A couple of weeks ago, I finished up Round 3 of my Bigger Leaner Stronger workouts. Halfway through, it appeared that my weight was stagnating and I wasn’t losing body fat that I’d hoped. While I had seen the scale get down a couple of pounds, it’d shoot right back up another three pounds a couple of days later. I assumed most of this was water weight fluctuations, but I hadn’t been playing much hockey as of late as for some reason my league decided to go on a month long hiatus from my team. NO, I wasn’t suspended. I typically lose quite a bit of water weight as seen on Monday mornings after my hockey games and the body fat percentage goes down.

Starting Numbers

Weight168.2 lbs
BF%16.6%
Muscle Mass%42.9%

The last time I checked in

Round 4 – Week 2 Workouts

Monday – Chest
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Incline Bench 185 x 5 185 x 4 185 x 4
Flat Bench 205 x 3 195 x 4 195 x 4
Incline Dmbl (2 x 65lbs) x 6 (2 x 75lbs) x 8 (2 x 75lbs) x 8
Cable Flies
(low, mid, up)
25 x 18 25 x 18 25 x 18
Ab Circuit 15 Ab Rollers
15 Medicine Ball Twist
15 Crunches
Tuesday – Back
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Weighted Pullup 45 x 6 55 x 5 55 x 5
Barbell Row 165 x 6 175 x 6 175 x 6
Cable Row 165 x 8 180 x 6 180 x 6
Dbl Shrug 80s x 10 80s x 10 80s x 10
Calf Circuit (in, out, mid) 155 x 18 165 x 18 165 x 18
Wednesday – Shoulders
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Bar Standing Press 125 x 5 125 x 5 125 x 3
Dmbl Front Raise 30 x 8 30 x 8 30 x 8
Dmbl Lateral Raise 25 x 6 20 x 10 20 x 10
Dbl Shrug 80s x 10 80s x 10 80s x 10
Ab Circuit 15 Ab Rollers
15 Medicine Ball Twist
15 Crunches
Thursday – Legs
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Squats 225 x 6 225 x 6 225 x 6
Romanian Deadlift 245 x 6 255 x 6 265 x 6
Leg Press 540 x 6 540 x 6 540 x 6
Calf Circuit * 280 x 10 – 115 x 8 280 x 10 – 115 x 8 280 x 10 – 115 x 8
*Leg Press calf raises and seated calf raises
Friday – Upper Body
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Incline Barbell Press 155 x 10 155 x 10 155 x 10
Barbell Curl 105 x 6 105 x 6 105 x 6
Close Grip Press 135 x 8 145 x 8 155 x 6
Dumbbell Curls 40s x 6 45s x 6 50s x 5
Skull Crushers 95 x 6 95 x 6 95 x 6
Ab Circuit 15 Ab Rollers
15 Medicine Ball Twist
15 Crunches
Saturday – HIIT

HIIT – 25min – 15sec run 45sec walk

Sunday – Hockey

Weight Stagnation

After Round 3 of my workouts and dieting, my body weight seemed to stagnate. I remained around ~169lbs. I felt I was getting everything in cardio and moving enough throughout the week. I should be dropping half to a full pound a week. If you have experienced this, this is the point where frustration may dig it’s ugly claws into your hard work and goals and pinch you hard enough to quit. In my own head, I’m not content with what was happening, and I think, “well this is how it is”. NO, I’m going to figure this out!

It’s a pretty simple equation to losing weight. Calories out must be greater than calories going into the body. So what could I change?

I was doing 15 minutes of HIIT training twice a week, and playing hockey once a week as well. I even joined a number of work week challenges with friends on FitBit, so I was averaging about 15,000 steps a day.

It was as easy as this.

I looked at my diet plan and asked, where can I cut a few calories. What do I dislike the most in my current diet?

Around 3:30 or 4 o’clock everyday at work, I’ll sit down for a snack. This is probably my least favorite snack of my day because of one food item, tuna. A can of Sunkist Tuna is the one hundred calories I could cut easily from my diet. That’s it, one hundred calories no longer in my diet plan.

Final Numbers

I’m happy to report the change in plan has worked.

Weight – 165.4lbs
BF% – 16.1%
MM% – 43.3%

Tom Brady capped off the 2016 NFL season in arguably one of the best Super Bowls in NFL history. After overcoming a twenty-five point deficit, he lead the Patriots to an overtime victory. As exciting as this Super Bowl was, this excitement exists in every hockey game played. Below are my top five reasons Hockey is the greatest sport on the planet.

1. Chaos and Beauty

In the early-mid 1990s, Fox Sports introduced the glow puck. Hockey expanded to Southern markets exposing new viewers to what can be chaotic unforeseen bounces of the puck. In a low-definition era of television, tracking the puck to the casual viewer made it difficult. Even on the ice, scrambles and losing sight of the puck cause players, referees, and fans to pause. Three years ago I was fortunate to catch this Red Wings highlight of Nick Kronwall scoring a goal that deflected up into the netting, bounced off of it to Johnathan Quick’s back, and went into the net.

The other side of the game shows just how skilled hockey players can be. With the stick handling of Pavel Datsyuk, Patrick Kane, and Rick Nash shows just how smooth you have to be to handle the puck. Patrick Kane shows his puck handling abilities are in the video below. There’s another, non-NHL player, to watch for stick handling. Pavel Barber provides stick handling drills and creativity unseen elsewhere.

2. Checking/Hitting

With the lack of friction on ice versus a football field, hockey players can skate up to 25+/mph. The speed at which players are flying around the ice can lead to spectacular collisions. Personally, being a shorter person, I enjoy watching taller players flip over after a good hip check.

If hip checks aren’t your flavor, and you enjoy more open ice hits:

Sometimes they go through the glass:

3. Hockey Players Police Themselves

Hockey can be a dangerous sport. Sticks come up, bodies thrown into the walls, and trash talk can send any player to dropping the gloves and starting a fight. Refereees, as good as some of them can be, can’t catch everything in an instance of a play. Star players getting slashed with no recognition can warrant an all out ass kicking. While I’m not sure if the Calgary Flames retaliated for this, Johnny Guedreu hands were slashed eleven times:

Or, in the playoffs the season before, a player checks another player from behind into the boards causing serious face fractures. After a season to boil over, this happens:

4. Athletic Ability

Brendan Shanahan sums it up best about the amount of athletic ability hockey takes.

“Is hockey hard? I don’t know, you tell me. We need to have the strength and power of a football player, the stamina of a marathon runner, and the concentration of a brain surgeon. But we need to put all this together while moving at high speeds on a cold and slippery surface while 5 other guys use clubs to try and kill us. Oh yeah, did I mention that this whole time we’re standing on blades 1/8 of an inch thick? Is ice hockey hard? I don’t know, you tell me. Next question.”

To add to Shanahan’s quote, try doing thirty minutes of HIIT training with a minute on as hard as you can and then two minutes rest. Next, while going at full speed on a slippery surface, try keeping your head looking forward while keeping 3″ diameter disc in control with your hockey stick. Remember, people will be trying to collide with you in order gain possession of that disc. Now, if you can do those things, remember those 1/8″ blade of steel? Hopefully you tied your skates tight enough so your ankles don’t bend and your blades are sharpened. If you don’t have those couple of things assured, you may find yourself slow, unable to turn, and falling over constantly. Remember that 3″ diameter disc, not that you’re close enough, a shot that barely goes faster than you can skate isn’t going to suffice, although there are exceptions.

Here’s some of the best “dangles” you’ll see to showcase this athleticism.

5. NHL Playoffs Are the Best Sports Tournament

Since I’ve been watching professional hockey in the 1990’s, I’ve been spoiled to have a team to have a chance at winning hockey’s ultimate chalice, the Stanley Cup, twenty-five years in a row. This isn’t saying that March Madenss doesn’t have it’s qualities of excitement and drama. The NHL playoffs offer this every single game through a grueling two month battle that extends hockey season into the month of June. All while during this two month battle, players battle through pretty serious injuries. Steve Yzerman, long time captain of the Detroit Red Wings, in the 2002 playoffs battled a serious knee issue. Every Red Wings fan winced after Yzerman would fall and watch him get back up using his hockey stick to help push himself back to his skates. Patrice Burgeron has his own slew of injuries in the 2013 playoffs.

“Boston fans didn’t know it beforehand, but Bergeron played with a broken rib and torn cartilage. During the sixth game, he also suffered a separated shoulder. It was also revealed that he sustained a small puncture in his lung, which Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe reports was caused by the fractured rib or a nerve-blocking injection.”

In the end, your admiration on their dedication for this tournament, hockey, and team is unlike any other in sports.

Through all the injuries, the four rounds of best of seven series, teams can NEVER be discounted in any game. In the NHL there’s more parity between teams, and therefore you can have a team like the Los Angeles Kings of 2012 and 2014 be a bottom seeded team coming into the playoffs and make a run to win the finals. In order to make those sort of runs, Game 7 overtime magic is needed.

Bonus

The NHL Playoffs are by far the best tournament, but today, February 22nd, marks the anniversary of the Miracle On Ice of the United States beating the Soviet Union to go onto the Gold Medal. The surrounding battling political philosophies and titans of the world made this more than a hockey game at it’s time. What’s more, the Soviet Union’s team were basically professional hockey players, playing NHL all-star teams and beating them. A young group of college aged kids, 22 on average, out worked this Soviet Union Army Hockey team in arguably the best hockey game played.

Anything I left off that makes hockey the best sport on the planet? Leave your comments below.

Accountabilibuddies

Starting the week of Christmas, I started round three of Bigger Leaner Stronger workouts. Over this period extending into New Year, a fraternity brother of mine decided he has the goal of dropping forty pounds within five months. With that goal in mind, I’ve become an accountabilibuddy for now a morning routine. With extra push from someone and a bit of a safety net, my lifts are getting better and my form isn’t suffering from my own mental barriers.

Keeping Busy

While I haven’t blogged in awhile, I’ve been busy working on an application to better help track workouts. I’ve been frustrated with the workout apps that force you into a path, don’t remember your previous performance on a particular exercise, and doesn’t store your performances in a central location. If you’re interested in helping, or feel there are certain features missing in your experiences of your tracker, please email me at paul@swollbro.com.

Another Tracking Device

A couple of years ago, I purchased the FitBit Flex. After trying to charge it once it again, it finally became useless. Seeing that the Charge 2 was decently price, and I recently had a birthday, I decided to purchase this device. I’ll post a complete review of it later as I scroll through all the functionality, but so far I’m pleased with it. Also, if you want to compete, look me up via paul@swollbro.com.

With a Heavy Heart – Veterans and Mental Health

While I’ve been keeping busy with my family, playing around with the Charge 2, hockey, and becoming an accountabilibuddy, the world churns around me. This past week, I was blessed to see many friends, but unfortunately in the worst of contexts. My friends and I were saying goodbye to a fraternity brother of ours. A veteran of the Air Force, fighting the conflict with ISIS, battled with PTSD and took circumstances into his own hands. I’ve heard this story many times, but it never came this close to home. Twenty-two veterans a day are taking their lives.

Another classmate of mine, a veteran while battling cancer, had a similar story battling with PTSD. In his dying wishes, he took his message to combat veteran suicide with Carry the Fallen, completing many rucks weakened by cancer. If you have it in your heart, I urge you to donate. Our service men and women protect us and put themselves in harms way. Our veterans have seen and experienced actions many of us civilians will never encounter. If you find it in your heart, please hear Justin’s Message and consider donating to Active Heroes.

Last Time I Checked In

Round 2 – What Has Become Habit From Routine

  • Weight – 169.6lbs
  • BF% – 17%
  • Muscle Mass – 42.9%

Round 3 – Week 4 Workout

Monday – Legs/HIIT
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Squat 235 x 6 235 x 6 205 x 6
Deadlift 275 x 6 275 x 4 275 x 6
Barbell Lunges 175 x 6 175 x 6 175 x 6
HIIT 10:00 of box jumps
Tuesday – Shoulders/Back
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Barbell Rows 185 x 6 185 x 6 185 x 6
Weighted Wide Grip Pull Up 30 x 6 30 x 6 30 x 6
Standing Military Press 125 x 6 125 x 5 135 x 3
Shrugs 225 x 8 225 x 7 225 x 6
Front Raise 30 x 6 30 x 6 30 x 6
Lateral Raise 20 x 6 20 x 6 20 x 6
Wednesday – Biceps/HIIT
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Incline Dumbbell Curl 40 x 6 40 x 6 40 x 6
Barbell Curl 105 x 6 105 x 6 105 x 6
Hammer Dumbbell Curl 50 x 6 50 x 6 50 x 6
HIIT 15:00 sprints 15seconds on / 45 seconds off
Thursday – Chest/Triceps
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Bench Press 205 x 4 205 x 4 205 x 4
Incline Bench Press 185 x 6 185 x 6 185 x 6
Weight Dips 65 x 6 65 x 6 65 x 6
Skull Crushers 85 x 8 85 x 8 85 x 8
Tricep Rope Push Down 65 x 8 65 x 6 65 x 6
Close Grip Bench Press 165 x 5 165 x 6 165 x 6
Friday – Abs/Calves/HIIT
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Ab Circuit 15 x 20 20 x 20 20 x 25
Calf Circuit 155 x 16 155 x 16 155 x 16
HIIT 25:00 of Box Jumps
Sunday – Hockey

Final Results

  • Weight – 168.2lbs
  • BF% – 16.7%
  • Muscle Mass – 43%

Respect Where You Are Through What You’ve Been Through

Six months ago I started a health journey that took me from 26% body fat to where I currently sit at 16.9%. With all the frustration in previous programs, I’m happy to settle with one that is yielding results. As 2017 starts, I’m excited and anticipating the journey ahead to achieve a goal I thought nearly unattainable. The past six months were challenging old habits relentlessly and for a large majority were thwarted. I kept my goals conscious in all my actions. I went to the Wisconsin vs. Michigan game where tailgating ensued and I remained strong and true to my goals.

At times, I found myself excited to get to the gym, while others I felt as if I was going through the motions. Getting my ass in the gym wasn’t close to the toughest part. The dieting and justifications for poor diet habits were the worst part. It wasn’t until I laid out a plan for my macros consistently and consciously providing my body the necessary nutrition to meet my goals did I see changes in my body. I picked foods I normally consumed, but had to cut back or eliminated other foods, primarily beer and foods that pair well with beer. Through these cuts and strategic timed eating, the past six months have provided significant changes.

My Six Month Roadmap to Body Composition Success

My goals in the first six months differed. Mainly my goals in mind, dial in the diet, drink less beer, and stick to the Bigger Leaner Stronger program. If you’ve been keeping tabs on my progress, you’ll know that what I’ve done so far has been successful in terms of body composition. My goals this time around are straight forward and simple. My overall goal is to achieve 10-12% body fat. So how do I get there? How would you get there?

The Roadmap

1. Knowing Where You Are

In order to get where you want to go, you need to know where you are. At the base of this, you’ll need to know your body fat percentage. Here’s a way you can measure your body fat percentage. I’ve gone the lazy way about things and have used my scale to retrieve my body fat percentage. You’ll also need to know how much you weigh, which I’m sure you can figure that out a bit more easily than body fat percentage.

For reference, I’m sitting at 16.9% BF and 168.8 lbs.

2. Calorie Consumption and Macro-Nutrients *

I’m looking to achieve 10-12% body fat over the next six months while keeping up my strength. For my purposes, I’m looking to cut. On muscleforlife.com a handy calorie/macro-nutrient calculator is provided to help dial in your diet. After you have your numbers from the calculator, make a spreadsheet of foods you enjoy and try to closely match your targets from the calculator. Here’s my spreadsheet of foods I enjoy and how I’ve dialed in my diet to help cut. I will note that my dinners typically healthy, but with a family I don’t eat the same thing every evening. How boring on the pallet would that be to eat the same thing every day? For some healthier dinner ideas, my wife and I have used recipes from the the Shredded Chef. We’ve enjoyed the gram cracker encrusted tilapia, protein pudding bars, french toast, muffins, and pork tenderloin.

Timing of your calorie consumption and the macro-nutrients are also important. As a guideline, I typically am a bit carbohydrate heavy before my workout, and protein heavy post workout.

*This is the hardest step in the roadmap. Mainly this is a lifestyle change in every aspect and moment in your life. I often found myself with “justification calories” or “what’s another beer going to hurt” mentality.

3. Weight Training

My weight training regimen will remain the same except, I’ll be working through eight weeks instead of my normal six weeks. For MOST weight training exercises, I’m doing three sets four to six reps. Should I get to six reps, I will increase five pounds per dumbbell or ten pounds be barbell usage. Between each set, I’m waiting two minutes between each set.

4. Cardio

Cardio is limited to three sessions a week and will remain as High Intensity Interval Training sessions. For a mix of cardio activities so I’m not bored, I range from sprints on a treadmill, jumping rope with box jumps, and elliptical intervals. Typically these sessions last 10-25 minutes. If you’re in need of a timer for interval training, I’ve created a HIIT Timer available in the Apple App Store. I also play hockey on Sundays providing the best, and in my opinion MOST FUN, HIIT workout.

Why do I choose HIIT training over longer bouts of cardio? LiveStrong.com has a great explanation of why HIIT training is better than jogging.

Six Month Roadmap Expected Result

With this roadmap above, it is expected that I lose 0.5-1lbs/week. I’m aiming to get my weight down to 159lbs and hopefully that will lead me to my 10% body fat percentage. After this stage has been completed, I will begin a bulk stage which will require more calories and heavier weights. Until then, wish me luck! Happy New Year!

Have questions? Email me at paul@swollbro.com

The Pinnacle of Success Starts With Knowledge

Sunday December 18th, 2016 marks the end of my second round of weight training utilizing the Bigger Leaner Stronger book’s recommendations. Before I started SwollBro.com as my accountabilibuddy, I purchased this book back in April. I took a week from whatever lame, ineffective routines and sloppy dieting riddled my body into its current state, to read this book.

It’s been great! When I first took a reading of my lean body mass, and body fat percentage, my body fat percentage quartered my weight. I needed the knowledge and push in the right direction. While I had a great base for making it to the gym every day, what I lacked was routine of diet. Through many of my experiences now where I wouldn’t hesitate to reach for a beer, my considerations for the calories and the macro-nutrients from the foods my body is absorbing today has changed significantly from the previous six months.

The Sources of Knowledge

Muscle Magazine, US Weekly, crash dieting, “Drop 67lbs in 3 Months!”, these were all magazines and headlines as I stood in the checkout aisle with my wife and two daughters. I couldn’t help but think all those magazines are a cesspool of misinformation and riding on guilty feelings. The “Drop 67lbs in 3 Months!” headline stood out to me the most for a number of reasons:

  1. Do you actually have 67lbs to lose?
  2. Are you starving yourself on this diet, crashing your metabolism?
  3. What are the chances this person, after losing 67lbs, regains it?
  4. If these are the sources of true diet and fitness, why does this need to come out every week or month? I understand not every body type is the same, but some basic guidelines should apply across the board to anyone. If you’re looking at one of these magazines, stop immediately. They are built on guilty feelings and poor advice.

While I wouldn’t normally find any celebrity advice worthwhile, Chris Pratt’s body transformation and candid response on his results are worth a listen.

What, you mean Chris Pratt admits that moving your body, feeding yourself properly would lead to results to which the body would respond. MOST IMPORTANTLY, his results were in EIGHT MONTHS. If you’re struggling, or THINK you’re struggling, remember these things take time and consistency.

Routine Into Habit

After hearing Chris Pratt’s story, I knew consistency was going to be my best friend as it came to turning my routines into habit. Also what I found refreshing, he wasn’t bullshitting about timelines for results. Creating the plan was absolutely necessary on turning these items into my habits. I created a couple of actionable items. Below are mine that I put into spreadsheets.

  1. Create Macro Based Diet of Foods I Like
  2. Generate a High Weight Low Rep Program

Overall, creating actionable items and having a plan will help you significantly no matter what you’re trying to accomplish. Plan out your day for tomorrow and you may find yourself accomplishing your goals more often.

Starting Numbers Week 7

Last Week

  • Weight – 171lbs
  • BF% – 17.6%
  • Muscle Mass – 42.6%

This week I worked on deloading so my lifts were light enough to push through to ten reps.

Deload Results

Monday – Shoulders/Back
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Standing Military Press 95 x 10 95 x 8 95 x 9
Front Raise 25 x 10 30 x 10 30 x 10
Lateral Raise 20 x 10 20 x 10 20 x 10
Weighted Underhand Pullup 0 x 10 25 x 10 25 x 10
Dumbell Row 60 x 10 65 x 10 70 x 10
Shrugs 205 x 10 215 x 10 215 x 10
Tuesday – Legs
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Squat* 185 x 10 195 x 10 195 x 10
Deadlift 155 x 10 185 x 10 185 x 10
Bulgarian Split Squat 70 x 10 70 x 10 70 x 10
HIIT 20:00
Wednesday – Bis\Abs
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Standing Barbell Curl 75 x 10 85 x 10 85 x 10
Incline Dumbbell Curl 35 x 10 35 x 10 35 x 10
Hammer Bar Curl 65 x 10 75 x 10 75 x 10
HIIT 20:00 Intervals on the Elliptical
Thursday – Chest/Tris
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Incline Bench 145 x 10 155 x 10 155 x 10
Flat Bench 155 x 10 165 x 10 155 x 10
Skull Crushers 65 x 10 75 x 10 75 x 10
Dips – Chest Version 25 x 10 25 x 7 0 x 10
Close Grip Bench Press 135 x 8 135 x 8 135 x 10
Cable Tri Press* 105 x 10 125 x 10 125 x 10
Friday
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Ab Circuit* 15 20 25
* Ab circuit consists of ab roller, medicine ball twists, and crunches.
Calf Circuit 135 x 18 135 x 18 135 x 18
HIIT: 25 minute Sprints @ 15sec sprints @ 45sec moderate

The Last Fourteen Weeks

Over the last fourteen weeks, I’ve felt more energy and better equipped to meet my goals with the knowledge I’ve taken in from the plan set in Bigger Leaner Stronger. Below are a couple of pictures from July until now.


July 2016

December 2016

Final Measurements

  • Weight – 169.6lbs
  • BF% – 17%
  • Muscle Mass – 42.9%

More HIIT Training

As week six started on Monday, I found myself up early shoveling snow as Michigan weather decided to turn this week and dump three inches of snow across the region. While I try to plan to go to bed a bit earlier for these occasions, rarely do I go back to sleep after my alarm sounds. Wednesday, the weather people predicted more of the fuzzy fluffy chilled rain. Again, I was up before 6am anticipating a morning of shoveling. Friday blanketed the area with more snow calling for another early rise as the region suffered from Heikki Lunta’s wrath. It has continued to snow, 10″ plus today.

With the early rises, I tried to add some more HIIT training into the end of my workouts, twenty minutes each time. With the amount of movement between shoveling and HIIT, I felt as if I was getting the necessary amount of movement heading to the correct direction of meeting my goals for the week.

More Mistakes

I haven’t faltered much in respect to alcohol consumption, but my diet hasn’t been close enough to my macros as they should be. Friday, really wanting a cheat meal, I decided that having BW3 wings for dinner was a good idea. I will do my best this coming week to better fit my macro goals, even though home baked Christmas cookies find themselves present in my house.

Round 2 – Week 6 – Starting Numbers

Last Week Results

  • Weight – 171.6lbs
  • BF% – 17.6%
  • Muscle Mass – 42.6%

Round 2 – Week 6 – Workout

Monday – Shoulders/Back
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Standing Military Press 135 x 4 125 x 6 125 x 4
Front Raise 35 x 6 35 x 6 35 x 6
Lateral Raise 25 x 6 25 x 6 25 x 6
Weighted Underhand Pullup 65 x56 65 x 4 65 x 4
Dumbell Row 95 x 6 95 x 6 95 x 6
Shrugs 235 x 6 245 x 6 245 x 6
Tuesday – Legs
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Squat* 245 x 6 245 x 4 245 x 6
Deadlift 275 x 3 275 x 6 285 x 6
Bulgarian Split Squat 110 x 6 110 x 6 110 x 6
HIIT 7:00 – I was pretty gassed after my leg workout.
Wednesday – Bis\Abs
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Standing Barbell Curl 105 x 5 105 x 4 105 x 4
Incline Dumbbell Curl 45 x 6 45 x 6 45 x 6
Hammer Bar Curl 105 x 4 105 x 6 105 x 3
HIIT 20:00 Intervals on the Elliptical
Thursday – Chest/Tris
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Incline Bench 185 x 6 185 x 5 185 x 5
Flat Bench 205 x 4 195 x 5 195 x 4
Skull Crushers 85 x 8 85 x 8 85 x 8
Dips – Chest Version 65 x 6 65 x 4 65 x 3
Close Grip Bench Press 165 x 4 155 x 6 155 x 5
Cable Tri Press* 85 x 8 85 x 8 85 x 7
Friday
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Ab Circuit* 15 20 25
* Ab circuit consists of ab roller, medicine ball twists, and crunches.
Calf Circuit 135 x 18 135 x 18 135 x 18
HIIT: 20 minute Box Jumps @ 15sec sprints @ 45sec moderate
Sunday

The streak of No-Hockey-Sunday continued as Michigan weather dumped 10 inches of snow on the region. Without reading all of my Facebook Messenger messages from my team, I drove across town in snow covered roads at a max speed of 30mph.

After Moving Move

Measurements

  • Weight – 171lbs
  • BF% – 17.6%
  • Muscle Mass – 42.6%

Thanks for reading!
#getswollbro

If you’ve enjoyed my post, be sure to sign up for the newsletter for further posts.

Post Thanksgiving – Moving More

As Monday rolled around as I typically check my measurements, disappointment rolled over me as I stepped on the scale and saw my results. So this time around, I decided getting on the elliptical in the morning, getting my cardio in for the day, was a step in the right direction. Also removing the Gatorade Protein bar would hopefully help. So this week, my concentration was dieting and moving more.

Round 2 – Week 5 – Starting Numbers

Last Week Results

  • Weight – 172lbs
  • BF% – 17.6%
  • Muscle Mass – 42.6%

Round 2 – Week 5 – Workout

Monday – Shoulders/Back
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Standing Military Press 125 x 6 125 x 5 125 x 4
Front Raise 35 x 6 35 x 6 35 x 6
Lateral Raise 20 x 8 20 x 8 20 x 8
Weighted Underhand Pullup 60 x 6 60 x 6 60 x 5
Dumbell Row 90 x 6 90 x 6 90 x 6
Shrugs 225 x 6 235 x 6 235 x 6
20:00 Intervals on the Elliptical
Tuesday – Legs
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Squat* 225 x 6 245 x 6 245 x 4
Deadlift 275 x 3 275 x 6 275 x 6
Bulgarian Split Squat 100 x 6 100 x 6 100 x 6
Single Leg Standing Calf Raise* 40 x 8 40 x 8 40 x 8
Seated Calf Raise* 100 x 10 100 x 10 100 x 10
*Calf Raises were done in circuit
Wednesday – Bis\Abs
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Standing Barbell Curl 105 x 5 105 x 5 105 x 5
Incline Dumbbell Curl 45 x 6 45 x 6 45 x 6
Hammer Bar Curl 105 x 6 105 x 5 105 x 5
HIIT 20:00 Intervals on the Elliptical
Thursday – Chest/Tris
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Incline Bench 185 x 6 185 x 6 195 x 4
Flat Bench 205 x 4 205 x 4 205 x 4
Skull Crushers 85 x 8 85 x 8 85 x 8
Dips – Chest Version 65 x 6 65 x 5 65 x 4
Close Grip Bench Press 165 x 5 165 x 5 165 x 4
Cable Tri Press* 80 x 10 85 x 7 85 x 7
Friday
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Ab Circuit* 15 20 25
* Ab circuit consists of ab roller, medicine ball twists, and crunches.
HIIT: 20 minute sprints @ 15sec sprints @ 45sec moderate
Saturday – HIIT

25 minute sprints @ 15sec sprint @ 45sec moderate – 3.5 miles

Here I am, after 25 minutes of HIIT:
post HIIT training

After Moving Move

Measurements

  • Weight – 171.6lbs
  • BF% – 17.6%
  • Muscle Mass – 42.6%

Thanks for reading!
#getswollbro

If you’ve enjoyed my post, be sure to sign up for the newsletter for further posts.

Thanksgiving a Time for Gluttony

So I have fell off of the diet wagon as Thanksgiving rolled around. I figure a cheat meal within the week probably didn’t hurt me too much in the long run. I wasn’t exactly watching what I was eating and probably was a bit higher in some macros than others. Not to mention, the champagne that I consumed with family members and then making a late run at Meijer to consume crab rangoons, fried rice, and some pot stickers left me feeling full.

Luckily that was only one day in the week, and I’m happy I spent time with family and let loose for a bit. I immediately got back to my macro dieting as prescribed by my program the following day.

Round 2 – Week 4 – Starting Numbers

Last Week Results

  • Weight – 171.6lbs
  • BF% – 17.6%
  • Muscle Mass – 42.5%

Round 2 – Week 4 – Workout

Monday – Shoulders/Back
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Standing Military Press 125 x 5 125 x 4 125 x 4
Front Raise 30 x 6 35 x 6 35 x 6
Lateral Raise 25 x 6 25 x 6 25 x 6
Weighted Underhand Pullup 65 x 6 65 x 5 65 x 5
Dumbell Row 90 x 6 90 x 6 90 x 6
Shrugs 225 x 6 225 x 6 225 x 6
Tuesday – Legs
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Squat* 245 x 6 135 x 10 185 x 6
* I did more squats up to about 205 to get the form correct.
Deadlift 265 x 6 265 x 6 275 x 6
Bulgarian Split Squat 100 x 6 100 x 6 100 x 6
Standing Barbel Calf Raise* 135 x 18 135 x 18 135 x 18
Wednesday – Bis\Abs
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Standing Barbell Curl 105 x 6 105 x 6 105 x 6
Incline Dumbbell Curl 45 x 5 40 x 6 40 x 6
Hammer Bar Curl 90 x 6 100 x 6 110 x 5
Ab Circuit** 15 reps 20 reps 25 reps
HIIT Skipped – I was getting lazy this week.

** Ab Circuit consists of ab roller, medicine ball twist, and crunches

Thursday – Chest/Tris
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Incline Bench 175 x 6 185 x 6 195 x 5
Flat Bench 205 x 5 205 x 5 205 x 3
Skull Crushers 65 x 10 75 x 10 85 x 8
Dips – Chest Version 65 x 5 65 x 5 65 x 4
Close Grip Bench Press 155 x 6 165 x 5 165 x 5
Cable Tri Press* 65 x 10 125 x 6 125 x 6
* Since I was at a different location for this workout, I’m always under the feeling that the pulleys for these weights differ.
Saturday – HIIT

16 minutes on the Elliptical

Sunday

Drop-in hockey on Sunday where a total of four people showed with no goalie.

Moving Slightly in the Wrong Direction

Measurements

  • Weight – 172lbs
  • BF% – 17.6%
  • Muscle Mass – 42.6%

I’m up .6lbs this week, which my goal is to lose 0.5lbs per week. I’m not deterred whatsoever, but I know I’ll need to make some changes in the following week to achieve 171.5 lbs. Since time is always a constraint, I’ve decided for the days I do calves and abs I’m moving to Friday. This gives me adequate time to get in about 20 minutes of cardio those days. I’m also going to forego my Gatorade protein bar and see where this gets me.

Thanks for reading!
#getswollbro

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Where the Hell Did 2016 Go?

2016’s concludes in less than two months. With the holidays leading to gluttonous behaviors, those participating may have wrapped themselves in guilt as excessive pounds rear their ugliness on the scale leading them into your local meat head or “judgement free zone” facility. Funny or sad as it may be, as a frequent gym goer, patrons such as myself notice a packed facility only to revert back to normal capacity within a matter of weeks. Year long contracts have been signed, credit card number exchanged, and initiation fees waived to entice people making a healthier version of themselves. Frankly, I HATE paying for services that go unconsumed. I loathe that I have satellite television, miss my weekend beer league hockey, and missing a day at the gym. The last two have become so ingrained in my life, I feel empty if I my participation declines.

As these seasonal resolutionists fill the squat racks appearing clueless while doing push ups between the rack with the bar resting on the pins above them with no weight, I wonder what drives them away?* Time, intimidation, or forming a new habit all seem to have a force. Please realize, you’re there for you and no one else. I realize there are many questions, but here I concentrate on the excuses listed above. Hopefully you’ll start prepping yourself for a better you in 2017.

*Seriously, I’m happy to see anyone trying to improve their health and don’t mean to sound like a dick, but us that frequent the gym can spot these things. Part of Swoll Bro is for inclusion. While I may not have the answers for all questions, I can hopefully be relatable.

Time

To prove I’m relatable I’ll tell you two things. One, I have the same twenty-four hours in a day like you. Two, I put on each pant leg one at a time. My point is, I have time constraints working a couple of jobs, being a dad, husband, and I still find about an hour and a half to make my health better. Carve out time in your day to say, “This is MY time.” My opinion on this particular time should be morning or lunch time (if you can do lunch time, I’m lucky with the flexibility my job offers). I’ve found in my life, these times often remain consistent for unexpected events throughout the day.

ACTION ITEM
  • MAKE A PLAN AND CARVE OUT THAT TIME NOW!

Intimidation

I was first introduced to weight training in high school, even received gym credit for it as classes. I felt comfortable there around my friends and coaches for strength training. My barriers were broken down again, pretty easily, when my neighbors asked me to go a local meat head gym. What got me over the intimidation with the various machines, large plates and dumbbells, large body builders, was being introduced to each machine by my friends. Also realize, the large body builders in the gym probably have different goals from you and may be months ahead of where you’re starting. They’ve also acquired knowledge over the years as a base for their training and have been consistent training and dieting. But as you see, they are also proof that you too can accomplish your goals.

Lastly, if you find the machines, dumbbells, squat racks, weight benches, curl bars, whatever it is intimidating, know that the staff at those gyms are there to help you. Most likely they’ll even help instruct on how to use the equipment. ASK QUESTIONS!

ACTION ITEMS
  • Find a Friend to Go
  • Gain Knowledge
  • Ask Questions

Habit Forming or Dismantling

After discussing with a co-worker who frequented the gym prior to moving to Michigan, he also felt uneasy if there were times he’d miss the daily gym routine for the day. Why have these habits been formed? According to Psychology Today, “…behavioral patterns we repeat most often are literally etched into our neural pathways. The good news is that, through repetition, it’s possible to form—and maintain—new habits.” Terri Crews, shares similar advice via a Reddit.com AMA, which he notes, “Go to the gym, don’t even work out. Just GO. Because the habit of going to the gym is more important than the work out. Because it doesn’t matter what you do. You can have fun – but as long as you’re having fun, you continue to do it.”

Frankly, I feel lazy and disrupted if I’m unable to get to the gym in a day. While this is a good habit I formed, how have I dismantled bad habits, because as I’ve noted in previous posts that I am a beer lover.

The Dismantle

A number of habits needed to be dismantled in order to accomplish my goals. For instance, the extra calories and beers consumed in the evening needed to be shaved a bit. I didn’t realized how habitual having a few beers at night became as it contributed to the waistline. Along with that, it seemed as if this opened up path to eat more, particularly salty snacks. So what did I do to cut this habit? I think drinking is more of a social habit. Instead, I replaced my beers with water, which did a couple of things. It rid of the extra. calories and made me feel fuller longer.

After a couple of weeks, I felt saying no was easier, and I didn’t have the desire to reach for a beer at the end of the day. Also to help curb these habits, I’ve done the following:

ACTION ITEMS
  • Created a daily task list
  • Created a blog for accountability
  • Documented my food to take the guess work about what to eat

Membership or No Membership?

Finally, if you want to make changes for your life, make sure you’re going into with the correct mindset. I often ask myself during cardio, “What’s another five minutes,” as I approach the end of my HIIT. Another five minutes hasn’t killed me yet. With the suggestions above, I hope you can decide whether or not a gym membership is worth it.

#GetSwollBro

Hectic Week

Last week was full of career project deadlines for both of my projects. Then all while working my day job, I released Swoll Bro HIIT Timer to the iOS App store. I’ll be sure to have a full notification of the app soon enough. If you find yourself downloading this app, please provide me any feedback you may have to paul@swollbro.com. In essence, it’s a HIIT Timer that will notify when you sprint and when to rest/moderate your exercise. The other app I’m working on a team with is a scheduling application.

With all the extra work consuming my time, I’ve barely found time to write this blog post and it’s pretty much a copy and paste job for this particular type of post. I apologize to my loyal three fans that have been reading this. I’m sure you’ve been dying to see what my results are for the week. Where are my sarcastaquotes?

I can only thank those around me as the whirlwind of important projects of mine land squarely all in the same week. Most importantly those thanks go out to my wife for all of her support.

Round 2 – Week 3 – Starting Numbers

Last Week Results

  • Weight – 170.4lbs
  • BF% – 17.4%
  • Muscle Mass – 42.7%

Round 2 – Week 3 – Workout

Monday – Shoulders/Back
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Standing Military Press 135 x 4 135 x 4 135 x 3
Front Raise 30 x 6 35 x 6 35 x 6
Lateral Raise 25 x 6 25 x 6 25 x 6
Weighted Underhand Pullup 60 x 6 65 x 5 65 x 5
Dumbell Row 90 x 6 90 x 6 90 x 4
Tuesday – Legs
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Squat 255 x 6 225 x 6 235 x 6
Deadlift 265 x 6 265 x 6 265 x 5
Bulgarian Split Squat 90 x 6 100 x 6 100 x 6
Standing Dumbbell Calf Raise* 40 x 8 40 x 8 40 x 6
Seated Calf Raise* 100 x 10 100 x 10 100 x 10

* Calf Raises were done in circuit

Wednesday – Bis\Abs
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Standing Barbell Curl 105 x 6 105 x 6 105 x 4
Incline Dumbbell Curl 35 x 10 35 x 6 45 x 5
Hammer Bar Curl 105 x 6 105 x 5 105 x 4
Ab Circuit** 15 reps 20 reps 25 reps
HIIT 10:00 on the elliptical

** Ab Circuit consists of ab roller, medicine ball twist, and crunches

Thursday – Chest/Tris
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Incline Bench 175 x 6 185 x 4 185 x 4
Flat Bench 205 x 6 205 x 4 205 x 4
Standing Dumbbell Tri Press 90 x 6 90 x 6 65 x 10 (I pulled something in my back on set 2, so this is why it’s lower)
Dips – Chest Version 60 x 6 65 x 6 65 x 5
Close Grip Bench Press 145 x 6 155 x 6 165 x 5
Cable Tri Press 85 x 8 85 x 8 85 x 8
Saturday – HIIT

25 minutes of 20sec interval box jumps which included 200+ box jumps achieved. I tried to jump rope in between as much as possible, and I will tell you I WAS GASSED.

Sunday

Beer League Hockey, no beer for me.

Not Meeting Expectations

Measurements

  • Weight – 171.6lbs
  • BF% – 17.6%
  • Muscle Mass – 42.5%

I can’t explain the measurements this particular week. I guess it’s a patience and adjust game mostly. I typically weigh myself on Monday mornings after I’ve completed all days I’ve listed here. I’m thinking I had some extra water weight, but I can’t be sure. For the upcoming week, I’m going to cut my calories by 100 and see if that translates to the 1/2lb weight loss per week result. I’ll have to be a good boy about it as Thanksgiving is this week.

Happy Thanksgiving all! Thanks for reading!
#getswollbro