Less is more

March 10, 2009 at 10:16 pm 9 comments

I missed my BFS weights workout on Sunday, not being very well. I slept most of the day. Actually, for the first time, I think, ever, I didn’t tick off a single goal on my Joe’s Goals scorecard! But anyway, yesterday I did both my weights and scheduled intervals. It had been three days since both my last resistance and intervals session. And I really noticed the difference – in a good way. I improved on the number of reps in several of my exercises, and my interval workout felt fantastic. I was working out at a higher RPM for the same RPE and it just seemed to ‘flow’ for want of a better word, rather than feeling like I was striding through molasses. I did my longest distance to date for this workout (6.7 RU) and felt amazing afterwards. Although it is possible that after three weeks following the workouts in BFS this would have happened anyway, based on previous experience I am putting it down to the extra day of rest.

I have written about recovery before, explaining why it is necessary in a weight training programme and what kind of recovery is most suitable. To read a bit more about this, check out this post. But I have made a decision with regard to my current workouts. At the moment, I am in week four of the first phase of the workouts in the Body Fat Solution (BFS). This involves three sets of 12 to 15 reps and is aimed at muscular development and metabolic conditioning. From next week, I move into phase 2, with three sets of 6 to 10 reps, which will focus on building strength by doing fewer reps with heavier weights. I also switch from the beginner level intervals to the intermediate level for my three times a week HIIT. So, from next week I have decided to increase my recovery to 72 hours instead of 48. This means that some weeks I will only do two weights workouts instead of three and it will take me longer to finish the twelve workouts in phase 2, but hopefully will result in better quality workouts with commensurate performance gains.


Entry filed under: Body Fat Solution, exercise, fat loss, heath and fitness, interval training, Tom Venuto, weight loss.

Steady progress, chicken rendang, and on being a personal trainer Counting my chickens

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Cynthia  |  March 11, 2009 at 6:38 am

    I think you have something there… I know I really need more than just a day’s rest between heavy workouts.

    My gym is doing a Body For Life kind of training package deal. And I am half tempted, but part of me knows that those kind of frequent, every other day weight workouts tend to tear me up more than build me up.

  • 2. blubberbegone  |  March 11, 2009 at 10:08 am

    What’s the training package deal?

    • 3. Cynthia  |  March 11, 2009 at 4:46 pm

      Initial and Final Assessment (girths, weight, body fat) and 12 30 minute sessions with the personal trainer for $249. Also includes copy of the book and a journal. I asked, if one has the book, they can deduct the cost of that. And someone else mentioned you can download the journal online for fee and print it out. And they said they could deduct that too.

      Frankly though, it’s not really a special deal, because you could get the 12 sessions with a trainer by themselves for $189. I asked.

      More importantly, I’m not real confident in the gym trainers, especially after asking about free weights and having them say “Oh, you have to have good form to do free weights. So we usually start people on machines.” Helloooo… isn’t it their JOB to be teaching people good form? And isn’t it equally possible to use bad form on a machine? And how exactly, if one is only allowed to use the machines, is one ever going to learn good form on free weights, hmmm?

      Besides, it was one of the gym trainers who put me on the stupid recumbent bike that started off my plantar fasciitis injury. Both my regular doctor and my foot doctor told me they thought recumbents, especially with resistance were a bad idea. So how come the trainer didn’t know?

      Truthfully, I am more interested for hubby, as I am not sure I can spare the money, given that I need a new computer. He expressed a little interest in BFL and started, but didn’t finish the book a year or so back. He says he wants to lose weight, but has not adopted any plan for same. Learning portion control would be good for him. He fixes relatively healthy breakfasts for himself, but we are also talking a 12″ plate that is piled about THREE INCHES HIGH when he is done. He maintains with a tendency to gain. With his diabetes, I think learning to eat smaller meals a little more frequently would be really, really good for his blood sugar management.

  • 4. blubberbegone  |  March 11, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    Oh, I agree with the machines/free weights things. It probably didn’t help that you were a GIRL! And I can’t speak for the knowledge or otherwise of the trainers in the gym, but I don’t think you can really blame them for your planatar fasciitis. I’ve never heard that before about the recumbents. I quite like the recumbents because I find them more comfortable than the uprights. I’d be interested to know what the medics thought was wrong with them.

    As for portion sizes, if you already have BFL you will know, and can reliably inform hubby, a fist of carbs and a palm of protein. I find this a really useful guide and often use it to explain portion sizes to people. But as for BFL at your gym – could you actually DO a BFL workout in 30 mins???? If I recall, they were pretty hard core. Gonna have to go and look that up now.

    • 5. Cynthia  |  March 11, 2009 at 6:08 pm

      Both medics seemed to think that the recumbents were a less natural way for the body to move and distributed force a little differently. I can ride the stationary bike without too much problem, as long as I position my feet correctly.

      Yes, the recumbents are more comfy to the butt… but one can get used to riding a stationary. At any rate, the recumbent did trigger my plantar fasciitis. That much I do know. Though the doctor felt that I might have ended up with some anyway, as he felt it was both a sudden trauma from the bike and build up effect from the fact that I was just using my feet more.

      Hubby sounded really worried about the carb portions on BFL, but I told him it’s not as big an issue as he thinks, even with the diabetes. One, if he’s consuming whole grain carbs in reasonable portions WITH adequate protein, they are not likely to spike his blood sugar drastically. And two, he doesn’t have to consume starch carbs every meal… fruit will also do. And then there’s things like lentils, which I am more than happy to make extra batches of in my rice cooker.

      I never really get him… he’ll happily munch up things like french fries when he gets the chance, or Subway sandwiches on white bread, but then worry over eating perfectly healthy stuff like moderate servings of whole grains and fruits. Men!

      Good question about the workout time… the book seems to specify a workout time of 45 minutes, so no, one would not have the trainer there for the full session. Either that, or they are teaching an abbreviated BFL workout.

      I also talked to one of the trainers about the water aerobics class and whether I could simply do intervals on my own there. Short 20 minute interval cardio sessions are the BFL plan after all. And she kept insisting that one needed to keep the cardio in the target fat burning zone! Ah, NOT FOR INTERVALS! If you don’t push your heart rate up a little you simply aren’t doing intervals, you’re doing steady state. So one wonders.

      It may not help that I am a girl, but then again, ALL the gym trainers are women. ALL. It’s been that way for some time. It’s odd, because you’d think they’d have at least one guy.

      Check out the club web site at http://www.raclub.us. They list the trainers there. Becky and Mikki are the two who are doing to do the BFL program.

      The trainer who actually did the BFL program herself is Melissa. She’s not exactly lean, BUT she lost about a hundred pounds doing several sessions of BFL, so that’s impressive progress!

  • 6. blubberbegone  |  March 11, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    Working in the fat burning zone is a widely discredited notion, i.e., it’s b******s. Working harder you burn more calories overall and more fat after your workout than doing easier ‘aerobic’ workouts. I would wonder about any trainer that is still recommending this.

    I checked out your gym. I always fancied trying Zumba, but the only time I see it is at fitness conventions, aimed at fitness professionals, who teach six aerobics classes a day, six days a week, and the convention sessions are designed to send these people out of the room, soaked with sweat and claiming to have just had THE best workout of their lives. So, obviously, I have been a bit hesitant to join in. I mostly go for the lectures and the pilates, with some PT stuff too.

    • 7. Cynthia  |  March 12, 2009 at 5:46 am

      Yes, I know. And it makes me wonder about the gym trainers that they can spout stuff like that. Of course, it was the youngest trainer there, but still, you wonder just how well qualified she is after hearing something like that. I think there’s a place for working in the fat burning zone, but that’s not quite the BFL plan.

      I’d like to try the Zumba too, but I just don’t think I could be on my feet that long without repercussion. It’s pretty new at the gym, I think they only just started it up.

  • 8. blubberbegone  |  March 12, 2009 at 7:58 am

    Why not go along, and have a word with the instructor before the start to let her know that you may leave early when you have had enough. I’ve done that before now. That way you get a taster and don’t feel bad if you can’t do the whole class.

    • 9. Cynthia  |  March 12, 2009 at 10:27 pm

      That’s a great idea! Though I still think I want to get a little more weight off before I try anything like an aerobics dance class. My feet just don’t tolerate much. Even in water aerobics, I am sometimes sore afterwards. And that’s with the water supporting most of me, as I stay in chest high water.

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Blubberbegone Stats

  • Start: 16 stone, 45.7% body fat
  • Goal: 10 stone, 20% body fat
  • Today: 14 stone 13.6 lbs, 44.8% BF
  • Pounds lost: 14.4
  • Body fat lost: 0.9%
  • Exercise this week (Sat–Fri):
  • Total: 2 hr 5 mins
  • Jog/Walk: 20 mins
  • Walking: 20 mins
  • Burlesque: 1 hr
  • Pilates: 25 mins
  • African dance: mins
  • Tae Kwon Do: mins
  • Badminton: mins
  • Tai Chi: mins
  • Yoga: hr
  • Exercise last week: 4 hrs 40 mins
  • Joke of the Day

    I'm not fat - I'm a woman and a half.


    My Weight Loss Goals

  • 1. Crack 15 stone (210 lbs) for the fourth and final (I hope) time.
  • 2. Lose 10% of my body fat (14 stone 4).
  • 3. Fit into a size 18 (US 16).
  • 4. Get my body fat below 40%
  • 5. Lose another 10% of my body fat (12 stone 12/180 lbs).
  • 6. Get my BMI under 30 (12 stone 9/177 lbs) - no longer obese, just overweight now.
  • 7. Weigh less than my husband.
  • 8. Fit into a size 16 (US 14).
  • 9. Lose my third 10% (11 stone 8/162 lbs).
  • 10. Fit into a size 14 (US 12).
  • 11. Get my BMI under 25 (10 stone 8/148 lbs).
  • 12. Lose my fourth 10% (10 stone 6/ 146 lbs).
  • 13. Fit into a size 12 (US 10).
  • 14. Reach my goal weight (10 stone) and decide if I need to lose any more based on my muscularity and shape.
  • 15. Turn heads in a bikini!
  • My Fitness Goals for 2011

  • 1. Increase my cruising walking speed from around 5.0kph to 6.4kph.
  • 2. Increase continuous jogging time to 30 mins.
  • 3. Run a 5K for charity.
  • 4. Work on my crawl stroke and build up to 30 mins continuous swimming.
  • 5. Build up to 1 hour continuous and comfortable cycling.
  • 6. Squat 50kg.
  • 7. Do an unassisted chin up.
  • 8. Take a martial arts or self-defence class for at least 3 months.
  • 9. Beat my husband at badminton.
  • 10. Learn a new dance style.
  • My Blubber Reduction Journey

  • My highest measured weight ever:
  • Jan 1 2006 = 238 lbs (17 stone)
  • BBG blog starting weight:
  • Sep 16 2007 = 215.5 lbs (15 stone 5.5), 47.0% BF Lean body mass 114.2 lbs (8 stone 2.2)
  • Highest weight posted since then:
  • Xmas 2008 = 223.6 lbs (15 stone 13.6), 48.2% BF, lean body mass 116.0 lbs (8 stone 4)
  • Lowest weight posted since then:
  • Nov 16 2009 = 193.2 lbs (13 stone 11.2), 43.7% BF, lean body mass 108.8 lbs (7 stone 10.8)
  • Lowest body fat posted since then:
  • Sep 7 2009 = 194.2 lbs (13 stone 12.2), 42.6% BF, lean body mass 111.5 lbs (7 stone 13.5)
  • My blubber reduction journey 2011:
  • Xmas 2010 = 221.6 lbs, 46.7% BF, 118.1 lbs LBM
  • 5 Jan = 221.0 lbs, 47.1% BF
  • 12 Jan = 219.6 lbs, 45.8% BF
  • 19 Jan = 220.4 lbs, 45.8% BF (TTOM)
  • 26 Jan = 218.8 lbs, 45.2% BF
  • 2 Feb = 218.8 lbs, 44.7% BF
  • 9 Feb = 219.4 lbs, 44.9% BF
  • 16 Feb = 215.8 lbs, 44.6% BF
  • 23 Feb = 213.2 lbs, 45.2% BF
  • 2 Mar = 211.6 lbs, 45.9% BF
  • 9 Mar = 209.8 lbs, 45.1% BF
  • 16 Mar = 208.8 lbs, 45.3% BF
  • 23 Mar = 208.0 lbs, 45.1% BF
  • 13 Apr = 208.4 lbs, 44.4% BF
  • 20 Apr = 207.6 lbs, 43.3% BF
  • 27 Apr = 205.0 lbs, 45.8% BF
  • 4 May = 209.2 lbs, 45.2% BF (TTOM)
  • No. weeks: 18
  • Average weekly weight loss: 0.31%
  • 101 in 1001

    28 down, 5 goals revoked, 68 to go, and 94 days to do them. Check out the 101 page, above, for all the latest on my journey to be a better blubberbegone.


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