March GSD …..get shit done !
Blog time : it’s the end of February 2020 and i’m pleased about what iv’e achieved in the first 8 weeks of my low carb diet, intermittent fasting and the first 4 weeks of focused exercise. I’m less happy right at the end of week 8 because iv’e put on a small amount of weight and i can’t really account for that ; more about that later but for now what that means to me is that i can’t afford to ‘drop the ball’ on this, rather i need to stay tight and come up with a plan for March.
I’m thinking back to when i once did weight training seriously enough to make a difference to my health and fitness and what i got into the practice of doing then was to plan my training in chunks of 6-8 weeks as my ability changed : now i think iv’e got to take the same approach again except that i won’t become a gym-rat again but i may need to introduce different exercises at home. Of course, i have to really think about my diet this time which i just didn’t do before.
March metrics…..what am i going to measure ?
Right at the end of February my weight bounced up by about half a kilo when i was fully expecting it to be nearly a kilogram down at the end of the week : i was a bit concerned about that for obvious reasons, now, i’m not so sure that it’s a problem. As i said in my Facebook group it could have been water retention as that’s the fastest way to gain or lose weight that quickly or it could be something that i wasn’t expecting : that my lean mass might be increasing. Now that i’m training with free weights again it could be that iv’e put on a small amount of muscle mass and/or increased the bone density in my long bones….both are possible as i lost muscle mass after my knee replacement.
Today then i decided to use my weight this morning as a new baseline but to link that to a new base measurement of waist circumference. A few weeks ago we measured that and came up with 43” around the waist (and the same for my hips) which gave me a hip to waist ratio of 1:1. I measured today purely because i got into an old pair of jeans comfortably and had to cinch the belt in, today i was at 41” so iv’e already lost 2” which looks about right. What i’m going to do and not do then : i’m going to stop weighing twice a week especially as i’m going to be exercising a lot harder and what i’ll do instead is a weekly weight and waist circumference. Just for giggles i’ll set a target waist circumference of 38” by the end of March and to hell with the weight !
I would like to get a much better estimate of body fat percentage which needs either a set of calipers and some maths or something like a DEXA scan and i’m unlikely to be able to talk my GP into funding one of those !
March exercise and March diet.
First, i’m very definitely staying with the low carb routine except that i am going to have some carbs or carbs plus protein 3 days a week on my weights training days. That’s fully consistent with what i used to do and all it means is having a protein shake with full fat milk after my free weights session. Aside from that one change i’m going to stick with what i’m doing now which includes learning one good keto dish a week : i haven’t thought about what things i want to try next although a couple of ‘Headbanger’s’ recipes are a firm maybe.
What i am going to do is ramp up the exercise now that my work/exercise capacity has gone up so much more than i anticipated. For the last few weeks iv’e been doing a daily walk with load carry, 100 press-ups a day and as many pull-ups as i think to do ( i did nearly 200 in February) and then iv’e been doing 3 short free weights sessions each week : 2 sessions squat and one session deadlift. In March i’m going to set a goal of 1,000 press-ups and 200 pull-ups , continue with my 3 weights sessions as they are but add one extra move/exercise per session. For one of those i’m going to add the overhead (military) press with my olympic bar and i think it’s time to do some single leg work so i might be building a ‘step’ box.
The one aspect about the low carb diet that i wasn’t expecting, aside from the other one ; my blood pressure normalising, was that i had a huge surge of energy and i started ripping into jobs. That’s just as well because in between February and March iv’e got a lot to get through. This seemed to happen from about mid February onwards and at first i didn’t know how to handle it ; with having such bad weather most of the time i couldn’t be at the boatyard getting WABI”’ ready to sail so i was quite literally looking around the house and gardens for jobs to do. Right at the end of the month i hit on a one week challenge to scavenge my body weight in dead-fall firewood….in fact i did that so quickly that i repeated it in the following week as well.
For March i haven’t just got one job list but several separate lists of things to work on , some of them being 10 minute jobs and some being day long or longer projects. In the first week of ‘GSD’ i built the first stage of my outdoor kitchen by making a firepit/hearth outside the workshop, this week i cleared out the greenhouse, then prepared and planted several of the containers with this years salad plants. Iv’e got one list of jobs to do on the boat because i want WABI”’ back in the water towards the end of the month and a separate list for the house….and that’s all to be done concurrently with the cyclical job of scavenging more firewood : for that iv’e set myself the task of collecting my body weight in firewood each week during March !