Self Experimentation: Sleeping on the ground

22 03 2012

"You should be sleeping on a wooden board for at least a week!"

I’ve decided to experiment with sleeping on the ground. The idea first came to me, oddly enough, from watching Seinfeld.  Kramer realigns Elaine’s spine, she gets hurt again from sleeping on her mattress and Kramer says something like, “you should be sleeping on a wooden board for at least a week! It’s common sense!”  After thinking about it a bit, I wondered, why do we need beds anyway?  I don’t imagine humans evolved sleeping on beds, I mean imagine following a heard of antelope and lugging around a 50 pound mattress.  At best we slept on grass or some kind of mat, at worst the ground.  That was my main  jumping off point for trying this experiment.  After already deciding to try this experiment I did a little reading, such as this article, but for the most part I’m trying it out to sate my own curiosity.

You’re probably thinking, “you’re crazy Russell!  Everyone sleeps on a mattress, why even try?”  Here are a few of my reasons:

  1. My bed is extravagant, and I’m striving to be as minimalist as possible.
  2. Sleeping on the ground takes up a lot less room, and all of my sleeping gear can be folded up and stored if more space is necessary.  My room feels much more open without my queen sized bed taking up the bulk of it.
  3. If I am able to sleep on the ground, I can sleep anywhere in the world and not have to worry about it.  I won’t be reliant on my bed for a good night’s rest.
  4. There may be possible benefits, some outlined in this article.  Any benefits, aside from those listed above, would ancillary and are not the main reason for my experiment.

Below is a photo of the setup I’m going to be trying.  I have a camping mat, a bed cover, a sheet, a fleece blanket, and a comforter (these two blankets are good enough for southern California).  Note: I started on 3-19-12.

Since this is an experiment I should have some kind of hypothesis.  Hypothesis: sleeping in this situation will result no negative change, ie back problems, problems sleeping, etc.  I will note any differences in my life in future blog posts or on my ongoing experiment page.

Ciao – Russell

Switching Workouts

12 03 2012

I am switching my workouts from Stronglifts 5×5 to Madcow, check out my google doc to follow along.

Stronglifts 5×5 is a beginner program in which you add weight every time you go to the gym.  As you can imagine, this eventually becomes too much and your body can’t keep up.  I’m just about at this point.  From here you go to an intermediate program which you add weight every week instead of every workout.  I am going to be doing Madcow, an intermediate program recommended by Stronglifts.

I did Madcow last year starting on April 18th, 2011 and, as you can see below, my current weight/strength is at about the same level.  I also did GOMAD back then, so basically I’m just re-doing the same thing I did a year ago.  I could probably squeeze out a few more workouts of linear gains, but mentally it’s really hard, so I’m switching to Madcow now.

Madcow Spreadsheet 2011

If my weight follows the same growth pattern as it did last year, I will reach 180 pounds in a mere 5 weeks.  Depending on if I get a job or not, I may push my weight higher or stop there.  After reaching my goal weight, I want to experiment with other workouts.