hold)
  • Right side plank (maximum hold)
  • Left side plank (maximum hold)
  • 40-45 minute run