Month: May 2015

Journal Entry 188

Log:

5/23 – 172.4lbs – 3000 calories eaten – 9500 steps – 4.63 miles

5/24 – 174.4lbs – 2200 calories eaten – 4900 steps – 2.4 miles

5/25 – Missed – 2200 calories eaten – 9956 steps – 4.7 miles

5/26 – Missed – 2100 calories eaten – 13160 steps – 6.2 miles

5/27 – 175.2lbs – 2250 calories eaten – 7700 steps – 3.7 miles

5/28 – 175.8lbs – 2200 calories eaten – 6400 steps – 3 miles

5/29 – 176.2lbs – 2300 calories eaten – 12800 steps – 6 miles

Average Weight – 174.8 lbs – Average Calorie Intake 2300 calories – Average Body Temperature – 97.2 degrees (Morning)

Blog:

So my average temperatures this week were around 97.2 degrees which is .6 degrees better than last week. Definelty trending in the right direction and I have noticed reduced soreness from lifting and better overall energy levels. My goal is to keep slowly increasing calories until my temperature hits roughly 98.6. I will say though that my temperature has reached 98.6 at different points in the day and usually increases well beyond 97.2 after certain points in the day.

My split this week was Push on Saturday, Legs on Sunday, Monday was rest, Tuesday was Pull, Wednesday was Push, Thursday was Legs and Friday was off. Sets were mainly 3 although I went 4 on some exercises and reps were kept right around 8-10 reps for the most part.

My diet was kept pretty similar to my normal routine. I usually have 2 low calorie meals for breakfast and lunch with high protein, small amounts of fat and fruit or vegetables then I have a huge dinner to make up the rest of my calories. Basically it looks like this:

  • Breakfast – Two scoops of protein powder, 1 cup of berries, half a quest bar
  • Lunch – 5oz of lean meat, 1 hardboiled egg, 2oz of imitation crab meat, 2-3 cups of greens and 1 laughing cow cheese wedge
  • Snack – Half of Pure protein bar, 1 4-5oz apple and maybe .5-1oz of beef jerkey
  • Dinner – What ever is left. Every night is different. Most of the time its potatoes and meat, but this week was pizza one night, wine and bbq chicken with baked beans another night and chinese low fat fried rice with meat and vegetables another night.
  • Dessert – 1 cup of almond milk with 2 tbs of fat free/sugar free jello pudding (various flavors) and 1/3 cup of frozen berries and finish quest bar (this is really good and turns into a pudding)
  • I’ll also throw in a banana or at least half of one with some of my meals

This way of eating works very well for me. I like to keep the first half of the day low calorie, because it keeps energy very high during the day. It also allows me to get in most of protein and fat and vitamins and then have a big meal at night. Usually I have at least 1000 calories to play with at night sometimes over that. This allows me to keep my early meals consistent and my dinners a little more varied.

I also think there is some nutrient partitioning benefits to eating this way. Basically keep the body in a somewhat depleted state during the day (meaning low calories and low amounts of fat and carbs) and then replenish at night right before bed. I also noticed a high protein breakfast, meaning over 40 grams or so can shutdown your appetite for the whole day. Its almost fail proof. Sometimes I get home and I’m not ever hungry. This makes my diet very enjoyable, because in the past when I tried to add in calories at earlier meals, such as including oatmeal and banana at breakfast and rice at lunch, I would noticed my hunger would increase and I would be hungry all day. Not the case with my current diet.

Eating in this fashion also works very well with being social, because you can easily go out and fit in something from any restaurant and get it under 1000 calories.

I’m aiming for roughly 250 carbs / 60 fat / 180 protein and around 22-2400 calories. I’m not tracking this with the goal of hitting exactly those numbers though. Its more an approximation. I also have some alcoholic drinks every now and then so that will also throw my numbers off, but it’s all good.

Pics from the week:

Bertuccis Calzone

Bertuccis Calzone

Left over Calzone with lean meat and veggies

Left over Calzone with lean meat and veggies

Lean meat and squash with vegetables

Lean meat and squash with vegetables

BBQ chicken on a potato roll with baked beans

BBQ chicken on a potato roll with baked beans

Lean meat, veggies and potatoes

Lean meat, veggies and potatoes

Lean meat, veggies and vegetable fried rice (low fat) with a crab rangoon and steamed dumplings

Lean meat, veggies and vegetable fried rice (low fat) with a crab rangoon and steamed dumplings

Homemade pizza with organic trader joes crust and low fat marinara, pepperoni and chicken (tasted alright, but probably wont make again)

Homemade pizza with organic trader joes crust and low fat marinara, pepperoni and chicken
(tasted alright, but probably wont make again)

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Journal Entry 187 – Body Temperature and Metabolic Rate

Log:

IMG_2325

5/16 – 174.4lbs – 2900 Calories – 7100 steps – 3.6 miles

5/17 – Missed – 1900 calories – 10300 steps – 5.2 miles

5/18 – Missed – 1900 calories – 11700 steps – 5.5 miles

5/19 – 175.4lbs – 1850 calories – 11900 steps – 5.9 miles

5/20 – 175.8lbs – 2160 calories – 11500 steps – 5.5 miles

5/21 – 175lbs – 2300 calories – 11900 steps – 5.6 miles

5/22 – 175lbs – 2400 calories – 13300 steps – 6.3 miles

Average Calories – 2200 calories – Average Weight – 175lbs

Journal:

So last week I decided I was going to do a modified version of the V-diet. This is a low carb, full body plan. But I’ve feeling off for the past 2-3 weeks and I had no idea why. Been low carbing it pretty much 6 out of 7 days of the week, just due to taste preferences and making sure to keep the fat and protein going strong. After writing my blog post, I stumbled upon an article talking about body temperature and its relation to weight and metabolism. Very interesting research and it seems pretty clear that for every degree below 98.6 degrees you are, there is a good 5-10% reduction in metabolism and this is probably closer to 10%. Basically if your BMR is 1800 calories and then your metabolism is slow by about 180 calories a day. Your BMR is the main thing affected and I’m sure you could make up for the cratering of a metabolism, by walking or jogging a ton. But the point is the dropping of the metabolism shows something is off. Not enough energy is coming in and the thyroid is slowing down along with a host of other negative side effects for energy production. Decided to test mine out and it was 96.6 degrees. Thats a big drop off of about 360 calories a day.360 x 7 is about 2500 calories a week. I also noticed I wasn’t getting nearly as motivated to life anymore. I had a burn out feeling and no matter how many times I changed my workouts, it wasn’t enough to get me into it. Lowered base body temperature is good from a longevity standpoint, but not from a good being in the “present” standpoint and this is something I need to fix.

My plan is to do more of a bodybuilding routine and do a 5 day push/pull/legs routine. I noticed when I workout my body temperature heats up to 98.6 or higher and stays there for a few hours. Hot showers also achieve this and so do bigger meals with lots of carbs. The workout surge in temperature is likely due to adrenaline. This is still good, but you ideally want your temperature to be warm always and not have adrenaline and cortisol keep it elevated at all times. I also plan to increase calories mainly through carbs. My estimated maintenance due to reduced body temps is about 2250 calories a day. Is this number 100% accurate? – Probably not. My body temperature in the morning is right around 96.6-97.2. But this is a fair estimate of how much I’m burning roughly. I plan to eat at least this everyday and slowly increase till I reach higher body temps. I noticed a few weeks back that my estimated maintenance was right around 2500 calories. It didnt make sense to me due to my high activity levels, but now I realize it could have been a lowered body temp. I also noticed body temp can fluctuate a lot during the day. I’d say on average it hits mid 97’s during the day. Again not a huge decrease, but I still want it to be at least 98 where it should be.

I do feel that normal body temp is very important. Not only for general health, but for energy and putting on muscle and strength quickly. So the new plan is to do a new routine with roughly 3 sets of 8-10 reps on everything about 5 days a week, eat more carbs and less fat and protein, eat at least 2300 calories a day and monitor body temperature as I go. Not sure how long it will take to get back to normal, I guess it depends on much I eat. Definitely not going to combine too much food with a lowered metabolism as this will mean fat gain. I really do enjoy low carb diets from a taste and ease standpoint, but if this is one of the side effects, then I may have to wave goodbye to them for now and probably for good.

Workouts:

Saturday – Upper Body

Sunday – Bodyweight Circuit

Tuesday – Chest only

Friday – Pull

Strange split this week. Took most of the week off due to lingering soreness and lack of motivation. I realize now, why I’m sore all the time, due to lowered body temp impacting recovery.

This week I plan to introduce some more variety into my workouts, by not focusing so much on strength and including more overall exercises with reduce number of sets per movement. Haven’t done this in awhile and I think I’ll like the change.

Nutrition

This week I was aiming for roughly 2200 calories 250g of carbs / 165g of protein / 61g of fat. I will bump this up if I noticed no change in body temperature. My main goal was to eat more carbs and less fat and protein while maintaining a calorie deficit. I plan to eat at least maintenance this week though. I noticed I’m actually getting leaner and pushing past plateaus by eating more carbs and less fat. I also eat most of my carbs at night, mainly for energy reasons. I dont like big carby meals during the day at all. Energy sucks and it leads to cravings. By eating all my carbs at night, I really dont care if makes me tired because I’m not doing anything anyway. Plus you get to make a really big meal and it also helps with sleep. I expected the scale to spike, but if anything it has gone down. I have lowered my fat intake a bit though mainly to incidentals, mainly because I’m trying to focus on carbs at the moment due to its effects on body heat. Still trying to figure my go-to meals with carbs and a lot of the time it ends up being random carby foods, mainly because I dont know what to make haha.

I’m hoping this is the key to getting me out the rut I currently find myself in.

IMG_2289

Chicken, black beans, special K chips

Chicken, black beans, special K chips

Kettle Corn made with coconut oil.Low fat though.

Kettle Corn made with coconut oil.Low fat though.

Trader Joes breaded chicken tender and veggies

Trader Joes breaded chicken tender and veggies

Protein powder with a sweet potato

Protein powder with a sweet potato

Huge strify with meat, veggies and potatoes

Huge strify with meat, veggies and potatoes

Lean meat, veggies and pasta with pomodoro sauce

Lean meat, veggies and pasta with pomodoro sauce

Breaded chicken tenders, two potatoes, baked beans, Butter bread and some veggies

Breaded chicken tenders, two potatoes, baked beans, Butter bread and some veggies

Journal Entry 186

Log:

IMG_2274

Week 30

5/09 – 173.2lbs – 2600 calories – 3500 steps – 1.67 miles

5/10 – Missed – 2300 calories – 7800 steps – 3.9 miles

5/11- Missed – 2300 calories – 11800 steps – 5.6miles

5/12 – 178lbs – 2300 calories – 11000 steps – 5.2miles

5/13 – 177.4lbs – 1500 calories – 14500 steps – 6.87 miles

5/14 – 176.6lbs – 2000 calories – 11000 steps – 5.24 miles

5/15 – 175.4lbs – 2000 calories – 9000 steps – 4.5 miles (estimated)

Average Weight Р176lbs  Average Calories Р2150

Training

My split this week was:

  • Saturday – Off (felt sick)
  • Sunday – Full Body
  • Monday – Cardio
  • Tuesday – Lower Body
  • Wednesday – Cardio
  • Thursday – Upper Body
  • Friday – Cardio

Felt sick on Saturday, which is really strange for me. I had some weird anxiety going on, light headedness and a weakness feeling. Took the day off and ate a surplus of calories and hit the gym hard Sunday. Felt amazing on Sunday. Everything felt light and it was a really good workout. I was very sore for 2-3 days after however, so I did legs only on Tuesday. On Thursday hit another Upper Body workout, which wasn’t the best in the world and I lost a few reps on Bench. Chinups were on par though. I also reduced the number of exercises on Thursday, but was still very sore on Friday. I plan to start my workouts on Saturday this week and take Sunday off.

I’m thinking about doing the Velocity Diet (at least my modification of it) for the next month. I plan to stick to the workouts which is 3 full body workouts with one body weight challenge day. Every day hit at least an hour of walking which is really easy for me. Saturday will be a lifting day and most likely a cheat day where my calories go up from whatever I want. Sunday will be the bodyweight challenge and Tuesday and Thursday will be the other lifting days. Monday, Wednesday and Friday will be rest days of cardio/walking only. I should mention though that my workouts will be different than the ones recommended. Basically I’m setting up my version of the V diet. I’ll probably write a more detailed plan next week.

I’m sure as hell not doing the expensive supplement plan they recommend for this. I do plan on sticking pretty close to the calories though. The calories are 1400 on rest days and 1800 on workout days. I’ll throw in one cheat day, which I guesstimate will land about 3000 calories. This will throw my average for the week at about 1800 calories.

Nutrition

This week I averaged roughly 2150 calories. The V diet calls for a lot of protein and minimal carbs and fat. Not the worst thing in the world, since I do like protein. As long as I get in enough protein though and hit the calories then I dont really care that much. Breakfast and lunch will be high in food volume, but low in calories and dinner will be the biggest meal of the day.

Not sure why, but I just felt really motivated to try this out as least as closely as I can. Maybe just a need for change or more organization in my diet. I think I will like this setup. Also really looking forward to the bodyweight challenge. I actually really enjoy those type of workouts.

Blog

My roommate who definitely has some weight to lose as finally asked me to help him drop fat. Its about time haha. He doesnt need to try anything fancy and I put him on a 3 day split with walking on at least 4 days of the week. Diet is high-ish in protein (120 grams) with 40-60 grams of fat and 250 grams of carbs. He likes carbs and carbs are cheap, so I feel he will like this setup. A lot is just about educating him on making better overall choices with food and getting rid of processed food.

Pics from the week;

Shrimp, Steak and Veggies

Shrimp, Steak and Veggies

Lean meat, veggies, rice and a crab rangoon

Lean meat, veggies, rice and a crab rangoon

6 whole eggs, 3oz of meat and veggies

6 whole eggs, 3oz of meat and veggies

Lean meat with potatoes and veggies

Lean meat with potatoes and veggies

Lean meat, imitation crab meat, beans and veggies

Lean meat, imitation crab meat, beans and veggies

Journal Entry 185

Log:

Week 29

5/02 – Missed – 2350 calories – 8500 steps – 4 miles

5/03 – Missed – 1450 calories – 14350 steps – 6.8 miles

5/04 – Missed – 2300 calories – 7500 steps – 3.8 miles

5/05 – 175.6lbs – 1800 calories – 15500 steps – 7.3 miles

5/06 – 174.6lbs – 1700 calories – 18000 steps – 8.3 miles

5/07 – 174lbs – 2600 calories – 14600 steps – 6.9 miles

5/08 – 175.2lbs – 2200 calories – 18600 steps – 8.8 miles

Average Weight – 174.8lbs – Average Calories 2050

Workouts:

IMG_2259 IMG_2260 IMG_2261

3 days of lifting this week on a full body split. Monday was my first day lifting and also my day off. I needed an extra day to get stuff done after going to Virginia Tech for the weekend and also my brother was in town. I went to the gym around 11:30 and even on a Monday it was packed. The only really good times to go the gym must be on Saturday around 4-7pm haha. Every other time I go its packed no matter what day it is. The workout went very well though. I did 4 sets of 6-8 reps on every exercise. I was also extremely sore for 2 days and even had slight soreness on the 3rd day. This was soreness that hurt to touch too, not just a light soreness that most people usually get.

So the next workout was Thursday and I just decided to do 3 sets of 6-8 reps for everything. I did one less back exercise as well, because my lats were still recovering from Monday’s workout. I think it may have been incline barbell bench press in addition to dumbbell rows and lat pulldowns. Lats get worked pretty good stabilizing the chest on the incline press. I’ve been trying to superset everything, which is a really good way to get a pump and your heart rate up in the gym. Fullbody workouts if done properly (with heavy weights and mostly compound exercises) are actually pretty hard. In the past, I always thought they were for beginners, but that’s more of a myth in my opinion. Set it up correctly and they’re way harder than any split I’ve done. I almost look forward to rest days, because I know I’m going be too sore to do anything the next day. Its also a really good change up from splits, which I was becoming very bored on. Not saying I’m going do these forever, but I’m really enjoying them right now. Not too mention you work way more overall muscle doing these and I’m sure the muscle building response (anabolic signaling) is way higher than a split routine. My third day on the split is today. I also try to get some variation each workout too to prevent boredom.

Nutrition:

Average Intake for the week has been right around 2050 calories. Raised calories up on Monday and Thursday in conjunction with my workouts. The other days were lower to burn fat. I’m not 100% sure I’m going to do leangains style of refeeds that are very low fat and very high carb. The carbs will be higher on those days, but not extremely high. Menno Henselmans, who I highly recommend has a lot of podcasts out, explaining that high carb refeeds may be unnecessary and gives good reasons why.

Besides 3 workouts a week is my main exercise, besides walking. Not a whole lot of carbs being used there. Everyone burns about 120 grams a day for glucose for the brain, but even very demanding workouts lifting weights only use about 50-60 grams. Carbs are also scaled with VOLUME not INTENSITY. Meaning your workout can be very intense with heavy weights, but if you volume isnt that high then you probably didnt burn that many carbs. So basically 120grams + 50grams for the workout = 170 grams of carbs to cover what I burned off. The rest can come from whatever I want to hit my calorie goal. Dont get me wrong I enjoy carbs, but I also like eating a lot of fat too and I really dont enjoy trying to go extremely low fat on refeed day. So basically the macros could be way more balanced with like 200grams of carbs / 200 grams of protein / 100 grams of fat.

Pics from the week:

Coopers Hawk  Life Balance Ahi Tuna Avocado Tacos

Coopers Hawk
Life Balance Ahi Tuna Avocado Tacos

At Cooper Hawk

At Cooper Hawk

Quest Sample Protein Powder - Strawberries and Creme - (Not very good)

Quest Sample Protein Powder – Strawberries and Creme – (Not very good)

Stirfry with a crab rangoon

Stirfry with a crab rangoon

2 whole eggs with lean meat and veggies

2 whole eggs with lean meat and veggies

Stirfry with eggs

Stirfry with eggs

Refeed Day  3oz of dry pasta with chicken and marinara sauce

Refeed Day
3oz of dry pasta with chicken and marinara sauce

Refeed Day Big Bowl of Oats vanilla protein and bananas and blueberries

Refeed Day
Big Bowl of Oats vanilla protein and bananas and blueberries

Chicken and beans with 6 egg whites

Chicken and beans with 6 egg whites

Journal Entry 184

Log:

IMG_2236 IMG_2229

Week 28

4/25 – Missed – 2600 calories – 8000 steps – 4 miles

4/26 – 176.6lbs – 2250 calories – 10500 steps – 5.13 miles

4/27 – Missed – 1620 calories – 16700 steps – 8 miles

4/28 – 177lbs – 1700 calories – 20500 steps – 9.7miles

4/29 – 176lbs – 1600 calories – 21200 steps – 10 miles

4/30 – 175lbs – 1800 calories – 133300 steps – 6.3 miles

5/01- 175lbs – 2700 calories – 15600 steps – 7.4 miles

Average Weigh – 176lbs – Average Calorie Intake – 2050

Workouts

Another week of trail and error until I figure out what I want to do in the gym. I’ve been doing a lot of split routines that for some reason just aren’t doing it for me right now. I tend to either get really pumped for a certain day (usually chest) and then demotivated for a leg day. I’m always trying different things out to see what I like best. 6 days of lifting is too many because I actually start to become bored in the gym. I think this is mainly due to the lack of variation I have in my gym at work. There’s only a certain number of exercises you can do and doing them too often results in burnout. 3-5 days a week is good, with 4 being optimal most likely, but I think I am leaning towards a 3 day split with most of heavy work being done and a optional lighter day if I really feel like going to the gym.

I’m doing a full body superset style of workout. Basically the workout is fullbody or upperbody with 8 total moves. Each 2 moves makes 1 superset so 4 total exercise pairings. This workout gets me really pumped by the end and works a ton of total muscle mass, much more so than a split routine. Its also more fulfilling, because you really feel like you did good effective work in the gym. Sometime certain splits with just a shoulder day leave me a little unsatisfied, unless I end up doing way too much volume which is overkill.

I decided on 4 sets of 5-8 reps for every exercise. The first exercise leans towards the lower end and the rest lean towards the higher end, but as long as its in that range its fine. 3 total workouts a week with a different exercises being done every time for variation.

Sample workout:

  1. Pair 1
  2. Horizontal Upper Body Push
  3. Vertical Pull
  4. Pair 2
  5. Vertical Push
  6. Horizontal Pull
  7. Pair 3
  8. Shoulder exercise (traps, medial delts or rear delts)
  9. Abs exercise
  10. Pair 4
  11. Biceps
  12. Triceps

The rest days will be as much as walking as I want and bodyweight style exercises throughout the day like pushups, pullups and squats. I usually shoot for at least 5 miles of walking, but I can usually get way more than that. A schedule like this works very well in times like this because it keeps me motivated and works well when times are busy.

Nutrition

I’m thinking about doing a leangains style of diet with way more carbs and calories on lifting days and fat burning calories and less carbs on walking only days. I’m not doing the eating window or fasting, but setting up my diet using leangains principals or carb cycling if you will. Call it whatever, it basically achieves the same effect of muscle gains with fat loss. I really like these style of diets, because I feel like they work well with my metabolism and goals. I’m definitely not the guy that can get away with smashing 3000 calories a day and have all of it go to muscle, no matter the macro composition. This way of eating allows you to feast and get away with it. Leangains usually on works with a 3 day split, so that works very well with this. The way I plan to structure it, is keep the same meal plan every day and then on days I life just “refeed” after weight training, which for me will be 7pm til bedtime. This is due to lifting around 5pm or so. Research shows this may be the most effective time to feast anyway, so dont mind if I do.

I have a tendency to pick foods with too much volume for refeeds, so I plan to do some gluten free pasta (to avoid bloat) or a box of cereal or something haha. Martin Berkhan ate cereal a lot for his refeeds and it really is a perfect food, because its easy to get down when you only have a few hours to get in a lot of calories. I do love some oatmeal (quaker instant low sugar kind), but its going to be hard to get down. This is the same of potatoes. I may be able to smash some rice, but I’m not a huge fan to be honest. I would rather do pasta or cereal.

I ordered some new Mint Chocolate Chunk Quest Bars this week and I’m really looking forward to trying one of those. Could be the best flavor yet.

Random

I went to VT this weekend to see some friends and had a really good time. Took today off from work to get stuff done as taking a trip like that cuts in to times you have to run errands and everything. Nutrition was terrible this weekend though due to some extra alcohol calories. I didnt eat that much, because combining a lot of food with alcohol is not a good combination. In the past I combined a few drinks with a lot of carbs and calories on training day and this is really not a good idea. Almost every article I read recommends skipping lifting and eating a lot on days you plan to drink. I like being social, so Friday and Saturday will likely be rest days from the gym and the calorie load will be kept lower, especially from dietary fat. Keeping fat under 50 grams (maybe even under 20 grams) will prevent a lot of fat gain on days from drinking. Carbs ideally kept under 100 grams as well and protein intake can be eaten in any amount.

Also eating and training this way tends to maximize protein synthesis rates and nutrient timing. New research shows the more years you train the shorter the elevated protein synthesis rates and it usually only last 4-12 hours. It used to be 48-72 hours, but that is only if your untrained. This means feasting in the 4-12 hours after weight training is the best case scenario for maximizing muscle and minimizing fat in trained individuals. Also hitting the muscles more than one time a week is a very good idea.

Pics from the week:

Lean meat, veggies and 3 whole eggs that turned into a thick pancake texture with pepperoni on top

Lean meat, veggies and 3 whole eggs that turned into a thick pancake texture with pepperoni on top

Lean meat with veggies and 3 whole eggs

Lean meat with veggies and 3 whole eggs

3 whole eggs with low fat pepperoni

3 whole eggs with low fat pepperoni

Lean meat with vegetables and 3 whole eggs with low fat pepperoni

Lean meat with vegetables and 3 whole eggs with low fat pepperoni

Chipotle burrito bowl

Chipotle burrito bowl

Lean meat with veggies

Lean meat with veggies