Holiday Challenge

In September we are going to Dubai for what amounts to a long weekend, now, I have lost a considerable amount of bodyfat since starting and along the way my research has taught me a lot about how the body works and how if we work in tune with it and support it during the changes we want to make we can achieve some truly amazing things, there are some challenges coming up in my life over the next six to twelve months that will restrict any travel we may have done so I would like to go out with a bang so as to speak on this trip at the end of the year, the aim is to get as close to having visible Abs and good muscle tone and definition as possible before we depart.

As a way to share what is possible and also to keep me on the straight and narrow ( I have found that an audience no matter how small tends to do this ) I will be documenting my progress weekly until we go, starting today ( I have always traditionally weighed myself on a Sunday for some reason ) and for the following 12 weeks.

Week weight
1 17st 13.2lbs

To achieve this I will be following my own routine that has been working for the past year with just a couple of minor tweaks as I have found that despite the internet message of “just go for it” practicalities have to be considered as well, and nearly falling asleep at work is not a good look, believe me!

So here is the program that I will be starting with initially.

  1. Weight Training – every other day, this has always worked for me and I see no reason to change it, it is easily sustainable as I have no issue with training first thing in the morning or last thing at night, I know some people are precious about when they train but in today’s world unless you are a paid fitness star, a professional athlete or just happen to be a millionaire you have to fit training in around work, no point being muscular and sleeping on a park bench.
  2. Yoga – on the opposite days to the Weight Training, this is to continue the work I did to get flexible and to improve my static strength, I find Yoga very productive and have continued to practice it sometimes just because of the mindset and distraction it provides from the chaos of the rat race.
  3. Diet – This will not change from the low Carb high Protein and fibre diet I converted to all those months ago, save for adding in casein protein at night time to assist my protein synthesis as I am now marching on in years.
  4. Coconut Oil – this seems to have worked wonders, I have been using it now first thing in the morning as my first intake of nutrition, remember that anecdotal research tended to suggest that this sets your body up to burn Fat for energy and provides focus, and I have been having the black coffee and Coconut Oil before going to the gym, I have noticed huge differences in focus, strength and endurance from following this.
  5. 5k a Day – this was the routine I started a few weeks ago and it has appeared to bear fruit, while away two weeks ago I put on 2lbs and this weigh in I have lost that and a further 4.8lbs this is good going in my book and probably right at the upper end of how much I want to lose a week, I certainly wouldn’t suggest that anybody try and lose more a week unless the medical benefits outweighed the possible drawbacks, I may however increase this to 7k as you need to adapt your exercise as the body becomes more capable.

And that really is it, any changes to the routine and I will outline why this has been done and what they are, and hopefully it will be “Abs for Dubai”

Ultimate Pre-workout Drink

The supplement industry is full of pre-workouts, mostly containing caffeine to wake you up, beetroot to attempt a little vascular dilation to give you a better pump and usually a shed load of ephedra as they can’t use ephedrine any more the result is a buzz that makes you think you are full of energy but actually you are just over stimulated and one of the huge downsides to that is what goes up must come down and you will crash once the effect has worn off, sure some of them put more thought into the products but the cost of these rises exponentially and even the most expensive still lack what I believe to be a very important element, energy, fuel to burn when working out.

What do you need for a good workout?

When you are working out you need to be focused, alert, unrelenting and awake, and crucially you don’t want your muscles searching for energy when they need it most, to my mind it is futile to go into a resistance workout in a dieted state, then only thing to do when Carb or calorie depleted is cardio, that is when you want the body to draw on it’s fat stores while grinding out those long walks or Stairclimbs, but resistance training no, you want the muscle to be full and strong so you can break it down and when it recovers it repays you by lifting your BMR and helping you burn more calories at rest.

Bullet proof coffee ?

Well, no, to my understanding Bulletproof Coffee is traditionally made with Butter, putting aside my reservations about drinking Coffee with Butter in, it doesn’t contain the instant bio-available energy that we need for the workout and that comes in the form of good old Coconut Oil.

Recipe

Really simple, if you usually have a teaspoon of coffee when you drink it then use two, if you use a tablespoon (like me) then use two tablespoons, then stir in a tablespoon of Coconut Oil, or maybe two, I tried this around 30 minutes before arriving at the gym, now the texture takes a little getting used to but it doesn’t taste really bad due to the slight Coconut undertone, and of course only use cold pressed coconut oil, do not add milk as diary products such as milk can have a calming relaxing effect and that is the last thing we are trying to achieve.

Effect

Coffee (or more accurately caffeine) works by triggering a few responses but mainly it blocks adenosine receptors, this is what makes you feel drowsy, caffeine binds to the receptor in place of adenosine and stops this process, it increases brain activity and causes the pituitary gland to release adrenaline, as a result the body goes into flight or fight mode and is primed for maximum effort, then as the MCT’s in the Coconut Oil are shuttled into the blood stream suspended in warm liquid the liver does it’s thing and pushes sugar and ketones into the bloodstream giving the muscles immediate and long lasting fuel. and all for a fraction of the price of any half decent pre-workout drink.

What about the calories ?

It is a valid question after all Coconut Oil is saturated fat, at 117 calories per tablespoon it is my opinion that even if you use two tablespoons the only way you won’t use those extra calories is if you go to the gym and just have a bit of a sit down, Coconut Oil or more accurately MCT itself is directly linked to an increase in HGH (Human Growth Hormone) but this requires greater quantities to be consumed, this is something that I want to look at more and I suspect that managing your calorific intake around the extra calories would be required.

I can say that my experience of this is, greater energy, better pump, more focus and strength without the crash afterwards.

Give it a go and let me know in the comments how it went.

Photo by Kaboompics .com from Pexels

Practice the Preaching ep16

I haven’t done one of these for a while, I’m not sure why but as one is long overdue I thought I would sit down and justify why I say what I say and do what I do.

Physical Goals

I have made significant progress with my physical goals and am marching on to where I need to start from, that may sound a little odd but hear me out, I have alluded in the past to having trained fairly seriously as a bodybuilder for some considerable amount of time, 4 years to be precise and then for whatever reason I let it all go and ended up the way I was just under a year ago, my goal back then was to be a competitive bodybuilder and it is something that I never even came close too as I gave up just around the time I should have been considering cutting up and entering my first show, so skin willing I have set a goal of completing a competition in a years time (by skin willing I mean that I am concerned I will be left with a lot of excess skin from the weight loss) so as my diet is working for my current goal it will be interesting to see how it has to change in order to achieve a different outcome, I am also going to tighten up my regime a little more as it has started to wander a bit of late.

Financial

When I started this blog it wasn’t just so much about just blogging my personal journey, although some of the response I have had to events in my life so far have been really nice and I am happy to keep updating day to day life, it was to start a resource that could be trusted and help people that really needed it with honest useful information as a sort of mitigant to the cynicism, bad advice and in a lot of cases bare faced con artists that continue to make a good life for themselves off the backs of others.

I have looked at many different ways of making money online and I have to tell you that nearly all have ended in the same tired global MLM schemes that will do nothing but push your money up to the top of the pyramid, and anybody at all that wants to challenge me with a get rich scheme and thinks I am talking rubbish please let me know as I will follow the plan to the letter in the hope that I am proved wrong, so I have settled on a few ideas one of which is trading online, this is a business model that has made people very very rich, but it needs to be treated with respect because it has made even more people very very poor,

I intend to learn from the best I can find how to do this and will document my findings along the way, hopefully we will all make some money.

But seriously my advice so far, find a way to benefit people and you will be rewarded, provide value to the lives of others and they will keep coming back, that is why I run adverts, so far I have made nothing but if this ever takes off I will do OK and still not have to charge anybody a cent for the privilege.

Other than that I just intend to keep on expanding the site and keep up with my new Instagram (rather predictably thetraineesuperhuman64 ) and hopefully build something useful.

Water Increases Metabolism!

I have not heard this before so when I stumbled over an article online I thought I would share as we could all do with understanding metabolism and how to manipulate it.

Abstract

Drinking lots of water is commonly espoused in weight loss regimens and is regarded as healthy; however, few systematic studies address this notion. In 14 healthy, normal-weight subjects (seven men and seven women), we assessed the effect of drinking 500 ml of water on energy expenditure and substrate oxidation rates by using whole-room indirect calorimetry. The effect of water drinking on adipose tissue metabolism was assessed with the microdialysis technique. Drinking 500 ml of water increased metabolic rate by 30%. The increase occurred within 10 min and reached a maximum after 30–40 min. The total thermogenic response was about 100 kJ. About 40% of the thermogenic effect originated from warming the water from 22 to 37 C. In men, lipids mainly fueled the increase in metabolic rate. In contrast, in women carbohydrates were mainly used as the energy source. The increase in energy expenditure with water was diminished with systemic β-adrenoreceptor blockade. Thus, drinking 2 liters of water per day would augment energy expenditure by approximately 400 kJ. Therefore, the thermogenic effect of water should be considered when estimating energy expenditure, particularly during weight loss programs.

Michael Boschmann, Jochen Steiniger, Uta Hille, Jens Tank, Frauke Adams, Arya M. Sharma, Susanne Klaus, Friedrich C. Luft, Jens Jordan, Water-Induced Thermogenesis, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 88, Issue 12, 1 December 2003, Pages 6015–6019, 
https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2003-030780

The whole article can be found at Endocrine Society website it is an old study but pertains to something so fundamental to us as humans that it is worth reading, and another very good reason to drink more water, even if we have have to warm it first!

Could well add to any intermittent fasting routines.

Fat Burner V’s Bio Hacking

A healthy cynicism is required today as more and more people vy for your time and your Dollar, this is no more evident anywhere than in my two chosen points of focus currently,

Both the weightloss industry, or fitness industry as it also known and the financial freedom industry are absolutely overrun with what would have been referred to as “snake oil salesmen” back in the wild west.

And it is not difficult to see why as the fitness and weightloss industry is worth and estimated $18 Billion in the US and $5 Billion in the UK (which I personally struggle with because most UK gyms are, shall we say, lacking a little) and that kind of money attracts a lot of people just looking to turn a quick buck.

It isn’t necessarily just the odd cynical individual either big companies and businesses are doing the same thing, most Fat burners on the market today contain the same ingredients in greater or lesser amounts and there are food producers as well as dedicated supplement producers that will, for a price provide you with a white label, protein powder, or fat burner or vitamin supplement as well as all the other plethora of products available to buy.

But, should you use these products? and indeed should I ever advocate them? well the latter is easy to answer, I will never advocate anything that I have not tried and found to be of benefit, and of course the former is what this site / blog is all about.

In my experience there has been a few Fat Burners over the years that have felt like they are working, but this is because (and solely because) of the stimulant effect we assume that because we are warm it is thermogenisis and because we are feeling a bit frantic and like we cannot sit still that we have lots of energy and that this is coming from fat, but sadly this is more likely to be coming from the high dosage of caffeine than anything else.

You are much better off leaving the fat burners on the shelf in my opinion, or at the very least understand why a certain one should or should not work, in the book I read recently there was a parallel drawn between a VCR manual and life, the point being that anybody can buy a VCR and play videos, maybe record the odd thing or two, but only somebody who has read the manual and has digested it thoroughly can record a series at will, or have the TV turning over to the right channel when you switch the thing on, your VCR becomes much more powerful, and when you move onto DVD or Digital Recorders you are able to adapt almost immediately because you understand the nature of the thing.

Bio Hacking gives you the opportunity to do this, to look deep into your body and it’s chemistry, start to put on muscle at will and lose fat when you desire it rather than sitting wishing, and through that knowledge of how things work you can and will start picking supplements that you require.

Take the time to get to know yourself before blindly handing over money to somebody offering you the world in a minute, social media has given us all the impression that success and change is achievable overnight and people have pushed this message in order to turn a profit, it is rubbish, but you learn how the system works, any system and once you know it inside and out you can make it sing and dance to your tune.

Just to indicate that this was not merely a rant for the sake of a post, I did try taking a fat burner from one of the big supplement companies, one that manages to get it’s name in front of millions of people everyday, and after following the directions for 4 weeks exactly as directed with no deviation the results looked like this.

Fat BurnerIntermittent Fasting
Week 1 -0 -4
Week 2 -4 -3
Week 3 -1 -4
Week 4 -0Not yet weighed

It is important to know that my eating did not change other then to fast of course between the two and there was not a significant increase in exercise, simply a greater understanding of what to do in order to make my body respond how I wanted it too.

Practice the Preaching ep15

Good Morning! The weekend is finally here (apologies if you still have a Friday to get through) and it has been a good week, nearly finished my second book, in the “Read a book a week” ideal, and it has only taken me 3 weeks! the book is “The Subtle art of not giving a F**K” and I will put my review on when it is finished.

Scales reading of 18st 4.8lb

So just under 3lbs lost in a week, well from Monday, so I guess technically 5 days. Very happy

So what was it that worked? well I would be inclined to say the Intermittent fasting was the main culprit here, although I haven’t actually changed how I am eating, as I made the conscious decision to alter my diet rather than going on one and as I have said previously the diet I followed is the Slimming World Food Optimisation Plan, and that has been working very well, Coconut Oil was introduced very late in the week so I think the jury should still be out on that, what we can get from this though is a few things.

  1. You are never too old (within reason probably best not to start at 99!)
  2. You have never gone too far that there is a justification for giving up, in fact the further down the line you go it is arguable that the alterations needed to illicit change become smaller
  3. This is something that requires a multi-angle approach fortunately the world is literally awash with books/classes/groups/blogs on how to get started
  4. And of course don’t forget my blog (plug plug)

Have a day with the family today so really looking forward to it, and I will be putting together a page on the Fat Burner I also tried recently and my evaluation of whether that particular one was worth it.

So whatever you are doing, do it to the MAX remember you can accomplish anything (except unaided space flight) and you if you give it 100% you never truly fail you just learn what doesn’t work so well…..

43 and leg Day

Well Leg day was a success I am happy to report, of course how much of that can be attributed to Coconut Oil before the workout is debatable, I did however feel much more focused, I kid you not, I did not feel tired despite being up and about since 5:00am and I lifted more today than I have yet, now I do have some experience with starting over at the gym, since I quit training when I was 20 I have had more comebacks than Status Quo, and each one has ultimately been cast aside because I didn’t progress fast enough, also being 7 stone heavier didn’t help!

So was it the Coconut Oil or was it the Karate Kid Soundtrack that was my music of choice today, well everybody likes being told that they are the best around but I don’t think that was just it, I genuinely trained better than before and the science is there to back it up, you see among other things, MCT’s are converted by the liver and passed into the bloodstream as either available energy, or ketones, that’s it, the chances of them being stored as fat are virtually zero, I do harbour a nagging doubt though and this has been brought on by the wonder of the internet and it’s main party piece.

Contradictory information, if you search for Coconut Oil you will find yourself reading about a miracle substance that fixes all ill’s and makes your body burn fat for fun, and a substance that causes weight gain and is counter intuitive to trying to lose fat.

The problem with this is that in a lot of cases it prevents us from trying things, because we are too worried about the consequences, I feel it right now and you will have felt it too, in fact I got so screwed up over the whole thing that I had to stop and just have a think, the benefit of the internet is we can pick our teachers, we have the opportunity to interview and evaluate at our leisure who we are going to allow to educate us, there is no shortage of candidates and majority of the information is free, so look on YouTube watch the people on there, here’s an example, if there is a woman or a man and they have a Yoga channel, watch it if you can here the tendons creaking and they seem as flexible as the British Government over Brexit then walk away, if however they can fold themselves up like a pretzel they are probably worth listening to, same for most things in life you wouldn’t take driving lessons from somebody that has never driven, even if they have read all the books in the world on driving, so pick your tutors, if you want be a bodybuilder pick a bodybuilder the biggest and strongest one you can find, you want to improve your memory ? someone like Jim Kwik who can memorise 20 random objects shouted out from an audience, and when it comes to intermittent fasting and bio hacking to get low bodyfat levels you pick someone who not only seems to know the science but is also in the best damn shape you can find.

So I will gather as much evidence as possible and present it all on a page dedicated to MCT and it’s benefits but I will be using it from now on as a pre-workout and as the first foodstuff after fasting.

I even suggest that you purchase some either using the link below if you fancy dropping me a couple of cents or nip along to a store and buy some, I have it on majority authority that you should select only cold press Coconut Oil and the amount I used was a teaspoon (level) when I woke up before my walk and the same 15 minutes before the gym.

Sevenhills Wholefoods 500ml Organic Extra Virgin Raw Coconut Oil (Cold-Pressed) for Cooking, Baking, Skin moisturiser & Hair Conditioner

Practice the Preaching ep14

So in the spirit of trying new things, I have introduced Coconut oil to my routine, initially as a way to “break my fast” but I then started researching and it turns out this stuff is awesome, it is good for the hair (mine and the dogs) and can keep me regular with bright teeth, but more important is how it programs the body to burn fat for fuel.

I am going to make my arguments in a dedicated post once I have got my science down but suffice to say that according to Strava my pace on the morning walk went from 10 mins/km to just under 9! And to be fair I felt pretty good.

It would appear as well that the Mrs was right and the response to the “Conversation with Mrs” post was good, but I discovered Coconut Oil on my own so I am counting that as one all.

Intermittent Fast 20hr

After the first experimentation of 18 hrs, I found that I did have more energy, a headache on the second day and I do feel like my clothes are more loose, I do not advocate weighing yourself more than once a week as it is futile, your body takes time to react to what we ask of it and constantly yo-yo’ing up and down with food or abstinence of food in response to the scales showing a pound more today than yesterday is madness, your weight will fluctuate during the week but as long as the trend each week is downwards then relax you are doing fine.

That being said, I am pushing that bit further as I feel that I was just on the cusp of starting to enter ketosis properly, and I ended the fast before my body had chance to react, so I will just add a couple of hours onto the end and test just before I break the fast again, once this one is done I will be finished with it for this week and will start again on Monday of next week.

I will however provide an update on Saturday with any weightloss this week to provide some context and qualification to what I am doing.

So I will keep this post updated tomorrow as I continue through and am already looking forward to eating at 4:00pm !

Haven’t really got much to add at this point other than water is an awesome appetite suppressant, my advice drink plenty, although always within or close to recommended intake, I have a few hours left to go and will be testing for ketosis as I near the nineteen and a half mark.

Update

So I have ended my fast and I have to say that this one was slightly more difficult than the other two, I did start to feel a bit off toward the end of it but nothing major, unfortunately for some reason I seemed to only gain slightly in Ketosis, but I am starting to suspect the strips or my testing technique, however this said I will be looking at some of the products out there that are supposed to assist in reaching the desired state quickly and safely.

I did end my fast with coconut oil this time as I have been reading through and there is some anecdotal and some scientific eveidence to suggest that when you have fasted, the first food you take in kind of sets your body up to burn that for fuel, so in it went, I guess we will see how that goes over time.

My weigh day is Saturday and I am hoping to have good things to report as, if this method is even as half as good as it claims to be and that people are reporting then it could well be the fountain of youth, (well not really but you get the idea)

Intermittent fasting day 2

So I am some way into my second day of fasting now and I have to say this one is more difficult, it is as if my body is just hinting a little more aggressively today and I do have a headache.

It should be noted that I haven’t changed my training routine at all, I am still pushing just as hard so possibly that is it.

I managed to get all my meals in last night 2hrs apart and surprisingly didn’t feel bloated at all, and finally my ketosis testing strips arrived so I will be checking around the 10 hour mark to see if I am utilising this to the full.