Sunday, July 27, 2008

New Rules Of Lifting

I thought long and hard and did a lot of research before committing to something new, as far as weight lifting goes. I plan to stick with BFFM for nutrition purposes. And I mean really stick with it!

The best things about New Rules Of Lifting by Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove are the simplicity and variety. There are 27 workouts (I think - I'm too tired to go back and look) that are designed around 6 different moves. They are put together in different ways, such as different rep schemes, frequency of workouts, and specifics of the moves. It would be complicated to explain, for me, but the way it's presented in the book is fantastic. The book provides very specific workout logs.

There are 3 different types of workout, plus a "break in" program to get you ready. There are 3 fat loss programs, each with 2 workouts that are alternated. The hypertrophy program also has 3 pairs of workouts. There are 3 strength programs, each containing 4 alternating workouts. Schuler and Cosgrove provide four different overall programs, but a lot of people I've seen on the NROL board design their own. If you do one of the pre-designed programs, it will take about a year to get through it as written, but not all of the workouts are incorporated into all the programs. The one I'm planning on doing, for the eternal beginner, focuses more on fat loss and hypertrophy, with just a little strength.

More about the six basic movements. They are squat, deadlift, lunge, push, pull, and twist. The programs use different types of these exercises (full squats and front squats plus a couple other types, conventional and Romanian deadlifts as well as rack pulls, 50 billion types of lunges). Push exercises include things like presses - you know, you push things away fro your body. Pulls include movements that - SURPRISE - pull toward your body, such as rows, pullups, and pulldowns. Twist exercises are core exercises that crunch and rotate. The book provides examples - with pictures - of most of these, and of course there are a thousand web sites out there that show substitutions.

For cardio, NROL suggests something called Metabolic Overdrive. That's a fancy term for high intensity interval training (HIIT) with a 1 minute work interval, 2 minutes of active recovery. You start out with 3 rounds, 3 times a week and progress from there. I'll be doing my HIIT on the elliptical after lifting. On non-lifting days, I'm going to do Turbo Jam. I really enjoy that stuff. Not the sculpting though - yuck. I also have some Tae Bo stuff I'll be checking out. And then once a week, for now, I'll attempt a tabata session, with the goal of moving to 3 times a week within six months.

The book doesn't focus on nutrition too much, just as Tom Venuto's Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle doesn't focus much on fitness. So I think these books fit well together for me. I'm not sure what my nutritional macros are going to be. I have it all in table form in my binder, but in general: 1300-1800 calories, 30c/30p/40f and I'll probably carb cycle.

I'll be posting all my specifics daily. I had an easier time staying on plan when I posted every day, even if no one read my blog. I'm going to try to focus on the emotional/psychological crap related to my eating. The book I ordered will be here by the time I get home, so I'm looking forward to that. I've been doing fairly well - no binges since early last week. I'm sure my trip will suck though.

Friday, July 25, 2008

This makes no sense.

There is junk food in my house, but since the Great M&M Binge of '08, I've been clean for 2 days - no junk at all. My sweet husband even bought himself some chocolate covered peanut clusters but didn't want to eat them in front of me. I told him it was fine, because I wasn't interested in having any. And I wasn't! He ate them and I barely paid attention.

So what is the difference between the last two days and the days I've struggled? There's something (something beyond my cycle because even though it was that time, binges happen even when I'm not). I have to figure it out.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Finding out I'm not alone is depressing.

I posted this in my MySpace blog last night, but I think it needs to go in my food & fitness blog, too.

It's been about a year since I started Body For Life and the last six or seven months have been absolutely brutal. I got down quite a bit, then completely went off plan, eating whatever crap got close to my black hole of a mouth. In A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking describes objects in the vicinity of a black hole being stretched like spaghetti as they get closer and closer. Hello, carbs. My lips are the event horizon. As mass is added to a black hole, it gets bigger. Meet my ass.

I've finally started to consider that this inability to control myself is something more than just a mere lack of willpower that I can magically overcome. I got a little bit of courage and posted on one of my boards, just asking for resources to check into binge eating and food addiction a bit. I was given two places to look on my muscle boards and I'm reading there now.

Here are people who appear to have it all together, people who are inspirational and have worked hard to get where they are, physically. Reading their posts in the food addiction thread is like swimming in my own head. I can relate to every single post and it's conflicting. On the one hand, I'm so relieved to know there are others who understand. On the other, it hurts to have to face this about myself. I wish I were an octopus so I could throw in another hand here - it gives me hope that there's a way to deal with this.

And there is. Unfortunately, it's not a very appealing solution. Erik, the trainer on this particular board, equates food addiction to alcoholism, and most of us are just going to have to abstain from our trigger foods. I've known this all along, but haven't wanted to accept it. When I avoid my triggers, I am on fire! But once I have that first cookie or piece of candy, it is all over.

I've ordered the book Overcoming Binge Eating by Christopher Fairburn. I love that Amazon sells used books and I had a gift card. Hopefully, it will help me. A lot of people have recommended it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Food Addiction

I'm still reading up on food addiction. I really need to get some real books, rather than relying on second hand information, even when it's from people I trust.

A discussion on one board I belong to has a post by the trainer, and it's something I've known all along, but have been unable to commit to.

According to what I've read, you need to remove the trigger foods completely. You can't have just a little ...

It's just like an alcoholic. Having just one drink is risky.

So, just like that, I can never have sweets again. The thought is terrifying. It sets me up to fail. I always want what I can't have. The logical thing to do would be learn to control the urges, right? Can they really be controlled? I'm tired of this roller coaster but I don't know how to slow down, stop, and get off.

Tabata Protocol

I'm not a big fan of cardio, especially steady state cardio. I like an intense workout, and I like a quick workout. So high intensity interval training (HIIT) is a good option for me. Never mind that I've never actually done it. In theory, I love it. I've done intervals, but never true HIIT. All I've had is the elliptical and it's not really my best friend. I don't really have anywhere to do HIIT. So I've avoided it.

While I've been doing my research on the New Rules of Lifting (NROL), I started to pay more attention to a form of HIIT known as tabata, which is basically:

warm up

20 seconds all out work
10 seconds rest
repeat 7 times

cool down

That's four minutes, plus warm up and cool down. Sounds easy, right?


The great thing about tabata is you can do body weight exercises (squats, burpees, jump rope, box jump, shadow boxing, etc). We have a 40 pound punching bag hanging in the middle of our living room. Yes, our living room. I wanted to give tabata a try with that. I made it 3 rounds, maybe 3.5, before I gave up. I tried to rationalize, saying it was the bag always swinging away from me that kept me from doing it longer. It was quite the pain in the but, with the bag swinging away. I couldn't concentrate on the movement. So my first tabata attempt was a bust.

However, I am definitely going to try it again, and make it a part of my regular routine. I would like to use some Turbo Jam moves - maybe the strike - in one session, and then squats or burpees in another. I think twice a week is adequate.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Who eats half a pound of M&Ms in one afternoon?

I do.

And I think I hit rock bottom today. I am completely disgusted with myself. I haven't worked out at all this week. I got my Wii Fit yesterday and I'm borderline obese. One more pound (which I have surely gained from the M&Ms) would probably put me back in that category. My weight, if I recall correctly (I was trying not to notice) was 161 or something hideous. My Wii Fit age is 47. I'm 33 years old.

Over the last few days, I've been reading stories of food addiction. I can relate to some of it, and I think I'm on to something, but then I tell myself, "oh you just don't want it badly enough" or "you just lack willpower" in an attempt to keep something from being wrong with me., or some underlying issue. I don't want to blame anything other than myself. I want it to be something I can fix on my own. Seeking professional help is not an option right now. There are a ton of other health related issues that would take priority.

So what am I going to do about it? Good freaking question.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Video Workout Challenge - Week 3


Ab Jam and Cardio Kickbox today. I'm not really finding Ab Jam all that challenging anymore. I should start focusing on the floor segment. I'm scared of it. It's uncomfortable.

No comment on food. I continue to defiantly eat off plan.


Turbo Sculpt today. I hate it. I don't want to do it next week. I might so something different. My knees hurt during the squats when I Turbo Sculpt. They never hurt when I did real squats. Maybe because the pace of Turbo is so quick, I don't have time to concentrate on form. I won't miss this particular video at all.


Turbo Jam Cardio Party Mix 1 today. I'm still uncoordinated with these moves, but it's fun. Much better than Turbo Sculpt. I definitely think Turbo Jam is going to be part of my cardio routine when I resume my next phase in a few weeks. I'll be lifting three times a week, then Turbo three times a week. I'll post specifics when I get around to finalizing my plans.


I almost did cardio instead of Power Sculpt today. I really dislike the video strength training. I keep telling myself I only have one more week of this.

Good news - I did not eat any ice cream or candy today. Bad news - I had a lot of pizza.

Best news - I finally managed to get a Wii Fit. It will be here Tuesday!


Turbo Jam Ab Jam and Fat Blaster today. I have a hard time with the second Turbo in the series. The moves are just weird. I should practice.


I almost packed it in for the next week. I had decided not to exercise at all until I return from New York. But alas, I didn't. Even though I woke up extremely late today, I still did the Biggest Loser Strength & Sculpt and Boot Camp. Boot Camp was definitely half-hearted though, and it was obvious to everyone because when Bob & company were doing jumping jacks, I was just sort of running and place and my son asked me why I wasn't putting my arms up in the area. Observant little guy.


I've been spending a lot of time over on the JP Fitness Forums lately, and I am practically jumping out of my skin with excitement for the next phase to begin. I haven't posted specifics in my blog yet, but I'm going to soon. I'll be going back to daily blogging once I start, and I'm going to pay more attention to measurements. This means I'll have to start getting on the scale again. But I'm also going to be more diligent about the tape measure, and pictures. I also plan to record workouts a bit to have my form critiqued.

I just need to conquer this food thing...

Monday, July 14, 2008

Video Workout Challenge - Week 2


I've pretty much decided not to focus on my diet until I get home from New York and can really make an effort. I have a hard enough time staying on plan when I don't have company and stress. I just wish the diet portion of all this came to me as easily as the exercise does.

I did TJ Ab Jam, standing segment only, and Cardio Kickbox today. My abs were screaming yesterday after Saturday's session.


I did Turbo Sculpt today. I don't know what to do about weights for it. 3 pounds for lateral raises are plenty, but for chest presses and flys, forget it! I didn't even get my 5 pounders out today, so it didn't occur to me to switch when the chest work started. I'll try to remember for next week.

And I hate squats and lunges. Seriously. I have no muscle endurance at all.

Food hasn't been horrible, but it's not great, either.


Turbo Jam Cardio Party today. It was fun, but frustrating because I'm not picking up the moves quickly. I definitely like these TJ cardio videos. I'm not enjoying Turbo Sculpt at all.

I don't know if it's because I'm weaning myself off coffee or what but I have been exhausted since the weekend. Just completely wiped out, like I could sleep all day and night. It's frustrating. I want to play with the Wii, but have no energy at all.


Biggest Loser Power Sculpt Level One today, with 5 pounders. I really, really need to work on muscle endurance. I have great strength, but can't go for very long at all.

Here's something I don't understand. No matter how much I don't want to, I always a) work out and b) drink my water. Why the hell can't I treat diet the same way????


TJ Ab Jam and Fat Blaster today. I'm pretty confident with the Ab Jam and it doesn't make me sweat as much as it used to. Fat Blaster was sweaty, and I stuck mostly to the low intensity modifications, because the kids were still sleeping. Plus, I'm a total buffoon with the footwork.


Biggest Loser Strength & Sculpt and Boot Camp today. I love watching and listening to Bob Harper, but I really hate these workouts. Of course, I'll still do them for the next two weeks, but I am totally ready to move on. I have mega-huge plans for my next phase!


Eating bad!!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Video Workout Challenge - Week 1


Off to a great start. Well, I weighed in, and that was a bit depressing. 155.5 pounds, up about 12 from my low. Could be worse, I guess.

I kicked things off with Turbo Jam Ab Jam and I did both segments! The floor stuff is difficult for me, but I couldn't put off floor work any longer. Practice, baby, practice! Then I did the Jillian Michaels Cardio Kickbox. It was hard! Much faster than I expected, and I could barely keep up. But, it was my first time doing it, and I think I'll be better next week.

Food was on track, but oh so difficult to stick to. I did have half a slice of meatloaf that I didn't add to my tracker because I didn't measure the ingredients. I served my son some ice cream and didn't even take a lick.


The Turbo Sculpt video KICKED MY BUTT!!! I started with 5 pound weights and had to back off to 3 pounds! For some things, 3 pounds wasn't enough, but I didn't have time to grab the 5 or 10 pound dumbbells. I'll have to work on being able two switch. I have no muscle endurance, but good strength. I used to think strength was all that matters, but like with lots of things related to exercise, my view is changing.

Food was good today.


I did my first TJ Cardio Party today. It was awkward, learning new moves and new sequences, so I kept it low impact. I hope it goes better next time I do to. On plan with food today, too. I wanted to throw in the towel, but didn't. I made a lemon ricotta cheesecake, then realized the Jell-O I used was not sugar free, so I had to toss the whole thing.


Today's workout was Biggest Loser Power Sculpt, Level 1. I meant to do Level 2 after but changed my mind before I started the session. I'm glad I did. Even using 5 pounders, my body was ready to quit after the first 20 minutes. Food sucked.


I wanted to skip my cardio today, but didn't. I did Ab Jam and TJ Fat Blaster. It was interesting. My house feels like it's going to fall apart when I do all that jumping.

Food sucked.


I did the Biggest Loser Strength & Sculpt and Boot Camp. NOT FUN!!!!!! I couldn't do the high intensity stuff because crap just falls off my shelves in the house. I desperately want a basement (not an option here) or a garage.

Food...SS, DD!!!


I am so disgusted with myself. That is all.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Turbo Jam Sculpting Exercises

I use Spark People to track my exercises, and I needed to enter in all the reps and sets for Ab Jam and Turbo Sculpt. I was much too lazy to figure it all out myself, but SHANIHIB from the Turbo Jammers Spark Team put that information together. I am going to copy it here so I don't lose it.

Turbo Sculpt
Shoulder rolls - 1 set x 8 reps
Cross Punches - 1 x 2
Hook Punch - 1 x 2
Pick and Place Lunges - 1 x 2
Wide Leg Squats with Dumbbell - 1 x 4
Dumbbell Squats with Rows - 3 x 4
Pick and Place Lunges - 1 x 2
Calf Stretch - 1 x 8
Hip Flexor - 2 x 2
Single Hamstring Stretch - 2 x 2
Cat/Cow Pose - 1 x 4
Shoulder Drop - 1 x 5
Forward Lunges with dumbbells - 8 x 3
Squats with Lateral Leg Lifts & Lateral Raises - 1 x 8
Curtsey Lunges with Bicep Curls - 8 x 3
Wide Leg Squats with Lat Raises - 10 x 3
Single Leg Curl with Bicep Curl - 1 x 4
Rear Extension with Bicep Curl - 1 x 8
Rotation Curl - 2 x 4
military Press - 1 x 12
military Press on Toes - 1 x 3
military Press with Heel Lift - 1 x 20
Varied Width Squats with Dumbbells - 1 x 4
Dumbbell Triceps Kick Backs - 3 x 8
Tricep Press - 2 x 8
Dumbbell Squats - 2 x 4
Dumbbell Squats with Rows - 2 x 4
Wide Leg Squats with Dumbbell - 2 x 4
Wide Leg Squats with Lat Raises - 2 x 4
Wide Leg Squats with Lat Raises - 2 x 4
Single Leg Squats with Foot Push & Lat Raise - 1 x 4
Dumbbell Lateral Raises - 1 x 4
Dumbbell Frontal Plane Lifts - 2 x 2
Dumbbell Lateral Raises - 3 x 2
walking Lunges - 4 x 4
walking Lunges - 4 x 2
Lunges with Knee Pulls - 1 x 8
Reverse Lunges (Dips) - 2 x 4
One-Arm Dumbbell Rows - 2 x 4
Dumbbell Reverse Flys (Rear Delts) - 2 x 4
Cat/Cow Pose - 1 x 3
water Toss - 1 x 2
Double Arm Held Row - 1 x 5
Alternating Lunge w/Plie with Dumbbell - 1 x 2
Wide Leg Squats with Dumbbells (pulses) - 1 x 4
Wide Leg Squats on Toes with Dumbbells - 1 x 4
Wide Leg Squat with Single Toe Lift with Dumbbells - 1 x 4
Military Press - 1 x 8
Arnold Press - 1 x 8
Wide Leg Squats with Dumbbell - 1 x 20
Shotput Squats - 2 x 6
Single Leg Squats - 2 x 8
Dumbbell Squats - 2 x 8
Dumbbell Flys - 1 x 8
Dumbbell Flys (in,out,in) - 2 x 6
Dumbbell Flys (slow) - 1 x 2
Dumbbell Flys (partial) - 1 x 4
Plank - 2 x 1
Side Plank - 1 x 1
Plank with Knee Pulls - 2 x 8
Lying Elbow to Knee crunches - 4 x 8
Lying Elbow to Knee Crunches (pulses) - 2 x 4

(Thanks Kat MUMMAKATZ)

STANDING (10 minutes)
Fan arms up, flat back x 2
Tuck and shake x 4
Tuck, right crunch, tuck, left crunch x 2
Tuck, right crunch, tuck, left crunch faster x 8
Fan arms up, flat back x 2
Standing side crunches x 32 (16 each side)
Upright figure eights x 16 (8 each side)
Upright rows x 16 (8 each side)
Elbows down and back slow, 4 each side
Elbows down and back at tempo, 4 each side
Fan arms up, flat back x 2
Capoeira wheels x 4, side crunches x 4
Capoeira wheels x 4, side crunches x 4
Capoeira wheels x 8, side crunches x 8
Capoeira wheel right, left, right, together x 3, each side
Capoeira wheel right, left, right, together x 2, alternating sides
Row right, left, right, together x 4, each side
Row right, left, right, together x 2, alternating sides
Punch right, left, right, left, zigzag, side crunch lifting hip x 4, on right
Punch right, left, side crunch lifting your hip x 8, on right
Flat back, round up x 4
Punch right, left, right, left, zigzag, side crunch lifting hip x 4, on left
Punch right, left, side crunch lifting your hip x 8, on left
Shake and Shed x 8
Side leg lifts, touching down in between x 8 on right
Side leg pulses, keeping leg up x 16 on right
Side leg lifts, touching down in between x 8 on left
Side leg pulses, keeping leg up x 16 on left
Fan arms up, flat back x 2

FLOOR (10 minutes)
Pelvic tilts x 8
Crunches x 8
Single leg stretches slowly x 4
Single leg stretches at tempo x 8
Single leg stretches alternating elbows side to side x 8
Single leg stretches alternating arms side to side x 16
Leg drops x 6
Crunches x 4, slower crunches x 4
Walk hands up and lift legs left, right, left, right supported x 2
Walk hands up and lift legs left, right, left, right unsupported x 2
Walk hands up and lift legs left, right, left, right unsupported and snake back x 2
Side crunches x 16
Side crunches pulsing to right x 8
Side crunches pulsing to left x 8
Cross punches and zigzags x 4
Cross punches and zigzags higher x 4
Crossover crunches x 8 right
Crunches x 4
Crossover crunches x 8 left
Crunches x 8
Alternating crossover crunches x 8 each side
Tuck and reverse crunches x 8
Seated leg tucks right, centre, left, centre x 4
Pulsing seated leg tucks right, centre, left, centre x 4
Up dog
Child’s pose