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August 08, 2016

Monday Moron Medical Monitoring, Session 4

I haven't lost any weight myself in a few days, but last week I got measured, and I lost three total pounds of fat and gained two in muscle. Net one pound lost, but better than that, obviously.

Even though exercise is, purely by the math, about one tenth as important as diet in shedding fat, I'm kind of wondering about that. Suppose you're almost at a ketogenic level, or just barely in ketosis. You're on the edge, but not quite there.

In that situation, exercise might wind up being a lot more important than the pure calorie in calorie out math might suggest. If you push yourself into ketosis (or up from almost-not-even-ketosis), you're going to start burning actual bodyfat, and that is going to make exercise look like a better investment than CICO would suggest.

For two weeks I went into good purpose ketosis (not the super dark purple, but purple) and the only real changes I made were being a little more mindful about getting fat, a little more mindful about not going crazy on protein, and exercising. I went from trace do-I-see-pink-in-that-tan? ketosis to hot pink/purple in a few days.

I've been doing a lot of planking because my posture is crap (which leads to rounded shoulders, which leads to de-activated and atrophied back muscles, which leads to rotator cuff strain) and the only way to maintain good posture is to strengthen the abs.

I previously avoided this exercise for two reasons:

1. It looked too easy. It looked like an exercise for Old People and Babies.

2. When I actually tried it, it was too damn hard to hold for more than ten seconds, and then I felt humiliated. Unable to even do an exercise for Old People and Babies. So I stopped, because who needs that kind of Negativity in one's life?

But if you can get past those two bizarrely contradictory dissuaders -- Looks Too Damn Easy, Actually Is Too Damn Hard -- it's a good exercise, gets your heart quickly up into a good (high) cardio area, and strengths the back and abdominals.

Here's a chick showing the technique. Technique is everything -- if you do these the crap way, they really are too easy. You have to flex your back muscles, glutes, and abs (which tilt your hips up) to keep your back straight.

PS, you can scale up from a less-difficult position by beginning on your knees.

Also, you can scale up by first holding the plank for some small number of seconds (five, eight, ten, twelve, fifteen) and then taking a break, then holding again, etc. Over time, you want to both increase the duration of the held pose and also the times you repeat the pose.

Again, don't be turned off to it when it turns out to be harder than you expected. It actually is kinda hard. That's why it works.

So: Tell me about your GAINS, brahs.

PS: I long avoided sit-up and crunches because 1 I hate them and 2 then I got the justification for not doing them when someone pointed out that building muscle under your fat would just make you look thicker in the middle. Sure, you'd have muscle under there -- but until you got rid of the fat, no one could see it.

I think -- but am not sure -- that planking is an endurance sort of exercise, not a build-muscle/hypertrophy one, so this will not have the middle-thickening potential crunches might.

I think.

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posted by Ace at 05:52 PM

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