Journal Entry 177 – Quality over Quantity

Log:

IMG_1997

3/7 – 176.2lbs – 2500 calories – 8800 steps – 4.3 miles

3/8 – 176.8lbs – 2100 calories – 7000 steps – 3.5 miles

3/9 – 176.8lbs – 2200 calories – 12300 steps – 5.8 miles

3/10 – 177.8lbs – 1800 calories – 15000 steps – 7 miles

3/11 – 175.6lbs – 1850 calories – 12500 steps – 6 miles

3/12 – 174.4lbs – 2400 calories – 11000 steps – 5.2 miles

3/13 – 176.2lbs – 2400 calories – 12800 steps – 6 miles

Average Weight 176.2lbs – Average Calorie Intake – 2178 calories

Training:

Earlier this week, I burned my self out on lifting weights for the first time in a really long time. Not that I couldn’t have “handled it” from a physical standpoint, but I just lacked the motivation to lift. The workouts felt too similar, my strength wasn’t really increasing and I felt the workouts were becoming a chore that I really just didnt feel like doing. I took two days off and just did some light walking. This was mainly to just take a break and most importantly not lift. My motivation came quickly back and I felt myself wanting to lift again. But I did a lot of thinking about being too disorganized in my goals and workouts are all over the place. I need a clear goal and a clear plan that I stick to for a long time. The best way to stay motivated when lifting is to try to break PR’s every time you go to the gym. If your going to the gym to build muscle and your not setting PR’s then your plan most likely isn’t going to work.

I decided to go back to the drawing board and scrap the workouts I’ve been doing recently. I do like trying things out, but right now I want proven workouts and to start busting PR’s again. I realized that even though I love to lift, 6 days a week just doesnt allow for proper strength and CNS recovery. I ended up buying a program that was based around strength gains. This is a very interesting plan because it explains a lot of the reasoning why lifting too often can hold you back. It talks a lot about CNS recovery, local nerve fatigue and how long it takes these to recover for maximal lifting, a pyramid scheme and warmup for maximizing strength and focuses on minimalism, while reducing unnecessary movements. It also takes a lot of volume out of the program, because doing too much volume can actually limit recover and impede strength gains. Since lifting more weight over time (progressive overload) is the single most important factor in myofibrilliar muscle growth (not sacroplasmic) this needs to be the primary focus and not on pump sets. The reps of this program focus on 5-8 reps. Lower than that doesnt stimulate enough muscle growth and higher than that is just too light. The point of this plan is to back off a lot of the movements and focus on the big moves.

It has a very interesting setup though and it recommends two different workouts rotated over a 3 day split every other day. The funny thing is, is even though you lift less days per week, your actually hitting your muscles more often or every 4th day. Since you wont use the same muscles and allow for two rest days in between each workout, your ready to attack the muscles with full strength. The schedule works as follows Week 1 – Workout A, Rest, Workout B, Rest, Workout A, Rest, Rest – Week 2 – Workout B, Rest, Workout A, Rest, Workout B, Rest, Rest.

There a couple of modifications I will make to this plan though. Workout A is push muscles and Workout B is Pull muscles. However it doesnt include a leg day. Its focused on upperbody strength and the creator of the program already had too much leg mass and didnt want anymore. That being said I think not training legs is a mistake and lame haha. I’m going to add a leg day that is very similar to the other two workouts in the plan. This can actually be easily implemented into the plan without screwing up the schedule, by training the 3 main workouts on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday each week and then having a leg day fixed on Sunday. This way I can still rotate Workout A and B every week, but still hit legs each Sunday without impacting recovery. He does caution against lifting Back to Back days, but as long as I dont overdo the volume, work different muscles and still allow enough rest time between hitting the same muscles again I dont see it being a big deal. I’m also adding an additional exercise for 3 sets of 10 reps to both days to satisfy my ego. He recommends making the Incline Barbell Press your main pushing movement, but I want to get my flat Bench press up. So I’m making that the main move and adding in one volume based move for DB incline press.

Each workout is only 4-6 moves max. It also places two heavy movements at the beginning of each workout (your main focus) and the rest is volume for shoulders and arms and such. Workout days are Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday (favorite day to train) and Sunday. This will allow me two lifting days in Golds gym and two lifting days at work.

  • Here is a better visual depiction
  • Week 1
  • Rest
  • Workout A – BB Bench and Standing BB Press focus – Push
  • Rest
  • Workout B – Pullups and Hang Cleans – Pull
  • Rest
  • Workout A – BB Bench and Standing BB Press – Push
  • Workout C (my modification) – BB Squats and Lunges – Legs
  • Week 2
  • Rest
  • Workout B
  • Rest
  • Workout A
  • Rest
  • Workout B
  • Workout C
  • Repeat Week 1

So the focus is on Quality over Quantity. 4 focused sessions per week striving for PR’s every workout vs 6 workouts per week that just tends to burn me out. More rest between each session and hitting each muscle as frequently as possible to make better strength gains, while still allowing for adequate recovery. I’ve always liked minimalist style approaches, so this should do nicely.

Also My leg day will probably be setup like this:

  • Legs
  • BB Squats – Warmuup then 5, 6, 8 reps
  • DB lunges – 5, 6, 8 reps
  • Leg Press – 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Cable Crunch – 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Cable Woodchoppers – 3 sets of 10 reps

I’ve also done about 100-150 pushups everyday this week, except on Thursday I did 50 because I worked out Push muscles.

Nutrition

Been listening to a lot of podcasts this week. A lot were on training, but also a lot on nutrition. One was by Ori Hofmekler the creator of the Warrior diet. Very interesting listening to what he had to say, especially in regards to undereating during the day and feasting at night. He said you dont have to all out fast (not eat anything), but to undereat and take in a decent amount of protein and low sugar berries and vegetables, but no direct sugar energy sources and limited fat sources. Then loading up at night after you exercise, will make your body far more receptive to those foods without storing them as fat. This has a lot to do with certain hormones that burn fat effectively and sometimes eating can screw these signals up. AMPK was particularly interesting in regards to fat burning. However some of the stuff he was saying made no sense. Especially in regards to insulin, because he said carbs are the only thing that spike insulin. Umm not quite. Protein spikes insulin more than carbs do. Protein releases glucagon in relation to it, but its still sparks insulin. Either way I learned some interesting facts from it.

Other podcasts were talking about ketogenic diets which are very interesting, but I still still think you need some carbs. I just dont think you need nearly as many as people think. Especially the way some experts recommend a very low fat intake and very high carb intake. It just doesnt work for my body and in my opinion negatively impacts energy levels and overall fat burning and isnt nearly as anabolic as people think. Yes you need some insulin to trigger muscle growth, but protein does this just fine and it only takes an extra 30 grams of carbs to barely increase protein synthesis rates. Very high insulin levels do not lead to very high rates of protein synthesis. More is not better. Once your glycogen is full, I just dont see the point of extra carbs, when fat has way more to offer in my opinion. Yes you need calories to grow, but not necessarily carbs. They seem to ignore a lot of benefits that fat can bring as well. Like for example the liner relationship dietary fat has with testosterone levels. Given the fact that testosterone is the chief muscle building hormone in males, I think you want this on your side. Plus eating low fat makes most meals really bland tasting.

In my opinion, the best diet would have about 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight, 1 gram per pound of carbs on workout days and maybe 100-120 on rest days and the rest would be healthy fats. This would work far better for me. Protein being spread evenly through the day. With carbs being less than or equal to protein in almost all meals or eating a very small amount of carbs all day then eating a large amount at dinner as this can help energy during the day and maximized fat burning hormones. Omit the extra carbs on rest days. Calorie totals depend on goals. I plan on keeping mine around 2400 calories average. I dont like cycling calories or carbs that much, so I’m just going keep it the same more or less every day and focus more on the weekly average vs daily fluctuations. This intake is right around maintenance for me.

Some pics from the week:

5oz of lean meat 1 whole egg Cheese Chinese - Dumpling and crab rangoon

5oz of lean meat
1 whole egg
Cheese
Chinese – Dumpling and crab rangoon

6oz of lean meat Tons of Vegetables

6oz of lean meat
Tons of Vegetables

6oz of lean meat Veggies 1 whole egg Cheese

6oz of lean meat
Veggies
1 whole egg
Cheese

Lean Meat Veggies 4 potatoes

Lean Meat
Veggies
4 potatoes

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