#RippedLikeGoku and #VegetaStrong plus some political BS

It’s been a rough few weeks, mostly because of election anxiety. Those of you who follow me on Twitter or who are friends with me on Facebook probably know I’m pretty hot right now, very firmly in the anti-Trump camp. But either way, we’ve got about two days (not counting the rest of today) until this is past or until it’s perpetual. But at least I can appreciate the comedy in the man who wants access to the nuclear codes having his Twitter account taken away by aides because they don’t trust his self-control.

There’s a lot of tension between my family and I because several of them are Trump supporters and I’ve hit the point in my anti-Trump fervor that I refuse to have any empathy for his voters. Basically I consider Trump voters, at this stage after everything he’s said and done, to be bad people who implicitly approve of sexual assault, racism and fascism. Yes, including my own family. So that’s a bit tense since I do still live here with my parents post-Austin (one of which, predictably my Dad, is a Trump supporter) as I apartment-hunt and save my money up to actually do it, but hopefully that will start to get moving better soon once I’m out of here.

I’m doing NaNoWriMo 2016, as well. It’s still Buffer Week for me, where I write four pages, roughly 3,000 words, per day to give myself a buffer for later in the month. The only problem is between the move, my new job and election anxiety I did none of my usual planning and I’m now 18,000 words committed to a book that isn’t working. It’s fine, I can basically convert it to practice for nightmarish imagery and dialog, but it’s still a bit of a slog. Maybe it’ll get easier when the election is over. If Trump loses, at least. If it doesn’t I’ve never failed a NaNoWriMo since I started doing them and I don’t mean to start now!

My saving grace and guiding light, though, through all of this is fitness. Both regarding work and regarding my general life. It makes me happy to work out, and as I do my NASM study and get more knowledge I see my future career becoming more solid. And it’s primarily the fitness stuff I want to talk to y’all about today.

So I have a new routine! I scaled back a bit during my moving period and I’ve now amped it back up. This week I did a full workout six days and a run today. So I figure for shits and giggles I’d let you guys know what I work on each day. In general, I’m trying to get into as good or better shape than I was at RTX 2016, which was when I would consider myself in the best shape I’ve ever been in (175 pounds, about 15% bodyfat by a hair, my current stats being about 185 pounds and 17%-18% bodyfat).

So first off, I do a set of 15-minute HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) cardio before and after every workout, which means I do 12 of those per week. Normally I’m on a treadmill or a stepmill/stairmaster when I do that. So I’d plonk those in before and after each routine that follows on the list below. Some of this is a little bit malleable and I’ll explain why after.

Day 1: Lower Body. Deadlifts (formerly part of my back days because of their work on the erector spinae but since I do sumo-style thanks to my flexibility issues I’ve shifted them), squats, kettlebell swings and calves, with some other hamstring work as needed.

2. Koko FitClub Smartraining. I work at a Koko FitClub (the robot gym Ryan Haywood used to use in Austin before those franchises closed!) and do the workout prescribed to me on their Smartrainer machine. It’s a full-body workout with varying emphasis depending on the point you’ve reached in your chosen program.

3. Chest, back and arms. Rows, pullups, bench, and having a lot of fun arm stuff.

4. Koko Smartraining

5. Shoulders and more kettlebell swings

6. The Leftovers – namely, anything that wasn’t hit between my own routines and Smartraining. This week is was my calves (since I forgot them on Tuesday), my traps and my abs between the cardio sessions.

So this can be malleable for a number of reasons. First off, since Smartraining is a full-body routine with a varied focus when I check my workouts it might make more sense for me to do them on a day before one of my freeweight routines, which happened this week. Additionally, I might shift it for scheduling since when I do Smartraining I do it before leaving work, and the other stuff I stop in and change at home first. So this upcoming week I’ll do Smartraining on Monday and go vote to stop Trump on Tuesday before heading into the gym then continue as normal.

Either way, it feels great to be back up to six workouts a week. Now I just need to fix the fact that when it comes to fatty, greasy, delicious comfort food, things like pizza, cheeseburgers, burritos and steak bomb sandwiches, I have a will as weak as wet paper. If I can do that (which I have done before when I lived alone) I should meet or exceed my RTX shape in no time!

And if (which is a VERY BIG if) I can figure out how to do cosplay by RTX and manage to get myself as buff as I hope to be, you might see a “Savage” variation of a certain wild man of the woods in an iconic bearskin walking around. HMMMMM.

So wish me luck as I try to get #RippedLikeGoku and #VegetaStrong

Yes, I am hype for DB Super to come stateside.

Oh also, leave a comment letting me know what you think a fair price would be for me to do online coaching of some description. I have a few plans but just spitball at me, okay?

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#RippedLikeGoku and #VegetaStrong plus some political BS

My Computer “Still At’ent Dead” And Other Thoughts

“I STILL AT’ENT DEAD”

My computer turned on again. And with the help of a friend in tech it’s actually partially restored to it’s former ability. Not completely, but it’s hobbled now rather than crippled or dead. Not only that, but my move and jobhunt are both over so I can be more consistent about putting actual, quality content up on this blog again. Because what good is doing 52 blog posts in a year if all of them are “sorry this is so short but I’m busy and doing this for routine without putting any heart into it?”

So let’s recap my last few weeks. I moved halfway across the country as you know, but due to circumstances I was unable to transfer my Gold’s Gym job. That was unfortunate as Gold’s Gym was a wonderful place to work with awesome people. So after a quick hunt I got a few jobs. One is scooping ice cream between now and the winter for a friend. The other is a fitness coach at an elite fitness club in Brookline, Massachusetts. So that was a stroke of extraordinary luck, wouldn’t you say? That said I am caught between checks like an extended version of the last three days of a bi-weekly pay cycle. Once that comes to an end everything is basically back to what passes for my normal.

As far as non-work stuff, I’ve caught up with a good deal of my friends but there are still a few outliers whose schedules I haven’t been able to mesh with yet. There was a party where I drank vodka as though it were beer, and several shows ranging from local bands like Aminals, Actor|Observer and The Shallow End Divers to the original metal legends, Black Sabbath. At my youngest brother’s urging I played Shadow of Mordor on his Xbox One and it was actually a good deal of fun. I borrowed The Zen of Screaming for a friend of mine and I watched it and am making decent progress at screaming well. As I’ve mentioned previously I have a short story in a physical anthology and I’m prepping for NaNoWriMo, especially now that my work life is settling down. There’s still a lot to do both for work and for everything else, but the chaos of my life is more of the magnitude I prefer, which is still present but not much that I can’t keep my head above water.

So I hope all y’all had and have a great week and I’ll be back to doing real blog posts next week, I hope!

My Computer “Still At’ent Dead” And Other Thoughts

THE ARCANUM ANTHOLOGY IS OUT!

And it’s still kinda sinking in.

So I’ve done assisted self-publishing before, which means that if you dig hard enough into the bowels of the internet you’ll find troubled 20-year-old Joe’s work sitting around somewhere (and troubled 16-year-old Joe’s fanfiction if you’re really diligent). But this is a real story I’m actually pretty proud of that went through an actual editing process for a real anthology that was successfully crowdfunded in a week or so.

Yes, it’s true and it’s out: The End Of Nine Worlds, my short story about the Norse Ragnarok myth, has been released alongside art and fifteen other stories about myths and legends from all over the world in the Arcanum anthology! Now, with the permission and blessing of the Arcanum team I get to share it with everyone FOR FUCKING FREE in PDF form!

There are physical books in limited supply but I don’t have word on how that will work, aside from the fact that profits will go to (I am 99% sure) We Need Diverse Books.

Okay, enough of my chattering. You can find The End Of Nine Worlds along with the rest of the stories here, so give them a read:

The Arcanum: Mythology of the Ancient World

Thanks so much for the support over time and look out for more from me in the future!

THE ARCANUM ANTHOLOGY IS OUT!

Crazy Eventful Week

Holy balls, guys. That was insane.

So I started my new job on Monday and it’s fantastic. I have awesome co-workers and the work itself is actually very enjoyable. I also get to interact with gym rats all day long. Ah, my people! I’d say it’s a pretty awesome development in my life and it suits me much better than my last job, which means everybody’s happy. I even met [REDACTED] from [REDACTED], who is someone I enormously respect as a host and as comedic talent. Not sharing his/her name here though because he/she might not want to get swamped by fans during a workout.

As for non-work stuff I went to a “Farewell to the FORT” party and it was incredible! Between the chat on Griffon Ramsey’s Twitch and the people there in person I met a ton of awesome people. It was overall a wonderful experience and I’m glad I did it, and interacting with those sorts of people is one of the reasons I moved down here in the first place.

Aside from that I started my diet, and I’m getting into my normal work schedule next week. Which should also put my writing schedule back on track.

Happy Sunday, everyone! I’m going to write and listen to Jomsviking by Amon Amarth.

Crazy Eventful Week

Working on writing gubs

So I’m trying to make a book right now. Trying to do three pages per day for at least the entire month. So this is going to be super short because I still have an extra page left to do. I might also swim or walk around

Either way, I’ll also share this week’s Fir4RTX journal.

Okay, so I’m back up to my working weights from the week before SXSW, as planned. The next steps are to go above and beyond what I was formerly capable of. Ideally one-rep max’es with at least one “full plate” unit above what my previous ones were (so 225 for the 155 ones, 315 for deadlift) but we’ll see how it goes when I get there. As for now, my working weights are now higher than my goal q-rep maximums were even less than a year ago. Which is a pretty cool thing to realize and is a major confidence-booster. So is looking in the mirror to check your form and realizing your arms are getting defined.

It’s been very interesting going to the gym as my strength has rocketed up. Because while I try not to pay attention to what anyone else is doing it’s apparent more and more that there’s less and less people in the gym who are stronger than me. Obviously there’s always someone better, but it’s obvious that I’m making fast progress and I’m happy about it.

As for today specifically, it was my favorite day – namely deadlift and bench. I’ve noticed the only time I hit an actual problem is this day as well. This program is hard but doable, and this is hard but doable, but as whiny as it may sound… well, pullups (even assisted ones) after deadlifts are not easy on the hands! It’s fine, I can and do power through it, but it’s just an interesting thing I noticed about my workout routine. Deadlift was 225 pounds for a 5×5, bench was 135 pounds for the same, and I had 44 pounds of assistance on the pullup. I was honestly surprised by it, too, since I was very low energy this morning and didn’t know if I’d be able to get all this to work.

I tried to weigh myself but I ate breakfast beforehand, so I’ll try again tomorrow and try to remember not to eat beforehand, but like I said I was low-energy today and needed fuel. Chili, rice, and shin ramyun spicy ramen leftovers (I made chili earlier this week and I often add rice to it, and last night I also added the ramen because I felt like it).

Hope everyone is having a fantastic week!

Working on writing gubs

Operation KNITTING – My First Day Four, a Big One

​Yeah I really don’t have a lot of commentary for you guys today. I feel different now. Better, just… better. It’s hard to explain it more than that. With the absence of the fear from my lack of employment (still don’t know when I’d be starting exactly but I should hear back soon) combined with the deliberate practice I’m doing here it’s having an appreciable effect on the way I think and act while at rest.

So let’s get on to my usual list, shall we?

1. HOLY FUCK KILLING JOKE WITH KEVIN CONROY AND MARK HAMILL! I’m not a huge comics guy but I genuinely enjoyed Killing Joke and to hear “my” Batman and Joker will be reprising their roles just makes me overjoyed. Because let’s face it, to most millennials those voices ARE Batman and the Joker.

2. It was over 90 degrees Fahrenheit in Austin today, and sunny. I had my windows open all day long to let in the fresh air. My apartment got up to 86 and I’m in heaven right now.

3. This one I may need to phrase a bit obscurely just because on ongoing whatevers, but I may have a uniquely well-suited opportunity in the near future (albeit one that is not writing related). I don’t see why it wouldn’t play out, but still, I don’t want to go counting unhatched chickens. However even the possibility (and pretty significant likelihood of that possibility being realized) is exciting. #teaseteasetease

4. Speaking of writing, doing some worldbuilding today. It’s a fun thing to do that’s probably the easiest thing about writing because it’s just listing all the cool shit. It’s basically just stretching, the equivalent of a mobility routine for your body only in your brain, but it’s a good way to get back in the groove.

5. In fact, I think I’ve had ideas come easier and more freely since I got the “congratulations we’ll follow up soon to tell you when you start” from the dealership. I think the fear being gone has basically opened the floodgates back up. Basically I apparently write the way people in disaster movies fuck: “oh God I’m so glad to be alive well you’re hard enough to work with lets GO.”

That went to a REALLY weird place. Good to know my absolutely vile sense of humor is recovering apace with everything else.

Anyway, I’m probably going to spend tonight in. My next real SXSW-related thing is Wednesday when Aminals are playing at Dirty Dog, but we’ll see if I don’t go in to do anything else tomorrow.

Operation KNITTING – My First Day Four, a Big One

Operation KNITTING – Day Three Down, With A Struggle

​I just wish people would stop talking about Donald Trump. That’s only helping him, even when you point out that he’s an obvious fascist who wants to fuck his own daughter, and whenever I see that face I get a flash of anger that I have to struggle to control. I managed to keep it today, but I really wish people would shut up about him.

Anyway, today was pretty hectic in a good way whenever I wasn’t on the Trump-infected internet, so damn do I have some good points to bring up.

1. I tried Torchy’s Tacos at last! I got the Mad Cow and the Matador, and they were as magnificent as I was led to believe.

2. I’m not sure if the album is out or not yet, but Skuggsja, made up of members of Wardruna and Enslaved, is some genuinely awesome epic Norse Metal. I’ve seen Enslaved live but not Wardruna, and enjoy both. This combined effort does not disappoint so far (the link is to an officially released track on their label’s actual channel, don’t worry).

3. Now that my jobhunt is over my brain’s energy has returned to creativity. I already have some work started today that I’ll continue tomorrow. Good work, or at least a good starting point. Three characters and one relic from a bygone story.

4. Tomorrow I might get to meet one of the podcasters from Writing Excuses, a podcast I listen to religiously. Dan Wells is debuting the film adaptation of his first published novel, ​I Am Not A Serial Killer​ and has mentioned that a meetup was possible. Unfortunately I’m not at the premiere right now, but I’m still thrilled that it exists and am eager to see it! Hell, I don’t even like horror movies, but I am still crazy hype for that one!

5. SXSW was a lot more low-key for me today, but I tied it into my #AustinSundayAdventure hashtag on twitter and instagram which meant I got a lot of sun and one free Shiner when I went to an otherwise-lackluster unofficial party. 

Operation KNITTING – Day Three Down, With A Struggle