Archive for the ‘Classes’ Category

How do you mix up your routine?

So today I ran for my warm up.  I am committed to jogging more, and really pushing my cardio max.  After I was finished with my 15 minute warm up, I decided to do interval sprints instead of a plyo/free weight routine.

I did not want to run! Maybe that’s why I did it.  I was not planning on running. When I was at about 21 minutes in, I couldn’t wait to be done. Then I added 15 minutes of sprint intervals.

Then to make it a little more interesting, I added 15 minutes of high incline walking when I finished the sprints.  My point is this; If you need to keep your body guessing, then how do you mix up your workouts and stay on track?

If you think about it it can get pretty confusing. I try never to do the exact same workout, even the classes i take are constantly changing their routines.  I am getting faster, slowly. I am getting stronger, slowly.  I am down another 5 pounds this week!

Tell me what you do to change your routine.  How do you keep your body guessing? What do you do to ensure constant progress to your goal?

Nutrition maybe the key! Venice Nutrition is going to help!

So over the last 10 weeks I have been taking classes, working with a trainer (Craig Hragyil), and eating clean. I drink over a gallon of water a day, and I get plenty of rest.
I feel like I should have lost more fat by now.

Nutrition is the most complicated, and the most important part of the equation. If you are taking too many calories in, you get bigger. If you are taking too few in, you breakdown muscle, and slow your metabolism.

So there is really very little room for error, and I feel like maybe I have been in it. So it’s time for professional help.
Amy, from Venice Nutrition will be sponsoring me for the next 6 weeks.

She has offered to help with education, menus, metrics, and even GROCERY SHOPPING! Sweet! Amy has her own Fat to Fit story which I am sure she will share with everyone soon. (She is going to be guest Blogging from time to time)

After signing up, we had an hour consultation with Amy. She went over the Venice nutrition handbook with us,and helped us get started on-line.

When you sign up on line, you get access to a wealth of information. I have just begun to get into it, but so far it looks awesome.  Check out the link on the Right to look at her site.  You’ll be amazed!

Stay tuned for the new experiences. Fun with Food!

Water? Rest? Whatever!

So, this month is the last of goal #1. For those of you who don’t know, in October I set a goal to lose 40lbs. by December 31, 2009. Along the way, I have been reading, and researching fitness and nutrition. I have been using supplements and exercising like a champ!

Well, in December I decided to stop the Pre- and Post workout supplements, and stick to whole food nutrition. I did this for two reasons. first, because most pre-workout supplements tell you to take 30 days in between usage. So if you take Super Pump, by Gaspari, then you take the recommended dosage until the container is gone, and then tke 30 days off. this gives your body the ability to cleanse itself. It also, keeps you from getting used to the stuff. So by letting go of them for December, I can get back on them in January when I come back from vacation.

So, without the supplements, I have to push harder to get through workouts, and use food for recovery. I can tell you firsthand, the stuff I was using works! Without it, my recovery time is definitely longer. I don’t sleep as well, which can be a sign of over training. I’m not suggesting that I am over training, but I could workout harder, and recover fast when I was using the supplements.

I am also noticing that when I do not drink enough water, my body hurts longer, and my reflexes are slower.
I feel foggy, even after morning Starbucks. 🙂

Now, being the dumb male that I am, I push through it and keep on truckin’. However to stay in line with the purpose of the blog, I am noticing that this is NOT the way to go.

Thursday I took two classes in the same day. I made it through both classes, and I loved them both. I am taking longer to recover.

So what’s the moral of today’s story? Drink more water, get more sleep, and cycle your supplements1 Following these simple principles WILL increase your chances of success. (and reduce pain and agony)

According to Men’s Health Magazine:

Water: The Muscle Bath

How it builds muscle: Whether it’s in your shins or your shoulders, muscle is approximately 80 percent water. “Even a change of as little as 1 percent in body water can impair exercise performance and adversely affect recovery,” says Volek. For example, a 1997 German study found that protein synthesis occurs at a higher rate in muscle cells that are well hydrated, compared with dehydrated cells. English translation: The more parched you are, the slower your body uses protein to build muscle.

Not sure how dry you are? “Weigh yourself before and after each exercise session. Then drink 24 ounces of water for every pound lost,” says Larry Kenney, Ph.D., a physiology researcher at Pennsylvania State University.

How it keeps you healthy: Researchers at Loma Linda University found that men who drank five or more 8-ounce glasses of water a day were 54 percent less likely to suffer a fatal heart attack than those who drank two or fewer.

Get Sufficient Rest

Why it’s important: Insufficient sleep depresses the immune system, opening the door to colds, upper-respiratory infections, and other nagging ills. You don’t have to be wearing an orange jumpsuit and bedding down in Guantánamo, either: A study in Psychosomatic Medicine found that even minor sleep disturbances caused a significant drop in the number of cells whose job is to kill invaders.

The test: Take the self-test in our sleep feature in this issue to see if you’re getting enough shut-eye. Nodding off during the test is an automatic F.

The solution: Consider your caffeine intake. If it’s excessive, it might be not only screwing with your sleep patterns but also sabotaging your immune system. Studies show that caffeine suppresses the functions of key immune agents, such as lymphocytes and T cells. So what’s considered “excessive” caffeine? Researchers in Ireland recently concluded that consuming more than 4 cups of regular coffee a day is probably enough to give your immune system an unwelcome jolt.

Fast Twitch

Lately I have been taking a class called Fast Twitch at The Forum (see link on the right).  This is a class in which there are stations set up, and you perform the exercises at that station for a given period. This is a non-stop action class that lasts one hour during the week ( upper body, or lower body Classes), and one hour and fifteen minutes on the weekend (total body).

Fast Twitch is attractive to me for several reasons. First off, it is very challenging.  You have several weights, and resistance bands to use at each station, so you use what is appropriate for you. Everything is essentially to failure.  So, no matter what level you are at, you never master the station completely.

Second, the class is ever changing. The intervals change, the exercises change, and the rotations change.  There is no way to adapt to the class. Your body is forever guessing.  Roman, also throws in some cardio to keep up your heart rate.

Another word on Roman.  He is AWESOME!  He is full of positive energy, running around the class giving direction, and encouragement.  He also makes a custom soundtrack that he plays during the workout.  It makes the experience so much better!  He keeps things in motion, and makes everyone feel like they belong in this class regardless of their level.

The last thing I love about Fast Twitch is that it requires very little thought.  I can almost “check out” for an hour.  I mean I go into this mode where I am so focused on the task at hand, that nothing else matters.  When I leave, I am not only exhausted, but totally euphoric!

I would recommend this to anyone!  If you live in the metro Atlanta area, you need to come and try a class.  It is $20 for non-members, and $15  for members.  You can buy packages where the price goes down, based on volume.  This does not replace personal training, but if you can’t afford personal training, this is the next best thing!  Also, for those of you outside of Atlanta, if you find yourself here for business or whatever, you should not neglect your workouts.  So, please let me know when you’re in town, and come try a class with me.  You won’t be disappointed!

29 days to go…..Will I make it?

I have 29 days left in this year.  I have 24 lbs to lose. I am leaving for the holidays on Dec. 18th. WOW!

Looking forward the only way to succeed is to have a strict plan, and be rigorous.  It can be done, and I can do it.

My plan, is to stay at 1800 calories per day. 6 meals. 35% protein, 35% carbohydrates and 30% fat.  AND WORK MY ASS OFF IN THE GYM!!!!!

Lucky for me Craig is going to help me with that.  Today I thought I was going to pass out.  This was, seriously, the hardest workout we’ve had in awhile.  I had a couple of personal bests during it though.  First, I was able to run for 30 seconds at 6.0 mph/ 15 incline.  That is a lot for me. I did it for 3 full sets too!

Second, I was able to do keg sit ups and press, alternated with dumbbell fly’s and presses.  For those of you who have not been following me, I have had an injury to my left pectoral muscle, and have been compensating with my shoulder, and lat. So to be able to do three super sets of these exercises is a great accomplishment for me.

I finished with the training, and then walked for 30 minutes on 15 incline.  I burned another 430 calories.  followed by 10 minutes of stretching.  I feel great, and am looking forward to yoga tonight.  As I have mentioned in the past, yoga is great for burning calories, muscle recovery, and injury prevention.  I personally love it!

For those of you who are reading the blog and are also on Facebook, I have created a fan page.  Please become a fan.  Craig is on there, putting in workouts, and giving advice, putting in videos, and pictures. I know you’ll like it!

So, how many of you are planning for success in 2010?  What will your New Years Resolution be?  how will you achieve your goals this year?

It’s so easy to gain and so hard to lose!

Another Tuesday is over.  I have completed another day of  two workouts.  Another Focus and Fight class.  Another day of managing my meals and eating on time.

On the way home tonight from class, I was thinking to myself that I really didn’t want to go to Focus and Fight.  It is a 35 minute drive during traffic hour and Taryn’s already home waiting for me… But at the same time, I have made a commitment and time is running out and I need this. So, without thinking about it, I jumped in the car and went and I am so glad that I did.

And thank God for the Super Pump supplement from Gaspari Nutrition!! It gave me just the extra oomph to get me through the workout.

On the way home I reflected that it’s so hard to lose weight and so easy to gain it.

I didn’t want to go to class, I could have easily turned home, came home, had dinner and that would not have gotten me any closer to my goal. Instead, I pushed myself and I went and when I was done, I felt great. Class itself was hard as heck and I couldn’t complete every exercise. Yes, I had moments where I “failed” but it just didn’t matter. What mattered was that I was there.

Every time I complete a class or a workout, I know i’m that much closer to my goal but it’s hard. It’s so easy to just eat something because it’s fast, convenient or what I really want in that moment. It takes a TON of planning to make sure that I have the right meals, right proporations.. I even set the alarm on my phone to remind me when I’m supposed to eat. I have to take time out of my day to log into the daily plan to manage my protein, carbs and fat proporotions and document my intake.

It IS hard to stay disciplined. And even though I’m not losing weight as fast as I would hope, there is no doubt that I am making gains and that I’m getting closer.

I also can’t say enough about the people at The Forum Athletic Club at the Lenox Square, Being aroudn people lile carig, reggie, and even the others in the classes, everyone is there for the same purpose and it’s hard for EVERYBODY. People really motivate each other. They push each other. Without that, I can’t imagine how much harder this journey would be. Having trainers who are inspiring and make you push yourself even when you think you can’t push yourself anymore is invaluable.


What things help you stay on track when struggling with similar issues?

Every week I try harder…

First off today was weigh in day, and…….SUCCESS! I lost another 2lbs. I know it doesn’t sound like much but after two weeks of nothing, it feels great!

So last week, I really tried hard to start working out twice every day. I added a new four day routine that I read out of Men’s Health (link is on the right).

I also tried to add a couple of classes. However, after Focus and Fight last Tuesday night, I was a whipped puppy!

Wednesday, Craig called in at 5am, and that was OKAY with me! I slept an extra 3 hours and went to the gym closer to home. I did the new anaerobic workout, and walked for a half hour.

Wednesday night I missed Yoga with Ernest. That sucked, I was really disappointed. Then Thursday I ended up taking off, and Friday was Craig in the morning, and nothing in the evening.

My point is, I started off great and slowly died out. This week will be different! Sort of. I missed my workout this morning, but I did go in and I did the same workout on my own.

I had all of my meals laid out for the day, and I stuck to my feeding schedule.

I also forced myself into the gym tonight, after a long day at work. I completed day 2 of the MH workout.

I even went much heavier on squats, dead lifts, and lunges. WOW! My legs hurt! And tomorrow is MH workout in the morning, and Focus and Fight in the evening!

I wonder how may people workout twice a day, and how many days they do it per week?
Does this make you a gym rat? I don’t feel like one considering I do so many other things throughout the day.

Also, for anyone trying count calories and watch food intake, I HIGHLY recommend The Daily Plate (link on the right). It’s FREE and it rocks!
If I had this in the beginning, I would’ve been much more successful!

How do you keep track of your calories, and goals for each day?