Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pumping Carbon Fiber

1 x 200- warm-up
5 x 100- odd laps left arm/even laps right arm
5 x 200- 100- 0, 1, 2, 3/100- hard
1 x 400- odd 50 easy/even 50 hard
1 x 100- cool down

1 hour trainer
10 min warm-up
10 min hard/5 min easy repeats

Monday was the last full on drill day I'm going to do. I'm not going to stop doing drills, but I'm starting to feel the Honu breathing down my neck and I need to get better at endurance and speed. So the majority of swims from here on out will be harder sets with less drill focus.
The one arm drill was an experiment since I haven't tried something like that since I was being coached. It's a good way to focus on what each side of the body is doing, getting the stroke to lengthen at the front, and getting a good rotation. I need to remember to make each stroke in this drill a separate effort, I'm not just spinning my arm in circles.
During the 400 I started getting weirdness in the right elbow. I hope this will go away, it happens every once in a while. I can fight through it for the Honu, but I'd rather not spend the next few weeks wondering and babying a different injury. Bad enough being unsure what my AT is going to feel like each run.
I noticed during the Lanikai swim that my core wasn't as solid as it ought to be either. Part of that is the conditions of the race, I couldn't get myself into a happy body position. But still, something else to be thinking about.
Pumping Iron PosterAs I've written before, trainers are boring. I've tried podcasts, concert DVDs, and music to get me through. Yesterday I decided to go obvious- Pumping Iron. Yes, the 1977 documentary following Arnold through training and competing for his sixth Mr. Universe title. It is amazing. Sure, there are some slow parts where its five minutes of huge men lifting heavy things and grunting, but the insight one can glean into the mind of The Best Bodybuilder Ever is invaluable. Any time you can watch someone who is at the top of their game talk about what that means you should. The ideas transfer. His discussion of missing his dad's funeral because he was preparing for a competition, highlighting the killer mindset that made him the best, is very enlightening. And I would bet any other champion would watch that and nod knowingly. Plus, you can see James Cameron watching it and thinking, "This guy is my Terminator."
It being Arnold in the 70s, there are also some absolutely unintentionally hilarious moments. In the first scene after opening credits Arnold walks through Gold's Gym in Venice greeting the other bodybuilders. "Hey, Big Mike! Hey, Big Tony! Hey, Big Joe!" Seriously, either everyone's nickname is Big Their Name, or Arnold thinks he's funny. Either way, it's great. And the film ends with a triumphant Arnold laying on a couch wearing a shirt that reads, "Arnold is Numero Uno" and smoking a joint. Yes, friends, we have a documentary showing the former Governor of California feeling up models and smoking pot. How did he get elected? I guess we like being righteously indignant but we don't really care.
The main side story follows Lou Ferrigno, an up-and-coming bodybuilder, as he trains to topple the champ. You might know Lou better as the original Hulk from the old television show. No? He was on King of Queens too.
 I really enjoy the pose-off at the end of the film. Lou comes out and does his thing and you think, "Wow, that man is massive! Holy crap." You doubt Arnold can win. I mean, look at this guy! Then the one, the only, the Austrian Oak comes out. Ho-Ly-Hell. It's night and day. Arnold starts to go into a pose and you can't believe the size and definition. Then he actually flexes and BAM! You realize why he's the Greatest Of All Time. He's got this look on his face the whole time that says, "I can not be beaten." Everyone should watch, even if you don't care about bodybuilding as a sport. And I, honestly don't care anymore. The guys are freaks. But Arnold, he was the apex.


  1. That little Franco Columbo was crazy strong for his size!!! I think he is in the movie.

  2. Franco is. Wins for the under 200lbs class, but still loses to The One, The Only.

  3. I think I can hear Arnold now - "Aaaarrrgh...I'll be back!"

  4. I saw Arnold in a restaurant a few weeks ago and he is still in really good shape. It wasn't in Venice though, he's upstreamed himself to the greener pastures of Santa Monica. He must be hitting the weights again since he's unemployed.

    1. He was probably also in the new Expendables movie, so I bet he hit the juice, I mean, gym recently to get nice and big like his brother Sly.

  5. Are you gonna start adding "Big" to everyone's name too? Before you do, consider it only works well with names like Tony, Joe, and Mike. Not so well with names like Todd, Bruce, Dwayne, Leslie, or Diondre! (or Doug or Andy!) Hmm, how does "Big Grey" sound?