Max Capacity Training, Ideal Weight and Pull-Ups

I have three quick updates for you, dear readers.

Max Capacity Training, Day 9

Tuesday was workout Day 9 of the Max Capacity Training program. The task was to complete specified number of reps of certain exercises, in as short a time as possible. The number of reps was calculated from the reps recorded fro those same exercises in previous weeks.

Unlike day 7 and Day 8, this time I actually completed the reps required. I took just under 30 minutes and I was sweating a lot by the time I was done, though at the beginning I wasn’t really pushing as hard as I could.

Ideal Weight Formula

I was going through an online weight loss course and the instructor or lecturer mentioned a formula for calculating ideal body weight, called the Hamwi formula, after Dr. G. J Hamwi.

The Hamwi formula is as follows (keep in mind that 5 feet is equal to 60 inches):

Men: Ideal body weight = 106 lb + 6 lb for every inch over 60 inches.
In kilograms: 48 kg + 2.7 kg for each inch over 5 feet

Women: Ideal body weight = 100 + 5 lb for every inch over 60 inches.
in kilograms: 45.5 kg + 2.2 kg for each inch over 5 feet

So, since I am male and 5 feet 7 inches in height, my ideal body weight, using this formula is:

106lb + (6 x 7), which is 106 + 42, which is 148 lb.

I am currently about 150 lb (68kg), so I am pretty close to my ideal weight 🙂

I was happy to have a formula for calculating the weight someone should aim for if they want to lose (or gain) weight.

There is also another formula called the Devine formula and it is quite similar to the Hamwi one, with results close to those calculated using the Hamwi formula.

Pull-Up Progress

I had my pull-up workout on Monday, so I was not scheduled for pull-ups on Tuesday, but I decided to test and see if i could perhaps manage 20. I don’t know why I thought I could do this. So I got my pull-up bar, hung it on the door frame and did as many as I could. I did 14, paused a bit, did one more, paused again, then one more, for a total of 16 pull-ups without getting off the bar! I was quite pleased!

Links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_body_weight

http://www.csun.edu/~cjh78264/diabetes/pages/page32.html

http://halls.md/ideal-weight-formulas-broca-devine/

Can You Eat Pizza And Lose Weight?

At the beginning of a new year, many people make resolutions, and one common one is to lose weight. This new year has gotten a little old and I should have posted this earlier, but you can always start losing weight at any time.

Now, when many people think of losing weight, they think of joining a gym or starting some exercise program. While exercise indeed can help one lose weight, it is much more effective to lose weight by changing what you eat, so that you consume less calories than you have been consuming before.

As you probably already know, when you eat and drink more calories than your body needs, your body stores the excess calories as fat. This is what leads to weight gain (fat gain, to be precise).

Sometimes, people eat some food that they know has a lot of calories and they feel guilty and want to burn it off through exercise. How easy is it to burn off excess calories through exercise?

Let us look at a simplified example, using a man named Tom. Tom is a 154-pound man who is 5′ 10″.

Pizza Slice

Pizza Slice

According to CalorieKing.com, four slices of Garlic Parmesan (12″), Chicken, Bacon, Tomato pizza has 880 calories.

There is a common claim that one pound of fat is about 3,500 calories. This claim is disputed by some, but in this post, to we will assume that this is true.

If Tom’s body needs 2,600 calories a day of nourishing food to maintain his current weight, if he eats well and takes in that 2,600 calories a day, he will not gain weight.

If he decides to treat himself to one pizza a week (8 slices) as described above, in addition to his usual food, and does not exercise, he will gain 1,760 calories per week. If one pound of fat is 3,500 calories, then Tom will gain half a pound of weight per week.

Jogging

Jogging

To burn off four slices of the pizza through jogging, Tom would need to jog for about one and a half hours.
If Tom continues to eat one pizza a week, but decides to jog for 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week, (totaling one and a half hours per week), he will now burn off 880 calories (half of the pizza) and he will now gain 880 calories (the other half of the pizza) a week. So he will now gain 1 pound of weight every 4 weeks, despite jogging 3 times per week. In other words, Tom will be gaining calories faster than he can jog them off.

If Tom decides to stop eating the one pizza per week (but he continues with his earlier healthy diet), and continues jogging 3 times a week, he will now start losing 880 calories a week or 1 pound every 4 weeks.

The above example is a simplified illustration only. The figures may not be exact, and other factors will come into play (such as Tom’s body adapting to his new exercise habit), but the point is, it is much easier to lose weight by reducing the number of calories consumed, than by exercising while taking in more calories than you need. So, if you want to lose weight, it is more effective to change what you eat than to sign up at the gym.

Images from pixabay.com

Links

http://www.calorieking.com/foods/calories-in-pizzas-garlic-parmesan-12-chicken-bacon-tomato-pizza_f-ZmlkPTIxMDUxMg.html
https://www.choosemyplate.gov/physical-activity-calories-burn
http://www.zoeharcombe.com/standalone/1lb-does-not-equal-3500-calories/
https://authoritynutrition.com/calories-in-a-pound-of-fat/

Consistency Is Key

Consistency is key for any lasting progress regarding fitness and fat loss. Actually, consistency is key for progress in almost any field. You can see this in almost anything that you have learned in the past: You learnt (or learned) to walk as a child by practising a little (or a lot) every day. You learnt to talk in a similar manner. You went to school every day during the school term, with weekends and vacations off. But it was all consistent.
Yet, when it comes to fat loss and fitness, many people are looking for quick results – lose x pounds of fat in 30 days. Gain 5 pounds of muscle in two months. Well, sometimes it can be done, but with extraordinary effort.
Let’s look on the flip side and ask: how do people become overweight? By consistently making bad food choices, a little at a time, but consistently. Weight is usually gained slowly over time. Similarly, weight loss can be achieved through consistent proper eating and consistent exercise. Of these two, proper eating is more important (for weight loss).

Consistent Proper Eating
Many diet plans you will find will include what is called a cheat day. This is usually one day in the week when you can eat whatever you want. A cheat day allows you to enjoy the foods you are used to and satisfy your cravings. This helps you avoid abandoning the diet plan altogether. Don’t be afraid of having ONE cheat day in a week. One day of ‘bad’ eating will not make you gain weight, just as one day of ‘good’ eating will not make you lose weight. The important thing is that you consistently eat properly during the other days of the week.

Consistent Exercise
A good training plan will have exercises that are challenging but do-able, and that get a little harder over time (as your ability increases). For example, a beginner running plan that I followed a while back starts with walking for 6 minutes then jogging for 1 minute, then repeating this. I did this 3 days a week. The next week, the plan stated I walk for 5 minutes, then jog for 2 minutes, then the week after that was 3 minutes walk and 4 minutes jog and so on. A little more at a time. It seemed difficult at various points, but with consistency, I was eventually be able to jog for 30 minutes non-stop.

Whatever plan you decide to follow, follow it consistently, be patient, and the results will come.

It Works! How My Wife Lost 22 Pounds

Hello dear reader!

I hope you are keeping healthy. It has been a while since I posted, but here we are, and I have a fat loss lesson that I have learned.

In December 2014, my wife slipped and fell and broke two ankle bones. She underwent surgery and started using crutches to move about. At that time, we were living in an apartment on second floor (what Americans call third floor). There was no elevator or ramp, so the only way up or down was using the stairs.

This meant that every day, as she went to work, my wife had to use the crutches to get out of the house, move down the corridor, down the stairs, to the car, and after I drove her to the office, up one flight of stairs to her office. In the evening, it was the reverse.

English: Short flight of stairs in the fire ex...

English: Short flight of stairs in the fire exit stairwell. Huntsville, AL (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Using crutches means supporting your weight on your arms as you swing your good leg forward, then supporting yourself on the good leg as you move the crutches forward. On stairs, she would hold the railing and lean on it as she lifted her body up one stair (or down).

This went on for weeks, and it was tough! For the first time, after more than four years of marriage, I saw my wife actually sweating due to physical exertion. I’m not sure I had ever seen her sweating at all.

Consistency

The distance to be covered was fixed – our house remained at a fixed location, as did her office. She could not say “Today I will not go all the way to the house. Let me sleep in the car.”
The frequency of activity was fixed – she had to do this every day when going to work and coming back, and on weekends if we went anywhere. She could not quite fail to go to work.
The weight to be carried was fixed – her own bodyweight.

How To Lose Weight

The result: she lost weight! She lost 22 pounds (10kg). Twice as much as she had lost through rope-skipping. There were no fancy exercises, no switching up the routine after a while (though she started panting less and stopped sweating). No alternating of exercises to target different muscle groups. She just did what she had to to get to work and to get home.

The lesson of the story: If you want to lose weight, one simple way is to pick a challenging exercise and do it consistently. No excuses to get yourself off, no lightening of the load, no reduction of distance. Just stick with it. Change will come.

Soccer

A group of men from our church organised a soccer event. It was no big deal, really, just guys (mostly in our thirties or so) coming together to play soccer on a Saturday morning. Some young men who teach children soccer at the church were around. They joined in and we played two matches. I noticed that the young men were in good shape – good body definition. I guess the running and jumping involve in soccer does them good.

A football (or soccer ball) icon.

A football (or soccer ball) icon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I also noticed that I did not feel tired immediately, as happened when I played soccer about eight years ago. At that time, after a few minutes of playing, I felt so winded that I just wanted to lie down and breathe. This time I was okay.

I was surprised to notice that after jumping for the ball, it mattered how I landed.  Once or twice, I had to stop and let my ankle recover before I could run around again properly. I had not expected that.

The effects of the vigorous exercise came later. At night, my legs were paining. I later thought it may partly be because we did not stretch after the matches. We just sat down and ate. I don’t know why I forgot this. I usually stretch after running. Of course it was also partly because I have not sprinted for a while, choosing to skip instead, and even with that I have slackened a bit.

Let me say that our team won 🙂

Meanwhile, a friend of ours was admitted at the hospital with heart problems. He is overweight. Take care of your health, people. It may seem trivial when you are just being told about it and you are generally functional, but when it gets to a point where you are actually sick, it will no longer be a trivial matter. The financial costs, the emotional cost on yourself and your family. The thought that you could have prevented it will weigh on your mind.

Make the changes you know you should be making. If you don’t know what change to make, I can suggest one: If you are overweight, change what you eat. Specifically, cut out sugary drinks or start by limiting them to no more than one small glass in total a day, with the aim of reducing such drinks to taking them only once in a while.

Live healthy. Take steps today.

Rope Skipping Continued

After failing to skip 1,500 times in 20 minutes, I tried again

Wednesday, 19th Feb 2014
I set my timer in order to limit rest intervals
I managed to skipped 1,500 in 20 minutes, with 10 seconds to spare

🙂

IMG_1456b

Monday, 24th Feb 2014
This time I used a simple countdown, without rest intervals specified.
I would need to skip 375 times every 5 minutes.
At some point there was a count discrepancy of 100 between what my wife had counted and what I had counted. I went with the lower figure.
I finished with 25 seconds to spare.
Did 70 extra

Small Steps To Weight Loss

Small Steps To Weight Loss

A friend recently completed a two-week detox programme. the kind where you take only vegetable and fruit juices. I personally do not think it is necessary to do that, but at least it showed some determination to take some action about her health. She wanted to know what she should do next, with regard to achieving a healthy weight.

This is what I emailed her, with some slight editing. You may find it useful for yourself or for a friend:

Congratulations on the completion of the detox programme!

So now, what next?

Let us start with the hard part (for most people) – food.
1) Plan your meals. Decide beforehand what you will eat, to avoid just eating whatever is available.
Your plan should cater for the following points:

2) Whatever quantities you have been eating of the following foods (and similar ones) cut that in half:
Bread and other wheat products e.g. chapati, cakes and maandazi, potatoes, rice.
Replace these with green vegetables and with meat (beef, chicken, fish) and eggs
(You can eat the whole egg – that means including the yolk)
Have vegetables with every meal.
Drink water before every meal.

3) Work towards eliminating soda, juice (yes, juice), squash from your diet.
Replace these with water, and with actual fruits. The greater the variety, the better.
And with some nuts – macadamia, groundnuts, cashew.

In summary,
1) Plan your meals
2) Drink water before every meal
3) Have vegetables with every meal
4) Cut carbohydrate intake in half
5) Eat protein
6) Have some fruits and nuts

Image courtesy of vorakorn/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Now, the easy part:
Exercise
Get a good pair of walking shoes.
Get out and walk at a pace of 100 steps a minute or faster.
Yes, carry a timer/phone, walk and count your steps for a minute, adjust your pace if necessary.
Do this 3 times a week or more if you can.

Week 1 – Monday, Wednesday, Friday (or whichever days work for you)
100 steps a minute, for 10 minutes each day
So, 5 minutes going, turn, 5 minutes back

Week 2 – Monday, Wednesday, Friday
100 steps a minute, for 15 minutes each day
8 minutes going, 8 minutes back

Week 3 – Monday, Wednesday, Friday
100 steps a minute, for 20 minutes each day
10 minutes going, 10 minutes back

Week 4 – Monday, Wednesday, Friday
100 steps a minute, for 30 minutes each day
15 minutes going, 15 minutes back

After 4 weeks, we can review and plan the next steps.

Please weigh yourself each week, and record your weight, so that you can track your progress.
I will not ask you for the figures, so do not feel shy 🙂

All the best!

Some links for you
http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-weight/best-weight-loss-diet/
http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-weight/weight-loss-study/
http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/staying-active/tips-for-getting-exercise-into-your-life/

The Hill Wins!

I mentioned before that we moved to a new area. Soon after, I went on an exploratory run, to see where I could be doing my sprints. I was glad to find that there were plenty of hilly stretches. Some had a few more cars than I would like. I then found one that had a reasonably steep hill, and relatively low traffic (at least on Sunday mornings). Excellent.

(Hill sprints are great for fat loss, so I was glad to have an opportunity to include them in my regular workouts).

I have had some sprint sessions on that hill. They have been tough! So far, I have been unable to run up the entire ascent of the hill (Maybe I did yesterday on my first run up, but I am not sure). My form simply breaks down towards the top. Looking at Google Maps, I think the distance I cover while still running is about 95 metres.

Image courtesy of mapichai/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Yesterday was Sunday. I got up early and prepared to go take on the hill. I had skipped my sprints the Sunday before and I did not want to do that again. So away I went, with my recently installed cell phone timer ticking away.

I did my first hill sprint and it seemed okay. Rest. Another sprint, rest, then another. Tough, but not unusual. Then I decided to start heading back home, and complete the remaining sprints as I go. I normally do eight sprints per session. I had done seven (or maybe six).

Walking home, I felt weak. I sat down. I wanted to throw up. I had read articles about exercising until you feel like throwing up, but I had not experienced it. I rested a bit, then got up and tried to walk on home. I still felt weak. I sat down again.

I sat there for a few minutes, feeling sick. But I recovered, since there really was nothing wrong with me, just that either I had been lazy with the sprints over time, or I had pushed a bit too hard this time. I suspect that the timer I was using had made be more strict with my work and rest timings, and consequently I was working harder.

So this time the hill won. I did not do my eighth sprint. I walked a while, jogged a while, walked some more and got home safely. I will try again on Sunday.

How To Lose Weight

How To Lose Weight

Image courtesy of maya/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This article should actually be called ‘How To Lose Fat.’ Your body weight includes the weight of your muscles, and you generally do not want to lose muscle. I used the phrase ‘lose weight’ because that is what most people say when they talk about losing body fat.
If you want to simply lose any weight from your body, then that is fairly straight-forward. Just eat less and less, and your weight will drop. However, you will also probably become unhealthy if you eat less nutrients than your body needs.
Losing fat, on the other hand, is slightly more challenging, but the steps are also quite well known: Eat less, exercise more.
I will phrase that slighly differently and say, eat less and move more.

Eat Less
If you have some additional body fat, then it means your body converted some of the food you ate to fat and stored it for later use. It means you ate food that got converted into energy that the body did not need at the time, so it got stored. It is the same concept that animals use when they hibernate. They eat lots of food, it is stored as fat, and their bodies use these stores to keep their bodies functioning while the animals are asleep and not hunting and eating, during the winter period. The problem with humans is that we eat food, it is stored as fat, but we do not stop eating and hibernate. We just keep on eating more food, and more gets stored. So the goal is to not eat so much that some has to be stored, but eat only as much as our bodies need.

It is important to state that what you eat is perhaps more important than how much you eat. To put it simply, eat less carbohydrates (these are usually white foods – bread, rice, potatoes, pasta) and eat more green vegetables and also more proteins – eggs, meat, beans.

Move More
I replaced the word ‘exercise’ with ‘move’, so that we do not get stuck thinking we can only benefit by blocking out some time in our schedule, changing into exercise clothes and then doing some specific exercises. Doing all that is good, but the whole point of exercise is to burn calories and strengthen and build muscle. We burn some calories whenever we move. Such movement can be walking to the shop, gardening, dancing, mowing the lawn, carrying our shopping into the house and so on. All that is movement that burns calories. If you want to lose weight, then you want to burn some of the calories that have been stored earlier. Moving more gives your body a reason to burn up these calories. Of course, this will only work if you are also eating just enough for your needs. If you eat more than you need, then the calories burnt by moving more will only be replaced by the excess food you eat.

So, move more: walk more, take the stairs, start an exercise program, take up a sport. If you want to really accelerate your fat loss, then you could look into high intensity interval training.

So plan how you will eat less and how you will move more, and the fat will come off. This is a very summarised article on this subject, but it addresses the basic concepts of fat loss.