Current regimen (mid-September 2018)

Morning routine (this part shouldn’t take more than ~15 minutes)

Yoga/Pilates (no mat needed, but wall needed):
-wall figure-four stretches
-the following sequence: cobra, child’s pose, downward-facing dog, butterfly, seated lateral twists
-sun salutations (3x)

10 minutes of zazen meditation (shikantaza, just sitting) on a zafu and zabuton

Gym routine (current priorities are aesthetics and strength)

For aesthetics:
-barbell incline bench press, sets of 10/7/5, 135 lbs, 60 seconds rest
-overhead presses, sets of 10/7/5, 95 lbs, 60 seconds rest
-wide-grip lat pulldowns, 5×10, 60 seconds rest (I don’t know what the gym machine’s level-7 setting translates to in pounds)

Accessory work:
-double kettlebell clean and press, 5×10, two 25-lb kettlebells, 60 seconds rest
-bicep dumbbell curls, 3×10, 20 lbs x 2, 60 seconds rest
-dumbbell tricep extensions, 3×10, 40 lbs, 60 seconds rest
-crunches, sets of 20/15/10, 60 seconds rest (using 40-lb dumbbells as feet holders)

For fun (I get a rush out of lifting heavy):
-deadlifts, 1×5, 185 lbs

Additional activities

Hourly alarm on my smartphone to perform a round of 4/7/8 breathing

Regularly shooting a basketball (I’ve been making improvements with my technique recently) and playing pick-up basketball

Swimming, which provides cold exposure therapy (when the water is really cold) and a lightly muscle-massaging resistance exercise (with aerobic benefits as well)

Resources

https://www.drweil.com/videos-features/videos/breathing-exercises-4-7-8-breath/

https://www.healthline.com/health/4-7-8-breathing#5

Early August 2018 routine

Diet:
-steel-cut oats with chia seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, almonds, and blueberries
-broccoli/tomato/chicken salad (with omega-3-enriched, organic eggs) after workouts
-assorted healthy meals for dinner

Exercise (current routine, on my own):
-wall figure-four stretches
-various yoga moves on my own (cobra, child’s pose)
-rowing, 5000 m, minimal difficulty
-double kettlebell clean-and-press, 3×5, 35 lbs x 2, 60 seconds rest
-battle rope slams, 3×12, 60 seconds rest
-foam rolling

Personal training (~3x a week):
-overhead presses
-bench presses
-squats
-oblique work
-plank rows
-deadlifts
-abdominal crunches

Supplements:
-one-a-day men’s pro edge
-sedona labs multi-probiotic
-creatine monohydrate (Jarrow)
-Nordic Naturals omega-3 fish oil with vitamin D3

Stress management:
-daily meditation in the morning and before bed, 10 minutes per sit
-hourly check-in with my breathing (with hourly iPhone alarms)
-occasional soaks in a hot water Jacuzzi bath with muscle-relief salts

Mid-July 2018 routine

Nutritional regimen:

-steel-cut oats with blueberries, walnuts, bananas, and cinnamon (every morning)
-assorted stir-fry with protein and veggies for dinner
-one coffee a day, in the morning
-the usual multivitamin, probiotic, and creatine (ran out of omega-3 recently)

Physical training regimen:

“A Day” schedule:
-rowing, 2000 m, minimal difficulty
-bench pressing, 3×5, 155 lbs, 90 seconds rest
-double kettlebell clean-and-press, 3×5, 35 lbs x 2, 30 seconds rest
-deadlifts, 225 lbs, 1×5
-rope triceps extensions, 3×10, 22.5 lbs, 60 seconds rest
-walking 10 minutes (usually), max incline, 1.5 speed, usually while reading news apps
-playing basketball (recently got back into basketball semi-seriously, I’m pretty good at defense, but abysmal at shoooting)

“B Day” schedule:
-rowing, 2000 m, minimal difficulty
-bench pressing, 3×5, 155 lbs, 90 seconds rest
-squats, 3×5, 135 lbs (new addition), 90 seconds rest
-cable lat pulldowns, 3×10, 70 lbs, 60 seconds rest
-dumbbell curls (switching over from barbell to dumbbell-based curls), 3×10, 25 lbs x 2 (if I recall), 60 seconds rest
-walking 10 minutes, max incline, 1.5 speed, while reading up on current events
-playing basketball

Rest and recovery schedule:
-20 minutes of zen meditation in the morning, and before bed
-informal zen practice every hour (iPhone alarm)
-epsom salt soaks in my parents’ jacuzzi bath

Early July 2018 routine

It’s been three weeks since I graduated with my master’s from Stanford University. I recently went on a week-long roadtrip (with a Bay Area friend) through the Pacific Northwest. We visited Vancouver (Canada), Seattle (Washington), and Portland (Oregon). We also saw Richmond, Canada (a suburb of Vancouver, Canada), and looked at some of the nearby lower-cost suburbs of Washington and Portland. Honestly, Portland is awesome, and is kinda like a combination of Seattle and Indiana (my home state). In Portland, I got the best deep tissue massage of my life, as well as the best spare rib barbecue I’ve ever had (complete with macaroni and cheese and cornbread with sweet butter). That being said, Portland seems to have worse air quality than Seattle, and undoubtedly worse air quality than Vancouver, Canada. Cost-of-living was seen to increase in accordance with places with better environmental regulations (as expected, and validated using Google searches of median/mean housing prices in various cities/suburbs).

That being said, here is my current regimen as of July 2018 (inspired in part by Jocko Willink’s Discipline Equals Freedom and Tim Ferriss’s Tools of Titans):

Lifestyle Routine:

-going to the gym every day

-morning mindfulness meditation (zazen), 10 minutes a day

-limit coffee to just two cups per day (to limit overexcitation/stress-response activation)

-drinking green tea and herbal tea (rooibos) in moderation

-intermittent fasting: since returning from my week-long road trip (fyi, we saved a lot of money by sleeping in our rental SUV in various grocery store parking lots, 24-hour gyms, and office parks), I’ve been eating less (as a means of benign discipline), and I’ve been fasting for more than 24 hours as I’m writing this post (overall, feeling lighter spiritually and more healthy)

-cooking healthy meals (most recently, seared chicken breasts with broccoli, garlic, onions, and mushrooms)

-committing to reading books on my to-read list (most recently finishing the two aforementioned books, as well as Data Science from Scratch by Joel Grus)

-reading news apps on the treadmill while doing slow cardio (WSJ, WikiTribune, NYTimes, PBS NewsHour, Economist Espresso, Financial Times, and DataTau)

Workout Routine (some rep ranges changed due to information obtained through Ferriss’s interview with Pavel Tsatsouline):

-ergometer rowing, 2000 m, minimal difficulty

-bench pressing, 3 sets of 5 reps, two plates, 90 seconds rest

-double kettlebell clean and press, 3 sets of 5 reps, 35 lbs x 2, 30 seconds rest

-wide-grip lat pulldowns (gotta get that v-taper), 3 sets of 10 reps, 70 lbs, 30 seconds rest

-barbell curls (i.e., curls for the girls), 3 sets of 10 reps, 60 lbs, 30 seconds rest

-low-intensity steady state cardio: walking for 20 minutes on the treadmill, max incline, 1.5 speed (usually done while reading news apps with left and right biases)

Current regimen (early June 2018)

As summer approaches, I’ve focused less on strength/mass-building, and more on metabolic conditioning and fat loss. It’s a great feeling to feel non-self-conscious while shirtless, and such habits benefit not only aesthetics, but also physical/emotional health and metabolism/longevity. Here is my current regimen as of the first week of June 2018:

Diet Regimen:
– stopped/significantly reduced night eating habit (top ROI change)
– adequate consumption of lean protein (e.g., Subway rotisserie chicken sandwiches on flatbread), veggies, and probiotic vegetables (e.g., sauerkraut)
– restricted consumption of coffee to two cups per day (decaf and tea are unrestricted), as a means of reducing perceived stress-response activation

Exercise Regimen:
1. Rowing, 2000 m, minimal ergometer setting
2. One of the following:
– supine medicine ball chest throws (3×50, 10 lbs, 30 seconds rest)
– Muay Thai kickboxing practice on a heavy bag for 15 minutes
– barbell bench pressing (3×5, two plates, 2 minutes rest)
3. Double kettlebell clean and press, 3×10, 30/25 lbs, 30 seconds rest
4. Treadmill walking (low intensity semi-steady state), 20 min

Typical workout time lasts a little over an hour.

Self-care Regimen (emphasis is on overall stress reduction):
– hiking/walking (I average 13k steps per day as a graduate student who prefers to walk around campus)
– traveling (e.g., visiting and socializing with an out-of-town friend during Memorial Day weekend)
– social dance, as in east coast swing, salsa, cross-step and rotary waltz, nightclub two-step, and blues (technically exercise activities, but with additional cognitive and social benefits)
– continued zazen (mindfulness meditation) every now and then (10 minute sits)
– was able to get a professional, hot stone massage over Memorial Day weekend

Nutritional Supplements (arguably the least important component of my overall regimen):
1. Multivitamin (One-A-Day Men’s Pro Edge)
2. Omega-3 (Nordic Naturals)
3. Creatine (Jarrow)
4. Probiotic (Sedona Labs)

5. Occasionally, ZMA (Optimum Nutrition) before bed, and very rarely melatonin to help fall asleep.

Current regimen (early April weekend)

Influences of this current regimen: Tim Ferriss (The 4-Hour Body), Zen Buddhist meditation practice and general overall aesthetic, the StrongLifts iOS app / Mark Rippetoe videos / my mentor and coach from a brief instance of personal training at home (Better Bodies, Inc., Zionsville, IN).

Meal prep

1 can canned spinach
1 can canned sauerkraut
1 can canned baked beans
4 omega-3 enriched eggs

Fry eggs first, and then stir-fry altogether. Divide into four aliquots for storage/consumption.

Morning sit (preferably once or twice a day)

10 minute meditation session using the Samsara iOS app

Personal gym protocol (April 2018)

Beginners take note: don’t overload yourselves, and progress slowly in your resistance exercises.

  1. Ergometer rowing, 2000 m, no rests
  2. Bench pressing, 3 sets of 5 repetitions, 90 seconds rest, two plates
    or
    Double kettlebell clean-and-press, 3 sets of 5 repetitions, 90 seconds rest, 45/50 lbs kettlebells (school gym does not have two 50 lb kettlebells).
  3. Slow cardio: treadmill high/low speed interval walking, 20 minutes.

Supplements (least important component)

Morning: One A Day Men’s Pro Edge multivitamin, Nordic Naturals Omega-3 fish oil, Jarrow Formulas Creatine Monohydrate capsule, Sedona Labs iFlora Multi-Probiotic capsule

Bedtime: Optimum Nutrition ZMA capsule

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Kojo Osei for inspiring me to start this fitness/health/mindfulness blog.