Sushi Date Night

Karlie made it very clear that it had been waaaay to long since we had a proper date night. As usual, she was right. We headed to our favorite place, The Happy Sumo. It was so nice to leave the kids and have some needed one on one time. We splurged with money and a little on calories for the meal. I don’t regret either.

A Rockin Week!

This week has been awesome! I feel like I have hit that sweet spot between strength training and cardio. I am pushing my limits without excessive soreness and I get a hard core 20 min interval training that makes me sweat like crazy and pushes me to increase my ability to run….yes…this fat guy is starting to run/chunky trot/almost break the poor elliptical machine.

My weight training is intense and focused. I am able t keep my heart rate up the whole workout. From weight lifting to the end of my cardio, my workouts are taking about 1 and 1/2 hours. The time FLIES during weight lifting. Here is the gist of my workout schedule right now.

MON – Shoulders, Chest, 20 min cardio
TUES – Back, Biceps, Triceps, 20 min cardio
WED – Quads, Hams, Calves, Butt, 20 min cardio
then I repeat the same THURS – SAT
SUNDAY is a day of rest but we still make it a point to take a walk or something as a family.

Each muscle group consists of about 3 or 4 exercises. For instance, for chest, I do:

  1. Shoulder Press (Plate loaded Machine)
  2. Side Dumbbell Lateral Raises
  3. Upright Barbell Rows
  4. Dumbbell Iron Cross

At the end of the workout, it feels like I am pumped. The muscle groups I work out are worked to the max. Each exercises I do 3 sets of 10 reps. I try and focus on form and steady motions. This is why I will only do 2 -3 muscle groups a day. This schedule also gives each muscle group 2 days to repair before I slam em’ with the next work out. Interval Cardio at has the opposite effect than I expected when placed at the end of the workout. After I am done, I feel invincible (and incredibly sweaty). I love pushing myself physically now that I am at a place I can enjoy it. Pushing myself physically a year ago would have consisted of the walk to the bathroom during commercials.

With my focus on my workouts, I have been less than diligent in measuring and logging my food. Now that I have a routine down, I can focus on meal planning and food tracking. I have not been bad but a little here, a little there and it adds up to a little less success on the scale. Muscle doesn’t look as cool when there is a blubber blanket wrapped around it. I have read countless times through by bloggin’ buddies. “You can’t outtrain a bad diet”. It’s true. No big fails in my diet. I am between 1200 and 1500 calories at the end of the day. My food composition is alright, it’s mostly measured portions and  my food that I can improve on. That and MAD water consumption.

Everyone have a great holiday weekend.

Fish Oil? Sounds yummy right?

I don’t know about you guys but fish oil sounds like it is something that should be in a recipe for witches brew right next to eye of newt and pickled dragon’s liver, not in a supplement regimen.  Flax seed oil, maybe but fish oil sounds weird to me. We are talking about Omega-3 fatty acids. Why do I take em’?  I deal with insulin resistance which is a precursor to diabetes and I found the following article about Omega-3.

“People with diabetes often have high triglyceride and low HDL levels. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil can help lower triglycerides and apoproteins (markers of diabetes), and raise HDL, so eating foods or taking fish oil supplements may help people with diabetes.” – University of Maryland Medical Center

This is only one of many reasons I take fish oil and flax seed oil. One thing to note is that, according to the fish oil label, this supplement can cause your body to reduce the absorption of other medications if taken at the same time. For this reason, I take my fish oil and flax seed oil before bead. Another note, get the gel caps. If I had to choke down fish oil in raw form, it isn’t something I would probably hang on to for very long in my regimen. (eeewww)

Resources for more info:

LiveStrong.com, University of Maryland Medical Center, Harvard Health Publications.

Why I Do This Here – By way of Jack Sh*t

Keeping the humor in the whole weight loss war is my bud over @ Jack Sh*t – Getting Fit

each week he does W.I.D.T.H. (Why I do this here) posting pics of people and what drives them. not sure I made it in for the post today but I love this idea. It is inspiring to see all the stories summed up into a couple index cards. Thought I would post it here too just in case.

Progress Pics. No more Big & Tall for me!!!

After shopping at Kmart yesterday and getting:
  • 2 shirts
  • a new pair of gym shorts
  • a shirt and earrings for Karlie

all for the price of 1 shirt at the ol’ Big & Tall, I decided it was time to update official progress pics. I see the biggest difference in my back and I can tell that muscle is slowly starting to change my shape under the blubber. Great workout today. I think I hit the sweet spot with my exercise plan. More to come on that and more info on supplements I am starting to use. Have a great weekend everyone!

P.S. I am wearing this tight shirt, not because I look hot in in (barf) but because my goal is to fit into a 2X by February 2012. Watch me shrink into the shirt!

Supplements, not Meal Replacements

Just to be clear, all the following info is according to Mike, a fat guy loosing weight, building muscle while not hating life doing it. Doctors, medical journals and product testing lab info that helped me formulate my opinion are at the end.

First, I have already stated, for many reasons, I advise against meal replacement supplements. Real, life-changing habits have been rooted in understanding food, cooking as fresh as possible and discovering how to eat right in any situation. If a product is the center of your diet, in my opinion, the product will ultimately let you down because weight loss is not found in a product. Weight loss is based on common sense principals, hard work and good choices.

This last week someone at church said,  
“Okay Mike, you gotta’ tell us what you are doing”.
I couldn’t resist the bait.  
“Oh there is this awesome product I found!”
“Whatever it is, I have to get me some of it!”

People ask me stuff like this all the time and I think if I were some jerk-face that only cared about the BIG BUCK$ I would have something rehearsed like this:

“I lost 130 pounds with _______. “
“________ changed my life.” 
“For 4 easy payments of $XX.xx ________ can be delivered to your door!” 
 ♦Of coarse to keep the lawyers at bay, all the following would be at the bottom of the screen at the given size:
(________ will not help you lose weight alone. In fact, all that the product consists of is a laxative that will make you crap 5 pounds in the first 2 days and a diuretic that will make you pee all your water weight. Prolonged use of the product could jack you up but don’t worry, by the time you find out that this product is “crappy” you will have given up because the meal plan that came with the pills is meant to starve you into quitting. Also, I only used this product for the past 10 days so I could say “I used it” but really, the weight came off by literally working my butt off.
Badger Out! )
Any way, what I really told the guy was eating balanced meals of 1200 – 1500 calories a day, consistent exercise and will poweris what I have been doing.
Now that we have the important parts of loosing weight out of the way, let me explain how I plan to use supplements to aid me in my goals. The first, and least groundbreaking, supplement I decided I needed was a multivitamin. I know, waaay exciting stuff right? It makes perfect sense to me though. The whole purpose of a supplement is to fill in the nutritional gaps that your diet is lacking. 1200 calories often leaves me a little short on my recommended levels of essential vitamins my body needs. Some people will hone down exactly the vitamins they are lacking on a consistent basis and take only those. More power to you if you are one of those. I am covering my basis here. A once-a-day multivitamin is not going to make belly fat away but I have come to the conclusion that the minimal cost &  risk makes this supplement a no-brainer.
Here are some links to useful information I found in my research:
Vitamins, The bottom line – Harvard School of Public Health
Why are multivitamins important? – Livestrong.com
How to choose a multivitamin – Consumersearch.com
Right now I am taking Centrum Ultra Men’s but once the bottle is finished, I may get the Target brand. They are cheaper and well recommended.

What is the best supplement? – (100th Post!)

I have been doing a lot of research on supplements. I have come to realize it makes no sense digging a hole with your hands if you have a shovel available. If there are proven tools that will help you lose weight, gain muscle and achieve your goals more efficiently, grab the shovel. Here are the criteria I set before even looking at supplements so I didn’t get sidetracked by the ocean of products that is the weight loss market. I will always have more to learn about what does work. My success in fitness is limited and new. That being said, I have had plenty of experience in what does not work. In fact, I think I am a black belt in what does not work. I am only like a tangerine belt in what does work. So with that in mind, read on…

A great supplement should be:

  1. PROVEN – If you want to get frustrated taking supplements, go grab something that is new. My personal experience is that if you jump on the newest hot product you will likely either not see the results you expect or the product will be soon featured in a legal add that goes something like this.. “Are you a  insert product name here victim? You may be entitled to compensation. Call the law offices of….” I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time for all that noise. I need something that other people have used that consistently gets results that helps me achieve my goals without screwing up something else in my body. Something tried and tested. I have enough on my plate, no pun intended, I don’t need to be beta testing supplements for a company.
  2. COST EFFECTIVE – The fact that a product is proven means there are going to be generics. I don’t mind a reputable generic. If the cost difference is not that much greater, I will go with a name brand. I use the law of diminishing returns here. If supplements are not reasonable in price, they are usually not worth the money you are spending. Boutique supplements are almost never worth the money.
  3. BEARABLE – If I am going to commit to a regimen of supplements, they have to be bearable. If I have to choke down some rancid concoction everyday, it’s not going to last very long in my regimen. A series of dry heaves, while actually a pretty good ab workout, is not something that I am interested in.

So with these 3 basic criteria I went hunting for my supplements. In the next upcoming posts I will focus on the supplements that I chose for me, the reasons I chose them and the information I found interesting and helpful about them. Stay tuned.

I have never been THIS sore

So, I am really going to have to get used to the gift of soreness that body building is going to give me 2 days after my intense lifting. I know I should have ramped up to the heavy lifting and now I am paying the price.

The most intense and sweat producing exercises sessions I have done include intense muscle focus on one group such as chest and then follow up with 30 – 40 min of interval training. It is super intense and just like when I started loosing weight and dieting, I know I am going to just have to push through it.

It is strange to be able to see muscle definition that I already have with much of the blubber cleared out of the way. Upper body not so much but lower body muscles are starting to peek through. The only way I will be seeing abs in the near future is if I draw them over my gut.

Supplements are going well. I need to add a post workout supplement to help repair muscles faster and offset some of the soreness. The best stuff I have found so far is Glutamane

(P.S. Blogger saved this post as draft and was written like 3 days ago…)

College football training starts!

My family participated in and enjoyed sports but we were never considered an athletic family by any streatch of the imagination. I married into THE football family in Utah. I am pretty proud of my brother in laws and admire their ability and increadible tallent.

Tyler is starting center at Utah State and Red Shirted his first year. Because we are so close, and Ty can usually get us tickets, we only missed a couple home games last year. It was AWESOME taking down BYU last year at home! As a freshman Ty is already a team captain.

Cody is playing for Southern Utah University and as you can see has already wrapped a Championship ring around his finger. Cody is defense and the ultimate game will be when Cody and Ty face up on the field.

The Larsen’s family is built around football. I recall many vacation dates and even my own wedding date at the mercy of a scheduled football game. One day, I want to be able to go toe to toe with these big boys at the gym. (lofty, I know).

Freekin Blogger

I had this post I was working on all day on my breaks at work and when I was done, I tried to post and Blogger was in “Read Only” mode. CRAP!

I posted all about how I started the weight lifting regimant at the gym. How I kicked the crap out of myself lifting and how I have been so sore the past couple days I can barely walk.
All gone…….

It almost makes me want to switch to wordpress….Almost