Really good week in training and eating. Don’t have a whole lot going on socially at the moment, especially during the week and this allows me to be much more consistent with my diet and training times.
Training I was able to increase my weight almost across every exercise, each day, except for barbell bench press. That was the only exercise that felt very heavy for some reason. Leg strength is picking back up quick, which is awesome. I have felt very good though in terms of strength in the gym. One change I did make to my workout is reduce the rest time between sets back to a normal 1 min – 1min 30 seconds instead of 45 seconds. I felt the quicker rest times were annoying and were getting in the way of me progressing. Martin Berkhan had a good article stating that strength and cardio are completely different and should be treated as such. I couldn’t agree more and I wanted to be ready to go for each set instead of rushing it.
My workouts set a rep goal of either 24 total reps or 40 total reps on each exercise. When 24 reps is the goal I need to get the selected weight up in either 3-4 sets in order to bump the weight up next workout. On the days I’m shooting for 40 reps on each exercise, I allow myself a range of 38-40 reps to be completed in 4-5 sets. This means if I hit 38 reps through 5 sets I will allow myself to increase the weight, but 37 or lower I have to stay with that weight. I really like this system of progressive overload though, especially on the last set because I like pushing myself to go hard to ensure I can bump up the weight next time.
- BB Squats 195lbs – easily got 24 reps in 4 sets, so bumping to 205 next workout
- Lunges – 45lbs each hand got 41 reps in 5 sets, so bumping to 50lbs in each hand for next workout
- BB row – 135lbs for 5 sets of 8 reps, bumping to 140lbs next workout
- BB Curl – 75lbs for 5 sets and got 38 reps. Barely got it, but will bump to 80lbs next workout
- Trapbar Deadlifts – 205 for 5 sets of 42 reps total. Will bump to 215 next workout
- DB low inc bench press – 70lbs each hand for 39 total reps. Will bump up to 75’s next workout
- Dips 5lbs between feet for an easy 40 reps. Will bump up to 10lbs next workout
- DB lateral raise 17.5lbs each hand for 41 reps. Will bump up to 20lbs next workout
These were just a few highlights of what I was able to increase. I was not able to increase chinups, barbell bench or barbell shoulder press unfortunately. Although I got very close on the shoulder press. As I said last week though, I really like the 3 day split in terms of just being able to feel fresh on every single workout. The other days include walking, stretching and light bodyweight exercises, but nothing taxing.
Diet wise I’m hitting 2000 calories every day. Average intake was 160g protein / 190g of carbs / 50g fiber / 70g fat. This was almost perfect and is exactly where I want to be. I look and feel my best on this amount 90% of the time. This is roughly 600 calories under my maintenance each day, so right around a pound of fat loss a week.
My consistency has been on point for the last two weeks though every single day and I have noticed big time. The past few months leading up to this, I was kind of all over the place, but I’m fixing that now.
Jacob Wilson was on a new podcast this week talking about some really interesting points with diet. I’ll list a few highlights of the notes I took down.
- Increasing protein can be an effective tool to “reverse diet” because its very hard to store as fat. Meaning if you want to increase your calories without getting fat, protein should likely be the first increase you make. As you get calories back up and hold weight steady, then slowly reduce protein and add in more carbs and fat
- A new study compared two groups of intermediate weight lifters. One group took in 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight and the other group took in 3.4 grams of protein per kg or 1.5 grams per pound of bodyweight. Both groups made similar improvements in performance and gained the same amount of lean mass, but the higher protein group lost more fat, despite eating more calories. Pretty interesting considering they ate more calories, gained just as much muscle and lost more fat. Pretty sure no one would complain about those results.
- Another effective way of dieting would be to diet for 11 days then take 3 day off and repeat. This has been shown to be more effective that people that just dieted the whole time. I’m guessing the 3 days is a long enough period of time to reset hormones and bump up leptin and the metabolism for a period of time.
- He recommend a mimimum of 2 grams per kg of protein and usually recommends 3 grams per kg when undergoing very hard training or losing fat.
- He doesn’t recommend setting protein and fat then filling the rest with carbs, which is the approach many people take. He basically said carbs tend to make people fat over time and you could always increase to more protein or fat because in some people this will allow them to stay leaner when calories get higher.
- He compared 2 groups of elite athletes. I’m assuming they were already very lean to begin with. One group tried to lose two pounds a week and the other tried to lose only one pound per week. The group that tried to lose two pounds per week lost 20% of their fat mass and lost some muscle, while the other group lost 30% of their fat mass and gained muscle. So the group on higher calories lost more fat mass and gained muscle. Nice! He stated that the leaner you get the slower you need to take it, in terms of a calorie deficit. The fatter you are the more aggressive you can be, but need to slow down once you become lean.
Some pics from the week: