24 May 2009


A week off to see the in-laws. Bought the book Omnivore's Dilemma to read over the break. 146 on scale this morning. May try to hit the gym before we leave.

Primal Chainsaw + Slo Mo

Spent the last few days clearing a few trees that came down. The tree actually split during the December ice storm, but finally came down, taking another tree with it. Here it is partially cut up. Had to clear the major branches from the driveway for the car.

And here is the scene after running the chainsaw for several hours:

One of the piles of lumber and branches:

Dinner of bratwurst with sauerkraut, onions, peppers. Also shown is some celery with Trader Joe's almond butter. It is a lot like peanut butter, slightly different taste.
After the tree work, headed to the gym for a slo-mo bout as follows:
Exercise: wt [lb] / TUL [sec] (previous 3x)
- Leg press: 300/110, (280/115, 260/165, 240/155)
- Chest press: 150/115, (150/115, 150/110, 135/130)
- Military press: 70/75, (70/55, 70/55, 70/60)
- Seated rows: 115/95, (115/85, 115/75, 115/80)
- Lat pulldowns: 85/105, (85/90, 85/60, 85/80)
- Curls: 55/100, (55/105, 55/105, 55/105)
- Dips: -/65, (-/75, -/75, -/80)
- Flyes: 70/55, (55/180)
145 on scale Saturday

21 May 2009

I see large people...

I think Jeff had a post a while ago with a similar title and I had one of those days today. I don't try to be too judgmental, but honestly how large does someone have to get before they decide to do something about their weight. Just today I saw:
- A woman wearing a skirt with calves as big as Hulk Hogan's biceps (and we're not talking muscle) who picked up a soda and a muffin at the cafeteria
- This dude who's clearly carrying an extra 75lb getting his daily ration of TWO monster muffins
- Another guy at least 100lb overweight just out of breath walking DOWN the steps
- A fourth guy at least 100lb overweight powering down a plate full of cookies.

Anyway, 146 on scale, no gym time today due to meeting preparation plus working the chainsaw on some downed trees. But here are some recent food pics.

Grilled steak tips + julienned green and yellow squash:
Scrambled eggs with fried ground turkey with onions, garlic and pico de gallo:
Grilled sirloin steak marinated with balsamic and evoo, roasted caulflower with garlic and evoo. Love that roasted cauli.

18 May 2009

EF for a Day

For a change in routine from the Body by Science (aka Slo-Mo, as I like to say), I did a Evolutionary Fitness style (15/8/4) routine as follows:

- 5 interval sprints, 2 min walk (4mph), 1 full minute run (9.0, 9.5, 10.0, 10.5, 11.0 mph), been neglecting the running lately so not really full bore at all
- Squats, 135x15, 155x8, 185x4, 205x2. Should have tried 225 since 205 felt good.
- Bench, 95x15, 135x8, 155x6. Guessing I could have gone up a little in weight, but this is down in general
- Deadlift, 135x15, 155x8, 185x4. Last 4 were kind of tough
- DB press, 35x15, 40x8, 45x6. Should have used 50's for the last set
- Dips 3x10

147.0 on scale this morning

So in general, the BBS protocol didn't really hurt leg exercises at all. In fact, squats felt a little better. Deadlift is about the same as a month ago, and a little disappointed in the bench.

15 May 2009

Paleo Year in Review

Hard to believe that it has been a full year of Paleo eating. We got notice in the mail again this year that the USPS was having its annual food drive. That's when we cleaned out our cupboards last year of all the processed crap. Several observations:

- Eating mostly (and heavily) meats, fish, veggies, plus (moderate to sparingly) fruits and nuts has had a profound impact on our body compositions. My weight is down about 30 lb, and body fat is reduced from almost 20% to 10%.

- Personally, I have taken more of an interest in cooking. I'm still a hack cook, but can make my way around the kitchen. By using the basic ingridients, this implies nothing out of a box and necessitates preparing things to build up a meal. I don't mind, and am always looking to improve my techniques.

- Without the wild blood sugar/insulin swings associated with simple carbohydrates, some things such as mood are improved (i.e., stabilized) and hunger pangs are greatly reduced. It is amazing that after a 20+ hour intermittent fast I can wait and prepare a time consuming, but wholesome meal without going nuts. Before I would be like a ravenous wolverine and would eat cardboard or anything in the house. We would order take-out probably about once a week beforehand. Now, it is once every 2 months or so - and we make healthy choices.

- Carb face is gone. I was looking through some older pictures and was shocked to see how puffy my face and my wife's face was. Some days I look through more recent pictures and am shocked to see how thin it is.

- The word diet implies two things to me: a) weight loss is the goal, and b) it is a temporary eating behavior. I somewhat cringe when I use this word, since I definitely do not view this eating as temporary, and our goal was not to lose weight (although it did happen). Our primary goal was really to eat healthier.

- With a Paleolithic approach to eating, counting points or calories is unnecessary. On non-fasting days, I'm confident I'm putting down at least 2000 calories if not more. I did count calories one day out of curiosity and that was almost 2500. Since wholesome, natural foods are consumed, the high calorie/zero nutrition foods are takend out of the equation.

- Although the Paleo approach is lower in carbohydrates, it is not Atkins. Atkins advocates zero carbs to start and works them gradually into the diet until a weight management threshold is achieved. (Note that I've never done Atkins, I've only read about it). Paleo allows complex carbohydrates that occur naturally in fruits and vegetables. These non-processed foods have a much less dramatic impact on blood sugar and therefore insulin response.

- Lipid panel improvement. Below are my cholesterol results for the previous few years. Bottom line is that despite eating mostly like a carnivore, my lipid panel was improved after several months of the Paleo way. Physical scheduled for July, so probably around August I'll update that.

2005 / 2007 / 2008
CHOL: 168 / 163 / 161
TRIG: 98 / 100 / 29 (not a typo)
HDL: 24 / 38 / 46
LDL: 125 / 117 / 120

- No after lunch crash. I used to really bonk and need a siesta around 2pm, but that is gone now. My energy level is pretty constant all day long.

- Exercise is a little different story. It has indeed changed. I've tried various protocols that I would have immediately dismissed previously. I could not put my finger on one that I think is best as I'm still experimenting with this. But slow and steady cardio treadmill work is much decreased as are the days of three sets of 10 for exercises. Increased variety in the exercises, both with speed, weight, and actual motion.

Sooner or later, when I'm feeling less shy I'll post some before and after pictures.

14 May 2009

Biggest Loser Thoughts

Well, the Biggest Loser finale was aired the other night and I'm wondering if the show is losing some of its luster. The proverbial kiss of death or "Jumping the Shark", where it signals the decline in show popularity. Jeff had recently expressed the same impressions that I have of the finale, so I'll add a few other observations.

- I am most amazed about Jerry who lost about 150 pounds on his own after only spending a few weeks on the ranch. I was convinced that this guy was going to be a washout, but he proved at 63 years old that anyone can change their life and lose weight. Think how difficult it must be for a near-senior citizen, morbidly obese to regain his activity and redirect six decades of eating habits.

- Helen also deserves kudos at 48 years old for lose over 50% of her body weight and dropping down to below 120lb. Amazing.

- There seem to be more contestents who are beyond help and for some reason voluntary or not, can not lose the weight. At the final weigh-in, some were still overweight or obese.

- The show is still hung up on unrealistic expectations. Who can afford to work out for six hours a day under masochistic training while having better food choices provided to them. All the while, not having to worry about a job, house, or kids.

- They should bias the show more toward achieving weight loss at home with the real-world demands on people's time.

- They also over-emphasize exercise and do not discuss nutrition enough. Also, I tend to disagree with their allowance of carbohydrates. Seems like no diet plans are compared or even entertained.

Of course, Jillian is still easy on the eyes, but I'm wondering if they coached Bob to go non-linear to help ratings....

A few meals

Things have been too hectic the last few days to get to the gym - thanks mostly to some jackass that backed into our car (less than 1 year old), between sorting out things with security at work as well as the police department. Turns out it is some manager at work who didn't think he did any damage. Yeah right a-hole, my paint is all over your back bumper. He gives me any more sh!t, and I'll toss out some catchy phrase like "Hit and Run" to regain his cooperation.

Ok, that rant out of my system. 144 again on scale this morning, nut intake is down. A few meals from the past few days.

Simple Grillin with steak tips and a meager spaghetti squash. Tried brushing the SS with evoo instead of flaxseed oil. Gotta say, I think the flaxseed oil has a slightly better taste.

Chicken cordon bleu with steamed cauliflower for a change. I pretty much winged the recipe, but it more-or-less follows the recipe I found later on. That's almond meal from Trader Joes we got at $3.99/lb. Can't beat that price. Picture is a little hazy due to the steam coming off. Also forgot to add some pepper, nor did I flatten the breasts, though my friggin sharp Santoku knife did an excellent job of butterflying the breasts raw.

13 May 2009

IF + SloMo

All day intermittent fast. Not to be too judgmental, but I can't help but notice what other people eat in the morning at the cafeteria at work. I usually go down for some Green Mountain Coffee. This morning this dude about my height, but +75lb has a whole bowl full of muffins for breakfast. But like others have noted, I've given up trying to explain nutrition to people. I have to bite my lip sometimes when I hear the diet benefits from the righteous vegans, or the calorie counters, or the low fat clowns.

Anyway, 147 on scale this morning, IF all day and HIT on the slo-mo protocol. Felt really good today and no doubt it was an INTENSE workout. Results were about the same as last time, but I felt fine and like I accomplished something when I left.

- Exercise: wt [lb] / TUL [sec] (previous), (2x ago)
- Leg press: 280 / 115 (260 / 165), (240 / 155)
- Chest press: 150 / 115 (150 / 110), (135 / 130)
- Military press: 70 / 55 (70 / 55), (70 / 60)
- Seated rows: 115 / 85 (115 / 75), (115 / 80)
- Lat pulldowns: 85 / 90 (85 / 60), (85 / 80)
- Curls: 55/105 (55 / 105), (55 / 105)
- Dips: - / 75 (- / 75), (- / 80)
- Flyes: 55 / 180

Been thinking about inserting a 15/8/4 workout or two in here or there to see what effect the Body By Science protocol has on things.

09 May 2009

Another Rant on Sports

I have a love-hate relationship with baseball. I love the game, dislike the guaranteed contracts, but really despise how steroids have corrupted the game. Some people think it is no big deal for a player to be juicing. I mean it's not like a defensive lineman bulking up from 275lb to 325, right? I heard somewhere that the extra power for a hitter can add another 5 to 10% on the distance a ball is hit. To straight-away center field (~400'), that 20-40' is the difference between a warning track out and a ball going over the fence.

So here is a list of MLB MVPs since the beginning of the steroid era (which some say began around the strike year of 1994). Those shown in bold/red are suspected or confirmed juicers. Think it doesn't have an effect?

American League:
2008, Dustin Pedroia, Boston, 2B
2007, Alex Rodriguez, New York, 3B
2006, Justin Morneau, Minnesota, 1B
2005, Alex Rodriguez, New York, 3B
2004, Vladimir Guerrero, Anaheim, RF
2003, Alex Rodriguez, Texas, SS
2002, Miguel Tejada, Oakland, SS
2001, Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle, RF
2000, Jason Giambi, Oakland, 1B
1999, Ivan Rodriguez, Texas, C
1998, Juan Gonzalez, Texas, OF
1997, Ken Griffey, Jr., Seattle, OF
1996, Juan Gonzalez, Texas, OF
1995, Mo Vaughn, Boston, 1B
1994, Frank Thomas, Chicago, 1B

National League
2008, Albert Pujols, St. Louis, 1B
2007, Jimmy Rollins, Philadelphia, SS
2006, Ryan Howard, Philadelphia, 1B
2005, Albert Pujols, St. Louis, 1B
2004, Barry Bonds, San Francisco, LF
2003, Barry Bonds, San Francisco, LF
2002, Barry Bonds, San Francisco, LF
2001, Barry Bonds, San Francisco, LF
2000, Jeff Kent, San Francisco, 2B
1999, Chipper Jones, Atlanta, 3B
1998, Sammy Sosa, Chicago, OF
1997, Larry Walker, Colorado, OF
1996, Ken Caminiti, San Diego, 3B
1995, Barry Larkin, Cincinnati, SS
1994, Jeff Bagwell, Houston, 1B

And here are the 500+ career home run hitters:

Name /Home Runs
Barry Bonds 762
Hank Aaron 755
Babe Ruth 714
Willie Mays 660
Ken Griffey, Jr. 611
Sammy Sosa 609
Frank Robinson 586
Mark McGwire 583
Harmon Killebrew 573
Rafael Palmeiro 569
Reggie Jackson 563
Alex Rodriguez 553
Mike Schmidt 548
Jim Thome 541
Mickey Mantle 536
Jimmie Foxx 534
Manny Ramirez 527
Willie McCovey 521
Frank Thomas 521
Ted Williams 521
Ernie Banks 512
Eddie Mathews 512
Mel Ott 511
Eddie Murray 504
Gary Sheffield 500

Salmon Saturday

Senya made baked salmon with white wine, tumeric, paprika, onions, lemons plus steamed asparagus (tasty!)

Link Shoutout

Here's good article by Rusty at Fitnessblackbook.com discussing the surprise that body building still has wide popularity today. Shown in comparison are Ric Arango (Calvin Klein model) and Ronnie Coleman. Some people are striving to get to the Ronnie Coleman look, but I wonder why. Excluding body building as your profession, is it self esteem, the perception of being a bad-ass, asthetics? Hmmm.

I suspect most people have more of a chance of acheiving the Calvin Klein look. In both cases you have to lower the body fat down to single digits, but in one of those cases steroids are not needed while the other mandates it. Let's not kid each other, unless someone is in that 0.0001% of the population that has hit the genetic lottery, they will never be a clean professional body builder.

Superhumanradio host Carl Lenore recently had ex-body builder Flex Wheeler on his show, who apparently is one of those who has a myostatin deficiency. That's the stuff that limits muscle growth. With that deficiency, the normal whippet (left) turns into the over-developeed whippet (right):

So even with that advantage, Flex still said that he among others were taking performance enhancing drugs (he refused to say the words anabolic steroids). What was more interesting is that he said is promoting a clean lifestyle now but that he would not compete against the body builders today since there is no way he would succeed against the juicers of today.

Kabobs, SloMo, Mulch, etc.

Let's see. Here's last nites dinner steak and chicken kabobs as just thrown onto grill. Not much left for lunch today.

Good time at Golds this morning via Slo-Mo. Intensity was way up in the beginning, but faded a little as workout went on. Reflected in good initial exercises, then status quo or reduction in TUL in later ones:
- Exercise: wt [lb] / TUL [sec] (previous)
- Leg press: 260 / 165 (240 / 155)
- Chest press: 150 / 110 (135 / 130)
- Military press: 70 / 55 (70 / 60)
- Seated rows: 115 / 75 (115 / 80)
- Lat pulldowns: 85 / 60 (85 / 80)
- Curls: 55 / 105 (55 / 105)
- Dips: - / 75 (- / 80)

Have not run in a bit so did some easy intervals for 2 min walk, 1 min run for speeds (mph) of

Looking at doing some extra credit work via moving 4 yards of Hemlock mulch around the yard. Going to the Sox game tomorrow, and even though it as night, may go into town early.

Weight at 147.6 again this morning. Probably a result of the crappy lunch I had yesterday.


Despite my wife's grumblings about Fathead (by Tom Naughton) showing up via my Netflix selection, we both thoroughly enjoyed the movie which is a spoof on the movie Supersize Me (by Morgan Spurlock). Now I put the caveat in here that I'm not a big fan of the Golden Arches; it is probably about 18 months since I've eaten anything from that establishment.

However, Tom Naughton demonstrates that he actually lost weight and improved his lipid panel by eating every meal there for 28 days by eating a reasonable number of calories (about 2000 vs. Spurlock's claim of 5000) and by limiting carb intake to about 100g/day. Great mention of Gary Taubes and his ideas written about in Good Calories, Bad Calories, plus input from the Eades plus others. Several commentaries at the end that are also worth viewing.

07 May 2009

Sports Rant

Off topic here, but a couple of items to note:

First is old Sox friend Manny Ramirez who tested positive for HCG which is a woman's fertility drug (wtf!). But further down in the wikipedia description is a good summary:

In males, hCG mimics LH and helps restore and maintain testosterone production in the testes. As such, hCG is commonly used during and after steroid cycles to maintain and restore testicular size as well as endogenous testosterone production. However, if hCG is used for too long and in too high a dose, the resulting rise in natural testosterone will eventually inhibit its own production via negative feedback on the hypothalamus and pituitary.
On May 7, 2009
Manny Ramirez of the Los Angeles Dodgers was banned 50 regular season games due to testing positive for hCG.

So, you screw up your normally functioning body with steroids, and then you need to to take more drugs to try to get things back to normal. I guess Manny is going to lose over $7M in salary due to his suspension. He's not even going to fight it.

In other Sox news, the Sox opened up a can of whoop-ass on the Indians tonite in record fashion. Sox scored 12 times before an out was recorded which they say tied a modern-day record. Complete run records are shown here. Meanwhile Jason Bay who was traded for Ramiriez had 4 rbi and appears as clean as the driven snow (I hope). All I can say is thank you LA for taking the disgruntled multi-millionaire out of Boston.

143.6 on scale this morning....a new low.

06 May 2009

Alternate Day Workout

A bit of recovery from slo-mo torture in about 30 minutes as follows:

- super burpees: 10/10/10
- renegade rows w/30#db: 8/8/10 up in weight, maybe 35s next time
- floor wipers: 7/6/5, trying to get up to 3x10; these things are absolute killers especially with full-on straight legs
- DB snatch: 25lb 5 each arm for 2 sets, 30lb for 1 set, explosive movement.

Went to Lull Farms over the weekend and loaded up on some veggies plus they had some game meats - but pricey. A 10oz bison strip steak: $18. So thought this had better be worth it. Marinated it in balsamic for a few hours and grilled via the hot sear/slow cook. Technique was dead-on as there was a nice char on the outside and uniform pink on the inside. But both the wife and I concurred that the taste did not justify the price. But we also got some venison patties. Also done via grill and shown with some provolone. These were actually quite good. Spaghetti squash on side. A few berries for desert. Still on nut boycott. 143.8 on scale this morning. Lightest weight in years.

04 May 2009

Back in the Saddle

"I'm back
I'm back in the saddle again
I'm back
I'm back in the saddle again"

Well that's how I feel. Fantatstic. After battling almost a week of upper respiratory infection / chest cold / swine flu / ebola / whatever, I feel much better.

Easy day at work and managed to sneak out for another bout with slo-mo as follows. Weight and/or times up across the board from last time, though I was feeling a bit of illness onset last time:

- Exercise: wt [lb] / TUL [sec]
- Leg press: 240 / 155
- Chest press: 135 / 130
- Military press: 70 / 60
- Seated rows: 115 / 80
- Lat pulldowns: 85 / 80
- Curls: 55 / 105
- Dips: - / 80

Returned to work and listed to some good podcasts from Superhumanradio regarding raw foods and finding a local farm. Off the top of my head I remember a few links recommended such as localharvest.org and eatwild.com. I'll be looking into these in the future to find some better nutrition selections.

In light of the recent body fat measurement, I'm taking a break from nuts completely, for a while. Disregard the almond meal used for dinner tonite. Trader Joe's had it at $3.99/lb; hard to beat that for whole almonds. Made coconut fried chicken with julienned steamed green and yellow squash. Had 6 strawberries for desert.

02 May 2009

Almost 11%

Body fat measurements today, 3 measurement averages

Ab: 17.3 mm
Chest: 8.3 mm
Thigh: 6.0 mm
BF%: 10.8%
Andy: WTF

Up a solid 1.5% in one month. Wow. I'll have to look at my activities and eating over the last month to see if anything jumps out.

I do know that the gym time has been down significantly for the last few weeks while playing with the body by science protocol. Wondering if I need more activity - regardless of if it is more cross-fit, etc.

Slow posting traffic lately - have had chest cold most of the week. Can't remember last time I had been feeling this lousy in a while. Finally the congestion is starting to clear.