Friday, October 31, 2014

Help I Lost My Shoulders!!!

Ooops! All this flexing must have tore my shirt

As you might be able to tell I really like shoulders day. I have always had very broad shoulders and I think I must have some good genetics for neck devouring traps because it doesn't take long for them to start bulging. Well here is my workout from yesterday. Happy Halloween everybody!!!


12, 10, 10
SS Arnold Press
12, 10, 10

Upright Row
12, 10, 10
SS Cable Standing Military Press
10, 10, 10

Clean and Press
10, 10, 10
SS Concentration Side Raises
10, 10, 15

Heavy Side Raises
8, 8
SS Light Side and Front Raises
12, 10

Battle Ropes
SS Plank
SS Light Clean and Press

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Doin Some Curls for the Gurls

I figured I would throw my workout from yesterday on here real quick.

Tuesday: Arms!

I love arms day! Who doesn't want to have awesome huge biceps and a nice horseshoe triceps? Most people do chest and tris on one day and then do biceps with back or shoulders. I like to do them both on the same day because its really easy to super set since each muscle requires an opposite movement. 

Lift Pounds Sets

Straight Bar Curl 70, 100, 100 3
12, 10, 10
SS Triangle Push Downs 130, 150, 150 3
12, 10, 10

Machine Preacher Curl 90, 90, 100 3
10, 10, 8
SS Overhead Dumbbell Press 80, 85, 90 3
12, 12, 10

Parallel Cable Curl 40, 40, 40 3
10, 10, 10
SS Rope Pushdown 120, 130, 130 3
10, 10, 15

Standing Dumbbell Curls 55, 60 2
8, 8
SS Skull Crushers 85, 85 2
12, 10

Concentration Curls 30 2
SS Kick Backs 25, 30 2
12, 12
SS Battle Ropes

HIIT Treadmill 4
8.5 MPH

Get Your Pump On!

To be fair I just left the gym and was wearing black so the photo is rather flattering

So this is where we are as of October 28th 2014:
       Weight: 363lbs
       Measure around arms and chest: 64 inches
       Chest: 53in
       Bicep: 20in
       Belly Button: 58in
       Hips: 50in
       Thigh: 28in
       Calf: 20in

I wanted to get my body fat percentage but the machine they use at my gym wasn't working so I am going to have to deal with measurements for now. I really wish I would have done measurements back when I was 422lbs so I could see how far I have come but I know it has been quite a bit already. I am down over a full shirt size and have gone from wearing between a 52-54 for jeans to fitting into a 46. It feels great not being ashamed of how I look in a photo but I know I can do more.

If you have been following my blog you know the dietary changes I have been making but today's post is about my workout routine. I go to the gym (Shout out for Complete Fitness, awesome place!!!) between 3-5 days a week depending on the kids schedules, etc. I never go less than three days a week though. So if that means the only chance I have to lift is at 4 in the AM then that is when I go. Actually that is exactly when I used to go when I was hauling trash for a living. The only way to achieve your goals is to stop making excuses and make it work.

When I first started back in the gym I focused on lifting because I got a lot of cardio at work everyday. However, since returning to the domestic life I have begrudgingly accepted that I need to do cardio at the gym. Luckily I have found a style of cardio that I actually enjoy. More about that in a minute.

When it comes to weightlifting I think there are three main styles: power lifting, body building and cardio supplement. Each is designed to achieve a particular goal. The power lifter is looking to be as strong as possible. To see what that workout routine looks like you can check out my buddy Junior at Heavy Hammer Gym.

The "cardio supplement" is a style that focuses on high reps and low weight. A lot of people who want to tone up use this approach. It is also a common style for runners, swimmers and other athletes who need to be tone but not necessarily big. This style of lifting is also great for people who are just looking to get in shape.

Finally, there is bodybuilding. This approach has the goal of building muscle like a power lifter but keeping tone like the cardio supplement. My lifting routine falls more into this category but I would not call myself a least not yet.

My lifting routine breaks the body into 4 different days with an optional fifth day for pure cardio.
Monday: Chest and Abs
Tuesday: Biceps and Triceps
Wednesday: Pure Cardio or rest
Thursday: Shoulders
Friday: Legs and Back

I do not have a lot of time to workout so I cant waste time messing around in the gym. I'm not the kind of guy that does a set, checks his phone, grabs a drink, chats up other gym goers and then finally gets back to set number 2. I dont spend more than an hour in the gym and that covers both lifting and cardio everyday. To keep my schedule I Super Set (SS) everything and I keep a good pace. I will give you Monday's routine and then explain.

Chest and Abs:

Decline Bench              3 Sets                  12 reps, 10 reps, 8 reps
SS Flat Bench Leg raises           3 Sets                 12-15 reps

Incline Bench               3 Sets                  10,10,8
SS Crunches                3 Sets                  25, 25, 25

Cable Fly                     3 Sets                 12, 10, 8
SS Standing Plate Twist             3 Sets    15, 15, 15

Flat Bench Dumbbell Fly           3 Sets        12, 12, 12
SS Standing Weighted Oblique Crunch           3 Sets        12, 12, 12

Example of pace: Do first set of decline bench. Immediately after finishing that set I go into first set of Leg Raises (no more than 15-30 seconds between). After leg raises I will take a moment (typically 60-90 seconds) to add weight to the bench, grab a small drink if needed or do whatever I need to set up the next lift. Then I go into set number two of each lift. Keeping this pace has a lot of benefits. First it gets things done. I can get a great routine in in under 45 minutes. Second, it keeps the heart rate elevated which makes my lifting a little bit more like aerobic exercise which is great for fat burning and heart health.

When I pair my exercises for Super Sets I pick two different muscle groups. If I did two chest lifts back to back I would essentially be doing lower weight and higher reps which will not promote the muscle growth I am looking for. I keep my reps between 8-12 (except for abs obviously) and I choose a weight that will make the last 2-3 reps a challenge to complete. If I get to rep 12 and feel that I have more in me I will do a couple more and next time I will use more weight.

I will post more of my workouts in the coming weeks but next I want to talk about the cardio side of my routine.

I HATE RUNNING!!! I have never been able to spend 45 minutes on a treadmill or bike or any kind of cardio equipment. I loath the idea of getting on a treadmill and walking or jogging for an hour. But I need cardio if I am going to get healthy so what was I to do. Luckily I discovered High Intensity Interval Training. A simple style of HIIT that I use is 2-5 minute warm up, 30 second give it everything you have, 30 second rest, repeat until dead, cool down.

I only warm up for a couple minuets because when I go into my HIIT I have already been lifting for 45 minuets so my body is ready to go. Right now I alternate my HIIT between treadmill, row machine and this running machine that I have no idea what to call. I have recently been experimenting with Battle Ropes though and will let you know how that goes. The key to HIIT is Intensity. For the 30 seconds that I am running or rowing I am giving it everything I have. It has to be a full out sprint for 30 seconds to be effective. By the end of my 15 minute HIIT session I am totally taxed and feel like I couldn't do another set even if I wanted. I love HIIT because I can treat it like lifting. Each cycle of rest and work is a set. It becomes a competition between me and myself.

Well I think I have gone on long enough for today but I will start posting some of my workouts for anyone who is interested. Thanks everyone for checking in and talk to you all soon!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Time to Get Up Again

I read a quote the other day "We all fall down, but the best of us are measured by how often we get back up." Last week was a rough week for me. I definitely fell short of my goals and gave into some emotional eating. Stress is an insidious creature and when the daily levels of stress are compounded by something more extreme it can become overwhelming.

Like many people I have comfort foods that I turn to when I am feeling stressed or sad or angry. Unfortunately I was surrounded by some of my comforts (chocolate being suspect number one) when I was dealing with some stressful stuff and gave into temptation. Of course one failure can snowball and in the end I ate pretty crappy for about two days but the horse is getting impatient so I better get the hell back on. 

I have spent the last couple days getting back on track and decided that this week is going to be about reinforcing the goals I have set up so far. 

No Fast Food

Healthy Snacks

Keep a log

I have been surprised how much of a pain in the ass keeping a food diary is. I have also realized that I snack a lot. Its never a full "snack size" snack but its a little bit of everything which also adds up in the end. 

Well wish me luck on getting back to business. I have been fine tuning my lifting routine and have a couple current pics that will be coming soon, I swear. I know its been coming soon for a couple weeks but between the kids and Wrigg Consulting I have been pretty busy. BTW I started my own consulting business. I have a simple website set up at

And finally, I always like to through at least one picture in but I wasnt sure what to put in this week so what you are getting is an awesome picture of me and Caiden when he was just a little baby. I found this when I was scrolling through some FB pics with the kids last weekend. One of my favorites!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Crazy motivated or just plain crazy!

That is a photo of me putting out my last cigarette. I've been on chantax for the last week and today is my quit day. Even after I lose all the weight I want to I would only be half way to healthy if I didn't quit smoking. I have used the excuse of losing weight before I try to quit smoking for years but no more. I am done with excuses and I am done with smoking!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Week Three: Time For Some Numbers

The goals from week one and two have been going pretty well. I would say the biggest struggle has been keeping my snacks healthy. Getting all my fruits and veggies has taken some practice but curbing the desire for all the unhealthy snacks I usually have has been a lot of work. Solid progress is being made though!!
I think the next step in my mission is to get a full account of how much and what kinds of food I am eating every day. I have a pretty good idea of what I'm eating but I need some hard data to look at and then I can find problem spots. To get this data I am going to keep a food diary for the next week. I like to us the My Fitness Pal app to track my intake. I could simply write down everything I eat but I find that to be a bit of a pain in the ass. Using the My fitness pal app is so much easier. Anything with a bar code I can simply use my smartphone to scan it and the app knows what it is and has all the nutritional information. The app also has a very extensive library of foods so entering in what I am eating is really simple. I have tried a lot of different calorie counting apps and honestly My Fitness Pal is the best I have used.
Here is my breakfast and lunch for today!

Tracking my intake through the app is going to give me a lot of data. Calories, fat, carbs, sodium, sugar, protein, vitamins, etc. Pretty much it compiles all the nutritional info on what I ate and gives me a report. I have my goal on the app set for loosing 2lbs a week. The app sets my goals based on activity level, age, gender and weight. According to MFP, if I stay under 3800 calories a day I will loose 2lbs a week. I think I can do better than that in calories but I am more concerned about carbs and sodium.
On a bit of a side note you might be thinking that 3800 calories a day is a TON of calories. It is. That might give you a little insight into the physical differences between someone that is 365 pounds and someone that is 180 pounds. The typical adult should eat around 2000 calories a day to maintain where they are. I can eat almost double that and loose weight. That essentially means that my body is working twice as hard just to do the regular daily activity of being alive. Thinking about how hard my body is working just to keep me alive it seems obvious that extreme obesity would lead to heart disease, organ failure, arthritis, diabetes, etc. Sometimes I worry that I am to late. I can already feel the affects of years of obesity in my back, knees and ankles. I went to the doctor the other day and had blood taken to test all the general things like cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar. The yearly physical kind of stuff. The last time I had my cholesterol checked I was 24 and it was borderline high. I never got it checked again for a number of reasons but partially because I just didn't want to deal with it. I am now waiting to get my numbers back to see what kind of damage I have done. The doctor reassured me that even if it is high I am on the right track and as long as I stay the course it will come down. Thinking about all of this makes it tempting to sit back in self-pity about "O, I am overweight cause of this and that" and let the depression take over but that will not get my children's father to a healthy life. Regardless of what irreparable damage I may have done, I can stop doing more damage and fix what can be fixed. So here's to trudging forward for these guys!!!
Plus 2 more that hadn't been born yet :)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Week Two:Goal Two

It has been a rough weekend. I haven't eaten any fast food but healthy is not how I would describe the last two days. It's funny how temptation just shows up on your door step sometimes. We always get wonderful care packages from my mother-in-law with all kinds of great stuff like cleaning supplies, clothing for the kids and bathroom supplies. We got one of these packages recently and in addition to all the great stuff it also contained my kryptonite: M&M's. I freaking love those things. I also find that when I am restricting one of my indulgences I am likely to give into a different one. So this weeks goal is inspired by my M&M binge.

All Snacks Will Be Healthy Snacks

Like many people, I tend to snack throughout the day. Since returning to be a stay-at-home dad this habit has gotten much worse. It is just so easy to grab a little thing here and a little more there and actually its not all that terrible of a thing to do depending on what I am snacking on. Having snacks or small meals throughout the day keeps your metabolism going at a more steady pace instead of the peeks and plummets of only eating three large meals a day. However, grabbing a handful of M&M's every time I walk by the kitchen is not the kind of snacking I need to do. Keeping my snacks healthy will reduce empty calories and increase the amount of vitamins and minerals I am getting each day. 

Eating healthy snacks is way to vague of a goal so I am setting some more parameters so I can determine if I achieved my goal. I figure a good way to inspire me to eat healthy snacks is to make a second goal of EATING MY FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

I used the calculator on the CDC website to set my goal: 2.5 cups of fruit and 4 cups of vegetables per day. I already had my wife hide the bowl of M&M's this morning so from here out it is fruits and vegies for this guy. 

Make sure to subscribe so you can receive every post via email and start gearing up for my losewithjames workout addition! Coming soon.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Goal Update and Life Update

The goal has been going very well so far. I have not eaten fast food this week and have been taking measures to plan ahead so it has actually not been that hard. The number one thing that has helped me avoid temptation has been crock pot meals. Seriously, I am pretty sure that crock pot meals are God's gift to over worked stressed out parents. During nap time I can toss all the stuff in, turn it on and walk away. Then hours later when its time for supper and we are running out the door to dance or to an appointment or just chasing this herd of toddlers around trying to keep them from killing each other and/or the dog I can just sit them down, plate the food and Wah-lah ten minutes of peace and quiet to scrape my sanity back together.
Last night we had Cilantro Chicken. Literally took less than 5 mins to prep and put in crock pot.

It has only been a few days without fast food so I don't feel much different physically but it does feel good knowing that I'm setting a better example for my children. Whenever I ate fast food, the kids ate fast food as well. None of my kids are obese but if we continued to eat fast food 2-3 times a week it would only be a matter of time. Me getting back to healthy is important but keeping them from getting unhealthy takes an even higher priority. 

I am pretty confident with the current goal so I am going to start preparing my goal for next week. You can expect a new goal to be set this weekend so be sure to subscribe to my blog to receive the next post via email. 

Now for some life changes. As some of you might know I have been driving truck for about 4 years minus a little break about a year ago. I have been at my current job about four months and have really missed being home with the kids. Therefore, we have decided that I am once again going to be a stay at home dad and Amanda is going to work full-time. I am excited to be at home with all my babies again and I am also excited for the different opportunities this will provide. While being a stay-at-home dad I am going to be pursuing some writing endeavors. I have a couple ideas I am developing for some E-books and I am writing speeches for people. Currently I am working on Fiverr (you can find my profile and gig here) to build up some experience and a portfolio. So if you know anyone who needs to make a presentation, sales pitch or really any kind of speech at all and they could use some help it would be really awesome if you sent them my way!!! 

There is one thing I am going to miss about my job: the exercise. I walked so much at work that I didn't really need to worry about exercise outside of work. But since I will not be getting my 3-5 miles of walking in per day I am going to need to incorporate some cardio into my week. Stay tuned to learn about my workout program.