Tag Archives: lifestyle

12 Week LeanBody challenge: complete! Overview Part02 – Ready, Set… GO ! ! !

I’m the kind of person that likes to prepare somewhat before making a commitment. The way that I like to research is by looking around at different options and comparing what’s on offer. By doing that, I start to get a bit of a feel for which one might work for me.

http://instagram.com/addosh#

A picture of my back towards the end of the challenge http://instagram.com/addosh#

There’s a certain level of research that I get to and then it’s time to make a start.

Before preparing for this fitness challenge, I checked out different workout plans that were on the website, BodyBuilding.com.
There’s a feature that lets you define your goals and it suggests the different plans available on the site – all are free!

The options are muscle building or weight loss and one that caught my eye was a 12 Week Daily Trainer With Kris Gethin!

Slowly, I went through every single page; nutrition plans, supplementation, and then I watched every single workout plan (different each day).
One huge benefit of this particular training program is that Kris Gethin goes through the training with you.
The videos show his progression, yet, what I enjoyed about it was the tiny snippets of wisdom that come through, too.
It’s a non stop battle every day, pushing past the limits and dealing with ever changing issues that might come up.

There are days where he has to travel and carry his food with him, it shows how to cope when you are sick and your energy levels are drained.

These are all real situations that we all deal with throughout our lives.

About halfway through I decided that it wasn’t the trainer for me…yet. Not a complete loss though, there was plenty to take away from the videos.

I then compared that trainer to some of the other options and eventually decided to do (link)  Lee Labrada’s 12-Week Lean Body Daily Trainer.

Recording results

One of the greatest tools that I used that helped me in the beginning was a workout journal. I picked one up online and I’m sure you could find one, too.

I decided that Monday was going to be my start day and that at the start of every week I would record all my body measurements.
Taking photographs each week is another good way to track results.

By having these records to compare, figuring out what areas I want to improve and making adjustments to a workout is a lot easier.

I made myself familiar with the workout beforehand, and would enter it in to an app called iFitness.
Then I would take my phone with me to the gym and refer to the workout for the day, as well as entering the results after each set.

There are plenty of ways to record results, both in print and digital. Whichever is easiest for you, go for it!

Tracking progress

So we’re all set. We’ve got;

-Methods for recording results; workout diary, mobile apps etc.

-Workout plans; printed out sheets or mobile

-Video tutorials to show how to do the exercises correctly

At this point it’s very important to start familiarising yourself with the above.

After having everything ready it’s time to reaffirm that start day. Mine was set for a Monday, but you can do whatever the day of the week you want. Take your intial body measurements, photos, and whatever you want to record for the next 12 weeks.

Let’s GO!

The next part of this wrap is is going to be about: Reacting to road bumps, Staying on track, and approaching that ever important FINISH LINE * * *! To be continued.

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PODCAST READY FOR LAUNCH

Today I ponied up and decided to work out how to upload our podcast to iTunes.
You can view it here:

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/shm-01-pre-launch-ep04/id681106451?i=163366896&mt=2

Please subscribe and rate if you get the chance, I’d really appreciate it!

Thanks,
-A.

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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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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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Week 09 Day 58: Legs, abs, yoga & a new fitness goal.

Wow – What a busy day! And a great start to my…
*New fitness goal*:  To Ride a total of 650km over the next 4 weeks. This will be that extra push to keep me committed during the final quarter of my current 12 week challenge.

Setting a new goal!

Setting a new goal!

Today I had the opportunity to fill in for a work colleague as a participant at a one day course held by D&AD; The Art of Art Direction which was an amazing and inspirational experience.
The course was a held at a location a wee bit farther out than where I work, that meant I had a bit of an extra ride this morning.
Then, after finishing it was time to head to the gym for a lower body workout. Finally, after that it was time to hit the yoga mats for my weekly class, followed by the evening ride home!
I’m sure I’m going to feel quite exhausted tomorrow so I’m going to be sure to get a proper nights rest tonight.

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.

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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 08 Days 55 – 56: Rounding up the third quarter

This weekend was a busy one with race day yesterday for the Royal Ascot and a going away party for a friend today.
I knew that it was going to be out of the question to workout yesterday so instead of the scheduled rest day Friday, I swapped it for yesterdays workout. Now that I have set up the routine of working out 2 days followed by an active rest day, I think it’s alright to re-schedule workouts when necessary. At the start of this challenge however, it was quite important to stick closer to the schedule to become familiar with the workouts and set up those habits.

The Workout (Shoulders, Chest & Triceps)

  • Barbell Bench Press
  • Incline dumbbell flyes
  • Dumbbell Side Lateral raises
  • Machine shoulder press
  • Triceps Pushdown
  • Lying triceps press/skull crushers

-AC.

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Week 08 Days 52 – 54: Catching up on posts and the Formula For Amazing Workouts

Thank the fitness gods that it’s Friday!

This week has been absolutely manic at work, and I have struggled to find time to post. So again, I’m going to do a batch post for the last few days but I am also trying to set a new routine of  getting up around 630am to fit the gym in before work. It’s been pretty challenging getting up that little bit earlier, but I am getting used to it. Today I even woke up before my alarm! Getting up earlier in the morning does mean that I am going to have to go to bed earlier, too.

In today’s workout notes, there’s some very important information that I’d like to share here:

The Formula For Amazing Workouts

I want to talk about three things that you should do in order to make the most of your workouts:

1 / Proper Breathing

Breathe in as you lower the weight, and exhale as you lift it. This will enable you to generate the best level of force as you progress through the workout.

For example, when squatting, you would breathe in deeply as you descend into the squat position, and then exhale as you come back up.

If you are bench pressing, you would breathe in as you lower the bar to your chest, then exhale as you push it back up.

2 / Exercise Form

Unless you are using correct technique during your exercises, you will not see the benefits you’re looking for.

Learn how to perform the exercises correctly, and then use good form. Don’t try to handle so much weight that your form gets sloppy.

Good form is also an excellent way to prevent injuries.

3 / Focus

If you focus on what your muscles are feeling when you exercise them, you can maximize your workouts.

You’ll be able to perform your reps correctly and with more energy, which can allow you to do more reps on any given set.

Focusing also helps to avoid injury.

Keep those 3 quick tips in mind when you are working out. You want to be sure that you’re making the most out of each workout you do so that you can get the results you’re after.

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Week 07 Days 44 – 46

I’m doing a summary of the past few days because I’ve fallen a little behind and it’ll be easier than going through and backdating posts.

Still following the day to day plan, riding to and from work, and hitting the gym with active rest days, too.

A lot of time after work this week has been spent getting food prepped for the following days. It’s a time consuming process, and I’m thankful that my gf is putting in so much effort to make sure we are getting healthy meals every time.

I’ve also started researching a bit more in to how much protein I should be taking in each day as I think I might be taking too much.

Apparently there’s only a certain amount of protein your body can process each day and also loses a certain amount naturally.
Depending on how much physical activity you do also impacts how much you should take.
Now that I have started riding about 30km’s a day, it means I have to eat quite a bit more so I don’t run out of energy (or burn up too much muscle mass!)

For the remainder of this challenge, I’m going to drop my protein to 20g’s per shake, instead of 30.
Also, I’m going to cut my creatine intake by half and keep it to post workout only.

These decisions were spurred on somewhat by The Hodge Twins.

Will have to update the past couple days later on.

Day 44
Legs & Abs

Day 45
Active rest day

Day 46

The Workout (Back & Biceps)

  • Bent-over barbell row
  • Lat pull down
  • Barbell deadlift
  • Alternating dumbbell curl
  • Preacher curl

I was feeling a little weaker in the left arm this week so I did two reps for every one I did with my right arm.

-AC.

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