1. A Morning At Ikea

lsI love Ikea, I know many do not. Shopped correctly you can get some kick ass stuff for killer prices; shopped incorrectly you can destroy a relationship, bring home painted cardboard and empty your bank account all in an afternoon. Elin and I headed to Ikea Sunday morning and started with breakfast. Ikea breakfast is really a thing to behold. For $.99 you can get eggs, potatoes, sausage and a coffee. For a little extra they’ll throw in a couple Swedish pancakes. It’s a bit reminiscent of dorm eating, but for $.99 it would be pretty damn hard to beat. We came home with a crib, about 3000 parts for me to build library shelving in our front room, a few frames for art and some other odds and ends. The project list keeps growing.

 

2. The Basement Bathroom Remodel Is Finished

I really enjoyed this project. Taking a dingy, disgusting, dated, non-functioning bathroom and tearing it all out to make way for a modern, much more functional space was very rewarding. There were plenty of challenges along the way; waterproofing openings for plumbing stub-outs in corrugated metal, moving a toilet flange and drain pipe, removing popcorn ceiling, working with a very strange ceiling profile and trimming against the wonkiest floor that has possibly ever been poured were all unique learning experiences. Overall, I’m very happy with the space, it’s far more functional — everything actually works is a good start and it’s modern, bright, clean and warm. The corner toilet is something I would recommend for anyone with an abnormal toilet closet space, it allowed for a more functionally sized vanity and saved users from putting their knees/ass against the wall when going.

My favorite part of the whole bathroom, though, is the corrugated steel shower. I think it turned out great, it was super economical, should last a lifetime and it just looks cool.

With this project wrapped up my list now sits at: master bath, upstairs full bath, library, finishing nursery/kids room. Plenty to do.

3. Time For A New Workout Routine

After about 16 weeks on a power-building and strength focused routine, not including two one-week active recoveries, and with spring in the air and more of a focus on riding the bike I decided I had added to my strength base enough and was ready to start focusing on balancing out and working on hypertrophy again. I decided to build out two full body routines and run them ABA, most likely Monday, Wednesday, Friday and when possible ABAB by throwing in Sunday and then moving to Tuesday, Thursday, etc… the following week. I like running my workouts this way as it provides nice flexibility when I get stuck at work late or as life occurs in general. Running with a full body routine also keeps things interesting, I might not love every exercise in my routine, but I do love at least a couple each workout which makes getting into the gym a lot easier. Here’s the routine I’ll be using for the next 3 to 4 months:

A Workout

  • Back Squat = 3×5
  • Flat Bench Press = 3×8-10
  • Lat Pulldown = 3×10-12
  • Lateral Raise = 3×10-12
  • Cable Row = 3×10-12
  • Tricep Pushdown = 3×10-12
  • Ab Roller = 3×10-12

B Workout

  • Deadlift = 1×5
  • Incline DB Bench Press = 3×8-10
  • Pull Up = 3×8
  • DB Bent Row = 3×8-10
  • DB Overhead Press = 3×8-10
  • Shrug = 3×10-12
  • Hammer Curl = 3×10-12
  • Pallof Press = 3×12

A few quick notes. I’m super-setting at least two to three exercises in both workouts, typically in opposing muscle groups, I do this 1) to keep gym time down while 2) allowing plenty of rest time in each muscle group. The idea being that I can hit chest with DB presses, move to pull ups, then shrug and in the time I’ve done two more lifts I’ve allowed my chest 1:30 to 2 minutes rest.

4. I Started A New Read

516e9-TjddL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_I’m a hard science fiction dork, no secret there, so Cixin Liu’s The Three-Body Problem has been on my short list for quite some time. Here’s a quick summary:

Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion. The result is a science fiction masterpiece of enormous scope and vision.

I’ll be sure to share my thoughts when I’m done reading.