Monthly Archives: August 2011
I got a search hit for ‘grease the groove calories burned,’ and it got me thinking.
If you’re serious about losing weight you just can’t count things like this. If you’re greasing the groove push ups or pull ups or whatever, you’re doing 10-20, 30-60 second sets throughout the day with plenty of cool down time in between. Are you burning calories? Of course you are but hardly enough to give yourself a medal. I read an article on About.com on losing calories while playing guitar hero, I’ve heard of apps for your iPhone that can calculate the calories you burn while sitting… … …
(that was stunned silence btw)
If you’re micro-managing your caloric intake versus your physical activity to this extent I can guarantee that you are eating too many calories. You’re not counting calories at that point, you are looking for a reason to eat more.
About.com has calorie counters for men and women. You enter your current weight, what you want to weigh, how tall you are and how old you are (ladies, remember to be honest.) Here, I’ll do it with you; I entered 170 lbs, I want to weigh 155 lbs, I’m 68 inches tall and I’m 42. This is what I got:
You need 2423.1 calories per day to maintain your current weight without exercise.
You need 2314.7 calories per day to reach your goal weight slowly and maintain that weight without exercise.
If you reduce your current caloric intake to 1923.1 calories per day you will lose one pound per week without exercise.
If you increase your current caloric intake to 2923.1 calories per day, you will gain one pound per week.
Exercise and Calorie Needs
If you exercise for 30 minutes each day, you may increase your caloric intake to 2660.9 calories per day and still maintain your current weight.
If you exercise for 60 minutes each day, you may increase your caloric intake to 2963.5 calories per day to maintain your current weight.
If you exercise for 30 minutes each day, you will be able to reach your goal weight with 2540.5 calories per day.
If you exercise for 60 minutes each day, you will be able to reach your goal weight with 2827.9 calories per day.
The United States Department of Agriculture suggests that approximately 50 percent of your calories blah, blah, blah.
Out of all that information Exercise and Calorie Needs is the important one. Specifically, the two sentences I highlighted in red. If I exercise for 60 minutes a day I could–if I wanted to–wolf down near 3000 calories a day and still loose a pound a week. HOWEVER, if I exercise 60 minutes a day and kept my calorie intake to around 2000 calories a day I would be losing more than a pound per week. Savvy?
Now, when this calculator refers to exercising it means EXERCISING. Not playing with toy drums on your 360. Not doing the laundry or cleaning the house. Not sitting at work all day banging code out on a computer. It’s talking about balls to the freakin wall, sweat flying everywhere, gut busting, soul searching exercise. Does cleaning the house or doing laundry burn calories? Yes, but that’s a hidden bonus you should not be relying on.
B33m3R’s Calorie Counting Method:
I broke it down to a weeks worth (7 days) of exercising versus caloric intake and made a nice little chart I could look at:
Everyday I would tally up the amount of time I’ve exercised for the week and compare it to the amount of calories I had eaten for the week to know where I was for the week. This allowed me to honestly cheat the system. How? Because there were plenty of days I ate a meager 1600 to 1800 calories and there were days I exercised for more than an hour therefore there were days that I could go over my allotted calorie intake or even skip a day or two of training without fear of failing my goals.
Let me ‘splain it another way Lucy… Lets say your anniversary is coming up and you’re planning to go out to eat with your husband on Friday night. We’ve all read the internet horror stories about restaurant food packing a whollop of calories so you’re nervous about the meal because you really want to fit into that slinky lingerie you got to top off the night (look, I’m a guy, I think about these things!) So you go to your logbook and you see that you’ve eaten a meager 1600-1800 calories a day since Sunday and you’ve worked out for 30 minutes every day except for Monday when you exercised for 45 minutes. At this rate you could easily scoff down a 3500 calorie meal and skip exercising (no, sex does not count as exercise in this scenario, even if you’re on top) on Friday and still be well within your goals. Counting the calories this way gives you room to fudge (mmmm Fudge!) the numbers a little without cheating.
While my chart has 1923 calories a day (13,461 a week) compared with 60 min. a day (420 min. per week) noted as ‘much better ratios,’ I would advise against going to this extremity. If you’re working out for an hour a day, seven days, you’re going to need calories for energy and recuperation. I always shot for 2300-2500 calories a day when my workout cycles were heavier and I needed to focus on losing weight.
Another thing you need to know about counting calories is all corporations lie to you. If the package says 150 calories per serving, count on it being closer to 200, maybe even 250. Always round up to the next hundred when counting calories. If the package says 240 count it as 300.
1) Merriam-Webster’s Visual Dictionary – (Used $18.99, Amazon, received in remarkably good condition.) There is a visual dictionary available on line but I find its search feature cumbersome. I type in ‘parts of stairs’ and nothing comes up. I type in ‘stairs’, nothing comes up. I type in ‘stair’ and ‘stained’ comes up with links to façade and church! I’m the type of writer that, in my haste to get the idea down on paper (lest it be lost to the fog in my brain,) will write ‘he screwed it tight with one of those screwy tight things‘ so this is an invaluable reference for me.
2) Flip Dictionary by Barbara Ann Kipfer – (Used $8.06, Amazon, received in remarkably good condition.) A different type of thesaurus that meshes with the way I think. Let’s say you want to know what that ‘Hawaiian dance’ is called, you open up Flip Dictionary to ‘H’, find Hawaiian and you’ll see Hawaiian dance with undulating hip movement and hand and arm gestures: hula, hula-hula.
The other two books were The Order of Things: How Everything in the World Is Organized Into Hierarchies, Structures, and Pecking Orders also by Barbara Ann Kipfer and An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Traditional Symbols by J.C. Cooper. Great books but not absolutely necessary for a writers reference library in the internet age. With some patience and web savvy you can easily find this information on line. The epiphany that I needed to add these books to my library came from this post at Daily Writing Tips.
Other books that have been in my library for ages are:
3) 20 Master Plots (And How to Build Them) by Ronald B. Tobias – I find it amusing when I read some hacks review of a book or movie and they compare it to something else they’ve read or watched and say it’s the same thing. These people are confusing plot with story. Plot is the structure of our craft, the direction, the motivation that drives our characters. Humans have not changed much in over 10,000 years, our motivations remain the same. There is no plot that you, I or the Messiah of writing could come up with that has not been covered already (most of it by Shakespeare.) As writers we need to have a deep understanding of plot. If plot is our road map, story is the journey there.
3a) Steal This Plot; A Writer’s Guide to Story Structure and Plagiarism by June and William Noble – Another take on plot and its importance to your craft. You can never read too many books on plot.
4) Show Don’t Tell A Writer’s Guide by William Noble – A very confusing aspect of writing that I still don’t have a grasp of.
5) Creating Characters: How to Build Story People by Dwight V. Swain – We have to create characters our readers will care about and villains that make them cringe. Our characters must reach out of the page and touch our readers on some subtle level, they must evoke emotions from our readers that will force them to turn the page no matter what. Even Red Shirts can serve a greater purpose than cannon fodder.
6) The Art & Craft of Novel Writing by Oakley Hall – Covers everything from plot to drama to dialogue to point of view. A smorgasbord of information. Not as in-depth as the other books listed here but covers the whole novel writing process in a wider, more encompassing perspective.
7) Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself into Print by Renni Browne & Dave King – Read this before you begin the daunting task of editing and revising your masterpiece. This book never leaves my side. I read it even when I’m not editing.
8 ) Write Tight: How to Keep Your Prose Sharp, Focused and Concise by William Brohaugh – Another book that never leaves my side. The chapter on ‘Sixteen Types of Wordiness and How to Trim them‘ alone is worth the price of admission. I might have read that chapter more than I’ve seen Blade Runner.
9) The Random House Guide to Good Writing by Mitchell Ivers – Covers all forms of writing. Memos, letters, essays and fiction. You have to know the rules before you can break them.
10) Character Naming Sourcebook by Sherrilyn Kenyon – A very convenient book to have in front of you.
Books like these are the core of our craft, the sage wisdom of those that have come before us.
My reference library is also littered with reference material that, thanks to the internet, is now obsolete. Crime reference and books on poisons, weapons and body trauma. All topics you can find covered in detail on the internet so long as you carefully consider the source.
Just downloaded the NHL 12 Demo and played around with it a bit. Electronic Arts has added (allegedly) so much to this iteration of the franchise it actually has me exited.
Game play seems to be an improvement, it does play a bit more like real hockey. Players react properly and goals are a lot more realistic. The new physics engine I’m not too sure about. The checking is floppy, if that makes any sense. Players just seem to bounce off one another and flop to the ground. Hits do not feel solid.
You can now sim to your next shift in Be A Pro mode. A welcome addition that makes being a pro much more realistic while not killing all your free time. In NHL 10 I would play 7 minute periods with my Pro with no line changes and sim every other game to make the stats more realistic. In NHL 12 you can just skip ahead to your next shift; pretty neat. The question now is do you want to? While sitting on the bench waiting for my next shift I had the fabulous sensation of… actually sitting on a bench with my team. Behind me, on my 5.1 surround system, I could hear the distinct chatter of my team mates reacting to events on the ice. It was wonderfully immersive.
But what’s up with EA servers lately? My NHL 10 is never able to connect to the EA servers anymore. A quick Google on the subject matter tells me this is happening to many others, across platforms. EA’s solutions have ranged from denial, to blaming the ISP, to blaming your cache, and back to denial. The thing is the next 2 games I’m looking into as contenders for my money are both EA games, NHL 12 and Battlefield 3. At this rate I will be renting these games before I buy them. EA needs to fix their servers, at the very least just come out and say we are having technical difficulties right now or we are updating the servers for the new games, something that would improve my confidence in them. I don’t get why corporations have to pontificate, lie and bullshit so much these days.
According to Deadline.com there is and Sir Ridley Scott will be helming it.
Already the internet is ablaze with people screaming fire in a movie theater about it. DON’T DO IT! NOT BLADE RUNNER. IT DOESN’T NEED TO BE REMADE…
Relax people, it won’t be a remake. Scott has already fudged with the original so much he has his masterpiece.
This will be a prequel or a spinoff. Maybe something with Gaff chasing the runaway replicants down but I don’t think that’s Scott’s style. Maybe he’ll take us to Tannhauser Gate and show us how the replicants revolted against their corporate masters, something that would be very poignant to these trying times. A theme that is bound to play on our heartstrings like Avatar did.
There is always the slight chance he may remake it and follow the novel a lot closer, if so it will be a completely different film. I doubt it. I don’t believe a film that follows the novel so closely will be a film today’s easily distracted audience could get into.
Now what was I saying… Oh yeh, Blade Runner. Most people can’t grasp the clues provided in the current final cut of the movie that point to Deckard being a replicant. A movie based on the novel verbatim would completely confuse them.
Whatever Sir Ridley does it will be good, I’m positive he won’t “Lucas” it up.
I got a search hit the other day for ‘is it possible to hit a plateau using greasing the groove?‘
You can hit a plateau with any type of training not just greasing the groove. Most of the time that whole hitting a plateau thing is just another way of saying you’re bored with your routine. The easiest thing to do is switch up your routine. If you’ve been lifting heavy (6-8 reps for 5 sets,) start a high volume routine (12-15 reps for 3 sets.) If you’re lifting three times a week and doing cardio twice, switch it up and lift twice and do cardio three times a week. Do different exercises; substitute push ups for bench presses, do dumbbell presses instead of machine presses, do triceps kickbacks instead of extensions–you get the picture.
I switch up my lifting cycle every couple of months but I’m partial to heavy lifting cycles so I never do high volume cycles for more than a month. My routine itself pretty much stays the same because of the equipment available to me (the TBW 5000 and the meager offering of equipment at my apartment complex’s gym.) Sometimes I do 3 sets instead of 5, sometimes I do the exercises in a different order, and sometimes I do split routines (rarely, because I prefer a simple full body workout.) I get bored and depressed very easy (character flaw I guess) so I have to keep my routine as fresh and invigorating as possible.
But the plateau can also be a very real problem when training for big muscle and strength gains and I would like to share with you a method I learned from Hugo Rivera at About.com.
It’s called the 10 sets of 10 training method and I have found it to be a most excellent way to break through a plateau. You do an exercise 10 times for 10 reps each time, the trick is selecting a weight that you will still be able to lift 10 times on the 10th set. This, I have found, is easier said than done. When you began any weight you select will be pallid for the first 5 sets and you honestly won’t know if it’s the correct weight for you until you reach that 10th set. You want to make sure that that 10th set is a bit of a struggle while still being able to finish it in good form, no cheating or cheat reps, all 100 reps have to be good form. This being the case it may take you a of couple of training sessions to get it it just right.
This is a very intense and time consuming training method, especially when incorporated into a full body workout. For that reason many of you may find it more time friendly to incorporate this method into a split body routine. I only do it for one or two body parts at a time. Hugo advises to add a second exercise to the larger muscle groups to hit the muscle from a different angle but he only does this second exercise for 3 sets of 10-12 reps.
Now that my grease the groove cycle is complete I think I’ll do a 10 x 10 with chest flys tonight and maybe a triceps 10 x 10 as well.
This is for all you budding YouTube video directors out there. When you’re done placating 12 year olds with your juvenile montage footage of how uber you are and your inane babbling while you play and you’re ready to get serious about making videos people will actually want to see, check out this video from Xbox Ahoy. Writing the script is the most important part of the process.
I get a lot of search hits with the question “is Xbox Ahoy dead?” Xbox Ahoy is alive and well and producing videos for CoD Elite.
Worldwide silliness is getting me down lately. Been working out an hour or more a day to fight off the “D” thing. They removed the free weights from the complex gym because some moron complained about them being too flaky (the paint is chipping off of them.) If that prick had been working out rigorously instead of the pansy ass workouts I see people doing in the gym, he wouldn’t have noticed the paint chipping! Just kind of bummed out because I’m about to start a heavy lifting cycle and the free weights were a big part of that. There are more important things going on in the world.
Cancelled Netflix and started reading more. This is a good thing. Still writing and pushing through the novel, albeit more slowly than I’d like to be (the “D” thing again.) Realized I kind of lost my voice because I have not been reading enough. Anyway, just letting the few kind people that read this blog know I’m still around.