R11D71-74 – More Bulk, Less Fat Apparently

shoulder veinI noticed yesterday while doing my Body Beast Bulk Shoulders that I seem to have dropped a not insignificant amount of fat. I was supposed to be taking photos and weighting in regularly this phase and I have done neither so far but yesterday I finally noticed that I am actually regaining some definition after what seems like a very long road back to recovery. In order to verify this I will have to take some pictures tomorrow and see for sure but I was quite excited. Of course I have done workouts 10 of the past 11 days and that probably has helped. I also noticed something else this week when I was doing dips for my Body Beast Bulk arms day, and that is a deep purple staining almost like bruising on my shoulders after I did dips. I have concluded that it’s actually the blood vessels under my skin but 1. Ewww and 2. WTF. It seriously looked like I had massive bruises across my shoulders and chest it was pretty gross I have to admit. If it was really veins, all I can hope is that if I lose more weight that they don’t start poking through the surface otherwise I may throw up on myself. I have to admit that I am really enjoying the Body Beast workouts however I can’t help but be a bit concerned about not having my heart rate up around 160 for any length of time any more. It used to be that almost every workout I did was HIIT and therefore included massive heart rate fluctuations. Not so with BB and not only that, the days that I actually do cardio I feel like I am just not able to push like I used to.

Now I know, that you can’t have your cake and eat it, I know it’s not possible to put on mass and lose weight and increase your cardio at the same time but part of me misses the high HR I get from doing Crossfit type workouts or other HIIT work. Then again, I feel stronger and bigger so there is my trade off I suppose.

More to report next week after I have taken a picture or two and seen if I really am making progress or just fooling myself.

R11D66-70 Body Beast Bulk

Shrek hulkI have made it through half of my 10 day bulk phase, and I think that I may extend it a little further. The workouts are further divided so as to give special attention to the major body parts but here is what I have interpreted for myself.

Bulk Chest
Bulk Arms
Bulk Shoulders
Bulk Legs and Back – Squats and Deadlifts

Since I already have all the legs I require (with the exception of the mass that I lost after surgery) leg day for me is not a priority, add that to the fact that back day is also not an opportunity for all out aggression and I don’t have access to my outdoor chinup bar (why would I, it’s the middle of March in Canada) and you have a chance to do legs and back appropriately on the same day. FYI it looked a little like this:

3×5 deadlifts
2×10 deadlifts
5×10 squats
3×5 sumo deadlifts
3×5 sumo squats

I think I could do a few weeks of this kind of rotation, 5 days on one off and it would serve to increase my percentage also which currently is teetering around the 79-80% mark. Since I am around the 70 day mark that means I will be on Bulk phase until day 90 rolls in, which reminds me that I should be doing photos and weights this week some time. I think my re-composition is working, but I will need some proof of the fact.
For my cardio workout on Friday I did Insanity Plyometric Cardio and  as I recalled just moments before pushing play it’s been so long since I have done a real Insanity workout that I was worried I was not going to be able to get through the warmup. I wasn’t far wrong, so what I did was turn on the treadmill so that the times when I couldn’t keep up with Shaun T’s happy little bunch of miscreants I would be able to jog lightly and swear profusely. It wasn’t quite as bad as I had imagined however I was well and truly beaten by it in the end.

That’s what I get for trying to do Insanity while bulking.

R11D60-66 – Anaerobic Hell


It’s strange how you forget your experience with certain types of exercise when you are away for a while. It’s been a while since I have done any TRUE weight lifting, and by that I mean real anaerobic, no cardio, hard weight pushing, heavy mechanical exertion. You forget about the searing pain of lactic acid that flows and persists long after you drop the weight. You forget the kind of pump that makes you feel like your muscles are going to explode and prevents you from moving certain directions. It’s been a very long time since I have not been able to wash my shaved head because my arms mysteriously won’t reach because my biceps and shoulders are in the way. I have to admit, I kind of like it. I like it but I don’t like the extra poundage it brings. I am happy being 235 lbs, but I am still uncomfortable being 255lbs even if I know my body fat is falling. That said, I think it’s part of a healthy lifestyle circuit that at times you switch your training methodology from HIIT to Bodybuilding to Power Lifting to Cross Training. My recent days have included a mini-break from the Body Beast workouts to do a whole body bootcamp and a cardio day as a rest. For the bootcamp workout I did 10 movements for 100 reps each giving me 1000 rep total. It was not as hard as it sounds, some of the items were kinda easy.

Heavy Bag Knees
Standing knee lifts
Heavy bag kicks
Jumping Jacks
Side knee strikes
Military Pushups
Plank runs
Air squats

Once I felt like I was ready to get back to the lifting I started on the Bulk phase. This will be 2 weeks and then I will move along to either the build phase again or suck it up and go into Beast Phase although I am not really convinced it’s going to fit into what I am trying to do. I may have to back out and replace some of the “cardio” Body Beast with real cardio from Insanity.

So how is the second half of R11? I said at the Half Way Point that I was dissatisfied with the T25 and P90X3 system and I think I have managed to get over that feeling of frustration. The Body Beast workouts have me working a bit longer, a lot heavier and have me feeling like I am working hard once again. I am almost tempted to get back into a round of Pure P90X once this is done just to bring my cardio and bodyweight work back into line but we will see. I may enjoy being huge so much that Body Beast will get an extension into a round of it’s own.

FYI the BULK section is divided up further than the BUILD section was so I am committed to doing all 5 of the workouts twice in a 11 day period if I can manage it.

R11D58-60 Rep Counts for P90X, P90X2, P90X3 and Body Beast (Proof you are being lazy)

make every rep countI have to say first off that I can already feel the difference between the 25-30 minute workouts of the first half of Round 11 and the 45 minute workouts of Body Beast. It’s a really small change but I sincerely believe that the extra 15 minutes makes a big difference in my results and how I feel. It’s not that the workouts feel that different it’s just that the rest of the day I feel like I have done more, I feel in better shape, I feel like I am on a program doing something worthwhile. I remember the P90X days at the very start, I was still pretty overweight but I felt like an athlete once I started to feel some results. In comparison, after 45 days of P90X3 and T25 I feel more like a cheat and a bum than an athlete. I know the idea of squeezing an hour long workout into 30 minutes sounds great but if we can all just be honest for a minute here, you are not working any harder in P90X3 than you did in P90X and you are missing half the workout. For me, if I wanted to shorten the P90X workouts then I would rest less and get it done in 40 minutes. That’s the equivalent amount of work in less time which is what they were going for in P90X3, I just think they have fallen short of the mark and if I could be bothered to count the number of reps per workout I bet I would be right.

Speaking of rep counts, last summer when I was doing my Oly lifts in the garage and making progress after surgery my rep count for that workout was between 65 and 100. I had also said I wanted to get up over 100 reps as a baseline for an Olympic lifting workout with at least 3 movements. The year before when I started out getting back into these lifts my workouts looked like this:

Friday: 135lb

Deadlift 5×5
Hang Clean 5×5
Clean and Press 5×5
Squat 5×5

So you can see, a 100 rep count was normal as a baseline. Yesterday I did deadlifts, hang cleans and cleans plus some shrugs for trap strength like this:

DL 10×5
Shrugs 20×5
HC 5×5
Clean 5×5

For a total of 200 reps. Now if I am honest I lost my grip on the bar during the cleans and was too chicken to do the last set meaning I was at 195 reps for the workout. Granted the shrugs aren’t exactly taxing but I was really happy with my output. Not only that, but it took 45 minutes to do keeping my workout length at an acceptable level. I figure that if I can keep my reps at between 25 and 50 for the major movements I will be happy and I am still looking to do 200lb deadlift and 185 clean by June 1st.

As an appendix to this, let’s assume you are able to do 10 reps per exercise for P90X and P90X2, here are some totals for you:

I know 10 reps is a bit of a random guess but even if you are doing 30 pushups you are probably not doing 30 pullups and probably not even 30 diamond pushups so lets leave it at the classic 10 reps.

P90X Chest and Back 240 reps
P90X Shoulders and Arms 240 reps (270 with bonus)
P90X Legs and Back 240 reps
P90X Back and Biceps 240 reps but with superman, corn cob and towel pullups it’s likely to be less.
P90X Chest Shoulders and Tris 240 reps
P90X Ab Ripper 275 reps

P90X2 Total Body 270 reps
P90X2 Balance and Power 240 reps
P90X2 Chest Back and balance 210 reps
P90X2 Shoulders and Arms 230 reps
P90X2 Base and back 230 reps
P90X2 Chest Shoulders and Tris 230 reps
P90X2 VSculpt 230 reps

P90X3 Eccentric Lower 130 reps
P90X3 Eccentric  Upper 190 reps
P90X3 Complex Upper 200 reps – Part of the Elite Pack
P90X3 Complex Lower 200 reps – Part of the Elite Pack
P90X3 Incinerator 180 reps
p90X3 Total Synergistics 160 reps
P90X3 The Challenge 160 reps

It’s right there is black and white, if you think you are doing an hour workout in 30 minutes, you must be having a laugh. I would suggest that a workout of under 200 reps is leaving you short and it would be preferable to aim for around 240-250 reps per workout. Body Beast which is my recent Golden Child has a far more impressive count:

Body Beast Total Body 240 reps
Build Back Bis 392 reps
Build Chest Tri 312 reps
Build legs 278 reps
Build Shoulders 351 reps
Bulk Arms 351 reps
Bulk Back 238 reps
Bulk Chest 253 reps
Bulk Legs 368 reps
Bulk Shoulders 303 reps
Lucky 7 Up to 1000 reps if you did a minimum of 10 per set (not likely)
Tempo workouts 225 reps each



R11D53-7 – Body Beast Continues

42 Body Beast build Shoulders
43 Speed 1.0
44 Body Beast Back Biceps
off – work 12 hours
45 Body Beast Build Legs

As you can see above I have been sticking with the Body Beast workouts and added the Speed 1.0 again for a little break. The fact that this time I improvised and worked through the stretching for Speed 1.0 makes me happy. I wasn’t quite up for Speed 3 again and thought Speed 1.0 might be more like filling my requirements. It was easy, not as easy as last time since I upgraded my effort level but still not too challenging. The reason being that most of my body is aching and painful from various parts of Body Beast. Most notably my biceps which I rarely work on specifically, and since I haven’t been doing pullups much, haven’t had much work are killing me.

It’s pancake day today, so go make yourself some paleo pancakes and relax. My diet has been challenging of late, not because of content but portion size. I am trying to cut back on calories a little and it’s just never easy no matter what you do. That said, it’s a hell of a lot easier since I stopped thinking about food 24 hours a day!

My weight is high, I topped off at 260 one day last week but I think the re-composition is happening, albeit slowly. Generally the workouts are extending past 40 minutes which is making me happy too since the 20 minute thing, although good in theory, is not really effective for me at my level I don’t think. With the Body Beast workouts I am feeling large again, not in a bloated fatty fat fat way but more in a solid my neck feels like a tree stump kind of way. That’s not a bad thing since I know that the more active musculature I have, the more calories I burn just being big and As F Scott Fitzgerald once wrote “A big man has no time really to do anything but just sit and be big. ”.

By the way he also said “You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.” so on that point I will cease and depart.


R11D51 – Body Beast – Possibly A Bad idea

Taniainsanity<— This is the only time I would be able to out perform Tania from Insanity… She’s back in T25 and kicking my ass all over again.

On Monday I did my version of Body Beast Chest and did 135 reps of 135lbs and then 135 reps of vsnaps for core. I was supposed to do some triceps too but I didn’t get round to it. Tuesday at work I was thinking about my transition to Body Beast for the last half of my round 11 and decided that I would just jump in at day 2 (since day 1 was chest) and do Build:Legs. It’s not even 24 hours later and I already know it was a very bad idea. I don’t tend to do a lot of leg work mostly because my legs are easily big enough and I am just lucky that way even with the mass I lost after surgery. That said, when I do get around to legs it’s often with painful results. The workout itself was not too challenging, all stuff I can do but when it comes down to it, it’s really just 40 minutes of weighted lunges. I was neither prepared nor equipped for that workout. I had the weights, but I was not ready to have to call it quits at any point, so I didn’t. The front and back lunges are tough on the hamstrings and the step ups onto the bench are killer. The fact that they keep adding weight and cutting reps just makes it more torturous. Let me just say that I knew ahead of time what the Body Beast workouts were like, I have done several already throughout the last few months but never the legs. So I am a bit worried about exactly how sore I am going to be tomorrow but also because tonight I am supposed to be doing a 30 minute bootcamp at the end of class to get the girls back into shape. They have been slacking, as have Liza and I so today it all comes back to bite them. And us.

The good news is that it was a 40 minute workout and the past few days I have been extending my workout where possible to get closer back to the 45-60 minute window. the bad news is that if I keep up with Body Beast exclusively I may see my weight balloon even quicker. So I think I am going to call on my old friends Shaun T and pre-baby Tania from the Insanity days (although they are almost as intolerable as Tony) to get me back into cardio shape. I will know more after this week, but if it’s bootcamp tonight that means Insanity tomorrow.

R11D48 – Days Off Work

birthday workoutI usually take my birthday off work since there is nothing I want to do less than be at the office on my birthday. This year I took off Thursday and Friday and took the opportunity to do some hybrid cardio workouts involving the treadmill intervals. I did a 45 minute workout on Thursday with Oly lifts at 135lbs and jogging and according to my HRM it was about 500 calories burned. Friday I did another 45 minutes with bench and cardio mixed and again was around the 500 calorie mark. So for Saturday I thought it would be good to compare the burn from T25 so I opted to do Speed 3.0. That was a challenging workout! It was far more demanding than most of the others I have done so far but even so, after the 25 minutes I was only looking at about 350 calories. That said, I am wondering just how low my calorie burn was during some of the other workouts that were easier. I am going to try and keep some cardio going through this Body Beast phase so I don’t gain too much weight but it already appears that doing the heavy bench and lifts have added a pound or two. It will be interesting to see if I can really keep my weight in check as I try to increase my strength. I will probably be taking some creatine or something similar that tends to have a bloating effect on me so I expect a few pounds at the start but it should taper off as we go along. I have been keeping my stats private for now, but I will probably publish a weekly update.

I know it sounds counter intuitive to gain weight when I am already over my stable goal weight but in the end I think it is inevitable as I transition from what I consider to be inadequate volumes of work into the strength and size based workouts that Body Beast provide. The best I can hope is that I can keep it in check with insanity workouts, or maybe Speed 3.0 since it kicked my butt! As we get into the 3 or 4 week point I should start seeing my weight come back down but then again it’s all just hyperbole now, the results will speak for themselves. I just want to make sure I end up after the next 40 days or so closer to my ideal composition of 15% fat at around 230lbs.

R11D45 – Half Way Turnaround

Turn-Around-SignI think things have to change, I am coming to the conclusion that these 25 or 30 minute workouts are just not HIIT enough for me to get a great workout. It may be that they are sporadically sprinkled throughout the last 45 days and as such I haven’t really got the full effect. Well if that is the case then the next 13 days I am going to attempt to finish the T25 and P90X3 workouts that remain:

The Challenge
The Warrior
Eccentric Upper
Eccentric Lower

Rip T circuit
Dynamic core
Upper focus
Speed 3.0
Rip’T Up
Extreme circuit
The Pyramid

Tomorrow is my birthday and it’s as good a time as any to make some changes. I know I am only half way through the 90 days, but I didn’t really commit to one methodology for the duration. I think what I am going to try is to finish the above and then move into some Body Beast with Insanity. I feel like I need to get my strength back in line and I know that my weight isn’t really moving like it should be. So starting tomorrow I will be documenting more, working out more and setting my sights on getting my 230 lb body back by the end of the 90 days, that’s 45 days or 6 weeks which should be plenty of time. Of course, that is dependant on my not being 258 like the scale said this morning. I have a feeling I may be up at 252 which means dropping 20 lbs in about 6 weeks. I am shooting for a bit of a re-composition so I will be trying to track my fat% etc with my fancy scale at home and posting the results.

I am not sure about the exact workout schedule yet but for the next 2 days I will be visiting my Crossfit box for my workouts, after that I will try to pick and choose from the following:

Build section of Body Beast

Chest / Tris
Back / Bis

Insanity Favourites

Plyometric Cardio
Pure Cardio
Core Cardio and balance

I think it’s also about time that I listed some of my favourite workouts because if I am honest I can’t really tell the difference between them unless I really think back. So I will post some of my favourites with the content so I can keep track.


R11D39 – P90X3 Accelerator and Decelerator

Laguna-06-Superbike-startTuesday I went back to my old gym for the yearly bring a friend week and it was just how I remembered it, ridiculous teens doing things that are dangerous and stupid and old men doing things that are about as beneficial as the vegan lifestyle. Two kids in particular were doing kettlebell “swings” by lifting the bell like a front raise and holding it overhead like some jungle head hunter would display the heads of it’s victims. Obvioulsy the staff either don’t care or don’t know the difference, but to be honest, it really devalues the gym and poses a danger to the other users. However, most of the other users were women cruising the treadmills and ellipticals in an oblivious cardio coma like prisoners chained to a torture device. It was pretty grim if I am honest. I did manage to get some shoulder work done, mostly because my basement ceiling is too low to do presses so I made the most of that and also used the cable machine to do pulllups since my pullup bar on the deck has 3 feet of snow underneath it. I didn’t do cable pullups… not sure what they would be, but the pullup grips are positioned in the middle of the crossover beams on the cable machine. Anyway, I got a decent workout but it’s never going to be enough to get me to go back.

Wednesday I did Accelerator and Thursday I did Decelerator and to be honest I am having a hard time remembering the difference. I think the Accelerator was the one with legs and pushups while the Decelerator was legs and pullups. Accelerator was more like the old plyo with chest thrown in but Decelerator was more like eccentric movements with pullups. Both were cardio workouts at their heart and were OK, not great, but OK. I still think that P90X should try and stay away from the cardio workouts and leave them to Shaun T. In fact, what would be really good would be if they would just put the P90X /2 /3 workouts with Insanity and be done with it.

I am not really seeing much change with my weight as of yet, I am down maybe a couple of pounds but I am feeling a whole lot better. Not only that, my strength is back and I am sure I have probably just about finished filling out my muscles to their capacity. Next week I am only working 2 days and it’s my birthday week so I will be taking it easy and getting in as many workouts as I can and I may even be able to get to my Crossfit Gym! It may be Oly lifting tonight if I have the time.


R11D29-30 – One Third Done!

pizzathirdsToday was not a great workout but over the last few weeks I have been reticent to do workout with the kids at gym because frankly I am not sure I could keep up. Then again, there is no motivation better than leading any kind of fitness routine. So Monday we grabbed the dumbbells and did a 25 minute full body workout including some isometrics, some eccentrics and even a little abs. It was OK, and it reminded me that I really should be pushing them by pushing myself. It was far from the bootcamps of old but I think for the sake of everyone we should be getting back to the grind of full 30 minute workouts to get them used to what level of work is expected from them.

Tuesday was another “in the wild” workout as I spent another 25 minutes shovelling and breaking ice from the driveway in preparation for the snow that is supposed to be coming tomorrow.

This is a milestone because in the world of at home workouts usually 90 days is the length and again usually they are divided into 3 sections. T25 and P90X3 are no exception, T25 having Alpha Beta and Gamma and P90X3 being divided predictably into 3 months that contain different workouts. This time P90X3 only contains one workout for the third month that has not already been performed but since I have never divided up the workouts like that before, maybe the other DVD sets are the same. Anyway, here I am at the end of 30 days and although I am not actually following a program I am still committed to doing 90 days of the workouts. This 1/3 mark is usually where things start to get harder, the assumption is that after 30 days of their workouts you should already be getting into shape. So how am I doing? 30 days ago when I started I was in pretty rough shape, I had just come off a bout of pneumonia and a trip to England, I had been sick for quite some time and to be honest I was a mess. My weight at work was over 250 but that only means that I was right around the 250lb mark at home. I know my weight went up by 8lbs as I started to work out again which I expected but now, a few days into February I am right around 254 which means I am down about 4lbs or so. I know it’s not much but I really had not been keeping my diet as strict as I would like, and now I have Fitday on my side I estimate a loss of at least 3lbs a week. It is pretty frightening that I am 20lbs away from my ideal weight of around 230lbs but then again, having back surgery will do that to you, the important thing is that I am back on track and heading back to the top. The funny thing is that the only rule I was breaking for my diet was the 100g of carbs, and once I have that under control I am sure good things will follow. It’s easy to get away from that without really noticing or eating anything “bad” but starch after a workout and too much fruit will tip your balance easily. If you don’t think that veg and fruit are able to put weight on you, take a peek at the latest instalment of the “5000 calories a day” guy. He is on a vegan diet and gaining weight all the way.

I had earmarked Feb 1st as a goal for having my Olympic lifts back up to 135lbs which I have achieved, I also wanted to be able to run 1500m in a reasonable time without stopping but I have been staying away from the treadmill in favour of T25 workouts. I wonder how I would fare at a 1500m run right now.

Below is my Fitday from Monday and Tuesday for your enjoyment.


fitday feb 3 2014


fitday feb 4 2014