I Am Alive!!!

stomach fluSo this has been fun… 8 days of stomach flu feeling like a human sprinkler system and no workouts. I am not sure why the sickness felt like it needed 3 run throughs just to get the job done but whatever the reason I am back now. I had breakfast for the first time this morning since last Tuesday and thankfully didn’t feel like vomiting immediately. I have been able to eat an average of one meal a day, at one point I was down almost 9lbs, most of which is just my muscles releasing their glycogen stores but hopefully I will also have lost some body fat as compensation for feeling like a human sewer all week. The sickness spread through all of us too, but interestingly my wife and daughter were sick for about 24 hours each unlike me.
So what now? I have been off for a week, nothing hurts, my back feels better and I feel like I am ready to go. I will have to do a complete light cycle before gettgin back into the heavy stuff so I guess it will be a few more days until I can really hit the gas and get back into things. I have a competition this weekend too which will be interesting, the girls have had a month to work on their issues but my feeling is that their focus has been a bit off so we will see how the results are.

My schedule is mostly the same still:
Chest Day – bench and pullovers
Back Day – machines and pullups or deadlifts
Leg Day – machines extensions or squats
Shoulders – Oly lift day. Cleans, KB Snatch, OHP
Arms – machines and DB
Leg Cardio Day – Hills, sprints, HIIT machine work with gauntlet

I have added the cardio day because I don’t want to be cutting into the summer, I would like to try and hit 230lbs before June 1st. I am right around 238 now I think. With a cardio day and a bit of participation at gymnastics that shouldn’t be too hard.

First Competition and The Cut At Work

AfterLegDayThis last couple of weeks has been very busy, with our first competition of the year in Brampton, two very big birthdays in the family and of course from my perspective time passing so very slowly because I can’t have wings 🙂

The girls did OK at competition, some much better than others naturally but it was good to get the first comp out of the way and see how we can expect the scoring to be this year. Now we have about a month to get ready for the next one which seems like a while but in reality it’s only 36 hours of training.

An update on my physical condition as far as my back goes. The episode was not so bad as it could have been but then again they do seem to start simple and get progressively worse. That said, I seem to be OK now albeit a bit tentative in the gym. I have been having some serious back spasms the last few days but a heating pad and some advil seem to have taken care of it for the most part. I am still not getting enough sleep, I seem to think that I can catch up on any amount of lost sleep at the weekend but of course that doesn’t work. I need to understand that sleep like exercise is a good habit that builds on itself and will improve with time. I really would like not to be tired all the damn time…

As for my workouts, I am going lighter now with the cut, and my weight is down from about 248lbs to 239 or so. I think I am winning the Biggest Loser at work already so I can’t really complain but dieting is a pain in the ass no matter what, even if you can make money doing it. I will try to get to 235 for the weekend and then post all 3 photos I will have as a comparison. I am still sticking with the LA Fitness workouts, it’s nice to have a lot of machines to choose from especially since I have had limited mobility of late. However with some adjusted work hours I may have to start doing 2 days a week at home. That will mean a slight retooling of the system to accommodate a couple of days of Oly lifting, cardio or HIIT / Kettlebell work, all of which will be a positive change from static strength work. Today is a day off, which would usually mean a lazy evening and an early night but I am coaching and also have a downtime tonight to replace a core switch at one of our locations and while this isn’t too complicated, it’s still going to keep me away from my pillow for a few hours.

For tonight, the workout at gym will be the plyo / leg day with abs worked in, something like this I think.

Step up step down plus vsnaps 10 / 10 / 20
Jump up step down with hollow snaps 10/ 10/ 20
Squat jump up step down with 100 flutter side to side
Plank jump in jump up step down plank hold on count for 20
Front roll to jump up step down back ext to plank 10 pushups
Bonus Round
Pistols off box 10 per leg x5

Bulk Is Over Finally…

imagesSince my last cut I was toying with the idea that I had lost a little muscle mass and I was not happy about this. I decided during the Christmas break that I would therefore try to gain some of the mass back and cut again trying to stay above 215 at 15% fat which I was last time. So I needed to eat. And I did, but to be honest the bulk was not the feasty party celebration that I imagined it to be. I was expecting to be living among angels, having salty and creamy foods delivered to me on golden platters as I ate my fill of all things delicious. However it rapidly became a chore and after only 3 or 4 weeks I was thoroughly disenchanted with the whole process. But I have made a commitment so I continued to eat above my requirement in anticipation of lean gains. I can’t tell yet if I was successful, what I do know is that at my lowest before Christmas I was 216lbs and 15%. The other day when I stepped on the scale I was a whopping 240lbs at 18% fat. A little math will give you the answer that those 2 weights are not drastically different. My low weight was a lean mass of 183lbs and right now apparently I am 196lbs which would indicate a lean gain of 13lbs which is not bad at all. Since I have gained 24lbs total that means I am also up 11lbs of fat which I have to admit I have noticed.

So what now? In order to get back to the cutting phase I am going to get back to paleo then to keto. This means for the last 2 weeks I have been cutting out the carbs I had added (oatmeal, rice, potato) and for the next 2 weeks I will be cutting back further and going into ketosis to try and burn the remaining fat. I am hoping to get back to around 225 by the time I do my level 3 coaching course mid March. My workouts have remained the same, I am still doing regular 6 day split body part workouts, with the occasional deadlifting or cleans work at home when I can’t get to the gym. I think as time goes along and I start to lose more weight I will have to start getting back into the HIIT methodology of full body compound lifting in order not to have to do cardio. I hate cardio.

This has been an interesting exercise and one that I am not really keen to repeat. Sure it was nice for a few days to not even worry about food volumes but in the end it took a psychological toll on me. Also, getting older (it’s my birthday tomorrow) I am getting more and more aware that carrying bulk around is not th best thing for my health. Getting down under 220 is probably something I should be looking to maintain as a long term goal rather than something I return to after each bulking cycle.

The short of it is that I really enjoyed being cut at the end of the year, I though I looked pretty good but I fell prey to the voices inside my head telling me I wasn’t big enough. Body dysmorphia is real people…

The New Year

12440370_10153820624276917_8222678269974682148_oIt’s time for change, whether it’ actually warranted or not the new year is a great placeholder for starting new. This  year I made a decision that I would help as many people as I could to get towards their goals. Of course I still need to look after my own interests and so far that has gone not so well. We were away for Christmas which meant that I took 9 of 12 days off the gym, a rest period that I am sure I needed but was incredibly painful for me psychologically. Since then I have started back at the gym doing the same program I was before we left but starting to formulate another method in my mind moving forward. Going to the gym has been great, there is a lot of equipment and weights to use but it’s still just a gym with static movements and a less than dynamic approach. What I need to incorporate into my gym workouts is days of dynamic movements, going back to the days of the cleans, snatch, clean and press that now seem so far away.

With that in mind I decided to commit to refinishing the basement floor in my gym. The problem was with the thin foam tiles that they were bubbling and moving when I did cardio, even back to the P90X days they were never the greatest surface to work out on. So when I found taekwondo tiles on sale at fitness avenue I decided it was time to pull the trigger. I was off work for a few days and took advantage of the time to completely refinish and rearrange the basement into the picture of beauty you see above.

I am hoping this will encourage me to give at least one day a week back to the functional movements that worked so well for me in the past. I find that I am getting a bit too comfortable in the gym and that the days of HIIT seem to be far in my past. I am thinking that some kettlebell work wouldn’t go amiss either since that is the one thing guaranteed to get my heart pounding.

So for now I am still formulating a plan but while I do I am sticking to the 6 day split of chest / back / legs / shoulders / arms / accessory and cardio.

Happy New Year everyone and if you think you could use a second pair of eyes on your own schedule and diet feel free to ask…

A New 90? Gym 90?

6cc5f4c54f2bf0bc8bb4b85967b590f3This site started way back when I had a tangible goal, to lose weight and get in shape. Since then I have been both in and back out of shape and had a back surgery. So now, I am in a place were I am both in shape and lost all the weight I wanted so I need another challenge. As I sit here and write something has occurred to me as a great challenge idea. It’s going to be entertaining for most people probably not for me but will give me something to really work towards. I am going to call it Gym90 and it’s going to include the following things that I currently cannot do:

Handstand hold
Front planche / lever
Back blanche / 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)

I also would like to attempt to get back my front and back tuck but that might get vetoed by my wife.

So starting today the schedule will look a bit like this I think:

Chest day and front planche
Back day and Back planche / muscle ups
Legs day and splits
Shoulders day and Handstands / cartwheels / roundoffs
Arms day and handstand pushups
Accessories Abs and bridge work

I will document my start point which will no doubt be very embarrassing and hopefully we will see some results in 90 days.

Here we go then.

Frosh Week Is Over. The Punishment Never Ends…

your-missionWhat now?
Frosh Week is over, there will be a maximum of 3 workouts posted here each week from gym so what do you do in the mean time? In other words, how do I build my own workout.

Here’s a quick method.

How many workouts a week? Should be 6 so I will go with that. If you can only manage 4 then welcome to the Frosh 15. Again.

1. Upper body
2. Lower body and abs
3. Cardio
4. Upper body
5. Lower body and abs
6. Cardio
7. Rest

If you really only want to do a 4 day split you can do a push / pull approach but there is no getting away from cardio.

1. Pushups and Squats
2. Pullups and Abs
3. Bootcamp full body
4. Cardio

I suggest the 6 day workouts, you can make it a heavy 3 and a light 3 if you like, just stay active. Here is a list of just some of the exercises you can try. Also there are about 170 entries tagged with bootcamp of one sort or another, just click on the word in the tag cloud to see them.

Upper Body

Pushups – Military, Spider, Clap, Plyo, Sphinx to plank, side hold
Pullups – Narrow, wide, reverse, chin to hand
Dips – Chair, chair and feet, free dips on bars
Shoulder press – Down dog, feet on chair, feet on stairs, handstand (top of head touches ground)

Lower body

Squats, pop squats, squat tuck jump, squat 180, squat 360, Pistols (1 leg squat)
Lunge front, lunge back , walking lunge, side lunge, foot on chair lunge
Box step up, double stair walk, sissy squat (on toes)
Calf raises, calf raise on stairs, calf raise on stairs one foot alternate


Vsnaps, crunch, leg up toe touch, full sit up, sit up double twist
Hanging leg raise, tucked leg raise
In and out, crunchy frog, bicycles front and back, flutters all 3 levels
Side crunch, russian twists, roll to boat hold


I recommend Tabata for cardio, 20 minutes and done, but work as fast as possible (20s on 10s off x8 = 4 minutes x5 rounds)

Jacks, squats, tuck jumps, lunges, knees up, heels up, burpees (all variations)
Mary Katherine lunge switch, long jumps or ski jumps (side to side)

How much? For everything except cardio try for anything from 200-800 total reps. Take something from each line or two from each and do anything from 3 to 50 of each. Here are a couple of examples of super easy workouts that you can put together for yourself with other items:


Double Block Jumps
v snaps

Pick a poison:
5x each one

5 chin up
10 push up
15 air squat

5 hip pullover
10 beam jumps
15 lunge switch

5 skin cat recover
10 leg lifts
15 vsnaps

5 ring inversions
10 dips
15 handstand shoulder touch

Five rounds, each for time of:
20 Pull-ups
30 Push-ups
40 Sit-ups
50 Squats

And everyone’s favourite:

Chelsea / Cindy (Sub Burpees for Pullups if you have to)

Each minute on the minute for 30 minutes

5 pullups
10 pushups
15 squats

AMRAP – As Many Rounds As Possible in 20 minutes.

5 pullups
10 pushups
15 squats

Frosh Week Day 6 – The Last Day (Be A Gymnast)

straddle holdtuck planche
Since most of the people who this is aimed at are previous gymnasts this should be easy. For the rest of the world you need to start working on your gymnastics skills. It’s a tough sport to compete in but the skills you develop as a gymnast are valuable for all aspects of sport and fitness. So if you don’t have a handstand or a bridge or splits, get to work.

Day 6 – Memories of Gymnastics

5-10-15 for warmup

Chair or free dips


30s plank on hands
5 wall handstands @ 10 seconds
30s Bridge hold
10s straddle hold (hands only)

2 minute rest

60s plank on hands
10 wall handstand shoulder touches each side
10 fall to bridge recover or back walkover
20s Tuck planche hold

2 minute rest

90s plank on hands
10 Handstand half or full turn
10 Handstand bridge or front walkover
10 Free handstands hold as long as possible

2 minute rest

20 pushup side hold
20 free handstand shoulder touches (as many attempts to do 20 total)
20 pushup shoulder touch (40 touches total)
5 30s handstands assisted or against the wall

2 minutes rest and cry because you miss gymnastics so much…

Frosh Week Day 4 – Tabata Cardio. Who doesn’t love cardio amirite?

elf tabataFrosh Week Workouts Day 4
Cardio… because beer is carbs

Tabata protocol:
X 8

5 rounds is a total of 20 minutes of effort. SO WORK!!!

Jumping jacks
Mary Katherine lunge switches