Coconut Oil Is The Shizzle

Category: Nutrition

coconutoilI know, there are articles everywhere about how wonderful coconut oil is and I for one am a firm believer in everything you read about the benefits but I thought along with a couple of my favourite links I would tell you my top reasons for loving Coconut Oil.

First, I would like to say that I have rediscovered that it’s the only way I can really suppress my appetite. Recently I have started cooking my eggs with coconut oil in the morning, I was previously making sausages and waiting to get to work to buy my scrambled eggs but not wanting to waste more money that I need to I started making breakfast again. You can’t be shy with it, I use a full tablespoon and my eggs are swimming, but that’s OK, it all gets absorbed and no my eggs don’t taste like coconut. I buy the organic stuff from Costco and although they have recently changed brands, it’s pretty good stuff. June 2016 they have started selling a Kirkland version to compete with the Nutiva stuff, personally I think they are pretty much identical but the own brand sells for 20% less.

Last weekend I started the eggs for breakfast thing again. Saturday I made eggs and forgot to eat again until dinner time. For the last few days I have done the same. My indifference to food is once again unnerving and a breath of fresh air.

Now, I have stated before  that for a VERY long time (read: my whole life) I had thought about food 24/7. In my rush to put my workouts first I had forgotten the underpinning of what got me down to the best shape of my life in 2011. It wasn’t the bootcamps, although they did help, it was my use of coconut oil.

My workouts can be brutal, still, even at my age. My diet can be unreasonably restrictive in some people’s estimation but coconut oil is one thing we can all do for ourselves.

So what are my personal top reasons for using it?

1. Top of the list is hunger. It turns it off completely.

2. Use it to make protein bars, in the fridge it goes hard as rock. (Recipe here)

3. Skin softener. For me with my barbells and my gym girls with their bar hands it’s a great way to keep the calluses soft enough so they don’t rip.

Of course there are hundreds of other uses for coconut oil and flour . Here are some interesting reads if you like… Not forgetting the newest fad Bulletproof coffee…(Here’s a well written warning about that idea… )

Update June 2016 – A comprehensive take on the benefits… This time with Science! http://www.well-beingsecrets.com/health-benefits-of-coconut-oil/

Another very comprehensive article, also with scientific evidence. : https://www.jenreviews.com/coconut-oil/

Other resources to check out:

http://wellnessmama.com/5734/101-uses-for-coconut-oil/

http://www.swansonvitamins.com/blog/natural-health-tips/using-coconut-oil

http://whole9life.com/tag/coconut-oil/

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/coconut-oil-health-benefits/

http://healthygeeks.net/uses-of-coconut-oil/

 

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Keto or Paleo or Low Carb or High Fat. Yes.

Category: Nutrition

keto lunch and dinnerThere’s a lot of misinformation out there, that’s why I like articles like this, concise, accurate and with extra bacon bits of references.

10 Benefits of a low carb Keto diet…

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2015R1D36 – Unable To Decide If It’s Working

Category: Crossfit WOD Type Workouts

So I have modified the workouts to a 3 movement as outlined last post. I tried to go 5×5 but that was too little work. I am currently doing anything from 10 reps x 5 sets to 7 reps x 7 sets for each exercise. The problem I find is getting to heavy enough weights quickly enough to make it work. I find I prefer to build up to a heavy weight and if I don’t I find I am not effective and just don’t get the work I need. I am finding that for most exercises that 7×7 is working OK which puts me into the 150 rep range plus warmup.

I am sticking with the cardio, I purchased Insanity for Xbox and also Zumba for Nicole, even though I have done 3 of the 5 workouts myself. I am supposed to be losing weight but if I am honest with myself I am really not making enough of an effort. I have to cut out all the evening food, nothing after the workouts and bed early, that should fix it. The problem is that I have a harder time being motivated to lose the weight when I am performing well because I know I will lose strength and that makes me unhappy. But I have to. I can’t go into the summer at this weight, I need to drop about 20lbs ASAP to get ready for the HIIT system that I usually follow for the summer.

It’s weird too because I actually feel better for the cardio and I think I look a bit better, but let’s be honest, unless we are talking about 10lbs it’s just not significant. I think I will stick with the multiple exercise piece for now, I don’t seem to be getting burned out by it, in fact I feel better than I did. The weird thing is that I have been having knee pain for a while now which I think is due to adding muscle to my right leg and it hurts like hell all the time but as soon as I start squatting, the pain disappears. I think it’s the new muscle not being stretched or as flexible as it should be and it’s pulling on my knee. Whatever it is, it hurts. Not only that, I have been having niggling wrist pain too on and off since passing the Millennium. I can still bench but not with my suicide grip any more. Hopefully both these issues will subside once I get some weight off but I am not sure about the wrist.

Gymnastics is going well, we have the levels established now it’s time for routines and practice practice practice… We have a long time it would seem however it’s still the time that passes the quickest during the year. Once the New Year passes it’s like a slippery slide until competition and every year it seems to creep up on you at an alarming pace. Thankfully I only have 2 girls doing compulsory routines, the rest are going level 6 which makes my life a whole lot easier.

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2015R1D26 – Update. Changes Are Coming.

Category: Gym / Weighlifting Workouts, Olympic Lifts, Planning

Changed PrioritiesSo I am thinking about switching the weights up a bit for the time being.
I feel like my rep count is sufficiently high that I can split a 1 day deadlift program into 3 separate movements and still hit around the same rep count (90-150 most days). The point would be to work some accessory movements knowing that I am not going to be producing a 1 or 3 RM performance at all at the moment. What I would aim for is 50-70% max output on the main lift and then probably 5×5 at 80% on the accessory movements. It 2would break down something like this with some changes to the accessory movements over time.

Deadlift day becomes 7×5 DL, Good Mornings, bent rows
Cardio
Chest day becomes 7×5 Bench, flys, triceps
Cardio
Squat day becomes 7×5 Squat, leg extensions, hamstring curls
Cardio
OLY day becomes 7×5 cleans, snatch, OHP or cleans, front squat, DB OHP

That gives me a 4 day weight program and a 3 day cardio program which is fine for cutting. I will need to change the accessory movements, these are off the top of my head. 35 movements on each item for a total of 105 movements total.

Which brings me to my cut. It’s been not too painful but the results are also not too impressive. I am down about 4lbs in 2 weeks but the recomp is much better that it sounds.

There are 2 additional factors here, I gave up the CE stack I was using due to joint dryness which I think was the cause of my pain and also I started creatine which should add around 3-5lbs of water weight.

I also want to note here that I am having some pain since stopping the heavy Millennium cycle. I have found that cardio is aggravating my back and hips and is a great source of pain for me. So I am back with the daily stretching but to be honest I feel a lot more delicate since I started cardio again. My knees are painful when coming downstairs, even when I sit for a few minutes they hurt. I am hoping that in another week or so they will be getting used to it otherwise it’s out with the cardio and back to the HIIT instead. I have been doing a lot of dancing and bootcamp cardio type Xbox workouts including Insanity and P90X, whatever is free basically.
The numbers are far from impressive but here you go. Today was a little off, I think I have some hydration issues. If the creatine has added 3-5lbs then it’s possible I am down up to 9lbs which would be fine.
Weight-Fat-Water-Muscle-Rating-BMR-Age-Bone Mass-Visceral Fat

January-01-15 261 25.5 52 184.8 3 2649 48 9.4 13
January-05-15 257 25.5 51.5 182.2 3 2605 47 9.4 13
January-18-15 257 24.8 51.8 183.6 3 2614 45 9.4 13
January-23-15 258 24.5 52 185.6 3 2654 43 9.4 13
January-26-15 257 25.7 51.4 181.2 3 2690 48 9.2 14

Still a way to go but getting the hang of the workouts and keeping reminding myself to cut the calories a bit means a slow road. But then again slow is how you keep it off #fatlogic…

In reality, I need to focus more and eat less. Next week should show more of an improvement.

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2015R1D12 – No Results Is Progress

Category: Gym / Weighlifting Workouts, Gymnastics / Bootcamp

keep calm move forwardFitness.

It’s been almost a fortnight of my cut and nothing much is happening but I am good with that. I have learned over the years that my body is like an oil tanker in the ocean, you can turn it any way you want just don’t expect it to react very quickly. In the distant past (as with many people I presume) I would get discouraged with my lack of (specifically) weight loss after a couple of weeks and give up only to realize the following week that I was then losing. By that time it was too late and the damage was done. I have learned that a couple of weeks of strict diet and training is what it takes to lay the foundation for change. My weight is about the same but I feel better already. Although I wouldn’t recommend 12 days without a break to very many people, I know that at the moment my body is OK with it. It’s not been very hard training compared to my Millennium project so to me it feels like rest. That said, I managed to fit my DL, cleans, squat and bench into a 7 day rotation with 3 days of cardio. I have been spending time with my old friends Tony (P90X Plyo) and Shaun T (Insanity) and it’s been a lot of fun. And a lot of pain. My cardio was way off optimal but I am managing to struggle through the workouts sweating profusely, swearing like a sailor and once again being faced with my body’s lack of cooperation but it’s working. I am invigorated by the Xbox setup and the built in challenges that have me marginally ahead of my age group which is somewhere between dinosaur and cro-magnon man.

I have been unable to shake the cold I have had for about 2 weeks now too. I had to take off Thursday and Friday from work with fever, coughing, shortness of breath and nausea so I am eagerly awaiting the return of my health that should give me a boost. As for the numbers, the weight has not changed and in the next couple of days I should have my new scale stats to run against what I was. Like I tell my girls at gymnastics, it’s all about moving forwards, sometimes at a sprint sometimes at a crawl but moving…

Speaking of the gym, I wanted to colour this blog a little with some more personal touches. I think the P90X blog has run it’s course and for a general fitness writer (such that I am) maybe some extra depth into my activities and interests is warranted. I am thinking of moving the blog to a new address, but I can’t really think of a catchy subdomain. I will probably just move it to fitness.iamcanadian.org or something else equally vanilla. Suggestions are welcome of course. Maybe I can invest in another domain if a name really grabs me but since I already have fulltimefitness.ca which was for me and sweetphysique.ca which was for Nicole I probably have picked over what was available.

Gymnastics.

The girls are coming along, most have started to reclaim some of the skills that they “lost” before the break but since I don’t believe in “losing” skills lets just say that they are back on track mentally and are able to perform their skills again. It’s time for floor routines, they have to pick music and get to work on both their floor and beam routines soon since we only have 4 months to competition. My athlete with the broken leg should be back training lightly this week or next so the group should be back into the groove. My next job is to make sure that my level 6 athletes stay with their level 6 skills and my 2 level 4s have a shot at moving up if they can do the work in time. Level 6 is pretty easy to get into as long as you have the core skills they require such as kip on bars, handstand on beam, flight element on beam, 3 element tumbling plus a front tuck on floor and a decent vault. Once they have the basics they can add an almost unlimited amount of skills to their routines. It’s an exciting time, but nervy too with some girls still on the edge of having their basics ready.

 

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2015R1D5 – Getting Serious and a Rude Awakening

Category: Planning

srslystopimdriving

Thursday, 01/01/2015 1 Insanity Plyo Cardio 100%
Friday, 01/02/2015 2 30 min cardio Mossa MMA 100%
Saturday, 01/03/2015 3 Bench 160reps 225 10MinTrainer 100%
Sunday, 01/04/2015 4 Insanity Cardio Power Resistance 100%
Monday, 01/05/2015 5 Deadlifts to 185 100 reps 100%

My last few days are a fair representation of what a complete obsessive personality I have. I was supposed to be adding some cardio to my regular (albeit light) lifting program. What happened was 5 days of cardio and only 1 day of weights (plus cardio that day too). This was assisted by the fact that my new XBOX Fitness program has FREE Insanity workouts this month, I mean who can resist that? I also had a rude awakening after I stepped on my body measurement scale only to find out that my “bulk” phase has added an inordinate amount of fat to my body. 3% total which is scary. I know that my strength is way up and I know that does kind of go hand in hand but to be almost 26% is hard to swallow.

In December my stats for weight-fat-water-muscle were:

December-01-13 236.6 22.5 53.5 177
January-05-15 257 25.5 51.5 182.2

As you can see I added 3% body fat, but my muscle mass increased by 5.2lbs or approx. 3%. My bodyweight increased by almost 9%. These are mostly numbers that make me uncomfortable. In the picture over in the sidebar my stats were far worse and I was up over 33%fat. To be honest I haven’t been over about 20% in quite some time so I am not impressed. However, I look at my Millennium success and I have to take the rough with the smooth, I achieved an amazing goal, but obviously went a bit off track at the same time. In the nicer half of that picture I am 232lbs and around 16% fat which is still a bit high but acceptable.

Which brings me to my goals for 90 days from now.

I seriously need to be below 20% as son as possible. Within 90 days is totally possible, I have 65.5lbs of fat right now and so I need to get rid of about 16lbs to take me down to 50lbs fat or below. That fits nicely into my goals so far. 16 lbs of fat can be lost in about 8 weeks so this should be easily achieveable and then I can reset my goals once I am down to either 20% or 50lbs of fat total.

I don’t want to just be held to those two numbers I would like to see my total lifts not drop below 75% of my Millennium Max which would give me the following:

Total lift numbers max (% numbers are approximate according to plate thresholds)

Deadlift 295 – 75% – 225
Squat 315 – 75% – 235
Bench 395 – 70% – 295
Total 1005 – 70% – 750

And so there you have it. 90 days to get back to what I would consider to be pretty good shape and not too skewed towards power lifts. Wish me luck…

 

 

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2015R1 – The Cut

Category: Planning

shrek-and-hulk1I have to admit this is the worst phase for me. I assume it is for most people I mean who likes to be eating in deficit and having to work out just as hard? Anyway, it’s the price to pay for dirty bulking and achieving those strength goals. So to start I need to make sure I am doing all the things that are important before adding the extra cardio. Here is a list of what I need to be doing on a per week  basis this phase.

Deadlifts
Bench
Squat
Clean / Power Clean
Seated OHP
Pullups 100-300 per week
KB Swings
I would also like to not lose grip with
Barbell snatch
Overhead Squat
Front squat
Toes to bar
Add to this 2 days of Cardio and HIIT then you have a full program.

It will probably look something like this:

Bench, Dips, Pulllups
DL and swings
Cardio or HIIT / WOD
Squat and pullups
Cleans and OHP
Cardio or HIIT / WOD

As usual I will take days off when I require them, maintaining a 78% workout ratio.

I am looking to do high volume, lower weights HIIT training as much as possible. The cardio days will include doing Insanity since I now have access to some of the workouts through the XBOX which is great. Most days I will be doing some sort of 10 minute cardio portion but nothing that is worth recording here. If the mood takes me I can do bootcamp on the days that I have cardio since these workouts should not preclude me from doing partial same bodyparts on consecutive days. This is especially true since the bootcamps will be bodyweight only.

I do not expect that I will enjoy this. I do expect to enjoy losing some of the bodyfat I gained during the Millennium.

I actually started on Jan 1 with Insanity Plyo Cardio Circuit. I wanted to see what it was like with the xbox fitness element added. It was just as painful if not worse however I smoked men in my age category so there’s that… I did realize that bulk without cardio is not such a good idea. I should probably have stuck to my plan of doing one cardio workout a week. I am in so much pain right now from hamstrings and mid back ski abs pain…

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Millennium Victory Is Mine – 1005LBS – 2 Days Early!

Category: Crossfit WOD Type Workouts

to do winI jumped the gun just a little bit, rather than wait on my schedule to rotate I decided that I would take advantage of my enthusiasm and go for the Deadlift PR on Monday night. It was tough, the deadlift still scares me as a risk but I managed to squeeze what I needed out of the bar for a 1RM PR of 295lbs.

Part of my ultracompetitive psyche wants to hit 300 on my DL and 400 on my Bench but at this point I realize that both those lifts are within me. (As an aside, I did bench 405 after I wrote this). For this cycle though I am done.

I spent most of my summer doing what most would call a “dirty bulk” just eating in surplus and working whatever I could to gain strength. My discipline was lacking because I really didn’t have a specific goal. Once September hit I decided 1000lbs was a great goal to aim for. So for the past 4 months I have been working on my form, having to re-learn some of my Olympic and powerlifting technique until such a time when I could start to pile on the weight. As you can see below I put 390lbs on my total or an increase of 63%. Of course the numbers can be misleading so here are some things I need to add as caveats to the story.

I had lifted very heavy before. My history of powerlifting and working with Oly lifts helped me tremendously. However, since my first back surgery 13 years ago I had never dared to push this hard.
I started off with what I was working on, not what my 1RM was for anything. At the time, these were simply the heaviest weights I was using.
My form may have been compromised on some of my attempts, I don’t think I could have done the weights I did with perfect form except maybe bench. I realize that my 1RM with perfect form is probably a lot less.
These lifts are all raw, no wraps, no belt, just chalk. I also don’t think I will be doing this again.
Apart from a little wrist soreness one or two days and a bit of knee discomfort following squat day my health has not suffered and I completed this task injury free.
My total as of today (Jan 2 2014) is 1015 due to the 405lb bench I did after the fact.

What is next? My least favourite thing, the cut. I have the strength back, I have gained quite a lot of muscle in my right leg for the first time in 13 years and my legs actually look quite similar now. So for now I will take the next 3 months (or however long it takes) to get back down to 235 or thereabouts. I would like to eventually get down to 220 but there is a point in there somewhere that I start to become uncomfortable with my lack of size. For me, bodyfat percentage is more important than weight and I have previously calculated that at a BF that is acceptable to me I should be right around 230-235. For reference right now I am around the 255 mark. I will be doing the starting stats thing in the new year.

 

Before. Sept 1 2014:

Total lift numbers max
DL 205
SQ 135
Bench 275
Total of 615

During: Dec 1 2014

Total lift numbers max
DL 225
SQ 245
Bench 305
Total of 775

After Dec 29 2014:

Total lift numbers max
Deadlift +44% 295
Squat +133% 315
Bench +44% 395
Total lift numbers max +63% 1005

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Millennium Update 985LBS and The Psychology Of Victory

Category: Olympic Lifts

RewardShirtsI know, being so close it’s easy to plan for victory. But the truth is that I would have ordered these shirts a long time ago had I remembered that I could print them myself online. Point is, having goals is great, it’s really critical if you want to have good progress but you should also plan for your success. That means having rewards at points of significance along the way. For me, the finish line of this goal is 1000lbs. Given my back surgeries and my age going any further would only increase the risk to me which is not what I need. After this goal is met, I will have to plunge into my cut cycle which is my least favourite but will be necessary to get my weight back down. When I start that cycle, I will have planned out small rewards at each 10lb increment and also a final reward for my final goal. I will put some amount of money into the rewards in order to psychologically prepare myself to make it. I am not going to hope to hit my goals, I expect to hit them and to reap the rewards. I plan to meet those milestones and I may make them in time, I may miss the deadline but I know I will make the result. The decision to set a goal is as much a decision to succeed as it is a plan for success. The thing is that I can break down the goal into weeks, even down to the days knowing what I have to do each day to get me to the finish line, then it’s just a matter of being disciplined enough to do the work.

Too many times I hear “I’ll try” or “I’ll do my best” but at some level there is doubt in both those sayings. “I will” sets you up for a success. It programs your brain to achieve the correct outcome. It leaves no room for doubt or error. It’s a blueprint for success. Don’t misunderstand me, I realize that goals are missed every day, each step of the way there will be failure but as we know..

Your key to success is massive failure. Without supreme effort there is no failure, without massive failure there is no success.

The point here is simple, plan to succeed, to the point where you set up your rewards, prepare the victory party, believe in yourself enough to get the job done and cross that finish line.

Those shirts up there are my future and although I am too close to have any doubt, I am still not quite there. Will I make it?

I HAVE NO DOUBT.

Yesterday I cursed my lack of 2.5lb plates. I was going for my bench Personal Record and got up to 395 without realizing that I couldn’t add the last little bit. I was into my max rep range and my total was maxed out. If I had been in possession of those donuts I would have made 400lbs. As it stands, I repped 2x with 395. That put my total at 985lbs with my deadlift still sitting at 275 and what seems like an easy win. That said, the most dangerous lift for me is deadlift and the one that I have been avoiding pushing any further. Still, a 300lb DL for someone of my size should not be an issue, I just need to clear the ghosts of surgeries past from my mind and do the last little bit of work.

I did some cardio on Christmas Day and for the last 4 days I have had a very sore spot under my ribs in my back. Unfortunately it’s the part of my back I use most at the very top of the Dead and I think it may hurt too much to go for the lift today. So I am thinking I will give my new Xbox One Fitness program a whirl and do some cardio / bootcamp for today to get a little looser and try for the PR tomorrow. In all honestly I had images in my mind of pulling a 300lb Deadlift on New Years Eve to get the total. In reality I may be a day early.

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Millennium Total 915 – Keeping Your Word.

Category: Crossfit WOD Type Workouts, Olympic Lifts

e158f2d4d41d38e9fdcc5655e83eea7bIt’s December 22 and 2 days ago I managed to increase again up to 365 on bench. I can’t believe how fast mu numbers are increasing and I will share a bit of my schedule so we can see how its working…

Total lift numbers max
Deadlift 275
Squat 275
Bench 365
Total lift numbers max 915

That’s my total so far, only 85lbs from 1000. Maybe I will actually make it?? I shouldn’t have doubts, I was trying to get one of my gym girls to understand the value of making and keeping promises when it comes to physical activity. There are some pretty scary things that gymnasts do and fear is always a factor but you must still commit to the process and value your own word when you say you will do something. The problem is if you don’t go into training with a goal in mind then you will really just be aimlessly going through the motions.

I have set a goal of 1000lbs total for Dec 31. That means I have to make it. It doesn’t necessarily mean I will make it, but my mindset has to be 100% commitment that I will do everything I can to get there.

I am at 915. I will make 1000 in the next 9 days.

Here is what my schedule has been, stripped down for clarity.

Monday, 12/01/2014 1 Cardio 40 min
Tuesday, 12/02/2014 2 Light power cleans 5×15
Wednesday, 12/03/2014 3 Bench Light 200 rep
Thursday, 12/04/2014 4 Squat Light 175 rep
Friday, 12/05/2014 5 DL Light 125 rep
Saturday, 12/06/2014 off
Sunday, 12/07/2014 6 400 rep light squats
Monday, 12/08/2014 7 Heavy Bench PR 335
Tuesday, 12/09/2014 8 Heavy DL PR 275
Wednesday, 12/10/2014 9 Light OHP to 115. 75 rep
Thursday, 12/11/2014 10 Light Squats to 195 75r
Friday, 12/12/2014 off
Saturday, 12/13/2014 11 Heavy Squats PR 275
Sunday, 12/14/2014 12 Cardio walking 45 min
Monday, 12/15/2014 13 Mid bench 275 125 rep
Tuesday, 12/16/2014 14 light deads and cardio
Wednesday, 12/17/2014 off due to sick everybody
Thursday, 12/18/2014 15 WOD dips squat clean
Friday, 12/19/2014 16
Saturday, 12/20/2014 17 Heavy Bench PR 365 3x
Sunday, 12/21/2014 18 Cardio 2x 30 min

it seems like it’s a bit random but to be honest I will try to stick to alternating heavy light 4 day with a cardio day but I will really be doing what I feel I can on that day. I will try to do a heavy DL day today since I had cardio yesterday then a heavy Squat day then a few light days over Christmas. That will set me up for 3 heavy days at the end of the year to try and hit my goal.

 

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