Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Patience is a Virtue?

I actually googled this phrase, not because I didn't know what it meant, but because I wanted to see what people actually thought about it. It's pretty simple right? Being patient is good and being impatient is bad right? To many (like myself) having patience is actually a vice. It's hard to be patient in this world due to how the world runs. We want things and we want them NOW. Patience is something that can be misinterpreted though. This doesn't mean that if you want something, you sit there on your butt and patiently wait for it to fall into your lap. Most of us have to persevere through a lot of trial and error before things come together. As I stood on the scale last week, I weighed 253.5. Almost the same as I did last week. I got very discouraged and wanted to quit. How could I be eating so little, and feel like I am killing myself on some days and not make any progress? I watch youtube videos of all of these people who are absolutely jacked and look amazing and eat way more than I do. Am I incapable of losing weight or looking like them?

Well the answer is No and Yes. I am definitely capable of losing weight, but everyone is different. I learned the hard way that my body does not process carbs correctly yet. It can be in the genes or body type that some people do not burn carbs well. Even with the slight increase that I had (150g of carbs a day) it kept putting the weight on me. Also my cheat meals contribute to this. It's the one step forward, one step back cycle that is easy to get into. I had to realize that I am not Chris Jones and I cannot eat 250 grams of carbs a day and lose weight. It just isn't going to happen. Yet. Since then I've tried something new and am down 3 pounds in 4 days. Yep that may be water weight but my measurements have been awesome. I'll get to that in a moment.

Now am I incapable of looking like one of these bodybuilders? Absolutely not. Sometime with all of the media and videos and articles that we have access to we can get hung up on the top of the line. If you read about having six pack abs every day and see workout videos of people who have six pack abs, you will start to think you have six pack abs after 3 workouts. This will never happen. It's just like the joke a comedian said. If you're on a plane and read about a disease on that flight, you will think you have the disease by the end of the flight. The mind is a crazy thing especially when you dwell on a certain thing day in and day out. Well after some research you will find that bodybuilders have worked out for YEARS. Not get ripped in 2 months, but get ripped in 3-5 years! Some people have crazy genetics and can get six pack abs in 6 months, but us normal folks? Years. That's years of consistent training and eating properly. Straight losing weight can be different depending on how you started out, but even that takes several months. When I lost my big chunk of weight, it took 6 months on a strict diet.

My point is anyone can look like anything, but it takes time. I encourage everyone to read the articles and watch the videos but don't get caught into it. You aren't them, but you can use them for the knowledge they are offering so you can become who you want to become. Make a long term goal, but make smaller goals to track the progress. If you aren't progressing then change what you're doing, but give it at least 4 weeks before changing as sometimes the body has to heal or adapt to doing something different.

So as I mentioned above I am still weighing around the same. I have been around 253-256 in the past two weeks. I changed my diet with the advice of Phillip Stevens (a pro powerlifter on iron radio podcast)  to cycle carbs. I was also hearing from some of the top professionals that some people cannot burn carbs properly if they have been or are overweight. I had to face the facts. Although I lost 60 pounds I am still overweight. With my parents both having type 2 diabetes, I may not be able to process carbs as well due to my gene pool. Thirdly I sit down a lot of the day due to my job, I may not be able to expend enough energy to burn off carbs like normal folks. So now, I eat 100-125 grams of carbs on days that I lift. I carb cycle, which means I focus on taking in the bulk of those carbs before my training. After those meals, I switch back to a keto style meal plan in which I eat mostly fat, protein and minimal carbs. So far I've been doing this 4 days and my weight is going down. Today I weight 251.3, the lowest since before Christmas.

My measurements were:
Chest 45.5 (went up .5 inches)
Belly 39 (went down 1 inch!!)
Hips 43.5 (went down .5 inches)
Arms 16 and 17.5 flexed (.5 up in flexion)
Thigh 28 inches (went up 1 again)

This is absolutely crazy to me. I am going up in my main areas. My chest I went up, which means I am putting on some mass in my back and chest. My legs are still growing which doesn't surprise me and my stomach and belly are getting smaller. Right where I want to be. I am going to continue this carb cycling and see where I am on March 1st. If I am in the 240s I wont purchase a coach.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Hey I know this is crazy, I just saw your youtube video, be my coach maybe?


       It's been a couple of weeks and since I have the luxury of sitting in front of a computer all day long, I am on information overload. I read about diet and nutrition all day long. I listen to podcasts, and I try different things. I have stuck with pretty much the same thing for a while and am not dropping weight. My family and friends all tell me I look great and getting more muscular, but if I am eating at a caloric deficit, I should be dropping the weight. So I am trying a few things differently for a couple of weeks and I have made a deal with myself.

First thing is I am going to carb cycle. I am going to eat the majority of my carb intake centered around weight training. This will give me the energy and recovery I need, but in the meals after that I will not be ingesting very many carbs. I will split this basically to 75 grams of carbs in the morning before workout and 75 grams after workout. Then at night very little. This seems to already be working as the scale is moving downward. I will not check my weight again until next week. I was down to 252 today.

Second thing that I am going to try is a different workout plan. I want to hit every muscle TWICE a week now. I have read and heard some research stating that those who work out body parts more often have better gains than those who don't. Frequency over quantity. Back in high school there were times where we would bench press three times in a week. Looking back on it, this seemed really stupid and unsafe. HOWEVER, that is when I was at my strongest. I could bench 300+ pounds, Squat 500+ and deadlift 400 pretty easily. So maybe they were onto something.  So here is the plan I worked out.

Upper A (Heavy) (Tuesday)
Bench Press 3 x 6
Dips until failure
Bentover barbell rows 3 x 6
Lat pull downs 3 x 6
Shoulder Press 3 x 6
Standing Curls 4 x 8
Rope Pull downs 4 x 8

Upper B (Light) (Thursday)
Incline dumbbells 3 x 10
Machine Fly 3 x 10
1 armed dumbbel rows 3 x 10
seated cable rows 3 x10
Shoulder Press Dumbbells 3x10
Side Laterals 3 x10
1 arm hammer curls 4 x 8
1 arm tricep kick backs 4 x 8

Lower A (Heavy) (Wednesday)
Leg press 5 x 5
Straight leg deadlift 4 x 8
Donkey Calf machine 3 x 12

Lower B(Light) (Saturday)
Back Squats 3 x 12
Lunges 3 x 12
Leg Extensions 3 x 12
leg curls 3 x 12
Calf Raises on Leg press machine 3 x 12

I basically took my normal workouts, split them all in half and combined them into upper and lower workouts with the first of the week being heavy and the end of the week being light.

The deal I made with myself

      I made a deal with myself. I watch a lot of fitness and bodybuilder youtube channels.Some of those guys  offer coaching. I have never had a coach or a personal trainer or anything. If I am not back in the 240s by March 1st, I am going to hire a coach to get a different prospective on things to try to get my goal of 230 by April 28th. If I am in the 240s I will go ahead and keep doing what I am doing and probably lower carbs. I may be doing just fine right now, but I am such a scale junky that I want to see that lower number on the scale before I focus on physique and getting bigger. Lose fat first, then build muscle. It'll get done one way or the other.