The Dethrone Burlingame experiment : Day 8 thru 10

2 05 2013

You know, writing a blog is just like exercising: Once you get a good groove going … and you STOP! … it can be pretty hard to get that groove going again. Hence, why I’m three days behind on the Dethrone Burlingame experiment posts. I blame the DMV, partially, then the Burlingame meter maids, and then, Me. Don’t let the smile at the top of the page fool you, I’m actually pretty flippin’ dumb ::terrible grin time::


DAY 8, 9 and 10

But the posts must continue, so here goes. We stopped at Day 7 — Sunday. First yoga day in like, forever.

DAY 8: Was a disaster of the self-made variety. To sum it up in a couple of words: tickets, DMV, fees, tow, Julio is broke. So needless to say, I missed a day in the actual Base Camp. Sure, it bummed me out. But, I made the most it. Involuntarily. I did a ton of running on this day. Let me map it out for you.

Picture 1

According to Google Maps, that blue line is a total of 5.3 miles. The first bit was accomplished with a gym bag carrying my laptop. I can’t get too mad. It really is of my doing. Actually, funny thing is, somewhere near that Putnam Toyota thing you see, Jesse sees me in his truck and says, “little jog, little jog!” The man is watching, even when I’m not in the gym. Now THAT’S a good trainer — and actually, a sign of things to come.

DAY 9: It was business as usual for Day 9. Albeit, with a bit of twist. For a minute there, the boxing class looked to be two-guy strong with me and another gentleman whose name alludes me right now. But boom, at 11:29 with 40 seconds walks in Jean The Machine. You’ll remember her from Day 2 of the experiment. Jean is awesome to work with because she’s so fit and committed to the work that she, in turn, pushes you to give your best as well.

And as expected, all three of us went full tilt for the duration of the workout. I’m getting a little more confident and comfortable with the punch combinations, but I still have to shadow box them for a bit, then yell out the actual punch (which can be annoying, sort of, jab-cross-down, hook-cross-hook, for example). Anyway, I labored through that one. And actually, I should share, the core work was solid … until I saw Jean knock her set out. Wow. Let me go on Youtube for a second: She was knocking out the Money Mayweather Sit-Ups with a jab-cross at the top. Girl is a machine I tell ya!

DAY 10: I have to say, Day 10, as painful as it was, was my luckiest day so far at Dethrone. Shauna Harrison, Dethrone’s yoga instructor from Day 7, had

From Serene Lewis' Facebook page

Photo by Serene Lewis
Find more of her awesome work on Facebook at

announced on Sunday that she’d be teaching on Wednesdays as well — 8:15 a.m. I still have Justine’s mat, and so, I said, why not? Let’s go join all the other yogas for some more yoga fun.

When I got there, Jesse welcomed me with a “you’re the only one” … and I panicked. Is it too late to back out of a 1-on-1 yoga session with the great Shauna Harri— wait, ¿estoy loco, o que pedo?! That panic turned into, “OK, this should be  cool, what yoga beginner wouldn’t want a personal yoga session to get better?!

Well, this one 🙂 I kid. Sort of. Let me explain. I told y’all, Shauna DOES NOT PLAY. It’s a great thing to be pushed to your yoga max … but the thing is, when you’re 1-on-1, you can’t cheat! There are no other bodies to focus on but yours. So, those little rest breaks you like taking? Nope. Cheating on a pose? Nope. This is me not complaining, but more like saying that by the time the 45 minutes or so were up, I was drenched in sweat and tired like a muth phu.

I did my best, Shauna, I swear it! But, those warrior poses are insane. The leg lifts are bonkers. And the chaturanga will haunt me forever.


While toweling off and trying to learn a bit more about Shauna’s background, I mentioned to everyone that Wednesday was a day off from the Daily Journal duties (sort of). To which Jesse, who was arming himself with his running gear, said, “You ready for a run?” To which I replied “Umm, right now?” To which Shauna said, “You’re going to run right now?!” To which I replied … “Let me get my headphones.” And then this happened.

Picture 3

Final verdict on this run, was 5.5 miles. We knocked it out in a little over 50 minutes I think is what Jesse said. So to recap, 1-on-1 with Shauna, 1-on-1 run with Jesse. AND, I didn’t die. It’s all good.

Day 1 and 7

DINNER TIME GUILT LEVEL: (Averaging Days 8,9 and 10) 2. I had some chips. Fired for that. But only a couple.

The Dethrone Burlingame experiment : Day 7

28 04 2013
My favorite shot from the incredible Dana Underwood! © 2013 #SweatEveryDay #IWILL

Photos from Shauna’s Facebook page. The bottom one, in that b-girl stance, belongs to Dana Underwood,

So, Day 7 of the Dethrone Burlingame experiment was a day six years in the making. I kid you not. Dethrone just added a yoga class, I’d say, within the last month, with Shauna Harrison … who is, for lack of a better word, a beast. We’ll get to how I came to that conclusion in a bit.

But, as part of the Dethrone Burlingame experiment, I decided I would try as many of the classes as I could. Jesse knows this, and so, without fail, he told me Friday that there was a yoga class Sunday morning at 8 a.m. and that he expected me there. ME? Julio? Yoga? Hmmm. Nawwww— but OK.

What Jesse and Shauna don’t know is that, from the first day I met my friend, Justine R.C., she’s been telling me, urging me, asking me politely to, try yoga. Other than taking a couple of deep breaths with her, and two minutes with it during my P-90X stint, the yoga she’s always wanted me to try has never come to fruition.

That is until Sunday, when, armed with Justine’s yoga mat, I decided to finally give yoga a try. Why not? So, I fall on my face a couple of times and look stupid? How would that be different from any other day?

DAY 7:

Well, the answer to that above question is: very different. Shauna doesn’t play around, ladies and gentleman. Having very little to no yoga experience, of course I was intimated. And while I’m fairly familiar with some of the poses (they might not even be called “poses”), this is different type of yoga. The call is called Muscle & Flow and Shauna explained that it’s definitely a hybrid of three different disciplines, mixed with some strength and plyometric work. … and that would explain the river of sweat some 15 minutes into the workout.

I can’t go too much into detail about this workout — mostly because I’d be talking nonsense since I know very little about yoga. All I know is that 45 minutes later, my shirt was soaked. And I almost killed myself trying to do a headstand. Give it a couple of weeks, I’ll be more graceful with it. Here’s visual proof I was at the class. I’m the awkward looking one at the very top of the photo. To my right is the awesome Lynette and in front of me is Jean, a third of the Hardcore Crew — who knocked out that headstand like nothing. Sweet Jesus, girl.

Dethrone Burlingame yoga class

My downward dog definitely needs help. Word around the bikes is that Shauna has like, 2 percent body fat (which I totally believe, my guess was more like, negative body fat) … and as her friend said, “She’s a beast. She’s one of those athletes that can pick up, go out and run a marathon right now, and kill it.” I believe that, too. I’ll be back for more yoga for sure.
Actually, we pulled a double for Day 7. I put on my shoes and did the 9:15 class. It was awesome. Mostly, because, I conquered a new level in the box jump. When I began, I thought I’d be a savage and hit up the wooden boxes — but after looking at it and measuring it out, I said, “ohhh hell nawww” and went over to the baby box. On Sunday, Jesse pointed to the double box … and I nailed it! Boom! Yeah, like that, son. It was fun to see a week’s worth of work materialize that way. I’m not going lie, the scale isn’t reading what I want. But I know there is progress when you can hit that jump, look over to your trainer and smile. Super awesome.



The Dethrone Burlingame experiment : Day 6

27 04 2013

I’m sitting at the Burlingame library and dozing off here and there — which should tell that I am tired. I need some serious rest. Hell, I’ll take a nice nap. But for now, I’ll power through this post. The experiment must continue.

Dethrone1 Dethrone2 dethrone1 dethrone1 Dethrone5

Day 6 was my first crack at the weekend class. I expected a bigger turnout. And I was running late, trying to convince my body that it needed the day off. I find that the best form of motivation for me when you’re trying to power through something like is to call myself the most offensive name I can think of and remind myself that I don’t want to be THAT.



Day 6:

Like I said, i was running late, literally running into base camp and there was a good size class already in mid warmup. I should mention, for the record, that I HATE being late, to anything. But I had to do some serious self convincing. In theory, you should give your body a couple of days in the week to recover — muscles need it. As you can see, I don’t subscribe to that theory. Even my fingers are tired.

And I think I’m paying for it. I think I’m so dead tired that I don’ really remember any of the exercises — I just remember smiling a lot to get to my happy place and just get the workout over and done with. I think that helped. That said, I feel, better. I’m in the middle of accomplishing a goal and that’s always a good think, people. Always. The Saturday class was easily the largest I’ve been a part of — I’m going to say about 12-15 people. Let me try to remember:  a bit of boxing, the usual plyo work, burpees with a push-up and pull up thrown in for good measure, more squats than my 30-year old ass can handle. Rode that bike for 3.5 miles though. Good job, me.

LUNCH TIME GUILT LEVEL: I don’t know, maybe a 3. 2, even. Almost had a gigantic burrito last night following a night of Rock en Español. I won that little battle.

The Dethrone Burlingame experiment : Day 5

26 04 2013

Well, it’s Friday. And I was positive it’s Friday when, in the middle of today’s workout, the Pandora station lined up a remixed version of Melissa Black’s “Friday” — that dreadfully awesome song. Made me laugh, and got me distracted for about a minute before my legs starting burning again. Yes, we’re in Day 5.

Dethrone1 Dethrone2 dethrone1 dethrone1

As with any workout plan, you want to see results — although that’s a slippery slope because the first way to do that is to step on a scale and see what hideous number it spits out. I’ve been fighting the temptation to do that for the last couple of days since the experiment started, but today, I couldn’t help myself. I’ve been working hard.



DAY 5:

I decided to go to the 9:30 a.m. class this time around, because I have a ton of work to do and wanted to get into the office earlier than 2 p.m. Small class again — there were five of us including two-thirds of the Hardcore Crew made up of Erin (The Machine from Day 4) and Cameron. Lynette, a trainer there and newly added Facebook friend, was there, along with a … Todd (?).

Anyways, to be quite honest, my arms are shot, my legs are shot, my core is shot, from four straight days of going as hard as I could. I could feel my technique slip and I hate when I don’t do the exercises right. There was a lot of TRX work today, which is still incredibly difficult for me — still, the 35 minutes flew by. I missed biking the four miles by about half a mile. My legs are shot. Oh wait, I already mentioned that.

The more I’m around the women of Dethrone, the more I’m impressed. There is zero excuses, groans, it’s go go go and it’s impressive to be around that kind of determined energy. I love it.

Like I said earlier, I had to step on the scale and get home and do some measurements: I’ve put on a pound and a half and my waistline is still pretty much where it was was I started. It’s a tad discouraging given how hard I know I’ve worked!!! OK, more than I tad. But, I just remind myself there is a process. I’ve made peace (sort of) with the process. I’m going to keep busting my ass. Eating better. Today, I miss … pizza.

LUNCH TIME GUILT LEVEL: (including dinner last night) 2 … because I ate two graham crackers while at my desk last night.

The Dethrone Burlingame experiment: Day 4

25 04 2013

Apparently, the Dethrone Burlingame experiment has a following. So yes, please, read away. The more I go there, the more pain I’m in, but the cooler I find it.

Dethrone1  Dethrone2  dethrone1

DAY 4:



Starts with a confession: I said I was sore when I woke up for Day 3, well, I’m was lying. DAY 4 I WAS SORE. Man. Sucked. But it’s all about toughing it out, so I did. I got to Dethrone early to stretch for the Boxing Class and for a minute there it looked like it was just going to be Jesse and I. A minute into the jump rope warm-up … and in walks my worst nightmare.

Her name is Erin — and I mean worst nightmare in the nicest, most respectful way possible. Erin, mother of four who’s been going to Dethrone for a little more than a month now, IS A MACHINE! MACHINE! TERMINATOR SKY-NET STATUS!

Of course, as a competitor, my instinct was to try and keep up with her, but keeping it real (real, real, son), Erin whooped my ass. She’s a spectacular athlete. She’s friends with Jean (who I met in Day 2) and Cameron (I hope I got that right, she was there for Day 3) and apparently they all came to Dethrone together about a month ago. The woman’s core is phenomenal and Jesse commented near the end of my day that she, Jean and Cameron are the most hardcore women he knows. “They want that pain,” he said. I totally believe them.

Exercise wise — it was all hard today — the combinations got tougher, the cardio was kick ass, and I have no clue how I made it through the ab work. But, I did. My hip was tweaked a bit near the end, but it’s nothing to cry about. What a day. What a day.

LUNCH TIME GUILT LEVEL: (including last night’s dinner) 0. I was going to say 1, but, there are Chips Ahoy in the apartment right now … and I gave them the middle finger and drank my water. Success.

The Dethrone Burlingame experiment : Day 3

24 04 2013

I woke up this morning thinking that if pain is actually weakness leaving the body, then weakness is taking its sweet time. Damn. Shoulders. Anyways, Day 3 of the experiment was a return to the lunchtime class. If you’ve yet to start following the experiment, Days 1 and 2 are below.

Dethrone1  Dethrone2

As for Day 3’s festivities, well …



DAY 3 :

Today’s ass kicking had at least five grown-ass men groaning, including yours truly — the class was six people small. I think I like that better. As much as I love large groups of people, I like knowing that I’m getting the technique right and that requires more personal attention. Today was “No Waste Wednesday” — no wasted time between exercises, no wasted time on the bike. I think the toughest exercise today was the medicine ball throw — it came near the end when your shoulder muscles are straight up numb.

I felt pretty good on the bike today though — and I finally figured out how to read those gauges. I need to adjust it for more resistance next time, but half way through the workout, I decided I wanted to try to hit four miles … lo and freakin’ behold, I hit it with about three seconds to spare. So yay! me. Although, damn it’s painful.

The last bit, the ab work, was tough today. I partnered up with Mitchell — he’s a 32-year old carpenter who’s been going to Dethrone since Feb. 12. He’s one of the original members. Mitchell told me he’s lost 25 pounds and that, while he’s always been in decent shape because of his profession, right now is the best shape he’s ever been in. Mitchell is one of those dudes that looks like he enjoys the pain that comes from these workouts. He also said he’s got a friend who’s upward of 300 pounds who he’s trying to get out to Dethrone, but who says that he’s embarrassed to go. I shared my personal story with him, being an ex-300+ pounder … hopefully that pushes his friend to come out.

LUNCH TIME GUILT LEVEL: (combined with dinner last night) 2. I did aitte.

The Dethrone Burlingame experiment : Day 2

23 04 2013

Day 1 of the Dethrone Burlingame Experiment came and went. If you don’t know what it is yet you can read about it here.

So, April 23 we were back at Base Camp for Day 2 and the 11:30 a.m. Boxing Class led by Jesse. I bumped into Jesse at the Starbucks on Burlingame Ave. in the morning and I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t order the glazed old-fashioned donut. Instead, he caught me eating a multi-grain bagel. And drinking that morning cup of coffee. We chatted for a bit and I have a feeling that despite having him kick my ass for a couple of weeks, we’re going to get along just fine.

Dethrone Burlingame

DAY 2:

I was late, I had to put out a fire at work that I started … and if you ever read this, I’m sorry ISAAC WANG. Really.

Jesse had told me at Starbucks that the boxing class would be small in number and he wasn’t kidding — there were three of us, Nick and Jean (hope I’m spelling that right!) — and let me tell you, those two can kick major ass. It was 35-plus minutes of non-stop madness (well, it stopped for a bit, we did this jab-cross-backstep-jab-hook-cross combo with a couple of standing jumps in between and while one of us punched, the other ones caught a bit of wind).

Moral of the story is: If you’re in a fight and you expect me to help you, well, we’re both screwed. I can’t throw a punch to save my life. But I loved the class. Jesse threw out a couple of challenging punch combos which was fun, and mixed in some bear crawls, super burpees, etc in … and by the time we got to jabbing with the weights, my shoulders were gone. Regardless, the ab work at the end is necessary and that capped off the afternoon.

Jean is definitely the MVP of the workout — that girl can get it! Wow. Such a hard worker, it’s pretty phenomenal. She said she’s been going for a month and loves the boxing class in particular. Ladies, while Jean not disclose her age, she looked great for “32” … made me look like a chump during the workouts.

Lunch Time Guilt Level: (combined with dinner last night) 3. I did aitte.