Archive for the ‘tips’ Category

Running again!

So we all know by now how I feel abut running.  Yep. I hate it!  However, I am getting better at it I think.  I ran yesterday for 45 minutes, and I completed 4 miles.  Now, there is some detail I should include.

First, I did walk for the first 5 minutes to loosen up, and I can only jog for about 15 minutes before I want to jump off (a cliff).   So I have to trick myself into going farther.  I start with intervals for 10 minutes. I jack the speed up to 7.0 for  a minute and then down to 3.0 for a minute and back up. Then when I can’t breath any more, I drop the speed to 5.5 and increase the incline to about 4.0.  Then when my legs want to leave the rest of my body I drop the incline and pick up the speed a bit.

By the time I figure out what is going on, I am down to the last five minutes or so, then I go back to intervals.  The Most important part for me is the cool down and the stretching.  I notice a lot of other people who come in and run do not use the cool down period, and they rarely stretch afterward.  This is BAD!

Lactic acid builds up in the muscles and causes cramping, pain, and can even breakdown muscle.  Stretching is not or at least should not be considered optional!  I personally like the way a good stretch feels. I get great euphoria from  the stretching!

So the moral of the story is two-fold: Even though you may not like an exercise or be good at it, or both, doesn’t mean you should give up.  Chances are that the reason you are not good at it is because it is he area where you need the most work.  Sticking with it may just give you much-needed improvement. The second pat of this is the value of stretching, keeping your muscles loose and limber prevents injury, and reduces fatigue.

Can you commit to one exercise you know you should do, but hate, and do it 3 times a week for a month? Try.

If at first you don’t succeed….

So I have talked many times about the importance of and trouble with exercising when traveling.

I travel a fair amount usually once or twice a month. When you have a tight program like mine, where I have workouts and meals scheduled every day it can be very disruptive to up  and leave your routine. For example, I have cardio Monday morning, and Muay Thai Monday night.  Well, if I am traveling, I obviously can’t make class that night, so it becomes more important not to miss morning cardio too.

The cost of missing both workouts is devastating to my nutritional plan and metabolic rate. Also, my muscles get too relaxed and they forget that I have goals in mind for them.  When I do finally return to my routine they need time to catch up.  This is the equivalent of taking two steps forward and one step back.

Now some may argue that your body can often use a break to recover.  The assumption there is that we all over train, and do not give our body’s enough calculated recovery during our normal routines.  My rebuttal would be that after 6 months of beating the shit out of myself, and working with a number of professionals including doctors and chiropractor, I now have a sense of what is “enough” for me.

So what I am really getting at today is that over the last six months, I have really struggled with traveling, and keeping to my routine, and not paying a price when I get back.  I am the first to admit how hard it is to not eat things that are easy or convenient simply because you are out of your element.  You can’t go home and cook, or prepare you meals ahead of time.

With the help of Amy Henry of Venice Nutrition, I have learned to keys to my success. One is to eat something every 3-4 hours.  This will help keep my blood sugar stable. ( you can learn more about why that is important on Atlantafatboytv on YOU-Tube, or at The second is how to read a food label and make better choices.  Believe it or not, with the right knowledge you can eat food that is made for you AND convenient.

Also, I have realized the importance of making certain declarations. Such as, ” I am going to workout every day I am traveling”.  And then realigning and planning around that declaration.

This is the first time in six months, that I have stuck to my plan.  But, it is SOOOOOOO worth it! I feel like I have made a huge breakthrough for myself. I am moving toward a truly healthy lifestyle, not just a diet or program.  The distinction by the way is that the former is never-ending and the latter has an established time line associated with it.

This week, I have not missed a workout, and I have stuck to my”plan”, meaning I have found ways to be me wherever I am. Live my lifestyle where ever I go.

Can you do the same?

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?

Today was day of nutrition.

How do you know that what you’re buying in the grocery store is actually what you’re supposed to be consuming?  Have you outlined your fitness goals for the next 12 weeks?  How many calories should you be taking in?  How much exercise is too much? How are you sleeping at night?

All of these things may seem separate but they are not.  Your nutrition is key in achieving your goals.  I learned this first hand during my last 12 weeks session.  I worked out plenty, high intensity, cardio, plyo, yoga, fight classes, etc…I also, used some high-end supplements, I watched what I ate.  I stayed away from junk, no sweets, cut back on coffee, no pizza, or garbage food low in nutrients.

I didn’t matter.  I still missed my goal.  Not this time!  So I went to the grocery store today with Amy Henry of Venice Nutrition and she helped me get a few things straight.  Check  out the videos when you get a chance.  They are not long, but very informative.  Here is the introduction.

Eating the right foods, at the right times, in the right portions is the real key here.  You can have almost anything you like if you know how to combine it with other things, and make it a complete meal.  Talking with Amy earlier, I realized she gets all kinds of requests.  People who don’t want to give up their comfort foods.  So Amy, being awesome like she is, comes up with creative ways to blend those foods properly.

So, what ARE your goals?  How may calories ARE you supposed consume every day?  How often are you eating? How do you know they are the RIGHT portions? What are you doing to make sure you don’t miss your goal?

A taste of my new plan….

This is a small taste of what my nutrition plan looks like.please don’t get the wrong idea, there are thousands of things I can eat.  Venice is great at figuring out what you already liek and buy, and giving you suggestions on recipes and substitutes.

When I met Amy Henry, and you will too if you are a regular reader, she told me her success story and that she’s been using Venice for years. She uses the recipes and principles for the whole family.  It’s great!

I know when she starts blogging here, you’ll find out how cool this really is.

Well, check out the plan below and let me know what you think

5:30 Meal – 1.25 scoops of EAS Protein, 1  banana and 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter.

8:30 Meal – 1.5 cups of 2% Greek yogurt, 1 cup blueberries and 10 almonds

Meals at 11:30 and 2:30 should be:

Salmon (protein and fat) 5 oz and 1/2 cup of brown rice

Chicken breast – 5 oz, 2 cups broccoli w/ 1/2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and 1 cup skim milk

4:30 meal

1 can tuna, 5 almonds, a 4 oz apple

8:30 meal – go for high quality – see if you can do a full meal – egg whites and eggs with berries or add spinach and onions and tomatoes to make an omelet.

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.