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June 22, 2015 (Monday)

Starting weight: 132 lbs

Breakfast: Banana with peanut butter

Morning snack: orange juice

Lunch: Spinach salad with craisin/walnuts/balsamic, apple, 2 mini cucumbers

Afternoon snack: small avocado, ham wrapped around cheese stick, dried kiwi

Post-workout: 3 scoops of protein powder in a shake

Dinner: pasta with olive oil, steamed broccoli, dried kiwi

Today was my first day of trying out a new workout plan and style. Instead of resting in between sets, you do cardio. It’s supposed to accelerate your results and make your workouts much more efficient. It’s also a way to get out of ever doing 40 minutes of straight cardio, but since I like to run I probably won’t eliminate it completely.

You can see the plan under the “Plans” page and look under Monday to see what I was supposed to do today. Things don’t always workout perfectly according to plan, so I did end up making some modifications.

Deadlift: Instead of 5 sets of 5 reps, I did as much as I was able to with 135 pounds, which ended up being less.

Calf raises: We kept using the jumprope in between sets rather than doing mountain climbers. I think this was a good change.

HIIT: We only did 10 minutes instead of 20. Considering this method of working out is supposed to eliminate the need for cardio, I think it’s just good that we did any at all.

My first impression of this workout style is that I absolutely love it. I love the feeling of being out of breath, which doesn’t happen very often while lifting weights. This way, I can get the best of both worlds where I feel like I’m working hard and am also building muscle. After the workout was over, I was drenched in sweat, but I felt great. There’s nothing like leaving the gym and feeling like your workout was worth it. This is how it should feel every time, but when I go to the gym without a plan it often doesn’t.

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Satisfaction and planning

There’s nothing like finishing a workout and feeling proud of yourself. That happened to me today and helped pick me up after a week of taking an extra rest day (out of laziness and not wanting to go out in the rain). Today’s workout also marked the end of the first week of my new style of workout plan. Overall, I’d say it’s going great. I feel like I’m improving as well as getting the most out of my workout in the least amount of time.

The workout I did today was supposed to be the one listed on Saturday. But, like always, I made some modifications.

  • I didn’t do push-ups in between deadlifts, instead I just took shorter rests
  • I did an extra set of deadlifts because I felt that I could
  • Between every set of all the other moves I did 50 jump-ropes
  • I decided not to do cable bend or reverse cable crunch
  • I added 3 sets of bench thrusts
  • I did cycles of 50 jump-ropes/1 minutes plank with different planks
  • I also did spider push-ups
  • I did 10 minutes of HIIT on the treadmill at the end

It seems like a lot of modifications, but, for the most part, it meant that I was doing something extra. I was feeling pretty good today and it shows in my workout. Although it’s very important to have a plan so you don’t get lost and waste time in the gym, it’s also important to pay attention to your body. If you feel that a move or weight is too hard for you to maintain the proper form, then you need to make adjustments. Don’t keep going if something hurts or feels wrong just because it says so on a piece of paper. Likewise, if you don’t feel like you’re being worked hard enough, you have to make adjustments. Add more weight, do more reps, do more sets, increase range of motion, or do extra moves that target the same muscles. No matter what you do, your goal should be to leave the gym feeling like you challenged yourself and made improvements.

How much should I actually be eating?

If you didn’t already know, what you eat has more of an effect on your health and weight than the amount of exercise you do or physical fitness level. The bottom line is- if you eat too much you’re going to have extra weight. But, I’ve also heard that if you eat too little your metabolism slows down and prevents you from dropping the pounds. So, how do you find the right amount of food to eat? I have no idea; But, since I’ve weighed the exact same amount every morning that I’ve weighed myself, I thought it would be a good idea to do a quick calorie count just to get an idea of where I’m at. I’ll use Thursday for my example.

When I did a calorie count using the “My Fitness Pal” app, I came up with somewhere between 1200 and 1300 calories of food. According to some people, that’s too few calories. But, that estimate doesn’t account for all of the times I slip up and cheat or say, drink alcohol. So, I think I might try to add a bit more calories to my daily intake, but still try to keep the number relatively low and high in protein.

The reason I wanted to look at how much I was actually eating is because I’ve been following a pretty good fitness and eating plan for 3 weeks now with 0 change in my weight. I have noticed a bit of change in my body when looking in the mirror, but nothing significant. It just surprises me that I would have absolutely no change on the scale, up or down. The only thing I can think of is that I am somehow gaining muscle and burning fat in direct 1:1 proportions, but that seems unlikely. I guess I just have to keep going and see what happens.

The balance between focus and tunnel vision

Weight: 132 lbs

Breakfast: Plain Greek yogurt with blueberries

Lunch: Mac & cheese, tomato bisque

Afternoon snack: dried kiwi, sliced ham wrapped around a cheese stick

Dinner: Spinach salad with walnuts/craisins/balsamic vinaigrette, apple, mini cucumbers

Dessert: Dave & Andy’s ice cream

Today I was supposed to run. I was also supposed to keep up with my clean eating. But, life got in the way. Instead of working out, I went to play with puppies (I mean, wouldn’t you?). I packed my healthy lunch as usual, but then my friends invited me to get lunch for a friend’s birthday. It’s not like either of these things is a major setback or even bad for me! But, I can’t help but feel a little disappointed in myself for not strictly following my plans for myself. Sure, my body needs fitness and nutrients, but social interaction and down-time is also a necessity.

It’s always been hard for me to focus on one thing without becoming so obsessed with it that I lose sight of other things. Like how trying to be conscious of what I am eating can actually ruin my mood and ability to enjoy life. A commitment to succeeding in school or a career can cause the rest of your life to suffer before you even realize it. This is something that I want to try to avoid from now on. I don’t want to ever feel bad about not being perfect. That is the opposite of what I am trying to do. My new goal is to always be positive about what I accomplish, whether that includes everything I planned for it to include or not. So, I’m going to start adding positive statements about my progress to my posts.

+I still ate 2 clean meals

++I got to play with puppies

+++I haven’t gained weight