Tag Archives: weight loss

Hypoglycemia and Candles

It is mid-July and Chris weighs 203 lbs.  When contest prep started, back in mid-May, he weighed about 220 lbs.  He competes in October.  He feels good about his progress.

When I tell people these numbers (and people want to know these numbers), the logical question they ask is how much more weight he has to lose.  The answer isn’t simple.

Two years ago when Chris last competed, he weighed 196 lbs a week before the competition.  His starting weight, 6 months before that competition, was 227 lbs and by three months into contest prep, very roughly corresponding to where he is now, his weight was 202 lbs.

So how much more does he have to lose?

Well, hopefully, he has gained muscle over the last two years and will appear both more muscular and less fat (“leaner,” we say) when he competes this time.  More muscle increases weight and less fat decreases weight.  So we really can’t predict what body weight he’ll compete at.  A good estimate is “something around what he competed at last time give or take many pounds.”  Helpful huh?  He works with Layne Norton and puts full faith in Layne to help him reach the weight where he’ll look his best.

To find Chris’s previous body weights just now, I consulted the case study we published on Chris’s physiology during his last contest prep.  In this case study, we found that, around this time during the last contest prep, Chris’s fasting blood glucose was low enough for us to classify him as hypoglycemic.  The next time, one week before Chris’s competition, that we measured his fasting blood glucose, it was back in the normal range.  What’s interesting here is that, in the weeks before Chris left for Florida, he had a few periods of mild hypoglycemic symptoms which tended to occur under reproducible circumstances (a meal containing significant carbohydrate followed by an intense morning workout).  In the last few weeks, since he’s been in Florida, he hasn’t been experiencing the hypoglycemic symptoms.  We speculate that what happened last time may have happened again:  his body struggles to maintain his glucose levels initially during the contest prep but eventually adjusts.

Back when Chris was having the occasional hypoglycemic symptoms, we visited the Yankee candle outlet in Oklahoma City.  Chris loves the Yankee candle outlet.  Big-bodybuilder-man loves smelling candles.  Like a hyperactive middle-school girl, he has to de-lid every single scent of candle to sniff it and evaluate.  That day, though, he held himself back from full candle exuberance as he finished sniffing a cinnamon scented candle, leaned back, and told me, “Whoa, I think these candles are making me secrete insulin.”  That’s probably a common bodybuilder problem:  candle-smelling-induced excess insulin secretion triggering acute hypoglycemia.  Oh Chris.

“This is my store.” -Chris (seriously, he really said this)

So you think you know what high-intensity interval training is…

Today I creepily hovered over Chris with the video camera while he performed high-intensity intervals on the bike.  You haven’t seen intensity until you’ve seen these.

Below I present intervals #1, #3, #5, #7, and #8.  Why watch 5 intervals of a guy on a bike?Because the intensity is impressive and it’s interesting to watch his interval performance over time. Why are videos of all 8 intervals not included? Because you can get the idea well enough from 5.

Be sure to watch each video to the end (they’re short) to see the true face of exhaustion. If you’re only going to skim this post and just want to watch one video, I highly recommend the second to last video in this post, “Interval #7”.

Ok, first interval completed. Seven more to go. (Each interval lasts 20 seconds and is followed by a 1 minute and 40 second “rest” period of light cycling.)

Geez our gym is loud. That one looked a little harder. Quite a bit of cheek breathing going on there. That was interval #3. After the first 4 intervals, Chris takes an additional 2 minutes of light-cycling “rest.” This is planned.

That was interval #5. Nothing like a close-up of the face with a video camera when you want to vomit!

Watch that next time you feel like giving a half-butt effort at the gym. That’s the face of getting results!

And done. He then took a nap right on the machine for the next 25 minutes. Well, no, but you could almost believe that’s what happened next right?  What happened next was a gentle cool down on the bike, stretching, and then a nice drive home from the gym past this wonderful field that has a llama and cows in it.

Quite a workout huh?

After the last interval

After the last interval

dfgdf

The tranquil drive home from the gym past the cow / llama pasture

The Spreadsheet of Life

Today we discuss The Spreadsheet of Life.

I posted a screenshot of The Spreadsheet of Life previously, when it was in it’s infancy.  You will see today that, at 3.5 weeks of age, it has matured into quite the chubby-cheeked child.

The Spreadsheet of Life

The Spreadsheet of Life 

Let us now look deep into The Spreadsheet of Life.

In the first three columns are general notes of scheduled events (such as the Indianapolis trip), the number of weeks until the bodybuilding show, and the date (complete with year, in case the current year is forgotten one can only assume).

The fourth column contains Chris’s step count for the day in a color-coded system where medium-green is the optimal color.

I haven’t mentioned Chris’s step counting before so I guess I better briefly explain:  he found a pedometer at his parents’ house last winter and has been wearing it ever since. In my understanding, he shoots for around the recommended 10,000 steps a day but doesn’t go too out of his way if the count falls short. (Sometimes if he’s less than 100 steps away from 10,000 at the end of day, he’ll pace back and forth in our small apartment to get those last steps in, so that’s weird, but it doesn’t happen too often, so it still falls in the “cute and amusing” rather than the “I must get him to stop this” category of significant-other behavior.)

So, back to the step counts on the spreadsheet.  It’s neat to see that the step counts almost doubled when we were in Indianapolis.  Probably all that walking to the bridge (that we ran over quickly) and to CVS for cottage cheese.

In the next column, we see his body weight in kgs. Ha! No, it’s in lbs. Good one huh? I make this hilarious joke because we can see Chris has found it necessary to include units in the headings of all the other measurements in this spreadsheet which is very important in case he were to look back later at say, May 24th, and think he had eaten 244 kg of protein instead of 244 g. Were he later trying to replicate this diet, he would have to eat a large hippopotamus to get 244 kg of protein, which is the exact weight of “Hippopotamus C” in this algebra problem and thus definitely a real hippopotamus weight.

But I digress.

We were discussing the weight (in lbs) column of The Spreadsheet of Life.  The weight loss has been very steady with the exception of the time in Indianapolis when traveling-induced disruptions in the digestive flow, shall we say, probably hampered weight loss a bit.

In the next column, we see Chris’s protein, fat, and carb intakes (in g, not kg) complete with colored bars to visually compare quantity consumed across days.  Next we see calculated Calories, macronutrient percentages, and workouts performed.

My favorite entry in the spreadsheet is on May 20th in the workout column:  “Off (tornado)”. That entry makes me laugh and yet, in a way, it’s profound. That tornado was such a huge event.  But life goes on. Training goes on.  And an unscheduled off-day needs to have a reason recorded next to it in The Spreadsheet of Life. Thus, “Off (tornado)”.

As contest prep progresses, I will post more screenshots of The Spreadsheet of Life as it grows up.