Monday, January 14, 2013

The Method of My Madness

So one of my old coworkers asked me recently how I was going about all this health stuff recently. I realized that while I've said quite a bit about what I'm going to do I haven't said anything about how I'm going to do it. So in case I do end up being pretty successful, maybe you might want to try the same thing?

So my goal is to increase strength (muscle mass) while reducing body fat. I have no goal weight. Whatever it lands on so long as I am 10% or less bodyfat and can hit my strength goals is fine with me. My methods right now aren't too far from what I was doing last year, but I have made alterations.

If you don't want all the details, scroll down to The Basics for the short and sweet summary.

First, diet...
I'm eating a predominantly "Paleo" diet. For me, that means more natural food (organic when I can afford it) and less processed food (prepackaged dinners, meals in a can, carb heavy foods like breads and pasta, etc.). I'm high on protein (I eat a lot of beef, chicken, pork, and fish) and the good kinds of fat (all natural bacon, whole milk, organic butter, coconut milk, etc.). I eat a lot of veggies and some fruit. I have a higher veggie intake than fruit (2-3 kinds of veggies at each meal vs one fruit serving). I always eat about two servings worth of any food I'm eating at each sit down.

I try to hit 2000+ calories every day which is tough on this kind of diet. I eat a lot! The idea here is not limiting food, just being picky on what's going in. Technically my BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), the amount of calories you burn daily just by living, is around 2500 calories. I easily push 3000 on workout days. The trick here is consuming enough grams of protein so that I build and regenerate muscle after a workout. Clearly, from my last blog post, I'm not consuming enough protein. My body burned muscle for the calories it needed.

I also do IF: Intermittent Fasting. I "fast" 16 hours a day and then consume all of my caloric needs in an eight hour window. I usually eat around noon and stop around 8 PM. This is nice because I don't have to worry about eating breakfast anymore. No hunger pains, either. It feels pretty natural.

Now to keep sane, I make sure I have one cheat day per week, usually on Saturdays. This is when I can consume whatever I want and however much I want. I usually gain 2-3 pounds, but my body sheds this in a couple of days. It keeps my metabolism confused and from getting into a hibernation/starvation rythym.

Second, exercise...

I work out 3 times a week: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Rest days are Tuesday and Thursday. I run once on the weekend for a minimum of three miles, usually Saturday or Sunday. I'd like to start going to Krav Maga lessons once a week, most likely on a Tuesday or Thursday. I'm also going to have a weekly Kinect session where I play something like "Dance Central" or "Your Shape"; something fun and active. I'd do this on a "rest" day so that almost every day of every week I'm doing something active aside from walking.

My workouts are focused on strength training. Man (or woman) cannot live by cardio alone. Free weights are the best equipment in the gym. Workouts right now consist of some combination of bench press, squats, dead lifts, clean and press, push-up, pull-up, wrist curls, and overhead press. My upper body is my main focus in these workouts. I usually do 8-12 reps for around 5 sets. End set is usually start to failure. Max weight possible for those amount of reps. 1 set here and there on maximum reps possible at max weight.

The Basics

  1. Meta-Paleo diet: organic, natural, high protein, no processed food (breads/grains, prepackaged meals, sugars, etc.), lots of veggies.
  2. IF: Intermittent Fasting. 16 hour fast followed by 8 hours of consumption.
  3. One cheat day a week. Eat anything I want and however much I want. ANYTHING
  1. M, W, F workouts. T, Tr rest days. Stay active every day (even if it's a short run or playing outdoors, fitness video game, etc.)
  2. Strength training. Cardio is for the birds. Dumbbells, barbells and bodyweight.
  3. 40-60 Minute workouts. 30-45 minutes if you have heavier equipment.
  4. 8-12 rep sets, ~5 sets.
Answer your questions? Here are some helpful links to find out more about the science, reasoning, etc.

Logging workouts: (follow me! search for: Colander)
Paleo Diet:
Intermittent Fasting:

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The view out the gate

And it looks good so far!

11 Days in and I'm six pounds down! And that's overall, but doing a little math with bodyfat?

Using the following site:

My body fat was at around 13.68%, give (most likely give) or take a percent. So about 23/24 of my 170 pounds was fat.

This week? Well, going down to 164 pounds...
My bodyfat went down to around 12.74%. Again, give or take a percent or so. That puts me at 20/21 pounds of fat from my total 164 pounds. Hmm, that makes it seem less impressive. I mean, that's 3 pounds of fat loss and 3 pounds of muscle loss, right? But none of my muscle measurements went down...except around my waist. Hmm, that can only mean one thing...

My bodonkadonk is slightly less bootylicious. My fiance just cried in dismay at this recent news. I must also lament. My booty is signature me! I mean, you put a list of things you most remember about Colin and they'll most likely include my geekiness, my cheesy smile, and my badonkadonk. Let's hope this self-improvement relocates to more vital areas like my mid-section.

Noticeable change right? Or is that just me? I mean, my stomach looks a little slimmer already. I also need a haircut. Looking a little shaggy back there.

While my progress pics are scheduled for Saturday mornings (my cheat days), they won't be coming this Saturday because I'll be in SAN DIEGO! Tell ya all about it when I get back...

Monday, January 7, 2013


One of the things I wanted to talk about, being a new year and all, was -- of course -- my list of new year's resolutions. While quite a bit of these are for health, some are for intellectual and emotional growth and well-being. Some of these come from (un)resoltions from years past but this seems like the year for true commitment. I mean, I just got engaged. Gotta show I'm good for it, yeah?

  1. I will reduce my bodyfat to 10% or less by June.
  2. By June I will be able to perform 100 push-ups in succession without rest (The REAL Century Push)
  3. By June I will be able to run 3 Miles straight without rest, averaging 9 min/mi.
  4. I will be able to bench press 250+ lbs by this summer
  5. I will register and start preparing for a Tough Mudder competition.
  6. I will watch the Lord of the Rings Trilogy: Extended edition at least once every year
  7. I will read "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" once every year
  8. I will see at least one live stage production every month.
  9. I will get back in touch with my sister who I haven't spoken to in over three years.
  10. I will become a better brother, son, uncle, cousin, and nephew to my all of my relatives.
So yeah, half of that is health related. Pretty typical but since I was mostly successful last year, and I have better resolve now...I'm pretty confident I can do all of the above.

Well, lunch break is almost over. Time to get back to rehearsals with my students...

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Hey there stranger

Wow...I didn't realize it had been a whole year since I last posted on this blog. I'm awful. Insert excuses here. Let's just move on and make the best of it yeah?

2012 was pretty eventful. Completed my first year of official teaching. Did some traveling with the loved one (Cancun and Destin, FL). Moved to Allen. Found a good job in Dallas still doing what I love (teaching theatre). Got engaged to the aforementioned loved one.

But let's talk in relation to this blog, yeah? Primary purpose was for keeping up with health and accountability. Here were last year's goals...

Goal for May 2012: Bench Press 200+ lbs and under 12% Bodyfat.

Current BP: 160 lbs
Current BF: 14.8%

Was I successful? Mostly. I did hit a new PR on bench press with 215 lbs in May. Not quite as successful with my bodyfat (I maybe brought it down to 13%). After summer traveling, though, problems arose. I went into vacation mode and ate very badly, rebounding up to 180 lbs. I dropped down to around 165 and lost most of it but when my job started I lost time for the gym...well, I made excuses and didn't go to the gym. Last time at an official gym was in October. My strength has dropped and after the holidays I was pushing 170 lbs again. Doesn't seem like much, right? Only five pounds. Well, considering I'm losing muscle, too, I'd say that's least 10 pounds in FAT I gained (while losing the GOOD pounds from my muscles).

But my loved and I have pledged ourselves anew. We drew up a contract, which I'll share details to some other post, so we can have a support system in ourselves that also offers rewards/consequences. I mean, we've got to get into shape by this summer for engagement photos and so that she can try on dresses...the pressure is on!

Lots of new goals to hit by this summer:
  • 250 lb bench press
  • 10% or less body fat
  • Run 3 miles straight without stopping, averaging no more than 9 min/mi
  • Register for and start prepping for a Tough Mudder event (Dallas has one in October)
  • Do a REAL century push (100 push-ups straight)
  • 5 Minute Plank
Mixing in a Meta-Paleo diet with Intermittent Fasting, 3 Workouts a week, one run a week, and at least two recreational fun "workouts" (Kinect!). I'm excited for us. The new year is on the way and I have just five more months to get through before summer break. More to come later. I'd write more, but it's late and I have no idea why I got the urge to write this right before bed.

Below is my first progress pic. This is my baseline. These will become weekly starting this Saturday (which are my cheat days, so right before I do some short term damage).

Weight: 170 lbs
Waist: 34"
Mid-bicep Circumference: 12.5"
Mid-thigh Circumference: 23"
Neck: 16"

Here's to a better me...