Tuesday, February 26, 2013

a slight change of plans

I've been keeping this a secret for a while but I'm going down to Virginia this weekend to visit friends. I leave Thursday morning and come back Sunday night. I'm not going to bring my P90X DVDs with me. I figure I'll just go for runs every day. Therefore I don't see much point in starting week 2 today just to do it a couple days and then go off it for a few days. I think what I'll do is just start the program over from scratch next Tuesday.

As for today, I went for a "daily double" run. This is the run I wanted to do yesterday, but only ran one "lap" (plus a little detour). I almost didn't do any exercise at all because I didn't get a lot of sleep and it was really REALLY difficult to get out of bed this morning. But since I'm going to a beer dinner tonight I knew I had to go for a long run and burn 1400+ calories to (hopefully) break even on the calories I'm going to take in tonight.

Chances are very slim I'm going to do any exercise tomorrow. As much as I love beer dinners, the morning afterwards is always a pain. It's the same morning after feeling as the day after Thanksgiving if you drank about 6 beers with dinner.

Oh yeah, I actually gained three pounds last week! I had a feeling that was going to happen. P90X is a double-edged sword. Yeah you'll get great muscle workouts, but even 75 minutes of what is essentially circuit training and/or calisthenics only burns 600-700 calories. Since I workout before work on weekdays it leaves me with only a short window to do anything more on top of that. Or I'm going to have to start getting up at 5 or 4:30am just to get in P90X and still go for a substantial run.

If I run 5-10 miles every day for the rest of the week I could theoretically get  those three pounds back... maybe. Though since I'm traveling I'm probably going to be doing a lot of dining out and drinking so my goal will be to break even when I weigh in next Monday morning.

See you then.

Monday, February 25, 2013

P90X Day 6: Kenpo X, running, and Stretch X

Remember the other day when I said I'm really uncoordinated and the plyometrics workout was both challenging and annoying for me? Well, I'd gladly take the Plyo workout over the "Kenpo X" workout any day. I knew what to expect with this one: a lot of punching and kicking. But it's punching and kicking in a set pattern in a set rhythm. If I thought I looked retarded doing the plyo workout, I must've looked like James Bond doing that workout compared to what I looked like today.

I dont know what it is about these type of exercises that involve what are essentially dance moves: step, twist, punch, kick, twist, step.... etc. I just cannot do them. I got about halfway through the DVD and turned it off. I was so frustrated at my failure to keep pace and the fact I could not get the moves down right at all. In my defense, Tony never gives a slow motion demonstration on the movements. He just jumps right into them on the assumption you know what he's doing. I'd imagine this is what it'd be like if I were to crash any martial arts training class and tried to blend in.

That's the problem with P90X - there's too many prerequisites required to do the program at the level they want you to. In fact, it's kind of a paradox. Isn't the whole point of P90X to lose weight and get in better shape? It seems to be a program that's intended for people who are already in peak shape and want to be able to pass for professional athletes. Well... maybe it's not that intense but there's definitely a learning curve here.

So after I turned off the Kenpo X video I decided to go for a jog. I was originally going to go for a long distance 10-13 mile run but wound up only doing 5.6 instead. Not bad, actually. Though my legs were still kinda stiff and sore from Sunday's workout. I'm actually surprised they weren't killing me like they were after the plyo workout last week. Whatever. Hopefully that means my body is adjusting to the routine already.

Did I mention I had the day off from work today? I spent the entire morning at the VA hospital at the eye doctor. That was a pain. I was originally going to get up early and get my workout in beforehand, but I thought since it was a day off why not take advantage and sleep in? By the time I started working out it was well past noon and by then I really didn't feel like it, but I'm glad I did.

So back to the workout. After I ran I decided that since I had time I'd give the "Stretch X" workout a try. This is the workout intended for rest days, though I'm not sure I understand the point of stretching cold muscles. An hour of straight stretching, even though it's mild for the most part, is a lot. Pretty much all the stretches in this program were used in the other workouts and some of the yoga moves were repeated.

What's funny is the two P90X DVDs I did today I don't think I'll do again. I stretch every day on top of what's included in the workouts so one day of extra long stretching doesn't seem necessary for me. As for Kenpo, well, I think those days I'm just gonna go for a long run. I know the whole point of THAT workout is to really get your heartrate up, but since I'm so uncoordinated I just couldn't get that much into it which meant I didn't workout too hard. Maybe these days I'll go to the gym and run on the treadmill at a really fast pace. We'll see.

Homebrew 11 ("Trap in Black IPA"): Part 3: Kegging and Tasting

It feels like it's been forever since I last posted anything on this homebrew. I was originally going to bottle it as normal, but I found a deal on a kegerator for only $280 with free shipping so I bought it. It arrived Tuesday but I wasn't able to even get started on setting it up until Friday night. And then that didn't go as planned because I was missing the proper tools and some of the fittings I had were the wrong size. So we finally got it all set up on Saturday afternoon and the beer wasn't ready to drink until Sunday night.

Thanks to Ryan Hope from Albany Brew Crafters for helping me set up my keg!

Here's the final recipe:

Brewed: February 3, 2013
Dry hops: February 10, 2013
Kegged: February 23, 2013
OG: 1072
FG: 1022
ABV: 6.56%
Average fermenting temperature: 65 degrees

STEEPING GRAINS: (155-160 degrees @ 15 minutes)
1lb Crystal 60 Malt
12oz Dehusked Carafa II
10oz Breiss special Roast Malt (50 L)
4oz Carafa III

Boiling Fermentable:
~8lbs Dry Malt Extract

HOP SCHEDULE:
60 Minutes Simcoe 2oz   Pellet
30 Minutes Chinook 1oz   Pellet*
30 Minutes Citra   0.5oz   Pellet
15 Minutes Citra   1oz   Pellet
3 Minutes Citra   0.5oz   Pellet
*Mistakenly added the entire 1oz bag at 30 minutes. Was supposed to add half at 30 minutes and the other half at 3 minutes. Oops.

DRY HOPS:
1oz Amarillo, leaf
1oz Cascade, leaf

WATER TREATMENT:
15 Minutes Irish Moss 1 teaspoon
15 Minutes Yeast energizer 1 teaspoon

YEAST:
Yeast harvested from a 2009 vintage bottle of Westvletern 8. Added to a starter (2 cups water + .5 cup DME, boiled for 10 minutes). Placed on a stir plate for ~16 hours.
Plus White Labs "California Ale Yeast" WLP001 (used same starter recipe)

WATER:
5 gallons Poland Spring water

Sunday, February 24, 2013

P90X Day 5: Legs & Back

The plyometrics routine feels like it was weeks ago, but today's workout had it all come rushing back to me. This is definitely an intense leg workout. The funny thing is there's very little weights involved. It's amazing how you can exert yourself using just your own body weight.

What's interesting is that most of these exercises I did last year. They're almost exactly the same as some of the bodyweight exercises on the "Fitness Buddy" app I have for my iPhone. It's been a good six months or so since I last did them. After what happened after plyometrics the other day I have a bad feeling that my legs are going to be sore tomorrow. If I wake up and they're killing me I'm going to take the day off from P90X. Tomorrow's routine is "Kenpo X" which I guess is a bunch of punching and kicking exercises intended mostly as a cardio workout rather than a muscle workout. I'm not looking forward to it for the same reason I said the other day: I'm have terrible coordination and no rhythm. I'm also a klutz so there's a pretty good chance I might accidentally kick the TV or knock something over.

Something I've noticed about this program is that Tony keeps saying "I gotta check on the kids." I'm sure he's just being his normal silly/corny self, but it is starting to get old (and I'm only 5 days into it). I realize he's in his 40s and most of the other people are in their 20s and 30s, but they're hardly "kids." If Jack LaLanne was the host of this program then I could understand that. And every time he says it I get the old "I gotta drop the kids off at the pool" juvenile joke stuck in my head. Oiy.

Lastly, I notice Tony keeps plugging the "recovery drink". What's funny is there's commercials for the official P90X supplements after every video and they pretty much say that Gatorade and other commercial sports drinks are junk science but theirs is the real deal. Did you ever notice that any food or drink product that you CAN'T buy in stores almost always says this about the stuff you can buy in stores? I never understand why if their product is so superior they don't just put it in stores!!!?

I tried selling Cutco knives for about a week when I was in my early 20s (and shortly before I joined the navy). Their rationale was the same: it costs money to get into stores so we sell it direct to the customer to pass on the savings. Yet their product is much more expensive than the stuff that's sold in stores. How much higher quality can this stuff be? It's the same thing with diet and nutrition supplements - "everything in stores is junk, ours is pure and works." Really? I'm not chemist but I'm inclined to believe it's more or less the same.

I bet P90X makes more money selling their supplements than they do selling DVDs.

Oh yeah, after the legs and back workout was over I was all ready to go for a run then the Ab Ripper X came on again. EXPLETIVE! I forgot about that. Well at least it's only 13 minutes. Though three days into it and I havent really improved much as far the number of reps I can do. The first few exercises KILL my lower back.

After all that was over I TRIED to go for a run, but my legs were just so fatigued from the workout I got about 200 yards, stopped and turned around and walked home. There's no way you can go for even an easy run after Plyometrics or Legs & Back (well not after the first week that is).

Saturday, February 23, 2013

P90X Day 4: Yoga

I wasn't looking forward to "Yoga X". I've never done yoga before. I've seen it on tv and in magazines and know people who do it or have done it, but it's always seemed silly to me. It was a little easier and more challenging than I thought it was going to be. Seems like Tony Horton takes his yoga really seriously.

The first 45 minutes is almost a boot camp style routine of doing similar exercises over and over and then adding a twist on each rep. For the most part I could keep up. The problem with trying to do yoga with a video is that your head is anywhere except looking straight forward at any given time. Tony doesn't really explain the moves that well, he does the routines on the assumption that you already know what it is. That's a major pain. I'm sure after doing this workout a few times I'll have an idea of what he's talking about when I'm not looking at the TV.

The second half was all stretches. Some of them aren't all that different from what I do on a daily basis. But some of them are just nuts. I also see he snuck in an additional 15 minutes of abs at the end there. The problem with P90X in general is that the people on the video are all essentially professional atheletes or just have very athletic bodies so they can do the routines easily. People like me can get discouraged when they can't keep up even though Tony tries to reassure us it's okay if we can't.

I can't believe the Yoga workout is 93 damn minutes! I'd think it'd be better if they split it up into two 45 minute workouts over two days. But if this workout always falls on a weekend it won't be that big of a deal.

What really shocked me was that after 93 minutes of yoga-ing I only bured 309 calories (according to myfitnesspal.com). I guess I can understand why because it's not really cardio intensive and it's not as muscle intensive as the plyometrics or the chest and shoulders workout. Basically yoga burns calories at about the same rate as walking.

I decided to go for a run afterwards. It wasn't too cold outside but it was drizzling. I haven't done the 4.81mile run I did every day in the summer probably since December, maybe November. It's technically a short run but it feels very long because it's quite hilly. One "lap" burns about 700 calories but takes 45 minutes to do. I probably could have (and should have) run another "lap" but then I'd have spent over three hours exercising in one day. So 1000+ calories is good enough for me I guess. My goal has always been to burn at least 1000 calories a day and it's a major factor in how I lost 40 pounds over the last year.

Friday, February 22, 2013

P90X Day 3: Shoulders & Arms

It probably was a good idea to take off yesterday. My chest was still hurting (though not as bad) at work all day and on top of that, so were my thighs! I've experienced this type of muscle fatigue before. No matter how good of shape I'm in at the time, if I switch to a radically different workout routine (well anything with weights, really) I tend to get pretty sore for a day or two. Though I've found that in the past my body adapts to the new routine rather quickly so the muscles don't get sore again the next time that new workout comes around.

So anyway today was shoulders and arms. It mostly involves using dumbells and doing a lot of the same types of curls I've done before. Nothing on P90X is traditional as far as I can tell. There's always a little spin on it. Today was definitely the easiest day so far. Because there are so many sets and reps involved I kept the weight pretty low and stuck to 5 or 10 pound dumbbells. Next time this workout comes around I'll up the weights a bit.

I'm considering getting two of those dial-a-weight dumbbells because they're great space savers. The problem is they're very expensive. Even walmart has them for like $50 each. I'll see if I can find some used ones on craigslist.

Today was the second time of the "Ab ripper X" workout too. It was the exact same thing from day 1. I was surprised, actually, because the whole point of this program is supposed to be muscle confusion. I thought they'd be completely different exercises today.

What I hate about ab workouts isn't the burn on my abs but that it hurts my lower back more than anything. There's been times when I've worked my abs pretty regularly and I would've been able to keep pace with them on the video. I definitely couldn't keep up. Thankfully it's only a 13 minute routine a couple times a week.

I finally ran today for the first time since last weekend. And I was only able to run 3 miles in about 28 minutes. I thought doing P90X at home would be a great time saver since I dont have to drive to the gym and back, but it's a good 75 minutes long and when I'm done it's at the point of no return where I can go run for 30-45 minutes and be able to get back in  time to eat something really quick (either oatmeal or cereal) and be able to get to work in time. I prefer to eat a hot breakfast like bacon and eggs and waffles and such, but as long as I eat something I'm happy.

I think tomorrow is Yoga. Never done yoga before. Not looking forward to it. It's over an hour and half long!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

P90X Day 3: no

Today should be Day 3 of P90X but it didn't happen for two reasons:

1. I went to a beer dinner last night and I woke up slightly hungover and definitely bloated. Doing physical exercise is the last thing you want to do the morning after a beer dinner.

2. I'm STILL sore from the first two days! My chest and arms were sore all day Wednesday and were only slightly less sore Thursday morning. On top of that my legs are sore from the Plyometrics. I knew that was going to happen.

So a day of rest isn't going to kill me. I'll pick up where I left off tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Chad9976 attempts the Tub Thumpin' Challenge



Yup it's time for another drinking challenge already! This is a response to Cult Moo's "Tub Thumpin' Challenge". This is based on that  song by one-hit-wonder Chumbawumba in the 1990s. Check out Cult Moo's channel at http://youtube.com/CultMoo

The rules are:

1. You must assemble a whiskey drink, a vodka drink, a lager drink and a cider drink and drink them in that order. The whiskey and vodka drinks must be actual DRINKS, not just shots. A minimum of 12oz is required of all four beverages and a minimum of 1.5oz is required of the whiskey and vodka, but otherwise you're free to use whatever brand you want. And yes the cider must be alcoholic.

2. The time limit to finish is 5 minutes.

3. Vomiting will result in a forfeit.

This will be my third drinking challenge. The Bud Light Platinum challenge was tough, can I make it through this one? No spoilers in the comments section, please.

P90X Day 2: Plyometrics

OK, P90X day 2 complete. Plyometrics. I'm just wondering - does Tony refer to EVERY workout as "the mother of all P90X workouts" or "this is the X in P90X"? Coulda swore he said that yesterday, too.

Definitely some hardcore bootcamp style stuff today. I couldn't keep the pace they were going on the  video, but I'd say I was at 80-90% in sync. One thing I realized (well something I already know, this just confirmed it) - I have no rhythm or coordination at all. I'm the whitest white guy ever. If anyone saw me through my windows they probably would've thought I was retarded trying to do some of these moves. Any move that involves jumping both legs off the floor high in the air I cannot do - I always manage to bring one leg up way higher than the other. Just cannot do both really high at the same time.

This is also why I don't dance - no coordination. I remember in third grade they made us square dance in gym class and I couldn't get it so I cried.I'd probably have the same reaction today if someone dragged me square dancing.

My chest is pretty sore from yesterday, but tolerable. I've done lunges before and my legs tend to hurt for DAYS afterwards. Ugh. Good thing today is Wednesday, hopefully my legs will be spry by the weekend. I am not looking forward to the next 48 hours.

But at least there wasn't any abs today. Woo hoo!

I probably could've gone for a short, easy run if I had started early enough. I shouldn't have slept in so late.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

P90X Day 1: Chest & Back

I started P90X today. It actually wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. I guess as a veteran these exercises were familiar to me. We did essentially the same thing in boot camp, except we did full body workouts instead of different areas on different days.

I barely even broke a sweat, but I definitely couldn’t do 12 or 15 pull-ups like the guys in the video. My arms are feeling very rubbery now after all the pushups.

How many calories do you think you burn doing 60-75 minutes of P90X? I entered “calisthetics – vigorous effort” into myfitnesspal.com and it said 797 for 75 minutes. That seems awfully high, doesn’t it? That’s the equivalent of a 5 or 6 mile run for me and I didn’t exert nearly as much energy (well at least it didn’t feel like it).

I’ll be interested to see how the next 89 days go.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Homebrew 11: Part 2: new yeast and dry hopping

If you saw the brewday video you know I attempted to ferment this Black IPA homebrew with yeast I harvested from a bottle of Westvleteren 8. Well, it didn't go exactly as planned so I added that California Ale Yeast I had and then dry hopped it a few days later.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Chad9976 attempts the Bud Light Platinum Challenge



A lot of challenges have been floating around YouTube for years. Where do they originate? Who knows? So I decided to start a challenge of my own.
Here's the rules:

1. You must drink three Bud Light Platinums (NOT regular Bud Light) in two minutes or less.
2. You can drink straight from the bottle or can or pour it into glasses or a large stein or mug (a minimum of 36oz required).
3. Timer starts as soon as it hits your lips.
4. Vomiting results in a forfeit (you can vomit after the 2 minutes are up).

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Chad'z Rare Beer Bottle Collection (2013)

If you've been watching my videos for a while you may have noticed across the top of the cabinets in the kitchen I have a bunch of beer bottles and cans up there. I've never actually made a video "cataloging" them, so I thought now was a good time to show them off. Just remember that "rare" is a relative term. If you live in California, Indiana or Belgium, a lot of these bottles are probably pretty common to you, but they're very rare in upstate New York. No, I don't have a Google Docs list of the collection this time. You'll have to watch the video instead ;)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Homebrew 11: Part 1: Brewing

My last few homebrews have been kinda boring, so I wanted to make something exciting again. The black IPA I brewed with Shaun last year was the best homebrew I had ever had a hand in making and since I still had the original recipe I decided to brew it again. But this time I asked for some advice by fellow members of my homebrew club - Albany Brew Crafters. The base recipe hasn't changed that much, just a few tweaks here and there. I'm really looking forward to seeing how this comes out.

Additionally, I used yeast that I salvaged from a bottle of Westvleteren 8 so it's going to be a Trappist Black IPA (if such a thing existed). And I have a new assistant this time - my friend Alisa who is my sister's husband's sister.
http://albanybrewcrafters.com
Here's the recipe:
Brewed: February 3, 2013
Dry hops: February 10, 2013
Bottled: February 17, 2013
OG: 1072
FG:
STEEPING GRAINS: (155-160 degrees @ 15 minutes)
1lb Crystal 60 Malt
12oz Dehusked Carafa II
10oz Breiss special Roast Malt (50 L)
4oz Carafa III
Boiling Fermentable:
~8lbs Dry Malt Extract
HOP SCHEDULE:
60 Minutes Simcoe 2oz   Pellet
30 Minutes Chinook 1oz   Pellet*
30 Minutes Citra   0.5oz   Pellet
15 Minutes Citra   1oz   Pellet
3 Minutes Citra   0.5oz   Pellet
*Mistakenly added the entire 1oz bag at 30 minutes. Was supposed to add half at 30 minutes and the other half at 3 minutes. Oops.
DRY HOPS:
1oz Amarillo, leaf
1oz Cascade, leaf
WATER TREATMENT:
15 Minutes Irish Moss 1 teaspoon
15 Minutes Yeast energizer 1 teaspoon
YEAST:
Yeast harvested from a 2009 vintage bottle of Wesvletern 8. Added to a starter (2 cups water + .5 cup DME, boiled for 10 minutes). Placed on a stir plate for ~16 hours.

WATER:
5 gallons Poland Spring water

Monday, February 4, 2013

ThinkGeek's Sliding Keyboard for iPhone 4/4s | Chad'z Smartphone Accessories Reviews #4

If you're an iPhone user you know it can be frustrating at times trying to type on the virtual keyboard. Wouldn't it be nice to have an actual physical keyboard you could use instead? Well, ThinkGeek.com has apparently answered your wishes with this device. But is it any good? Watch and find out.

You can buy this keyboard here:http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/ea6d

Friday, February 1, 2013

Chad'z Beer Glass Collection (2013)

Most of my collections have grown over the years, but my beer glass collection has actually gotten a bit smaller. That's because I only use about six different glasses total (if that many). The rest are just ones I haven't given away or sold (yet). Some of them I keep because of sentimental value. So here's what I have for 2013. The next time this collection video comes around I hope to have shrunk this horde even further.