28 February 2009

300 Test

The Son of Grok ad a decent looking workout I thought I'd try called the 300 Test. It is a timed series of exercises that goes as follows:
  • 25x Pullups
  • 50x Deadlift
  • 50x Push-up
  • 50x Box Jump
  • 50x Floor Wiper
  • 50x KB Clean and Press
  • 25x Pullups

So I tried this today. I didn't know what floor wipers involved, so I substituted burpees instead. Plus, no kettlebells at my gym, so I used the barbell instead. Used 95# for deadlifts and 45# for C&P. Good news is I completed it in 27:33. Bad news is I did the sequence incorrectly.

Reading through some of SOG's comments after I was done, you do the exercises in the exact order and amount as shown above. I did splits as follows:

  • (10 reps of dead lifts, 10 reps of pushups) x 5
  • (10 reps of burpees, 10 reps of pullups) x 5
  • (10 reps of C&P, 10 reps of box jumps) x5

Still it was a good workout. Next time I'll do it properly for time and see if I can figure out what floor wipes are in the meantime.

Followed up with some renegade rows and dips. In and out of the gym in less than an hour.

147 on scale this morning - lowest in 2009.

No food pix today due to poor planning on timing of dishes, but had some grilled bratwurst + sauerkraut + spaghetti squash.

27 February 2009

Fair Workout Friday

Another busy day, but managed to make it to the gym. Two miles on treadmill today alternating laps between 7.5 and 9.5 mph just for a change. Done this before up to 3 miles, but wasn't feeling it today.

BB benchpress 135x15, 155x6, 175x2 - really not feeling the love here. I think the weight is going getting heavier
BB incline press: 95x15, 105x8, 115x4, again felt gassed on these, not sure why
DB press: 35x15, 40x8, 50x4
Dips - almost got 3 sets of ten.

Got some work in, but dissapointing sets here and there.

Got home and grilled some lamb tips - already marinated from the local meat shop. Had to take a que from this site. It didn't help a great deal, so I followed a beef-like approach.
- Preheated grill to high.
- Put on meat to sear.
- Turned down heat to med-high.
- Flipped at 5 minutes
- Checked at 10 minutes (still too rare)
- Checked at 14 minutes = perfect, very nice muted pink through 3/4 cross section
Served with steamed broccoli:


While browsing through some pictues, found some from the Highland Games; caber tossing in action:

Swamped Thursday

Didn't make it to the gym Thursday after working close to a 12 hour day. But came home and made some almond crusted chicken fried in coconut oil. Also added some julienned yellow squash sauted in evoo and cracked pepper. Despite my poor julienne skills, it turned out great:


149 on the scale today. Been 150 +/- 2lb since at least the beginning of the year.

25 February 2009

225 Squat

Someone asked me what I had for breakfast this morning. Answer: reheated steak tips and cauliflower. Got a good look for that one.

Despite another meeting-crammed day, went to the gym around lunch time (skipped lunch):

5 interval sprints, 30 sec each maxing out treadmill followed by mostly 15/8/4 EF protocol:

Squats: 155x15, 185x8, 205x4 PLUS 225x2. Actually, I was so amped, I almost put more weight on
40 deg incline leg press: 270x15, 360x8, 450x4
Walking lunges w/DBs: 30x15, 35x8, 40x4 - fast and difficult
Leg extensions: 100x12, 100x8, 115x4 - explosive

Back to work within 90 minutes and felt great.

23 February 2009

Spring Training, etc.

First off, here's a picture from skating on a lake in CT. Just a good picture (IMHO) with the sun just going down, I thought I'd post it.


Anyway, spring training is in full gear with the first Red Sox game on Wednesday. So I thought I'd give my routine the full court press to try to get that body fat percentage down a little more. Which means to me extra emphasis on Paleo compliant eating and consciously trying to up the intensity at the gym.

Started off today doing an intermittent fast - which seems pretty routine by now. Went to the gym despite the slightly stiff back, so I skipped treadmill work and focussed on the lighter/faster HIAH-type protocol w/shoulder workout:

- super burpees: 10/10/10
- renegade rows: 30x7/35x7/35x6/35x5
- upright BB rows: 65x7/65x5/55x7/55x6
- BB raises: 12.5x7/12.5x7/12.5x6/12.5x5
- BB shrugs: 40x7/45x7/55x7/60x4
- mil press machine: 70x7/70x7/70x6/70x5
- reverse flys machine: 55x7/70x7/70x7/70x4

In and out of the gym in just over an hour. Back to work, then back home to make some stuffed peppers inspired by Son of Grok with some roasted cauliflower:




21 February 2009

6 minute mile

Saturday at the gym. Opted for different running mode vs interval sprints or steady state 3 mile run, plus pressed for time, so I just hauled on the treadmill for a mile and just missed a 6 minute mile (6:07).

Deadlifts: 135 warmup, 155x8, 185x4, was going to go up in weight but back was a little tweaked
Seated Rows: 100x15, 115x8, 130x4
BB Rows: 65x15, 75x8, 95x4
BB Curls: 45x15, 65x8, 75x4
DB Curls: 25x15, 30x8, 35x4

Off to CT for some ice fishing, skating, and spending time with friends.

20 February 2009

5x5 Podcast

Superhumanradio had a good podcast (episode #264) regarding the 5x5 workout protocol (also referenced from stronglifts.com) that I tried toward the end of 2008. The featured guest was power lifter Jo Jordan. Jo's max personal bests are 650 bench, 720 deadlift, 1000 squat; friggin ridiculous. Jo also has a training log on elitefts.com.
  • basic premise is to perform 5 sets of 5 reps per exercise
  • rest about 90 seconds per set. Longer for strength, shorter for increased muscle growth(hypertrophy).
  • start with a weight you can do 8-10 reps. He mentions that you can calculate 1 rep max from a table like this one from critical bench.com.
  • recommends going up in weight when the 5 reps per all 5 sets can be easily done
  • increase weight by a total of roughly 5lb when moving up in weight
  • it is a good idea to deload to 70% of 1RM when gains stop
Personally, when I did this in 2008, I felt I had some gains, but the protocol gets routine after a while. It does get the body used to handling heavier weights. I think I added weight before easily getting 5x5 'easily'. Maybe in the coming months, I'll revisit this to change things up.

19 February 2009

Gym Update and 5x5 Podcast

Quick summary of exercise today (Wednesday off due to all day meetings + car svc)

5 Interval sprints, 30sec at 11, 12, 12.5x3 mph

Bench: 135x15, 155x8, 175x4, 185x2 - stuck at this weight
Incline DB Press: 30x15, 35x8, 40x8, 45x4, 50x4
Cable flys: 40x15, 50x8, 60x4
Dips w/mach: 85x15, 100x8, 115x4

Tried some pushups on 65cm ball and only got a few. Need to try more for core work.

Also listened to a podcast from superhumanradio on the iPod at work discussing the 5x5 workout program. Will summarize key points tomorrow after I listen to it again.

17 February 2009

Tuesday at Gym

Quick workout as follows:

5 interval sprints at 11.0, 11.5, 12.0, 12.5 x 2 at 30 seconds each

Continued 15/8/4 protocol with legs today:

Squats: 135x15, 155x8, 185x4, 205x4 - creeping up on trying that 225
DB Lunges: 25x15, 30x8, 35x4 - try more weight next time
Seated Extensions: 70x15, 85x8, 100x4 - up the weight
40deg incline leg press: 270x10, 360x8, 450x4 - fatigued from other exercises
Also did calf raises with same weight as above
Finished up with some crunches and I was outta there.

16 February 2009

IF + Metallica = Amped

Doing an IF today. Last Dinner was at 8pm on Sunday, albeit a bacon cheeseburger (had part of the bun).

Anyway, gym time at lunch, skipped sprints today.

Super burpees with pushups and pullups: 10, 10, 10
Clean hang and press: 15x45, 8x55, 4x65
DB snatch: 10x25 (2 sets), 8x30
Renegade rows: 15x25, 8x30, 4x35
Reverse flys: 15x55, 8x70, 4x85
Upright db rows w/10s, 12.5s, 15s
Shrugs with 40/50/60

Felt great rocking out to Metallica and amped when I left.

15 February 2009

Sunday at the Gym

Nothing noteworthy, mealwise. Restaurants jammed last nite (2/14), so headed back home and plowed through some leftover chicken with pesto, steak, and steamed asparagus. Apple sausage and eggs for breakfast this morning, plus some dark chocolate (remember yesterday 2/14).

Off to the gym . . .

30 sec sprint intervals at 11.0, 12.0, and 12.5 (x8) mph. Treadmill was rocking and I got a few looks (hahah!)

Exercises via the evolutionary fitness, 15/8/4 protocol.
Straight leg deadlift: 155/185/205
Seated rows: 115/130/145
Close grip lat pulldowns: 85/100/115
1 arm DB row: 40/50/60
Straight barbell curls: 45/55/65 plus another set of 4 with 75
DB curls: 25/30/35

14 February 2009

Eades Discussion Regarding Biggest Loser

Dr. Eades had a great discussion here regarding Bob Harper and the show the Biggest Loser. I tried to get my comments in, but the window had closed. But, I think there is interesting dialogue, so I'll post them below.

First off, great post and interaction with Pete Thomas who was on the show. The show fascinates me since I am trying to see how these people lose weight. After several seasons of watching the show, it is losing it's appeal, I tend to agree with many of the comments here.

In addition, I'll emphasize that:

a) This method of weight loss NOT REALISTIC. How many people have a trainer at their disposal to drive them 4, 6, or (like last week) over 12 hours at the gym? Very few. People can not afford that strain on their finances or their schedule.
b) The starvation diet, caloric balance method is NOT SUSTAINABLE. Just look at many of the contestants in the long term. It is in agreement with Taubes' references in his book. I'm surprised we don't have more psychotic episodes on that show. Although it would help ratings, right NBC!?

I did a google search on "Biggest Loser where are they now" and one from MSNBC popped up:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28239000/?pg=5#TDY_BLoser_WATN2
I have to think that MSNBC would post the best long term success stories from ex-contestants. They only highlight maybe 25% of past contestants. Of those ONLY ONE weighs less now than when the show ended. Several are within 10lb of their final weight, but it appears that many have gained 30+lb back. Note that the winner of season 1 lost about 120lb and has gained back about 100.

Friday, Saturday Activities

Took the day off from exercise on Friday. Grilled some more steak tips + asparagus with evoo and garlic. Not calibrated on asparagus time on the grill and burnt it. (damnit!). Breakfast of six strips of bacon, 3 eggs scrambled in real butter for a change. awesome.

Quick workout at the gym. No sprints as I was still feeling Thursday's squats.

Flat bench 135x15, 155x8, 175x4
DB incline: 35x15, 40x8, 45x6
Cable flyes: 30x15, 40x8, 50x6
Machine dips: 70x15, 85x8, 100x4

12 February 2009

Thursday Update

Despite a sub-par lunch due to a meeting - where all the beverages were sugar-full, good time at the gym. In brief with 15/8/4 protocol:

Sprints, 30sec at 11, 12, 12.5 (x3) mph
40deg incline leg press 270/360/450
Squats: 135/155/185/205, felt like going for glory with 225, but no spot = bad idea
Seated calf raises: 45/70/100
Leg extensions: 70/85/100

Tried the spinach pesto with grilled chicken and eggplant. The pesto was very mild and topped the chicken nicely. Next time I may up the garlic and also add some pine nuts. Fried the eggplant in evoo and garlic. Here's how it turned out:

11 February 2009

Free the Animal Q&A with Mark Sisson

Richard of Free the Animal setup a good Q&A with Mark Sisson who promotes the Primal Blueprint. Check out the Q&A and what Sisson looks like at 55 years old here.

Warm Weather Wednesday

Finally a warm day in New England with the car thermometer reading 61F around lunchtime. Saw 3 peole out on the motorcycles. Have fun washing off all the sand and salt. Polished off yesterday's chicken for breakfast with spaghetti squash, had an apple for lunch and went to the gym.

Tried Son of Grok's Workout from Hell, with some modifications - mostly due to equipment limitations at the gym. Anyway, here's the exercises / weight / reps. Did 3 rounds of the circuit:

Jumping Jacks, 60/60/60
Burpees with Pullups, 10/10/10
Dips, 10/10/10
Hanging Power Clean and Press, 45x10/65x7/65x6
Lunges with DBs, 30x10/10/10

Plus shoulder work
Front raises 10x10/12.5x10/15x10
Side raises 5x10/10x10/12.5x10
Shrugs, 30x10/35x10/40x10

Stopped by the butcher to pick up some steak tips and cranberry chicken salad. Grilled outside (yea!) and served with some leftover veggies:


10 February 2009

Food, IF, Exercises

Monday Dinner
Had a dental cleaning, so didn't make it to the gym. Made Mama's Meatloaf from Mark Sisson's sight. Wife loved it. I was actually a little lukewarm on it. I think 1 apple (vs. 2) would be fine and should have added more almond meal to bind it. Was more like a meat pie than an actual loaf. Also cooked roasted cauliflower on the side:




Tuesday IF and Exercise
Did an intermittent fast all day today. Went to the gym early afternoon. Ran 10 interval sprints at 11, 12 (x2), 12.5 (x7) mph. Following the run did some manly planks for 1 minute plus 1 minute each side.

Decided on an EF 15/8/4 protocol with:
Deadlifts: 135/155/185
Seated Rows: 100/115/135
Renegade Rows: 25/30/35
Reverse Flyes: 60/75/90

Tuesday Dinner:
Been waiting to try the mustard chicken and it did not disappoint (thanks, Mark!). Turned out great. I would have finished off the whole pound of chicken I think if I didn't have to save some for the missus. Also substituted cilantro instead of tarragon since the supermarket had none. Added some steamed broccoli and topped with some shredded parmesian.



08 February 2009

Sunday's Workout

Wife made some scrambled eggs with some apple sausages this morning, 2 cups of coffee while reading the Sunday paper and listening to the Arod steroid debacle. How the commisioner of baseball (Bud Selig) has kept his job so long is a mystery to me.

Anyway, cruised to the gym for a more traditional workout to change things up.

Did a ss cardio run for a change of pace and to see what my 5k time looks like these days after a solid month of nothing but interval sprints. Covered 3.0 miles in 21:10 and 5k in 21:50. Still have that goal to break 20 minutes for a 5k during a race. Personal best was around 20:10 during the Clifton Park Stampede in the 1993 time frame.

Moved on to exercises and tried to perform the reps as quickly as possible.
Bench press: 135x12, 145x10, 155x7, 165x4, 175x2
Squats: 135, did a few reps, but the knee was acting up, so abandoned that exercise, followed by lunges, but same story.
DB press: 40x12, 45x10, 50x8, 55x6, 60x3
Super burpees: 3 sets of 5 - these are tough
Ab solo - basically lauching a 9lb medicine ball into a target while moving from laying back to a sitting position. Did about 3 sets of 10.

07 February 2009

Super Burpees

Made some scrambled eggs with bacon and added pico de gallo, plus 2 cups of coffee. Read the paper and then headed to the gym.

Started off with thirty second sprint intervals, maxing out the treadmill. Still plenty of ice on the road and my driveway, so I'm not brave enough to try the roads. For the sprints, did them in 2 minute cycles: 60 sec walk at 4.0 mph, 15 sec to ramp up to speed, 30 sec at sprint speed, 15 sec to ramp down. I say 'sprint', but it is really a fast run. Like I said, the treadmill only goes up to 12.5 mph. Anyway sprint speed were 11.0, 11.5, 12.0, 12.5 (x7) mph.

With exercises, I've been working on developing the fast twitch muscles via the Huge in a Hurry, or 'Big Engine' (from Keith Norris's blog). For me that means doing the reps in a fast, explosive manner until I lose the 'snap' - meaning the explosiveness is gone. No more than 7 reps per exercise, and I only wait about 30 seconds between sets.

Started off with Sumo Deadlifts as shown here. Check out the dude getting amped up with the smelling salts. I didn't do 655 like that guy, but only 135 for 7/7/7/7. I'll add weight next time, but not 520lb.

Followed that with BB rows with 95 for 7/7/7/7.

Did renegade rows as shown here, but used 30lb DBs with rounded ends since there are no kettlebells at my gym. Reps 7/7/6/5.

Super burpees as shown here, which is your stadard burpee, but adding a pushup and a pull up (I did close grip pullups). There are several variations on the burpee, with some saying the pushup is standard. Anyway, extremely exhausting. Could only do 4 sets of 5 with the snap. Believe me, you lose the snap quickly. The guy in the video timed himself doing 100 and he was spent afterwards, saying something like "F*ck, that was tough."

Finished with some BB curls with 60 for 7/7/6/5. Felt pretty good leaving the gym. Not 100% amped, but pretty good overall.

Friday Dinner and Other Food Links

Since I had the day off, I had more time to do some meal research, but the necessary items at the store and spend some time in the kitchen. Decided to make the Bacon Meatloaf from Son of Grok. Didn't have ground bison, so used 93/7 ground beef instead. Also shown is a spaghetti squash, which was brushed with flaxseed oil and topped with cracked pepper. Sprinkled some grated parmesian cheese at the end.

Below shows the ingredients, prep, and outcome.




It was pretty tasty. The tomato paste serves as a pretty good binder for the meatloaf and the zing helps add some flavor to the spaghetti squash. I used a 12oz can of tomato paste, but could probably get away with a smaller can. The recipe calls for 4 slices of bacon. I used 5, but 6 would be okay also.
I was reading through Mark Lepper's blog and found a few items try in the future such as the Mustard Chicken, which comes from The World's Healthiest Foods. Looking through some of the recipes shows some great way to prepare items and some basic techniques like how to press garlic, for example. I'll be looking into this more for ideas.

05 February 2009

Big Engine Stalled

Tried to make it to the gym Wednesday, but some emergent crisis kept me late. Wife and I went out to dinner around 7pm. Indulged in a some good old New England Clam Chowdaah (yeah moderately non-paleo), but also had turkey tips with chipotle sauce and broccoli.

Woke up this morning and had some leftover chicken with yellow and green squash. Decided to skip lunch - partly due to back-to-back meetings and then hit the gym. Forgot my socks, so sprinting was out otherwise I know I'd develop some nice blisters.

Did some explosive bench press w/135 but it felt heavier than usual today. Then moved on to some squats with 135. Tried the Erno approved ass-to-grass method, but knee was screaming. I'm wondering if I am going to have to get this 15 year old ski injury scoped. Moved on to incline DB presses with 40's. Just wasnt' feelin the love. Decided to do some pushups on the big inflatable ball. Man that was tough. Have to try that again next time. Finished up with some dips to try to lauch off the grips.

Overall the big engine workout sputtered. Too much going on at work the last few days. Hardly broke a sweat and headed back to work and stayed til 7:30. Try again tomorrow to be more productive.

03 February 2009

IF Plus New Exercises

Doing and intermittent fast today and am a firm believer that doing this seems to make me more alert and exercise more beneficial. After an IF workout, I'm pretty amped and today was no different. It is like the body is saying "Look, you have to be a better hunter if you want to eat, now get on it!"

I thought WWJED (what would Jeff Erno do), so I started off with sprints - a little different from usual. 30 second sprint followed by 90 seconds walk. 10 intervals total as:
11.0/11.5/12.0/12.5 (6x) mph followed by a full minute at 12.5 mph which was the treadmills maximum speed.

Off to the weights in the Bigger Engine protocol which is 25 explosive reps in various sets including:
Deadlifts, 135#, 7/7/7/4 - use more weight next time
Close Grip pullups, 5/5/4/4/4/3 - tried to pull up quickly enough to unload the grips
Renegade Rows, 25#DB, 7/7/6/4 - try 30# next time
DB Snatches, 15#x7, 25#x7, 35#x3, 30#x5, 30#x5
BB Curls, 50#, 7/7/7/4 - use more weight next time
Pushups with 8# medicine ball, 5/5/5/5/5 - new to this, so was not as explosive

Wife finally figured out how to fix the iTunes, so downloaded the Superhuman Radio podcast and am listening to it now. (http://www.superhumanradio.com/)

02 February 2009

Superbowl Hangover

No, I did not flex the liver yesterday. Only had two Magic Hats (Fat Angel and Hocus Pocus). Watched the Cardinals give the game away on friend's 60" LCD. Sweeet picture, but bad outcomes for the Cards. Paleo minefield out there with chips, dips, brownies, etc. But, had some meatballs that was about it. Heard someone complaining about how Denny's restaurant is bad for you since it is high calorie while packing a brownie in their mouth (you can't make this stuff up!).

Beforehand, grilled up some turkey and bison burgers. Man they are good. Put a little cheese and pico on it and we were all set.

Nonetheless, took a day off from any exercise besides getting pumped up from the mouse. But I stumbled across a few interesting links.

First is regarding exercising during fasting:
http://fitnessblackbook.com/main/fasted-workouts-and-fasted-cardio-vs-epoc-for-fat-loss/
Should be of interest to the IF crowd. I find that a lot of what he says regarding SNS is true based on my own experiences.

And that page has a link to the warrior diet:
http://fitnessblackbook.com/dieting_for_fat_loss/the-one-meal-per-day-warrior-dietrevisited/
Which is basically doing intermittent fasting all the time.

Probably going to do an IF myself tomororow.