Journal Entry 341 – Game of Thrones

Another week in the books. Sarah and I went to Cooper’s Hawk on Friday for date night followed by Mezeh for dinner. Yesterday, I played tennis for the first time this year against one of my good friends. We both entered a tennis tournament at work, so trying to get some practice in. Tonight we are having people over for a Game of Thrones watching party. Final season and the first episode in what feels like a very long time. I expect good things though.

Workouts were great last week. I decided on switching to a Push / Pull routine. This was mainly to break monotony, but also to introduce some novelty back into my workouts. I have a very simple routine each workout and I can actually knock them out pretty quick. Three moves max each day and only hitting muscles directly twice a week. This is great from a motivation standpoint and a resting standpoint. Follow this template each workout:

  • Main Move (Bench Press or DB Rows) 3×6-8 reps
  • Secondary Move (INC DB Press or Pulldowns) 3×10-12 reps
  • Third Move (Arms) 2×12-15 reps

Diet has been consistently low carb. I have been increasing my intake of whole eggs recently and I honestly feel like it is making a difference in the gym. I usually have 2-3 before I go to the gym and did this consistently on every workout day. My goal is to continue eating 3 a day and maybe bump that up provided my strength continues to rise. I have also been increasing dietary fat in my diet as well as sodium. This has greatly helped my workouts. My weight is currently at a solid 180lbs and slowly decreasing.

One thing I forgot to mention above, which is probably the best part of switching back to a split routine is the pump. The pump is not something I have gotten recently due to my very low rep workouts. Not so with this approach. I assumed a full body workout would result in the same as I have also changed up the reps, but it feels great.

The new trailer for Star Wars Rise of Skywalker has been released. Not going to lie, it looks pretty damn good. I really hope they give the Skywalker Saga a proper sendoff my incorporating all of the movies together.

 

Journal Entry 340 – Taxes

Unfortunately, I missed my weekly post last week due to filing taxes. I try not to get out of the habit of blogging at least once a week, because I feel like this creates inconsistency. If you skip one week, next thing you know you are skipping several weeks. Taxes this year has been interesting and not fun. I switched my filing method to Married Filing Jointly and Sarah has some investments that can honestly be described as an out of state headache to file. We actually owe money to the state, which is the first time that has happened to me. I can usually knock out taxes in 30 minutes when it was just me, but not this time. Almost done with it currently and we should still net a nice federal return, but the state return is a payment. Just what I wanted to do, pay more taxes!

Anyway, not much I can do about it. Last weekend we had a nice dinner with Sarah’s Grandpa who was in town. He went to the Duke game the next day and unfortunately, they lost. Duke losing also ruined my bracket. However, Duke has gotten pretty lucky the two games prior to the one they lost, so I honestly think it was just a matter of time.

At the time of writing this, I can honestly say I’m not feeling too good. Came home yesterday with pretty low energy levels and have been sneezing a ton. The weather here is not very good either which doesn’t help.

My workouts still need some tweaking. As for diet, I still aim for 10X bodyweight during the week in calories and maintenance calories (13X Bodyweight) Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This puts me roughly at 2000 calories a day each week, which is about right for what I do. I do drink most weekends, so I also factor that into my calories for the day.

Journal Entry 339 – Low Key

Another week in the books. This week started off as crazy busy and then gradually slowed down each day. I think March Madness may have had something to do with slowing down traffic towards the end of the week. My brother really wanted me to make a Bracket, so I spent about 3 minutes making picks on my phone before the deadline. So far I’m in 8th place out of 14 and have already lost my fair share of games. As long as Duke wins, I have a chance though. I’m not a big basketball guy, to be honest, so losing means nothing to me.

My sports hierarchy NFL > College Football > Tennis > Everything Else. This does not mean that I don’t care about other sports at all, it’s just that I barely follow other sports. I have had the urge to get into Professional Soccer recently, but have not made the leap yet.

Been a good weekend so far though. Really nice weather and Saturday was a nice chill day. Friday we did a date night to Coopers Hawk and then went Burger Bach for dinner.

Recently my diet has been borderline Keto for the most part with dramatically reduced fiber. The low fiber has really helped with my digestion. Basically been eating high fat and high protein foods with very low fiber and my stomach has felt like it has already shrunk an inch. Plan on keeping this approach up. My carb totals have been under 100 grams almost every single day with most days under 60 grams. Weight is down to around 180lbs from 186lbs earlier this week as I was kind of bloated at the beginning. Been making an extra effort to add more fat to my diet though and not just jacking protein through the roof.

The only problem is my strength is down a bit. I still benched heavy 3 times last week and my totals are going down. I really need to cut down the heavy days to twice a week max. I also need to bump up sodium with my carbs as low as they are. My hunger has been pretty low for the most part. It really is amazing to me how if I eat a high carb meal, even when high in protein my hunger can skyrocket and I stay hungry for the rest of the day. As long as I keep carbs very low in my diet, this feeling does not occur.

 

Journal Entry 337 – YouTube Rabbit Holes

Last week was far better than the previous week in terms of my energy levels. This week also seemed to fly by, which is a nice positive. Unfortunately, this weekend has also flown by as well and we lose an hour this morning to daylight savings time. Oh well; not much we can do about it. Sarah and I rented Creed II on Friday night. Highly recommended. I love the old Rocky movies and these are great additions to it. The storyline really flows nicely from the old movies to these.

Last night, Sarah and I threw a party for my friend Cameron’s 28th birthday. We invited some good friends over for some drinks and Kickback Jacks. According to my friend Cameron, the Chicken Philly is the best thing on the menu. I would probably agree with that. The chicken fingers and wings are close behind though.

Recently, I have found myself going down “YouTube Rabbit Holes.” YouTube has a built-in algorithm that recommends videos based on the one you are currently watching. It also has a “Recommended Videos” that will update every single time you watch a different topic of interest. Recently, I have found myself very interested in Simulation Theory videos. I blame Joe Rogan for this one. I will frequently look up various topics that Joe and his guest talk about during the show. This includes Politics, Current Events, Astronomy, Physics, DMT and so on. It’s a great way to learn for sure, but this Simulation Theory is kind of frightening. Mainly because it literally can’t be disproven and some of the arguments behind it make a lot of sense. However, a lot of theories can make sense, but that doesn’t mean it’s true.

I like to keep an open mind with things such as this as well as important topics like consciousness, religion, and spirituality. I label myself as an Agnostic Christian. Religion has always been of interest to me and I really do think that there is a benevolent Supreme Being or at least something far greater than ourselves. I also believe in the spirit and life after death. As big as the universe is, there almost has to be something more than this. The main problem I have with religion though is that it pits people against one another based on a belief that may or not be true. There are good-hearted people that practice every religion and when you really look at other religions, the message is largely the same. This is why I like to keep an open mind. Even though people believe in certain things, no one really knows for sure.

As you can tell from the above, you know what I have been doing in my free time haha. As for lifting this week, I went back to a 3-day split. I like having a couple days off without feeling like I need to run to the gym. I usually run to Kroger and get a pack of deli meat for lunch and then listen to a podcast and chill for an hour instead of lifting. The rest days actually make me look forward to working out the next day though. I still do 100 pushups throughout the day on rest days though. Diet has continued to be low in carbs and high in protein.

Journal Entry 335 – Zelda

Zelda

After a week of what felt like non-stop game playing, I finally beat Zelda. Zelda is one of the biggest games I have ever played. The world is massive and the story is open-ended and completed at your own pace. You can literally ignore the main story and just do whatever you want and you still wouldn’t be bored. There was a lot I loved about this game and some things that drove me insane. Overall it was one of the best games I have ever played.

The Good: 

  • I really liked the fighting style with defense, melee and bow attacks all very useful in different fights.
  • The weapons and armor were great. Especially the Master Sword and Hyrule Shield.
  • The world was great and may have been too big.
  • The small attention to detail was definitely on a different level than any other game I have played. When it was raining, you would slip trying to climb, currents in water when swimming, fire getting extinguished in the rain, cooking meals.
  • Collecting items and exploration.

The Bad:

  • Weapons breaking. Dear god, this was annoying. You got some really powerful weapons in that game and most of the time when at of your way to do so and then it would shatter after using on a few enemies.
  • Shrines. These were like puzzles throughout the game and they got old fast. I loved the exploration of this game, but these became a chore and it was the only way to level up.
  • Navigating the four Guardians. The same reason above.
  • No post-game play. 😦 After spending that much time playing, it would have been awesome to see what the world would have looked like after everything had been destroyed.

The Average:

  • The Plot. I really liked the idea behind the plot, but it was a little lacking. It’s like the idea was great, but there wasn’t enough substance behind it.
  • The final boss was not the hardest fight in the game. There was a boss named Thunderblight Ganon that was twice as hard. That guy was a nightmare haha.

I feel like I’m leaving things out here, but as a whole, I may have gotten mildly obsessed with this game haha. Overall I would say 9 out of 10. Remove the shrines, remove the weapons breaking constantly and change the leveling system and I would have rated this 15 out of 10.

Sarah is getting into Zelda now, so that should be fun. Next up we have to unlock characters in SuperSmash.

Diet and Workout

This week I have been going borderline Keto. Carbs have been really low. Been eating steak and greens almost every night. I do tend to feel best when my carbs are lower than 100 grams.

Workouts have been good.  I’ve been doing lat pulldowns instead of chinups after bench press recently. Not sure why, but lat pulldowns are becoming one of my favorite moves. The recovery day was also nice. No heavy moves just isolation moves for bloodflow.

Journal Entry 334 – Sarah Trip / Nintendo Switch

Thanks to President’s Day, Sarah and I are off from work on Monday. Long weekend! Sarah went skiing with her dad and brother in Colorado for the next 5 days. I have no experience with skiing and really had zero interest in going. A friend of mine had an accident where he broke his neck snowboarding about 10 years ago. Sure it was a freak accident, but since it happened, I really just never wanted to try it.

I bought a Nintendo Switch on Thursday after some peer pressure from my friends, who thought I would enjoy it. They were correct! I’m currently playing Zelda Breath of the Wild and it’s one of the best games I have ever played. The handheld console is nice. I don’t remember the last handheld I have owned, but the Switch deserves its very high reviews. Sarah was even stealing it from me one night and played it before she left for her trip. I also bought Super Smash Bros but have barely played it. I’m way too into Zelda right now.

As for my workouts, I plan to adjust my benching down to two times a week instead of three. I also play to supplement with two recovery days, which will be chest flys, reverse flys and some extra back work that is higher in reps. One day will be off in the middle of the week and the weekend will be bodyweight days.

  • Heavy Day – Bench and Chinups / Stretching
  • Recovery Day – Flys/ Reverse Flys / Back Hypertrophy / Stretching
  • Off
  • Heavy Day – Same as above
  • Recovery Day – Same as above
  • Bodyweight Day
  • Bodyweight Day

 

 

Journal Entry 333 – Sickness / Kingdom Hearts 3 / Diet and Workout Update

I missed my post last week due to being sick all week with a cold/sinus infection. I’m actually still dealing with a few symptoms from it to be honest, especially in the morning and when I lay down at night. I took off Friday last week and took it easy for the whole weekend. Luckily, Kingdom Hearts 3 has finally come out so I had something to do.

Kingdom Hearts 3 has been in development of the last 10 years. The original game came out when I was like 13. I have played both Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2 and I enjoyed this game. Several features of the game are tailored towards a younger generation for sure, but I would say over half of the people that played the first two games are my age or older. KH3 is heavily skewed towards Disney and way less towards Final Fantasy. The mix of the two is what drew my interest in the first place. That was a huge negative of this game in my opinion. They had 9-10 worlds focusing on a different Disney movie, but couldn’t allocate at least one to Final Fantasy? This game is made by Square Enix not Disney. Square Enix (used to be Square Soft) is the creator of Final Fantasy, so it had every right to jam as much Final Fantasy as humanly possible into this game. Other than that I found it to be an enjoyable game. The graphics were great, you got your money’s worth in terms of content, good characters and most of the game was fun. I would probably rate it 8 out of 10. I will admit, I definitely got absorbed into this game. This does not happen to me often anymore. Also, not to spoil anything but there definitely seems like another one coming out in the future. Hopefully not 10 years from now.

My workout schedule has been very simplistic as of late, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t enjoying it. Here it is below:

  • Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
    • Bench Press (Pyramid)
      • Warmup – 135lbs (10 reps)
      • Top set 240lbs 4-6 reps
      • 2nd Work Set 225lbs 6-10 reps
      • 3rd Work Set 185lbs for 10-15 reps
      • Burnout Set 135lbs for AMAP (usually get between 20-30 reps)
    • Chinups
      • 4 sets of AMAP with bodyweight
    • Stretching
  • Tuesday and Thursday
    • Rest Day
      • Optional Incline Walk
      • Optional Pushups
      • Stretching
  • Saturday and Sunday
    • 150 Pushups
    • 50 Chinups
    • Stretching

Nothing groundbreaking here. My bench continues to rise. I have noticed if I overdo the pushups during the week, my shoulders can hurt on bench press the next day. I usually just take a rest day completely off from the gym on Tuesday and Thursday. Typically, I’ll run errands that I don’t want to do on the weekend or I’ll go get a light lunch. Also, I usually only do that bodyweight workout one of those weekend days. Not both.

Calories fall around 1700-2000 calories during the weekdays with most of those being eaten at night. Then on the weekends, I’m around the 2000-2500 calorie range. I still keep track, but I really don’t care where they fall. I seem to be in a good place with an intuitive style approach right now. My vice is alcohol on the weekends that can get high pretty quickly. :0 Protein is where it needs to be, fat is moderate and carbs are the same. So balanced!

During the week my diet layout looks like this most of the time:

  • Head to Work
  • Coffee – 50 cals
  • Protein Pudding – 150 cals
  • Enlightened Beans – 450 cals
  • Home from Work
  • Vegetables with Ranch or Hummus / Chips and Salsa – 200-300 cals
  • Dinner – Varies – 5-800 cals
  • Protein Pudding with berries- 200 cals