body fat

Journal Entry 267 – Protein

Last week was way better in terms of working out. I finally felt strong again and got back to where I was before that weird performance decrease took place. I have done cardio everyday this week, except for Wednesday.

For dieting this week, I have changed my breakfast back to protein pudding instead of oatmeal. I usually drink a decent amount of caffeine in the morning before my workouts and have increased the size of protein pudding to about 40grams worth. I actually think this has made a tremendous difference in terms of working out. I really feel stronger with this breakfast vs doing the exact same thing with oatmeal. I think the carbs preworkout may not be the best thing for me, so I will just eat them later in the day.

It kind of got me thinking though, about my protein intake. It has been on the lower side recently and I wonder if I should bring it back up to a gram per pound at least. I know all the science of protein and it does seems to be on the firing block here recently, but it does have tremendous benefits that can’t be ignored. Especially in terms of body composition, even blood sugar levels, taste, volume of food at meals, very high TEF, and never being stored as fat. A Recent study has found that people were able to lose more body fat and build muscle by jacking up their protein intake to 1.5 grams per pound vs .8

A Recent study has found that people on a very high protein intake were able to lose more body fat and build the same amount of muscle by jacking up their protein intake to 1.5 grams per pound vs eating .8 grams while also eating 500 more calories a day. While it may be true that you only need .8 grams per pound to build muscle, that says nothing about burning fat at the same time. Also, the other two macros are way more likely to be stored as fat, especially in a surplus, so take what you hear with a grain of salt.



Journal Entry 263 – Push/Pull & Gym Weigh In

On Monday of this week, I went to the gym and did a weigh in and body fat test for an upcoming company gym challenge. My stats were 187lbs (Midday, fully clothed including shoes) and 14% body fat. My weigh in that morning on my scale was 185lbs. I wanted to weigh in on Monday because my weight always peaks on Monday’s after always eating big on the weekends. I dropped down to 179lbs within 3 days of weighing in and I definitely will go low carb and high protein right before the final weigh in just to get some extra points from losing weight. You get 1 point for every pound you lose and 1 point for every time you go to the gym. You also get points for better body composition, but since changes like that take way longer than 21 days, chasing after that would be a bad idea. The winner gets 1-year free gym membership. The body fat they tested was not the most accurate instrument. I asked the trainer how accurate it was and he said 3% error and usually measures high. I agreed with this as I feel I’m around 12-13% at the moment.

The last time I did one of these tests I was 166lbs at 10% body fat. Although this was a bod pod test. Meaning I had roughly 150lbs of lean body mass at the time. This time I was around 185lbs and let’s say 13% body fat. This means I know have 161 lbs of lean body mass. Which means I gained roughly 10-12lbs of lean body mass and 6-8lbs of fat. Not terrible, but not great either. Looking at photos of these times, though I can see a tremendous difference. A much bigger difference than these stats represent:

My diet was a bit lower in carbs this week and damn did I feel it in the gym. My last pull workout this Friday was really bad. I dropped reps on every exercise and I only did 4 exercises. I carbed up with some pizza to make up for it. Other than that last workout I really enjoyed the 4 day split this week and found myself over eager to hit the gym on my rest days, which is a good thing. I’m still playing around with the exercises, but think I have really figured out the ones I want to do. Now it’s just a matter of grinding.

For this 21 day challenge, I plan to bump up my carbs pretty high during the beginning 2 weeks and keep protein high as well. Fat will be more or less normal 50-70 grams. The final week I will cut down on carbs just to drop water for the weigh in.

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.

The Massive Benefits of Daily Cardio

The Massive Benefits of Daily Cardio

Doing cardio 4-7 times a week for at least 30 minutes can have the following benefits. It is recommended to get the heart rate up to 60-85% of your maximum heart rate (ideally 70-85% when you’re in good shape). Your max heart rate is 220 – your age. You then count your pulse for 10 seconds and multiply by 6 to find how many times your heart is beating per minute. If you heart rate is too low you mass miss out on some of the benefits.

An easy way to tell is after 10-15 minutes of so, your breathing should be greatly accelerated and you should be sweating as this is the body’s way of cooling you down due to an increased heart rate.

Cardio can be overdone as well, but anything under an a hour a day has been shown to be positive, where going over an hour a day may not be so wise and can lead to decreased well-being.

  • Cardio Benefits
    • Less stress and anxiety. Cardio acts as an outlet for excess stress in the body. Without the cardio stress can become too internalized and lead to nasty consequences.
    • Deeper more restful sleep due to activation of the parasympathetic nervous system
    • Greater endurance during exercise
    • Improved recovery from exercise
    • Heart efficiency (120-150bpm)
      • Allow max blood flow through left ventricle of heart
    • Extends life span
    • Cardio increase core body temperature and accelerates your metabolism for hours after you do it.
    • Cardio increases insulin sensitivity. One session of 25-60 minutes at (60-95% of VO2 max) has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity for 3-5 days after.
    • Cardio increases digestion and reduces bloating
    • Cardio can prevent some of the side effects of overeating
    • Cardio helps control blood sugar and appetite
    • Reduces mental tension
    • Increases happiness by releasing endorphins and creating euphoria (no drugs necessary ;))
    • Increased sex drive due to better overall blood flow through the body. Testosterone was also shown to be 25% higher compared to people that were sedentary.
    • Increased nutrient absorption to muscles and organs
    • Decreased diseases risk. (Heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol)
    • Decreased Inflammation. Reduces free radical damage, increases blood flow and nutrients to skin, increases collagen production which decreases wrinkles.
    • Increased self confidence
    • Can increase Vitamin D levels if done outside, which has been shown to have a plethora of benefits
    • Increase brain capacity and function and prevent Alzheimer’s. It does this by increasing blood flow and neurogenesis (new brain cells) and brain derived neurotropic factor (BDNF)
    • Helps control addiction by stimulating dopamine and distracting drug users from their cravings
    • Exercise increases productivity
    • Increases creativity
    • Increased immunity and detox. It does this by creating more white blood cells, which decreases bacteria and viruses. Also helps fuel the lymph systems which decreases metabolic waste products. (you look less puffy and bloated)
    • Increased circulation, which can increase 4-5 times the amount of restful conditions. This again increases lymph drainage and decreases puffiness. The key here is to breathe hard.
    • Less visceral and subcutaneous body fat. Cardio allows you to eat more while losing fat.
    • Cardio increases the metabolism, when losing fat and can help establish a new body weight set point. As long as you don’t cut calories too hard while exercising. (Going below your BMR is too low)
    • Increased lung capacity
    • Increased fat metabolism
    • Increases total number of red blood cells
    • Decreases death rate by 25-33% compared to non exercises
    • Less chronic muscle pain, less stiffness and greater mobility and agility
  • Cardio Increases Looks
    • Cardio can lean out the face. After 15 minutes of an increased heart rate, muscles start to require more oxygen, so blood and oxygen is diverted away from your face and fat starts to burn off. It also reduces excess water weight.
    • Improves skin. Sweating helps pores dilated and release dirt and oil as long as you wash off after doing it.
  • Fasted Cardio
    • Fasted cardio promotes autophagy. Autophagy is a process of cellular cleansing that the body undergoes during fasting. Instead of fasting for long periods, doing a 30-45 minute cardio session in the morning with no food, is just as effective and can greatly increase insulin sensitivity when you do eat.
    • Fasted morning cardio was the only way to prevent the cancerous effects of a hyper caloric high fat diet. (AMPK regulated this)
    • Fasted cardio does not result in more fat burned vs fed cardio to any significant degree

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