The End of Spring Cleaning – JE 131

Ending of Spring Cleaning stats

IMG_0136

Weight – 184lbs

Bodyfat – 10-11%

This is the end of my spring cleaning cut. The last week of this I implemented some carb cycling with 5 low days at 1800 calories and two high days at 2800 calories. I’m happy with where I ended up, but I want to switch gears again and start building more muscle while keeping bodyfat at the same level.

Things I learned from Spring Cleaning:

One thing I learned from this cut is 1800 calories is too low for me now. I felt low in energy on this amount and in the future when I cut again it will most likely be at 2100 at the lowest.

Two is towards the end I started to plateau and my body didnt really “want” to go lower in bodyfat. Instead of constantly dropping my calories again and feeling terrible, I’m going to revere diet my calories back up again.

Three is my maintenance may be higher than I thought. I’ve been wearing the FitBit religiously for the past two weeks and I’ve noticed two really interesting things. One is that I’m way more active when I wear it, because I try to achieve the goal of 10000 steps or 5 miles everyday. This isn’t just running, but overall activity and walking. I’ve been implementing a 30-45 minute walk everyday on an incline just for general health and to achieve the goal on my Fitbit, even though it doesn’t really track weightlifting very well. The second benefit is that my caloric maintenance is higher than I thought. After two weeks my calories averaged around 2850 calories a day with some days going about 3000. After researching if these numbers were accurate most of them are with a small percent error. So more of less, I burn this much everyday. So I could be eating around 3000 calories each day to maintain my weight.

Four is body temperature as sign of your metabolic health. I wrote about this a long time ago, but basically the lower your body temperature at any point in the day, the lower your metabolism. When you get sick your body temperature kicks into overdrive to fight off infection, which increases metabolism and calorie burning. The opposite is also true. I remember back when I was on a low carb and low calorie diet, I measured my body temperature and it was at 93.3 degrees. This is pathetically low and it was no wonder I had no energy. I measured my body temperature this week on a random day and the reading was 98.9 degrees with the same thermometer that gave me the 93 degree rating. Shows you the power of food and the answer lies in eating more not less.

Where I am going now: I plan to reverse diet back up to 3000 calories a day. I probably averaged an intake of about 2300 over Spring Cleaning with the exception of the last week. So I will start there and increase by about 100 calories each week until I get to 3000 calories which matches my fitbit. This should take about 7 weeks. For the last 5 weeks I will maintain on 3000 calories, while also building muscle at an accelerated rate. At this calorie intake protein synthesis will be at an all time high. I’m going to try and slowly increase my weight, but I plan to stay around the same weight. If the scale starts climbing too fast, it usually represents fat gain not muscle gain. My lean mass is around 163 lbs and this is want I want to increase. So my total weight may not change that much the entire time, while my lean mass climbs higher and higher. So if the scale starts climbing too quickly I’ll moderate my calorie intake until my weight is stable then I’ll increase. This the beauty of reverse dieting. Its slow enough to allow your body to catch up with calorie intake. If I jumped from 2300 to 3000 calories immediately, then fat gain would be a sure thing. Patience wins the game.

A couple more things I wanted to mention. I’m reading Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle by Tom Venuto and its an awesome read. I really respect Tom Venuto as he’s one of the more consistent trainers in the field. Meaning many people jump on fads (Myself included), but he has remained extremely consistent in his beliefs for a long time. Some experts I used to respect, I no longer do. Their either trying to sell you something or their advice changes daily with contradictory information. I dont have time to waste reading BS, so I no longer follow these people.  His advice is simple to follow and implement and that’s probably why he has much success. He also relys more on what works for most people, more so than what looks good in research. Research doesnt always translate very well in the real world.

The second thing is that Hugh Jackman is a huge inspiration for me. Why is that? – Every time I see Wolverine he comes back bigger and stronger than the previous movie. He also consumes 6000 calories a day, which I wouldn’t be able to do or afford, but his dedication and results are unreal. He also has some of the most impressive vascularity (veins) I have ever seen. This was all relatively recent too, as he used to be small at 170 lb and and 6ft 2 inches when he first became Wolverine.

As for my macros and calories for the next 12 week reverse diet / muscle building phase: Calories starting at 2300; Protein at 180 grams; Fat at 60 grams (going to leave this consistent the entire time); Carbs at 240 grams and will increase by 25 grams each week. As I get into higher calorie intakes I may increase protein as well, but not by a huge amount.

Workout Schedule

Going strong with MC Power and Hypertrophy Split. I plan to use this during my next phase as well.

  • Su – Push – Hypertrophy
  • M- Pull – Hypertrophy
  • T- Cardio
  • W- Push Power
  • Thur- Legs
  • Fri – Pull Power
  • Sat – Cardio

Strength was consistent the entire time, but didnt set any records since I was cutting weight and calories were reduced. I also did cardio everyday (incline walking) and went longer on my rest days. I also refeed (high calorie day) on my rest day as I had more time to eat and was hungrier on those days.

For legs I changed to a power stance for squats and my legs are still sore. A power stance is wider and hits more inner quads and hamstrings. My legs have never been this sore in my life. Thats one of the main reason I hate doing legs is the debilitating aftermath they bring, but gotta do what you gotta do.

My favorite day is the push hypertrophy day. Lighter weights and the pump is awesome, although I did get a good pump on the power day as well, even though the weight was much heavier and weights were reduced.

Nutrition

6oz of lean meat 1 cup of rice 1 whole egg Stirfry mix
6oz of lean meat
1 cup of rice
1 whole egg
Stirfry mix
Refeed Day 4 pieces of toast 3 packets of instant oats with banana and berrie 6 egg whites and small amount of veggies
Refeed Day
4 pieces of toast
3 packets of instant oats with banana and berrie
6 egg whites and small amount of veggies
Casien Protein Pudding
Casien Protein Pudding
6 oz lean meat with a sweet potato
6 oz lean meat with a sweet potato
Extreme Pizza - Drag it through the Garden (had huge pieces of chicken on it) 1/2 chipotle bowl
Extreme Pizza – Drag it through the Garden (had huge pieces of chicken on it)
1/2 chipotle bowl

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PF changes Shrimp Dumplings Crab Wontons
PF changes
Shrimp Dumplings
Crab Wontons
Ginger Chicken and Broccoli with white rice
Ginger Chicken and Broccoli with white rice
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Spring Cleaning Week 10 – JE 130

Morning Weight – 185lbs

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Weekly Schedule:

  • Su – Off
  • M- Push
  • T- Pull
  • W- Bodyweight Circuit
  • Tr- Push
  • F- Pull
  • Sa- Off

Another good week of training, but not many PR’ set. On Thursday and Friday, I did more of a hypertrophy routine with way more reps and lighter weights than I usually use. Its honestly sometimes hard to judge the correct weight to use to hit the adequate number of reps, but I did enjoy mixing it up. The rest periods went down and the pump felt really good, especially in the shoulders. I was reading Layne Norton’s PHAT split and modified it more to my liking. It combines two days with heavy weights to build strength and 2-3 days of hypertrophy work with short rest periods and high reps to pump the muscles and build more size. For the most part, I have stuck to what he recommended, but I tweak certain things to my liking.

MC power and hypertrophy split: – I will start the week with hypertrophy workout and do the power workout toward the end of the week. Legs will be combined to include both ranges, like my typical workouts usually do.  I’m not a huge fan of doing Legs twice a week, because I dont recover well from it. Having sore legs all the time just doesn’t work well for me and makes me more lazy. I like to hit legs, but feeling sore at all times isn’t necessary and also interferes with cardio and tennis, which I have been doing more of recently.

I also bought a Fitbit this week. Started using it on Sunday and wore it all week. I actually like it a lot so far. It tracks your steps, miles, calories burned, intense activity (although its more cardio related because it didnt track weight lifting very good), and sleep quality. My average weekly burn was around 2700 calories on average with some days going about 2800. I think this is a little off. On Sunday I was in a car all day, didn’t workout at all and went for one walk when I got home. Calories burned showed 2500. I thought this was a little high. Then later in the week I literally was on my feet all day and worked out and my burn was 2700 calories. Something isn’t adding up here. Another complaint I have is that it doesnt track activities besides cardio very well at all. It seems to only track your calories when your wrist moves. So lets say Im cleaning the house of lifting weights and my calorie burning is going pretty strong, the fitbit may miss a lot of that activity. It does tracking walking well, but I didnt get it for that reason.

Overall its addicting to check and it does make me want to walk around more so I make sure I hit 10000 steps or 5 miles a day, but besides cardio it seems to be very inaccruate on calorie burning and tracking activity. I will say the sleep tracking is awesome though. It tells you how long you were in bed, but also tells you how much of that time was spent sleeping vs being awake or restless in bed.

Nutrition

4 whole eggs 3oz red meat Veggies (Tried this for breakfast one day and greatly wasnt feeling it)
4 whole eggs
3oz red meat
Veggies
(Tried this for breakfast one day and greatly wasnt feeling it)
Refeed Meal Lean Meat 1 slice of Toast 12oz of Low-Fat French Fries
Refeed Meal
Lean Meat
1 slice of Toast
12oz of Low-Fat French Fries
Lean Meat (6oz) with veggie Asiago Cheese Toast from Panera (2 oz)
Lean Meat (6oz) with veggie
Asiago Cheese Toast from Panera (2 oz)
Protein Pudding with PB
Protein Pudding with PB
Protein Pudding with PB and a Quest Bar
Protein Pudding with PB and a Quest Bar

Hit a plateau in terms of fat loss this week. My weight more or less stayed the same. I think this may be my Fitbit’s fault. I tried to diet in accordance to what my fitbit showed and in my opioion the fitness tracker is just off and too high most days. So I may have to down regulate the calories a bit to get after my fat stores again. I also did one refeed day last week and that may have stalled me a bit.

Going to adjust my numbers to this: 2000-2100 calories a day; 200 carbs; 175 protein; 60 fat. I may include one low day at 1600 calories on a rest day and one high refeed day on a traning day with lots of carbs, but haven’t decided yet. May just stick with the old fashioned small deficit this week.

The only changes I make to my diet are through carbs. Protein and Fat are always right around 175 grams and 60 fat. Carbs either go to >100 on low days, 200 on normal days or over 300 on high days. Nice and easy and the main meal template stays the same with the addition or subtraction of starches. Makes eating and meal planning really easy.

Journal

Going to be moving to a townhouse soon with 3 friends. Its much closer to things and not in the middle of nowhere like where I”m living now. There is a YMCA which I toured yesterday, which I will most likely join because its 2 minutes away from my new place and I can join for a bout $20 a month. Dont mind if I do. Probably use this on Saturday and Sunday and workout one less day during the week. Definitely looking forward to it.

Spring Cleaning Week 9 – JE 129

Morning Weight – 184lbs

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Workouts:

  • Sun – Off
  • Mon-Pull
  • Tues -Push
  • Wed – Incline Walk
  • Thurs- Pull
  • Fri- Push
  • Sat – Off

Easy 4 day split this week. I set a new PR on BB standing press at 110×5. Standing BB press has always been a weak point of mine, but has recently been going up. Every other day I have also been doing some very high volume cable crunches and I really feel increase core strength as a result. I used to do planks for 2 minutes or longer and it never really transferred over to my lifts. Not the case with cable crunches. I was supposed to do legs today, but I felt Wednesday was better served with light cardio, because the desire to lift was really there. A 2 on 1 off scheme works really well with me. Also busted out some BB rows for the first time in a long time. I got around 165lbs for 5-6 reps and it lit my back up. In the past I bascially stopped doing them, because I never really “felt” it in my back that great, but it was quite the opposite this week. I’m defintely planning on keeping those a fixture in my workout.

I modified my workout a bit to the following: MC Push Pull Legs. Bascially a heavy movment in the beginning, followed by hypertrophy compound exercises and finishing off with some isolation exercises in the hypertrophy- endurance range. After a lot of different schemes, this is by far my favorite. It includes all rep ranges in the workout, which in my books make it a complete workout.

Nutrition

Chicken Fried Rice (made with two whole eggs)
Chicken Fried Rice (made with two whole eggs)
Lean red meat 3 whole eggs Sweet Potato  Veggies
Lean red meat
3 whole eggs
Sweet Potato
Veggies
Rice Omelet (4 whole eggs)
Rice Omelet (4 whole eggs)
Vanilla Oatmeal with Berries and 1 Tbs of Pb
Vanilla Oatmeal with Berries and 1 Tbs of Pb
Chocolate oats with 1 Tbs of PB
Chocolate oats with 1 Tbs of PB
Vino
Vino
Protein Scoop with PB, berries and Quest bar
Protein Scoop with PB, berries and Quest bar
Same as above
Same as above
1 cup of oats  1 scoop of protein  Berries Tbs of PB
1 cup of oats
1 scoop of protein
Berries
Tbs of PB

Calories around 2400 Carbs 250g, Protein 170 grams, Fat 75 grams

Calories are more or less the same. Dietary Fat has been increased to right around .4 multiplied by body weight. My dietary fat was getting kind of low on most days usually around 40-50 grams and it just didnt feel enough to me. I’m upping the whole eggs, nut butter and cheese. All have been shown to boost testosterone levels. Wrote an article on T levels earlier this week. I also like adding whole food fats to my diet. I find oil incredibly unsatisfying and would much rather just eat the natural fat from foods. The recommended range is around .3-.5 grams per pound of body weight in fat, so since I’m a fan of the middle, I’m right around .4 grams.

Carbs are more or less the same. I keep breakfast low carb, because I have better energy in the morning by doing this. Lunch which is my post workout meal is going to be a big bowl of oatmeal with protein powder and fruit. I usually have a quest bar and maybe an apple on the drive home and a bigger dinner with whatever I have left to fill my macros. Usually a stirfry of some kind with rice. Carbs fill in the rest of my calories after my protein and fat have been set.

Protein is always around my body weight. On my article about T levels, I wrote that too much protein is not desirable to the body’s hormones. Never the less, I like getting protein in with each meal, so since it always comes in around this amount, I’m not going to worry about it too much. I may be able to get away with a quaint 120 grams, but it just seems unnaturally low to me. I feel right around body weight will work better.

I’m a also a huge fan on experimenting with my diet and workout. If there is something that give me an advantage I didnt have before I’m all for it. By trying things out, you can test what works for your body and what doesn’t. This past year I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting and I hope by the end of the year I will have my diet nailed down for the most part. As I stated before my diet is more balanced than ever before. More fat in meals, carbs moderate to high, and protein adequate. Its important to eat in a way that feels natural to you.

Food Finds: Been eating a lot of Egglands Best Omega 3 whole eggs; JIF peanut butter (dear god this is good); Cholula Hot sauce on eggs and salad (adds a lot of flavor); Sargento shredded cheese and cheese slices (I prefer goat or blue cheese though, tastes better to me)

How to Boost Your Testosterone

Testosterone is one of the most important hormones in the body in order to maximize results. Knowing how to maximize its production is essential if you want to change your body and maximize muscle building and fat loss. Men produce almost 50 times the amount that women produce and its the reason why men have a much easier time building muscle and maintain a naturally lower body fat percentage. Steroids also greatly increase the hormone receptors for Testosterone, which is why you can basically not even lift while taking steroids and gain muscle mass.

Adequate Testosterone can also help men lose more belly fat. Testosterone and cortisol oppose each other and excess cortisol stores belly fat. This is why on diets, especially starvation and restrictive diets, drop your testosterone levels to those of the level of an 8 year old girl. In other words, skinny-fat people have a low testosterone level and by increasing levels of this androgen, their skinny-fat bodies will soon become less fat and more muscular simply by increasing testosterone.

Testosterone increases your sexual desire as well. Many people under chronic stress see there testosterone levels tank. This can be from incorrect dieting and also mental stress from life. There is even some research to show that women can smell testosterone on a man, which makes that man more attractive to females, especially compared to a male with high cortisol levels. High stress also negatively impacts mood and motivation. Many people that are depressed have T levels that match their moods.

I’ve seen a lot of conflicting research, but after wading through some of the “nonsense” it actually becomes quite simple to implement.

Quick Note: If you think low fat or low carb or high protein diets are the solution, then you may want to think again. That being said here are some very simple tips on how to increase the Big T:

  1. Adequate Calories – This is number one for a reason. Certain macro nutrients have been show to increase testosterone (going to call it T from now on), but if your calories are too low it really doesn’t matter. The biggest deficit you want to have when losing fat to keep your T levels on track would be about 15-20% from your total maintenance. Any lower than that and T concentrations will drop.
  2. Adequate Monounsaturated Fat, Saturated Fat and Cholesterol – T is synthesized from fat and cholesterol, so obviously consuming low amounts of either would cause a significant drop off in T levels. Many low fat diets exclude dietary fat because “Dietary fat is more likely to be stored as fat versus protein or carbs.” Somewhat of a true statement, but I guarantee the people giving this advice have a pretty low T level. The evidence is clear, getting adequate fat from MONOUNSATURATED AND SATURATED FATS increase T levels. Polyunsaturated fats from vegetable oil and processed chips and food actually DECREASE it. So its not just overall fat intake, the type also matters greatly in this instance. Cholesterol is also very underrated for brain health, concentration levels, liver health and retaining vitamins and nutrients. As for amounts, cholesterol intake should be around 1000 mg a day and dietary fat intake should be .35-5 grams per pound of body weight. Whole eggs are incredible sources as well as red meat, cheese, avocado, dairy fat, most nuts, butter and coconut oil.
  3. Adequate Carbohydrates – Underrated for health by many mainstream authorities, carbs are crucial for maintaining a positive Testosterone: Coritsol ratio. When the body and more importantly the liver gets depleted it senses starvation and puts a halt to reproductive hormones. Carbs are also crucial for lower cortisol levels, as cortisol is the main antagonist to T. Some experts say that sugar decreases T, but I disagree. Sugar in the short term decreases T because insulin clears it out of the blood and deposits T into the muscles and reproductive cells, where it belongs! In other words, its only a short term decrease in T, but has no real impact on long term T levels. Higher amounts of carbs have also been shown to increase free testosterone, due to insulin reducing the amount bound to SHBG. SHBG binds to your total testosterone and renders it useless. The more free testosterone you have the better, so you essentially need carbs to unleash your total testosterone levels. As for the amount I would say at least 120 grams to keep the liver healthy and more if you lift weights. I’ve seen a 2:1 ratio of carbs to protein being effective, but as long as carbs are equal to or greater than protein and calories are sufficient it probably doesn’t matter too much.
  4. Adequate Protein, but Not Excessive Protein– This one is hard for me to admit, because I really like high protein diets and the many advantages they bring. But I think just about everyone consumes too much and doing so negatively impacts T. The research is pretty clear and not many people get benefit from going over .8 grams per pound multiplied by body weight. This is also a MAXIMUM amount meaning you could get away with much less. 120 grams seems to be adequate for maximizing muscle gain and muscle retention on fat loss diets. Research also shows a very positive correlation with increased protein and increased cortisol. The higher the protein intake, the higher the cortisol, especially when protein is replacing T boosting carbs and fat. Although a diet of lean protein and vegetables is pretty potent for fat burning, it sucks big time for T levels and adequate hormone levels.
  5. Lift Weights and Minimize Cardio – My favorite tip to give to most people. Lifting weights 3-5 times a week maximizes T levels while minimizing cortisol. Going for long runs in excess of 30 minutes can do a lot of damage to natural hormones and mess up the endocrine system. All cardio isnt bad though. Walking on an incline avoids a lot of the negative hormonal responses that running brings. Endurance training also interferes with muscle growth by sending conflicting signals to the muscles. (Note this is more a problem when cardio is excessive, but when creating a diet to maximize T levels, endurance cardio just doesn’t belong any where near it. ;))
  6. Get Down to a Lean Body Fat, but Not Too Lean – Losing excess fat decreases estrogen and increases T. But this positive benefit occurs at lean body weights between 8%-15% body fat. Going too low in body fat can actually decrease T levels. I think this is more of a problem for people who have to restrict their diet to get down to these levels. If you are naturally lean and have a hard time putting on fat, then your T may be just fine even at 5% body fat. Do NOT crash diet though even if your obese. Follow my first step and set a small deficit to ensure your getting enough macros in to support the Big T while slowly losing fat and setting your hormones straight.
  7. Liver Health – Restrictive diets, especially ones that restrict certain macros stress the liver out to produce energy. The way to avoid this by always eating a balance diet. Also be sure to include zinc, magnesium, calcium and vitamin D which have all been shown to increase T levels.
  8. Get Some Sleep– Lack of sleep has some really negative side effects and lower T is one of them. When the body never gets in a restful state cortisol gets too high and the body is stressed out. Testosterone requires REM sleep, which only occurs under deep and restful sleep. Try to get around 6-8 hours. Getting too much sleep 10 hours or more can negatively impact T levels.

Keep Points and Sample Diet:

  • Make sure to eat a balanced diet with adequate fat, carbs and proteins. Restricting any one macro-nutrient can hurt liver health and negatively impact T production.
  • Fat should be around .35-.5 grams per pound of bodyweight from Mono and Saturated Fats. (more than this doesn’t increase T further)
  • Cholesterol intake should be roughly 1000 mg a day, maybe even a bit more (whole eggs and meat help greatly with this)
  • Carbs should be at least 120 grams, but should optimally be around a 2:1 ratio to protein. (Example 240 carbs to 120 grams of protein)
  • Protein should be adequate and included in each meal, but not excessive. 120 grams -160 grams a day is plenty.
  • If your overweight get to a lean body fat, but don’t crash diet to get there. A calorie deficit of 15-25% is a sweet spot.
  • Optimize the Liver with essential nutrients and a balanced diet.
  • Get around 6-10 hours of sleep each night to ensure REM sleep. No more or less than this range.

Sample Balanced Diet:

(This is how I currently eat, feel free to change the foods or number of meals)

Coffee with Half and Half and Splenda (Half and Half and heavy cream is saturated fat from dairy, which can favorably impact T levels)

Meal 1 – 2 scoops of Elite XT protein powder; 1 cup of berries; 1/2 cup of almond milk (to mix protein powder); 1-2 Tbs of Peanut Butter; 1/2 Quest Bar

Meal 2 – 6oz of lean red meat; 2 Deviled Eggs; 2 cups of Broccoli (decreases estrogen); Parmesean cheese; 1 large sweet potato (10-12 oz) or 4-5 slices of white bread (postworkout)

Meal 3 –  1/2 Quest Bar and a large apple

Meal 4 (usually twice the size of a normal meal) – 1-2 cups of white rice, 6-8oz of red meat;  2 cups of Broccoli; 2 whole eggs  all mixed into a stirfry (This is a very big and filling meal)

This gets your right around where you want to be. Carb intake is greater than protein intake. Protein is definitely adequate and is included in each meal to initiate protein synthesis, but its not overkill. I also eat smaller meals during the day and a bigger meal at night. This is mainly personal preference, but I found it helps with sleep quality. I also have more time to cook and eat at night, so I eat when I can enjoy more food. Also, the only meal here that is low carb is breakfast. I’ll either have the above meal of two scoops of protein powder with nut butter and berries. Its low carb though, because my energy levels are way better than when I include a starch in the first meal. I literally fall asleep with oatmeal in the morning and after trial and error moving this back meal in the day right after lifting, sets me up way better. Feel free to play around with serving sizes depending on your size.

After researching testosterone, it seems as though the body produces it when your healthy. Many people that are depressed, eating restrictive diets (especially low in fat or carbs), constantly stressed out or doing drugs or alcohol usually have really low T levels. Once these people start returning to healthier habits and improve their mood T levels come back. Consider testosterone as something you earn for being healthy and eating and exercising properly. Once T levels get going, the results are incredible in more ways than one.

Sample Macro Setup:

Lets say your 175lbs and you want to drop fat. Your total maintenance is roughly 2500 calories a day. Ideally you would want to cut about 500 calories a day and hit about 2000 calories. Your macros would ideally be: 240 grams of carbs / 120 grams of protein / 62 grams of fat. Hitting roughly 30 grams of protein per meal is usually optimal and anything over that hasn’t been shown to increase muscle gain or fat loss when other macronutrients are present in the diet.

If your goal was not to lose fat then ideally you would keep the same ratio just eat maintenance at 2500 calories. So 313g of carbs / 156 grams of protein / 69 grams of fat.

Links:

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/04/man-up-boost-your-testosterone-level-for-health-power-and-confidence.html

http://www.muscle-health-fitness.com/bodybuilding-diet-plan.html/

Spring Cleaning Week 8 – JE 128

Morning Weight – 184lbs

Workouts:

  • Sun – Pull
  • Mon- Push
  • Tues- Legs, Back and Biceps
  • Wed – Push
  • Thursday – Off
  • Friday – Push
  • Sat – Off

Been very busy at work this week, so my training schedule was somewhat off. I tried to vary the rep ranges each day, so one day would be high reps of 15, the next would be 8-12 and the last would be strength oriented 4-8, but I wasn’t feeling it. I’m definitely in the process of experimenting with a bunch of different ideas right now, but the more I stray from the basics and what I like doing, the more I feel like I’m wasting time. My favorite rep scheme by far it to basically just do all rep ranges in the same workout starting with a heavy movement. Push, Pull, Legs scheme and Bro splits are definitely my favorites.

No records set this week, but strength was maintained on all lifts.

Nutrition

Calories averaged around 2100 calories Carbs about 180 grams, Protein around 160 grams and fat was about 55 grams.

Read a very interesting article on Bodybuilding.com about lean bulking macros that this bodybuilder uses to put on muscle fast and minimize fat gain. Essentially he ate a very high protein diet, moderate carbs and moderate fats. His macros were around 1.5 grams per pound for protein, 1.25 grams per pound for carbs and .3 grams per pound for dietary fat. The ratio was 45/35/20 (P/C/F). At first I looked at it and just thought it was protein overkill, because there isn’t much benefit to going over 1 gram per pound, or at least you don’t NEED any more than that. But that got me thinking a little bit. Technically you only need 120 grams of carbs to maintain thyroid and only NEED about 40-60 grams of fat for health and hormones, but that would end up being a very low calorie diet. Past a certain point after hitting your “minimums” you have to add in calories from one of the macros to meet your calorie needs. I asked the bodybuilder why he ate so much protein and he responded by saying he noticed less fat gain and more muscle by increasing protein vs increasing carbs or fat. Makes perfect sense considering protein is very rarely stored as fat and as long as you maintain your health by eating enough carbs and fat, it really doesnt matter where you get the rest of your calories from. I think the reason high protein diets negatively effect some peoples health is because they are eating only protein and not enough carbs and fat to support hormones and the endocrine system. The article definitely influenced me, because I’m a huge fan of meat and protein powder and if there is a more efficient way of putting on muscle without fat gain and bloat then I’m all for it. So I may attempt to bump up my protein and reduce carbs a little and see what the effects are. I’m also going to bump fat up a little by eating at least 3 whole eggs a day. Lift days will probably be around 250 protein; 220 carbs; fat 65 grams; a little more balanced this way. Rest days which will be around 2-3 days a week for me and I will lower the calories on that day.

Unfortunately my phone got water damage on Saturday, so there will be no pictures in this post. I luckily had an upgrade available through Verizon, so I was able to get a new phone. I also bought a $90 lifeproof case to protect this one. Case is pretty thin as well so it doesn’t bulk up your pockets. My water damaged phone is currently sitting in uncooked rice, so hopefully in a few days it drys out and I can add the pictures I’m missing at a later date.

I also went to see X-men this weekend and it was by far the best one yet. Hugh Jackman gained noticeable size from the previous movie and he was huge in that one. He’s literally so jacked his veins are bulging out even when he’s at rest. I looked up his routine and it looked insanely high volume with heavy loads, but considering he ate over 5000 calories a day, I’d say he could handle it. Definitely one my favorite actors though, mainly because all of his movies are usually good and hes a jacked beast.

Spring Cleaning Week 7 – JE 127

Morning Weight – 184 lbs

IMG_3680

Workout Schedule:

  • Sun – Off
  • M – Push
  • T- Pull
  • W – Legs
  • R – Push
  • F – Pull
  • Sa- Cardio

Back to my old push, pull, legs split. I plan on running this scheme above or maybe add in another leg day for about 6-8 weeks. I actually wrote up the entire plan on this document right here: MC Push, Pull, Legs

The reps are periodized into four different workouts as shown in the document. I have hit a huge plateau with strength gains, so I was doing some research and cycling reps in this fashion may boost my results favorably. I think I’m going to enjoy laying off the really heavy weights for awhile, lightening the load and getting in more reps.

I was thinking about ditching barbells for know and just switching to dumbbells for most exercises. I was listening to a podcast on training and the trainer said that for some people, especially with longer arms, the arms have a tendency to overpower the movement and chest receives less stimulation. On dumbbells due to the position of the load, the torso gets more action, so I may change everything over for the duration of this program. Only problem with doing this is that I want to get good at BB bench to get good at something you need to do it. But still I’ve been doing it both once and twice a week a no change, so maybe ditching it for awhile could actually help boost it.

Also looking forward to the 15-20 rep day. This has the potential to be one of the hardest days on the schedule. On the heavy day, which there is only one, I increased the weights from 4-6 to 6-8.

Nutrition

Spanish Rice Lean Meat 6oz Broccoli Crab Rangoon
Spanish Rice
Lean Meat 6oz
Broccoli
Crab Rangoon
1 cup of white rice 1.5 cups of Broccoli 6 oz lean meat
1 cup of white rice
1.5 cups of Broccoli
6 oz lean meat
Mongolian Grill
Mongolian Grill

Bumping up the calories to 2200 this week. Still slowly losing fat, but I want to increase the calories to help with strength gains.

Macros – Carbs 230 grams, Fat 60 grams, Protein 180 grams