Thursday, July 22, 2010

Haven't Posted in Awhile....

But you got to love this video:

Thursday, May 27, 2010

You can't change an old picture..but you can do something about it!

Seeing an old group picture with friends and coworkers once again was an eye popping experience for me - they always will be because you can't ever change a picture. They're like permanent memories of what once was.

There was a photo taken back in 1998 and one in 2004...I can't believe I actually looked like that (although I really could).

Looking back it almost puts a tear in my eye again...

I'll say within a span of 10 years from 1997-2007 - I was at my worst weights ever - before this weight issue became uncontrolled, I was hovering around the 145-155 lb weight class since my high school days through college. I was lean (not cut)...but I was into athletics back then so I was always in shape.

But when I got older, finally landed a real job...making my own money...doing my own thing --- Man, I was pretty big and unhealthy!!! My face looked like a hot air balloon ready to burst arms were flab - and obviously was the biggest guy in every picture I have in our albums of friends and family.

Some co workers who have never seen me that overweight can't believe...but I can. And anyone else who believes in themselves that they can make a personal change for the better, will agree. You can't change the past...but you can always change the present - if you really want to.

Nothing ever too late to do something about it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pull ups and an Interesting Story

Here's an interesting story to share...

Was at nurse training last week and a female co-worker happened to be seated right behind me started flirtishly poking me like a Pillsbury Dough Boy, rubbing the left side of my back and patting my shoulders. "Hey've been working out haven't you. Nice back. Love it." I blushed with a simple "thank you".

Honestly, I think my back isn't as "hot" as I thought it once was.

Reason being: I haven't been really working on 'em as much as I used to.

So now, I've made a 12 week commitment to get my real back BACK! So that's my intention: 15 or more hang dead pull ups by the end of 12 weeks.

Been on a lean out seriously for about a month now. Lost a total of 6 lbs so far. But I realize I need to lose alot more. I was tossing up between a higher jump or a stronger back - either which way - I need to drop a little.

So today, for the fun of it. I cranked out 6 good ones with good form. Should have did more. But I'll keep it at 6 and work from there.

Here's a cool video from a good online friend, Mark from mbodystrength. Check it out, it's crazy...

Here we go!!!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Essentials for an Effective Home Gym

If you like working out at home, you got to have some pieces of equipment to make your workouts fun, safe and efficient. As I got better and well versed, I came to the conclusion that I must have these essentials to keep my home gym workouts much like a commercial gym without the necessary bullshit that you see in these type of gyms. I've had my best workouts at home.

So overtime I have invested in are a few tools and why I use them:

1) Weight vest - Do you like body weight but the exercises get too easy? I do. Get a Weight vest for added intensity. If it's too heavy you can remove weight to your liking and add as you get stronger. They are probably the best investment to make bodyweight exercises even more challenging.

2) Kettlebells - want to save your knees from all that running? Get a kettlebell. they are way more superior towards conditioning than running is (if you hate running alot). Plus tossing weight in limited space and time - kettlebells are perfect for a full body workout.

3) Floor Mats - Unless you like hardsurfaces to do bw exercises, you got to have these. they are excellent tools for yoga and bodyweight circuits. I have the interlock ones and a yoga mat. Must have!

4) A Foam roller - many people overestimate the strength of their legs until they realize that their knees overtime get all bent out of shape. Don't be like me! Get yourself some self therapy and start to foam roll! You'll thank me later...

5) an MP3 player - I have 3 different kinds of ipods. If you want to crank the music up but don't want to wake up the kids or your neighbors - get yourself an mp3 player.

Other essentials would be a storage/rack for your plates, some bands and some medicine balls of various sizes and your set.

~ Andy

Sunday, May 2, 2010

New Month...New Workout...New Focus

New workout. New focus.

Time to hit this thing right tomorrow, baby.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

What's This?

Something's wrong with this picture.

Sup guys...happy May to everyone. Haven't been blogging much but still committed to a healthy lifestyle nonetheless. Just haven't found much time to keep the blog updated with so many other things to keep myself occupied with.

Again..still committed. Still going strong.

But what the hell is this guy doing???

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hittin' The Bike Trails again...

After a nice workout yesterday and a good trail run in the evening yesterday and a very light barbell complex this morning...I wanted to take advantage of some gorgeous weather in sunny San Diego and took my hybrid Trek out for a ride.

Lots of trails...variety of terrain...and LOTS OF UPHILL!!!

Here's some pictures...enjoy!

Springtime is in session.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Look Out Below!

Nothing else to blog right now, except for the fact that I've officially started my lean out campaign last Sunday.

Would just like to show off a picture of me doing a spike at the 1 position (looks more like a 2). Anyway, I got this picture last year at a local gym for fun. Amazingly and surprisingly - I didn't realize how much air I got off that jump here!!!

The power of strength training and the effects of jump training too...squats in particular. Other than deadlifts..again, squats are right up there for me.

Now it's time to drop the fat and get some mad air by the summer...

Monday, March 29, 2010


Haven't posted much in my blog lately...lots of other things going on but working out nonetheless., it is so hard to find. Just when you think you've achieved quite a few of your fitness's hard to get re-acquainted with the basics. Especially in fat loss, the equation is always simple: Nutrition (calorie deficit, all natural foods) + Exercise 3 to 4 times a week = Fat Loss. It's so easy to understand, it's applying it consistently to achieve the results.

That's what I'm in right now. Trying to re-commit to the fat loss mindset. Last few days was a wake up call. Pants fit...but just barely enough to feel comfortable in them. You ever get that look in the mirror when you just look at yourself and it just isn't exactly you?

That's when I know it's time to get on the fat loss wagon. I mean really on the fat loss wagon. People think you can just glide through a fat loss phase - and hope to see changes. Personally, it doesn't work that way - you have to SERIOUSLY WANT the change.

It's always a see saw battle when it comes to fat loss for me. I'm not back to where I was just a bit over the weight I want to be at. Could be the holidays, could be the goals I set forth at the start of the year...but I'm not finding excuses. It's time to move on...NOW. So over the weekend I went back to the drawing board and reviewed my nutrition, studied the calorie content of the food that I've been eating the past few months and what's causing these stalls, and have promised myself I will eliminate them from my diet the next few weeks...hopefully through the year.

Now it's spring...and soon summer...time to get things in full swing as I know how to.

So I kickstarted my nutrition for the week, went to the grocery last night and got the things that I need to really succeed again. It's not that I didn't want to before...I just felt I didn't have to thinking that everything will be alright eventually. So lots of lean meats, tilapia and chicken...and lots of greens to go with it.

Been there, done that...but you can't rely on past success to justify where I'm at now. You can only take care of what you have in front of you...I have the tools, I have the knowledge...I just need to re-apply and put things together again.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Drop it Low..

Still here. What a the ages of 2 and 5, it such a really good age and pleasure where as a father am really enjoying more quality time with them, which is why I haven't been blogging as much as I would like. I will always put those little guys up first - always. I really appreciate my role as a Dad now than I was when they were younger, little babies. Now that they're involved in some team sports...that just gets me even more motivated than ever before.

Not that I haven't been training...I've been training - but what I've been trying to do these past few weeks is trying to adjust to my daily food consumptions. It's not going to be overnight - but am taking things generally slow and steady, applying what I've learned over the course of 3+ years. But you have truly have to get the mindset settled first before you can expect to see progress.

Main thing for me right now is to get consistent once again with my eating habits. Workouts are consistent, diet has been - I'll say so so but definitely on the up and up so and hope to only improve on it everyday. But I'm getting there. Just keeping things simple on that aspect of losing fat and not being over obsessed with it. Psychologically...that's the #1 thing here - don't overobsess yourself, or your going to fail. Not training for a sport or a contest here - so the "pressure" is not as bad if I were. But the pressure and accountability to myself is still there to continue to make healthier lifestyle changes as best as I can.

That's the whole enchilada right there...

Lots of goals set out to begin the year. Happy to have improved on strength. Now i REALLY just want to buckle down on nutrition and lean out. Took 2 weeks to play around with certain approaches to get my niche and my mindset back - now playtimes over and I think I found a program that I just may enjoy. So I'm excited about that.

Not shooting for the 6 pack this time. Not worried about that at all this time around. Just enough bodyfat to get through those hot summer days in San Diego and not have to cover up all that fat that lies under the clothing. I can just feel it in my clothing...and when that happens, it's time to drop the weight.

Well, guess I found my motivation haven't I?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Was going to hit the sack...but I wanted to post something in my blog. A good friend of mine told me how proud he was to see how I'm still going strong in this fitness thing. When alot of people tend to give up, lose interest...I'm still here - still giving it my all but continuously trying to learn new things.

Motivation is where it all starts...what motivates you to learn, what motivates you to keep it going? That's the question I always ask myself...everyday.

And yet, here I am... still able to manage my time with a fairly busy schedule. It's not easy...and no one's life should be. Don't be a victim of circumstances in life...there are reason's behind every obstacle we face. Just understand and do the best you can with what God has given you. Use those tools to YOUR advantage. Be blessed to have feet to walk with, arms to embrace, eyes to see the beauty that surrounds our very being - because there are probably many less fortunate one's out there that wish they can say the same. Be thankful with what you have and keep on pushing it to the very limits in EVERYTHING you do.

Obviously I do see alot of my own kids in me nowadays as they are getting older. It gives me a chuckle nowadays when they "workout" with Daddy in the garage and mimic certain movements that they see me doing. It's motivating that hopefully they too continue these habits as they get older. I hope that one day that it is to their benefit that they do and my wife supports it 100%. It's so nice to be that figure for them to look up to. No couch potato kids around this household.

It's family that will always push me through. That's what's going to keep me going.

So to those that are still in it...keep finding that motivation.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Target, aim and swing!

After picking up my boys from school at noon, I took them to a baseball park right next to where we live and had them tee off some balls for practice. Just started them to a t-ball league for the spring season coming up. It took alot of encouraging starting off, but now they are thoroughly enjoying the sport plus it gets them out there with other boys which is good at this age. They are still learning the basic fundamentals of the game, so it's a pretty exciting time as a parent to see them and give them some guidance on swinging, catching and throwing.

It's a great feeling how you can apply workouts to real life situations, much like the session I had with their t-ball on a gloomy Monday afternoon: You learn and you apply. You keep learning and you keep applying. You will get better.

After last week's trial run of a program circuit program, I've decided to mix it up with my own stuff this week. Still circuit training but will use a variety of similar approaches using the same concept split from Rosstraining. Today was work capacity so I mixed it up here with a kettlebell/bodyweight circuit. It was brutally fun. By the end of the first round, you'll be sweating like a pig.

5 rounds, 1 minute rest between circuits using a 54 lb Kettlebell:
a) One arm KB Push press 5 reps/arm
b) KB front squats 5 reps
c) One arm KB snatches 5 reps/arm
d) One arm KB swings 5 reps/arm
e) Burpees 10 reps/circuit

Tomorrow it's is just like hitting a ball - lockdown your target, aim and swing.

Til next time.


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Got Kettlebells?

Got Kettlebells? DO you hate long boring cardio to mess up your knees? Do you like bodyweight stuff mixed in fat loss programs?

Watch this funny, yet informative youtube link and check out their site. They're good friends I've met online from and now have a site up called It's good stuff and best of all - it's fun, free and they have some great programs for all kb levels:

Monday, March 1, 2010

Throwin' a curve ball!

Feeling good. I like these circuit type workouts I've started Saturday...for the whole month of March - that's the theme: metabolic restistance training or what I guess that's the "in" term these days in the fitness world.

One of the most effective ways to attack fat loss other than diet: full body workout splits of supersets and circuits. It feels really good to be able to get back to these training approaches. Have obviously been away from it for more than 2 months. Its time to rock and roll...

Checked my weight and I've already gone down a full pound in as little 3 days. Water weight...but that's how amazing the body works! It's just a little change up in an approach for a little bit and BAM - I feel like fat loss is so much easier.

It's like being "sedentary" for a little bit and then when you throw a curve ball in your repertoire - and BAM results just come quicker and you feel like a clean, fuel efficient engine again. Loved the strength and body building workouts....but this is where it's at for me. I've always enjoyed these type of workouts.

Took the day off today to recover as my glutes were very sore from the deadlifts last Saturday, as well as my core from yesterday's off day routine.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Complex Training

One reasons why I made a blog was to be able to find different fitness programs and learn from a wide variety of resources, never limiting my knowledge base to only a few philosophies. Variety of programs is always helpful in one's toolbox and one of the people in the fitness world that really inspires and motivates me would have to be "Steve" Javorek.

I'm in awe everytime I read about Steve Javorek's history and his barbell complex routines for athletes. He is the founder of complexes and almost every fitness guru seems to have some kind of Javorek inspired complex in their program design on the internet. People use the term MRT nowadays, some crossfitters as well...but this is THE flat out the old school effective training tool that's been existent even before I was even born...shoot even way before the world wide web caught up with this type of training - this guy's been using this for over 40 years!

So I went looking online for his book "Javorek's Complex Conditioning" after watching a video testimonial by female boxing champ - Sumya Anani who's been applying Javorek's conditioning principles for over 10 years. Here's her youtube testimonial:

Couldn't find his book (they are out of stock on I googled up a website of his and in here he shares some of his greatest complexes ever created; here are some of them in action on youtube. Btw, I highly doubt those plates are even close to 45 lb on each side - but with this type approach - you don't need heavy weight. He still has great form none the less. So for the ego lifters - throw out the ego when trying to attempt these:

Complexes..a perfect cardio workout to utilize as a method to burn more fat without ever having to hit a treadmill or bike while still creating a positive stimulus to burn belly fat. You can do them for strength training as a full on workout on it's own. It's your choice. The variations are endless...Results: unbelievable.

So as an off day routine and to play around a little...I decided to do his BB complex 2 with just the bar. Upper back still sore from yesterday's workout and battling a little cold here - I did a light routine of Javorek's Barbell Complex # 2, performing 3 reps per exercise for 6 cycles. Believe me this can really stimulate a very good cardio vascular response. I just wanted to try it for kicks within the confines of home and I already was huffing by the 4th cycle (don't know if the cold has anything to do with it). Anyway it felt great. Here's how it went down:

Bar Upright Row
Bar High Pull Snatch
Bar Behind the Head Squat Push Press
Bar Behind the Head Good Morning
Bar Bent Over Row

He also has dumbell complexes that can be utilized too. Again, the variations are endless...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Today completes 4 weeks of this mass building program venture. In order to continue getting gains...I believe I would have to do at least another 4-6 more weeks...but it's just mentally gratifying to even complete 4 weeks on a program. I honestly thought I can do both (build muscle and lose fat at the same time - but guys, that's just hard to do. Creating blocks in the year for mass build and fat loss should be the way to go for me. It's one way or the other...not both).

Whatever which way I go I could still make a mass building program work towards fat loss. It's fun to be able to get all bulked up and all that - it doesn't take much discipline in dieting at all.

The workout I did was brutally tough but fun...body sore almost every day of the week...even on off days.

But now I'm ready to get back to conditioning circuits and metabolic strength training - and seriously get my bodyfat down to what's acceptable, which would require me to get down to 167 lbs.

Approach...I know it's going to take better nutrition but it's just tough trying to figure out which way to go with my training program. I have a few days to contemplate here.

I want to continue to develop my upper body but keep on squatting and I might throw a curve ball here in my approach i.e. more intervals, HIT, metabolic resistance style training...I know what I need to's just a matter of putting it into play.

Coming down with a little cold. May be from the snow trip we had to Big Bear over the weekend. Should be good in a few days...


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Shoulder Day and Lent

So today was shoulders. Got a wake up call from a very good friend of mine and it was off to the races to the gym to close out week 3 with some shoulder work.

3 weeks in and am really enjoying the workout design. Slightly tweaked but definitely doing them. Shirt is getting tighter. Love the upper body work I'm getting from it right now. can't say anything bad about the program and I'm really contemplating on doing another 4 more weeks here, something similar to this but will combine back and shoulders. Hope to add some intervals for more of a cardio feel on some days.

Anyway, history...born and raised as a Catholic. Well most Filipino's are 90% Catholic anyway. Went to a private Catholic High School and University to finish my Nursing Degree. It is tradition to hold and honor alot of the old practices and traditions that I've followed since I was young, that my parents have sort of engrained in me if you will.

Ash Wedesday I laid off any type of meat. Lots of people are giving up some things for this Lent season before Easter. So I've decided to give Friday's the day where I keep my calories at a low. Still eating - but I'd rather keep Fridays where they are way below what I should be eating. And of course: fish, fish and fish.

Hopefully this in turn gets me mentally prepared when I start to cut calories when I really start leaning out through the spring and summer.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Wussup!? =)

Getting warmer around these parts. Loving it. 2 more weeks of this current muscle building program - and it's off to athletic conditioning/endurance workouts for the next several months. For some reason it's much easier for me to lose fat than it is to gain muscle. One thing I can definitely's so easy to eat on a mass building phase. ;)

I'm learning alot from this strength/mass building phase here. I've been working on this since December. I really want to get some lean mass on this 5'7" frame and do it the right way as best as I can but I can't say for sure if I have because I haven't taken the time to get measurements. My bad.

Again, I won't make it sound so scientific here - but if you want to get big... you better be eating big and do your best to lift heavy, get your rest and recover on off days.

But you will never ever out train a bad diet and I've been one to have my hand caught in that cookie jar on several occasions.

If you're more on the "want to lose body fat" stage...the same rule applies here - eat right to compliment your training and vice versa. Burn more calories than you eat and do workouts that are more geared towards full body circuits, supersetting and conditioning. It's a simple equation but takes alot of discpline to do either one. Alot of it.

But I'm always enjoying these fitness journeys...always aiming to learn new things and improve your health through right nutrition and exercise.

People say see sawing weight fluctuations...for some that can be mentally trying for alot of us. It's been mentally trying for me for many years. People see weight gain, some flab growing around the waist and they freak out like it's a hopeless case that they'll ever lose weight. Its almost like a negative than a positive. But I've been on both sides of the spectrum so when I see 182 lbs...I'm happy as hell! But not so hot about the extra fat that comes with it. Take out the carbs, the water...I'm probably hovering around the high 170's.

Choose the right program. Choose the the right nutrition. And stick to it.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Cold today. Very atypical weather down here.

Got up early and I just felt like staying in bed. I don't know how people in cold whether cities manage to get up when it's butt freezing cold. I guess Southern Californians are spoiled like that. I mean, even with the slightest rainfall - So Cal drivers are at their worst out on the freeways...

Shoulder day today...was so looking forward to it too.

It's all about the bigger picture here for me. If I indeed intend to improve on mass building and improving my physique (well at this point, I've gained a little fat to go with it), I have learned to appreciate the importance of rest to the muscle building equation. I've always like to train more than I have to - the 5 day a week mentality was me. But I've realized what works five days a week will not necessarily gain more muscle than the one who trains two days a week. Yada, yada, yada..but that's why I love this split...but I just couldn't get my ass out of bed early enough to get today's workout in.

One thing I've also learned to develop is to concentrate on eating and getting proper rest. Again, quality dieting and quality rest will prove just as important to one's mass building goals in relation to my chosen weight training program I'm on. Dude - with a young family, work...there is a life out of the gym - but I always have a saying to always make exercise a lifestyle and everthing else should fall into its proper place.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Training Split and other stuff

I like the training split Im on...2 days on, 1 day off, 2 days on...2 days off. Like the focus on specific body parts on a given day.

Lots of time left to do other things and it's been great so far. Enjoying this program very much. The chest work is just killer. Weights gone up...don't know if that's really a good thing or a bad thing but when training for strength and lean mass - best approach is to take the good with the bad, even with some increases in bodyfat. That just comes with the territory.

I just know when I get to full body strength training programs and conditioning workouts again - it should be really interesting to observe at a fitness standpoint. I've never really trained this long for strength and muscle development and I know how deconditioned my body feels - I almost forget what it feels like to go through a circuit.

Fat loss and conditioning workouts will always be my cup of tea...and still is. I love em! That's what I'll call my "in season workouts"; that's when I peak and at my best. I'll call this my "off season" from now on if you will every year. Still training hard...but smarter, I'd like to believe. This is not a break at all and the volume is a bit more, as has the eating. But it's all good.

Have a great day...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Drew Brees and the TRX

As a Chargers Fan...I've been a huge supporter of Drew Brees when he was drafted by our GM back then in the 2nd round in the 01 Draft (well, we all know who the Chargers drafted in the 1st round right? The "#21"! ).

I can only hope for him hoisting that Lombardi Trophy over his head tomorrow night because he's nothing but a class act not only while he was in San Diego...but also for the city of New Orleans.

Anyway, I found a great youtube video of Drew Brees and him using the TRX system that I wanted to share here. He's apparently a believer in Suspension Training (something I'm barely scratching the surface on with my own training repertoire) so this I had to post it up here in my blog. Todd Durkin is well known strength and conditioning coach and I believe he also trains LT during the off season.

Anyway, check him out in action! Kill them Colts tomorrow!

Friday Night Pizza...and my AM Workout

Had pizza with the family last night. about carb overload. It's been sometime since I had a pizza. What a way to end the week.

So today is week 2 of my current program with focus on chest and abs with some back work. Got up at 5 am and got it out of the way. Hardly anyone at the gym but a few guys and gals. Very quiet, very low key - gym music was just right. That's how I like it!

All weights have gone up 10 lbs from last week on all lifts except for the cable crunches which is still at 120 lbs.

Finished the workout with some spinning and sauna for about 5 minutes. What a way to use those carb stores from last night...hehehe. Felt good though.

Today is a new day.

I'm really noticing some nice upper body toning. I have broad shoulders and I think that's one thing that really sticks out no matter what I do. But I really want to get those chiseled delts that are so hard to train as you don't want to do too much to mess up your rotator cuff or too little to not get any significant gains. There's enough pressing moves in this program to work on delt development which is great.

Enjoy the weekend and go Saints!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Rack Pull aka Partial Deadlifts

Started on a new TT workout last Saturday and today was supposed to be back and abs. Was reviewing the program all weekend and noticed that there was rack pulling on Day 4. It's basically a partial deadlift and you can really place more loads on the bar than you would on a true deadlift, because you don't really have to go the full range of motion that a regular deadlift would require.

So I added the rack pulls into todays workout for the variety...too many rows set today so I took out the barbell row and added rack pulls today. For the shoulder workout coming up, I may just add a power clean or snatch to start it off.

I think I've definitely developed a love for the deadlift as I have the squats. It is an excellent exercise to improve the posterior chain muscles (you're non mirror muscles). Want a nice back and improve strength - then you definitely want to do rack pulls or deadlifts no doubt. But if you want to concentrate more on your back then the rack pull is definitely a great alternative.

Here's a video of doing the proper deadlift via Again if you want an excellent alternative to deadlifts, this has to be it.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Week in Review

I think I've taken the proper progressions so far. It's always been conditioning/fat loss workouts for me. I love those workouts and will never abandon those approaches that have worked so effectively for me over the years.

At the end of last was essentially bodyweight stuff. Something I enjoyed doing but not exactly getting the full benefits of the program as my diet stunk during the holidays. I enjoyed it however, as it did help alot with giving my joints a break from lifting weights for the most part of the year. Resting my shoulders and knee joints and minimizing alot of road work (i.e. running, kettlebell swinging)...has definitely been beneficial.

Going into the New Year...I had already started basic strength training. Starting with the 45 bar working up to 225 lbs. It's safe to say I'm definitely a way am I a true powerlifter by any means. That's for the big boys. That takes years to develop if you're really serious about going that route.

But I do want to get big and work on some lean mass...but I know this is going to take some planning. I'm trying to find a program that would allow me to do both effectively at home or at a gym. Some of the exercises are best done at the gym than at home. Most of the stuff I have at home are ideal for conditioning and strength work. Muscle building programs - definitely the gym is where it's at for me, so hopefully I can get a schedule that allows me to get those workouts in good standing the next few weeks regardless of where I'm at. If not, I don't mind modifying a little if I have to do them at home.

Have a great weekend! Don't re-invent the wheel...just keep on turning em!

Train safe!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Time to Get BIG (ger)!!!

Ok time to get bigger (if I'm not big fat as it is)...

5 weeks of strength training, I know I've said I would never do this in my life but I'm confident to focus on improving on some lean mass. Yup, "mass build" is what they would call it in the bodybuilding world but I would like to call it - improving on lean mass.

May keep the Texas method on here with the program I'm going to start next week. Will use strength training (lower rep range, heavier wt) still as a focus at the begininning of some workouts or at the end of the week to reach some personal records on some loads of various lifts (i.e. trying to improve on moves like the squat and deadlift; improve loads on the dumbell press) but will transition that into mass building with higher reps (i.e. bigger chest, arms, butt) the next 4 weeks.

Surprisingly, I was not as sore with strength training than I am with hypertrophy training. I was never a big fan of hypertrophy training for those who have read my blog over the years. But what I did feel with this stronglift program was I was getting stronger each session as the weights got heavier. Maybe it was the low volume of strength training and familiarity with the movements that really wasn't an issue at all while on this interesting approach to strength training. But one thing for sure: my form has definitely improved significantly.

But I also realized that I can't go up more than 1.2 x my BW at my current fitness level - so I guess I'm fairly average if that. I probably can - but I think I can work on that again come October and the winter months. I just know that I've improved on the strength department so thats definitely a plus.

I only began feeling some soreness when the weights were probably at 155 lbs..but succeeding weeks not as much. I guess that's how strength training works.

I remember I did a Turbulence Training Program that I completely sucked at and only did 2 weeks of because I was throwing the weight loads all over the place. Hopefully this time, I can be more systematic with my approach and hopefully improve on some lean mass. 4 weeks I'm giving myself here and we'll see where this goes.

My bodyfat has been a bit skewed these past several weeks. But I'll be honest - it sure aint like the guy you see to the right of this blog with his hat on. I've lost my abs, I have some flab to show for...but honestly, I think that really comes with the territory here - and that nutrition will come full circle here soon enough. Come March, I hope to get back into circuit training and metabolic supersets to lean out some with more of a calorie deficit approach. Just not right now. That's not the goal...well at least for now.

So I'm eating like a madman basically to get strong and hopefully to get big! But eating SHOULD not mean to eat anything in your sight of vision (although I pigged out yesterday as it was my birthday). Got to get that mindset back of eating the right way as opposed to eating because I know I'm not eating to get lean sort of thing. That's just the wrong way to go about this. Eat but eat right. You lose control of the nutritional part - you'll lose control for sure. I'll get it down. March for sure...

Monday, January 25, 2010

225 lbs - Goal ACHIEVED.

Got to 225 on the 5x5 this morning. This was a longer session than I thought or expected (but again this is much heavier weight). I had to take this to the gym today because I just don't feel safe without a spotter or a squat station with pins just in case I need to drop the weight. Todays workout was workout A of the stronglifts program which was essentially squats and bench press day. Did really good on the squats but at around the 3rd set on the bench press, I was definitely feeling my strength I took it to the squat station and finished off the last 2 sets there. On the negative, it was assuring to have the safety bars on the sides just in case. I was slightly touching them on the negatives but it felt so good getting that weight up over my chest on each rep!

But now it's time for the Texas method. Same weight with the days split up by volume (5x5, adding 5 lbs every week), a recovery day (10% lighter than the volume day 3x3) and an intensity day (personal record 1x1, 1x2 or 1x3). May be able mix it up a little with some complexes after each workout or on off days.

I'm still doing HIIT after every workout..essentially treadmill sprints. Not doing much circuits or complexes. Today wasn't any different. Cals are up but I don't really worry about that too much but still making healthy food choices like brown rice and continue to avoid eating crap as best I can (well at least that's the mindset I've taken with this challenge). I just want to get stronger. If I can work on getting stronger - I believe I can definitely take advantage of future programs I intend on doing (and I do have a few on mind already).

I've realized you just can't put 2 different goals together. You want to lose weight - go fat loss programs. You want to get strong, do strength programs. You can definitely do both - but I'd rather focus on one particular goal than to mix them up. Usually that's a bad approach for the average guy or gal - because it only leads to disappointment I like to think. Focus on one goal and concentrate on that. When it's time to cut - then that's when you do everything you can to cut. Right now, it's all about strength training. Conditioning and fat loss will come around. It always has for me in the past. But I need to do this for my own benefit. I personally think the past few years I've been lifting lighter weight than I should - maybe because of my diet and goals were more geared towards fat loss - so it was obviously different then. What am I going to do with all this strength training? Toss cars around? No..that's not the intention of all this. I just know what I need to do to get better results and I know I'm getting there.

That's the whole concept right now for me. Strength development. 1.2 x BW...may sound puny to the hardcore fit guy. But honestly...this is definitely a personal accomplishment today for me.

~ a.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Weekly Update

Up to 195 lbs on the lifts as I've said yesterday. BF: 15% at 175 lbs. Lifting heavier weight than my current weight is definitely positive strength progress indeed.

I just want to take back a post that I was going to go back to treadmill cardio again. No, that's just not me to even consider going back to those lame ol boiring cardio routines. THAT'S NOT ME AND WILL NEVER GO BACK TO THOSE DARK DAYS OF FITNESS. That's what the uninformed do.

I just never had time to really put any good interval sessions last week because of my muscle soreness I had from playing volleyball last week.

So this morning I got up, did some foam rolling and did a nice HIIT session on my treadmill and followed it up with some core work consisting of scissor kicks, fast cross body mountain climbers, planks and blast strap roll outs (I call them supermans).

The end of this week officially completes Week 4. I intend to get to the point of being able to lift 225 one more week of this program and it's off to doing the Texas method with some conditioning routines, for a short bit and then back to a new program come mid February.

So far, so good...very happy with my strength gains to this point and happy to be close to achieving that goals for strength that I set forth starting the year.

Gotta pick up the kids! Have a good weekend!


Thursday, January 21, 2010

195 lbs on the 5x5

Up to 195 lbs on the lifts of Workout A this morning. What a workout program - you just can't go wrong with the basic lifts to develop strength. You just can't deny that this is simple yet very effective if strength is a goal. There's just no bullshit, unnecessary stuff to do. You just do the exercises as they are written and you're good to go. No need to overthink why and what you're doing. Just do it.

Got my friend Ed into the program and he's enjoying it too.

This is my 4th WEEK and after this week, I should be at 225 lbs which is my goal. Will have to decide whether I want to keep going or not but may mix it up and go the Texas Method route the next 4 after that.

Still keeping my form as strict as I can. And yes - I'm loving squats!

What I haven't been doing is much conditioning work. I just don't have the desire right now to be focusing too much on that for off days. I've always enjoyed them and will do them here and there but if it's an off day -I'll do some light cardio work on the treadmill, heavy bag or bike and continue my core exercises and foam rolling as usual.

I'm quite happy with the stronglifts program - it's very satisfying to add the weight on there every time even if it was just another 10 lbs each time (I was supposed to add only 5lbs each time but I found this route a litte bit better for me, as I'm not a beginner beginner here). There's just no end to this routine with just basic movements. May just do some light runs for off days and core work.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

185 lbs and Brown Rice

Up to 185 lbs on the squats and deadlifts. Didn't feel confident with the Overhead Presses so I scaled back to 95 lbs on that exercise. Do not necessarily want to get strong on the overhead press. It sure would be nice though but I think going up to 135-155 lb range on this exercise is a-okay for me. But everything else: I hope to improve on those numbers.

If the loads get way too heavier for me and if and when I do hit 1.2x my BW - it's off to the Texas Method of Strength Training which is a hybrid approach to the stronglift philosophy, it's just sticking to the same weight for the whole week and then adding weight every week on out.

After that it was some extra stuff with some glute ham raises, shoulder rotations, and more chins for extra work.

Was at the commercial gym this morning. Rainy day here in San Diego and working out in my garage just wasn't something I intended on doing this morning. So I took it to the gym and enjoyed a little sauna at the end before picking up the kids from school.

Brown rice...I think I have finally acquired the taste for it. I don't know why but I always hated brown rice. Back in the day I would never take brown rice over white rice...but damn, it is really good!!

Intervals tomorrow...

Monday, January 18, 2010

I've been hurtin'!

Happy Martin Luther King Day to all...

I miss volleyball. It's been 3 full months that I haven't hit the volleyball court. Hey, when you're're just... busy. But definitely not busy to keep this blog going. I may never give this up!

So I head off to one of our local volleyball gyms here in San Diego for the first time in ages last Wednesday (I even worked out that morning with strength workout A from strong lifts. Wasn't sore at all when I started playing that evening. Up to 175 lbs - which by the way is my current weight as we speak so I am at BW with my 5x5 lifts. I'm loving this workout!!). Anyway, same guys out there which was nice to see. Early on I felt I may have lost it some (I was so worried that I lost my jumping ability) obviously my hit trajectory was more to my unliking.
So I started warming up with some ball walling, some lunge stretching, torso twists and arm swings...and it was off to warm up where we just start doing some hit drills before our actual game started.
Pretty intense game...I was really having a blast and best of all - I truly believe I still got it.
I got home that night...and ate like a lion. But I also felt some soreness around my swinging arm (right shoulder) and yes, my knees again (I really think it's tendonitis). So it was some ice and Motrin and it was off to lala land. I swear...I must have tendonitis like you can't imagine!
So I get up the next day, and I feel like my entire torso got a pretty good workout too. I mean my whole torso was sore, from my mid section to my obliques. Only tells you one thing - I haven't challenged my body so hard in sometime.
So I haven't started week 4 yet of my program. It's been 5 days since my last workout...only because I felt beat up from volleyball the other day. But damn was it fun! Just have to remember to ice up everytime.
I feel recovered, so it's workout B tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ad Lib Off Day Routine

Conditioning workout today was 2 circuits sets of a Kettlebell circuit (35 lb KB,) 2 circuit sets of a barbell complex (bar only) and 3 sets of a core circuit. My finisher was a 1.5 mile jog (1st distance run in sometime. Don't know why I did it). And some foam rolling to top it off.

Nothing else today...strength workout tomorrow --- and the kids 1st day back to school to start 2010.

Good night! Gotta get up early...


Monday, January 11, 2010


"The worst days of those who enjoy what they do are better than the best days of those who don't." - Jim Rohn

Didn't feel like working out today...don't know for some reason, I wasn't 100% mentally. But I got up at about 8:30 am, put on my hoodie, walked in my garage and warmed up to some wicked tunes to get me up and going and it was on.

I knew coming in today's workout, I was walking into a heavier load range - 135 lbs. This is in fact my 3rd week and was a bit scared of the load as it involved OH presses.

Barbell Squats, you got to love leg work...I know I have appreciated squats more over time than any other exercise that I know of (other than deadlifts). My form is at it's best right now - squatting below the knees and all the way down and up. I think this exercise alone has actually made my knees even stronger believe it or not. Looking back, I think I doubted my own form on this movement in the past. What a revelation.

But it was on the overhead press where I kind of felt a bit intimidated starting off. I literally was staring at the bar in front of me with my hands securely wrapped around it - getting mentally ready of the task before me. I warmed up with just the bar before I started my true sets but on the first 2 sets I did only 2 sets of 3 reps because I felt like I would mess up form if I went any more. I honestly doubted my own strength here...underestimated it a little because it actually felt like a warm up! DOH! Honestly, I should have warmed up a little more before doing the actual sets and reps because on the last 3 sets I was able to explosively lift the weight at 5 reps each set (with rest periods of about 2-3 minutes between sets) - to finish it off. That's ok...I'll leave the OH presses at a half assed effort today. I'll remember next time. But 3 good sets out of 5 is pretty good in my book. Condsidering the loads are heavier, I'll just remember to have a more effective warm up set to get those muscles activated alot quicker than with just a bar. Lesson learned!

Again, train smart...and train safe. That's the mindset!

Deadlifted at 175 lbs at 1 set...that's my BWx1 as it is. So forward progress there as well!

Don't let time pass you by. Make the time...and reap the benefits!


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Week 2 Round Up

Off day conditioning routine yesterday…full body strength work this morning Week 3 (new week starts every Saturday as this works around my schedule to get a good workout in. One of my goals which I’m definitely adhering to): Workout A – in the wraps. Up to 125 lbs on the squats and bench presses. Inverted rows and push ups are to failure and I’m currently ranging around the 15-20 rep ranges each time. Linear progression I guess (although I wouldn't call it such right now as I'm doing some conditioning routines as well). Doing really good and really am learning a lot as I go along with this program. My goal is to get somewhere around 1.2 x my BW by the end of this program. That would be 5x5 lifting about 215 lbs on the bench, squats and oh presses. Very, very doable maybe can do better than that but will have to make some adjustments. Somewhere along these lines soon I’m going to have to drop conditioning work to maybe once a week now and focus strictly on strength training.

One thing I noticed after doing deadlifts at 135 lbs followed up with pull ups to failure – my lats, rear delts and traps again had that nice type of soreness. Plus my sleep is very much improved to months past which has been a plus for me. Not konking out mid day, not overtraining at all and the body is responding rather well.

Slow steady progression for the first 2 weeks so far. Weights are definitely going up each time. Definitely enjoyingthe “process” of this fairly new approach to training. BF now at 16.5% could be skewy but I did this 3x yesterday and I’ll take it. Not worried about weight scale numbers right now. If there’s any type of weight I want to gain is the load on the barbell and some muscle if anything that might come with this type of strength training program. Weight I want to lose: B O D Y F A T! Surpisingly my diet is at a cal surplus as I need it to sustain this program (approximately 2500 – 2700 cals/day) and I’m not gaining any inches around the waist at all. This is amazing.

Haven’t taken a 2 week progress pic yet. Should hopefully do that tomorrow. What I’m really impressed with is my form. All movements are done with good form – absolutely no cheating even on the bodyweight routines (something I’ve been able to do from time to time which isn’t good).

And best of all – my knees are healthy. Yup. I'll take that. And I'm not going to anything stupid to ^&*$ it up even more - anymore (well hopefully!). Smarter training is going to be the mindset!

Tomorrow is a complete day off. Nothing on schedule.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Off Day Routine: Core + Cardio Circuits

Slept like a log last night. I woke up this morning and felt pretty recovered from my glute and quad soreness. Yesterday's strength session may have helped. Hardly any muscle soreness today.

So this morning, ws planning on a bike ride but I changed my mind. So I got up and did some stretching, shoulder rotations and foam rolling. Didn't realize how tight my IT bands were though. The rolls surely did help some.

Loosened up...instead of a bike ride, I went and did this for an off day routine.

Core Circuit x 2
Blast strap Torso twists
Ab wheel roll outs
V ups
Prone bridges

Cardio Circuit x 1
5 minute blocks
a) Jump Rope
b) Heavy Bag
c) Treadmill run
d) Band Pulls

That was it. Happy Friday ya'll. Workout A tomorrow of the 5x5.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

My Morning Workout

Rise and shine...loads getting progressively heavier. After a nice dynamic warm up and a few warm ups at the squat station - it was on.

Took about a minute to 2 minutes to recover between sets. Good form all through out. Had the rack safety bars just below shoulder height for the overhead press.

6 am

Squats (Olympic style) 105x5x5
OH Press 105x5x5
Deadlift 135x1x5 overhand grip
Pull Ups 10, 8, 8 (3 sets done to failure)
Prone bridges with 3 x 30 sec hold

No intervals.

Looks easy? Give it a try. This whole routine with warm up took me 40 minutes to complete. Gave myself enough time before proceeding with the next strength set. All good form. Very basic, straightforward routine that hits your whole entire body.

Day off tomorrow...but may do some light jogging or a bike run around the neighborhood in the morning.

Lovin' it!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sprint Intervals

Got up this morning and did some sprint intervals. Back to back sessions...loved it.

Feeling my quads, chest and glutes soring up this morning. I'm really enjoying this 5x5 program by I'm glad I did some intervals this morning as it somehow really helped the soreness a little. After that it was a nice little cooldown and some stretching of sore muscles afterwards.

Tomorrow it's Workout B with squats, overhead presses and deadlifts. I can feel the weight is definitely getting up there.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My First Trip Back to the Commercial Gym for 2010

First time to take a trip to the commercial gym. Was expecting a huge crowd at exactly 9am...but that wasn't the case this am. Parking wasn't a hassle either...

So I walk in and I see guys doing one arm dumbell cleans, guys doing pull ups, some doing supersetting routines, some fit girls doing stab ball rotational exercises and a few doing planks. I mean the stab balls were all taken in the gym this morning. Not that I was planning on using any of them today - but the fact that I see more and more people resorting to free weight exercises versus machines I guess is a good thing.

One thing I saw was the ego lifters going half way down on a leg press machine with a good amount of weight on it. None of my business but I couldn't help watch their form. Was it right or wrong? I don't know, haven't done them in a while, but it sure didn't look right to me. It's those things that make you wonder I guess. Oh well.

And then you see the guys and the girls hanging out leisurely...guy A who appears to sweat coming down his forehead and the girl A with her little sippy cup of water chit chatting for minutes on end. Then you have guy b with girl b - helping out girl b with an exercise and a few giggles in there as well. Yep the meathouse mentality set in again for me once again.

It doesn't bother me - but geez man - take it Starbucks if all you want to do is mess around in a gym.

Anyway, here I am - in my gym observation mode this morning entering in...observing, watching as I start my own routine. I'm not one to train much at my commercial gym anymore unless I need a change of scenery...and I'm glad I did this morning. But I slowly realized the why's as to why I like to workout at home or at work vs commercial gyms.

Less drama.

Anyway, here's how my workout went this morning, loads getting up there ~

a) Strength
Squats 95x5x5
Bench Press 95x5x5
Inverted rows 15, 13, 12
Push ups 12, 12, 8
* skipped the core for later

b) Intervals

Treadmill Sprints for intervals for 8 cycles 45 s work/60 s recovery

c) Core Training (2 circuits)

Planks (yep, more planks)
ab wheel roll outs (using olympic bar and some plates)
side Planks
Reverse ab crunches

Less than 45 minutes was all it took for this routine. After that it was steam and a nice trip back home. Took a nice little power nap after 2 pm which helped. But my nutrition has been getting much better. I know so because the body just feels like it's in "cleansing" mode right now. I love it!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Psychological Benefits of load progression

So my workouts have been going good. Slow steady progress. Nutrition is getting better but not where I want it to be just yet. 2 days of cleaner eating, you'll be surprised how much water weight you can drop in just a few days. It's quite interesting but the fact is - BF doesn't lie to you!

Tomorrow it's workout A of the program with an 85 lb load on the squats as well as the bench. Starting lighter than normal was a change up, but I like this approach especially haven't done a pure strength program ever. Can't wait til I get up to the 100's - but I'm taking my time. The psychological benefits of starting with the bar truly helps. Mentally, it's like you're breaking records every single time...the weights are light but really develops mental fortitude as you get better. The mental development aspect of this program is really eye poppening.

I'll get there...

Loads have progressively gone up obviously. Not heavy enough for those hardcorers out there but just enough for me to get down proper form. You can really work it with these strong lifts. Everything from handling the bar, proper technique on the lift - really being aware of form here. I just know that once I reach 25 lbs plates on each side of the bar - the challenge gets even more challenging with the 5x5. For off days...I've been doing cardio circuits that are more metabolic demanding but don't want to let this interfere with my strength program. They really do compliment the 5x5 routine!

Anyway, I've split it to be a 6 day workout week for me. It will be strength training 3x/week. Everything else is supplementary to that - be it cardio circuits, power circuits, complexes, intervals for off days as well as stretching and foam rolling.

I just know in due time, intervals and circuits may need to be limited. Don't want to overdo things here. Right now - I definitely can benefit with added conditioning these next few weeks. By the end of week 4, I hope to have at least shed some fat here.

Yesterday was an interesting circuit for me:

5 rounds, 30 secs each exercise, 1 minute rest between each round:
Speed rope (I'm getting really good at this!)
Running High Knees with 5 lb db's
KB swings

After that it was 3 rounds of a core circuit:
Turkish get ups with KB
Seated KB Torso twists
Side Planks
Mountain climbers

Today is an off day.


Friday, January 1, 2010

Cheers to 2010

Where did 09 go? Are you ready for 2010? I'm ready.

Already anticipating this current program to get harder and harder. Bring it on. Although I do believe in some of what this system puts out there for the user - by doing, I'm quickly understanding. With some patience and understanding the body - I like my chances - but I know this program gets harder and harder.

But I still want to lose some unwanted holiday weight here so nutrition will play a big factor. Calories will be up but just enough to keep it going instead of flaming out by week 3. But I have to be very aware of the pitfalls that come with strength training. You got to eat...but with the understanding of what and why you're eating it.

So I cleared out our fridge of all that junk food (except for the kids of course). Will convert back to brown rice over white rice. Eat more whole foods over junk foods.

Now to my plan of attack to achieve these goals with the tools that I have at hand.

- #1 Plan of attack. Keep that nutrition nice and clean once again. I get into nutrition slumps by October it seems. So this year, will keep those bad diets to a minimum as best as I can. One thing I want to do is drop my bodyfat %. I feel so sluggish at 17.5% bodyfat. If I can get it down to 12% - I'm good to go here.

- #2 Progress Pictures. But one thing I will certainly do when I get the chance today - is to take an Official Day 1 Progress Picture (won't post here but hopefully will post with a before and after pic at or around the 12th week mark). I'm not a good measurer of bodyparts, but progress pics tell me a better picture for me, along with BF measurements from an electronic scale.

- #3 Weigh Weekly. This will be done every Friday. This weight I took today is so off as I had tons of food and drink in my system the night before as well as the morning of New Years. But that's skewed as it is...more motivation for me to do the right thing here on out. :)

- #4 Be accountable with pictures and posting my workouts here or through a forum of likeminds with similar goals. I will take weekly pictures again and see my body transform into one that's leaner but more stronger. I will take videos from time to time on my form on some workouts and critique every single aspect of each strong lift performed. Will incorporate conditioning routines as part of interval training too. Will not deny the benefits of high intensity interval training here - that is one tool I will never change.

- #5 Remember to keep the mindset of doing if for myself. I owe this to my body and no one else's.

- #6 Make the time as opposed to finding the time. The mid part of last year was a wake up call for me. Twins are in school now...double the efforts? HELL YEAH IT IS! So we've quickly learning that everything doesn't have to evolve around them - and me and my wife still have a life here (even with a 2 year old son right behind the 2older boys). Work, family..exercise - They must be coordinated and balanced to continue this on. I'm well aware of that and will tackle it head on.

- #7 Stay injury free. Hey, if I can't lift a weight and I know I can't - at least this program allows for deloading. So that I will do when I do feel like I'm not progressing in weights. WARM UPS, STRETCHING AND TONS OF FOAM ROLLING!!!