Matt,My report on the last 6 weeks.I've worked hard at changing what I eat. I snack on walnuts and fresh fruit, and forego sandwiches at lunch for salads and fish (on most days). Dinner is whatever the wife makes (which on most days is well balanced). I don't bother counting calories. I am just focusing on eating better, and think the change in diet and increased activity will be enough in the long-run. As for an exercise routine, I have been doing a lot of experimenting. Your posts have been very helpful here. You discuss quite a few exercises I had never heard of, providing plenty to research, which usually expands into a entirely new area of fitness for me (example, muscle-ups).My favorite from your catalog is the Bulgarian Training Bag. Your dyi version was very cool, but I opted to meet with Greg Maurer at the Hockessin Athletic Club to get a hold of the original design. I dug it, and ordered one for my own (26 lbs.). This thing kills me in less than 20 minutes.My current routine is:D1 (Saturday) - Run/walk Alapocos Run. Can't run the whole thing yet so I do what I can and walk the rest. I change this up freely with uphill sprints, which are brutal on this trail. Appreciate your thoughts on running more than 400m and think this is a fair compromise. I enjoyed running distance in the past, and would like to regain that experience eventually.D2 (Monday) - Gym: squats 3x15 with in between sets of pull-ups; bench press3x15 (both squats and bench turn out to be 2x15 with muscle failure on the last set, once I get to ten reps on the last set I bump-up the weight. I am leaving weight off here because it’s a little embarrassing, give me some time).D3 (Tuesday or Wednesday) - 30 minutes w/BagD4 (Thursday or Friday) - 30 minutes w/BagI'd like to change this up to include another day at the gym, but it will have to wait until after July 9. My Bag days are work-out at home days. I plan to incorporate pull-ups, some ab work, and other body-weight exercises on these days, but haven't gotten around to hanging a pull-up bar. All in good time. Overall, I am feeling much better and am 12 lbs lighter than the last time I emailed you. Weight loss is not a huge priority for me, but it is a favorable metric right now so I'll use it.Still working on defining goals, and still thinking about how to change-up my weight-lifting routine when the time comes. You do a lot of Olympic style lifts that I understand are best for strength building. But I would need to invest the time to learn them and develop good form. On my own that could be challenging. That's a few months down the road though. As always, thoughts, comments and criticism are welcome.Talk to you soon,
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
KB 2 Hand Backward Overhead Throw
DB Push Throw
Friday, June 25, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Mikey on the Fat Bar
Post deload, back at it again...
Thursday, June 17, 2010
What is the next logical step to making yourself better? What if you have a talent that others are interested in, and you choose to not share it with anyone? Are you providing a disservice? Are you just lazy, or are you making a bad moral decision? People need to know the good that you have to offer. Stop hiding yourself and let yourself be known. Publicize your skill and your image. In the end your skills will diminish, but your image will remain.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
The following is an excerpt I stole from The Unnatural Athlete, by Charles Staley of Staley Training Systems:
“Habits are like cobwebs at first, cables at last” — Proverb
with the New Year upon us, I thought I’d use this installment of The Unnatural Athlete to
explore the relationship between our habits and the outcomes we experience in training and
The concept of “New Year’s resolutions” has always been interesting to me, primarily because so
few people manage to keep them. Since the conventional route rarely works, let’s explore a less
What Are Habits?
Habits are consistent patterns that reveal our character and determine our effectiveness in life.
Steven Covey describes habits as “the intersection of knowledge, skill, and desire.” In Covey’s
representation, knowledge represents the paradigm we apply to a situation, or the “how to do.”
Skill is the “how to do,” and desire is the motivation or the “want to do.”
Benefits & Costs
Anthony Robbins has suggested that we do not change “bad” habits until the negative consequences
of those habits begin to outweigh the perceived benefits. For example, you might find yourself in
the habit of eating a pint of ice cream every night before going to bed. You enjoy the experience
of eating that ice cream, and, at least for the short term, that enjoyment greatly outweighs the
negative outcomes of your habit, since it takes time for those extra calories to cause weight gain.
After several weeks however, it becomes evident that your ice cream habit has caused you to gain
15 pounds. At this point, the negative outcome of the habit is quite tangible, and because you have
been eating that ice cream every day for weeks, you don’t get the same enjoyment from it that you
used to. Because the negatives are now outweighing the positives, you’re now much more likely to
change your ice cream habit.
CHAnging UnprodUCtive HABits
In some cases, we are unaware of the negative consequences of our habits. For example, excessive
intake of processed carbohydrates can promote inflammatory responses in the joints. You may
assume that your painful joints are simply part of life, or the outcome of old athletic injuries. It
isn’t until you reduce your intake of processed carbs that you realize the negative consequences of
your former habit. On a similar note, we often do not realize the benefits of our good habits until
we discontinue them for a period of time.
We commonly assume that it takes discipline to change bad habits. It’s interesting to note that the
word “discipline” evolved from the root word “disciple” which means “one who learns.” And in fact,
when you encounter a highly disciplined person, you’re not looking at someone who gets his/her
kicks from self-denial, but instead, someone who has learned that the negative outcomes of certain
behaviors is not worth the benefits associated with them. It really comes down to self-awareness.
The skills required to change undesirable habits can be learned by anyone and are widely available
to those who seek it. The primary skill involved is the simply decision to take action. I recently saw
a great sketch on a television show, where Bob Newhart played a psychologist who billed himself as
being able to cure anyone’s problems in 5 minutes. A female patient comes in whereupon he asks
“How may I help you?” She proceeds to explain that she has a terrible eating disorder where she
eats copious amounts of food, only to purge the meal shortly thereafter. “Is that all?” Newhart asks?
“No” she replies, and begins to describe her terrible drug and alcohol problems. “Anything else?”
Newhart inquires. “Yes,” the patient continued, explaining that she also has Obsessive-compulsive
tendencies, and can’t manage to leave her house without making sure that the stove if off dozens
Finally, the patient had fully detailed her numerous psychological problems. Newhart reflects for a
moment, and then simply says “OK, here’s what you need to do: STOP IT!”
“Just STOP IT!”
“I also pull my eyelashes out”
“Stop that too”
Unfortunately, simply stopping your bad habits, in and of itself, is an insufficient strategy. A much
more effective plan is to substitute a new, more productive habit in place of the one you’ve decided
to end. For example:
Sitting in front of the television at night is the enemy of good eating habits. You’re being bombarded
with tremendously effective food commercials, and you’re in close proximity to the fridge. If you
find that you’re most vulnerable to making poor eating choices at night, this could be the reason
why. If you can terminate the night-time TV habit and substitute it with (for example), a bike ride,
a lot of good things start to happen:
1. You’re away from the pervasive food commercials and the access to the fridge
2. You’re burning calories while you exercise
3. Exercise tends to blunt your appetite
4. When you exercise, you’re more likely to eat right, as a way of further leveraging the good effects
of the exercise
The motivation required to change bad habits comes from the realization that the benefits you
experience from your habits are not worth the negative outcomes of those habits.
The following is an exercise to help you become more aware of the benefit/cost ratio of your habits.
Spend a few minutes on this exercise right now:
My 3 most effective/empowering training/nutritional habits are:
My 3 most destructive training/nutritional habits are:
Now take a moment to identify the benefits or rewards you experience from each habit, and also
the negative outcomes (if any) of each habit.
Example: Under the effective habit list, you may have listed that you eat 5 times a day (as opposed
to 2 or 3). The benefits of this habit are that your energy levels are more stable, your
cravings for sugary foods has diminished, you can eat more without gaining weight, and
that your body composition has improved. The negative aspects of this habit are that it
is occasionally inconvenient to eat so often, and that you need to give more thought to
meal preparation than you used to. Are the benefits worth the cost?
The nice thing about establishing new habits is that most of the hard work takes place in the first
3-4 weeks...after that initial period of time, the amount of effort required to sustain the new habit
The bottom line is that whatever strategy you choose to change undesirable habits, at some point,
you simply need to take action; you need to interrupt the pattern. You might find it helpful to
recall a positive experience from your past as you managed to stop a bad habit. How did you do it?
Was it worth the effort? Was it really as hard as you had anticipated?
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
A little extra rest should have you feeling well. Now we'll do a deload workout to get the weight off the spine and lots of mobility work to get the body primed for some more heavy lifting in a few more days.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Here is something I found regarding fats, I can not say I agree with it all, I actually cut out the part about saturated fats as i did not agree at all with it. Personally, I cook with coconut oil and organic butter. I use pure extra virgin olive oil with very low heat or raw on salads and stuff like that. An avocado a day keeps the Dr at bay. Fish, fish oil, krill oil, hemp and flax oil seem to have great benefits. I eat tons of nuts and seeds, a good variety will ensure ample amounts of quality nutrients. I eat them by the handful and refuse to count 9 almonds to fit in the zone, it's just a personal choice. If I was stepping onto a bodybuilding stage, I know paying attention to my caloric intake would be imperative, but since my goals entail running through brick walls and lifting heavy objects for fun, I only count in kilos and pounds, not grams. I am not too concerned with saturated fats, they get a bad rap. It is actually a fact that bacon cures cancer. And if you wrap bacon in bacon, you will actually win the lottery and go straight to heaven with 12 virgins eagerly awaiting your arrival when your time is up. Here is a link to another fat article worth reading. Now go get your fat on...
All fats are NOT created equal.
It's an interesting title, but are there really such things as "good" fats? Seems as though all we ever hear about is how bad fats are for you. But there are differences in fats. There are fats that your body actually needs for energy, heart health, essential fatty acids and to transport vitamins throughout your body.
So, here's the simple truth about fats:
The "Good" Fats
The good fats are the unsaturated fats - monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Monounsaturated fats lower the risk of heart disease. They also lower total cholesterol and "bad" (LDL) cholesterol and increase "good" (HDL) cholesterol.
Foods that are high in monounsaturated fats include nuts (walnuts, Brazil nuts, almonds, hazel nuts, peanuts and pistachio nuts), olive oil, olives, avocados, sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds.
Polyunsaturated fats also lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. Omega-3 fatty acids, which protect the brain and nervous system, bolster heart health and prevent certain types of cancer, Alzheimer's disease and diabetes, are included in this category.
Foods that are high in polyunsaturated fats include fish (salmon, trout, catfish, and mackerel), nuts, some vegetable oils (sunflower, safflower and corn), seeds, dark leafy greens and flaxseed.
The "Bad" Fats
The bad fats are trans fats - they raise total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol and clog your arteries, increasing your risk of heart disease.
Trans fats are the worst of the worst because they raise total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol and lower HDL cholesterol. They are produced when liquid vegetable fats are changed into solid fats. Many processed foods contain trans fats, including cookies, cakes, microwave popcorn, margarine, and the foods in many fast food restaurants.
Be smart about fats and stick with poly and monounsaturated fats. Read food labels, especially commercially processed foods, to avoid trans fats. Use reduced fat or fat-free products when cooking, whenever possible. Limit your intake of sweets, processed foods, fried foods and fast foods.
What's your take on fat?
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Work on that back!
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
1.) Double KB Snatch 3 x 8-10