Friday, February 26

I didn’t go into work today because of a dentist appointment.  After getting home, I spent a while shoveling the several inches of global warming that had fallen overnight and was still coming down at quite a clip.  As for the gym, I did 45 minutes on the elliptical.  Wow, interesting day, right?

Published in: on February 28, 2010 at 3:14 am  Leave a Comment  

Thursday, February 25

Another slow trip into work today, once again close to the one-hour mark, though in today’s case there was an obvious culprit, namely the heavy rain that reduced visibility and made driving difficult.  There were no obviously slowdowns on the Expressway, just a general slowness.  I don’t think I made it much over 35 or 40 mph at any point during the trip.  Once I got into work all the parking spaces near the door were taken – but of course! – and since I’m not into the umbrella scene it was a very wet walk, or more appropriately run, into the building.  On a much better note, my sales presentation went very well, with the two managers who reviewed it giving it top ratings.  One of them was surprised to hear that I didn’t have extensive sales experience.  We’ll have to see how well it goes over with actual sales prospects.  The session was over by noon, and I had another slow trip home through the rain, which if anything had gotten even heavier (it turned to snow later at night).

Gym: it was deadlift time, and I went up 20 pounds from last week, to 265.  It was tough, much tougher than 245 had been, but I made it through and did 6 x 6 x 265.  Next week I’ll probably go up to 275 rather than all the way to 285.  I also ellipted for 30 minutes.

Published in: on February 26, 2010 at 10:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

Wednesday, February 24

I was a bad boy today.  Although I didn’t have to go into work, I did not go to the gym. What happened is that I spent most of the afternoon doing various errands.  Then, when the evening came, I was getting sort of paranoid about tomorrow’s presentation and therefore ended up spending hours going over it again and again.  This included running through the eight-minute script in the mirror at least ten times.  So, no gym.

Published in: on February 26, 2010 at 3:43 am  Leave a Comment  

Tuesday, February 23

Not a particularly pleasant drive into work this morning.  I left just before 9, which you would think would be after the rush hour peak and therefore not too bad, but reality reared its ugly head in the form of numerous delays.  For one stretch of almost five miles I did not go any faster than about 20 mph.  The drive to work, about 25 miles door to door, took me just over an hour.  On the other hand, driving home at 3 was no trouble at all even though it was raining quite heavily.

A nice upper-body session at the gym.  One-arm dumbbell rows: 4 x 8 x 100/100.  Precor chest press: 8 x 175, 8 x 180, 8 x 185, 2 x 8 x 175.  Precor triceps pressdowns: 10 x 105, 10 x 110, 10 x 115.  Cable curls: 3 x 8 x 100.  Triceps rope pushdowns: 3 x 10 x 100.

Published in: on February 25, 2010 at 12:52 am  Leave a Comment  

Monday, February 22

No work today, as the training phase is almost over.  Within a week or so my contracts should be finalized and I’ll be able to start actual selling.  It was yoga night at the gym, which went quite well … except in the last couple of minutes, when water started dripping on me from the roof.  It was only a few drops, but enough to disrupt the yoga mindset.  While waiting for the session to begin I did a few sets of upper-body work.  First came Hammer Strength shoulder presses, 2 x 8 x 90/90, 2 x 8 x 80/80, and then EZ curls, 4 x 10 with a 70-pound bar (the 80-pounder I usually use was nowhere to be seen).

Published in: on February 24, 2010 at 6:03 am  Leave a Comment  

Sunday, February 21

Nothing much today, just a 40-minute ellipting session.

Published in: on February 23, 2010 at 3:58 am  Leave a Comment  

Saturday, February 20

Not a bad leg session this afternoon.  In fact, I’d say it was pretty good.  In an unusual step I started off with SLDL’s: 8 x 205, 8 x 215, 2 x 8 x 225.  Then it was on to my favorite squat substitute, trap bar deadlifts: 6 x 245, 6 x 255, 6 x 265.  Next came Precor leg extensions, 8 x 190, 8 x 195, 8 x 200, 8 x 205, and I finished the session with Life Fitness seated leg curls, 3 x 8 x 185.

Published in: on February 22, 2010 at 1:56 am  Leave a Comment  

Friday, February 19

Today wasn’t a holiday,* but it sure seemed that way based on how little traffic I encountered.  Granted, I traveled a bit outside of rush hour, being at work from about 9:35 until 3:30, but one distinguishing feature of the Long Island Expressway is that heavy traffic conditions are by no means limited to traditional rush hours – witness the fact that the HOV lanes are in service from 6 to 10 in the morning and 3 to 8 in the afternoon/evening.  Today I encountered no slow stretches at all.  As for work, by next Thursday I have to memorize a script that’s probably about 700 to 800 words long.  It isn’t the sort of thing I’ve had to do in years, if ever, so it’s pretty clear that I’ll have to be doing a lot of practicing over the next several days!  One interesting thing about working in an insurance company office is that there are two distinct groups.  There are the staff people, who are salaried corporate employees and handle administrative duties, and there are the commissioned sales people like me, who technically speaking are self-employed and work under contract with the corporation.   No doubt there are certain dynamics in the way the two groups interact, though I haven’t been around long enough to pick up on them.  There probably aren’t many workplaces outside the insurance industry with a similar division; one not-quite-the-same example might be a police department’s headquarters, where the workers are divided between sworn police officers and civilian employees.

Addendum: it just occurred to me that there actually is a third type of employee.  Some of the more successful agents rent office space – in a few cases very nice office suites – in the building and hire their own secretaries and other staffers.

Gym: a decent 45-minute ellipting session.

* = okay, it’s the feast day of St. Conrad of Piacenza (thanks Wikipedia), but I highly doubt that has any effect on Long Island Expressway traffic patterns

Published in: on February 21, 2010 at 1:08 am  Comments (4)  

Thursday, February 18

Didn’t have to go into work today, as some conferences preempted training.  Next week should be the end of the training phase, and I’ll finally be able to get into actual selling.  Can’t wait.  I got to the gym about 4:30 for a lengthy and tough session.  Deadlifts: 6 x 6 x 245.  No difficulty with these at all, next week it’s probably time to go up to 265.  Precor triceps pushdowns: 10 x 100, 10 x 105, 10 x 110, 10 x 115.  It was very tough getting through the last set at 115, I still can’t imagine how I made it.  One-arm dumbbell rows: 4 x 8 x 100/100.  This is an old favorite exercise, and more or less at the spur of the moment I decided to try it instead of cable rows.  It’s one exercise for which proper form is vital.  There’s a temptation to cheat by twisting one’s upper body to the side, which defeats the whole purpose of the exercise.  Come to think of it, another classic back exercise – barbell rows – is much the same, with a fine line between proper form and cheating.  Next, I moved onto triceps rope pushdowns, 8 x 100, 8 x 110, 8 x 100, and finished up with Precor chest presses, 10 x 160, 10 x 175, 10 x 180, 10 x 185. By this time I was pretty much beat out.

Published in: on February 19, 2010 at 1:17 am  Leave a Comment  

Wednesday, February 17

Today I was back on the 9:30 – 5:00 schedule at work, which meant that I experienced heavier traffic than yesterday.  Still, it was tolerable, and when dealing with rush hour traffic “tolerable” is a pretty good thing.  I left about 8:15 and only ran into a couple significant delays on the Expressway.  One was around Exit 55, which was predictable, and the other was near Exit 50, which is a less common area for delays.  Traffic coming home in the afternoon was actually a bit better, with the only real delay being right near where I entered at Exit 49.  The overhead signs were warning of delays from exits 55 to 58, but when I got there I was able to maintain a speed of about 30 mph.  Hardly worth calling that a “delay.”

Too worn out for the gym tonight.

Published in: on February 19, 2010 at 1:03 am  Leave a Comment