Journal Entry 341 – Game of Thrones

Another week in the books. Sarah and I went to Cooper’s Hawk on Friday for date night followed by Mezeh for dinner. Yesterday, I played tennis for the first time this year against one of my good friends. We both entered a tennis tournament at work, so trying to get some practice in. Tonight we are having people over for a Game of Thrones watching party. Final season and the first episode in what feels like a very long time. I expect good things though.

Workouts were great last week. I decided on switching to a Push / Pull routine. This was mainly to break monotony, but also to introduce some novelty back into my workouts. I have a very simple routine each workout and I can actually knock them out pretty quick. Three moves max each day and only hitting muscles directly twice a week. This is great from a motivation standpoint and a resting standpoint. Follow this template each workout:

  • Main Move (Bench Press or DB Rows) 3×6-8 reps
  • Secondary Move (INC DB Press or Pulldowns) 3×10-12 reps
  • Third Move (Arms) 2×12-15 reps

Diet has been consistently low carb. I have been increasing my intake of whole eggs recently and I honestly feel like it is making a difference in the gym. I usually have 2-3 before I go to the gym and did this consistently on every workout day. My goal is to continue eating 3 a day and maybe bump that up provided my strength continues to rise. I have also been increasing dietary fat in my diet as well as sodium. This has greatly helped my workouts. My weight is currently at a solid 180lbs and slowly decreasing.

One thing I forgot to mention above, which is probably the best part of switching back to a split routine is the pump. The pump is not something I have gotten recently due to my very low rep workouts. Not so with this approach. I assumed a full body workout would result in the same as I have also changed up the reps, but it feels great.

The new trailer for Star Wars Rise of Skywalker has been released. Not going to lie, it looks pretty damn good. I really hope they give the Skywalker Saga a proper sendoff my incorporating all of the movies together.

 

Journal Entry 339 – Low Key

Another week in the books. This week started off as crazy busy and then gradually slowed down each day. I think March Madness may have had something to do with slowing down traffic towards the end of the week. My brother really wanted me to make a Bracket, so I spent about 3 minutes making picks on my phone before the deadline. So far I’m in 8th place out of 14 and have already lost my fair share of games. As long as Duke wins, I have a chance though. I’m not a big basketball guy, to be honest, so losing means nothing to me.

My sports hierarchy NFL > College Football > Tennis > Everything Else. This does not mean that I don’t care about other sports at all, it’s just that I barely follow other sports. I have had the urge to get into Professional Soccer recently, but have not made the leap yet.

Been a good weekend so far though. Really nice weather and Saturday was a nice chill day. Friday we did a date night to Coopers Hawk and then went Burger Bach for dinner.

Recently my diet has been borderline Keto for the most part with dramatically reduced fiber. The low fiber has really helped with my digestion. Basically been eating high fat and high protein foods with very low fiber and my stomach has felt like it has already shrunk an inch. Plan on keeping this approach up. My carb totals have been under 100 grams almost every single day with most days under 60 grams. Weight is down to around 180lbs from 186lbs earlier this week as I was kind of bloated at the beginning. Been making an extra effort to add more fat to my diet though and not just jacking protein through the roof.

The only problem is my strength is down a bit. I still benched heavy 3 times last week and my totals are going down. I really need to cut down the heavy days to twice a week max. I also need to bump up sodium with my carbs as low as they are. My hunger has been pretty low for the most part. It really is amazing to me how if I eat a high carb meal, even when high in protein my hunger can skyrocket and I stay hungry for the rest of the day. As long as I keep carbs very low in my diet, this feeling does not occur.

 

Journal Entry 335 – Zelda

Zelda

After a week of what felt like non-stop game playing, I finally beat Zelda. Zelda is one of the biggest games I have ever played. The world is massive and the story is open-ended and completed at your own pace. You can literally ignore the main story and just do whatever you want and you still wouldn’t be bored. There was a lot I loved about this game and some things that drove me insane. Overall it was one of the best games I have ever played.

The Good: 

  • I really liked the fighting style with defense, melee and bow attacks all very useful in different fights.
  • The weapons and armor were great. Especially the Master Sword and Hyrule Shield.
  • The world was great and may have been too big.
  • The small attention to detail was definitely on a different level than any other game I have played. When it was raining, you would slip trying to climb, currents in water when swimming, fire getting extinguished in the rain, cooking meals.
  • Collecting items and exploration.

The Bad:

  • Weapons breaking. Dear god, this was annoying. You got some really powerful weapons in that game and most of the time when at of your way to do so and then it would shatter after using on a few enemies.
  • Shrines. These were like puzzles throughout the game and they got old fast. I loved the exploration of this game, but these became a chore and it was the only way to level up.
  • Navigating the four Guardians. The same reason above.
  • No post-game play. 😦 After spending that much time playing, it would have been awesome to see what the world would have looked like after everything had been destroyed.

The Average:

  • The Plot. I really liked the idea behind the plot, but it was a little lacking. It’s like the idea was great, but there wasn’t enough substance behind it.
  • The final boss was not the hardest fight in the game. There was a boss named Thunderblight Ganon that was twice as hard. That guy was a nightmare haha.

I feel like I’m leaving things out here, but as a whole, I may have gotten mildly obsessed with this game haha. Overall I would say 9 out of 10. Remove the shrines, remove the weapons breaking constantly and change the leveling system and I would have rated this 15 out of 10.

Sarah is getting into Zelda now, so that should be fun. Next up we have to unlock characters in SuperSmash.

Diet and Workout

This week I have been going borderline Keto. Carbs have been really low. Been eating steak and greens almost every night. I do tend to feel best when my carbs are lower than 100 grams.

Workouts have been good.  I’ve been doing lat pulldowns instead of chinups after bench press recently. Not sure why, but lat pulldowns are becoming one of my favorite moves. The recovery day was also nice. No heavy moves just isolation moves for bloodflow.

Journal Entry 319 – Miscellaneous

I’m just going to do a quick update this week. No post last week as it was a very busy week at work and I didn’t have a ton of time or energy to write a post.

I have hit somewhat of a plateau in my lifts recently. I have also felt more stressed out recently, which I know goes hand in hand with the gym. My meals at night have been less keto/high protein-oriented and more or less just eating whatever I want. I have noticed a couple of days this week my dietary fat was unintentionally very low. Like 30 grams or so. I definitely felt “off” the next day. I may remedy this with a full week of eating what I think is optimal. This consists of high protein meat-based meals and a low carb content. Let’s see if that jumpstarts me a little bit.

Other than that, the Giants and Hokies are both failing. Giants can’t score points at all and Hokies lost to ODU. Great! (sarcasm intended). Also, my number one draft pick in Fantasy Football, Leveon Bell, hasn’t played a game because he “isn’t making enough money.” Don’t even get me started on this fool. Once Eli Manning is done my interest in football is going to take one hell of a step down from where it is now. If my interest in football is currently a 10, once Eli is gone it will be more like a 5.

I’m also thinking about getting a PS4. Mainly for Star Wars Battlefront 2, which is an incredibly fun game. Kylo Ren is hands down the best character in that game. They are also going to add Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan in future updates, so yeah this game is a must buy. I’ve also had the PS3 for at least 5 years. Considering the system may be a bit pricey at first at $299, it lasts several years and holds its value well. Also, since the PS4 has been out a while, a lot of the games are very cheap now.

Journal Entry 313 – Part I – Moving Out

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.

Journal Entry 312 – On The Move

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:

  • Microwave Cake
    • 1 whole egg (70 calories)
    • 1/3 scoop of protein powder (30-50 calories)
    • 1 stevia
    • 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.

Journal Entry 301 – The Carnivore Diet?

The Carnivore Diet

The Carnivore Diet seems to be the flavor of the week in the dieting industry.

This diet has actually been around a long time but recently resurfaced due to Dr. Shawn Baker. He is a doctor that started eating only meat for a lot of reasons, but mainly because he found he could stay lean and recover faster when eating only steak. He also noticed the disappearance of bloating, health issues, joint pain, cravings and a whole plethora of other benefits.

In terms of macros, the carnivore diet is a zero carb diet with more protein than a traditional ketogenic diet. It reminds me of old school bodybuilder diets that Vince Gironda and Arnold Schwarzenegger used to use to get really ripped.

This is a red meat diet though, which is where it truly differs from Keto. The reason is red meat is actually a very dense and nutritious food. It contains many of the fat-soluble vitamins, minerals and nutrients and delivers them in a streamlined dose. Meat is easy to digest and the fat from the meat also helps the nutrients to be absorbed. The low fiber also counteracts some of the binding that can occur with nutrients being absorbed. Another really good food to eat in addition would be Eggs as they fit the same bill as red meat. Some people have allergies to eggs though, which is why red meat usually works better. The dietary fat from the meat also has been shown to increase testosterone levels. Testosterone levels also have a lot to do with the overall nutrients you are getting, so the nutrient/ dietary fat combo makes it a great food to help with this.

Another interesting benefit of this diet is actually pretty cheap. If you substitute out the steak for ground beef and eat some eggs to replace one of the steak meals, the diet is very cheap. You get more calories per dollar. With vegetables, you can eat way more volume, but this comes as the expense of bloating, gas, indigestion, a sluggish “heavy” feeling and it’s more expensive because the food is so low in calories that you have to buy more. Vegetables usually don’t help your appetite very long either. They are initially filling, but 1-2 hours later you are hungry again.

The zero carb aspect is also very important for the overall health gain you get. Low carbs have been shown to be very helpful in managing blood sugar-related diseases (think type 2 diabetes), helping to lower cravings (again likely due to blood sugar), restoring health (tend to be loaded with nutrients / higher quality foods) and sensitizing the body to insulin and carbs. This list could go much longer, but I came from a family history of type-2 diabetes, so I’m always conscious of this. These diseases are built over time, so it’s important to eat in a way that feels right.

I find this diet intriguing. I don’t think I could ever do just red meat, but I could adapt a diet pretty similar. I went to Costco and bought 5lbs of 88% lean ground beef for $15. Deals ;). I also bought some eggs from Aldi that I got for $0.40 a dozen. My grocery bill is going to get very cheap. I’ve done this diet the past 2 days and have already dropped 3lbs. Yes, its mostly water weight, but I actually look visibly leaner and my stomach is really flat with very littly bloating. I have also eaten 2500 calories a day these past two days, which for me is way too much to burn fat on. Nevertheless, the scale is down and I look leaner. Winning ;).

I’m going to run this diet for the next two weeks with maybe one cheat day thrown in. I love the simplicity of it and hope the results continue.

Image result for ron swanson meme

Workouts

I have been doing 200 pushups and 50 chinups 5 days a week and cardio 3-4 times a week for at least 30 minutes. I have only been lifting once a week in the gym. You read that correctly. For me, its the least “gym work” I have done in probably 10 years. I love to workout, but I hate gyms. Especially recently, because they have been packed beyond belief at all times of the day. That being said I have 3 major goals right now:

  • Get leaner
  • Get really good at pushups
  • Keep getting stronger on the bench press

I’m a simple man, what can I say. The bench press is my only gym workout and I’m still repping 215lbs for 6 or so reps. I think the pushups have been helping me a lot with this as well.