210 – Back from Cruise, Refocus on Goals, Body Part Split

IMG_3408
Pre-Interview

I plan to get more consistent with my training and diet. Through a variety of factors that have happened recently it hasn’t been as organized as I would have liked. My cruise trip was awesome though and a very fun time. Diet wasn’t terrible during the trip though. Well one day it was, but the other three were pretty good, besides some drinks I had onboard. The eating was buffet style and I had 2 boiled eggs, bacon, veggies and fruit for breakfast. We then went on to the island for the whole day, so skipped lunch. I made up for it by having a pretty huge dinner of tons of different meats, vegetables, cheese and Italian salads. As for alcohol, the first day I tried some different cocktails I had always wanted to try, but the rest of the time I stuck to wine or liquor with a low calorie mixer. I felt tremendously better without all that sugar and fat the cocktails brought. I only worked out once during the cruise and that was at the very beginning. I did get a ton of walking in though every single day. The lowest day was like 13000 steps and the highest way like 22000 steps.

I also want to refocus my training efforts and start to train more like a bodybuilder again. My plan is to do a 5 day split consisting of:

  • Chest/Tris
  • Back/Bis
  • Legs/Abs
  • Shoulders/Traps
  • Arms/Abs
  • Off
  • Off

Either this or a 4 day split without the arms day. In the gym I mainly just want to direct my focus to the individual muscle and hit everything when I’m fresh. Also I’m not really worrying about frequency because a lot of these muscles get hit indirectly twice a week anyway. Like shoulders basically get hit everyday besides leg day, arms getting hit twice and also chest and back get hit on arms day due to close grip bench and chinups.

The big movements will be done for 3 sets of 5-8 reps and the accessory will be hit for 3 sets of 8-10 reps. Probably not going much higher than 10 reps to be honest. I’m also doing this split for the sake of time. I had a good interview recently and will most likely start working again soon. I plan to do this split during my lunch break in which I will need to be done and back in an hour. I see a split like this taking about 35-45 minutes with no cardio being done. This allows me to change and get back across the street to work.

Diet wise I’m upping the protein to at least 1 gram per pound. Lowering calories to drop some fat I put on during the cruise and the couple of weeks leading up to it. Calories were mainly estimated at this time, but I noticed a decrease in leanness and that’s not the way I roll ;). Dietary fat will be around .4-.5 grams per pound and carbs I get mainly from fruits and vegetables and totals around 100-150 grams a day.

I will say after doing this split training, I have had a lot of fun in the gym. I really like doing 3 sets instead of 4-5 as well. It allows me to get more intense on each movement and include more variety. I also really like hitting everything fresh. Shoulders kind of get the shaft on a push/pull split unless you start with that movement, but then chest gets the shaft. I’d rather give it its own day.

Advertisements

Journal Entry 209 – Back to Split Training and Diet Update

After getting a little bit more time on my hands as of late, I decided to move back to split training doing two push workouts a week, two pulls and one legs/abs day. My legs get used a lot, because of my walking 5-7 miles a day and I don’t see the need to hit them twice a week.

The reason I wanted to move back to split training was mainly because I realized I was starting to pack too many exercises into one workout. I missed doing isolation exercises that really allow me to feel the muscle working. After doing this split last week, I admit I was very sore all over. My legs are still sore and I worked them out on Friday. My squat strength took a hit, but I usually gain that back quickly. I also kind of missed that “bodybuilder” style of training and getting really good blood flow and pumps in the gym. Haven’t done a lot of direct shoulder pressing in a while either and it felt good to add that back in.

Push, Pull, Legs is probably my all time favorite split. I like the idea of starting with the big muscles and then finishing off the smaller ones with isolations after they have already been fatigued from the big lifts. I considered doing the old style of chest/tri, back/bi, legs/abs and shoulders/traps, but I don’t think shoulders need its own day and I like hitting muscles more often then once a week.

Here is a sample push workout: (I change the exercises on the second day, but the same template follows)

  • Chest Compound 3 sets of 6-10 reps and 1 set of 10-15 reps
  • Chest Isolation 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Shoulders Compound (same as chest)
  • Shoulders Iso (same as chest)
  • Triceps Compound (same as chest)
  • Triceps Iso (same as chest)

Pull is slightly different, but still a pretty simple template. Leg day is very simple with squats, lunges, leg extension and leg curl done with similar rep schemes.

My diet has been much higher in protein recently. I have been tracking my intake, but eating rather intuitively at the moment. When I eat intuitively its almost always high in protein and moderate and carbs and fat. Calories have been low to mid 2000’s on most days and around 25-2700 on weekends. I have been craving more protein recently and have bought some cottage cheese to eat at night. This is perfect right before bed due to the casein protein it contains. For me though, I notice some carbs are good, but too many just doesn’t go over well. I tend to look and feel my best when carbs are between 100-160 grams or so. I notice if I go too high in carbs the only positive thing that happens is a performance boost in the gym. I tend to look softer, more bloated and get some pretty ravenous cravings no matter how healthy the meal. My energy levels also take a dive. I tend to feel lazy and unmotivated, when I expected the opposite to happen. If I take a lot of concentrated starch out of my meals I feel incredible. (Note – this happens no matter what I do in the gym) If I had to pick a macro split per meal that tends to serve me best it would probably be 35-50 grams of protein / 20-40 grams of carbs / 15-25 grams of fat. I just look and feel so much better with a setup like this. If I had to describe my diet it would be lean protein sources, fruit, vegetables, limited starches (but not zero) and added fat sources (cheese, avocado, whole eggs, salmon and fish oil). For example, I’ll have some of the bread basket at a meal when we go out to eat, but my main course will be low carbs. So total carbs dont get much above 40-50 grams even with eating bread before. For me it seems to be the amount of carbs that trigger appetite and NOT the type (high gi vs low gi). The problem is a lot of diets tend to be lower in fat (40-50 grams or so) moderate- high protein (120-200 grams) and A LOT of carbs. So at some point during the day, you going to need a pretty big dose of carbs to get enough in. Some times big dinners dont work with my schedule so that would mean a big breakfast or lunch, which just tanks my energy. I cant stand it. So these macros just dont work for me. I would much rather eat more protein and fat and drop carbs lower to avoid this. Kind of a shame, because I would like a higher carb diet to work for me, but it just doesn’t haha. It doesn’t bug me too bad though, because protein and fat tends to taste better to me anyway. To sum up, some carbs are good, but too many is bad. As long as my calories stay elevated, my strength and performance in the gym is just as good without the extra carbs. Maybe not as good, but the increased energy, focus and reduced water retention is well worth it in my opinion.

Also, meant to mention this earlier, but I find it far easier and more enjoyable to eat lower carb in a restaurant than lower fat. You can pretty much go anywhere and eat something low carb, where as if you try to go lower fat you pretty much out of luck unless you hit Subway or get some really bland entree that tastes like you could have made it at your house for far less money. Carbs without fat not as great as you would think from a taste standpoint.

I have a cruise coming up this week from Thursday to Monday for my birthday and that should be awesome. They do have a gym on the ship, so I plan to hit the gym in town on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, take Thursday off (flight to Miami) and then hopefully hit the gym two of the three days I’m on the ship. Not really going to sweat it if I dont make it to the gym as I’ll be pretty active that day anyway.

Menno Henselmans recently released another article about burning fat and building muscle at the same time. Really like his articles and hes put a lot of research and effort in to each one. But really good read, because most people say its impossible, but in reality it is not.

Some pics from the week:

Papa Johns - BBQ chicken and The Works
Papa Johns – BBQ chicken and The Works
My neighborhood
My neighborhood
Eggs
Eggs

IMG_3171

Chocolate Oats with cocoa powder
Chocolate Oats with cocoa powder
Homemade Chipotle Bowl
Homemade Chipotle Bowl
Lean meat and potatoes
Lean meat and potatoes
Fantasy Football Showdown haha
Fantasy Football Showdown haha
Eggs and Veggies
Eggs and Veggies

Journal Entry 208 – Halloween

Halloween Costume
Halloween Costume

Pretty active week for me last week. Hit a lot of steps and averaged about 14000 a day. Halloween was this weekend, so this past weekend wasn’t the healthiest in terms of nutrition, but it was a good time. I went as Spiderman and my other friends went as the Avengers.

Strength has been more or less the same here recently. Still hitting around 190lbs for 3 sets of 5-8 reps on bench. Chinups and Dips are more or less the same, but if anything they have slightly increased.

Hit a low weigh in of roughly 169lbs this Saturday. My diet recently has been pretty relaxed in terms of food choices, but I have a few simple guidelines I have been following. Sunday through Thursday I try to hit anywhere between 1700-2000 calories. The goal here is to burn fat all week. Friday is a maintenance intake and Saturday is a cheat day. Last Saturday was 3500 calories (at least that’s what I wrote down haha). This template just seems to work very well for me and allows a high degree of flexibility worked in. Averaged out over a week, calories were 2150 and macros were 145 protein / 200 carbs / 60 grams of fat.

Lunch is usually my biggest meal of the day and has most of my carbs and fat. I do this mainly because its the meal I enjoy the most and have the most time to make and eat. Its also right after I exercise. Dinner is has been kind of small here recently and usually is just protein, veggies and some hummus.

Giants put up 49 points and lost this week. Eli put up 350 yards and 6 touchdowns and Beckham caught 3 tds for 130 yards. Should have won, but awesome game to watch.

Some pics from the week:

Eggs and rice
Eggs and rice
Calamari and veggies
Calamari and veggies
Greatness
Greatness
PF Changs my new favorite restaturant
PF Changs my new favorite restaturant
Calzone
Calzone
My neighborhood walk view
My neighborhood walk view
Fall
Fall
Tequila with Diet Sierra Mist
Tequila with Diet Sierra Mist
Omelete with veggies
Omelete with veggies
Meat and veggies
Meat and veggies