After getting a little bit more time on my hands as of late, I decided to move back to split training doing two push workouts a week, two pulls and one legs/abs day. My legs get used a lot, because of my walking 5-7 miles a day and I don’t see the need to hit them twice a week.
The reason I wanted to move back to split training was mainly because I realized I was starting to pack too many exercises into one workout. I missed doing isolation exercises that really allow me to feel the muscle working. After doing this split last week, I admit I was very sore all over. My legs are still sore and I worked them out on Friday. My squat strength took a hit, but I usually gain that back quickly. I also kind of missed that “bodybuilder” style of training and getting really good blood flow and pumps in the gym. Haven’t done a lot of direct shoulder pressing in a while either and it felt good to add that back in.
Push, Pull, Legs is probably my all time favorite split. I like the idea of starting with the big muscles and then finishing off the smaller ones with isolations after they have already been fatigued from the big lifts. I considered doing the old style of chest/tri, back/bi, legs/abs and shoulders/traps, but I don’t think shoulders need its own day and I like hitting muscles more often then once a week.
Here is a sample push workout: (I change the exercises on the second day, but the same template follows)
- Chest Compound 3 sets of 6-10 reps and 1 set of 10-15 reps
- Chest Isolation 3 sets of 12 reps
- Shoulders Compound (same as chest)
- Shoulders Iso (same as chest)
- Triceps Compound (same as chest)
- Triceps Iso (same as chest)
Pull is slightly different, but still a pretty simple template. Leg day is very simple with squats, lunges, leg extension and leg curl done with similar rep schemes.
My diet has been much higher in protein recently. I have been tracking my intake, but eating rather intuitively at the moment. When I eat intuitively its almost always high in protein and moderate and carbs and fat. Calories have been low to mid 2000’s on most days and around 25-2700 on weekends. I have been craving more protein recently and have bought some cottage cheese to eat at night. This is perfect right before bed due to the casein protein it contains. For me though, I notice some carbs are good, but too many just doesn’t go over well. I tend to look and feel my best when carbs are between 100-160 grams or so. I notice if I go too high in carbs the only positive thing that happens is a performance boost in the gym. I tend to look softer, more bloated and get some pretty ravenous cravings no matter how healthy the meal. My energy levels also take a dive. I tend to feel lazy and unmotivated, when I expected the opposite to happen. If I take a lot of concentrated starch out of my meals I feel incredible. (Note – this happens no matter what I do in the gym) If I had to pick a macro split per meal that tends to serve me best it would probably be 35-50 grams of protein / 20-40 grams of carbs / 15-25 grams of fat. I just look and feel so much better with a setup like this. If I had to describe my diet it would be lean protein sources, fruit, vegetables, limited starches (but not zero) and added fat sources (cheese, avocado, whole eggs, salmon and fish oil). For example, I’ll have some of the bread basket at a meal when we go out to eat, but my main course will be low carbs. So total carbs dont get much above 40-50 grams even with eating bread before. For me it seems to be the amount of carbs that trigger appetite and NOT the type (high gi vs low gi). The problem is a lot of diets tend to be lower in fat (40-50 grams or so) moderate- high protein (120-200 grams) and A LOT of carbs. So at some point during the day, you going to need a pretty big dose of carbs to get enough in. Some times big dinners dont work with my schedule so that would mean a big breakfast or lunch, which just tanks my energy. I cant stand it. So these macros just dont work for me. I would much rather eat more protein and fat and drop carbs lower to avoid this. Kind of a shame, because I would like a higher carb diet to work for me, but it just doesn’t haha. It doesn’t bug me too bad though, because protein and fat tends to taste better to me anyway. To sum up, some carbs are good, but too many is bad. As long as my calories stay elevated, my strength and performance in the gym is just as good without the extra carbs. Maybe not as good, but the increased energy, focus and reduced water retention is well worth it in my opinion.
Also, meant to mention this earlier, but I find it far easier and more enjoyable to eat lower carb in a restaurant than lower fat. You can pretty much go anywhere and eat something low carb, where as if you try to go lower fat you pretty much out of luck unless you hit Subway or get some really bland entree that tastes like you could have made it at your house for far less money. Carbs without fat not as great as you would think from a taste standpoint.
I have a cruise coming up this week from Thursday to Monday for my birthday and that should be awesome. They do have a gym on the ship, so I plan to hit the gym in town on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, take Thursday off (flight to Miami) and then hopefully hit the gym two of the three days I’m on the ship. Not really going to sweat it if I dont make it to the gym as I’ll be pretty active that day anyway.
Menno Henselmans recently released another article about burning fat and building muscle at the same time. Really like his articles and hes put a lot of research and effort in to each one. But really good read, because most people say its impossible, but in reality it is not.
Some pics from the week: