Suns Out, Guns Out

Summer time fitness check in:

It’s been a couple months since the spring semester has let out and since I’ve been back state side (more on my Taiwan trip to come, my bad for the delay!).

Here’s what I’ve been up to in my fitness game.

First up – Measurements:

  • Neck: 13″
  • Shoulders: 41″
  • Chest: 36″
  • Biceps: 11.5″
  • Waist: 32″
  • Hips: 39″
  • Thigh: 22″
  • Calf: 14.5″

Weight: 142.8# BF: 21%

Next up – 1RMs:


  • Bench Press: 100#
  • Bent Over Rows: 90#
  • Dead lift: 205# (new PR!)
  • Squat: 125#


  • Arm Curls: 25#
  • Arm Extension: 40#
  • Shoulder Press: 30#
  • Shoulder Shrug: 60#
  • Lateral/Frontal Shoulder Raise: 15#

Stacked Machines:

  • Leg Press: 315# (222.705# at a 40° angle)
  • Calf Press: 585# (413.595# at a 40° angle – another new PR!)
  • Leg Extension: 175#
  • Seated Leg Curls: 145#
  • Hip Abduction: maxed out
  • Hip Adduction: maxed out
  • Chest Press: 100#
  • Lateral Pull Down: 100#
  • Seated Rows: 100#

Haven’t done much running at all this year; missed the PGH Marathon (ran every year since 2010) due to being out of the country (which is a pretty cool reason) but I’ve been biking everywhere and doing my best to keep up with the National Bike Challenge (May – Sept). I’ve also been hitting the gym for some lifting time about 2-3x a week, keeping it casual with alternating upper/lower body focus days plus some abdominal work.

Upper body focus days:

  • Bench press
  • Lat pull downs
  • Bent rows
  • Biceps curls
  • Triceps extensions
  • Overhead press


  • Incline crunches
  • Incline Russian twists with medicine ball
  • Oblique bends with plate

Lower body focus days:

  • Squats – barbell, on bosu ball, free weights
  • Deadlifts – barbell
  • Leg / Calf press – hip sled
  • Lunges – weighted with plates or dumbbells, walking

Abdominals: variations of above list


  • 969.2 miles in 46 days
Year to date:
  • 1,359.7 miles in 82 days

January – 13 out of 31 days, 106.1 miles total

February – 7 out of 29 days, 62.5 miles total

March – 3 out of 31 days, 29.2 miles total

April – 13 out of 30 days, 192.8 miles total

May – 20 out of 31 days, 440.6 miles total

June – 25 out of 30 days, 509.6 miles total

July – just started

Aside from commuting I’ve been hitting up some trails and going on group rides at least once a week. Including: Steel City Roll (first Mon of each month – next ride 07.04.16), 412 Flock (third Fri of each month – next ride 07.15.16), PGH undies ride (last Thur of each month – just went on one last night 06.30.16, next ride 07.28.16) and random rides with friends around Pittsburgh, the #LunchLoop (new) with HealthyRidePGH and BikePGH (06.17.16, 07.14.16, and 08.23.16) as well as OpenStreetsPGH (last Sun of May, June, July – new route this month) again with with HealthyRidePGH and BikePGH. For those in the Pittsburgh area feel free to come out and join me for these monthly group rides!

End of Summer Fitness Check In

Summer is coming to a close with classes are starting this week. With that in mind, I did a fitness assessment to see where I’m at after these past few months. This summer has been quite the journey for me – emotionally, mentally and psychologically – dealing with some unfortunate personal stuff. Depression and anxiety are no joking matter and are conditions that deserve attention and mention. I was able to get outside some days for a little running and biking; I made it to the gym: swimming and lifting maybe once or twice each month. It’s been a real up hill battle these past few months and I am glad to have the semester start up again, I look forward to working on my fitness goals with a more regiment/ scheduled approach.

End of summer 1-RMs:


  • Bench Press: 65#
  • Bent Over Rows: 75#
  • Deadlift: 100#
  • Squat: 95#


  • Arm Curls: 20#
  • Arm Extension: 30#
  • Shoulder Shrug: 45#

Stacked Machines:

  • Leg Press: 250# (176.75)
  • Calf Press: 250#
  • Leg Extension: 140#
  • Seated Leg Curls: 140#
  • Hip Abduction: 215#
  • Hip Adduction: 215#
  • Chest Press: 110#
  • Overhead Press: 85#
  • Lateral Pull Down: 96.6#
  • Seated Rows: 95#

Plank: 1 min (down 1 min) Push ups to max: 25 (down 8 but better form) Modified push ups: 70 in 1min Sit ups: 90 in 1 min (down 15) Sit ups to max: 130 Pull ups: 0 Wall Sit: 3:01 min (didn’t do this for the last check in)

New Measurements: (overall lose of 5″ total)

  • Neck: 13″
  • Shoulders: 41″
  • Chest: 38″
  • Biceps: 10″
  • Waist: 34″
  • Hips: 38″
  • Thigh: 22″
  • Calf: 14″

Height: 5′ 4″ = 64″ (don’t expect this to change but used for purposes of BMI calculations) Weight: 137.6# BMI: 23.5 Body Fat %: didn’t have an accurate way to measure this time but based on the math it’s roughly the same as last check in

Fitness Motivation! KEEP GOING!! Doing this for me... Check out the website to see how I lost 20 pounds last month

My results are not what I could have liked but they’re not terrible. I’ve managed to maintain some strength, predominately in my lower body muscles while only loosing slight muscular strength in my upper body/ core muscles. The overall weight loss is a little concerning since I know it’s not all fat loss, meaning despite being down 11.9#, some of that is from muscle mass loss. I have no doubt that once I settle into my routine of classes and workouts that I’ll be up to my normal standards and gaining within a month or two.

running motivational quotes | Gone For a RUN Blog 15 Extremely Motivating Quotes To Help Get You ...

I did mention getting out some for a bit of running and biking plus I was able to get some pool time in. However instead of working on pace time or even distance really, I focused on just getting out there and doing something. This summer I’ve been mixing it up with my runs and having fun with them. More about that (with pics) can be found on my Tumblr. I did run in the Stride for Pride 5K in June.

Fall Line: Sept 6 – the Gatorade/Steelers annual 5K, Sept 19 – the Color Run Shine (5K), Sept 27 – Great Race (10K), Oct 25 – the EQT Pgh 10 Miler, Nov 7 – Zoo 5K now I just need something for Dec and I will have actually done something (race/event) every month this year.

No destination bike trip this summer 😦 which was a bummer but I did log a lot of urban bike trail miles. Beginning July 20th – Aug 7th some friends of mine bike toured around Seattle and according to the captain they were planning on riding ~50 miles a day, totaling somewhere ~1,000 miles by end of trip. Trails I used: GAP Trail, Three Rivers Heritage Trail, and North Shore Trail – Chateau Trail plus a good amount of road time (biked around the East End – Lawrenceville, Bloomfield, Shadyside, East Liberty, Highland Park, Garfield; Squirrel Hill; the Strip District; Downtown; the North Shore and North Side; Milvale; Oakland; South Side).

  • July 20: 58.5 miles (Time: 4:57)
  • July 21: 40 miles (Time: 3:30)
  • July 22: 48 miles (Time: 28:12 and 2:55)
  • July 23: 56 miles (Time: 5:30)
  • July 24: 50.2 miles (Time: 2:04:32 and 3:15)
  • July 25: 45.5 miles (Time: 4:23)
  • July 26: 50 miles (Time: 4:30)
  • July 27: off – was at a wedding
  • July 28: 51.6 miles (Time: 4:36)
  • July 29: 60.3 miles (Time: 5:05)
  • July 30: 50.4 miles (Time: 4:30)
  • July 31: 47.4 miles (Time: 3:33)
  • Aug 1: 50.7 miles (Time: 4:58)
  • Aug 2: 60.2 miles (Time: 5:14)
  • Aug 3: 47.8 miles (Time: 4:55)
  • Aug 4: 57.2 miles (Time: 5:05)
  • Aug 5: 65 miles (Time: 6:02)
  • Aug 6: 50.3 miles (Time: 5:00)
  • Aug 7: 83.42 miles – this was my longest ride thus far this summer – broke it up into bike sized chunks though (Time: 3:09 and 2:55 and 3:06)

The weekend of Aug 7-9 was Pittsburgh’s triathlon – while I didn’t officially compete in the race I did complete the events/ distances using my school’s pool and facilities. My results: swim 600 meters (~0.25 mile) 30min, bike 20K (~12.5 miles) 45min, run 5K (3.1 miles) 30min. Total elapsed time: just over 2 hours. Total moving time: 1 hr 45min

By the end of the scheduled time for their bike trip I had clocked in 972.52 miles, actually 985.02 miles including the bike miles from the triathlon (Time: 90 hrs 25 min).

  • Aug 11: 37.5 miles (Time 3:30)
  • Aug 12: 35 miles (Time: 3:24)
  • Aug 14: 27 miles (Time 2:15) this brings my new total to 1,084.52 miles (Time: 99 hrs 34 min)

I’ll keep up the biking (I’m participating in the National Bike Challenge which has been going on since May 1 & ends Sept 30 – more on that when it’s over) but my ave daily mileage will decrease as school begins and I’ll be logging more transportation/commuter miles.

Update: Aug 16: 25 miles (Time: 2:25), Aug 17: 27.5 miles (Time: 2:45); new total = 1,137.02 miles (Time: 104 hrs 44 min) clocked before my first class of the semester (starting from July 20th). I think my math is correct for the total time, a lot of adding and converting was involved. BikeFest is also coming up here in a couple days so I’ll get some more recreational rides logged.

Here’s to a fresh start!

Maybe we should call ourselves the febreze brothers because things are feeling so fresh right now.

Mind Blown

So much learning and applying from all the online/ MOOC classes I have been taking.

Nutrition, Health and Lifestyle: 

Over the course of 6 weeks I got to learn about what all is entailed in the above categories. From what a health diet is; the nutrition compared to the listed food labellings; what are dietary supplements and herbs and whether you should take them or not; differences in functional foods vs super foods; we looked at different plant-based diets (vegetarians, vegans etc); and covering how nutrition and fitness compliment and affect each other.


We were given before and after ‘surveys’ regarding our current diets and lifestyles and it was interesting to see the results post this course and how I’ve gain and applied the knowledge to my own life.

Exercise Physiology: Understanding the Athlete Within

With this class I learned more about the Muscles of the body and how they are Fueled. Oxygen’s role and how heat and fluids can affect performances. What sort things cause Fatigue and how to prevent it.

EP class

I had to utilize everything from the lectures, articles etc in a scenario involving an Iron-man athlete and complications that arose.

Social Psychology

This class was super interesting, I liked taking a look at and discussing how people operate. In this course I got a brief, though fairly in depth view on Social Perceptions & Misperceptions; The Psychology of Self-Presentation and Persuasion; Obedience, Conformity, and Deindividuation (this was a really good week); Group Behavior: The Good, Bad, and Ugly (as was this week); Conflict, Peacemaking, and Intervention then we finished with a more happy, positive ending about Romance, Empathy, and Life Satisfaction.

social psych classOur final assignment was very interesting: in the spirit of the Day of Compassion we had to participate in the Day of Compassion then write about our experiences. I enjoyed reading about the experiences some of the other students had encounter, especially those outside the US.

Generation Rx: The Science Behind Prescription Drug Abuse

I’ve just finished up this class. Very cool look into the sciences (and some applicable social psych) behind our cultures relationship with prescription drugs. We took at look at what is generation Rx and what that means; looked at some of the peer pressure sides “everyone else is doing it, so why shouldn’t I?”; busted some myths about prescription drugs such as “prescription drugs must be safer than illicit drugs,” “it’s only a problem if I’m trying to get high,” and “prescription drugs can’t be addicting.”

generation rx classWe also were challenged to come up with a PSA (public service announcement) which indeed proved challenging. I focused on more of the awareness side of prescription drug abuse via a poster. Results will be up soon enough!

Epidemics – the Dynamics of Infectious Disease  

I’ve just started this class this week, very excited to learn more as I progress through the weeks. This class starts off with the basics and continues looking at the dynamics of diseases such as the flu and why we’re worried about pandemics. The dynamics of childhood diseases such as the measles and whooping cough (now making a comeback) will be discussed. We’ll also be exploring Malaria as it is used as a case study of the involute of drug resistance.

ImageThis course will also go into the social networks of how diseases can spread from you to your friends and friends’ friends etc. As well as the vaccinations. Also discussed are how mobile phones, social media and crowd sourcing are revolutionizing disease surveillance and giving rise to new fields. I’m also excited they’ll be talks of zombies!  Though not human ones, but zombie ants whose brains are hijacked by an infectious fungus. Which is still pretty cool.

Society, Science, Survival: Lessons from AMC’s The Walking Dead

Ultimately though I think I am most excited for this class. Also just started this weeks but it’s something I’ve thought and discussed amongst friends for some time now. This course will look at the foundations for survival via Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs; Public health and infectious diseases; deconstructing society; social identity; they’ll also model a zombie outbreak; how one thrives on a post apocalyptic diet; will discuss new materials and the science of damage control; and the science of hope. Throughout each week these lectures will be applying each lesson or principle to the show and it’s characters as well as provide some inside talks with the instructors, staff and actresses/actors from the Walking Dead show.

zombies class

As you can see, there is quite a theme happening here with a lot of overlapping of knowledge from each of these courses I have taken and am taking.