Monday, September 30, 2013


whole day

Okay so, this basically says the same thing, I think, as my weekly slate, which I told you as pictured is sort of a kayfabe slate, the real slate has specific appointments that vary a bit week by week. This and that are model slates, in fact this is my real model slate that lives in my timetracker and is color-coded by activity intensity: grey is no intensity a.k.a. rest, purple is very low intensity, blue is low intensity, and orange is high intensity, and as you know I do the high-low, so I don't really do moderate intensity.

One thing that I wrestled with when I was working out my high-low was, for example, commuting. I commuted by bike to work for about a year or so? And the ride from my house to my work was a really decent ride, I think about thirty minutes with a series of hills. And I think I've told you, I used to count that as "commuting" and other workouts as "working out," but hello, that bike ride five times a week was a workout for me, result, I was exhausted and overtrained. So then I swung way in the other direction, which frankly I probably needed, so I was balancing my three high/two low/two rest on a day by day basis, as in, if I had a high intensity workout in a day, that was all I did for that day. Result, I mean, not directly a result of this decision, I was already uber-sedentary at work, which meant I was sitting for eight hours by day and then playing roller derby for two hours by night. Spoiler: that is a problem.

SO THEN, I started to sit for less prolonged periods, and I'll tell you what, when I started, it wiped me out. Mad respect for my friends who work on their feet all day. And it gave me doubt, I was like, what about my high-low, am I overtraining?

And I finally concluded, dude, if you don't have the steel to engage your upper back, abs, and glutes to keep your pelvis in its proper position, welp, suck it up until you do. Sleep more, if you have to. Fuel better. Ditto to if you don't have the gas to just get up twice an hour. Because what you are now is a Wile E Coyote cartoon of a giant boulder teetering on a teeny pointy rock; prolonged sitting is not good for your metabolism or your muscles, and then you play an explosive contact sport on top of that? Meep!

So, I widened my base for better support. It didn't take that much time or effort to build up the steel and gas to change those boxes from gray to purple. And I started to develop an idea of fitness that I'm actually actively working on with a couple of my clients, and the more we work with it, the more it makes tons of sense and is really paying off, an idea that I'm calling WHOLE DAY, which if you're WCR you know where that comes from and what that means, and if you don't you're probably thinking that I'm the worst product-namer there is, I keep coming up with names like BAMF! and SNIKT! that I think Marvel has trademarked, and there's already Whole Foods and Whole 30 sitting on the idea of whole, oh well.

Anyway the idea is, fitness is about your whole day. And that doesn't, emphatically does not, mean that the goal is to turn this whole chart orange, no more than hyponatremia is a goal for hydration. Not the goal, if that sentence was too windy. Be straightforward, Munt! The goal is, remember I said morning, afternoon, and evening? Morning and afternoon, you at least want to be active at a very low intensity, and I am defining that as you get up at least once and adequately twice an hour. Now some things you do are naturally more than that, say, cooking and cleaning, which I have coded as low intensity activity and defined this as you are up and moving continuously for, say, at least an hour. Which means that some folks, their mornings and afternoons are above very low intensity, and that doesn't mean they're overtrained—they have a stronger base, I'd say. Though I'd also look at the quality of their movement throughout the day, just like anybody else, with an eye to improving anything that's imbalanced or dysfunctional.

Because, because, because whatever little things you're doing for sixteen hours a day, seven days a week add up like nothing else. The way you stand, the way you walk, the way you climb stairs, the way you sit down, stuff that you have to do anyway just, as Prince would say, 2 get through this thing called life... but wait there's more, big glissando... electric word, life, it means forever and that's a mighty long time, why wouldn't you want that to work for you and not against you.

My experience has been limited so far to grey/purple/blue-based folks, really more to the grey and purple side; so consider my remarks in that context. But basically, mornings and afternoons at least purple and up to blue, and then on that base lay out the high-low in the evenings: three orange, two blue, two grey.

(Yes, I totally know that there are people whose mornings and afternoons are straight up orange. Like I said I don't work with those folks, so I can't say much. My feeling, though, is that they're fitter than I'll ever be and I'd just be interested in seeing how they do. Crossfit on top of being a bike messenger, or straight chilling on WoW, both entirely justifiable to my mind.)

So if you followed all that, you can see how my chart is laid out. You can see that I'm still working on my base, I have a few blocks not up to purple yet, and I'm thinking about that. When I'm planning or writing, I'm on the couch for the count, I feel like to get up would disrupt my flow, I mean I really feel that, but then again I went bananas for the first couple months trying to get myself up at work, and now it seems like a natural thing to do. So. TBD. And if I do say so myself, my high-low looks great, I always felt a little like I was cheating and squeezing in four orange in the week, but this new way of looking at things, just considering evenings, and considering how mornings and afternoons are balanced in themselves, it looks just right.

Now, you may not work out in the evening. You might be one of those people who get up at 5:00AM to run. You can still use this basic idea, just turn it upside down. And you are a very good person. I am not the trainer for you, though. And that's okay! There's lots of trainers who are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at dawn, lots and lots of them; this is what's great about the marketplace, you don't have to be all things to all people. Because there are ...other people! So you can just be yourself. If you think that the proper thing to do at 5:00AM is be asleep and you've got a little gas to burn evenings or better yet weekends, I'm your gal and inquire within.

If you don't know, "whole" in this trope comes from I think Bork who started the Manics saying "Whole Team" and that turned into "Whole League," which is really nice. I also say "Whole Can," for how I always use up a whole can of something.