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Why It’s Important to Know Your Body Fat Percentage

Why It's Important to Know Your Body Fat Percentage

When I started my exercise program I was at 277 lbs and figured I might be able to drop 70 lbs. Once I was down 30 lbs, I realized I may have underestimated. Of course, it was a complete guess in the first place. I mean, when you’ve ALWAYS been fat, how do you know what you should weigh? Those BMI guides are about as useful as a door knob on a wall.

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Body Composition

The best way to get an idea of how much you should weigh is to get a body fat composition test done. This will tell you how much of your body weight is fat, and how much is lean mass (muscle, bone, connective tissue).

There are 4 methods. The first uses calipers. If someone is experienced and knows what they’re doing, they can probably get within a few percentage points. Everything depends on where and how they pinch the skin with the calipers. Even the best test is less accurate than the other methods.

The next method uses air pressure. The test I had done years ago involved sitting in a little space pod and then having it pressurized. It did give me a breakdown of muscle vs. fat, and was probably better than the calipers, but still not the best. If this is an option in your area and easier to access than the methods below, go for it. Read more

Feature Friday: Interview with Joe Hancuff

Feature Friday: Interview with Joe Hancuff

While most of this site so far has been a chronicle of my journey, I’m not the only one out there getting results. Early on I decided that I’d like to showcase other athletes and regular people making changes to their lifestyle as well. About 7 weeks into my workout program, my coach sent me a picture from Facebook of a guy that looked just like me 10 months earlier. We had a similar build, shaved head, and goatee.

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His name was Joe Hancuff and he had made one crazy transformation in that short time. His transformation picture on Facebook went viral and within a few days, the folks from Crossfit headquarters had contacted him for an interview.

He later earned an invite to try out for the new National Pro Fitness League. He has gone on to get his Crossfit Level 1 certification, was a judge for the 2014 Regionals, and is in the progress of opening his own place. Over the last 5 months, we’ve exchanged comments on social media, Facebook messages, and emails.

When I decided to profile others, Joe was the first guy that came to mind. He graciously agreed to an interview.


Welcome to Feature Friday

NSB: How about a quick personal bio?

Joe: I’m an IT guy turned CrossFit trainer based out of Columbia, Maryland focusing on getting my gym, Serenity Strength and Movement, open and running to help others do as I have done and reclaim their humanity. I’m 34 years old, married father of 3. Through CrossFit and fitness, I have found my true calling in life.

NSB: And how long has it been since you started your transformation?

Joe: As of the day of this writing, 1 year, 3 months, 23 days and counting.

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NSB: You were featured on the front page of the Crossfit Games website. How did that happen?

Joe: I had looked at myself the mirror every day since I had started CrossFit and yes, I saw change. But the actual CONTRAST of that change hadn’t been made apparent to me until I’d seen some photos of myself from a local throwdown and one of my co-workers had dropped a photo of myself around 350 lbs from a conference 18 or so months past. Read more

7 Ways to Make Time for Excercise

7 Ways to Make Time for Excercise

You’re busier now than you’ve ever been. You work all day, manage the house, take care of the kids, and try to sleep a few hours every night. There just isn’t any margin (extra time) in your day for exercise. How do you get around this?

The absolute first thing to do is stop lying to yourself. You have the time. We all have the same number of hours in a day. What you probably don’t have is a list of priorities. This can even affect those of us that DO have the time because exercise can be one of those things that you know you need, but it hasn’t become a priority.

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Parkinson’s Law

In 1955 Cyril Parkinson wrote a humorous piece for The Economist and part of the first sentence reads, “work expands so as to fill the time available for it’s completion”. This became known as Parkinson’s Law. While the article, and later book, are actually referring to inefficiencies of government, the adage is true across most activities. If you have all day to clean the house, it will take all day. But if your mother-in-law says she will be over in an hour, guess how long it will take to clean! Be mindful of your time and spend it wisely.

7 Ways To Make Time

Read more

Why Crossfitters Won’t Shut Up About Crossfit

Why Crossfitters Won’t Shut Up About Crossfit

This Ain’t Fight Club

If you haven’t seen Fight Club, finish this article, then go watch it. If you have seen it, you probably watched it more than once because it’s a different movie the second time. (You’ll understand why after you see it.)

Everyone knows the first two rules of fight club, but here they are from Tyler Durden himself:

Crossfit is just the opposite. For those of your friends who have no interest in Crossfit, your constant posts about your workouts drive them insane. They may have hidden you already and you haven’t realized it. This is why I generally only use Instagram and my Facebook page for fitness posts, but keep most of it off my regular profile. Read more

The Best Chimichurri Recipe You’ve Ever Had

The Best Chimichurri Recipe You've Ever Had

If you find yourself in Argentina ordering grilled meat, it’s going to be served with chimichurri. The first time I had it was at a couples cooking class (do it, those are so much fun and you’ll learn a ton) with an Argentinean theme. Grass fed Argentinean beef, Argentinean wine, and chimichurri.

I’ve NEVER put anything on my steak, especially nasty steak sauce, until I had this chimichurri. Even better? It’s not going to ruin your diet…unless you eat it on a bag of chips…which may be worth it.

Chimichurri is somewhat generic and flexible and can have different ingredients and consistencies by location. This is my favorite version.

Bonus: Print this recipe as a single page PDF by clicking here!

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Ingredients

Yield: 5 cups Read more

6 Months In: Has It Been Worth It?

6 Months In: Has It Been Worth It?

It’s hard to believe time flies like it does. In some ways it feels like I’ve been working out longer than 6 months. But when I think back, it seems like just yesterday that I couldn’t finish a lap around the building. One day at a time really adds up before you know it. This journey has been a lot of hard work, and it hasn’t exactly been smooth. But has it been worth all the effort?

About 6 weeks into my workout routine. Still round.

Taken during the Open about 6 weeks into my workout routine. Still round as a medicine ball at this point.

On January 6th I weighed 277lbs (according to the scale at my office which is where I officially weigh once per week). So even though Sunday was 6 months, yesterday was the weigh in. I figure 48 hours probably doesn’t mean much in the course of 6 months. Read more

The First Step Was Facing The Truth

The First Step Was Facing The Truth

Yesterday marked 6 months that I have been eating clean and exercising regularly. On Wednesday I’ll post some updates and progress pictures. Honestly, I still haven’t decided yet if I’m brave enough to go shirtless.

The following is something that I never intended to make public, it was more of a journal entry. I wrote this for a 30 day writing group designed to get us in the habit of writing 500 words per day. Nobody had to read what I wrote. Looking back, I think there may be people that can relate. So here goes nothing.



This was mid-burpee but it looks and felt like I was dying.

This was mid-burpee during the 2014 Crossfit Open 14.5 workout but it looks and felt like I was dying.

January 6, 2014

Yesterday was my first Elements class for Crossfit. I thought I was going to die. And that was just the first introductory course. Today, I can walk up the stairs, but it’s almost impossible to get back down after those air squats. I am so out of shape it’s ridiculous. Read more

A Quick Note of Thanks

A Quick Note of Thanks

This site was started on June 1st and was only sent to 10 people that I am friends with on Facebook. From there it had 464 unique users, 2,264 page views, and 186 shares just on social media by June 30th. I am stunned and humbled.

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I don’t know what to say except thank you to everyone that took the time to read and share with your friends. I already have posts scheduled through the beginning of August, and I have some fun and informative things in store for you.

Stay Tuned

The next month will include articles on how I’ve lost weight, exercise tips, nutrition information, recipes, and a couple of other things I am excited about, though I’m keeping them under wraps for now. I would be grateful if you’d take the time to follow me on the various social networks in the header of this site.

But even more, I would appreciate you joining my email updates using the form below. All I ask for is an email address. I would like a first name, so I know what to call you, but it isn’t required. If you add your website address, I will check out your site as well.

What You’ll Get

Besides receiving new content via email, you will also get any new or updates that may not make it to the site. I am also in the process of working on my first eBook and this will be sent to subscribers as well. I may also ask for your input during the writing process. Once it is completed, you will be the first to get a copy.

Again thank you for making the first month of this site far more successful than I ever anticipated. Drop me a note in the comments and let me know what you like best, or if there is a topic you would like me to write about.

David

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Do You Even Know What You’re Eating?

Do You Even Know What You're Eating?

Do any kind of research and you’ll find people everywhere that claim whether trying to lose fat or gain muscle, 80% of your progress is made in the kitchen. Exercise is important for many reasons, but diet is often much harder. This is more true when weight loss is the goal.

You eat several times every day, while you probably only workout a few times per week. And it doesn’t matter how hard you workout, if you keep shoving buckets of crap into your face, you’re not going to get the results you want.

Flickr image by Abd allah Foteih

Flickr image by Abd allah Foteih

Don’t Dig Your Grave With a Knife and Fork

I started cleaning up my diet on a Monday (of course) and starting working out on Tuesday, jumping in with both feet. Maybe you’re not ready to commit to an exercise plan. That’s okay, though you’ll drop weight exponentially faster if you do. Without exercise, the weight loss won’t be as fast, but if you have to choose one, go with the diet first. Read more

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