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 338 – Giants

Another week in the books. It was an interesting one at my company for sure. Mostly positive, but could see some changes for sure. Sarah’s parents were in town this weekend and we knocked out some much-needed yard work. This was the first week all year our yard was not covered in mud and it wasn’t freezing outside. We cleaned up all the gumballs, leaves, buried sticks, logs, and trimmed the bushes. Then we bagged it all up and took it to the dump. Lot of work, but it looks a lot better. That yard is an ongoing project though. We still need to put dirt or sand in certain places of the yard as it constantly pools with water with even the smallest amount of rain. We also went out to Red Salt Chophouse and Sushi and Grapevine for dinner this weekend. Both were great as usual.

As for working out this week, I was not feeling three heavy bench days. I think two is the magic number because one is definitely not enough. I think two heavy days on Monday and Thursday and two light days on Tuesday and Friday is where it’s at. Wednesday is a rest day. The light days would just be pushups, chinups, light abs and stretching. I may even start running on the weekends, at least one day, now that the weather is nice again.

The Giants have been making some moves recently. I’m actually loving it. Dave Gettleman, the Giants GM is getting a lot of hate for his recent moves, but I think these are mainly coming from morons on social media platforms (likely millennials) who really have no clue what they are talking about and think a team is a good as its skill players. As you can tell didn’t work out great for us last year. Odell Beckham was traded to the Browns for a first round pick, a third round pick and a veteran Safety. Beautiful trade. Beckham was a double-edged sword. I like the guy, but on one hand, he was an explosive talent and on the other, a huge drama filled distraction that was either injured or crying. He may act like he was unselfish, but when you go on ESPN and cry that you’re not getting the ball enough and that your QB is the reason your team is losing, you just lost all respect. I think Gettleman felt the same way. Eli Manning made Beckham. End of story. If it wasn’t for Eli, Beckham would not be half the receiver he is viewed as today. Eli did that repeatedly over this career with different receivers including Plaxico Burress, Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, Mario Manningham, David Tyree, and Steve Smith. You know what happened to these receivers after they left the Giants? Their careers basically ended.

I’ve been watching this game a long time and I respect the hell out of what Gettleman is doing and I love that he has the courage to do it. The team needed to be gutted and that is exactly what he did to it. ESPECIALLY THAT HORRIBLE DEFENSE AND OLINE. But he also correctly realized that Eli was not the one to blame for all of the Giants woes that the hate-filled media would like you to believe. Besides the dead cap space, I think we are on the right track. I’m actually really looking forward to the draft and the upcoming season. As long as we don’t get Haskins. For the love of God not Haskins. Recent reports say we are not actively investing time into Haskins and this is music to my ears. Again, this man does not impress me at all. He’s out of shape, slower than Eli Manning by a decent amount, inconsistent (watch some combine footage. Highlights don’t tell the whole story), coming from Ohio State (historically bad QBs in NFL), played ONE YEAR in college and benefited from the offensive spread system he was in. I do not seem him transitioning well to a pro-style offense, which is exactly what the Giants run. Don’t get me wrong I love the spread style offense. If I was the coach I would have at least a 75% pass to 25% run ratio. But that is not how things work on the Giants. Avoid this guy. Daniel Jones and likely Rosen would be a much better fit.

Journal Entry 336 – 90th Birthday

Not going to lie, this week was a long one. I woke up every day very tired in the morning and it took me a couple of hours to wake up. I also felt really bad on the bench press this week. My normal weights felt significantly heavier although bodyweight movements felt pretty good. My desire was there to actually work out, its just my performance was no bueno. I’m going to chalk this up to an off week. The weather has been miserable, which definitely didn’t help. Taking the weekend off, except maybe for some pushups and then eating more than usual to see if that helps.

Alex Jones, who is a popular ex-Youtuber, was on Joe Rogan this week. One of my favorite podcasts I’ve heard. Alex Jones is crazy for sure, but always has a wealth of information to speak about and is hilarious. I haven’t laughed that hard at a podcast ever. They cover some strange topics, and the podcast went for about 4 hours and 40 minutes. Very entertaining.

I’ve been watching some NFL Combine highlights and I’m still not impressed with Dwayne Haskins. Not being mean, but the man appears to be out of shape. He looks pretty pudgy, was missing throws and ran a slower 40 time than Eli Manning. Ummm am I the only that thinks this guy is overrated. He played one season in college. A great one for sure, but only one. I watched several of his highlights and he comes from a spread offense and most of his throws were capable of being made by almost anyone. Several of his touchdowns came from 10 yard throws the receiver took 70 yards after the catch for a TD.

I’m obviously still biased towards Eli Manning and I think the media want you to think he is on the way out. I still say if you improve the offensive line and draft a defense that isn’t complete garbage, we would be a great team with Eli leading he way. Picking a QB in the first round with 6th pick is a waste. Especially on Haskins. I think Murray from Oklahoma is far better and more experienced. Daniel Jones from Duke also looks like he would step into Eli’s shoes far better. He’s also more athletic and again more experienced. I guess we will wait and see.

This Saturday we celebrated my grandma’s 90th birthday. Sarah, my parents and my cousins all came to the assisted living home and got some Mellow Mushroom Pizza for it. Sarah also devoured some cake, because she has a very big sweet tooth. 🙂  It was a good time though. It was nice seeing everybody as we don’t see them very often anymore.

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 333 – Sickness / Kingdom Hearts 3 / Diet and Workout Update

I missed my post last week due to being sick all week with a cold/sinus infection. I’m actually still dealing with a few symptoms from it to be honest, especially in the morning and when I lay down at night. I took off Friday last week and took it easy for the whole weekend. Luckily, Kingdom Hearts 3 has finally come out so I had something to do.

Kingdom Hearts 3 has been in development of the last 10 years. The original game came out when I was like 13. I have played both Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2 and I enjoyed this game. Several features of the game are tailored towards a younger generation for sure, but I would say over half of the people that played the first two games are my age or older. KH3 is heavily skewed towards Disney and way less towards Final Fantasy. The mix of the two is what drew my interest in the first place. That was a huge negative of this game in my opinion. They had 9-10 worlds focusing on a different Disney movie, but couldn’t allocate at least one to Final Fantasy? This game is made by Square Enix not Disney. Square Enix (used to be Square Soft) is the creator of Final Fantasy, so it had every right to jam as much Final Fantasy as humanly possible into this game. Other than that I found it to be an enjoyable game. The graphics were great, you got your money’s worth in terms of content, good characters and most of the game was fun. I would probably rate it 8 out of 10. I will admit, I definitely got absorbed into this game. This does not happen to me often anymore. Also, not to spoil anything but there definitely seems like another one coming out in the future. Hopefully not 10 years from now.

My workout schedule has been very simplistic as of late, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t enjoying it. Here it is below:

  • Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
    • Bench Press (Pyramid)
      • Warmup – 135lbs (10 reps)
      • Top set 240lbs 4-6 reps
      • 2nd Work Set 225lbs 6-10 reps
      • 3rd Work Set 185lbs for 10-15 reps
      • Burnout Set 135lbs for AMAP (usually get between 20-30 reps)
    • Chinups
      • 4 sets of AMAP with bodyweight
    • Stretching
  • Tuesday and Thursday
    • Rest Day
      • Optional Incline Walk
      • Optional Pushups
      • Stretching
  • Saturday and Sunday
    • 150 Pushups
    • 50 Chinups
    • Stretching

Nothing groundbreaking here. My bench continues to rise. I have noticed if I overdo the pushups during the week, my shoulders can hurt on bench press the next day. I usually just take a rest day completely off from the gym on Tuesday and Thursday. Typically, I’ll run errands that I don’t want to do on the weekend or I’ll go get a light lunch. Also, I usually only do that bodyweight workout one of those weekend days. Not both.

Calories fall around 1700-2000 calories during the weekdays with most of those being eaten at night. Then on the weekends, I’m around the 2000-2500 calorie range. I still keep track, but I really don’t care where they fall. I seem to be in a good place with an intuitive style approach right now. My vice is alcohol on the weekends that can get high pretty quickly. :0 Protein is where it needs to be, fat is moderate and carbs are the same. So balanced!

During the week my diet layout looks like this most of the time:

  • Head to Work
  • Coffee – 50 cals
  • Protein Pudding – 150 cals
  • Enlightened Beans – 450 cals
  • Home from Work
  • Vegetables with Ranch or Hummus / Chips and Salsa – 200-300 cals
  • Dinner – Varies – 5-800 cals
  • Protein Pudding with berries- 200 cals

Journal Entry 332 – Glass

For the second week in a row, I have seen a movie in theaters. Before last week, I have seen maybe one movie in the past 2 years. Now I have seen two back to back! I used to go all the time, but that was a long time ago. This week Sarah and I met up with a couple of friends to see Glass.  Glass is a sequel to both Unbreakable and Split. We watched Split earlier this week and it was great. Psychological thriller type of movie. I had no clue that Unbreakable and Split were linked until the end of the movie. To make a long story short, the movie is about undiscovered superheroes/villains that have certain features that make them superhuman. Glass (Samuel L Jackson) is a mastermind, Dunn (Bruce Willis) is incredibly strong and perceptive and Kevin (James McCavoy) has multiple personalities, including “The Beast” which is essentially a very powerful man/animal hybrid. They all have a huge weakness though, which are brittle bones for Glass, water for Dunn and compassion for Kevin. The movie is about an organization that puts these characters in a psych ward and tries to convince them they are insane and have no special powers. The movie has several twists, but I enjoyed it. There were parts I didn’t like, but overall it was great. It has a very realistic take on how superhumans would look in real life. Just like everyone else, but boosted somehow. It’s not a movie with a superhero in spandex fighting a bunch of aliens. This realistic take is one of my favorite things about this movie/series.

Sarah and I had some friends over last night to drink. We busted out some Mulled Wine, which is heavily spiced wine that you are supposed to serve warm. It tasted great. I had it cold and it may have been better than warm.

My workouts were good last week. I’m going to stick with the 3 days a week setup. I notice everytime I back off and just take a rest day, I feel really good the next day in the gym. This would support the idea of really only lifting every other day. I feel like my strength may take off with this approach. I switched to a pyramid scheme with my bench and added a set with 185lbs. I repped that 15 times on Friday after two heavy sets of 235lbs and 225lbs. It felt super light. I’m thinking about benching 3 times a week. I already bench twice, but may take out the Incline Press day and see what happens. I’m also adding in some fluff work at the end of each lifting day for whatever move I want. Usually, it is something for arms like curls, skull crushers or dips.

Also, we tried Qdoba for the first time in a long time this week. Dear god was it nasty. 1 out of 10. Half the ingredients felt uncooked and extremely dry. There was no flavor, except for maybe the chicken. After that horrible experience, not going there again. I’m sorry Chipotle. You are still my favorite!