2nd week weightlifting and the groove is coming back.

Woowee, I’m glad I had this week off work to do my weightlifting. Man it’s been so fecking hot and humid, typical UK summer of extremes, never a middle of the range warm, just hooooot.

So this week I’ve stepped up the weights from last week, been consistently doing them and my body is feeling it, aching in places I’ve not ached for a while, but overall my body has coped as I’ve not been delivering parcels before the workouts.

Next week will be interesting as I’m back at work and won’t be doing my workouts until afterwards, so I think I’ll skip the accessory movements I’ve been doing and just stick with the main lifts for 4 days and we’ll see how I feel at the end of the week.

So this is what I’ve done this week…

Monday:

Barbell Squat
46.5 kg x 8 reps
56.5 kg x 8 reps
66.5 kg x 8 reps


Dumbbell Lunges
10 kg x 8 reps
10 kg x 8 reps
10 kg x 8 reps

Amazing what a week off of parcel delivery does to my body. Feel full of energy and stronger this week. Last weeks last set of squats felt heavy, not surprising for first time in nearly 3 months.

Tuesday:

Weighted Push Up
10 kg x 15 reps
10 kg x 15 reps
10 kg x 15 reps

Felt more stable on these. Not ready for olympic rings again yet, see how I feel next week.

Dumbbell Flyes
10 kg x 8 reps
10 kg x 8 reps
10 kg x 8 reps

Could feel the burn in my pecs doing these, think i did them a bit too quick after the push ups, wanted to get done working out as it was so fecking humid, I hates it I does, nasty little humidity making me sweatses.

Wednesday:

Barbell Deadlift
74 kg x 5 reps
79 kg x 5 reps
84 kg x 5 reps

Did these first thing in the morning for a change, it was going to be too hot in the afternoon.

Chin-Up
6 reps
6 reps

Thought I’d do these straight after the deads, get all sweaty in the morning rather than when it’s 30c+ in the afternoon. Felt tough doing them straight after deads, but I did em, go me.

Pull-Up
5 reps

I hate pull ups, they just feel so un-natural for my wrists, which is why I prefer chin ups, but thought I’d do a set of these to remind myself why I dislike them as much as getting kicked in the nuts!

Today:

Standing Barbell Shoulder Press
41.5 kg x 6 reps
46.5 kg x 6 reps
49 kg x 6 reps

Last weeks 49kg was too much of a jump in the middle set, so I started lower this week and made 49kg my last set. Felt better, but it’s my last week at home, so next week will be after a physically demanding day delivering parcels, so we’ll see how strong I am at the end of it.

Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise
7.5 kg x 8 reps
7.5 kg x 8 reps
7.5 kg x 8 reps

Rear Delt Fly
5 kg x 8 reps
5 kg x 8 reps
5 kg x 8 reps

Boom! And that’s another week of weightlifting done, well done midget!

Until next time…

WeeMike

First deadlifts in nearly 2 years!

Well, I certainly didn’t expect to see in my blog diary that it has been nearly 2 years since I’ve done any deadlifts!

I remember in 2018 that I stopped doing heavy deadlifts due to them really whacking my body and along with delivering parcels, it was too much and they had to go.

And last year I seem to remember a couple of times thinking about doing them again, but never actually did.

So I’m not sure what has changed now, other than I’m on holiday for 2 weeks, but I’m no less knackered each day from delivering parcels, so I’m not sure I’ll be any less whacked if I’m doing deadlifts again.

We’ll have to see I guess. I am eating better than 2 years ago and I’m now taking creatine and some multivitamins regularly again, which may help. But I’ll only know once I’m back delivering parcels again in two weeks if my body can cope with them.

I’m only going to do them once per week and I won’t be going really heavy either.

I started today with just over bodyweight of 71kg on the bar, it felt good, not too challenging. And I did two more sets with another 5kg added each set and stuck to only 5 reps each set.

The last set at 81kg felt challenging, but not too heavy so that was good.

It’s back day today, so I’m doing my deadlifts in the morning and then will do some chin ups this afternoon.

Yesterday was chest day and I did some dumbbell flyes in the morning and some weighted pushups in the afternoon.

I had a 10kg weight plate on my back as I still don’t like doing bench presses so I’m sticking to weighted push ups until I’m back to a decent strength level and then I think I’ll try push ups on my Olympic rings again.

Monday was leg day and I did some dumbbell lunges in the morning and barbell squats in the afternoon.

I hadn’t done any barbell squats since I hurt my back in March as I didn’t want to stress it and wanted it to have fully recovered when I did them again.

I’ve been doing dumbbell squats and not going too heavy, mainly because I can’t hold the dumbbells. But now my back seems ok, so I’m pushing it a lot more seeing as though I’m on holiday and I can rest lots after workouts rather than getting whacked again delivering parcels.

Hopefully by the beginning of July, my body will be used to the weights again and I can then be fine delivering parcels and coming home to lift some weights.

I may well tale it back on the weights for the first week back to work, as I know it’ll take me a week to get back into delivery parcels again, just to not whack my body too much.

Until next time…

WeeMike

3 months of parcel deliveries during COVID-19.

Wow, just wow. Just when you think you’ve seen busy parcel volume, along comes COVID-19 parcel delivering.

Last time I wrote, it had been the busiest few weeks I’ve ever known as a parcel delivery guy. But here we are 3 months later and shit a brick, when will it end!

We’ve had a few days here and there with parcel volume dropping and giving us the false hope it might stay that way and then boom, fucking manic again.

Something I quickly learned was that despite a lot of people being furloughed and receiving less monthly income, they were spending less going out due to nothing being open and therefore had more money to spend online.

And boy have people ordered online.

I stopped caring what people were ordering and judging whether it was essential or not. If a parcel came into the depot on my route, it got delivered without judgement.

I have though on a number of occasions prioritised what the company told me were medical or food parcels over other parcels when I knew I wasn’t going to get through all my deliveries.

That decision was made by myself and other drivers to begin with, then within a few weeks the company made it an official decision.

Now that we’re deep into the lockdown as a company we’ve got on top of the increased volume by getting enough cover drivers in.

At first I believe the overnight increase in parcel volume took the company by surprise as I’d imagine it did for most other delivery companies.

But gradually we got on top of it, managed to get more drivers in, organise everything and now we’re ticking along nicely.

Busier than any other time of the year, but on top of it at least.

So many changes have had to be made, at work and outside of work.

But it is what it is, I’m not one for conspiracy theories, there is the truth and then there are lies, simple.

Some people choose to believe what they find out for themselves by researching independently, others choose to believe what they are told by those in a place of authority.

Our society runs on the majority rule and therefore what the supposed majority believe, goes, end of.

It is what it is and we all live our lives accordingly.

For me personally, one effect I hate of this period of time is queuing.

Holy shit do I hate queuing, and yet I’m British! I despise it with a passion and will avoid it at any expense.

So when I was doing 11hr days delivering parcels, finishing work on a Friday mentally and physically tired, the last thing I wanted to do was que for an hour to get my weekly food shop.

An extra 30 minutes in store, moving around people not knowing what they wanted…. Make a list for fuck sake!

Then another 30 minutes queuing to pay for it all, yeah fuck that.

I quickly decided to get my food delivered, which then quickly turned to click and collect.

I realised that people who had decided to get deliveries may well have to due to being vulnerable and so I thought that collecting my food was the best option overall.

Now my food shop takes about 15 minutes to organise during the week, then about 15 minutes to go and collect.

I’ve always done a bulk food shop every few weeks and then topped up on alternative weeks, so I don’t understand these people that feel the need to go shopping every other day or every day sometimes.

Sure if you live in a small place and don’t have a lot of storage, fair enough. But going shopping for food everyday just doesn’t make sense to me, especially now that it takes so long.

Not surprisingly my weight lifting took a back burner over the last few months.

I gradually found myself wanting to do less and less and what with hurting my back in March and then pulling a muscle in my right calf, I eventually stopped altogether.

Within a few weeks of my back getting manageable I did at least get back to doing bodyweight exercises and a few weeks ago I did finally start weightlifting once again.

It’s surprising how quickly you lose the strength you have built, but it’s also surprising how quickly it comes back.

I deliberately timed getting back into weightlifting 2 weeks ago with a 2 week holiday I’ve had booked since the turn of the year.

2 weeks ago I started light and with just some basic movements, just to see how my back and calf responded.

I’d been able to manage delivering parcels around my back pain and pulled calf muscle but I needed to be careful lifting weights again as it put a lot of strain on those muscles obviously.

Anyway, 2 weeks have been and gone now and despite a few twinges here and there, everything seems OK.

So this week I’ve started weightlifting with some decent weights once again and 2 days in and everything is shiny.

Due to being at home and knowing I have a tendency to sit a lot reading and/or watching films/sports and/or sitting in the garden I have split my workouts into 2 sessions.

I’m doing some accessory movements during the mornings and the main heavy lifts in the afternoons.

And despite the amazing sunshine I’m staying home to do my walking on our treadmill and walking a few times during the day too.

This spreads out my activity throughout the day, just like I would do at work, rather than push it all together in 1 lung and body busting session.

Despite having an inch or so of gut fat to shift, I’m no fan of high intensity workouts outside of the bedroom and so I steer clear of them.

I used to enjoy doing a sprint mile years ago but any enjoyment from HIIT has long gone and so I don’t do it.

I also know from the fitbit watch I wore last year that I’m usually in the fat burning zone with my heart rate for about 4/5 hrs a day.

So now that my body is pretty much injury free, my eating is dialed back in, I’ll soon shift the inch or so from my gut.

Sometimes when I’m at my peak lifting weights, feeling really good, I’m like, you know dude it would look cool to see all of your abs again.

Then after a hot, sweaty, physically and mentally draining day delivering parcels, I’m like, yeah fuck that, give me a cold beer and a seat, cheers.

Right’o it’s time for some movement, time for a brisk walk me thinks.

Until next time…

WeeMike

Delivering parcels in a Coronavirus Lockdown

So, a week of lock down deliveries has been and gone. That was weird, awesome, a bit more weird and even more awesome at the same time.

I feel like I’m writing this today for others to read. I know no-one reads this blog, that’s fine as I generally only use it for a mind dump when I need to, but in case someone does read this, I wanted to write something before they make a snap judgement and comment accordingly.

“I know I’m just a parcel deliver driver. I’m not saving peoples lives on the front line. I’m not a doctor, nurse or health worker who are without a doubt under extreme challenges at the best of times, let alone during a time like this, watching helplessly as people die in front of them.

But everybody who is still able to work is facing different challenges at this time and this is my mind dump of what challenges I face as a delivery driver right now.”

So, where do I begin.

Firstly, I was foolish to think that the parcel volume might decrease. Of course more retail shops closing means more people ordering things online. What was I thinking?

The government said that all but a few retail stores and businesses have to close, but online retailers can continue, so you know those same businesses warehouse and factory staff don’t matter in a lock down?

I’m 100% sure I’ve delivered a lot of non-essential items this week to people who are neither working from home nor vunerable and the item was not vital for their life in the next few months.

But if the government don’t put a stop to it, those same companies won’t stop selling things and those same people won’t stop ordering things as some don’t seem to think on a larger enough scale.

Our depot have brought in measures to help distance ourselves from each other, but a lot of us think that it’s inevitable that we’ll come into contact with something contaminated when there is such a high volume of parcels coming through the depot.

In today’s world of rapid delivery, something can be contaminated and in our depot and on a customers doorstep in well under 24hrs.

I’ve been asked by a few people about that and I’ve just simply said to be careful what you do with the package, don’t put it down anywhere, empty the contents outside if you can and get rid of the box straight away, then put the items to one side somewhere and if you want to clean them and then of course wash your hands thoroughly before touching anything else in your house.

That’s about as much as I can do other than our company disinfecting every parcel that comes into the depot, but I don’t see logistically how that would work.

At a guess I’d say our parcel volume has probably gone up 50% in the last 2 weeks, which is unheard of at this time of year and is close to if not beating some of the peak Christmas levels.

Add into the mix of some drivers being off ill/self isolating, not being able to get replacement drivers as the agencies are inundated with requests for drivers and you have a shit show of a pile of parcels building up that can’t be delivered.

And it’s the same for a number of other courier companies. I came across a few drivers this week from other companies and they said the same thing, business has gone through the roof and they can’t keep up with it.

When it’s peak time as a parcel delivery driver, you know it’s busy and will be so for a defined period that comes to an end.

But that’s the issue right now, we don’t know when this level of busyness will end.

Having to deal with the challenging aspects of delivering during this time as well as the busyness of it, is physically and mentally draining.

Physically I can pretty much cope with the job regardless of how busy it is, I keep myself fit and strong outside of work by doing various exercises and it helps during busy times like this, but mentally, I don’t think you can prepare completely for times like this.

I’ve gone through enough hard times mentally and physically to become more resilient than a lot of people, but times like this still do funny things to even a strong mind and body.

Let me breakdown what its like right now making a delivery.

I’ve made the decision that there is no point me wearing protective clothing (gloves/mask) as the parcels are not disinfected at any point and nor is the depot/warehouse/vans etc.

So if I were to where gloves it wouldn’t stop the spread of anything from one parcel to the next, nor to my van or to someone’s doorstep etc.

What I am doing is making sure I’m not touching things uneccesarily when I’m out of the depot.

And it goes a little something like this.

Approach the delivery point. Assess the situation around the delivery point. What am I going to have to touch to gain access to people’s properties, can I get in/on without using my hands.

Knocking on peoples doors, ringing their bells. Would wearing gloves make any difference at this point? Sure I can use hand sanitiser before and after every delivery, but then my hands would be roar seeing as though I make around anything up to 100 deliveries and collections in a day and handle around 250 packages everyday.

So once I’ve gained entry to the property and I’ve knocked on the door, I leave the parcels on the doorstep, step back and wait.

I wait for the inevitable shadow to arrive at the door, hesitantly opening the door a little and asking anxiously “who is it, what do you want”. Because something I noticed straight away was a lot of people sounded anxious when answering their door, even big strong men who I would expect to whip open the door and said “yeah, what do you want mate”.

When I respond “it’s xxx with a delivery for you”. Wow, things change quickly. Wham the door opens!. A smiling face greets me (most times) and the voice changes to one of happiness and joy.

“Oh great, that’s amazing, thank you so much”.

Instantly seeing the change in people’s reactions has been pretty awesome and it does make me even more happier than normal to be able to put smiles on people’s faces at the moment (because that’s one of the reasons I enjoy being a parcel delivery guy, I like seeing happy faces when I deliver things).

A very short conversation from a distance containing the repeated words of “your welcome, no problem at all, just doing my job” and then I walk away and get back into my van.

All whilst trying to remember to not touch things I don’t need to.

Deep down I must admit I’ve often been thinking “I don’t want to be delivering some extra cushions or garden furniture or diy items for you to ‘overcome the boredom’ of being at home”.

I’m risking spreading this virus around, putting myself in more danger than I should be of contracting it and equally as important I’m putting the vunerable in more danger than is necessary.

Because I deliver on a rural route, I deliver to a higher than normal amount of older people and I’m aware of how I could be spreading this virus around.

If I was just visiting the vunerable with food, medical items and other things they needed, sure ok, I could cope a bit better mentally with that.

But some of the people I have been delivering to, I realise that they don’t need the items I’m delivering as it’s a 3rd pair of shoes/item of clothing in 2 weeks that they’ve already told me they’ll be returning because they’ve changed their minds and/or don’t need them any more.

On the flip side, I have had some people say to me apologetically “I’m sorry for making you come out like this, but I really needed this for xxx”.

That’s cool, I’m fine with that and you don’t need to apologise, which I’ve probably said more times this week than I ever have.

And that’s one of the many mental challenges at the moment. Not commenting on the serial shoppers, because I find it very difficult to not say a sarcastic comment or just laugh it off.

“haha yeah, those shoes huh, they keep ordering themselves and hey don’t worry about Mrs Jones delivery that she really needs at the moment because it’s vital to her health that I can’t deliver today because I’ve got so many deliveries like yorus”.

Some people have said, oh but remember you’re a delivery driver, just get on and deliver the parcels you’re paid to do. It doesn’t matter what’s in them, just do your job.

Yeah, because that’s all that is important right now isn’t it, just getting on doing a ‘normal’ job.

No job that is still in business is ‘normal’ right now. We’ve all got to make decisions on a daily basis as to what should be normal and what shouldn’t be normal.

And for me as a parcel delivery guy, I feel that delivering non-essential items that are not food or medically related shouldn’t be a priority.

Only once this week did I not get through my whole route. And I got home that night and thought about any essential items that had been ordered, that were now sat in my van for another day, just because so many people had been ordering things that they didn’t really need right now.

I can’t put any blame on the company I work for, there business is to deliver what ever turns up in the warehouse, I get that. I just wish that us human beings would think about the larger picture instead and not order anything online that isn’t essential.

I also don’t understand where people are getting the money from either. I mean, most people who are at home right now are either on partly reduced pay or greatly reduced pay. So why the fuck are they still spending money on things that can wait until this is all over?

My partner has been furloughed and we’re taking a hit financially and it will add to our long term debt which this year is an especially bad kicker as we’d just started to get on top of it.

Now though, we’re looking at adding more to the total debt and probably another few years to pay it off just to get through this period.

But I’m not going out still spending money on things I don’t need.

I love gardening and that costs money when you need new things for it. I love music, films and reading amongst other things too.

But I’ve not spent a single penny on anything other than food, shelter and the bills that go with them the last few weeks and I won’t again until everything is back to normal.

Oh well, nothing queer as folk!

I think I need to go outside for a bit after all that, it was good to write it all down and I feel like I could write some more, but I think it’s rum time, hmmm it’s only 2pm…. oh fuck it, a rum and sit in the garden it is!

Until next time…

WeeMike

Crazy times but parcels still need delivering.

So I’ve not written anything down for a while yet again, but for some reason I wanted to start again during these crazy times, just to lighten the load on my mind.

Going back a month or so I’d gotten into a good routine work and exercise wise.

But then one Friday I hurt my lower back and it’s not been right since.

I’d rushed loading the van of 200 odd parcels at an m.o.d collection and I felt a twinge in the middle of my lower back, but brushed it off as just a sign of tiredness.

But then the last 4 weeks have said otherwise.

I’ve not done anything outside of work exercise wise to stress it and during work I’ve kept the relevant body shape when lifting parcels etc to ease the strain but it’s still lingering.

It’s eased this last week or so after having a few days off work, so I’m not concerned it’s anything major, I’m just trying to manage it as each day comes.

I’ve not done any barbell squats since as when I have a heavy load on my shoulders I can feel the compression in the hurt area, so I’ve stuck to dumbell squats for a while.

Anyway, today, fuck me, Corona Virus has fucked the world.

3 weeks ago I’d done our normal monthly bulk shop of food and then that night I’d read something on twitter about the virus and thought that this was serious and we’d better be prepared.

And today I’m right, fuck me am I right.

Everything I’ve done over the last 10 years or so has been to build a fit, healthy and resilient body and mind.

Sure I have my downs, but by working on myself physically and mentally they don’t last long and I bounced back or rode the wave better than most people do.

And I’m really thankful for what I’ve put myself through during those years because it’s coming in very useful now.

We’re about to start being affected financially due to my partner having reduced hours, so I’ve now got to do some extra hours and days work to make up for it.

But I don’t know what the work volume will be like for me as soon there won’t be any businesses to send parcels through our company, so we’ll just have to see how it goes.

It was pretty busy last week as I think people were panic buying certain stuff whilst they could, how long it continues though who knows.

I was a little angry with myself at first last week as our debt situation is putting an unnecessary strain on our finances, but it is what it is and we’ll get through it as we always do.

I’m just glad to be fit and healthy at this moment in time, as this seems to be the best position anyone can find themselves in right now.

Until next time…

WeeMike