Great calorie burning exercise

19 06 2012

Yesterday I ended up eating 2x as much as I should have for dinner (triple patty in n out burger, 2 pieces of bacon, bread and cheese, veggies, big slice of costco pizza), so I wanted to do a quick workout to burn some calories about thirty minutes afterwards to help manage the insulin spike.  I remembered this great workout to burn calories quickly: burpees.


  1. Start in pushup position
  2. Do a pushup
  3. When you return to pushup position, pop your legs forward between your hands so you’re in a crouched position
  4. Jump
  5. Land, absorbing the impact of the jump and returning to a crouch
  6. Pop your legs back so that you are in the pushup position again.  That’s 1 rep

You can do these to really stress your cardio-vascular system quickly.  I was winded after 10 reps!  Speed is important, as it is an explosive exercise.  Video below.

Self Experimentation: Ice Age

23 05 2012

Over the weekend I seriously cheated on my diet.  I went to SF to help my friend move back to Orange County and basically had a mini vacation of eating and drinking.  Anyway I’m back and the damage isn’t too bad, 177 pounds at last weigh in, up from about 175.

Although my weight loss is progressing, I decided to add a couple things from Tim Ferriss’s book “The Four Hour Body“, the chapter on “Ice Age.” The basic premise is that if your body is cold it must burn calories to heat back up.  There is some extra science in there, stuff about brown fat and how cold may stimulate it etc, but all that really matters is that introducing a little cold can catapult fat loss results results.  He has some crazy suggestions, but I am looking to add just a little extra “umph,” not to go crazy with it, so all I’m going to add is:

  • drinking 0.5 liters of ice cold water in the morning
  • switch to cold showers

I should note that I have taken cold showers before, but that was mainly to see if I could do it to save energy.  Once you get used to it, they’re not that bad.

To adjust, simply take normal showers, then at the end of each one add 30 seconds of as cold as you can take.  Once you can stay in for 30 seconds at the coldest setting, you’re ready to switch to a complete cold shower.  A small tip, when you first start, have the water hit your lower back, where your tramp stamp is.  I noticed that I don’t really feel the cold when it hits that spot and it helped me adjust.  If you really want to save the planet, switch to navy showers which are cold.  A step further would be to not shower every day.

The idea that cold can catapult weight loss shows a missing piece of the puzzle that is fat loss and human health.  People always talk about diet and exercise, but they don’t think about how most of the 1st world is temperature controlled and that this might play a roll.  There are some interesting implications.  A good observation is that morning cup of hot coffee you drink.  That cup of coffee helps warm your body up, which is the opposite of the ingesting ice cold water tactic.  Since I will be drinking 0.5 liters of ice cold water in the morning, I will not be drinking hot tea or coffee, at least not until a few hours later.



Intermittent Fasting is kicking ass

15 05 2012

This morning I weighed myself in at about 175 pounds.  I don’t weigh myself religiously, but here’s a few of the weights that I did measure (note, I stopped doing GOMAD on 4-11-12):

4-10-12 182 pounds

4-25-12 180 pounds

5-2-12 178.5 pounds

5-15-12 175 pounds

In other words, in the past 5 weeks I’ve lost 7 pounds!  Taking into account water weight, bloat, and measuring error, saying I lost 5 pounds in 5 weeks is fair, and that would be mean about 1 pound per week.  Doesn’t sound like much?  If you lost 1 pound per week for a year, you’d have lost 52 pounds!

I have been following an intermittent fasting diet since 5-6-12, just over a week.  It’s important to mention that my diet has been far less than perfect in the past week, due to birthdays and mother’s day.  Yet, despite eating plenty of trash food, I have continued to lose weight!

Obviously I would lose weight in the first few weeks after I stopped drinking a gallon of milk a day; however, I believe that my progress would have stalled by now if I had not started intermittent fasting.  I still have a bit of a gut, so the next few weeks will show if I can continue losing weight stay tuned!


Self Experiment: Intermittent Fasting

6 05 2012

4-10-12 I weighed about 182 pounds

5-6-12 Today I weighed in at about 178 pounds, and this is after cheating the past two days.

Four pounds in 1 month isn’t bad at all, but just for fun I’m going to add a new experiment, intermittent fasting, specifically the leangains diet.

The basics:

  • Eat only between noon and 8 pm.
  • Stay on same general diet.  High protein, medium fat, s/low carb.
  • Keep off alcohol.  Besides yesterday, I haven’t been drinking alcohol at all.  May is the month when most of my friends have birthdays, so we’ll see, but I’ll probably minimize it to once per week at most.

And that’s it!


Hypothesis:  I really have none.  Even without intermittent fasting, I should continue to lose weight since I stopped drinking a gallon of milk a day and continue to workout intensely.  After I get where I want to be, I’ll continue IMF and see if I can bring my BF% even lower without much effort.

Follow up: Video to come when I feel I’m where I want to be.

Self Experimentation: Sleeping on the ground

22 03 2012

"You should be sleeping on a wooden board for at least a week!"

I’ve decided to experiment with sleeping on the ground. The idea first came to me, oddly enough, from watching Seinfeld.  Kramer realigns Elaine’s spine, she gets hurt again from sleeping on her mattress and Kramer says something like, “you should be sleeping on a wooden board for at least a week! It’s common sense!”  After thinking about it a bit, I wondered, why do we need beds anyway?  I don’t imagine humans evolved sleeping on beds, I mean imagine following a heard of antelope and lugging around a 50 pound mattress.  At best we slept on grass or some kind of mat, at worst the ground.  That was my main  jumping off point for trying this experiment.  After already deciding to try this experiment I did a little reading, such as this article, but for the most part I’m trying it out to sate my own curiosity.

You’re probably thinking, “you’re crazy Russell!  Everyone sleeps on a mattress, why even try?”  Here are a few of my reasons:

  1. My bed is extravagant, and I’m striving to be as minimalist as possible.
  2. Sleeping on the ground takes up a lot less room, and all of my sleeping gear can be folded up and stored if more space is necessary.  My room feels much more open without my queen sized bed taking up the bulk of it.
  3. If I am able to sleep on the ground, I can sleep anywhere in the world and not have to worry about it.  I won’t be reliant on my bed for a good night’s rest.
  4. There may be possible benefits, some outlined in this article.  Any benefits, aside from those listed above, would ancillary and are not the main reason for my experiment.

Below is a photo of the setup I’m going to be trying.  I have a camping mat, a bed cover, a sheet, a fleece blanket, and a comforter (these two blankets are good enough for southern California).  Note: I started on 3-19-12.

Since this is an experiment I should have some kind of hypothesis.  Hypothesis: sleeping in this situation will result no negative change, ie back problems, problems sleeping, etc.  I will note any differences in my life in future blog posts or on my ongoing experiment page.

Ciao – Russell