Monday, September 20, 2010

A new workout program

So it`s time for a change - in the gym. I mixed up my workoutregime so that this time i'll be doing legs, back and abs the first day, chest on the second (have to hit the weekspot) and arms on the third.
Today will be chest day so here it is:

benchpress 4 x 10
inverse grip benchpress 4 x 10
incline db-press 4 x 10
incline flyes 4 x 10
pullovers 3 x 15
cable crossovers 3 x 15
peckdeck 3 x 15
pushups 3 x max
deep core

Ive been busy and away but here`s a new drawing

here they are, what beauties right?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Primal beauties :)

Inspired by a thread at MDA - heres one more primal beauty - my SO`s older daughter
just finished the drawing - sorry about the pic quality - my phone is a bit old :)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

WOD and EOD (eats of the day)

Today it was time to hit the shoulders:

smith shoulderpresses 4 x 12 30kg
upright rows 3 x 10 25 kg
db shoulder presses 3 x 10 13,5kg dbs
lateral rises 3x12 11 kg dbs
frontal rises 3 x 12 9 kg dbs
bentover lateral rises 3 x 15 10 kg dbs
facepulls (cable)
weghted ab excercises

IF untill dinner: a pounds worth of beef patties, sour cream with chives, cucumbers and lettuce, aged cheese for dessert and hot chocolate (100% dark chocolate and heavy cream)

Excercise increases satiety and decreases amount of food eaten - an article

Just read a good article about excercise affecting satiety - another good reason to hit the gym :)
to the article

Here`s a quote from Science Daily about the article in question:
The group led by José Barreto C. Carvalheira demonstrated that exercising obese rodents showed signals of restored satiety in hypothalamic neurons and decreased food intake. "In obese animals, exercise increased IL-6 and IL-10 protein levels in the hypothalamus, and these molecules were crucial for increasing the sensitivity of the most important hormones, insulin and leptin, which control appetite," Carvalheira explained. Physical activity contributes to the prevention and treatment of obesity, not only by increasing energy expenditure but also by modulating the signals of satiety and reducing food intake

Sauerkraut casserole

So this is how it turned out. I published the recipe a few posts back, but I'll write it here again. The added browned bratwurst slices were a good touch.

Bring about 1 kg sauerkraut to boil with a cup of beefstock, some salt, lots of crushed black pepper, marjoran and honey.
Sautee 2-3 onions untill caramellised and add into the pot. Let simmer on low heat for about 30 min.
Add the meat and about 0,3-0,5 l of sourcream (for the meat use a slowcooked smoked porkleg and some diced, browned bratwurst). Taste and add spices if needed.

Getting hungry...

An excellent post on the Evolutionary Psychiatry blog

What an excellent post by Emily Deanes at the Evolutionary Psychiatry blog: your brain on ketones

I just have to give a quote here:
And now let's really get down to the mitochondrial level.  Mitochondria are the power plants of our cells, where all the energy is produced (as ATP).  Now, when I was taught about biochemical fuel-burning, I was taught that glucose was "clean" and ketones were "smokey."  That glucose was clearly the preferred fuel for our muscles for exercise and definitely the key fuel for the brain.  Except here's the dirty little secret about glucose - when you look at the amount of garbage leftover in the mitochondria, it is actually less efficient to make ATP from glucose than it is to make ATP from ketone bodies!  A more efficient energy supply makes it easier to restore membranes in the brain to their normal states after a depolarizing electrical energy spike occurs, and means that energy is produced with fewer destructive free radicals leftover.
Go and read the post, its very informative plus well written. I've been for ages trying to counter that "glucose is the brains fuel" mantra of the CW gurus out there - now i can.

The core

This spring (in April to be more exact) I had a wakeup. I visited a fysiotherapist for the first time in my life because the constant pains in my lower back had simply become intolerable. I had always thought there was nothing that I could do about it as they were a result of a overlymobile "loose" lower disc that was the result of a car accident in my childhood.
It was a big surprise to find out that I actually could have done something about it - there was a possibility to get rid of or at least significantly reduce the pains. Luckily it`s never too late. And all I had to do was work on my "deep core" muscles.
As a very active girl in good shape (I mean I've been lifting heavy since about 10 years ago), it came as quite a shock to learn that I had weak core muscles. I was relieved to find out it  was one of the most common reasons for lower back pains.
So for the past 5 months I`ve done 5 short ab-sessions per week after a resistance or cardio workout. 2 x weighted abs and 3 x stabilizing workouts. Plus one or two specifically corerelated workouts (30 - 60 min).
There are a few simple tricks you can use to keep your core stabilized through any workout (lifting to jogging to dancing) and in your daily life overall (sitting, standing, walking):
1) tighten your pelvic muscles (as if trying to stop peeing)
2) tilt your pelvis forward a bit (tuck in your tail).
Yes, it takes time to remember to do that and keep your core tight throughout your day, but in a while it becomes natural.

In addition to all the specific deep core targeting excercises (and there are a lot of them - your imagination is the limit), the one thing that gave me the best painrelief and best results in actually getting the muscles to strenghen noticeably was quitting the chair!
What I mean is I don`t sit on achair any more at work - I use a stability ball instead (one with a 75 cm diameter - I have longish legs).
So after 5 months I have managed to lessen the pains to about 50%.
My fysiotherapist said in the beginning that it could take a year or two to get my core in shape, so I`d say im on the right track.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My liverpatties recepy on MDA

Just remembered - I had a recepy published on MDA. Thought I`d link it here
my liverpatties
                                              (pic from MDA blog)

An excellent chestworkout and sauerkraut stew

Yesterday was chest and triceps day at the gym. before that i had already done a bodypump class, so muscles were a bit fatigued.

benchpress 4x10 40kg
incline db press 3x10 16 kg dbs
flyes 3 x 15,12,10 11 kg dbs
peckdeck 3 x 15, 12, 12
pushups 3 x max
closegrip benchpress EZ bar 3 x 12 30 kg
french press 3 x 10 25 kg
cable pushdowns 3 x 12
planks for abs

Slowcooked a smoked porkleg for todays sauerkraut stew yesterday. Its so easy and so good.
All you need is a porkleg, smoked and slowcooked. Then let about 1 kg sauerkraut cook slowly with a bit of water, salt, honey, pepper and marjoran until done (1 hour), add sourcream (0,5 litres) and the readycooked meat. Let simmer for a while (15 min) and enjoy.
                                                    Here`s the porkleg :)


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The miracle of intermittent fasting - a diet without dieting - my interpretation on why and how the Leangains type of intermittent fasting works.

Lets start by discussing the first myth that i mentioned in the into post.
Myth nr 1: Simultaneous muscle gains and fatloss is impossible

If you ever have discussed this with a bodybuilder or read about this topic in some mainstream fitness-site or magazine you already know the rap by heart:

“It takes calorie surplus to build muscle and calorie deficit to lose fat, so beyond some newbie gains, it is impossible to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time”

A gymrat obsessed with your “Muscle and Fitness” mags and T-Nation and falls easily for such misinformation. Why? Probably because firstly – such people tend to have a guru (be it someone at your gym or someone in the business) and therefore they tend to think less for themselves. Plus these gurus tend to have little knowledge in epigenetics, biochemistry and endocrinology; and most of them tend to rely on the marketing of certain products – be it their services, some products their gym sells etc etc.

So there are masses of gymgoing people, smart people at that, who are putting their bodies through an endless cycle of bulking/cutting which is ultimately very detrimental to their hormonal functioning and definatley not the fast nor permanent route to success. It is a very good advertisingrap to sell loads of supplements though.

So here is an alternative hypothesis so well implemented by Martin Berkhan of Leangains and which has lately gotten increasing scientific backing – links to articles will be given at the end of the second blogpost. I am so grateful to Martin Berkhan and also Brad Pilon for doing such a great job at popularising intermittent fasting, that I`d like to try and sum up what I have learned from these gentlemen, and what I have proved works over years of experimenting on myself.

The hypothesis: fatloss and musclegain can be achieved simultaneously

This hypothesis has 3 main principles that essentilly make it work:
NR1: intermittent fasting is necessary to manipulate your hormones (leptin and HGH plus all the other hormones that leptine controls) to control appetite and ensure continued fatloss.
NR2: smart refeeding done around each workout (again to manipulate leptin) NOT 1 big refeed per week or a period of constant refeeding (the bulk) is the key to muscle gain and continued fatloss.
NR3: the importance of SLOW muscle gain with zero fatgain is essential in ensuring permanent results and easy maintenance.

So lets begin with NR1 and discuss
leptin-the-masterhormone andintermittent fasting

What do I mean when i say that leptin is a master hormone? Well, it controls and affects many other hormones like epinephrine, ghreline and the thyroid hormones T3 and T4.
Leptin is produced in adipose (fat) cells so therefore the amount of free circulating leptin is tied to the amount of bodyfat a person is carrying.
Dieting results in a loss of bodyfat and consequently in the lowering of leptinlevels, which downregulates the production of some other metabolism hormones (as mentioned above)

I`m sure everybody is familiar with the common consept (and myth) of the “starvation mode”. What they actually mean by this is what happens when leptinlevels decrease as the result of dieting. Leptin regulates hunger and the metabolic rate among other things – so as a dieter loses fat and lowers his leptinlevels, increased hunger and a lowered metabolic rate start to make it more and more difficult to adhere to a diet.

Leptin is also a genetically conditioned hormone – ie. naturally lean people have a low level of leptin but handle it quite well.
In the other extreme, the obese have chronically high leptin, but have usually developed leptinresistance as a result.

That effect has been called the bodyweight setpoint theory (which has been explained very well by both Martin Berkhan of Leangains and Stephan Guyenet of Wholehealthsource)

Dieting for already lean people can be extremely difficult as has been shown in multiple studies. However all these diets used in such studies have been the traditional cutting diets used in fitness and bodybuilding – bear in mind, this is not at all what we are talking about here.

This is where intermittent fasting comes in:

So we have established that a lean person has low leptin levels. And the desire to diet down to single digit bodyfat should be a nearimpossible feat. Atleast whilst maintaining or even gaining muscle.

What can we do to boost the low levels of leptin without gaining fat? This is the question...

Free circulating leptin is actually decreased while fasting. The miracleworker is actually the feast not the fast. A refeed at the end of a fast is capable of boosting leptine levels above what can be explained by a mere gain in fat. Fasting introduces peaks of leptin in contrast to the constant low levels caused by traditional dieting. Do you see what I'm getting at?
Where women are concerned, we are even luckier: a study shows higher leptin levels during fasting. As you can see, that effect is achieved with out any gains in fatmass. In the study, women lost weight and lowered their body fat percentage in spite of eating a diet high in calories.
Fasting was also shown to decrease neuropeptide-Y (another hungerstimulating hormone).
A similar study has been conducted with men.
Also the fatburning hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine have been shown to increase with intermittent fasting.

Now lets continue with:
NR2: smart refeeds done around each workout (again to manipulate leptin) NOT 1 big refeed per week or a period of constant refeeding (the bulk)

So lets continue on the topic of leptin. As we already discussed, the amount of free circulating leptin in ones body is controlled (in longterm) by the amount of adipose sells (fat tissue). But in the shorter term, fasting followed by a refeed can elevate leptin levels to greatly surpass those that could be explained by fatmass.

One way to take advantage of that mechanism is intermittent fasting, as discussed above. But in order to reap the most benefits, the refeeds ending the fast should be timed correctly. Also the micronutrient content of such refeeds can be manipulated to induce the greatest leptin response.

Studies have shown that carb refeeds increase leptin. Protein has a smaller effect and fat has none.
As a primal lifestyler (what a word) I used to have a tough time accepting that there is this one reason and one time to cut down on fat – and that is during the refeeds (after a fast before and after a weightlifting workout).

Ok, so moving on to
NR3: the importance of SLOW muscle gain with zero fatgain or even fatloss

Slow weightloss means smaller calorie deficit. That combined with the miracle of intermittent fasting is all you need to induce simultaneous fatloss and muscle gain. Actually, I would venture that whilst using daily intermittent fasting, smart carb (starch) refeeds before and after resistance workouts while maintaining a low carb-high fat lifestyle on other days, a calorie deficit is unnecessary or at least it can be kept way smaller than on a traditional cutting diet.
Intermittent fasting and smart refeeding (Leangains style) mean manipulating your leptin levels=controlling your hunger and metabolic rate, making it possible to diet without feeling hunger, without having to fight constant carbcravings. There is no deprivation whatsoever. This is a diet without a diet.

Now, I have been using the Leangains method as the basis of this blogpost and i hope Mr. Berkhan doesn`t mind. But i must say that i do disagree with one of Mr. Berkhan`s points of advice - he always suggests the max time for an intermittent fast to be about 16 hours and even less than that for the women. The anecdotal experience of my n=1 experiment has shown equally good results with a longer fast (18-20h). So that is why i havent given a set timeframe for fasting and feeding or any set number of meals per day - I`d say anything between 1 - 3 meals is just fine.

Some random articles

There`s no connection between red meat consumption and colorectal cancer

High LDL is not associated with hightened risk of death

Vit D is a real multitasker - deficiency related to multiple problems

Healing the pancreas - the intermittent fasting miracle

This is just an introduction to the next post.
I`d like to write a longer post about intermittent fasting and how it helps in losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time.
I will cover insulin sensitivity, leptin resistance, epinephrine and norepinephrine and the body fat setpoint (Stephan at wholehealthsource has an amazing series on that).
And I will knock down two of the main pillars of the bodybuilding diet for the myths that they really are:

Myth nr 1: Simultaneous muscle growth and fatloss is impossible
I know that in the bodybuilding world, building muscle and losing fat at the same time is considered impossible. It is so only if you follow those traditional bodybuilding diets. Understanding a bit of epigenetics, endocrinology and biochemistry can help you cut some corners, save time and be a lot more effective in achieving the goal of your perfect body.

Myth nr 2:  Eating every 2-3 hours is essential for muscle growth

I'd like to explain how muscle catabolism is a big myth and how your post workout shakes may actually be working against you. I will cover HGH release mechanisms, cell renewal processes and autophagy.

Till then

Monday, August 30, 2010

the beginning

leangains day nr 1:
starting statistics
weight - 59,9 kg
f% - 19,2%

the workout today will be back and biceps:
pullups 3 x max followed by 3-4 x 8-12
back rows (60kg) , lat pulldowns (60kg), pulley rows (70kg) , single handed db rows (23 kg db) , EZ bar curls (25kg), hammercurls (11 kg db) , incline curls (9 kg db) + abs

I`ve got a strange problem with the nutrition part of the program - im not used to eating so often. And its also not convenient for me. So that is the only change in the program for me. I'll still be eating 1 meal per day most days and 2 meals on some.

so sofar I've had 2 of those :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Hitler news

So he had jewish and african roots. I just wish he`d be alive to hear that.
the study

High load low rep vs. low load high rep in training

I have long scorned the pink dumbbell training method, but have i been wrong? Hope not. Anyway,  read and judge for yourself.
roundtable at leangains

And the consensus is: keep on with your 60-80% 1RM hypertrophy training and you`ll do just fine. No big news there. But nice to here from the gurus anyway.

One thig to take away is that there is a benefit to lighter or "pump" days, or even weeks. And that even lighter workouts still give you good hypertrophy at least where legtraining is concerned.


I just love iherb.
So much cheaper than anyplace i know on the web.

PPS: I'm not getting payed for this

WOD and eats

Hit the gym in the morning after a coffee and some BCAAs. Shoulder workout:
after a wholebody warmup:
smith machine shoulder presses 25 - 30 kg 4 x 12, 10 , 10, 8
standing rows 25 kg 4 x 12, 12, 10, 10
military press, 13,5 kg db-s 3 x 8
side laterals 11 kg db-s 4 x 12, 10, 10, 8
frontals 15kg plate 3 x 10
bent over rises 10 kg db-s 3 x 15
facepulls (pulleymachine) 3 x 15
planks, weighted crunches, kneerises for abs

After that lunch was a pounds worth of beef patties, some cheese and cucumbers and ofcourse a huge coffee with heavy cream. also had a piece of dark chocolate. Just felt like it :)

In the evening have to make use of the zuccinis that just keep on coming this year - moussaka, here i come.
I recommend preroasting or frying of the zuccini slices. Plus use a cinnamonstik in your minced meat when frying it up - gives that original greek taste (dont forget to take it out though). And instead of a beschamel, make a cheesesauce (melted butter, lots of heavy cream and parmesa, stir and melt. Take off the heat and add an egg)

Some good red wine and thats it for this week.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

cooking and meat made us human

Was just surfing around and found this excellent video. Just had to do a fast share.
And it's ohh so hilarious in how it hits on the rawfoodists. Good science meets good humour. Go Harvard!!!!

All in all: the Australopithecus discovered fire >> got more energy with less effort. In  Homo Erectus that development can be seen as a smaller gut. Smaller gut = less energy spent in digestion = more energy to grow a larger brain = the development into Homo Sapiens.

Check it out here

cooking meat made us human

WOD and the joy of eating out...

So today started out well - got to the gym around 07.30 and had an excellent fasted workout (99,9 % of my workouts are)

5 min total body warmup
4x 12, 10 , 8, 8 squats (70 kg)
4x 12, 10 , 8, 8 ceadlift (60kg)
4x 12, 10 , 8, 8 lunges (60kg)
3x 8, 6, 5 pullups
3x 15, 13, 12 dips
4x 15 single arm backrows (21 kg db)
4x 15 back extensions (15kg plate)
4x max abs with 15 kg plate

After that I went to have my morning coffee and had a conversation about the fare we will have at the seminar today. I`m celiac and some other coworkers have other allergies. What we all had in common was that none of us had reported them for the menu. Why, you may wonder.. Well the muck the serve as glutenfree just makes me laugh (and gives a nice kick in the pancreas). Usually they serve glutenfree (GF for further reference) bread, GF pasta, rice, buckwheat or even quinoa and other shite like that. So I`m better off just cherrypicking my way through it. Well, at least I have enough experience with such affairs not to mind any more what others think about what i eat... I mean even the heavy cream in my coffee (I go through 0,5 l a day) used to be a discussion item... I guess I have the advantage of actually looking the part so I dont have to defend the way i eat or train to anybody anymore. and in my own mind i can take some stupid satisfaction from the knowledge that I know something they don`t.  I'll leave the advertising speach for the ears of my clients :)

                                           I'm a cool cat :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

So here go`s

As of this day i`ll enroll myself in the school of blogging and join the evergrowing list of primal/paleo bloggers.
Today has been a typical day in my life. Training (HIIT spinning class) and eating (a pound of porkbelly, cucumbersalad and some berries with heavy cream) have been spot on. I`ve been primal for so long that its second nature. Nothing difficult. Its just me. I guess I was primal since birth with the only exeption of half a year bout of stupidness (veganism) in highschool. As i grew up in a membercountry of the Soviet Union my childhood was controversially blessed - freedom, nature, wholesome all organic food. But such a world was basically only enjoyable for a child - a strange  mix of childish ignorance, idealism and cruelty. Anyhow i have that partially to thank for being a healthy person. About 10 years ago i began slightly to move towards more lowcarb living, that being aided by my discovery of my celiacs. Soon after that i discovered EvFit, then MDA and here i am.

Anyhow, the theme for today - vegetarians. Tom Naughton from Fathead blog wrote a hilarious but so true post about the subject yesterday. I`ve lost the patience to preach years and years ago. For me it has been enough that I know what I`m doing. As a scientist it has been extremely important to have the real science behind me. The only people I have cared enough about to take the time and preach to haven`t needed that. Or then it has really been much more a discussion that a lecture - and a discussion usually ending with a aha-moment for the other party. Ok, so I might be bragging, but fellow primals must understand what I mean by that aha - the moment when you understand the logic and science behind primal is such a lightbulb.
So that is why I have always wondered about and been astonished at the resilience of the vegans/vegetarians I have met along the way. I guess the only other people as persistant that I have met are the Jehova`s witnesses...

What makes them tick? I mean I coudn`t give a rats a**e about what somebody that I dont know is eating - I mean it`s your body - do what you want with it. And nobody with half a brain living amongst the scientific information that is available today can pull the "meat is murder" or "eating meat is an ecological suicide" line with a straight face. I mean really - the circle of life, anybody? Or maybe they could explain to me how eating a piggy killed 10 km from me is less ecological that eating some tofu frankensaussage made whereverthehell these are made... Thanks Lierre Keith by the way for one of the best books I have read this past year.

Ok, rant of the day over. I mean people, get things into perspective, ok?

yep, thats me btw