LL C2W3D3: No more slacking!

Back down to 138 this morning from a post-weekend high of 140 after a day of focused SGX’ing, LOL. I think I will shoot for 137 even by the end of the weekend. As this is PMS week, even a loss of one pound is a bit optimistic.

I wound up postponing the Plyo X yesterday as my legs were feeling a bit wasted after my HIIT run earlier in the day and the lunge-heavy YF lower body workout after work. Throwing 60 minutes of high impact jumping in the mix didn’t seem like a smart idea. I will do the Plyo in lieu of HIIT on Thursday.

I tried out the YF meditation garden yoga workout for the first time last night, too. It moved a bit too quickly and the trainer didn’t provide enough verbal cues after the first run-through of each pose sequence, but it was all right over all. The meditation garden workouts last anywhere from 15-25 minutes on a randomized schedule. I have two more regular workouts before my next YF fitness assessment, whee! I hope my back and chest are fully-recovered from push-up day before then.

I am already feeling and seeing results from the Full Body Blitz guided workouts. My leg and arm muscles are noticeably firmer in just a week and a half, and I THINK there is less jiggle action going on overall. I’m just going to stick with the current program for another three weeks and then assess my progress. The keys, as always, are 100% workout attendance and sticking to clean meals even on the weekend. I think I need to make another list of forbidden foods since I tend to relax my standards on weekends when I’m not at home.

I hereby pledge that I will not consume any of the following commercially-produced trigger foods until January 1, 2006:

  1. Candy, including chocolate and marshmallows
  2. Cakes, brownies, cookies, doughnuts, pies, muffins and other high sugar, high fat baked desserts
  3. Potato chips, corn chips, or the evil Chex mix at my parents’ house :tongue:
  4. Ice cream (even the low carb, lactose-free, sugar-free variety)
  5. Popcorn
  6. Boxed cereal of ANY kind

If I can make a version of any of the above that complies with 50/30/20, 40/40/20, or 40/30/30 ratios, I am allowed to indulge, but no more 100% octane junk until next year. When you really think about it, why go for the truly unhealthy foods when there are so many ways to modify recipes to produce something that satisfies the junk food craving but won’t inflate your fat cells?

That said, stay tuned in the next few weeks for a new batch of recipes from me and my sister. We will be experimenting with some BFL-friendly recipes for use with all those home ice cream makers that have been collecting dust in your kitchens.

Yes, get ready for a slew of Sorb-Whey (TM) concoctions!

Folks, I can’t wait to have a cup of post-workout orange pineapple sorbwhey, heh. Lil’ sis is working on a chocolate peanut butter chip recipe this week. As soon as we get some decent recipes together, I’ll post them here.

===========
Nutrition: Training Day Menu
(SGX nutrition details omitted by request of trainer)

1: 1/2 can tuna, small banana
2: Blueberry banana smoothie
3: 3×1 spinach omelette with salsa and peach
4: Spicy tuna oatmeal snack with plum
5: PWO Dextrose/whey shake
6: SGX PWO meal

Daily Supplements: multivitamin with iron, calcium 500 + D, 1 T. flaxseed oil or natural peanut butter
Water: 16 cups minimum

===========
Workout:
12:00 PM Cardio – Bike (5 minutes / Level 3)
12:05 PM Cardio – Elliptical (25 minutes / Level 3)
7:30 PM MAP Full Body Blitz #4 (60-75 minutes)
9:00 PM Y!F workout (30 min)

===========
The Awful Truth:
1. Only drank 14 cups of water yesterday.
2. Spent this morning reallocating the funds in my 401(K) instead of working out.

===========
Brownie Points:
1. Cold is almost gone.
2. Starting to look more muscled again.
3. Reallocated contributions more effectively in my 401(K).
4. Deposited FSA check.

===========
Short-term Goals:
1. Turn in read library books.
2. Grill chicken for salads.
3. Clear out fridge.
4. Clear off desk.

LL C2W3D2: Proatmeal is Nasty

GACK! :yuck:

Who actually thinks that mixing chocolate whey protein powder into a bowl of oatmeal makes a tasty, balanced meal?

I like ATW chocolate blend on its own with cold water. I love old-fashioned oatmeal with just a sprinkle of salt, Stevia, and a tablespoon of raisins.

Combining the two, however, makes the cilia in my throat move in the opposite direction required for swallowing and my entire body shiver in dread. It’s just as bad as my gag reflex when it comes to chunky cottage cheese.

The odd thing is that with the addition of 1/4 t. of baking soda and some quality time in the microwave, oatmeal, whey, water, and raisins make a pretty tasty muffin.

===========
Nutrition: Cardio Day Menu
(SGX nutrition details omitted by request of trainer)

1: 2/3 portion Chocolate proatmeal (couldn’t convince my digestive tract to take any more)
2: 3×1 spinach omelette and pear
3: SGX meal
4: SGX snack
5: 4 oz chicken breast, 3/4 c. mixed veggies and peach
6: SGX snack

Daily Supplements: multivitamin with iron, calcium 500 + D, 1 T. flaxseed oil or natural peanut butter, 1 t. GNC Creastack
Water: 16 cups minimum

===========
Workout:
12:00 PM Cardio – HIIT run (4.5-8.5 mph / 0% incline / 20 min)
7:30 PM P90X Plyometrics (60 min)
8:30 PM Y!F workout (15 or 30 min)

===========
The Awful Truth:
1. Up to 140 this morning thanks to creatine load, hehehe.

===========
Brownie Points:
1. Paycheck showed up in new checking account! Woo!
2. Did the laundry.
3. Most of my container veggies are still alive.
4. “Ordered” some tai chi DVDs from the library.
5. Finished Full Body Blitz workout 3.

===========
Short-term Goals:
1. Deposit FSA check.
2. Turn in read library books.

Review: Yourself Fitness (Post 7 Workout Impressions)

Yourself Fitness

Last night, Maya the virtual personal trainer kicked my ass.

I’ve been working out almost daily with Yourself Fitness for the Xbox, and gradually getting used to the crazy aerobics shenanigans in the 10 minute warm up periods, but I’ve been somewhat doubtful regarding the claim on the box that Maya will adjust and plan my workouts based on my fitness test and feedback.

Well, lo and behold, she did.

My sixth workout with Y!F was an upper body strength focus session, and it began with the usual cardio warm up. After 10 minutes of assorted aerobic exercises, she got down to business with the upper body work. Unfortunately, I wasn’t at my own place, so I didn’t have any dumbbells to use, but I did my best to squeeze my biceps hard with each weightless bicep curl, and I replaced the tricep kickbacks with some reliable old chair dips. All of this was nice, but the killer portion was the push-up series.

Based on the weenie level fitness test push-ups–they were modified knee push-ups, not full–I expected Miss Maya to drop on her knees for the push-up sets last night, too.

I was wrong.

That digital slave driver made me do two sets of 12 full military push-ups and six sets of 12 full regular push-ups. And she did them suuuuuuuuuper sloooooooooooooooooow. By the time I finished those 96 turtle-paced push-ups, I was dripping sweat all over the tile and making scary faces that reflected back at me from the pool of perspiration beneath my chin. It’s true that I could have gone to my knees at any point, but there was no way I was going to let a collection of pixels out-push me.

I am pretty positive that someone who does poorly on the diagnostic push-up test probably wouldn’t get the same upper body workout as I did last night.

I’ve completed seven 15-45 minute workouts so far with the program and have yet to lose interest. This might be some sort of record for me and guided home workouts. Normally, I am lucky to do a given video more than four times before I get tired of it. In the case of Y!F, I haven’t repeated a single workout sequence yet, and (gasp) I actually find myself eager to log in and knock out my daily session of low impact aerobics mixed with some light resistance. Crazy, eh?

This is a very good investment for a beginner or casual exerciser looking to improve overall conditioning or lose weight, but I don’t believe it is hardcore enough to replace a plan like Body for Life if your goal is maximum physique transformation. You don’t burn as many calories as you would doing a pure cardio workout on a treadmill. (At 5’6″ and 135 lbs, I burn an average of 100 calories for every 10 minutes I run at 6 mph, but after a 30 minute workout with Y!F, I am told by the program that my total calorie burn is only 130-150.) Furthermore, the resistance exercises all tend to follow a 12 rep, fast tempo pattern which makes it nearly impossible to lift the heavy weights one would need to build significant muscle.

I do think that Y!F can be a great supplementary workout for someone doing a more traditional bodybuilding transformation program, however. I’m using the program in the evenings after work when I feel like being a bit more active, but don’t want to drag myself out to the fitness center for a run or overtrain with the Powerblocks and bench. I haven’t unlocked any new songs or workout environments yet, either, so my gamer instincts are still engaged.

The key seems to be that even though I am sweating and burning calories, I don’t feel like I’m exercising. My brain thinks I’m just a human video game controller playing a Simon Says game. :prop:

It’s just not the same when there’s a whole room full of spandexed people doing the exercises on a fitness program or video because they are too real. All you see are ripped physiques that definitely did NOT become that way by doing only Tae Bo or aerobics exhorting you to keep your abs tight and your energy levels up. There’s no reward for finishing or consistently coming back, and doing the same routine over and over becomes tedious after just a few sessions.

With Maya, I am progressively more and more challenged, and I almost see myself competing with the virtual trainer to complete each set of exercises. I look forward to each session because I want to see just how much punishment Maya can dish out, and every time I make it through a workout at the next higher level without falling out of any of the exercises, I win.

:claphigh:

Now if only they’d make the Yourself! Fitness Martial Arts and Tai Chi edition and the special Y!F Bodybuilder Version…

LL C2W3D1: I’m a Homie Now

September 15, 2005.

That was the day my membership at Gold’s Gym lapsed. 😥

I voluntarily allowed this to happen in order to offset the cost of my Powerblock Elite dumbbells, but it’s still a bit of a bummer.

From now through December 31, 2005 (and possibly longer), I am going to do my workouts without the myriad equipment and visual inspirations to be had at Gold’s. After the New Year, I’ll be moving to the other side of town and will need to join a gym chain that allows me to work out in any of their Florida locations without going through the hassle of getting a travel pass as I would have to with Gold’s. So far, my options are Bally and L.A. Fitness. Both gyms have locations in Casselberry where I’ll be living next year, and both also have locations close to my office in southwest Orlando, one near Metrowest and one near Hunter’s Creek. I’m leaning towards L.A. Fitness at the moment since it is newer and less ghetto than the central Florida Bally locations, but I won’t make a decision until I visit all of the locations.

(Since I’ll be living 35 minutes away from work, I plan to leave my new place at 7 am to beat the morning traffic on Interstate 4 and drive to my new gym near the office by 7:40 AM every work day. I’ll then work out, shower, eat first breakfast, and get to work by 9:45 AM. On the weekends, I’ll have the option to work out at the Casselberry location.)

In the gymless interim, I am going to see just how effective a home gym-based workout can be. I’m integrating the P90X workouts once again on cardio days along with my HIIT runs, but I’m going to stick with “real” resistance training with dumbbells and the limited selection of cable machines at the apartment complex fitness center for now to avoid injury and boredom.

===========
Nutrition: Training Day Menu
(SGX nutrition details omitted by request of trainer)

1: Chocolate oatmeal flax bar with apple
2: Kung Pao chicken with broccoli
3: SGX meal
4: SGX snack
5: PWO Dextrose/whey/Creastack shake
6: SGX PWO meal

Daily Supplements: multivitamin with iron, calcium 500 + D, 1 T. flaxseed oil or natural peanut butter, 1 t. GNC Creastack
Water: 16 cups minimum

===========
Workout:
12:00 PM Cardio – Run (6 mph / 0% incline / 20 min)
12:30 PM Y!F Core workout (15 minutes)
7:30 PM MAP Full Body Blitz workout 3
8:30 PM Life’s Odyssey OARS exercises

===========
The Awful Truth:
1. Had some ice cream and Chex mix this weekend.

===========
Brownie Points:
1. Had a very good run today.
2. Logged into Yourself Fitness 6 times so far.
3. Submitted direct deposit and FSA paperwork.
4. Picked up car title and temporary checks from parents’ house.

===========
Short-term Goals:
1. Follow up on missing paycheck.
2. Cook something creative with chicken in freezer.
3. Prep something with tuna, too.
4. Bake BFL banana bread and WW carrot cake.

LL C2W2D5: Still Sick

Sorry for the lack of post yesterday. Yours truly was laid out in bed trying to resist the urge to lose her lunch for several hours after lunch.

I felt okay in the morning, but something hit me about 30 minutes into a meeting with the local Wachovia Bank financial specialist to close out my Capital Assets Management account. By the time I got back to the office, I was counting the minutes until my supervisor got back so I could go home and throw up in the privacy of my own bathroom. I had a buddy at Ft. Lewis who would purge as soon as he felt anything not right with his digestion, thereby getting rid of incipient food poisoning early in the miserable process. He said his wife was the exact opposite, trying to keep the tainted food down for hours and suffering in silent misery.

I’m somewhere in between. I’ll fight nausea for half an hour, but if I’m still sick after that, I figure that my body knows something that my brain doesn’t, and I’d better just get the deed done.

Too much info, I know. 🙄

Anyway, my supervisor did finally come back, and I did get permission to head home so I wouldn’t be mistaken for the Daily Purger who, by the way, is STILL haunting our ladies’ room at the office. I made it through the 30 minute test all right and managed to avoid an up close and personal visit to the shrine of the Porcelain Goddess after all.

I eventually worked up the energy to get out of bed and do a workout with the Yourself Fitness program. It is a testament to my complete lunacy in all matters related to fitness that I decided to follow Ms. Maya’s recommendation and do a core strength workout despite my shaky stomach.

“Ooooh…I can’t even think about eating solid food without gagging right now, but 30 minutes of crunches, planks, and V-ups sounds like a hoot!”

Y!F is great so far, in case anyone is wondering. I really think this is the most innovative use of the Xbox I’ve ever seen, and possibly the only home workout “video” I’ll truly be able to use almost daily without getting bored. I just need a P90X version. 😉

I had to put off the second Muscle Audio Prof workout until today due to the mystery stomach bug yesterday, but it went very well this afternoon. Doing a full body workout is a change for me, but I don’t mind the routine. I can already feel the difference in my arms and legs this week between the MAP workouts, the plyo, the HIIT, and the kenpo, and now, with the Yourself! Fitness “game” around, I actually look forward to a second round of exercise after work, too. Tonight will be an hour of Powerstrike and maybe a quickie 15 or 30 minute workout with the Xbox.

===========
Nutrition: Training Day Menu
(SGX nutrition details omitted by request of trainer)

1: PWO Dextrose/whey/Creastack shake
2: Turkey patty, 3/4 c. veggies, 1/2 c. grapes
3: Turkey patty, 3/4 c. veggies, 1/2 c. grapes
4: 3×1 spinach omelette with pear
5: Kashi Go Lean cereal with vanilla whey
6: Splurge meal

Daily Supplements: multivitamin with iron, calcium 500 + D, 1 T. flaxseed oil or natural peanut butter, 1 t. GNC Creastack
Water: 16 cups minimum

===========
Workout:
12:00 PM MAP Full Body Blitz workout 2
7:30 PM Powerstrike

===========
The Awful Truth:
1. Not recovered from cold yet.

===========
Brownie Points:
1. Crawled out of bed and did a YF workout.
2. Closed CAP account before $125 annual fee was charged.

===========
Short-term Goals:
1. Clean the kitchen again.

Review: Yourself Fitness First Impressions

An unplanned trip to Toys R’ Us’s clearance game department led me to my latest fitness-related acquisition: Yourself Fitness for the Xbox. I’ve had my eye on this item for a while now, but refused to purchase it while it was over $20. Luckily, Toys R’ Us decided to include it in its 50% off green tag merchandise promotion, so I nabbed my copy for $17.50.


Yourself Fitness is a customizable workout program that runs on the Xbox game console. You create a profile and take a physical assessment test that involves inputting your height, weight and age, recording your resting heart rate and active heart rate (after 2 minutes of increasingly faster jumping jacks following the pace of a little stick figure on the screen), entering how many body weight squats, crunches, and kneelie (girly modified) push-ups you can do, and determining how bendy you are by recording how far you can stretch when reaching for your toes.

There is a pleasant virtual personal trainer named Maya who walks you through the assessment and leads your workouts. When I finished my assessment, Miss Maya recommended a long-term focus of cardio for me. Other options were weight loss, upper body strength, lower body strength, core strength, and flexibility.

I guess she wasn’t too impressed with my 179 heart rate after the jumping jacks. 😳 I maxed out all the strength moves, though, so perhaps the cardio recommendation was just the default for someone who can do lamo modified push-ups all day long. You know a product is aimed at a female audience when it doesn’t even ask you to do real push-ups!

There’s also a built-in diet plan with meal plans and recipes for many levels of caloric intake from 1200 on up. I checked out a few of the menus and was impressed with the variety of meals available although I didn’t agree with all of them. Most breakfast meals were completely lacking in protein, and several menus only included a protein in the dinner entree. Each meal plan lists an option for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, but doesn’t indicate whether the snack foods should be eaten three times a day or if the items should just be spread out throughout the day when the tummy rumbles strike. The program definitely did not mention 5-6 small meals a day as part of the plan. Maybe the PC version lets you print out your meal plans and recipes, but the limitations of the Xbox force you to write down your meal plan info yourself.

I chose the days I wanted to use the program (M/W/F in lieu of machine cardio), and started up a cardio workout with Maya, selecting my workout venue (Empress’s Dojo), music style (hip hop), and equipment. There were some grayed out venues and music styles that I will have to unlock somehow in the future. What a clever feature! For a completist gamer like me, the existence of unlockables will keep me coming back until I unlock everything.

I was pretty impressed until the workout began.

Horrors!

It was bouncy, flouncy, coordination-required aerobics! 😯

I hung in there for 10 minutes, but decided that the routine required more grace and coordination than I could muster up at 1:00 am in the morning, especially after nearly 2 hours of resistance training between the Full Body Blitz and the OARS exercises I did for the eDiets’s Life’s Odyssey challenge this week.

I’ll write more when I’ve finished a few of the workouts. So far, I give Yourself Fitness a thumbs up, despite the girly girl aerobics.

LL C2W2D3: Fleeting Fame

I got into the Internet Movie Database for the voice work I did in the Geist video game. For some odd reason, IMDB also thinks that I was in a 1995 Gerard Depardieu movie…

Go figure.

http://imdb.com/name/nm0910983/

I dusted off the old P90X Plyo DVD today and used it for my optional lifting day cardio.

Nothing puts running into proper perspective better than 45 minutes of relentless plyometrics. When I’m doing my HIIT run tomorrow, I will have a big fat grin of bliss on my face because at least I won’t be doing plyometrics. It takes a lot to burn out my quads, but jumping up and down from a low squat position for three-quarters of an hour does the trick every time. :tongue: I’m going to do plyo once a week as part of my “Try not to be so friggin’ slow when running” mini-goal.

I spent nearly an hour and a half with volume 1 of Dave Greenwalt’s Muscle Audio Professor “Full Body Blitz” (with squats) audio workout program last night. It’s an interesting concept: I performed this workout (http://www.muscleaudio.com/workouts/pdfs/full_body_blitz_v1.pdf) with the vocal guidance of Mr. Leanness Lifestyle himself. Breaks, reps, and tempo were all specified by the MP3s loaded into my player, and the only problem I had was setting up my initial weights for the first time at the fitness center. Since the workout had me supersetting between two pieces of equipment constantly, I’m glad no one else felt the need to work out at 10:30 pm at night.

I’ll be doing volume 2 of the FBB series tonight with heavier sets. :slappy: I’ve been asked to try out the program for at least three workouts, so I’ll hold off on giving a full review until I’ve finished out this week.

===========
Nutrition: Training Day Menu
(SGX nutrition details omitted by request of trainer)

1: Kashi Go Lean and TVP patty
2: Kashi Go Lean and TVP patty
3: 3×1 spinach omelette with plum
4: SGX Meal
5: PWO Dextrose/whey/Creastack shake
6: SGX PWO Meal

Daily Supplements: multivitamin with iron, calcium 500 + D, 1 T. flaxseed oil or natural peanut butter, 1 t. GNC Creastack
Water: 16 cups minimum

===========
Workout:
12:00 PM P90X Plyometrics (45 minutes)
7:30 PM Full Body Blitz Workout 2

===========
The Awful Truth:
1. Still didn’t get to bed until 1:30 am. Will try for 11 pm tonight.

===========
Brownie Points:
1. Bought some Walgreen’s Day-Quil knock off cold/cough medicine–buy one get one free special–and feel much better.
2. Finished first Muscle Audio workout. Was pretty impressed by the program.
3. Sucked it up and did plyo workout for cardio today.

===========
Short-term Goals:
1. Cook more chicken.
2. Clean bedroom and bathroom.

LL C2W2D2: Sickness is Overrated

It’s official: I have a cold. I’ve been fighting it off for a week now since I donated blood last Tuesday, but the viruses finally wiggled into enough of my cells to saddle me with congestion and a headache on Sunday, sneezing on Monday, and the full runny nose today. I’m already heading toward post-nasal drip territory, so I should be back to 100% by Friday.

Stupid cold. :ouch:

I did my HIIT run during lunch at my regular speeds anyhow, though I had to use my 4.5 mph slow intervals for some strategic Kleenex usage. I’m going to head home tonight, knock out my lifting workout immediately, cook some chicken and veggies, and get my snuffly self into bed by 10:30 pm.

My used copy of the Weight Watcher’s Simply the Best cookbook just arrived today, so I might be making something spiffy out of that with the chicken. On the other hand, there is something to be said for a nice stockpile of roasted chicken breast for salads, pita pizzas, and wraps…

Who am I kidding? I’m just going to wind up stir-frying half of the chicken with whatever veggies I have in the fridge anyway. 🙄

===========
Nutrition: Training Day Menu
(SGX nutrition details omitted by request of trainer)

1: 3×1 spinach omelette with plum
2: 1/3 can tuna, 3/4 c. FF yogurt with 1/4 c. blueberries
3: 2/3 can tuna, 1/4 c. raisins, 1 c. mixed veggies
4: Non-dairy chocolate protein bar
5: PWO Dextrose/whey/Creastack shake
6: SGX PWO Meal

Daily Supplements: multivitamin with iron, calcium 500 + D, 1 T. flaxseed oil or natural peanut butter, 1 t. GNC Creastack
Water: 16 cups minimum

===========
Workout:
12:00 PM HIIT run (4.5 – 8.5 mph / 0% incline / 20 min)
12:20 PM LISS stair stepper (L3 random / 5 min)
7:30 PM Full Body Blitz 1 routine

===========
The Awful Truth:
1. Caught a cold from co-workers. Really snuffly today.

===========
Brownie Points:
1. Copy new Muscle Audio Professor workout to MP3 player.
2. Did HIIT cardio with runny nose.

===========
Short-term Goals:
1. Do one chapter of character modeling book.
2. Read two chapters of NASM book.
3. Clean living room and kitchen.
4. Cook chicken.
5. Log day at Ediets, Muscletank, and Leanness Lifestyle sites. Work work work…