Monday, December 29, 2014

Im back part 2

After a month and half give or take of recovery and doing very little to no exercise I bring you up to speed to today!

Ive had enough and feel well enough to workout with an intensity that I feel is comfortable to myself as well as safe.

It was -10 below zero today so I had to wrap up! I think the phrase was "-10 below = STFU and train"


The workout was as follows

10 sledgehammer swings left side
10 sledgehammer swings right side
10 push ups
5 pull ups

repeat 10 rounds NO REST!






In conclusion im on the road back to 100% and will catalog it accordingly. I am still unsure about the direction I want to take this time, but no doubt in my mind that I will get back to where I want to be. Next few posts should include tips and tricks, a fitness assessment/measurement, maybe even a laid out program or just a  general recovery progress from surgery... Stay tuned and cheer on, help, watch, or get out of the way as I make my way back to the top :-)

Im back! part 1

Hello everyone, I am back after quite a few life changing experiences! Ill recap what I have been up to and bring this blog up to speed best I can.

Last time we spoke I just finished up Ross Enamaits sample program which was 50 days of body weight style training and by no means was it meant to be just 50 days, its a style of training that can and should be done everyday (with rest days of course).

I find myself enjoying programs and following them, without them I tend to go about things haphazardly with no real goals in sight and I don't find that very enjoyable, so what did I do next? To be honest I was itching to lift some serious weight, but not let go of my new found body weight strength routine either. I was at my most lean weight ever and I felt great! I wanted to increase my size though. I wanted to pack on some more mass yet keep my conditioning high. so I decided I should create my own program and that's exactly what I did!





Setting up the dungeon was easy enough considering I just came off the never gymless routine. I wanted a minimalist approach. I devised a plan that would allow me to work between the barbell and dumbbells back to back per muscle group so that I could get twice the training in half the time. Here is an example of that.


The routine was set up in 2 parts. The first 22 days looked like the top row and the next 22 days looked like the bottom row
It turned out to be an effective bulking and cutting program, of course the longer you put in (more than 22 days) the better it will work, but I wanted to prove something. I wanted to see what I could do just before my girlfriend came home for christmas break from her study abroad. These were the results.

weight 175 lbs
body fat roughly 8%


 I was happy with the results considering I was a furiously lean 153 or so just a few months ago!

Fast forward a few months and I had been following a similar program this time it was a program that I felt was all encompassing and would maintain my fitness and physique just before my trip to Europe for a month. London for 3 weeks and Crete for 1 week.

my program was simple. 
monday - lift
tuesday - anaerobic cardio + core
wednessday - olympic lift
thursday -body weight strength
friday -  heavy bag work + core
saturday - yoga + stretching

I followed this all the way up until it was time to fly out to England and needless to say since the start of my journey (never gymless) I was in the best shape of my life and had the best physique of my life! This fitness journey ive been on for the better part of 5 years has given me incredible self confidence and an iron will. It has really opened doors of opportunity for me. Since I kicked it into overdrive the summer before nevergymless (infinite intensity era) my life has done nothing but change for the better! I cant explain it thoroughly, but I do know that I have developed a very intense rarely matched work ethic, a will that has yet to be bested, and the confidence in myself to know that if I put my best foot forward and try with all my effort that I will always succeed in my endeavors no matter what! This is not the end only the start. I wish to share this and hopefully inspire or give others that same gift that I have been given. So without further delay!!!!

Here I am in London!

and here I am in Hersonisos, Crete

and enjoying ice cream for the first time since quite possibly my birthday 7months prior








So now that you have been cliff notes caught up ill wrap this up here. After my awesome vacation with my amazing girlfriend I am back home getting into the groove of fitness again, yet finding it a little more difficult this time. The main reason, every time I work out an old nagging injury which unfortunately unknown to me at the time is a genetic predisposition. My right hip has a labral tear and the femur has a bone spur which has caused significant damage to the socket and surrounding tissue. Needless to say I spent quite a few sleepless nights in some serious pain! The verdict was in and I needed surgery.....





Monday, November 4, 2013

The Results Are In!!

I have successfully completed the NeverGymless 50 day training program by Ross Enamait. By no means does it have to end at 50 days. The knowledge you gain from this book can and will help you understand how to train effectively year round.  I will now share with you my results.

Measurements taken minutes before the very first workout of Day 1 Sunday Sept 8th.

Neck - 13.5''
Arms - 13.1/4''
Chest - 39''
Thighs - 24''
Waist (belly button) - 34.5''
Hips - 34''

Body weight - 161.2 Lbs

I finally got my hands on some calipers to do a 7 fold skin test to measure my body fat% on Sept. 24th which is 16 days into the program and this is what I recorded. Here are the links. skin fold sites and body fat% calculator

Lean weight 146.70lbs
Fat weight 15.89
Fat% 9.77

On day 50 Sunday October 27th these are my measurements

Neck - 14.5''
Arms - 14.5''
Chest - 40''
Thighs - 23''
Waist (belly button) - 31.5''
Hips - 32''

Body weight - 156.2

Lean weight - 149
Fat weight - 7.13
Body fat% - 4.56

I will now share the pictures with you. I will show the difference between flexing and not flexing, and will also include pictures that involve a huge contrast between flex vs no flex, shave vs no shave. All tricks used by supplement companies to make body compositions look drastically different. For example we have all seen the commercial for fat loss pills with the guy who looks like he may be in a bulking phase of eating and lifting, and has a hairy chest, then magically he is ripped and looking like he just came out of the hyperbolic time chamber in just 2 weeks!!!! Well usually what they do is have the guy shave, they change the lighting, and have him go pump some weights for 30 min or dehydrate him for a day or 2 and bring him back.

I did shave half way through and thought about it afterwards, but its not like I am hiding anything from you here. The numbers up above didn't come from me shaving and you will see that in these pictures. I promise you that what you are seeing is true transformation that was attained through INTENSE physical work and a conscious clean eating diet. The first pictures are the identical poses 50 days after day 1. The last picture I will show we can call the "commercial picture" its a contrast between flex and no flex only the difference here is my "magic pill" is something called hard work and determination taken twice a day for 50 days!
(again shave vs no shave isn't really a factor here because I wasn't covering much if any to begin with)

                                                            Day 1 front (no flex)

                                                           Day 50 front (no flex)
day 1 side (no flex)
                                                                   day 50 side (no flex)
                                                                      Back day 1 (no flex)

                                                                        Back day 50  (no flex)
                                                                            Day 1 (flex)
                                                                              Day 50 (flex)
Day 1 (no flex)
                                                                          Day 50 (flex)
                                                                    


                                                                        Day 50


A pretty significant change in just 50 days! My diet consisted of a strict Paleo Diet for about the first 30 days with the exception of a few "cheat meals" (one of which I enjoyed on my birthday!) I did not pay close attention to the exact number of macronutrients I ate, instead I made sure to eat healthy clean meals (3 to 4 a day) consisting of protein (fish,chicken,eggs, natural peanut butter) I ate eggs almost everyday! Veggies (Romaine and broccoli being my staple veggies) chicken salads are awesome, and fruits post workout. Usually a banana or apple. I also ate healthy fats from fish, evoo, eggs, fish and flax pills, avocados, and natural peanut butter. Along with a gallon of water a day (sometimes 2) I ate clean, and I was mindful to avoid anything that would slow me down. That simple!

Around day 35  I learned about an eating strategy called" intermittent fasting". I knew a bit about it, but clearly not enough for my liking so I studied it very intensely for the next 3 or 4 days and immediately put it into practice for the last 7 days. You can learn all about it here and especially here I found Martin Berkhan to be the most informative. Around the last 7 days I would eat from 12:00pm to 8:00pm then fast until 12:00pm the next day. During this phase I didn't eat as much fruit, and tried to eat more veggies and protein. I included baked potatoes post workout, and upped my healthy fats. It was during this phase I started watching my macros and calories more.

 The only supplements I use are Animal Pak Multivitamin and Modern Bcaa. I am NOT a fan of supplements, or money sucking supplement companies what so ever, with that said there are a few out there that I have found to actually work for me to aid in recovery and add nutritional value. I used modern bcaa right before my workouts, so I wasn't working out completely fasted. I took the animal pak (usually 1 pak) everyday around noon or 3 pm.  I tried to get to bed every night around 10:30 at the latest, but I am not much for sleeping unfortunately.

All in all I absolutely love the programs Ross puts together. They are extremely customizable, and arm you with the tools you need to make the changes you want to your program, so you can achieve your ideal level of fitness.

 This program involved little to no weights. I used a weight vest, resistance bands, my cloths line pole for pull ups, a 20 foot tow strap for rope climbs, my sidewalk for sprints, a medicine ball, and my weight bench for various ab exercises, a dumbbell for side bends, my tire for depth handstand push ups, a log for power overs, a deck of cards (that day was fun!) I really got creative with what I had available in my yard and neighborhood. that's it!!!

After reading this book you will realize you do not need fancy equipment or an expensive gym membership to achieve the level of fitness you want, as long as you stay dedicated, and work hard you will always succeed . Ross's low-tech, high-effect method is applied perfectly in this program. I enjoyed it very much  and I encourage you to give it a shot. What do you have to lose? Some fat? What do you have to gain? Knowledge and a high level of fitness? Sounds like a win win to me!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Mental toughness

I want to share a bit of personal experience that you may be hard pressed to find in a text book, but rather hear the battle tested athlete's talk about and that is metal toughness.

 (If anyone has any links or info for scientific studies on mebtal toughness I would LOVE to read them so please send them my way.)

Mental toughness is built when you come to a fork in the road. Go left and quite or go right and overcome! If you take a left, well thats life and just be ready to take the right turn at thw next fork, but if you choose to always go right you are building mental toughness! The fork can he many thing's in life. It could be your boss harping on you at work, your bills are building up, your dog shit on the new white carpet, or maybe you got into a fight with your significant other.. what ever the case may be you are always faced with a choice! You can come unglued and scream and yell, you can cry, you can quit or give up, and take that left turn, or you can seize the opportunity to turn right and gain mental toughness by not giving in when shit gets hard! Tell yourself you will endure and nake it out stronger than before! I like to translate this philosophy into fitness because it is alway relevant! Tonight was no exception for me.

When you decide to endure and take the right turn you have to face some big questions, and you WILL discover answers. Today during my workout I had questions. They always manifest during my most intense portion of my workout.  I asked why am I working so hard, who am I doing this for, and do I want to continue? The more I asked the more I knew the truth! I am doing this because I love it!!! I am doing this for ME!!! And I will continue because I refuse to give up!!! Running hard and doing medicine ball slams in rainy wet 40 degree weather and a short sleeve didnt matter to me I had questions and I wanted answers.

Now imagine if I took that left turn and said im not going to do it today. What would I have seriously gained? I would have never discovered the answers to my questions and prove to myself that yeah I can do what ever I set my mind to! I endures real mental toughness work today. What as my alternative?  Go in my house and pount and sulk about why everything is too hard and I give up? Or pig out on shit food? How about NO!!! Get the hell up and go do something about it!! Learn and seize this opportunity!

Well thats my philosophy on the topic. Excuse the spelling and grammar.

Mental toughness is to physical as four is to one. Bobby Knight

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Update

I know I have not posted in quite some time. Everything has been business as usual on my end here. Still eating paleo with the exception of one or two meals a week that is still fairly clean, but not technically paleo. I am still doing The Never Gymless program and am currently on day 29. I will have some new body fat numbers for you in the upcoming posts. Below is a little training compilation I made in tribute to Ross Training.

 You will see me perform a muscle up in the begging of the video, the first one I come close and the second time I get it, even though it is not as clean as I like I can finally perform them. My general philosophy is that if I have an opportunity to succeed or work my ass off towards my goal  then I will always be successful as long as I achieve my goal, and now that I can do one I can work my way to 100, I have worked my way towards a goal and now have the tools to continue.

I will warn you the music contains words that some may find offensive. Please be open minded and look past that as it was not my intention to offend but rather inspire others.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Lose weight and feel refreshed

Now there is no magic pill that will help you lose weight overnight, but there are a few simple guide lines that when followed properly will ensure weight loss with relative ease. Follow these simple easy to do rules for 1 month and I promise you that you will begin to lose weight! Its very likely to help you to stop having  low energy, stress, headaches, restless nights, etc etc.

1. Drink water only

For the next month stick with just water! No pop/soda, no coffee, no energy drinks, no fruit juices, no milk.
these drinks contains either high amounts of sugar, caffeine, or high fructose corn syrup. They all cause weight gain and do not aid in total health. Water is the champion here. Drink 2.5 to 4 Liters a day (a gallon is 3.78 Liters) Water not only hydrates you, it helps your circulation to carry nutrients all over your body much faster, as well as disperse waste. You will frequent that bathroom a bit more but its well worth it. When the urine is clear that means the kidneys and liver are functioning properly. When the urine is yellow is means the kidneys are working overtime and the liver needs to help out the kidneys with filtration. This is bad news because one of the main functions of the liver is to burn fat! So if the urine is clear the kidneys are doing there part and the liver is doing its part.

2. Eat Clean

When you prepare your breakfast, lunch, and dinner, keep wholesome healthy foods in mind like lean meats, whole grains, fresh fruits, fresh veggies. No dairy, no chips or pop/soda, avoid grains if you can help it like white bread and similar types. some good protein sources:  fish, chicken or turkey breasts, lean beef. Stay away from the canned stuff. Stay away from the cereals and processed foods. Cut out the breads, cereals, dairy products,  they only add to health issues and further weight gain. If you can not live without grains then chose wholesome grains like whole grain and wheat. Cut out all the junk. No candy, no chips, no ice cream, leave all of that stuff behind. Forget fast food!

3. Eat several small meals

This sounds much more difficult than it actually is. Eat breakfast, then prepare a snack like some almonds or walnuts and celery, then eat lunch, after lunch another snack maybe a chicken breast wrapped in romaine lettuce, then eat dinner. Yes snacking in between breakfast lunch and dinner is a good thing so long as what you are eating is relatively small and healthy! The idea behind several small meals is that it keeps your body's metabolism in a constant state of burning which will help burn off those extra calories that used to mean extra pounds! If you go longer than 3 hours without eating the body switches to a catabolic state which means it essentially breaks down muscle which is not good because more muscle we have to stronger our metabolism!

4. Go on walks!

This should be a no brainer, but how many times do we come home after work and plop down on the couch and start in on a bag of chips while we flip through the channels? How about a nice half hour walk instead. Take the dog, listen to some music or audio books, walk with a loved one or a friend, or just go by yourself and enjoy the evening or morning which ever you prefer to walk. It clears your mind and relaxes you.

Get plenty of Rest

8 or more hours of sleep a night are very important for the body to repair and recover, as well as fighting off any infections or colds coming your way! When you are well rested your body operates much more efficiently from digestion to energy surplus, sleep is a must!

Thats pretty much it. Most problems today are nothing more than a vicious cycle. You are cranky, tired, and stressed out because you didn't get enough sleep so you start eating and drinking junk foods to try and get more energy to feel better, but you just dehydrated yourself and your body is in shock from all the sugar you gave it so the liver is overflowing with glycogen and is released into the blood stream which isn't circulating fast enough to dispose of it so it gets stored as fat, meanwhile your lack of sleep is slowing down your metabolism and you only eat once or twice that day. You finally get home too tired to do anything but watch tv and eat junk food just so you can do it all over again tomorrow.... STOP IT!!!!!!!!!! These simple rules will help anyone stuck in that rut or sometimes find themselves in that rut to break free and find rejuvenation!!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Review

So after a few hard weeks of training I have some new numbers to share and a bit of information I would like to share.

I am currently on/completed day 17 of Ross Enamait's Never Gymless program. I have been keeping up with the workouts and not missing any days, as well as doing the program as designed. It still continues to be challenging yet exciting! Today was a strength workout and ab circuit. The strength workout today involves 4 sets of quality sets which means a few reps short of failure. The number of my reps are going up by quite a bit. 4 sets of 5 1 arm push-ups, 4 sets 12 pistol squats, 4 sets 10 pull up variations, 4 sets 10-12 body weight triceps extensions, 4 sets 12 heavy resistance bands leg curls, 4 sets 12 - 15 single calf raises, 4 sets 5 to 6 depth handstand push ups. all numbers have gone up as far as rep ranges are concerned by at least 2 or 3 reps. I make these body weight strength training days as difficult as possible to raise the total strength gain as much as possible and it is working. The ab circuit was a good core blast. 15- v-ups 15- band slams 10 rotational band twists and bicycle sit ups until it burns so bad you have to stop. Perform this circuit without rest in between exercises and minimal rest between sets, with 3 to 5 sets.

I am still on a strict paleo diet with the exception of 2 cheat meals so far. I was finding it difficult to push as hard as I want to with the lack of carbs, I am now starting to level out and things seem to be working just fine. I recommend sweet potatoes and more fruit if performance is an issue, but I am also trying to achieve a low level of body fat so I am limiting the amount of fruit I eat, which brings me to my next topic.

Since last time, I was lacking my body fat % as you can see all my numbers present in blog entry titled day 1. I have been doing a waist measurement method that is less than accurate, but it still shows results nonetheless. I have been using it until I could get my hands on some actual fat calipers. This is what it told me

Sept. 8th Body Fat% 17.9755
waist 34.5
weight 161.2

Sept 16th Body Fat% 16.04
waist 32.25
weight 162.6

Sept 23rd Body Fat% 15.40
waist 32
weight 162.6

Now I was skeptical of the body fat % I was figuring that from the start I was maybe 11 to 15 %
almost 18% does not fit what my figure looks like. So I decided to go get some actual calipers and do a seven fold pinch test. I highly recommend this site for general information and overall guidelines http://www.exrx.net/ in it you will find the proper way to approach accurate fat% measurements.

These are my results from the more accurate 7 fold test.

Sept 23rd Body Fat% 9.7749
waist 32
weight 162.6
additional information
146.7059 lbs of lean muscle
15.894067 lbs of total fat

This seems to fit my profile much better and also the test was more accurate. So if we look at the numbers from the start we can see body fat loss of 2.57% which would roughly translate to a starting body fat percent of about 12 to 13 which seems to be correct once we look at the more accurate 9.7749 percent. I will be doing the 7 fold test from now on every week or so to track progress, show progress, as well as how progress will slow down and what we can do about that!