Today is the last week of my old schedule. I luckily get Saturday off, so it will be a 3 day week. I’m moving to an 8-5 schedule Monday through Friday. It will be a big change for me as I haven’t been on that schedule for awhile. This also means some change in terms of diet and workout, which I haven’t really figured out yet. I probably won’t figure it out until I actually start and see what I like best. I thought about going to the gym early and knocking it out, but I would likely have to get up before 6AM, which I’m not really sure I want to do. I will most likely just go to the gym on my lunch break around 1-2PM. I may adjust my routine so that I’m benching twice a week and continue with my pushups / chinups and stretching routine. Still hitting 200 pushups / 50 chins and stretching daily.
Not sure what I plan to do for the diet. Based on my schedule, an Intermittent Fasting setup would work really well with my hours. Eat minimal during the day when busy and feast at night. This would also be far easier from a planning and financial standpoint. What I may do is make a protein shake in the morning to drink around mid-morning, then eat a bag of Enlightened Beans or Jerky at work. This provides around 600 calories total during the day, which allows a very large meal every night, while keeping calories in check. This would allow me a couple drinks at night, a very big high protein meal and some protein pudding for dessert.
I got to a new low of 179.4lbs this week. I had a big eating day from Saturday night and all day Sunday and got up to 184lbs. I was down to 182lbs this morning. I expect to go below 179lbs by the end of this week. For whatever reason, I almost felt hungover after my cheat day even though I didn’t drink. Not a good feeling. It’s probably because I went from pretty low carbs to very high carbs in a day and then back to very low carbs. That’s a pretty large swing that I’m not really used to. Calories were over 3000 for the day. I may try splitting my cheat day up into a big meal on both Saturday and Sunday night versus the whole day. I have a feeling I would not only enjoy this more, but feel much better than slamming calories all day long.
Turkey bacon, sardines, pepperoni, eggs
Chicken and pepperoni
Chickfila Grilled Nuggets – 1 out of 10. Never waste your money on these. $4 and they tasted like rubber with salt on it.
The Mocha Chocolate Chip is my second favorite flavor. Holy hell it is good.
I was able to get the scale down to about 179.4 lbs on Sunday morning. This is my lowest in awhile and it felt good too. My diet has been mostly protein with lowish carbs and moderate fat. My routine was 2 days of cardio and 4 days of lifting last week. This week I plan on doing 3 lifting days (full body) and 3 cardio days with one day off. I kept it pretty low cal 10x bodyweight the whole week and then had a bigger eating day on Sunday at my parent’s house. Ate a lot of salty shrimp, Tzataki sauce with some pita bread and ton of fiber from veggies which if eaten in excess can cause you to retain a lot of water. (The fiber basically attracts water in the stomach.) I went back up to 183lbs, but still a 4lbs difference than last week. I expect to hit a new low this week.
I strained my lower abdominal last Friday doing heavy bench press followed by heavy chinups. I’m assuming the chinups are the reason I strained my abs, but luckily the pain went away in about 3 days. The pain was pretty intense at times though almost stabbing. That being said my strength was better than ever on these exercises even after losing about 7lbs of total weight over the week.
Some interesting high protein food finds I have found recently:
Our Little Rebellion Protein Crisps
Low calorie / High protein chips
Enlightened Roasted Broad Beans
All flavors are good. Whole bag is 300 calories and 21 grams of protein.
Ole Wellness Wraps
These have a very doughy taste and are a really big size for the negligible 50 calories they have. Be careful with the fiber though, it can add up quickly if you are eating a lot of other fibrous foods.
Tyson Chicken Strips
I have a weird relationship with cooking raw meat recently. I always dry it out because I’m afraid of undercooking it and really don’t like the taste anymore. This avoids this by being pre-cooked and taste phenomenal every time. The whole bag is like $6.
Speciality bread from Vitamin Shoppe. $8.50 a loaf so not cheap, but tastes very good and you only need one slice. It also has 14 grams of protein per slice.
Nuff said. You can find this anywhere and its high protein and way less fat than most bacon. It also tastes really good in my opinion.
Costco Steak Jerky
High Protein / low carb and very low fat.
I have recently found myself eating these a lot again. If found on sale its no big deal, but I really dont buy them anymore if they are full price.
Also of all of the new Quest products to come out, its original bars are still by far the best.
I’ve also been eating a lot of egg whites. Very cheap protein source and I usually hardboil 18 at a time and snack on them all day when I get hungry. My grocery bill has also gone down after eating this way. Tend to buy less junk and more filling food.
Chipotle Bowl – Double beans, no rice, chicken/ barbocoa and veggies
Wednesday – Cardio 30 minutes / Shoulders and Traps
Thursday – No Cardio / Chest and Tris
Friday – Cardio 30 minutes / Back and Bis
Saturday (Today) – Cardio 20-30 minutes / Shoulders and Traps
Diet: (Calories Low: 16-1800)
Protein Pudding with berries and Coffee
Popchips 3-4 servings and 1 Quest Bar
Ton of veggies, lean meat, low calorie toast
Protein Pudding with berries
Last weekend my brother visited and it was a big eating weekend. Restaurant eating and full on buffets at my house. My weight ballooned to 187lbs on Monday morning and I was noticeably bloated/fat looking. I decided to do a mini-cut and take that bloat off. I stayed around 16-1800 calories a day and got down to about 179lbs. In the past, this was my normal intake, but I haven’t gone that low in calories in awhile. Especially 5 days in a row, maybe went that low on occasion. So, took off roughly 8lbs of bloat (mostly water, but some fat). My energy was good all week til Friday, which I felt really run down. Basically felt like I got hit by a train. So got some extra sleep Friday night and feel much better right now. I plan on eating around maintenance today and then will likely cut the following week too. After I assess where I am at the end of next week, I will most likely bump up my calories back to maintenance.
No Pr’s were set this week, but wasn’t really expecting it either. My lifts didn’t go down, though. I got a feeling 195lbs on my bench is going to be a sticking point for me that only big eating will take care of. Really enjoying the cardio, though. I could easily go more than 30 minutes, but I’m really trying to moderate myself so that I don’t burn out and get tired of it. 3o minutes is a sweet spot, where you can get almost of all the benefits with none of the downsides. Also, cardio is done in the morning and my lifting is done in the afternoon, so they don’t interfere with each other.
There is a new Aldi built very close to my apartment. This place is a grocery wonderland. It’s like Costco, but you don’t have to buy in bulk. You can literally stack your grocery cart with food (mainly whole foods) and pay like $50. Seriously, it’s really awesome. Probably cheaper than Walmart and the quality is much better. I can’t get everything I need from there, but all of my whole foods (frozen veggies, fresh veggies, fruit, yogurt, meat) I get from here. Saves a lot of money.
Hutch – Sweet Potato Tots
Hutch – Oyster Salad
Hummus platter, toast, crackers
Protein Pudding (Although probably closer to icing with the way I make it)
Low calorie dinner – Veggies, chicken, Toast
Veggies and Toast
Kickback Jacks grilled chicken dinner with two side salads (only one pictured here)
Another week in the books. Very similar to last week in terms of diet and nutrition.
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
Protein bar of some sort
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.
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)
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.
Random Sunday Lunch
Big Sunday Dinner
12oz seafood with veggies
Banana Ice cream with PB
Meat with chicken tenders and two rolls with veggies
Carrabba’s Pizza – (Quick Carrabba’s review – average food for a high price. 😦
My plan worked. I did nothing, but run this week and made sure to kept it between 30-40 minutes max. I actually had the urge to lift by Wednesday, but that’s when I realized I haven’t lifted in over a week. My last lifting day was Tuesday of last week, which means it has been 11 days of no lifting.
The goal of restoring my urge to lift has succeeded though. I stumbled on an article I read in the past called Grow Like a New Lift Again by Greg Nuckols. The article presents reasons why you can and should periodize your training to include a good week to a month off training every 6-10 weeks. You should then follow this with a month of heavy volume for each body part (bro split) and then a month of high frequency (full body) training. This not only provides variation but also prevents burnout (which I have experienced recently).
The whole thing looks like this:
12 days to a month
Week 1: 3 sets of 5-12 reps and 3-4 exercises per body part. The frequency for each muscle is done once a week.
Week 2: Same but do 4 sets of 5-12 reps for each exercise
Week 3: Same but do 5 sets of 5-12 reps for each exercise
The Idea is to increase in intensity each week.
Week 4: Deload. Use the same exercises and layout, but do higher reps and light weights.
High Frequency Traning
Week 1: Hit muscles/movements 3 times a week at least
Week 2: Same, but increase intensity
Week 3: Same, but increase intensity
Week 4: Deload
As for the nutrition for this program, he really only stated to be in a calorie surplus during the lifting phase. This means a small deficit during the layoffs and deloads would be a good idea to balance out the fat gains. So if the layoffs lasted 2 weeks the whole cycle would be 10 weeks. 4 weeks in a deficit and 6 weeks in a surplus.
I can see myself doing this. I tend to get very bored doing the same routine over and over and this provides a very simple template to structure training in a way that can provide ongoing gains and variety. I will probably start this at the beginning of next year.
I’m also 99% sure that I will cancel my Gold’s Gym membership and join Crunch Fitness. This is a new gym in my area and they are all new. It’s also very close to where I will live next year and what you get for the money (only $25 a month) is well worth it.
Thursday – 30 minutes of cardio / Shoulders and Traps
Friday – 20 minutes of cardio / Arms
Saturday (Today) – 30 minutes of cardio / high rep lifting
Average Nutrition –
Last Week – 2600 Calories / Protein 140g / Carbs 300g / Fat 85g / Fiber 40g
This Week – 1952 Calories / Protein 150g / Carbs 225g / Fat 63g / Fiber 52g
I missed last week’s post due to Thanksgiving and lots of travel. I went to North Carolina on Wednesday, down to South Carolina on Thursday and then back to North Carolina on Friday. We stayed most of the day Saturday and returned to Virginia Saturday night. I had a lot of errands and football watching to do on Sunday, so I didn’t have much time to post.
The eating was a straight up feast though for 4 days last weekend. Saturday was by far my lowest calorie day. Wednesday through Friday was full of all kinds of junk. Cheese dips, crackers, taco dip, apple crisp, deep fried turkey, stuffing, and countless desserts. The average nutrition I posted below was a simple estimate. It was most likely far worse.;)
This week I really wanted to clear some bloat and water weight, which I more or less did. 4lbs of scale weight, but I also look way better than last week. I ran at least 3 miles every day, except for yesterday. The only reason is because I went Christmas shopping and had a ton of walking already and hit the gym late, so I just felt like doing one mile. The reason I didn’t have a chest day this week was because I hit it on Saturday of the previous week.
I haven’t been going to the “real” gym expect for a couple days a week. I have mainly been using Sarah’s apartment gym in the mornings out of convenience. For shoulders and arms this is very doable, but chest and back workouts can get very limited in this gym. I may just start driving to Gold’s early so I can get some better lifts in again.
At the moment I have been doing a bro split with one muscle group a day. The main reason for this is because I want to run 3 miles a day and this is the only way I can squeeze a lifting session into a 30-minute block of time to keep the workout at a total of one hour. I have been reducing rest periods and lifting quicker. I always lift after I run due to personal preference. I haven’t been feeling the super heavy weights and greatly prefer the volume of 8-12 reps right now. The great thing about this range is you need way less down-time between sets and can move fast. I’m usually drenched after my workout and after I take a shower feel like a million dollars.
Loaded Nachos – Bakers Crust
Cobb Salad – Bakers Crust
Shortpump Towne Center
Shrimp and veggies
Shrimp, eggs and potatoes
Berries with almond milk and coffee creamer on top (very good)
Thanksgiving Plate 1
Supersmash Bros – I’m Cloud
Sarah’s Family home gym
Panera Cobb Salad
Chicken thighs, potatoes, veggies
Berry Almond Milk dessert with coffee creamer (powder) and greens powder