Journal Entry 265 – Challenge Update / Pork Rinds

I missed my post last week because Sarah and I went to Greensboro NC so that we could visit her family. We also had to pick out some wedding cake and get a few things straight. I missed my training signup at Gold’s last Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. That means I’m already 4 points down just from missing signing up. I’ve been monitoring the signup names and there is only one other person that has been as consistent as me in signing up. He did miss yesterday though. So I can still win as long as he drops zero weight and I can manipulate the scale by at least 5 pounds. Monday morning I will get up and clock 5 miles or so, just to sweat out a bunch of weight. I will then eat a super light breakfast and probably go the gym early so that I can weigh in before really eating much of anything.

 

I’ve been doing some more reading on the benefits of glycine. Which if taken regularly can have TREMENDOUS benefits: Dr. Axe – Glycine Benefits and Valtsus Blogspot. Turns out pork rinds are one of the best sources of this critical amino acid. For optimal benefits, you want to have 10-13 grams a day. Pork rinds have 12 grams per 3.5oz. They also have zero carbs, 5 grams of fat with a mix of mono and saturated fat and 7 grams of protein per serving of 1/2 an ounce. A perfect food for a higher fat and lower carb diet. It also has decent sodium, which is really important on lower carb diets to prevent flushing electrolytes out of your system and really feeling like crap. The only thing about the protein is it does not have essential amino acids in it. This isn’t a huge deal though, because this protein spares the essential protein and taking in more of this protein and less “essential amino acids” has been shown to have better anabolic potential anyway. Glycine is also extremely anti-inflammatory and if there are negatives to eating a bunch of muscle meat, glycine seems to balance this out. Something tells me switching to pork rinds over popchips for lunch may have some interesting benefits. 😉

My workout split is still exactly the same and the goal is just to keep increasing in strength.

Journal Entry 197 – WSB Week 2

Average Weight:

Roughly 174lbs

Workouts:

Week 2 of Westside for skinny bastards. Progress has been good, except for bench press. Not sure what is going on with that but everything else went up. I also replaced bench jumps with 3 sets of max reps on squats. I felt kind of strange busting out the box jumps to be honest haha. I felt like the squats would carry over better to other lifts. I also replaced dumbbell swings with dumbbell hip extensions. Really like DB hip extensions for some reasons. I feel like there a really good exercise for the lower body and abs and carry over well to other exercises.

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Chicken, veggies, egg, cheese, crab rangoon
Chicken, veggies, egg, cheese, crab rangoon

Nutrition:

Hit roughly 2400 calories a day. Fat was very high and carbs were kept pretty low except for Wednesday when I did a higher carb day. I honestly felt like I didn’t need it and noticed I was a little bit more sluggish the next day, so I may considered taking it out and just doing one higher carb day on Saturday. I noticed my protein has been way elevated here recently because of the increased fat in my diet. Mainly eggs and cheese bumping up the extra protein. Been hitting over 200 grams a day. I really dont want this much in my diet, but that’s what I’ve been hitting naturally. Also been consuming more coffee here recently, almost craving it to be honest. To me that sounds like a bad thing, but maybe not. My energy has been very good though. Except for the day after the higher carb day, I felt really good all week.

Some Pics from the week:

IMG_2687

Chardonnay
Chardonnay
3 eggs and lean meat and veggies
3 eggs and lean meat and veggies
Pasta with chicken and veggies
Pasta with chicken and veggies

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My lunch everyday: Lean meat, 3 eggs, green veggies, cheese
My lunch everyday:
Lean meat, 3 eggs, green veggies, cheese
High fat meat with eggs, veggies and cheese
High fat meat with eggs, veggies and cheese
3 eggs cooked in butter, lean meat and veggies with cheese
3 eggs cooked in butter, lean meat and veggies with cheese
Meat and veggies
Meat and veggies

Journal Entry 196 – Westside Week 1 – Phase Shift Diet

Average Weight:

173-174lbs

Lame Office Pic
Bored Office Pic 😉

Workouts:

First week completed of Westside for Skinny Bastards part 3 and I really enjoyed it. A lot of the exercises I have been doing are different and force you out of your comfort zone. Favorite day was probably Repetition Upper Body doing 3 sets of max reps for Bench. Stuck to 135lbs and just repped it until I could barely rerack the weight. Been awhile since I have done max reps like that. Also got a really good pump afterward.

Max Effort Lower started with trap bar deadlifts and I got up to roughly 245lbs for 5 reps on those. Very good overall exercise and followed those up with lunges and dumbbell romanian deadlifts. My hamstrings and traps were sore for the next 4 days.

Max Effort Upper started with barbell bench and hit 195×4 for the top set. A little lower than I wanted, but I expect this to shoot up in future weeks.

Dynamic lower body started off with 8 sets of 3 bench jumps. Felt kind of awkward at first, but after I stretch and opened up my hips, the jumps became very easy to complete. I also got a really good sweat going from the plyometrics, which I also havent done in a while. Followed these up with some dumbbell split squats, which were hard as hell. This exercise is basically a combo between a squat and a lunge done unilaterally. Really enjoying the variation though.

I plan to continue this workout for the next two months at least and try to increase my numbers on each lift.

For cardio, I’ve been jumping rope in between sets and on lower body days been doing 10-15 pushups between sets. I also run a mile before each workout and do incline walking almost everyday. Not doing the morning cardio, but I’m still getting it in, in a more enjoyable way.

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Nutrition

Calories getting bumped up to roughly 2400 with 180-200g protein / 120-140 grams of fat / 80-120g of carbs on average.

After seeing a really good article by Erick Minor, I plan to implement a phase shift diet. This is similar to the Anabolic Diet, except you have one refeed day every 2-3 days. This is very important to ensure you don’t gas out and run out of carbs. Basically if your not on a true ketogenic diet, which would require protein to be held at a max of 120-140 grams and carbs under 30 grams (too restrictive), you’re essentially still on a carb based diet. Carbs are depleted after two days of severe calorie restriction or 3 days of low carb dieting. Past this point muscles will start to flatten out, performance will drop off, thyroid starts to slow and mood may drop. Since we dont want that to happen, your simply increase your carbs to at least 200 grams and up to 400 grams twice a week. Fat gain is unlikely as pretty much all of those carbs are going to your muscles, while fat is being burned for energy.

Why do such a diet? – Mainly because my carb tolerance sucks and taking this approach on a bulk can keep you much leaner than sky high carbs all the time. Low carb diets combined with weight training have an insulin sensitizing effect and my metabolism is naturally slow. As much as it would make sense to do the traditional bodybuilder diet of high carbs, low fats, high protein; the results are usually not favorable for me. Although when I bump up fat instead most of the time, my definition stays intact, I dont feel bloated from all the starch and I feel fantastic. Also this approach is much easier from a calorie control standpoint. My appetite tends to increase with too many carbs. Keeping carbs to nothing more than a few fruits and a ton of vegetables, easily keeps the total carb content to under 100 grams. This allows me to load up on protein and fat all day long.

I also think this is a much better approach then the Anabolic diet. Mainly because if carbs are depleted after 3 days then why wait 5 days before reloading? Also if you carb load on Saturday with 400 grams, then your glycogen stores are already full and loading again on Sunday would likely mean spillover since they are already full from the previous day.

Most of my protein and fat sources are animal products, which have been shown to be superior for muscle growth and fat loss over vegetable products. Some chicken, red meat (higher fat), butter, eggs, protein powder, high fat dairy, cheese, low sugar dark chocolate, low carb protein bars and any vegetables are my sources of food. I also eat some peanut butter and sauces (low cal ranch, low sugar ketchup and salsa) and also make sure to get enough sodium. Very important to get enough salt without being on a higher carb diet. Also as for my carb sources, it really doesnt matter to much. I’ll probably reload with some gluten free pasta (mainly because its easy to get down) for dinner and have some oatmeal afterward. I do love some oatmeal, but in moderation only because it can lead to some pretty bad bloating. 😉

Also read an interesting article on Suppversity: http://suppversity.blogspot.com/2015/07/get-your-macros-straight-in-two-minutes.html.

Basically it said on higher carb diet, you still want ideally 80 grams of fat for men and 50 grams of fat for women as a minimum intake. You also want ideally 90 grams of carbs a day for men and 60 grams of carbs a day for women minimum on a low carb diet. Pretty interesting read, because dietary fat is still much higher than most people eat on a regular basis.

If you average out the amount of carbs over the week on a diet such as this it comes in between 150-175 grams a day. Would there be a massive difference between eating this amount everyday and cycling it? –  Most likely not. But I do feel there are several advantages to doing it in a phase shift pattern, such as improved insulin sensitivity, meal planning, appetite control, calorie control and allows you to feast a couple days a week.

Some pics from the week:

Bertuccis Calzone
Bertuccis Calzone
Chicken, two eggs, veggies, cheese, crab rangoon
Chicken, two eggs, veggies, cheese, crab rangoon
Shrimp, pasta sauce with olive oil, broccoli and cheese
Shrimp, pasta sauce with olive oil, broccoli and cheese
3 whole eggs, lean meat, veggies and cheese
3 whole eggs, lean meat, veggies and cheese
Chicken cooked in butter, with onions and cheese
Chicken cooked in butter, with onions and cheese
Chicken cooked in butter with avocado and cheese
Chicken cooked in butter with avocado and cheese