Tag Archives: inspiration

DTP 4 Week Trainer – Day01: Legs & Upper Abs

Until my next 12 week program, I decided to get started on a 4 week trainer rather than trying to make up my own routine.

The verdict: DTP

Over the past few weeks, my training has gotten a bit lax because I was relying on myself instead of looking at a proper workout plan. The aim is to get back on track and build on that consistent gym routine of 4 days a week + active rest days (cardio) in between.

Rather than letting all my hard work go to waste – I have decided to kick-off a 4 week trainer from BodyBuilding.com

Today’s workout was

Leg Press

10 sets of 50,40,30,20,10,10,20,30,40,50 reps

supersetted with

Calf Press On The Leg Press Machine

10 sets of 40,30,20,10,10,10,10,20,30,40 reps

followed by

Decline Crunch (Performed with weights)

5 sets to failure

Needless to say, my leg’s will be thanking me in about 48 hours when the DOMS hits me. For now, I’m going to rest up and get ready for tomorrow’s cardio.

-AC.

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12 Week LeanBody challenge: complete! Overview Part01

A little over 12 weeks ago…

Obligatory comparison shot

Obligatory comparison shot

Well, it was actually closer to 13 weeks as I had to take a weeks break, due to some nasty food poisoning.

I set out at the start of this year like most. I told myself that I am going to continue on my path to living a healthy lifestyle, go to the gym, eat right… The usual promises.
However, this year I really wanted to see the differences.

The last week of the challenge was actually the hardest for me. (Other than the food poisoning!) I was quite fatigued and I was even finding it hard to motivate myself to go to the gym.  Which was surprising as I have built up a good routine of going to the gym 2 days, having an active rest day, then 2 days on again and so on.
Anyway, I managed to push through and finish off absolutely every single work out. All 84 days!!!

There are parts of my blog where I have missed a day or two, and a few workouts here and there. I even missed out writing up the majority of last week.
I am going to write it all up.

Before I do that though, I am going to write up my general overview of the entire challenge. As it all comes back to me, this evening.

Monday 22 Jul. 13
8.19pm

The main points that I will be going over for this entry will be divided up. Depending on the size, I might have to split it over two or three posts, too.

Pre-training / Research

When I first decided to start going to the gym again, I knew that if I was to see any sort of results, I had to do a bit of study.

I have been in and out of gyms for years now. On and off with sport, I was usually in average shape, being fit enough, but not super fit. I had always had a bit of extra belly flab, too, so I was considering losing a little weight.

The hardest part is always getting started but once you decide on something, eg: “I am going to join a gym.” Everything else starts to fall in to place.

So I joined the gym.

This time I didn’t want to go in there and do full body workouts for hours on end. I didn’t want to waste my precious time sweating away. Not only is that extremely boring, it’s pointless because it just doesn’t work.

One of the best research tools for me of course, is the internet. One resource where I spent a lot of time was on BodyBuilding.com.
I found the site very useful because it offers a range of exercise plans, with full video tutorials. They cover everything from the exercises you can do, the meals you can eat, basically it has everything that you need, for the goals that you want to achieve.

I decided that rather than being massively bulky and getting myself in to shape like some of those extremely talented and dedicated people in the Bodybuilding community, I could still learn from some of their principles, and take those to apply to my own philosophies.

Setting your own goals

Just like the research stage, it’s important that you don’t get too bogged down here.
When starting out with something fresh, I like to set myself goals that I know I can achieve, as long as I am willing to work hard for it.
The options from the workout plans that I was looking at were:

A 12 week trainer – hardcore bodybuilding
A 365 day workout plan – I’m not ready to commit to that (just yet!)
A 3 week shredding diet – f*ck that!
And a few other trimming down options.

The one I chose was the 12 week Lee Lebrada LeanBody Trainer.
My reasons for choosing this came down to sitting through and watching all of thie overview and introductory videos from this, and all the other programs.
Kris Gethin’s 12 week Trainer looks like a really good option for those looking to increase in size (something that I will consider soon). It’s also a really good series to sit through because he takes you to gym every day, so he offers pretty good advice and tips along the way. However, as I was looking to start off simple, the LeanBody program was more suited to my goals.

Basically, my knowledge of the weights and exercises inside of a gym was moderate – I know my way around.
The only problem in the past was that I never really set goals, and never gained the desired results…because I didn’t know what I wanted.

This time, I made the decision to lose some belly flab, tone up, and lay the solid foundation for building upon. By that I mean that I wanted to focus a lot more on form rather than lifting heavy weights. The main reason for this is to ease in to things a bit more.

This is about paving the way for some long term changes. I really wanted to make sure that I was not setting myself up for failure. So rather that saying “I want to gain 15kg’s of lean body mass and be benching 100 in 12 weeks and a 6 pack and run 5k’s in under 20 minutes and this and that…” – I decided to take it slow.
I set myself a goal of completing a 12 week fitness challenge. And that’s it!

 

Making a start – committing to the decision

Once I made that decision that I wanted to make some long term changes, that I wanted to ease in to it, rather than rushing in to it and potentially injuring myself which might lead to giving up.
The plan for me was simple – follow along a workout plan and continue to eat healthy and nutritious meals.
One aspect of the diet which I was sort of doing yet hadn’t made the conscious decision to, was to commit to 5 – 6 meals a day. Every day I make sure that I eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus a few smaller snacks every two to three hours/in between. By doing this, it really fired up my metabolism and made sure that I was in a fat burning mode.

After the decision to start a 12 week plan, of course I needed to set a start date. I’m sure the temptation is there to go out and get started right away, and that method might work for some people, but it doesn’t for me. As you can probably tell with all my harping on about research!

I knew that I had a 2 week holiday in March, and another 3 day convention coming up for work. So I decided to set my start date for early April.
Rather than sitting around and thinking about the start date, I decided that I would in fact start hitting the gym – albeit rather lightly. By building up pace slowly I was able to get my body prepped and ready for the challenge when I was ready to start.

Next post is going to be all about that important day:

 

Ready, Set GO ! ! !

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Week 11 Roundup: Days 73 – 77

To say that this week has been absolutely manic, that I can’t remember  a busier week aside from end of semester at uni, running around trying to get everything done…even that would be an understatement. While I am typing this late on a Sunday night, I am doing my best to hold my head up and make sure I don’t fall asleep on the keyCZiouczxklj .. . . z z z

Haar har! A Joke!
I am tired though, and as this week comes to a close I want to reiterate the importance of proper rest and hydration.
The last few days have gotten quite hot (surprisingly for London) and I made sure to drink plenty of water.
So in order to get plenty of rest, and be sure I’m at 100% to finish off strong, and record our second session of the podcast tomorrow – I am just doing a weekly wrap up of the workouts. With intentions to returning and elaborating a bit more comprehensively about the week that was. Until then…

Wednesday 10

The Workout (Back & Biceps)

  • One-arm row
  • Lat pull down
  • Barbell deadlift
  • Alternating dumbbell curl
  • Hammer curl

-AC.

Thursday 11

The Workout (Shoulders, Chest & Triceps)

  • Dumbbell Bench Press
  • Flat bench dumbbell flyes
  • Dumbbell Side Lateral raises
  • Seated barbell press
  • Triceps Pushdown
  • Lying triceps press/skull crushers

-AC.

Friday 12

Active rest day

Saturday 13

The Workout (Legs & Abs)

  • Machine leg press
  • Machine leg extension
  • Machine leg curls
  • Straight leg barbell dead lift
  • Single leg dumbbell calf raise
  • Lying bench curl
  • Crunches
  • Hanging leg raises

-AC.

Sunday 14

Then today had to be switched for tomorrows workout as I decided to go out and enjoy the sun with my girlfriend and some friends. S owe made sure to get in some fast paced walking, then the next 3 days will be spent in the gym.
So I best be off as it’s another big week ahead.

Tomorrow already is quite exciting, it marks:

-The final week of my 12 week lean body fitness challenge
-Final week of my goal to cycle 650km in 4 weeks
-Recording of session 02 of the SuperHueMen podcast!!!

I will be posting the link up on Tuesday.

-Adam.

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Start of week 11: Day 71 Fear challenge

Today I decided to tackle a Fear Challenge. Do you think you can do it?

If you don't ask, you don't get!

If you don’t ask, you don’t get!

It sounds pretty simple:

Go in to Starbucks.

Ask for a 10% discount.

That’s it!

Why is it a fear challenge? Try it for yourself and you’ll see.

Here’s a link to the video of my experience.

Now before I get in to that, I want to quickly mention some more developments on the podcast.

What inspired me to take action

I have been polishing up on my listening skills while I’m busy at work I usually have my earbuds in listening to an array of podcasts.

One particularly good channel that I came across recently was this very informative and funny guy, Pat Flynn. Pat hosts a show called the ‘Smart Passive Income’ and he offers tonnes of great content and plenty of inspiring guests.

Episode 71 happened to be one that I clicked on, mainly because of all the comments. At the time of this post, he has close to 600 comments, on a single post! Of course it had me intrigued as to how he got so many people involved.

The guest for this podcast is a guy who has been through plenty of ups and downs, he was one of the original staff at Facebook, and since then has gone on to create several successful businesses. Listening to him talk you can hear his passion and willingness to share his experiences, which is what I like the most about this whole podcast idea.

Sharing information and learning from others

Anyone can isolate themselves from the world, go be the lone wolf and try to go about things their own way. And that is completely fine if you choose to do that. Of course you can learn and try new things that way – but I think that it will be a long and lonely process.

Alternatively, I find that learning from others by sharing your thoughts, feelings, experiences and anything else that comes to mind in an honest and compassionate way, that one can grow and connect on a much deeper level than if you were to go it alone.

Putting yourself out there & getting out of your comfort zone

When starting off something new, I find it extremely daunting.

Wether it’s a new project and I’m staring at a blank piece of paper. A new blog post and I’m watching that cursor blip on and off again. Meeting new people in a large group. Just about anything that you aren’t used to seems so frightening.

But is it really that scary? Or is it just that little voice in our head that scares us more.

I find that by identifying with that voice, rather than trying to suppress it, I can almost communicate with it. I try and ask myself, why does that scare me?
Is it really that bad?
What can I do to overcome that fear?
Usually the answer is staring us right in the face.

Starbucks Discount Challenge

I mentioned at the start of this post that I worked up the courage to do a ‘fear challenge’:

Go in to Starbucks and ask for a discount.

Now it might sound silly, and you’re probably saying, “what does that have to do with being afraid?”

Well I’ll tell you my experience.

When I first heard the challenge, I thought that it sounded simple.

Then the more that I thought about it, the more I started to put it off. Telling myself that I would go later in the day, or maybe I’m too busy today because I have to go to the gym and that I wouldn’t be able to fit it in.

Now let me sidestep for a tiny bit here.

After hearing this challenge I contacted Noah, the challenge setter, and emailed him with my great plans about thinking about possibly launching a podcast next month, which I mentioned in several posts over the last few days.
Almost instantly he replied.

“Why don’t you start today.”

Holy sh*t.

That email just about blew me away.

I launched in to a barrage of ‘considerations’ (excuses) that I had in my head as to why I couldn’t such as lack of equipment, not having a website ready, no branding, no content yet etc etc etc.

Noah replied:

‘Record it on your phone. Send it to 3 friends. Hit me back tomorrow’.

Wow.

When you put it like that –I’d be mad not to!

So, I thought, let’s do this!

And What a fantastic day it turned in to!

Not only did I take action and overcome the nagging voice telling me not to do it, take the easy way out, ‘you’re gonna fail’! – I actually walked in, asked, and received a 10% discount at Starbucks!!!
The savings are not even what matters, the feelings that I got before, during and afterwards are exhilirating and I feel like it’s set my mood for the rest of the day.

Rather than making excuses about not doing it, I’m going to make the decision to do it and then I’m gonna do it!

 Furthermore, rather than waiting a month to launch my podcast, Ren and I got our butts in to gear, hooked up the mic after work, and we RECORDED OUR FIRST EPISODE!!!

For now it’s going to stay between friends and family so we can get feedback about what work’s and what needs improving.

If you would like to listen to the first few episodes and help us out with some feedback, leave a comment below and we can get in touch.

So we are going to stick to our initial ‘launch date’ – but in the mean time, there’ no harm in getting started, right now, today. So do it!

It’s easy!

-Adam.

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Week 10 Days 68 – 70: Weekly roundup

Well it certainly is getting close to the end of the fitness challenge and I am super excited! Now certainly isn’t the time to get ahead of myself and get lazy and think all the hard work is done. I must continue to maintain focus on eating right and working out. It’s more important than ever to stick to that routine.

Finish of week 10

Finish of week 10

Along the way, it’s good to make note of things that have been working so far. Analysing any sort of results, good or bad, is the best way to get feedback and validate any decisions that I made. Learning from my mistakes is something that I plan on getting better at, too.

Identifying hazards

Over the past few weeks I have been sneaking sugar back in to my diet. In the mornings when I have coffee, I add half a teaspoon of sugar and a few more times throughout the day. In the afternoons at work I occasionally go to the fridge and grab a can of fizzy drink when I’m craving something other than water.

To overcome that, this week I have set myself the task to STOP adding sugar.

When I take creatine I have a spoonful with some grape juice, which I usually keep at home. So something I want to try is having that grape juice available at work so if I do get thirsty for something other than water I can have that instead of the deadly canned fizzy drinks. Blerrgh!
As for not adding sugar to coffee, that’s going to have to come down to willpower. Because we all know that I’m not gonna kick the coffee habit any time soon!

Practicing what you suck at

Rather than spending time getting good at things I don’t enjoy, I have made the decision to improve on things that I want to be good at. Even though I might be completely sucky and have no idea where to begin.

Making a start on something is always hard, but if it’s something that I find myself mentally gravitating towards on a reguar basis, I start to take note and make the commitment.
After the initial decision to commit, it starts to become easier.

Wilpower, for example, is something that everyone has, but might not be good at. When it comes to sticking to a health and fitness plan, and people say, “you just need willpower”, that’s not a very empowering statement.

Where can I get willpower!?
I can’t just, go to the cornershop and buy some! It’s something that is inside each of us, and like any skill, it takes practice to get good at it.

This isn’t a quick tip, fix-all solution. It’s a commitment to myself. It’s a declaration of something that I want to improve upon every day.

If today I am a little better than I was yesterday, that’s great!

If I slipped up and the wheels came off a bit, even better!!!

Mistakes are…good!?

You’re damn right they’re good! Stuffing up is better than succeeding in some instances – as long as you learn from the mistakes that you make.

Mistakes are necescarry for progress.
If you’re making mistakes it means that you are trying.

Another area that I need to work on is patience.

Learning is about having the patience, too. As with any new skill, it takes time to master. Having the patience and commitment is going to help with progress.

Today when I went to the gym with my girlfriend to try and assist her.
I was quick to get frustrated when it looked to me that she might not be holding the weights correctly, or if I thought she wasn’t pushing hard enough.
My girlfriend isn’t the problem.
I was the one with the problem.

If I want to help people I want to be able to address their problems in a way that doesn’t hurt their feelings.

Compassionate Criticism

Rather than launching in to a barrage of insults, and saying “you’re doing it wrong”, or “you need to do it like this”, when giving instructions I want to try this out;

Start by showing the other person what they need to do.

Get them to try it and if possible, do it alongside with them too.

Show them one more time how I do it.

Get them to try it on their own – observe and assist.

We are going to continue going to the gym together for the next weeks so it will give me the chance to work on my coaching skills.

Thankyou for reading, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

-AC.

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Week 10 Day 67: Legs & Abs

I’m writing this post just before I head out to a gig in the city. Pretty excited – I’m going to see Flume, an awesome DJ from Sydney, Australia. Check out this tune, I love it!

I knew tonight’s plans would mean that I wouldn’t have time for the gym, so I made time and went during my lunch break.
Legs and abs usually require a bit more time to rest between sets because of the muscle volume, I find it takes about 90 seconds to 2 minutes to catch my breath. As opposed to upper body workouts where I usually only need about 30 – 45 second breaks.
Knowing that I’d need that bit of extra time, I grouped my workouts in to super sets to try and smash it out quicker.
The end result; a sweaty mess and wobbly legs!
Luckily I had that extra time to cool down afterwards before showering and heading back to work.

The Workout (Legs & Abs)

  • Machine leg press
  • Machine leg extension
  • Machine leg curls
  • Straight leg barbell dead lift
  • Single leg dumbbell calf raise
  • Lying bench curl
  • Crunches
  • Hanging leg raises

-Adam.

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Rounding up week 09 Days 59 – 63

So these posts are a bit delayed, I apologise. It has been a busy week (insert excuses), and I still managed to stick to my routine.

#inspiration

The more that I stick to my workouts, the less I have to make a conscious effort to go to the gym, and it’s more automated, like it has become a habit. Well, it feels like more than a habit, it’s more similar to an addiction!

As I feel my fitness improving, I want to keep adding to it.

Also, on a sidenote, a friend and I have recently been thinking about starting a podcast so stay tuned for updates on that!

The remainder of week 9 I was sure to continue along with my scheduled workout plan. I kept along the same workout guidelines, starting off with 12 reps lifting the heavier weight, after about a 45 second break I then drop the weight and do another 12 reps. 2 sets for each exercise, and then move on.
By doing this I am trying to trick my body in to thinking that it’s lifting the same weight, with more ease (and in turn, I’m hoping that’ll lead to growth!). Furthermore, it cuts down my workout times to about 30 minutes, meaning that I’m not so rushed when I visit the gym during my lunch break.

Some days, I have been getting up a bit earlier to hit the weights before work. The only way that I’ve found to get the most out of earlier starts is to get to bed earlier the night before. Getting a good nights rest before an early start is essential. It might not feel like you’re too tired on the day, but I find that it does catch up with you later in the week. And that fatigue could be demotivating. Something we want to avoid!

Work in progress

On that note, it’s time that I hit the hay, and I’m planning to put up the workouts for the rest of this week at a later stage.

-AC.

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Mid week motivation

This came up on my news feed and decided to share it here as the guys training, the voice over and the song all work great to get amped up!!!

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Week 09 Day 57: Active rest day and Quinoa Recipe

Simple quinoa for two.

Quick cookup to make yummy quinoa - a perfect side for any dish!

Quick cookup to make yummy quinoa – a perfect side for any dish!

Although it might be a little tricky to pronounce quinoa (keen-wah), it is far from tricky to cook it.

If you know how.

Today someone was telling me about a failed attempt at cooking quinoa, which ended with a tasteless mushy paste. Needless to say, this person was put off, despite the numerous health benefits quinoa has to offer.

I decided that I would do a post about the way I cook this simple dish.

All you need:

Easy ingredients

Easy ingredients

Quinoa (duh!) – The serving suggestion says 40g so I’m going to double up as I want to make extra.
Water – I usually use double the amount of quinoa that I use. For example: tonight I am using about a third of a cup of quinoa, so I’ll use 2/3rds a cup of water.
Butter.
Oil.
Any extras that you want. I’m cooking up some left beef casserole, then I’ll be adding some tomato, baby spinach, cottage cheese and snow peas.

First, give the quinoa a quick rinse under cold water then set it aside.

Getting prep

Getting prep

Put cooking pot on stove top and set it on a low/medium heat, and let the pot heat up for about 30 seconds. You don’t want it to be piping hot or you’ll burn everything!

Start off on a low heat

Start off on a medium/low heat

Here you are going to have to use your own judgement a little bit. I normally use about a teapoon of oil, if you think that’s too much though you can use a smaller drop. I’m using coconut oil here and most other oils work well, too.

Adding the quinoa to the pot

Adding the quinoa to the pot

After that, give it a stir for about a minute.

Before adding water, give it a stir until there's a light coating on most of the quinoa

Before adding water, give it a stir until there’s a light coating on most of the quinoa

Then, add the water to the pot.

Adding the water - approx. double the measure of the grain

Adding the water – approx. double the measure of the grain

Let the water heat up quite a lot so it bubbles a bit more vigorously than a simmer, then, turn it down to a low heat and let it sit for about 15 minutes, or once the water level drops below the line of grain.

After the water evaporates, top it up a little just to cover, then stir and let simmer once again

After the water evaporates, top it up a little just to cover, then stir and let simmer once again until the quinoa is fluffy

Keep stirring to a minimal. When the water level first drops, give it a stir, then top up the water level just enough to only cover the quinoa again. Watch it for another 5 minutes or until all the water has evaporated.

After that, feel free to chuck in some vegies, or just add whatever sounds good.

Adding whatever you want, then serve it up!

Adding whatever you want, then serve it up!

And there you have it! If you have any questions or suggestions please leave a comment below. Thanks for reading!

-AC.

 

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Week 06 Day 37

Back in the saddle on a beautiful sunny London day today, it feels great to be alive!
It’s pretty obvious that I’m still finding my way around London. On my way to work I clocked up an extra kilometre after crossing the wrong bridge.

Morning ride with an extra K for finding my way

Morning ride with an extra K for finding my way

In the gym, after reading those notes from Arnie yesterday, I have decided to increase reps to try and builder strength and muscle.

Previously, my workout would be:

2 sets of 12 (2/3rds working weight)

1 working set until failure (usually about 10 – 12)

Starting from today I’m going to try something a little different.

2 sets of 16 – 20 (2/3rds working weight)

1 working set until failure ( 16- 20 ).

The reason I want to try this is because I have lost some weight and now I want to see if I can gain it back in muscle mass.
It might be that I need to lift with heavier weights, and few reps, or that I try supersetting and making the workouts harder for myself.
Those are options that I will explore in the future.

However, the gym I currently attend has quite a limited range of weights.

For now, I’m going to keep lifting with the (somewhat lower) weights and increase the rep count to around 16 – 20.

The Workout (Back & Biceps)

  • One-arm row
  • Standing lat pull down
  • Barbell deadlift
  • Hammer curl
  • Alternating dumbbell curl

And there was the ride home, too.
Tonight was the first time riding with friends.
It was great to have them around, and to see how fast they ride, too.
Crazy!

Ride home with mates

Ride home with mates

-AC.

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