Month: March 2014

Rolling Along (JE – 116)

Average Weight – 183lbs

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Workout

  • Sun – Off
  • Mon – Chest/Abs
  • Tue – Back
  • Wed- Legs
  • Thur- Shoulders/Traps/Abs
  • Fri – Arms
  • Sat – Cardio / Abs

My first week of the new Bro Split. I didn’t break any existing plateaus in terms of strength, but greatly enjoyed the split. There is a level of fatigue that is hard to reach, but I’ve only been able to reach it by focusing all my effort into one muscle group. This fatigue is basically a shaking in the muscle and basically not being able to do anything else for that muscle group. For example, on chest day I tried to do pushups after my workout and got about 2 reps. I usually get around 50+ when I’m fresh. This means that my chest was DONE and my mission was accomplished in the gym. If I was able to knock out 50+ pushups after my workout, then your workout was probably ineffective at breaking down the chest.

I may also replace Deadlifts with DB Rows for my heavy sets (4×6 reps). The reason is everytime I do heavy deadlifts, I get massive CNS fatigue the next day. The best way I can explain this fatigue is feeling weak, no desire to lift, strength decrease and a few others. The point is doing these deadlifts decreases my desire to lift the next day. The solution get rid of them. Deadlifts are very effective, but the after effects for me are not good, so I’m going to ditch them for now. DB Rows are one of my favorite exercises, so its not a big deal.

I also did about 10-15 minutes of cardio before each workout to prepare me for lifting. I skipped this cardio on leg day and regretted it. I wasn’t nearly as pumped to lift and my muscles took longer to warmup.

One thing I may add, is one tricep/bicep movement to the end of chest/back day. Since arms are really fatigued at this point and I dont hit them directly until Friday, it would be a good way to get some extra volume in.

Nutrition

Lean Meat  Vegetables Bush baked beans Sweet Potato Crackers

Lean Meat
Vegetables
Bush baked beans
Sweet Potato Crackers

Chicken Pasta

Chicken Pasta

Egg Whites Veggies Toast

Egg Whites
Veggies
Toast

Bertuccis' Calzone with Salad

Bertuccis’ Calzone with Salad

Gourmet Cheesecake Protein bar (Quest bars still better) Sort of tasted like wet strawberry pound cake

Gourmet Cheesecake Protein bar
(Quest bars still better)
Sort of tasted like wet strawberry pound cake

Weekly Macros Average: 2400 calories/ Carbs 220-260 grams / Protein 180-210 grams / Fats 45-52 grams

Protein has been higher than I planned all week, but not a huge deal. As long as the protein and carbs are high and fat intake kept in the sweet spot, the exact numbers dont really bother me that much.

Learned some interesting facts about Cortisol this week, that any chronic dieters or just chronic stress cases could benefit from learning. Here are some cliff notes:

  • Elevated Cortisol (chronic) interferes with the hypothalamus (control center for brain) and can induce hormone resistance by making the hormone receptors resistant to the messages they should be receiving
  • Cortisol shuts down goal oreinted behaviors and increases the pleasure centers of brain (food cravings)
  • Releases a new hormone called NPY to be released (a new hormone that stores fat) and causes immature fat cells to grow into mature fat cells
  • Thyroid gland (master metabolic controller) shrinks while the adrenal gland grows in size (adrenal gland manufactures stress hormones)
  • When cortisol is always high, sexual hormones and feel good (happiness) hormones are generally low or non-existent

These are the negatives of excessive amounts of cortisol, but excessive amounts of anything are bad. Cortisol is a double edged sword though, so you dont want Low cortisol all the time. Cortisol is very good under some circumstances:

  • Exercise when part of healthy diet is a very good stress to the body and the cortisol released during the workout is very beneficial for breaking down fat (not the case if you combine exercise with a low calorie / starvation / low carb diet)
  • Cortisol actually increases memory under certain conditions. If you never had cortisol, you wouldnt have nearly as many memories.
  • It helps wake you up and keeps you alert.
  • There are many other positives, but the point is cortisol should be kept under control so the benefits can be had without the extreme negative consqeunces.

Another thing to help manage cortisol is to slow your brain waves everyday. Lets say you have an extremly busy stressful day. Once you get a home you need to unwind and clear your head, otherwise the cortisol thats been circulating through your head all day will continue into the night and maybe even effect sleep. If you unwind with stress management techniques or even have a few drinks, then you slow down these brain waves and destress the mind, which will allow you to tackle whatever is bothering you the next day instead of stressing about it to no end.

IMG_3241

 

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Red Brake Calipers on my Audi. Look awesome contrasted with the black wheel.

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The Bro Split

The “Bro Split” is a typical bodybuilder split that has been used for decades to enhance the physiques of many. Today many people claim you shouldn’t do them at all unless you’re on steroids because they don’t work for the average recreational lifter. Another common complaint is that muscles should be worked twice a week and anything less than this and you’re missing out big time. I actually disagree with some of these statements and I’ll also outline some major benefits that only a “Bro Split” can offer.

First I want to outline what the typical “Bro Split” is. The way I set mine up would look like this:

  • Day 1 – Chest
  • Day 2 – Back
  • Day 3 – Legs
  • Day 4 – Shoulders
  • Day 5 – Arms
  • Day 6 and 7 – Cardio or Off (these days can also be scheduled during the week in between sessions)
  • Note – Abs done every other day or 3 days a week

Very simple and easy. The plan allows the lifter to hit one muscle group a day and then not hit that muscle group directly again for another week. (Although some overlap always exists regardless of what split you use.)

Let me tackle the first complaint against these, which is the split only works if you’re on steroids. The reason that people say this is because most steroid using bodybuilders use this split and do incredibly high amounts of volume (sets and reps) that most people can’t recover from. I agree that if you use a ridiculous amount of volume not only would you not gain muscle, your workouts would actually begin to make you smaller. But this example is taken out of context and is an extreme example that people frequently use to make a point. This split will work awesome for an average lifter if the volume is controlled. Here is a perfect example of a good volume to shoot for, for each body part in order to ensure enough volume is used to break down the muscle, but not so much that regression begins to take place:

  • Chest Day (example)
  • Barbell Bench Press 4×6 reps (strength focus)
  • Incline Dumbbell Press 3 x 8,10,12 reps (pyramid) (size focus)
  • Dips 3 x 8,10,12 reps (pyramid) (size focus)
  • Cable Flys (isolation movement) 3×15 reps (blood flow and endurance)

Simple, effective, and not excessive. Tell me what exactly is wrong with this rep scheme? … – About 90% of intermediate lifters would progress just fine on this and maybe even better than hitting a muscle twice a week, which brings me to my next point.

Hitting a muscle twice a week can be effective if done correctly. For this to be done correctly you have really get you’re volume correct or you really risk overtraining and not allowing enough recovery. Let’s say the lifter lifts on Monday and hits Push muscles (chest, shoulders, and triceps). First of all, in order to complete this in a single day, you would need to drastically reduce the volume for each body part, which if not chosen correctly could lead to under-stimulating each muscle. So the lifter uses two exercises for each body part and lifts with a heavy rep range of 6-8 reps for each exercise. The next day he’s sore the workout went great and he doesn’t have to use these muscle groups again until 2-3 days from now when most of the damage is healed from the previous workout. So Thursday comes around and its time to hit those muscles again. The lifter doesn’t feel too sore and repeats the Push workout with a very similar workout template, expect today the lifter doesn’t feel nearly as strong and his poundages are either the same or worse. What gives? – Well in my experience its due to the muscles not getting enough recovery time. 2-3 days may be correct for most of the damage to be healed from your previous workout, but that’s just it … you’re not only trying to recover from your workout 3 days ago, but you’re also trying to get bigger and stronger in that muscle. The muscle needs to GROW not just RECOVER back to baseline levels. Those are two different things and if you are constantly bashing your muscle groups without enough rest this growth is unlikely to occur.

Another thing no one tells you with hitting muscle groups twice a week is the fact that you have to have one heavy day (4-8 reps) and one light day (10-15 reps) or you’re doing it wrong. They fail to distinguish that if you lift heavy of the same muscle group twice a week then you’re probably not going to get very far. The light day is more of “recovery day” to stimulate blood flow from your previous heavy day. To be fair the “Bro Split” actually does somewhat hit your muscles group more than once a week, but it’s more indirect. For example, Dips on arms day is a heavy chest mover and also close-grip chin-ups which is as much a back movement as a biceps movement.

And my final favorite criticism is the if you hit your muscles twice a week then you will have 104 workouts per year vs 52 from only hitting a muscle twice a week, which is far better for growth and elevates protein synthesis. Under this logic, you might as well say “Just hit all your muscle groups every day so you can fit in 365 workouts a year for maximum growth.” An extreme example, but more doesn’t necessarily mean better. Also, while elevated protein synthesis is a good thing, it’s not the only thing needed for a muscle to grow.

Those are the main points I wanted to make. I still think hitting muscles twice a week can be used effectively if you program it right, which most people don’t. If you stay on them too long you will plateau and switching to a “Bro split” may actually increase your muscle growth due to the extra rest you receive.

One thing to caution here is that a “Bro Split” can also be ineffective if you don’t structure your days correctly. Let me give you an example of a terrible split:

  • Day 1 – Arms
  • Day 2 – Shoulders
  • Day 3 – Chest
  • Day 4 – Back
  • Day 5 – Legs

Terrible:

  1. Always structure bigger muscles first in the week and finish with smaller ones.
  2. Put legs in the middle in order to prevent the upper body from being used too many days in a row.
  3. Separate shoulders away from chest to prevent the muscle from being sore the day you workout.
  4. Its wise to stick a rest day in between every 2-3 days of lifting (not absolutely necessary, but helpful).

Now I want to outline some of the benefits of the “Bro Split”:

  1. Allows the user to dedicate maximum focus and intensity to each target muscle group (try shoulders after heavy bench presses and you’ll see that intensity drops way off).
  2. Allows maximum rest for each muscle group and only hits each muscle directly once a week to allow for the Growth of the muscle not just recovery from the last workout (if structured properly – see above).
  3. Takes much less time each day and allows user to finished between 30-45 minutes if lifting intensely.
  4. Prevents overtraining that many plans that attempt to hit two muscle groups a day frequently do.
  5. Its easier to program. Most lifters don’t want to program every last detail. Tell them to hit their chest hard once a week and then let it recover vs tell them to hit their muscles twice a week with a heavy/light scheme and the questions start to pour in.
  6. It’s Proven. Take a trip over to Bodybuilding.com and look at some of the transformations people have done, especially in regards to gaining mass. I’d say at least 80% of them used some sort of split routine that hit a muscle once a week vs. a full body or upper/lower split. The results speak for themselves.
  7. It’s fun. These splits allow for intensity techniques (drop sets, high rep finishers, rest pause sets) that would be almost impossible to do while training 3 muscle groups on the same day.
  8. It’s easier to push your limits. Example – Lifter gets 200 x 6 reps on a barbell bench press the previous Monday. This Monday he shoots for 205 x 6 reps or even 202.5 for 6 reps. Trying increasing like that every 3rd day and I guarantee you it will not happen.
  9. It allows for maximum breakdown of the muscle. This is an important one, but sometimes an annihilation workout to each muscle can actually be very effective from the standpoint of getting in enough volume for growth provided the recovery is there. Sometimes by splitting your volume up twice a week and working multiple muscles per day may leave some muscles under-worked each day and overworked for the week.
  10. Allows for cardio to be done each day. Some may see this as HUGE negative, but cardio is really important for building mass. Insulin sensitivity, more mitochondria of the cells, wakes up the CNS to prepare for heavy lifting, increased blood flow and removal of waste products to name a few. Only 5-15 minutes of moderate intensity exercise is needed to stimulate these benefits.
  11. Allows for more lifting days overall. By only going in and hitting one muscle a day it allows the lifter to lift more often (almost every day if programmed correctly) without burning out.
  12. Psychological reasons. This is more of rehash, but sometimes going into a lifting session only having to hit one muscle is far more mentally refreshing than going in having to hit 3 or more muscles in the same day and making sure each is sufficiently worked.
  13. Targeting different areas of the muscle. The shoulder has three heads. While you don’t need a ton of volume to stimulate each, only doing compound shoulder presses and ignoring lateral and rear delt raises is a mistake that could prevent optimal development of that muscle.

As you can see the “Bro Split” may get made fun, but has tons of benefits and an impressive track record that speaks for itself. If you have been plateauing on a “new -age split” that has you hitting muscles twice a week, a “Bro Split” may be a game changer.

*Bonus – Sample routine for size and strength:

  • Day 1 Chest
    • Barbell Bench Press 3×6-8 reps
    • Incline Dumbbell Press 3×8-10 reps
    • Dips 3 sets of AMAP (As many as possible)
    • Cable Chest Flys 3 sets of 12-15 reps
    • Pushups 100
  • Day 2 Back
    • Dumbbell Row 4×6-8 reps
    • Chinups 3 x AMAP
    • T-bar Row 3×12-15 reps
    • Lat Pulldowns 3×12-15 reps
  • Day 3 Legs
    • Barbell Squats 4×6-8 reps
    • Dumbbell Lunges 3×10 (each leg)
    • Leg Extensions 3×12-15  reps
    • Leg Curls 3×12-15 reps
  • Day 4 – Rest
    • 30-45 minutes of cardio
    • 100 pushups throughout the day
  • Day 5 Shoulders
    • Barbell Shoulder Press 4×6-8 reps
    • Dumbbell Shoulder Press 3×10 reps
    • Lateral Raises 3×10 reps
    • Rear Delt Machine 3×15 reps
    • Shrugs 3×15 reps
  • Day 6 Arms
    • Close Grip Chinups 3×6-8 reps
    • Close Grip Dumbbell Press 3×6-8 reps
    • Two-handed DB curl 3×10 reps
    • Skullcrushers 3×10 reps
    • Cable Curl 3×15 reps
    • Rope Pushdowns 3×15 reps
  • Day 7- Rest
    • 30-45 minutes of cardio
    • 100 pushups throughout the day
  • * Can easily put both rest days back to back at the end of the week

Progression Scheme – 3 sets of 6-8 reps means you should get all 3 sets for 8 reps before adding weight. Once you hit 8 reps on all 3 sets then you should add 5lbs to your current lift. This is much easier if you are using barbells.

This routine prioritizes the main lift at the beginning of each workout. This is the lift you want to increase over time. The next move is a compound moderate rep exercise geared towards size gains. The last two moves are high rep, pump style that are isolation or machine moves that are there for blood flow and finishing off an already tired muscle for the week.

The Bro Split (JE 115)

Weight – 182lbs

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Workout

  • Push
  • Pull
  • Legs
  • Shoulders
  • Arms
  • Weekend – OFF

After another push/pull workout I decided to change up my workout once again. The push/pull is definitely a workout I like, but its starting to bore me. I tried to put too many exercises in one day and it just made sense to me to divide my workout in a way so it didn’t feel “forced.”

Enter the Bro Split.

The Bro split is hitting 1 muscle group a day (Chest Day, Back Day, Arms Day, …) and then giving it a full weeks rest to recover and grow stronger. It’s called a “bro split” because ask any typical lifter in the gym or read a muscle magazine and there is a 90% chance it would be a bro split. But then again its been used for many years with tons of success, so people can make fun of it all they want, but the results speaks for itself. Pick a muscle group, destroy it, eat, full week to recover, and repeat. Unlike Push/Pull though you dont reduce the volume in order to hit it twice a week. Instead you basically annihilate each body part on its given day. So if its Chest day I go until I’m fully pumped and have a hard time lifting any respectable weight without fatigue. I tried it towards the end of last week and it was the most fun I’ve had in training in a long time. Another cool thing is the singular focus of only hitting a single muscle group. On Chest day I hit chest only not triceps and not shoulders, so this way Chest gets all my attention and triceps and shoulders will be hit on their own days.

I still have a main lift on each day that I do for  strength reps 4×6. Then I’ll do two more exercises in the 3 x 8-12 range and finish with an isolation movement with 1 x 40 reps.

Here are main lifts:

  • Chest – Barbell Bench Press
  • Back – Deadlift
  • Legs – Goblet Squat or Front Squat
  • Shoulders – DB Shoulder Press
  • Arms – Dips and Close Grip Chinups

I have two cardio days in between the lifting days.

Another big reason I changed to hitting a muscle once a week is a strength plateau I was getting with chest. It was regressing and it didnt make sense as the nutrition was on point. To me that means it wasnt getting enough rest. I plan to run this Bro split for awhile until I plateau and then I’ll consider switching back to Push/Pull if need be.

Nutrition

Lean Meat Potatoes Fat Free Cheese

Lean Meat
Potatoes
Fat Free Cheese

Lean Meat Rice Broccoli Greek yogurt

Lean Meat
Rice
Broccoli
Greek yogurt

Homemade Chilli (made with red meat, two cans of beans and onions and peppers) Special K Chips

Homemade Chilli
(made with red meat, two cans of beans and onions and peppers)
Special K Chips

6 egg whites with fat free cheese Two slices of Butter Bread Special K Chips Imitation Crab Meat

6 egg whites with fat free cheese
Two slices of Butter Bread
Special K Chips
Imitation Crab Meat

Nutrition has been steady at about 22-2400 calories/ Carbs 220-250 grams / Protein 180-200 grams / Fat 45 grams.

Really enjoy “eating a range.” It allows me track most of my food intake without worrying about every last morsel of food. I also feel really good on this calorie level and feel in a years time my muscle and strength gains will be progressing along nicely.

One of the first weeks I didnt eat one meal out. I usually have a cheat meal on the weekend, but didnt do it this weekend. Unless you count a few drinks with my friends. 😉

Journal

Driving to VT

Driving to VT

Lane Stadium

Lane Stadium

Vintage Cellar

Vintage Cellar

Took the weekend off in training and went to Virginia Tech for the weekend. Really miss the nightlife at VT and just the area in general. Lived there for 4 years and it definitely was hard to leave it and only come back to visit every now and then. Luckily I still have friends up there for now, but once their gone its going to be much harder to go and visit.

I also plan to start writing at least once article a week on either a traning or a nutrition article. I actually miss writing those and even if end up with 20 articles a year it will still add up greatly over time.

Running Man (JE 114)

Good week overall last week. Work was real busy, probably the busiest since I’ve been there, as more and more people are coming to the Wellness Center.

Earlier in the week there was certification created for Precision Nutrition, which is a major source of health/exercise information, with some of the best minds in the nutrition field that write and contribute to it. The certification comes with a 600 page text book and goes into everything you can imagine about nutrition and exercise. There is a limited number of slots available, but luckily I got on the presale list which allows me to sign up a day before everyone else and I also get a $200 discount. The certification is $1000, so $799 for me, but luckily Williamsville is providing the funding, since it relates to my job and the numerous people I give information to everyday. Really looking forward to doing this certification and I consider it a very important piece of education, right below my college degree.

Going to start coming up with some more creative titles for my blog post as Weekly Post … gets pretty boring after awhile. I called this one Running Man due to the fact that I have greatly increase running in the past weeks with very good results. More on this below:

Average Weight – 182-183lbs

Weekly Desk Pic

Weekly Desk Pic

 

 

Workout

Below is my workout schedule starting on Sunday of last week and also my lifting stats for my main move.

  • Pull – Trap Bar Deadlift 245×4 reps
  • Legs – Squats – 230×5
  • Push – Bench – 210 x 2 reps
  • Cardio – 10 minutes and circuit traning
  • Pull – Pullups – BW + 25lbs
  • Push – DB Shoulder Press 60lbs (each hand) by 6 reps
  • Cardio – 4 miles and Abs

Didn’t bust any PR’s this week and Bench is still a lacking since the time I busted out 225lbs for 4 reps, but everything else is going up slowly. Really been enjoying the push/pull scheme lifting wise and the addition of more running.

One major difference I’ve noticed with running is not only the huge boost in energy I get after doing it, but also the improve ability to handle food intake. (most likely related to insulin sensitivity) In other words, more of the food I eat is going towards my muscles instead of fat. Another benefit is much less bloating then in the past. Even if feel a bit bloated going into the workout I jump on the treadmill for 10 minutes and feel much better and lighter afterward.

My running is one mile on lift days and 2-4 miles on cardio days. I dont like doing anymore running than that on lift days because I’m trying to save the majority of energy for lifting. Since we’ve been busier here recently I’m trying to finish all of my workouts within one hour. So on lift days, I run for 10 minutes and then do 50 minutes of lifting. On cardio days I run for about 30 minutes and then 10-15 minutes of Abs for about 40-50 minutes. This allows me to “get in and get out”, while still working out everyday. I also do some form of exercise everyday. Complete rest days just make me feel lazy and I’d much rather go for a 30 minute run, then just sit there and do nothing. The moderate cardio also decreases soreness due to increase blood flow and decrease waste products, much more so then doing nothing does for soreness.

Here is my detailed routine: MC Minimalist. One of the most balanced routines I have had so far with 4 lift days and 3 cardio/abs days. The lift routine may look basic and simple, but its not easy.

Nutrition

Mongolain Grill (again)

Mongolain Grill (again)

Egg whites with veggies Special K Chips Oatmeal with Berries

Egg whites with veggies
Special K Chips
Oatmeal with Berries

Lean meat, Veggies, Rice and Imitation Crab Meat

Lean meat, Veggies, Rice and Imitation Crab Meat

Healthy Mac and Cheese Pasta Chicken Greek Yogurt Fat Free Cheese All Mixed together

Healthy Mac and Cheese
Pasta
Chicken
Greek Yogurt
Fat Free Cheese
All Mixed together

Oats with Fruit

Oats with Fruit

Mongolian Grill  Probably around 12 oz of meat Ton of Veggies  White Rice, Steamed Wontons and Crab Rangoon on the side

Mongolian Grill
Probably around 12 oz of meat
Ton of Veggies
White Rice, Steamed Wontons and Crab Rangoon on the side

Guiness

Guiness

Shiraz

Shiraz

Instead of trying to hit a certain number of calories each week, I’ve just been shooting for a range of about 2200-2400 calories a day. Carbs around 240-270 grams, Protein around 180-200 grams and Fat around 40-50 grams.

I also basically eat the same meals every day and basically this allows me to go into cruise control with my eating. The way I eat almost everyday:

Breakfast – 3/4-1 cup of Oatmeal with Protein Powder and Fruit

Lunch – Salad with croutons and vinegar / Lean meat, vegetables and usually Bread and low fat chips (postworkout)

Snack – Protein Powder with berries and Quest bar

Dinner – Lean meat, small amount of vegetables and either pasta, rice or potatoes mixed into a stirfry. (If I have a lot of carbs to get, I’ll eat pasta, if I have smaller amount Ill eat potatoes/rice, because its so filling)

 

Journal Entry 113 – Weekly Post 13

Morning Weight – 183 lbs

 

IMG_3156

Workout

Su – None

M – None (Snow day)

T – Bench and Push Muscles Days

W – Deadlift Day – Pull Muscles

R – Cardio

F – Shoulder Press Day – Push Muscles

Sa- Cardio

Another messed up week of training due to the snow. Since its March its bound to be over here soon, but who knows. Really looking forward to starting my routine without interruption.

Bench Plateaued as well this week; still hovering around 205lbs for 4 reps, so really want to bust through that.  Going to start upping my calories to see if that will initiate more growth.

One major addition I’m adding to my routine is cardio. I plan on adding a mile every day as a warmup before lifting and on off days I plan to do 30 minutes or about 3 miles. I’m not really doing the cardio for calorie/fat burning, but more so for the following reasons.

  1. Increased insulin sensitivity – basically this means as I eat more calories to increase muscle growth cardio will help partition those nutrients toward muscle and away from fat
  2. Increased mitochondria in the cell and enhanced energy production – basically allows you to produce energy more efficiently
  3. Reduces soreness and clears metabolic waste products (from lifting) from the blood, which enhances and speeds muscle growth and recovery.

Cardio may be pretty worthless for fat burning in the long term, but its got way too many other benefits to skip out on. I plan on keeping it moderate though, because excess cardio can definitely interfere with muscle gains.

Still havent finalized my split details yet, but it will most likely be a 5 day split with 2 cardio days. Pull/Push/Legs/Cardio/Pull/Push/Cardio is most likely going to be the split. Each day will start off with one main lift with max weight then rest of the sets will be 3 sets of 6-8 reps and then the fourth set I’ll drop the weight and do 12-15 reps at the end of each exercise

Nutrition

Pizza Hut Stuffed Crust Chicken Supreme

Pizza Hut Stuffed Crust Chicken Supreme

Mongolian Grill Tons of meat and veggies White rice Crab Rangoon

Mongolian Grill
Tons of meat and veggies
White rice
Crab Rangoon

Trader Joe's Wine of the Night

Trader Joe’s Wine of the Night

Mongolian Grill Again Hit it up twice this week

Mongolian Grill Again
Hit it up twice this week

I must admit my nutrition has been subpar, due to my schedule. My schedule last week was all over the place and I really didnt have the time to make sure I was hitting my macros. I  just ate in a range of 2000-2500 calories each day, but due to my ability to “eye” foods I guarantee it came out close to my goal.

Journal

Couple of quotes I found inspiring this week. The first was from Morepheus from the Matrix: “There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.” It actually means a lot if you stop and think about it. Esstenially you can have all the knowledge in the world, but if you dont use it, then its a waste. The people that use the power are the ones that become great.

Another is one I created, due to talking to a friend this weekend.  He’s about 215lbs with 8% bodyfat, yet he thinks he is small because he compares himself to his father who is an extremely strong bodybuilder who does steroids. The quote is “Perfection is a moving target, so it can never be hit.” It means perfection is different to everyone, so no one can ever be perfect. Even people you look up to, they themselves look up to someone else. There is always going to be somebody better than you, no matter how hard you try, so being perfect doesnt exist.

 

 

Journal Entry 112 – Weekly Post 12

Morning Weight – 182lbs average

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Workout Schedule

  • Sunday – Chest and Triceps
  • Deload Week
  • Friday – Push Muscles – Chest, Tris and Shoulders

For the first time ever I did a deload week this week. It was one of the few times I felt like I really needed to take one. A deload week is a brief period of time (usually a 4-7 days) where you either dont lift at all or back way off the usual amount of weight you usually lift. I elected to take 4 days off. The main reason was because I was extremely sore all over and I wasnt healing. My back was killing me on Tuesday of this week, yet the last time I lifted back was Wednesday of last week. That to me signaled something was way off. I also noticed that I took ZERO rest days last week and obviously that’s not too good for recovery.

So lesson learned rest days really are crucial, even if you don’t feel like taking one. For exercise this week I did some weighted vest incline walking for about 40-45 minutes. I actually somewhat enjoyed the walks and taking a brief time off from lifting. By Friday I was extremely pumped to start lifting again. I also used the extra time off to devise a plan that I’m going to use for the rest of the year.

2014 Recomposition Plan of attack:

My goal this year is to more or less stay around 180-185 lbs at 10% bodyfat. My current stats are about 182 lbs at 12% bodyfat. This means that I need to lose fat and build muscle to achieve my desired look. I plan to do this by cycling my diet in the following fashion:

  • Without getting too complex my maintenance calories without exercise is BW x 12 = 2150 calories. This will be my base amount that I will use.
  • On my cardio days (which are crucial to give muscles days off from lifting) are -20% under my maintenance at around 1800 to 1700 calories a day. I will also do a 40 minute incline walk to burn additional calories without stressing out my body too much (such as not jogging or running) to add to the deficit. Total calories burn for the whole day is around 2500 calories, which means my deficit for the day should be about -700 calories. These days will be done 2 days a week in between lifting days.
  • On my lifting days, which I have backed off to 4 days a week will be 20% above my sedentary maintenance. So total calories for this day will be around 2600-2700 calories. Lifting doesnt burn too many calories and I’m only shooting for +200 calories over my active maintenance of 2500 calories. This will be enough to generate small amounts of muscle gain without too much fat.
  • Alternating these two days has many advantages. The Cardio/low calorie days will take off any fat I gain on the high days. They also serve as active recovery and days off from lifting. These days are crucial to gaining muscle without getting fat. These low days are also high enough in protein and carbs, so no muscle loss will occur, only fat.
  • The Lift/High Calorie days also serve many purposes. One is they build muscle. Two is that it upregulates metabolism, which boosts leptin, sex drive and fat burning hormones. Three it prevents plateaus of too many low calorie days for the reason just listed.
  • These two days complement eachother. Meaning if you only did low days, adaptive thermogenesis would ensure that those days stopped working. If I only did high days, I would have a very fast metabolism, gain lots of weight and muscle, but would also gain fat.
  • Here is the routine below:
  • Su – Pull – Squats – Low day at 1800 calories / bw x 1 in carbsM – Push – Bench – High day at 2600 calories / bw x 2 in carbs

    T – Cardio  day – Low day at 1800 calories

    W – Pull – Deadlifts – High Day at 2600 calories

    TR – Cardio day – Low day at 1800 calories

    F – Push day – BB Shoulder Press -High – 2600 calories (Alc included)

    SA – Off day – moderate day at about 22-2400 calories (maintenance)

  • I had to make one lifting day a low day, so that the plan could be perfectly balanced with 3 high muscle building days, 3 low calorie fat burning days and 1 maintenance day on Saturday.
  • I will provide the details of the workout next week to prevent this plan from being too long.
  • For Macros High days will be 2700 calories 360 carbs / 180 protein / 50 fat
  • For Low Days will be 1800 calories 180 carbs / 180 protein / 50 fat
  • Projected Results: 2lbs of fat lost per month and .5 of muscle gained per month; over a year (24lbs of fat lost, 6 lbs of pure muscle gained) Not bad.

Nutrition

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This week was lower in calories at around 1800 for the whole week, until my first lifting day on Friday which is was around 2600.

Journal

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Finished paying off my laptop and realized I wasnt paying for anything. I need to get my credit up and the best way to do that is to buy things and pay them on time. I needed a huge upgrade to my car ( I had a ponitac sunfire) so I researced some cars in my area and bought a new car on Saturday. Audi TT roadster. This car is SICK. Found an awesome deal on it and didn’t drag my feet on it, because if I did someone else would have quickly bought it.

The Audi is a black convertible with black rims. Tan leather and turbo charged engine that gets up to 160 mph and handles incredible. I’ve never driven a car this fast. Never thought I’d be able to get an audi, but the deal I got was too good to be true. The previous owner was a rich guy that drove for lesiure on the weekends, so its still in really good shape. Going to be awesome driving this thing around.