Trying something(s) new

So I have obviously struggled to stay on top of the blog and keep the post coming. So I am trying something new. Well I am actually trying a lot of new things. I have decided to use the blog as an online workout journal. As I workout and move forward in my fitness journey I am going to use the blog to talk about everything and let you all follow along with me. This isn’t a big difference to the blog, but I want to avoid feeling like I need to blog and like I have to find something to write about. Whatever pops into my head and whatever I do that day I will write about. Basically making a private journal public on the web.

One of the other things I have started doing is using cross-fit WOD’s as a component to my workout program. I am still following Big Man on Campus, but I have added the WOD as the beginning to my workouts. BMOC has about 10 exercises in a day or about an hour of work. So I will complete the WOD and then modify BMOC to reach 10 exercises for the day or an hour of work. Here is a weekly schedule:

routine

No matter what the WOD is for Sunday I take Sunday off. On Saturday if the WOD is all body weight and a workout I can do at home I do the WOD. Anything requiring I go to the gym means and extra rest day.

Today’s routine was 2 min of rowing, 2 min of pullups, 2 min rowing, 2 min of burpees, 2 min rowing and 2 min of situps. To score the workout you add your calories from rowing to your number of exercise reps. My total was 176.

I have also started oil pulling. My wife says it gets the toxins out of your body and has led to reduced migraines, inflammation, better mouth health, less bloating, clearer skin, better sleep and higher energy. How do you get these results? Swish a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth for 20 minutes and then spit it out. That’s it! So far I can say I have been less bloated feeling and have more energy. However I have started working out everyday again, and am eating a very clean diet. So  I don’t know if that is the real reason. But I can say that by doing all three things I am very satisfied. Maybe I will start to notice some more benefits and be able to let you know more later.

Well those are the thing on my mind today. Hope you learned a little something from it. Oh yeah- I finished API and check into my first training squadron tomorrow! So that’s cool.

I-Must-Go.-My-Gym-Needs-Me.

Monday Catch-Up and Routine Change

I finally got a nice day and was able to fly. With that comes an oral board tomorrow and a check ride to prove to my instructors I can take the plane up on my own. The next few days are big for me, and during the midst of studying I wanted to check in with everyone. I figured typing a few lines in between flash cards will help my mind and keep me focused over the next few hours.

So, lets catch up. The big thing I wanted to talk about today, was my decision to change my routine. While I was performing Jim Stoppani’s 6 weeks to shred, I was bored. I finished through week 4, and I really enjoyed the workouts, but I was getting bored and ready for a new routine. Like I mentioned in my article about bulking vs shredding, the workout is not the difference, it is the calories. So over the next two weeks I will be eating the same calories, 2200 plus calories burned in the gym. At the two week mark of my new workout I will begin eating 2559 calories plus calories burned. This will keep my on a shred diet for 6 weeks and then I will begin a period of gaining.

What is my new workout? It is Steve Cook’s Big Man on Campus. This is the same workout I used in January to drop from 190 to 175 (over 12 weeks). This time around I will be eating for a clean bulk and will shoot for a gain of 5 pounds and limiting fat. Once my goal is reach I will decrease calories for maintenance and will attempt to stay at 180 pounds while growing stronger and letting fat reduce a little more. This phase is similar to a shred. If you eat appropriately it will allow muscle to grow and fat to burn at an equal rate.

On top of the BMOC routine, I will be added in Situps, Pullups, and Pushups. On Monday/Thursday I will perform 20 pullups and this will be done in the fewest possible sets. Tuesday/Friday I will perform 100 situps in the fewest possible sets. And I will finish with Wednesday/Saturday 100 pushups in the fewest sets possible. The goal will be to continue to decrease the sets until I can do the exercise in a single set.

My upcoming schedule looks like I will be in API in the next 10 days. If this is the case I will update you on the calorie plan and workout routine. During API we swim daily, and so I will avoid the gym during this period of time. Once API is complete I will pick up on my gaining program. Sometimes the Navy just doesn’t fit with my gym plans.

I-Must-Go.-My-Gym-Needs-Me.

What is a Clean Bulk

I have done a lot of talking about a clean bulk, but until today I have not told you what a clean bulk is. In short a clean bulk is eating excess calories while sticking to the healthiest foods. Sounds simply right? Nope.

The first piece of the clean bulk puzzle is to eat the right amount of excess calories. No matter how healthy the calories are, if you have too many you will build fat. The average lifter can safely gain about 1 pound a week and minimize the fat. When lifting and eating right, you can gain about 1lb of muscle a week. Using the calculator from The Weight Trainer I need 2659 calories a day to gain 1 pound. Anymore than that I will begin to gain fat. Remember, like I said yesterday, I calculate my numbers based a sedentary lifestyle and add in the calories burned in a workout. At the end of the day I burn tons of fat, build muscle and eat 2900 calories.

The second piece of the puzzle is knowing that the most important food group are tolerable carbohydrates and eating fats is ok. Carbs are things like wheat bread, Ezekiel Bread, oatmeal, carrots, apples, quinoa and sweet potatoes. When eating for weight gain, I need 489 grams of carbs, while only eating 144 grams of protein and 111 grams of fat. Everyone fears the carbs, but you can’t gain weight without them. They effect muscle growth as much as protein and they help the body run efficiently. Make sure you don’t exceed your gram count, and you eat unprocessed or refined carbs.

Ezekiel_Sprouted_Grain_Bread

The final piece to the puzzle is the workout. Find a workout that works for you. I know this sounds simple and like a cop out, however it is the best advice in this area. Your workout can be in sets of 12 or in heavy sets with only 4 reps. There is no workout that builds your muscles any more or less than another. Each workout builds muscle that serves different purposes. You can gain muscle mass with your calories, and if you want to long and lean muscle you focus on lower weight and high reps, but the muscle will grow and you will gain the weight. Decide what your goal is-big and lean that can work for hours on end, or short, bulky muscle good for lifting HEAVY poundage.

By knowing the right calories to eat, the right types of food to eat, and what workout is right for you, you can eat a clean diet and achieve a clean bulk!

To help I have listed a few foods:

Fage (click here for good snack)greek-yogurt-400
Almonds
Walnuts
Peanut Butter
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Broccoli
Lettuce
Ezekiel Bread
Sweet Potato
Brown Rice
Lean Red Meat
Egg Whites
Cod
Chicken Breast
Turkey
Tilapia

Good Luck!
I-Must-Go.-My-Gym-Needs-Me.

Fitness Cycles

When it comes to fitness goals, one typically chooses between losing weight (fat), maintaining weight, or gaining weight (muscle). Of these three goals, some lifters cycle through gaining and losing. Typically the lifter goes through a gaining phase and after a selected time period, or significant growth, the lifter will cut calories and thus enters the cutting phase and loses weight. When done properly the lifter maintains a high percentage of the muscle mass gained, and loses fat.

In the next few weeks I am going to enter a gaining phase, and I wanted to be sure to walk you through the process. There is no cutting or bulking routine. This is all done by changing your caloric intake and watching your macro nutrient levels. Without ever changing your workout, you can reshape your body with the right food.

Currently I am using www.weighttrainer.net to calculate the calories I need each day. Using the caloric calculator on the site I found that at 175 pounds and 9% body fat, I need 2300 calories a day. When maintaining weight I eat 2300 calories a day plus however many calories I burn with weightlifting or running. This ensures I meet my metabolic rate and do not create a deficit with my workouts.

Currently I am on the cutting cycle and am trying to minimize fat before I start my bulk phase. Weight Trainer calculates my weight loss plan at 1900 calories a day. I use the sedentary choice for my activity level. I choose this because I track my workouts and I know the amount of calories I expend and need to replace. Since 1900 is what I need to lose weight without working out, I eat 1900 plus about 300 each day I work out.

cutting

For my next phase I plan on doing a clean bulk (more on clean bulks coming up). For this phase I need to eat 2500 calories a day. Since I will be working out, a 300 calorie workout would put me in a calorie deficit and I would lose weight. So again I track my workouts and add in the calories burned. Based on my size and calories, I need 144g of protein, 84g of fat, and 294g of carbohydrates. If I meet these goals, I will maintain a high level of testosterone production, will build muscle, and should gain only .5 pounds a week. This is a perfect amount for me because I plan on following the bulk phase for 12 weeks and I would like to gain 5 pounds.

bulk

Now that you know a little about each cycle, and you have a good reference site for your own calculations, please take some time and setup a plan for yourself. In the next few days I will outline my diet plan (grocery list) and talk about what a clean bulk means and is.

I-Must-Go.-My-Gym-Needs-Me.

Balance

With a huge test today I realized that non-stop studying doesn’t help, and that balance is needed. The goes along with the thought process that “fitness is everything”. “Fitness is Everything” relates to keeping a good balance in your life and focusing on all aspects.

Yesterday I spent the day preparing for my test, but I also balanced the day with other aspects of my life. I spent the morning in a classroom studying and answering instructor questions. In between study sessions I went to the gym and got in my 22nd workout of 365. After completing my workout and the second session of studying, I needed a good break. I decided to take my wife to a BBQ joint for lunch. Spending time with family takes care of me as well as them, and during a time of stress and focusing on a year of college in 10 weeks, this is huge! We went KC John’s only to find them closed. We quickly asked SIRI for a new BBQ joint and were sent across town to Sonny’s Real Pit BBQ. It wasn’t until we were 2 minutes from completing our 30 minute drive, that we realized we were headed to a chain. Nothing against Sonny’s, I like their food, but Emily wants her BBQ served out of a tin shack by a fat guy who might not have washed his hands.

This led us to change course and head for Al Fresco in downtown Pensacola. After parking and walking towards Al Fresco, we saw a sign for a small restaurant and decided to stop. Carmen’s Lunch Bar is a restaurant celebrating their first full year of operating this week. Carmen’s was 1 of over 100 applicants with a business plan, and for winning the contest she was given some money and a store front for her restaurant. The food was great and the waitress was wonderful. After all of this, Emily and I finally got our BBQ.

Photo Oct 21, 3 47 33 PM

 

So a 45 minute lunch date turned into a 4 hour quest. We picked H on the way home and I got see him a little. After another hour or so of studying, I stopped and bathed H, brushed his teeth, and put him to bed. I then studied a bit more, had an incredible meal and studied a bit more.

Despite the dramatic need to focus more on studying and IFS, their was balance in my day and it helped me to be more successful in my studying and focus, and it showed when I took the test. Don’t neglect any aspect of your life if you can help it. If you need to for a period of time, also make up for it!

Today is 7 of 30, and your pushup/situp number is 60.
Day 23 of 365 and Day 2 of my new routine. Here is how the second lift day looks:

60 Pushups2_106872
Barbell Shoulder Press 4×9
Standing Alternating Shoulder Press 3×9
One Arm Machine Upright Row 3×9
Barbell Squat 4×9
Deadlift 3×9
Lunges 3×9
Standing Calves 3×9
Seated Calves 3×9
60 Situps
2 sets of V-holds with 9 medicine ball tosses to partner

I am looking forward to an active recovery day tomorrow!