delta males

Normally, I don't pay that much attention to other people at the gym. I'm often too busy doing my own thing to really care about anyone else. The times I do notice other people are when they make themselves so conspicuous in some way or other that you can't help but notice them. Sometimes it's some freak or other with some extreme choice of clothing or footwear (yeah, I know, my freaky fuschia Five Fingers). Or else you have freaks who choke you to death with their stench (perfume trolls anyone?). And of course you have the freaks (and some non-freaks) who bring attention upon themselves by how they are training, for better or worse. Usually worse – blatantly poor technique, making a big deal out of lifting very little, holding on to the guard rails while jogging on the treadmill, etc...

And then you have the delta males. You know, the gym freaks who bring about attention by everything I mentioned above and then some, the gym freaks who think they are alpha males but... well... aren't. You guys have read Brave New World, right? Yeah, delta. A whole package of fail...

The delta male of the day did everything he could possibly do to make sure that everyone noticed him. He spent a good amount of time prancing around, while “flexing” (hah!), in particular near me and near a pair of women training together. It was particularly annoying for me because I was doing squats at the time. He was walking a little too close for comfort behind me, while making grunting noises and “flexing” in front of the mirror as he walked by. This was very annoying and distracting. I could also smell him as he was approaching; his cologne was on that thick. And I could see that the other women were also very annoyed with his behavior...

The rest of his excessive attention-whoring primping and posing in front of the mirror was rather amusing, and I couldn't help but snicker at him. I think he was trying to show off his arms or try bodybuilding poses or something. I was, however, more fascinated by his extended belly. You couldn't help but notice it. Delta didn't have that big of a body otherwise. But his Ring of Fat... wow. The way his forearm and hand rested on his gut was reminiscent of photos of pregnant women. He was even rubbing his belly a lot, the way a pregnant woman rubs her belly. Oh, and at one point he even “adjusted” his developing moobs (I'll bet he thinks they're pecs). Charming. You have no idea how close I was to finding some way to approach the other women to ask them “so, when do you think he's due?” And I can't forget to mention the hair fixing haha... can't have a hair out of place, no can we?

Oh, and when Delta wasn't patting his big belly in front of the mirror, he was doing a “workout” that involved fluffing around here and there with the cable jungle and dumbbells. You knew when he was doing something, because of all the heavy breathing and grunting. With light weights of course, lots of rapid, jerky reps. WTF? At one point he grabbed some dumbbells and started doing biceps curls (like most delta males really enjoy doing), and was all huffy and puffy and grunting about it. Geez. So I walked up to the dumbbell stand, grabbed a set of 8 kg dumbbells, started doing dumbbell curls with them, scowled and mumbled out a “hmmmf,” and then replaced the 8 kg dumbbells with 10 kg dumbbells and did a set of 12 reps. While smirking. Delta gave me a dirty look, slammed his dumbbells down and stomped away. Twat.

Tell me about the delta males at your gym...


(almost) barefoot running - getting faster

Monday and Saturday seem to be my cardio days for now. It fits in well with the rest of what I do - Krav Maga on Tuesdays and Thursdays, weightlifting on Fridays and Sundays, training-free on Wednesday...

Anyway, I started working on faster intervals on Monday. I did a 10 minute walk/jog warm-up, followed by intervals of 4 minutes fast jogging/running and 1 minute walking. I started my 4 minutes at 9.5 km/h and worked up to 11 km/h before my right calf started cramping up. And yeah, the toe blisters were starting to form again. Ugh...

Today I did a steady state, slightly faster (than last week) run. I started with a 5 minute walk/jog warm-up, followed by 5 minutes at 9.5 km/h, 20 minutes at 10 km/h, and 10 minutes at 10.5 km/h. At the start of the run, my left ankle started bugging me, and I made a few short stops just to work out the kinks. After a little while, everything was OK and it stopped bugging me for the rest of the workout. But then my right calf started cramping up again, after around 15 minutes into the run. After a few stops to rub/shake the darn thing, everything seemed to be OK. But then, after 30 minutes into the run, the calf started cramping up again. Not good. So I had to stop. I don't want to provoke a long injury...

I'll have to look into changing how I do my warm-up. Perhaps something where I walk/jog, and then stop and do light stretches, and then walk/jog again? Hmm. This is the first time I'm dealing with this kind of issue when running. Before it was the darn knees; they feel quite fine now. The annoying thing about all of this is that the cramping is the only thing now that is stopping me. I've managed to deal with the blisters by wrapping my affected toes with silk tape. That really helped out a lot. I don't get tired otherwise; in fact I feel I could run much faster for much longer...

And regarding the cramps, hydration and mineral intake are not issues. It's just a matter of adjusting to the running style. (Almost) barefoot running is hard on the calves. That's just the way it is. They just have to toughen up a bit. Sooner than later, I hope...


(almost) barefoot weightlifting

In addition to my freaky fuschias, I have a pair of black KSOs. I've been using these for my past two weightlifting sessions...

All I can say is WHY HAVEN'T I DONE THIS SOONER? Oh yeah, I did have a few sessions here and there between acquisition of my five fingers and now, but at that time I had injury issues and wasn't really "into" my lifting. But now... wow!

I'm not sure how to explain it. I feel a lot more sturdy on my feet when doing squats and deadlifts, and this enables me to do heavier lifts. Well, of course it makes sense. I'm not limited by the boundaries of the sports shoes. I'm also able to do a lot more on the leg press; the darn padding in the shoes had been getting in the way of progress. Who knew? (And hah! I actually freaked some random guy out big time by pressing a mere *cough* 220 kg. And this was after maxing out for the day at 250 kg.)

Fun, fun, fun! :-D

pink and punchy

In honor of that ridiculous fake corporate holiday designed for mass consumption and making the weak-minded feel inadequate, I bring you the following:

Roses are red
Punches are pink.
Beware of my penguins
They'll make you extinct.


(almost) barefoot running update

The (almost) barefoot running with my freaky fuschia Five Fingers has been going quite well. Aside from one training session where one of my calves was stiff and didn't want to loosen up, and one training session where I used my black KSOs instead of my freaky fuschias (these were inducing blisters on the sides of my feet), I've been progressing quite nicely.

Today's workout:
- 10 minutes of mixed walking (6.5 km/h) and jogging (9.0 km/h) as a warmup.

- 40 minutes of steady state running (well, fast jogging) at 9.5 km/h.

Everything felt really good for the most part. No stiffness in the calves at all. I felt a “twitch” in my right hip at times, but that was resolved by sucking in my navel and pushing my hips slightly forward; it's good to be forced into proper posture. The only problem I had was just as I hit around 38 minutes; I could feel the blisters morphing onto both big toes. Ugh. I just finished to 40 minutes. Had it not been for the darn toes, I could have easily gone for an hour.

Forty minutes is a pretty decent duration, even though I was going at a relatively slow pace. I should be able to run faster now. I think I'll be ready for hard sprints in a few weeks. Good fun!

On a side note, it's rather amusing to be (almost) barefoot running to Brenda Fassie's “Zola Budd” :-D