Body-for-LIFE: Week One


I Predict, PAIN!

I’d feel good if I didn’t feel so damn sore! My days start at 5:02 am and I struggle to get myself out the door and to my gym that opens at 5:30 am. There is zero time to mess around, but I still fumble over everything, it is a completely new routine and I am tasked with going from 0-100 mph right away. I am not even joking when I tell you I left my wedding band in my locker after the first workout and was lucky some kind Samaritan turned it in.

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed my first work out which based on my practice runs ended up being a lower body exercise. The flow for each exercise is pictured below:

“Getting stronger or not working hard enough”


The lower body workout order is quads, hamstrings, calves and abs. As the reps go down the weight and intensity go up. For the final set of 12 I immediately switch over to a different exercise in the same category. I did this for the other three muscle groups as well. The upper body follows the same pattern.

As I went along I noted how many reps I did, the weight, minutes between sets and intensity level to see if my actual workout mirrored the planned workout. Between sets I stretch and write down my progress, which is a nice way to remind myself of the exercises performed and outcome to calibrate future exercises. I remind myself to bring H2O and a towel next time. I also need to increase weight just about everywhere. It’s also a lot of writing, I only fill in when something differs from the planned workout.


The following day consisted of 20 minutes of cardio. The cardio follows a similar pattern of intervals with peaking intensity. My weapon of choice is the elliptical machine. It is perfect for starting out because it has manual resistance to titrate the intensity to where I need to be. I am completely drenched in sweat at the end of the 20 minutes. I feel great, but the worst is yet to come. Later that afternoon full on muscle rigor and spasms set in.

I am not too worried about my muscle fatigue because the next workout is an upper body one. Still, when I struggle to walk in a straight line and ask people to pick up things I’ve dropped on the floor, the strange looks start. This is my penance for not working out regularly. I promise myself if will get better. Upper body consists of chest, shoulders, back, triceps and biceps. Since it has an extra muscle group this workout is slightly longer, ideally lasting no more than 46 minutes. Again, I’ve got to hustle.

I’m back in the locker room, still walking funny to the shower. My entire body aches at this point and I am having difficulty lifting my arms to wash my hair and face. “Something good happened out there,” I try and fool myself. Then it hits me; I still have to get to work. Luckily my co-worker Bekah has ibuprofen. I had been holding off on using any kind of medication to see what needed to be stretched, what was potentially injured and where I would need to adjust. My upper body is definitely the weak link in this program. My lower body can tolerate the increased load, the cardio is painful yet short, but my upper body…yikes…

The program has me lifting on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (upper and lower body alternating). Cardio happens Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Sunday is my only day off, but I still try and stay active in the garden, mow the lawn, and do some yoga to prep for the upcoming workouts.

I Try Not To Crap My Pants

Nutrition rounds out the tri-force of lifting and cardio. Protein shakes are a part of this program. The author of Body-for-Life, Bill Phillips, founded EAS (since bought out by Abbott Laboratories) I’m drinking the EAS Myoplex Original Powder. Among 42 grams of protein per shake, it also has a ton of fiber in it. The fiber makes you want to crap yourself, all the time, for the first several days. Still, it tastes good with milk or water. They recommend THREE* of these per day.


(The packaging makes you wonder…)

In addition to the shakes, I am expected to prepare three meals and space everything roughly two and a half hours apart. I eat all day long. Each meals has a portion (the size of my palm/fist) of protein and carbs. I also add two portions of veggies to two of the three meals. It is a pain to be eating all the time, but I like the portions. I have little containers, I fill them up with my BFL approved proteins/carbs/veggies and off I go. If I can’t make time to eat, I make a shake and bump the meal to later in the day.

*EAS Myoplex was part of a Consumer Reports article back in 2010. It took 15 of the more popular meal replacement/protein drinks and measured their heavy metal content (arsenic, cadmium, lead, etc). It found that EAS Myoplex Original Rich Dark Chocolate had an average of 16.9 micrograms of arsenic and 5.1 micrograms of cadmium; both over the USP (United States Pharmacopeia) limits of 15 micrograms and 5 micrograms respectively. EAS has since reduced the number of recommended daily servings from 1-3 down to 1-2. I too will be reducing my protein intake. My daily protein recommendation based on my weight (weight x 0.8 g/lb = recommended daily protein) calculates to approximately 125 grams of protein per day.

Maxin’ & Relaxin’

I’ve been actively seeking new ways to unwind that will seamlessly fit into my current routine. The yoga continues to keep me loose, but it takes much more effort currently with the level of soreness I am experiencing. I’ve also started using the sauna at the gym on my days off of work. So far, no one else uses it while I am there which is a bonus. Lastly, I had the missus pick up some Epsom Salt and I soak for 30 minutes which erases my pain almost completely. An anti-inflammatory is my last resort.

Areas for improvement:

  • Organization
  • Grocery shopping
  • Meal prep
  • Increasing weights accordingly
  • Not losing my wedding band

That is all the news that is fit to print for week one. If anyone has any recommendations or wants me to go more in depth on a topic please drop me a line in the comments below.

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6 thoughts on “Body-for-LIFE: Week One

  1. Pingback: Body-for-LIFE: Week Two | There Is Another Way To Live

  2. Pingback: Body-for-LIFE: Prologue | There Is Another Way To Live

  3. Pingback: Body-for-LIFE: Week Three | There Is Another Way To Live

  4. Pingback: Body-for-LIFE: Week Four | There Is Another Way To Live

  5. Pingback: Body-for-LIFE: Week Four | There Is Another Way To Live

  6. Pingback: Body-for-LIFE: Week Six | There Is Another Way To Live

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