Fitness Updates (December 2018)

I thought I’d give some updates to my fitness goals and progress.

#1 Project Cardio

After many years of doing no cardio, I decided to add some to my fitness routine. You can read my reasons in the post Cardio Motivations and Expectations.

I quickly discovered that the elliptical machine was perfect for me. I don’t hold the handles. It never felt natural. Some smarter people than me online do the same. Not holding the handles can reduce the risk of lower back pain.

I’ve gone from 2 sessions a week at 15-20 minutes to 3 sessions at 25-30 minutes. I’m easing into it to minimize injury risk and so I don’t have spikes of hunger. I’ve been successful on both so far. I have been more tired, but I believe that is from the super-short days we are having in the Pacific NW.

In addition to the elliptical machine, I’ve started swimming. A few laps here and there when the pool is not crowded.

#2 Increasing Protein

After doing the Potato Hack and the Peasant Diet for so long, I wanted to dial up the protein to preserve muscle. I explain why in the post Less Peasant, More Bodybuilder. I’m naturally not a high protein eater, but I’ve been getting better.

Maybe too good. As good as the potato hack is, it is even better when you stack it with some high protein meals. I’m getting even leaner, which was not my intent. I wanted to add more muscle this winter. You need calories for muscle. So I have reduced my potato intake to increase my appetite a bit.

This stacking potatoes with protein is a super powerful fat loss strategy. I might share more details if there is interest. It is crazy effective. (UPDATE:  Potatoes and Protein – A No Hunger Template For Fat Loss)

#3 FMD / Protein Cycling

I already covered how I dialed in a simple way to do a 5-day Fasting Mimicking Fast. You can see that post at Simplified Fasting Mimicking Diet / Protein Cycling Diet. Having sauna access means I can do these more frequently (maybe 4-6 times a year) without feeling cold.

#4 Knee Issues

My knee is getting better. I’ve had some minor setbacks, but the trend is positive. I have discovered goblet box squats and single-leg exercises are helping a lot.

Also one day recently, I was running late to an event where I was the host. I refuse to be late for anything and I also don’t pay for parking, so I was forced to run 0.8 miles to be on time. My first run in probably a decade. I felt fine. I actually felt good. Interesting.

10 Comments

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  1. @MAS
    Thanks for the update. Potato hack + Protein stack info please, at your convenience.

  2. @Jim – Oh, I will. Details will be coming soon.

    @All – I added one more update to a new post.
    https://criticalmas.org/2018/12/coffee-tests-on-an-empty-stomach/

  3. You will not be well received by the HIT community for the aerobics addition. Congratulations and commendations are in order.

  4. I would also love to hear about protein + potatoes. I’m starting my first potato practice (not the full hack yet) tomorrow (potatoes are cooked and waiting in fridge). I’m not a big protein lover, but would be interested to hear if adding legumes seems okay.

  5. @Madeline

    On the classic potato hack, don’t use the legumes.
    On the potato and protein version, they work great.

    They are both great tools. I’ll cover when to use which in that post, which I hope to have out in the next week. But first, I have one more potato post I need to get before the protein one.

  6. Trying again, my comment disappeared. I’m adding a vote to hear about potatoes + protein!

  7. @Madeline – I see your comment from yesterday. Responded this morning. See above.

  8. I just found out about your website here yesterday, and it is FANTASTIC! You keep things like training simple and basic, no bs, and that I really enjoy, Im 60 yrs old love to exercise, got off the weights and now for the past 15 yrs do nothing but bodyweight exercises and a minimalist type of routine, 2 bad knees after 25 yrs of running. I have a question for you, what are your thoughts on brisk walking for cardio? I have been doing this and its better for my knees plus I really enjoy being ourside.keep up the great work, you have a new member in me, following your information here, thank you again for a great website!

  9. @Dean – Good question. For me, I don’t reach high enough of a heart rate when I brisk walk, unless it is on hills. For me, the elliptical is better. But, you can test your heart rate on your walks to see if you are in the cardo zone.

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