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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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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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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Wow

There was really no other title for this. I got online and looked over a few motivational pictures and quotes and things of that sort. What stuck out to me were the two pictures that follow. I instantly got up on a soapbox and began ranting and raving in my head. America is the fattest country in the world and we are killing ourselves and harming our children. Not only do we eat crap food and avoid the gym, but we take shortcuts everywhere possible and rather than teach our kids to play soccer we hand them a FIFA video game and a kid’s meal. “Hey son, have some dinner and be as good as Pele”. Schools are even taking away gym classes, sports teams, and the elementary school a block from my house- HAS NO PLAYGROUND! Yep just a bunch a grass surrounded by a fence in front of the carpool line. It looks like it was meant to hold water when the storms hit Florida, but it is where the kids go for recess.

As you can see I got all worked up, changed my whole article for the day, and then had to let it out for all to share. I am not even sure there is logical progression in the thoughts. So before I get going again, please think about what you eat, get some exercise, and take your kids outside to move and run. Your children will thank you, and you will thank you. Exercise and good food make for an incredible and long life. 1 hour a day is worth it. It is only 4% of your day, and you will find you have the energy to do more with the rest of your day as well.

Without further ado, the pictures that got this whole thing started:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today is day 12 of the pushup and situp challenge. It is a rest day, but go do some active recovery.
It is also the 31st day of my 365 days of exercising. 1/12 of the way there! It is back and bi’s today.

Tomorrow I will take a look at why fish is better than other meats.

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Date Night

Last week I touched on balance, and a large part of that is family. On Friday I took sometime to focus on family and my lovely wife, ILOVEYOUMEANIT, planned a date night.

H’s childcare provider does date nights every few weeks, and we always take advantage of them. So at around 5:30 I dropped off the kid and went home to pick up my wife. She spent much of the day prepping food and making sure everything was perfect. When I got home she handed me a large tote bag, hopped in the car and we drove off.

Feeling pressed for time, I drove a little fast, and tried to make it to NAS Pensacola before they closed the back gate. I made It as the guard was pulling the gate shut, and he kindly checked my ID and let us in. Em instructed me to head for Barrancas beach. We pulled up, found a section away from the other family there, and parked the car. We hopped out, grabbed the bag, kicked off our shoes, and headed for the water. About 3 feet from the surf is a steep slope and so we put our blanket down on top of the slope and admired the great location.

Start of sunset

After getting situated, Emily presented me with a menu. She had made and prepped the entire dinner, and she printed a menu to show me the 3 courses planned. We started with shrimp cocktails and sweet potato soup. This was accompanied by Sophia Champagne- in a can! And to make it even better, Em used the little straw it came with.

After our appetizers, we had the main dish. It was one of my favorites. Grilled Caesar Salad, with a vegan Caesar dressing. No eggs and no anchovies. I don’t like anchovies and it is just a good recipe that is healthier than original Caesar dressing.

Following the main dish, we finished with a little dessert. Homemade chocolate covered strawberries. None of that shell or hershey’s sauce; actual melted and cooled chocolate.

The meal was wonderful and the quiet serenity of the beach made for an incredible night. It was intimate and romantic, and was a slice of heaven on earth. The surroundings just seemed to wash away the stress of life and school and Em looking for a job. There was nothing but calm and love.

And the sunset helped as well!

Photo Oct 26, 6 37 12 PM

DON’T FORGET: Today is Monday and Day 10 of 30 and we have 60 pushups and situps today.
Also being Monday it is chest, tri’s and abs day. Perform 3 sets of 6 reps.
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Groceries

First off- Day 9 of 30- today is 60 pushups/situps

OK, So yesterday around noon I came home and was followed from the front of my neighborhood to my house by the FedEx truck. I contemplated stopping and getting my package without having the driver go all the way to the end of the neighborhood. I thought better of the idea, I mean it would be pretty embarrassing if my package wasn’t the truck or if the driver had other deliveries, or I don’t know, the driver thought I was going to rob them.

With all that said I finally got home and got my package! It was my next months supply of supplements and vitamins. It was like Christmas!

Photo Oct 24, 11 53 36 AM

 

Going along the lines of supplements, I want to also provide you with my grocery list for the upcoming week. On top of the supplements here are the items I eat on a daily basis. These items account for around 2000 calories and the only things not on the list are dinners. My wife does an amazing job with dinner and I just have whatever wonderful meal she makes.

Take the list and divide the amounts by 7 and you get what I eat in a day. There are other options and I can help you if you need some ideas. Here’s the list:

Photo Oct 24, 8 37 26 PM

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!