March Comes In, Fluffily

Snapped this picture through the windshield on the way to the gym this morning, after a night of some fresh snowfall. Julia, angrily occupying the shotgun position, said, “It’s friggin’ March. Time for this shit to MARCH right out of here!”

As for the gym, only HIGH ON FIRE could power me through three miles on the jogging track the morning after a late night of band practice. 47 laps on this damn thing. The most I’ve ever done here was 93. That was . . . tedious. Don’t ask how long it took. My breakneck pace I refer to as the “survival shuffle.”

At least I got my good deed for the day out of the way early. An old lady was trying to adjust the seat on one of the stationary bikes, and couldn’t make it happen. When she flagged me down, I got her up and spinning. She smiled and thanked me. I filed it away with a beatific smile, knowing I could be an asshole at some point today and not lose any karmic good will with the Universe.

Speaking of putting in time at the gym, did you see THIS? This is at the NFL Combine, which is where all the college football players hoping to be drafted do various drills to show the pro scouts what they are capable of. This dude, Oregon State defensive tackle Stephen Paea, crushed the strength test by bench pressing 225 pounds 49 times, a new record. It’s interesting that to measure strength they don’t have guys max out, they take a relatively low weight and see how many they can do.

My usual bench press workout starts out at 235 for 12, then 245 for 10, then 255 for 10 (by then, with all the other exercises I do between sets — I do a total of 10 different exercises, 3 sets each — sometimes I can only get 8 on that last set). I had just done my weight workout last night, so I was a little sore. Julia urged me to try the 225 challenge thing right when we got there, so I gave it a whirl. I only managed 18. I think on a fresh day, like a Monday after a weekend off, I could easily do 20, maybe even 25. I’d like to get it up to 30 or 35, though. Might take a barbed-wire arm band tattoo to pull that off, though, and I’m not sure I’m willing to make that commitment. I’ve never tried to see how much I can bench with just one or two reps, but I’m pretty sure I could do at least 275. If Julia and all her hot bellydance friends and models gyrated around me, I might even be able to do 300. That’s been my goal since I started hitting the iron again, to lift 300. I figure if that pretty boy Hugh Jackman can do it, I damn sure should be able to too, for crissakes! I mean, he wants to be Wolverine . . . I just want to wow the chicks when I’m naked, but for a loincloth.

I’ll tell you the combination that really puts a whoopin’ on me though is pushups — anywhere from 30 – 50/set — combined with planks @ 60/90/120 seconds. Brutal stuff.

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