Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Few Days Around Tasmania

I thought I would interrupt all the rants of late with what I've actually been doing in the outdoors, which, way back when, was the genesis of this blog. It has been glorious outdoors lately with a spell of warm and sunny winter weather over Tasmania. 

 Clip-ups on a warm winters day

We had a day climbing at Waterworks, which, as I've mentioned before is the most popular climbing area around Hobart and pretty much sums up Australian climbing. The climbing is in an old quarry which is of no use to anyone any more so climbing is allowed and, even more amazing, the climbing community has even come together enough to clean loose rock off the routes and bolt them to a reasonable degree of safety. So, despite the ambiance and the climbs not being that great, climbing there is incredibly popular. Being of a generally optimistic nature, I hope that the Australian climbing scene one day catches up with the rest of the climbing world and embraces cleaning, bolting (where appropriate) and generally making climbing a safe and fun activity for climbers of all abilities. 

 Sea stacks in the mist

Which, leads into a walk we did around Clifton Beach Coastal Reserve. We actually went off with the intention of climbing at Larks Edge, which is a sea side cliff accessed from a thin strip of public land north of Cape Deslacs. It was another glorious day and the walk to the crag was really scenic. You park as if you are going to do this walk, but, instead of walking out to Clifton Beach, head up the old road (gated) that leads to the upper (north) parking lot. There is a series of tracks leading out of this old parking lot – any one will probably do - that take you up onto the headland near Cape Deslacs. From here, you simply walk north on the outside of some fences. There are couple of stiles to cross perpendicular fences, and no real track, just beaten in sheep and kangaroo pads, but the walking is easy. This is an incredibly scenic walk looking out over Frederick Henry Bay to Tasman Peninsula. A few days ago a pod of humpback whales was seen in the area as they begin their migration north. 

 Heading along the public reserve to Larks Edge

Larks Edge crag is about a half a kilometre before the end of the coastal reserve and there is no track down to the cliff top. The only indication you'll have is some old tree stumps in the area. I know this sounds completely nondescript as you'll probably be thinking there could be many old tree stumps given this is all farm land now, but, there actually is only one area where there are old tree stumps visible and this is where you walk steeply down to the top of the crag. It's actually not a particularly pleasant descent as it is very steep and the grass could be slippery at times. If you do slip, there is a remote but real possibility that you'll slide all the way down and off the cliff at the bottom. Fun times. 

 This is a bit confronting

Anyway, we walked down somewhat gingerly and found a series of single U bolt anchors set way back from the edge of the small cliff. In true Australian fashion, the anchors are set way too far back from the edge of the cliff – you'd need about 20 metres of webbing to rig a top anchor. Not only are they single point anchors, but they are exposed to a highly saline environment every day of the year. Some of the anchors were actually sitting in pools of sea water and one had been put into a series of cracks and glued in, rather than drilled and glued into solid rock. I'm not sure I'd trust any of them, particularly as they are, as I said, all single point. Heave large sigh as I wonder why Australians just cannot get anchor systems right. 

 Looking towards Cape Deslacs

Despite it being low tide, when you are supposed to be able to climb easily from the rock ledge at the base of the crag (according to our guidebook), the entire cliff was wet with sea water as the two to three metre swell (not particularly large for these parts) was throwing spray right to the top of the cliff every couple of minutes. No discussion was needed to agree that we were not going climbing at Larks Edge. As far as I can tell, the only time you could climb at Larks Edge is with a low tide and a very low to non-existent swell. Be careful of the anchors. 

 Scenic climbing at Larks Edge

But, the walk was awesome and, after we scrambled back up to the cliff top, we walked along to where the public land ends and signs indicate private property. This is about a kilometre from Pipe Clay Head. It's a shame the public land does not continue right to the headland or the farmer allow walkers as it would be nice to walk all the way.

 Heading back towards Cape Deslacs

We took a different track back and walked along the headland to a Mutton bird (Shearwater) lookout where we had lunch before finding a track that took us down to Clifton Beach where we walked along to the Surf Life Saving club at the far south end. No climbing, but a really scenic walk on a beautiful day.

Clifton Beach

Finally, I've been looking all around for a bouldering area within walking distance of where we are currently living, and, as ye olde book says, “seek and you shall find.” I found a good two tiered cliff with at least 50 metres of bouldering in a secluded woodland within easy walking distance. Some scrubbing and removal of loose holds required, but the rock cleans up really quick, and, after only a few hours I've got about 15 metres of bouldering cleared off. 

Secluded bouldering area

Sunday, June 28, 2015

#What #New #Horror #Is #This

I like to think of myself as an “early adopter,” after all, I started rock climbing before bolts, back-country skiing when skis were skinny, boots were leather, and we all “earned our (telemark) turns” because there was no other way to get up the mountain. Back in those heady days “scrambling” had not been invented, we were simply climbing mountains of NTD (no technical difficulty for the under 40 age bracket), and we wore brightly patterned lycra tights when rock climbing – sadly, if Instgram is a reliable indicator, those ugly and completely non-functional tights are back. Heck, I even wore Trucker hats, although in truth, any hat I own looks like a Trucker hat on me as I have a very small head. 

Given my illustrious history at the forefront of the latest social trends, it is strange, possibly inexplicable that it I did not join Instagram until 2015, a full five years after the launch of what may be the most popular, and narcissistic social media site around, and, immediately I understood how Alice felt when she went down the rabbit hole. 

But I don’t want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
"Oh, you can’t help that," said the Cat: "we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad."
"How do you know I’m mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn’t have come here.”
From Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Instagram, if you have the good sense not to ever have visited the site, is a place where people post pictures, mostly of themselves and caption them with some mindless pap which would have us believe that the world is full of unicorns and rainbows, and #my #life #is #better #than #your #vacation or some other #self-aggrandising #proclamation, followed by #a #long #list #of #companies #producing #consumables #for #a #world #obsessed #with #possessions. Thus, has unbounded narcissism bonded with unbridled consumerism. 

The aim, as far as I can tell, is to amass as many followers as possible, preferably of the sycophantic kind who will gush and fawn over each and every “selfie” leading inexorably to the kind of illusory superiority that social scientists have been demonstrating for decades (depending on surveys, somewhere between 68% and 90% of us believe we are above average – a mathematical impossibility that may be difficult for Instagrammers to wrap their heads around).

Marketers, of course, simply want to flog their products, and advertisers worked out long ago how to manipulate private individuals into flogging all manner of crap at little to no cost to themselves. Older readers of my blog will surely remember the first time labels appeared on the outside of clothing. I remember it distinctly and could not understand why anyone would want to walk around with the clothing equivalent of a sandwich board on their backs, but, there is no denying that wearing the brand name logo of your polo shirt proudly, but discreetly, on your chest became an instant symbol of all that was desirable. Instagram is simply a much more widely, and hence more toxic, version of the same phenomena wherein you convince people to #your #brand. 

I've been on Instagram about a week, and that is plenty long enough to suss out the system and figure out what works, and so, I present the top three techniques to become a highly followed Instagrammer. Use these techniques and soon you too could be prostituting yourself on the alter of commercialism, becoming extraordinary, and moving comfortably, with minimal real effort into the top 10% of the population on whatever measure you deem important.

  • Feature scantily clad good looking young females in all your photos. The fact that your photo is taken in Nunavut in the middle of January is no good reason not to squarely frame a bikini clad blond in the middle of the photo. Verisimilitude be damned, this is Instagram. 
  • Search out quotes from truly talented authors (Google can find a dozen in less time than it takes a hummingbird to fart) and use them to caption your image. The time you save thinking up something original can be used to frame yet another photo of yourself sucking in your gut as you compose the next #how #buffed #am #I image in the bathroom mirror.
  • Trite motivational messages, particularly ones that imply that if your life is not perfect its because you aren't trying hard enough should feature liberally in your posts. You simultaneously want to “inspire” your followers to greatness, while, at the same time shaming them because they didn't #run #50 #kilometres #before #breakfast, neglected to #eat #clean, or, did not #give #it #all #you've #got. 

Instagram is fantasy land where we are all - despite spending the last week glued to an office chair over-indulging in donuts - either #svelte or #swole, our lives are all filled with a series of exciting moments where we watch #sunrises from the #ocean, #sunsets from the #mountains and cavort among #flower filled #alpine meadows in between. The mundane banality of ordinary life with its inescapable chores disappears into an endless vision of #rolling waves, #cresting mountains, #untouched ski slopes, and, like the inhabitants of Lake Wobegon, we are all above average. If you can drink the kool-aid of unmitigated positivism liberally laced with unbridled consumerism, you are free to live for ever, frozen in glorious youth bikini clad on a #mountain top with the wind blowing through your long blond hair. 

Just don't look for me there. I've decided that, on balance, I prefer the real world, where trails are muddy, roads are crowded, most of us, despite our best efforts, are a little bit soft around the middle, we try our best, but, on more occasions than we choose to remember, we fall short of our ideals, and, yet, tomorrow is another day, when we get up and do it all again, because life is a journey, not a destination, #memories are better than stuff, but, if you have to keep telling yourself this, you've likely lost the plot, and, in the end, I prefer to #keep #it #real.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Ridge Walking Richmond

This blog has been a boring place of late, and, that ain't gonna change any time soon. We are both working a lot. Doug's work makes money, mine makes fun. He programmes, I search maps and plan trips. Both are equally important. Money is of little use if you don't use it for experiences. 

 If I never did trip research, we would never go places like this

Truthfully, we also haven't been getting out that much of late due to a combination of not so great weather and the degree to which driving repels us. The ocean kayaking, particularly around the Tasman Peninsula, is spectacular, but the minimum one hour drive (each way) and the fact that kayaking requires sitting, means that we are only up for a kayak trip about once per week.
Luckily, our house sit is nicely situated for wandering around the surrounding countryside simply by stepping out the door and I spend a couple of hours a day roaming about the hills above the house. The days are short, and I am mostly out at dawn and dusk so I have been treated to an endless series of stunning sunrises and sunsets. 

Campania sunset

Grinding away in the background of each day, however, is my novelty seeking brain which is always looking out for somewhere new to go that is also close by. A long open ridgeline south of Campania attracts my attention every time I drive to Sorell and really looked as if it would offer a very pleasant ramble with good views. On the map, this nine kilometre ridgeline is marked as “Richmond Urban Conservation Area” so, although bounded by farms in the valley, it seemed reasonable to take a walk along it. 

Nearby scenic walking

The most challenging part of this walk was finding somewhere to park off the narrow Tea Tree Road, but, we did eventually manage to pull off, and, leaping a dilapidated fence, we wandered up lightly timbered grassy slopes to the ridge. 

 Doug approaches the second trig point

This walk takes you over three named hills each with a trig station and involves about 600 metres of elevation gain. The views are really quite pleasant as you are up above the valley the entire way. You can see the broad spread of the Coal River as it widens out into Pittwater, the Derwent Valley lies off to the west, but the higher hills were obscured by clouds. From the final, and highest hill along the ridge, we could see the hills above our house-sit and it seemed a relatively simple matter, albeit involving many pastures and fences, to walk back to Campania. But, we had the car with us, so we wandered back along the ridge the way we had come. 
 Campania sunrise

Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Secrets Of The Sea: Pirates Bay to O'Hara Bluff

Unloading the boats at the small boat ramp at the south end of Pirates Bay we were confronted with a cold and disconcertingly strong NNW wind. The temperature had been below zero when we left our house-sit and now, by the coast, had warmed up to just a few degrees above zero. The sun was clear of clouds, but, near the solstice, low in the sky and not really putting out too much in the way of heat, and, there was that wind, and those waves. Still, we had driven over an hour to launch the boats and were not about to waste that painful time by wimping out. In true mountaineering fashion we said to each other, “lets just go take a look.” 

 Paddling south from Pirates Bay

Doug is having a bit of a seat issue, as in his seat pops out every time he moves in the boat, so there was some faffing about on the water whilst we got blown onto the rocks as I tried to fix it for him, but, eventually, the seat was back, the deck cover on, and we were off. 

Passing a smaller sea cave

Fossil Island is no longer an island and is connected to the mainland with a low string of rocks, so we paddled out around the north end into the lonely Tasman Sea. It was a wee bit bumpy coming out of Pirates Bay and I had my usual pre-paddle anxiety that is prominent in windy conditions when the air and water is very cold. A tumble into the water at any point would quickly lead to hypothermia, which could quickly lead to incapacity, and on, and on, my mind wandered. 

 Patersons Arch

As usual, however, I was quickly so engrossed in the scenery, which is particularly breathtaking on the east side of the Tasman Peninsula, that I immediately forgot all about the risks of sea kayaking in the middle of a Tasmanian winter and just started exploring. 

 Tasman Arch

And, there is much to explore along this section of the coast. We quickly reached the “Blowhole” - Australia has dozens and dozens of blowholes. This one is a narrow tunnel that runs through the limestone cliffs and opens out into a bigger roofless cavern behind. At higher tides and with less swell, you could paddle right in, but we contented ourselves with just poking into the opening. These tunnels all constrict abruptly inside quickly transforming a metre swell into something much larger. 

 Caves, pillars, cliffs

Next we reached Tasman Arch, and, we poked our way inside to marvel at the huge roof over this cavern. We could look up and see the tourist lookout through the back of the arch. A little further on, is Devils Kitchen, but the tide was too low to poke much into that narrow gulch. Limestone cliffs reach up to 100 metres above wave washed rock platforms – the paddling is fantastic. At Patersons Arch, another big tunnel leads right through the cliffs, and, doglegs through to the other side. There is also a second smaller tunnel that leads in under the arch. I photographed Doug as he backed his kayak inside. 

 Paddling into Waterfall Bay

Waterfall Bay is a semi-sheltered amphitheater ringed by high limestone cliffs. There are more sea caves, arches, and towers standing on narrow rock platforms, and a waterfall cascades down into the sea. Continuing on past Waterfall Bay we paddled between rocky islets and over long streamers of kelp. There is a prominent white cliff at O'Hara Bluff which we made our turn around point. 

 Waterfall Bay

But, before that, the ever present question, for females paddling coastlines where landing is not possible, arose, “how to take a leak?” Just inside O'Hara Bluff, at low tide, there is a small strip of steep rocky beach. From a distance, landing appeared possible. As I approached however, the landing began to look increasingly difficult, but, it was all too late as the stern of the kayak rose on a wave, which broke over my back, and I was jumping out of the boat, and trying to pull it up the rolling rocks as a larger set of waves came it and threatened to pull the boat back out to sea. 

 Patersons Arch

Somehow, I managed the deed, and, with difficulty rotated the boat around so the bow was pointing out to sea, and the entire boat was balanced precariously on steep slippery rocks stacked up beyond their angle of repose. Somehow, by pressing into the boat, I managed to stay on land while I put my spray deck on, then, releasing my weight, the kayak slid quickly down into the ocean, a few quick hard strokes and I was back out, swearing, as I always do, that I would limit my coffee before these paddle trips. 

Looking out from Tasman Arch

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

A Stormy Day At Cape Raoul

Wind warnings, sheep graziers warnings, gale warnings, bushwalkers warnings, the day we went out to hike to Cape Raoul there was every kind of warning you can imagine issuing from the Bureau of Meteorology. I like bad weather hiking. It toughens you up and reminds you all of life is not meant to be easy, and, there is something wonderful about witnessing raw nature. Doug prefers fair weather hiking, but was easily persuaded out on this day as we were hoping to see some big swells pounding the cliffs of Cape Raoul, and, maybe, just maybe, Shipstern Bluff would be pumping. 

 Looking along the coast towards Shipstern Bluff

The start of the 7 km walking track to Cape Raoul was a bit of a long drive from our house-sit. We knew it would be, knew we would hate sitting in the car for that long, and purposefully did not work out exactly how long it would take so that we wouldn't wimp out. Long walks, long kayaks, long climbs, no problem, long drives, big problem. We did eventually arrive at the end of the road and start of the walking track. A blustery wind was blowing and gray clouds were scudding across the sky.

 Rainbow over dolerite columns at Cape Raoul

This is Tasmania, so there is some mud to contend with, but not deep mud, and not that much. Within a kilometre, the mud zone is pretty much passed and the track climbs onto the shoulder of Mount Raoul and approaches the coastal sea cliffs. There is a lookout over the ocean where Shipstern Bluff comes into view, sadly, not “going off” today as the wind, while strong, has been too westerly to bring in the huge swells. 

 Mount Raoul above a small tarn on the coastal plateau

A short walk across a eucalpytus plateau and then the track drops down onto the broad coastal plain and heathland to the long promontory that ends at Cape Raoul. All along this section of the walk there are fantastic views of the sea cliffs, and Mount Raoul above a small tarn. Near the end, the track bifurcates and each arm leads to a wonderful vantage point out over the Tasman Sea, across to Tasman Island and Cape Pillar, Mount Brown and West Arthur Head. In calmer, warmer weather, you could sit and dangle your legs over the ocean watching sea lions below, or, you could head out on a wild and windy day as we did, and do some storm watching. Either way, this walk won't disappoint. 

 Doug holds on at Cape Raoul

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Waterworks and Seven Mile Beach Protected Area

Here's a couple of short reports from outings nearby to our house-sit as I gather breath for another resounding rant. First, a visit to what must surely be Hobart's most popular climbing area – Waterworks. We'd been planning to visit Waterworks for a while but we needed to wait for some warmer sunny weather – it's the dead of winter down here in Tassie and it gets cold – and a time when it was not overrun with other climbers. You see, Waterworks is Hobart's most popular climbing area, not because it has fantastic climbing, but because it has safe climbing, something that is sorely lacking in Australia. 

Australian climbing is about 30 to 40 years behind climbing in other countries and the climbing community on this small island is still stuck firmly in the middle of the “bolt wars” which played out in Canada in the 80's and are now almost forgotten. Hard routes are slowly getting bolted, but easy or moderate routes remain scary, run-out affairs where certain death will result should you fall. Occasionally, a carrot bolt (yes, that is as bad as it sounds) might offer one semi-solid piece of protection between the climber and the ground, but, in many instances, even that dubious protection is missing. And, guess what, most people do not want a near death experience every time they go out to climb a few pitches. 

 Climbing on U bolts at Waterworks

So, Waterworks, with a half dozen or more bolted routes under 20 is very popular. Any area with easy to moderate climbing and solid protection (particularly if it is bolted) will be popular. Evidence the popularity of the classic routes at Mount Arapiles many of which are easy rambles but offer solid natural protection. 

But, I'm ranting instead of reporting. We finally had a not weekend day with a warm forecast and, the Tasmanian University Climbing Club (10 minutes walk from Waterworks) did not seem to be streaming out in full force, so we drove across Hobart (much easier than it sounds as Hobart is a small city) and climbed at Waterworks. And, the climbing is fine. Not great. It is, after all, merely an old quarry in the suburbs, but, you can have a fun few hours with just a half dozen quick draws and a rope, and, need not fear death or mortal injury.

 Storm clouds over Five Mile Beach

A couple of days later, we drove through Sorell to Seven Mile Beach Protected Area where an eight kilometre long spit of land divides Pittwater from Frederick Henry Bay. Doug dropped me off at Five Mile Beach (this is the estuary side of the sand spit) and I started walking east, while Doug drove to Seven Mile Beach (the ocean side of the sand spit) and also began walking east. This was another one of those walks where we didn't quite cross paths. A rising tide forced me off Five Mile Beach onto the inland track, while Doug was coming around the eastern sand spit and so we missed each other.  I walked west along Seven Mile Beach while Doug was also walking west along Five Mile Beach. 

 Selfie silhouette

Ten minutes away from either parking lot, the beach on either side (that is, Five Mile and Seven Mile) was empty of people. A strong and strangely warm north wind was blowing, there were fantastic cloud formations and loads of beautiful shells on Seven Mile Beach. The only really bizarre thing I encountered was a naked runner coming along Seven Mile Beach. The dude was clearly not just into barefoot running but also bare-arsed running. 

Deserted Five Mile Beach

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Meehan Range Walks

To break up the rants that seem to be occupying wall space on this blog lately, I thought I'd post a quick report of a couple of walks around the Meehan Range. The Meehan Range lies in the middle of the big spit of land between Pittwater and the Derwent River and, among the houses and small farms there are large patches of natural bushland. You can find good descriptions of some of the walks here

 Storm clouds seen from Skyline Track

I did the loop walk that travels along the Skyline Track and down Stringybark Gully a few days ago. This walk is in the midst of the Clarence Mountain Bike Park so there are bike tracks looping about everywhere. It's a pleasant walk, particularly along the ridge top and down Stringybark Gully. The final section, required to close the loop runs along the main highway and, although the track is in bushland, the roar of traffic detracts from this final three kilometres. 

 Eucalypt forest

Yesterday, Doug and I walked around Risdon Brook Reservior and up Mt Direction. There are great views of the Derwent River Valley from Mt Direction and we could also see a dusting of snow on Mt Wellington. 

Both of these walks are short, easy, and will only take a couple of hours. 

 On Mt Direction overlooking Derwent River Valley

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Play Nice, Smile, Put Your Weights Away

So, I'm back in the gym again, that strange place where we go to “exercise” because we have forgotten how to move about naturally in the world. I like lifting weights, always have done, resistance training suits my stocky body type as running suits the skinnier types. If I hadn't finally smartened up in my 50's and didn't like to be outdoors so much, I could happily go into the gym everyday to lift weights. Anyway, I joined one of those box gyms, there really isn't that much choice around here, and, it's OK, but just OK. 
As usual, it is stuffed to bursting with the ubiquitous “cardio” machines that require electricity so you can work out (actually, that's not quite true, there are two rowing machines). Marketing an exercise machine that requires electricity displays, as if we ever doubted it, the incredible ingenuity of marketers and the stupidity of consumers. 

There is also far too many (any more than one is far too many) weight training machines that put your body into anatomically incorrect positions while isolating muscle groups as never occurs in the real world. Most of these, get very little traffic from the gym users. And, there is one – why is there always only one? - squat rack, which, of course, gets very busy because all the meatheads (including me) use the squat rack. Actually, this gym is a little worse than most because there is no bench press cage so you have to wiggle a bench into the squat cage and stack it up on free weights to get the correct height – which just jams up the squat rack all the more. 
There is no straight pull-up bar, just another goofy machine with really goofy hand positions, but, one of the advantages of being short is I can use the Smith machine (the only use for a Smith machine really) to do pull-ups. This is hard for tall folks so they are stuck with the goofy machine. The music videos drone endlessly in the background with the standard semi-pornographic wholly untalented bimbos grinding away, but, I listen to podcasts which helps block out not only the other patrons but also the vacuous music. 

High quality pullup bar
Blocking out the other patrons is, in my opinion, almost mandatory. Certainly, I understand why some women are intimidated by the free weight area. These gyms always seem to be full of big bulked up dudes oozing testosterone out their eyeballs, frequently with freakish tattoos and black hoodies, just the kind of bloke you don't want to meet in a dark alley. I'm happy to block these dudes out of my consciousness. The other reason you have to block people out is because you'll otherwise be constantly wincing when you watch people dead-lift with curled backs, fling their weights around while they bicep curl as if they are having a grand mal seizure, do burpees that look more like downward dogs than anything else, and a hundred other strange, ineffective and possibly dangerous exercise routines. 

But, enough rambling, here is what you need to know if you are heading into the gym:
  • Understand first that an hour in the gym will not undo 23 hours of crap eating. The gym I go to is full of people proving the adage that “you can't out-train a bad diet.” Ditch the carbage.
  • Use full range of motion when you are doing any lift or body weight exercise. You're in the gym to correct poor body mechanics not reinforce it.
  • If you've got to fling the weight about using momentum to lift, stop, just stop. Reduce the weight even if that hurts your ego.
  • Same goes for body weight exercises like pull-ups and ankles to bar. Do less sets or reps so you can use correct form, do negatives, but do not flop about like a gasping fish freshly hauled onto land. Body control, it's all about body control.
  • The gym has mirrors, use them to get your form right. You're not a narcissist unless you have an Instagram account.
  • Planks are great but your back should be flat, flat enough to lay a broom handle along. You're butt shouldn't be up, it shouldn't be down, it should be in line with the rest of your body. Remember a plank is not a downward dog or an upward dog, it's a plank.
  • Same goes for push ups. If you can't lay a broom handle across your back while you do a push up, you need to start with progressions, against the wall or on your knees. Don't be embarrassed or ashamed. The only shame is reinforcing poor movement patterns.
  • Ladies, get off the cardio equipment and lift weights. Heavy weights. If you want to look like that gyrating porno star in the music video you gotta lift heavy weight.
  • If you must use cardio equipment, using the rowing machine which gives a good full body workout and none of this steady state shit. HIT the rowing machine.
  • Everyone should get off those damned machines, unless they are being used purely for accessory work. Focus on the big lifts – deadlifts, squats, bench press, rows, presses. You can always finish off with some pull-ups and ankles to bar, but, if you are lifting heavy enough, it's unlikely you'll have the gas left for much else.
  • Put your damned phone away. Don't text, Facebook, Snapchat, god forgive – Instagram – just workout. If you're lifting heavy weights you will have to rest between sets but use that time to work on your mobility. Very few of us have good posture or mobility any more thanks to too much sitting at a computer and too little natural movement. Hunching over your phone between sets is just dumb.
  • Play nice, share, put your weights away when you're done, and smile at the other patrons, even the scary looking dude with the tatts and hoody.