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-   -   PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey (http://board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=68244)

Luke Seubert 12-05-2011 07:18 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Monday Weekly Body Fat Composition Update
  • Date: December 5, 2011

BFC Average 2 Weeks Ago: 37.9% (Approximately 4% understated compared to hydrostatic immersion)
BFC Average 1 Week Ago: 37.6%
Current BFC Average: 37.8%
Beginning Date for BFC - May 4, 2011 - BFC Average Then: 44.6% (Approximately 4% understated compared to hydrostatic immersion)
Total BFC Average Lost to Date: 6.8%

Comments
The Thanksgiving Binge is apparent from my numbers over the past two weeks. Two weeks ago, I was at 37.9% and dropping nicely down to 37.5% BFC. Then, the numbers bounce up, with one daily reading actually punching above the 38% mark. My 6 day rolling average bounced back up to 37.8%. That's the bad news.

Now for some good news. Both Bodyweight and Bodyweight Trend hit new all time lows this morning. Also, with this morning's 37.4% BFC reading, it looks like my BFC is headed in the right direction once again. My BFC Average should start declining in the coming days with continued low readings. I look forward to continued progress in all areas during the coming week.

BFC Readings and Average For The Past Two Weeks
The BFC Average listed below is a simple 6 day moving average. It tends to overstate current BFC slightly as it lags behind the real data, but it smooths out erratic BFC readings and shows the actual BFC rate of change over time. Readers curious to know more about how to effectively use an Omron or any other bioelectrical impedance body fat composition meter should read my previous post, "How to Get Semi-Useful Body Fat Composition Data Out of a Bioelectrical Impedance Analyzer" (WFS).


__Date_______BFC Reading_____BFC Average
11/21/11_______37.5%_______37.9%
11/22/11_______37.7%_______37.8%
11/23/11_______37.8%_______37.8%
11/24/11_______37.4%_______37.7%
11/25/11_______37.6%_______37.7%
11/26/11_______37.5%_______37.6%
11/27/11_______37.3%_______37.5%
11/28/11_______37.6%_______37.6%
11/29/11_______37.7%_______37.6%
11/30/11_______38.1%_______37.6%
12/01/11_______37.9%_______37.7%
12/02/11_______37.7%_______37.7%
12/03/11_______37.8%_______37.7%
12/04/11_______37.8%_______37.8%
12/05/11_______37.4%_______37.8%

Luke Seubert 12-05-2011 07:40 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Greg Pack (Post 1010831)
Luke, Do you track your average daily protein intake? I assume it's sufficient because of the Paleo diet, but curious if that could be a factor in your LBM....

I don't track my macro-nutrients as closely as I did in the beginning phases of my diet. Back then, I could tell you within a few percent of error how many calories of protein, carbs, and fat I was consuming each day.

Here is what I can tell you. I consume at least 200 grams of animal sourced protein each day. You can probably add another 30 grams at least worth of plant protein to that number. So that is around about 230 grams a day, give or take. Some days I eat less, especially rest days.

The rough guideline for people of normal weight doing heavy weightlifting is to consume 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. If I had a normal bodyweight, based upon my current Lean Body Mass guesstimate of 201 pounds, I would weigh somewhere between 223 pounds to 236 pounds, corresponding respectively to a 10% to 15% BFC. (I am 6 feet, 2 and 3/4's inches, FWIW.)

So, my diet is providing more than enough protein to sustain Lean Body Mass, especially in light of the fact that while I am doing strength training, it is not really heavy strength training. All my research indicates that rapid and sustained fat loss can not be accomplished at the same time as rapid and sustained muscle gain. You can do both for a short time, but not over the many months I need to get rid of all my fat. That is why I am not doing heavy weight lifting for the time being. Right now, fat loss is my paramount goal.

And with rapid fat loss, comes some amount of inevitable muscle loss. I really don't like this, but it is just the way of things. I have slowed down my muscle loss rates quite a bit. However, I have done so at the cost of slowing down my fat loss rates as well. If I slow down fat loss too much for the sake of clinging to every last ounce of muscle, I will spend literally multiple years getting rid of this fat. That is too long. So I try to strike a reasonable balance between minimal muscle loss and rapid fat loss, done over not too long period of time.

If I merely had a small pot belly and a spare 30 or 40 pounds to lose, none of these things would be such a problem. I would just lift heavy, eat lots of protein, and shed fat while building muscle. But when you have 200 pounds of fat to lose, and many, many months of strict diet regimen and daily caloric deficit and negative hormonal impact, well, you have to proceed with a bit more caution and care.

Losing really huge amounts of fat safely and somewhat quickly, so that you come out on the other end in pretty good shape, is no simple nor easy task.

See, I told you guys I can be verbose. That simple question of Greg's could have been answered with a simple "Yes. 200+ g/day." :p

Luke Seubert 12-05-2011 02:38 PM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
WOD - Walking/Jogging Day[list]

Date: December 5, 2011

Conditions
  • Temperature: 56 F
  • Humidity: 87%
  • Heat Index: 56 F

Comments
I set a new PR in the 1.1 Mostly Flat Miles course, besting the old PR by 1:23. I alternated walking and jogging, using 20:40 intervals. Sometimes I walked less than I ran, while other times I walked more than I ran. Call them semi-random intervals.

Walk - 1.1 Mostly Flat Miles (Old PR - 16:15 @ 143 BPM on 10/23/11, 4.06 MPH)
  • Time: 14:52, 4.44 MPH
  • Heart Rate: 154 BPM

Luke Seubert 12-05-2011 02:47 PM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Thanks To My Fan!
My thanks to whoever was kind enough to recently give my Workout Log another 5-star rating. The kudos are much appreciated :D

Luke Seubert 12-06-2011 03:52 PM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
WOD - Bodyweight Strength Training

Date: December 6, 2011

Conditions
  • Indoors

Comments
This workout went exceptionally well, much to my surprise. After yesterday's exhausting intervals, I thought today's workout would be very hard. Instead, I got through it in a relatively short time, and with a fairly low heartrate. Indeed, I have never done this workout so quickly at such a low heart rate. Some of this I speculate is from being fully back on a healthy Paleo Diet for a while now. But I think those intervals had something to do with it too. I will have to do more of those in the future. That, and the fact that I am slowly but steadily getting more fit.

I did suffer one hiccup - I stumbled on one of the box jumps, fell, and extended my back a wee back. The pain was brief and not at all sharp, and it was fine the rest of the workout. I took 800 mg of ibuprofen just in case. Otherwise, everything went very well.

Bodyweight Strength Training
Each exercise done in sequence. Six exercises per round. Five rounds.
Total Time: 23:38
Heart Rate: 135 BPM
  1. Air Squats: 5x10
  2. Dips - scaled from 17" high chairs: 5x10
  3. Pullups - scaled from 2 1/2 feet of rope: 5x6
  4. Box Jumps - 12": 5x6
  5. Pushups - incline from Pullup ropes: 5x6
  6. Situps - scaled as bench situps: 5x6

Luke Seubert 12-07-2011 08:25 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Wednesday Weekly Trend and Bodyweight Update

Date: December 7, 2011

Today is the end of Week 31 of my fat loss regimen.

Last Week's Bodyweight Trend: 334.6 lbs
This Week's Bodyweight Trend: 332.8 lbs
Last Week's Bodyweight: 336.8 lbs
This Week's Bodyweight: 329.6 lbs
Beginning Date for Bodyweight Measurements - May 4, 2011 - Bodyweight: 425.6 lbs
Total Bodyweight Trend Lost to Date: 96.0 lbs
Total Bodyweight Lost to Date: 92.8 lbs

Comments
I am fully recovered from the Thanksgiving Binge. Both Bodyweight and Bodyweight Trend are dropping nicely. Also, my BFC readings are dropping at a good clip as well. It seems like Bodyweight Trend is lagging way behind Bodyweight, but that has more to do with the arbitrary day of the week, today, that I note these things. Rest assured, Bodyweight Trend is going down at a rapid pace - just over 3.0 pounds per week over the past four days. (I expect it to drop back from such a rapid pace, but not too much. Nor do I consider such calculations done over such short time periods to be especially significant nor reliable, even if they are interesting to look at once in a while.)

Below I have included a full two weeks worth of Bodyweight and Bodyweight Trend data. You can see the immediate effects of Thanksgiving Binge on 11/28 - a one day increase of 5.4 pounds in Bodyweight. And you can see it gradually and then rapidly drop as I got back into my full diet and exercise regimens. You can also see where, for the first time in 7 months, my Bodyweight Trend actually went up instead of down. Indeed, Bodyweight Trend went up for four days in a row - 11/27 through 12/1.

However, that is all in the past. Right now, today, I have either set or tied all time lows in Bodyweight, Bodyweight Trend, and Body Fat Composition. So I am fully back into the swing of things.

Also, my exercise regimen is not as exhausting as it was even a few days ago. I feel much better and stronger, and I am now contemplating ways to make my workouts a bit tougher and harder. So all in all, things are progressing forward at a good pace.

The Thanksgiving Binge was a great learning experience - I now realize how sensitive I am to grain based, perhaps especially wheat based, carbohydrates. I have had zero temptation to indulge in them since, including plenty of readily available pizza this past weekend. Just no interest. Don't wanna go back there.

Also, I learned how, when I eventually go off of the daily caloric restriction and return to caloric balance, I will have to do so gradually, lest I suffer a spike in Fat Body Mass. When the body stops suffering from low-grade chronic starvation, it responds by converting those extra calories to fat. I'll have to wean myself off of daily caloric deficits slowly.

Finally, I am proud of myself for having recovered so quickly and gotten back on track with minimal fuss. It took me about a week from the end of poor eating to setting or tying new records for my metrics. Not bad at all.

Bodyweight and Trend for the Past Two Weeks
The Trend listed below is an exponential moving average with 10% smoothing. It tends to overstate current bodyweight as it lags behind the real data, but it smooths out erratic bodyweight readings and shows the actual bodyweight loss rate over time. An explanation of the "Trend" calculation's utility may be found in my previous post, "Turning Bodyweight Into A Semi-Useful Metric" (WFS).

__Date_______Bodyweight______Trend__
11/23/11_______332.2 lbs_______335.0 lbs
11/24/11_______330.6 lbs_______334.6 lbs
11/25/11_______331.0 lbs_______334.2 lbs
11/26/11_______331.6 lbs_______333.9 lbs
11/27/11_______332.2 lbs_______333.7 lbs
11/28/11_______337.6 lbs_______334.1 lbs
11/29/11_______337.2 lbs_______334.4 lbs
11/30/11_______336.8 lbs_______334.6 lbs
12/01/11_______335.4 lbs_______334.7 lbs
12/02/11_______334.2 lbs_______334.6 lbs
12/03/11_______332.8 lbs_______334.4 lbs
12/04/11_______331.6 lbs_______334.1 lbs
12/05/11_______329.6 lbs_______333.6 lbs
12/06/11_______329.8 lbs_______333.2 lbs
12/07/11_______329.6 lbs_______332.8 lbs

Luke Seubert 12-07-2011 08:45 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
More Thanks To More Fans
Two more people kindly gave my Workout Log a vote for 5-stars. I am now up to 5 votes of 5-stars, which is pretty good for a Workout Log with such a moderate number of posts and views. My thanks and appreciation for your recognition of the effort which I put into all this scrivening that I do. :D

Arturo Garcia 12-07-2011 08:50 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Funny, I've been on this board for years and didn't know you could rate threads.....

Glad you're back on track. Keep it up. I'll rate it a 5 when you weigh 275. :D

Luke Seubert 12-07-2011 08:59 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Arturo Garcia (Post 1011657)
Funny, I've been on this board for years and didn't know you could rate threads.....

Glad you're back on track. Keep it up. I'll rate it a 5 when you weigh 275. :D

Ooooh, wise guy, huh? Yeah? Oh yeah? Well...:ranting2:

Man, Arturo sure is a tough audience. I mean, geese, what do I have to do to get a little respect around here? Lose 150 pounds? Yeesh! :p

Luke Seubert 12-07-2011 04:36 PM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
WOD - Walking Day

Date: December 7, 2011

Conditions
  • Temperature: 53 F
  • Humidity: 97%
  • Heat Index: 53 F

Comments
My back was still a wee bit tender from yesterday's Box Jumping stumble, so I decided to not do Tabata Kettlebell today. And it was sore enough that I also decided not to do 1.1 miles of intervals. Instead, I walked a course that I haven't walked in many months - 2.0 Flat and Hilly Miles. I set a new PR, going from 35:10 to 31:14, an improvement of 3:56 or just over 11%.

While this is a nice, new PR, I was still a bit disappointed with it. I really wanted to hit something near 30:00 on this one. Perhaps my time would have been better if my back wasn't tender so I could jog a little and it wasn't raining so hard - who knows? Anyway, I'll do this workout a bit more often and see how it goes.

It is interesting that my heart rate was practically the same, despite my covering the same distance 11% faster. This is yet more evidence of my continued improvement in overall fitness.

Walk - 2.0 Flat and Hilly Miles (Old PR - 35:10 @ 145 BPM on 08/15/11, 3.41 MPH)
  • Time: 31:14, 3.84 MPH
  • Heart Rate: 146 BPM

Mara Rozitis 12-07-2011 07:29 PM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Way to get back on track, Luke! Pretty impressive. Luckily we're not all quite as hard-umm...nosed as Arturo.

Luke Seubert 12-08-2011 09:29 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
WOD - Rest Day
  • Date: December 8, 2011

Comments
Today is an appreciated Rest Day, which is sort of a pity as the weather outside is cool and clear for once. Below are my goals for my next 3-On, 1-Off cycle. My back is feeling better, so I expect to be able to do Tabata Kettlebell by Saturday. If not, I'll do something less strenuous on my back, like walk-jog intervals or a longer walk. Maybe a 5k?

Goals for Next 3-On Cycle
  1. Friday - Bodyweight Strength Training
  2. Saturday - MetCon, likely Tabata Kettlebell
  3. Sunday - Bodyweight Strength Training
  4. Monday - Rest Day

New Workout Schedule & Rationale. Any Comments?

Also, just so people know what my exercise schedule is these days, check out the list below:
  • Day 01 - Bodyweight Strength Training
  • Day 02 - MetCon - Tabata Kettlebell & Shovel Glove
  • Day 03 - Bodyweight Strength Training
  • Day 04 - Rest Day
  • Day 05 - MetCon - Sliding & Swinging
  • Day 06 - Bodyweight Strength Training
  • Day 07 - MetCon - Tabata Kettlebell & Shovel Glove
  • Day 08 - Rest Day
  • Day 09 - Bodyweight Strength Training
  • Day 10 - MetCon - Sliding & Swinging
  • Day 11 - Bodyweight Strength Training
  • Day 12 - Rest Day
  • Day 13 - MetCon - Tabata Kettlebell & Shovel Glove
  • Day 14 - Bodyweight Strength Training
  • Day 15 - MetCon - Sliding & Swinging
  • Day 16 - Rest Day
  • (Repeat 16 day cycle)

As you can see, I alternate Strength Training with MetCon while ignoring the Rest Day. For MetCon, I alternate Tabata Kettlebell and Shovel Glove with Slideboard Sliding and Kettlebell Swinging. If I am feeling especially tired, I'll take the day off. If I am feeling rather tired and the weather is decent, I'll walk-jog intervals.

Right now, my overall goal is rapid fat loss with minimal muscle mass loss. This schedule ensures that I am doing strength training 3 times in any given 7 day period. This should provide enough stimulation to minimize muscle loss. It also incorporates varied forms of moderate intensity MetCon. The variety wards off boredom, and provides balanced conditioning. The short but more intense workouts help ensure positive hormonal response necessary to lose fat and retain muscle.

The one thing missing from this new schedule is my old Slide and Thrust workout, which had slideboard sliding combined with dumbbell thrusters. I concluded that I need to do thrusters more often once a week, both for my leg strength and shoulder strength. So I will dump the Air Squats from my Bodyweight Strength Training workout, and replace them with Dumbbell Thrusters. That results in thrusters thrice a week. And that's a good thing. :)

Also missing are my Wallballing Waiter's Walk and Dumbbell Thruster Farmer's Walk. I will resume those exercises in the Spring when the weather is better. For now, almost all of my exercises are set up for indoors, except for an occasional walk-jog on nice days. Until then, my 8 1/2 pound medicine ball is patiently waiting in the corner, alongside its new buddy, a 20 pound medicine ball. Ooh, that will be fun. :yikes:

Luke Seubert 12-08-2011 10:05 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mara Rozitis (Post 1011903)
Way to get back on track, Luke! Pretty impressive. Luckily we're not all quite as hard-umm...nosed as Arturo.

Yeah! That hard-nosed Arturo! He is the hardest of hardnoses, isn't he? :D

Actually, what Arturo is doing is reminding me to set progressive intermediate goals. My long term goal is 10% Body Fat Composition. My short term goal is my next Bodyweight Benchmark. The one coming up is 319.2 pounds. If I can sustain 2.4 pounds lost per week, I should hit that benchmark in mid-January, 2012. My benchmarks are just a bit over 21 pounds apart, which take me around about 8 weeks to achieve.

Arturo is setting progressive intermediate goals for me. A while back, it was 100 pounds lost. As I have approached that number, he kicked it up to 150 pounds. That is a goal which is about 5 1/2 months out at 2.4 pounds lost per week.

While I don't post much about my intermediate goals here, I am acutely aware of the one that Arturo has challenged me with. 275.6 pounds represents not just 150 pounds of bodyweight lost, but also 35% of original bodyweight lost. So it also corresponds to one of my Benchmark Weights, which are basically 5% increments of original bodyweight lost.

I hope to hit that benchmark within a few weeks of my one year anniversary of starting this whole process of diet and exercise. That would be May 4, 2012. Right now, at 2.4 pounds per week, I won't make 275.6 until May 21, 2012. However, if I could sustain 2.67 pounds lost per week, I could hit 150 pounds lost and 35% of original bodyweight lost by May 4, 2012.

That would actually be pretty tough to do, or so it seems at this point. While I am currently losing at that high of a rate, I still have to get through the holidays without slowing down. Then, I have to get through the winter while sustaining such high rates. That is hormonally difficult, as the body's metabolism and biochemistry change with cold weather and shorter days, releasing hormones which conserve body fat.

However, I will give it a try. I am doing additional research into manipulating positive hormonal changes through diet, exercise, and rest. I am reviewing several websites, re-reading Wolf's book on Paleo diet, and I will be getting a copy of Faigin's "Natural Hormonal Enhancement". I'll be posting a lot more information about this in the New Year.

I have established the habits and discipline with respect to diet, exercise, and rest necessary to lose fat over the long term. Now, if I can apply more advanced knowledge to tweaking those parameters, I might be able to push through the holidays and the winter while making pretty good progress.

Benchmark Chart
Oh, for those who are curious, here is my Bodyweight Lost Benchmark Chart:

% BW____Bodyweight____Pounds to Lose___Pounds Lost
-00%_______425.6 lbs_______203.4 lbs_______0.0 lbs
-05%_______404.3 lbs_______182.1 lbs_______21.3 lbs
-10%_______383.0 lbs_______160.8 lbs_______42.6 lbs
-15%_______361.8 lbs_______139.6 lbs_______63.8 lbs
-20%_______340.5 lbs_______118.3 lbs_______85.1 lbs
-25%_______319.2 lbs_______97.0 lbs_______106.4 lbs
-30%_______297.9 lbs_______75.7 lbs_______127.7 lbs
-35%_______276.6 lbs_______54.4 lbs_______149.0 lbs
-40%_______255.4 lbs_______33.2 lbs_______170.2 lbs
-45%_______234.1 lbs_______11.9 lbs_______191.5 lbs


The Pounds to Lose column is based upon 10% Bodyfat Composition at my current, crude estimate of 200 pounds of Lean Body Mass. At 10% BFC and 200 pounds LBM, my ideal bodyweight is 222.2 pounds. However, I expect that LBM number to continue going down. In the end, my final bodyweight will likely end up somewhere between the high 190's to the high 220's.

Yeah, that's a 30 pound spread in projected final bodyweight. Why so much? Because I don't have an accurate reading on my LBM right now, and I don't know how much more LBM I will lose before I am done. I'll worry about exact numbers later in 2012. For now, I have enough information to work on my goals.

Arturo Garcia 12-08-2011 12:52 PM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Hard-nosed, hah hah.

I'm only asking for a mere 150 pound loss, is it really that much to ask? :p:D

That is why I said 275, I couldn't remember the decimal but I know that it was 150# total lost if we rounded the numbers a little bit (and people tend to round their BW downwards so 425.6 is 425 :p).

Luke Seubert 12-08-2011 07:00 PM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Arturo Garcia (Post 1012137)
(and people tend to round their BW downwards so 425.6 is 425 :p).

Arturo, Arturo, Arturo....

It's ME we're talkin' 'bout here, yeah? Do you really think that I would ever round down when I have a legit 3 1/2 significant digits to play with? Come on, this Workout Log must have made it abundantly clear what a PITA I can be about the finer details. ;)

It was 425.6 pounds.

Therefore, the intermediate goal must be 375.6 pounds - no more and no less.

And it only counts when I hit it with the steady and conservative Bodyweight Trend, never that flibberdeegibbit, bouncin' up 'n down Bodyweight. :D

Luke Seubert 12-09-2011 06:08 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Request Critique of New Strength Training Circuit Routine
I decided to modify my Bodyweight Strength Training routine a little bit. Air Squats are out, replaced by Dumbbell Thrusters. This gives my legs a harder workout while doing a press motion for my shoulders.

I also added Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts, which I like to do in the single leg version. This is an excellent posterior chain exercise, and should nicely complement the Dumbbell Thrusters and Box Jumps for a decent lower body workout. I had considered Walking Lunges, but I am still too heavy and unsteady to do them well.

Please take a look at the proposed sequence below. This would be a circuit training scenario, with each exercise done in turn to make a complete round, with five rounds in total. My goal is to alternate lower body exercises with upper body exercises. Where I can't do that, I try to target mostly different muscle groups. For example, Dips and Thrusters use mostly different upper body muscles. Bear in mind that this is a circuit, so Pushups are followed by Box Jumps, and then cycle through, etc.
  1. Box Jumps - 5 to 10 reps, currently 12", incremented by 2" at 10 reps
  2. Rows - 5 to 10 reps, incline bodyweight row using ropes and handles, increased angle provides progression
  3. DB RDL - 5 to 10 reps, will start with 2x30 lbs and single leg variant, increment weight at 10 reps
  4. Dips - 5 to 10 reps, currently done on 17" chairs with legs underneath, increment to tougher forms at 10 reps
  5. Thrusters - 5 to 10 reps, with start with 2x30 lbs, increment weight at 10 reps
  6. Situps - 5 to 10 reps, currently done on flat bench, increment to tougher forms at 10 reps
  7. Pushups - 5 to 10 reps, currently done on Row ropes and handles as an inclined fly, increased angle provides progression
Does anybody have suggestions for different exercises, or a different sequence of exercises? Any other comments or critiques?

Please bear in mind that this workout is not intended to be a big muscle builder. Because I am running such large daily caloric deficits over such long periods of time, I can't really do heavy weightlifting and muscle building for the present. Rather, the goal is enough strength training to tone and harden up my muscles, minimize muscle loss, and provoke positive hormonal responses associated with strength training. I would be doing this circuit three times a week, with one or two days of rest between workouts.

Shout out of thanks to Mara for prodding me to re-examine my overdone and unchallenging 10 reps of Air Squats exercise, and to come up with something better.

Zane Jones 12-09-2011 09:32 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Luke Seubert (Post 1012309)
Request Critique of New Strength Training Circuit Routine
I decided to modify my Bodyweight Strength Training routine a little bit. Air Squats are out, replaced by Dumbbell Thrusters. This gives my legs a harder workout while doing a press motion for my shoulders.

I also added Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts, which I like to do in the single leg version. This is an excellent posterior chain exercise, and should nicely complement the Dumbbell Thrusters and Box Jumps for a decent lower body workout. I had considered Walking Lunges, but I am still too heavy and unsteady to do them well.

Please take a look at the proposed sequence below. This would be a circuit training scenario, with each exercise done in turn to make a complete round, with five rounds in total. My goal is to alternate lower body exercises with upper body exercises. Where I can't do that, I try to target mostly different muscle groups. For example, Dips and Thrusters use mostly different upper body muscles. Bear in mind that this is a circuit, so Pushups are followed by Box Jumps, and then cycle through, etc.
  1. Box Jumps - 5 to 10 reps, currently 12", incremented by 2" at 10 reps
  2. Rows - 5 to 10 reps, incline bodyweight row using ropes and handles, increased angle provides progression
  3. DB RDL - 5 to 10 reps, will start with 2x30 lbs and single leg variant, increment weight at 10 reps
  4. Dips - 5 to 10 reps, currently done on 17" chairs with legs underneath, increment to tougher forms at 10 reps
  5. Thrusters - 5 to 10 reps, with start with 2x30 lbs, increment weight at 10 reps
  6. Situps - 5 to 10 reps, currently done on flat bench, increment to tougher forms at 10 reps
  7. Pushups - 5 to 10 reps, currently done on Row ropes and handles as an inclined fly, increased angle provides progression
Does anybody have suggestions for different exercises, or a different sequence of exercises? Any other comments or critiques?

Please bear in mind that this workout is not intended to be a big muscle builder. Because I am running such large daily caloric deficits over such long periods of time, I can't really do heavy weightlifting and muscle building for the present. Rather, the goal is enough strength training to tone and harden up my muscles, minimize muscle loss, and provoke positive hormonal responses associated with strength training. I would be doing this circuit three times a week, with one or two days of rest between workouts.

Shout out of thanks to Mara for prodding me to re-examine my overdone and unchallenging 10 reps of Air Squats exercise, and to come up with something better.

I have a couple of questions and comments.

- I agree with doing just bodyweight / DB stuff in general and was very happy to see that in your last post. The best gym in the world are your own bones, muscle, lungs, and sinew. I spent a lot of time as an obese person doing bench/bis/legs/etc.... in the gym. I wish i would have spent that time doing 5ks, sprints, pushups, pullups, and lunges. I probably wouldn't lost weight much faster, developed better muscular endurance, and overall coordination.

- How long or how many rounds of this circuit are you doing?

- Depending on the answer to that question, I wouldn't choose to do 5 or 10 reps for each and not change or adjust it for a while. You want to create a standardized circuit so you can accurately measure your progress from workout to workout.

- what does it mean to increment weight/tougher form at 10 reps?

- Box Jumps... I hate them. And not just in the "they're so hard" way (even though they often are). They're unnecessarily risky. Doing box jumps in a fatigued state will eventually cause injury. Injury on a box jump involves scraped up shins at the most benign. At the worst, it could lead to a sprained ankle and wrist (something my wife recently found out the hard way). The recovery time for those injuries is 4-6 weeks. IMO, That seems like an awful lot to ante up just to develop lower body power. Wow... that's my rant on box jumps. It'd recommend a couple substitutes, Squat Jumps (squat, then jump), Star Jumps, or jump tucks (most similar to a box jump, jump, then tuck your legs).

- If situps aren't challenging, You could do V-ups (bring both trunk and legs up at the same time), or a 4 count set of 10 bicycles or hello dollys. Or you could do a set of planks. All are quality core exercises.

- Are you still doing pullups on other days?

Thanks for keeping the journal going Luke, I enjoy watching your progress.

Luke Seubert 12-09-2011 11:28 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Zane Jones (Post 1012371)
- How long or how many rounds of this circuit are you doing?

Five rounds, with the proposed seven exercises per round.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zane Jones (Post 1012371)
- Depending on the answer to that question, I wouldn't choose to do 5 or 10 reps for each and not change or adjust it for a while. You want to create a standardized circuit so you can accurately measure your progress from workout to workout.

A good point, but a lot of these are bodyweight exercises, and I need some form of progression in order to gradually get stronger. With BW exercises, the only way to progress is to do more reps, followed by different forms of the exercise which are tougher. For example, pushups progressing to pushups with feet on a chair.

I appreciate that progression through higher reps and more difficult forms makes it nearly impossible to quantitatively track progress. As you know from reading my Workout Log, I am a big fan of quantifying all sorts of things. However, I am still making steady progress nonetheless, even if I can't entirely quantify it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zane Jones (Post 1012371)
- what does it mean to increment weight/tougher form at 10 reps?

Ah, good question - that material wasn't clear.

I start one of these exercises at 5 repetitions per round, doing 5 rounds in total. The next workout, I progress to 6 reps. The next workout to 7 reps, and so on. When I hit 10 reps, I (usually) change the form of the workout, scaling it up as it were, to make it harder and more challenging. I then reset to 5 reps, and proceed on up through the rep range, incrementing by 1 each workout, until I get to 10 reps again.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zane Jones (Post 1012371)
- Box Jumps... I hate them. And not just in the "they're so hard" way (even though they often are). They're unnecessarily risky. Doing box jumps in a fatigued state will eventually cause injury. Injury on a box jump involves scraped up shins at the most benign. At the worst, it could lead to a sprained ankle and wrist (something my wife recently found out the hard way). The recovery time for those injuries is 4-6 weeks. IMO, That seems like an awful lot to ante up just to develop lower body power. Wow... that's my rant on box jumps. It'd recommend a couple substitutes, Squat Jumps (squat, then jump), Star Jumps, or jump tucks (most similar to a box jump, jump, then tuck your legs).

I hear what you are saying about box jumps and injury. My lower back is still a wee bit tender from a box jump stumble earlier this week.

However, box jumps are a great exercise - they are terrific for developing lower body power using only body weight. And for the time being, my heights are pretty low. I am working on 12" right now. Also, I put some heavy padding on the floor in front of my box, so if I fall the padding will cushion the blow. Also, I do box jumps pretty slowly. I don't quickly jump up, hop down, jump up, hop down - all in rapid fashion. I set up before each jump for a few seconds and take my time. This is especially true towards the end of workouts, when even 12" box jumps become more challenging.

However, I will note your advice, and if I continue to have mishaps with box jumps, I will switch to one of your suggested alternatives. Thanks for the tip.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zane Jones (Post 1012371)
- If situps aren't challenging, You could do V-ups (bring both trunk and legs up at the same time), or a 4 count set of 10 bicycles or hello dollys. Or you could do a set of planks. All are quality core exercises.

Oh, I still can't do a normal situp - the kind where you are lying flat on the floor, either knees down or knees bent 90 degrees. I have to do my situps on my bench. At first, I tried to set the bench perfectly flat at 0 degrees with my feet planted on the floor, but no matter what I tried, I couldn't lift my upper body off the bench. So I had to tilt the bench up to 10 degrees, or 80 degrees depending on your point of view, and I could do situps then.

I advanced from 5 reps each round, through 6, then 7, etc. on up to 10 reps. I then reset the bench to 0 degrees and tried but failed once again. So I kept on doing 10 degree bench situps for a while.

Nowadays, I have the bench set perfectly flat, with my feet on the floor, and I can do situps from that position. I will continue this for a while, and then try proper situps on the floor. I need to lose more belly though, as it does get in the way, and it results in too much weight in my torso for my abs to lift. Well, at least for now. I have gotten much stronger on my scaled situps in the past month or so.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zane Jones (Post 1012371)
- Are you still doing pullups on other days?

No, in fact, I was never really doing pullups at all. I listed them as pullups in my WOD reports, but noted that they were scaled from the vertical. I really should have been calling them what they actually were - inclined bodyweight rope rows.

I drilled a hole through one of the basement joists and threaded in a strong metal hook. Around this hook I looped a double piece of rope about 2 1/2 feet long. I attached handles to the two ends of the rope. Think of this as a very crude, homemade set of gymnastics rings and you get the idea.

I grasp both handles in my hands, plant my feet in a certain spot, and lean back, stretching out, and straightening out my arms. I hang back quite a ways. I then pull myself towards the upright position, just touching my inside wrists to my outer pectoral muscles, and then releasing on the eccentric and lowering myself.

I run these rows through the usual progression of reps - 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 - and then increase exercise intensity by planting my feet father forward, thus easing farther backwards and downwards when my arms are fully extended.

This exercise isn't a pullup, nor is it exactly a proper row. But it is hard to do by the 4th and 5th rounds, and my upper back is getting much stronger as a result.

I wish I could do proper pullups, but I am still to heavy and still lack sufficient upper body strength. So in the meantime, I substitute inclined bodyweight rope rows and work on what I can, as I can.

If you have alternative suggestions to this type of exercise, please let me know. If I can find a decent substitute for the pullup which doesn't require me to install some fancy counter-balance machine or a mess of bands and pullup bars, I am all ears. I would love to do both pullup type exercises as well as my rowing exercises. One is a vertical pull while the other is a horizontal pull. Both are essential to superior upper body strength.

But as a fellow bodyweight workout afficianado, let me just say that my scaled "ring" work is excellent bodyweight strength training. Indeed, as I gain strength, I plan to convert all of my upper bodyweight exercises in some form or another to my "rings". For example, in my last workout, I stopped doing pushups off the floor, and I am now doing pushups/flyes off of my ropes, and that is a much tougher exercise, even from a not quite vertical position in my first, scaled version.

Check out this 100 Pushups Workout article (WFS) from RingTraining.com to get an idea of the power of doing basic upper body weight exercises using rings instead of the floor or a pullup bar.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zane Jones (Post 1012371)
Thanks for keeping the journal going Luke, I enjoy watching your progress.

Thank you for the compliment, I appreciate it.

Arturo Garcia 12-09-2011 11:54 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Not gonna tell you what to do Luke, but just comment on some points.

Sit-ups suck. Stuart Mcgill who's considered by many to be THE authority on spine and stuff, talks against them. At one point I could do the sit-ups with feet uanchored and for many reps, enough that it actually caused the skin in my butt to get very red. LOL, nice mental image huh? Guess what? They didn't help AT ALL with the most important abdominal function: core stabilization.

After that I spent a ton of time reading about this, and it seems it's not totally uncommon to find men who have what it seems to be big abdominal muscles (from crunches and tons of spinal flexion exercises), who shake like a hyenna after 30 seconds in a Plank. It seems the deeper abdominal layer of muscle is best trained by doing exactly what it's supossed to do: stabilize the spine. It became evident that exercises like planks are far superior (and, an added bonus, nobody argues against them being unhealthy for your spine) than things like Sit-ups.

That's a lot of writing just about sit-ups, wow. Anyways I just wanted to share.

Also, if you're alredy quad dominant, which most untrained people are, DB thrusters will keep using more Quad, almost inevitable, due to the nature of the movement. I know you just said you're unstable at Lunges, but I'd try to do Lunges as soon as possible. They are GREAT for many reasons, including the fact that they never fail to hit the glutes, hamstrings, adductors, glute medius, lower leg muscles, more core muscles (stabilizing), etc. Just food for thought.

Luke Seubert 12-09-2011 12:45 PM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Arturo Garcia (Post 1012433)
Not gonna tell you what to do Luke, but just comment on some points.

Not gonna tell me what to do?!? Hoo. If you're gonna comment and gripe about some exercises, then you're gonna have to propose some alternatives. :p

Quote:

Originally Posted by Arturo Garcia (Post 1012433)
Sit-ups suck. Stuart Mcgill who's considered by many to be THE authority on spine and stuff, talks against them. At one point I could do the sit-ups with feet uanchored and for many reps, enough that it actually caused the skin in my butt to get very red. LOL, nice mental image huh? Guess what? They didn't help AT ALL with the most important abdominal function: core stabilization.

Agreed, situps suck. But they are acceptable for a raw beginner newb such as myself. My biggest concern with my situps is that I have to do them from the bench, with my feet on the ground. This results in my psoas muscles doing much of the sitting up work, not the abs, which tends to pull the lower spine out of alignment. It hasn't been a problem so far, but it is one that rumbles around in the back of my head.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Arturo Garcia (Post 1012433)
After that I spent a ton of time reading about this, and it seems it's not totally uncommon to find men who have what it seems to be big abdominal muscles (from crunches and tons of spinal flexion exercises), who shake like a hyenna after 30 seconds in a Plank. It seems the deeper abdominal layer of muscle is best trained by doing exactly what it's supossed to do: stabilize the spine. It became evident that exercises like planks are far superior (and, an added bonus, nobody argues against them being unhealthy for your spine) than things like Sit-ups.

I have no problem with ditching situps for planks. I can execute a plank from my toes to my elbows, with my upper arms perpendicular to the floor. I can hold that for around 25 to 30 seconds. I just tried it, but without a handy stopwatch, I had to count it off manually. Don't be too surprised - you know those goofy inclined bodyweight rope rows I have been doing the last few months? Those require sustained inverted planking while the body is in motion - that's why I can plank for 30 seconds but I can't do situps from the floor. Weird, huh?

Anyway, since you have researched planking in depth, do you have any books, online articles, or instructional videos you could recommend? Aside from removing situps and replacing them with progressive variations of the plank, is there any other way you would suggest incorporating planks into my workout regimen? I know that in general ab exercises can be done on multiple consecutive days, is the same true of planking? Should I split off planking from my Bodyweight Strength Training routine, and do a separate planking routine more often throughout the week?

See what you started, Arturo? ;)

Quote:

Originally Posted by Arturo Garcia (Post 1012433)
Also, if you're alredy quad dominant, which most untrained people are, DB thrusters will keep using more Quad, almost inevitable, due to the nature of the movement. I know you just said you're unstable at Lunges, but I'd try to do Lunges as soon as possible. They are GREAT for many reasons, including the fact that they never fail to hit the glutes, hamstrings, adductors, glute medius, lower leg muscles, more core muscles (stabilizing), etc. Just food for thought.

You make a good point about the Thrusters contributing to further quad dominance, which I already likely have, and which the Box Jumps are also contributing to as well. That is why I tried to do Walking Lunges (again) and I can't. I can go a few steps, maybe, but I am very shakey and my balance is poor. I am carrying around about 110 to 130 pounds of excess weight, and if I lose control going into that lunge, my knee smashes into the floor and is obliterated.

This is why I programmed the Single-Legged Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift. That is also a great posterior chain exercise, and one which I can do for now, as a prelude to lunges when I am lighter and stronger.

Now, if you feel that between Box Jumps and Thrusters I am hitting the quads too much relative to the posterior chain with the SL DB RDL's, I can dump the Thrusters, and just do dumbbell presses instead. But man, I gotta keep my Box Jumps, OK?

Or, maybe I can keep the Thrusters and Box Jumps, but add another posterior chain movement to the Romanian Deadlifts? Are there any other posterior chain exercises you would recommend? I am set up to do proper deadlifts, so that is possible, although I don't want to go into really heavy weights just yet, so they would be done with slow, gentle progression and rather lighter weight. That is why I want to do the single-legged Romanian deadlift using moderate dumbbell weights. It toughens up the posterior chain, yet also develops balance and coordination too. It is a bit more dynamic of an exercise. But if you know of some other alternatives I should consider, please let me know.

As you know, Arturo, both you and Mara have provided a lot of exercise advice to me in the past, much of which I have followed, if not sooner then later. I do appreciate your experience and knowledge in these areas.

Arturo Garcia 12-09-2011 01:24 PM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Hi again Luke.

First, about the abs: I did not save links, I'm sorry. But I researched because I personally experienced this problem Luke. Listen to this: I could do many Knees To Elbows with no problem. I could also do several, strict Toes-To-Bar with no momentum. I thought I was developing nice Ab-strength, judging from the spinal flexion movements. As I said, unanchored sit-ups were a joke and could do them in rounds of50's fast and unbroken in metcons. And I still SUCKED in planks.

This is when I started researching. Some trainers reported that strong and fit-looking men reported low back pain. They had six-packs in some cases, but when told to Plank, they shaked a ton. I'm sorry I didn't save the link for that particular guy. But he was the one who talked about the different layers of the Abdominal muscle. He said the deeper, inner layers play a big role in stabilizing and is often untrained.

This doesn't mean EVERYONE has to Plank. For example, Glenn Pendlay has stated his lifters can plank for a century. But Oly Lifters do a TON of Front Squatting and Overhead Squatting in their snatches. Think about it... they don't doridiculous spinal-flexion drills. But the Front Squatand OHS have a reputation for working your "core" a lot. They work those stabilizers in the Abs that the first author I mentioend was talking about. Hence Oly lifters are strong at planks, makes perfect sense.

Also, consider the fact that some well known trainers like Mike Bolye have mentioned the absolute best Ab exercise is the Ab-wheel. No spinal-flexion there either... pure stabilization. Doing that from the toes is very hard, I can't, not even close. Can rep it from the knees though. Food for thought: it's Konstantinov's favourite Ab-exercise. He has a clip in youtube doing it from the knees with aton of weight added (60kg maybe). Again, it's the stabilizers in the abs you gotta train, not repetitive spinal flexion. IMO at least, I'm not saying I hold the absolute truth in this regard (or in anything, for that matter). :)

The solution is, IMO, Plank. You can already hold it, awesome! In my experience you can do it daily. Aim for 2 minutes. As you both get stronger and lose weight at the same time, you will eventually get it. Tri the side plank for the obliques... same deal but facing the side. At your BW this will provide a burn in the shoulder stabilizers as well. Then you can progress further, but I reckon this goal of 120secs on the front plank and 90s on the side plank should keep you entertained for a long time. Progressions include: plank with socks, so your toes want to slip back - much harder. Moving the elbows a bit forward... a couple of inches makes a world of difference. Then, eventually, lifting one arm.... or one arm and one leg. This brings more stabilizers that fight torso rotation. Once you're at that level I'd get an Ab-wheel but I reckon it'll be months before then. In the mean time, personally, I wouldn't do a single sit-up :D

As for the posterior chain: yes, the single leg RDL is awesome and I'm glad you're gonna do it! Underrated move really, it's incredibly effective. However, I'd like to see a move that involves knee extension where you hit the PC hard. Unfortunately DB Thrusters and box jumps will hit the front of the leg much harder. Heck, in most newbies even the back-squat hit the quads harder than the PC usually, heh. Like I said, Lunges are great to strengthen all those muscles. Unless you do them horribly with your knee way in front of the toes, it will work everything I'm talking about. If you can jump repeatedly into a 12" box, I think you are fairly close to a Lunge. If Walking Lunges are too challenging for now, have you tried static lunges? You can place yourself somewhere where your hands can grab onto a wall, chair, squat rack, in case you lose balance. You just go up/down for reps without moving your feet. In this case you work one side first, then the other leg. If you still can't do this, I reckon you will very shortly, with just a few less pounds. Or you could try them grabbing the ropes you use for inverted rows, and pull a bit with the arms? Who knows. I'm randomly throwing suggestions but feel free to use your own, or none at all. :)

Zane Jones 12-09-2011 01:48 PM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Thanks for those clarifications Luke.

Do you still plan on doing your "ring" rows on other days? I'd hate to see you give that up so i'd probably recommend throwing those into the mix. No need to find other substitutes for pullups, the rows are just fine, and as you pointed out, they're working.

If it's a goal of yours to do a pullup (or many pullups) I think you're on the right path. Once you're at a point where you feel it would benefit you, you could start doing negatives on a pullups bar (with or without a chair). And once you can knockout that first pullups, nothing is better than the USMC Armstrong Pullup Program! It got me from 1 pull-up to 20 pull ups and I'm shipping out to Officer Candidate School in a month and a half!

That 100 pushup workout looks nice and painful.

I also vote planks.. As much mental as physical.

Mara Rozitis 12-09-2011 06:44 PM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Ok, I gotta weigh in here. Some good comments about posterior chain involvement and core stabilization exercises. Here's what I think.

I'm all for the plank in all its many torturous variations, but I still think sit-ups are good, especially from a metcon perspective like how you are primarily using them. I would not replace sit-ups, but perhaps add some plank holding once or twice per week.

The RDL's are a welcome addition. I was also thinking perhaps more thrusters isn't the answer. I think you would benefit far more from separate leg and shoulder exercises which would build more strength than the thruster and I really don't think you'd have to give up anything metcon-wise. Push press would be my pick for upper body and either goblet squats or (even better) lunges for lower body. I have to echo the sentiment that lunges are the best in terms of overall, balanced leg/glute strength. I would say they are a must, even if you can only do one per set for now and need chairs on either side for stability. I totally understand about carrying extra weight and how that exponentially adds to the level of difficulty, but they are an awesome exercise.

On an interesting tangent, I did Tabata air squats the other day and was shocked at how tired my entire core section was. Legs, too, of course, but that wasn't a surprise.

I'm glad to see you're not dropping the box jumps. I don't think there is anything else that builds power and confidence like box jumps. You learn to know exactly how hard you can push yourself, and few other exercises are as intimidating, especially when tired. Yes, you might possibly get injured, but life's full of risk. I absolutely believe they are worth it. And this is coming from someone who started CrossFit barely able to trust herself to jump 12" safely.

Body rows are great. I don't think you need to get a pullup bar just yet, just keep progressing with the angle. I have a rope I sometimes use at home instead of rings and it's just as good, I think.

I am going to throw another wrench into the works. I would suggest you alternate your Bodyweight Strength routines as follows:
(a) Straight through, as you are currently doing, perhaps with push press and goblet squats, used primarily for conditioning and fat loss.
(b) In intervals of at least 1:2 work:rest, where you use as much power as possible for a shorter time, then rest, then go like hell again. These days you could use strict presses and lunges instead, and maybe a slightly higher box and heavier RDL's. The only downside I can see is it may be more difficult to track progress as empirically as you are used to. :yikes: Potentially tragic flaw.

I really think you might see some spectacular results with this little shake-up, even though it may not seem like much of a difference. I don't think it would hurt your fat loss at all, and I'm pretty sure it would help with your lean mass retention/gains.

Luke Seubert 12-10-2011 07:11 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Saturday Weekly Body Measurements Update
Date: December 10, 2012

Last Week's Total Body Measurement: 895.0 cm
This Week's Total Body Measurement: 887.0 cm
Beginning Date for Body Measurements - May 14, 2011 - Total Body Measurements: 1009.5 cm
Total Centimeters Lost to Date: 122.5 cm

Comments
After last week's 5.0 cm increase in TBM, this week there was a 8.0 cm decrease in TBM, which is a fine bit of progress. In addition to some changes in a couple of limb measurements, I saw a very nice drop of 2.5 cm in my waist measurement, and small drops in chest and hips. The waist measurement drop is especially good news.

My bodyweight is dropping nicely, however, my BFC has hiccupped that past few days with some high readings. I am not quite sure why. They may be bad readings, or I might be burning off a little too much muscle. So, this week, I will go back to my Lacto-Paleo regimen and see if that helps. We'll see if some whole milk on my strength training days helps out.

Body Measurements for Last Week and This Week
An explanation about "Total Body Measurements" and how I use body measurements to assess fat loss over time may be found in my previous post, "The Humble Tape Measure: Simple But Oh So Useful" (WFS).

Right Thigh: 66.0 cm, 65.0 cm
Right Calf: 48.0 cm, 48.0 cm
Right Ankle: 26.0 cm, 25.5 cm

Left Thigh: 68.5 cm, 67.5 cm
Left Calf: 49.0 cm, 49.0 cm
Left Ankle: 26.0 cm, 25.5 cm

Right Arm: 36.0 cm, 36.0 cm
Right Forearm: 33.0 cm, 32.5 cm
Right Wrist: 19.5 cm, 19.5 cm

Left Arm: 39.0 cm, 39.0 cm
Left Forearm: 33.0 cm, 33.0 cm
Left Wrist: 19.0 cm, 19.0 cm

Neck: 43.0 cm, 43.0 cm
Chest: 130.5 cm, 130.0 cm
Waist: 140.5 cm, 138.0 cm
Hips: 118.0 cm, 117.0 cm

Luke Seubert 12-10-2011 03:28 PM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Arturo Garcia (Post 1012458)
First, about the abs: I did not save links, I'm sorry. But I researched because I personally experienced this problem Luke. Listen to this: I could do many Knees To Elbows with no problem. I could also do several, strict Toes-To-Bar with no momentum. I thought I was developing nice Ab-strength, judging from the spinal flexion movements. As I said, unanchored sit-ups were a joke and could do them in rounds of50's fast and unbroken in metcons. And I still SUCKED in planks.

Here is something interesting, and it just goes to show how very different we all can be...

I am the opposite of you, Arturo. Yesterday evening, I retested my vertical-elbows-and-toes plank, and 90-degree-bent-knee, from-the-floor situp. I literally could not execute 1 situp. No matter what I tried, I couldn't lift even my upper back off of the floor. Just too much belly fat and weakness in those muscles. It was quite pathetic actually. However, I had a friend time me with a stopwatch, and I held that plank for 62 seconds. Given that I am still at least 110 pounds overweight, with much of that concentrated in my belly, I think that is actually pretty decent.

So my problem isn't so much planking, but instead, spinal flexion. While I do plan to incorporate planking into a body core routine which I'll run separately from my other workouts, I will keep something like the situp, although maybe in bench leg-up form. That movement is such a terrible weakness of mine, that I have to do something to work on it, along with planks.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Arturo Garcia (Post 1012458)
The solution is, IMO, Plank. You can already hold it, awesome! In my experience you can do it daily. Aim for 2 minutes. As you both get stronger and lose weight at the same time, you will eventually get it. Tri the side plank for the obliques... same deal but facing the side. At your BW this will provide a burn in the shoulder stabilizers as well. Then you can progress further, but I reckon this goal of 120secs on the front plank and 90s on the side plank should keep you entertained for a long time. Progressions include: plank with socks, so your toes want to slip back - much harder. Moving the elbows a bit forward... a couple of inches makes a world of difference. Then, eventually, lifting one arm.... or one arm and one leg. This brings more stabilizers that fight torso rotation. Once you're at that level I'd get an Ab-wheel but I reckon it'll be months before then. In the mean time, personally, I wouldn't do a single sit-up :D

I like your progressions for the plank. Before I set up any of my bodyweight exercises, I made sure I worked out some sort of progression sequence for the exercise. I agree with you about the ab wheel, and about how it will be a while till I am ready for it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Arturo Garcia (Post 1012458)
As for the posterior chain: yes, the single leg RDL is awesome and I'm glad you're gonna do it! Underrated move really, it's incredibly effective. However, I'd like to see a move that involves knee extension where you hit the PC hard. Unfortunately DB Thrusters and box jumps will hit the front of the leg much harder. Heck, in most newbies even the back-squat hit the quads harder than the PC usually, heh. Like I said, Lunges are great to strengthen all those muscles. Unless you do them horribly with your knee way in front of the toes, it will work everything I'm talking about. If you can jump repeatedly into a 12" box, I think you are fairly close to a Lunge. If Walking Lunges are too challenging for now, have you tried static lunges? You can place yourself somewhere where your hands can grab onto a wall, chair, squat rack, in case you lose balance. You just go up/down for reps without moving your feet. In this case you work one side first, then the other leg. If you still can't do this, I reckon you will very shortly, with just a few less pounds. Or you could try them grabbing the ropes you use for inverted rows, and pull a bit with the arms? Who knows. I'm randomly throwing suggestions but feel free to use your own, or none at all. :)

I researched a variety of static lunges today, and a number of variations on dumbbell lunges. I am going to conduct some experiments later on to see if I can work out something which incorporates lunges in some way. I think I have a solution to my fear of crashing-obliterated knee. I will put an old couch cushion on the floor, and step over it with my lead foot, while touching my back knee to the surface of the cushion. That should allow me to do it with proper form, while providing a safe cushion for my knee in case I lose control of the movement. I'll post later about my experiments with this.

Now, if I can combine static lunges with DB SL RDL, I think I will be in excellent shape for the posterior chain. And I concluded that I really do need to do both exercises, because I am also going to be doing an awful lot of kettlebelling, which is a quad dominant exercise.

Luke Seubert 12-10-2011 03:33 PM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Zane Jones (Post 1012462)
Do you still plan on doing your "ring" rows on other days? I'd hate to see you give that up so i'd probably recommend throwing those into the mix. No need to find other substitutes for pullups, the rows are just fine, and as you pointed out, they're working.

Absolutely! The ring rows are definitely part of my Strength Training Circuit - gotta have 'em. Interestingly, they are a tough exercise for me. You would think the squats and box jumps would elevate my heart rate the most, but it is my inverted, incline ring rows which send my heart rate higher than anything else. I do them slowly, without relying on momentum to complete the movement, which makes them hard. It requires a lot of upper back muscle to do properly, and I get quite shaky by the last rep of the last round.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zane Jones (Post 1012462)
If it's a goal of yours to do a pullup (or many pullups) I think you're on the right path. Once you're at a point where you feel it would benefit you, you could start doing negatives on a pullups bar (with or without a chair). And once you can knockout that first pullups, nothing is better than the USMC Armstrong Pullup Program! It got me from 1 pull-up to 20 pull ups and I'm shipping out to Officer Candidate School in a month and a half!

Congratulations of achieving 20 pullups and making it into OCS!. Best of luck with your career.

In researching bodyweight strength training, I came across the Armstrong Pullup Program. I think I have it filed away for future reference. I also came across a series of bodyweight programs, which you might find interesting:The military tends to really favor bodyweight endurance exercises like these, so I figure these routines might be right up your alley.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zane Jones (Post 1012462)
That 100 pushup workout looks nice and painful.

Yeah, they do. I am doing a severely scaled version of a ring pushup, and it definitely zinged my pecs and shoulders. But many of the basic bodyweight strength training movements are significantly enhanced by doing them on the rings. Ring work requires a lot of muscle stabilizer activity, and it definitely hits the entire shoulder complex hard. They are really challenging exercises. I intend to do more of them as I progress with my regimen.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zane Jones (Post 1012462)
I also vote planks.. As much mental as physical.

Yeah, that's for sure. Planks become a real exercise in mental toughness the further you get into them.

That's another nice thing about my homemade rings - I can vary the plank by hanging from my rings and doing an inverted version.

Luke Seubert 12-10-2011 03:38 PM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mara Rozitis (Post 1012543)
I'm all for the plank in all its many torturous variations, but I still think sit-ups are good, especially from a metcon perspective like how you are primarily using them. I would not replace sit-ups, but perhaps add some plank holding once or twice per week.

Given how weak I am with situp type movements, I have to agree here, contra Arturo. Though, that said, planks will be the mainstay of my initial body core program.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mara Rozitis (Post 1012543)
The RDL's are a welcome addition. I was also thinking perhaps more thrusters isn't the answer. I think you would benefit far more from separate leg and shoulder exercises which would build more strength than the thruster and I really don't think you'd have to give up anything metcon-wise. Push press would be my pick for upper body and either goblet squats or (even better) lunges for lower body. I have to echo the sentiment that lunges are the best in terms of overall, balanced leg/glute strength. I would say they are a must, even if you can only do one per set for now and need chairs on either side for stability. I totally understand about carrying extra weight and how that exponentially adds to the level of difficulty, but they are an awesome exercise.

As I mentioned in my reply to Arturo, I will be experimenting with static lunges to see what I can do.

I don't want to pick up the goblet squat, because I am already set up to do a lot of kettlebelling. Between that and box jumps, I have my quads well covered.

Howevah! I am reluctant to drop the squat entirely as a movement from my regimen. It is so fundamental to good fitness. I think I will experiment with dumbbell overhead squats as part of my body core workout, combining a lower body and body core exercise. That way, I will still do squats during the week, and a good complement to planks, situps, legups, etc.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mara Rozitis (Post 1012543)
I'm glad to see you're not dropping the box jumps. I don't think there is anything else that builds power and confidence like box jumps. You learn to know exactly how hard you can push yourself, and few other exercises are as intimidating, especially when tired. Yes, you might possibly get injured, but life's full of risk. I absolutely believe they are worth it. And this is coming from someone who started CrossFit barely able to trust herself to jump 12" safely.

Yeah, I like box jumps too. Though I will bear in mind Zane's note of warning, and proceed with caution.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mara Rozitis (Post 1012543)
Body rows are great. I don't think you need to get a pullup bar just yet, just keep progressing with the angle. I have a rope I sometimes use at home instead of rings and it's just as good, I think.

Yup, agreed. I am keeping the ring rows.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mara Rozitis (Post 1012543)
I am going to throw another wrench into the works. I would suggest you alternate your Bodyweight Strength routines as follows:
(a) Straight through, as you are currently doing, perhaps with push press and goblet squats, used primarily for conditioning and fat loss.
(b) In intervals of at least 1:2 work:rest, where you use as much power as possible for a shorter time, then rest, then go like hell again. These days you could use strict presses and lunges instead, and maybe a slightly higher box and heavier RDL's. The only downside I can see is it may be more difficult to track progress as empirically as you are used to. :yikes: Potentially tragic flaw.

I really think you might see some spectacular results with this little shake-up, even though it may not seem like much of a difference. I don't think it would hurt your fat loss at all, and I'm pretty sure it would help with your lean mass retention/gains.

I appreciate where you are going with the idea of 1:2::work:rest intervals for these exercises, with a focus on power development. I will keep it in mind for the future. However, for right now, I want to focus on developing my new program, testing it out, revising and tinkering where needed, and getting it going consistently. Once I do that, I'll take a look at your power interval concept. It does have a lot of merit, especially as I am a fan of strength and power, and bias in that direction anyway.

Luke Seubert 12-10-2011 04:58 PM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
WOD - Bodyweight Strength Training

Date: December 10, 2011

Conditions
  • Indoors

Comments
This workout went well, although it took me a while longer as the rep range ascends. As an experiment, I dumped situps and did planks. I did OK with them, but it forced me to move the pushups (also a plank move) up in the order, just behind ring rows (also a plank move). Otherwise, doing the pushups just before doing planks cut into my plank times too much.

The workout went well, and as I adapt and get into my new variants, the workout is getting tougher. This might be one of the last times I do this workout for a while though, as I am working on a new Strength Training Circuit workout.

Bodyweight Strength Training
Each exercise done in sequence. Six exercises per round. Five rounds.
Total Time: 31:11
Heart Rate: 135 BPM
  1. Air Squats: 5x10
  2. Dips - scaled from 17" high chairs: 5x10
  3. Ring Rows - scaled from 2 1/2 feet of rope: 5x7
  4. Pushups - incline from Pullup ropes: 5x7
  5. Box Jumps - 12": 5x7
  6. Planks - vertical elbow to toes: 30, 24, 27, 18, 28

Luke Seubert 12-11-2011 08:02 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Sunday Lean Body Mass Update
  • Date: December 11, 2011

LBM Average 2 Weeks Ago: 201 lbs
LBM Average 1 Week Ago: 200 lbs
Current LBM Average: 199 lbs

Comments
I dropped another pound of LBM this past week, according to my crude guesstimate of such things. I am not so sure about this reading though. My LBM computed by formula held steady, whereas the LBM computed by Omron did drop. But the Omron threw out two seemingly high BFC's the past two days, so it might be off. I don't know for sure, and there are rounding errors in all of this. Another week's worth of data will confirm or refute the reading.

Anyway, I am going to adhere more closely to my strength training workout schedule this coming week, and I will imbibe some milk after workouts, to see if switching over to Lacto-Paleo for a while can help. On the bright side, while I have lost a little muscle mass, I am back to losing fat at a pretty decent clip.

This applies over the long term as well. Since September 17, I have lost roughly 3 pounds of LBM. But during that time, I have also lost 21 pounds of fat, going by my crude estimates. That works out to a fat loss rate of 1.75 pounds per week and a muscle loss rate of .25 pounds per week. (2.0 lbs/wk? That Thanksgiving Binge really put a damper into my medium term loss rates. Ouch!)

When I lost the previous 21 pounds of fat, from July 9 through September 17, I lost 9 pounds of muscle. Of course, I was losing fat at a faster rate back then too - 2.1 pounds per week. The muscle loss rate was 0.9 pounds per week.

By sacrificing just over 1/3 of a pound per week in fat loss rate, I have managed to cut by muscle loss rate by almost 3/4's. This was accomplished by more rigorous and intense exercise, coupled with an increase in caloric intake. A little Lacto-Paleo helped too.

Going forward, I want to see if I can pump up the fat loss rate a bit more, whilst maintaining that low muscle loss rate. The diet will remain roughly the same, though I will be more careful to actually consume two high-carb evening meals each week. That is, I am formalizing my two free meals. (More about that strategy in a future post - meanwhile, thank you Greg Pack for sharing some very interesting information about the hormone, leptin.) However, I am also revising my strength workouts to include more heavy leg work and more upper body work, and I will be more consistent about regularly doing my increased intensity MetCons. So I expect good things from slightly tweaked diet and more rigorous exercise - higher fat loss rates coupled with continued low muscle loss rates.

LBM Derived From Formula, Omron, And Their Average LBM
My Lean Body Mass computation is derived from two sources. The first is my daily BFC readings taken with my Omron HB-306, which is detailed in my previous post, How to Get Semi-Useful Body Fat Composition Data Out of a Bioelectrical Impedance Analyzer (WFS). The second is based upon several of my body measurements, as detailed in my previous post, A Quick Method of Computing Body Fat Composition (WFS). Neither of these two methods results in an LBM number which I regard as accurate. However, when the two are averaged together, they seem to produce a result that is reasonably close. This average is what I used in the table below.

Regardless, what I really pay attention to is changes in LBM over time. My current goal is for LBM to hold steady as I lose fat, or if possible, gain a little LBM while losing fat. By the way, FBM = Fat Body Mass while LBM = Lean Body Mass.

_Date__________LBM________FBM__
05/14/11_______220 lbs_______194 lbs
05/21/11_______218 lbs_______192 lbs
05/28/11_______217 lbs_______187 lbs
06/04/11_______217 lbs_______185 lbs
06/11/11_______216 lbs_______181 lbs
06/18/11_______216 lbs_______178 lbs
06/25/11_______213 lbs_______175 lbs
07/02/11_______212 lbs_______172 lbs
07/09/11_______211 lbs_______171 lbs
07/16/11_______210 lbs_______168 lbs
07/23/11_______211 lbs_______165 lbs
07/30/11_______210 lbs_______164 lbs
08/06/11_______210 lbs_______161 lbs
08/13/11_______209 lbs_______159 lbs
08/20/11_______207 lbs_______156 lbs
08/27/11_______207 lbs_______156 lbs
09/03/11_______206 lbs_______155 lbs
09/10/11_______205 lbs_______151 lbs
09/17/11_______202 lbs_______150 lbs
09/24/11_______202 lbs_______148 lbs
10/01/11_______203 lbs_______146 lbs
10/08/11_______202 lbs_______145 lbs
10/15/11_______202 lbs_______142 lbs
10/22/11_______202 lbs_______141 lbs
10/29/11_______200 lbs_______138 lbs
11/05/11_______199 lbs_______137 lbs
11/12/11_______202 lbs_______134 lbs
11/19/11_______202 lbs_______133 lbs
11/26/11_______201 lbs_______130 lbs
12/03/11_______200 lbs_______132 lbs
12/10/11_______199 lbs_______129 lbs

Luke Seubert 12-12-2011 09:16 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Monday Weekly Body Fat Composition Update
  • Date: December 12, 2011

BFC Average 2 Weeks Ago: 37.6% (Approximately 4% understated compared to hydrostatic immersion)
BFC Average 1 Week Ago: 37.8%
Current BFC Average: 37.6%
Beginning Date for BFC - May 4, 2011 - BFC Average Then: 44.6% (Approximately 4% understated compared to hydrostatic immersion)
Total BFC Average Lost to Date: 7.0%

Comments
This has been a disappointing week for BFC. After spiking upwards post-Thanksgiving Binge, BFC started to drop nicely. Early last week, it was dropping very fast, with several readings in the low-mid 37's. But over the past four days, the readings bumped up again, enough to actually pull my rolling average up a tenth of a percent this morning.

My diet has been very good, and I have been losing bodyweight at a rapid clip. Perhaps too rapid. For me, with higher bodyweight loss rates come higher muscle loss rates. I will increase caloric consumption a bit, and hit my strength workouts hard this week. I would really like to get the hell out of the 37's. I feel like I have been stuck at this BFC forever.

BFC Readings and Average For The Past Two Weeks
The BFC Average listed below is a simple 6 day moving average. It tends to overstate current BFC slightly as it lags behind the real data, but it smooths out erratic BFC readings and shows the actual BFC rate of change over time. Readers curious to know more about how to effectively use an Omron or any other bioelectrical impedance body fat composition meter should read my previous post, "How to Get Semi-Useful Body Fat Composition Data Out of a Bioelectrical Impedance Analyzer" (WFS).


__Date_______BFC Reading_____BFC Average
11/28/11_______37.6%_______37.6%
11/29/11_______37.7%_______37.6%
11/30/11_______38.1%_______37.6%
12/01/11_______37.9%_______37.7%
12/02/11_______37.7%_______37.7%
12/03/11_______37.8%_______37.7%
12/04/11_______37.8%_______37.8%
12/05/11_______37.4%_______37.8%
12/06/11_______37.5%_______37.7%
12/07/11_______37.3%_______37.6%
12/08/11_______37.3%_______37.5%
12/09/11_______37.6%_______37.5%
12/10/11_______37.9%_______37.5%
12/11/11_______37.8%_______37.5%
12/12/11_______37.8%_______37.6%

Luke Seubert 12-12-2011 09:18 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
WOD - Tabata Kettlebell Hell Day

Date: December 11, 2011

Conditions
  • Temperature: 38 F
  • Humidity: 50%
  • Heat Index: 38 F

Comments
Holy cow! It is amazing the mind games I can play with myself. Much to my utter shock, despite having it scheduled far more frequently, it has been almost a month since I last did a Tabata Kettlebell workout! I looked back through my records, and found that I kept making excuses about why I couldn't do it on such-and-so day, but that I would do it the "next workout". Uh huh, yeah... right. Man, did I ever keep on BSing myself. I really don't like this workout I suppose, deep in my subconscious somewhere, which is all the more reason to stick to my schedule and just do it! No wonder I have been a bit disappointed with my lack of recent progress on my walk-jog courses - not enough Tabata Kettlebell to toughen me up for intervals.

Anyway, I warmed up with walk-jog intervals on the 0.9 Mostly Hilly Miles course, jogging the downslopes and most of the flats while walking the upslopes. I set a new PR, but just barely. I beat the old one by 5 seconds, with the heart rate at the same 156 BPM. I was hoping to do better than this. And my thinking is that I need more frequent Tabata Kettlebell to get used to the higher intensity of walk-jog intervals, so I can do them faster.

Speaking of which, this time I didn't slough it off, although there was a long delay between by walk-jog and the kettlebelling. I picked up where I was a month ago with Tabata Kettlebell. I did 12 Tabata cycles, and it wasn't quite as awful as I was expecting after such a long layoff. Heart rate peaked at 172 BPM - close the theoretical max heart rate for me.

All in all, it was good to be back in the saddle. I will make sure to do kettlebells more consistently from now on.

Warmup - 0.9 Mostly Hilly Miles (Old PR - 12:42 @ 156 BPM on 11/20/11, 4.25 MPH)
  • Time: 12:37, New PR!, 4.28 MPH
  • Heart Rate: 156 BPM

Tabata Kettlebell Swings
1 cycle = 20 seconds swinging, 10 seconds rest. Repeat. 8 cycles per round.
  • Kettlebell Weight: 27 pounds
  • Swing: Two-handed Russian
  • Tabata Rounds Completed: 1 1/2 rounds, 12 cycles
  • Swings Per Cycle: 11

Luke Seubert 12-12-2011 07:39 PM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
WOD - Bodyweight Strength Training

Date: December 12, 2011

Conditions
  • Indoors

Comments
This workout was going well until I twinged something in my front-outer left kneecap. So, after 3 rounds, I called an early halt. The twinge is not serious, but I have taken 800 mg ibuprofen to knock down any inflammation and aid faster healing.

Despite the early halt, I have gotten significantly stronger at this workout. It doesn't kick me hard like it used to. I am somewhat sad to be leaving it, but I need to address some additional needs with a new, upgraded workout.

Bodyweight Strength Training
Each exercise done in sequence. Six exercises per round. Five rounds.
Total Time: 14:52
Heart Rate: 135 BPM
  1. Air Squats: 3x10
  2. Dips - scaled from 17" high chairs: 3x10
  3. Ring Rows - scaled from 2 1/2 feet of rope: 3x8
  4. Pushups - incline from Pullup ropes: 3x8
  5. Box Jumps - 12": 3x8
  6. Bench Situps: 3x8

Dustin Standel 12-12-2011 07:56 PM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
A lot of good progress still being made here for sure! Keep up the good work.

I have reviewed your log and the amount of data is almost frightening in size. So I'd like to ask a question that is somewhat out of sorts with my training as an applied mathematician as well as my trade as an engineer (as well as a variance from how most CF'ers track things) - how do you feel overall (qualitatively) now vice when you started? I know this is probably more of a dissertation question, but hey I got a few minutes.

I think it is important every so often to examine qualitatively as well - as most people get into the health and fitness thing to improve the quality of their life.

Luke Seubert 12-13-2011 03:50 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
WOD - Rest Day
  • Date: December 13, 2011

Comments
This is a welcome rest day, though I feel better than I have for the last two rest days, setting aside that slight twinge in my left knee. Part of the knee issue is my having forget to flip my mattress for a while now. I'll remedy that today. Meanwhile, Rest Days are good for planning new workouts and reflecting on progress to date, so I'll post my revised workout regimen and respond to Dustin's recent query.

Pending some feedback on my revised new workout proposal and last minute changes, I'll begin that new workout regimen tomorrow. Otherwise, I'll do a cycle of my old workout regimen, with Swing & Slide, Bodyweight Strength Training, and Tabata kettlebell.

Goals for Next 3-On Cycle
  1. It depends on whether or not I get my new workout regimen organized enough by tomorrow or not.

Luke Seubert 12-13-2011 08:32 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dustin Standel (Post 1013314)
A lot of good progress still being made here for sure! Keep up the good work.

Thank you. Yeah, despite the occasional bump in the road, I have made pretty solid and steady progress. I appreciate your support, especially during the bumpy parts of the journey.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dustin Standel (Post 1013314)
I have reviewed your log and the amount of data is almost frightening in size.

Heh. It's actually not that bad. Every morning, I spend about 90 seconds getting three readings each from my scale and my Omron BFC monitor. On Saturday mornings, I spend about 5 minutes taking body measurements. This information is loaded into a spreadsheet which automatically generates all of the other data, nicely formatted and ready to go.

All these posts that I write? The Monday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday updates? All of my various workouts? Those are all generated from pre-written text file templates that I set up before hand. I wrote most of those posts many months ago. To write a new one, I need only type in the date, a few bits of information, a few comments, and maybe copy and paste some data from my spreadsheet; and the post is done.

My posts seem like a huge amount of work, but it really only takes me a few minutes a day to write most of them. The exceptions are my long-winded posts, like this one :)

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dustin Standel (Post 1013314)
So I'd like to ask a question that is somewhat out of sorts with my training as an applied mathematician as well as my trade as an engineer (as well as a variance from how most CF'ers track things) - how do you feel overall (qualitatively) now vice when you started? I know this is probably more of a dissertation question, but hey I got a few minutes. I think it is important every so often to examine qualitatively as well - as most people get into the health and fitness thing to improve the quality of their life.

Dustin, I agree with you - it is important in this sort of pursuit to examine things qualitatively now and then, and not just quantitatively. And since this is, as you point out, a dissertation; allow me to begin with quotations....

What I Felt Like Before
Let's begin with a quote from my prior post, The Peaked Perils In Partaking Of Pro Tempore Non-Paleo Provender (WFS):
Quote:

Originally Posted by Luke Seubert (Post 1009163)
Over the weekend in late celebration of Thanksgiving, for the first time I broke my Paleo regimen in a major way. I enjoyed large quantities of all sorts of non-Paleo foods. This included dressing, various casseroles, pecan pie, soda pop, pumpkin cheesecake, and then more dressing. This continued for two days, with a heavy dose of grain based and some sugar based carbs on Sunday, and more sugar based carbs on Monday.

What was the result of all of this gustatory excess? Headaches, muscle soreness, weakness, join aches, insomnia, lethargy, indigestion, fuzzy headedness, and water retention coupled with dehydration. Holy cow! Did I always feel this bad back before I began my diet? Well, not really, but I did experience all of these symptoms to a lesser degree at differing times.

But with seven months of eating clean, to suddenly go back to my old eating habits was a shock to my system. I felt quite miserable for two days. I am coming out of it now, having switched back to Paleo foods despite still having plenty of junk carb leftovers which I now refuse to eat. I still have a headache and some muscle aches, but it is getting better.

I felt too awful to exercise much these past few days either. However, I expect to resume my exercise regimen tomorrow with Bodyweight Strength Training. And I still plan to challenge my PR in the 1.1 Mostly Flat Miles course, likely later in the week.

Also, my meditation practice was shot down. While I have been able to sit for half an hour, I could not focus on breathing for more than a few seconds at a time, and my awareness and mindfulness was simply not there. My brain was fuzzy and unable to focus. I look forward to getting my meditation back on track tomorrow as well.

All in all, I am now more convinced than ever before of how important a healthy diet is to one's physical and mental well being. The effects of my two day Non-Paleo holiday binge-experiment were immediate and dramatic. I seem to be more sensitive to grain based carbs than sugar based carbs. I will keep this in mind when contemplating free meal choices in the future. This was a painful yet nonetheless profound learning experience.

That quote about my Thanksgiving Binge is a dramatic yet accurate description of how I used to feel. Except that I used to be almost 100 pounds heavier too. And, like I mentioned in that quote, while I didn't have so many and such severe symptoms all at the same time, I did experience all of those symptoms intermittantly but frequently.

So that is what I felt like - crappy. But when you have felt that way for many, many years, you get used to it. Feeling that way again just for a few days was quite enlightening, and really made me appreciate the powerful and good changes that I have made through diet, exercise, meditation, rest, and weight loss.

What I Feel Like Now
I actually wrote about this some five weeks ago, in my post, Big Benchmark Lallapalooza! 26 Weeks Done and 20% Bodyweight Lost! (WFS):
Quote:

Originally Posted by Luke Seubert (Post 1001533)
Not hauling around 85+ pounds of extra weight is delightful. I began to notice this around about when I hit 350 - I finally began to really feel the effects of losing all that weight. A lot of common physical tasks became noticeably easier, like tying my shoes. I have a lot more energy and endurance. I can maintain modest levels of activity throughout the day without getting tired. Also, a lot of old clothes fit just fine now, while the others are getting to be embarrassingly baggy. I am unintentionally starting to dress like all those punkety-punkass-punk kids with the punk baggy pants and the punk oversize shirts. Me so hip and trendy :)

Other little things add up and are much appreciated. Despite my large feet, it is easier for me to walk down stairs - I have better balance, coordination, and agility which gives me greater confidence going down stairs. Going up stairs has never been a problem, except in the past I would be panting at the top of the steps. Nowadays, a flight of stairs mildly raises my heart rate, but not so much respiration.

Extended nature walks are much more pleasant and less stressful, and I can go further and explore interesting sidepaths with more ease. My mid and upper back isn't so sore by the end of the day from having to hold up such a heavy belly. I am really looking forward to that problem completely going away in due time. My feet haven't been swollen in a very long time, which is nice. I rarely suffer any aches or pains, despite my workout regimen being far more rigorous than anything I was doing physically when I began all this.

So all in all, I feel quite good. And I am really looking forward to what life will be like once I have lost the next 85 pounds. It should be a quantum leap.

All of these older comments still ring true. Indeed, I would say that having lost an additional 10 pounds since then, that my recovery ability has improved. I can more consistently follow the 3-On, 1-Off CrossFit cycle than I could back then.

Also, the subtle changes in my physique are becoming more apparent. While my muscles are not getting bigger, they are getting stronger and harder with better muscle tone. And as I shed subcutaneous fat from my limbs, I can start to see and feel some muscle definition in my upper arms and thighs. My flexed quads and hamstrings are starting to pop out some fine bulges even. And while it is still huge by lean standards, my belly is just a lot smaller than it once was. It just doesn't measure smaller, 30 cm or almost 12 inches gone - an 18% improvement, but it feels smaller. I can do mini-trampoline rebounding without getting sore ribs from such a huge, bouncing belly stressing the supporting muscles and stretching the skin.

My upper back, which used to get sore and tired from sitting at a computer for much of the day, is much stronger now. It doesn't get sore at the end of the day like it used to, and I can sit in an erect Burmese meditation posture for 40 minutes without my back barking like it once did.

I feel light and bouncy. Now, that may sound ridiculous given how much excess fat I am still carrying, but it is true. If I am meandering around somewhere, I often find myself bouncing on my toes a bit, just enjoying the movement and sensation. Getting in and out of cars is much easier. I am smaller and more flexible. I have noticeably better balance and coordination.

Finally, my libido is usually fairly high. Feeling the urgency to bust a nut two or three times a day is pretty good for a man of my age. In fact, I now use libido as an informal but accurate measure of whether or not I am over-exercising or undereating. So long as my libido remains strong, I know I am in a good zone. But if it drops, I check to see if I need to eat more or exercise less. And a few other things as well. :)

Luke Seubert 12-13-2011 09:31 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Final Request for Critique of Revised New Workout Regimen
Based upon advice from replies to my first request for critique, I have developed a revised set of workouts. Among other things, I have decided to remove core strength training from my regular strength training circuit. Body core now gets it own workout, which I will do 3 to 5 times per week, but not during my main workout time. This new workout regimen will be quite challenging for me, and I am not entirely sure I can do it as scheduled and Rx'd.

Before getting into all of that however, I have a few questions remaining...

Question For Arturo - AbMats? Alternative Spinal Flexion Exercises?
I am still contemplating your warning against situps. However, I feel a need to do them because spinal flexion is such a weak movement for me. In your research into body core strength and ab exercises, did you find out anything about AbMats? Supposedly, using one alleviates many of the spinal wrenching problems associated with situps. What do you think? Are there any other spinal flexion exercises you would recommend which are better than situps, suitable for my modest home gym?

Question For Mara - Why Push Presses?
With a need for some sort of press movement in my exercise routine, I originally proposed Dumbbell Thrusters. After some advice and consideration, I decided to drop Thrusters owing to quadriceps overtraining. I will still execute deep squats, but less frequently during the week, and in the form of Overhead Dumbbell Squats, as part of my Core Strength Training Routine. But I still need a press movement. You suggested Push Presses. Why those instead of, say, Dumbbell Military Presses? I don't object to the Push Press per se. I am just curious to understand your rationale behind the Push Press proposal.

Proposed Moderate Strength Training Circuit
This circuit would consist of 4 rounds. The exercises begin with 6 reps, with succeeding workouts on later days moving up by 1 additional rep, until I reach 10 reps. Then, the exercises would be adjusted to increase difficulty, begin again at 6 reps, increment by 1 until 10, and so on. I would perform 3 of these workouts in any given 7 day period, with MetCons (see below) or Rest Days between workouts.

Rationale for Exercise Selection:
Upper body strength is a weakness, hence the pushups, dips, rows, shrugs, and presses. Posterior chain is a weakness, hence the Romanian deadlifts and lunges. I need to develop lower body power, hence the box jumps. Recall that I will be doing overhead dumbbell squats as part of my separate core strength routine.

Rationale for Exercise Sequence:
Overall, the sequence alternate lower body movements with upper body movements to allow for muscle recovery. Where two upper body movements are paired together, they utilize mostly different muscle groups. This should allow sufficient muscle recovery from exercise to exercise, and round to round.
  • Box Jumps
  • Prone Decline Ring Pushups
  • Dumbbell Shrugs (Hey, at least my one vanity exercise isn't curls!)
  • Single Leg Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts
  • Scaled Ring Dips
  • Supine Incline Ring Rows
  • Static Lunges
  • Presses (Push or Military)

Any comments or critiques of the exercise selection or sequence?

Proposed Core Strength Training Routine
This circuit would consist of 3 rounds. Planks are measured in seconds, with the goal to progress in a given plank form by increasing the number of seconds the plank is held. After a certain amount of time is achieved (perhaps 120 seconds?), I would progress to a tougher plank form. The exercises requiring movement progress in a manner similar to the exercises in the Moderate Strength Training Circuit. I would perform 3 to 5 of these workouts in any given 7 day period, schedule depending on the severity of my other workout on that day. Sequences would alternate from workout to workout - first 3 rounds of A-B, next workout 3 rounds of B-A, then 3 rounds of A-B, etc.

Sequence A:
  • Overhead Dumbbell Squats
  • Prone Plank
  • Left Side Plank

Sequence B:
  • Bench AbMat Situps and/or Bench Legups
  • Supine Plank
  • Right Side Plank

Any comments or critiques of the exercise selection or sequence? Any suggestions on plank time goals? Is 120 seconds good, or should I go for more? Any good alternatives to bench situps, or legups? I need a good spinal flexion move, but something safer than a situp.

Proposed Exercise Schedule
This is my proposed exercise schedule. It follows the CrossFit 3-days-On, 1-day-Off model. This is a challenging schedule, given my level of fitness. If I find that I am overtraining, I will simply take a few days off. Details of the Moderate Strength Training Circuit are listed above. The Core Strength Training Routine is listed as a maybe on each exercise day, but would only be done 3 to 5 times in any given 7 day period, not every On day. For those unfamiliar with my MetCon workouts, they are described in more detail below. Also, depending on the weather and how energetic I feel, I will also throw in an occasional walk-jog interval session on my 0.9 Hilly Miles course or 1.1 Mostly Flat Miles course. Rest days are pure rest days when I do nothing. I will really need the break.
  • Day 01 - Moderate Strength Training Circuit & maybe Core Strength Training Routine
  • Day 02 - MetCon - Tabata Kettlebell & Shovel Glove & maybe Core Strength Training Routine
  • Day 03 - Moderate Strength Training Circuit & maybe Core Strength Training Routine
  • Day 04 - Rest Day
  • Day 05 - MetCon - Sliding & Swinging & maybe Core Strength Training Routine
  • Day 06 - Moderate Strength Training Circuit & maybe Core Strength Training Routine
  • Day 07 - MetCon - Tabata Kettlebell & Shovel Glove & maybe Core Strength Training Routine
  • Day 08 - Rest Day
  • Day 09 - Moderate Strength Training Circuit & maybe Core Strength Training Routine
  • Day 10 - MetCon - Sliding & Swinging & maybe Core Strength Training Routine
  • Day 11 - Moderate Strength Training Circuit & maybe Core Strength Training Routine
  • Day 12 - Rest Day
  • Day 13 - MetCon - Tabata Kettlebell & Shovel Glove & maybe Core Strength Training Routine
  • Day 14 - Moderate Strength Training Circuit & maybe Core Strength Training Routine
  • Day 15 - MetCon - Sliding & Swinging & maybe Core Strength Training Routine
  • Day 16 - Rest Day
(Repeat 16 day cycle)
MetCon - Sliding & Swinging
Sliding is sliding back on forth on my Goaler One hockey slide, with the nylon booties on my shoes. This is a great alternative MetCon activity, as the deep crouch requires continuous isometric contractions of my leg muscles, while the side-to-side motion works out my hip adductors and abductors. This routine is set up as an interval, with 3 minutes of sliding, followed by 20 Kettlebell Swings, then 3 more minutes of sliding, etc. Total workout time should vary from 18 to 27 minutes. I'll try to make 21 or 24 minutes on most days.

Any suggestions for changes? Shorter or longer interval time? More or less KB swings? Right now, I am swinging a 27 pound KB, but I am slowly increasing that to 1 full pood of 37 pounds.

MetCon - Tabata Kettlebell & Shovel Glove
Tabata Kettlebell is the classic Tabata interval with kettlebell swings. This is my most intense exercise, but a very beneficial one. Right now, I do 1 1/2 rounds or 12 cycles, of continuous Tabata interval. My goal is to work up to 25 cycles (or maybe 32?) using a 1 pood, 37 pound kettlebell.

Shovel Glove is for upper body and dynamic core conditioning. When done with a heavy sledgehammer, it can be quite vigorous. I am not yet sure that I can do Tabata Kettlebell followed by my Shovel Glove workout with a proper sledgehammer. However, I will try and see what happens. If I can't do this routine as Rx'd, I'll work my way up to it. Below is more info about Shovel Glove in general, and video links of my workout in particular:

Shovel Glove Medley (WFS)
60 seconds per exercise - AMRAP. 10 pound sledgehammer.
  1. Driving Fence Posts (WFS)
  2. Flip the Lever (WFS)
  3. Stoke the Oven (WFS)
  4. Hoist the Sack (WFS)
  5. Shovel (WFS)
  6. Pull Weeds (WFS)
  7. Chop Wood (WFS)
  8. Churning Butter (WFS)
  9. Chop the Tree (WFS)
  10. Moulinet (WFS)
  11. Tuck Bales (WFS)
  12. Fireman (WFS)
  13. Samurai Thrust (WFS)
  14. Paddle Canoe (WFS)
  15. Reaping the Wheat (WFS)
  16. Pump Water (WFS)

Luke Seubert 12-13-2011 11:52 AM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
I've Come A Long Way
Since I can't allow Dustin to corrupt me by posting ONLY a qualitative analysis of the differences between then and now, below is some quantitative information comparing my old PRs from five months ago to my current PRs. I am significantly faster across the board, and my ability to sustain high heart rates during exercise has increased tremendously.

Current and Old PRs
Let's take a walk down memory lane and compare the newly proposed, and admittedly perhaps-a-little-too-tough workout regimen, with what I was doing back in the Summer. These were the workouts that once kicked my butt - brisk walks and pathetic attempts to finish a Tabata Kettlebell round of 8 cycles. Nowadays, the walks are warmups or supplemental exercises, and I do walk-jog intervals on all of them, instead of just walking them. I have also advanced quite a lot in my Tabata Kettlebell workouts. I am able to swing almost twice the weight, continuously and without skipping any cycles, for well over a threefold increase in time.

0.9 Mostly Hilly Miles
Current PR - 12:37 @ 156 BPM on December 11, 2011
Old PR - 17:45 @ 132 BPM on July 23, 2011
28.9% improvement

1.1 Mostly Flat Miles
Current PR - 14:52 @ 154 BPM on December 5, 2011
Old PR - 20:17 @ 152 BPM on July 14, 2011
26.7% improvement

2.0 Flat and Hilly Miles
Current PR - 31:14 @ 146 BPM on December 7, 2011
Old PR - 41:46 @ 129 BPM on July 20, 2011
25.2% improvement

Tabata Kettlebell - 20 seconds swinging, 10 seconds rest = 1 cycle
Current PR: 12 continous cycles in 6 minutes with 27 pound kettlebell on December 11, 2011
Old PR: 3 broken cycles in 2 minutes with 15 pound kettlebell on August 8, 2011

Arturo Garcia 12-13-2011 01:56 PM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Luke Seubert (Post 1013462)
Question For Arturo - AbMats? Alternative Spinal Flexion Exercises?
I am still contemplating your warning against situps. However, I feel a need to do them because spinal flexion is such a weak movement for me. In your research into body core strength and ab exercises, did you find out anything about AbMats? Supposedly, using one alleviates many of the spinal wrenching problems associated with situps. What do you think? Are there any other spinal flexion exercises you would recommend which are better than situps, suitable for my modest home gym?

Well, back then it seemed apparent (but not 100% true) that having something under your lower back gives your abs something to "brace" against during the sit-up, making it a better exercise. So whenever I did them I just rolled up a towel and placed it under my lower back. I could do them for high reps with little fatigue.... I thought I was developing Ab endurance.... bullsh*t, I sucked at other things, much more important things. I just want you to keep that in mind when you select your abdominal moves. Maybe sit-ups with an Ab-mat (or towel) wont hurt your spine, but they just *might* be a waste of time.

I don't know if you'll like my answer to this question, but during the time I researched this subject I remember finding GOOD evidence about a few other VERY GOOD abdominal movements, but they weren't exactly spinal-flexion either! The Hanging Leg Raise, for example, is unbelievable at this. At least it flexes the hip, so it's something, huh? Now, maybe the hang is tough for you at your BW, but you'll keep losing weight so don't worry about it, the grip will come. Also, the progression for the HLR can be done on parallets, or Dip bars, or two chairs... you might have seen it done. First you do knee raises.... when several reps are easy, you do holds at top (harder than reps, as reps can use momentum). Once this is easy, you extend just one of your legs. Next, you extend both legs, andyou have an L-sit. Games competitors this year had an L-sit event, heh, if I remember correctly the winners barely got over 1 minute? It's a tough possition to hold. But one of the things I read is that the more muscles activated during the move, the more the abs get activated. So either Hanging or supporting the weight on the dip bars is good.

I'm sorry for the lack of spinal-flexion moves Luke but back then I concluded that besides the heavy, barbell Compound movements, if any time was to be devoted to the Abs, it should be either the Ab-Wheel or the L-sit (or Hanging Leg Raise). That is, providing you can hold the regular plank for 2 mins and side plank for 90s, and can play with the arm/leg raised on the front one.

If your goal is to do WODs as Rx'd... then I'll remind you there are WODs requiring up to 21 consecutive L-pull-ups. You wont develop that ab strength from sit-ups, I can tell you this much.

Many wods also have the controversial Knees to Elbows. These are tough on the abs AND many other muscles, specially if done strict with little to no momentum. I guess you flex the spine a bit here? Some people think they're dangerous though. I'd stick to hanging leg raises or L-sits and L-hangs.

I suspect part of your current problems with sit-ups is due to your body mass, and it should solve itself as you lose weight. I'd take advantage of your current BW and keep planking! It'd be like weighed Planks! If you reach 2 minutes at this BW, I'd imagine you'd hold it forever once you're lighter.

Also, in case you're not doing this... when you do the front plank: move your elbows a bit forward so they have a slight forward angle. Put them as close together as you can. Feet together as well, or asclose as possible. And when you plank, I want you to contract your glutes really hard, and hold this contraction during the whole plank. Tell me if this reduced your time. I learnt this from Bret Contreras and it made a world of difference. It should also be noted you should only hold the plank until your low back arches. It should be flat at all times. If it arches, even if you can still shake out several more seconds.... quit. Flexing the glutes helps keep the pelvis in the right possition.

If you feel you'd truly benefit from sit-ups by all means do them with the ab-mat or similar padding under you, until you can do them easily. But eventually, doing repetitive sit-ups would be like Mikko Salo doing rounds of jumping jacks in his metcons IMO :D

So much talk about abs.... lol. Rippetoe answers questions about Abs in funny ways, I wish I had some quotes at hand :p

Luke Seubert 12-13-2011 06:04 PM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Arturo Garcia (Post 1013577)
I don't know if you'll like my answer to this question, but during the time I researched this subject I remember finding GOOD evidence about a few other VERY GOOD abdominal movements, but they weren't exactly spinal-flexion either! The Hanging Leg Raise, for example, is unbelievable at this. At least it flexes the hip, so it's something, huh? Now, maybe the hang is tough for you at your BW, but you'll keep losing weight so don't worry about it, the grip will come. Also, the progression for the HLR can be done on parallets, or Dip bars, or two chairs... you might have seen it done. First you do knee raises.... when several reps are easy, you do holds at top (harder than reps, as reps can use momentum). Once this is easy, you extend just one of your legs. Next, you extend both legs, andyou have an L-sit. Games competitors this year had an L-sit event, heh, if I remember correctly the winners barely got over 1 minute? It's a tough possition to hold. But one of the things I read is that the more muscles activated during the move, the more the abs get activated. So either Hanging or supporting the weight on the dip bars is good.

Let me ask you something about scaling the Hanging Leg Raise, which I obviously can not do for the time being. I also have severe doubts that I could do any of the scaled versions you mentioned.

Howevah... I do have an adjustable bench with a narrow seat. What if I rotated the bench up to about 70 to 80 degrees, and sat on the narrow seat, and did first knee ups, and later leg ups from that position? Perhaps only one leg at a time to start, but later both legs at once.

Unlike the hanging or parallette versions, this one would support my back to some degree, supporting my bodyweight with my butt instead of through my shoulders. Do you think this would provide a decent amount of exercise, or is there too much torso support built into the movement?

Dustin Standel 12-13-2011 06:32 PM

Re: PaleoZone vs Morbid Obesity: An Odyssey
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Luke Seubert (Post 1013535)
I've Come A Long Way
Since I can't allow Dustin to corrupt me by posting ONLY a qualitative analysis of the differences between then and now, below is some quantitative information comparing my old PRs from five months ago to my current PRs. I am significantly faster across the board, and my ability to sustain high heart rates during exercise has increased tremendously.

Current and Old PRs
Let's take a walk down memory lane and compare the newly proposed, and admittedly perhaps-a-little-too-tough workout regimen, with what I was doing back in the Summer. These were the workouts that once kicked my butt - brisk walks and pathetic attempts to finish a Tabata Kettlebell round of 8 cycles. Nowadays, the walks are warmups or supplemental exercises, and I do walk-jog intervals on all of them, instead of just walking them. I have also advanced quite a lot in my Tabata Kettlebell workouts. I am able to swing almost twice the weight, continuously and without skipping any cycles, for well over a threefold increase in time.

0.9 Mostly Hilly Miles
Current PR - 12:37 @ 156 BPM on December 11, 2011
Old PR - 17:45 @ 132 BPM on July 23, 2011
28.9% improvement

1.1 Mostly Flat Miles
Current PR - 14:52 @ 154 BPM on December 5, 2011
Old PR - 20:17 @ 152 BPM on July 14, 2011
26.7% improvement

2.0 Flat and Hilly Miles
Current PR - 31:14 @ 146 BPM on December 7, 2011
Old PR - 41:46 @ 129 BPM on July 20, 2011
25.2% improvement

Tabata Kettlebell - 20 seconds swinging, 10 seconds rest = 1 cycle
Current PR: 12 continous cycles in 6 minutes with 27 pound kettlebell on December 11, 2011
Old PR: 3 broken cycles in 2 minutes with 15 pound kettlebell on August 8, 2011

Haha! So how does that feel? Looking back at all of the old PRs?

I however would pose to you that you have made significantly better improvements than you think based on the percentages you have calculated - realistically, your times for miles walked or run will never be 0, so raw percentages should be based on a realistic achievable goal time and how much closer you are to that time than you were, not a raw percentage as that can be misleading, in this case on the low side I believe. for example, your mostly hilly miles both around 1 mile I think could be reasonably traversed in around 8:00, give or take (I am just picking numbers here for ease of calculation). A time of 16 minutes would be 200% of that goal time, while a time of 12:00 would be 150% of that time - an improvement of 50%!


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