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Archive for April, 2011

Progress Update

Had some big wins this week. First Tim Ferriss tweeted and posted on his facebook links to my pictures that I posted on Needless to say I had over 6 times the amount of traffic that day.

Second I actually went to a gym yesterday. Funny thing I ran down to the community gym I used to go to about 4 KM run. There weren’t open for another hour because of the holiday. Luckily there is another gym 1/2 a KM up the road so I ran there and did some crazy lifts. The gym was small and packed, so I am not going to go back there. I got to do deadlifts, did a personal best of 275lbs and I could have done more but my body isn’t used to lifting heavy yet. I wanted to do flat bench but they were all taken. I did incline bench instead, this was always my worst lift. I did a reverse pyramid and finished with a personal best of 165lbs 4 reps. Then I ran the 4.5 KM home. Was an intense workout day for me and really fun, wish I had that much time to workout everyday. Also I find it pretty crazy that I am stronger than I have ever been but the only thing I have been doing is pushups, pullups and 2x20lb kettlebell exercises. Who says you need to pay $400 a year for a gym membership.

Also my 4HB buddy Jason posted a link to my old progress page from a few weeks ago on his blog.  So I though it as time for another picture update.  Here is a list of pictures to show my progress.

December 29th, 2010

March 4th, 2010 - 86 days65

March 25th, 2011 - 86 days

April 8th, 2011 - 100 days

April 21, 2011 - 113 days

I thought I would write a short list of tips for people as well.  Things that are not really stressed enough in the book.

  1. Eat lots of veggies if you want to lose fat.  I think this is more important that legumes.
  2. Schedule you carbs around your workouts.  Eat smaller portions on days off.
  3. Do a big workout on your cheat day.  Usually cheat days are on the weekend when you have more time so do a longer workout before you pig out.
  4. Control your portions.  In the book he says you can eat as much of the allowed foods as you want, but I found this really detrimental to fat loss.
  5. High intensity resistance training is better for fat loss than long bouts of cardio.  This is to be debated scientifically but I have found you get much more bang for your buck.

Stay tuned for my new post on “How exercise does and does not affect fat loss”


Refocusing Your Goals … 100 Push-up Challenge

Jason from Finding My Fitness recently made a post about Q2 Progress.  And previously I posted about how important goals are and how important it is to track them frequently.  Well it is time for me to start taking my own advice.

I have recently reach and surpassed some of my goals.  I went from 183lbs down to 155lbs, right now around 156-158.  I have good ab definition and am close to my 10% body fat goal.  Previously I was doing all my goal tracking based on my scale, but this is not going to change much anymore.  I started taking daily pictures which is a good fun way to track but is very ambiguous. I have still progressed and have had decent results but I stopped tracking something that was tangible and easy to track.

I have recently started reading Chad Waterbury’s blog and articles on T-Nation.  He writes about things that align very well with my goals, and is a pretty smart guy.  He had a recent article on Dragon Door about the importance of lifting speed.  In it he describes a protcol for reaching 100 push ups in one set.

How to Achieve 100 Fast Push-ups
The push-up is one of the best upper body muscle building exercises and the ability to knock out 100 fast push-ups is an impressive display of physical prowess. Here’s how you can reach that milestone.
  1. Do 100 fast push-ups every other day regardless of how many sets it takes.
  2. Your rest periods should match your current rep max. If you can only get 20-25 push-ups in one set, start with one minute of rest between each set. If you can already knock out 40 or more push-ups at once, start with 30-second rest periods.
  3. Decrease the rest periods by five seconds with each workout, but only if you get more reps in the first set than you did for the last workout. Let’s say you start this push-up program on Monday. And let’s say you got 41 reps with your first set. On Wednesday, if you got, say, 43 reps for the first set drop your rest periods to 25 seconds and complete 100 total reps. If on Friday you only get 43 reps for the first set keep the rest periods at 25 seconds.
  4. Follow the rest progression until you reach 10-second rest periods. Once you reach 10-second rest periods continue with the plan until you get to 100 reps for the first set. Importantly, only high-speed reps count. Stop each set once your speed slows down. The 10-second set limit I mentioned earlier doesn’t apply here.
This method can be applied to any lift with a submaximal load where a target number of continuous reps is the goal.
I will have started doing this every night, which may be a bit of overtraining but I seem to recovering quickly and this is the only chest/tri/push exercise I am doing.  I will be tracking my reps per set and total time to finish 100.  Last night I did 35x20x20x20x5 and took approximately 5 minutes.  I have included a graph below that doesn’t have much info now but I am doing this everyday so it will grow quickly.
I must say that I am noticing a huge gain in chest size in just 3 days, I will do some measurements as well.
To finish up, remember that once you reach your goals, or get close enough to them that you start becoming complacent, make new ones, make them EASY to track.
If you want to do the 100 push up challenge with me please do and let me know.  If you can’t do a full push up that is OK, there is a great progression for push ups in the Convict Conditioning book.  Start will wall presses, then incline push ups (on a bench or stairs), then a 1/2 push up (just go 1/2 way down), then a full push up.

UPDATE: I hit 100 pushups a while ago and It was actually pretty easy. I probably would not have been able to do it without going to the gym and working on my bench press which I am doing over 205lbs now.

My Success … So Far

2 Weeks Ago

The results keep coming









It has been 2 weeks since I posted progress pictures.  I have been taking pictures daily with an iPhone app called Everyday.  I have been seeing good results so figured I would post them here.

My routine has not changed much, but I can tell that I have gotten much stronger.

Now I call this a success but to explain what I call a success is the fact that my routine is probably never going to change.  The idea of MED and that I workout for 15-20 mins 3-4 days a week makes it so easy that I will probably do this forever.  Although I have reached some goals I still have more goals to accomplish, that I think is the best part of the 4-Hour Body.

If you want to know any specifics of what I do check out the page with my routine, and ask questions in the comments.  Just for fun here is a comparison of where I started (184lbs) and now (157lbs).

December 29th 2010

100 Days Later April 8 2011












High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Affects on Fat Loss

Why Low to Moderate Intensity Training is not more effective for fat loss

In a recent question on Quora a user asked “Is it better to do intervals or steady jogging for fat burning?” I originally answered the question without doing any research and just commented on my personal experience, and mentioned diet is more important for fat loss than exercise.  Recently another user submitted an answer that “your body’s first choice is to burn the fuel it has in greater supply – the fat” Now I knew this was not completely true and had recently been reading some old physiology text books so I commented off the top of my head, but I was wrong as well.

So what is the real answer?  The fuel choices that the body uses are determined on how quickly they are needed.  This is the difference between aerobic (with oxygen) and anaerobic (without oxygen) as many of you probably already know.  When the energy requirement has enough time to get oxygen to the cells where energy is created, more free fatty acids (FFAs) can be used for fuel.  The break down (catabolism) of fat (lipids) to FFAs is a complex process and takes longer than using glucose as a fuel source.  The highest ratio of FFAs to Carbohydrates (CHO) as a fuel source is when resting which uses about 60-80% FFAs and 40-20% CHO (this varies depending on the source that you read, see references here here and here).

This info means a few different things.  Firstly to burn the most fat possible you want your basal metabolic rate (BMR) to be as high as possible.  Also your fat to carb fuel ratio will be more fat at low to moderate intensity training (LMIT).  What this doesn’t mean is that you will burn more fat in total with lower intesity exercise.

To explain further I will reference a recent research paper by Mark J. Smith, Ph.D. that you can find here.  To simplify the explanation although during the training period the majority or all of the fuel used will be CHO, the recovery period after training will burn primarily fat when doing HIIT.  A quote from Smith

” I equate it to borrowing money from the bank – one has to pay it back and an increase in oxygen consumption above normal resting levels is needed to do so. When it comes to replenishing the energy stores of the body, it makes sense that if one were to predominantly burn glycogen as a fuel during a work out (a HIIT work out would accomplish this), the body would need to put back those glycogen stores to be ready for a subsequent similar activity. Consequently, it would further make sense for the body to utilize fat while it is accomplishing the glycogen “top‐up.”This is exactly what happens and, in a similar fashion, when the body burns predominantly fat during a work out (a LMICT work out would accomplish this, but with a low total caloric expenditure), the body replenishes the fat while burning glycogen during the recovery. Because EPOC can often last longer than the actual work out time, one would want to be utilizing fat as the fuel of choice during this period to stay lean; SIT and HIIT accomplishes this very well.”

In that paper Smith cites multiple studies that have shown HIIT impacts fat loss greater than LMIT.  These studies can be found here:

Although fat loss is the primary topic of this post there are many other benefits to HIIT.  Tabata style HIIT has been proven to increases V02 max and overall cardio vascular efficiency.  HIIT with resistance (weights, bands, bodyweight) will increase muscle mass, which will also contribute to fat loss.

If you have any corrections or a contradicting opinion I would love to hear it in the comments.


For some reason I forgot to post the most important part of an article, the counter point.  I am not sure how I missed this but Lyle McDonald has a great post with some good counter points her

Vote for next post

So I have been thinking about a number of posts that I could make.  I haven’t been able to decide which one to do so hopefully you all can make some suggestions as to what you would like me to write about.

[poll id=”2″]


    5 Tips to Keep Wearing Your Fat Clothes

    So my pant size 3 months ago was a 34 and some 34s where TIGHT.  My pant size now (and for the past few weeks) a 30!  I actually wasn’t sure what size I should be wearing so I told my wife I am probably a 30 now.  She orded some kahki’s off Abercrombie that came in a few days ago and they fit with some room too.

    For the past few weeks I have been doing some creative things so I didn’t have to go out and by a new wardrobe so here are some ideas for those of you that are dropping pant sizes as well thanks to the #4HB

    1. Go through your old clothes that you stored away because they were too small
      I gave away a lot of clothes but found some that were smaller and I could where again
    2. Get a smaller belt
      One of the things I found with #1 was a belt that I bought not long ago that was too small.  That thing has come in handy.
    3. Wear shorts under you jeans
      This is the only way I can walk around without my pants falling down.  And it also helps so that your pants don’t pucker too much when when you cinch up your belt nice and tight
    4. Break out the sewing machine or take your clothes to a seamstress to get altered.  I haven’t done this but I almost had to when I was fat and my suits didn’t fit.
    5. Steal clothes from your younger siblings.  I did this all the time when I was fat too.  Now that I am as small as them again I can steal more!

    Got any other tips?  Lets hear them in the comments.