Monday, January 02, 2006

How to Survive a Layoff from Gym

Ever since I decided to lift weights for P.E. during my 3rd year in college, I was hooked. I've got good results thus, I have good grades as well. Since I love the changes/effects it had on my body, I didn't stop. I still lift weights even when I'm reviewing for my board exam. After I passed the board exam and was looking for my first job in Manila, it became impossible for me to have time to go to gym plus I need to save since I was by myself and had to budget everything for the time being until I find myself a job. So I had to stop lifting weights.

After I was hired by Panasonic, I was able to go back to the gym because they have the facility. I was able to go back in shape. Then I resigned because I need to go back to school, unfortunately I was not able to do so because of some reasons I can't disclose. Anyways, I stop going to gym again. Then I tried to be a call center agent and my schedule became worst. Upon knowing that there is a certain program between Texas Instruments and Tesda, I had to resign once again to avail the rare upportunity to become a Process Engineer at Texas Instruments (TI) in Baguio City.

I was accepted at TI and I found out that they had a gym for employees so I decided to visit it and try to lift weights once more. Yet my schedule make it impossible for me to have a regular visit to the gym so my body remain so slim and the tones were less visible. After the program ended, I went back to Manila. This time I decided to relax for a while and try to look for a job later on. My activities were less tiring and I do not move a lot but my eating habits are the still the same. I didn'y notice that I'm gaining weight gradually until the lass three months I noticed that I am becoming fat. I'm losing my shape and my muscles are covered with fat. I became less active and I find it too tiring to do just anything. Even playong badminton didn't help because I find it too expensive already so I don't play much. My abs were covered with fat and my tummy are huge and sloppy. Asif that's not enough, my face become too oily and pimples begin to appear not only on my face but on my back as well. Yuck. This is too much. This is insame. I don't wanna be fat and ugly. I had to do something.

Then, my mom called me on my mobile telling me she's going to Manila and I have to meet her. I was excited and yet so nervous. I'm so afraid what would be her reaction is. She's used to see me on my best form and not this ugly fat creature. Well, I have no choice but to meet with her. When we saw each other I can see that she's quite shocked at what she saw but remain silent. Then she informed me that we have to wait for her kumare because she scheduled a dinner for all of us. While waiting for her, I decided to go to the loo to check for my appearance thinking this situation is so awkward and so embarrasing. At the doorway I saw her but I pretend I haven't and headed straight inside even if I hear her calling my name. That was rude but I must check what I look like first.

So I was told

Upon facing the mirror, I lose my confidence. I am a disaster. A face even a mother won't love. Sigh. I decided to wash off the excess oil on my face and went out to meet them all. The dinner went ok. Afterwards, me and mom have to send her kumare and her son (with his gf) to their vehicle. Then my mom said goodbye and it's time for me to send my farewell as well. Then my mom's kumare whispered, "Ayaw na pagpatambok ha. Taba na kaau ka ba. (Don't get too fat. You are so fat already.)" I felt that all the blood left my body, I was completely embarrased. This is not good. This is pure humaltion beyond compare. It took all my strenght to smile at her remark and she bid goodbye leaving me felt like dirt.

Then came the Holiday Season. Christmas and New Year Celebrations had come and go. Yet my body fat stayed and even growing more. I did all the cooking and had to taste all the food I prepared and of course had to eat (a lot) since I do love my cooking. Luckily, my dad, brothers and sister love playing badminton so we play almost everyday, except on the 31st of December and the 1st of January, since I went home from Manila last December 19th. I did help because I was able to burn some stored fat yet that was not enough.

12 week? Hmmm.

Last night, I saw my old copy of Men's Health Magazine dated February 2003. In the cover I saw the words "GET BACK IN SHAPE! SEE RESULTS IN 14 DAYS!" and I thought I should see that article. So browse the magazine. I saw an article there entitled "The Next Action Hero" featuring actor Jerry O'Connel who was required to hit the gym for his role in Kangaro Jack movie. The article includes burn rate, food fighters (clean food, protein all day and 20% rule). Also included here is a simple 7-day workout schedule because most people go to gym makes a mistake by concentrating on one area of the body and stressing it too much until the muscle doesn't have the chance to recover and it's too late. Also some other areas are left neglected.

7-day routine

The two factors that stressed out in the article are frequency and intensity to simplify the trainings needed for by the body. In the article, you can find out that freguency is a simple matter of knowing how often you can stress your muscles. Jorgen de Mey, gym instructor for the action hero stars, says that the bigger the muscle group, the more time it needs to recover. "Your legs, for example, needs 5 to 6 days to recover; if you stress them more than that, you're putting your body under too much strain. It will start to break down," he says.

Intensity, on the other hand, is more difficult quality to pin down because most of us doesn't know the amount we can actually take. And most people, de Mey says, working intensity means sacrificing form. Well, this has been a good input for me so far. So I browse more thinking how I took this magazine for granted in the past with the amount of information that I could get from it.

I also came across with an article entitled "Who Will Build the Best Abs?" This article is about triplets who have the same body type but different workout routines and have been compared who will show the best abs at the end of 8 weeks. The one who won the competition is the one who is doing the most to combust fat. Yes, the one who concentrated on his abs didn't win, in fact it only makes the abs bigger but didn't burn nor reduce the body fat at all so still you can't see any good results. The winner, on the other hand, combines cardiovascular and strenght training that's why he got the best results. The cardiovascular training helps reduce body parts and the weights helps building muscles. But according to the article, cardio training is for overweight men but once you're fairly lean, your body doesn't respond as dramatically to burning a few hundred calories in 30 minutes. So for best results addtional weight training, along with some occasional high-intensity sprint workouts, would make a difference for most of us.

Meat Murders Fat

Now it's time for the Get Back in Shape (New Year's Revolution) part of the magazine which includes the How to Survive Layoff article. I've been anticipating for this part of the article because I really want a come back. To get my shape and form back. I started reading. I somehow felt sad because according to the article if the layoff is more that 6 months my status would be a biginner once again. Sigh. I have to think of my body as a completely deconditioned blob of ectoplasm even if it doesn't look quite bad to the naked eye - well double or triple bad news for me because it's pretty scarry for the naked eye.

Fortunately, a certain Juan Carlos Santana, a trainer and owner of Institute for Human Performance, believes yu can easily get back to where you are once belonged in 12 to 18 weeks, as long as you stick to a disciplined schedule. One must have firm goal. So I think that I have to have a goal and stick with it to get back in shape. For example, as stated in the article, during the prime of XFL career (4 weeks) you did squats using 225 pounds, and assuming you want to become strong enough to work with that kind of weight again. Below are some routines that will help us to get back on shape:

  • First 4 to 6 weeks: Work up to 60% of your final goal for 8 to 10 repititions. So by the end of this period, you want to do squats with 135. Where you start is up to you, although 40 to 50 percent is a safe choice.

  • Second 4 to 6 weeks: Work up to 80% of your goal to 6 to 8 repititions. So you start this period using 135 pounds and end it using 180.

  • Third 4 to 6 weeks: Start with 80% and end with 100% of your goal for 4 to 6 repititions.

  • Think first

    Well, I'll be back in Manila 3 days time and I'm going to head straight back on the gym the next day of course with a goal in mind. I'll try what I've read in the articles and of course ask the gym intructors what program would best fit me because I don't want to get to big and become bulky. I just want to stay fit, slim, and well toned.

    Let's go to articles which concerns proper food and diet this time. I came across an article entitled "Slimming Lessons" by Thomas Incledon, M.S., R.D. In here he discussed 9 dietary rules that he presented years ago and made revisions. Here are the following rules:

  • To lose weight, you must cut calories: You still have to eat fewer calories than you burn if you want to lose weight. The perfect weight-loss diet is the one you can live with, whether you cut fat, carbs, or some combination.

  • Use whey to cut waist: Protein-rich food put more distance between hanger pangs. And the fuller you feel between meals, the easier to avoid binges. The best food for appetite destruction: whey protein.

  • Meat kills fat: When you eat, your body has to expend calories to digest food. Protein causes inner fiber to burn the hottest, followed by carbohydrates, followed by fat.

  • Remember these letters BCAA: Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and the branched-chain amino acids - leucine, isoleucine, and valine - are the best of the bunch. BCAAs are as close to magicfoods as we'll gonna get. They help you recover from hard workouts by reducing the protein breakdown within your muscles.

  • If it's fryin', you're drying: Don't eat junk foods. Ok?!

  • Food goes farther with fiber: Fiber's effect is opposite of snack foods'. When you have fiber in your stomach, food takes longer to enter the bloodstream, and your blood-sugar level stays steady. You'll have a more consistent energy supply and less between-meal hunger.

  • Count on calcium: Dairy and other calcium-rich food help you stay lean, prevent osteoporosis, and possibly prevent colon cancer according to nutrition researchers. A cup of milk will do which contains 300 milligrams because the recommended intake is up to1,200 ml only. But remember too much calcium may increase the risk of prostate cancer.

  • Alpha males use omega-3 fats: Less risk of heart desease and diabetes and reduce inflammation throughout the body. If you can't each fish twice a week, try eaggs with high omega-3 (can be found in label on the tray).

  • Make a plan: Include the following on your plan:

  • 1) Meals and snacks are based on some lean protein source.
    2) More meals are better than fewer. Ideal is 5 or 6 meals a day.
    3) Low-fat and high-fat diets can both work, but one that cuts almost all fat is doomed.
    4) Eat best carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

    Just a thought

    Well, there are a lot of things to do and remember but one step at a time will probably do than doing nothing at all. I am not going to promise anything but I'm going to do my best to get back in shape. I'll keep you posted for the progress of my combat to lose weight and stay fit once agian.

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