Month: August 2015

Journal Entry 200 – Random Thoughts

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Good week overall in training and eating. Weighed in at roughly 171lbs on average and exercise performance was good. I stuck to 3 weight training workouts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Monday was 4×6, Wednesday was 4×15 and Friday was 4×8. 4×8 is by far my favorite rep range and I just felt that one the best. Although I did really like the high rep day as well, mainly because I don’t do those days that often. Did a different exercise each day for each body part and was careful not to overdo it. The only thing I did add was some pushups to both workout and non workout days.

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I have also been getting to work early to walk an extra 30 minutes in the morning. Really enjoy this time to read, listen to music and clear my head. Been hitting at least 5 miles a day each day and it becomes really easy to hit this number, when your zoned out and reading. I also try to hit 5-10 minutes on breaks and around 20 minutes during my lunch break.  Not trying to set records with speed or anything, I’m only doing 3mph on a flat incline. My hip flexor has felt way better this week and considered adding a leg exercise to each full body day, but I’m going to give it one more week on both legs and abs just to play it safe.

Nutrition – I had one high carb day in the middle of the week and the rest were around 1800 calories or so. I’ve been keeping fat around 45-55 grams almost everyday and I’ve bumped protein back up to at least 160-180 grams. I had recently dropped protein to 120 grams, but I noticed some decreases in strength. I think 120 grams is fine for some people, but call me crazy I think for some people that are used to eating more protein than that still benefit from the higher intake. I also look leaner and feel stronger with the extra protein in my diet. I should also mention appetite is much better with increased protein. I heard a podcast not too long ago, that basically said once you’re used to eating a certain amount of protein, your body actually learns to use more protein as an energy source. So he basically said unless you drop your intake slowly, then you are essentially “locked into” a high protein diet. If that’s is the case then so be it. Protein is by far my favorite macro, tastes good and makes me feel better after meals.

Another thing I have been doing is eating more carbs in balance with protein. So instead of having a big starchy carb dinner, I just eat roughly the same amount of carbs as protein in each meal. This usually a means a decent portion of starch and loads of vegetables or beans, etc. Energy and strength feels really good. So I plan to replace the big carb meals with just more balance during the day. Carbs are right around 160-180 grams at the moment. I also dont feel like I need the carb refeed day when carbs are more moderate. It almost felt completely unnecessary, since my strength levels have felt so good without it. So basically just keeping an even keel blood sugar all day instead of a big fluctuation at night. As for dietary fat, some is essential, but more is not better. A little dietary fat goes a long way, meaning you dont need a meal covered in butter or oil to make it taste good. 10-15 grams per meal is plenty and makes the meal taste awesome without overdoing it. Extra dietary fat also doesn’t do anything for strength and performance in the gym and subbing out the fat for more carbs at each meal, helps at lot in that regard. Energy is also much better.

As for calories been keeping it roughly 1800 during the week and have 1-2 higher days of 2500 or so, usually on the weekend. For me this works really good in terms of staying lean and gaining strength.

Another thing I wanted to bring up. One is intermittent fasting. One thing I hear from a lot of people I talk to is that almost every single one of them do intermittent fasting without even realizing it. These people are also very overweight. They skip breakfast and usually lunch and eat their first meal around 5pm. If intermittent fasting was beneficial, then these people would be in much better shape and have far better health, but they dont. Most of the leanest people on the planet eat all day long with controlled meals and a high protein diet. Not saying intermittent fasting doesnt work, but some people make it sound like its the holy grail. Trust me its not. IF only works if your diet is on point to begin with. Also I think there is huge benefits in keeping your blood sugar level within a certain range. When your blood glucose gets too low >75-80 mg/dl either through skipping meals or undereating then a lot of negative things start happening, such as the body holding on to fat, low energy and entering too deep into a catabolic state. Going above 110-120 mg/dl basically means your burning zero body fat and are entering fat storage mode, which is what most people experience. Once you reach this state its very similar to low blood sugar in that you start to become hungrier and suffer low energy. Most people only bounce between these two states. For example, they undereat all day or for 2-3 days and then binge uncontrollably to balance it out. They basically skip the beneficial properties of keeping your blood glucose within 80-110 mg/dl, which is a more anabolic state to be in and promotes far better energy levels. It also helps you body release fat more efficiently, because your body doesnt think its starving to death. The way to reap these benefits is to prevent undereating too low of a calorie intake (usually anything under your lean body mass x 11) and keep a healthy amount of protein and carbs in you diet.

PF Changes Chicken Lettuce Wraps

PF Changes Chicken Lettuce Wraps

PF Changs Ginger Chicken and Broccoli

PF Changs Ginger Chicken and Broccoli

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Lean meat, veggies, crab rangoon, 1 whole egg, cheese

Lean meat, veggies, crab rangoon, 1 whole egg, cheese

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Pumpkin Cashew Milk shake

Pumpkin Cashew Milk shake

Carb refeed - Trader Joes Gnocchi with added chicken and broccoli

Carb refeed – Trader Joes Gnocchi with added chicken and broccoli

Big stirfry with meat, veggies, stirfry sauce and imitation crab meat

Big stirfry with meat, veggies, stirfry sauce and imitation crab meat

1 whole egg and 6 egg whites Trader joes roasted potatoes with onions and peppers 1/2 bag of broccoli  Goat cheese Probably the best meal I've had in a while.

1 whole egg and 6 egg whites
Trader joes roasted potatoes with onions and peppers
1/2 bag of broccoli
Goat cheese
Probably the best meal I’ve had in a while.

Homemade chipotle 3/4 black beans 5oz of onions 4oz  of chicken Taco seasoning

Homemade chipotle
3/4 black beans
5oz of onions
4oz of chicken
Taco seasoning

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Journal Entry 199 – Beach Trip

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Missed my blog post last week due to beach trip to the Outer Banks for the weekend with a couple friends. It was a really good time and I didnt get back til late afternoon on Sunday, so didn’t have the time to do a weekly update. It was also very busy at work because it seems like the entire east coast went on vacation this week to various places haha.

My eating was was way off while there, but it was nice break from monotony. The trip also refreshed my mind and my mood. I plan to take a lot more trips soon to various places just to experience this level of mental relaxation of changing surroundings. I realized after the trip how few vacations I’ve actually taken recently. I feel like its not a healthy thing for the mind to be in the same place for too long or at least to do the same routine over and over without change. I didnt even use vacation time either. As long as you stick to somewhere withing 3-5 hours, you get Friday night and all day Saturday to use a mini vacation and you’ll likely not spend too much money since its only for a day. I want to save the vacation time for trips that are further away and when I’ll need the extra time. Got a Bachelor Party in San Diego in October for 3 days and a Cruise to the Caribbean for my Birthday in November. Really looking forward to those.

Since I knocked out my training during the week, the weekend didnt mess up my routine at all. I did play some beach volleyball for a couple hours at the beach which was basically cardio. Also some football on the beach and basically walked everywhere. Actually had a good sweat going during volleyball and everyone I played with was pretty good. The teams I was on went 3-0, though so must have been my epic serving that gave us the win haha.

Friday I had Wawa’s buffalo chicken wrap and Kashi chips for dinner. It was actually pretty good and had a decent amount of protein and carbs and low in fat. It was also very easy to eat in the car, while driving. Then had some drinks when we got down there. Saturday was 6in Subway sub and chips for lunch and Plaza Azteca for Dinner. Sunday I didn’t eat much at all. Probably clocked in like 1200 calories. By the time I got home and took a shower I literally had a Monster energy drink and that was it mainly because I wasnt hungry at all. I did make sure to eat a high protein dinner. Weighed myself on Tuesday morning at 170.0lbs. Lowest I’ve been in awhile. I was roughly 175lbs before I left. The dehydration didn’t do much for my lifts in the gym and the chest workout I did was pathetic in terms of weights lifted. Even my warmups felt heavy. After a couple days of good eating I tried benching again on Friday and I felt much better.

This weeks training was Full Body 4 times a week with all different rep ranges. Day 1 is 4×6, Day 2 is 3×8, Day 3 is 3×8 and Day 4 is 3×15. Each move is a superset pair and I only do one move for each bodypart. I try to keep it to more compound vs isolations as well. I also change exercises for each body part for more variety. Also changed the routine to include a Sunday workout, just so I can use Gold’s Gym again. I haven’t been there in a month, because I my workout split is finished by Friday and I just do cardio on the weekend.

As for my diet, I’m thinking about doing some carb cycling. 4 low days and 3 higher days. I plan on having my higher days on the rest days. The opposite of what most people do, but I plan to eat most of the carbs at night and research shows what you ate the night before is basically your preworkout meal for the next workout. So if I workout Wednesday at noon, then Tuesday night’s meal should be preworkout, which is a rest day. I’m also hungrier on rest days then workout days. So basically rest days = more food and rest and recovery and workout days = less food and more fat burning hormones circulating. I plan on aiming for a pretty good deficit on these days.

Also on my routine, if I know I have a trip coming up then I’ll just add one set to each day. So Day 1 would be 5×6, Day 2 4×8, Day 3 would be 4×15 to compensate for missing a day. As soon as my hip flexor is healed, I will start some more leg and ab movements in the routine. But I still got some pain down there. It does feel much better, but I heard these strains can take a while to heal.

Bertuccis Calzone

Bertuccis Calzone

Coffee Shake

Coffee Shake

Shrimp and Beans

Shrimp and Beans

Rice, lean meat and veggies

Rice, lean meat and veggies

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Lean meat, veggies, steamed dumpling

Lean meat, veggies, steamed dumpling

Shrimp and Beans

Shrimp and Beans

Veggie Stirfry with chicken

Veggie Stirfry with chicken

Gnocchi from Trader Joes with broccoli and chicken

Gnocchi from Trader Joes with broccoli and chicken

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon

Chicken, veggies and pasta

Chicken, veggies and pasta

Journal Entry 198 – Strained Hip Flexor, Bro Splits, Different Diets

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On Monday morning, I woke up with a really nasty hip flexor strain. At first I had no idea why, because its not like I was playing a sport and felt it immediately after it happened, but anyway I woke up with some really bad pain. It limited my mobility so much that I could barely lift my left leg or knee up without some pretty bad pain. Considering the split I was doing had two leg days, I knew it wouldn’t be the smartest idea to resume that for the current week.

I think what it was though, was two leg days, walking everyday and 2-3 long steady state runs that did it in. I guess it was just more than my legs and hip flexors were used to doing. I decided to do a pretty basic bro split this week of chest day, back day, rest, shoulders/traps day, arms day and possibly do legs if my hip flexor felt better. As of this morning it feels a lot better than it did, but not good enough for full leg workout. I also can’t do abs because that hurts it pretty bad as well. I did manage to get some walking in this week, even though earlier in the week I had to limp most of the way haha. I noticed if I go for more than 15-20 minutes at a time without a break then the hip flexor starts to get inflamed and hurt pretty bad. Icing it and taking frequent breaks had helped tremendously though.

I was a little concerned by Wednesday if it was something more serious, because it didnt feel better at all. I mean stepping up into my car felt like overkill for it. But luckily by Thursday and Friday morning the pain was way less. Advil liquid gels also helped reduced the inflammation. Not going to lie, when it comes to headaches and pain, Advil liquid gels give relief and it gives it fast. These things go to work in under 20 minutes for me.

So basically stuck to a very basic and balanced upper body bro split and I have to admit I really enjoyed it. Workouts were done in 30-40 minutes, 3 sets of 8-12 reps on everything and made sure form was really good on each exercise. I had felt pumps in the target muscle that I havent felt in awhile. Maybe I wasn’t doing enough volume or reps to achieve the effect with the upper/lower split. I also made sure to hit at least 8 reps on each exercise. I did not go super heavy on anything this week.

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Summer Feta Cheese Salad with roll

Summer Feta Cheese Salad with roll

Nutrition

I really love nutrition. I can listen to podcasts and read articles about it all day. A hidden gem happened to come my way this week with Jacob Wilson talking about Ketogenic VS high fat diets. He basically compared TRUE keto diets (75% fat 25% protein and 5% carbs (under 30grams)  VS very high fat, but low carb diets with either 104g of carbs or 60 grams of carbs. The protein was sufficient and the same in all of the diets. The results were that the Keto diet lost more fat and held onto all muscle, but the other groups that were not quite ketogenic actually lost muscle mass. Their exercise performance was also much weaker.

Basically this study shows that unless your truly ketogenic (which is very restrictive for a lot of people), than you would do better by eating more carbs to spare protein. Its either you go under 30 grams or you go much higher and try to hit at least 1 gram per pound of carbs.

This was also in a deficit, so it probably doesn’t matter as much in a surplus of calories, but still the moral of the story was that your either ketogenic or your not. Meaning for most people carbs need to be higher than 100 grams and some starches should be eaten at some point in the day as they provide benefits that dietary fat does not.

My goal is to hit somewhat of a zone based diet. I know from the past the lower fat and high carb diets don’t do well with me. For me it led to some blood sugar issues and cravings, because dietary fat was too low per meal and carbs were too high. I ended up becoming hungry and not satisfied after meals, even if the meal was 6-700 calories. Just because 200 grams of carbs are good, doesn’t mean that 400 grams will provide magical benefits. The only thing that will provide is some extra body fat.

My goal is to hit roughly 40/30/30 for carbs, protein, fat. Considering my calories need to stay moderate without adding body fat, having protein at 30% shouldn’t be an issue. If I had to consume 4000 calories a day, than that would be way too much protein.

No matter what macros you use, this is a very good site to track with: Calorie Calculator.

Also watched a bodybuilder I follow on Youtube, has gone Vegan. I must admit his reasons for doing so, were very interesting and got me thinking a bit about most peoples over consumption of meat. I will by no means be going Vegan and never plan to because I think some of the videos that people use are extreme to persuade you, but not all farms and slaughterhouses are that cruel. Also giving up meat isnt a long term solution and reintroducing it into your diet can be a nightmare after a diet like that. Vegans complain that meat makes them sick after they started the diet. But before the diet they could tolerate it just fine. Too me this is unhealthy. A human can digest meat just fine and losing the ability to digest certain foods isnt healthy. A perfectly healthy human should be able to eat whatever they want without issue. Giving up foods will not solve this problem.

But nevertheless is was though provoking and made me consider some of my habits. In my opinion though I really dont eat that much meat.  I mean I will eat 4-5oz of meat for lunch and dinner, but a lot of my protein comes from dairy, which can be obtained from a cow without mistreatment. I mean I could obtain all the protein I need from plant sources, but doing so would lead to some massive bloating due to all the beans I would have to ingest. And yes protein is overrated and you dont need that much, but it has a lot of other benefits that the minimum threshold doesnt seem to accomplish, especially in regards to hunger control.

In my opinion, it comes back to common sense. Vegan is too extreme for most people to follow and ketogenic diets are the same. Both diets are very interesting when you delve into them, but too follow for the rest of your life would involve getting rid of a lot food that I enjoy. Some people try to go middle ground and become some weird version of vegetarianism, but that basically just becomes “I don’t eat animal meat”, but will eat everything else. That is fine, if you don’t want to eat meat, but I don’t see the need for the label. Also pescatarian is basically veganism with the addition of fish, because fish are somewhat different than animals. But the main problem with this is there are a lot of toxins in fish. I mean a lot. Fish is not a safe choice in high amounts. If pollution didnt exist then it would be fine, but trust me pollution exists and its all over the ocean.

If I had to elect the king diet, it would probably be the Mediterranean diet. Very balanced and doesnt involve extremely high carbs or low fats or vice versa. It has a broad selection of foods and even allows alcohol of up to 2-3 glasses of wine a night. Fish, meat, grains, vegetables, fruits are allowed. The recommended macro split is roughly 40/30/30. The body likes balance, so this would have my vote if I had to pick a best diet and also a diet that I could for the rest of my life. A lot of peoples ethnicity also come from this area at some point, so it makes sense that they are well adapted to a diet such as this.

Some pics from the week:

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Lean meat, veggies and cheese

Lean meat, veggies and cheese

Low calorie coffee protein shake

Low calorie coffee protein shake

Lean meat, whole egg, veggies and crab rangoon

Lean meat, whole egg, veggies and crab rangoon

Lean meat, veggies, potatoes, cheese

Lean meat, veggies, potatoes, cheese

Lean meat, rice, tons of veggies, olive oil

Lean meat, rice, tons of veggies, olive oil

Gluten free pasta, cheese, veggies, meat, imitation crab meat

Gluten free pasta, cheese, veggies, meat, imitation crab meat

Journal Entry 197 – WSB Week 2

Average Weight:

Roughly 174lbs

Workouts:

Week 2 of Westside for skinny bastards. Progress has been good, except for bench press. Not sure what is going on with that but everything else went up. I also replaced bench jumps with 3 sets of max reps on squats. I felt kind of strange busting out the box jumps to be honest haha. I felt like the squats would carry over better to other lifts. I also replaced dumbbell swings with dumbbell hip extensions. Really like DB hip extensions for some reasons. I feel like there a really good exercise for the lower body and abs and carry over well to other exercises.

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Chicken, veggies, egg, cheese, crab rangoon

Chicken, veggies, egg, cheese, crab rangoon

Nutrition:

Hit roughly 2400 calories a day. Fat was very high and carbs were kept pretty low except for Wednesday when I did a higher carb day. I honestly felt like I didn’t need it and noticed I was a little bit more sluggish the next day, so I may considered taking it out and just doing one higher carb day on Saturday. I noticed my protein has been way elevated here recently because of the increased fat in my diet. Mainly eggs and cheese bumping up the extra protein. Been hitting over 200 grams a day. I really dont want this much in my diet, but that’s what I’ve been hitting naturally. Also been consuming more coffee here recently, almost craving it to be honest. To me that sounds like a bad thing, but maybe not. My energy has been very good though. Except for the day after the higher carb day, I felt really good all week.

Some Pics from the week:

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Chardonnay

Chardonnay

3 eggs and lean meat and veggies

3 eggs and lean meat and veggies

Pasta with chicken and veggies

Pasta with chicken and veggies

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My lunch everyday: Lean meat, 3 eggs, green veggies, cheese

My lunch everyday:
Lean meat, 3 eggs, green veggies, cheese

High fat meat with eggs, veggies and cheese

High fat meat with eggs, veggies and cheese

3 eggs cooked in butter, lean meat and veggies with cheese

3 eggs cooked in butter, lean meat and veggies with cheese

Meat and veggies

Meat and veggies