12/5/07 Log: DOMS Begone!

I subbed out some components of my final 2 meals of the day last night with equivalent protein/fat choices, but my macros and total intake were still according to spec. It was a lower calorie day for me, so I was flat out hungry by the time I got home from my run at the gym around 9 pm, and the thought of reheating a pre-cooked chicken breast and some frozen veggies just didn’t appeal to me. I sauteed a tilapia filet with Creole seasoning and some chives and served it along with about a cup and a half of broccoli sauteed with garlic. For Meal 6, I bailed out on the protein shake and nuts and had about 4 ounces of delicious, slow-cooked Chinese BBQ pork tenderloin instead.

DOMS is already fading this morning thanks to the l-glutamine I quaffed down with my water last night. I’m not saying that this morning’s max rep 1-leg RDL’s weren’t painful, but at least I wasn’t cursing out loud. And my upper back has recovered sufficiently to ALMOST let me get all 8 reps of chins in a row. I was up to 6 and 7 in each set before I had to touch down and resort to single negatives to finish up. I’ve given up most other supplements, but l-glutamine still holds a place near and dear to my aching muscle fibers.

I have to add another reason to kick @$$ to my list: my husband Chris and I will be flying up to Philadelphia the weekend of December 15-16 to be filmed for a possible upcoming eHarmony TV commercial. Yes, we are really one of those giddy eHarmony success story couples. And as often as eH commercials are played on television, there is no way I am going up there to be captured on film without the comfort of knowing that I’d truly put in my full efforts at the gym and dining room for two weeks. 😉

– Shapeshift Relative PC
Warm Up Circuit: BW Squat, Pushups, Rev. Lunge (2×8)
1) 1-Leg DL (33 reps each side)
2A) DB Chest Press (3×8 @ 40 lbs)
2B) Chin-Ups or Rev. Grip Pulldowns (3x 7/1, 6/2, 6/2; second # indicates negative chins)
3A) DB Row (3×8 @ 40 lbs)
3B) Elevated Pushup (3×8 per side)
4) Core Endurance – Plank (3 x 60 seconds)

– Bodyweight interval circuits (6)
* Squat Thrust (30 sec)
* Jumping Jacks (30 sec)
* Mountain Climbers (30 sec)
* Squat Jumps (20 sec)
* Rest (60 sec)

– Walk (30 min @ 4 mph)

M1: 3 egg whites, 40 g oats, 40 g raisins
M2: Pineapple soy protein smoothie
M3: 3 oz. Chinese BBQ pork tenderloin, 3/4 c. asparagus veggie mix, 1 small banana, 1 small orange
M4: 2 unsalted rice cakes, 1 T. Naturally More flax peanut butter
M5: 3 oz. chicken breast, 3/4 c. asparagus veggie mix, 1/2 oz. walnuts
M6: 1 c. light soy milk, 1/2 scoop protein powder, 1/2 oz. walnuts

Water + Green Tea: 16+ cups

Supplements: 1 multivitamin, 1 calcium 500 mg + D, 6 fish oil capsules, 1 vitamin C, 5g l-glutamine

Enter the Turbulence Training 12-Week Transformation Contest!

Hard on the heels of the recent Precision Nutrition transformation challenge comes the Turbulence Training 12-Week Transformation Contest! I’m pretty jazzed about participating in this one since I’ve been using the TT workouts for over a year now with great success in terms of strength increases, lean mass gains in problem areas, and overall fitness.

Sure, you could enter yet another Body-for-Life challenge, but let’s face it, your chances of winning something are pretty low given how many people enter each quarter, and you have to use those nasty, pricey EAS supplements to enter. Currently there are less than 20 people in the running for the prizes below, so the odds of winning something are around 1 in 6 right now.

The catch, alas, is that you do have to purchase the basic $39.95 Turbulence Training for Fat Loss package, but that includes 26-weeks’ worth of workouts in the main Turbulence Training for Fat Loss manual, a nutrition plan developed by Dr. Chris Mohr which very closely resembles the $99 Precision Nutrition program, and an additional 32 weeks of Turbulence Training workouts designed by Craig Ballantyne, including:

1) Turbulence Training DB-BW Fusion Fat Loss 8-Week Program
2) Turbulence Training for Women 4-Week Program
3) Turbulence Training for Muscle 8-Week Program
4) Turbulence Training Original 4-Week Bodyweight Program
5) Turbulence Training 30-Days to Advanced Fat Loss Program
6) Turbulence Training Advanced Fusion Fat Loss 4-Week Program

So technically speaking, you are getting over a year’s worth of varied, quality exercise programming for less than the average cost of a single personal training session from one of the cocky 19-year-old trainers at your gym. (Personally, if I have to shell out some bucks to enter a transformation contest, I’d much rather have the money go towards 58 weeks of fat burning, strength-building training programs and a full nutrition plan to actually get me to my goal than spend it on overpriced supplements of dubious effectiveness and revolting flavor.)

Since one of the requirements of the contest is keeping a workout journal on the TTmembers.com forums, three months of basic level access to the TTmembers.com site (usually $19.95/month) are also included.

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12/4/07 Log: Shapeshift is still kicking my butt

My week and a half off from Shapeshift workouts is biting me in the backside right now, literally. My glutes and upper back are in partial DOMS from yesterday’s workout already, and I expect to be pretty stiff by 10 pm tonight if I don’t get in some intervals and stretching before then. This is what comes from pushing for new maxes on three different exercises after slacking off for almost two weeks. Besides that 185 lb sumo squat yesterday, I also increased my weights in the seated row (112.5 lbs) and the standing cable crunch (90 lbs).

Food and workouts were dead on yesterday, but I overslept this morning (stayed up too late putting together my TT contest post!) and will have to do my planned intervals and 30 minute steady-state cardio tonight. If the weather is decent at lunch, I’ll see if I can knock out part of that cardio outside with 10 minutes of walk/sprint intervals and 6 rounds of bodyweight circuits. The 4th floor of the office complex parking garage is pretty much deserted all the time, so I like to go up there for Forza, bodyweight circuits, and sprints during my lunch hour.

UPDATE: Just got back from my walk/sprint/bodyweight circuit lunch break workout including some 10 meter uphill sprints on the way up to the fourth level of the parking garage. Altogether I got in about 30 minutes of quality intervals out in the fresh air (bonus!) and feel revved up for the second half of the work day pushing my mouse around at my desk.

(One of the perks of working in video games is that you can go to work in your gym clothes and still look more dressed up than most of your co-workers.)

I still plan to stop by the gym on the way home from work tonight to get in a 30-minute training run.

– Walk/Sprints (1.0 mi) + Bodyweight circuits (3 rounds) (30 min)
– Treadmill Run (30 min @ 6-8 mph)

M1: 1 pumpkin oatmeal muffin, 30 g cereal, 1/3 c. light soy milk, 1/2 c. spinach, 3 egg whites
M2: Pineapple soy protein smoothie
M3: 3 oz. grilled chicken breast, 3/4 c. asparagus veggie mix, 1 small banana, 1 small orange
M4: 2 unsalted rice cakes, 1 T. Naturally More flax peanut butter
M5: 3 oz. chicken breast, 3/4 c. asparagus veggie mix, 1/2 oz. walnuts
M6: 1 c. light soy milk, 1/2 scoop protein powder, 1/2 oz. walnuts

Water + Green Tea: 16+ cups

Supplements: 1 multivitamin, 1 calcium 500 mg + D, 6 fish oil capsules, 1 vitamin C, 5g l-glutamine

Amyella’s Low-Cal Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins

Here’s the recipe for the pumpkin oatmeal muffins I am enjoying this week. The ingredients have been modified by the brilliant Miss Amyella to allow you to have TWO dense, moist, delicious muffins as one carb serving.


Maggie’s Note: I subbed 1/2 cup of wheat bran for the 1/2 cup of Fiber One cereal and 5 oz. of unsweetened apple sauce for the 5 oz. of baby food prunes in this recipe and still had great results.

As some of you might have noticed, Amyella recently switched her blog to private/invitation only because she was being pestered by some sad, mean-spirited commenters. If anyone is interested in an invitation to view Amyella’s blog (which is full of great recipes for clean eats), please contact me with your email address and handle used to comment on her blog in the past (if applicable), and I will pass on your info to Amyella (aka She Who Issueths The Invitations).

Amyella’s Low-Cal Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins

1 1/2 cups rolled oats, ground in food processor
1/2 cup of Fiber One cereal
1/4 cup oatmeal, dry
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
5 oz of baby food prunes
6 egg whites
13 packets of Splenda
1 1/4 cup canned pumpkin

Macros for one muffin:
59 calories, 13 g carb, 3 g protein, .4 g fat, 1 g fiber

Yield: 12 muffins (6 servings)

Yay for 2 muffins = one serving

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spray two loaf pans, muffin tins, or 9×13 cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.
3. Combine flour, cereal/bran, baking soda, salt, oats, and spices in bowl and set aside.
4. In large bowl, combine sweetener, applesauce/prunes and egg whites and whisk or mix with an electric mixer until well blended.
5. Combine in dry ingredients until blended.
6. Pour into pans or muffin tins.
7. Bake approximately 25 – 30 minutes (20-25 minutes for cake pan) or until fork inserted in center comes out clean.
8. Allow to cool completely and store in airtight container or cut into pieces to be individually frozen.

12/3/07 Log: Turbulence Training 12-Week Challenge Begins!

Today’s workout is done, and I had a new personal record in sumo squats this morning: 185 pounds on that barbell! I will stick with that weight for another week since my vertebrae were not jumping for joy when I stepped away from the squat rack with the bar across my traps, then try to get up to 205 pounds. I am determined to squat over 200 pounds by January 1, and possibly 250 by February 14. At some point, if I keep up with the food and cardio, I may even be doing 2x my own bodyweight. I know this isn’t much compared to Ms. Kyra’s mega squat record, but I’ve never pushed that hard with squats since my legs pack on muscle even at lower resistances.

I’m also officially starting my 12-week Turbulence Training transformation challenge today. (I’ll post full details about this contest soon.) I’m finishing out my 9 weeks with the Shapeshift program this month, then switching to four weeks of TT 2K3 in January and a final four weeks of TT 2K4 late January through mid-February. Both of the TT 2K workouts are from the Turbulence Training for Fat Loss manual. I’ve already printed all of the workouts out and will review them to make sure I know what each one entails. That $2000 first prize will come in mighty handy in paying off my husband’s MBA early.

– Shapeshift Top PC
Warm Up Circuit: BW Squat, Pushups, Rev. Lunge (2×8)
1) Sumo Squat (4×6 @ 65, 95, 135, and 185 lbs)
2A) DB Reverse Lunge (3×8 each side @ 35 lbs)
2B) Cable Lift (3×12 each side @ 40 lbs)
3A) Wide-Grip Seated Row (3×8 @ 90, 105, and 112.5 lbs)
3B) Standing Cable Crunch (3×15 @ 70, 80, and 90 lbs)

– Interval run (6 sets of 60 sec @ 8.5 mph / 60 sec @ 3.5 mph; 3 min warm-up and cool down @ 3.5 mph)
– Walk (15 min @ 3.5 mph)
– YF Flexibility (15 min)

M1: 2 pumpkin oatmeal muffins, 1/2 scoop protein powder
M2: Pineapple soy protein shake
M3: 3 oz. chicken breast, 3/4 c. asparagus veggie mix, small banana, small orange
M4: 1 apple, 1/2 oz. walnuts
M5: 3 oz. BBQ pulled pork (Oxygen recipe), 3 c. spinach salad
M6: 1 c. light soy milk, 1/2 scoop protein powder, 1/2 oz. walnuts

Supplements: 1 multivitamin, 1 calcium 500 mg + D, 6 fish oil capsules, 1 vitamin C, 5g l-glutamine

Financial and Physical Peace

I’ve been listening to and reading the writings of financial talk show host and author Dave Ramsey recently, and it has really struck me how many of the things he says about financial responsibility and freedom correlate to fat loss and fitness as well. I’m in decent shape both financially and physically thanks in equal parts to a no-frills, frugal upbringing, a series of smart, informed choices in money and lifestyle, and a decent amount of self-motivation, but I wouldn’t say that I have reached my ultimate goals in either arena yet.

At various times, in my own sometimes hard core, sometimes laid-back way, I have come close to being completely debt-free or reaching that elusive 15% body fat/130 lbs. I’ve even hung out at both of those milestones for a few months at a time…. But then something always comes up–a $1000 car repair that had to go back on a credit card because I didn’t have an emergency fund yet, a big crunch at work that derailed my workouts, an unexpected out-of-state wedding that set me back both financially and fitness-wise–and I am back to trying to reach that $0 debt baseline and 16% body fat again instead of being able to move forward by SAVING up for emergencies and actually training to IMPROVE performance.

On the occasions I’ve actually reached both goals, they didn’t stick for more than a few months because I hadn’t completely changed all of my old ways. I’ve never fully fallen back into stupidity, but I keep giving myself too much leeway with impulse gadget/book/software/game purchases, “cleanish” or downright bad food choices, and inconsistent workouts before I’d maintained my financial and physical statuses for a stable three month minimum. I’ve had too much of a “Yay! I’ve reached my goal! Now I can let up!” attitude, when I really should have been saying, “Yay! I’ve reached my goal! Let me get used to maintaining this for another 6 months to make sure I have enough savings to withstand the next unexpected car repair and that I have a grasp of how much I should eat and work out to keep my physique the way I like it before I start easing up on everything all at once.”

Ramsey says that you must live like no one else (meaning working your butt off and doing without the frills for a while) now so you can LIVE like no one else (meaning financially secure and enjoying all of those things you sacrificed before…but without debt this time) later.

I think this rationale can and should be applied to fat loss. What it boils down to is that neither financial freedom nor a lean, fit physique is achieved without hard work, sacrifice, and a willingness to go against the American norm. (This last item shouldn’t trouble you overly much since the “norm” these days is fat and broke!)

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One more Trash the Dress moment

This is a rather large 300 KB animated GIF of me and Chris jumping into Wekiwa Springs on Trash the Dress day, so I’m going to spare the low-bandwidth readers the tedium of downloading it automatically by just adding a thumbnail link here. Click if you want to see us hit the water!

Taking the plunge!