Project Rockstar 2019 - Pre-Training Fitness Program Weekly Journals

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    Sterling is offline Certified Love Systems Instructor

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    Project Rockstar 2019 - Pre-Training Fitness Program Weekly Journals

    The Project Rockstar 2019 class has been selected!

    Project Rockstar represents a multi-faceted complete life transformation. From the moment the Rockstars are selected the training begins. The Rockstars have to go through a mandatory, grueling fitness program. They are tracked daily, with photos and measurements submitted every week for assessment, and pushed to the absolute limit.

    Roughly 2-3 hours of gym time every day for 12 weeks and preparing ALL their own meals as part of a strictly controlled nutrition and diet program. That means upwards of 4,000 calories a day for those gaining mass, and less than 1,500 calories a day for those losing weight. With no question the guys will be stepping into summer in the best shape of their lives.

    Through their struggle and transformation, we hope to impart inspiration to your own journey of self-improvement. While these lucky guys have an overwhelming amount of support and pressure to succeed, there's nothing stopping you from doing it too.

    It is my pleasure to present the Project Rockstar 2019 fitness journals.



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    4/21/2019 - Week 1

    It’s hard to believe we’ve completed our 1st week of the fitness program, and the challenge has been like none other! While the workouts are intense, for me the real challenge has been the consumption of all the ungodly amounts of food, eating mostly bland meals, and drinking a gallon of water each day.

    Coming into Project Rockstar, I was sure I’d be in the ‘gainer group’ (5’-9”/175 cm and weighing in at 142 lbs/64.6 kg) and knew I’d have eat the house. Been fairly thin my whole life and never had much muscle mass either, so I was/am pumped at the opportunity to bulk up and learn how to do it right! After ironing out my meal plan, and buying all my grocery… I quickly realize just how much I’d have to eat! Although it started out easy, Day 1 of the fitness program was probably the hardest since I my stomach wasn’t use to handling all that food. Got to the point where it would take me 1-1.5 hours just to finish each of my last couple of meals. There were even times when I would just stare at the food I had left to eat and feeling as if I wanted to hurl! But I kept shoveling that food in me. It’s still a challenge, but it’s starting to get easier.

    Make no mistake, I love eating food and will go out of my way to try some real good-eats. So when I compare that to the plain simple food I’m eat now, I struggle to find ways to add some flavor to my meals. For me, this was usually an easy fix; add some ketchup, maybe a bit of mild hot-sauce, and I was set. Problem now is that I’m seeing that it ALL has sugar! After watching “Hungry for Change” and “Fed Up”, and I’m starting to see first-hand that just about everything we eat has sugar in it. It’s also pretty wild seeing that the nutritional facts (in the U.S. at least) do not state percentage of calories derived from sugar (it’s messed up really). I’m all about eating health, but there’s gotta be a way to make the food more savory. The search continues.

    Before the fitness program, I think I averaged about 32-40 oz/1-1.2 liters a fluids a day. So when I read that we had to drink a gallon (3.8 liters) of water a day, my jaw dropped! Thankfully, my body has starting adapting to the volume of fluids consumed, just like with all the food (still tough though). What’s crazy is the number of times I have to visit the bathroom! I think I make trip every hour or so. I swear, it’s gotten to the point where I’m starting to feel bad for flushing the toilet so often; just seems like a waste of water. …hmm, maybe I’ll flush only when I take one of these new massive dumps, haha!

    As a whole, I knew that eating all this bland food would be a challenge (and were told as much several times). I still struggle to eat/drink everything, but I have my eyes I on the ‘prize’ and I’ll keep stuffing my face to get it! Keep pushing yourselves, guys!

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    4/28/2019 - Week 2

    This week, I felt like I got more into the groove of the fitness program. My morning rituals, food and exercise have started to settle into my day-to-day schedule, which is great! It’s also been an opportunity to learn more about fitness and areas I need to improve in, but I’m actually pretty excited to see a bit of definition on my abs! Totally pumped about that since I’ve never had a 6-pack!

    Although I’m doing well with my ‘meal log’ (pretty much staying in the “green” and a small positive-delta to account for weight gain), the meals are becoming monotonous for me. Chicken, brown rice, broccoli, and sweet potatoes every day… it’s just boring. Haven’t checked out Jeremy’s recipe tracker yet, but I’m sure I’ll find some inspiration in there. Might also check out what I can do with ground meats (beef, chicken, turkey). I also have a sweet tooth, and would kill to have an Oreo right now, haha!

    As far as my training is concerned, today’s workout destroyed my legs! The most intense part was pushing to get through the 50 reps of Hack Squats. I started with a weight that was too heavy, but kept doing thing them until I hit the rep count. Think my muscles failed 3 or 4 times trying to get to 50 reps in my first set; and when I started my next set, I overestimated the weight again and failed a few more times in that set. Mind you, this was a Superset with Leg Curls so this was crazy intense! Probably should have spent some time to figuring out a good weight to use, but I was over confidant on how much I could actually do in 50 reps… lesson learned.

    Last week on Thursday, we were scheduled to do some back exercises, and I ended up pulling a muscle below my shoulder. I didn’t notice any pain at first, but when I moved a certain way (like turning my head to the left) it would give be a sharp pain on my back. It really limited my range of movement. After speaking with my mentors, they recommended I use heat to relax the muscle, so I started using a hot compress. I also started using the sauna in my gym and it’s been godsend! Not sure what led to this injury, but trying to figure out what I did so I can avoid doing it again in the future.

    With respect to cardio, I’ve been trying a few of different exercises, like treadmills and stationary bikes; and after looking for ways to add some High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) to my routine, I started using the Row Machine. From what I’ve read, it seems to be an efficient way to burn body fat (gotta love that). Besides the obvious pro, for me this is great way to do some cardio that’s easy on my knees. I trained for a marathon a few years back and been dealing with a mild knee injury since, so I’ve been making an effort to minimize my involved in any high impact activates.

    All right, gents. On to Week 3!

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    5/5/2019 - Week 3

    Gentlemen, hope you all had a great “Cinco de Mayo” and got to pig out on diet approved tacos and virgin mojitos (it’s pretty much lemonade with mint; very refreshing actually!) Really wanted to drive over to a taco truck and shovel in a few tacos, but there was really no reliable way to measure the macros of all that good stuff. Plus it had some delicious cheese we can’t have… bummer.

    As for the fitness side of things, I’m steadily seeing steading weight gain and averaging about four and a half pounds a week (think that’s about 2 kg); and of course seeing my body fat percentage slowly creep upwards as well (about a quarter of a percent a week.) I know my body fat would go up as well, but it’s just frustrating to know that I’ll have to do some extra work to shed that fat off later. Makes me wonder if there is a way to gain muscle and shed fat at the same time (probably wishful thinking on my end.)

    Saturday was another leg day and I totally destroyed them! Those 100 rep Leg Extension were killer; could barely walk to over to do my next exercise. Of course, that’s also good news for me because I know that I’m working them hard.

    In my last blog, I mentioned how I was beginning to see a bit of definition on my abs, and that got me more motivated! So I decided to crank it up a notch by adding a Med Ball to the mix. Now, I can’t brag and say that I’m doing this with all the exercises, but I have started to do this for the Mason Twist. Started out slow with a 3 lb. Med Ball, and now I’m using a 15 pounder. Still have to take breaks to do the 40-50 reps the routine calls for though. However, I gotta say I’m fairly proud of myself of the progress I’ve made with this!

    That’s about it on the fitness side of things. On a more personal note, a buddy of mine is playing a part in a Latin soap opera (a “telenovela”). Naturally, the show is in Spanish and my buddy is fluent in the language, but I always get a kick out to see him acting in one of these shows. Anyways, recently he asked me to help him out with a few of his scenes, and told me about a scene where he has to seduce a secretary in the show! After reading through the script, I cracked up because of how funny AND awesome this scene would be! Totally looking forward to seeing this on the big screen.

    Ok gents, talk soon! Laters…

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    5/12/2019 - Week 4

    Holy crap! I totally underestimated Yoga! For the first part of the workout, the poses seemed harmless; 10 minutes later my legs were on fire and sweating bullets. By the time I was doing the fourth Reverse Warrior pose, my legs were begging me to relax; but that was just a taste of what was to come!

    The second part, all the balance poses, again seemed innocent as could be. Then you’re hit with crazy poses like Crane and Half Moon! My body was cracking left and right with all these contorted positions. It was insane …but in a good way!

    Balance has never been my strong suit, and this seems to be a great way to work on exactly that! Moreover, getting bent like a pretzel seems to help stretch my body and improve my flexibility. Sure, I had to endure some awkward, uncomfortable poses, but the benefits are well worth it.

    On the nutrition side of things, I was beginning to see my weight gains plateau this past week and got bummed up into the Hard Gainer group. And here I thought I was already eating a crap load of food! My only saving grace is the fact that my stomach seems to have gotten acclimated the volume of food I have been eating. Should be a bit easier to eat a little more. Now all I need to do is revise my meal plan to account for the extra calories. After eating the same food for weeks, it’ll be a welcomed change.

    I also found it interesting how several people from the crew were also experiencing this plateau as well, both Gainers and Losers alike. I’m speculating here, but it almost seems like the body just becomes more efficient at using the calories/energy we provide it.

    The Leg workout destroyed my legs once again… I think the sheer volume of reps that needed to be done is what makes it so challenging (oh, and of course the paired exercise for the Superset). By the time I was done with this workout, I had to use the handrails to make my way up or down the stairs. My legs were Jell-O, at this point!

    That’s it for me gents!

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    5/19/2019 - Week 5

    From a nutrition perspective, this past week has been challenging. Like I mentioned last week, I was bumped-up to a Hard Gainer because I was plateauing and have been struggle to eat all the extra food. At times, I feel like all I do in the day is eat, and what’s frustrating is that most of my time just gets split up into 2 hour segment (less the 30-45 minutes it takes me to eat my meal.) This makes it more difficult to get other things done.

    With some patience, and a bit of persistence, I sure my body will adjust to all the extra food. In the meantime, I’ll be looking for ways to reduce my meal intervals, while maintaining my caloric intake.

    During this plateau period, I started to investigate ways to overcome the plateau and learned a few things along the way. For starters, you need to eat more than you are currently eating… duh, right?! My calorie intake was bumped-up just like some of you. However, when I dug deeper I also read that even though you need to provide enough “fuel” for your body to grow and recover, the rate at which it builds muscle is actually very slow regardless of how much food you eat. Granted, there many of factors that affect how fast it builds, like age and DNA; but my biggest take away from all of this was how it gave my expectations a reality check!

    After the first couple of week of the fitness program, I was gaining weight pretty fast. I felt like I was killing it, and thought I could continue to maintain the pace. I really can’t explain why I had this great performance starting out (maybe it’s like this for all newbies, not sure), but I know now that it’s not very realistic and needed to adjust my goals accordingly.

    Something else that dawned on me was that all the extra food/calories your body doesn’t use will inevitably result in increased body fat. This makes it all the more important to not over eat. It’s basically another reason to keep track of your body fat and calorie intake, so you can reach your goal as efficiently as possible.

    The daily workout has been going well on my end, and glad see that I’m beginning to see myself lifting heavier. I’ve also notice that how synchronizing my breathing with the exercise has actually helped me to increase the number of reps I do. On a couple of occasions, I recall holding my breath on the last couple of reps of an exercise to complete my set. I jotted down the rep count and kept going, but over heard someone talk about controlling your breathing and I gave it a shot. To my surprise, I was able to crank out couple more reps than my previous set! Not sure how or why this works, but I’ll be making sure I do this in all my workouts.

    All right gents, that’s about it for me. Good luck this coming week!

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    5/26/2019 - Week 6

    Half way there, gents! Hard to believe 6 weeks have past already, but I’m happy with the progress I’ve made so far. Already seeing some definition and at bit more mass around my shoulders, chest, a bit more on the abs. Still have a long way to in order to reach my goal. However, it’s comforting and exciting to know that I’m on the track to getting there. Only issue I’ve been struggling with is gaining weight.

    This past week, my weight has been hovering between 150-151 lbs. (68.10 - 68.55 kg); and this was AFTER bumping up my food intake by 500 calories! It’s frustrating as hell! Guess I just have lighting fast metabolism. After chatting with my mentors about this 2nd plateau, my calorie intake was bumped up yet again. Was told to use a multiplier of 26, and now I have to start shoveling in almost 4,000 calories! Thankfully, I’ve been getting use to eat all this food, but it’s still not easy. Not to mention all the time I spend in the kitchen prepping makes it difficult to get work done as well.

    Hopefully I’ll start to see some gains this coming week, but I’m a bit concerned that all these extra calories will lead to more body fat than I would like. In my last post, I mentioned that the body needs fuel/ energy to grow and recover; and any additional energy that it doesn’t use would be stored at body fat. Although this is total speculation on my part, it feels like 4,000 calories might be overkill. Then again, it only makes sense to add more calories if I not gaining weight, right? Time will tell; in the meantime, I just need to keep eating and monitoring my weight.

    Workouts have been straightforward for the most part, and been doing everything I can to stay injury free. To that end, I’ve been paying attention to my form. Not that I wasn’t before, but have noticed that as the weight starts to get heavier, my form tends to suffer a bit. In a few cases, I’ve asked some of the staff at my gym to help me out with my form. Tweaked a few things, but nothing major. The big revelation for me was when I was told that in spite of best effort to perform an exercise properly, it could be an indication that 1) the weight is too high perform correctly, or 2) supporting muscles may not be strong enough to assist the muscles you’re working out. Essentially, it makes it more challenging for the body to execute the exercise in proper form. It also made me realize just how interrelated our muscles/ body is.

    All right, gents! I’ll leave you with this awesome quote I found:

    “Strength does not come from the physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” – Ghandi

    That’s it for me, guys. Later.

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    Week 1

    Background: Iím a liability adjuster for a large insurance company in the Midwest. When Iím not working, I enjoy spending time watching sporting events, taking my dog on hikes, and going out with my friends. Also, Iím a huge Game of Thrones fan for all of you that watch the show.

    Diet: My diet prior to starting the program was garbage to say the least because of a rut from an injury. Getting through this first week has really made me realize some of my bad eating habits. Usually what I would do after a long day of work is drive to my local fast food restaurant to gorge on food, justifying it due to my busy work schedule. Having gotten through this first week all of my meals have been portioned, weighed, and counted. One of my sticking points I still need to improve is my macro ratioís. Iíve noticed from tracking everything I have a tendency to overeat on carbs really quickly in comparison to protein.

    Supplements:
    Using the supplement stack provided for the loser group has been a drastic shift from my routine of just fish oil. Iíve noticed since taking the supplements Iím more alert in the morning or at least perceive it as such. One item thatís helped me keep track of what supplements I havenít taken is a pill case. Additional gear Iíve purchased have included knee compression and elbow sleeves to help aid in injury prevention.

    Lifting: Prior to starting the program I came into Gethin with a decent background in lifting for the last 6 years on and off. This was in a way my downfall and a quick humility check. I severely underestimated the volume of day 1 for legsÖ. Going into day 2 cardio I felt like Forest Gump right before the braces exploded off his legs in that scene everyone loves to quote. My favorite day this week has been doing AB Ripper X. Each day this week Iíve consistently felt sore which has been a great feeling to help drive home that my body is changing by the day.

    Mentality: One of my worries although that has been creeping up in the back of my head is re-injuring myself. Prior to the kickoff of the program, I Injured my wrist and was ordered by my orthopedic surgeon to stop lifting for two months to allow the inflammation to subside in my wrist. Luckily two weeks prior to the fitness commencement I was cleared to lift at 100% Going into the gym Iíve really tried to take a mentality of shutting out all distractions and giving it my all. In the coming weeks

    Personal Life: This week has been very challenging to say the least. During the beginning of the work week I was notified by my CEO via email that they were laying off quite a few people for us to stay lean as a company. To supplement the email each team had a small group meeting with our managers to discuss the change. Not long after the meeting in the middle of the work week one of my teammates was let go for performance. This led to our supervisor distributing his work load internally for all the worst cases he couldnít resolve prior to him being let go. Other challenges Iíve been juggling are preparing for this Marathon relay Iím participating in for my company next Sunday.

    Goals:
    ∑ Lower my body fat to visible ab range
    ∑ Expand my fitness and nutrition knowledge.
    ∑ Learn to adopt the habits of a healthy lifestyle that will carry beyond Rockstar.

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    Week 2

    Fitness

    Overall this week has been great! At the gym Iím starting to slowly see some momentum on the weights. One of the biggest problems I think I had before was I never really tracked the weights. Now that Iím writing it down itís really starting to help me see areas where I need to push harder and areas where Iím making steady improvements. My diet this week has improved from last week to integrate more fats into my diet. Iíve got to say hot sauce has been a gift from the gods. Also tried out new cardio machines in the gym to mix up the cardio from just jogging. Rowing will likely moving forward be great replacement for me when I want to mix it up for the afternoon cardio session.

    Areas of improvement
    One key area I need to improve on moving into week 3 Is getting 8 hours of sleep. As someone who for the most part functions on 6 hours most days Iíve been struggling on work days to get the necessary rest so my muscles can recover. One thing Iíll play around with this week is switching my workouts from nights to the morning to ensure Iím fully exhausted by the time I go to bed.


    Personal Life
    Got a chance to see the Avengers this Friday and I would highly recommend for those of you that havenít watched it yet! One thing that sucked though was my basketball team the Thunder got knocked out of the playoffs, so watching basketball for the most part is done for me until the championship. Also ran in that marathon I mentioned in my first blog. My relay team placed really well for the marathon averaging a 9-minute pace for the whole race.

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    Week 3

    Fitness:
    This week was a nice change with the introduction of Yoga into our routine. As someone whoís done Yoga on and off throughout college, I never realized the synergistic benefits when you pair it with an intense workout program like Gethin. Some of the stretches made me realize how far I have to go in terms of flexibility when I saw Tonyís team perform the stretches. Moving forward into the coming weeks, I think Iím going to try to work on pushing my limits in terms of flexibility since Iím sure it should translate well for lifting.
    My protein intake this week was a lot easier to supplement with the help of the new organic protein I purchased. Although itís more on the pricier side, Iíve been able to supplement 40g of my RDA for protein with it. I never in my life imagined that I would be eating as much greens as I have been lately. It really is a great way to satiate yourself when youíre trying to lean down. One positive win Iím starting to feel from finally figuring out a good routine is the feeling of long-term sustainability.


    Week 2 to 3 improvement update: This week I really tried to make it a focus on getting a full 8 hours of sleep and succeeded. I noticed I had a lot more energy during my workouts and my ability to lift increased by 10-20 lbs on most workouts.

    Areas of Improvement:
    Mind-muscle connection is something Iíve been hearing a lot in the technique videos Iíve been watching. Moving into week 4, I want to really dial in on whatever body part Iím working out and just make sure a really good contraction is felt during every rep up to failure.
    The second thing Iím going to try out is visualization. Itís been pretty powerful and well-known bodybuilders like Arnold even reference it in their book. The third thing I want to work on is being better at reading some of the recommended books. Iíve been so focused on the fitness portion I forget just how little time it can take to just read a chapter a day.


    Personal Life:
    This whole week Iíve been feeling some anxiety realizing its May, and I still havenít told my parents Iím quitting my job in July to do Rockstar. On Saturday I bit the bullet and told my dad. Surprisingly, it went way better than I could have imagined. I was expecting my dad to say this was the dumbest mistake of my life. He actually said he supported it and if I needed any help that he would do what he could. This came as a complete shock but made me so happy to know that I wouldnít have to worry about doing Rockstar without the support of my family.

  11. #11
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    Week 4

    Fitness:
    During the beginning of the week I was feeling frustrated as Iím starting to feel the plateau phase kicking in as the weight isnít coming off as fast as, I would like. The hydrostatic weighing, I completed Friday although was a nice reminder to help motivate me to show that all my hard work is paying off and I need to double down as my body is starting to acclimate to the caloric deficit, Iíve been undergoing the last 4 weeks. Moving forward into week 5 Iím going to aim to come into the workout with more intensity to keep the lean muscle gains coming while maintaining a caloric deficit.

    Improvements week 3 to week 4:
    Going into the gym this week I tried to keep the mind muscle connection present for every set. The differences have been an improved edge from week 3 I needed to get that extra stretch in the muscle fibers. Visualizing myself doing the sets beforehand was kind of odd but really helped me I feel to execute the exercises more effectively.

    Personal Life:
    Itís been an extremely busy week at work. Most of my team is on vacation which has left me as the odd man out to burden their case load while also juggling mine. This week I did manage to force myself to go out knowing full well I didnít want to due to exhaustion. Overall it paid off as I got a chance to blow off some steam and be social. Other ends Iíve been trying to wrap up are logistics on what to do with my car and furniture. One solution Iíve come up with is renting a storage unit for the next foreseeable 4-5 months to hold my belongings post Rockstar.

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    Week 5

    This week I tried to mix up my diet to include more variety. Half of my protein this week came from eating lean turkey to replace the mountain of chicken I consume on a daily basis. Lean turkey is a really good source to get your macros for fat and protein if youíre struggling to meet those macros. Other ways Iíve been mixing it up is visiting the spice aisle at my local grocery store more frequently. Itís amazing what adding a few new spices to your rice will do. This week I incorporated bay leaves and oregano into my rice it really gave it a nice spectrum of flavors compared to the usual mix of pepper and the dash of Himalayan salt I thrown in.
    My water intake Iíve come to notice over the last few weeks seems to be steadily increasing which is crazy to think. Iím on average now drinking almost one and a half gallons of water a day. Other things Iím starting to focus on this week is nutrient timing. This week Iíve tried to really time my heavy carb intake just an hour or two prior to working out. Itís led to some crazy vascularity during my lifts. One positive as my weight continues to taper down, Iím starting to notice more veins popping out naturally which is always a nice feeling. The biggest win of the week came when I tried on a v neck shirt, Iíve had that used to show my stomach bulging. This time around when I tried it on my stomach was visibly slimmer helping give me that nice fitted look for a night out.
    Having done the weighted abs now for a couple of weeks Iíve starting to notice my core strength is getting better which is translating well on lower body days. An improvement Iíd like to make going into week 6 is making sure Iím being mindful of how I structure my leg day cardio since I usually do the cardio and lifting in one go. Moving forward on leg days Iím going to try to do the cardio in the morning then schedule my leg session mid-day to make sure I can give it the intensity it deserves. On a side note, one downside to where Iím currently at is its storm seasonÖ Three times this week alone Iíve come back driving through tornado sirenís and my phone blowing up to flash flood warnings. The good news is it still hasnít gotten to the point where Iíve had to skip driving to the office and work from home.
    A great book Iíve been reading more of this week is Bigger,Leaner,Stronger by Michael Matthews. One technique I would suggest giving a look at that might help others is utilizing the Valsalva maneuver to increase your lifts. To summarize itís a breathing technique where you hold your breath in essence during a heavy lift. Many strongmen use the technique when squatting or dead lifting.

    ***Disclaimer*** Do your own research as well as some of the stuff I looked up on it says itís not the best for those with heart problems or blood pressure issues

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    Week 6

    This week has made me appreciate how grateful I am that I donít have to travel all the time for my job while doing the fitness transformation. For the Memorial Day holiday, I was down in Austin, Texas for the first time. It really opened my eyes to how much more there is some larger cities have to offer in terms of night life and women. Where Iím currently at there really isnít much that goes on during the weekends besides the occasional festival. Knowing I was going to be on a three-day trip was something I anticipated could be a logistical issue so I made sure to try to pack as much of my supplements as I could including protein and creatine to take with me. Some of my meals I did although have to purchase some items from the local grocery stores to help reach my macro goals. One of the toughest things this week on this trip has been finding a gym to complete my workouts. The hotel gym I went to only had dumbbells, so modifications had to be made on a few exercises to complete the workouts.

    One thing thatís been frustrating is Iím noticing my weight Is starting to plateau. Going into week 7 Iím going to have to start shocking my system and upping the cardio since my metabolism is acclimating to the current routine. Looking at the overall trend for strength progression though has helped to remind me that things are trending in the positive direction.

    A new habit Iíve become more vigilant on is reading nutritional labels for all the ingredients. Something Iíve noticed from doing this is a lot of supplement companies list products claiming to have zero sugar but somehow donít list the sugar derivatives and get away with it. Not sure if this has anything to do with guidelines set out by the FDA but seems like something that should be included for those looking to improve their diet.

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    Week 7

    Fitness:
    This week has been intense to say the least for cardio. In order to punch through my plateau, Iíve been doing even more cardio than the recommended amount per day. The good news is I did manage to drop a pound for the week. The bad news, I felt this insatiable drive to eat more food and knowing I couldnít was a challenge. A nice little push I got to stay the course was a friend who hasnít seen me since April complimented me on my overall physique when we caught up our lives. Something Iím considering doing is starting to flex when it isnít weird between sets at the gym. The bodybuilding book by Arnold states itís a great way to pump blood into the muscles.

    Nutrition: This week Iíve tried to make eating foods high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats a priority. The two best sources have been avocados and almonds. The portions for the almonds although I have to say arenít very satiating considering itís less than a palm full or approximately 20-25 pieces depending on the weight. One of the issues Iím going to have to dial In on is cutting off my carb intake late in the day. One article I found in Mens Health sums it up best ďSleep is when your body does most self-restoration. Crucial to this process are human growth hormone (HGH) and insulin growth factor (IGF-1), which are typically produced at night. IGF-1 is triggered by the presence of HGH and is released by the liver and skeletal muscles to help build and repair tissues. Unfortunately, IGF-1 shares the same receptor sites as insulin, the peptide hormone that regulates carbohydrate and fat metabolism. When insulin is present because you've indulged in a high-carb snack before bed, IGF-1 is pushed aside. Eating carbohydrates at night hampers the muscle-repair process because insulin levels increase, preventing IGF-1 from binding to receptor sites.Ē

    Personal life: Some recent discussions has made me realize just how much I still have to wrap up before Vegas comes along. I never thought of potential worst-case scenarios of being in a foreign country and being robbed. In the coming weeks Iím going to work to cover my basis just to be on the safe side and get the necessary insurance for medical and travel. This week has been uneventful for the most part. Iíve mainly been focused on training a new employee at work and dodging bad weather since it's become more frequent in the last week.

  15. #15
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    Week 7

    Eating 4,000 calories is no joke! My daily meals now consists of 5 plates, 2 protein shakes, and a workout shake. I try to space them out evenly throughout the day, and with as much time in between as possible (if I don’t do this, I know I’ll be struggling to finish my meals …I still struggle, but it helps.) This usually means eating every two hours now, which is much more challenging for me. I may still feel full/satisfied before my next meal, but need to keep eating to meet my caloric goals. Sometimes it just feels like eating is the only thing I do all day! But with all this effort, there is a bright side.

    Last week, I spoke about how I reached a plateau (my second one, that is) Today, I’m happy to say that I busted through that plateau and gained an extra 5 lbs. (~2.3 kg) this week alone! That’s a new personal record! We’ll see what happens this coming week, but I have a good feeling I’ll get some killer ‘gainz’ this week too. That said, I am a bit concerned that a lot of that extra weight might be fat.

    I can’t say I trust the accuracy of the Body Fat (BF) reading from my scale, but it is showing a 0.6% jump in BF for the week. In prior weeks, I was averaging a 0.2-0.3% weekly jump in BF, which is a massive difference. Even if the scale is off somewhat, this still implies that a lot of the extra weight gained is fat. That large jump could be an indication of excess calorie consumption, meaning that my optimal caloric consumption could be somewhere between 3,500 and 4,000 calories. The body has to get rid of all the extra unused calories somehow; if it can’t burn it, it’ll just store it. Either way, I’ll need to work hard to shed the extra fat soon enough. I’m just hoping it’ll be just as easy to lose those pounds as it was to gain it. Really want to hit that 6-pack goal before the summer starts!

    Workout and diet aside (well, almost), I had a day trip scheduled this past Thursday. Naturally, and as some of you have experienced first-hand, I needed to make sure I would be hitting my daily macros, calories, and have enough time penciled in for my workout. I had to estimate how long I’d be in the office and working out; find a gym I could go to; figure out how much time it would take to reach my destination to/from the airport, gym, and office; and make sure I had the ability to heat my meals wherever I was. This was important since I was bringing my prepped meals with me (except my 2 protein shakes; I had these when I got back home.) I basically had to make a workout / diet itinerary for my trip to ensure I didn’t deviate from the fitness program. This definitely put my management skills to test… as well as test my commitment to my goal. Definitely proud of that small win!

    That’s it for me, gents! Stay focused. Keep your eyes on the prize!

  16. #16
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    Week 1

    Yo peeps! I’m Jeremy from Austin, TX. I’m 32 and currently trying to figure out what the hell to do with my life. Long story short, my employer beat me to the punch and let me go last week. I was planning on quitting and getting out of my industry for Rockstar this summer. Through a whirlwind this past week, I’ve buttoned up my life in Austin and picked up a short term contract job in Atlanta. So suffice it to say, my first week was a doozy. I haven’t had too much trouble with the fitness portion of this program as I’m very active on a normal basis, but I definitely hate going to a normal gym though. It’s just boring and there’s no one I can really socialize with and compete with while working out. I’ve been cautiously trying to dial up the intensity a bit by cutting down on the rest and adding HIIT style workouts into my laste 20 min cardio. The diet has been the bulk of my struggles. I normally eat pretty clean a Whole30 slant staying around 2300 calories during the week and I go ham on the weekends enjoying the variety of incredible eats Austin has to offer. It was adjustment to essentially cut out most the fat I eat, replace it with a ton of carbs I’m not used to and eat nearly 50% more calories. For the first few days my body kind of freaked out, I felt horrible and I couldn’t shit. I’ve also been struggling on sleep quality, still working on that. I’m hoping to be able to pair this with my IF protocol that I’ve grown to love, but right now I just need to get the damn calories in. I’ve been frantically trying to eat when I can and trying to meet the macro requirements. In the end, I did it and this week a slew of new challenges to juggle. I feel like I’m constantly hauling ass to get stuff done. I’ll get things dialed in eventually when the dust settles in this transition period of my life. I can’t wait till rockstar where I can completely focus on myself and not have to juggle all the other things in my life.

  17. #17
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    Week 2

    Hola mi amigos!

    2 weeks down in the books! Just watched all your videos and they got me pumped for the rest of the day. So happy for you all and all the progress you guys are making. I'm starting to make my strides in the program. I haven't really talked about myself much in my videos. I find it hard to talk about myself for some reason. I'm of Chinese-Vietnamese descent. Born in Australia and raised in Georgia. I grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta in a city called Marietta. Went to Georgia Tech with a bachelor's in Industrial Engineering. I wasn't really interested in the topic, but my family is PACKED with engineering grads, I felt i was "supposed" to get an engineering degree like everyone else. Took a job in an oil and gas company for the money so I can show everyone how "successfull" I was. This got my stuck for the second half of my twenties. I absolutely hate the industry and the career path I was charting. A few years ago started a journey where I went hard on self development and looking deep on how to find what's missing in my life. Which led me to variety of incredibly impactful things including PR. Career wise, all this came to a head on THE day the fitness program started and I was fired. What a great feeling it was, now I'm back in ATL helping a friend scale his business and focusing on problems that are interesting, challenging, and something I actually care about. In hindsight, I think I should have majored in business or finance, because thats just how I think and I can talk about finance topics all day. The past 10 years has been a big lesson that chasing money and social validation will always end with nothing.

    The dust has settled in my transition back to ATL and fitting everything into my schedule feels to be clicking into place. What REALLY helped was the fact I was able to change my macros from 40/40/20 to 30/40/30. This diet falls more inline to what my diet used to be before I started the program so I'm relieved I can incorporate more eggs and fatty fish back into my diet as well as eatting more things I love like almond butter and avocado (but not together!). I'm looking for more opportunities to introduce more veggies into my diet and take out some of the grains at the moment. There's plenty of room for improvement in my diet.

    I have actually be losing weight despite smashing my face with 3000 Cal/day. I'm around 148lbs and 13.5% body fat. I suspect it's because of the intensity of my workouts. I try to cap my rest around 30-45 seconds and I have been sprinkling in Crossfit style workouts in my tail end 20 min Cardio sessions. And I want to emphasize sprinkle because I want to be cautious and not injure myself during this program. The last thing I want is to be down for a few weeks for a hamstring injury. Last week, I was also struggling to get enough sleep. I think that may have contributed to my weight loss due to lack of recovery time in my sleep. This week should be better. I expect my weight to start going to the upside soon.

    I've been juggling a social life reconnecting with my old friends back in Georgia. All my friends love the shit out of food and it pains me to respond to their invites with "I'm on a diet". But I can still make it work, with Blake's suggestions, I'm a little strategic with my recommendations and I comb the menu before hand to see if I can piece together a healthy meal. I did a charity bike ride last saturday for drug abuse awareness and at the end they rewarded everyone with plethora of pizzas, cookies and muffins. I'm a sucker for baked goods. So I picked on up and.... JUST KIDDING! Not this guy, I ain't got time for that shit. I ended up starting to chug nearly half of my gallon jug so my stomach was too full to crave those oh so delectable treats. My friends got a good kick out it.

    That's all for today guys. Hope you guys crush it this week.

  18. #18
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    Week 3

    Hey Gents,

    Another week in the books! Last week wasn't as productive for me as it seems for the rest of you guys. No worry though. The struggle has been real to gain weight and I've been getting my ass handed to me. My fitness mentors suggested I chill out on my cardio and bump up my Calorie intake to 3300 last tuesday with no avail. My weight has been pinned at 148 lbs (~67 kgs) and around 13.4% body fat since the start of the program. We decided to turn my calorie intake to 3600 on Saturday. I ended up meeting up with some friends saturday night at a mexican restaurant where I ordered steak fajitas with lettuce.

    Come Sunday, I felt like a bag of bricks hit me in the face. I was getting flashes of cold sweats, extremely fatigued, my joints ached, etc. It was odd that I didn't have any of the congestion, caughes or other cold related symptons. A few friends suggested it was just my menstrual cycle. Perhaps they were right. I decided to let myself off and just rest. I expected it to pass quickly and get back to my grind. But no no no, I was horribley wrong. A ||||||| of shit rained from my asshole for the next 24 hours. I ended up sleeping on the toilet that evening. It was a terrible sunrise.

    So there it was, boys, food poisoning. I suspect the lettuce is what got me. I've been to over 30 countries and even come out of 2 weeks in India unscathed, but lettuce at a Mexican restaurant? Kryptonite. I've never had food poisoning before and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. It's been 2 days and I have yet to be able to finish a meal. I dipped down to 144.2 lbs (65.4 kgs) and I have yet to finish a meal. On the plus side though, I'm at 12.9% body fat now. Absolutely nothing is appetizing, I'm not even hungry, and when I force myself to eat, I get nauseaus. So now, I'm in this odd phase where I feel fine when I don't eat as long as I don't over-exert myself, but i'm losing mass rapidly; then when I do eat, I feel like death and can't function. Any tips or advice would be really helpful. At this point I'm getting frustrated with my recovery.

  19. #19
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    Week 4

    Hey Hey!

    I really like how Bobby is structuring his journals so I'm going to copy the shit out of it.

    This week was a tough one for me. I think the last post was written when I was in the middle of my food poisoning. My recovery wasn't as fast as I was hoping. The rest of the week I had a hard time eating. Not that I couldn't hold anything down, but nothing was appetizing. With the exception of brownies and maybe donuts, because yum. I ended up losing 3 kgs through these shenanigans and weighed in a 65.1 kgs. It's incredibly frustrating since I've been stuffing my face to gain weight with no avail. No worry though, this is all part of the journey and all I can do is press forward.

    I pretty much missed nearly all the fitness days last week. So I'm playing catch up on the weight training. I ended up dropping abs on Friday and cardio on Saturday to make up my chest and shoulder days. I doubled up abs on today's leg day which was great, I really enjoyed. I really enjoy tough workouts in a borderline masochistic way. Next, I'm going to drop Yoga tomorrow to make up my Back day from last Sunday. That'll put me back on track with my weight training.

    My meal plan this coming week is going to be rock solid. My protein sources are quite diversified throughout the day so I'm pretty excited to crush these 3600 calories. I think I'm developing an allergic reaction to the whey though. I'm getting these itchy bumps on my elbows. Whey is the only dairy product in my diet so I'm looking to cut it out for pea/rice protein. My next thing to tackle is to transition more of my grain carbs to vegetable carbs. It's easy to just swap 1-for-1 but for me, it's not going to be sustainable. I'm looking for more palatable ways to transition with good recipes so I can maintain for the long term.

    I just got back from a mother's day dinner for my grandmother with my extended family. Being Asian, my family only meets to eat so this is my chance to spend time with everyone. The restaurant we're going to is one of my favorites, but unfortunately, nothing is compliant. I ended up getting a steak at a nearby restaurant accompanied with a hearty sweet potatoe and broccoli. It wasn't as hard to resist the temptations as I thought it was going to be. My narrative during the evening was "no is no, there's no negotiating", so I didn't spend much time thinking about tasting any of the Chinese delectables in my face. But I assure you, the second the fitness program is over, I'm going ham on a plate of pan fried flat noodles. I was also quite forthright about the fitness program and the self-development side of PR with the rest of my family. I was also surprised how intrigued and supportive everyone was especially given how judgemental my family can be. So perhaps my pre-concieved notions are wrong? It was a great night to catch up with my family and be open to my journey.

    Positives:
    - No more poos
    - Back on the bandwagon
    - Resisted a shit ton of temptations
    - Open to my journey with my extended family
    - Got a solid meal plan this week

    Negatives:
    - Lost 3kgs and currently at 65kgs. Struggling to gain weight.
    - Choking down 3600 calories.
    - Getting an allergic reaction to Whey

    Goals for the week:
    - Look for yummy recipes for vegatables.
    - Please gain weight.

    This is going to be the start of a killer week! Week 5 Lets go!

  20. #20
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    Week 5

    Yo My peeps!

    Awesome week at the gym for week 5. It was relatively intense (which I've been yearning for) this week because I was trying to make up for all the lifting days I missed the week before. So now I'm nice and sore for this lovely stretch day today. P90x stretch is my favorite and the only Tony Horton video I can tolorate. I'm glad there's an emphasis on stretching in this program as I'm a strong believer in that stretching in mobility is a necessary foundation for health and longevity.

    Still hovering around 66 kg and 13% body fat all week at 3700 Cal/day. Thats a bit frustrating because how much time it's taking me to prepare and eat all this food. Just moved up to 4,000 Cal/day. Hopefully that'll do the trick. I've got some solid recipes and a stout meal plan moving forward now. I have 5 big meals during the day averaging around 700 Cal/meal about 2 hours apart from 6AM - 4PM and topping off my carbs after I finish the gym at 7PM. I try to avoid eating a ton before bed at all costs because it always kills my sleep quality at night. I also tallied up my fruits and vegetable amount I eat during the day and It's been hovering of 2 kg, which is way more than I expected so I'm pretty stoked about that. Eating this much so frequently definately kills my productivity though. I find it very hard to get into or stay in a flow state because I'm either eating or trying to recover from stuffing my face.

    I'm having similar frustrations as some of you where I'm heavily tethered to eating. I can't hang out with my friends or do an activity for an extended period of time because I have to plan to eat every 2 hours or so. And cooking monopolizes so much of my weekend, where I can't enjoy it. Yesterday for example, I woke up at 7AM, started cooking, cleaned the kitchen, and went to be at 10PM. I was pissed that I literally missed the entire day for cooking. But either way, short term frustrations for long term lessons. up my

    On another note about my food intake. I would argue that I was in better shape on a cardio load and power output standpoint before starting this program on my regular fitnes regimen. I've always hit this plateau in my life where I just can't progress and it usually ends up with me getting injured. Then I have to ease up, rest, and leading to be re-starting the cycle all over again. I tried eating "a ton" with no avail so I figured I just never had the genes for it. Now because of this fitness program it begs the question, maybe I have never actually eaten enough to overcome that plateau. I'm excited to give this diet a try when I get back to my routine after PR is all said and done.

    Positives:
    - Feel pretty good about the meal plan I have now
    - Eating over 2 kgs of fruits and vegetables a day
    - Caught up on all my missed weight training days
    - So far I've learned a lot of diet related stuff from this program
    - Recovering from an allergic reaction to whey so nore more syphillis on my hands.

    Negatives:
    - Missing out on life on the weekends because of food.
    - I've been a bit irratble his week. I chalk it up to me being back in ATL. Not a big fan of my hometown these days.
    - Didn't get a chance to watch GoT last night because of cooking.
    - Didn't really gain any weight

    Goals for next week:
    - Please gain weight!
    - Maybe add some more variety in my meal plan so I don't get tired of my food.

  21. #21
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    Week 7

    Not much to report here this week. My gym sessions have been a little lack lustre. Lately I feel like I'm not really being challenged and I'm just going through the motions. Last week I did a couple heavy deadlift reps and 125 kgs was WAY heavier than I remember. It's quite discouraging to see my overall strength decline through this program. Sure my arms look good, but whats the point if I have to sacrifice my strength and conditioning? I'm getting to the point where I'm ready to finish this program. I don't know if this is a good mindset to have or if this is normal phase in the "process". This type of fitness (bodybuilding) definately isn't for me and if it wasn't for PR and the rest of you guys, I would have probably ditched this program and pivoted to something else that's more congruent with my values in fitness. So glad we have less than 5 weeks less of this program and I relish in the idea of finishing.

    Marginally gained some weight last week. Almost touched 69 kgs this week, but then lost it the next day from, what I presume, a run that was more intense than it should have been. Started frying plantains in coconut oil, that's quite tasty. Highly recommend it. Interesting fact: I went to the grocery store 24 times in the month of May where my average is about 5 times and I spent double my monthly average on food. Which makes sense, but I was hoping my food consumption didn't scale so proportionally with the cost. Danial, my fitness mentor, gave me some encouraging words that meant a lot in this time of doubt. He suggested I try to introduce a high calorie shake into my diet to free up some time.

    Positives:
    - Was able to make time to hang out with friends twice this weekend.
    - Frying plantains. thats yums.
    - I appreciate my old fitness routine
    - Exposing my parents to healthier ways to eat
    - Marginally gaining weight

    Negatives:
    - Experiencing a large degree of discouragement and apathy of the program
    - Losing strength

    Goals for next week:
    - Look for high calorie shake recipes.

  22. #22
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    April 21

    Kicking off the Rockstar exercise regimen has been a fairly seamless progression for me from a weightlifting perspective. During the application process I started exercising and dieting again, knowing that if I were selected, that I would really need to drop a good amount of weight and be healthy enough to undertake Rockstarís extreme fitness program when it started in April. Three months ago, I was 210 pounds and couldnít run a mile on the treadmill without taking a break in between. Mainly because my knees and ankles couldnít take the pounding weight of my fat frame. I reincorporated weights, running and healthy diet back into my life along with intermittent fasting. I pretty much quit drinking (went out one night with friends to celebrate the day I quit my job after getting to know that I was selected for Rockstar). When the fitness program started in April, I had dropped exactly 10 kilograms (roughly 22 pounds) and I could run up to 5 miles on the treadmill without having to take breaks. I was ready for Rockstarís fitness programÖ.or was I?

    I have done a lite version of the Kris Gethinís Hardcore 12-week program in the past with good success. The most challenging aspect of sticking to a 12 week or long period exercise regime is maintaining a clean diet while juggling everything else in life. I love the gym, but am not the biggest fan of figuring out how to eat. Fortunately for me, Iím no longer working and have enough time to meal prep. Iím eating mainly oats, protein powder, chicken breasts, sweet potatoes and broccoli. All of it weighed out on a scale and logged into a tracker that has been created by our program mentors. Iím supplementing with BCAAs, L-Carnitine, Creatine and Glutamine, Tribulus, fish oil and vitamins. All of this has been a big shock to my system. Iím not used to doing cardio twice per day and pushing myself to the point of failure in the gym.

    This week is what I would consider a success. First of all I was able to drop a little over 7lbs. Shedding weight has become very tough for me over the past couple of years. My metabolism seems to have gotten a boost from eating 5-6 small meals per day along with some of the fat burner supplements and the Tribulus.

    One of the cool things that Iím noticing about this program so far so far is the level of accountability we share across the group of guys on the program. Weíve all been assigned mentors who have gone through the process themselves. I have two mentors on different sides of the world in a group chat with me, so I can get a question answered pretty much 24/7.

    Some fitness goals that Iíd like to achieve during this time:

    1) Drop my body fat down to 10-12% range. Thatís a lot in 12 weeks. But Iím gunning for it.

    2) Drop at another 10-15 kilograms from my Fitness Program starting weight.

    3) Run 4.5-5k in 20 minutes Ė we have 20-minute cardio sessions twice per day in this program and I want to utilize them to increase my running speed. I havenít run a 5k in under 20 minutes in over 20 years.

    Starting Weight: 86.4kgs

    Current Weight: 83kgs

  23. #23
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    April 28

    The week started off strong and I managed to drop another pound on the scale. However there seems to be a lot of water weight swings. I go to Bikram Yoga a few times per week and its no real surprise that the mornings after Bikram seem to show bigger drops on the scale. The good thing is that I’ve been getting in a routine and nailing the diet down into the appropriate macro percentages quite well. I do go to sleep at night feeling somewhat hungry, but I’m used to that feeling now as I was doing some intermittent fasting a few days per week prior to starting this fitness program. I am just trying to be mindful of my energy levels, especially before I lift, so I can put in the maximum effort when I’m hitting weights.

    Positives:

    - Clothes are definitely fitting looser in all the right spots and getting tighter in the arms and shoulders. I’m starting to bust some clothes out of the closet that I haven’t worn in a while. I’ve got a long way to go to get where I want to be, but it's an encouraging sign.

    - I’ve dropped enough sagging water weight and face fat that I think I’m looking a little younger. When I’m overweight, I tend to age a few more years. It was my 44th birthday this week and a girl couldn’t believe I was out of my 30s when I told her my actual age. Earlier this year people didn’t have any trouble guessing I was in my mid-40s. Maybe the girl guessing my age were bullshitting me to be nice, but I choose to believe her

    Negatives:

    - My scale weight has done a bit of a yoyo this week. I’m sure it has to do with water and fluid intake, but I got pretty excited with the 7 pound drop I had last week. I’ve bounced up a little through out the week, but by week end I’m down around 1.5 pounds in total from last week. The body fat composition read on the scale sucks too, but at least its trending in the right direction over these past two weeks.

    - I may be looking a little younger, but my body still feels old AF in some places. My ankles don’t want to run on the treadmill right now. I’m doing extra sessions of Bikram Yoga as my second cardio in the afternoon to help relieve my joints. I really want to stay on track with the treadmill as running has always been one of my favorite forms of exercise.

    Goals for the week:

    - Try to get back on the treadmill ASAP. I’ve found that when I run more, my body fat tends to come off faster than when I do low intensity cardio sessions.

    - Get down to 81 KGs or less. I feel like this week was a kind of a plateau, but I think getting down to 80-81 KGs is doable. My target for the start of the program is around 70-72 KGs. Dropping around one kilogram per week from here on out.

    - Start getting my personal affairs in order. Ramadan will be starting in around a week. Ideally, I’d like to leave this place for one month and avoid having to go to the gym while you can’t consume water or protein shakes. But I need to get a lot of things done here in town with my car, apartment and taxes before heading out. Also plan on where to go next. I may Air BnB an apartment in Bangkok or go down to a fitness focused area of the island of Phuket. May flip a coin on that one (or Google which one has better weather right now lol).

    Starting Weight This Week: 83kgs
    Current Weight: 82.4kgs

  24. #24
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    May 5

    This week was pretty similar to last week. Slower paced change on the scale from week one, but am still down a little over a kilogram which is keeping me on pace to lose around one KG per week during the fitness portion of the program. I battled with some stomach sickness, a sore throat and small cold towards the end of the week, but I’ve managed to plow through it. I recognized the symptoms and loaded up on vitamin C and glutamine. My food has changed very little from last week, so not quite sure how I got the stomach bug. I’ve been filling up my BCAA bottle with fountain water from the gym, so maybe that’s what it was. My goal of getting back on the treadmill or even running much for that matter has hit a wall. I was only able to manage two runs and the rest of my cardio sessions have been on the stairmaster or elliptical machine.

    On the non-fitness side of things, I’ve got the ball rolling with starting the process of paying my American income taxes, dealing with leaving my foreign residency situation and finding a buyer for my car. Once Rockstar is over, I don’t really intend to move back to my current city of Dubai unless something amazing presents itself to me. I’ve been working in financial services for several years and am actually looking forward to taking a long break from working in an office job. I will likely want to do some travelling around the world. Part of my time right now is getting my affairs in order and offloading a lot of unnecessary excess furniture and clothes. As I look around my apartment, I struggle to see items that really mean anything to me. That said, I do like my comfy bed and will miss crashing into it.

    So how did the week go on?

    Positives

    - I’ve dropped a good amount of body fat percentage on the scale monitor. The machine fluctuates wildly, so I’m not totally confident in its accuracy when I step on the scale, but it is showing a nice down trend since the start.

    - I’m starting to get comments on my noticeable change in appearance. Two separate people have said that I’ve dropped a good amount of weight since they’ve last seen me. When you check the scale every day, sometimes you don’t realize progress until somebody says something. My main goal is dropping fat right now. I think my frame supports muscle fairly well and if I keep hammering out all the exercises on the program, I’ll continue to add muscle while losing this load of fat on me.

    - My cravings for junk food are almost non-existent. But let’s see how that goes when I’m passing a padthai stand on the street in Thailand next week.

    Negatives

    - I want to be out of Dubai during Ramadan, which is starting this evening but that doesn’t look possible for at least another week until I get some things taken care of.

    - My cardio has been relegated to low intensity slow burn cardio. I would prefer to run or do something more intense, however, my ankle is telling me to stick with the elliptical machine. For me to get the same kind of calorie burn as running, I need to spend an extra 10 to 15 minutes on a slow burn cardio machine. It's not all that bad as I tend to catch up on podcasts or Netflix shows.

    Goals for the Week:

    - Try to lose another kilogram and get to 80kgs or under by end of week 4. I haven’t been at that weight in two years.

    - Finalize the sale of my car.

    - Start clearing out my apartment.

    - Finalize a few more tax and residency errands.

    - Plan Thailand trip and buy air tickets that I can schedule around my diet and exercise program.

    Starting Weight This Week: 82.4kgs

    Current Weight: 81.3kgs

  25. #25
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    May 12

    This week was slightly hectic. On the fitness front, I banged out all of my workouts and was able to get running on the treadmill again. I was able to get to 79.2kgs on the scale, which is a nice milestone considering I haven’t been at this weight in a couple of years. I’m down 35 pounds since January and 15 pounds since the start of the Rockstar fitness program. I think part of the reason that I was able to lose some more weight these past two weeks is that I’ve been eating in a feeding window of 8 hours and fasting for 16 hours. The fasted window also has me sleeping for 8 hours, so I just don’t eat 4 hours before and after sleeping, which is very manageable.

    On the personal front, I had to get a number of big things done such as selling my car and setting up my month-long trip to Thailand starting this weekend. I was almost unable to sell my car at the last minute on a technicality here where the local government prevents you from selling a vehicle till its paid off at the bank which you financed it from. Funny thing is that I paid it off three years ago. Apparently, that doesn’t matter until you get the bank to give you a release letter showing that it was paid off. That meant I had to rush to the bank and get the letter all on a Ramadan afternoon leading up to the weekend (I mention Ramadan because things are notoriously slow during this time of year as people work shorter hours and tend not to be as proactive about getting things done). Fortunately, I was able to get the letter and am also fortunate that government agencies are open on Saturday, which allowed me to transfer ownership to the buyer. Had I not gotten it done, I would have had to change my trip, which would have been an expensive blunder given that I booked the cheapest fares.

    Positives

    - I pretty much hit all of my goals for the week

    o I made it to 80kgs

    o Sold my vehicle

    o Bought my tickets to Thailand and was able to get what looks like a really cool apartment in Bangkok booked up for a couple of weeks.

    Negatives

    - I’m feeling some anxiety and fatigue and I think it’s a culmination of a few different things:

    o I’m giving everything I’ve got in terms of the gym and the diet and my body is feeling the fatigue. But will it be enough to hit my goals of being 70-72 kgs and 10-12% body fat? I’m becoming fearful that it won’t happen as I planned. I just have to keep plowing forward and give it my all until Vegas starts.

    o Also, I haven’t really taken the time to think about the life change ahead of me. Those thoughts are starting to creep in. I quit my job of nearly a decade. I am packing up and leaving a place that I’ve been for most of my adult life with no plans to return. Clearly, I was also stressed about getting my car sold and the drama that surrounded it which didn’t help with my mental and physical exhaustion.

    Goals for the week:

    - Make sure my diet remains on point once I arrive in Bangkok. This means I have to find some program approved foods as soon as I hit the ground and not eat any food on the plane.

    - Make sure my exercise regimen doesn’t skip a beat either. I’ve looked at several gyms online and my apartment complex has some decent cardio equipment. Most everything looks fairly seamless, but I’ve got to have a plan B.

    - Get to below 78.5 kgs or lower and maintain my pace of dropping one kilogram per week. I think this is going to be tougher (especially with traveling) as I continue to lose weight, but I need to keep gunning for it.

    - Destress and enjoy a nice two-hour foot massage once I get squared away in Bangkok

    Starting Weight: 81.3 kgs

    Current Weight: 79.2 kgs

  26. #26
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    May 19

    Howdy from Bangkok, Thailand fellas. Its been a hectic week. I flew in on the red-eye from Dubai so that I could arrive in the morning and not miss any of my fitness portion of the program. I also basically switched a rest/yoga day with a workout day to make my travel day more bearable. Unfortunately, I arrived at 7:30 am and my property manager wouldn’t let me check in to my serviced apartment until 2 p.m. despite the fact that I requested an early check-in. I was a little bit pissed off, but it actually turned out to be a good thing because it forced me to go out and get my life set up here in terms of getting a gym membership and signing up for Thai classes. In fact, I attended an entire day of class before checking into my apartment. This required loads of coffee (no sugar or milk ) to stay awake and attentive during the class. After that, negotiated a month-long gym membership at a very nice and quiet body builder’s gym near my house and was able to return to do my work-out after I got some food in me.

    It took me a couple of days to get the diet re-calibrated to the macros that I’m aiming to hit, but I made sure to stay in the calorie range and eat as clean as possible. My weight continues to fall at my target pace of approximately 1kg per week leading up to Vegas. I made sure to bring supplements with me in my luggage and I’m fortunately staying at a condo with a very large supermarket next door which steams brown rice and sells an assortment of sweet potatoes. There’s also a food court that will cook chicken breasts for me (although they are fried on a skillet and suspect they’re using vegetable oil). But that said I’ve found some healthier options for my protein over the course of the week and am not getting my chicken from the food court anymore. The toughest part about assimilating is finding the right food options here but I’m working it out.

    Finally, I want to send a thank you to one of our fellow Rockstars. He helped introduce me to a close friend of his here in Bangkok who knows this place like the back of his hand. He’s shown me around a bit and we actually went surfing this past Friday night at one of those cool generated static wave parks. I fell on my ass quite a few times but it was really fun. I think the Thais watching probably had more fun though.

    Positives this week:

    - I exceeded my target of getting my weight lower than 78.5 kgs; getting down to 77.9 kgs

    - I think the fact that I didn’t get any sleep on the plane and was busy from the time I hit the ground all day Monday to the time I went to bed completely eliminated jetlag for me. My body clock hasn’t noticed the change in time zones at all.

    - The Thai classes are really helping me put together parts of the language that I was missing. I spoke a fair amount of the language before coming here, but I believe continuing these classes and staying here for a month will take my ability to communicate in this language to the next level.

    - I found a really cool park with a 2 km running track around a giant pond/lake which is located in the middle of the city here in Bangkok. I love to run and this will fit very nicely into my cardio routine. In fact, I ran around the park twice today to knock out a cardio session.

    - Carrying less weight is helping my ability to run more frequently.

    Negatives this week:

    - The city here has its share of pollution. Running outside is cool at the park, but getting there requires some nasty smells and taking in around 5 or so minutes of exhaust from cars and motorbikes.

    - I can’t sign up for the next Thai course because I have to go back to Dubai next month to cancel my old company’s residence visa and transition to another residence visa there. I really enjoy learning new languages and I’m having a lot of fun practicing what I’m learning with the locals here.

    Goals for the week:

    - Stay on track and get down to 77 kgs or below.

    - Try to spend at least one entire day this upcoming week not saying a single word in English. This may require me having to go off the social media grid for a day or not speak with any expats and tourists. It’s going to be a little bit of a challenge, but I think I can do it.

    - Instead of checking my phone for unimportant things like looking at Instagram, study my Thai language flashcards and master all of my lessons from the language course.

    Starting Weight: 79.2 kgs
    Current Weight: 77.9 kgs

  27. #27
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    May 26

    It’s been a nice week of mainly just staying in a routine. I’ve been hitting the gym every day as well as running in the park for my cardio sessions when I can. I had a buddy visit on the weekend from London. He kind of expected that I’d be drinking, but I basically told him I was on a health kick and wouldn’t be able to partake with him. It was cool because he just had a few drinks while we were out. Bangkok is a crazy place and he got to experience the naughty side of the town as many tourists like to do. It was fun, but ended up being really tiring as I was used to going to bed around 11 pm and waking up at 7:30 am for Thai classes. I’m kind of glad he’s taking off so I can go strong on my last week of this language course without interruptions. At the end of this upcoming week, I plan on going down to Phuket where the focus will be 100% fitness. I will probably add more to my cardio regimen there and do yoga daily in addition to the required lifting and diet. I have the time, so I may as well dedicate my all to this program.

    Positives:

    - I was able to shed approximately another kilogram. I ended up at 77 kgs down from 77.9. My body weight and fat scale % fluctuates with water intake during the day but the trend is still downwards and that’s what counts. The fat percentage is routinely in the 16-17% range for this week. That’s a lot better then where I started at 26% six weeks ago. I can’t believe that I’ve made it this far so fast. The % bodyfat scale may be lying a little, but I feel like a different physical version of myself for sure. That said, I still need to get down to 10% or better by Vegas while building and retaining muscle mass.

    - I was able to spend most of this past week speaking Thai without using any English. I’ve learned how to ask "how do you say xxx" or "what does this mean?" in Thai or worst case play charades with people until they help me with how to say it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t keep it up the entire time while my friend was in town, but he was pretty impressed with the amount of the language that I’ve picked up. I must say that the Thai people are very friendly and helpful when they see a foreigner like me trying to learn their language. Most of the time there’s a look of shock on their faces followed by laughter (mainly because I might pronounce “ride on a motorcycle” like “shit on a motorcycle” because the pronunciation is so challenging in the language. One word that a person hears in English can be six different words in Thai depending on a slight tone variation). But the cool thing is that I’m calibrating to the language with all the help of all the people here I practice the language with in my day to day.

    Negatives:

    - My living situation is starting become logistically painful. I had to change apartments because my condo was booked by another guest beyond the time that I wanted to stay. They put me in a new condo with no blanket on the bed and a dripping faucet that couldn’t be stopped. Ironically there was no running water from the very same faucet. Just a drip. FML. Well, both situations caused me to lose an entire night’s worth of sleep because the air-conditioning was too cold and the drip was very loud and annoying. Thai water torture? I sent a video to my property manager for both issues and they agreed to move me to a new place tomorrow. But the lack of sleep leaves me feeling really like I don’t want to train today. It will get done, but I may need to grab a coffee ahead of the gym.

    - When I leave Bangkok and travel to Phuket, I’m going to have to move a rest/yoga day forward because I won’t have much time to go to the gym between the last day of Thai classes and my flight out to Phuket. I think I’ll manage it.

    Goals for the Week:

    - Stay on top of the Thai classes. Have lessons and vocab nailed down before all classes. Finish the course strong.

    - Run at the park for my second cardio of the day at least three days before heading to Phuket.

    - Get straight to work on my diet and exercise when I get to Phuket.

    - Lose another kilogram. This is getting tougher and tougher. I think if I even lose more than half a KG I’m not going to feel as though I failed at it this week.

    Starting Weight: 77.9 KGs

    Current Weight: 77 KGs

  28. #28
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    June 2

    Progress and Failure

    Now the weeks feel like they’re flying by. One of my biggest problems in general is maintaining long lasting motivation. I usually get really excited about something, go totally gung-ho over it and then start slipping after a few weeks/months. This is the longest I’ve ever stayed true to a fitness regimen without cheating on weightlifting, cardio and food. I’ve been going to the gym for several years, but I also go through periods of self-sabotage and kill progress made with binge eating and booze. As I get older and my metabolism slows down, I am realizing how much I need to maintain a healthy diet and go to the gym. Recovering from a week of partying and binge eating can take up to a month or more for me to get back to the same level of health as before I went off ledge. Healthy living needs to be like a religion for me. That said, this week I found myself slacking a little in terms of logging my workouts and food on time. I need to stay on top of all of this stuff and finish strong. I have made a ton of progress. To put things into perspective, so far after week 7 of the fitness program, I’m down 21 pounds. Currently I am back in Phuket, Thailand where I was in March and the hotel staff where I stay can’t believe how different I look from when I was here then. They all keep saying “pom” which means slim and “lon” which means handsome. Its kind of funny and feels great, but I also have to be mindful falling off the wagon. I know the other guys on PR 2019 are busting their asses and I’m not going to be the guy who shows up knowing that he could have put in more effort in the gym or maintained the dietary parameters better.

    That leads me to something I’ve been thinking about over the past couple of weeks: The idea of Failure. For the longest time I’ve associated a negative connotation with failures. Primarily because I am a person who has failed at many things when it comes to personal development. Much of the time it has had more to do with me not finishing something that I’ve started rather than having given an honest effort. I think its fair to call that type of failure negative. Because I quit on myself. I don’t think a person ever sees much progress and personal growth from constantly behaving that way. In fact, I think constantly giving up is something that has contributed to a negative self-image that I’ve projected upon myself. Its a feeling that I don't have confidence in myself. However, there seems to be an alternative failure. In self help communities, particularly in dating/pick up, you hear guys talking about how they actually enjoy moments of failure. Because when they fail, they learn something. There’s even an adage in self-development called “win or learn.” This is an area where I haven’t enjoyed as much of these types of reference experiences. The reason being is because people who get better at a skill set at least give an honest effort at something. They are getting the right reference experiences, good or bad, that helps them evolve. Part of the reason I'm thinking about this is because something cool has been happening over the past few weeks where I actually have been putting myself in situations, either in the gym or immersed in my language learning where I’ve actually started to enjoy my failures. For example, here in Thailand I’m constantly trying to speak nothing but Thai here with the locals. Sometimes I think I know something and have it down in their language, but then get a little giggle from the person that I’m speaking to. They’ll correct me and teach me what I've screwed up properly. Or when I get an answer wrong on my exams and quizzes in Thai. Strangely I would prefer to get something wrong than right when I'm guessing the answer. If I get it right on a guess, it turns out to be a false positive for my ego. When I get it wrong, I learn more from those moments when reviewing the right answers. Failure can lead to quick progress for me if I do it the right way (sounds kind of ironic). Not sure why I got off on that tangent, but this is a journal and those are my thoughts.

    Positives:

    - I’ve lost 40 pounds since I started my Project Rockstar application process back in January. I knew that if I were to get accepted to this, that I would need a real head start before even the fitness program started. The fitness program has just kicked things into a higher gear. I still have a long way to go before I hit my physique goals, but I’m really happy with my progress so far in terms of weight loss.

    - I hit all my goals for last week except that I didn’t meet my weight loss of one kilogram. I managed to make it to the gym despite having friends visiting me in Bangkok. I even left a bar they were partying at to go running in the park and agreed to meet up with them later. It was kind of funny though with me drinking soda waters while they were downing Jager bombs.

    Negatives:

    - My weight loss isn’t really happening at the same pace. This feels inevitable. The more I get down to a lower weight, it seems the harder it is to come off.

    - I was starting to slack off in entering things into my fitness tracker. The job got done, but I have to remain vigilant about staying on track. If I blow one thing off, I’ll get comfortable and shirk on meals or won’t go as hard in the gym.
    Goals for the Week:

    - Find a gym that offers an intense cardio training group class for a reasonable price and join a weight lifting gym for a week. I only have one week left on my visa here in Thailand before I have to head back to Dubai. I need to spend it going all out in the gym.

    - Try to get to Bikram Yoga 4 to 5 times over the next 7 days in addition to lifting and cardio. I always feel really good after doing this and 90 minutes of hot yoga is probably equivalent to around 25-30 minutes of jogging in terms of calorie burn.

    - Make sure I have all of my Project Rockstar journaling and tracker logging done on time and immediately.

    Starting Weight: 77 KGs
    Current Weight: 76.7 KGs

  29. #29
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    Week 1

    First week is in the books and it was a week of both challenges and some definite positives.

    Challenges

    Last Sunday (April 14th) I got back from Amsterdam late in the afternoon and had to fly to New York early Monday. So I didn’t spend nearly the time I should have preparing for what is an all encompassing workout program.

    I was was not at home for most of the week due to travel and that made the eating part difficult. My solution was to basically eat only eggs at the hotel buffet and buy dinner from Whole Foods in pre-packaged containers so I knew exactly how many calories I was consuming. I hit my calorie goals but my macro split was all over the place.

    Even though I’ve been working out semi-regularly for 15 years, I’ve basically done the same exercises the entire time. It means that I’ve had to watch videos on how to do at least 2 exercises every day.

    Positives

    I lost weight this week, starting at about 76 KGs and ending at 74 KGs (see Americans can adapt!). My goal is to get to around 70 and 7-8% body fat in 4 weeks and then start gaining.

    4 of the new exercises (new to me) I really like - lying cable extensions, upright barbell row, the standing pulldown and ab ripper x. Call me strange but I enjoy doing the ab ripper x...maybe I’m not pushing hard enough but my ab soreness suggests otherwise.

    The smart scale and the fitbit I bought per Andrew’s rec are super nifty. I’m a pretty cheap dude and never buy the latest tech gadgets. Of course when I do, they instantly change my life. I think I checked my fitbit 373 times today.

    I showed up to my gym today and it was closed for Easter (thanks Jesus!) but I sure as hell wasn’t going to miss a workout. So I signed up for a free pass at a gym nearby to get a free workout. Turns out it’s a way, way nicer gym than mine and the same price so I switched gyms and am pretty pumped about it.

    It feels good to be part of a program rather than just going through the motions like I have been for years. And eating clean has been easy with the right motivation.

  30. #30
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    Week 2

    Second week is in the books!

    Challenges

    Again I had to travel this week as I was in New York finishing up a project. It was an intense last week and I ended up averaging 4 hours and 5 minutes of sleep from Sunday through Wednesday night. Still got all my workouts in...but had to leave the rest of the team at 10 pm one night to sneak on one in. Probably frowned upon, however you really need to prioritize yourself sometimes

    Again not being at home for most of the week due to travel and made the eating part difficult. My solution was still to basically eat only eggs at the in the morning and try to eat everything else pre-packaged (salads and what not). Again, I hit my calorie goals but my macro split was all over the place. My fat % was almost 50% this week so need to cut way back on whole eggs and almonds. Almonds are just an easy snack (I eat 10 at a time) throughout the day and I can easily keep a bag in my backpack, but will need to cut back to 10-20 a day

    I’ve never done 50 reps of anything in my life. The hack squat today was no picnic

    Positives

    I lost weight this week, about 2 pounds. I also look better than I have since my 20s for sure. Pretty awesome to make noticeable progress in two weeks.

    I’m still cranking through most of the workouts. My new gym already came in handy being open 24 hours. I flew back to Chicago on Thursday night and landed at about 11:30 and went straight to the gym.

    I’m not traveling next week so dieting will be much easier. I’ve loaded up on approved foods including a ton of chicken and fish. I don’t think I will have too much trouble hitting my macro splits for the week.

    My fitbit, I’m a little obsessed

  31. #31
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    Week 3

    Sorry for the late post, I had a bit of a fire drill with work and have been in New Jersey the past couple of days.

    Overall week three kind of sucked.

    Challenges

    For whatever reason, I had a bit of a spike in my weight early in week 3 and really spent most of the week just trying to get back down to my late week 2 readings. That was somewhat frustrating after making what felt like fairly rapid progress in the first two weeks. I did finally get a food scale towards the end of the week which I think will help me be more accurate with my calorie counting

    For the first time since the start of the program, I felt a little annoyed at something we had to do. I am pretty busy as I know all of you are as well, and I don’t feel like an hour of stretching is a great use of my time. I am doing the program as laid out because that’s what I committed to do and am trusting that others know better than me, but it is much easier to do so when it’s easy for me to envision the benefits. I already incorporate stretching at the end of my workouts by stretching out whichever muscle groups I worked out that day, and the hour of stretching seems like overkill. On the bright side however, I did discover a few stretches that I like and will incorporate in my routine moving forward.

    Positives

    I finally had a week with no travel and was really able to eat clean and get my macros in line with my targets. I like the fact that I am limiting my calories but rarely feel hungry. I also feel like I have better energy with all the clean eating. Really hoping that the weight fluctuation was an aberration and that the addition of the food scale will help to make sure things are on the right track.

    The Brazilian nanny I have been hanging out with said that she could notice the difference in my body on Friday. So I will definitely take that positive reinforcement.

    Workouts are going well and I’m continuing to learn new exercises that I enjoy doing. I’ve also lost some of the tenderness in the tendons of my biceps so I’m feeling good

    I need to give a listen to everyone else’s week 3 experiences…I hope they were better than mine!

  32. #32
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    Week 4

    Fourth week is in the books and what a difference a week makes! I turned 33 yesterday but I sure as hell don’t feel old.

    Challenges

    I had to travel Monday and Tuesday for a training in New Jersey but I managed to eat pretty clean and find a gym to work out at. That’s really it for challenges

    Positives

    After a rough week last week, I lost about 3 lbs this week. There is a chance some of that is muscle and/or water weight, however it felt good to be making progress again

    I can now unequivocally say that I am in the best shape in years, because I now have an unbroken V from my lower abdomen to my hips for the first time in a long time

    It seems as if losing weight is making it easier for me to run. I just ran a 5k in 21:15 which is easily the best time I’ve made since I hurt my leg last year. And the runs have been fairly easy lately rather than laborious

    In my personal life, I ended things with the girl that I’ve been seeing recently. I more or less planned my birthday celebration around going to a Cubs game with her and her friends, and she still managed to be a real C U Next Tuesday the whole day. I was finally exasperated and just told her to go home. I’ve known for a while that she wasn’t the right fit for me, but she has a smoking body which I’m a real sucker for. I’m including this in the positives because I knew I was going to have to break it off at some point and it was stressing me out. Now I don’t have to worry about it anymore

    That’s it for me, best of luck in week 5 everyone!

  33. #33
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    Week 5

    Fifth week is in the books.

    Challenges

    I’m starting to get a bit annoyed that despite the fact that the pounds are dropping off, the body fat according to my scale is not dropping. I realize the scale (just a regular scale, not a handheld one) is probably not very accurate, however, I expected the trend to be steadily downward. That being said, I can see the results on my body so I’m not overly concerned about it. Really, there are two ways to look at it, either it’s wrong and my body fat is actually lower, or it’s right and I have some room to improve. To be honest, I would be OK with either. It’s probably time to look into a more accurate measurement. It’s probably time to look into a more accurate measurement.

    Other people have talked about the difficulty of trying to switch exercises and rep counts constantly, and I’m definitely struggling with the same. Switching up exercises and reps with almost every workout by body part makes things a bit difficult. I am unsure what the right starting weight is and usually it isn’t until the last set that I have things dialed in, and sometimes not even then.

    I totally get the reasoning behind switching exercises and varying things up as your body adjusts to workouts rather quickly and you see plateaus. It’s not theory I have trouble with but rather making sure I am selecting the right weights with each exercise.


    Positives

    I didn’t have to travel at all this week and I am kind of on auto-pilot with the workouts and eating. I am basically eating the same things every day but to be honest that doesn’t really bother me. The more disciplined I am, the easier it is for me to be disciplined...I almost feel like discipline is a muscle that can be trained like anything else

    I also look pretty fucking good. I take my shirt off in the locker room at the gym and it’s hard for me not to spend some time staring at my body in the mirror right now. If you’re going to put in the work, you might as well enjoy the gym mirror porn.

    Personal

    Now that I'm not dating anyone, I have time to spend on myself. I got back into Toastmasters (public speaking club) this weekend and also did an amateur stand-up comedy set for the first time in about 6 months on Friday night. I bombed pretty damn hard which is not a great feeling. It’s a funny thing trying to reconcile jokes which you think are funny in your head with people’s actual reaction to them. The thing is, I think it’s like anything else in life, the more you do it the better you get. For me at least, I think it’s more about the delivery than the jokes themselves, and my delivery just wasn’t very good.

    Best of luck in week 6 everyone!

  34. #34
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    Week 6

    We are halfway through the fitness program and it feels like time has really flown by. At the halfway point, I am in the best shape I have been in since my mid 20s and am mostly satisfied with the results thus far. I hope to be in the best shape of my life by the end of it!

    Challenges - Fitness Program

    The body fat on my scale continues to hang in place above 11% despite the fact that I continue to lose weight. Although I am pretty sure the eye test is telling me that my body fat is indeed, I decided to schedule a Dexa scan for this upcoming Thursday. I am expecting it to show closer to 10% than the current 11.5%ish that the scale continues to show.

    I didn’t lose as much weight this week as in some previous weeks. However, I think that is partially due to my final reading last Sunday showing a bit of a drastic drop which was probably due to a little dehydration. My weight climbed at the beginning of the week which I speculate was my body rehydrating but has gone steadily downward since.

    Positives - Fitness Program

    I really like the fact that I am rarely having to look up exercises anymore, as almost everything is a repeat of what we have done before. I feel I was able to dial in and get a good pump on almost all exercises this week, which I didn’t necessarily feel in previous weeks.

    I also was about to give up on the hack squat this week because I was having pain in my knees consistently whenever I do it. However, I looked up the proper form and saw I
    needed to turn my feet outward a bit and put my feet a little higher on the plate. And voila the knee pain was gone and I proceeded to have the best workout of the entire program so far

    Despite losing close to 5 kilos at this point, I haven’t really lost much strength which I am really happy about. The only time I’ve ever counted calories before, I lost a good bit of weight but also lost a significant amount of strength. So I will attribute my ability to keep my strength to the diet and the program. I am very curious as to what will happen when I do eventually switch to a gainer.

    Today when I was about to leave the gym it was raining pretty hard. I didn’t want to get my Fitbit wet since it is basically like a child to me at this point, so I took my shirt off, wrapped it around my fitbit and ran home. At the risk of sounding narcissistic, I really enjoyed it as well because I like the way I look and it was the first time with my shirt off in public.

    Personal

    I’m definitely starting to get a bit stressed out about my work situation. When I applied to Rockstar I had a job that I hated and would have definitely quit with no second thoughts for Rockstar. However, that company was dissolved in the middle of March and I didn’t have enough money to feel comfortable living off of what I had for 6 months. The $2.1 grand a month I pay in student loans doesn’t help matters at all.

    Luckily I was able to find a new job relatively quickly and to be honest I like it a lot more. They also just made an announcement that made me pretty excited about the future of the company. I would definitely like to have this job when I get back, but I will be requesting leave at with at most 4 months under my belt. Right now it’s a bit of a push/pull between giving them advance notice to give them ample time so I am not putting them in a bad spot, but also not telling them too early in case they just want to let me go right away.

    I think I am just going to have to frame it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go on an adventure and travel and hope for the best. I actually think it will work out, but if it doesn’t I’m sure that will work out too. I will feel better once I know one way or another.

    Best of luck with the 2nd half everyone!

  35. #35
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    Week 7

    Week 7 is over and for the most part it was pretty routine as the fitness program goes. I haven’t been traveling at all lately and it’s getting easier and easier to head to the gym every day. I did have one night at the office until 11:30 PM and had to go to the gym afterward, but with my 24 hour gym it’s no big deal. And I must say I never had separate days for ab workouts before and I’m loving the abs workouts and the fact that there were two this week.

    Challenges - Fitness Program

    So I finally went and got a Dexa scan this week and the results were not exactly in line with what I was expecting. My overall body fat was over 12% which I was shocked by, but a couple of things that made it a little less shocking. 1) The body fat on my stomach is 7% so I don’t think I was crazy for thinking that it was lower than the 11.5ish% I was seeing on my scale. 2) The technician said she had done almost 1,000 scans and only once had she seen someone below 8% in total body fat.

    In the end, I think I had unreasonable expectations about what body fat % was achievable. In order to hit 8% body fat you are going to have to be much lower than 8% in certain areas to make up for areas such as the legs where you are inevitably going to have higher body fat.

    The technician also said that handheld and other types of scales are notoriously inaccurate and known for serially underreporting body fat and that people are often disappointed with the dexa scan because the numbers they see are higher. She said all those scales do is send an electric impulse through your body to measure the amount of water, and the results are influenced by the amount of water in your system. (more water will actually lead to a lower body fat rating)

    I strained a muscle in my neck a few weeks ago, and it hasn’t really gone away. I’ve refrained from mentioning it because I know a lot of you are going through much worse, but it has certainly become an annoyance even if it’s not keeping me from working out.

    Positives - Fitness Program

    I weighed in at 69.9 kilos this morning for a loss of over 1 kilos over the past week. I weigh the least I’ve weighed since my freshman year of college and possibly even high school.

    I know I mentioned the Dexa reading as a challenge, but it was pretty cool to see that the body fat on my stomach was only 7.4% and getting confirmation that what the eye test was telling me is correct.

    Last night it was about 11:15 PM and I look at my fitbit and saw that I had only burned 2,700 calories on the day which is relatively low for me (no gym cardio on the schedule yesterday). So I went for a walk and kept walking until midnight and ended up burning about 3,050 calories. I was a little proud of myself for doing it.

    I hope everyone had a great week!

  36. #36
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    Week 1

    So, this has been an interesting week. Starting out, I was really keen to get going and very motivated. So it wasnít to hard to have the discipline to keep it up for this first week.
    What I wasnít really prepared for was that the training plus the food preparation and counting would take up as much time as they did. Also, the introduction of counting the macronutrient split from percentage rather than weight took some extra effort to try to correct the planned meals. One thing I noticed is that my energy during the day is more stable with this diet than my standard one, which consisted of a substantially higher percentage of carbs. This is really promising. Yesterday I went on a hike with some friends. We were out walking for six plus hours and my energy felt good throughout the day.

    I also noticed that I havenít been craving sweets very much. On easter Thursday there was a big bowl of candy at work. I walked by it probably ten times during the day, glancing but not really having much of an urge to eat it. I had a carrot instead and didnít think much about it. This would definitely not have been the case had it been a couple of weeks ago. Probably a combination of this diet and the fact that Iíve made up my mind to stay away from candy for this period so I donít even have to consider it.
    One thing I stilll need to figure out is the sleep. I think I will havet o refrain from eating so much the last couple of hours before bedtime, because I donít sleep very well on a full stomach.

    When it comes to the training, Iíve had severe muscle soreness throughout the week. Having trouble walking straight most days, either from leg-day or from Ab Ripper X. I realize that even though I went to the gym two to three times a week before, I used to focus on multi-joint compund exercises and I think this change will really give my body a well needed shock to adjust to.

    Probably even a little to hard of a shock as it turns out. I feel a cold is coming up, felt almost a little feverish today. Stepping up the garlic, the C and the Zink. Plus trying to get that well needed sleep tonight. Tomorrow Iíll be working a 24 hour shift, so my hope is by tomorrow morning Iíll jump out of bed feeling all refreshed.
    Iím eager to hear about your first week guys. Nice to be in this together, and Iím really looking forward to getting to know you all during the summer.

  37. #37
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    Week 2

    Things are getting a little easier now that I’m starting to get into the habits. I actually like the food and don’t think that it’s a big problem. I am in the gainers group though, so I don’t have to struggle with going hungry. I’ve made it a little complicated for myself by having 4 standard dishes that I rotate between. And I really found it worth to use fresh spices like basil and cilantro and to keep a bowl of lemons at home to sprinkle over the food.

    This week has been a little special for me since I’ve been working night-shifts. Those weeks are actually really nice since I get the days off, plus I get some extra time off another week. So I’ve had some nice warm and sunny days where it almost felt like a little vacation. The only downside during this week was that I’ve had a cold that I couldn’t quite shake off. Probably due to the fact that the sleep suffers during these night weeks. I’m not good with changing sleeping routines. Unfortunately I’m not one of those people that can just fall asleep anywhere as soon as they lay down. I’ve still done my training though, but I haven’t been able to give 100%.

    Yesterday a friend of mine wanted to set me up on a date. I wasn’t really sure how to respond. She said it was someone that she really liked, sweet both on the inside and the outside, so it sounded tempting. I’ve been to at least a handful of blind-dates before and I’m getting a little sceptical when it comes to my friends abilitites to set me up with a potential partner. And then there’s also the issue that I wouldn’t want to start dating someone seriously before the summer. It would just be bad timing. So I’m a little hesitant to this whole blind-date idea. But at the same time, spring is in the air and that’s reason enough to go on a date.

    When it comes to the training, it feels good. As for probably most of you I’ve had some injuries through the years so I know where my weak spots are. But I haven’t had any issues with the exercises so far. I think that it’s very helpful with the variations. Every part of the body gets enough rest before getting hit again.
    I have been struggling a little to gain weight this week though. And I haven’t seen very much progression when it comes to adding weight on the exercises. Maybe it’s from the lack of sleep. Hopefully next week will be better.

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    Week 3

    Already done 25% of the fitness program! I think I need to up the calories somewhat since I’m struggling to put on weight. Did see a little gain this week though. My legs really hurt for most of this week from leg day. That is by far where I get the most soreness. I hope that all the weight I’m gaining isn’t just going to gather around my thighs though. Yesterday after leg day it was really hard to get down and up the stairs afterwards. Had to hold on to the bannisters really tight.

    I’m a little careful with the stretching, since my body doesn’t respond super well to hard stretching. I’ve had some injuries when I’ve tried stretching more intensely. I honestly think (and have also read) that it’s partially genetic how you respond to stretching. But also I think that it’s not nessesarily good to stretch per se, unless you are so stiff that it prevents you from doing exercises that you like or to do certain sports that you’re into. Increased range of motion in itself is not neccesarily healthy. Though for me I could use a little more flexibility in my legs so that’s what I’ll focus on.

    I found that training this often makes me want to find more podcasts to listen to, since that’s what I usually do while working out. I have a couple of podcasts that I like, but they update once a week and with this training frequency that’s not enough.

    My cold is now finally gone. But during leg day last week I got some kind of ache from my neck which comes and goes while I’m training. For most of the week it’s been ok but yesterday on leg day it came back. When I’m not training it’s a lot better. I just hope that I won’t need to take a break from leg training, that would be a bummer. Especially when it burns so good afterwards.

  39. #39
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    Week 4


    A week of ups and downs. Both when it comes to weight and life in general.
    I finally started gaining some weight, although I was a bit disappointed to see that my scale showed half of the gains were fat. And at the end of the week I lost some of the weight again. But still, it’s heading in the right direction. And, when I did this weeks body measurements they too had gone up some.

    My health during the week has been so and so. First, I’ve had this headache that just comes when I’m doing heavy training, especially legs. But it goes away pretty fast when I stop training which is a good thing. It’s getting a little better now though. Secondly, I got this inflammation in one of my eyes, which is kind of annoying both because I can only wear my contacts in the other eye and also it looks a little swollen. It’s shouldn’t last for more than a week or two though. It actually is getting better already. But I have sometimes wondered if my body is trying to tell me something. Maybe I’m pushing it to hard.
    This weekend was the first time I went out with a friend to a bar/club since the fitness program started. I really felt a little odd, wearing only one contact, looking a little swollen and not drinking any alcohol. My friend had some pretty severe back pain from his training, so I’m sure we were a sight to be seen. We still had a pretty fun time though.

    Another thing that happened was that my freezer broke down, full of all my prepared meals. So I stuffed it all in the refridgerator and ordered a new freezer with express delivery, to be delivered the next day. Next morning I tried turning on my old ferezer again and it miraculously started. It turned out that it was just overheated from all my prepared meals (I had cooled them off before putting them in the freezer, but still there were so many, that the freezer couldn’t handle it. Luckily I just reached the company that were to deliver the new freezer before they had loaded it, so I could cancel the whole thing with a full refund. Phew.

  40. #40
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    Week 5

    I went on a weekend-trip with some friends this week, and I realised how hard it is to keep up with the training and diet whilst traveling. The fact that my friends were having wine and beer every evening didn’t make it easier. I was really tempted to have just a beer or a glass of wine to dinner, but after a while it got easier and I didn’t miss it that much in the end. And of course, every morning I felt really fresh and a little proud of myself.

    Finding a gym was a real hassle. I had looked up one before, but it turned out that there was a big holiday where we went so most places were closed. Finally I did find one place where you could get a free training if you just logged onto a webside and provided your phone number. The only problem was that I had to get a local SIM-card. The next problem was that I didn’t have a pin to unlock the SIM-card holder in my phone. Asking around I finally found a nice lady that helped me with this. I did my training session but it cost me almost half a day. So I switched around a little in the training schedule getting a rest day and did abs the next day. I was walking around a lot in the city every day so I figured I got a lot of cardio done that way.

    I’m really glad I went on the trip, I feel very refreshed and it meant a lot to just get some time away with my friends, most of whom are married with kids. Sure, it’s easier to just stay at home where I know that I’ll stick to the training and diet routines, but I don’t want the fitness program to make me sacrifice too much of my social life. I know that I don’t have as much time for my friends during this period but I still want to make it a priority as much as I can.

    Lastly, I want to adress the sore legs issue. I know a lot of you guys have also complained about it. This week was extreme though. Sure, the soreness is ususally a nice acknowledgement that the training is having effect. But when the soreness still after 5 days almost makes it impossible to climb a stair without pulling yourself up using the handrail, let alone walk in a normal fashion, it feels almost ridiculous. Just when I can finally start to bend my legs to get on a pair of trousers without looking like I’m 90+ years old, it’s time for…leg day again.

  41. #41
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    Week 6

    This week has mostly been about trying to stay with the nose above the water. I got home from my weekend-trip late last Sunday so didn’t have time to do this weeks cooking. The result was that I had to more or less improvise the food on a day to day basis. That plus a pretty hectic week at work and some social events that I wanted to attend made for a pretty crammed week. I also have some commitments coming up over the next weeks that I need to start planning for. I know that when there’s too many things going on at the same time I react by just doing what’s neccessary to get by but I lose my inner peace and I really feel the difference in life quality.

    So this morning I felt there was a lot of things I needed to do, besides shopping groceries and cooking, blogging etc. And at the same time my parents wanted me to come over for lunch with my brothers family. At first I felt that I didn’t have the time but after some contemplation I decided to go there. Afterwards I’m really happy that I did. I felt a lot easier afterwards. Just spending some time with friends or family is good for getting the right perspective on things.

    Nothing much is happening reagarding the training. I’m seeing some change when I look in the mirror but not that much. And my weight doesn’t seem to increase. A couple of weeks ago when the weight did increase my scale said that a little less than half of the gains were fat. I’m not sure if that was correct but it was a little discouraging. I’m thinking maybe if I increase the calories more I could also introduce one day a week where I switch from the gainers group to the losers. That should be a fairly effective way of losing fat, since my daily energy consumption would be high from being in the gainers group. I think I’ll introduce this idea to my mentors and see what they say.

  42. #42
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    Week 7


    I just watched my photos from week one and compared with todays. Not much progress unfortunately. But on the plus side it probably means that my usual training regime works pretty well for me. And usually I’m training three times a week so I think I’ll be able to keep that going throughout project rockstar. But there’s still five weeks to go, so maybe I’ll see more of a change in the end.

    Yesterday I had a pretty intense day. Was working 8.30-18, then back to my house to take a nap and then eat some (and even managed to squeeze in a session of AbRipperX). Then I went to a friends birthday dinner. I had told her that I was going to be late and miss dinner, which was convenient considering the diet. I knew that it was going to be a small dinner, we were only seven in total, including a girl that I used to date a year or so ago. We haven’t really met that much since dating so it was, at least to begin with some tension in the air. I can tell you that I really felt like having a beer or two when I got there. A little awkwardness entailed when I was hugging her hello and the person sitting next to her moved the chair so the leg of the chair ended up right on top of my big toe and I screamed and jumped. But after that it actually went pretty smooth, despite the lack of alcohol (or maybe because of that) and it ended up being a really fun evening.

    Todays cooking is done. I feel like every week that goes by, the routines gets easier and easier, and I just keep rationalizing things like food. At first I was ambitious and wanted lots of variations in food-wise. But now I just stick to the same dishes every day. At least I have three different dishes that I eat throughout the day. This weeks low when it comes to food was when me and a friend was doing some sports after work and then we were going to head over to another friends place since he just got a kid. I didn’t want to come there with my food so I had to bring and eat my food in the sports stadium. I couldn’t find anywhere to heat it and I had a lot of pretty dry pasta and dry fish with some frozen peas. I pretty much got a cramp in my chewing muscles.

  43. #43
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    Week 1 Blog
    The first week of the fitness and nutrition program for me was a bit of a challenge in terms of making sure that I stuck to the protocol as best as I could. I was in Bali and finishing a month long trip in Asia. Back in the states, I’m so used to just being able to jump in my car and go to the gym or go to the store whenever I need to. In Bali, I was completely reliant on a cab to get me to the gym which was a 10 minute drive in crazy traffic and then a 10 minute drive back to the house. I realize for most people that’s probably not a big deal, but just not being in control of that part was a little stressful for me. As noted in the video, while in Bali, I gave my macro information to a food prep company and relied on them to make sure I got the macros I needed.
    As I said I’ve said in my video, I did the Kris Gethin 12 week plan last year and I really enjoyed it and I did see results and people that were going to the same gym as me made comments about how ripped I was getting. When I did the Gethin workouts before, I was not pushing myself as hard as I plan to with these workouts and I was not doing all the cardio or the ab ripper x workouts. So, while I did see some results from doing it before, I’m really looking forward to the results this time around.
    The cardio, in particular, has been good for me because I’ve had plantar fasciitis for the last 5 years and that has kept me from really running. I’ve been to physical therapists for the plantar fasiitis. I was told by one particular physical therapist that I’ve got a weak right hip and that causes my right foot to take the brunt of the load and thus causes the plantar fasciitis. I’ve also explored how negative emotions can cause pain in the body. I think that it’s probably a combination of both. So, obviously, I’m running for the cardio portion and that is good for many reasons. Obviously, for the health and transformation reasons, it is good. It is also great for me because I find that when I’m running, the pain from my plantar fasciitis does not bother me. This really tells me that the pain from the plantar fasciitis is more mental than physical.
    I’m back in the states now and I’m looking forward to having more control and measuring out the food that I need. I realize it can be tedious work to measure out all the food and do conversions, but I actually enjoy the process because of the results that I know I will get. I’m pretty disciplined when it comes to doing things like this and so it’s really not a big deal for me to make sure that I get the macros right and eat what I need to.
    I’m sure the workouts this week will be strenuous, but I’m looking forward to them simply because of the results that I know I will see. Even after only last week of working out and returning home, my family says that they can see that my biceps have gotten bigger.

  44. #44
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    Week 2 Blog
    This week has been a good week. I feel like I’m really hitting stride with the workouts. I’m normally not a morning person. But I’ve found myself waking up early and looking forward to getting up and getting my meals in and getting to the gym to start my day. (One thing that helps me wake up are the birds that have built a nest on the fire sprinkler head on my outside balcony and they start chirping at 5:30 am. Kinda hard to sleep through that racket.)
    I’ve made the decision to do my workouts first thing in the morning after my breakfast settles. I want to get my workout done first thing in the morning while I’m fresh and have more energy, rather than waiting until the end of the day and I’m lower on energy.
    This last week I was basically starting and ending my day with cooking, doing dishes and eating. I’m not a naturally tidy person, so my kitchen and all the dirty dishes tend to pile up quickly before I rinse the dishes off and get them in the dishwasher.
    I’ve cooked a good bit of brown rice for the week and I still need to cook all my protein for the week and some other carbs.
    Before I started this program, I had a lady that would cook food for me and I would have food for the whole week. I made the decision to cook all of the food for this program on my own because of measuring everything out and I want to know the exact amounts of everything as it is before it is prepared and then I measure it after it’s prepared because the amount changes after it’s prepared. I know the lady that has cooked for me in the past would not want to do all of that. Also, she would ask questions about what this is all for. And that’s kind of hard to explain right now.
    I’ve been spoiled in terms of not having to cook for myself and this is a big change for me. I do not consider myself a great cook. I can get by and the food may be healthy, but I have a hard time making things taste good. I really do not know what seasoning go well with certain meats.
    As I said in my video, the workouts this week have been good. I pushed myself harder this week than I did last week and I can see the payoff. I’ve been kind of amazed at how strong my body is in comparison to what I thought. I lifted some weights this week that I didn’t think that I could before I did them. That felt good.
    I feel like when I get to the gym, I’m in my own zone and nobody else can get in. Sure there are people around, but it’s almost as if they were not there. And yet at the same time, I see the people at the gym and I wonder if they can tell just how focused I am.

  45. #45
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    Week 3 Blog
    Today is Sunday and I’m dragging. Yesterday’s leg workout kicked my butt. Ever since high school, I’ve enjoyed leg workouts because I feel like it works my whole body. Today, I really feel the burn of the glute muscles that I worked yesterday on the hack squats and leg press. I’m appreciative of the workout and the burn because my hips/glutes are a weaker part of my body and I know this will help that. As I said in my video, there was a mirror in front of the hack squat machine that I was using. I think seeing myself do the actual lift, fueled me to push through the discomfort. I found it interesting to see the form that my body has taken on. It has begun to have that “V” shape that guys would like to have. I felt good about the work the work that I’ve been putting in and the changes coming about.
    I have been spending quite a bit of time warming up and stretching prior to all the workouts. I know that I’m hyper-sensitive to getting injured and I don’t want to do that and then not be able to continue to push myself in future weeks. I realize the warming up and stretching takes extra time. But it’s definitely worth it to me.
    On the nutrition and cooking front, I’m really enjoying getting up every morning and weighing myself and monitoring my body fat. I can see the changes and it’s a good feeling. I’m keeping my food pretty basic as it’s easier for me to keep the calculations basic. I feel like life can be complicated enough, so no reason to add extra complications with recipes. I’m probably not getting the greens and veggies that I need because I don’t even want to add that extra dynamic of calculations. I’ve got a routine down for the amount of carbs that I need and I’m eating that and it works. Even though the food is starting to get boring, I realize the results will pay off in the end. I finally bought a George Foreman grill. Wow, that makes cooking steak so much easier. I haven’t tried cooking chicken on it yet. Kind of unsure of the results I will get. Maybe it’s just as simple as cooking the steak. The second week of the program I was eating some ground beef that was 90-93% lean. This last week I ate ground beef that was 85% lean. It’s amazing to me the 5-8% difference in the fat content can have in the taste. It was way more enjoyable.
    I know why parents, moms in particular complain about cooking and doing dishes. Holy cow, it seems like that’s all my life is right now. Even if I think I get a head of the cooking or the dishes, it stacks back up in a hurry and I can feel my spirit sink, like “Oh, shit. I thought I was ahead and now I’m behind again.” Wow, I think that I can relate that to other stuff in life also.
    I’m looking forward to another week of results and I hope all you guys have a great week. For those of you who have injured yourself, I hope you get to feeling better.

  46. #46
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    Week 4 Blog
    Hey Guys, Week 4 in the books. That feels GREAT! I like the changes that I’m seeing in my body and on the scale. The past 4 weeks have felt long and arduous. Now, realizing that we’ve only got 8 weeks left to make huge changes in our body, that makes me want to push it even more.
    I’m in the gainer group and eating around 2,800-2,900 calories a day. It’s a lot of food compared to what I was used to before, but it’s actually been enjoyable to eat that much - even though brown rice and whole grain pasta can get boring, lol. I’ve been told my my fitness mentors that, at some point, we may increase my calories. I know that when that happens I’m going to be looking at my oatmeal, brown rice, and pasta and thinking “F-you” to whatever carb I’m consuming.
    I really pushed myself to some limits this week, that I didn’t know that I had and that makes me feel great. I tend to spend a lot of time warming up. But, to me it’s worth it to make sure that I can push myself to the limits and at the same time, not get injured.
    Prior to this week, I was not consuming any veggies and I’ve kind of felt like I needed to add some greens to my nutrition. So, this past week I started to mix some spinach in with my eggs in the morning and with my brown rice. I’ve also been adding some pre-chopped onions and green peppers that are already in a container and ready to cook or put on food. That all is adding a little more “spice” to the boredom of brown rice and whole grain pasta.
    While my fitness and nutrition part of life is going well, I’ve kind of had an interesting week emotionally and mentally. There are some challenges I need to face in my business that I’m a little unsure of myself on the best way to go about. I know it’s just a matter of thinking through the issues and then taking action.
    I need to make a decision on what type of renewal option I want on my apartment here in the town where I “live” (live for the time being). My lease expires the end of May and I can renew for a longer period of time or go month to month. A huge part of me is saying go “Month to Month and then pack all your stuff up and put it in storage before you go on Rockstar that way you’re not paying for time while your away.” Another, smaller, part of me is saying “Packing all your stuff up will be a pain in the ass. Just renew for a longer period of time so you don’t have to worry about packing all that shit up.” And I’m glad I’ve got this Blog to type this kind of thing out, because now I know what I need to do - And that is go Month to Month and pack all my stuff up before Rockstar and put it in storage while I’m away. Another benefit to that is that, when and if I do return back to the town where I “live”, I don’t come back to the same apartment with all the same stuff and the same environment.
    I hope all you guys have a great week.

  47. #47
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    Week 5 Blog
    Wow!! What a week!. I’m not going to lie, last week I was a little down. I tried not to reflect that in the blog or video last week because I know that I’m fortunate in lots of ways and I didn’t want to be a downer.
    I’m really happy with the results that I’m seeing with the fitness/nutrition plan. I went to get a DEXA Scan this last week. Over the last 3 weeks, I’ve gained 5 pounds (I’m sure of muscle) and lost a percent of Body Fat. I was sitting there with the doctor that did the scan and when he first showed me the results, I literally laughed out loud in amazement. That just shows that when you put all your focus on something, the results will come. That says a lot about the rest of life also. The “nurse/technician” that did my scan was cute.
    I’ve been working at holding eye contact with people. I’m finding that I’m in a more settled place emotionally and mentally these days and that when I do hold eye contact with people, it is a calm and solid eye contact and not a “I’m staring you down” type of look which feels good.
    I had an important conversation with my father this last week that I really needed to have regarding some things in the business. I was not sure where the conversation would lead us and in the past I have backed down from “hard” conversations with him, for lots of various reasons that I’m sure will surface this summer. The conversation went well and ended with the result that I wanted, so that was a good feeling. And since I was able to have that conversation with him, I can pretty much have any conversation regarding the business that I need to.
    There’s a group of 3 guys that workout in my gym the same time that I do. Amongst themselves, they don’t speak English. Sometimes I think they’re speaking French and other times, I really have no clue what language they’re speaking - not that I know French. They tend to not rack the weights when they’re done with any of their lifts. This last week, they got done using deadlift and left like a 45, 25, 10 pound plate on each side. A girl came to use the bar after them. She (and finally her boyfriend came over to help her) unracked all the weights and then started from scratch. That ticked me off that these guys do that. But of course, I said nothing (says a lot about my masculinity) and neither did the girl’s boyfriend.
    Then, today, I found myself laughing out of pure joy today at something these guys were doing in the gym. They’re always having fun in the gym and just cracking each other up. Today, they were cracking me up, even though I couldn’t understand them. So, that made me wonder if I was better off not saying anything to them about not racking their weights because I may have handled it in such a way that would make it awkward for me to be around them again. But that’s just an excuse.
    During the leg day this week, I found myself really focusing on the muscle that I was working and even picturing myself in the muscle. That was something that I’d never done before and I feel like it really helped me lift more weight.
    Here’s to another week of eating nothing but brown rice, whole grain pasta, oatmeal, sweet potatoes - anybody bored with this yet. Ha ha. And beef steak, ground beef, tilapia, chicken, salmon. At the end of this, I don’t know if I will be able to eat sweet potatoes for a while.
    I hope all of you have a great week.
    Peace!

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    Week 6 Blog
    Like they told us in the beginning, our lives will be fitness and nutrition for the next 12 weeks. That is definitely the case for me. I admire those of you that are having to hold down an 8-10 hour job right now, or longer. I don’t know how the “F” you are doing it. I know that I’m very blessed with a business that does not require me to be there all the time.
    I’m finding that even just besides the physical exhaustion, my brain is in a mental fog at times, also. Sometimes I’ll be standing at my kitchen counter cutting stuff up or whatever, and I just put my hand on my head and hold it there to gather myself for a few seconds.
    One little thing out of the ordinary happened this week. I had a Tinder date - with a 45 year old black woman. Hey, what can I say, the pickings are slim here in Fredericksburg, TX. But even that, she was in in San Antonio, a 45 minute drive. And yeah, I drove there. Definitely not worth it. But whatever, I learned from it. I think I’m jinxed on Tinder, here in this area. I have the settings on the age of 18-50 and the mileage at 100 miles (the town where I’m “living” only has 12,000 people, so the pool is small, hence the wide mileage settings). I literally swipe right on just about every girl just to see what will hit and not much is hitting, lol. Ah, whatever, not like I’ve got that much time anyway.
    I’ve had some good experiences this week in telling women why I’m doing the fitness/nutrition stuff. I told the Tinder date - her Tinder name is Koko - stripper, I don’t know? I also told a lady that I went to for some reflexology work on my feet. I went to her probably half a dozen time a few years ago. She’s a very “spiritual” woman and does not judge people. It was good practice for me to share with these women (whom I really didn’t care what they thought) about what I’m doing and to share it in a way that portrays it as a healthy thing and that’s it’s not just about “pick-up”.
    I went to the dentist this week. Of all things, I think I dislike having my teeth cleaned more than anything. I hate the feeling of having my teeth scraped on. It makes me want to jump up out of the dentist chair and hug the ceiling. I have a permanent retainer behind my bottom front teeth. The orthodontist put that in after I got my braces out a couple years ago so that the teeth would stay in alignment. It’s always amazing after I have my teeth cleaned, just how much more I can feel the bottom retainer. Kind of gross when I think about there’s that much build up in my mouth.
    My fitness mentors upped my calories to 22x my body weight. So, right now, I’m consuming almost 3200 calories. For those of you eating more than that, I don’t know how the heck you do it - props to you. I did see a drop in my weight by a pound over a 24 hour time period this last week and I don’t know what that was about. But I gained it back in 24 hours also, so I was pleased about that. I’m weighing 145 right now. I can’t remember the last time I weighed that much. But it feels like a good healthy weight and not a gross, “I’m fat” weight.
    I hope everyone has a good week.

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    Week 7 Blog
    Hey Guys, sorry to be such a downer on the Video. Just in a weird mood mentally and emotionally. I don’t know if it’s a combination of physical fatigue along with mental and emotional and if that’s just all part of the process. If it is, then great, bring it on. I guess what won’t kill me will only make me stronger.
    Most days this last week I have not wanted to get out of bed. I know that I have much to be grateful for. But it’s like it’s not good enough for my expectations of myself and what I know that I’m actually capable of. At this point, I really feel like Rockstar is all I’ve got going for me and all that’s keeping me going. That’s kind of a scary thing, if I actually think about it. At the same time, that’s a great thing to be living for.
    I did have a few successes this week. I finally got my spotify account to work. Thank goodness. I created a free account when I was traveling and then I’ve been having trouble trying to upgrade to a premium account. It had something to do with the fact that I’d created the account while I was traveling, I think and then being back in the US, it was all jacked up.
    I also opened up a bank account with Bank of America (I know, seems simple enough.) I have bank accounts with some small banks here in the town where I live. But, obviously, there are reasons to have an account with a BIG bank. I’m really glad I got that done. That will save some hassles while traveling. It was interesting because I have Bank of America credit cards but they still wanted something to verify my social security number. Fortunately, I had emailed some tax statements to another bank a couple months ago and that had my social security number on there. And fortunately, I had typed the password for my email into my phone that morning so I had access to my email while I was there at the bank. I was going to be really frustrated, after driving an hour to the bank (I’m sure that could’ve all been handled via internet, but I was more comfy in person), and then I can’t open an account because they have to verify my social after I’ve had credit cards with them for 5 plus years. Geez. Anyway, I got it done. Glad that’s out of the way.
    Now, I’m starting to turn my attention to other stuff that I MUST get done before Rockstar starts. I tend to procrastinate and I definitely don’t want to do that in this scenario.
    Something I just realized - actually it’s been going on a while - it’s just really stunning me right now. When I am around people that are not in my typical daily environment, I am way more cheerful and upbeat and I feel like my true personality comes out. What does that say I need to do? Ha ha.
    OK. That’s all. Hope everyone has a great week.
    Peace.

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    Week 8 Blog
    Hey Guys, I hope you all have had a good week. My fitness/nutrition life is going well. I live for the workouts and the eating, right now. I feel like it’s the one thing in my life that I have control of. I’m enjoying: being able to pick up heavier dumbells and press them; the feeling of my back being stronger; my legs and calves getting bigger; adding weight to my sit-ups every week.
    I don’t think that I’ll want to eat another sweet potato for a long time after the fitness program. I eat them pretty much twice a day. Once before my workout and then again after my workout. I just ate a meal - not with sweet potatoes - but I saw the container that holds the sweet potatoes and the thought crossed my mind to just throw them away. Ha ha.
    My apartment has been a wreck ever since the fitness program began. I’m finally, this weekend, starting to pick up and organize a few things. I know that being tidy is important with this part of our lives that we are working on. And I definitely need to work on that front. Part of my problem is that I just have too much stuff. I’m looking forward to packing my bags for Rockstar and putting the rest of my shit in storage and not looking back…...for a long time and maybe never.
    Some people that knew me before I started the fitness/nutrition program have commented about how big I’m getting. I had the thought over the weekend, that even though I may not think that I’m getting that big, others can definitely tell. So, I need to start seeing myself in this new light.
    I’m starting to get a little anxious to make sure that I have all the things that I’ll need for the summer and that I’ll have everything in place in the rest of my life to handle me being gone. I know that it will all workout fine. I just need to not procrastinate.
    A thought crossed my mind yesterday: What will a big juicy hamburger taste like after all this over. And I was surprised at my reaction. My reaction was “That really does not sound appetizing.” And then I wondered if, after this is all said and done, “Will my taste buds have “permanently” changed to what I think tastes good?” I don’t know if they will have permanently changed. But right now, the thought of “pigging out” on anything that would not be allowed for us right now really is not too appealing. Maybe I will think differently after it’s over, I don’t know.
    The last 2 weeks I have been a little frustrated with myself because there are some major changes that need to take place in my biz. But, I don’t want to initiate any big changes and then be gone during Rockstar and the changes not be followed up on. So, I’m learning to have faith and accept that whatever happens on the business front, will be fine.

  51. #51
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    Week 1

    It was nice receiving the wide welcome from everyone on the whatsapp groups; thank you! Happy that people are active on there, and open, and creating that helpful community. The 10 day alum group also has some postings, it’s been great seeing everyone’s stories and progress, and to hear what challenges people are facing and how they are moving forward.

    I write this knowing that it has been a tough week and that my mood has varied over the past few days greatly, therefore I’ve avoided writing this while things seemed tough. This was the first week trying to complete the fitness program as written, and trying to adapt to a more accurate nutritional plan as prescribed. My brain has also come up with lots of ways to try and get out of it and lots of bad scenarios which I’m trying to tone down.

    Regarding the fitness program, I’m blogging the symptoms to see for reference if it’s just something that will go away next week, or if nothing happens and I can push through, or if things get worse. If this feels like some venting, then so be it.

    1. Desire to throw up – despite this sometimes occurring close to the workout, I disregard that because if it’s the workout, then it’s easy to tone it down a bit. The other place it shows up is sometimes in the morning, and sometimes after supplements. I suspect there’s too much mixing supplements without enough food at the same time.

    2. Sleep challenges – my sleep is now more highly variable than before, from 7 hours a night to an average of around 9 hours a night, but varies 6-12 hours a night. It seemed like 2 nights were restful, the rest were less so.

    3. Dysfunctional days – two days that seemed like almost a write-off. Made me feel grumpy because I still want to be functional. Otherwise, very tired, but not sure if that’s to be expected and things will adjust.

    4. Pain – When muscle are sore, it means they are working, and I am happy. When muscle hurt with pain, or things hurts, I’m not ever sure what’s going on, and there’s been some pretty painful days. I don’t know if that’s my brain toying with me, but I haven’t figured that out for years. My shoulders have been hurting more than usual since the beginning of the year when I went swimming, and today my right shoulder was really bothering me. My health providers haven’t been able to make a sustainable fix. Maybe I’m too inconsistent with rotator cuff exercises, so will get back into those more. Pain makes me a bit in a bad mood, some nights rolling over on my shoulders wakes me up, so I really want to get rid of shoulder pain.

    I might go into the exercises more carefully this week, especially to see if I can even out the sleep and be more functional during all the days. It seems like all the meals are mostly just protein, will take some time to get used to. There are probably conversations to be had with the mentors.

    Time was scarce this week and I was more recluse than usual which is the opposite of the direction I intend to head in the future. Since this might be just starting and adjustment time, perhaps nothing to worry about at this time. I did talk to two friends, and while I enjoy their company, I am ready to leave this city. I also question, but do this from time to time, if I should face unfriend just about everyone and be on my merry way to start over.

    I also made some progress towards discarding most my possessions so I can move freely. It’s been a lot of years collecting junk so this is a good exercise. To be self-contradictory though, I bought some older movies I used to like to try and find myself again and recently recommended movies to put on while I’m cleaning or cooking, like gravity, fight club, the hangover, and watched (sort of) the matrix and inception. Every line in matrix is gold. The matrix has me.

    The week coming up will be another challenge. It’s off to a running start this week, good luck to you all with your week and program.

  52. #52
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    Week 2

    At the end of week two I am feeling better than last week, thanks in part to the support received from others and some changes to routines.

    Food wise, it’s the morning now and I am still full from food last night, so more changes are needed in this week. I still eat constantly and have a huge meal before bedtime because it’s how I’m able to fit all the food in at this point. I will remove some more slow digesting vegetables to try and manage food with a renewed focus on all the high calorie foods this week.

    It’s been a challenge again trying to get workouts all in, having to still give up some working time and most other free time, although did get the chance to see one movie this week. It’s really encompassing this workout program, and at this last week I was eating during breaks at my work conference. I had to leave at one point because I was so uncomfortable with a huge stomach of food. It’s nothing compared to what some others are doing to try and keep their eating schedule, eating and measuring their specific food while travelling, in remote places, even at weddings.

    Lots of my friends are fairly understanding about not eating or drinking when I’m out and about, and there are a lot of questions about why i’m doing the body building program. I brought over some food to a friends place one night to eat, and took some skewers of chicken breast to my friend’s bbq to share with everyone, and I measured them all out to be 150 grams, so I knew what I was eating once it was done. Most of the other food was not tempting, except maybe the chocolate cheesecake, that I was happy to give up to keep moving towards building lean muscle. It might just be in my head, but it seems like a little muscle is building.

    I got almost 4 hours worth of physio work trying to get my shoulders to function without pain and challenges this week. Mixed results, improvements definitely, but it doesn’t stick very well or very long. Once nice thing is that with the particular focus and attention on the shoulders, my health care providers have to think more about it and differently than before. I had shoulder work done yesterday, today i am worried with the pain experience post exercise that I might have hurt them, so using the cold and hot water plunge style for general recovery, and and ice packs on the shoulders.

    It's been a little better as far as not caring what other people think, but it’s still there. At least the gym is easier now, lots of people have very uncommon workouts. In that way, i can fit in, but I can’t lift very much so that’s a bit odd in a gym sometimes. For now, i just take a copy of the workout and go do my stuff.

    There’s been some interesting conversations on the group chat. There was some great success stories from the 10 day and some conversation in the threads to consider some new group chats for supporting each other. It was so great to hear and something I look forward to getting involved with.

  53. #53
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    Week 3

    This week was a tough week. My sleep was very poor for around 6 days. Body challenges – such as fitness, functionality, energy, and stomach issues. By Tuesday I felt really angry. And it got worse, I suspect it was the pain, functionality problems, and sleep issues, but I don’t really know for sure. I took a nap this afternoon, it helped.
    Last Sunday as I had posted, I messed my shoulders up. My team couldn’t fix it, but we tried. Apparently there’s more to it. Back, hips, ankles, there’s more but I can’t remember by the time I leave; there’s always lots, but it’s a degree of how big the issue or challenges are. I was told I haven’t been in this bad of shape for a while, referring to functionality. Was wearing core shorts and an SI belt around, it really fatigues a few muscles in the hips and changes things.

    Let me be clear that I think this fitness program is not right for me.

    The food is still a very tough part. Yesterday I ate a big t-bone steak, and that seems to have a lot of calories that helped get to the count a lot easier. I am still trying to get to bed without a full stomach, and even the odd stomach pain, no idea what causes it, I suspect and hope it’s just the odd time it happens and is nothing. Yesterday, I didn’t have a full stomach at bedtime, unfortunately it didn’t help my sleep though.

    I think there’s some weight gain. The scales moved a little, but it seems like there’s both some muscle and some fat being added. Really curious to see what the next bodpod test says.

    I was asked to look at my patterns and try to change them all. I might be starting to recognize them, it’s everything I do, but I think lots of them are helpful even if not all of
    them are. The challenge is also, what to do about it even if you know it’s a pattern. I don’t know where the pattern comes from or what to do about it when it comes to thinking or behavior. Even writing this in somewhat of a diplomatic manner is a pattern, I was ready to vent, be direct, make demands, and possibly nonconstructive statements, and it might be an expression of anger what I wanted to do.
    I imagine there are some new conversations needed. End of week 3.

  54. #54
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    Week 4

    This week got around to treatment on hips and glutes that helped the shoulders, and knee issues.
    -figured out getting the core working was even more important, made a bigger difference. We will now work on the core muscles every week to activate.
    -Still having shoulder issues and can move throughout the range now, though still painful. Still issues with sleeping on shoulders.

    I don’t know why lots of my core muscles are becoming less functional, frequently now. I suspect the food and internal pressure, and could be hips and other issues putting more stress on the core.

    The stomach issues continue. Wednesday night, pain in the lower abdominals woke me up in the middle of the night and was awake for 2.5 hours until I could fall asleep again. My team recommended Bromelain and Pectin, ended up with full spectrum digestive enzymes, apple cider vinegar, and will try to get some fermented food - Sauerkraut is on our list.

    I’m trying to figure out why I’m resisting this program: first the obvious – muscle dysfunction, injuries before and now more major, exhaustion from sleep issues/stomach issues/overtraining. I don’t know if there’s other issues: believe there should be a customized routine, I did want to do the program but it was likely going to be too much and knew I was not going to get a pass on it, but I expected to be exhausted throwing up, not injured.

    Was told to break patterns and write something useful here. Patterns I want to break, bed at the time when my body feels tired, and getting up when the alarm goes off. Having a hard time throwing away old stuff that I might need in the future, especially if it’s new, and have no idea why.

    What about mood issues from this? Still looking for solutions. General solutions include seek social support, get physical exercise, go outdoors into nature, and meditation.


    Review and to do list:
    -Went to see a new doctor this week, denied food allergy test. Future TBD.
    -Will look for a naturopath to conduct a food sensitivity test.
    -Advice last week indirectly pushed me to have more conversations with my health care guys
    -added digestive enzymes
    -got a portable weight scale for food
    -will request dropping food multiplier due to increased body fat
    -adding another new practitioner, expected to be a traditionally trained physiotherapist.
    -Will check to see if I can find a work around to work out the shoulders, revise Gethin to account for limitations and injuries.

    End of week 4.

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    Week 5

    This week was good news and bad news, it’s one of those challenges that seems circular. At this point, one step forward, and one step back. The new physio did some good work loosening up the shoulder, but found more core issues than usual with another, that means we did not get around to other issues besides the core and shoulder. Still worried overall if I can get well enough by July, and trying not to add to my worries.

    Feel better today, it might be because of more sleep and rest this weekend, or maybe even that I changed food. Might as well keep switching it up if I don’t know exactly what’s causing it, so changed to rice protein, and was avoiding oats. I did spend this weekend at work, ever have those things where you can end up spending forever on it? Otherwise resting, sleeping and working out with a bum shoulder.

    My fitness coach in this program was quite helpful after we had a nice long chat.

    It’s finally nice around here, after all the snow in May. It was spotty and weather was a nice chill. Today and in the last week it was +25, a really nice change. Summer is finally here. All for this week.

  56. #56
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    Week 6

    My fitness mentor and I talked about the all or nothing approach, also referred to digital vs analog. The question was, can you only have partial control over something, like a fitness program, and own it fully and commit to it? I have trouble doing this, and to me it’s more prominent in the fitness program than with anything else. My perspective is that has to do with my history and injuries, things have gone fairly well in the recent years when I’m in full control. I do agree that there’s things where the all or nothing approach applies to my life, but not everything, it doesn’t work with everything.

    What about the assertiveness, speaking up and thinking your opinion is valid? There could be some of that too. I have thought about that before, that’s why I’m open to the idea that there could be some of that existing. When it comes fitness and design in the program, this is where I get lost. I was searching for a new doctor, and he said: what can you prove medically? The answer is nothing. And everything. Even medical procedures, you often can’t prove if it was useful or not for a lot of them. So it might be lost of someone doesn’t put a label on it, or if there’s no scientifically generally accepted conclusive test. Even most of what physiotherapists do, nearly nothing I can think of, you can prove. Maybe that’s the all or nothing approach again. But if I can’t prove anything, and I need medical proof for everything, then we’re left with almost nothing. Maybe we’re left with trust.

    This week something happened to by neck, shoulders, and back. Not sure what, but it sure hurts a lot. It was most likely a combination of things leading to a really long sleeping night on Friday, and heat pads might have desensitized or relaxed muscles too much before going to bed. I’ll aim to not sleep for really long nights and minimize heating pads in the future. It’s directionally helped put me in a bad mood this weekend. I’m trying to avoid fighting with people, which is in my mindset when I’m in a bad mood. Work was about the same, that’d be a story in itself. Looking forward to a new week.

    Trying to sort out food might have been helpful. I’ve been taking a lot of digestive enzymes and trying to remove foods that potentially could cause issues. Mixed results, but results are results even if they are not consistent. Yesterday, I got in the calories in about 11 hours that it was the first time that happened and without any significant stomach pain or other physical issues that I noticed.

    I was also reading a lot of the entries today with goal of making entries more universal and to share learning’s and inspirations. That will take some more work, to be continued.

  57. #57
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    Week 8 is over and it was a mixed bag for me. I ended pretty much where I started in terms of weight. On the flip side, everything with my workouts went really well.

    Challenges - Fitness Program

    After dropping over a kilo in one day (which was a sign it might not have been real) at the end of last week, my weight spiked over a half kilo, and I ended the week pretty much where I started. My body fat on the scale is also being stubborn but that is pretty much expected for me at this point.

    Managing time was really difficult for me this week and caused me a bit of stress. I feel like my weekends are just as busy if not more busy than my week with the gym, grocery store, cooking etc. I mentor a 9 year old who I hang out with every other weekend and took him to a Cubs Cardinals baseball game last night which was a lot of fun, but it took up half the day. Mix those things in with trying to see friends what little I can, hanging out with the Brazilian girl Iíve been sort of dating, getting back into Toastmasters (public speaking), catching up on sleep, and trying to cross things off my to-do list and it just seems like there isnít enough time. Iím not asking anyone to feel sorry for me as I know everyone is going through the same things, but it felt like an added level of stress this week.

    Positives - Fitness Program

    I slept for 10 hours this morning, which was amazing

    I ran a 5k on the treadmill in 20 minutes and 34 seconds today, which is 1 minute faster than a month ago. That may not sound like much but Iím not at the beginning where improvement from week to week is easy. Iím at the point now where every bit of improvement is a grind and each increase is harder than the last. Itís generally the hardest 20 minutes (sometimes twice) of my week and in the words of Tony Horton ďI hate it but I love itĒ

    I am a huge fan of any form of ab day at this point. Iíve been working out for a long time now (although not always consistently or with a high level of intensity) and it had been a long time since Iíve been excited to do any workout. I can do almost all of the advanced moves for P90x (although my fifer scissors are still unimpressive), and I have actually been able to increase weight with the ab workouts weíve been doing despite being on a cutting regimen. Before I always used to tack on one ab exercise to the end of leg day, but I will definitely be doing abs separately even after the program is over

    I think Iím going to end it there, I hope everyone is doing well. T minus 6 weeks until the actual start of the program!

  58. #58
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    Week 8

    Fitness and Nutrition:
    This week I finally managed to make time to cash in on a Yoga Groupon I bought that will give me unlimited classes for this last stretch of the fitness program. I also managed to convince some friends to do the first class with me to make the best of my tight schedule. Happy to say I lost 2 pounds this week. The scale shows three but what Iíve come to notice is water weight is a hell of a thing. Hitting legs this week I was really happy to notice my squat has made some drastic improvements from week one where I could barely manage to do any weight. Leaving my ego at the door has been pivotal to this. Prior to the program I used to always avoid doing legs in fear that I would be judged for not doing what someone at my gym does. The local gym I go to is frequented by a lot of people that do powerlifting so imagine a 170lb man doing 300 plus on the squat rack. Once I finally checked my ego I came to realize no one really cares. Itís only as big of a deal as you choose to make it. The nutrition side of things has been pretty plain nothing new to report back. The only thing I can say thatís remotely worth mentioning is blueberries are a great staple to add to your diet. Studies suggest they contain fat burning properties and are high in antioxidants.

    Personal Life/Other Topics:
    As someone who loves Avicii, I was really happy to be able to listen to his final album. Iíve always found his music inspirational and really relatable to how Iíve felt in certain periods of my life. One of my good friends decided to take a trip to Portland so I had extra company around the house in the form of his golden retriever. It was a great excuse for me to get out to the local park to go on a jog with him. Iím not quite sure what it is about having a golden retriever, but it seems like I had quite a few women stop to start conversations that went way past talking about the dog. Definitely wasnít expecting it but it was a nice bonus and confidence boost for the week.

  59. #59
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    Week 1
    Iíve worked out in the past but really never focused on my diet with the eat whatever you can and as much as you can attitude. I used to think that my workouts would keep my body in shape and the rest would take care of itself. I think the meal plan portion and tracking calories is definitely the most challenging portion of the program for me. Iíve really realised the importance of having set meal plan, rather than switching up your meals everyday as it makes it more difficult to input everything in the excel sheets. 2k calories feels like Iím starving for sure. Workouts are intense, i've never warmed up for an exercise as much before. A a pre-workout and good music definitely gets you in mood. Plus, thereís quite a few eye candies at the gym which most certainly keeps me motivated to get to the gym. Iíve been doing evening workouts recently, but I feel the best thing is to get done with it first thing in the morning. The awkward part is when Iím telling my personal trainer which workout exercises I have to do. Feels like I may need to stop the personal training because his program is more push/ pull and compound exercises/movement.
    Iím not fond of cardio lol, so I prefer to listen to an audio book or something while doing cardio to get my mind off it. While tracking my meals Iíve noticed that my diet was rich is carbs and fats and low in protein, so will definitely need to ramp up the protein intake and reduce carbs and fat. Work has been hectic as usual, but the outcomes from work have not been great this week. I went out this weekend to a club, which reminds me of how much I miss my bed and resting on weekends haha. Did not approach as much as I hoped to but found a few to grind with. Thatís it for now, peace.


    Week 2
    Week two is in the books.

    This week has been a little better on diet. Have been more consistent with eating the same meals and targeting the macros. The workouts have been good and tiring at the same time especially the cardio. Will be working out next week in the mornings only, as I found that Iím awake earlier when I work out in the morning. The workout wakes me up. I also fall asleep better when I work out in the morning.

    Went out last weekend with a bunch of friends from my old job. Was a good time. Then went to another spot after with a friend. Was dancing with this one girl and her friend kept on pulling her away, but she wouldnít leave. Ended chatting up with randoms on the street for the last bit of the night. Note to self: I need to smile more when Iím out J

    I bought two books online- ďOwn the day, Own your life by Aubrey MarcusĒ through audible & Relentless by Tim Grover. I hope to finish at least one this week. Super excited to get a haircut tomorrow. I feel great after a haircut lol, feels like a mental reset. Itís what I generally do at the end of a month. Work was decent this week, met some crazy people and some impatient people. But I dealt with them and glad itís over lol.

    I was hoping to get a few nice t shirts that I can wear on the daily. Summer stuff. And maybe discarding a few things that I donít wear that much. Also, I got an interesting item while I was at a gem store. It was a Jade stone ring. ďJade is said to be a lucky charm that signifies wealth success and wisdom. Jade gives you the wisdom to be able to see past self-imposed limitationsÖĒ said the Jade lady at the store. I put on the ring on my middle finger and boom..it wouldnít come off. I had had to buy it cause it wouldnít come off...thatís when I knew the ring and me were meant to be lol.

    Next week I start level 4 at my improv class...so letís see maybe I will have a few stories.


    Week 3

    Workouts:
    They have been going as planned. Start in the mornings only 8:30am
    Pre workout drink helps me get energy
    BCAAís are good to consume during workout
    Glutamine is good for recovery

    Diet:
    Stuck to the diet correctly, with a new meal plan. Have these random carb & sugar cravings.

    Work & Fun:
    Did one deal so far. Two did not go through. Feeling a little lethargic. I've been wanting to go watch the avengers probably will watch next week. Haven't seen Captain marvel either.

    Reading:
    Listened to a bit of an audiobook. ďOwn the day Own your life.Ē Learnt about something called a circadian rhythm. The importance of getting movement and light, the first thing in the morning. This in turn sets your biological clock and you get better sleep at night.

    Going Out:
    Went out on Fri and Sat night. Had fun. Seeing minor improvement as I approach more.
    Basketball: Started getting interested in the NBA playoffs going to a game this week.

    Interesting topic: Instagram has taken out their number of viewable likes. You cannot see how many likes someone has on a picture. This is a test run in Canada before they roll out worldwide. All the instahoes will have to get a job now.
    What do you think? Leave a comment below


    Week 4

    I ran a 10k run this Sunday as my company took part in it.
    Two girls backed out from the run and gave me and my brother the Bibs. So my name was S and my brothers name will be A. We ran in women's tops. How awesome is that? I got a size small.. fuck. This was a good test for my cardio levels and a good opportunity to burn some more fat. Fat is the enemy lol.

    Week 4 has gone by pretty quick. Almost too quick rather. Overall I don't have much to complain about, but my right shoulder was feeling a little strained this week. In terms of the diet, I had to reduce my a calorie intake, which kind sucks because I feel more tired when I eat less, and makes me lethargic when the carbs are low. So that sucks. I also feel like I don't talk to people at the gym as much and do my own thing. Maybe I should talk to more people and acknowledge more people that I happen to pass by everyday, especially the babes. Just a random thought here.

    One of my clients this week was pretty cute actually. She was a Doctor, and seemed like a nice girl. God haven't met one of those in a while. Had a pretty tight nice ass too! But I did not end up closing the deal with her. Anyway wanted to maybe ask her if she wanted to hang out? But never ended up doing so. All I said was keep in touch lol.

    Business has been slower than expected. Maybe I should allocate more time to sharpening my saw?
    Yes I did watch the Avengers and also Captain Marvel. The Avengers was way better. I went to a live basketball game too! Was thinking about Rockstar & Iím pretty excited for Sweden. Are you guys excited for Sweden? Iíve never been there.

    Went to a bonfire on Friday night with a few friends and had a Birthday to go to on Saturday night. Itís more fun sometimes just going to socials where there are acquaintances, and you meet some cool people rather than to go on the prowl at clubs.

    So my level 4 improv class has started and we were playing a warm up game called clap focus. The concept of warm up has actually become quite interesting to me warm up before a sport, warm up before improv class, similarly warming up before social situation..so important.
    What is your go to routine before you go out? Iím interested to know.
    I get in the shower, put on some hype music, shave, get pumped, do my hair, put on some fresh clothes./ or perfume. Boom..i'm excited and ready to go out.


    Week 5
    Spin class rave with hot chicks
    My cardio intensity wasnít as great as I hoped and running on a treadmill was getting quite boring. So, I decided to take a spin class. I had never been to one. But it started to get tempting as the spin class literally happens right across my doorstep. I spilt the cardio and weight training so that I maintain better intensity during cardio. Itís really exhausting and you sweat a tonne. Also, the girl to guy ratio is like 10:1 for some reason. So, I canít really complain. Itís unbelievable when I see these girls going crazy on those bikes with ease, and I am dragging myself for 45 mins. Almost feels like a fitness cult. The room is darkly lit with candles and the music is almost like a rave. At the end of it, generally comes a nice kick of endorphins, if you do the class well. I felt like I was on MDMA at the end of todayís class for like 5 mins. Sincere pleasure after a long cardio workout.

    Improvisation and Life
    My improv class went pretty good this week as well. If anyone of you were thinking of picking up a hobby and had some time, Iíd highly recommend. It teaches you a few good principles that go a long way and enhances your ability to shoot the shit, and talk about nonsense when you need to fill in the gaps in conversation or keep them going. It also strengthens your ability to build on conversation on topics that you know little about. Also makes you great at thinking on your feet and how to roll with the punches in life. It makes you a great listener. One of the basic principles of Improv is that you always YES ANDÖ build on the conversation. YES AND ADD.

    My Mind & Soul
    I came to the realization that cold brewed coffee actually works as a great appetite suppressant. And eating meals later during the day keeps me in check for my calorie intake.
    Iíve been watching a bit of the NBA finals and Toronto lost their last two games. Todays is the third game and at home. Something that I am coming to realise is the importance of tracking, journaling, reflecting. It is a good way to measure progress. Itís the only way to hold yourself accountable. In terms for self-discipline, I was thinking about how important it is to stick to the schedule or plan, you set out for yourself. When the time comes to it you just do the fucking thing you say you were going to do. Feels like, doesnít feel like. All of that doesnít matter.
    Reflecting is something Iíve had challenges with. To be able to look within and look back at what happened. Itís good to take a step back once in a while.

    Going Out
    I went out with friends on both Friday and Saturday nights. Friday night was a big group and and we met at this place called lovechild. Lots of white girls there. Saturday was a club called Rebel where Sean Paul was performing. Clubs can get quite chaotic. Thatís it for now till next time.




    Week 6

    So, the Toronto Raptors made it to the NBA finals for the first time, and the streets were going completely nuts yesterday. There were people standing on buses and climbing on traffic signals, roaming the streets chanting. It was a crazy night! If any of you guys watched the game, I mean it was a pretty tight and stressful one. I went out on Friday night, with one of the club owners and a few friends of mine & went to my university Frat on Saturday for a house party. Picked up a few Instagram followers lol.

    I never knew how difficult it is to apply for a visa. You need so many documents and there are so many moving parts which almost took me a day to figure out. I missed my improv class as I needed more time to urgently get everything together and figure it out.

    This week was off to a tough start, I fell really sick on Monday where I puked 5 times at night and never got good sleep and my stomach would hurt like crap. That sucked. Then on Tue I failed my driving test. What a waste of a day. I messed up a left turn. Man.I've been happy with my workout and diet and still have continued to use the 45$, 2 week unlimited spinning trial. My entire t-shirt is drenched after a session there. I do feel slightly fitter, but also slightly smaller with all that cardio and low carb life. Iíve dropped some weight.

    My listing will be hosting offers on Monday, So hopefully this one is sold quick. I did a open house for it on Sunday with my brother. I got a reassessment of the HST that I paid, so I had to go to the bank to dish out a few hundreds of dollars to the government.I was contemplating whether I should down on the workout and maybe take some time off to read or get some more reading done. Or continuing to work all the way till right before I leave. Because I honestly wanted to get more reading done but am not getting a lot of time to get down to it.

    I was also thinking about what a great class we have this year, and I am excited to begin this journey with you guys. The videos helps in getting to know everyone so we save a little time with all that formal intro. As B said in his first video ďenter the fucking matrix with you guysĒ. Man the cost of Rockstar is a bomb and itís great to see that we have a solid group of committed guys.



    Week 7
    I listened to the first half of "the inner game of tennis" this week. The first part of the book goes on to say how we all have the natural ability to learn things and peak performance is achieved through calming oneís mind. How to ďget out of your headĒ so you donít try to control your unconscious processes with your conscious mind. The player of the inner game comes to value the art of relaxed concentration and discovers a true basis for self-confidence. He learns that the secret to winning any game lies in not trying too hard. Letting go of judgments does not mean ignoring errors. It simply means seeing events as they are and not adding anything to them.

    I went for a long walk by the harbourfront. Needed some time to wind down and clear my mind for a bit. The sun is finally out for most of the days so it's nice to walk around in a polo and not worry of wearing a jacket. It's funny how we donít see and notice the beautiful things around (like the calming effects of water and trees lol) us as one can get caught up in the hustle and bustle of things. It's such a relief to be around nature sometimes.

    Closed 2 deals this week and a bunch of paychecks come in so that's good news. Got another listing at a high-end condo so that was a blessing. I feel like I'm spinning my wheels and juggling so many things right now from work to the extra hours at the gym and trying to meet so many deadlines for different things at once. Contemplating if I should stop working for some time and take break. I really wish I could, but then will face decreased income so I have to keep on ploughing through.Lost some more weight and body fat. I do feel leaner and smaller. Eating clean has become almost routine now. I really do miss a slice of pizza. Results are more visible in my pictures. The workouts and spinning sessions went as planned.

    Did some musical improv this week. It can be quite challenging to sing on the spot with a tune playing in the background. There is this game called sounds like a song where they call you out during any moment of a scene that you are acting and you have to sing something based off the last thing you just said. Went out to a house party on Saturday with my boys and met a few friends to watch the basketball game.

    I was hoping to pick up a few suits for work, and maybe a few pants. Do a little wardrobe update. Iíve been wanting to do a full body massage or even foot reflexology. Someone please press my feet. I will be giving my round two attempt at my driverís test. Hopefully I do not die.

    So that was my summarization of thoughts this week. Hope you guys had a great week!


    Week 8
    This week has passed by pretty quickly. I'm almost done listening to the same book for the second time, the inner game of tennis. The common theme this week, in my mind, has been about "relaxed concentration". This is the quality that most top performers have. The book goes on to say that we have two self's. Self 1 and Self 2. Self one is the part provides most of the instructions while self two is based on our intuitive capabilities which relies on the process of self learning. Which relays back to one of the concepts A was talking about. He basically said that being social is a part of our DNA. I'm now starting to realise that we must all learn to trust and learn to rely on self two to get the job done. Self one generally tries to find meaning of everything and pass positive or negative judgements about a certain event. And sometimes we solidify incorrect beliefs about ourselves through negative experiences. We should try to reduce judgement on self two though practices such as visualization and trusting that self two will learn whatever we want it to naturally. I would highly recommend to give this book a quick read as it would really help with your overall mindset. I might give this book a couple more reads.

    I went for a long walk with my brother on one of the Islands. And we were just discussing our goals and recurring themes that were on our minds. Business, life etc. I sold one condo this week. Thank you Jesus. I went out on Friday and Saturday nights. Friday night got together at a friends condo to watch the NBA finals and then hit up a bar. Saturday was a new spot that opened & we went there as my friend knew the owner. I was pondering on a thought, telling myself that the feeling of regret and inaction is much worse than the feeling of rejection. As there was a really cute girl that I was eyeing at the bar, and by the time I decided to take action she was already with another guy at the bar and they were making out and dancing. Had I not over thought of taking action I would probably be that guy as she was ready to meet someone that night. Also, I learnt that do not eject from a set even though you have to pee. Few girls were chatting with me and one of them tried to get into conversation and I said that I have to go pee. Lol. She pointed it's that way. When I went back, it was hard to get back into the group as the dynamics changed quite quickly. Dont pee unless you are dying.

    This week was the second last improv class that I was at. And we were practicing for our in class show performance next week. I put in good effort for my workouts, diet and cardio this week. I can most certainly say that I feel leaner and slightly smaller. But soon to get more ripped, if I continue on this trajectory. Having good eating habits is something that I plan to continue beyond this program. I hope to keep it going beyond the program. Looking good and feeling more confident is something that I want to continue striving for. I got that full body massage finally, to destress. Much needed.

    So my main focus right now will be to accomplish the entire reading list before coming into rockstar because I feel everything will click a little better and I would have a better and deeper understanding of the concepts. I want to rest well and keep up the cardio and workout intensity while I continue to monitor my diet closely. I've already rolled the dice and gone all in to make myself a better version of me, so might as well start winding down at work and focus on getting prepped as Rockstar is only a month away.

  60. #60
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    Week 8

    My freezer broke down, again. And this time it seems to be for good. It makes the food-planning a lot harder. I got a neighbor to store some of my frozen food but I canít go there every day. Iíve still got warranty so the store will send someone to have a look at it and see if it can be repaired. Meanwhile I have to wait with buying a new one. Itís not an ideal situation.

    This week two friends told me on different occasions that they can see I have a new training regimen. They both knew Iíve started with this fitness program so that might have played a part, but still itís nice to hear that the efforts are paying off even though I donít see that much of a difference myself.

    This week I also told a few more people, including some colleagues about what Iíll be doing at the end of this summer. Not in detail and not the name of the program, but enough for them to get an idea and for me to feel like itís not a big secret.

    I just got back from a weekend with some friends at a cabin by a lake. It was really relaxing. Just walking in the woods and swimming in the lake is a very good way of obtaining inner peace for me. Yesterday afternoon we took a short stroll just near the cabin. I brought a cup of coffee and one of my friends brought the guitar and then we just walked aimlessly, sung and played some and ended up at a picturesque little hill with a bench where we hung out for a while. That was serene. I felt a little sad, because this summer I wonít have time to do anything that Iíd usually do on a summer vacation. But I also felt excited about what Iíll be doing instead. I know that I want a change in my life, and that youíve got to be ready to give up something in order to gain something else.

  61. #61
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    Week 8

    All is well this week. Things have more or less worked like clockwork last week. I thought about looking into smoothies, but questioned if I really needed to. At this point I feel like the wheel doesn't need to be fixed if it's not problem. I introduced peanut butter into my diet and man did I miss it. I was doing whole30 diet at the beginning of the year and I had to cut out peanut butter. Raw peanut butter of course! I went out with some friends and they pre-picked a compliant restaurant for me. It was quite touching. I've been limiting my social plans to once a weekend to give myself a break amongst all the other things I've been juggling. The biggest thing I've ben working on is not beating myself when I make a decision not to do something.

    Saw dark phoenix this weekend. Didn't think it was as bad as people made it out to be, but I would say don't go out of your way to see it. Quite underwhelmed with this year's summer movies though. Seems like everything is been quite mediocre.

    Finally broke 70 kgs today and my fitness mentor told me that i could finally start cutting next week. I'm so freaking pumped. I'm going to get back on a fasting protocol, press the gas on my cardio sessions. I hope this will help my sleep quality too. ALSO, I get my free time back! I have been unchained! The last time I cut weight was during highschool when I wrestled. Now, with a lot more knowledge and experience, I wonder how I will look at the end of this program.

    Hold strong everyone!

    Positives:
    - Last week of gaining!
    - Last week of gaining!
    - Last week of gaining!
    - Made it to 70 kgs
    - I have great friends
    - Not beating myself up if I decide not to do something

    Negatives:
    - Can't think of any. It rained this week?

    Goals for next week:
    - Hold strong!

  62. #62
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    Week 8

    This week was pretty ordinary for me… worked out, ate a crap load, rinse and repeat. I was hoping to see some massive ‘gainz’ this week as I did last week, but my expectation came up short averaging roughly 2 lbs in extra weight (about 1 kg). It’s definitely moving in the right direction, just wish it was going a bit faster. I mean you’d assume as much if you’re eating 4,000 calories, right?. I suppose my body is getting more efficient at using all that food… or its just converting all that extra energy it into body fat.

    On the topic body fat, I am definitely seeing the percentage increasing faster than before; and I can see too. In prior weeks, I commented how I was beginning to see some definition on my abs. Now it’s a bit less defined than before. Mind you, I’m easily doing Weighted Sit-ups with 35 lb. dumbbells now (~15.9 kg), so I know the muscles are growing and getting stronger. But the extra body fat that I’ve put on is starting to hide all that progress. Really looking forward to changing gears soon, so I can start shedding the extra body fat (and stop eating so much food!)

    My nutrition has largely been the same since I started the fitness program. Considering my meals are fairly simple to make with only a few ingredients, it’s definitely helping me to keep my costs down (meat and supplements is really where the bulk of my expenses come from.) It’s totally boring to be eating the same thing over and over again; and I know I’ve complained about this before, but suppose I’ve gotten used to it. I really don’t think it’s all that healthy since there are probably a variety of nutrients I’m not getting from the food I’m currently eating. That said, it might be worthwhile to speak with a dietitian about that. Maybe even get a recommendation for a simple meal plan that covers the nutritional gamut.

    Something else to mention, is that as I start to get heavier the amount of food I need to eat is slowly starting to increase. Granted, I knew this was going to happen, but it only recently came to mind when I noticed a large delta between my target and actual calorie count in the weight tracker. That said, I need to start adding a bit more food to account for the difference.

    By the way, I started looking into gyms in Vegas (the one I go to, LA Fitness, isn’t available there.) Hopefully I’ll find a decent one that’s near the mansion. Really want to make sure I keep up with my fitness while I’m there.

    Ok, guys. Not much else went on for me this past week. Laters…

  63. #63
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    Week 8

    This week was very productive on the scale; however, I felt like I was coming down with a cold and Iíve also been getting some ďpins & needlesĒ sensations on the left side of my back as well as some chills. Iím not sure what that is, but I decided not to go too hard on my cardio sessions as planned. I just stuck with low intensity on the elliptical machine, a couple lite treadmill jogs and four Bikram Yoga sessions. The last thing I want is get sick in the final stretch of the fitness program and not be able to finish strong. Iím making sure to take my vitamins, supplements and get as much sleep as the night will allow me. Itís the rainy season in Phuket, and Iíve been waking up to heavy rain storms pouring down on my bungalow. There are also a bunch of fucking roosters and birds that have rap battles at 5 a.m. too. So, you could guess that sleep has been a little patchy. When I get back to Bangkok, I should be able to get a fuller nightís rest at a hotel. I need to get out of this funk. My energy feels sapped.

    One thing that Iíve really noticed is that Bikram Yoga causes you to sweat a great deal. Even more than going out on a jog on a hot day. I think that is part of the reason why I dropped nearly 2 kgs of weight. The previous week I only dropped 300 grams in scale weight, so I believe there may have been some water retention from that previous week which probably got released after a couple of these 90-minute hot yoga sessions. The good thing is that I havenít put any of the weight back on after eating and drinking during the course of a normal day this past week.

    Because Iíve been feeling sick, I decided to cut my stay in Phuket a tad short and head back to Bangkok before leaving the country. Iím still a member of a gym there, so I can squeeze every last drop out of my membership.

    It would be great to stay in Thailand until I had to go to Vegas, but my visa expires in a couple of days and I have too many things to sort out in Dubai and the States. Iíve really grown to love this place and the people here. It was a real pleasure to have taken a language course this past month in Bangkok and immerse myself as much as I could. I hope to possibly come back to Bangkok again after Rockstar and take more classes and eventually learn Thai fluently. Maybe even start a business or work from Bangkok remotely. Who knows?

    Positives:

    - Dropped 1.9kgs to get down to just below 75kgs. Feels great not to feel fat anymore. Iím still flabby on some parts of my body, but we still have four solid weeks left on the program and I also have another two weeks after the program to keep pushing all the way up the Vegas

    - Iím going to need to buy pretty much an entirely new wardrobe full of clothes. That means I can ditch most of my clothes back in Dubai and can travel even lighter when heading back to the States.

    Negatives:

    - I think my body has reached a fatigue point and am just thinking about taking a day off. Maintain the diet calories, but just get some solid rest. Like I said, I donít want to get sick and lose two or three days of solid exercise.

    - Iíve got a lot of administrative life details to sort out over the next two weeks. These are going to suck, but will help me move on to the next chapter of my life.

    Goals for The Week:

    - Try to continue to lose another kilogram. I managed to lose two last week after barely moving the scale the previous week, but hopefully I can keep up this weekís momentum.

    - Really focus on getting things in Dubai done:

    o Finish off taxes

    o Spend at least one hour a day this week packing bags or moving out furniture/clothes etc.

    o Sort out my residency

    - Listen to the Inner Game of Tennis on audio book for at least an hour per day.

    Starting Weight: 76.7 KGs

    Current Weight: 74.8 KGs

  64. #64
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    Week 9

    Week 9 has been the easiest week of the program for me thus far. My project went “pencils down” on Tuesday evening, and I only had to do about 2 hours of work between Wednesday and Friday. This allowed me to get my workouts in easily and catch on a number of things that were on my to-do list.

    Challenges - Fitness Program

    Really didn’t have any major challenges this week

    Positives Fitness Program

    I had a great week on the scale, losing over a kilo

    I continue to be surprised by how much strength I still have despite losing close to 8 kilos to date. I have yet to really take the protein powder, vitargo, and creatine that I purchased and am excited to see what kind of strength gains I can achieve as I switch to a gainer (and start taking the supplements).

    Switching to Gainer

    I’m going to switch to a gainer this upcoming week which is sort of bittersweet. I didn’t get to 10% total body fat like I had hoped, however, I look pretty cut so I think it’s time

    I have no desire to dirty bulk so I am going to rely heavily on my fitbit to control my activity levels to align with my caloric intake. The sweet spot is supposedly eating 3-400 calories more than you burn

    I’m also going to burn a lot fewer calories. Rather than walk everywhere I go, I’m going to take the bus. I’m going to stop walking back and forth on the train platform when waiting for a train. I am also going to cut back on some of my cardio intensity. I think doing all this will scale back my calorie burn from an average of about 3,500 a day to between 2,800 and 3,000

    Personal

    I really have pretty much no choice but to finally notify work of my plans at this point. So next week’s update should be interesting.

  65. #65
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    Week 7
    If our reactions are consistent with our personality and what we might see in the future then I’ll share my reaction to this program so far.

    Currently very engrossed on the program and largely taking on physical routine for health and fitness. While there’s some ongoing struggles, they take time. And in the meantime, I want to just focus on it and want everyone to away while I try and sort it out. Secondly I question everything, in both the effectiveness and efficiency as far as time and effort is concerned. So that’s my reaction and perhaps the reaction I have to a few things, acting to reach a goal alone, perhaps wanting stability, and questioning the situation. Like all challenges, it’s temporary to some degree.

    There’s some changes to the body. There’s some weight gain happening, even if minor. Surprised that it has not been more significant, given the sheer amount of food and calories. Maybe it has to do with having a hard time digesting, then perhaps the calories aren’t all being absorbed. Regardless of the challenges, there are some minor changes occurring.

    At this point I want some variety after such a long routine. It’s not significant, as it’s easier to avoid poor food choices and temptation now than before. When it comes to food, I took a position to remove a lot of the foods from the list they gave us because I didn’t think some were appropriate. Foods like pork, plums, peach, pears, carrots, grapes, and soy products. However, I am branching out a bit for some variety in nutrition.

    I’ve had to make continuing sacrifices to other areas. With some really long work hours, I’m skipping events for work, hobbies, and social outings.
    Timing is what I am focusing on now. With only a few weeks left, and the need to leave work, give up a home, there’s a lot to be done.

  66. #66
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    Week 9

    Week 9 down! Finally touched 70 kgs this week and when I say "touch", I mean I weighted in a 70 kgs for ONE weight-in. The rest of the week I hovered around 69.7-69.9 kgs. As you all may gather by this point, I'm ecstatic to be finished gaining. I'm excited for a few reasons; (1) eating like a normal human being, (2) get back to pushing myself during the workouts, and (3) hopping back on to my IF protocol. More or less, I'm getting back to my normal routine. I started adding Crossfit workouts back in the cardio sessions the past couple of days. 25 min Crossfit WODs are pretty tough and I definately feel the pain this morning, I think I might scale back a bit and do them every other day so I don't hit myself with an injury.

    After reading some of the posts from the other rockstars from last week and watching Andrew's message, I was thinking about what my driver is in this program. I don't think it comes from a place of trust. On a variety of levels, I disagree with many things of this fitness program. So on a purely logical view, there's no way I could trust this program. I think my driver is fear. Fear of getting called out by the instructors and my mentors. Also, I think another driver is the satifaction of excelling in a defined program. This isn't the best way to go about it, I'm sure and I would guess there's a large number of times where I just "went through the motions".

    Had a relaxing day yesterday with my parents on father's day. My dad has (or had) a traditionaly mindset of "I'm only here to provide". He worked nights while I was growing up, so I didn't really grow up with a strong masculine figure in my life. And the times I did see him, he seemed to always be an ass hole. That has since turned around as he's gotten older. The past couple of years, we've started showing more affection to each other. Or moreso, I'm hugging him and such and forcing him to reciprocate. Come to think about it, I don't think I've ever had a real deep conversation with him about anything. Ever. Something I can work on. When I got back from my run, my mom reminded to wish my dad happy father's day and she was joking and suggested that I kiss him on the cheek. I actually did and it threw him in all sorts of a loop. He was shocked and it was quite cute. I would say I properly "blue-screened" my dad at that moment.

    My diet needs some calibrating. I would like to try to replace my grain carbs with all green carbs, but not sure if the juice is worth the squeeze at this point. May just find a spot that'll work and just ride it out to the end. We'll see though, need to make sure I get enough fiber in my diet too.

    Got unflavored pea protein and holy shit it's disgusting. It's like drinking cement. Does anyone have any good smoothie recipes?

    Positives:
    - Didn't let the fitness program frustrate me as it normally does.
    - Spent time with my parents and had a memorable moment with my dad
    - Get to mash the gas pedal on my workouts
    - Hedged a potential $2500 loss in an options trade and only lost a little over $100.

    Negatives:
    - Not coming from a place of trust in this program?
    - Didn't gain as much weight as I was hoping in his program.
    - I've noticed I'm finding a hard time to list negative things - Could this be a positive?

    Goals for next week.
    - Find a good smoothie recipe for unflavored pea protein.
    - mooaaaaar Crossfit

  67. #67
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    Week 9

    We are three-quarters of the way through the fitness program, gents!

    On my end, I’m still gaining weight, which is great. This week I went up an extra 2.6 lbs (1.2 kg), and currently weighing in at 160.9 (73 kg). In retrospect, it’s still bogles my mind just knowing that I’ve actually gained 18.5 lbs (8.4 kg) since I started the fitness program, and there’s still 3 more weeks left. Granted, I’m sure a good portion of that is fat, but it’s still a pretty wild to see how much weight I’ve put on in just over two months!

    Other than that, my week has been fairly ordinary, with the exception of a couple frustrating things that put a wrench in the gears. For starters, my drying machine starting acting up just after I had finished washing some clothes. After watching a few YouTube videos, a few trips to Home Depot, and playing handyman for 5-6 hours, I was finally able to get my clothes dried. By the time I finished messing with the drier, it was starting to get late. Didn’t realize it at the time, but this set back distracted me from another problem.

    After all my ‘drier’ shenanigans, I needed to finish my last meal of the day. And when I opened the fridge to reach for my meal, I clenched my fist when I discovered that I had no prepped meal left. I knew I was running out of food, but somehow I thought I was good for the rest of the night – no such luck. I was forced to piece together whatever leftovers I could find to just to get close to my calorie count. Definitely wasn’t going to win any food completions with that dish.

    The following day, I needed to make sure I got up early enough to pick up some groceries so I could have some cooked food available. If I didn’t have any food ready to eat by my scheduled meal times, I’d had have to eat my meals closer together. Worse still, eat two meals in one sitting just make sure I’m hitting my macros! On a previous occasion (near the start of the fitness program), I had to do this because I forgot I had to eat one of my meals. I struggled to finish that meal and felt like I was going to hurl when I was done.

    Had I paid more attention to what I had in the fridge, and less time messing with the drier, I might have spared myself all the trouble it caused. Live n’ learn.

    Ok guys, not much else to share for this week. Keep pushing yourselves, and stay positive. Keep your eyes on the prize!

  68. #68
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    Working out & diet, interest in mediation
    I lost some more weight and body fat this week. Stuck to the plan with food.
    I want to get into a daily mediation practice, after my discussion & the call with Blake. He said itís really beneficial. Also, on a separate note I wanted to get into a daily smiling practice. My friend told me that when we go out, I donít smile as much and rather talk to people with a straight face. There is this summer body project going on at Spin class, and everyone is going nuts by attending many classes.

    Last Day of Improv.
    This was the last week of Improv class that I was at. We had out final show and it went pretty great. I got a few laughs from the audience. One thing I learnt on how to be funny is that you should just be attentive and present in the moment and be yourself. Donít think about being funny, just be you. And the funny will naturally come. The moment you make a conscious effort to be funny, you are not funny. Never analyse your performance or make positive or negative attributions to it. It just is. Top performers are level headed. Never too up or too down.

    The rule of familiarity and the 3 second rule.
    So, I went out as usual on Friday and Saturday. One of my biggest takeaways was that the longer you take to approach, the harder it gets to approach. If you just got in proximity to a group of girls, it is much easier to approach right away rather than think or make calculations. Cause if youíre next to them for 10 minutes and then muster the courage to go chat up to them, you come across as odd or flat out creepy. No hesitation. No judgement or analytics. Just go in 1,2,3

    Reading & NBA finals
    Started this booked by Tim Grover. From good to great and unstoppable. I should be able to talk more about it once Iím done the book twice. The common theme is that the book deals with 3 personality types. Cooler, Closer and Cleaner. Lebron is a Closer while Jordan was a Cleaner. Which brings me to basketball, the Toronto Raptors won. Never seen this side of my city. It was crazy, totally nuts. People flocking the streets like a swarm. I dint participate much but took a glimpse of as much as I could and went back. As I have so many other tasks piled up every day.

    My teeth & Visa application
    I picked up this whitening kit and toothpaste from Hi Smile. Wil use it for the next month.
    Iím almost done my Invisalign teeth straightening treatment. So, looking forward to those straight pearly whites. Besides I donít know why I notice but most of the hot girls Iíve looked at have fucking white ass teeth. I finally went through with Visa application appointment after weeks or rather months of gather paperwork and logistics for the applications. Submitted my passport. So hopefully all goes well.

    Crazy, time wasting people that Iíve met.
    I donít know why but for the past week Iíve mostly been meeting cunts rather than clients.
    I could have spent my time probably sitting in a park and reading but rather decided to service a handful of people. Crazy as it sounds all of them turned out to be timewasters, asked me to write paperwork and then pussied out after the paperwork was drafted. Shitty luck. Did one lease but Iím flat out frustrated. Anyway, I have to be level headed. Ooooo saaaÖ

  69. #69
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    Week 9 Blog
    As I said in my video, I was out at my parents house for Father’s Day. It was good to have social interaction with people. I’ve not been going out and besides being at the gym or going grocery shopping, I’ve not been having a lot of social interactions. I know that’s not a good thing leading up to Rockstar and I’m starting to beat myself about it, which I know does not help. I surprised my family by eating with them. My parents are very good cooks but since the program has started, I’ve not eaten out at their house unless I brought my own food. Tonight, I did bring my own rice and avocado. But I ate the salmon that my father cooked.
    I showed my family the pictures of me like 1 week into the program and then my pics from last week and they were all surprised. I was even shocked. I hadn’t looked at the week 1 pics since they were taken. And ya, I needed to gain some weight. And I’ve done that. My sister says that before I started the fitness/nutrition program I looked like a cancer patient because I was so thin.
    I realize technology is a great blessing and I know that it opens so many more doors for us these days. Sometimes it frustrates the hell out of me, though. There are many things that I put off doing because I’m not familiar with how to use the technology and/or I’m afraid I’m just going to mess it up when do try to use it. And I’m realizing that’s just a self-fulfilling prophecy.
    I’ve enjoyed having pretty much “free reign” on how many calories I could eat. It wasn’t really “free reign”. But at 3200-3300 calories it felt like it. It was also a challenge most days to get that many calories in. I found myself many nights, setting my alarm for every 2 hours and waking up and eating. And I would do that 2-3 times a night sometimes. My father said he appreciated my discipline in that regard.
    I’m going to be cutting back to 2,000 calories for the next 3 weeks. I’m curious to see how that goes. I’m sure it will be a struggle and I’m sure that I will have times that I’m hungry. I’m also curious to see how my energy level is with continuing the same workout routine but consuming fewer calories.
    I think I mentioned this in my video last week, but I bought some Vibram 5 Finger shoes. They are the one of the most minimal type they have. I’ve been wearing them around the house just to strengthen my feet up. I really like them. I’ve ordered a “working out” type pair of Vibram’s and I’m looking forward to seeing how they work out.
    This last week has been a little emotional just trying to keep it all together. It’s not as bad as it was a couple weeks ago. But I still find myself struggling at times. I’m looking forward to Rockstar and breaking through some of my barriers.

  70. #70
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    Week 10 Blog
    Wow! My video surprised me. In a span of 2 minutes I beat up on myself about 3 times. So, if I do the math on that, I am beating myself up mentally and verbally over a thousand times a day. Damn, imagine that over a liftetime. When I think about that, it’s no wonder I feel the way I do.
    This last week went well in terms of nutrition and workouts. I am now consuming only 2,000 calories whereas before this past week I was consuming 3,300 calories. I can see where both regimes have their challenges. I’m definitely glad to not have to cook as much food. And it is much simpler. I’m surprised I haven’t really had any hunger “pangs” because I really enjoy food, and not to mention the fact that I was consuming so many calories before.
    This past week I did several workouts as “fasted” workouts. That is definitely a change from having nutrients fresh in the body as fuel. I can tell, the “fasted” workouts take more of a toll on me mentally. But, it’s part of the challenge.
    I did get an international driver’s license this past week. So, one thing off my list. I’ve got a few big things I need to accomplish to make the time I’m out go smoother. It’s funny in thinking about how much I beat myself up, I put off a lot of things, because I think it’s going to be too hard or that I’m going to fuck it up. That’s definitely a path to accomplishing nothing.
    In starting to pack stuff up to move out of my apartment, it is amazing how much stuff I want to hang on to for sentimental value. I mean, some of the stuff I haven’t touched in a long time but I still want to keep it. Then there’s the stuff that I say “Oh. Maybe someday.” Ha ha and then someday never comes. Hmmmm.
    A couple weeks ago I mentioned that I’d bought some Vibram Five Finger shoes. They were just a “simple” pair to wear around the house. I liked them so much, I ordered a pair for running. I really like the pair for running.
    I got a DEXA scan this past week. In a month, I gained 3 pounds and body fat stayed the same. I’m pleased about that. The physician that I go to, always says “What have you been “overfeeding” yourself on?” I laugh and tell him. He has his own nutrition fitness program and that’s his “specialty” as a physician. He says he’s been on a bulking program also for the last 2 months. But he’s been eating lots of ice cream. He says it doesn’t matter to the body what the calories come from in order to rebuild the muscle. I just smile and say “o.k”. He also said in the 2 months he’s been bulking, he’s consumed 2 bottles of Scotch. Ba ha ha.
    I know that we’ve all got our own challenges on this journey and I hope all of you have a good week and get done what you need to get done in order to make it one more week closer to Rockstar.

  71. #71
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    Week 10

    This week was another ordinary week for me (boring, I know), but I’m glad to say that I’m still tracking steady gains; averaging an increase of 1.8 lbs (0.82 kg) for the week. Naturally, a bit of body fat snuck in there as well. After taking my weekly photos, I saw that the little ab definition I was gaining is slowly disappearing. So I need to chat with my mentors to see if I can start focusing on shedding the fat now. That was plan for this coming week anyways.

    Considering I’ll be switching gears and joining the Loser group in the near future, I think it would be a good idea to change things up a bit with my meals. It’s also going to be a relief to reduce the amount of food I’ll be eating. Not to mention how much free time I’ll have available to get more work done. Eating every 2-3 hours can really make it challenging to get anything else done.

    Nutrition wise, nothing to mention here. Been eating the same meals every single day (so a change here is most welcomed). Makes my life a lot easier and more economical too, but it’s tedious as hell. That said, I gotta give props to some of the other guys that are eating meals that look like they came straight out of a 3-star Michelin restaurant! Some of those meals looked amazing!

    As for the workout routine, I can tell the workout intensity was cracked up a notch with Gethin’s DTP protocol. I start out strong and the sets slowly get more challenging, but even towards the ladder half of the exercise (when the weights start to get lighter) my muscles would be totally destroyed. More often than not, I’d find myself pausing multiple times throughout a set just finish the rep count. There were even times when I was failing with a 5-pound dumbbell. …yeah, 5 measly pounds, haha!!! Which brings up a lesson I learned a while back.

    Back in college, I remember working out with a buddy of mine and notice how some of the people there were pretty jacked/ripped. Didn’t really understand why at the time, but it made me uneasy doing some exercises with low weights. Even more so with attractive ladies in the gym that were nearby. Guess it made me feel… self conscious. Took me a while to get grip and let this go, but at the end of the day most people don’t give a damn about what you’re doing. And even if they do, it’s gotten to the point where I just don’t give a damn what they think. Sure, I could explain to any onlookers that I was fatigued after using heavier weights before reaching failure with a 5-pound dumbbell, but that would only breed/fuel insecurity for myself. Screw that, and screw them! Nowadays, if I need to use a light weight, or perform a funny looking exercise, I’ll be all over it with no shame whatsoever! Feels liberating too.

    That’s it for me, gentlemen. Only couple more weeks and we’ll be done with the fitness program! Make it count!

  72. #72
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    Reading the way of the Superior man
    Iím halfway through the book, The Way of The Superior man by David Deida. Really liking the book and it opened my eyes to a lot of things about masculinity. The book talks about polarity and how women keep testing men. I would highly recommend.
    I read more of Tim Groverís book Relentless. I stopped 65% through the book as I kept on zoning out. Felt like I was ploughing through. Will try finishing it up this week.

    Cleaning up my closet & journals that I found
    I threw out a bunch of old clothes that I do not wear much. Organised my closet better so I know what Iím going to carry for the trip. Itís funny how hard it is to let go of things that you donít even wear. You try to make yourself believe that you will wear it someday. Will donate the clothes to the poor. I found a few of my journals from 2017. I had gone for Tony Robins Date with Destiny in Florida. Itís surprising how all the things I learnt and wrote down faded away from my mind so quickly. Reviewing notes frequently is important if you want something to stick. I did not continue practicing those things. I had also attended Bob Proctors paradigm shift seminar in LA. I was going through those notes.

    Reduction of Stimuli- a thought
    I feel that there are so many things I have to check each day. 3 email accounts, 2 texting numbers, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp. My brain gets fried each day checking for messages and responding thorough all these mediums. I hope to reduce the stimuli by turning notifications off my phone and checking for messages only periodically. That ways I could be more focused and present on what I am doing. I was planning on turning off emails on my phone when at Rockstar.

    Meditation & Working out
    I did not follow through with the meditation that I had intended to do. Things just kept coming up/ popping up. I will follow through this week. I also want to structure/ construct my day in a better way on a daily basis. I donít enjoy my work as much, like before and feel severely distracted. I felt more tired working out this week and needed more sleep. I feel like I overslept on many days, even took mid-day naps. I made more progress in weight reduction, and felt quite lethargic throughout.

    Preparation for the program
    I need to get a credit card that does not have currency conversion fees. This will come real handy. Something on my to do list. I also have to figure out the mobile service situation. Was hoping to ask my carrier if they have a good plan for international roaming as their charge is 8$ a day. And 12$/day in Europe. I purchased my flight ticket and will be arriving the day of the program start. Was hoping to come earlier and hang with the boys, but a few things have come up the day before that requires me to stay back.

  73. #73
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    Week 10

    Fitness: cake walk. Everything else: Not so cake walk. Had a whirlwind of bad news going a long multiple social circles I'm involved in. The most prominant ones were that there were 2 deaths and I more or less lost a close friend. The first, Wes, died from a car accident from the beginning of this week. He went to my highschool and I didn't know him very well, but his death reminded me there is a seemingly alarming amount of people that have died over the past 10 years from my highschool. And 3 of those deaths were people were in the group of kids I grew up with and hung around in our neighborhood. Not trying to beat the superstitious drum, but it's alarming nonetheless.

    The second death, Neal. I knew him quite a bit more than Wes. He apparently died of a heart attack in his sleep. He was only 31. We were in the same frat together in college. Our Frat was quite large so we didn't really know each other THAT well as we were in different cliques, but I was able to get to know him more after college. Nearly all of our interactions in college were of him in a drucken stuper. Him being of Irish descent, he had an incredible alcohol tolerance. So there were the "many stages" of Neil that would come out and usually progressed like so, Normal steadty-state Neal, Fun Neal, Hilarious Neal, Emotional Neal, "IDGAF" Drunk Neal, Passed out Neal, and then...Once in a Blue moon, Murder Neal. And by "Murder" Neal, I mean try to throw people through windows and/or try to rip someone's face off. The worst (and final time) it got is where he somehow got a hold of a kitchen knife. Luckily we were able to disarm him with no one hurt. There's a video of the ordeal floating somewhere and of me choking him out. He and the house collectively agreed to never let him get to that point again. It was one of those "don't feed him after midnight" kind of situation. We all still joke around about that night today. Murder Neal aside, He was always a caring and fun-loving guy to be around. He gave lots of value where ever he was and I admired that about him. He was also absolutely loyal to the people he cared about. The world deifnately lost a great person.

    Lastly, I lost a good friend for the time being. Her name is Chrissy, we've been friend for probably around 15 years. She used to be one of my closest friends and our friendship had been more or less deteriorating the last year or so. There was a lot of drama between Chrissy and this other girl Megan in our friend group like 20 years ago. EVERYONE has moved on since then except Chrissy. It came to a head this week where she gave me and ultimatum to choose friends. I think she's wrong in this situation and thought it would be wrong to perpetuate this so I ended up digging my heals and told her. Over the years it seems that her fixation is gotten more intense so I have no idea how to help her. Unfortunately, she cut ties off with me. It's a huge bummer as we were quite close at one time, but this is a reminder that I can't control what I can't control and have faith that things will work out.

    So yeah, big week. Not sure how I should be feeling, but I feel better than I think I should. Perhaps my foundation for a positive mindset have really begin to strengthen. I feel compelled to use these as reminders of what I have now instead of reminders of what I have lost.

    Regarding fitness, the week has been easy. I'm loving 2000 calories and IF. Not loving the excercises. Pretty much weigh the same and look the same as I started. Cravings are finally hitting me in full force and can't wait to finish it out strong because I'm going to go ham on some good food. Also ended up coming with a tolerable pea protein recipe where I throw in 2 dates, a banana, a vanilla bean, and some cinnamon. In any normal case, this should be delicious, but pea protein literally tastes THAT bad.

    Positives:
    - Reminders of perminance and to cherish what I have
    - lost a Kilo and body fat.
    - Almost done with the program
    - Found positives on very negative events

    Negatives:
    - The cravings are getting real lately

    Goals for next week:
    - Finish strong.

  74. #74
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    Week 9

    This weekend has been challenging when it comes to planning and time management, which is why I didnít get the post up until now. Iím going to tell you about it, since I know that you will understand what I mean. I know it isnít in any way extreme compared to you guys, but I find it kind of exhausting. The theme of the weekend was family oriented activities. I worked Friday night. Slept some. Got up and went to pick my niece up, which I had promised to baby-sit. Got some cold lunch down on the way. Played with my four year old niece and her neighbor-friend, the same age. It was pretty fun but also pretty intense. I took them to the playground and the neighbor immediately fell and got scratches on her arm and leg and then she wanted to go home. I managed to convince her to play a little first though. The thing with this neighbor kid was that her arms and legs was already covered with sticking plasters, so I should have saw it coming. But after they got some ice cream all was good again and we could continue playing.

    Anyways, then I went on to family dinner. Missed the train back home by 10 seconds, so I had to get a cab and got home pretty late. Got up next morning and managed to do a training session before I headed out of town for my grand-dads birthday party where I also had a (small) gig with a band. Got home late again. Just did the necessary, i.e. planning the food for Monday. Worked Monday, went home and managed to squeeze in a session of AbRipperX and food before I met up with an old friend that I joined to a concert. So today after work and training I finally have time for the weekly postings. Iím really look forward to the end of the fitness part right now. Not because I mind the training or even the diet so much, but because I miss the spare time and freedom of not having to plan everything so meticulously.

    The good news is that the freezer is fixed and that Iím gaining some weight.

  75. #75
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    Week 10

    Only two weeks to go. Ten weeks flew by pretty quickly, just like I’m sure the ten weeks of the actual program this summer will. I haven’t gained that much, but when I did my second BodPod this week it said that I had gained 2,5 kg with fat percentage going from 11,7 to 11,8%. To be honest I think the numbers look a little better than they are, because I had a few more meals on the day of the second BodPod than the first, and not so much fat in those meals. So it’s probably closer to 2 kg of gains with BF from 11,7 to 12%. But it’s still better than I expected since my scale showed BF going from 11,4% to 12,7%. So I was worried that the gains was in large part due to fat accumulation.

    I’ve told a few more people about the program this week. Or not exactly the program, not all the details, but it’s gotten to a point now where I know what I will say when people ask me what my plans are for the summer. The people I told this week were either colleagues or aquaintances that I’m not so close to. And the more comfortable I am when telling them about this international program of personal development that I found, the more they seem to like the idea and to be appreciative. So this makes things a whole lot easier, since I don’t have to fear someone asking me about my summer plans. However, it’s easy to imagine coming home and everyone will be asking about the program and what I’ve learned and where I’ve been. That’ll be another challenge then.

    I was on a date this week. You know one of those dates where you feel like you just don’t have anything in common. In the end I even hesitated to ask her if she liked something that I myself like, because I was so sure that she wouldn’t and that it would just be awkward when we realised there’s yet another thing that we don’t have in common.
    But it was ok. I got to practice trying to see things from another perspective.

  76. #76
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    Week 10

    It was a phenomenal week (+ a few days) for reasons unrelated to the fitness program.

    Challenges - Fitness Program

    It was a little bit of a challenge adjusting to eating more food at the beginning but as others have mentioned, once you start giving your body a little bit more food it starts to adjust and tries to demand more. So nothing too crazy here but Iím not eating 4k calories like some folks were doing

    My calves have been bothering me a bit, so Iíve avoided calf exercises for the past week or so. Iím so close to my goal of running a 20 minute 5k that I really donít want an injury right now

    Positives - Fitness Program

    I gained some weight (about a kilo) which was good. However, I did just start taking creatine so some of that may be due to increased water retention.

    Personal

    This week is all about what was going on in my personal life, and specifically my job, and the gist of it is that I am a fucking go!

    I think I have mentioned this in the past, but my job situation is a bit interesting. I was planning on riding it out at my old job, collecting my bonus, and getting the hell out of there. The problem is that my company was dissolved (my division, not the entire company) and I was left with a problem. I would really be tearing through the majority of my savings to not have a job for 7-8 months through the of Rockstar. So I found a new job in the middle of March, which had the bonus of paying me significantly more.

    It was a weight that was on my shoulders knowing that I would have to take leave early on in my employment and that weight only grew as time went on. However, I did my best to push off thinking about it as much as possible but knew ultimately the day would come when I would have to pay the piper.

    Well that day finally came. It got to the point where people were considering staffing me on projects that would overlap with RS so I had to make my intentions known. Iím not the type of guy to really get anxiety or panic attacks, but my stress levels were through the roof.

    In somewhat of a dumb move, I had never checked my companyís policy regarding leave. I finally checked it last week, and it was very disheartening. In order to take personal leave, you needed to have been with the company for at least a year. So now I am convinced that I am going to lose my job over this which was depressing for a lot of reasons:
    - I actually like my job now and am pretty excited about a reorganization that is happening
    - Iíd have to go through consulting recruiting again after RS, which involves a lot of cases and is not a fun process. It would also likely have stressed me out during RS that I didnít have something to come back to
    - Iíd have to explain to my friends and family that I had just quit a job I had claimed to really like
    - The person who referred me to the company would not get their referral bonus (not my biggest concern but itís like 5k - she would have been pissed haha)

    So last Friday, despite being really stressed about having the conversation, I finally manned up and went to talk to one of the partners in the Chicago office. I told him that I had a cool travel opportunity and that I would probably go even if they didnít let me take leave. He was really cool about it but didnít sound too optimistic about my chances to be able to take leave. He was not the decision maker however, and could only offer guidance. I needed to talk to the head of the practice

    I then talked to my mentor, who similarly was not optimistic but said I might be surprised

    So I reached out to the head of the practice over the weekend and asked if he had some time to chat.

    I was a giant ball of stress all weekend.

    But I met with HR on Tuesday morning and got my first bit of good news. The HR person basically said that the policy doesnít matter as long as leadership

    But now I had to talk to the practice leader and my stress was at an all-time high. I started the conversation with something like ďI have to have a tough conversation with you and am going to put you in a difficult position.Ē Then I told him about the trip and he was like ďIs that it? I was expecting something much worseĒ He was 100% totally cool with it and told me about the year he took off of work and how it was one of the best years of his life. So no problem.
    However, he wasnít the final approver as someone even higher up needed to approve it. I shot him an email with my practice leader copied and he approved it in like 5 minutes.

    All of that stress I had building up for weeks and then it ended up being no big deal!

    I feel like the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders, and that I can finally look forward to RS. I feel really great.

    My focus now is going to be mentally preparing myself for RS and will add headspace meditation as a first step

  77. #77
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    End of Week 9 - My body has changed and Iím not quite used to it yet.

    Iím back in Dubai after a fun month in Thailand. It feels good to be in my own place and not living out of a suitcase for a bit. I know Iíll get plenty of that when Vegas rolls around. For now, Iím enjoying my old bed which allows me to get a comfortable and deep sleep. While Iíve stayed on the diet and exercise plan without much of an issue this week, Iíve faced some challenges with my scale, water retention, an old elbow injury and my stomach not adapting well to the change in scenery.

    SoÖI packed my scale in my checked luggage on the plane with the batteries in it. Note to self. Donít do that in the future. It came out broken probably from turning on and off hundreds of times while it rattled around in the luggage. Oh well. I had to start using my scale back in Dubai, which is the same brand of scale, but no body fat percentage measure. To be honest, I donít trust the scaleís accuracy for body fat in any case. At this stage, Iím just using the eye test and plan to get a bodpod or Dexa scan when I get back to the States. I am very satisfied with the results that Iíve experienced so far on this program. Most of my clothes donít fit anymore and I will be giving a lot of it away. I was borderline XL size in my shirts and shorts size back in January. Now Iím easily wearing small shirts with a tight, but strong v shaped look. The looks Iím getting from women arenít something Iím used to. For example, I was standing in line at a coffee shop yesterday and I made a joke with the server. I heard a woman behind me laugh at what I said, and she had the biggest set of ďfuck meĒ eyes on her face when I turned around to look at her. Hard to explain in a blog post, but we both knew what it was. I probably should have gone to her table and swapped Instagrams or phone numbers, but she was with someone having lunch (looking back on it, I essentially gave myself a plausible excuse not to approach). I was also at a neighborhood business this week and was chatting with the girl who was the attendant at the front desk. She kept laughing and I was like ďwhat the fuck are you laughing for, I didnít say anything funny?Ē as I generally have a joking relationship with her. She said ďsir, you became handsome and sexy.Ē We both laughed, but in my mind, I was like ďhow am I supposed to respond?Ē when I still donít feel super confident in myself in my ability to attract women.

    From a big picture standpoint, everything has been going according to plan and Iím debating on how these nice physique changes will affect my perception of myself. My head can be a strange place. After all of this hard work, I can start to tell myself that the changes that have happened came too quickly and I donít really deserve to look good in my clothes. Or an all too common problem Iíve had in my life is that is that sometimes I actually fear success. That sounds crazy, right? I guess Iíve let being overweight define me for so long, that itís kind of a sick comfort zone that I exist in. Iím sure there are some metaphors in this weight loss success journey for my life in general. Hopefully the inner game portions of the program can help me address these issues.

    Positives for the Week:

    - Dropped another half KG. The water retention from two flights may have held me back from hitting another full kilogram, but I think next week I can make up for it since Iím settled into a good sleeping arrangement with no flights on the schedule.

    - Iíve been able to hit the ground running in Dubai again. After a month, Iíve lost around 5 kgs. Iím getting a lot of compliments about how my physique has changed even over this past month.

    - Taxes have been filed and paid off for the year. Finally.

    Negatives:

    - I didnít really get around to the Inner Game of Tennis as planned. I could give you a bunch of excuses as to why, but it didnít get done.

    - I have been dealing with an old elbow injury, which has forced me to move lifting and stretching days around as well as go to Cryotherapy to deal with it. Iím hoping that its not an issue by tomorrow when Iíve scheduled my arms day.

    Goals for the Week:

    - Lose another kilogram. Iím track to hitting my 70-72 KG goal range by the time Vegas starts. Stay strong on it.

    - Start a daily meditation. The mentors have highlighted the importance of practicing a daily meditation, and have provided some suggestions on how to go about it. Try to meditate every day this coming week starting today.

    - Close out my visa and change residencies.

  78. #78
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    End of Week 10

    Its been a week where I could get back into my regular eating, workout and sleeping routine. Its also a week in which mentors suggested that we really start taking meditation seriously. So, I’ve tried three different guided meditation apps and have settled on one of them. People always talk about the game changing benefits of meditation and I’m somewhat excited to see what they’re going on about. What I can say is that I’ve been doing it every day since it was suggested and it’s been calming and enjoyable at the very least. A couple of the apps suggested that is a mental practice that can train the mind not unlike the physical strengthening that occurs in the gym. If that’s the case, then I think I’m going to love it.

    So as far as progress in the gym and on the fitness program, I am very close to hitting my goal target range of 70-72 kgs on the scale. I clocked in at 72.5 kgs this morning, which is down from 74.3 kgs. Losing that much was kind of expected given that I retained a bunch of water from taking two flights last week. This week I upped my cardio to around one hour. I did one session fasted before lifting and one session about an hour after my last meal. I also am intermittent fasting still and think the strategically timed cardio as well as the fasting windows have helped me with the weight loss in the more rapid fashion that I need to hit my targets. If I get to 70 kgs, I’ll be the lightest I’ve been since I was in college where I was running 40-50 miles per week. I definitely didn’t carry as much muscle on my frame back then as I do now either.

    I think that in this upcoming 11th week, getting to 71 to 72 kgs is doable. From there, I’ll chat with my mentors to see about adding some calories back in case they think I need to bulk up or just maintain what I’ve got going.

    Positives:

    - I’m getting almost daily compliments on the change that I’ve undergone. The smiles I’m starting to get from girls isn’t bothering me. I’m not used to that happening as much as it used to, so it’s been a welcome change.

    - I surpassed my target weight drop for the week but I feel like I’m retaining muscle and strength.

    - My Omron bodyfat scale started working again. I was about to toss it in the garbage with a lot of other stuff in my apartment that I don’t need anymore. I decided to turn it on one more time and it started working again. It even had my old settings in it and remembered my last weight.

    Negatives:

    - My residency situation still isn’t sorted out here in Dubai. I’ve been told that it could last a few weeks to get sorted and I really don’t want my travel documents to be tied up to where I can’t travel to Vegas on time. If it looks like that is going to happen, then I will just leave the country and sort it out after PR2019. Not ideal.

    Goals For the Week:

    - Get down to 70-72 kgs

    - Continue my daily meditation

    - Continue to clear out my apartment and wind down everything here

    - Plan my trip back to the States, if my residency situation becomes more clear.

    Starting Weight: 74.3 KGs

    Current Weight: 72.5 KGs

  79. #79
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    Week 8-10

    Week 8
    Fitness and Nutrition:
    This week I finally managed to make time to cash in on a Yoga Groupon I bought that will give me unlimited classes for this last stretch of the fitness program. I also managed to convince some friends to do the first class with me to make the best of my tight schedule. Happy to say I lost 2 pounds this week. The scale shows three but what Iíve come to notice is water weight is a hell of a thing. Hitting legs this week I was really happy to notice my squat has made some drastic improvements from week one where I could barely manage to do any weight. Leaving my ego at the door has been pivotal to this. Prior to the program I used to always avoid doing legs in fear that I would be judged for not doing what someone at my gym does. The local gym I go to is frequented by a lot of people that do powerlifting so imagine a 170lb man doing 300 plus on the squat rack. Once I finally checked my ego I came to realize no one really cares. Itís only as big of a deal as you choose to make it. The nutrition side of things has been pretty plain nothing new to report back. The only thing I can say thatís remotely worth mentioning is blueberries are a great staple to add to your diet. Studies suggest they contain fat burning properties and are high in antioxidants.
    Personal Life/Other Topics:
    As someone who loves Avicii, I was really happy to be able to listen to his final album. Iíve always found his music inspirational and really relatable to how Iíve felt in certain periods of my life. One of my good friends decided to take a trip to Portland so I had extra company around the house in the form of his golden retriever. It was a great excuse for me to get out to the local park to go on a jog with him. Iím not quite sure what it is about having a golden retriever, but it seems like I had quite a few women stop to start conversations that went way past talking about the dogs. Definitely wasnít expecting it but it was a nice bonus and confidence boost for the week.

    Week 9
    Fitness:
    Another week in the books! First off, Iíve got to say doing the dynamic training principle (DTP) workout by Gethin made my shoulders feel like someone set them on fire. The soreness I felt when the delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) kicked in was some of the worst thus far. My energy levels this week have been at an all-time high which Iím sure is due to my case load at work not being as intense this week. This has really worked out well for my cardio and lifting sessions. Reflecting back on the first week my legs would feel like they were Jell-O with a low resistance on the elliptical. Now Iím able to crank up the resistance on the elliptical to double digit resistance and still knock out my cardio session which I feel really grateful for. In terms of my diet the food selection has been the standard chicken and brown rice with veggies. Iíve tried to make my egg whites although more satiating and a good trick Iíve found is to cook them with a ton of spinach.
    Personal Life/Mentor Chats
    Andrew checked in with us via a video update this week and it started making me think about some overarching principals on trust and letting go. One of my biggest issues I think that has led me to where Iím at today is my ability to try to think of life like a chess board where I need to have three countermoves for any move I make. I think this has been very detrimental in a lot of my social interactions in that Iím constantly trying to think of the future or past, but never living in the present. After talking to Blake via a checkup, he reaffirmed some ways I could work on this and what It means to let go. Moving into week 10 Iím going to utilize meditation through Headspace more frequently. Outside of work I managed to work on more logistics and booked my flight to fly in to Vegas along with spending time with my dad for Fatherís Day. I should be flying in a day early to get my bearings and adjust to the time shift

    Week 10
    Fitness:
    This week I managed to work in two yoga sessions. One of the classes where I take it at does a guided meditation mixed with yoga. Having done Headspace before, I have to say there is just something about meditating in a live setting that just works way better for me. My ankle this week was giving me a bit of a problem, but I managed to push through after wrapping it up to get my cardio in. My mindset looking back from week one of the fitness program to now has changed in some big ways Iíd like to think. During week one I think I liked telling myself I work out for me but deep down didnít really mean it. Now looking at myself here at end of week 10 I think I genuinely mean it that Iím doing this for me and no one else. I want to see how far I can push myself to be the best version of myself physically. I think this epiphany came on Tuesday when I had the option to catch up on some sleep or get my cardio and yoga in for that day.
    Personal life:
    Every month for my job my supervisor does a one on one meeting with each member of the team to gauge metrics/performance. Knowing that this was going to be my last meeting I was somehow strangely hoping my boss was going to rip into me over something petty/miniscule. Oddly enough, she repeatedly praised me and even said during her meeting with her superiors that they had good things to say about my future with the company. I feel somewhat bad now knowing that right after the 4th of July that Iím going to walk into my managers office and drop a resignation letter. Iíve been trying to rack my brain thinking of what Iíve done differently in the last couple of months and the only thing I can really attribute is coming from a place of leaving work at the office and not taking it back with me. Before I committed to the program, Iíd always come home thinking about a bad case or person I had to deliver crap news to about their case. Now I try to view it from the mindset of I did everything I could and the rest I have to leave at the office. Besides work, Iíve started to slowly work on packing my non-essential things at my current place to help make the transition a lot smoother instead of procrastinating til the last minute.

  80. #80
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    Week 11

    After chatting with my mentors, my calorie count was dropped to 2,500 kcal this past week. Need to focus on shedding the fat off now. I was honestly expecting it to be 2k or less, but was told that it would decelerate muscle building too much for me. Even though there’s only one more week left in the fitness program, I’m going to continue working out till my flight to Vegas, so that’s an extra 2 weeks of training. Really want to get in the best shape I can be in before the start of Rockstar.

    Diet aside, something weird and a bit scary happened to me this past week. While working out my legs on the Leg Press machine and hammering out Gethin’s DTP training protocol, I started using 350-380 lbs of resistance as I approached the 10 rep count. Towards the end of one of the sets, I began to feel a sudden sharp pain on the back of my head. The headache was so painful that I just had to stop what I was doing. Thankfully, the pain subsided after about 5 minutes or so and was able to finish off my routine for the day. Of course, I had to drop the intensity a bit just to be safe, but it totally freaked me out!

    When I got home, I started to research the topic and my symptoms seem to describe an Exertion Headache. As the name implies, it’s a headache that originates from over exerting your body. As I understand it, this is caused by increased pressure on the blood vessels in the brain when performing strenuous exercise, like weightlifting. Apparently, the pain can last as little as 5 mins. (lucky me), or as long as 2 days; and upwards of 2 months for a full recovery, or 6 months if you don’t give your body an opportunity to heal. Doubt I’ll stop working out, but will definitely not push myself as hard as I was.

    A word of advice, make sure you stay hydrated; ease into any strenuous activity; and as Tony Horton would say: “don’t push for glory” – you’re better off being injury free.

    Lastly, just wanted to mention that I when out to night-club this past Saturday, and as I was getting ready I noticed that my jeans felt tight as hell around my legs! I was pissed because I knew I had to get new jeans, but was excited to know that all this hard work was paying off. I’ll probably wait till the fashion component of Rockstar before I replace my jeans.

    Ok guys, one more week left! Don’t let up!

  81. #81
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    Week 11

    Week 11 was a pretty uneventful week. Got my workouts in and nothing too crazy happened beyond that so going to keep it short and sweet.

    Challenges - Fitness Program

    I gained a bit more weight than I expected to this week when I put on more than a kilo the get close to 72 kg. I know that putting on weight is the goal when you are in the gainer group, but I think Iím putting on a little more fat than I would like to in the process. In the end, Iím not overly worried about it however as I know I can take the weight off in the future if necessary

    Positives - Fitness Program

    Ran a 5k in 20:22. I should be able to break 20 in three more sessions on the treadmill and I am going to try to do that this week, before the end of the program.

    Iíve been enjoying the exercises lately and have started putting together a spreadsheet to make sure I incorporate the ones I like into my workout routine once the program ends. The format that I create will make it easier to track progress from week to week following the program. I will likely share that with everyone once I finish it.

    Personal

    I need to break things off with the girl Iíve been dating casually for months now. She is cute, and sweet, and kind, and low maintenance but ultimately we are just not a match intellectually. I absolutely hate these kinds of conversations because I donít like making people feel bad but ultimately I am doing her a disservice by letting this continue to drag on.

  82. #82
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    Week 11

    This week has been one of the best when it comes to gaining. I’ve been at 4.3k calories for more than a month now, but some weeks I’ve still been struggling to put on more weight. I think what’s helped now is actually partly that the weather got warmer and so less energy is spent on keeping my body warm. Maybe it’s far fetched but that’s the only explanation I can come up with. So what happened is some kind of ketchup effect, where I suddenly started to gain almost a kilo a week, which I think is a little too much to be optimal in terms of muscle vs fat. But I’ll keep it at this level until the end of the program and evaluate the results then.

    One thing that I’ve noticed is that my left upper arm is growing bigger than the right one, even though my right side is the dominant one. I don’t know if you guys have noticed anything similar in your bodies. I know that a slight asymmetry is normal, so I don’t worry about it, but I am curious. I’ve had some issues with my right shoulder and upper arm from time to time so now I wonder if this subconsciously made me go a little easier on the right arm. Or could it be an old muscle injury in this arm that makes this side a little less effective and therefore it responds a little slower to the training?

    Finally, I went to a wedding this weekend, and just like Rafic said in his post I couldn’t bring myself to bring tupperwares with my own food to a wedding dinner. The wedding was at two in the afternoon so I really couldn’t eat all the food I needed before that either. So I figured the best thing was to eat as much as I could before, then bring along fruits and nuts which I had in the car going from the wedding to the dinner. Then I just tried to stick as close as possible to the diet during the dinner and estimating the amount of food that I had. Luckily it was a buffť, so I could choose food that was allowed, even though they probably used some non-allowed ingredients when preparing it. It’s not perfect but I felt it was the best I could reasonably do.

  83. #83
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    Week 8, June 23, 2019

    What a challenge, an interesting week. Thereís been limited results even with tiny changes while having this kind dedication: averaging first week to this week, Iíve gained 2.8 lbs through 8 weeks. I was ready in some ways to make a change and eat even more, although I still am very concerned that much more volume will do to the body, but Iím curious too, an extra 5500 calories per day is my target next week. My coach has good thoughts, the two I think am in agreement with; the energy extraction/digestive issues are probably a part (which I suspect has to do with supplements or volume of food, because I donít normally have the issues), and think the adaptive metabolism is part Ė that would explain why Iím hot all the time now, as usually Iím cold all the time. Thereís probably still a magic number (yet to be determined number) to reach in order to gain weight. The eating goes well on stable days when eating on a timing schedule can be followed without interruption or moving meals. Moving now to my third type of protein hoping it helps with the digestion. What a wild ride of emotions and resistance.

    I found the hot shower cold shower recovery protocol helping. On Saturday, spent a couple hours in the gym, then moved a few house items and my body was screaming. Went into full recovery attempt mode, the gentle movements did not help much, but followed the hot cold shower recovery protocol then lots of hot relaxing water, then more gentle stretching, postural alignment practices, attempted activation of muscular systems, mobility checks, and lots of gentle movement, and staying warm over the next few hours, was surprised it helped as much as it did. I think thatís fairly consistent results that the hot cold works to help recovery. Writing this triggered a memory, that was a lot of my typical days a few years ago.

    My dedication to the fitness program is extensive - still worried though about my physical health. I think thatís a pattern, especially more developed in recent years. I spent $600 and 6 hours this week on treatments, plus 5 hours of travel time; then I go to the gym and make things worse again. Still a disconnect for me, still hate the fitness program most of the time, but itís not just the fitness program, itís the negativity pattern thatís been getting worse and canít figure out how to turn off right now. Anyhow, thatís something that Iím searching for right now and trying to understand, and expect getting into a new environment will help that. In the meantime, will search, try to change it, try to understand it, and try to get my affairs in order. Like I said, a wild ride. And lets look at the bright side for a moment, this plan and the summer makes me do something that I know needs to be done, quit work, find some new ways, and that will be a better life.

  84. #84
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    Week 9, June 30, 2019

    Coudos to all the guys posting photos on the main and other threads. You all look really ripped and in great shape. Thanks to the guys posting the reading lists, that might have been 10 day alum thread, that’s a great resource to get started.

    I can now see how it’s possible to each 4k calories. It’s probably possible to eat more than 4k, some days tempted but it won’t lead to good data. Although the digestion is still troubling, more so this week than last. Not sure the pure rice protein is helping, it may be causing issues but I’m still working through it. The last couple days I did no protein powder, at it didn’t help either. I’m very confused about the food. Blood tests are due soon so that might provide insight hopefully. Weight wise, the results are somewhat discouraging. I weigh in at an average of ZZZ lbs this week, that’s down from last week and where I’ve been sitting most of the program.
    Not a lot of sleep this week. When I was younger, I did subscribe to the theory that you can just take time from sleep and keep powering through life and days. At some point, I found that was not a very effective way to do things, and eventually after losing sleep a lot for years, that it was not sustainable and had definite effects on function and day to day life. From then and now, I subscribe to the theory that more sleep is better and even if that means you start missing other things or have to change commitments. I don’t believe anything in life is worthy of continual loss of sleep. There was definitely more issues this week health and treatment wise, and on the more conventional side I had physio say I have another pinched shoulder. Was told to stop eating so much by the doctor, and to not remove shoulder exercises from the physio, since both contrary to the direction I think we were heading, and contrary to one of my trainers advice, the decision is still unmade on my side on what is proper. If I had free reign, I’d eat less and it might be headed that way. Just look at the data, without knowing the reason, which might be digestive issues, eating substantially more (my estimate 1500k to 4000 k) has had little impact to my weight and has caused other digestive problems leading to sleep, function and other problems. There I go hating the fitness program again, criticizing and critiquing it, and I doubt that will change up to the very end in the near future, maybe if that’s the pattern to fight something all the way, so be it.

    About the new clothing, we’ve been told a couple times not to go buy new wardrobes, because it will change during the course of the program, at the same time was told there’s no time for that during the program. I want to change a bunch of clothes especially since after the 10 day the advice was basically to get rid of all my clothes, so that might still happen.

    Although I haven’t booked my ticket, I can’t wait to get out of the city. I need a change.

  85. #85
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    Week 12

    The end.
    Some thoughts about the program in retrospect.
    I’ve been working out in different forms more or less all my adult life and I already was in ok shape. So I was somewhat surprised when at the beginning I was put in the losers group. Fortunately this changed (when my BodPod showed less than 12% BF) before the program started and I’ve been a gainer throughout the program. I’ve put on 4-5 kg without too much of that being fat. I can definitely see some results even though it’s not a huge change. What I liked about the program was that there were a lot of new exercises to me. First I was disappointed that there’s so little emphasis on complex multi-joint movements, but I guess it’s because if you’re working out this often you need to isolate the muscles more to let some parts rest while you focus on a few muscle groups.

    Usually I’m lazy when it comes to switching between work-out programs. I like physical activities and to work out but not to put too much effort into planning it. So I think this program was a good variation for my body. I feel like I’ve been able to push myself pretty hard without any serious injuries. With this said, I also had a few doubts about the program that I’ve tried to put aside while going through it. For example I prefer to focus on function and health more than pure aestethics. That’s one reason I like to have more complex movements. Another thing that I don’t agree with is the macronutrient split that we were using. As a gainer I ended up with a protein intake of 250 g per day, which I think is too much. There’s a few more things in the program that I don’t fully agree with, but I guess no program will fit everyone. I really appreciate the work put in by our fitness mentors, especially Claudio in my group has been really helpful and supportive.

    So, next part of the Rockstar project is coming up in just two weeks. Right now I feel really excited about it. I know that it will be a big challenge and probably really exhausting but I’m glad that for the time being I just long for it to start. The next two weeks will fly by and then we’ll meet up in Vegas all of us. I can’t wait to meet you guys in person and get to know you more!

  86. #86
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    Week 11

    LAST WEEK BABY. Fuck. I'm glad we're almost done.

    Some stats. I'm a hair under 67 kgs with 13.2% BF. I'm down about 3 kgs since I switched from bulking. I'm eating a little under 2000 cal/day. I decided to bring my factor down from 13 to 12 so I'm eating around 1700 cal for this last week.

    I added a ton of power lifting and oly lifting back into my routine in the form light weight, high rep, metabolic workouts during my cardio sessions. Barbell excercises are by far my favorite and it feels good to get back to them.

    This week will be particularly harder on my not to cheat. I'm been kicking ass so far, but with the end being so close and the realization I won't be Riyaz level lean makes the temptation to just makes it even harder to make it these last few days. I went out to a mexican restaurant with some friends last night and was able to resist. They joked about going to an ice cream shop afterwards. I probably would have given in if we did to be honest. It's Tuesday now, so I'm still holding strong.

    My eating window is usually 6AM to 2PM during the weekday. I had an ass load of errands that I had to get done Saturday morning which caused me to prolong my fast till about 23.5 hours. Thought about holding out for the full 24, but I was hungry AF. It's been a while since I was that hungry, but it was a good experience. One day I hope to try a 1 week fast with proper medical testing. Dr. Peter Atilla is a longevity doctor who does a quarterly reset that consists of a week on a keto diet, 1 week fast with physical activity, and ending with another week on a Keto diet. Autophagy and healthspan aside, I think it would be an interesting mental excercise to try one day. As much as I love and appreciate indulgent food, most of the time getting encumbered with the need to eat when I'm hitting my strides in productivity frustrates the fuck out of me.

    I took this video on Sunday before I headed out for Neal's funeral. I was expecting to be a emotional rollercoaster, but it was quite the contrary. There were a few hundred people that made it and a ton of my old college friends I haven't spoke to in years. It was such an amazing experience to reconnect, remisce on hilarious stories, and reflect a such a great person we lost. I was pretty forthright on PR and the middle finger I gave to my career. I was suprised by the envy and support I got that day. It seemed like a lot of my friends have gotten to the point of questioning their purpose with their careers. I really felt for these guys. Georgia Tech was exceptional in hammering the idea of going to the most impressive job title at the most prestidious company with the highest salary. It's quite toxic now that I reflect on it and is probably why Georgia Tech struggles to be achieve the MIT or Ivy league level of prestige.

    Oh yeah, also dropped my External HD a couple weeks ago. I had about 800 gbs of photos and videos from my backpack experiences on that drive. Had the data recovered and it cost $900 to do so. Be sure to back up your data fellas and don't put it off. That was painful lesson to learn.

    Positives:
    - Still losing weights
    - Really felt the love from friends and family in somber times
    - I <3 power cleans
    - Made a bajillion backups of my important files.

    Negatives:
    - Still quite apathetic about this fitness program
    - My bank account is $900 lighter

    Goals for this week:
    - Just make it to the end.

  87. #87
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    Week 12

    Fitness program. CHECK.

    A bit of a confession, I had full intention to cheat this week since it's the last week. I had made a list of a million excuses where it didn't matter anymore, but I was able to hold strong. I really had to dig this week to stay on track, so I'm going to give myself a pat on the back for that. I see this kind of behavior in a quite a few things I do in my life where I think about quitting and being satisfied with what I've done so far, especially when I get near the end. I notice that when this happens, I'm pretty good at shifting the focus to just 1 day, 1 task, or 1 rep at a time until I finish. I see this parallels with a lot and I think it's served me well. I don't do this in social situations and hs been a point of contention my entire life.

    Unfortunately, I did not see the gains as some of you all have seen from this program. I kind of suspected so going into this program so I'm not really beating myself up about it. Here are my stats

    Before/After
    Weight: 67.6 kgs/66.1kgs
    Scale BF: 12.7%/13.0%
    Navy BF: 16.7%/11.6%
    Neck: 14in/14.25in
    Abdomen: 31.5in/29.5in
    Shoulders: 45in/46in
    Chest: 38in/38in
    Hips: 31.5in/31.5in
    Thighs: 22in/21in
    Biceps: 12.5in/13.5in

    As you can see, the changes I went through were quite marginal. The positives: I lost 2 inches in my abs and gained in inch in my shoulders and arms. Negative: Lost an inch in my thighs. Everything else nearly remained the same. With the extra 20 hrs devoted to this program for these changes, in my case, the juice was completely not worth the squeeze. Is doing nearly an hour of cardio a day worth the 1 kg loss in my weight? IMO, a resounding no. I wouldn't even recommend Gethin or Bodybuilding.com to my worst enemy.

    My takeways from this program was an affirmation that functional training, HIIT, and metobalic conditioning is leaps and bounds ahead. I also notice the importance to find a physical activity that you enjoy for a sustatinable healthy lifestyle. I'm certain that my lack of results from this program is partyly because I really don't like this style of working out. IMO, I doubt anyone has ever become good at anything by sitting and doing leg extensions for 30 minutes. So, it's important to find an activity you can love doing where it doesn't become a chore. I had found a happy balance of healthy food habits and indulgent meals prior to this program. What I was doing before fit really well with my lifestyle and I now know that I'm already pretty damn close to my performance asymptote (which I'm pretty satisfied with). The biggest lessons I learned was the idea of commitment and following through with a decision I make. It's a bit liberating to be able to unthether myself to sugar and many things people remain addicted to. I also noticed the only person that would make my diet requirements "weird" was me, being able to hold my frame of "this is how I eat" spoke volumes on the support I got from my friends and family. After the PR dust settles later on this year, I might consider going back on a bulking diet with a heavy powerlifting emphasis to see how well I bulk, but it would be completely unfettered eating so way easier.

    A couple nights ago another person I knew passed away. This is the 3rd fucking person I know has died in the past month. Cause of death is unknown at the moment aside from a few rumors. His name is Ted. We kind of hung out in the same friend group in high school. Ted was a super nice guy. He had great energy and tried really really hard for people to like him. Over the years I heard got into some opiates and such. Who knows though, but the meaning I'm drawing from this is an affirmation that I'm on the right path to find myself and fullfillment from my life. But fuck. Funerals suck.

    On a lighter note, this is my last week in Atlanta and I have made a lovely schedule for the rest of the week on meals I'm going to destroy. Very excited about chowing down on my favorite foods. Wouldn't be surprised that I'll throw up this week. #dontcare. I'm also hopping back onto the Crossfit bandwagon.

    See you fine Gents in 2 weeks.

  88. #88
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    Week 12

    Gethin’s training program was definitely extreme, but I can’t say I reached the physique I was hoping for. That said I did have to adjust my expectations a bit as mentioned in a previous post. Twelve weeks just isn’t enough time to gain 20-30 lbs. of muscle. Getting 6-pack abs was one of my goals, and really pushed myself to get it! And while I can safely say I have some definition around my abs that I never had before, it’s still not where I’d like to be. Probably need to shed a bit more fat to really get them to pop! Thankfully, there is still two more weeks until Vegas to work on that and the rest of my physique.

    Still planning my workout routine for the coming weeks, but after chatting with my mentors I really need to make sure I keep working on the abs HARD (5 days a week!), as well as the pecs. Probably get the most yield from this prior to Vegas.

    In terms of nutrition, been holding my calorie count at 2,500 and will probably keep it there for the next two weeks. Although it doesn’t seem like it to me, my scale has been showing a gradual but steady decline in Body Fat (currently at 11.3%, although I’m not entirely sure it’s an accurate figure. Would think abs would be much more defined than they are). Probably need to increase the calorie deficit to make a more noticeable impact. Only problem with that is that it would practically stop any potential muscle growth, which I still need to work on. I should probably focus on one or the other, but with Vegas quickly approaching I really don’t want to lose the body mass I’ve built (was very slim before) or add any more body fat (trying to get that definition.)

    For me, the biggest takeaway I got from this fitness program is how to structure my diet. I always knew eating health food was critical, but never really understood how much food I needed to eat. Moreover, never really understood that the ratio between Protein, Carbs, and Fat was so important.

    As for the workout program, I can’t say I was fan although it did introduce me to a variety of different exercises I’d never heard off (the Donkey Calf Raises was epic in the gym, haha!) There were also a few training protocols that were new to me as well like Drop-sets, Rest-pause, Partials, and DTP (probably never using this one again! Think there are better ways to target the ‘fast’ and ‘slow’ twitch muscle fibers.) Even though I still need to read-up on some of these, I’m sure I’ll be using a few of these in my future workout routines.

    All right guys, see you in Vegas for Day 1 of Rockstar!

  89. #89
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    End of Week 11 - Staying on course to the end

    One more week to go. Iíve hit my target weight range and am pretty satisfied with the results that Iíve experienced on this program. My body isnít picture perfect, but its night and day from where I was back in January. Constant compliments are still rolling in. Some of them are hilarious. Iíll share a couple: One guy who I used to work with insisted that I had full-body liposuction and was taking steroids since the last time I saw him. Another guy, my building security guard from Zimbabwe, thinks that I went to see a ďspecialĒ doctor and have been taking some kind of magic pills. I told him there was no doctor. Only lifting weights, doing cardio, yoga and dieting. He said that in case I was lying to him, to give him the name and number of the doctor. To be fair, all of these people grew to know me over the years as an out-of-shape slightly fat dude who used to frequently get hammered at the bar. I have been lifting weights for years, but rarely stuck with a diet for more than three to four weeks in the past few years. I blew up to 210 lbs on the scale at my largest in January. The shit is funny; both how I used to be and peopleís reactions to what they see now. It feels really good to fit into clothes that I never thought Iíd be able to wear or give away clothes that are way too big for me now. But I also have to be mindful that this isnít over. Itís just the beginning. Not only do I have to finish this final week strong, but I also continue to treat my health as a top priority. I think its great that weíre going to have a meal prep service in Vegas and a number of guys have already expressed interest in continuing to get after it in the gym when weíre there.

    Positives for the Week:

    - Hit my goal weight. I made it to just under 72kgs while retaining and building muscle. 51 lbs down since January and 32 lbs since the start of the Rockstar Fitness program.

    - Iím slowly getting closer to being able to leave Dubai with my apartment lease up and residency getting sorted out. Hopefully I will be able to fly back to the States this up coming next weekend on Saturday or Sunday.

    Negatives for the Week:

    - I misplaced a large sum of cash this week. Iím not sure if I lost it or it was stolen. The money was some cash for my upcoming trip and emergency funds in case anything went wrong with my bank accounts now that Iím changing residencies. Dubai isnít a place where theft is common and I donít want to throw out any accusations because the process is a bit harsh on people who are named as a would-be suspect. I probably lost it when I was moving old clothes and trash out of my apartment, but it sure does sting.

    Goals for the Week:

    - Finish strong. Donít let up on the diet or exercise because Iíve already hit the goal that I wanted to hit.

    - Continue to do daily meditation. I signed up for the Awakening App that is a daily guided meditation with lessons in meditation by Sam Harris. Iím still trying to wrap my head around the benefits, but I can say that I enjoy relaxing and calm feeling after I've done each session.

    - Get my USA trip sorted out. Make sure I have moved days around so that my trip doesnít interfere with my lifting schedule. I may have to move rest days to the end of the program and lift more days in a row. Donít think it will be an issue though.

    - Once I arrive in the States run some errands ahead of the Vegas trip

    Starting Weight: 72.5 KGs

    Current Weight: 71.8 KGs

  90. #90
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    End of Week 12

    That was fun.

    A big challenge to accomplish the 12 week fitness leg of Rockstar while traveling to South East Asia and moving from Dubai back the US. For most of my life, traveling was always an excuse to indulge in food and drink and conveniently not be able to find time to exercise. While I had some really good physical changes on this 12 week experience, I think I was also able to develop a mindset for making my health a priority, no matter where I am or what I’m doing. I can make any excuse in the world not to exercise when I’m engaged in traveling or on a vacation, but I found that I can also make time for working out and finding a healthier dining option. One particularly proud moment that I have looking back on this portion of the program is sitting in a bar with three friends who were pounding Jager-Bombs and drinking beers in Thailand while I drank soda water and took a break from their party to go running for my afternoon cardio. I met up with them later that evening and it was like I never left. Pretty funny.

    Results:

    - Started dieting and exercise in January at 210 lbs during the PR application process.
    - At the start of the PR Fitness program in mid-April I was down to 190 lbs.
    - By the end of the PR Fitness program on July 7th, I was 156 lbs.
    - In January my waist size was 38
    - At the start of the PR Fitness program my pant waist size was 34
    - At the end of the PR Fitness program my pant waist size was 30
    - I actually have defined biceps and triceps for the first time in my life.

    Conclusion:

    All in all I can say that I am satisfied with the way the program was set up from the exercise routines to the way that we had to eat our food. I will also say that my journey is somewhat different than what other guys had to face. I was in the loser group, and it seemed eating less was a lot easier for me than what the gainers had to do. Especially the guys eating 4000+ calories per day. For them this was a much more mentally grueling experience and think they probably deserve the most credit in the group for sticking with it. For me though, I think the program worked out reasonably well. As a 44-year-old man, I can say that I definitely look as good physically as I have ever looked in my adult life as a result of sticking to this past 12 weeks. My hope is that I continue to make this my ongoing lifestyle rather than an exceptional point in time. I want to thank our mentors and the support of all of the guys in chat groups. The process was made a lot easier by knowing I was going through this with the rest of you! Now its time to hit Vegas!! Look forward to seeing you there!

    Starting Weight January 10th: 95.5kgs/210lbs (Started PR Application)
    Starting Weight April 15th: 86kgs/190lbs (Started PR Fitness Program)
    Ending Weight July 8th: 71kgs/156.5 lbs (End of PR Fitness Program)

  91. #91
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    Week 12

    Well the fitness program is over. Overall, I would say that I am pretty satisfied with the progress that I’ve made. It certainly was not an easy program, and quite honestly I’m glad that it’s over. I’m looking forward to starting a new workout routine, incorporating a lot of the things I learned.

    Starting Weight: 76.8 KG
    Low Weight: 68.8 KG
    Current Weight: 71.4 KG

    Key Learnings

    I’ve realized just how easy it is to lose weight when you are disciplined. Honestly, even when I was on a 1,700-1,800 calorie diet compared to burning 3,500 calories, I was rarely hungry, and I attribute that to eating a lot of good complex carbs.

    On the flip side, I learned just how easy it is to gain weight when you are not disciplined. Kudos to those of you who didn’t cheat throughout the entire program as I was not one of them. Poetic justice was always delivered after I cheated (like eating nachos with the 9 year old I mentor at a baseball game) when I got on the scale the next day.

    I have a much better understanding of what I’m putting into my body now in terms of both calories and macros. I think the biggest learning for me is just how calorie dense fat is. Although you need a certain amount of good fat, eating too much fatty food is a killer if you are trying to lose weight.

    Sometimes, you just have to have an open mind. Some of my most satisfying moments during the program was trying a new exercise, not liking it and thinking it didn’t work, but then realizing if I changed my form slightly it made a world of difference.

    I realized just how important mustard is to me as I probably would have ended it if it didn’t exist. Not sure it was even approved, but I put it on damn near all of my food.

    I am obsessed with my Fitbit and think having one should absolutely be required for this program for 2 reasons:
    For Losers: It motivates you to take extra steps and burn extra calories. I know it sounds strange, but just being able to see how many steps I’d taken absolutely motivated me to take more steps
    For Gainers: Allows you compare your calorie intake to your calorie burn. I think a lot of gainers struggle at the beginning because they aren’t eating more than they’re burning but then end up overcompensating

    Positives - Fitness Program

    I am much more cut right now than when I started the program. I was hanging out with some friends over the 4th of July at a rooftop pool and they were pretty impressed with my physique. It definitely felt pretty satisfying every time I popped my shirt off

    Although I’ve worked out for a long time, I had been doing the same exercises for a number of years. There were a number of exercises that I really liked, and will be doing them moving forward and having a lot more variety in my workouts.

    I didn’t lose much strength despite losing quite a bit of weight. In a previous cutting routine I did probably 10 years ago, I lost a lot of weight but also a lot of strength as well.

    I recently ran a 5k on the treadmill in 20:08. If all goes well, in two more sessions, I will run a sub 20 which has been a goal for me for a long time. This has taught me the importance of following a process that I set out for myself. I’ve actually gotten almost this close to running a 20 minute 5k once before. The problem was that I increased too much too fast and just couldn’t push myself through at the end. Then once I had quit one time, it was 10x easier to quit in subsequent runs and soon I was moving backwards on pace. This time, I had a process that I had to finish each speed increment multiple times before moving up, and I didn’t stop one time over the course of the program.

    It was fun getting to know everyone else through the use of the fitness blogs over the course of the program.

    Negatives - Fitness Program

    Some of the exercises were difficult just for the sake of being difficult in my opinion. For example, I don’t think there’s a ton of theory to support the use of triple drop sets. And the use of giant sets that don’t naturally go together, like exercises that use completely different machines, just aren’t realistic in many cases. For example, sometimes the required machines were on different floors of my gym.

    A little nitpicky but some of the exercises I thought were out of place - such as the straight arm dumbbell pullover (chest exercise) being included in back / arms on at least one day

    If pure effectiveness was the goal, I’m not sure this is the best program for guys who aren’t advanced weight lifters. It required a lot of changes in rep volumes and types which made it difficult to really get dialed in at various points of the program. I do think it would be more effective for me the 2nd time around.

    I think the communication about the program could have been a little better during the interview process. There was a lot of talk about the time involved but not the strict diet requirements. I think it would have been easier to buy in sooner had that been communicated sooner.

    Wrap Up

    Don’t want to end on the negatives. Overall, I think it was a very positive experience with great results, and I’m very glad that I went through it.

    Vegas

    I’m excited for Vegas but also pretty nervous at the same time. I will be working right up til I leave for Vegas, and won’t have much time to reflect or get myself mentally prepared.

    I know that Vegas is going to be extremely mentally challenging and I want to hit the ground running in Vegas. Hopefully over the next few weeks I can get my mind right.

  92. #92
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    Personal Life:
    This whole week I’ve been feeling some anxiety realizing its May, and I still haven’t told my parents I’m quitting my job in July to do Rockstar. On Saturday I bit the bullet and told my dad. Surprisingly, it went way better than I could have imagined. I was expecting my dad to say this was the dumbest mistake of my life. He actually said he supported it and if I needed any help that he would do what he could. This came as a complete shock but made me so happy to know that I wouldn’t have to worry about doing Rockstar without the support of my family.

    724x90d.jpg

  93. #93
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    Week 4

    WEEK 4

    Wow. One month down. Itís hard to say how much progress I have made. I absolutely feel stronger and people have commented that I have lost weight. From when I started, I am down about 13 pounds and decreased my body fat percentage by 2% butÖ. I also said that last week so the feeling is somewhat lackluster. Though, what am I going to do? Quit? No. I am actually enjoying the process although it would be comforting to know I am moving in the right direction. I am convinced my scale is a cheap POS. I was talking to a friend earlier today who commented on my transformation and told them I seemed to have plateaued - they responded they have a similar scale and believe itís not very accurate. Case-in-point - - I weighed myself earlier today and initially it said I have about 19% body fat. I weighed myself for the 2nd and 3rd time and this number jumped to above 20%.

    Judging by my pictures alone, I am making progress. But, to be safe, I have made some changes in my training and nutrition. Today I started doing my morning cardio in a fasted state. I also intermittent fasted and had my feeding within a 9 hour window. Lastly, when completing my pm cardio, I implemented HIIT.

    Today was definitely more challenging and right now I am just looking forward to sleep.

    I have had some knee pain in the same knee I had surgery on the last two leg-day workoutís so I have been icing the knee and taking epsom salt baths which seem to help. On a better note, Iíve been having shoulder pain in my left shoulder for years and when completing cable tricep extensions, I think I felt my shoulder click back in place!
    Aside from all of this, the most challenging part has absolutely been keeping up with life outside of this fitness program. I realize today how much of my life has become fitness. My day revolves around nutrition, working out, weighing meals, prepping food, etc. etc. I am not complaining - - I actually look forward tp going to the gym and have, for the most part, been enjoying the challenge but I do wish I could hit pause on everything else to put all my focus into this.
    Very early on, I realized that this fitness program was serving as an emotional and mental buffer of whatís to come. Yes, it is physically taxing but itís so much more than that.
    Yes, keeping up with life outside the programÖ. Iím 4 weeks into the program and Iíve got to say, I have had a string of bad luck. As soon as the program starts, laptop dies and itís no longer covered under apple warranty, 2nd week - car accident, 3rd week - fridge burns out and storing prepared meals becomes a biatch, 4th week - cell phone breaks.
    I will say, I do feel like I have handled all these challenges well by just moving forward and finding a solution but god damn if I am not starting to get annoyed by one thing after another. Part of me feels like the universe is testing me - - how bad do I want this? I must keep pushing. Another part of me feels like itís a sign that maybe I shouldnít be doing this. At the end of the day, I have made a commitment to do this. The wheels are already set in motion. There is a reason I was drawn to this program and a reason why things happened to work out and I am now attending. I will keep pushing.

  94. #94
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    Week 5

    Week 5
    Most challenging week to date. Weight fluctuated between 1 and 2 pounds all week. I felt very frustrated and defeated. I am running on fumes and it's hard to keep going when I am not seeing any favorable results in return. Spoke with the fitness mentor and we agreed to take the calories down by 100 and add more cardio.

    Week 6
    Alright! I broke the 170 lb barrier that I could not get out of this past week. Motivation is higher and I am excited to workout again. However, towards the tail end of this last week, I feel like I am starting to plateau again. It's like my body does not want to drop this weight. It's really hanging on to these pounds and I am curious what I need to do to start seeing some results. Any suggestions? I've thought about increasing creatine, increasing the intensity, 24 hour fast, etc. I'll do whatever it takes - I have one month left and I want to make some damn progress!

    The most challenging part is just keeping up with everything. I am on fumes. I am not getting enough sleep. If there is one thing I want to work on moving forward it's getting more sleep - perhaps that will aid in dropping this stubborn weight.

    Meditations are going good. I feel more comfortable in my skin and with my thoughts. I am getting to know my own feelings and thoughts more vs. in the past where I would distract myself should an uncomfortable feeling or thought come up.

  95. #95
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    Week 8

    Week 8
    This has been a great week overall. I have lowered my calories to 1500 to really start cutting with only 2 weeks left until we kick off in Vegas. The decrease in calories hasnít been that big of a deal but I certainly have been looking forward to waking up just to eat. Iím still tired and sleep deprived but whatís new? I suppose I bring it up because I am curious how much of the tiredness is from a decrease in calories.

    This was the week where comments and compliments really started rolling in. People have mentioned me looking better and losing weight here and there throughout this journey but this week it seems that everyone I run into has something to say.

    ďWow, youíve lost A TON of weight!Ē - boss
    ďYouíve gotten so skinny, your bone structure is showing in your faceĒ - co-worker
    ďYouíre withering away. Youíre not going to lose any more weight are you??Ē - mother

    I even got called out in the middle of a hot yoga class by the yoga owner/instructor...
    ďDylan, have you changed the weight you eat?Ē
    Me: yup, itís mostly chicken and broccoli these days.
    Followed by 2-3 minutes of compliments and acknowledging my change in the middle of class.

    That was cool because I know the owner and sheís a straight shooter so I appreciated her feedback. Though it was also somewhat uncomfortable to have that attention in front of 20+ people.

    At one point, I felt like my boss was border line feeling me up as she complimented me and told me my suits are fitting big and I just need to fill out my shoulders more and Iíll be perfect.

    I feel like I am getting more looks from people as sometimes I just catch people staring. My arms have started to become defined where as in the past, usually my triceps would just bulge a little when I picked up something heavy, now I feel like I can see definition on my arms with no pump up from working out or lifting.

    Generally speaking, I am adapted to this program. Itís not a big deal to eat lean meats and veggies every day. Itís not a big deal to eat 1500 calories everyday. Ive handed people pizza and cupcakes at dinner parties and donít salivate or feel tempted. I want to go out to dinner with friends and family before the program starts and have been debating whether Iíll do a cheat meal during dinner or not. Historically speaking, I can be impulsive and have concerns about falling completely off the wagon if I do. I want to be able to enjoy and let loose when I want consciously and know I can count on myself to get back on the wagon when I want. Any feedback or suggestions on this is welcomed.

    Eventually, I would like to switch things up to start packing on muscle but for now, with the time I have left, cutting and leaning out it my best bet I feel. Itís comforting knowing this platform is a resource to do so when that time comes.

    Iím down 20 lbs overall. I started at 182/183 lbs and now Iím at 163 lbs. itís hard to say about the body fat - - though I know Iíve lost roughly 5% and am sitting in the 12% range. I am in the middle of moving as well and found an old Bodpod scan I did years ago and at one point I was as high as 25% bf!

    Also, Iím down 3 notches on my belt from my heaviest (see pic).

    When getting a 3D body scan, the personal trainer administrating the scan seemed impressed with how much progress Iíve made in a short period of time and with the strategy Iíve been implementing. He commented that most of the fat is just sitting in the lower waist area which I agree and you can see in the scans and think just losing a few more pounds will take care of that. My goal is to lose an additional 10 pounds by the time Vegas starts which should put me in the single digit body fat percentage range.

    Wins
    Several Compliments
    12.6% body fat - scale was wrong!
    Meditated everyday since Blakeís post
    Down just about 20 lbs

    Opportunity for improvement:
    Cheated - ate too much. What could have been?
    *for the record, all the foods I overate on were compliant and roughly went over 300 calories. Still hate that though.. if thereís one lesson to learn from it to carry into the summer itís remembering how much it sucks to know I did not Ďleave it all on the courtí per se.
    Still need more sleep

    Goal:
    MAke the most of two weeks left
    Intensify workouts
    Get more rest
    Cut oats back by half and increase vegetables
    Protein is mostly turkey, chicken, egg white - - reduce beef greatly

  96. #96
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    Week 9

    Week 9.5
    Last post before rockstar
    Going out with a BA...BULGING DISC??

    The prerequisite fitness portion of the rockstar journey is in the books!
    Overall, I am a healthier, stronger and lighter young man.
    Iíve learned a lot about myself during this mission... things Iím proud of and things I want to change.

    Iím most proud of my dedication. Regardless of how much sleep I got, how confused I was at times, I pushed and I kept showing up. Looking back, I donít really feel like I beat myself up enough or put myself through enough hell to feel worthy of results but I was very consistent and as I reflect, think I could possibly have challenges with really giving myself some well earned credit. Or perhaps, I really did just had more to give but didnít.

    I learned just how much energy I do have in the tank. I use to spend all my free time numbing my mind with YouTube or some other distraction... a lot of my free time was wasted when I could have put forth more of that precious time towards bettering myself. Virtually all my free time these past 9 weeks have been put towards bettering myself and I feel more able to accomplish tasks and overcome hard obstacles.

    I also learned that I will yield towards taking shortcuts when Iím deathly tired. One thing I really need to get in order is managing my energy and taking care of myself. If there is one thing that would have made this process more enjoyable and results more fruitful, it would have been getting more rest.

    I started 9 weeks ago at 183 pounds and weighed in this morning at 160.6 pounds. I have past body scans from years ago that indicated a 25% body fat metric and to think now I am below 12% (Iíll know the exact number tomorrow and will post the results).

    This journey has been mostly enjoyable. I donít mind eating the same foods everyday. I enjoy my spinach smoothie every morning. Itís a habit that is bettering myself everyday and I plan on keeping it going and being mindful of other habits that I want to instill while on this rockstar journey.

    Something to Iíve become more aware of is the intensity of focus and how it pays dividends when applying it to whatever task at hand. When I pushed myself and found new territory during my workouts, I results seemed to reflect that. I want to keep this in mind with all the pursuits that I will endure throughout the next several weeks.

    The journey has been hectic and Iím sure there are ways Iíve grown that I have yet to acknowledge.

    Iím excited to meet you all. Thanks for the support, thanks for the motivation and thanks for taking this journey with me.

    Special thanks to my fitness mentor Sasha who was always helpful and supportive and made himself available when needed. Thanks to Dainis as well for being an inspiration for the great habit of daily meditation I have going on.

    Until we meet in Vegas.

  97. #97
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    Week 11 July 15

    Got password reset, now to post this older - last posting from fitness. At this time prep work to go is taking all my time. My place is a huge mess with lots of things to do. There’s good reason to rush now and it will be intense the next week with a last minute flight arriving the morning.

    Going into the fitness program, and the program in general, was a rush because I had intended to apply to Rockstar next year. I had those half decent results from partially completing the fitness program before the 10 day, and here, more is not necessarily better. Therefore, it is safe to say my original idea to stay on the fitness program for a full year is completely thrown out the window without a doubt. Perhaps its liking to do things my own way, perhaps it’s the fitness program itself, and if the point of the fitness program was to see how we process events, what our attitudes are, what we do when we encounter obstacles then I have a lot to work with going into the program.

    My assumptions and expectations:
    ∑ this was about fitness
    ∑ This will be make fitter, stronger, better off
    ∑ This will be challenging experience

    Throughout my patterns continue to be showing. There wasn’t much change to my resistance, still hate the fitness program, still trashing it. Still struggle quite a bit – negative mindset towards that. I did learn a few things in general;

    ∑ I can adhere to a program, even if I don’t like it. Negative attitudes may show up in this case.
    ∑ Experience what it’s like to track all the calories
    ∑ Learned a few general fitness and workout items
    ∑ Experience in a really time intensive and exertion intensive program.

    ∑ Saw many different attitudes show up on the same program that everyone does.
    My opinion remains to monitor my own health and do only what I think is proper under the consultation of my health team. I do not intend to give up any major control on my fitness and health matters going forward. Control pattern?

    Setting intentions going forward and into Vegas:
    ∑ No judgments
    ∑ No expectations
    ∑ Try not to over analyze
    ∑ Accept
    ∑ Act without over thinking
    ∑ Participate to the full extent possible (health pending)
    ∑ Use the mindset of a beginner
    ∑ Connect with others
    ∑ Be present
    I am looking forward to the actual program.

  98. #98
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    Today is Thursday, day 5 of Project Rockstar and I’m already starting to face demons that I know I need to face. I’m glad this is happening so soon. At the same time, I’m very anxious about the next 59 or so days. I know that if I’m already struggling with some issues, I’m going to continue to have some challenges ahead. It’s going to be totally worth it though. That’s why I signed up. I know that I have some mental and emotional barriers that are holding me back in my whole life. Some of these barriers are fear about: doing most things, what people think of me, not measuring up to my own unrealistic expectations. I believe Project Rockstar is going to provide me the runway to break through these fears and to learn to love myself, no matter what.
    The first day of the program was pretty chill in terms of the seminar portion. Everyone gave brief introductions and we got a feel for logistical matters for living in the house and living in Vegas. That night out, was just about “being ourselves” and doing what we would normally do in a club. I feel that I’m not really afraid to go up to most women and just start an interaction. But then once I get there, most of the time, I don’t feel comfortable carrying on and moving the interaction forward.
    The second day, we went out to the desert and shot guns. We were using a glock pistol and a semi-automatic rifle. This was fun because I’ve never shot those kinds of guns before. While I was shooting the guns, I found myself feeling my body more and not being so much in my head. This was a cool feeling. That night we participated in what’s called the Circle of Vulnerability. As we entered the space to do this, I was already tearing up. When it came to be my turn to share with the group, I started tearing up before I even started talking. I cried pretty much the whole time I was talking. Crying may seem like a bad thing. But I’ve come to realize the crying means the stuff has to come out.
    The third day kicked off the actual seminar instruction for the program. We learned about how this idea of improving our lives with women may seem like it’s what we want, but after a certain number of experiences with women, we will not that much fulfillment from more and more and more. This kind of blows my mind. But, I can understand the truth in it. We also learned how our mind is ruling our lives and that our mind does not want to make us happy. That night out we were told to just go say silly stuff to people all night and that it didn’t matter what we said. There were no other objectives. When we were given the instructions, I could feel myself becoming very anxious. Over the course of my life, I have not allowed myself to just talk about silly stuff. So, I was scared of “coming up with funny stuff”. It was an interesting night because within the first 1 hour or so, I started a lot of interactions and was on this emotional high and it felt great. As the night progressed, something happened and I got more and more in my head and by the end of the night I was on a low wave. But I understand that will happen.
    The fourth day of seminar we had small group debriefs with the instructor that we were assigned to the night before. I received feedback and I realize that I’ve been coming from a fearful boyish place. I say that I’m not afraid to up to pretty much any woman. But in reality, I’m terrified, and it shows all over my body language. Realizing this is a huge thing. That day in seminar, we started to learn the process of how to get to a place of having fun. We were also given instruction and examples of how to approach people in a bar/nightclub. The purpose for the beginning of the night was to have normal conversations with people until they walked away. The purpose for the second half of the night was to just run the process. Before we went out that night, I was very fearful about what we were supposed to do that night. I visited with one of the instructors about this fear and he was very helpful and supportive and we talked through some of the issues I was dealing with. Quite a few painful emotions came to the surface during this discussion and I let tears fall. It’s interesting because I would never let myself totally go and cry all out.
    I found that night in the club very challenging. I realized just how much I was coming from a taking place and that I was needing other people’s acceptance. One of the instructors encouraged me that nobody has anything that I don’t already have and he had me repeat it a few times in order to embody it. He also encouraged me that I had a choice in the matter to keep coming from a taking place or to come from a giving place. It’s interesting because, intellectually, I can understand this. But in order to really believe it and carry it out, was definitely a challenge for me.
    I also found it interesting because most of my fellow Rockstars and the 10 day guys have been telling me that everytime they saw me, I was talking with somebody. Whereas I have been telling myself that I had a bad night and didn’t have many interactions. Realizing this, I see it’s just how I run the story in my head.
    Today we learned about boldness, subcomms, and we touched on flirty conversations. I know that I have to bring out more of my boldness. I’m excited to know that it’s something that’s innately within me. I think I may struggle with the flirty conversations.

  99. #99
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    Today is July 28, 2019 and I feel like my whole body and mind is in a pressure cooker. I know that I’m doing it to myself and putting a ton of pressure on myself. I’m putting a whole bunch of pressure to “perform”, “do things right”, “get results”. I’m also not believing in myself to “get this”.
    Thursday and Friday during seminar, we learned more outer game principles. This included normal conversation and flirty/sexual conversation. I definitely have a lot of room for growth in this area. I’m realizing how my life choices of living a more isolated life prior to now has affected my ability to just have a normal conversation with someone. A huge realization for me is that normal conversation is not just about “Oh. Where are you from?”, “what are you doing in Vegas?”, “What do you do for work?”, etc. There is room for all kinds of other stuff in normal conversation. The other stuff includes things that I’m interested in.
    Banter, fun and flirty, fun and sexual conversation is definitely going to be a challenge for me. When it comes to these kind of conversations, I feel like I try to hard and don’t just let things flow out. But then I doubt if I even do have anything to flow out. I do know that I would believe in myself and just let go, that words would flow more. So, I need to figure out a way or method to believe in myself.
    We also learned about masculinity and being bold. It’s amazing to think that I’ve had this masculinity all my life and it’s just a matter of using it. I know that there is boldness within me and I love the feeling of being bold. I think it’s just a matter of calibration.
    On day 7, I learned about the concept of significance/certainty and just how much my brain is running my life and making me miserable because of something that has been going on for thousands of years and that it’s no longer applicable.
    I’m extremely anxious about going out tonight. I know that my body language is super tight and that I just need to relax. If only I could just let go. I do believe that we will be learning how to let go later during Project Rockstar and I can’t wait until we work on that.

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