Tag Archives: Strength Training

Bodyfat Challenge: Week Two

6 Jul

Unfortunately, the second week did not live up to my high hopes.


I did manage to improve my breakfasts – I had to resort to yoghurt a couple of days when I was in a rush, but largely managed to have vegetable and protein-packed breakfasts. My current favourite is cavolo nero (I think it’s also known as Tuscan cabbage or black kale) chopped finely and fried in some oil with garlic and/or onion, with two poached eggs on top and a dollop of sriracha. It works out well when James is home – we split a bunch of cavolo nero between us.

Lunch and Dinner

Breakfast was the only high point, and otherwise I got really slack. I would pat myself on the back for having such an awesome breakfast, then eat something carby for lunch, and then worry about what I had for lunch, which made me eat less than normal for dinner, which gave me awful headaches, which in turn made me skip my exercise sessions.

In hindsight I can’t believe I was so dumb. Even if I eat badly at lunch I should just carry on as normal – trying to “compensate” for my poor eating just leads to more poor eating and less energy to train.


I was freaking out a bit that my foolish eating and skipped gym sessions would stuff up my strength gains, but I managed a 70kg single back squat (138% bodyweight) on Sunday so all is good. Everything was a bit shakier than normal, so I will have to make sure I’m eating enough in the following weeks. Lesson learned.

My weight was pretty similar to last week, hovering around 50.8kg.

Diet/Exercise Improvements

I’m seeing the physio today so hopefully I’ll be able to ramp up my training. I’ll start by adding a couple of BJJ sessions back to my weekly schedule and hopefully I’ll be able to start incorporating some upper body exercises into my workouts too.

Bodyfat Challenge: Week One
Bodyfat Challenge!

Before and After

1 Jan

Happy New Year!

My New Year’s Resolution last year was to get healthier and improve my athletic performance. And I know that everyone says NYR don’t work, but for some reason, the psychological excuse of having the new year really works for me. (Other silly things that have been known to motivate me: moving house and new stationery)

The first photo I was about 61kg after I started working out and was eating pretty well. It’s from November 2008 but that’s pretty much how I looked at the start of 2010. There is muscle there, but it’s hidden under fat, though if you’d asked me I would have said that I didn’t have that much weight to lose. The second photo I was around 50kg. It was taken in December 2010, but I’ve been at this weight since May. So I basically did this in 5 months and have been coasting since then.

Anyway, before and after photos!

I realise that a bikini shot would have been better for comparison (and one where I didn’t have to zoom in like .. 10x), but there hasn’t been much bikini weather this Summer so this is the best I have. It’s not a dramatic Weight Watchers transformation where you see people standing in one leg of their old pants, but this is basically me minus 20% body weight, so I am quite pleased at the change.

I ended the year 2010 leaner, stronger, faster, more flexible, and healthier than how I started it. Hopefully I can stop coasting and start improving again. I’ve gotten into the habit of going to the gym and just doing my regular workout (which don’t get me wrong, is not a slack workout). But I think I started getting into the mindset that all my big beginner gains were over so I stopped trying to improve as much. In 2011 I’m going to try and improve every time I’m at the gym, whether it’s in reps or weight.

So 2011 my health and fitness goals:

  • Improve pull-ups. I want to be busting out sets of 8-10 or even starting to attach weights.
  • Clean up my diet even more and get back to a 40/40/20 macro split. Cut out potatoes, bread and grains except for the occasional cheat meal. Aim for 7+ serves of vegetables a day.
  • Improve power. More jumping, snatches, cleans and explosive movements.
  • Lifting-wise I want to get my squat to 75kg (currently at 62.5kg for 3 reps). I want to progress in my deadlift so that it’s higher than my squat. My other dream is a bodyweight bench. I want to get my overhead squat to 40kg.
  • I want to drop to 48kg. I think I can still shed some fat around my quads and abs.

2011 is going to be a good year. I can feel it!