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Hi, I'm YJ and my main quest is to remove the pesky bodyfat that is covering the lean and mean physique that is hidden underneath.  While I am fairly strong and weight train regularly, I don't even look like I exercise at all and the scale is almost breaking at 266lbs, the heaviest I have been in my life. I don't care about losing raw weight weight so much, so I am more interested in measuring inches instead.  I want to reduce my waist down to 34 inches for a start but at a reasonable rate of fat loss, this process should realistically take until the end of March 2014 at the earliest.

 

Short term Goals.

 

1) Maintain food intake at 2,500 Kcal per day + / - 200kcal using a modified Paleo diet.  I will also consume over 180g of protein per day.  Caloric consumption will be restricted in time but I am hungry enough right now.

The rules:  Carbs in the form of a cup of oats in the morning.  Carbs also are allowed pre workout and milk / whey protein is allowed post workout.  Aside from this, strictly meat, veggies, and one small serving of fruits and / or nuts is allowed per day. 

 

2) Exercise (Weightlift) regularly.  I'll say 3 times per week schedule permitting but usually I get 4 - 5 sessions a week.  This is not a problem.

 

3) Track measurements weekly and take photos monthly.  For the purpose of the contest I'll take a 'before' and 'after' photo although I do not expect a drastic result.  More on this later.

4) Aim to lose approx 1lb of bodyfat per week.  
Since this is difficult to determine, my goal will be to lose 1 inch off of my waist each month.  I will measure my waist at the beginning of the contest and expect that it will have shrunk a full 1 1/2 inches by the end.  Since I have already shifted my diet, I should have dropped most of my water by the start date.  

The main villian in this quest is Mr Negative.   

Mr Negative likes to criticize me.  He likes to tell me what I am doing is not working and is not good enough.  There is really two possible outcomes from his nefarious schemes.  

i.  I don't bother trying in the first place.  

ii. I put all my time and energy into one thing to prove him wrong and I end up burning out because what I am doing is not sustainable.  All the while, he tells me that I'm accomplishing nothing and that all my efforts will be for nothing anyway.  This time I have a sure strategy to defeat him.

 

1) Create small measurable goals.  I am going to have easily achievable fat loss goals that I can keep on track with long term.  This will ensure that I do not burn out prematurely. 

 

2) Record progress so there is a record of it.

 

3) Take photographs that I can feed to Mr Negative to keep him quiet.

 

4) I am going to adopt the philosophy of target practice, not a javelin toss.  Most people would think 1lb of fat loss is insignificant, 2 is ok, 3 is better, 4 is awesome, 5 is amazing.  If I lose 30lbs in six weeks, that would make me a champion, right?  Hold on, I am not trying to shock my body here.  If I lose more than 1 - 2 lbs of fat per week, I will raise my calories to compensate.  The purpose of this challenge is to maintain slow and steady progress long term which will help solidify healthy habits and put an end to the blerch forever.  http://theoatmeal.com/comics/running

In this case, the purpose of my program is to nail my targets.  The closer I am to the measurements I want, the better my performance is.   

5)  I won't add in ample physical activity above and beyond what I am currently doing.  I can hear people screaming already but come on, what good is something that you can't keep going long term?  Adding walks, runs, bike rides, interval sprints, etc.  It's all fine and dandy if I have some goal I want to hit but there are many things that need to be done.  Besides, my knees want me a bit lighter before I begin pounding the pavement!  I want to do what I can with what I have and let the fork do the talking.  You can't outrun your fork and I am going to put this mantra into practice.  Hopefully I can prove it!  

(I will add in cardio at some point soon but for now, the occasional walks will have to suffice)  
 

6) Getting to bed instead of playing on the internet like I am right now.  I'll try to be sleeping by 1am every night although with a young family, this is a monstrous feat to achieve.

 

Reasons:  1) I want to look good again.  I want to see the product of all my hard work in the gym and I can't see it if it is covered up.

 

2) There is a risk of heart disease on my dad's side of the family.  I want to be healthy so that I can be a better husband and a dad, and hopefully have a chance at a longer life.  

When I beat the game:

When I have completed the main quest, my next quest will be to add more lean body mass without the fat getting out of control. (But lets not get ahead of ourselves)

 

Side Quest / Life Goals.
I am currently working on a really cool project for school.  Unfortunately, it is taking up a lot of time and getting in the way of me doing what I love, which is writing and practicing music.  

I want to have my research done when the challenge is finished.

This means all my transcriptions are complete  (I have 31 of them done now) and I am done reading all the sources I need to consult for the paper.  

 

Bonus:  Have all relevant analysis done as well.  


I know a side quest is not relevant for newbies but this stuff is nagging me and it NEEDS to get done.  When this project is finished, I have plenty on my plate for the following year.

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Whew! You've got A LOT going on here!

 

Mr Negative likes to criticize me.  He likes to tell me what I am doing is not working and is not good enough.  There is really two possible outcomes from his nefarious schemes.  

i.  I don't bother trying in the first place.  

ii. I put all my time and energy into one thing to prove him wrong and I end up burning out because what I am doing is not sustainable.  All the while, he tells me that I'm accomplishing nothing and that all my efforts will be for nothing anyway.  This time I have a sure strategy to defeat him.

 

I'm a little confused...you say you've had issues in the past burning out, because what you're doing isn't sustainable, but then you list a lot of goals for this challenge...try to think in terms of quality over quantity. Trying to accomplishing too many little objectives can be just as overwhelming as trying to accomplish one large objective. Obviously you know your limits, but just some food for thought!

 

5)  I won't add in ample physical activity above and beyond what I am currently doing.  I can hear people screaming already but come on, what good is something that you can't keep going long term?  Adding walks, runs, bike rides, interval sprints, etc.  It's all fine and dandy if I have some goal I want to hit but there are many things that need to be done.  Besides, my knees want me a bit lighter before I begin pounding the pavement!  I want to do what I can with what I have and let the fork do the talking.  You can't outrun your fork and I am going to put this mantra into practice.  Hopefully I can prove it!  

(I will add in cardio at some point soon but for now, the occasional walks will have to suffice)  
 

 

 

I don't think anyone here's going to argue with you, and certainly no one's going to scream at ya :D To each his own, and all that!

I think you've certainly got your work cut out for you, but I'm sure you'll best Mr. Negative in no time! Good luck! :redface:

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Whew! You've got A LOT going on here!

 

 

I'm a little confused...you say you've had issues in the past burning out, because what you're doing isn't sustainable, but then you list a lot of goals for this challenge...try to think in terms of quality over quantity. Trying to accomplishing too many little objectives can be just as overwhelming as trying to accomplish one large objective. Obviously you know your limits, but just some food for thought!

 

 

 

I don't think anyone here's going to argue with you, and certainly no one's going to scream at ya  :D To each his own, and all that!

I think you've certainly got your work cut out for you, but I'm sure you'll best Mr. Negative in no time! Good luck! :redface:

I was investing far too much time and energy into the workout part of working out while simultaneously not eating enough. As a result, my energy levels and my motivation tanked.   My fitness regime needs to be something I can stick with long term so it will not be altered from what I have been doing all these years (I have lifted weights seriously for years).   I don't want to 'change it up' with a bunch of extra work which will just require more time and gum up my life with lots of other things to do.  I think the diet will get me where I want to go in good enough time.

 

The goals are simple and all related.  Lose 1 lb of fat a week and measure it to stay on track.  (Photos / tape measure / mirror) The measuring will give me ammo to Vanquish Mr Negative!  If I lose too fast, eat more.  If l lose too slowly, eat less.

 

 I hope this clarifies things.

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July 25th

7 1/2 hours of sleep

1 hour shoulder and arm workout.

2,600 kCal consumed.

198.2 g of protein.

School work = done.

 

Good morning!!!!

Half done my work for my school project today!

Today is LEG DAY!  Wish me luck!

 

[edit]  OW OW OW OW!! Definitely REALLY feeling the lower calories.  I'll check everything in a week to determine if I need to eat more.  It is a possibility.

 

Question:  Should we post our battle logs here or in the battle log forum?

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Today is LEG DAY!  Wish me luck!

 

[edit]  OW OW OW OW!! Definitely REALLY feeling the lower calories.  I'll check everything in a week to determine if I need to eat more.  It is a possibility.

 

What does your nutrition look like now? Cals, protein, carb, fat macros?

 

Also, when cutting I bring on 3g of HMB per day....it will help you preserve/build muscle while in a caloric deficit.

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Hi Yellow Jacket:

 

I liked your challenge post.  Like you, I workout regularly but my bodyfat hides it.  Hopefully, the challenge will get us moving in the right direction.

 

Good luck!

 

K

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What does your nutrition look like now? Cals, protein, carb, fat macros?

 

Also, when cutting I bring on 3g of HMB per day....it will help you preserve/build muscle while in a caloric deficit.

Protein is c.a. 180g per day although lately, it has been 200g +

Carbs are usually between 100 - 200g per day and the fat is 100g per day or so. 

Of course I am eating primarily meat and veggies with the notable pre workout carb  (Potato, sweet potato, rice, etc) and post workout sugar and dairy.  Whey protein, whole milk, honey, and peanut butter for approx 600kcal.  I also have oats cooked in water for breakfast along with 3 eggs and some frozen raspberries for flavour.  I try to eat protein and fat before bed and only eat the carbs I need. 

Aside from this, I use a lot of spices when I cook to make food interesting:   Coriander, Cilantro, Cumin, Ginger, Cinnamon, Basil, dill, oregano etc etc.  I also use  the occasional spot butter and / or yogurt while cooking but I account for that in my logs.

I am using mapmyrun.com to track all my nutrition and I break down all the meals I prepare  (I make them from scratch) so I can see exactly what I am eating.

Example: Today.

 

Breakfast.

3 Large Eggs with 1 TBSP of Butter to keep them from sticking to the pan.

1 cup oats

1 cup of frozen raspberries.

1 Banana

 

Early Workout.

Shake

1 cup of Whole Milk

2 scoops Whey Protein

2 TBSP Peanut Butter

1TBSP Honey.

 

Lunch:

1 chicken breast

1 tbsp Butter

1 tbsp Whole Plain Yogurt. (Belkin 6% mf skim milk / cream / bacterial culture)

Spices 

1 Tomato

1 Avocado

 

Dinner:

1 cup (136g) of Salmon

Steamed Veggie Mix.  (Carrots and Broccoli)

Salad  (Lettuce, onions, cucumber, no dressing)

Snack:

1 can of Tuna.

2 cups spring mix.

 

Totals so far:

Fat           100.9g

carbs       179g

protein     174.4g

 

calories so far:  2340.

I'll have one more feeding yet today to bring my total up to 2,500.  Need to get another 6g of protein while we are at it.

 

HMB?  [Edit]  Reading up on this now.  It apparently aids in recovery and prevents muscle wasting.  Has your experience with it been dramatic?  The testimonials make it sound better than anabolic steroids haha!

 

 

Hi Yellow Jacket:

 

I liked your challenge post.  Like you, I workout regularly but my bodyfat hides it.  Hopefully, the challenge will get us moving in the right direction.

 

Good luck!

 

K

LETS DO IT!!!

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Had a good short chest workout today.  I'm supposed to be off until next week but I have some work which will interfere with the training so I got the workout out of the way early.  I took it easy with the weight but I still was able to push hard. 


5 x 5 BP peaking at an easy 210lbs  (Not wanting to push hard and injure my recovering shoulders)

2 sets of pushups.  10 reps.

Flyes.  1 set of 12 reps with 30lb DBs. 

With my usual BB style hypertrophy training I did a lot of pre-fatigue stuff to take the stress off of the joints and tendons.  Given that I have not tried to push big BP weight in awhile, I was surprised how much power I still had, especially with the calorie restrictions.  DAMN SORE from the leg workout today.  (Last chest workout on Mon, I did 3 sets of 60lb 12 rep dumbbell incline press with multiple angles.  Then I did a set of 160 and then 170lbs on BP for 12 reps each.  Then I did a couple of sets of 12 rep dumbbell flyes for 12 reps.  Glad the power is still there.

Diet is fine with 2653 KCAL 230g of protein 140g of carbs and 119 grams of fat.
Tomorrow is a nontraining day so I'll cut back on the carbs. 

My waist has already shrunk this last week but I'll post my starting measurements on Monday morning and I'll update weekly from there. 

 

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And we're off:  
 

July 28th 2013

 

Measurements.

Neck: 18in

Chest: 49.5 inches

Forearms: 14 inches

Upper Arms: 16 ½ inches

Calves: 17 ½ and 17

Thighs: 27.5 inches

Waist 42.5 inches  

Waist is down 1 1/2 inches in a week.  Could be initial water loss but I'm going to up my calories to 2750 per day for this week and see how I feel.  

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Protein is c.a. 180g per day although lately, it has been 200g +

Carbs are usually between 100 - 200g per day and the fat is 100g per day or so. 

Of course I am eating primarily meat and veggies with the notable pre workout carb  (Potato, sweet potato, rice, etc) and post workout sugar and dairy.  Whey protein, whole milk, honey, and peanut butter for approx 600kcal.  I also have oats cooked in water for breakfast along with 3 eggs and some frozen raspberries for flavour.  I try to eat protein and fat before bed and only eat the carbs I need. 

Aside from this, I use a lot of spices when I cook to make food interesting:   Coriander, Cilantro, Cumin, Ginger, Cinnamon, Basil, dill, oregano etc etc.  I also use  the occasional spot butter and / or yogurt while cooking but I account for that in my logs.

I am using mapmyrun.com to track all my nutrition and I break down all the meals I prepare  (I make them from scratch) so I can see exactly what I am eating.

Example: Today.

 

Breakfast.

3 Large Eggs with 1 TBSP of Butter to keep them from sticking to the pan.

1 cup oats

1 cup of frozen raspberries.

1 Banana

 

Early Workout.

Shake

1 cup of Whole Milk

2 scoops Whey Protein

2 TBSP Peanut Butter

1TBSP Honey.

 

Lunch:

1 chicken breast

1 tbsp Butter

1 tbsp Whole Plain Yogurt. (Belkin 6% mf skim milk / cream / bacterial culture)

Spices 

1 Tomato

1 Avocado

 

Dinner:

1 cup (136g) of Salmon

Steamed Veggie Mix.  (Carrots and Broccoli)

Salad  (Lettuce, onions, cucumber, no dressing)

Snack:

1 can of Tuna.

2 cups spring mix.

 

Totals so far:

Fat           100.9g

carbs       179g

protein     174.4g

 

calories so far:  2340.

I'll have one more feeding yet today to bring my total up to 2,500.  Need to get another 6g of protein while we are at it.

 

HMB?  [Edit]  Reading up on this now.  It apparently aids in recovery and prevents muscle wasting.  Has your experience with it been dramatic?  The testimonials make it sound better than anabolic steroids haha!

 

 

LETS DO IT!!!

 

Your diet looks pretty damn good!

 

On the HMB....I don't think it is a coincedence that I am still getting small strength gains on a weekly basis even though I have been cutting for 4 months....

In the past....I would start losing steam and dealing with a bunch of minor injuries/pulls/strains after 10-12 weeks of cutting...

 

I guess that is my only "evidence."

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Your diet looks pretty damn good!

 

On the HMB....I don't think it is a coincedence that I am still getting small strength gains on a weekly basis even though I have been cutting for 4 months....

In the past....I would start losing steam and dealing with a bunch of minor injuries/pulls/strains after 10-12 weeks of cutting...

 

I guess that is my only "evidence."

The diet is fun when I can keep the food interesting.  My last mass food preparation 'cookoff' turned out terrible because I was too tired to be functional while doing the prep.  So I get to eat nasty chicken and beef for the next 3 days =-(

Your account of results while on HMB is pretty much what I've read about it.  It is a small edge but still an edge nonetheless.  I'm a little leery of experimenting with supplements and I also suspect some of these training related injuries while on a caloric deficit are because people don't eat enough.  (Depends how lean we are)

In my case, I'm at least 25% bodyfat so it doesn't make sense that I would feel depleted right now so I'm going to raise my calories slightly this week and see how I respond.  If my energy goes up, that's great!  I'm also thinking of eating extra calories on leg day because the leg workouts can be so BRUTAL.  

Yesterday, I had my first cheat meal.  I took my family out for German food.  My wife has allergies and the best restaurants are the ones that have a chef who makes everything from scratch!  Needless to say, I was grinning like an idiot after a Caesar Salad, 3 pieces of bread with garlic cream cheese spread, cup and a half of Mashed Potatoes with Gravy, Cup of Saurkraut, 3 Bratwursts, and Hot mustard.  I was SOO STUFFED!  My waist was not bigger AT ALL today from yesterday and there is no residual puffiness, even after a day of 3,400+ KCals.  This leads me to believe I need to eat more.

 

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Good arm workout today!  ^__^  Lots of power right through to the end.  I like the combination of a small potato with 8oz of grass fed beef an hour before the workout.  Next workouts are officially scheduled for this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  

So, I'm officially upping my daily calorie limit to 2,750.  We'll see how it goes this week.
I will be strategic about when I eat the extra calories i.e. as part of my post workout shake.  I most likely will put my cheat day / cheat meal on Leg day since last time, I did not consume enough calories for my lower body to recover properly.

So far, nutrition is on track:

Breakfast 

3 eggs
Cup of Oats in Water

Cup of Frozen Raspberries.

Snack.

Tuna 

1/4 cup of almonds

carrot.

 

Lunch.

8oz grass fed beef

Small Potato

 
Post Workout Shake.

2 scoops of Muscletech Elite Whey Isolate.
1 cup of 2% Milk

4 TBSP Cocoa Powder

1 TBSP Natural Peanut Butter
3 TBSP Unpasturized Honey.

Total of 2,150 Calories. 
I'll have two more feedings yet today. 
My protein is currently 168g so I should break 200g of protein today which is good.  

School Work.  2 Transcriptions today.
Sleep.  Not so well but ok.  I was sleeping before 12:30am but I got woken up a couple of times in the night.  Thus is life with a baby.  Luckily I caught a nap yesterday afternoon!  XD
[Edit]
Dinner

 

Roast Chicken

Veggie Stir fry.  (Onions, Tomatoes, Zuchinni, Soy Sauce, Olive Oil)

Snack.
1/3rd Cup Almonds
 

1/2 cup Blueberries.

Totals
2,800 kcal

Fat

124g

 

Carbs

250g

 

Protein

215g

Carbs are up because it was a workout day!

 

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One week weigh in.  Down to 262lbs from 266lbs.  So my sense was right, I was cutting into my calories a bit too much.  We'll stick with 2750 kcals for a week and then use measurements in conjunction with the scale to keep track of what is going on. 

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Looking drier overall, especially in the mornings.

 

Back workout today for 40min.  
Barbell Rows

One set of pullups.  (Not many because I'm heavy still)

Pulldowns.

Dumbbell shrugs for traps.

Felt good although I had energy left over.  For some reason the workout did not feel 'hard enough'.  I'd do deadlifts too for back but with my home gym I simply have to do squats for lower body so that means I can't really deadlift.  If I can get to a pro gym for legs, then I can do leg press which allows my lower back the break to do deadlifts.  Kind of a shame since Deadlifts are such a great exercise for piling on back mass.  I may need to get a membership after all.

 

Today, I did not have any red meat prepared so I had chicken instead.  Results, my calories were down tonight so I had Almonds, Cheese, and more whey protein to get them up to 2750kcal.

 

Today had low fat compared to what I usually want to eat.

Protein 266g  =-o

Fat 100g

Carbs 190g.

 

High carbs because of workout.  Leg day is tomorrow so I'll be definitely burning some calories.

I'm totally psyching out though.  I don't 'feel' like I am in a calorie deficit at all right now and I don't feel like I'm burning any fat.  BUT, according to the rules of my challenge, I was losing weight too fast so I am required to eat more until I can prove how much I need to be eating to lose weight at the specified pace.  Going to try to cut carbs more on my off days now.  

Rebel moment of the day.  I went to a dessert bar with my wife for our anniversary and I ordered a grilled chicken salad with no dressing and a water.  I sat there eating chicken and veggies while all the lonely, sad ladies were munching on cake!  I felt very good about myself when I left!

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One week weigh in.  Down to 262lbs from 266lbs.  So my sense was right, I was cutting into my calories a bit too much.  We'll stick with 2750 kcals for a week and then use measurements in conjunction with the scale to keep track of what is going on. 

 

You might want to think about some BF calipers.....a small investment in time can give you far more accurate readings on what is going on with your diet.

This is a useful site in calculating BF:

http://www.linear-software.com/online.html

 

I have the wifey help with the data gatherting (pinches).....so I do a 7 point measurement.

However, if you don't have help.....a 3-site is really good too.....

When I do a 3-site on myself....it is almost always within 1% of the 7-site....

 

You are off to a great start!

 

Keep that MO!

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Caliper would definitely help for measuring subcutaneous fat stores.  In my case, I'm very tall so I can gain 20lbs and it looks like a 5lb gain on someone smaller which sucks because the loss isn't so noticeable either.  Only dramatic progress shows up, which makes an even more convincing case that I should be monitoring my bodyfat more accurately than just by a mirror / scale / tape measure combo.

Today was a rough day.  I missed a feeding because I was working on an arrangement for Monocle Man for my friend / webmaster.  I felt low energy and had difficulty concentrating and felt discouraged overall.  Then I looked at my food diary and noticed that I was not drinking water as I should have been.  Haha, found the culprit.  It's past bedtime right now and I'm still behind on calories by about 170kcal!  Definitely ate enough protein today though!   Also got the shoulder workout done.  Going to do some legs tomorrow!

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Sunday Morning Measurements.

 

Neck 18inches

Upper Arms.  16 5/8ths

forearms.  14inches

chest 50inches

waist 42.5 inches

thigh 27.5 inches

calves 17 1/4 & 17 3/4  Wierd, I know.  Always been like this.  

Not much change from last week so I'm going to drop down to 2650kcal per day for this week and see what happens.  I have to nudge the calories down slowly week to week so that I don't underfeed myself and lose muscle in the process.  

Sleep sucked the last couple of nights.  BOOO!!!

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Hi Yellowjacket:

 

Looks like you are doing great with your eating and working out.  Everything you mentioned seems really intense and not really beginner level.  You said you've been working out for a while.  Are you following a specific program?

 

Keep it up!

 

K

Sunday Morning Measurements.

 

Neck 18inches

Upper Arms.  16 5/8ths

forearms.  14inches

chest 50inches

waist 42.5 inches

thigh 27.5 inches

calves 17 1/4 & 17 3/4  Wierd, I know.  Always been like this.  

Not much change from last week so I'm going to drop down to 2650kcal per day for this week and see what happens.  I have to nudge the calories down slowly week to week so that I don't underfeed myself and lose muscle in the process.  

Sleep sucked the last couple of nights.  BOOO!!!

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Ok, good question. I'll explain what I'm doing.

 

The workouts are weight workouts 4 - 5 times a week.  I train on a more traditional target overload split mostly because it is the most efficient way of exercising in a home gym.  My set totals are based on what Ron Harris recommends in his bodybuilding book.  I use compound lifts as a base for the program and add isolation lifts afterwords.  My usual target rep range is 8 - 12 although I will do 5 x 5 periodically to make sure I retain my strength as well.  I have found that my lifts go up, even when using higher reps.  Even if I don't strength train as much.  

I'll try to provide somewhat of a sample of what typical workouts look like although I change them up.  The idea right now is to maintain lean bodymass, not build more.  Also, note that I focus on form more than how much weight I can use. 

Legs:  This is the muscle group most limited by the home gym.  I wish I could do more for them since leg training is excellent for reducing bodyfat.

I do a squat pyramid first.
set of 20, 15, 12, 12, 10 reps.  BRUTAL!!!!   Alternatively, I'll do 5 x 5 and I can manage much more weight like this.

 

Stiff legged deadlifts.  Ususally the same pyramid.

 

Standing calf raises.  2 - 3 x failure.

 

Done!

 

Shoulders.

Standing push press.  3 x 8 - 12 or 5 x 5.

Bent over laterals.  (for rear delts)  I do 2 - 3 sets of 8 - 12 reps.  I lift the weight slowly and focus on the contraction at the top.  No point in grabbing heavy dumbbells and swinging from the lats!
Bent arm incline bench laterals.  It is a variation of the dumbbell lateral where one sits face down on a fairly upright incline bench and does lateral raises with the arms bent.

2 - 3 sets of 8 - 12 reps.

If my shoulders are bugging me, I'll start with the laterals first and do barbell or dumbbell presses after.  The prefatigue keeps the joints form getting overloaded.

 

External Rotator cuffs:  I think any advanced trainee must train these postural muscles.
Lying L raises  (Light weight, 20 - 30 reps)  

Lying straight arm raises.  (Light weight 20 - 30 reps)

Standing bent arm L raises.  Light Weight 20 - 30 reps.  

This helps immensely with shoulder stability.

Back.

 

 

Midback

Barbell rows with shoulder blades clamped firmly together.  Gotta squeeze the scapula!  

4 x 8 - 12 reps

(Or 2 sets of barbell rows and 2 sets of cable rows)


Lats
Pulldowns.  4 x 8 - 12 reps.  Again, shoulder blades together and concentrating on scapula rotation.  Pull down to the clavical and contract the lats at the bottom of the movement.  Back is all about FORM!

(Or 2 sets of pulldowns and 2 sets of one arm straight arm pulls to contract the lat like crazy.  OR 2 sets of pulldowns, dumbbell pullovers and one arm straight pulls.  This depends entirely on how much time I want to spend on setup and teardown)

 

I will start pulldowns with a set of pullups depending on how I feel.

 

Traps:

Dumbbell Shrugs:  I use 'lighter' weight and focus on the contraction at the top of the movement.  I don't let my shoulders roll forward.  4 sets of 12 - 20 reps or I will do 2 sets of this and then 2 sets of shrugs while bending forward to hit the traps at a different angle.

Arms:

Biceps:

2 sets of 8 - 12 barbell curls.  Elbows at the side and a full range of motion with a squeeze at the top.

2 sets of 8 - 12  reps of concentration curls or seated incline curls.  Again squeeze the crap out of the top of the concentration curls. 

2 sets of 8 - 12 reps of hammer curls.  Good to keep the brachioradialis in good shape.  Guards against injury!  

Triceps:

Pushdown / reverse grip pushdown superset.

 

3 double sets of 8 - 12 reps per exercise.  
kickbacks.

3 x 8 - 12 reps

Barbell french presses (Similar to skull crushers but the bar goes behind the head.  This is a multi joint movement that is easier on elbows)  3 x 8 - 12 reps

Chest:

I do a lot of different things for chest.  For happy shoulders I start with incline dumbbell press

3 sets of 8 - 12 reps.  I start with the incline higher and lower it each consecutive set.
Flyes

2 x 8 - 12

Bench Press.

2 x 8 - 12
Can also do pushups here as well.  I have also done 5 x 5 bench press at the beginning of a chest workout.  I also will start with flyes superset with dumbbell presses  (Same weight for both) and then do bench press after.  

 

Abs.  Planks, crunches, situps, leg raises, etc.

The workouts are pretty straight forward and nothing special.  I think the really important thing is the diet.  While I have not been losing a lot of 'weight' yet, I think that the extra protein is helping my physique.  If it is not my imagination I am looking more muscular.

 

 

The most important things are diet and sleep.  I eat regularly and cycle my carbs.  Complex carbs are for morning meal, pre workout meal, and post workout shake only.  I also try and have one 'cheat meal' per week although this is usually whole food and not sugary treats like ice cream or brownies.  I am not currently craving those things so much.  Today, the cheat meal was homemade Chicken Enchiladas which I LOVE.  My calorie total is pretty much the same as any other day.  I also eat a lot of protein from a variety of sources.  Any given day can be Eggs, Tuna, Grass Fed Beef, chicken, and whey protein.  I also eat small servings of nuts and some low glycemic index fruits which is usually one piece in the morning.  THe 'idea' is to eat only protein and fat before bed although I am usually tired of meat by then.   I try to have small frequent meals per day although eating 2,750 calories per day of clean food is A LOT OF FREAKING FOOD!  Yay, I am on a diet.  My preworkout meal is 8oz of BEEF!!!  (And a small potato)  

I will monitor my progress weekly and with the diet, I will lower my daily intake 100kcal every week until I achieve an appropriate rate of fat loss.  The purpose of this challenge is to keep me accountable so I don't just dive off the deep end and start at a sub 2,000kcal calorie budget off of the hop.  I think that is a bit too extreme for what I want to accomplish!


My biggest weakness right now is getting enough sleep.  With young children, it makes things tough.  I need to get this up or my productivity through the day is severely compromised.  

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I have to get up at 4 AM and run at 5 AM, doing short intense bodyweight training right after to fit it in.  I also walk 2+ miles on my lunch break. 

 

Your program sounds super intense.  How are you fitting it in with the kids?

 

Whatever you are doing, keep it up!  You are doing great!

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Honestly, most of the work is the food.  Eating high protein meals every 3 hours requires a lot of prep work in advance and I find it is best to do mass prep at once to avoid cooking 5 - 7 times a day.  The workouts are pretty easy to get done and in a perfect world, I'd like to push even harder.  I do have very busy days but I am a student so my schedule is somewhat flexible although completely packed. 

Why don't you try the bodyweight training first and the run after?  It doesn't make sense to blow all your energy running and then to lift on no gas.  Better off to burn the glycogen and then run with no gas!  If you are strapped for time in the morning, you can also spend 15min doing interval sprints!

Oh, 7 hours of sleep last night.  I feel better!

Breakfast.

1 cup oats 

2 TBSP Peanut Butter

1 Cup Raspberries

1/2 cup Homo Milk

1 Egg

1/2 T Butter  (so the egg doesn't stick in the pan)

 

3 hour snack

1 can Tuna

A Banana

Here is my chest workout for those of you that are interested.  Keep in mind that I can lift a lot bigger numbers when I want to but the point here is not to wear out my joints and tendons.

Also factor in 90seconds between sets tops as well as warmup sets before compound movements.
 

Incline Dumbbell Press.

3 pin height.

60lbs x 12 reps

 

2 pin height

 

60lbs x 12 reps

 

1 pin height

 

60lbs x 12 reps.

So I decrease the angle every time.

Supine Flyes.

2 x 12 reps with 30lb dumbbells.  I really emphasize the bottom position.  No cheating!

 

Bench Press.

 

160lbs x 8 reps

 

wait 60 seconds
 

140lbs x 8 reps

 

Wait 60 seconds

 

120lbs x 9 reps.  

With the short rest period, the weight certainly FEELS very heavy!  

Post workout shake.

2 scoops of Muscletech Elite Whey Isolate.  (With Maltodextrin)

One T of Honey

One T of Natural Peanut Butter

1 cup of Homo Milk

4T of Cocoa Powder


After this, it will will be mostly meat and veggies for the rest of the day.  Once I start having to carve into my calorie budget more, I'll remove some of the 'perks' out of the post workout shake and decrease my dairy / peanut butter intake.  My morning meal usually has no dairy except for a bit of butter and no peanut butter, but there was only 1 egg left so I had to improvise.  Still got 28g of protein!  XD

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Back today!  No eggs in the morning but they showed up for noon so I'm a bit behind on calories but no worries.

 

Start time 1:30pm

Pullups
HEAVY DAMN bodyweight 

 

x 3

x 2

As you can probably tell, I don't do these often because of a tendonitis problem in my left forearm related to being a musician.  I have to take it 'easy'.

Barbell Rows. (After discovering that I had massively underdeveloped traps / midback, I had to scale my weight back from 215lbs for sets down to 65lbs to bring up those weak muscle groups. This is my first time trying 5 x 5s in a year and I'm very excited about the results so far!

 

70lbs x 5

120 x 5

140 x 5

160 x 5

180 x 5

190 x 5

 

190lbs was about the limit of my midback while the lats and biceps were still pulling with gas in the tank. Very excited about this though.

 

Onto the hi rep exercises now!

Pulldowns.
Shoulder blades squeezed together and concentrating on rotating them. Upright position and full range of motion, squeezing when the bar touches the collarbones.

70lbs x 13

90lbs x 10

 

Cable Rows. Again, shoulder blades squeezed together like crazy!

70lbs x 12 A good squeeze at the top of each rep!

80lbs x 10 Same thing

Cable straight arm pushdowns. (For lats)

Chest high and shoulderblades together!

30lbs x 12

30lbs x 12
Back is TIRED at this point.

 

Alright, DUMBBELL SHRUGS! Posture is leaning slightly forward and jamming the shoulders into the neck for a good squeeze at the top. I think many people do these wrong mostly because they lift FAR too much weight.

65lbs x 13

65lbs x 12

65lbs x 10

65lbs x 9

 

2:24 pm DONE!

 

now off to get a postworkout shake!!

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So I nailed the diet again yesterday.  Something funny happened.  We were out of eggs so I skipped eggs for breakfast and I found that postponing my protein allowed me to eat chicken right before bed.  Usually, by the end of the day, I would be so tired of meat that I'd simply HAVE to eat something else.  Meat is best before bed since it takes time to digest!

2650 calories a day now and I'm pretty sure I can see fat loss all over.  Calories aren't too low since my workouts are still powerful!  
In spite of my 180g a day protein goal, I have been taking in over 210g a day which is great.  The frequent feedings throughout the day keep the energy and the motivation high.  Nothing like a diet where you get to keep eating all the time!

 

A couple of details:  I have been using like a tablespoon of real Parmesan cheese with some foods to add a bit more flavour.  I figure 15 - 20 kcal of mostly protein and fat is a small penalty compared to all the high fructose corn syrup in condiments.  

Also, a good 8 hours of sleep last night.  I am noticing that sleep is the single most overlook / determining factor of success.  

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