Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Heavy Squatting

" I would not have anyone squat long term and I know that sounds cut and dried but there are plenty of ways to work your legs without spinal compression and exposure."
I should have been more clear. Squatting with a heavy weight such that they become back lifts more than working the legs is definitely not recommended for the long haul if you ask me. 

I will post a good video example in my next entry.

Monday, July 26, 2010

How to Transform Your Physique #81

We went out to eat yesterday (Sunday).  I was able to stay the course and not cheat. I was only slightly tempted.  I had a plain grilled chicken breast sandwich.  The side was two small pieces of melon.  Saturday I pulled the sled and this time I wasn't as wiped out after which is good.

My low back is still not feeling the greatest. I am still at a loss for how to get it so it doesn't feel inflamed all the time.  It doesn't matter what I do these days. No getting worse but lately no getting better either. I won't give up though.  I will remind everyone why I am dealing with this today (again).  Deadlifts and squats are not only effective but they can be total body destroyers as well especially if done improperly for a long period of time and with heavy weights.  I would not have anyone squat long term and I know that sounds cut and dried but there are plenty of ways to work your legs without spinal compression and exposure.  Note I said long term.  And, I mean the majority of mere mortals like myself out there. Not the genetic freaks who can get away with things like round back deadlifting without effect.

If you want to know what I had for breakfast today, simply look at other entries. Yup, boring and exactly the same!  Lunch and dinner as well. I did have smoked salmon for lunch though.  Grilled chicken for dinner was on the menu as well.  Spinach salads (raw) was eaten at both. I had a protein bar as a snack about 2ish.

Yesterday I did some free squats alternated with push ups and crunches. I did 3 cycles of 25 for each.  Then, did a fast walk for about a mile to get some more activity in to burn some calories.

Friday, July 23, 2010

How to Transform Your Physique #80

The sled kicked my butt again yesterday. But, not before I added another trip! My speed on my pushing of the sled has increased but part of it is due to technique to keep the sled moving better.  The result is I have to complete the trips faster.  It was hotter than hades too so that made it harder.  But, I can tell I am getting in better condition.  I can tell I have dropped some of the vacation eating weight gain.  I never use the scale as the absolute measure and frankly no one should. It does not differentiate between muscle and fat loss. Or, fat gain versus muscle gain. 

My diet remains constant. My breakfasts are exactly the same. My Carlson's lemon flavor Cod Liver Oil arrived so I added a tablespoon of that.  I had grilled turkey breast last night for dinner with my typical spinach salad. 

Since tomorrow is Friday, it's cheat day. But, not as radical as usual.  I am bringing in donuts for my group at work to celebrate a member's company anniversary but I will not have one (or is it two or three!) like I have done in the past on cheat days.  I got invited out for lunch so I will be eating a burrito (chicken).  Of course Papa Murphy's Chicago stuff pizza is on tap for dinner with the cheesecake chaser.  Have a cheat day motivates me to be strict and use it as a "reward" for my efforts and discipline.  I actually look forward to it believe it or not!  It's just a psychological game I play with myself. :)

I didn't get as sore pulling the sled this time which is good.  Tomorrow is the bigger workout for the week.  I am curious how I will feel tomorrow with the one cheat meal now that I am on a roll so to speak with tightening things up....

Sunday, July 18, 2010

How to Transform Your Physique #79

So Saturdays are consumed a lot with training my two teenagers.  As I mentioned in #78, these days I tend just work in some exercises as I train them.  Since I pulled sled on Friday, and it was the first time since the vacation, there was no way I was going to put myself in traction and do it again yesterday!  During my son's workout I did some shoulder press, dumbbell rows, and curls. I can only do rows now due to the lat injury. I actually injured myself doing negative chins of all things.  I also threw in some grip work as well. When he was pulling sled I did the lunge/free squat super set.  That's 24 lunges and a free squat set of 25 back to back.  It wasn't hard, but I knew I would be sore.  Again, this was done very controlled without bouncing around.  I then stretched after. I forgot I added in some reverse hypers on a stability ball. This is an experiment. This is a poor man's version of the reverse hyper.  I'll keep readers posted and let's see how my low back responds.

Yesterday's breakfast was exactly the same as Friday. In fact, I won't vary that one bit. And, lunch won't vary much either. I have no problem with "boredom" and eating. The reason we really eat is to fuel the body. Not for pleasure and being satisfied with our taste buds.  So, with this attitude and mindset and with the goal of lowering my bodyfat level, I have no problem staying the course. :)

Lunch was not really optimal. It was a meal replacement bar. A good one though.  Basically I ate this on the fly because of lack of time.  Dinner was a cheat meal at our fav local eatery.  I'll look to see how I do in the next two weeks and if necessary I will cut out this second cheat meal of the week.  No sweets though as a chaser like on Friday. :)

Today I'll probably pull sled light.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

How to Transform Your Physique #78

Yesterday has normally been a cheat day all day for what I eat. Since I am tightening things up the only cheat meal I had was dinner. Long time readers know that I encourage cheat days/meals.  So here was yesteday's breakfast:

6 egg white omelet with no fat cheese
1/2 cup oatmeal (not instant)
1 cup of green tea.

For supplements I have always taken a multiple vitamin. I figure why not since they are cheap and if they do help even just a tiny bit I will be better off.  I also take a fiber supplement. Colon problems run in my family so I have started this recently. I just pop a couple chewables.  I also take red yeast rice. Another cheap supplement that has been tied to helping keep cholesterol in check. Another family genetic thing I inherited as I mentioned in the past to Cyberpump readers. I only eat red meat once a week and that would be only on Friday or my one cheat meal that I will start out keeping that's Saturday night dinner.

Mid morning I had a whey protein drink and this was low in carbs as well. I won't make one with over 10 grams of carbs.

For lunch I had the following:

Salad composed of the following:
A few carrots
A few hot pepper rings (to spice it up!)
A small amount of vinaigrette

Grilled turkey breast cutlets
1 cup of green tea

I worked out yesterday as well. I've had to make changes to my routine.  After next year I will be more than likely moving to working out at a local gym that has a full line of very capable machines.  Why next year? I have one teenager left in the house. ;)  I don't do any spine bearing exercises anymore. My low back is still giving me issues due to all the nasty abuse I gave it when I was younger.  So, squats and deadlifts are out.  More details on how I am trying to conquer that in another entry.   I also don't like to bench press anymore either. The reason is the way my joints feel.  It feels well....like I am 2 quarts short of oil in my joints. When I was on vacation I got to use a bunch of different machines at a Gold's gym and loved the variety and also the ability to move quickly between exercises without setup, etc.  And, without joint creakiness.  But, believe it or not, the standing shoulder press doesn't feel creaky in my joints.  Maybe this is because it was never a staple of my program over the decades.

Keep in mind that I have a body that has a base of over three decades of lifting so this type of routine is customized to me based on my training history.

Past injuries I am also working around besides the low back abuse and injuries are a torn right lat, a pulled left hamstring (slight), and a right knee that I injured as a junior in high school and tweaked powerlifting once as well.  Yes, you will likely pay even for these types of long ago injuries.  My dad just had shoulder replacement surgery at 78 years old. He dislocated it back when he was in his 30's.   All of my injuries were my own fault and being stupid.

Long time readers also know that I like sled pulling for cardio. It's low impact, intense, and feels like you are running sprints.  I recently upgraded my sled to a Sorinex Root Hog. It's a great piece for sled pulling variety and of course builit very well. 

I did 4 trips (about 50-70 yards one way). I don't know the exactly distance but it's at least consistent. It's a certain mailbox down my street and back.   I pulled for 3 trips and then pulled out the lawn mower attachment.  This thing kicks your ass even more than pulling because you are using your upper body as well as lower body.  Here is a video of the Root Hog so you can see how I am using it:

The temperature here was 90+ degrees so I was drenched when I was done.  I normall do a few sets of pushups and crunches alternating between the two for 25 reps (currently).  No, this is not to true failure.  I do them very strictly as well as I don't want anymore injuries.

After the workout was another shake. I was on vacation yesterday by the way.

For dinner, my cheat meal on Friday, it was Papa Murphy's take and bake pizza.  The Chicago Stuffed one. I had 3 pieces.  I had two small pieces of cheesecake for dessert.  I will cheat again at tonight's meal but will have no sweets.  If I don't see the results I want, I will cut out this second cheat meal and will secondly tighten up on total calories of the one cheat meal.

Don't be surprised if you see some crazy type of splits in my working of my body.  A lot of it is working out on the fly as I train my two teenagers.  Fitting stuff in between their sets.

Today both of them train.  They will do full body workouts. I am a big believer in full body workouts for athletes to save time of having to go to the gym 5-6 times a week and the body is a WHOLE after all not a sum of disconnected body parts.  Do they compete by bodypart?  No, they don't. They use their whole body on the court/field!

Stay Tuned!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Vacation Eating

So I just splurged for the last 2 weeks eating while on vacation.  As long time Cyberpump readers are aware, I've had some massive weight gains in a short period of time while on vacation.  My metabolism tends to go into overdrive as well during this time which is interesting.  It's probably going "Whoa Nellie!" when it sees all the food to process.  My record from past years is 18 pounds.  Yeah, 18 pounds. :)  We also do a TON of walking as well.  Keep in mind though that some of that 18 is water as I don't normally scarf up pastries, pasta, and more!  This trip I gained about 8-9 pounds and I figured I would not gain as much because I didn't quite eat as much as past record trips.  Normally it takes less time to strip it off and again relates back to water retention being a big part of the weight gain. 

I have always encouraged Cyberpump readers not to be "freaks" when it comes to eating.  That is to "freak out" when they eat something off of their normal diet like it will KILL them instantly as they stand.  Or, to "freak out" because they missed a workout.  If you have been putting in the hard work over a long period of time, it won't even phase you as your body takes a lot more to de-program what's "normal".

I have decided to really tighten things up for about 8 weeks and see what my results are.  I won't cheat as much as I have been will be the main difference.