Cheat Days

I had some all you can eat Korean BBQ yesterday and I wanted to write about a topic I’m sure all of you love, cheat days. This is a day where you eat whatever you like and not have to worry about your diet. Things like In N Out, McDonald’s, ice cream, cookies, candy, anything you want really. You don’t have to worry about your diet and eat all the things you can’t eat while you are dieting.

I like to approach cheat days by having them once a week usually on the weekends. I work hard all week in the gym and on my diet so I can enjoy this cheat day to the fullest.

I like to plan my cheat days out. For example, maybe the day before the cheat day I’ll go to the grocery store and buy everything I want to eat. When the cheat day comes I eat a whole bunch of it until I don’t even want to see or taste another piece of cake or another scoop of ice cream.

Buy everything you are craving for, for your cheat day and eat it all. Don’t worry about calories because a pound of fat is 3500 calories. If you eat 500 calories over you daily caloric needs, you’ll only gain 1/5th of a pound of fat. For example I need about 2400 calories to maintain and if I eat 3000 calories I’m only eating 600 calories more than I need and that’ll only be about 1/5th of a pound of fat I’ll gain.  That isn’t much to ruin all your hard work you put in. A lot of you aren’t probably going to eat that much in a day  anyways so just cheat away!

Cheat days are great to have because it will not only keep you sane but it will satisfy a lot of your needs and working out and dieting will be a little bearable. Just don’t count the days until you have your cheat day because then you’ll just be working out for the cheat day. Still have your main goal in the back of your mind and take this day as just another day to relax and enjoy yourself. Hit that buffet you always wanted to go to, buy  ice cream and eat every flavor you’re  craving for, eat  3  doubles doubles, get some all you can eat Korean barbeque, get that munchies meal you always wanted to eat, get a baker’s dozen of donuts, eat some cheesecake and go to that restaurant you’ve always wanted to go to. Eat everything your heart and stomach desires!

My favorite things to eat on my cheat days are donuts, Korean barbeque, In n Out, many fast food joints, Chinese takeout,  all kinds of chips, Filipino food, ice cream and all kinds of cookies.

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There you have it, my take on cheat days. Remember to not let this day set you back from reaching your goal and just remember to enjoy yourself. This is only a day not a week or a month. Then when it comes to gym and diet time, work your tail off to reach that goal! YES YOU KEN!!

-Ken

Don’t sweat the small bumps

Sorry I haven’t been posting, life happened and I’ve been busy with that. I just got a couple new jobs and I’ve been working. I haven’t had time to write, but I want to write about when you hit a small bump on your way to your goal and give my 2 cents. Don’t worry if you slide off track on your goal or things come up and mess up your routine. Find a way where you can work around it. It’ll probably be super simple to fix

For example, I go to the gym Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I started a new job and I had to work those days. I just switch it up and go Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday instead. It’s a small bump but I make it work. I make sure I go 3 times a week with a day of rest in between. For me I feel like that’s more than enough. If you want to go more you can just cater it towards your schedule.

As for diet, maybe you ate one too many slices of pizza. You ate a little too much of that cake or had too many double doubles or craved for a munchies meal, don’t worry! Just remember one meal won’t make you skinny and one meal won’t make you fat. It’s if you constantly do that. Remember this is a lifestyle; it’s not easy to get those washboard abs, have that thigh gap, get that big booty, bust those sleeves, or get that dream body. If it was easy everybody would have their dream body. Sacrifices need to be made!

Remember you have to be consistent and stick to your regimen. It’s ok if you go off of it one day or eat too much, just have balance.  Patience is a virtue

What I like to do, if I ate bad one day or had too many rest days. I go even harder the next day in the gym. I would Fast for a longer period, run more, eat less calories, or go super hard in the gym. Just to make up for that  day. Remember to take this slow. It won’t happen in a day or two; it will take weeks, months, or even longer. Take it day by day. The end result will be worth it! You’ll be so proud of yourself and you’ll be looking in the mirror and say “dang all those sacrifices were worth it because I look too damn sexy right now!” Trust me, it will be worth it.

Just remember if you hit a small bump, don’t worry.  Just make it up in the gym, but keep in mind abs are made in the kitchen!  These are just small bumps. You can fix it and get back on track. YES YOU KEN!

-Ken

Typical day of eating

 

I wanted to give you guys my typical day of eating. You might get some ideas of what to eat to help you reach those goals!

Right now I’m maintaining my weight, long story short. The life threatening accident I had a couple years back is stopping me from putting on muscle. My left side is still weak from the traumatic brain injury I suffered and it wouldn’t make sense to and have one side be bigger than the other. So right now I’m just maintaining my weight and having fun when I hit the gym. Trying out different lifts and seeing which ones I like and will be good to do once I’m fully recovered.  I’m 5’ 7” 150lbs and eat around 2400 calories.

I go to the gym 3 days a week (MWF) in the morning and don’t really track what I eat on my off days.  I usually start my fast depending on how bad I ate on my off day and fast for 16-19 hours.  I stop eating around 7-9 and won’t eat until 2-3 the next day.

My typical day on the days I work out goes like this. Right before I hit the gym, I drink a cup of coffee 20-30 min before my workout. I don’t need much caffeine to give me the energy to kill a workout and a cup of coffee usually does the trick. When I feel like I want go extra hard I take 500 mg of l-tyrosine with my cup of coffee.  I’m at the gym for an hour and a half to 2 hours and break my fast according to how late I ate the day before.

My post workout meal consists of a protein shake and waffles made with Kodiak cakes brand mix. I like to break my fast with a protein shake and I like to  add  dark chocolate to my waffles for some healthy fats and top it off with some lite syrup. This comes to about 310 calories per waffle with the chocolate, and syrup. I usually have 2 servings of the waffles. Protein shakes usually come out to around 140 calories. That’s 450 calories for a waffle and a shake.

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Then maybe 30 min to an hour later I’ll have some cereal and dried fruit. I’m a big cereal fan and to add more calories, fiber, and vitamins I like to add dried fruit. I usually buy “healthy” cereal i.e. cheerios, hone bunches of oats, special k, Kashi, and whatever else you like. Dried fruit I usually buy them at Costco and get that bulk price.  All of this together with milk will comes to around 400 calories. I say that would be great for one meal.You can use whole milk or 2% whatever fits best for you.

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For my main meal I prepare pasta. Pasta bought in bulk from Costco and ground turkey also bought in bulk from Costco. You can use any sauce, but I prefer red sauce. Classico and Bertolli brand to be exact. You can use any sauce but the calories and macro-nutrients will change. The pasta meal comes out to around 500 calories.You can add whatever you like to your pasta (spices, vegetables, or cheese), but remember to keep in track of the calories and macros

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I like to eat snack in between meals. For example I have fiber one bars to add some fiber to my diet. The bar I eat is 140 calories per bar. I sometimes eat nuts, cookies, anything I can find the fill in the rest of my calories and that fits my macros if I need to eat some more.e creative and eat whatever fits in yours.

 

I eat the same meal every time I work out and to keep me sane and keep things “juicy”. I like to add some cereal to my diet i.e. lucky charms, captain crunch, and any interesting one I find at the store. Right now I have this blueberry pancake captain crunch cereal that is pretty damn delicious. This meal comes to around 300 calories. This will sort of be my dessert. If you like ice cream, skinny cow is a favorite of mine. It’s great tasting and has great macros.

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There you have it, my full day of eating. This is an example of what I eat on my days I go to the gym. I hope you got some ideas on food to eat when you hit the gym from reading this! Remember you can mess around with this and make them perfect for you. For example add more than one serving and have a bigger meal, don’t have to add dried fruit and add fresh fruit instead,  or you can take out the cereal all together and replace it with another treat and  whatever fits around your macros. Thanks for reading and remember YES YOU KEN!

-Ken

ALL KINDS OF GAINS

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I’ve written a lot about losing weight and now it’s time to  make some  gains. Whether you’re looking to gain a few pounds, fit in that large tank top,  want to get arms that are illegal to carry around unless you have a permit or hit a new PR. I believe that getting  your calories in are  the priority. You can work out like crazy and do thousands of reps, but they won’t do anything if you don’t eat enough.

It’s calories in vs. calories out. You want to make sure to eat more than your recommended daily caloric intake. You can find this number in a previous post I wrote about calories. Here is a video just in case you forgot by Michael Kory https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKIuW_-03wQ&t=364s.

Let’s use an example person, Tony is 5’7” 140 and is tired of being scrawny and decides he wants to “bulk” up a few pounds. He’s thinking of going to the gym 3-5 days a week, he would need to consume around 3100 calories in order to gain weight. It might seem a lot of food but you can eat that throughout the day. I recommend getting a weight gainer and you’ll be able to drink a lot of those calories, but make sure it’s not replacing most of your meals and you’re getting most of it from food. Treat the gainer as a supplement and you’re drinking it to get in the rest of your calories.

For workouts, I like going high reps. I believe that you need to put tension on your muscles as much as you can,  it will help with building them up. I like going 3-4 sets of 5-7 reps for each lift. You can tweak it to what works best for you.  Here are some tips to help you with your workout.

Tips:

  1. Mind to muscle connection
    1. I believe this is one of the top advices I can give you. You want to think about the muscle you are working on. For example when you are benching  you want to think about your chest working and contracting. You don’t want to just push the weight. Think about it, you’ll feel it more.
  2. Focus on the negative
    1. When you lift the weight and go back down, you don’t want to just go down and put it back on the rack. Focus on controlling the weight when you go down, going down slowly. You’ll feel your muscles contract. You’ll feel sorer but that’s when you know you are using those muscles, it’s a good sore. The key is time under tension.
  3. Focus on yourself
    1. Don’t worry about the person next to you. You are in your own lane. The person next to you might be lifting more or is bigger, but have that mentality that you’re going to get stronger and bigger than that.  Patience young Padawan
  4. Watch videos on some of the lifts you are doing
    1. I like doing this, I watch a lot of fitness people on YouTube and they give great advice on some of the mistakes on common lifts that people do and how to fix them. I catch a lot of my mistakes when I watch these videos and once I fix them, the lift feels so much better. Omar Isuf has a great video on improving your deadlift https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40K74N1Nu-8&t=532s. Your glass is always half empty, there are always new things to learn about lifting. He also has one on doing dips correctly https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqxwoQvMEjY&t=3s. Keep an open mind and always be willing to learn! Most importantly learn to do them correctly to avoid injury!

5. Don’t forget to track your macros!

6. Sleep! Get plenty of sleep, it is proven that sleep will help build muscle. In my onion, sleep is the best supplement you have. Better than anything you can buy. Try to aim for 8 hours.

Here’s a video on how to figure out your bodybuilding macros by Michael Kory  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fa1DOQ2r5MQ&t=16s

There you have it, my take on gaining weight. These are things that I believe will help you bust those sleeves, make you buy a bigger size shirt, have guns that will require permits. You’ll hit your next goal, gain that 5 pounds, hit another PR (personal record)! YES YOU KEN!

 

-Ken

Slow and steady wins the race

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It’s the start of a new month and I wanted to get more in depth about one thing many of you want to do, lose weight. My way of approaching this is going slowly and gradually decreasing your calories. Decreasing it by 3 to 5 hundred calories.Slow, steady and safe wins the race.  1 pound of fat is 3500 calories, decreasing your calories by 500 calories a day for one week and you’ll lose 1 pound. With added exercise you can lose more! Remember slow progress is progress.

A lot of people want to go quick with this process, but quickly is not always the best. For example Tom is 5’ 7” weighing in at 170 pounds wants to cut down for the summer, but wants to lose weight as fast as possible. Using the BMR calculator I posted before, he would need 3100 calories just for him to maintain weight with added exercise. He wants to lose weight quickly and decides to eat way under what he needs and eats 800 calories because he believes eating less will help him lose weight faster. He also works out a bunch and goes 4 or 5 days a week with tons of cardio.

The problem with this method is one he’s eating way under his daily caloric needs. He will end up feeling like crap and not only hurting his metabolism, but also himself. He’ll be counting down the days like he’s in prison. You will lose weight, but only so much will come from fat until it starts hitting your muscles. You’ll start feeling weaker, have no energy, mood swings, and just not yourself.

The problem with crash diets they’re short term and will only last for a short period of time. Right when you’re done you’ll gain that weight back quickly. You’ll end up hurting your metabolism and then it’ll be harder to lose weight the correct way.

The best way I believe is doing it slowly, gradually decreasing your calories. Using the calculator I posted before. Tom would need 2600 calories if he wanted to lose weight and he’s going to the gym 4 or 5 days a week. If you’re not seeing any changes decrease your calories by 1 or 2 hundred more. Keep doing this process until you start seeing a change and find the right number of calories you need.

There  are  ways where you can lose weight faster. Like adding intermittent fasting with this can help move the process a little quicker, but make sure you don’t eat too little or you’ll waste all your hard work of getting those muscles. Working out more can also make this process go faster, but you’ll need to tweak your calorie intake.

Don’t forget, tracking your macros is also important! Here is a video by Michael Kory on your cutting macros here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oo3b_5vcS64&t=9s.

It’s time to smash those goals! YES YOU KEN!

 

-Ken

80/20 rule

 

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I wanted to give my take on dieting again. I still encounter a lot of people who don’t take diet so seriously and just worry about the workout part. They think they can eat anything, workout and boom they’ll get the body they want or simply eating “healthy” will help them lose those extra pounds. For example someone said they were going to hit the gym then get  some all you can eat KBBQ(korean bbq) right after, why?!  Your diet should be as important or more than your workout.

I strongly follow this ratio for reaching my fitness goals.  It’s 80 percent diet and 20 percent  gym. Yes I believe your diet is more important than your workout. Abs are made in the kitchen after all. Doing countless ab exercises won’t do anything if you’re not keeping track of what you eat.  You won’t be able to see them cheese graders if you keep doing crunches and still eat over or way under your daily caloric intake.

For example let’s say you want to lose weight. You work out 3-5 days a week, but you don’t take your diet seriously. You eat burgers, go to buffets, AYCE KBBQ, and just make whatever and not knowing how many calories you’re taking in. Those workouts you did were pointless in my opinion. You went to the gym so you can eat unhealthy, that just cancels out your workout. If you want to reach your goals you have to be really serious about it.  It’s not as easy as some people think. Having a solid workout regimen, a good diet plan, and being consistent are keys to success.

I’ve said this in a previous blog. In my opinion you have to take your diet as serious as your workout. The way I look at it, if I go to the gym and my goal is to lose or gain weight. If I didn’t get what I needed to eat that day or I didn’t eat very well, my workout was useless.

The most efficient and fastest way to reach your goals are counting your calories and measuring/weighing out your food. Yes it might be tedious and time consuming, but no one said it was easy. There are people who don’t measure or be so exact, but I’m sure they are tracking something.

You want to be defined as a dictionary, track what you eat! You want those sleeved busting arms, track what you eat! You want to have a thigh gap, track what you eat! Trust me, once you start doing it and start making it a habit. It will all start being second nature. Don’t worry; you can still have that pizza, cake, or ice cream. That’s what cheat days are for. But don’t let them become cheat weeks or months. .

Remember this is a process. You won’t see changes in a day or two. It’s going to take time, but all your hard work and dedication will show in the end! Remember consistency is key, track what you eat and don’t cheat yourself; you’re only going to suffer in the end. Sacrifices will be made, but they’re for your good. You don’t want to waste those countless hours in the  gym. You can reach your next goal, you’ll fit in those jeans, and you’ll bust those sleeves. YES YOU KEN!

-Ken

My favorite form of cardio

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I wanted to talk about my favorite form of cardio. Running on the treadmill or just running for several minutes gets real boring to me. If you feel the same, I suggest you try HIIT, on your next cardio session. If you’re wondering what HIIT is, it stands for high intensity interval training. It’s a type of workout that switches from an intense period to a controlled low intense period. I enjoy doing this type of cardio  for many reasons, but the biggest reason is that I am able to test myself in terms of speed and I can go super hard during my session.

It has many benefits, but the most important one is that you are able to burn more fat in a shorter amount of time due to the intensity. You are also able to do it anywhere you have room to run, which is great because if you don’t have a gym, you can do this anywhere there is room.  If you don’t have time, you’re able to complete a whole workout in a short amount of time.   Here is a video by Sean Nalewanyj explaining this type of cardio versus your typical slower paced cardio https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfsJkUmHdPo

My favorite way to perform this type of cardio is to sprint a short distance and jog back.  For example at my gym there is a 25 yard turf field I love using. I sprint that entire length, going at full speed and as hard as I can. Then I would jog back and that would be one. I do this for 2 sets of 3 and then I would continue on my workout for that day. I like doing this on my leg day, it not only helps me burn fat but it’s a great way to help build my legs.

If you’re lucky enough to have a 400 meter track near you, this is a great way to utilize it. I loved doing this at my nearby track; it helped me with cardio when I was training for boxing. This is the way I tackle this  on the track. I would sprint the straights and then jog the curves for a mile. It may seem like a real challenge at first, but once you start getting used to it, it’ll become a breeze. Your cardio will become ten times better once you start incorporating this into your workout regimen.

If you’re at the gym and want to work this in your workout, but you don’t have a field or track to run on. You can do this on the treadmill. Just set your speed at a fast pace and run for a certain amount of time then slow down and jog, rinse and repeat. You can also do this on the stationary bike. Go hard for a certain amount of time then coast, repeat as much as necessary.

Try incorporating this type of cardio in your next workout! You can lose those last couple pounds, YES YOU KEN!

If you guys have a topic you want me to write about next, let me know! Send them over to yesyouken90@gmail.com

  • Ken