Buff Buddies Week 15: Wrapping Up

It’s nearing the last week of Buff Buddies. This entry will be another short one. The snow is starting to melt so I planned on doing one last snow boarding trip before winter ends.

Week 15 was definitely a fun week. My girlfriend and I have this traditional bad movie marathon where we would watch bad movies and eat junk food the entire day before Valentine’s Day. This year, however, we actually went with a less junk food filled route and stuck to more healthier options such as vegetables with hummus, zucchini bagel sandwiches, and tortellini soup. On Valentine’s day we set out to go hiking for several hours then chowing on Udon and catching the Deadpool movie.

The rest of the week I spent pushing myself in my Parkour training. I am working hard to get into the advance classes before this summer. I have been showing a lot of progress in such a short amount of time since joining the classes. Now that week 15 is over I will be moving on to the final week of Buff Buddies to do a recap of the entire adventure. Good luck to my fellow buff buddies on their final week!

Buff Buddies Week 12-14: Climbing Higher

It’s been a little while since my last Buff Buddies entry. I recently had some technical issues with my blog making me unable to post my latest update. The past 3 weeks have definitely been a mix of feelings from entertaining to exhausting to say the least.

In week 12 I continued on my personal challenge to do the Spartan Workout of the Day (WOD) every day. I ended up succeeding in nearly all of them, except for Saturday, which tasked me to run over 3 hours consecutively. Instead I went for a much shorter run then went rock climbing. I ended up knocking down a Buff Buddies fitness goal, where I successfully climbed a V4 route. I am proud that I’ve come so far in my rock climbing abilities since a year ago where I was dominated by my friend’s 12-year sister as she climbed V3’s with ease while I struggled with V1’s.

Week 13 was pretty eventful. The school work is starting to pick up so it was becoming more of a struggle to balance exercise, school, and work. I still managed to get in my workouts in by really pushing myself to complete my work. I felt that week 13 may have been one of the most stressful weeks to keep on exercising. In week 13 I was enrolled in my Parkour academy’s Level 2 classes. The Parkour academy I go to is now transitioning to a leveling system and will be creating advanced level classes(Level 3) later this year. From what I learned, Level 3 will be really intense, so I’m hoping to fine tune my techniques in Level 2 before testing into the Level 3 classes.

Week 14 was a very entertaining week. I enrolled in a martial arts class to learn how to sword fight. My friend was having a birthday party and I had a lot of fun doing more leisure workouts like bowling after my usual workout regime. On Saturday I was invited to a film festival and had trouble parking. I ended up parking 2 miles uphill and running back and forth to try to catch the film. I ended up being a little late due to how hectic traffic was, but I still got a great run from it. The day afterwards my girlfriend and I tried snowshoeing for the first time and went on a 3-hour long hike. At the end of the day we spent a good few hours having cocoa and building snowmen.

Only 2 more weeks until the Buff Buddies challenge is over. I hope everyone has been keeping up with their workout goals and finishing off with a high note!

The Benefits of Tea

It should come to no surprise that tea is one of the most well known health beverages out there. I personally find nothing more relaxing than waking up in the morning and drinking a hot cup of soothing tea. But what is it about tea that not only makes you feel better but function better? Well today I will be talking about the benefits tea can give you and why you should switch from that cup of Joe to a cup of tea.

Tea is a zero calorie beverage that is very inexpensive to make. In a 2012 consumerist report it’s estimated that the average American will spend $10-$20 on coffee a week. Meanwhile, tea buyers will only need to spend $4-$8 a month to get anywhere from 25-30 cups of tea. Plus, tea goers will find a lot less difficulty making a pot of tea than a pot of coffee. Simply fill up a tea kettle, let it come to a boil, then put in your choice of tea.

Tea also has many health benefits to them. Teas are rich with antioxidants such as catachins, which help burn body fat and improve muscular endurance. In addition, they contain phytochemicals which help tea drinkers maintain a higher bone density than non-tea drinkers.  Tea also works towards a healthy heart. Many teas contain amino acids, such as thenanine, to help lower blood pressure and reduce both physical and mental stress.

Along with the general benefits teas can provide there are also specific health benefits that tea has:

  • Black tea has been shown to improve cardiovascular health, help with digestion, increase energy, and build up the immunity system.
  • Green tea has been correlated to improve concentration, prevent diabetes, and reduce the risk of dementia.
  • Oolong has been shown to help with weight loss.
  • White tea has also been shown to benefit blood glucose
  • Chai, and other flavored teas, slow down the absorption of caffeine to energize your body throughout the day.

In addition to enhancing your diet tea also plays a role in improving your workout. In fact, a study has shown that athletes who had drank 2-3 cups of a tea a day end up burning more calories during physical exercise. Tea also has been shown to to aid in fat oxidation, where it was found that tea drinkers will gain weight 42% less than those who do not drink tea.

In the end, tea becomes a very effective drink to help increase energy, reduce fat, and build up a strong immunity system. For those interested in getting into tea I would recommend looking up your nearest tea shop and asking your local tea seller for recommendations. Just remember that there is a strong distinction between loose leaf tea and bagged tea and that it’s better for you to drink loose leaf.

Run From Zombies With Zombies Run!

https://i1.wp.com/www.joystickchik.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/zombiesrun.jpg

I’ll be the first to admit that my motivation for many of my runs was not simply to stay in shape but to assure I’m in top physical condition for the Zombie Apocalypse. You can imagine my excitement when I learned that there is an App out there that places you in the midst of a Zombie Outbreak where you complete missions by running.

Zombies Run! is a Six To Start application that has garnered a lot of popularity among the running community. The app relies on gamification, using game playing elements to other areas of activity, for players to experience a simulated zombie environment to collect items, complete missions, and build towns to protect themselves against the zombie horde. I touched a bit upon my experience with Zombies Run! in my marathon training and mentioned just how enjoyable it was to be immersed in a fictitious story while jogging
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So what’s the story? You start off as a runner who just survived a helicopter crash. You are given the name, “Runner 5”, and must jog around to gather supplies and do rescue missions for the town of Abel. Listening to the mission’s dialog is pretty entertaining. Typically there are two narrators who guide you on your journey to both motivate and entertain you throughout the mission. The Radio Mode gives you two other wise-cracking narrators who play the DJ roles while making light about the apocalypse. You must venture to restore what’s left of humanity, defend yourself against enemies, and try to survive the endless swarm of zombies that surround you.

One of QuickMemo+_2016-01-22-15-42-23the great parts about this application is its ability to divide up your music’s playlist with the application’s audio. When you are not listening to any dialog throughout your run you are able to listen to music on a software music application, such as Pandora, or load songs directly from your playlist. Throughout your missions the story will pause the music to provide a narrative

When you aren’t running there’s a second half of the game to keep you busy. Whatever supplies you gather from your missions can be used to fortify the town of Abel to better withstand the horde. The more supplies you collect the more you can level up your town.

My favorite part of the application though is the Application’s GPS trackingQuickMemo+_2016-01-26-14-28-15 system. Unlike many running apps out there, this application will provide you markers for each mile ran. This became a great way for me to track my pace as it provided me total time ran each mile I hit. However, don’t rely on this application too heavily. On a cloudy day the GPS tracking can get pretty fuzzy and may tell you you hit your first mile in the impossible time of two minutes. For the most part, the GPS tracking provides a really accurate report of your run. Zombies Run! also logs all your runs from the beginning so you can look back at your progress.

If you really want to push yourself you can enable Chase mode where you’ll need to pick up the pace to avoid being taken away by zombies. In the chase mode a runner will need to sprint at least 20% their average pace for a solid minute to evade being zombie chow. A great option for those who wish to work interval training. For the individuals who are new to running, the Six to Start also has a Couch to 5k version that trains you up from novice to 5k runner.

Speaking of 5k Runs, if you are interested in competing in a race, Six to Start is hosting a Virtual 5k Race in late March. Thousands of runners will get exclusive running gear, such as a sweet Runner 5 Tee, and a Finisher’s medal. Come join many other runners on a quest to battle against Zombies.

Buff Buddies Week 10-11: The Quest Continues

These past few weeks have definitely been a bit of a push towards my fitness goals. I recently joined Fitocracy, a website where you can track workouts using points and level up along the way. My favorite feature about this website is the use of Quests, which challenges users to do certain workouts to unlock badges and points. It’s been a blast experimenting with these different workouts to add a bit of variety to my exercises.

Along with Fitocracy, I’ve been doing the “Workout of The Day”, sent to me since singing up for a Spartan Race this year. I’ve been making it a habit to do the Workouts every day since joining Fitocracy. I am a part of Fitocracy challenge to see who can gain the most points, and the Workouts are just intense enough to rack up a lot of points.

Stats
Weight: 155lbs
Body Fat %: 7%

Will be able to supply a body photo next week when the camera’s cable comes in. If anyone wants to join me in Fitocracy feel free to add me!

https://www.fitocracy.com/profile/CheshireCrab/?fe…

Buff Buddies Week 6-9 – Catch Up

It’s been a while since I’ve last posted my Buff Buddies blog entry and it’s been one hectic few weeks to work out. I’m going to be leaving for a Snowboarding trip over the weekend and wanted to make sure I updated my Buff Buddies progress before than. Instead my entries following previous formats I will be breaking down each week and providing short summaries:

Week 6
Week 6 was the week I had to get my wisdom teeth removed. The surgery would’ve involved taking a couple of days of rest before resuming a normal workout regime. My surgery was on Thursday, so in order to cope with the next few days of taking it easy, I spent all of Monday-Wednesday really pushing my workouts to get the most out of my workout regime.

Week 7
Despite making the workouts a lot lighter than my usual regime I was still not feeling 100% ready to go back to the routine. A lot of fun workouts had to be sacrificed such as Krav Maga and Swimming. Christmas was rolling around this same week so the gym ended up being closed by the time I made a full recovery. A good chunk of the days during week 7 were dedicated towards running and calisthenics.

Week 8
Week 8 was yet another hectic week for working out. Since it’s Winter Break I had quite a few days where I could flex my time. I spent a good portion of those days going to the gym and working on Flips and Parkour. Towards the end of the week I went to help my girlfriend move. On the plus side, the move required a lot of physical movement and cutting back on meals. Despite the hours spent on physical exertion, I did not feel as well-off as doing regular work outs. I grossly underestimated the time it takes to move so I didn’t properly plan out my schedule so I can reach my workout goals.

Week 9
Week 9 has definitely been the better part of these past few weeks. With my body and schedule going back to normal I was able to workout a lot more. Despite the past few snow storms I have been spending my time running outdoors. I’ve been pushing myself to reach a 2 hour minimum workout total each day and I’ve feel like I’m constantly surpassing that.
I’ve also went to the doctor’s to get my yearly physical and discovered I have very low iron levels. This would probably explain my feelings of exhaustion throughout the day. I did some research on how I can meet my iron levels and found a lot of great information to help me along.

That’s it for this latest entry. I wish this entry wasn’t so rushed so I can provide some stats on my progress. I ended up losing the cable to charge my camera so I’m currently waiting for a new one to come in. Until then, I will not be able to provide weekly body photos to help compare progressions. Hope everyone had a great 2015, and wish you look on your 2016 fitness goals!

Buff Buddes Weeks 3 & 4: Achieving Goals

So Week 3 definitely was a little bump in the road for me. I did manage to limit myself during the Thanksgiving festivities, but at the same time, I also did pretty bad maintaining my 10 hour a week goals. I ended up fatiguing my arm during Krav Maga during week 2 and that translated to a lot of workout limitations.

However, after taking some time to recover I was able to dominate week 4. The academy I go to for Parkour was closed for the holiday so I ended up going rock climbing and swimming instead. I ended up reaching my swimming goal and am now going to be focusing on increasing my distance instead of speed. After I build up to doing 1650m freestyle with no rest I will be working my way to get below a 10:00 speed.

I also realize that while I am getting stronger there still some fat I can cut back on. I will be now dropping some of the more fatty foods(lbreads, pastas, and dairy) to try and achieve a 7% fat. Regretfully, I did end up gaining 1% of my body fat back. I also decided to include more jogging to help reduce the fat and to build up to that 5 minute mile.

Workout

Week 3
Friday-Tricking: 540 Kicks(1 Hour), Jogging: 5.5 miles(.75)
Saturday-Front and vault flips(1hour)
Sunday-2 mile jog(.25 hours) Yoga(.75 hours)
Monday-Knife Fight Practice(.5 hour)
Tuesday-Jogging(.5 hours), 540 kicks(1 hour)
Wednesday- Knee Drops and Penny Swings(1 hour)
Thursday-Jogging(.5 hours), Yoga(.5 hours)

Total: 7.75 hours

Week 4
Friday – Rock Climbing(1.5 hours)
Saturday – Swimming (1 hour)
Sunday – Yoga (1 hour), 5 mile jog (.75 miles)
Tuesday – 4 mile Jogging(.5 hours), Pull Ups(.5 hours) 540 Kicks(1 hour)
Wednesday-4.5 mile Jog(.5 hours), Yoga(.5 hours), Kip Up Training(1 Hours)
Thursday- Front Handspring(1 hour), 2 mile jog(.25 hours), Pull Ups(.5 Hours)

Total:: 10 hours

Result: I felt like I could’ve put a bit more into it, I hope with classes now finishing up for the semester I can focus more on working out

Stats
Weight: 152(+2 Since Last Week)
Body Fat %: 9%(+1% since last week)

Body Photo

Result: A hiccup in my diet a bit, I’m hoping to continue the road to a 7% body fat.

Goal Records
Pulls ups(Goal: 20 Most Done 2 weeks ago: 13, Most done this week: 15)
Rocking Climbing(Goal: Climb a V4, Highest climbed before week 0: V2, Highest this week: V3)
1 mile run(Goal: 5:00, Fastest 2 Weeks ago: 6:06, Fastest This Week: 6:08
500m swim(Goal: 11:00, Fastest before week 0: 15:10, Fastest this week: 10:26) – Swim goal accomplished!

Result: Getting close to a lot of my goals. I feel confident I will be hitting a lot of them before the end of week 16.

Overall Conclusion:
I am definitely getting there with some of my goals but I feel like I still need to push myself a bit to achieve them. I am also starting to focus on some strength base goals as well like handstand push ups and one hand pull ups. If I do see progress in these two exercises I may be adding it to the list of goals.