Journal Entry 271 – Another Week

Another week in the books. We had spirit week at work, which was a lot of fun. Basically, we had 6 teams of 10 people each and had 4 events each day of the week. The team with the most points won. My team lost, but we had a pretty epic tug of war to finish off the events. We basically were at a dead standstill for a good minute to a minute and half of just pulling as hard as you could. The other team was probably twice are size, so it was a pretty epic matchup. My team went 3-2, but lost overall. Still the most fun event by far. Doing weighted chin-ups and biceps beforehand was probably not the best idea, but it really didn’t affect me that much. My biggest problem was my damn shoes that were extremely flat on the bottom so I couldn’t dig in. I don’t have cleats anymore and all of my shoes are “gym training” shoes. If I had a stronger grip with better shoes, I would have been much better off.

This week in training, I was able to increase my INC DB BENCH up to the 75s. I got 70s for 12, 12, 11 so I’m going to bump it up next week. CHINS were about the same and so was BARBELL BENCH. My accessories went up though. I’m also doing LATERAL RAISES  for my main shoulder move and I’m already close to bumping those up to 25’s for 3 sets of 12 reps. It will probably be awhile before I eclipse that mark though. Cardio was done 3 times this week and I will probably stick to tennis and bodyweight exercises this weekend. Not a formal bodyweight workout, but just spread through the day.

Due to time demands with my field day events this week, I started eating apples for breakfast a couple days this week. My energy was nothing short of amazing all day. I think this is due to liver glycogen that my protein pudding does not fill up, but even in the gym, I felt very very good. I basically sliced up 3 small apples, put in a bag, and threw in some Splenda and cinnamon. Very delicious. I also dipped them in some JIF to go peanut butter. It’s also a tremendous amount of volume for the calories it provides.

This week was a little lower in calories at 2000 on average over the week. Macros were 132 protein / 231 carbs / 54 fat / 45 fiber. My weight was down a little this week at 177.5 lbs. Monday I was really busy and underate unintentionally. I wasn’t really hungry the whole day though, so it didn’t really matter to much to me. Friday was kind of similar to Monday, but I ate a huge Chipotle bowl with extra pinto beans since I hadn’t really eaten much the whole day.

Random: Forgot to mention this last week, but Nadal dominated Wawrinka in the French Open in straight sets. BEAST. Also, I’ve been watching Berserk recently. It’s a Dark Anime show that is really really good. I always really liked Japanese style anime shows for whatever reason. I think they just make better shows than we do.

Journal Entry 269 – Heavy / Light Day

Another week in the books and strength is still going up. I’m down to about 179lbs of scale weight and feeling leaner than previous weeks. I decided to add in a light day for both push and pull workouts to replace one of the heavy workouts. I’m doing less cardio than in previous weeks at maybe 3 times a week. Sarah and I have also started playing tennis on the weekends, so while not formal cardio, it still counts, especially when it’s hot out. Diet has been around 2100 calories a day with Protein at 145 grams / Carbs 250 grams / Fat 65 grams.

Diet has been around 2100 calories a day with Protein at 145 grams / Carbs 250 grams / Fat 65 grams. My energy and well being is much better with more carbs and fats in my diet without adding in super high amounts of protein. I also noticed I really don’t eat a ton of meat anymore. I have a pretty good sized serving once a day and that is about it. A lot of my protein comes from protein powder, vegetables, and protein bars. Not saying that I have been actively trying to cut meat out of my diet, it’s just that I have unconsciously reduced it.

As for my workout, I moved some things around:

  • PUSH – HEAVY
    • BB BENCH PRESS – 3 sets of 6-8 reps
    • INC PRESS MACHINE – 3 sets of 12 reps
    • DIPS – 3 sets by Max
  • PULL – LIGHT
    • CHINUPS – 3 sets of 6-8 reps 1 set with bodyweight
    • LAT PRAYERS 4 sets of 12 reps
    • SEATED INC CURLS – 4 sets of 12 reps
  • SHOULDERS/ABS DAY
    • DB LATERALS – 3 sets of 12 reps
    • REAR DELT MACHINE – 3 sets of 12 reps
    • CABLE PULLS – 3 sets of 12 reps
    • MACHINE CRUNCH – 3 sets of 12 reps
    • CABLE CRUNCH – 3 sets of 12 reps
  • PUSH – LIGHT
    • DB INC BENCH – 3 sets of 12 reps
    • CABLE FLYS – 3 sets of 12 reps
    • EZ SKULLCRUSHERS – 3 sets of 12 reps
  • PULL – LIGHT
    • TBAR ROWS – 4 sets of 12 reps
    • LAT PULLDOWN (VARIOUS GRIPS) – 4 sets of 12 reps
    • DB CURLS – 4 sets of 12 reps
  • WEEKEND
    • TENNIS, CARDIO OR LIGHT CALISTHENICS

Other than that Sarah and I are going to a company party this weekend. My company reserved Brown’s Island in Richmond for 4 hours and provided us a hotel to stay in downtown. Also, food and drinks are free. I think it should be a good time and my company is awesome. Probably go downtown after it ends, which is like a 2-minute walk from where we are. Should be a late night, but a really good time.

Journal Entry 258 – Grind Update

Another week in the books. Very similar to last week in terms of diet and nutrition.

Weekly Routine:

  • Sunday – Cardio Only 4 miles
  • Monday – Chest and Tris
  • Tuesday – Morning Cardio / Back and Bis
  • Wednesday – Shoulders
  • Thursday – Morning Cardio / Chest and Tris (PR hit)
  • Friday – Back and Bis
  • Saturday – CaOnly ONly – 5 miles

I hit a PR on Thursday with Bench at 190lbs for 8, 7, 7 reps. This estimates my one rep max at 240lbs. Not bad. Chinups have increased to 35lbs between my feet for roughly 5 reps a set. Shoulder press is about 120lbs for around 8, 6, 6 reps.

Diet has been very similar to last week as well. More or less 5 days a week it looks like this:

  • Oatmeal with PB
  • Popchips
  • Protein bar of some sort
  • Varies Daily
  • Protein Pudding

There is no huge focus on protein in this diet. Mainly more of a focus on carbs. Fats are always incidental, but adequate. This is by no means a low-fat diet.

Average Weight is around 182lbs.

 

Journal Entry 257 – Carbs

Another week in the books. Strength levels more or less on par with last week. Nothing really gained or lost. I cut back cardio a little this week to see if it would help my strength gains and it did not. I may add in some depletion workouts this weekend just for fun and variety in my routine. Probably like 5 sets of 15 reps with one exercise per muscle group on both Saturday and Sunday.

I have really been pushing the carbs high as of recently. I want to see its effects on my mood, energy, motivation, strength levels, etc… So far it’s been pretty good in terms of everything except strength levels. Not that strength has gone down, but it hasn’t increased either. Funny enough as my carbs go up, so does dietary fat intake. Protein has really been going down. In my current eating schedule, most of my protein is at the end of the day before bed. I have noticed some pretty interesting effects in terms of bloating with the extra carbs. Bloating has been greatly reduced, especially at night. I used to go to bed looking like buddha some nights and would wake up with a flat stomach. Now I go to bed with a flat stomach and wake up the same way. I noticed better energy during the day and the ability to go longer without food. My appetite has gone way up though with more carbs. To be really satisfied after a meal, I need to put down a good 700-1000 calories a meal. The small 400 – 500 calories meals just don’t do it. Even though my appetite has increased, my cravings for “cheat” style food has gone way down. I used to really look forward to the weekend to put down some cheat food, but not really anymore. I mean I still look forward to it, but it feels like any other day in terms of food.

Weekly Routine: (workout)

  • Sunday (last) – Cardio Only – 5 miles
  • Monday – Chest/Tris
  • Tuesday – Back/Bis
  • Wednesday – Shoulders
  • Thursday – Chest/Tris
  • Friday – Back/Bis
  • Saturday (today)- Depletion workout

Still benching around 190lbs (touching chest to full lockout) for about Repsx8 7 6. Chins are 30lbs (full range of motion) reps x 8, 6, 5. Had to switch to DB shoulders for 55lbs for reps x 8, 7, 6.

Weekly Routine (diet)

  • Oatmeal 2-3 packs (made with Cashew milk), 1/2 tbsp peanut butter, 1/3 scoop protein powder, coffee
  • Popchips (whole bag 5 servings)
  • Quest bar
  • Dinner – Varies, but a large balanced meal. I noticed the more balanced this meal is the more satisfying from a mental and physical standpoint.
  • Dessert – Banana ice cream or Protein Pudding

Average Calories 2400 / Carbs 300g (fiber 40g) / Protein 140g / Fat 70g

My weight is around 182lbs at the moment. It spiked to 185lbs after a big cardio and big eating day. It then dropped to 180lbs after a lighter eating day on Monday.

Journal Entry 256

Another week of grinding. I have really been bumping up the carbs in my diet recently. I’ve noticed a lack of hunger way more often and the feel of being truly satisfied after eating. Really nice feeling. Workouts have been good as well. Strength is still slowly increasing, although I feel like my muscular endurance could be better. After my 4th – 5th set of a compound move, I’m basically done at that point. I can hammer out some light reps with an iso move, but it still feels pretty tough at that point.

Weekly Split:

  • Chest / Tris
  • Back / Bis
  • Shoulders
  • Chest / Tris
  • Rest
  • Rest
  • Back / Bis

Cardio was done on 4 days a week. Got the runners high every single time too. I’ve started to mix in an incline walk after a couple of miles or so just to mix it up. I’ll probably add back in some cardio every day again, though. Really feel mentally sharp at work, when I do this.

Had a high weigh in of 185lbs this morning. Been hovering around 180-182lbs, but I had a lot of food yesterday, easily exceeding 3000 calories. Since my focus is building muscle, I really don’t care that much. I still look just as lean as I usually do. 😉

Journal Entry 254 – PC issues, Madden and Diet Update

This week I have done zero cardio in the mornings. I was having a lot of computer issues and had to do a system restore and then do a ton of updates, which I did when I got home from work and the morning before I left for work. I somehow picked up a virus that attacked my drivers. This disabled my external mouse, trackpad and displays. It also prevented me from doing updates, so I had to restore the whole system back to factory settings. This wiped out ALL files. Luckily I backed up all my files a couple of weeks ago, so I lost nothing. I took the time to organize all of my files on the external hard drive and now my computer is running better than ever. I put all the files on my computer into 4 different folders. Pretty organized looking. 😉

So, the PC trouble was a pain, but ultimately it turned out drastically boosting my computers performance. I also bought Madden 16 for the Ps3 for the first time in 5 years. Fun game, but I remember why I stopped buying it; it’s the exact same game with the exact same playbooks and plays as Madden 12! Buying that game every year is a complete waste of money. All you really need is to download the rosters and load them in the game. Problem solved. Also, Michael Vick is still WAY too good in that game. I like the man because he’s a Hokie, but unfairly good. I was playing on a low difficulty setting though.

As for training this week, I did zero running this week. I lifted every day during my lunch break and have been steadily increasing my strength. My split:

  • Chest/Tris
  • Back/Bis
  • Shoulders/Traps
  • Chest/Tris
  • Back/Bis

Both the chest and back workouts were exactly the same except for a couple of moves. The most important factor of each workout is getting bench press stronger and chinups stronger. Right now I’m benching 190lbs for 8,6,5 reps. This is also going all the way down to my chest. For back/bis, I do chinups with 25lbs between my feet for my around 3 sets of 6 reps. I’ve been feeling these very good, so I should go beyond that this week. I plan on doing my cardio on back to back days this weekend, along with some abs.

Diet has actually been consistent this week, at least in the early part of the day. Really been enjoying it too. I’ve also been eating way more carbs and less protein. Fat is more or less always the same, between 55-70 grams.

  • Coffee – 7:30AM – 11:00AM
  • Meal 1 – 11:00 AM-  2 packets of oatmeal with berries and small scoop of protein powder
  • Workout from 2-3PM
  • Meal 2 – 3:00PM- Bag of Popchips with a Quest Bar
  • Meal 3- 7:00PM – Varies daily – Always a big meal though
  • Meal 4 – 10:00PM – Protein Pudding with Peanut Butter

Carbs between 200-300 grams, Protein 100-120grams, Fat 55-70 grams. Calories between 2000-2200 during the week. Usually much more on Saturday and Sunday.

Journal Entry 251 -Weekly Update

Weekly Update

A big snow storm last weekend canceled my trip to Chicago. We tried to rebook the flights 4 times, but all of them were canceled. I watched the airport website periodically through the day to see what time the flights started to take off and it wasn’t til about 7:30 PM before the first flight left from Richmond. Although, even if the flights didn’t get canceled, I still wouldn’t have been able to get to the airport. The Giants ended up getting destroyed by the Packers so I really didn’t miss much. I also didn’t have to freeze to death in Wisconsin as I watched my favorite team’s season came to abrupt end. So there was some positive to the whole situation.

I ended up spending the weekend with Sarah snowed in. We didn’t go anywhere all weekend, except the gym, which we can walk to her from her apartment. I just ended up doing some cardio. Considering we couldn’t really go get food, we basically cooked all of our meals. I think it’s the most cooking we have done in a long time. I didn’t mind at all being snowed in. It was relaxing to just to stay in and not go anywhere. Especially with my favorite person ;).

Workouts

I did a leg workout for the first time in a long last week. My legs hurt so bad I could barely walk down the steps. Going on a decline hurt worse than going on an incline. I also had a hardtime even standing up from the couch. I was somehow able to do cardio pretty easily though and the cardio actually helped to recover my legs quicker than complete rest.

This week my setup was the same as the previous 3 weeks, but I missed my leg day on Wednesday this week. Sarah and I had to go sign an application for a new apartment, which we will be moving into in a couple of weeks. Really can’t wait for that. I decided to skip leg day though after that brutal aftermath of my last one.

My setup this week was:

  • Monday – Chest / Tris
  • Tuesday – Back / Bis
  • Wednesday – Cardio (Morning)
  • Thursday – Push (Shoulder focus)
  • Friday – Pull
  • Saturday – Cardio / Abs
  • Sunday – Cardio

Strength was good most days, although a couple of workouts I felt gassed out very quick. I have only done cardio 3 days a week too.

Next week I plan on doing 2-3 miles cardio every morning (30 minutes max) and then lifting at lunch. I want to work on increasing my speed (MPH) when running, so I think I’m going to cap it to a 2 mile run and just slowly increase speed each day.

Nutrition

Still been taking the moderation approach. Calories still in the 2000-2500 calorie range. Protein has been lower recently at around 120-140grams. I used to average in the 180-200gram range. Carbs have been in the moderate range of 150-250grams. Fat is usually around 50-70 grams, but usually in the mid 60’s. Nothing has really been off limits. Panda Express and Chipotle are probably my two new favorite places to eat.

Journal Entry 250 – Holiday Break

My first post in almost 3 weeks due to the Holidays. I’m also going to Chicago this weekend and then driving to the Packers vs Giants game on Sunday for the playoffs. My brother is a Packers fan and I’m a Giants fan, so the game should be very interesting. I have a feeling it will be very close. The temperature should be about 5 degrees, so I can’t wait for that. (sarcasm)

These past few weeks have featured a LOT of overeating on all kinds of crappy food. I’m almost glad the hectic holiday season is over, so I can get back on track and ditch some of the excess weight I have accumulated. I have what I consider to be a very good plan going forward and it’s the most organized I have been in terms of routine in about a year. I really wanted to create something that was basic and very simple in terms of programming.

My plan is as follows:

  • Monday – Chest/ Tri
  • Tuesday – Back/ Bi
  • Wednesday – Shoulders/Traps – AM Cardio
  • Thursday – Legs/Abs
  • Friday – Arms
  • Saturday – Cardio – Abs
  • Sunday – Cardio –  Abs

This is the basic layout. I will lift every weekday on my lunch break. I have been doing this for 2 weeks and really enjoying it. I drive to the gym and change (10 minutes), lift for 40 minutes then change and head back to work (10 minutes) and get done easily in an hour. By lifting with only two muscles I can easily finish in 40 minutes. I also do no cardio before to minimize sweating, so that I do not need a shower. I do not want to get rid of all cardio though and plan to do it 3 times a week for at least 30 minutes. During the week I plan to do it once on Wednesday in the morning and 2 times over the weekend, when I’m resting from lifting weights. I’m really looking forward to this setup and I honestly plan on keeping it for the entire year. And yes it’s a Bro split, but many use these with great success contrary to new research saying it’s very ineffective. Anecdotal evidence shows otherwise.

My goal this year is very simple; keep getting stronger with key lifts and keep my routine simple and consistent. I want to gain muscle and keep fat gains low consistently throughout the year.

As for nutrition, I plan to monitor gym performance and go from there. I do plan on eating less protein this year, because I think I always overdo it, but other than that my diet will be very balanced overall and not excessively high or low in calories. It will also include a lot of vegetables.

I also plan on maintaining consistent supplementation this year:

  • 3g of fish oil per day
  • 5000IU Vitamin D
  • 5g Creatine Monohydrate
  • Animal joint supplement (as needed)

 

Getting Stronger – Journal Entry 163

Log:

Week 17

2/7 – 176lbs – 2800 calories – 8200 steps – 4 miles

2/8 – 176.8lbs – 2000 calories – 5500 steps – 2.8 miles

2/9 – 177.8lbs – 1850 calories – 10000 steps – 4.78 miles

2/10 – 176.8lbs – 2000 calories – 10800 steps – 5.13 miles

2/11- 175.4lbs – 2000 calories – 9200 steps – 4.3 miles

2/12 – 175.2lbs – 2100 calories – 11100 steps – 5.2 miles

2/13- 175.2lbs – 2800 calories – 10800 steps – 5.1 miles

Average Weight – 176.1 lbs / Average Calories – 2200 calories

Been feeling really good this week. I’ve been eating around 4 whole eggs a day and I feel like I’m recovering faster than ever. Weight is more or less stagnant around 175lbs, but I’m getting leaner than ever before at a higher bodyweight. Body recomposition at its finest. Been hitting the weights hard for 6 days a week, so I feel like I’m favorably shifting the vast majority of my calories into muscle. I really like staying around this weight. 6ft tall and 175-180lbs at or around 10-12% bodyfat is very good for me. This way I can focus on lean gains and getting stronger and stronger at roughly the same bodyweight.

Training

Really good week in training. I’ve been able to push past almost every plateau this week. Hit 235 for 5 reps on squats and I remember not to long ago 205 felt really heavy. Hit 195lbs on bench for 6 reps, so I’m bumping it up to 200lbs. Dumbbell Lunges have been really good at 60’s in each hand at 8 reps each leg. This is way more than I’ve done in a long time. Been hitting Abs really hard twice a week as well. I do one move for the rectus abdominus (cable crunch) one for the obliques (Russian twists) and one for the lower abs (hanging knee raise). Also got 110lbs on Dumbbell Rows for 7 reps for back. I really like doing the 3 sets of 6,8,10 reps as well. Sometimes I dont hit it exactly, but I’ve been pushing almost each set to failure, which means even if I hit my goal of “8 reps” on a set, if I feel good I just keeping going for an extra rep or two. I feel this has greatly helped my strength out.

I’ve been doing the same legs and push workout twice a week. Since I’ve been able to increase my lifts each day I plan to keep it this way. Pull is not as important to me, because there is no key lift that I’m really eager to keep pushing. Dont get me wrong, I’m increasing the weights on each exercise, but I like the variation on pull days, especially since back is such a big muscle group. One thing that’s important to is sticking to 3 sets. This really narrows in your focus and keeps the quality over quantity. Sometimes by doing 4 sets especially with the last set being a higher rep set, than you get tired for the rest of your workout.

I’ve been training with someone at Williamsville all this week as well. He’s been training since high school and is around mid 40’s currently. He’s probably twice as strong as I am. Its pretty humbling seeing a guy easily push weights that you struggle with. This just makes me work way harder than usual. This guy is a rock though. If he cut down some weight, he could easily enter a bodybuilding show and do very well. He also has some of the biggest forearms I have ever seen. Definelty going to miss when he leaves though, since I’ve had some of my best workouts since he’s been there. I plan to start training with other people at Williamsville, even if they aren’t nearly as strong as this guy is. I have to stay after work to do it, but its just really nice training with someone else for a change.

IMG_1831 IMG_1833 IMG_1834 IMG_1835 IMG_1836 IMG_1837

Nutrition

Been hitting about 2000 calories during the week and hitting maintenance around 25-2800 calories on the weekend. Average calorie intake is around 2200 calories.

Weekday macros are roughly 170-190g protein / 70-80g of fat / 100-120g carbs. A lot of vegetables, meats, cheese, eggs, fruit and a little starch. I’ve been eating a big banana after training almost every day. I prefer fruit to starch, just because I feel like its way healthier from a micro-nutrient standpoint than bread is. That being said I’ve also been having a few slices of Panera bread with my dinner. Trying to keep carbs around 30 grams or so per meal, to help increase protein synthesis a bit more than protein alone can provide. Also protein is a bit higher this week, but I just really like eating high protein.

As I said earlier, been consuming 4 whole eggs a day, mainly for the cholesterol. Training 6 days a week there is a lot of repair going on, so its important to keep my nutrients high. I’m going to start viewing eggs almost as a supplement I need to take daily. I feel like a lot of the recent muscle recovery and strength gains I’ve had have been do solely to the increased cholesterol and nutrients that eggs provide. Even if I dont have a meal with eggs in it, I probably eat them on the side hard boiled and aim to eat at least 3 a day.

Still been eating a deficit during the weekdays to keep burning fat. I’ve slowly bumped up calories a little bit, mainly by increasing more fat in my diet. I used to hit around 50 grams and now I hit around 70-80grams every day. Joints, strength levels and overall leaness has never been better. Carbs are still pretty low around 100-120 grams or so. As per Layne Norton’s research 30 grams at a meal is all that is needed to increase protein synthesis past what protein alone can provide. So I aim to get around that eat each meal. The only meal I don’t include carbs in is lunch and that’s just because its just easier not to pack carbs at lunch. I just eat a banana after training to make up for the lack of carbs there. I really dont care about the source of starch either. Carbs are essentially just sugar and eaten with a balanced meal it really doesnt matter the type of carb, but more the overall amount. I like bread/toast WAAAYYY more than rice, so I never eat rice any more. I just dont like that much and it feels kind of dumb to eat something that doesnt taste good and really doesnt provide the body with any nutrients either. Rice is literally pure glucose with almost nothing else in it and no flavor. I’ll pass. Been downing some blue cheese here recently, but I plan to switch to feta this week to change it up. I also really like goat cheese as well.

Here are some pics from the week:

Bertuccis Calzone with some added chicken and spinach
Bertuccis Calzone with some added chicken and spinach
2 whole eggs, lean meat, veggies and cheese
2 whole eggs, lean meat, veggies and cheese
Spaghetti Squash with homemade vegetable marinara sauce and chicken with Italian cheese
Spaghetti Squash with homemade vegetable marinara sauce and chicken with Italian cheese
3 Whole eggs, 4-5 oz of meat, veggies and Asiago cheese toast from Panera
3 Whole eggs, 4-5 oz of meat, veggies and Asiago cheese toast from Panera
Same as above
Same as above
Same as above
Same as above
Same as above
Same as above
3 whole eggs, 5oz of chicken and firehook crackers
3 whole eggs, 5oz of chicken and firehook crackers
Protein Pudding with 2 whole eggs
Protein Pudding with 2 whole eggs