Thursday, 28 December 2006

Goal Setting: Big or Small?

I was reading a post over at Cultivate Greatness, an excellent site, that claims setting harder and bigger goals is better than smaller, more attianable goals. The one quote that got me was

...that your goal should be so big that it both scares you and excites you at the same time. Your goal should be so big that you have no idea how you’re going to do it, you just know that you will.

It's a very inspiring piece. This however sounds more like a dream than a goal. Dreams to me are the fuzzy things, often very emotional, fixed on one certain aspect of a series of goals. An example would be dreaming of standing on top of Everest, looking down at the land below.

The main problem with this idea is that there is no real actions involved. It's hard to know where to start if your only goal is 'Climb Everest'. If the goal was 'Go to the shop and get an ice axe', it's much eaiser to accomplish.

I do agree with the main jest of the article, that big goals are important to motivate and stimulate. It's easier to get excited about being on top of the highest peak in the world, not so easy to get exicted about going to the gear shop.

In the end, like most things in life, the middle path is the correct one for success. You need both the big dream and the small steps to attain your goal. Use the emotion and good feelings you get from the dream to fuel your somewhat mundane but important small steps.

Bodywork Plan

Alright, so a change with my plan for the next few months:

  • Week 1 (starting 27th Dec) - 3x cardio
  • Week 2 - 4x cardio
  • Week 3 - 2x cardio, 2 x gym (strength)
  • Week 4-5 - 2x cardio, 2x GPP
  • Week 6-8 - 2x cardio, 1x pylo, 1x weights (strength)
I'm kind of rotating my main few goals (endurance, strength and power). I really need to work on my fitness (for football) so I've made it a priority.

Monday, 25 December 2006

The New Bodywork Program

I'm going to run 3x a week for 2 weeks (until 7th Jan).

I'll then start GPP. Details on that to follow (my comp is broken at the mo).

Review and The Fifth Area

I've already got four areas of my life I'm sorting out, and three of them are going well enough for me to add a fifth. What it will be, I'm not quite sure.

I'm reading a book called iWoz, it's about Steve Woznaik, the guy that built the first Apple computers. It's a very interesting read, even though I'm not in his engineering field it still is very relevant. The principles he uses in his work are brilliant.

As for Flights of the Mind, I've only got a little way to go. I'll knock it off soon enough.

Sunday, 24 December 2006


Finished my P/P/L. Am now taking a break until the 27th December, when I'll start my cardio/GPP program. Still have to write it, will do that over the next few days.

Still going well. Am going to donate before I go to Uni.

Still haven't finished my book. Not rushing to though.

Am starting meditation (10 mins) today.

Friday, 22 December 2006

Pull, Fri 15th December - Push/Pull/Lower


  1. 6 @ 160
  2. 6 @ 162.5
  3. 5 @ 162.5
  4. 4 @ 162.5
Chin Ups
  1. 6
  2. 5
  3. 4
  4. 3.5
BB Rows
  1. 6 @ 67.5 x4
Lat Pulldowns (supersetted with DB Curls)
  1. 6 @ 134 (10 @ 8)
  2. 6 @ 134 (8 @ 8)
  3. 6 @ 134 (5 @ 8)
  4. 6 @ 134 (5 @ 8)
Alright workout. Didn't see any amazing gains, just normal expected ones.

Wednesday, 20 December 2006

Push, Wed 13th December - Push/Pull/Lower

Flat BB Bench

  1. 6 @ 87.5kg
  2. 6 @ 90kg
  3. 6 @ 90kg
  4. 6 @ 90kg
Seated Overhead DB Press
  1. 6 @ 28
  2. 6 @ 28
  3. 6 @ 28
  4. 6 @ 28
Rope Pushdowns
  1. 6 @ 52 x4
Low Incline DB Press
  1. 6 @ 30.5kg
  2. 5 @ 35.5kg
  3. 4 @ 35.5kg
  4. 3 @ 35.5kg
Did pushdowns before low incline due to equipemnt being in use. ANother solid workout, didn't go hard on bench due to no spotter.

Tuesday, 19 December 2006

Democracy vs. The Market

IF, and it's an important if, we assume that a good political system must have a mechanism by which the citizens can control the people in power, the two systems that are worth investigation are the market, and democracy.

The two methods that we see today in the West are democracy and the market. No doubt everyone is familiar with both of these methods, but I thought I'd give my take on them.


In a market system, the two main groups are the businesses and the consumers. The businesses offer products, and the consumers trade money for these products.

Who is in power here? Both parties need each other; the business needs money and the consumers want/need the products.

Here the structure of society is formed by the types of businesses in it. Public policy would essentially made up of the aggregate policies of every business; for example the amount of attention spent on being environmentally friendly would be determined by the amount of attention spent by the businesses.


In a democracy, the two main groups are the government and the citizenry. Here the government both demands taxes and offers the chance to vote, and the citizens offer nothing.

Who is in power here? Here participation in the system isn't totally voluntary, the only optional part is the control that the citizens have. So in essence, the government is in power no matter how many citizens voluntarily participate (ie vote).

Here the structure is determined by laws, passed by the politicians in power and enforced by agents of the State.


One advantage of the market is the voluntary aspect of it. Of course, you cannot completely opt out of the market, bar not consuming anything. Even then the actions of others will indirectly effect you, but to try to be a total individual is impossible. A democracy however adds a additional layer of involuntary systems into any society.

A second point of comparison is competition. Both systems have elements of competition; the market for money, democracy for votes.

Now democracies as we see them today, representative democracies, often have one election every three to four years where every citizen gets one vote. Another method is direct democracy, where the citizens vote on issues.

In the market, the choice is made via exchanging things of value, typically money.

One drawback of the democracy we see currently is the inefficiency of response. Compare the frequency of the majority of consumer decisions, buying bread for example, to the voting cycle. Obviously there are some items like cars or refrigerators that are often kept for more than four years.

Another is the lack of any real guarantee when casting a vote. Politicians often run on one set of policies, then act very different when in power. The citizenry is then powerless until the next election, often years away. The market is somewhat more dynamic; due both to the frequency of consumer decisions and the amplitude; many people buy bread often.

Another problem with the representative democracy method is the fact that there may not be a candidate running that supports the same things you do; you may have to compromise as you only have one vote. In a market system, money can be dolled out in a variety of amounts, relative to the amount the product or service is valued. It must be noted that in a direct democracy, this wouldn't be as much of a problem.

Another advantage of a market system is the multiplicity of businesses means you often have more choice than in a democracy, where typically two parties or candidates are far more popular than the third choice.

The market system can be seen as unfair due to the inequality of each individual. A billionaire has more influence over the power structure in place than a beggar. Another common idea is the chance of monopolies occurring.

A monopoly in itself isn't a bad thing; if one company is offering a near perfect product at a low price no one would complain. The bad effects of monopolies are when businesses use there size to cut back on competition from smaller companies.

The benefit of a democracy here is the chance for the government to enforce anti-monopoly laws to prevent them occurring. One must note two important points however, 1. a government is itself a monopoly on force and 2. businesses often use the power of governments, democracy or not, through channels like lobbying, to help sustain a monopoly.


Both systems have flaws, because both systems are run and maintained by humans. Which one is better or worse isn't really the point; a mixture is probably the best strategy.

The critical point that will determine the success or failure of either system is the vigilance of the consumer/citizenry. If you buy the poison bread or if you vote in Hitler the system will fail.

People create the society they deserve. In the end history shows it's not which system, but the people that run it.

Monday, 18 December 2006


Couldn't be going better in the gym. Haven't started running though. Starting GPP next week on Christmas Day.

To do:

  1. Get GPP program in order.

Still haven't finished Flights of the Mind, not too worried though to be honest.

I'm not going to make any goals regarding it, just a conscious effort to read the book.


Am doing well with my saving, earning a lot from my job. Not much more I can do here.


Need to start meditating, planning to do it on the 25th.

Lower, Mon 18th December - Push/Pull/Lower

My last lower day:

ATG Squats

  1. 6 @ 122.5
  2. 6 @ 125
  3. 6 @ 130
  4. 6 @ 130
Step Ups
  1. 6 each leg @ 30.5kg
  2. 5 each leg @ 30.5kg
  3. 6 each leg @ 30.5kg
  4. 5 each leg @ 30.5kg
DB Calf Raises
  1. 6 @ 30.5 x4
Really good workout, squats were awesome. Even the 130's felt easy, could have gone heavier. Did step ups for a change.

Friday, 15 December 2006

Pull, Fri 15th December - Push/Pull/Lower


1. 6 @ 160
2. 6 @ 160
3. 6 @ 160
4. 4 @ 170

CG Chin Ups

1. 6
2. 5 (1 neg)
3. 3 (3 negs)
4. 3 (3 negs)

BB Rows

1. 6 @ 65
2. 6 @ 65
3. 6 @ 65
4. 6 @ 65

WG Lat Pulldowns

1. 6 @ 120
2. 6 @ 120
3. 6 @ 120
4. 6 @ 120
5. 6 @ 120

DB Curls (supersetted with lat pulldowns)

1. 10 @ 7.5
2. 10 @ 7.5
3. 8 @ 7.5
4. 8 @ 7.5

Solid workout, DL dissapointing, hamstrings were still a bit sore. Pull ups went a tad bit better, I'm getting more comfortable with the form. Did curls for a higher rep range, my biceps respond to it better.

Wednesday, 13 December 2006

Science vs. Religion

Science and religion are often compared as complete opposites. They often seem at odds with each other; religion holding back scientific progress, science destroying some of religions most precious claims.

I don't think that science and religion are totally at odds. They do operate for the most part in separate areas of society, and usually don't clash. Many prominent scientists are deeply religious, often it's only because atheist scientists shout louder that this isn't well known.


There is one important area where religion and science are polar opposites, so important that it's the very mechanism by which the two move.

Religion almost always contains a piece of unquestionable dogma; the Bible in Christianity for example. This body of information is usually claimed to be touched by God, and therefore perfect in everyday.

Science starts with nothing, just the scientific method. It then starts to build up a body of information that reflects the natural world. Science can be viewed simplistically as trial and error. Having a glance at a small time line in physics shows the progress from classical to relativistic to relativistic/quantum.

To sum up: religion starts with a claim of perfect knowledge, science starts with nothing and builds up to perfect knowledge.


The claims of perfection by religion is a huge problem. How can a religious text, written in the language of man, be perfect? Are the translations perfect?

Furthermore, how come every religious teaching is interpreted differently by everyone? How can it be perfect if it is so ambiguous?

What happens if new findings contradict the teachings in a religious text? If we look at history, violence is often the answer, as per Galileo in Catholic Italy. You can't exactly go and rewrite the word of God can you?

Science too has flaws. The constant doubt of the current theory in any given field is paradoxically science's greatest aspect and it's fatal flaw. Great in that it allows the knowledge to change with new findings, flawed in that we never know if we are truly right.


Both science and religion are fundamentally flawed. Science seems to always be imperfect and incomplete, and we can never know when it is perfect. Religion claims perfection without any regard to it's environment or new findings.

We shouldn't be surprised that both science and religion are so deficient in our search for truth; they both involve us.

Push, Wed 13th December - Push/Pull/Lower

Flat BB Bench

  1. 6 @ 82.5kg
  2. 6 @ 85kg
  3. 6 @ 87.5kg
  4. 6 @ 90kg
Seated Overhead DB Press
  1. 6 @ 28
  2. 6 @ 28
  3. 5 @ 28
  4. 5 @ 28
Low Incline DB Press
  1. 6 @ 30.5kg
  2. 6 @ 30.5kg
  3. 6 @ 30.5kg
  4. 6 @ 30.5kg
Rope Pushdowns
  1. 6 @ 42
  2. 6 @ 48
  3. 6 @ 52
  4. 5 @ 52
Another good workout. Saw good gains, BB bench is going really well. Forgot to do RC work.

Monday, 11 December 2006

GPP & My Training Plans

I've heard about GPP (General Physical Preparedness) a lot on websites like EliteFTS and T-Nation, two very good sites. I understand GPP to be a mix of cardio, weights and strongman.
I'm doing a bit of research using my new wiki about it, I'll post the routine I'll be doing eventually. I'm hoping it'll be a good change from the gym, I'm usually pretty mentally shattered after a few weeks of Westside, and it's a good chance to get a tan :)

So, for my general training plan for the next few months:

  • Now - 29th Dec = P/P/L
  • 30th Dec 06 - 2nd Jan 07 = Rest
  • 2nd Jan - 23/30 Jan = Westside
  • 23/30 Jan - Uni = GPP/Cardio/Football training
I'll fill this out on my Google Calendar soon so we can get a better look ;)

Lower, Mon 11th December - Push/Pull/Lower

Second lower day:

ATG Squats

  1. 6 @ 120
  2. 6 @ 125
  3. 6 @ 127.5
  4. 6 @ 127.5
  1. 6 @ 100
  2. 6 @ 105
  3. 6 @ 110
  4. 6 @ 110
Walking DB Lunges
  1. 6 each leg @ 22.5
Stationary Lunges
  1. 6 each leg @ 22.5
Round the Clock Lunges
  1. 6 each leg @ 22.5
Good workout, saw gains on everything. Changed calf raises to lunges just for a laugh really. Still working up on SLD, trying to keep my back flat.

Saturday, 9 December 2006


I just set up my own wiki as per this brilliant article on Lifehacker. It's only hosted on my computer at the moment, but eventually I'm going to try get it up on the web so everyone can peek into my vast collected knowledge!

I can't wait to begin transferring all my past workout journals, all my style advice, my Life List. I find this really exciting because wiki's are such an easy resource for stockpiling information, more so than word documents which are a bit cumbersome.

Friday, 8 December 2006

Pull, Fri 9th December - Push/Pull/Lower

First pull day:


  1. 6 @ 160
  2. 6 @ 160
  3. 6 @ 165
  4. 6 @ 165

CG Chin Ups
  1. 6
  2. 4 (2 negs)
  3. 4 (2 negs)
  4. 3 (3 negs)
BB Rows
  1. 6 @ 65
  2. 6 @ 65
  3. 6 @ 65
  4. 6 @ 65
WG Lat Pulldowns
  1. 6 @ 90?
  2. 6 @ 110
  3. 6 @ 110
  4. 6 @ 110
DB Curls
  1. 6 @ 7
  2. 6 @ 7
  3. 6 @ 7
  4. 6 @ 7
Pretty good workout. DL were great, quite easy too. Chins and pulldowns were hard, might be my technique more so than my strength. Rows were alright, curls I might do another exercise.

All in all a good week. I like training in the 4-6 range, it doesn't make me that sore but I see good gains.

Thursday, 7 December 2006

Why ALL Drugs Should Be Legal

  1. The war on drugs does not stop drug usage. That much is obvious from society today.
    Government cannot even keep drugs out of the jails, let alone in society at large. The demand for humans to experience drugs will not and cannot be extinguished.
  2. The war on drugs drives the price of drugs up around 6000-7000%, leading to increased home invasions from addicts wanting a fix. Contrary to common belief, most drug users can hold down a job. With free market prices, many low income wages would be sufficent to support a drug habit.
  3. Who gives you the right to tell someone what to put in their body? Are they directly harming anyone by smoking a joint?
  4. Over half of the prison population is there due to drugs. Prisoners that we the citizens have to pay for, around $50,000 a year.
    This also means rapists and killers, people who actually directly harm others, don't spend as long in jail because they are full of harmless stoner's.
  5. The demand for drugs is never going to go away. By making them illegal, you create gangs. Gangs only come about due to something being illegal. Gambling, prostitution, drugs, these services or products, if they are make illegal, will spawn real crime, like killing and stealing.
    The people who will offer drugs on the black market will be the ones willing to kill, to steal.
    Also, the black market means prices skyrocket, because a) the black market is smaller, therefore less competition and b) dealers take a risk providing this product, and want more compensation.
    By allowing only these 'bad' people access to the distribution of drugs, you are funneling money to these people.
  6. The only way to stop drugs is education. And even then, the best education is experience. I'm not condoning widespread drug use however.
    Another problem with the War on Drugs is the propaganda that replaces real drug information. How can an agency that prohibits marijuana use give a balanced education about it?
  7. Illegal drugs makes them less safe. I would trust a pharmaceutical company, with their reputation on the line, and with good safety controls. to make my heroin over some junkie who is probably high himself.
I am not condoning drugs. If I could, I would flip a switch and make them go away. But I can't.

Government banning or restricting anything, except one citizen using force on another, always has unintended consequences.

I do know for a fact, that the drug dealers, the smart ones, love drugs being illegal. They are probably the biggest supporters of it. Well, maybe the crooked cops that get payed off at the border love it more.

Wednesday, 6 December 2006

Thoughts for New Workouts

I was reading this article at Outside Online about your exercise at different times of your life. I've picked up a few ideas for my next few routines:

  1. Crosstrain, ie do some swimming/cycling for some cardio.
  2. Stretch again. I'm going to start stretching everyday, starting today (7th december). When I get back to Uni I'll try Yoga.

Sites I Use

I've started to use Google Calendar to track the progress I make. I've chooesn GC because it's integrated with Gmail, and I love using Google products.

I also use, which I am starting to love.

I'm starting to become all about putting as much information on the web as possible, it's pretty safe (from being lost), and so far I haven't not been able to do anything I could with a pen and paper.

Push, Wed 7th December - Push/Pull/Lower

First push day:

Flat BB Bench

  1. 6 @ 80kg
  2. 6 @ 80kg
  3. 6 @ 82.5kg
  4. 6 @ 82.5kg
Seated Overhead DB Press
  1. 6 @ 27.5
  2. 6 @ 27.5
  3. 6 @ 27.5
  4. 5 @ 27.5
Low Incline DB Press
  1. 6 @ 30.5kg
  2. 6 @ 30.5kg
  3. 5 @ 30.5kg
  4. 5 @ 30.5kg
Rope Pushdowns
  1. 6 @ 42
  2. 6 @ 42
  3. 6 @ 42
  4. 6 @ 42
Pretty good workout, took me about 1 hour, didn't get too tired either. Might throw in some rotator cuff work next week.

Monday, 4 December 2006

The Real World War II Analogy

Many people have been making the analogy between Saddam Hussein and the appeasement of Hitler to try to justify the 2003 War in Iraq. I feel, and thankfully many others do now, that this analogy is not only poor, but could be replaced by a far more accurate but darker one.

This is a poor analogy, due mainly to the lack of foreign aggression shown by Hussein, that was shown by Hitler. Hitler outlined his intention of lebensraum in Mein Kampf, and then enacted it with his actions in the Rhineland, Austria, Czechoslovakia and finally, in what proved to be the tipping point for Chamberlain et al, Poland.

Saddam, a tyrant that he was, showed no such aggression of late. He did in 1991, and the appropriate response was taken.

I saw an article on Digg recently about the similarities between pre-War Nazi Germany and modern day America. I've been saying this for a long time, this is scarily similar.

Wether we have had our Reichstag burning down yet (the event that caused Hitler to assume dictatorial control), I am not sure. Some point to 9/11, but for me I feel that if some such event does happen, it will happen closer to the 2008 elections.

We also have stark and dangerous similarities between the treatment of Muslims and Jews, in America and Nazi Germany respectively. As outlined in the article above, and I'm not suprised, many Americans seem to be deadly afraid of Islam.

This fear has been created and perpetuated by the American government. From the buzz words that have grown slowly more and more about Islam; 'terrorists' lead to 'religious extremists' lead to 'Islamic radical' which lead to the plainly idiotic 'Islamic Fascist'.

Terrorism is deadly, but compared to the amount of attacks and death that acutally happed, to the amount of deaths from automobiles, smoking, heart attacks etc it is hardly a threat, but yet most Americans would point to it as a huge problem.

I'm no conspiracy theorist, but I really feel that if Bush doesn't give up power, America is in for some dark times ahead.

Sunday, 3 December 2006


I'm going to finish Leonardo Da Vinci: The Flights of the Mind. After that, who knows!


I am somewhat of a Buddhist; I've struggled to really immerse myself in it though.

One of the keys to Buddhism is meditation, and it is essential that I master it to be able to progress.

So, starting on the 24th of December, I'm going to meditate for 10 minutes a day. I'm starting so late in order to be able to get back into the Buddhist mindset.

Saturday, 2 December 2006


For every $10 I make:

  • $3 will go to a charity saving
  • $7 will be put into my saving account
Apart from that, I'm just going to make an effort to not waste money.

So far:
  • Charity - $60
  • Bank - $140

Bodywork - Push/Pull/Lower


The split:

  • Monday - Lower
  • Tuesday - Rest
  • Wednesday - Push
  • Thursday - Run
  • Friday - Pull
  • Saturday - Run
  • Sunday - Rest
The routine:

All sets will be 8-10 reps.

  • Squat - 4 sets
  • Good Mornings - 4 sets
  • Standing DB Lunges - 4 sets
  • DB Calf Raises - 4 sets
  • BB Military Press - 4 sets
  • Flat DB Bench - 4 sets
  • Incline BB Bench - 4 sets
  • Skullcrushers - 4 sets
  • Deadlifts - 4 sets
  • Pull Ups - 5 sets
  • BB Rows - 3 sets
  • BB Curls - 4 sets
Run - 15 mins

I'm doing this from the 4th of December until the 24th of December.

I'm going to aim for:
  • 5 meals a day
  • One vege or fruit with each meal
  • Protien with each meal.
  • Cheat twice a week
This should be do-able.


I seperate bodywork into three areas: strength, endurance and flexibility.

What I'm going to do:

  1. Strength - get back to the gym. Do a push/pull/lower split for three weeks, then a 5 week Westside program.
  2. Endurance - I'm going to run 15min twice a week during my push/pull/lower split then run 3 times a week during my Westside.
  3. Flexibility - I'm going to stretch once everyday, starting in one week.


This blog is my progress in getting my life on track again.

I'm seperating my life into four areas: bodywork, academic, spirit and money.