January 2013 Muscle and Fitness

January’s Muscle and Fitness contains a lot of beginner’s information for all of the people making new years resolutions. Some interesting statistics:

  • 67% of people with gym memberships never use them.
  • 10% of resolutions are to exercise more.
  • 15% of Americans belong to a gym.
  • 19% of resolutions are to lose weight.
  • 67% of Americans make 3 resolutions every year.
  • 80% of people who join a gym in January quit by February.

I like Muscle and Fitness for the nutrition information that it always has. This month’s issue has one of the best articles on eating to build muscle that I have read (starting on pg. 92). Nothing really surprising here, but all of the important basics in one place for a beginner. Definitely worth the cover price.

2012 Fitness Goals

My fitness goals for 2012 changed a few times. Mainly because I started playing rugby last March. I feel like I have done well even though I changed goals. I have accomplished the following:

  • Increased strength on all lifts.
  • Increased squat to 325 Lbs.
  • Increased lean muscle mass by approximately 5 Lbs.
  • Increased knowledge of nutrient timing to optimize muscle growth.

Unfortunately I also increased non-lean mass (AKA fat) while building muscle. I want to decrease bodyfat in order to increase my speed and do not want to lose the muscle I have worked hard building in the process. I am going to utilize a ketogenic diet to do this. I have used it in the past because it is muscle sparing. It is a difficult diet to maintain but works very well. I will post updates here occasionally but will update mainly on twitter.

Working Out

I have been hitting the weights reasonably hard since finishing the rugby season. I have managed to gain 7 Lbs of muscle but haven’t decreased my bodyfat percentage much even though I have been jogging. I was throwing some numbers around and if I were able to increase my bench press by ~4 Lbs/week I would be able to bench 300 by the end of the year. It doesn’t sound too tough, but I think that is probably a lot to gain weekly over a 6 month span. I have always had a hard time building chest muscle for some reason.

Rugby is my Excuse

Sorry for the lack of activity on this blog. I started playing rugby at the end of February and between practices, matches and traveling to matches it took up a lot of my free time.

I had never played rugby before. I basically woke up one day and decided to start playing. I found a great group of guys not too far from home to go play with.

Our season finished a few weeks ago in Chicago with the final against the Chicago Lions. We lost and took second for our area/division. We will start practicing in August for another season in the fall.

My first season went reasonably well for someone my age just starting out in the sport. I am not quite fast enough to be a back and not quite big enough for my lack of rugby specific skills to make me a decent forward. I filled in as a substitute forward for most matches and was able to play a full match as a hooker.

I was really surprised by the social aspect of the game. After every match the home team is expected to organize a social meeting and provide food/beer for the visiting team. There are tournaments where awards for off-field performance are more coveted than the on-field awards.

I have already started training for next season and am excited about making my fitness goals over the next 12 weeks. My goal is to lose 15Lbs of fat which should really help with speed. This comes out to just over 1Lb/week given the 12 week timeframe. I am also weightlifting on a 3 day split (upper body, legs, deadlifts) and jogging ~4 times/week with HIIT sprints as I can fit them in. Between work and 2 kids in baseball it is tough to find this much time but I am managing so far.

I ran 5 miles yesterday (and it was a breeze) and am going to run 7 miles today to give me 12 for the weekend. If I can manage to get another 8 in during the week it would make for a nice 20 mile week.

Drink Up at 2014 World Cup

A BBC article quotes FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke stating “beer must be sold” at all venues at the Brazil World Cup in 2014. Apparently Brazil has a law banning alcohol sales at certain soccer matches. I have been to three soccer matches in Brazil and purchased and drank beer both outside and inside the stadiums and so I am a little confused by this. Maybe the law is only for matches with the national team?

MLB and Linux

I updated my annual subscription to MLB audio so that I can listen to Cubs games over the internet (remember when sports audio was free?). It still does not work with Linux. I haven’t investigated what the issue is in depth, but I am starting to lean toward the idea that MLB intentionally kills the audio stream to anything that is not running on Micro$oft or Mac. It is strange because they have a powered by Sun banner on their homepage.

World Baseball Classic 2009

I have been pretty excited about the start of the World Baseball Classic. I really hope that the WBC grows in popularity to help baseball become an international sport on par with soccer. I think that there needs to be a few changes made to the WBC for that to happen:

  1. The WBC needs to be organized and managed by an international baseball organization, not US MLB.
  2. The WBC should be moved to the end of the baseball season. It is being held at the beginnig (spring training) which seems to cause many players to avoid it due to spring training competition for starting positions. Moving it to the end of the season would eliminate that issue and the players would also be in top form instead of just warming up.
  3. The WBC should pay the players salary in the event that a player is injured while participating in the WBC. This would probably make the teams feel better about letting their players participate. However, moving the WBC to the end of the season might help with this issue also.
  4. Players should only be allowed to play for their country of citizenship. If players are allowed to jump around and play for whatever country they want (free agency), why bother even having the WBC?

Just some thoughts.

Cubs Suck

Well, the Cubs really looked bad in the postseason. I feel like they went to Arizona, lost the first game, figured out that they were really going to have to work to beat Arizona and decided to give up and go on vacation until next season. The fans deserve better than this.

Go Cubs!!

So the Cubs have made it into the playoffs by the skin of their teeth. Unfortunately, I don’t think that they will do much, unless they are able to pull it together and play like they did last Sunday.