Day 83: Week 12 Weigh-in

Last week I gave a little sneak preview of something that was coming soon on my wife’s blog. She partnershipped with Scotts and me to do a promotional post about Scott’s fertilizer system:

The post is now live over at House of Hepworths – go check it out along with some more pics of me!

Now, for my this week’s weigh-in and pictures. If you remember, last week I had lost 2 pounds. I was a little frustrated because I’m trying to gain muscle now. Well – good news. This week I gained 3 pounds. Two weeks ago I was 160, dropped to 158, then back up to 161 this week.

Over the last two weeks, it’s a net of 1 pound gain. Here is the chart of my weight since I started Body For Life. You can see the initial weight loss as I burned off fat, and I’ve planed a little bit as I’m eating more and trying to gain more muscle, with a gradual increase of 4 pounds over the last 5 weeks. The first 7 weeks I lost around 2 pounds per week and the last 5 I’ve gained an average of 1.25 pounds per week.

Now, for my pictures this week. I’ve done a compilation similar to what I did after four weeks for this week’s pictures. First, the usual pics:

Now, with the progression every two weeks (click to enlarge):

There’s not much left for me in the 12 week Body For Life Challenge. Tomorrow marks 12 weeks to the day since I started. I’ve heard that many times you can’t see a huge difference until at least 6 or 8 weeks. If you’re doing Body For Life and don’t see huge improvements, even through 8 weeks, just keep sticking to it. My most drastic improvements showed the last 4 weeks. You are building muscle all along, but at some point you burn off enough fat for the muscle to start showing through. This has been an amazing experience that I’ll never forget.

Day 82: Achieved Running Goal

I increased my interval running for the last time this week have now reached my goal. I achieved the goal I set back in January. I am now doing intervals of:

5 — 6.5 — 8 — 9.5

I started out at:

5 — 6 — 7 — 8

and increase the interval from 1 to 1.1 for two weeks, then 1.2 for another two weeks, etc. until I hit my desired interval increase of 1.5. If you set your mind to something, write it down, make a plan, and work towards it you can achieve it. A goal not written down is just a wish.

Now, keep in mind 4 of those 21 minutes was warmup and cooldown. I wonder what my average minute per mile is if you take those out? I think next week for one of my cardio days I’ll mix it up and see how fast I can do a mile in. It’s been a long time since I timed myself in the mile. Today’s post is going to be short…I’ve got a good post coming tomorrow with my weekly checkin that I’m excited about!

Day 76: Week 11 Weigh-in

Well, I think this is the first since I’ve started Body For Life that I’ve been mad at my weigh-in. I’ve worked really hard the last week and still lost 2 pounds!

Needless to say, my wife had no sympathy when I complained about losing 2 pounds in a week (sorry Allison!). I’m really trying hard to gain weight now (muscle weight). I’m definitely looking better in my pictures and have been still increasing my weights at the gym (I did 12 reps of 250 pounds on the leg press for the first time this week). I really want to put on more muscle weight, though.

For the first 6 weeks or so I was pretty good at tracking my calories. Then I got used to eating the Body For Life style and became pretty good at it. I stopped my calorie tracking and just ensured I still at 6 meals. I didn’t feel the need to continue to track my calories. Around week 8 I started increasing the amount I ate at each meal in an effort to gain muscle weight. I gained 3 pounds of the next few weeks, but this last week dropped 2 more down. I think I’m going to start tracking my calories again so I can ensure that I’m eating enough. I’ve heard how body builders have to eat a lot, but man. I feel like I’m already eating a lot with 6 meals a day! I guess I’m not eating enough at each meal. Some websites say you need to eat 3000 calories a day to bulk up. I’m not sure what my magic number is, but I know it’s more than what I’m eating now. Body For Life doesn’t set a number or tell you how much you should eat. Perusing through the Body For Life stories on their website, you’ll notice the stories are sorted by different categories. Some do it to lose weight, some to tone muscle, and some to gain muscle. I really don’t have much fat left on my body, and I really would like to gain muscle now. Now, for this week’s pictures:

I’ll leave you with a sneak preview of some hot pictures of me that will be on my wife’s blog, House of Hepworths tomorrow.

Day 73: Protein Powder

The last several weeks I’ve really been concentrating on what I need to do to get bigger. I’ve increased the amount of each meal a little bit, which has resulted in a total of 3 pounds gained in the last 3 weeks, which is good. But what do I need to do to really gain more muscle?

The other night I was laying in bed and couldn’t sleep. I got up and shuffled upstairs to my office and sat down in front of my beloved iMac. Staring at a blank Google page, I started searching to see if there is anything else that I need to do in order to gain more muscle. As I mentioned on Day 43, it is important to get protein immediately in your body following a workout. Since then I have been taking a protein bar with me to the gym and consuming right after my workout is complete. As I continued to read, the protein is definitely important, but I also learned that you want a protein that is absorbed quickly right after a workout, namely Whey Protein. I’ve decided to switch to a protein shake right after a workout and not count it as one of my 6 meals. What kind of protein should I buy? There are so many options out there. I used to workout with a friend in LA several years ago and he had recommended Gold Standard. I did a search on some of the top protein powders and one website had it listed in the top 5. The others were more expensive, but Gold Standard was quite reasonably priced – so I decided to go with it. I ordered it on Amazon and was excited when it arrived today.

Now, you’re probably wondering why I have two tubs of protein powder. The larger one is what I will be drinking right after a workout. The smaller one is Casein protein. I’m going to start drinking a casein protein shake right before bed. Casein is a protein which is harder for your body to break down, so your body works longer on it. You’re supposed to have some before bed and it helps to continue the building of muscle throughout the night with it’s slow release formula. The regular stuff you want immediately following a workout because it is absorbed quickly. I think I’m going to make this change for a while and see how it works out. Each protein powder has 24g of protein and 120 calories. I picked them up on Amazon – below are the links to them on Amazon for your reference. They both have a bunch of flavors. I got the 5 pound tub for the post-workout powder and the 2 pound tub for the before bed shakes.

Gold Standard Whey Protein at Amazon

Gold Standard Casein Protein at Amazon

Mixing up the powder is super easy if you have a shaker bottle with a round wire thingy in it. I tried it today and put the powder into the bottle, dropped the wire mixer in, and carried it with me to the gym dry. After working out I added cold water from the water fountain at the gym and shook it up. The wire ball does an amazing job of mixing it up. It eliminates 100% of all clumps. Literally, there were zero. I picked up this mixer a few years ago at GNC and love, love, love it.

So the next question I had was how much should I consume? Some websites say 20g of protein, others 20-30, and some say 30-40. I decided to do 1.5 scoops of the Whey protein after a workout, which clocks in at 36g of protein post workout. At night, I will just do one scoop of the Casein protein before bed – another 24g or protein.

Now, my diet is not switching to just protein powders. From everything else I read it is important for your other meals to eat regular healthy foods like chicken, fish, lean meat, and vegetables. You shouldn’t rely on the powder for the main source of nutrition, but rather as a supplement to help encourage muscle growth. I’ll be keeping you updated as I journey through this adventure. I’ve really only got about 2 weeks left in my 90 days – wow! Time sure flies.

UPDATE: Thanks to Suki for pointing out that Gold Standard makes a natural protein powder without any artificial sweeteners in it. You can get the natural gold standard on amazon here. Next time I restock I’ll definitely pick up the natural.

DAY 69: Week 10 Weigh-in

Alright folks, I’m through 69 days now on Body For Life and still going strong. This is my week 10 weigh-in. As I mentioned last week, I’m trying to gain muscle weight now since I’ve burned most of the fat off already. This week I gained 1 pound and am back up to 160 now.

Just in the last two weeks since I started eating more I feel like I’ve really noticed a bigger difference. Ok, for the pics now.

So today is my day off…sort of. I’m being a little flexible this week. Yesterday morning I flew back from my business trip, got home mid-day, and worked some in the afternoon. Then we went to Jumpstreet (more about that later). Afterwards, Allison’s family wanted to go out to dinner. I really needed to go to the gym, though, and do upper body. If we went to dinner, the gym would be closed by the time I went home. I decided to do a little switch-a-roo on my workout/day off schedule. I went ahead and went to dinner with her family and had dinner like my day off. Then, I got up this morning, had a Body For Life breakfast, and hit the gym for an intense upper body workout. I had a protein bar following the working, then a Body For Life lunch later on. Then, for the rest of my day off I will take the evening tonight off. Sometimes you have to be flexible.

Earlier this week I packed some fruit with me when I went on my business trip. Word to the wise – don’t pack pears. It was a good idea, but even inside of a tupperware bin the pears rubbed against each other. By the time I got to DC, they really didn’t look very appetizing:

The apples worked out great, though. But, the breakfast at the hotel had apples there that I could have grabbed each morning. I was worried about getting there and not having any healthy food or way to get healthy food, which is why I packed them along. I even saw some fruit stands at the airports that I could have grabbed fruit at without having to pack it. Oh well, I tried and learned that it is easier to not pack fruit. The rest of the stuff came in real handy, though (the protein bars, canned tuna/chicken, almonds, etc.) Next time I’ll just pack the dry stuff.

So, we went to Jumpstreet yesterday before going out to dinner with Allison’s family. Jumpstreet is an indoor trampoline park that is awesome. It is for kids and adults too, but most of the people jumping were kids. I jumped with my kids because…well, I really like jumping on trampolines. Plus, Kinsey is 7 and isn’t supposed to go into the big jump area without an adult. They had a mechanical bull there as well, which was pretty entertaining. Here is a video I put together of me doing some flips along with my son and my sister-in-law.