Tags

Wednesday
Apr052017

The Road to 50 is Getting Shorter!

Today was my birthday and I turned 48! I don't really think of myself as a 50 year old person although some days it does feel like it ;) But overall I feel good and can do most everything I put my mind to with very few limitations. And when I look in the mirror I don't really see a 50 year old man at least in my minds eye but perhaps as we age we look past the extra wrinkles, grey hairs and sagging areas...

Either way I'm OK with the thought of turning 50 in only two more years, I plan to keep this healthy and fit lifestyle going well past 50 so turning 50 shouldn't really be any different than any other birthday!

Below is a photos of me this year April 5th at 48 versus last year April 5th at 47. In both photos it is my "Off-season" and I am about 195 pounds and pretty close in body fat but I feel that this year I'm a bit thicker in my legs and perhaps upper chest. Looking at my workout numbers I am a slightly stronger this year over last years numbers so that should indicate that I 'm sporting a little more muscle here and there. The lighting in both photos is different as I tired to use mainly natural lighting. This year it was kind of cloudy outside compared to last years where I believe there was more natural lighting. I also have more of a tan this year ;)

April 5th 2017 48 Years Old

April 5th 2016 47 Years Old

Saturday
Apr012017

Workout Supplements 101

This Article/Video is intended as a very general guideline to help people understand the very basics about supplements that are considered beneficial for people that are active in exercise especially those interested in building muscle. The information I share in this Article/Video is based on my personal experience using many of these supplements and also information I have read about and learned over the years. This does not mean all my statements are 100% accurate, I have been know to be wrong sometimes, just don't tell anyone...

What happens when we workout?

  • We created energy that puts strain on our bodies and can cause muscle and cell damage and cause oxidization in our bodies.
  • Strenuous exercise can create lactic acid buildup in our muscles which is what we often feel as pain after a workout.
  • Strenuous exercise uses up vital nutrients in our bodies that need to be replaced.

Why we need supplements and who they can help. 

  • To replace the lost nutrients we use up during exercise.
  • To rebuild the damaged cells and tissue.
  • To repair oxidization.
  • Supplements can help virtually everyone even if you are not exercising as we rarely get all of our nutrition from the foods we eat.

Protein:

  • Proteins are the main building block of the human body and contain lots of amino acids important to building muscle.
  • Protein helps to increase natural anabolic hormone release that can stimulate muscle growth.
  • Protein is also very satiating which helps with food cravings.

BCAA’s:

  • BCAA’s are fast acting amino acids from Protein.
  • BCAA’s improve protein synthesis and fat burning.
  • BCAA’s can help with hormone imbalances when doing intense training.
  • BCAA’s decrease fatigue and improve endurance.
  • BCAA’s help prevent muscle loss and soreness related to training.
  • BCAA’s can improve insulin response and reduce diabetes risks.

Creatine:

  • Creatine is mainly for strength training, not so much for endurance purposes.
  • Creatine pulls water into your muscle cells so there will be a little bit of water weight gain but only really in your muscle fibers so not a bad area to have extra fullness.
  • This water in our muscles increases protein synthesis which makes the muscle grow when we put demands on our muscles by weight training.

General Vitamins

Good multi-vitamin:

  • Fish Oil (Helps with: blood pressure, insulin levels, inflammation, protein synthesis, fat burning)
  • Vitamin C (Helps with: connective tissue support, healthy bones, cardiovascular health, antioxidant)
  • Vitamin D (Helps with: Can increase strength, healthy bones, diabetes risks)
  • Vitamin B’s (Helps with: immune system support, increase metabolic rate, support cell growth)
  • Calcium -Magnesium (Helps with: CNS (Central Nervous System), blood pressure, immunity, bone health, energy production and protein synthesis)  

Joint Vitamins: 

  • Glucosamine (Helps with: promoting cartilage, tendons and ligament growth and aid in their repair)
  • MSM (Helps with: anti-inflammatory, accelerates healing, improves flexibility, Increases energy)

Saturday
Mar252017

My Latest Workout Program - With Sample Wokrout

There is lots of info in my below YouTube video so make sure to watch it if you're interested in more details about my "Latest Workout Program"!

The Back Story:
I have been really trying out some different approaches to figuring out the best workout program for me. I have found from trial and error that a lot of frequency seems to work for me so the more often I hit a muscle group each week the better I seem to respond, well at least to a point...

A while back my training consisted of hitting each muscle group really hard at least once per week by doing multiple exercises on that body part day and practically beating the muscle to death. Did I see results? For sure but I found that I eventually hit a wall training this way and the other negative side to this infrequent way of training each muscle group, is how soar you will be in that body part and for a long time afterwards.

I then switched to hitting each body part twice per week and found that my muscles responded even better to this more frequent training and the DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) did not seem as bad, don't get me wrong there is always going to be some muscle soreness if you train hard.

Let's skip ahead to several months ago... I decided to train every body part every workout day which for me is five days per week. To do this you have to pick one exercise per muscle and do around 5-6 sets with a very high intensity to make sure that at the end of that exercise set you have complete fatigued and exhausted that muscle group completely. The next workout day you do the same but pick a different exercise for each muscle group than you did the previous before. This continues on each day so that at the end of the week you have done 5 different exercises for each muscle groups.

The problem I found with this is that my workouts where getting rather long, as much as 2 hours each and because of the super high intensity, it would effect the exercises at the end of the workout as I was mentally and physically too tired to give them 100% of my effort. I also found that the idea of coming into the gym to torture myself in this way was taking the fun out of my workouts and making me dread going to the gym at all.

So I backed my workout days down to 4 days per week hitting every muscle group every day and this was for sure better as I was able to take three days off each week taking some of the mental and physical strain off of me but to be honest I was still dreading the long workouts on my workout days which again took a lot of the fun out of training. So I decided to try something new yet again...

So here we are with My "Latest Workout Program"
I decided to go back to a 5 day per week program to shorten each workout a little bit to under 1.5 hours as I feel this is the sweet spot for me, anything longer and I lose focus and energy. I also decided to put my training focus on upper body one day and lower body the next day starting with upper body so I can hit it an extra day getting three upper body workouts in per week. I have found my legs do not need as much frequency as my upper body does and in general legs seem to take a little longer to recover than upper body for me.

I also decided to swap out arms on upper body day for calves, and on leg day I train arms instead of calves. I do this so that I have an exercise I can swap in to let my main body part recover a little before hitting it with the next exercise. For me training calves more often is beneficial and I find arms get a good workout while doing other main body part exercises so effectively I am kind of training arms every day this way.

Similarly to when I train every body part every day, I still focus all my energy into one single exercise for each body part on upper body day, on leg day I start with a compound movement and then follow that up with some leg extensions and leg curls. As a general rule I do about 6 sets for each exercise with the first three sets being more for warmup, my third set is getting very close to a working set but not fully. Sets four five and six are my working sets where I use my heaviest loads and try to go very close to failure on all of them with my last set making sure there is nothing left in that muscle. You could cut this down to four sets if you want to shorten your workout time down to around 45 minutes by making sets one and two your warmup sets and sets three and four your working sets.

Here is an example of a one week workout I would do:

Day 1 Upper Body Focus: 

  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press (6 sets)
  • Calf Raises Using Leg Press (6 sets)
  • Wide Late Cable Pulldown (6 sets)
  • Chest Flies using Universal (6 sets)
  • Ab Crunches (2 power sets)

Day 2 Lower Body Focus:

  • Box Squats (6 sets)
  • Dumbbell Bicep Curls (6 sets)
  • Leg Extensions (6 sets)
  • Dumbbell Triceps Overhead Extensions (6 sets)
  • Leg Curls Sitting (6 sets)
  • DB Side Ab Raises (3 sets)

Day 3 Upper Body Focus: 

  • Barbell Bench Press (6 sets)
  • Seated Cable Back Row (6 sets)
  • Misc Dumbbell Shoulder Raises (3x3x3 sets)
  • Calf Raises (6 sets)
  • Leg Lever Ab Raises (3 sets) 

Day 4 Lower Body Focus:

  • Barbell Deadlifts (6 sets)
  • Biceps Curls using Cable (6 sets)
  • Leg Extensions (6 sets)
  • Triceps Extensions using Cable (6 sets)
  • Leg Curls Lying down (6 sets)
  • Ab Roller (2 power sets)

Day 5 Upper Body Focus:

  • Dumbbell Flies on Incline Bench (6 sets)
  • Calf Raises (6 sets)
  • Upright Rows using Cable (6 sets)
  • Straight Arm Pull Downs (6 sets)
  • Shoulder Shrugs (6 sets)
  • Side Ab Twists using Functional Trainer (2 power sets)

Friday
Mar102017

Koogeek S1 Bluetooth Wifi Body Statistics Smart Scale Review

Basic Info for the Koogeek S1 Bluetooth Wifi Body Statistics Smart Scale:

Works with iOS and Android. With the Koogeek app, you can set achievable goals, monitor weight trends and view individual health reports on your iOS 8.0 or Android 4.3 or later devices.

Recognizes up to 16 users Automatically. The scale automatically recognizes users on the scale. You can create user profiles for up to 16 people. You can invite your family and friends to enjoy the experience and choose to keep personal health reports private, or share.

Hold Your Baby While Weighing Your Baby Feature. New way to weigh your baby: Weigh yourself first, then step on the scale while holding your baby. Your baby's weight will be automatically calculated and synched to the Koogeek app. Launch the app to check your baby's weight trends.

Upload Measurements via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. All measurements automatically sync and upload to the Koogeek app via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth 4.0.

Sturdy & Stylish Design. Designed with a polished ITO tempered glass surface and a blue LED display, the scale is durable for everyday use. In addition, special oval corners protect the safety of both you and your family

Accurately Measure 8 Body Composition Health Data. Koogeek Smart Health Scale accurately measures: 

  • Weight
  • BMI (Body Mass Index)
  • Body fat mass
  • Lean mass
  • Bone mass
  • Total body water
  • BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate)
  • Visceral fat

Body Statistics Smart Scale Overview:
When you step on most Smart body Fat Scales they will run a small electrical current through your lower body that goes in one foot and back out the other so they only really test out your lower body which for some people can be an area where they carry either more or less fat than in their upper body. This can give inaccurate full body readings already but the main reason why most smart scales are not accurate for all body types is because much of the Smart Scale body fat calculations are done based on data collected from other people who fall into your gender, age, height and weight. So if you have a failry "average" body type than the readings will be OK. But if you do not have an average body type, for instance if you have a high level of lean muscle mass because you weight train or body build than this is often not considered by the Smart Scale and it will assume the added weight is fat not muscle and may even consider a very lean person to be overweight and high in fat. Some scales have an athletic mode that takes some of this into account which will help get more accurate body analysis readings but even then, how can the smart scale truly know how much muscle you have versus fat?

So for the above mentioned reasons I do not take Smart Scale Body Statistics very seriously on most smart scales, even the ones that have an athletic mode option! And for the record the Koogeek S1 Bluetooth Wifi Body Statistics Smart Scale does not have an athletic mode option so my body fat readings on the Koogeek S1 are double what my other iHealth Vista Smart Scale (with athletic mode) is telling me.

In terms of weight measurement the Koogeek S1 Bluetooth Wifi Body Statistics Smart Scale seems ot be fairly accurarte and for many people this will be the most important measurement they will want to track and record.

Using the Koogeek App:
Overall I found the Koogeek App to be well laid out and easy to use, it is also setup to be used with their other health and fitness products which will show up alongside the Koogeek S1 if you also have them. Make sure to watch my YouTube video below where I show you around the Koogeek App on my iPhone.

Koogeek S1 Pros: 

  • Very affordable price compared to other similar smart scales.
  • Great looking and compact size will look great in most bathrooms.
  • Can sync via Bluetooth or WiFi.
  • Up to 16 people can use the same device.
  • Can weigh your baby with it.
  • Software is well laid out.

Koogeek S1 Cons:

  • No Athletic mode for people that have a higher lean body mass than most people.
  • Body fat readings seem to be purely based on an algorithm rather than using the sensors.
  • Even though the Koogeek S1 stores your info in the cloud, there is no online way to view your account info.

Final Thoughts…
The Koogeek S1 is a well priced and great looking Smart Health Scale that allows you to view and document your weight journey over a period of time.

In terms of the body fat and other body analysis readings, I would not take them too seriously since I believe they are mostly based on algorithms derived from a database of what would be the average body type for a given gender, age, height and weight.

Keep in mind most of these body fat scales are not going to give you a super accurate body analysis since they only read your lower body and are not always setup for all body types.

If you are interested in purchasing your own Koogeek S1 Smart Scale then make sure to use the link below along with the coupon code provided to save additional money.

Tuesday
Feb282017

Getting Real Series - SMP Scalp Micropigmentation Final Results

About a year ago I had my first SMP (Scalp Micropigmentation) procedure and over the course of several weeks I had what would normally be my third and last session. After everything settled down I was not entirely happy with my results, the frontal hairline was not exactly the shape or sharpness I wanted and some of the SMP work had blown out causing dark enlarged spots rather than fine crisp hair-like dots.

The studio I went to (Studio Sashiko) was more than happy to continue working on my SMP until I was satisfied with the results. About the same time Studio Sashiko had just hired a new very talented SMP technician (Shannon Liddell - The Ink Barber) that I began working with to correct and adjust my Scalp Micropigmentation. I visited Shannon many times while he went over some of the trouble areas blending out the darker spots and also fine tuning my frontal hairline so that it was more natural and softer on the front edge. We even added some white pigment to a few of the darker spots to soften them and blend everything together.

My SMP journey for sure took a lot longer than I was expecting with way more visits to Studio Sashiko then we all had anticipated but the end result I feel is what I was expecting to get from the beginning and I can honestly say I have made some new friends over at Studio Sashiko.

My take away from all of this is that you really need to find a place that will stand behind their work and make sure that at the end of the day you are happy with your results. You also need to make sure that the you see before and after results from the actual SMP Tech that is going to do your Scalp Micropigmentation work, not just some photos the studio has on hand as you never know who actually did that work.

SMP can be a real life changer for a person that is conscious of their thinning hair and is looking for a permanent solution that looks great and is not going to break your bank account or cause you a lot of pain and suffering.

If you live in the Vancouver Fraser Valley area and are considering having SMP work done then for sure book a consultation with (Shannon Liddell - The Ink Barber) over at Studio Sashiko and tell him Mike from GetFitOver40.com sent you!