Blog Text Issue

by Tanner M. on August 3, 2010

in Uncategorized

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I am working on fixing the typeface and text issue.  I was trying out a new way to style Life Destiny but unfortunately have been running into a few problems with cross-browser compatability.  Some updates will be coming, including my continued progress with Intermittent Fasting for body recomposition as well as some guest posts!

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This is a guest post by UK lifestyle designer Richard Adams. Richard has been building online businesses since 2000 and recently launched his own lifestyle blog which can be found at Lifestyle Design Unleashed!

One of the saddest yet most common stories I hear from people is that they studied hard in school to get good grades. Maybe they went to college to get a degree. Built up some work experience. Started doing a job with great pay and great benefits. Worked their way up the ranks to more money and responsibility. Worked themselves into the ground to get there. Only to find that they don’t like where they ended up.

An astonishing number of people spend years working towards a certain goal only to find that once they’ve got there, they don’t like what they find. Maybe it’s the office politics. Maybe it’s the lack of free time. maybe it’s the pressure, or seeing those even more senior than yourself giving up their personal lives to become a corporate drone.

This process doesn’t just have to apply to a career of course. It happens in relationships, in where you live, in personal goals you’d like to achieve.

Working hard towards a goal only to find out you’ve made a mistake is, to me, one of the most depressing things ever. If you’ve just fallen into your job and don’t like it, well it should be easy to fall into another. But if you’ve spent years swimming against the tide only to find you don’t like your destination, that’s a lot of effort and time that has been wasted.

Lifestyle design itself can also involve a lot of hard work. From setting up your own business, to shifting your career to something more fulfilling and rewarding. From moving home, to spending more time with friends and family.

If you’re going to enjoy the process of lifestyle design – and really create the type of lifestyle you will love – then I think the concept of “testing” is very important.

Once you have a plan written down of the changes you want to make, it’s possible to test many of these quickly and cheaply just to see whether what you *think* you will love is *really* what you will love.

So what can you do to test out your lifestyle design plan – to see how it will really suit you and your loved ones? Here are just a few ideas…

Volunteering

It is possible to do all sorts of voluntary work whether that is working for a charity you’re interested in or even for a profit-driven company. Is there a job you would like to have? Do you want to find out what it’s *really* like to run your own business? Is there an industry that you long to enter? If so, offering some of your time to get a better understanding of what it’s really like on the inside may be a perfect way to do this.

There are many official volunteering opportunities but even more unofficial ones if you’re willing to put a little effort in. In terms of official volunteering you can check out the websites of the specific organizations you would like to get involved with, look at popular volunteering websites (just Google “volunteering
opportunities”) or even look on job websites where many volunteer vacancies are advertised.

In terms of unofficial volunteering vacancies try contacting the HR department of the organization you are interested in to explain you are seeking unpaid work experience.

Volunteering can be surprisingly competitive so take as much care when looking for volunteering opportunities as you would with applying for a paid job. Write a credible covering letter explaining what you are seeking and why. Spruce up your resume to illustrate what you can offer the organization and why you are worth considering.

Mini Retirements

Mini retirements are really an opportunity to live the life you want for a very finite period of time. Is there somewhere you’d really like to live? Are there hobbies you’d like to take up? How many hours each week would you work? How much money will you have to live on?

Once you have an idea of what your ideal lifestyle will involve you can then set about modelling it for a week or two. Book some time off your job and go to live your ideal lifestyle for a short while.

In this way you can see how you really find your goals. If you long to sleep in and only work a few hours each day, does this feel like freedom or after a few weeks do you feel bored?

If you want to go to the gym each day, is this still fun by the end or more of a chore?

Do you really manage to switch off? Is the town you’d like to live in really as nice as you thought?

All these things are far easier to test when you actually live the life for a week or two to see how you and your family really find it.

Networking

One final way to test out your lifestyle design plan is to network with other people who are living the life you want. They don’t have to living every aspect of it; they may just be living one small area.

Perhaps, for example, they travel the world but do it on a far smaller (or larger) budget than you would like. Maybe they run their own business but work more hours than you’d like to. Maybe they’re doing
the job you’d love but live somewhere that doesn’t appeal to you.

By finding ways to meet these people – from attending networking meetings to just emailing them out of the blue and offering to buy them a coffee – you can sample other people’s lives without actually
having to commit yourself to anything.

Find out the inside view of what they do – the things they love about whatever it is that they do, and also the things that bug them.

Of course doing voluntary work as mentioned before is also a great way to meet people like this and get the “insiders story” on your various goals.

In closing, it’s worth taking some to consider yourself lifestyle design goals and then figure out how you can test these out in the real world to see what you really think of them.

Image Sources:

1. http://www.westernncattractions.com/rtnstory.htm

2. ShirleyB

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  2. Intermittent Fasting Nutrition Lifestyle Design
  3. Lifestyle Design & Personal Development Wiki
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  5. How to Make Money Doing What You Love

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My Transformation

My Transformation, Click on Image to Enlarge

Disclaimer: No links in this article are affiliated. I am not a health and nutrition professional.  This post is meant to describe my experiences.  Please consult your physician before starting a diet, supplementation, and exercise routine.

Life Destiny Direction

Sorry for my recent absence from the blogging world.  Many changes in my life as a recent college graduate as well as physical changes as you can note from the pictures.

I wanted to come back strong to the blogging community to give you a sense of the direction I plan on going with LifeDestiny.net.  When I first started Life Destiny it was to chronicle my journey in Personal Development, including health and nutrition and lifestyle design.  I then switched to a more entrepreneurial and social media approach.  I plan on touching back onto the topic of more of Personal Development in the following months with some entrepreneurial spirit thrown in here and their for good balance.

Anyways onto the good stuff…

How to Gain 20lbs of Muscle in 60 Days

Females looking to lean up can also read this article as it applies to losing bodyfat as much as building lean muscle mass.

Seeing as some of my more popular posts here on Life Destiny have been on the topics of health and nutrition and also the fact that I am on a major health, fitness, and nutrition binge, I felt it is a good time to give a pretty in-depth guide on achieving the results you desire for your body recomposition goals.

The following is my account and experience of how I gained 20lbs of lean muscle mass in 60 days.

Where I Was

High School: Sat around a husky 145lbs-160lbs. I am only standing around 5′6″ on a good day so my weight is not around someone standing at 6′5″. I was involved with football, baseball, and sporadic weight training for most of my high school years.

College: In college I maintained pretty good body composition and health through my freshmen year. However sophomore year I started packing on really bad fat and this continued throughout most of my post-sophomore year (lol, should’ve been a Jr. by then but transferring did some damage). During the spring of my post-sophomore year I was in better shape and started dropping fat as well as bringing up lean muscle mass. This is also when I decided to join Penn State Cheerleading. So throughout my junior year I was in somewhat decent shape due to cheerleading and some more weight training.

6 Months Ago: I trekked onto eating Paleo Nutrition wise with NO weight training or exercise. Lost about 35-40lbs with a lot of it muscle. You can see the first picture at the top, that is where I was from about January to April. Sitting around 140lbs.

3 Months Ago: Started getting heavily involved in sculpting my body through one of my lost passions, strength training, using the good old fashioned cold-steel barbell. I used to have a strong base like I mentioned earlier and also knew a good bit about strength training through various programs throughout high school and college.

Decided to enhance my knowledge by reading the books and blogs listing below Further Resources.

Where I Am:

Basically I had a solid muscle base standing around 5′6″ at 165-170lbs for a majority of my high school through collegiate career.

Currently: I am now sitting at 165lbs at probably around 11-13% bodyfat (though 2 different calipars show slightly lower using the 3-point Jackson-Pollock Method). Upper 4 abs are visible but working on the bottom ones at the moment (sometimes visible after a workout of heavy squats or deadlifts).

Since implementing many of the things below, my strength and weight has shot up through the roof while bodyfat is staying roughly the same and probably even dropping some.

Where I Want To Be?

This post is about my experience but to keep my honest and to track my progress here on Life Destiny in the following months I will tell you where I want to be.

Because I am gaining my strength, weight, and muscle back quickly, I find it is really hard for me to put a number on where I want to be by the end of August 31st. I would like to continue packing on muscle and slowly lowering bodyfat percentage by eating significantly over my maintenance calories while implementing my current exercise and nutrition routine.

I think an achievable goal would be something along the lines of 170lbs at 8-10% bodyfat or less (assuming I am currently around 11-13%) by August 31st.

Goals

One of the first things you should do before you set out for your body recomposition is determining your goals.  What do you want to look like? What bodyfat percentage? What weight?  Any strength goals?  Cardiovascular goals? etc..

My goals were quite simple, they actually went against the basic SMART goals of Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Honestly, I just wanted to get stronger and lose some bodyfat in the process, thats it.

1. Gain lean muscle mass – Putting a number on this would’ve hindered my progress
2. Slowly lower bodyfat percentage

It is important to determine why you want to set out on a body transformation in the first place.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Before you start your transformation, I suggest doing a body composition audit with some Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Below is what I kept track of throughout my transformation.

Start Date: April 23, 2010

The first thing I did once I decided on my goals about 3 months ago was to take an audit of my body composition.  In order to keep things simple here are the things I measured and kept track of WEEK to WEEK throughout my muscle mass transformation:

Bodyweight: Though I believe this is not really important as you can be 5′6″, 200lbs at 6% bodyfat or you can be 5′6″ 200lbs at almost 50% bodyfat and the two look completely different. Started: 140lbs. Current: 164lbs

Bodyfat %: Though it may not be entirely accurate, using two different bodyfat calipars and the Jackson-Pollock 3 Point Method will determine if you are gaining or dropping bodyfat.  Started: around 13-14%, Currently: 11-13% (though calipars show less). Started: 13-15%. Current: 11-13%

Mirror: It does not lie.

Progress Pictures: As seen above with more to come.

Strength: By using the iFitness iPhone application track my workout volumes and intensities

These KPIs determined if I should adjust calories/macros from week to week.

Nutrition

As many of you who followed (or used to) follow my writings here at Life Destiny know, I used to follow a Paleo Nutrition lifestyle.

At the moment I am currently not following Paleo Nutrition to the fullest extent. The reason for this is I currently can not afford to maintain the guidelines of the diet (such as organic foods, grassfed beef, free-range chicken and eggs, etc..) in terms of both money and also due to the fact that I actually lost too much weight on it, and currently working on getting some strength and weight gain back in which grains works well for me. I used to believe I was carb sensitive (insulin resistant), but I just was not living a healthy lifestyle.

However, that is not to say that the Paleo Diet is an excellent nutrition lifestyle to follow and not only did I lose weight on it, I felt on top of the world as in my general mood/health. It is something I try to stick to while in my strength/weight gaining phase and plan on getting back on the fundamentals of it whenever possible.

Determining Daily Caloric Intake
It is important to understand and know the amount of calories you would need in order to maintain your current weight. This is importance because it gives you a baseline of calories and you can adjust depending on your goals. Below is what I did in order to best determine this estimation using some formulas.

The first thing I did nutrition wise once I decided on my goals a few months ago was determining my maintence calories, that is, the calories I would need to eat to maintain my weight.

To do this I highly recommend going here. Go through the instructions to determine your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and then I recommend following the Katch-McArdle Forumula Method in order to ESTIMATE your maintenance calories.

Once you have this ESTIMATION in mind, I suggest following it to a T for one week and then take your KPIs once again. If the estimation is about on, your KPIs should be roughly the same.

  • To gain weight: Add 10-20% more calories or roughly 500-1000+ calories.
  • To lose weight: Subtract 10-20% calories from maintenance or roughly 500 to NO MORE than 1,000 calories (unless you want to lose your hard earned and good looking muscle with your fat, which I did about 3 to 6 months ago).

I adjusted my calories weekly based on my KPIs, adding 500 each week starting at 2,500 calories and ending once I reached a nice sweet spot of around 5,000 calories, occasionally going 5,500-6,000 calories on intense workout days/cheat days, for a nice ratio of lean muscle mass/strength to bodyfat ratio (almost none).  Keep in mind, I did a heavy strength training routine that I outlined below with little cardio added in to keep bodyfat down.

It is important you adjust the calories you consume based on your measured KPIs.  It is important understanding and knowing your body more than what I or anyone else tells you. DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU!

General Guidelines/Macro Nutrient Breakdowns
Along with following Intermittent Fasting here are some more general guidelines I followed in my quest for muscle mass and continue to follow:

  • Cheat whenever your physically or mentally need it – Which turned out to be about 2-3 times a week mainly in the form of whole pizzas, DP Dough Calzones, ice cream and cookies (yummm)
  • Up calories/carbs whenever felt lethargic
  • Workout days: High Carb (40-50%), High Protein (40-45%), Low Fat (20%)
  • Off-Days: Low Carb (20%), High Protein (40-45%), High Fat (40-50%)
  • Adjust calories based on weight gain/loss, bodyfat gain/loss, and mirror

Thats about it.  I think we tend to overcomplicate things and I know I used to be guilty of doing that.

Food Sources
Protein Sources (40-45% on all days):

  • Chicken
  • Beef (all sorts)
  • Eggs (whole and whites)
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Whey protein isolate
  • Casein/whey protein blend
  • Egg/victoria milk protein (80% casein, 20% whey) night time shake blend
  • Beef jerky
  • Cottage Cheese

Carbs (40-50% on workout days, lower on off days):
Simple carbs mainly postworkout.

  • Plain bagels
  • Pudding
  • Milk (lactose)
  • Cereals such as Cinnabon, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cookie Crisp, etc..,
  • Oat bran
  • Omega 3, 12 Grain Bagels
  • Pasta
  • Fruits
  • Veggies

Fat (20-25% on workout days, as high as possible on off days):

  • Almond Butter
  • Almonds
  • Coconut Oil
  • Fish Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Plus whatever I get from protein sources

Intermittent Fasting:
I can 100 percent back up the benefits of Intermittent Fasting (large part in thanks to Martin Berkhan’s writings at LeanGains.com). My general health and the excellent nutrient repartitioning effects of consuming a LARGE postworkout meal have truly changed my muscle mass and body to the fullest extent imaginable to me. Never before have I experienced a transformation like this.

Instead of rewriting my guidelines or what I did in terms of Intermittent Fasting and my muscle mass building phase please go to my article on Intermittent Fasting.

I almost to a T follow the guidelines in my Intermittent Fasting article, except I now consume a large amount of postworkout carbs (including simple sugars) from my long lost love of cereal (no not the “healthy kind”) and have never seen better results in my body composition.

The Importance of Tracking:

I am not genetically blessed to being a Greek god, so I have to ensure I am taking in enough protein and calories to either build muscle and lose fat or do both.  So yes, I do track my calories in order to determine not only how many calories I am taking in on a day but also where they are coming from: carbs, protein, or fat?  I have the FitDay program but you can also do this by going to FitDay.com.

Cardio

I am farthest from being a fan of cardio, however, I believe some form of cardio has its benefits with a well structured weight/strength training program.

Though I believe cardio has its place, weight training is significantly more important to body composition in my opinion. Yes that statement is mainly directed to the girl on the cardio machines for 60-120 minutes never looking any different from month to month. They do not incorporate any weight training routine into their exercise.

I did and currently still do about 20 minutes of low-intensity steady state (LISS) cardio 4-5 days a week. 5% incline at 3.0-4.0 MPH. Thats it. These are done on either weight training days or not. Whenever I really felt like it truthfully.

Your goals will determine how much cardio you should do. If you are looking to just put on tons of muscle mass then do not stress about cardio. Possibly do something similar to what I do…something to keep the bodyfat down while you forcefeed your mouth like the cookie monster does with cookies.

If your goal is weightloss/bodyfat loss then consider upping the cardio to more days or more time each day you do cardio.

PLEASE do something other than just cardio though Miss Average Looking Elliptical 2010.

Strength Training

Ahhh…One of my old-time passions.  Strength training and I go back a good bit to about 7th grade in middle school when I started hitting the weights up for football.  Throughout my life since then I have had some consistency in a variety of different weight training programs.

My CONSISTENCY has never been better before in my life than the past 3 months in my mass building phase.  Consistency is the important word to remember as even the worst strength training program out their is better than nothing with consistency.

In order to better my knowledge of strength training/muscle hypertrophy, I read up on quite a few books as well as some of the biggest leaders in this industry.  See my Further Resources below for these books and people you should be reading if your goal is to look and feel as best as you can.

20lbs of Muscle in 60 Days Strength Training Program

After quite a bit of reading, I decided to form my own little strength training program with my goals in mind of building lean muscle mass while slowly lowering bodyfat percentage.  From my readings, I decided to keep it simple both in terms of the exercises (mainly compound movements) I used and also the volume/intensity.

My focus was on strength training first before muscle hypertrophy.  The muscle hypertrophy is a natural benefit of training for pure strength in the basic compound movements.

I also train fasted, drinking 10grams of Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) before hand.  At first this was difficult but my body quickly adjusted and I thrive on fasted strength training.

The routine is similar to the basic Starting Strength/Bill Starr/MadCow 5×5 with a few more reps/sets.

Here is a basic outline of my strength training program:

8 day training cycle (all done with Barbells):

I track all exercises volume and intensity using the iPhone app, iFitness.

Day 1:
Might do 20 minutes of LISS cardio beforehand, I seem to lift better after as it allows me to focus on what needs to be done and also warm up a bit

  1. Squats – 5×4-8
  2. Bench Press – 5×4-8
  3. Weighted Chinups – 5x until failure
  4. Weighted Pushups – 5x until failure
Day 2:

Off or LISS and possibly P90x Ab Routine/Ab Wheel Work

Day 3:
  1. Deadlifts – 5×3-6
  2. Overhead Military Press – 5×4-8
  3. BB Bent Over Row – 5×4-8
  4. Weighted Dips – 5x until failure
Day 4:

Off or LISS and possibly P90x Ab Routine/Ab Wheel Work

Day 5:
  1. Squats – 5×4-8
  2. Incline Press – 5×4-8
  3. Close Grip Bench – 5×4-8
  4. Weighted Chinup – 5x failure
Day 6:

Off or LISS and possibly P90x Ab Routine/Ab Wheel Work

Day 7:
  1. BB Lunges – 5×4-8
  2. Overhead Military Press – 5×4-8
  3. Weighted Reverse V-Bar Dips – 5x failure
  4. Weighted Pullups – 5x failure
Day 8:

Off or LISS and possibly P90x Ab Routine/Ab Wheel Work

Supplementation

Supplements should be just that, supplements to your health and nutrition and training program.  Though I am guilty of being a supplement lush sometimes. Below is what I took in order to reach my current level.

Creatine – 10grams a day. 5 pre-workout, 5 post-workout.  Some say you can only absorb 5 grams of creatine a day but it is so cheap that I figured I would up the dosage.  Creatine has been backed for many years of scientific research showing it increases stamina, strength, and endurance.  Go with basic creatine monohydrate (no not those fancy creatines that are expensive and worthless). I find that I do not bloat much on micronized creatine monohydrate.

Daily MultiVitamin

Magnesium

Calcium

Whey protein isolate

Casein/whey protein blend

Egg/victoria milk protein (80% casein, 20% whey) night time shake blend

Caffeine

Fish Oil

Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)

Vitamin D3

Vitamin C

I also have tons of samples from supplement companies that I try out every once in awhile.  Usually they are just stimmed filed preworkout products that provide a little bit more kick than just caffeine.

Rest/Recovery

Rest/recovery is just as important if not more important to your training program. In this respect, it is important to know and understand your body more-so than what anyone else will tell you in terms of recovery. If you feel shitty or not fully recovered from workout to workout you will not grow and actually hinder progress. If you need to take a few days off from your training and nutrition program.

I know when I am on an off day throughout the day. That is when I say F-it and just head on home and relax. It is tough to do sometimes but it must be done in order to ensure adequate recovery and progress especially if you are hitting heavy weights on the compound movements.

Further Resources

Any blog, books, or articles by:

  • Alan Aragon: I really enjoy his Girth Control. Also plan on picking up his Research Review.
  • Lyle McDonald: Have all of his books and got TONS of information from each one of these scientific backed books by Lyle.
  • Martin Berkhan: Everything I learned about Intermittent Fasting comes from this chiseled human.  Supposed to be coming out with a book sometime this year based on his intermittent fasting approach.
  • Robb Wolf: One of my go-to guys for Paleo.
  • Dr. Eades: Learned a good bit in his book, Protein Power, as well as reading his blog.
  • Mark Sisson of Mark’s Daily Apple: Full of excellent information. Also pick up his book, the Primal Blueprint.
  • Leigh Peele: Recently started reading her blog. Straightforward and practical advice for both males and females.
  • Scott Marcaccio: Friend of mine who has his ripped body on a new book cover. Excellent and down to earth information.
  • EliteFTS: Tons of strength training and powerlifting information. Also good doses of nutritional knowledge.
  • FitJerk’s Flawless Fitness Blog: Straightforward no BS approach makes for wonderful reading from the FitJerk.
  • Mike Od at Fitness Spotlight: All Around source of excellent info.
  • AmpedTraining.com: More straightforward info on health and fitness.
  • JC Deen at JCDFitness.com: Have really been digging JC’s articles especially his recent article on Hypertrophy and Strength Training. Plan on reading his back-articles some more.
  • Nutrition and Metabolism Scientific Research Journal

Other books not mentioned above:

I also believe Tim Ferriss‘ new book is something on health and fitness?

Have any recommendations on any books or people to follow? Share it in the comments below!

One More Thing

EVERYBODY is different. We all react to nutrition and exercise different than the person next to us. Some can live on Twinkies and Fried Oreos and still look like a wood sculpture and some of us can’t. The point is, you have you understand your body more than anyone else and make adjustments to your diet and nutrition based on your goals and progress.

If what you are currently doing is working, stick with it! If it is not, then that is a signal for you to change something up.

If you want to look average and be average then do what 95% of the people in your gym do and eat what 95% of Westerners eat. However, if your a reader of Life Destiny I am sure you do not settle for the status quo.

What about you?

Have any transformation stories or pictures you would like to share? Contact me or leave a message below. Maybe we can do a feature on what worked for you as everybody is different!

How about anymore recommended reading resources?

Please “Like” this post at the top and share it with whoever you feel might benefit!

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I’m Still Here

by Tanner M.June 7, 2010 Uncategorized

Do not worry, I have not abandoned Life Destiny. I have had a lot of great things on my plate as of late and frankly needed to get a little break away from writing for Life Destiny (currently doing some other writings).
I plan to get back on track with posting here on Life Destiny [...]

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Have You Googled Your Name Lately?

by Tanner M.May 24, 2010 Uncategorized

You might be surprised on what shows up if you have yet to Google search your name. If you have a unique name, like Tanner Maluchnik, you can basically find anything about my online identity. My Google search results usually is dominated by the highly ranked social media sites such as Twitter and [...]

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