A tale of a Scotsman living in SW london...

Saturday, August 11, 2007

I'd rather be with Hazel...

As some of you know, I'm trying to get into shape at the moment (although I'm in not bad shape, there is some work to be done :-) ) However, the gym bunny who was so nice last week now seems to have become a member of General Woundwort's evil army. Her programme of punishment she has made seems to be designed to kill me. Let me give you an example.

This is workout one - the weight orientated one of the two she has made. The other focuses on cardio work and no weights.
  • Warm up on the bike. 5 minutes on level 9 at 90+ rpm. Followed by 10 minutes on level 15 (I've never been higher than 12!) at 110+ (for the record, I tried this yesterday. There is as much chance of me doing that as finding WMD in Iraq). I settled at 100+, and was sweating buckets by the end. This is the warm up and I've already done more on the bike than I would in a usual session.
  • Squats. With weights. Heavy ones.
  • 2000m row on highest setting, flat out. (this takes under 9 minutes. Albeit 8.59, although that's still under 9!)
  • weights - 3 different types, doing what is called "drop sets" where you start with a low(ish, we're still talking 20kg+) weight and do 12, then do another set of 10, then a set of 8, each time increasing the weight).
  • 1500m row on highest setting, flat out
  • weights, as before, different ones. Including the seated row. Which I found incredibly hard after just rowing 3500m.
  • 1000m row. you get the picture...
  • sit ups. Lying on a 45% incline. Upside down. Until you can do no more. In front of a mirror. All you can see is your face turning ever more incredible colours every time you come up.
  • Crunches. While supporting your entire body weight with your arms. Until you can do no more.
  • floor crunches. 3 sets of 10
  • floor side crunches. 3 sets of 10
  • stretch, curl up, collapse.
Now, for the observant amongst you, that's a good 30 minutes of cardio. Which is what i normally do in my "cardio sessions". Today is my cardio workout. I'm dreading it.

The only plus to this was that my missus has her plan tomorrow with the gym bunny. Except the gym bunny is doing it as a personal trainer session. Which means she controls the rest periods etc - I at least could collapse in a heap every now and again ;-)

Friday, August 10, 2007

Low emission, high power, good MPG?

Now here's a story to get car drivers happier - we all want (really, we do!) a big petrol engine. We can't afford said engine in terms of outright purchase and the fuel costs to run them are scary. How about, then, an engine that offers you 3.5 V6 petrol performance, but the running costs of a small diesel?

Sounds too good to be true? Well, Mercedes are keeping slightly quiet on this but have developed just that engine. It's called a "DiesOtto" (don't you love it??) and currently, is a 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with twin sequential turbochargers and direct injection (the "otto" bit). But the clever bit is that Merc engineers have incorporated both the conventional Otto cycle and a sparkless, diesel-style combustion (the "diesel" bit). The breakthrough is that it basically runs at two compression ratios, which is very clever.

The techy bit I'll let Top Gear cover...

On start-up, the engine runs in standard petrol mode, with spark plugs igniting petrol injected directly into the cylinder. But once the engine is warm and cruising, it switches to a more efficient 'diesel mode', raising the compression ratio and deactivating the spark plugs. And because it runs on petrol, the DiesOtto boasts lower emissions than an equivalent diesel engine.

Now, the figures - the 1.8-litre engine has 238bhp and 295bhp of torque, with 40mpg in a car the size of an Merc S-Class. Which weighs the same as Norway. Put it in a C-class and you've got a potent little beast. It'll be production ready sometime near 2012, so maybe not the next car, but the one after that.

Just so long as they have learnt how to build them properly by then again...

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Battle at Kruger

This is an amazing video!!! Look out for the reason they drag it out of the water...

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Run, Forest, Run!!!

A really pleasant evening last night as I'm resting the dodgy elbow I seem to have developed from squash, a run was in order. So I ran down to the race course and did a circuit of it (not on the actual course, as someone suggested last night, although there would be nothing to stop you as it's not sealed off). In all, it was probably about 5k and took a good 30 minutes. The downside is that I now know I do need to get trainers for running in as I have blisters. This is down to the design of the shoe - I've discovered a lot about different brands styles of fitting - Adidas (current shoe) are narrower fitting (which is fine) but also have a higher instep, which is where I have the problem. The current ones are fine for the gym but with an impending 10K I think some dedicated running shoes are called for.

There are a number of places where they do gait analysis in London, so I'll head to one of those over the weekend and get fitted out. Nothing like new sports equipment to get you excited again!

Monday, August 06, 2007

The whole word is conspiring...

The missus has signed us both up for a 10K run in September. I've done this particular event before, a run around the lovely surroundings of Hampton Court Palace grounds. It's a nice run, fairly flat but on pretty rubbish running ground as it's all a bit uneven and covered in deer/rabbit crap. Last time it nearly killed me as I'd done little training and it was really hot. So hopefully the weather this time will be nice but not hot, and I'll have done some road running before then.

Still at least I'll be fit, which is the whole point. Though trying to train for this, plan a wedding, move house, and work is all going to be an interesting challenge!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Good to see Alonso get his punishment. Shame it hit Mclaren as well, but there you go. Bet Big Ron isn't happy.

Glorious weather the last two days. Yesterday was spent doing some house type things, with some friends over for a bbq a night. Was a very nice way to spend the day!

Today we got up and went to the gym. I'd not been in a while as we've been so hectic, so I decided to get my body mass tests done so I knew where I was starting from again. It's all good (I won't bore you with the figures) but I've gained muscle mass and dropped fat mass - which basically means I'm the same weight. The girl doing the tests then seemed to take me as a project, and was very enthusiastic. As a result, next week I embark on a few weeks of intensive gym work to trim up even more in time for my brothers wedding. This girl is a bit mad - one thing she has suggested is cutting out all alcohol for 6 weeks.

Like that's going to happen - my missus is starting on the project - I'll need beer more than ever!