Summer Wind Down (my rest month)

Category: Crossfit WOD Type Workouts, Gym / Weighlifting Workouts, Kettlebell Workouts (RKC), Planning

restIts the time of year where I take a bit of time to heal, to let my heavy lifting of the summer get behind me and take some time to do some ancillary work and cardio. I tend to lift pretty heavily during the summer, and almost exclusively certain exercises that eventually leads me to lacking in other areas. I don’t really do it on purpose but I can’t remember the last time I did my calves or forearms… or for that matter did any time on my abs or the StairMaster.

So for the next month or so I am going to be taking 15 minutes out of my 45 min workout to do cardio and I am going to build in some ancillary work. Specifically I need to do some lower back work on the GHD and some hamstring work. I tend to do less hamstrings when I squat and leg press and I feel like that’s a problem. The last time I was at the doctor he commented on my marginally elevated blood pressure so I am hoping that some cardio (and some kettlebell HIIT) will help to bring that BP down. Speaking of KB work I think I am going to get back into doing some of that. I think that since I coach on 3 weekdays and have no time for workouts on those days that a light KB workout when I get home or even in the morning before we go to work would do wonders. I only need about 15 minutes to get some swings in and get my heart going so it’s not a big ask really. It will also help with my abs which have had ZERO work all summer with the exception of the twisting rows that I do for my back. I have been particularly tired the last week or so and I think my body is crying out for a break. It may also be time to think about moving towards mobility and gymnastics skills for the winter rather than heavy lifts. A couple of years ago I pushed really hard towards Christmas to get some of my heaviest lifts in years, but I think I would be just as proud of a 10 second handstand as I was of my 415lb bench.

So for the time being it’s increase the cardio, reduce the weights and find some variety in my workouts to give myself a break.

I would say get more sleep too but I think we all know that’s not going to happen…

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It’s Fall, time for a change.

Category: Gym / Weighlifting Workouts, Injuries, Planning

coconut-superfruitI am very predictable in that every fall I need to change what I am doing. Maybe it’s because I have usually spent the summer grinding against my weight and going to the gym but whatever it is I am getting that same old feeling again.

Before I go on, I have attached an image relating to my favourite fat, coconut oil. I use coconut oil for many things, every day with my eggs is the most obvious but also healing my cracked hands and using it on my head after a shave are unexpected benefits. the infographic (who doesn’t love a good infographic?) is from so credit where credit is due.

So on to change. I am feeling like I will need to add some cardio and mobility back to my workouts, this summer has been all about gym lifting and very little in the way of compound movements or mobility / cardio. I am not sure if I really want to dive straight back into a WOD system I am thinking I can incorporate some of my compound lifts at the gym such as cleans or snatches. That said, I know I will have to be at the gym for cardio so I am thinking that moving my workouts back home isn’t the best way to go about this.

I am formulating a plan in my head for now, something to increase my cardio to about 3x a week and probably starting to work on my mobility during conditioning at gymnastics since I am there 4 days a week now.

My last post outlined my progress for the summer, I lost a bit of fat but I am still sitting around 230 and 19% which is a bit too high. I have managed to stay here for around 2 years now and I think it’s about time that I did a long term push to get to around 18%. I also want to note that the back strain that I had in the last post took around 6 weeks to clear which was not enjoyable, I think what I actually did was have a slight impingement in my back while at the same time straining one of the muscles with a slight pull. Whatever it was, it hurt like hell.

In other news the gymnastics club has had an influx of new kids, my group has expanded from 4 to 8 with some great high level athletes coming in. It’s been a challenge adapting to the new bodies and the dynamics since they all came from the same gym but all in all I think it’s been a good experience so far. It’s floor routine season and the new coach that came over with the kids is going to be doing the floor and beam routines this year, so this will be interesting.

I will update with my new program as soon as I am ready and for the time being here is the program I have been on for the summer:

  1. Chest – Bench, incline, laying pullovers, machine flys
  2. Back – Machine rows, pulldowns and assisted chinups, chinups, straight arm cable pulldowns
  3. Legs – Incline press, occasional squat (light), leg extension, hamstring curl, machine butt thing
  4. Shoulders and traps – OHP, front and side raise, machine raise, rear delt machine, shrug machine, occasional upright rows
  5. Arms – Dip machine, free dips, pushdowns or close grip bench, machine curls, DB curls, BB curls.


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Update – 3 weeks on cut (with pictures)

Category: Pictures, Planning

So it was 3 weeks or so ago that I was going to take the 2 week challenge and try to get some weight off before coaching started again and I did OK.

I have gone from 244 @ 22% and this morning I was 235 @ 19.1% and while the % numbers may not be accurate it is a reasonable reflection of my almost 3% fat loss. I am currently suffering with a back strain that happened as I was attacked on the couch by a rambunctious 6 year old so I am having to take things really slowly and since I coach 4 days a week it is looking like no workouts this week. That’s OK because I did 23 days in a row without a rest day while trying to drop some weight. It’s funny but as usual nothing really seemed to happen for the first 2 weeks and then the last 10 days or so I have started to see some changes. I just hope that my inactivity doesn’t derail my efforts.

So here you are, without any further ado… what you can do in 3 weeks. First pictures are July 26, second are August 15. I will post more at the end of August if it’s still working 🙂 Please forgive the underwear and bathroom shots…

July26 2016-1 July26 2016-2










August15 2016-1August15 2016-2

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Half Way Done

Category: Nutrition, Planning

stay the courseI had to laugh when I re-read my last post, my optimism about my weight was so cute… When I decided I needed to cut a bit again it was because at work I had weighed in for the Biggest Loser contest at a whopping 248lbs. Being that close to 250 was a real wake up call for me and although I had clothes on when I got home and weighed myself the next day I discovered I was up at 244lbs almost 18lbs up from my lowest last year. Granted I am a bit bigger than I was back then muscle-wise but it was not something that I am proud of. This is how messed up my head is… I didn’t want to post the actual weight that I was nor the %BF which was 22% because I didn’t want to fail. I was actually nervous that this time it may not work and I would be embarrassed at my failing. I have been doing this a long time and by now I should know that if you follow the process, then it works.

The Process:

Decide – Force yourself to be ready. Decide you are going to do what it takes, no excuses, and accept the voice in your head is a liar.
Plan – Be confident and aggressive, use your initial enthusiasm to help kick start your effort
Execute – Step by step execution. Sleep is your friend, you can’t eat when you are asleep 🙂

I was lucky in that this time off from coaching coincided with some time off work which meant that I could be active during the day, installing microwaves and waterproofing the deck etc. Since the cards were dealt in my favour I went for it. That was about a week ago. I have worked out every day, using rest days to do some cardio to give my muscles a rest. I benched 375 at the gym for the first time in a while this week so something is going right. Part of my commitment was to use my Fitbit app to track my calories and even for someone with my experience it is absolutely critical to track what I eat if I am going to succeed.

So how am I doing so far?

Yesterday I weighed in at 236 but that was after the gym, this morning I was back up to 237.8 which is almost 7lbs down in a week. My BF% has fallen from the 22% 2 weeks ago to approximately 20.5% and although the impedance scale is not necessarily a great or accurate measure, the trend is definitely in the right direction. I have taken a couple of pictures during the process but I will wait until the 2 weeks are done to post anything. The difference in how I feel is amazing though, I am starting to get that “light on my feet” feeling back again which may be due to the cardio I have been doing but may also be due to what I am seeing in the mirror.

Which brings me to another point.

I have body dysmorphia. It’s something that isn’t recognized as a disease like anorexia and I don’t think it should be so please don’t get me wrong. But it exists in a large percentage of the population who regularly go to the gym and is rampant among males who lift weights. It’s like looking at yourself through a Snapchat filter that makes you smaller. No matter what you see, you will always think that you are smaller than you are. I was looking at a guy in the gym the other day thinking that he was a pretty big guy and how I wished I was that size when it occurred to me to make a direct comparison. So I wandered over looking all casual and spent a few minutes in the same area making comparisons.

I was bigger than him in almost every way.

But still the sting of envy coursed through my veins. It’s a very odd feeling knowing that you are not seeing reality but it’s something that I have had to deal with all my life. My method of getting around my neuroses is to use the hard facts. Numbers like weight, BF% and measurements are my friend and of course pictures where you can make a direct comparison to other pictures also help. It’s a struggle to try to see things as they are but it’s something I am working on.


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2 Weeks Of Change

Category: Nutrition, Pictures

IMG_1119So I got a new fitbit from Costco. It’s a Charge HR again but the big news is that it now comes with a stopwatch!!

I have also decided that since paying attention to the work I am doing isn’t really keeping me engaged I would try something else and it’s going to be a weightloss of 5lbs in 2 weeks. See I have 2 weeks off from coaching and I would like to go back to the gym afterwards looking like I did at this time last year. Of course that is because right now I don’t. I am around 238lbs right now and 19-20% fat which is too high. I figure if I can burn 5lbs of fat in the next 2 weeks I can get my percentage down to 18-19 which should give me a good shot at hitting 17% this year, something that I haven’t done since University. My lowest last year was 18% which for a guy isn’t that great to be honest.

The picture to the left is me last summer when I was at my lowest BF%. I will try to post a picture tomorrow of what I look like now so that in 2 weeks we can all marvel at the tiny changes 🙂

So for 2 weeks it will be strict Keto, very low dairy and a variable calorie deficit of somewhere between 500-1000 calories a day.

It’s going to be horrible but really it will give me something to aim for, something to focus on and I would be really happy if I went back to gym in 2 weeks and people actually noticed a difference.

But will they? I know I am super critical of myself and that I notice every little thing but will it make a difference to the casual observer, I guess time will tell.

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Another One Bites The Dust.

Category: Equipment

surge-and-vivoactiveSo I have used activity tackers and HR monitors for several years now and I have come to the conclusion that basically they all suck. Not because of the tech behind them or the amazing apps or wide range of use but rather because they are not built to last. I started out with a very simple Polar F11 HR monitor with the strap which was my first gripe, knowing that if the hospital can take my heart rate with a clamp on my finger why the hell do I have to wear a chest strap? It was very basic and worked OK until the chest strap battery went, and shortly after stopped working altogether. The HR reading were not consistent, you have to have the right amount of moisture to make it work and it was, for someone who was very fat at the time, very uncomfortable and kept rolling down my barrel of a body. I traded up some time later to a Suunto T6D which was my first foray into high level HR mapping with the RMR intervals (I am sure that’s wrong btw) and lots of other bells and whistles including a foot pod a GPS pod and a cadence monitor none of which I used. I think the Suunto was the one that didn’t have a stopwatch which seemed insane to me. Again, within about a year the chest strap gave up and I was left with a very ugly watch. I did like the Suunto software though and the online tracking. I then was lucky enough to score a Polar RS800CX HR monitor for about $200 from a store that was closing down and I was really happy with it until the band broke and once again the chest strap came apart even though I was far less fat at that point.

It was at that time that the new wrist worn HR readers were coming out, I had added a Garmin Vivofit to my arsenal and was wearing it to gauge what my all day activity profile was which was really excellent until after about 8 months the strap broke. I could probably have got a new strap since it’s a modular and quite clever system but by that time the HR monitors were out and I switched to a Fitbit. The strap broke on the fitbit after a few months and I graduated up to the Fitbit Charge HR which is what I used up until yesterday when I discovered it’s not charging any more. Not only that, the clip around the charging slot at the back has broken off so the clip wont clip. The band has held up OK but the watch itself is screwed.

So I am once again without an HR monitor or step counter.

Is this a problem?

I know that I have enjoyed the Fitbit systems, I used the food tracker last year to get to my best BF% ever and love to have all my stats in the dashboard. For $180 at Costco it’s not a huge amount but if you only get a year of use it’s a bit much. I do have to say that it’s a couple of dollars cheaper at Bestbuy. I could go all out and get the Surge or the Blaze but since I use the device not as a watch but as an activity tracker and I already wear a watch maybe the Charge HR is enough for me right now. One downside I have found is that the band does irritate my wrist at times. The Garmin never did but every Fitbit I have owned has irritated my skin to a degree.

I think at this point I will just suck it up and get another Charge HR but I will be sure to keep the receipt since the warranty apparently is a year. I am doing this because I believe that the more you know about what you are doing the better equipped you are to do something about it. Just knowing that I am getting 4000 steps a day on average lets me know that I should probably be adding a 20 minute walk to my program somewhere or a short set of sprints to get my numbers up. Seeing my sleep numbers is also a big part of why I like the Fitbit. I know I don’t sleep enough but knowing how much is enough should be a step towards fixing that.

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Hold On. This Isn’t Going To Be Pretty. But You Need To Hear This.

Category: Nutrition, Planning

enough-of-your-bullshitSometimes I feel like this. It’s no big secret that I think today’s adults are just whiny petulant children who need a good slap to set them straight. From adult colouring books to the obesity epidemic their lives are about narcissistic instant self gratification. They blame everyone else for their problems and refuse to take any responsibility for their actions. They blame their parents for the state of the world and whine about how the value of the dollar means they can’t have what their parents had. Of course I am not talking about everyone but there is a certain type of adult for whom their life is someone else’s fault and nothing they can ever do will change anything. Their children are special little snowflakes who can do no wrong and they believe the world owes them a big house a nice car and a perfect body.
Grow the hell up.
There are certain things they won’t tolerate though… Don’t tell them to sacrifice time away from their family. Don’t tell them they have to work hard to earn a living. Don’t tell them that their self worth is their own responsibility and don’t dare tell them that they need to count calories to lose weight…
Of course, being a fitness blog I am referencing this through the filter of weight control and health. Sure, the economic outlook isn’t as rosy as it once was and some people are working very long hours for very little reward but there are certain things that anyone can change and make a huge turnaround in their life. But it takes work.
I am talking about the one thing that almost all of these petulant kidults complain about the most, and that is weight loss.
There are some very simple rules about weight loss, some are true, some are discredited but still true and some are just so hard to follow that they must be false. But they are still true. So here goes. I am not going to post links and articles because I don’t need validation for what I am saying. I don’t care if you think what is written here is true or not, your opinion is irrelevant to the facts. These are the facts and if you are sitting there sweating just reading this then this is for you.
How to lose weight from hardest to easiest…

1. Exercise to health

You have great drive, you can exercise because you love it and your’e burning the calories to eat anything right? If your’e a teenager maybe, and even then your’e setting yourself up for a future of obesity. This is not the way to do things, if you are putting in this kind of effort, then respect yourself enough to understand that hard work without attention to detail is just spinning your wheels, sure you’re going 100mph but you’re standing still. If this is you, give your head a shake.

2. Calories in vs. Calories out

Your’e too good to give up any food so you think calories are the answer. The law of thermodynamics is your battle cry and you cling to that donut with your sticky pudgy fingers like it’s your first born. This approach is tedious and difficult and will work for everyone to a certain extent. The problem is that it’s like treating a fever with an ice bath. Sure the fever will abate but the underlying infection will bring it right back once you stop. Sound familiar? The reason this method works, regardless of it’s too basic tenet is that when most people start to count, they also start to pay attention to the quality of their food. It works but it’s mostly due to better choices than the actual fact of TDEE + BURN = Calories required.
Why do elite bodybuilders use this method? Because at that level this method is critical, they know what to eat, they know what they cannot eat and once everything else is in check, calorie counting is critical. You’re not there yet, believe me. As a personal aside I used this method very successfully last year to get to my lowest ever BF% but that’s because I know exactly what I can and cannot eat.

3. Low Carb / South Beach / Paleo

This is slowly becoming recognised as the standard way to healthy eating. The food industry giants of the corn and wheat sectors have been in control of the North American diet for years and look what it’s done for you. 60% or higher obesity rates and the fattest people on the planet.
There is a ton of research now available to tell you that this is the way to go. My mantra is always to eat one ingredient at a time and never eat anything from a package. The problem here is that portion sizes matter and unless you understand that you can’t eat unlimited amounts of steak and cheese this won’t work for you.

You’re fat, you need to eat less, that is a fact that you cannot escape.

However, eating more healthy food in the right proportions is infinitely easier than trying to track why a diet of soda and bread at 1500 calories doesn’t work. The reason why this method works so well is that it forces you to pay attention to what you are eating and what it is doing to you. Getting rid of grains and sugar will transform your life and your body. If that’s too hard to do then maybe you just enjoy being fat too much. If I told you I would give you $100,000 dollars a week not to eat grains I bet you’d find a way.

4. Low Carb High Fat / Keto

For me (and your mileage may vary) this is what works. My diet is occasionally upwards of 60% fat from healthy fats like coconut oil and avocado and nuts. My carb intake is extremely low and restricted to the hour after I work out in order to make the most of my Non Insulin Mediated Glucose Uptake window. I don’t eat lean beef or turkey because it’s too dry, I love pork, dark chicken meat and occasionally beef. I do eat dairy, and while this may not agree with some people my tolerance is OK. This method works because it turns off your desire for food. Have you always hated those people who say “I forgot to eat today”? Well that can be you if you increase your fat intake and cut your grains and sugars out completely. If you can keep your carb intake below 50g a day you will find a special place where food doesn’t matter and your mind is clear. It may take a couple of weeks to adjust while your body goes from a carb burning machine to a fat burning machine but after that you are actually using all that stored energy under  your skin to fuel your activity. A little sweet potato or oatmeal after your workout should be your only carb intake and pay attention to lots and lots of water. With lots and lots of water comes important attention to electrolytes. Salt your food and if you can drink bone broth which is filled with sodium and potassium and magnesium that you need while drinking enough water.

The one thing that is inescapable in your attempt to lose weight is knowledge. You have to know exactly what you are eating in order to make this work. To a degree that amounts will vary but you can get fat eating a keto diet if you are consuming too much food. Yeah, that calories in vs calories out thing really is important to know but it has to be paired with the proper nutritional knowledge. There are some others that are less critical too. Don’t drink alcohol. Never touch corn. Artificial sweeteners will make you fatter. Remember to count the cream in your coffee and quit taking sugar. Pop is poison. Walk 10,000 steps a day and exercise 5 days a week. Don’t have time? Bullshit.

You have excuses. No, they are not reasons, they are excuses. I know, I have been there and done that more times than I can remember but until I got serious with myself and understood that my pathetic whining wasn’t helping matters it was never going to work.

Take responsibility for yourself. If you are a parent don’t use your kids as an excuse. Take 30 minutes away from them now so that you can be a better parent in the long run and so they are not standing over a casket in 10-15 years asking why you didn’t take better care of yourself. Believe me when I tell you that telling them that losing weight is hard just won’t be a good enough reason to them. And it shouldn’t be to you.

This is hard, and it’s a long process, you didn’t get fat in a month and you won’t get thin in a month. The good news is that looking at pictures from 10 years ago when you were thin doesn’t mean it’s 10 years away to get back there, you can easily drop 50-60lbs in 6 months. That’s 60lbs lighter by Christmas. How about that for a Christmas gift?

Don’t even get me started on this body positivity shit either. Love yourself when you deserve it not because you’re too fucking lazy to do something worthwhile.

Good luck. Suck it up and get to work. You should be sick of your bullshit too by now.

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Quickie – 96 KB WODs

Category: Crossfit WOD Type Workouts

Here is the link:

96 KB WODs


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If You Want Change… Change.

Category: Crossfit WOD Type Workouts, Gym / Weighlifting Workouts, Gymnastics / Bootcamp

It’s been a while since I have posted here, and probably a big reason why I feel like I have stalled in my progress. Not being accountable even to strangers on the internet is a liberating and damning situation. I have said before that going to the gym at LA Fitness is making me bored and predictable in my workouts and I really want to change that but I am so comfortable in that situation that it’s hard to try and implement change.

But now is the time. It’s the last day of coaching for the year, and next week we start on a new season, new kids and new responsibilities. Since there are major changes in the off, I figure I may as well just do everything at once and handle the changes together. The question is what? What am I lacking right now? I think the obvious answer is Olympic lifts and the WOD style workouts that I enjoyed at home the last 2 summers. Not only that but the lack of HIIT work has made me deficient in the cardio department and I need to fix that also.

After browsing through the last couple of summers on here I have come to the conclusion that only adding home work will be the solution. Not only because I will now be coaching MTWR during the summer leaving only FSY to do actual hour long gym workouts but also because the only way I can add WOD or HIIT to my schedule is to do it at home. Typically HIIT isn’t really something you want to do at a regular gym. I could of course go whole hog and try crossfit again since the crossfit Ark location has a summer special again this year but it’s still expensive especially when I have the equipment and the knowledge already.

I would like to get some KB workouts back into my arsenal, something I can probably do at least once a week with the gym girls for their 30 minute conditioning. I would like to start doing full cleans again, something I haven’t done since I felt a twinge in my left side of my back (the opposite side from normal) and I would also even like to start doing some heavy bag work since I bought a bag last year and have hardly used it, I should actually hang it on the back deck and use it out there, it would be a great cardio workout I could actually do in the morning before work.

I am definitely going to do something at the gym once a week with the new kids, they have a great conditioning program but I think they need some of my work to really make them understand what I mean by hard work. So my schedule at a minimum would be Fri Sat Sun at the gym and one day cardio / bootcamp / KB at gymnastics. That’s still only 4 days a week which means I would have to add a cardio workout before gymnastics or if I can get a day during the week where I am off or able to get home early then squeeze a cardio workout in before coaching.

I can sacrifice my shoulders and arm days at the gym since I will be getting lots of shoulder work doing HIIT / WOD work. That leaves only chest, back and legs for LA Fitness. My schedule then would look something like this… However it is suspicious in the way that I don’t have a day dedicated with enough time to do HIIT I am actually just waiting for a day off or some spare time which isn’t ideal. Looks like I will have to rethink this.

Monday – OFF
Tuesday – Bootcamp at coaching
Wednesday – Morning HIIT or OFF
Thursday – Morning HIIT or OFF
Friday – Chest LAF
Saturday – Legs LAF
Sunday – Back LAF

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The Problem Is Lack Of Focus

Category: Crossfit WOD Type Workouts, DVD Days P90X to Tapout XT, Gym / Weighlifting Workouts, Gymnastics / Bootcamp

focusI am not sure why.. Probably because I am not on a schedule and have no specific goals in mind which is why my logging and writing has dried up. Maybe it’s time for something completely different, or maybe I need to develop (and actually stick to) some goals. If I look back to this time last year I was feeling the same thing as I am  now, restless and in need of a change given the imminent arrival of summer.

Here are a few things I have mentioned before but still not actually managed to work on…

Handstand hold
Front planche / lever
Back planche / lever
Handstand pushup
Splits front and middle (never done this)
Cartwheel (I can actually do this but it needs fixing)
Roundoff (same)
Muscle up on bars or rings (did this once)
Kip on low bar (this may be a step too far)

Having read back my experience with WOD30 I am now thinking that maybe that would be a good idea. I haven’t done anything like WOD work for quite some time and to be honest I am getting a bit bored with the gym. The thought of loading up the bar and doing cleans and pullups and wallballs makes me all tingly… I will think about this tonight and maybe see if I can break out my schedule from my first WOD 30 and see if it’s worth duplicating.

The bottom line is I need something to aim at, something to work towards, something I can document and see results. I’m probably benching and pressing the same weights every day at the gym, I am not interested in building massive numbers any more, just staying slightly higher than most of the other people there 🙂

Stay tuned. Something is going to happen.


Also I changed the name of the blog since it’s been a VERY long time since I did any P90X or Insanity…. Which I probably should do again now I have a better floor… Hmmmm

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