Once again it’s been a long time since I have been active in maintaining my blog. I am restarting it again and I have also been posting videos on my YouTube page again. I’ll put the link at the bottom. Right now they have been supplement reviews but at least I’m getting active with it again.
A lot has changed since my last post. I don’t remember if I mentioned that I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and have been receiving IV infusions for it. UC has changed my life and I am trying to adapt to the changes as best as I can but it is not easy. It starts with the food I eat. A lot of the food I used to eat I had to give up. I can’t eat lettuce so salads are out as are most fruits and vegetables. I gave up peanuts and peanut butter, almost all dairy, I try to avoid bread and gluten. It is not easy. Some things that don’t affect me today when I have it will hurt me the next time I try it. It’s really hard to predict how and what will set it off.
I’ve been in an active “flare” for over a year. It has made doing the simplest things difficult and has caused a lot of embarrassing times and uncomfortable situations. It is hard for me to go to the gym because I keep having to run to the locker room and when I get back someone else is using the machine I vacated. This has caused me to buy my own gym equipment for my garage but I still go to the gym when I travel for work. (more on that part of my life in future posts).
This blog is going to be more than a place for me to post about my working out, it’s going to be a place for me to open up about being healthy and dealing with my UC while pushing myself every day. I will still be posting reviews of supplements and other things and posts from my YouTube vlog as well as stories about me, my wife and my dog Chance. They are my rock and safe place throughout all of this.
So stay tuned for more.
Average Steve’s Fitness Vlog
My big issue lately has been that even though I am still working out 3-5 days a week and not eating too badly (I slip here and there), I have stopped losing weight. I would love to say that I hit a plateau but that wouldn’t be true. I have actually started gaining weight.
Since I started doing a “Biggest Loser” challenge with my wife and friend I have lost weight. From January first to April 1st I lost 3.2% from 180.5 to 175.4 and that was weigh in on a good day. At times during the challenge I was around 171-172 and feeling great. Now it is possible that I have gained muscle which adds weight since muscle weighs more than fat and I do see what looks like bigger arms, but nothing that would cause me to gain 5-6 pounds of it.
I remain active and we are going to be continuing the challenge or starting it brand new and I am going to try to do some more things to try to maintain myself and hopefully cut some of the fat. During the challenge I was able to gauge my body fat percentage and currently it is around 14.4 where as at points during the challenge it was around 11-12. Hopefully I can get back to this, not sure which diet I should try since I feel like they all leave me hungry and I end up eating more food as a result. It seems like dieting actually makes me worse than when I eat whatever I want to eat. Strange I know.
Stay tuned and I will post again shortly!
So apparently today is 1 year since I have started this blog and I know it has been a long time since I have posted an entry. I also know that I have said that on my last post or 2 but hopefully the road blocks are now done and I can continue with this blog like I had originally planned.
In the last year (and what a year it has been) my life has been all over the place. I changed positions at my job and with that came and entire lifestyle change. Gone were the long train rides followed by the subway to work everyday and in were long drives to work followed by longer hours. The upside is that I get to at least drive my car everyday instead of paying for a car a barely touch but the downside is I am still away from home a lot more than I would want to be.
The location that I am at now moves at a slower pace than my last location which has lead to some unhealthy eating habits that I have had to keep in check. Longer hours with less busy work and moving around means more snacking and that hunger that comes from sitting. With effort I have been able to change things around several times and I am back to eating healthy and having healthy snacks.
I have also been able an “office gym”. This means that I have a drawer which includes: rotating push up handles, 25 pound adjustable dumbbells, yoga ma and elastic stretch bands. This has helped me to stay healthy while at work and not miss a workout, especially during the busy time of year where I was working up 7 days a week and all my shifts were at least 12.5 hours long. It hasn’t been easy but this set up has been a big help.
I am have been active with my YouTube page but would like to be doing more. Right now I have a few reviews and box openings but I would like to develop it into more of a vlog web show type thing instead of just another place where someone reviews products. I enjoy trying new stuff and talking about it but I would like to show more diversity in what I post.
Another great addition to my life has been my puppy Chance. He is amazing, we got him last summer and he has changed my life for the best. He is a 50 pound hound/lab mix and loves to explore and has become a great hiking companion for my wife and I. We are even going as far as to planning our vacation around him. A road trip to Florida where everything we do and everywhere we stay is dog friendly.
Lastly, I have finished my home gym. Where it won’t replace me going to an actual gym (because I can’t afford all the equipment nor do I have the room) it helps keep my wife and I in shape on days where we are home and can’t make it to the gym. For a home gym it sure is a great set up and I am very happy to have it.
Stay tuned as I will hopefully be better at posting more. Check me out on YouTube, search for averagestevesfitnessvlog and on instagram.
It has been a long time since I have had the time or energy to sit down and type stuff that isn’t work related but that doesn’t mean I have stopped working to achieve my goals.
I have been continuing my workout plan and coming to the end of the 6th week which also happens to be the end of the first half of the plan. I can see and feel the changes and if you follow me on Instagram then you can see them as well. I am very happy with my progress especially when I look back and see how my weight numbers are going up every week.
It is a slow road, there is no shortcut for hard work but if you enjoy what the work that goes into it than there is no such thing as hard work. There are some exercises that I hate doing (bench press, squats) but all that means is that I need to give myself an extra push to do it and shatter my previous personal records.
The Youtube page is up and running and has a few videos and reviews already posted. You can visit at Youtube until I get the chance to purchase a domain name for it. I am enjoying making the videos and hopefully they actually help someone when it comes to purchasing supplements and other random stuff.
I will keep coming back to post more, it just may be few and far between but I am loving the video aspect and have been putting a lot of my free time into filming and editing the videos and putting them online. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and “like” the videos. Your support means the world to me.
3 weeks into my new workout plan “JIM STOPPANI’S 12-WEEK SHORTCUT TO SIZE” I am still alive and going strong. I know that I may not be fulfilling the calorie requirements but it is hard to go from eating around 1700 calories to suddenly jump up to 3500. That is more than double! Not going to happen, but I have been following the workouts and I can see the changes that my body has earned for itself, though I did need someone else to show me before I could actually see the difference.
I have been learning new exercises which is one of the key reasons that I decided to make this change in gym life. The breakdown of the workout days has been very helpful. It spreads leg workouts throughout the week (as well as has a day where more time is dedicated to leg day) and I don’t feel like I am overdoing my arms. It has allowed my elbows to feel better, though the increase in other exercises has caused my shoulders to hurt a little big more.
I highly recommend this plan for anyone who is looking for a new way to organize their workouts as well as learn new things.
Since starting, my chest is more defined as well as my abs. As my friend Opi puts it, back in October I had a muffin top and now you can see the beginning of a 6-pack starting. Good things for me to hear. My arms have also grown a little bit but has also been toning up. Looking more vascular as well, as long as I don’t get to the freaky type of vascular. The circumference of my neck has gone down, but my shoulders look more bulked as well as my face is now thinning. I am comparing a lot of this to how I looked back in October.
Case and point, the plan is going great and I am looking forward to the next 9 weeks of going forward with it.
This past week I posted my first vlog on my YouTube channel. You can check it out at Amazon Protein Sample Pack Video. Please watch and subscribe to my YouTube channel!
This week I started a new workout plan that I selected on my BodySpace app. I chose “Jim Stoppani’s 12-Week Shortcut to Size” program because it said it would transform my body into the style I want i to be. So far I have done 3 of the workouts included and I can feel it. I call shenanigans on these workouts taking 45 minutes a day, I have been as the gym for over an hour and a half each day so far when they quote 45 minutes. Understanding that recovery takes more or less time per person but it is still a lot to do in a workout to call it 45 minutes.
According to the workout plan I should also be consuming 3500 calories on workout days and 3100 on non-workout days. That is a ton of calories especially when I usually only consume 1500-1700. Asking my to double that and it probably won’t happen. I have been able to increase my intake though. This week I have been between 2100-2600 and I think that is as far as I can get before I start to feel sick from the feeling of eating too much.
My calories are up as well as my protein intake and along with the workout, I am feeling good. I enjoy being at the gym for long periods of time so I don’t have an issue with that but if you are expecting a short time at the gym than you are wrong.
I will be posting pictures of my changes as time goes by. I have been taking pictures every morning and I am hoping to see some positive changes to match the positive feelings that I am having about this workout plan!
Currently I belong to 3 gyms, yeah I know that is a lot but one of my memberships expires this month and won’t be renewed (the University gym which is my favorite gym). Usually my go-to after the university is Retro Fitness which is your standard 20 dollar a month gym which has all the free-weights and machines that one would expect to find in a gym.
Since my wife is going to be working at a new university which is too far away for me to use their gym, we decided that we would join a cheap gym in the area on the side (it is also a second gym membership for her) so we joined Planet Fitness for 10 dollars a month, comes out to $10.70 with tax. Not bad for a 24-7 gym.
My first impression after getting the tour at Planet Fitness was wow, this place sure is purple and clean. Once I got past how clean things looked and how much cardio equipment they carry I realized that the gym tour didn’t show any free weights. They have an awesome section for a 30 minute workout as well as a 12 minute ab station which I love but where are the free weights?
I finally found them in the corner. Shocked that they hid these in the tour because it takes up a nice size portion of the gym, they have 8 or 9 adjustable/flat benches as well as a curl bar rack, 2 double row racks of dumbbells and 4 smith machines with adjustable benches. That is a lot of equipment but the problem is that if you don’t like doing your exercise on the smith machine than you are stuck. There are no free barbells. Bench presses, squats, deadlifts, they can only be done on the smith machine and it gives the machine a strange feeling. Needless to say I won’t be doing these exercises at this gym.
Outside of exercises needing a free barbell, this gym has everything I want for a low price. The best part of the gym I would say (other than 24-7) is that everyone there is nice and people put their weights back where they belong. When I go to Retro Fitness I notice a lot of people just leave their dumbbells on the floor or put them anywhere on the rack instead of where they belong. At Planet Fitness, everything was there it was supposed to be.
So the skinny of the post is that I am enjoying the gym as long as I don’t have to do anything with a barbell that day.
Finding an exercise that can be done just as well in the gym as it can be done at home is not easy. Whether it is due to the equipment not being the same quality, the space being to small or just the not vibe in the room, working out at home can be difficult. I happened to come across a great article from BodyBuilding.com (link will be posted at the bottom) about push ups. Was shocked to see an article about something so basic that I was forced to do in gym class back in elementary school but figured it worth the read.
The article titled “How (And Why!) To Do Push Ups” shows the benefits of doing the body weight exercise and explains how it helps to benefit the muscles that are not being used during the bench press. To me the part that hit home was when they talked about scapula movement and the benefits in mobility and strength to the area around it. After having two shoulder operations in the past, my shoulders feel fine and are strong but I get a pain behind the shoulder blade which I can seem to sooth. Push ups may not sooth the pain but they at least stimulate the muscle in the shoulder where the pain and discomfort is more tolerable.
Other variations of push up which are not mentioned but also help to make push ups more of an all around upper body exercise is to add an incline or a decline. This works out different muscles in the chest as well as the arms and shoulders and allows for different types of mobility.
In order to do either the incline or decline push up, a weight bench or another solid object that is 3 feet wide and 1 to 1.5 feet high is required.
For the incline push up place your hands at the comfortable place on top of the bench with your feet on the ground and allow yourself to slowly lower your chest to the bench and than squeeze your chest when your press to raise yourself from the bench.
The decline is similar yet the opposite. The main difference is now your feet are on the bench and your hands are on the floor and you want to bring your chest as low to the floor as possible before squeezing your chest together and pushing back up.
I did 3 sets of 15 reps of each type of push up which comes out to 135 total. The fun thing about this is I can always add more reps or more sets as needed but that I can do this exercise at home and still feel as if I had a complete chest workout.
BodyBuilding.com – How (And Why!) To Do Push-Ups