My Diet and Workout (in 7 Magic Letters)

My life tends to be filled with acronyms.  I attended college at UGA, work at the FDIC, and recently transitioned from a position as a FIS to a FIE.  I complete assignments as an EIC, AM, or OM while reviewing the CAMELS components for things such as T1C, NII/NIM, CDARs, IRR, etc.  In my spare time, I enjoy watching ESPN for highlights from MLB, the NBA, the NFL, or the NCAA (but not the NHL!)  I also enjoy watching shows like HIMYM and SoA!  I drive a VW, and I live in KC, MO, USA… Soooo yeah, sorry if that was TMI…

But I would like to tell you about two very important acronyms that have allowed me to drop my body fat percentage from 18.5% to 10%, and my weight from 187lbs to 168lbs in SIX WEEKS.  The seven magic letters are:  CKD and HIIT.

Six weeks of CKD and HIIT

Six weeks of CKD and HIIT (flexing in both pics for comparison)

Diet Plan: CKD – Cyclical Ketogenic Diet

Cyclical-Keto-whosa-what’s-it?!  Yeah, that’s what I said too!  Allow me to explain…  This diet sounds completely insane when you first hear about it.  It takes “wisdom” from “traditional” diets, flips it completely around, and produces pretty amazing results!  Ok, here’s how it works.  I’ve been eating roughly 65% of my calories from FAT, 30% from PROTEIN, and only 5% from carbs.  WHOA…thassalottaFAT!  That’s right… a typical day’s meals look like this:

  • Breakfast:
  • Three whole eggs scrambled w/ cheddar cheese
  • 6 bacon slices
  • Coffee w/ 3tbsp grass-fed butter, 2tbsp MCT oil, cinnamon (tastes like a cinnamon roll!) – BulletProof Coffee
  • Lunch:
  • Double bacon cheeseburger (no bun) w/ mayo
  • Snack:
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Protein Shake
  • Dinner:
  • Spinach salad w/ tuna (in oil), bacon bits, cheese, and ranch dressing

This diet does a few things for your body:

  1. Decreases the amount of insulin produced.  Insulin is produced when carbs are ingested as a way to process the glycogen.  In the absence of insulin, the body naturally increases production of Testosterone and Human Growth Hormone (HGH).
  2. Facilitates a metabolic switch.  In plain English, this means your body changes the way it gets energy.  Normally, you burn glycogen from carbs for energy.  Without carbs in the diet, your body is forced to look elsewhere for fuel.  It begins to break fatty acids into Ketones.  (No, not a rock band from the 80’s!)  Ketones are then burned instead of glycogen… You literally burn bodyfat for your daily energy needs!
  3. Accelerates fat loss.  MCT oil and caffeine in the coffee have a compounding effect to accelerate the production of ketones, and increase body temperature.  The thermogenic state allows for increased calorie burn.
  4. Reduces water weight.  Glucose within your body bonds with water molecules at a ratio of 1:4… FOUR water molecules for every ONE molecule of glucose.  When glucose is reduced, your body sheds the water weight and eliminates the “puffy” appearance.

On the weekends, I allow a 36-hour “carb-up.”  This gives a break from the carb-restrictive diet, and allows me to eat donuts, pizza, pasta, etc… and drink many beers!  Instead of hindering results, this actually accelerates the process and prevents plateaus.  With the added glycogen in my muscles, my Monday workouts can also be much more productive.  Which brings me to…

Workouts: HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training

Instead of my old “JoggingJesse” ways of pounding the pavement for hours on end, I’ve found that similar results can be achieved in a much more efficient manner… intervals!  For example:

  • Old workout:  Jog at a moderate pace for 45 minutes.
  • HIIT:  Jog slowly for 2 minutes (4.0 on treadmill), then RUN for 1 minute (11.0 on treadmill)… repeat for 7 cycles (21 minutes)

This workout sends my heart rate up, then back down, then up again… by the end of the final interval, I am absolutely GASSED!  This method keeps my body from getting accustomed to a running pace, and it moves my heart rate through an optimal fat burning zone repetitively.  The anaerobic zone during the runs can vastly improve cardio response and strengthen the heart muscle.  Studies also show that during the 24 hours after HIIT, HGH can be produced up to 450% higher levels than normal.  This allows your body to continue to burn fat while preserving hard-earned muscle!  Taking an interval approach to cardio and weight lifting has made a big difference for me.

While these methods (CKD and HIIT) may sound a bit “abnormal,” the results have been great!  I’m reaching the end of my “cutting” phase, and I’m planning to add some lean muscle.  This will require more tweaks to my diet and workout plan, and I’m excited to see more results.  I’d also like to thank my wonderful fiancé for keeping me motivated and working her butt off as well!  A diet/workout plan is much easier when you have a partner!  I hope you’ve all enjoyed this post.  If you have any questions or comments, please don’t be shy!

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Alright!  We’ve made it through 1/60th of our membership commitment… one whole week!  BAM!  While looking in the mirror yesterday, we did start to notice sliiiiight improvements in our physiques.  I can see that my waistline is starting to shrink, and my pants definitely fit better than they did last week.  Progress is nice. 🙂

This past week, we have been mostly diligent with out diets.  I’ve eaten scrambled eggs (removing 1 yolk of my two eggs, and adding a splash of skim milk) or fruit/yogurt smoothies for breakfast.  Lunch has been healthy choice steamer meals or home-made whole grain pasta with lean beef.  Before my workouts, I’ve eaten a Greek yogurt for extra fuel.  After the workout, I’ve been pounding my “high octane creamsicle shake.” Dinner has been a boneless, skinless chicken breast with mustard, and a sweet potato.  Needless to say, my culinary skills NEED WORK!!  I’m already pretty tired of bland, dry chicken breasts from the freezer.  PLEASE send me a few great meal recipes that you use to “keep it interesting.”  We did marinade some chicken and plan to grill it tonight… I’m very excited to see how it turns out.

Brooke and I took some “before pictures” this week as well… and I will try to take weekly pictures for a cool slide show in a few months.  I’m excited to see progress as we go along this workout/diet plan.  The wedding and honeymoon are coming up quickly, and we need to be beach ready… since both are taking place on islands!

Stayed tuned for installment #6 of the award-winning series, “People in the Gym” later this week!  There are MANY new candidates at our Gold’s Gym!

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JackedJesse is Back Online! (and People at the Gym #5 – The Salesman)

Helllllloooo!  I haven’t posted on here since July… wow, what a bum!  If you’re curious about the name change from JoggingJesse, please see an earlier post titled New Mission.  So, a lot of things have changed in my life, but that’s not what this blog is about.  A brief synopsis of the significant events:

  • Engaged 1/4/13 (Score!)
  • Relocated to Kansas City, Missouri 4/22/13
  • Held a Chinchilla 5/2/13

That’s about all you need to know, so let’s get back to business!

Once I finally got settled into my new accommodations in KC, I decided it was time to get back into working out.  Brooke and I discussed different possibilities, and we decided to check out the Gold’s Gym located directly between our houses.  When we arrived, we had the pleasure of meeting the Salesman.


If you’ve ever considered joining a gym and actually walked through the front doors, you’ve come face-to-face with this guy.  He’s wearing spandex shorts and a standard black polo (two sizes too small) with the gym’s logo emblazoned across the chest.  He speaks very confidently, although the words he chooses can be quite socially awkward.  He asks you to follow him down the hallway covered with framed pictures of the gym’s “success stories” – impossibly tan, scantily clad men and “women” bodybuilders.  You enter his tiny office, which is covered wall-to-wall with motivational workout posters.  (“You know you’re on the right track if it hurts to tie your shoe!” -Gold’s Gym Poster)  He engages you in the following, obviously scripted, conversation:

  • Salesman: So, where are you from?
  • Me: Umm, less than a mile away.  (otherwise, I’d probably be at a different gym right now)
  • SM: What brings you in today?
  • Me: I’d like to work out…. (……..?)
  • SM: How much do you weigh?  What is your diet like?  What are your workout goals?  When was your last doctor’s visit?  If you could change one thing about your body, what would it be??  What are you weaknesses/strengths/deepest fears?????
  • Me: Umm…?  (Whoa bro, I just want to lift some weights.  I didn’t realize this was a therapy session!)
  • SM: Would you like me to check your weight and body fat percentage?
  • Me:  No, thanks.  I checked those this morning.  (That’s actually true.  I do own a scale and electronic body fat measurement tool.)
  • SM:  Great!  Let’s get you started… please step onto the scale!
  • Me:  …….??  **steps onto scale**
  • SM:  According to these numbers, you are awkward and obese!  Looks like you really should join this gym so we can fix that!
  • Me:  ……. :’-(
  • SM: Would you like a tour of the facility??
  • Me:  Sure.

The tour begins with the weight room where SM informs me that the dumbbells go up to 165lbs, while most gyms top out at 95lbs (Whew!  I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to go over 95lbs on my bicep curls!).  We continue through the weight machines, supplement bar, locker rooms, dry sauna, steam room, and cardio area before returning to his office to begin the price negotiation…

  • Me:  Thanks for the tour.  The facility looks great.  What’s a membership going to cost?
  • SM:  Our basic couples membership starts at $69.99/month with a 12 month committment and a $99 sign up fee.
  • Me:  Thank you for your time.  **stands up to leave**
  • SM:  BUT… since you seem like nice people… how about we waive the sign up fee and reduce it to $39.99/month.  BOOM!  Can I call you members today?!  **slides the contract across the desk**
  • Me:  That seems like a good price, but we travel a lot.  We don’t want to be paying for a membership while we’re on the road and can’t use it.
  • SM:  I hear you.  Ok.  I’m going to write down a number.  They may fire me for “GIVING AWAY” a membership like this!!  **scribbles on his writing pad**

That song-and-dance went on for quite a while.  In the end, we struck a great deal with the general manager.  We signed up for a 15-month commitment, and we will be allowed to “pause” the membership while we’re out of town.  We also get access to any Gold’s, Maximus, or Genesys fitness facility nationwide.  I’m pretty excited about it!  We stayed to work out after signing up.  Brooke lifted weights with me and did a fantastic job!  Stay tuned for progress updates.

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I’m a Lucky Guy!

So, I recently booked a trip to Kansas City to visit my lovely girlfriend.  I assumed it would be a nice, relaxing weekend of just spending time together.  Perhaps some nice dinners, a couple brewski’s, possibly an adventure or two.  However, she had other plans…

I arrived around midnight on Friday due to extended flight delays.  We headed back to her house, enjoyed some random hors d’oeuvres left over from an event she attended, then passed out… around 2am…. …… ….. Then 7:30am rolled around and an alarm went off…!!!

ME: “Ughhhh, babe… could… could you pleeeeeease destroy that alarm?!”

B:  “No way!  It’s time to get up and run!  Get your shoes on!”

I roll over to discover that she is lacing up her running shoes and starting to stretch!  Whaaaaat?!  It’s 7:30AM on a SATURDAY and we got to sleep at 2AM!!  I grunted my debate, but she wasn’t having it.  She whipped the overs off of me and suggested sweetly that I shouldn’t let her show me up.  I slid out of bed in a very sloth-like manner and flopped into my running gear.  I joined her in the stretches before we headed out to accomplish the 3 mile goal she had set for us.  The morning air was quite nice, and the company was lovely… so I thanked her for dragging me out of the house.  We ran three loops around the park next to her house as the temperature increased from a pleasant 75 degrees to somewhere around 109-ish degrees (ok, maybe 90… but it felt much hotter!)  It was nice to have a pretty lady to jog with, and I was impressed with her endurance… if she was tired, it didn’t show until we reached the very end of the 3.06 mile run.  I’m definitely a lucky dude to have a lady who is willing to make me get up and run with her!! Thanks again B!

Great Success!

Ahhh… Air Conditioning!

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Return of JoggingJesse

Well well well… there’s nothing like a FAAANTASTIC vacation (or 3) to throw a workout regimen off track!  I’ve had the incredibly good fortune to get to travel quite a bit recently.  I’ve taken trips to Tybee Island, Savannah, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Kansas City, and St Louis within the couple months!  These trips have been amazing… traveling with my lovely girlfriend, making new friends, catching up with old ones, and just having an absolute blast exploring new places!

HOWEVER, while these adventures were all quite enjoyable, they have had a bit of an impact on my physique.  One of the coolest parts of traveling is sampling local cuisine… Seafood (Tybee & Savannah), BBQ (KC & St Lou), Sushi & Burgers (LA & Vegas).  All of this uninhibited food intake, coupled with no time to work out during travels = the return of JoggingJesse‘s arch nemesis: JigglyJesse.  This makes me rather unhappy after all of the hard work I’ve been putting in!  So, here’s the deal… I’m going back to basics.  I’m renewing my original pledge (see post #1).  I’m going to be running at least 4 days per week, hopefully in the mornings.  I plan to wake up at 5:30am tomorrow to get things moving in the right direction.  Wish me luck… and as always, if you happen to be up around 5:30am EST, please call and wake my lazy behind up!

PS. I apologize to my loyal followers for the discontinuation of the world-renowned “People at the Gym” series.  It will make a return when I return to heavy lifting!

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People at the Gym #4: ThunderBoy

Welcome back my faithful minions for installment #4 of my world-renowned blog series: People at the Gym!  Today I’d like to focus on someone who simultaneously drives me CRAZY, but also inspires me just a little bit… although I hate to admit it:  ThunderBoy-oy-oy-oy!

ThunderBoy about to stike!

::BLAMMMMMM!!!::  Everyone in the weight room FREEZES and jolts their heads toward the front of the room.  There they see ThunderBoy-oy-oy-oy standing tall, hands still above his head from whence he just released the barbell holding two 45lb plates on each side.  The barbell is still bouncing as the entire floor continues to shake.  People shake their heads as their heartbeats return to normal rhythms… muttering under their breath about what kind of meat head he is.  Thirty seconds later, the grunt rings out “UUNNNNGGGHHHHHssssHHHHHwoooofffff” aaand ::BLAMMMMMM!!!::  “WTF mate?! Knock it off!” cries some random Australian dude (who just so happens to be at the local YMCA… this is hypothetical, get offa me).  I echo his sentiments… if you’re going to go olympic-style on the clean-and-JERK, please go somewhere other than the 2nd floor weight room at the YMCA!  I don’t enjoy having to worry that the floor could cave in at any moment b/c you are dropping 200lbs+ from directly above your head!  Unfortunately, ThunderBoy-oy-oy-oy apparently has hearing loss from all of the loud noises because 30 seconds later another resounding ::BLAMMMMMM!!!:: rings out.  While this guy does generally play jump rope with my last nerve, he does provide a tiny bit of inspiration because he’s generally a pretty large fella moving some serious weight.  Maybe one day I’ll be strong enough to piss off an entire weight room full of people… mmm… dare to dream!🙂

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People at the Gym #3: The Diva(s)

Greetings all!  I know you’ve been concerned lately by my absence from the blog-world, but FEAR NOT!  I’ve spent every single moment of every day since my last blog post in the weight room.  Well, not really, but I have managed to remain consistent with my workouts and protein intake.  As such, I’m starting to see ACTUAL RESULTS for the first time in my life!!!  VERY exciting!!  I have been documenting progress with pictures, but you’re just going to have to wait to see them!  It’ll be more dramatic, I promise.  It is, however, very encouraging to start to see physiological changes and increased strength.  For example, my bicep curls are now up to 5 sets of 6 with 40lb dumbbells (started around 25-30lbs).

Now, onto the part you’ve all been eagerly awaiting… the latest installment of People in the Gym!  In this segment, I will address a specific category of ladies in the gym… THE DIVA(s).  This article was partially inspired by a friend of mine and fellow gym enthusiast… Thanks C.R.!

The Diva

Allow me to set the scene: A fluorescent-lit weight room with 5-7 sweaty dudes grunting and lifting.  All of a sudden, a hush falls over the gym as SHE walks in… At first one guy notices, and soon every guy in the room is not-so-discreetly elbowing each other and pointing.  One guys mumbles the word “motivation” as he gawks.  SHE presents a stark contrast to the status-quo of the room with her full makeup, meticulously styled hair, matching shirt, shorts, socks, shoes, headband, iPod case, towel, and earrings.  The room holds their collective breath as she steps onto the treadmill, and proceeds to stroll at a leisurely pace of approximately 1.7.  Guys return to their lifting (now at least 5-10 pound heavier weights than their previous set), and make sure to flex at every opportunity.  Mirrors are used cleverly to stare without staring directly at HER.  SHE continues to stroll along on the treadmill as a friend joins her… both dabbing tiny beads of sweat with their bright pink towels as they chat during their leisurely walk.  They sip lightly from their bottles of kiwi-flavored water as the chatting has made them thirsty. Eventually, they tire of the treadmills and make their way across the room as guys step aside to give them easy passage to the racks of weights.  They then proceed to sit on two of the prime weight benches in the center of the room and chat aimlessly while doing “sets” of 4 to 9-ish curls of the neon-green, plastic-coated, 7.5lb dumbbells.  **Note: Ladies, It does not matter how attractive you are, IT IS ANNOYING when you monopolize the weight benches to sit and chat!** After what seems like HOURS of idle chatter, the ladies eventually tire of their “workout” and return to the mystical land from whence they came, leaving the weight room as they entered it… full of sweaty, grunting dudes.

***Editor’s Note: This post DOES NOT target all women in the gym!  If you are in the gym to DO WORK, I respect that 190%.  I’m addressing the Diva(s) out there who are simply in the gym to be seen. (Better, E?)***

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