Thursday, October 25, 2012

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

StrongLifts Day 5


Warm Up Sets
2 sets of 5 seps with 45 pounds (barbell no weights)
1 set of 3 reps with 55 pounds
1 set of 2 reps with 55 pounds

Work Sets
5 sets of 5 reps with 65 pounds 

Bench Press: 

Warm Up Sets
2 sets of 5 seps with 45 pounds (barbell no weights)
1 set of 3 reps with 65 pounds
1 set of 2 reps with 65 pounds

Work Sets
5 sets of 5 reps with 95 pounds 

Barbell Row: 

Warm Up Sets
2 sets of 5 seps with 65 pounds (barbell no weights)
1 set of 3 reps with 85 pounds
1 set of 2 reps with 85 pounds

Work Sets
5 sets of 5 reps with 110 pounds 

Day 10 of GOMAD

When I got home my wife told me I look "pudgy." 

Monday, October 22, 2012

StrongLifts Day 4

Squats 5 set of 5 reps with 60 pounds 

Overhead Press 5 set of 5 reps with 55 pounds 

Deadlift 1 set of 5 reps with 100 pounds 

Day 8 of GOMAD

Saturday, October 20, 2012

StrongLifts Day 3

After finally reading the StrongLifts 5x5 Report e-book PDF I found out I have been skipping the warmup sets. No wonder I was after to do my first two workouts in 20 minutes or less.

In addition to the 5 sets of 5 reps for the 3 exercises (only 1 set on deadlift) you do 2 sets of 5 reps with an empty barbell. Then do a third warm set adding 25-45 pounds increments with just 3 reps. Then do a final warm up set of just 2 reps.

Here is what I did in my "Work Sets"

Squats 5 set of 5 reps with 55 pounds 

Bench Press 5 set of 5 reps with 90 pounds 

Barbell Row 5 set of 5 reps with 105 pounds 
(I was only suppose to do 100 pounds but I forgot my training info sheet)

This workout took me around 45min but I was just getting used to my warm up sets. Right now everything is fairly easy so I am putting my full focus on developing good form. 


Thursday, October 18, 2012

BMI vs BF%

Body Mass Index vs Body Fat Percentage

According to BMI                                  Weight ranges for Someone with a height of 5'7"
15 and Below  - Very Underweight     96-
16 to 18.4        - Underweight              102 to 117 
18.5 to 24.9     - Normal                       118 to159
25 to 29.9        - Overweight                160 to 191
30 to 34.9        - Obese                        191 to 223
35 and Above - Very Obese                224+     

According to BF% it varies by Age and Sex and Chart

This chart plots BMI vs Body Fat Percent of Men from data collected in 1994  National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey by the National Center for Health Statistics . 

(I added in some my my stats in large colored blobs to show how I fit into the BMI spectrum)

Even at my peak shape back in May (the yellowish blob) I am considered overweight (BMI greater than 25) even though by Body Fat Percent was 12.9. Now I know I was in bad shape in the brownish blob. That was from November 2008 when I was approx 233 pounds and 31% body fat. 

You must take into account that BMI was invented in 1832 in Belgium. It was never meant to be used for medical purposes. Adolphe Quetelet was an astronomer, mathmatician, statistician, and sociologist. Using the new science of probability and statistics (mainly used in astromony at the time) he attempted to apply it to social science he called "social physics." Using his concept he set out to describe the "average man" with data he collected. 

A study in June, 2008 by Romero-Corral et al. examined 13,601 subjects from the United States' Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) and found that BMI-defined obesity was present in 21% of men and 31% of women. 

Using body fat percentages (BF%), however, BF%-defined obesity was found in 50% of men and 62% of women.

 While BMI-defined obesity showed high specificity (95% of men and 99% of women presenting BMI-defined obesity also presented BF%-defined obesity), BMI showed poor sensitivity (BMI only identified 36% of the men and 49% of the women who presented BF%-defined obesity).

The medical establishment has acknowledged major shortcomings of BMI. Because the BMI formula depends only upon weight and height, its assumptions about the distribution between lean mass and adipose tissue are inexact.
BMI generally overestimates adiposity on those with more lean body mass and underestimates excess adiposity on those with less lean body mass.

StrongLifts Day 2

Front Squats 5 set of 5 reps with 50 pounds (barbell with 2 2.5lb weights)

Overhead Press 5 set of 5 reps with 50 pounds (barbell with 2 2.5lb weights)

Deadlift 1 set of 5 reps with 90 pounds (barbell with 4 10 lb and 2 2.5lb weights)

Weekly Weigh In: 173.8 16.1%

Day 4 of GOMAD

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


1 Quart of Organic Whole Milk

Breakfast Stuffed Acorn Squash

1 Quart of Organic Whole Milk

Grilled Pork Chop, Carrots, and Quacamole

1 Quart of Organic Whole Milk

Grilled Pork Chop and Quacamole

1 Quart of Organic Whole Milk

I went for a walk with Ellen and Winston after work as the cool front was blowing into town. We set off to do a milk but ended up doing more. I ended up doing a sprint across the edge of the Lowe's parking lot in 35:09. I walked back towards my Ellen and the dog and convinced them to sprint with me. I did the next spring in 34:32 and when I finished they were more than halfway done. I love seeing my wife being active and doing intense exercises. We ended up walking 2.31 miles in 50:53. My workout summary showed a max pace of 4:30min/mi. According to my measurement on google earth the spring was about 0.11mi or approx 181-182 meters.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

StrongLifts 5x5 Day 1

Tonight I did my first StrongLifts 5x5 workout.

According to the spreadsheet provided for the program I need to start with 45lbs for Squats and Bench and 60lbs for Barbell Row. This is based on me not entering my max lifts and using the beginner setting so I can focus on my form. Deadlifts and squats are not something I have much experience doing.

I started out with doing front squats with an 7ft olympic barbell with no weights (45lbs). I focused on my form and doing them deep, I felt kinda funny squatting an empty bar but for is VERY IMPORTANT.

Next I moved over to the bench press and did 65 pounds but that felt too light so I did 85 pounds the next three sets and 105 the final set so my total volume lifted is the same as doing 5 sets of 85.

Using the same barbell from the bench I loaded 25 pound plates on each side and did 95 pounds for the 5 sets and it felt like just the right amount of weight. Recently in another workout I had done 4 sets of 6 reps of 110 pounds.

The whole workout only took 20 minutes.

Also today is Day 2 of my GOMAD diet. I stepped on the scale and I was 173.6 lbs this morning. That is about 2 pounds more than my weekly weigh-in last Thursday.

Evolution of the American Diet:

Evolution of the American Diet:

A hundred years ago less than one in one hundred Americans were obese and coronary heart disease was unknown. Pneumonia, diarrhea and enteritis, and tuberculosis were the most common causes of death. Now, a century later, the two most common causes of death are coronary heart disease and cancer, which account for 75 percent of all deaths in this country. There were 500 cardiologists practicing in the U.S. in 1950. There are 30,000 of them now – a 60-fold increase for a population that has only doubled since 1950.

In 1911, Procter and Gamble started marketing Crisco as a new kind of food. The name Crisco is derived from CRYStalized Cottonseed Oil. It was the first commercially marketed trans fat. Crisco was used to make candles and soap, but with electrification causing a decline in candle sales, Procter and Gamble decided to promote this new type of fat as an all-vegetable-derived shortening, which the company marketed as a "healthier alternative to cooking with animal fats." At the time Americans cooked and baked food with lard (pork fat), tallow (beef and lamb fat), and butter. Procter and Gamble published a free cookbook with 615 recipes, from pound cake to lobster bisque, all of which required Crisco. The company succeeded in demonizing lard, and during the 20th century Crisco and other trans fat vegetable oils gradually replaced saturated animal fats and tropical oils in the American diet.

In 1953 Ancel Keys, the father of K-rations for the military, published a study that correlated deaths from heart disease with the percentage of calories from fat in the diet. He found that fat consumption was associated with an increased rate of death from heart disease in the six countries that he studied.

It should have been named the Twenty Two Countries Study for all the data he omitted. Data that went against his hypothesis of fat intake causing heart disease. The original paper noting Keys’ omissions was largely ignored and is tough to track down. The graph below shows the original graph with all the nation data included (with the Masai, Inuit, and Tokelau, modern tribes that live on a high saturated fat diet, thrown in for fun represented by the red dots).
Picture1 19

In 1971 U.S. Agricultural policy initiated during President Richard Nixon’s administration. Earl Butz, who was Nixon’s Agriculture secretary, used his department’s subsidies programs to push American farmers to increase their production of corn, and helped increase its export around the world, When corn prices fell and a surplus developed, Butz championed the spread of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which is made from corn and is cheaper than conventional sugar.
Scene from 1973 Woody Allen movie "Sleeper"
In 1977 the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs, chaired by Senator George McGovern, released its "Dietary Goals for the United States," designed to reduce fat intake and avoid cholesterol-rich foods. These dietary goals became become official government policy.
In 1984 the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer advocacy group, joined the fray and started to coerce fast-food restaurants and the food industry to stop baking and frying food with animal fats and tropical oils. McDonalds fried its French fries with beef fat and palm oil. That's why they tasted so good. But the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s well-orchestrated saturated fat attack coerced McDonalds and other fast-food chains to switch to partially hydrogenated, trans-fat vegetable oil.
U.S. Dietary Fat: Animal and Vegetable Sources 1909 and 1985
Over the past century, butter consumption has plummeted from 18 grams per person per day to 5 grams. Consumption of lard has dropped substantially while use of shortening has almost tripled. In 1909, shortening was a natural product made with coconut oil and lard. Shortening used today is made out of partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.

Consumption of margarine made with trans fats has gone up five fold, and vegetable oils, more than fifteen-fold. Along with trans fats, these often rancid vegetable oils are new to the human diet.

A good case can be made that these changes in fat-and-oil consumption over the last hundred years are the major cause of the epidemic of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, and learning disabilities in children. Observing the increasing use of vegetable oils during the 1940s and 1950s, a few physicians, notably Dr. Weston A. Price and Dr. Francis Pottenger, predicted that there would be increasing rates of such diseases.

Prevalence of Obesity among US adults 1950-2010
An epidemic of obesity has accompanied the adoption of a low-fat diet. With only 1 in 150 people obese when the century began, by 1950 nearly 10 percent of Americans were obese. Thirty years later, in 1980, it had risen to 15 percent. Then following publication of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines and its every-five-year updates, obesity in Americans has steadily risen. Now two-thirds of the American public is overweight, with more than one-third, obese. Today the average American weighs 30 pounds more that he or she did 100 years ago. American women weigh and average 167 pounds and men, 191 pounds.

There is solid evidence that this epidemic of obesity has resulted from replacing saturated fat in the American diet with carbohydrates and processed polyunsaturated vegetable oils.

A review of eating habits in the United States in 2004 found that about 3/4 of restaurant meals were from fast-food restaurants, whereas only 1% were fine food dining restaurants. Nearly half of the meals ordered from a menu were hamburger, French fries, or poultry — and about one third of orders included a carbonated beverage drink. From 1970 to 2008, the per capita consumption of calories increased by nearly one-quarter in the United States and about 10% of all calories were from high-fructose corn syrup.


Monday, October 15, 2012


Today is Day 1 of my GOMAD Diet:
For the next week I will be drinking a gallon of organic whole milk a day in addition to eating 3 meals following the paleolithic diet. This weekend I started drinking whole milk and worked up to 3/4 a gallon on Sunday. I plan to follow this diet for 4 weeks stopping only if I reach 20% body fat or 190 pounds.
My last weekly weigh in was on Thursday, 171.4 pounds 14.4% body fat, and I will considering this my starting stats.

Today's food intake:

1 Quart of Whole Milk

9 Hardwood smoked baby back ribs from Kroger Deli

1 Quart of Whole Milk

Carrots and Quacamole

1 Quart of Whole Milk

1 Quart of Whole Milk

I had planned to start the StrongLifts 5x5 tonight but when I got to the gym it was one of those "bring your friend" appreciation day with a live DJ and I could not use anything. I walked out and headed home determined to use my barbell in the garage but it was already almost 8pm.

It is a VERY simple program. There are two workouts you do alternating and you lift 3 days a week.

Workout 1:
Squats 5 sets 5 Reps
Bench Press 5 sets 5 Reps
Barbell Row 5 set 5 Reps

Workout 2:

Squats 5 sets 5 Reps
Overhead Press 5 sets 5 Reps
Deadlift 1 set  Reps

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Big Picture

Sometimes it is nice to slow down and just enjoy life. Reign in the tunnel vision focus on goals and deadlines and really see they big picture. Take a moment to look back and reflect on the past and the progress or direction life is going. Rethink your goals to better align with your passions and values. Ask yourself if the things in life that take lots of time and effort reflect your personal beliefs. What are your long term future goals? Have you lost touch with your younger idealistic self? Are you sacrificing your time on this earth towards something you believe in?

Before I finish this chapter of my life I want to make sure I am not straying from my values and the original motivations that got me to this very moment in my life. Every action and choice and brought me to today. Where will my future actions take me and where do I want to be?

All these questions can be asked spiritually, romantically, physically, and financially. I can feel myself change with time. I have made alot of personal changes in the past 6 years. I changed alot in the 4-5 years before that when I completely let myself become an open book to explore who I was and what I experienced. Going back even further was the transition from child to adult. There are the changes that seem to naturally come with age and there is the personal evolution that happens over time while at the core staying the same basic being.

All my life I have let the numerical count of the number of trip on this earth around the sun rule what I thought I should be doing. I used it as a barometer of where I should be. For the first 18 years of my life everything felt like it was already planned for me and my goals were as much my decisions as they where social expectations. Once I got to college decisions about life were still guided but the amount of the decision making process that was purely up to me greatly increased. I had a finite amount of time/money to complete my education. It took me 2 years to find what I wanted to study while at the same time discovering who I am and what my limits might be. Once I graduated and got my first job I was allowed even more control over my life and decisions. I went thru a tough transition period where I felt lost and depressed because I had no clear direction and or exceptions from myself or externally. This lasted almost 2 years until I took time to sit back and look at the big picture. I was not a failure but there were goals and desires I had for over a decade that I had been ignoring. I used turning 25 as a big stressor and motivator to re-align my life with what I was passionate about, and my personal values, while finally reaching my long term goals and burning desires.

I feel like I am nearing the end of my current chapter and, although I have evolved and grown, it is time to re-align, or better yet fine tune, my goals and actions to better fit my passions and desires. The best thing to happen to me was meeting my wife Ellen. Now as I reflect, plan, and focus I do so with two lives as one.

Spiritually we both want to be part of a community to share our faith. Earlier this year we tired out a few churches. After going to my friend Nick & Keri's wedding a few weeks ago we really like the preacher that married them and are planning to go to church with them soon. I know how Nick feels about spiritual/religious things and it is similar to my own beliefs/values.

Romantically I want to be better in tune with my wife's passions and desires. I also need to learn to be a more helpful roommate and husband. Part of this means adjusting my behaviors and goals in a more harmonious and less selfish way.

Physically the majority of my goals in the past 4-5 years have been health and fitness related. I finally shed my excess weight and for the past 2 years I have been focused on running to maintain my fitness. I need to let go of my age based goals. When I set the goal of running a marathon by the age of 30 it was to keep myself going so I would not fall back into old habits and gain back my weight. It was also part of reaching a goal and then setting a bigger goal. I have been reading more and more recently that cardiovascular endurance reaches a point of diminishing returns. Running more than 45-60 minutes and more than 20+ miles a week leads to muscle breakdown, joint stress, and hurts the immune system. Back in November I was running off the high of completing my first Half Marathon. A month later I started training for a full marathon but the training took it's toll and I got injured. After re-training myself to run in minimalist shoes I set off to reach my goal again but without the passion and drive I had before my injury. I eventually dreaded the long runs and for the first time in a long time I gave up and quit. Today I saw a friend post on facebook that today is her last training run before her big race and she is going to miss the training. I do not feel that same passion anymore. At this point I am dropping my marathon before turning age 30 goal. Never say never but not right now. I still have unfinished business with the goal I set in October 2009, get back to 160 pounds lean body mass and 12-10% body fat. I really enjoy running 5k and 10k races and they are alot cheaper than half and full marathons with less recovery and training time.

Financially I have goals but I have not been taking enough action or making the right decisions to move towards them. After the wedding and before Ellen got her first post college job I was in a negative budget and building up debt. The week Ellen started her new job she broke her wrist. Medical bills piled up and we balanced our budget and slowed down and eventually stopped the accumulation of debt. This week she started a new position with better pay. Now it is time to take more action to eliminate the debt.

For the past 3 weeks I have been slowing down and bringing the bigger picture into view. Everything seems to be falling into place and I want to make sure I am taking the right actions and moving in the right direction. With the changing of the season, the ongoing political chatter about the upcoming election, the new job, the change in focus of physical goals, and a desire to find a church and spiritual community I feel an optimistic about the future.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Chest/Back, Shoulders, and Bicep/Tricep Supersets

I have cut back my running recently. Last week ended a 28 week streak of running 3-4 days a week. This is the first time I have quit training or cut back that was not due to injury. 

My goal marathon was causing more stress than excitement so I quit my program training in week 8 of 18 weeks.  I have 14 days to relax and focus on lifting weights before I start training for the Cowtown Marathon. It is in my hometown and is more special to me. My parents ran the 10k back in the early 80s. Ellen and I did the 5k together 2 years ago and I limped thru the Half Marathon earlier this year a week after I injured my knee. 

Thurs night we went out for dinner and I left my car at the restaurant so I would be motivated to run on Friday morning (my day off). When Ellen left for work I ran the long way (4 miles) to pickup my car. A couple hours later I had my most intense strength training work in about a year. A year ago I was doing alot of low rep superset workouts. On my way into the gym I got on my blog and downloaded my logs from 8-3-11 and 8-6-11 and combined them (minus burnouts and Abs) into 66 minutes on "torture." I was able to lift the same amount or more on everything except shoulder shrugs. Saturday morning when I woke up I said to Ellen. "My everything hurts."

My DOMS lasted 3 days and I am looking forward to going back for more "torture" tomorrow. Also, I am considering doing the GOMAD diet for 4 weeks (google it). We started back up on Paleo again yesterday and planned to stick to it for 5 weeks until Ellen's birthday. Since May we both put back on what we lost from February to April. If I mix Paleo with GOMAD I guess it will call it the Nomad GOMAD Challenge. The past two years I put on 8-10 pounds from the last weekend in September until the end of the year. I might as well do it the right way.

Friday, October 5, 2012

October First

On October 1 2009 I had my last weigh in the second round my families Biggest Loser contest. The first round started in Janurary 2009 and the second round started in May 2009. Over the two round I lost 44 pounds. Now I used it as a tool to trace my yearly progress. From 2009 to 2010 I lost another 6 pounds and gained a small about of muscle mass. From 2010 to 2011 I started running and set weight lifting goals to increase my strength and leaned out another 5 pounds. From 2011 to now I started running long distance and eating a more paleolithic/primal diet and leaned out 3 more pounds while gaining more muscle and maintaining my strength. 

This shows my family Biggest Loser before and after pic followed by 3 years of progress pics. 
I wish I was not sucking in so much on the before picture...
This year October first fell on a Monday after a weekend of beer and german food so I took the Friday October 5th.
October 2009 to October 2012: 14 pounds and 5% body fat lost.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Margarita Moonlight Run

Last Wednesday I ran on the Trinity Trails in Fort Worth after work. I asked a friend who works downtown if he wanted to join me. He is training for the No Limits Half Marathon later this month but had to decline because he already had plans but he invited me to join him the following Tuesday for a social run.

Today out of the blue I had to deliver something to an office in downtown Fort Worth for the first time in years. I took it as a sign I should join my friend for the Margarita Moonlight Run at The Woodshed Smokehouse along the Trinity Trails. I had packed my running clothes and already planned on doing it. After a dropped off the package around 5pm I headed to Luke's Locker. I read online you could sign up there from 11am to 2pm but I had time to kill so I decided check it out anyway.

When I got to Luke's they confirmed what I saw online but told me I could also sign up at Woodshed Smokehouse an hour before the run. With about an hour to kill I started looking at the running clothes to see if there were any end of summer deals. As soon as I started browsing a manager looking lady asked me if she could help me. I told her I was looking for a tank top type dry fit shirt. She pointed out the few they had left and said they were getting ready for winter apparel. I got a weird vibe from her.

I decided to check out the shoes and was surprised to see they carried Vibram fivefingers and other minimalist type brands. I bought my last pair of modern over-padded running shoes from another Luke's location back in December and they did not have any minimal shoes (except maybe the New Balance Minimus). After about 30 seconds of looking an employee, Noreen, came over to help me. I told her I am training for my first Marathon and looking into a pair of closed toe minimal shoes. She told me all about the benefits of minimal shoes then looked down at my Vibrams and said, "I guess you already know."

I tried on the New Balance Road Minimus Zero and they felt really comfortable at first so I tested them on the treadmill. I really wanted to like them but they were too narrow for my wide feet and unlike other New Balance shoes they do not come in widths (once I got home I found out online they also come in a 2E width.). Next I tried the Altra Instinct shoes. I had just saw a commercial for them last Thursday. They are a "zero drop" shoe (the heel is the same height and the forefoot) and are designed with a wide toe box to allow your toes to splay. I liked the way they fit my feet but the soles were very thick compared to the NB Minimus. I did not try them on the treadmill but I should have done it. Even though I did not ask Noreen brought me a pair or Nike Free 5.0. I told her my wife has some Nike Free shoes but I was unable to get them on my feet when I last tried them over a year ago. Unlike the older models that had the tongue attached to the upper like slip on shoes the 5.0 had a normal tongue and laces. I was able to put them on my feet but in true Nike style they were too narrow. I told the sales lady I liked how the Nike Air Pegasus 28 and I had bought them too short last time and got black toenails. She said they now carry the Pegasus 29 but they do not have any wides in stock yet.  I told her I would be back in 3 weeks for packet pickup for the Honored Hero Run. She said I will get a coupon and would be better off buying shoes that day.

I headed out to my car and got my running gear and went back inside. I asked the manager lady if I could change in the dressing room and she said ok. I felt bad spend all that time in the store so I bought a Powerade. The manager asked if I wanted a bag for my work clothes. I said No and thought it was a weird question. I got the feeling she thought I was shop lifting...

I got to Woodshed Smokehouse at 6:30 and there was already a line to sign up. I waited in line for about 15 minutes to register and get my t-shirt and wrist band for post run taco and margarita.  My friend and his wife showed up with two friends just as I finished signing up. We hungout for half an hour before the run. I had not had anything to eat since 2pm and decided to skip out on an energy gel. The run started at 7:30pm right after the sun set. They asked all the 7-8 min pace runners to come to the front due to the narrow sidewalk.  We took off around an 8 min pace and quickly settled into about 8:30 pace. It was fast but we were both able to still converse. We hit mile 1 in 8:40ish and halfway in about 13:30. After we crossed mile 2 in 17:20ish I told my friend about how I like to sprint the last 0.1-0.25mi of every run. We picked up the pace to sub 8min pace for mile 3 and on the last downhill with about a quarter pushed up to a 6:30 pace finishing in 26:28 with my friend just a few seconds behind me.

Even though it was 75f I was sweaty and headed straight to the water. We waited for his wife and her friends to finish then got our (tiny) taco and (small weak) margarita. We found a table but after a minute an employee rudely told us the hostess was waiting for that table and to go over to the "gravel." We moved and hung-out for another 10-15 minutes and I noticed the table was never used.