Why Dine In Hell: The Reason behind the Madness

For people who missed last year's challenge, understand how it all started this by reading this preliminairy post.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

DAY 36 and the sad morning of DAY 37

I donno what to start with...
I was gonna write about the rest of the day yesterday. But maybe I'll write about it at the end of the post and just tell you what just happened. So I decided to pick up "strolling" again today and I set the ipod to 45 minutes. It was clear that I wasn't only gonna walk since the playlist I had on suggested a more active mood. So Karly and I just started jogging. We went all the way up to Sassine, did a couple of loops there and decided to return at 22.5minutes (walking). I had "Shine on you crazy Diamond" on and nothing could've been more Zen... Wa Iz! A really wild cat – man that dude was like a Lynx or something – ATTACKED Karly! I mean come on! I was really pissed to see that the cat was actually winning ground and to be very honest here – and not that Karly is a complete pussy (see what I did here?) – my pup was terrified! I couldn't pull back Karly or run or anything because we were in this very tiny space. I didn't think twice, just took my left foot and was ready to kick the cat soo hard to make it stop – and act as alpha for my poor boy. And it happened. My foot SMASHED on a stone street pole. I felt all my toes crinkle and the pain was ... well there was PAIN. I thought I had broken my 2nd toe, but it turned out, as I was limping back home, that it was my big toe, it wasn't broken but I could feel the nail detaching. I got home. Sat down and removed my shoe. My sock was soaked with blood at the top right. Took off the sock and there it was. My toenail had detached from the top and letting blood out. My mom rushed with Betadine and I opened my laptop. That's the 2 clearest  I found that explained all the steps necessary to resolve this 1 2. I couldn't care less about the toe. I was extremely concerned about the training now. What am I gonna do?! HOW THE FUCK AM I GONNA TRAIN RIGHT!? I HAVE THIRTY DAYS LEFT AND ALREADY TOOK A FOUR DAY BREAK FOR A STUPID "CHAB'IT HAWA"! FUCK! This means no walking, running, jogging...whatever. This might mean NO DRIVING to get to the gym – and do other stuff. This means no Leg training? No straining when doing Shoulders barbells? Back pulls? ANY CARDIO TRAINING MIGHT GO DOWN THE DRAIN! Plus I'm gonna be the Leonidas costume with the gauze wrapped toenail in sandals on Halloween! HAH!

Well ... Wooptie-doo...
OK some track and field athletes apparently keep going and let the pain dictate the training. They "superglue" the nail back on while being very careful not to keep bubbles inside to keep the nail from detaching which accentuates the pain. As long as there are no bubbles which cause fungal infections – tape and gauze pad help here too – everything should be ok. Another solution for the cardio (Karly's not gonna like this), is stationary bike training for 30 minutes. I could even do intervals too for high intensity cardio. What I'm trying to get across is that there is no way I'm stopping my training. I'll take every precaution but won't sit down on my ass just because I have a toe injury. I'd also have to take the anti-inflammatory I had been taking for my left side chab'it hawa that I just healed from... I feel like a toned down version of Job. What else is gonna happen?! Better apply positive thinking advocated by The Secret™, maybe that will solve things! :D You know, maybe this is even better because it would push me to rest for weight lifting rather than let me slip and over-do-it by running cause I "feel like it" and drain me for the rest of the day. This is positive! :)
OK anyways I'll update you about that; got shoulder and back training today.

Now let me tell you about yesterday! Pretty cool thing happened. Exactly what I needed. I took a break and head to the gym right for my 20 minute Chest workout – I had separated Chest and Biceps/Triceps as to give them the intensity they needed, so was training twice that day. Anywho, I come into the gym all proud I might add to come in twice, which reminded me of the bodybuilding days and the coach just stops me right there:
" Michael, I'm sorry bass fi "rule" hone bil gym... bass fik tetmarran marra" (there's a rule in this gym, you can only train once a day). HAH! Can you imagine that guy?! Have you been to a gym where you could only use the training room once a day? It's not like he's losing something, the room's just there!  He added, "if you use it twice, it would be as if you had TWO memberships"! :D
Did you also know that you have to take permission to use the treadmill, use the stretching room but are not allowed to turn the lights on if you're alone as not to consume electricity, that you can't use the mills when there's motor light, that you need permission to use a sports ball, that they don't have an extra weight belt just in case ... ETCETERA... I explained to the guy why I had split my training in 2 and that I was only training for a total of one hour (his limit is 2hours! :D) PLUS that I was hitting the gym only 3 days – so I would't be training "as if I had TWO memberships". What a capitalist asshole! Then he continued "Aslan, finish your training today, but rechange your program for later, there are rules". That was the last straw. Remember when I told you a couple of posts back that I believe in the coach and the mood before anything else? A gym can be narrowed down to a couple of dumbbells and a pull up bar. This gym was fine. It had whatever you needed to train, but the staff – the coach/owner that is – was the most obsessive compulsive control freak, who was so careful about his equipment that you felt likewere gonna ruin it if you didn't pay EXTREME attention – not to your form while training, or to your plan, but to the well being of the equipment. I felt like I owed him something for using his equipment. That was gonna affect my training. I don't need someone breathing down my neck for the wrong reasons. I packed my stuff and left. The gym is called InShape by the way and I didn't fail to give it a review: http://www.beirut.com/Sports-Fitness/Achrafieh/In-Shape-Gym/1337 . I'm telling you guys, if you're in Ashrafieh, here are some good gyms you could join:
1. Get Fit in Sioufy – a good equivalent to InShape with a much better and caring coach. 2.Garage in Sassine, run by a staff, a bit small but fun. 3. My favorite and the one I rushed straight to after I left the crappy gym: Olympic Gym!!

I was back! Back to my old crazy ass ghetto gym! I didn't wanna go there because it closed at 9 PM which meant I couldn't train afterward but the extra effort is worth it when I know the extra this place gives me. Leaving InShape was the best thing I did for my training efficiency. I went up the stair in such fervor and energy, the REAL training was about to start.
I was hoping to see Coach Bechara but he had already left. No worries, he's at the gym everyday at 8, I'll train with him tomorrow, TWICE! For shoulders AND back! :D
Did my chest workout in 20minutes and had a chitchat with the guy there and we had a good laugh about InShape. I mean I've been going to gyms for the past 9 years and this one was by far the most annoying one so far. To be fair, the guy agreed to freeze my account after I had only trained once in July and had to travel, but that was the extent of the good treatment I got. Better join a Ghetto gym with a great coach that cares for your motivation and well being and helps you reach your goals, or pay extra for a staff in a state of the art gym that has rules and regulation on how to treat a client "properly".

That said and it being off my chest, I'm gonna go test my toe and find a solution for training.

AKHHH! Didn't expect all that extra crap when I signed onto this. Yalla it makes it more of an adventure. W "Alla Kbir" :P

And by the way, I've added new songs to the training playlist. But the highlights of it are:
1. The whole Offspring Americana Album!! WHOHOOO here I come 8th grade madness!!
2. Let the bodies hit the floor – Drowning Pool as corrected by Chris ;). Now this song you can repeat all through any intense workout. It'll do the trick!


DAY 35: WEEK 5: Progress & Haters

At 89.5kgs, I'm definitely not chiseled, but I'd be wasting time if I didn't stop the fat loss and packed up some muscle.

Hey guys, I m back!
After 4 days of rubbing and gulping down anti-inflammatory "Airtal" and taking Panadol, it seems that things are back on track and I can train again. By the way, I tried hitting the gym 2 days ago but it really fucked me up! I couldn't breathe, pain came back so quickly that I decided to follow what the doctor said – walla he knows what he's talking about!

In all cases, here I am. I got very frustrated these 4 days, knowing that the date was approaching and there was nothing I could do about it, so I took tiny strolls with Karly just to keep my conscience in check. Plus I stuck to Rick's diet to the letter to keep on dropping off some weight and removing the fat.
It didn't need that much training anymore to bulk up the packs, they're just buried down there under a layer of fat, nothing a little diet can't help – and it did. There they are. No need to chisel them down even more for now since I'm gonna have to bulk up as not to look like a skinny ass hippie or a sick anorexic model.
Now it's time to bring out the big guns and lift crazy weight like there's no tomorrow!
Remember, if I'd known that P90x didn't bulk up but just toned and ripped, I would've started with the weight lifting first, but I gotta work with what I have right now. You know the plan now, I decided to follow program 1 for just this week to get my gymming morale up and running again (plus I need a break for the P90x which is downright nerve wrecking), and started off today morning with Biceps/Triceps.

Here's what I did: Supersets to keep metabolism and intensity high: Barbell Curls with Z-bar Skull crushers; Incline Dumbbell curls with Close-grip triceps presses; Hammer Curls with Kick backs, all 7 to 10 reps, approx. 30minutes.

Had a box of Digestive Light with Honey and Juice for energy, then fueled up afterwards on Cell tech and a blend of True mass with Procomplex (2 scoops;1/2 scoop for 45grams of protein and around 40grams of carbs – not to forget the 70g of dextrose in the cell tech for direct recovery) – If this all sounds like Gibberish to you don't hesitate to ask me about it. I'll have another shake after the 2nd training but only Procomplex which doesn't contain any carbs.

Am having a lovely fish fillet and shrimp now with vegetables for lunch.

I have Chest workout tonight after work. I'll let you know about it tomorrow.

Alrighty! By the way, I'm gonna post the meals I've been having soon, I've collected some pictures so you can have an idea what to do in case you want to follow the diet.

Oh yeah! Something happened yesterday that really put me upbeat! I was back-stabbed by a "friend". When inquiring on why it happened, here's bits of what I got:
"you think you have all the time in the world to run with your dog in the morning" and you're "so egocentric to want to train every day!" and "min mfakkar 7alak (who do you think you are?) the center of the world" ... So at first of course I was completely torn, especially the person talking was someone I completely respected and loved; a lot of self doubt came onto me... Then I figured, I'm progressing like crazy, I haven't disrespected anyone, I haven't been an exhibitionist but was careful in documenting the progress in such an objective pictorial manner...  I don't feel I've done anything wrong. Actually, I've been getting a lot of positive reinforcement and questions of people following the diet and training... I feel that I'm giving something out apart from progressing – and that was another point in the blog. But then I realized, all of those weren't even a reason to get stabbed in the back or even disrespected... That was pure hate or jealousy coming out of that person. I could see it, hear it loud and clear. This means I'm doing something. I'm making waves. I'm progressing. And it's so tangible that some people are getting pissed about it! So ... I guess I'm on the right track!

So let's all say to haters: "Thank you for the extra Fuel! Just keep it coming!" :)

Training starts again, and I'm gonna take it up a notch! ;)


Sunday, September 26, 2010

DAY 31: WENT TO THE E.R. EXPECTING A HEART ATTACK! (+ next 32 days' program figured out)

OK so I've got good news and some bad news.
The good news is that I figured stuff out! As I mentioned yesterday - during my "crisis" - P90x was burning a lot of calories and had a lot of cardio workouts in it. Plus don't forget that I'm running/jogging/walking with Mr.Karly in the mornings to calm him down somewhat... So that's a hell lot of fat burning and muscle withering. Stumbled upon a couple of articles and asked a couple of proffesionals and that's what I got:
- I should tone cardio down to the minimum. So no Ploymetrics, no Kempo, just maybe simple 30 minute powerwalks which would work out Karly as well.
- I SHOULD MOST DEFINITELY go lift weights at the gym and work on 6 to 10 reps for mass. Not long exhausting sessions, just high intensity, quick sessions to work on muscle and burn the least calories possible - will leave that for peaking my metabolism which will burn fat 24/7.
- Interval Running would work out for my advantage provided I only do that once or twice a week. However, would it be necessary if I hit the gym 3 times a week and keep on doing P90x, hitting muscle groups twice a week each? Not sure.
-By keeping the P90x intense body workouts in the program along with the gym sessions, I'd be making sure to work all the muscles' fibers, and even target different angles for maximum growth and aesthetics.

Jotted all of those down and ended up with 2 alternatives with the help of Coach Elie Abi Rached aka "COACH CHAOS"
Program 1: 
Monday: P90x Back/Biceps - Ab Ripper X
Tuesday: P90x Chest/Shoulders/Triceps
Wednesday: P90x Back/Legs
Thursday: AM: Biceps/ Triceps  PM: Chest - Ab Ripper X
Friday: AM: Back   PM: Shoulders
Saturday: Legs - Ab Ripper X (or some Ab program I come up with)
Sunday: Stretching

Program 2: 

Monday: P90x Back/Biceps - Ab Ripper X

Tuesday: AM:Chest   PM:Shoulders/Triceps
Wednesday: P90x Back/Legs

Thursday: Back/Biceps (wed's Back/Legs is usually not that intense) - Ab Ripper X
Friday: P90x Chest/Shoulders/Triceps
Saturday: Legs - Ab Ripper X (or some Ab program I come up with)
Sunday: Stretching

Gym workouts would start off as 10-12 reps the 1st week, then 10-8, 4-6, then 6-8 for the last week, as to gradually let the muscle get used to the pressure of the weights again. I'll work 3 excercies and 3 sets per excercise per muscle group.
All days would normally have a 30 minute powerwalk/light jog to keep the cardio going but on a toned down pace.
I'm not sure of keeping Yoga or Kempo ... I MIGHT replace the jogging with them but am still not sure.

So it seems I got things figured out!

Here's the bad news though: All day long yesterday I couldn't take deep breaths and had deep chest pains on my left side. Things got to the worse today when I decided I was better and went for a run. My left hand got numb and I was nauseous. I expected the worse: "a heart ATTACK"?! (check symptoms here) At least that's what the internet made it clear when I jot the symptoms down as soon as I got back. I had to rush to the ER scared shitless and apparently "extremely pale"!! Guys, ALWAYS listen to your moms! Turns out I had been parading around in Air conditioning after workouts and seem to have gotten a severe muscle inflammation (chab'it hawa) on my left side (chest, shoulders, triceps).Anyways, doctor's ordered me to take 4 days off training to recover... I'm under anti-inflamatory medicine now ... pfff! SO I'm not sure what's gonna happen till then. I'm so tempted to try somthing but I'm in pain and it would be more "rational" to rest it off. I hope things get better asap. I need to get back to training! GRRRR! Let's thank God it wasn't a heart attack. That sounds plain ridiculous anyways - but imagine that would've happened! Crazy! Especially that it crossed my mind for a good 10 minutes! ARGHHH!!!

Anyways, I'll keep you posted guys.

HAOUUU i guess ... 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

DAY 30: About my crisis.

OK I just wanna back up a bit and look at this whole crisis once again. I have to admit, I might have taken things to the extreme when I said that I did everything wrong. P90x may not have been the idea approach to bulk up but it sure did remove A LOT of my fat and cut me down to the max! I mean we're still in month 1 and look what happened. My mistake however is that I should've definitely started weight lifting as I said for a month or so and THEN took on the P90x for the cutting month.

It will be much harder on me to keep the 6 pack and cut frame going, but I'm thinking to reducing some of the very high intensity cardio and replace them with weight lifting. I think I'll be hitting the gym 3 times a week and will do running intervals twice a week with a light jog on sundays. I'll let you know about the program as soon as I finalize it in detail. I'm just thinking things through in terms of nutrition as well.

Will talk soon :)


DAY 30: I've been doing it ALL WRONG! SHIT!

OK. Today is day 31 not 30 as you know I always write my posts the day after to sum things all up.

Yesterday was pretty intense. Karly and I did the 5K in 44 minutes instead of 55. We litterally jogged/ran all throughout. New songs emerged like "Skaterboi" (i know...)  and Superman from Goldfinger. Very intense. Very fun! Got back to the nice jogging routine. I was a bit sore at the ankles and shins. Got back home and iced the whole thing. I even researched articles for proper form while running that I was gonna share with you today, but I just discovered something that WRECKED EVERYTHING I've been building on so far.

After I failed to finish my Core Synergistics P90x workout – which is REALLY hard to do by the way, I stepped to the bathroom to take a shower and took a tiny stare at where my body got to. I had dropped 2.4 kgs this week – I visited Dr. Yunis and turns out, his "eat as much as you want" diet worked. My fat levels dropped 3%, my waist 5cms... Which was supposed to be great. But as I looked into the mirror, apart from my 6 packs and obliques standing out like crazy, I had realized that I turned myself into your average "Joe Fitness". My shoulders were smaller, my arms ... OH MY GOD! I put my faith in an amazing program that focuses on general wellbeing, fitness, strength, endurance; But I didn't take into consideration Hypertrophy = MUSCLE MASS. I felt that if I continued, I was gonna end up looking like these Heroin junkies or skinny ass models. Anis had already pointed out that my MONTH 1 post was really impressive, however I wasn't massive. Not veiny. No pump nor intensity.

Sara and I were at a friend's birthday and 2 of my friends had started gymming again not even a week ago and I could feel what kind of muscle quality and pump that kind of training gives out. To be honest, it pissed the hell out of me and kinda put me in panic. I had 34 days to figure this shit out. I needed to pump up and keep my 6 pack and even chisel it more. If I had realized what P90x does I would've started lifting weights for a month (the one that just passed) and then focus on cutting! SHIT!
Here's an alternative to using P90x for muscle mass... interesting but is it what I do best to put on mass? I doubt it.

Guys... check out all the before and afters of P90x and tell me: "is that a Leonidas' body? or a Wii Fit BODY!?" ARGHHHHHHH!!!

I just got off the phone with Tarek Abou Nassar and realized that I could go on compound training full body workouts – that I could do with him. That however would litterally KILL me since my body isn't used to SUPER intense bodybuilding workouts, don't forget, I haven't trained for 2 years!
I'm gonna  have a couple of conversations with some people I trust and come up with a solution that I'll let you know.

I gotta go. I ll update you ASAP. I gotta figure this out.

I guess we live and learn.
No retreat, No surrender.


Friday, September 24, 2010

DAY 29: MA GHETTO GYM!! / Nike+ in action / Improve your swimming (for people who sink like ROCKS)

Yeah so DAY 29 was a GREAT day! Very motivational! Straight after I posted the month's progress, you guys went wild! I received great messages and comments from people which really flattered me. I'm gonna share an excerpt of one of them that really put a gigantic smile on my face. Here goes:

"...just sending you a quick message regarding the diet and your hilarious 300 parody blog!
As a former dieter, bodybuilding enthusiast and former chubby kid (by chubby I mean at one point during my youth I was over 115kg), I know how difficult it is!! Your blog actually inspires me to restart my health, wellbeing and fitness journey coz it’s been on “Pause” for the last couple of months, and I’ve gained 6 kg, totalling to 91kg and over 16% BF. Last month I was in Beirut and that didn’t help either!
I really appreciate the fact you are posting this online, and sharing it with the world literally! This puts tremendous pressure on you to remain faithful to your goals, as the world is watching you achieve the “impossible”. The latest pictures are truly impressive!

Congratulations regarding your inspirational blog and good luck on this journey!
300 for ever :-D

Cheers and all the best!"

Coach Bechara, my real version of "Mick" in Rocky
Another one is from my old bodybuilding Coach Bechara Abboud from the Olympic Gym:
"keep the progress, u made me proud of u!!!! amazing" which brings me back to the old grueling gym days and revived this "camaraderie" we all had in his gym to motivate and help out each other.

Guys seriously back to what I was saying, Thank you for the comments and morale uplift! That's what the blog was originally for and it's working!! :D

By the way, if you were wondering about Olympic Gym or actually if you're into changing your body dramatically and are serious about it, this place is what I definitely suggest!
Remids me of Animal Pack adds. That's what a true gym should look like – a true Ghetto Gym – not a pretty polished and laminated tralala center where people socialize and waste time.

Training late hours at age 19 – 2nd year uni – I miss my old body! :(

Olympic gym for me is a REAL bodybuilder's haven; where determination and no none-sense training is very palpable; Where people want to get fit or huge, but are so serious and intense in their training that it motivated the hell out of me and got me to bulk up in my school and college days from 78 to around 91kgs. This gym made me discover that it's never about the gear, but about the motivation, the plan and the support you get – that's what kept me coming back to Olympic for 7 years! Plus you could train with your shirt off and yell and shout as many wuzzé things as you want like "ALLA MA3O!"(God is with you), "EH WA7ECH!"(come on monster), "CHHHIIIIIL"(push) and other animal names that suggest strength like "BAGHEL"(mule), "DOBA3"(hyena), "TOR"(bull)... to be use ONLY and I quote the annoyed coach here "when women aren't around".
I used to do boxing there too with my friend and old gym buddy and eloquent Design Extraordinaire Tariq Ayass – our design teachers used to think we were freaks when we used to run from lower campus to Bliss House and back down during our 15minute break to gobble down a chicken fillet burger WITH DOUBLE MEAT (I kept nagging till Bliss House added the "double meat" option! It became an extra 2500LL on the Burger! WORRTHHH ITTT! :D). We used to STUFF our faces to get our meal in our stomachs before break was over! Hahahaha! Great memories!

Ok so now about the training. Karly woke me up at 6:20 because I didn't take him out very late the day before, so I pretty much threw clothes on me and went down for a supposedly 2 minute walk. However! Mr.Karly behaved like such an adorable and well behaved gentleman, waiting for me after I took him off leash, not running after cats and just looking so cute, that I decided to reward him and ran all the way back home, put on my jogging clothes, my Lunargliders – and might I add Hell yeah! – and took off for a what was supposed to be walk. Took the ipod just to monitor the run but didn't put any music to bond with my pup who was jumping around all happily! We pulled off 5K. Fast walking, light jogging... It was annoying to know how much distance was remaining because I kinda toned down the spontaneity of the run, but on the other hand, I knew precisely how much I walked and it made me make some loops around the neighborhood to get to an even 5K. A women with a Cali accent comes out in the end: "Congratulations, you've achieved your 5K goal!" WHOHOOOO! Did it in 55 minutes and burned 420 calories... now I know for next time... :)
Nikeplus.com and my run stats! Pretty cool :D
The P90x workout was supposed to be Core Synergistics (I finally got there Laham ;) but well ... to be honest ... I got somewhat scared by the training preview ... uhum ... So I decided to swim instead and have some fun with it whilst I procrastinate, instead of facing the fear and just pressing play. Pathetic.
Milos got very excited when I told him and we ended up at the pool at 6. Milo's plan was for us to do 1.8K. He has a specific program that's not only crawl but right hand alone, then left hand, no legs at some point, then no legs with hand flippers ... etc.
Remember when I sank like a rock last month? Well this time was much better, my endurance picked up. After incessant comes and goes though, I finally realized what my N1 problem in swimming was: overdoing it when it came to breathe. Milos of course helped me improve my swimming Crawl technique (called also "Freestyle") and taught me to extend my arms and to pace myself. The "trick" though, in transforming swimming into something as casual as jogging is simply knowing how to pace and organize your breathing! FINALLY! Turns out my "Oasis de Mont La Salle" collective swimming class coach didn't help AT ALL! Heh... Whatever... now I know. I went back home and decided to research a bit more on the topic, and here's a post I found – that was part of a thread on this link.

"There are a couple of classic crawl mistakes that people do, and this is doubly true if the person is already fit for some reason. The transition from running to swimming isn't as easy as it seems and we recently discussed this in AskMe. You may be a bit winded as you get your breathing and ryhthm down. My apologies if any of this is too basic. I am not any sort of instructor or anything so this is just from my own experience.

1. make sure you are making yourself as narrow as possible in the water so you can move forward. Your stroke is not as much pulling you through the water as it is parting the water so you can propel your narrowed self through it. Try to have your hands entering the water almost above your head and stroking down and around yourself. Do't bring your arms UP too far above you when you bring them out of the water. If your legs are hanging down, try to pull them up so you're as level as you can be at the top of the water. The faster you can go forward, the easier this will be.

2. breathing is the hardest thing to get used to. being good at the crawl is mainly about breath control. You'll have to figure out whether you're better at breathing every stroke, fourth stroke or sixth stroke. This rhythm will help you figure out how much to breathe. I got into a rhythm where I'd breathe, stroke three times and then breathe again on the fourth stroke. Each other stroke I took I was blowing air out, so it went

breathe in

stroke/puff out
stroke/puff out
stroke/puff out
breathe in

3. make sure you don't take your head out of the water too far to breathe because this violates rule #1. I usually try to sor of aim my chin towards my armpit and breathe with my mouth just about level with the top of the water. Sometimes you get some water in your mouth but you rarely breathe it in. Currents and waves are *really* going to complicate this since you can't quite judge when it's an okay time to breathe in, on the other hand the salt water should be making it so your much more bouyant, so I'm wondering what the problem is there.

It took me about six months of regular swimming before I felt that swimming the crawl wasn't tiring, but it was only a few weeks before I could swim up and back without getting so tired I had to stop. Lastly consider going to a pool and asking for some pointers. It's been said around here before that there's a real difference between people who really learn swimming as kids and grow up with it, and people who have to teach themselves as adults. Someone who is a competent and capable swimmer about be able to look at what you're doing and determine if you're doing something wrong or if you just need more practice.

I also found a very interesting video on youtube from the Youtube channel Evanscoaching that provides also Running and Biking coaching and tips.

I'm gonna try to apply those tips next time I go swimming and will fill you on the details. ;)

I'm going to Ricardo Yunis today(DAY 30) to check up on the Fat level (and weight) progress. I'll post the results tomorrow – and the meals I've been having this week in the Diet section.

Till then, 


Thursday, September 23, 2010


OK so here it is. MONTH 1. WEEK4. DAY 28.
I took all the poses suggested in the P90x website to show development from all sides. Here they are. Day 1 versus Month 1. 98.5kgs versus 90.5kgs.

Check it out.

Obliques started to show as well as my tiny 2 abs on top and beginning on lower 2 for the 8 pack.

Double Biceps. Need to up the weight for bigger guns.
I look bigger yet I'm 8kgs lighter...
Finally some fat chopped off of the hips – my tough spot.
Pull ups really did their job!
A flexed side pose for the abs. Leo... imma comin'
Finally, the beard. I hope I don't look like Chewbacca by the end of next month... Don't worry, I'll trim it right, plus there's the expression that'll change me completely :)

Even Karly gained some muscle and actually added some weight.

I hope you've enjoyed the process as much as I have. Thanks so much for the great motivational messages and the tips! Keep em coming!! You guys ROCK!!! :D

I'm updating the diet page tomorrow so make sure to take a peak too ;)

Love you guys! 

37 more days to go.



"Meesh Lee". Kempo X brings out the WU-TAAAH in me! 
OK DAY 28 or Week 4 or Month 1 in the challenge.
Didn't walk or jog today but trained like a Motherfucker. Woke up in the morning, took a couple of spoonfuls of honey. Didn't feel like walking up to my apartment. I mean 4 stories HIGH by stairs!! You would wonder with all that training that I'm doing why the HELL would 96 steps bother me!!? ... well they do ... It's psychological I guess. 

In all cases, my laptop was with me at my mom's so i just popped it open, put it at highest volume (which is a bit higher than whispering), went to my room – now relatively empty – and just Kempoed my way for an hour! It's crazy how much sweat drips off you in these P90x cardio workouts! The whole floor was wet and I had to sweep it every 5 mins as not to slip.
What's great about the Kempo workout is that it takes your mind out of "fitness training" and puts you in a "kick fictional Ninja and Corniche bodybuilders" mode! I LOVE IT! Plus, in the comfort of your own home you can permit yourself to talk to these imaginary beings, yell at them and strike to kill! No one would ever think that you were crazy. Plus, even if I post what happened on the blog, you don't have proof now do you?? I can just use the 3 Ds: Deny, Deny ... Deny. Anis – very close friend and lawyer – would love this! "let's prove to everyone that you're not crazy Mich, we can create a counter blog where you would act extremely 'normal', (whatever that means) and pretend Dine in Hell was concocted by some sicko who wants to bring you down!"... Hmmm ...

Anyways, one thing I wanna report about the training is that I can finally say that my first 2 abs and sides are permanently showing! No more "I've drank too much water today" or "I don't know, I'm getting fatter and skinnier", let's just say they're out and showing; and doing the whole cardio workout finally shows separation of skin vs. abs! AKHH! It took a month to happen, which isn't quite a lot actually! Have you seen my mexican beer belly in the HORROR!? You can also call it "Lot's O' Chocolate-Doritos n' Dip-Roadsters Belly" too...

Yesterday, a friend of mine kept on insisting that the 1st picture was an exaggeration of my belly, that I was pushing it out or photoshopping it. I can assure you – and you can ask Sara about this – that's how I looked! Ridiculous! That's what a diet of 6 chocolates, 2 bags or chips, 2 ATLAS or REX beers, a LOT of Tostitos Dip and 2Liters of Mirinda, not to forget the Super Sampler meal or My Specialty "BBB BREADED Chicken (doesn't exist on the menu but you can order it after I coerced them to – with extra honey mustard and buffalow sauce)" PER DAY, FOR A WHOLE 3 MONTHS, will turn you into. What can I say? I eat when I work hard. I eat when I'm stressed. Getting back in shape is half the battle because it's actually about self control when things go sour and you have to pull a whole month of all-nighters and not get your 6 hour sleep or even 20 minutes to heat and gobble down a meal. I want to research that: How to shift your stress toward something else. Maybe I could go for a run from now on. Hopefully by the end of this, my body will be well adjusted to rather eat healthy than plunge my hands elbows deep in a bucket of Buffalow wings at Lord of the Wings, or even worse, at Bob's Diner on Open Tuesdays! YOU EVEN GET FRIGGIN' MEXICAN BEER AND NACHOS WITH THEM!!! ARGHHHHH!!! WHY DO THEY DO THIS TO US!?!?! ;P

After with the flex. HAOU! Leo here I come!
In the mean time I'm following Ricardo's diet. Apparently the guy told me that once I'm at my desired weight, I pass onto the stabilization/consolidation phase where I eat whatever I wanted on one day, and followed a set diet – albeit a very consistent one – the other. I'm gonna try it and let you know what happens.

Back to the training: remember when I said that I'd postpone Kempo to the next morning, I also mentioned that I was gonna Yoga in the evening. And that's what I did. Ate enough of my Open Pasta (with Eggplant) at lunch, then Juice and some honey right before training to stock up on energy and go ALL THE WAY! Milos joined. He was very reluctant about the whole Yoga training – which he thought was for pussies as I did a month ago. 15 minutes in, as he started dripping all over his mat and the floor, he changed his mind about it. Yoga X usually takes one and a half hours to complete. He stopped at 45 minutes because he "had to go"... or maybe because his legs couldn't hold him anymore ... I decided to believe his story. I continued all the way till the final stage: "Oms"! I usually go through the whole training just to get to these final 10 minutes of relaxation where you really clear your mind and let your body finally rest. The calm after the storm. I usually dose off when "the Dead Body" pose comes along. You just lie down and shut down all of your body, bit by bit from your toes till your head. AMAZING and sooo relaxing! Especially when you're at the end of the workout and your sugar is so low you can't stand up anymore. Follow that with a spoonful of Honey and a recovery shake (Cell Tech in my case) and you're in heaven!

It was only 8:30. My meal was Open Fruits! And that's what I did. A bowl of melons, grapes and apples! YUMMMY!! I have never enjoyed fruits that much in my life – and vegetables actually. They're both REALLY GOOD! Turns out Amine aka "Kiwiman" was right... I sat in front of the lovely TV and decided to Prison Break it for a while.


Day 28. Week 4. Month 1.
Things were looking up. Endurance is higher. Strength definitely. Legs are –more or less– back. Shape is getting there. I didn't think of all of these things when I set the goal of dressing up as Leo for Halloween. I guess it all comes with the territory. I love it.
I feel great. There's such a difference between fat and flabby and healthy. I hope this challenge changes my lifestyle somehow. The food. The training. The alertness. The relaxation. I get it now. The whole hype of getting fit.

I used to bodybuild, it felt great. It made me feel STRONG. Let's say you're lifting huge weights for 6 months?! Can you imagine how easy would a normal day be? Going to work, going up stairs, carrying something, doing these banal simple things?! The difference though is that I associate bodybuilding with getting buff and carrying crazy weights. To be honest, I wouldn't enjoy going to the gym to "tone". That's dumb. Takes off the whole intensity and CRAZINESS of the sport. I'd rather do P90x and run instead. Plus I don't wanna get huge anymore. A HUNDRED AND FOUR KILOGRAMS OF MUSCLE?! REALLY!? WHY!? I'd rather be lean and fit and that's it now. Imagine carrying 20kgs less, all the time. How much fun would that be! It would change your life!

Got a huge ass mail from Tarek Abou Nassar yesterday which really put me in a good mood. Tarek is a huge and very dedicated bodybuilder friend that I respect a lot. After giving me some nutrition/supplementation tips I'll reveal soon, he said something very interesting: Weight does not matter. It's Fat percentage versus muscle mass. As long as your Fat is low, you're in shape – provided you train and eat well, not starve yourself to death. 84kgs doesn't have to be my goal. Maybe I should focus more on a fat percentage of 10-13%, the Athlete fat range; that makes much more sense.

Let me wrap this up. 

All I can say is that I'm proud of where I got so far.

37 days to go.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

DAY 27: Eureka Fat burning & Muscle buiding discoveries

Look at them. I'd rather know what THEY do to keep fit.
Let me tell you what's been going down. I feel that for the past 3-4 days, since after day 23 that my body is literally getting tired. And yes I do believe in rest, but I also believe in strategically getting someplace instead of exhausting oneself; without having a really studied plan that would have your body crash midway you can't really get to your goal can you. You need to know your MIND's limitations as well as your bodies'.

Two things I've discovered yesterday:
1. it would be much easier to chop down the fat by doing high intensity cardio than by walking/light jogging. Although I would consume less calories, I would peak up my metabolism for more calorie burning during the whole day. Automatically, I would have much more rest for my legs to recover, I'll be more fit and prepared for the rest of the workouts, and Karly would still have some fun running like mad instead of simply walking around with me. Football athletes prepare for their seasons by intensely working out but also by having one running session a week where they run for 300 yards, 3 to 5 times, then jog in between for double the time it took them for each go; and just do one other fun 30 minute jog for their second cardio workout. That doesn't mean they don't burn like crazy in their other training sessions, but they know that one or maybe two intensity runs are far off better than exhausting oneself every day. As I told you before, the body needs to recover, and we want to get a Sprinter's body right? Not a Marathoner's.
I was wondering about American Football Player's bodies and realized that if there's someone doing something right in terms of building bodies for strength and speed it's them. Here's an article I found about a sample training regimen. And that's another one if you're plain mental – I don't truly agree with it but it's worth checking out the other side of the spectrum. The guys are monsters. Now THAT's a Spartan training.

2. I've been getting hungry in between meals and I've been just taking spoonfuls of honey. I know Yunis said I should indulge from time to time but I don't know how much this is affecting my weightloss ... I'm following the diet to the letter but I'm also taking the "open food" literally...
I'm not sure if it's just me but I don't feel I'm recovering as fast as having some extra protein thrown in. I'm going to include an extra pure Whey protein shake to the mix. That should help recovery and even gains.

Hmmm voila.
Apart from that I did actually jog 8K with Karly yesterday – Nike+ does get you to do things you might not wanna ... However, waiting for sara all the way till 8:30 to train made me start a movie and delay our Kempo training till 9:30... by that time we were both exhausted and called it a night... Not a very spartan move, I'm gonna do it today though (Day 28). Yes we're on WEEK 4 today and I'll post where I'm at tomorrow so expect that.
It's double time today, Kempo and I'm also starting off the recovery week of Phase1 in P90x: Yoga X with Jean and Milos. This week will all be a series of core exercises and stretching to prepare me for Phase2 of the training, coming next week. Can't wait! this week will do me good as I recover and will help me dive into Phase 2 Lock and Loaded!

No Haouus today.
I simply don't feel like a Spartan. Not even a foot soldier or even Ephialtes – at least he did train and tried his best. There's some extra effort in me that I can juice out. I'm just not doing it. No matter what guys, if you're reading, please, when you feel I'm starting to lose hope for this challenge (if that happens) or not putting effort enough, I'd really appreciate some morale boosting message or something. Enough said. That won't happen. Hopefully. NO IT WON'T HAPPEN!

Whatever happened to No Retreat, No Surrender?!

Yalla I'm outta here. Gonna Kempo X it and shake that stupid doubt off.


(maybe even said in a Powerpuff voice. I don't care! They fight too and they're awesome!)

Monday, September 20, 2010

DAY 26: Nike+ is cool / Sprinting vs. Marathon running

Before I start I just wanna say that DAY 25 was great. I walked in the morning for an hour, I got to eat Wild Boar ribs and even lose 1kg which is more than awesome, then Sara and I ended up with style in a P90x Yoga session which made us levitate somehow (after it killed us in its first annoying core building section that I talked about on DAY 24

DAY 26 is a different day. Is a day somewhat awaited since the start of this whole shabang... It's a day that I had been cautious about since it was going to change my whole way of approaching cardio, running and subsequently my workout as a whole.

After I kicked out an hour of walking with Mr.K specifically on as many flat roads I could find so I wouldn't force anything on my legs, I kicked off my ADIprene INDOOR running shoes. Yes! It turned out they were for TREADMILL RUNNING ONLY! And I just wanna say, YOU BETTER RESEARCH WHAT RUNNING SHOES YOU'RE BUYING CAUSE THEY MIGHT FUCK UP YOUR LEGS. So visit the shoes' websites, check out forums where people might give you advice out of experience. That's what I did this time around. I even went to the Nike store and tried on the different shoes that were suggested and RAN in the store to get a feel of them on my legs. My choice was the Nike Lunarglides and I can tell you they were worth every penny. My legs are much more relaxed. I feel much less tension on my calves, Achilles and knees. Actually I just took them out for a real 1hour test drive (not sprinting but jogging and walking) today on day 27 and I can tell you that I'm sure i made the right choice.
Voila! They already look old! That's what I do with shoes...
After I bought the shoes, I discovered this on the Nike plus site. Turns out I was right!

Anyways back at the ranch, I wanted to tell you about Nike+. I don't know if everybody has heard of this, but you can add a chip to any Nike+ shoes that links to your ipod and track your running progress... which allows you to check your calories, distance, speed and even set goals and enter challenges online where other members post their results. I directly created an a account on Nikeplus.com and uploaded my first mini one K walk and was classified as a YELLOW runner – so super beginner from 1 to 50K. It's pretty interesting how people have gotten up to 9000Km! I wonder if the whole Nike+ experience helped with that. To be honest with you I really feel like kicking every Lebanese's butt now! ARGHHH!!! See?! I told you I was gonna get competitve! It's ridiculous how this Drive to compete automatically kicks in. I can't say "oh! that's wonderful, now I can have buddies to motivate me and share the experience with", it HAS to be "ooh! now I can have stats I can compare with so i can surpass people". My friends who are reading this would either be shaking their heads with a smirk, or laughing their asses off. I don't like it one bit anymore to be honest, I'd rather calm down and just compete with myself.

Oh by the way, I found the coolest thing on the site: a section called Coach, that has  various training programs that prepare you to cross barriers and work on challenges: from walking to running, to training for a 28K marathon, and even train you for specific sports. The thing with marathon running that panics me a bit is that it shapes down your muscle mass and chops all the fat. Have you noticed how marathon runners are usually very skinny whereas sprinters are all chiseled? It's because marathon running trains different muscle fibers (red small ones) for endurance whereas sprinters train the thick fast twitch white fibers for strength which causes their bodies to shape up. Extrapolating that onto my training, I guess I better include more interval running (sprinting and high intensity with rest in between) than distance running. I don't want to melt by the end of the 65 days but just shed off the excess fat.
Hmm... So what do you think? Maybe the whole training for distance is a more than a tiny mistake?
I'm gonna quote this from a forum discussion I found:
"... Marathon runners don't reach as low body fat as sprinters do, and marathon runners actually lose muscle unless they train a specific way, which most don't. The adaptation for endurance running is to increase myoglobin and mitochondria in the muscle at the expense of increasing cross-sectional diameter, so basically they are on average 8 - 12 percent body fat with less muscle than the average individual, while sprinters are 6 - 10 percent body fat with slightly more muscle than the average individual."

Maybe I should check out my track and field sports teacher Alice Keyrouz, maybe she might help in giving me some input on the strength training used for sprinters. Better yet, I could either ask her about how she trains her sprinters in general, maybe even check out the training, maybe even train with them once a week? That'd be amazing! I should contact her soon. In the mean time I'm going to cruise the site to find some strength running training I could do; maybe in the "running for specific sport" section. Anywho, I'll let you know about that when I know... But as it figures, building up to walk up to Faraya... Is it a good idea afterall? Anis should be laughing his ass off by now...

Just to tell you about the P90x workout of the day: It was Legs/Back. It was hard, it was grueling, it was A BLAST! Milos joined for the training. I was surprised of the number of pull ups I can do now without a chair: 5! (hahahah). Well yeah at least I'm improving. I used to do much more during bodybuilding days but it's all coming back slowly, no worries. I even pulled off a nice Ab Ripper X right after too. Things are looking up. As long as my legs heal correctly all is GRAND!

And by the way, I've been substituting the NOXPLODE with a couple of spoonfuls of Honey. It actually does the trick because of the sugar spike it causes. If Yunis says that's what I should do, he should be right. Cut down my protein shake intake in more than half, didn't eliminate it though. I will all of next week which is only core work so I wouldn't need it to recover I guess... Next week is all Yoga, stretching and something called Core Synergetics (which is supposed to be a killer); a recovery week to jump to phase 2 in the training which is a step higher in intensity and a completely different training so that the body doesn't adapt and keeps on growing and improving.

Well here's to intensity!!


Sunday, September 19, 2010

DAY 24: Promised Land of Fruits 'n Pasta / Rest = Muscle Building

Maybe P90x estimated it right. That one would not be able to complete the whole 90 days of intense workout without some break here and there. As week 3 is underway, I can't help but feel more and more tired. Although I decided to take a day's break, my recovery's taking more time. My legs by the ways a very SLOOOWLY getting better and it's somewhat pissing me off since I really fell in love with running – so liberating, so kiddish and invigorating... I only was able to walk Karly for 15minutes yesterday. Didn't wanna over do it. Walking won't put any strain on my legs and I could build back to an hour which is perfect for his daily walk. I know walking wouldn't shed any calories or higher my metabolism, but it's at least some extra exercise that I could do. Interval Running would have to wait a bit more.

Crescent, Warrior and plank postures, and some Yoga postures covered in P90X's Yoga X.
I started the Yunis diet! I'm on open meat, pasta, fruit, vegetables and white cheeses this week. Of course with specific combinations and gobbled down 2 big bowls of pasta and eggplant for lunch, and litterally ate A BOWL OF FRUIT at around 5ish, as some friends and I visited an amazing Arabic restaurant in Brummana. It was kinda annoying when everyone ordered Makanik (Armenian sausages), chicken liver with molasses (Kassbeh w debs el remman) and a LOT of bzourat, Grilled meat, Kafta, Taouk, Hummus and Tabbouleh... But a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do... I do have open meat but it wasn't on that day – actually I had made my choice with the pasta, little did I know we were gonna go full-fledged Arabic that day.

Anywho ... with all that food I ate, full of carbs (fruit, pasta) – but with no protein shakes – I still expected to train hard. But that was not the case AT ALL. I had Yoga X that day. A lot of core work, still relatively easy though. 10minutes into the program, I paused the vid once. I couldn't hold myself in Plank (push up) position for more than 20 seconds; believe me, the other yoga positions weren't easier. I still cranked myself up and tried to continue, but once I had to lift my feet up in the air, or hold specific positions like Warrior and Crescent pose, that's where I dropped the ball.
 I paused the vid and lay down on the mat to take a break... and suddenly opened my eyes a couple of HOURS after! Sara woke me up to go to bed, I was exhausted again. It must have been the Chest/Back workout from the day before with all those push ups and chin ups. It was probably normal. I had made one mistake though, I forgot to supplement the diet with spoonfuls of Honey, to keep the energy going. As I told you yesterday, some honey mixed with water could work as a recovery drink (although I wouldn't use it in extremely intense training still), but I guess I could've tried it for Yoga. Oh well. I'm just gonna listen to my body and do it today instead (Day 25). One thing I learned from all of this is to "Pace myself and wait to recover"; always better than completely getting exhausted and ending up sleeping for the next 2 days ... It's a fact that muscles (any tissue) recovers and strengthens as you're resting. Plus, if you train muscle groups intensely, you'd peak up your metabolism which actually makes you lose fat as you're taking a break or sleeping! Rest is crucial for better development.

I know time is precious. I've only got 40 days left and it even seemed to me at some point that I have to kill myself to get there, but resting is even more efficient than over-doing it and that's what I'm going to force myself to do – from time to time.

Check this article on muscle recovery.
(To take it further, you could also read this article which gives good tips for building muscle , concepts that I'm following in this journey. Enumerates them clearly, point by point.

I'm gonna eat well today and prepare for a compensating kick-ass Yoga X session! Oh it will be grand!
I'll let you know tomorrow.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

DAY 23: The Ricardo Yunis Diet / A truthful P90X Workout Review

What's a bodybuilder's versus a Fitness body considered to be? I still don't get it. (that's not me btw, I'm still far away)
Woke up this morning relatively still pissed about the whole "not losing weight anymore" shabang, and realized that I had GAINED ANOTHER KG! I was 92.5! How was that possible?! Lack of cadio for 3 days? Would that cause it? Or adding carbs and vegg to the mix?! Cell-Tech re-hydrating the muscles?  Extra carbs in True Mass!? I didn't have answers anymore and I was really pissed off. 

Tried taking Karly to the kennel to play fetch in their green field but he wasn't at least interested. Actually he didn't feel like running behind the ball and was dillydallying around me, sniffing, looking around uncomfortably... It felt like he didn't wanna stay there. It was too bad since I wanted him to get his sports done.
As I was writing my diet's post I thought to myself:
1. am I really following a specific diet now to await specific results? I'm blending carbs that Dukan's against, adding fruit to the Dukan second step. Blending different concepts together from the P90x diet book, to Dr. Yunis' concepts to Dukan's high protein diet. There wasn't any substantial base; add to that I stopped running and carbs and fiber cause re-hydration... I wasn't back to square one – I could see my body improving visually – but I needed to organize myself.

I prepared a list of questions and head directly to Dr. Yunis.
Here are the answers I got out of the visit:

1. I'm too heavy for running and will get injured big-time if I continue. Walking is fine along with the P90x training, but I could simply swim 50x25 meters with weights on my arms and legs instead. That wouldn't put pressure on the joints, would provide cardio AND intense muscle training... That could be a good solution but as I need to walk Karly, I'll stick to the P90x for now and maybe substitute Plyometrics (and even legs?) with swimming to relieve my legs from the stress for now.

2. Coffee contains Fat and would hinder weightloss.  For energy I could use Honey instead, but with no added sugar or apple juice. Even instead of the recovery drink after training, apparently some water mixed with honey would do the trick and replenish my depleted glycogen stores. What about all the shakes I got?! Well either I'll simply stop or leave them for intense weight training (which I actually do only 3x a week). Besides, next week is only cardio as it's part of the P90x program so that's where I could try the Honey tip a 100%.

3. I can substitute Aspartame with ... you guessed it ... HONEY. As for soft drinks, I suppose they cause you to bloat, and Diet coke actually contains caffeine too and CO2 which is bad for the stomach.

4. Multi-vitamins can be substituted with a Gynseng product called BodyMax, that I could get from any pharmacy.

5. Calories don't amount to anything. It's about the type of food you're eating and the KIND of calories you're getting into your body. That's why Yunis suggests having as much olive oil and honey as possible and get great results which wouldn't make sense if dieting was only about calorie count.

6. Raw vegetables contain fat and cause gazes and indigestion. Boiling or grilling them would remove the fat and make them more accessible to the body. Hmmm ... So much for the "Salad RAMPAGE" of Day 22 – and all future ones I was planning to have.

7. I personally shouldn't eat the wheat and oat bran suggested by Dukan since my body doesn't digest grain best. A better source of carbs/fiber for me would be Digestive biscuits.

8. Cold water transforms into water vapor when in the stomach because of the contrast in temperature, which causes gazes and indigestion. So drinking room temperature water would be much better. Plus consuming a cup of water every hour is beneficial for hydration and good digestion.

Oh by the way, I weighed 93.6 on his scale! ARGHHH! It doesn't mean anything since I'm 92.5 on mine. I'm still going to base my weight on mine for the blog since I already started with it.

About the diet, the ingredients are simple: It's a 5 meal plan.
Boiled, grilled vegetables / Yogurt / Natural fruit juices / one type of animal protein for the whole week (beef, fish...) / Skimmed milk / Infusions / Honey / 1 cup of room temperature water every hour / Pasta or Rice.
Of course, what's allowed for me is different than other people because of what your body can digest.

Out of the Bioelectronic Vega Test I did the first time I came in, here are the foods that I was advised not to consume for the period of 3 months (cleansing period):
Orange, Chocolate, Yeast (so no bread, doe...), Beans, Caffeine, Fries, Tomatoes, Spices, Hot pepper, Mushrooms, Garlic, Onions, Soja, Oregano, Zaatar, Strawberry (there goes the fruit juice), Bran, Wheat bran, Oat.

Add to that (general for everyone):
olive oil and lemon is the only allowed dressing
NO fried food, gum, tomatoes (?), smoking, vinegar, mustard, mayo, soja, sweets, arghile, alcohol

For more information check out Dr. Yunis' links and contact him directly:

So I guess that's what I'm going to follow for now and see how my body reacts. I'm going to keep the Cell Tech and True Mass for after my 3 intense workouts and follow the diet everywhere else – I'm not sure how It would affect the weight loss. I know should drop around 2 to 2.5 kgs a week with the diet if I follow it to the letter. We'll see the discrepancies with the added protein shakes 3x/week.

Voila for the diet!

As for the rest of the day, I went to Nike once again and tried on 3 different shoes I had researched:
the Nike Pegasus, the Zoom Vomero and the Lunarglide. I'm not go into the details of each. Apparently they're the best Nike running shoes there is right now – not interested in the rest since I want the Nike+ thing with it but I hear Asics are very good too. To sum it up very quickly, the Lunarglide is more for treadmill and up to 5-8k runs. The Pegasus and Vomero are more revered as running shoes but I found the Pegasus to be EXTREMELY stiff. The Vomero on the other hand was a perfect fit and felt really good, it holds your foot in place and provides fair cushioning for running. But on the other hand, the Lunarglides were DIVINE. I could feel the cushioning all over the shoe, plus it held my foot pretty well. For a big frame like mine – and slightly over weight with injured feet/legs – I'd rather have the maximum comfort and cushioning. The shoe absorbs any shock and keeps my legs relaxed. By the way, I jogged in store and did a couple of jumps here and there to test the shoes, the salespeople were a bit surprised but I didn't want to take the risk with it. Anyways, there's still one store I want to check out on monday then it's decision time – and so far, it's the Lunarglides by far. Gonna get the Nike+ chip too and know what a rip off it is in Lebanon. I MEAN 60$ instead of 24$?!!  COME ON! Lunars are 160$ instead of 100$ ... Is there another way to get these things? Does anyone know? Apart from getting them with someone from abroad cause I don't know anyone now... Please inform me if you have an idea. You have till Monday! (help!)

Nike Air Zoom Vomero+
Nike Lunarglide+
Nike Air Pegasus+

OK. So after that visit, I figured since I was in ABC I'd have one last fruit juice before I start the Yunis diet and then I went straight home for Chest/Back training. I was surprised to how much I improved push ups/pull ups wise. Another thing that startled me was how I felt my whole upper body was included in simple push and pull excercises. I trained all of my back of course along with my chest and shoulders, but ny arms for once were extremely sore; forearms and even abs were aching.
My whole upper body had this intense pump. I was starting to get the maximum out of the sessions, since I knew now my limit and how my body/muscles were going to react – also I wrote all the reps I did down last time to know what was my rep goal for each excercise. I got a glimpse of my arms once the workout was complete. P90x works ... to say the least.
The kind of pump you can expect after the Chest/Back training. My guns are gonna explode.
This is where I can assure you guys to try this program out wether you want to tone or buff or lose weight, P90x is DA SHIT! I've never experienced this marriage of extreme cardio versus strength training with effects close to bodybuilding. If you stick to the program, yes, it might exhaust you, but I think it's efficient and definitely worth doing.


Friday, September 17, 2010

DAY 22: I collapse

Yes ... well ... It was about time. Day 21 was here and it was all Peaches 'n Cream. Not really. It was pretty hellish and fun. But my body was still coping with the training and lack of carbs and fat.

Nothing grand to report:
I was exhausted all day to say the least, got the flu and slept all afternoon. Couldn't budge. It's good I happened to work in the morning instead of running with K, which didn't hinder my working hours. It was Chest/Back day and I didn't know whether to train or call it a day. I ended up taking a break. I was sick, I needed it. Actually I made it a point to go out and do something. I don't know why exactly but I was drawn to Waterlemon. Guys, this place has AMAAAZING salads and juices.

Chicken/Halloumi salad
Salmon fillet salad

Sara and I ordered a salmon salad and a chicken halloumi salad and split them half half. It was a salad RAMPAGE! I loved it! I'm not usually a salad person but they were ridiculously good. You should check them out.

Kiwi/Strawberry/Melon/Peach juice
 Also, I followed a fruit freak's advice (yes, it's Amine Helou, if you were wondering – aka "Kiwi Man") and mixed peach, strawberry, melon and kiwi. To my surprise, It made great tasting juice! Even the waiter was weirded out when I made the order and suggested I choose something else... hehe.

All in all, one should rest. It's good for recovery and gets you even stronger for next day workout.

There is Honor in rest. It's important; so... HAOUU!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

WEEK 3: DAY 21: Progress... WHAT PROGRESS!?!

21 days ... Obvious musculature change...
... but no fat loss since week 2, and weight gain.

Looking at the progress pictures, I might be impressed with the frontal ... actually BIG HAOUUU!!
But the side view is killing me though, it looks like I'm quite bloated compared to last week. It's more the Stats and my general health that's the problem.

I'm not sure of what I wanna post today. Went up on the scale and it turns out I'm back to where I was a couple of weeks ago: 91.5 Kgs. I understand that a shift in diet can cause that – I've been adding around 200g of carbs during the training for more intensity and energy – plus I haven't been running like before but walked all week long instead... I am getting somewhat worried.
My goal is to get to 84Kgs. According to the calories I'm consuming versus what I'm eating I should be on a full weight free fall. But that's not the case apparently. I also know that for optimum weight loss, one should visit the toilet once a day, and weirdly enough you actually know how that's been going :S ... I know added muscle mass should vary the weight ... I'm still not sure of how to assess where I am now.

I've contacted Ricardo Yunis about blending intense physical training along his diet and apparently it works. Going to pay him a visit today (DAY 22), discuss the diet and see how things go. I can't take the risk to suppose things about the diet, although I'm a research maniac, and make wrong assumptions when all I have left are 43 days.
Especially that I actually took the decision of not doing cardio for the next 4-5 days – I'll probably swim, maybe even do the elliptical machine once or twice, I just can't put the strain on my legs anymore. Over-training obviously backfired as I didn't know that running would put my legs in such bad shape: my achilles tendons, shins (outer and inner) on both sides are a bit inflamed and kinda hurt.
Also, I am generally TIRED and not in tip top high energy, the way one's supposed to be when training... It must be my body recovering.

I happened to do Plyometrics with Jean, a swimmer and ex track and field athlete friend of mine and he pointed out that I'm exhausting myself by putting that much strain on my legs. He suggested I change my running shoes – apparently mine are crappy and haven't been relieving any pressure on my legs – which should be what running shoes do. It's weird because they're ADIprene technology, but I guess every shoe differs from the other. Mine was for indoor running (treadmill) as I just recalled now... I didn't know the whole running sport was that sophisticated and minute.
I guess I should end up getting these Nike MoonSliders I was telling you about a week ago; I'm definitely also getting the Nike + to monitor exactly the distance I'm crossing. I can't afford to over-do it and get injured and fuck up all of the challenge; although my intentions are good, I gotta face the music: I haven't trained for the past 2 years and my body is not conditioned for extremely intense training – anymore. It's really tough to admit this since my ego usually doesn't permit it but I need to suck it up and reorganize to keep on going strong even if that means getting my feet some rest. I had to stop Plyo half way yesterday and to be honest, got really demotivated to continue my Ab training.

Karly's expecting a walk today (DAY 22), it's obviously not gonna happen. I'm going to try to take him to the kennel to play fetch. That'll get him to run. I've pushed his body too, but he is a German Shepherd... He's MADE to run. His body's reaction to the training is completely different: he craves it – as I do – but can actually pull it off big time. He jumped from bench to bench on DAY 21. He leaped over road separators. He pushed me to over do it once again. I had to jog a bit, all hyped up by his contagious energy. We mostly walked for an hour, then I called it a day. Plyo came in the evening, you know how that went.

I need some Major restructuring. If I took a step back, the decisions I would take would be:
1. Add more fiber and vegetables to the diet to clean the stomach and see what happens with weight loss
2. Take 4 cardio off days – no swimming and elliptical. NOTHING but Ice packs, Voltaren, Aspirine and Calcium (long term effects).
3. Get the Running shoes for next week.
4. Keep up the intense fitness training (as long as it doesn't include the legs)

A bit more emotionally driven response would be instead to:
1. Go see Dr. Yunis and restructure diet as there's no time to lose
2.  For cardio: Swimming twice and Elliptical machine twice (4/5 days till the lower leg calms down)
3. Keep up the intense fitness training (as long as it doesn't include the legs) 
4. Ice packs, Voltaren, Aspirine and Calcium.

I could also:
1. get a Heart Monitor to be as efficient with my fat burning stages as possible and not walk or over-jog for nothing – If you work out at a specific heart rate depending on your weight, height, age, you can burn fat much easier. It's called Target Heart Rate. Click here to roughly calculate yours and here for a more precise answer.
2. ... I think that's already enough.

I had a talk with Dr. Anthony Keedi, a very sports oriented friend of mine who was actually the one who suggested P90x in the 1st place. He's also a great Psychologist and does great work with Kafa against violence and exploitation. I initially approached him because of my concern about the lack of weightloss and stopping cardio because of my feet. After he suggested swimming and the elliptical machine, he took the conversation to another level and tackled Motivation. Apparently, the number one reason people get demotivated and stop training – or whatever they're doing – is because they usually start up pretty strong and see results directly, but then they hit a plateau and the results become stale for a while, so they just get disappointed, demotivated and just stop. One of the best ways to surpass this is to visualize the desired results after a couple of months – in my case, pulling off one hell of a Halloween costume. I should just assess the situation, try to solve it rationally, and keep on going. As long as I'm doing what I need to do, things will be alright.

As cliché as it sounds, Tony Horton repeats an expression in every P90X workout. I actually hate it but have to admit that it makes a LOT of sense: "Do your best and forget the rest".

This challenge is supposed to be hard, but FUN. I shouldn't forget that.
To that regard, I'm going to end the post with this video. There's no need for that much seriousnes. It's a Halloween costume after all ... hummm ... Please remind me of that in case I go berserk. :)