Body Hacking

Random update, possibly TMI, but we’re all friends here, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m on a bit of a “body modification” kick since reading The Four Hour Body and also Born to Run, and am making some changes and testing the waters in a few different things.

I’ve signed up to get full bloodwork done to check all my different nutrient/vitamin/everything levels checked (“NutrEval FMV Amino Acids”), and also to see what/if food allergies I have. Should be pretty interesting. The tests are I think $120 and $160 or something (with insurance). They are both done through a company called Genova Diagnostics.

I’ve always been skinny, and I finally decided to try to do something about it and put a bit of weight on. I got some Withings scales and have been tracking my weight. Baseline was around 160 lbs. I’m 6’4″. So yeah, lighter than you’d expect. I’ve already put on 5 lbs since I started tracking (Feb 10), just by being more aware of it and trying to eat more. As part of trying to gain weight, I’m trying to consume a lot more (at least vaguely healthy) calories. The target is 3000+ per day to get up to at least 180 lbs without blowing my body-fat ratio too far out of the water. I had been manually keeping a food log to add it up manually at the end of the week, but I found an app for the iPhone that seems to be pretty good for doing it all easily. Apparently if you mark someone as a friend, it shares all your information with them though (weight etc), so don’t do that if you don’t want folks knowing exactly how much you weigh ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve started running (I hadn’t run in literally about 10 years), and I got a new pair of Vibrams that have slightly thicker soles to try them out (was previously running in these, which I’ve had for a while). Went for a run in them today (right after buying them) and they felt good. Here are the results of that run (as tracked by RunKeeper, which I’m using to track all of my runs). I know running isn’t going to help me gain weight, but I’m enjoying it anyway. And still going to Krav.

Oh, and I have a 40 lb “SandBell” (sand-filled KettleBell) on the way from HyperWear so I can try it out as well.

Updates to follow.

  1. Nick said:

    The SandBell looks cool and much safer to use. Sometimes I feel like the kettlebell is going to slip out on my hands.

    • Beau Lebens said:

      Yeah that's partially why I wanted to try it out. Especially doing it in my apartment with wood floors — dropping a steel kettlebell would be BAD! Apparently these give extra forearm and grip strength as well, because you have to really grip on (since there are no handles per se). Will let you know how it goes!

      • trademark said:

        Ahhh, this SandBell looks awesome. I just read most of the stuff I wanted to initially and was wondering how the heck I could do kettlebell stuff in my apartment. I have wood floors as well and lots of windows.

    • Beau Lebens said:

      The verdict for me is — pretty awesome. I've never worked with a KettleBell to compare it to, so I can't for sure say, but the SandBell has been great for working out at home. I have hardwood floors, and I can drop the SandBell without worrying about it. I can also flick it around a bit more than a KettleBell without worrying about ripping my hands/arms up, damaging my feet etc.

      Doing anything one-handed with it is a big challenge, due to the reduced grip/handle that you have, but I'm only really doing 2-handed things, so that hasn't been a concern for me yet. I definitely feel like my forearms/wrists/grip are getting a really good workout trying to hang onto it. I also feel like it gets a lot of stretching doing 2-handed swings, but so far it doesn't seem to have been a problem for the SandBell itself.

      Hope that helps!

    • Beau Lebens said:

      Actually, I'm going to make a revision to this. I don't think the SandBell is great for doing two-handed swings (or probably other swing-type techniques). There is a lot of stretch in the material, and now that I've used it more, it's stretching out quite a bit. I assume that's going to get worse, so I will probably get a normal KettleBell for swings, and use the SandBell for other stuff. I still think it's awesome for other things where you're more likely to bang it against you, or need to drop the bell.

  2. vidyant said:

    I was in the same boat until about a year ago. 5'11 and 135 lbs. So yeah, pretty light for my height. I always wanted to gain weight but hated working out. Just didn't like that whole gym macho thing, and then I found rock climbing. I love it and have actually gained muscle mass! Basically, just wanted to motivate you that keep up and you'll reach your goal of 180 lbs. Keep running also! Cardio is always good and it can be pretty addictive in a good way ๐Ÿ™‚
    How far are you along in accomplishing your goal? Still following your schedule diligently?

  3. dmh said:

    So how did your “NutrEval FMV Amino Acids” test go? Worth the money? New insights?

    • Beau Lebens said:

      The Amino Acids turned out to be a lot more valuable for me than the food allergies test. I got very low allergic responses to everything, so there wasn't much actionable in those results at all (which I guess is a good thing).

      On the Amino Acids test, I scored well outside of "good" ranges on a few different things (specifically B-group vitamins and some minerals like Zinc, Manganese and Chromium). Knowing this, I'm now taking some supplements for them and it has made a noticeable difference in my immune system and general feeling of health/alertness/energy. YMMV.

  4. LDP said:

    Im 5ft 11.5 and weight 230lbs…but I'm also riddled with allergies and poor digestion. i'd swap muscles and bulk for a healthier metabolism lol

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