I am back after almost a month of not posting anything. During this time we weathered an unusually bad and long winter that included an ice storm that lasted a day and its effects continued for another three days. Suffice to say it was a terrible time.
During this period, I have been unable to be consistent at the gym but for the better part I am happy with the outcome. As I mentioned in my earlier posts, my current gym routine does not include Cardio for warm up. Instead, I directly hit the weights and always do my first set with low weights for 12 reps in order to warm up and then the remaining 3 sets are work sets with full weight. This has been working well for me.
I have found muscle volume improvement with 2 weeks of 12 reps with 85% of weight that I used to do with 6 reps; this followed by two weeks of 6 reps where I have been able to improve over my previous 6 reps load. The most effect has been on my biceps, triceps and shoulder. The 12 reps seem to help improve my max load on 6 reps. However, I found that if I did 3 weeks of 12 reps followed by two weeks of 6 reps, my ability to lift weights in 6 reps declined and made me feel sluggish.
One thing that has been a constant is belly fat. It is not going down at all. At the gym, I met a couple of guys who have mastered the flat stomach thing and they swear by cardio. I also saw in my research that fats break down into Carbon Dioxide and Oxygen. This means if I were able to do cardio that causes me to sweat and breathe deeply, I can assume that fats are being burned.
With this in mind, I decided that this Spring I would start focusing on outdoor cardio. Couple of years ago I had bought a bicycle online. It was my fault that I ended up with a cruiser bike that had no brakes. This bike was for flat lands and when you reverse pedal, it applies the brakes. The problem for me was that I live near a provincial park with great bike tracks but there are climbs and slopes. The first time I took out that bike, it accelerated very nicely on the slope but I was unable to reduce the speed. I remembered that I need to back pedal to stop but when I did that, the bike shuddered to a halt and I almost fell down. I was freaked out so I just put the bike away.
A couple of weeks ago, I traded it for a Trek bike with hand brake and multiple speed gears. I took it out day before because for the first time we had 15 degree centigrade heralding the arrival of Spring. It was great on the slopes and I felt the gears shift smoothly on the climbs. The first day I biked for 50 minutes and though my fingers were numb with the cold wind, I could feel that I had worked up a sweat. The second day was an even better ride because I was able to go further for the same amount of time. I have yet to get started on the skipping rope, but am sure I will be skipping before the weekend.
This biking and skipping will be on top of my regular gym routine in order to address the problem of belly fat. I will keep you guys posted. Till then, enjoy the great outdoors!