Monday, August 29, 2011

Treadmill "Backpacking"

This is actually what the Fitness Dweeb command center looks like...

I just wanted to share this little exercise I do with you all. The nutritionist I've been seeing for the past two months told me about it. He's an old school body builder and knows how to shred the fat. I've not seen much of a drop in scale weight since I started following his meal plans, BUT that doesn't mean I haven't dropped any body fat. According to his caliper measurements I've dropped a ton of fat and built up a ton of muscle at the same time. When I went to him two weeks ago I was only seeing a 1lb drop on the scale, well it turned out that I lost 10.5lbs of body fat, but gained 9.5lb of muscles, so there would be my one pound scale difference. See, it's not always about the scale.

Anyway, he introduced me to a new exercise that is guaranteed to make you sweat your butt off and shred body fat. It's not a cardiovascular exercise.  The point of this exercise is not to get your heart rate up, but to make you work your muscles hard over a long period of time at a slower pace and lower impact.  This is an exercise that should put you in "fat burning zone".  I've been curious what exactly  "fat burning zone" meant so I had to search it:

The fat-burning zone. Yes, it exists, but it has been misinterpreted. The fat-burning zone is a concept that the body burns a greater amount of fat at lower-intensity aerobic exercise than it does at higher intensities. Actually, the body burns a greater percentage of fat at lower intensities than at higher intensities. At lower intensities the body may burn 50 percent of the calories from fat, while at higher intensities it may only burn 35 percent. But at higher intensities you burn way more total calories—and more fat calories overall—than you do at lower intensities.(from (Further reading: another article on Fat Burning Zone in USNews)

So basically it's a long slow burn, and you're targeting the fat calories more effectively than doing high intensity training (which is basically anything like kick boxing, bootcamp work outs, sprint intervals etc.), but you also have to do these exercises for a longer period of seems to me it's a toss up as to what type of exercise is absolutely 100% efficient.  I do this exercise in ADDITION to my bootcamp work outs, running, and soccer, so while I may shred fat with this activity the other exercises I do help me tone muscle.  

I like this treadmill work out because it really is a great sweat...I'm sweating out the toxins as they say :) and it's an exercise anyone can try.  You don't need to be fast or strong or coordinated, you just need to be willing to put in the effort and the time!

Anyway, here's the exercise:


All you need is a backpack, access to a treadmill and some free weights.

Try this out with out the backpack first...

  • Set the treadmill at the highest incline which is 15.
  • Don't let your speed go over 2.5, try to stay between 2.3-2.5
  • If walking uphill at 2.5 is too easy, add weights to a backpack and walk on the treadmill with the backpack. Try starting out at 10lbs, increase to 15 or 20lbs if necessary (I use 15lbs).
  • Walk "uphill" for a minimum of 45 minutes, 3x a week.
  • DO NOT HOLD ON TO THE TREADMILL, that is cheating and you are not using your muscles to get yourself up that "hill".

Your heart rate should not spike or get high for a long period of time as if you were running or sprinting, but you WILL sweat so so much! This activity is supposed to feel like walking up a mountain.  I promise you that's what it will feel like.  You will be tired and worn out.  Make sure you have a water bottle with you to stay hydrated....also it can get kinda boring on a treadmill for 45minutes so have some good music handy or grab the one in front of the tv and catch up on the news.

Also, make sure you have a good backpack.  I actually didn't own one since I'd been out of school for so long, but I went out and bought a bag that I think will be pretty versatile for me.  I can use it for school, hiking, travel and these exercises :)

I bought this Kelty bag...because it was extremely comfortable, it has a waist belt to keep the weight off my shoulders (if you have a bad shoulder like me this is a BIG plus...probably a MUST have for your next backpack purchase), and the shoulder straps are contoured and very comfortable.  The back of the pack has an aluminum "spine" for even more stability.

I asked my resident backpacking/hiking/all things outdoors expert (my cousin's hubby...we'll call him Bearded Vegan) if this was a good bag and he said that Kelty bags were good middle of the road packs, and he also recommended that I use sand bags instead of free weights because they won't wear out the fabric as easily and it will extend the life of the bag...Really good advice!!  Plus I have a lifetime warranty which I didn't know because clearly I don't read tags.  So thanks Bearded Vegan!  I'm happy with my purchase :).

Ok, so now that we've gotten the technical part of this post out of the way...I just wanted to share an email from my cousin (she's the one who married Bearded Vegan ...we don't hold that against her), anyway, I told her I hadn't given up on the blog...and this is her response... she knows me TOO well: 

"Imagine how excited you would get if the characters from true blood made a guest appearance on Game of Thrones and played a soccer match with their characters.  That is how excited I am that you are blogging again."

Like I said she knows me TOO WELL.  AND did you actually picture what that soccer match would be like between these characters??  If you're anything like me of course you did! But what advantage would Game of Thrones characters have over the super naturals of True Blood.  If true blood had a mixed bag of players, no more than two vamps on the field at one time, none could be keeper.. .and also no shape-shifting allowed on the field..hrm, well I'm thinking the only way Game of Thrones characters could have an advantage is if they wore silver pinnies to stop the vamps.

Welcome to my brain!
It's a strange place to be.

Anyway, this post needs more soccer so I'm stealing this video off of Kickette because it's awesome... and this is how the game of golf should be played...  Here's Diego Forlan, Uruguayan national player, kicking ass on the links.

p.s. Even if I played this way I'd still be shooting like 5 or 6 over par every hole. MULLIGAN!

p.s.s. Half marathon training is chugging right along. I'm improving my time a lot this year. I finished 8 miles in 1hr23mins on Saturday before that "little storm" called Irene hit our area.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Well it's Official...

If you haven't seen this movie...we can no longer be friends. 

So this morning I decided to bite the bullet and register for the college algebra class I've been dreading preparing for by going to a tutor to refill my brain with all the math I've forgotten over the past ten years... I think it was a coping mechanism.  Math was not my favorite subject, I did well enough in it, but just because I tolerated it didn't mean I liked it.

No seriously though, I am kind of having fun with math... so let's make this post all about math!  Math has a lot to do with nutrition.  I use it every day to measure portions and calculate calories.

So lets say we have a turkey sandwhich that is 3" wide and 4" tall, if we cut it on a diagonal what is the hypotenuse of our sandwhich.

Well... assuming our bread forms a perfect right triangle.. which maybe it does that is yet to be known... we can use the Pythagorean theorem!

Pythagoras was a pretty smart dude, he figured out in a right-angled triangle the area of the square on the hypotenuse (the side opposite the right angle) is equal to the sum of the areas of the squares of the other two sides...huh... ?


^^ This is our half of a turkey sandwich^^

So... if we have 3^2 + 4^2 = c^2

so, 9 + 16 = 25

take the square root of 25 you get 5, so c=5

So the theorem works: 3^2 +4^2 = 5^2

And that means our bread was baked in a tin that made it a perfect 90 degree angle!
(because of course all bread is baked like that in real life :))

Honestly, the Pythagorean theorem probably has nothing to do with my day to day applications of weighing and measuring my food, but it's fun! And it makes me feel smart.

But... lets say you're on a diet and one of your meals requires exactly 25.88g of protein.  The suggested serving is 100g of a can of tuna.

So based off of my meal plan 100g of canned tuna = 25.88g of protein.  But you go in the cabinet and you're out of tuna... so what else can you replace your 25.88g of lean protein with??

How about chicken breast?

Hrm, according to calorie king 100g of chicken breast is 31g of protein. 

But you should only have 25.88g of protein in this meal.

How much chicken can you have?

Guess what, I have no freakin clue! This is why I'm going to a tutor.  I'm not math saavy enough, but if you play around on calorie king long enough and plug in the numbers you can have 83g of chicken breast. There's got to be a way to figure this out other than clicking till you get the right number!!?!

... wait a light bulb went off... 

last night I was retaught to cross multiply when trying to find the length of a sides of similar triangles...and I was taught to set up my formula to solve for the angle not given... that the similar side of each triangle determines your numerator and denominator (ie side a of triangle 1 is similar to side g of triangle 2 so a/g etc. side b of triangle 1 is similar to side x of triangle 2 so b/x... I was given the values of a, b, & g so I had to solve for x )... anyway, before I go off on too much of a tangent...

(I just did a happy dance and I'm not even kidding!)

 We know based off a 100g portion of chicken we get 31g of protein so 31g/100g
we have to have 25.88g of protein but what is our portion??... that is "X"

31g/100g = 25.88g / x

Protein servings / portion size

Cross multiply you get 31x = 2588
Divide each side by 31...
31 is eliminated from one side of the equation leaving x by itself

x= 83.48g of chicken!!

I can't believe I just figured that out... that means I'm actually retaining this knowledge.

Algebra CAN be applied to weighing and portioning out your food.

Alright I'm done geeking out.

School officially starts August 29th, this is the first step towards becoming a registered dietitian. I'm only taking one class because it's all I can afford to do right now and it's all I have time for as well.  If i can survive this then maybe I can survive biology, and microbiology... and then organic chemistry...ugh what am I getting myself into.