HASfit Workout and Pull-ups

On Friday last week, I was to perform the workout for Day 18 of Max Capacity Training. Day 18 follows the Time Attack protocol, in which you are to perform a certain number of reps per exercise, based on what you recorded for those exercises in previous workouts. There is no time limit. I think some previous versions of the app had the usual 16 minutes as the time limit for the Time Attack.

I started the workout, but I soon faced two problems:
1) I realised that I was not really pushing myself and I was taking long breaks
2) My phone was running out of charge, and I did not want to go and get its charger.

So I decided to get a follow-along workout on YouTube, similar to some I had seen before.
So I got my other device, opened YouTube and searched for ’20 minute workout.’ A number of results came up and I picked the one below.

It was intense! It was fun! By the end of the workout, I was sweating profusely.
I liked the intensity of the workout and the fact that there was an easier and a harder variation of each exercise (I did the tougher one, of course ๐Ÿ™‚ ). It was also quite easy to follow. I subscribed to the Hasfit channel after the workout.

So I had an excellent workout after all.

On Saturday, in the first set of the pull-up program, I was able to do 17 pull-ups! This is my best performance since April 2014!

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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/

Return Of The Max

Apart from working towards 20 pull-ups, I have not really been exercising in an organised manner. So on Thursday this week, I again started on Week 1 Day 1 of Max Capacity Training, using the app. You can read my review of the app here.

The first workout has common exercises: squats, pushups, lunges and plank. The 16-minute workoutย  was tough! By the time I was done, I was sweating! I had expected that, though and I was glad to finally be following a systematic plan.

I hope I pursue it to the end this time. I expect to get stronger and to lose some fat in the process.

Pushup
https://pixabay.com/en/users/Hans-2/

If you are not following any workout plan, I suggest you get one. You can try Max Capacity Training, or the 7-Minute app that I reviewed here, or any other plan that is challenging and gradually increases what it demands from you.

Keep working out!

Pull-Up Rest Between Sets

Yesterday, I continued my pull-up workout. I decided to go to Week 13 of the Recon Ron Pull-up program, which specifies sets of 14, 10, 8, 8 and 8 pull-ups.

I managed to do the first 14 successfully, without getting off the bar. I was pleased with that, since at my last attempt, I had managed 13. So this was progress.

My timer was set to about 2 and a half minutes of rest. The next set did not go too well. I did 6 pull-ups, then 1, then 2, then 1 more, to make up the required 10.

I paused the timer at some point and went to do other things, which meant that I rested longer than the set two and a half minutes.

When I came back, I was able to do the required 8 pull-ups straight, plus an extra 2. My grip had one hand facing me and another facing away.

In the next set, I did the required 8, then added two more to match the previous set, since my grip was now the reverse of the previous set.

In the final set, I did 8 pull-ups.

These events made me interested in how much rest I should have between sets and I did a little research on the Internet. You can read the articles in the links below, but in summary and generally speaking (and in the context of pull-ups), I found that for strength, you need longer rest ( 3 to 5 minutes) between sets and for muscle growth, you need shorter rest (1 to 3 minutes).

I then adjusted my timer’s rest periods for the pull-ups workout to 3 minutes.

Keep working out!

http://www.mensfitness.com/training/pro-tips/trainer-qa-how-much-should-i-rest-between-sets

How Long To Rest Between Sets & Exercises โ€“ Workout Rest Times

About Distance Running and Pullup Progress

Last month (October), the Nairobi Marathon was held. I have not participated for two years now. I sent a congratulatory message on Facebook to those who ran. Turns out a number of my friends did not run this year either, though a number of others did run. Maybe next year I will run, just for the challenge and to improve my time.

I once read an article that pointed out that it is only human beings that engage in distance running. Animals in the wild run to catch food, to avoid being caught, or to play. All this running is normally relatively short distance sprints (especially if the animal is about to be eaten). Animals sometimes play by chasing each other in small areas, and the movement is somewhat similar to various ball games that humans play like soccer or basketball. Such playing involve short runs and turning this way and that, and not continuous running for a long time. In other words, long-distance running isn’t really natural. Long-distance running also often comes with injuries . In fact, two avid distance-runners that I know have been off running for a while now due to injuries. For fat loss and fitness, high-intensity interval training, such as sprints, are more effective than distance running. However, like I mentioned, I may participate in next year’s run just for the challenge and to be part of something big.

As for my pullups, I was away from home for a few nights and my pullups stalled a bit, but I resumed. I did the Week 9 workout of the Recon Ron program. I completed the first three sets without getting off the bar, but had to get off during the last two sets. I was about 4 weeks behind schedule.

On Friday the 13th I did Week 11 and on Monday the 16th, I did the Week 13 workout. I am now about two weeks behind schedule. I think I will be able to get back on track and achieve 20 pullups before this year ends.

Renewed Goal of Twenty Pullups

I have decided to again go after my goal of 20 pullups. I intend to achieve this goal by the end of December 2015. I think the reason I did not succeed the last time was simply that I did not have sufficient motivation. This time, I have two things motivating me:

One is the realisation that time is passing by and I should not keep on putting off my goals, or else I will one day realise that the window of opportunity has closed or narrowed considerably. (This realisation seems to dawn on many people when they turn 40, like I did in 2014).

The second thing motivating me is that I’d like to blog more on pullups and I think actually getting to do 20 pullups myself will give credibility to what I say.

 

So I have been doing pullups, following my favourite program, the Recon Ron Pullup Program. Counting backwards from the last week of December 2015, I saw that I would need to start at Week 7 of the program, so I did. That was the week of 21st September.

Today, I was able to do the sets for week 7 as specified (10, 8, 6, 6,6). I’m supposed to be on Week 9, but I was still quite pleased.

 

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.

20 Pullups Progress Update

After deciding to prepare to do 20 pullups straight on my birthday, I have not been consistent in my pull-ups. (Yeah, what’s new?). Today I decided to do some, before things get too far out of hand. I thought I had reached Week 13 on the Recon Ron Program. When I counted backwards on the calendar from the week of my birthday (Sep 11th), I realised that I am supposed to be on Week 15.

However, I did the Week 13 pullups as specified (14-10-8-8-8) without breaking any set, so I was happy about that. I think on Wednesday I will jump to Week 14 and hopefully on Friday I will be able to take on Week 15. So this week or next week I should be back on track to doing 20 pullups straight on my 40th birthday.

A US Marine Doing Pull-ups.

A US Marine Doing Pull-ups. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Keep working out!