Today marks the end of my 3-week hiatus. I’ve had a lot going on recently and never really had a chance to sit down and write a post. Over the past 2 weeks, Sarah and I bought a dog! It is a shih-tzu / bichon mix that is 100% hypoallergenic. This was more for Sarah than for me as I’m not allergic to any dogs. We named him Luke after Luke Skywalker. Coincidentally he was born on 5/4/2018, which is Star Wars day and the date of our rehearsal dinner. Not going to lie, he is a lot of work. More work than I thought it would be and I’ve had dogs my entire life, but it has been awhile since I had a puppy and I forgot the amount of energy these dogs have. Also, he’s a lot of money. I know startup costs are high, but if you are running low on money and are thinking about getting a pet, I highly recommend thinking again.
I do have good news to report in terms of my lifting progress. I set a personal record on the bench press for 225lbs at 6 reps. The bench has felt fantastic recently and I actually did that with a cold. I’ve been sick since I left the beach last weekend, but it did not seem to affect my lifts. Recently I’ve been prioritizing the bench above all else in the gym. The prioritization has paid off. My goal is to get my bench press to 225lbs for 3 sets of 8 reps with ease. Once I hit this, my bench lifting goals will pretty much be complete. Funny enough my weight has been going down as well. I’m sitting at roughly 179lbs. I’m benching more at this weight than I was at 185lbs. My goal is to get down to the 170-175lbs range, while continuing to increase my strength. My overall volume in the gym has been low recently. My diet consists of a ton of protein and little carbs and moderate fats at the moment. This is my go-to when trying to lose fat and look my best. Since my volume is low, my strength has still been going up as there isn’t a ton of muscular damage to repair. I have barely run at all recently as well. I think once in the last month.
My workout schedule is heavy bench 3 sets of 6-8 reps 3 times a week every other day. I then do a Pull movement for 4 sets of 6-10 reps (heavy) and then an abs movement for 3 sets of 6-10 reps.
On the days, I’m not doing a bench I do the same setup scheme, but usually either an Incline Dumbell Press or Pushups instead of flat bench. I’ve found that by keeping the volume low each day, I can come back the next day and hit it hard regardless of what I did the day before. Obviously works since my bench has been skyrocketing recently.
My diet is pretty simple at the moment:
2 12oz Coffees with half and half
2 hardboiled eggs
*Our Little Rebellion Protein Crisps 1 5oz bag (eaten throughout the day)
12oz of either ground Turkey Meat or Beef with cheese and small amounts of vegetables
Protein Pudding with blueberries
That is pretty much it almost every single day. Sounds boring, but I really like it. It’s helping me shred fat and increase my lifts at the same time. Don’t mind if I do.
Jerky and Frying Cheese
Ground Turkey, Frying Cheese, Veggies – My dinner almost every night
Steak and wings with double broccli from Kickback Jacks
Long time no post! Sarah and I have been very busy the past few weeks with the move-in process. Homeownership as we have been told and now experienced is a lot of work. It’s one of those things you don’t really appreciate until you go through it for the first time. Most of my free time has been moving everything around, hanging stuff up, fixing repairs, and yardwork. That being said the house looks great! We also had a home warming party last night, which was a ton of fun.
I have been tearing up my workouts recently. My workout’s format is below:
Push Compound – 3-5 sets of 6-12 reps
If at home I just do 5 sets of Pushups
Pull Movement – 3-5 sets of 8-12 reps
If at home I just do 5 sets of Pullups
Abs – 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps
That is all. I do this workout style every day and I take days off as needed, but usually only one day off on the weekend. I found by not overdoing the volume and avoiding the “junk volume/movements” I’m able to workout like this every day and perform well on every movement. My bench is already up 10lbs from this style of lifting. I try to heavy bench twice a week. I’m also doing heavy abs every workout and can really feel a difference when lifting heavy weights on my compound movements. I love it so far and another huge positive of this style of lifting is that it only takes 35 minutes a day.
My weight is down to 179.6lbs and it will fluctuate up to about 183lbs. I definitely lost some fat when we were moving in. There were a few days where we would literally be moving the entire day and I really only ate a few snacks during the day and a pretty light dinner.
My diet has been pretty consistent overall in terms of eating during the day. I eat pretty much the same thing every day and then kind of eat whatever at night. My dinner is usually healthy, but not always. This week I had higher carbs meals for dinner, but this can fluctuate daily. I always go low carb during the day, but dinner just kind of depends on what I’m feeling. Calories at the moment are right around 1800-2000, with usually around 2500 on the weekends.
Chipotle Rice Bowl
Protein Pudding with a banana
Chicken Philly from Kickback Jacks
Strifry with chicken, white rice and veggies.
Chipotle last week. Not sure why it was not good. Tasted like they doused it in chicken broth for some reason.
This weekend my lease for my apartment ends. Sarah and I have been living there for the past year and a half. We had some good memories there, but I’m really looking forward to living somewhere else. I was off Friday, so my dad and I literally moved everything out of the apartment by ourselves into the storage unit. There was still a few big items like the couch and bed we had to move on Saturday and dear god those were a pain in the a$$. The way that apartment is structured does NOT make it easy to move things in and out. I probably made close to 100 trips carrying things from the apartment to the car. Moving stuff from the car/truck into the storage unit wasn’t fun either. We also had to rearrange the storage unit several times in order to fit everything into it. I would wager I burned close to 4-5000 calories easily each day.
On Saturday, Sarah and my mom cleaned the house and we were done at around 5:30 PM. What sucks though is we have to turn around and do it all again next week! Unfortunately, next week is going to be a 2 day weekend. I’m going to have to recruit some of my amigos to help me this time. If I had at least two friends helping, I think it would help immensely. Also, the most annoying part of the move is over, which is getting out of that apartment. Moving into the house will be far easier in terms of carrying stuff into it.
As for my workouts this week, I did somewhat of a bro split and really enjoyed it. I was able to do one heavy move at the beginning of each workout for 3 sets of 6-8 reps and then follow that with 3 sets of 12 reps for isolation movements. My focus was great and I got a really good pump after each workout. I only have time for 4 moves max per session in order to complete the workout on my lunch break.
Diet has been borderline keto recently. Not keto in the strict definition of sub 30 carbs, but very high protein and fat as my primary fuel source. Very low carbs except for incidentals and berries. It has been working really good though. My weight is hovering around 180-181lbs on a daily basis. Down from around 185lbs. My clothes also fit very good. I have a much easier time “staying in shape” when I just don’t eat many carbs. My mental clarity is better, mood is better, cravings are better and it is just easier for me to manage food intake. I had a few sources of carbs this weekend while moving but other than that not much recently.
Chicken Burger and Salmon with feta.
12oz of Italian seasoned chicken with veggies.
Mezeh Chicken Bolw (half and half) with tons of vegetables.
Two chicken burgers with veggies
Highly effective machine for ab crunches. One of the best machines I have ever used in terms of feeling the movement in my abs.
Missed my weekly post last week due to moving out all weekend. Unfortunately, I will be moving out all next weekend and then I will be moving into my house the weekend after that!
I will say I have really enjoyed going through all my stuff and getting rid of things that I no longer need. We have taken loads of items to either Good Will or the dump. This makes packing a lot easier and reduces a ton of clutter in your house. It is kind of amazing how much crap you can accumulate over time without even realizing it. Commercialism at its finest! I have reduced my closet down to everything I will actually wear. We plan to do the same thing with food we have. We are trying not to eat out so that we can literally eat everything out of the freezer. This way we don’t have to transfer anything.
For training this week, I did a 5 day Push/ Pull / Legs workout. I have increased my bench press up 5 reps from last week and my lunges up to 45lbs in each hand. My chinups have still been no bueno. I feel very heavy every time I do them. Only one day of cardio, which I did yesterday.
Diet has been more or less the same as recent weeks. Had a couple of higher carb meals than normal at dinner, but I’ve had a weird urge to do Keto recently. I found a really good recipe out though. It tastes like cake and has pretty low calories:
1 whole egg (70 calories)
1/3 scoop of protein powder (30-50 calories)
Mix up and heat for 30 seconds
Total 100-120 calories
You can literally customize this in endless ways, but this is the base. It has a really good “cakey” texture to it and it is extremely easy to make.
Tried a new protein bar called MRE bar by Redcon. 5 out of 10. It has a really good package and looks really dense and chewy, but it tasted dry as hell. The ingredients were on point though. Every time I try a new bar, I almost always regret it. I just need to stick to Quest Bars. Quest Bars are unbelievably good and other bars just can’t hold a candle to them.
Another week in the books. Last week flew by and I continue to still be very busy at work, which makes the days pass very quickly. Sarah and I have also been very busy with the mortgage/house process.
The early part of the week I hit my 3 workouts fullbody style as outlined in last weeks posts. Not going to lie, was not feeling it. My workouts have been pretty weak recently. My bench press is at best stagnant, but I almost feel like I’m getting weaker and I think benching heavyish 3 times a week is not good for the long-term health of my shoulder. I think I’m going to try a 4 day Push / Pull workout. My pull workouts will be light to moderate with no heavy weights. This will give my front deltoids an extra day of rest.
I have also done cardio twice this weekend and it felt very good! I haven’t done much cardio in recent weeks, but I want to add it back in. I may wake up early on Wednesday or go after work, so that I can have 3 days of cardio and 4 days of lifting.
My diet has been pretty low carb during the week. I plan to increase my carbs, especially at night. I think this will help with my workouts. I also plan to lower my fat and increase calories overall.
I tried a new protein called Syntha 6 – Birthday Cake Remix. I had very high hopes after I tried and returned Designer Grassfed Whey Vanilla Cookies and Cream. The later tasted like dirty chalk. 2 out of 10. 😦 Syntha 6 was much better, but not great. I would go 7 out of 10. Compared to the other one though it tasted heaven sent. I would still say Elite XT is still probably my favorite even though I haven’t bought it in awhile.
Had a good weekend though. My brother was in town for a friends wedding and then Sarah and I went to a wine festival yesterday, which is one of my favorite things to do.
Taco Salad at Casa Del Barco. 6 out of 10.
Meatballs with sushi and veggies.
Stirfry at The Daily.
Chicken burger, sausage and veggie burger with greens.
I’m still trying to find a workout that provides the best returns for the time invested. I really don’t like going to the gym and feel like I’m wasting my time with ineffective exercises that are barely doing anything in terms of body composition and time spent doing them. Gone are the days when I enjoy spending hours in the gym. My day no longer revolves around my workout, so I really want to create a workout that hits everything I want to be hit and then I want to move on with my day. I literally want to get in and get out. I love the benefits working out provides and I fully plan on working out for the rest of my life, but these benefits can be achieved in about 30 minutes a day.
The best feeling for me in the gym is getting stronger. It’s instant feedback that you are doing something right. I designed a routine and schedule that I think will carry me into greatness at this point in my life.
MC’s Minimalist Routine:
Incline DB Bench Press 4 sets of 6-12 reps
Chinups 4 sets of AMAP with bodyweight
Dips 3 sets of AMAP with bodyweight
Isolation of choice 3 sets of 8-15 reps
Optional depending on time
This workout will be done Monday, Wednesday, and Friday each week. It gives me a solid 48 hours between workouts and then I hit it again. I will sub in barbell bench press once a week, but no more due to shoulder issues. My main goal is to get stronger and do more reps on all of these exercises. Don’t let this workout fool you though, it’s not easy. It’s simple on paper, but not easy. This workout can be completed in under 40 minutes, which makes it perfect for me. It also hits every muscle in the upper body. I will also do cardio a few times per week, mainly on the weekends. When Sarah and I move into our house, we are going to buy a treadmill. Once we do this I will likely run every day that I don’t lift.
I’m still playing around with diet, but it is high protein as always. I still backload most of my calories to dinner as well.
Sarah and I have also recently had an offer accepted on a house! We have both the inspection tomorrow and meet with the mortgage office to sign the loan. I have heard signing a loan is a miserable process, unfortunately, but we have to do it at some point.
Storm’s a brewing.
Whole eggs and chicken sausage.
Chicken sausage, steak-ums, greens.
Chicken, sushi, greens.
Kickback Jacks Wings.
Avocado chunks from Costco
Chicken burger with a whole egg, chicken sausage and avocado.
First week back after the Wedding / Honeymoon. Took me a few days to shake the rust off, but I’m almost back to normal. My body still feels a little bit achy for some reason though. My joints still have some pain and my energy levels are a little low. I have some pain in my back as well near my right shoulder blade. Not sure what it is, but it does feel like it is slowly getting better.
My workouts have been very weak. I did a 4 day Push / Pull this week and my strength and endurance were definitely down. I did cardio yesterday which felt pretty good, but lifting has been a chore this week. My carbs have been pretty low recently and I’ve been eating a ton of protein, but it seems to be negatively impacting my lifts. I plan on adding some carbs and probably eating a larger dinner each night to see if this helps my lifts. I want to get my bench press back to 225lbs.
I had some Pizza Hut on Friday night, because I felt like I needed it. 😉 Sarah and I had a busy day yesterday as well. We went house hunting, went bowling with my team at work and then went to Downtown Richmond to get dinner with some of Sarah’s friends.
I had been slacking on working out for the week leading up the Wedding / Honeymoon. I’m not sure if I got “out of shape” in that small of a period of time, but it sure feels like it. Hoping to shake this feeling soon.
Longhorn Napa Chicken with broccoli
Leftovers with extra eggs and broccoli
New Viking wine pourer!
BBQ chicken teriyaki with broccoli
Lean beef with broccoli and avocado
Pizza Hut – Medium Chicken / Onion with Breadsticks