LL Cool J Platinum Workout Week 11 Stats

7/7/09 Measurements (Difference from Week 6 stats in parentheses)

Age: 34 (still)
Height: 5’6” (same)
Weight: 146.6 (-2.6 lb)
BF%: 24.7% Averaged from 27.2% (Tanita body fat scale); 22.2% (Omron handheld)
Chest: 35.0” (same)
Waist: 27.25” (-1.25”)
Hip: 38.88” (-0.12”)
Thigh: 23.5” (-0.50”)
Calf: 14.88” (-0.12”)
Shoulder: 42” (+0.50”)
Arm: 12.13” (-0.37”)

Lean mass: 110.39 lbs (+0.28 lb)
Fat mass: 36.21 lbs (-2.88 lb)

From the online BF calculator:

Body Mass Index: 23.7 kg/m2
Waist-to-Height ratio: 0.41
Percent Body Fat: 25.5%
Lean Body Mass: 109.2 lb

Your weight is in the normal range.
You do not need to lose weight.
Minimum caloric requirements: 1855 Calories per day
Your diet should contain at least 76 grams of protein per day.

Summary: Not much change in the last week due to the decreased exercise intensity of Active Rest week and the random foods from the 4th of July weekend (I am pretty sure I am still retaining water), but I admit that I need to clean up the food more for this phase of the program. I need to average a loss of 1 lb per week over the next 12 weeks to reach my body fat percentage goal of 18% (approximately 134-136 lbs) before we head out on our two week Mediterranean cruise.

According to my Weight Loss Spreadsheet, I need to keep calories between 1579 – 1763 per day to reach my goal in 83 days. I think my intake has been close to that, but my meals could stand some more standardization and cleaning up. I’m going to shoot for the lower end of that range on non-lifting days and the full 1750-1770 on lifting days. The addition of a 200 calorie post-workout shake on lifting days should take care of the extra calories.

I am currently in the “Gold” or hypertrophy phase of the LL Cool J program. I finished up 4 weeks (Silver phase) of strength workouts the week before last and then took a scheduled week of Active Rest for week 10 where I primarily stuck to the Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout boxing, Forza, and push-ups. I love this program so far and have managed not to tweak anything in the scheduled workouts. The cardio portion is finally picking up and calories are coming down at the same time. I expect to see an increase in the rate of fat loss from this point on as the focus shifts to hypertrophy and fat loss in the final Platinum phase.

For the time being, though, I’ve really enjoyed eating enough to support my workouts and allow strength gains in nearly all of my lifts while gradually bringing my body fat down. LL and his trainer apparently know their stuff. 🙂

May Makeover Challenge Plans

For the May Makeover Challenge over at Pink Dumbbells, I am going back to basics with my program.

As of this week, I am doing the program outlined by LL Cool J’s Platinum Workout book (LLCJ) with a week of Red Carpet Ready (RCR) workouts while I’m away from my home and gym on a trip to see my sister. This will get me through the “Bronze” phase of the LLCJ program.

Week 1
M/W/F: LLCJ Full body machine circuit (1 circuit x 15 reps each; 30 sec. rest between exercises) + 15 minute incline walk or HIIT

Week 2 (Trip to California)
M/W/F: RCR Action Hero Babe workouts with Valslides, resistance tubing, and bodyweight

T/Th/Sa: 20 min. HIIT Run or 20 min. Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout cardio boxing with the Wii

Week 3 (3 x 12 rep straight sets w/ 1 min rest between sets)
M/Th: Upper Body + 15 min cardio @ 60% MHR)
T/F: Lower Body + 15 min cardio @ 60% MHR)

Week 4 (3 x 8 rep straight sets w/ 1 min rest between sets)
Mon: Upper Body + 20 min cardio @ 55% MHR
Tue: Lower Body + 15 min cardio @ 60% MHR)
Thu: Upper Body + 20 min cardio @ 60% MHR
Fri: Lower Body + 15 min cardio @ 65% MHR)

I am going to keep calories close to maintenance this month at 1800-2000 calories per day. I’ve been off program with exercise for so long now that I’m confident that just adding the extra calorie burn back in while eating at the same level will cause me to drop fat and build some muscle back up without resorting to calorie restriction. The meals in the LLCJ book are calibrated for males, however, so I’m going to look at the New Rules of Lifting for Women and Muscle and Fitness Hers 12 Week Makeover meal plans for my recipes.

– 1800-2000 calories/day
– Macronutrient ratios: 40-50% carb / 30-40% protein / 20-30% fat
– 5 meals per day on non-lifting/rest days, 6 meals (due to added PWO shake) on lifting days
– 16 cups water per day
– Supplements: multivitamin, calcium + D, 6 fish oil caps, l-glutamine, creatine/l-glutamine pre-workout

There are almost too many things I want to fix up around me, but I’m going to keep this realistic and choose my living room and patio as my makeover victims for this month.

The patio houses my weight bench and Powerblock weight set as well as some extra pairs of free weights, a small round outdoor dining table, lots of resin chairs, two wicker novelty chairs, and DH’s grill. It has no discernible style at all, and now that it’s getting warm again, I find it too stifling to work out in there.

Our living room has decent couches, but it’s a mess at the moment with one of the sofas commandeered as Yarn Central for my crafting hobby. We have a very tall wall in there thanks to the vaulted ceiling, so there is a lot of vertical space to fill up. Neither of us loves what we have going on up there now, and I really want to put up the set of four Chinese scrolls my sister brought back for us from Australia last year.


Getting Fit with Video Games: Two Week Exergaming Experiment

In honor of my latest exergaming acquisition for the Wii console, Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout, I am embarking on a two-week video game workout program that will use the following three programs:

Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout (GGCW) for the Wii

Yourself Fitness (YF) for the Xbox; for Wii owners, an updated Wii version is sold as My Fitness Coach.

Dance Dance Revolution SuperNova 2 (DDR) for the Playstation 2

Yourself Fitness will be my baseline program. I am setting up my profile with an emphasis on Upper Body Strength and then allowing the program to generate a six-day per week workout schedule for me to follow. I’ll also be doing 15 minutes of GGCW, or the equivalent of one lesson immediately following the YF session. DDR and interval cardio will be alternated throughout the week.

Mon: YF (30 minutes), GGCW (15 minutes), DDR (15 minutes)
Tue: YF (30 minutes), GGCW (15 minutes), Interval Run (20 minutes)
Wed: YF (30 minutes), GGCW (15 minutes), DDR (15 minutes)
Thu: YF (30 minutes), GGCW (15 minutes), Interval Bike (20 minutes)
Fri: YF (30 minutes), GGCW (15 minutes), DDR (15 minutes)
Sat: YF (30 minutes), GGCW (15 minutes), Interval Elliptical (20 minutes)
Sun: Rest

To keep this challenging, I plan to use the heaviest weights I can handle with my YF workouts and integrate my Valslides on lunges and any other exercises that work with them. I’m also wearing 1 lb weighted gloves with the GGCW sessions since those are based on boxing movements. I’m not adding any difficulty to the DDR because I am so inherently uncoordinated that just keeping up will be a miracle for me.

My nutrition will fall into the 1500-1700 calories per day range, with macros of 40% carb, 30% protein, and 30% fat.

My goals over the next two weeks are:
– Be 100% consistent with my workouts and 90% consistent with my nutrition.
– Unlock 1 music style and 1 workout locale in Yourself Fitness.
– Earn enough gold for a new outfit in Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout.
– Try every initially available song in DDR Supernova 2 at least once, even if I fail.

Notice that I’m not including any measurement or body fat targets. I am going to try shifting my focus to earning points in-game and unlocking things instead of worrying about the scale or the calipers for a few weeks. My work and crafting schedules are not leaving me with enough spare time to both exercise AND play any video games, so I am combining those two types of activities into one block of time each day. I’m banking on my drive to improve my scores and unlock goodies in games to keep me focused enough to drop a few pounds, build up some muscle, and increase my cardiovascular health without obsessing over every calorie eaten or burned.

Anyone else using their Wii or other gaming consoles as their primary form of exercise?

Adventures in Semi-Vegetarianism

To answer Erin’s question about what program I am using to move towards a more vegetarian (or pescatarian at least) nutrition model, at the moment I am just attempting to replace one of my usual two servings of meat per day with a vegetarian or seafood option. I normally have some kind of lean meat at lunch and dinner, with breakfast and snacks leaning more towards eggs, soy, nuts, and protein powder for my protein sources, so cutting out the red meat and chicken without using dairy as a crutch will be the major change.

Since I am still eating fish and eggs, this isn’t as big a transition as, say, going full-on vegan or even just strict vegetarian. In fact, I just gobbled down some innocent pre-cooked shrimp as a snack. 😉

What I’m having a difficulty with is making time to try out new vegetarian recipes that really feel like full meals instead of side dishes, especially those using beans. Beans are not really a staple of the Taiwanese diet and don’t feature prominently in most of my staple recipes like Beef Noodle Soup, stir fries of any kind, and Korean BBQ burgers. I think I need to give veggie chili a try (I WILL miss my ground meat in this…sigh) as well as some soups and stews. I also need to learn some better ways to prep tofu. Don’t get me wrong–I love pan-fried firm tofu with a blog of hot sauce, but some veggies would be nice in there, too. I’ve been too busy with other projects and social commitments to just buckle down, crack open Vegan with a Vengeance, and get cooking, except for my recipe-less Pingtung eggplant, scallions, jalapenos, and tofu in oyster sauce last night, which totally rocked my socks off. Quinoa and brown rice will have to make a come back, too, because I am sick of sweet potatoes, and I cannot have just fruit as my carb portion with lunch.

This is Day 4 of the experiment for me, and it has not been an unqualified success.

  • Monday, I developed a headache by 7 PM that I couldn’t shake off. I think I didn’t quite eat enough that day or was sensitive to something I ate–possibly a banana or a Nature Valley Fruit and Nut bar. Worked out anyway and felt better after chugging more water.
  • Tuesday, I stupidly consumed a boiled egg that I could tell wasn’t quite right in texture (too soft/mealy) as a snack, and then proceeded to reap the rewards of food poisoning for the rest of the day, including a major migraine and some really unproductive nausea. Didn’t work out as even turning my head too quickly made me want to boot. On the plus side, did no evening snacking. 😛
  • Wednesday, I had to rejoin the ranks of the actively eating, but I stuck with bland foods and lots of water. My stomach no longer rebelled. Still had a residual headache.
  • Thursday, my head felt fine in the morning, and I am so far feeling pretty good. I don’t think I drink enough water when I’m eating meatless meals, though. CLX Burn Intervals and Abs should be on for tonight.

So that is my semi-vegetarian week so far. I went into it not quite prepared, but I’m muddling through as best as I can until I have the time to really plan out a good menu for myself.

Hello 2009!

Hey all! Sorry I’ve been incommunicado for the past month; all I can say is that 12 hour work days and a slew of holiday obligations can really chop one’s web posting time down to nothing. I think this happens every December, because I am feeling a sense of deja vu as I type these words.

I’m back again, though, and ready to start the 2009 off with some new plans on the fitness and nutrition front and in other areas of my life.

I’m also reviving the Project Wonder Woman blog which has been sadly neglected since last February. If you want to join me in working toward some grown-up chick scout badges for trying out new things and improving yourself in lots of different areas, check out the PWW blog and drop me a line if you want to become a contributor.

  1. Cooking/Nutrition: Get back to 90% clean eating (it’s been an uncharacteristically sloppy holiday season for me food-wise) and TRY to go mostly vegetarian
  2. Fitness: Complete two full months of Val Waters’s free Action Hero workouts (bonus action babe workout, too) without skipping any unless sick or injured, then follow up with the full New Rules of Lifting for Women program
  3. Knitting: Learn how to knit from the Stitch and Bitch book & make a knitted Sackboy doll to go with my crocheted and sewn ones
  4. Money: Complete Baby Step 2 of Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover plan by paying off my second mortgage
  5. Sewing: Do two back to back 6-month Wardrobe Refashion pledges and only sew my own clothing from fabric in my stash or clothes already in my closet
  6. Budgeting/Travel: Save up for a European cruise (second honeymoon since DH and I were frugal with our first one in 2007) in the fall
  7. Gardening: Get my veggie garden in order and make a month to month plan to keep it that way
  8. Painting: Complete all of the painting exercises in my watercolor pet painting book & learn how to use Corel Painter
  9. Singing: Take one month of voice lessons (I love karaoke, but have never been in a choir or taken real lessons.)
  10. Yoga: Make flexibility training a regular part of my routine instead of an occasional chore.
  11. Writing: Complete all of the exercises in just ONE of my many writing books
  12. Make My Own Badge: Any of the following – Get off my butt and just study for my personal training certification, work all the way through one PHP/MySQL programming book, or learn how to use my new video editing software by going through all of the included tutorials

For January in particular I want to:

  • Garden: Tear out the dead plants from my garden and cut down the invasive “dwarf” banana tree. Plant some cold weather veggie seeds.
  • Exercise/Nutrition: Complete all of my planned workouts and follow my meal plan. Swap out one meat-based protein portion per day with a vegetarian, egg, or seafood option.
  • Craft: Make my items for the Discworld Swap at Craftster–I’ll probably crochet some Discworld characters and sew some kind of bag…not sure what else. Make a “Spockboy” Sackboy doll for my co-worker.
  • Writing: Write five blog posts a week. Post at least four times a week at the two fitness forums where I am an administrator or moderator.
  • Money: Create a new budget for 2009 using the free PearBudget spreadsheet. Update W-4 withholding for me and my husband after plugging in our numbers in the IRS withholding calculator. File our taxes!
  • Organization: Cut down on extraneous online community involvement until I have a better grip on my real life work, hobby, education, and social commitments. Clear out and donate/toss my old stuff from my parents’ house.

I think the key to achieving these things is to flat out set a date for them instead of stopping at the list making stage. I have to schedule things right into my calendar for them to actually seem like tasks instead of goals. Goals are nice, but they will never be anything but words on paper unless I break them down into doable tasks.

Muscle & Fitness Hers 12-Week Makeover Program

For those who were interested, here is the Muscle & Fitness Hers 12-Week Makeover Program I am pulling my upper body workouts from for the rest of the year. As I’ve mentioned before, if your goal is really the Red Carpet Ready look, you probably don’t want to train this way because you WILL build stronger, larger, more visible muscles, especially if you follow the 1800-1900 calorie diet plan as well.

This plan is a lot more “American Gladiator” than “Alias”.

I’m using it for my upper body since I prefer a more obviously warrior princess look up there vs. Hollywood lean and slender since I have a lot of leg muscle to balance out.

M&F 12-Week Program (PDF)
(Download PDF)

Red Carpet Ready 6-Week Results and Review

Red Carpet Ready

The RCR Club Experience
I admit that I started celebrity trainer Val Waters‘s Red Carpet Ready program with a healthy dose of skepticism about what it could actually do for me since I’ve been training and eating clean pretty consistently for over 4 years now, but I can’t argue with the numbers below. I have lost 5.4 pounds in 6 weeks (This is very good for me based on past experience, especially given that it is PMS week for me; I am not one of those people who ever averages more than 1 pound a week unless I eat at starvation levels and do over an hour of cardio a day), dropped 2.17% body fat, and reduced my measurements by over 8.25″ (based on Val’s requested measurements) and 11.5″ based on my bonus measurements.

For someone as acclimatized to hard exercise and clean eating as I am–I am a poster child for homeostasis–these were very good results indeed.

Continue reading »

RCR W4D7: Week 4 Stats and Photos

I think I did pretty well this week since PMS officially ended (no more random carb cravings at 8 pm). I stayed true to my diet, got in all of my workouts (even when I had to do them after a 13 hour day at work), consumed 5-8 servings of fruits and veggies daily, and averaged 7 hours of sleep per night. Water intake was between 12-18 cups per day. Hey, it’s not exciting, but it works. 😛

Other factors at work:

  • switched over to the RCR Weeks 4-6 workouts
  • modified diet slightly with lower carb choices on cardio days and higher carb choices on circuit days (still using Val’s RCR mix and match meal options)
  • added 30 minutes of moderate activity to circuit days
  • took out the home video workout option for my bonus cardio on interval days and stuck with “real” cardio – skate, bike, incline walk, elliptical, etc.

I have gone down in body fat percentage again, and scale weight dropped by 2.2 lbs since my last (bloated) weigh-in of 144.0. My waist, hip, thighs, chest, and lower abdomen all showed noticeable decreases, which is great, but I’m not as thrilled with the loss of shoulder circumference. It’s a good thing that I am putting in a heavy shoulder day for the rest of this contest! From my photos, I’d say that most of the girth is coming off from my side view. I just look less thick in profile now. My back view is starting to lean out slightly, but there is still quite a ways to go before my upper back and lower body look lean again. On the front–my quads are coming back into view and my suprailiac and abdominal skinfolds are decreasing weekly, which gives me hope that the abs will emerge in another two weeks.

I do think I have a very good chance of reaching my 138 pound goal by the end of this challenge if I keep on doing what I’ve been doing. The body fat % goal is VERY close already.

RCR W4D7 - FrontRCR W4D7 - SideRCR W4D7 - Back

Week 4 Measurements
(Starting measurements in parentheses; CHANGES indicated in BOLD)

Height: 5’6″
Weight: 141.8 lbs (146.4 lbs)
BMI: 22.9 (23.7)

BF% (7-Site Skinfold): 15.19% (17.68%)
BF% (Omron): 20.8% (23.0%)
BF% (Tanita scale): 24.5% (26.3%)
BF% (AVERAGE): 20.2% (22.3%)

Neck: 12.5″ (12.75″)
Chest: 34.5″ (36″)
Waist: 25.75″ (26.5″)
Waist – 2″ below belly button: 30.5″ (31.5″)
Hips: 37.75″ (39″)
Thigh: 23″ (23.5″)
Calf: 14.75″ (15″)
Bicep: 11.75″ relaxed / 12 3/8″ flexed (11 7/8″ relaxed / 12 5/8″ flexed)
Shoulders: 41″ (41.75″)

1. 15g walnuts, 20g raisins
2. Company potluck turkey fry lunch
3. (Optional) 1/2 Green protein shake: 1 c. light cranberry raspberry juice (40 cal/cup), 1 scoop protein powder, 3 baby carrots, 1/2 c. frozen spinach, 1 banana, 1/4 c. frozen cranberries


* Outdoor HIIT Run (BFL-style; 30 min)
* Outdoor Walk/Jog (30 min)
* Yoga (30 min)