On Sleep

Sleep is something which occasionally eludes me. Take last night for instance, I was awake, and anxious about many things, most of which were unfounded.

Historically I’ve never been one to stress about sleep, and for the most part still am not. But a few years ago, which was a few years after Katrina, I had occasion to visit a specialist in sleep, who taught me about Sleep Hygiene. At the Mayo Clinic they talk Cognitive Therapy instead of pills. And in more general cases, offer great and simple sleep tips.

Most of them are common sense, and the rub comes in actually trying to make better habits regarding sleep. A big issue I was having at the time is, that after Katrina one of my physicians offered me mild tranquilizers, which made me drowsy. I offset that drowsiness with caffiene, and as a result ended up chronically caffeine toxic.

Things I remember fairly often are:

  • Most people wake up ten – eleven times per night. And the thing is to just stay in bed and nap, more or less, until sleep arrives again.
  • It’s not necessary to look at your clock or watch during the night to see what time you woke up. Just set an alarm for the last possible moment it needs to be set, and never worry about it again.
  • More than 16oz. of caffeine per day is considered too much.
  • I still break that one, fairly often.
  • Proper bedtimes, proper beds, proper diets, ect., all the usual suspects are rounded up in the Mayo Clinic handouts.

I’ve also been reading through Gray Hair and Black Iron, which is specifically for those over 40, 50, 60, 70, even 80 (I don’t think he mentions those over 90…)

The advice and technique is right up my alley, because it’s more or less what I was doing when I was last training regularly with free weights (as opposed to machines). Keep it simple, use the big lifts, warmup, stretch, cooldown, and allow for plenty of recuperative time. Growing older, this kind of happens naturally, still having it spelled out is always a good thing.) A lot more there, which I’m looking forward to working on regularly.

But recuperative time, of course, comes back down in part, to sleep. Which leads us back to the point and origin of this entire post.

With that…

Splash, out.

A Ride Around the Lake

One of the bike routes I’ve been training (straining is a better word here…) to do, is a simple ride around Lake Pontchartrain. Google has a great map of the route, put up by Joey Brooks.

I would link to Joey’s site, but it’s not there any more! His Vimeo page is still there… He used to run a great, informative site on every aspect of riding in and around new Orleans. But, since I spent years doing just that and no longer live in New Orleans, I didn’t venture over too often.

I guess cycling for a living doesn’t always pay the web hosting bills.

That being said… how difficult is it to figure out a way around the lake? The most difficult part is just doing it. At 140 miles, if I’m already doing 50, this should not be a terrible process.

Joey Bike Route

Genuine Strength

via Breaking Muscle

Saxon Bent Press
Heavily Photoshopped picture of Myself doing the Arthur Saxon Bent Press Several Years Ago

Here’s a quote from Arthur Saxon’s The Development of Physical Power that regards not just strength, but endurance, and health:

Genuine strength should include not only momentary strength, as proved by the ability to lift a heavy weight once, but also the far more valuable kind of strength known as strength for endurance. This means the ability, if you are a cyclist, to jump on your machine and ride 100 miles at any time without undue fatigue [yes, that is actually what I have been working on]; if a wrestler, to wrestle a hard bout for half an hour with a good man without a rest, yet without becoming exhausted and reaching the limit of your strength. Apart from sports, enduring strength means that the business man shall stand, without a breakdown, business cares and worries, that he shall be capable, when necessary, of working morning, afternoon and night with unflagging energy, holding tightly in his grasp the reins of business, retaining all the while a clear mind and untiring energy, both of body and brain. The man who can miss a night’s rest or miss a meal or two without showing any ill effect or without losing any physical power is better entitled to be considered a strong man than the man who is only apparently strong, being possessed of momentary strength, which is, after all, a muscle test pure and simple.”

Indeed.

Deadlift for Total Body Strength

deadliftsI’ve been out of town for a week and boy are my arms tired. And my legs. And my mind and my spirit. But it’s been a great week in so many other areas. Still, despite lots of walking, planking, some resistance band workouts, body weight exercises and stretching, there was not a lot of time or space to really feeling worked out.

Add to that the fact that several of the Priests I was staying with are exercise nuts as well. I felt good about that, and an affirmation to take the time needed for fitness and good health. In fact one of them is a Bishop who decided when he turned 50 that he could no longer simply run marathons, he needed the physical diversity of triathlons. #WINNING

A lot of my friends workout, some big time, some just to keep fit. Only one keeps a blog about it (that I know of at this point,) and his strength training regimen is driving me nuts. In a good way though, as in it motivates me to take it more seriously and to truly just get back into it for the sheer enjoyment it brings. deadlift form (And I say that in full recognition that the enjoyment it brings only comes after some hard work and commitment.) Since I started chatting with him online he’s put on 20 pounds of lean body mass, while I’ve walked all over creation, ridden my bike everywhere else, and have been slowly working back into proper form with gym lifts, and then this week feel like I’ve put on a few pounds. So, I’m feeling like a couch potato tonight, despite all the good thats been going on around here.

Which brings me to the point of this post, which is simply to post a link to an article on deadlifting, which is linked from Dan John’s site.

And then there are the top Google hits for deadlifting…

How to Deadlift
Deadlifting via Lean it Up
Via Men’s Health
Via Muscle and Fitness.

(The program I was using that got me started on the deadlift years ago is the Tall Man’s Ultimate Workout, which basically emphasizes the big lifts, Squat, Bench Press and Deadlift.)

Splash, out.