Day 46, Squat and Bench PRs!

While I didn’t blog yesterday, I was very focused on my goals. I mapped out the next 4 weeks of lifting, went for a run, read about the Greyskull LP program and watched a few videos of Mark Rippetoe explaining just about everything about everything.

After today, I have 11 more gym sessions before my next day off. If I continue to progress linearly without any stalling these are my projected stats:

  • Squat: 260
  • Press: 130
  • Bench: 210
  • Dead: 280

Looking at these numbers scares the shit out of me and I think setting these as my goals for the month is a bit too optimistic. Assuming I stall a few times, here’s where I think I will be:

  • Squat: 240
  • Press: 115
  • Bench: 195
  • Dead: 275

Still impressive stats for me. But I’m hesitant to set these as my goal stats. It’s hard to walk the line between difficult but reachable goals and setting expectations so high that failure is inevitable. On day one, my original weight lifting goal was 225 squat and I think it’s reasonable to reach this within the next 11 sessions.

Also notice that I haven’t mentioned barbell rows. I really haven’t been doing them and I thinking that I will continue to ignore them as opposed to dropping squats to 2x week. Since recovery doesn’t seem to be an issue yet, I would like to keep squatting 3x a week until I can no longer progress that quickly. So the only thing I’m still thinking about is whether or not to do deadlifts every session. I think the answer is “probably not” but I feel like I haven’t done enough on days when I only squat and bench. Time will tell… it always does!

2015-05-08 07.08.03So as for today, I was able to progress in both the squat (205 x 5 x 3) and bench (185 x 5 x 3). I found a spotter for the bench and I’m glad I did. With my shoulder still bugging out on me I wouldn’t have had enough confidence to push and get all the reps. The final set I did 6 reps with a little bit of help on the last one. The problem I have with getting a spotter is that my social anxiety kicks in (especially in a gym full of guys 20 years younger than me) and I feel guilty for bothering someone. Clearly I have to get over this though since I can’t really bench any more weight without help.

In other news, I started taking a thermogenic called Shred Jym. I’m pretty much a sucker for supplement marketing even though I know better. A very long time ago I had great success on a fat burner called “Phen Free”. It contained caffeine, L-Tyrosine, synephrine and cayenne pepper. Flash forward 15 years later, I found a thermogenic made by Jim Stoppani called Shred Jym. It has caffeine, L-Tyrosine, synephrine, cayenne pepper, Acetyl L-carnitine and Green tea. So I decided to give it a try. I took half the dose yesterday and didn’t notice much of a caffeine buzz so I think I should be able to tolerate the full dose right away.

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On workout days I will still take 1 scoop of my PWO and sip my iced coffee during the workout. Then I will take this supplement before lunch and again around 3pm. Taking the second dose later should be ok since I don’t have to get up as early on non-workout days. Then on days when I don’t go to the gym I’ll take the first dose before I wake up and the second before lunch. Supposedly there is an appetite suppressant in the formula so we’ll see if that happens today.

Will this help? I don’t really know, but I’m going to give it a solid effort for the next month and see…

*UPDATE*

Shred Jym might be worth my time. After taking a full dose I got a little nauseous (probably because I hadn’t eaten in 2.5 hours), but that quickly passed and I found myself enjoying a very steady and stable energy surge, not jittery at all. I am not a caffeine novice so 200 mg on top my morning coffee was ok for me. I also noticed that by the time I had walked to my lunch destination, I really wasn’t starving for a meal. So hopefully the appetite suppressant will be effective. I plan to take the next dose around 3:30 with my afternoon snack. We’ll see if anything changes…

Day 11, Thoughts on Weight Loss and Goals

The scale read 207 this morning. And this got me thinking…

It’s a safe bet that I might see 205 (a 5 pound drop) by the end of 2 weeks. Which means that if my weight loss continues to be consistent (1-2 pounds/week), it’s not too far out of the realm of possibilities that I could hit 200 by the half-way point (6 weeks). Which in turn means that shooting for a goal of 190 by the end of 12 weeks might be realistic. That would be a 20 pound weight loss and the lowest I’ve been in the past 10 years.

As it stands now, my 3 month goal is to simply complete 12 weeks of LeanGains and strength training. But once I hit the half way point, I may decide to update my 3 month goal with a specific weight loss target.

I could (and maybe should) set goals on the strength training side of things as well. But I wonder if having too many specifics in my 3 month goal might dilute the effect. At the very least, I’d like to get my squat up to 225 pounds by the end of 12 weeks. That equates to adding 5 pounds to my squat each session for the next 17 sessions. Since I’m now squatting 3x/week I think I should get there easily. I could also set goals for the other 3 lifts, but I think they’re progressing nicely and squats are really my weak spot.

So my new 3 month goal might read like this:

12 Week Goal:

By June 8th, 2015, I AM so happy and thankful now that I HAVE completed 12 weeks of Intermittent Fasting and Barbell Strength Training. I dropped 20 pounds and I can now squat 225. I am leaner, stronger and ready for summer!

It certainly has a nice ring to it! But I think I’ll wait until I reach the 4 week mark to make this change. Until then, I’ll just keep working the plan, avoid Easter Candy (yeah right!) and think about interesting things to blog about!

Day -2, Goal Setting

One of the things that I’ve neglected to do the past few times that I’ve started a new plan is setting goals. Specifically, writing down goals using specific language and reading them over and over again throughout the day. The idea comes from Tom Venuto book “Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle” and the theory behind it is to use the goals to slowly but surely train your subconscious to act in a different way.

I tried this about 2 years ago and had varying success. The main problem was that I bombarded myself with too many goals and I don’t think there was any way for my subconscious to keep up with it all.

This time, I’ve created 3 simple goals that center around Intermittent Fasting and Barbell Strength Training. One for the ultimate 12 week goal, one weekly goal and one daily goal:

12 Week Goal:

By June 8th, 2015, I AM so happy and thankful now that I HAVE completed 12 weeks of Intermittent Fasting and Barbell Strength Training. I am leaner, stronger and ready for summer!

Weekly Goal:

I AM so happy and thankful now that I HAVE completed a full week Intermittent Fasting and Barbell Strength Training. I’ve logged all my meals and stayed within my macros. I’ve gone to the gym all three days. And I’ve blogged about everything that happened during the week.

Daily Goal:

I AM so happy and thankful now that I HAVE completed another successful day of Intermittent Fasting. I’ve stayed within my calorie and macro limits. I’ve taken all my supplements. And I’ve blogged about my day at least once.

Coming up with the goals is only the first step. In order to make it work, you need to ensure that these goals invade your life in every way possible. This includes, writing them down over and over again in a journal and reading them out loud as often as possible during the day. With the help of technology I’ve incorporated my phone and my work pc into the mix. At work, I’ve set up the 3 goals as separate tasks in windows which display every hour starting at 8am. On the phone a simple reminder app will work fine.goals