Day 306 (W, 111102) — My Final Workout Problem (For Now)

The Last Issue.  The one matter I have yet to figure out about my workouts is the whole get fit v lose weight v reshape my body question. It’s a tough question considering I want to do all these things.

To me, these terms mean:

  1. Get Fit — increase my endurance, lower my resting heart rate, be stronger, etc.
  2. Lose Fat — lower my percent bodyfat
  3. Reshape My Body — gain muscle mass, improve muscle tone, look better in the mirror

To get fit, I need to exercise (at least a little) and run.  This goal seems to work all right with either of the other two.

Losing fat and reshaping my body, on the other hand, seem to be at odds with each other.

In my experience, every time I start working out more intensely my weight goes up.  Not just “stops going down” but actively starts climbing.  (Yeah, I know this can be caused by gaining muscle, but I gain more weight than I could possibly be putting on in muscle.)

Plus, gaining muscle is still a sub-goal right now.  My primary aim is still the same as it has been since January 1: get rid of the fat around my belly (and neck and face).

I’ve made progress on this through the year, but I am not yet where I want to be.  Over the past few weeks and months, I’ve regained some fat I had previously shed and, with holiday celebrations coming up, I fear this trend may continue.

I am confident that I’ll end the year weighing less, with less fat and more muscle, than I started it on January 1 . . . but I’m not sure I’ll be happy with the difference from that first measurement to the last on December 31.

So What Do I Do About It? 


Fasting.  Not today. Today I’m having Thai with my friends.  Nua nam tok (aka waterfall beef or spicy beef salad) here I come, baby!


Exercise.  The plan for today:

  Exercise Sets Reps Notes
1 Myotatic Crunches 3 2 25 This is more than Tim suggests (1×10), but I figure I have to do something extra since I’ve completed the 200 sit-ups challenge.
2 Cat Vomit Exercises 2 15 10 Ditto #1.
3 Kettlebell Swings, 50 lbs. 2 25 If I can do more in a set, I will.  I’m working my way up to a single 75-100 swing set.
4 Push-ups 4 25 I think I’ll repeat my inclined variations from Monday.  Maybe next week I’ll do declined.
5 Pull-ups 2 5-10 I’ll do the first set and straight pull-ups.  The second will be Australian.
6 Mystery Exercise for today: Curls, 20 lbs. 2 20 Alternating arm curls done after my pulls ups.

I’m not sure if I’ll superset these exercises.  Either way (one-’til-done or one-after-another), I’ll minimize my rest between sets.

Hopefully, this should only take about 20 minutes and give me a pretty good full body workout.

UPDATE.  Long story short, I was only able to do my ab exercises and my push-ups tonight.  I’ll do the others tomorrow.


Plan for Week 43.

Day Fast? SCD? Run/Exer?
Sunday No No No
Monday Yes Yes No* Yes
Tuesday Yes Yes No
Wednesday Yes No** Yes Yes
Thursday Yes Yes No
Friday Yes Yes Yes
Saturday No No Yes
Red = a negative deviation | Green = a positive deviation | Blue = a note


* I ate some Halloween candy (about 10 pieces) and had some Fritos and cheese with my chili.
** Somewhen this week Today, I’ll have an SCD lunch (Thai nua nam tok) out with my friends.  This is a green change from YES to NO for Fasting.

3 responses to “Day 306 (W, 111102) — My Final Workout Problem (For Now)

  1. Seems all your angst is based on what the scale says. You are reshaping your body and becoming more fit, but not happy with the number that shows up once a week on the scale. You have enough stress in your life with work and the family. Embrace the idea of working out the best way for you right now, get proper nutrition and forego the weekly meeting with the scale. You’ll be much more relaxed if you can just stop worrying about that number. It’s rather arbitrary at this point anyway. If you weighed what you weigh now and were at significantly lower bodyfat, would you care? Read this:

    Embrace the freedom from the weekly date with the scale, use how you look in the mirror and how your clothes fit as your guide. That’s all I’ve got. Best wishes!


    • Thanks for the support and the link, Mark.

      My goal is fat loss, not so much weight loss, those those generally follow pretty closely together.

      I know my upper body looks better. And I know my abs have improved during my 200 sit-ups challenge workouts over the past few months. But I also know that my bodyfat, like many guys’, sits on my belly and all of this working out is doing very little to make me slimmer and smaller.

      As much as I’d like to have six-pack abs, I know it is a long shot (for now, at least). I’d settle for something (a lot) closer to simply flat.

      I have been leaning toward abandoning the scale but my body is so similar from week to week (or biweek to biweek, or even month to month)*, that it can be fairly demotivating to just rely on the mirror or my pants as a barometer of success.

      I guess it’s just a matter of resetting my psychology. . . easier said than done, I’m afraid.

      * Unless, of course, I am gaining fat, in which case I can, like other dieters everywhere, spot the difference within mere minutes. =O

      • From what I’ve learned, working out has very little to do with reducing body fat, it’s what we put in our mouths that matter. The workouts build muscle and tone and flexibliity.

        I recently bought a copy of Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint, 21 Day program. It’s very interesting, sort of 4HB without the legumes and add some fruit. He doesn’t use the term but also advocates the minimum effective dose concept of working out. Sisson was once a top marathoner. I’m excited about using the program as a change but I’m not going to even try until after the first of the year. I don’t see a 21 day period between now and then that doesn’t involve some holiday where I would want to indulge. When I do the program, I want to stick with it afterwards.

        Just remember, the decent method you follow is better than the perfect program you quit.

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