Experiment Fatso

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Day 10

I've got the camera last night. So here goes the weekly update.

Week One

Weight: I just woke up, so i'll check later on.
Height: 180 cms
Chest: 103 cms (+2 since week zero / + 2 since last week)
Belly: 98 cms (-2 since week zero / - 2 since last week)
Waist: 95 cms (-1 since week zero / -1 since last week)
Butt: 108 cms (-3.5 since week zero / -3.5 since last week)
Thighs: 62 (-3 since week zero / -3 since last week)

Let's take a look at this. All measures are very, very home made: i take an usb wire, put it around the area and then measure it against a wooden measuring thingy used for painting. Not NASA style, clearly, so you can obviously expect a + 2, - 2 cms of error in most measures.

So the chest seems to be 2 cms broader. Good, but bleh. Could be an error could be a slight increase in lean tissue.
The belly turned out a little disappointing. I would have expected over 3 cms less, but 2 is still good. I want to emphasize that i DO feel much thinner already. And although the measures don't fully agree with how i feel, this goes a long way motivation-wise.
The waist ... well, to be perfectly honest i'm not quite sure where exactly it is that i measured my waist. 1 cm less means nothing. That goes up or down easy, thanks to fluids alone, so nothing to be particularly happy about.
The butt, my fattest area. God, that's a NO FUN LINE for me to write. 3.5 cms less. Now that's progress! Although i know cardio exercise burns fat homogeneously all over the body, all the training i do involves a lot of leg effort, so i can't stop thinking that this is, somehow, understandable.
Thighs, another big progress. 3 cms less is a LOT in 65 (the first measure). Good for me.



Front




Side




Seated - Front




Seated - Side




What I see


Quite hard leaving suggestion aside, but i do believe i see minor improvements. Specially in the Front pic.

Day 10

Ok, i'd like to talk about a bunch of things today. Training and supplement related.

Let's start with training. First, i ran into an ebook, titled Smart Training, by a quite respected yank trainer named Pete Sisco. Sisco claims that the main problem with nowadays training is the lack of resting time. People don't understand that muscle doesn't grow until fully rested, and thus continue training, never allowing the muscle to fully develope its potential. Here comes the crazy. This guy's program suggests, in a tiny, tiny nutshell, that training should occur twice a week for the first month, then once every 10 days, then once every two weeks, later once a month and SO ON! It's nuts, you say, but the man has tested his method with people very, very reluctant to agree on such crazy, bummy method and the results, he claims, were simply awesome.

Now, this guy earned his reputation with methods that involve minimum to no motion (static contraction) at all during repetitions and hughe weights. The results seem to have been really good. So far, a massive and conclusive study is yet to be conducted, but Sisco claims that in his studies the results were short of incredible. He conducted a minor study on some skinny golfers, putting them to train something like 2 mins per week (isomeric training: no motion, just holding the bar with maximum weight) for some eight weeks and the before and after speak for themselves. The golfers were stronger, could lift much heavier weights, could shoot much longer and the muscle improvment was obvious on their bodies. With less than 10 minutes of workout, for fuck's sake!

I want to be like Mulder, i want to believe, but it's hard for me to go to the gym for 66 seconds a week and expect realistic results. Many people in the "muscle world" are, although skeptic, keeping an eye on this program cause if some big, bad-ass study really proves what Sisco claims, this method will force the re-writing of all books on training.

I don't want to waste a minute, much less months in trying something that normally i would look down to as "bullshit", knowing that i could have trained hard and i could have achieved realistic results ... but, oh, if this is true! So, the bottom-line is: i will try it. Not right now, no, because it's a very, very intensive type of training and i've not developed enough muscle for this method to be safe for me, at the time being. So i'll work out one or two months and then i'll switch. Still, i've decided to train my resistance routine. Here goes why:

After a lot of reading, i realized my routine was very crappy. Perhaps alright for one or two weeks, just to accostum the body to the physical effort, but afterwards it adds nothing. Nothing. And what i read that was a real eye-opener was: resistance training (weight-lifting) has a much higher Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) than aerobic training. Meaning: your metabolism remains accelerated (thus, burning more fat) for a longer and more intense period of time. So the creation of new lean tissue goes hand in hand with the loss of weight. Not only because you can transform fat into muscle, but because you continue to burn more calories while watching tv, in your couch, than you would with only aerobic exercise.

I didn't know this and it is pretty fucking important! I doubt that most people know this. So, i decided to switch to my old routine, a variation of the austrian method, which focuses on a low number of reps but with maximum weight. This routine, that paid-off BIG for me, some 3 years ago (i wish i had a picture of back then, to put it next to the more recent fatso ones ... although i might wanna shoot myself afterwards), is time-efficient and exhausts each set of muscles only once a week. You work one large muscle set with one small one, starting always with the larger cause you have more energy at first; monday, tuesday and wednesday. Thursdays is for legs only, but at the current time, with the monstrous effort i'm making on the treadmill, is pointless for me.

So it goes like this:

Monday: pectorals (3 sets with low reps of bench-press; then same but on inclined bench and last curls with dumbbells) and biceps (3 sets of curls with straight bar, standing; then 3 sets with lower poley and finally 3 sets in the scott-bench).

Tuesday: back (3 sets of pulls behind the neck on machine; then 3 sets of pull-over on bench and last 3 sets of pulls on rowing machine, for the lower lats) and triceps (3 sets of pulls in upper poley; then 3 behind the neck with dumbbell and last 3 sets of pushes, laying on bench, with dumbbells, alternating one arm each).

Wednesday: shoulders (3 sets of lateral flies with dumbbells, 3 sets on "shoulder machine" and 3 sets, seated, with straight bar) and abdominals (9 sets, not quite determined, but starting always from the weaker parts: the lower and lat abs).

Now, if you're a gym rat, you'll notice that i may have pulled-off some fictitious names for these exercises ... sorry about that! I've no idea what the real names of these exercises are. If anyone really wants to get a hold of this routine, properly explained and with pics, don't hesitate to mail me. I can guarantee you this works out great. No more than 40 mins a day. Absolute exhaustion of the muscle, great resting time.

Enough with the training. Let's talk about the second thing that called my attention: drugs.

I always believed that engaging in a weight-loss program without the aid of a fat-burner was plain a simply dumb. It's a no brainer. They help accelerate your metabolism, your recovery times and increase your thermogenesis. Boy was i wrong.

After a little reading, i realized my Ripped Max, by Gaspari "Shitty Products" Nutrition, was 100 % crap. Useless to the very last pop. I got it cause it was cheap, ephedra free and had L-carnitine. Well some myths have gone down the drain in the past couple of years and with it, L-Carnitine. A healthy drug, that helps prevent heart diseases and has a number of positive effects on general health, but absolutely no proven relation to fat-burning whatsoever. They sell L-Carnitine products at my gym as if it was the messiah of fat-burning. Researchers laugh at it and sigh, seeing how the multimedia and the big companies fill their pockets.

Let's understand this: yanks are horribly, horribly fat. And the fat-burners biz moves some 2 billion dollars a year in that country. It's a niche begging for more and more "miracle" products. And so the bullshit starts to flow. Oceans of it.

After reading Diet Supplements Revealed, by William D. Brink (a guy that's been on the subject of many years), i came to the conclusion that most (MOST) of the products out there are crap. And allow me to give you an ultra-compact summary on the conclusions in that book:

What works:

* Ephedra/Caffein formulas
* Oils: Fish, Flax, Udo's
* Green Tea extracts
* Guggle/Phosphate (Tyrolean)
* Tyrosine

What's bullshit or remains not quite conclusive

* The rest
* The rest
* The rest
* The rest
* The rest

Categoric, huh. I felt pretty dumb after reading that book. So i decided, despite it's bad reputation, to go with some ephedra/caffein cocktail for one or two months and then switch to a more natural ephedra-free product and/or oils. The oils are a must for me, since i'm vegetarian and the lack of omega-3 and omega-6 is blatant in me.

Alright, before i take-off to the gym, i'd like to refer you to some sort of "sibling" blog: Slaying the Fat Monster, a pretty complete blog about anti-fatsoism, packed with info and nice posts. So go!

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Alright, i just got back from the gym. I've had my best performane so far. I trained pectorals and biceps till failure (they almost fell off) and then i did my cardio for 65 minutes. 35 of them in the treadmill !

I sweated my ass off. Excuse my french, but my t-shirt was outrageously soaked and smelling like rotten camels. Beautiful ! :)

Now, why such a good performance? This may be due to any, or both, of these factors: long sleep (i really needed it) and the different fat-burner i started using just today: Lean System 7.

I won't discover anything new but mentioning the importance of good sleep, so this clearly must have added to the equation. Even more if we take into account yesterday's day off.

But i'm curious as to whether my first sitting of LS7 could have caused such a positive impact. The recommended dose is 3 capsules, twice a day: 3 before meals and/or training. I had 3 before eating and only about an hour later i took-off to the gym and had the other 3. Maybe it's because i had the whole 6 in such a short period of time, maybe they just work very well, maybe this has nothing or not much to do with today's performance. Go wonder. I'll stick to them (i had an almost full bottle from last year) until i run out. If i perceive any more positive effects, i'll stick to them, otherwise i'll buy some ephedra/caffein product, which is the most reliable of all out there.

Tomorrow i'll keep ranting about the two most overlooked and underestimated allies in the fatso war: stretching and water.

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