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.

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

 

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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.

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.

 

Day 11 of 30

Today is day 11 of 30. For our situp and pushup challenge we have 65 today.
Being Tuesday it is also Shoulders, Legs and Calves day. 3 sets of 6. This is also day 30 of 365.

A few announcements:

  • After the pushup and situp challenge I will be doing a Pull-up challenge.
  • Also in December I will be putting on a Can You 24 Challenge. By ordering a 24 day cleanse pack from my Advocare store, you will receive a post holiday cleanse and jump start your New Year with a great weight-loss, and plateau breaking, supplement routine. I will also be providing support throughout the 24 days, as well as a workout to help enhance the program.

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Back and Bicep Day

Hey!

With the increased school load I wanted to ensure I updated you on the workout routines. Today is day 8 of the 30 day challenge and that means REST DAY. So no pushup or situps today.

However in the workout routine, today is a back and  bi day. Here is the routine:

Weight-set

 

  • Bent over barbell row
  • One arm row
  • Seated rows
  • Shrugs
  • Reverse barbell curl
  • Dumbbell curl
  • Barbell curl
  • Wrist curl
  • Seated calve raise

Thursday, Friday and Saturday repeat the workouts from the last three days and then Sunday is a rest day. And trust me, you earned it!

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!

Part 2 of Beating A PLateau

Today is day 6 of 30 for the Situp/pushup challenge. Today’s number is 55. Remember to modify things if you need to, but try for 55 at once and if you need a break, only take a second or two, then push out the rest.

It is also the 22nd day of 365 straight days. 3 weeks down, 49 to go.

plateau

Back to our topic of plateaus, last week I discussed the food side of things and today I want to touch on the exercise side of conquering a plateau. There are three ways to use exercise to erase a plateau. The first way is the easiest. Allowing the body to take a break will help muscles heal and become fresh for the next bout of exercise. Every 12 weeks or so, it is a good idea to take a single week off from working out. This means for seven days focus on cardio, stretching or active recovery (flag football, basketball, etc). Do not lift weights or do anything requiring muscle strength.

The second way to begin making gains again, can be accomplished in one of two ways. Changing your routine, or changing your set and rep counts can be effective in crushing a plateau.

When changing your routine you can work the same muscle groups, just be sure to use a new set of exercises. Each exercise in a routine works the muscles differently and changes angles on the muscles. By switching to a new set of exercises you will change how each muscle works and when performing new exercises some muscles will feel less strain and other will get more strain. These changes allow the muscles to work in a new way and compensate for their new “job”. This will force growth and gains will began to come back.

Another way to change your routine is to change the set and rep counts. Without changing your exercise selection, take a look at your current sets. Are you performing 3 sets of 10? If so a quick change would be to load up the weight and perform 10 sets of 3. This will force your muscles to lift a much heavier load, while still performing a total of 30 reps.

For my latest plateau, I have chosen to raise my caloric intake by 400 and change my routine completely. I am now eating 2600 calories a day, and am following a new workout plan. Today is chest, tricep and abs day. Incorporating the 30 day pushup challenge into my routine, today looked like this:

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  • 55 Pushups
  • Bench Press 4×9
  • Incline Dumbbell Press 3×9
  • Decline Barbell Press 3×9
  • Dips 4×9
  • Close Grip Barbell Press 4×9
  • 55 Crunches
  • Weighted Cable Crunch 2×9

Let me know if you have any questions or comments on the workouts and the plateau fixes.
Keep working hard and enjoying the workouts! And always finish with a quality shake!