Friday, March 26, 2010

Jackson- my Little Doofus

So here is Jackson my Little Doofus. He is growing like a teenager raiding the pantry every night and is just a ball of primitive Testosterone. My wife and I have feel in love with the German Short Haired. Jackson has tons of personality and because the breed has such a strong line of hunters that are active, most puppies are born with amazing instinct. Jackson was retrieving the day I bought him home, he is turning out to be a great watch dog and all I have to do now is tighten up is pointing skills so that I can hunt him under the bird. But Mr. Dufus does has his shortcomings. Jackson is to smart for his own good and the Garden is play garden. He has chewed up my beautiful twig fence. ( My wife was soooo happy) And we had to replace it with something stronger and Dog proof. Cheeba my pitbull wont even think about going into that place. But Jackson has no boundaries and could careless if you disciplined him for doing something wrong. So I had to conform which was soooooooo hard for me to do. But being that my wife would be taking care of him while I was away, I had no other options. We have different views on training animals and right now im in no position to voice my concerns out loudly. (but im secertly waiting). so anyway Mr Doofus is growing up fine and is a pleasure to be around. I can't wait to take him out swimming and hunting later on this year it should be fun.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Work Out for Performance

So the new year has passed and pretty much most people have fell off the wagon with regards to working out. Lets face it most of us can't wake up in the morning and look like one of the Greek Gods. For many of us, just waking up is an obstacle to contend with. We get older, our joints hurt, and it's hard to loose weight.

Over the years I have gained some valuable knowledge about working out and from time to time I will start sharing what I have learned. There has been an evolution that has taken place with regards to working out that a minority of people have taken to and it's catching on like wildfire to people who have pretty much lost all interest in staying fit. I don't want to blog about working out for gardening and all that stuff. I know there are tons of stuff on the subject. I want to focus more on working out for performance. To switch away from just loosing weight and looking fit. But more towards actually being fit so that we can perform daily duties without the feelings of being exhausted. I remember when my Grandpa was alive he used to stretch every morning and do these stupid silly exercises. Grandpa has sinced passed and ironically enough the silly looking exercises that he was doing years ago form the basis for many of the workouts performance athletes, mountaineers, and speicial operators use today.

So the question is; What do you do when you work out? I see people at the gym doing the same things they have done for years and although any workout has benefits; we need to ask; What are we working out for? I feel and this is only my opinion, that if our workouts are based solely on aesthetics and appearance that we will loose focus when we come up short. The scale is the devil!! I say this because we have conditioned ourselves to believe that if we don't weigh a certain weight than we are failures. Not true. Being fit has more to do with what you can do rather than how much you weigh. Although weight is a good indicator of overall health we shouldn't focus on it.

That's why starting and sticking to a performance based workout in my opinion will get you where you want to be faster. So how do you start? First identify your problem areas, most people hate running, why, because it SUCKS!! But running gives you the best results. When setting up a performance based workout give yourself a goal. Lets say you have issues running 1 mile non-stop. When setting up your performance based workout you set benchmarks that will enable you to run that 1 mile nonstop. For instance start your one mile run and take note of when you get tired and exhausted. Take note of whats troubling you. Is it your feet, does your lower back hurt, does your legs cramp up, are you breathing heavy? Depending on your fitness level it may be as soon as you start or near the end of your run. By identifying these problems areas you can now formulate your workout based on your weaknesses. For example lets assume that during your run, your breathing was really heavy and it felt very painful to breath, lets also assume that your legs felt like steel cylinders and it seemed as though you were dragging a truck behind you, lets also assume that your lower back started to give you pain as you pushed through the mile. And finally lets assume that half way through, you had to stop running and walk the rest of the way.

A performance based workout will incorporate all the above mentioned issues in the form of scheduled workouts known as compound exercises also known as circuit training, to build upon your weaknesses which in turn will enable you to complete your One mile run. Some exercises that are simple and can be done at home are the Air Squat. This is the perfect exercises to add strength to your legs that will ultimately help you finish your run. As you advance you can hold on to weight and perform the air squat by increasing the number of air squats you do. A good number to do is 25 air squats with each set.

Another exercises to add to the circuit would be Flutter Kicks. Flutter kicks are amazing. Not only are you working your hip flexors, you will be working your lower abdomen and lower back. The Instructor has her hands underneath her butt, This is to give leverage. I recommend your hands stay on your belly, chest or folded out palms upward to the sky. My way is a bit more difficult but ensures that you are working your entire core and will prove beneficial as you progress. A good number to start with is 25 flutter kicks which in turn is a 4 count exercises.

Another exercises is the Lunge, OUCH!!!! The lunge sucks but its great for you. This excersise will give you good range of motion and challenge all the muscles in your legs. It's one of the toughest excersises to do in the circuit, but it pays big divedends in the end.

Last would be interval sprints. Interval sprints will whip your butt. Its important to do Interval workouts because it teaches your body how to adapt to stress. When interval training is incorporated into your workouts you will be able to run faster and farther and breathe better. Remember the goal is to run 1 mile non stop and if your already doing that, to drop your time by 2-5 mins By taking this all in to account a Performance based work out designed to run one mile non-stop will look something like this:

Mon-Interval sprint 25 meter
25 air squats
25 flutter kicks (4-count)
25 meter Lunge walk
4 x rounds

Tues- 2 mile walk fast paced

Weds- Interval sprints 25 meter
25 air squats
25 flutter kicks (4 count)
25 meter Lunge Walk
4 x rounds
Thurs- 2 mile walk fast paced

Fri- 1 mile run ( Take mental notes of your performance and remember even a little progress is still progress)

Repeat every week until Goal has been met/ Once goal has been met. Set a new goal and work towards improving to reach that goal.

The benefits of Performance Based workouts in my opinion outweigh working out for looks. By performing these types of workouts you ensure that you stay focused on working out and everyday you are working out for a goal. As a result you will see your body transform into what it needs to, to complete those goals. One day you will wake up and realize that you have tons of energy and can do just about anything. My wife has started to work out like this and has advanced to burpees, I hate burpees and my wife knows this, so during our workouts she adds them and it suckssssssssssss!!! A typical day for us would be to run up a flight of steps and back down, do 25 burpees, 30 air squats, 50 flutter kicks and do it 5 times for time. She has noticed that her legs have become more toned and have become extremely tight. From a year ago she couldn't do 10 air squats with out crying, now she can do 50 and has advanced to other exercises that I do which are much more challenging.

I'm sharing this post, because I believe that many people have the desire to work out but have lost the intensity and drive. I feel that by refocusing our needs and priorities everyone can do something to maintain a fit and healthy life. Theres one thing we all have in common if we follow the self-sustained blogs and that is the desire, need and want to eat healthy. Moving forward we will not only eat and live healthy but perform exceptionally well. This is my 2 cents and as I go on and experience new things I will add different, to all those interested.

If you really want to check out the world of these Hybrid Exercises visit these sites. They have a wealth of information that will help you get to where you want to be: Great site ! Tons Of Info and Workouts The Gospel! My Base for working out. Click on Gallery for workouts Advanced Circuit training to keep you fit and stay there. Tough!! Geared toward Adventure seekers and mountaineers.

These sites are my top pics for working out and staying fit. You will see it doesn't matter what age you are, man or women. The Philosophies guiding these workouts are geared towards improving the Performance level in each individual. I have to say this but before you start any workout program consult with your Doctor first.

Get Fit Stay Fit!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Delta gettin Fat

So I decided to keep my hawk this year instead of returning him to the wild like I have done with past hawks. I'm taking a big gamble on Mr Delta, because I believe in his abilities. This past hunting season he got skunked. He had some great chases but he couldn't connect on anything. It was so disappointing. Some may say think that Falconry shouldn't be just about Killing and to a point they are right. But falconry in it's essence is about killing. Because that's what birds of prey do. They have amazing eyesight, speed, and strength so that they can become efficient killers. Delta has all the tools, but this past year he has had nothing to show for it. I hunted him extremely hard in the pursuit of game only to be left with talons full of fur. So I made a decision to keep Delta for one more year. Many falconers wont even think about keeping a bird of prey that didn't finish the season with several heads of game. I on the other hand can't let Delta go without knowing that he is at least capable of killing for himself. My ethos for falconry has always been to return my feathered friends back into the wild more healthier and equipped with extraordinary hunting skills from when I took them from the wild. So from where I stand Delta is not ready to fend for himself. For now he is getting fat and eating a big rat called Nutria, that has tons of protein, along with baby chicks, and chicken necks. Im preparing him for the molt and can't wait to see what feathers he produces this year. Until then Eat well, My friend, because by early fall we have alot of hunting to do.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Flies as pollinators?

Ugh!! the dreaded Fly.... It's one of those horrible set of sequences as you watch in slow motion that little black speck of bio-hazard fly off of your dog poo and land on the rim of your drink. Gross!! I have had some bad experiences with flies. Where I live in GA, it seems like ripe breeding grounds for those nasty guys. One year I put out one of those yellow fly catchers that attract flies and in one week it was full with gross flies big and small. The only idea I had about flies was the fact that they rummaged through anything rotting to include dead people; for which I have had my fair share of witnessing. So it's to no wonder why I'm confused that flies are in the beneficial bug category with regards to our gardens. The reality is, that all flies are not the same. You may say 'DUH!!" but when someone says the word *fly* I am willing to bet that the black little hairy critter with wings, that seems to enjoy grooming himself of the filth he has just lusted in, will come to mind. But imagine that, Flies as pollinators. Last growing season I would often ask my wife if she has witnessed any honey bees and as I recall it was only a few times that she would see them. But many of the plants that we grew last year like the squash and melons, needed pollinators to produce fruit. I didn't know it at the time, but my garden was flooded with all little types of helpful flying bugs which I later found out were flies that were pollinating my garden along with pollen bees and butterflies. (Click here to find What native bees are in your area).

Maintaining a garden is good busy work. Your always doing something to improve your crop, trying to identify problems if they occur; when you leave for work your wondering if your seeds are growing, if your flowers are setting and most of all, if they are being pollinated. Many of us would like to think that the busy honey bee is responsible for all this. But nature has given her a a lot of help. I don't think I will ever be an advocate of that other fly. But I will defiantely start doing what I can to set up an environment where My vegetable garden attracts all pollinators. (For more on Flies as pollinators, click here)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Norways' Dooms Day Seed Vault; Is it Zombie Proof?

Norway's Dooms Day vault has reached 500,000 seeds. There are literally seeds from all over the world that have been produced by growers who have generated seeds that are more resistant to disease. This has become a huge debate for the purist; but nonetheless this is a big accomplishment considering the magnitude of this project. The vault was built to withstand earth quakes and even a nuclear fallout. But I suspect the Norwegians have something else bigger in mind. And my suspicion is that the Norwegians want to keep out the Zombies. Why else would they have four chambers that need to be accessed before reaching the worlds last supply of seeds. The Norwegians have done there homework. After all, only zombies will be able to walk the earth after it's destroyed and the few people stuck on the side of that mountain, will have a monumental task keeping vegetables alive for all the meat eaters that will consume the earth. Instead of worrying about seeds, I think I'm going to tuck one doomsday bullet away or better yet turn into a Zombie.