April 25th, 2012


Fitness update: Crossfit is kicking my ass

Just realized that I haven't been tracking this very well. For those of you who haven't heard of Crossfit (link: Crossfit Lawrence's site), here's what my hour there last night looked like:
  • Warm-up:

    • Stretching: Most dramatic part is using lacrosse balls, PVC pipe, and bars to target sore spots.

    • Lunges: Big step forward until rear knee almost touches the mat, then step up so that back knee touches chest - hold it for five seconds! - then lunge forward. Repeat until you reach the far wall (about 40 feet).

    • Turn around and do fast running-stuff: Step 10 times per mat as fast as you can until you reach the end of the mats

    • Turn around and do inchworm-things: With feet shoulder-width apart, reach down with palms flat (keeping feet flat). Now walk out with hands until back is staight, do a push-up, then walk feet back into flat position. Repeat until you reach the far wall.

    • More stretching. My mind blanks on what we did.

    • Squats, working on form. A lot of 'em, focusing on good knee position, using glutes and hamstrings to do most of the work, and form. Dip so that hips are lower than knees, touch bum on a short medicine-ball, then push up using mostly glutes. This is a warm-up for what's to come.

  • Now some training: Weighted squats with the bar across the top of the chest, against the throat. I believe it was about 100 pounds. We did what felt like a million of these, 10 per set, each of the two of us taking a break as the other did his set (okay, we each did about 5 or 6 sets). Yes, my heinie is SORE today.

  • Now we begin the "Workout of the Day" aka "WoD" - last night's was called someone's name I can't recall done "as many reps as possible" or "AMR"; here it is:

    • 5 jumping pullups: Push off with your legs and lower slowly.

    • 10 pushups: Good form is feet close, lower until chest just touches mat, all the way to arm lock.

    • 15 squats: Not weighted, hands out front on the bottom, at sides when fully upright.

    • Back to pullup bar: That's 1 set. Repeat for AMR in 8 minutes. My partner and I did 6 complete sets, then I managed the pullups and half the pushups before time. Egad, I was dying.

  • Then the coach had us stretch our calves on a raised bar: Yowza.

  • Now a final stretching session, using a giant rubber-band hanging from the pullup bar to keep the hip in position when he placed a big weight on one leg, then we push the other knee down as far as possible. HOLY CRAP. Got a cramp in the hip here, but it lessened over time. Apparently I'm pretty stiff there.

And that's what Crossfit looks like on a typical training night early in the process. Later on, after we are approved to join the others for group WoDs, the sessions are shorter but more brutal. You don't really take any breaks between these stages except to drink a little water, because the point is to keep the cardio going full-blast. I discovered my weakness right there: Cardio.

On the plus side: Things really do get better. After my previous session, my quadriceps (front-of-the-leg muscles) were SO SORE that I could hardly walk for two days afterward. I had been doing squats not-quite-right, using too much front of leg and not enough backside, plus I haven't exactly been a fan of squats, so my prep was crap. This time, they're not so bad, even though last night's workout was MUCH harder than the one that whacked me for days.

So: Progress! Soon, I shall be in the best condition of my life. <- That right there is my goal. Also to be ready for the coming Zombie Apocalypse.

PS: LJ's being dead precluded posting this yesterday; this was for Monday. I'll post an update later tonight or tomorrow about tonight's session....
write hard die free

Holy crap: Tor Books is dropping DRM on their ebooks!

Huge news from Tor Books, folks!

“Our authors and readers have been asking for this for a long time,” said Tom Doherty, Tor President and Publisher. “They’re a technically sophisticated bunch, and DRM is a constant annoyance to them. It prevents them from using legitimately purchased e-books in perfectly legal ways, like moving them from one kind of e-reader to another.”

About damned time. Not that DRM actually did a thing to stop pirates, as I discovered when my novel was pirated within a day of its Kindle publication. DRM does nothing but irritate legitimate e-information buyers, so I'm not surprised in the least that Macmillan finally made the leap, at least with Tor Books.

Good for them. Show your support by buying Tor/Forge Books, people!

Apparently, Macmillan consulted with Charles Stross about the topic, as he's long been a proponent of DRM-free books. Check out his blog entry for a full discussion.

We are entering the Age of Information Gets to Be Free - scary and exciting!