Day 33, 2 new PRs!!!

Had a great session at the gym this morning. Logged 2 new PRs in Squat and Deadlift:

Squat 185 x 5 x 3. This is a big deal for me. Finally getting up to the 25 plate with good form. Took vids of all 3 sets. Here they are:

Set 1

Set 2

Set 3

After my squats came overhead press 90 x 5 x 3, then on to the killer set of deadlifts 240 x 5. I warmed up with 135 x 5, 185 x 3 and 205 x 3 first. Here’s the vid:

I’m not happy with my form here. I think my back needs to be more neutral.

CaptureDiet-wise, my macros were pretty much on again yesterday. Fiber was a little low and I snuck a shortbread cookie after dinner because, well, it was the last one left in the box and I’m certainly not going to put the box back with only one cookie in it! I think I will keep posting these macro summaries every day in a effort to be more accountable.

Tonight there will be pizza, but I have planned accordingly and should be able to keep within my limits. Gotta love IIFYM!

Day 26, Best Workout So Far!

2015-04-17 07.13.44Wow! What a way to finish up the first 4 weeks of workouts! All the planets aligned and my train was on time and I found a squat rack at 6:45 giving me plenty of time to warm up and rest between sets.

Squats: 175 x 5 x 3
This might be a new PR, honestly I’m not sure. I seem to remember getting to 185 a couple years ago. But it sure felt pretty good to squat that much weight with confidence. I’m really in the zone now with the squat movement. Ascending back out of the squat with the hips and butt is definitely the key and I can feel the difference when I don’t do it that way. On almost all the reps I lifted properly and weight felt easy. I could have done 5 sets.

Overhead Press: 85 x 5 x 3
My least favorite lift for sure, partly because of my neck and shoulder issues. I don’t think 85 is a PR.

2015-04-17 07.24.31Deadlift: 235 x 5 x 3
Another PR! This one was tough. I warmed up with 135 x 5, 185 x 3 and 205 x 3. Then I rested for about 4 minutes before doing the workset. The reps were hard and I needed to pause an extra 2 seconds before the last one, but all in all I had good form. Man that kicked my ass too. I needed to take a long breather once I was done.

I also started using the StrongLifts app for iPhone. It’s really the best app available if you’re following that program. Very simple and intuitive, with built in timers that remind you when rest times are up. Best of all, it’s free!

So that’s it for the first 4 weeks. I received a response on the IIFYM message board from someone who seems to have a lot of experience (1000 posts on the board). He (she?) recommended upping my protein and fat and dropping my carbs a bit. So the new macros will be:

  • protein: 150
  • fat: 60
  • carbs: 240
  • calories: 2100

Nice round numbers, I like that! So I’ll working with this starting today and through the weekend. And then a 24ish hour break from Monday afternoon until Tuesday afternoon. I plan to do IF on Monday morning and then finish my last meal on Tuesday by 8 or 9. But between those two times I’m disregarding macros.

Day 25, Sometimes you just have to say, “Screw it!”

By 9:30 pm last night I had just about had enough of being alive and productive for the day. The work day was over, the kids were in bed, the kitchen was clean and my son’s lunch was packed. With all this done, I was still faced with figuring out what to eat for the next day. And frankly, after 24 days of doing it I said, “Screw It! I will improvise tomorrow”.

This is both a good and bad thing for me. Clearly it’s good for me to take a break and be confident in the fact that I haven’t sabotaged my diet. But it’s also bad because the minute I decide to change something about my plan I look for an excuse.

In this case I find myself in the following situation. I have one more workout this week. When Monday comes I will have reached 4 weeks since I started. Starting Monday afternoon, I’m taking 24 hours off from normal life to relax in Atlantic City with my wife. I will not think about calories, macros or worksets. When Wednesday comes I will return to the gym to start the next 4 week block. The numbers for my first 4 weeks aren’t official yet, but it’s safe to say that I didn’t lose as much weight as I had hoped. However, I am stronger and my measurements are moving in the right direction.

Despite this, I’ve decided to implement some changes for the next 4 weeks.

Workout plan will change over to StrongLifts 3×5. This isn’t a major change. The only difference between this and what I’m currently doing is that I alternate barbell rows with deadlifts. Considering that I should probably hit 235 tomorrow, deadlifting every day will probably be too much as the weight goes up. Plus, StrongLifts has one of the best workout tracking apps for the iPhone that I’ve ever seen, and it’s free. The only problem is that the app doesn’t do much good unless you’re following the program exactly.

Diet will change to IIFYM + IF. Again, this isn’t a major change but enough to hopefully make things easier and in turn make results happen with less effort. I will still being doing intermittent fasting with morning fasted training. I love this schedule so I’m sticking with it. However, I will not continue with the calorie/carb cycling. It seems like an extra layer of complexity that isn’t helping as much as it’s hurting. Being able to eat extra carbs on workout days is great, but having to stick to low carb days on the weekends is difficult. So the numbers will change as follows:

  • calories 2084
  • carbs 275
  • protein 124
  • fat 54

The biggest change here is the drop to 124 grams of protein a day. I certainly like the idea of getting more carbs and having less stress of hitting my protein numbers by the end of the day. But I needed to justify the decrease based on evidence. From what I’ve read, overweight people should based their protein needs on lean body mass instead of body weight. Which for me is 157 * 0.8. There have also been many studies that prove that 0.8 grams per pound of body weight is more than enough for even the most intense bodybuilding competitors.

So now, armed with all this new information and these new marching orders I just can’t wait until Wednesday to start. I switched my macros over to this new plan immediately. But here’s the rub. It’s not because I’m super motivated. It’s because the new diet is easier than the current one so I want it to start right away! If I had decided to switch to a more restrictive diet I would certainly wait until next week.

2015-04-16 12.58.33All of this culminated in my “screw it” reaction this morning which ultimately lead me to my favorite falafel restaurant for lunch.

I don’t know what to do with all of this information other than just dump it out of my head and into this blog. Perhaps that’s enough for now…