Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Should You Exercise When Sick?

Don't be ashamed to put this sign up

At this most recent Thanksgiving get together, one of my cousins was sick with a real bad cold.  I didn't worry about catching what he had as I hadn't been sick in years and didn't plan on getting sick anytime soon. But a few days later I felt minor pain and itchiness in my throat. I thought it was just from the night before where I had to scream so I could be heard over the loud music at the club :)

Unfortunately, my symptoms started getting worse throughout the day and I knew I had caught my cousin's cold...Damn! So the question was should I exercise when sick?

This is a question that I would have answered "Hell yeah!" to in the past. However, my experiences  with this have taught me that lifting weights when you're sick can actually do more harm than good. 

I've noticed in the past that it would actually take me LONGER to get over the sickness so I would miss even more gym days if I went to workout while sick. Plus the days that I did force myself to go, did not provide very productive workouts. I would feel very weak and also have a harder time breathing so I was resting longer in between sets. These forced workouts just did not feel good at all when I was done.

How the weights feel when you're sick

My symptoms had started this past Sunday so I did not go workout that day. The symptoms got even worse the next two days so I knew there was definitely no working out for me for a couple of days. Today is Wednesday and I feel better but not yet fully recovered. 

I feel like I could go workout but I still have some symptoms affecting my breathing. I am not 100% percent yet and I don't want to do anything that would slow my body's ability to recover from this cold so I decided against going to the gym....almost a whole week off from the gym! :(

Now don't get me wrong and think that I like the use of being sick as an excuse to not go to the gym. I actually hate that I can't go pump some iron, but at the same time I know I need to let my body get better.

Let these guys do their job!
Exercise has been shown to boost the immune system but too much exercise or too intense exercise has been shown to actually decrease immunity. This is what occurs when you workout while sick. A regular weight lifting session when healthy would be good for the immune system, however the same workout while sick would be an added stressor to the body possibly making symptoms last longer and become more severe.

I've experienced this myself in the past. Before when I got sick, I continued to force myself to go to the gym while sick and I just wouldn't get better. It felt like my cold was lasting forever. I think it wasn't until I came down with a flu that I stopped working out and just let my body rest. This forced rest finally allowed my body to recover and overcome the cold!

These days when I get sick, I tell myself to just relax and get as much as I can. The more rest I get, the quicker my body can recover and the quicker I can back in the gym! I also take some extra vitamin C, vitamin D, and plenty of fluids to hopefully speed recovery :)

How is everyone else's experience with workout out when sick?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Fat Gain - How to Prevent It

Thanksgiving is here and now is the time when people really start to pack on the fat! I know I have done it myself in the past and am trying to avoid the fat gain disaster this year. 

Every year my family and relatives all go to my Aunt's house to celebrate Thanksgiving. Although we are Vietnamese, we do partake in eating Turkey and mashed potatoes. Along with this food though will be other Asian foods such egg rolls, fried rice, crab soup, fried noodles, and other various Vietnamese desserts. 

Can't wait to eat this!

It's easy to see how someone could go overboard with all this delicious food! Because of my goal to stay fairly lean while bulking, I am going to utilize the strategy outlined below in an attempt to prevent fat gain.

My strategy to minimize the fat from building:

  • Eat low calories and no carbs the day before (about 1500 calories for me)
  • Fasted weight training the morning of
  • Fast until mealtime (probably around 12 pm for me)
  • Eat meats/veggies first before filling up on carbs and desserts
  • Do something active after the meal such as taking a walk or throwing football around.

If I still feel like a fatass the day after, I will then have another low carb cardio day on Black Friday. 

I believe the strategy outlined would help anybody prevent fat gain from the Thanksgiving eating and I am damn sure it will help me :) I think I might even take before and after pictures!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2011

10 Week Bulking Progress Pics

It is now 10 weeks into my bulk and after a low carb, cardio day I am sitting at 172.5 lbs.

This is up 4.5 lbs in 5 weeks which is not quite a 1 lb a week gain but it's close enough and I'm happy to be gaining at this slow, steady pace. I never want to go back to where I was before.

As far as the Anabeta goes, I definitely feel a difference and can see a difference in the mirror using this as opposed to when I was using the T2-Xtreme. I've been gaining more strength in the gym so I believe it is having a positive effect. It actually feels like the T2-Xtreme wasn't doing anything compared to this Anabeta!

Staring to look "bulkier" 
Christmas tree still present...but barely :(
Can still see my abs but definitely looking bigger and chunkier
These most recent pics show I'm looking bigger but also less muscular due to the fat gain. I'm okay with the rate of fat gain at this point as I don't look "fat" yet and can still see my abs. As far as body measurements go, I have gained 1 inch on my waist but 2 inches on my chest! I'm very happy with this as I have been prioritizing my chest during this bulk and it's awesome to be seeing results! :)

Keep checking back! I'll continue to keep you guys updated on my bulk! How has everyone else's bulk or cuts been going?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Beast Mode Preworkout Review

I recently posted about the free Beast Sports supplements samples that were being given away by BEAST Sports Nutrition. In that sample package was their preworkout supplement called Beast Mode. With such an awesome name for a preworkout, I was hoping it would really turn me into a Beast in the gym :)

The Beast Mode preworkout came in a common flavor, fruit punch. I had mixed the sample packet with 10 ounces of water as directed. When I sipped the drink, my first impression was that the taste was not very strong. This wasn't necessarily a bad thing or a good thing, I just didn't expect it to be so light due to my experience with other preworkouts. 

Along with the light taste, it wasn't very sweet or sour either. It was almost like drinking a very light sugar water. Because of its light flavor, it was very easy to drink down. Another good thing was that it had no aftertaste.

The texture was a little chalky but otherwise it did mix smoothly in my blender bottle.

Once I finished the drink, I actually started to get a stomach-ache and feel light headed. The light headedness is common for me when I take a preworkout but the stomachache is not. Because of this I thought I was not going to have a very good workout. 

Despite the stomachache and light headedness, once I got into the gym I felt great! My stomachache was gone and so was the light headed feeling. I didn't feel cracked out but it almost felt like I didn't want to rest between sets! My energy lasted well past the duration of my workout. 

My strength has slowly been increasing since I started bulking and has been really noticeable lately. Because of this it's hard for me to say whether the strength increases I saw this workout were due to the Beast Mode or if I would have gotten the same weight and reps without it.

What I can say is that it didn't hurt and I did reach a new personal best in this particular maybe it was the Beast mode?

Beast Mode Activated!

I felt great throughout the workout session. My strength was able to be sustained until the end and I never felt drained or exhausted.

I've mentioned before that I don't normally pay too much attention to pumps as I've never had trouble feeling the pump. But for the sake of the reviews I do try to see if there's any difference. I can honestly say that I did feel more pumped this workout than I normally do. Whether this was because of the beast mode or the increased weight and reps is hard to say as I'll just say it was a combination of both :)

I thought the effects of this preworkout were pretty good. I reached new personal bests and I had good energy and endurance past the duration of the workout.

However, the stomach-ache was a major point of concern. I don't know which of the ingredients gave me a stomachache but whatever it was, it sure didn't feel good. But I also haven't read about any other reports of this either so it could have just been a one time occurrence or maybe just me.

I'd like to think the stomach-ache and lightheadedness was all a part of getting into Beast Mode! :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Look Good in Your Halloween Costume!

I went out to party for Halloween this past weekend and had a great time. Being that it was Halloween and tons of people were out, I saw plenty of people in costumes. I saw people that looked awesome in their costumes and people that didn't look very good in their costumes.

So what did I notice was the main difference between the people who looked awesome and ones that didn't? 

I could tell the awesome looking people lifted weights and watched what they ate. The awesome looking ones had a good build and defined muscles!

Ryu and Caveman looking awesome in their costumes :)
Having a good build with muscles and low bodyfat is a great thing during could pretty much wear any costume and look awesome. You don't need to worry about being too skinny or too fat or not looking right. Everything will look good on you!

There are a ton of reasons to lift weights: Build muscle, lose fat, get stronger, increase testosterone, be healthier, live longer. And now you have another reason: Look awesome in your Halloween costume!

Lift weights and be anything you want!
If you love dressing up and going out for Halloween, get a head start on next year and start lifting weights now! 

Check out my Aesthetic Bulking Plan on how I'm building muscle and after that check out my 12 week transformation series to learn how to cut the fat! (Scroll down to Search this Blog and type in 12 week transformation)
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