Even though your current situation isn’t helping you lose weight, changing hardcore habits is hard. Start with the easy step you can take and work on maintaining that change for at least 3 weeks. If you don’t incorporate the change within that timeframe you can always go back to your old unproductive ways. For example, you may decide that you can add 16 oz of water daily for the next 3 weeks—if that is successful, you can either add to that amount or substitute the water for something that isn’t contributing to your health (one of three sodas you drink each day). This same step (which adds a behavior rather than taking something away) instills a new habit that can then be used as a substitute for a poor health habit (replacing one sugar-laden cola with a glass of water). Once you start seeing that a) the new habit isn’t so difficult and 2) you actually feel better the process will become less intimidating.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
This week I will do a light-weight combo workout which I took from Women’s Health. The weight is light enough to create resistance but not to overtax me and the movements are combinations that work the whole body:
All of the following are supersets (2) of 6-10 repetitions--
Dead Lift and Bent Over Row/Swiss Ball Pike with Pushup
Front Squat and Press/Pushup Row with Core Hold
Sumo Squat and Curl/Row and Back Extension
Step Up and Single Arm Press/Dumbbell Press and Core Roll
I am doing easy 30 minute cardio on the stair master 3x this week and pyramid intervals (30/45/60/90/60/45/30) with 1 minute recovery to prepare for next week. I am still reviewing whether I am interested in staying with this particular New Lifting program. I am not fond of 4x4 with heavy weights and long recovery but maybe I will try the first two workouts (A&B) and see how I feel. If I choose to change this up, I will try to see if I can work something that can still lead to Stage 7, even though I replace Stage 6 with something else—I doubt it. It may mean abandoning this particular program. I will see how I feel.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Just as I did with workout A, I will compare volume between stage 3 and 4. Again, I made some substantial gains based on volume.
Elevated Dead Lift: 1200/1440
Bulgarian Split Squat: 550/720
Close Grip Pull Downs: 135/150
Elevated Reverse Lunge: 400/480
Incline Cuban Press: 100/120
The last week of this stage was very difficult so I have decided to take a recovery week. I will do some light resistance training and continue my intervals 3x/week. My longer cardio sessions will be much easier—they we difficult this last week as well. The next stage will be 4x4 at heavy weights and 2 minute rest periods which make for long resistance workouts---meaning, I will move to an alternate day cardio/resistance schedule. More details in a few weeks.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
According to research at least half of the women surveyed stated that their weight issues kept them from facing other problems in their lives – such as bad relationships, dead-end jobs, financial problems. When you finally address your weight, you are then forced to admit it wasn’t the worst of your issues and the pounds come right back. Or, you may use eating as a way of combating the emotions associated with the other dysfunctional areas of your life. Either way, feelings are used to keep you overweight and unhealthy. One answer is to find another way to release these emotions—why not exercise? Consider activities that are geared toward offsetting your emotions—if you are angry, take a kickboxing class; if you are anxious, do yoga. Exercise itself will not address your personal issues; you may need to seek a professional to help you. But, you can stay healthy while you work on the emotional side of eating.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Final volume Stage 2/4:
Front Squat /Push Press 175 lbs/360 lbs
Step Ups 700 lbs/680 lbs
Rows 600 lbs/600 lbs
Lunge (elevated back leg) 550 lbs/680
Push ups 20/24
Based on the numbers, it looks like I substantially increased my overall power in the front squat/push press (almost 90%) but this improvement seemed to inhibit increases in my step ups (not enough recovery?). The rows remained the same, lunges a good increase, and my push ups a modest increase. I need to be better about recover on the heavier weights, otherwise I can get through all the reps for the entire program. Overall, I am happy with the improvements as they outweigh the lagging exercises. I will do the same evaluation on Workout B this weekend.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Well, I have gone through cleaning up my eating and food shifting, it is now time to move to calorie restriction through carbohydrate rotation. This particular program is geared toward “bodybuilders” so I don’t have to be as strict with the carbohydrate rotation but I like the concept so I may do this anyway. The goal is to reduce my calorie intake by 10%—so, based on my maintenance of 2000 calories I need to shave off about 200 calories. This can be done by rotating my carbohydrate consumption (low, medium, high days). On the low carbohydrate days you increase you protein and healthy fats—that will work well with the increased protein on days that I do my metabolic resistance training. The higher carbohydrate days will help replenish my glycogen stores depleted from training. Overall, this should work well with my current training regime. I will let you know what carbohydrates I am cutting on my podcast.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Most people give up on a program (weight loss or exercise) within 2 weeks if they don’t noticeable results. You need to have patience with any program you start. Weight loss requires a long-term commitment and a permanent change in perspective—which takes some time to take hold. You will need to stick with a plan for at least a few months (and follow it at least 90% of the time) to decide whether you can make progress and get the results you want. As AA members state—you have to work the program for the program to work. Keep plugging away and you can reach your goals.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
For the alternate days of my workout I have added a “non-weight” workout which will include the following:
Straight-leg leg lifts (lying and seated)/Leg extensions (lying and seated)/Hamstring lifts and curls/2 variations on hip lifts (bridge)/Outer and Inner thigh work/Calf raises/Modified pull-ups/Modified Dips. I won’t do push-ups as they are part of my regular workout. These exercises aren’t strenuous but help keep the blood flow into the muscles I have been working. Additionally, per my podcast, I have added a few yoga postures as well. I find if I don’t build in stretching and yoga into my regular workout, it doesn’t get done consistently. This way if I do find time for another stretching or yoga session, it is extra.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Each day I go to the gym, I see some really strange workouts. All the trainers are into kettlebells and the TRX contraption and they have folks doing these god-awful exercises that they could never do any other place than the gym. I realize the gym and the personal trainers are in business to make money but to make clients dependent is terrible. Most people know if they buy any equipment for home use, it gets used as a clothes hanger or a dust gatherer so they aren’t going to go out and buy kettlebells or a TRX for home use—and the routines are so convoluted that I can’t see how someone would adapt this to home use. And we know the statistics – most people don’t continue to come to the gym after about 3 months. Which, again, works for the gym because those non-using members are subsidizing the other members but how beneficial is it for the membership in general? I know people get bored with the same routine but to keep introducing new equipment – that will ultimately go to the wayside, seems like a waste of money. I would rather have the equipment maintained better, the facility spotless, and the staff helpful. When are gym members going to expect more?
Thursday, April 8, 2010
So frequently we think the day-to-day tasks are monumental to complete, so we rarely take on activities that truly challenge our abilities. Life can be difficult but everyone is living life so if you want to make it more interesting, do something better, do more of something but don’t keep doing the same old, same old. Life is about challenge and meeting those challenges head on, not whining about them. So get out there and live!
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
As mentioned in my audio post, Stage 4 is a repeat of Stage 2 with more sets, fewer reps, less recovery. I decided to use the weights from later in Stage 2 to reflect my improvement. That worked overall; the dead lifts were more difficult as was the Cuban press but the rest of the workout was just about right. Additionally, I have moved to a more efficient warm-up routine (one suggested by Schuler/Cosgrove) as the program is taking longer. My HIIT is now below the eight minute mile and I am working from 15 up to 20 minutes and then going back down and increasing the fast round. This process takes me about the same time as the metabolic resistance training so the two parallel each other fairly well. I did my fat % at the gym and I am down 2% (from 22% to 20%). I don’t know how accurate the machine is but relatively speaking, if I continue to use the same instrument I will be able to chart my progress. Nutritionally, my clean up phase is over and I have a pretty good idea that eat about 1800-2000 calories a day. The next phase will be making substitutions and this will entail me changing my breakfast somewhat and removing some of the dairy products I use. I like cereal but it probably floods too many carbohydrates into my system so I will change out some of the cereal for toast and peanut butter, eggs, or tuna/salmon. Non-fat yogurt, fruits and nuts would also work. I keep mentioning alcohol and it never finds a consistent substitute but as the weather gets warmer, wine or light beer may prove to be a good substitute for bourbon.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Everyone has strengths they can build upon to make life better. Each of us has the ability to do something easily that others have a hard time doing. I happen to like working out, going to the gym, and basically being physically active so exercising is something I do with little effort. I am also fairly well organized and have good routines, this helps in keeping me on track and staying to a program for an extended period of time. On the other hand, some strengths don’t adapt well to certain situations—such as when I get injured, I tend to stay on the same routine and stay physically active so my injuries may last longer or re-occur more often. Another area where I excel is paying attention to details—great for many areas of my life—but really time consuming in other areas (and more often than not counterproductive). So, with most things in life if you are more strategic and use your strengths effectively and compensate for weaknesses, you can pretty much tackle anything.