Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Twas the night before weigh in and the nerves were affright

Tomorrow I will be weighing in and getting measured and I'm a little nervous. I've been working hard but I've slipped up quite a bit as well so I'm not sure how things will go.

However, tonight I hit a PR! (That's "personal record" for those who aren't hip to the weight lifting lingo). Last week I did circuit training so this week I'm hitting the heavy weight. Tonight I did chest and on decline bench I did 315lbs X 5 reps! I haven't put up 315 since probably 2010 so I'm pretty stoked about this achievement.

Whether or not I'll be happy with the numbers I get tomorrow, I'm not sure. But I'm happy right now with the progress I've made in building muscle and strength and honestly I'm just happy that I'm still at it. Part of me expected to give up by now so I'm proud to still be plugging away!

Tune in tomorrow afternoon for results!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Not Quite Dead... But Close

Day two of circuit training went well... minus my need to lay starfish when I got home until I could muster the energy to eat lunch.
Today I did the lower body part of my circuit training workout and it was killer. Compared to the people putting together the resources I used to make my routine, my workout was probably child's play but that's why beginners begin at the beginning I guess! The worst part is knowing that I need to go back tomorrow and do upper body again since I missed Monday and Tuesday. I could use a day of rest but I could use dropping 100lbs more so back I will go.
I could definitely go for some support from all you awesome people so fill up the comments and tell me about your successes!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

New Workout Almost Killed Me!!!!

That is me post-workout.
Unfortunately my wife was not entertaining the idea of carrying me inside from the car :( 
This week was the beginning of my new circuit training routine and after one workout I have learned a few things, some of them very depressing. Here are the circuits I put together:

Circuit Training
Upper Body

30s rest 15
Weighted Shadow Boxing
30s rest 15
30s rest 15

2 min between sets

30s no rest
Pull Ups
30s no rest
Cable Curls
30s no rest

Battle Ropes
45s no rest
ab roll out
30s no rest
30s no rest

Lower Body

45s no rest
Dead Lift
45s no rest
Hanging One Leg Squat
45s no rest

250 meters

60s rest

Treadmill Sprints
30s:45s rest

Incline Advance

Lesson #1: Careful what you eat
        I didn't get the chance to work out at my usual time today so I had to go after the kids went to bed. Not really thinking about it I ate a nice full meal, not a particularly healthy one either :( a couple hours before I went to the gym. Not a good idea. Almost lost it and felt a little sick for about an hour after working out. I think it also impeded my ability to give a full effort so that wan't good either.

Lesson #2: I am shamefully out of shape
        I knew that this new routine was going to be hard for me and that I don't have a lot of endurance but WOW I am really out of shape. I have been getting stronger and more defined muscles but I feel like I am starting from square one when it comes to endurance and core strength. I had to adjust some of the movements so I could even finish every set. Burpees became more of just an up down, push-ups became knee push-ups and by the time I got to the plank I could barely keep my body up for 10 seconds at a time. Honestly it was pretty depressing and I felt a little defeated but on the bright side I did finish the routine and now I know where I am at.

I am on a very long journey and the day-in day-out grind is very difficult at times but I have to keep putting my head down and moving forward. Tonight I realized just how much further I have to go to get healthy but that will make it all the more satisfying when I get there some day. Thanks everyone for reading and in the words of Red Green "We're all pullin for ya!"

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Things You Can Learn By Changing Your Intentions

Over the last two days I have been implementing my new goals: 2500 calories and alternating workouts. I have already learned some pretty exciting stuff. As it turns out I am stronger than I thought. This week I have changed from the 10-12 rep bodybuilding style lifting to a 4-8 rep strength focused routine. I haven't done this style of lifting in a long time so honing in on the right weight to use has taken some experimentation.

I am a huge RadioLab fan on NPR and they have this episode called "Limits." In it they talk about how the mental limits we set for ourselves sometimes keep us from doing things that we are actually capable of doing. Example, for years and years no one thought you could run a 4:00 minute mile. It was just believed to be outside of human capacity. Then in 1954 Roger Bannister ran a 3:59 and a mere two months later John Landy ran under 4:00 and since then it has become the standard for middle distance runners. Bannister broke a mental barrier and changed the parameters of the conversation.

I think I have broken a personal mental barrier this week. Instead of just adding a little bit of weight to each lift I do I decided to throw caution to the wind and just kept piling it on (of course I didn't throw safety to wind!). I have been hitting weights I didn't think I could even do a 1 rep max on, let alone do a set of 5. I am changing my parameters for how far I can push my body in the weight room and I think I am going to see some great results because of it.

Limiting myself to 2500 calories has also been a little different. I have actually been quite hungry a few times over the last couple days but sitting with that hunger has been a good experience. As an obese person I am used to eating a lot and eating all the time. I rarely felt hungry before because I was always snacking on something (and it showed). But now that I am limiting the amount of calories I eat, I have to be careful to spread them across the day which means sometimes I need to just wait to eat.

I have found this rather difficult but I am getting better at more effectively using my calories. If I cut out one of the eggs I eat in the morning that gives me about 100 calories I can use later for a small snack. I am also turning to more vegetables since they are low calorie but can be very filling. And finally portion control has become very important. We make some awesome homemade meals in my house (thank you wife for being a great cook and meal planner) but even homemade meals can get out of hand if I don't watch my portions.

I feel pretty good about the last couple days. I hope this change up gets me loosing weight again and helps me towards my path of living healthy.
And whenever I want to give up I just remember that this little girl wants to have her daddy around for a long, long time :)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Inevitable Plateau

I wish this was the plateau I was talking about!
I'm calling it what it is: a plateau. I thought my weight loss was slowing because of my struggles to achieve my goals but even after getting back on track I am still not making any progress. I have been stuck at the same 365lbs for over a month and its time to change things up a bit.

Here's the plan:
              Calories: Drop from 3000/day to 2500
       Right now I am consuming around 3000 calories a day which should be dropping my weight by a couple pounds a week according to MyFittnessPal. Keeping to 3000 calories has actually been pretty easy so the challenge of dropping the bar to 2500 will hopefully reengage some passion for eating right. I think it should also be enough to get my body burning fat again but to make sure I am also going to change up the workout routine

             Gym Time: Switching from body building+HIIT to alternating schedule
       Its easy to become complacent in the gym so I am designing an alternating schedule to change things up and find new and exciting forms of gym torture. I am going to switch between heavy lifting and circuit training.
       Week "A" is going to look very similar to what I do now except I am going to increase the weight and decrease the reps. Right now I do between 10-12 reps on most my lifts. I am going to drop the rep count to 6-8. I will increase the weight to make sure that the last one or two reps are almost impossible to complete. This type of lifting is focused on building strength over definition and hopefully this change up will inspire some new muscle growth. I will also keep doing about 15 mins of HIIT after the lifting routine is done.
      Week "B" is going to be a whole new beast for me: circuit training. I have not actually designed this schedule yet and it is not my expertise so I will get back to you with the program after I have done enough research to put one together. However my basic idea is having an upper body routine and lower body routine instead of lifting only one or two muscles a day. I will do each routine twice a week: upper body, lower body, rest, upper body, lower body and if I can find the time I'll do carido on Saturday and rest Sunday.
      This will be my new routine and diet plan for the next month. If I am still not losing weight my next area to fiddle with is carb consumption. Not eliminate all carbs but I think my carb consumption is a bit high so I am going to do some more research and see if this area needs some work. Wish me luck and I'll let you know how everything is going. And of course thanks for reading. I really appreciate all of you who read my blog. It gives me encouragement to know that there is a group of people out there that care enough to keep up with what I am doing. Thank you. Also, I would love to get more people involved so please share this link and let's see how many like's we can get.

In addition to this blog I have been branching out my online presence. You can now find me in the following places:
          My website: wriggconsulting.weebly.com

          Find me on Fiverr!!!

          Or hire me through Elance

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

No Shave November! My Face Is So Cold

The last time I remember completely shaving my face was in 2010 when I had an interview at a catholic high school. I thought it was time to shed the beard and see what's under there. Turned out to be 16 year old James.
I have come to believe that no shave November should be in July. My naked face simply cannot handle these sub 50 degree temperatures. I just hope I've grown in a face coat by winter. I also hope my toddlers realize it's still daddy sometime soon, so far they just circle me with deep suspicion.
Happy no shave November !