Thursday, October 23, 2008

Spoga, etc.

I've had a few emails asking what Spoga is--explained it a few posts ago, but it's what I laughingly call "speed yoga." It's yoga without all the woo-woo, which likely means it isn't yoga to those who practice some form of Yoga. I fit a fairly fixed collection of about 20 different "poses" (asanas) that flow together in roughly five "sets." If I do these straight through they take as little as 20 minutes or as long as an hour. One thing I don't like about most yoga classes is that I often want to stop and work with a position a bit longer, or not go into some movement because my body doesn't feel right for it then. That's what I do in Spoga--do my routine, but feel the positions carefully, really move well into each pose in my own time, feel it. I'm wired like a Jack Russel dog, not a lot of flexibility going on here, but I've been doing my routine off and on for three years now, and it has really helped me. So I often do a set or problem or whatever in the climbing gym, then recover by working through a set of my Spoga poses, repeat. It keeps me moving, helps me breathe well while gasping for air, and fits more good stuff into less time. Spoga, it works for me...


I'm on this near-compulsive firewood gathering kick, so I've been knocking over dead and living (only when they were destined to die anyhow, I might as well burn 'em rather than have them go to the landfill) trees and carting the carcasses back home. My driveway looked like it belonged in the Yukon, so many logs... My neighbors thought it was pretty funny. The whole process has just worked me. After a lot of work I'm down to about a cord of wood that is too wet to use this year; I've gathered, moved, split and stacked a lot of wood over the last two weeks, and in the last three days that's been my main training. I'm going to get some freaky wood chopping/carrying muscles if these keeps up... I figure moving several tons of wood around has got to be good for something, it's certainly worked all the climbing muscles with the exception of power grip strength and maybe lats (although picking huge rounds up gets in there some).

Anyhow, after the mega wood workout from hell I got back into the gym tonight. Good warmup, then did five laps (up and down until failure) on this longish jug haul problem out a roof, no feet, big moves. Grrr.... Hard enough for me that I had to do spoga between sets, fully anaerobic death. Then an accuracy drill on the tool board where I hang one-handed and try to slot a pocket with the other tool. Harder than it sounds, and an important skill. Then one-handed hangs on the tool shafts (can't hold that long before I end up on the grip), then 20/20 intervals to get a good deep pump. Front lever training to finish it out (still just extending one leg while horizontal, back to full hang, repeat until all I can do is curl my feet up level with the bar, back straight, hold that until done. That's one set. I do somewhere between 3 and 5 depending on what I've got in me).

The intensity level is going up. I'll start climbing more and more as the season progresses, and that will take care of specific strengths and specific endurance. Now I want the power to bust the more difficult moves out without injury. I've got some slight tweak in my anterior delt but otherwise good to go. The 20/20 gives a good level of endurance, the fine-tuning will come in action.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

First Ice

On Sunday the venerable (same age as me except for four days so I can use that term) Dr. Slawinski and I actually went ice climbing. Yeah! Typical early season ice, bit odd and sketchy but super fun afternoon of it. It sure was great to get out into the snowy (yep, snow on the ground!) mountains for the first time of the season, and even better that my knee worked. I'd say I'm fully recovered from meniscus surgery and all the other little injuries, yeah! Fell into a beaver pond kinda for a complete day. Felt solid on the walk--my ice pack is lighter than my kid-carrier pack, I found that sorta funny. The climbing wasn't so hard but no pump once I relaxed, so good to swing tools and be out in the mountains with Raph.

I missed blogging a couple of workouts in there due to the mad scramble to finish a bunch of stuff around the house before the snow flies, and working on some projects for 2009, plus I leave for a Poland tour (three presentations, going to be fun!) this Friday. Full madness, love it.

Anyhow, I've been hiking/charging up hills and hitting the climbin gym, did the gym thing on Sunday, good gym workout last night that involved:

Deep warmup (15 minutes of near-constant motion, cycling the pump a bit as I warmed up).
Four endurance burns on a 30-move problem with Spoga between efforts.
Campusing on the 45 degree wall, big holds, lots of pikes and core effort required to huck the moves.
Campus board with tools.

So blasted this morning, excellent! The power workouts always get me...

The rest of the day involved computer time, putting casing around the wood stove alcove, caulking and screwing together the side of the house where the wind was removing it, kidlet action and sorting firewood out. Firewood is a lot of work, could be a training action all of its own!