Dude’s Workout

Happy belated Memorial Day. Hope you had a great unofficial start to the summer.

Memorial Day is one of the best holidays – other than the whole memorializing dead people thing – because of the all the promise the upcoming summer holds. It will go quick, it always does, but it’s a given that the next few months will be filled with all sorts of greatness.

To help kickoff the summer, The Dudes welcomed The Lady in the Shoe and her family – all 27 kids. Luckily, her husband – the Dude’s brother-in-law – tagged along as well. And he helped me accomplish a major task, cutting down a couple big trees.

So, to start this post, I want give a huge thank you to the bro-in-law for all the help. And this big task is part of a bigger discussion we had over the extended weekend, workouts.

I could stretch this workout discussion in all sorts of directions, but I’m going to keep it simple – with the thought in mind that I will circle back with some more workout/health related ideas later.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the Dude has been dabbling in health and fitness for a long time. Many moons ago I was even a certified personal trainer, but my main interest over the years has been to develop an efficient training and health regimen for myself. And I’m closer now than I’ve ever been.

I’m always looking for ideas to improve my systems, methods, exercises, etc., but my current regimen is very streamlined and effective.

I get into workout discussions from time to time, and I’ve shared my ideas on a number of occasions; so after a workout discussion with the bro-in-law this weekend, I figure it’s worth a blog post to toss out my thoughts.

This is already dragging on longer than I hoped, so let’s get to it. Below is a down and dirty on the Dude’s Workout. Keep in mind that my goal is to get results, be healthy, and do it as quickly, as effectively, and as fun as possible.

Oh, and no gym membership, done at home.

Before I dive into it, I need to point out that general health and desired results depend heavily on diet. I estimate as much as 80%, in fact…maybe more. Yes, diet is that important. My diet discussion will most likely spiral in all sorts of directions, so I’m not going to hit it YET, but if you want to do a little research on your own, check out Mark’s Daily Apple. I can’t suggest that site highly enough. I dig Mark’s ideas big time. Snoop around, you’ll be amazed, and much of my thoughts incorporate Mark’s ideas.

Here we go….the Dude’s workout for a week:

  • 2 days of heavy lifting
  • 4 days of movement
  • 1 day of sprints

Heavy Lifting – I use a dive belt with 28 pounds for weight:

  • Weighted push-ups
    • 16 reps –  failure
    • Exhale up and down, hold for a full inhale at the bottom.
  • Weighted pull-ups
    • 16 reps – failure
  • Squats or lunges
    • 20 reps
  • Shoulder press
    • 10 reps
    • Kneel on a bench or chair (I use a piano bench), bend over and put your hands on the ground, push. You’ll be amazed.
  • Planks
    • 35 seconds. Front, and each side.
    • If you don’t know planks, do a quick search, and you’ll get all you need to know. Basically, get in a push-up position, but on your elbows, and hold it.

A Few Notes:

  • Only go to about 80-90% range of motion for each exercise. In other words, keep tension on the active muscles at all times; don’t fully extend and give your muscles a chance to relax in between reps.
  • I’d love to do lower reps, but it’s tough to have enough weight at home.
    • Lower reps – 6-8 – are best for building muscle.
  • It is amazing how great the workout can be at home. It’s just a matter of the right exercises – and the right diet.
  • I have a couple other routines I’m working towards, but I haven’t gotten there yet. I’ll share when I do.

4 Days of Movement:

  • This can be anything; just get out and move. Walking is great, ride a bike, kayak, jump rope, play on a playground – anything you can do to move.
  • I do yoga a couple days a week, and I also incorporate deep tissue massage with a lacrosse ball, as I’ve mentioned in a previous post – this massage will blow your mind.
  • I also work in walking, riding a bike, kayaking, gardening, surfing, chasing the kiddos, yada, yada, yada. Basically, get outside, move, and have fun.


  • This is a key ingredient. Drop the long runs. They are not healthy or good for you. Again, read Mark’s Daily Apple.
  • However, I must admit, I’m a bit slack here. I was very consistent for a couple months, but I’ve been stretched in other directions recently.
  • My routine is 6, 120 yard sprints – a full football field including end-zones. Sprint – as in as fast as you can – one way and walk back to catch your breath. Repeat 6 times.
  • There are a wide variety of options thought – swim, jump rope, kayak, ride a bike – anything that you can sprint with.

There it is the down and dirty Dude workout. Be flexible, but be consistent. Have fun, save money, and get in shape. The summer is full of promise; so now’s a great time to start.

Before I roll, how about a couple great pictures of the tree cutting. Which brings me full circle, and gives me a chance to make a final note. Life is full of exercise, we just need to find it. Cutting down trees and hauling wood all day is a great example of a day full of heavy lifting. Sure, it’s not a specific routine, but damn straight that counts as one of the two heavy lifting days for the week.

Thanks for the workout and the lack of trees bro-in-law.

‘Nastics Finale

'Nastics Finale

'Nastics Finale

Little Dude and The Princess have been getting their ‘nastics on for the past few weeks. For anyone not familiar with Little Dude speak, ‘nastics = gymnastics.

Little Dude loved the climbing, rolling, and jumping, but The Princess was the big success story.

I’ve mentioned Ms. Princess’ lack of athletic motivation in the past with the not-often-discussed soccer incident – two months, seven games, and 14 practices that evoked teeth pulling misery for the Dude and The Princess. We’re happy to let soccer fade into the past.

But I stand by my belief that she is very athletic when she wants to be. And we’ve see glimpses of this with her board-breaking TKD action.

Now we have some strong evidence of The Princess’ athletic prowess; gymnastics. A. She loved it, and 2. she climbed the learning curve quickly. In 6 short weeks she went from barely tumbling with the ability for a half cartwheel, to back-walkovers and round-offs on the high balance beam.

Impressive. Love to see the joy in athletics, and it is helping to build a lot of confidence in everything she does.

Below is a quick highlight reel from the ‘nastics finale. Organized chaos is the best way to describe it. 30 little kids, 6 gymnastic stations, loud music, and a whole lot of movement.

Nice work Princess!


Indeed, A Small Group Can Change the World!

Small Group = Change

Small Group = Change

The other day I posted a video of a 12 year old dropping some serious knowledge about how The Man is hosing us with an economic/banking/big-business system that is clearly broken. The video is well worth the 6 minutes it takes for Ms. Grant to break it down to terms even a 12 year old can understand.

The end of the video closed with a vote by Margaret Mead…

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

And now there seems to be evidence that Ms. Mead is right on. A recent study from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute demonstrates that the tipping point for spread of ideas is 10%.

10%! That’s amazing. We can change the world with a 10% consensus. Think about that.

Now, the Dude’s padre is a statistics professor who continually reminds anyone who will listen that many studies are not performed well, and the results are questionable. So, we should take this study with a grain of salt, but it’s interesting none-the-less. And if it is even remotely accurate, there are far-reaching implications for the ability to make significant changes to the world we live in. By the way, RPI is a pretty reputable school.

Here are a couple impressive quotes from the researchers/studies:

  • “When just 10 percent of the population holds an unshakable belief, their belief will always be adopted by the majority of the society.”
  • One of the researchers observed, “When the number of committed opinion holders is below 10 percent, there is no visible progress in the spread of ideas. It would literally take the amount of time comparable to the age of the universe for this size group to reach the majority. Once that number grows above 10 percent, the idea spreads like flame.”

Thanks to Tom Woods for sharing.

Facial Hair Hits to the Big Screen

Don't Worry My Dad Has a Beard

Don't Worry My Dad Has a Beard

I’ve often professed my love for facial hair. The Dude is a card carrying member of Beard Team USA, and I even have a blog category dedicated to fun with facial hair.

Now one of my favorite subjects is headed to the big screen.

Mansome is a rad new movie dedicated to dudes and our love for facial follicles.

And to make the awesomeness of Mansome that much awesomer, the Executive Directors of the flick are Will Arnett and Jason Bateman of Arrested Development fame – amazingly funny yet canceled after a couple seasons…don’t fret, you can still find episodes on Netflix.

But on to Mansome


Live Music for All the Old Fogies – i.e. Parents

Ryan Montbleau

Ryan Montbleau

A few weeks ago I commented on the inverse relationship between getting older – and being a parent – and enjoying live music – i.e. the older we get, the more parenting we do, the less live music we get out to see.

I mentioned that…

Concerts take on an entirely new perspective as a parent. I love music, and live music is amazing, but these days the Dude is happy to trade a great Pandora station for a live show. That just seems like a lot of work. :)

I admit that I miss live music, but the trade off of time spent with the family is a swap I’m happy to make.

But now, thanks to one of the Dude’s favorite under-the-radar musicians – Ryan Montbleu – the old fogies among us no longer have to make this trade.

Ryan is a singer/songwriter from Boston that I’ve been listening to for many moons. He has a great bluesy, soulful rock/folk style that is hard to pin down, but very impressive.

He’s been pumping out great tunes and touring for years. Ryan, and his band, put on a great live show. I’m amazed that he is not more well-known.

It’s been years since I’ve seen them live, but I’d love to see more of them.

Wish granted. Thanks Ryan.

This is the first I’ve heard of a band embracing the interwebs like this, and not only am I a huge fan of the idea, but I can only assume that it is a great marketing idea for the music – in fact, I heard about this on Mashable.com, so the word is spreading. Nice work Ryan.

So what am I carrying on about?

Free live streaming of every show. Awesome.

You can watch every live show that The Ryan Montbleau Band performs at www.RMBLive.com.

I am super jazzed to be able to see live music on a regular basis…and from one of my fav bands. Thanks for being so rad Ryan.

Here’s a quick taste of what Ryan has to offer – a great jam about the joy of getting older…


Is a 12 Year Old Smarter Than the World Economy?

It only takes this 12 year little girl from Canada about six minutes to explain why we (i.e. most of the world) are getting screwed by the government and big banks/business – i.e. The Man.

Kids never cease to amaze me, and this princess is clearly mature beyond her years, but should she really have a better grasp on economics than bankers, economists, politicians, voters…? I think you get my point.

When 12 year olds need to alert us to broken systems, it’s probably time to listen. Unfortunately, my guess is walls will need to crumble before we realize.

Great quote to end her speech…

Margaret Mead – “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Great job Ms. Victoria Grant:


Practical Tips from a Burglar

The Dude has been burglarized on a few occasions; a few cars, a couple houses, and an array of locations. I recovered some goods, lost some, but overall none of the instances were earth-shattering. I did feel a bit unlucky – karma?…not sure for what.

While my life did roll on normally, I can say that it does leave a creepy, violated feeling that lingers for a while. However, I really don’t think of it much, and I don’t view the world as a negative place with thieves around every corner. Although, I do consciously lock my doors, and I have a baseball bat next to my bed – as a dad, these precautions just make practical sense.

These anomalies to my everyday life don’t come to mind too often, but I saw a neat post on swissmiss.com, and since I can relate, I figured it was worth sharing. Some common sense ideas that we should all have lodged in our mental space.

Tips from burglars. And after reading the list, I can say that if I followed these, I probably could have avoided some of the violations.

Worth a quick read…

13 Things a Burglar Won’t Tell You

Sabotage for the Kids – RIP MCA

As we all probably know by now, one of the trifecta that make up the Beastie Boys passed away last week. I was tempted to scribble out a post memorializing MCA, but the interwebs were bursting at the seams with MCA-related posts; so I held off.

I mourned in my own way – I added a Beasties station to my Pandora (how did I not have a Beasties station?!) and cranked up the car stereo while cruising. I’m sure MCA can respect this.

Born in the late 70’s, the Dude is a product of the 80’s, and as a result, a product of the Beastie Boys. I can still recall sitting in my 4th grade class and seeing the Beasties cassette for the first time as a friend passed it around like illegal contraband.

Music was still rebellious at that point, and it doesn’t get much more rebellious than early Beastie Boys.

The Beasties will forever hold a special place in my musical heart. So, it’s sad to see a founding member move on – especially at the young age of 49. To be honest, it seemed like the Beasties would fade away a number of times, but they always found a way to stay relevant. With MCA gone, there is no way to make a full recovery, and with that, it feels like a piece of childhood for many gen x/y’ers is passing on as well. Hence all of the online memorializing.

I stayed out of the online memorializing for a week or so, but now I’ve been pulled back in. A great new video has brought the MCA memorial to the level of kids, and the Dude can relate to kids. So, I had to jump in.

Here’s a tribute to Adam Yauch – aka MCA – by James Winters and his family. James, the Dude digs. Nice work.


Hats off to Kottke.org for sharing the link.

The World at Your Fingertips – MaKey MaKey

A few posts ago I linked to a Kickstarter campaign for slip-on shoes for everyone – i.e. hickies. A pretty neat idea, but sort of leaning to the goofy side of life. My next Kickstarter link seems to have a bit more potential.

Are you familiar with Kickstarter? It’s a relatively new (year or so?) way for ideas to get funded. Some lame, and some totally awesome. Basically, you put your idea online, ask for money, and if people dig it, they’ll give you money in exchange for some type of return – a free book when it comes out, acknowledgments in the credits, etc.

Giving more power to the people – i.e. a new way to take power from The Man. Rad.

Now on to the brilliance. These dudes from MIT have created a neat little device that will turn just about anything into a touchpad that will control your computer. The video below demonstrates some great – and goofy – examples, but picture controlling your computer with a banana or turning your stairs into the keys of a piano (Big anyone?).

I’m not sure where this technology will take us, but my guess is we’re just scratching the surface. Technology is insane!

You can find out more on the MaKey MaKey Kickstarter page.


Hats off to Trent Walton for sharing the link. I’m easily following 100+  blogs at this point, so I’m not all that familiar with Trent, or where I came across him, but he seems pretty cool. Worth a look if you’re into the radness.

Happy Mother’s Day!

From the Dudes to you, happy Mother’s Day. You are insanely important, immensely overworked, and incredibly under appreciated. You’re the glue that holds it all together.

Dad’s are pretty cool too…but Mom’s are the bomb. We love you!

Here are some quick highlights of the Dudes’ Mama’s Day festivities…