T Nation



SO... earlier this summer I found out I've atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter- basically, short-circuits in my heart. Whee. ANYWAY, so after way too many tests and studies and 'imaging' etc...

I finally hear out that I've been cleared. I'm on 50 mg Toprol, but aside from that and some common sense, I'm good to go. Not completely cleared, but as long as HR stays below 150 or so, I should be fine.

Naturally, I celebrated by gorging-- Indian buffet. Moron.

SUCH a huge load off, though-- I still have the 'short circuits' but unless symptoms pop up again, there's really no need to just sit on my ass WAITING anymore.

Not that I'll be able to jump right back to tabata or anything, but... still. Excited/relieved/taller.


SO there were some delays getting started. I figured I'd start off pretty light and easy...

09/15/09: 15 minutes rowing: avg heart rate 78% max, 3000 m rowed,92% peak HR


09/17/09: 60 minutes, light, bike: 114 BPM avg, 126 BPM peak HR


09/18/09: light free weights:
3 sets OH squats x 8 reps: 25# dbs

2 sets rev. lunge x 10: 15# dbs, 12# dbs

3 sets db bench press x 8: 45#, 50#, 40#

3 sets seated mid-row x 8: 120, 90, 90

2 sets upright row x 10: 52, 40

41 minutes, avg HR 116, 154 peak HR


09/22/09:Doing some conditioning work tonight at soccer game, but in meantime:

3x10 front squat: 25# dbs

3x8 romanian db: 35# dbs

3x12 db flat bench: 40# dbs

3x12 lat pd: 100, 87, 87

2x20 standing calf raise: 133, 133

26 minutes, avg HR 127, 153 peak HR


09/23/09: 60 minutes, level 8, bike: 132 BPM avg, 156 BPM peak HR, 14 miles.

Reading a book, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, that's actually pretty good. It's been translated from Japanese to English, so maybe that has something to do with it, but it's pretty slow at times.

On the other hand, he's pretty upfront about it being as much a memoir as thoughts on distance running-- and neither genre's a favorite of mine to say the least...

Not sure what my point was. Anyway, I'm enjoying it more than I thought I would.

And I'm frustrated with starting things off so @#^#^@% light and slow. It's really pretty difficult to keep HR below 150 if I'm actually WORKING at something...

Back to the iron tomorrow, so that should help.


Stealing someone else's idea (Shug): I just steamed a 1# bag of veggies and am working my way through it over the rest of the day.

there were a few questions re: flavor, and in response to those:

chinese mustard. 1 tsp (goes a LONG way) has no fat, zero cholesterol, and only 8 mg sodium. 6 oz lean ham so far in terms of protein-- plan on loading that back in tomorrow esp peri-workout-


ow. So, first time trying the 5x5. I will still feel this Monday.


pushups: 5x12

lpd: warmup 10@62; 5@125, 125, 125, 100, 112

bicep curl: 5 @ 40#dbs, 65# cable, 35#db hammer, 30#db, 52# cable

tri pushdown: warmup 10@52; 5 @ 65, 58, 58, 58

started off with OH squats with set of 12 @ 20# dbs, but knee twinge from yesterday still there- will hold off on legs another day-

43 minutes @ 124 avg HR, 146 peak.


9/27: conditioning- some track, some kicking around @ coupla soccer games.
Max HR: 169 (oops).



Had some inspiration today and was able to fight off a crippling case of the mondays. Did NOT feel like going to train today- no soreness, no fatigue, no swine / bird/ whatever flu... just didn't feel like it.

But I did. Weights still barely worthy of the name, but I'm making progress--

DB OH squats: 8 @ 30#s, 8 @ 25#s, 8 @ 30#s

DB rev lunge: 10 @ 15#s, 10 @ 15#s

DB flat chest press: 8 @ 50#s, 8 @ 50#s, 8 @ 50#s

seated row: 8 @ 120, 8 @ 120, 10@ 90

upright row: 10 @ 52, 10@ 52

41 minutes, 108 avg HR, 143 max.

inch by inch...


actually, I think that adds up to 740# more than I moved on the 18th, doing the same workout.

Not terribly shabby, but I'm hardly counting on that kind of improvement each week.

I AM counting on improving each week, however. Still more than a little pissed things got this bad. Onwards and upwards...

/punish the body and perfect the soul


OK, more issues, but I'm back to the grindstone again:
10/11: walked 5k

10/12: bodyweight circuit

pushups: 20, 17

wide pushups: 12

triangle pushups: 6

crunches: 20, 20

reverse crunches: 25, 25

left/right crunches: 30 each side

and I'm getting back to 'cardio' (fuck I hate that term) tomorrow


another 5k walk.

side note: picked up Omnivore's Dilemma at the library last night; haven't started it yet. Any thoughts?


more bodyweight work; lower body today.

squats: 3x10
lunges: 3x10 (each leg)
heel raises: 3x10 (each leg)
reverse lunges: 3x10 (each leg)

short sprint work tomorrow, possibly some hill work.


i'm battling the AF/flutter demon, too. weight room still feels great but running not so much...so your observations have been inspiring. Question: do you experience any acute breathlessness (apart from the obviously healthy variety that accompanies working out?) again, it's not a problem in the gym, but it is an unequivocal pain on the trail



obviously been sub-optimal on keeping up with this, but I figure there's no time like the present to start up again--

just did - my favorite - 30 minutes on the ellipse. Whee. Intervals with work sets broken btwn 1 minute @ 20 incline, 20 resistance (c. 60 strides per minute) and 1 min @ 20/10 (c. 90 spm); rest portions @ 8 incline, 3 resistance (alt between 130 and 180 spm).

followed with 3 sets x 10 reps at 120 on lat pulldowns, and then

15 flights of stairs up, 14 down. Tried to alternate between walking straight up and crossing over left-right.

Total: 42:36, 41:14 of which was 'in zone' w/ avg HR of 142 and peak 160 and min 99.

Long way to go, obviously; on the flip side, I'm at least heading in the right direction.


yeah, that's pretty much the problem. As long as I keep my HR down below 160, everything's gravy. I push myself like I feel I have to for it to be CALLED pushing myself and HR kicks up to 250 or so and everything basically shuts down. As a result, doc doesn't want me going past 160 and so now I wear a monitor like a moron every time I go out. As if I can't tell when one of these 'episodes' takes place without a watch to tell me.

Meh. Anyway, in short: yeah, certainly do get the breathlessness etc from time to time but- really- in the grand scheme of things, this is a pretty f'ing minor problem to have and pretty easy to work around, so I definitely shouldn't really bitch as much as I do.


yesterday: mostly upper body; back to pushups etc.

2x20 regular pushups, 2x8 triangle (clearly need some work here), 2x16 wide pushups.

2x12 renegade pushups @ 25 lb dbs. ow.

2x25 regular crunches, 2x25 reverse, 2x30 (each side) side crunches

20, 15, 18 curls @ 25 lb dbs.

3 mile walk (bank)



rowing: 15 minutes, fairly hard

squats: 3x10
lunges: 4x8 (each leg- i suck at these again)
heel raises: 3x10 (each leg)

10, 10, 8 incline press @50 lb dbs
4x60 ft (?) farmer's walk @ 50 lb dbs

40 minutes, 37:30 "in zone" with max @ 148, avg @ 134


03/03/10: off

03/04/10: bodyweight work; lower body.

squats: 2x15
lunges: 2x15 (each leg)
heel raises: 2x15 (each leg)
frog jumps: 10

3 x 100 (slow, flat)

hill work:
5x 20 m
4x 40 m
3x 60 m
2x 100m

stretching, ab work.