Archive for the ‘Working Out’ Category

Do you like cheesecake?  Yeah, I know…who doesn’t.  I am a weightlifter, but I am also trying to cut a few pounds.  So I searched for a “protein cheesecake” that was low in calories and also tasted like cheesecake.  Thanks to “my fitness pal” (more specifically user gp79 for the recipe and picture), I found a recipe that satisfies those creamy cheesecake cravings.  Not only is the cake lower in calories, it’s packed with protein.


16 oz Philly Cream Cheese – Fat Free
5 – 6 oz. Greek Yogurt – Plain
2 eggs
2 tbsp 100% All Whites
1/2 cup Skim Milk
1/2 cup granulated Splenda
2 scoops Vanilla Protein
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp lite salt

(to make the chocolate one, add in 3 tbsp of cocoa powder and/or chocolate whey protein)

Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature

Steps (courtesy of gp79):

1. Cooking spray meet pan. I use a 6″ pan. The smaller the pan, the thicker the cake! Line the bottom with parchment and give another spray.
2. Beat cream cheese till….creamy.
3. Scrape sides of bowl down, add sugar and mix on medium until well incorporated.
4. Add eggs one at a time. Mix well but don’t overbeat.
5. Scrape sides of bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well…again don’t overbeat it. *If you have lumps…you didn’t wait till your cream cheese was room temp*
6. Pour batter into your pan, spread it out with a spatula.
7. Bake @ 325 for 30 minutes. And then turn it down to 200 degrees and let it go for 40-50 minutes or until the center reaches approximately 155 to 160 degrees. Gently shake the pan. It should jiggle…but not be soupy in the center. If you touch the center / top gently the batter should not stick to your finger.
8. Remove when done, take a knife and gently separate the crust from the pan to prevent cracking.
9. Let cool completely on the counter, then into the fridge for at least a few hours covered in saran wrap.

ImageServing size is a quarter of the cake and the macros from this cheesecake break down like this: 245 Calories, 17 Carbs, 3 grams of fat and 32 grams of protein.  If done correctly, the finished product should look similar to this.

Now, you can modify this recipe several different ways.  As mentioned above, you can make a chocolate one with cocoa powder and/or chocolate protein powder.  Another example of how to modify is in place of the yogurt, I once used about 7-8 oz of Libby’s Pumpkin filling.  I have thought about trying a peanut butter cheesecake, but the calories would be a lot higher than what I am going for.  So, I haven’t tried that yet.

So anyway, give it a try and let me know what you think.


Geared or RAW

Posted: March 26, 2013 in Working Out
Tags: , ,

I saw this video on Yahoo! Sports and it is pretty impressive.  A high school kid benching 700 pounds.  In the article they compared the kid to former Dallas Cowboy Larry Allen, who holds the NFL record of a 700 pound bench.  There are a couple differences; however.  The HS kid is using a bench shirt; whereas, Larry Allen benched his 700 pounds RAW.


Inzer Bench Shirt

Bench shirts are usually made of polyester, denim, or canvas and come in single- or multi-ply thicknesses and were developed sometime in the 1980’s as a tool to help prevent injuries to the deltoid’s and pec’s during heavy bench workouts.  However, it was discovered that lifters could also lift a lot more weight because of these shirts.

I don’t personally use a bench shirt, and never have.  And it is a hotly contested topic among power lifters.  With that said, I am not against those using bench shirts.  I can understand the reasons, those beyond injury prevention.

Motivation is the most important thing to lifters, IMO.  You have to maintain some level of motivation to continue to lift heavy objects.  During your lifting career, you will experience many ups and downs in your motivation.  If you don’t have enough up’s, you can find yourself turning your back on the gym.

Lifting shirts can provide additional motivation.  Your confidence will increase because you aren’t as worried about injury and the weight will continue to go up as you learn and master the bench shirt technique, thus increasing your motivation.


Scot Mendelson

On May 22, 2005, Scot Mendelson set the record for the highest RAW bench press of 715 pounds.  He also holds the record (in the 275-pound class) in the assisted (bench shirt), with a press of 1,031, which he did in 2009.  Ryan Kennelly holds the record in the assisted bench with a lift of 1,075.

I put the year the record was broken for a reason.  I find it interesting that Mendelson broke the record in 2005 and it hasn’t been touched since.  I can’t help but think the main reason for that is because a majority of power lifters are converting to assisted benches because that is where the big numbers happen and as a result, there is more money to be made.  That’s all the motivation you need right there.

I lift alone…in my basement.  If I didn’t, I would be more interested in “gearing up”.  It takes at least one other person (maybe even two) to even assist you putting on the shirt.  So, unless my wife agrees to it…it’s probably not in my cards.  Although, the form and technique required to master the shirt and get the best out of it is something I would enjoy taking head on.

One last note.  Larry Allen’s 700-pound bench would not have counted in a lifting contest; whereas the HS kids would have.  Larry basically bounced the weight off his chest with no pause.


Posted: February 20, 2013 in Working Out

Yesterday I officially hit 200 days straight logging my calories on My Fitness Pal.  The tool basically tells you how many calories you can have each day and you try to stay below are at that number.  It forces you to work out in order to earn more calories.  I have to be honest with myself here and admit I don’t always stay under my goal.  In fact, there are days I get so out of whack I don’t track everything (see Sweet Caroline).  But I try my best.


400 Pounds

On May 17th of last year (my birthday)…I took a picture of the weight I was benching at the time and made a bold two year goal.  I was going to bench 500 pounds within two years on my 40th birthday.  My bench, at the time, was probably around 410 or 415.  It’s hard to know for sure because I lift alone and without a spotter.  But 405 was always real easy for me to handle.

My weight, at that time, was in the 240’s.  I remember earlier that year how I gained 20 pounds overnight.  We had a scale that always weighed me around 220-225.  We brought a new scale and I jumped on it and BANG!  242, or something like that.  That was a bit frustrating.

My mindset changed last summer.  There were always brief moments of time where I would set out to lose weight.  However, the thing that always won out was that I would get weaker.  I hated losing my strength.  I worked so hard for it and I hated diets and avoiding certain foods.  So, I would fall off the wagon pretty easy and get my lifts back where they belong.  That all changed when I found My Fitness Pal.

My Fitness Pal was so easy to use and I could literally eat whatever I wanted to…as long as I was prepared to pay for it later thru hard workouts.  But, to be honest, I like to workout hard.  So, I started a profile and weighed in.  I was 233 pounds when I started.

200 days later and my most recent weigh-in thru MFP and I am at 205.  So, I have lost 28 pounds while on MFP.  This type of success story won’t inspire many, I get that.  However, I am at a comfortable weight that I have maintained since December.  I look better and I feel better.  My bench has taken a HUGE hit…but, I am actually ok with that.  I have actually made several gains in some other lifts.  My deadlift’s are better and my squats are getting stronger.

Track your calories, lift heavy weight and add in HIIT or Tabata cardio.  There is no such thing as a miracle drug.  The only true way is thru hard work and not eating more calories Imagethan you burn.  It’s no secret and you don’t need to spend $50 on a book.  Maybe when I hit 300 days…I will look like another famous 300!

Weekend Recap

Posted: February 18, 2013 in Family, Working Out
Tags: , ,



We spent most of our weekend home doing
nothing.  Not exactly a horrible weekend if you ask me. 
We did watch the movie
,  which I thought was very
good.  You can’t go wrong with Denzel.  He did a great
job in this movie.  It certainly doesn’t make two people that
aren’t fans of flying want to fly anytime sooner, that must is

Hoist half-cage

In addition, my “Man
has officially made it past one week. 
However, I decided I needed to work out anyway.  So, Sunday
morning I hit the gym (which is in my basement).  I have a
Hoist half-cage ensemble.  In
addition, we have an elliptical, treadmill, VKR and
dumbbells.  So, I can do pretty much anything you can do at a
Gold’s Gym for example. Anyway, I did back and bi’s yesterday and
it was pure H.E. double hockey sticks.  Having a “Man Cold”
and working a large muscle group, such as a back, with heavy
compound movements really spiked my heart rate and caused some
chest pain…because of the “Man Cold”. I started with deadlifts,
then went to power bent-rows, a couple sets of pull-ups and
chin-ups each, seated rows and finally some barbell curls.  42
minutes in all and according to my heart-rate monitor I burned 582
calories.  I thought that was too much so I took 100 off and
put that into my calorie counter.  I use My Fitness Pal to
track and have now for a little over 200 days straight.  It’s
a great tool. This week will probably be a lot of prep work for
Mia’s birthday party this weekend.  Mia will turn 8 on
2/27.  However, we are having our family in town this weekend
to celebrate and the following weekend we are having a party at a
hotel pool for her and her friends.