Journal Entry 98 – Happy Thanksgiving

Morning Weight – 171.8 lbs

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Workout

  • Back and Shoulders
  • Chinups/Lat Pulldowns 5×5
  • Standing BB and DB Press 5×5
  • Lat Pulldowns – 3×8-12 reps
  • Lateral Raise 3×8-12 reps
  • DB row 3×8-12 reps
  • Shrugs 6×8 reps
  • Cable Upright Row 3×8
  • Cable Curls 5×8-12 reps
  • Resistance Band Pull

I was still pretty sore from my workout I did on Saturday.  Not sure whats up with the extremely long DOMS, but it was kind of getting annoying.  Anyway powered through the workout anyway and it was a good one.

I tried to sub out some chinups for some 190lb lat pulldowns and really felt it good.  The lat pulldown machine at work has some awesome resistance to it.

Next I did the standing BB shoulder press, which was on par with last time.  I switched over to dumbells after fatigue started to set in.  I’m definetly getting stronger with standing press though.

The rest was basically just higher rep accessory type exercises.  For biceps I did a drop set on the cable curl, starting at 80lbs then working down to 20lbs to finish.

As for Today (Thanksgiving) probably just do some pushups.

Nutrition

 

Pumpkin Brownies - second batch with Banana Nut Protein powder
Pumpkin Brownies – second batch with Banana Nut Protein powder
Mixed Drink
Mixed Drink

Yesterday finished around 2000 calories.  Had some nachos with special K chips and red meat, but forgot to take a picture.

Today is Thanksgiving, so it should be pretty light on calories and food. 😉 I’ll post some pics of the good food next post.

Journal

Here are some pics of Williamsville.  Holiday spirit starts early where I work.

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Journal Entry 97

Morning Weight – 173lbs

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Workout

  • Chest and Triceps
  • BB Bench Press 5×5 (205×2)
  • INC DB Press 3×8-10 (70,65,60)
  • Dips 3×10 bodyweight
  • CGBP 3×10 (50×2, 40×8,8)
  • Flys SS with Skull Crushers 3×10 (25lbs)

Went heavy first as usual on Bench.  Didn’t break any records today, but strength was on par.  INC DB Bench felt food and Chest was shaking afterward.

Dips were with bodyweight and by the time I got to CGBP I was pretty fatigued.  Finished with some high rep flys and skull crushers with light weight.

Nutrition

Sunday Dinner Steak Mashed Potatoes (Trader Joe's in Frozen bag) Broccoli and Onions
Sunday Dinner
Steak
Mashed Potatoes (Trader Joe’s in Frozen bag)
Broccoli and Onions
Steak (medium rare) and Veggies
Steak (medium rare) and Veggies
Last Night's Dinner Spaghetti Squash red meat and chicken Vegetables with Classico Pasta Sauce
Last Night’s Dinner
Spaghetti Squash
red meat and chicken
Vegetables with Classico Pasta Sauce

Calories a little over 2000 yesterday.  No workout on Sunday, but a lot of sitting and watching football. 😉

Calories for Monday were about the same as Sunday.

Journal

Giants lost last night to the Cowboys.  Man I was PO’d.  The refs basically handed the cowboys the game by walking down them down the field on multiple 15 yard penalties.  They also overturned a fumble, which would have completely changed the course of the game in our favor.  Sucks too, because I feel like the season is over with that loss. O well its not like the Cowboys have a chance of going anywhere this season.  Even if they get in the playoffs, they will lose immedialty as usual.

My dog Bandit
My dog Bandit

Journal Entry 96

Morning Weight – 173lbs

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Workout

  • Trap-bar Deadlift
  • Shrugs
  • DB Curl
  • Lat Pulldown
  • Row Machine
  • Forearm curl (cable)

Went to Gold’s gym for the first time in awhile yesterday.  Unplanned workout, but it turned out to be a good one.  I did Trap bar deads mainly because I can’t do this in my gym at work.

Warmed up with 135lbs, then 185lbs, then 225lbs, and maxed out at 250lbs for 5 reps.  Could have went heavier, but I was trying to stay above 5 reps.  Followed these with shrugs at 225lbs.

Moved onto heavy DB curls started with 40lbs and moved all the way down to 20lbs for a total of 5 sets.  After the “heavy” exercises were finished I finished with some moderate rep back and biceps moves.

Nutrition

Beef Mashed Sweet Potatoes Broccoli Bushs Beans
Beef
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Broccoli
Bushs Beans
Mixed Drink with Reddi Whip
Mixed Drink with Reddi Whip
Beef Broccoli Ezekiel Toast Crab Rangoon Special K Chips
Beef
Broccoli
Ezekiel Toast
Crab Rangoon
Special K Chips
Pumpkin Brownie batter
Pumpkin Brownie batter
Pumpkin Brownies
Pumpkin Brownies
Vaniila Protein Powder with Pumpkin Brownie
Vaniila Protein Powder with Pumpkin Brownie
Chocolate Protein Pudding with Pumpking Brownie
Chocolate Protein Pudding with Pumpking Brownie

Saturday – Finished about 2200 calories.  Had an epic lunch with mashed sweet potatoes from Trader Joes. (these things were incredible)

Sunday – This morning made some pumpkin protein brownies, which were EPIC. Recipe was very simple to make and all the ingredients were very common.  I will definitely be making these in the future.

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Journal Entry 95

Morning Weight – 169lbs

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Workout

  • Chest and Triceps
  • Bench 4×5 reps
  • INC DB Bench 3×8
  • CGBP 3×10
  • DB Flys 3×12
  • Skull Crusher 3×12
  • Bench Press 3x failure
  • Ab Roller with Mason Twists (abs) 3×10

Good workout today.  Got up to 195×4 reps on the bench, which I haven’t been able to surpass, but it still felt good to get it.  INC DB Press had an insane pump going in my chest.  My shoulders were still from Wednesday for some reason, so I couldn’t do heavy dips like I planned.  I subbed in CGBP with dumbbells instead.

Finished with some isolation exercises for chest and triceps.  Used 25lbs for both of these towards the end and I was so fatigued the weights actually felt heavy. Always a good sign though.

The last move was some high rep bench and got 135 lbs for 30 reps on one of my sets.  Felt pretty beast after knocking those out.

Nutrition

Malbec
Malbec

Two scoops of Elite XT new and improved flavor for breakfast and post-workout.  Got the banana nut flavor for free from bodybuilding.com.  The flavor was good, but still had a fake banana taste, which I’m not a huge fan of.  The fudge brownie and rich vanilla are by far my favorite and the new versions taste even better than the old.

Also had a couple of protein bars, seafood for lunch and Domino’s Gluten free pizza for dinner. (the pizza was pretty good, but too small to justify the price. It was also much smaller than the pics on the internet made it look.)

Journal 

Its going to start getting real cold here soon, so that cardio I was planning to start implementing isn’t going to happen haha.

Got a new lifting split though that I’m pretty excited about starting. Probably going to look similar to this:

Chest/tri

Back/bi

Legs/abs

Shoulders/traps

Chest/tri

Off

Off

2 chest days (my favorite) and hit the rest of the muscles at least once per week.  Weekends off.

My rep scheme will be a main heavy exercise first (4-5 sets of 4-6 reps), followed by two middle rep exercises (3sets of 8-12reps), then one isolation exercise for 3 sets of 12-15 reps.  Then ill probably finished with a burn set with very high reps at the end.

Overall, this week has been light on training.  Only two cardio sessions, one chest day on Monday and one back/shoulders day on Wednesday.  I plan to increase that next week to the plan listed above.

Journal Entry 94

Morning Weight – 169lbs (172lb-173lbs over the weekend)

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Workout

  • 12 min run warmup
  • Ab exercises
  • Bench 7 sets of 15-3 reps
  • Ab exercises between
  • Dips 5 sets of 6 reps
  • 13 min weighted vest walk

Did some cardio over the weekend and noticed huge energy improvements from it.  I decided that I really was doing barely any cardio and I wanted to add in around 20-30 mins each day.

On days I lift Ill do ten mins to warmup and tens minutes after.

On off days I will do 30 mins of cardio with some Ab exercises mixed in.

Today’s workout was a heavy bench workout with a lot of volume.  I maxed out at 195lbs for 4 reps and pyramided down from there.  I was definetly feeling good today.  Finished with some Dips to work lower chest and triceps.  After the lifting session I did an incline walk with a weighted vest, which was much harder than I thought and was breathing pretty heavy afterward.  Adding on 25lbs definelty had an profound impact.

Nutrition

Chicken and Broccoli
Chicken and Broccoli
6oz red meat and onions
6oz red meat and onions
Weekend Vino
Weekend Vino
Shrimp  Onions  Broccoli Sweet Potato
Shrimp
Onions
Broccoli
Sweet Potato
Chicken  Sweet Potato  Veggies
Chicken
Sweet Potato
Veggies

Journal

Giants back in the playoff race after winning 4 straight; feels good.  On a side note the Hokies lost to Maryland; Pathetic.

Williamsville
Williamsville

Journal Entry 93

Morning Weight – 171lbs

Workout

  • Shoulders and Chest
  • Standing BB Press 6 sets
  • DB shoulder Press 3 sets
  • BB Bench Press 3 sets
  • Dips SS with Lateral Raise SS with AB roller 3 sets

Good Workout today.  I really want to boost up my standing barbell shoulder press, because it is a huge weakpoint for me.  I worked up to 100lbs standing, even though I can easily do 120lbs seated.  I think it has to do with my upper chest taking over the movement when Im seated.  I feel like my shoulders and my core are doing more work when standing.  Really want to boost this up in the coming weeks.

Attempted to do some high rep bench press, but that wasn’t happening.  The 8 sets I did on Monday still had my chest fatigued.  Finished with some accessory exercises for shoulders, triceps and abs.

Nutrition

Big Postworkout Meal (Bday) Seafood with veggies Rice Cake 2 packets of oatmeal protein powder Blueberries Apple
Big Postworkout Meal (Bday)
Seafood with veggies
Rice Cake
2 packets of oatmeal
protein powder
Blueberries
Apple
Bday Italian Vino
Bday Italian Vino
Takeout Longhorn Napa Grilled Chicken (Chicken in white wine sauce, butter and artichokes, mushrooms and sundried tomato) Sweet Potato Side Salad with croutons and slice of bread
Takeout Longhorn
Napa Grilled Chicken
(Chicken in white wine sauce, butter and artichokes, mushrooms and sundried tomato)
Sweet Potato
Side Salad with croutons and slice of bread
Lunch Today Big Salad with  Croutons and Lean meat
Lunch Today
Big Salad with
Croutons and Lean meat
Post Workout Oats 3 packets of oatmeal Vanilla Protein Blueberries
Post Workout Oats
3 packets of oatmeal
Vanilla Protein
Blueberries

Back to Back high carb/calorie days.  Lots of oatmeal today and most likely some pizza and vino tonight.

Journal

Good birthday for the most part, but definitely not the best I have ever had.  Kind of felt like any other day haha.

My drive home last night

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Journal Entry 92 – My 23rd Birthday

Morning Weight – 169lbs

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Workout

  • Back/Biceps/Traps
  • Weighted Chin-ups 8×8,6,5,5,8,8,10,12
  • DB Row 3×8-12 reps
  • Seated DB Curl 4×8-12 reps
  • Shrugs 10 sets (in between sets)

For my workout I’m trying something new.  Instead of a ton of different exercises, I plan on doubling the volume for the “main compound exercise” and doing less volume on the accessory exercises. I want to focus all my energy on the biggest exercise, rather than trying to conserve energy for exercises that aren’t nearly as effective.

The main move is somewhat of a pyramid scheme.  I start with a couple warmup sets, move into the heavy exercises and then drop the weight gradually and increase reps until I hit 8 sets.  Tried this on bench day and really enjoyed it.

Weighted Chinups went smoothly today and on the eight set I got a whopping 3 reps, so I finished with lat pulldown.  Moved on to DB row and had to drop down to 65lbs when I usually rep out 90lbs in the same rep range.  Pretty good indication your back is fried.  Mixed in some shurgs and band pull aparts in between sets.  Finished with some DB curls, which were incredibly hard after chinups.  The last move was 21’s with 20lb Db’s and only managed to get 15 total reps.

Nutrition

Chicken Potatoes Veggies Ezekiel Toast
Chicken
Potatoes
Veggies
Ezekiel Toast
2 whole eggs 4 oz red meat Broccoli and onions
2 whole eggs
4 oz red meat
Broccoli and onions

Its my 23rd birthday today, so I’m doing some Longhorn’s Steakhouse for dinner and some vino.  Even though I’m going to a steakhouse I’m actually getting napa grilled chicken, which is chicken in a butter and white wine sauce. One word: EPIC.  Im also getting a sweet potato and side salad with extra croutons. I ll post some pics tomorrow. ;).

Journal

No workout yesterday and I have had two low carb/calorie days in a row in order to burn some fat and make some room for the food I’m going to eat today.

Also wrote my post about carb cycling yesterday, which is a really good summary of what I’m currently doing.

Never Plateau Again: Carb Cycling

Carb Cycling is a relatively new dieting concept that is supposed to achieve the holy grail of body composition, which is to burn fat and build muscle at the same time.  Many people that haven’t done their research would tell you its impossible, but eating in a certain way and structuring a proper plan with meal planning will allow a person to achieve this.  The concept is relatively simple.

On days you lift you eat a high carb diet (around 2 grams multiplied by your body weight or more), high protein (at least 1 gram multiplied by your body weight) and keep fat low to moderate (likely around 25% of your body weight or around 40-50 grams).  Carbs release insulin, fill out muscle glycogen, enhance energy, drastically elevate metabolism, increase testosterone levels by dropping SHBG, lower cortisol, increase leptin and many other benefits. Muscle glycogen needs to be topped off and the body needs to be in a state of cellular hydration in order to build muscle and carbs achieve both very well. Attempting to do this on high fat, low carb diet is very difficult.  The increase in hormones, specifically leptin drastically improves fat burning in the body and only carbs can upregulate this.  If your leptin is low, which commonly occurs in chronic low carb diets, you fat burning can be diminished by 50% within 3-4 days.  Basically this high carb day upregulates all the hormones needed to build muscle and properly burn fat.  Loading up on high fat diet doesn’t bring these benefits. Also the body doesn’t have a long term storage depot for carbs and protein (De novo lipogensis is not efficient in humans).  This means that overfeeding this day, with fat kept low, means that the chances of putting on bodyfat are very low, especially only for one day. Sample foods for this day are all lean meats- chicken, egg whites, seafood; starches – bread, potatoes, pasta, rice, oatmeal and even some low fat or fat-free junk food in moderation.

On days you don’t lift, you eat a low carb diet around 100 grams or lower, high protein (1 gram per pound of bodyweight), and a higher fat intake (60-80 grams).  This day you will be in a calorie deficit in order to burn fat. Since you are in a deficit your fat intake can be much higher than the previous day.  You still want to keep carbs low on this day.  The main reason is by depleting your body of carbs on the rest day, you make yourself more sensitive to the overfeeding of the high carb day “by making room.” Also, since you overfed the previous day, eating a lower carb diet is very effective for burning fat.  Another reason to increase fat intake on this day is for hormonal reasons, the benefits of fat and dietary variety.  Fat has a lot of benefits and since your focusing more attention on carbs on the lift day, you need to make sure you eat them on the rest day for the benefits they bring.  Also, eating fattier foods on your rest day, will appease your cravings and improve diet variety, so you don’t crave them on a high carb day.  Sample foods for this day include fattier meats – red meat, whole eggs and veggies.

The beauty of this system though is that each day compliments the next.  The high day offsets the negatives of chronic dieting and the low day allows dieting days to remain very effective as well as preventing fat gain from too many high days in a row.  This system works very well on an every other day setup.  For example, lifting days would be Monday, Wednesday and Friday and rest days would be Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Eating in this fashion over the course a week allows for 4 fat burning days (which remain effective since the high carb days upregulate metabolism and hormones) and 3 days for building muscle (which remain effective as the low carb days make the overfeeding days more effective and prevent excess fat gain, while building muscle.)

This system can be easily manipulated to either build more muscle or burn more fat.  For example, if one wanted to gain more muscle simply do 4 high days and 3 low; 5 high days and 2 low days or if more fat burning is desired then do 2 high days and 5 low days.  Always keep at least two high days on a diet.  The high days are too important to skip.  3 low days in a row followed by a high day would be a good cycle for someone focused on more fat loss.

As for calories a very effective setup would be to find your maintenance and eat +20% on high carb days and -20% on low carb days.  Another very quick rule of thumb is to find your BMR and add 800-1000 calories over this on high carb day and eat at your BMR or -100-200 calories less than your BMR on low days.   A quick example for someone who weights 160 lbs would eat about 1600 calories or a bit lower on low days and 2400-2500 on high carb days.  I’ve seen some recommendations to go +30% on high days, but that seems a bit too much and unnecessary.  If you only need 2500 calories to build muscle then eating 3000 calories isn’t doing you any favors and will probably just increase fat gains.

A quick note on Leangains.com – Martin Berkhan created a system very similar to carb cycling.  Berkhan is at 5.5% bodyfat at around 200 lbs, but has “former fat boy”genes that many people have (including myself). Berkhan overcame his own dieting issues and has done a ton of personal research, but its pretty inspiring to see someone maintain this level even with subpar genes.  Berkhan fasts for 16 hours a day and feeds for 8 hours a day.  I’m not a big fan of fasting, so I don’t, but overall his system is a twin brother to carb cycling.  The reason I bring up Leangains though is because I’ve read many of his free articles and his website is nutritional goldmine.  The most important thing I learned from his site is that eating in this fashion attains all the benefits and none of the negatives of all diets.  Two more important things I learned from Berkhan are a very low level of exercise is needed to obtain the body of a Greek statue and the awesome information on carb refeeds.  It seems that one refeed a week is not enough to prevent all the negatives of dieting.  Also one cheat meal isn’t a long enough period of time to reverse the negatives either.  That’s why refeeding with high carbs at least 2-3 times a week for a period of at least 6-8 hours is needed to reverse these negatives.  And refeeding on lifting days allows one to build muscle mass while losing fat. Pretty awesome combination that many used to think impossible.

Journal Entry 92

Morning Weight – 169lbs (172lbs over weekend)

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Workout

  • Weekend
  • Saturday OFF
  • Sunday 45mins of cardio

Sunday was just a light jog and walk.  The weather was awesome and I didnt want to waste it.

Workout (Monday)

  • BB Bench 8×10-4repsDips 4×6; high rep finisher

    Inc Bench 3×8-12

    Skull Crusher 3×8-12

Big Bench workout.  Focused all my energy on Bench and then added in 3 accessory exercise to further break down the Chest and Triceps.  This is the way the creator of Leangains recommend lifting, AKA focus most of your attention on lifting more weight on the main exercise.  I ended up doing 195lbs by 4 reps for my top set.  After this I pyramided down by taking a little weight off each time and then increasing reps. Also repped 135lbs 27 times at the end.  Considering two years ago I could barely get this amount up ten times, I’d say I have made some appreciable gains.

By the time I reached the accessory exercises my chest was greatly fatigued and I couldn’t do much.  This is always a good sign to me though as it means the target muscle group is so fatigued, doing any more doesn’t really add more benefit.

Nutrition

Protein Pudding with Berries
Protein Pudding with Berries
Red Meat Zucchini, Tomatoes, Onions Parmesan Cheese
Red Meat
Zucchini, Tomatoes, Onions
Parmesan Cheese
3 packets of oatmeal Almond Milk 1 scoop of protein (Also had Pretzel sticks and a banana postworkout)
3 packets of oatmeal
Almond Milk
1 scoop of protein
(Also had Pretzel sticks and a banana postworkout)

Saturday was a moderate calorie day.

Sunday was pretty low in calories as I was somewhat bloated from the weekend.  I like going low on days right before a high day (Monday), because the low day actually enhances the effectiveness of the high day.  Usually when I’m retaining water like that, a low day usually takes care of the extra water retention fairly quickly.

Today is a high carb day to greatly increase my metabolism and muscle mass.  Giant bowl of oatmeal postworkout at work and most likely a ton of potatoes for dinner should get my to my 300 carb total.

Journal

Good weekend.  Went Downtown on Friday night and stayed at my friends place that recently moved in.  Saturday the VT game was on primetime and we actually looked really good and finally won again.

The GMEN also won yesterday, which is a 3 game win streak.  We are now right back in the playoff race, which is still pretty pathetic, but I’ll take it this season.

Also did some more reading on leangains and looked up peoples results, which are outstanding.  Really is incredible what people achieve in a short period of time using this system.  The creator of this diet really did pinpoint all the pros and cons of all diets and kind of combined them into one very effective program.

Journal Entry 91

Morning Weight – 167lbs

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Workout

  • DB Bench 5×8-10 reps
  • DB Row 5×8-10 reps
  • Lat Pulldown 3×8
  • Incline Bench 3×8
  • Dips 3×10
  • Biceps Curl 3×10
  • Mason Twists with Reverse Crunch 3×10

Really love hammering my upperbody right before the weekend.  I usually dont lift on the weekend, so I like doing my biggest workout on Friday.

Started with DB bench after a warmup set with the 80lb DB in each hand.  Got 8 reps for two sets then dropped to 75lb then 65lb.  Supersetted DB row with the same weight as Bench.

After I started my next superset of Incline Bench and Lat Pulldowns in a reverse pyramid fashion. (meaning start heavier and drop the weight as you go, while increase reps).

Dips were done with bodyweight and biceps curl were done with 30’s then dropped down to 25’s.

Finished with some Mason Twists and reverse crunches to finish off the abs and obliques.

Nutrition

Dinner from last night, but same as lunch today: Seafood Red meat Onions Mushrooms
Dinner from last night, but same as lunch today:
Seafood
Red meat
Onions
Mushrooms
Two 1-cup bowls of oatmeal 1 chocolate maple and brown sugar 1 vanilla apples and cinnamon
Two 1-cup bowls of oatmeal
1 chocolate maple and brown sugar
1 vanilla apples and cinnamon

High carb day today.  Two 1 cup bowls of oatmeal with protein powder post workout and then a bertuccis calzone for dinner. Also will have some vino tonight.  Should finish around 250-300 carbs excluding fiber.

Journal 

Skipped the post for yesterday as I did no workout at all and it was a rest day. Here is a picture from the Williamsville foyer though:

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