Thursday, July 26, 2007

So between my last two workouts I've had 3 new exercises. Some more fun than others. The first of which was box squats. The bar felt pretty heavy on my back, but that is probably because I'm used to doing front squats only.

Another cool thing was the sled pushes and pulls. 3 sets of push/pulls was pretty brutal and I can see how these might crush some peoples ego. Loaded with 3-45lb plates and the weight of the sled itself, it was pretty tough.

The last new thing was bench pressing! I haven't done it since we tested my 1RM a while back. Did 5 sets of 5 at 115. I think just getting the form down alone will help my lift. Kinda funny to think just 2 years ago I would have put my 1RM at 100 and now i'm pushing 115 5 times. Gotta love progress.

In other news, a new study published was sweeping the health sections of the top papers. It's official, you can now blame your fat friends for being fat. The study suggests that if you hang out with obese people, you are more likely to be obese yourself. Sounds like eating crappy foods and being lazy is contagious. The full article can be found here. I'm honestly not one to be politcally correct about people who are overweight. Being overweight sucks to put it bluntly. You're always tired, it's hard on your joints, leads to all kinds of health problems. I think we all need to look around at our circle of friends and try and help one another out rather than placing blame and making excuses.


Monday, July 23, 2007

Christened the Rack @ Cressey Performance

I know it has been over a week since my last post. I got my PN Challenge application in, so I'm good to go. Cressey Performance is pretty close to up and running. I got to christen the new rack with some front squats this weekend and got to train with Tony Gentilcore(a regular on the fitcast, articles on t-nation, etc) which was pretty cool. He pushed me pretty hard, and got a great workout in. I enjoyed having a couple days off, and will hit it hard on Tuesday again. The new facility is in Hudson, MA. The drive is a bit of a pain, but I'll have to suck it up for now.


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Issues with Excel and PN Challenge

So on Friday I found out that I will no longer be training at Excel. My trainer is switching facilities due to a "conflict of interest" and for the time being I've just been doing some dumbbell stuff(single leg squats, rows) amongst some body weight exercises and isometric holds. Hopefully the regular training will continue midweek at a place that is now TBD.

I've decided to man up and sign up for the Precision Nutrition Challenge as well. I'll have some more details regarding that soon.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

3rd Week is a Charm

So I'm on my third week training at Excel and all I can say is wow. My back feels significantly better, I'm walking taller and putting on some pounds (good ones of course). I even sat through a lengthy movie (nearly 3 hours with previews) without my back bothering me the entire show.
I can't remember the last time I did that, and to that effect I wholeheartedly recommend everyone go see Transformers. IT was amazing!

Maybe the movie was just so good, back pain didn't stand a chance?

I've posted a link to my google spreadsheet which is documenting my training program progress, as well as a sample meal plan. Speaking of meal plans, I see all these people putting all this data into these daily food logs which honestly I think isn't proactive enough. You'd be better off planning your meals ahead of time, writing out what you are going to eat, and then eat what you planned on eating. This way you don't have to go oh crap! I shouldn't have eaten that thing on that day in my food journal, but rather be ahead of the curve in picking out what you should be eating in the first place. Don't get me wrong, food logs have their place, but I think they are being overdone at this point. Make a meal plan for the week, monitor your success at following your plan, and you'll be doing leaps and bounds better than those just cramming useless data into a food log. Logging in poor food choices won't make you lose weight.


PS, Just because a 100 Calorie pack of cookies only has 100 calories, it still is 100 calories of crap! And similarly eating lean cuisine will not make you lean (it has trans fats in the ingredients, and lets just say that's not the only problem)

Hiding the Trans-Fat

So with all this talk about cities banning trans-fat I wondered how girl scout cookies, regular peanut butter, and margarine could survive being that they all have significant quantities of trans fat in them.

Well I was glad to see girl scout cookies flaunting a "0g Trans Fat per serving" statement on their website amongst margarine carrying a label of "0g of Trans-Fat per serving." I wondered how they did it, so a quick scan of the ingredients list and low and behold..."partially hydrogenated" oils on the ingredient list. I was a little confused at first because for years I had thought that was in fact trans-fats. I did some research to confirm and low and behold partially hydrogenated oils are in fact trans fats.

Trans Fat Free? Think Again

So how are companies able to advertise a food as 0g of trans fat when it in fact has trans fats. Simple, cut the serving size down and make sure the trans fats total out to less than .5g per serving and you can label it as zero. Pretty brilliant when you think about it. It's similar to how spray oils like Pam can call themselves fat free when in fact the whole can only contains fat. The serving size is 1/4sec spray, which mind you is impossible to deliver or useful when cooking.

All in all I guess banning trans fats is somewhat of a step in the right direction but the application of it falls short of my expectations. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Something to look for on packages is "No Trans Fat." When a claim like that is made that means it has none what so ever. I find it interesting that some of the "healthy" packaged snacks you might find have these trans fats in them. I find them in expensive protein bars all the time. So make sure you check those ingredient labels, and the next time a girl scout offers you some cookies, don't be afraid to buy a couple boxes, and give em to your friends. This way they get fat, and you look better when you hang around them, all while promoting scouting for our youth.