In his best shape, a few years ago, Israel Lagares stood 6 feet tall and weighed a muscular 235 pounds. Israel enjoyed living the fit life, working out and turning food into muscle. A few years later, having fallen off the fitness wagon and tending to not so healthy foods, he put on some weight and ballooned up to 348 pounds.
Out of shape and wanting to turn his life around, Israel launched his weight loss blogFat Man Unleashed, in May of 2007 to chronicle the weight loss challenge that lay ahead of him.
In this first part of a three part interview, I ask Israel about the fitness routine that he's following to get him to his goal. In the following two weeks, we'll also discuss his nutritional approach and then finish up with the mental aspect.
Israel, or "Fat Man" as he likes to call himself, is a 27 year old man from Tampa Florida.
Hi Israel, thanks for doing the interview. Lets start with your goals shall we? What is your current fitness or exercise goal?
Thanks Rob, glad to be here. My immediate goal is to get to 265 lbs. while maintaining my strength and muscularity.
What methods are you using to achieve your goal?
I am on a healthy diet, weight training intensely, and performing cardiovascular exercises regularly.
Describe the exercise program you're following to achieve your goal
I do cardio 7 days a week, alternating starting my mornings with a HIIT session or a stationary bike session. I then follow that up later in the day with another cardio bike session. My HIIT sessions are short and intense, no more than 30 minutes, and my stationary bike sessions are from 45 minutes to an hour while I catch up on some television or movies. I also make an effort to be more active than usual, i.e. go for long walks and play at the park with the family.
I also strength train every other day on the days that I don't perform a HIIT session. Lately I have been focusing on compound, multi joint exercises that develop my large muscle groups. I have temporarily eliminated any single joint movements, such as arm curls. My lifting sessions are short, 30 minutes or less, and are heavily focuses around squatting and deadlifting.
Brilliant - going for the big muscle groups first. Is this a year round exercise program?
No, it is not. It's just a program I put together to help achieve my current goal.
What was your exercise program like prior to setting this current goal?
My previous exercise routine did not include as much cardio and did not focus solely on compound movements.
What results are you expecting from this exercise program?
I expect to lose a lot of fat while maintaining muscle mass. I'm also expecting to maintain my endurance and strength.
When do you expect to reach your goal?
I should reach my goal towards the end of June.
Do you have a reward for reaching your goal? What is it?
Nothing really besides going to the beach with my shirt off and telling friends about it. lol.
Nice. Which is more important - Weight training or cardiovascular training in a weight loss / fat loss program?
I'm no expert, but I would say both are equally as important. They still come in second to your diet.
How often do you change your exercise program?
I usually tweak my routines every 6 to 9 weeks.
Do you allow for down time at all? Recovery time?
I'll have plenty of recovery time when I die. Just kidding, I do. It's very important for your body to recover from all of the punishment it gets. Sleep is crucial!
Yes, sleep is critical. What do you do if you simply do not want to go to the gym on a given day?
I have the luxury of working out at home. I have a gym set up in my backyard with all of my equipment, so I have no excuses to not train. If I felt like not working out I would convince myself to go for just 10 minutes and leave. This usually works because 10 minutes was enough to get me going and wanting to stay and finish up my session.
Really? a backyard gym. I'd love to see a picture of it and share it with my readers.
Subscribe to my blog posts using the form below to read the upcoming parts of the interview series with Israel Lagares. Next week I'll ask him about his diet and then finish up with his mental approach.