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!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

day 5 rest

Today is a rest day and its important to cover this topic.

So lets start with yesterday, it was explosive strength work and it is structured just like the strength workout I posted before, the only differences being the exercises used. Challenging body weight explosive exercises are the name of the game. If you do not know what an explosive exercise is I will explain. And explosive exercise is when you rapidly move an object with near to maximal effort. For example a plyometric push-up (clapping push-up)  would be defined as an explosive exercise, because you explode from the bottom to thrust yourself into the air, instead of a standard push-up that does not send you flying off the ground. Yesterday was packed with them. Muscle ups, depth plyometric push ups, knee tucks, clapping push ups, calf jumps, power overs, and it was POURING rain outside to boot which made the workout a decent mental challenge as well. Explosive strength was also followed by an ab circuit which we also explained before. So I am nice and sore all over today which is a good thing >:-)

 Now that you have a general view or concept of explosive exercise its now important to get back to the topic of rest. Explosive exercise, weight training, high volume training (multiple training sessions a day for weeks with little rest) will all eventually lead to a burnt CNS (central nervous system) and when this happens its devastating to your body. I used to be the worst offender when it comes to CNS fatigue. I would push through multiple training sessions a day and not even think about recovery on the rest days I was all go all day 100% non stop!!! Eventually it all caught up to me. I couldn't sleep properly, I was always sick, I couldn't properly execute basic techniques, I gained body fat, I was a mess until I learned about the central nervous system and how vital it is in doing 99% of the work we tell our bodies to do. Without it working properly we do not function properly end of story!  So we need to take those days to stop and recover they are vital!! Stretch, go for a walk, do some yoga, read a book, maybe have 1 cheat meal, but above all else GET REST!!!! You don't gain strength from lifting weight, you gain the strength when your body repairs itself during sleep! Did you know it takes a nerve cell 7 times longer to repair and regenerate than it does a muscle cell. So don't beat the shit out of yourself, take good care of yourself and take the proper steps to rest and recovery.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Day 2 & 3

Day 2 consisted of maximal strength training followed by a core workout. The core workout can be performed before or after the strength workout, or incorporated right into the strength workout if you are creative enough. The strength workout design looks something like this.

A1. Upper body               Reps: Just short of failure   3 sets   
A2. Lower body               Reps: Just short of failure   3 sets   
B1. Upper body               Reps: Just short of failure   3 sets   
B2. Lower body               Reps: Just short of failure   3 sets   
C1. Upper body               Reps: Just short of failure   3 sets   
C2. Lower body               Reps: Just short of failure   3 sets   
D1. Upper body               Reps: Just short of failure   3 sets   
D2. Lower body               Reps: Just short of failure   3 sets   

Followed by

Core workout

 complete core circuit 3 to 5 times

1.
2.
3.
4.

Finisher (optional)

Now, for the top portion its really up to you to come up with some smart structuring. Keeping in mind this is a body weight minimal equipment program we must choose from a list of hard body weight exercises.
For example the upper body portion you should choose from these exercises. 1 arm push ups, 1 arm pull ups, handstand push ups, body weight triceps extension, resistance band good mornings, etc.. etc..  Really just any body weight exercise that you will have trouble doing more than 5 to 12 reps with. If you can do 20 1 arm push ups then its time to think of a way to make them more challenging.
Same holds true for the lower body portion. Pistol squats, hamstring curls, glute/ham raise, knee tucks, resistance band squats, one leg calf raises. ect..ect.. and of course if for example a pistol squat is too difficult for you then do an assisted pistol squat or even normal squat as long as they are challenging.

You will also see A1 and A2, B1 and B2 so on and so on this simply means that you do exercises A1 and A2 as a mini circuit, so perform one upper body exercise just short of failure then rest 30 to 90 seconds and perform A2 the lower body exercise, rest another 30 to 90 seconds and start back at A1 again to begin your second set. then on to A2 to complete the second set of A2. Once you have hit all 3 sets its time to move on to B1 and B2.

I find the strength workouts to be very fun because they are ALL a list of specific exercises that are difficult for me to perform. I am excited to progress through a list of very challenging exercises.

The Core is very straight forward 4 to 6 exercises done one after another with little to no rest between sets. choose a difficult exercise to start then progressively get easier on yourself. example would be:
3-5 circuits.
5- standing ab wheel roll outs
10- resistance band chops
15- v-ups
12 - superman (slow)

Finish with plank for time.

Day 3 EIT (Enhanced Interval Training)

The EIT workouts in this program are killers! I did EIT 1 today which consists of

12 burpees
24 pushups
36 squats
400 meter run

Notes: Perform this list 4 times with NO designated rest.  Complete it as fast as possible!

I did just as the notes suggested the only rest I took was to shake off muscle failure when it occurred during the push-ups. I was gasping for air, but constantly pushing through fatigue. My legs turned from solid to jello, my arms felt like seized up pistons with no oil, and the running after the squats was no easy task!! Once fatigue sets in you have 2 options you can quit or turn on beast-mode. At the 3rd circuit I turned on the beast-mode, its what you have to do to survive. My thoughts immediately change from shit im getting slow and tired to NO QUITTING FOR ANY REASON!!!! You have to let your thoughts turn to everything that is bothering you in your life, people and events that piss you off, everything that ever stressed you out or made you want to freak out, well now is your time to explode and go beast! It feels great. So I pushed hard into the 4th and final circuit and finished strong then immediately took a cool off lap around the yard. No rest for the wicked.

 A tip for most of you out there, a standard city block from corner to corner is 100 meters (at least mine is). No more excuses for not doing 50 meter sprints!

I did isometrics earlier in the day (thank goodness) isometrics are maximal effort at 3 joint angles so imagine and isometric jab I with my jab in the beginning point and pushed with all out effort for 5 seconds then did the same at the mid range point and continue on to the peak point. 3 sets 5 seconds working through jab, cross, hooks, uppercuts. Its quick with a good amount of intensity!

Until next time.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Day 1

THE OVERVIEW

Today I started Ross Enamait's Never Gymless program. It is a 50 day fitness program consisting of body weight strength and conditioning training. This program requires very little to no equipment. You can find a place to do pull ups any where, you can use a towel for isometric training, and your body for everything else. This program also offers you the ability and skill to really make it your own, while the integrated circuit training and enhanced interval training are laid out for you the strength training, core training, and isometric training are totally customizable to what ever you see fit, or to your current level of fitness. While I am no stranger to creating effective intense workout routines, I do enjoy a solid set in stone program.

I feel that NeverGymless will offer me ample opportunity to work on areas I feel I need more work, and even allow me to reach new limits. This book is much more than just a list of exercises, it teaches you the hows and whys of creating a program. Ross really goes in depth with the science behind it. You will learn very valuable fitness knowledge through any program Ross has created.

INFINITE INTENSITY

I have done Ross Enamait's Infinite Intensity program and that was no joke, just ask my girlfriend she will attest to how much effort and dedication it took for me to complete it. It was and is to this day THE most effective program I have ever done, as well as THE MOST intense as far as physically and mentally challenging is concerned.  I have done Infinite Intensity twice in my life. The first time I made it to about day 35 or 40 and had an unfortunate accident while butchering the doe I had shot during deer season. The knife had slipped and cut my left thumb straight to the knuckle, ( I could literally see my knuckle) so that required a few stitches and put my left hand at a nasty disadvantage. I did want to keep with the program but I wanted to do it right and also wanted to stay safe with my injury. So this past May to July I successfully completed Infinite Intensity with 100% accuracy. I didn't miss a day nor did I skimp out on any workouts. I performed everything right to the very last detail. By the end I was a solid 175 lbs and very lean! That program is NOT for the timid but I encourage everyone to try it if you feel taking on a great challenge! www.Rosstraining.com

THE WORKOUT

Ok on to the the NeverGymless program. Today was day 1 and that consisted of a workout that looked something like this

Round 1. 60 seconds of burpees, 60 seconds of pull-ups, 60 seconds of squats, 60 seconds of push-ups
Round 2. 45 seconds of burpees, 45 seconds of pull-ups, 45 seconds of squats, 45 seconds of push-ups
Round 3. 30 seconds of burpees, 30 seconds of pull-ups, 30 seconds of squats, 30 seconds of push-ups
Round 4. 15 seconds of burpees, 15 seconds of pull-ups, 15 seconds of squats, 15 seconds of push-ups.

NO REST BETWEEN ROUNDS. (hit start on your timer and GO!!! NO REST!!!)

Followed by isometric Deadlifts.

THE REVIEW

This workout was brief yet intense! I felt great during and after this workout! I pushed my self to perform every single rep possible. The only rest I took was 2 to 4 seconds max after hitting muscle failure on the second round of push ups then the following pull ups.

I took before pictures to share with you if/once I hit the 50 day mark. I do not foresee any reason for me to have to miss any days nor do I want to. With that said uncontrollable factors do sometimes come into play and if that does happen I can promise you I will just pick up and try it again!

THE NUMBERS

As I sit now 

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

Body weight - 161.2lbs

Height - 5'10''

I do not know my body fat % I will try to get that number as soon as I can.  The neck, arms, chest, thighs, and weight are all down from July. I was much larger and heavier with less body fat. I expect at the end of this program I will be very lean, and we will see an increase in size in the chest, neck, arms, thighs. The waist and hips generally don't fluctuate too much in my case, but I suspect they will decrease as well. The before and after pictures will show a world of difference at how effective this program and diet work!

NUTRITION

I am currently on a Paleo diet. I try to eat 5 meals a day breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner. All foods paleo I really do enjoy the diet and I feel great while im eating paleo. For those who do not know what paleo is, it stands for paleolithic which is an era dating back 2.5 million years ago and ending roughly 10,000 years ago. The main focus of the diet is to eat how we have evolved to eat. In essence just eat like our ancestors did. Lean meats, fresh fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds. No grains, No dairy, No refined or deep fried anything! 3 Good sources for more information on this subject are 3 books I have personally read and found to be a wealth of knowledge.
Rob Wolff - the paleo solution,
Paleo diet by Loren Cordain,
The Paleo Diet for Athletes by Loren Cordain and Joe Friel.

I will try to include pictures in my next blog. I am having issues with my camera at the moment!

Also I may not blog every single day or track every single thing I eat. I feel like providing quality information with substance rather than frequent volume is the best approach. I will share sample meal plans and ideas with you however I will not share every piece of food I eat, I dont feel as important as the actual working out portion. What works well for me may not work well for you or maybe you will find success with it and tweak it to fight you just right!

Until next time.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Fail or Succeed both are important for growth

Below is a poem/quote by Elliot Hulse. He illustrates the idea of pass or fail im still going to try and with every failed attempt I grow until I succeed! This is the attitude we should take while approaching our fitness and training.





Strive to be great and never settle for less.


Monday, September 2, 2013

The beginning

Welcome to my blog. This will be the first of many posts about my journey through fitness training programs and nutrition/diet that I will be testing, perfecting, and ultimately showing the effectiveness of in hopes that I can help you or even show you what works and what is total bullshit.

I will not offer any "facts" about nutrition or exercise, but rather I will share what I find to be effective and useful in my opinion. So if I say something like "I recommend drinking a gallon of water a day" please remember that doing so has worked for me personally, I am not a "professional" who is qualified to tell you how or what to eat or drink I can only pass along experience. Also in no way am I sponsored by any brand of supplement nor am I encouraging the purchase of such products if I say something like "I find animal pak to be an effective multivitamin" I am simply telling you what I have done and found effective. If you are a fan of supplements please don't be offended when I say things like "I feel that 90% of supplements out there are just a waste of money". Unfortunately the fitness industry is riddled with guys and girls who just want to make a quick dollar off of our desire for physical fitness and hard work. Hopefully I can help steer you in the right direction and away from the useless approach. With that said I will share a little information about myself.

I first fell in love with fitness around the age of 16. Everyday after school in the weight room I would train with a professional boxer and the work was intense. I remember ending every session with interval sprints on the treadmill and pull ups, but one particular session stuck with me to this day. It was the first and only time I threw up from exercise! I pushed myself as hard as I possibly could, it was something about putting all my effort and focus into physical effort that made me feel like I could become someone great. So lets fast forward to age 19, I joined Taekwondo and that's when my passion for fitness and nutrition took off like a rocket, I soaked everything in. I was (still am) completely in love with martial arts. I couldn't get enough of the workouts or comradery I shared with my fellow students. With every technique and drill I could feel myself becoming better, faster, stronger. I had to dive deeper so I read many books about fitness and nutrition and learned from those around me who knew so much more. I  honed my knowledge in class and outside of class doing my own workouts. Around the age of 20 I started Jiu Jitsu and MMA a whole new world had opened up to me again! For the next 3 years I trained martial arts and physical fitness. Now I have my blackbelt in Taekwondo, competed in martial arts tournaments, ran in 5ks and 10ks, and have several extremely intense training programs completed. I have really learned a lot in a short amount of time and this is only the beginning.

I am new to blogging so I will try my best to organize and articulate things best I can. I will admit I am more of a "hands on" type of guy so I will try my best to include pictures, do it yourself, advice, tips, updates, workouts, ect.

Until next time.

Tony Renzaglia