Day 66 Part 2, Good News and Bad News

Bad news first, always bad news first.

In short, something popped in my left hip as I attempted to squat 215. It was the last warm up set and I was going for depth for just one rep. It wasn’t debilitating, just not a normal feeling. I rested for 3 minutes, stretched and put 225 on the bar. With 30 seconds left in my rest I looked at the bar and said, “Are you crazy? If 215 pops your hip out, what do you think 225 is going to do?!” So I pulled off a plate and tried to squat 135…

No go dude. Time to quit.

Part of the problem is that everything is sore. My traps, delts, lats, lower back and knees. Clearly this is fucking with my form. Ok, I get the message. Time to take a break.

And now the good news. I always remember that one of the benchmarks of strength is to be able to bench your own weight. Well, today that happened!

  • 200 x 5
  • 200 x 6
  • 205 x 4

Ok, technically I didn’t bench my weight because I currently weigh 207, but who cares!

So lets see where we are. On May 15th I set the following goals:

  • Weight: 203 (-7)
  • Squat: 235 (+20)
  • Bench: 200 (+10)
  • Press: 115 (+10)
  • Dead: 275 (+20)

In retrospect it appears that these were a little too optimistic. Here’s what reality will likely look like by June 3rd (the last day of lifting before my break).

  • Weight: 205
  • Squat: 225
  • Bench: 205
  • Press: 115
  • Dead: 270

But anything can happen between now and then so I really need to spend the next 2 days focusing on diet, rest and stretching.

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Day 51, PRs keep coming!

As with Monday I slept in and didn’t get to the gym until lunchtime today. All the squat racks were engaged so I did bench first which ended up being pretty impressive:

190 x 5 x 2, 190 x 6 (I had a spotter for the last set and pushed really hard, but didn’t fail)

This is a new PR! I’m 10 pounds away from being able to bench my own weight!

2015-05-13 12.06.36-2After that was squats and although I hit a new PR for 215, I failed to get 5 reps on the first set. I’m not sure if it was just a break in concentration or if I just hadn’t fully warmed up yet, but the next set was better (after resting for 5 minutes) and the final set was the easiest of all (after resting for 3 mins). So it breaks down like this:

215 x 4, 215 x 5 x 2

Both the Stronglifts and Starting Strength programs have you repeat the same weight next workout if you fail to get all the reps so I will play along and do 215 again on Friday, which will push off my goal of 225 until at least Wednesday of next week. This doesn’t bother me at all.

2015-05-13 12.18.37I snapped a mirror shot after working out and I think I’m starting to show some improvement. Clearly muscle and strength is the key, but I’m really starting to believe that aggressive calorie cutting is going to help me blast through the first 5% of body fat. Most articles I’ve read warn that strength gains will decrease and muscle mass will be lost on an aggressive caloric deficit, but not necessarily people with a lot of body fat to lose.

I tried writing some new goals yesterday and here is the base I came up with:

By June 3rd (That’s 3 weeks from today):

  • Weight: 203 (-7)
  • Squat: 235 (+20)
  • Bench: 200 (+10)
  • Press: 115 (+10)
  • Dead: 275 (+20)

I think these are very achievable goals so long as I remain focused. Getting my weight down to 203 will probably be the hardest of all but I think that if I ignore all the temptations I might be able to do it.

Here are my macros from yesterday, not excited about the extra 100 calories, but I did go for a 30 minute walk so I suppose the difference is negligible:

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Day 50, Eating

Yesterday was my first day attempting a significant calorie reduction. Here are the results:

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Now if I could get to the end of May and *HONESTLY* hit these numbers every day, I can pretty much guarantee that I would be down to 200 pounds and all the clothes I tried on Sunday would surely fit!

The question is, why can’t I? I have the tools and resources at my disposal. I’m not a road warrior who eats 90% of his meals from restaurants. I can plan and prepare down to the exact calorie if I want to and I have plenty of time to do it.

So just do it!

This is the 2nd half of the 12 weeks. It’s time to move from creating the foundation to fine tuning the results. Time to write some new goals…

Day 23, Minor Setback

…probably not even a setback at all in the grand scheme of things.

With both my wife and daughter sick, I was forced to take a day off yesterday and forfeit the gym. I stuck to my macros for most of the day, but did a bit of snacking before bed. BOO!

In addition to this, there was a bit of an incident on my birthday involving me falling out of a tree to dislodge my new RC quadcopter. Thankfully I wasn’t seriously hurt, but my right shoulder is sore and would have probably gotten worse if I hadn’t taken the day off.

With only 2 workouts and left before the end of week 4, I don’t feel confident about reaching my goals but I’m still determined to press on.

Tomorrow I will shoot for:

  • Squat 165 x 5 x 3 (45 + 10 + 5 each side)
  • Bench 170 x 5 x 3 (45 + 10 + 5 + 2.5 each side)
  • Deadlift 230 x 5 x 1 (45 +45 + 2.5 each side)

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