• We’ve officially returned to the gym this week (for now). I went back on my program like I didn’t last week off, which is not necessarily a good thing. I was on the last week of my meso-block, which means the repetitions in reserve (RIR) is around 1 to 0. This means I am returning from a week of 0 training to maxing out for each of my exercises. Let’s just say I am very sore from DOMS this week, reminding me that being pain-free is a gift.

    RIR is one of the scales to gauge intensity of an exercise or workout. 1 RIR means 1 repetition away from failure and 0 RIR means to failure. Inversely, there is also perceived rate of exertion (RPE), which aims to measure effort. 10 RPE means maximum effort and 5 RPE means 50% of your maximum effort. Both measurements try to quantify how hard you’re supposed to train so you’re able to autoregulate accordingly. People typically train at a 3-1 RIR / 7-10 RPE to ensure sufficient intensity for muscle breakdown.

    However, as you may have already noticed, both measurements can be pretty subjective. No surprise that there are studies that found that people are awful at estimating RIR and RPE, especially those who are new to training. Of course that statement is pretty general and there are caveats. Experienced lifters could estimate more accurately their RIR/RPE in low reps and high intensity sets, which makes sense because it’s easier to tell when you are going to maxout on a heavy weight, especially if you are experienced. There are many other factors that may affect your ability to gauge RIR and RPE like gender, training experience, the particular exercise, and even the range of RIR / RPE you are trying to gauge.

    Oh geez, my ramble about this should have a point: despite the rating being an objectively subjective measure (which probs matter more in research studies), you can still use it in real life to gauge and autoregulate the intensity of your workouts – which I should mention is the key to gains.

  • I’ve had good eyesight my entire life. I have my mom to thank because she also had good eyesight most of her life. I went for an eye exam this week because I haven’t had my eyes checked as an adult and I now have ✨ health insurance ✨

    I really enjoyed the entire experience as it was quite new to me. There was a machine that could estimate your prescription on each eye (digital eye exam), check the eyeball pressure, and one that took pictures of the retina. And on top of that, I talked to an actual optometrist (the human kind) and we did the traditional eye examination.

    Anyway, I am a bit nearsighted in both eyes, and more in my right eye than my left (-0.50 and -0.25). The optometrist showed me the difference with and without the prescription and I was mindblown – everything was so HD. It was something I’ve never seen before (literally). The doctor said I didn’t have to get glasses as it won’t make my eyes any worse or better either way and there was not much of a difference in sight. But I decided to, and so that is how I joined the 4-eye club. I can now relate to [insert meme about wearing glasses].

  • I spent majority of this week participating in the quarterly hack days at work. I really enjoyed working with my team towards a single goal, which is something I love doing. What can I say, I am a sucker for team camaraderie. We worked to implement the pattern matching feature from Ruby v2.7.0 in TruffleRuby. I wrote Java for the first time, which is neat.

    Hackdays really brings back a ton of memories for me. Back when I was a student and before I learned to program, I volunteered at hackathons and always envied the people who participated. The fact that I’ve learned the skill to create things out of ideas is something I won’t take for granted.

  • I caught up with season 17 of Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix. Shonda is a great writer and I’ve enjoyed this medical drama for a long time. Season 17 wasn’t as amazing as the other seasons, though. The actor who played Alex Karev dropped like a fly mid-season despite having an increasingly positive story arc. The writers tried to explain his disappearance in the show but I found their reasoning hard to digest because it seemed out of character. Oh well, I still enjoyed the show. The characters’ irrational choices coupled with the seasonal medical disaster (that literally always happens close to home????) make for a good soap opera.

  • I played the We’re Not Really Strangers card game with my partner and cousin over a bottle of yoghurt soju. Turns out the game isn’t as fun when you already deeply know the people you are playing with. We also watched the 25th anniversary version of Les Miserables and ate a pizza. I love Norm Lewis’s Javert and wish my voice went as deep as his.

  • We’ve been doing a bunch of last minute puppy shopping and additional research. I hope to do the Canine Good Neighbour certificate, which is essentially a test for good dogs. I’d like my dog to be a confident certified Good Dog. The breeder I’ve been working with also recommended we try Rally-O, which is the less competitive version of the Obedience trial dog sport. I am also looking into the AKC’s Novice Trick Dog title, which involves performing 10 tricks on the list. The litter’s temperament test is on Monday, which is when we’ll know which bundle of [joy/pee and poop] is officially assigned to us. Anyway, we’ll have a new puppy in a week and I am super excited!