Workout Journal

Today was a busy day on the fitness side of life. It was also busy on just the life side of things. I got the house cleaned and vacuumed, the kitchen cleaned and the floors mopped, I called the cable company to handle some business , and knocked out a little bit of studying for primary. Now I am just waiting for the wife and kid to come home.

So what was the workout? Well since there was a communication error last week, I ran my PRT today. Despite not running in the last 8 weeks or so, I ran an 11:30 mile and a half. After the PRT I went inside the gym and got to work for real. The humidity killed me and so after the run I decided to skip the CrossFit WOD. I moved right into my Back/Bicep/Calves routine. Today I performed:

4 sets of dead hang pull-ups AMAP
3×10 T-bar rows
2×12/2×6 Barbell curls- the first group was normal and the second was heavy/cheat
In between the curl sets I added rope pulls for :30
3×10 Incline Dumbbell curls
4×10 Leg Press Calf Raises
4×15 Seated Calf Raises

I pushed each set to the heaviest weight I could tolerate and really felt like I got an incredible workout. I left in a puddle of sweat and was hammered.

Once I got home I realized I have been running blind for a few weeks and not as focused and prepared for this bulk phase as I should be. So I started over; sorta. I weighed in this morning and was 176.6 pounds. This is just over 8 pounds from my goal. Later in the day I took some measurements for body fat calculating. Using a tape measure and HealthStatus.com, I found my body fat to be about 15%. This is obviously not the most accurate way to measure body fat and so I also used my calipers and linear-software.com to find a second more accurate you number. This time I got 11.6. I then averaged the two numbers and am using 13% as my body fat. If you compare this to the pictures below, from BuiltLean.com, I am definitely not quite 15% but not the 10-12% either, I am in between.

body-fat-percentage-men

 

After coming up with a good body fat estimate, I then went to weight-trainer.net and calculated my lean bulk calories. Here is a table from the website showing my stats:

body fatBased on the above diet numbers and the approximate muscle gain per week, I will spend about 14 weeks gaining the 8 pounds and reaching my goal. My current routine is a 12 weeks cycle and if you assume some fat will be added with the muscle, then I should be 185 in about 12 weeks, not 14.

After adjusting my calorie intake in my calorie counter, I went to the Big Man on Campus and printed the calendar. Now as I complete the each day I will mark it off. This will keep me accountable and ensure I am following the routine correctly.

Tomorrow I plan on taking body measurements for chest and biceps, etc. My weigh in plan is every Friday so I can ensure I am not gaining too much weight too quickly. This would mean I am adding fat not muscle. However I will  only calculate body fat and retake measurements every 4 weeks. Those items are not affected as quickly and can cause you to chase the tape or even get discouraged.

Tomorrow is strictly a CrossFit, but I may add a little cardio.

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Too Thin to Win?

Earlier this week Rachel became the latest Biggest Loser winner on NBC. But should the show have promoted her weight loss? The short answer- at least from my point of view is – NO! When contestants return to the show the staff weighs each one of them. This lets them know where everyone is at and how to arrange the weigh-in for more excitement. The contestants and hosts do not know the weight or the order, but directors know everything. As soon as Rachel showed up she should have been sent to a doctor to ensure her health and the producers should have gotten involved and figured out a way to help her and save the integrity of the show.

Here is a before and after picture of Rachel from the Finale:

Rachel before and after. Click picture for source

Rachel before and after. Click picture for source

Rachel started at 260 pounds and weighed in at the finale at 105. That is a 155 pound, or 59.6% of body weight, loss. This also represents a BMI of 18. This is in the category of underweight. 18.5 is considered normal, so Rachel is close, but even being on the low end of BMI can be a health risk. For comparison the runner up lost only 54.8%. Not a single other contestant dropped below BMI of 21. To beat the runner up, Rachel could have weighed in at 125.

Without doing all of the math, one can see that Rachel is too thin. Here is a better picture:

Click for source

Click for source

Rachel’s lower body resembles a normal and healthy weight. But above the waist we start to see the scary features. Looking at the shoulders we can see that she has broad shoulders compared to the rest of her body. This supports and should be holding more muscle. Down the arm, we can see her bicep muscle, but not because it has been trained and worked, but because there is no body fat in the area. On the forearms you can actually see the bony processes on both ends of her ulna and radius.

The drastic amount of weight lost and the look of her body lend me to believe she worked on cardio non-stop after leaving the show and neglected strength training. By laying off the cardio and doing strength training on those days, she could balance the two types of exercise, gain about 10 pounds, become a healthy weight and maintain her current size.

What I assume happened, and the key words are that “I am ASSUMING”, is that Rachel has some things going on in life that led her to eating and gaining weight. When she went on the show she found her inner athlete again, but by not actually dealing with her issues, she became addicted to the diet and exercise and lost control in the wrong direction. I blame this on the show and the people around her. Until she works with the right people, and I love Bob, Jillian and Dolvett, she will not find a healthy weight and lifestyle for herself.

Some people have said that she will put on a little weight after the show, and that her competive side is why she dropped so low. I do not agree and think that yes she will gain some weight without the competition, but the last time she lost a reason to compete she gained weight and ultimately went on the Biggest Loser. She has not learned how to appropriately exercise and eat, and will put back on more than she should. I don’t mean she will weigh 260, but instead of 125 she will reach 145. I think, and I just have this feeling, that Rachel is going to be just find and the right help will come her way.

Quickly I want to touch on the fact that people are raising a fuss over the fact that no one is talking about the people on the show that are still over weight. Here is why I have left them alone. They lost weight! And while they are still overweight, they are on the right track. In the real world weight loss takes time. These contestants have better their lives and have a high chance of maintaining their path and reaching their goals. They will also find their lifestyle will be more fun and easier to handle.

I love to watch the biggest loser, but I have always prefaced that with “I know the flaws of the show but…”. I still like the show but I hope this season wakes them up to helping these people and not worrying 100% on the contest.

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.

Playing Catch-Up

The flight schedule has been a little crazy recently and while I was able to find time to workout, I neglected the blog a little. I want to go ahead and catch up with everyone and let you know where I am.

This week marked the final stage of the Shortcut to Shred. Weeks 4 through 6 lower your calorie intake from 2600 calories a day to 2200 a day. This well ensure a good reduction of body fat, and help create that lean and cut look.

Today is also the 45 of my 365 day challenge. In the situp pushup challenge we are on day 26. The number for today is 90. Take your time and don’t rush. If you need a little break, take one, the most important thing is don’t sacrifice your form.

Now that we are up to date with all of that, I am looking ahead to my next phase of training. Earlier this year I followed the big man on campus and ate a low calorie diet. In those 12 weeks I saw my strength sky-rocket and my weight drop. I lowered my body fat almost 7%. This time around I plan on eating a clean bulk diet, and following the routine. I expect to gain 3 to 5 pounds over the 12 week period, maintain a body fat of slightly less than 10% and see another boost of strength. This time around will be much different than before because I will have excess calories for use.

Over the next few days I will post articles on clean bulking as well as calorie intake for appropriate weight gain and muscle development. Stay tuned!

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

 

Fish vs Other Meat

I was recently asked “why fish” and as I mentioned yesterday, I want to talk about why fish is good for you, and considered to be better than other meats. I will avoid a long and scientific discussion and cut right to it.

A lot of meat now-a-days is cured or processed, think Ham, Bacon, Lunch Meat, Sausage. Because of this those meats have a much higher level of sodium and other preservatives. This causes high levels of blood pressure- another issue in America.

Instead of eating the meat above, look for beef, chicken, turkey, and of course Fish. Now short and sweet, fish is the best because it has less saturated fat than the other meats. The “fattiest” fish has 1.8g of Sat Fat in a serving while turkey has 3, chicken has 8, and beef has 12 or more. Limiting your saturated fat does two things: 1)keeps you from consuming too much fat (we all need a little) and 2)lowers the bad cholesterol in your blood and therefore reduces the chance of heart problems. Boston Harvard University School of Public Health Department of Nutrition also released a study showing darker meats lean towards a higher risk of cancer as well.

We can also compare the protein and calorie quantity. 100 grams of Fish has 19g of protein and only 87 calories. On the other hand, beef has 15g of protein and 332 calories per 100 grams. So fish is not only leaner, but has more protein and fewer calories.

fish-meat_copy

So like I said, short and sweet, choose fish whenever you can and only indulge in the “fattier” meats occasionally.

Today is Day 13 and the number is 65.

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Day 2

Today is Day 2 of 365. Last time I didn’t make it to day 2, so yeah- high five!

It’s a pretty easy day because of my Medical Exam. I haven’t eaten since 7pm last night because of the blood work required at todays exam. After I have lunch I plan on going for a two mile run with my wife. It has been awhile since I ran on the beach, and I think today is the day. I mean I live in Pensacola after all! Why would I run anywhere else?

advocare-kick-it-up