Week 2 in the books

I survived week two of the Shortcut to Size program. It went a little funny as I did not work Sunday night and therefore went to the gym with a full nights rest on Monday. I also tried a Dymatize pre-workout mix on Monday. I killed my workout on Monday, I've never felt stronger or more into a workout, problem is I don't know if it was because of the rest or the pre-workout mix.


I went back to work Monday night and made Tuesday my rest day since I would get zero sleep Monday night due to my shift work. Wednesday was my second workout day, and the lack of rest or lack of pre-workout mix was evident. I got through the workout, and I feel like I gave it my all, but I didn't feel like I did Monday.


Once Leg day came around, I noticed that my mind seems to get in the way of my body sometimes. I could feel my body was okay with the weight I was moving, and could possibly lift a little more, but then my mind would get to a count of 6 or 7 and suddenly my body was weak and it took all I had to get through the rest of each set.


All in all, I'm happy with my week, and I'll be starting week 3 tomorrow after night shift tonight. I'm just not sure I'll be pulling off any wins in the transformation challenge as my body isn't changing all that much, especially the body fat. 

Week 1 done.

Well, I made it through the first week of Jim Stoppani's Shortcut To Size program. I ate right, upping my caloric intake for my weight, drinking protein shakes as often as I'm supposed to. I think the only thing I can't do is the creatine before my workout, and that's only because the time between when I finish my workouts and when I go to bed is about an hour.


I feel pretty good, even though I could barely walk after leg day. My only complaint is the shocking low amounts of weight I can move. I guess it's true about how far you regress when you're away from the gym for too long. I expected to be lifting decent weight again, and instead I feel like that scrawny 15 year old again. Oh well. Lesson learned, and everyone has to start somewhere I guess.


It's also my first week through the 100K challenge. I'm not seeing any noticeable differences yet, but it is only the first week. I'm hoping to see massive changes by the end of the 12th week. Otherwise posting those 'before' pictures is just humiliating for no reason.


Well.... it's saturday. Time to go do some more eating, and then off to active rest (probably swimming), and out to watch my friends kid play soccer (he's trying to get me to become a coach).


Cheers,


Paul 

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100K Challenge

Well.... I took my before pictures on Monday. Between these pics and my surprise increase in waist size (I gained 4 inches over the Christmas holidays), I am totally depressed! Holy Fat Bastard!


The only motivation I take away from all this is that having these pics up will probably get my ass to work at the gym and keep me from EVER coming back to this point again. I mean, I knew I was out of shape, but I didn't know it was THIS bad! It's funny how looking in a mirror and looking at a photograph can be so opposite of your self perception. In the mirror I'm thinking I'm not that bad, then the pics get taken and I can't believe how terrible my body composition really is!


 Oh well.... 100K challenge accepted. Using the Jim Stoppani Shortcut to Size program. I hope to have much better pictures to upload in 12 weeks!

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100K Challenge

Well... I wanted to achieve a better me, so I signed up for the 100K challenge. I'm using the Shortcut to size program to get me to my goal. My first workout is tomorrow morning (Monday), after my night shift.



Wish me luck! 

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Missed time, illness, and a change in direction?

It's 03:30 on Dec 28th. I'm awake because I've been over eating this entire holiday season, and it hasn't been all clean or healthy food. My stomach is upset and woke me up an hour ago, which I believe is it's way of saying "that's enough"!


I have also missed almost two months at the gym due to a cold that I just can't shake. Originally I missed three weeks, then I hit the gym hard for a week and suddenly I was sick again. I work the night shift in a cold food storage warehouse, where the warmest area I work in is -16 Fahrenheit. As most of you know, winter brings the shorter amounts of daylight, which means many days I never see the sun until the weekend. I've been thinking that perhaps my lack of vitamin D may be an underlying factor in my health being less than good, my wife thinks it might also be the sleeping patterns of night shift as I don't always get the best sleep during the day and when I hit the gym after work, at 7am, sometimes my sleep is worse. So, a couple of weeks ago I started taking a vitamin D supplement and I've also had this past week off work for vacation. My health is finally starting to rebound, I just have to shake this cough.


I miss the gym. I never thought I'd say that but, I miss the gym. I miss the feeling of my muscles straining through a workout. I miss sweating. I miss the exhaustion. Most of all I miss the feeling of knowing that when I wake up the next day, my muscles will be in recovery and growing.


 As I have posted on my space before, I am trying to train for the next season of Aussie football in Toronto. It's not a pro or even semi pro calibre league. It is competitive however, and winning one game all last season pissed me off. Well, my team had an end of season awards night. They had awards for ''best and fairest'' (MVP), there was the rookie award, and then..... they had an award for drinking. Something about that just seemed wrong to me. I know we're not out to win any kind of monetary award or anything like that in this league, but when I sacrifice 2 nights a week for practice and then half my Saturday to play a sport, I expect it to be seriously competitive. An award for beer consumption does not strike me as seriously competitive. And I would join another team, but I'm not sure it would be any different, plus I would have to travel twice as far to get to the practice fields. So...


I think I'm just going to train for the WBFF. And my own health. I've been admiring professional bodybuilders since I hit puberty, and I've been reading the muscle and training magazines almost as long. This has been a dream of mine for many years, and I think it's time I did it, before it gets to be too late. I'm not sure where to start when it comes to training, but I'll be looking around on bodybuilding.com for ideas, and I've already contacted a personal trainer who once competed in the WBFF. I'll probably be on here a lot more, tracking my own progress and posting it for others to follow, just so you guys can give me feedback on what I'm doing right and wrong and also to hold me to keeping my eyes on the prize.


I've also had a friend ask me to start taking the soccer coaching clinics and come coach kids soccer with him, so I'm looking into that.


And lastly, I'm looking at going to college... 20 years after I graduated high school. There's a fitness and nutrition program available at a local college which I am thinking of taking and hopefully I do well enough to use that as a stepping stone into the Kinesiology program at Guelph-Humber University. Like I said before, I have been interested in health and fitness almost as long as I have been alive, so having a career in that industry just seems like a natural fit.


So, that's it. An update. A long one, and I apologize if it seemed like I was rambling to any of you that actually stuck through this entire post. I'll talk to you all later.


 Cheers,


Paul 

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How long?

Okay, so I know the body stores fat faster than it loses it. My question is.... Just how long? I'm tired of looking the way I look, and I know I'm a product of the immediate gratification generation which is why I want to look like an adonis in the shortest amount of time. I also know it's not possible..... so I ask.... Is it possible to get the athletic look I want (pecs/sixpack/big arms/strong legs) in 5 months when I'm starting at 19.9% bf? If it is, am I doing enough to get there? If I'm not doing enough, how much do I have to do?

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Life getting in the way

Well.... It's August 1st. I haven't been to the gym since..... MARCH! Good gawd! I have reasons, but they only sound like excuses.


First, I stopped going to the gym in the first place because I was having pain in my lower abdominal section. I also had blood coming out of an area a guy REALLY doesn't want to have blood coming out of. I went to the doctor, and was diagnosed with prostatitis! Talk about scaring the sh*t out of me, especially when I have prostate cancer in my family. The drugs I was prescribed fixed me right up, but it also kept me out of the gym. 


Gentlemen... A word to the wise... Drink Water! I had a urinary tract infection almost a year earlier that I mistook for a groin pull and let it go for a month.  It turns out that prostatitis is linked to UTI's. Now I drink water... A LOT of water. I drink until me urine is clear, just to be safe. I make my own beer, and I know it's not the healthiest thing to drink (empty calories and all that), but I still drink enough water to flush my system.


After that the overtime at work picked up, and I try to get as much as I can, and then there was our vacation to the east coast for two weeks. Long story short.... I'm lazy. And I wasn't lazy until the prostate scare, but it seems that the old saying of a body at rest tends to stay at rest is very true. 


Now I get to start over, and man am I ready to start feeling better. 

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Mistakes. Confusion. Where do I go from here?

So, I missed a couple of days last week for a couple of different reasons. Turns out both were my legs days, light and heavy.


I started week 4 of the M&F RHC on Sunday, to free up my Saturdays, and now I can't remember what day of the week it actually is! lol


I weighed myself on Tuesday... lost 3 pounds! Lost My Mind! I'm always eating, I'm always full and I thought I was eating more than enough to be putting weight on. I txt'd my friend who was training to be a personal trainer through the fitness club he already works at, to complain. He started asking me about my food intake, and my workout program. I told him what I was eating everyday, and all about my M&F RHC program. 


Have you ever been laughed at through a txt? That's what my friend did to me. First he said I'm at the gym far to long for the amount of food I'm taking in, he guessed I was probably a good 1000-1500 calories short everyday. I used an calorie counter app on my iPhone and it turns out he's right, I'm eating 2100 calories a day and should be at 3800 to reach my goal.


The second thing he mentioned was that my training program is not going to help me to gain muscle mass, because my light days are basically card and will only help to get me 'cut'. I mentioned this to my two bodybuilding friends at work, one of which has also taken the personal trainer certification program, and they both said the same thing... by doing three 'light' days with my three 'heavy' days I'm being counter productive to my goals and it was suggested that I stop doing light days immediately. Hence the reason I am writing this today and not at the gym.


Here's my issue... My 'goal' is kind of a two-parter. I'm already out of shape and under weight, which makes me want to add muscle mass. However, with baseball season fast approaching I'd like to get back into shape for playing again this year. As far as I know, trying to add muscle mass while getting into the endurance/speed shape needed for baseball do not go hand in hand.


After thinking about it for a while I came to the conclusion that while I would like to add some mass to my body, my real goal is to add strength, endurance, quickness, and speed. I would guess that mass would come with strength but not sure what training for the other three parts of my goal would do to the advances made in the strength and size department.


If anyone is actually reading this I would REALLY appreciate all the input I could get on this, as I am basically a newbie to the weight training world and have no idea where to go from here.



Cheers,


Paul 

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Week 2 and everything else since

I know I was going to post my second week of the M&F RHC that I was doing but I honestly don't remember now... other than I found out a 'light' legs day kills me more than a 'heavy' legs day, and it's a good thing light legs is saturdays because it took two days to recover from it.


Week 3 is here... my weights are increasing moderately, so I'm happy about that. I've also discovered that my Mondays are my longest days, pushing 2 hours. It's my heavy chest day.


My step-daughter was here for week 2 for her March break, and I took the week off work to see her, but I hit the gym everyday and was pretty proud of myself.


Yesterday was a bad day. We lost our 2nd cat in just over a year. I know it may not seem like a big deal, but when you've had companion animals for 10-16 years you get pretty attached. I took the day off work and the gym.


Anyways..... it's Thursday. Light chest/triceps/shoulders day. I'm going to the gym, but I have to admit my motivation isn't great. 

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M&F RHC.... the beginning

Ok so... As I said in the last post, I decided to start back to the gym and use the Muscle and Fitness Rock Hard Challenge as my program, without really looking at the program.


Here's the problem with not fully reading the instructions or directions with workouts, and pretty much anything else in life (I learned this the hard way with IKEA too)... My workout program is 6 days a week! Now, I know have worked out before, and I was making some good progress last time, but that was 4 years ago. I'm not sure working out 6 days a week is the right thing to do for someone who hasn't lifted a weight in 4 years! But I made the commitment and wasn't turning back now, or looking for more programs.


So.. day 1.... turned out to be family day here in Ontario, so while the gym was open, I decided to spend the day with my wife instead. That and I hadn't looked at my exercises for the day until I was getting ready for the gym and realized I didn't know what half the lifts were and I would need to look them up first.


Day 2... Tuesday... Since I work an afternoon shift I thought I would go to my gym in the evening, after work, when it was less crowded (my LA Fitness is 24hrs). I even found out another guy at work has the same routine (works the same shift, goes to the same gym after work), so I got a lift from him instead of taking the damn bus. As much as I want to plow right into this workout routine and start making immediate gains, I also know that's the surefire way of getting injured and missing more time from the gym,and maybe work. So I take it easy, so I thought. I keep the weights low, and try to just focus on the form of the lifts I have to do.... Some of the weights don't seem so low. How is it possible that I am weaker now than I was when I started a new program 4 years ago?!? Good gawd! Anyways, I 'muscle' through the days' program and I feel good, catch the last bus home.


Day 3... Wednesday... Again, I get a lift from buddy at work and am jazzed to get into my Wednesday routine. Again, I keep the weights low to focus on my form and get a feel for how much I can add next time. It's legs day. I don't feel as weak as yesterday, although I know I'm not at the level I was before. I try to add a little more weight from set to set to feel out my exertion level. Good workout, I feel good, even though my legs have that 'jell-o' feeling. Then I realize I've lost the keys to my lock and spend twenty minutes looking for them only to realize some good gym citizen has turned them in at the front desk. I miss the last bus home and have to walk, which normally wouldn't bother me since it's only half an hour but.. it was LEG day! That half hour walk felt like 2 hours! lol


Day 4... Thursday... Still eager to get right into this program, but still sensible enough to know to take it easy, focus on form and feel out my limits. Thursday is 'light chest day', so I'm working out my chest, shoulders and triceps (I think). Again I focus on form and add weight where I feel comfortable between sets to feel out my 'fitness level'. Oh My Gawd I'm Weak! What the hell has happened in the last four years?!? I have to do supersets on 'light' days and my last superset is a lying triceps extension superset with a close grip bench press, and on my last set I nearly lose the bar on my triceps extension and drop it on my head! It's only a twenty pound bar! Now I'm mad! I finish the workout, catch the bus, shower at home, go to bed.. still mad!


Day 5... My co-worker told me the previous day that he's pretty sure our gym closes at midnights on Friday, so I call the gym Friday morning and they confirm what my co-worker said... the gym is 24 hours from 5am Monday morning to midnight Friday. So I can't work out Friday night, now I'm frustrated. It's too late to get in a Friday work out before work. I decide to call it a week, even though I'm supposed to work out Saturday as well, and re-start the whole thing Monday.


In the time between joining my gym and the Friday I learn I can't work out I've been picking the brains of a couple of friends at work who also work out. One guy has been at it for years and has the physique to show for it, and the other guy is like me, skinny and can't gain weight, even though he's on Mass supplements. The first guy, I'll call him Hank, has been giving me ideas and info on supplements and work out routines etcetera, and has looked at my routine. I tell him that I did some research on the BB website (which he frequents) and I find that most workout routines for guys like myself (beginners/ people away from a gym for years) suggest 3 days a week, which he agrees with. Am I going to far too fast? Should I switch to another routine? Hank tells me that while he would agree with the 3 day a week thing, since I have already started into this new routine of mine I should stick with it for the duration and switch after since switching now will only screw me up even more. Not sure If I am relieved or not.



I'm not sure how long these blog posts are supposed to be so I'll cut this one here and tell you about week two in the next post. 

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Entry # 1

****ght, I'm new to this blog thing, but I'm going to give it a try and see how I like it. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to be writing this for an audience or not, but right now I'm just using it as a sounding board for my own thoughts.


Ok, where to begin? I'm a 37 yr old male. I consider myself underweight (more on that later) and I believe I am weaker now than I have been in my entire life. I hate my job, I'm depressed because it's winter, and I lack motivation.... until recently.


For the past 10 years I have joined and left 3 gyms, 4 times. I guess you could say I'm a habitual gym joiner. I join for the right reasons, but then either something happens in my life that makes me step away from the gym for a time and I get too lazy to go back, or after 3-4 months I get bored and wonder to myself "why am I really doing this?" and end up leaving.


I believe this time is different for a couple of reasons. First, my wife joined her gym a little over a year ago, and has been very determined in her goal to get fit, and lose weight. She's been making great progress and her mood and energy levels have both increased exponentially, not to mention her body getting tighter with the addition of muscle and loss of weight. I was starting to get jealous of this "better me" she was becoming, and wanted the energy she had, not to mention the self confidence.


The second reason is more recent... This past January I caught the flu. No I don't get a flu shot, and please don't start with me on the benefits of it. Anyways, I lost 20 pounds. Most people would not think this was a bad thing (my wife called me a jerk), but I'm 6'4" and weighed 199 before I got sick, so dropping to 179 was NOT healthy! Not only that but I got weak. Going to work (I work in a frozen food warehouse, with heavy lifting) became difficult, walking my dogs turned into my dogs walking me, the stairs in my own house seemed to have doubled in number as I would be winded by the time I got to the top to go to bed.


So... after two months of talking about going back to the gym, I finally did it. It took a little financial sacrifice, and my wife encouraging me to do it, but I walked in, signed the papers and became a member of the same gym I had been a member of twice before. That was 3 weeks ago.


At first I thought I would do the beginner program I had picked up from Muscle and Fitness four years ago. I know it worked then because I can still remember my wife's "wow" when I asked her to do a three month measurement update on me. Problem was, I couldn't find the program. We moved since the last time I had used it, and it was probably still in a box somewhere. So, I picked up a copy of Muscle and Fitness for the first time in over four years and started leafing through it. Inside my issue was the M&F Rock Hard Challenge. It was a contest of sorts for getting oneself motivated, and the winner would win cash and supplements etc etc etc. Without actually looking at the workout program in the following pages, I thought 'hey, this could be MY new program', and I decided to start the following week. I logged on to the M&F website to see if I could enter, but alas it is only open to residents of the USA, so my being in Canada immediately ruled me out. However, I still stuck to my original resolution of doing the program anyways.


My M&F RHC story follows.... next blog entry 

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