Day no 2

When I woke up this morning… you, my dear training, were on my miiiiiind…

Actually, my phone woke me up this morning. And I had a long debate with myself whether I should go training or not. In fact, I always have a long debate whether I should go training or not, but this time it was very serious. Then I remembered it’s my favourite day of the training week. Yes, it’s the least painful and most rewarding. Although it did almost make me cry the last time. So, my better half won and I got out of bed. Then my scale confirmed I made the right choice. Then I realised it was horribly late.

I’ve started with split squat jumps. I could hardly call that a jump, but hey, I really tried.

50 kg front squat – 10 reps, however I was losing my form towards the end. I got a bit distracted, but I’m glad I did more than expected. I would’ve been happy with 8.

12×12.5 kg dumbbell rows – this is getting very very difficult.

Trap bar – 55 kg, 8 reps!!! Weird, tough, slightly boring. I don’t like many reps on whole body exercises.

Everybody finished by 9, so I decided not to do the barbell complex. Such a pity, I know, but maybe it’s for the best. I have a 13 hr flight tomorrow. The thought of holiday pain is already torturing me.

I told Christabel to arch her back today. I was so shy she could barely hear me. I had to repeat, twice. She had a 15 kg dumbbell and I was barely holding a side plank with 7.5kg. I felt vulnerable.

It was unbearably hot and everybody was tired and drenched in sweat. I timed John and completely messed up his Tabata.




I’ve found her photo here and then stared in amazement after reading the caption:

My body provided a safe place for my children to grow, and now it provides strength so that I can be there as they grow up. My favorite body part is *drumroll* my glutes. Since I began building them, I no longer suffer low back pain, can run faster, jump higher, and move more weight. I feel them powering as I walk, climb, and pick up weights.

Click to read and see more. 🙂

I feel like they’ve been hiding something from me

I was browsing one of my favourite food blogs with plenty of caution because it talks about mexican food, doughnuts, pancakes, brownies, bread puddings and other stuff that make you happy and fluffy when I suddenly came across a post about low-carb burgers.

All these years! All these years!! Seriously, people, why did I find out so late about it? And why so many people still have no clue? My dad thinks I’m the “victim” of a “theory”, that all the ideas about nutrition are wild guesses. Low-carb diets have been documented for decades and nutritionists still count calories and feed grains to fat people. And those who do know what to eat prefer to ignore it completely. Sometimes I feel there’s too much pressure from the entire society to consume carbs. Starting from Granny’s pies that you ate in your childhood and ending with the amount of commercials that invade our lives, it’s all about stuffing our face with sugary foods. I wish I could have a choice regarding my brother’s school menu. I wish I could tell dad he needs more strength when walking by the ice-cream van. I wish I would have more strength to let go of all these bad habits.

Holiday pain

I’m not sure what made me think that a weekend practicing with mom and one v-burn challenge session with my brother would prepare me for this week.

I can’t walk normally. And it feels like I will never be able to. Ever again. Getting back from a holiday reminds me of the beginning of weight club.

My upper body is almost useless. After 100 pushups on the previous session, it’s all drained.

The first day of the training week is now officially the worst. I think we all agreed, in between cursing and arguing on boxes and inverted rows. Yes, we had a little moment of panic, but Daniel fixed with “Fuck this! We’ll do pushups!”

I’ve started with power cleans, rather heavy ones, but not impossible. Ok, I could only do sets of 4 instead of 5, but let’s blame it on the fact that I was very tired and in so much pain.

Then, bench press (really heavy) + split squats (also really heavy). This was the worst bit. I failed, I couldn’t finish the reps, I couldn’t even lift the last weight. I don’t get it. Am I that tired? I can definitely tell I’ve been improving my upper body strength. I can do a few pushups as opposed to none. I can’t do any pull-ups yet, but I’m a stronger monkey when I try them. The power cleans and snatches have gone up. Bench press – fail! Still pushing, keep pushing! 😉

I was supposed to do deadlift with bands, but we couldn’t find a band. All these exercises took me ages because I need some warm-up sets. In the end I gave up on the last set and started the front squat Tabata. Surprisingly, this went better than expected. I’ve started with 10-11 reps per set, dropped to 7-8 in the second half and ended with 9 reps. As I was about to give up, Daniel said we have only two more sets. That’s when I knew I’ll be able to finish the exercise.

It’s getting difficult to type…

Eggs and bacon – how much one can have

No matter what, I always end up talking about eggs and bacon. While I was visiting my parents I realised I’ve developed very specific eating habits. Before I thought I’m just being lazy and eating similar food all the time. The moment I was forced to change my diet I suddenly realised I need those items on my plate. For instance, I can’t live without tomatoes. I have to have them at almost every meal! I don’t feel full, I feel like something is missing if I don’t eat one. Luckily, there were plenty of tasty tomatoes in my grandparents’ garden, so I didn’t suffer.

But let me tell you how my trip there revolved around eggs and bacon. Before leaving I made sure nothing from the fridge is wasted. I was supposed to catch a bus at 3 am. Around midnight I had a massive omelette  – 2 eggs and extra whites, tomatoes, peppers, cheese, salami. The following morning I was walking like a zombie around Terminal 4 when I spotted this menu:

Yes, somebody thought about taking advantage of the low-carb trend. And I couldn’t help but support them. Unfortunately, it was too early and they only served breakfast. The menu was mostly filled with variations of eggs&bacon. I went for the plain version, which arrived on top of two nice slices of toast – real bread, not the square squishy one. No worries, I didn’t eat the bread, but I appreciated its quality. If you’re interested, this is the place:

And it looks quite nice.

Yes, it was that early.

Guess what I had for breakfast on the plane, a couple of hours later!

Not bad, for plane food! It was actually very tasty.

Yesterday, as you might have noticed, I got back to proper training. I do walk kinda funny today. I refuse to think about tomorrow. In the evening I got really hungry and I realised…  this is the most filling and satisfying meal and all ingredients must be there:

OK, that’s only half of the serving. 😀

I hope you’re eating something healthy and tasty today!

Session no 2

Somebody might complain if I don’t post this. Wait… somebody already complained. 😉

So let me tell you how my family spent their Saturday this weekend. First of all, I should mention my aunt was visiting us. She travelled all night by train, but she was brave enough to join our morning training session.

This is what we did:

Split Squat
Sumo Deadlift – dumbbells
Standing Shoulder Press – dumbbells
Bent-Over Row – dumbbells
Front Plank Hold
Side Plank Hold

My mother struggled on the split squats. No surprise here, considering she was in a lot of pain from the previous session. However, it was so bad that I’ve decided to replace them with goblet squats after the 2nd set. She didn’t give up that easily and she returned to split squats on the last set and completed the exercise.

The rest was rather easy, she was surprised how fast the workout was going. Part of it was because I didn’t have to explain every single bit, she already knew a lot from the previous session. Also, I didn’t force her to lift heavy weights. We worked with 4-6 kg dumbbells which was rather light for her, but enough to create some damage to muscle tissue.

What made me really happy – she did much better on the side planks. I was really worried last time, but the improvement was surprising.

My aunt seemed to get along just fine with the split squats. I couldn’t tell from the exercise, but the next day she didn’t feel any pain in her glutes, which makes me think she wasn’t doing them properly. It was just for fun and to keep her busy, so I wouldn’t worry too much. She refused to try the rest of the exercises due to some injury and jumped straight to planks. I’m not sure that was a wise decision or not, but since I’m no doctor I just let her do whatever felt comfortable. In fact, she’s now going regularly to the gym. I was very interested in her programme, but from what she mentioned it didn’t seem worth detailing it here. I simply told her to avoid crunches.

The rest of the day was spent chatting about diets and supplements. My aunt is very into Herbalife products and I had the chance to check a few labels.

Although I’m happy the trend of shake diets is taking off, I can’t seem to agree that their products are the best choice. First of all, they use the same products for both fat loss and weight gain diets. The only thing that changes is how much solid food you’re having. Which means their shakes contain grains and a fair amount of carbohydrates. They have only one formula based on peas protein which is gluten and dairy free. However, it does contain sweetener AND sugar. Also, marketing is almost brutal. The shake base contains very little protein because they sell the protein powder separately. Unfortunately, they only have one type, 75% soy – 25% whey.

What also stroke me were the daily amounts they were recommending. My dad was completely baffled because the charts suggested he should weigh 63 kg at 1.70m. That is one skinny dude! In my case, it turned out I don’t need to lose weight, but to lower my fat percentage. I was recommended a diet with 60-70 g of protein and about 900 kcal per day. During the V-diet I was on 1200 on non-workout days, 1600 on workout days and about 200 g of protein. That was a very tough diet, so you can imagine how shocked I was when I heard their recommendation. I partly understand these numbers because they suggest a solid meal per day, similar to the transition phase of the v-diet. In order to get spectacular results in this situation you need to seriously starve those poor people.

My aunt lost 6 kg in 4 weeks, 4 of them in the first week, which is a normal weight loss rate. My cousin, who is also on this diet,  lost 11 kg in about 2.5 months. None of them trained seriously. Overall, the programme is working, but that’s just the simplicity of a shake-based diet. You can’t go wrong if you stick to it.

The annoying bits don’t end here, though. They have strict rules, it’s almost like a ritual. Drink water only half an hour before and after your meal! Have a fruit snack at 11 am! Don’t prepare your shakes with water (it’s not tasty, there aren’t enough nutrients)! Use fruit juice or soy milk! Are you kidding me? More soy?? Their protein bars are based on grains and they talk very little about nuts.

Not to mention, the products are insanely expensive, only to convince you to join their network of distributors and get more discounts.

At least they got the amount of fibre and vitamins right, which is enough to improve the well-being of their customers. With this illusion in mind, the rest is a complete mess. There’s no lesson about proper nutrition, no difference between calories and very little information for athletes. They sell some energy boosters mostly based on caffeine and that’s about all.

In conclusion, they’re promoting a strict diet with a touch of sugar and they designed everything for the average consumer, fussy and lacking will-power. The distributors are encouraged to call their customers and check if they’re taking all the pills correctly, if they drank their water and, probably, pooped every day. They even invented the concept of “cheat pill” which is a fibre supplement you’re supposed to take if you eat something unhealthy. I’m not sure what falls into this category – cake, maybe? The reason behind it must be the slow absorption of nutrients, I don’t see any other logic.

I bought mom a huge bag of total protein and 1 kg of psyllium husks that will last forever. She’s having a shake every morning, instead of breakfast and one in the evening, with 50 g of hazelnut paste. Simple and effective. Also, she’s taking Thermopure which contains caffeine, green tea extract and raspberry ketone. Unfortunately, she is now ill and she won’t be able to train this week. I really hope she recovers soon. I am convinced that although the exercises are making more harm to her weak body at the moment, on long term she would actually benefit from them and her health will greatly improve.


I’m back!

Back to training and back to my life, at least for now. Back to pain, good pain.

I cheated on the split squats a bit, I did 2×5 reps with a very small break instead of 1×10.

100 inclined pushups. Enough pain to last for the rest of the day and the next 48 hours.

I did not gain any weight while I was at home, although my diet was seriously disrupted. I’m not at my best, though.

I need to tell you about mom’s 2nd workout before I forget what happened.