Friday, March 30, 2012

This week has been extremely busy sorry that I have not been here like I want to. Some one has to pay the bills though. Now if someone is willing to pay me to write and exercise that is a different story.

Exercise and Martial Arts

This week has been amazing for my workouts. I have started a new format for doing my pull-ups. I do both overhand and underhand pull-ups. The difference is that I have started using a pyramid for my reps. That means  can be see below.

Rep 1    10 pull-ups
Rep 2      9 pull-ups
Rep 3      8 pull-ups
Rep 4      7 pull-ups
Rep 5      6 pull-ups
Rep 6      5 pull-ups
Rep 7      4 pull-ups
Rep 8      3 pull-ups
Rep 9      2 pull-ups
Rep 10    1 pull-up

I base this on 10 reps with 30 seconds to 1 minute in between each rep. There are some variations however.Currently I cannot do all 10 reps. My first rep is as many as I can do. So lets say my first rep is 8. Then I proceed from 8 on down. That is until I can do a full ten reps.  For example.

Rep 1      8 pull-ups
Rep 2      7 pull-ups
Rep 3      6 pull-ups
Rep 4      5 pull-ups
Rep 5      4 pull-ups
Rep 6      3 pull-ups
Rep 7      2 pull-ups
Rep 8      1 pull-up

Let's just say that I get to rep 6 and can do 4 reps there. I will continue to do 8 reps total but just adds a few more pull-ups to the routine. As demonstrated below.

Rep 1      8 pull-ups
Rep 2      7 pull-ups
Rep 3      6 pull-ups
Rep 4      5 pull-ups
Rep 5      4 pull-ups
Rep 6      4 pull-ups
Rep 7      3 pull-ups
Rep 8      2 pull-ups

When I can do a full ten reps I will be doing a total of 55 pull-ups. But where Do I go from there? I continue to do 10 reps just add 1 more pull-up to each rep.

Rep 1    11 pull-ups
Rep 2    10 pull-ups
Rep 3      9 pull-ups
Rep 4      8 pull-ups
Rep 5      7 pull-ups
Rep 6      6 pull-ups
Rep 7      5 pull-ups
Rep 8      4 pull-ups
Rep 9      3 pull-ups
Rep 10    2 pull-up

Using this method of training today I did 33 overhand pull-ups and 40 underhand pull-ups for a total of 73 pull-ups. WOW! Never had that strength before. The other variable that I use is that my pull-up bar is not fixed. I swings on a chain and that adds a whole new variable to the workout, movement. They are much harder to do an a swinging bar. Try this method of doing your reps. You will find that you can do more than you thought you could. I think that I will also start using this method for my push-ups too. They seem to be lacking lately.

Cooking and Eating Healthy

My eating has been going great. I am loosing weight rapidly and I am not a person who needs to loose weight. In the last two weeks I have gone from 186 lbs to 181 lbs. This can be attributed to my exercise, but mostly due to the change of my eating habits.

Everyday I have start the day with chia seeds and fruit or yogurt. I have a sandwich for lunch usually peanut butter on whole grain bread. I have managed to add tuna and egg salad some days. This is going great. I am noticeably adding muscle but continue to loose weight. That means that I am loosing more fat weight than I am gaining from muscle weight.

For any one that is wondering I do eat healthy meals. Typically I eat 4 to 5 times a day. The meals are not small either. So I am adding a lot of calories. I also diversify with fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates and proteins. I hope to soon post a example of a days worth of eating for me.

I hope everyone enjoys this blog. Sorry for the long time off  but I needed it. Hope to be back regularly for now. Healthy eating everyone.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Sorry about the lack of postings this week. Been rough week with work and the home front. Hope to be back soon and will let you know. Hopefully Monday.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Exercise and Martial Arts

Will be heading off to karate class in just a little bit.  There are several students that will be attending a tournament in Madison, Wisconsin on Sunday. I opted not to go this time but am looking forward to a time when I can go. What needs to be done is sparing just to ensure that everyone is ready of competing. Hope they all do well.

I have maintained a great work out schedule this week. I have also inspired others to take up some different exercise routines that the never thought of. One of the things that some of the guys at work are doing is using my pull-up bar.

This bar is not a fixed bar but rather handing from a chain. I challenge you to try it someday. You will find that it is more difficult to perform these exercises because of the movement of the bar. In fact I am able to do twice as many pull-ups on a fixed bar than a swinging one.

Also when doing pull-ups ensure that you keep your feet off of the ground and straighten your arms all of the way when at the bottom of the pull-up. This really works the arms. If you cannot do pull-ups with out touching the floor that is OK too. Either lower the bar so that you can push off of the ground or have a friend spot you until you can do at least one. In the army boot camp we would have to do I think twenty pull-ups before every meal. Those who struggled to do them had assistance form the person behind them in line. While hanging form the bar the assisting person would approach from behind and place their hands on the waist of the person on the bar. Then he would help lift that individual until all pull-ups were done.

Have problems with exercises, find a partner to train with. They can help you with the difficult exercises and motivate you when you need the motivation. Have a great weekend. Train safely and hard.

Cooking and Healthy Eating

So what is all the hype about kale? Why is it suppose to be good for you? I have plans of planting kale in my garden this year. I must know that I am making a wise decision because I will be planting a considerable amount that will last me for quite awhile. Since it will take up considerable space then I had better be sure.

I am finding that I should be considering to plant kale soon. This plant grows the best in cool weather. So far this spring we find ourselves, here in Wisconsin with warmer than usual temperatures. I think that it will be fine plant this weekend, unless the weather decides to change into something too wet and cold. I think that the ground is too warm for there to be any danger of it freezing.

So what about kale? What are the benefits of eating it? I have visited many sites that talk about kale and have found interesting information. One of the sites that I have visited is Here they talk about kale being packed with many vitamins including

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin B6
It is also packed with iron and anti-oxidants that help to fight cancer. It has proteins and other great nutrients. I highly recommend growing or at least buying fresh organic kale to add to your diner plate. 

Which kale is the best? That is to be determined by the consumers palette. I understand that the sweeter kale is the Scottish kale. That looks like what will be heading into my garden.

I hope you all take the time and consider kale when planning your meals and when planting your gardens. Find out what are the best growing conditions and grow some. While it is growing take the time to investigate several different recipes for preparing it. The best and most nutritious thing to do is eat it raw. Find good recipes and enjoy. Hopefully over time I can come up with ideas for preparing it that will be good tasting.   

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

We have made it half way through the work week and I hope everyone's energy is running high.

Exercise and Martial Arts

Even though this has been a very stressful and busy week I have maintained for the most part my exercise routine. Looking back on the log sheet that I have been keeping I realize that I have been skipping my push-ups. I usually do those in the evening. That makes it more difficult because once I am at home my body goes into a relaxation mode and I forget about the exercising. I am really struggling to break free from this thought process.

I want to briefly discuss developing upper body strength, specifically arm strength. As you probably have noticed, I utilize a few techniques. They are triceps push downs, push-ups, and pull-ups both overhand and underhand. I want to focus on pull-ups. Most people are use to doing pull-ups on a nice level solid bar. I want to challenge you to change that way of thinking. I have constructed a pull-up bar that I use at work. This consists of hanging a bar form a chain. Mine uses and chain hoist that I can adjust to the proper height to better fit the user. I am considering modifying my design to have a chain attached to both ends of the bar. That will still allow for movement in the bar but not have the chain getting in the way of my face. Try using a bar that moves and you will realize that it takes far more strength to accomplish the pull-ups and that you can not do as many as you would with a solid, stationary bar. Maybe even less than half of what you were doing. This movement allows for the use of various other muscles that normally would not be used. That give the arms a much better workout. Give this a try and let me know how it works for you.

Remember that by exercising you not only strengthen the body but also the mind. It is a great stress reliever for the day. Whether you work out in the morning, through out the day, or even at the end of the day, working out helps relieve the stress from the day. I spread my workouts throughout the day. I feel that I am releasing stress at just the right times of the day to help keep my mind focused on the task at hand. Have a great day and keep the workouts energized.

Cooking and Healthy Eating

I have been talking now about some of the super foods that are out there that give us a lot of vitamins and mineral. Hopefully some of you are progressing toward the fruits and vegetables. This will help provide the energy that is needed to make it through the day. Also by eating these types of foods you need less other supplements that are packed with vitamins and minerals but also packed with binders which is used in the pill making process.  How good are those binders anyway? Can we do with out them? Yes.

I want to move onto another topic. This is especially important for those whose are not meat eaters, protein. How are we going to get enough protein in our diet. One way is to eat meat. Meat is high in protein. What I do not like about meat is that there is a considerable amount of time wasted in preparing it. Smells good and tastes great but with our busy lives are there quicker alternatives?

For some time now I have been wanting to find foods that are high in protein that are easy for me to take to work. I don't have a lot of time to prepare it and do not have the facilities to cook a good steak for lunch. I have I high energy workout around noon everyday and would like to have a high protein meal shortly after that workout. I have been scouring the internet looking for solutions to this issue. Here is what I am finding.

Now I am not going to list every food that I have found on every website, but rather highlight some of them that I find most important.
  • From I feel that the best of these foods are nuts and seeds. Things like peanuts, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds are to on my list. Eating the seeds whole is great, also as with peanuts, just take a spoonful of natural peanut butter and eat it off of a spoon that. I like to do that and I find that my kids are doing that also. Great for everyone.
  • Also from I am glad to see that sprouts are listed. Things like soybean and wheat sprouts are very healthy and have considerable protein.
  • I have also visited another site that has another one that I am currently working into my diet, kale. I am getting this information off of the website. I have known that this packs a great amount of protein and I have also heard that some body builders use kale as their source of protein, but I have not officially been able to confirm that fact.
So I am suggesting that you add these high protein items to your diet. These will work in conjunction with the fruits and vegetables that you are currently eating. These things will help rid your body of the toxins that we consume in our food as they have been commercially processed.

Oh and one last thing, please remember to eat your chia seeds. During my first week eating them, along with fruit, I lost 3 pounds and I am not a person that needs to loose weight.

Monday, March 12, 2012

I would like to apologize for not posting last Friday. There was so much going on that I did not have a chance to finish the posting. My goal is to provide a meaningful posting 3 times a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I will attempt to keep this schedule the best I can.

Exercise and Martial Arts

I have been working hard at achieving my exercise goals. I still have trouble with working out on the weekends. The bad part is I have convinced myself that I need the weekends for resting. I will be striving to overcome this attitude. Negative attitudes eventually tear down progress.

I have been logging my progress on my Daily Workout Log just to the right of this posting. I am looking forward to running soon and the weather seems to be co-operating with that idea. Now I just need to get off of my lazy but and do it.

Cooking and Healthy Eating

This week has been great. I have begun the process of watching what I put onto my body. Last week I went shopping and purchased chia seed, various fruits and vegetables. My breakfasts this last week was a mix of blueberries, strawberries and grapes topped with two gravy ladles of soaked chia seeds. That has proven to be a wonderful blend of flavors.

For lunches I managed to have tomato bisque that I made using a recipe off of I made so minor changes to the recipe to accommodate my ingredients. I look forward to making it again. As a note I did have the tomato bisque everyday this week except Wednesday, that was when food was provided at work.

Now just to look back at the chia seeds for a minute. They are slightly different then what I was expecting. I believe that I was well prepared for them. Did my research and followed the preparation of the seeds as I had learned. Even with all of that said I found its consistency interesting.

To prepare the chia seeds, I added 1/4 cup of chia seeds to 2 cups of water. They were allowed to soak overnight, which came out to about 12 hours. I find that as the week goes on the mixture gets thicker and thicker. This does not appear to be a issue.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A new format for this blog is in order.

I am introducing a new order for this blog. I am finding that there are two different groups of people who like my postings. I have my exercise/martial arts and my cooking/healthy eating groups. So what I am proposing is to Create two different areas of the same posting. Format will be as follows.

Exercise and Martial Arts

Cooking and Healthy Eating


I have also struggled to keep posting everyday. With my full time job that can be a challenge. I want to put in more information concerning both topics and make sure a quality job is done. That means I plan on posting on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings. This will give me the time I need to research each topic and make sure there are good photos included. I also plan on, though not instantly, adding video. 

I hope to start this new format on Friday. Please check in Friday evening. I will be posting a link via Google+ and Twitter. Hope to see you all.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

My life is turning healthier!

My life is turning healthier! This is a very exciting point for me to be at. I have just been to the store to purchase healthy foods that I will be taking with me for my lunches this week. I think that will be the healthiest week for me in a long time. I have purchased a variety of fruits and vegetables. They will be used for a couple of types of meals that I am learning to make.

Today I will be making Tomato Bisque. This is from a recipe that was found at The other thing that I will be focusing on is adding Chia seeds to my diet. They are very healthy and are part of the seven super foods that are also outlined at This is my first time with Chia seeds so I will not be eating any before tomorrow morning because the need to soak the seeds which I will let sit for 12 to 14 hours. They will be a great addition to the fruit that I will have for breakfast.

The other thing that I have been doing is increasing my exercise routines. I am doing such a variety of exercises that work on my entire body. I have been focusing on sit-ups, push-ups, and pull-ups (both over and underhand). I have also enjoyed much success with my biking. My focus on exercise can be seen by viewing "Daily Workout Routine" located to the right of this posting.

I started this blog in December of 2011. I have hit a few interesting milestones since then. During the month of February I had 103 visitor so bringing my all time total up to 280 visitors since my blog started. The other thing that I find exciting is that I had 20 visitors just yesterday, which is my all time high for a single day. I want to thank everyone that is reading and hope that you continue and that you encourage others to visit this site.

Take care until we meet again and keep smiling.