R11D90-98 – Cruising

Australian-Cruise-SydneyI didn’t actually quit after day 90 a week ago, I have been busy with work and gymnastics and unable to get my activities down. I have also been field testing a Garmin Vivofit which I am using to see what I can deduce from my daily activities and sleep that will help to get me back down to my working weight of around 230lbs. I know I have lots of data about my workouts, I know when I am working hard enough and I know how many calories I am burning etc. The problem is that I don’t really know what I am doing the rest of the time. Am I sitting too much, inactive too long am I getting enough sleep and what is the quality of that sleep. These are all metrics that I can measure with the Vivofit. Now I should be able to tell what I suspect, that my activity during the day is holding me back. I have been sitting more than I would like since my second surgery mostly because they got me a really nice chair to sit in and that, I suspect may be part of the problem. I have prattled on about the benefits of standing to work but not only that, the fact that it made me feel more mobile and willing to take walks to do things I would otherwise do over email. I have a feeling that the simple fact I am sitting more is contributing to my plateau.

I spent part of the weekend cleaning the garage floor in preparation for the triumphant return of the barbell and bumper plates to the garage which signifies the return of clean and press and squats into my regimen. I am timing it for the big switch over to HIIT again on May 1 at which time I shall get back with my polar RS800CX HR monitor and see exactly how out of shape I have become doing exclusively weight training over the last few weeks. I feel a little more slovenly I have to admit, there were times before the surgery where I actually felt like I was in shape, mobile, capable of anything. Not so much right now. I mean I feel like I could crush a car in my giant hands but I don’t really feel, well, fit. I did a kettlebell workout on Sunday morning to try and work out the kinks in my back and although it was tough I actually do feel better today than I have in a few days. It wasn’t like my old KB workouts, it was mostly squats and swings, but enough to send my HR through the roof and satisfy my urge to sweat a little.

So I guess you could say that I am in my last 2 weeks of Body Beast. I do feel beasty but after all that I am not so sure that is the feeling I was going for. If you want to try it out, le me know, I can get you great pricing on any Beachbody products.

R11D86-90 – Welcome To The End

EndI have been going on about Body Beast and how much I am enjoying it but after doing a workout at Crossfit Ark last week I think my time would be best served as soon as possible to get back to HIIT functional movement. For me this means kettlebells, Olympic lifting and metcon work that includes weighted running, walking or timed sprinting. It’s the summer now and I am sure that my choice reflects that change but lifting weights in my basement seems so restrictive and to be honest a little boring if I can envisage myself doing med ball cleans, wall ball, pullups and low weight high rep olympic lifting movements.

I know, I am flip flopping especially since I had wanted to go until June 1 with Body Beast but I honestly don’t see myself getting that far without driving myself batty being inside. So here is the revised schedule.
Body Beast until May 1 by which time I will try to have met my June goals, I know taking a month off the schedule is iffy but I figure I am really just coasting at this point and I really need to get my ass in gear. That will take me to R11D115 at which point I will embark on R12 which will be 4 months of bootcamp type workouts plus as many Crossfit WODs as I can manage. I will mitigate their poor distribution of work by rearranging the schedule when required but I am pretty excited about it. I will also try to work in time to get to Crossfit Ark again as much as possible since I really had fun there the other day.

As far as the record goes here is my latest few days:

Sunday, 03/30/2014 66  Body Beast Bulk chest 135-235 79%
Monday, 03/31/2014 67  Body Beast Bulk Back – Pullups and Deadlifts 50 per 79%
Tuesday, 04/01/2014 68  Body Beast Bulk Shoulders with press 79%
Wednesday, 04/02/2014 69  Body Beast Bulk Arms maybe dunno 79%
Thursday, 04/03/2014 70  Crossfit WOD at ARK off work 80%
Friday, 04/04/2014 71  Cardio Ran 2 miles off work 80%
Saturday, 04/05/2014  off 0%
Sunday, 04/06/2014 72  Body Beast Chest 79%







R11D80-86 – Squats Tried To Kill Me Plus The June Goals

im not big at allI got called 2 weird things lately.

A cross between Chef Ramsey and Simon Cowell and from another person a mix of Shrek and The Hulk. Really? Really?? I’m not that big. Seriously.

So I haven’t posted in a few days because I have been in so much pain I can’t even explain myself. I did Body Beast Bulk Legs the other day and added some deep squats to the routine, something that I would have done in the garage last summer every week. For some reason, doing deadlifts and cleans does not extend the squat as fully as I had thought and after doing the full squats I developed massive knots in the top of my quads on both legs. I am mystified as to why this would happen I mean it’s not like I don’t do legs, but the reaction my body had was like “what the hell are you doing?”.

My past few workouts have looked like this:

79 Tuesday, 03/25/2014 63  Body Beast Bulk Arms 80%
80 Wednesday, 03/26/2014  off 0%
81 Thursday, 03/27/2014 64  Body Beast Bulk Shoulders 79%
82 Friday, 03/28/2014 65  Body Beast Bulk Legs – Squats killed leg 79%
83 Saturday, 03/29/2014  Off very sore leg 0%
84 Sunday, 03/30/2014 66  Body Beast Bulk chest 135-235 79%
85 Monday, 03/31/2014 67  Body Beast Bulk Back – Pullups and Deadlifts 50 per 79%
86 Tuesday, 04/01/2014 68  Body Beast Bulk Shoulders with press 79%

and I am happy to note that I am still almost at 80% even after 86 days. I will be officially finishing the R11 this week then but I will continue the Body Beast for probably another 30 days or so to get a good idea of what a full 90 would be like. Also you may notice that on back day I did pullups that means it was warm enough on Monday to get outside. It was in fact 14 degrees and doing pullups outside again was both exhilirating and worrisome since I became aware very quickly that my ability to knock out 20 pullups in a row was very far in the past. As soon as the weather is better I will have to modify y goals to add 20 in a row. In fact, now that the weather is improving a little I think I need to put down what I expect from myself by June 1.

Deadlift – 200lbs
Shoulder Press – Standing 185lbs
Clean – 185lbs
Clean and Press – 185lbs
Pullups – 20 unbroken with kip 10 without kip
Squat – 185lbs since I don’t have a squat rack and have to C&P the weight first
Ring Dips – 20 unbroken or 10 strict
I would also like to have my bar muscle up by the summer, I don’t think that’s too crazy. Or maybe ring MU.

R11D75-79 – The Home Stretch (Feels like the beginning)

troubled-bodybuilder-meme-generator-can-t-scratch-my-back-biceps-too-big-970a39I should probably feel like I am closer to the end but in all honesty I can’t really say I started this round until I transitioned from P90X3 and T25 to Body Beast. That was back around day 51 and so technically I suppose this would only be day 28 or so of a Body Beast 12 week or 84 day program. That makes more sense to me since the first 51 days or so seemed more like a vacation than a workout regimen. I feel like I am getting into the swing of Body Beast and heavy weights again however I know I keep on saying this but I am really missing the high HR aspect of HIIT. I think that I am in withdrawal and even though I am probably doing 2 days a week of what I would consider either HIIT or cardio it’s just not psychologically enough for me. I think that maybe after another 21 days or so I might transition into a 3 day Body Beast and 3 day HIIT schedule and try to squeeze some more high HR work into my system. I do love pushing heavy things around but at my age it’s more dangerous than fun and having the extra cardio may help in the recomposition that I am trying to accomplish. At the moment though I want to get as much as I can out of the bulk phase before I start back into bodyweight and HIIT bootcamp type stuff which I think will be my workout of choice for the summer months.

For some people the balance of cardio and HIIT is critical to their success in controlling their weight. It’s just not possible for them to lower their body fat percentages without some cardio, I know that I am one of those people. I am not complaining though, because it’s also that body type that allows me to put on 12lbs of muscle in 6 weeks and add back the 200lbs that was missing from my bench. I am fine with the fact that for the most part if you are “big” like people tend to label me as, then you can get away with an extra little layer of fat, it tends to go with the territory and if you can get rid of it you go from big to epic in a very short span. Funnily enough I don’t really think of myself as that big, I mean I know I out weigh most of my peers and that my strength is far beyond theirs but I don’t see myself as being that out of the ordinary. For the time I have spent on Body Beast though, there are times that I feel like I miss the HIIT and the ability therefore to control my fat levels. At the risk of beating a dead horse I will leave it at that. Look for more bodyweight (P90X or Insanity) in the near future once I get tired of not being able to scratch my head after arms day.

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.

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.

Update and detail on my “bootcamp” days

20131104_174003Friday I did a short bootcamp with the kids, if only to get them to do 45 seconds on non stop work. It was a bit of a farce but at least I had my CIT to keep an eye on them.
Saturday I busted out the Kettlebells and did a shoulder workout, so not a lot of swings but sets of:
High pulls
Front raise
Strict press – From unrotated position
Rack press – from rack position

Sunday I was planning to do something but time got the best of me and I decided to take the day off. That motivated me to do a heavier Olympic lift workout on Monday with 7 sets of each deadlifts and clean with deadlift alternating. I am working up to 135 still but it’s looking good for this week. At least I know I can go up to 200 for deadlift without much effort so that’s one thing. Tuesday I did Body Beast Bulk Chest which I am really enjoying. So much that I might actually dive in and do the whole thing with Oly lifting as a sub for back days.

What exactly is a “short bootcamp” that I keep referring to? Well, it’s a 20-30 minute workout that is bodyweight oriented and comprised of legs, abs, chest, arms and shoulders.

Here’s an example of what it would look like on a typical day:

Sets of 10, each section is non stop.

front lunge

step out pushup
diamond pushup
power crunch
Pop squats
back lunge front kick

frog jump
clapping pushup
V pushup (shoulders)
bicycle switch
roll to boat hold

2-4-6-8-10-8-6-4-2 (50 reps)

lunge switch (MK)