Sunday, June 26, 2011

V H.I.T. report

I've done a couple of sessions since the last post. I am beginning to feel comfortable with the exercises. This helps a lot, as anyone that has done any kind of training knows. Achieving a degree of familiarity with the movements is always welcome.

It is interesting (to me) that, when I started the blog, I thought it would be helpful to others if I posted how much weight I'm lifting. It has become clear this is not the case. Each person should do as it is within their capacity.

This is the equipment that I have at home and use:

- Two sets of dumbbells and a barbell. I can load these with about 20 different weights that, together, add up to approximately 50 kilos.

- An old Total Trainer model I picked up somewhere over 10 years ago.

That's it.

It has already become evident that this equipment is not the most suitable to be lifting heavy on your own. However, I think it is sufficiently adequate at this point. I am not going to buy any more equipment. If a time comes when I require additional or different equipment, I will see about a gym.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Intermittent fasting

I have been curious about fasting for a long, long time. I cannot say where the interest comes from but I can say that I have never acted on it. Well, I seem to have come to the resolution that the time to fast has come.

First things first, though. My weight continues in the high 86's and low 87's kilos. This has been going on for a couple of weeks and it is a bit of a surprise. Before this, I was losing over a kilo a week and a total of 6 kilos in a month. Looking back at my diet, the most visible change was the addition of meat. I can only guess that this was the factor that put me over my calorie threshold.

It is also the case that there have been days when I felt I could have eaten less. Therefore, I have dropped the mid-afternoon snack (banana-whey smoothie). Also, I have let go of the kiwi after dinner. Regarding meat, I have only 5 servings for this week which means that the last two days of the week I will be eating something else... possibly fruit since it is now out the menu.

Yes. The intermittent fasting. It is all about narrowing the "feeding window". Specifically, I am going to attempt to go on a 16/8 pattern. This means that I will have my first meal of the day at 10am, my main meal at 2pm, and my last meal at 6pm. If I get hungry, I will have a cup of consommé.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

IV H.I.T. report

The fourth report coincides with the fourth session. This may not be the case in the future.

I wish I could say that I feel significantly stronger but I don't. After four H.I.T. sessions (and, therefore, a 3 week period), I have not been able to increase the amount of weight I lift. In fact, I have actually reduced the amount of weight in each exercise in order to be able to focus on form and performing slow motions.

However, it would be a lie to say that I feel worse off than when I exercised two, three times a week for an hour each time. The biggest difference is, perhaps, that I don't feel as tired as I did before. The extended recovery is helping.

It is worth mentioning that I continue to be impatient in regards to results. Of course, I know it is unreasonable to expect noticeable improvements in less than a month no matter the training regime. Besides, I am in my forties. The only miracle left is death.

I need to change my workout day from Tuesday to Friday. This means that this week I will do two H.I.T. sessions. I wonder how this will turn out.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sprinting II

A second attempt at sprinting has been rewarding. I didn't stumble. I felt strong on my legs and was able to progress in speed. In fact, this is the fastest I've been on my feet in over two decades. Strange thought.

My first run was careful and deliberate. I wanted to make sure that I had not forgotten the form I had learned in my first sprinting tryout. I discovered that I had not. This allowed me to concentrate on elongating my stride and speeding up in successive tries.

I ran back and forth a dozen and a half times. Although I went faster and faster each time, I did not reach top speed. I will leave this for a time when I feel more confident on my running skills. I know this sounds odd but this is how it is.

I didn't sweat or was out of breath at any point. The reason must be that I don't run for more than 40-50 meters at a time. By the time I reached top speed, I was ready to start slowing down.

There is something else worth reporting. Since a few months ago, I have been suffering from pain in my knee joints. It has been something gradual and has never become an issue that requires even the most innocent medication. I attributed the pain to aging as well as wear from intense cycling in my late teens. Well, the pain is gone at the moment. Since I started sprinting, I have noticed that I am walking slightly different. I seem to put less weight on my joints and rely more on my thigh muscles.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Template menu 0.1

I have updated my diet to include a substantial amount of meat (for me). It is an improvement over my original menu and, I feel, it takes me closer to a true paleo diet.

  • 1 egg omelet.
  • 2 slices of bacon. 
  • 3 satsuma age (pan-fried with a tablespoon of butter).

  • ~100 gram hamburger. 
  • Salad: Lettuce, 1 medium tomato, 1 cucumber, 1 medium onion (sautéed with a tablespoon of butter) , salt, extra virgin olive oil, 1 spoon of mashed fresh garlic, 1 spoon of mashed fresh ginger, and parsley.

  • Blended drink:  1 banana, 2 spoons of whey protein, and ~200 ml of milk.  

  • 2 boiled eggs.
  • 1 sausage.
  • 1 yellow kiwi. 

  • 225 grams of plain yogurt with 2 spoons of pure cocoa.

I should say that I had not lost weight this week. It is the first time this happens since I started the paleo diet. This could be a negative consequence of the evolution of the diet (wrong nutrients) or a positive effect of the H.I.T. protocol (muscle development). Somehow, I doubt both explanations. I will therefore wait another week before making any changes. If the weight loss does not resume, I will make changes to the menu.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Third H.I.T. session

I did my third H.I.T. session today. I then took a shower, ate lunch, and slept a 1 hour nap. After dinner, I went for a 2 hour hike.

I'm still disappointed with my performance and the reasons have not changed (see Second H.I.T. session). I am used to explosive movements and I struggle when I try to slow down the motion. Although I'm improving, my T.U.L. is still very erratic. Last, I feel that the additional exercises that follow the "Big five" are where I make the most gains (if any gains are made at all). Plenty of doubts are creeping in.

Nonetheless, I am going to continue with the H.I.T. protocol. I am not giving up yet. It is important to remember that, for a long time, I did two or three regular workouts a week and I was still out of shape and overweight.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


I've decided that I will add sprinting to my fitness routine. The problem is that, at this point, I know I cannot even run.

Fifteen years ago, I tried to jog and nearly tripped over myself. At the time, it had been 10 years since I had finished high-school and as many years since I had last run. The greatest obstacle was not lack of strength or being short of breath. Rather, I found (to my surprise) that I did not have the coordination anymore. Somehow I had forgotten how to run.

With these thoughts in mind, I went to a playground nearby yesterday. I chose an arbitrary 40-50 meters of level ground and carefully broke into a run. It was uncomfortable. I quickly noticed I was doing many things wrong. For instance, I was running on the tips of my toes. Why? I have no idea. At each step, my skeleton seemed to be crashing against the ground. I must have looked quite ridiculous too.

I decided to focus on form before anything else. I would break into a run and return walking. Gradually, my feet were landing correctly, heel first.

I ran back and forth about a dozen times. I never broke into a sweat or was out of breath.

It is progress so I feel I made a good start.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Grocery list

With small modifications, the template menu is fairly representative of what I'm eating. I only have to update it to include meat.

I figure it could be informative if I go at it from a different perspective. Here I will list what I bought today at the grocery store. I shop once a week and, therefore, the list below is what I'll eat this week.
  • 2 heads of lettuce.
  • 6 tomatoes.
  • 6 onions.
  • 6 cucumbers. 
  • 6 bananas.
  • 400 grams of butter.
  • 600 grams of ground meat.
  • 100 grams of bacon. 
  • 7 x 225 grams of plain yogurt.
  • 20 eggs.
  • 21 satusma age (see template menu).
  • 2 liters of soy milk.

I think that's all. I will make 6 salads and 6 hamburgers (I eat out once a week). Breakfast, dinner, and snacks are as shown in the template menu.

Although this grocery list matches quite closely what I will eat, it is evident that there are some things I don't buy every week. For instance, I buy olive oil in 5 liter cans and I don't go through that much in a week. Same goes for garlic, ginger, or cocoa powder.