Thursday, August 23, 2007

Comparing Oranges to Oranges

People often ask me what beverages I consume on a daily basis. The answer is simple, water(filtered or RO) and green tea. Then the next follow up will be something like...but what about fruit juice. And of course by fruit juice they mean the good stuff; either 100% real fruit juice or even freshly squeezed. Well lets analyze orange juice for instance. A 10oz. bottle of OJ(which is the size Tropicana sells) has 140 calories, 28 grams of sugar, and no fiber, and boasts it's 120% daily value of vitamin C. A normal sized orange (2-5/8" diameter fruit) has only 60 calories, 12 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of fiber, and is humble about it's 116% Vitamin C concentration. So lets see... more fiber (i.e. better on the glycemic index, good for digestion) virtually the same vitamin C concentration, and less than half of the calories. And this mind you is a 10oz. serving of Orange Juice. At McDonalds or IHOP(my favorite health food joint!) a large orange juice is 20oz. This quantity of Orange juice has roughly 280 calories, and 56 grams of sugar, with no fiber. You'd have to eat nearly 5 oranges to get to that many calories. Nobody would probably think you were weird having 20oz. of OJ, but eating 5 oranges in one sitting would probably make people scream "THE JUICE IS LOOSE!" Freshly squeezed juice is only marginally better, unless you are consuming the majority of the pulp. As one of the leading causes of childhood obesity, it's becoming harder and harder to argue consuming juice regularly in ones diet. So eat the fruit, ditch the juice.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


So Thursday will wrap up my high volume week. Sorry for not posting up something sooner, didn't realize how many people were actually reading my blog, so again I apologize to those who frequent here. Anyways you'll be happy to hear of all the progress. My weight is up to 188lbs, that's approx up 13lbs and according to my lovely body fat measurement calipers I'm at the same body fat percentage. I'm a little below the 2lbs of week gain that I was experiencing initially so I've been eating more calories lately so hopefully that will help.

Markers of Progress,in addition to the body comp marker above, I can now do the following:
-5 unassisted chin-ups; Eric says watching the 5th was slower than the paint drying on his new walls, but hey, progress is progress.(2 months ago I could do 1)
-Put up 135lbs 6 times on bench press (when i started 135 was my 1Rep Max)
-Pull 225 8 times (when I started, I'd have to look, but I'm pretty sure I was pulling something just over 100lbs for less reps)
-I no longer get queazy after doing sets of sled drags (they're still not my favorite, but secretly somewhere deep down I think I love them)

Anyways, so thats where I'm at with just over 2 months of fairly strict dieting(90% compliance to the Precision Nutrition program) and hard training. I'm at a point where I think counting actual calories and macronutrient breakdowns might help, so I'm going to try and get a baseline next week and will be trying to hit 35% Protein - 40% Fat and 25% Carbs. Most would probably freak out eating that high fat of a diet. I don't, because it's what works consistantly for me. Olive Oil, Avocado, Nuts, Seeds and Fish Oil comprise the majority of that, and last I checked all of those foods are extremely healthy. My carbohydrate sources are fruits, veggies and my workout shakes(sugar!!). Now again people might freak out, why didn't he say whole grains. Well honestly, I think grains are overrated. I'm not saying I've completely eliminated them, but I've reduced them significantly. They don't offer anything that can't be provided by fruits and veggies and I feel as though veggies have more to offer in terms of nutrients per calorie. If you're looking for some quick carbs, sure grab a piece of bread, but rarely am I looking for quick carbs.

As summer is coming to a close, and labor day just around the corner, I hope everyone is acheiving their health and fitness goals. Just take it day by day and try to be a little better everyday and before you know it, you'll get there. It took however many years you are old to get to the body you have, don't try to erase it with quick fixes or band aid type approaches because failure will be inevitable. The only thing that works is better habits over time.

So what are you going to do tomorrow, that will be better than what you did today...

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

I hate my Dermatologist!

When I was a kid I went to the dermatologist for what many teens struggle with, acne. I had a pretty severe case, and all the social ramifications that go with it. So who better to go see than a skin doctor to help me out. Well with little help aside from some prescription drugs, all kinds of cleansers, etc, all I can say is the acne kept on chugging along, and in some cases got worse. I noticed that when I cleaned up my diet a bit or as I used to "go on a diet" my acne would clear up. So I wondered if it was a food allergy maybe. I asked my Dermatologist if diet affected acne and he assured me there was no link. Well here I am today to say I told you so! A new study in the Clinical Journal of Nutrition shows that by eliminating high glycemic foods (the ones I'd get rid of when dieting, white breads, sodas, etc.) actually reduces acne lesions. See doc, I was onto something, and you didn't want to hear it.

So anyway, I continue my healthy eating and discover this other product called fish oil. I start taking it by the recommendations of my favorite nutritionist and low and behold my acne clears up even further. I'd say fixing my diet got me about 70% of the way there and just when I started taking fish oil, the remainder cleared up to the point where I'm at today. So I ask my dermatologist if fish oil, or any omega 3 fat could help with acne. Again he assures me that can't be true. Well it's time to wake up! Studies(not so new) show that omega-3 fatty acids (the stuff found in fish oils) helps give you healthy skin. Go figure. Maybe since they can't make any money off the prescription, the derms won't tell you anything about it.

Seems funny that all the facial cleansers are now taking a lot of heat for premature aging of skin. Who knew putting abrasive chemicals on your face 2x a day for 10 years could cause so much damage...actually I figured out that in less than a year. I stopped using the cleansers, etc. and my face looked better than it did before.

Just Say No

So in short, if you want better skin, clean up your diet, and take your fish oil and stop washing it with harsh chemicals(yeah that fancy soap you spent $8 on, throw it out!). I'll have more on this topic later, including a new book that just came out regarding real methods of skin care that work.

Article 1
Article 2

1 more week down

Well the workouts have been pretty rough, but I just turned 24 last Friday and can honestly say I'm in the best shape of my life. Getting stronger everyday and watching those lifts climb is keeping me motivated. Was able to do more unassisted chin ups than I could have imagined. On deadlifts due to the increased number of reps I was expecting a decrease in weight...Eric had different plans. Weight was increased, and yet I still banged 'em all out. So all I can say is I'm seeing progress on all fronts.

I started doing interval type sprints on my off days. I walk to the local park near my place and just tear it up on the grass. It's nice to get outside once in a while and enjoy the green.

On Saturday I got to work with Tony again, and needless to say he kicked my ass. On the 3rd set of sled pulls I couldn't hold it back and I threw up. I did the last set with a little help from Tony yelling at me the whole way and finished up the workout. The volume seems extreme so I guess I'll just have to suck it up and get used to it. All otherwise is well, diet is on point, and I'm making sure to get enough sleep to recover.

All the best,


Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Next Month of Training

I updated my workout log for my next month of training. Let me tell you, after day 1 of this new plan, I was pretty beat. It felt like day 1 at the gym all over again. Looking forward to the next workout, to see how badly it'll hurt.

It has also been suggested that I talk about some off topic things other than training, so if you have any off topic suggestions feel free to email them to me, or post a comment to any entry with your suggestion.

New Workout Log

A new study was conducted on the affects of doing cardio(apparently steady state) in two separate 30 minute runs, with 20 minutes of rest in between the two runs. It took this and compared it with just a 60 minute run with no rest. The study showed that they both burned the same number of calories, but the interesting thing is that those that had the 20 minute gap in between burned more fat calories. So what does this mean? Who gives a shit. Stop wasting time with nonsense cardio, when you aren't doing strength training and interval training first. Honestly without the first two, steady state cardio is a complete waste of time. Use it to cap off your strength and interval training, but otherwise it's a lot of wasted effort(unless you genuinely like running). Also worth noting, when you do steady state activities like running, your orthopedic health is put at risk, not to mention shortness of breath, and queaziness, which mind you are common symptoms during a heart attack. As a tool for fat loss, it just isn't all that great of a solution.