Monthly Archives: August 2010

Some Quick Redskins Thoughts

Last year, September 28th to be precise, I predicted that JIm Zorn would be fired and replaced with Mike Shanahan.  I was right, just like I was with Chris Samuels’ retirement.  Neither pleased me overmuch, since it meant that the ‘Skins truly did have an awful year, and one of the offensive line stalwarts was gone for good.  It kind’ve takes the wind out of the old sails.

So, we’ve had two meaningless preseason games so far, and thus it is time to reflect on what I see.  I am glad we have Donovan McNabb.  I think he does a lot of McNabb Things, like the grounder to the tight end, that I don’t like, but the clutch play on third down that has murdered the Redskins for years will be in our favor this time.  He has a much better record in the Skins stadium than any QB we’ve actually employed, so I’d rather have him.

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Exercise DVD Review: Bob Harper’s Inside Out Method Bob’s Workout

This is the final review of Bob Harper’s Inside Out Method DVD set.  You can find the Pure Burn strength review here, the Body Rev cardio video here, and Yoga for the Warrior here.  You can probably find my reviews of the workout plan pretty easily, since there is a new one every day. 

Bob’s Workout.  As I said in an earlier post, that name really says it all, with a nice deadly understated ring to it.  What’s this?  Oh, it’s just Bob’s workout.  The implications behind that, however, stand out loud and clear.  This isn’t going to be easy.  This isn’t going to consist of jumping jacks and toe touches.  No, the name promises that it will bring the mighty to their knees in a sweat-coated shivering palsy.  And that was me before I actually put it in.

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Bob’s Workout Plan, Day 7 – And On That Day, Aravan Rested

Last day of the week.  There is, blissfully, no exercise today – we’ve earned a day off.  We normally take Monday off anyway – it’s the hardest day for us to get into gear, and having a day off was always part of the plan.

Overall, I feel very good about the first week of Bob’s program.  It’s challenging, but exceptionally rewarding.  I am noticeably stronger, more flexible, and my endurance is better.  A 3.5 pound weight loss in a week is pretty amazing too, so I’d say that the workout plan is a winner.

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Bob Harper’s Inside Out Method Workout Plan Review, Day 6

Well.  The day I dreaded was here.  I knew Bob was waiting for me in the basement, and I wasn’t feeling particularly ready.  The night before, I had prepared myself for this day by inviting over friends, drinking booze, and smoking a handful of cigarettes.  I went to sleep around 4 am.  I knew I had to help a friend move today as well, at 12:30, so when I woke up at 10:30 Lady Aravan and I groggily determined that working out beforehand was for the best, which meant now.  Right away.  Oy.  Down an Aleve, drink my special weekend protein drink (worth a tangent: if you like Creamsickles at all, then you can make a surprisingly tasty facsimile of one using EAS Whey Protein powder [vanilla] mixed with sugar-free Orange Metamucil.  I know, I know, it sounds disgusting, or at least unsavory, but it is surprisingly good.  To me, anyway.  Lady Aravan agrees as well, and it was her idea to begin with, so credit to her.  48 grams of protein and plenty of fiber!  Heh.), fill up the water, and away we go.

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Bob Harper’s Inside Out Method Workout Plan Review – Day 5

Ahhh, Day 5.  Yoga Day.  The idea seemed so calm and serene, especially when I would say “Yo-gaaaaaahhhh,”  which would make me feel like I was saying “Shangri-La.”  I’d been through Bob’s Yoga for the Warrior twice before, and I knew it was hard, but not Pure Burn or Body Rev intense.  I was especially looking forward to it after 4 days of the other stuff, plus my own strength workouts.  My body felt especially sore this morning, after attempting to do 100 pushups in row the day before (and succeeding!  Woo hoo!).  So I was ready for Bob today.  I thought.

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My Trainer Bob Workout Review: Day 4

The ongoing saga of love, tears, and the vindication of the human spirit (actually, just the daily journal of my wife and I and our attempt to complete Bob Harper’s Inside Out Method workout from

Rough night.  Weird dreams.  Went to bed stiff and sore, then dreamt a long, rambling, and vividly-colored dream that culminated in me being mistakenly taken as a Hairdresser and Facial Expert to the Stars, or at least to Jennifer Love Hewitt.  No, I am not making that up, and no, I don’t know what that means.  The fact that we were at a strange wedding pre-party for a co-worker of mine didn’t help it make any more sense.

Anyway, I was awoken from this dream, not by the sounds of electronic waves crashing from my alarm clock (I will never be able to use a BEEP BEEP BEEP alarm clock again), but instead by our trio of mutts who decide, for no good reason, to leap up and run outside barking.  Perhaps one had dreamt about being a Poodle to the Stars.  I’ll never know, but I do know it’s not 4:30, it’s just after 4.  Fannnnnnnn-tastic.  The soreness in my right shoulderblade (“Yep, I’m still here!” it says joyously as I squint at the clock) keeps me awake.  I try to go back to sleep anyway, even if it means washing Jennifer Love Hewitt’s hair (I mean, I’ve never even watched any of her shows – why her?  Anyone?).  No luck.  Alarm sounds, here we go again.

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My Trainer Bob Workout Review, Day 3

The chronicle of my wife and me and our attempts to do Bob Harper’s Inside Out Method workout plan from

Day 3.  Cardio again.  I slowly get out of bed today.  I’m sore, legs, arms, and glutes – big time – but the worst is the rusty steakknife still jammed into my back next to my shoulderblade from Tuesday’s mishap.  Deep breath, shrug it off, time to go.

Hi, Bob.  It’s now the fifth or so time I’ve been through this exercise routine, but Bob still gets me motivated.  “ToDAY is the DAY you make a difference.  Right now.”  I’m ready to make a difference.  Warm-up, then the punches that mark the blending between the warm-up and the intensity to follow.  As always, I admire Roxie’s stance as she goes through the punches, then uppercuts.  She’s tiny, but you can tell from the way she holds her hands and hunches into her stance that she isn’t a stranger to boxing.  I try to mimic her casually perfect form and can’t, but that’s OK, since it’s something to strive for.

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My Trainer Bob Workout, Day 2

The ongoing chronicle of my wife and I and our attempts to do Bob Harper’s Workout Plan from

It’s Day 2, and you know what that means, and it ain’t French Toast.  Day 2 is strength day.  Even at 4 stinkin’ 30 I’m apprehensive.  My neck and upper back are sore, because I am stupid.  Yesterday at lunch, I did my strength workout (back and biceps) and, straining to increase my reps, I tweaked a muscle in my upper back/neck, making it hard to turn my head.  Lady Aravan makes me promise to be smart with it, so I need to keep a rein on my own stupidity.  At 4 freaking 30 in the morning.  Protein shake, feed dogs, water filled, skip heart rate monitor because I don’t want to be distracted, DVD in.

Bob ties his shoe.  He looks at me, and I can see that he is determined.  “Let’s do this,” he says, firmly but quietly.  He walks onto the set, where Helen, Stephanie, and Francisco await him.  He slaps their hand one by one.  My wife and I aren’t terrorists, but we fist-bump anyway.  Let’s do this.

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Me, My Shovel, and My Trainer Bob: Attempting Bob’s Workout Plan

After reviewing Bob Harper’s new DVD collection, I found on his website (free to join) his 4-week exercise plan.  Well, technically, my wife found it, and she talked me into trying it in that roundabout way she has (“I was thinking about trying this” – when Lady Aravan is thinking about something, that generally means it’s what she wants, but she doesn’t like asserting herself all the time).  I agreed.  After looking at it, we decided to start on Week 3, since we currently work out 6 days a week, and that mirrors the Week 3 plan.  Full on vinegar and bravado, we decided that we’d start Tuesday – which is today.

This is the background paragraph: If you don’t care, click the Read More button and skip it, but I think it’s helpful info.  My wife and I are not young 20-somethings, marathon runners, or fitness nuts (or, at least, we weren’t, but we seem to be becoming that).  I’m 38, she’s 39.  I smoked over a pack a day for 10 years or so, from 18 to 28, and still occasionally do when I’mma gettin’ ma drink on.  I only run when my life is in peril, and since I live in the suburbs, my life hasn’t ever really been on the line.  I started lifting weights regularly a couple of years ago, but hated cardio so much that I avoided it like brussels sprouts.  In April of this year, Lady Aravan and I were at our heaviest weights ever and not happy.  We decided to do something about it, since I came to the painful realization that the government is not currently working on a top-secret cyborg that my brain will be implanted into, thereby gaining me eternal life, so I’d have to increase my lifespan the hard way.  We started with Jillian Michael’s 30-Day Shred, built some endurance, mixed in some of her The Biggest Winner exercise DVDs, and moved to her latest (Banish Fat and Boost Metabolism, No More Trouble Zones, and Yoga Something Or Other) DVD collection.  Over the last 4 months, we’ve dropped weight, gained strength and endurance, and were ready for a new challenge.  Bob Harper’s DVD set looked interesting, so we decided to give it a whirl.  Enough background: this is the story of Day 1 of Bob’s workout plan.

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Exercise DVD Review: Bob Harper’s Inside Out Method Yoga for the Warrior

For prior reviews of Bob Harper’s new series, see here for cardio and here for strength.  When I finish filling out my last will and testament, I will perform and review the Bob’s Workout DVD, which nearly gave me a coronary when I watched it on the couch.

Ahh, yoga.  For me, the name does not conjure images of forgotten temples nestled deep in Indian jungles, where ancient limber wise men teach the ways of breathing life-giving force in a special manner while contorting into impossible positions.  Instead, it makes me think about the 1990’s soccer mom and the (to me) mystifying popularity of what looked like an extended period of stretching.  And let me tell you, I hate stretching.  Always have, since pee-wee football.  I have always been incredibly inflexible.  At some point, though, my wife talked me into trying a yoga class, and I honestly enjoyed it.  I started going regularly, then stopped when I got lazy.  That was 10 years ago.

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