Gym Rest Timer

One of the things that has thrown a spanner in the works of my body-weight based fat loss program is weight training.

I have been doing lots of it. And added a good bit of strength, and therefore muscle, and therefore fat free weight.

So if I weigh the same, but can lift more weight, have I lost any fat? Yes as it turns out.

One key element to weight training is controlling rest breaks between sets.  If I am pushing hard I might need to take 2 or 3 minutes, but on a lighter day I can recover enough in 60 seconds.

I have been using this Gym Rest Timer app (for Android devices only), every session.

Prior to that I was just kind of guessing or using my (unwieldy) phone clock. I failed quite a few sets because I probably didn’t have enough rest. And a few times my weights session seemed to last hours – probably due to much too long rest breaks.

Anyway my new app is super simple to use, at the end of a set I decide how hard it was, easy: 60 or 90 secs rest, hard: 2 mins, killer: 3 mins, didnt finish: 5 mins. Click the button, chill and wait for the beep.

GRTvertsml

Check it out.

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still here

just…

Still fatter than I would like, still heavier than I want.

But I am stronger and fitter (aerobically) than ever so that’s good. Still all covered with a (too thick) layer of lard…

I have been doing quite a bit of weight training – I really enjoy it, and find it easy to stick to the program. I have not managed to combine it with any significant reduction in calories though, so little fat loss. Good strength improvements though, and cardio gains.

Current weight 88kg, fat 28%.

But I can squat 90kg, bench 80 and press 70.

I am now trying a ‘cut’ for a couple of weeks, we’ll see how that goes. I can exercise for England but dieting is most def not my forte.

Early Feb update

Just had a weekend in the mountains, and rather than risk feeling faint from hunger miles from humanity, I let myself go. Nothing massive just a bit of junk here and there.

Sadly I’m nowhere near any scales so I can’t assess the impact. On the plus side I’ve done plenty of tiring exercise, on the downside I ate a bunch of crisps and chocolate and junk. In the absence of any evidence I guess I’ll have to call it a draw.

I’m back to the strict diet now though with even more determination I was shocked at how hard the skiing was – and I’m still 10kg/22lbs over what I used to be the last time I skied. I can still feel that extra load in my calves and thighs. I’ll probably still be aching next weekend.

It was good fun though – well worth the effort before and the pain after (assuming that ends in the next day or two!

Update Jan 09

Sorry for not posting for so long – hardly the 2-3 posts per week I initially had in mind..

Anyway my normal reason for not posting is not wanting to remind myself how poorly things are going. But this time that is not the case.

I havent weighed myself for a few days but I reckon I am probably around

81 kg = 179 lbs = 12 stone 11 lbs

Which is a decent loss from my Christmas highs of over

91 kg = 201 lbs = 14 stone 5 lbs

!!

(I havent done my fat measurements for a while – I’ll update when I get chance)

The best thing of all though is that I feel on a roll. I have no (well not too much ;-)) desire to eat the sort of crap that got me in this state.

Not only that but I have been out running a few times – The difference from trying to run carring 10 kilos more is just what you would expect if you picked up a 4 year old child and carted them round with you, then put them down and tried again.

No big secrets or tricks – I am just eating a lot less, and mainly fruit, and doing a minimum of 1 hour of some sort of exercise (Walking/running mainly).

Thats the physical, they key is the motivational though. I’m working away at the moment so I have lots of free time and few temptations. I am also planning to do some skiing this winter and I know I’ll enjoy that so much more if I’m not carrying a rucksacs worth of lard. (Weight limit on the plane in 20kg in the hold – I was 20 kg over my healthy weight!). I do have the odd night off. I have promised myself a few treats if I manage to keep going, though this has never really worked in the past. Being in a hotel without room service (and not near a 24 hr garage) all week is probably the biggest factor!

I feel pretty confident that I can keep this up for another few weeks, if not longer and so that dim distant memory of sub 80kg may be a reality soon. Yahoo!

If that ends up being two years later than planned thats still more on schedule than some of my other projects.

If you are having the same battles then stick with it – I feel loads better for losing some fat.

Summer Time

Summer time just started for us – now its light enough to go out and do something active right up till gone 8pm.

There goes that excuse!

I should be able to get out for a ride after the kids have gone to bed from now until autumn. Assuming I can clear up a couple of niggling injuries.

Climate factors

In much of the health debate the focus is on food. References to exercise are vacuous at best.

What they conveniently ignore is the weather and the seasons. In the UK we get a lot of rain. Thats great for some sports but for many its a major turn off. In our winter its dark by 4pm, so any winter activity will need some sort of lighting.

Whilst the government glibly tells us we need 5 sessions of 30 minutes of moderate activity a week to stay healthy, they show no signs of making that realistically possible.

My kids play football on a floodlit ‘all weather pitch’. So far this winter their training has been cancelled 3 times because of the rain, and twice because of frost. Hardly all weather!

I don’t know where the nearest covered venue is, but I can see unless we get more proper weather proof venues the general health of the nation is likely to decline even further.

One option to help with the lighting issue might be to insist companies give staff a 2 hour break during the day to get out and be active. In fairness most places I have worked didn’t care how long we took for dinner as long as we made the time up and the work got done.

For the last few years I have noticed I have made a significant ‘get fit’ effort in the spring, pretty much as soon as the clocks change (next week for us).

Do you think weather is a factor in health/fatness?

Buzzing

Not sure quite what has changed, but for weeks (/months) my exercising has been a bit of a slog. Quite pleasant, but easy to avoid.

Yesterday and today I have done longer sessions and have come back buzzing each time. I’m up to about 15 minutes running and about 40 minutes biking. One possible difference is I am doing them back to back, I go for a run, then jump straight on my bike after. It ends up as not far off a full hour of decent intensity aerobic exercise. I tried it the other way round – ride then run, the run nearly killed me. As riding is easier it makes sense to do that when I’m tired after the run.

I assume something has happened to get the ‘runners high’ to kick in, but the main thing is its a great feeling and I’m hoping I can use it to encourage me out on those dark dreary days. I suspect it is the length of session that gets the endorphins going. I don’t think I could do long enough in any one activity, but combining them seems to work well – lets see what happens tomorrow.

Yesterday I rode to the woods, hid my bike then went for a run. This worked great until I couldn’t find my bike after the run. Predictable of course, I found it eventually, I’ll need to be a little smarter next time!

I’m not worrying about food, just trying to not go daft. We are on holidays for a few days soon though and generally that kills any thought of sensible eating.