Cardio-Like it Or Not


As I have mentioned before, respiration is the primary mechanism for removing fat from the body. Cardio training is the best way of elevating respiration to a level that will effect this removal.

The best method I have come upon is HIIT, High Intensity Interval Training. The acronym may be new but the general principles remain the same, small sessions of extreme effort broken up by short rest periods. How does this work? A story to illustrate…

In 1954 Roger Bannister had decided to break the 4 minute mile. To do this he broke the race down into laps, 4 quarter mile segments. Each day that he trained he ran 10 quarter mile laps at a pace just under 1 minute each. By doing this he, in effect, ran two sub-4 minute miles every day for a month or more. His purpose in doing this was to engrain in his muscle memory the pace that he needed to maintain in order to achieve his goal. At a track in Oxford on May 6, 1954 he finished the mile in 3:59.4.

HIIT works by elevating resting metabolism beyond the amount of time that you actually exercise. If your workout is 30 minutes long you don’t have to workout at maximum intensity for the whole 30 minutes, the work/rest cycle follows the formula ‘2x’ on/’x’ off, typically 30 seconds work followed by 15 seconds rest repeated 10 times without stopping or some variation. Movements that lend themselves to this model are sprints(run a distance and walk back), burpees, box jumps, jump rope, bear crawls, tire flipping, you get the picture.

My workout today was a 1 mile run, in 15:38. Before you average guys(5’10”, 150#) start talking smack, think about this, I weigh in at 305, if you think you can run a quarter of that with a 155# barbell on your back then good on you. Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither was my ‘ab’ but I’m working on it.

Day 32: Diet or Exercise-By The Numbers



If you are like me and would like to be thinner you have heard over and over that it is all about ‘diet and exercise’. The more we research and try to do the right thing by our bodies the more we run into a majority opinion that states that diet is more important than exercise when it comes to losing weight. I personally have a hard time with diet and I wondered why
exercise is considered to be even more difficult, so I did some math.
Firstly, I researched metabolic fat and the mechanism by which it is removed from the body and after all is said and done fat is broken down to and leaves the body through the lungs as carbon dioxide. This means that you can quantify the amount of fat you are losing in a workout by examining your breathing. The basics are this: at rest the average person breathes 12-18 times a minute, during strenuous exercise respiration rises to a maximum of 45 breathes per minute. Carbon dioxide comprises about 4% of the volume of an exhaled breath. Taking an average of resting breathing rate (15) and subtracting it from the active rate of 45 gives 30 extra breaths per minute, at that rate, considering an average lung capacity of 500ml it would take 425 minutes to exhale an extra pound of CO2. Approximately 36 minutes per day, 7 days a week would get rid of 1 pound of body fat in one week.
Sounds simple, right? Wait just a minute. That’s not a 36 minute workout daily, that is a total of 36 minutes at a respiration of 45 a minute. That’s not doable with weight training or yoga or jogging. Sprinting is good, but not sustainable. Cycling will get you there fairly easily, jumping rope, once you reach a level of coordination that allows you to jump continuously for several minutes, burpees and other body weight movements are more your target.
Lets look at burpees first, universally hated but good for you, you will need to do about 10 burpees in a row just as fast as you possibly can to get your breathing going, then you can start counting them, and by counting I mean counting the amount of time you keep doing them without stopping after the first 10. 15 straight burpees would be good for about 30 seconds toward our 36 minutes. Now to the jump rope, try for 1 minute without stopping, another 30 seconds of max respiration. Barbell thrusters will rapidly ramp up your breathing, 15 reps without stopping will buy you another 30 seconds. 50 yard bear crawl is good for 30 seconds.
Right here lets stop and look at a sample workout and see where we stand:
5 rounds of;
15 burpees
jumping rope, 1 minute nonstop
15 thrusters 65/95#
50 yard bear crawl
1 minute rest between rounds

This workout represents 10 minutes of the 36 minutes daily needed for a 1 pound weekly fat loss. Only 26 minutes to go. You see how much energy goes into this. Obviously, variations are perfectly OK, but the time necessary to complete the same amount of work is substantially higher. Consider jogging, let’s say you are comfortable with a respiration of 25 while running, you would have to spend about an hour and a half at that constant pace. To contrast, a 50 yard sprint full out with a walk back to the start should be good for a full minute of max respiration per lap, 10 laps would be good for 10 of your 36 daily minutes and you could be finished with it in 15 minutes or so. Cycling, with a mixture of sprinting/hill climbing and coasting will also tick down the workout clock rather effectively, although you are restricted by weather and riding environment.
It is not my idea here to prove that diet is always the way to go to lose fat, I am just illustrating the fact that exercise is very involved and very much a numbers game and all about intensity, effort and commitment.

Day 63- Have We Just Been Doing It Wrong?

Did you ever wonder how sumo wrestlers got so big? Averaging well over 300 and some as much as 500 pounds and more? You would think that they consume massive amounts of food, all day long to maintain that much weight on their frames.

Most sumo schools have their athletes working out as much as 6 or 7 hours a day for years to achieve greatness in an endeavor that can be over in mere seconds. What is their secret? One meal a day. Right before bedtime. They train their starvation response to store everything that they eat as fat, everytime they eat. Want to lose fat? Don’t do that. Eat early in the morning, eat little meals all day long, don’t let the starvation response get started, no starches(carbs) within 6 hours of sleeping.

Could part of the secret of weightloss be when you eat? Apparently it is part of the secret of weight gain. Could it be that simple? Probably not but it does paint a great big red target on what not to do, don’t you think?

my workout-
cycling 21.35 mi. 2200 cal. 12.6 MET hr.

Day 62-


When you measure the amount of work that you do when exercising the value most often cited is heart rate. The amount of blood that your body pumps through the circulatory system as a response to stresses. If we buy into the fat turns into CO2 theory, then wouldn’t it be more accurate to chart respiration instead of heart rate, since respiration is directly correlated to CO2 transpiration?

Here are some numbers: Mr. J. Blow, our model model, has a resting respiration rate of 12 times a minute and in that minute exhales .6 grams of CO2, or .05 grams per breath. Any activity that increases his respiration should have a corresponding increase in CO2 emission. Lets say that Joe goes for a long run in the morning, say an hour, and during his run sustains a ventilation rate of 30 breaths per minute. 18 extra breaths a minute for 60 minutes times .05 grams comes to 54 grams of CO2. For the body to turn 1.1 kg. of fat into energy you would have to inhale 2.9 kg. of O2, producing 2.8 kg. of CO2 and 1.1 kg. of water. Using this math, our model’s little jog burned up 18.6 grams of body fat, evidence of why consistence and dedication is so important to staying healthy. This is in addition to the roughly 300 grams of fat the body uses each day to maintain base metabolism, interesting to say the least.

Day 60/61- Where Does The Fat Go?

When you take in water it can leave the body in several different ways, fat however, does not. Through a complex uptake process, fat is converted into triglycerides and other substances and is stored in the body until needed to be used as energy and it is finally broken down into water and carbon dioxide. Fat leaves to body through the lungs when we breathe. Strange but true.

my food- cheat day 3000 cal.
my workout- 2 hours mowing 1407 cal.

Day 59-


What to do when you get stuck is something that haunts everyone. When motivation is not working, when diet is not working, when working out is not working out, what do you do?

I have maintained a diet log and a fitness log for two months straight, not missing a single day. I have lost a little over 2 pounds this month, should I be disappointed in the size of this loss? I don’t think so. I am still conflicted about strength vs. cardio, not sure which way to go.

my food-
4 eggs(320 cal.)P28F21.2C1.6
1 can tomatoes and chilies(50 cal.)P2.5F0C10
1 tsp. coconut oil(40 cal.)P0F5C0
total=410 cal. P 30.5 F 26.2 C 11.6

1495 cal.
total=1895 cal.

Day 58- You Get What You Pay For

Sounds too good to be true? That’s because it is. The model used in this photograph does not work out 4 minutes a day, she more than likely puts in at least an hour just in spin class or running to keep her bodyfat down. Add weight training/resistance training, HIIT, gymnastics/bodyweight and there is a significant investment in time involved in looking that fit. No one looks like a fitness model by accident, it can’t happen.

I look at the time I spend just to look not-fat, and I have to respect people that can do this. There is a secret, hard work. No way around it, it takes what it takes and if I don’t want to put in the work I will not get the results.

my food-
total=2700 cal.

Day 54-

Do you remember why you do this? Do you remember what you want? Do you remember saying that you would do anything, anything at all to get fitter and lose weight? That applies when things don’t go right, when the numbers are going in the wrong direction, when things seem to get in the way of getting to the gym. It’s called discipline. Keep your head in the game, stay focused. Eye on the prize, eye on the ball, eye off of the buffet table.


my food
6 eggs(480 cal.)P42F31.8C0
1 can Wolf Brand Chili(270 cal.)P9F9C45
total=750 cal. P 51 F 40.8 C 45

chinese buffet
total=2362 P 204.3 F 132.4 C 74.2
daily total=3112 P 255.3 F 173.2 C 119.2

My workout-none

Day 53- Motivation

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Ever had one of those days(weeks) when the plan just seems to slip farther and farther away? I started the week with a raging case of DOMS and it has just gone downhill from there. When I could use my arms again I had done some yardwork and general cleaning in the garage and in the meantime collected what I suspect was a spider bite that has swollen a spot on my wrist to the size of a boiled egg.

I have hit a bit of a plateau in my weight control plan, 282 seems to be a sticking point. I am wondering if it is time to get serious about cardio and start doing 20-30 miles on the bike every day for a couple of weeks and see where that goes. I have read some things about carb cycling, predominately here and think that it may be worth a try in the future. It is pretty complex but I think with practice it may be doable. The important thing is to do something, and keep doing it.

my food
4 eggs(320 cal.)P28F21.2C0
1 Can tomatoes and chilies(50 cal.)P2.5F0C10
3 oz. bacon(459 cal.)P31.5F35.4C1.2
Total=829 cal. macros P62 F 56.6 C 11.2

my workout-
Lawn mowing=1055 cal.

Day 49- New Training Challenges



One way to fix an imbalance in the core area is one-leg bulgarian split squats.  Adding these into a weight session will help train the quads without adding dangerous stresses to the back.  If you train a back squat of 200 lbs. your split squat can be done with 100-115lb. to great effect.  Over the course of several weeks most athletes will even see a gain in standard two legged squat numbers.

You are working the quadriceps group(vastus medialis, vastus intermedius, vastus lateralis and rectus femoris), the gluteus maximus, soleus, adductor magnus with the gastrocnemius, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus and hamstring stabilizing the movement.  Quite an impressive group for a simple exercise, this is why compound exercises are so good for you, full recruitment of the posterior chain.  The basic movement can be varied by utilizing a front rack, resting a barbell across the back, holding dumbbells in each hand or even weight plates.


my food

4 eggs(320 cal.)P28F21.2C1.6
1 can tomatoes and chilies(50 cal.)P2.5F0C10
1 tsp. coconut oil(40 cal.)P0F5C0
total=410 cal. P 30.5 F 26.2 C 11.6

16 OZ. chicken breast(496 cal.)P104.4F5.6C0
4 jalapeños(16 cal.)P.4F0C4
1 onion(64 cal.)P1.4F.1C15.5
1/2 cup lentils(339 cal.)P24.8F1C57.7
4 tbsp. sweet chili sauce(400 cal.)P0F0C100
total=1315 cal. P 131 F 6.7 C 177.2

2 clif bars(480 cal.)P20F12C86

total=2205 P 181.5 F 44.9 C 274.8

my workout

5 minute trainer hill climb

10 minute trainer hill climb