Author Archive Ickey Shuffle

Topo Chico Hard Seltzer in Stores March 29th

This morning at Anvil we had thirteen PAX including one FNG and were greeted by the first morning of the season that felt downright pleasant.  I think the gloves can safely put away until November or December, and maybe even washed.  I was thrown for a bit of a loop right from the start because based on the usual attendees of Anvil, I was expecting three things to happen:

  • To be heckled mercilessly
  • Refusenik-ing galore
  • Very little participation in cadence counting

Instead, the group was very affable and good-natured, so I had to adjust my expectations and press on.  We began with a jog to the Astroturf pavilion and upon arriving the sign out front let us know that we had entered a designated mask zone.  Outside.  Really.  Seeing no Karen Fauci types around to scold us we warmed up with the usual group of exercises.  Surprisingly, we had nearly full participation in the side straddle hops, sans Hops.  Far be it from me to judge (kidding, I love judging) that’s a weird exercise to boycott.  I save my refuseniks for truly dumb things like burpees.  Following the warmup we set off for the Avenue of Trees.  Four rounds of a hard run to the end for merkins, squats, and Freddie Mercurys (20x, 15x, 10x, 5x reps) and a recovery jog back.

Next up a run to the hot box for bench work.  First up was 50 dips then run to the end of the sidewalk and back.  Next up was 20 incline merkins, 10 decline merkins, run out and back.  Third round was 20 split squats, out and back, and lastly was 20 step ups.  We had about 15 minutes to go in the workout by this time, so the instructions were given to run to the rock pile.  Someone asked me if I meant the pile on the way back to launch or the far away one on the other side of campus.  Bro, have you met me?

Upon arrival at the rock pile we had another question, asking if we were getting lifting rocks or running rocks.  Again…I thought you people knew me.  First exercise was the Sots Press, which is the overhead press while holding the squat position.  Look, you people can give me all the dirty and disapproving looks you want, but I’m going to keep calling the Sots Press because it’s a great exercise and everyone should do it more often.  Next up was the overhead squat and four rounds of curls and triceps extensions.

Lastly return to the launch lot for some Mary, mostly the usual exercises but I mixed in some of the isometric holds we do at Swole/Meathead/Olympus.

Mumblechatter seemed light this morning, which usually provides me fodder for backblast titles and material.  I didn’t hear much that would give me an opportunity to go off on a rambling, loosely tied together tangent.  However, it was good to see that some things remain constant.  Snowflake still runs in and out of workouts, Rachel is still really fast, and Puddin still farts loudly during Mary.  In an ever changing world, it’s nice to have some things remain constant.  With little inspiration to work with, I’ll use the title of the backblast to pass along song useful information that I’m sure Clover (Area 51’s hard seltzer Q) would want everyone to know had he been there this morning, which he was not.

We had one FNG this morning, who we named Poblano.  His last name is Scoville, like the heat units used to judge peppers and hot sauce.  He is also a former collegiate baseball player at the state university of New Jersey, so we had a few areas to work with.  The creative juices were flowing about as well as molasses rolling uphill in January and the suggestions flamed out quickly, much like the Big 10 and ACC in the NCAA tournament.  We settled on Poblano because it’s a fun word to say.  Not many announcements today, but please keep the Palmer family in your thoughts and prayers.  Check Slack for some upcoming challenges/events.  High Tide has a functional strength challenge later in May, with divisions for Respects, Meatheads, and mortals.  Flipper has a couple things out there as well that I haven’t been able to read all the way through yet because, Flipper.  In closing, we’ve hit that short stretch of perfect weather for afternoon patio happy hours so hopefully we’ll see some organized via Slack/text/email soon.

A Shot in the Dark Beats a Walk in the Park

Only four PAX this morning for what is hopefully the last chilly gloom of the season.  As a group we decided that today’s musical selection would be to listen to and review AC/DC’s new album Power Up.  There would have been five of us, but at 5:28 am I received a text from Voodoo saying that he was wrapping up some work for a client in Ireland and wouldn’t be able to make it.  I assume this mystery client was Bono, Pierce Brosnan, or Conor Macgregor since those are the only notable Irish people I can think of.  Maybe Sinead O’Connor, though I’m not certain she is still among the living and can’t be bothered to look it up.  Mighty Mite wondered aloud if this was a ruse to avoid any discussion of UVA basketball.  Later in the day I received another text from the Nant’an asking when the backblast would be posted.  The audacity.  Anyway, on to the day’s activities:

EMOM Sets of 10 rounds/6 reps of heavy swings

AMRAP Sets for 15 minutes of 10 merkins, 5 sumo high pulls/upright rows (there was some discussion on what the proper term is, but I like sumo high pull) and 2 clean & press each arm

Active Recovery set of 50 swings

Three sets of mixed grip heavy carries and deadlifts followed by some core work to round out a solid start to the week

Initial thoughts on the new AC/DC album is that fortunately is sounds like AC/DC.  It’s essentially blues grooves and driving rock beats played through heavily distorted guitars over a shuffle drum beat supplemented by sexually suggestive lyrics, catchy hooks, and numerous ways to use the word “rock”.  Personally, I don’t really want a band like AC/DC to grow as artists or exploring the proverbial studio space.  I want stripped down straight ahead rock and roll.  Anything more than four chords is jazz fusion.  In short, Power Up is superior to approximately 98% of the dreck released over the past twenty years.  Long live rock and roll, may it once again rise and stand at the forefront of popular music.

The Eagle Flies at Dawn

The latest iteration of Meathead continued the double bell strength program and ten PAX girded up their loins to tackle a midweek meltdown centered around the clean and press.  It was actually eight PAX at 5:30 with Frehley’s Comet and Focker rolling in (separately) during warmups.  As an aside (I tend to go off on tangents) YHC recently learned that to gird up one’s loins means for a warrior to gather up and fasten a loincloth so it does not impede his movement on the field of battle.  Previously, the only context I had for this phrase was Eddie Harris’ pre-game prayer in the movie “Major League”.  Is very bad to steal Jobu’s rum.  Is very bad.  As an aside to this aside, have we named somebody Jobu yet?  We should name somebody Jobu.

Warmup: SSH, IW, Sharon Towers

Double Clean & Press Program: 10 rounds of a single rep going heavy on the weight.  Only having single weight bells, YHC paired up with Voodoo and his set of gray, rattletrap bells which he refers to as “62’s”.  I am assuming that 62 referred the pounds that we use in these United States and not the kilograms used by all but three countries on Earth (shoutout to Myanmar and Liberia) since 62 kilograms would equate to about 137 pounds.  Myanmar is currently in the throes of a military coup, which is always exciting, and also used to be (or maybe still is) called Burma.  I’m going to assume that Burma is the home of the Burmese python, which as I learned from living in Florida for a few years, is overrunning the Everglades since people bought them as pets without realizing how big they grow and then release them into the wild.  Because, Florida.

The Eagle: When deciding on the middle part of the workout, I saw something called the Eagle on the second tab of High Tide’s spreadsheet of kettlebell knowledge which is akin to the Necronomicon from “Army of Darkness” as they both bring pain and suffering.  It consists of 8 rounds of 8 double front squats followed by a 20 meter farmer’s carry.  We estimated the 20 meters with 8 parking space lines.  This was about as much fun as a military coup in Myanmar.

5x5x5: The third phase was 5 rounds of 5 reps of deadlifts, swings, rows, sumo high pulls, and merkins.  Finish up with outsourced Mary and we’re one workout closer to the weekend, which is sometimes referred to as “when the eagle flies on Friday”.

The playlist was a bit uninspired as the 2.1 had a late basketball game last night, and after getting the children put to bed the M wanted to catch up on “This is Us”.  It’s a decent show, but I am always a bit unsettled during the parts where they make the lovely Mandy Moore appear old and struggling with dementia.  In YHC’s opinion, MM should always be shown as young and vibrant as she was when she burst into our consciousness in the music video for “Candy”.  Today’s selection was the soundtrack from Rocky IV, mostly because it has been lodged in my head for awhile since I stopped for coffee one afternoon and realized the place was playing the entire album.  Needless to say, that particular Dunkin Donuts has earned my business.  We mixed in some one offs from other movies like “Over the Top”, “Top Gun”, “The Karate Kid”, and “Caddyshack” but there wasn’t an overall theme.  I’ll do better next time.  Maybe my next Q will be a Mandy Moore/Motorhead mashup.

Sonic Surprises and Senior Day at Swole

We are approximately one month into the new strength and conditioning program at Swole, Meathead, and Olympus and today the featured exercise was the kettlebell swing.  Six PAX began their week on the good foot and gathered in the drizzly, murky parking lot of a nondescript office building in suburbia.  With the Q still in a celebratory mood following the Alabama Crimson Tide’s 18th national championship a fair to middling disclaimer was given and we got down to business.

Warmup: 18 SSH, 18 Imperial Walker, 18 Mountain Climbers then onto the heavy swing portion of the workout

Senior Day Celebration:

Ten rounds of six heavy swings every minute on the minute

Next up was a 15 minute AMRAP complex designed to build muscle and highlight the careers of Devonta Smith (#6, Your Heisman Trophy winner and AP Player of the Year), Mac Jones (#10, America’s Quarterback and your Unitas Award winner), and Najee Harris (#22, Your Doak Walker Award winner).

6 Squats and 6 Deadlifts, 10 presses each arm and 10 rows each arm, 22 LBC and 22 Freddie Mercury.  #RTR  #MTAQ

After that the PAX were undoubtedly feeling like Ohio State’s defense trying and failing to keep up with the most prolific offense in the long and storied history of collegiate tackle football.  It’s probably tough to get into playoff shape playing only half of a season however, and battles with such titans as Indiana and Northwestern probably leave little in the proverbial tank.  #SarcasmFont

At this point Sasquatch decided that discretion was the better part of valor and disappeared into the darkness, much like Notre Dame in a New Year’s Day bowl game.  Legend has it that on a quiet night you can still hear the Alabama running backs stampeding untouched through the Irish defense.  We then did three rounds of a strength building complex consisting of 6 one armed chest presses on each side, 10 skull crushers, and 22 flutters.  Fatigue was setting in, but it was time for heavy carries so we pressed on, as champions do.

Finish with three rounds of waiter/rack/suitcase carries, then three minutes of heavy swings, and the hardest part of the week is over.

On the musical front, YHC decided to throw the PAX a curveball.  Instead of the standard fare of hair metal of classic rock, the playlist was straight outta the mean streets of West Chester, Ohio.  If you grew up with the channel called Video Jukebox you were reunited with some old hip hop friends, and if weren’t so lucky, you probably were left with some mixed thoughts about those people who represent the 513.  Either the hip hop genre peaked circa 1993, or YHC has no use for anything in the category after then (except for Nelly of course).  Playlist included Biz Markie’s “Just a Friend”, Sir Mix A Lot’s “My Hooptie”, Rob Base and EZ Rock’s “It Takes Two”, Young and Restless’ “B Girls”, Paperboy’s “Ditty”, Positive K’s “I Gotta Man”, Candyman’s “Knockin’ Boots”, Run DMC’s “It’s Tricky”, Young MC’s “Bust a Move”, and Skee-Low’s “I Wish”.  Voodoo really enjoyed “My Hooptie” for the record.  Unfortunately we didn’t get to Naughty by Nature or Nate Dogg and Warren G, lest things get too turnt as the kids say.  Regarding the Video Jukebox channel, this was a service where you would call a 900 number, pay a small fee, enter in the code for a song and then watch the corresponding music video play.  The smoother middle school boys would talk to a girl in between classes and make sure that the object of their affection would be watching that afternoon and then dial up a romantic slow jam such as Surface’s “The First Time” or Stevie B’s “Because I Love You”.  The Video Jukebox channel was the ultimate wingman.  There was also nothing better for getting hype in 1990 (as the kids say) as when you’d be watching The ‘Box and a call would come in and you’d see the digits 671 appear at the bottom of the screen because that meant momentarily you would be going to the extreme to rock a mic like a vandal and rollin’ in a 5 point 0 with your ragtop down so your hair could blow.  Simpler times.  Word to your mutha.

Tis The Season For #Gainz

Failing to realize that today is a bank holiday, YHC agreed to Q Meathead earlier this week and the dream of sleeping in was dashed.  The one upside to this prolonged house arrest period however, has been the discovery of the post F3 nap.  Knowing that the blissful 6:45-7:30 am slumber awaited, five Pax tackled a strength and conditioning workout in the friendly confines of Calvary’s hotbox, since the Q had less than zero interest in standing around swinging kettlebells in the rain.  Today’s playlist had the potential to be controversial for an 11/11/20 workout, but seemed to be well received.  I decided to go with Christmas music this morning even though normally I am in the not before Thanksgiving camp.  With all that has happened this year, the opportunity to spread joy and good cheer needed to be seized.   Also, my Spotify Christmas playlist had already been created years ago and required no additional effort.

Warmup: Not a fan of them

Round 1: Alternating Swings & Merkins from 10 reps down to 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 then 25 LBC to catch our breath

Round 2: Alternating Swings & Squats from 10 down to 1 then 25 LBC

Round 3: Alternating Swings & Wide Arm Merkins from 10 to 1 then 25 LBC

Round 4: Alternating Swings & Deadlifts from 10 to 1 then 25 LBC

Round 5: Alternating Swings & Diamond Merkins from 10 to 1

That got us to 275 swings.  Or 265.  Or 250.  Or 270 depending on who you asked.  After Ernst & Young verified the results we did the remaining 25 swings to get to 300.  Next up was three rounds of split squats and dips and we were joined briefly by the Anvil Pax led by Ductwork and his eight tiny reindeer.  One minute of elbow plank and we were finished and now we can move on to naptime.

Now for the part you people actually care about…the Christmas playlist clocks in at 3 hours and 35 minutes and is chock full of auditory presents.  The elves of random shuffle gave us The Royal Guardsman’s “Snoopy’s Christmas”, The Jackson Five’s “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”, The Angelic Whitney Houston’s “Do You Hear What I Hear”, Robert Earl Keene’s “Merry Christmas from the Family”, Bryan Adams’ “Christmas Time”, Billy Squier’s “Christmas is the Time to Say I Love You”, The Ramones’ “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)”, Alan Jackson’s “Please Daddy Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas”, Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” and of course Mariah.  This is the time of year where Mariah awakens from her yearly slumber ready to dominate the next month and a half.  Some of the gems we didn’t get to include “Mamcita Donde Esta Santa Claus”, “Dominick the Donkey”, “Christmas in Hollis”, “Mele Kalikimaka”, and Weezer’s version of “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”.  The weather may be warm and muggy, the trees may still have most of their leaves, and the Big 10 may not have had their front-runners drop games to lesser teams in embarrassing fashion, but this morning we officially rang in the Holiday season.  It’s been a pretty messed up year, so in YHC’s opinion we should go nuts for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.  If something is worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.  Buy too many presents for your family, cook a second turkey, break out the good wine, play Christmas music, put up more lights than are tasteful and necessary.  Let’s make the next seven and a half weeks memorable.

 

Ain’t Talkin’ Bout Swole

Eight pax gathered to start the week off on the right note, by swinging iron and celebrating the music of America’s greatest rock and roll band, Van Halen.  This was YHC’s first Q since Eddie Van Halen passed away earlier this month, so I wanted to pay tribute to the band that has provided the soundtrack to many of life’s best moments.  The playlist consisted of YHC’s favorite song from each of the band’s studio albums.  Live albums, best of albums, and one offs from movie soundtracks were omitted.

The warmup was basically ceremonial and lackadaisical due to the Q’s general indifference to warming up.  We jumped in to the main event consisting of sets of 20, 15, 10, and 5 swings paired with merkins, then deadlifts, then curls, then triceps extensions, then weighted crunches.  Some various core exercises were interspersed to break up the rounds.  Following five rounds, we had completed the requisite 250 swings, but since you can find an extra gear and do anything while listening to Van Halen, we did an extra 50 swings.  I hope Eddie would’ve liked that.  Next was three rounds of goblet squats and clean and presses.  Some weighted carries and bonus swings were enough to get us to 6:15 without having to do the dreaded elbow plank and hollow body hold.

If it seems like YHC rushed through the portion of the backblast about the workout, then that is correct.  I really just want to write about Van Halen, my favorite band and one who’s music has brought me massive amounts of joy throughout my life.  I remember the first time I heard a Van Halen song like it was yesterday, even though it was in 1984 and I was about six years old.  It was a Sunday morning and I was watching a music video weekly countdown show on broadcast TV (we didn’t yet have cable).  The video for Jump came on and it was like nothing I had ever heard.  From that moment on I was hooked and would devour everything the band ever recorded.  In junior high and high school my pregame hype music was Van Halen.  When I got my driver’s license the first CDs I played in the car were Van Halen.  You can hit 90 mph in a Toyota Tercel when Panama comes through the speakers.  The morning of my wedding I played Van Halen II a couple times through.  I think we all have that band or singer that resonates with us for some reason and sets off a tuning fork in our souls.  It’s incredibly sad that Eddie is gone, but any opportunity to celebrate the music left behind makes for a good day.  Rest in peace Eddie, and thanks for everything.

Playlist:

Runnin’ with the Devil (Van Halen I)

Dance the Night Away (Van Halen II)

Take Your Whiskey Home (Women and Children First)

Hear About It Later (Fair Warning)

Where Have All the Good Times Gone (Diver Down)

Panama (1984)

Summer Nights (5150)

When It’s Love (OU812)

Poundcake (For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge)

Can’t Stop Lovin’ You (Balance)

Without You (Van Halen III)

Tattoo (A Different Kind of Truth)

Swing Sammiches

What you are about to read is called a Backblast.  It is something that used to be written and posted to the world wide web that would summarize a workout, possibly make the reader laugh, and sometimes impart nuggets of wisdom.  Currently, backblasts are as rare as finding flour, toilet paper, and ground beef on a single Harris Teeter run.  Unless they come out somewhere called “Waxhaw”, which I’m not even sure is a real place that exists.  “Waxhaw” sounds like a karate instructor from Mississippi trying to teach a pupil to block punches by rubbing turtle wax in a circular motion on  and off a fleet of classic cars.

Back to the matter at hand.  Nine of us gathered this morning to pursue strength and knowledge while not running a single step.  The current program’s core element is 250 swings per workout supplemented with other kettlebell and bodyweight exercises, and now that we’ve been at it several weeks, the pressure to come up with new combinations was weighing on me.  Also weighing on me was the pressure to come up with a playlist that would motivate, entertain, spark conversation, and elicit appreciation for the artists.  My last playlist was curated around my first love, Sunset Strip Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, and was pure auditory bliss.  Not everyone has the proper reverence for this era however (I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed), so I went in a different direction for today.  Play button pressed, we jumped right in to the first of five rounds of the swing sandwich, which is 20 swings (the bread), 20 weighted crunches (the cheese), 10 clean & press (the meat), and 20 swings (the other bread).  In between rounds we mixed in merkins, chest presses, flutters, and deadlifts.  With 200 of the 250 swings now complete, we topped it off with a final set of 50 swings so we could move onto some personal favorite exercises.  Next we did three rounds of overhead squats and three rounds of the Sots Press, which is a wonderful exercise that is as awkward to perform as it is difficult.  I noticed a lot of “modify as necessary” on this part.  I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed.  A handful of core exercises capped off the morning as dawn was breaking and the geese were defecating.  A threatened/promised fly by monkey humping from Spackler and the Anvil crew never happened, so they must’ve been having too good a time over on Five Knolls.

Today’s playlist focused on alternative rock hidden gems from the mid-nineties and seemed to be well received, I even had some requests to share it so I’m calling it a win.  We didn’t get to the selections from Letters to Cleo, Buckcherry, and Goldfinger though, so I enjoyed those on the drive home.  The next playlist may involve professional wrestling entrance themes, but the idea is still percolating.  Only a handful of announcements including the upcoming blood drive being spearheaded by Mighty Mite and Beetlejuice.  At least I think that’s what Mighty Mite was saying, it’s hard to make him out from 45 feet away.  There’s a happy hour tomorrow at the cougar bar in Ballantyne, I can’t remember the name, but you know the one.  There’s an Iron Pax challenge going on, and undoubtedly every rep of every exercise will be done with perfect, Chelms-esque form. In closing, let’s recommit to writing quality backblasts (insert jokes about starting that right after this particular backblast) so we can read about places other than Waxhaw, or Narnia or whatever it’s called.

Thank You For Being A Friend (#BlameVoodoo)

We find ourselves midway through the eighth week of the twelve week strength program, and today’s workout was particularly awful.  The program currently has us in the throes of snatches, several rounds with little rest in between.  Six of us bid adieu to our Anvil friends and got to work as they disappeared into the South Charlotte fog.  This morning’s workout consisted of:

5 rounds of press ladders (1, 2, then 3 reps per arm)

5 rounds of puke inducing snatches (10 reps per side) with a scant 15 seconds of rest in between (#Absurd)

4 rounds of 90 second farmer’s walks (Old McDonald can kiss YHC’s posterior)

60 second plank hold, 60 second hollow body hold, 90 second glute bridge hold

Swings until our Anvil friends return

 

Now for the part of the backblast that people will actually read.  Fair warning however, there will be some tangents as there are several subjects I have thoughts about.  First of all, while I love kettlebell workouts, why on Earth are we doing a program designed by the Russians?  Did we lose a war?  It feels especially wrong this week as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Miracle on Ice, when a group of scrappy American college kids defeated the Soviet Union team who for all intents and purposes were professional players who had not been defeated in twenty years in Olympic ice hockey.  As an aside (you were warned) Kurt Russell was absolutely snubbed for Best Actor for his portrayal of Team USA coach Herb Brooks.  I can’t be bothered to research who actually won the award that year, but I’m just going to assume that it was some artsy highbrow schlock that nobody actually likes.  Probably foreign too.  If you can watch the pregame scene where Coach Brooks tells the team that they will not only skate with the Russians on that particular night, but they would do the unthinkable and beat them, and not want to run through a brick wall, then I suggest researching real estate in Toronto because you don’t have a patriotic bone in your body.  Anyway, back to the Russian designed workout thing, again I’m not going to actually do any research, but I hope the person who designed this program defected from the USSR, because it feels like an insult to the great Americans who helped topple the Soviet communist regime such as President Reagan, Hulk Hogan, and Rocky Balboa.

The #BlameVoodoo portion of this backblast’s title stems from the fact that our New Orleanian friend was not among us this morning because of his travels home for Mardi Gras, then to Las Vegas.  While the rest of us did rounds of snatches.  With 15 seconds of rest in between.

The other portion of the title is inspired by Unplugged’s wardrobe choice this morning.  About midway through the workout, Unplugged peeled his outer layer to reveal a Golden Girls t-shirt.  Not just a shirt with text that read “Golden Girls”, but a picture of Blanch, Dorothy, whatever Betty White’s character was named, and whatever Estelle Getty’s character’s name was.  To take my mind of the multiple rounds of high rep snatches with little rest in between (which Voodoo missed because he was gallivanting among New Orleans and Las Vegas) I tried to recall as much as the theme song as I could, and I think I got about 80% of it.  I’m solid on the first and last verses, but the middle has a couple lines I’m not sure of.  Anyway, another aside…

What happened to the TV show theme song?  If you’ll allow me an Old Man Yells at Cloud moment, the TV show opening theme song has been relegated to the dustbin of history, and in YHC’s opinion, society is poorer for it.  Theme songs used to either provide the viewer with some background and context about the show through it’s verses (sometimes to the point of overkill, think the older dreck before most of our time like The Brady Bunch or Gilligan’s Island) or laid down a sweet instrumental track that set the tone for the viewing experience.  Into the dark recesses of my mind (a truly horrifying place) I went, trying to think of some examples of top quality TV theme songs, and here is what I’ve come up with (again, you were warned):

Cheers: Perhaps the gold standard, balancing a lively piano riff with poignant lyrics

Hill Street Blues: I don’t remember much about this show other than my dad watched it, but I do remember that piano groove interspersed with an electric guitar solo that didn’t really fit, but was required by law in the 1980s

Growing Pains: Decent lyrics, decent melody, and Alan Thicke, so a solid option

Full House: Recently my 7 year old has been watching the Netflix show Fuller House, and I have to say that DJ Tanner still has her fastball

Night Court: The sax interlude made this theme much funkier than it needed to be, which we were all richer for

The Facts of Life: A home sick from school staple for YHC, a bouncy beat and fun lyrics with the added bonus of spurring one of the great debates of our time.  I firmly believe that men can be separated into one of two categories, Blair or Jo.  #TeamBlair

Perfect Strangers: I don’t remember much about this theme, but it had Balki and the Dance of Joy

Family Ties: Alex P. Keaton is one of the great protagonists in television history, as he was the moral compass of the family, which aside from him was comprised of filthy hippies

The Golden Girls: As mentioned above, an absolute banger of a theme

Married With Children: Al Bundy plus the Chairman is a winning combination

Friends: A serviceable though unremarkable Rembrandts song, it fit nicely with the show’s aesthetic

The Office: Perhaps the last show with a memorable theme

I’m sure I have forgotten several, and I’m also sure I will remember a couple immediately after hitting the Publish button.  I expect to see you all on Saturday as we continue our kettlebell workouts at Olympus.

Thursdays with Lemmy

Summer is running season in Area 51, so any opportunity to swing bells instead of grind miles is welcome. Nine PAX gathered in humidity that made the air as viscous as chicken pot pie to get some strength and conditioning work in. The Amazon Basics bluetooth speaker was fired up to serenade us with a carefully curated 45 minute long playlist of some of Motorhead’s finest work, striking a playful balance between original songs and covers.

Warmup: 20 swings, 20 SSH (one refusenik, on jumping jacks…Gummy’s influence is spreading like the plauge), 20 swings, 20 IW, 20 swings, 20 mountain climbers, 20 swings, 20 LBC

Swing & Merkin Pairs: Sets of 25, 20, 15, 10, 5

Goblet Squat & Freddie Mercury Pairs: Sets of 25, 20, 15, 10, 5

Sumo High Pull & Russian Twist Pairs: Sets of 25, 20, 15, 10, 5

Two rounds of 20 swings, 10 clean & press, and 5 goblet squats

Two rounds of 10 snatches and 10 deadlifts

Finish up with 100 swings and a sprinkling of Mary

Moleskine: A Thursday post is a rarity for YHC since it is the M’s day to work out, and a Thursday Q for YHC happens about as often as the Hornets make a sensible roster move. Sometimes the stars align however. The family is down in Florida for the week leaving a quiet house with a lot of hours to fill. On Tuesday Voodoo reached out and asked if I could fill a just vacated spot this week. Also on Tuesday, I met Hoover and Voodoo after work for the Wooden Robot brewery run. After a three mile jaunt trying our best not to melt into the pavement of the Rail Trail, we had post run beers (Hoover drinks on a 2:1 ratio to normal sized humans) then walked over to some hip millennial oriented ramen restaurant that I would misspell if I tried to type its name. To my pleasant surprise, this establishment played hard rock, both classic and contemporary instead of adhering to the modern convention of playing teenage girl oriented pop rubbish. When going out for a nice meal, I just don’t understand why establishments, especially upscale establishments, insist on assaulting their patrons’ ears with Rihanna and Katy Perry. There is simply no good reason to play any “artist” with “DJ” or “Lil” in his or her name in that setting (or any setting truthfully). Anyway, while discussing plans for Thursday’s Meathead workout, we noticed that the serving staff were all wearing black t-shirts with the name of the eatery emblazoned on them, but in font/color combinations that closely resembled famous rock bands. When a server in a t-shirt styled after the font and iron eagle design of Motorhead brought out bowls of noodles, we had our theme and playlist. As an aside though somewhat on topic, a childhood friend of YHC lives in Los Angeles and works in the music industry. When asked if it was true that Lemmy (rest his soul) used to spend his non-touring days sitting at the Rainbow drinking Jack Daniel’s, my friend chuckled and explained that yes it was true. Apparently you could go to the Rainbow bar & grill on the Sunset Strip anytime during operating hours and find Lemmy sitting alone at the end of the bar on the patio with a Jack and Coke in hand. I don’t know why, but this nugget of knowledge makes me really happy. Mumblechatter was low this morning, which was disappointing in some respects, but will be taken as a complement as to the difficulty of the workout. It was good to see the regulars and irregulars of Meathead, and I hope to make it back out there before year end.

“I Stepped in Pee Twice This Morning”

Now that I have your attention, please allow me to regale you with a summary of this morning’s happenings at Anvil, arguably the flagship midweek workout in all of Area 51. Nine gentleman convened to better themselves on a late spring morning that was downright pleasant, and like clockwork, at 5:29 am, Mermaid became visibly antsy that the festivities had yet to begin. While waiting for the time to actually reach 5:30, YHC provided a disclaimer that can reasonably be classified as fair to middling and we embarked upon our fantastic voyage.

Run to the fake grass pavilion for COP, which consisted of SSH, merkins, IW, wide arm merkins, mountain climbers, and diamond merkins. Now, there are not many things in this world YHC can claim to be good at. The list of my talents mainly consists of grilling and smoking meats, mixology, writing Backblasts, and having impeccable rhythm (due to being a drummer). That being said, while my workout leads may not be great, my cadence is flawless and metronome-like. Whilst leading the group in SSH (which nobody refusniked because Anvil is a man’s workout) YHC noticed that Hammer and Magoo were literally and figuratively marching to the beat of their own drums. Hammer is a Clemson man, so the inability to sync the body’s movements to a simple four count is understandable. YHC will have to work out with Magoo more to learn what his excuse is.

Mosey to the Avenue of Trees for sets of 20/15/10/5 merkins, squats, and LBCs punctuated with runs up and down the avenue. Proceed to the snack shack/hot box. Three sets of Bulgarian split squats, dips, and incline merkins, which were lovely. Run to the rock pile near 51 and select a rock with character. Three sets of overhead squats, curls, and triceps extensions, with two island run with lunge walk back in between each. Follow that with three sets of Sots presses, good mornings, and weighted crunches interspersed with island sprints.

Mosey back to the launch lot, stopping at the fake grass pavilion for some diamond merkins, then continue back to the launch lot for outsourced Mary, culminating in an on time finish at precisely 6:15 am.

Fueled by Tito’s and sarcasm, Spackler was out front most of the morning, which undoubtedly contributed to the mumblechatter not picking up until after COT. We learned that Mermaid has a new puppy at home, and he was not planning on working out today, but since said puppy awoke early, he decided that spending the pre-dawn hour with us was a preferable to feeding and walking the pup. This spurred the quote that inspired the title of this backblast. Magoo informed us that he has an older dog at home, and had stepped in pee twice that morning. Condolences. During the workout, Hammer (a Clemson Tiger) and Spackler (a Gamecock) were overheard civilly discussing football, which is why YHC can’t take that rivalry seriously. Ohio State fans would be ridiculing Jim Harbaugh’s inability to actually coach college football, and Michigan fans would be ridiculing Ohio State fans’ inability to actually spell college football. Alabama fans would be reminding Auburn fans that the Iron Bowl actually used to matter and was once more than just a nuisance to be endured the week before playing for the SEC Championship. Auburn fans would mumble incoherently and drool. Texas and Oklahoma football fan discussions would involve gunplay and deep frying various foodstuffs YHC can only assume. Not many announcements this morning other than a clandestine event this Friday evening at South Charlotte Middle School involving laps and lagers. Enjoy the rest of your week.