Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Day Twenty-Two

Today's Weigh-In: 217.6 lbs.

So, the weight's not quite coming off as quickly as I had hoped. I seem to be hovering around 217-219 still, but I think I should be under 217 before the week is done. Kinda frustrating, but I know how this stuff works. I didn't gain the fat in a week, I'm not gonna lose it all in a week either.

I've actually been doing pretty well. The only off day was a pool party I attended on Saturday where I had quite a few beers and very little actual food. But other than that I've been solidly within my calorie limits and hitting my protein requirements nicely. I ended up getting in four training sessions (plus one easy bike ride) last week. I had hoped for five but I was just too sore. Now that I'm consistently hitting intense workouts my soreness should be much less, though, which will allow me to get more sessions in this week. I'm just going to continue what I'm doing, and listen to my body. If I feel good I'll push it, if not I'll kick back and do more recovery work. I like the intuitive nature of my training right now, so let's see where it goes.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Day Sixteen

Day Sixteen

Today's Weigh-In: 217.2 lbs.

Sorry for the delay between posts. I've been super busy and it's hard for me to post during work any more.

So this week has had its ups and downs. I started out strong last week, then kinda petered out toward the end of the week. The weekend was better, but not perfect, and then I got fired up for this week again. Right now I'm feeling really motivated, so I'm just gonna ride it out as long as I can. I think if I can manage to be in the gym pretty much every day and working out with others who are better than me that will help me stay motivated and consistent.

I did two conditioning workouts yesterday, and then did some Olympic weightlifting and front squatting this morning. I plan on hitting two gym sessions tomorrow (strength work in the morning and conditioning at night).

Diet has been really spot on. I had had some digestive problems last week and as a result have removed any and all gluten-containing foods from my diet, and haven't had any issues since. I seem to be tolerating a small amount of dairy, mostly greek yogurt or some cheese, without issue. I'm hanging around 2500-2700 calories on my workout days, 2200-2400 on off days. Not being super strict about counting calories, but I try to keep track of what I eat throughout the day so I know how much I have left in my allotment for dinner, and try to stay within that range.

I'm about half-way done, and I'm about 4 pounds down; perfectly on target to hit my goal of 7 pounds this month. I'm very excited, and I know if I hit this goal it will motivate me harder to keep going and finally get the physique I want.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Day Nine

I didn't get a chance to weigh-in today. But I have been hitting the gym consistently. I've done two workouts thus far this week, mostly strength work. I'll get some conditioning in tomorrow and Saturday, and see if I can't squeeze in some hill sprints or something on Friday. I hit a PR clean and jerk today, 260 lbs. I've never jerked that much from the front rack, and it was a big surprise as to how easy it was. I guess just going through the motions in my class each week (remember that I teach an Olympic weightlifting class on Wednesday nights) has improved my own technique, even without actually doing anything heavy for a few months. It's pretty interesting stuff.

What's also interesting is how some days in the gym feel great and others feel terrible, and there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it. Monday I was back squatting, and I was feeling really stiff, I didn't feel like I was getting a good bounce, and the whole thing just felt awkward. But today I came in, got a good warm-up, and hit a PR in less than 20 minutes. Nothing has changed, but I felt really good today. I guess it just goes to show that not every day is going to be great, and that doesn't mean you're failing as an athlete or overtraining (necessarily). It might just be an off day.

I really feel like I'm getting back up to speed with my training, and I'm feeling really good about it. My diet has been really solid, getting big protein (~200g/day) and keeping calories below 2500 each day. I'm also starting to feel more solid in terms of muscle tone, i.e. that my muscles are kinda waking up and being more active throughout the day. Just gotta keep going. 9 days down, 83 to go on (according to the plan). Although, if I'm not where I want to be by then, I'm gonna keep going. I want to get rid of this extra layer once and for all and be done with it. Good riddance.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Day Seven

Today's Weigh-In: 216.7

I'm a week into my 3-month weight loss phase, and I'm feeling pretty decent. I had a pretty noticeable dip in energy days 2 through 4, but now I feel like my body's adapting to the lower energy intake and higher workout capacity and I feel pretty normal. I ended up getting in 4 workouts last week, and surprisingly didn't feel too beat up. I guess that's because I made sure to keep the volume pretty low, focusing on strength work and 10-15 minute conditioning efforts. I've been religious about getting 8.5-9 hours of sleep a night, and that's helping a lot. I don't think I could function very well without that.

Food has been pretty good, I did have a cheat meal on Friday night which, to be honest, made me feel pretty unpleasant. I think I'm going to need to just focus on smarter cheats, not ones I know will jack up my stomach/digestion or make me feel gross. I was busy with manual labor most of the weekend, which kept me pretty busy and away from the pantry as well, and I know my daily calories were right in line with where I need to be. And, as a result, I'm down about 5 pounds from Day One, so I'm pretty happy. I know it'll slow down pretty soon and I'll have to grind out each and every pound week after week, but a big start like that makes it so much easier to stay motivated, so I will take it.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Day Three

Hey folks. I wanted to write a post yesterday but just couldn't find the time. Project "StopBeingSoFatOhGodWhyAreYouSoFatEww" is going swimmingly. I did my bench press and conditioning workout yesterday, and ran some hill sprints this morning (which suck, btw), and I've been good with what I put in my face (and how much). Had a protein shake and a turkey wrap for breakfast yesterday, then a lunch of taco salad (lettuce, lean carne asada & chicken breast, salsa, and guacamole), and a Subway turkey sandwich (6") with double meat for dinner (which I count as one of my weekly cheats due to the bread). Been snacking on seaweed snacks, sunflower seeds, and beef jerky, and taking all the supplements that I usually do (creatine, magnesium, fish oil, and vitamin D).

I didn't get a chance to weigh in this morning, but yesterday I was 218, so I've already dropped some bloat weight. I'm feeling pretty good so far, a little tired due to eating low carb but that should go away after about a week or two as my body adjusts to burning fat more efficiently. I've had a few cravings for stuff like booze and burgers, but not as much as I though I would. I'm sure they'll hit hard at some point, so I just have to be at the ready with healthy alternatives and hope I can hold out. And I think the weekly cheat meals will help as well.

Initially I had planned to do a cheat day, but now that I'm actually doing this I think doing 2 simple cheat meals per week is a better plan. That way I can do one during the middle of the week (Wednesdays are particularly busy for me) and one on Friday or Saturday when I can go out to dinner with my girlfriend. I've been reading Dr. John Berardi's recommendations (from Precision Nutrition) and eating 10% of meals out of diet is in line with what he prescribes, which seems to work pretty well. It also forces me to get right back on the wagon after a cheat instead of just letting it ride for a few days and lose a ton of progress. We'll see how it goes, and I'll adjust if it's just not working.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Day One

Here it is, day one of my 3 month cutting cycle. Before we get into any of that, I'd like to share my experience at the very first Legendary Competitor Powerlifting meet this past weekend. It was a blast! The weather was gorgeous, the contest went really smoothly, everyone was super cool, and I PRed in 2 of my lifts! I squatted 385, benched 260, and deadlifted 450 for a 1095 total. For not having been able to train for about a month I'm pretty happy with my performance, but now I want more. The next meet is in September, and I plan on squatting at least 400, benching 285 or more, and deadlifting 475+. All at a lower bodyweight, hopefully sub-200 lbs.

Which brings me to the point of today's post. Time to lose some weight! I actually started yesterday, but whatever. Today's the official day one. I weighed in at 221.6 this morning. My goal for the month of May is to get my weight down by 7 pounds, which means 31 days from now I should be 214. This goal is easily doable as long as I keep my mind on the prize. In order to continue to increase my strength numbers I'm still making sure to hit the big lifts (bench, deadlift, squat, and press) at least once a week. I'm actually planning on squatting twice a week, one back squat day (powerlifting focused) and one front squat day (Olympic lifting focused). My plan for conditioning workouts is to hit sprints on the rowing machine once a week, and do 2-3 Crossfit metcons with other people per week. Add in some mountain and road biking whenever I get the chance and I'll be getting plenty of activity.

Diet is simple: focus on clean foods. Stay away from processed stuff. Eat big on protein, moderate on fats, and low on carbs. 3 big meals a day, minimal snacks. Snacks should be low-calorie (fruit, beef jerky, veggies). Lots of fish, chicken, and steaks with a side of veggies. Omelettes in the morning. Turkey chili and turkey wraps for lunch. Simple.

I've got a solid plan. I know what to eat, how to cook, and how to train. The only thing keeping me from reaching my goal is me. If I can be consistent in my training and diet as I've laid it out there's no way I can't be successful and hit my goals. Just gotta stay on the wagon.