Friday, November 30, 2007

I've Moved

In case you haven't noticed, I've switched my blogging program to WordPress, so check it out here.

I'm a big fan of WordPress now, no offense to Blogger. Check there from now on, I update at least a couple times a day.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Workout B, Part I:

Finally starting to feel better, I was about to throw up. Again, I did two thirds of the workout before feeling woozy. My theory is this: I don't eat many carbs during the day, but right before and after my workouts I have shakes made with whey protein and Gatorade powder that has a ton of sugar in it (that whole insulin-spike thing that delivers the nutrients, or whatever). I think this is shooting my blood sugar through the roof during this time which is making me feel ill. I'll have to cut down on the Gatorade powder and I'm sure it will be fine in the future. I still need to drink a shake in a few minutes to get something during that post-workout period. I'll have Wednesday to make up the rest of this workout and do some intervals and extra ab work. I'm going to go rest, that was really hard.

1A) Snatch deadlifts: 185x12x3
1B) T-pushups: 12x3

2A) Bulgarians split squats: bwx12x2, 10x12
2B) Underhand lat pulldowns: 120x12; 140x10
2C) One-arm dumbbell shoulder press: 30x12x3

Sunday, November 18, 2007

"We're here to win again! Harvard's team may fight to the end, but Yale win win!"

Got back from New Haven today after attending the Harvard/Yale football game yesterday with some friends. While this portion of the fight song predicts a Yale victory, they actually got demolished yesterday. A very good time, but I got home later than expected, therefore no gym today. I also ate pretty poorly, starting with a sausage/cheese calzone Friday night at Amici's and ending with pancakes, hash browns, and bacon this morning, not to mention a decent amount of booze throughout. Not exactly according to plan, but weekends like that don't come along very often. It's always good to see friends and if that means indulging more than I want to, so be it. As long as it's limited to once every few months.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Workout B...

No time for Part B today, I have appointments and I'll be away till Sunday. I'll do it then.

Workout A...

Fat Loss II A:

1A) squats: hack squats again (tried dumbbells, way off balance) 45x15x3, i'll give it a better shot next week
1B) bentover rows: 135x15x3

2A) ham curls on ball: bwx12x3
2B) push press: 85x12x3

3A) lunges: 25sx12x3
3B) russian twist in chair: 25x12x3

very beat today. felt like i had to puke, but a really good workout. stuck with the same weights, got all 12-15 reps in each time. part B tomorrow. only 2 more weeks of this commute, so everything will settle down after that and i'll be able to get probably 3 workouts a week, maybe 4 depending on soreness. diet was really good too. i haven't weighed myself but i feel skinny.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Workout A...

Skipped Monday's Fat Loss II Workout part A yesterday due to scheduling conflicts and laziness after work. I'll get the two this week in Thursday and Friday. Just ate pizza with Jaylynn but we had a good excuse. I'll just cut a cheat meal out of the weekend.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Fat Loss Workout(s) B

I split Workout B into two days, I was so sleepy yesterday and didn't want to completely push it. Friday I did:

1A) Deadlifts: 225x12; 185x12x2 (cut down on the weight, hit the reps, no pain, a-ok with me)
1B) T pushups: bwx12x2; bwx10 (those are harder than they look, i can't quite figure out why)

**here's where i didn't want to push it. i was afraid of doing the bulgarians without looking at some diagrams/videos just to make sure, so i just did the underhand lat pulldowns with very little rest
100x12x2; 110x12

Then today (Saturday) I did:
-bulgarian split squats: 10x12x2; bwx12

3A) romanian deadlifts w/ bent over row (i did these with dumbbells, i can keep the form easier: 45x12x3
3B) russian twist in chair: 25x12x3

to get a little extra in, i threw in some giant sets of standing Arnold presses/side delt raises/front delt raises/Roman chair leg raises.

i guess it's two hard workouts instead of one REALLY hard workout. i definitely understand how hard these Fat Loss workouts are now. I'm so winded after every one, which is great. i was also 209 this morning, my lowest in a while. It's not as hard as I thought cutting out so many carbs. I definitely feel tired a lot more, but I'm sure it will just take a little longer to really get used to. I haven't exactly been compliant to my 90% standard but I'm doing well. Sometimes I'll get back to Kathe's after a day in Ashland and just make a peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread. I cannot resist. In any case, the fact that the numbers on the scale keep moving to the left will keep me going.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Fat Loss II, Workout A

So I've had another one of my trademark changes of heart. I weighed myself today and I was 211. I thought that my last week of poor eating and no working out would have lead to a gain of at least a couple of pounds. I was discouraged by that that I was going to scrap my plan and start over. However, the 211 I weighed today means I only maintained what I had lost before, which is awesome. I decided to stick to the plan and here's how it went today:

Today's numbers for Workout A FLII:

1A) Front squats: 95x15; 105x12; 115x8 (i am having a hell of a time with this form, or any squat form for that matter. my wrists really hurt on these again)
1B) Wide BB rows: 125x15; 135x15; 145x12
**since i wasn't pleased about the squats, i threw a couple of sets of...wait for it...the hack squat machine (i know, i know...), 45s on the machine, 2x15 to really fatigue my legs. felt pretty jiggly after those.

2A) Leg curls on ball: bwx15; bwx12; bwx12 (i think i have the form right, now, those were pretty hard)
2B) bb push press: 85x12; 85x12; 95x10

3A) lunges: bwx15x3 (my legs were really fatigued thanks to the extra sets of hack squats, so not what i did before)
3B) russian twists (in low back chair, backwards) 25lb plate x15x3

no intervals, felt extremely tired. adjusting to the time change? anyway, i feel pretty good. we'll see how Workout B goes on Friday. hopefully i don't mess up my back again!

onward and upward

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sunday Evening

It's 5:35, I'm watching the Pats and Colts, currently a 7-6 Patriot lead. I feel nervousness in the pit of my stomach....and as I type this, Joe Addai goes 73 yards for a touchdown. I am bullshit right now. 13-7 Colts.

In any case, I've decided to forget my shitty week and re-focus starting tomorrow. I think I'm going to change up the order of the programs and do a hypertrophy program starting tomorrow. For the layperson, hypertrophy means "get wicked jacked." So the rep ranges change and I get to eat a bit more. That means I don't have to feel so bad about eating Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and Superbowl food. I know those things are going to come up far more during this part of the year, and as evidenced by my mood this past week after indulging on my some Halloween candy, I'm not very pleased about it. I'm going to go easier on myself in that respect.

While I do need to lose some fat, I also need to add some serious size. I just think adding muscle at this time of year makes more sense. I'm not going to the beach any time soon, and I'll really need to cut down starting in the spring and summer, especially heading into the fall for the big day.

So, I'm not going to weigh myself. I'm going to take some measurements of arms, chest, legs, etc. I think that I will feel better about this whole process. I like hypertrophy rep ranges, the fat loss ones are too high and I didn't really enjoy those workouts two weeks ago. I still think I'll lose some fat at the same time, as long as I'm eating within reason.

So there you have it. A couple of days and I feel back to normal...minus Joseph-Fucking-Addai's touchdown run RIGHT BEFORE THE HALF!!! I am so fucking BULLSHIT right now!!!

Look for the log update tomorrow.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Shitty Week

Lousy week and a half. I tweaked my lower back again during deadlifts, this time on the snatches. Never doing that grip before, I thought I could lift the same amount. I packed it in after that and took Monday off to rest rather than re-injure. Really discouraging.

Since then I've felt very off, physically and mentally. I told myself I would get my workouts in Thu/Fri of this week but I've bailed on those, too. I have a ton of work to do for this weekend and next week, but I know those are excuses. I've felt like shit all week. I've had no sleep, I'm drinking coffee like water, I'm battling a wicked cold, and I've eaten more than a few Halloween mini Reeses and Snickers from the kids at school where I'm doing my internship. I think I ingested approximately 0 vegetables, and I skipped a couple meals when I was late for work (again, no sleep). I was still relatively low-carb, but certainly not much.

I'm really pissed at myself. I know a week off isn't the worst, but I had such great momentum. I weighed 211 last Friday, my lowest since probably February.

I feel like this final push of grad school is getting the best of me, fitness-wise. My head is killing me, I'm on no sleep, and the constant packing/unpacking/preparing 3 days of meals thing is wearing on me so bad.

I bet this just sounds like I'm rattling off excuses, but that's what I feel like doing right now. I'll start again Monday with Fat Loss II as if this week never happened.

The good news is I was offered a job last Friday after my interview, and I think that's where my head has been. I walked into the gym after that interview to start the workout, and all I could think about was the job. I'm overwhelmed with the end of school and a new venture, but once these final 4 weeks are over, it will calm down. Maybe not smooth sailing, but at least I'll be in one place and not have to worry about a lot of those things. I'm sure I can get into a groove then. After all, I took about 6 months off from health and fitness, a week isn't going to kill me.

But please, somebody give me a kick in the ass, I need it.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Here's a couple weeks worth of posts:

I keep forgetting to update this thing. I log everything at JP Fitness so here's a couple weeks worth of posts. This is just copied/pasted, so no editing or spelling correction, plus it starts in reverse order:

Final week of Break-Ins

Break-In A:

Front squats 65x15; 95x12 (my wrists hurt, i was holding the bar like a clean, but it hurt, i'll have to find a different grip)
static lunges: 25s x 15; 10x 15 (went down because i knew i wouldn't get close to 15 on the second set)

one-arm 2pt. db rows: 40x15x2
pushups: 30; 25

Cable crunches: 150x25; 150x20

all numbers went up. not as tired, so that's good. definitely too much food this weekend, 5 cheat meals instead of 4. it's hard watching the patriots and red sox at 99 without eating gold fever wings (what can i say, i rationalize the protein). must be better this week. i'll try some intervals or bodyweight circuits (i found one of ballantyne's) tomorrow or wednesday. definitely elliptical intervals next saturday, too. this week will be good because i have much less to do now that my graduate portfolio is done. i'm just job-searching and playing madden the rest of my days. anyway, felt good today.

final Break-In B:

-Deadlifts: 205x15; 245x12
-step-ups: 35x12x2

-Close-grip lat pulldowns: 130x11; 130x9
-Single arm standing dumbbell press (neutral grip): 40x15x2

everything goes up again. i guess i get next week off from lifting, but i'll do intervals and some abs on my regular days

i can't wait till i'm done with these 15-rep sets. i haven't looked at the Fat Loss I workouts so I don't know what the rep ranges are on that. some of these i could probably get more reps but the burn sucks. doing step-ups is the worst because they take forever with each leg at that rep range. heavy sets were always my favorite in the old days.

Abs and intervals today.

Tri-sets of planks/side planks: 3x30s

Supersets of reverse crunches and med. ball throws on bench 2x6 of each

5-min treadmill walk
10-min 30s/60s elliptical intervals
5-min treadmill walk cool down


eating Protein Pumpkin Pudding recipe from Mike Roussell, getting ready for the Pats to destroy the Cowboys today. It's good, I guess. I've never so much as eaten pumpkin pie but this is okay.


5m treadmill warm-up
10m 60/30 elliptical intervals
5m treadmill cool-down

Fat Loss starts next week, figure I might as well get a head start.

off-week workout 2:

abs superset:
reverse crunches 2x10; med. ball throws from decline bench 2x8

planks/side planks 30s x 2

-5-minute treadmill warmup
-10-minute stationary bike intervals (i hate the bike, the ellipticals were full)
-5-minute treadmill cooldown

i've had better interval workouts. but i was 213 this morning, down 4 pounds since i started NROL last month. i expect that to accelerate during the next several weeks of Fat Loss I. My diet has improved, especially in the last few days. I'm cutting out more carbs after reading about Adam's Diet and a little of the TNT Diet book and even in the last couple days i've noticed a difference. I think I've got a good pre-and-post workout nutrition thing set up with whey and gatorade, so we'll see how that goes. Going to have cheat meal #1 tonight.


Today began Fat Loss II. Since I'm on the 2-day-a-week plan, I guess I skip Fat Loss I. I don't know how it went, it didn't feel great. I felt that it wasn't as hard as the Break-In workouts, though I rested a little bit longer than 60 seconds. I felt I had a lot of trouble with some of the lifts, especially the push press and the supine hamstring curls. I definitely need to practice those more. The push press wasn't bad but with the little toe raise at the end my timing was off. My hamstrings did feel worked after doing the sets of curls on the ball, but I felt like I was moving nothing. I'm not going to do the Russian Twists on the ball yet, those were too awkward. I did them on the lower back extension chair. I sit in it backwards with a 25 and do the movement. That move on the ball will also take some practice. The cable machines are as far away as possible from the squat rack, so I substituted wide grip bent-over barbell rows. Here are the numbers:

-front squat: 95x15; 95x12; 105x10
-wide grip bb rows: 95x15 (easy); 115x15 (easy); 120x15 (pretty much easy)

-supine hamstring curls: bwx15x2; bwx25 (felt like i was moving nothing, yet they felt swelled up after the sets, so who knows. i think the ball was too big.)
-push press: 65x15 (easy); 85x12x2 (again, not great form. will take some practice)

-dynamic lunge: 25x12x2; bw to failure
-russian twist: bwx15; 25x10; 25x9

Since the workout itself wasn't great, I followed it up with intervals on the elliptical for 10 minutes. I have jelly legs. Of course, I get home, check my blogs and I see a Ballantyne article about how ellipticals suck. Yea, well, whatever. I'm using it for now.

Friday is Workout B. It will take a couple weeks to get used to these lifts, but I'm still sweating and pretty tired so all in all an adequate workout.

Diet has been very good. Only 3 cheat meals last week (though they were AWESOME, my fiance made fillet mignon with blue cheese sauce and apple pie) I like the gatorade/whey pre and post workout shakes. Pretty much my only sugary carbs for the day.

that's it for the past couple of weeks.

I weighed 214 this morning 10/23. So, down 3 pounds since I started this program, 16 since the start of summer. I think it's more than 3 pounds of fat, though, because I'm taking creatine and lifting, so there's going to be some water retention and muscle gain which would account for the scale numbers not moving where I'd like them to be. I'd like to be 212 by the time I get home Friday. I feel that my clothes are fitting better (my 36W jeans are really loose, haven't tried the ol' 34s yet) and I think my face looks thinner. Going low-carb this past week has been kind of hard, I start dragging around mid-afternoon, but I'm not that tempted. I read that it takes time for your body to really burn fat for energy instead of carbs, so this is expected. I feel very dedicated to this program right now and I think it's only going to get better as I keep reducing the startchy carbs. Thank god for coffee and green tea. I immediately feel my blood sugar spike after I have a PWO shake with gatorade/whey, but I get that's the idea. Something about nutrient timing or something, I don't know I'm not a fucking biochemist...Do "biochemists" exist or did I just invent that profession? It doesn't sound right. Anyway, I'll update this again Friday.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Last Week of Break-Ins


Not much activity today. Maybe some simple stretching and mobility work later tonight, but probably not. Resumes are in the mail, I'm getting headhunter recruiters calling me like all damn day. I suppose constant job opportunities are a good problem to have. Better than none.

Break-In A:

Front squats 65x15; 95x12 (my wrists hurt, i was holding the bar like a clean, but it hurt, i figured i would have to find a different grip but a guy on the forums said it just requires more stretching. I'll get to 135 again in a couple more weeks. Having a big plate on the squat bar is much less embarrassing)
static lunges: 25s x 15; 10x 15 (went down because i knew i wouldn't get close to 15 on the second set)

one-arm 2pt. db rows: 40x15x2
pushups: 30; 25

Cable crunches: 150x25; 150x20

All my numbers went up and I'm not as tired, so that's good. Definitely too much food this weekend, 5 cheat meals instead of 4. I was 215 a couple days ago but probably not now. It's hard watching the Patriots and Red Sox at 99 without eating gold fever wings (what can i say, i rationalize the protein). I must be better this week. I'll try some intervals or bodyweight circuits (i found one of Ballantyne's) Wednesday. Definitely elliptical intervals next Saturday, too. This week will be good because I have much less to do now that my graduate portfolio is done. I'm just job-searching and playing Madden the rest of my days. Anyway, felt good today.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Saturday Session

Quick interval/abs session at PF today.

-3 plank/side plank supersets of 30s or more
-Decline bench medicine ball throws...first attempt at those. My lower back is sore from deadlifts yesterday, as is the one spot where I tweaked it, so couldn't go all out on those.

-Elliptical intervals for 10 min: (30s high intensity, 60s moderate...more or less). Seriously, try these if you haven't before. Jogging on the treadmill or leisurely pedaling the elliptical for 45 minutes is nothing compared to interval training. I turn the resistance up all the way and just go balls out for 30 seconds, then rest and repeat. Done in 10 minutes, legs swell up big time. Then 5 minutes on the treadmill (incline) walking to cool down.

Now outside for a nice walk while the weather is still nice. Too bad my iPod is in the shop.

Anybody else heard the 300 soundtrack, or at least remember any of the music from the movie? Very good for the gym. There is an instrumental by Nine Inch Nails called "Just Like You Imagined" which is pretty awesome for lifting/cardio. I'm gonna listen to that now to get it in my head.

Week 2: Break-In B

From Friday Oct. 5:


a) deadlifts 185x15; 225x12 (a little overzealous today, felt a small twinge in my lower back)
b) step ups: 30x15; 30x10

a) single arm dumbbell shoulder press: 35x15x2
b) close grip lat pulldowns: 130x9; 130x7 (way too hard)

reverse crunches: 10x2

Totally beat after this. had the burning feeling in my lungs like after a long run. Supersets using your whole body for medium rep ranges are fucking brutal.

I did eat pizza last night as a cheat meal, so that's one marked off. I'm considering the middle of the week as one cheat meal. While nothing really qualified as one, it wasn't quite good enough that I'll let myself get away with it.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Middle-of-the-Week Downers

I stay at my aunt's house in Franklin for 3 days during the middle of the week until the end of Novemeber, and so far I haven't done a lot of working out while I'm here. I did some sprints last week, but that gave me shin splints. I don't imagine that I will as much as I plan each Tuesday before I head up here: I don't have a gym, I don't like bodyweight exercises, I've got a bit of work to do each evening. Of course it's possible, but honestly I'm not likely to really do anything consistently here.

Therefore, my diet is the most important thing while I'm here. I've been relatively out of sorts this week, at least compared to what my plans were. I make and pack 3 days worth of my own food so I can stick to my goal. This week was different. With late pre-cana class in Auburn the other night, I didn't get home until 10PM. My shakes and the like were in a cooler all day in my car, but I was out so long (6:30AM-10:00PM) that everything got too warm. Two large shaker bottles down the drain. I probably could have drank them as meal replacements, but the cottage cheese scared me (last thing I need in a school office full of women is stomach discomfort).

So, I've been eating what is available at my aunt's that comes close to my diet. That means a lot of eggs, wheat toast (not the carbs I was planning on, but not terrible), yogurt, a couple Fiber 1 bars, peanut butter, etc. I haven't fallen off the wagon because those foods are all still pretty good, but it wasn't what I had planned on so mentally I don't feel right.

In a way, this is good because even straying from my plans this little bit has upset me. I haven't eaten pizza, cookies, banana bread, or anything else I could have yet I feel that I have cheated in some way. This is motivation to get back on it and continue to be dedicated when I go home tomorrow and hit the gym. Also motivation to pick up a couple more ice packs.

I also realize that despite the title of this blog, I haven't been thinking about getting in shape for the wedding: I'm doing it because I want to get in the best shape that I can possibly achieve. This is great because it shows that I'm not doing this for outside reasons and that I'm doing it for myself.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Week 2

Week 2: Break-In A:

front squats: 2x15xbar (much better form than last time. easier, too)
static lunges: body x 10; body x 6 (seemed harder than last time)

One-Arm 2 pt. DB rows: 2x35
Pushups: 2x20

Cable crunches:
140lbs x 20; 140lbs x 16

About 35-40 minutes. My squat form is getting much better. Front squats feel very comfortable. I'll throw a few more pounds on next week to get my morale up. It's also feels weird to be done with a workout in a little over a half hour. Walking out of the gym I feel like I'm leaving too early. Not lifting long and heavy is mentally difficult right now, but I'll get there...

Next to Planet Fitness is a (sort of) new protein shake bar, I think called Body Control. I had the Peanut Butter Mocha shake and it was very good. $5.25 is pretty expensive, but you figure a medium coffee drink from Starbucks is pretty comparable, and this was pretty healthy. I had to pound it in my car before getting my haircut right after my workout, so a little bit of an ice cream headache. I definitely think my shakes are missing ice, that thickens them up and gives them a good milkshake-like texture.

In other shake-related news, I've figured out a way around the Soylent Green veggie shakes: A couple strawberries and some sugar-free raspberry Jell-O packets. I can't even taste the vegetables at all, and that means I can put more in. Frankly, I don't care how weird it looks or what my mom thinks about it. If I'm going to get healthy again, this is how. I've solved the problem through ingenuity.

Gonna up the deadlifts on Friday. With my portfolio passed in by Friday (!), I'll have less to do this fall, at least in the short-term. That gives me more time to focus on these goals. Onward.

Saturday, September 29, 2007


Any good training program (or anything in life, I guess) needs goals. I forgot to write them at the beginning of this new blog concept, so I'll write them now:

1) Train every day that I've scheduled (Shouldn't be too hard, I'm only doing 2x per week right now.)
2) Comply with diet 90% OTT. (Also, shouldn't be too hard. I'll be fine during the week and that allows me 4 cheat meals during the weekend if I choose. Only 2 so far this week and it's Saturday).
3) Post my workouts on this blog and on the JP fitness forums. Even after a week of posting and getting feedback from people on JP I feel a sense of accountability and honesty.

I'm almost hesitant to list any more because if I follow through correctly the results I want should come along. I really trust this program based on everything I've heard from it. But anyway:

2-4 Weeks:
-Fit into my jeans and shorts (Sounds like a chick goal, but that was pretty discouraging when I realized my clothes didn't fit anymore.)

2 Months:
-Weigh 200 lbs. Weighing myself Monday I was 217. I'm probably 215-216 now, and I won't weigh myself for a couple weeks. 200 lbs is probably my normal weight given my muscle mass with some "normal" fat. When I was last in "presentable" shape in summer 2006 I was about 205, so 200 sounds about right. That's realistic in about 6 weeks, I think.

4 Months:
-Weigh 190. Maybe 11% body fat? I haven't had my body fat measured in a couple years, so I don't know where I am now. But that would seem about right. I'll have added a good deal of muscle mass by then, and since I'll be long done with my outplacement and living at home full-time (and a real job with lots of money for lots of supplements), I'll be at the end of my hypertrophy phase and into my strength phase. I'll have lost a lot of fat by sticking to the diet.

6 Months:
-Weigh 180-185. 9% body fat. I figure I'd be in pretty damn good shape with those numbers, and after that it might be maintenance or trying to add more muscle. I think if I were to be really ripped, I'd be 175. I should save that phase for the summer.

These numbers are pretty much just thrown out there based on the kind of shape I used to be in along with what my memory tells me those numbers are. I feel like 200 pounds is baseline, just before it all went wrong this winter. I'm not going to worry about how much I bench, squat, or deadlift, just that I'm doing the workouts properly and I'm eating right most of the time. As time goes on, we'll see what happens.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Break-In B

1) Superset:
-Deadlifts 135x15; 185x12 (these were great, I can't wait to do deadlifts again, I'll be back to 315 in no time)
-Step-Ups 25's x 15; 25's x 10

2) Superset:
-One-Arm Dumbbell Press (standing) 30x15x2
-Close Grip Lat Pulldowns 120x15; 120x13

3) Reverse Crunches 2x8 (really hard because my legs were so fatigued)

Done in about 30 minutes. I know this program is going to be great because these two workouts were probably the two most intense I've ever done in terms of lack of rest time between sets and proper form.


Been good. Only 1 cheat meal (unexpected pizza last night from mom). Onward.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger...

The blogging front has grown stagnant lately, and several of you have reported dissatisfaction looking at Billy Corgan every time you check my page. Well, I'm sorry. I've been busy, I write in a private livejournal now, and I can't think of anything to write about. Until now.

Jaylynn and I are getting married in 13 months at St. John's in Clinton and the reception is at Harrington Farm in Princeton. We are both trying very hard to get in shape for that big day, and for many days after. Grad school has made it difficult for both of us to stay as fit as we'd like. We've had various setbacks from injuries and schedules, and for two people who value health so much, it's been hard on the psyche, particularly mine. I've gained quite a bit of weight since I moved to Worcester, something I never thought would happen after I lost 60 pounds my senior year of high school. I'm currently 217, reaching a high of 230 this past May. To my knowledge, I was roughly 190 upon moving to Worcester, and I was pretty lean. It all seemed to go wrong last spring. I started letting myself go and eating Price Chopper muffins two at a time for lunch, and eating Fruschetta pizzas for dinner every night. Having a part-time desk job instead of speed-walking behind a lawnmower every morning decreased my activity more than I realized, and costochondritis in my sternum made it painful to lift weights.

I had been going back and forth with different workout ideas throughout the summer, all with no results or dedication of more than a week or two. With an ever-changing schedule, I found it very hard to stick to anything. I figured my "jacked" days were long gone.

However, the upcoming wedding has given me a pretty substantial drive to really make this happen, and I'm not attempting to use Hydroxycut or SlimFast this time, either. For the first time ever, I'm following a set 52-week training program called The New Rules of Lifting by Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove, and focusing my diet on a few simple principles from Dr. John Berardi's Precision Nutrition and Men's Health's The Abs Diet. I'm already a big fan of the New Rules book because it goes through a number of phases, including fat loss, hypertrophy, and strength. These are pretty reputable authors in the fitness world, and I discovered them through The Fitcast and Max-Out Radio on iTunes, a couple of great podcasts on health and fitness. I've joined the forums over at JP Fitness ( and I'm going to write my workouts and diet there and get feedback from the trainers, nutritionists, and other members.

I've decided to keep myself accountable through this blog. I'm going to use this to write down my workouts and my diet for the next 13 months, along with my progress.

So, that's the deal. Here's what I've done so far:

The Wedding Workout:

Current weight: 217 lbs

Monday 9/24:
Break-In: A
1) squat: 2x15xbodyweight & static lunges 2x10xbodyweight (BRUTAL superset, could barely finish it)
2) single-arm 2-point dumbell rows: 2x15x30 (easy, but awkward) & pushups: 2x20 (another very hard superset, funny because I used to do 60 pushups...)
3) planks: 2x30 seconds

That was supposed to be a "break-in" workout part 1 of 2. I figured it would be easy, but it was incredibly hard. I was surprised how tiring it was. It goes to show how ineffective my old workouts used to be. My legs are killing me today. Even though I've lifted weights for a while, this made me feel like a true beginner. I tried to load up the bar with 135 for a "warm-up" squat I used to do 20 reps with just to loosen up and could barely do 4. Shows how bad my form was, too. I'll stick with bodyweight for a while.

Tuesday 9/25:

Intervals: I just sprinted up my aunt's driveway and then walked back, repeating 6 times. I walked around for a little bit to cool down. All in all about 15 minutes.

(Another thing, I've simplified my workout playlist, too. For everybody who thinks the iPod is the greatest thing ever created (and I'm one of those people), something that is lost is the fact that it turns people into musical schizophrenics. I can't count how many times I flip through my music at the gym because there is so much to choose from. It takes away focus and it ends up being less help than a CD player. I've got 6 songs on my list this time on repeat, and all are spine-crushing: 3 by the Smashing Pumpkins, 2 by Eminem, and 1 by the Deftones.)

I'll post more as the days go by.

The Wedding Diet:

I won't write down everything I'm eating, but here are the guidelines I'm using:

1) small meals every 2-3 hours (about 6 per day)
2) lean protein with each meal (eggs, chicken, turkey, cottage cheese, whey, etc.)
3) green vegetables (spinach, broccoli, green beans...and that's about it)
4) fruits, but pretty much only after my workouts (bananas, apples, grapes...again, that's about it)
5) healthy fats (olive oil, almonds)
6) getting most of my daily carbs from fruits/vegetables and saving any grain-based carbs for after my workouts (presumably in a post-workout shake)
7) lots of water
8) only 1 cup of coffee per day, followed by green tea

I'm not counting calories or macronutrients, just trying to stick to the above. My staples are two-egg omelets with turkey and low-fat cheese, baked chicken breast with green beans, low-fat string cheese, peanut butter spoons, handfuls of almonds/raisins, and a bunch of shakes. I need to comply to this diet 90% of the time. So 42 meals in a week means I can cheat 4 times at most. That's not too hard.

In order to get the vegetables in my diet, I've had to become very creative. I've always hated vegetables (I blame my parents), so I throw them in a blender. The shakes I make have always grossed people out to some degree (I've never understood how what essentially breaks down to a chocolate/peanut butter milkshake turns people off), but the vegetable shakes I've included can be pretty appalling to people, myself included. For that reason, I'm going to call the big one "Soylent Green." Here's the recipe:

"Soylent Green" Shake:
-1 package of frozen spinach, defrosted
-1 package frozen broccoli, defrosted
-1 tomato
-1/2 apple
-1/2 cup cottage cheese

I blend the hell out of it, put it in big shaker bottle, and have two or three swigs during the day at meal times. This gets me about 2 servings of fruits/vegetables at every meal, especially vegetables. The apple makes it a little easier to stomach, but it's still like taking medicine. I'll get more creative as time goes on, including sugar-free Jell-O, lime juice, and other flavors depending on what I'm going for.

My protein and post-workout shakes are based around low-fat cottage cheese, whey protein, peanut butter, oatmeal, and a banana.

I've got a few desert-type shakes I've used regularly, including the aforementioned Peanut Butter Cup (chocolate whey, peanut butter, cottage cheese, etc.), Cinnamon Roll (vanilla whey, cinnamon, nutmeg, banana, peanut butter, cottage cheese, etc...tastes awesome), Strawberry Banana (self-explanatory), and various combinations of tropical shakes (good for the summer, using mango, pineapple, coconut shavings, strawberry whey, etc.). There are tons of recipes online and from my books that I can use. I've made shakes that aren't particularly healthy despite the scoops of protein (the Cookies-N-Cream with vanilla whey and Oreos comes to mind), so I'll try to avoid those as much as possible. I've got ideas for a nice autumn shake (something with canned pumpkin, nutmeg, vanilla whey, probably some other crap) and an eggnog shake for Christmas (vanilla whey, fat-free eggnog, nutmeg, etc.) I've got this shit for all seasons, son.

My supplements include:
1) whey protein, obviously
2) multivitamin
3) fish oil
4) CLA
5) BCAAs

That's about it. Nothing too complicated, other than my shakes with I try to drink throughout the day and take some preparation beforehand.

So, there you have it. The detailed plan for becoming an Adonis in time for October 12, 2008. I'm using this blog as a tool to stay accountable. Please get on me if you don't hear from me regularly. Wish me luck, here we go...