December Update

Category: Gymnastics / Bootcamp, Nutrition

It has been a very hectic month or so for us, with the gym up and running, coaches meetings, theme weeks, Elves on shelves and finally managing to get the security system to cover everything we need. We have had boys going to qualifiers and doing very well and the rec program is running almost at capacity with another full winter session coming up. With the change in my hours I have been able to get to the gym on a regular basis making maintaining my weight and conditioning a bit easier. After the summer run I was down to 236 at around 17% BF which is down a little from during the year. I spent a lot of time around 18-19 so dropping just 1% was quite an achievement. That was before the carbs came back of course. Have I mentioned that I hate the carb reload that I do every year? It’s my chance to relax with my food a little and try to put on a bit of strength that I typically lose on Keto. However, this year it’s had some really weird effects that I am not happy with, mostly it has made me strangely emotional. It is supposed to be until Christmas, but to be honest I really don’t like what I am feeling so I think enough is enough and I am done with the reload. It is hard to explain the difference it makes to me but I will try.

Every day I eat the same food. It’s irrelevant to me. I don’t think about it, I don’t look forward to it, I don’t even consider it a treat or an event, it just is… However, bring some carbs back into my life and suddenly I can’t wait until 11am to eat. I can’t seem to control how much I eat and I am constantly hungry, a feeling that I just don’t have any other time of the year. I am up every couple of hours during the night to go to the bathroom and therefore I am short on sleep which makes things so much worse. The worst part of this is that I am targeting carbs which means that I am only eating them at certain times and I am keeping them under 100g and it is still messing with me. I want to say also that the carbs I am on are only yam, oats and blueberries so it’s not like I am eating sugar or grains but still the effects are very noticeable and like I said for some reason this time I find myself irrationally angry and sad at the strangest things.

So I think I am done, I still want to go for sushi before I stop but after that it’s over and back to keto and my emotionally stable life. And sleep I hope.

As for my gym performance I was able to bench 400lbs again last week which is a really good sign that my shoulder that was bothering me for a few weeks is finally getting better. I still feel a bit of a sting when I overhead press but I suppose with any shoulder injury that will take time to go away. At least now I am able to get back to weighted dips and flat bench which is a relief. I have also been working on the hack squat in an attempt to change the shape of my lower thigh area, something I think I lack. I know after my back surgery that my right leg won’t ever recover but it would be nice to have a little more size around my knee which I think may be working. It’s actually really embarrassing doing a new exercise because my weights are very light but to be honest a little humility in the gym is good for me.

I had my last heart ultrasound this week and I am still waiting on the results. The tech wouldn’t tell me the results because I suppose they aren’t supposed to and probably aren’t actually qualified to make a diagnosis. Once I get the results I will put them here but so far from the holter test, the stress test and the first echo they haven’t found anything wrong but they keep going back to the same question about if I ever had a heart attack which I find disturbing. Hopefully this last ultrasound will tell them exactly what it is they think they see in there.

As usual my conclusion is that I should probably be doing more cardio. And by more I mean any. Probably 10 minutes on the stairmaster would be a good start and it’s not that hard but it’s about the most boring thing I can imagine and time seems to slow down to a snails pace. I hate cardio. Hate.

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Owning The Future

Category: Gym / Weighlifting Workouts, Gymnastics / Bootcamp

It’s been a long time since I wrote anything here, and for good reason. The last couple of months have been extremely busy with us completing the purchase of the gymnastics club where I worked. The process has been slow and difficult but we are almost across the line. Since this blog was never really about my personal life but more about my fitness journey I did’t think it was particularly interesting to talk about the gym. However, now I am happy to say I have a massive facility that I can work out in any time I need to I can finally tie in the whole event. In fact, as I am getting older it may be time to transition from my lifetime addiction to weights and being as big as possible to a system that will take me past 50 and beyond. I know I talk about this all the time but never manage to follow through and over the last few months I have been taking a more volume approach to my training with less focus on weight and more on movements. I can’t say it’s as fulfilling as throwing massive weights around but I am still under 240 and around 18.5% fat so my body seems reasonably happy.

The other big story about my health is my heart. I started having palpitations and while they seem to have subsided for now I did go through a lot of testing and they found that I do have some damage to my heart. They don’t know what it is or when it is from but it seems like something happened. I still have to go for an ultrasound but the stress test was clean and so far I have been given a clean bill of health. I should probably figure out a way to get more cardio in to my life but I really really, reallllly hate cardio.

I am going to try to post more, to try to get back into the habit and stay up to date with anything I am doing at gymnastics and at LA Fitness. I am still doing keto, have been since the start of the summer, I didn’t opt to go for the targeted keto this time around and the net effect has been the same as when I did. Seems that carbs at the right time are OK for me but I just don’t like the fact that when I take that approach that I do still suffer from cravings.

For now my diet is extremely simple. 4 egg cheese omelette for breakfast around 10, 350g of chicken and cheese for dinner and snacks of various things like nuts and pork rinds with Costco dip. Lots of heavy cream in there too but I am trying to reduce the amount of coffee I am drinking so not as much as before.

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August Update – Slow Keto

Category: Nutrition

My first couple of updates were not earth shattering. I had planned a big 30 day test and expected to see some major changes but didn’t. For me, everything is better done slowly, maybe because of my age or my sedentary lifestyle these 30 day tests are often more telling as 90 day marathons. That said, I was not surprised to see that I gained during my forced overfeed and in the same tone I am not surprised that eating right at my TDEE of 2500 I am losing bodyfat.

Here are the numbers:

Before Oz 238 22%
After Oz 233 21% (1 week later)
After overfeed 239 22% (30 days later)
Currently after TDEE keto for about 2 months 234 19%

As you can see, I have dropped what I would consider a significant amount of fat. I am sure I have lost muscle in the process but my lifts are the same and my energy is fine. I measure myself daily with a Tanita impedance scale so my results on the daily are sometimes off but overall I have been reporting under 20% fat for 3 days now.

I will try to find some photos of all 4 times and post them together so you can see how things have moved along.

What do I think are the results here?

For a start, nothing is as black and white as CICO or KETO. I found that it’s possible to eat over my TDEE and not gain weight, but only to a point. At some point your body just can’t process everything and has to store the extra. I do find that it’s possible to overeat slightly and not have any ill effects on weight gain with Keto, something I have not found with any other eating system. It certainly appears to me that a keto lifestyle is a lot more forgiving when it comes to CICO. I have also reported in my previous posts very significant mental differences on keto and I do find my energy levels are stable but not high.

Here are the links to my Keto entries from before Australia until now.

Coming back to Keto
Chocolate covered macadamia nuts
Keto on vacation
Keto vacation update
Back home
My Keto experiment, starting the 30 days
Strict Keto. What I found out.

As promised here are the picture updates. Enjoy!

Starting out 238 22%

3 weeks of keto down 5lbs

Back up to 239 at 22 and soft

Current Aug 1 17 234 19% after 90 days keto


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Too Much Protein on Keto – Don’t Fret, It’s Not A Problem.

Category: Gymnastics / Bootcamp

Amazing article outlining the false fear-mongering surrounding eating too much protein on the Keto diet. Fear not, it’s all good.

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Fear kills dreams, fear kills hope…

Category: Gymnastics / Bootcamp

It doesn’t matter what happens to you… What are you going to do about it?

Life is hard. Real hard. Incredibly hard… You want more than you have now? Prove it.

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The Most Savage Workouts – How To Stay In Shape After Gymnastics

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

It’s that time of year again and my heart is heavy as I say goodbye to some of my wonderful kids. They are moving on, away from a sport that has given them the kind of strength and coordination that nothing else can and for that reason they need something to keep them going. Hitting the gym 16 hours a week is always going to be hard to replace but there is hope with a little dedication, hard work, and the wealth of workouts that are buried right here in this site.

Where to start?

For a start, the tag cloud halfway down the right side of the page is a great place to find posts that are tagged with bootcamp, cardio etc. Once in a while I will post something like my Frosh Week series or something specific that someone has asked for. But digging through the site is hard to find what you are looking for so I am on a quest to find a better way of organizing things. Until then, I will link a few posts or tags here to get you started.

Basics on how to stay in shape after gymnastics – Some rules to follow, and choices to make

Christmas Countdown. 3 workouts to get you in the festive spirit – Christmas Countdown

Frosh Week workouts – Guaranteed to fix that hangover – FROSH WEEK

Bootcamp 3 tag – Some of the best bootcamp workouts were later in the series – Bootcamp3

If you are familiar with Crossfit here are some WODs I had completed – WODs I HAVE DONE

Here are 20 more basic Crossfit workouts for home that will cause you great suffering – 20 WODs for home


Some additional interesting educational and motivational pieces:

Health and Fitness 101

A special nod to Aly – Stop listening to yourself

Motivation. If this doesn’t get you off your ass nothing will… MOTIVATION

After this you are on your own. I am always available to help with planning and motivation as long as you are willing to listen and work hard. Here is the basic knowledge you need to schedule your own workouts:

The simple rules for any workout program
You were a gymnast, half body workouts are fine
Use your basic skills from conditioning and gym
Legs: Squats, lunges, jumps, 1 leg squat
Arms: Dips, reverse grip chinups
Shoulders: Handstands, HS Pushup, burners
Back: Chinups, high pulls, rows
Chest: All pushups, plank walk
Core: Crunch, situp, vsnap, leg lift, rockers
Cardio: Sprints, burpees, jumps, plank runs
Monday: Arms Shoulders Core
Tuesday: Legs Cardio
Wednesday: Chest Back Core
Thursday: Cardio and flexibility
Friday: Legs Core
Saturday: Arms Shoulders Back Chest Light day
Sunday: Off




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Strict Keto. Underfeeding, overfeeding and forced overfeeding. What I found out.

Category: Nutrition

A couple of days before we went to Australia I finished watching Jason Wittrock’s 21 day keto challenge and was inspired to get back to real keto, high fat and moderate protein to see how I felt. The reason was I was interested in why Jason didn’t gain any weight while overfeeding on keto. Now the guy is a workout maniac, there is no way my life is a reflection of his and although I have gone over this before, I think a recap of what actually happened is in order.

While we were away I stayed pretty close to my TDEE, mostly because I wanted to get back to full keto without the overfeeding part. To be honest I felt much better, especially mentally once the vacation was underway. I managed to stick to the program through the vacation and didn’t gain any weight. Once I was back I resolved to start the 30 days overfeed and that is where we are now. It’s been about 10 weeks since I started and went on vacation. It has been about 5 weeks that I have been overfeeding and I have a startling revelation.

If you eat too many calories, you gain weight.

However, it’s not as simple as CICO because for the first 30 days I was over by 500 calories. My workouts were just about as regular as could be and although I haven’t been able to get to the gym quite as regularly as I would like it’s been pretty much par for the course in my day to day life. So what happened? Well, during that first 30 days I didn’t gain any weight. My fat % according to my scale went down very slightly but not enough that I could really point to a change. This was very weird to me. I knew I was overeating and not doing enough to burn off the surplus and yet I was the same…. day in day out.

So I decided to increase the surplus to around 1000 calories a day to see if I could test the limits of the experiment and almost immediately I started to gain weight. My workouts were very sporadic at this point, but I don’t think that was the issue, I think I got to the point where the keto diet couldn’t keep me in stasis any more and I found myself going up in both weight and %.

So this is where I am. I started around 238 and 22% when we went to Oz. I came back at around 233 and 21%. Since then, trying to match the 4000 calories a day that Jason did I have crept up to 239 and 22%, pretty much where I was when I began. How much of the weight loss on vacation was the travel and the environment and the fact I was very active compared to normal I am not so sure. However, what I do know is I feel different. Jason noted in his vlog that the eating was hard and that he often just didn’t feel like continuing. I felt the same way but I also felt the same way about the workouts and my coaching. Eating as such a big surplus made me cranky and I felt slow and honestly kinds fat and slow. I didn’t like it I have to be honest so I am deciding that going back to the smaller surplus is best for  me to try and see if I get any body recomposition benefits from eating more. I am going to try to increase my workouts a little, maybe adding cardio in the morning on days I coach. This isn’t a big change in expenditure, but I feel like my cardio is severely lacking right now and I think that may help to make me feel a little more “healthy” than I do right now.

So for the remainder of May and June I will be back on MFP, making sure I am slightly above surplus (for me that is around 2500-2700 calories a day plus a 500 surplus for 3000-3200 total feed) and I will see how the strict keto that dropped weight in Australia with all the extra exercise will do the same thing here with my regular life.

Eating 3200 calores a day, 4 days a week in the gym for about 45 minutes each (weights) and a plan to do 3 days of “cardio” which will probably be walking on the treadmill for 20-30 minutes 3 days a week. Today I weighed in at 239.8 and 22%. I would love to get below 20% and maybe below 220 by the end of June. But bear in mind that what I am actually doing is planning to LOSE weight  and % while eating MORE than I require.

That’s the “magic” of keto as far as I can tell…

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My Keto Experiment. Starting the 30 days.

Category: Nutrition

I promised before we left that I would start this 30 day test when we got back. I think enough time has passed to make it viable now. I have been sticking to the macros and calories pretty well and by now I have at least one workout for each body part done. Some days I feel like I am losing fat, other days not so much, it will be interesting to see what actually happens.

This is based on Keto, 75% fat 20% protein and 5% carbs (for some 75% is a little high, you can adjust your protein and fat a bit). For me this means 20% of my TDEE or daily calorie requirement is around 500 calories and 500 calories of protein is around 16 ounces of protein or450g. Please use myfitnesspal app or something similar to make sure you are getting the right macros.

I recommend for active people to start by figuring out your protein requirement. Regular people can get by on 1g of protein per KG of weight or 1/2g per lb. Active people or those with higher protein requirements can go north of 1g per lb. There is recent research that has proven that eating more protein than required has no detrimental effect especially when related to glucogenesis. Once you have your protein requirement you can fill the rest of your calories with fat and make sure your carbs are under 25g.

In the tradition of sharing my progress and experiments, I posted this to a forum in which I participate. My apologies for the wall of text, it’s mostly stuff I already posted here.

I was very taken by the 21 day overfeeding vlog and experiment that Jason Wittrock did and it inspired me to do some of the same. My purpose was not necessarily to overfeed purposefully but rather to see if the average person who is not a physique model or competitive lifter with sponsorships could garner the same kind of results. A lot of the comments about Jason’s results centered around his potential use of steroids and his questionable level of activity so I thought for the average old guy I would step up and see what happens.

The problem was that I was heading to Australia for almost 3 weeks and the effects of jet lag and travel would confuse the results. I decided to start anyway, since I have been doing Paleo / targeted keto for around 8 years already. My goal personally was to drop my protein intake because I had a sneaking feeling that my issues with not losing weight, or not being in control of my weight loss and gain was due to eating too much protein. Turns out this was partially true, I was actually too low on fat. So I set my goal at 75% fat 20% protein and 5% carbs. I would still hit my 1g per kg of protein which is the level I am comfortable with and keep my carbs below about 25g.

So who am I? Here is what you need to know going forward.

I am 6ft 240lbs and 49 years old. My body impedance scale calls me around 21% fat and although it’s probably not empirically accurate it is relatively accurate to itself. So good for comparison, not good for claiming my actual % I am sure. I do have pictures that I will post with the full writeup when I get a chance probably in a few days time once things have settled down again.

I have a day job that forces me to work at a desk much of the day. I go to the gym 4 days a week and the days I don’t go to the gym I coach 4 hours in the evening. My history of weight lifting is relevant I played rugby to a high level when I was younger and since then have always lifted weights so I have about 35 years experience behind me. I also have 2 back surgeries behind me in 2001 and more recently in 2012 so I am restricted with the amount of work I can do. 3 years ago I managed to get back to a 1000lb total for my lifts, but I think those days are behind me now.

As far as the eating went, I immediately ran into the same issues that Jason mentions in his vlog. I had a really hard time getting enough food in me. The diet is very satiating as we all know but when you go this route it’s actually to the point of turning you off from eating at all. Over the course of the 21 days I never managed to hit 4000 calories and rarely was able to manage 3000. I did keep track with MFP making sure I was hitting my macros every day and was actually impressively consistent. The problem was that while I was away my workouts were vastly different, as was my activity level. I went from Canadian winter to Australian fall (hot) and that also messed with me a little bit so the fact that I ended up losing about 8lbs was misleading. I realized as I got back that the point of the trip was really just to get comfortable with the eating pattern so that when I resumed my lifestyle at home I would be ready to go.

My “results” were interesting. I managed to drop around 8lbs but weighed myself a day after getting off a 20 hour flight so have no idea what that effect was. The % fat was up about 1% which was discouraging but again with not doing my weight training this is hard to accept as a real result. What I did notice was that I was performing mentally on a whole new level. My attention span was better, my retention of technical information was better (I was reading some technical performance literature while I was away) my dreams were far more lucid and enjoyable and in general I felt mentally far more on point. I found certain days when I only had keto coffee for breakfast I had some slight indigestion issues which was fixed by slightly weaker coffee and a bit of extra cream. My energy levels were not bad at all, given the time change was 15 hours and I have no idea of the effect of the jet lag I will have to wait for the next 30 days to comment accurately on how this strict keto has affected my energy levels day to day.

We have been back for about a week now and I have kept up with the diet. My plan was to start April 1 and go the whole of April to see if I could compare results to Jason but in retrospect it seems a bit pointless and I will tell you why. Most people want to know the efficacy of a diet. How easy is it to stick to and will I see results? The simple fact of this kind of keto (75% fat/20% protein/5% carbs (under 20g)) seems to be that there is no need to overfeed to see what happens because most of the time you won’t be able to stomach the amount of calories it would take to go over your limit on a day to day basis. My TDEE is around 2500 calories which, if I compare myself to an average 160lb dude is quite a lot I know but I think it would scale the same way and as Jason found, they would have a hard time managing to hit their goal.

So my goal for April will be to hit my TDEE or slightly over and see if I can lose some body fat with my largely sedentary lifestyle and advanced age. I am no Jason Wittrock or Rich Piana so I am interested to see just what an adapted keto lifestyle will bring to your average guy.

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E-Type Abs

Category: Crossfit WOD Type Workouts

This was named for Elissa who obviously has a long and illustrious history of asking for Ab workouts. In this case, do 15 of each rest 2 minutes, do 10 of each, rest 2 minutes and do 5 of each. This is a simple and effective workout. 100% me.

e-type abs
hanging straight leg raise
hanging tuck leg raise
arms up in and out
arms up bicycles
full rainbow against wall
side crunch
push up spiderman
Russian twists with weight

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I need a harder abs workout :)

Category: Crossfit WOD Type Workouts

So here we go with Cycle 1 of the competitive abs program. It’s part of a larger routine and would usually be done with legs but here is the relevant part. You will need a bar to hang from to do this, there should be somewhere in the house to do this at home or tons of places in the gym.

I also need to add this is a modified version of what we do at gymnastics. It was adapted from it’s original to fit our girls abilities and to follow on from what they were originally doing. This is in no way a reproduction of any existing program.

Level 1 (Plus 1 Core Circuit)

2/25 Situp double twist
2/15 Leg up toe touch
2/15 Butt lifts
2 30s Hollow Hold & 10 Hollow rock arms at ears
2/10 V snaps

Level 2 (Plus 1 Core Circuit)

3/15 Incline bench situps HBH (Hands Behind Head)
3/12 HB Leg lifts strict
3/12 Squat thrust sliders
3/12 V snaps

Level 3 (Plus 1 Core Circuit)

3/15 Incline machine Situp with 15lb
3/12 High bar L lifts (top half leg lift)
3/12 Stalder leg lifts
1 10 Count core
1 Core circuit

Level 4 (Plus 1 Core Circuit and 10 Count Circuit)

3/15 Incline machine Situp with 15lb
3/12 High bar L lifts (top half leg lift)
3/12 Stalder leg lifts (Lift to HB Straddle)

Core circuit

30s Hollow hold
30s Hollow rock
30s Side hollow hold
10 Side hollow roll to hollow (1os hold left, centre, right for 1 rep)
15 V snaps
25 Crunches

10 Count Circuit

10s Hollow hold
10s Hollow shoulders down
10s Hollow legs down
10s Side hollow
10 Side plank hip dip (hip touches floor)
10s Side plank to 10s side plank
10s Side plank top leg up hold
10 Single leg V snap from hollow
10 V snap from hollow
10s Arch hold
10 Arch rock

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