Joe Blogs

20,000 pullups – first day off


I decided yesterday to give myself (already tired from a long week) and my shoulder a bit more of a break, as I’m ahead of my target.

In other news, I’ve just realised I still haven’t called the Cardiac Care Unit. Bummer.

20,000 pullups – shoulder update


Over the last few days, my right shoulder has been feeling a bit dodgy. I don’t want to stop or cut back the pullups too much yet, but I did think a bit of rest could help.

Yesterday, I did all my pullups before breakfast, and today I waited until late evening, giving myself about 36 hours “off”. Also, this evening, I focussed almost entirely on chinups, as they seem to stress the shoulder less. They’ll also give me bulging biceps (did I mention I already noticed a difference there?).

Still no answer on how to actually collect sponsorship for the Royal Berks Cardiac Care Unit, but I’ll call them tomorrow and see if I can get anywhere.

Stupid Shoulder


For the last couple of days, my right shoulder has been grumbling. I think it’s from doing the Pullups “fully-extended” so I’ve been taking care on form and keeping the sets small; something helped by the fact that they’re really hard!

I’ll have to read up on correct form and shoulder anatomy. “Rotation Cuff” seems to come to mind, probably from misspent youth reading Men’s Health.

20,000 pullups – update


As you will see from the graph on my original post I’ve been doing pretty well with the pullups. Possibly a little too well. After it was apparent that I could do more than I need to to match my current daily targets, I focussed more on quality.

Ouch. The bar is at such a height (being in a doorway) that I can easily reach it from standing. So if I start the pullup from there, my arms are already somewhat bent. Starting from arms outstretched, by bending my knees until I’m basically dangling to start, makes it SO much harder.

Secondly, I have decided on the cause to help drive my motivation. I have been agonising about it. Stroke Association to match Carl and PabloCheesecake, or the British Heart Foundation. I struggle with the BHF because I don’t particularly agree with the direction they’re taking. Dietary advice and such seem to be off the mark where much current research is heading. Whole grains and avoiding cholesterol appears to be wrong (time for another post or 50, I think).

I also don’t much like raising money for large charities, there’s little sense of making specific change, and I always worry a bit about how the money’s being spent. Hannah suggested I simply raise money for the Cardiac Care Unit at the Royal Berkshire Hospital. A much better idea. They can use the money for something tangible, local and effective. They’re the ones that saved Hannah’s life and cared for her so well.

Problem solved. Except that I don’t think they’re a registered charity, they certainly don’t have a presence on so I need to find out how to get money from people to them effectively.

Hold that thought, I’ll be bugging you for money soon :-)

Google Chrome, Chromium and proxy settings


This is really for my benefit, in case I forget, but might also help somebody else who finds this annoyance.

I use google chrome to get at bits of the web that certain corporate proxies don’t allow. I use an ssh tunnel to a tinyproxy instance running on my home machine and then connect to the forwarded port on my local machine.

Something that has annoyed me for some time is that if you change google’s proxy settings, it affects the system proxy settings. It’s like Internet Explorer all over again, and it doesn’t tell you it’s doing it.

There are bugs:

but the windows equivalent was closed “WONTFIX” for spurious reasons (IMHO, of course).

There is a way around it, though:

google-chrome --proxy-server:localhost:8888

20,000 pullups in 2011


Carl and @PabloCheesecake are two fat blokes who have set themselves the target of doing 20,000 situps (each) by the end of the year. M. Cheesecake set himself the target of cycling 500 miles in 2010 and achieved it, and by some fat-gentleman’s agreement they have set themselves a situp target. To help motivate and keep on track, they are raising money for the Stroke Association. I encourage you to go and donate.

I hate situps. I’m not very good at them, and I think they’re a bad exercise. I’d rather strengthen my core by doing compound exercises which force me to keep good core stability. Barefoot running is surprisingly good for this. I would, however, like to be better and pullups.

Therefore, I’ve set myself a goal, too. I randomly bought a pullup bar in Tesco the other night (one which doesn’t need screwing into the door frame, and is fairly portable):

IMAG0368 IMAG0371

I had a think about it, and think that 16 per day is reasonable to start with. Say, 8 in the morning and evening, broken into sets of 3 or 4.

The problem then was to work out a reasonable target to be able to do by the end of the year. I’m expecting to regret this, but I want to be able to do 100 pullups in one day by the 31st December 2011. I could have got all fancy and dredged up some actual maths, but instead I just plotted it on a graph and worked out what I need to increase by each day to hit 100 by then.

Then, add them all up. It Comes to 20,432. That’s not a very nice number, so I’ll round it down to 20,000. I think that’s quite ambitious enough, and allows me to not hit my targets and/or have recovery/sick days occasionally.

I’m tracking my progress in a spreadsheet on Google Docs, embedded here by magic (or something), target in blue, progress in red:

Running total:

I haven’t quite decided what I should do about sponsorship. It would certainly help motivate, but I’m torn between The Stroke Association and The British Heart Foundation. Any ideas?