Journal Entry 246 – I’m Engaged!

I got engaged to my girlfriend Sarah last night! This is something we had talked about for awhile, but I wanted to do it before the Holiday’s and before we moved in together. I had the luxury of meeting her family multiple times(which is much bigger and closer than mine) and she has met my parents several times. We were practically living together now anyway, as I would stay at her place half the week and she would stay at mine. I’m really looking forward to starting our life together and just have to stick it out for a couple of months until we get our own place. Depending on where we move I may change gyms, but not sure yet. I love Golds, but there’s a chance that a huge ACAC may be right next to where we live and since I workout in the morning it would be within walking distance.

In terms of training and eating, my weight has been higher on the scale than I would like to be. I weighed in at very high 180lbs earlier this week. I think this is due to my training, to be honest. I also had a BIG eating weekend last weekend, but my training could also use some work. I love making strength gains, but I hate waiting 2 minutes between sets and the neural fatigue that comes with heavy weights. Sometimes it’s hard to motivate myself to go to the gym. Neural fatigue does not mean strength and size gains. Your muscles are well equipped to take a beating, but neural fatigue just makes your body tire not your muscles. I love the rush of moving and sweating when I workout. Going to the gym for an hour and sitting on the bench to lift a heavy a** weight for 5 reps is really losing its luster for me. I do plan to include some heavy sets of barbell bench once or twice a week, but I will probably superset this with a back move and get back to my higher rep training. I will admit even though my strength wasn’t going up when I was doing my lift everyday experiment, my size gains did appear to be way better. I could also eat with reckless abandon and it just didn’t seem to negatively affect me.

So I plan on moving into a daily lifting plan with higher reps and smaller rest periods. Also, I want to run 1-2 miles before each workout. I have been sticking to 6 mph, but I think I’m going to increase this to a 7-8mph to get my speed up. I was talking to someone at work who ran a marathon in 3 hours and 30 minutes, which he said was about 8 mins a mile. That was shocking to me. 8 mph is not easy and to maintain that for an entire marathon is very impressive. I always liked running and was pretty good at it, so I’m definitely keeping running in my workouts. I may take a couple days off from lifting and do some long runs, but I will play that by ear. I also like the luxury of lifting from whatever gym I’m at instead of feeling forced to go to Gold’s to lift heavy wieghts. Sarah’s gym is WIDE OPEN in the morning before work. There is like a max of one person in there and they are usually on the treadmill. An open gym is like a playground for me. It just instantly puts me in a good mood.

As for eating, I don’t plan on changing that much to be honest. Still largely winging it, but I like eating a lot and putting into good use in the gym. The heavy training (at least only heavy training) wasn’t having the effects I was planning for on nutrient partitioning and I just seemed to be gaining body fat.

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Journal Entry 245 – Morning Workouts

This marks the third week of my push/pull split. I have been making slow and steady gains in strength across the board on all exercises. The minimalist nature of it allows me to put full effort into all of my exercises. My push workouts are hands down my favorite of all time. I have reduced my first move from 4 work sets to 3 work sets and kept the second move at 4 sets. I considered the DB incline press the main muscle builder and wanted to allow a little more energy for that. Although, the barbell bench is still of prime importance to me. I also plan on switching chin-ups with DB rows, so heavy chin-ups will be my main move and DB rows will be my main accessory. DB rows remind me more of a DB incline press and I don’t think going too heavy feels all that good or effective. Chin-ups are easier to add weight as well, by just putting weight between your feet or wearing a weight belt. I also changed shrugs and cable rows out for T-bar rows and standing lat preachers. Biceps are still the same. If I have time at the end of the pull workout (or any energy left for that matter) I will add in shrugs one day and rear delts on the other.

I will admit though these workouts as simple as they look can be very draining. I even bonked out at the end of my push workout yesterday doing DB skullcrushers. Meaning I couldn’t even lift the 20’s for reps haha. I have also been running at least a mile before each session. I missed one day of working because I stayed up to watch the election, but it was just a cardio day, so it wasn’t a huge deal.

My diet has averaged 2500 calories this week with 287g Carbs / 77g Fat / 172g Protein. These are shear estimations with lots of potential error factored in. The way I have been eating recently has been pretty relaxed. My main focus is body recomposition with mainly muscle gain. What this means is my goal is to gain muscle, but if I notice I start getting fat then I will scale back a couple of days to drop some fat and water and then resume normal eating. Pretty effective way to eat. I have noticed though I have lacked control over my appetite at times. For example, put any dip such as cream cheese / hummus / salsa / sour cream and I will devour it in seconds with no regard. Especially hummus. I’m not sure what my deal is with that stuff, but I have zero self-control when it is around. Pizza is the same way and recently sweets have been going down in similar fashion. I can think my girlfriend Sarah for some of these issues ;). Don’t really mind at the moment though. Muscle gains occur mainly through eating enough food, so as long as I get my 4 lifting days spread throughout the week then I’m sure a large percentage is going to muscle.

Journal Entry 244 – Getting Organized

First week of the regular schedule. The first two days I went to the gym after work and hit the gym around 6:15. Monday wasn’t bad at all and I was shocked. Then I realized it was Halloween and lot of people were with their kids. Tuesday night came and it was PACKED. My workout was still good though because all I did was cardio that day anyway. On Wednesday, I had dinner plans at 730 PM so the gym wasn’t really an option because I had to shower after and I wouldn’t have time. So I got up at 645 AM and there was like 10 people in the entire gym. So I think I found the time I plan on going. My strength was fine early in the morning, but I did do some cardio to heat up my body temperature and loosen up the joints.

I plan the schedule to look like this:

  • Monday – Cardio
  • Tuesday –  Push
  • Wednesday – Pull
  • Thursday – Cardio
  • Friday – Cardio
  • Saturday – Push
  • Sunday – Pull

As for my lifts, Barbell Bench is up to 195lbs already from 185lbs. I’m touching the bar all the way to my chest for better form and range of motion. I got 5, 5, 4, 4 reps with 195lbs last Push workout. Pull workout I got the 115lb Db’s for 5, 5, 4, 3. I dont remember ever breaking the 115lbs with this exercise so looking forward to the 120s.

Cardio is a steady state jog for 40-50 minutes. On days I know I’m going to eat a ton and those days happen to fall on non-lifting days, I will also throw in some high rep (20 reps) depletion work on the machines. I also do 10-15 minutes of running before each lifting day.

Diet is as follows:

  • Supplements before work with a can of spinach
  • Meal 1 – Coffee > Protein Pudding/ Berries >Lenny and Larry Cookie (small size)
    • (400 cals – 30 grams of protein)
  • Meal 2 – Bag of Rice Cakes or Pop Chips (usually change the flavors up)> Protein Bar
    • (550 calories and – 25 grams of protein)
  • Totals around 1000 calories and 55 grams of protein at this point
  • Meal 3 – Lifting Days
    • Pretty much anything I want for around 1000-1300 calories
      • Chipotle helps a lot with this. So much customization options to hit the amount you want. It also tastes phenomenal and it really affordable for the food you get.
  • Meal 3 – Cardio Day
    • Pretty much anything for around 800-1000 calories
  • Meal 4 – Usually protein pudding, cottage cheese or ice cream
    • 100-200 calories
  • Totals – Lifting Days – 2500+ calories / Cardio Days – 2000 calories

So my diet is structured during the day because I find it keeps my hunger at bay nicely. Then very flexible at night, because I can pretty much eat anything I want. I usually go to Chipotle, but I may start throwing in small pizzas and subs as well. These tend to be loaded with protein, carbs and fat, which is what I want at that point. Macros are very balanced at the moment. Protein is around 120-140 grams, carbs is close to double that and fat is around 60-70 grams most days.