Month 2: The Kettlebell Experiment

First a pleasant surprise: my arms and chest have increased about half inch, which is not a lot, however, judging from the base which is quite small, I’d say Kettlebell has the magic.

Right now I follow 2 different sets depend on my time and energy of that particular workout day.

If I feel strong, I’ll do the following:

Right Snatch for 20 seconds
Rest 10 seconds
Left Snatch for 20 seconds
Rest 10 seconds
Right Clean 20 s
Rest 10 s
Lest Clean 20 s
Rest 10 s
Squat 20 s
Rest 10 s
Squat 20 s
Rest 10 s

It took 6 minutes to complete the above and I can only do about 3-4 repeats of this. (for a total of 18 minutes to 24 minutes)

Conversely, it is easier to do the following because the rest time is a lot longer, usually I can continue for about 30 minutes in total.

Follow the same set above but take every action for 30 seconds.
Rest 30 seconds.
Change to the other arm and continue.

As far as I’m concerned I’m quite happy with the result, in short 2 months. I think I’ll stay put. My short term goal will be pushing the workout to about 40 minutes.

The long term goal is to reach my genetic limit for strength. According to Jacob in ERE, it will take at least one year or two.

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Lightning Storm

Below is a video clip to show the power of lightning storm that hit Toronto a week ago. That same night, my girl is so scared that I have to lie with her to get her to sleep.

Toronto Lightning Storm from Sam Javanrouh on Vimeo.

Fast Food Nation

Yesterday when I was with my girl in one of the Ontario early years center singing, one of the songs has lyrics like this:

Pizza hut, pizza hut,
Kentucky Fried Chicken,
and McDonalds.

Swiss Chalet, Swiss Chalet*
Red Lobster,
and Dairy Queen.

*a Canada fast food chain specialized in selling white meat.

The audiences averaged about 2 years old. My girl doesn’t even pronounce McDonalds.

I’m pretty sure that this place is Ontario government sponsored, has no affiliation with any of the aforementioned fast food chains, and has all the good intention to entertain kids while educate them. Nonetheless, someone wrote this song to “teach” our kids that when they’re hungry or thirsty, these are the places to go.

After the songs the snack time came. What parents or care givers pack for their dear little ones is 90% pre-packaged, industry-prepared foods. The cookies, the juice, the cheese, all came from big factory with ingredients labels that no one would be able to pronounce, let alone understand.

Incidentally, same thing happens when the day care center requires parents pack a lunch for outdoor trips. 90% of the foods are chips, cookies, energy bars, and juices. The other 10% is banana and non-peeled fruits. My girl got a real cheese sandwich with hard-boiled eggs, tofu and blueberry/strawberry, prepared by her mom in cute little boxes.

We sure look like aliens in this strange world.

Time, Money and Boredom without a job

I read Ram’s latest count of not having a job: 5 Myths about not having a job and thought it was pretty good.

A job is about trade your time for money. No wonder Ram’s 5 myths surrounds free time, routine, money, paycheck and boredom. It’s true that not everyone can survive financially without a job, but it’s truer that not everyone can live without a job happily.

One Month: The Kettlebell Experiment

If I remember correctly, behavior gurus like to say a habit will form and stay after one month sticking to it. Now that I’ve done my kettlebell workout for over a month, I see more than that.

I used to think that weight lifting is stupid. Why build the muscles you don’t use and get yourself big to consume the food you don’t otherwise need? The answer is that the muscle does more than the weight you lift. When muscles are strong, your posture is better and you get less sore and pain (out of say, computer use).

Beyond that you run better. You lift kids easier. You do chores with ease. And the most interesting thing is that you get instant positive thought boost after lifting weights.

Kettlebell workout is interesting in a way that it is not just the weight training. Most workout using kettlebell has cardio built into it at the same time. For example, I was quite pleasantly surprised that yesterday, I did a 3km run with ease.

After a month, I’m pushing my original workout to 5 repeat of this:

  • 20 Swing
  • 13 Clean (right hand)
  • 13 Clean (left hand)
  • 10 Squat (kettlebell on right hand)
  • 10 Squat (kettlebell on left hand)

I highly recommend this workout. As far as I know, it cannot get simpler, more efficient or cheaper than this.

Happy Birthday, Canada!

Earlier this year I got my citizenship. It’s a conscious decision and I’m proud of being a Canadian.

Today is my first Canada Day as a citizen. Let’s celebrate it! And let’s be grateful that we’re living in this enormous yet humble country.

Happy Birthday, Canada!

Week 2: The Kettlebell Experiment

Nothing magic happened, though I have a better sense how to do a good clean. I focused on getting the set into 30 seconds activity and 30 seconds rest.

  • 20 Swing
  • 13 Clean right hand
  • 13 Clean left hand
  • 20 Squat

Usually I’ll do this, take a shower and have dinner. I have not tried to do it in another time like after waking up.

This week I do have one incidence of using this workout to kill a headache. It’s pretty successful, way better than painkiller.