Strength Changes

Didn’t feel like going to the gym yesterday at all.. In fact all I wanted to do was lay on the couch and eat something not healthy. But on the advice of a friend I “just did it”. I knew that going could be a toss up..If I get there and don’t push myself then I might as well have not gone to begin with. So I pushed myself. I hit a couple of personal milestones as far as weights go. On the flat bench press using dumbbells I ended up with more weight that I’ve ever done for working sets. Working sets are those done after warm ups and usually between 6-8 reps. I did 8 reps with 45lbs, 50lbs, and 55lbs. For my last set I did 6 reps with 60lbs. That’s 60lbs in each hand! I was really impressed and felt like I could have done another set but probably wouldn’t have gotten the 6 reps I wanted.

I also set a personal best with 125lb incline bench press with barbells. Felt really good after that and powered through the rest of my workout along with a good cardio session. It’s days like yesterday that motivate me. I’m really glad that I went and more than that, I’m glad I pushed myself to get a good workout.

Weekly Summary 22-Aug – 29-Aug-2010

Weigh In
Current:294lbs
Diff from last weigh in: +1
Overall diff from 6/28/2010:21lb loss

Tried some different things this week as far as my meal plan goes. I started out Monday and Tuesday by spreading out my meals to 6 times a day. Along with that I had protein shakes before workouts and after workouts. That lasted 2 days. I’m not sure if it was the protein shakes or eating every 3 hours but I felt sick all the time.

I’ve gone back to my original meal plan but instead of eating 3 times a day I expanded it to 4 times. I’ll give that a go for the next few weeks and adjust accordingly. I now have an easy way to carry my meals to work. Thanks to my Mom for getting me a lunch bag from sixpackbags.com. I posted about a few days ago. I’ll post up a review in the next few weeks once I get a chance to use it.

I also started a new workout (I haven’t forgotten that I said I’d post my workout, I’ve just procrastinated 😉 ). Overall I’m happy with it so far. It’s time consuming, about 1.5 – 2 hours in the gym. But it’s also some lifts that I’ve never done so learning the proper technique has taken some time.

Caved into a craving on Tuesday for pizza from Papa John’s. I felt bad afterwards but it made me realize that I don’t want to go back to my old eating habits. So a positive came out of it. I also picked up a new gadget this week from Timex’s Ironman line. I’ll post a review of that as well in a few weeks…

Overall its been a good week. I’m bummed about the gain. But it’s behind me so now to focus on this week and make sure I do what I need to do to ensure a loss next weigh in.

So Many Thoughts

The last 2 months have flown by for me. On June 28th I decided that I’d had enough of being overweight and out of shape. So I weighed in and found that I was 315lbs. Almost 100lbs heavier than when I got out of the Army in 1999. That was a turning point for me. I got back into researching diet and fitness topics again and I made changes. I’ve stuck with those changes and I’m happy with outcome so far. As of 8/22 I am down to 293lbs. But I want more. My goal is to get to 10-12% bodyfat. I’ve never, ever been that low before and I realize now that it’s going to take time to get there. This new lifestyle is not a race but a marathon and I’m committed to the long haul.

I’ve had set backs. In fact last night I gave into a craving for pizza…Believe it or not after 5 slices of a Papa John’s large pizza my resolve is even stronger than it was before not to get back into that type of behavior. 2 months ago I would have put that entire pizza away without thinking twice. I threw the remaining 3 slices out and while I regret buying it, I think it was something I needed. These last 2 months have felt like a balancing act. Trying to focus and stay positive all the while wondering what would happen if I slipped up on at a time when I didn’t plan to slip (I usually take a meal on Saturday and make it a “cheat” meal..This has worked well for me usually but yesterday the craving as well as being down in the dumps about some other things just combined for the perfect storm”.

Looking back on it I know that I *can* commit to this new lifestyle. I’m not calling it a diet since that implies at some point I’m going back to my old eating habits and there’s no way that’s going to happen. I felt just miserable after eating that pizza and I realized that’s the way I’d been feeling for a *very* long time..Probably longer than I can recollect. Even when I was in the Army fitness was just something I had to do everyday. I resented it. I swore the day I got out was the last day that I would ever run. I’m not quite back to running yet simply because I want to lose a bit more weight so I don’t injure myself. But I’m looking at picking back up when I get down to the 265-270 range.

Everyone has bad days, it’s how you pick yourself up after the bad. After my pizza last night I woke up at 0500 and was at the gym and working out by 0530. Not something I’m going to do every day mind you..But it felt good to get back in there after my stumble. I know that I can do this and I’m more motivated than ever to continue. Will I have more bad days? Probably..But I can handle them and keep moving forward.

There’s going to be a couple of changes to my website. First off, I’m not going to be posting my daily workout’s anymore. In the beginning it really helped me to keep track of what I was doing as well as have some kind of external accountability. I will be putting a new page detailing my workouts and that will change as my workouts change. As for the accountability, I feel like I’m back to a point of self accountability. That doesn’t mean I will stop posting here. If I notice something about my eating habits or a particular day’s workout then I’ll note that here. I’ve found a ton of resources online to help me get back to this point. I’m going to start adding those to my blogroll so hopefully someone else can draw as much inspiration as I have from them. Plus it’s great for me because this blog will be like a big giant cheatsheet! 🙂

Originally I started this blog with the hopes of turning into a motorcycle camping site. I will still be posting some motorcycle related things randomly (I’m signed up for a motorcycle camping course at REI tonight..See what I did there? 😉 ) but I think this site will be taking a more generic life/fitness turn for a while.

Look for more frequent posts here and I hope that if you’re a lurker you will engage me with some comments 🙂

Workout 18-Aug-2010

Back:
Deadlifts
One arm dumbbell row
2 arm bent over dumbbell row

(1 set is all three exercises with no rest between the 3 and a 1-2 min break in between giant sets)
1×10 – 35lbs
1×10 – 40lbs
1×4 – 40lbs

Biceps
Dumbbell Curls
Seated concentration curls
Hammer curls

(1 set is all three exercises with no rest between the 3 and a 1-2 min break in between giant sets)
1×10 – 25lbs
1×10 – 25lbs
1×10 – 25lbs

Cardio:
Type: Treadmill
Time: 35min (30 min + 5 min cooldown)
Calories burned: 392
Distance: 2.32 miles
Pace: 4.2mph

Notes:
Started a new work that’s designed to shock my muscles..I don’t think I’ve posted where I get my workouts from but I’ve found a couple of sites.

Bodybuilding.com
and
Muscle and Strength

The workout I’m currently using is called “Giant Sets“. The previous workout I used and had great results, and one I’ll probably go back to is called “Doug’s Six Day Cutting Routine“.

Now comparing these two workouts and you’ll see that the current workout is a 3 day split while the 6 day workout is done on a 3 day, 1 off split. I’m sore today from the new workout which is awesome. I haven’t quite been able to get that good sore after a workout for about a week or so. With the Giant Set routine I’m doing 3 exercises for 10 reps with no rest in between each one. This pattern is done for 3 sets with 1-2 min break between each set of 3 exercises. I can tell you it wiped me out. I ended up dropping weight on some sets just so I could focus on good form and I still feel like I got a good workout.

It was a struggle for me to change my workout. I’d gotten comfortable with my “normal” routine and therein lies the problem. My body is kind of off kilter now and I hope to keep it that way.

I’m still fiddling with my eating schedule. I feel like I get good calories and fat but I’m doing it in 3 meals a day which I think may not be the best way to go. I dread the thought of having to fix small meals and continually eat but I think it’s coming to that point. I wake up in the morning and I feel extremely hungry. Which is not good. I try to give my body some easily digestible proteins before I go to bed for repair but I think I may need to add something to that. Also I feel extremely tired ~2-3pm. I usually have an Oat ‘N Honey bar with a cup of green tea in order to have enough energy to make my workout. I think what’s happening is my body is burning more calories that it was when I started working out so I need to start giving it a bit more to get me through workouts. Anyway, more on that later.

Morning
Bagel with cream cheese

Midday
Salad with 2 bowls of soup

Post WorkoutDinner
2 Roast beef sandwiches and 4 cheese cubes

Snack
1 serving of greek yogurt with strawberries

The Six-Pack

No, I’m not talking about my abs…Yet ;-). I’m talking about a lunch bag geared towards bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts who like to break up meals during the day. One of the things holding me back from switching to this method (aside from it being a pita) is how to carry all that food to work. I don’t want to have 6 tupperware containers that I will undoubtedly forget at work.

Six Pack Fitness looks like they’ve figured out how to make this convenient. They’ve come up with a bag that can hold everything one needs to maintain a healthy lifestyle at work or travelling. I think that the way I lift now is going to require me to start splitting up my meals so I don’t feel so run down and exhausted by the end of the day. Below is an image of what can fit inside..Pretty cool eh?

six-pack-bag

Workout 16-Aug-2010

Chest:
Cable Crossover
1×20 – 60lbs
1×12 – 70lbs
1×10 – 70lbs
1×8 – 70lbs

Flat Bench
1×15 – 40lbs
1×10 – 45lbs
1×6 – 45lbs
1×4 – 50lbs
1×4 – 50lbs
1×5 – 50lbs

Incline Bench
1×12 – 35lbs
1×8 – 35lbs
1×4 – 35lbs

Triceps
Rope pushdown
1×12 – 100lbs
1×15 – 100lbs
1×8 – 120lbs
1×8 – 120lbs
1×6 – 120lbs
1×5 – 130lbs

Straight bar pushdown
1×8 – 120lbs
1×8 – 120lbs

Cardio:
Type: Treadmill
Time: 25min (20 min + 5 min cooldown)
Calories burned: 242
Distance: 1.50 miles
Pace: 4.0mph

Notes:
Switching workouts this week to shake things up a bit. Had a 1lb loss for the week. Not impressed but it is a loss so I’ll take it. After the treadmill I realize how much I need to do to get myself ready for the half marathon…

Morning
Bagel with cream cheese

Midday
Buffalo chicken wrap with side of chili

Dinner
2 turkey burgers

Snack
Not having one

Frustrations

I know that this has to be a complete lifestyle change in order to be good in the long run. But I’m frustrated. I’m frustrated that I can’t seem to “feel” my workouts afterwards anymore no matter how heavy I lift or how many reps I do. I’m also frustrated that I can’t *see* any change…I know it’s there by the way my clothes fit but looking in the mirror I still see fat. I try not to let it bother me because, honestly, it hasn’t even been 60 days yet and I’ve lost 20lbs (didn’t weigh in or workout Sunday like I normally do but weighed in this morning and I’m down 1lb. Which is surprising. I honestly thought it would be more).

I need to shake things up a bit. I’m starting a new workout this week which involves super sets, giant sets with very little to no rest in between sets. More on that as I work out the details. I’m just frustrated and I don’t really have good reason to be. I mean I’ve lost 20lbs so far..Which is great..I just wish I could tell.

Workout 13-Aug-2010

Shoulders:
Front Raises
1×10 – 30lbs
1×8 – 30lbs
1×8 – 30lbs
1×5 – 30lbs
1×6 – 25lbs

Lateral Raises
1×8 – 20lbs
1×10 – 20lbs
1×10 – 20lbs
1×10 – 20lbs
1×10 – 20lbs

Military Press
1×4 – 25lbs
1×10 – 20lbs
1×12 – 25lbs
1×10 – 30lbs
1×6 – 30lbs
1×6 – 30lbs
1×6 – 35lbs

Shrugs
1×35 – 50lbs
1×30 – 50lbs
1×30 – 50lbs
1×25 – 50lbs
1×25 – 50lbs
1×20 – 50lbs
1×20 – 50lbs

Cardio:
Time: 25min (20 min + 5 min cooldown)
Calories burned: 422
Distance: 1.60 miles (1.94 with cooldown)
Resistance: 7

Notes:
Once again, need to post these the same day as workout

Morning
Bagel with cream cheese

Midday
pork chop with brown rice

Dinner
Didn’t write down

Snack
Didn’t write down

Workout 12-Aug-2010 (aka “This would be a lot easier if fat was as easy to lose as it is to gain”)

Back
Straight bar (machine hooked to both weight stacks)
1×20 – 220lbs (Warm Up)
1×8 – 240lbs
1×7 – 240lbs
1×5 – 210lbs
1×5 – 210lbs

Close grip
1×20 – 130lbs
1×12 – 160lbs
1×10 – 180lbs
1×8 – 190lbs
1×6 – 200lbs (full stack on one side of machine)
1×8 – 200lbs
1×6 – 200lbs
1×6 – 200lbs

Bentover dumbbell rows
1×10 – 35lbs
1×8 – 40lbs
1×6 – 40lbs
1×4 – 45lbs
1×4 – 45lbs
1×4 – 50lbs (Maxed out work gym dumbbells)
1×4 – 50lbs
1×6 – 50lbs

Biceps:
Straight bar machine curl
1×12 – 70lbs (Warm up)
1×12 – 80lbs
1×10 – 90lbs
1×8 – 100lbs
1×6 – 100lbs

Dumbbell Curls
1×8 – 30lbs
1×10 – 25lbs
1×10 – 20lbs
1×10 – 20lbs
1×10 – 20lbs

Cardio:
Time: 25min (20 min + 5 min cooldown)
Calories burned: 416
Distance: 1.60 miles (1.95 with cooldown)
Resistance: 7

Notes:
I never thought I’d feel unmotivated this early in the game. It’s been close to 2 months so I think it’s time to change up the workout a bit. I’ve started going heavier with 6-8 reps then lighter with more reps alternating. Today I changed my cardio as well. It’s been a real struggle to get 30 min and feel like I pushed myself totally. I get a good workout and I sweat a lot and obviously burn more calories but it’s monotonous. Today I did 20 min and kept my pace ~171-175. Usually it’s ~160-165. I felt like I got a better push and I think I can focus on bumping up my pace and get the same amount of calories burned as I did in 30 min.

Of course I’ll be posting here with updates on how things are going for me. I cheated a bit today with breakfast. I should have gotten a cup of yogurt on my way out but I didn’t so I got a sausage egg and cheese wrap and a blueberry muffin. I refuse to feel guilty about this. I also forgot my lunch today. So I went out with co-workers..Didn’t get the healthiest thing but I didn’t over do it and felt good after eating. Dinner was back on track and even though I got off the wagon a bit it’s not going to destroy the progress I’ve made already or send me into some out of control spiral of big macs and vanilla shakes 🙂

Morning
Sausage egg and cheese wrap and blueberry muffin

Midday
tuna wrap with pretzels and lemonade

Dinner
butterflied pork chop with brown rice and sliced tomatoe

Snack
Cottage cheese single