Tuesday, July 8, 2008

My Training Blog Has Moved!

Hey Guys,

I just wanted to let you know that I've permanently moved my Training Blog to my own Wordpress blog, which you can access here.

I won't be posting at this blog anymore, so please update your bookmarks and RSS feeds.

Thanks, and I'll see you at www.mrlowbodyfat.com/trainingblog

Sunday, June 1, 2008

My CNN Interview in on YouTube!

Well, I have to admit that I've used YouTube a lot in my classes as well as at home; however, this is my first time ever being on YouTube (at least that I know of anyway . . .)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Please excuse the mess ....

OK, I know that I have neglected this blog since I ended my last 12 week cycle or challenge. I'm continuing my search for Sandow; however, this blog will become my online training log from now on. Give me a week or so, and I'll have my new routines (mainly bodyweight and sandbag complexes) that I'm torturing myself with now. :)

Keep working hard and stay focused ....

Thursday, February 7, 2008

End of Week Five

OK guys, I decided that there wasn't much of a change during the third and fourth week for me to blog about. Well, this is definitely not the case for the end of week 5!

* * *
Nutrition: I'm so focused on my goals that my daily diet is really simple to keep up, and the good thing is that my body is responding in a very positive way! I'm finally understanding what it means to eat clean and how your body reacts to giving it the proper nutrition and rest.

Workouts: I know that this may be a shock for many, but I've only been using my kettlebells for swings and side bends! That's right, I've committed to using bodyweight exercises as my main staple of exercises. I know that there are many folks out there who say that bodyweight exercises are not difficult enough to build a ripped body. Well, they're wrong! Take one look at the physique of this male gymnasts. His body does not have overdeveloped muscles or "C" cup pecs, but I can guarantee that he is solid as a rock. I still love using KBs and I'll incorporate them back into my routine later this year, but I'm now approaching my workouts with this motto: "If I have not mastered my own bodyweight, I have no business lifting weights!".

So, to add to my bodyweight arsenal, I've picked up a set of Xtreme fitness rings from Coach Sommer at gynmasticbodies.com. Also, his book, Building the Gymnastic Body, will be available on his site soon. For an idea of his writing style, you can check out articles that he's written about building the physique of a gymnast through using bodyweight exercises. I can tell you that I've been humbled using these rings. I never knew doing a simple dip could be so challenging.

I've also decided to pre-order a Universal Strength Apparatus (USA) from bodyweightculture.com. I can't wait to get it as it will let me do more exercises, such as climbing the ladders, than the rings; however, I'm happy that I decided to purchase both.

I'm still working on my hand-balancing that I mentioned in my last update, and I'm happy to report that I can hold a headstand for two minutes and a handstand against the wall for one minute!!!! Unless you've mastered or have attempted to master these two holds, you probably won't understand why I'm so happy to have improved my handstand time by only a mere 30 seconds. I've also added doing "assisted" neck bridges using the rings. I'll tell you what, from doing headstands and neck bridges, my upper back and shoulders have noticeably grown!

Overall Feelings: Well, unlike my last post, I'm not feeling as if I'm overtraining, and I'm well into this challenge. I can't believe the transformation that has taken place after only 5 weeks. I can only imagine how I'm going to look at week 10 and of course at the end of week 12. I'm really excited and feeling even more determined about reaching my goal. The Spring semester has started for me, so I'm off to being a college writing professor again; nevertheless, I'm still getting up at 5am to workout before going to work. And since I'm starting to really see the veins in my arms, it motivates me that much more.

Stay tuned . . .

Friday, January 18, 2008

End of Week Two

OK, so here's my first post about how things are going to so far. I'll post at the end of the week from here on out; however, don't expect any really long entries.

* * *

Nutrition: Well, I weighed and stocked up my freezer with a lot of beef and pork. I also picked up the 5 1/2 dozen container of eggs. So, imagine my cart loaded with primarily meat, then a bunch of green veggies, with two huge jars of mayo. The stares I received were pretty funny. Anyway, since I've measured out and recorded the number of calories on each ziplock bag, it's pretty easy to make sure how many calories I'm taking in. This is the most focused I've been on my caloric intake since I've been on this journey, so I expect for it to pay off!

Workouts: OK, I woke up this morning and I had already told myself I wouldn't workout. I'm feeling a bit over-trained even though I didn't think that I was overdoing it. Since this is my first time doing rounds training, my muscles are pretty sore even though I'm using only my bodyweight for resistance! My KB workouts are really cool, but I'm taking it slow since I'm trying to relearn how to do the military press, swing, and clean and press that Mike Mahler and Steve Cotter explain in their latest video The Boys are Back in Town. What really stands out for me in my training is that I've been working on my hand balancing, which is kicking my ass. So, working on holding a frog stance and headstand for two minutes has been really difficult; but, you know what? My shoulders are growing and getting stronger! I had no idea that head stands would build up my traps! Hey, I really recommend Bill Hinbern's book Hand Balancing for Muscular Development. He writes the book for the absolute beginner, which is exactly where I am; however, I was able to hold a proper handstand against the wall for 30 seconds and a headstand for almost over 1 minute!! It may not sound like much, but it has taken time to even get to this point--trust me.

Overall Feelings: Besides waking up realizing that I'm on the verge of over-training, I feel really good about how everything is progressing along so far. I guess I'm more focused on the mental part of my game right now. I can tell that my physique is changing a bit and I'm getting stronger in my workouts, but I appreciate the overall mental focus, and clarity, that I have right now. I better enjoy it while I can since my school's Spring semester doesn't start up until February, and then I have to come back to the real world.

Friday, January 11, 2008

My Daily Diet

One thing that I've always hated about losing weight is that folks always ask, "What do you eat?". The reason I feel this way is because I know that inevitably they will think that if they eat either what or like I do, then they will achieve the same results. Well, on the surface, this seems logical, but it's really not.

Learn the rules of the nutrition game and create your own eating plan. We all have different taste and likes. For instance, I like mayo and salsa on my eggs, and I use this same combination as my salad dressing! I'm sure some people will find this pretty disgusting, but I absolutely love it! So, this is why I seldom tell folks what I eat; however, I will tell you approximately how many calories I'm consuming and the macronutrient breakdown.

OK, to calculate my Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE), I used the Katch-McArdle formula that uses a person's lean body mass to determine how many calories I require to stay at my current weight. So, I stand at 5'11 1/2'', weighing in at @ 190lbs, with a body fat % of 8%. My lean body mass (LBM) in kg is 79kg. Once this is plugged into the Katch-McArdle formula, my Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) is calculated at 2,228 kcals.

Now, keep in mind that RMR is just one part of your TDEE. In addition to RMR, there is the Thermic Effect of Food (TEF), or the calories it takes to digest the food that you eat, and your Physical Activity Level (PAL). Since your TEF only accounts for no more than 10% of your TDEE, it's safe to overlook it as it doesn't make that much difference in your overall weight loss.

To arrive at a good esitmate of my TDEE, I multiplied my RMR x a PAL of 1.55, which gives me a total of 3453 kcals. To reach my goal of getting lean (5% BF), I'm going to cut no more than 500 calories and look to burn no more than the same working out 5 days a week. So, I plan on taking in approximately 2800-2900 calories a day.

To figure out my daily macronutrients requirements, I used the formulas outlined in Anthony Colpo's Fat Loss Bible. So, I started with calculating my daily protein requirement by multiplying my LBM (79 kg) x 2.75 which gave me a total of 217 grams of protein daily. As far as my daily carb intake is concerned, I've decided to take in no less than 60g. and no more than 100g. a day. Now, this does not include the @ 55g. of Post-workout (PWO) carbs that I take in and don't count in my daily carb count. I know it sounds like I'm committing low carb heresy, but I believe my results will speak for themselves. So, what about fat? Well, I'll determine that after I figure out exactly how many calories my above protein and carb intake translate to.

Alright, so to figure out how many calories of protein and carbs I'll eat a day, I simply multiply the above number of grams times 4 since 1 gram of protein (and carb) equals 4 calories. Therefore, out of the 2900 cals. I'm going to eat here's the breakdown:
  • Protein - 217 grams x 4 = 868 calories/day
  • Carb - 60 grams x 4 = 240 calories/day
This gives me a total of 1108 calories. Now, the rest of my calories will come from Fat. So, I will consume 1792 calories from fat, which is approximately 199 grams. To get the number of grams, all you have to do is divide 1792 by 9 since 1 gram of fat = 9 calories. Here is how all my macronutrients stack up and what percentage of my diet they make up:
  • Protein - 217 grams x 4 = 868 calories/day (29%)
  • Carb - 60 grams x 4 = 240 calories/day (10%)
  • Fat - 199 grams x 9 = 1792 calories/day (61%)
Well there you have it fellas. It may seem technical, but it's really not. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions.

Monday, January 7, 2008

My Workout (1st 6 weeks)

As I've blogged about on my main blog, I'm now a firm believer in keeping your workout routines as simple as can be. I believe I heard Steve Cotter say that we should strive to do few things very well than many things half-assed. When I look back on my workout routines, I definitely resembled the "half-assed" part. Man, I've used free weights, machines, and have done full-body, split, push/pull, HIT, and you can add any other workout acronym that you can think of.

Now, I'm going to focus doing a few things very well to achieve the physique I want. OK Fellas, I have a little confession to make. Although I'm using my hero, Eugene Sandow as motivation for the next 12 weeks, I don't want to be a bodybuilder. Having 18 inch biceps and calves (DAMN!) and a 48 inch chest is not something I'm really interested in. My goal is to be lean and shredded at 185.

Basically, I'm going for the physique of a sprinter, gymnasts, or MMA fighter: lean, muscular, and strong! To accomplish this, I've decided to do a fullbody bodyweight routine, using 1-2 min rounds instead of reps and sets, on MWF, and I will do a fullbody kettlebell routine, using traditional reps ( no more than 6) and sets (no more than 3), on TuTh. No cardio in the traditional sense, just leisurely walks on the weekend with a cutie.

OK, here is the list of exercises I'll perform:

Mon & Fri - Bodyweight only exercises
A1 - dips / A2 - chinups/pullups
B1 - squats / B2 - lying pelvic tilts
C1 - AIA (Ass in Air) / C2 - straight leg lifts
A1 - BW rows / A2 - push-ups (various types)
B1 - plyometric squats / B2 - BW sumo squats
C1 - Ab wheel / C2 - ab vacuums

- KB training
A1 - Relaxed Military Press / A2 - KB Renegade Rows
B1 - Swings / B2 - Suitcase squats/lunges
C1 - Russian twists w/KB / C2 - slow & controlled situps

And that's all folks. No supersets, drop sets, or escalating reps, etc. My main focus is being able to master my own bodyweight! When you sit back and think about it, shouldn't this be everyone's goal, at least in the beginning? I could care less about how much you can bench if you can't do 20 consecutive chin or pullups. Hey, I can only crank out 12, so I have my work cut out for me and look forward to the challenge.

I'll post the diet I'm going to follow either tonight or tomorrow. Thanks for your support . . .
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Where to now?

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