My Progress

Was it all in my head?

This morning I did some things different, and noticed some things were different, and then I went and lifted like an animal at the gym.

And guess what, PROGRESS happened! Added weight and reps all over the board, which is especially great, because Wednesdays are chest and triceps days (with some ab work), which are usually my weakest days!

So here’s what I posted earlier about doing some things differently. Giving myself some seasonal variation.

I should probably take some pictures, which I have not done in quite some time if you look back at my older Progress Posts.

Overall things are looking good and feeling great, even considering that my linear progression has slowed as of late. But, there’s always a way! So, keep on truckin’, or liftin’. Yeah.

Here, take a look at the numbahs. I’ll scan in my workout logs later. It’ll give me an excuse to make another post. hoorah.

I busted out 10 reps to failure on decline barbell bench, with 175lbs. Not bad. It’s been slow progress.

After a couple sets there I moved on to incline dumbell bench, and busted out 10 reps to failure with 60lbs in each hand. Moved to one more set using 45’s x 10 reps.

Then the pec-dec for reps, 90lbs for 14 reps, then 75lbs for 10. Both to failure.

Cable push downs have been struggling, but today I busted through the plateau. Ripped out 10 reps to failure at 150lbs. Moved on to 110lbs x 12 to fail. Then 100lbs x 10 to fail. Not bad considering I’ve been stuck at 150 for about 9 reps to failure for the last handfull of weeks.

Finished up with some cable crunches. 185lbs x 12 reps to failure. Then bodyweight leg raises, knees straight, 32 reps. Not too shabby!

Mood and energy on the up today

I did something a little different today, to change things up.

I find a little variation can go a long way. Especially when you get bored with your routine.

I moved my intermittent fasting period to earlier in the evening, so instead of having my last meal around 8 or 9, I now eat around 6. I break the fast earlier at 10am or 11am.

Today I took my creatine and D-Aspartic Acid this morning at 9:00 on an empty stomach, along with High Vitamin cod liver/butter oil blend, and coffee of course. I started the DAA a couple weeks ago, and have been taking it later in the day when I hit the gym. But haven’t noticed anything until now. Maybe that’s how long it takes to start working? Maybe in the morning is just better? Who knows.

I also had a few eggs afterward around 10:00. All in all I’ve been sticking pretty strictly to the Paleo diet, including weekends, except for some beer on the weekend of course. Us young guys must socialize, you know!

Sometimes I work out fasted, sometimes not. It’s winter, so I’m focusing on just eating more to put on size, rather than burning fat. It’s a lot of work to keep doing fasted training, and I noticed it slows my muscle gains a little bit. Motivation is tough to maintain that way.

I noticed something a few minutes ago. My mood is quite elevated and energy seems to be nice and even, on the upper end of high. This hasn’t happened in a while. Is the DAA kicking in?

Lately I’ve been feeling a bit run down with stresses and life compounding. Progress in the gym has slowed a bit, and I found myself looking for something to change. I wasn’t happy in my current state of being. So this is a welcome change. I’m feeling good today. I’ll try to do things the same was tomorrow and see what happens!

New workout scheme. The value in logging your workouts. Accelerate!

I’ve done a bit more research on myself and looking at the studies.

Analyzing my bench press helped me decide the set up for this cycle. The reason I analyzed my bench is because it’s one of my slowest-to-progress lifts. I’ve maxed out right about 200lbs, and it’s been a few months since I’ve been able to add more weight or reps.

So my goal with this new scheme will be to focus on hypertrophy and strength. I especailly focused on the chest day variations, in order to really get my chest growing. I’ve chosen lifts that have been shown to recruit the chest muscle fibers in very specific ways. You’ll notice I don’t have any flat bench presses anymore, just declines and inclines. This will make it interesting at least, and based on the EMG data I’ve seen, should be most effective at growing a wider range of muscle fibers.

I ran some numbers in Excel with my old logs on bench press. Below is a simple graph over time showing my progression from 8/17/2011 – 7/18/2012. It’s nice to see, in the top blue line graph, that no matter what, I have experienced a nice linear progression in my bench. That means I am growing, and I am getting stronger. I am doing something right. At least most of the time!

It’s just that long, flat part at the top there…it’s taunting me. It’s a flat line, dammit!

You can see there’s a bit of variation, mostly due to volume changes across different cycles, but what I really paid attention to is where my biggest Delta Weights occured, and what I was doing leading up to the increase. That’s what I want to attain, the fastest growth possible based on what works for me.

Basically the most hypertrophy and strength gains I’ve seen were after I started doing ~ 3 sets of bench, within a 6 to 8 rep range (notice the big spikes at the 3/28/2012 and 5/9/2012 mark on the yellow graph).

Once I changed cycles and decided to lower the rep range to 4 to 6, I upped the weight significantly, but Delta Weight increased much slower, or not at all afterwards. In cycles with a higher rep range into the 10s and above, there was positive Delta Weight, but not as accelerated.

Less important detail: number of sets does not seem to figure in as much. I’ve gone from as many as 5 sets, down to 3, and there’s not much difference. So I’ll stick with 3 sets just for efficiency’s sake.

So, 3 sets of 6 to 8 reps. Let’s do it!

This is the best reason for tracking your progress, and bringing that friggin notebook to the gym. Every. Time. Only Idiots forget to bring their notebook to the gym! Quote me on that.

Below is a snapshot of what I have planned for my next workout cycle on chest days. It’s still a 3 day split. It’s simple, streamlined, and truly effective for me so far using this template.

I have a lower rep range of 6 to 8 reps for most big compound lifts. That is what I surmise will give me the greatest potential for accelerated size and strength, based on my observations. Isolations are thrown in at higher rep ranges, to stimulate mostly hypertrophy (i.e. size) and really burn out the muscle. Wha-BAM!

The other days are set up similarly, but I won’t show ’em to you until I’ve actually completed the cycle and the numbers are in, just to keep you on the edge of your seats!

I’m excited to see how it all works out!

~ Dan

My Progress. Growing Triceps.

Mine grew!

I kinda hacked together a side-by-side comparison for my own viewing, and decided it was worthy of posting.

Here’s the side by side for a time comparison. First pic was taken December 2011, the second one on the right was taken July 2012.

I think we got a winner!

Im still having a slow time growing my chest, so after this 10 week routine I’m gonna try adding some more volume. Starting Immediately I’m going to try adding some plyometric pushups after chest days, to see if that helps. I got the idea from this Suppversity post. Seems worth a shot.

~ Dan

My Progress

Why the hell not. Put yourself out there. Show everyone what hard work can do. Plus who cares? It’s not like my mom’s reading this, right? 🙂

I can safely say I’m there, almost. A combination of intermittent fasting most days of the week, low carb during the week, higher on weekends. Heavy lifting 3 times per week to failure, with no more than 5 movements per session. 4-6 reps on the compund exercises, and 8-12 reps with the few isolation exercises I do. I also only do HIIT every once in a while.

I get lots of sleep. I’m using fermented cod liver oil for vitamins A, D, and K mostly, since the rest of my diet is pretty much spot on, and I get enough sun so vitamin D should be taken care of otherwise.

I eat mostly eggs, fish, greens, and red meat during the week, and liver mixed into burgers on the weekends, maybe some fruit.

There’s a few beers in there of course. Hasn’t seemed to slow anything down in terms of growth or fat loss.

I’m usually training fasted, with BCAA’s to aid fat loss and strength gains. I have noticed some fluctuation in my max lifts on days I tend to eat less, but it’s fine, as the general trend is upwards.

So here’s what I used to look like, roughly one year ago or so…

Here’s some pics I snapped this weekend.

And here’s the numbers…

Max squat is up to 375 x 7 very slow painful reps. I’ll be adding weight next week for sure since I’m outside my intended rep range. (These are real squats, not leg presses, so it’s much harder to lift as much weight).

OH press in the smith machine is 125 x 5.

Max bench press is 195 x 5.5 reps.

Max deadlift has been pretty consistent, with 305 x 4 reps. Soon I’ll need to buy more plates. I’m maxed out with what I currently own.

Weighted pullups, bodyweight + 45 lbs attached to the waist, 6 reps to failure. Nice!

My Progress. The importance of keeping track.

I always bring my notebook to the gym.

Only idiots forget their notebook at home. You can’t have an effective workout without being able to see where you were last week, so you know exactly what to shoot for this week. If you have all the numbers memorized, good for you.

I don’t memorize. I like to focus on my intensity, and lifting more weight than I did last week.

I just finished a 10 week cycle of a 3 day split workout. Monday Wed Fri. I really liked the progress I’ve made, so I’m going to continue for another 10 weeks. I just printed out fresh sheets, hole punched and reinforced, and popped ’em into my binder.

While doing this I had the chance to look over some of the older logs I’ve kept. The oldest one still in here is from late August-late October 2011. Only about 8 months ago. I was comparing some numbers…

My best Leg press in October 2011 was 560 for 12 reps. Not bad. This month I’m up to 870 for 9 reps. Woah.

Overhead dumbell press. It was on a smith machine in October 2011, around 45 per side, for 9 reps. This month I’m up to 65 per arm, for 6 reps to failure, using dumbells. Not too shabby. I have moved OH presses over to the smith machine again, since the heavier weights are very difficult to balance safely.

Bench Press went from 50lb per side for 11 reps, up to 75lb per side for 5 reps. Not necessarily an improvement in force x distance, but back in October, I don’t think I could have eeked out more than 1 rep at 75 per side.

Not everything increased as much, but for the most part there is improvement in all compund lifts.

I am most happy with my deadlift progress. My highest deadlift at the end of October 2011 was 120 per side, for 4 reps. I’m up to 130 per side for 4 reps now.

It’s not that impressive by the numbers, but my form has seen a drastic improvement, and I am performing very slow controlled reps. Actually, all my lifts are done slowly now. You reach a much more intense feeling of muscular failure. I like it.

Keeping a log keeps you on track, and keeps you from putzin’ around in the gym. You get there. You know what you are doing. You do it. You get out.

You can easily forget what you used to lift. If you don’t write things down, you tend not to notice the little fluctuations that occur. If you had a bad day, or you ate a bunch of crap, or whatever, you can see it reflected in your numbers. If you had a really good day, and you friggin owned at the gym, you can take your log book and brag about it to your friends!

Old logs

My Progress

Where is my progress?

I haven’t posted about it in a while. It’s because I’m trying something different.

I’ve got my body fat down to lower levels, the point where additional fat loss is very difficult and slow. I’m beginning to take a minimalist approach to my lifting and training regimen, which will inevitably slow my muscle growth a bit, so it’s not as impressive for me to post my workout logs at this point.

The reason for my minimalist approach is mainly just for those final percentages of body fat to come off. It will take maybe a couple months if I stick to it properly. But ultimately working out only 3 days a week, for less time than usual, and doing less volume with heavier weights. This is to keep stress, and cortisol levels down. It also makes it easier to eat less. Lower stress, slightly less activity, slightly less hunger.

Hopefully this will supplement my intermittent fasting and fasted training regimen, and I’ll see that six pack slowly develop and become more defined without losing any muscle mass.

I’m also doing some carb-refeeds at precise times in order to control leptin. This is another trick for us low body fat-ers. Since lower fat mass means leptin is low, and hunger is then higher, the only unique way to deter this and speed fat loss is to have intermittent re-feeds that make it seem to your body that you are “overeating”. This brings up leptin for a time, suppressing hunger and speeding fat loss temporarily. Carbs have a unique way of stimulating leptin.

Anyway, we’ll see how this goes. More updates in the coming weeks….

Paleo for one year: My results thus far & Understanding the Paleo concept.

It’s been exactly one full year since I stumbled across my first learnings of Paleo ideas and lifestyle. Many things have changed since then, all of them for the better.

First off, understand that paleo is not a “diet” or a “fad”, it’s more of a way of integrating our knowledge of human evolution and biology into a modern context, so that we can improve our quality of life. This integrates knowledge of biochemistry, human biology, fitness, evolutionary psychology and general health, in order to make us healthier, stronger, better looking, and longer-living.

My personal experience has given me the following benefits as I’ve progressed through the past year:

  • Decreased body fat
  • Increased mental clarity and focus
  • Increased muscle mass and recovery **(this is a huge one!)
  • cured chronic heartburn
  • cured ambiguous gastric issues
  • Less illness
  • cured eczema
  • cured bad acne
  • Better sleep
  • Boundless energy

And the list goes on. Needless to say, I feel as though I’ve found the fountain of youth. And I will continue to do this as long as I live, Paleo that is, because of what it has allowed me to accomplish over the course of just one year, especially the ability to put on muscle pretty much effortlessly!

Edit 2/9/12: One more thing I’d like to mention: my teeth and gum health have drastically improved. My dentist made a comment last visit that my gums look “much better than they did 6 months ago“. I used to have pretty inflamed painful, bleedy gums at the dentist, and sometimes when I brushed my teeth. Now my dentist will tell you my gums got better because “I started to brush and floss more”, but the truth is, I lied. I actually brush once a day, if I brush at all. And hardly floss. I don’t have bad breath anymore so it’s really not necessary. See? Emulating a hunter-gatherer diet lets your body take care of itself!

Now there’s a new buzzword floating around recently. It’s an idea that encompasses everything we do relating to Paleo, and combines it with modern ideas to improve ourselves beyond just “Paleolithic” nutrition and fitness, and surpass everything from the Neolithic environment that holds us back: Hyperlithic. Sounds cool right?

Here’s the post from Evolify:

Think Like a Geek.

Intelligence is sexy. It confers both survival and reproductive advantage, and was certainly selected for in our paleolithic ancestors. It’s woven throughout so many levels of our evolutionary past that it’s hard to reduce it to one thing. In this context, it carries the implication of the very word paleolithic itself — the reference to tools. Thinking like a geek helps us choose tools and develop tools.

Eat Like a Hunter.

The fuel we provide to our biological systems has effects that ripple through every aspect of our individual life. From mental acuity to mood to structure to disease, our choice of fuels is crucial. Thinking about food from the angle of a paleolithic hunter quickly provides answers to questions science is unable to efficiently adjudicate. This is not about pure carnivory, but a nod to optimal foraging theory. Once we understand something about the strategies of a paleolithic hunter we can begin to merge our ancient food system with our modern food system. If we lose either perspective, we will quickly go astray.

Train Like a Fighter.

This gets into a mess of words and concepts. Ignoring the “hunter-gatherers don’t train” bit for a moment… This is about training as a fighter fights, and not training to be a fighter per se. It is also about adopting modern tools with the intent of unlocking parts of our DNA that lay dormant within sedentary humans anesthetized by economically abstracted violence. Humans fought their own battles prior to the rise of agriculture. Being able to pay for violence to be conducted on our behalf appears to be a moral and physical benefit, but the signals and interaction between our genes and our environment are not easily faked and not easily replaced. Our physical and mental potential as individuals is not always aligned with those of industrial agricultural civilization.

Look Like a Model.

Because “look” embodies multiple tenses in the English language, this one is open to much ambiguity. My meaning is primarily in a passive sense. If you think like a geek, eat like a hunter, and train like a fighter, then you will [more or less] automatically “look like a model” in terms of phenotypic expression. It is also important to note that “model” means many things. There are many inputs for advertisers deciding on models, but I’m specifically not talking about three types of models. 1) Men as advertised in men’s magazines. 2) Women as advertised in women’s magazines. 3) Fashion models of either sex. Without going into too much detail today, it has been shown that men pictured in men’s magazines tend to be more muscular than the ideal women find attractive, and women in women’s magazines tend to be thinner than men find attractive. Advertisers manipulate us according to evolved heuristic biases.

I use “model” to imply something closer to an ideal attractiveness influenced by Darwinian sexual selection (inter-sexual). The intent is to get at things that are relatively generally attractive to the opposite sex. This is contrasted to the use by advertisers of intra-sexual selection… or… competition with others of the same sex. Our brains do not analyze these questions in a rational way, but in a way that tracks markers of health in the context of evolutionary time. “Look good naked” is a great goal. Unfortunately, our intuitive self-assessments of looking good are likely biased to the point of being counterproductive.

Common Threads

All of the above are related to the ecological context of us as individuals. The interaction between our genes and our environment is implied in each level. The association with gyms and training with the active physical components of health is similar to synthetic and isolated components being packaged and sold to us as “food”. Real food is not enough. We need real life as well.

The impact on our psychology is entwined in each of these concepts as well. We know that points of attractiveness shift depending on the ecological context of the beholder. Some use this as a refutation of attractiveness as an evolved psychological component. However, this represents a fundamental misunderstanding of human ethology. I am not interested in mimicking the optimal attractiveness ratings of people influenced by sub-optimal (resource depleted, etc.) environments. A better question is this: What is optimal for humans in an optimal environment? We need to answer other questions to say what environments are optimal, and they are not easy questions. They are also not so difficult that we should be flummoxed by those who descend into relativist or quasi-relativist arguments representative of myopia.

 

 

 

Like this post? Want to find out more about how to get in shape fast? Check out these articles about getting in shape, feeling great, and controlling your genes!

 

Lower bodyfat setpoint.

 

Lose stubborn body fat. (Intermittent fasting)

 

Control your gene expression.

 

Heavy strength training is a required aspect of long term health. For everybody.

 

How to train your body to burn fat all day long. High intensity interval training (HIIT).

 

Why you should avoid too many polyunsaturated fats.

 

What is chronic inflammation. What to eat to avoid it.

 

The final word on grains and legumes: AVOID them.

 

The final word on Saturated fat and Cholesterol: EAT them.

 

 

 

My Progress 2/08/2012 and breaking the plateau.

I’ve done it again! Week-on-week gains have been a walk in the park for me these past 2 cycles.

I’ll post my updated logs below, but first I want to go off on a tangent about…

The Dreaded PLATEAU

I have friends that complain about hitting “plateaus” in their workouts. They just can’t lift any more weight, or get past a certain point in body composition. I wonder what the cause is? My gut tells me they’ve hit the plateaus because of poor diet, and their body just can’t support any more muscle mass with their mediocre nutrient intakes. Or they have some systemic inflammation going on, and recovery from the gym is just secondary to their body’s need to fight that inflammation.

One of my close friends follows a low carb plan (weakly though). He’s got decent definitiion, but seems to get bored easily. I think the boredom has to do with his lack of gains recently, and that exacerbates the problem. He complained to me once that he just couldn’t get past “this one lift”.

Another of my gym-going friends says he pays attention to what he eats, but it really is a shit-poor diet of grains and lean meats. So in reality, he’s eating what everyone else in the weight-lifting world eats. He also started with the “bulking then cutting” bodybuilding mentality, and has paid for it with piss-poor body composition for years. Granted, he CAN leg press 1000 lbs, but that’s just genetic luck on his part. He also seems to have some boredom issues with regards to getting into the gym and lifting. He’s also plagued by constant joint pain and various lifting related injuries that have held him back and caused regressions here and there. The injuries were obviously preventable, but it’s taken him a long time and he still has not fully recovered. This has definitely played a role.

Both friend A and friend B don’t have the same pumped up mentality they used to when we all started out “back in the day”. They do train to failure, and friend A even uses the same Musclehack routines that I do. Again, boredom comes to mind with regards to lack of gains or results in the gym, but I think it all comes down to one thing: they’ve lost their capacity to make further changes in body composition, and lost their capacity to recover.

So what’s holding them back?

Both friend A and friend B continue to eat grains and sugars and all that crap. And the lack of gains is making them lose interest and get bored.

Friend B has a “personal trainer” that no doubt whispers sweet nothings in his ear about “arterycloggingsaturatedfat” and “healthywholegrains”. He trains hard and does the classes and the spinning and all that, but it’s been about a year, and he’s still got that gut. Every time I talk to him about Paleo all he says is “I need my carbs”. Ok buddy, how’s that workin’ for ya? His injuries have also been slow to heal. My experience with this tells me that his “high-carb” attitude has him guzzling grains like a factory-farmed-cow. The immune response from all those lectins and inflammation is undoubtedly keeping his recovery slow, not to mention nutrient deficiency which is absolutely critical to recovery from injury and illness!

Friend A has a wife who loves to cook. Need I say more? Paleo seems like a pretty big life changer for their situation. It would take me a lot of convincing to get both of them to switch. Damn, marriage really does take a toll on your health!

So how do I help my friends? They’ve been stuck in a rut and brainwashed by “professionals”! Meanwhile I’m surpassing them. Huh funny how that works….

Speaking of surpassing

Here’s my latest log update. Keep in mind, most numbers in the spreadsheet are PER SIDE, and don’t include the bar.

Workout Log 1-20-12 to 2-7-12

My biggest lift pundage totals so far

Overhead Press 120 x 8

Smith Shrugs 250 x 10

Leg Press 690 x 8

Bench 175 x 7

Deadlift 245 x 9

Cable Curls 80 x 8

Tricep Pushdowns 145 x 7 (not sure if this is actual weight or what, its one of those cable machines so it could just be a “resistance” measurement)

So there you go! That’s why I never get bored. My body doesn’t plateau because it’s not busy fighting inflammation. [Eat good]. [Train hard]. [Do it right.]

Progress 1/20/2012

Here’s my latest progress report. My logs below are from 12/5/11 to 1/19/12. I decided out of boredom to change it up a little early, rather than waiting the entire 10 week cycle. So I am beginning today on a lower rep range-higher weight cycle (6-8 reps for most lifts). I also started to hit a little plateau with my gains, either due to boredom or the fact that I just switched gyms. So I’m hoping the change will help me blast through.

Things happen in the process of moving. I missed a couple workouts. Although I have to say my new place is a huge improvement. 10 car garage, nice lake views, and plenty of room in the basement to lift heavy things (really for Thursdays, since Planet Fitness *cough gay cough* doesn’t allow big weights hitting the floor). So I’m doing deadlifts at home. It’s better this way. I get really noisy doing deads, and I wouldn’t want to scare off all the little girls on the eliptical machines… 😉

So here we go.

Workout Log 12-5-11 to 1-19-12

Yep, lots of numbers. But I do weigh 171lbs now. I think that’s a great improvement in muscle mass for me. Last time I checked I was 165. I also didn’t put on any fat. Good job brah!

I’ve also been taking an herbal testosterone booster called Endotest by San. It’s primary ingredient is Trubulus terrestris, and Vitus Agnus. On top of that I have been supplementing with D-Aspartic Acid, another natural test booster. It’s an amino acid that acts as a precurser. 1.5g daily. It’s been 2 weeks, which is the point you are supposed to start noticing changes. I already feel more drive, if you know what I mean 😉

Also, for the past 2 weeks all of my workouts have been fasted. And I have been intermittent fasting successfully. I’m really trying to get down to single digit bodyfat numbers for summer. My fasts have been from 8PM to 12 noon. I have also been eating less frequently, with about 2 large meals per day, protein directly after workout, and an occasional small meal of eggs with almonds or maybe some whole yogurt mid day. My largest meal is after my workout in the evening. So far so good!

To keep energy up at the gym I have been supplementing with caffeine, arginine, BCAA powder, beet powder, carnitine, beta alanine, and creatine before each workout. I know some of this stuff isn’t “Paleo”, but it’s also not harmful, either, and really helps me get the most out of my fasted training sessions.

Last Sunday I started interval training again. I’m using the Tabata Method, which is really hard core, but you feel like a million bucks after, and it only takes 4 minutes! Damn son! I’ll begin doing this once every weekend.

I’ll post up pics of my hotness as soon as I’m done triceps today

Biceps 12/23/2011

Bicep day was yesterday. I am continuing to make great progress in increasing the weight each week. I am now up to 75×11 on the cable curls, which means it’s time to add 5-10 lbs next week (I’m actually beyond the recommended rep range by one rep). Last week, I was at 65×11, so to jump 10 lbs in one week makes me really happy.

Keep in mind that I also do back exercises first on this day, so after the barbell rows and pull-ups, my biceps are already worked. If I was not doing back, I think my curls would be in the 80’s.

Bis and tris are pretty much the only isolation exercises I do, and they seem to be contributing to arm size fairly well, when coupled with the compund moves I do the rest of the week.

Check. Me. Out!

There you go! Always lift to failure, then do it again! Merry Christmas, ladies! haha.

Triceps 12/16/11

Tris, after Tri-day Fri-day. I’m up to 55×10 on the decline bench french curls (EZ bar, including bar. I think the bar is 15, but it could be closer to 30)

I like this move. I decline to about 35 degrees, and allow the bar to come a bit behind my head. I keep my arms from going totally vertical on the contraction so that my muscle is constantly under tension. Going behind the head also works the lats a little and gives the tris a larger stretch at the bottom, allowing more “full” range of motion.

Progress 12/14/2011

Since my last update, I have added substantial weight to all of my major lifts. Note that in my logs for this month, the first few entries are blank or ioncomplete. This is because of schedule changes, I found it easier to switch from M,W,F to a 5 day M through F, halfway though the cycle. This cut each session down to about 30 minutes, and changed the order of things a bit. It’s great since I’m not at the gym as long.

 

Top Image taken 12/13/11

Bottom Image taken 11/21/11

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notice I have about a week of rest between major muscle groups to allow for recovery. This has worked wonders so far. I find that between 5 and 6 days of rest works well for me. I actually notice more strength gains on this M-F routine compared to the 3 day split. It could also be related to more energy at the gym, since I’m not doing more than 2 muscle groups at a time. I get in, rage out, and still have energy after to cook, eat, and do-the-nasty 🙂

Before you look at them, keep in mind that MOST of my weights listed in the spreadsheet are PER SIDE. That is, when using dumbbells, barbells, leg press, or the smith machine, the weight is multiplied times 2, then you have to add the weight of the bar if applicable. It’s just easier to do the math in the gym that way.

Here are the totals for some of my biggest lifts. This is the first set in each session. Listed as pounds x number of reps.

Leg press went from 540 x 11 to 630 x 10

Bench press went from 145 x 11 to 165 x 9 (includes 45 for the bar)

Smith shrug went from 235 x 8 to 255 x 11 (includes 15 for the bar)

Overhead press went from 35 x 10 to 50 x 10 (dumbbells. per side)

Deadlift went from 265 x 6 to about 285 x 6 (includes 45 for the bar).

I started to lose form a little bit on the deadlifts, and tweaked my back one day, so I had to take it easy for 2 weeks, focusing on form and lighter deadlifts. I then decreased my deadlifts to 245 for a while before I felt comfortable loading the plates to 285, where I am now.

Remember, the numbers I have listed in the spreadsheets are PER SIDE, unless it is a stacked plate machine like cable curls or tricep pull dows, in which case the number is the total weight, or whatever arbitrary number is on the plates.

Here are my workout logs for the 3 day split

Workout Log 8-17-11 to 11-04-11

 

Here are the workout logs for the 5 day split I switched to

Workout Log 12-5-11 to 12-14-11

I am somehow missing the log for the time in between, but I was still working out, and you get the general idea of the progress I’m making.

Progress

This is my progress so far. I don’t concern myself with body measurements. I know I am making progress when my biggest lifts at the gym go up. I can see the way my clothes fit. I notice when my suit needs to be re-tailored because the shoulder area is now way too small.

Compared to 3 weeks ago…..

Not the same picture angle, but I can see a definite difference in ab definition, shoulder striation, and chest size.

I added 10 lbs to my bench.

I added 10 lbs to my squat.

I added 10 lbs to my deadlift.

I added 5 lbs to my press.

Added a couple lbs or so to all other isolation and compound lifts.

Special note: I always, ALWAYS lift to absolute 100% muscle failure within 8-12 reps. EVERY set, EVERY time. Then I lower the weight slightly, and do it again. It’s the key principal to making your body grow, it is a reactionary mechanism, btw.

If you want to see the logs I have been using for the past year or so, check out MuscleHack! Download the freeTHT version 4.0. Killer program!

How I Cured Chronic Acid Reflux With A Paleo Lifestyle

Ever since I can remember, I have had digestive issues and chronic hartburn from every meal. I have lived on Tums and Pepto-Bismol. I had prescriptions for Prilosec and generics. As an infant I cried constantly, probably as a result of inheriting my mother’s unfavorable gut-flora, a direct result of her eating habits.

 

 

The problem with all these “solutions” is that they are not really solutions at all. They merely mask the problem, making the symptoms just bearable. Eventually you are forced to up the dose, or deal with pain again.

It’s a common problem for most people on the SAD (Standard American Diet). They just pop a proton pump inhibitor and get on with their day, with no concern for how that 99% shutoff in their digestive system is affecting their health. I was concerned. I knew there must be something better. I wasn’t about to sit around while my stomoach was effectively shut off. Why should I willingly take a pill for the rest of my life? That shit costs money! And I really would like to be able to absorb the nutrients in my food, is that too much to ask?

Lo and Behold! As soon as I started a low-carb diet, symptoms improved. Any time I downed a bagel or some sugary subsance, symptoms returned full force, within minutes. But still, I was not cured. I searched for an answer. What could it be exactly? I knew I started to feel better too, and felt like I was getting more out of the food I ate….. Then I began a Paleo lifestyle…..I WAS CURED! It made sense now! Hahaha! eureka!

I started to make a connection between carb-heavy foods and my GERD. I did more research. I learned about H. Pylori. Turns out, grains are a major trigger to bacterial overgrowth of H. Pylori. The problem with GERD is not too much stomach acid, but too little. H. Pylori support their habitat by suppressing stomach acid production, and antacids perpetuate the problem. When you feel pain and burning, it’s a result of the bacteria causing pressure in the gut, and whatever little acid is present, gets backed up into your esophagus. The broblem with processed foods and carb-heavy foods like grains, H. Pylori love to feed on these, it’s their preferred enery source by fermenting the fiber in them.

The common misconception is that heartburn, GERD, acid reflux is a problem of too much stomach acid. So, everyone tends to avoid acidic foods, spicy foods, etc. Sorry folks, but there is no evidence to support that theory, and after learning about how GERD works, you can see why. It’s pretty simple really.

10 months Paleo, and I am completely heartburn free! I gave away my prescription proton pump inhibitors to some unsuspecting sap. I warned him to just change his diet, he ignored me. I can’t truly blame him. He is just a sheep, conditioned from birth to believe this is normal. Taught that popping a pill every day for your problems is really ok.

I know I’m a freak, I’m that .01% of the population that ACTUALLY USES MY BRAIN. I wasn’t trained to think this way, I just got my head out of the fog of the SAD. I can think more clearly now, I have more energy now, and I sleep better. I can honestly say the women noticed a change too. I have more clout around here because of the Paleo lifestyle. The male types sense that there is a more masculine figure around, and respect floats in my general direction. The female types get a chill every time I walk by, and I can feel their curious eyes, sizing me up. “What is it about him?” Maybe I just found out how to master my inner animal. Self improvement really is easy, you just have to embrace your ancestral background, and utilize it. Eat like the predator you evolved from. I might seem like a cocky bastard, but I feel like a million bucks (a few more punds of lean muscle helps too), so It is damn well justifed.