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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Semper Gumby

Well I was thrown another curve-ball. No big deal this time, just slightly annoying. Today’s workout was supposed to be a CrossFit WOD followed by leg day. Unfortunately that didn’t pan out.

I arrived to work at 6:30 this morning. By 7:30 I was over at my new command and checking in. First page of my check-in brief had a schedule on it. I was supposed to be there until at least 3:30. And surprise- I have a PRT first thing in the morning. So the best gym on base closes at 3:00 and I also can’t be sore so that I can perform for my physical test in the morning. Again, this isn’t a big deal but after a week and a half back in the gym and really started to hit my groove, I didn’t like have my plans changed on me. SO, this means tomorrow is a PRT and then I will move on to CrossFit and Shoulders.

Completely new topic, I need to establish a weigh in day. I have a habit of weighing in too often and then taking long periods of no weigh ins. Well I think it is time to set and stick to a day. So here it is- Friday. Every Friday I will do a weekly check in and weigh myself. I am eating for bulk and would like to weigh 185 before I focus on lower my body fat. In order to this I am eating enough to gain about 0.6 pounds a week and so I have roughly 12 weeks to go until I reach my goal. The reason I need to weigh in weekly is to make sure I am not over or under eating and can adjust my calories as necessary.

weighin

Why Fridays? It is my experience that, like most people, I break my routine on Fridays and Saturdays and so I am more than likely heaviest Saturday and Sunday mornings. In order to avoid weighing myself at a time when the scale will be skewed, I will weigh in before my cheat day hits. This gives me a few days to eat right and be at the gym before my body levels off. Then over the rest of the week I will perform at this homeostasis and be as close as possible to my average daily weight come Friday. The closer I can be to this average daily weight when I weigh in, the better I can track my progress and make adjustments to everything I do.

I like to take pictures and see where I am and how my look has changed, so I will take a picture every few weeks. My “starting” weight will be after weigh in tomorrow, and my “starting” picture will be this Sunday. Pictures are easiest on a weekend just because there is more free time.

I will let you know how things go tomorrow and will share my start weight with you as well. Just a short plug- if you are interested in trying AdvoCare please contact me. I will hep you figure what to try and even pass on a little discount.

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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.

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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!
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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.

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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!

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High Protein, Low Calorie Snacks

Today is the first day of what I hope to turn into a short series. Through my exercise journey, I am learning more and more about food and focusing on the right way to eat. I hope to bring you new snacks and help you achieve the results you want by incorporating better lifestyle habits in the kitchen.

My first snack is quick and easy. I have never been a fan of yogurt, but my wife has gotten me into Greek Yogurt, and we have been using it like sour cream for our tacos and burritos. I recently saw a meal plan with Greek Yogurt on its own.

greek-yogurt-400

The meal plan also also called for pineapple chunks. Now I love pineapple, so this was much easier to get behind. I got an 8 pack of tidbit cups and eat one a day.

Dole Pineapple Tidbits

 

Now for my easy snack. Can you guess? I combine the two. I drain the tidbits and place them in a bowl. Next add 1/2 cup of Fage Greek Yogurt and mix. The combination of the two has a great taste and is a perfect post workout snack with your protein shake, or has a side to your lunch. The snack has a total of 125  calories, no fat, and 14 grams of protein. Give it a shot!

 

Today is Day 18 of 30, 75 pushups and situps for the day.

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