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
I missed my post last week due to a beach trip with Sarah’s family for Memorial day. I was introduced to Bocce ball, which is actually really fun to play on the beach and got some good food at some of South Carolina’s local restaurants. I also got some really nasty sunburn in a few places, which may have actually been sun poising because I’m starting to get these itchy bumps right over where the sunburn is. Today it finally looks tan and not burnt, so it should be going away soon. It was a 6-hour ride from our place, so while fun, it also makes the weekend fly by and before you know it your back at work again.
The gym has been good this week though. I felt really strong yesterday and I have been more or less eating the same way, except for the beach trip last weekend.
Diet more or less every day:
Morning Run (only did twice this week though)
Breakfast 11 AM – Protein Pudding with berries and peanut butter
Lunch 3 PM – 5 serving bag of Popchips (600 calories) or Bag of Rice Cakes (420 calories)
Snack (Throughout the day) 1.5 – 2 Protein Bars
Dinner 7:30-8 – Balanced meal that varies daily, usually between 600-1000 calories (Been eating out a lot for this)
Dessert – Cashew milk with berries and SF/FF Jello mix and crumble some protein bar in it (Very Good)
Calories at the low end is around 2000 calories and high end is 2500 calories during the week. The weekend is almost always higher than 2500 calories.
Still benching 200lbs for about 3 sets of 8 reps, but I expect to bump this up soon. I may mix two different push/pull days and keep one heavy day and one lighter day. On the weekend, I also may add some iso 5×10 work for extra hypertrophy. I eat a lot on the weekends and want to take advantage of the extra calories instead of only doing cardio.
Kickback Jack’s Chicken Philly
Chicken, veggies, dolmades, baguette
Pasta bowl with bread
Wicked Tuna – Grilled seafood platter
Sarah and I at Murrels Inlet
Hanser House – The hushpuppies in the back were ON POINT
Panera green goddess salad with bread – Cost was about $10. Panera is very overpriced in my opinion. Its bread is very good and well priced, but that’s about it.
Panda Express – Should have ordered rice
Belmont Pizza with chicken – Very good – Rating 8.5 out of 10
So this was the first week, I finally got back to a normal routine. I’m doing a 4 day Push / Pull split with two heavy benching sessions each day. DB rows are my heavy move for Pull. Here is the routine:
Day 1 – Push
BB bench 4x 4-6 reps
Inc DB Bench 45 degrees 4x 6-8 reps
DB Shoulder Press 3×8-10 reps
Ez Skull Crushers 3×8-12
Day 2 – Pull
DB Rows 4×4-6 reps
Chinups 4xMAX (with bodyweight)
Cable Rows 3×8-10 reps
Db Curl 3×10 reps
Day 3 – Push
BB bench 4x 4-6 reps
Inc DB Bench 30 degrees 4x 6-8 reps
Dips 3×8-10 reps
Ez Skull Crushers 3×8-12
Day 4 – Pull
Db Rows 4×4-6 reps
Netural grip chinups 4xMax with bodyweight
Smith Machine Shrugs 3×10
EZ curls 3×10
That is it. Very simple on paper, but very demanding in the gym. I also allow myself one move at the end of the workout to do whatever I want. This is usually abs, lateral raises, rear delt raises or flys. It just kind of depends on what I’m feeling. I already got my bench up to 190lbs after stagnating on 185lbs. I really want to increase this a lot over the coming months. I also really enjoy heavy benching twice a week. Once just isn’t enough and more than two is overkill. Its time I moved back into what has been shown to work for gains in strength in size for intermediate lifters like myself. I was also very sore after every one of these workouts. I also do cardio on the other days, which is usually just an easy jog on the treadmill for 30 minutes to an hour. I also run 1-2 miles before each lifting day to fire me up.
I’m moving back to a 9-6 shift Monday through Friday. I’m not sure of the exact days I will do this routine, but it will be done at some point during the week. Either way I will go to the gym everyday. I will more than likely go after work though and battle the crowds. This way I can feast at night and take advantage of nutrient partitioning. I will probably lift 3-4 days during the week and maybe once on the weekend. I actually like running on the weekends, because I can just sit there and watch football while I’m doing it. Makes time go by a lot faster.
Been taking my creatine and I already notice a very positive difference. Food is (and will be) structured during the week with the post I wrote about last week. Dinner will be a very large meal that I will probably buy out. Chipotle will be a main stay and I will probably just buy less groceries to counteract the cost, which is very fairly priced based on the food you get. I will also probably get some steak and cheese subs, which have about 1000 calories and good balanced between carbs, fats and protein. I’ve been eating a lot of Halo Top, which tastes amazing, but its also pretty expensive, so I will probably switch to more normal ice cream.
Rock Bottom Fries
Rock Bottom – Grilled Brushetta Chicken
Grilled Chicken Sub from Mellow Mushroom
Shrimp and veggies
Moes Burrito Bowl
Grilled Chicken Teriyaki with veggies
Omelete with veggies and crackers
Post Pull Day
Mellow Mushroom Calzone
Pumpkin Pie Protein bars
Gluten Free Cupcake
Stellas Hummus Dip
Stella’s Greek Plater
Stella’s lima beans (these all had names in Greek, but I don’t remember what they were called 😉
Shyndigz Cookie pie. Yeah I had most of it. It was massive.