Day 32: Diet or Exercise-By The Numbers

sweaty

305#

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.

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Day 19- Getting Stronger

291.0

deadlift

The path to strength is a long road with many diverse options and myriad opinions.  Work/rest cycles, fixed rep schemes, overload or to failure, all with their upsides and downsides, proponents and detractors.  If you do something you have never done before you are strong, do it several times in a row and you get stronger.  That is the short form.

The road to a healthy life does not come with instructions, we have to pick those up as we go.  Modern living is not conducive to exceptional fitness, no barges to tote or bales to lift these days.  If we want fitness we have to find it, one way is by lifting weights, imitating what used to be a days work in the comfort of a gym or garage or wherever we can find.  A usable set of weights can be had cheaply if you don’t mind perusing the want ads or hanging around garage sales on the weekend.  A sad truth is that most people who start a conditioning program rarely keep up with it and as a result used equipment is plentiful most of the year.

Once you have decided to get stronger and have gotten hold of some equipment the question becomes, how to go about training?  Best answer?  Go slow.  Nothing kills the urge to workout like injury.  Ask yourself this, what is your goal?  Weightloss, fitness, strength?  If you are an absolute beginner I would recommend something like StrongLifts 5×5.  3 exercises, 3 times a week, premade charts to track progress, it’s all there.  There are also books out there like Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe and the power lifter’s bible, The Westside Barbell Book Of Methods by Louie Simmons.  No matter what you decide to do, doing that puts you out in front of the guy still on the couch.

 

My food

breakfast
4 eggs(320 cal.)P28F21.2C1.6
1 can tomatoes and chilies(50 cal.)P2.5F0C10

lunch
chinese pork(684 cal.)P54F45C6

snack
popcorn(320 cal.)P8F3C50

20 oz. green beans(200 cal.)P10F0C44

total

1574 calories P 102.5 F 69.2 C 111.6

my workout-rest day

 

Beginning a Prilepin cycle…

OK, in the 60’s and 70’s a Soviet named A. S. Prilepin charted the workouts of thousands of weightlifters and boiled all of his raw data down to a simple chart, The Prilepin Chart.  Using this chart an athlete can program workouts to maximize the strength gain and lessen recovery time and exposure to injury through overtraining.  Basically, intensity equals adaptation until the overall demand impacts speed.  Enough of that, simply put you train a single movement a finite number of reps/sets at some percentage of your 1 rep max.  

Since I am starting an overhead squat strength cycle, today I had to find my 1RM in the overhead squat.  2 sets of 5 with an empty bar to warm up the movement then, 5 @ 65#, 5 @ 75#, 3 @ 85#, then singles of 95#, 105#, 110#, 115# and 120#.  I didn’t fail at 125# but my form sucked so badly at 120# that I called it right there rather than risk injury, train smarter, not harder.

Now that I have my number, 120, I need to calculate three more numbers to use the chart, 70%, 80% and 90% which is 84, 96 and 108 or rounded to my available plates, 85, 95 and 110.  The chart states that if you are using less than 70% of your 1RM you should do sets of 3-6 reps with a total of between 18-30 reps with the optimum number being 24.  Between 70% and 80% of 1RM sets of 3-6 reps and a total of between 12 and 24 reps with the preferred number being 18.  80% to 90% of 1RM calls for sets of 2-4 reps and between 10 and 20 reps with the desired number being 15.  Above 90% us 1-2 reps per set, 4-10 total and the magic number being 7.

My workout scheme for the foreseeable future is training OHS every night, I plan on using a three day cycle for strength adaptation in a rotation of:  Heavy adaptation using the Prilepin chart on day 1, intense 5 by 5 sets on the second day and technique/muscle memory on the third day of the cycle with low weight/high rep GVT(German Volume Training).  The way I see the next three days shaping up is this:

Day #1:  Warm up with 5 sets of 5 on empty bar then 6 sets of 3 reps @ 85#.

Day #2:  Warm up with 2 sets of 5 empty bar then 5 sets of 5 @ 65# then 5 sets of 5 @ 75#.

Day #3:  Warm up 2 sets of 5 empty then 10 sets of 10 @ 50#.

Programming will vary cycle to cycle, but you get the idea.  The heavy day sets up the adaptation and the other two allow for technical practice and spending time in the hole.  Time will tell, obviously, now go lift something heavy.