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Beach walks and fireworks.

I’ve been making special efforts recently in trying to get to bed a bit earlier. With 3 small kids and a new Labrador puppy being enthusiastically incontinent around the house there is no chance of a lie in in the mornings. So if I want more sleep I’m going to hit my pit earlier then I’m accustomed to.

I am the furthest thing in the world from being a wild and crazy, all night party animal but, even so, going to bed at 10pm feels a little like I’ve been a naughty boy and I’m being sent to my room with no supper. It’s worth it though. Sleep is where the magic happens. Switch off your brain. Mend your muscles. Ease your aches and pains. Sleep glorious sleep.

There has been research done that puts forward the case that too much sleep is bad for you and that world conquering behemoths like Thatcher, Churchill and Napoleon could get by on 4-6 hours of snooze time and still invade a minor nation before breakfast. What’s painfully obvious to me is that their deadlifting would have been woefully dismal. No quality deadlifter has ever got by on 5 hours sleep and a 10 minute power nap after their power lunch which they had during a power point presentation. If you are lifting you should also be eating and sleeping lots and lots and lots.

Little fluffy shitting machine

Anyway, I had tons of lovely sleep and bounded out of bed full of vim, vigour and vitality. All of which was sucked out of me in the hour of stress and peril that it takes to get the kids breakfasted, dressed and dragged to school. Calm and order was restored on a lovely walk on the beach with Zoe (wife) and the dog. I’m not sure how I’m going to feel about walking the dog in the face of a full force winter gale but for now it’s glorious.

The beach 3 mins from our front door.

Then it was time to head to the gym for a bit of work and a workout. Tonight is Bonfire Night- which is when the good people of Britain celebrate the fact that someone didn’t blow up the Houses of Parliament 400 years ago by giving packages of high explosives to the young, the drunk, the mad and the bewildered. If nothing else it keeps local Burns Units busy.

Because it’s Bonfire Night I can skip out of work earlier than usual and get back home in time for Carter Family shenanigans. For the past 6 or so years we’ve been living here, we all go down en mass to watch the great display that is put on. They explode several tons of brightly coloured sparkles over the beach that is all reflected back by the encroaching tide and everyone goes “Wooohh” and “Aaahhh” at the right time.

Or at least I assume they did. I was playing “Space Marine” on the XBox with the volume turned up as we thought it best that one of us stayed back with the pup in case all the the bangs and whistles freaked him out. Being a Labrador he just slept straight through the whole thing, and the only time he moved was to let rip with several eye-watering doggy farts.

Today’s workout was day 1 of week 3 of our current 5/3/1 cycle. Training is going great at the moment and the addition of quite a bit more cardio has resulted in Rhod and I feeling considerably fitter. All I need to do now is sort my diet out and I might actually end up in semi-reasonable shape. Maybe.

I’ll be banging on about 5/3/1 quite a bit on this blog but I’ll spare you the details right now and save that for a later post. Suffice to say that it is a work of simple genius that comes in many variants. Rhod and I are currently engaged in the full body version. It’s pretty straight forward; you do 3 weights workouts a week, every time you train you do a squat followed by a push followed by a pull. After that throw in some accessories for lagging body parts and you’re done. Twice a week do some hard conditioning. Rinse and repeat.

This is what we did today:

Warm up – Cycle 5 mins. Run 3 mins. Skipping 1 min.

Activation¬† (which I think sounds a little poncey and I just like to think of as being “second warm ups”) – Kettlebell swings supersetted with Glute Bridges. Our big exercise today was to be deadlifts and these two movements are ideal at getting the body prepped for the horrors of heavy heaving.

S/S bar Squats – 4 sets of 10 reps. These felt great today. Partly because we didn’t go heavy and stuck at 65kg. With heavy deads looming we thought it best to err on the side of caution and go for quality over quantity.

Deadlifts – After several work up sets we did 135kg for 5 reps, 155kg for 3 reps and 170kg for 1 rep. Technique was ok but I need to keep the bar closer to me if I plan on going much heavier.

Bench press – I have a personal goal of being able to do 3 sets of 10 reps with 100kg. I can do 1 set and in the past I managed 10 sets of 10 reps with 100kg when training with Emil. But as a rather excellent T-shirt I once saw says “I don’t care what you used to bench”. Today I did 3 sets of 10 reps with 87.5kg soon, hopefully, I will do them with 100kg. It’s what you CAN do that counts, not what you could.

Chins n’ dips n’ press ups – 3 sets assorted miserable reps. It’s a double edged sword doing this particular trio of exercises at the end of every workout. On one hand the relentless frequency should mean that we get better at them. On the other hand the more weight we are able to shift in the first part of the workout results in us being more knackered by the time the chins n’ dips n’ stuff comes around.

Check out this rather splendid video of us doing it and listen to the inane babbling of an old fool as you do so.

Thanks for reading,
Dave Carter.

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