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New Rules: Workout 1

Monday, April 08, 2013

Before I describe my first workout, I want to discuss why I am doing this, and what I am hoping to achieve from it.

A few months ago, I was in a workout/diet rut. I achieved 'goal weight,' reversed all my warning signs of metabolic syndrome and have maintained it for almost two years. That was the primary objective, but if I'm honest, I'm not really happy with my shape. I was kind of stuck on what to do next, though.

I spent so much time focusing on trying to get to goal weight, I didn't think about what I was going to do next if I got there. Like many people, I struggled with losing, regaining, and plateaus so often, I secretly believed I would never reach my goal.

When I read that Beechnut and others were doing "New Rules of Lifting for Women," it appealed to me as something new to work on as a 'next stage' in my fitness. I thought it would be great to join with others on something outside of the Spark trackers so I could follow with their progress, and have someone to ask questions! So I bought weights and the book "New Rules of Lifting for Life." A little different to NRoL for Women, but similar.

Today I did the first workout. Am I feeling pumped?


The problem isn't with the book or the program; it's me. I don't like weight training. I never really have.

I took classes in high school and college because I tried to make myself do it. Later, I hired personal trainers to make me do it. I know it's good for me. I just don't *like* doing it.

It's not because I'm afraid of 'bulking' up. Please. One thing I have never been is a pretty-pretty princess afraid that I might sweat or get dirty.

We're all here because we either had or have a weight problem. Remember that first day when you were going to commit to exercise, and you just hated it? I don't know about you, but I hated how I was out of breath I was and it was just so hard. I wanted to quit, sit on the couch, and treat myself to an ice cream sandwich for working so hard.

I got past that and eventually came to love walking, hiking, biking, kayaking, snorkeling and diving. I don't care how many calories were burned or exercise minutes I got. I do it for fun.

I am not there with weight training. I did the exercises that I selected from the program, but I can't say that I feel like I gave it my all. I didn't work to fatigue on some. I had a post workout banana-yogurt smoothie, but it felt like a dessert to me, and I'm not sure that I worked hard enough for it to qualify as fuel.

I am going to commit to this for the four weeks, but it is going to be a matter of discipline to do it. On the second workout Wednesday, I am going to try harder to force myself to pick up heavier weight, then let it fatigue. I know what it should feel like, because I've done it before. I have to resist the temptation to say, "Ok, good enough" before it gets there.

Please help keep me accountable. ;)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PRETTYPITHY 4/8/2013 11:57PM

    I didn't like ST til I saw the results. Getting stronger is really exciting. And getting leaner and more sculpted is the icing on the cake. But it took a few weeks to get to "maybe this isn't so bad" and a few months to get "RAWR!!"

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BEECHNUT13 4/8/2013 9:15PM

    As for feeling like you cheated - Make it your goal to add weight every time, until you can no longer add weight without sacrificing form. And wait till tomorrow... you might be sore anyway!

As for not liking weight training - I don't know what to tell you... I don't like it at home (I'd rather watch TV) but I do like going to the gym for ST. But for cardio, I hate the gym, I like walking, running and biking outside (or sitting on my butt in the winter). Maybe you need to put on some really great music really loud!

But if you make a chart, and then write down when you will work out, and have your sheet to keep track of your reps, and work on being stronger EVERY TIME, then I think it will get a bit more interesting. At least, it's fun for me.

Running was a lot of work - I hated running. I joined a running club to get started (a couch to 5k training class), and having everyone there every week kept me going till I got over the hump. Once I could do a 5K, I felt a lot better about running, but I'm still ambivalent toward it.

EDIT - Oh yea, what GETSTRONGERRR said about peer pressure... I do NOT want to wuss out in front of the meatheads at the Y. I was so excited to step foot in the Iron Court (the weight room), I did not want to be a flop. I fully intend to outlift them someday. :)

Comment edited on: 4/8/2013 9:17:07 PM

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GETSTRONGRRR 4/8/2013 9:15PM

    Motivation for anything is real tough...getting it and keeping it.

I started weight lifting because I had surgery and wanted to recover, but I used techniques that I developed from my running days to stay motivated.

I read a lot. I read books, blogs, and forums. I started a board on Pinterest (take a look if you like, the link is on my SP page). I watched a bunch of Youtube videos on techniques to finesse the finer points.

It took 2-3 months, but once I got over the awkwardness, the soreness, and saw some tangible results in strength and body shape, ST went on auto-pilot.

It's tougher to do on your own at home....not impossible, just tougher...there's no peer pressure.

But we can give you plenty of that! (accountability is just a nice way of saying peer pressure isn't it?)

So lay it all out there....commit to some time frame....give what you can....take my trainer's advice and ask yourself "What are your goals?"

We're there for you!

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YOUNGNSMYLIE 4/8/2013 8:57PM

    Wow you have the best attitude about this. Stick with it. You can make it happen--you may not like it, but you can definitely lift if you want to. emoticon I am using both ChaLEAN and Tony Horton's P90x (though I am brand new to P90x). I started by doing 10 minutes or so of ChaLEAN--having never really lifted before. And I didn't like it, until I started seeing major results that I wanted. And then, I learned to "do" it. I still don't love weight lifting, but I do love finishing one of the workouts. . . emoticon

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TRIPTOTOP 4/8/2013 7:13PM

    First of all, congrats on achieving your goal weight! I think it's really important to look back and remember how far we've come.

Secondly, I completely relate to your feelings about weight training. The way I dealt with it is by asking myself "Why am I doing this? Why is it important?" Not because it's recommended, it's healthy, it's the right thing to do, but why is it important to ME? Why do *I* want to be strong? So then I make up a story: I want to be able to rock climb, but to do so I need to be able to pull my own body weight. I want to be able to hike when I have kids, so I need to able to carry a backpack AND a baby in a sling. All of that requires strength.

I need a big broad goal/dream to motivate me, otherwise I get bored and lost in detail. I don't know if it helps, but it's been working for me so far :)

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MRSP90X 4/8/2013 6:50PM

    Awesome job reversing all the signs for metabolic syndrome. I am working on that myself. I feel like I will never get this weight off, but I am working on it.

I love ST! Just love it!! I do kettlebell complexes with a pair of 15lbs. I can only do 3 rounds before my form breaks down. I wish I could do more, but complexes are killer and once form goes, I am done.

Hope your training goes great!! emoticon

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A*L*P* 4/8/2013 6:05PM

    I am the total opposite. I loathe cardio with a passion. Give me weights or my yoga mat anyday and I am perfectly content! Nothing like throwing on Pandora or an awesome playlist and getting lost in sweat.

Just a thought to get you on the right path for ST have you ever considered a DVD system? Maybe following something to get you going on the path might help? I did ChaLEAN Extreme and it is a good system that does combine ST with cardio (intervals). I wish you were down the street and I would lend it to you, lol. P90X is a good one, too. Tony Horton is a crack up.

Maybe that wouldn't help. Me, I did the 90 day programs a few times I am just to the point I need to level up and move on from the restrictions of them. They are a great jumping off point.

Sorry your workout wasn't as good as you hoped. I love my weights and how I feel, the inches I am losing and how much better my clothes are feeling. Hang tough, you'll find it. Weight training is the bees knees!

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GREENGENES 4/8/2013 5:38PM

    Not a big fan of strength training myself but I've learned to enjoy it more and more. It is still a chore and it is easy make it the part of my workout I drop if I'm short on time but I'm getting better. I still remember the days when I used to kid my friends who enjoyed "lifting heavy objects" and neglected to join them and regret missing out on learning how to do it the right way.

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ARCHIMEDESII 4/8/2013 3:38PM

    Here's the wonderful thing about strength training, your workout is going to evolve over time. There should be some basics you do at each workout, but with time, you'll add more variety so that it doesn't seem so dull.

And it's true, lifting weights can be dull. That's why I incorporate things like stability balls, BOSUs, TRX type training, body weight exercises, pilates, etc... medicine balls. Toss a medicine ball around with your hubby. that's great ST and fun too !

Here's something you can try, for fun. When you do the chest press, do one set with a bar. For your second set, get a free weight and do single arm presses on the bench. You'd be surprized how effective a single arm press can be.

Is it fun ? maybe, maybe not. but it's a way to mix up your routine. these four weeks with program 1 are going to be a tad tedious. When I start out a client, we start with the basics. Once I think they have good form, then I start mixing things up.

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Workout B and the Diet

Sunday, April 07, 2013

I read through the diet section of the NRLL book last night, and I realized that I only put together the Workout "A" section of the program. I forgot to fill in Workout "B"! How the program works is you do Workout A/B on alternating days with rest days in between. I'm going to start a M-W-F schedule starting tomorrow.

So here is Workout "B"

RAMP - Warmups

Plank 2x30 (seconds)
Side Plank and Row 2x10

Dumbbell push press with 5lbs 2x5 (This is a L3 option, but the explosive pushups will put too much stress on my wrists.)

Supine hip extension 2x15
Elevated push up 2x15

Split squat with 5lbs 2x15

Bent over dumbbell row with 5lbs 2x15

Jumping Jacks 2x1 (minutes)

RECOVERY - stretches and cool down

I read the section of the book on diet, and it says that if you're maintaining weight (energy balance, which I am), then don't change anything with diet just yet. Try the program for 4 weeks and see what happens. So that's what I'm going to do.

Well...not quite holding my diet steady. I am making a few modifications. Yesterday at the grocery store I bought my favorite high carb snack - bananas! I made a greek yogurt and half banana smoothie after my DVD workout. I think I will be exerting my muscles enough that glycogen will need to be replaced, so the carbs will be put to good use.

I'll also be raising my healthy fats slightly for more calories. I no longer believe that fats are really the devil that I grew up believing, however, I do not think fats from battery raised animals are healthy. Cows that are raised on grains are high in omega-6s. Grass-fed cows are high in omega-3s. Unfortunately, grass-fed beef is hard for me to find in my area, so I'm sticking mostly with wild caught fish, and organic chickens and eggs, which are easier for me to find. But I will be upping the amount of olive oils and coconut oil used for cooking or salads. I'm a really big fan of coconut milk, so I'll be making smoothies and chai tea with it. I love avocados, so I'll be tossing more into my salads. I recently cut back nuts because I thought this might lead to more fat burn, but it doesn't seem to have worked. This is the n=1 experiment that I'll be trying.

I took my bike for a tune-up yesterday. They said it should be ready by Thursday or Friday. I'll be riding my bike in between my NRLL workouts.

Today is a 'rest' day, but not really. I need to weed the yard and clean the bathrooms. It's a beautiful day to be outside, though.

Have a fantastic Sunday!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRS.CARLY 4/9/2013 11:04AM

    Yes, I've heard that if you purchase non organic meats, that most of the chemicals are found in the fatty part of the animal!

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THINRONNA 4/8/2013 3:11PM

    What a great program! I am so interested to see how you like it as you go as well as how you feel. I read your last two blogs and some how I think this plan is really going to ramp up your metabolism and change things for you. I am rooting for you!

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BEECHNUT13 4/7/2013 10:20PM

    Looks fun! :) You're going to love it...

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BILL60 4/7/2013 8:24PM

    Looks like great workouts.

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MRSP90X 4/7/2013 5:22PM

    Sounds excellent!! I do a A/B split on T/Th/Sa. Although I just bought Strong Curves: A Woman's Guide to Building a Better Butt and Body by Bret
Contreras, so I will see how that goes. I wish you well on your goals!!

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A*L*P* 4/7/2013 4:54PM

    I will tell you, after week 1 of NRoLL I am sore as hell. I love that feeling fo sho!

I think the first week is all about trial and error and finding out what works and doesn't. Don't forget to alternate sets for some of the lifting in both A and B. It makes a difference.

I had the book checked out at the library and have it coming to me from Amazon.com. I think when I finish the 12 weeks of life I will do Supercharged which is the most recent book from them.

The fats you're discussing are excellent choices. I wish I could have an avocado tree, only then could I maybe get enough of them in me! Oh so good! Coconut oil is the best. I love my coconut oil -- so delish! coconut milk (I use the full fat kind) is the best in smoothies! Oh so yum!!

Good luck. I am taking a rest week and focusing on nutrition pretty hard this week.

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STRONG_SARAH 4/7/2013 11:31AM

    I think you're doing great. Reading posts by you and BEECHNUT13 makes me want to go out and get that book, or order it on Amazon. It must be really good, everyone's talking about it.

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KAYOTIC 4/7/2013 11:22AM

    Looks like a nice program, I like the idea of just changing one thing, letting it happen for the 4 weeks, and assessing the results.

Enjoy the day! We had high winds this morning, but it was nice to sleep in, and it's sunny out, so I'm hoping to get some weeding in today too!

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My Body Rebels Against Me

Saturday, April 06, 2013

When I say calorie in minus calorie out doesn't work for me, I mean it. My body will adapt my metabolism to nearly any input I give it. In my past two years of maintenance, I've learned a lot about how my body responds.

If I decrease calories and increase exercise, I get sleepy. That's my body trying to preserve my calories so I use less fuel. How do I reverse this? I have to eat. Almost immediately after I eat, I feel more alert. Whenever I feel my energy dragging or needing a nap, I know that my body is trying to put me into low power mode. It's rather frustrating because there's all these calories in my fat just doing nothing, and my body would rather I took a nap.

I cannot eat 200g of carbohydrates, whether that is simple or complex carbs. That causes my body mechanisms to override my appetite control. I don't have a shutoff valve. Wheat grains causes my stomach to bloat. Starches are ok in moderation.

I wish I understood how to get my body to burn the stored fat better. If I exercise more, it wants to put me to sleep. If I eat fewer calories, I'll start maintaining on fewer calories. It's really hard to keep the calories high when I eat only clean freggies and protein. Grains are extremely calorie dense and it's easy to go over 2000 calories, but it's pretty darn hard when you don't eat grains.

I lost 2lbs this week, but my bodyfat and measurements are the same. It was probably just water loss and not any real gains. But I know I AM stronger as I am pushing a heavier weight than before. So, how can some muscle not have been built? I'm scratching my head.

I think my bodyfat is not really what I estimate it to be. I use bioimpedence, and yes, I know it is inaccurate. I just want a ballpark figure, but I think my ball is out of the stands. The reality is more likely my body shape isn't what I expected it to be because my bodyfat is higher than I think it is. 28% is the high side of normal, and if it's higher...well...then I'm still overweight.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

I'm a little farther from my goal than I thought when I woke up this morning.

So now what do I do? Work on strength, or fat loss? I don't believe I can do both. Even if I theoretically lost all the fat today, I'd still have a body shape that I don't want.

I have an idea...but...I'm going to do an n=1 experiment before I say more.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRS.CARLY 4/9/2013 9:00PM

    I like the picture comparision idea that someone had earlier!

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VHALKYRIE 4/9/2013 8:21PM

    Then my bodyfat should be a lot lower. I definitely carry the weight in all the wrong places!

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BTVMADS 4/9/2013 8:18PM

    Any body fat estimate is going to be inaccurate. Besides, for women the "healthy" ranges are nearly meaningless because a % cannot take into account WHERE the fat is stored. We have breasts, bigger butts, and padding to protect our reproductive organs, and that skews the numbers. So, my point is: focus on strength training. You may not be able to change what your body does to store fat, but you can certainly change what your body is capable of doing!

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KAYOTIC 4/8/2013 10:09AM

    Leigh Peele (leighpeele.com) had a blog where she posts pictures of men and women at different body-fat levels, and suggests that pictures may be a better way of estimating body fat % over time. Do you have comparison pics you could use to see your progress? I started taking pics a while back, and when I did my recent deficit to lose some body fat, I could really tell the difference. And it also showed on my bioimpedence scale (which for me I think overestimates my body fat %). I went from 27% to 23% while losing 10 lbs. And feel really good about how I look now.

I know you can do this! You have such a great way of experimenting with your habits, so just stick with it, give it the time, and watch the results!

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GIANTMICROBE 4/7/2013 9:49AM

    I think it's really cool how well you know your body!

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HILLSLUG98239 4/6/2013 9:35PM

    Have you ever read Covert Bailey's "Smart Exercise"? He describes the Krebs cycle in very simple terms, and talks about the best time to take in carbs while exercising to burn more fat.

But, as we all know, everyone's body reacts differently. I hope you find what what works for you.

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BEECHNUT13 4/6/2013 9:23PM

    Work on strength and worry less about the fat loss. The fat loss will happen when you gain the strength. If you gain muscle, you'll be changing your BF%, regardless of whether you lose fat (but you will).

Maybe eat more bananas? I eat 1/2 a banana in a breakfast protein shake, or 1 banana in my shake after I work out. In the evening I have another one with more protein. I'm finding that I'm gaining muscle on about 1900-2100 calories/day. I'm sleeping well at night, and my muscles are easily recovering.

I think you're off from what you'd expect because you can't have gained muscle yet. You might feel the pump, but not real muscle growth. And you're probably retaining some water in your muscles. Try to eat to maintain your body weight and just focus on strength training (not fat loss) for four-six weeks. Then you'll have a better idea of how things are going, and can make adjustments from there.

I've done this for a month, and I'm not cutting calories yet, but I am trying to eat better food.

Some ladies on the NRoL4W FB page were talking about how to eat enough calories, and some just use a lot of coconut oil, avocados, etc... I eat a higher fat diet to compensate for the lower carb, and it has done me well, I think. The grains are just too addictive, and not at all satisfying.

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DLDROST 4/6/2013 8:15PM


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The New Program - Input Welcome!

Saturday, April 06, 2013

I've finished reading through the "how to design your workout" part of "New Rules of Lifting for Life" and I've come up with a rough plan for the first 4 weeks of Phase 1.

RAMP - warmup exercises and stretches

CORE: (sets/reps)
Stability: Side Plank 2x30 (seconds)
Dynamic Stability: Plank and Pulldown 2x10

Lower body: Bodyweight jump squats 2x5

Squat: Goblet squat 2x15 5lbs
Pull: Standing cable row 2x15 (Modified with resistance band? See comment below)
Single-Leg Stance: Step up 2x15 5lbs
Elevated pushups: 2x15 (Authors make a good point that "girl" pushups don't engage the core enough)

Jumping Jacks: 2x1 (minute) (My modification)

RECOVERY: Abductor stretch, hip flexor/lat stretch, figure-four stretch

I'm going to do a M-W-F schedule, so I won't be trying this until this coming Monday.

I'm skipping ahead to the L2 squats in the program because I already exceed L1. I've heard people who have done NRoLW say there is a 1 rep assessment, and this book seems to be a bit different in the self examination. I'm a little confused on where to start off on my weights, so I've estimated starting with my smallest weights for my first day, and I'll adjust if needed on the second day.

There's another part I found confusing: In the section of the book on equipment, the authors say you need cable machines, elastic bands, or resistance tubing. I have elastic bands, but for the exercises with the cable machines, they don't tell you how to modify it with the alternate equipment. I'm going to make my best guess by tying my bands to something sturdy (not sure what yet), but just wondering how those of you following the program handle this.

I haven't read the section on diet yet, but I think I'm doing ok with this.

I'm taking my bike to get tuned up today. They say it should be ready by next Thursday or Friday. Today I'm going to do a workout DVD, then I have to hit the books.

I've been thinking that I'm limited in my equipment because I don't have a gym, but yesterday when I was looking at my bill for summer school, I realized that I DO have a gym! I've been paying a recreation fee! DOH! I'll go scope it out during the week.

What do you think of the plan? Any advice or opinions are welcome. :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRS.CARLY 4/9/2013 11:03AM

    For the cable row, if you could wrap the band around a pole or a tree outside, you could use that as the "seated row" machine. You will have to pull back tight enough that the band doesn't slide down. What are the other exercises they suggest for the cable machines?

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GREENGENES 4/6/2013 11:30PM

    Sounds like a good plan. Definitely take advantage of the school fitness center. We've got a beautiful new fitness center that was paid for with student fees so it's free for all students but still only $10 a month for faculty and staff. Can't beat that deal anywhere.

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BEECHNUT13 4/6/2013 9:37PM

    That looks good to me! You're going to love it!

If you have strong legs, you'll easily add weight onto your squats and step ups. I do goblet squats now because I was new to squatting in this form (thighs parallel, knees and toes pointed out at 30 degrees, hinging at the hips) and wanted to add weight carefully. I can do goblet squats with 35 lbs I think - so I'm going to see about using the olympic bar at the Y. I'm doing 70 lbs with the step ups currently (35 lb dumbbells in each hand). Lunges are more brutal than step-ups with less weight.

I just kept going while figuring out the weights till I felt like I was at my max weight - I just added more weight set after set until it felt like it was all I could do. My upper body was really weak, but my lower body was somewhat strong. Now my upper body is starting to catch up.

For the pushups, I use the Smith machine, and lower the bar to the height I like. I have also used the benches. Elevated pushups are a lot harder than pushups on the knees.

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JAYNINNE 4/6/2013 5:17PM

    That looks like a good plan to me! I can't wait to design my own program. The one I've been doing is getting a little tiresome. It's time for a change.

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BILL60 4/6/2013 4:44PM

    Too advanced for me, but it seems that you have it under control.

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DOROELLIS 4/6/2013 3:56PM

    Sounds like a good plan.

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GETSTRONGRRR 4/6/2013 1:56PM

    Sounds pretty solid. Not sure if you have a pullup bar or not, but you could certainly tie the bands there and just pull down on them....or even just hang on the bar.

You could also do bent over rows with your dumbbells....that would exercise your back muscles that do the pulling.

Consider deadlifts with those super-cool Powerblocks....they would also help your pulling muscles.

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 4/6/2013 1:15PM



No input as I'm still trying to figure out how to ramp up my exercise regimen!

Will await your results....


)) -::-
. .))
((. .. Spreading the Spark!-::-
-::- ((.*

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HEALTHY-SPARK 4/6/2013 12:02PM

    Sounds like a great plan -- I'm not familiar with that book but it seems like you are on track. emoticon

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TIME2BLOOM4ME 4/6/2013 11:57AM


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What Worked This Week

Friday, April 05, 2013

I haven't started the "New Rules" program yet, but so far I'm digging the philosophy. Just reading the intro paragraphs of "New Rules of Lifting for Life" hit salient points for me:

- "The math and physiology appear simple only if you refuse to acknowledge complexity. There are too many individual metabolic variations, and they're too poorly understood. Then, when you look at weight loss from the behavioral side, you see an equally complex set of variables."

- "People do manage to lose weight and keep it off. I know some of them, and I've probably corresponded with hundreds. Their secret? They figured out how they gained weight, and did the opposite until they lost it."

- "I don't think a diet or training program produces weight loss, any more than a hammer produces a house. It's the person. The best workout or nutrition plan in the world won't work unless it's used by someone who's ready to reorganize his or her life around the goal of losing weight. Even then, it's almost never simple or straightforward."

Hello! This is EXACTLY my experience. This is how I lost weight and maintained it to date. Everything I did to become fat, I reversed. It wasn't fast and easy, and it took me a long time to realize some of my problems were problems.

But that is weight loss. Can this book take me to the next stage of body sculpting? That remains to be seen.

This morning I weighed myself, and I am 2lbs down. Once again, calorie in minus calorie out math does not work for me. The amount of calories I ate and expended had nothing to do with the amount of weight I lost. I didn't measure my bodyfat or collect my measurements, though - I'll do that tomorrow.

I calculate my basal metabolic rate differently than the Spark tracker. Muscle is metabolically active, and fat is completely inert, so I base it on a formula that takes lean mass into account. I won't bore you with the math, but if you are interested in doing this yourself, the formula is in the wikipedia entry for BMR.

According to this calculation, I burn approximately 1300 calories at rest. I then tack on any exercise calories burned. This usually puts me around 1500-1600. I've been tracking my food, but I'm not necessarily focused on calories. On days when I worked out, I was hungrier and I ate more. I ate about 1800 calories on those days. On "rest" days, I was less hungry, and ate about 1400-1500 calories.

If it were as simple as calorie in versus calorie out, I should have maintained or gained weight. This didn't happen. I lost 2lbs, but I ate more than I theoretically burned.

How did that happen? What's the secret? Am I genetic anomaly?

No, not at all. Weight loss doesn't fit into a neat little formula, unfortunately.

Here's what I think happened:

- Strength training workout. I get the feeling that some of you don't really believe I'm pushing hard on the strength training. Yes, little 3lb weights DID in fact cause my arms to burn! However, they no longer burn, so I am a little less pathetic than before, but now I'm grunting on 5lb weights.

Activities that cause muscle fatigue induce extra calorie burn for a few days because your body needs lots of calories to repair it. Hence, why I was crazy hungry. This 'afterburn' will not be recorded in an exercise tracker. The articles I've read say that it requires more calories to build muscle than will actually be used in the final result. Say that a pound of muscle is equal to 1,800 calories. It requires 3,600 calories to BUILD it. This is why low calorie diets do not build muscle.

But you can't simply eat more calories. They have to be good quality calories, or the excess will become fat. You can't build it in a day, either.

- I didn't do strenuous activity every day. I had a couple of lazy days when I did nothing, and a few more low intensity activities just walking around the neighborhood. The day after rest day was when I noticed improvements, if any, that I made from the prior workout.

- Clean eating. I earned a freaking halo this week. I didn't eat any Easter candy or fast food. On days when I ran short on time to cook, I didn't go to the fast food window; I bought rotisserie chickens from the supermarket.

I have a few advantages in this department. I'm not working in an office and I don't have kids, so there was not any candy bowl temptation. There weren't any Cadbury eggs in my line of sight. I love those things.

- No grains. Not trying to stir up a debate about this, but if you want to know what works for me, this is one of them. Your results and choices may vary.

- I am normal weight. I find it easier to tweak my response at a normal weight rather than obese weight. Probably because I cleaned up a lot of my metabolic problems on the way down.

If I were to pin my finger on things that worked out for me this week, I would say food is the biggest factor.

"You can eat your way out of any exercise." ~Jillian Michaels

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WOUBBIE 4/5/2013 9:03PM

    Really agree with all those points!

I used to smoke and I'm finding that getting control over my nutritional habits is really a lot like quitting. There's a physical addiction that has to be conquered straight out of the gate, but there are layers and layers of habit to be picked apart over a fairly long period of time.

It is not about sheer willpower, not over time at least. At first it might be - you just grit your teeth, slap on your patch, and agree to be miserable for a little while. But that actually passes pretty quickly, kind of like carb cravings for carb addicts. Those first few weeks are seriously rough. But conquering the habits and associations of (in my case) 22 years is not an overnight proposition. The weight has been on since I was about 27, so I'm looking at changing the habits of 28 years here.

It's just like how you would eat an elephant. One bite at a time.

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GETSTRONGRRR 4/5/2013 8:49PM

    Nice post, glad to hear you're finding the new book motivating....in the end, motivation is what energizes us to action.

I had a long discussion on nutrition, ST, and cardio with trainer guy and a 20-something muscle head at the gym tonight....I'm going to digest it (so to speak) and put down some thoughts in a blog this weekend.

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PRETTYPITHY 4/5/2013 6:34PM

    "People do manage to lose weight and keep it off. I know some of them, and I've probably corresponded with hundreds. Their secret? They figured out how they gained weight, and did the opposite until they lost it."

Love this! I think you just inspired my next blog, thanks!

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BEECHNUT13 4/5/2013 5:23PM

    I'm excited for you! :)

And hey, 3 lbs may not seem like much - but it is a start, and you will gain muscle at a very fast rate at first. I'm weak. And every time I go to the gym, I'm increasing my weight on some exercise. Every time.

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VHALKYRIE 4/5/2013 4:40PM

    That's the crux of the "The math and physiology appear simple only if you refuse to acknowledge complexity" aspect of this. When we eat low calorie for a long time (as I did), our bodies will lower BMR to match our food intake. Eat 1200 calories long enough, and eventually we'll start maintaining at 1200 calories, even though we still have fat to lose. The low-cal diet screwed up my metabolism something fierce, and eating more food was the cure. That is was part of the problem that I wasn't aware of.

Comment edited on: 4/5/2013 5:19:06 PM

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ATTACKFATCAT 4/5/2013 4:23PM

    I've always heard diet is the bigger make or break part of the equation. I looked up that LBM BMR calculation...pretty interesting. It is odd how it does come down to calories in/calories out, but it's hardest to calculate what exactly calories out means for each of us. I use the SP BMR calculation and based on my intake/deficit, I calculated a 3 pound loss for the month. It ended up being more like 3.6. So that formula seems to be the best fit for me. I think we all have to do the research, be willing to go through some trial/error, and just be patient to figure out what works best for us.

It sounds like you have had a really awesome week. I'm excited you are already seeing some gains from your ST! I bet you'll start moving up through the weights faster than you think!

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A*L*P* 4/5/2013 3:57PM

    Food is totally it. I love that quote. NOt a big Jillian fan, but that quote is very true. Of course I am struggling but dang, it is not due to lack of effort. I work out hard, I eat good. I am struggling with internal stuff more than anything now.

I am working on the grain thing. I am not going completely off grains, but focusing on the better kinds like quinoa and brown rice and limiting bread. Funny thing is that I am not really missing bread that much. I do think that there is something to grain. Getting carbs from better sources versus grains and bread makes sense.

Let me know how you like the NRoL for Life. I am loving the program so far!!!!!

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NAYPOOIE 4/5/2013 2:43PM

    Jillian is a wise woman.

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