Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Chest Work Out and Meal Plan

I wasn't always a fan of eating breakfast. If you're not used to eating early in the morning, you may find it difficult to even swallow your food without feeling like it's quite forceful. Like any other process, it takes time to adapt. I try to have breakfast within the first 15 minutes after I wake up because it is important to start up our metabolism. Our bodies are pretty much starved while we're asleep, so it is necessary to refuel. I typically have the same breakfast meal during the weekdays because it's faster to prepare and eat prior to taking off to work/school.

Peanut Butter on Wheat toast, Kashi Go Lean with fat free milk, low carb protein shake. I prefer taking the multivitamin with breakfast so there's plenty of time for absorption of the vitamins and minerals to occur for usage during the entire day.
This is what I carry in my lunch bag to work daily. A sandwich, 2 chicken and sweet potato meals, and about 4-5 fruits.

About 2 and half hours later, I have a sandwich (I'm usually done with breakfast at 6:30am and out the door to work). When I'm at work, I typically time myself to eat around 9:00ish.

2 slices of whole wheat bread with lettuce and 98% fat free ham. I typically have a fruit with every meal.

At 10:30ish I have another low carb protein shake with an apple for refueling purposes prior to the gym at 11:15 to 11:30ish. An apple works well for me prior to the gym, especially, if i start to feel a bit hungry or feel as if my blood sugar is starting to decline.

As for the gym portion of my day, I typically go during my lunch hour at work because we're located conveniently next to a 24 Hour Fitness. For my work out, I like to strive for higher intensity and try to not spend as much time at the gym. I aim for intensity levels that will physically make me struggle for the 45 minutes. Rest times are minimized in between sets. Work outs longer than an hour send your body into a catabolic stage and you result in breaking up the building blocks in your body (protein) for energy. If you're trying to build muscle mass, this would be counterintuitive to your goal.

I tend to start off by warming up. I do this by doing incline interval runs on the treadmill. I alternate walking for a minute followed by running for a minute during the 10 minute duration.

I worked with the barbell today for my chest work out. My chest has been a weak point, so I always try my best to push my limits.

Flat Bench
  • 2 Sets for warm up (135lbs)
  • 5 Working sets (increase in weight as set progresses: 185 to 225)
  • 1 Burn out set (135lbs)
I am definitely struggling at this weight that's why I needed a spotter. My aim here is to make my muscles struggle and tear some muscle fibers so they can rebuild and strengthen.

My goal has been to be able to bench these 2 plates on my own, but I currently can't. Regardless, I try to push my limits every day until failure, which helps me keep the intensity level high and productive.

Decline Bench
  • 2 Sets at 135 lbs
  • 3 Sets at 155 lbs
  • 1 Burn out set at 135 lbs
At this point, I am pretty tired, but I am just trying to keep pushing. It's helpful to have a work out buddy during these times just in case you feel like the weights will drop on you ahahaha.

Incline Bench
  • 4 Sets at 115 lbs
  • 1 Set at 135 lbs
By the time I start doing incline bench, I'm running short on time and I'm definitely fatigued. I just try my best to do as much as I can, especially, since this is a tough routine for me.

Once I hit the locker room, I drink my protein shake (Muscle Milk Light) before showering and getting ready to head back to work. I choose this protein shake because it has some carbs in it which is essential for a post-work out recovery since your muscles are depleted of the fuel. It also has only 20 grams of proteins which is under the amount of absorption per meal (30g) since I will be eating in half an hour. I drink the protein shake right after the work out and do not wait after the showers to prevent from going into catabolism. I use protein as a way to buy me time before I can have another chance to eat.

For the remainder of the day, here's what I eat for every 2-3 hours.

Chicken breast with baked sweet potatoes and an orange.

I'm usually home by this time so I can have a soup with my meal. Chicken breast, baked sweet potatoes, cabbage and tofu soup, and an orange.

Chicken breast with cauliflower, mushrooms, and green bell peppers.

These are some pics of then and now. I am pretty much aiming for Hanh's pic for the month of July in the 2007 calendar issue LOL.


March 2010

January 2011

I'm currently trying to get a bit leaner. I want to develop my lower abs and obliques. I am also trying to strengthen my chest and back. As for size, I am happy with the way I am at 150 lbs, so I am trying to lean up and just maintain my size.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Dieting, the Worst Part to Change

Dieting is always the worst part to change when it comes to wanting to transform your body and health. It is tough to change eating habits because the best tasting food items are always the worst for you! Also, healthy affordable foods just aren't very appealing. If anyone is like me, I have the stomach capacity of at least 3 people combined. I go into buffets with the intentions of making sure the restaurant does not profit off of me LOL. Also, I'm usually the one that finishes my friends' dishes along with my own. The transitioning portion of changing my food selections into healthier and wiser food choice is/was/will be the hardest part. Going to the gym is easy, but not eating that cookie is hard. It was tough for me because I love to eat and I can eat a whole lot. Here are some pics of the things that I had to give up in order to discipline myself for better results, which was not easy at all.

Dieting is a big part of working out if you want to see visible results. I have worked out in the past and neglected to diet wisely. The results were not very noticeable. My current goal is to become leaner. I am not looking to pack on huge size, but instead, more definition. It is important for me to stay proportional, so I am not aiming to pass the 150ish lbs mark. I'm currently 22 years old, 5'7" and about 150 lbs. Ever since changing my diet, I have put on about 3-5 lbs to hit that 150 mark. I feel healthier and more energetic overall. I try to eat every 2 to 2 and a half hours because I'll usually be really hungry if I push for 3 hours.

Here are some of the things that I am currently eating as part of my meals:

Kashi Go Lean Cereal

These were on sale so I stocked up on them (hahaha). I usually have Kashi Go Lean Cereal for breakfast, peanut butter on whole grain bread, hard boiled egg whites or a protein shake/bar. I also usually have some fruits with my meals (apple/banana/orange). This is usually the time I take my multivitamin as well (Pure Essence One N' Only). I eat peanut butter in the morning because of the good fats found in nuts. Also, ingesting some fat in the morning helps with starting up fat metabolism in your body. I prefer taking multivitamins with a meal although it is not required because some of the vitamins (D, E, A, K) are fat soluble. They will not get absorbed unless there is a source of fat in your small intestine (where absorption of nutrients usually occurs).

Pure Essence One N' Only Multivitamin
Shaken beef with brown rice and some hot sauce just for my own preferred dip.

Egg whites, green bell peppers, mushrooms, ham, and brown rice.

I use ham because it is salty since I do not use any seasoning for the other items.

Carne Asada Burrito

When I'm lazy to prepare my food, I usually get a carne asada burrito. I do not eat the tortilla because it is made up of simple sugars. Processed sugar is what spikes your blood sugar quickly. It is higher on the glycemic index compared to complex carbohydrates (brown rice, whole grain bread). The faster your blood sugar spikes, the more insulin will be released in your body. Insulin promotes the synthesis of fat.

Chicken breast, mushrooms, green bell peppers, ham.

Most of the time I usually eat chicken breast with sweet potatoes because that is a lot easier to pack and heat up for work.

When I don't have time to eat a full meal or if I feel like I didn't eat enough protein in the meal, I usually have a protein shake or eat a protein bar as well. The protein shakes that I take are the ones with very little carbs and fat because I'm trying to lean up. I eat Pure Protein bars because they have less carbs compared to the majority of other bars I have looked at.

I don't try to stuff myself when I eat ever since I changed my diet because there are so many meals in a day. Your body can only absorb about 30grams of protein per meal. Any excess protein will be excreted. These smaller meals work out pretty well. It keeps you satisfied for the 2-3 hour duration and everything in your meal can be efficiently absorbed.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Just My 2 Cents

After visiting a couple of work out blogs for a few weeks, I finally decided that it might be a fun experience to track my progress and to have a history of everything I have done. I am hoping that once it hits December, I can actually see beneficial progress since it is currently only January. Also, this is probably the best way to obtain advice from others who have been doing this for a while and for me to disclose what I have learned and done throughout my own experiences.

First off, I just wanted to say that everyone has different interests and goals. Personally, my goal and interest is to become leaner and to continue to gradually increase my fitness level. Only you can decide what you want for yourself. Whether this may be to just maintain your current stage or to strive for more, you should be able to find motivation from within your own interests and goals to keep yourself from giving up. If you want something bad enough, you will go out of your way to accomplish it. There are plenty of people whose new year's resolution was to get in better shape, but are starting to drop out of the gym like flies. These are the people who do not want it bad enough to be able to find motivation and inspiration from their own personal goals. Your motivation is the spark to ignite that fire or drive to see better results. The grinding it out stage is always the worst part, but sticking through it and climbing that milestone will help you see what is brighter on the other side (success). Don't give up, motivate yourself, and motivate others! Your body can only do what your mind believes you can do. If you think you can't do it then your body won't be able to do it (it's like the placebo effect). Be optimistic and challenge yourself. You will be surprised at your results!

People who are out of shape or looking to get into shape are often scared of the gym. They are scared of being judged by others, but in reality, everyone is at the gym for the same purpose. Don't be self conscious of the fact that you may not be the strongest person or the fittest in the vicinity. Focus on your goal of improving because everyone else there is looking to improve themselves just like you are. Keep an open mind and be willing to absorb information that will help you become stronger, faster, leaner, bigger, or whatever your goal may be. Lastly, stay committed because results will only be seen and obtained through commitment!