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For those I haven't met yet, I'm a grad student who typically spends 8-10 hours a day at a computer and is stressed out most of the time from watching my vitality wither away as I try to make the next deadline. To combat my life behind the desk, I'm investing the metabolic/muscle gains from weightlifting. I've been training with the warriors here on NF. I dove into Nerd Fitness over the summer and completed my first challenge in September. I started doing Stronglifts 5x5 during the first challenge and have been focusing on making strength gains in the gym. So far, it has worked, but I'm realizing that to fuel my workouts, and be simplistic about it, I need to eat MOAR. I started my first challenge 6 ft tall at 255 and got down to 248 by the end of it. By the start of my second challenge I started stalling a bit on my gains, losing sleep, and fatiguing fast during my workouts. So, I increased my calorie and protein intakes. Now I'm back up to 255-260 lbs. Its a stronger and leaner 255 than before my first challenge, but I still put an inch or two back on my waist. So, that's not gonna work for me. Going forward I want to be torching the fat from by body and converting it to muscle. To do this, I need to take some serious steps to figure out my exact nutritional demands and balance that with the strength training I'm doing. I'm also going to be setting more medium term lifting goals here. What I can't do in 6 weeks, but maybe in 3-4 months. That's what this battle log is about. Its going to take me more time than a six week challenge to figure it all out, so I'm going to be posting this for quite some time, tracking macros, workouts, and measurements, experimenting with new parameters and just figuring things out. I am going to start with something simple. A 40/30/30% CHO/PRO/FAT daily macro split and continuing with stronglifts 5x5, plus a few extra exercises to supplement SL when needed.
Main Goal: Recomposition I WANT IT ALL. I want to get stronger, much stronger, and lose weight at the same time. Strap yourself in and watch me chase what some might consider a Holy Grail of bodybuilding. I started this week on a long term goal of doing recomposition. This will be no easy task and require some serious commitments to making it work. It will require that I very finely tune my nutrition to my workout/life schedules. Timing of meals, macronutrients, workouts, stress, sleep, fluids... these are all going to be factors that I need to tune up. This thread will skip most of the details, and will mostly serve as a venue for friends to cheer me on, and for me to post the landmarks related specifically to my goals. If you want more detail on the plan, I started a battle log yesterday Here: http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/39161-darwinian-fitness-the-demon-takes-on-recomposition/ This challenge is coming early in the effort, so I'll be laying some of the ground work here. Just a few simple goals to get started. Like I mentioned, there are a lot of factors, so I'm going to start simple and develop a baseline. Also, I should give a nod to Donar, a NF warrior who has demonstrated that this is possible and whose example I'm following. Goal 1: Nail the macros daily Everyday I have to eat within 10g of my macronutrient goals and within 50 calories of my total caloric intake. And no alcohol for the first two weeks... period. If all is going well when the two weeks are up, I may celebrate that fact with one or two Guinesses (155 cal a can). I'll also need a plan for T-day. Maybe try to nail all my macros in one meal? (ehh, that'd be counterproductive) For grading I'll do a simple 3 points a day, 1 for each macro category, and use the percentage to determine the grade. Goal 2: Workout 3 times a week and be consistent on progression/programming. I am doing stronglifts 5x5, and am currently planning a switch to starting strength (almost the same, but a little more variety). A couple times I've gotten cocky and done extra increases, added things on the spur of the moment, or started overtraining something. During this challenge, I will stick to the following plan throughout. Do either workout A or B depending which day it is. Then do one, and only one, accessory workout or practice a form. Then, outside the gym, no other exercises. I need be consistent because I am going to be honing my nutrition program based on my workout program. For the moment I will be practicing power cleans as my accessory. I haven't learned these yet and they're part of starting strength. Once I have them down, I'll move them into my regular workouts and do other accessory work. Grading: percentage of total points. 1 point per workout, 1 point for being consistent (4 exercises as planned, no excess, no slack). Goal 3: Track measurements, calculate body fat, weekly and adjust to maintain body weight. Recomp is all about turning fat into muscle. I'm overweight, but I feel healthy. I need to figure out my metabolism. Later I can try burning off the weight as needed. Adjust as needed. If weight goes up, cut 100 cals/day. If body fat does not go down while weight stays the same, cut 100 cals/day. Stalls in progress, more protein? more calories? (depends on what's going on with weight/BF) I'll get my official starting weight on day one of the challenge. There's a bunch of stuff to adjust. I'll deal with it when I get there depending on the problem. Grading: Lots of variables. Basically, I pass with good effort, taking all measurements, and making sensible adjustments, and things don't go off the rails. A: 3/3 (regular strength increases, body fat loss, no change in weight) B: 2/3 C: 1/3 D: some weight loss >5 lbs, but no strength loss, and I at least got closer to figuring out the balance F: off the rails, 5lbs. gained/lost, loss of strength, body fat increases Life Goal: Become a thriftier shopper -- especially for food I spend way too much on food, and drinks. Mainly, I don't take the time to look for deals, buy whatever, and spend extra on convenience. This is getting especially important as I'm trying to eat healthier. But I've got to be careful not to buy unhealthy foods. Some strategies: by as many sale items as possible coupons? I need to find some of these go to farmer's market more often for vegetables/stick to seasonal choices bus to larger grocery stores and buy in bulk take advantage of free food opportunities (but only if its stuff other than junk food, which is rare) etc. Grading: save food receipts, for all food including restaurants etc., for the 6 week challenge A: under $300 spent B: under $350 C: under $400 D: under $450 F: over $450 Since this is all a big experiment, for your entertainment: SCIENCE! http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2013/10/mouse-impervious-scorpions-sting