Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Well, the end of the month is coming up, and the question is will I reach my goal of sub-200 by May 1st? The answer is no. I weighed in at 207.2 this morning. But that's okay, for a couple reasons. I started supplementing with creatine again, to help my weight training. This always adds a few pounds of water weight. I ate a lot of carbs (and calories) over the weekend (dinner with friends, Easter brunch with family, Easter candy(!)) so some more water retention (and possibly some legitimate weight gain) there. But my diet during the week has been great, my training is still going strong, and I'm at the leanest I've ever been. I have to use the 4th notch of my belt to keep my pants on, whereas for the past few years I've been stuck on the 3rd, and the 4th would just hurt. So the number on the scale has to be taken for what it is: a single measurement that doesn't take all factors into account. And I'm learning to be okay with that. That said, it's still a useful metric, and I still want to be under 200 sometime soon.

I'm on my last week of physical therapy for my shoulder. Just one session left. Monday I did some heavy snatches and overhead squats, which are by far the worst aggravators of the injury, and had no issues whatsoever. Definitely good news. Now I can go back to training for Olympic weightlifting full-time.

I bought a bicycle last week, and I've been riding as often as I can. It's really fun, and a good way to burn some extra calories. I rode 6 miles to work today, and I'll be riding home tonight as well. It's a full-suspension mountain bike, so it's not the most optimal road-riding solution, but it does the job. Many of my friends are into mountain biking, so this summer should have a ton of opportunities to hit the trail, which is something I'm looking forward to immensely.

Overall I'm happy where I am, and where I'm headed. Making good progress all-around.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Good start to the week

Today's Weigh-In: 203.6

Yesterday was a great day. I ate great, had an awesome workout, and slept really well. I think the calorie boost over the weekend really helped me recover, because I felt strong when I was lifting, and my wind was great when I did a conditioning workout. I never felt like I was hitting a wall, which is really amazing for me, especially when losing weight.

Got more good food and more good exercise planned for today. Let's keep this train a-rollin'!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bad weekend, but recommitting to succeed

I don't have a lot to say today, but I need to write something. This weekend was not very good diet-wise. I let my plans slip far too much, and overate on more than one day. I also had alcohol on 3 days instead of one. I guess I let my recent successes get to my head and open up myself for a failure. But it stops today.

I weighed in at 201.8 on Friday, and my waist measurement is down 1/2 inch to 35.5 inches. My body-fat measurement was 16.5% Saturday morning (at 203 pounds). I know that I can get under 200 by the end of the month if I don't let any more of these multiple-day slips happen, so I'm re-committing to my plan as of today. Slip-ups are bound to happen, and I'm accepting that fact. I figure as long as they're very occasional, and don't end up going from a couple days to a week or more I'll be fine in the long run. Also, the aches, pains, and intestinal discomfort I received from loosening my diet has helped remind me why I am doing this in the first place.

But yeah, new goal is sub-200 by May 1st. Totally doable. Gotta focus on food quality, good training, staying healthy, and sleeping well. What I'm doing is working, I just have to keep doing it. Sorry if this isn't very interesting to read, but I need to put it out there to keep myself accountable.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Weekend wrap-up, training and rehab update

Sorry for the Tuesday post, I've been really busy at work lately. This weekend was definitely a success, diet-wise. I missed Friday's workout due to a meeting at work, but I made it up on Saturday morning, so I'm still on track. I was famished all day Saturday and Sunday, and I ate a lot, but I stuck to the good stuff. Fruit, meat, salads, and potatoes. I figured with the higher carb weekend I would gain some weight by Monday, but I weighed in at 206, and today even lower at 204.6. I'm really happy with the progress I'm making right now.

Yesterday I tested my 1-rep max back squat, and nailed 345 using a high-bar placement. This matches my old (1.5 years ago) PR, which is kind of sad, but I had lost a lot of strength in the past year due to some dietary and training problems. Also, the old PR was done using low-bar style, which usually allows a larger weight to be moved, so doing the same weight high-bar (and ass-to-ankles deep) is a good achievement for me. It proves that my current program is working, so I'm going to keep on riding this pony till it dies. New goal is a 400 pound back squat before end of year. With that I can probably nail a 300+ front squat, which makes heavier clean and jerks much easier, which is my ultimate goal.

Shoulder rehab continues. I'm doing more strengthening exercises for my rotator cuff, and I feel a lot stronger in the ranges of motion where I was having trouble. It also feels a lot more solid in the socket, which gives me confidence that I can start snatching heavy again soon. I did a few ring muscle-ups yesterday and had no pain, no impingement whatsoever, and my transitions felt smooth and solid.

All in all, I'm pretty happy about how things are going. Let's hope they keep going for a while!

Friday, April 8, 2011


It's the end of the week, and I'm feeling pretty good about it. Nailed the nutrition and sleep yesterday, and today I'll be back in the gym trying to set new PRs. I'm up to 3 sets of 5 reps at 265 pounds for my back squat, and I'm going to be hitting some weighted pull-ups as well. Still a bit sore from Wednesday's workout but not too bad. I weighed in at 206 this morning, which is about what I've been averaging for the past 6 months or so. Just gotta keep it up.

The weekend is a trial by fire for these types of endeavors, and I've failed on more than one occasion in the past. I need to focus on what I eat, and make sure I don't end up in a situation where I have to make a compromise. I need to focus on my rest, and get plenty of it. I need to focus on recovery, and also on making time to just have some fun. What's the point of being lean and fit if you never have any fun?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Day 4

So, I had a bit of a cheat yesterday. My good friend called me up and wanted to go out to a bar, and my first inclination was to decline because of my current fitness goals. But I thought about it, and realized that I don't get very much time to spend with my friends these days, and it's something that I'm really working on addressing in my life. So I made the decision to move my 1 day of alcohol intake to yesterday instead of Saturday. Everything else was kept the same, I stuck with hard liquor (no beer) and had a good time. I had to be up early, so I missed out on a bit of sleep, but I can make it up by going to bed early tonight.

I don't regret this decision, and ultimately it will average out the same, while keeping me from getting neurotic about all this stuff. I'm back 100% today, no caffeine, no alcohol, etc. and I will continue until my next drinking day, sometime next week.

Everything else is going well. I nailed 3x5 back squats at 260 pounds yesterday, which was tough but doable. I threw in a short bodyweight metcon just to test my conditioning, and did really well. The strength I'm gaining is definitely translating to easier bodyweight movements, and I didn't feel like I was going to die, so I haven't lost much (if any) work capacity. I've got a couple more weeks of physical therapy before I can get back to heavy Olympic lifting, but right now I'm happy just getting stronger. Now to go eat some beef shank and berries to refuel.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Current measurements

Today I remembered the measurements that I took on Monday, so I wanted to post them before I forget:

Weight: 209 pounds
Body fat (measured by handheld bio-impedance device): 17.1%
Bicep: 14.5"
Thigh: 24.5"
Waist (relaxed): 38"
Waist (flexed): 36"
Chest (relaxed): 42.5"
Chest (flexed): 44.5"
Hips: 36.5"

I looked back at my info from a year ago, and I had 18.1% body fat at the same weight, so over the course of a year I gained 2 pounds of lean mass and lost 2 pounds of fat. Definitely not the best results ever, but still an improvement. If I kept that rate up for 10 years I would end up at 7.6% body-fat at 210 pounds. But that's still a bit slow for my tastes :) The most important measurement I'm looking to change is my waist measurement, since that's where a majority of my fat currently lives.

Today I weighed in at 206, so I'm down 3 pounds from Monday already. Blah blah, water weight, I know. Still feels good. Been drinking decaf coffee with organic heavy cream during the day (along with lots of water), and at night I've been having sparkling water with lime juice on the rocks, and some herbal tea. My sleep last night wasn't as good as the night before, and I had some crazy dreams, so there's still some adjusting going on internally. Today I'm fasting until at least 1PM, then I'll have some pot roast and some carne asada I made last night, along with some strawberries and olives.

I think the daily blogging is helping a lot, so I'm considering extending it another week to keep up the momentum.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day 2

Day two is off to a good start. I made sure I get to bed early last night, and it paid off with a great night of sleep, almost 10 hours, which tells me I needed it badly. Got a great lifting session in, and hit the squat weight that I missed last week. As they say, there's no such thing as over-training, just under-eating (and maybe under-sleeping) and that's what I was doing last week.

I ate a lot yesterday, more than I normally should if I want to lose weight, but I was hungry and wanted to make sure I got enough calories. I'll adjust my quantities on a day by day basis based on how quickly I drop weight.

I'm feeling a bit clearer mentally today, lack of caffeine notwithstanding. I'm looking forward to a few weeks down the road when I'm fully clear of stress-inducing substances and running at 100%.

That's it for now, but things are looking good.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Off to a good start

Today's the first day of my grain-, sugar-, alcohol-, caffeine-free month. Drinking decaf coffee is fine, but I'm still pretty tired, which tells me I should probably just work on getting more (quality) sleep. My brain also feels a bit foggy, but I know these things will pass within a few days.

I took some measurements this morning but forgot them at home, so I'll post them tomorrow.

Breakfast was some beef shank stew with vegetables, lunch will be chili and Manhattan clam chowder along with some strawberries, and teriyaki chicken with veggies (and maybe a sweet potato) for dinner. The chicken has a little bit of sugar, but as long as I only use a tiny bit of sauce it'll be fine, especially after a workout.

I'm feeling recovered from last weeks aches/pains/issues so I'll be back in the gym tonight squatting and getting stronger. I'll be posting every day this week, even if it's just a short status update. I think I'm off to a good start, now to just get some momentum built up.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Time to shape up

Time for a confession: I've been letting the diet slide lately. And I feel like crap as a result.

The past few weeks I've been seeing a physical therapist for my shoulder injury 3 times a week, so I decided to lay off the Olympic lifting until I finish the PT. I changed up my training to 3 days a week of heavy compound movements (back squat, weighted dips, weighted pull-ups, deadlift) with some metabolic conditioning thrown in when I have the time. All of which was going great, and I've been making really good gains in strength. But, in the interest of "recovering" from my workouts I've started allowing things that I had practically eliminated from my diet. Rice, fast food, candy, etc.

But the funny thing is I'm now recovering worse than before, even though I'm eating more calories and more carbs. Right now my body is terribly inflamed, I had no energy for my workout on Wednesday (which I had to give up on), and I'm sore as heck from a level of volume that should be easily maintainable by me, even while attempting to lose weight. I had forgotten just how sensitive I am to dietary toxins, but this has been a rude reminder.

What all this means is that it's time for another round of "super diet clean-up." Beginning Monday, April 1st I will rid myself of the following things:

* Any beverage stronger than green tea (includes coffee, energy drinks, alcohol, diet soda, etc.)
* Any and all grains or grain-like seeds
* Sugar
* Most dairy save for some whey protein post-workout and a small amount of grass-fed butter, as I've found these don't bother me

If I need some post-workout carbs I'll have a couple bananas, or a sweet potato, and just stick to meat, eggs, veggies, berries, a small quantity of nuts, fish oil, and a variety of spices to keep it interesting. A square or two of 85% dark chocolate here and there, and a few glasses of wine once a week (on the weekend) to help keep me sane.

The goal is to stay this strict through the month of April, and re-evaluate at the end to see what worked and what didn't. I can practically guarantee a few things, though: improved recovery, improved sleep, more energy throughout the day, improved body composition, and hopefully some PRs in the gym. The first week is always the toughest, so I'll be blogging every day next week to keep my mind in the right place. I'll take some measurements this weekend as well for comparison.

Wish me luck!