Questions of Fitness

7 June 2016

21st Century Mountain Biking

Filed under: Uncategorized — rslomkow @ 13:30

So the year is 2016, and guess what?

People go out on pieces of metal and plastic still powered by their own bodies for exercise, relaxation, and transportation.

I got myself a new fun bike this year.  This time it was a Mountain Bike.

A Marin Pine Mountain 2

So a what and why?

I decided I wanted a Hard-Tail (no rear suspension), Trail Bike.

First thing I discovered is that the mountain bike industry has gone kind of crazy with options.  And most major players have bikes for riding off road with performance in range of categories.

From: Light and Fast-Up Hill to Heavy and Slow-Up Hill (but easier downhill)

Cross Country (XC) -> Trail -> All Mountain (AM) -> Enduro -> Down Hill (DH)

Basically I wanted a fun bike to ride around on, that I wasn’t going to break constantly, that I could ride on mixed trails and haul my kids on a Weehoo.  Also I was just going to buy Shimano XT because eventually I always wind up buying it after breaking everything else.

What is all the new Hype in Mountain Bikes?

I have been riding Mt. Bike’s since the late ’80s in Eugene, OR

  1. 650B / 27.5″ wheels vs. 26″
  2. Tubeless Tires vs. Tubes
  3. 1×11 vs. 3×7 drive train
  4. Cammed Derailleurs vs. simple parallelogram
  5. Thru Axle vs. QR Skewer
  6. Boost 148 spacing vs. Classic 135mm
  7. Dropper Posts vs. Quick Release or Hight-Rite
  8. Modern Suspension Fork (Fox 34) vs. Rigid, early Rox Shox air, or Maintou Elastomer
  9. Wider Bars vs. Shoulder Width

#1 650B is for me a great idea.  I am not just on 650B, but with Plus size tires (2.5 – 30 inch/62-75mm)

I found the old specialized 2.5 inch tires to be a good idea for rear.  The 650B+ gives you a rolling tire similar to a 29″/700C with a 2inch tire.  For shear roll over, I always liked the feel of my cyclocross bikes better than my mountain bikes.  Modern geometry can get me a similar wheelbase and turning radius.  With more roll over.  The trade off is acceleration the bike does not feel as fast at getting going, but rolls over more.  I do not miss 26″, I would consider getting a lighter pair of wheels, I could put a 29″ with a 2″ tire into my frame if I wanted something light and fast.  But for all the sandy trails shared with horse riders, the extra width is nice.

#2 Tubeless Tires definitely make the more sense in combination with fat tires.  You want to run lower pressure.   I have the WTB Trailblazer 2.8″ tire.   I almost bought new tires the first week I owned the bike with tubes in these particular tires have two problems.

  1. They are really really heavy (extra 400+ grams of tube rotational weight)
  2. They were sketchy in turns at 30PSI (not enough side nubins)

Both of the problems were resolved switching to tubeless, the accelerations difference was noticeable.  And they fold differently with lateral pressure, so the nubins stay in contact with the ground more.  Not noticible difference in rolling resistance.

Going Tubless was easy the WTB Scraper rims worked fine with Stan’s valves and a simple floor pump.

So far so good, will see how I feel about the maintenance at the end of the summer.

#3 1×11 drive train.

Turns out I think this is a fantastic idea!  It is a compromise, I only have enough gears for mountain biking.  I cannot really go faster than 50KMH (31 MPH)  –calculate for yourself here– but that is good enough for trail riding.  Basic stats: 32×11-42 or 6.6-1.7 gear-meters (261 – 68 gear inches)

So what do I get in exchange?

  • I can climb anything I can balance for
  • I get simple linear shifting
  • I get even gear spacing the whole way through
  • I get a chain that never jumps (partially because of wide teeth on the front chain ring)
  • I get one less thing on my handle bars (to break)
  • I get one less thing on frame (to break)
  • I get more precise shifting

overall well worth it for the trail riding use case.

#4 Cammed Derailleur

No chain slap, that is really it, the swing arm feels stiff either on 11 or on 42, need to flip the lever to get the wheel off/on but otherwise not an issue.  Having destroyed an aluminum frame with chain suck this is great.

#5 Thru Axle

Turns out to be another good idea from downhill bikes. With Lawyer Lips, the convenience of removal was never there.  The big thing for me is my wife’s bike, I can press on one handlebar while standing and see the wheel flex in the fork.  This does not happen with my bike leaned over at 45 degrees.  It makes for a stiffer wheel, that is secure in place.

The Nalid clamps on my Marin are really easy to use and as fast as QR, BUT spare parts are impossible to find and it makes them not work any kind of bike trailer.

#6 Boost 148

All for it!  I know why another spacing?  The answer is that it give frames so much more breathing room for frame designs.  Wider tires/more clearance are nice.  Getting chain out by 3mm makes it so much easier to not have drop-outs or bottom brackets crunching.  I just hope it takes off enough to make the parts standard.  I don’t have any issue with Q-Factor and find it super comfy.  Having killed my chain stay near the bottom-bracket, and having seen the tightness of dropout design on my wife’s bike this is a great idea.

#7 Dropper Posts

OK this is really something I could live without, but it is fun to have it, but the more I ride my bike the less I find I use it….

Basically in the real world I have a road position that is high, near maximal and if I get 1mm higher hurts my knees.

trail position that is slightly lower than the road position but not by more than 5mm.

I have a down position for when I am feeling chicken descending, though in practice this adds very very little   My center of gravity is actually pretty good in my trail position, slightly better if really really steep and sliding as I can actually put a foot down.

A technical climb position that is 5-10mm lower than trail, the problem with even lower is that there is not enough weight on the front wheel and it begins to slip.  Honestly I am out of shape and cannot stay in this position for more than 2 minutes as it requires lots of force and balance to keep the front or rear wheel from slipping.

Overall I find my dropper post addictive to use, and somewhat fun/comfy but not really needed and I think it makes me slower than not having it.  I swap it out when I want to ride with my kids as the Weehoo would probably crack it.

#8 Modern Forks

My Fox 34 Floats are the great.  In practice on my mild trails I really on 75mm of travel, though with air-forks in practice you want the more travel even if don’t use it all every day due to the way the logarithmic compression.

The combination of Boost 148 (15mm thru axle) and the wide Fox 34 is super rigid!  They just go up and down and not side to side to side.  The lockout and pre-load are so smooth compared to my old forks it is just a joy to ride.

The lockout is on the dial on the right fork, it turns out I don’t need another cable on my handlebars it is easy enough to just turn the dial on the top of the fork while riding between down-hill, mixed-off-road, road (my interpretations of the lock-out modes).  I do sometimes on rougher trails (lots of logs) in down-hill mode.  Road-mode still does bounce a little bit and does engage on big drops but is very stiff.  Down-hill mode is way too bouncy for standing while climbing.

I find it amazing how much less skill I need to handle roots … I used to hole my hands on so tight while keeping my elbows loose, and now I can be much more relaxed about this and it makes it comfortable and fast.

#9 Wide Bars

I added bar ends as I find the variability of position is very valuable for comfort and that shortening did make the bars a more reasonable width for me.  The second is that I moved the brake levers fairly far in so I can use the inside edges of the grips.

This position makes sense with a much shorter stem than I have historically run.  The handle-bar is over the front axle visually in this position still.  It is a bit slower, but it is comfortable and gives plenty of power for holding on to wild bumps

First Ride on the Marin

28 October 2010

Intermediate Strength Standards – not quite

Filed under: Results, Sport — rslomkow @ 22:55

I was a bit frustrated today.  I was not able to make Lon Kilgore‘s intermediate strength standards this week.  It shouldn’t be that surprising as I have not done bench press in over a year.

My weight was 80.4KG (178lbs) [theoretically I make the next weight class down standards but I tend to go over 181lbs on the weekends]

Exercise Date Inter. Achieved Weight KG Achieved Weight Lbs Achieved Target KG Intermediate
Press 26/10/2010 63 138.9 62.6
Bench Press 89 196.2 91.2
Squat 26/10/2010 129.5 285.5 122.0
Dead Lift 24/10/2010 143 315.3 142.9
Clean 24/10/2010 88 194.0 88.0

So I was very close, but still no cigar for bench press.  Using a little Ikea bench and a short bar without proper supports doesn’t really help either, but this is the limits of specificity.  I do push ups.  Sure push-ups with 20KG (44lbs) strapped to my back, but they are push-ups.

When I do bench I can barely activate my pecs, my pulse barely rises, my shoulders feel stiff and I don’t succeed.  On the other hand I pretty much never train back squats (I do front squats) and the carryover is fantastic.

So I need to work a little bit more on my bench.  This may be part of an excuse to buy more equipment.  Though the other excuse is I have maxed by deadlift with my current weights.  To get to 143KG (315lbs) I had to hang diving weights on my bar as I had no more room for plates.  Now the question is can my deck take anymore?  I ordered a rubber hex mat to see if that would help protect the deck and rubber plates.

157.5 KGs of rubber olympic weights + bar and a bench are a bit of investment.  A McFit membership is cheaper but less convenient and less conductive to family life.

3 September 2010

Super Shake

Filed under: Uncategorized — rslomkow @ 12:27

I have not blogged here for a while. I have stabalized my weight and increased my strength. Staying around 81 kg 15% bodyfat.

But today I have a recipe for my workout super-shake.

500g water
4 portions of frozen spinach
1 handfull cashews
2 handfull almonds
1 tsp salmon oil
1 tbs whey powder
4 prunes

500g quark (12.2% protien 1.5% fat)
1 banana

200g frozen rasberries

I share this with my wife as breakfast and workout snack.

135g Carbs (33%)
75g Fat (42%)
102g Protein (25%)
25g fiber

1623 KCal

It is a lot of calories, tastes good, and very healthy for recovery and muscle building. The fats are all “healthy” fats, being monosaturated from the nuts and omega-3 (high epa dha) from the fish oil. Antioxidant and antiinflamatory count is pretty high as well, and a pile dietary fiber.

30 September 2009

Back to Kettlebells

Filed under: Progress, Training Methods — rslomkow @ 21:03

I am back to doing a series of Kettlebell workouts.  I don’t really see the value of them for less than 16kg (35lbs) for that you can do all the same swings and such just fine with an adjustable dumbbell.  The real advantage is that you can is that you can really swing them arround for explosive movements.  For me I cannot pull a reasonable ammount of weight close to my body with dumbbells.  I can with a barbell, but then it is much trickier to work in a small space or do swinging movements.  The downside to Kettlebells is they are not adjustable.  I have 8kg (18lbs) differences between each of my weights.  This means you progress by doing more in less time aka doing more reps in a fixed amount of time (EDT style).

If what you want is bulk or raw strength I don’t think anything beats progressive increasing of load (expect perhaps some periodized wave loading).  But if you want to work muscular endurance/stamina (as opposed to aerobic endurance), work capacity, or power working on a fixed load can be quite productive.

I started with a pair of 24KG bells.  Reccomended for a strong/trained man.  Some of the proponents of these exercise tools include Pavel Tsatsouline (the guy for KB in America), Mike Mahler, and Jeff Martone (great videos at crossfit).

My current theory is to do 1 month of exercises to build myself up to doing exercises with my new 32KG (70.5lbs).  The ability to be able to explosive movements with that much weight is actually one of those quality of life things.  “Power” movements are considered one of these quality of life measures. because being able to pick up heavy things fast is just convenient.   I will see how this progression works.  It is very rapid, I am curious to see what happens to total work capacity over this time as I push the load way up.

My last set of exercises:


10×10 72KG BB Bench Press (10-10-10-10-10-8-9-9-8-8)
SuperSet-1: 4x
12 bw Inverted Rows
7 48KG KB Clean + Jerk
3×10 52 KG Bulgarian Split Squat (per leg)
SuperSet-2: 3x
6x hand-stand Push-Ups
10 bw+10kg Pull-Ups (incomplete reps)


5×5 59.5KG BB Clean Jerk
SuperSet-1: 4x
12 BW Dips
12 BW Inverted Rows
3×10 59.5 KG BB RDL 1-leg
SuperSet-2: 4x
10 24KG KB Jerks (1-arm)
11 Chn-Up
4×8 24 KG KB 1-arm Snatch


10×10 72KG BB Bench Press (10-10-10-10-10-8-8-9-9-9)
SuperSet-1: 4x
10 24KG KB Renegade Rows
10 12.5KG DB 1-arm Lunges (L-R-L-R per leg alternating)
5×5 52 KG BB Thruster
SuperSet-2: 2x
15 Pull-Up
7 Hand Stand Push-Up


5×5 64.5 KG BB Clean + Jerk
SuperSet-1: 4x
8 10KG Pull-Up
8 17.5 DB 1-side Lunges (L-R-L-R)
SuperSet-2: 3x
10 24 KG KB Renegade Rows
15 10 KG Vest  Elevated KB Push-Ups
4×8 59.5 KG BB Bulgarian Split Squats

29.09.2009 (the beginning of the Kettlebell Conditioning Program)

2 minutes work, 1 minute rest
32KG KB Clean & Jerk [19,18,15]
16 KG Chest Press (per arm weight) [25,25,24]
32 KG KB Pin-Rows [21,21,23]
32 KG KB (double-hand) swing [53,49,51]
16KG KB Halo [15,17,17]
bw Pull-Ups [17,16,15]

19 September 2009

Yes I have gained a little muscle

Filed under: Progress — rslomkow @ 16:22

Week 60 BackSome people make fun of guys for building up only the muscles they can see in the mirror.  I don’t have this problem, I think it looks like I have more muscle on my back than my front.

I have been going up in weight a bit, but keeping my waist size about the same and slowly decreasing the loose skin.  In general I think I am bulking up a little bit.

I have been trying this program for mass building my chest, but it does not really seem to be working.  I am seeing strength gains, but I don’t really see size gains.  Other than that I just do a good full body mix of exercises optimized for metabolic disruption and strength building.  Rarely doing the same exercise twice per week, but using similar muscle groups, but not identical exercises.

You can see that the most recent pictures has more ribs, and some some more ab (though not abs) definition.  Also the arm seems more defined.  I am not really sure what is going around with my chest.  I don’t really look thin.  I think my build is just that way.  When I measure with my fingers I have slightly less than two fingers between my lowest rib and the top of my hip bone.  I am just built like a tank.

I think I will keep with the chaotic muscle building program through the end of October then start doing a fat loss program again for 4 weeks.  I still need a real grip strength program.   But with my current setup doing strength programs for dead-lift and bench-press are just not an option.  I don’t want to land 1.5x my bodyweight on my deck for deadlift and my swiss ball is only rated for 150KG including my weight.  Once winter comes I will have even less interest in heavy technical lifts on a snowy deck.  So it will be time to focus on muscle endurance.

Here are some shots ordered by weight.

Week 31 @ 76.1KG, Week 60 @ 77.5 KG, Week 25 @ 79.9 KG

Week 31, 76.1 kg Week 60 Front Week 25, 79.9 kg

as you can see I took the most recent one backwards.

Last set of workouts.   I did Stage 2 of NROL4W just one set so I could help my wife with it.


10×10 67 KG BB Bench Press (10-10-10-10-10-10-9-9-10-9)
SuperSet-1: 3x
10 48 KG KB Pin-Rows
8 48 KG KB Clean & Jerk
DB 1 Leg Romanian DeadLift
10-10 (75KG)
10-5 (75KG until grip fail)
SuperSet-2: 3x
bw  Pull-Up (10-11-12)
48 KG DB Shoulder Press (8-9-10)
BB Good Morning
10 29.5 KG
10 39.5 KG
10 44.5 KG


10×10 69.5 KG BB Bench Press (10-10-10-10-10-10-9-9-10-10)
2×10 29.5KG BB Front Squat + Push Press
SuperSet-1: 2x
29.5 KG BB Steup Up (lower height)
48 KG KB Pin-Row (both sides)
SuperSet-2: 2x
Static Lunge [1] 48 KG KB [2] 49.5 KG BB
bw + 10KG PUsh-Up (Elevated)
SuperSet-3: 3x
Plank (60s)
30 LBS elastic Horizontal Pull (Wood Chopper) (both sides)


79.5 KG BB box Dead Lift [1] 2 109.5 KG [2] 6+2 +2 99.5 KG [3] 10 89.5 KG
SuperSet-1: 2x
10 49.5 KG BB Bulgarian Split Squat
10 bw+10KG Chin-Up
SuperSet-2: 2x
10 bw Swiss Ball Crunch
10 reverse Crunch
10 Side-Flexion (once left, once right)
2x90s Prone Cobera

Intervals: 3x
120s Jumping Jacks
60s Burpe


5×8 92.5 KG BB Front Squat
SuperSet-1: 3x
10 24 KG KB Renegade Rows (Alternating sides for 10x per side)
50 Elevated KB Push-Ups
5×6 24 KG Snatches (Alternating Sides 6x per side per set)
SuperSet-3: 3x
25 bw Pull-Ups (ladder 1-5-1; wide pull-up, wide chin-up, netural)
10 44.5 KG BB Shoulder Press

8 September 2009

Workout Logs, post fatloss work

Filed under: Uncategorized — rslomkow @ 20:40

So since my one year goal.  I have been trying a few mass building routines.  First I did a modified version of the break in routine for NROL4W.   This allowed me to get an idea of how the routine would work when I was planning on putting my wife on it.   It is not strictly speaking a mass building workout it is more of a fat burning strength entry workout, but the volumes are enough when extended to work a bit as a mass building workout.

Basically I upped my caloric intake and did a higher rest high volume workout.  The result basically I put on a equal ammount of fat and muscle 2.5kg of each (5lbs).  My waist is 2 inches smaller than the last time I was this weight (I put on 5kg (10lbs) from my lowest weight).  Most fat measurments put me higher than my lowest, but still low teens to 9%.

Since then I have been doing kind of a random mix up based on the six basic motions.

  1. Squat (Back Squat, Deadlift, Front Squat, Olympic Lifts, etc…)
  2. Chest Press (Push-Up, Dip, Bench Press, etc.)
  3. Back Pull (Row, Pin-Row, Inverted-Row)
  4. Should Press (shoulder-press, military-press, jerk, hand-stand)
  5. Pull-Up (Lat-Pull, Chin-Up, Pull-Up)
  6. Core (ball-crunch, v-sits, plank, wood-chopper, mt-climber)

The one thing I have been playing with is a little GVT (German Volume Training) for the Pectorals.  Since I never do particulary heavy load on my pecs because I don’t have a bench.  I do my sub-maxial weights using a swiss-ball which has a max rated load of 150kg (330lbs) which I am pretty sure is more than my IKEA benches.  I only repeat the exercise every 4-5 days.  I do some other chest exercises inbetween but nothing as hard.

I failed to log a couple of my experimental workouts but here comes the rest of them.


5×5 59.5 KG Clean & Jerk
Superset-1: 5x 30s-rest
50 Push-Ups
20 bw-rows
5×5 109.5 KG Dead-Lift
Superset-2: 5x 30s-rest
10 Pull-Up (wide,wide-chin,pull,chin,neutral)
3 Hand-Stand-Push-Up (partial, mixed with two 48KG KB, should presses for 7 count)


10×10 64.5 KG Bench-Press (10-10-10-10-10-9-9-8-10-8) 60s-rest
3×10 48 KG KB Pin-Rows (10-10 left right leg split)
3×10 34.5 KG BB Snatch
Superset-1: 3x 60s-rest
25 Pull-Up (as fast as possible doing ladder up and down)
15 34.5 KG BB Shoulder-Press


5×5 24 KG KB Snatches (1 arm alternating) 60s-rest
Superset-1: 5x 60s-rest
50 (35+15) Push-Ups
5 24 KG KB Renegade Rows (1 arm alternating)
40 24KG KB swings (single alternating hands)


5×5 79.5 KG BB Front Squat
Superset-1: 5x
10 Pull-Up
5 48 KG KB Clean & Jerk (two handed)
2×40 24KG KB swings (single alternating hands)
2×30 bw KB stand, X-Mt-Climbers


10×10 64.5 BB Bench-Press (10-10-10-10-10-10-9-10-9-10)
Superset-1: 4x
7 24KG KB Renegade-Rows (both sides)
6 24KG KB Snatch (both sides)
5×5 82 KG BB Front-Squat
Superset-2: 5x
10 Pull-Up
5 Hand-Stand Push-up (partially down)


5×5 64.5 KG BB Clean & Jerk (5-5-3+1+1-4+1)
Superset-1: 5x 30s-rest
10 bw dips
8 64.5 KG BB bent over rows
5×5 79.5 KG BB Romanian-Deadlifts (had grip problems that lasted through pull-ups, should do 1leg)
Superset-2: 5x 30s-rest
10 Pull-Up (mixed variants as fast as possible)
5 Hand-Stand Push-Ups (partial depth)
3×2:30 Plank (center/left/center/right/center)

22 July 2009

1 Year of Body Transformation

Filed under: Progress — rslomkow @ 10:59

So it has been 1 year since I started my body/lifestyle transformation.

In that time I have lost 33.1 kg (73.0 lbs)  41 cm (16  inches) from my waist, gone from 35% -> 8% body-fat.  From the within the top 10% of fat people for my age to the top 10% of lean people (though BMI still says I am over-weight, but no longer obese let alone obese category II).

108.6 -> 75.5 KG including stabalization in 1 year

I have been stable in my weight for about 5 months.  That means the main change was in 7 months.  Averaging 4.5 kg (10 lbs) per month.  The end of the change was not the end of body changes.  It took several months for my body to adopt that as its stable weight.  I didn’t get the energy benefits of being thinner until I raised my calories up quite a bit (and the weight did not come back.)  I am pretty happy with this weight.  This does fit some of the adjusted BMI suggestions for people with large frames, but having my doctor confirm my caliper fat measurements makes me think I don’t need to lose more wieght to be healthy.  This level is just fine.

I have done the change, I have had to buy a new wardrobe, my co-workers cannot recognize photos of me from my union ceremony last October. My friends from before have difficulty recognizing me now. It has been a big change. My life changed in 4 major ways in the last year.

  1. I got married
    yes I lost my weight and had a more attractive body after getting married
  2. I started a new Job local to my place of residence
  3. I lost a lot of weight and started healthier eating habits
  4. I became a father

I met my goals of getting myself into statistically good shape.  Nobody is going to turn me down for health insurance again.  The tipping points for starting this change were:

  1. being rejected for health insurance because of BMI over 35 and poor blood results.
  2. noticing that I was not able to be satisfied with one main dish when going out to eat
  3. seeing how squinty my eyes were looking in photographs

Those three factors made me think something had to change.  I was a fairly active obese man still not physically limited, aka I had high functional fitness.  But when I thought about it if I had proper health insurance all they were going to do is tell me lose weight, and it would be much cheaper to not have the insurance and just lose the weight on my own.  So that is what I did.  I built the plan and followed it.  I actually adjusted my goals to be more extreme as time went on and I could see how much progress I was making.

As of January my blood-work was in good shape triglycerides, cholesterol and all the others.  My blood pressure still runs high, I did the 24hr blood pressure test and it just does.  When I am active engaged and alert my blood pressure is high, but it drops when I relax and when I go to sleep, so the underlying arteries are just fine.

Now I have no problem receiving health care, do not get lectured by my doctor in fact get complimented on my physical condition.  I eat more normal portions when I go out (I still eat a lot, but much healthier now and have the activity profile to match).  My eyes look more lively in pictures now, it didn’t hit me how much my body had changed until I went on a business trip to Helsinki in March and was in a Hotel with lots of big mirrors.  My wife just laughed at me when I told her this over the cell phone, she said it was not surprising that I looked different.  Also for the first time in my life I can tell there are people who “check-out” my body (which makes me laugh).

So what did I do?  I break it into three parts

1) Diet (how to lose weight)

My basic strategy is:

  • Always high protein (1.5 – 2.0 g of protein per KG body-weight) to minimize muscle loss & maximize fat loss
  • calorie counting for reducing weight
    kitchen scale required, as was preparing most of my own meals, and I used My Calorie Counter
  • severely reduced starches (exception for after exercise) and consume mostly whole foods for maintenance
  • don’t start a meal or snack after 8pm

2) Exercise (this how to maintain muscle and “form” the body)

My basic strategy is:

  • Whole body, compound exercise.  Working the whole body increased hormonal response and the total amount of energy expended.
  • Interval training, keep the heart rate up, but give yourself little breaks so you can work harder in less time.
  • 45-60 minutes 3x per week.  You don’t grow, repair muscle by working out you do it by resting.  But you stimulate the growth by working out.  This means you need have time off.  45-60 minutes is the perfect amount of time to put adequately stress  your body (again work hard I average above 70% of my reserve heart rate).  Then rest for a whole day and just do some light movement.
  • Always have an alternate workout if the planned one seems too problematic (time, weather, effort).  I always have a body-weight workout if I am away from my weights and weather is terrible, I can go running if I am feeling sore or otherwise mentally tired, I have my basic conditioning workout if I am just uninspired and my current workout seems to complicated, and I have my workout plan to grow strength.
  • The best workout is the one you haven’t done.  Your body gets used to everything, to keep it working hard you need to mix it up, don’t get repetitive in your workouts if your goal is body transformation.  Make sure you change exercises and systems regularly (perhaps every 4.5 kg (10lbs))

3) Motivation (this is how to make sure the goal is met)

My basic strategy is:

  • set SMART goals
  • public accountability (a blog like this one and the progress log)
  • read/listen to the point of obsession on fitness related topics (I like thefitcast podcast).

All three of the these aspects are needed to do this level of change.

Week 52 – 1 Year down and happy with the results

Filed under: Progress — rslomkow @ 09:37

Weight: 75.5 KG ( 166 lbs)
BMI: 26.8
Weight-Change-Total: -33.1 KG (-73.0 lbs)
Weight-Lost-Week: -0.8 KG (-1.7 lbs) [negative numbers indicate weight gain]
Bodyfat: 12.3%/7.5%/28.8% (Navy/Calipers/Resistance-scale)

Date Weight Waist Hips Chest Thigh Calf Bicep Body Fat %
7/22/2009 166.45 lbs / 75.5 kg 31 32.5 42.5 21.5 16 12 12.3

Blood-Pressure: 114/65/44 (Sys/Dia/Pul)

This week has been very busy taking care of mommy and baby.  I found myself a bit afraid of my workouts.  After a couple of bad workouts where I could barely lift the weight.  In the end I did my squat based workout and didn’t have any issues at all, in fact it was rather fun.

One of the psychological pitfalls is not finding the workout fun, if you have to drop weight you do!  If you are too afraid of your deep squats with that much weight just do parrellel squats.  Something is always better than nothing.

My current thoughts on fast breakfast are super-shakes are a great idea.  The mix is protein (yogurt, cottage cheese, protein powder + milk, tofu), healthy fat (almonds, cashews, flax seeds, fish oil), fruit (frozen blueberries, mixed-berries, banana, melon, cherries), and the option fun flavor (cinnamon, chocolate (unsweetened), dates, prunes).

You can make quickly and can drink on the way to work.   I had to do this one day, I had time to make a propper breakfast for my wife, but not enough time to eat it.  So I made myself a shake put it in an old yogurt container and ate it on the way to work.  With enough protein I can definately last until lunch with high enough blood sugar.

I am within my target range, I feel good even if I get woken up twice in the night by my son.  I am very satisisfied with how I have changed within the one year of taking on this body transformation.

Weight Loss Photo Week 52, standard by you. Still look mostly the same for last 5 months my hair has changed more than my body.

15 July 2009

Week 51 – Maintenance Weight Off Target

Filed under: Progress — rslomkow @ 22:13

Weight: 74.7 KG ( 165 lbs)
BMI: 26.5
Weight-Change-Total: -33.9 KG (-74.7 lbs)
Weight-Lost-Week: 0.5 KG (1.1 lbs) [negative numbers indicate weight gain]
Bodyfat: 12.3%/7.5%/28.3% (Navy/Calipers/Resistance-scale)
Blood-Pressure: 111/72/46 (Sys/Dia/Pul)

I have been having a lot of trouble with my summer goal.  The lack of good sleep, regular routine, hot temperatures is making it very difficult for me to do a real lifting routine.

When he weather gets this warm I have difficulty pushing myself through the pain to really increase.  Two biggest things that happen, are occasional knee weakness (kills squats) and constant grip issues (buying some chalk would help).  And I just get lethargic, but in my plan the idea is to always have a backup workout and always do 500 KCal on workout days.  So for me it is late night running.

I am maintaining my weight and bodyfat pretty easily these days, I have definitely hit the standardization mode after more than 3 months at this weight.  I try to eat mostly whole foods, avoid starches most of the time, but not slavishly.  Remember that deserts count as full meals, especially when visiting people.  I had two slices of carrot cake, and the many Swedish coconut covered chocolates for dinner yesterday.

I am pretty happy with my body though I wish my belly didn’t look so silly when I do push-ups.  I have a lot of excess skin and it is tightening up very very slowly.  At least I think it is tightening up as it used to look really silly.  I am finding ways to keep my self the way I am, but a new goal of gaining muscle is not working.  3x per week 500 Kcal intense exercise does keep my mood and energy levels (now that I am eating properly) high.

One thing I also consider about myself is I still eat a lot of food.  I have reduced my calories a lot compared to a year ago, but my portion size is still huge.  I is just less calorie dense, a lot more vegetables (which I really enjoy) and I keep my protein very high.  My high GI (Glycemic Index) foods are mostly limited to fruits.  I do enjoy figs, dates, prunes.  Also I try to keep variety high.

The one bad for me food that I have picked up sometimes is diet soda.  I use it for fluid flushing, especially on low salt days.  I alternate 1 glass of soda, and 2 of water.  I find that I drink more fluids this way and I can flush myself when I need to a bit more.

Maintenance is just a hard goal to live with, I am already unrecognizable to a bunch of my friends.  Obsessing about fitness topics is what keeps me going these days and my wife even puts up with it.

8 July 2009

Week 50 – Slowly Getting Back on Plan

Filed under: Progress — rslomkow @ 22:49

Weight: 75.2 KG ( 166 lbs)
BMI: 26.6
Weight-Change-Total: -33.4 KG (-73.6 lbs)
Weight-Lost-Week: 0.2 KG (0.4 lbs) [negative numbers indicate weight gain]
Bodyfat: 12.3%/6.9%/28.5% (Navy/Calipers/Resistance-scale)

Date Weight Waist Hips Chest Thigh Calf Bicep Body Fat %
7/8/2009 165.79 lbs / 75.2 kg 31 32.5 42.5 21.5 16 12 12.3

Blood-Pressure: 117/73/50 (Sys/Dia/Pul)

Got some workouts back this week.  Did a real leg crushing weight lifting workout on Sunday.  Two days later I was still a bit sore, it was too hot and the lack of sleep caught up with me so I wound up doing mostly running.

It is very de-motivating for me to be weak in grip strength.  Sure I can lift 119.5 KG in a dead-lift twice, but I cannot tell how many times more because my grip gives way.  Similar problem with clean & jerk sets, eventually it is my grip that gives out.  Though those might be different problems.  With dead-lifting it seems like pure strength and with clean & jerk it appears more to be strength endurance.

Diet has been fine.  I have been eating much more often.  I only had one failure where I let myself get hungry.  For me this is the worst thing.  Getting hungry messes up my diet bit time.

Lack of sleep has been the biggest thing.  I keep on getting up early, and it is so nice to go to bed late because I get a chance to take care of some personal stuff in the evening, but I do need more sleep, the interruptions from my son have not been that bad, will see how long that lasts; but he is part of the reason to wake up early.

Helan Kolias did a great Biochemistry of Exercise conference review.  Fun stuff like like sleeping more (in conjunction with exercise) really does lead to better muscle growth.

I think I need some chalk to help with my grip, especially on hot days.  I am still tempted by a gym membership.  At only 17Euro a month it isn’t bad and it is 24hrs per day.  They have real weights in the basement, so I could actually use a power rack and do real bench press.  Still need to make some more progress with periodized routine, since the last working was a muscle building failure (though it has left my forearms and lower back tired today.)

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