Tag Archive: exercise


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
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Body Sculpting – Week 47

Last week I said I would do the following:

Stick with following workout routine and monitor results:

M: 12 min tabata + chest/back strength training, myotatic crunches & cat vomit, pullups

T: 20 min tabata

W: 12 min tabata + biceps/triceps strength training, pullups

R: 20 min tabata

F: 12 min tabata + legs strength training, myotatic crunches & cat comit, pullups

Sat: 20 min tabata

Sun: REST

Well I’ve been doing a good job at sticking with the above routine.  It’s only been 2 weeks, so I haven’t seen massive progress yet, which is frustrating.  I’m still doing great about eating a balanced meal very 3-4 hours, so I feel good about that.

Not sure what else to add, as I just need to monitor my progress or lack thereof.

Next week:

Stick with following workout routine and monitor results:

M: 12 min tabata + chest/back strength training, myotatic crunches & cat vomit, pullups

T: 20 min tabata

W: 12 min tabata + biceps/triceps strength training, pullups

R: 20 min tabata

F: 12 min tabata + legs strength training, myotatic crunches & cat comit, pullups

Sat: 20 min tabata

Sun: REST

 

Lipstick Message

From WritersDigest.com, in the Weekly Writing Prompts section:

Lipstick Message

You get a message, it is obviously for you, but it is scrawled in lipstick on a mirror in a public restroom. It’s unexpected, but now you know exactly where the killer is hiding. It’s time to find him and, hopefully, your friend (and hopefully your friend is still alive). Write this scene.

“BODIES: The Exhibition, at the Convention Ctr. Come alone.”

The message stared back at me from the grimy mirror in the public restroom.

Fuck.  BODIES?  The human body exhibition???  The recently famous exhibition had been in Seattle for a month now and everyone had been raving about it.  The thought of real human bodies frozen in various poses didn’t really grab my attention.  I didn’t get why people were excited to see such a spectacle.  In fact, the thing kind of freaked me out, and by “kind of”, I mean A LOT.

And now, I was being forced to go there, at 1:00 AM and find this demented killer, along with my friend he kidnapped…killed…dismembered…god, who knows what?

I focused, trying to keep my heart beat steady and my mind clear.  But it felt like trying to fight the tides; this overwhelming sense of panic and rabid imagination constantly threatened to overtake all my senses and send me into a nervous breakdown.  I just go home.  I wished this had never happened.  I knew i was wasting time complaining about the way things worked out, that I should be sprinting to the Convention Center to rescue my friend (or his body).  But, I was frozen.  I couldn’t call the police.  I couldn’t tell anyone.

“Well”, a voice piped up in my head, “he just said to come alone; he never said anything about not telling anyone.”  Ugghhh, but that could mean he didn’t want me to tell anyone. What should I do??  I’m not hero!  I know I play them all time in video games, but this is different.  There’s no retry, no starting over from a save point.

I forced myself to take a deep breath, deep into my lungs.  It jolted me to life a bit.  I exhaled forcefully.  Turning on the spot, I began walking briskly towards the Convention Center.  About five blocks from the public restroom, the Convention Center loomed in the darkness of night.  Picking up my pace, my mind raced through my options – weapon; defense; support; back up plan; Ray; was he still alive?; Andrew; that bastard; why was he doing this???  How did I caught up in this shit???

I shook my head in an attempt to clear these “Why oh me?” thoughts and focus on the present.  As I approached the entrance to the Convention Center, my body instinctively swung my satchel around my body, to where I zipped open the two largest compartments.  What could I use?  Gum.  Band-aides.  Journal.  Pens.  Keys.  Damn it!  I needed some sort of weapon.

I grabbed the sturdiest pen and griped in firmly in my right hand.  If Jason Bourne could use a pen to mame someone, I could do the same.

I pushed open the entrance door and ran up the stairs to the main exhibition room.  As I neared the top of the stairs, a sea of naked human bodies greeted me.  Damn.  Scary.

My body froze as I listened for any sound of movement.  Nothing.

I stood there, frozen.  Another deep breath.  I forced myself to take a step forward.  Then another.  Lidless eyes peered at different angles.  Their muscles almost seemed to glisten in the faint light from the above lights.  Walking.  I kept walking down the center aisle.  The giant room seemed to be set up in a grid of 30 separate blocks or stands.  I moved down the center aisle and looked around as I walked.  The key in my right hand was hot from my body heat by now.  My eyes fell upon a lone exhibit body lying face down on the floor about ten feet in front of me.

Could this be a trick?  As I walked up to the shoulders of the body, I kicked it over and observed the eyes staring upwards.  So creepy… The lights suddenly went out.  Panicked, I thought about putting some sort of barrier behind me.  I ran to the right, holding my hands out as I ran blindly.  Feeling the wall, I quickly put my back to it and tried to adjust my eyes to the darkness.

I heard footsteps right around the area where I was standing with the lone body.  The footsteps started getting louder as they came towards me.  A flashlight beam appeared five feet in front of me, focused on the floor.  Knowing that psycho would soon be pointing the flashlight up towards me in a second, I silently dashed to my left and crouched behind an exhibit.  The beam of light grew larger as the killer walked towards where I was just standing, until he was right in front of me, staring at the wall.  Changing my grip on the key, I got into position to lunge at him.  I lunged at him, just as he turned to face the opposite direction.

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 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

Body Sculpting – Week 38

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. Try out and monitor results of different workouts from Kozak Sports Perform
  4. Continue experimenting with 5 small meals per day
  5. Continue experimenting with doing different full body workouts

Well it’s been 3 months since I posted any pics of my progress (or lack thereof), so here they are:

7/25/2011

8/23/2011

9/28/2011

11/8/2011

1/12/2012

4/25/2012

Damn.  Looking at all these photos, I don’t see any major progress.  ARGH!  So frustrating!  Though I don’t want to get frustrated, since I know that doesn’t help anything.  But at the same time, I find it difficult not to be a bit disappointed.  I thought adding strength training to my routine would help produce noticeable results, but not so.  At least, not yet.  Sigh.

Read just a bit of “The 4-Hour Body”, but wanted to finish reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which I did!  Hoorah!  Very good book.  I highly recommend it.

Chipping away at reading “Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle”.  I’m finding that I forget to read it since it’s an ebook.

So far, I’ve only been trying out the “The Ultimate 10 Minute Cardio Workout At Home” from Kozak Sports Perform, though I’ve been eager to try the following workouts:

“Amazing Spiderman Workout”.

“How to Lose Your Love Handles Workout”

“Get Rid of Love Handles Workout”

I feel like if I can just melt away these love handles and excess tummy fat, my six-pack will be visible.  But I’m not sure if I should focus more on strength training or on workouts specifically targeted for getting rid of love handles.  So here’s what I’ll do – Do one of the above love handles workouts once every other day, while still doing my strength training.

Blah.  This 5 meals per day thing is really difficult to manage, especially since I can’t afford to buy all the food I need to constantly be eating the recommended protein & complex carbs prescribed by the author of “Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle”.  Plus, it’s hard to keep to this diet when I’m at my boyfriend’s place.

So far, I’ve only managed to do one of John Stifferman’s strength training workouts every day.  I’ve mostly been doing pullups, dips, and deadlifts.

Next week:

  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

Body Sculpting – Week 37

Last week I said I would do the following:

  1. Read half of “The 4-Hour Body”
  2. Read more of “Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle”
  3. Try out and monitor results of different workouts from Kozak Sports Perform
  4. Continue experimenting with 5 small meals per day

Haven’t been able to read any of “The 4-Hour Body”, since I’m still trying to get through The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Haven’t read more of “Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle”, so will do that today.

Was at my boyfriend’s house the majority of last week, so I didn’t do the “The Ultimate 10 Minute Cardio Workout At Home”, since that involves dumbbells.  I have, however, been experimenting with doing one of John Sifferman’s 5 workouts for strength training.  So far I’ve done the Pyramid Workout and 100 Reps in as Little Time as Possible Workout for dips, handstand pushups, and pullups.  Today I’ll do one of Sifferman’s 5 workouts for planks with leg lifts; probably the Personal Record Workout.

Next week:

  1. Read “The 4-Hour Body”
  2. Read more of “Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle”
  3. Try out and monitor results of different workouts from Kozak Sports Perform
  4. Continue experimenting with 5 small meals per day
  5. Continue experimenting with doing different full body workouts

Body Sculpting – Week 36

Last week I said I would do the following:

  1. Look into doing another physical challenge
  2. Continue reading “Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle”
  3. Eat at least 5 small-portioned meals everyday

Well, I do not do very well at eating 5 small meals when I’m at my boyfriend’s house on the weekends.  I think this is because I feel like I’m not spending quality time with him (meal time = social time), so I end up just going back to eating 3 large meals per day.  But, I do really well at eating 5 small meals when I’m at home!  Along the same lines, I think this is because I’m usually alone when I eat the majority of my meals.  Hmm, what’s the solution?  I think I’m going to bring a container of cooked steel-cut oatmeal with me to my boyfriend’s house this weekend, so I can at least eat a hearty breakfast and maintain some part of my regular meals.

I looked into other workouts and found this great YouTube page: Kozak Sports Perform.  I found this specific HIIT workout which I really enjoyed doing two days in a row now: “The Ultimate 10 Minute Cardio Workout At Home”.  They have some other really great workouts that I’m looking forward to trying out.  Two things I really love about their vids:

  1. Their sporadic motivational phrases (“The exhaustion is all in your mind!”, “Remember your motivator!”, “Think of how happy you’ll be once you have a 6-pack!”)
  2. The dubstep music – it really hypes me up

I’m also going to do 2-3 full body workouts throughout the day.  When I had a job, I would do 3 sets of a full body workout during breaks (i.e., handstand pushups, pushups, dips, lunges, planks, etc), on average 3 times during the day.  But after reading John Sifferman’s blog post about “My Top 5 Favorite Pullup & Chinup Workouts”, I’m going to use the same 5 workouts for different full body exercises, to see if that will produce better results (more muscle, faster weight loss).

Here is a list of some full body exercises I can do:

  • Pushups
  • Handstand pushups
  • Dips
  • Planks w/leg raises
  • Pullups
  • Deadlifts (if I have the barbell or free weights)
  • Lunges
  • Burpees
  • Leg lifts
  • Air jacks
  • Lunge + curl w/dumbbells
  • Bent over rows
  • Dumbbell posterior swing

If you guys can think of other full body exercises that you enjoy, please share!

I haven’t read more of “Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle”, but I DID check out the book “The 4-Hour Body”, by Timothy Ferriss, thanks to Noel’s recommendation; thanks, Noel!

I’m a little skeptical of this book, since Ferriss’s other famous book, “The 4-Hour Work Week”, received mixed reviews.  But glean as much as you can from anything, I say, so I’ll skim through it and glean as much as I can.  It’s a pretty big book though, so we’ll see how fast I can skim it!

Next week:

  1. Read half of “The 4-Hour Work Week”
  2. Read more of “Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle”
  3. Try out and monitor results of different workouts from Kozak Sports Perform
  4. Continue experimenting with 5 small meals per day