4 1/2 Week Intensity Summary

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I’m changing jobs next week.  While I worked through my notice period, I had an opportunity to get a bit more gym time in and see how much I can lose before the new gig.  The wife gets huge thank you for putting up with all this for four weeks just as school started (including never ending laundry as she pointed out several times).

My normal routine aims for M/W/F + one weekend day if at all possible, where I do 45-50 minutes of weights followed by 20-30 minutes of cardio.  I initially added T/Thu where I did 60 minutes of pure cardio only.  I did that the first week, but the Labor day holiday change in gym hours messed up my lifting schedule during week 2.  I actually wound up doing M/W/F cardio and T/Th/Weekend weights+cardio for weeks 2-4 1/2.

Today is the last day I will definitely get in some serious gym time as a few things going on before Monday so I took an unofficial weigh-in:

  • Starting weight:  244.1
  • Ending weight (unofficial weigh-in): 232.1

Pretty good I think.  The highs:

  1. Lost 12 pounds.  Or 2.66 per week.
  2. Average exercise calories per week
    • Normal – 2,270 calories.
    • Intensity – 4,332 calories (+90%)
  3. Ate pretty well most of the 30 days.  Mostly did not eat my exercise calories.  Had a few days where stuff was a little off and I partially ate into them, but mostly not, and never even close to half of them.
  4. Looking at my records, my first face-to-face interview was June 13 (265lbs?) and my last was week before July 4th weekend and my first blog post (259-260ish).  (A variety of practical world delays explains a lot of the gap between then and next week start).  So I’ve lost 25-30 pounds since they’ve last seen me.  While I doubt they have a firm image of me from all that time ago, certainly a confidence booster for me!
  5. Arc Trainer – Level 5 baby (started on 3 and the jump from 4 to 5 is significant – to me anyway)!
  6. Broke my need to cover the cardio timer with the towel to hide it.  Arc Trainer changes need a few seconds warning, so I needed to see it.
  7. Started doing hill trainer on elliptical for variety, level 7 – also not hiding timer with the towel anymore.

There are some caveats and negatives to mention however:

  1. It would not surprise me if some of it is temporary water weight that comes back.  I did a LOT of sweating.  Flood warnings were issued when I headed to the gym.
  2. I suspect at least some of it was lost upper body muscle.  I probably don’t eat enough protein to begin with and by mid-second week all my upper body weights lifted dropped 5-10 pounds and it just got worse by the end of fourth week.  Meanwhile the leg weights sky-rocketed.  Without enough protein the body redistributed.  I doubt its 100% efficient, so I presume some weight loss is muscle.
    • Chest Press – Started 225, dropped to 215 then 210 doing 200 by end of 4th week to get full sets in.
    • Shoulder Press – Was working up to 125 before, down to 2 sets of 120 and 2 sets of 110 by end of 4th week.
    • Back Row – Started 165, dropped to 160 for some sets, I pushed it back up to all at 165, but if I’m honest, I sacrificed form for weight.
    • Assisted Chin-Up/Pull-Up – went from 55 lbs assist to 45lbs, but given weight also dropped by nearly same amount, effective weight remained the same.  Struggled to do proper 5th in final two sets by 4th week.
    • Leg Extension – not sure where it started, but was up to 305lbs by end of 4th week.
    • Seated Leg Press – again not sure where it was at start, but cranked up to 360 by end of 4th week.
  3. Mid-week 3, I definitely started to feel..worn-out and well-used is probably the best description I can give.  Towards end of 2nd week and thereafter, I started waking up feeling a little sore and stiff every single morning.  It was gone after 20-40 minutes, but if it had started lasting longer, I was going to stop.
  4. Mild tennis elbow developed.  Again, if it got worse I was going to stop.

I should be able to get one more intense session in today, and possibly tomorrow.  I hope to just more or less stick to the normal program next week (in my line of work the first few weeks are odd and often a little light since you have little practical contribution to make while coming up to speed and waiting on setups and people for various access rights).

I am also going to see if I can start doing the 100 pushup challenge that some of the other people are doing either next week or the week after.  I am thinking of trying the 200 situp challenge at the same time.  I’ve been ignoring the core (why bother a solid layer of fat hiding it 😉 ), but I think it’s starting to hold me back now.

Technical Note:  Accidentally pressed publish on this half-written last week, if you briefly saw it here or on RSS.

About J.

40 year old IT guy on a health and fitness kick.

Posted on September 21, 2011, in Exercise, Weight Loss and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Journey 2 perfect body

    You’re doing really well, so congrats. I am impressed by your achievements!

    Hey, and do not worry about muscle loss, as a person is losing weight, some muscle loss is almost inevitable. We can only minimize it.

    And do you know more about tennis elbow? How do you experience it?… I’m asking because I have some issues with my right elbow, sometimes it starts to hurt when I’m working out with bigger weights. It’s not so bad so I haven’t been to doctors or researched more about it (shame on me). Now I’m wondering if it’s something similar to what you’re experiencing.

    • definitely self diagnosed with the elbow (not worth much) – I am experiencing a little pain or discomfort with things like elliptical (version works the upper arms) and pull-ups/rows. Not a lot, but something I need to keep an eye on.

  2. Well done! That is fantastic. You are amazing. I would love to do the pushup challenge but I cannot even do one. I didnt pay attention when the ex was in the army. Sure should have. You are doing great.

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