2/27 & 2/28: Sleeping, Eating and Squatting – WTF, Man? PART II

Tuesday morning, I woke up around 4AM. I’d like to say this happened because I was psyched for my training session but it likely was due to the cold I still have. Not being able to breathe through your nose OR mouth has tendency to interrupt sleep patterns. I’m not a doctor but I watch enough House M.D. to self diagnose myself much of the time.

Anyhoo, I was terribly tired and was wondering if this was going to have a negative impact on my training. It should be no surprise that I enjoy working my upper body much more than my lower. For me, the reason is simple: Lower body days are hard. Squats are hurt like hell and deadlifts are hard as shit…that’s why not many people do them. In fact, until recently, I didn’t do them either. But I have found there is nothing more satisfying than doing some ATG (ass to grass) squats and then having a hard time walking out of the gym. I use this picture as motivation (even thought I am aware it is photoshopped):

I would pay serious coin to have those legs...and I'm a dude.

Note: Before I get mocked, I just want to throw out there that my legs are terribly weak. Chicken Little wouldn’t want these wheel. But I’ll be honest about my the weight of each lift so we can all see my weekly progress…

2/28/2012 Training
High Bar Squat                          3×6-10:  6-8-8     / 155-145-135
Trap Bar Deadlift                       3×6-10:  6-8-10   / 195-185-175
Incline Leg Press                          2×12:  12-10    / 280-290
Standing Calf Raise                      4×15:  15-15-15-15 / 250×2, 260×2
Leg Extensions                             2×12:  12-10    / 100, 120
Seated Leg Curls                          2×12: 12-10     / 100, 120

2/28/2012 Diet
BodyMedia Calorie Burn:  3103kcal
Calories Consumed: 3491kcal
Carbs: 430g (47.4%)
Protein: 287g (31.6%)
Fat: 85g (21.1%)

Note: It’s the day after this workout and my legs are f-ing SCREAMING! I can walk ok, but if I sit down for more than 2 minutes, everything tightens up and I’m screwed. I wondering if the volume might be a bit much on leg days. I might drop the leg press…we’ll see how I adapt. Another thing I might drop is the intermittent fasting, at least on training day, as I am having a difficult time getting in all my calories in an 8 hour window. Eating 3500 calories is a little harder than I thought.

For your time:

This is Diana Chaloux. She used to work out at my gym...I find her terribly not ugly.

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2/27 & 2/28: Sleeping, Eating and Squatting – WTF, Man? PART I

The past few days, I have actually woken up a little bit early…which can be a good or bad thing. On Monday, it was great b/c I got up at 5:30 anticipating my training session. Today, I woke up at 4AM, tired as shit and was unable to get back to sleep. I usually have a hard time falling asleep at night, but this was the exact opposite…and I paid for it.

Monday 2/27/2012

On Monday morning, I had a Facebook message from an old college buddy. For purposes of my interwebs diary, we’ll call him Ricky…because that’s his name. It was an inspirational video someone had posted on YouTube. I had seen it before, but I played it over and over as I was warming up, getting ready to throw around some heavy (light, actually) shit.

HERE. WE. GO.

I was debating whether or not to post “before” pictures. But, I figured “what the hell,” and snapped a few pics before I headed for the gym. “It’s all in the spirit of accountability,” I told myself. Yeaaa…Have you ever looked in the mirror and admired yourself?  Maybe a voice in your head said, “I look pretty damn good!” But then you looked at a picture of yourself, snapped that very same day and that same little voice whispered, “Well, shit…” Yea…that pretty much sums up this little picture-taking session.I’m not going to spend any time discussing how I feel about this, but it’s pretty much the reason I started this little diary thing. But if you look at the picture I posted of myself from last June, you might realize that I have put on a few pounds…and it ain’t muscle.

Beginning Stats: 143.2lbs, 31″ waist, 14″ bicep, 38″ chest, 19.5″ quad, 13″ calf

2/27/2012 Training: As you can likely tell already, I can be a bit long-winded. But for this first “training” day, I may spend some time explaining what each number means just so you can get an idea of what I’m doing and how I’m doing it. In my post a few days ago, I explained the exact training protocol so you may what to go back and check it out. Strap in, here we go.

Example Exercise:  4(sets)x6-12(reps): 6-8-10-12(reps I achieved) / 65-60-55-45(weight) Note: When using dumbbells, the weight shown is for ONE DB. When I achieve the target reps per set, I move up in weight the following week,

Upper Body A:
Incline DB (dumbbell) Press   4×6-12:  6-8-10-12 / 65-60-55-45
Weighted Dips                        3×6-10:  6-8-10      / 60-50-45
DB Shoulder Press                 3×6-10:  6-5-9        / 50-45-40
Lat Pulldown                              3×12:  12-10-6    / 120-130-130
EZ Bar Curl                                3×12:  10-12-8    / 60-50-60
Note: You’ll see that I hit my goal reps on the incline press and dips, so I will move up in weight next week. On the shoulder press, I will likely leave the weight the same and try for a little more rest. On the pulldown I’ll stick with 120lbs until I hit 12 reps on at least two sets and I will do the same for the curls. In the future I won’t explain the reasons for moving up or down in weight as I assume you get the idea. As far as intensity, I felt like I was going to vomit for an hour after leaving the gym.

2/27/2012 Diet: I’ll begin by saying that I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to stick with the intermittent fasting as I had a very hard time getting down all the calories I needed in an 8 hour window.

BodyMedia calorie burn: 2688kcal
Calories Consumed: 3046kcal
Carbs: 382g (49.1%)
Protein: 278g (35.6%)
Fat: 53g (15.3%)
Note: If you do the simple math on the calories, it might be a little off as I do consume some straight BCAA products like extend which I may or may not enter into the Body Media…but it’s not a large enough quantity to make a difference. At least I don’t think…

SO…that’s the first day. I was going to post everything about Tuesday (today) also, but I’m f-ing shot…today was a little more intense. So I’ll get to that tomorrow. After that, I’ll likely only update this twice per week. I didn’t realize the effort I’d need to put into this, but believe me…I’m glad you’re here and hope you decide to follow my progess as it will keep me highly motivated. There is a “follow” option in the lower right hand corner. If you sign up, you’ll get an email each time I update. See you tomorrow!

And, for your time…

Welcome to my journey…glad you’re here.

Hey everyone, I’m glad you stopped by. Before I get into the reason this blog was created, I’d like to tell you a little about myself. I’m just an average guy. When I use the term “average,” I mean it. Let me show you:

  • I’m 5’9″: According to ehow.com, which we all agree is the leading source of statistical medical related information; the average height of the American male is 5’9.2″. Well, it looks like I’m a little below average here.
  • I weigh 140lbs: Based on my extensive research (about.com), I found that the weight of the average male is 189.8lbs. Either I am grossly underweight or the average male is hitting Taco Bell a little too much. Again, I’m a little below average here…or maybe above average depending on your point of view.
  • In terms of intelligence, I have no problem admitting that I am a middle of the road type of fella. In fact, if you look closely at a diagram of a Bell Curve, you’ll see me directly in the middle…maybe a little to the left. I can figure out how to handle stressful and complex situations with relative ease, but I need to budget at least 6 hours to put together a piece of baby furniture.

  • Based on looking around, I think my socioeconomic situation is pretty average. I am a small business owner, I live in a safe neighborhood in northern San Antonio, I drive a Jeep Wrangler, take my son to school every day, etc. I don’t have a ton of money, but I’m doing ok.
  • My family? Ok, here’s where I’m a little above average. I know, I know…everyone has the world’s smartest and the galaxy’s cutest kids. But seriously, I do. And don’t get me started on my wife. Not only is she way above average, she’s totally out of my league. Fortunately for me, she has not yet figured this out. I must be a wizard.

So back to the reason I decided to start this blog: Like many people, I go to the gym, lift some weights, do a little cardio and call it a day. Also like most people, likely you as well, I have a picture in my mind of how I would like to look. Of course I’d like to look like old school Arnie…

But let’s be real…unless I’m willing to eat a Chevy truck every day and run a few cycles of Anadrol, I don’t think that body is in the cards. I just don’t want it to be this…

So, back to the reason I decided to start a blog this stuff. The bottom line is this: I’m sick and tired of busting my ass in the gym but not really “seeing” the benefits. Maybe I eat right, BUT I often lack the intensity in the gym. Maybe I lift heavy BUT sabotage myself with a poor diet. Maybe, maybe, maybe…BUT, BUT, BUT. A wise man once said: “All of my friends have such big ‘BUTS’.” That man is Pee Wee Herman. He is right; I’m full of big “BUTS.”

And I’m tired of it.

That’s why this is here. Maybe it will motivate me. Maybe it will motivate you. Maybe, when it’s all said and done, we won’t have anymore “Big BUTS.”

Next: Training and Diet

Diet & Training: The Beginning

This is long winded, but I think it’s well thought out. When I decided to start this, I figured a (b)log would be the way to go. Any thoughts are welcome. Don’t worry, for those of you with attention disorders, there are CLIFFS at the bottom.

Background:

I’ve been “training” consistently for about three years. I’m not a big guy, but I think I’m fairly strong for my size (5’9”, 140lbs) Like most I’ve has some success, some failure and a whole lot in-between. At my heaviest, I weighed in around 165lbs. Right now, I’m hovering around 140lbs. Last June, at my leanest, I was able to cut down to 134lbs.  As you can see below, I was starting to get that Tyler Durden physique…but a stiff wind could knock me over. And seeing as we can’t talk about Fight Club…

Recently, I injured/strained my shoulder, likely from poor form using a weight I really couldn’t handle. Because the pain just wasn’t going away, and I’ve been an “I HAVE TO LIFT TODAY” kind of guy, I decided it was a good time to deload (which I’ve never done). So, I took two weeks to deload. I’m went through all the lifts with a 50% decrease in weight while practicing perfect form.

I am going to begin an upper/lower, hypertrophy split while incorporating the “Leangains” approach to intermittent fasting. I’m not so much looking to bulk up, as I am wanting to do a bit of a body “re-composition.” If I had to guess, I’d say my body fat is sitting around 12%…maybe 13%…but that’s more of a diet issue.

I’ll get to the diet part in a bit.

Training:

I’ll train 4 days a week (Mon, Tue, Thur, Fri) and rest the others. I’ll be going for hypertrophy and focusing on proper form for all movements while lifting with a (hopefully) high level of intensity.

I think part of my lack of “gains” or progress recently has been due to a lack of rest combined with the fact I often eat like a squirrel much of the time. I will be going for slow, perfect form, 100% of the time. In the past, I did almost twice as many sets…with a ton of isolation movements.

On compound lifts, I will incorporate Reverse Pyramid Training (RPT), which essentially is staring with the heaviest weight first to reach my goal then lowering weight in following sets at strength decreases.

Upper A (Monday): Chest/shoulder/back work was chosen based on movements that do not cause any pain/minimal to shoulder.

Incline DB Press 3(sets) x 6-10(6 reps heaviest weight, 8 reps, 10 reps)

Weighted Dips 3×6-10

DB Shoulder Press 3×6-10

Cable (lat)Pull-down 3×12

EZ Bar Curl 3×12

Lower A (Tuesday):

BB Squat 3×6-10

Trap Bar Deadlift 3×6-10

Incline Leg Press 2×12

Standing Calf Raise 4×15

Leg Extensions 2×12

Seated Leg Curl 2×12

Upper B (Thursday):

Incline DB Press 3×6-10

Weighted Dips 3×6-10

Barbell Row 3×6-10

Hammer Strength Shoulder Press 3×12

Incline DB Curls 3×12

Lower B (Friday):

BB Squat 3×6-10

Trap Bar Deadlift 3×6-10

Machine Leg Press 2×12

One Leg Iso Extention 2×12

Lying Leg Curl 2×12

Machine Calf Press 4×15

Diet:

I will be following an intermittent fasting protocol as outline by Martin Berkhan on www.leangains.com

Below is a brief description of what this means, but I highly suggest you checkout www.leangains.com b/c it has a ton of valuable information. Leangains is not a supplement site nor does it try to sell you ANYTHING. Does it work? Beats me…but a ton of people love it and since I like eating primarily in the second half of the day, it seems right up my alley.

• I will be using the Leangains guide to hopefully recomp…hopefully add 5-10lbs of fairly lean mass (or lean as possible) over three months.

• I will be training in a fasted state b/c I train early (7:30AM). I will be taking BCAA’s before, during and after each training session.

• Feeding window will be Noon-8PM. I realize this is not ideal based on my training time (7am) but I have found it is the easiest to follow as I feel better when satiated in the afternoon evening.

FOR THOSE INTERESTED, I WILL BE USING A BODY MEDIA DEVICE TO TRACK CALORIE EXPENDITURE THROUGHOUT EACH DAY.

• Training days: +500kcal with 50% carbs (375g), 30% protein (225g) and 20% fat (66g) based on an average of 3000kcal (plus or minus based on Body Media)

• Non training Days: -500kcal with 20% carbs (100g), 50% protein (250g) and 30% fat (66g) based on average of 2000kcal (plus or minus based on Body Media)

I am starting this on Monday 2/27/2012. I may decide to take a few “before” photos and post them here…just so I and the one other person following this, likely my mother, can see the progress (or lack of) over the next few months.

LET’S DO THIS

CLIFFS:

– FF27 injured shoulder lifting heavy, deloading now, starting upper/lower split.

– FF27 writes a few paragraphs of sh-t nobody will read

– FF27 lists sample training split

– FF27 using leangains for body recomp, lean muscle

– FF27 using Body Media and gives average expected macro breakdown

– Nobody reads FF27’s CLIFFS

– FF27 starts log on 2/27, becomes all sorts of ripped up in three months…still doesn’t look like he lifts.