Archive for September, 2011

Morning Run

September 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Did a walk-run thing this morning. Walked the halfK to the track, where I ran for about 43 minutes before walking home. It was a 2 minute run / 2 minute walk event, as I seek to gather my endurance. I ended with a 100 meter sprint before walking home. 48 minutes, 3.22 miles total. I couldn’t find my heart rate band, so I don’t think I pushed myself the way I usually do.

Slow, but it’s still burning calories. I look at it as more of a mental health break. Eventually I hope to see these runs as rewards rather than as obligations. My dinner date got cancelled, so it’s an opportunity for a squat session.

But the real surprise was having a visit this morning by someone I hadn’t seen since 2006. Back then I was 187 and had a very different shape: round. After reminiscing a bit, she said “by the way, you look great.” Although many of my friends have seen me at various times, a few people haven’t seen me since 2005, when I was at my worst. I was eating primarily white food – potato chips, dips, pasta, rice, beer and ice cream with a twice weekly serving of chicken wings. It was pleasurable, but I was beginning to have a hard time walking around, and I thought I was having heart problems. Fortunately I wasn’t. I was just fat.

So it was a little social proof I needed. Just enough so that I’m ordering a salad rather than Chicken Vindaloo for lunch.

I’ll have it another time.

Current weigh in – 177. Moderate goal: 155. Final, maintenance goal: 140.

Categories: Diet, Running

Double Unders and Deadlifts

September 20, 2011 Leave a comment

Today I decided that my warm up would be practicing double unders. My goal – just 20. I started off with a minute of singles before adding a double under inbetween singles. I did ten in a row, much to my surprise. Then I did five straight. I was so surprised I stopped. I then did five more. I hit my goal within two minutes. I then did another minute, adding a couple DUs in between.

I did some light KB snatches before getting to the strength portion of the work out. My goal was 5×285.


I wasn’t able to do the 285 in a complete set, but I didn’t rest as much as I did between the others. But I did some satisfactory “deloading” which should prime me for the next time. I then walked 100 meters with a 45 lb plate in each arm.

I finished with a slow 500m row (about 2:50) working on perfect form: 60 degrees angle forward and 120 degrees backward. On the treadmill I did 8-30 second modest sprints within 10 minutes, before walking 3 minutes with a 7 kg medicine ball.

My meals weren’t heavy, but I did eat a lot.

AM – 1 chicken sausage with eggs and a cup of frozen spinach.
Lunch – Arugula salad with 1/2 cup of tuna salad and 1 fillet of Tilapia in a lemon tomato sauce of some sort.

2 pears
1 Cashew Cookie Larabar
4 slices of Sopressata

Carrots l’anglaise
Spinach salad with avocado, bacon, chicken, a wee amount of cheddar, and almonds.

Not bad. Kind of enjoyable, really.

Categories: Uncategorized


September 19, 2011 Leave a comment

It’s only my third day of going no sugar, no alcohol. I have a headache. I’m sneezing. My handkerchief is a gooey rag.

They call this the induction “flu.” I didn’t help I had a smoke, a small Cohiba Pequeno, the other evening. Let me first admit, I’m not intending to be perfectly carb or alcohol free – I’m just not using it as a reward. On Wednesday I’m going to a friend’s for dinner, and he’s a wine distributor. My goal there is drink only enough that I don’t feel the need to eat more. And that day, plenty of water and salads.

I’ve made Mondays a more traditional full body workout. I did supersets, exchanging squats with chest; the military press with chest flys (flies?). I continued with military press, leg extensions, assisted pullups and dips. I jumped rope a few times in between. The big exercises first, with the additional ones afterwards, with lighter weights. These will lead to greater strength gains down the road.

Warm Up: 10 kb swings 25lbs
2 min jump rope
5 ea 20kb around the head (to stretch the shoulders)

Bench: 8×135, 1x 185, 1×205, 1×225, PR 1×245 (I had a little assist on this one, but it’s still greater than my previous 225).

Squat: 5xbar, 5×135, 5×185, 5×205, 5×225, 3x2x245, 2×225, 8×135. I think deloading, along with rest, are where the strength gains really happen.

Press: 5xbar, 5×95, 5×105, 5×115, 4×115, 5×95.

DB chest fly: 8×30, 8×40, 8×45, 8×50, 8×55.

Assisted Pullups (with the gravitron): 5x-90, 5x-70, 5x-60, 5x-50, 5x-40, 3x-30, 5x-50.

Leg extension: 8×70, 8×80, 8×90, 8×100.

Ab leg lifts: 3×8.

Dips (bw): 3×8.

Biceps DB: 3x3x30 ea. I’ve never had the body type that had big biceps, although I’ve never tried. It’s not a great indicator of body strength, but I’m going to do these more for pleasure and as a “rest.” Why not?

One of my drinking friends saw me at the gym. He said to me, “you can’t do this. you’re getting old. You’ll hurt yourself.” There was a time I’d listen to him, and take what he said to heart. But then, he was doing the elliptical.

He shrugged his shoulders when I was talking about deadlifts. I can’t convince him, but in a couple weeks he’ll take a photo of me doing a 335lb deadlift. When it will be easy.

This week I’m going to build up to a 5 rep deadlift of 285, then unloading for multiple reps while at 225. I’ll be also doing a few good mornings along the way.

But no alcohol tomorrow either. It will make tasting on Wednesday that much more pleasurable.

And now, to bed, to rest. The other half of the equation.

Categories: Uncategorized


September 17, 2011 1 comment

Aside from the booze, I’ve been fairly good. Today is a complete rest day for me, aside from a little salsa dancing.

I’ve been meditating a bit on my diet, and the plain truth is that my fundamental problem revolves around alcohol and stressed induced eating.

Alcohol tends to make me hungry. I’ve been moving from beer to wine and scotch, but it’s slow. I’ve been a learning a new psychological tool: “I can have some next time.” It’s worked a few times. There will always be an opportunity for more beer.

And when I’m stressed I want a big plate of Chicken Vindaloo with some rice. Fortunately, my resistance to desserts has remained steady, and habituated. I easily refused two cupcakes and a slice of cake. I just don’t feel good after I eat them.

The instinct diet says there are five fundamental instincts:

Hunger: to feel full;
Availability: whether its an unfinished bag of chips, stale popcorn or a big Indian buffet;
Caloric Density: hamburgers with cheese, avacado, bacon cooked in butter with carmelized onions; Cheescake.
Familiarity: Lamb Vindaloo takes me back home; as does french onion dip and barbecue potato chips;
Variety: to taste every cheese at a cheese bar.

A couple solutions: eat mindfully so that we know when we’re full. I keep my refrigerator empty of dense foods, aside from bacon. I have almost no sweet foods in the house.

But still, losing has been difficult for me.

On the strength front, it gets better. I’ve been adding a timer to mix it up a bit. I did 5 maximum rep rounds of squats at 2 minute intervals.

15xbar; 15×95; 3x8x145, timed and quick. Four days ago, I’d gone heavy. 5×135;5×185;3×225;3×205;5×185;5×155. The volume and intensity were both different.

9/14: Power Clean to 1 max rep of 135. Tabata 1 pood swing of 8 rounds 20sec/10sec rest. Deadlift, five rounds on the minute, with last round AMRAP. 4x3x185; 12×185.

9/15: 1 hour run in the AM. Evening worked up to a one rep max for Press of 145; failed at 150.

Yesterday’s workout: 4 rounds of 400m run/25 pushups. I thus did 100 pushups in one day.

So I’m feeling strong. Fat, but strong. It could be worse.

Categories: Uncategorized

Can you give me some advice?

September 1, 2011 1 comment

Today was another breakthrough.

I’m doing bench presses and ask for a fellow for a spot. He’s athletic and cut. He says, “say, I need some advice. I’d like to increase my weight, but I’m not sure how to get to it.”

I was stunned. Granted, people have said I look strong, but I’ve still got an ample beer belly from 25 years of kit-kats and Sam Adams.

“My goal is a set of 6 at 205. I just did a set of 5 at 185.” It was a simple question.

“Lift the weight,” I said. “Go heavy with fewer reps. You can do 2-3. Mix it up other weeks, and end with a finishing set that’s easy to increase your total for the day. That’s when you can get to a point when you feel the burn without worrying about injury.” I explained the reason for doing five reps one day, three reps another, and then doing light weights in a 21-15-9 set. “Mix it up, and you won’t get bored. And just increase the poundage, even though you might do fewer reps. Your body will then adjust.”

He was satisfied.

But today’s workout:

Bench: Bar x 5; 5×135; 3×165; 3×185; PR 1×225; 3×205; 2×185; 3x 155; 8×135.
Deadlift: Bar x 5; 5×135; 3×185; 3×225; 1×285; 1×305; PR 1×315;; 1 x 315 (fail); 3×225; 3×185; 10×155.

That’s right.

Four plates on the bench.
Six plates on the pull.

Categories: Uncategorized