3 Reasons Why I Dig A Smith Machine

 


1. I don’t need a spotter. When it comes to lifting weights, I’m fairly antisocial. I workout just before work, and am the king of keeping a schedule. I don’t have time to switch out between sets and chat leisurely during this time.

2. Focus and awareness. Because smith machines only allow vertical motion, I’m forced to pay extra attention to my form while lifting. It’s extremely easy to sacrifice your form on a smith machine because of the built in spotting design. Just because the bar is supported by a giant metal frame, does not mean you get to let your core slack off, or your feet chill wherever you’d like. Bend those legs, get that butt down, and let the bar touch your chest before you push that weight back up. Stay challenged.

3. Variety. Three out of my five lifting days, I follow a stronglifts routine. Lucky for me I get into the gym early enough to hog the smith machine – knocking out the first few lifting sequences in peace and undisturbed. I always start with squats (because they suck), then bench, and finish with some barbell rows; this takes me about thirty minutes. If I can sweat my ass off without having to move very far, I’m all in.

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Fat Fast Journal – Day 1

After a not so ketogenic weekend, I’ve decided to kickoff my week with a fat fast. A fat fast is a good way to jumpstart weight loss and cleanse the keto body after a few carb-loaded indulgences. So what does a fat fast consist of?

1. Keeping your daily caloric intake at a maximum of 1000

2. Making sure 90% of those calories are from healthy fats (moderate protein, little to no carbs)

3. Minimal exercise

Fasting is not for everyone, and this needs to be understood. I only do this fast because I CAN eat, and I feel completely reset after a few short days on the schedule. I break my calories down into 200 calorie servings. This makes it easy to keep track and adjust my plan of attack. Only 1000 calories sound scary, right? Well it’s quite easy when 90% of your calories are coming from healthy fats. A few things I snack on during this fast are macadamia nuts, bacon, coconut oil, and other organic meat snacks. I’m dairy-free, so I’ve taken cream cheese off my list of fat fast snacks.

I made a conscious decision to not workout this morning. I don’t fast regularly, so I like to play it safe and not over exert myself with my normal morning stronglift routine. The current time is 1:47PM EST. All I’ve had to eat was a serving of macadamia nuts, a couple cups of black coffee, about 50 ounces of water, and an organic beef stick from the local market. I’m feeling alright so far. I kind of have a headache, but I’m not feeling hungry. As far as the internal “you’ve got to eat something” alarms go, I’m feeling okay! This comes from using fat as a fuel source. When you’re full of healthy fat, those EAT NOW sensors are far from active.

I want you all to keep in mind that I’ve had practice with the fat fast. I mentioned above that I only do this fast because I can eat. I highly recommend starting small with any kind of fast, and incorporating it into your regular nutrition and fitness routines. I’ll probably do yoga later, only because I know what my body can handle. When I’m fat fasting, I don’t like to put my body in a position that will yield to failure. I avoid this by not working out as heavy as I would during a normal day of eating keto and NOT counting calories. Everyone’s body is different, and everyone should listen to the signals their body sends. Be smart! Be healthy! I’ll be in touch with more fat fast entries to let you know how the rest of the week is going.

Progress Report 3

Hello! And Happy New Year! It’s been a while since I’ve posted a progress report, so here goes:

Data collection #3, November 18, 2015:

Weight – 232.4

Body fat – 27.1%

BMI – 31.4

Data Collection #4, January 16, 2016:

Weight – 231.3

Body fat – 25.2%

BMI – 31.3

The holiday season was trying, per usual, and I did put on some weight. Last week I was back up to 237 lbs, but was able to get back down in just one week. I’ve been doing strong lifts in the gym, and made it a point to make sure I was really digging deep this past week. Adding 2.5 lbs to 5 lbs on each of my sets (each week) has kept me challenged, and really showcased the fact that heavy lifting, and a good amount of healthy fat consumption, can make all the difference during a carb detox/recovery. My weight was up and down since my last progress report, and it’s all due to those couple of carb moments, and slacking off on my intermittent fasting schedule. We’re back on it, though! Get ready for some results 😉

Overall progress since data collection #1:

down 14.2 lbs

down 5.3% body fat

Progress Report 2

The stall is broken! After sticking to the same workout routine for a smidgen over a year, my body needed a reset of sorts. Here’s the update:

Data collection #2, September 26, 2015:

Weight – 237.9

Body fat – 27.5%

BMI – 32.3

Data collection #3, November 18, 2015:

Weight – 232.4

Body fat – 27.1%

BMI – 31.4

What did I do differently? I started focusing more on lifting heavier weights, and cut out dairy. I’m about 97% dairy-free, and I say this because, if I want dairy… I’m gonna eat, or drink, it. I do miss my heavy cream and cinnamon coffee, but not having it isn’t a huge downer because I prefer my coffee strong, and black… (enter joke and laughter here).

Take us going to the Mexican restaurant for dinner a couple weeks ago for example. The salad I ordered did not list cheese as a topping. Adding extra guac and removing the sour cream, I was a little peeved when the salad arrived and there was cheese! Some sprinkled cheese on top of my salad isn’t the end of the world, so I went on and inhaled the dish anyway. I’m a regular “remove the cheese, please!” person now.

I’ve switched up my weightlifting routine by doing strong lifts. Three times a week, for thirty minutes or more, I do 5×5 – five sets of five reps – weightlifting workouts. I squat, bench press, barbell row, and deadlift as much weight as I can in a safe manner. I hit the gym alone, so I don’t want to push it so far that I need a spotter. Every week I add five pounds to the previous week’s weight. I’ve been doing yoga more frequently as well. I went to my first hot yoga class over the weekend. Not only did I survive and hit all the poses, I had a BLAST. I won’t get too much into that, though, because I’m going to write a separate post on that experience.

Thanks for checking in! And I’ll talk to you all soon 🙂