Journal Entry 203

Got to include a lame office pic
Have to include a lame office pic ๐Ÿ˜‰

More carbs have been treating my strength gains very well this week. I’ve been doing a 3 day full body split on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I have two different workouts that get rotated every week, so one week workout A will be hit twice and the next week workout B will be hit twice. Each have different moves to hit the muscles from different angles, but the main point of the workout is just to lift heavier weight each time. So each workout gets hit every 4th day. Its pretty minimalist style which I like and I will post the workouts below:

IMG_2955 IMG_2957IMG_2956

Basically each workout starts out with a push, a pull and a legs movement that is a heavy compound for 4 sets of around 6-8 reps. The next 4 exercises are 3 sets of 10 reps and our mainly isolation’s. The last move is a farmers walk with moderate dumbbells that lasts roughly a minute. I also mix in some super-sets and tri-sets to save time. I was able to increase my dumbbell incline press with the 75’s for 3 reps between Monday and Friday. Actually everything increased across the board by a few reps.

Myfitnesspal has a new setting that allows you to see your average macros for the week and mine were 181 protein / 288 carbs / 56 fat and 44 fiber. Some days were higher in carbs than others, but average is probably the most important. I didnt cycle my intake this week and basically just decided to do straight maintenance at around 2500 calories every day or roughly 15 x bodyweight. Based on my activity this is about right. My bodyweight was stable most of the week and the last weigh-in was roughly 174lbs, the morning after a massive carb based and salty dinner. My salt intake continues to stay high at roughly 5000-6000mg per day. Haven’t done much with fats at all and they basically take care of themselves. Carbs have been added mostly at night and I usually have a good 3:1 ratio between carbs to protein. The earlier part of the day is more balanced.

I may try and cycle next week like originally planned though. Leangains recommends 40/40/20 P/C/F on workout days and 40/40/20 P/F/C on rest days. ย Protein is a little high in my opinion, but the main point is to eat high carbs on workout day in a surplus and a deficit on the rest days with a higher fat intake. Since your body is in a deficit the fat intake will not be stored and allows your body to eat fattier foods, which is beneficial for testosterone and the taste buds. This may make meal planning really easy as well. On workout days have a huge serving of pasta, rice or sandwiches and rest days have chicken sausage, bacon, stuffed chicken, omelets or a fatty cheeseburger with no fries. It allows a little more variation. There’s also a lot of Leangains meals all over the internet and I feel like cycling the diet makes you look forward to each day more, because of the massive variation in foods you can eat. Again meal planning is also easier, because you know exactly what to have each day.

Calories when cycling will be roughly 1800-2000 on rest days and 2750-3000 on workout days. This is right around my maintenance of 2500 calories. I will monitor strength gains to see if I like cycling or just eating maintenance every day better.

Have a really good recipe for training days though, even though this week I actually ate this on my off day. I ran out of meat, so I decided to take an entire bag of Trader Joe’s Vegetable fried rice, roughly 3 cups cooked and 630 calories and threw in 1 whole egg and 4 egg whites and some broccoli. Tasted awesome and it was roughly a pound and half of food. Total fat was a little over 10 grams as well. The eggs helped the rice stick together so it was easier to eat. Also threw on some imitation crab meat, which I have been basically addicted to here recently. It tastes awesome.

Some pics from the week:

Longhorns Napa Grilled Chicken and a sweet potato
Longhorns Napa Grilled Chicken and a sweet potato
Lean meat with broccoli Trader Joes Pretzel bagel with homemade fries
Lean meat with broccoli
Trader Joes Pretzel bagel with homemade fries
Egg White omelete with 2 corn tortillas, 2 slices of butter bread and 1 cup of spanish rice
Egg White omelete with 2 corn tortillas, 2 slices of butter bread and 1 cup of spanish rice
Birthday cake Protein bar
Birthday cake Protein bar
Trader Joe's linguine with clam sauce and added chicken, veggies and imitation crab meat
Trader Joe’s linguine with clam sauce and added chicken, veggies and imitation crab meat
Vegetable fried rice with egg whites. Big Meal haha
Vegetable fried rice with egg whites. Big Meal haha
Tequila and diet cherry sierra mist
Tequila and diet cherry sierra mist

6 thoughts on “Journal Entry 203

  1. carson

    That’s a solid training plan!.
    This was the full body routine Arnold used when he first started out and advocated to all trainee’s who are not getting to “pro range”.
    I really like it I find it effective, although I have changed out the abs exercise for 1 additional leg exercise. I also change a thing or two every workout like bench for incline or something like that etc, just to switch it up but mostly stays same.
    It provides all the things required to build great symmetry and asthetics.

    I tried the Leangains approach and what happened to me* (could be different for others) but I ended up spinning my wheels and staying the same weight and size. No gains. I thinkt theres a flawed thinking, don’t get me wrong I think this would work great for thos who already closer to there muscular potential and trying to make a little gains while staying lean….but as for builing any appreciable amount of muscle its not gonna do much…..I mean protein synthesis lasts in the body for bare minimum 36 hours upto 48 usually. that means the body is recovering and repairing during that time it does make annnnyy sense to feed your body less and be in a defecit(catabolic). I mean muscle grows the 36-48 hours after you workout not during right?. I think Lyle touched based on this well, coming to the conclusion that in order to make some sorta gains you have to accept atleast some* fat gain, trying to stay lean all the time will probably end up having you go nowhere, “you cant build muscle out of wishful thinking and thin air”. But again everybody is different hopefully that plan gives you some results that it did not for me.

    That being said as we said last weekend I don’t think being surplussed anabolic 7 days a week for months on end is good either….defecit days do have some benefits.

    This Chart explains that well.

    P.S Holy how do you get so much sodium?? I mean sodium is good we both know that ๐Ÿ™‚
    But man I eat minimum 2800-3500 cal a day and mines like 2500-3000.
    I have condiments, cheese, and salt everything to taste. Do you like use teaspoons of that stuff? or eat a lot of restaurant or processed food? I didn’t think so…

    Pce for Now ๐Ÿ™‚


    • Michael Cocchiola


      Yeah I really like the A,B,A workout rotation and focusing on only two workouts. I really look forward to each workout. I like to create my own workouts to be honest. If I follow someone else’s I tend to change it so much it might as well be something I made haha. I got rid of back squats for now and only do Goblet Squats and Lunges. The range of motion I get is awesome and I just really like those exercises. Less strain on the lower back. Also not a big fan of 5×5 either. Those workouts take so damn long and I need to be done within an hour. I find the 6-8 rep range lets me move much quicker with less rest time. I also like to hit a few isolation’s AFTER the big exercises. I think no direct ab, shoulder and arm stimulation is a mistake and also tends to make for boring workouts haha.

      Yeah I can see how you could stagnate on leangains. Especially for you since you tend to be a hardgainer. A lot of info I read on fasting, shows that it is really good for losing fat (at least initially), but it sucks the big one when it comes to building muscle. You just spend too much time in a catabolic state. But yeah I can see the leangains rest day posing some issues when it comes to pure muscle growth. Especially when your trying to do it quickly. In my opinion, if your strength levels are going up that is always a really good sign. A much better sign than just seeing the scale go up. On the other hand, if your strength levels stagnate or even worse decrease that’s a terrible sign and basically is a road to nowhere. But yeah muscle mass gain is one of those homeostasis type of deals. Its only going to add tissue after everything else has been covered. But some people tend to handle chronic surpluses much better than others.

      Yeah that’s one of my favorite articles.

      Haha everything I eat has sodium in it. I find it hard to keep it under 4 grams a day. It has no effect on me anymore though. I used to eat around 2000mg a day and would bloat like hell after a meal at a restaurant, now that never happens because my body is used to it. I tend to use a decent amount of condiments and a lot of the Trader Joes ready made foods have a decent amount of sodium. The ingredient list is good, but it does have a decent amount of sodium.

      I’ve noticed though since I’ve been upping the carbs and calories my appetite has gotten much stronger. I feel like I could eat a damn horse every single day. My body seems to respond well to, because I dont look any fatter and my strength is going up. Also if you get the chance Scott Able is selling a kindle version of the cycle diet for like .99 cents on Amazon. He used to sell that book for $60, so if your interested know its been really good so far. You could probably knock it out in a few hours too, not a long read.


  2. carson

    I’m not a fan of 5*5 either I find that just too promoted towards strength gains, and being a smaller bone structure ectomorph I simply don’t do good with super heavy loads joints/tares etc. 3-4 sets 10 reps still gold.
    I use to train abs lotsss, but something problematic happened yes I eventually had a ripped 8 pack due to big ab muscles and really low body fat…..but! training abs is no different than any other muscle they get bigger!…now if your goal is a trim narrow waist to make that v taper perfect this is a terrible thing. What happened is I eventually had a big midsection that was disproportionate to the rest. Now I have completely gotten rid of direct ab training and its slowly improving but not much its tough to purposely shrink muscle. I still do stomach vacuums and hip thrusts which help narrow and slim the waist*(traverse abdimunus). Leeroy Colbert said He never once trained the abs because that simply did not support his asthetic goals of a slim waist I agree it doesn’t. As for having a six pack direct ab training is not needed if your active person training your core will already be solid getting the shred is simply a matter of low body fat . Abs truly are made in the kitchen.
    I messaged Menno Henselmans stating all this very similar, and he concurred with me. He said “that direct ab training is not really necessary and most people should ask why there doing this in the first place, Planks can be useful to create core stability and strength to support the back & and vacuums if your really after a small waist so you can do that but if your after a trim waist with definition no ab training suggested as long as you are active lifting weights particularly compound movements”.

    How do you manage to get enough weight with the goblet squats?? Sounds like easier on the back doing these.

    I read scotts book already ๐Ÿ™‚ I actually met him at McGill university in montreal last year at some conference. Down to earth nice guy.

    I’m doing some research on range of motion and stretch. I saw an old interview where Franco and Arnold (vince gironda mentioned it somewhere too) were talking about training, and they both at different points really emphasized the “muscle contraction & stretching the muscle** “. Of course know what is meant by contraction but I’m curious what they mean by stretching…ROM maybe? I have to look into this further see what I turn up.

    Will say that calf raises and curls are important there has been numerous studies showing there effectiveness when coupled with the compound movements…besides I cant think of any compound movement that hits the calves anyways.

    Fasting your right day in day out it can kiick ass for fat and weight loss but muscle gain not so much unless your a genetic freak lol id say. The only fasting I can see as useful is perhaps more the brad pilon way of doing things with one long fast, due to autophagy and protein recycling. That stuff does hold merit.
    On sundays my main and only deficit day I do this were I eat nice big breakfast steak and eggs low carb than leave it till next morning. (Really nice to drop all that water and carb weight too so get an accurate body fat and weight reading Monday morning)


    • Michael Cocchiola


      Yeah I like doing a little Abs just to maintain strength because I actually enjoy it. As long as it 3-4 heavy sets and not ab circuits like p90x. (overkill) Basically just weighted crunches and reverse crunches.

      Goblet squats are really good for the abs and I can get really deep ROM and more emphasis on Quads. Very similar to the front squats, but I just prefer the Dumbbell because its easier to hold.

      Yeah cycle diet pretty interesting. Its kind of funny though; if you average the numbers out of calories 10-12 x bodyweight 6 days a week with one day at calories of 40-55 cal per pound of lean body mass, it averages out to bodyweight x 15. Which is maintenance for most people that are active. Dont get me wrong the effects are probably much different than just eating maintenance, but is kind of interesting to note that the one cheat blow out day is basically just bringing you back up to average. I can see a diet like that being very fun though if you dont have issues with bingeing.

      Yeah whats funny is my experience with fasting is most people that do it are the most overweight people I have met. Its like it can’t be that great haha. I never really liked it. I found it too hard to eat healthy when doing it because of the massive food volume you have to get used to. You almost have to resort to unhealthy foods to make sure your eating enough. Probably why most leangains meals use a lot of junk food. You almost have to, so your stomach doesnt explode from like 8 cups of cooked rice and 24oz of meat haha. I also didnt like feeling like I “shouldn’t eat”, but I can binge as long as I wait 4 more hours. Kind of created an unhealthy mindset for me. I may revisit it in the future if my schedule completly changes and I have no time to eat early, but for now its not for me.

      Yeah I would save the sunday meal for dinner. I hate going to bed on an empty stomach. I also feel like would be ravenous all day if I did that haha.


  3. carson

    How do you get enough weight with the goblet squats?? must be a really heavy dumbbell…im just thinking compared to leg press or back squat.
    Cycle diet by scott, I think can be verrry useful if you want to be lean year round and lifestyle requires it like if you have to constanly do photo shoots. Plus you get to enjoy one day a week like its Christmas. So its prolly great for fat loss and maintanence though I cant see it being the way to go for building muscle. But 2 downsides I haven’t heard mentioned yet that seem obvious are 1- adherence and planning(lots of planning and adherence to your diet take a lot of self control and prolly would be unsustainable in a lot of cases) 2- I cant see for long term health wise how it would be good to let your body run in a defecit 6 days a week year round….particularly from an endocrinology stand point.

    That’s funny, I tried martin berkhan’s 16/8 leangains diet too and yea same thing stuffing down 2500+ calories of clean good food in 8 hours was not comfortable at all. I guess if you were Big guy with a huge appetite that way of eating would be easy but certainly didn’t eat for an ecto like me with meagre appetite. I have to eat 4-6 meals a day to comfortably get my food in you too I’m guessing? Leangains was VERY tough to adhere too as well I found it challenging to stick too with planning and lifestyle etc. Maybe if I was a celebrity or athlete where I dint have to goto work everyday I could pull that off but just didn’t work. Sure you felt similar?


  4. Michael Cocchiola


    I can do much more weight on Back Squats, but since the goblet squat is at a unique angle it hits the quads pretty hard. I do see it being an issue at heavier weights though and may have to change to front or back squats. I would ideally like to do lunges every workout haha. Not sure why, but I love that exercise. May do regular lunges one day and reverse lunges the next haha.

    Yeah the cycle diet is very interesting. I may try it in the future, but going to give this leangains cycle a try first. It is kind of cool though to eat like a fat kid once a week though haha. Especially if you can actually get benefit from it. But yeah I dont see it being great for muscle building either. It seems like more of a maintenance diet for most people that already ripped. Yeah to your point 1 – I can see you having a ravenous appetite the whole week after a day like that. Everytime I have a big eating day, I know my metabolism is on fire the next few days due to my ravenous appetite. Its like I cant get enough food. To your point two, yeah it will depend on what their diet consists of during the week. If its just protein and vegetables then yeah the endocrine system is going to take a hit, but I guess that is the point of the cheat day to balance everything out. But if all your doing is balancing out, you may as well just eat more everyday instead of suffering through 6 days of dieting for one day of enjoyment. You would almost have to “like” the diet days in order to stay on that diet.

    Yeah leangains is just a really simple template to follow which I like. Its lift 3 days a week go high carb and calorie on days you lift and less carbs and calories on days you rest. Then if you drink make sure to get in your protein and you wont ruin results. I like the setup more than the fasting though, which I think is the most important thing. Some people like big meals, which is fine, but again you really have to resort to unhealthy foods because of the volume that healthy food provides. I’ve noticed fasting really impacted my lifestyle when I tried it. Having to explain to people that you cant eat, because its not in your eating window is pretty dumb. Yeah, but I’m really enjoying pounding the carbs right now. I’m not sure I’m going to enjoy the cycling piece vs just eating the same amount everyday. Sometimes I dont feel like eating way over maintenance and other days I dont feel like dieting. I’m the kind of guy that like consistency and sticking to the same amount everyday for the most part. Although I still want to give the cycling a fair chance.


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