Journal Entry 183

Log:

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Week 27

4/18 – 174.8lbs – 2650 calories – 9300 steps – 4.5 miles

4/19 – 176.8lbs – 2250 calories – 6200 steps – 3.2 miles

4/20 – 175.8lbs – 2200 calories – 11500 steps – 5.5 miles

4/21 – 176.6lbs – 2100 calories – 18500 steps – 8.7 miles

4/22 – 175.4lbs – 2100 calories – 12600 steps – 6 miles

4/23 – 175.8lbs – 2050 calories – 11200 steps – 5.33 miles

4/24 – 175.2 lbs – 2100 calories – 14000 steps – 6.7miles

Average Weight – 175.7 lbs – Average Calorie Intake – 2200 calories

Workouts:

  • Saturday – Chest/Tris
  • Sunday – Back/Bis
  • Monday – Legs
  • Tuesday – Cardio
  • Wednesday – Chest/Back
  • Thursday – Shoulders/Arms
  • Friday – Cardio / Abs

Did more of split based workouts this week. I havent done chest/back and shoulders/arms in a while, but actually really enjoyed it. I was able to superset every move and got the workout done in relatively quick period of time. I was worried after doing chest/back that my shoulders and arms would be sore, but they weren’t really at all. I stuck to about 3 exercises of 3 sets each for each body part with roughly 6-8 reps on the first move and 8-12 on the rest. My goal was to hit roughly 10 reps though since that’s is the perfect middle ground. Next week I plan to have 2 chest/back days and 2 shoulders/arms days spaced about 3 days apart. I will also have one legs day and 2 cardio only days.

I actually really liked supersetting moves though, because I got a pump that I havent gotten in a long time. It kind of made me miss the “bodybuilding” style workouts vs the strength oriented power workouts. I was also able to move through each move much faster without so much waiting around. Also I feel its important to control the weight and not let the weight control you. Powerlifting is good for strength, but I have seen very small and strong powerlifters that displayed pretty small amounts of muscle size. For example, they were around 180lbs and could deadlift over 600lbs. On paper you would assume this person would be extremely muscle with a big back and traps. In reality, they looked like an average lifter at best and with clothes on you probably couldnt even tell they lifted.  If you want to look like a bodybuilder, then you should probably train like one.

What’s funny is until recently (last few years or so) most bodybuilders didn’t really stray out of the 8-12 rep range for 3 sets. The lines became crossed between strength and athletic training and bodybuilding. Also bodybuilders use a lot more variation with training, which can trigger overall more muscle because it hits angles that get ignored by compound only movements. There was an interview from Jay Cutler who basically said exactly this. He said I never really changed my training, because it never stopped working. He also never really trained for strength, which many people make seem like its a requirement now. Dont get me wrong increasing strength is very important, because progressive overload is a requirement, but you may not need to do this with brutally heavy weights that drain your CNS and energy levels. For example, your form and control of the weight is much better with a weight you can get at least 6-8 times or more. If you try to do 4-5 reps the form usually gets sloppy and its takes a long time to recover from, while also pounding joints and increasing your chance for injury. Not too mention it hardly builds muscle size.

I didnt realize how long its been since I did an old school bodybuilding style workout. I’ve been so focused on strength and heavy weights that training for the pump and variation took a backseat. Again progressive overload is still the goal, but just in a higher rep range.

Nutrition 

Averaged about 2200 calories this week overall. Nothing special in terms of meals.

Been listening to my weekly podcasts and had a good laugh over one comment I heard. The speaker basically said his high fat and very low carb diet led to superior digestion and energy levels. He also states that he eats very low vegetables, because veggies aren’t that healthy and are unnecessary (in his words). Right after he said this, he said he went to dinner at a friends house and had a salmon salad that of course had tons of raw vegetables in it. He said that salad wrecked his digestion for days. Think about that for a minute. If you have really good digestion, then you should be able to eat veggies and digest them just fine. If you cant digest them, then your digestion sucks. I would have love to know what would have happened if he introduced starches and fruit back into his diet. It probably would have sent him into a diabetic coma. Real healthy pal. In my view, a healthly digestive track is one that can tolerate just about everything with no trouble at all. Bowels should be large and regular. If your constipated or barely going then its usually a sign that your metabolism is slowing down or your not eating enough. Also restrictive diets only help your digestion if you never eat certain foods again. If you plan to ever have a piece of fruit or go for pizza with your friends and family again, then be prepared for a lot of bloating and discomfort. You can heal your digestion, by regularly consuming these foods again, but it will take a few months to adjust.

Also for people on high fat very low carb diets, I just dont see it being a good idea long term. Not unless you do them correctly, by cycling in carb refeeds. Again leptin is very important and its released in response to HIGH INSULIN. This is bad if your fat, but if your lean then you cant ignore this hormone or a lot things are going to shut down for you. So you can have a high carb dinner or have high carb days or whatever, but at some point your going to need that upregulation. Also carbs have been shown to increase digestive health as well due to certain bactertia it provides. I’d say every 3rd day would be good for cycling if your lean.

I’ve been enjoying the high carb dinners. It allows for more variation in the diet. I’ve been keeping fat around 70 grams or so, protein around bodyweight and the rest have been carbs. Sometimes I do find the carbs can increase my appetite, more so than if I didnt have any, but that’s why I keep them to one meal a day and not all throughout the day. Trust me I tried this in the past and it got me brutally hungry.

Also Quest Bar released a new flavor: Mint Chocolate Chunk. Looks amazing, but probably going to have to order it online, because it will be a few weeks before its in stores.

Pics from the week:

Leftover Bertuccis with mixed veggies and chicken
Leftover Bertuccis with mixed veggies and chicken
Shrimp and Broccli with cheese and a crag rangoon
Shrimp and Broccli with cheese and a crag rangoon
Lean meat, veggies and white rice
Lean meat, veggies and white rice
Gluten free pasta with pomodoro sauce and chicken and broccoli also added some low fat pepperoni
Gluten free pasta with pomodoro sauce and chicken and broccoli also added some low fat pepperoni
Lean meat, veggies and potatoes
Lean meat, veggies and potatoes
Lean meat, imitation crab meat, veggies and low fat vegetable fried rice
Lean meat, imitation crab meat, veggies and low fat vegetable fried rice
Lean meat, veggies and 3 whole eggs that turned into a thick pancake texture with pepperoni on top
Lean meat, veggies and 3 whole eggs that turned into a thick pancake texture with pepperoni on top

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

Journal Entry 179

Log:

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Week 23

3/21- 175.6lbs – 3300 calories – 7200 steps – 3.5 miles

3/22- 176.6lbs – 2050 calories 7000 steps – 3.5miles

3//23- 177.8lbs – 2020 calories – 14000 steps – 6.5miles

3/24- 178lbs – 1800 calories – 10000 steps – 4.6 miles

3/25- 178.8lbs – 1700 calories – 11000 steps – 5.2 miles

3/26- 177.8lbs – 1900 calories – 10000 steps – 4.8 miles

3/27 – 177.6lbs – 2800 calories – 13500 steps – 6.4miles

Average Weight – 177.5lbs  /  Average Calorie Intake – 2200 calories

Training:

PR’s set in every lift this week:

  • Barbell Bench Press – 205×5.5 reps – second workout 210×3.5 reps
  • Barbell Standing press – 110×5 reps – 2nd workout – 115×5 reps
  • Chinups bodyweight +45lbs = 4 reps
  • Hang Cleans 115×6 reps
  • Squats 235×5 reps
  • Barbell Lunges 135×5 reps each leg

I changed lunges from dumbbells to barbells. I feel like this is easier to progress on from a strength standpoint and also feels a bit different than DB’s. So pretty much every exercise is done with barbells at this point. I’m also really getting into the standing shoulder press. Just feels like a good exercise to get strong in and feels much more beneficial for core strength then sitting down.

One of my bowflex Db’s gave out this week and I think its done with. That means I’m doing everything with barbells which honestly only changed out a few exercises. Incline press was affected, but I kind of like doing it with the barbell for a change. I just make sure to squeeze the shoulder blades together to prevent my shoulder from taking over the movement.

I do enjoy this split though as I have lots of energy and drive for each session. I do miss some of the higher rep work just from an energy/pump standpoint, but my strength is going up, so I’m not going to mess with it. The best part about this split is the motivation I have to lift more weight every workout. The workouts are more organized this way.

On the rest days, I just walk to get at least 5 miles and make sure to hit my 100 pushups. I know I have done at least 100 pushups each day, but some if not all days were closer to 150 pushups. I usually do sets of 20 unless its a push day, then I drop down to 10-15 a set.

Nutrition

Average Intake was about 2200 calories with two high days on the Friday and Saturday. A decent amount of those calories came from alcohol, so not the most beneficial sources towards body composition.

I’m also going to play around with my macros a little bit and add more carbs at night and take down fat a bit. I want to keep fat around 55-65 grams and carbs up to 150-180 grams a day. Protein is the same, but may end up dropping that a bit as well. Most of these carbs are going to come from fruit and potatoes at night. I found a real quick and easy way to make homemade french fries and they taste incredible. Not to mention potatoes are incredibly filling and cheap source of food. They also have a lot of potassium, which could eliminate excess sodium and water retention. I may include some white rice some days, but probably will stick to potatoes from a satiety standpoint.

Protein will be higher during the beginning of they day and around dinner, I may just get in 30-40 carbs and probably double that in carbs. Carbs release serotonin, but eating too much protein with carbs can interfere with that. So the goal is to eat enough protein, but allow the carbs to “go to work” at night. I will admit its hard to not eat a lot of protein haha. If I dont have at least 5-6oz it just doesnt feel like enough, but to make room for more carbs I will drop them a bit.

Sample Dinners would probably be:

  • Pasta with marinara, veggies and 2oz of chicken
  • Pizza with reduced fat cheese and low fat pepperoni
  • 3-4 potatoes cut into fries with 4oz of chicken and veggies

Again the goal is reduce protein a bit at night and really get the serotonin release from carbs.

Some pics from the week:

Left over Bertuccis
Left over Bertuccis
Lean Meat with a sweet potato
Lean Meat with a sweet potato
Lean Meat Potatoes  Veggies
Lean Meat
Potatoes
Veggies
Lean meat with pepperoni and veggies
Lean meat with pepperoni and veggies
Lunch every day 5.5oz of lean meat 1 whole egg 2.5 cups of broccoli 1 ounce of cheese
Lunch every day
5.5oz of lean meat
1 whole egg
2.5 cups of broccoli
1 ounce of cheese
Lean meat with broccoli and cheese and 2 potatoes made into fries
Lean meat with broccoli and cheese and 2 potatoes made into fries
Lazy meal with 4oz of chicken, cheese and 3 slices of 35 calorie bread and pop chips.
Lazy meal with 4oz of chicken, cheese and 3 slices of 35 calorie bread and pop chips.

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Journal Entry 178 – Minimalism

Log:

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Week 23

3/14 – 177.6lbs – 2500 calories – 8500 steps – 4.22 miles

3/15 – 176.2lbs – 2300 calories – 10000 steps – 5 miles

3/16 – 176.4lbs – 2000 calories – 12500 steps – 6 miles

3/17 – 176.2lbs – 2400 calories – 11000 steps – 5 miles

3/18 – 177lbs – 2300 calories – 12000 steps – 6 miles

3/19 – 176.2lbs – 2350 calories – 8500 steps – 4 miles

3/20 – 176.6 lbs – 2300 calories – 10400 steps – 5 miles

Average Weight – 176.6lbs Average Calorie Intake – 2300 calories

Training

This was my first full week on my new split. I really enjoyed it and even though each workout was only 5 moves, it took about an hour to complete. I lifted more than I have in a long time on my key exercises.

  • Bench Press – 1st workout – 195×5 reps – 2nd workout 200×5 reps
  • Standing Shoulder Press – 1st workout – 105×4 reps – 2nd workout 105×6 reps
  • Chinups – 1st workout – 35×5 reps – 2nd workout 40×5 reps
  • Hang Cleans – 1st workout 95×6 reps – 2nd workout 110×6 reps
  • BB Squats – 1st workout 235×4 reps
  • DB Lunges – 65s x 5 reps

So 3 different workouts, with each workout focusing on two main moves. I also added an hypertrophy move right after I do the first two main moves. I have this move structured so that you use the same weight each week for 3 sets of 6-10 reps. Once you can do 3 sets of 10 total reps, you can increase the weight. For example, if I’m doing DB rows for 3 sets of 6-10 and I get 3×10,9,8, I would use the same weight next week and aim for 3×10,10,10. If I dont achieve 10 reps on ALL 3 sets then I continue using the same weight until you do.

I really like the simplicity / minimalism of this type of workout. It eliminates the unnecessary exercises that may even be working against you. I also achieve a really good pump since I feel like the quality of my form has improved since I dont feel like I need to save strength for later movements.

Every day this week, except for days I train Push muscles, I have done at least 100 pushups a day. I started with sets of 15 reps, but not I’m knocking out 20 reps a set. As long as I get 100 it doesnt really matter how many sets it takes. I knocked out 40 in a row yesterday and my form has gotten much better overall on pushups then in the past. Its also a really good way to get a good pump.

By focusing on the essentials, I’m hoping to slowly walk my lifts up a good 2.5-5lbs up each workout. By reducing the unnecessary volume and decreasing the days I was lifting from 6 to 4 days, and also hitting each muscle group at least every 4-5 days (except legs), I expect my strength levels to respond favorably. I also noticed increased enjoyment during my lift days, by cutting back to 4 days. I feel refreshed and ready to go instead of the drag type feeling I experience on some days when I try to do 6 days.

Here are goals I hope to achieve by the end of the year:

  • Bench Press 225×5 reps
  • Standing BB Press 125×5 reps
  • Chinups 60×5 reps
  • Hang Cleans 135×5 reps
  • BB Squats 250×5 reps
  • DB Lunges 75×5 reps

Bench Press is the most important to me. I really want to get that going. Also standing BB press as well because usually when that goes up, it means your core is getting much stronger as well. I forgot to mention I do Abs on Leg Days and usually add one move for 3 sets of 6-10 reps at the end of at least one other workout during the week. Usually a heavy cable crunch.

Here are my workout notes starting from last Thursday.

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Nutrition

Nothing special in nutrition this week. Added an extra 200 calories (averaged out over the week) to my baseline to hit around 2300 calories. Average weight stayed about the same.

  • Protein usually around 180-210 grams
  • Fat usually 75-90 grams (usually mid 80’s)
  • Carbs usually 90-150 grams

I also usually carb up on Saturday. I dont really do a carb refeed, but mainly just eat more starches than usual starting at lunch time. Protein is a bit higher than necessary, but again I just like eating a lot of protein with each meal and prefer the taste over carbs. I’m sure some of the excess protein converts to carbs, but it doesnt bother me. I like eating this way and only plan to mess with it if my lifts start to stall. I do think adding an additional 50grams of carbs to workout days is a good idea though. This week I consumed it as oatmeal right before bed, but I may get some roasted potatoes from trader joes and eat it with dinner. I like buying premade potatoes though, because they are a huge pain to fix and cook raw haha. Oatmeal is much easier to prepare than potatoes, because I dont heat it. I use the low sugar instant oats mix it with a little protein powder and almond milk and eat it like that. Tastes incredible.

I also aim to consume at least 3 whole eggs a day. Usually 1 in the morning with my vitamins and 2 in my lunch. My vegetable intake is high as always with lots of broccoli and spinach. My fruit intake is always at least 1 cup of berries a day and sometimes I eat a banana. Been eating a lot of avocado recently too, but these things are a pain. You have to wait until they ripen and then eat them at least within 2 days. So you almost feel forced to eat it or else its going to go bad. I still like cheese and eggs as my main fat sources, because they dont go bad nearly as fast. Also tried some Trader Joe’s Bolognese sauce and it was incredible. Very thick texture and almost tasted like a cream based sauce. It has a higher fat content than most, but less sugar so its fine with me. Been eating Kim-Chi before my vitamins each morning too. Food Lion has a good brand for about $4, which is much less than most places sell it for.

Some Pics from the week:

Shrimp and Vegatbles 1 whole egg 1 crab rangoon
Shrimp and Vegatbles
1 whole egg
1 crab rangoon
Meat and Veggies
Meat and Veggies
Meat and Vegetables with Special K chips
Meat and Vegetables with Special K chips
Dessert Oatmeal 3 low sugar great value packets 3/4 scoop of protein powder - vanilla berries on top
Dessert Oatmeal
3 low sugar great value packets
3/4 scoop of protein powder – vanilla
berries on top
Meat and Veggies 1 whole egg Cheese
Meat and Veggies
1 whole egg
Cheese
2 whole eggs 5.5oz of lean meat 1oz of cheese Veggies
2 whole eggs
5.5oz of lean meat
1oz of cheese
Veggies
Lean meat Turkey Pepperoni 1/2 cup of bolognese sauce Cheese
Lean meat
Turkey Pepperoni
1/2 cup of bolognese sauce
Cheese

Journal Entry 177 – Quality over Quantity

Log:

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3/7 – 176.2lbs – 2500 calories – 8800 steps – 4.3 miles

3/8 – 176.8lbs – 2100 calories – 7000 steps – 3.5 miles

3/9 – 176.8lbs – 2200 calories – 12300 steps – 5.8 miles

3/10 – 177.8lbs – 1800 calories – 15000 steps – 7 miles

3/11 – 175.6lbs – 1850 calories – 12500 steps – 6 miles

3/12 – 174.4lbs – 2400 calories – 11000 steps – 5.2 miles

3/13 – 176.2lbs – 2400 calories – 12800 steps – 6 miles

Average Weight 176.2lbs – Average Calorie Intake – 2178 calories

Training:

Earlier this week, I burned my self out on lifting weights for the first time in a really long time. Not that I couldn’t have “handled it” from a physical standpoint, but I just lacked the motivation to lift. The workouts felt too similar, my strength wasn’t really increasing and I felt the workouts were becoming a chore that I really just didnt feel like doing. I took two days off and just did some light walking. This was mainly to just take a break and most importantly not lift. My motivation came quickly back and I felt myself wanting to lift again. But I did a lot of thinking about being too disorganized in my goals and workouts are all over the place. I need a clear goal and a clear plan that I stick to for a long time. The best way to stay motivated when lifting is to try to break PR’s every time you go to the gym. If your going to the gym to build muscle and your not setting PR’s then your plan most likely isn’t going to work.

I decided to go back to the drawing board and scrap the workouts I’ve been doing recently. I do like trying things out, but right now I want proven workouts and to start busting PR’s again. I realized that even though I love to lift, 6 days a week just doesnt allow for proper strength and CNS recovery. I ended up buying a program that was based around strength gains. This is a very interesting plan because it explains a lot of the reasoning why lifting too often can hold you back. It talks a lot about CNS recovery, local nerve fatigue and how long it takes these to recover for maximal lifting, a pyramid scheme and warmup for maximizing strength and focuses on minimalism, while reducing unnecessary movements. It also takes a lot of volume out of the program, because doing too much volume can actually limit recover and impede strength gains. Since lifting more weight over time (progressive overload) is the single most important factor in myofibrilliar muscle growth (not sacroplasmic) this needs to be the primary focus and not on pump sets. The reps of this program focus on 5-8 reps. Lower than that doesnt stimulate enough muscle growth and higher than that is just too light. The point of this plan is to back off a lot of the movements and focus on the big moves.

It has a very interesting setup though and it recommends two different workouts rotated over a 3 day split every other day. The funny thing is, is even though you lift less days per week, your actually hitting your muscles more often or every 4th day. Since you wont use the same muscles and allow for two rest days in between each workout, your ready to attack the muscles with full strength. The schedule works as follows Week 1 – Workout A, Rest, Workout B, Rest, Workout A, Rest, Rest – Week 2 – Workout B, Rest, Workout A, Rest, Workout B, Rest, Rest.

There a couple of modifications I will make to this plan though. Workout A is push muscles and Workout B is Pull muscles. However it doesnt include a leg day. Its focused on upperbody strength and the creator of the program already had too much leg mass and didnt want anymore. That being said I think not training legs is a mistake and lame haha. I’m going to add a leg day that is very similar to the other two workouts in the plan. This can actually be easily implemented into the plan without screwing up the schedule, by training the 3 main workouts on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday each week and then having a leg day fixed on Sunday. This way I can still rotate Workout A and B every week, but still hit legs each Sunday without impacting recovery. He does caution against lifting Back to Back days, but as long as I dont overdo the volume, work different muscles and still allow enough rest time between hitting the same muscles again I dont see it being a big deal. I’m also adding an additional exercise for 3 sets of 10 reps to both days to satisfy my ego. He recommends making the Incline Barbell Press your main pushing movement, but I want to get my flat Bench press up. So I’m making that the main move and adding in one volume based move for DB incline press.

Each workout is only 4-6 moves max. It also places two heavy movements at the beginning of each workout (your main focus) and the rest is volume for shoulders and arms and such. Workout days are Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday (favorite day to train) and Sunday. This will allow me two lifting days in Golds gym and two lifting days at work.

  • Here is a better visual depiction
  • Week 1
  • Rest
  • Workout A – BB Bench and Standing BB Press focus – Push
  • Rest
  • Workout B – Pullups and Hang Cleans – Pull
  • Rest
  • Workout A – BB Bench and Standing BB Press – Push
  • Workout C (my modification) – BB Squats and Lunges – Legs
  • Week 2
  • Rest
  • Workout B
  • Rest
  • Workout A
  • Rest
  • Workout B
  • Workout C
  • Repeat Week 1

So the focus is on Quality over Quantity. 4 focused sessions per week striving for PR’s every workout vs 6 workouts per week that just tends to burn me out. More rest between each session and hitting each muscle as frequently as possible to make better strength gains, while still allowing for adequate recovery. I’ve always liked minimalist style approaches, so this should do nicely.

Also My leg day will probably be setup like this:

  • Legs
  • BB Squats – Warmuup then 5, 6, 8 reps
  • DB lunges – 5, 6, 8 reps
  • Leg Press – 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Cable Crunch – 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Cable Woodchoppers – 3 sets of 10 reps

I’ve also done about 100-150 pushups everyday this week, except on Thursday I did 50 because I worked out Push muscles.

Nutrition

Been listening to a lot of podcasts this week. A lot were on training, but also a lot on nutrition. One was by Ori Hofmekler the creator of the Warrior diet. Very interesting listening to what he had to say, especially in regards to undereating during the day and feasting at night. He said you dont have to all out fast (not eat anything), but to undereat and take in a decent amount of protein and low sugar berries and vegetables, but no direct sugar energy sources and limited fat sources. Then loading up at night after you exercise, will make your body far more receptive to those foods without storing them as fat. This has a lot to do with certain hormones that burn fat effectively and sometimes eating can screw these signals up. AMPK was particularly interesting in regards to fat burning. However some of the stuff he was saying made no sense. Especially in regards to insulin, because he said carbs are the only thing that spike insulin. Umm not quite. Protein spikes insulin more than carbs do. Protein releases glucagon in relation to it, but its still sparks insulin. Either way I learned some interesting facts from it.

Other podcasts were talking about ketogenic diets which are very interesting, but I still still think you need some carbs. I just dont think you need nearly as many as people think. Especially the way some experts recommend a very low fat intake and very high carb intake. It just doesnt work for my body and in my opinion negatively impacts energy levels and overall fat burning and isnt nearly as anabolic as people think. Yes you need some insulin to trigger muscle growth, but protein does this just fine and it only takes an extra 30 grams of carbs to barely increase protein synthesis rates. Very high insulin levels do not lead to very high rates of protein synthesis. More is not better. Once your glycogen is full, I just dont see the point of extra carbs, when fat has way more to offer in my opinion. Yes you need calories to grow, but not necessarily carbs. They seem to ignore a lot of benefits that fat can bring as well. Like for example the liner relationship dietary fat has with testosterone levels. Given the fact that testosterone is the chief muscle building hormone in males, I think you want this on your side. Plus eating low fat makes most meals really bland tasting.

In my opinion, the best diet would have about 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight, 1 gram per pound of carbs on workout days and maybe 100-120 on rest days and the rest would be healthy fats. This would work far better for me. Protein being spread evenly through the day. With carbs being less than or equal to protein in almost all meals or eating a very small amount of carbs all day then eating a large amount at dinner as this can help energy during the day and maximized fat burning hormones. Omit the extra carbs on rest days. Calorie totals depend on goals. I plan on keeping mine around 2400 calories average. I dont like cycling calories or carbs that much, so I’m just going keep it the same more or less every day and focus more on the weekly average vs daily fluctuations. This intake is right around maintenance for me.

Some pics from the week:

5oz of lean meat 1 whole egg Cheese Chinese - Dumpling and crab rangoon
5oz of lean meat
1 whole egg
Cheese
Chinese – Dumpling and crab rangoon
6oz of lean meat Tons of Vegetables
6oz of lean meat
Tons of Vegetables
6oz of lean meat Veggies 1 whole egg Cheese
6oz of lean meat
Veggies
1 whole egg
Cheese
Lean Meat Veggies 4 potatoes
Lean Meat
Veggies
4 potatoes