Squatting 3 times a week and a return to early morning training

I’ve now completed my third week of a new strength program. This program involves full-body training 3 times a week with squatting each session (!) and deadlifting once a week.

Until I read Practical Programming I didn’t know that bodybuilders were generally the only weight-lifters to squat once per week, or to “train legs” to use their lingo, but apparently many other weight-lifting disciplines are built upon more frequent squatting, especially power-lifting and olympic-lifting.

I hadn’t done back-squats in a while, focusing on the front-squat instead, and as such my body wasn’t used them. The evidence of this is that I ripped a patch of skin off my upper-back on the first session:

squatting - upper back skin tearing

My body has now adapted and I’m the proud owner of a tough patch of skin in that area :)

Something I am also experimenting this time around is doing no additional cardiovascular work, relying entirely on the squat to push my heart and lungs to their limits. Surprisingly I’m not feeling unfit and I’m reassured that I’m getting the most “bang for my buck” when it comes to my time spent in the gym. Cardio-bunnies I miss you already!

The final change to my routine is training before work as my new office is closer to the gym than house. This has been invaluable as it now frees my weekends and evening for things like BarCamp, OpenCoffee and BLUG meetings. Win-win!

What, no version control?

$WEB_CORP has taken on the maintenance contract of a particular site and the client has asked for some changes to be made along with fixing up some SQL injection vulnerabilities.

My first step was to GET all the site’s scripts via FTP so I could create a local DEV instance of it and was surprised to see the following:

$ ls -1 index*.asp


I big part of my last gig at $BIG_CORP was environment management. It was frequently tedious work but it instilled in me the importance of separating the development/integration, testing and production instances of your applications so it saddens me to see the PROD environment of this site in such disarray. The above is possibly a disaster waiting to happen.

Thankfully my own applications reside within a version control system and I don’t rely on backing up and tracking old versions of files before a new release.

That’s my rant over. I’ve dumped the database and bunged it’s contents into the server running on my VirtualBox VM, now all that’s left is getting IIS working…

Building the brand – stevenwilkin.com gets a facelift

I’ve just released the latest iteration of my “professional” site, stevenwilkin.com.

There’s the possibility the designers I’m working with will think my design-fu is weak, but the site badly needed something as it has been barely put to use in the years I’ve owned it.

I don’t know how the Steven Wilkin web experience will evolve but the words of Eric S. Raymond are ringing true when he mentions not hiding behind a hacker-style alias so I may put more emphasis on this domain in the future.

The future is looking exciting concerning the web and my own contribution to it these days so who knows what will transpire and of course I invite you all along for the ride :)

Batch preparation of boiled eggs

In my post on batch preparation of oats, written in response to Trent’s post, I mentioned that I also prepare the boiled eggs I enjoy for breakfast in advance.

At the weekend past I’d just boiled a saucepan of eggs, cooled them with cold water and put them into a tupperware box when I remembered my previous post, so I took a quick snap to provide a follow-up:

boiled eggs - batch preparation

Whole, boiled eggs will keep for up to a week in their shells in the fridge and provide an excellent source of complete protein, saturated fat and dietary cholesterol along with a hearty dose of Vitamin D, all of which are essential to those pursuing an active lifestyle which includes weight training.

Don’t fear the fat and eat those yolks!

Steven Wilkin, professional coffee drinker extraordinaire

There have been times in my life when my job description could well have been best described as being a professional coffee drinker. These days however I’ve found gainful employment but continue to consume vast quantities of the stuff and even use coffee nomenclature to name my new *nix boxes.

During a caffeine-fuelled session with my domain registrar I happened to lookup professionalcoffeedrinker.com; it was available, all sense went out the window and my money and myself were swiftly parted.

I wonder if this acquisition will have any effect on the Google Juice of the personal brand I have an eye to developing? And before you ask, yes, SEO information has been trickling it’s way into my RSS reader recently.

A developer again I am

Monday was my first day as a developer with Creative Online Media and I must say it’s great to be wearing my coding hat again.

The culture-shock has been enormous: I’m not flooded with emails and phone calls all day, nor battling with bureaucracy and the people are really chilled-out. I don’t know myself!

The adjustment period will end and no doubt I’ll be required to produce product but I think this gig has potential :)