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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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.

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.

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.

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.

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

All Foods Are Equal

While all foods are not equal, when it comes to weight loss there is no difference between a hamburger and a pile of vegetables. While this is controversial, and I would suggest to any one of my clients the veggies over the burger, this is actually a true statement.

Case and point- losing weight is all about creating a calorie deficit. If you create a deficit of calories your body has to get its energy from somewhere. This somewhere is from your muscles and fat deposits. As long as you are working out and eating fewer calories you will lose the weight.

Without ever changing the food I was eating, I went from 190 pounds to 174. At 174 I even look bigger than before.

Before

Before
 

After
After

Here is how it works: A male’s EER, estimated energy requirements, is calculated by (662-9.53 x AGE(y)) + (PA x (15.91 x wt(kg))+(539.6 x ht(m))). PA is equal to 1 if you are sedentary, 1.12 if you are low active, 1.27 for active and 1.45 for very active. My EER is 662-9.53×28 + 1.12x(9.36×78.9 + 539.6×1.8) or 2884 calories a day. To lose a pound a week I need to create a 3500 calorie deficit over the 7 days or 500 calories a day. I can do this by reducing calories in the food I eat, or working hard enough to lose 500 calories. The easiest method is calories. So 2884-500 is 2384 per day.

Now that I know I can eat around 2400 calories, I write down my calories throughout the day and stop eating when I reach the maximum. I also work out and track the number of calories in my workout. The reason for tracking the work out calories, is so that I can be sure I am not creating to large a deficit and being unhealthy. Once a goal weight is reached, I stop eating 2384 calories and using my new weight I eat the EER plus the number of calories burned in a workout. This keeps me from creating a deficit and dropping weight.

So as complicated as that all sounds, all food is equal and when you are losing weight just worry about your calorie number. Weight watchers promotes healthy foods, but only because healthier foods have more nutrients and lower calories. The points system is simply a ranking based on the calories in a food.

So if you want to have a whataburger BBQ sandwich, 1050 calories, have the burger, just remember that you have to low calorie foods the rest of the day. Most women need about 1700 calories, so after a whataburger sandwich you still need to eat 3 other times in the day averaging 230 calories a day. At the same time you can workout and burn 150 calories and then those three meals can each be 50 calories bigger.

If your goal is weight loss- All Foods Are Equal – so have a burger. Just not everyday, and be sure to eat tons of vegetables and get a good run in.

whataburger

Final Weigh in of Phase 1

Today is the day before I begin my new soviet style strength routine. It is also the last day of my Big man on Campus routine. This is a perfect time to weigh in and complete a set of measurements. I can see how the first 12 weeks went, and have a started place for the next 6 weeks.

The goal of my first phase was to add a little muscle and lose as much body fat as possible over the 12 week period. I wanted to focus on eating healthy so that my muscles could recovery from workouts and the body fat would be used up as fuel. Because of the way I ate, I was able to add a strength and burn through excess fat. For instance I lost over 2 pound last week, but was able to increase my 1RM for bench press.

Here are the results from the last 12 weeks:

Starting Weight- 189     Current Weight- 172.2

Starting Body Fat%- 15  Current BF%- 8.4

Starting Chest- 39.5″      Current- 39″, this 39″ is up after an initial drop to 38″

Starting Bicep- 15.5″       Current- 15″, up after dropping to 14.75″

Starting Hip- 39.5″          Current- 37″

Starting Waist- 35.5″      Current- 31.5″

Starting Thighs- 23.5″    Current- 22″

Starting Calves- 15.3″     Current- 15″

Starting Forearms- 12″   Current- 15″

Starting Shoulders- 44″  Current- 47″

Starting Neck- 16″            Current- 15.5″

 

Starting Bench Press- 205 Current- 220

Starting Squat- 300         Current- 310

Here are my Latest pictures compared to week 1:

R Front 1R Front 4R Side 1R Side 4R Flex 1R Flex 4

So far so good I think. Over the next 6 weeks I will be looking for muscle growth. I will also be monitoring my calories to ensure I maintain weight. By maintaining my weight I should see fat loss equal to the muscle gain. About 0.3 lbs of fat loss with 0.3 lbs of muscle gain. Later today I will talk about my plan for calorie intake over the coming weeks.