Thursday, 27 February 2014

Weigh In Week 6

Not a great deal of improvement this week compared to last week. however I have been working really hard and my body probably needs more sleep.
I'm now waking up at 4am to fit in my daily Intuflow warm up (Active Recovery) but I haven't been able to get to bed on time in the evening due to many factors. So I'm only getting between 4 and 6 hours sleep.
All this hard work isn't worth anything if I don't allow enough time to recover. So I'm now aiming at 8 hours sleep a night. And see how that goes.

Ive had no beer over the week other than the one last week, which will be my last due to the issues I've noticed.
Also my diet has been a lot better.

We discovered that the local butcher in Samford has a range of organic and clean meats so I'm now heading to see them from now on rather then trekking 2 hours across town to get it.
Also the local veggie shop right next door to the butcher has a nice range of veg to choose from. So now we will be popping into the 2 local stores during the shopping week and have pretty much cut out all supermarkets and processed foods opting for home made fresh scratch made meals.

I spent most of the day on Sunday preparing meals for the whole week, making chicken stock from scratch with the slow cooker. And finishing off with a nice pastaless pasta, with Organic beef mince and home made sauce made from roasted vegetables. Large batches like this make about 10 meals .for that's 5 meals for 2 people which is worth spending the time to make it all from scratch. Then divide it up into meal sizes and freeze.

Other than that lungs are getting stronger. and horse stance is improving. Resting heart rate is a nice 60bpm. Still no walks or runs this week as I've been far too busy and away from home working.

Weight looks light its going to stop around 80-81kg now. Fat % is still dropping and muscle growing.
I'm also supplementing a little with a potion consisting of complete protein, Wheat grass, Barley Grass and alfalfa Grass. This is in addition to meals not replacing a meal. It helps to provide adequate protein and omega oils as well as 10 amino acids.

Also I've been adding a glass of  water with Fresh lemon juice after I wake , which helps alkalise the body as well as aid in fat loss.

Things to improve,
- I still need more vegetables so will try and add more to meals.
- More passive recovery ie. Sleep

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Shaolin Kung Fu Week 6

Week 6 and I guess I'm now an official member, after all I've now go the club shirt and Insurance is all sorted. :)
Again this week the class was taken by a senior student. And yet again we got drilled hard. Excellent.
I got there early and ran through the Intuflow " pre-Martial art warm up" warm up which helps avoid injury in strenuous classes.

I can definitely see improvement in jump height and the number of reps I can do of each technique before exhausting myself. Upper body strength and endurance has tripled since I started.

As of next week Ill be training 2 to 3 nights a week and joining different classes such as
Qi Gong, Wushu, and the Tumbling and jumping acrobatic class.

Also Ive been studying some Chinese history which is fascinating and want to learn more. I'm also enrolling in Chinese mandarin language classes. I was going to start now, however I have some work coming up on those dates so will start mid year.

Loving every second of it.

 Amituofo! 阿彌陀佛

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Beer no good for me

Although I have known for a while that beer has negative effects on my metabolic type. I've never really noticed much and always assume its something else causing the problem, cause Beer = yummy!
In the past I have had some reactions like sinus and hay fever type issues but that usually occurs when I'm in a dusty area so I always had the idea it could just be the dust.

As a protein type starchy / grain carbs are especially very bad for me and last night a lot was confirmed.
I've been eating varying amounts of clean veg and meat and nothing else for the past week or so. No sugar, and no beer. Then Last night (Friday) Rose and I sat down to watch a movie. I still have some lovely  preservative free craft beer I brewed from grains so its Friday night, time for a beer.

Because I've been eating clean recently I'm becoming extra sensitive to toxins .
Almost instantly while drinking the first glass. My eyes got itchy, started sneezing and back of my thoat needed scratching. you know that feeling. ? its not nice.
It was a 700ml bottle so theres a couple of glasses in there. Not wanting to waste I had the second.
After the movie we were off to bed and noticed in the mirror when cleaning my teeth by belly was very bloated, sticking out more than I could purposely push it out earlier in the day. More beer Reaction.
This was only one bottle. I used to consume 2 to 3 in a sitting, or more in a party environment.

The sad thing is now I have all this brewing gear to re purpose. 50 litre Stainless stockpots and fermenting gear. Maybe make something healthy with it. Not sure yet.

Also just this week I read about gluten problems and the symptoms were spot on to what my wife Rosanna was going through. Hay fever, tired, no energy, bloating. So she removed gluten from just one meal and almost like magic all the symtoms disappeared. She has trialed this again with a few meals. With gluten, without gluten. And even the tiniest amount of it and the symptoms came rushing back. I note this as we have been dealing with these issues for years not knowing it was food related or just how easy it was to make those issues go away. I wonder just how many people are suffering from long term problems that are simply food related , and with a change of diet (which isn't hard by the way) can be free of all those problems and get on with their life.

I'm now very interested in health tweaking and removing all the negative effects. Keeping record with a food diary is key so when you feel a certain way you can look back at your record and see what you have consumed over the past 48 hours that maybe contributing to it.

Wonder what else is holding me down. hmmm. Back to the body lab.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Weigh in Week 5

This week I completely re built my food intake. Removed all starchy carbs and replaced with complex vegetable carbs for every meal, plus clean meats for protein. Also increased to 6-7 smaller meals a day to boost metabolism. All of a sudden I started burning off the fat at an epic rate. I've known about the 6 meal metabolism increase for years so i was keen to get that going again.
Ive also not had any beer which makes a huge difference.
Drinking heaps of different teas now including liver detox and antioxidant Yerba Mate.

Also to show just how much the right diet is key, i didn't do any walking or running. just 1 day of Shaolin Kung Fu . thats it. all the rest was food. Scott Sonnon mentions food is 85% of the battle.

most of the weigh dropped off in the past 3 days.

Horse stance has only increased a little. But thats expected as ive not been training to hard ... YET.
Resting heart rate is good. although i Might drop this from recording as its not really useful.
Max walk none. was far to busy this week. Not an excuse. I  was working massive hours. and wasn't home for any day light hours.
Breath exhalation has increases a little as my lungs have improved.

as far as the body weight im guessing it will slowdown and average out at around 75kg. and maybe 10% fat which is the goal. If I continue to eat like this (which I'm loving by the way, tasty meals every day) My body should naturally balance its self at a healthy weight. then i can focus harder on intense Kung Fu training. and get the nice high jumping springy muscles .

Loving eating all this awesome clean food. also Feel freaking amazing all the time. Energy is through the roof. I feel like doing jumping squats and frog jumps all day. Its incredible really but not surprising as ive felt like this before. Just glad I decided to get this health back.

Looking forward to this coming week. Time to get serious with Shaolin Kung Fu. My new love affair.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Shaolin Kung Fu Day 5 (week 5)

5 weeks training at Shaolin Kung Fu Guan Brisbane, and I'm about to start increasing the training. I can now deal with the intense training sessions and recovering by the next day rather than taking 4 days to be able to walk again.
Ill only post once a week even though ill be training 3 to 4 sessions within the week.
We have now brushed on basic forms and conditioning and spend quite a bit of time practicing at home .

Areas of weakness.

- Need to focus on strengthening the hip area that caused me issues years ago. Intuflow is helping with this.
- Jumping needs improvement and focus.
- Upper body is better now but needs some serious attention as my legs have way more conditioning due to years of Taekwondo.
- More Horse Stance. You can never have enough Horse Stance.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Weigh in Week 4

Four weeks in and everything on track. I've tweaked my diet a bit this week, with no refined sugars except for about 4 x 750ml beers.

83kg - 14.5% Body Fat
Horse Stance 1min 10seconds
Resting Heart Rate - 68  
(probably due to a recent coffee)
Max Run/Walk Distance 7.88km 

and I've added Exhale time.  1 minute 5 Seconds 

This was an exercise I started doing after the first Shaolin training session, and helping a lot.
Basically inhale all the way, then exhale as slow as you can through the mouth. I could only do about 20 seconds when I first started 3 weeks ago so thats a vast improvement.

I was also planning on doing a lot more walking/running however Ive been extremely busy this week and couldnt find the time.

I also progressed to Intuflow Intermediate program during the week however I was experiencing difficulty and some mild pain so Ive gone back to the Beginner program to work on those areas.
Maily my back, hip/pelvis area which is where I was injured all those years ago. So im in no hurry to injure myself again. At least I know my limits this time around.

As far as body fat percentage I'd like to get to around 10%. and under 80kg.
Theres still a Lot of tweaking to do on my diet but im happy with how its going so far.
One step at a time.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Shaolin kung fu day 4 (one month)

It's now been a month since I first started training shaolin kung fu. I was hoping be to be drilled again as i was feeling up for it and wanted to test myself. and BAM !! .  That's just what we got.
Our teacher was away so the class was taken by an advanced student. A lovely chap with a welcoming smile who took us through the hardest warm up session I've ever experienced in all the years I've trained in martial arts. Ha ha. 

To the point where I couldn't complete most of the exercises.  I couldn't lift my chest off the ground once more.  I could hardly stand up without first rolling to the side and use my elbows as my arms were numb. 
This is actually what I was hoping for.  I've learnt a lot about my limits in a LOT of area's all in one session.  So plenty to work on through the week. 

After that we went on to form practice which was a nice change.
Still loving the styles so as of March 1st I'll be increasing my training to twice a week. 

Monday, 10 February 2014

Time to GROW our food

We have been talking about having a food garden for years and being a rental property this can be a challenge. However we have talked to the landlords and we are now able to make it happen.
We have cleared an area in the front yard which gets the most sunlight throughout the day and started with a few pots. Since we live in a forest we also need to cover with wire mesh. There are lots of wild animals who love vege gardens so we have to make sure they can't get to it before we do.

Next the plan is to build raised beds out of free recycled palettes which I can get from some of the local shops. The cheaper light palettes are just rubbish they have to get rid of so most places will welcome the offer to take them away.

This is also good for the kiddies to get involved in as learning to grow food is a great set of skills to have.
Suki is loving it and being able to water and watch plants grow that she planted her self is yet another thing to keep her occupied.

So far we have chili, Mustard spinach, Tomatoes and Parsley, that's just what we had previously. We are also ordering some Heirloom Seeds online to expand our crop to silverbeet, capsicum, cabbage, etc.

Same time we were planning all of this I noticed Scott Sonnon post some links to free wellness guides on his facebook page. One being his 28 days Primal food guide. Which I thoroughly recommend as its what I work towards in my own dietary plan. . Reading through this is just another reason to get stuck into the garden.

Will post progress as we get it all happening.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Off the beaten path (aka. Into the forest take 2)

I wanted to increase the distance for this morning walk / Jog session so instead of heading back down the fire trail with the epic uphill I decided to head down one of the bush tracks. Id not been down here before which is odd as its the closest path to home. It also joins up with a few other paths along the way so there's a few options for increasing the distance step by step over the weeks.

5am and its a stunning morning, clouds have all rolled in which meant low visibility yet nice and cool with light drizzle. This is perfect rain forest weather.
Since Id  never been down there before I assumed where it went and where it came out onto the main road. However what I thought, was wrong. After about 3.5km it joined to a fire trail which led onto the road  but much further down than where I thought I was which was a surprise.

As it didn't drop in elevation much I was In rain forest pretty much the entire way which was a change.
Heaps of animals again. These early morning treks are so well worth it. Saw some Bright Blue birds as well but didn't get a close enough look to identify them .

Over all was a really nice trek through the rain forest , out onto the road a bit then back in down a slightly different path. Only downside was the large amount of leeches due to the wet morning. I had to stop and check every 10 Min's or so, just quickly so I didn't drop pace too much. I flicked off around 25 or so of the little suckers. Next time ill wear long socks and tuck the pants in.

Total of 7.88km and I'm happy with that. Fast paced walk with some jogging . Just stopping for these photos and leech checks.

Rain forest trekking Tips.
- Don't wear running short shorts. Long pants tucked into socks. Leeches suck. Its true!
- The forest is better early morning or late afternoon when its been raining.
- Try not to brush up against too many bushes or trees. This is how a lot of ticks and leeches get on you.
   Plus there's stinging nettle and some other nasties which aren't too pleasant.
- Don't let any of the above stop you from doing Forest treks . Its so well worth it.

Some areas quite overgrown and path blocked by fallen trees or land slides. I had also planned to jog a lot of it however the trail surface was quite rough, with tree roots and large rocks which was a challenge, not to mention the shear drops down the mountain.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Weigh in Week 3

Time for the Weekly weigh in.

Bit of an odd result as it seams I have put on some muscle weight and still lost some body fat.
Putting on that much muscle in one week is a little unrealistic as I'm only eating fresh cooked food and no supplements or protein powders.
I'm putting this down to maybe a larger meal or water the night before.
Will have to wait and see what next weeks weigh in looks like.

Horse stance is only a little improved as my legs are still so sore from Tuesdays training session, I just couldn't hold it any longer.

I've also added some more things to track. Resting heart rate which, at 62bpm, is surprisingly low for only 3 weeks worth of work. This was counted over 3 full minutes and averaged. However came in at 62 every one of the minutes.
Also on the list is a record of longest single distance walked/jogged/run and a weekly total.
This way I can see if the level of exercise is having a direct effect on my weight/fat/lean mass.

Think ill up the level of exercise between Shaolin Training days, and tweak the diet a bit more since I'm aiming to loose some body fat first before building and strengthening muscle. I HAVE been eating a lot of Protein this week which may have contributed to the weight gain.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Shaolin Kung Fu day 3

I was hoping to be completely drilled again this week as I've been working on lung capacity and breath control. That was where I failed on the first day as I almost passed out.

And that's totally what we got. drilled hardcore. I had the breathing under control and was getting through it. Hard yes but coping. And just when I thought I was going to get through, it stepped up a level.
Upper body this time. Arm control and conditioning. Muscles I didn't know existed suddenly yelled HELLLOOOOO!!!

I've had 3 years experience in the past at Taekwondo and Hapkido and had built up a lot of leg strength and control, which is quickly returning, however my poor weak upper body didn't do so well. There were even types of crunches I've not seen before, cant remember the name of, and couldn't complete even one of them. But I wasn't the only one on my back laughing at being incapable so I didn't feel to out of place.

Overall It was a good night, and I'm progressing at a steady pace. All the breathing exercises I've done through the week have given me about 3 times the lung capacity so I'm happy with that.
I've also gained back a lot of my flexibility and the Intuflow program is helping heaps with that.
Ill be progressing onto the Intermediate Intuflow program in a few days.

Shaolin is awesome, loving learning new skills, and keen to take it as far as my 37 year old body will let me.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Exploring the forest

We live on Mount Glorious about 40km drive northwest of Brisbane.
I'm tempted to say we are lucky to live here but that is not the case, we simply made the decision to move out of the city 3 years ago and never looked back.
However in that past 3 years I think we have only ventured into the forest for walks about 4 times.
There's such a great opportunity to explore so once again I made the 'decision' to start walking/jogging/running the tracks and fire trails and get to know the forest a little better.

First up we, as a family walked the local tracks down to the waterfalls last week, and this week I took my daughter on a shorter 2.5km walk down one of the other local walk tracks, nice and easy.

Then last Friday I headed down one of the fire trails. These are 4wd tracks that run all through this massive state forest to provide access for park rangers, bushfire crews and search & rescue teams.

First track all down hill to start with. once I reached the 2km mark I turned around and slugged it back up the steep climb. Mostly walking with short sprint bursts. Was only 4 km all up and not that hard so today I woke up at 5am to head down further down the same trail.

There are paper maps available from the park head office however these trails are not marked on Google maps. So tracking where you are going in the forest is difficult. I ended up finding a GPS app for my phone called map my walk. I dont listen to music or anything as its nice to listen and experience the forest and all the wildlife. So I just used the app to track the distance and map the trail so I kind of know where I've been.
Screen Grabs of the 'Map My Walk' app from todays trail. 

After completing the Intuflow Beginner program as a warm up, I started record on the app and left the phone in a tiny back pack bag for the whole trip, so I could enjoy the experience rather than focus on gadgets the whole way.

Its a nice trail. lots of wallabies and heaps of different parrots and other birds. At one stage there was a stunning view of the early sun over the Lockyer Valley and hot-air balloons over Ipswich, which I had to stop and check out. The terrain also changed about 3 times from rainforest at the top to eucalypt forests, and general scrub at the lower part. The local Olley's Organic Honey also have their hives hidden all over the mountain which smell incredible as I trek past.

Overall I managed to cover about 6.4km and elevation down about 220m (See image above). The way back up that 220m was intense. Ill have to try and make it further down the trail next time.

At the moment I'm just walking the bulk of the way till I'm able to eventually run the whole distance.

- To run 10km+ every other day.
- Explore more of the Forest trails.