Tag Archives: shopping

Day 4: On the fly

day 4

  • Weight: 123.4 lbs.
  • Workout B: 53 minutes
  • Total inches: 116.6
  • Protein: 117 g (1 g over target)

I am not a gym rat.

When you’re a nerd in school, you find ways to get out of PE. Climb the rope? Have rubber balls hurled at your head? No thanks. (Though I did dig the square dancing.)

So given the choice between signing up for an expensive gym membership or getting the most basic equipment at home, I took the latter. (I think I could’ve gotten away with doing a free 30-day trial membership, but what would I do if I didn’t bulk up fast enough in that period?)

I’m now the proud owner of a dumbbell set, barbell, plates and a workout bench for just under $130. I also built a T-handle from pipes ($19) as a decent kettlebell substitute.

Even with my careful shopping, I hit a couple of potential setbacks with today’s Workout B.

“The 4-Hour Body” [Amazon | iTunes aff. links] has great workout suggestions if you’re using a fully equipped gym. Otherwise, you might spend some time looking for alternate routines.

The first exercise is the slight incline bench press. Since I don’t have a power rack or a spotter, the safest alternative was using dumbbells instead of barbells.

Video: Incline Dumbbell Bench Press

YouTube has so many videos demonstrating the proper way to do each routine. This made it a little easier in doing the exercise with different equipment or method.

The second exercise is the barbell squat. Again, without a squat rack, I didn’t want to take chances injuring myself using the barbell. Fortunately, the dumbbell squat provides similar benefits.

The third (optional) exercise is the kettlebell swing, and author Tim Ferriss gives a great homemade substitute to pricy kettlebells. In the book (and this video), he explains how to make a T-handle (or T-bar).

Video: How to make a T-handle as a kettlebell substitute

And the last exercise (also optional) is 3 minutes on a stationary bike to alleviate any leg soreness. I do have a mountain bike, but the tires are flat and the frame in general needs a tune-up.

So I did bicycle exercises on my back. Take that, neglected mountain bike.

The home gym is working out nicely, thanks to some improvised solutions. That makes me a home rat.

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.