Thursday, December 29, 2011

The last day of Starting Strength for 2011

Well, we had our final day of SS for 2011 last night. This Friday we're setting up for the big new years party, so we got one final workout in.

I don't know if it was laziness or because we had a small group or because it was the last workout of the year or because it's the only workout of the week (for SS that is) but we decided to switch it up. We kept the bar at 135 the whole night and did more reps.

I did squats, 3x10 at 135. It wasn't as hard as I thought, but it was definitely tiring! Doing that many reps is something I haven't done in a long time. After that was bench, again 3x10 at 135. This ripped my chest! It was much heavier than I thought it'd be, but overall I think I could have probably done 5 sets. Finally we did deadlift, and I did 2x10 and 1x5 at 135. I wasn't planning on doing 30. Instead my goal was to do 25, which is half of what I'll be doing on 300. It was much harder than I thought. I felt like the life was sucked out of me from lifting that much. But I did it so it was awesome.

Next week the weight goes back up, but it was fun to work like this. No more workouts the rest of the week. The gym is filled with furniture due to some cleaning and getting ready for the new years party. Next week the gym gets a redesign too (more mat areas so we can get more people doing DVD workouts) and Monday the girlfriend and I start P90X Lean! And a week from Saturday I start running 300 (technically 150) workout! Should be fun!

This will probably be the last post for 2011. Happy New Year everyone! I'll see you in 2012!

Bring it!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cardio X

Last night the roommate and I did Cardio X. It looks like SS is going to be put on hold this week and we'll get back into it next week, after the new year. Anyways, we got started around 3pm and overall it was a great workout. The yoga section felt good, the kenpo section was fun as always, the plyo section got my legs feeling good and my heart rate up and the core section was a good finish. I really like this workout and overall it was a good workout day.

I'm going to try to get some more PT 24/7 in starting later this week. The holidays need to end so I won't be so busy!

Bring it!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I'm running out of titles

I'm running out of titles for the SS workouts. Fortunately I'll start P90X in just over a week and my titles will be taken care of for me.

Last night we got into SS around 7. We warmed up with the first 10 minutes of Game Day from The Asylum, and then hit the weights hard! First up was squats, and I made more progress at 180. The first set felt just as heavy as ever, but by the end I felt really in control. I'm not working out Friday (Reel Big Fish concert!) so I'm going to repeat this throughout next week and hopefully move up to 185 after the new year!

Shoulder press was next and I stayed at 115. I did all of my reps (5x5) and they felt much better than last week's. I'm planning on repeating this one more time, next week, and then moving up to 120 after the first of the year as well. 2012 is going to start off hard!

I decided to repeat 205 on deadlift, and I'm glad I did. This was HEAVY! I did all 5 reps, but I felt so beat afterwards. It's so weird that I can't move up on shoulder days, but I definitely would have struggled with 210. Also I felt like my form was rough last night. No one said anything, and my group's usually good about saying if form is bad, but I just felt like it was rough. Not back, but a little bit, I think. Hmm. That said, I do feel fine today aside from the usual muscles being tired, so maybe my form was better than I thought.

I've been slammed with work all week and haven't made it into the gym in the mornings. I want to work out tonight, but I also want to finish my last report (I'm halfway through) so I can sleep in tomorrow. It's going to be a game time call. I have 3 programs that have 30 minute workouts, Jillian Michaels (less than 30), PT24/7 and ESP-XC. I may just do one of those tonight to get my heart going, but we'll see if I have time. I'd say worst comes to worst I'll finish the report tonight and workout in the morning, but I want to sleep in tomorrow so I have a ton of energy for Reel Big Fish!

Overall last night was awesome and hopefully tonight or tomorrow I can get some conditioning in. Wish me luck!

Bring it!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Last night's workout

Last night we did Starting Strength. For some reason I wasn't feeling like working out so here's how it went down. First off was squats. Once again I revisted 180, and it felt just as heavy as ever! I was starting to feel better by the last set, but overall they still felt hard. Hopefully I can finish this up this week and up the weight next week.

Bench was next and I made more progress on 170. Actually, I completed 170. The very very last rep my arms started to give out and someone had to help a tiny bit, but according to Vince he only used a finger and I lifted it all myself. So I'm chalking this up to success, even though I'll be repeating it next week.

I did a few pullups, but like I said I wasn't feeling like working out and that was that.

Tonight start Hanukkah! I celebrated a little this morning with the girlfriend (she got me cigars and scotch! She knows me very well!) and tonight we're with my folks. Tomorrow is more working out. Should be fun.

Bring it!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Friday and Sunday

Let's recap the last few days.

Friday we got into Starting Strength with the goal of finishing quickly and getting the weekend started. It was a long week and we all needed to relax!

Squat started off with 175, and I felt pretty good about these. For some reason they hurt so much at the bottom, and I'm starting to think that that's never going to go away. But after the first set (the first set is always the hardest) I felt like I was able to go fast still with solid form. Not extremely fast, but definitely like I can control the weight. If I have to hold that much weight I'm going to do it as quickly as possible and that's what I did. So overall I felt good about them.

Shoulder press was next, and somehow I didn't finish 115. I did 4x5 and 1x4. The very last rep my whole body just gave up and I couldn't lift the weight anymore. It was lame!

I finished with 3x5 on pullups and called it good.

That was Friday. We've put abs on hold until the first of the year.

Sunday I was at WalMart, and low and behold they were selling PT247! If you read this blog often you know that I have an obsession with fitness DVDs, and this is one that's been on my list for a while now! I also hate ordering fitness DVDs online (at least from their regular store....I'm still an junkie), so seeing this at WalMart was a great find. This is basically an amped up version of Tae Bo, taught by Billy Blanks and everything! The big difference is the attitude of the whole thing (way more self defense than just aerobics to music) and as you probably know I'm a martial arts junkie too. This was right up my alley. Also cool about it is the gloves that come with it. They are mock MMA gloves that connect to resistance bands which connect to your feet. The whole program is like this (I'll get to why that's cool in a moment) where you use the gloves, and since it's designed around the gloves every move focuses on using them correctly. Just holding my arms up in guard was difficult!

The reason the bands themselves are cool, though, is that this is a new trend I'm seeing in the fitness DVD craze. Too many people are pirating the DVDs, so now trainers are selling DVDs with a piece of equipment and designing the workout around that equipment. This makes it much harder to pirate, and since I'm kind of a late night TV fitness equipment junkie too I find the trend amazing. I also want to get Rip 60 someday too, but that's a different story. They were selling it at WalMart also, but I wanted PT247 more.

So I got home, sat on the couch for a while, and then around 4:45 hit play on Cardio from PT247. This was a great workout! It was like a shortened version of the punching part of Kenpo X. Just combos and movement. But like I said, with these gloves just holding my arms up in guard was pure pain! Throwing punches was really difficult too! Overall I was very impressed, and might be doing another workout tonight.

The only thing I didn't like was how short this workout was. I guess they're all a little over 30 minutes and I need (want) more of a workout than that. So I also hit play on Level 2 of Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. I'd done level 1 twice before and felt ready for level 2. This was a good workout, working pretty much the whole body in about 22 minutes. Mostly weights (endurance wise) and cardio with a little ab work. It's 3 circuits of 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio and 1 minute of abs. I really like this workout and will be doing it again (even though it's for girls...ha!).

So ya, good Sunday for working out. Tonight is Starting Strength. This is my last week of organic protein and I'm looking forward to getting back into synthetics next week. Also tonight starts the new Monday/Thursday routine. Should be fun. And if my friends Jacqi or Rod decide to come over early I'm going to get them in the gym and we'll do a cardio DVD. Probably the cardio/combo one from ESP-XC, but we'll see.

Bring it!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

More Starting Strength

Well, it's been a busy few days but we got into the gym last night.

Jacqi came over early to do some cardio and we decided to do Phase 1 of Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. I really like this workout. It may only be 20 minutes, but it's a killer. And it's only level 1. Jacqi did really well for the first two circuits. She took a bit of a break during the third, but I was still really proud of her. As for me, I tried not to overdo the weights because we were lifting after, but I did get some good bicep work and I love the cardio sections. When I get a chance on my own I want to try levels 2 and 3 sometime soon. I'll let you know how they go.

Starting Strength was next. I was a little tired from not working out Monday, but overall I made some good progress on most things. I got started on 175 on squats, and aside from the first set feeling really heavy I felt really good about these squats. I'll repeat on Friday and plan to move up next week.

We decided to do bench instead of shoulders since we missed it Monday. I did 3x5 at 170, but my body felt week as Hell. I think the pushups in Jillian Michaels tired me out. I did another 2x5 at 165, but I'll stay at 170 overall starting Monday.

I got my deadlift in next. I've had a theory that I can only move up on deadlift on bench days, and I put that theory to the test. Sure enough, 205 was much easier than it should have been. It's interesting that I can only move up on those days, but hey, it worked and I felt awesome. Everyone said my form looked better than ever too, so that was cool.

For kicks I did 3x5 on chinups too. We're cutting out abs until the first of the year, so that was the end of the workout. I felt good about it.

So some quick updates. After this week no one can do Fridays anymore until the end of the year. We had talked about moving to a 2 day split on Mondays and Thursdays after the 1st, but I think we're going to start that next week. It's slower progress overall, but it works better with people's schedules. Plus we're losing a spotter (the roommate is upping the jiu jitsu practices). We're going to a 2 day version of a program called StrongLifts 5x5. This is the program that got me thinking about doing 5 sets instead of 3. I've heard it working as a 2 day, even though it's usually a 3 day. It works best like that if you're doing other stuff too, and I'm still starting P90X Lean in January with my girlfriend. Here's what it's going to look like:

Mondays: Squats 5x5, Bench 5x5, Barbell Rows 5x5
Thursdays: Squats 5x5, Overhead Press 5x5, Deadlift 1x5

It's pretty similar to what we do now, except it won't switch workouts on different days. Also we have barbell rows in now, which will work the back. I think we're going to keep the chinups/pullups too, which will be on Mondays and Thursdays respectively. I'm excited to put this one into motion.

What's cool about this is I won't have long workouts on Friday nights anymore. This will give me more energy, because frankly I pass out on the couch within an hour of SS every night. I can also start taking my amazing, patient girlfriend out to dinner on Friday nights. She's waited a while for me to have Friday nights free, so she deserves to be taken out on the town more often!

Also to document, I think this Saturday my buddy Richard and I are going to start running the 300 workout. It's supposedly the fitness test the 300 guys took when training for that awesome movie. It's 300 reps total of 6 different exercises, 50 reps each. The goal is to do it in under 20 minutes. I'm going to start with 25 reps of everything and time myself. Then Richard will go, and anyone else who shows up to do it. Once I can do the whole thing in under 20 I'm going to add 5 reps to each exercise, and keep doing that until I can do the whole thing as written.

So that's what I have going on. Tonight is dinner with my girlfriend and possibly my folks and tomorrow is SS.

Bring it!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Friday's workout

K, quick update. Friday we did SS and it went pretty darn well. I made more progress on 170 on squats and will be adding 5 lbs to the next workout. Shoulder press was next and I felt even better about 115. I'm going to repeat that on Wednesday and hopefully move up next week. I also did some pullups, 3x6.

Decent workout but short.

Tonight is our buddy Anthony's birthday so we're doing sushi which probably means no workout. I might try to hit the weights in the morning. We'll see.

I have big plans for the new year, but right now I'm taking December easy.

Bring it!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Last night's workout

I got into Starting Strength with the group last night. Jacqi came over again to do cardio, but actually my new dumbbells arrived and we spent the whole time putting the stand together. They're pretty awesome. They have a knob so you can set them to any weight between 10 and 45. They also have a handle that's just 4 pounds. I'm not sure why it goes from 4 to 10, and then units of 5, but hey, they're awesome and they came with the stand! A special shout out to my girlfriend for putting the stand together, and another shout out to her and our friend Serena for helping the fed ex guy get the weights into the gym while I was upstairs on a work call.

So the lifting itself actually went very well for me. I started again with 170 lbs on squats and felt much much better about my squats. As planned I'm going to repeat this again on Friday and move up 5 lbs on Monday, but overall I think my squats are getting better.

Bench was next and I added one more rep to 170. 3x5 and 2x4. Not all the way there yet, but officially better than Friday. Hopefully I can get to at least 4x5 on Monday.

Deadlift was next, and I did 200! Legitimately. I felt in control the whole time, and actually when I was done Vince asked if I'd been practicing. I hadn't, but he went on to say that they were the best deadlifts I've done this whole program. That was really cool. What's interesting is the last few weeks (like 8) I've only been able to go up on deadlifts when it's a bench press day. Maybe shoulder press somehow kills me for deadlifts? Not sure. I'm going to try to move up next week, but if the trend continues I'll be repeating 200 and moving up the following week.\

We decided to order food in, which arrived right around deadlifts, so I bailed on abs. I'm comfortable with that.

So a few updates. First off, it looks like the girlfriend and I will be starting P90X Lean on January 2. That's one of the main reasons I'm excited for the dumbbells. That, and I like working with dumbbells in general.

Second, some changes are coming to Starting Strength. The roommate is starting to go to his mma gym 5 nights a week after the first of the year which loses us a spotter. Plus 3 days a week has been a lot over these last 22 weeks. Yup, it's been 22 weeks already! So I'm trying to find a 2 day split program that we can do on Mondays and Thursdays. This would give me a lot more time to get P90X, homework, actual work and video games done, and would let me spend more time with my girlfriend. She's been awesome with letting all the people come over 3 days a week for 2 or 3 hours and I need to make that up to her (yes, I know you're reading this). I'm looking into Stronglifts 5x5, which is basically the program we're doing now. It says you can do it 2 days a week if you're working out on top of it, which I will be.

So that's the plan at the moment. More thought will go into this before 2012, so I'll keep you posted. Tonight I may do cardio, or I may get lazy and play video games. We shall see!

K, time to go to work. Bring it!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Two days ago

On Monday I worked out. It was mediocre. Here's how it went down.

First off, my friend Jacqi who does Starting Strength with us wanted to do more cardio, so she came over early and we did Core Cardio & Balance. I'll be honest, my cardio is up high enough that this didn't even really phase me. I felt good, but I don't feel like I got the best workout. Jacqi, on the other hand, who had never done an Insanity workout, did amazing! She took breaks, like you do in an Insanity workout, but overall she did incredible and stuck with it the whole time. She took breaks but never ever quit. I was very proud of her.

My girlfriend also joined us for the second half of the workout, and as always she did incredible too. This is one of the Insanity workouts she's done before, and I think she likes it. I'm proud of her as well.

After that was SS. I lifted 170 on squats, which were better but still not there and 115 on overhead press. I'm going to repeat that again on Friday and hopefully move back up to 120 next week. This no supplements thing is killing me.

I also did 3x7 on pullups. Not great, but I was tired.

That was Monday. Homework was Tuesday, and tonight is SS again. I might do Pure Cardio beforehand too because it sounds fun, but we'll see.

Felt like posting an update. That's all I've got though.

Bring it!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Cardio X

Like I said at the end of my last post, I was off to do Cardio X and Cardio X is exactly what I did.

I hadn't done this workout in a while and forgot how fun it is. We started with the simple warmup (2 minute warmups feel really short after I've been doing Insanity for a few weeks) and then stretched. Stretching then turned into yoga. Yoga felt excellent. It basically goes through the beginning of yoga x at a faster pace, going all the way to the reverse warrior section. It felt good to stretch like that again.

Next was Kenpo X, and that felt good too. I like the punching and kicking combos in this a lot more than in regular kenpo x. It takes the assumption that you know what he's talking about already and just goes right into it with combos, kick punch combos and more. Good stuff.

Plyo was next for ten minutes, going through 2 five move circuits. I haven't done P90X Plyo in a while, and was glad to see I could still keep up. To be fair it wasn't the hardest of moves, definitely easier than anything in Insanity, but it got my legs in the air and my heart pumping more blood.

Finally core was last. Nothing too memorable about this but we did it. Except the Dreya Rolls. I'm still anti Dreya Webber and didn't do them out of spite.

Overall it was a good workout and got me moving for Sunday. Tonight is Starting Strength and I might try to get some cardio in.

Right now I'm doing more homework, so like yesterday I wrote this to take a break. Alright, back to work.

Bring it!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Feeling lazy (in more ways than one)

First off, I want you to know that I'm writing this post purely because I do not want to do homework anymore. I've been writing about organizational psychology and performance management for the last three hours, and the next time I write the word "culture" outside of this blog I might just snap and my head will explode. And if my head explodes there will be no more posts for the fat free jew, so I'm in here talking about nonsense with the goal of getting my mind back on track.

A few things. Friday we did get into Starting Strength. It was mediocre. I did 165 on squats again, but it still feels heavy. In fact it feels painful in my legs. It's definitely from the motion, not from actual pain, but I feel the same pain when I squat with no weight. I don't understand it. It's in my thighs and it just feels like I should have progressed beyond this fatigue by now. I'm not sure what to do with that, but the plan is to move back up to 170 on Monday.

Bench was next and I got started on 170. Yes, I officially bench more than I squat. I'm not really sure how or why that is, but it concerns me about my legs and my ability to squat correctly. But anyways, this felt heavy. I went all the way down and up on all of the reps, and got through 3x5, 1x4 and 1x3. Respectable numbers to start with, but I apparently have a ways to go. Here's to hoping I make more progress on Wednesday.

Pullups were last and I did 2x6 and 3x5. Good. Better. That's all I have to say about pullups.

We skipped abs and ate burgers instead (that's kind of like abs, right?) and that was Friday. Decent but meh. I miss my supplements I think and that killed my motivation this week.

So it finally happened. I did not finish Insanity. It started with being busy, then it was poor diet, then it was more busy, then it was dealing with emergencies, and long story short I quit this week. I know I said I was going to start back up on Week 3 this week (today in fact) but I just don't want to. I'm feeling tired and I was pushing myself too hard with work and school, and the schedule is being modified for the next few weeks.

First thing on this decision was the diet. No matter how hard I tried, the diet wasn't happening. Mostly on weekends, and mostly because of friends. I'm not blaming anyone, but it was just a really bad time to start a meal plan like the one I wanted. A friend came into town and we threw a party, then Thanksgiving, and now the holidays. Yup, it's just not going to happen. Sure, I could keep doing Insanity and do the crappy diet, but I've done that and the results are lackluster at best.

Second, a friend asked me if I wanted to start a 90 day Beachbody Challenge with him. It starts Jan 2, and if I had finished Insanity I wouldn't have been able to start that program. So I'm starting P90X Lean in January, and I'm working out with my girlfriend. We're going to do the program and diet together, and having a cohort will help me stay on track.

Third was just that I'm busy. I do homework every morning, so putting a workout in between that was just hard. I can do it, but then all I do is sleep and never see my friends or girlfriend.

So with all that in mind, I'm going to do what I can, make sure I work out just once a day with some sort of DVD or Starting Strength, and that's that.

Well, I'm off to do Cardio X. My roommate asked if I wanted to do that DVD with him. Sounded fun. Time to work out.

Bring it!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The last few days

Well, somehow life has gotten a strong hold on me and the last few days have been pretty lame as far as workouts go. Here's the scoop.

Monday morning a good friend called me right when I was getting into the gym. She burnt her hands pretty bad and needed a ride to the hospital. Of course I did it, and she's doing much better now (I can't tell you how relieved I was when she started feeling better). But Monday morning's workout did not happen.

Monday night I came home and did Hip Hop Abs with my girlfriend. I like working out with her. I don't remember which DVD we did, but I will say it was a lot harder than I thought it would be. Shaun T is difficult to work with in any setting.

After that I got into Starting Strength with the group when they came over. I did squats at 165, and they felt heavy. Deloading I thought was going to be easy, but somehow my legs are in pain lately and even 165 was tough. I've decided I'm going to spend a week at 165, then a week at 170, etc., until I can blast through 180 in a few weeks.

Bench was next and I rocked out 165! I am going to be upping the weight on Friday. I'm really proud with how far my bench has come.

Pullups were last and I did 1x8, 1x7 and 3x5. The numbers are slowly getting up there and I'm slowly getting stronger.

We did not do Ab Ripper. The DVD froze and we decided it was a sign that it shouldn't happen.

Tuesday was supposed to be my first day of Muay Thai, so I decided to skip Insanity. However, I got busy at work, had to get some homework done that night and long story short it occurred to me that I really don't have the time to be doing any more activities. As much as I want to do it, Muay Thai will have to wait until my masters is completed. So no workout on Tuesday.

Wednesday morning I decided I've missed enough this week that continuing the week is pointless. That, and I had more homework to do. I did, however, do Starting Strength last night.

Squats were at 165 again and they felt a lot better. I'm finishing out the week at this weight and moving up on Monday. Shoulder press was next, and I did horribly! I completed 120 last week and wanted to repeat this time, but I could only get through 3 sets. I did 1x4 and 1x3 at 115 after that, but somehow my shoulders were shot and I couldn't complete my reps. I'm going to repeat 115 on Monday before getting back to 120. Damn, I'm pissed about the shoulders.

Since the lifts weren't going well last night I decided to repeat 195 on deadlift. As expected, it felt heavy and I'm glad I didn't go up to 200. They weren't bad, but they weren't great deadlifts either. Hopefully next week will be better.

We did finish with ab ripper and actually it was a decent ab ripper day. I'm happy with the work I did in that section and as always I did all 50 mason twists.

So that's my week. I should also say this is my first week of 4 without supplements, so that probably hindered the lifting a little. Still, I'd like to at least be able to maintain my strength when I'm off supplements. Lame.

The plan right now is to finish this week with easy stuff, maybe some cardio at night, and next week repeat week 4 of Insanity. It's not the best plan, but it works. Also with all of the holidays and friends in town my diet has been getting raped, so I'm not really seeing the results I want from Insanity. Monday through Friday are fine, but weekends (and Thanksgivings) make me feel like I'm not getting nearly the results that I want. Plus people keep bringing sweets and soda into the house, and I have absolutely no willpower. None. Somehow my friends don't get that and bring it over anyways. And no this is not one individual at all, its many. It's all of them in fact. I'm not mad at them, but seriously, if there are foods in the house that I shouldn't eat, I'll eat them. It's just that simple. For example, I haven't bought a cookie in probably a year, but I have eaten more cookies in the last year than I can even imagine. Sigh. Someday I'll learn to just say no.

So that's where I'm at. Not sure what else to say for today. Oh, also, happy 11 months to my amazing girlfriend. We're almost to that year mark. I love you!

Bring it!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day: 22, Calories: 0, Insanity Pure Cardio

WorkoutInsanity Pure Cardio
Status: Completed
Good workout, and I'm coming off of a bad diet weekend. Thanksgiving. 4 meals. The biggest was last night with Friendsgiving, the potluck for the friends. We had all sorts of food, and aside from my chicken salad none of it was on the diet.

So I woke up feeling full. Didn't eat much today. Ran errands and spent the day with the girlfriend and then got in the gym at 5:30.

Pure Cardio went well. I definitely take it easier when I'm alone in the gym, but I worked up a hell of a sweat and I was proud with my progress.

WorkoutInsanity Cardio Abs
Status: Not Complete
Cardio Abs did not get done. I've decided that with the doubles schedule I don't like doing abs on a non Starting Strength day. I can do abs twice a day, but if I sleep in between workouts my abs feel rough. Also, I was planning to do day 1 of Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred with the girlfriend. Here's how that went.

WorkoutOther (Use Note Field)
Status: Completed
Day 1 of 30 Day Shred was actually pretty awesome. It's interval training and the workout was pretty hard! It starts with a stretch/warmup for 2 minutes, then 3 intervals. The intervals are 3 minutes of strength training (2 resistance workouts like pushups or shoulder presses while in a lunge done for 45 seconds twice) 2 minutes of cardio (2 exercises done for 30 seconds twice) and 2 30 second ab exercises. Each of the circuits is completely different. It wasn't the hardest workout I've ever done, but it's definitely a great workout. I was sweating really hard and my shoulders got a great burn. I was also impressed with how many pushups I could do in the pushup section.

My girlfriend did amazing! She hasn't had a chance to work out in a while and wants to start training since family is coming for the holidays. She started this program today and I think I'm going to join her as often as I can, Sundays especially. She struggled a little bit, but she never quit and was doing a lot of the same weights as I was! She looked drained by the end, but she had a huge smile on her face. She totally beat day 1, and I think when she realized she could do it and it's only 20 minutes for the whole thing she could see the light at the end of the tunnel. I can't wait to see her progress on this workout and the next two levels. I'm so proud of her!

I'll do cardio and tomorrow, either before the workout or after insanity. I'll keep you posted. The diet is back on!

Bring it!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day: 20, Calories: 0, Insanity Plyometric Cardio Circuit

WorkoutInsanity Plyometric Cardio Circuit
Status: Completed
I got into today's workout feeling tired from thanksgiving, but after a good warmup I got into it and got some good cardio. Overall it was a good workout. However, I skipped the second half because the guys were coming over to play football and do starting strength early.

Status: Completed
First off, we won. I'm terrible at football, but my buddy rod is not and he was our team captain. We played for an hour. It was fun. Too bad we don't have time to play before every workout.

Status: Completed
Starting Strength was the final thing. I did squats at 180 again, but they still feel heavy. I'm taking another break from supplements starting next week, so I'm going to deload again and try to get past 180 once more.

Shoulders were next and I rocked out 5x5 at 120. It was heavy and I'm gonna repeat this, but awesome.

Finished with 5x5 on pullups. No abs for time, which explains the short post today.

Bring it!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Day: 19, Calories: 0, Insanity Cardio Power & Resistance

WorkoutInsanity Cardio Power & Resistance
Status: Completed
Today's workout is in the books. It's Thanksgiving so I got to sleep in a little, but I also had to get my workout in before the first of today's feasts. Yes, multiple feasts today. Multiple feasts today through Saturday in fact. That in mind, I needed today to be a good workout, and man it was. My roommate was home today too, so he tried this workout with me (he said he wanted to work on his endurance).

Because someone else was in the gym, I refused to go easy or modify, and by the end of the warmup I was soaked in sweat. The stretch felt nice, and then the workout happened. It was difficult, but I didn't modify and had a great first half. The second half I was struggling, and I barely did any globe jumps, but overall it was decent too.

I'd give this an A as far as my workouts go. This was the best I've done on this DVD.

Also a shoutout to the roommate. He did really well for his first full Insanity workout. He looked tired but I guess that's the point. Congrats dude!

One more day in week 3. I think I'm gonna get up, do Insanity at 10 and then get starting strength out of the way so I can make it to tomorrow nights feast. I'll let you know how that goes. Wish me and my diet luck!

Happy Thanksgiving folks! Bring it!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day: 17, Calories: 0, Insanity Pure Cardio

Log EntryDaily Note:
We got into Starting Strength last night, and it was a pretty decent night! We started out with some light warmup consisting of hitting the bag and light sparring. Then the heavy stuff came in.

Once again I did 5x5 on squats at 180. I tried this a week ago, and ended up going back down to 175 because it was just too heavy. This time the first set felt really heavy, but sets 2 through 4 went very well. I felt like I was able to go lower than I've been going the last few weeks, and I definitely felt great after that 4th set. The last set was difficult, it was feeling heavy again, but I pushed through. I'm going to repeat this weight on Wednesday, but overall I think I'm getting a lot closer to beating 180 than I was last week.

Shoulder press was next, and once again I completed 5x5 at 115. Before starting this, my roommate suggested that we start doing a warmup set; something he'd read about online. We didn't do them for the squats, but we all did 1 set of 10 with just the bar before getting into shoulder press. I'm not sure if it helped, but I will say shoulder press felt better than it did the other day. The first set, despite doing the warmup, felt heavy. The last four sets felt a lot better, but like squats set 5 did feel heavy. I completed this one and did better than I've done before, so I've decided to see how I'm feeling on Friday. I'm either going up 5 or repeating one more time, and next week I'm for sure moving up to 120.

Chinups were last and I did 1x8 and 4x6. These were really good chinups, great form and I was really proud of them. My original goal was 5x6, but the group talked me into doing a set of 8 and it went very well.

We finished with the usual ab ripper, and that was that.

By the way, I've been thinking about doing the 300 Challenge. My buddy Richard and I said we were going to start doing it in 2012, but he started training for it and I think I might add it to my Sundays too. It's 6 different exercises, 50 reps each for a total of 300 reps. The goal is to do it under 20 minutes.

If I start, I'm cutting all of the reps in half and trying to do 20 minutes with that, then adding 10 reps every time I complete the circuit in under 20 minutes.

The reasoning behind this came from a discussion with my roommate about martial arts and starting strength. He said he can now out muscle anyone his size no problem, but his endurance is crap. Since I'll apparently have the strength when I start Muay Thai soon, working on my endurance would help a lot too and fill in that gap that I expect to have.

I'll keep you posted how that goes.

That was last night. This morning was Insanity....

WorkoutInsanity Pure Cardio
Status: Completed
Another round of Pure Cardio was this morning, and it went very well. The warmup was kicking my ass at first. These early mornings are a pain. But by the end of the warmup I was feeling good, and the stretch felt amazing. Then came the pain...

Overall I'd say it was a good workout. My quads still ache from squats, so I've succumbed myself to modifying during anything deep quad. That's a lot of the Insanity program, but my goal is to get my cardio up, and as long as I'm moving I'm happy with it. The leg stuff that Insanity has in it I don't really want to do, since I'm doing squats three days a week. So modifying is the name of the game, and I'm really happy with how much I was sweating by the end of this.

WorkoutInsanity Cardio Abs
Status: Completed
Cardio Abs closed out the day. I was tired from Pure Cardio, but I pushed through and got through most of this workout. The C-Sit position section was probably the best I've ever done, and my abs were on fire by the end.

When we got to the plank stuff I decided to turn it off. My abs still ached from last night's Ab Ripper, and my girlfriend was leaving for work soon and I wanted to spend time with her, so I called it quits and got to spend about half an hour with my girl. I'd say it was a good trade.

Overall I've had some great workouts this week, and I'm looking forward to continuing that throughout the Thanksgiving week. Speaking of which, wish me and my diet luck this week. There are massive amounts of food to be had, and I must do my best to control myself. Also tonight I'm having sushi with my boss and a client, so I've got to be mindful of the cream cheese rolls. Diet is the name of the game....and this game is set on Difficult!

Bring it!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day: 16, Calories: 0, Insanity Plyometric Cardio Circuit

WorkoutInsanity Plyometric Cardio Circuit
Status: Completed
Pretty decent workout this morning. My chest really hurts today from a base case of the hiccups, but aside from that I pushed through and broke a good sweat. The second half really killed my legs, but overall I think I burned some good calories.

I'm noticing my legs begin to hurt a lot earlier than I get tired. Even after the fit test yesterday, my quads felt like they are bigger than the skin around them, and it's a really tight, exhausted feeling in the muscle. I'm not sure what to do with that.

Oh well. Week 3 has begun. Bring it!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day: 15, Calories: 0, Insanity Fit Test

WorkoutInsanity Fit Test
Status: Completed

I got into the Fit Test and it went pretty well. Every one of my numbers went up; only by a little, but they all went up.

After the workout I did 16 minutes of the Bas Rutten All Around Workout. I felt this would give me the extra boost of cardio I needed for the day (the diet wasn't so hot over the weekend) and get me working on my striking a little bit too.

Overall it was a decent workout.

By the way, Friday I did get into Starting Strength. I squated 175 very well and benched 160 with no problem. Both are going up +5 on Monday. I also did 5x5 on pullups, and we finished with Ab Ripper.

Very good workouts the past few days!

Bring it!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Day: 13, Calories: 0, Insanity Cardio Recovery

WorkoutInsanity Pure Cardio
Status: Completed
I got into Pure Cardio this morning a little after 6:30. For some reason I didn't sleep too well. My arm fell asleep in the middle of the night and that freaked me out, and midway through the night through the morning my legs have been hurting a lot. I think they just aren't used to all of the motion I've been putting them through. Hopefully by next week my body will be used to the work.

So it took me a few minutes to get really into it today. I still have trouble doing anything with my quads above my waist so I modified as usual. When the actual workout started I was feeling a lot better, I zoned out and I pushed through a pretty great workout.

For some reason I didn't sweat very much today. I suppose I can chalk it up to the cold in the gym, and possibly from modifying, but lack of sweat aside I can definitely say I got a good workout. My body felt excellent afterwards.

When it was over I decided to skip the cool down and stretch because Cardio Abs was next, and I don't like cooling down just to get started again.

WorkoutInsanity Cardio Abs
Status: Completed
Cardio Abs was next, and overall it went pretty well. I didn't do the jumps in the beginning because of the quads (eventually I'll have to suck it up and do them) but I did keep moving. The rest of it, the ground stuff, I felt stronger than usual and got a pretty decent ab workout.

Overall it was a good workout day. I still have Starting Strength tonight.

By the way, I looked in the mirror today and I'm noticing a light difference in my stomach size. I still have a huge belly that needs to go away, but the chest looks smaller and the top of the stomach is starting to flatten out.

This weekend I'm planning on sticking to the diet pretty well, unlike last weekend's pizza and wings fest.

One more note, I've decided that I'm going to start training at Tapout. It's an MMA gym that my roommate and my friend both train at. I'm still working out a schedule and plan to do at least one of these: Muay Thai, Judo and Jiu Jitsu. I say plan on one because I'd like to do all three, but I've gotta see what my body can take and what my schedule will allow. I'm still planning on doing Insanity in the mornings and SS on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, but I definitely have time to do at least 2 workouts a week and my ultimate goal is to do 6.

I'll keep you posted how that goes. I'm signing up a week from Monday.

Bring it!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day: 12, Calories: 0, Insanity Cardio Power & Resistance

WorkoutInsanity Cardio Power & Resistance
Status: Completed

Today's workout is completed and I feel really good about it. This morning I got up and felt pretty groggy, but hit play around 6:40. The first round of the warmup went poorly, but I didn't stop. Just no intensity. But the second and third rounds of the warmup I started to feel a lot better and broke a good sweat.

The stretch was the usual stretch. It felt nice though, especially since I bailed on yesterday's stretch.

The actual workout went well. I'm still feeling pain in the squats, probably from squatting with weights less than 12 hours before, and modified a few things. Touch the floors became suicides, squat jumping jacks became regular jumping jacks, etc. But modifying aside it was a very decent workout. I'm pleased with it.

One more day in Week 2, and it's Pure Cardio! I'm ready!

Bring it!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day: 11, Calories: 0, Insanity Cardio Recovery

WorkoutInsanity Cardio Recovery
Status: Not Complete
Alright, I'm just going to say it, I did not do today's recovery workout. There were many reasons why this happened, so I'll give you the lowdown.

First off, I had a paper for school to write, and I got up at 6 as usual to write it. That took up the morning. Then I got stuck at the office much later than usual, which also meant traffic had gotten worse. Then I had to go to the grocery store to get stuff to juice with. Then I got home and realized I don't like this workout very much, and then it was time for starting strength.

So those are my excuses. But I did do SS, and it was a good day. I somehow squared 175 without realizing it, but it felt heavy and I decided to repeat this weight. I had really good form and completed 5x5. I actually think I'm going to repeat this on Friday too.

Shoulder press was next and I did 5x5 at 115. I completed the whole thing, but the last two sets were really heavy. Also my right shoulder popped really weird (I felt it in my neck!) and it wasn't the good kind of pop either. But I did it, so that's awesome. I'll repeat that on Monday.

Deadlift closed the lifting and I got 190 done pretty well. It felt heavy but definitely doable. I'm going to repeat next week. On that note, this is the third time in a row where I did a weight, it was heavy, repeated and then moved up. It's a good cycle, and I'm slowly increasing the max lift. I like it.

We finished with the usual ab ripper and that was that.

Insanity tomorrow. Don't worry, I'll do the actual workouts. The recovery though...hmmm.....

Bring it!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day: 10, Calories: 0, Insanity Plyometric Cardio Circuit

Log EntryDaily Note:
We did starting strength last night as usual. It was a great workout. I did 180 on squats. They were heavy, so I'm going to repeat it, but I did 5x5 and felt pretty good about them. Bench was next at 160. I struggled with this last week, but this time I did all sets and reps. It still felt really heavy so I'm going to repeat it Friday, but still a success.

I finished with chinups. 4x6 and 1x5. Good. Not great, but good. My form is getting a lot stronger.

Ab Ripper closed out the night and that was that.

WorkoutInsanity Plyometric Cardio Circuit
Status: Completed
It's been a good workout week, so today was bound to happen. This morning was not a good workout. I was absolutely exhausted and my legs hurt so much. I pushed as hard as I could, but by the second half I could barely stand. I skipped ahead to the stretch at that point and called it good.

Ya, I don't have much to say about today's workout. Tomorrow is recovery day and I need it.

Bring it!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Day: 9, Calories: 0, Insanity Pure Cardio

WorkoutInsanity Pure Cardio
Status: Completed
Pure Cardio is complete and I feel great. It was a little hard to get started this morning, being Monday and coming off a long weekend, but I hit play at 6:45 and ended up having a really great workout.

My warmup went amazing. I'll be honest, my quads are hurting still from everything lately, and I've decided that for what my goals are I'd rather do more cardio than worrying about strengthening my quads. That said, instead of Heismans I did high knee jogging instead, and doing that I ended up having to not take any breaks in the warmup.

I kept the same mentality in the actual workout, doing fast jumping jacks instead of squat jumping jacks and things like that, and ended up having an amazing workout.

This is the hardest and best DVD in the whole program. It's just burn burn burn and sweat sweat sweat and I love that!

This weekend was rough diet wise. There was a little pizza, a little cheeseburger and a lot of hotwings. Dessert was in there too. My buddy Alex was in town, and I tried my best but the diet got destroyed over the weekend. He's only here a week and it was only this past weekend I was worried about, so hopefully I can get back on the horse today. So far I'm a veggie juice in and feeling good.

That's my story. Tonight is SS. Should be fun as always.

Bring it!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day: 8, Calories: 0, Insanity Cardio Power & Resistance

Log EntryDaily Note:
Alright, I'm writing this Monday even though it says Sunday. I cheated. I threw a quick blog post in here and decided to actually write the real thing today (Monday). That's beside the point.

First off, Friday night we did Starting Strength. It was a great lifting day for me! We did the usual warmup/stretch/screwing around the gym thing, and then got into squats. I moved up 5 lbs (I think it was 170) and I was really pleased with the squats. I'll be adding 5 lbs to that on Monday (today).

Shoulder press was next and I wrapped up 110 pretty nicely. It was weird, since this is where I started when I moved to 5 sets and couldn't finish this. This time it really wasn't a struggle. Good form and everything. No bouncing. It was nice. So I'll be moving up to 115 on Wednesday.

I finished with pullups and did 5x5. The last two sets were iffy on the last two reps, but overall they were good. I'm really trying to get the kips out of these, and as hard as that is the benefits are amazing.

Ab Ripper closed the night and it was a good ab ripper day. 50 mason twists as always, and more importantly this is the first time we did an entire week of ab ripper! Great job team!

So that was Friday. The rest of the weekend I ate very poorly. There's info on that in the next post (see the actual Monday post). However, I am back on the wagon today and feeling great!

Also on Sunday I did Cardio Power & Resistance from Insanity. Here's how that went...

WorkoutInsanity Cardio Power & Resistance
Status: Completed
Good workout. This is one of my favorites from month one. Partly because it's not as cardio heavy as the others (I hate cardio) but mostly because this is the muscle building one in the first month. It's all body weight exercises, and I believe that a physically fit person should be able to lift their body from any position. This is perfect.

I toned down the squat stuff a little so I wouldn't hurt my legs anymore, which kept my heartrate up (less breaks). I think I'll be doing that in most of the workouts from now on. My quads are getting worked in squats in SS, and my goal with Insanity is cardio anyways. However, this workout I still worked my shoulders and chest a lot with all of the pushups (V-Pushups for shoulders).

Overall it was a great workout, though nutrition for the day could have been better which would have made this easier. Oh well, it's over and I'm moving forward. Week 2 has begun and I'm making progress!

Bring it!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Day: 6, Calories: 0, Insanity Plyometric Cardio Circuit

WorkoutInsanity Plyometric Cardio Circuit
Status: Completed
Done. Week 1 is done. My legs hurt so much. In fact, that's where 90% of today's problems came from.

I got started with the warmup, and despite being tired I managed to do alright. Those damn heismans though screwed with my legs. My quads ache! That was the only time I had to take breaks on the warmup.

The stretch went decent, but at that point I was really feeling the week's worth of work. Then came the actual workout. Overall I did decent on the first circuit. I couldn't handle the squats and opted for jumping jacks instead. Again, damn quads.

The second circuit I was struggling to survive. It wasn't a matter of cardio, it was endurance. My legs ached so bad, and going into squats for basketball shots, going up and down for level one drills, and bringing the legs in and out while in plank for side ab somethings and in and outs was painful. I took a lot of breaks and struggled my way through the end of this.

The punching at the end felt good since I could use my arms fine, and that was the end of week 1.

I still have SS tonight, but I really enjoy lifting and tomorrow is a day off!

I really hope by the end of next week my legs are used to all of the work. I know they'll be able to handle it eventually and then I can hold my own and get more cardio.

On the diet side I've done really well this week. Aside from a little Greek yogurt in a chicken salad I haven't had any dairy, and all fruits, veggie juice and nuts during the day with a little veggies, carbs and protein at night. Protein shakes after SS too. I think I'm seeing a little weightloss in the mid section but I can't be sure.

I'll let you know how tonight goes. Also my buddy Alex is in town and he wants to do a buffet tomorrow. Wish me luck with that too.

Bring it!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Day: 5, Calories: 0, Insanity Pure Cardio

Log EntryDaily Note:
Last night we got a late start, but we did starting strength. I moved up 5 lbs on squats and they felt good (even though my quads are dying today) so I'm planning on adding another 5 tomorrow.

Bench did not go as well. I was on 160 and the first four sets were fine, but the last one I couldn't get the fifth rep. Im guessing the pushups from Insanity are a factor, but either way I'm going to repeat this on Monday.

We finished with dead lifts. I did 190. It felt heavy but I did it. I'll repeat next week before I move up.

After that we did ab ripper. I didn't eat enough yesterday and got dizzy towards the end. I skipped the leg climbs and mason twists, but I'm still happy with the workout.

It's week 18 for SS and it's almost over. Crazy.

That was last night. This morning I woke up for Pure Cardio, and here's how that went...

WorkoutInsanity Pure Cardio
Status: Completed
Well, it wasn't as bad as I remember. That said, my quads were killing me from squats last night and there was a lot that I physically wasn't able to do in this workout. Anything with a squat felt like a knife was going through my leg!

I made it through most of the warmup, but surprisingly the Heismans got me. This is when I noticed the quads were hurting. That was really the only time I had to take a break during the warmup, but I did it all three times.

After that the stretch went alright, and the workout was good but not great. The thing with squats or jumps (which is about half of the workout) I did a few, took a break and then modified. I did a lot of jogging in place, but power jacks turned into regular jumping jacks, so not everything was just jogging.

Overall I'd say I did ok but not much better than that. Hopefully next week my quads will be used to Insanity and Starting Strength so I can do better on this DVD.

One more day in week 1. Bring it!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Day: 4, Calories: 0, Insanity Cardio Recovery

WorkoutInsanity Cardio Recovery
Status: Completed

Well, I forgot about this workout. It's really not my favorite at all. It's basically what you'd imagine to get if you asked a former track star to lead a stretch. The whole consists of a stretch, which somehow turns into a cardio exercise or an endurance exercise (a lot of isometric stuff), and right as your about to break a sweat it goes back into stretch. It felt good to stretch, but I feel like I never get enough of a stretch from this workout.

That all said, this is one of the harder workouts in the program. The isometric stuff is hard (like holding the squat), and especially since this is the middle of the week, meaning my legs are sore from all of the Insanity from the past few days, it's a really difficult workout. I had to take more breaks than usual today which I didn't like.

So it's not a stretch, but it is. And it's definitely a hard workout. I will say that after the workout and right now my legs feel better than they've felt all week, so I guess it worked.

I think I'm going to try and get another actual stretch in before tonight's Starting Strength. I'll let you know how it goes.

By the way, I haven't confirmed this on the calendar, but I'm pretty sure tomorrow is Pure Cardio, the absolute hardest disc in Insanity. Wish me luck!

Bring it!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day: 3, Calories: 0, Insanity Cardio Power & Resistance

Log EntryDaily Note:
Last night was the first time I did Starting Strength during Insanity. We started with squats. I did 5x5 at 165. My legs were tired from the workout that morning, but surprisingly the squats went very well. I'll be adding 5 lbs on Wednesday. My roommate suggested on focus on my breathing more in squats, and to still have air to inhale when I get to the bottom. That's been helping my squats a lot. Hopefully I can get past some hurdles with this mindset on squats.

Shoulder press was next. I did 5x5 at 105. For some reason these feel a lot heavier than when I was doing 3 sets. I completed them and will be moving back up to 110 on friday, but for some reason I don't have the best feeling about shoulder press.

Last was chinups. My goal was 5x6 and that's what I did. All were good form. Straight up and straight down.

We finished with ab ripper. I think we'll be doing ab ripper after every SS workout. Should be fun.

That was last night. Today is Insanity (see below) and dinner with my beautiful girlfriend and homework.

WorkoutInsanity Cardio Power & Resistance
Status: Completed
Alright, today did not go as smoothly as yesterday. My calves feel very shot this morning, and unfortunately this workout has a lot of squats.

The warmup was a challenge with the power jacks and vertical jumps. Those are basically jumping jacks from a squat and jumping straight in the air respectively. Considering the calves, these were poor and forced me to take about 4 short breaks during the warmup. Each break was literally a rep, but it wasn't as good as yesterday which is a letdown.

Stretch went well. Then came the sets. Same problem as the warmup. This thing has squats all over the place. Power jumps (squats to a squat in the air), globe jumps and even touch the floors were very difficult. Painful, not tired hard. Well, maybe a little tired hard. All three of those weren't happening very well, so I chose to just jog in place so I'd still get cardio.

There's a lot of pushups in here too. I did a lot of pushups and all of them were strong and solid, but after lifting last night I didn't do as many as I'd have liked.

Overall I'll give today's workout a B. Not great, but not bad either. I can't wait for recovery tomorrow morning.

Bring it!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Day: 2, Calories: 0, Insanity Plyometric Cardio Circuit

WorkoutInsanity Plyometric Cardio Circuit
Status: Completed
Plyo cardio circuit is completed for the day! I definitely did better today than the first time I did this workout back in February. I made it through the entire warmup which is a huge achievement! The first circuit I held on for about 90 percent of it (going from the power squats to the mountain climbers got me today and I needed a short break). The last circuit was pretty pitiful, but that's ok. Today was a great start back into the world of Insanity.

My legs really hurt right now. It's going to be a tough day, and tonight is starting strength. Welcome to the next 9 weeks of my life.

Today is also my first day at the new job. I'll give you more info on that as the week moves on. It's also the first day of work for my beautiful girlfriend and my friends Felicia and Anjelica. Good luck everyone!

Gym, I'll see you tonight! Bring it!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Day: 1, Calories: 0, Insanity Fit Test

Log EntryDaily Note:
It's time to begin Insanity once again. I'm excited to use my old Bring It app which has the whole schedule saved for me on my phone and this handy update the blog feature. And there's the cool little graphics you see on the left there. Good stuff.

First off, Friday we did Starting Strength. I was going out to celebrate with some friends about my last day at the office, so we got started early, like around 5. Not everyone could make it that early, and I felt bad about that, but those who made it still got a good workout and I got out of the gym early.

Squats I did 5x5 at 160. They felt good and I think I'm going to add 5 lbs on Monday. Bench was next and I completed 5x5 at 160. This felt heavy, so even though I finished it I'm going to repeat it on Wednesday. Pullups were last. I hadnt done pullups in 2 weeks and my numbers were pretty low. All 5 sets were 5 or less reps. But it still felt good to rep them out.

We skipped abs and that was that. No more skipping abs though. We decided that starting Monday we are doing ab ripper after every workout.

Now its Sunday and time to begin Insanity. I'm eating clean starting today (I've been eating well for the last two months, but today I cut out dairy completely and making a few more modifications to the diet). 60 days from now...I can do it!

WorkoutInsanity Fit Test
Status: Completed
Wow, welcome back Insanity. I was not prepared for you at all! The fit test was today, and it was more difficult than I remembered. I got started around 9am today (today is daylight savings time so it felt like 10) and went into the gym. I got through the warmup with no breaks (today is the easiest warmup in the program) and then went into the moves. My numbers pretty much all went down from the last time I did this, but last time was my last day of Insanity. I didn't actually have my very first original numbers, but I'm pretty sure today's numbers were higher than those.

Overall I'm still in decent shape, but not where I was when I finishes Insanity 4 months ago. My strength is doing well, but cardio is pretty much gone. And allergies have been acting up, and it's cold in the garage, so breathing was difficult. But these are not excuses; they are challenges. This time I'm going to do it all correctly. 60 days with good cardio, weight lifting (starting strength) and eating very clean. Let's do it!

Time to make a veggie juice. Bring it!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

More Starting Strength

Alright, we're deep in Week 17 and last night we added the 5x5 to shoulder press too. Here's how it went down.

We started with squats. I did 5x5 at 160. My legs were still feeling rough from Monday (which means the 5x5 is keeping my muscles in pain...that's a good thing) so this felt really heavy. I did well, but I'm going to repeat this on Friday before moving on.

Shoulder press was next. I started with 110 and did 3x5 and 1x4. This was really feeling heavy, especially since I hadn't done shoulder press in almost two weeks, so the final set I did 105. Unfortunately I only got 4 reps. I'll be starting with 105 on Monday to do all 5 sets.

I have decided I don't like the upright rows and opted out of them. I did a little extra shoulder work on the machines, and then got into deadlift. It'd been a while, so I did 185 lbs for 1x5. I completed it, but again it felt heavy (the legs being tired didn't help). I'm debating adding 5 lbs next week just to move up. We'll see.

We finished with ab ripper, and man oh man was it ever hard! But we did it, and as always I got through all 50 mason twists (barely). The rest I had to take some breaks though.

So that's yesterday. I'm debating light cardio tonight, but it'll probably end up being sushi instead. Just a few more days until I start Insanity again!

Bring it!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wow, what happened the last few weeks?

Ok, I haven't posted in 2 weeks! Wow, I didn't realize it was that long until I logged in today. Let's do a recap.

The Friday and Monday after I last posted I did more lifting with Starting Strength. I don't remember my numbers, but they were average.

All of last week I was in Walt Disney World for my best friend's wedding. It was an awesome trip. However, I need to get my cardio going again. We walked about 4 miles a day, and by day 3 my feet and legs HURT! It was a rough week for that reason.

I got back from the trip on Monday and got home just in time for lifting. This is the week that I started doing 5x5 instead of 3x5, and wow it's really a difference! I started with squats, 5x5 at 155. I dropped weight to get there, but my squats were really low and I feel like the 5 sets made a world of difference. After that I did Romanian Deadlifts, 5x5 at 45 lbs. I'm really liking these, since they're working muscles that really need to get worked. I'm repeating 45 next week before I move up.

Bench was next and I did 5x5 at 155. This felt a tiny bit light, but it was a good place to start. My chest has been feeling excellent (in pain) ever since, so I know I did good work. I'm going to add 5 lbs on Friday.

Chinups were last and I did 2x6, 1x5 and 2x4. 5 sets is going to be difficult with these, especially since I took the kips out, but they're going to be so much better for me so I'm excited.

I finished with a very quick ab workout and went to dinner because I had not eaten the entire day (it was a long plane ride).

So here's where I'm at. Tonight is Starting Strength, and again on Friday. Sunday I begin Insanity again and this time I'm going to make it work great! Starting Sunday my diet will consist of 2 vegetable juices per day (one for breakfast and one for lunch), a protein shake (powder and water), a few raw fruits and nuts to get me through the day (mostly fruit) and lean protein with a veggie at night. Maybe some light carbs too. I am officially cutting out dairy as of Sunday too. This will be the hardest part because I love cream sauces and I love cheese. But it's only 60 days. After that I might ease back into dairy, but for the moment this is the plan.

So that's where I'm at. Sunday everything kicks into high gear! Also Monday I start a new job that I'm pretty excited about. More info on that as it gets closer.

Lifting tonight! Bring it!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wednesday's Workout

We did more Starting Strength last night. I wasn't feeling 100% for some reason (I'd been playing video games for most of the afternoon and getting off the couch sounded super lame) so that impacted me. Here's how it went down.

The 200 lb squats have been pissing me off, so I opted for 195 instead. I did 3x5 and they felt pretty good.

Shoulder press was next. I did 1x5 at 120, and somewhere in there I tweaked my neck the wrong way. I dropped down to 115 and did 3 reps, but after that I realized my neck was too sore and I called it quits on those. I like shoulder press a lot and didn't want to stop, but hurting myself is something I do not want to do.

I did upright rows after that. I did 1x5 at 70 lbs, which was 5 lbs more than last week. My neck really hurt from those too, so I decided to do 2 more sets at 65 lbs. I like these a lot, but ya, if my neck hurts there's no reason to push it.

We finished with deadlift and I did 195 lbs. I am so proud of the progress I've made on deadlifts since changing the form and dropping weight. Eventually these are going to get back up there!

My neck was really starting to hurt so we skipped abs and called it good. We'll do Ab Ripper on Friday to make up for it.

Next week I won't get to do deadlift because of the vacation, so hopefully the week after I'll still be able to do 195. Also that week I start my 5x5 sets. I'm getting really excited about these. A few weeks ago I was talking about owning a weight before I move up, and I never really saw that all the way through. I'm thinking with 5x5 instead of 3x5, if I can do 5 sets I will definitely own a weight and can move up. I'm really excited!

Also, the Sunday after that is when I'm starting Insanity again and I'm pumped for that too. My diet is great lately and I just need more cardio. Insanity will get me there.

So one random thing, I'm following a new blog now called Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit. Basically this ridiculously ripped personal trainer started an experiment in May. He stopped working out and started eating all of the garbage that I used to eat (pizza rules!) and since then has put on almost 70 lbs. He has another week of this weight-gain phase and then he's going to lose it all again. He said he's been training people for a long time, but he's never actually had to go through what they go through; he's just always been fit. I think this is awesome and I wish this guy all of the luck in the world. His weight-loss phase starts pretty soon and I can't wait to see his progress. His goal is to lose it all in the same 6 month time frame it took him to put it on, and if he can do it I know I can do it! I've made so much progress in the last year, and by the end of year 2 I want to be where my goals have put me.

Good luck dude!

Bring it!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Week 15 has begun!

We got started on Week 15 last night of Starting Strength. Here's how it went down.

The usual 10 minutes of warmup hitting the bag and stretching happened, and then we got into squats. I did 3x5 at 200. Again, these felt really heavy, but I got a lot lower. I think I'm going to stick with 200 for the week since next week I'm not working out much.

After that I tried out the Romanian Deadlifts. These are the ones that use the lower back to lift instead of the legs. I was hesitant to do them since they are so rough on the lower back, but doing them will also strengthen the lower back, so I decided to give them a go. I did 3x5 at 35 lbs. Not a lot of weight, but I definitely felt them. I decided to see how I was feeling today to see if I will keep them, and today I feel pretty good, so expect to hear updates about Monday's Romanian's from now on.

Bench was next and I did 2x5 and 1x3 at 175. For some reason this weight is really killing me, but I made a little progress. Hopefully I can finish this up on Friday, but we'll see!

Chinups were the last thing. I did 1x8, 1x7 and 1x6. Those numbers are lower than normal, but I read an interesting article on kipping yesterday. Kipping is where you use your body and momentum to get yourself up above the bar. This is bad. Aside from the fact that you don't work the right muscles (remember the problem I had with shoulder press a few weeks ago?) there's potential for hurting the shoulders with the whipping motion. So yesterday I focused on no kips, using only my arms to pull myself up. So even though the numbers were lower, the actual reps were really good and my arms felt great at the end.

We finished with 50 situps, 2 sets of leg lifts and 30 mason twists. It was a good workout.

Tonight there's no time for cardio; the girlfriend has family in town and that's important to her, so I guess I'll just get into cardio after the trip next week. Someday I'll make time for me again, I'm just not sure when.

So two quick updates.

First off, the problems I'm running into with the squats being stuck at 200 and the bench being stuck at 175 I think will be completely cured by switching to 5x5 in two weeks. I'll obviously have to lower the weight on a lot of these (probably all in fact, except deadlift, which is staying at 1x5), but if I can build muscle in 3 sets instead of 1 (remember, the first 2 don't count) then I should be good to build more strength and get over hurdles faster!

Second, I have some downtime coming up with the layoff. I'm not sure how long I'll be unemployed (hopefully not long, but next week's trip has made looking for a new gig pretty difficult), but while I'm on it I think I'm going to do Insanity again. Last time I did Insanity I felt great but the diet was garbage. Right now my diet is great (losing weight!!!) but I'm not doing enough cardio. So the plan right now is on Nov. 6th I will start Insanity all over again and close out 2011 right! I'll keep you posted on that.

Also, budget wise I don't think I'll be able to join Tapout. $100/month just isn't in the budget. However, I am looking at the Tapout Fitness Club at Gold's Gym, which has limited MMA classes and it's only $50/month. Again, I'm not sure if that's in the budget, but if it is I may be able to start learning jiu jitsu, just not at the place I wanted.

So that's where I'm at. I need to get cardio back into my life and I can't lose sight of my goals. Wish me luck!

Bring it!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Yoga Sunday

It took a little pushing, but last night I was in the gym doing yoga at 5:30! My original goal was 4pm, but better late than never. I started with a yoga video from hulu, but the video crapped out. I then used another yoga video from hulu. This one was a lot more relaxing and focused on flexibility and relaxation than anything else. I made it through about 30 minutes of that when my phone went off about half a dozen times. Normally I ignore my phone completely during workouts, but that many missed calls/texts had me wondering what was going on. I paused the DVD and checked the phone, and found out that people were coming over to watch the Vikings/Bears game, and they were all at my house trying to get in. I unlocked the door and let everyone in (this sort of thing happens a lot at my house) and went back in to yoga. At this point I wanted to get done quickly, and I decided to do something yoga video!

I've done enough yoga at this point that I can guide myself through a good flow series. Here's how it went down.

3 Sun Saluations
Right side:
Runner's Pose
Warrior 1
Warrior Half
Warrior 1
Warrior 2
Reverse Warrior

then I repeated that on my left side.

Chair pose for 1 minute.

Then I did 1 more flow series:
Right side:
Runner's Pose
Warrior 1
Warrior 2
Right Angle Pose
Warrior 2
Twisting Triangle Pose
Warrior 2
Warrior 1

Repeat on the left side.

After that I did 1 minute of Tree Pose on each leg, and then 30 seconds of Warrior 3 on each side.

After that I called it good. My own yoga flow series took about 20 minutes and I focused really hard on breathing and holding everything for at least two full breaths. It was a good workout.

So that was my yoga day. The Bears game was pretty good, and I finished the night with a vegetable juice and some frozen pizza. Good times.

Tonight is Starting Strength. I realized that next week I'm only going to be able to workout on Monday since after that I'm heading to Disneyworld for my best friend's wedding. With that in mind, the following Monday I will be back in the gym and that's the day I'm going up to 5x5 on all of my lifts. That means this is the last week I do 3x5 (except for next Monday of course).

Also a quick note, I had vacation days already scheduled before the layoff, so today is my official last Monday at my office! Weird.

Anyways, that's all I've got. By the way, tonight at midnight Batman Arkham City comes out and I'm stoked! It's going to be awesome!

Bring it!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Wrapping up Week 14

First off, I want to say that I'm writing this blog because I don't feel like doing homework right now. I just wanted to note that.

Last night we wrapped up Week 14 of Starting Strength. I'm going to give this workout a B+. Here's how it went down.

Squats were first, and I did 3x5 at 200 again. It still feels heavy. Much much heavier than 195. I'm not sure why I can't go much lower. I'm probably going to repeat it again on Monday, but I also might not (I'll get to that after the workout recap).

On shoulder press, we decided to go from lightest to heaviest to mix it up, so I was last. Instead I did my pullups (1x9, 1x8 and 1x7) and curls. Curls were troublesome. I did the first set at 85 lbs, and only managed 4 reps. My right forearm felt like it was about to snap off. This was only 5 lbs more than last week, but it hurt. And it didn't hurt my biceps; it hurt my forearms! I need to do some research, but I may need to find a better way to do curls than what I have been doing.

Shoulder press was last, and I did 3x5 at 120. Once again I used great form, no legs or back, and it felt good. This is finally starting to feel really heavy again. I think I'm repeating 120 on Wednesday before moving up, but I'm expecting to hit a wall on shoulder press soon. I really like that I've fixed the form; I'm noticing much more gains.

So two quick things going through the brain lately. First off, I think my arms are getting smaller. Everyone else says they're getting bigger, but I think they're smaller. After some examination, I'm seeing that I'm losing arm fat (ya, arm fat, who knew?) which is shrinking the arm overall, but it's also making them more defined. I still want them bigger, but they're starting to look good.

Second, I read an interesting article on strength gains the other day. It basically said that your body doesn't really start building muscle on a program like this until the 3rd set, which is where all of the gains come from. They suggest that 4-8 sets will mean you get way more growth. On that note, there's a program that's similar to Starting Strength called Stronglifts 5x5. They're very similar in lifts (in fact it has barbell rows in it, which I want to do!), but the big difference is everything is 5x5 instead of 3x5. With those two things in mind, I'm thinking of switching everything from 3x5 to 5x5. This would mean dropping about 10 lbs on most of my lifts to catch up, but I think I'm going to do it. I'm debating between starting Monday or two weeks from Monday. I'm leaning towards this Monday, especially since the week after I won't be able to lift at all (long story. I'll fill you in later).

So that's where I'm at. I'll keep you posted on the decisions. Still not sure about my right forearm, but it feels better now. Who knows....

Bring it!

Thursday, October 13, 2011's lame

Alright, I'm going to admit it. There's too much going on in my life, and I am tired. Man, I want to work out tonight but my legs, back and brain are dying. I'll get to that in a moment.

Last night we made progress in Starting Strength. Here's how it went down.....

First off, we have a new recruit in our weight lifting group. Rod is joining us on most nights now and it's fun having new people in the garage. He started last Friday, but since I've been out of the routine the last few workouts this was the first time we got to lift together. He's kind of doing his own thing with all of the equipment I have, but he's joining us for a few lifts which is cool.

I got into squats at 200. This felt heavy. They weren't terrible squats, but they weren't my best either. I did all 3 sets, but I'm repeating this Friday and possibly Monday too so I can focus on getting lower.

After that was bench, and I moved up to 175. I don't understand....a few weeks ago when I dropped weight I dropped down to 175 and had no problem. After that I started the 100 pushup thing, and being tired from that I had to go down to 165. I've since stopped doing the pushups (ya, I know...I'll start that program again soon, I promise), but last night 175 was freakin' difficult. I finished with 1x5, 1x4 and 1x3. When the muscles stopped, they stopped. It felt like I was pushing against a wall. As far as progress goes those are good numbers to start 175 with, but considering I've completed 175 before with good form before going down in weight I'm pretty upset overall. Hopefully I can blast through 175 next week and can move up to 180.

Incidentally I think bench is my best exercise. It's the only one where I lift more than anyone else in the group, and I really do go all the way to my chest and all of the way back up. I'm proud of that part.

There was some downtime after that since I'm usually the first one to do bench (we start with the heaviest weight and go down), and Rod was using the curl bar to do upright rows. I tried a set and realized that this was using muscles that I wasn't actively working. I decided to do 2 more sets, all 3 at 65 lbs, and focused on going slow and only using my arms....the same mentality as the shoulder press. These felt good, and 65 lbs surprised me for being so heavy. I don't know how or why, but these are now my 4th exercise for Wednesdays. I'm planning on adding 5 lbs next week and working my way up. They're awesome because they use different muscles, focus on a pulling motion, and they don't require a spotter. Perfect!

We finished with deadlifts. I did 185 again, and this time they felt pretty good. Still heavy, but I felt much stronger than last week and I'm planning on moving up 10 lbs next week. I'm so proud of my form on these. Seriously, I've come a long way! Incidentally, Vince lifted 315 last night! It was ridiculous. Good for him! He had to bring over 4 more 45's so we could get there, but we did. He said he's moving up 5 lbs next week. I wish him luck!

After that we did Ab Ripper X. Overall it was a good ab ripper day. The gang all felt sore and there were moans and groans throughout, but we did it. It was one of my stronger ab rippers overall, and as always I did my 50 mason twists.

Only one more day in Week 14!

So a few quick updates. First off, while I was writing this Rod texted me and said his body was in an absurd amount of pain from yesterday. Good for you Rod! Welcome to my world!

Second, due to the downtime of waiting for others to finish their sets, I want to add in more exercises, specifically on Mondays. Right now I have curls on Fridays and as of yesterday I have upright rows on Wednesdays. The more weight I've been adding to deadlift and squats, the more I think I need to strengthen my lower back. That said, I think Monday I'm going to try and possibly add in Romanian Deadlifts. These are the opposite of a regular deadlift. They are all back. You start with your body shaped like the number 7, holding the weight straight down. Then you come straight up, only using your lower back to lift you. They have to be done extremely slowly and controlled, and I have to use a lot less weight than any other lift. But, I think these will get my lower back stronger and feeling better. And I can use the curl bar, so I can do them on the side while everyone else is finishing something else. So ya, Monday I will be adding those in, and if I like them they will stay.

On that note, I'd also like to get barbell rows in there somewhere too. These are also done with your body shaped like the number 7, but from there you use all arms and upper back, bringing the bar to your chest just like a benchpress, except with gravity in reverse. We'll see how those go though. With the upright rows they may not be necessary. I'll keep you posted.

Third and finally, this week has been taxing on me. I realize I've been making excuses lately, but tonight may be one of those excuse nights. I just don't feel like doing cardio, On that note, I just hosted my biggest, best, and sadly last job fair ever. This is my favorite event at work and I'm always so proud of it. But due to the company changes, today was my last one, and I'm glad it went out with a bang! It was huge! I had so many employers and I was so proud. But from that I'm really tired (spent the whole day on my feet going up and down stairs) and I followed it up with a fat burrito for lunch that my boss was cool enough to buy us. So I'm ready for a nap tonight. Also I have homework, so cardio is probably not gonna happen.

So that's where I'm at. Cardio needs to happen soon, but probably not tonight. But soon. And tomorrow is more lifting. Ya!

Bring it!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Week 14 Begins

Last night was the wedding, and that was pretty fun. I didn't want to miss my workout though, so after the dancing and all of that jazz kicked in it was time to leave. Honestly, I wasn't feeling well either. I've been eating pretty clean lately, and as tasty as all of the food was there was so much butter and it screwed with my stomach. Incidentally, mashed potato bar is a genius idea!

So I got home after 9, but the gang was just wrapping up their workout and were cool enough to spot me. I did 3x5 at 195 on squats, and it honestly felt pretty good (minus the butter curdling in my stomach. I'm planning on moving up to 200 tomorrow!

I did shoulder press at 115, again with no bounce. I rocked those out too, and am so proud with my progress on shoulders. Taking out the bounce really used all of the muscles! I'm planning on moving up to 120 on Friday.

I finished with chinups. 2x9 and 1x7. Not bad numbers, especially considering I blasted out the shoulder press right before it.

Overall it was a good workout, but with the food in the stomach and the late start time it wasn't my best. I'm looking forward to making some more progress this week though.

After the workout the butter wasn't sitting well, and a lot of things in life have really gone to shit which is making me stressed. I sat on the couch for an hour, and when I got up my lower back was in immense pain. I was having trouble walking, and then my stomach started to hurt, and then stress got to my head. It was a rough night of sleep that ended way too early since I had to get some freelance work done, and this morning was a very rough morning. I couldn't even think about food, let alone a veggie juice, so I skipped breakfast.

With all of that said, I did manage to eat some bananas today and made it home for a healthy veggie juice. However, I'm still not feeling very well, my back hurts still and my head throbs more and more every time I think about all of the crap in my life right now. I'm not normally a complainer (or maybe I am and don't know it), but I've gotta get some things under control before I move forward with the whole Fat Free Jew mentality. Tonight I'm going to skip cardio and sit on the couch, eat some food, play some video games and relax. Hopefully tomorrow I'm feeling better.

Anyways, that's my story. I need the break tonight, but I have to make a conscious effort to ensure this is not the routine. I refuse to be lazy and soft, especially with unemployment coming up, and working out is going to keep my life positive! Thursday I will be in that gym working my ass off! And tomorrow I will do 200 on squats, 175 on bench and hopefully up the deadlift!

Bring it!