Fitness Catch-All

For the folks wishing to lose weight - any interest in intermittent fasting? I am 6' and 180#, trying to lose my pinchable inch. It is working, slowly. I am not counting calories, really - but trying to stay away from prepared and boxed product. Furthermore, trying to stay with whole foods, simple recipes. Also, no soda, and virtually no sweetened drinks. Maybe one a day, and certainly not during the fasting period.

It has done wonders for my blood sugar normalization throughout the day to not eat until after 4pm. Weird, until you start researching. Downside? People that whine they are hungry make you want to laugh derisively.

Jonman wrote:
Dimmerswitch wrote:

Love the new sig, Jonman. :D

Figured that it would save the rest of you from being subjected to me explaining it *again*. :)

"So I went to the White House... again... and I met the president of the United States of America... again..."

wickbroke wrote:

For the folks wishing to lose weight - any interest in intermittent fasting? I am 6' and 180#, trying to lose my pinchable inch. It is working, slowly. I am not counting calories, really - but trying to stay away from prepared and boxed product. Furthermore, trying to stay with whole foods, simple recipes. Also, no soda, and virtually no sweetened drinks. Maybe one a day, and certainly not during the fasting period.

It has done wonders for my blood sugar normalization throughout the day to not eat until after 4pm. Weird, until you start researching. Downside? People that whine they are hungry make you want to laugh derisively.

I skip dinner sometimes with a bit of pre-planning. I'm hypoglycemic now so a higher-protein lunch than usual gets me there. But I think fasting earlier in the day rather than later would destroy my metabolism, so the timing varies for everyone. I used to have fasting "issues" so I'm over the moral superiority part, though. There's only so good you want to become at ignoring hunger, before you're just starving yourself and being good at that sucks.

I have been dreading going to the gym lately. I wish I could figure out how to ignore the feeling, but I can't. Can't put my finger on why, exactly, either. Poor mood, lack of improvement /progress, changing gyms, all of them could be a factor. Also, this new gym has mirrors in front of the squat rack and it's really distracting. I wish I could just shut my eyes, but aside from looking weird, I guarantee I wouldn't be able to keep my balance.

Any advice on how to kickstart things?

NSMike wrote:

I have been dreading going to the gym lately. I wish I could figure out how to ignore the feeling, but I can't. Can't put my finger on why, exactly, either. Poor mood, lack of improvement /progress, changing gyms, all of them could be a factor. Also, this new gym has mirrors in front of the squat rack and it's really distracting. I wish I could just shut my eyes, but aside from looking weird, I guarantee I wouldn't be able to keep my balance.

Any advice on how to kickstart things?

I hear ya buddy. I've been having a rough time with motivation myself recently. The thing that pulled me out of it has been simple - having some good workouts again. I realize that that's weirdly circular and self-referential and not necessarily helpful, other than saying "stick with it".

On the squatting in front of the mirror, here's my top tip. Figure out the direction that your gaze should be going in, then stick a small sticker on the mirror at precisely that point (I kept a sheet of small plain white stickers in my gym bag for that reason). That gives you a focal point to stare at. It'll not only reduce distraction, but it's a useful cue in it's own right to keep your gaze direction correct.

Change your routine. Do something you haven't done before or do the same thing in a way you haven't done it. For example, instead of doing 5 sets of 5 squats try doing 3 sets of 12 or do 3 sets of 20. One of my favorite (and least favorite) workouts that I do is "quad 20s". I do 4 exercises in a row with no rest. I do 20 reps for each. Then I rest for 2 minutes. Then I use the same weight and do it again. Rest. Then a final time. I do clean and press, bench, squat, and one of the following: barbell hamstring raises, stiff legged dead lifts, or barbell rows. Usually I do them in that order. I don't do a max (1 rep) but I know that I can do 245 on the bench 3 times during a workout. I do 135 on the bench. For squats I do 135 (same for hamstrings) and for the clean and press I do 95. I can get that done fairly quickly and it is much more difficult than you might think. By the time I'm done I've benched 135 60 times for 8100 pounds. Compared to a normal 5x5 of 225 which is 5625 total pounds. I enjoy it because it is different and when I want to get in and out quickly or don't feel like doing set after set I'll work this in (or do this alone). Do note that my goal is not total strength and this isn't going to do much for your 1 rep max.

I like having the mirror in front of me. I tend to watch my knees as I squat to make sure they stay steady and over my toes. I can also pay attention to how far down I'm going.

NSMike wrote:

I have been dreading going to the gym lately. I wish I could figure out how to ignore the feeling, but I can't. Can't put my finger on why, exactly, either. Poor mood, lack of improvement /progress, changing gyms, all of them could be a factor. Also, this new gym has mirrors in front of the squat rack and it's really distracting. I wish I could just shut my eyes, but aside from looking weird, I guarantee I wouldn't be able to keep my balance.

Any advice on how to kickstart things?

Find something you enjoy doing. Not for gain or long term goals, but an activity you want to do. Regardless of any kind of benefit, do that. Arbitrary things are good, but don't ignore going with friends or just logging points in Fitocracy.

fleabagmatt wrote:

I like having the mirror in front of me. I tend to watch my knees as I squat to make sure they stay steady and over my toes. I can also pay attention to how far down I'm going.

Me as well. Couldn't do well without one.

NSMike wrote:

Any advice on how to kickstart things?

Does your local gym run any classes? While they can be daunting to enter as a guy due to being hugely outnumbered by the ladies, I've enjoyed the weight classes (Les Miles Body Pump) and Skip Circuit at my local gym.

NSMike wrote:

Any advice on how to kickstart things?

Does your local gym run any classes? While they can be daunting to enter as a guy due to being hugely outnumbered by the ladies, I've enjoyed the weight classes (Les Miles Body Pump) and Skip Circuit at my local gym.

This gym is very basic.. Just basically the appropriate facilities, and that's it. They have trainers on staff, but I don't really want to pay for someone to tell me how to work out. I had more options at the YMCA, but I never took advantage of them, and since they got rid of the squat rack and replaced it with a stupid Smith machine, there's no way I'm going back.

My wife and I have been training for the Sarasota Half Marathon. When we started out, I was struggling to go 2 miles. It was ridiculous and it felt like I had hit a wall.

The other day, we made it 8.5 and it feels really nice. It's a great sense of accomplishment and I feel like we'll actually make it to the 13 mile mark.

On a side note, I used to think second winds were BS, but man was I wrong.

JillSammich wrote:

The other day, we made it 8.5 and it feels really nice. It's a great sense of accomplishment and I feel like we'll actually make it to the 13 mile mark.

Any time you hit a "first" is bloody great., but the first time you hit 10 miles is a particularly fine feeling.

JillSammich wrote:

On a side note, I used to think second winds were BS, but man was I wrong.

1: Negative splits are an incredibly effective way to feel like a badass, but are also an efficient route to your best results. Second wind FTW!

2: I don't really start enjoying a run until about mile 4. That's the point at which it transitions into flow, and I can feel my brain switch off.

Jonman, the very best thing about that negative splits link are the related videos off to the right.

NSMike wrote:

I have been dreading going to the gym lately. I wish I could figure out how to ignore the feeling, but I can't. Can't put my finger on why, exactly, either. Poor mood, lack of improvement /progress, changing gyms, all of them could be a factor. Also, this new gym has mirrors in front of the squat rack and it's really distracting. I wish I could just shut my eyes, but aside from looking weird, I guarantee I wouldn't be able to keep my balance.

Any advice on how to kickstart things?

Like homer said change your routine. I'm super guily of getting stuck with a certain routine or way of doing things and I either get bored or start hating it but I keep doing it because "that's the way I always do it". Try something new, hell even if it isn't as effective as your previous routine at least you'll still be doing something and maybe won't dread gym time as much.

fleabagmatt wrote:

Jonman, the very best thing about that negative splits link are the related videos off to the right. :lol:

I run long-course triathlons. Potty preparedness is part of the game.

So I made some questionable life choices this weekend. I eventually get to a question.

Context:
Sunday morning I was a little bit hungover and and drank 32 ounces of water along with 2 Naproxen tablets. I go too lunch at 5 Guys with friends, despite my general aversion to red meat. I ate a little bacon cheeseburger and like 20 total fries and down about 30 ounces of Arnold Palmer, 70% unsweetened ice tea 30% fountain lemonade.

Next I attend an indoor Ultimate Frisbee game, we have our full roster and I end up playing about 20-25 minutes out of the 90 the game takes place. Indoor Ultimate Frisbee is basically 10-40 yard sprints or holding the disc. A friend of mine calls and wants to work out in anticipation of our upcoming summer league. I obliged. We go run a mile, followed by 8 sets of 50 yard dashes, and 4 sets of wind sprints. I was feeling tired, but normal when we finished. I drink another 32 ounces of smart water during these exercises. We throw a frisbee around for 30 minutes as a cool-down.

We end up watching the Superbowl, eating Indian food, and drinking copious amounts of green tea. I return home and get a good nights sleep.

Monday-Wednesday most of my body is tight; legs, back, elbows, hands, and feet were quite uncomfortable. My feet and hands were cramping constantly. I stretched, I used a foam roller, I massaged my tight muscles. Minimal relief. I decide to let my body rest. Wednesday night, I convince myself to do an interval run. Almost immediately after, and since-then, my feet and legs feel back to normal. Just the normal tiredness post-run. After my Thursday morning shower I felt my calves and feet start to ache a bit, and I slap on tiger-balm with great results. All day my hands have still been cramping.

Question:
What do I do to relieve and prevent extreme cramps & tightness from exercise? Especially in parts of my body weren't overworked. I obviously won't be doing another 2-a-day anytime soon.

Pick up some magnesium supplements. You were sweating a lot during frisbee/etc. and ate lots of sodium, but didn't replace everything you lost. Potassium too... your body wants it to be a 2-4:1 ratio with sodium. Also, my aunt swears by tonic water because of the quinine in it, but I've never tried it myself.

(I'm the cramp queen, they're a bitch)

Just got a 30 day membership at a Gym to get me through the cold month and still be able to run. It's been awhile since I was part of a Gym so I am looking forward to it. When those 30 days are over I will look forward to running in warmer weather again.

It's always good to change things up in fitness. It's also good to have a motivation. Tough Mudder was mine last year and it's my motivation again this year alongside the GWJ 500 Mile run club.

oMonarca wrote:

Everything You Know About Fitness Is a Lie

Sure, you have to eat right – that's another manifesto in itself – but if you just stick to a basic strength-training program, you can expect a certain wonderment about what the hell you were doing all those years, why nobody told you it was this simple before, and why nobody else in the gym appears to have heard the good news.

Total BS or is there a point to it?

FYI your link redirects me to a broken link facebook page after like 10 seconds. If anyone else is having trouble, try here.

So weird. Works just fine for me :S Sorry!

Updated the link to use the one you posted. Thanks!

Everything You Know About Fitness Is a Lie

Sure, you have to eat right – that's another manifesto in itself – but if you just stick to a basic strength-training program, you can expect a certain wonderment about what the hell you were doing all those years, why nobody told you it was this simple before, and why nobody else in the gym appears to have heard the good news.

Total BS or is there a point to it?

Now many pages are giving me the same broken Facebook problem. What did you do, oMonarca? What did you do?!

oMonarca wrote:

Everything You Know About Fitness Is a Lie

Sure, you have to eat right – that's another manifesto in itself – but if you just stick to a basic strength-training program, you can expect a certain wonderment about what the hell you were doing all those years, why nobody told you it was this simple before, and why nobody else in the gym appears to have heard the good news.

Total BS or is there a point to it?

In some ways, yeah. It's amazing how far just getting off your arse and paying attention to what you do will get you. When he gets into the absolutes, I don't know.

That said, if you have medical issues, I'd be more careful. I woke up with a blood sugar of 24 this morning and I'm still feeling like the Rain Man, all because I finally got permission to start working out again and I went seriously overboard yesterday evening without taking my precautions.

Miashara wrote:

Now many pages are giving me the same broken Facebook problem. What did you do, oMonarca? What did you do?!

Facebook is breaking the internet. I'm getting the same problem on three different devices now, without clicking that link.

oMonarca wrote:

Everything You Know About Fitness Is a Lie

Sure, you have to eat right – that's another manifesto in itself – but if you just stick to a basic strength-training program, you can expect a certain wonderment about what the hell you were doing all those years, why nobody told you it was this simple before, and why nobody else in the gym appears to have heard the good news.

Total BS or is there a point to it?

I'm hardly a success story these days, as I think I'm doing some things wrong (like diet, consistency, other things...), but I've used the workout I outlined on page 1 of this thread for more than a year, and in the first six months, the progress was exciting. Strength training is anything but total BS, and there's a lot out there that suggests the idea of working on machines or doing bizarre exercises like the stability ball stuff he outlines in that article are doing exactly what the trainer he talks about warns about: isolating large muscles without giving any attention to smaller ones. I recently left my gym for another one because they removed the free weight squat rack and replaced it with a Smith machine, which assists your stability and takes some of the more important work out of the squat altogether. I tried the machine out of curiosity, and I was terrified at how confused my muscle movements were... It felt so unnatural that I was sure I'd injure myself.

oMonarca wrote:

Everything You Know About Fitness Is a Lie

Sure, you have to eat right – that's another manifesto in itself – but if you just stick to a basic strength-training program, you can expect a certain wonderment about what the hell you were doing all those years, why nobody told you it was this simple before, and why nobody else in the gym appears to have heard the good news.

Total BS or is there a point to it?

Mostly not BS, in my humble. It's an old article that's been around for a while, and it's mostly on the money. It's preaching the same message as Starting Strength and Stronglifts, which is that a consistent progressive strength training routine will do wonders for you. You'll look better, feel better and get injured less.

Don't get me wrong, cardio has it's place, but it's place is largely in making you better at cardio activities. As with all training, specificity is the magic word. You should train in ways that make you better in the ways you want to better. Me, I'm a triathlete, so cardio is my bread-and-butter, because I'm training for endurance events that I'm not going to be able to finish without serious cardio fitness. My goal is to have excellent cardio-vascular fitness, so that's how I train. I lift too, but that's supplemental, and I'm doing exercises that mimic the movements I'm doing while racing. Part of the reason for that is to rebuild the muscle-mass that I'm burning by doing so much damn cardio too. That's right, cardio burns up muscle-mass. Look at world class runners - hardly any muscle mass on them.

If your primary reason for training is looking better, you should be lifting. If your primary reason is general wellbeing and avoiding an early grave, you should be lifting, but tossing cardio in there will do your heart some favors too.

S0LIDARITY wrote:

Question:
What do I do to relieve and prevent extreme cramps & tightness from exercise? Especially in parts of my body weren't overworked. I obviously won't be doing another 2-a-day anytime soon.

Clover's advice is good, but I'd add to it. The hold trinity of hydration, electrolytes and post-activity stretching should nip that in the bud.

Alternatively, exercise more. The reason you were so sore is that you did way more than you're accustomed to. If you did that level of exercise on a regular basis, your body adapts to it. Any step change in exertion level is going to hit you like that.

Edit: That was probably too combative a joke.

Turtles.
IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/D6UEp02.jpg)

@Jonman, I am notoriously hydrated and smart water is supposed to have electrolytes. I exerted myself way in the fall to a larger extent with 11 outdoor games in 2 days but didn't experience anything like that tightness. I didn't have my usual overexertion dead-leg feeling Monday-Wednesday. I am ramping up my training in anticipation of warmer days though. An imposing snowstorm may very well push my schedule towards a similar workout again this Sunday. Worst case scenario, it's an experiment.

@Clover, I picked up some potassium and magnesium supplements. I also stocked up on flattened-bananas for an additional potassium boost. The potassium tablet is only 3% of my suggested daily intake though. Any suggestions on where I can read up on guidelines for using it?

This evening I did resistance intervals on a bike at the gym, followed by lunges and what I only know as 'Luigis.' Fast paced one-legged hops, resting the back leg on a surface between knee and hip height. I am feeling 100% back to normal in terms of tightness. Definitely have dead legs from basically an all-quad day though, my preferred post-exercise feeling.

S0LIDARITY wrote:

@Clover, I picked up some potassium and magnesium supplements. I also stocked up on flattened-bananas for an additional potassium boost. The potassium tablet is only 3% of my suggested daily intake though. Any suggestions on where I can read up on guidelines for using it?

The low amount in each potassium tablet is an FDA quirk.

Start with one tab daily and see if it helps, and take one extra right away if you start getting a cramp. They work reasonably quickly (20-30 minutes). The magnesium is just a once-a-day thing.

Avocados, cooked spinach, kale, pickles, kiwi, lima beans, and the famous banana can help you get your dietary potassium up if it becomes a recurring thing. Livestrong has a bunch of little articles, or you can google around... my doc didn't have too much to say that I didn't read somewhere, just to of course not take a fistful of them at once or anything stupid like that.

Edit: oh, eating fewer carbs makes you more prone to this.