Journal Entry 371 – Corona Wedding / Ghost of Tsushima

Sarah and I attended our first wedding since the Quarantine started. It was a really good time and took place on a farm in the middle of the mountains in Harrisonburg, Virginia. A lot of it was outside and the night started with some people wearing masks, but later on, many people took them off and it really felt like a normal wedding after that. Could have possibly been exposed for sure, but luckily we are self-quarantining all the time anyway when we work from home. Neither of us have noticed any symptoms.

I also had the pleasure of playing a game called Ghost of Tsushima. This game is based on a real event of the Mongol army coming down from Korea and invading a tiny island off the coast of Japan called Tsushima. The game centers on a Samurai who is trying to defend and then re-take his island from these invaders and save his people. However, since the Mongol’s are formidable enemies, he may have to rely on techniques that a normal samurai would not. Over the course of the game, your character, Jin Sakai, starts as Samurai but starts to transition over to more ghost-like tactics that a ninja would rely on. While brutally effective, these tactics affect some of his relationships with his family.

This game was INCREDIBLE. Instantly in my top 5 of all time. I really got sucked into this one. Very good story, voice acting, graphics, etc… The game was very well done in almost every single way and the fighting never got old. I loved how as you progressed through the story, you were able to slowly retake over forts and towns that the Mongols claimed. As you re-took these, the map would clear and you were that much closer to liberating your island. Since I was borderline addicted to this game, I ended up liberating the whole island and fully upgrading my character. 10 out of 10.

That game took me a couple weeks to beat and I played it A LOT. Not sure how many hours I put into it, because the PS4 really doesn’t tell you.

I also knocked out another book: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO ACE AMERICAN HISTORY IN ONE BIG FAT NOTEBOOK. This is the title and features about 500+ pages of pretty much all the important facts, dates and events of American History from the time the settlers came over to close to the present day. Obviously, it’s a “cliff-notes” version of history, but I really enjoy these books. What I typically do as I’m reading it, is look up more details on things that I find interesting or want to learn more about as I read. I’m currently reading the World History version of these books. After playing Ghost of Tsushima, I may start diving into Asian history as well as that is not something I’m overly knowledgable about.

After successfully cancelling all my gym memberships, my current daily workout is 25+ chin-ups, 50+ pushups, 50+ squats, and stretching. These are minimums, but depending on how I feel that day usually do more. I spread these throughout the day when I work for an energy boost. I also throw in some cardio on the weekends.

Journal Entry 366 – Low Key / Final Fantasy VII

Coronavirus is still in full effect in the U.S. and is still causing a nationwide Quarantine. We usually check it every day and the numbers just keep rising, especially in the U.S. Our local county has also been hit pretty hard as well, so I’ve been keeping it pretty low key and really have no need to leave the house. Sarah and I have still been working from home and have enjoyed doing so. This quarantine has allowed us to spend much more time together and we usually try to go on a daily walk just to get out of the house and away from technology.  I predict the quarantine to be and stay in effect for at least 2 more months.

This quarantine has also upped my entertainment game. Been into a variety of shows recently. One show I’ve been watching is an anime called My Hero Academia, which I have almost finished. It is not nearly as good as my other favorite animes (Berserk, Hunter X Hunter and Dragonball Z), but it was still a really good show. Also, been watching Parks and Recreation on Netflix. This show is great and I’ve certainly been enjoying it. Also, one of my childhood favorite games, Final Fantasy VII, was just remade for the PS4. It originally came out on the original Playstation about 23 years ago. The game has been amazing and I have some serious nostalgia playing though it. It’s nice to see what characters and settings look like in real-time now that technology is powerful enough to show it.

I’ve also been working out every single day. Day one is 50 squats and 50 chin-ups. Day 2 is 50 squats and 100-200 pushups. I rotate these each day. It gives a good energy boost and helps to maintain strength as much as I can at the moment. We usually go on a walk with Luke at some point as well.

As for diet, if anything the quarantine has improved my eating habits. I have more time to make food and been throwing together meals will cheaper foods. Since we don’t really have the option to go out, it forces you to be more creative with the foods you do have. I would say a quarantine favorite is peanut butter and banana. Peanut butter is one of the few foods to cure me of my addiction to protein bars, which we are not eating a ton of right now. I was also getting a ton of “protein chips” which I’ve recently replaced with food. Feeling good. We just stocked up at Aldi for two weeks worth of food.

I’m also sticking to my book a month goal for the year. I’m in the middle reading this book called:

“Everything You Need to Ace Science in One Big Fat Notebook: The Complete Middle School Study Guide (Big Fat Notebooks)”

Now, why the hell would I read a study guide for middle school students? – Don’t let the title fool you, it covers way more information than what is covered in middle school. The point of this reading project I started at the beginning of the year was to learn more. This book is a giant review of everything I have ever learned in school (including high school). It covers almost every single topic you can think of in Science and is highly enjoyable and easy to read/comprehend. It also kind of shows, how information that you don’t use, you lose. There are large parts of the book, where I remember learning topics in school, but have long forgotten about. These book types also have one for American History, World History and even Coding. Since I’ve enjoyed this one so much, I plan on reading these other titles as well. Highly enjoyable and would rate a 10 out of 10.

 

Journal Entry 354 – Labor Day / Football Returns

Another week in the books. Been a long week for me to be honest. I was just itching for the weekend to start and now its finally here. Virginia Tech (VT) Football finally comes back today at 4 PM EDT against Boston College. I expect a win here. Next week, my brother and a couple of friends are meeting in Blacksburg to see our first actual game in years. Should be an easy one, but it’s the experience that counts. I just hope my liver is ready! 😉

After the game today, Sarah and I also plan to have some friends over for Labor Day. Technically, the holiday is on Monday, but no one wants to throw a party then haha. It’s nice to have some days to chill and relax and since you have to go back to work the next day, I think Saturday is a much better choice.

I’ve been sticking to the my workouts outlined in my last post, but I’m not sure I’m feeling it anymore. The trap-bar deadlift is ALWAYS begin used OR there is nowhere to set it up in my gym because the squat racks are constantly being used. Let me put it this way, if 5 total people were in the gym, 4 of them would be in the squat racks. These people don’t like to leave either. That makes programming anything in the squat rack a real chore. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the 4 rest days. I actually almost forced myself to do ZERO lifting outside of those 3 workouts and I hated it. My workouts were almost too heavy and the second movement was considerably weaker than my first movement. I decided to shift it once again to daily bodyweight movements. The energy and mood boost I get from these moves is incredible. Honestly, feel like a zombie coming back to life after a pretty quaint set of pushups and squats. I don’t really have evidence to back this up, but the energy boost between doing heavy moves for low reps vs high reps of bodyweight movements is really different. The higher reps feel therapeutic.

 

 

Journal Entry 342 – Protein and Chinups

Four day work week last week. I must admit the extra day off was nice. Sarah and I went to trivia night at Don’t Look Back on Thursday night with some good friends and got second place! On Friday night we went to California Pizza Kitchen because my friend’s sister was bartending. That was the first time I had ever been there. No clue as to why haha. It has been around this area for a long time, but I never went for some reason. The pizza was good and we got the BBQ Chicken Pizza with a cauliflower crust. 8 out of 10. I will admit that it was much more expensive than I thought it was going to be. Tonight, Sarah has some friends in from out of town so we will be going out again. Expensive weekend haha.

In the gym, I have been doing a ton of bodyweight moves. I decided to do at least 3 sets of chinups every single day for the foreseeable future. I actually love bodyweight moves when at the gym, because it has gotten so packed recently, I can go upstairs away from it all and get a pretty intense workout by doing bodyweight moves to failure. I was doing Push/Pull, but due to the traffic at the gym, it becomes nearly impossible to stick to my routine as all the equipment is taken. My gym also jams equipment way too close too each other and you feel like people are standing on top of each other. I hate that feeling. I like to workout alone and have some room. Chinups have been working great though and my back and abs have been very sore. At the moment, it is the only “back/bicep” movement I have been doing. For push moves, I rotate between pushups, dips and bench press. No direct abs, no isolation moves. Just chinups and compound push movements with about 90% bodyweight moves.

For diet, I have been jacking protein through the roof recently. My goal is to eat very high protein meals, with low carbs and fat. I eat like this for every meal until we go out somewhere or I just want a big meal and then I’ll eat whatever. Mainly just very high protein and carbs and fats vary on the day. On average, I want to keep fat around 50 grams, Carbs 50-200grams (usually only 200 grams on the weekend and closer to 50g during the week) and protein over 200grams. I have been drinking a decent amount of alcohol recently, which do not fall into these categories. 😉

My main foods recently have been dark roast coffee, egg whites, protein powder (Elite XT currently), Costco mixed berries, Quest Bars, Tyson Blackened Chicken Strips (Costco – Really good), lean ground meat, steak, green vegetables, Our Little Rebellion BBQ Chips. The rest of my food is usually eaten out.

Journal Entry 326 – Date Night

It’s going to be a short post this week. I had a very busy week at work, even though it was only a four day week. It tends to slow down after the Holidays, but not so far. We probably had our busiest week to date recently so hopefully, it slows down a little for the rest of the year.

Sarah and I had a date night this Friday at Cooper’s Hawk. The wine tasting at Cooper’s Hawk is great. They pour a stout amount from each wine and it is always at least 8 wines you may try and can even try a couple more if you ask for it. I also had a $15 birthday credit from my wine club membership that you can use on food or alcohol. We decided to go to the bar after and get some sparkling wine. I went with Almond and she went Raspberry. Muy bien. Due to the perks of being a wine club member, you get a free bottle of wine each month, so I picked a Blueberry based wine, which tasted amazing.

The Hokies had a great game yesterday and earned a bowl game. A little last minute “season-saving” on their part. The Giants snatched defeat from the jaws of victory against the Eagles. Unbelievable. They had the game wrapped up in the first half and then decided to stop playing a little early. There goes our season. However, the Cowboys SOMEHOW beat New Orleans, so they are likely to win the division regardless at this point, so it may not have ever mattered anyway.

Another week of training plateaus. I plan to maybe back off strength training to 2 times a week with 3 days between each day. This way I can hit it at full strength. The days in between I plan on doing stretching and bodyweight movements, but nothing overly stressful. I plan on taking at least one day completely off as well.

Journal Entry 300 – Pushups / Costco

For the past couple of weeks, I have done about 200 pushups a day, except for a few where I did around 100-150 or so. I usually do about 30 reps per set and do about 7 sets a day throughout the day. I’ve noticed some interesting benefits from them. One is that gives you a tremendous energy boost from it. Two is that pushups are getting very easy to perform and it seems the more often I do them the better I get. Third, is that my serratus anterior muscle is really starting to pop. Due to the position of the shoulder blades during pushups, the serratus anterior gets much better activation than a traditional bench press. I’ve enjoyed them so much, I’m going to start doing 2 bodyweight workouts a week. These bodyweight workouts will be a pushup/pullup superset workout with some stretching in between. Stretching is also something I’ve enjoyed. I haven’t been as consistent with pushups, but it really feels good. I usually work these in between sets in the gym.

Sarah and I went to Costco for the first time all year. I bought two new protein powders Orgain Vanilla and Creamy Chocolate. The Vanilla was new flavor and was a pleasant surprise. They were $8 off each, so no way I was passing that up. They also have a much thicker consistency, which I like. Elite XT “reformulated” its product and really ruined its taste for me. It’s way too thin and has a cheap whey protein taste. Dymatize is Trolling hard with that. ;(

We also got some frozen berries, steamed dumplings and Kirkland protein bars (their version of a Quest Bar) from Costco.

Also, Aldi has some really good frozen sushi. Spicy crab roll is awesome. You get 15 pieces for $5, which is a very good price for sushi.

Journal Entry 290 – Christmas Party / Vikings

We had our annual company Christmas Party this past Saturday and it was a really good time. It’s geared towards kids and families, but they still had a lot of really good food and drinks for the employees and guests. It was also snowing, so it looked good for a setting.

Sarah and I have been watching this show called “Vikings” on the History Channel. Very awesome show. I was cautious at first because I was worried about the show being cheesy since it was on the History Channel and not Netflix. I was wrong. Very good acting, storyline, and an awesome historical perspective that I have not seen before. The religion and cultural backgrounds are interesting because they put you on the side of the pagans vs the traditional Christian background that people are used to. Highly recommended. We are watching it on demand right now.

Nothing super exciting in terms of diet and nutrition. I had a lot of drinks last week, but other than that pretty normal. I’ve been hitting cardio for 5 days a week for at least 30 minutes. I have not been lifting heavy as much though. Maybe twice a week recently. I have been doing a lot more bodyweight stuff, mainly just because it feels better.

The Giants also lost again to the Cowboys. It was actually very close until the last 5 minutes. We decided to stop playing defense and we lost. Receivers are also having a hard time catching passes thrown into their hands. Makes sense.