Tuesday, February 10, 2009

“The news is always depressing, and it really doesn't affect me”

The above statement (from ‘Dilbert Future’ by Scott Adams) very eloquently describes my views on the TV news.

In an interview a few years ago (sorry don’t have a link), Nassim Taleb (of the Black Swan fame) said something very similar in a blog post. His argument was more along the lines of news companies having no interest in trying to bring you accurate journalism, but rather trying to make money for their parent companies.

When you think about it, the news companies are in it to make money, so they have try to make lots of folks sit in front of the TV and watch their programming. And what’s the most effective way of doing that? You guessed it – make the news seem as sensational and depressing as possible. To achieve this, the news people will report the most unusual (as in never going to happen to you) and depressing (as in they will manipulate the story to make the victim look helpless – even though he may really be an idiot) stories.

Well, I’m making a stand! I have enough stuff to deal with in my own life. I don’t need to hear about unlikely events that don’t really change anything in my life except make me depressed. I don’t need to be fed how I should think. I would much rather get my news from regular people. That way at least I can form my own opinions…

As you can probably tell – I am fairly anti-TV in general, but that's another post (or series of posts…).

One Day at a Time

Here’s an interesting thought: Set a goal for yourself and then promise yourself that everyday you will do at least 1 thing to get closer to accomplishing it. Make sure your goal is very specific and really hold yourself accountable for this 1 thing.

If its weight-loss is your goal, make sure you do one thing every day that will get you to that goal. Go for that walk, skip sugar all day, don’t eat simple carbs.

If its making money, make sure you save a certain amount everyday and put it away in a savings account.

Say your goal is dead-lifting 300lbs – then make sure you go up 2.5lbs every workout.

Sounds simple. I am going to try this. I will set 3 goals for myself and everyday I will make sure I do something that gets me closer to accomplishing them.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Current Workout Regime

Standing behind the neck / military press 3 x 15
Deadlifts or Squats 4 x 6
Dips 3 x 3 (heavy) and pullups 3 x 12 (with 10 pounds)
DB Bench Press 3 x 15 and pullups 3 x 3 (heavy)

45lbs (on each side + bar) for squats and deadlifts.
30lbs + body weight for heavy pullups and dips.
70lb dumbbells for bench
15lbs (on each side + bar) for shoulder presses (yeah my shoulders are very weak - still working on them)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Today's Post Workout Meal

I worked out towards the end of an 18 hour fast - last ate at a friends house around 9pm and then today at 3pm. The meal consisted of Trader Joes' creamed spinach, tuna steak and a protien shake. About 800 calories and 63 grams of protein.

The creamed spinach is very tasty - highly recommended.


Its one of the most effective exercises I know - or at least that's what everyone claims. I have been using this as a part of my program for the last 2 years. However, I always end up with a sore lower back whenever I try to lift more than body weight, no matter how much I work on my form.

Well that all changed today after I tried this technique courtesy of "Double Your Gains". I can't believe they are giving out this information for free.

The key, once again, is to push outwards with your knees, while making sure that the weight is on the heels. This activates the hips and glutes and lets you lift more without putting too much pressure on your lower back. Amazing stuff!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Its easy

Its easy being in reasonable shape, here are some thoughts:

  • Let go of sugar, wheat, rice, potatoes.
  • If you cant pronounce the ingredients, don't eat it.
  • If the package has more than 4 ingredients, don’t eat it.
  • Get 8 hours of sleep.
  • Walk more.
  • Workout twice a week.

If you’ve had a lapse, like I did last March. Here are some ideas for a quick recovery:

  • Eat once a day. Stay hungry the rest of the time. you will get used to it fast. Have non-caloric drinks at other times. (P.S. if you haven’t heard about the ‘Warrior Diet’ yet, you really should read up on it.)
  • Go heavy on weights
  • Find something heavy and move it (i keep a heavy dumbbell around)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I wish I knew this earlier in my life

I first started lifting weights in college. Unfortunately, I was never able to find good guidance anywhere. I did plenty of internet research and read a couple of books – but it was all very confusing. Heck I even talked to a personal trainer at the gym. The routines were too long, complicated and never really produced any good results. Pretty soon I gave up.

I wish I hadn’t, I wish I knew then what I know now. I would be so much further ahead today...

Squats. Dead-lifts. Pull Ups. Dips. That’s it. That all you need to do. The real trick is making sure you progress from one session to the next.

arnold-squats1 If you want to change things up a bit, introduce variations of the stated exercise, or add in a few big compound movements like bench presses, standing military presses and rows.

You don’t need to spend 15 minutes on 6 different curl and triceps variations like I used to.

Sets vs. Reps

There is no magic number here. The key is to make sure that you are getting more reps than the last session or doing more weight. Also, change things up every so often. If it helps, try to aim for 25 total reps for each exercise (less if you are going super heavy).


Again, variety is important. Do an exercise explosively for low reps, but high weight one day. Do it for high reps and moderate weight the next.


In my opinion 2-3 times a week is ideal for me. But that's because I get bored fast. Some people have had good results working out more – I just don't want to spend any more time in the gym then I have to.

What about Cardio?

I used to spend 30 minutes on the treadmill 5 days a week. Not a good idea. Do hard sprints (4-8 100m sprints) a day or two every week on your non-workout days.