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Thread: Exercise - getting in "the zone"

  1. #1
    Tasty Danish
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    Exercise - getting in "the zone"

    Some time last year, I decided to lose 35 pounds - I'm 5' 11", and started out at 210 pounds.

    Going well so far, shed almost 20 pounds over the last year by dropping snacks/candy/beer on workdays (basically going: "The cake is a lie!"), exercising some, and eating smaller portions.

    For the last ten years, I've been trying to get a steady run routine going, only to be thwarted by my back (I have a scoliosis) going: "You thought you had it this time with your slow combined walk/run interval start!?! Sux 2 B U LOLOL GO LIE IN BED WITH BACK PAINS!".
    Tried using custom run programs created with the help of doctors and physiotherapists, still didn't work.

    Then I FINALLY found an exercise that I like and doesn't mess up my back - Kickbiking.

    So - my question is this: What do you use to get in "the zone" while exercising?

    Do you listen to music/have an exercise playlist? Audiobooks? Podcasts? White Noise?
    Or nothing at all.

    Because in my many run-attempts, I've been listening mostly to podcasts and audiobooks. And that may have been wrong - I never felt like I got into the sort of meditative state that my friends/colleagues describe when they run. Probably because I had to pay attention to the words and form the images in my mind.

    I tried kickbiking with nothing playing, and it felt OK. But I'm always looking for new options!
    Last edited by Dawlin; June 30th, 2016 at 02:13 AM.
    "Silver bullet solutions are rare, silver bullet sales commonplace"

  2. #2
    hella Star-Demon :3
    MI Redeux's Avatar
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    Re: Exercise - getting in "the zone"

    I usually listen to standup comedy albums. I think comics that focus on jokes rather than humorous stories work better for this context. The only standup comic that still does jokes though is Demetri Martin, all the rest do stories. Podcasts are too meandering for me to listen to. Audiobooks are good if the book is engrossing enough but most aren't. It may be worthwhile to check out recordings of radio drama [1] that was hugely popular before the television was so ubiquitous.

    [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_drama

  3. #3

    Re: Exercise - getting in "the zone"

    Endurance exercise, I try and relax my brain with podcasts and books.

    For ballistic exercise, I try and get as ridiculous energy as possible.

  4. #4
    Buckeye Wizard
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    Re: Exercise - getting in "the zone"

    Quote Originally Posted by Dawlin View Post

    So - my question is this: What do you use to get in "the zone" while exercising?
    Classic rock anthems.

    Anything that happened during the day or previous week that really pissed me off.

    Pondering how much more it would take to look like The Rock, the dude from "Arrow," or, more realistically, Mark Wahlberg (like, in "Ted," not "Pain & Gain" lol).
    Nerkahia
    Retired 85 Wizard of Ascentia, The Nameless

    "Maybe if the Republicanoids weren't snorting coke off oil execs dicks, we could have had less dependancy on oil by now!!" - Silverblade-T-E

  5. #5
    Tasty Danish
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    Re: Exercise - getting in "the zone"

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerkahia View Post
    Pondering how much more it would take to look like The Rock,
    There are several articles out there about The Rocks eating and exercising habits.
    It's insane.
    "Silver bullet solutions are rare, silver bullet sales commonplace"

  6. #6
    Buckeye Wizard
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    Re: Exercise - getting in "the zone"

    Quote Originally Posted by Dawlin View Post
    There are several articles out there about The Rocks eating and exercising habits.
    It's insane.
    Yeah I've seen them; it IS insane! I'm pretty sure he eats more in one day than I eat in a week.
    Nerkahia
    Retired 85 Wizard of Ascentia, The Nameless

    "Maybe if the Republicanoids weren't snorting coke off oil execs dicks, we could have had less dependancy on oil by now!!" - Silverblade-T-E

  7. #7

    Re: Exercise - getting in "the zone"

    To look like that, you have to. Especially if you have a fast metabolism.

    When i was in my early 20s,i worked out twice a day, and ate 170grams of protein, at least, every single day.

    That equates to 1 gram of protein per pound.

  8. #8
    hella Star-Demon :3
    MI Redeux's Avatar
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    Re: Exercise - getting in "the zone"

    Dawlin, are you able to do yoga, pilates, or a similar exercise? If so, I'd recommend adding that to your routine. It helps greatly with recovery and posture (increased/maintained flexibility). It's something you can do at home easily.

    Another thing that is helpful are foam rollers, which help a tremendous amount for reasons I don't understand at all, but it ends up being legit despite my tremendous scepticism.

    And if pot is legal/decriminalized in your area, it helps with recovery time somewhat [1] and makes the experience less shitty over time.

    I am unfamiliar with scoliosis so perhaps the following is not applicable, but what has helped the most with back pains for myself whether through injury or sitting in a chair with lumbar support is the foam roller, yoga/pilates, and using an exercise ball for a chair. I injured my back quite badly when I was working in a manual labor capacity and being reckless transporting heavy containers [2], and it reoccurred for years until I started taking more proactive/preventative measures.

    The reason the exercise ball helped me so much was that instead of the lumbar muscle strength deteriorating over time due to reduced usage, the lumbar muscles instead either maintain their current strength or improve to the point that they do not need any support when sitting.

    And as a quality of life metric, sitting on the exercise ball is much more comfortable for the ass area because the ball will deform to your particular ass area geometry rather than the ass area geometry deforming to the geometry of the chair.

    I was using a Herman Miller chair before that, which is an excellent chair that is very comfortable and tremendously well designed and built, but the exercise ball is more comfortable, easier to transport, retains and improves lumbar muscle strength, and it is less than a tenth of the cost. Also it looks funny when an entire room is using exercise balls, but that is more of an added bonus.

    Regular chairs are similar to typical computer peripheral designs in that they are both inescapably defective and not made for real world human physiology, both assume a robot is using them rather than a squishy organism whose joints are not artificially lubricated and artifiically maintained/constructed.

    [1] It will obviously vary from person to person but IMO/IME the degree it helps with recovery time has extremely optimistic claims by some demos. The latter, making regular exercise less insanely boring as fuck and tiresome holds up though. If you are doing cardio though, obviously don't combust the pot as it will affect your lung capacity similarly to cigarettes will or any combusted materials inhaled.

    Any other delivery mechanism won't have that effect however and will be a more efficient usage of the drug delivery mechanism, and in this context literally every possible way to consume the drug exists with a rounding error on long term costs associated with them. So the health v. utility trade off is nonsensical for combustion as a delivery mechanism.

    [2] I still have a nice collection of metal shards in my abdomen from that job as well, most of which have not been pushed out over time. But hey, fuck OSHA am I right? >.<
    Last edited by MI Redeux; July 20th, 2016 at 09:18 PM.

  9. #9

    Re: Exercise - getting in "the zone"

    I need to get a Pell build in my back yard as this is the kind of sports training I need to do. To get me in the zone, I just need rock music and a great sparring partner.
    CeeNedra

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  10. #10
    Elder Arcanist
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    Re: Exercise - getting in "the zone"

    I listen to whatever book I am currently on when I work out, it takes my mind off the actual workout and makes the workout seem to last a shorter amount of time. I also listen to the book when I mow my front yard, which takes at least an hour, when I walk the dogs, and anytime I am driving. Freaking Audible is worth every penny I give them.
    'This world may be another planet's hell.'{Aldous Huxley}
    'After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.'{Aldous Huxley}

  11. #11

    Re: Exercise - getting in "the zone"

    I agree. Audible is great. Plus, you can purchase additional tokens for way less than the price of books.

  12. #12
    Ellsworth M. Toohey
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    Re: Exercise - getting in "the zone"

    Back when I used to work out, I found that the best way to get in the right mindset was to do it early in the morning, pretty much right after getting up, before breakfast, with nothing but silence around. I found I got a good workout in without thinking or agonizing over it too much because my mind was too groggy to do anything but wake up.

  13. #13
    hella Star-Demon :3
    MI Redeux's Avatar
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    Re: Exercise - getting in "the zone"

    After thinking about this off and on for a while, I think typical cardio exercises promoted are twenty-five degrees of idiotic and only exist to sell shit to people. They are useless at large beyond the benefits of exercise, they are antisocial or divisive in the sense that they turn the people involved into competition rather than participants or turn the participants into props, they are intractably boring over time, and a waste of effort.

    To wit any martial arts or dance context is better. It is inclusive, both are useful skills, the environment is not toxic, and they are both extremely social activities with utility outside of practicing them. The barrier to entry is very low, and they combine well with strength training and yoga (or whatever variant there of you wish). They can both be done forever barring catastrophic irrecoverable disabilities incurred.

    And in my experience the environments are always positive, there are not any socially retarded bros. or ultra-thirsty barflys around, it is an extremely supportive environment especially in the martial arts context with a teacher who has their students in mind.

    It is the kind of organic self-organizing communal experience that is close to nonexistent nowadays in the US where neighbors are others and the bigotry exists everywhere but in one's own mind, making exploiting people trivial compared to prior decades when people had stronger community ties through their church or other organizations.
    Last edited by MI Redeux; September 2nd, 2016 at 05:00 AM.

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