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 17, I Feel Amazing!!

What a difference a day makes. Today’s workout was fantastic.

2015-04-08 07.01.19Squats: 145 x 5 x 3

Still having some discomfort in the shoulder area from the placement of the bar, but nothing too distracting. I’m really starting to get the hang of the movement especially the idea of not pausing at the bottom, which causes me to lose momentum and then I press more with my legs instead of my hips to get back up. (Note: I just realized after adding the photo that I only did 145 instead of 155 like I had planned!)

Bench: 170 x 5 x 3

I’ve been observing the trend to arch the back when benching and I’ve tried it a few times. It seems a bit foreign to me since I’ve been benching with a flat back for so long. Today I set up the safeties and then realized that I needed to arch my back a little in order for the bar to to hit my chest instead of the safeties.

Deadlift: 215 x 5 x 1 (NEW PR!)

This one is pretty funny. After warming up with 135 x 5, I loaded the bar with 2 25 plates, 2 10 plates and 2 5 plates. Thinking I was about to do 210, I added the bracers and then realized that I had calculated wrong. But I decided it was time for a challenge and since it was my last set of the day I kept the weight on and pushed through 215. This is my all time best for deadlift. And now I’m only 1 or 2 workouts away from double 45s!

Weight: 206!

The effect of my indulgences over the weekend seem to have dissipated and the scale is behaving again. I did a bit of reading and now I understand that the rapid weight gain or loss due to water weight is usually linked to sodium intake. Even with calories and macros in check, a high carb heavily salted meal will increase water retention. So the bottom line is to:

  1. Stay consistent with the eating plan and limit indulgences as much as possible
  2. Weigh yourself regularly and take the average combined with measurements to gauge progress

And just in case all of this wasn’t enough to celebrate, today is CARB DAY!

Day 7, Week 1 Results

Busy weekend. Hardly had a chance to transfer any of my thoughts to this blog. Week 1 was a success all around. I logged all of my food and didn’t cheat. Only yesterday did I eat after my feeding window (pretty much out of necessity to hit my protein macros). I’m still obsessing over the proper workout routine, but more on that later.

Most importantly, the week 1 results:

  • Weight: 206 (-4)
  • Waist 2″ below navel: 40.5 (-0.5)
  • Waist at navel: 38.5 (-1.5)
  • Waist 2″ above navel: 36 (-1)
  • Chest: 41 (no change)
  • Neck: 15.5 (-0.5)
  • Arm: 14.5 (-0.5)
  • Leg: 23 (-1.5)

Basically, I shrunk just a little bit, everywhere. That’s fine with me.

Back to the workout. I think I’ve decided that the 3 day split is too advanced for me. I still have a lot of work to do on squats and I need the practice. So I’m switching back to a novice Starting Strength routine. The programming will be taking from the Practical Programming book and is set up as follows:

Workout A:

  • 3×5 – Squat
  • 3×5 – Overhead Press/Bench Press (alternating)
  • 1×5 – Deadlift

Workout B:

  • 3×5 – Squat
  • 3×5 – Overhead Press/Bench Press (alternating)
  • 3 sets pull ups to failure

For the first 4 workouts that include pull ups, I will probably use the cable pull down to see how heavy I can go for 5-7 reps and then switch to pull ups. This seems like a realistic schedule to fit in to 50 minutes.

Much more to think and blog about but I have to get some sleep if I’m going squat tomorrow.