Tag Archives: preparation

Day 19: The new routine

Day 19

  • Weight: 125.2 lbs.
  • Workout B: 18 minutes, 0 seconds
  • Total inches: 118.2
  • Protein: 193 g (75 g over target)
  • Calories: 2,410

Modern folklore says it takes 3 weeks to make a new habit.

My new habits include …

  • hitting the scale each morning, then rushing to the computer to type it in before I forget the readout;
  • drinking a lot more milk, mostly in protein shake form;
  • taking half-naked photos of myself;
  • psyching myself up before workouts (never did that before doing treadmill);
  • measuring my body parts;
  • evaluating each portion of food for calorie and protein content;
  • planning my eating so I hit my daily goals, rather the much simpler hunger-based pattern;
  • fretting about the numbers;
  • thinking ahead to the next workout day;
  • buying a lot more bananas, milk, chicken and potatoes;
  • and learning to enjoy the weird routine.

The success of implementing the habits came from good preparation, small steps and changes and daily reinforcement through charting and blogging. Had I not done all of these things, I believe I would not be in the swing of the routine.

Here’s to finding new ways to live and grow.

Day 3: The bare minimum

Day 3

  • Weight: 123.4 lbs.
  • No workout today
  • Total inches: 115.0
  • Protein: 122 g (6 g over target)

All the prep work, all the blog posts, all the metrics may seem like overkill. But simplicity is the actual guiding principle for Project Bulk. I work out nine times. I eat x number of grams of protein a day.

I exercise, I eat. That’s it.

I could roll in some cardio or yoga. Or count calories. But I want to make it so stupidly simple that even I can do it.

First thing I do when I wake up is hop on the scale, measure my arms and legs and waist and thighs, and record them in the spreadsheet. I then take my photo with my camera already on the tripod. This new morning ritual takes about 5 minutes.

The only three things left to do for the day are:

  • Eat;
  • Work out (but only if it’s a workout day, of which I have nine scheduled for September);
  • Write a blog post.

I don’t sweat the eating or the cooking. I tend to cook big batches and eat leftovers throughout the week.

The workouts are new, so they require more focus and preparation. But I anticipate them getting simpler over time.

And I can write posts in my sleep (and have occasionally done so).

I want to be as lazy as possible during this process. I mean, look at my hair: It’s a mess. It’s bedhead. No primping allowed — I must get the photo before the day gets going.

Finally, a way to use my inherent laziness to my advantage.

Day 0: Getting ready for the 30-day experiment


Checking my body fat percentage in the BodPod.

I have nothing to lose and 10 pounds to gain.

I’ve spent the last 2 weeks, right up until today getting ready for Project Bulk, my 30-day experiment in putting on 10 pounds (or so) of muscle on my upper body.

The preparation has been fairly methodical, lots of writing down lists in Google Docs, and re-reading chapters in “The 4-Hour Body” [Amazon | iTunes aff. links]. And shopping!

I hunted for the cheapest options in workout equipment and protein powder. Having ordered them last weekend, they arrived at my doorstep in a few days. No lugging 45- and 109-pound boxes (not that I could even lift the 109-pound box) to my car and then to home.

Yesterday morning, I determined my body fat level: 23.5 percent. For a man my age, that’s average to poor. Ideal is anywhere from 5 percent to 15 percent, according to the body composition chart.

Today, I put together a weight bench which sits in a corner of my bedroom (which I cleared out yesterday). I’m getting a workout just putting everything in place.

I also made my big grocery run today. I’ve obsessed over how to count protein grams and menu planning, a huge disruption in my efficient grocery restocking routine.

But I’m looking forward to the surprises and the challenges that begin tomorrow.