Monday, December 31, 2012

The 2013 Physical Cliff

While the politicians in Washington D.C. bicker about the Fiscal Cliff, I'm going to be pushing myself over the Physical Cliff. I realize that physical exercise is really the only worthwhile thing going in my life, and I need to step it up and maximize my intensity.

My plan for next year is to work two muscle groups per day in the gym, five days a week, then hit my heavy bag every day for at least thirty minutes. The proposed regimen will allow me to hit each muscle group twice per week. This isn't really great training for boxing, but it will be good for my body. Hopefully, I'll be able to get into at least one boxing match in this upcoming year as well, even if I am dominated. I'll have to look into it more. Medical clearance will be tough, but there may be ways around that.

I am happy to report that I have accomplished my physical goals for the year 2012. Aside from the goals that I have stated above, I also hope to put on at least five more pounds of muscle by the end of 2013, assuming that I live through it.

I hope that you all have a safe and happy new year. Don't give up on your fitness resolutions. Make small ones if you have to; once you see the results, it will become an addiction!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sick Day Leg Day

Usually I don't hit the gym on Saturdays with my current split, but I had planned to work legs with my friend. Unfortunately, I woke up dreadfully sick in a puddle of my own drool this morning (I ended up sleeping with my mouth open since my nose was too clogged to breathe).

I was still determined, however, since I didn't want to break my promise and I have a personal goal of hitting the gym at least five times (four times remaining) before the end of the year. After breakfast, I went a couple of rounds on the heavy bag to try to clear my congestion. Although I was unable to give it my all, my plan worked, and I was able to clear myself up somewhat and loosen up my stiff joints. i gave my friend a call, but he was busy. That's understandable, and there is no love loss between him and I.

I came into this world alone, and I go to the gym alone most of the time, so I still worked the legs. My illness took some of my breath away, so I had to take longer rest periods, but I am still satisfied with today's workout. I even threw in a few pullups for good measure. I actually feel much better after my workout, but I know that I'm going to need plenty of bed rest and fluid.

Speaking of fluid, I've decided to start taking whey supplements again. Instead of using them to replace a post-workout meal, however, I'm going to be using them to increase my caloric intake. I'll take them post-workout, then an hour later, I'll have my post-workout meal. Depending on how my body (digestive tract, most importantly) reacts to them, I might stagger my intake of whey protein.

One day down, four to go. Making gainz into 2013 and beyond!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Time For Some Heavy Lifting

I've decided to make another small modification to my plans for the end of the year. For the remainder of this month (and probably a week or so into January), I'm going to be lifting heavy. Instead of doing my usual 8-12 reps and pyramid sets, I'm going to be aiming for 6 - 8 with heavier weights in order to maximize strength gains. My new motto for this period will be "If I can do more than eight, I need more weight".

I also intend to rest less between sets in order to stay active. This would be easier if I worked multiple muscles in one day, as I'd be able to alternate between muscle groups. However, I've seen better results when dedicating days to single muscle groups, so I will stick with that plan for now. Perhaps I will change up and work multiple groups later in 2013.

Tomorrow, I put my new plan to the test with a leg day, which should not be a problem at all. I'll probably have to find a spotter once pectoral day comes along though.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

So They're Closing Fresh & Easy

According to a news article that I read the other day, Fresh & Easy stores are not doing so well in the United States and may be closing down. This is a surprise as the local Fresh & Easy market that I frequent is almost always packed, and the chain seems to have a sizable "fanbase" on Twitter and Facebook.

Despite these facts, the store seems to be tanking. From a consumer point of view (or at least my point of view), Fresh & Easy is grocery heaven. there are always weekly deals, the coupons are quite generous, and the rewards system is probably the most efficient and well, rewarding, that I've ever used. From a business point of view, however, I can see how these policies may put the firm in the red.

Well, it's been swell. Fresh & Easy has helped me to make some gainz over this past year without draining my wallet. It's going to be tough going back to lower-quality products with higher prices at other supermarkets. If anybody knows of a petition to help keep Fresh & Easy in business, please let me know.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

I'll Probably Work Legs Thrice This Week

My plan this week is just as the title of this thread suggest.

My workout week began today with leg day. I did a super pyramid of ten sets of squats and standing calve raises, much like the workout that I did on November 26th (you can read about that in the second paragraph of this post). Instead of starting at twelve reps per set, however, I started at fifteen reps per set and ended at ten. I did not increase the weight, but I increased the volume of each set. I'm going to be going for high volume this week.

I am satisfied with this workout, but I feel that by doing squats alone, I am omitting exercises that would concentrate the workload on individual muscles. To make up for this, I will probably do deadlifts instead of hyperextensions on core day (Wednesday) to hit the lower back as well as the hamstrings. I'll probably do some quadriceps extensions on the machines on my arm day.

I won't be doing high volume for my legs until the next leg day, but I will feel like my leg regimen is more complete by adding these supplemental leg exercises to my regimen this week.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Unintentional Intermittent Fasting

If you follow the Hodge Twins, then you know that they do intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is an eating plan where a period of the day is set aside with no caloric intake or low caloric intake. The same number of calories as usual is eaten, but they are eaten in a more condensed period of time. Typically, the period of fasting is in the morning, and the fast is broken at lunchtime or in the early afternoon.

Personally, I prefer to have at least a small breakfast and maybe a pre-workout before hitting the gym, since I find hunger pains distracting. Today was a bit different for me, however. I woke up with a terribly stomachache and found myself unable to eat. I still wanted to get my shoulder and arms workout in, however, so I hit the gym despite not eating much.

My workout went surprisingly well, and I was able to increase my weight and reps just as I had planned. About fifteen minutes into my workout, my hunger pains subsided, and I was in my zone with an even greater amount of energy. How could this be?

Some say that digesting food takes energy, so it is actually better to work out on an empty stomach than it is to work out when full. I don't really know about this theory, but it could have some truth to it. My personal theory is that I was just determined to go and that my body is used to working out in the early afternoon, so it wasn't a big deal that I was a bit hungry. At any rate, I am satisfied with today's routine.

In conclusion, I probably won't be switching to intermittent fasting anytime soon. I may start eating lighter breakfasts, however, and eating more for my post-workout meal or dinner.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Gainz Report and Back Day: 12/3/2012

Last week went as planned. I've decided to use a similar plan for this week, but with back day and pectoral day interchanged.

Today was back day. Actually, I should probably just call it "lat day" since I focused my workout on my latissimi dorsi; I'll work on my spinal erectors on core day (Wednesday), and my shoulders on arm day (Thursday or Friday). My workout for today went as follows:

4 sets, 8 - 12 reps wide grip pullups - body weight
3 sets, 8 - 12 reps narrow grip pullups - body weight
2 sets, 15 reps T-bar rows 45 pound plate plus bar
3 sets, 10 reps T-bar rows 70 pounds plus bar
2 sets, 6 reps T-bar rows 90 pounds plus bar
3 sets, 12 reps cable row machine - 125 pounds
2 sets, 10 reps cable row machine - 145 pounds
2 sets, 10 reps underhand lat bar pull downs - 100 pounds

I am especially proud that I was finally able to lift two 45 pound plates doing T-bar rows. I tried doing it about a month or so ago after seeing someone else do it, and I was told by a workout buddy that I may never be able to do it. Well, no offense to him, but I proved him wrong and proved myself capable. Hopefully I'll be able to do a solid ten reps two months from now.