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This spring I woke up to find my self 5 years in the past and I ended up doing this really cool fad workout called P90X. After finishing / surviving my second marathon in December I was taking a break from running. I had developed Pavlov’s Dog Leg where every time I saw a running shoe my knees automatically started aching. P90X was good fun and I look a lot more muscular now and the best part was that I did it for 90 days without getting injured. I did have plenty of 3-day-aches in all my muscles, but I’ll take that over a hobbled Achilles tendon.
Ninety days ended up being a huge commitment, I don’t know if I’ll do it again, but I definitely plan on doing individual work outs here and there.
A few weeks ago I was wandering through Fry’s and I came across a program called Supreme 90 Day. It’s like a super budget version of P90X for only $20 (P90X is $140). $20 is a sweet spot for pricing because it’s worth a try even if it turns out to be terrible. So I thought I’d give it a try and I plan on posting a short review of each work out as I do them for the first time. I shall style Supreme 90 as S90 since it’s such a clone of P90X it might as well have the same snappy short hand.
First and foremost S90 is an imitation. The way I view it going in the absolute best S90 could be is equally as good as P90X. It’s not fair and if you don’t like it leave a comment and a link to your blog (you might be able to get your last name as a domain name unless your name could be construed in any way as a porn reference).
I didn’t do the P90X diet, but I read through it and it is pretty much a framework for a diet. It breaks the foods you eat into categories, gives examples of each and for each phase of the diet tells you how many to eat at each meal. For example phase 1 day 1 eat 5 proteins, 2 dairy, 1 fruit, etc… There are also sample recipes and a shopping list to take to the grocery store. It’s complete, it’s a framework, it’s flexible. The S90 diet is a little pamphlet that has 30 days of recipes. Not very flexible, not equivalent in any way. Since I’m not doing the diet it’s not a big deal but it’s a harbinger of things to come. P90X is 7X more expensive for a reason.
The most telling thing about the opening the box impression is that there is an insert for a cubic zirconium ring offer on the inside. I guess the market research by Telebrands came to the conclusion that people who work out also buy costume jewelry.
Major differences from P90X:
No pull up bar. If you don’t like pull ups I guess this is good news. I love pull ups. P90X got me a T-shirt from the Marines booth at an expo because I could do 15 dead hang pull ups.
Yes exercise ball. If you like your work out moves to feel even more like they are simulating sex (already have the sweating and grunting, why not add some hip gyrations in there). I’m actually looking forward to this as I bought a ball years ago and haven’t used it very much.
Shorter work outs. I cheated here, I’ve looked ahead at all the workouts to see their length. With P90X you are doing at least 60 minutes a day. Some days you do 20 minutes of abs after that and yoga days are 90 minutes. That was a big time commitment. I’m talking about getting up at 5:30 AM to do Sun Salutations before the sun has even risen. S90 workouts are 30 – 40 minutes. Much easier to stick to.
So we’ll see how the work outs go. I’ll put the good and bad up here. I’m going in with an open mind and I’m not out to trash any one. Also you’ll have to do with only my scintillating descriptions as I don’t think I’ll put any screen captures up because I don’t want to run into the strong arm of Telebrands’ legal staff. They make YOU pay the shipping and handling on the subpoenas. (ba -dum- ching). But at least you get to pay off your settlement in 100 easy payments of $39.95. Ok that’s the last one I promise.
The pool in my back yard has a mechanism that generates chlorine by electrically separating chlorine out from salt that you dump in. If I remember my chemistry correctly when you put salt in a solution the sodium and chlorine separate into ions, so I guess all you need to do is add an electron back to the chlorine and you’re good to go. You’ll see these advertised in real estate flyers as “salt water pools” but it’s not salty like the ocean. Ocean water is around 35000 ppm (parts per million) while the pool only needs about 3000 to function. I love it because a 40 lb bag of pool salt costs about $6 and I put in one about every 3-4 months.
The salt water pool presents its own maintenance challenges. This summer I’ve had a hard time keeping the chlorine level up in the pool. I’ve been leaving the salt generator up at full blast and there’s never more than 1 ppm. It’s also been a blazing hot summer and I’ve had to add about a half inch of water every week, I don’t know if that’s relevant. I started testing more than pH and Chlorine with some test strips that have extra tests on it and the alkalinity is also real high. Yesterday I pumped about 6 inches of water out of the pool and filled it back up from the tap. About 5 hours later the chlorine level had shot up to 2 ppm.
I think what was happening was that the evaporation of the water was causing a build up of something that was preventing the salt generator from doing its thing. Reading around on the interwebs I found that evaporation will cause the hardness of the water to go up because the minerals don’t evaporate out, this or the collection of something else that doesn’t evaporate out must diminish the salt generator’s efficacy. Hope this helps another salt pool owner out.
So I was browsing my hit counter to see info about my 1002‘s of fans (please note I use base 2 so 1002=810 ). Which reminds me of a good joke:
Why do programmers always confuse Christmas and Halloween?
Because DEC(25) = OCT(31)!
But I digress. As you may know I’m looking to find all the other Gangsteads in the world (there must be 1002‘s) and give them an email address. I feel so passionately about this goal that I made it a static announcement. See Are you a Gangstead? I noticed a visitor from my ancestral home land, Norway:
Very exciting. I wonder if he or she was a Gangstead, or even a Gangestad? Drop me a line my Norse brother.
I’ve been working on Don Quixote for over a month (five weeks to be exact). It is a little longer than I’ve been spending on books since I started taking the train to and from work every day. Having that daily hour and change of pure reading time means I plow through books in a hurry. I alternate fiction with non fiction and the non-fiction business type books are done in less than a week. Don Quixote was different.
I read an ancient and well-loved “abridged” translation by Walter Starkie. Even abridged its over 400 pages of single spaced type all the way to the very margins. It was slow to chew through but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m very glad I wasn’t assigned this in high school or in college because I would have hated it. I didn’t have patience to wade through a slow book for the delayed gratification of the Knight of the Rueful Figure trying to spank Sancho Panza.
Also I would highly recommend reading the Starkie translation and abridgment. Even though I haven’t and won’t read other translations to compare I found Starkie’s footnotes to give a lot of context to the jokes that don’t make sense 400 years out of context. Reportedly the full Don Quixote of La Mancha has lots of side stories where the milk maid comes in and gives tells her life story and wanders out and other diversions that aren’t even that interesting. I’m glad to not have read them because there is not going to be a Smarterer test on ancillary Quixote characters.
Next up on the reading list is Scorecasting which I was interested in from the plugs on the Freakonomics blog. Stay tuned.