Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Man Cave!

Figured I'd show off the room I do my work outs in and play video games in!

Here's an overview from the doorway point of view. Notice the low ceiling. This becomes a problem at times for some games and work outs I do. Also, the bag hanging there is the garbage. It's full of sweaty paper towels. I probably should have thrown that out before the picture, but OH WELL! Also, the little dog bowl there is for when Faith hangs out down there. Mainly put it there when she was going through a phase of not drinking enough water. The old chair covered in sheets is where I usually play video games from. I move it around a lot to make room for my work outs. The lawn chair is my father's desk chair, and also for if I ever have company (which, besides Sierra, is hardly anyone).
This is my sister's corner of the room. This room used to be hers before she moved out. She likes to keep some grocery-related things here cause her roommate steals things from her sometimes. I just shove anything she puts on the floor in this corner cause I don't want it taking up space. Also, in the mirror is a little bit of me, you lucky bastards!
Now the good corner of the room. The old TV is set up for the Sega Genesis, cause it looks like shit on the big screen (plus, doesn't connect well with it). I probably will play some old playstation one games on it too, perhaps. Inside the cabnent I keep Wii Accessories, such as the Zapper gun thing, and fitness related equipment inside. Also, Sonic Spinball is in there for no real reason.
Close up to look at more of my games. Some are in that old tupperware container cause i lost the boxes for some games. Got Klax, Jurassic Park, some soccer game my sister wanted, Tiny Toons: Buster's Hidden treasure, Taz Escape from Mars, Monopoly, some Pacman game, Rocket Knight Adventure, No Escape (Dad's game), Clue, Mortal Kombat 1-3 AND Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, Aladdin, Sonic the Hedgehog 1-3 plus Sonic & Knuckles. Also, Tiny Toons: Acme All Stars which is a fucking great game! To the right is my Wiimote charger. Definitely great for saving money on batteries.

Over the summer, I actually beat Sonic the Hedgehogs 3 (and Knuckles) completely with all chaos emeralds on every single character. I didn't realize that Tails had a Super mode like Knuckles and Sonic did, cause I had never collected all 16 (I think 16?) emeralds between the two games. Also beat Sonic 3D Blast. Horrible game.

The less awesome corner of the wall here. The big TV is great with the Wii and for movies. The left side is cleared so my father can do bills and other boring paper work. Same with why the TV is pushed back. I can deal with it, though. Up top is an old VCR/DVD player, mainly to be used when watchign movies, but doesn't get much use and remains unplugged. Also the clock is for me to play my iPod Nano when working out sometimes. I have no idea what the deal is with the flower. Probably my sis put it there.
My collection of Wii games, and a few gamecube ones. I most often use Wii Fit Plus and EA Active 2: More Workouts. Also Smash brothers. I'm still one sticker away from getting all 700 stickers without using the golden hammers! The Sonic gamecube game is Sierra's. She figured she would bring it over so we could play Sonic spinabll at the same time; I on the genesis and she on the Wii. We never did that.
I'm really happy that my Sega Genesis held on so well over the years. It originally lost sound many years back when i pissed my dad off so much, he ripped the system out of its sockets. I found a rather cheap AV cable for it on Amazon, though, so it's back to having glorious sound! I never did completely beat Sonic Spinball... this summer. I may go back to it sometime.
The rest of the room is boring with a big tub of books I have for sale on Amazon, some cords, Dad's laundry (I have no idea why it's there), and a few closets full of dad and sis's clothes with other junk mixed in.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Working Out: Week 7

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6

Now that I'm on week 7, some weight has been drastically lost over the weekend, but that may have been due to eating at different times and perhaps too much activity on my part. I expect to gain that back within the week, as it likely was an unhealthy loss. That said, at the time of this post (Tuesday, August 21, 2012), I now weight 171lbs. That's a 6lb loss since i started.

Although I am using Wii Fit Plus and EA Active More Workouts on the Nintendo Wii for my primary method of exercise, I also play Dance Dance Revolution and In The Groove occasionally to help my exercises. I'm also trying out different games that can help with exercising or just keeping active.

So far, Wii Fit has mainly been helping me remain flexible with its yoga while EA Active has been mostly helping with muscle building for me. My weight loss seems to have come from a weekend of activity, but it could have been an unhealthy weight loss. At this time, I think EA Active and Wii Fit are both good ways to get in shape, but one must remain active outside of them as well. Before, I would just do my usual exercises and then sit or lie about doing nothing. So I need to walk around, hang with friends, or otherwise do something to get my blood going more than being at a state of rest for several hours. Even some video games on a console that get your adrenaline going seems like a better idea.

I'm listing common exercises that I use. Anything that deviates from it, or isn't a set work out will be listed on days I do them. Also, except for the EA Active videos, none of the videos are mine, but found around on YouTube.

My Usual Warm Ups
The first 4 warm ups are done on my own in my room and not on Wii Fit Plus. The reason is because the Wii is in the cellar which has a low ceiling, and the first 4 Yoga poses require me to fully stretch upwards. Exercises in italics are yoga poses, and those in bold are strength exercises.

EA Active More Workouts' "Crunch & Core Easy" strength work out
Exercises in Italics are "warm up" exercises. Those in bold are "cool down" exercises. Rest are normal strength exercises unless otherwise noted.
  1. Knee Tucks
  2. Split Squats with Reaches
  3. Windmills
  4. Good Mornings - I omit it because it requires me to reach straight up, which I cannot due to cellar's low ceiling.
  5. Bent Arm Side Planks
  6. Reverse Crunches
  7. Stride Jumps
  8. Push Ups
  9. Mountain Climbers
  10. Fitness Trail - Sprint (Medium)
  11. Boxing - Combo Station 1 - Light jabs and hook shots
  12. Straight Arm Plank
  13. Crunches with Punches
  14. Skipping
  15. Bent Over Rows - Omitted because I don't like exercises that require a stretch band.
  16. Mountain Climbers
  17. Fitness Trail - Sprint (Medium)
  18. Boxing - Combo Station 2 - Light jabs and uppercuts
  19. Reverse Crunches
  20. Leg Raises
  21. Stride Jumps
  22. Push Ups
  23. Mountain Climbers
  24. Fitness Trail - Sprint (Medium)
  25. Boxing - Combo Station 1
  26. Straight Arm Plank
  27. Bent Arm Side Plank
  28. Pretzels
  29. Heel Drops
  30. Figure 4's
  31. Sideway Ankle Pulls
August 21 - Tuesday (Wild Card Day)
Originally, I was going to just do my usual warm up, then play Just Dance 3 with my friend, Sierra. However, my cousin Olivia called me up and we got to talking. After an amazing weekend I had, I needed to talk to her about a lot. In the end, we decided to hang out later. I ended up only having time to do my warm ups before she came by, so I'll save Just Dance for my next aerobics or wild card day.

We ended up walking around the mall a lot, got over 3000 steps with my 3DS, so I think that will suffice for an activity. Tomorrow, it'll be back to EA Active's Crunch & Core for strength exercises.

August 22 - Wednesday (Strength)
Was time to get back to the usual exercises. Did my usual warm ups, plus added Dance pose again. I don't think it is too far from being added into my usual warm ups despite not being my best Yoga pose.

After all that, I went right into the Crunch and Core workout. I feel Bent Arm Side Planks sometimes don't get me the stretched feeling, but just hurt my elbows. The game kind of rushes me into doing the pose so I can't get comfortable in time before it starts.

I started to try engaging my abs more as I did my exercises for a better effect after that. I sometimes loosened my grip on my abs a bit because it makes it hard to breathe on certain exercises while forcing my ab muscles out. That said, Reverse Crunches were much better today. I also pushed myself more with stride jumps, stretching my legs out more.

When it came to Mountain Climbers this time, I put on some shoes so I wouldn't bounce around as much. Doing that had the rep counter actually come close to accurate with my reps! First time it messed up by five, second messed up by two, and third time, it accurately got my reps right! Looks like while doing this routine, shoes will be a must!

The shoes helped make the Fitness trail hurt my ankles less, keep my balance a little better when doing Push Ups and Straight Arm Planks, and added a little more weight to my Reverse Crunches and Leg Raises.

After that, I did 20 minutes of Free Step. I did take more frequent break with the EA active today, which is something I should work on a little. According to a Wii Fit Plus exercise tip, working out is generally only effective if done in a minimum of ten minute intervals. Maybe I'll time myself to take break only after every ten minutes, or at least make it a goal. if I'm really thirsty or tired, I won't overdue it. At least when I do aerobics on Wii Fit, I get 10 minute intervals with some exercises. Until tomorrow!

August 23 - Thursday (Aerobics)
I started late since I woke up late. For whatever reason, I can go to sleep early but then wake up an hour or two later.

Anyway, did my usual warm ups and then the dance pose. I did pretty bad this time; spaced myself away from the tv so I couldn't hold onto it whenever I felt shakey. Then, started my usual Wii Fit Aerobic exercises. Started with Super Hoola Hoops and did 10 minutes of them. Spinning right, I got the nice feel of a burn in my abs. Spinning left, it didn't always register my movements right and thought I was slowing down. I didn't step off the balance board this time, so I believe it is due to my ankles being sore.

Next, I jumped into Rhythm Boxing, 6 minute mode. I did much better, only getting confused once when it came to stepping back with a foot. Scored 712, highest yet, and unlocked Expert Mode! Wonder how challenging that will be. After finishing up, I jumped straight into Obstacle Course Advanced so I wasn't taking a break for too long; trying to work out for ten minutes straight in each area. I messed up once during this run, misjudged my jump at one point, so my score was a lower 584 this time.

After those games, I did a 10 minute Free Run in my shoes to see if they made as much a difference as it did in EA Active yesterday. It did. Think I may even do a 20 minute run next aerobic day!

Skateboard Arena Advanced was next, which made my ankles sore. I got to Stage 8, but was by then my ankles were so sore, it was hard to go on. Scored 141, I really need to beat this sometime... Next I jumped straight into Birdeye Bullseye Expert (10:22) next. Unfortunately in my first game of it, I ran out of time. For whatever reason, I was unable to land right, and I generally was getting frustrated with the game. Only scored 217 this time.

I then finished up with 30 minutes of Free Step, which for every 10 minutes passed, I increased the step speed.

Tomorrow is a wild card day, which I plan to play Just Dance and see how it is for exercising. I've played it before, but it was for a short period. It may become a new cardio day exercise!

August 24 - Friday (Wild Card Day)
Warmed up all right. Weighing myself in, I gained a little bit of weight. Probably because I had a little it of ice cream the night before. Then, jumped right into Just Dance 3. I gotta say, a lot of fun and great way to work up a sweat! Played at LEAST 30 minutes to an hour of it, but I probably did more. Some of my favorites were California Girls and No Limit. California Girls was easy enough to get into and I practically can always 4 star it now, and No Limit was a favorite song of the past, I had to keep playing it.

Admittedly, it was difficult for me to realize what I was supposed to do at first, so the first few songs I did were done terribly, but eventually I got the hang of it. I tried to mimic the dancer entirely in the beginning, which is a bit too difficult to do as a starting thing. Now that I have the basic ideao n how to do things, I may try memorizing a few of the dances.

Also, I looked (and look) like a total spazz while I first started, but I think that's part of the fun! It's one of those things that made the game more enjoyable as I laughed at myself totally messing up. Sierra came down to watch me too, and we laughed at my mistakes and such. I didn't mind her company cause she didn't make fun, just laughed when I laughed or accidentally hit the ceiling. Yeah, the low ceiling is a factor, but I can adjust my arm so I don't have to stretch my arms straight up for the moves.

I even downloaded Just Mario since I had leftover Wii Points on the system. THAT is a pretty good song for exercise, even though I was hitting the ceiling more when I needed to mimic the hitting-the-coin-block action. I just may add this game at the end of all my work outs exercises, if I feel up to it.

The only bad part of my "Just Dance" session was my sister barging into the room to wrap some thigns cause she couldn't be bothered to either knock or wait till I was done with a song. I refuse to have her in the room cause she can't help but comment on everything... and I didn't want her ruining my game experience so I had to just stop what I was doing.

Tomorrow will be Wii Fit strength exercises. I may try a new exercise to see if I can do it!

August 25 - Saturday (Strength)
I started early doing my usual warm ups, and the Dance pose, which I got a rather nice score of 82 on, and wasn't leaning on anything! I did, however, not go fully forward but that's progress for you.

I started with a set of 30 JackKnives, and did another set later on. This time around, I forced my torso up more than usual because I believed I was lifting my legs up much more in the past. I really felt it this time! A 6 rep Torso Twist exercise followed after. I'm still not sure how much that really helps muscles, but did my best to tense my abs as I did it.

Single Leg Twist came next. I was getting slightly annoyed because I was rather shaky, but did decent enough. Finished off the 10 minute set with a 30 second Plank. I did well on the planks, scored somewhere in the 80s. I think I'm better off doing them on my own though.

Next set of three exercises I did were Lunges (20 reps), Arm & Leg Lift (20), and Side Lunge (15). Lunges were incredibly hard for me, having to force myself to do the last 3 reps on each leg. I also kept nearly falling off and had to adjust myself. Wonder if shoes for that would help... Arm and Leg Lift was a great work out as always. Side Lunge wasn't as bad this time for me, but I opted not to spread my legs out too much. I still got my thighs stretched and working, just it wasn't killing me like usual.

After throwing in the second set of 30 jackknives around here, I also did 20 reps of Sideways Leg Lifts and on my own, 10 reps of push ups. Not feeling enough burn, I finished off with Bird Eye Bullseye on Expert. During the Jackknives is when my parents sent down Sierra to pass a message about coming upstairs to take care of Faith. Told them 6 more minutes before continuing. Sideways leg lifts left my left leg really aching in the hip area, and didn't feel like a good ache either, so that was when I did 10 push ups on my own to keep myself going. I did them rather fast, so a nice birdeye bullseye was a good breather yet arm workout. I also got my best score on it this time: 360!

After this, I would have normally did one more 30 rep set of JackKnives, but mom wanted me upstairs by now. Basically, all I did was sit around, watching Faith sleep. I asked Sierra if she had this under control, and when she said yes, I said I wanted to head back down then. I had stopped for about 2 hours which ended up making me feel sore and not very active. I opted to watch Netflix whiel I did some exercises on my own.

While watching Torchwood, I did some my my usual warm ups, such as Standing Knee, Chair, Warrior, Triangle, Cobra, Bridge and Spinal Twist, on my own. I had to do something to get my body moving again. Then, I did about 20 slow crunches, and attempted to do both straight arm and normal planks. Unfortunately, those hindered my ability to watch the show so I only last about 30 seconds. Eventually I was just marching in place while the show went on.

When it finished, I felt disappointed, so forced myself to do about 30 minutes or more of Just Dance 2 this time. It has a few songs i really love, such as Rasputin and Wake me up before you go go, but not as nice a collection as Just Dance 3. This way, I still got to sweat it out some! I think I may have bruised or slightly hurt my leg while doing it, but it's minor enough to not matter. This way I got at least an hour and a half of exercising, but likely more than that.

Tomorrow is aerobics. I think I may do the same as I did last aerobics day THEN add in Just Dance to the equation... if there's time. That long break really messed me up for strength today though.

August 25, Sunday (Aerobics)
Today, I really didn't have much of a chance to exercise because I had to go to Olivia's housewarming party. I wouldn't have much time to exercise AND shower and get ready so I waited until afterwards, which ended up being about 7pm. Before that, I did walk Faith a little, but she wanted to turn back really early. At best, I walked about a block.

Before dinner, I managed to do my usual warm ups all right, plus the dance pose, which I did really well on! I managed to stretch my leg up higher than normal and only faltered a little! After that, I had to eat dinner. After waiting about 30 minutes after eating, I went straight into my aerobic exercises.

Started off with Super Hoola Hoops for 10 minutes. Spinning right, as usual, gave me a good ab burning feeling, with spinning left being slightly off. Left wasn't THAT bad this time, but slowed down randomly for no reason. After awhile, I stopped caring what it said and just spun for fun. Ended up getting my second highest score.

Next I did what I was most proud of tonight: a 20 minute Free Run! The first 10 minutes had me getting tired, but I kept a steady jog, and around 12-13 minutes in, I got a bit of a burning feeling in my legs. It didn't hurt really, just could tell I was getting sore. I kept going, and it was like my legs were on autopilot! After I was done, I was tired, but felt really good in my legs! Apparently I jogged 3.1 miles according to wii fit, and ran over 3000 steps according to my 3DS.

After a 5 minute water break, continued on with Rhythm Boxing on Expert (10 minutes long, though it credited me for 13 minutes...). I did really well, only messed up a few times, but scored 1244 on it! It really had my arms working and had me sweating! Definitely was a good decision to add this into the aerobic rotation!

Wasn't sure what to do next as I was feeling rather sore, so decided to do a round of Snowball Fight on Advanced. I apparently was super focused or something, I scored the best I ever did with a 62! After that, it was around 10pm, and didn't want to work out too late without having a chance to shower, so decided to do 3 songs on Just Dance 3. I figure the songs last at least 3 minutes each, so figure I get a 10 minutes out of it. Felt good as usual!

Tomorrow, assuming I'm not too sore, I think I'll do Just Dance again for wild card day. Assuming I'm not going to the arcade for DDR/In The Groove.

August 27 - Monday (Wild Card Day)
Did my usual warm ups plus the dance pose, which I did very well with today! Then, my friend invited me to the arcade again, so Dance Dance Revolution, Pump It Up, and In The Groove were my exercises tonight! Unfortunately, it was rather crowded so I only got three games on In The Groove, 1 game on DDR, and one game on Pump It Up. I normally do more, but sadly, tonight just wasn't the night.

Tomorrow, I actually am applying for a job! It's simple package handling, but it's something! And I really need the money! So because of that, there's a chance I won't get to my strength exercise tomorrow.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The arcade weekend

I mentioned this in last week's workout posts, and talked of this event last year as well. I figured I'd get out all my talk of this here, if not for people to read, for my own memory. As usual, all names have been changed for privacy reasons.

It started with Monday, when my friend, Binder I'll call him, invited me to the arcade's quarter night along with his brother. I was playing around on the various machines when I went over to the DDR machine. Unfortunately, this one never is priced at a quarter per play, but I figured one round of it could be fun. After i finish the first song, a guy comes up, complimenting me on how I did, saying there needs to be more doubles players around. I thanked him, and just kept playing. After I finished, I ended up watching him play, where he was taking suggestions on what to play on doubles, and how some songs were since it had been awhile since he played.

Eventually I went to see if I was up on other machines, since the line for the In The Groove machine is usually long as hell, and funny enough, Binder was signaling me it was my turn. Fast forward some, the guy near the DDR machine chats with me, says his name is Jim, and talks about how I should enter the doubles tournament this weekend. I knew the big arcade tournament was coming up but thought it was the next weekend, so this was news to me. In any case, I told him I really can't compete anymore as people haven't gotten so much better than I, it's not funny. He then asked if I'd be going this weekend, which I had to figure out a plan to. Luckily, Binder was coming Friday and Saturday, but Sunday I'd have to find a ride for or get my license renewed to borrow a car.

I had been holding off on getting my license renewed because my sister wanted to go with me since hers was up soon as well and figured we'd get it done in one shot. I asked her about going sometime this week, but she said she wasn't positive, and told me I should try making back up plans in case she can't. it was okay, got my cousin Olivia to be my back up driver for Sunday, so I figured all was good.

Fast forward to Friday, Binder and I drive to the arcade. I met up with Jim, as well as a few old friends, including Butterfly from last year! They were mainly doing qualifiers tonight and it wasn't too crowded. I chatted a bunch with Jim and found out he was a Dragon Quest fan too! In fact, it seemed his girlfriend from back home was into it too! Can't believe I found a person who not only was damn good at playing doubles on DDR without holding the bar, but is also a Dragon Quest fan as well! Seriously, felt like I found a long-lost brother! In any case, I was trying to find my old friend Cucumber from last year, as it is unusual for him to miss a day of these activities, but he was no where to be found tonight. The night ended late, with one funny incident happening where the arcade ran out of power during a qualifier.

General crowd pic
Saturday was great at first, then lame after awhile. First, I needed to get my license renewed and my sister did not want to go because her hair wasn't looking good and didn't want that plastered on her license for the next 4 years. Second, Olivia's car broke down so she couldn't help with driving me on Sunday! It's rather sad that I can make multiple plans and yet they will fall through on me. I was about to ask Olivia's little sister to drive me to the DMV when Sis finally said, "Well, if it means that much to you, I guess I can take you..." I owe her in other words... So she took me there way early, with me running on about 3 or 4 hours of sleep. Got that shit done, went home, and fell back asleep.

Woke up with Binder texting me that he was stuck a little late at his work, and wouldn't be able to go until later in the night. Luckily, with my license freshly renewed, Dad let me borrow his car for the next two evening and off I went. While there, I found Cucumber had came and entered everything as usual. he wanted to show me this iPad music game he had but was so busy, never had the chance to show me. In fact, the same basically happened with Jim, and others. Butterfly chatted with me for a long time, but had an overnight shift so had to leave halfway through the night.

Big guy's chest, lack of 3D on the internet (un)fortunately
I ended up on the bored side, just playing Mario Kart 7 on my 3DS. I suppose I'm glad that I brought my 3ds, since not only did I get like instantly 10 tags when entering the arcade that night or tag a dude from Japan, but it gave me something to do. Also, a big guy saw me taking photos with my 3DS and yelled for me to take a 3D pic of his chest, haha!

Found out also that cupcakes were made for one of the tournaments that were spiked with... alcohol or weed or something? I'm not sure, just one guy was telling me all about it. In any case, with my boredom of this night, I started deciding if I should enter the doubles DDR tournament just for the hell of it. I doubt I would do well, but sure as hell would be more fun then sitting down playing on my 3DS like an antisocial asshole. I decided I could see how I feel Sunday before making a decision.

Sunday, I felt all right enough to compete. After getting myself ready for the day, I headed over at my usual time of about 5pm. Unfortunately I had missed the qualifiers for Doubles and they had already started. Ah well, not a big deal to me. That's when Jim ran up to me, asking me to help him run a Guitar Freaks tournament. Apparently, because he entered every tournament, he was way too busy to run it. I'm a little familiar with Guitar Freaks, but don't know all the ins and outs of it.

I was going to refuse when it hit me... I was so bored on Saturday cause I had nothing to do. Now, I would have something to do! (Plus, some free games on Guitar Freaks) I accepted, and he told me what I'd need to do. There were some gaps of info missing on what to do, such as how he wanted me to handle tiebreakers (and in one case, double tiebreakers), and whether or not the competition would be double elimination or not. Luckily, all the players were really awesome people and worked with me on things. It also helped that I said anytime I didn't know something, I'd refer to Jim, haha.

Big Guy's awesome leg tattoo
After weeding out a lot of people, Guitar Freaks took a standstill as the two people who were up next were also facing each other in another tournament. Since there was downtime, and apparently the In The Groove machine was no longer doing a tournament, I figured I would play a round on there. I had put my card up there for the line of people wanting to play right when I first got there. When I went over, however, the card was knocked down. I was annoyed, and about to put myself back in line when two people ran over putting themselves on the line too. There would be no way I'd have time to play now.

Not only was I annoyed with the two people rushing in line, but the fact no one pays attention when they knock down someone's card really put me in a bad mood. So during the Guitar Freaks downtime, I was playing on my 3DS, and thinking some rather dumb thoughts about people that had nothing to do with what happened. I got over it eventually, as once the Guitar Freaks tournament was back in action, I had a little more fun.

One thing about running the tournament was how LONG it took. Because people were running about doing other tournaments, there was often some downtime where I ended up stuck near the machine waiting for people. My legs were killing me something awful, and I was getting really tired. Jim asked if I wanted to be let off the hook, as he didn't want to inconvenience me, but I told him I was fine, some mild discomfort wasn't a big deal. He then offered to buy me dinner for my help, so that was cool; free food! I was going to buy something there, but hey! Now I didn't have to!

Eventually the tournament ended, Jim placed 2nd, losing only to another guy by one Great rating. I wanted to get a picture of the top 4 people, but two of them left before I had the chance. I figured that must have been the last tournament, but apparently the doubles DDR tournament was still going on.

Apparently, the competitors kepts AAA-ing things (as in, getting the whole song done perfectly without mistake or even being slightly off). Cucumber and Jim were apart of these amazing people, along with another friend of mine, Jake. Eventually, the tournament ended with a 3-way tie for first (two including Jake and Cucumber) and one in 4th place (Jim). I don't know how that works, but whatever works for them I suppose.

To be honest, the whole way the tournaments were run, besides Guitar Freaks, really didn't make much sense to me. A lot started with having typical ladder matches, but double elimination. But, when it got to the final four of some tournaments, the game changed from double elimination ladder matches to 4 way gauntlet battles. That seems off to me cause then... it greatly benefits those who ended up in the loser's brackets and doesn't give the advantage to those in the winner's bracket. Usually, a double elimination works by having one person rise in the losers' bracket and one person rise in the winner's bracket to face each other in the end, where the winner's bracket guy only has to beat loser's bracket guy once, but loser's bracket guy needs to beat the winner one twice (once to send winner into the loser's bracket, and then another to completely eliminate him). This is what I was used to when I competed anyway.

In any case, things eventually ended. They announced the winners of individual tournaments before announcing the grand winners of the weekend. The way the grand winning works is calculated how many tournaments one person entered and how they placed in each of those tournaments. Last year, Cucumber had won since he had entered everything and placed pretty well in all of them. This year, however... was Jim's turn! He hadn't won any individual tournament, but was in the top 4 of a lot of them!

After congratulations and pictures were taken, Jim came up to me and said instead of buying me dinner, he was going to hook me up with some Dragon Quest stuff for helping him with the Guitar Freaks tournament. I couldn't help but hug the man; that right there is a fucking awesome dude! Personally, I think he could have gotten anybody to run it, I just wanted to have something to do for the night! I thought dinner was enough really, but no, I'm getting some awesome Dragon Quest stuff!

So just for socializing this weekend, not only have I got a bunch of new friends on facebook, a great time, and lost a few pounds, but I'm getting Dragon Quest stuff! All of this has motivated me to really start playing these music games again. I'm not thinking competitive wise, but it would be nice just to get far in a tournament for the fun of it, so I don't have another night where I'm bored out of my mind, and also meet more people as I face them. This has motivated me to try a little harder on the job search, so hopefully by this time next year, I will be employed, have some money, and maybe even place in a tournament? Haha.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Working Out: Week 6

Week 1  |  Week 2  |  Week 3  |  Week 4  | Week 5

Already on week 6 of my Wii Fit Plus and EA Active More Workouts exercises, using my Nintendo Wii Console. My weight loss hasn't been substantial so far. I weighed 177lbs starting, and now I'm a floating number between 173-177lbs. However, I absolutely gained some muscle during this, which may be contributing to my weight. I believe my arms got bigger with muscle, and stomach smaller with less fat. It isn't exactly going as fast as I'd like, nor even as fast as the last time I did this but... I am not eating as healthy as I was last time; a lot less vegetables. Also, my metabolism probably slowed down. I still am eating in reasonable portions and eating less fatty foods, plus multivitamins, but just not getting balanced meals. It also helped that some years back, I had access to an arcade not 5 minutes away from me which had In The Groove and Dance Dance Revolution to play whenever I wanted to for hardcore cardio work outs. Now, that only happens once every few weeks at best.

To help things out, this week I'm listing common exercises that I use. Anything that deviates from it, or isn't a set work out will be listed on days I do them. Hopefully this will become a habit for future entries. Also, except for the EA Active videos, none of the videos are mine, but found around on YouTube.

My Usual Warm Ups
The first 4 warm ups are done on my own in my room and not on Wii Fit Plus. The reason is because the Wii is in the cellar which has a low ceiling, and the first 4 Yoga poses require me to fully stretch upwards. Exercises in italics are yoga poses, and those in bold are strength exercises.
EA Active More Workouts' "Crunch & Core Easy" strength work out
Exercises in Italics are "warm up" exercises. Those in bold are "cool down" exercises. Rest are normal strength exercises unless otherwise noted.
  1. Knee Tucks
  2. Split Squats with Reaches
  3. Windmills
  4. Good Mornings - I omit it because it requires me to reach straight up, which I cannot due to cellar's low ceiling.
  5. Bent Arm Side Planks
  6. Reverse Crunches
  7. Stride Jumps
  8. Push Ups
  9. Mountain Climbers
  10. Fitness Trail - Sprint (Medium)
  11. Boxing - Combo Station 1
  12. Straight Arm Plank
  13. Crunches with Punches
  14. Skipping
  15. Bent Over Rows - Omitted because I don't like exercises that require a stretch band.
  16. Mountain Climbers
  17. Fitness Trail - Sprint (Medium)
  18. Boxing - Combo Station 2
  19. Reverse Crunches
  20. Leg Raises
  21. Stride Jumps
  22. Push Ups
  23. Mountain Climbers
  24. Fitness Trail - Sprint (Medium)
  25. Boxing - Combo Station 1
  26. Straight Arm Plank
  27. Bent Arm Side Plank
  28. Pretzels
  29. Heel Drops
  30. Figure 4's
  31. Sideway Ankle Pulls

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Working Out: Week 5

Week 1  Week 2  Week 3  Week 4

I can't believe it is already week 5! Sadly, my weight continues to fluctuate, though a few days ago it said I lost 4lbs, but recently said I gained it back. Maybe it's water weight fluctuating, or the fact I have been doing this at different times of the day. I'll take it that my weight is flexible at the moment. Maybe in a week, I'l lsee more downs then ups!

I use a mix of Wii Fit Plus and EA Active More Workouts for the Nintendo Wii to lose this weight, along with one or two things done on my own. If I find other fitness games, I may try them too, but mainly ones my sister has already bought. I already tried a pilate-yoga one that was annoying and not possible to do in the room I'm in.

Please note that, unless it mentions it in the video description, many youtube videos I may link to exercises are not my own, but randomly found on youtube. If anyone has better quality videos that demonstrate the exercises from the game, they are welcome to post in the comments to suggest them.

August 7 - Tuesday (Strength)
I did my usual warm ups of Sun Salutation, Tree, Half Moon, and Palm Tree yoga poses upstairs (on my own, not on the wii), then went downstairs to do Standing Knee, Chair, Warrior, Triangle, Downward-Facing Dog, Grounded V, Cobra, Bridge, Spinal Twist, and Jackknives (10) on the wii. Sun Salutation has made it so I can nearly touch my toes without bending my knees; something I never could do!

Since it was strength day and last strength day I used Wii Fit's exercises, today I used EA Active More Workouts for my strength, using my usual workout set of "Crunch & Core Easy." There's a varied amount of exercises in it, but I will mainly go over ones worth commenting about.

Push Ups, I was able to do 10 of them cleanly, unlike the wii fit version. Heck, even Mountain Climbers wasn't so bad; I managed to do a little more than 40 while waiting for the rep counter to count correctly. I still did count my own reps, though, since the counter still doesn't keep up. Another good thing was being able to do all the Leg Raises without converting them into JackKnives.

Also felt more comfortable with the medium fitness trail; leaves me out of breath but the form doesn't ache my body as much. Running in place used to make me wonder what style of running I should do. I usually just lift my knees up and down while keeping back straight up to do the run in place, but wonder if I should try other styles. Running in place is not the same as how I would normally run.

Also did Sideways Hip Raises which I did well but the sensor sometimes couldn't pick up. And it can get rather grueling with it being the starting and ending exercise, you're extended, and that counter hasn't even started!

As usual, I ended the whole thing with 20 minutes of Wii Fit's Free Step mode. I am going to try to end most days with at least 10 minutes of it, more if I feel it is needed. Today I watched the South Korea vs Brazil game while Free Stepping, and I rather regret doing so; The match was overkill on South Korea, and mainly bored me.

August 8 - Wednesday (Aerobics)
Today felt pretty good. Did my usual warm ups before starting my Wii Fit Plus aerobics for the day. Started off as usual with 10 minute Super Hoola Hoops. When spinning right, I felt a good ache in my abs a little, as if I was really working it. I suppose I found the right muscles to work during that spin! Unfortunately, that wasn't the case when spinning left; just couldn't find the right rhythm and muscle movement.

After I finished the hoola-ing, my ankles were a bit sore, so I took a break with Bird's Eye Bullseye (10:22) on Expert. Expert mode is pretty good as you chase the balloon. Some bullseyes move so you have to move with it before landing on them, but part of the fun and good for the arms! Scored 148 on it for my first try.

Next was a 10 minute Free Run. This had me a little more winded than usual. Maybe it is because I didn't have pockets, so had to hold the WiiMote in my hand, swinging my arms for the my "steps" to be recognized, or because I was still a little winded from the hoola-ing. I managed to jog the whole time without stopping at least

I did Skateboard Arena on Advanced next, which surprisingly gave me a good lower-muscle work out! My calves and feet were so sore after making it to stage 8 before I ran out of time. Scored 138 points in the end. Apparently, you can unlock "Free Skate" if you complete it all, but I haven't been able to yet.

To finish up, I did 30 minutes of Free Step while I watched TV. Felt pretty good today and right now. Tomorrow, I need to figure out a way to wake up early AND work out early. Faith has a vet appointment AND USA's women's soccer team is in the Olympic finals tomorrow around the same time.

August 9 - Thursday (Wild Card)
Due to the excitement of taking Faith to vets and watching the USA game, I didn't work out today. I wonder if this is a sign of being lazy again soon, or that I really need that one day off after 2 days of working out... Or just bad circumstances.

August 10 - Friday (Strength ??? Day)
Today I ended up hanging out with my cousin Olivia, which threw me off track with my work out. I ended up not doing any warm ups or strength exercises, but not wanting to be a slob twice in a row, I did three sets of 30 minute Free Steps. Since I would be just watching TV while I do it, it was nice and low paced. I'll call that a cop-out workout. It's better than doing nothing, and I made sure to move my arms with each step to get my whole body into it. Tomorrow, I am GOING to do strength exercises. I really should find a way to do them so when I get a job, I can balance working out and going to said theoretical job.

August 11 - Saturday (Strength)
Managed to do a pretty normal strength workout. Got my arms more into this one!

After the usual warm-ups, I got to work using Wii Fit Plus strength exercises today.. I did some push ups on my own instead of using Wii Fit Plus; 2 sets of ten. First set did mostly okay, but exhausted myself, and second set I broke into two sets of 5, giving myself a 10 second breather before doing another 5 reps.

3 sets of 30 rep JackKnives as usual; no not at once, just over the course of my workout. With each set i experimented how high my legs should be up, with the last set them being nearly flat on the board. Did 1 6 rep set of Torso Twists, which I'm not sure how well I actually stretched my body but the game said I scored an 8 on it, so I'm okay with it. Then I did 15 Rep Lunges, which brought out some hunger pains in me. I finished all right, but took a 30-40 minute break to eat something and digest the food.

To warm myself back up i did Bird's Eye Bullseye on Expert. First time, I tried finishing the run early by going directly to the finish instead of exploring around the mountain on other bullseyes and only scored 37. The next time I played it, between other exercises, I went to as many bullseyes I could and scored 246, a personal best!

Did 20 reps of Single-Leg Twists. The game-trainer says I should feel it in my abs, but I felt the burn more in my legs. Did two bouts of 30 second Planks, 57 first time, 71 second time. Sideways Leg Lift (20 reps) I was rather clumsy. I felt the burn but only score 63, nearly stepping off the balance board a few times. Arm-and-Leg Lift I did rather well, doing a 20 rep instead of 10 and got a 91. Last strength exercise I did was 15 reps of Side Lunges. I think last time I did them, I was over-stretching. This time, I stretched out my leg at a more comfortable angle. I still felt the burn, so I'll work to stretch myself out a little more slowly.

Ended it with 20 minute Free Step. Feels good to have done some exercises after having two odd/off days in a row.

August 12 - Sunday (Aerobics)
Just a typical Aerobics day. Did my warm ups, then jumped right into 10 min Super Hoola Hoops. For some reason when I was supposed to spin left, the balance board wasn't picking up my movements too well. Got about 300 less spins compared to spinning right, which was fine and even gave me a little bit of ab work. Perhaps my footing was off, maybe I was tired, or I just can't spin left correctly for some reason?

Next up was a round of Bird's Eye Bullseye on Expert. Got a nice arm work out with my arms flapping around for about 6 minutes. Scored 321 by trying to go to every platform that wasn't too far away from me, AND hit the bullseye at the end this time! Seriously, it's why I'm doing this more often, it's a pretty decent exercise for a balance game.

Free Run was next for ten minutes. This was a little more of a pain, to be honest, but I held on. I keep trying to find a good type of running-in-place form, but they all end up hurting my ankles in some way. After a small water break, jumped into Skateboard Arena on Advanced again to work my legs. This is another balance board game with a good exercise to your legs. My legs were so sore during the last round of the game, I got all turned around. Scored 321.

This led me to play other balance board games since now my legs really were sore. Obstacle Course on Advanced was next, scored a 572 this time. I actually fell off on the last course cause I thought I could outrun the iron ball, haha.

Two rounds of Snowball Fight; first was on Advanced, the other on Expert. Advanced was decent, scored 39. Expert had me on my nerves. I forgot Expert mode was 1 hit and you're out! In one try, however, I managed to score 41 and only got hit with ten seconds left on the clock. There were quite a few near-deaths though! I think I prefer advanced, however, as I won't be gambling for a longer sitting.

I decided to go ahead and do Rhythm Boxing on Advanced. I haven't played it in forever,so ended up really rusty. Scored 542 hits, which is kind of bad really. I suppose I got as much of a work out as I would with Free Step, just including arm movements. I didn't care much for it, but I suppose I may give it another try once I get used to it again; it's not fair to judge it considering I was messing up constantly. My only real feeling of a work out was at the end where you go wild with your punches for about 10-20 seconds, though.

Last i finished up with 30 minutes of Free Step. Tomorrow is Wild Card day, which I will hopefully not skip like the last two wild card days.

August 13 - Monday (Wild Card Day)

I wasn't sure what to do today, but my friend had text me, inviting me to go to the arcade for In The Groove gameplaying. I did my usual warm-ups at home before he picked me up. I must have played... about 6-8 games on doubles. Feet are killing me but got a great cardio workout from it today!

Assuming I'm not too sore tomorrow, I'll resume my strength exercises with EA Active. I'm also going to be possibly taking off from working out over the weekend since a big tournament is happening then. I'm not sure what time I'll be going though, so I may just doing Yoga warmups those days.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Olympic 2012 Soccer Game Finals

 Saw some great soccer finals this week, with women's tournament having a Japan vs USA gold match, and men's tournament with Brazil vs Mexico.

In women's, the Japan vs USA match was not a bad game at all, but wasn't as exciting as the Canada vs USA game. There were some calls that should have been made against USA, but they didn't look too serious. Japan seemed to only have half of its team really motivated to win, though. There were also some great moves, such as Tobin Heath with amazing ball control to get it away from Japan.

I actually made this one, so sorry for bad quality.
 Japan did get a well deserved score against USA; defenders saved it once, tied to kick it out but Japan got us beat.

Although I'm glad USA won, if we were beaten by Japan, I wouldn't have minded so much. Japan's women's team is amazing! They did better than their men's team, getting a silver medal over not placing! I heard that while the men's team arrived in firstclass on a plane, the women's team had to fly coach when arriving for the Olympics. Ridiculous when you consider Japan's Men's team never won a world cup, but the women did! Hopefully the way home had a comfortable arrangement for the women this time. :)

As for Men's Brazil vs Mexico final, I think the match was pretty good between the two. I stopped liking Brazil for a long time now, and Princess Neymar with his little diving everywhere certainly didn't help it!

There is one guy on the Brazil team that is to be admired, and that would be Hulk. No, not the comic book hero, there is a man named Hulk (Givanildo Vieira de Souza) on the Brazil team who is a good soccer player and is not a diving pussy like Neymar (at least from what i could tell in Mexico Vs Brazil game). He is a huge dude that doesn't use his large body as a weapon, but more as a defensive mechanic. He could have easily knocked around 3 Mexico players at once with it looking like an accident, but he seemed to be the gentle giant. As it is, he was also the one who scored the only goal, despite him usually being a support player on the team!

Mexico still beat them, though there were quite a few near misses. Peralta of Mexico scored the first goal, before the first minute of game time! Poor Fabiano of Mexico had two near goals, including this impressive one!

Brazil almost got an equalizer goal later too, but the header went too high or was to the right of the goal. That would have changed the whole game! There was also a time where two Brazil players got in an argument on the field cause one fouled a Mexican player near their goal. Couldn't find a clip of that, but shocked me a little! One of the two ended up getting subbed out, whether it was for the argument or maybe because the coach saw he was tired, I don't know.At the end of the game, the players traded shirts with each other, I think it's supposed to be a show of respect for one another. I envy whoever got Hulk's shirt, cause he's the only one's shirt I'd want on that team. Besides him, someone of course traded with Neymar. Even if he is a little priss and actor, he still is a famous and good player.

I was glad for Mexico's win though! Not only because I dislike Brazil (except Hulk) but also North American pride! I'd root for Canada just the same! It's amazing both Olympic soccer/football games were won in gold for North America! I'm exceptionally pleased that the Women's medal winners were to what I wanted as well; USA Gold, Japan Silver, Canada Bronze! Men's ended as Mexico Gold, Brazil Silver, and surprisingly South Korea Bronze! I wish South Korea had a better showing against Brazil, and that Japan had a better showing against South Korea, but the better teams have won.

Also, even thought it is wrong, I laughed when I saw Neymar pouting at his loss after Mexico/Brazil match ended. :P

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Working Out: Week 4

Week 1     Week 2     Week 3

As we enter the 4th week, a few changes have occurred. I still am using Wii Fit Plus and EA Active More Workouts on the Nintendo Wii. My workouts are mostly the same, but now a change in the schedule is to be made.Originally, my weekly schedule alternated going Strength exercises, Aerobics, day off, then back to strength and repeating... Now I am going to attempt to not have a day off so often.

My weight starting this was around 177lbs, but since I started this work out regime, my weight fluctuated around it slightly being lower, but not much a huge difference. Since this is week 4, I think it's time to take a bit more action. Perhaps I just need a little more exercising with less days off to make this work. I'm sure some of this ties in with only being active part of the day instead of all day long, or my eating habits, but I'll try to change that.

The Olympics: Soccer 2 - USA vs Canada

Yesterday was the semi-final match between Canada and USA in women's soccer for the Olympics. It was a heart-wrenching match with the referee making questionable calls, failing to make calls, and generally making the game seem a little seedy. Also, Melissa Tancredi of Canada is a cunt.

Right now, Canada feels that the ref essentially gave the game to USA, that they were dominating USA the entire time until the ref made bad calls. As I watched the game, however, I saw two evenly matched teams blasting each other with everything they had. Canada wasn't "dominating" but they were leading the game. They were the ones that kept striking one point ahead before the USA caught up each time.

The ref did make some questionable calls, such as penalizing the Canadian goalkeeper for holding the ball too long. Apparently it was a legitimate call, but almost never one that is called. That call led to a also questionable call against Canada for a handball, which gave USA a penalty kick. It ended up being a goal that equalized the score, and causing the over time which would ultimately allow USA to score a winning goal.

Despite these calls that seemed to favor USA, there were many calls that could have been made against Canada, including red cards to eliminate some supporting players. Namely, Melissa Tancredi of Canada. She is such a bitch, hell she's a friggin' cunt on the soccer field. I saw her shove players with more force than needed, played off as an accident. I saw her stomp on the face of a USA player on the ground. There are not many people I will call a cunt, but she is one that fits the word so well!

Her first shove happened fast, I thought perhaps she couldn't slow down and the force just passed onto the USA player, but a slow down showed her arms reeling back and shoving the woman.

Not only that, there was a moment where a throw in was disputed between Tancredi and Rapinoe of the USA team. Tancredi seemed like she wanted to start something with her body language while Rapinoe cooly walking away not paying her any attention.

A random lesbian forum supplied me with all these awesome images.
I know Soccer is a physical heavy game, I played it for around 8 years when I was younger, and I have watched several World Cups and games on TV. This cunt, however, takes the cake on trying to be a bully on the field. Canada says USA players should be ashamed to win due to bad calls, but I say they should be ashamed to have such a cunt on their team.

The rest of the Canadian teams was AMAZING. Sinclair is an amazing soccer player with great precision and shook up the USA team. McLeod, Canada's goalie, read the ball well, and should be considered a strong point on their team. I'm not sure if I'd consider her as good as I see Hope Solo, but I also fancy Solo, so I will just say McLeod is not to be taken lightly.

In the end, the game's nature was created by the bad ref calls. USA deserved their win still, but Canada's team is to absolutely be commended for their amazing team, sans Tancredi. I think they deserved the silver medal, but sadly not in the cards with how the teams were positioned. I'll be rooting for USA against Japan on Thursday via my mother's phone since we have to take Faith to the vets during the game.

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Olympics: Soccer

I been watching the Olympics this year, mainly the soccer matches, and been loving the action going on.

In the Women's league, i been rooting for Japan, Canada, and USA, and so far they have all made it to the semifinals! Of course I want USA to win gold, but I am okay with Canada or Japan getting it as well. At the time of this post, Japan is facing France with Japan winning. I'd love to see Japan face off against USA for a rematch from the last World Cup they had with Japan winning it. Maybe this time, USA will beat them, but first they have to get past Canada. Canada's women's team seriously impressed me this year; knocking out Great Britain's Team despite the fact Great Britain had never lost a game in the qualifiers where Canada had and was 3rd in their seeding. Despite their amazing game, I really cannot see them winning the gold. USA has the potential, as does Japan. I suppose if France beats Japan and Canada beats USA, they have a chance then.

In the Men's league, our USA team didn't even qualify! Due to that, I been rooting for Mexico (North American pride), Uruguay (I'm a fan of Luis Suarez), and Japan. Unfortunately, Uruguay got eliminated in the qualifiers, so I changed my cheers to Great Britain. I'd be rooting for them in the beginning too, but I like to limit myself to three teams. Honestly, all the teams were rather impressive this years.

I was greatly surprised with Senegal's team; they were fast and skilled. Mexico only recently eliminated them in the knock out rounds, which was a great match up between the two. Mexico seemed to be the superior in technical play with their passes and plans, while Senegal had the speed and ball stealing to really mess with Mexico. They made it into overtime even, but Mexico broke through with 2 more goals, sealing their win. The thing with their match is the ref was a bit of a dunce. He'd call some plays then ignore others. One huge thing was he gave a Senegal player only a yellow card for high jump kicking a Mexican player. I mean, it may not have been intentional as we was going for a high ball, but that was reckless playing!

Taken from a failblog-related site.

Also in the knock out rounds, Egypt faced Japan where the game was rather sad. I think the Egyptian players were observing Ramadan during the tournament, which means they were fasting during the day and eating only at night. The players were so exhausted in this match up, they were getting hurt left and right. They ran out of substitutes and had to play two men down; one due to a red card (double yellowed, it really wasn't much of a cardable offense) and another being injured. Japan proceeded to win 3-0. I found it rather annoying that a Japan player got upset he didn't get a foul call in his favor during stoppage time. It's like, dude, it wasn't that serious, you're winning the game 3-0, and there's a few minutes left. Get over it!

Brazil facing Honduras started off great, but thanks to ref being ridiculous, Honduras ended up with two men down due to red cards, despite being a strong team. Brazil even seemed to want to argue with the ref on the card, and even hugged or patted the back of the last Honduran to leave the field as if to say, "that blows, sorry bro."

One big surprise upset was South Korea beating Great Britain's team. It came down to shoot outs. As it was, I only caught the beginning of the game before I had to go work out. After a shower and everything, I went to check the scores and found out they were still playing. Turned on the TV just in time to see the last two kicks of the penalty kick shoot out where Britain player Daniel Sturridge missed his shot and Korea's player score, giving Korea the victory. I never would have expect South Korea to do so well, considering when I saw their games, they didn't seem to be anythign special. I say good for them. I also hear a lot of people ragging on Daniel Sturridge for missing his shot, but from the games I've seen, he is an incredible player. You really can't surmise one's skills from penalty shoot outs as that's more about luck and nerves. He just chose the wrong side/goal keeper chose the right side. I think I found another soccer player I'm a fan of, truth be told!

As it stands now, my ideal winners for the leagues are:
Women's league: USA Gold, Japan Silver, Canada Bronze.
Men's League: Mexico Gold, Japan Bronze, South Korea Silver.

I don't want Brazil to win in Men's league. I do liek that most of their players are much more humble than what I saw at the men's world cup, but Neymar on their team is a bit too cocky for my tastes, and over plays his fouls. I'd be fine if Japan got the gold as well, but rather North America get the honor for it. To be honest, if Brazil beats North Korea, I am not sure if Japan or Mexico would be better suited to beat them.

For Women's, I happen to like all the teams, even France's team! I just like the others a little better.

And now to leave you with a rather funny pose of Luis Suarez, which I so helpfully captioned.