31 March 2009
- bench press: 145
- db press: 45
- dips, did 3 sets until failure: 20/10/8
- upright rows: 40x15, 50x8, 60x8, 70x6
- military presses on universal, 5x5 w/70
Listened to several good podcasts from Jimmy Moore. Leftover beef florentine for dinner with cauliflower.
30 March 2009
- deadlift: 135x15, 155x8, 185x4
- seateed rows: 115x15, 130x8, 145x4
- renegade rows: 25db'sx8, 3 sets
- barbell curls: 45x15, 55x8, 65x6
- db snatches: 25dbx5, 3 sets, each arm
- upright raises: 10x15, 12.5x8, 15x4
- calf raises: 150x15, 160x10, 170x6, 180x4, 200x2
Workout got better the longer I was there. Bad day at work.
29 March 2009
- Squats: 135x20, 155x10, 185x5, 205x2
- Universal leg press: 280x20, 320x10, 340x8
- Bench press: 135x15, 145x10, 155x6, 165x3
- plus a few light deadlifts
Went food shopping, made some tasty dinner: fried tilapia 'breaded' with almond meal and parmesian. note fried in coconut oil (virgin). Was a little concerned about turning the heat up too high on the oil since the virgin CO doesn't tolerate that well. If I would have thought about it, the fish could have used a lemon butter sauce to top it off. But turned out pretty well regardless, served with steamed julienned yellow and green squash:
Senya made some Omega meatballs, right out The Paleo Diet. We'll be dining on those throughout the week: Not great picture quality due to black stove.
28 March 2009
3 x 10 super-burpees
3 x 5 renegade rows, extra strict and slow - noticed a difference when minimizing body twist
10/7/5 floor wipers
plus a few random sets of presses, dips, curls, etc.
Came home and did some work with the chain saw cutting up the remaining downed branches from the ice storm. Still some cleanup to do, but nice being out in the sun on a 60F day.
Also wanted to bookmark Mark Sisson's site that discusses almond meal and its uses. Always found it is a great substitute for any type of breading.
147.0 on scale
Opening day is April 6th! Which is about nine days from now! Just in time as the last bit of snow is melting from the side of the driveway.
a) PaleoFood.com: very comprehensive site for a wide range of meals. Some of the recipes may require the odd ingredient at the store, but most are pretty easy to follow. Detailed explanation on how to prepare things.
b) Caveman Food: Elizabeth has a great feel for the Paleo way and posts some tasty recipes. I've tried several of them and have been pretty pleased. Also some great pictures on the final product.
c) Son of Grok: SOG has nice recipes that are easy to follow. The bacon meatloaf is one of our favorites. Been a while since I made that, so maybe I'll prepare that in the near future. SOG also has excellent workout routines. His 300 test is a killer.
d) My brutha-from-anotha-mutha Jeff: Let me preface by saying that Jeff is an outstanding cook, though he doesn't give himself enough credit. But I'll take a look at what he makes for ideas on things.
e) Mark Sisson's Recipes: These tend to be more on the intermediate side of techniques. There may be call outs for ingredients I don't have or are unfamilar with, but there are some good ideas here.
f) Feel Good Eating: A lot of recipes here, some more complex than others - but plenty of ideas.
g) World's Healthiest Foods: This is a pretty good site. Not geared directly to the Paleo lifestyle, so you have to take that with a grain of salt. Last time I looked through it, he had some useful links / short videos on how to prepare things - like how to crush garlic cloves, etc. Really useful for the novice cook.
h) How to: Shows various cooking techniques, like how to julienne vegetables, etc. Great resource, but there is a lot of spam links that may redirect you to a sales pitch for a new appliance. That issue aside, it is useful.
27 March 2009
Had a light workout, full body style at the gym. To some degree, I know I was going through the motions, but gym time has been low lately due to work and I was definitely feeling work hangover.
Did 5-30 sec sprints 11-12.5 mph. Then did 2 sets of 10 of the following exercises:
Close grip pullups
Bench press, 135
BB curls, 50
Planning on a cross-fit type workout tomorrow. Ran some errands to the butcher, got gas, Trader Joe's, and the supermarket. Beef florentine in the oven right now. Pics to follow.
148 on scale this morning, no doubt due to the crap they served at the meeting yesterday.
One of the things he reminded me of was really not to get too hung up on numbers such as weight or bf% and to use the mirror as a guide. Funny how I tell other people the same thing, yet I'm a bit hypocritical as I check my weight every day. Hey, I'm not perfect.
Here is some of his recommended reading:
a) How to Train for a Great Body - discusses what is asthetically pleasing regarding body proportions. Also reminds me to train consistently. Usually not a problem, but work has derailed that lately. BUT, the worst at work is past, so time to get back in the saddle.
b) Alternate Training for Size and Strength - this is an insightful perspective. By training for strength, size tends to increase. When size increases, this increases the capacity for strength training. This may be axiomatic, but the point is that many tend to train strictly for one or the other. It is through alternating training that there are sypathetic benefits to both.
c) Strength and the Full Body Workout - this provides sample workouts from beginner to advanced training. It is full body several times per week versus split sets (or one body part) once a week. In hindsight, seems like some weights for exercises have gone down when I went to 1x/week training. However, there is the caution of overtraining. Or like Keith says under-recovery.
d) Basic Strength Level - discusses how novices gain quickly, while veterans progress more slowly. Good reminder how we all need a good consistent base to work from prior to building up.
25 March 2009
So, while my squat and deadlift are up since the beginning of the year (hit 225 on both), the bench has been down lately. Odd. Yavor from Relative Strength Advantage sent some good links that I'll be checking out and posting on soon.
Big meeting tomorrow. When that is past, I'll be hitting the gym with renewed focus.
24 March 2009
Did easy sprints @ 30 sec each - 9/10/11/12/12.5 mph
Worked legs today in 15/8/4 fashion:
- Squats: 135 x 15, 155 x 8, 185 x 4, 205 x 2 - actually last two felt so good they were almost jump squats at the end, it is the down position that is limiting for me.
- Leg press 3 plates per side (pps) x 15, 4 pps x 8, 5 pps x 4, 5.5 pps x 2
- Walking DB lunges: 30 x 15, 35 x 8, 40 x 4
- Leg extensions on universal: 115 x 15, 130 x 8, 145 x 4
- Did a few calf raises also
Listened to superhumanradio podcast #276. Carl Lenore discusses the effects of glucose. Some highlights are (many of which should not be a surprise to the Paleo community):
- tends to increase aging by causing cells to die more quickly (based on simple organisms)
- caloric restriction tend to extend life, stated it actually works better than insulin restriction
- wails on the pharm industry since the sick population is reliant on drugs as opposed to preventative behavior
- also mentions that artificial sweeteners are no better for you
- mentions that there is also a olfactory (smell) response to sweets, not as prominent as artificial sweeteners, but still there (interesting!)
- discusses how the transition from natural animal fats to corn oil, etc. reeks havoc on cardio health
23 March 2009
21 March 2009
Made a egg/cheese/red onion pie for breakfast. Our oven sucks. Have to get a thermometer for it to figure out the REAL cooking temperature. That rant aside, the quiche/pie turned out tasty and some left over for breaky tomorrow.
Here are the cats lounging around after a morning of primal hunting:
Senya made an Al Capone roast with purple cauliflower (steamed). Sorry for the poor picture quality. Slightly different taste from white cauliflower. This is a tad more bitter, or chalky - but really only a slight difference in taste.
20 March 2009
Personally, I think that there are addictive components, both physical and mental to eating refined and processed foods. As a society, we're brought up with it with sugars, sweets, and treats for every occasion such as holidays, birthday parties, celebrations, etc. Kids are brought up from the get-go with high sugar cereals, 'fruit juice' boxes, etc. Then into adulthood, as the obesity epidemic marches on, the wrong solution of low fat, watch your calories provides a misleading answer to a problem started in our youth.
Not to sound like a Puritan. Do I enjoy a chocolate chip muffin? Heck yeah. But I save it for a rare treat. Seems like the general population eats the wrong foods as the mainstay of their diets and they are unable to break that habit.
19 March 2009
No run today
Deadlifts, 5x5: 155
Super burpees, 10/10/10
Dumbell snatches, 5x5: 25lb DB
DB curls: 25x15/30x8/35x4
Floor wipers: 10/10/5
Felt amped throughout workout, emphasizing slow eccentric, fast concentric and lift hard vs heavy.
145.6 on scale this morning
18 March 2009
Hammy's been on and off. Decided to go for a nice easy run today and ended up doing 6 miles in 47:50. Last time I ran that long was on 11/14, 6 miles in 47:53. Hah! Identical time and only about half a dozen ss cardio runs since Thanksgiving. Aerobically, it was not a problem at all. Quads were a little tired toward the end.
Followed by a quick 5x5
DB press 35
Really trying to focus on perfect form, slow eccentric movement and rapid concentric movement. Plus always trying to remember Matt's comment about "Lift hard versus heavy"
Had some chicken cordon bleu at work not too long ago and figured I'd make that for dinner tonite. Pounded out some chicken cutlets, dipped in egg and almond meal, then rolled up with ham and swiss. Just kind of shot from the hip for the recipe. Made with roasted cauli + evoo and pepper. Forgot to add the minced garlic (slapping forhead). Nonetheless, turned out great. I had two pieces, but could have downed 3.
147.6 on scale this morning
16 March 2009
5 interval sprints @30 sec each: 11/12/12.5x3 mph
5x5 workout protocol:
- Squats: 155, hammy is still tweaked (just like Manny)
- Leg press + calf raises: 4 plates per side
- Leg extensions: 115
149 on scale
15 March 2009
a) scrambled eggs with leftover stuffed peppers:
b) This was the grilled lamb with smashed cauliflower:
c) At Boston's Museum of Science showing a big honkin Sequoia. Posted just because I'm shocked myself how thin my face looks sometimes (anti-carb-face).
d) Boston's Museum of Science exhibit showing various jawbones and skulls. Thought the comment regarding diet was interesting after just discussing this with Mark in his post. Was looking for a good exhibit of Hominid or stone age man evolution or taking down a mammoth, but none was to be had.e) Dinner at McCormick & Schmick's. I had the pan-seared sole with asparagus, spaghetti squash, and mixed veggies - hold the mashed potatoes. Did have a Bass ale, since they were out of Guinness most likely due to Saturday pre-St. Patrick's Day demands.
f) Anyone reading may wonder what the hell this next picture is about. Fault is really with me as I was not quick enough with the camera. Just disappearing behind the tree was someone of considerable diameter - but what we really noticed was the bag from Mike's Pastry. So this wasn't just the normal bag, but the jumbo sized one - probably loaded with about 2000g of concentrated sugar.
Anyway, 148 on scale this morning. Nut and fruit intake was up this last week since I made a fruit salad at the wife's request. Planning on an intermittent fast for tomorrow.
14 March 2009
Decided to revisit the 5x5 for a bit. I guess I appreciate the order in my life. Going to remember to make sure the weight is 'easily done' with 5x5 before moving up in weight. See previous notes.
Seated Rows: 115
Pull ups, close grip
Renegade Rows: 35lb db
147 on scale this morning
11 March 2009
Devany Hierarchical: This is the method where you go 15 reps or so at a lightish weight, then with no rest up the weight and do around 8 reps, then no rest up the weight to something pretty heavy and do 4 or so reps. Reps are done with concentric motion as fast as you can and somewhat slower on eccentric. If you can, this is followed by some explosive move, but not all exercises are available for that. I like this method and it is what I did for a good while in the beginning of 2008. This method consistently gives a good burn and seems less risky. The "power law" aspects of it make perfect sense to me as well and seems to hit all muscle fiber types as a result. The idea of no rest and moving quickly through the exercises feels like I get more done in the 30-35min I have available.
Personally, I find focussing on the burn is the key plus to keep moving. Takes some motivation sometimes to meet these two keys. Especially if doing something demanding. I've also noticed that some muscle groups like legs can get into the burn zone very quickly with challenging weight, where other muscle groups are harder to get the burn, but the weight is challenging. Feels like I've been at the same weights for a while, though.
Stronglifts: Here it is 5 sets of 5 reps per exercise with some rest in between. I found myself dialing in a weight that wouldn't be too hard by the 25th total rep. I also found it rather boring and l was resting too long. I tended to pair up exercises as a result, which you can't always do in a crowded gym. I did this one a while ago and quickly moved away from it.
I didn't mind this as much as Jeff, though it does get routine after a while. I did it for about a month at the end of 2008 and into 2009. I did see some improvements in squats and deadlifts. Also, I think it gets the body accustomed to handling the heavier weights when it starts getting challenging. After reading a different slant on the 5x5, I probably went up in exercise weight too quickly. I may revisit this.
Huge in a Hurry: Here is doesn't matter the reps per set as long as you get to 25 reps total or so. Another focus is with speed of lift. The method here is to lift fast to engage fast twitch right from the get go and stop the set when you slow down or shorten the exercise. It is nice not to have to change the weights, but the rest periods were still to long so I tended to pair up or circuit several exercises together, which I liked. One issue was with burn. I just didn't get the same burn. Stopping early resulted in less burn and the long rest resets you, lactic acid wise. I feel I bulked up some on this.
I do this off and on. First time I did it, I just tried to power through 25 reps in a single set. That worked great for the burn, but was definitely past the point where I should have stopped, since the speed of the reps was quite diminished. On the other hand, when I rack the weights after speed starts decreasing, I don't seem to get the burn. Also, I don't seem to be able to do deadlifts quickly without the risk of sacrificing form. Haven't done it often enough to make a judgment on benefits.
Rest-pause/Alactic: Idea here is to lift something heavy once then rest a bit. Number of total reps varies from 5 to 15. I have been mixing these in and I like it. I sense it gives a signal different than the lactic signal to result in more strength.
Seem like deadlifts are just geared for this and I've unintentially done rest-pauses doing some heavier sets. Also seems like I feel it the next day, but haven't incorporated this formally into a routine.
SuperSlow/Slow Burn: Might be good, but I never tried it. This is one set to failure with a heavyish weight and slow movements up and down. Seems boring to me, but if results are better I would try it. Maybe I should mix a set in here and there and see.
This almost seems like a hybrid between the rest-pause and the Devaney slow eccentric style workout. I could see how this will cause one hell of a burn, but it also seems like it would take forever to get anything done at the gym.
Some others worth mentioning:
Classic Pyramid: Basically starting out with 10 reps then 8, 6, 4, 2 all while adding weight in between at whatever speed you want. Who hasn't done this. Way back when, I had some decent gains in exercise weights, but body composition was not what I was looking for - too much fat. Sure, some of that has to do with diet. But the Devaney protocol seems to emphasize this with the right speed of motion and fast twitch development.
Sets of 3... or 8.... or 12, etc.: I've heard several variations and recommendations for this - almost like the 5x5, but with different reps per set.
So, which is right? Which one works? Are any correct or effective? I believe all have their merits and I think it really comes down to what works for an individual. Even now, as I like to think I'm a little more educated than I used to be, I still find myself questioning my time spent in the gym.
More lighter exercises via 15/8/4
- Squats 135/155/185, knee was a little wonky at the end, but I was also trying to get closer to ATG elevation
- 40 deg inclined leg press, 3/4/5 plates per side
- 40 deg calf raises with same weights as above
- Lunges w/DBs 30/35/40
- Leg extensions 100/115/130
Good burn today and still feeling the 300 test fallout. 146.6 on scale
10 March 2009
So, since hamstring is not quite 100% and for a change of pace, ran on the treadmill for 3 miles (21:06) and 5k for 21:46. Followed by the timed 300 test. Probably not the best idea to minimize time right after a run, but at least I have a baseline to improve on. Here is the test. Completed in 36:34 with reps between required minimized rest:
- 25x Pullups: 10/7/5/3 - one of my weaker exercises
- 50x Deadlift: 10/10/15/10 w/95lb - need to maintain proper form while doing them quickly
- 50x Push-up: 30/20 - easy
- 50x Box Jump: 10/15/15/10 - this is when I could understand the desire to vomit
- 50x Floor Wiper: 10/10/7/7/6 - did with just the bar, will use weight next time as I got the hang of these. btw - reeeeeeally difficult (for me)
- 50x KB Clean and Press: 10/15/15/10 - mixed bag; left arm found these easy w/15lb weight, but very difficult on right with wonky shoulder
- 25x Pullups: 5/5/5/5/5 - worn out at the end
Did a few set of curls before I left, but I was spent. Working my way toward contrast showers - a little colder than luke warm which helps cool down quickly.
150 on the scale this morning, WTF, so also did an IF today.
08 March 2009
Condensed bottom line: When insulin levels are high resulting from carbohydrate intake, this signals the cells to store fat. Lack of insulin in the blood stream frees fat from the cells to be used as energy. In extreme carbohydrate-restriction (extreme using the Standard American Diet as a baseline), the body goes into ketosis which primarily uses stored fat as an energy source vs. glucose.
Although each and everyone has their own disposition how well fat is either stored or used for energy, nutrition plays a huge part for the common man.
So, regarding the Paleo Diet, it is not as severe as Atkins regarding carbohydrate restriction, but most carbodydrates seem to be complex carbs that are found naturally in vegetables; go hog wild. There is provision for simpler carbohydrates in fruits - which is to be consumed with some moderation.
So, did a 3 mile run in 21:07, despite a full month without doing any steady state cardio. Then some exercises via 15/8/4 protocol:
BB Rows: 65/95/115
Renegade Rows w/DBs: 30/30/35
Seated Rows: 100/115
Short workout. 147 on scale.
Also did an unplanned IF on Saturday, but did not mind. Went to Longhorn steakhouse for dinner and powered down a 12oz ribeye plus plenty of veggies. Too much salt and the parmesian / garlic crust was a bit thick for my tastes.
05 March 2009
1.5 miles on treadmill in 10 min, didn't feel like doing 3
Lighter exercises via 15/8/4 with emphasis on working hard vs. working heavy via Matt Metzgar post
Lunges w/DBs 30/35/40
On nautilis machines, don't remember weights, but did calf raises, leg extensions, leg press
145.8 on scale - lowest weight since last August, but wondering if muscle mass is taking a hit...
Changes since the spring training began
- really clamped down on fruit intake - only a few servings a week vs. at least one a day
- reduced dairy (mainly cheese) intake as well.
- reduced nut intake mildly; just a handful of nuts where before I could eat half a bag.
- reduced cheating; only had 1 non-paleo fare (cookie) over the last 2 weeks
04 March 2009
5 x 30 sec interval sprints + exercises via HIAH protocol:
BB Bench x 135
DB Bench x 30, 35
Cable Flyes x 40
Tricep Extensions x 100, 120
Universal close grip bench x 100
01 March 2009
148 on scale this morning plus monthly caliper check. 16mm ab, 6mm chest, 6mm thigh = 9.6% body fat. On one hand, seems like I've been at these numbers for a while. But I do recall being just over 10% late in the 2008, and much better than closer to 20% a year ago. A little bit up from a month ago. Not complaining, just would like to see that ab measurement drop some.
Nutrition (no food p*rn pictures as the usb port is out of commision right now)
Breakfast - made some scrambled eggs with real butter and reheated a chopped up stuffed pepper that was left over.
Lunch - not much to speak of, I think it was some nuts. Just slipped my mind really. Caught up with other things going on and by the time I realized I hadn't eaten it was close to dinner.
Dinner - marinated some filet medallions in evoo plus some seasoning. Grilled via sear + med heat on the grill outside before the snow. Tried some mashed / smashed cauliflower with butter, minced garlic, half-n-half, and parmesian. A little lumpy, but tasted great.
5 interval sprints of 30 seconds maxing out treadmill for last 3
Followed a 15/8/4 protocol on legs:
Squats: 155x15, 185x8, 205x3, had to rerack on catch for 4th rep
40deg incline press: 3 plates per side x 15, 4 plates x 8, 5 plates x 4
Seated calf raises: 45x15, 70x8, 105x4
Leg extensions: 85x15, 100x8, 115x4
Going to switch it up this month and do a few weeks of the HIAH protocol.