Day 333 (T, 111129) — Plans for January 1

Companions On The Road That Never Ends?  Is anyone else out there planning their program for after the New Year?  Anybody else expecting to change things up after January 1?  I’d love to hear about your plans and I’d appreciate your opinion on my thoughts below.

Diet.  SCD works for me . . . when I do it.  Standard (Atkins-style) low carb works for me . . . when I do it. Moderating portion size and fat intake (WW) works for me (albeit not so easily) . . . when I do it.

What I have eaten and how much I have taken in has really sucked these past few months (October and November [and (will be) Dec]): too many snacks; too many Cheat Days; too many excuses and events and giving in and general willpower failures.

Now I have to decide if I will continue on SCD or move to another program after January 1.  I started this blog as a way of keeping myself honest about my experiences on the 4 Hour Body Slow Carb Diet and exercise programs.  It has morphed into a more general health and fitness blog, but the core is and has been the principles Tim offers for a slow carb diet:

  • Lots of protein and legumes
  • No dairy, sugars, starches, or fruit
  • Free Days once per week
  • Ignore calories/fiber/fat/etc.; eat until full

I am leaning toward sticking with SCD for a few reasons:

  1. It’s easy and I already understand it.
  2. My family can live with it.
  3. I know how to be successful with it; my failures have been matters of execution.

If I switched, it would probably be to a full Paleo diet but (a) I’d have to convince Mrs. NJ to go along with yet another change and (b) I’d have to learn the ins and outs of the program.  Methinks these two things will be enough to dissuade me, but deliberations continue and the decision is still pending.

Exercising.  Knowing myself and what will happen diet-wise for the next few weeks (extra Free Days about once a week), I have decided how to structure my workouts for December: I will continue to work out to increase strength and muscle mass (single exercises until done, resting in between), fat loss be damned.

After January 1, however, as I begin my second year of improving my health and how I look in the mirror, I am going to switch over to what my cousin suggested a while back.

Do this, in this order, four 2-minute rounds with 1-minute rests, then four 1-minute rounds with 2-minute rests:

  1. Squats (body weight) x 10, shoulder press (3-5 lb weight) x 10.  Repeat for as many sets as you can do.
  2. Reverse Pullups x 10.  Pushups x 10.  Repeat.
  3. Medicine Ball Slams x 10.  Get a 10 lb ball built for impact, pick it up above your head and slam it into the ground.  Catch it on the bounce back and do it again. Squats x 10. Repeat.
  4. Curls x 20 reps (1 arm at a time, 10 each arm).  Pushups x 10.  Repeat.

— Do this twice a week.
— Add two 30-minute session riding my bike (hardest gear)
— One day a week of running

This is a very intense workout with weight you can handle.  It’s more mental than anything, you can ALWAYS do 1-2 more reps; by the end of some sets you’ll only be doing 1-2 at a time.

The workout is four sets of two exercises each.

You do Set 1 for two minutes: as fast as you can you do 10 squats then 10 shoulder presses then 10 squats then 10 shoulder presses then 10 squats then 10 shoulder presses, etc. After two minutes has passed, you rest for one minute.

Then you do Set 2 for two minutes: 10 reverse pull-ups then 10 push-ups then 10 reverse pull-ups then 10 push-ups then 10 reverse pull-ups then 10 push-ups, etc. Rest again.

After you complete all four sets using the 2-on-1-off pattern, you do it again with the 1-on-2-off timing.

Total time for 8 x 3-minute on/off rounds = one high-intensity 24-minute workout.

It’s similar to the Max Capacity Training workouts in form (the 50-10 and Tabata protocols) but the exercises do not change from week to week.

Maybe this will be my magic ticket to the world of improving the shape of my body and my lean-to-fat ratio.

=====

Plan for Week 47.  Focus on the basics, John.  Make it happen.

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

—–

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11 responses to “Day 333 (T, 111129) — Plans for January 1

  1. John,

    I am in the very early process of planning my 2012 program. I think I am going to base it on quarterly results using the BodPod as my main measurement. I think the key components will be the slow-carb diet (I like the science and it works for me) and morning workouts (full-body circuit training). My routine is not something I would consider sustainable just because I have to constantly think about it to stay on task. Perhaps in time it will become second nature but in the instance it does not – Sustainability will be a very important aspect of my routine. I am also going to start placing more emphasis on sleeping which I think will improve my program overall.

    As for the Paleo diet, I tried it for a few weeks with mixed results. I think this is due to the 80/20 rule and my lack of discipline at the time as well as my body adjusting to something other than chicken, vegies, and protein shakes. I believe it is far more sustainable; however, getting into a routine that works for you might be the most difficult aspect. For me, time is a precious commodity, and I just did not have the time to prepare the meals that the Paleo diet entails. Which brings me to another topic I might introduce in 2012 – Minimalism. I am going to simplify my life so I can focus more on value added activities. Perhaps that will help me make the leap into Paleo?

    In closing, I just had a quick question about your workout – I think I am just having trouble understanding… Do you do each exercise (1 through 4) with the prescribed sets in order? Then when you say repeat, do you mean you repeat all 4 exercises with the prescribed sets? I imagine the only reason you time them is to increase the intensity of the workout? A little explanation would be much appreciated!

    K.

    • Sustainability is key for me as well. SCD was plenty sustainable for most of the year for me, but lately has been something of a challenge. I’ll be glad when things quiet down at the beginning of the year and it gets to be easier to comply with the rules of the game.

      The workout is four sets of two exercises each.

      You do Set 1 for two minutes: as fast as you can you do 10 squats then 10 shoulder presses then 10 squats then 10 shoulder presses then 10 squats then 10 shoulder presses, etc. After two minutes has passed, you rest for one minute.

      Then you do Set 2 for two minutes: 10 reverse pull-ups then 10 push-ups then 10 reverse pull-ups then 10 push-ups then 10 reverse pull-ups then 10 push-ups, etc. Rest again.

      After you complete all four sets using the 2-on-1-off pattern, you do it again with the 1-on-2-off timing.

      Total time for 8 x 3-minute on/off rounds = one high-intensity 24-minute workout.

      It’s similar to the Max Capacity Training workouts in form (50-10 and Tabata protocols) but the exercises do not change from week to week.

      Thanks for the question, K. I’ll add this explanation to my description above to correct for my ambiguity.

      New John

  2. Pingback: Week 48 – 2012 Preview « Kanipshit·

  3. I plan on kicking off the New Year with Mark Sisson’s 21 Day Primal Blueprint. I like what he talks about in the book with regards to simplicity of lifestyle. I don’t see much difference between Primal and SCD other than Primal loses the legumes and adds a little fruit and dairy. I can do that.
    I’m amazed at how much my journey has mirrored yours. I too have made many justifications and exceptions the last 3 months or so with regards to what I eat. I am still probably close to 75-80% (or maybe I’m being willfully blind). I’ll eat 2 out of 3 meals SCD a day but there’s still too much snacking, etc.
    I’m excited about getting a fresh start after the 1st and my wife will be joining me. I don’t understand the idea that Primal/Paleo is difficult or requires special meals. If you haven’t read any of Sisson’s books or been over to Mark’s Daily Apple dot com, check it out.
    As far as exercise, I want to sign up with a personal trainer. I have one in mind it will just be a matter of getting things to work with my schedule. I want to build more muscle and shed more body fat. I was planning on another DEXA scan in January as well. This will be my benchmark rather than the scale.
    Looking forward to keeping up with you!

    Mark

    • I wish I could get Mrs. NJ to join me in SCD or Paleo, but it is not to be at the moment. Too much going on with the babies and other kid-raising activities for her to accept the challenge of a major shift in how she approaches diet and exercise. She’d balk and we’d end up like a family we are close to.

      They do what seems to be (a version of) Paleo. (I’ve never actually confirmed this.) Correction, the father really tries to get them to eat Paleo but the mother does it only half-heartedly. I’ve seen the cheating and the sabotage when he’s not around, and the giggle-sessions between her and Mrs. NJ, all brought on by trying to do this without buy-in from his spouse . . . . I don’t want to end up in the same situation.

      So no switch to Paleo for now.

      I am hoping that, if I take it slowly and show her the science etc. I’ll be able to convince Mrs. NJ to do it with me sometime in 2012. We shall see.

      And thanks for giving me a great idea: getting a DEXA scan as close to the end of this year / the beginning of next year will be a big step in fixing this biggest mistake I’ve made so far in this experiment.

      I’ve long regretted not having good data about the state of my body and health when I started. Without this, it is tough to make valid comparisons between where I was and how far I’ve come as I progressed through the year. I know things are better but how much better is tough to gauge.

      Keep on keeping on, Mark. =)

  4. I guess it’s time to start moving things in that direction if I am serious about it so, all that said about Paleo / Primal and Mrs. NJ’s attitude above, I just ordered the Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation.*

    Nut up or suck up time so I put on my big girl panties and took the first step. Now to do the learning so I can do the explaining so I can get her to agree.

    Wish me luck. 😉

    —–

    * BTW – the link above is the one from Mark’s website. I believe that it is his Amazon affiliate link which means he get’s a small reward if you use it.

    NOTE TO WP ADMINS: this is the AUTHOR’S affiliate link to Amazon. I am not associated with the author and receive no consideration for using that link.

    • Good luck. You may find it easier to get her interested in this program. Sisson is 58 yrs old, married and a parent so his writing style, lifestyle and outlook is more in tune with us than Ferriss. Leave the book in the “reading room” and maybe she’ll get interested. The hard part will be cleaning out all the bad stuff from the pantry but as you know, you don’t have to dive in completely to this stuff. Incremental changes are sometimes the key.
      Sorry to hear about your friend, sounds like bigger issues there than diet………..

      Enjoy the book!

  5. Pingback: Day 361 (T, 111227) — The Best Of New John | New John for a New Year·

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