Archive for the ‘quad’ Category

Been a while

February 22, 2012 2 comments

It’s been a while, and a few things have happened as usual.

Auroville has come and gone. I was plagued with doubt and indecision, swung this way and that and finally took the easy way out – ran a 10k, almost token-like and tick-marked Auroville. I justified it to myself saying that such weekend getaways with Deeps and kids are rarer than races nowadays. Certainly, it was a fun weekend and I enjoyed it, though a small part of me feels a tad guilty that I ditched a shot at the long one. Ramani sir, notwithstanding his injury and lack of long runs, proved that the muscles that matter are typically higher up in the body.

The quad has been fun – more emphasis on swings, squats and presses. Arv the coach, has been on my case – We actually met 1-on-1 and had a long chat about my current state, improvements that need to be made, goals and stuff. No major surprises there – upper body and core.. you know what I have been lamenting about.

But, he asked – I argued – finally relented – and agreed to go gluten-free for 1 month. Yup, 30 days of gluten free diet. What I didn’t fully understand was what all it entailed me having to give up – all breads (sandwiches, pizza etc), rotis (chapatis, nan, parota etc), pasta.. Ok – you know what – all that is really not a problem. I have a problem with 3 things that I got to give up – beer, whiskey and upma! But, it’s just 30 days and I’ve said ok. It’s already been a week and I haven’t had any serious withdrawal symptoms. :-). It just feels funny drinking vodka at parties.  

Then.. hmm.. yeah – the beginner runs have been fun. :-).

RI haven’t been running much of late. I need to get into a routine, fitting in runs and the quad sessions. Here is what I think I should do starting from Monday =>  Nothing – Quad – Run – Quad – Nothing – Quad+Run – Run. Hope I can implement that.

Categories: quad, Running

Jan 22 – 25

January 27, 2012 Leave a comment

I don’t know why I am so obsessed with maintaining this double diary – there is this log on dailymile which is more than good enough, but God knows why, I still want to write this crap down.

Maybe because I can’t write on dailymile that I felt like an idiot when I woke up at 0830 on Sunday (Jan 22) morning having argued with myself, slept in and missed the Sunday run despite having promised at least a couple of people that I will come.

Tuesdays are the *benchmark* days at the quad when lightbulbs are supposed to flash as we *see the progress* week-on-week with the bread and butter of these workouts – the squat and the push-up.

  • Squats are ok. I can just about squat 20 reps with 24 kgs. Just. (notes – I found it easier to use 2 x 12 kg kettlebells which balances out the weights a little better than holding a single 24 kg kettlebell)
  • Push-ups are still NOT ok. I am frustrated with the lack of progress on my upper body and core strength. I still can’t hold a friggin 20 sec elbow plank and I still can’t do 1 proper, good form push up. Can you believe that? I can’t do a solitary, proper push-up. 

Wednesday was supposed to be the ‘easy’ day – a “skill” day where we learn a new move and the focus is not on killing it. But it was super tough! Diagonal displacement was the move today and many of us knew it earlier and I was pretty much wiped after I did some 50 of those (25 on each side).

That’s it – because Jan 26, the YMCA Republic Day Half Marathon deserves a post just for itself.

Categories: quad

Good week since Bombay

January 21, 2012 1 comment

Typically, the week after a big event, especially a marathon, would be spent lazily, still soaking in and gloating about that experience, eating more than ever, partying a bit and basically doing everything but getting back to any kind of training.

Not this time though.

17 Jan (Tue) – went for my quad class and though I bailed out of the hard ones, I am glad that I went. I actually enjoyed the slow 5k + 5k bike ride. Madras has this nice chill nowadays and it’s brilliant.

18th Jan (Wed) – Krishna called for a 2k x 4 flyover killer, which thankfully turned out to be a gentle, chatty run. Very nice.

19th Jan (Thu) – Nothing; Skipped my quad session and stayed put. (Excuse – Deepu’s birthday and she was also a little sick)

20th Jan (Fri) – 100 mt hill sprints with Krishna. Just 2.5 kms net, but busted at the end of it.

21 Jan (Sat) – This is today. Was paired up with one of my favorite quad-mates (Bharathi) and we did some KB swings and some Thrusters. Followed that with a nice, easy 5k (in 35 mins), chatting all the way with Ramesh Seshadri.

Been pretty good. Doubt if this will stay this way for long, but it’s great while it does.

Krishna has an super plan going with which he is going to crack Auroville. As usual, I am trying to hitch a ride on his caravan.

Categories: Cycling, quad, Running

Arvind – the form man; and a short run

January 12, 2012 Leave a comment

I’ve always noticed this – Arv is the form and posture man. He has a good eye and would focus on form and posture. He would rather get people to do lesser but with an increased emphasis on ‘getting it right’. He doesn’t care much about ‘killing it’. If you want form corrected, Arv’s the man.

Today was no different – we went through the drill but with an eye on posture.

I didn’t like the circuit so much though – it had a few that I don’t like:

  • Jumps – forgot the name of this one, but basically had jump using the hinge. <Poor>
  • Lunges – lunge and twist <Average. Not bad>
  • Scorpions – Hate them! <v.poor>
  • Push-ups – still knee push-ups! <improving ever so slightly>

We (paired up with Sherrif)  did these, not pushing for time,  and in reps of 5 each – we got some 5 sets done! That was it.


Came home (by around 0625) and all of them were still fast asleep. Changed shoes, grabbed some water and went for a nice, easy, slow and short 5k around the neighborhood and I guess this would be my last one before Bombay.   

Categories: quad, Running

Quad Day 4

January 11, 2012 2 comments

The 2nd week of Quad2 started off – things are now settled down and it’s becoming a routine. 4 am wake-ups are becoming easier and I am back to being among the 1st to the class. Enjoying the morning short bike rides.

Today was relatively easy. If anything, the warm up was tough! We learnt the right way to do a kettlebell deadlift – just a couple of sets of those which I really liked. Since it was more of a “learn it right” session, it was fairly easy with the emphasis on form and posture and stuff like that.

And there was this “conditioning” piece – a burpee 10-9..—1 workout where I am finally fixing my broken relationship with the burpee. I used to hate it. Now, I just dislike it. It was thankfully only the 4 step burpee (minus the push-up) and so I can still manage it. Learning to kick back instead of stepping back and surprisingly find it easier.

Biking back – I bumped into Hari, Venkat Rangan and Yash doing hill workouts and joined them for 1 short sprint up the hill. :-). Loved it. Especially, it was great to meet Hari and watch him kick it up the hill and enjoy the run like only he can.

Walked back to Dimensions talking to Yash and Hari.

Yash was apparently (learnt from VPS) a tad miffed that I sent the short Quad mailer to the group and I took this chance to speak to him and clear the air. Glad I did that.

Anyway, what is interesting is that he mentioned casually that the Quad folks were, unintentionally, rubbing a few fitness industry folks the wrong way. Reading – I can see what Yash is talking about. The “they-cant-differentiate-a-quadricep-from-a-bulging-dick” kind of talk is not flying well with some gyms apparently. Lets see. Thinking about dropping in a word to the coaches.

Categories: quad

A perfect morning

January 9, 2012 Leave a comment

Saturday – Jan 7

It was so nice. It had just about everything – I biked, worked out at the quad, ran with friends and biked back – came home with a super buzz and didn’t feel a tad like a workout – It felt like I had a lot of fun.

At the quad – press, push, pull

They were out to kill us. I was beat at the end of the warm-up!

Then there was a short 2-set*8-10 reps of the press. I was struggling on a 12 kg press and had to resort to bent-knee thrusters to press it up.

Next were the rows which were much easier. I like the row. But this time, they introduced this different technique of rowing – straight on instead of side-on which I was not comfortable with.

So, first, here is the original (and conventional) row which I am comfortable and like to do.


This is what is described here in greater detail and in most videos if you search for “kettlebell row”.

But, the variation to this, what was introduced in this was what you’ll find if you search for the “Kettlebell bent over row” .

Raj and Arv asked us to follow whichever was more comfortable to us since they work the same muscle group, and so after 1 set on the bentover row, I went back to the conventional style where I felt better immediately.

Anyway, these were just teasers. The main killer came next – 50 jumpsquats (with weights) and 50 push-ups (unfortunately, I am still on knee push ups). I was paired up with Sivaram and it was a 5 min workout (I think). We swapped after every 5 jumpsquats and after 50 each, we were already wiped out. We managed about 30 push-ups each by which time, the coaches called time. Thankfully.

We staggered out of Bamboola. Biked so slowly to Dimensions and was there by around 0610.

The beautiful beginners run

Shahid started this “easy beginners 5k” a few weeks back in an effort to attract beginners and newbies to running. We felt that 10k or 1 hour was too intimidating and 0515 was too early a start time. 

The posts went out asking people to come in, enjoy themselves and do an easy run/ run-walk/ walk whatever, for any distance starting at an more earthly 0630.

The following beginners turned up: Bib Bala, Painter Senthil, Shankar, Shahid, Krishna, Sita (Krishna), later on – KK, and was it Manivannan who also joined. 🙂

And we went on this stroll through Boatclub, laughing, chatting, clicking pictures and having a whale of a time.

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In case that bright blue didn’t hit you because of that brilliant vintage, those ugly things are my beautiful vibrams and this was my “longest” run on them – 5.8 kms :-).

Sita even thought she saw Rajnikanth walking, but was certain about Sivakumar. We had our share of celebsiting as well.

Biked back.

Mornings couldn’t get better.

Categories: Cycling, Links, Photo, quad, Running

Some more benchmarks..

January 6, 2012 1 comment

Kettlebell swings are my favorite and I hate burpees. Both were on the menu on the 2nd day of QII, but surprisingly, and I am sure it’s an aberration, my ‘like-level’ flipped –> I did something wrong on the kettlebell swing and did something right on the burpee.

Couldn’t figure out what I did wrong on the kettlebell swing and need to get back to working on the technique – I couldn’t get the thrust or the snap from the legs, ended up using my back and arms and felt a twinge on my back.

It was a 4 step burpee and that is much better for me (it’s the push-up that I have a problem with) and it is somewhat possible to get into a decent rhythm on the 4 step burpee. It was a benchmark piece and I just got to 50 burpees in 5 mins. The girls nailed it – swetha, lalitha and sharadha – all got to 60 burpees.

Next was the plank benchmark. I quit at 40 secs – among the worst in the whole batch (of around 24 folks). There was this new person called Vijay who went over 2 mins and since there was no one else who had kept up until then, he stopped.

If painter was around, he would have been the winner of this contest. No doubt.  

Categories: quad