Journal Entry 209 – Back to Split Training and Diet Update

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:

Papa Johns - BBQ chicken and The Works
Papa Johns – BBQ chicken and The Works
My neighborhood
My neighborhood
Eggs
Eggs

IMG_3171

Chocolate Oats with cocoa powder
Chocolate Oats with cocoa powder
Homemade Chipotle Bowl
Homemade Chipotle Bowl
Lean meat and potatoes
Lean meat and potatoes
Fantasy Football Showdown haha
Fantasy Football Showdown haha
Eggs and Veggies
Eggs and Veggies
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Journal Entry 206 – San Diego, Low Calorie Days and Eating More on Rest Days

Under Armor - Getting cold in Virginia
Under Armor – Getting cold in Virginia

I’m heading to San Diego later this week and two things are for certain. One nutrition is going to be pretty bad. Two I’m not going to be able to train. Not a big deal and I’m really looking forward to the trip, but I had to improvise a little this week in preparation for it.

I moved my normal Friday workout to Saturday this week. That way I can hit the weights Saturday, Monday and Wednesday. I leave on Thursday, so it’ll be four days in a row with no weights. I’ll try to hit some pushups or something, but that is going to be it for resistance training. Walking should be no issue and our house is on the beach, so that should be the best way to go for exercise.

Workouts have been good and consistent. I plan to implement either 1-2 low calorie days a week though most likely on a workout day. Some days my definition is lacking and I know if I continue to push the calories for weeks at a time then I’m not going to look the way I want to look. However, staying on low calories all the time to keep the definition is a good way to make zero gains at all and you have to constantly monitor calories and only really enjoy yourself a couple days a week. Not a good long term plan. It also lowers your metabolic rate leading to plateaus. The solution to making gains and keeping definition is to have 1-2 days out of the week that your eat at most half of your maintenance level. So if I burn 2700 calories a day, then I will eat a max of about 1350 calories. The beauty behind this is that your eating your maintenance or slightly above 5 days out of the week and burning the majority of your fat 1-2 days of the week. This way you make gains in the gym and maintain your metabolic rate, while experiencing very little plateaus. You’ll also lose bodyfat if you do it twice a week. You’ll likely just maintain (which is fine) by doing it once a week. My recommendation on these days is to do it sometime between Monday – Thursday. I like Monday and Wednesday. The rationale is most people are very busy during the week and cutting calories is much easier. Also not much socially happens on Monday and Wednesday. I even remember in college, those were basically the only two nights that no one went out drinking.

If you can I also recommend doing a low calorie day on a weight training day. The reasoning behind this is because of hormonal interactions. Weight training and cardio (AKA exercise) is similar to fasting in many ways. It burns fat, uses your body’s own resources, heightens insulin sensitivity, blunts appetite, increases adrenaline, increases euphoria, reduces stress and anxiety (this is a short term effect if done correctly), increases growth hormone and many other positive interactions. So by combining the effects of a low calorie day and the effects of exercise, you create this massively beneficial state, where when you eat the next day, your muscles soaks up food like a sponge. You also burn more energy on workout days, which again is beneficial from a fat loss perspective. Quick note however – Staying in a state of deprivation leads no where. Notice these days are done a max of two times a week.

My next point is why it’s better to eat more on your rest day. Rest day means recovery day. If you ate a bunch of food on your workout day, when you should of been burning fat, then whats the point of the rest day? Recovery days are meant to reload and rebuild the muscles that were depleted the previous day. Relaxing, eating and not working out leads to bigger muscles. You tend to burn less energy on rest days and if its a true rest day, then you dont workout. The body is primed to absorb food and is in the parasympathetic state. By eating on the rest day your also well stocked for the next workout.

Conventional wisdom says, Load up on Monday after your weight training workout, then eat a massive deficit the next day on your rest day to burn fat. From a common sense standpoint, does that make any sense? By the time Wednesday rolls around, since you didn’t eat enough on your recovery day, you will likely feel flat and have low muscle glycogen. Contrast this to going low on Monday, then loading up on Tuesday (just your normal maintenance or slight surplus diet), then by Wednesday your ready to go from loading up the previous day and not two days ago. I greatly prefer this way and my workouts have been much better by eating on rest days vs workout days.

So basically my plan is 3 full body workouts a week. Two of those are low calorie days and the other 5 days are normal. Monday and Wednesday are currently my low days. Although last week I only did one low day. I also use the low days to create a deficit for the weekend, which is always higher in calories. (especially this coming weekend ;)) The low calorie days are basically protein pudding, vegetables and lean protein only.  Very filling foods that make it easy to stay satisfied. The carbs come in high amounts on the other 5 days. My normal days have been around 2600. If I eat like this every day, I notice I smooth out, but after implementing these low calorie days it has dramatically increased the amount of calories I can eat on normal eating days. I usually don’t get hungry on the low days either and still eat a lot of food, however the food I eat is very low in calories. I try to hit at least 90-100 grams of protein on this day and then a little carbs and fat from incidentals. Again I don’t tend to worry too much since these low days are wedged between normal days of eating with plenty of nutrition and calories. If these low days were done for prolonged periods like most diets, then kiss your muscles and sanity goodbye. The high days tend to be different every day, but I do make sure to bump up the carbs big time. Fats also get a boost. Big stirfys with tons of rice, veggies and protein is always one of my favorite meals. I also really like pasta with chicken and broccoli mixed in.

There are two excellent articles on Tnation talking about using this concept. In my opinion, its very effective for the average recreational exerciser. Brad Pilon also has a similar system except he fasts twice a week. I still eat, its just not very many calories. Similar principals and most likely similar results.

Pics from the week:

Pasta with low calorie cheddar soup, meat and veggies
Pasta with low calorie cheddar soup, meat and veggies
Frisco
Frisco
Homemade BBQ chicken Special K Chips Whole Egg Imitation Crab Meat Veggies Butter Bread
Homemade BBQ chicken
Special K Chips
Whole Egg
Imitation Crab Meat
Veggies
Butter Bread
Eggs and Veggies (Low cal day)
Eggs and Veggies (Low cal day)
I think Bandit likes have me around
I think Bandit likes have me around
Papa Murphys Pizza - Meat Lovers
Papa Murphy’s Pizza – Meat Lovers
Papa Murphy's BBQ Chicken - best flavor This place is amazing
Papa Murphy’s BBQ Chicken – best flavor
This pizza is amazing
Protein Pudding and Pumpkin Quest bar
Protein Pudding and Pumpkin Quest bar
Carabba's Chicken Parmesan with a side of pasta and side salad
Carabba’s Chicken Parmesan with a side of pasta and side salad
Meat, slice of pizza, veggies and auntie annes pretzel bites. Strange meal but good
Meat, slice of pizza, veggies and auntie annes pretzel bites. Strange meal but good
Shrimp, veggies and sweet potato skin
Shrimp, veggies and sweet potato skin

Workouts:

Steady strength gains. Didn’t go up in everything this week, but everything was either the same or slightly better.

Workout B
Workout B
Workout A
Workout A
Workout B
Workout B

Journal Entry 205 – Getting Stronger

Missed my normal blog post time this week due to a trip to Virginia Tech. Nutrition wasn’t on point this weekend, but luckily I didn’t really miss a workout. Haven’t had a chance to weigh myself in awhile, but I estimate right around 173-174lbs.

My workouts have been very good and I’ve been looking forward to every single one of them. My strength, especially on bench has increased by a good 5lbs each week at least. Today I repped 185lbs for 4 sets of 8 reps. The bar felt light to me. I know in the past 185lbs felt heavy while on a low carb diet. Talk about stagnation with a diet like that. Again my goal with nutrition at the moment is simply to hit maintenance and its an approximation. I dont obsess about hitting every single calorie correctly. I weight most of my foods, but do not track everything I eat. I’d say I’m within a 2-300 calorie window of my maintenance each day. I also make sure to get a good amount of walking in everyday. I usually go for a morning walk of 1-2 miles, then do a mile jog before lifting or if its a rest day I’ll go for another walk around midday and then one additional walk in the late afternoon/ early evening. Since I’m unemployed at the moment, I have time to do this. I’m also studying at the moment and walking can help refresh the mind from too much cramming.

Macro averages for the past 7 days were 151 protein / 250 carbs / 59 fat and Calories at 2470. Based on my bodyweight and activity this is just about right. I’m in a mode where I feel good, not changing overall weight that much, but my strength is going up very quickly, so I’m not going to change a thing. The only thing is if I’m very inactive due to just being busy, I simply drop my calories by a few hundred to make up for it. Also I’m trying to emphasize more carbs while keeping fat and protein adequate but not excessive.

Below is my last 3 workouts:

IMG_2999 IMG_2998 IMG_3001

I replaced goblet squats with 45 degree leg presses. Feel these really well and very easy to progress without a ton of back stress.

Some pics from the week:

BBQ chicken Fries 1 roll
BBQ chicken
Fries
1 roll
Rice Stirfry
Rice Stirfry
Pumpkin Quest Bar Very good, but tastes more like cotton candy than pumpkin
Pumpkin Quest Bar
Very good, but tastes more like cotton candy than pumpkin
Same
Same
Mix of stuff
Mix of stuff
Guiness Stout
Guiness Stout
Cabo Fish Taco
Cabo Fish Taco
Rice Stirfry with meat, veggies and imitation crab meat Crab rangoon
Rice Stirfry with meat, veggies and imitation crab meat
Crab rangoon
Pasta with chicken meatballs
Pasta with chicken meatballs
Rum and fat free redi whip
Rum and fat free redi whip
Breaded Chicken Tenders Special K Chips Imitation Crab Meat
Breaded Chicken Tenders
Special K Chips
Imitation Crab Meat

Journal Entry 204 – New Beginning

After two years of working at Williamsville, my time there is done. It was an enjoyable time there for the most part and also allowed me to get my first start doing what I love. I’m not sure what is next for me in terms of living in the same area vs moving, getting a similar career elsewhere or getting a different job; but a new chapter has begun for me. In a way it feels good. Its a sense of freedom I haven’t had in a long time. The ability to do what I want and try new things with unlimited time constraints. No longer bound to the daily grind of driving 40 minutes one way to work, being there for 8-9 hours, drive back home for 40 minutes and rinse and repeat for 5 days in a row for 50 weeks a year. Finding a job closer to where I live and something that allows more freedom would be ideal.

I have always really liked to learn about things and now is my chance to do that. I also have more time to workout, but I plan on keeping the full body workout and cardio balance. Even with unlimited machines in the gym, I still feel like full body is superior and its working well for me at the moment. Cardio will change though. I got a LOT of walking in at Williamsville, but a lot of that is gone now. So I plan to get a nice slow jog in (5-6mph) for 30 minutes or so and then do some incline walking for 30 minutes between (3-4mph) for cardio. So basically an hour of cardio on off days. I do plan to continue walking though, just not as much.

My workouts this week were solid though. Felt very good for each session and was able to improve almost every lift save for a few. Bench has felt tremendously better after adding in carbs to my diet. Goblet Squats may need to get replaced though. Lighter weights and goblet squats mix perfectly, but the heavier the weights get, the more my back takes over the movement and legs dont receive enough stimulation. I will most likely switch to back squats again or may even do leg press. I know lunges are always a staple though. As long as the weight continues to progress, it may not really matter which exercise I choose.

IMG_2973 IMG_2974

Workout B was done twice this week (shown on left) and Workout A on the right.

Diet was on average of the last 7 days: Protein 169 grams / Carbs 264 grams (46 fiber) / Fat 65 grams / Sodium 5200 mg / Calories 2500. I did some minor cycling, but for the most part just kept the calories stable at 2500 with basically these macros. Although a couple of days were like 80 grams of fat and most of the time it hits around 50 grams. I’m of the mindset now though, my lifts are going up and I feel good, yet my weight is still the same. Right around 173lbs most days, some lower and some higher.

Some pics from the week:

Sedona Taphouse Tacos
Sedona Taphouse Tacos
Moes burrito bowl
Moes burrito bowl

IMG_2962

Pumpkin Coffee (not great at least this brand)
Pumpkin Coffee (not great at least this brand)
3 cups of rice with veggies and egg whites
3 cups of rice with veggies and egg whites
Low sugar slurpee
Low sugar slurpee
Rest Day - Chicken Sausage, crab rangoon and meat with onions and peppers
Rest Day – Chicken Sausage, crab rangoon and meat with onions and peppers
Oatmeal cooked with a mashed banana
Oatmeal cooked with a mashed banana
Chicken fried rice
Chicken fried rice
Tequilia and cranberry sierra mist
Tequilia and cranberry sierra mist

Journal Entry 200 – Random Thoughts

IMG_2826  IMG_2822

Good week overall in training and eating. Weighed in at roughly 171lbs on average and exercise performance was good. I stuck to 3 weight training workouts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Monday was 4×6, Wednesday was 4×15 and Friday was 4×8. 4×8 is by far my favorite rep range and I just felt that one the best. Although I did really like the high rep day as well, mainly because I don’t do those days that often. Did a different exercise each day for each body part and was careful not to overdo it. The only thing I did add was some pushups to both workout and non workout days.

IMG_2828 IMG_2829 IMG_2830

I have also been getting to work early to walk an extra 30 minutes in the morning. Really enjoy this time to read, listen to music and clear my head. Been hitting at least 5 miles a day each day and it becomes really easy to hit this number, when your zoned out and reading. I also try to hit 5-10 minutes on breaks and around 20 minutes during my lunch break.  Not trying to set records with speed or anything, I’m only doing 3mph on a flat incline. My hip flexor has felt way better this week and considered adding a leg exercise to each full body day, but I’m going to give it one more week on both legs and abs just to play it safe.

Nutrition – I had one high carb day in the middle of the week and the rest were around 1800 calories or so. I’ve been keeping fat around 45-55 grams almost everyday and I’ve bumped protein back up to at least 160-180 grams. I had recently dropped protein to 120 grams, but I noticed some decreases in strength. I think 120 grams is fine for some people, but call me crazy I think for some people that are used to eating more protein than that still benefit from the higher intake. I also look leaner and feel stronger with the extra protein in my diet. I should also mention appetite is much better with increased protein. I heard a podcast not too long ago, that basically said once you’re used to eating a certain amount of protein, your body actually learns to use more protein as an energy source. So he basically said unless you drop your intake slowly, then you are essentially “locked into” a high protein diet. If that’s is the case then so be it. Protein is by far my favorite macro, tastes good and makes me feel better after meals.

Another thing I have been doing is eating more carbs in balance with protein. So instead of having a big starchy carb dinner, I just eat roughly the same amount of carbs as protein in each meal. This usually a means a decent portion of starch and loads of vegetables or beans, etc. Energy and strength feels really good. So I plan to replace the big carb meals with just more balance during the day. Carbs are right around 160-180 grams at the moment. I also dont feel like I need the carb refeed day when carbs are more moderate. It almost felt completely unnecessary, since my strength levels have felt so good without it. So basically just keeping an even keel blood sugar all day instead of a big fluctuation at night. As for dietary fat, some is essential, but more is not better. A little dietary fat goes a long way, meaning you dont need a meal covered in butter or oil to make it taste good. 10-15 grams per meal is plenty and makes the meal taste awesome without overdoing it. Extra dietary fat also doesn’t do anything for strength and performance in the gym and subbing out the fat for more carbs at each meal, helps at lot in that regard. Energy is also much better.

As for calories been keeping it roughly 1800 during the week and have 1-2 higher days of 2500 or so, usually on the weekend. For me this works really good in terms of staying lean and gaining strength.

Another thing I wanted to bring up. One is intermittent fasting. One thing I hear from a lot of people I talk to is that almost every single one of them do intermittent fasting without even realizing it. These people are also very overweight. They skip breakfast and usually lunch and eat their first meal around 5pm. If intermittent fasting was beneficial, then these people would be in much better shape and have far better health, but they dont. Most of the leanest people on the planet eat all day long with controlled meals and a high protein diet. Not saying intermittent fasting doesnt work, but some people make it sound like its the holy grail. Trust me its not. IF only works if your diet is on point to begin with. Also I think there is huge benefits in keeping your blood sugar level within a certain range. When your blood glucose gets too low >75-80 mg/dl either through skipping meals or undereating then a lot of negative things start happening, such as the body holding on to fat, low energy and entering too deep into a catabolic state. Going above 110-120 mg/dl basically means your burning zero body fat and are entering fat storage mode, which is what most people experience. Once you reach this state its very similar to low blood sugar in that you start to become hungrier and suffer low energy. Most people only bounce between these two states. For example, they undereat all day or for 2-3 days and then binge uncontrollably to balance it out. They basically skip the beneficial properties of keeping your blood glucose within 80-110 mg/dl, which is a more anabolic state to be in and promotes far better energy levels. It also helps you body release fat more efficiently, because your body doesnt think its starving to death. The way to reap these benefits is to prevent undereating too low of a calorie intake (usually anything under your lean body mass x 11) and keep a healthy amount of protein and carbs in you diet.

PF Changes Chicken Lettuce Wraps
PF Changes Chicken Lettuce Wraps
PF Changs Ginger Chicken and Broccoli
PF Changs Ginger Chicken and Broccoli

IMG_2806

Lean meat, veggies, crab rangoon, 1 whole egg, cheese
Lean meat, veggies, crab rangoon, 1 whole egg, cheese

IMG_2808

Pumpkin Cashew Milk shake
Pumpkin Cashew Milk shake
Carb refeed - Trader Joes Gnocchi with added chicken and broccoli
Carb refeed – Trader Joes Gnocchi with added chicken and broccoli
Big stirfry with meat, veggies, stirfry sauce and imitation crab meat
Big stirfry with meat, veggies, stirfry sauce and imitation crab meat
1 whole egg and 6 egg whites Trader joes roasted potatoes with onions and peppers 1/2 bag of broccoli  Goat cheese Probably the best meal I've had in a while.
1 whole egg and 6 egg whites
Trader joes roasted potatoes with onions and peppers
1/2 bag of broccoli
Goat cheese
Probably the best meal I’ve had in a while.
Homemade chipotle 3/4 black beans 5oz of onions 4oz  of chicken Taco seasoning
Homemade chipotle
3/4 black beans
5oz of onions
4oz of chicken
Taco seasoning

Journal Entry 184

Log:

IMG_2236 IMG_2229

Week 28

4/25 – Missed – 2600 calories – 8000 steps – 4 miles

4/26 – 176.6lbs – 2250 calories – 10500 steps – 5.13 miles

4/27 – Missed – 1620 calories – 16700 steps – 8 miles

4/28 – 177lbs – 1700 calories – 20500 steps – 9.7miles

4/29 – 176lbs – 1600 calories – 21200 steps – 10 miles

4/30 – 175lbs – 1800 calories – 133300 steps – 6.3 miles

5/01- 175lbs – 2700 calories – 15600 steps – 7.4 miles

Average Weigh – 176lbs – Average Calorie Intake – 2050

Workouts

Another week of trail and error until I figure out what I want to do in the gym. I’ve been doing a lot of split routines that for some reason just aren’t doing it for me right now. I tend to either get really pumped for a certain day (usually chest) and then demotivated for a leg day. I’m always trying different things out to see what I like best. 6 days of lifting is too many because I actually start to become bored in the gym. I think this is mainly due to the lack of variation I have in my gym at work. There’s only a certain number of exercises you can do and doing them too often results in burnout. 3-5 days a week is good, with 4 being optimal most likely, but I think I am leaning towards a 3 day split with most of heavy work being done and a optional lighter day if I really feel like going to the gym.

I’m doing a full body superset style of workout. Basically the workout is fullbody or upperbody with 8 total moves. Each 2 moves makes 1 superset so 4 total exercise pairings. This workout gets me really pumped by the end and works a ton of total muscle mass, much more so than a split routine. Its also more fulfilling, because you really feel like you did good effective work in the gym. Sometime certain splits with just a shoulder day leave me a little unsatisfied, unless I end up doing way too much volume which is overkill.

I decided on 4 sets of 5-8 reps for every exercise. The first exercise leans towards the lower end and the rest lean towards the higher end, but as long as its in that range its fine. 3 total workouts a week with a different exercises being done every time for variation.

Sample workout:

  1. Pair 1
  2. Horizontal Upper Body Push
  3. Vertical Pull
  4. Pair 2
  5. Vertical Push
  6. Horizontal Pull
  7. Pair 3
  8. Shoulder exercise (traps, medial delts or rear delts)
  9. Abs exercise
  10. Pair 4
  11. Biceps
  12. Triceps

The rest days will be as much as walking as I want and bodyweight style exercises throughout the day like pushups, pullups and squats. I usually shoot for at least 5 miles of walking, but I can usually get way more than that. A schedule like this works very well in times like this because it keeps me motivated and works well when times are busy.

Nutrition

I’m thinking about doing a leangains style of diet with way more carbs and calories on lifting days and fat burning calories and less carbs on walking only days. I’m not doing the eating window or fasting, but setting up my diet using leangains principals or carb cycling if you will. Call it whatever, it basically achieves the same effect of muscle gains with fat loss. I really like these style of diets, because I feel like they work well with my metabolism and goals. I’m definitely not the guy that can get away with smashing 3000 calories a day and have all of it go to muscle, no matter the macro composition. This way of eating allows you to feast and get away with it. Leangains usually on works with a 3 day split, so that works very well with this. The way I plan to structure it, is keep the same meal plan every day and then on days I life just “refeed” after weight training, which for me will be 7pm til bedtime. This is due to lifting around 5pm or so. Research shows this may be the most effective time to feast anyway, so dont mind if I do.

I have a tendency to pick foods with too much volume for refeeds, so I plan to do some gluten free pasta (to avoid bloat) or a box of cereal or something haha. Martin Berkhan ate cereal a lot for his refeeds and it really is a perfect food, because its easy to get down when you only have a few hours to get in a lot of calories. I do love some oatmeal (quaker instant low sugar kind), but its going to be hard to get down. This is the same of potatoes. I may be able to smash some rice, but I’m not a huge fan to be honest. I would rather do pasta or cereal.

I ordered some new Mint Chocolate Chunk Quest Bars this week and I’m really looking forward to trying one of those. Could be the best flavor yet.

Random

I went to VT this weekend to see some friends and had a really good time. Took today off from work to get stuff done as taking a trip like that cuts in to times you have to run errands and everything. Nutrition was terrible this weekend though due to some extra alcohol calories. I didnt eat that much, because combining a lot of food with alcohol is not a good combination. In the past I combined a few drinks with a lot of carbs and calories on training day and this is really not a good idea. Almost every article I read recommends skipping lifting and eating a lot on days you plan to drink. I like being social, so Friday and Saturday will likely be rest days from the gym and the calorie load will be kept lower, especially from dietary fat. Keeping fat under 50 grams (maybe even under 20 grams) will prevent a lot of fat gain on days from drinking. Carbs ideally kept under 100 grams as well and protein intake can be eaten in any amount.

Also eating and training this way tends to maximize protein synthesis rates and nutrient timing. New research shows the more years you train the shorter the elevated protein synthesis rates and it usually only last 4-12 hours. It used to be 48-72 hours, but that is only if your untrained. This means feasting in the 4-12 hours after weight training is the best case scenario for maximizing muscle and minimizing fat in trained individuals. Also hitting the muscles more than one time a week is a very good idea.

Pics from the week:

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
Lean meat with veggies and 3 whole eggs
Lean meat with veggies and 3 whole eggs
3 whole eggs with low fat pepperoni
3 whole eggs with low fat pepperoni
Lean meat with vegetables and 3 whole eggs with low fat pepperoni
Lean meat with vegetables and 3 whole eggs with low fat pepperoni
Chipotle burrito bowl
Chipotle burrito bowl
Lean meat with veggies
Lean meat with veggies

Journal Entry 181

Log:

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Week 25

4/4 – 173.8lbs – Calories Eaten 2700 – Steps – 10000 – 4.8 miles – Push Workout

4/5 – Missed – Calories Eaten – 2200 – Steps – 7400 – 3.5 miles –

4/6 – 177lbs Calories Eaten – 1550 calories Steps – 22500 – 10.6 miles

4/7 – 177lbs- CE – 1470 calories – Steps – 13392 – 6.3 miles – Pull Workout

4/8 – 175.8lbs – CE – 1523 calories Steps – 17387 – 8.2 miles –

4/9 – 174.5lbs – CE- 1519 calories – 12113 steps – 5.7 miles –

4/10 – 174.4lbs – CE – 1850 calories – 11472 steps – 5.4miles – Push Workout

Average Weight – 175.4lbs – Average Calorie Intake – 1830 Calories

Workouts:

Another very busy week at Williamsville. Since the weather is nice I can take residents for walks instead of staying in the gym all the time. This allows me to get my step count very high during the day, because I’m getting it done during working hours. Some residents dont like to lift and I also do a nutrition session before working out with a certain resident. This allows the steps to add up, because the driveway we walk down is 1/2 a mile down and 1/2 mile back. The steps this week were definitely much higher than normal, but not necessarily a bad thing. I racked up 10 miles one day and over 22000 steps. I actually stayed after to get an extra walking just to get over 10 miles. Milestone achievement, but probably not going to make that a habit. Once I hit 5 miles I’m satisfied.

Lifting wise was a little different this week. I missed Thursday because I was so busy all day I didnt eat anything until like 5pm. Not ideal for lifting weights, so I just moved it to Friday instead. I also played around with the reps a bit, going way higher on the 3rd set, but I’m going to go back to the way it was. I much prefer the simplicity of what I was doing. I did notice some strength loss by a few reps though. Nothing dramatic, but it may mean my deficit is too much during the work week.

Bench – 210 x 3 reps (down from 210×4.5 reps)

BB Standing Press 120×2 reps (down from 120×4 reps)

Squats and Lunges – Missed due to gym being close on Easter

Chinups 50×5 (1 rep higher than last time – 50×4 reps)

Also knocked at least 100 pushups a day.

Nutrition

Noticed I felt and looked a bit thin by the end of the week and not in a good way. Woke up early on Saturday for 3.2 mile walk of remembrance against drunk driving and didnt really eat anything besides a protein bar and coffee until 1:00pm. At this point my energy was WEAK. The walk was so early I didnt feel like eating anything big, but didnt know it was going to be that long before I could eat. My workout that day was not terrible, but I never got into it. It felt more like a chore than an enjoyment and it was my only 3rd workout of the week. So I should have been in a way better mindset and my strength should have been much better than it was. So obviously my calories are too low. We went to Longhorns for lunch on Saturday and I got Spinach Feta Chicken with a huge sweet potato. Unfortunately I didnt feel energized until about 6:00 oclock at night. Had another big meal at dinner and ended up at about 2900 calories with 300 carbs / 70 fat / 250 protein. Protein was way too high, but I just ate and that’s what it ended up at. I woke up this morning and looked I gained about 10lbs of muscle over night. My muscles look much fuller and feel stronger than any day this week. My stomach also looked flatter and my skin was tighter. I probably burned over 3000 calories yesterday easy, but still my body liked the extra calories.

I noticed my fat intake was really low too. Probably around 40 grams or so during the week. This fat intake is acceptable if you eat about 400g of carbs a day, but way too low if your at 120grams.

So basically I didnt have any trouble consuming low calories during the week from an appetite standpoint, but going that low just made me look skinny and feel out of it. Too low of an intake for me. This means that calories were pulled out of my muscles and not my fat stores. Not the look I’m going for.

I’m hoping the extra calories I ate today will allow me a really good Leg workout today. I plan on making some adjustments this week to compensate for the lack of energy I felt at the end of the week.

Some pics from the week:

Sunday Junkfood Mix
Sunday Junkfood Mix
Kabobs with lean meats veggies and white rice
Kabobs with lean meats veggies and white rice
Lean meats, potatoes, veggies
Lean meats, potatoes, veggies

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Lean Meats, Veggies, Beans
Lean Meats, Veggies, Beans
Lean meats, onions and broccoli, Imitation crab meat
Lean meats, onions and broccoli, Imitation crab meat
Bean Stirfry with fat free pringles
Bean Stirfry with fat free pringles
Bertuccis Individual Pizza
Bertuccis Individual Pizza