Archive for May, 2006

Day 16

May 31, 2006

Rest Day

I just did my stationary bike and pull-ups(9 reps). 

Day 15

May 30, 2006

Upper body workout:

supersets of push-ups and bent-over barbell overhand narrow grip barbell rows at 90lbs.

25 minutes on stationary bike as usual and one set of 5 and one set of 9 (max) pull-ups 

Day 14

May 29, 2006

Lower body workout:

superset of Bulgarian split-squats with 24lbs. and step-ups with 16 lbs., 5 sets of 5 reps each.

9 pull-ups. Body feeling well-rested after two rest days.

Day13

May 28, 2006

Last night I could feel the results of Friday's upper body workout and my pull-ups.  

Today I managed 8 reps in my maximal pull-up set.  

Day12

May 27, 2006

The tightness and soreness in my thighs has been reduced.  I don't feel much of an effect form yesterday's upper body workout.  This is a clear sign that I should be increasing the number of exercises since the number of sets and the weights certainly seem challenging at this point.

Today I did my typical 25 minutes on the stationary bike. I also did my pull-ups, a warm-up set of 5 then a maximal effort set of 8.

I should also note that throughout the latter part of this week I have been taking an enhanced vitamin and mineral regimen, including zinc and magnesium before bed on an empty stomach.  It is high in anti-oxidants (including alpa-lipoic acid, the super-antioxidant) and should help speed the repair of oxidative damage incurred in my workouts. 

Day 11

May 26, 2006

Upper body workout:

superset of close-grip push-ups and upright rows, sets of 15 reps for each exercise 

My quadriceps and hamstrings are more muscularly lean than they have perhaps ever been. I attribute this primarily to my stationary bike ride every morning. To help consistently workout my upper body I am adding a simple pull-up routine to accompany my bike routine. After the bike I will do five pull-ups, rest for two minutes, then do a set of maximal reps. I will do this every day until next Saturday and see how it feels.

today's pull-ups: warm-up set of 5, two minute rest, then maximal effort set of 7 reps. 

Day 10

May 25, 2006

Routine today: 5 sets of 5 reps of deadlifts at 110 lbs. Fairly easy, but I really got a burn in my legs as they are still pretty solid from this weekend’s hike, Monday’s front squats, and stationary biking everyday. However, I felt minimal stress in the rest of my body, which means I should increase the weight significantly next time to better work my core and my back.

I am trying to be a lot more conscious in the food I am eating, focusing on not consuming more than is necessary to satisfy me. I don’t have a particular need to lose weight, but I realize that I have been in the habit of eating to finish my meal (even when my meals are really small). This is not optimal from a nutritional standpoint, it also makes my grocery bill higher than necessary. I am hoping that cutting back on the calories I consume will help me lose some fat and increase my energy levels. As I mentioned above I am not concerned about weight since my weight is healthy and also because I will probably gain muscle (higher density than fat) to replace some of the fat I lose. Thus if I concentrated on just losing weight I would probably become discouraged.

I can feel a definite disproportionate muscle development in my quadriceps and hamstrings versus the rest of my body. I am considering doing something like a set of maximal reps pull-ups on a daily basis to counteract this. The pull-up is probably my favorite upper body exercise since it works your biceps, chest, and of course back. It also works your core muscles and helps you develop your ability to stabilize your body during lifting (if you do your pull-ups correctly).

Day 9

May 24, 2006

Today is a rest day from the weight-lifting program. Of course, I put in my requisite 25 minutes on the stationary bike, but I am not doing anything else.

I have some mild pain in my right medial deltoid from the shoulder presses I did yesterday, otherwise I am feeling good.

Also of note, the chronic mild lower back pain I usually suffer from is virtually non-existant. I attribute this to lifting weights and hiking, especially the front squats I did on Monday and the bent over BB rows I did yesterday.

I have been napping heavily (2+ hours per day) on Monday and Tuesday. I attribute this to my body getting adjusted to waking up earlier and beginning a lifting program at the same time. I am curious to see how I feel today considering it is a day of rest.

Days 6, 7 & 8

May 23, 2006

On Sunday (Day 6) I went on a 4 km hike with a little rocky terrain and some slight elevation.

On Monday (Day7) I did a simple lower body routine of squats, 5 sets of 5 reps with 110lbs.

Today's (Day8) routine:

5am: 25 minutes on stationary bike, first thing in the mornding

6:45am: upper body workout

supersets of 15lbs DB shoulder presses and 50lbs BB reverse-grip rows, 3 sets of 15 reps of each exercise
Struggled on the last set of DB shoulder presses.

I have used my stationary bike first thing in the morning for 20 minutes every single day for the last 16 days.

Today I have also discovered a new approach to diet: Seth Roberts's Shangri-La.

I am 6'2 and about 192lbs, I don't have any pressing need to lose weight but I think this diet could be useful for people who have trouble losing weight.  There is certainly a lot of buzz in the blogosphere about it, as evidenced by Roberts's blogroll.

The really interesting thing about Roberts diet is the way he discovered, namely through very systematic self-experimentation.  This method has some potential uses in other areas of self-improvement simply because what works for a cohort in a research study may not work for any particular individual.

Of course, Roberts's diet is not optimal, I don't think he is claiming that is anyway, he is focused on weight loss.  However, I have always thought that if one is obese the first thing you've got to work on is cutting your weight down and whatever works for you, you should do that.

However, once the weight problem is solved it is prudent to focus on getting the optimal amount of macro and micro nutrients.  The nice thing about Robert's approach is that it seems that you can continue to use this diet while consuming whatever you want.  At first that may be your usually junk food, but once you tackle the weight issue you can move on to combining Roberts approach with a diet rich in nutrient dense vegetables and fruits. 

I think Roberts's method of self-experimentation is  more important that his diet discovery because his method can be applied to many fields of human improvement outside of diet.  Indeed, Roberts himself has applied his methodology to beating insomnia and improving mood.

Friday, May 19

May 19, 2006

Today I continued to go slowly into my program:

3 sets of push-ups, 15 reps each

3 sets of narrow grip barbell row, 15 reps each*

*bad form on last five reps of last set

I've done 20 minutes on my stationary bike, first thing in the morning (before eating) for the last 12 days.

Today I woke up at 5am, I have been waking up progressively earlier for the past 10 days.  My goal is to wake up at 5am EVERYDAY, including weekends while taking naps and going to bed early when I feel the need.  Waking up early is important to achieving my exercise goals because early morning hours are invariably free of disruptions unlike hours during the workday (meetings can throw off your schedule), or after work (social activities can disrupt your routine).