Monday, February 28, 2011


I wonder if I'll ever be able to write in this blog consistently. I often find myself thinking of ways to incorporate new content into this blog and I always enjoy these contemplations.

It seems to me that if nothing else this blog could serve as a good mental exercise. Even if I do not have many readers, writing my thoughts on a public forum may help to clarify my thought processes.

In the long term I hope that this will become a higher traffic blog that could help people find new workouts and nutritional plans.

It's almost amusing to return to this blog after nearly 8 months of hiatus. Comparing my summer workout stats to my current stats is pleasing. Also, my knowledge of exercise routines and nutritional plans has increased dramatically.

My new Stats are as follows:

Body weight:200lbs
Body Fat: 8-9% (this is a difficult number to derive precisely)

Flat Bench press: 285 lbs.
Deadlift: 335lbs
Squats: I have not tried any max. workouts recently so I'll have to update this later.

All of these things have increased significantly from my summer stats. My body fat increased slightly, but I am well below the average percentage and I am focusing on muscular weight gain rather than cutting fat at the moment.

I've stopped doing long distance running because I found it difficult to gain weight. In fact, when I was running up to 8 miles I found that I was losing weight. So I've cut down to 5 kilometer training and I am focusing on my speed and form rather than my distance. That being said, I may increase to 10k training, but I don't foresee an increase exceeding that.

I'd like to write an article about the difference between myofibrillar hypertrophy and sarcoplasmic hypertrophy in the near future, but I don't have the time right now. I have a lot of exams and homework due in the next week.

I think a lot of people would benefit from this article. In layman's terms it is the difference between mass (size) and density (tone) training. You may be surprised at what you learn after I write this article.

That's my update. It is a feeble stab at continuity. I hope I'll be able to update at LEAST once a month from now on.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


As I recently stated on the prominent venue that is Facebook, I have decided to give this blog a slight shift in focus. When I created this blog I intended to write exclusively on diet and nutrition plans along with exercise routines.

I will still update on any new developments in my own nutritional plan or post updates that might aid in the nutrition of others, but I now intend to keep a tally of my own progress in and out of the gym. It's not all about exercise anymore, though. I plan on writing about all the events regarding my pre-medical/biochemical pursuits.

I hope this restructuring serves as a way of periodically solidifying my thoughts and agenda and also to somehow helping those who read it.

Not a lot has changed with my nutritional plan. I still stay far away from red meat, and almost all dairy products. There is, however, quite a bit of chicken and turkey being consumed these days.

My gym exploits have improved dramatically since the last time I updated this blog. Just the other day I maxed out at 260 pound on the flat bench press. My squats have increased up to 315 pounds as well.

I've been pushing myself very hard in the gym during the summer months. I'm trying to reach and maintain a total body weight of 190 pounds. At the end of the spring semester I was at 8% total body fat and I am now approaching 6%. I'm trying to reach 5% by the end of the summer.

Thanks for reading. If anyone has questions regarding fitness, nutrition or if anyone wants to share their own personal goals or experiences I would love to hear them.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Long Overdue

That's right. I'm back. It's been far too long and for that I apologize. It's been about 5 months since I have really had the time to write anything.

That's not a problem, though, because I have had a lot happen to me in the last 5 months.

I had decided to try a full vegan diet just to see how it effected my energy level, metabolism, body fat, and sports performance. The diet wasn't that complicated. I cut out all animal products of any kind. (honey was an exception from time to time) Dairy, eggs, and meat are the primary focus of elimination. In general, I'd have to say the vegan diet was very beneficial. I felt more energetic and I was able to improve my cardio over smaller amounts of time. I definitely saw more tone in my physique, but I also saw a decrease in muscle restoration. I was able to maintain a good weight training regime, but the progress was slower.

I did a few trial tests to see how dairy, and meat would effect my health by introducing them back into my diet in controlled doses.
I had a very negative reaction to dairy and beef. I felt heavy, sluggish, and sick to my stomach every time I ate them. I have been eating chicken again for the past 2 weeks now. It seems that if the chicken is not fried or poor quality it has no ill effect on me. It's a nice source of protein that is low in carbs. Although a large quantity of carbs is crucial after a good workout I found myself eating far too many just trying to get the protein I needed. I think I've reached a healthy medium by including chicken into a mostly vegan diet.

I believe I initially lost some more body fat during the vegan diet, but I also believe I gained a little back near the end due to overzealous carb consumption for weight training.

I feel confident that I can get down again with a combination of chicken protein, more veggies and complex carbohydrates.

There's a quick rundown on the great vegan experiment. I have so much more to post regarding some pretty exciting new cardio developments I've been working on. More posts soon to come.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Best Defense...

It’s time for another post regarding the all important immune system. I know I already had a post regarding sickness and the immune system, but it’s that time of the year that everyone is really worried about catching something. I’m going to go into more detail and depth in this post and tell you what to do to improve your immune system and what to avoid doing that would weaken it. This post will be rather extensive so I will divide it into two parts. The first post will be the “do not eat” and the second post will be the “do eat.”

There is an update on my new and ongoing vegan diet. I told you that I would be including chicken in my diet but I’ve changed my mind since then. I’m doing a 100% full, authentic vegan diet now. It’s only been a little over a week and I feel like my brain functionality and focus has increased significantly. I also feel immediately wakeful first thing in the morning. I already had a low body fat percentage due to a very healthy and strict diet, but I’ve noticed that my mid section is beginning to shed what little fat was left. I’m going to have a overall health and fitness screening at some point next month. I’ll have more precise details when I get the test. Many people have asked me what prompted this change in diet. I watched a lecture regarding animal products online. If you’re interested I’m providing the link here.

Enough about me and my midsection. What seems to be the number one enemy of the immune system in the American diet? Let’s go ahead and look at the culprits.

1. Sugar. Sugar comes in all different forms. You can call it refined sugar, raw, fruit sugar, honey, or high fructose corn syrup, but no matter what kind you eat it will raise your body’s level of insulin production. When white blood cells are exposed to high levels of sugar in the bloodstream, they have a decreased ability to engulf bacteria and have weakened resistance to all infections. Ideally, you should have about 1 teaspoon of sugar in your bloodstream. There are plenty of sugary drinks and foods that will shoot your sugar level high above the healthy limit. You will pass this limit even if you have a healthy lifestyle, but eating pure sugar and refined carbs will cause your levels to rise almost immediately. If you factor in the weakened white blood cells and the overstressing of the pancreas while producing insulin I think sugar is one of the most dangerous substances to be eating while sick or ever.
2. Excessive amounts of caffeine. Caffeine places stress on the adrenal glands (usually stressed already from a busy lifestyle) and adversely affects the nervous system, resulting in anxiety, hyperactivity, and potentially, insomnia.

No matter how much you may love caffeine or insist that you need it to function, you cannot deny that it deprives the body of a relaxed state. If your body is constantly expelling energy and cannot relax it will severely affect your ability to heal.

3. Alcohol. I probably don’t need to tell anyone that you shouldn’t be drinking alcohol if you’re concerned about your health, but I’ll cover it a little. A lot of people think alcohol makes them energetic, but the drug is considered a depressant. True to its name, it depresses the immune system, inhibits the bone marrow’s ability to create blood cells, is toxic to your liver, depletes B-vitamins, and dehydrates the body. If you’re fighting an illness this is a huge no. I don’t recommend consuming alcohol at any point in your life. Many people say you should drink wine for the antioxidants. You can get just as many antioxidants from grape juice and remove the danger of alcohol.

4. Raw Meat. Raw meat is another food that seems obviously dangerous. The FDA does allow companies to sell raw clams, oysters, and sushi. This does not mean they are safe to ingest. They’re not going to kill you if you eat them a couple times a year. They will however hurt your immune system. Raw meat products contain so many bacteria and potentially parasites that wouldn’t normally affect a healthy immune system, but can significantly hurt an already ailing body.

5. Rancid fats and oils. Most oils will turn rancid when they are exposed to high temperatures. These rancid oils are a train wreck waiting to happen. The oils create free radicals, which are highly reactive molecules that can cause chain reactions of chemical disruption. This will cause injuries to cell membranes, enzymes, and potentially DNA.
The best example of rancid oils are those found in fried foods. The oil used to fry food is heated to very high temperatures to ensure fast and thorough cooking. In many cases the oils is used again which makes the oxidation even worse.

I know people love to indulge in the foods that I’ve listed. If they didn’t there wouldn’t be such a problem with health in this country. I understand that these foods aren’t going to kill you in the short term. Over long amounts of time they will shorten your lifespan and make you susceptible to many illnesses over your lifetime. The least you can do is cut out these foods when you are sick or think you may soon become sick. If you are not willing to permanently cut out these foods at least limit them throughout the year.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Just a quick update. I've decided to give my nutritional plan a complete overhaul. Before this week the majority of my diet consisted of lean meats for proteins and whole grains for complex carbohydrates. I also consumed large amounts of dairy products for calcium and protein purposes.

I've been reading some literature regarding carcinogens in meat and dairy products and their effects on the human body. After I did some additional research I decided to maintain what I've been calling an "85% vegan diet."

I'm skeptical that a small amount of organic chicken each day will cause much or any harm to my body. I will remove all other animal and products from my diet, however. I'll keep my readers posted on my energy levels, brain function, and muscle restoration stats. I'll also let you know whether or not I am able to maintain the amount of nutrients and vitamins I was receiving from animal products.

Let the experiment begin!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Health Update

When I started this blog I mentioned posting my own personal fitness stats. I haven't updated in a while due to multiple tests, quizzes, projects, and presentations at my school. Contracting a horrible cold didn't help matters either. I figured this would be a nice filler until I can get a real post written.

I'm 6'2 and 185 pounds.
I'm currently benching a maximum of about 240 pounds on the flat bench. I have a steady heart rate around 60 BPM.
I focus primarily on weight training and haven't hit the track recently but the last time I ran I did 2 miles without timing. I'm going to begin training for a 5k soon so I'll have some better running stats soon.

Here's a little advice regarding illness.
I contracted a terrible cold on Monday October 12. It is now October 14 and I have fully recovered. I'll share my some helpful tips for a fast recovery.

When you're dealing with most illnesses in your head, nose, and throat area, there are a few basic guidelines you should follow:
1. Get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep. Even if it means calling in sick to your boss or professor it will be worth it in the long run. Your body will not function at full healing capacity if it cannot recharge.

2. Avoid dairy products like the plague. You may equate dairy with smooth and soothing, but when you consume dairy your body increases its production of mucus. When you have an abundant supply dripping down your throat and nose I don't think you'll want to be making any more.

3. Stay far away from sugars. Sugar suppresses your immune system (IS) so you shouldn't be eating it. The only sugar you should be eating is from real 100% fruit products. Fruits are naturally full of vitamins and antioxidants that can aid your IS. Make sure whatever fruit product you consume does not have added sugar or High Fructose Corn Syrup. This will only put a damper on your body.

4. Drink a lot of water.

5. Drink a lot of water! I know forcing fluids down your throat is unpleasant if you have a sore throat, but it's completely worth it. The more you go to the bathroom the better. This gives your body the chance to flush out your system of any undesirables. Also, the more water you have the quicker everything in your body works. This will allow your IS to function at full capacity.

6. Take vitamin supplements. Most people know that Vitamin C will help your IS, but not everyone knows that Vitamin C is water soluble and you cannot overdose with it. I take 3-4 1000 mg doses of Vitamin C a day when I feel a cold coming my way. Recent studies have shown that Vitamin D also aids in fighting sickness. Be careful with D. You can get too much in your system.

7. (unconfirmed) This is just my personal preference, so take it with a grain of salt. I don't like having caffeine in my body when I'm fighting an illness. It increases your heart rate and blood flow so you may think that it would help your body work faster, but I always feel lousy after it wears off. If you like drinking hot beverages when you're sick you should stick to decaf teas and coffee, not the regular.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Hit the track and pump the iron.

Hey everybody. I had a really hard time choosing a topic for this post. I had a few good suggestions but I decided to tackle the misconception that running is the key to weight loss.
There’s no doubt about it. Running will help you burn calories. You can easily burn 1,000 calories on a long run, but that is where it ends. Weight training has a longer lasting effect. Allow me to explain the difference. When you run your body will take any fuel it has available. If you have food in your digestive tract your body will convert that into energy. After that‘s been burned, your body will indiscriminately take stores of fat and muscle alike to sustain itself during a run. When you train with weights your body is tearing muscle and then rebuilding it over time. This rebuilding process takes quite a bit of energy. Once your muscle is torn it will be rebuilt tighter, bigger, and stronger than before. This new muscle will burn more calories throughout the day to sustain itself. Weight training is also a nice excuse to eat carbs. I’ve already advised you to cut back on carb consumption for a healthier body, but when you lift weights you need to eat carbs to maintain and rebuild the muscles you’re training. Just remember to eat your carbs before and after your workout and keep your consumption limited throughout the rest of the day.
Essentially, the more muscle you build the easier it is to lose weight and maintain muscle. There’s a lot of opposing research on both sides of the argument of cardio vs. weight training. Let me make myself clear. I support a strong cardio program on top of a prominent weight training regiment. If you’re going to run 5 miles every day you will slim down rapidly. You’ll lose a lot of fat and have a very healthy cardiovascular system but you‘ll probably lose a little muscle mass as well. If you’re not willing to run quite that far and you want a tighter upper body then I think you need to add weights to your exercise regiment.
From my own experiences talking with men and women I’ve found that they just want to lose some inches on the waist, lose the flab on their thighs and underarms, and just get a bit more toned. The average person doesn’t want to bench or squat 300 pounds. I’m here to tell you that weight training is not going to get you huge by itself. The gargantuan guys and girls you see in competitions eat up to 6,000 calories or more per day and they take supplements of every kind to maintain their bodies. A weight training routine consisting of light to moderate weight and high repetition will result in a toned body. It will add lean muscle mass to your body and this muscle will burn more calories throughout the day. Even when you sleep your body will burn more calories if you weight train. So please don’t just hit the treadmill or the track when you want to tone up. Make sure to pump a little iron too. Toning up your body will become so much easier than simply attempting to decrease fat stores.

Wrapping it Up.
Just remember to have a nice balance of both cardio and weight training. Tone up those muscles to burn the calories throughout the day and then pound the pavement to keep up the health of your heart and lungs.

Restaurant Blip. Panera Bread has just added a detailed nutrition calculator on their website. I am extremely impressed by their initiative. They have a detailed breakdown of all their food products and the individual stats of all the major ingredients. You can now combine multiple items off the menu so you know exactly how many calories you're consuming. Bravo Panera Bread!