Month: October 2014

Back From Dallas – Journal Entry 147

Log:

IMG_0892

10/12 – 183.2lbs – Pull Day – 2000 calories – 2500 calories burned (3 miles – 6500 steps) -Full Pullups 8,8,6,4

10/13 – 184.2lbs – Walking and light leg circuit – 2300 calories – 2500 calories burned – (4 miles – 8500 steps)

10/14 – 184lbs – Push Day – 2200 calories – 2600 calories burned (3.3 miles – 7000 steps) 70×12,80×8,75×8 DB Bench

10/15 – 182.8lbs – Pull Day – 2400 calaories –2650 calories burned (3.3miles – 7000 steps) Deadlifts 185×8 195×8,8

10/16 – 184.2lbs – Off – Start of Dallas Trip

10/17 – no weign in – OFF -Calories Eaten – 3000-3500 calories –  2800 calories burned (5.8 miles – 12300 steps)

10/18 – no weigh in – OFF -Calories Eaten – 3000-3500-  2900 calories burned (6.3 miles – 13500 steps)

10/19 – no weigh in – OFF – calories eaten 3200 calories – – 2900 calories burned (6.2 miles – 13000 steps)

10/20 – no weigh in – Push Day – 1100 calories eaten — 2600 calories burned (4 miles – 8000 steps)

10/21- 186.8 lbs  – Pull Day – 1750 calories – 2700 calories bunred (5.19 miles – 11000 steps)

10/22 – 183.2lbs – Legs Day – 1800 calories – 2600 calories burned (4.5 miles – 9200 steps)

10/23 – 182.6.8 lbs – Off day – 1850 calories – 2600 calories burned (5.3 miles – 11400 steps)

10/24 – 181.8 lbs – Push Day – 2500 calories – 2800 calories burned (4.8 miles -10000 steps)

Two week lay off and no blog post last week. I didnt really have time with travel and after 4 days of gluttony in Dallas, I didnt feel I was looking my best and I wasn’t training, so not much to write about. The trip was awesome though and went by really quickly. Went to the State Fair the first day, Stockyards the second and the Giants vs Cowboys game the third day. The other two days were spent traveling. By the 3rd – 4th day though, I was really ready to get back in the gym and start eating healthy again, but had to wait till Monday. When I got back here I was really craving lean meat and veggies. I know it sounds weird, but after loading up on fatty and carb based foods for 4 days straight, healthy food tasted really good. I definitely put on some bloat and even though I didnt weigh myself, I estimate it was around 7 lbs.

As for the food I ate there it was terrible haha. Basically ate like an obese person and felt like one by the end of the trip. Got pizza the first night, tons of chips, salsa and cheese dip, fried foods and some funnel cake at the state fair, steak house, mexican, bbq and mac and cheese and a decent amount of alcohol each night. By the end of the trip I had zero cravings for any foods except lean meats and veggies. I think my body was sending me a message.

When I got back on Monday of this week, I had a really low calorie day of 1000 calories. Honestly not intentional, but I woke up at 5:45am had a flight at 8:30am, a quick layover in Philadelphia and then back to Richmond by around 2:30pm. I then went home and went to the gym and by the time I got back it was around 5pm. At this point I had half a quest bar, but didnt have time to eat much else. I had plenty of food in the tank from the previous days. I then ate dinner and was surprisingly not hungry at all. I didn’t mind though, after a week like that it actually felt good to undereat. For the rest of the week I raised my calories back up to 1800 calories, which is definitely a fat loss intake, but I wanted to get rid of the bloat and fat. I dropped the weight pretty quickly though and weighed in at 180lbs even this morning, which is the lowest I’ve been in awhile. Its kind of funny though cause the trip changed my perspective a little bit. I think I’m going to get down to the low 170s before eating for growth again. I really enjoyed getting rid of the fatty foods and eating just meat and veggies for the most part.

My plan is a two week kick start to fat loss with roughly 1800 calories a day with macros at 170 protein / 100-150 grams of carbs / 50 grams of fat. The carbs will mostly be incidental during the day and maybe a starch serving at night or after dinner. Then I’ll start some carb cycling with a 3 low, 1 high set up. I plan to do legs/push/pull setup twice a week and rest of the 4th day, which is when I’ll have the carb up day with roughly 2700-3000 calories keeping protein and fat the same and greatly bumping up the carbs. After I get down to the low 170’s where I feel like I look best, I’ll increase the number of high days to 2-4 days. Ill start with two, then add a third and then a fourth. Ill probably max out at 4 high days to prevent to much fat gain. I plan to keep the 1800 calorie low days on the other days of the week.

1800 calories may seem pretty low, but its right around my BMR and I get quick results with that intake. I’m pretty active during the day and since I average 2700 calories burned each day, that nets be a big deficit each day. I’m going to try and clean the weekends up as well as they have gotten a little sloppy here recently with too much eating and drinking. Its like its 5 steps forward during the week and 3 steps back on the weekend.

As for my traning this week, I came back on Monday with no food for the day and dominated some DB bench press. 85×8,8 then 80×8. Most I’ve done in awhile and the weights felt easy. The extra food defintly helped bolster my strength gains. I think the extra fat actually helped my joints. When you lift heavy like that you can feel your joints working hard and after that 4 day break my joints felt really good and capable of lifting a lot of weight. Legs day was good too and got around 205×8,8,8 on squats and probably could have gone up more.

A few more random notes from the past two weeks; Monopoly on the Ipad is an awesome way to pass the time on a plane ride. I got sucked into a game (that I won) and 2 hours passed by, which to me felt like 20 minutes. Now I know how people get addicted to video games. Also the Giants offensive scheme is moving back into their old style run offense (which doesnt and has never worked). In my opinion, Tom Coughlin is an old man that needs to update his style if he wants to suceed. Since he is too stubborn to do that, its time for him to go. I respect the man, but in order for the Giants to progress further as a team, we need someone more up to date with a more pass based offensive scheme while mixing in the run. If the run game sucks and doesnt work, then stop doing it. I feel the same way about the Hokies, but I could talk all day about this, so I’m just going to stop here.

Some pictures from the past two weeks:

Frozen banana with protein bar mixed in.

Frozen banana with protein bar mixed in.

lean read meat with homemade fries

lean read meat with homemade fries

Twisted Root: Bison burger with Goat cheese and fries (probably the healthiest place I ate at)

Twisted Root:
Bison burger with Goat cheese and fries (probably the healthiest place I ate at)

View from my Brothers place

View from my Brothers place

Pumpkin pancakes with fruit on top (healthy homemade though)

Pumpkin pancakes with fruit on top (healthy homemade though)

State Fair

State Fair

State Fair

State Fair

Reeses Funnel Cake

Reeses Funnel Cake

Fried Frito Pie

Fried Frito Pie

Dallas

Dallas

Fish Taco with rice and beans. Not picture are chips, salsa, cheese dip and margaritas. (probably hit 1500 calories easy in this meal)

Fish Taco with rice and beans. Not picture are chips, salsa, cheese dip and margaritas. (probably hit 1500 calories easy in this meal)

Stockyards

Stockyards

Saloon

Saloon

IMG_0928

Pecan lodge BBQ

Pecan lodge BBQ

Tailgate Tavern: Chicken sandwhich on Sunday before game. The bun tasted incredible

Tailgate Tavern: Chicken sandwhich on Sunday before game. The bun tasted incredible

My view

My view

Papa Murphys

Papa Murphys

Lean meat and veggie mix

Lean meat and veggie mix

Lean meat with veggies and potatoes

Lean meat with veggies and potatoes

Lean meat, veggies and whole egg

Lean meat, veggies and whole egg

Healthy Cheeseburger stirfry - lean meat with veggie mix, onions, potatoes and cheese on top

Healthy Cheeseburger stirfry – lean meat with veggie mix, onions, potatoes and cheese on top

Can of green beans (low sodium) with chicken, a whole egg and crackers on the side

Can of green beans (low sodium) with chicken, a whole egg and crackers on the side

William Wallace liquor to end the night

William Wallace liquor to end the night

Advertisements

Journal Entry 146

Log:

IMG_0827

10/05- 182.2lbs – Legs day – 2100 calories eaten – 2500 calories burned (2.75 miles – 5452 steps) – 185 x 3 sets of 8 reps

10/06 – 184.2 lbs – Off – light walking only – 2100 calories eaten – 2550 calories burned (3.3 miles – 7100 steps)

10/07 – 184.2 lbs – Pull day – 2000 calories eaten – 2550 calories burned (3.5miles – 7300 steps)

10/08 – 183.6 – Push day – 2200 calories eaten – 2750 calories burned (4.77 miles – 10100 steps) 185×8 Bench

10/09 – 183.2lbs – Off day – 2250 calories eaten – 2600 calories burned (4 miles – 8500 steps)

10/10 – 183 lbs – Legs Day – 3000 calories – 2900 calories burned (5 miles – 10500 steps) – 195x 8 squats

10/11 – 184lbs – Push day – 2800 calories – 2600 calories burned (3 miles – 6000 steps) – 85×8,7 80×7 DB Bench

Good week of training. I stuck to the 3 sets of 8 reps on almost every exercise and only on a few isolation movements did I go up to 12 reps. I like how much better my joints feel without beating them up with weights that are too heavy. DB Bench increased this week and I got the 85lb DB’s by 8,7. I decided to drop down to the 80lb DB’s after that to maintain my form and to hit 8 reps. On pull day, my main move is pullups with bodyweight only. I really want to get perfect form down on those for at least 4 sets of 8 reps before adding any weight. Most people do pullups completely wrong too. You need to fully extend all the way down, lean back slightly so that your lats get more work and not your biceps and bring your chest up to the bar, not your chin. This is full range of motion and you would be surprised by the difference your back and abs feel after doing them correctly. And the new “kipping pullups” are not pullups. I’m not sure what they are (besides a waste of time), but they definitely are not pullups. As for legs I’m mainly focusing on back squats and lunges. I may try front squats again soon, but I just feel like the back squat is a better exercise.

This coming week will be up in the air as far as training goes, because I’m going to Dallas to see my brother and Giants Vs Cowboys. As far as the gym goes, I may join as a guest at my brothers gym (usually way too expensive for a few days of training) or just take those 4 days off. I would prefer to train, because my calories are going to be pretty high, but Im just going to have to wait and see. I may just take no rest days leading up to Thursday, so my body will be begging for a rest at that point.

Nutrition

As shown above my calories have been raised this week. I added in another protein bar (pure protein brand) and I’m starting to eat oatmeal for dessert. Oatmeal is one of the cheapest foods on the planet and carbs before bed help sleep, relaxation and recovery. I’m not adding any protein to the meal though mainly because I ate plenty during the day anyway, so dont feel the need to just “add it in”. Save me money on protein as well. My favorite brand of oatmeal is Weight Control Maple and Brown Sugar. It tastes incredible and has a low sugar content. The main problem with plain oatmeal is you need a lot of truvia of addins to make it taste good, where as the weight control tastes good as is. Both brands are really cheap as well.

My fat intake was a little low on some days this week at around 42 grams. I’m going to add in some whole eggs back into my diet, so that I hit at least 55 grams a day. My goal for fat intake is 1/3 of my Lean Body mass, which is 165/3 = 55 grams. I could probably slowly increase it to about 1/2 my LBM or 82 grams as a maximum, but I just like eating lower fat. I feel like dietary fat does a lot of good things, but once your needs are met, then carbs are more anabolic and better for your metabolism. Carbs have been over 200 grams a day and most days were good amount over that. Protein is right around my LBM to total weight, so 165-185 grams. Although on the weekends, my protein is always lower at around 120 grams or so.

Also another quick recipe I found out about this week. Cut up 1 banana into small chunks and put in the freezer until completely frozen. Throw the pieces in a blender with a very small amount of almond milk or water and blend. It turns into soft serve ice cream. You can also add some flavors if you wish, like peanut butter or protein powder, but I just do it plain. I like bananas semi-ripe, but others say ripe bananas work best. Its up to you on that one.

Lean Meat Veggies Ear of Corn (first time I've had one of these in a long time)

Lean Meat
Veggies
Ear of Corn (first time I’ve had one of these in a long time)

Lean meat, pasta, veggies, marinara sauce, egg roll

Lean meat, pasta, veggies, marinara sauce, egg roll

Lean meat, veggies with homemade french fries (definitely will make this again)

Lean meat, veggies with homemade french fries (definitely will make this again)

Bertuccis calzone (leftover) with refried beans, black beans, salsa and low fat baked chips

Bertuccis calzone (leftover) with refried beans, black beans, salsa and low fat baked chips

8 reps of everything – Journal Entry 145

Log:

IMG_0774 - Copy

9/28 – 182.4lbs – Back – 2100 calories eaten – 2600 calories burned (3.5 miles – 7000 steps)

9/29 – 184.8lbs – Legs – 2000 calories eaten – 2800 calories burned (6 miles – 12700 steps)

9/30 – 183.6lbs – Cardio – 1900 calories eaten – 3000 calories burned (6.75 miles – 16000 steps)

10/01 – 183.2lbs – Shoulders –  2100 calories eaten – 2750 calories burned (5.24 miles – 11000 steps)

10/02 – 183.6lbs – Off – 1900 calories eaten – 2500 calories burned (2 miles – 4410 steps)

10/03 – 181.2lbs – Pull – 2500 calories eaten – 2550 calories burned (3.5 miles – 7500 steps)

10/04 – 182.3lbs – Push – 2600 calories eaten  – 2600 calories burned (4 miles – 8000 steps)

This week I’ve been focusing on 8 reps for usually 3 sets maybe 4 on just about everything. 8 reps is a very interesting amount of reps, because it seems to be the perfect middle ground between strength and hypertrophy. 6-12 is the recommended “golden range” for bodybuilders because these are where most of the metabolic and size advantages come from. Anything below 6 reps is pure power, but you can gain power without an visual changes. Going below 6 reps usually taxes the Central Nervous System, which results in some pretty bad fatigue if you do it too often. Since I like lifting heavy, maintaining perfect form and training daily, 8 reps seems to be the holy grail.  I played around with different ranges like pyramids, 3 sets of 10 reps, 3 sets of 12 reps and even burn out sets, which are good if you do them correctly, but it was a nice feeling to go into they gym have 3 sets of 8 reps in mind for everything and just knock it out. I also got an incredible pump on everyday.

3 sets of 8 reps is also nice because if you go too heavy and hit 6 reps thats fine, because its still in that prime range. On the other hand, if you go to light, you’ll probably hit around 10 reps, which is still in the optimal range. Its also easy to progressively overload this way. Last week I did DB bench for 80×8,8,7. This week I did 85×8 80×8,7. Next week I will do 85×8,8 80×8. (thats the goal anyway) So by slowing increasing the weights each week, muscular strength is easily achieved.

I also plan to go back to Push/Pull/Legs/OFF repeat. So it would be 6 days a week and hit all muscles twice a week. I may only do one legs days, but not sure yet. I felt the shoulder and arms day was fun, but unnecessary. I would much rather hit the big muscles twice a week and finish off the arms and shoulders after they have already been hit by the prime movers. I noticed if I do a couple of bench press exercises, my shoulders are on fire. But sometimes if I hit the shoulders on their own day, I barely feel a pump. (not sure why this is, because the form is on point, but the pump just doesn’t show.) Same with biceps though. They wont get sore from an arms day, but do heavy rows and pullups and then knock out two curl exercises for 3 sets of 8 reps and they will feel beaten down the next day. For my body, I feel this is my ideal split that basically comes crawling back to me every time I leave it.

I implemented some activation techniques this week as well. Basically activating the muscle with bodyweight or light weights before you begin with the heavy weights. Pushups of varying angles on push day, bodyweight squats on legs day and pullups on pull day seems to help tremendously with the mind muscle connection, which is very important to have to feel the muscle working. It leads to a much better pump than excluding it from the workout.

Details of the P/Pu/Legs split:

One of the pull days will focus on vertical pulling and the other one focused on horizontal. Traps, rear delts and biceps will be done on both days.

One of the push days will focus on chest, while the other shoulders.

The legs day will hit everything in a balanced fashion and hit abs at the end. I am taking a more narrow stance with squats to hit more quad instead of hamstrings.

On the rest days, I plan to do nothing. Walk a little bit at slow pace is fine, but no incline cardio. I want this day to just let the body recover.

Cardio is just a 5-10 minute run before I lift to get the blood flowing and wake up the body.

Each workout will be 6-7 exercises for 3 sets of 8 on everything.

Sample Push Workout:

  • DB Bench
  • INC 30 degrees DB Bench
  • Flys
  • DB Shoulder Press
  • Cable lateral raise
  • Skull Crusher
  • Rope Pushdown

Nutrition

I plan to bump up the calories to around 2300 on workout days and 2000 on rest days. The extra 300 calories is for the increased volume in my workouts and also increased training frequency.

I read a pretty interesting article about Frank Zane, who is bodybuilder that peaked 20-30 years ago. He basically stated his calories rarely went over 3000 and he stayed right around the mid to low 2000’s most of the time. He was around 185lbs with a very low body fat meaning his Lean Body Mass was around 180lbs. I estimate mine to be around 165lbs. But the point is, he found a calorie range that worked for him. As I wrote in my calorie article, just because a calculator predicts you might burn 3000 calories a day, doesn’t mean you do. The body is very complex and many factors play a role in how much you can eat without storing fat. Clay Hyght on Tnation also consumes around the same amount I do.

A good general rule I find pretty accurate for someone that trains 4-6 times a week, but isn’t an athlete or doing endurance cardio for an hour a day or more:

LBM x 12 = Fat loss

LBM x 14 = Body Recomp

LBM x 15 = Maintenance with a 1-200 calorie bump to accelerate muscle gains, but if you look bloated the next day than its too much food.

Most people should be feeding their lean body mass, which again is your total weight – body fat. Its doing most of the metabolic functions in the body and its also something you should strive to increase. LBM can also increase while total bodyweight either stays the same or decreases. This is why its important not to eat too many calories because even though your LBM will go up, so you will you fat stores. By finding a sweet spot (body recomposition) you can increase the LBM will losing or maintaining total weight. In other words, more muscle less fat and that’s what most people are looking for.

Food pics:

Lean Meat Veggies  Sweet Potato

Lean Meat
Veggies
Sweet Potato

Pasta with lean meat and marinara sauce

Pasta with lean meat and marinara sauce

Mexican Meal Refried beans (fat free), chicken, lettuce, salsa, low fat tortilla chips

Mexican Meal
Refried beans (fat free), chicken, lettuce, salsa, low fat tortilla chips

Protein loaf  -  1 scoop protein 2 whole eggs 1/4 cup of coconut flour 3/4 cup of almond milk 2 squares of dark chocolate berries  heat in oven on 375 for 30 minutes

Protein loaf –
1 scoop protein
2 whole eggs
1/4 cup of coconut flour
3/4 cup of almond milk
2 squares of dark chocolate
berries
heat in oven on 375 for 30 minutes

White rice with lean meat and egg roll

White rice with lean meat and egg roll

Pasta

Pasta

Forgot my lunch so microwave chicken strips with butter bread and crackers

Forgot my lunch so microwave chicken strips with butter bread and crackers

Lean meat with broccoli, reduced guilt mac and cheese and crackers

Lean meat with broccoli, reduced guilt mac and cheese and crackers

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon

Rock Bottom Italian Pizza. I subbed out sausage and pepperoni for chicken breast.

Rock Bottom Italian Pizza.
I subbed out sausage and pepperoni for chicken breast.