Month: August 2016

Journal Entry 236 – Upper Body Gains

Another good week in training:

  • Sunday – 4 mile run
  • Monday – 5 mile run
  • Tuesday – 2 mile run and machine weights (upper body 3 sets of 10 reps) 1 mile walk
  • Wednesday – Same as Tuesday
  • Thursday – 2 mile run and Upperbody free weights (3 sets of 10 reps)
  • Friday – 3 mile run and Upperbody Free Weights (3 sets of 10 reps)
  • Saturday – 2-3 mile run and upper body free weights (3 sets of 10 reps)

Been focusing mainly on upper body, while saving my legs for running. I can’t stand when my legs are so sore that walking becomes difficult. In my opinion, big legs don’t look good anyway, so I don’t see the point in doing super heavy and high volume days with legs. My upper body has been responding nicely though. I think the reduced workload on the legs besides running has helped my upperbody progress a lot. I have mainly been focused on rep goals again and sticking with 3 sets of 10 reps, while hitting the upper body 5 days a week.

Rep goal means once you hit at least 30 reps with a certain weight, you then increase the weight used. So if I hit 34 reps (70lbs x 12,11,10 – total reps 34) with 70lb dumbbells on a flat bench press, I then increase to 75lbs and stay with that weight until I get at least 30 reps. This is good for size and strength and still focuses on progressive overload. I’m still steering away from heavy weights though. 10 reps feels good and I want to keep it around that. Also on the first set of each exercise I try to get as many reps as I can. So instead of stopping at 10 reps like a traditional 3×10 workout, I just go as many as I can get. I got this from Menno Henselmans and recently worked it back into my routine.

Diet has been high protein, moderate carb and low to moderate fat just like in other weeks. One day I ended up hitting close to 250 grams of protein. A little too much but whatever. I feel really good in the gym and my size seems to be improving without fat gain. If I had to estimate, calories are around the 2200-2400 calorie range for the week. Appetite is still very strong. I was thinking of doing an epic cheat day soon, because some days I feel like a bottomless pit, but I may let that day find me instead of planning it for a certain day. I honestly think with the work I’ve been doing recently, it would provide some favorable effects for me.

My weight is holding steady around 171-173lbs on average.

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Journal Entry 235 – Sticking with Full Body and New Breakfast

I decided to stick with the full body approach vs the split routine. I did cardio on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. On Tuesday I did Full Body and I have done Full Body on Thursday, Friday and will finish on Saturday. I actually organized my workouts this week into a template that I really like. It’s fatiguing, but avoids super heavy weights in order to prevent neural (CNS) fatigue. I read a very interesting article (based on hypertrophy) that was talking about how you can overdo strength training and all your really doing is making your self super fatigued from stressing out the nervous system, while the muscles can actually handle way more volume. The way around this is to avoid heavy weights. Since I have the tendency to overdo it, I decided to stick with 10 reps to stay away from those heavier weights. I have been pretty sore, but it feels awesome to train this way.

My setup looks like this:

  • Push Move – 5 sets of 10 reps (one of the below)
    • BB Bench, INC DB Bench, BB Shoulder Press
  • Pull Move – 5 sets of 10 reps (one of the below)
    • TBar Rows, DB Rows, Chinups
  • Legs Move – 5 sets of 10 reps (one of the below)
    • BB Squats, Leg Press, Lunges
  • Upper Shoulders – 5 sets of 10 reps (one of the below)
    • Lateral Raise, Rear Delt Raise, Shrugs
  • Fluff – 3 sets of 12- 20 reps (pure pump) (one exercise for each)
    • Biceps
    • Triceps
    • Abs

This routine has a lot of volume, but due to the reps being lighter and staying the hell away from heavy weights, its actually very fun to do. My midweek workout was all on machines which was alright, but I do like using free weights for at least 2 of the 3 main moves. Hard to tell, but I usually do free weights with 2 out of the 3 main movements and a lighter move for the third. For example, if I did INC DB Bench for Push and DB Rows for Pull then I did a lighter leg press move so I don’t overwork myself.

I do 3 of those in a row during my weekend and one during the week. I think going above 4 days may lead to some burn out. I do some big eating after these workouts to compensate. One thing I don’t do though is overdo it on carbs. I really don’t think you need to stuff yourself with excess carbs to recover and grow. I do think you need some but just balance it out with the rest of your diet. I think I’m done with the whole “refeed” like crazy after your workouts. I just eat the same all the time, which is just straight balanced. Also I have heard the more you do Keto, have a history of low calorie diets or your genes are subpar, then you are far more efficient with glucose than others. Meaning I may not need nearly as much as other people. Anecdotally I have noticed this. Yet protein seems to be an endless fuel for me and I feel fantastic after eating higher protein meals. So instead of leaving protein the same or even lowering it on a bulk like many people do. I plan on raising it, while still keeping moderate carbs and fat in my diet. Just they way I like to do it ;).

New go to breakfast though which almost always ends up being my preworkout meal. Two 100 calorie packets of oatmeal (roughly 30 carbs) cooked in 1 cup of water for 1-2 mins in microwave. Mix in 1 scoop of protein powder after cooked and top with berries. This mean has like 350 calories and literally is like rocket fuel for the gym. Its also very volumetric and if you get the cooking down, it tastes  like cake. I also noticed after eating this and hitting the gym I’m literally full for like 7 hours after eating it. Pretty amazing to be honest. I then usually feast at night on protein and veggies and have a big protein type dessert.

Journal Entry 244 -Running On

Another week of a relatively sporadic exercise schedule in terms of organization, but consistent in terms of hitting something everyday. I lifted about 4 days this week and ran the other three.

Cardio has become sort of a sanctuary for me recently. I can be completely alone, zoned out, decrease my anxiety, increase energy and positivity and it takes a whopping 10-30 minutes a day to achieve this. It has become almost a sort of meditation for me. I love it.  I plan to keep in at least 3 dedicated cardio only days in my plan. When I say “alone” my gym as become sort of overcrowded here recently and sometimes its hard to hit the “zone” when you have so many people in the way. When I go running I’m the only one on the treadmill, so I can hit this meditation without fail. I would like to hit a 3 day split so I can have at least 4 cardio days.

I am on the fence between two routines at the moment. One is a 3 day full body setup. The other is a 4 day split routine. I have noticed heavy lifting too many days in a row saps me of energy. Which is why I will either to 3 days of every other day lifting (strongly leaning towards this) or a 2 on 1 off 1 on 1 off type approach. That way a rest day (or cardio only day) will be inserted in between heavy lifting sessions. The 4 day routine will be a basic bodybuilder split of chest/tri, back/bis, legs/abs, shoulders/arms. The 3 day full body workout will have 4 moves a major push, pull, legs and a compound – isolation move at the end:

  • Example – (each day is different in terms of exercises but the same in terms of layout)
  • Trapbar Deadlift – Legs
  • DB Inc Press – Push
  • Chinups – Pull
  • Dips – Compound Isolation
  • 4 x 8 reps with a single weight. If  30-32 reps are achieved increase weight next workout.
  • Easy enough. Always a big fan of simplicity.

On lifting days, I will do 10 minutes of running and the other days will be 30-60 minutes of straight cardio at 6 mph on a treadmill. May not sound like fun, but I have come to love it.

Diet wise has been roughly 2300 calories a day. Roughly 200 carbs / 200 protein and 50 fat and some alcohol :). This is a very loose estimate as well. Probably was a bit higher than this to be honest.

Journal Entry 243

Another week in the books. My weight was a little lower this week around 170lbs or so. My running was around 10 minutes a day and I decided to add a heavy move to the beginning of each day. I have had the urge to skip lifting some days and just go for a walk/run outside because its so nice out, but didn’t do that once this week.

I did go pretty heavy this week for and aimed for around 4-6 reps on the first move and 6-8 on the rest. My triceps were extremely sore all week, but everything else seemed fine. I do prefer sticking to a slightly higher rep range than 4-6, but I have really big urges to lift heavy someday’s so I just try to work it in. I do like the full body approach, especially with a big push, pull move each workout. I do not do legs everyday with running. It would wreck me unless the legs move was super light. I do hit a lot of shoulders though. They seem to be fine with the volume.

My diet philosophy here recently is basically just eat high protein, keep fat around 50-60 grams tops and carbs go up and down. Calories are eaten based on hunger, but as long as I stay around these macros I really dont care what I hit. When you train 7 days a week for at least 45 minutes and are active during the other points in your day, then diet basically just becomes making sure your eating enough. I seem to be able to eat much more so in the past, mainly due to the increased volume of my workouts. I have been enjoying some more oatmeal in the mornings, bananas for snacks (always seem to give me very good energy), still eating my fair share of protein bars ;), and eating big meals at night. I do snack a lot at work on jerky and popchips.

Nothing fancy this week though. I do have a company party today, which will have a lot of food and alcohol, but like I said, just going to get my training in and not really worry about it too much.