Get fit for forty - Day 14 / 92

A tale of two cities

I went into this week feeling pretty good on the back of the first week results.  I hadn't trained as much as I would have wanted last week - I did get three gym sessions in but nothing else.  This week was better and I managed to hit the gym three times again as well as getting to my touch football game (the first in a while).  So I was pretty happy about that and the two tries I scored definitely helped!  Also pleasing was going back to back weeks without missing a gym session and this showed in my compound lifts.  My squat, bench press (dumbbell and barbell), leg press, rows and deadlift all went up.  I was the happiest with my deadlift, doing 4 x 6 @ 140kgs (no straps or belt), which is the heaviest I have lifted in a while.  I felt really strong this week but I am trying to keep my ego in check and just methodically progress.  Avoiding injuries is more important than big gains.

Around my workouts I have been gradually introducing postural and stretching exercises - mostly in the evenings.  It is early days but I can tell that with consistency I'll start to see some results.  Muscle ups continue to be a work in progress.  Man they are HARD!  I still don't feel close but I keep practicing and just building on my chin strength.  I'll probably do a whole post on this at some stage but for the moment I am focusing on strict chin ups (3 x 6), doing single muscle ups with an exaggerated swing / kip and using bands to help with the explosive part of the movement - chest to bar.  I think spending more time on the bar will help so I have started incorporating the ascending and descending monkey bars into the mix.  Needless to say I can feel my back today!  

Mostly this week I am pumped about my handstands.  After last week I felt like I was miles away but this week, with a few more sessions of being inverted, I have really made big progress.  I am still using the wall but I am already starting to judge where it is and pushing off with my feet and holding the free handstand for a solid count.  I really surprised myself today.

Diet wise it wasn't such a great week this week.  It wasn't bad, although there were two evenings of eating icecream and watching American Ninja Warrior!  Fortunately I didn't go backwards but what it showed was that an inconsistent week of eating nullified a solid week of training.  Next week needs to be better!

The results are in

I didn't go backwards (luckily!) but didn't make any real progress either.

Yes, you read it right.  Just 100 grams!  But you only get out what you put in, so I am going to use this as motivation this week to train five days and really focus on my diet.  

Hope you are enjoying my journey so far!

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Apple cider vinegar liver detox drink

Willing to give it a go

So after much research on lowering my cholesterol and blood glucose I had narrowed down the culprit to my poor liver.  You can read about the 6 actionable steps, one of which is to have a liver detox drink daily.  Now if you read online, the proponents of these detox drinks will claim many miracles, but me I just wanted to kick start my liver detox and accelerate the process of eliminating toxins and giving the poor little fella a chance to heal and get back to work.  Everything I had read supported this and in the end there wasn't much downside.

Apple cider vinegar liver detox recipes

Detox Recipe #1 - Ole faithfull

  • 1 BIG glass of water
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • Honey or maple syrup (optional) to taste but not too much!  We are trying to reduce our sugar intake.
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

 

Detox Recipe #2 - Some like it hot

  • 1 BIG mug of hot water
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 a lemon, squeezed
  • Honey or maple syrup (optional) to taste but again not too much!  We are trying to reduce our sugar intake.
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

Detox Recipe #3 - Shotz

  • Half a glass of water
  • 1 or 2 (2 is better) of apple cider vinegar
  • Honey or maple syrup (optional) to taste but again not too much!  We are trying to reduce our sugar intake.

The story so far

I have been adhering to my daily regimen of apple cider vinegar for a good week now and I can definitely notice a difference.  Nothing spectacular but it is noticeable and I think it has definitely helped with the detox process.  At the start I was doing recipe #1 although I am not a fan of cayenne pepper and after the first try I dropped the cinnamon as well.  I was trying to have my detox drink first thing every morning and then again before lunch and dinner (so three times a day).  At first I have to say it is a little hard to drink - even with the lemon and honey/maple syrup (I tried both and prefer maple syrup) but you get used to the tart / bitter taste and it does get easier.  So much so that after a few days I was getting lazy and just doing recipe #3 and smashing back apple cider vinegar shots! yeah!  

I am going to drop back to just mornings now and after another week I think that this will be enough to have really kick started my liver detox process.

So why are all these ingredients good for me?

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has been around forever and was a remedy that my grandparents, and many others apparently!, commonly used as a home remedy.  It is safe to use with no known side effects and many benefits.  However because it is very acid, apple cider vinegar should be diluted with water (as per recipe #3 as a minimum) to protect your teeth's enamel and to prevent stomach upset.  This happened to me a few times as I was probably a bit overzealous and on an empty stomach which made me feel a bit nauseous.  It quickly passed once I ate. 

Following are the key benefits often sighted (and why I decided to give it a try:

  • A cholesterol and blood pressure reducer - potassium is a blood thinner and fiber absorbs cholesterol and fat and helps to flush toxins from your body
  • A glucose reducer - studies have shown it lowers glucose levels which in turn assists the body in controlling blood sugar levels, which results in less insulin being produced
  • Weight loss - by increasing metabolism, reducing hunger and reducing insulin in the body it is effective as a weight loss or management supplement
  • Detox the liver - by helping to clear the liver it allows the body to better flush toxins

Lemons

Helps to regulate pH levels in the body a great source of vitamin C and also assists in stabilising blood sugar.

Cinnamon

A great anti-oxidant and (apparently) the most effective spice or herb for controlling blood sugar levels.

I hope that you found this post useful.  Look after your liver!

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Get fit for forty - Day 7 / 92

One week down

This is where I say how super excited I was to start my get fit for forty campaign and how I trained every day and ate like a saint.  Well that didn't happen.  Work has just been too busy for me to consistently train so I missed one weights session and my regular touch football game (which I was extra cranky about).  On the flip side I did keep my eating (aka inner Labrador) in check and I had two really good work outs where I was feeling good and lifting well.

Friday

  1. Flat barbell bench press 3 x 8 @ 65kg
  2. Seated cable row 3 x 8 @ 40kg
  3. Deadlift 4 x 6 @ 130kg
  4. Lunge 3 x 6 @ 35kg
  5. Standing calf raise 3 x 6 @ 40kg

Monday

  1. Flat dumbell bench press 3 x 6 @ 34kg
  2. Arnold dumbell press 3 x 6 @ 18kg
  3. Chin up 3 x 6
  4. Leg press 3 x 12 @ 120kg
  5. Lying leg curl 3 x 8 @ 20kg

I did manage to get to the beach with the kids for a surf which was a good active recovery session.  

Two of my goals were to do an unsupported headstand and a muscle up.  So I tried both of these at my recent session.  To be fair I tried the muscle up after my chins which wouldn't have helped, but I have a lot to work on in terms of technique to pull this off.  I had about 5-6 attempts and didn't really feel like I was close!  The handstand I just practiced supported against the wall, but immediately I felt the lack of core strength that I know I used to have (when I was able to do them).  Just need to spend some time upside down and I'll get there but it was definitely harder than I remember!

The results are in

So whilst my exercise routine wasn't the best this week I was definitely saved by some responsible eating.

Overall a pretty good first week; lost .7 kg, dropped .6% in body fat and managed to add .4% in muscle.  Hopefully those results continue but I know that after a few weeks the easy kgs will be gone and the really hard work will begin!

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