Archive for the ‘mens’ health’ Category

It is always interesting that whenever you take on a major lifestyle change the old habits always seem to find a way to creep in when you let your guard down.  They find the cracks in your resistance and slip on through with ease.  For me it was stress from school that got me eating like I used to and skipping my cardio.  I tend to eat when I want to get my mind off of whatever is stressing me.  That is why I reached 206lbs back in law school, as I was constantly stressed out back then.

Thanks to my continued resistance training I haven’t fallen too far off track, but for a perfectionist like me, I am INCREDIBLY frustrated that I am still hanging around between 167 and 171 lbs.  I should be 159lbs by now.  Well, I would be, if I hadn’t succumbed to my basest urges.

So now is a time for rededication of sorts.  To throw myself back into this fully and fit into this shirt– not to mention make it look good!  So for the next two weeks I am going to reintroduce cardio and bring my eating back under control- no more cookies or chips!

Protein Bar Review Number 3

Men’s Health fitness challenge retest- assuming my shoulder doesn’t give me problems.  Right now it is much better than yesterday, but I still have a lingering soreness.

BTW, I one thought a sore throat was the worst pain possible.  I have learned something worse.  Two days ago I was chewing some tasty food vigorously and bit the tip of my tongue pretty bad.  Now, even though it has healed back together, every time my tongue touches ANYTHING it hurts like all can be.   I have been carrying a bottle of Cloraseptic with me everywhere I go and spraying it on the end of my tongue about every ten minutes to numb the pain.  The hasn’t been a very good Labor day three day weekend, in case you couldn’t tell.  HA!

See you tomorrow!  May God bless your day.

Below are the results from my physical assessment and how they rank on a scale from out-of-shape to Men’s Health Fit.  Check here for more details.

Push-up = 35 (Fit)

Chin-up = 6 (Between average and fit)

One Mile Run = 8 minutes 35 seconds (Average)

One-legged Squat = 2 with my left leg, 1 with my right leg. (Surprisingly enough, average)

My Goal is to be in the top tier of each category.  50 push-ups, 12 chin-ups, a 7 minute mile, and 10 one-legged squats.

You need to check out this month’s copy of Men’s Health magazine. Here are a few articles and tips from the latest copy for your enjoyment:

The TNT (Targeted Nutrition Tactics) weight loss plan by Men’s Health

An interesting diet plan that seems like a twist on Atkins. For the most part it seems like a run of the mill low carb diet except for the fact that by the fourth week you have two days a week to eat lots of carbs- and the rest of the week is low carb. It is fairly interesting, can’t say I am completely sold, but swing by and check it out.

Men’s Health has it packaged as a 12 week weight loss program. And you all know how crazy I am about challenges and programs that are numbered in weeks (Two Week Total Transformation Challenge!!). I have never been crazy about low carb diets but then again it has been a LONG time since I tried one. Plus with the cost of steak these days (thanks a lot federal subsidies to ethanol- the biggest waist of cattle feed) I am not sure I could afford a low carb diet.

A Beach Body: Bingo [A Weight Free Workout]

Four simple exercises for those without dumbbells or kitty litter containers full of rocks.

Know More, Grow More [not available online]- The most interesting and surprising part of this article was the author’s comment that “You should be able to do a chinup with as much weight as you can bench press.” The author, Micheal Boyle, notes that once your bench press exceeds your chin-up by more than 15% the risk of shoulder injuries “rise significantly.”

Boyle suggests a simple test. Grab the closest chinup bar and see how many reps you can pound out. Now go to the bench press and put your body weight on the bar (he doesn’t say whether to add the bar’s weight into the equation) and see how many reps you can do. If you can do more bench press reps with your body weight than you can do chin-ups you are at risk for shoulder injuries. See Page 118

The Traveling Man’s Eating Plan

An excellent article for those who spend a lot of time on the road or out of the home. Here are the author’s tips (check out the complete article here)

  1. Forget about the menu. Know what you are going to order before you even enter the restaurant.
  2. Consider staying at a Bed and Breakfast. These usually offer home cooked meals (more of a healthy selection and less junk).
  3. Manage temptation. Ask the hotel to stock your mini-fridge with food fit for a diabetic. “This is a frequent request, and most hotels oblige by swapping out high-sugar junk foods for milk, cheese, vegetables, diet soda, and fruit[.]”
  4. Keep your laptop on your desk.
  5. Invite a new client to dinner- Apparently when eating with strangers men ate 35% fewer calories than when eating with friends and loved ones.
  6. Be your own man- Don’t order the same nasty food as the group. Show yourself as a leader and someone who is in charge of their own body.
  7. Keep a stash of protein bars, but use caution. Aim for low calories protein bars. The author recommends Snicker’s Marathon bar.

Yesterday, the day started off well with a good interval (running) session at 6:30 in the morning.  Unfortunately, when I got home I found out my wife was sick- possibly with strep throat.  I definitely don’t want to catch that!

Consequently, I spent most of yesterday taking care of her.  As a result I pushed my ab work off to this morning (when I finish typing this) and my full body workout for this afternoon.  Keep your fingers crossed that I don’t get strep.

Well today was yet another long day of yard work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Here is the evidence of a long day spent at work. Not to mention some building projects that even a guy like me- with two left thumbs- can complete.

Entertainment: This was based on a circular I got at Home Depot. This is a pretty neat ring toss. You can make everything from the rings to the wood posts for less than $25 bucks.


The posts are just 4X4’s cut into 1 foot, 1.5 foot, and 2 foot lengths. Drill two holes in the bottom of each post and slide in a piece of 6 inch (or one foot) rebar. Hammer those suckers into the ground and presto.

The rings are even easier to make. Just by some clear plastic or vinyl tubing, fill the tubing with sand, and secure the ends together (forming a circle) with colored electrical tape. Home Depot sells multi-colored packs of electrical tape for about $2.50.

Total Time Invested: 1 Hour, 15 Minutes.

Beautification: Okay, I decided to try my hand at making a see through planter. I bought a bunch of scrap wood from Home Depot for about $12 bucks and some L-brackets and screws (about $4 bucks).


It is my first try. It still needs to be sanded down and treated for the outdoors. Otherwise, not bad for a first try with throw away wood scraps.

Total Time Invested: 2 Hours

Grunt Labor: Nothing pretty about this one. I hauled about 25 wheel barrels full of gravel from one side of the yard to the other. Boring, hard, and heavy work.

Gravel Pit

That section you see- the area covered by sand and dirt- was covered in gravel 4 to 6 inches deep. I moved ALL of that. My back and shoulders (not to mention core) are all well worked out from the twisting while shoveling and the wheel barrel hauling.

Total Time Invested: 3 hours

Beautification: We have given up on our water fountain. First of all it has a crack in it, and second it is ridiculously expensive to run. So we decided to just fill it up with top soil and grow some annual and bulbs in there.

Fountain planter

And that isn’t tall grass in front of it, those are wild flowers.

Total Time Invested: 35 Minutes

Well, you might be asking what the big surprise is at this point. Wait no longer. After a full days work and plenty of hydration (not to mention ample meals and snacks) I stepped on the scale to discover that I weighed 169.8lbs. Sweet!


Ah, the joys of a good morning shake.  For mine I like to use 1/2 cup of low-calorie yogurt, 1/2 cup 1% milk, 1/2 cup frozen strawberries, 1/2 cup frozen blackberries, and one banana, 1/4 whole (cooked) oats.   These kind of shakes are always tasty, refreshing, and full of nutrients and vitamins.

It is the kind of drink I need to get myself moving in the morning.  The simple (and natural) sugars give the mind a good push-start, while the protein from the yogurt and milk are great fuel for the ol’ muscles.  Lastly, the oats provide good complex carbs for long term energy production.

Now for the meal plan


Here I am stuck at 174.2 lbs. I’ve been as low as 173.4 and as high as 174.8 in the last week and a half. Plateaus are frustrating- especially if you lot weight quickly in the past. But it happens to us all, we eventually hit a plateau that means weight loss will be slow (at least for a while). How do we break out?


Yesterday worked out well.  I got caught up in daddy duties last night and missed my second workout, so that has been moved to today.  My intervals went well yesterday with sprints at 5, 9, 13, and 16.  The first sprint was at 90% intensity and each sprint thereafter declined in intensity by 10%.   I felt good after and I must admit my legs and gluteas maximus were really sore!  I felt that soreness when I did my plyometric jump squats.

As for today…


Swing by Men’s Health and sign up for the Transformation Challenge.  If you are one of the five men selected you get a free trainer for five weeks, and in return all you need to commit to is consistently training, blogging, and taking pics and/or videos.

As someone who has been blogging their own fitness journey for free (no free trainers, gym memberships, etc.) I wish this had come along sooner.  Hope I didn’t eliminate myself from consideration since I’ve lost so much already.  Who knows.

Current Weight: 173.4 lbs.  Current Waist: 35 inches