All hail Gluteus Maximus. (Living room gym post!)

My friend and I were talking the other day about each other’s physiques, and he noted that I have “a big butt for my frame.” I replied that my glutes are simply developed from working out, which prompted him to ask what I was talking about, to which I explained about the muscles that comprise the butt: Gluteus (glutei?) Maximus, Medius, and Minimus. When he opined that those are ridiculous names, I informed him that they’re Latin words, and don’t they sound like Roman names? And he couldn’t argue with that. “Yeah it sounds like a Roman emperor.” And I concluded, “Roman emperor Gluteus Maximus. He was an ass.”

Which brings me to this workout that I did a couple of weeks ago, as it’s lower-body intensive. We’re talking Les Mills Body Pump 118 Metabolic Blast, my friends. This particular workout is my current favorite way to hit my major muscle groups in a mere half-hour. It’s also great because it’s a rare Body Pump workout that doesn’t require a bench, as there are no chest presses in the routine. You don’t need more than standing space with just a few feet around to step one foot back for lunges – or you could opt to do the exercises as squats rather than as lunges. You can live in a closet and do this workout. No excuses.

I set up my phone to film the 30-minute workout, then did the usual screenshot snapping, cropping, and resizing to end up with some (bad) pics to share with you who are here for fitness posts. Also – I’ve said this before, and this will always be the case – posting pics of myself working out is just a solid way for me to critique my own form so I can know what needs improvement.

As always, I must plug Les Mills On Demand+, as without Les Mills’s awesome streaming workout service, I wouldn’t be working out at all. For Body Pump I’m still using the dumbbells that I had pre-pandemic, rather than springing for a barbell set. Barbells are fun, but it’s not necessary to have one to do LM Body Pump classes. In fact, you don’t even need weights at all, as everything in LM Body Pump workouts can be done isometrically.

Without further ado:

Getting started.

All the time spent in a wide squat stance at the bottom of the movement contributes to glute work. This workout has a lot of that.

Bottom of the squat.
Squat, wider stance.
Squat, top of a pulse.
Suffering through squat pulses.

For the posterior/athletic chain portion of the workout, the routine incorporates single-arm rows, dead lifts, and clean-and-presses.

Stance for single-arm row.

(If it looks like I’m knock-knee’d, it’s because I am.)

Single-arm row – you straighten back up to a standing position after each rep.
Stance for dead lifts.
Dumbbell dead lift.

The dead lift prepares your body for the clean-and-presses.

Dumbbell clean.
Dumbbell press.
High pulls.
Stretching: child’s pose.
Stretching: cat.
Stretching legs.
Stretching legs, focus on quads.

These pics are poor in quality, I know, but hopefully they can give you an idea of the effectiveness of the workout. Les Mills is my jam, and you may find that it’s yours, too. Regardless of the type of fitness program/non-program you do, happy working-out to those of you who commit to keeping your bodies in shape!

On that note, I wish you all a happy Friday/weekend eve, my friends. Rock on.

Found my fuel. (Living room gym post: workout therapy!)

When a shadowy face of evil looms ahead of someone you love, littering their path with the equivalent of mental nuclear waste fallout every step into the future until their last breath, there’s only one thing to do: join the fight.

A person I love has been compromised as such. They fell through the trap door laid before them, experienced the false nirvana within, and eventually found escape to be impossible. Now they are infected with demons, and I am livid.

Thus, I threw down a particularly intense workout on Monday in the late afternoon. Les Mills Body Combat, my friends. I’ve been raving about Les Mills since 2014, as some of you may know, and I will always rave about them. Les Mills is fantastic, and Body Combat was my first Les Mills workout love. It’s more than cardio kickboxing. It’s cardio kickboxing, cardio Karate, cardio Muay Thai, cardio capoeira, cardio Tae Kwan Do, cardio Brazilian Ju-Jitsu, and cardio Kung Fu.

For you who’ve been wronged: Your fight is my fight.

So on Monday after work, I hit “play” to begin 55 minutes of Les Mills Body Combat.

And I had the above-mentioned person in mind for my target. A name, only. A face I’d seen in photos, only. A willfully duplicitous person whose trespasses on the innocence of someone I love (and others, no doubt) feel unforgivable because of the havoc they’ve wreaked.

Fury in unflattering light is the best kind.

Fitness updates on my end:
I’ve just started up with my workouts again since my long hiatus pre- and post- hand surgery. So far, so good.

The last time I worked out with weights (dumbbells) was on December 11; after that point, the pain in my hand became too extreme to tolerate it, and it just got worse and worse up to my surgery on February 14. I’m well past surgery recovery and feeling normal again, but I still haven’t gotten back to weight-training. It’s been over four months. Literally the only thing keeping me in shape is my job.

So it’s back to regular Body Pump. Back to regular Body Combat. Monday was great. I kicked serious ass with the image of the evildoer’s face emblazoned behind my mind’s eye. I mean, I was feeling the fury in any case, so it was just as well that I also had a workout to do.

Happy Friday Eve, my friends. Blessings to you on your fitness journeys!

Bringing it inside, keeping it inside. (Living Room Gym WORKOUT! Les Mills BodyCombat!)

Hello! I’d originally planned to write about our upcoming total lunar eclipse, but I figured it would make more sense to offer that post closer to the event, as in, the night before. Look for that post on Tuesday night!

Today, I’ve got a workout post that’s long overdue. I’d intended to do this about a year ago. I believe that I did post some sort of living-room workout before that, but I can’t find it now! As I recall, the notion was “this is to give you an idea of it, but I’ll come back with a real living-room workout post soon.” By “real,” I was thinking “with five thousand pics.” So here, finally, is that workout post.

We have NutritionalDirect to thank for this, as they featured one of my garage gym posts on their site last week. It was the nudge that I needed. I was reminded that many of you are here because of the garage gym/fitness/martial arts aspect of my blog, and I apologize for my neglect in this vein, my friends. This post is for you, as well as for anyone else who may be interested.

I got right to it. I saw my post on NutritionalDirect on Monday, and on Wednesday, I set up my phone to record my Les Mills BodyCombat workout.

The thing I’m happiest to show with this post is the sort of workout that can be done in a small space. BodyCombat is a dynamic, varied, and fast-paced workout, and it requires no equipment other than a yoga mat (if you have a hard floor). I do the full one-hour version in this little space between furniture and the window wall – we’re talking a 9′ x 8′ space, roughly.* I do have to make modifications when advancing in any direction, but that’s totally inconsequential. Anything that involves advancing to cover space can be done just as effectively in place!

*Granted, I’m 5′, 4″. A taller person would have a harder time in this small space, to be sure.

Please pay no mind to the wild fluctuations in lighting throughout the hour. I do not have an actual camera or lights for filming, so I’m working with daylight and my overhead light. Light fades in and out. The lower I am to the floor, the darker it gets.

Let’s get into it!

shoots (MMA)

knee strikes

(between strikes)

side kick (Why do I never pivot my standing foot enough?!)

squats

running – high knees

some kind of plyo – I think this is just leaping up from a shoot

sprints – impossible to capture in a still from a video, but for what it’s worth!

jump kick in process – limited by space overhead (ceiling fan) and in front (wall), but still.

ginga (Capoeira)
Muay Thai

Muay Thai

Muay Thai

still Muay Thai, I think

elbow strike (Muay Thai)

[NOTE: my guard in all of the above Muay Thai pics is WRONG! I know better. It’s good to review my form like this every once in a while]

running man knees (lame-ass pic, I know, but that’s what was happening here.)

push kick (still Muay Thai!)

more running

push-ups
C-crunches

back lifts/raises/supermans/whatever they’re called

Jumping in to switch legs during the stretching

cool-down kata

quad stretch

OG readers, remember “walking-off” pics at the end of garage gym workout posts? This is the living-room version, I guess. I didn’t have far to walk!

If you’re interested in doing this Les Mills BodyCombat workout (this one was release #64) or any of the other hundreds offered by Les Mills, click here to explore Les Mills On Demand. Les Mills’ workouts are world-class. They are amazing. Every workout I do is on this app!

Happy new week to you, my friends!