Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Training for March 31, 2009

7 minutes of VO2max training with a 16kg bell for lunch instead of eating. First 5 minutes were ok, but those last two were getting pretty tough. My snatch form started to get a little sloppy, but that just means I need to really focus on powering through it mentally.

It's an interesting paradox: doing snatches shows you just how bad you are at them, but high-rep work on them, or this VO2max I'm doing, forces you to learn proper technique, because without it you just can't get through it. I find that I start having to muscle through the movement the last quarter to third of the sets as my technique starts to go due to fatigue, but once the fatigue starts to peak, I must focus on technique to complete the remaining reps.

My upper back and shoulders actually feel pretty good. The camshafts and other shoulder work from Z-Health have really helped my shoulders out.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Intermittent Fasting, Day 10, March 30, 2009

Still following my normal morning and night time supplementation.

As for what I ate for dinner:
  • Three bean burritos from Taco Bell
  • Three soft-shell tacos from Taco Bell
  • One hour later: A bowl of flax, grain and pumpkin seed cereal mixed with
  • 10oz skim milk with a scoop of protein (about 30g added protein)
I was absolutely stuffed but not uncomfortably so. Borderline. Must try to avoid Taco Bell, and fast food in general, in the future. Just costs too much and doesn't provide solid nutrition. Good thing I take vitamins and fish oil supplements.

I've been without any caffeinated drinks for about 48 hours and the itch to drink the bubbly is pretty strong. I will fight that, though. I need to break the diet soda habit. I was drinking 6-8 of the damn things a day, mostly Diet Dr. Pepper.

Training for March 30, 2009

Just got done with my first VO2max training. I started with a 16kg bell.

For those who don't know what VO2max training is, here's the definition from the Wikipedia page:

VO2 max (also maximal oxygen consumption, maximal oxygen uptake or aerobic capacity) is the maximum capacity of an individual's body to transport and utilize oxygen during incremental exercise, which reflects the physical fitness of the individual
The short of it: a fitness protocol that will show you just how weak and out of shape you really are. :)

I started with 6 minutes total. 8 kettlebell snatches with left arm for 15 seconds, then a 15 second rest. Switch to right arm. Repeat for a total of 6 times through. Heavy breathing and cursing commences. I missed one freaking rep on the next to last set! I was pissed, and determined that will never happen again.

Tomorrow I up the time to 7 minutes. Yay for self-inflicted torture! I would have it any other way!

Some additional links for those who want more info:

Weekly Weigh In

Ok, last Monday my weight was 224 pounds.

As of this morning, my weight was 220.5 pounds.

Now, this Intermittent Fasting diet I am doing is not really low carb, and I have even included some foods I shouldn't really be eating, such as the carrot cake roll from Saturday or the nasty tortilla chips from a few days before. I've also been drinking between a half-gallon to a full gallon of water each day and I've practically eliminated all the diet soda that had become such a bad habit for me (had a low-carb Monster energy drink at 5pm Saturday).

My activity is roughly the same as it was before I'd started the diet, so I feel I can say that something is definitely working.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Intermittent Fasting, Day 09, March 29, 2009

Morning supplementation:
  • 1g Vitamin C
  • 2 capsules green tea extract
  • 50mg DHEA
  • Men's multivitamin
  • Forgot the creatine
Breakfast:
  • Eggwhite omelet: 1 cup eggwhites w/ 1 whole egg
  • 1 slice non-fat cheese
  • Topped with the remaining lean ground beef and onions mix left over from the other day
  • 1/2 cup sliced pineapple
  • 4 capsules Biotest Flameout
Didn't eat anything else the rest of the day. Just didn't feel like it. I am quite hungry now, but I am simply drinking water, and chewing gum. Only complaint is that it seems like my acid reflux has kicked in a little and I think it's because I've been kinda slouching most of the day, working on the computer.

Night time supplementation:
  • 3 capsules of ZMA, taken 30 mins to an hour before bed

Intermittent Fasting, Day 08, March 28, 2009

Morning supplementation:
  • 1g Vitamin C
  • 50mg DHEA
  • Men's multivitamin
  • Two capsules green tea extract
  • 1 scoop Biotest Creatine
Nighttime supplementation:

  • 3 capsules Vitamin Shoppe ZMA

I ate dinner at a friend's house. What we had:
  • A nice green salad with a wonderful, but unknown salad dressing, sprinkled with some tasty croutons
  • I had a huge 16 ounce steak. Medium rare.
  • Followed up with two thin slices of a carrot cake roll I had brought along with me
  • 1/2 glass of red wine
  • Two glasses of water
  • 1 bottle of Guinness
I drink alcohol very rarely, so it was nice relaxing with the gang, playing boardgames and laughing at each other's misfortunes.

Intermittent Fasting, Day 07, March 27, 2009

Supplementation was the same as the day before.

For dinner, I had cooked up 1 pound of 96% lean ground beef, along with a 1/2 of an onion (chopped), and about a 1/4 cup of some great-tasting barbecue sauce. I took half of that and mixed it with about two cups of steamed broccoli. It was damn tasty. Next time I make it, I think I'll use some spicy peanut sauce instead. Dessert was a small apple.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Training for March 27, 2009

I've missed posting about my training for the past several days, and I'm working on remedying that. Mostly Z-Health, some FlowFit, and some kettlebell training.

So far today I've done some GTG snatch work using a 16kg bell (1x5 left/right), just trying to really focus on the punch-through and keeping the arm locked out. Just from today's practice I saw a marked improvement from the 1st rep to the 5th.

Later on today I'll switch to the 24kg.

Edit @ ~1:00PM: Just finished a GTG 1x5 set with a 24kg bell, left then right. Form was better than ever on my snatch with the 24kg, and I can say that it's all due to watching this video on Youtube.

Edit @ 5:00PM: Did a second GTG set, 1x5, with a 24kg bell and it was a little sloppy. I started to feel tired after a couple reps.

Intermittent Fasting, Day 06, March 26, 2009

Forgot to post this before going to bed yesterday.

Morning supplementation:
  • 1g Vitamin C
  • 50mg DHEA
  • Men's multivitamin
  • Two capsules green tea extract
  • Forgot the creatine
  • No l-glutamine as I was eating during the day
Nighttime supplementation:
  • 3 capsules Vitamin Shoppe ZMA
Now, I actually kinda horked up a little bit and only ate once yesterday. I started to get pretty hungry later on and today I am not scheduled to eat until 6pm tonight. So, this is about a 30 hour fast. We'll see how it goes.

What I ate yesterday:
  • Bowl of chili with
  • Too many tortilla chips
I think I got stuffed because of the chips. They were heavy and I am not buying and eating them again. They were a store brand made in a local Rancho Liborio, which is a Mexican grocery store chain that just opened a branch here in my home town.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Intermittent Fasting, Day 05, March 25, 2009

Morning Supplementation:
  • 1g Vitamin C
  • 50mg DHEA
  • Men's multivitamin
  • Two capsules green tea extract
  • 5g Biotest Creatine
  • 5g Glutamine
I had forgotten that I had a big bottle of Glutamine (l-glutamine) capsules in my supplement stash.

It has been suggested by some studies that supplementing with l-glutamine during periods of injury, high stress, or fasting may help prevent muscle loss, and also keep the walls of the intestinal tract healthy and strong, boosting the immune system (some studies have been compiled on this page).

For dinner I ate:
  • 2 small chicken breasts, cubed, covered with a slice of
  • Low-fat swiss cheese and
  • 1/3 cup of sauerkraut
  • 1 slice high-fiber bread
And about an hour later:
  • Bowl of high-fiber cereal (Kashi Go-Lean, I believe), mixed with
  • 8 ounces skim milk mixed with
  • 1 scoop EAS protein blend (has about 30 grams in a scoop)
I feel like I'm eating too much, but it's hard to gauge it. I've done the Warrior Diet in the past, where the point was to fast all day and then gorge yourself until pleasantly full at night. I guess I've just been eating until I feel full. Since this is the first week, I'll cut myself a little slack and take the time to learn how to judge it.

I'll definitely cut back on the bread, as it seems like I'm eating it every day (even though it is damn high in fiber: 16g carbs, 6 of them fiber, per slice). I should be getting my fiber from veggies, so I'll start eating more veggies as of tomorrow morning.

Drank about 3/4 of a gallon of water today.

Night time supplementation:
  • 3 capsules of Vitamin Shoppe brand ZMA

I Hate Dental Cleanings

Just got back home from my regularly scheduled dental cleaning!

Someone needs to develop some kind of enzymatic mouthwash that takes care of most of this stuff . . . come on, it's the 21st Century! We shouldn't need to have metal picks and tools shoved into our mouths.

While I was laying there getting poked and prodded, I did some of the physical therapy work for my right ankle, so I was able to be at least a little productive. The work was just moving my ankle though ROM: medium-sized circles at a nice slow pace, clockwise and counter-clockwise, then dorsi- and plantar-flexion, followed with inversion/eversion.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Intermittent Fasting, Day 04, March 24, 2009

Morning supplementation:
  • 1g Vitamin C
  • 50mg DHEA
  • Men's multivitamin
  • Two capsules of green tea extract
  • 5g Biotest creatine

Today I ate two meals, before 6pm, as scheduled.

The first was a huge eggwhite omelet for breakfast. It was made of 1.5cups of eggwhites, mixed with 1 whole egg, fried green peppers and onions, and topped with two slices of non-fat cheese. I also ate three slices of high-fiber bread (each slice contains 6g fiber!) and also ate a banana.

The banana was too much. Followed up that meal with 4 capsules of Biotest's Flameout.

I was stuffed for about 4 hours after that meal, and then I did a stupid thing.

I went to McDonalds. I really am starting to develop a hate for fast food, but I find myself craving it. Sounds like an addiction to me.

So, what did I get? A double-quarter pounder value meal with fries and a Coke, and an extra quarter pounder. Tasted so good, but eating like this always makes me feel like crap.

I have got to break this addiction to fast food.

Now, I will eat nothing else until after 6pm tomorrow night!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Intermittent Fasting, Day 03, March 23, 2009

Last night I was terribly hungry, from about 8pm until I went to bed.

So far this morning I am hungry, but not as bad as last night. Just took my normal morning supplements: 50mg DHEA, 1g Vitamin C, 2 capsules green tea extract, 1tsp creatine, and men's multivitamin.

I won't be eating until 6pm tonight.

Edit: What I ate for dinner:

  • One big bowl of home made veggie and chicken soup (cabbage, tomatoes, pickles, some grated carrot)
  • Two small chicken breasts, diced and put into the soup
  • Two slices of high-fiber bread drizzled with a little honey

And about two hours later when I got hungry again:

  • A bowl of flax and raisin cereal made with...
  • 10 ounces of skim milk, mixed with...
  • 1 scoop of a hiqh-quality protein powder blend

I was pretty darn full after all that. One thing I didn't like was the energy boost I got from, the bread and honey. I felt a major sugar high from it. I'm not gonna eat like that again so late at night. From now on, all dinner meals after 6, up to 2 hours before bed, are all going to be low-carb, veggie and lean protein-based.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Training for March 22, 2009

Took one of my newly assembled sandbags outside and did some basic, light work. I loaded the bag with 60 pounds of sand (I have smaller bags each containing between 2 to 2.5 pounds each) and proceeded to just do about 20 minutes of random movements. I didn't want to think about it, I just wanted to do what felt right at the moment as I was using this as a deloading day.

I alternated, in random order and random number of reps, the following moves, beginning and ending each rep with the bag on the ground:

  • Cleans
  • Bent-over rows
  • Zercher squats
  • Military press
  • Crossovers, which consist of cleaning the bag and throwing it over one shoulder, then dropping the bag to the ground and repeating on the opposite side
  • Drags - dragged the bag backwards in grass, moving as fast as I could, given my turf toe

Even though I was certainly sweating at the end of the 20 minutes, I was only slightly tired and felt rather refreshed. Goal accomplished!

Starting Intermittent Fasting

Ever since reading the posts made by Michael Eades M.D. on his blog, about Intermittent Fasting, I've been curious to give it a run (link 1, link 2). I decided to start it this weekend, and I'm currently on day 2.

On Friday I ate my regular diet (which is crap, by the way), but made sure not to eat about 2-3 hours before bedtime. On Saturday I did not eat anything until 6pm and only drank water throuthout the day. I had dinner at a friend's house and I ate a simple salad followed by a rather delicious and huge steak, and some lemon-flavored desserts.

According to the basic description of the diet, I should have then eaten a regular diet up until 6pm Sunday night, but I let myself sleep late and missed the breakfast period. For lunch I had two big bowls of a nice chili, to which I added green peppers, spring onions and a little ground flax seed. After 6pm, I will fast until 6pm Monday. Rinse and repeat.

Since I am still eating everyday, I will continue taking fish oil and all my regular supplements, but during the fasting periods I am supplementing with glutamine and BCAAs, to help preserve muscle mass. Since the caloric content of these supplements is so low, it's not an issue.

I am not planning any reduction of training frequency or load during this experiment, and I'm actually going to be increasing my total volume by going back to Krav Maga next weekend. Now, I only plan on adding at most two days of Krav back into my schedule as my right great toe is still being nursed. I'll be taping it for Krav training and will try to wear stiff-soled shoes in addition to taping.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Followup with the Podiatrist

This was the one month followup with the podiatrist regarding the turf toe, for the great toe on my right foot ("great toe" sounds better than "big toe," eh? My toe is great!).

It's been significantly less sore and feels stronger since I've been taping it and wearing a inflexible shoe when I didn't feel like taping. Damn athletic tape started taking skin off with it and that is really painful.

Doc said that the progress is good and that I should continue with taping when needed, and wearing shoes that are as stiff as I can get. I am continuing with the physical therapy, which consists of band work and mostly Z-Health work. The PT at the doc's office had given me a sheet of things to do every day, and I have been swapping between Z and those, but I've missed both for the past several days. Must start again and stick with it!

I've been feeling the itch to get back into Krav Maga, so I'm gonna head over to the school this Saturday and talk to the owner. I'll go as often as I can, but I'll just need to be really aware of how the toe feels, and keep it taped up when training. The bad thing is that I won't be able to do much running or jumping, but kicking should be ok as long as I don't stupidly mash that toe, again.

I've got some serious weight to lose, gained too much after taking a break from Krav. Sigh.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Z-Health Rocks! And Tonight's Training

I've been doing the full body R-Phase just about every day for the past several weeks and it feels wonderful. I've been adding additional time and hitting certain areas more than others on some days, depending on how the movement feels.

As time has gone on, I discover that my right foot just wants to turn outwards, and I find that I have to work on keeping it facing forward, and when I do that I feel like the movements are more difficult. Also, I'm working hard on keeping tall, because as a computer person, I tend to hunch over a good deal of the time.

As far as kettlebell training, I've been cycling through some complexes that I like. With the turf toe I am working through, it can be difficult to do some moves like lunges, but I'm doing the best I can with them.

Tonight my training will be:

Pre: Foamrolling
A1: Squat Press or Clean & Press w/2 35lb bells, 3x8
A2: Bent-over rows w/2 35lb bells, 3x8
A3: Stiff-legged Deadlift w/2 35lb bells, 3x8
B1: Alternating lunge & reverse lunge w/1 35lb bell, 3x8
B2: Pushups, 3x8

One minute rest between each set of A and B, and one minute of rest before moving on to B.

For the lunges, I may need to drop the weight some, depending on how my toe feels. I'll have it taped up, so hopefully I'll be able to get it all done.

I'll report back about how the session goes. Since I had taken so much time off due to my foot, and other issues, this is gonna be difficult, but it should be fun.

Edit: training ended up being:

Pre: 12 minutes of foamrolling
Warmup: A few sets of windmills with a 35lb bell
A1: Clean & Press w/2 35lb bells, 3x8 - Last 2 reps of the last set were tough
A2: Bent-over rows w/2 35lb bells, 3x8 - Last 2 reps of last set were tough
A3: Stiff-legged Deadlift w/2 35lb bells, 3x8 - Can increase the reps to 9
B1: Alternating lunge & reverse lunge w/1 35lb bell, 3x8 - Hard with turf toe, had to use no weight
B2: Pushups, 3x8 - Used a pushup pro, which helps my right shoulder

Rested one minute between A cycles, and when switching to B. There was't supposed to be any rest between sets of each cycle, but I allowed three deep breaths between each set.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Good morning!

Just got done with my full body, morning Z-Health R-Phase session. I'm still trying to get into the groove with all the movements, but I can say that the shoulder part feels absolutely awesome! I love how it feels like an energizing warmth flows into my shoulders. It is a powerful sensation, almost sexual in how it floods the body and awakens the senses.

Edit: Ok, so did my comment about it feeling pseudo-sexual weird people out? X^D