All screwing around aside...

... I've decided to step things up. I'll let the graphs speak for themselves.

Minutes per zone... I have significantly increased the amount of time I'm exercising per week after a 2 week hiatus from exercising. Most all of the exercise has been at a light intensity.

This graph shows the total number of hours I've spent exercising per week (blue) and the weighted number of hours (red). The weighted total is a description of the amount of time weighted by the exercise intensity, which is determined by %heart rate reserve. This weighted total is mostly useless, but it looked like fun... Fun with spreadsheets!

I read an article in the paper today about a triathlete who qualified for the national triathlon in Hawaii. She said she trained 20 hours/wk to prepare for the event. I'm not a triathlete. 20 hours is a part time job and I've already got a full time job and school. 6 hours is by no means a great deal of time spent exercising. I like to think of it as more of a starting point. I hope to double the volume over the next 2 weeks. If I can squeeze in 12 quality hours per week I think maybe I'll have a handle on this fitness thing.

On a separate note - I'm definitely going to change the plyometric plan some... I've started jump roping again, too.



I have here a plan for a plyometric training program taken from a 2003 article by Spurrs, Murphy, and Watsford about the benefits of plyometric training to trained endurance runners. The take home point of the article is that plyometric training makes previously very well trained endurance runners more "economic" in their running (running faster at a lower energy cost). The article goes on to explain the increases by showing improvements in musculotendon stiffness, increased force of isometric contractions (stronger), and some other stuff...

In a 6 week program, you don't actually "build" muscle because of any type of training (cardio, weights, plyometrics, etc...). You learn to use the muscle you have - recruiting greater numbers of motor units per contraction (motor unit = muscle + nerves that attach to it).

In a past life (high school, as sad as that sounds) I was very strong, much stronger than I am now. While there is some deterioration of muscle over time if it isn't used, it's still a very resource intensive thing to build up, so your body is reluctant to get rid of all of it... I plan on starting this 6 week program to see if I can't quite literally shock my muscles into waking up in 6 weeks and see if I can't produce the same change in running, biking, hiking, and whatever else economy.

I should, I think, actually have a much greater improvement than exhibited by the trained distance runners in the study because of my much lower starting point due to a lack of any recent training... We'll see. I'll let you know when I start the program and when I end it, and any changes I make to it between now and then.

Week/Session Jump Squat Jump Scissor Kick Double Leg Bound Alternate Leg Bound Single Leg Forward Bound Depth Jump Double Leg Hurdle Jump Single Leg Hurdle Jump Total Contacts
1/1 2x10 2x10 2x10

1/2 2x10 2x10 2x10

2/1 2x10 2x10 2x10 2x10

2/2 2x10 2x10 2x10 2x10

2x12 2x12 2x12 2x10

2x12 2x12 2x12 2x10


3x10 3x10 2x12 2x6


3x10 3x10 2x12 2x6


3x10 2x15 3x10 2x8


2x8 2x10 2x10 136

2x10 2x10 2x10 170

2x10 2x10 2x10 170

3x10 3x10 3x10 3x10 180

2x15 3x10 3x10 3x10 180

2x15 3x10 3x10 3x10 180

RW Spurrs, AJ Murphy, ML Watsford

The Effect of Plyometric Training on Distance Running


Exercise Lesson of the Day

My new plan...

I am not going to exercise at high intensities... In fact, my goal will be to keep my heart rate under 150 all week. There's a reason for this and it has to do with energy systems in use during exercise. More to come...

New HR Max!

Is routine the key to weight loss?

I went on an impromptu trip to Medicine Hat, Canada, with a friend. We ate, gambled, drank, and partied from about noon to 3am and spent the night in my car. Sunday was a wonderful day full of puking, shivering, and short bouts of consciousness.

I was met back in the states by bills, homework, an disappointed girlfriend, broken blower motor (see Goal #2 posts) and life in general. Needless to say, this threw my short lived exercise routine WAY out of wack. I went that entire following week without exercising even once. Bills and an acute lack of money was enough, I felt, to keep my blood pressure high and heart racing.

The next week was more of the same - pretty much nothing. On tuesday night (10/30/07) I was feeling restless, and needed to get out of the house. I haven't felt restless from inactivity for a while - it was a good feeling to get out even though it near freezing.

I used my phone (with a built in accelerometer based pedometer - more on this later) to measure running distance as an experiment. I also wore my heart rate monitor for fun. The jog was from my apt. to Romney - where I have my Graduate Exercise Physiology class (this seemed like an appropriate target). My jog was short - ~2.3 miles (measured by my phone). Total - I was out being active for ~30 minutes.

I would say it was split 2/3 jogging and 1/3 walking. My intent was not to go out and push myself to the max, as poorly conditioned as I am right now a slow jog pace is basically where I tach. out running on the road. 3 things came from this jog:
  1. I'm in worse condition than I thought...
  2. My Left Knee absolutely HURT LIKE HELL.
  3. My maximum heart rate is 207.
I had surgery on my knee last April - old injuries catching up and so on... I did some training and rehab on my own after that - a couple hikes, etc... Then, for no apparent reason, I went 3 months with no exercise at all... My return in October was great - no pain at all for 3 straight weeks! My jog last Tuesday shattered this. I will be more careful next time. I've been resting and icing since then. Tonight is my first night out and I am going to take it very easy.

My heart rate was 207 BPM. That's really damn high (not good or bad - just means I worked harder than I probably should have). I've updated my Excel Exercise Tracker (that's what I'm going to call it from now on) with this new value and changed my exercise intensities in my watch accordingly.


Blower Motor Removal

Removing the Blower Motor
1997 Cadillac DeVille Concours

This bar is the first thing you want to do...

This hose will get in the way, too.

Once you get the 5 mounting bolts off (the red dots in the first post about this) you have to take the firewall off, too. This is the only way you'll have the clearance to pull the old motor out.

Also, this thing has to go... It pops right off.

Now that you've taken it apart, you get to fight like a son of a bitch to get it out... I had to push a large bundle of wires down and out of the way - i broke several very brittle brackets in the process.

If you get this far, you're doing good. If you know a better way feel free to comment.


Blower Motor

Restating the problem...

So the problem is this...

Top/Side View

Frontish View

So I think I can get the 5 bolts undone pretty easy. The problem is that the engine (which you can see from the side view) is in the way of taking the blower motor out. I don't think there will be enough clearance for the blower motor to come out without moving the engine... That's probably why the labor cost was so high.

A Statement of the Problem...

Cadillac vs. My Checking Account

I like expensive toys. I own a 1993 Cadillac SeVille and a 1997 Cadillac DeVille Concours. Any shop or dealer repair on a Cadillac (as I have discovered first hand), is extremely expensive. It isn't just the labor cost, either... The PARTS are RIDICULOUS. Dealer or Shop repairs must be budgeted for months in advance. That is fine - if I know I have a problem coming...

If it's something spontaneous, like the blower motor on my 1997 DeVille, and the month is (chosen at random...) October, then fixing then problem becomes time sensitive and thus must match or exceed the sensitivity of my fingers while I'm trying to drive when the temperature is already approaching freezing...

Dealership: 760 to replace a blown out blower motor.
Regular Shop: Didn't bother...
Part Alone:
  • 476.00 from the dealership
  • 275.00 if I look around for a new one.
  • 125.00 at a junk yard.

Looks like I'm doing this one on my own...

Goal #4

Goal #4: Become Dr. Denver - Ultimate Fighter.

I don't necessarily mean to be an ultimate fighter but it would be fun to have something to train for again. I would like to be fit again. I am a Pre-Physical Therapy major - basically exercise science. It's a fun major and I enjoy it, but I'd like to live it at least as much as I am studying it. As such, I put together a massive MS Excel spreadsheet with tables, graphs, charts, and other implements of destruction (of fat cells! Ha!). I intend to use this exercise tracker to record all of my bouts of exercise from now until doomsday in hopes that I can develop a more structured and consistent exercise regime. I don't want to be a tri-athlete or some crazy exercise geek, but I would like to be fit again.

The other tool I am using is a heart rate monitor by Polar. It reports the number of minutes I spend at a given exercise intensity according to my heart rate. I have defined the three zones using ACSM's HHR (Heart Rate Reserve) guidelines for Light (z1), Moderate (z2), and Intense(z3) exercise intensities.

Here is what I have so far...
***Click on the tables and graphs for larger images.

This is the basic input cell in my spreadsheet. It is organized according to Day and Exercise Mode/Intensity Zone. This also totals and averages the minutes according to day, mode, and intensity.

This table below is the big deal. It took me the longest to make. It is a summary table of all of the data from set of totals and averages from th
e input cells above... It isn't necessarily complex, but it is the basis for all of the graphs which you are about to see. From left to right, it displays Total Minutes per Week per Mode (mode - run, bike, swim, hike), %Minutes per Mode per Week, Minutes per Zone per Week, %Zone per Week, Total Hrs Exercising, Weighted Total Hrs (weighted according to Intensity), and Minutes Exercised per Day. Following this table, I have several summarizing graphs and charts to help visualize exactly what I'm doing when I work out.

From here on out, I'm just going to post summary tables and graphs of the data taken from the data above...

The following is just a summary for the first 3 weeks of exercising...

Minutes per Zone:
Blue = Z1, Red = Z2, Yellow = Z3

Average and Standard Dev. Minutes per Zone:

Average and Standard Dev. Minutes per Day:


Goal #3

Goal #3: Maintain My Good Relationships

I surround myself with mostly good people. That said, I have a tendency to ignore the good people and gradually slip out of contact with my friends. It's not intentional - I don't want to forget about people, but sometimes that's just what happens and I don't realize it until those people are long gone out of my life. A simple phone call, lunch, or email/letter would have be enough and I just don't make time. So, my goal is to do just that - make time for my friends.


Goal #2

Goal #2: Keep My Car Running

I have a general distrust for the automotive industry. I hate paying mechanics for anything - especially things I find out later I could have done myself for much cheaper. I think mechanics can sense this and start charging me by the hour the second I walk through the door. I have too many examples of this sort of thing to count. The best/most recent/noteworthy example is the radiator in my old Cadillac (the 300k mile Seville). The radiator was leaking transmission fluid into the radiator.

Dealership Estimate: $800 (400 was the cost of the new radiator)
Radiator/Muffler Specialist: $500 (250 was the cost of a used radiator)
Radiator King: $240 to diagnose, then more to fix it, depending on the problem...

The radiator I found online (brand new, lifetime warranty) = $141.00
Shipping = Free.
Advice and labor from someone who knew more than me = 2 light beers.
Total Repair Time: 1.5 hrs. max, including beer drinking and admiration at a job well done.

Without going into details, the repair was simple. Painfully simple. So simple that if I had payed for it, I would have driven the car through the shops office. (priceless!)

It is worth noting that a radiator mechanic was nice enough to help me find part numbers and advise me partly through the process should I attempt it myself after I explained to him my financial situation (broke) and the value of my car (worthless). Silent Knight Mufflers and Radiators (Bozeman, MT)

After this I started to think and wonder about other things I could do to my car without help. I haven't had to do anything yet, but I am going to try my own stuff from now on. On this site, I am going to chronicle any auto repairs and/or modifications to any vehicle I am lucky enough to get my hands dirty in. I will try to post videos, pictures, and very simple "How To" instructions for anyone who cares.


Goal #1

Goal #1: Become Dr. Denver

I'm 4 and a half years into my undergrad career. Right now I'm taking 1 graduate class in Exercise Physiology and doing undergraduate research. I'm set to graduate this December. I have a ~3.5 something GPA. That's on the low end for applying to Physical Therapy schools but I'm going to give it a try anyway. I haven't really visited any schools yet, but I think I have a couple months to figure that out. I still need to schedule a test date to take my GRE and I have to do that before I start sending in applications.

Most of what I have been doing up to this point has been resume building... In the past I've done a lot of work with people - I was an Resident Advisor, Assistant Resident Director, and Summer Resident Director on campus while I lived there. I moved off campus and got a job as a Resident Assistant at an assisted living community (pass meds, ADLs, Showers, Laundry, Emergency Response...). Currently I work at the same Assisted Living community where I am the Restorative Aid. Basically, I work with the residents and physical therapists to do exercise programs once the residents are discharged from Physical Therapy. I also do some exercise classes.

I am going to do my best to chronicle the steps I take and the efforts made to get me into and successfully out of graduate school.


I am Denver.

I'm a Broncos Fan. I am 23 years old. I am a student, barely. I also work full time to pay for food and my Cadillac. I'm thinking about going to graduate school for Physical Therapy. Dr. Denver has a nice ring to it... I keep good company. I have a handful of friends I consider good company and a smaller group I call "good people" on an individual basis. It might not make sense until you hear me say it. I feel like I have 4 oversimplified goals in life right now. 1) Become Dr. Denver. 2) Keep my Car Running. 3) Maintain my good relationships. 4) Become Dr. Denver - Ultimate Fighter.

I don't like ...

... it when someone doesn't say "thank you" when you serve them food.