Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sprints, Bag, and Bells

Sprints, Bag, and Bells

Mixed in some sprints with light, explosive weights today(35 minutes or so total):

  • Sprints:  6 sprints, all out.  Various length, but averaging around 100 yards.  3 uphill, 3 downhill.
  • Heavy Bag:  3 rounds beating the heavy bag.  Around a minute or so each round with a minute or so rest in between.  I didn't time it or anything.  Just punched like heck until heavily winded and got back to it before I fully got my wind back.
  • Kettle Bell Tabata: 20 seconds high swings, 10 seconds of rest, 20 seconds of sumo squat high pulls, 10 seconds of rest, 20 seconds of right hand snatches, 10 seconds of rest, 20 seconds of left hand snatches.  Repeated those 4 again.  All were with 35# Kettle Bell.

Meals after 23 hour fast:

  • Dinner Last Night: Went to Moe's.  Had a salad with extra meat.  Chicken and Pulled Pork with some usual mexican salad veggies. No cheese.  No sour cream.  Still trying to keep unneeded saturated fat down, although I am not sure it matters after what I have read so far in "Good Calories, Bad Calories".
  • 2nd Dinner:  Left over Indian food.  Lamb curry, chicken tikka masala and vegetable korma.
  • 7:30pm Snack:  A very small cortland apple and a cup of mixed nuts(heavy on the almonds)
  • Breakfast Today:  Western omelet with 1 omega 3 egg and 2 egg whites.  Put some salsa on top.  Had a half an apple and a few grapes with it.

Some interesting notes:

  • Caffeine:  I have cut back on caffeine and stopped altogether by 9am and have discovered an amazing thing.  I, all of a sudden, am remembering my dreams.  This is very unusual for me as in the past year before the cutback I maybe remembered 2-3 dreams total!
  • 181#:  Might be just usual fluctuations, but my weight was 181# on the scale today.  This is up from the usual (highest since around March) while my 31" waist pants are looser at the waist and a touch tighter through the thigh and "seat".  I sense I am gaining muscle and losing more fat.  It would be nice to get back to 188# by next february with a gain in muscle mass and body fat still around 8%. We will see.  I have been doing some form of resistance or plyometric training almost every day.  I rarely am doing a treadmill run only.  The above workout is becoming more the usual "off day", and it might be helping as I get a growth hormone boost more often.  The slight drop in fruit intake might also be helping, but who knows?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Must Read

Must Read

Good Summary of Good Calories, Bad Calories issue with Cholesterol.  I highly recommend reading this:


Monday September 29, 2008


  • Dinner: The recipe for spaghetti squash came out fantastic.
  • Breakfast: Fasting. Nothing but coffee.
  • Lunch: Fasting, so no lunch.

Mixed up the order of some exercises and starting to do some asymmetric exercises with dumb bells one arm at a time.Workout:

  • DB Incline Bench(30 deg): 15@25#, 8@30#, 5@35#
  • BB Bent over Rows: 15@50#, 8@70#, 5@90#
  • Bench Press on Machine: 5x1 @ 235#
  • Close Grip Lat Pulldowns: 5x1 @ 190#
  • One Arm DB Curls on BOSU: 12@25#, 6@30#, 3@35#
  • Tricep Extensions on Cable Machine: 15@"9", 8@""11", 4@"13"
  • DB One Arm Overhead Press on BOSU: 12@20#, 6@25#, 3@30#
  • DB Negative One Arm Curls: 3 negatives at 50#
  • Back Squats: 15@115#, 8@165#, 4@215#. All full depth and fast up, slow down.
  • Dead Lift: 5x1 at 215#. Lighter than usual, but I did it super fast.
  • One Leg Press on Machine: 4 negatives each leg with 2 plates on each side.
Continued reading Good Calories, Bad Calories. It is absolutely fascinating. The cholesterol thing is a science snafu much like global warming. Not all scientists agree, but politics take over and push it through. Reminds me a lot of something from the Sword of Truth series. "Some of the greatest damage is done as a result of good intentions". I will post on it later after I read it fully.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Things I never understood I: Stretching & warm up

Have you ever seen an animal warm up before running around? Neither have I. It could be that they do, and I just don't see enough of them, but I doubt it. Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom was on when I was a kid, and we watched weekly. The lion just gets up and chases the prey. No 10 minute warm up. No stretching. Just go.

My pets never stretch, except for that thing a cat does when it gets up from a nap. Push the paws out front and push the belly to the floor. 5 seconds, tops. Dogs don't even do that much.

To me all this does is add time to a workout and makes the barrier to entry higher. I just don't see it as worth it. I never got it. Get to it, hit whatever you are doing hard for 30 minutes or so and be done.

And for cool down? More time better spent getting to it and equally silly to me. Added fat burning by going for a walk or shooting some hoops I get, IF you have time. Otherwise you are better off with a cold shower. Trust me that the shower will "take".

Sunday Activities

The morning started better than yesterday, with my son sleeping until 6am. Breakfast was lox & eggs(1 omega3 plus 3 egg whites) & onions. I also had coffee and a very small cortland apple and a fish oil capsule.

After splitting up to let my wife go to Gold's Gym, my son fell asleep in the car. I took him out of the car once I got to Border's Books, thinking he would wake up, but he instead feel back asleep while I carried him. I bought "Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taubes and ended up reading for 2 hours while he slept on me in the cafe area. The book is amazing on any levels and I will post on it later.

Lunch was a turkey burger, broccoli, and salad at Ruby Tuesday's.

While my wife showered I did some exercises while I played with the kids. Started with jumping on and off my deck. Then alternated sets of 10 clapping push ups and kettle bell style swings with a 35# container of cat litter. I did 5 rounds. Got more strange looks...

Dinner will be a spaghetti squash with a meat sauce. The recipe is from Mark's Daily Apple.

Saturday Workout

Breakfast: Ham Steak with 2 eggs and sliced tomato. Lunch: Salad with sliced teryaki beef that was leftover from earlier in the week. Dinner: Buffalo chicken(grilled) salad. Lots of snacking on trail mix during the day. Also had a TINY dove ice cream bar for a treat that I shared with my son(5 carbs or so).

Stuck at home while my son napped. Ran 8 sprints up and down my street. All but one were all out. I carried my daughter for one, but she ran 4 sprints as well(this in addition to 1 1/2 hours of soccer). Later in the day I did alternating sets of 10 burpees and 5-6 chin ups on a tree branch. Chin ups were ballistic style.

Today is Sunday. Might rest, might not. We will see.

Watched a few episodes of "The Biggest Loser" last night and this morning. Overall the show is good, but I think there are some problems with the advice. Too much emphasis on low fat. Too much water bottle carrying around. A bit too much low level cardio. Too much focus on weight loss, not fat loss. Too much calories in/calories out. Too much whole grain nonsense. At least there is some resistance training and Jillian is easy to look at. I also don't like the impression it gives that you need to work out for hours a day. To get good results I think it is more about getting your genetics to expess themselves better and shorter, fun, more intense workouts would be better. Maybe Mark Sission should replace Bob for a season and see how the primal/EF methods do against conventional wisdom. I would watch that!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Workout and Meals for September 26, 2008

Workout and Meals for September 26, 2008


  • Skipped Lunch Yesterday
  • Dinner: Picnic at the park.  The sprints from yesterday really drove my metabolism up and I was super hungry at dinner, especially after skipping lunch.  2 legs and 2 thighs of Fried Chicken(they had no grilled premade...), carrots, grapes, watermelon, and one serving of sharp cheddar.  My wife bought apple cider, and I had around 4oz before it was spilled on me.  I didn't bother refilling.  The sugar content in an 8oz cup is astounding.  Snacked on some nuts/trail mix(3-4 handfuls or so) later that night.
  • Breakfast:  My son got me up at 4:30am(!) today.  One omega 3 egg with 2-3 egg whites with a pile of spinach, turkey, and onions.  Threw some salsa on it when it was cooked.  No cheese as I have been skipping almost all dairy except for last night's dinner.  Ate it with a cup of nuts and a cup or so of grapes and blueberries.  Cappuccino(very very dry)
  • Lunch:  Probably going to be a salad, but it depends on what is on the hot buffet line.


  • Clean & Jerk: Started with 4@115#, 2@135#, 2@155#, attempted 165#, but only cleaned it(not brave enough to lift oer my head).  Then did 10 more reps at 115#.  Each rep I included a negative military press.
  • Dips & Pull Ups: Alternated 5 reps of each.  Did them super fast, trying to launch myself up and off the bar then catch myself.  Did 5 sets alternating.
  • Slight Incline(15 degree) DB Bench Press: 15@30#, 8@45#, 4@60#
  • One Arm DB Military Press on BOSU:  15@10#, 8@15#, 5@20#, 4@25# for both arms.
  • Cable Cross Overs:  12@25#, 6@30#, 3@35#
  • Reverse Fly on Machine:  15@75#, 8@105#, 4@135#
  • Kettle Bell High Swings:  These were awesome.  The ONLY way to get the KB up is to explode from the legs and torso.  This is a super fast twitch muscle exercise that I will be doing more often.  I have already scheduled a training session for it.  20@20#, 15@30#, 10@35# with almost no rest in between.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Outdoor Interval Sprints

Dinner last night was teriyaki tri tip steaks with asparagus and a salad. A very small amout of fruit and a couple of handfuls of nuts for dessert. I had about 10 oz of steak.

Breakfast was an omelet with an omega3 egg and 2 egg whites with onions and canadian bacon. Had a cup of mixed fruit and a 3oz piece of leftover steak as well. Cappuccino as usual.

I left the campus at work and went for an interval sprint walk/run on a path nearby. Did this late and had a big breakfast so skipping lunch. I alternated sprints and walking based on trees, telephone poles, cracks in the pavement, etc. Sprints were of various distances and intensites, but most were all out. Rest intervals and terrain incline also was varable. It was a very intense but fun workout. I also got some extra sun by taking my shirt off once outside the campus walls. I got some strange looks, but who cares?

I am writing code today, taking a break from the usual leadership stuff. I am loving it! It is like therapy.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hard Lift With Fast Until Lunch

Fasting until lunch today. I did another "cold therapy" in the car this morning. It was 44 deg F outside and I drove to work with the windows down and wearing a short sleeve shirt.

Meals last 24 hours:
  • Dinner last night: Ramamdan celebration dinner. Had Lamb shwarma, chicken tikka masala, a salad with just lemon juice on it, a tablespoon or so of hummus and another tablespoon of a chickpea dish.
  • Dessert: Indulged on the Lebanese treats, which were fantastic. 4 small pieces including baklava. Very good and worth the sugar for a rare treat.
  • Breakfast Today: Fasting. One fish oil capsule and 2 cups of very dry cappuccino(1/2 decaf).
  • Lunch Today: Nothing yet. Going to get a salad in about 15 minutes.
  • Back Squats: 15@135#, 8@185#, 4@235#
  • Dead Lift: 5x1 @ 275#
  • BB Standing Curls: 15@45#, 8@55#, 4@65# then 5x1 @85#
  • BB Bent Over Rows: 15@65#, 8@85#, 4@105#
  • Tricep Extensions on Cable Machine: 15@"9", 8@"11", 4@"13"
  • Bench Press on Machine: 5x1 @235#
  • DB Overhead Press on BOSU: 12@15#, 7@20#, 4@25#
  • DB Incline Press(30 deg): 15@25#, 8@35#, 4@45#
  • Close Grip Pulldow on Cable Machine: 15@70#, 8@100#, 4@130# then 5x1 @175#
All in all around 35mins. Cold Shower afterwards. Workout was really good after the day off yesterday.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Half Day or so

Had a really mixed up day. Worked from home a bit then had a personal appointment. Worked a bit more, then met my Aunt out for lunch and a discussion of EF. She is getting started and I will post on her progress. Lunch was meat and veggies in a bowl. Then worked a bit more and had to pick up my son since he threw up at school twice. He is doing fine, but that is the policy. Tonight, when my wife relieves me of child duty, is a Ramadan dinner at work. Might be a light meal for me if it is all sugar. No exercise today. Lifting tomorrow.


-1 leftover piece of pork
-1 piece of bacon
-1 hard boiled egg
-1/2 an avacado
-1 cup or so of fruit
-2 very dry cappuccinos

Monday, September 22, 2008

Workout & Eating Update

Fasting again today. I took a fish oil capsule and had a very dry cappuccino for "breakfast". I had a busy morning, so worked out, hungry, at around noon. These were the exercises:
-DB Bench press: 15@30#, 8@50#, 5@70#.
-DB Single Arm Rows: 15@20#, 8@30#, 4@40#
-Dips: Did these fast, almost getting airborn. 15 unweighted, 8@+10#, 4@+20#
-Pull ups: 8 unweighted, 4@+10# 2@+20#
-Kettle Bell Demo: Trainers showed me various KB exercises and I tried them all. Swings, snatches, crunch presses and others. Took about 10mins. I will be asking trainer to put e through a 30in workout with this soon.
-Dead Lift: 15@95#, 8@115#, 4@165#. All fast up and slow down
-Jump Squats: 30@65#, 25@115#, 20@165#.
-DB Steep Incline: 15@20#, 8@30#, 5@40#
-Lateral Raises on Machine: 15@3, 8@5, 4@7
-DB Concentration Curls: 5 negatives each arm with 50# DB.

No lunch. Just a cup of decaf coffee.

Dinner was a pork roast I made on the grill. I ate 3 pieces(maybe 10oz). Served it with a leftover apple chutney I whipped up a week or so ago. Green beans sauted with EVOO, onion & garlic. Also had some leftover salad, 1 bowl. For snack later I had a small apple and some nuts and trail mix.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


It is absolutely gorgeous here in upstate NY. Upper 60s and perfectly sunny.

Started the day early again at 5am with my son. Had pastrami & eggs and onions with a small apple. Ian and I shared. Made breakfast for the rest of the family once they got up around 7am. At 9am we dropped my mother-in-law off at the school playground and had some vigorous tennis for 1 1/2 hours. A ton of fun and a great power law, fractal workout.

Mowing the lawn now in the sun with no shoes or shirt. Getting plenty of vitamin D.

We had dinner out since there was the best babysitter. Indian food with more carbs than we are used to. Had a massala dosa, which was way bigger than we thought. Entrees were lamb, chicken, and vegetable korma. I had no rice and only a piece of nan the size of a deck of cards.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Saturday Tennis

Last night we met my mother-in-law out for dinner at a local mexican place. Ate chicken fajitas with no tortillas, beans, or rice. Had some guacamole and sour cream with it(maybe a tablesppon?). They nicely added some extra veggies for me to replace the filler foods. I also had a half a chimichanga that my wife couldn't finish. Later for a snack I ate a very small apple and some nuts with a bit of dark chocolate with around 4oz of whole milk.

Breakfast today was early as my son got me up at 5am. 1 omega 3 egg with 3 egg whites and about a serving of bacon and a small onion. Ate a small grapefruit and small apple with it. Drank 3 cups of half decaf coffee.

With mother-in-law in town we will play some tennis this morning for about an hour. My wife is quite good, so it will be a nice workout. After that it is off to watch exciting youth soccer.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Morning Drive Cold Therapy

I did something a little strange this morning on the way to work. When I got in my car, which is parked outside until frost comes, the digital readout said 40 degrees F. I had a short sleeve shirt on and it felt a little cold. Rather than waiting for the temperature in the car to heat up when the car gets warm, I decided to have some cold therapy. I lowered the driver's side and passenger side windows and drove to work, making it cold and windy. I was surprised I did not really get very cold. It was noticeable, but not shivering like mad or anything. The biggest problem was my hands got a bit tight.

The cold showers might be toughening me to cold temperatures. I plan on doing this all during the fall when it isn't raining. It will be interesting to see how I deal with the temperatures as they continue falling.

Workout and Meals for Friday 9/20

Meals last 24 hours:
  • Dinner last night: Previously posted
  • Breakfast Today: Fasting. One fish oil capsule and 2 cups of very dry cappuccino(1/2 decaf).
  • Lunch Today: Nothing. As I write this my stomach is growling.
Lifted today for the most part
  • Warm up with Kettle Bell: Gym trainer showed me the new kettle bells that came in recently. I did around 2-3 minutes of swings with 2 and one arms. Only 20# of weight. I will use the 35# one next time.
  • Back Squats: 15@135#, 7@185#, 4@235#(not full squat)
  • Dead Lift Alactic: 2x1 @ 225#, 3x1 @275#. The 225# was a bit too light so I adjusted mid exercise.
  • DB Bench Press : 15@40#, 8@60#, 4@70#. I tried 80#, but I am sad to say I couldn't lift it. Did 10 jumping push ups right after.
  • Bent Rows: 15@65#, 8@85#, 4@105#
  • Tricep Extensions on Cable machine: 15@"9", 8@"11", and 4@"13"(2 less than machine maximum)
  • Standing Curls: 12@45#, 6@65#, and 3@85#
  • DB Incline Bench: 15@20#, 8@30#, 4@45#
  • Close Grip Cable Pull Down, Alactic: 1x1 @ 160#, 4x1 @ 175#. 160# felt a bit too light.
  • Upright Rows: 8@50#, 3@70#
  • BB Standing Overhead Press: 13@40#, 7@50#, 4@60#
  • Shot baskets barefoot for 5 minutes or so

Proud Moment

Proud Moment

It may sound silly, but I had the proudest moment as a parent so far in my life.  I taught my daughter how to tie her shoes.  She had her shoes untied when I got her from school and when we got home she asked me to tie them for her so she could play.  I told her she was a big girl and should do it herself and that I would help her.  Normally she give up very quickly if she is not immediately good at something, so that was my expectation.  Instead, she sat down on the driveway and tried to tie them.  She didn't get it the first time, so I showed her.  We iterated with me showing and guiding and her trying for 15 minutes until she got it.  I untied her shoes and let her retie them at least 10 times until her mother got home.  I was very proud of her accomplishment, but mostly of the attitude.  She stuck with it and was totally proud of herself when she got it.

Dinner last night was a salad with sea scallops, grapefruit, and avacado(as Ian would say, ah-DA-poo).  I had 2 platefuls.  To celebrate the shoe tying accomplishment we also went and had a small amount of ice cream(I had ~1 scoop).  Later I had 4 handfuls of trail mix heavy on the mixed nuts as well.  Today is fasting.  I will update workout and meals later.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Workout and Meals

Workout and Meals

A day off from lifting was in order.  Started with some intervals on the treadmill, walking ~2 minutes and then running.  5 runs at 9mph for 1min, 10mph for 1min, 11mph for 50sec, 12mph for 40sec, then 13mph for 40sec.  Next was 5 rounds on the heavy bag followed by a core routine: 1min front plank, 1 min side planks and 20 back extensions on a BOSU.  I did that core circuit twice.  Finished with shooting baskets barefoot for 5-10 minutes.  Took around 35mins, but I wasn't counting.

I already posted about dinner last night.  Breakfast today was an omelet with 2 eggs and 2 egg whites.  I put in 2 pieces of bacon and some left over onions and peppers from last night.  I split the omelet with my wife.  With it was a serving of fruit: pineapples, cantelope and grapes.  Lunch today is a big salad with grilled chiken(~4 oz), celery, carrots, olives and jalapenos.  The hot line at the café had salmon, so I had a 4oz piece of salmon as well.  Was a bit pricier than usual, but I was hungry.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Turkey Burgers

Dinner tonight was turkey burgers. Just grilled up the pre frozen variety. I ate 2 burgers smothered in sauted onions and red bell pepper. Kids had leftover broccoli, and I ate all the stems of theirs. I also had one half or so of a head of broccoli rabe sauted in olive oil with some garlic. 2/3 of an avacado is also there. Dessert was some strawberries, blueberries, and grapes. Later I ate a very small apple and had some nuts. Previous 2 meals were light, so I loaded up.

Mixed Workout and Meals from last 24 hours

Needed to shake things up with my workout. Here is what I did:
  • Tabata on treadmill: 7.0mph and 12 degree incline. 8x20 second sprints with 10 seconds of rest in between. Was pretty winded by the fourth, but pushed through.
  • Clean & Jerk: Did these instead of squats, dead lifts and bent over rows. I like them, but needed a break. 8x95#, 5x115#, 3x135#. I did slow negatives of military press coming down.
  • DB 45 degree Incline Bench: Higher incline angle than my usual 30 degree. 12x25#, 7x35#, 4x45#
  • Leg Press: 1 plate on each side. Warmed up with around 10 with both legs. Did 5 one leg presses with each leg with 3 negatives pushing up with both legs.
  • Lateral Raises on Machine: 12x"4", 8x"5", 4x"6"
  • Alternating Pull Ups / Dips: 5 sets of 5. Unweighted.
  • 5-10 Minutes of Shooting Baskets Outside
Meals last 24 hours:
  • Dinner last night: Grilled salmon(2x4oz pieces) with a teryaki glaze. Around 1 1/2 crowns or brocolli, including stem. I also ate the stems from my family, who only eat the flowery part. 3 bowls of salad with romaine, red cabbage, sunflower seeds. Dessert was some chopped apple. I probably ate around 1 apple. 2-3 large handfulls of a trail mix with nuts, dried fruit(some of it sweetened) and dark chocolate(maybe an ounce).
  • Breakfast Today: 3 pieces(one serving) of Canadian bacon. 1 Hard boils egg. 1 1/2 servings of mixed fruit(cantelope, apple & grape). 2 cups of very dry cappuccino.
  • Lunch Today: Big Salad. Spinach, Romaine and mixed wild greens with chunks of turkey(approx 3-4 oz, or not enough in other words). "Throw ins" were celery, carrot, jalapenos, and green olives. Water for drink, but I really wasn't thirsty.
Meals put up by request. I would love to hear what others are doing. One note is that I feel like I am raiding the trail mix and nuts more since lowering the fat/cholesterol intake. My tummy feels ok with it and my weight is still 178# plus or minus a pound or two.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tennis and Egg White Omelet

Tennis and Egg White Omelet

Started the day with an omelet with patrami(onoly about 2-3 ounces split between my wife and myself) and onions.  Used one omega 3 egg and around 3 egg whites.  Also had some fruit as well.  The local macintosh apples are amazing right now and we had some of those with cantelope(not as good as earlier in the season), grapes, and leftover grilled pineapple.  Very tasty and lower in saturated fat and cholesterol due to the whites.  The egg whites were based on some comments I got on the blog, so thanks a lot to the commenters. 

Beautiful day in upstate NY.  Played tennis with a colleague for about an hour for a playful workout.  Ran a lot and hit a lot of balls.  Felt good off "both wings" today.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Light Workout

Light Workout

I feel like I have been overtraining a bit.  We got a new membership at the local YMCA and I went there on Saturday night for a "date" with my wife.  We had fun, but it was well less than 2 days since my previous lifting session.  Now it is Monday and also less time for recovery than usual.  I don't really feel recovered and yesterday I was dragging a bit, which was unusual.  Decided on a quick, somewhat easy workout.  Only 2 sets maximum of  each exercise and less weight than the usual.  I want to at least be a bit active and get some lactic burn as I am fasting a bit as well.

  • DB Bench: 12x45#, 6x60#,  Finished with 10 jump pushups.
  • BB Bent Rows:  12x60#, 6x80#
  • Jump Squats:  20x95#, 20x145#
  • Deadlift:  10x95#, 5x145#
  • Lat Pulldowns: 12x70#, 6x100#
  • Dips:  A set of 12 then a set of 8 with about 20 seconds rest.
  • Pullups: One set of 5.
  • BB Standing rows:  12x40#, 6x60#
  • Cable Crossover:  12x"5", 6x"6"
  • BB Military Press:  12x50#, 6x70#

Shot baskets outside in the sun for ~10mins.  Took a cold shower afterward.  Felt good.  Just enough to get it done without pushing it too hard.  Nice easy day.  This didn't take longer than 25mins.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Lauren Art

We went to Cheesecake Factory for lunch. Salad and crispy beef with no rice, of course. Lauren got creative with the dinnnerware.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Dinner Update and Mixed Lifting

Dinner Update and Mixed Lifting

Dinner last night was pork chops.  I trimmed all the extra fat off on the outside, something I normally never do.  Made a small glaze with amustard and a bit of maple syrup.  Served it with a salad and broccoli with a bit of olive oil and garlic and a green salad.  I had 3 servings of salad in a bowl.  Came out good and had the protein without too much extra saturated fat and cholesterol.  I also started on a Omega 3 fish oil capsule supplement.  Not taking is super consistently, but takig one or two each day.

My son has been waking us up during the night the last week and he woke me up at 5am this morning, so I am a bit sleep deprived.  That being said I still went and got a workout in with lower energy than usual.  I am low energy even while fasting, which is a bit strange since I am usually more wired when I fast.


  • Dead Lift(not sumo style): 15x135#, 8x155#, 4x175# then 5x1 at 225#.  I feel sumo style is a little easier than the normal method(hands outside legs).
  • Jump Squats: 25x135#, 20x155#, 15x175#
  • DB Bench: 15x35#, 8x55#, 4x75#
  • BB Bent Over Rows:  15x50#, 8x70#, 4x90#. 
  • Machine Bench: 5x1.  220#
  • BB Bent Rows Alactic:  5x1 at 125#
  • BB Curls: 5x1 95#
  • DB Overhead Press: 15x15#, 8x20#, 4x25#
  • Dips: 15 unweighted.  8 weighted 10#, 4 weighted 20#
  • Close Grips Lat Pulldown:  15x85#, 8x115#, 4x145#

Took about 35 minutes.  Finished with a cold shower.  The water feels colder recently.  Maybe there is some correlation between water temp and ambient temp outside.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bag, Intervals & Core

I decided on doing a little workout today. I did 5 rounds of boxing with the heavy bag. Rounds were of various lengths of time but the longest was 2 minutes. Intervals for 11 minutes after that. I picked up the pace every other minute at 7, 8, 9 10 & back to 8mph. Did some core next. Did 2 rounds of the following:
-1 min plank
-1 min right side plank
-1 min left side plank
-20 some back extensions on BOSU

Started with lower fat food intake today. Breakfast was a serving of canadian bacon with grapefruit and red grapes. Will be salad for lunch with no cheese or fatty meats.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pick Your Poison

Pick Your Poison

I came across a very interesting "Lifecare Guide: regarding High Cholesterol.  Below is a snippet in which I have highlighted some of the suggestions. The paper describes the Theraputic Lifestyle Changes(TLC) plan to combat the high cholesterol levels.

    "The TLC diet is low in saturated fat and cholesterol, recommending that less than seven percent of your daily calories come from saturated fat and that you eat no more than 200 milligrams of dietary cholesterol per day. Also, the TLC plan recommends increasing soluble fiber and, if needed, adding plant stanols and sterols to your diet. Plant sterols are found in small quantities in many fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, cereals, legumes, and other plant sources. Plant stanols come from some of the same sources. Vegetable oils, for example, contain both plant sterols and stanols. Plant stanols and sterols are available in salad dressings and margarines, such as Benecol and Take Control. They are safe for children with genetic high cholesterol, but pregnant women need to avoid them."

The items in blue are basically referring to meats.  7% is a very low number for saturated fat consumption if you are going to eat meat.  I need to look up exactly what that means in "hamburgers", for example to get a feeling.  With meat also comes cholesterol.  This looks to me like it is saying "eat a very small amount of meat".

The items in red are all things that I no longer eat.  From the numerous posts from the various blog gurus grain based foods are not good for us at all as they result in the insulin spikes, etc.  Stephan at wholehealthsource has recently put together a series of posts showing problems with vegetable oils as they mess up our balance of omega6 to omega3 fats. The article has another section suggesting replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated seed oils!

So here is my dilemma.  I have very few risk factors for heart disease.  The only ones I have are family history and the recent cholesterol panel.  I am far from overweight at 8% body fat.  I am actually the leanest person I know.  I do intense physical exercise around 6 days a week.  No metabolic syndrome.  I also do not smoke.  So, how am I going to fuel myself to keep my body composition and avoid all the other metabolic problems?  Do I give up meats and start eating grains and others again in order to improve the cholesterol risk factor?  I think not. I feel better and look better than ever with the current regime.  Eat more vegetables?  I think that is impossible and keep fueled.  I need to pick my poison then.

The only option I see is to try and steer more toward lean protein sources whenever possible.  Maybe the saturated fat intake is higher since the meats I eat are agriculture based and focusing on more lean sources will bring me in balance with how I am adapted.  This means a bit fewer eggs.  Less butter.  Less fatty cuts of steak.  More seafood.  Replace beef with leaner poultry or pork. Try and find a source of wild game meats(in progress).  This should keep me fueled up properly while dropping some of the extraneous saturated fat and cholesterol that might be throwing me off.  I am not going back on the carbs.  I am fully convinced that is not the right way to go.

That is my current analysis.  Make sense?  I would love to hear your thoughts.

Sprints and Burpees

It was a beautiful and cool day here, I ran sprints on this hill today. All were at full speed, but each was a different length. Finished with 5 sets of 10 burpees, which were very hard after the sprints. Lots of intensity in this workout. I was in oxygen debt 13 times.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Workout and Cholesterol Update

Workout and Cholesterol Update

I am fasting today instead of yesterday since I got a chance to go to lunch with my wife after our daughter went to Kindergarten.  Lifted today instead of yesterday for the same reason.  Life mixing things up is a good thing.

I am pretty convinced that the alactic sets are working.  The weights for the usual exercises are feeling lighter and I had to increase the weight on some of the alactics today.  I also mixed it up to be more time efficient by doing alactic set after doing something else so I am not standing around waiting for lactic acid to drop off.  I like doing the alactic after the 15/8/4 as I feel I have done more.

  • Back Squat: 15x115#, 8x165#, 4x215#(all deep). 
  • Leg Press:  5x1.  Started with 4 plates on a side for first.  Then added one for second.  Had 5 plates on a side for last 3.
  • DB Incline Bench: 15x30#, 8x40#, 4x50#
  • BB Bent Over Rows:  15x60#, 8x80#, 3x100#.  More weight than usual and almost got full sets.
  • Machine Bench: 5x1.  Started with 220# then increased to 235# for last 4.  Definitely stronger on this.
  • Close Grips Lat Pulldown:  12x100#, 6x130#, 3x160#
  • BB Bent Rows Alactic:  5x1 at 115#
  • BB Curls: 15x45#, 8x55#, 4x65#
  • Tricep Extension on Machine:  15x"8", 8x"10", 4x"12"
  • BB Curls Alactic: 5x1 at 85#
  • Tricep Extension Alactic: 5x1 at "15"(machine max) + added weight.
  • BB Overhead Press: 15x30#, 8x50#, 5x70#, 2.5x90#.  Stronger here as well.
  • Spotted Bench Press for Richard: 1 rep at 175#, a new record.  Congrats!

I have been asking some guru's their opinions about the cholesterol levels from last week and have had some feedback already.  Some of it is conflicting, but all helpful for me to make some informed decisions.  It is looking like I need to make some judgement calls, however, regarding food intake.  What I am doing now is probably good from an Omega-3/Omega-6 fat ratio, but might be damaging my cholesterol levels(if that even matters…).  If I change my diet to improve cholesterol then my omega balance might fall off.  All of this is to avoid any cardiovascular risks that might be nonexistent anyway.  I will post later this week after some additional pondering.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Playground Again

I took my son, daughter and niece to the playground again today. I only got around 5 sprints in at the soccer field since the kids were anxious to get to the jungle gyms. While they were playing I did dips, pull ups, jumping push ups and box jumps up onto some of the higher items. They also have a metal pole for kids to slide down like a fireman. I also climbed that pole(around 15' high) 3 times using nothing but arms. It reminded me of when we used to climb rope in gym class.

Tomorrow is a day off of exercise as it is my daughter's first day of Kindergarten. She is in afternoon Kindergarten and I want to see her get on the bus and take pictures. Looking forward to it.

US Open Intervals

Home on a wet and rainy Saturday. After my son went down for a nap I slapped on the Vibram FiveFingers and got on the treadmill for some intervals while watching Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal play their US Open semifinal tennis match. Walked for 2 minutes then ran for one. Started at 8mph, then 9, 10, 11, 11, 11, 11, 10, 9, 8pm. My home treadmill is nice, but maxes out at 11mph so I did 4 at that max speed. It was fun and uplifitng on a rainy day.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Fun With Heartbeat Monitor

Fun With Heartbeat Monitor

At my fitness center they supply heart beat monitors usually for use on cardio machines.  You wear it around your chest and it reads out to the machine or a wrist watch.  With the wrist watch I can use it for anything, however, so I decided to see how my heart rate(HR) is while I do a lifting routine today.  I started with a resting rate of 66 beats per minute(bpm). 

Here is a log of what I did:

  • Dead Lift:  15x135#, 8x185#, 4x235# then 5x1 of 255#.  After first set HR was 130 bpm or so.  By the end of 3rd set it was up to 160bpm.
  • Jump Squats:  25x135#, 20x155#, 15x175#.  HR around 170bpm at highest and lowest 140bpm.
  • Bent over rows: 15x65#, 8x85#, 4x105#.  I felt very strong on these. 
  • DB Bench: 15x35#, 8x50#, 4x65# then 5x1 on bench press machine at 225#.  HR was low of 130bpm and high of 150bpm.
  • Overhead Press: 15x40#, 7x60#, 3x80#
  • BB Curls:  15x30#, 8x40#, 4x50# then 3x1 of 70# 1, 1x1 80# and 1x1 90#
  • Incline DB Bench: 15x20#, 8x30#, 5x40#, 3x50#.  Felt strong on this as well.  HR was 165bpm after last, heavy set.
  • Close Grip Lat Pulldowns: 15x70#, 8x100#, 4x130#
  • Triceps Extensions on Machine: 3x1 at machine max of "15" and 2x1 at "15+ extra weight thingy"

The HR monitoring was facinating.  My HR went from a rest of 66 up quickly to 130 and change then oscillated from 130 up to 170 bpm during the 35 minutes or so I lifted.  That is pretty comparable to the standard "cardio" workouts on the treadmill people do from a level perspective, but this had more up and down variation.  This seems to me to be a very healthy way to do "cardio" as I get the strength building and heart benefits all in one.  Now I am curious how my HR is when I do a sprint workout.  I will wear it for my next sprint session.

Weight has been between 179# and 180# now for a few days.  The weight gain and the strength improvements suggest that I have built a touch more muscle recently.  I think the alactic mix in is helping in that area.

Rumination about Cholesterol Levels

Rumination about Cholesterol Levels

I didn't want it to, but I was really bothered about my CHO levels yesterday.  My early morning Physical clouded my entire day, but got me thinking quite a bit on it. 

Some random thoughts:

  • I am still not sure if there is anything to the CHO cardiovascular disease link.  My brain says it is barking up the wrong tree and the real problem is elsewhere.
  • The overall blood results seemed really off from my usual, including white cell count, etc.  Is it possible that the lab messed up?  I have no idea how likely that is. 
  • How variable are the test results?  Is it possible that the test has measurement error that contributed?
  • I wonder how much the meals in the days leading up to the blood being taken mattered.  Looking back that week was a bit unusual for my diet.  I didn't think it was too bad, considering my diet in the more distant past where I had lower CHO levels, but here are some details. 
    • 6 days before: At dinner at a steak house in NJ.  Started with a large amount of shell fish then ate my steak and part of my wife's.  Shell fish is pretty high in CHO.  Also had part of a chocolate dessert and some berries and cream with a sweetener.  This is more sugar than my usual and might explain the high TRIG?
    • 2 days before: My wife's birthday.  Another surf and turf fest.  I ate around a pound of alaskan king crab legs, with butter of course, and at least 10oz of filet mignon.  Also had some flourless chocoloate cake afterward.  More sugar again.
    • 14 hours before: Dinner was a large beef liver with bacon and onions.  I eat liver rarely since no one else in my family likes it, so very unusual.
  • Since my last test I have been fasting much more often, upping my fasts from 3x/week at 18 hours to 2x23 hour fasts + 1x18 hour fasts.  This is the only major change in my lifestyle other than the gorging on CHO laden foods the week before my blood was taken.  I wonder if the fasting and heavier eating when I do eat causes my blood levels to have more variation than before?
  • The HDL went down from previous time.  With the extra CHO intake, why wouldn't the HDL have gone up as well?  Strange.
  • Everyone, including myself except the recent results, that has switched noticed a marked improvement in CHO levels.  It is strange it reversed all of a sudden.
  • The skeptic in me wonders whether CHO levels really are improved with the new lifestyle.  Not that it matters as that wasn't explicitly my goal.  As I learned from Taleb and Popper it only takes one case to disprove a theory while dozens never really prove it.
  • I think I am going to try to be "extra good" with my sugar and CHO intake leading up to the next blood test.  Extra strictness on sugar and avoiding any high CHO sources for at least a week and see if that matters.  I may even limit the Omega 3 eggs and see if it matters.

Any thoughts?

Thursday, September 4, 2008



I had my annual physical exam today with my doctor.  Overall things wen't well.  The unsightly vericose vein in my leg is harmless and might be fixable with some simple procedure.  They used to do "vein stripping", which I don't understand, but doesn't sound simple. 

My blood lipid profile was much worse than previous:

Total Cholesterol: 248.  Much higher than the 202 I had 8 weeks ago.
HDL: 48.  Slightly down from before, but still pretty good.
LDL: 179.  Way up from 132 previously and the cause of the total being high.
Triglycerides: 108, up from around 80.

All of these were a bit of a surprise.  I fully expected to be at or below the previous and higher on HDL, but that is not the case.  The doctor was not worried and suggested it might just be a anomaly or test variation.  He wants to see a trend before he worries.  I, personally, am not worried.  As from earlier posts, I think the real problem is inflamation from high carbohydrate intake and since mine is low I doubt I will have any problems with cardiovascular disease.  I mentioned that to him and he seemed to agree somewhat.  I am not going on statins either way.

Only other surprise was my blood was alittle unusual.  White blood cell count, red cell count, Hemoglobin and Hemacrit levels were below the normal range.  Having some additional tests to see if I might be losing blood cells through excretions of some sort.  We will see.

I also spoke to him about EF and the lifestyle changes I have made.  He seemed interested and took info about it to investigate.  I am curious to hear his feedback.  I feel I am in the best shape of my life and it has been nearly effortless.

No workout today as I had other engagements that took half the day away and had work to do at the office.  Hitting it hard tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sprints and Planks

Hill sprints today. 4 uphill, 4 downhill. All of varying length and all top speed except the first which was 80 percent or so. Cooled off by doing planks: 2 front and 2 on each side. Finished with some back extensions(backward crunch, sort of) on a BOSU.

Omega 3 versus Omega 6

In case you were needing more reasons to adopt a Paleo style diet, check this post out from Whole Health Source. It turns out that the ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acids is all screwed up in our modern diets and as this changed over time it resulted in psychological issues popping up. Many people who have switched recently report feeling better, including myself, and this may be the reason. I have had none of the "dark days" that I used to have every couple of months since the switch.

If you know anyone who has struggled with depression or other psych issue it would be good to turn them on to this posting. A Paleo diet moves this ratio into better balance due to less vegetable oil fats and more animal fats, so the effect should be better state of mind and less depression. Since our animals have worse ratios than in the past, it might make sense to take a fish oil supplement or something as well. I will be considering that. We try to eat lots of salmon, avacados, and attempt to eat game meats when we can, but it may not be enough. Ancestral diets are the way to go.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

180# and Pre Jury Duty Workout

180# and Pre Jury Duty Workout

I did some forms of resistance training the last couple of days at the playground, but I may be in the court house the rest of the week in Jury Duty so I lifted today.  I avoided a lot of the exercises I did on the jungle bars like dips and pull ups.  I am getting a little more natural at mixing in the alactics with some variation.  I think they are already working as I hit 180# on the scale today, which is the first time I have been 180 or over in around 5 months.  The pants are still fitting loose at 31" waist, so I am not getting fatter and the alactics might be adding some muscle mass as I adapt to the heavier lifting from time to time.  I will watch it and see how it progresses as my weight does fluctuate quite a bit and might just be an anomaly.  Less weight than usual, but concentrated on faster, more explosive upward movement on all reps with slow, almost negatives on return, even on the 5x1 sets.  Trying to get more fast twitch type 2 fibers.


  • Squats:    15x135#, 8x155#, and 4x175#(all full squat)
  • Dead Lift:  12x135#, 7x155#, 3x175#
  • Standing Curls: 15x45#, 8x55#, 4x65# then 5x1 at 85#
  • Incline DB Press:  15x25#, 8x35#, 4x45#
  • Bent Rows:  15x45#, 8x65#, 4x85# then 5x1 at 105#
  • Alactic Bench on machine: 5x1 at 220#
  • Overhead BB Press: 15x30#, 8x50#, 4x70# then 5x1 at 90#

Shot baskets for 5 minutes afterward.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Playground Workouts

Holiday weekend and no access to gyms, which is no problem for me. I took Saturday off, but Sunday morning I took my children to a local soccer field and playground while my wife went to Gold's Gym(I am not a member). I ran 10 sprints of varying distance and speed, but always was huffing and puffing afterward. The kids did their versions of it, particularly my daughter who did sprints chasing butterflies. After sprints we went to the playground where there was plenty of jungle gym equipment. Dips, pull ups, jumps push ups, box jumps, and some "rows" I invented using the bars I used for dips. I just hung underneath and pulled myself up. It was a nice playful workout while watching the kids have fun. I actually did this 2 days in a row.

Today I did a similar workout with slight variations, alternating between dips and pull ups, for example. Did 8 sprints, this time with my wife. My kids were in one particular area where all there was was a horizontal ladder jungle gym. I was able to fit my head through, so I did close grip style pull ups. With all exercises I focused on making the moves fast with slow negatives.

I probably looked strange since I was the only adult doing it. It was surprising to me since it is a great way to get exercise while doing something else at the same time. It is also free. Why don't any of the other adults do it?