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Two workouts

Huge apologies for the lack of presence lately! My computer has finally broken down but I haven’t been able to buy a new one because I’m on the hunt for a new car and not sure how much that’ll cost me heh.

Anyhoo, here are two of the exercise routines that I have done lately. I realise that I’ve come a long way strength wise when I think back to August and how few real push-ups I could do; I tend to set my routine limit at 10 in a row but I would hazard a guess that I can do about 15 in a row now (sure beats the original 5 :D). The first routine comes from Peanut Butter Fingers.

Routine 1
50 star jumps (jumping jacks)
20 alternate lunges
10 tuck jumps
20 squats
60 seconds high knees
10 squat jumps
10 burpees
60 side jump lunges (my own variation because I don’t have a skipping rope)
20 seconds mountain climbers (I just did 60)
25 push-ups (I did these from my knees hehe)
60 second plank

I did the second routine 3 times this morning and finished the 3 rounds in about 16 minutes. I was somewhat sluggish when I did it because it’s rather chilly here – the grass was completely frosted bbbrrrrrr.

Routine 2
12 burpees
20 prisoner jump lunges
80 mountain climbers
50 mini squats

I also haven’t been stretching before exercises for the last couple of weeks – I’ve had no ill effects either! Hmmmm… Has anyone else given up stretching before exercising?

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Mezcla of the day

I want to share with you all 3 parts of my day today: exercise, food, and (music) entertainment 🙂

Exercise

I have a sneaky feeling I’m not pushing myself hard enough when I workout because I did this workout yesterday and today and it wasn’t very hard… or maybe it’s the extra carbs I’ve been consuming lol.

side jump lunge x60
push-ups (from my knees coz I’m girly) x10
forward lunges x30 each leg
santana push-ups x10

I did that routine 4 times with only a 10 second break between each exercise. What I really like about these kinds of exercises is that I don’t get bored; I hardly ever do the same set of exercises more than two days running. I believe it’s important for my body and my mind – gotta keep them guessing :D.

Food
I made a cocoa, cinnamon, salt, and pepper rub for a cut of meat the night before last (had to leave the rub on for a day) and today I ate the little bit that was left over with a salad. While the meat was cooking last night I drizzled red wine over it which kept it nice and juicy. I did over-cook it slightly but to be fair I received a phone call while I was in the middle of preparing dinner heh. The rub gave it a nice, subtle flabour; next time I’m thinking of adding some coffee and garlic.

(Music) entertainment
I’ve been listening (and singing) to the New Zealand band Opshop today and I wanted to share two of my favourite songs of theirs with you all. Just another little promo for my country 😉

Does anyone have any nice recipes for meat rubs? What do you think of Opshop?

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Survival

This post has been a long time coming…

The inspiration for this post on survival has a couple of origins. The first being a book that I was reading: The Mysterious Island; and the second from Julie at Peanut Butter Fingers.

Julie asked whether being thin would be important if you were stranded on a deserted island. My opinion is that being slim (I don’t like the word thin; it has negative connotations for me) is important but only in terms of survival. If I were slim it would be because I were fit and capable of surviving :). It’s an interesting question and perhaps a good one to make us all sit down and wonder whether we spend so much time preening… although, having said that I believe that it’s important to have pride in yourself too. I guess the question is whether you do it for yourself or for others.

Jules Verne is one of my favourite authors. I haven’t finished The Mysterious Island yet but I already love it. So far five men are stranded on an island and their leader, the engineer, creates fire, an oven for making pottery and separating metals and consequently weapons. He even manufactures a kind of dynamite to create access to an underwater cavern to live in (which he also found for them).

These two things led me to think about how I would fare if the world we know no longer existed or if I were stranded somewhere uncivilised. I realise that I lack a lot of knowledge in this area so I’m resolved to undertake some survival training when I return to New Zealand. I did a quick google search but I didn’t have much luck. The most well-known company for New Zealanders is Outward Bound. They have courses for 8 days or 21 days. 8 day courses cost, on average, NZ$4000 so I’m looking to see whether I can get a scholarship for one of them. I did find another company, Wild Earth, who organises bush survival courses but I have to get in contact with the directly to find out course lengths and costs.

The courses from Wild Earth listed the following as skills they teach:
how to read a map
how to use a compass
how to build shelter
fire starting techniques
psychology of getting lost

I think it’s also very important to know how to:
hunt
find and recognise clean water
make basic tools eg knife, fishing line/hook
recognise edibles leaves and roots and insects (New Zealand, for example, evolved in isolation and has many unique flora not found in any other country. Fauna was lacking in pre-european NZ – birds actually evolved to fill their place).

I may be forgetting some important things so if you have any ideas then please share them. In the meantime, I am going to start thinking about what I would pack into a survival kit :).

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Workout routine

Just a short post today – tomorrow I plan to update you all on my ketongenic diet :).

Yesterday and today I did the same workout (well almost). I have started making my workouts shorter and more intense for myself  as I believe I was overtraining. So this workout consisted of:

(yesterday) Running gecko x 20
(today) Mountain climbers x 20 and then 2 spidermans (whole thing twice)
side lunge jump x 40
burpees x 10
squat jumps x 10

It might not seem like much but the idea is to do as much as possible without stopping. I did 3 rounds both days in just under 12 minutes. It may not seem like much but I only started weights training some 3 months ago :).

What’s a typical workout for you? How many times do you workout a week?

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Ketosis

Since my post on body fat and the comments left by reader, Ben, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about Ketosis. I’ve never attempted it properly – I tend to eat a lot of fruit which I understand is kind of hindering my fat loss. So I’ve decided to really give it a go for the next couple of weeks to a month. I don’t have a lot to lose so if I’ve lost enough after two weeks I’ll stop prohibiting so many carbs.

On that note, I wanted to share some of the articles I have been reading on Ketosis.

The first is by Dr. Michael Eades. I admit that after only being Paleo for 3 months, I still battle a little with the idea that eating more fat is better for me than eating fruit for example (damn you Conventional Wisdom). This article has really helped me understand the whole process by which fat, protein, and carbohydrates are used by the body for energy and helps steel my resolve against CV I guess you could say :).

The second link is to a website which has a low-carb meal plan for 30 days. The only sweetener I use is Stevia so I would substitute that in any recipe that calls for Splenda or sugar etc.

The third is a link to Mark’s Daily Apple which explains Ketosis in more layman’s terms. It also talks about why “generally” consuming between 100 and 150 grams of carbohydrates per day is ideal in evolutionary terms.

I think dinner tonight will be chicken in a creamy curry sauce wrapped in nori sushi (and maybe with a little melted cheese on top).

Enjoy the links! I’ll keep posting on how well this is working for me.

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workout and fat loss

As you will probably have gathered from a couple of my recent posts (overtraining and the Primal Blueprint Fitness) I realised that I have strayed from the path a little. I was pushing myself hard to do more exercise and consequently I was eating more, feeling more tired (and grumpy), and feeling a bit fatter :P. I think it’s important to keep tabs on yourself; it was only through reading the Primal Blueprint Fitness eBook that I realised I was a) doing pushups wrong and b) doing too much exercise and probably hindering my fitness and fat loss efforts more than anything.

So, I decided to take down a notch the duration of the exercises I have been doing. Over the last 3 days I have done one sprinting session and two workouts (the same exercises in each one).

Tuesday was my attempt at Tabata sprinting:
I don’t have an interval timer yet so I sprint a set distance (between two park benches) and then watch the clock for 10 seconds before sprinting back again. I don’t sprint for 20 seconds… I’m slowly working my way up to that one. I remember thinking (before doing my first sprinting session) that it would be easy as. Give it a try and tell me how it was for you :).

Sprint X metres (or X seconds)
Rest 10 seconds

Do this 8 times.

Yesterday and today’s workout consisted of:

proper pushups (all the way to the ground this time lol) x10
side jump lunge thingies x 20 (10 each leg)
Mountain climbers x 10 and bring knees up to each side (like spiderman) x2  (counts as one set) x 5
Squats x 50 (the kind where you stay down low and bounce)

I did this little routine 3 times. It took less than 15 minutes so I feel like I haven’t done much in the way of exercise lately. Seeing as the overexercising wasn’t working for me though I’m going to try this way for a while. Tomorrow’s a rest day :D.

Oh and as a little aside note – I’ve made a little push up challenge with my bf . We have 3 weeks (until September 1st) to reach our individual goals. I have to manage 10 push ups in a row… so far I can do 5 without needing a couple of seconds breather. Wish me luck!

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A couple of days ago, the Primal Blueprint Fitness eBook was released by Mark Sisson. He was originally going to release this book for sale (in addition to his other two books, the Primal Blueprint and the Primal Blueprint Cookbook), however, Mark’s aim is to help us so he kindly offered it to his email suscribers for free. It’s 97 pages long and chock-a-block full of great ideas and help for working out.

The first chapter deals with how often you should work out and what kind of work out you should do each week to be at your optimum. It places an emphasis on enjoying the workouts and incorporating enjoyable exercise into your daily life eg going for a walk with a loved one. It also stresses the importance of doing shorter more intense workouts that incorporate your whole body instead of isolated muscles areas. I like to think of being fit this way: if the world came to an end and we were forced to survive as hunter-gatherers once more, would I survive?

Chapter 2 talks about the 5 essential movements: push-up, squat, pull-up, overhead press, and plank. Mark has also posted these videos on youtube so that you can see how each exercise is done correctly. After seeing the push-up video I realise that my technique wasn’t correct. Although I hold my body position well, I wasn’t actually advancing down far enough… perhaps only 3/4 of the way.

The rest of the book goes through the 5 essential movements in more detail in terms of incorporating them into your weekly workouts and introduces the idea of sprinting.

I can’t help but be so glad I found this way of life.

Who else has read this book? How did you find the instructional videos? Did you realise (like me) that you weren’t perhaps performing them correctly?

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