Wednesday, October 29, 2014

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!


  1. Thanks for the shout out on your blog. I appreciate it!

    1. No problem man. Hope you are enjoying that new baby!!!