lose fat

Journal Entry 303 – Minimalist

Time to return to my minimalist roots for awhile.

Workout

My routine is back to a super minimalist template and will be a 4 day Push / Pull routine as shown below:

  • Day 1 – Push
    • Barbell bench 4×6-8 reps
    • Dips 4 x AMRAP
    • Cable Crunch 4×8 reps
  • Day 2 – Pull
    • Chinups 4×6-8 reps
    • DB Curl 4×8 reps
    • Ab Machine 4×8 reps
  • Day 3 – Cardio
    • 30-40 minutes of Cardio
  • Day 4 – Push
    • Incline Dumbbell bench 4×10-12 reps
    • Dips 4 x AMAP
    • Cable Crunch 4×8 reps
  • Day 5 – Pull
    • Db Rows 4×10-12 reps
    • Chinups 4x AMRAP
    • Cable Crunch 4×8
  • Day 6
    • Cardio 30-40 minutes
  • Day 7
    • Cardio 30-40 minutes

I love it so far. I wanted to do full body but quickly realized that there was no way I could possibly finish that on my lunch breaks. The above is actually really intense despite the lowish volume. I want to hit the abs with heavy weights and more frequency. You will not find any isolation in this routine because it doesn’t really fit well into a time saving minimalist routine. I also do at least 100 pushups a day and have for some time now.

Diet

I have decided to go pretty close to a PSMF diet until the wedding with a few occasional cheat meals. I’m trying to get down to about 175lbs and stand at 182lbs currently. My calories are actually much higher than a normal PSMF, but the point is basically to eat protein and veggies only. Carbs and fats are incidentals. I estimate with my current deficit I should net about 1lb to 1 1/2 lbs per week. Since my protein is high and I’m lifting regularly to retain my strength, I’m expecting this to be pure fat.

I may eat some carbs at night (prob not many though) and have an occasional cheat meal (probably once a week) just for a little variation, but I plan to stick to this pretty rigidly for the time being. Of all the diets I have done when I eat nothing but lean protein and veggies and keep carbs and fats low, the fat always comes off.

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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

Works Cited:

http://robertsontrainingsystems.com/blog/long-duration-low-intensity-cardio/

http://suppversity.blogspot.com/2013/08/want-to-clean-up-cellular-garbage-train.html

http://examine.com/faq/how-do-i-increase-insulin-sensitivity/

http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2012/09/exercise-is-less-better-than-more/

https://experiencelife.com/article/8-ways-exercise-makes-you-gorgeous/

http://greatist.com/fitness/13-awesome-mental-health-benefits-exercise

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/cardio_benefits.htm

Journal Entry 194 – Adding in Cardio

Log:

IMG_2573

7/04 – 2300 calories – 8000 steps – Missed

7/05 – 2100 calories – 6100 steps  175.3 lbs

7/06 – 1800 calories – 16500 steps – Missed

7/07 – 2150 calories – 10760 steps – 173.4lbs

7/08 – 2100 calories 12700 steps – 174.3lbs

7/09 – 2150 calories – 10500 steps – 173.4lbs

7/10 – 2600 calories – 10500 steps – 173.4lbs

Average Calories – 2170  Average Weight – 174lbs

Blog:

After a lot of research on the topic, I plan to implement moderate intensity cardio into my daily workouts. I have ran before in the past, but used to do cardio only with no weight training. Here recently besides walking, I have basically done zero cardio. The problem with this is that my heart rate never gets raised high enough to promote optimal blood flow. When your heart is pumping consistently at an almost moderate to high intensity, it greatly helps fuel your muscles, promotes insulin sensitivity, promotes recovery and the best is optimal energy levels after finishing. There are actually tons more benefits including better skin, self confidence, mood and better sleep and more. Not going to lie, I feel amazing after a good run and sometimes a good lift just doesn’t get me the same benefits. Its like a clear headed, anti- anxiety feeling that only running and keeping the heart rate elevated can achieve. Lifting can give me this rush, but it usually has to be higher rep to get the blood flowing.

I plan to do this early in the morning before work or breakfast. Basically wake up and grind mindset. This is what the rock does and it seems to work well for him. You also get a large feeling of accomplishment, by waking up early, when everyone else is sleeping and knocking out a good 3-4 miles. The energy increase I get afterward is nothing short of amazing. I’m also using the cardio to help build more muscle. I tend to me endomorphic in nature. Endomorph is a nick name for someone that puts of weight and fat easy and has to work harder to keep fat off and watch their diet closer. Cardio could be the missing link. If cardio greatly increases insulin sensitivity to the working muscles and allows you to eat more without getting fat, then it could be the missing link to building more muscle without fat.

My plan is to do the cardio in the morning around 6:15 or so. I plan to do 3-4 miles or just set a timer and hit anywhere from 30 mins – 45 mins every single day. Research shows that in healthy individuals you could ideally do this 3-4 times a week and obtain all the benefits, but I want to build the cardio into my day, so it becomes like second nature. Another good thing about running is the fact that you can do it anywhere.

As for my weight training, I’m still not sure what I’m doing. Thinking about doing 1-2 muscle groups a day with a mix of rep ranges. I like doing full body, but I have a feeling it may be too much from a recovery standpoint. Still on the fence right now. I do want to find something I can hit consistently though. Just having a really hard time figuring what that’s going to be.

My nutrition will see a bump in calories. I’ll probably just shoot for a range of 2100-2600 calories a day, averaged over the week. I really dont feel like tracking that accurately and just want to eat to my natural appetite with a balanced diet. Some days will likely be higher others lower, but the average I want to land around 23-2400. Basically just doing a maintenance recomp, while training the way I want to train.

Some pics from the week:

New SUV

New SUV

IMG_2549

BBQ chicken with veggies

BBQ chicken with veggies

VPX bang energy drink. Really good

VPX bang energy drink. Really good

IMG_2555

1 cup of beans with onions and chicken with chips and salsa

1 cup of beans with onions and chicken with chips and salsa

Lean meats, veggies, cheese, hard boiled egg and crab rangoon

Lean meats, veggies, cheese, hard boiled egg and crab rangoon

Vino

Vino

Pizza and leftover Moe's for dinner

Pizza and leftover Moe’s for dinner

Journal Entry 191

Log:

IMG_2485

6/13 – Missed – 2800 calories – 9100 steps – 4.5 miles

6/14 – 176lbs – 1750 calories – 9500 steps – 4.5 miles

6/15 – Missed – 1490 calories – 9500 steps – 4.5 miles

6/16 – 173.8lbs – 1600 calories – 12600 steps – 6 miles

6/17 – 173.4lbs – 1650 calories – 14200 steps – 6.72 miles

6/18 – 172.6lbs – 1600 calories – 14700 steps – 7 miles

6/19 – 172lbs – 2300 calories – 10500 steps – 4.95 miles

Average Weight – 173.5lbs – Average Calorie Intake – 1885

Workouts:

Saturday – Legs and Abs

Sunday – Off

Monday – Chest and Triceps

Tuesday – Back and Biceps

Wednesday – Off

Thursday – Shoulders/Upper Chest and Traps

Friday – Legs and Abs

Really enjoyed the 2 on 1 off split this week. Its a really good blend between rest and working out and it definitely allows enough rest time in between each workout. Each workout is exactly the same and pretty basic for the most. The purpose behind that is to make sure to progress by a few reps on every workout. In the past, I used to stress about getting more weight every workout, which becomes very difficult. But progressive overload can occur from more reps or more sets as well. These tend to be easier to do then lifting more weight, especially when it comes to preventing form from breaking down.

For example, my DB shoulder press two workouts ago was 100lbs (50lbs DB’s) x 9,7,6 then 40lbs x 10. This weeks workout was 50×8,8,8 then 40×12. Very similar, but the latest workout had more overall volume in it. Not by much, but progressive overload still counts.

Been keeping the reps roughly 8-10 reps on everything. This is to allow for better form and I must admit I have been very sore after every workout. Moving back into a bodybuilder style training, which is still the best for muscular development and always will be. 185lbs squats with 8 reps, perfect form and full ROM (range of motion) is far better than 250lb squats with “questionable” form and a very short ROM. Not too mention the strain heavy weights put on the body, joints and central nervous system. Probably not going to set any records with this style of training, but not really a big deal to me at the moment.

Also probably found my favorite Shoulder workout of all time:

  • DB Shoulder press 4 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Incline DB Press 3 sets of 12-20 reps
  • Cable Upright Row (2 close grip, 2 wide grip) 4 sets of 8-10 reps
  • DB Lateral Raise 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Rear Delt Raise or Band Pull Aparts 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Barbell Shrugs 4 sets of 10 reps

This workout takes roughly 40 minutes (as do all my workouts) and I hit my shoulders fully and some bonus upper chest. In the past, I never liked just doing a shoulder day, but I really enjoy this one. I also noticed by moving the workouts back to every 6th day, you dont get tired or burnt out like you do when you hit them every 3rd or 4th day. It just becomes way to repetitive at that point.

Nutrition

I bumped up the magnesium this week from 400mg to 800mg. I read an article recently that suggest 10mg per kilogram of bodyweight, especially if you exercise. Magnesium is one supplement I highly recommend to people, based on its effectiveness against fighting stress and replenishing the adrenal gland. It also has many other benefits, but this is probably the most potent.

Based on my appetite this week and a Costco run with a lot of green vegetables, I decided to eat for fat loss. This morning weighed in at roughly 171.8lbs.

I was talking to a resident this week about sweet cravings and if I had any advice. I was like yes I do: protein powder. Elite XT when mixed into protein pudding basically tastes like cake batter, but instead of being fat and sugar, its a very high quality protein source. Since its dairy its the highest quality source of BCAA’s you can get. After eating one of these sweet cravings become non-existent. Ever since I started eating protein powder, I never having cravings for sweets. I know I would though if I didnt consume it. Also Quest Bars are a god send. Especially the ones with pieces of chocolate in it.

  1. Top Quest Bar Flavors
  2. Cookie Dough
  3. Smores
  4. Double Chocolate Chunk
  5. Apple Pie
  6. Cinnamon Bun

Also one resident asked me how to get ripped. I will probably do an article soon on this with my top tips on how to do this without destroying your metabolism and losing muscle mass.

I want to start writing more articles again for this blog. Haven’t done many recently, but I recently had the urge to add a few, especially when a certain topic peaks my interest.

Some Pics from the week:

Summer salad from Sedona Taphouse with a white roll

Summer salad from Sedona Taphouse with a white roll

Chicken and Steak Taco with a side of Broccoli

Chicken and Steak Taco with a side of Broccoli

Black beans, spanish rice, 4 oz of chicken

Black beans, spanish rice, 4 oz of chicken

Lean meat and Broccoli

Lean meat and Broccoli

Black bean, onions and chicken mix with broccoli on the side

Black bean, onions and chicken mix with broccoli on the side

1 whole egg with 6 egg whites 1.5 potatoes and 2-3 servings of broccoli

1 whole egg with 6 egg whites
1.5 potatoes and 2-3 servings of broccoli

Journal Entry 180 – Making Things Easier

Log: 

Week 24

3/28 – 175.6lbs – 3200 calories – 12200 steps – 6 miles

3/29 – 177.6lbs – 2100 calories – 6000 steps – 3 miles

3/30 – 179.8lbs – 1450 calories – 13000 steps – 6 miles

3/31 – 178.2lbs – 1450 calories – 12700 steps – 6 miles

4/1 – 177lbs – 1550 calories – 15700 steps – 7.4 miles

4/2 – 175.8lbs – 1500 calories – 16200 steps – 7.66 miles

4/3 – 174.6lbs – 1950 calories – 15500 steps – 7.3 miles

Average Weight – 176.9lbs – Average Calories – 1885 calories

Journal:

After last weekend and a couple days of way too much excess, I weighed in at 179.8lbs. I looked pretty bloated and definitely not my best. A lot of it was probably water, but not all of it. So I decided on a couple of low calories days to debloat. After these days I decided to change my approach to make it way easier to get to my goals. I’m always trying to improve my body for the better, but recently have just slipped into a maintenance mode. Basically “No man’s land” where I’m not really getting any leaner, but slowly getting stronger. The problem with this is I’m not satisfied with where I am now. So after a few low calorie days, which were effortlessly easy and actually enjoyable because they work so quickly to take off fat, I decided to implement a new diet structure that would work very well with my body, schedule and goals.

I hate to say it, but low calorie diets work very well for me. I was never able to cut much fat with the slow long game of only cutting 500 calories a day. I think this is for two reasons. One is because the weekends are always higher in calories and screw up the weekdays (I find this happens to most people that arent hardcore about eating the same amount every day no matter what) and two is because only cutting 500 calories leaves even experienced dieters up to user error. In other words, miscounting or eating more than you think and this can easily wipe out the intended calorie deficit. I also think matching your workout and activity with your diet is a very good idea. Also I’m going to throw a third reason why in, at least for me, is a lack of patience. If I want to lean down, I want results quickly, not 3 months from now. So in order to do this, the game plan must change.

At work recently we have been very busy and this makes eating my normal meal schedule somewhat erratic. In other words, I can miss breakfast or miss lunch at their normal times, but the good thing about this is it makes it easier to cut calories, because your busy all day and most importantly way more active. My miles have up been up around 7-8 a day here recently. So I’m going to use this to my advantage to cut a lot of fat during the week. Took it on a trial run this week and was able to drop 1.2 lbs a day of scale weight, like clockwork. Not all fat obviously, but I really like the increased muscle definition I’m seeing. On the other hand, on the weekends my step count is going to be nowhere close to that much. Maybe around 3-4 miles or so. I also go heavy on the weights Saturday and Sunday, and unless you do very low volume, combining lots of weight lifting with a big calorie deficit is not a big idea. And as you know from my previous history and articles, staying on low calories all the time is not a good idea either or enjoyable whatsoever. So I’m using this natural cycle to my advantage. Calories are easy to eat and more time is given to eat on the weekends, so why not use this as my time to eat a small surplus to put on muscle, while using the work week to strip fat.

The more I think about it, the more I get excited about this setup, because I feel like its a perfect system for me.

Here is the layout:

  • Monday – Walking only – Calories at half of maintenance – Calories Burned Estimation 26-2700
  • Tuesday – Walking and Lift Day (low volume strength based) – Calories at half of maintenance – Calories Burned Estimation around 26-2700
  • Wednesday – Walking only – Calories at half of maintenance – Calories Burned Estimation 26-2700
  • Thursday – Walking and Lift Day (low volume strength based) – Calories at half of maintenance – Calories Burned Estimation 26-2700
  • Friday – Walking only (Calories at maintenance or a small deficit – Sort of a wild card day) – Calories Burned estimation 26-2700
  • Saturday – Mainly Lifting (low volume strength based) with a little walking – Calories at least at maintenance with small surplus – Calories burned estimation – 23-2500
  • Sunday – Mainly Lifting (low volume strength based) with a little walking – Calories around maintenance – Calories burned estimation 23-2500

So the work week is full of long walking days and high calorie output to burn extra fat, which is combined with a big calorie deficit. . The weekend sees an increase in calories increased to maintenance or slightly above to build muscle and restore the metabolism. As you can see since I burn less calories on the weekends, this make eating a surplus much easier.

This is more of a fat loss routine and I may increase the calories in the future slightly on all days once I get down to where I want to be. Like bump it up by 300 or so during the work weeks, since less fat needs to be burned. I plan to always leave some deficit days during the work week though.

My goal is still to hit around 170lbs or so. I still think I would look way better at this weight, but weight is only a number. If I look really good at a different weight than so be it.

I estimate that going 1000 under maintenance during the week and small deficit on Friday will leave me at a 4500 calorie deficit for the week. The weekend is meant to restore metabolism and up-regulate food intake as well as other various hormones. So the average of calorie will likely be around 10x bodyweight or so.

Workouts

Good week of workouts, here are the strength improvements:

BB Squats 240×5 / BB Lunges 150×3 (these felt very heavy this week)

BB Bench 210×4 / BB Standing Press 120×3

Chinups 50×5 / Hangcleans 120×4 reps

Good workout, but thinking about a few changes. Not sure I’m a big hang-clean fan. I feel the exercise working well, but the heavier I go, I feel like I’m going to get injured. Not sure I feel like the exercise is worth a big injury either. May switch out the hang-cleans for rows (3 sets of 5,6,8 reps) and just replace the rows I was doing (3 sets of 10 reps) with shrugs. Safer, same outcome and I like rows better. 😉

Besides that I still like the way my workout is setup. Its also working well, so I dont think modifying is a good idea. Also have been knocking out at least 100 pushups a day.

Nutrition

So some important changes to my diet are going to follow. I’m actually dropping protein to roughly 120-140 grams a day. This is to allow me to burn more fat and eat more carbs in a deficit, which helps immensely with energy levels. Bottom line is once you get about .64  x bodyweight in protein your are taking in enough to spare muscle on a diet. .82 x bodyweight is very secure insurance policy, but not necessary unless your an athlete with very high demands. This is what the research shows, so turning a blind eye to it, is not going to help. Not that its a huge drop off for me, but still a decent amount.

Carbs will also be around 120 grams on the low day. 120 grams is a number that shows up a lot in research for keeping excess cortisol at bay, fueling the brain and CNS, protecting protein stores, increasing energy levels and keeping the thyroid humming. I can personally say by dropping protein and eating more carbs, my energy levels on that level of calories was very good. In the past when I did only protein, my energy was god awful. I feel like unless your Keto adapated, keeping this level of carbs in is a very wise idea, even when shedding fat. I also feel like it helped curb my appetite vs not eating enough carbs.

Dietary fat is kept pretty low around 40 grams during the week. This is obvious though, because since carbs and protein are both around 120 grams to help with energy and spare muscle, that doesn’t leave a lot of room for fat. Not going to lie dropping to this level of fat hasn’t bothered me at all.

The weekend will see an increase to all macros. I’m not doing high carb / low fat refeeds, because then fat will be unbalanced and too low. Plus dietary fat is anabolic and fills the muscles out. So it will probably just be a normal balanced diet with calories raised to about 25-2600 a day, which is a small surplus for me on the weekends due to less activity.

Long winded post this week, but had a lot on my mind to get down. Here are some pics from the week:

Bertuccis Calzone, side salad and roll

Bertuccis Calzone, side salad and roll

Bertucci's Pizza - Mi madre got this, but I had a slice

Bertucci’s Pizza – Mi madre got this, but I had a slice

Random Sunday Lunch with leftovers

Random Sunday Lunch with leftovers

Lean meat, imitation crab meat, veggies

Lean meat, imitation crab meat, veggies

2/3 cup of black beans 4oz of chicken Onions Trader Joes Taco seasoning Broccoli on the side

2/3 cup of black beans
4oz of chicken
Onions
Trader Joes Taco seasoning
Broccoli on the side

4oz lean red meat Veggies 1.5 potatoes  Cheese on the side

4oz lean red meat
Veggies
1.5 potatoes
Cheese on the side

Epic pic of the Eli Manning and the Giants WR's

Epic pic of the Eli Manning and the Giants WR’s

Low Cal Chipotle Mix Beans, chicken, red meat, onions and taco seasoning

Low Cal Chipotle Mix
Beans, chicken, red meat, onions and taco seasoning

P.H.D. Revisited – Journal Entry 161

Log:

Week 15

1/24 – 175lbs – 2800 calories – 9500 steps – 4.7 miles

1/25 – 176lbs – 2400 calories – 6200 steps – 3 miles

1/26 – 176.8lbs – 1650 calories – 12800 steps – 6 miles

1/27 – 176lbs – 1750 calories – 9200 steps – 4.4 miles

1/28 – 175lbs – 1900 calories – 7800 steps – 3.75 miles

1/29 – 174.2lbs – 1700 calories – 12100 steps – 5.7 miles

1/30 – 174.6lbs – 2550 caloires – 10516 steps – 5 miles

Average Calorie Intake – 2100 calories – Average Weight – 175.3lbs

Average calories and weight a bit higher than last week. This Friday night was kind of unplanned and higher than I anticipated, but a real fun night with a decent amount of drinks and food with friends. I actually woke up looking leaner than I have all week, but this is most likely due to the alcohol’s dehydrating effect. I’m thinking about taking 1-2 weeks off from dieting though. Its good to throw in these maintenance periods every so often to reset the metabolism. I’m happy with my leanness and I may try to get leaner in the future, but right now eating more sounds more enticing then getting leaner. Based on what I know from dieting, this means a short break is in order. The meal plan will stay more or less the same, but I’m just going to eat based on hunger and nothing is off limits.

Training

Busy week at work. We went from 4 patients to 16 patients haha. Quite the jump in one week. As a result, this has decreased my time to train and I have been much busier. I may adjust my training slightly to compensate. What I was thinking is just doing 1 muscle group a day, so I can do a quick cardio warmup, hit that one muscle group with the reverse pyramid rep scheme and be done in hopefully 30-40 minutes. Its actually pretty similar to what I was doing, but instead of shoulders/triceps and legs/biceps, I’ll just do a shoulders/traps day, legs day and arms day. My overall steps may go down a bit as well.

Strength went up this week though. I hit 215 on squats for 6 reps, 60lb db’s on Shoulder Press, 255×6 on trap bar deads, and 190×6 on barbell bench press. I then dropped the weight by 10% on each subsequent set for a total of 3-4 sets. Really been liking this reverse pyramid scheme though. My off days just had some light incline walking.

Chest and Triceps

Chest and Triceps

Back and Biceps

Back and Biceps

Shoulders and Triceps

Shoulders and Triceps

Legs and Biceps

Legs and Biceps

Nutrition

Been reading and researching more on the perfect health diet in respect to the macros he recommends. I kind of moved away from his thinking, but the more I read his research I do think he is correct. He basically sets a max limit on protein and carbs and says that fat from healthy sources such as monounsaturated and saturated fat with a low polyunsaturated intake is the healthiest way to go. Protein and carbs in excess can stress the body and lead to toxicity. But on the other hand they are both critical for a healthy diet and not getting enough can trigger some very nasty deficiency symptoms. I have noticed this myself first hand. In the past I have done very high carb and protein diets, because I thought the extra insulin would have generated more muscle gain and less fat gain than the same approach with dietary fat. I was wrong and eating that way felt unnatural to me. I also definitely gained some fat eating that many carbs each day. Past a certain point protein just gets excessive as well and bloating and digestive distress is usually the outcome. For me anything over 200 grams of protein just seems like overkill. With carbs its probably around 250+ is definitely too much, especially everyday. Unless I’m very depleted of carbs I can go higher than that and look good, but once my glycogen is full anything beyond 200 grams is definitely too much. Paul Jaminet has research showing why that could be overkill for some people, even one as active as myself. He recommends keeping carbs around 100-200 grams or 30% of total calories. I really dislike percentages of the diet, because if you eat a very high calorie or very low calories diet than 30% is drastically different. For most people though he recommends between 100-150 grams. If your more active its probably closer to 200 grams or just a 100-200 gram range. This is the amount you use and can eat before it just becomes excessive. The rest of the diet should be filled with healthy fat. Fat has a plethora of benefits, the best being an increase in hormones, which are critical for optimal body composition. It also tastes good and doesn’t bloat you out like carbs do.

Based on my average bodyweight of 175lbs this is what my Perfect Health diet macros would be:

  • Estimated Maintenance – BMR = 1800 calories + 200 (thermic effect of food) + 350 calories (Daily walking and movement on average) + 200 (weight workout and extra calories burned from soreness) = 2550 calories a day (may be slightly more or less than this)
  • Recommended Macros:
  • Protein – 150-200 grams – (he recommends lower than this, but as long as I dont eclipse 200 grams I’m fine)
  • Carbs – 100-200 grams – I’ll use 195 since its 30% of maintenance
  • Fat – 120 grams of fat

Pretty balanced diet overall. Testosterone would be sky high with a fat intake that large and fat gain should be minimal if calories are controlled and the balance of the diet is maintained.

On the opposite hand he recommends at least 500 calories worth of fat, 500 calories worth of carbs, and 300 calories worth of protein for a sedentary person to lose fat without comprising health. This is 125g carbs / 75g protein / 56g fat and 1300 calories. It wouldn’t be a fun diet, but it would rip you up nicely if you could stick to it. He also says that as long as enough nutrients are eaten hunger shouldn’t be an issue. Maybe if your sedentary, but I would be very hungry on a diet like this. Protein seems too low for me as well, but this is for sedentary people. My fat loss diet is similar to this as long as protein was basically doubled.

Pics from the week:

Lean meat 3 whole eggs Vegetables

Lean meat
3 whole eggs
Vegetables

2 whole eggs Lean meat  Veggies

2 whole eggs
Lean meat
Veggies

Beans, lean meat and onions

Beans, lean meat and onions

Chicken, beans and onions

Chicken, beans and onions

Rockstar sugar free energy drink and tequila

Rockstar sugar free energy drink and tequila

Vino

Vino

New Year – New Approach – Journal Entry 157

Log:

IMG_1481

12/27 – 176.2 lbs – 2600 calories – 8800 steps – 4.35 miles

12/28 – 178.4lbs – 1400 calories – 9900 steps – 4.7 miles

12/29 – 176lbs – 1400 calories – 16180 steps – 7.6 miles

12/30 – 175.4lbs – 1400 calories – 12000 steps 5.5 miles

12/31 – 174.4lbs – 2800 calories – 6800 steps – 3.25 miles – Refeed day 350 carbs / 41 fat / 188 protein with 3 alcohol drinks)

1/1 – 175.4lbs – 1500 calories – 11000 steps – 5.18 miles

1/2 – 175.2 lbs – 1500 calories – 14000 steps – 6.62 miles

Average Weight – 175.8lbs – Average Calorie Intake 1800 calories

Been doing a lot of planning before 2015 to decide what I want to do with in the upcoming year. I’ve decided on a 3 day split to do on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. The rationale is I have much more time to eat and lift on the weekends. I’m also not as active on the weekends and don’t have a treadmill nearby like I do when at work. This is the perfect time to create a calorie surplus to build more muscle. I also eat out much more frequently on the weekends, so I would be taking advantage of the extra calories. I actually wrote an entire guide yesterday for me and my roommate to get started on this. I also plan to give it people at Williamsville who are interested in trying it out.

Here’s a quick rundown:

3 weight training days a week on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. I will overfeed my maintenance calories anywhere from 300-800 calories a day. (Research shows that going over 800 calories over maintenance just results in fat gain and no additional benefit is gained towards muscle mass) This will land somewhere around 28-3300 calories. Macros will be very high carb, moderate protein and low fat. This will help avoid fat gain, upregulate metabolism, fill my glycogen stores and due to the high insulin store everything I eat more efficiently. If I did this everyday I would become insulin resistant, but doing it a few times a week allows you stay insulin sensitive especially when combined with low carb days.

4 days of cardio each week on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. Cardio will be incline walking for around 60 minutes up to 120 minutes a day. This also includes just moving around more and not just staying on the treadmill that long. These days are meant to be burn a lot of fat and not stress the body with too much cortisol and joint stress. Walking selectively burns more fat since its low intensity. I really don’t want to burn glucose (stored carbs) on this day, because I’m trying to leave my muscle glycogen intact for weight training days. The diet will be low calorie with low carbs (under 100 grams but more than 50 grams as 50 grams severely limits the use of protein for glucose), high protein (2 grams per kilogram of bodyweight) and moderate fat. Basically just lean meats, veggies and some added fat like peanut butter, eggs, cheese, and light butter.

The split will be full body workout on Wednesday, Push on Saturday and Pull on Sunday. This split I feel is one of the best I ever made. I noticed when lifting 3 days a week, I’m excited to hit the gym everyday. When lifting more often there would always be 1-2 workouts that were a drag and my head wasn’t in the game. No more with this split. Couple that with some high calories and it should be very good times in the gym. My weekend workouts usually last over an hour and the Full body may be longer than that, but its a pretty amazing feeling to have your entire body pumped up after one workout. That’s something split routines don’t accomplish, because they only work 1-2 muscle groups per day.

As for the diet its basically an extreme carb cycle going very high on weight training days and pretty low on rest days. Whats funny is I have an easy time doing this. On high days eat all the carbs you want with lean meats. Even candy, sweet frog, cereal, subway, olive garden its very easy to go to a restaurant and get something that fits under this guideline. The only meal I keep from being high carb is breakfast and that’s just more from an energy standpoint. (I get tired with high carb breakfasts) Fat is incidental to avoid storage, which is very efficient on high carbs. The low days are much easier than they sound. I’m shooting for around 8-10 x body weight to generate a huge calorie deficit. Lean meats, protein powder, eggs and tons of veggies make this very easy. I’m also very used to eating this way in the past anyway. I also noticed when I completely remove starches from my diet, my appetite goes to nil. Lyle McDonald has explained the science behind this, but I figured I would use it to my advantage going forward. It also helps with food variety. I tend to make the same meals over and over and with an approach like this has you mix it up a bit. Alcohol may be consumed in moderation as well. I also feel like this will help with metabolic rate. No matter what the average intake comes out to, I like the idea of “spiking” my metabolic rate and this isn’t possible to do with a more moderate approach. I also feel like I’m in purgatory with a moderate approach. Its like I’m not sure if the plan is working or not because you’re not generating a big calorie deficit to burn much fat and not eating enough to build real muscle. This plan avoids that.

Also an important thing to note is that after a certain point of overfeeding it doesn’t really matter what the macro composition of the diet is because the body becomes resistant to excess food and starts to store everything as fat. This may not effect people that are genetically gifted and young, but effects the vast majority of people not blessed with an incredible metabolism. In other words, even if your diet is very low in fat, high carb overfeeding will make you fat in the long term if done too frequently. That’s why this plan cycles carbs so the high carb days only occur 3 days a week for short periods of time then you drop back off in calories. This is the only way to really stay lean when building muscle. De novo lipogensis (carbs turning into fat) only occurs after days and days of high carb overfeeding. It doesnt occur at all if only done every now or is at least very inefficient. This supports the idea of doing it more frequently, but not for long periods of time, such as the way I’m doing it of 3 maybe 4 times a week. Most bodybuilders on month long bulks can gain around 20-30 pounds of extra body weight, before cutting it all off for months at a time. Not my style. Plus all diets are cyclical. If you bulk 6 months and cut 6 months that’s a cyclical diet whether you know it or not. In my opinion it’s better to work in shorter cycles or on a day by day basis to more easily monitor feedback from the body and see how it responds to certain stimuli. To me it works like this: lift heavy weights then eat a lot; do cardio only under eat and burn fat. That maximizes the effectiveness of each type of exercise. Since cardio (catabolic tears body down) and weight training (anabolic builds body up) both do different things to the body, it doesn’t make sense to do them on the same day.

I look at this plan as more of lifestyle plan going forward. It has muscle building days and fat burning days all rolled into one phase, so there is no need to change. Once I drop back down to 170lbs (still my goal) I will increase the low days by 2-400 calories all through dietary fat, while still keeping carbs down. I will still be in a good calorie deficit as well. This will help increase overall testosterone levels, which will help build muscle more quickly.

I have 4 key lifts I’m tracking:

Barbell Bench Press

Weighted Chinups

Barbell Shoulder Press

Trap-bar Deadlift

The first two will be done on Wednesday and the next two on Saturday and Sunday. All will be done with around 4 sets of 4-6 reps. Trap-bar Deadlift is the perfect combo between squats and deadlifts and safer for the lower back. I also can lift more weight with this move rather than doing squats or deadlifts on there own. Traps also get good stimulation from this lift. I felt it was the perfect move to add to this routine. The other move I do for legs is DB lunges on Full Body day. I debated whether to do DB bench press or Barbell, but I decided on barbell because its easier to add weight to. I also really want to get a 225lb bench press. Abs will be done each workout, but the focus is more on building mass and strength in the core. I will do cable woodchoppers, ab rollers and cable crunches with heavy weight all for around 4 sets of 10 reps. I’m not going to mess with traditional crunches, because I feel there a waste of time when better moves can be done.

Some Pics from the week:

Mongolian Grill

Mongolian Grill

Refeed day - Honey Bunches of Oats

Refeed day – Honey Bunches of Oats

Lean meats, veggies Butter Bread and crackers

Lean meats, veggies
Butter Bread and crackers

Omelet with greens

Omelet with greens

Lean meat stirfy with greens

Lean meat stirfy with greens

Oatmeal with berries and quest bar on top

Oatmeal with berries and quest bar on top

1.5 cups of rice with spinach and lean meat

1.5 cups of rice with spinach and lean meat

Kraken Milkshake with redi whip on top 1 to 1.5 shots of kraken Diet coke Fat Free Redi Whip Sugar free chocolate syrup Ice

Kraken Milkshake with redi whip on top
1 to 1.5 shots of kraken
Diet coke
Fat Free Redi Whip
Sugar free chocolate syrup
Ice

Lon

Longhorn Sierra Feta Chicken

Vegetable Sitrfy with lean meat

Vegetable Sitrfy with lean meat

Probably most walking I've done on Fitbit

Probably most walking I’ve done on Fitbit

2 whole egg, 3 egg white omelet with onion 3 oz of red meat and mixed veggies

2 whole egg, 3 egg white omelet with onion
3 oz of red meat and mixed veggies