Friday, May 27, 2016

Wrapping up Week 5

Week 5 is in the books, except I didn't do Friday Fight. I slept in.

Well, only slightly. My alarm went off about 40 minutes late. So, I rushed out of bed, got a quick preworkout drink in, and did Max Out 15. It was the best I could do. Sadly, just waking up and running into the gym, I didn't have the energy I wanted. So, mediocre workout and it wasn't even the real workout.

Fortunately, I got a good walk in at lunch. I guess that makes up a little, right?

Well, I should mention that diets and weight loss are still super lame. I was pissed last night about the 190ish I hit yesterday, and said f it at dinner. I ate carbs. I even had seconds. I figure I'll cheat in diet but not portions for the next few days, then get back on track next week. But ya, said screw it and ate. Now, this morning, I knew the scale was probably going to go up, but I figured I should still weigh myself. So, I did....


Seriously?! I went down 2 lbs!? I cheated on my diet! Ya, this makes no sense. So, whatever. I'm going back to my old system. Monday, goal is to go down .5 lbs. 187.7, I'll see you on Monday!

Long weekend coming up. Diet's going to be what it is (see above) but I'm hoping to get some excellent workouts in. Wish me luck!

Bring it!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Frustrated at the Plateau

I've plateaud. This whole week, weight loss has been a struggle. I haven't ballooned up, no, but I haven't lost either. I set a goal for myself on Tuesday for this Friday: 186.5. Honestly, I think that number's impossible for me now. I was 189.4 yesterday, and today I was 190.2. I've kept the diet clean and in check, and even went through and did a double check on my calories. I'm coming in right around (slightly under) the 2K mark/day, which is right where I should be.

Ok, this is getting depressing. Here's some positives....

Yesterday morning I got up and did Max Out Sweat from Max:30. I've said before, this is the best workout in the entire program, and once again that held true. It kicked my ass royally, and this wasn't my best workout, but B+ region for sure. I was soaked and feeling good about Month 2 when I got out of the gym (home office).

Walk yesterday was sub par, but not terrible. There was a work event on the other side of the building, so rather than go for my usual long 2.5+ mile walk, I just took the long way to get to the other side of the building. The long way being a literal city block, and I live in a city where city blocks are humongous, so that was good.

This morning I hit play on what I've cleverly titled as Total Body Short 1. I swear I'm clever, just not so much with these workout titles. This one I've done before, it's my 40 minute Body Beast combo workout. And it went really well. My squats have gotten a ton stronger, and I think I lifted a lot of weight on every lift. It felt really good. I was tired by the time I got to Beast Abs, and I wanted to have a few extra minutes with my little girl before going into the office, so I only did half, but overall today's workout was easily an A!

Diet's been clean today too (about to eat a salad here shortly, kind of excited about that, it's got gorgonzola in it!) and I just got back from an ok walk. Not my best, purely for time. I was talking to a coworker on my way out the door and didn't have time for my full long walk, but I'm still well over 8K steps for the day and definitely on my way to 10K.

So talking why I'm not losing on the scale, there's a few reasons I'm reading about. One obvious one is muscle growth. Yes, I'm adding muscle, but the math I'm seeing I should still see the number go down, just slowly. There's no way I've gained 3 lbs of muscle in a week. Also my waist has stopped shrinking, which is another way of tracking loss while building muscle, so I'm again saying that's not it. Two, I might just be in a slump. This totally happens. Carbs one day on a cheat can help reset me, we've seen that before. I did that last weekend, but really it was one meal and I think I can do better. Planning some good cheats over the weekend - I might even cheat all weekend, treat next week as a wash as I get back into ketosis, and then get really see weight loss in Week 7 of my program. Three, there might be some hidden carbs in what I'm eating, but then again I'm still keeping the calories in check so who knows.

Anyways, I'm sad about the weight loss (or lack there of), but not devastated by any means. My third round the weight loss won't be in the 20+ range like before, there's no way at this point. But, I'm feeling good about my lifting and, more importantly, my health. No matter what I'm going to finish the summer with my current plan, then reevaluate in August. Just gotta keep pressing on.

Alright, that's my story. Wish me luck moving forward!

Bring it!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Good updates, minus me still hating scales

Alright, lots of good updates, and some negative (or not so negative number wise) scale updates.

First off, I cheated a little on Friday. Ok, I cheated a lot. There was cake. I figured I'd cheat Friday night and keep it clean the rest of the weekend.

Woke up Saturday feeling good. I finished programming my total body lifting workout in PowerPoint, and hit play. And once again, I absolutely loved it! Finished up in just under an hour and a half, hit every body part several times, and lifted heavy. It was great! Quick exercise of note: there's a stiff leg split leg deadlift exercise from Build Legs that was in there. I remember thinking the first time I ever did this exercise "what the heck does this work?" and then coming away feeling absolutely terrible (in a good way). And I had the exact same reaction this time. "What a dumb exercise" immediately followed by "Oh GOD!!! My hamstrings!!!" As I write this three days later, I'm still feeling it!

Sunday was the real start of my revised Max:30 schedule, and Max Out Cardio was on the menu. My legs were still feeling it from the day before, and overall I didn't have the world's best workout. It wasn't terrible, but maybe C+ B- region. Eventually my legs will get used to doing this kind of cardio the day after a heavy lifting session, so I'm not too worried. I'll get there. I will say, those Month 2 workouts never cease to amaze me. They're killer!

Monday I was right back at it lifting heavy. This was my first Monday big lifting day, the first of the 16 week block I'm on. And lift heavy I did! Everything got worked, and I had a major pump in my arms when it was all done. I got to take the wife and daughter out for the day (baby doctor appointment, lunch, mommy group, exciting stuff all around) and I actually felt good wearing a shirt that was tight in the arms. The pump faded over the day and by the time night came I didn't feel as great in the shirt, but hey, progress.

And finally this morning, Tuesdays are a weird day now, so I decided to try out Bas Rutten again. I started off easy, with the 2 minute Kickboxing routine. Actually, I was surprised how well it went. Kicks were tricky with the hamstrings still achy, but I actually think the kicks helped me loosen them up by the end. As for cardio/endurance, I think I retained a lot from past sessions. It's been about a month since I did one of these, and I held my own through the whole thing. I'll see about upping it in a few weeks, adding in either the 3 minute rounds or moving on to MMA (read that: burpees). But for the moment, ya, just focusing on this.

Now, I should say, the last few days I have not hit my step goals. Like, not even close. So I'm a little ashamed about that, but hey, you've gotta be able to take it easy, right? Actually, the family and I were on the go all weekend, but still, not enough steps. Sigh. Gonna focus on a great walk today!

So let's talk diet/weight loss. After Friday, diet was actually relatively clean. I ate a few carbs, mostly ones that snuck in. I ate corn two days in a row, out to dinner with the wife on Saturday (date night, woo!!!) and Sunday at a small house bbq with some friends. Corn's delicious and a plant, I hate that it's so high in carbs! Monday I ate a salad at Macaroni Grill. That was overall healthy, keto healthy at least (there was a lot of ranch dressing on it), but the chicken was breaded. Not sure why I didn't think to ask for it grilled. Next time.

Anyways, other than that, diet was clean. Really really clean. Now, after my carb load on Friday night, I skipped the scale Saturday. Clocked in Sunday at 189.8, so I'd gone back up (way up) from 187.8 on Friday. Then yesterday, Monday, I hit the scale and saw 189.0. Ok, good, moving in the right direction. Well, I guess that breaded chicken at lunch yesterday (and a later than usual dinner last night thanks to a late volunteer meeting) caught up to me, because today I clocked in at 190.0. Yup, I went up that much. No 180s for me today, hence why I still hate scales.

Yes, I assume a chunk of that is new muscle, but there's still so much fat to lose. And I expect my ideal weight, even with muscle, should be in the 170-175 range, so even building muscle I want to see scale loss. Just gotta keep plugging away at it. I'll get there.

I have a healthy day lined up thanks to meal prep (I seriously love the meal prep process) so let's see where I can get this week. My personal goal for the week is 186.5 for Friday. Why that number? Because 186 seemed too extreme and 187 seemed like not enough. So, there you go. I'm writing it down now!

Alright, that's all I have for the day. Quick final shout out to my wife, who is trying out a new gym today. I'm so proud of her for joining me on this journey. I love you Mrs. Fat Free Jew!!!

Bring it!

Friday, May 20, 2016

For the third time this year, Month 1 is done!

Month 1 is Max:30 is done! Again! Yup, I'm on my third round of Max:30 (that's still what I'm calling it at least) and I finished Month 1 today. For those just joining us, Max:30 has cardio workouts Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and resistance Tuesday and Thursday. I've since replaced those resistance workouts with weighted workouts, but the Monday, Wednesday and Friday work is still there. And once again, Month 1 is complete!

Today was Friday Fight Rd. 1, and I had a pretty damn excellent workout. It wasn't as good as last week's - something about doing it in the afternoon last week really gave me an extra edge - but it was about a million times better than the BS cardio workout I got on Wednesday. I came away this morning feeling excellent.

I've kept nutrition pretty clean. In fact, it's been all keto clean all week. I'm sure I've mentioned this a few hundred times on this blog, but keto is the diet I'm following, which is high fat, medium protein, no carbs. Only thing that wasn't technically clean clean was In N Out last night, where I got two Flying Dutchmans (two burger patties with two pieces of cheese in the middle, each). This has actually become a go-to for me, because it fits into my diet/protein/carb goal. But I always feel guilty when I eat a fast food cheeseburger, let alone a double, let alone two.

Anyways, I woke up and was worried about the burger. Probably why I pushed extra hard in the gym this morning. But after that, I stepped onto the scale. I clocked in yesterday at 188.8, which was already ahead of my Friday goal of 189.0, but of course Thursdays aren't official weigh in days. Anyways, ya, woke up, worked out, felt guilty about burger, stepped on scale....


Boom! That's official! Another great drop on the scale, and I feel good. Broke through my 190 hurdle officially too. So yup, now it's onward to 180, and then 170, and then hopefully I'm at a weight I want to maintain (we'll let the waistline decide that one later).

Going to go for another walk today, per the usual, and this weekend I'm excited to say I have TWO awesome weight workouts scheduled. Yup, one on Saturday and one on Monday, which technically becomes part of my weekend for the summer starting this week. Also Sunday I'll get started on Month 2 of Max:30, and still not totally sure what I'm doing Tuesday but definitely something.

Ok, that's where I'm at. Time to get some low intensity cardio in.

Bring it!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

I seriously love lifting weights

Today's workout kicked my ass. Good thing I love lifting weights.

Alright, let's catch everyone up. Yesterday I hit play on Sweat Intervals. This workout was absolute garbage. I think my legs are still getting used to the additional leg work (3x per week now!) on weight days, because they felt like lead. Add on top of that a lack of sleep thanks to a baby who refused to sleep (I can't wait until she's old enough to read this blog) and overall I'm giving this workout a D-. Yup, a D-. The only thing that kept it from being an F is that I didn't turn it off. I did at least one rep of every single move, and even though that's not a lot at all, I tried. I never gave up, at least not completely, so hey, I'll take it.

I made sure to make up that workout with a good walk at lunch and a good, clean diet day.

Food wise, I made a fun meal last night. I made turkey meatballs, but used cauliflower instead of bread crumbs, and I found a recipe online to make "noodles" out of eggs. Note the quotes around noodles. These were definitely NOT noodles, but they were tasty and edible and totally fulfilled the purpose of noodles. It was good.

This morning I hit play on my second short weight lifting workout. I actually had slightly more volume in this one than in Tuesday's workout, but I didn't think I got worked as hard. Then again, my arms said otherwise in the workout, as they basically gave out. At just over 40 minutes (include Ab Attack 10 from Max:30) this was a good one.

Side note: Someday I'm going to have to make two more short lifting workouts, but that's not for 17 weeks, so all good. The two I have are just fine. Next stop, I've gotta program my Saturday workout into PowerPoint. Monday's too. But, there's time for that tomorrow/Saturday morning.

Alright, so let's talk scale. I've been trying for weeks to get into the 180s, and yesterday I stepped on the scale to see....

189.8! Boom!

Yup, I finally did it, just barely. Now, my weight loss tracking program is all out of whack now, but I'm sticking with Monday/Wednesday/Friday being official days. So, this morning I weighed in again too. I didn't eat that much yesterday, so I realize this is a little deflated, but I stepped on the scale today and saw....

188.8! Yup, another pound. But again, that's on a major accidental calorie deficit, so I'm assuming it's not a solid number. And today's not official anyways. So, my goal for tomorrow is to stay at or below 189.0. If I can do that tomorrow, I'll log it.

Alright, that's where I'm at. Looking forward to redeeming myself tomorrow with Friday Fight Rd. 1 as I wrap up Month 1 of my third round. Then it's on to Month 2, plus more and more weights!

Bring it!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Another good workout, and some upcoming changes

Well, today was another homemade BodyBeast workout, this time a short one. Today's combo hit every body part (as usual) with all drop sets or progressive sets. It felt really, really good. Finished it up with Beast Abs from Body Beast (which is actually a pretty weak ab workout, not my favorite, but it works) and I finished right around 40 minutes. Not bad.

So I've decided to make some pretty big changes to the rest of my current program. Right now I'm lifting Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday, doing Max:30 cardio work Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and Saturdays were supposed to be Bas Rutten but I fizzled out and they've turned into do whatever days.

Now, here's where things get interesting. Come Monday, I don't work Mondays for the next 16 weeks. Why is this important? Well, I want to put in good heavy lifting workouts, getting closer to that hour and a half mark, and I also don't want to lift heavy two days in a row. Come next week, I can lift heavy Saturdays AND Mondays. Woo! This was my plan all along, but not until my next program. But, if I want to pack on muscle, this 16 week window is my best opportunity to do it. So, starting this Saturday, the schedule is being modified to the following:

Saturday: Heavy Lifting
Sunday: Max:30 Cardio
Monday: Heavy Lifting
Tuesday: Either yoga or some martial arts workout, not totally sure yet
Wednesday: Max:30 Cardio
Thursday: Short Heavy Lifting
Friday: Max:30 Friday Fight

Basically I'm starting my summer heavy lifting program now, but I'm making sure I finish this round of Insanity. After that, not sure if I'll do it again (Insanity, I mean), but the lifting is going to look pretty similar to this for the next 16 weeks.

So ya, today was a good workout and I'm super inspired to keep lifting heavy. Man, do I love lifting weights. Of course, the cardio is growing on me too, and overall I'm just super happy with where I'm at fitness wise. It's not where I want to be, of course, but it's so much better than where I was a few months ago.

Walks are still going good too, diet is also good. I clocked in this morning at 190.8, so potentially on track to hit 190.0 (and 180s to follow) soon. I need to get past this hurdle! It's killing me being stuck in the low 190s for so long. I'm pretty sure 170 in the next 4 weeks is impossible at this point, and that's fine, it'll take me the rest of the summer but I'll get there, but if I can get into the low 180s by the end of my current 8 week cycle I'll feel good.

Ok, going into a ramble now, so I'm going to cap it there. Gotta build out my Thursday morning workout either tonight or tomorrow, and Thursday I'll let you know how that goes. Same thing with my workout for this Saturday and next Monday, but more time to go on those. I'm getting pretty good with the PowerPoint video editing by the way....

...ya, still rambling, I see it too. K, this is the end.

Bring it!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Lots and lots of updates

Wow, it's been a few days since I last checked in, and I have a lot of updates. So, let's get going.

First, I wrapped up Week 3 very well. Thursday was Hammer Build Up, which overall is a pretty good workout. I don't like that everything is timed, not for reps, but there isn't a body part that goes untouched. That's awesome, and Sagi totally knows how to lead a brutal workout.

Friday was a weird day. Took the day off work to help my brother in law move. The morning got away from me and I didn't get my workout in. That's ok. Moving got me a little cardio and about 90% of my step goal. In the afternoon I got home, had some time available before dinner with the rest of the in laws, so I hit play on Friday Fight Rd. 1, and I had an awesome run on this DVD! Now, the first half I was flying, so the second half I was dying, but overall I still did great. Of course my wife chose the second half to come see me working out, when I was dead tired, so what I accomplished didn't look nearly as impressive as I'd have liked. Whenever she enters the room I want to blow her mind with my new found Insanity skills, and this workout just wasn't having it.

Before I go further, let's talk weight. I last clocked in at 190.8 on Wednesday, with a goal of 190.0 on Friday. On Thursday, I clocked in at 190.6, so good, on my way. Sadly, I clocked in on Friday at 191.0 again, and actually had the same weigh in on Saturday. So ya, no bueno, goal officially missed. Still working hard for it, but damn, I am seriously stuck in these low 190s.

So, let's talk some of the major updates, because they are major (at least in my fitness world they are). This is going to be long, so grab some popcorn or something.

K, first, I've been trying to learn as much as possible about diet/fitness, with emphasis on bodybuilding. That's where my interests lie. Everything I know and have read in the past, it's all about body splits. Chest day, Back day, Chest/Tri Day, etc. Then I'm seeing things like Push/Pull days, or Upper/Lower days. Two problems with all of this:

1) My schedule is weird. A lot of these require about an hour to an hour and a half per day in the gym, and I just don't have that time. I can devote more time on weekends, but weekdays its 30 minutes, period. This pretty much leaves me to choose which body parts get ignored during the week.

2) I'm committed to using the DVDs. I like workout DVDs a lot. They keep me motivated, they keep me on pace, and they're really the best fitness solution I personally have found. And unfortunately, none of the DVDs I own (and I own several) fit into the molds above.

Noting especially on No. 2, my favorite DVD set is Body Beast. If I want to lift weights, and come summer time and my next program I REALLY want to lift weights, Body Beast is the program I want to use. Sagi is super motivating, the pace is absolutely perfect, and the structure of the exercises is so awesome. Drop Sets, Force Sets, Progressive Sets, Giant Sets, Super other program comes close, and I have definitely seen improvement in my body every time I've used his program.

So, we'll get back to all that info in a moment, because it's relevant. One of the areas of expertise I stumbled upon is the importance of full body workouts for bodybuilding. "But that's not a body split" I thought. But for kicks I looked into it more. A few hundred articles and several podcasts and YouTube videos later, I learned some interesting things. Of note, it doesn't take that much to get a muscle to grow. Yes, you've gotta kill that muscle, but you can do this in only a few sets, not a 30 minute workout per muscle. Then, you also need actual recovery days. Not "my chest is going to recover today so I'm going to work on my back" days. Apparently this is a fairly new, as in the last 40 years, mentality. Overall, it used to be kill the whole body, then take a day off. You had to recover. Then steroids came about, and a lot of them helped people recover faster. Hence, they could absolutely demolish just chest one day, not worry about anything else, and be fine the next day. Thus, splits were born. Now, people aren't on steroids (at least I'm not, and I have no intention of doing them) but body splits are still around.

This mentality got me to develop my current program, which I'm thoroughly enjoying. I lift full body, three days per week. And overall, I do love it. But, and there is a but, I don't actually like about half of the actual DVDs I'm doing. An example: did you see the beginning of this thing? I mentioned on Thursday I hit whole body, but every exercise was for time. No, no, just no. Not interested in time, I'm interested in reps. Progressive sets, drop sets, etc. That's what I want.

So I've been looking into solutions to this for my next program, and ultimately I've stumbled on a pretty crazy solution: stack DVDs. I'm going to lift heavy Saturdays and Mondays, the two days I can devote about 2 hours, and the plan has been to knock out 3 DVDs each of those days, at least one of which is going to be a Body Beast DVD. Of course, Body Beast has no full bodies (that's not true, but the two that are out there I just don't dig as much as the rest of the program), so I'm planning one Body Beast DVD, then fill in the rest of the body with P90X3 and Hammer & Chisel.

Planning for this has been exhausting, and I've never found a roadmap I like. Sigh. Plus those are going to be seriously long days, and I seriously am concerned the P90X3 stuff isn't going to hit the itch the way I want it to. And I'm worried about killing certain muscle groups by doing WAY too much on those days then trying to struggle through a P90X3 workout just to hit the rest. Plus, I've taken abs completely out (there just isn't time) and I'm trying to fit them into the HIIT days. Even though abs are a muscle and should be treated like the other muscles.

This is where the big change stuff is coming in, so if you've been skimming, this is the section you're looking for. So, Sagi is my favorite trainer and I want to use his workouts, but he has no actual DVD that fits my goals. Pondering on this, it finally hit me....

Make my own DVDs!

Yup, it's crazy, but it also made sense. I thought about writing out the workouts I wanted, but I've tried that, I won't follow it. I need to follow a video of my workout to keep the pace.

So, I spent a chunk of time on Saturday getting started. I cataloged every exercise in the Body Beast DVDs that I liked, writing out the segment's length, which muscles it hits, whether it's a drop set/progressive set/super set/etc., which DVD it's on, etc.

Then, I went and mapped out a few full body workouts. I copy/pasted my data into Excel so I could always know if I hit each muscle enough times (usually 3x per workout was my goal) and stay under a total workout time of an hour and a half.

Side note to discuss Saturday

Saturday was the actual official final move for the brother in law. I didn't get a real workout in, but I did move a shit ton of boxes up a shit ton of stairs, so I'm good. Sad note, I ate three slices of pizza. I cheated on my diet, but I also say carbs should help me reset my fat loss, so we'll see if that happens. Anyways.....

Back to my crazy rant about making my own DVDs

Sunday I was home with the baby while the wife helped her brother unpack, and the baby fell asleep. Well, I had some time to kill and hadn't had my workout yet, so I started to play around with video editing. I found I could actually build my workouts fairly easy in PowerPoint (of all programs) and set up one of the four total body workouts I'd written out. I was supposed to do Max Hammer Strength and Incinerator (see, the multi DVD mentality is already present), but I figured if this works, it'll hit all those muscles more efficiently anyways. And, if this is my future program, I should probably have everything tested.

So I set the whole thing up, and I hit play....

....and proceeded to have one of the most amazing lifting workouts of my life! Every body part got hit about three times, usually with a drop set or progressive set (I'm saving giant sets for later), and honestly the flow was just fine. It was all Sagi, and always two guys in the back, always on the same set, and the fact that they were from different DVDs never even seemed weird. It all just flowed nicely. I topped it off with Ab Ripper X to hit the abs, and boom, 90 minutes (88 actually) later and I felt awesome!

This is, without a doubt, how I'm building my summer program!

So, this is where the major changes really take a hold

I have to build out the rest of my workouts and test them all. Since I'm loving my schedule but not my current DVDs (not all of them anyways) I'm from here on out planning to build/test my next program lifting DVDs rather than doing the workouts I have programmed. This is just for the next five weeks, and only for the lifting days. The Max:30 days will stay the same.

Lots and lots of more info to come on this over the next month, but ya, I'm very excited. Total body 3x per week plus HIIT the other days, yup, I feel good!

Ok, so back to the workout stuff. This morning was Cardio Challenge. Woke up a little groggy and had some work stuff clog up my head, but I finally hit play at a super late 6:30am this morning. My workout was actually pretty great. Not my best, but I pushed and pushed and was soaked. I'll give it an A.

Now the bad news. I stepped on the scale. I haven't seen the weight since 191.0 on Saturday, and even though I've done some good workouts and overall kept it healthy, those pizza slices on Saturday are still haunting me. And unfortunately, I clocked in at 193.0.

Yup, super not happy about that. So, same goal as last week, 190.0 by Friday. I really really want to see those 180s. On the plus side, I'm wearing pants today that didn't fit even a month ago when I finished Max:30 for the second time, so even if the scale isn't moving, something's happening to me bodywise. Progress, right?

Ok, this rant has gone on long enough. Gotta build a short (30-40 min.) total body workout for tomorrow. It's already mapped out, just needs to be programmed into PowerPoint tonight so I can test it tomorrow. More info to come, so stay tuned!

Bring it!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Goal achieved, scales still hated

Well, I had a goal of 191.0 today, and as of yesterday I was completely off base. Meanwhile, I spent yesterday eating more than usual. Not a lot more, but four snacks during the day, not three. My amazing wife read my post from yesterday and prepared a healthy fish dinner last night. Somewhere between the several small but healthy meals and the super tasty orange fish that I'm going to request she make more often, combined with a pretty decent Sweat Intervals workout this morning, I hopped on the scale this morning to see...


Yup, overshot the goal by a whole 0.2! Boom!

Which means my body weight went down 1.6 in a day. What the actual F?! That's too much to make sense. I get it, water weight, undigested food, rotation of the Earth on its axis, all of these things can lead to changes in weight like that. Yes, I worked hard to get the number down, but that's a ridiculous amount. So, even though today's goal was achieved and crushed, ya, I still hate scales. It's such a terrible way to measure this stuff. But, aside from going to an actual body fat measure place, it's the best I've got, so I need to stick to it.

Well, logic would dictate my new goal should be half a pound less than today, but I'm so close to those 180s. So, I'm putting a little pressure on myself, and Friday's goal is now 190.0. Time to close that gap and hit the 180s next week!

So I mentioned Sweat Intervals, and that's what I had today. I love this workout, even though I don't always love it when I'm doing it. My legs were hurting again today, or at least they were tired. It just feels like I'm pushing against a wall during every move. I didn't get every rep, and the second half I was flailing. I was also tired and zoned out a few times, because I know I just stood around during whole segments until we switched moves. This happened two or three times, and each time I just kind of blinked and thought "wait, did I do any reps on that last move?" Well, I still came out of it soaked, so I'll take it. B workout today, not a B+ or B-, just a regular old B.

Not too much else to add. Haven't had a chance to read too much this week. Going out to dinner with family tonight. Fingers crossed it's somewhere I know I can eat (we have some standard restaurants we go to and I've picked out a few meals at each that are completely on my diet) but worst case I know I can piece together a meal that fits into my diet scheme.

Hitting the weights again tomorrow, then Friday Fight on Friday, and that's it for Week 3. I'm ready!

Bring it!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

I hate scales

Ok, maybe it's not scales I hate, but the entire weight loss process sucks. I'm a statistics guy, so trend data means a lot to me, but as a fat guy (well, squishy nowadays) I'm also fixated on individual data points.

Yesterday was a good day. I might have missed my 191.7, but I overshot it on the official weigh in for the work challenge, and that was great! I also had my protein shake after that, three egg muffins after that, and then I sort of forgot to eat. I didn't realize it until I was heading out for my walk, and it just popped into my head: "oh, I don't think I've eaten." It was also a later walk than usual, so I should have definitely eaten by that point in the day. So I did my walk, a slightly shorter walk (slightly), and got back and ate my salad. And toward the end of the day, only about two hours later, I just wasn't all that hungry, so I had a small bowl of miso soup instead of my steak/sweet potato snack. Then I stuck to a healthy dinner of cauliflower in cheese sauce and sliced hot dog. Totally normal dinner for how I've been eating the last few months.

Anyways, the point I'm making with that long paragraph is I ate less than normal yesterday. Not intentional, not trying to starve myself, it just sort of happened, and I felt fine.

Well, this morning, I stepped on the scale, and I'd gone up! 192.4. What the absolute F?! Yes, I know my overall trend is going down, but from yesterday to today, with even less food than normal, I just can't even figure out how that happened. Today isn't an official weigh in, tomorrow's the 191.0 goal, but, ugh, I'm disappointed and frustrated today.

Ok, moving on. Today I saw the return of Lucky 7 from Body Beast. I've gotta reiterate, this workout is awesome. Seven pyramid sets, and every body part got hit. My entire body feels sore. What an excellent workout, and it's absolutely insane that this is only 22 minutes (or something like that, it's short). Unfortunately, I lost my entire momentum come Core 2 from 22 Minute Hard Corps, and four minutes into that I just shut it off. I actually got a little dizzy, and I assume that's from the weird diet yesterday. So I turned it off and made sure to get a few sips of protein shake in me, and I felt better.

Not too much else to add. Going to go for a good walk at lunch today to hopefully get me back on track. And yes, I'm eating fine today. As of this writing, I've had a protein shake, two egg muffins with some cream cheese, and the steak and sweet potatoes. I still have a salad with sliced turkey, some leftover cauliflower/hot dog, and some sort of dinner planned for the day. So, I'm eating.

Oh, final update on the work challenge. I got the most for my team at 25 lbs, next closest person got 22. Altogether we got 68 pounds lost, which was good enough to put us in fourth place for the city. This was a good experience. I wish the team had done better, but I'm proud of my achievement on this. I like the motivation and need to find something else like this to keep me on track. And I might participate next year. Hopefully I'll be at my goal weight, but I'm considering doing a three month bulk and then using the challenge to cut back, but let me see if that's even viable. There's also a good chance that once I hit the goal weight that I'll never want to leave.

Alright, that's my story.

Bring it!

Monday, May 9, 2016

The Work Weight Loss Challenge is Over!

Well, the work weight loss challenge is over. A few updates before I get into the details of that....

I mentioned I had a weird schedule weekend, so I had to move my weight workout from Sunday to Saturday. And man oh man, I crushed Saturday's weight workout! First up was Total Body Hammer from Hammer and Chisel, and of all the total body work I'm doing right now, this workout is definitely my favorite. Something about the pace, the combination of's awesome! Also my legs held up MUCH better this time, so it's good to see they're getting stronger. The only problem this workout has is it doesn't have any bicep/tricep dedicated stuff. Fortunately, I also had....

Bulk Arms from Body Beast scheduled! And let me tell you, when you put these two workouts together back to back, you're in for a treat. I absolutely love Body Beast's style of workouts, and this one never ceases to amaze me with how well it's put together.

Now, that was it for the scheduled workouts, but my daughter was asleep and I didn't want to wake her, AND I was craving some extra shoulder work. I love working shoulders by the way. But, I didn't think I had enough gas in the tank for Build/Bulk Shoulders. Fortunately, I'd discovered last week that Tony Horton's put out a series of 10 to 15 minute workouts, and one of them is called Boulder Shoulders! I am still playing around with ideas for my summer program, these workouts being highly considered in that mix, so I decided to hit play o this one too. And WOW! I'll never say this is the end all be all of shoulders (Bulk Shoulders might hold that title actually), but as an add-on workout, this is the one! It finished off what I felt my shoulders were lacking, and we got a lot of work in in only 11 minutes. I was surprised.

So that, that was Saturday. Yup, three whole paragraphs dedicated to my Saturday workout. YES! Also I stepped on the scale Saturday morning after my workout and hit 191.0! Boom! Only a day late, so not bad. Unfortunately, I cheated a little bit during the day (three mini quiches plus some pastry wrapped hot dogs. More on that later. Sigh....).

Sunday was Mother's Day, and I want to give one final Happy First Mother's Day shout out to my beautiful and incredible wife. While she slept, baby and I made her breakfast, and while it was chilling in the fridge (it had to set, I made a fancy smoked salmon stack) I got some ab work in. I had Ab Ripper scheduled, but decided to do Abs 10 from Max:30, as well as Abs Core Plus from P90X+. I'd never done either of these workouts before, and wanted to give them both a try. And honestly, both were very well done. My focus wasn't completely there, I was too excited about the food in the fridge and to open presents with my wife, but overall I think I got some ab work in.

Kept the rest of Sunday pretty clean. I had a few licks of cinnamon role frosting, but other than that I mostly ate fish all day. We went to the same sushi restaurant as a few weeks ago, so I ate a ton of sashimi for dinner. It was good.

This morning was Cardio Challenge. Knowing I had my weigh in after, I pushed my ass as hard as possible. Easily, this was my best Cardio Challenge workout ever. I felt pumped and soaked. It was good.

Unfortunately, I stepped on the scale and clocked in at 192.0. Now, I guess there's some good things from this. This is the first time in a while my Monday weigh in has been less than my Friday (192.2, for those who don't want to look back). Unfortunately, this wasn't the 191.0 I saw on Saturday. Damn mini quiches and frosting licks!

But, nothing I could do, this is where I was. I hopped into the car and drove over to the weigh in. Now, after my workout, I made sure not to drink any more water or eat anything. I brought a bottle of water plus my usual protein drink to enjoy after, but I wanted to come into this as dry as possible. I also used the restroom the moment I got there. Again, I wanted to be as low as possible (as opposed to the first weigh in, where I intentionally ate a good sized lunch beforehand and came in about 2.5 lbs heavier than that morning).

So I stepped onto the scale. My starting weight during this competition was 216.0. And today, when the scale clocked in, it came in at....


This is also when I found out they round, giving me an official weigh in of 191.0. A full 25 lbs! Hey, I'll take it! I guess the rest of my work team came in around the 5 lb to 15 lb range, so I did really well for my team! Only time will tell how I did in the overall individual portion of the competition (if that's even a thing, not sure).

So, 191.4. Not bad! Yes, I pushed that number down a bit with effort, but hey, I'm proud. And, with that in mind, I'm shooting for 191.0 on Wednesday now. Let's see if I can get that number locked in.

Alright, I need a new challenge. My personal weight loss is good, but I need more things to keep me on track. Not sure what that is. Possible a race prep, but not really decided. I'll keep you posted what I'm thinking.

Oh, final thought, and then I'll wrap up this super long post. Since I got to work out heavy on Saturday, I wanted to take the opportunity to reevaluate my summer program. A lot of people say an upper/lower split done 3x in a week is too much. Well, since I lifted Saturday, that means I'd be lifting today too, and right now I think these people are right. I'm not dead, not by a long shot, but after my amazing Saturday workout, I definitely don't think I could put in the same work if I were to try it today. So, with that in mind, I'm looking into a much more manageable split for the summer. More info on that as things get closer.

Onward and upward. Going to go for another walk today, and tomorrow is the return of Lucky 7 from Body Beast, which I'm really excited about.

OHHH!! Ok, final thought, I swear. I was reading old posts from earlier in the year, and remembered I used to also chronicle what I was reading and things like that. So, I started a new book two weeks ago called Smarter Faster Better. The author wrote an excellent book a few years ago about Habits, which I completely devoured, so when his new book came out and I found out about it, I got it instantly. I want to read it by the fire pit and/or hammock, but we haven't had weather permitting, so I'm holding off to really get into it. I also checked out a weight lifting/nutrition boom from the library, and another nutrition book by Bob Harper on audio. The last one I'm not going to finish - it's just not doing it for me. The weight lifting one is interesting so far, though it comes across like a giant giant blog that makes its money on PPC. So, still mixed feelings if I'll finish it.

Ok, that's my story. Talk at you soon Internet world.

Bring it!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Still mixed feelings about this week

Quick check in to round out Week 2.

First, I did Friday Fight Rd. 1 today and it was awful. Just couldn't muster up the energy, plus my left foot hurt a lot around the arch. It's been hurting a few days, but this was a little worse. Meanwhile, right now it feels fine (about 9 hours later). Barely broke a sweat, just couldn't get into it. Hey, it happens.

Clocked in on the scale at 192.2. Ok, that definitely isn't 191.0. Granted, that was a very huge goal considering where I was Monday, but damn, this means I've lost 1.6 in 2 weeks, so ya, I'm off track. Weekend cheat days are hurting me. I can cheat a little, but I ate WAY too much on the last two weekends. Three pieces of pie and three cookies on Sunday. Ya, no good.

This weekend I'm keeping it clean no matter what, since my official weigh in is Monday morning, but moving forward I'm sticking to a reasonably sized cheat meal on weekends. No more binging. If I want a cookie, I am having A cookie. Not 3. And not 3 plus 3 pieces of pie. Gotta get this part under control.

I did a good walk at lunch today to make up for the bad weigh in this morning too. So, that happened.

Tomorrow I'm hitting the weights. Normally that's Sunday territory, but Sunday is Mother's Day and I want to make sure my wife has an amazing day, so this makes more sense for the schedule. I'll still workout Sunday, but it'll be my short yoga/abs session instead.

Final thought: I'm switching back to my old weight loss tracking system. I let myself get too lazy on weekends to the point that my tracking got screwed up. Ok, today is 192.2, so Monday is 191.7. That means I need to push. But it's three days and half a pound. Totally doable, so let's do this!

Bring it!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Off track, but still having a good week

Overall, I'm having a great fitness week. BUT, I'm also pretty sure (though I'm not giving up) that I won't hit my 191.0 goal tomorrow.

Alright, let's talk workouts. Yesterday was Sweat Intervals from Max:30. Now, I'm not sure if I was just tired (I was) or if ISO Speed Hammer took more out of me than I thought (it did) but I was dragging ass yesterday. My legs especially just felt like complete rocks. And any Insanity cardio workout, and especially Sweat Intervals, requires some legs. So, the workout itself was hard, but I also came out soaked. I never gave up, I pushed and pushed and pushed (and pushed and pushed and pushed and.....) and ya, I got a great workout. I mean, this isn't one to write home about (but write a blog perhaps....damn, I'm using a lot of parenthesis today) but cardio's definitely more about effort, and my effort resulted in some good work.

So, after that workout, I stepped on the scale hoping to see something pretty low, but clocked in at 193.8. Now, this is good, it's basically where I was Friday, but I was hoping for lower. Only .6 between Tuesday and Wednesday. And yes, that's actually a huge amount in terms of weight loss, but with the progress I've seen over the last few weeks, I was just hoping for a little more.

Anyways, had a good walk at lunch yesterday, kept the diet healthy, and that was Wednesday.

Woke up this morning and hit play on Total Body from Body Beast. This was the first time I've done this one, and hot damn is it tough! Nothing in it was impossible, except for the leg stuff (more to come on that shortly), but the pace.....the pace flew! Do four exercises, each for 15 reps, then repeat, then we're on to another four exercises. Four sets total. And absolutely everything got worked. I came out of this more soaked than I've ever come out of a strength workout (I think?) and it was awesome. And I'm feeling pretty good now.

I stepped on the scale after this morning's workout and found myself at 192.8. So, mixed feelings on this. First off, 192.anything is awesome. That's the lowest I've been on this journey. And it's a 1 lb decrease from yesterday, which is definitely the kind of day to day I'm used to seeing thanks to the keto diet I'm on. BUT, it's 1.8 away from 191.0. So yes, I'm thrilled by today's weigh in, but for the week I'm definitely thinking I'll be falling short.  Hey, that's ok. If I can get down to 192.0, I should be on track to get into the high 180s by next Friday, especially since I can't cheat this weekend (Monday is my work challenge weigh in).

So, let's talk muscle growth and legs. First off, two weeks into my advanced full body lifting and I'm seeing results. Little results, but my arms and chest feel really good and are starting to show some definition. Excellent! And I have endurance on all my upper body stuff. I'm upping my weights, and when that's not possible I'm trying to pump out a few more reps. Overall, I'm pleased with where I'm at with the upper body.

My lower body, though, is weak. It's always been weak, but I'm REALLY noticing it nowadays. I can't even come close to keeping up with the folks in the DVDs. My reps are always lower than what they're doing, my tempo is slower purely from fatigue after the first two or three reps, and it's rare that I'm adding weight. And when I do, it's very little. Except for my calves, which I actually can and do hang with the boys just fine on, my legs are lagging. I'm talking body weight lunges, feeling like I'm going to die after 10 reps, when the DVD is doing 15 reps with 30 lb weights in each hand.

Honestly, this is just my weak point. I keep considering if something is physically wrong with me and things along those lines, but no, this is just the area that's going to be hard for me for the moment. I can say confidently that my legs have gotten stronger and better in the last two weeks (marginally), and they'll continue to do that. Hanging with the BodyBeast crew on leg day might be a ways away though, so I'm making sure my current and future programming accounts for that.

So ya, legs are lagging, but getting there. I just wish it didn't feel so damn torturous when I work on them. Chest day? It's going to feel like I'm pushing through a wall, which is a pretty powerful feeling actually. Leg day? I feel like my legs are going to grow mouths just so they can literally throw up (sorry wife, I know you hate the throw up references). It's just a horrible, excruciating feeling. Looking forward to working past that eventually.

Speaking of future programming, I'm getting a lot closer to my summer lifting program. I've mapped out a draft, and it's basically balls to the wall. I'm looking at an upper/lower split, with the goal of doing as much volume work as possible for 8 weeks over the summer. This means a heavy upper day on Saturday and Monday, plus an extra short upper day on Wednesday, and a heavy heavy lower day on Sunday, plus two shorter lower days on Tuesday and Thursday. Fridays will be cardio. Also abs are getting worked into lower, and I'm doing some lower body explosive cardio on the leg days too. I don't actually want big legs, unlike the rest of my body, but I definitely want to work my legs. The goal here is a combo of strength and explosive cardio to get me where I want, plus hopefully strong but not huge legs will help my upper body taper. Well, that's the goal at least, we'll see how it plays out. Hopefully my legs can keep up with that plan, considering how they're lagging now.

Also, no Max:30 (other than some ab work and Max Out 15). I need a break. It's the best program I've done for cardio, OG Insanity being the closest next thing, but my knees hurt and I'm ready for a rest. I still have other Shaun T workouts planned to include in here, though, so don't think I'm walking away too far.

Nothing will be set in stone until we hit the ground running on that program in mid June, so I'll let you know if any major updates happen. After that program, I'll look into something a little more maintainable that incorporates Max:30 again, but let's see what I look like at the end of summer before I even come close to thinking about a program that late in the year.

Alright, that's where I'm at. Hoping to keep the diet super clean today so I can get as close to that 191 as possible. Wish me luck!

Bring it!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Week 2 is in full swing

I'm halfway through Week 2 of my current program. Still loving it. I haven't checked in since Friday, so I have a few things to note.

First, Bas Rutten. I have his workouts scheduled for Saturdays, along with Ab Ripper. But, it's finally happened. I'm just not digging the Bas Rutten workouts anymore. I'm sure I will again, someday, but I've been hammering them constantly since the start of the year, and I've finally found myself burnt out from there. I even tried adding in weighted gloves on Saturday to get into it more, and it just wasn't happening. I ended up calling it quits on that workout and didn't even get to Ab Ripper. Considering this is two weeks in a row without diving head first into Bas, I think I'm switching it up. Saturday should really be my most fun workout, so, moving forward, I'm switching to Yoga on Saturdays (along with Ab Ripper). I know, I know, I already wrote it down, but looking at my schedule, Saturdays are the only day I can really justify some leeway, and that's what I'm doing. So, this Saturday, Yoga X3. Should be fun.

Next, on Sunday, I did Max Hammer Strength from Hammer and Chisel. This was a fun workout. Not the greatest thing I've ever done, but it definitely hit all the muscles. It also killed my legs, but frankly, my legs are week when it comes to lifting weights, so it doesn't take much to kill them. Hey, that's why I'm doing this, right? The workout goes back and forth between lifting heavy for reps, then going fast with a lighter weight or bodyweight exercise to failure. Sounds familiar, right? Sounds like Incinerator from P90X3? Well, they are similar, so similar in fact that I did them back to back! Overall I'd say Max Hammer Strength is a B+ workout, but when you put these two together, that's an A for sure! My whole body felt good and tired after.

Now, I should note that I cheated on my diet this weekend. Saturday I ate ice cream and potatoes (separate dishes, same meal though)  and Sunday I had a few cookies, some apple pie and some chips (more than just a few on all of those). I didn't mean to go so overboard on Sunday, but I did mean to cheat. As avid FatFreeJew readers know, eating carbs over the weekends seems to kickstart my diet, and I'm losing more overall in the week than when I stay clean clean. So, we're trying that out again now.

Sure enough, I clocked in at 196.6 on Monday morning. This is much much higher than I'd hoped, and almost 3 lbs higher than my Friday check in. But, as of this morning, I'm 194.4. Now, my weight loss tracking schedule I put in place last week is totally out of whack. So, I'm just shooting for 191.0 on Friday. That's a huge drop for the week, but only 1.8 drop from Friday to Friday. Let's see if I can do it.

Yesterday I hit the ground running for the week with Cardio Challenge from Max:30, and man is that still an awesome workout. No way will this ever be a walk in the park. I was soaked and felt good.

And finally, today was ISO Speed Hammer from Hammer and Chisel. This one was simply ok. I like Lucky 7 more, that's for sure. This one did hit everything though, and each muscle gets worked in a slow down for 3, up fast for 1, 10 reps, followed by 10 reps fast fashion. Again, it was just ok, not my favorite, but it's 24 minutes, which is what I need on Tuesdays. I'm glad I only have it three more times in the whole program. I paired it with Core 2 from 22 Minute Hard Corps, and my abs are feeling it now. That's such a great ab routine!

Tomorrow I'll keep going with Max:30 with Sweat Intervals, one of my favorites. Also have a good walk planned today at lunch.

Alright, that's my story.

Bring it!