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.

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

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.

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.

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.

 

Beating a Plateau and Friday Link Up

Today is day 19 of the 365 day challenge. Today is also the 3rd day of the Situp/Pushup 30 day Challenge. Today’s number is 50. For my workout I plan on doing 50 pushups, followed by 50 situps, and then running 1.57 miles (the PRT route at flight school).

Now that we have covered the 30 day challenge, I would to talk a little bit about plateaus in training. Over the past couple of weeks I have not gained or lost any and I feel as though my strength progress has slowed and I would like to try and rev up my training again. To bust through the wall, and start climbing again, I have a few tips.

plateau

The first tip is to rotate your protein source. A lot of people bulking or cutting get into a routine and because it is easy and they can monitor there calories, they eat the same thing daily. Every morning they have oatmeal, eggs, and a banana. After their workout they drink a protein shake. After a while the body needs a change. I have recently switched to a raw protein and have spent the week using Sun Warrior. I will go back to my advocare supplements on Monday. If your meat of choice has been chicken, begin to consider eating beef, pork, and/or adding greek yogurt to your diet.

greek_yogurt_09

Sticking with the diet, I also believe in adjusting your calorie intake to help with plateaus. I advise against lower the calories you are currently eating. The reason for this is because if you are losing weight, you are already eating a low calorie diet. If you are lifting to gain, you will lose weight if you lower your count. I advise on using the calculation in my All Foods Are Equal article and eating strictly enough calories to maintain your current weight. Then after two weeks return to eating the number calculated for your goal.

In my case I am raising my intake from 2200 calories a day to 2600 calories a day. After two weeks I will reassess my progress and update you on the decisions made and how they were made.

There are three other options for breaking through the plateaus of training and they all involve adjustments to your workout routine. Monday I will lay these techniques out and I will update my routine as well. Throughout the weekend I will update the website with the situp/pushup challenge.