4HB: 28 days later

I started the 4HB diet/exercise plan on January 30th, and we are no 27 days in.  For those that don’t like to read a lot, I lost 5 pounds, putting me just barely ahead of the soup diet.  However, I do find this diet MUCH easier to stick with for the long term.  I don’t feel the need to “cheat” on it that much at all.  As such, I’m going to continue following it into March.  I have yet to see a reduction in the waist line or hips, but I figure when I get
down 10 pounds or more, I should start seeing that — it’s got to go
somewhere.

Interestingly enough, when I started entering all my weights into fatsecret.com, I found I am pretty much back to where I was in October at 196.  I have been recording my weight somewhat religiously this month, so the chart looks more and more jagged.

weight history - October to March
You’ll notice that on my binge days (Saturdays) my weight spikes back up several pounds.  However, each time it does, it goes up less than it did the previous week.  My Saturday morning weights are: 2/5: 197, 2/12: 197, 2/19: 195.4, 2/26: 196.

Because of these jumps, I have to wonder if the “binge days” are really helping or not.  I know that they help with the mental aspect – it’s much easier to not cheat if you can look forward to having that food you want in a few days. But does it really help to “kick start my metabolism” as Tim claims?

So my plan for March is to experiment with getting rid of the binge day, and change it to one binge “meal” each week (pizza OR ice cream OR waffles, instead of all three).  We shall see if the weight loss becomes more pronounced doing that.  I can’t see myself being disciplined enough to sustain that type of diet for an extended period of time, but once I reach my target weight, I can switch back to the binge day method.

Exercises:

I have been following the Occam Protocol exercises as best I can with my schedule, but I haven’t been able to follow it exactly.  I have put Workout A and B closer together than recommended (2 days instead of 4), and I didn’t really “get” that the important part of the workout is the rep you fail on.  So early on, if I got to 10 reps and the last one was hard to do, I stopped there.  The part of your workout that counts is that millimetre by agonising millimetre maximum effort push to move the weight and failing.  Additionally, I have talked to some other “gym people” and they recommend that going a week between workouts would be better than going two days between them.  You want to give your muscles enough time to recover.

I also was completely ignorant about the Incline Bench Press.  I know what that is with the free weight option, it’s a bench that is slightly inclined and you do a bench press.  I figured the machine would look the same.  I don’t have a spotter, so I was scared to really do the free weight option — you’re supposed to go until you fail, and that doesn’t work with free weights by yourself.  They do have a squat machine with hooks that can put a bench under.  I was able to use that for one of my sessions, but it’s still not optimal.  It turns out that the incline bench press machine looks almost exactly like the shoulder press machine, the handles are just positioned differently. So last week was my first time using the correct machine (and therefore, exercising the right muscle group).

I also ran into a pleasant, yet hindering surprise with the leg press.  I have had to keep trying different machines in order to actually fail.  The first machine, one I’ve used several times in the past, tops out at 340 pounds.  I had started at a lower weight, did 10, and I kept incrementing the weight, doing 10 reps each time, until I maxed out the machine and did 12 reps at 340 pounds.  I’ve tried some different machines over different sessions and it seems that I need 420 pounds to really give my legs a proper workout.

Essentially, a lack of experience has prevented me from doing an optimal workout (at least as Tim defines it), but hopefully I’m on the right track now.