Great summary of why high intensity, short duration training is better than "cardio". This is covered in detail witihin "Body By Science". It is not about just building muscle but training your whole metabolism as well.
Sunday, May 31, 2009
-Leg Press: 340#(320#) / 92s(90s)
-Bench Press:190#(190#) / 75s(72s)
-Seated Row: 175#(175#) / 77s(70s)
-Military Press: 110#(110#) / 70s(70s)
-Lat Pulldown: '13'('13') / 70s(75s)
Friday, May 29, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
I have observed this is a couple of places. One that comes to mind is a health blogger who tried it but was miserable the whole time and couldn't concentrate during the fast. I think this is an indication of insulin crash, possibly due to artificial sweeteners. The person just didn't have enough access to their fat stores, in my mind. If you have insulin under control with proper nutrition then the fast should have been pretty much a breeze.
I have mentioned fasting before any times and I feel it is crucial for health and longevity. I see it as a signal to your genes that you need to be kept around longer since life isn't so easy. It improves body composition and may be protective of diseases, including cancer. While helpful, I wouldn't recommend trying to fast for long until the diet is in order.
I typically do around 2, 24 hour fasts a week and at times skip other meals if I am not hungry. How do you roll? Have you tested yourself with an all day, dinner to dinner fast?
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
As I mentioned yesterday, I am not going to lift more than once a week, so I did a quick tabata on the treadmill at 7.5mph and 12 degree incline. Brutal. I was doubled over for at least 5 minutes afterward and huffing and puffing for another 20 minutes. Felt amped 30 minutes later. Amazing what 4 minutes of high intensity can do.
Today is an eating day. Breakfast was 3 pieces of bacon, some fruit and 2 cute, tiny farm eggs. Lunch was a salad with tuna. Dinner is going to be steak and asparagus.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
This is very new to me and I think it is a sign. I am usually chomping at the bit to workout every day. I have gone for 2 weeks at time not missing some relatively high workout, whether it was lifting, sprinting or doing intervals. I say relatively since it wasn't until I did some slower high intensity style lifting that I realized how low the intensity really was. The BBS workout is clearly much more intense as I am doing it, but the recovery is no less different. Instead of soreness it is more like weakness. Instead of feeling ready to go again after a day or two, 3-4 days no longer feel enough. Yesterday I didn't feel like doing much but relaxing in the sun.
Another reason for this is a recent comment I got from Doug McGuff. I had been doing extra exercises above and beyond the Big 5 and he recommended against it. I had been doing this for a couple of weeks, adding 2 to 6 extra exercises to the big 5. 10-12 minutes for a workout feels too short and old habits die hard. I recently have felt even more drained than before when I was doing just the Big 5. Adding 3-4 day recovery and I sense I was overtraining in addition to the overstimulus. The weights and time under load have been improving, but I sense it could be better.
As I understand it, built into the approxiately 7 day recovery time is more days above baseline than below. I have not felt this in the last 3 weeks or so. This should mean 1-2 days feeling weak/tired/sore/etc and 4-5 days feeling more "amped" at which time I would be ready for another high intensity session with reasonable volume. My inclination, and my wife's, is to lift again as soon as I feel baseline or a bit higher. I am slowly learning this is not optimal. I am not a trainer or expert by any stretch so any feedback on my understanding would be greatly appreciated.
So rather than lifting again, underrecovered, we are taking advantage of the sunshine and will hit some tennis balls around for 45 minutes or so. For the record I am fasting all day.
Other than the workout of the week Saturday morning the only other activity was going for nature walks yesterday. Nothing strenuous, just walks in the woods. Kids loved it.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
-Leg Press: 320#(300#) / 90s(110s)
-Bench Press:190#(190#) / 72s(62s)
-Seated Row: 175#(170#) / 70s(95s)
-Military Press: 110#(100#) / 70s(90s)
-Lat Pulldown: '13'('12') / 75s(78s)
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
The wildlife sightings started yesterday. During my walk I saw a snake. On my drive home I saw a turtle trying to cross the road and I stopped to pick him up and get him there. Less than 2 minutes later I saw a red headed woodpecker near the side of the road.
I had my blood pressure checked shortly after exercise. 120/78. Pretty good. 180#. Cold shower. Tennis tomorrow.
A bit of background. I was never very heavy. At 6' 1" or so tall my heaviest was 203#(maybe 18% body fat or so). By today's standards that is relatively thin I think. I did however have some medical issues that I had wrestled with over the years. Nothing too bad yet, but could have been the sign of things to come. In 1999 I had a cancerous tumor removed from my bladder. I have had fillings in many of my teeth. I am pretty sure my glucose control was worse than most since I got especially grouchy if I went longer than 4 hours or so between meals. This could have led to many problems down the road. When I read Art Devany's essay on Evolutionary Fitness my main reason for a switch was for health, not weight.
I see this elsewhere as well. Thin people get diabetes too. Thin people get heart disease and die from heart attacks. While I am sure that there is a correlation between how overfat a person is and their health I don't think it can be said with high accuracy "I am thin therefore I am healthy". I can think of a few places where I have seen this as well:
-I talk to people who say it is fine to have deviations from a healthy diet from time to time(Tom, don't freak out, keep reading…). The main reason for this is "I don't gain any weight when I have some <insert treat here>".
-There is a blogger who I have seen mention mention his wife "tolerates" carbs more than he does. By tolerates this means "doesn't gain weight".
-There is another blogger I read a while ago who said that "the calorie is king" and why not eat some carbs so long as the calorie count is low since some can maintain body fat percentage that way. Again, the focus is on weight.
-I doubt people got fat eating polyunsaturated vegetable oils, but it sure did hurt our health.
Health is why I eat the way I do. I cheat rarely and when I do it is in very small quantities. I go hungry every few days, sometimes for a whole day. This is not for weight management reasons. I am somewhere between 8-9% body fat now so I would only be trying to lose more if I was crazy. I do it for health. Eating the right foods, from all I have read and processed through my brain, is the single biggest thing you can do for your health. Fasting signals the body that food isn't all that plentiful so keep this genetic vessel around a bit more and go through some repair work.
Exercise is a similar matter. Many focus on weight as the primary motivator for exercise. People do "cardio" primarily for weight loss/fat burning not health(not that is works, mind you). Much of the bloggers I read realted to "Strength and Conditioning" focus mostly on performance. This is great, but it is not my primary focus. I am not going to be a professional athlete, not even close. Any sports I do are for fun. The reason I do it is for health(ok and to look good with clothes off). Also, some of the methods described like high volume high impact exercises may be better for performance(jury is still out in my mind on this) but may result in short and long term injuries. To me exercise, like fasting, is a "life is not so easy" signal to the genetics. In "Body by Science", Doug McGuff and John Little go through muscle glycogen emptying, insulin sensitivity and other benefits in great detail so I recommend you dig further there if you are interested. I have hear
d many people who are naturally thin or thin based on diet only say "I don't need to exercise since it isn't needed for me to be thin". This is exactly my point. The focus should be on health, not how fat you are.
I believe that there is far too much focus on being thin rather than being healthy. Don't get me wrong, I think it is fine to "cheat" every now and then if it keeps you committed(glad you kept reading…). The grand total of the good stuff will outweigh the bad if you stay committed by straying, possibly on purpose, from time to time. I just think that we should keep in mind the major purpose, health. From my experience, weight management comes automatically when health is focused on. If the focus is only weight then health can suffer. Part of the problem is that health is much more abstract as a concept than health. Seeing the weight come off is concrete in that you can see results within a month or so. Possible health problems in the future are much harder for us to take action on as the effects are too far out in time.
Eat well and exercise appropriately and both weight management and health are taken care of.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Check out the below message my friend Senya got from her work's fitness center.
- Fuel your body with plenty of healthy carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for working muscles and your brain. Healthy carbohydrate foods to include in your diet are, fruits, low fat milk, low fat yogurt and whole grains (oatmeal, bran cereal, brown rice, beans, legumes). Be sure to include these healthy foods in your diet daily so that you will have plenty of energy and get a great workout!
"Hi Tour Traveler,
Can you believe it's already the beginning of week five of the Tour de <business>? Where did the time go? You should be feeling incredible after logging all those hours spent exercising.
As you continue on your route to fitness, keep this nutrition tip in mind before and after each exercise session.
Keep burning those calories and have fun,
So let me get this straight:
- Eat before and after you exercise will get you to burn more calories? If you have incoming food how do you burn more calories? Even in the calories in/calories out stuff this doesn't make sense. You only need these "healthy foods" for workout energy if you have no access to your fat. How about reducing insulin levels and burning your own fat instead?
- Eat more carbs, particularly those from grains and rice? Good luck getting access to your fat stores after eating the sugar. Fat will be in lock down and you will be hungrier shortly after the workout at which time you can load up on more healthy carbs(sugar).
- Keep burning those calories? The exercise they are suggesting (since they are logging all those hours) will burn only slightly more than doing nothing(base metabolic rate).
- Have fun? On a treadmill for 45 minutes grinding away? I don't think so.
As Senya suggested "they should have stopped at fruit" with the dietary advice. With advice like this no wonder people aren't getting any leaner or healthier. I should buy more stock in Pharma.
I took Monday off and completely rested and still woke up sore today. Kept it simple and just took a walk in the sun and woods with a few runs and sprints thrown in.
181#. Cold shower.
Friday, May 15, 2009
-Leg Press: 300#(260#) / 110s(108s)
-Bench Press:190#(185#) / 62s(72s)
-Seated Row: 170#(155#) / 95s(125s)
-Military Press: 100#(90#) / 90s(75s)
-Lat Pulldown: '12'(140#) / 78s(68s) did these with closer grip and palms facing me.
Very cool video. A couple of interesting things on this:
1) This guys is ripped. He eats zero carbs. Not low carb, but zero carb. If you read some of his posts you will see some very thought provoking stuff.
2) The running style he demonstrates is very different than what you see in joggers. The shoes change things, allowing a heel, mid, toe style that makes no sense and leads to injury.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
- The contestants started out so fat that while they lost quite a bit very few really got to what I think of as lean. They needed another 4-5 months they started so big.
- One of the reasons not to ever get that big is that if you go back to being thin you need to worry about skin folds and flaps.
- "Fitness" and "Endurance Cardio" are synonomous in our culture. The contestants were so proud of doing marathons, half marathons, triatholons, and other tholons. The message everyone gets is that this is what fitness means. It is silly and the wrong way to exercise and I don't see this turning around anytime soon.
- The focus, probably because it makes for slightly better television, is exercise and not diet. While exercise is certainly good if you do it right, diet is at least 75% of weight loss and you don't get that impression from watching the show. It sounds like if you want to lose weight you need to hit the gym for hours a day and that isn't the main problem.
- Many of the contestants still had "carb face" eventhough they dropped a lot of weight.
- I hope that next year they go smaller and younger. No offence but it just isn't as fun watching really old and really fat people try and exercise.
- Jerry winning the biggest loser club consolation prize was pretty amazing. He did get lean.
- It was interesting to see some of the behavior changes. Mikey seems like he came out of his shell. The really big guy Daniel seemed like a different person as well.
- The whole season I never understood what Joelle was saying. I knew what each word was but as a sentence it never made sense.
From reading Freakonomics I understand that there is a way to get a really good idea about cause and effect from observations, however. The example they gave was controversial. They claimed that the large and unforseen drop in crime statistics was caused by Roe v. Wade. The logic was that in the early 70s many more unwanted children were aborted(terrible thought...) and they didn't grow up to be criminals. As the previous crime generation matured there were less to backfill the crime roles and thus the overall rate declined quite severely. The observational data indeed shows this link, so it could have just been a coincidence and thus no causes and effect. How did they get to with confidence say it was the cause?
I was going to give the answer here but I won't. It is much more fun to make it a quiz. Please take a guess at how they did it and I will post the reason in a later post. I will give one hint. Roe v. Wade was a federal law, not a state law. From that follows how they did it.
The reason I write this is that it is one of the reasons I live the way I do. From solely the observations I think the cause of most disease is clear and uses the same method as the Freakonomics example. This also is a topic for a later post.
Enjoy and happy guessing!
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
My question is where does the excess sugar go on the lucky ones? I assume that it must go somewhere. Does it circulate in the bloodstream so normal blood sugar levels are elevated? Is it excreted?
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Activity today was tennis for an hour with my friend Jack. He hits a mean ball and it was great. Spoke to him a bit about EF as well, which was fun.
179# today. Cold shower. Big salad with turkey and ham for a late lunch.
Eating: The way of eating is quite easy in that you really don't need to go hungry. You can go hungry from time to time by fasting, but that is another post. You can eat until you are full so long as you stick to meats, vegetables, fruit and nuts(real food). What is difficult is avoiding the wrong foods. We all love potatoes(my favorite), bread, pasta, rice, and sugary starchy food. It is difficult or impossible for some people to give them up. We are bombared with bad foods everywhere from gatherings to visits to the grocery store. The fact that you can eat Paleo until satisfied and won't be hungry all the time is lost.
Activity: It is easy in that far less activity is required for Paleo style exercise. No need to spend hours on the treadmill each day. The hard part is getting to the higher level of intensity required for positive adaptation. Many are just not willing to do the hard work. Sprints are tougher that walking. Lifting heavier weights is tougher than low weight. The fact that the hard work has to be shorter duration and less frequency is lost.
I think this is what stops people. They see the hard parts and are not willing to go there. The balance that needs to be explained better are the easy parts. For me I far prefer to take the easy and hard as they come for full benefits.
Monday, May 11, 2009
- Leg Press: 280#(260#) / 95s(90s) Up in weigth and time. Really happy about that.
- Bench Press: 185#(180#) / 70s(60s) Got a little help to keep the time under load up.
- Seated Row: 155#(150#) / 90s(70s) Usual machine was occupied, so used another which I think was a little easier
- Military Press: 95#(90#) / 72s(75s)
- Lat Pull Down: '12'('11') / 60s (65s) Got a little help on last rep on this as well.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
My son Ian is happiest when digging in dirt. Later he was doing it with no shirt or shoes on. I was the only adult with my shirt off and no shoes and got funny looks as usual. Several kids followed suit.
This picture is the boat house for pedal boats in Prospect Park. My grandparents on my Mother's side got engaged here on the water. Romance runs in my family as my Grandfather proposed by suggesting they open a joint bank account. Silver tongued devil.
These are a bunch of pictures at the Prospect Park Zoo.
Friday, May 8, 2009
*Leg Press: 260#(240#) / 108s(113s)
*Bench Press:175#(170#) / 72s(74s)
*Seated Row:'13' ('11') / 96s(125s)
*Military Press: 90#(85#) / 75s(77s)
*Lat Pulldown: 140#(135#) / 68s(68s)
Upped the weight for all, some significantly, and time under load dropped only a little. Numbers in () are from previous week. Getting stronger every week.
I was out of breath for 20 minutes afterward. I feel weakened, so the workout did it's job.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Mid morning did 5 rounds of this:
-1 minute of mayhem on heavy bag.
-45 second knukle plank. This is just the up push up position with knucles in punch fist against the ground. Good for toughening up the knukles and strengthening wrist.
-Medicine Ball wall throws: 10 each arm.
Took a cold shower after. 181#. In line for lunch now to get a salad with some fish in it.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
I have been taking it easy for the last 2 days. Still sore from whatever I did over the weekend. It might have been the SS/HIT session Saturday morning, the hike Saturday night, or the hours of pulling up overgrown bushes on Sunday. I was still sore up until this morning, particularly on the upper back and legs.
Feeling better today I skipped breakfast, worked for an hour, then went to the gym for a high intensity interval training. I did a tabata on the treadmill at 12 degree incline and 8mph setting. I only got through 7 intervals. I could just not do the "ocho". I was out of breath for 5 minutes afterward. Left the gym feeling fantastic, however. Total workout time was less than 10 minutes, with 6 minutes of walking.
We are going out of time for the weekend so I moved my Wednesday workout to Friday. This will be 6 days of rest, longer than I have rested from weights in a while and more along the line of what is recommended for HIT. Looking forward to hitting it hard then.
181#. Cold shower.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
We just ate takeout from a KFC and they were closing. What is going to be there instead? A Wallgreens drugstore. Nearby there is another Wallgreens going up and a RiteAid just was added less than a mile away.
Two new restaurants are just opening. A "Pasta Factory" and an "Arizona Pizza Kitchen".
This is where the world is going. Feed people cheap carbs you can make a buck on then sell them drugs to help mitigate the diseases of civilization.
-Leg Press: 260#/90s
-Bench Press: 180#/60s
-Seated Row: 150#/70s
-Military Press: 90#/75s
-Pull Down: '11'/65s
-Leg Extension: 85#/75s
-Leg Curl: 80#/90s
-Leg Adduction: 90#/85s
-Leg Abduction: 85#/74s
-Ab Curl: 100#/68s
-Back Extension: 150#/90s
Took a little less than 30 minutes. Ate a not so good lunch of fried chicken 2 hrs or so after. They are closing the KFC near us and aren't doing grilled chicken.
- Heavy Bag: Mayhem with hands and feet for 1 minute or so.
- Medicine Ball: One arm wall throws, 2 arm overhead throws and slams. 10 or so each.
- Planks: Front(1:15) and each side(1:00). Interesting timing on this as Chris posted a study that showed core exercise has little to no effect on speed and strength performance. He is always digging good stuff up. I might have been wasting time as a result.
- Back Extensions: Used 10# weight. 4-5 slow motion reps.