Tag Archive: diet


Body Sculpting – Week 54

Last week I said I would do the following:

  • Experiment with preparing two lunch meals night before
  • Include kung fu drills into exercise routine

Bah, I know I missed another week.  Sorry, guys.  But I’ve just been so busy after getting a job AT AMAZON!  Woo-hoo!  I can’t tell you how exited/relieved I am.  Just finishing up my first week, and my coworkers are great and I really enjoy the job itself.

On a related note, being at work has forced me to pack my two lunch meals, which has been great.  I’ve been experimenting with including my kung fu drills into my daily routine, but it’s been difficult, since I have limited time now in the mornings before I have to go to work.  For now, I’m doing the drills (there are four of them) on Mon, Wed, Fri.

I’ve decided to do P90X, due largely in part to a strongman friend who put my fears about the program to rest.  You see, I have been afraid that if I do this intense 90-day program, my metabolism would plummet afterwards.  But my friend assured me that no, after I’ve completed the program, I’ll have more muscle and a higher metabolism, and therefore my body will be more efficient at processing food and developing muscle even after I’m done with the program.

I figure I’ll start P90X once I get my first paycheck from Amazon, because the program includes a diet, which I’ll have to most likely buy.

Next week:

  1. Look at P90X diet and plan what foods I will need to buy & eat for the next 90 days
  2. Find way to do kung fu drills every day

Body Sculpting – Week 50

Last week I said I would do the following:

  • Look into integrating (as opposed to substituting) “The Ultimate 28-Day Six-Pack Programme” into routine
  • Research local wushu/kung fu schools

Looked more deeply into the exercises in “The Ultimate 28-Day Six-Pack Programme” – they have a lot of really great exercises.  I’m hesitant to incorporate them into my routine just yet, because I’m actually still trying to find middle ground with my current routine.  I want to do at least 40 pullups MWF, and I’ve also been toying around with doing P90X’s Ab Ripper twice a week.  For now, I’m confident I’m getting a decent workout that works out all major muscle groups.

I’ve been putting more attention and focus into my diet; the phrase, “It’s 60% diet, 40% exercise” is really starting to sink in.  I noticed from year-old photos of myself that I have indeed gained weight around my mid-section.  Ugh.  I remember my diet a year ago – steel-cut oats for breakfast, tortilla chips & hummus for lunch, and dinner was usually whatever was available at the house.  I’m thinking one portion of that diet worked extremely well – not eating a lot for lunch, since I like eating a big meal for dinner.  So,  this week I have been eating very little for my one or two lunch meals – less than 10 almonds, some dried seaweed, some sort of protein.

I visited the two local kung fu schools today.  One was closed.  I’m going tomorrow to the other school for a free 30-min lesson.  I want to learn some sort of acrobatic martial art, because I’ve always wanted to be able to do flips and move gracefully.  I always wanted to take gymnastics when I was younger, but my family couldn’t afford it.  So, I figure an acrobatic martial art combines aerial movement with self-defense – the best of both worlds.

The teacher at the latter school informed me that the type of kung fu I want is called wing chun.  I’ve heard of this type of kung fu, but didn’t know it was acrobatic.  The teacher said that at this particular school, they actually do a more grounded form of kung fu, but that their school in the surrounding suburb offers wing chun.  I’m excited to go tomorrow and learn some basics.  I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to start this journey.  It’s been because of lack of money.  But, I guess I’ve finally reached that point where I’m not ashamed to barter; I was thinking of offering to clean the studio or something.

Next week:

  • Iron out current routine with pullups & core exercises
  • Eat less for lunch meals

Body Sculpting – Week 49

Last week I said I would do the following:

  • Replace eggs with egg whites
  • Add more ab/core exercises & cardio to routine, in order to burn fat and have abs show:

M: 14 min tabata + chest/back strength training, 3 sets of 10 myotatic crunches, 3 sets of 10 cat vomit, 3 sets of 10 pullups

T: 20 min tabata + Ab ripper + 3 sets of 10 deadlifts

W: 14 min tabata + biceps/triceps strength training, 3 sets of 10 pullups

R: 20 min tabata + 3 sets of 10 deadlifts

F: 14 min tabata + legs strength training, 3 sets of 10 myotatic crunches, 3 sets of 10 cat vomit, 3 sets of 10 pullups

Sat: 20 min tabata + Ab ripper

Sun: REST

Been doing great about my diet for the majority of the week – it consists mostly of legumes or brown rice, protein, and veggies.  I’m still enjoying my modified routine, so that’s awesome.  I feel good about working out a different muscle group every other day.


StumbledUpon this great fitness article on Men’s Health – “The Ultimate 28-Day Six-Pack Programme”.  Looks pretty much like what my research has been telling me – (quoting from the article) “You’ll raise your body’s metabolism through compound exercises, optimise fat-burning with a variety of cardio workouts, create the perfect ‘V-shape’ through back and shoulder specific routines.”  Like any new routine, I’m hesitant to completely substitute my current routine for a new one, as I’m afraid I might gain fat from any sort of drastic change like that.


This routine, for example, has you doing weight training (targeting different msuycle groups) one day, then cardio the next, then another strength training day, then a rest day, and so on.  I’m hesitatnt to leave out cardio everyday, because I want to burn as much fat as possible, and I know you can almost never overdo cardio (as opposed to weight training, where you need to rest your muscles).


I’ve also been giving major thought to doing wushu or some sort of martial art, since it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and I think it would be a great way to sculpt my body and have fun in the process.  So that’ll be part of my tasks this week – look into local martial arts studios that offer wushu/kung fu.  I want to do wushu/kung fu specificaly, because it’s a very acrobatic martial art, and I want to improve my flexibility and be able to do flips.


Next week:
  1. Look into integrating (as opposed to substituting)  “The Ultimate 28-Day Six-Pack Programme” into routine
  2. Research local wushu/kung fu schools

Body Sculpting – Week 45

Last week I said I would do the following:

  1. Do full body workout before & after meals
  2. Continually be on the lookout for a 20-lbs kettlebell
  3. Replace white carbs with beans
  4. Do myotatic crunch & cat vomit exercise 2X/week
  5. Add kettlebell routine before breakfast, 3X/week
  6. Do one of two love handles workouts from Kozak Sports Perform 2-3 days after core workout

To be honest, these past two weeks have been one of the lower points in my life.  Instead of progressing towards a 6-pack, I seemed to have backtracked; I noticed my love handles and tummy were a bit bigger.  Probably the most annoying thing about progressing in fitness is that it takes so long (4-6 weeks) to see results.  So, you could be constantly changing your workout routine for over a year before you actually see desired results.  I guess that’s what I’ve been doing since I started successfully losing weight in 2009.  But, at least I was seeing progress.  Perhaps this is just a low point on my steadily upward-spiraling graph of success.

Regardless, everything seems to feel more heavy when you don’t have an income.  I equate lack of income with failing at life.

Seems that eating as many beans as you want doesn’t really help with fat loss/muscle gain.  I suspect it might be because I’ve gone back to eating three meals per day.  So yesterday I started eating four meals per day.

I’m at a loss for what to do now.  I’ve researched how to get a body like Zac Efron – slim & toned – and basically learned that high weight, low rep strength training plays a critical role.  That, and a high-protein diet.

Today I took a break from working out, because I’ve read that one should take at least one day of rest.  I don’t know.  I don’t know anymore.  I don’t know what to do.  I’m discouraged by all the fake, misleading spam shit on the internet promising to give you 6-pack abs.  I feel so immobilized as a result.

I realize this is a depressing post, and I debated whether or not to post it or talk about something else.  I think it’s important to showcase all aspects of a journey, including struggle and hardship.  For the first time since I started this blog, I’m at a loss for actions to take.  I figure dividing my lunch meal into two smaller meals will greatly help me increase my metabolism.  I’m also going to do pullups every other day, as I noticed that really helped strengthen my back and broaden my shoulders.

Next week:

  1. Do full body workout before & after meals
  2. Continually be on the lookout for a 20-lbs kettlebell
  3. Eat 4-5 meals per day
  4. Do myotatic crunch & cat vomit exercise 2X/week
  5. Add kettlebell routine before breakfast, 3X/week
  6. Do one of two love handles workouts from Kozak Sports Perform 2-3 days after core workout
  7. Do pullups every other day

Body Sculpting – Week 43

Last week I said I would do the following:

  1. Do full body workout before & after meals
  2. Continually be on the lookout for a 20-lbs kettlebell
  3. Replace white carbs with beans
  4. Do myotatic crunch & cat vomit exercise 2X/week
  5. Add the following routine before breakfast, 3X/week:

1 set: 20 2-legged glute activation raises from floor

1 set: 15 flying dogs, one set each side

1 set: 50 kettlebell swings (start with weight of no less than 20 lbs)

I’ve been getting better about remembering to do a full body workout before meals.  I’m just starting to remember to do them an hour AFTER eating.  It’s just a matter of installing this new habit by repetition and reminding myself.  I’m excited to see a more slim, toned body as a result of doing this.

Haven’t found a 20-lbs kettlebell yet, but the 19-lbs dumbbell I’ve been using has proven to be adequate.

Been doing better about replacing white carbs with beans, though it can be difficult with no income.  I applied for food stamps last week but haven’t heard back, so I’m kind of in limbo right now.  My career goal is/was to have a flexible, part-time admin job by May 31st – one that will pay the bills and a bit more ($1,000 per month), so that I can buy more beans & veggies for when we run out at home or when I’m with my boyfriend.

I’ve been doing the two ab exercises – myotatic crunch & cat vomit – twice a week and man do I notice a difference after doing them.  Namely, that annoying bit of tummy fat feels a lot tighter.  I can definitely see that doing these two ab exercises will really help tone/tighten my abs, so I will definitely keep doing them.

I’ve also been doing good about doing the kettlebell routine three times a week before breakfast (or if I don’t do it before breakfast, I’ll do it before lunch or dinner).  After reading some people’s reaction to using a kettlebell, I’m getting more and more convinced that the kettlebell is one of the most efficient compound exercises for muscle gain and fat loss.  Just discovered Lisa Johnson’s fitness blog, where she also wrote a review of her experience following “The 4-Hour Body” regimens – she does a great job at explaining and summing up her experiences in her post, “The 4-Hour Body”: Thoughts on the First Week.

I’ve been getting frustrated with the annoying presence of love handles.  They just don’t seem to want to go AWAY!  I thought doing the above tasks for the week would at least reduce my love handles, but I don’t really notice a difference.  I’m now rethinking my decision to cut out that love handles workout from Kozak Sports Perform.

Next week:

Basically just keep doing what I’m doing, and look for results…

  1. Do full body workout before & after meals
  2. Continually be on the lookout for a 20-lbs kettlebell
  3. Replace white carbs with beans
  4. Do myotatic crunch & cat vomit exercise 2X/week
  5. Add kettlebell routine before breakfast, 3X/week:

1 set: 20 2-legged glute activation raises from floor

1 set: 15 flying dogs, one set each side

1 set: 50 kettlebell swings (start with weight of no less than 20 lbs)

Body Sculpting – Week 42

Last week I said I would do the following:

  1. Do one of two love handles workouts from Kozak Sports Perform 2-3 days after core workout
  2. Do full body workout before & after meals
  3. Continually be on the lookout for a 20-lbs kettlebell
  4. Replace white carbs with beans
  5. Do myotatic crunch & cat vomit exercise 2X/week
  6. Add the following routine before breakfast, 3X/week:

1 set: 20 2-legged glute activation raises from floor

1 set: 15 flying dogs, one set each side

1 set: 50 kettlebell swings (start with weight of no less than 20 lbs)

Well it’s been a bit of a juggle, making sure I add the following workouts to my normal exercise routine (chest & back day, abs day, legs day, just cardio/rest day):

  • one of two love handles workouts from Kozak Sports Perform 2-3 days after core workout
  • full body workout before & after meals
  • myotatic crunch & cat vomit exercise 2X/week
  • kettlebell routine before breakfast, 3X/week

I feel like I’ve been constantly checking and re-checking my food/fitness journal to make sure I’m doing the right workouts on the right days, hehe.

The workouts/actions I think will really produce 6-pack results though, are the following:

  • full body workout before & after meals
  • myotatic crunch & cat vomit exercise 2X/week
  • kettlebell routine before breakfast, 3X/week

I left out the love handles workout because I think the other three workouts are more compound (whereas the love handles workouts would be isolation workouts); and, from what I’ve read, compound exercises produce better results than isolation exercises.  So, I’m going to cut those love handles workouts from my weekly routine.

I also think doing a full-body workout right before meals will really help produce a 6-pack, as the science behind it really makes sense – if you stimulate your muscles, the calories you ingest are channeled more towards your muscles, so says Timothy Ferriss from The 4 Hour Body.

When I’m at home, and not at the boyfriend’s house, I do pretty well about replacing carbs with beans & legumes, since food is included in the rent.  So far, it’s been great, because I feel full and not as heavy.  I applied for food stamps yesterday, so I’m planning on using that money to buy beans, legumes, and spinach for when I’m at the boyfriend’s house, among other food.

Next week:

  1. Do full body workout before & after meals
  2. Continually be on the lookout for a 20-lbs kettlebell
  3. Replace white carbs with beans
  4. Do myotatic crunch & cat vomit exercise 2X/week
  5. Add the following routine before breakfast, 3X/week:

1 set: 20 2-legged glute activation raises from floor

1 set: 15 flying dogs, one set each side

1 set: 50 kettlebell swings (start with weight of no less than 20 lbs)

Body Sculpting – Week 41

Last week I said I would do the following:

  1. Read more of “The 4-Hour Body”
  2. Do one of two love handles workouts from Kozak Sports Perform 2-3 days after core workout
  3. Do full body workout before & after meals

Well I think I’ve read all desired sections of “The 4-Hour Body”, which basically includes the following:

  • how to maximize weight loss/muscle gain
  • how to improve quality of sleep

There’s a lot of information to process, and some of it is a bit unorthodox (i.e., no fruit in his prescribed, “The Slow-Carb Diet”, a plethora of supplements).  But Ferriss does a great job at reassuring the reader that, yes, some of these tips/ideas may sound bizarre, but Ferriss follows up with supporting evidence and explanations (lots of in-depth explanations for those who really want to know the science behind his gospel).

Here are the most useful tips I gleaned from “The 4-Hour Body”:

  • Doing full body strength training exercises (pullup, pushup, air squat) right before eating (to better channel calories to muscle instead of fat) and about 90 minutes after eating
  • Replacing white carbs (bread, rice, pasta) with beans
  • One binge day per week (to offset metabolism)
  • Kettlebell swing (for fat loss/muscle gain)
  • Myotatic crunch (for more defined abs) 2X/ week
  • Cat vomit exercise (for more defined abs) 2X/week
  • Philips goLITE (for better quality sleep)
  • Nightwave Pulse Light (for better quality sleep)
  • Before breakfast, 3X/week:

1 set: 20 2-legged glute activation raises from floor

1 set: 15 flying dogs, one set each side

1 set: 50 kettlebell swings (start with weight of no less than 20 lbs)

Below, I’ll go into more detail on each of the above areas:

I have already replaced a lot of my carbs with beans, and they have proven to fill me up very sufficiently.  I probably need more fiber & protein in my diet anyways, so I’ll most likely stick with this change to my diet.

Remembering to exercise BEFORE eating has proven to be tricky, as I’m usually raring to eat before every meal.  But like any habit, it just takes practice, and I’m getting better at remembering every day.  Like I said in a previous post, I think this habit will coincide nicely with my goal of doing a full-body exercise once a day.  I had been wondering how to break up the reps throughout the day, and this book gave me a pretty great suggestion.

Binge day sounds like an awesome idea, though I still do eat some carbs throughout the week, so I probably won’t go overboard on carbs on binge days.  But the concept of offsetting your metabolism sounds fairly logical, so I will toy around with this.

I’ve been wanting to get a kettlebell for a while now, so this book just strengthened my resolve to get one.  However, I never would’ve started out with a 20-lbs kettlebell, so I’m glad this book recommended I get a 20-lbs one.

I’m excited to start doing those two ab exercises (myotatic crunch & cat vomit), as I can’t tell you how frustrating it has been to see that extra bit of tummy fat everyday.

I had thought about using the Philips goLITE, or some variation of a light therapy appliance, but again, Ferriss’s explanations just strengthened my desire to actually buy one.  Along with the Nightwave Pulse Light, I’m excited to start falling asleep and waking up easily, and feeling refreshed.

And I’m glad I decided to write a post today, because I nearly forgot about doing one of those love handles workouts from Kozak Sports Perform, hehe.  I will do that in about an hour, after I have digested my dinner.

Next week:

  1. Do one of two love handles workouts from Kozak Sports Perform 2-3 days after core workout
  2. Do full body workout before & after meals
  3. Continually be on the lookout for a 20-lbs kettlebell
  4. Replace white carbs with beans
  5. Do myotatic crunch & cat vomit exercise 2X/week
  6. Add the following routine before breakfast, 3X/week:

1 set: 20 2-legged glute activation raises from floor

1 set: 15 flying dogs, one set each side

1 set: 50 kettlebell swings (start with weight of no less than 20 lbs)

By July, I will have six-pack abs!!!

 

Body Sculpting – Week 40

Last week I said I would do the following:

  1. Read more of “The 4-Hour Body”
  2. Do one of two love handles workouts from Kozak Sports Perform 2-3 days after core workout
  3. Continue experimenting with 5 small meals per day
  4. Keep doing one full body workout everyday; make it a habit

Been reading more of “The 4-Hour Body” and it’s been great but overwhelming at the same time.  The author, Ferriss, has some conflicting advice about weight loss/muscle building with that of the author of “Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle”.  Namely, that you only need to eat 4 meals per day, and that Ferriss promotes this diet where most carbs are replaced with legumes.  So, I’m a little torn about which advice to follow.  One piece of advice that I know I WILL try, is where Ferriss recommends doing some sort of strength training exercise immediately BEFORE eating, and then 1 hour AFTER eating.

Also, in Ferriss’s diet, he advises having one binge day a week, in order to offset/charge your metabolism.  This sounds pretty logical and fun, so I’m experimenting with that.

I made a new commitment:

By July, I will have a six-pack

Hold me to it, everyone!

I have not been doing any of the love handles workouts from Kozak Sports Perform 2-3 days after core workout.  I keep forgetting.  So I will do it this week.

I have been getting better at doing one full body workout.  In fact, I’m going to do it before and after eating, like Ferriss advises.  I worry that if I’m not fatiguing my muscles, I’m not building them.  So I’ll just make sure to fatigue them before and after eating.

Next week:

  1. Read more of “The 4-Hour Body”
  2. Do one of two love handles workouts from Kozak Sports Perform 2-3 days after core workout
  3. Do full body workout before & after meals

Body Sculpting – Week 39

Last week I said I would do the following:

  1. Read “The 4-Hour Body”
  2. Read more of “Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle”
  3. Do one of two love handles workouts from Kozak Sports Perform every other day
  4. Continue experimenting with 5 small meals per day
  5. Continue experimenting with doing different full body workouts

I know this post is a bit early, but I’ve actually been trying to get back to posting on Sundays or Mondays, so it’s more consistent with a standard week.

Started reading “The 4-Hour Body” and it’s very well-written and entertaining.  The author, Tim Ferriss, writes in a very rapid-fire, concise manner and is definitely very engaging.  So far, one of the biggest hooks he has introduced is that of the Minimum Effective Dose (MED).  For example, “To boil water, the MED is 212 degrees F.  Higher temperatures will not make it ‘more boiled’.  Higher temperatures just consume more resources that could be used for something else more productive.”

Along these lines, Ferriss claims that his book is chock-full of such MEDs for different areas of health & exercise.  Exciting, but the too-good-to-be-true voice whispers in the back of my mind.  I’m excited to learn more about it, regardless.

Keep forgetting to read more of “Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle”.  I think I’ll be devoting more time to reading “The 4-Hour Body” since I have to return it to the library soon.

Well, I did one of the love handles workouts from Kozak Sports Perform the other day, and my obliques were still burning two days afterwards.  So I might not be able to do these love handles workouts every other day; perhaps I’ll just do them 2-3 days after my normal ab workout, so I don’t overwork my core.  But it felt good to feel that burn on my obliques!  6-pack, here I come!

Been running out of steam about eating five meals a day, but turns out “The 4-Hour Body” also promotes this lifestyle, so I’m thinking I should revisit this possibility and see what I can do to make it work, if only for a week.  I think this will definitely be an easier transition once I have more money and can afford to buy an adequate amount of complex carbs & proteins.

Been experimenting with doing different full body workouts everyday, and so far, my body is fairly exhausted after doing my normal morning cardio + strength training, and just one full body workout later in the day.  So I think I’ll just stick to that routine.

Next week:

  1. Read more of “The 4-Hour Body”
  2. Do one of two love handles workouts from Kozak Sports Perform 2-3 days after core workout
  3. Continue experimenting with 5 small meals per day
  4. Keep doing one full body workout everyday; make it a habit