Sunday, February 9, 2014

How Diet Changed my Body

Over the last few months I have been measuring my body weight and my body-fat percentage. I started out in August at 157 pounds and a guess of about 13-15% body fat (I did not have a body-fat measuring tool). I then started my 1 liter (or a little more) of milk a day diet. Meanwhile, eating as much as I could. My only goals were: weigh in at 165 pounds with a 315lb deadlift, 275lb squat and 95lb overhead press by the end of the year. I reached all of my goals. I then took thought to my bodyfat and older goals of becoming a faster sprinter and having the strength of a gymnast. I then bought and began a program that built. The program focused on the basics and the first 1/4 of the program is more endurance based. 

At the beginning of the year, I reduced my calorie intake. Mainly by not drinking a ton of whole milk. I also cut back on my "cheat" days (I was eating a lot of junk food 1-3 days a week, thinking more calories=more strength gains). Now I have only been having one cheat day a week. On this day, I ate whatever I want... no thought as to how good it was for me. The other 6 days of the week I just ate pretty clean: somewhat high protein and fat intake, reduced carbohydrates. I felt a lot better having this diet over my "eat big, get big" diet. I was not bloated half of the day and I felt like I had more energy!

In short, I went from a high calorie+not healthy diet with only heavy weight training to a moderate/high calorie+healthy diet with heavy and high rep training. 

Anyway, here are the facts of my body improvement.

Over the past 4 months, I did have a body-fat measuring tool. Here are my results:

11/4: 168lb @ 16.5% bf (still on the "eat big, get big" diet)

12/3: 167lb @ 16.0% bf (still on the "eat big, get big" diet)

1/9: 163lb @ 12.5% bf (less calories+healthier eating)

2/9: 158lb @ 10.0% bf (less calories+healthier eating)

That's about 11 pounds of fat loss in 3 months! Was my goal to lose body fat? No. My goal was to improve my bodyweight strength and feel healthier. Granted, losing 11 pounds of fat is nice!

I will not post pictures of myself, but needless to say, I looked leaner too. I went from "Is that a 4 pack?" To "Yeah, I got a 6 pack now. Sweet."

Now, the average person would say I was dumb to eat that much food and milk to gain weight. I will disagree with that opinion. Why? Because I increased my deadlift by about 100 pounds and my squat by 85 pounds in 3 to 4 months. I got a ton stronger. My lifts have gone down 5 to 10 pounds since the end of last semester (that's when I tested my maxes)... but my bodyweight has also gone down about 10 pounds. My lifts are on the rise again, and I hope to raise my bodyweight a few pounds (while maintaining 8-12% bodyfat.).

All that change happened to by body... what was the biggest factor? I changed my diet. You diet matters a lot to your health and fitness. Control it. Own it. Use it to change your body for the better.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

My Spring Semester Workout Plan

Here is my current workout plan for the upcoming spring semester. Notice I don't include any upper body. That is because I am following a gymnastic rountine that I bought online. I am not going to post that routine, because I believe that would be breaking their terms and conditions. It includes some leg work, but it is kind of easy and I will keep it to a minimum (at least during my 20 rep squat cycle).

20 rep squat cycle
Week 1: 
Day1: test 5rm squat+3rm clean
Day2: test 20 rep high bar squat+3rm deadlift
Week 2:
Day1: 3x5 squat+3pc (5 front squat reps per set)
Day2: 1x20 squat+1x5 dead lift
Week 3
Day1: 3x5 squat+3pc (5 front squat reps per set)
Day2: 1x20 squat+1x5 dead lift
Week 4
Day1: 3x5 squat+3pc (5 front squat reps per set)
Day2: 1x20 squat+1x5 dead lift
Week 5
Day1: 3x5 squat+3pc (5 front squat reps per set)
Day2: 1x20 squat+1x5 dead lift
Week 6
Day1: 3x5 squat+3pc (5 front squat reps per set)
Day2: 1x20 squat+1x5 dead lift
Week 7: deload: half volume-same weight
Day1: 3x3 squat+2pc (3 front squat reps per set)
Day2: 1x10 squat+1x2-3 deadlift
New cycle! Heavier weight+less volume
Week 8
Day1: test 5rm squat+3rm clean
Day2: test 5rm front squat+3rm dead lift
Week 9
Day1: 3x5 back squat+3x3pc
Day2: 3x8 front squat+1x5 deadlift
Week 10
Day1: 3x5 back squat+3x3pc
Day2: 3x8 front squat+1x5 deadlift
Week 11
Day1: 3x5 back squat+3x3pc
Day2: 3x8 front squat+1x5 deadlift
Week 12: deload: half volume-same weight
Day1: 3x3 back squat+2x2pc
Day2: 3x4 front squat+1x2-3 deadlift
Week 13
Day1: 3x5 back squat+3x3pc
Day2: 3x8 front squat+1x5 deadlift
Week 14
Day1: 3x5 back squat+3x3pc
Day2: 3x8 front squat+1x5 deadlift
Week 15
Day1: 3x5 back squat+3x3pc
Day2: 3x8 front squat+1x5 deadlift
Week 16
Day1: test back squat+test power clean
Day2: test front squat+test deadlift

Back squat-low bar: +5 lbs a week. Drop 5-10 lbs after deload week.
Back squat-high bar (20r): +5-10 lbs once able to do complete.
Power cleans: +5 pounds a week. Drop 2.5-7.5 after deload week. Only add 2.5lbs a week once you stall out.
Front squats: +5 (or 10, if movement is becoming easier) lbs a week. Drop 5-10 lbs after deload week.
Deadlifts: +10 lbs a week, drop 10-15 lbs after deload. If you stall, only add 5 a week.

Back squat: 20 rep: 225... 5 rep: 315
Power clean: over bodyweight (175?)
Front squat: 225x5 to 8 reps (bum to ground)
Deadlift: 405x1-5

Eat a crap ton of healthy food. Also drink at least 1 liter of milk a day. 1 cheat day per week (can drink less milk and eat whatever the heck I want).
Foam roll/use a lacrosse ball daily.
Stretch whenever you're bored.
Sleep 7-8 hours a night. Don't procrastinate studying, or you'll lose some of this sleep. Less sleep=less recovery=higher chance of injury=lower chance of improving.

20 rep squats and my gymnastic rountine will keep me in shape until it's nicer out. After that I will be doing hill sprints, strongman conditioning and helping coach the track team (which I will join in on some of the drills) so I'll be quite conditioned.

I will also be working manual labor 30-35 hours a week. That gives me a little bit of aerobic conditioning. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Fun Calorie Fact!

Fun fact: a whole little ceasers pizza is almost as high in calories as a gallon of whole milk.

.....How many slices did you have?

Monday, November 4, 2013

BMI is not always useful...

When using a BMI calulator, a BMI of 18.50 or lower is considered under weight. A BMI of 18.50 to 25.00 is considered normal. A BMI from 25.00 to 30.00 is considered overweight. Finally, a BMI over 30 is considered obese.

BMI: Body Max Index. Pretty much a way to calulate if you're over, normal or under weight. If you're underweight on the BMI scale, that's bad no matter what. Eat some food and lift some weights. Where the BMI calulator becomes in accurate is when it says you're overweight. Why? Because it used weight and height... not fat percentage. Fat percentage is a much better way to tell if someone is overweight, because it literally tells you how much of your body is made up of fat.

Incase you do not believe me when I say the BMI is in accurate, let me give you an example: I weigh 168-169 now. I am 5 feet 8 inches. My BMI is 25.62... Which is considered overweight. I can see my abs, crank out around 20 pull ups and dead lift double my body weight. As you can see, I am not overweight... but my BMI tells me I am.

So if you're a muscular, lean girl or guy, stop using the BMI calulator. It's not useful to you.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

For All you 'Busy' People.

Today I decided to plan out my study hours for each week. 10 hours for lecture and 6 for lab. Making 16 hours total. I have 3 hour in class for lecture and 2 hours in class for lab. So add 5 hours to that. That totals 21 hours.

I also work 33 hours a week.

Now, I know sleep is very important (improves health, boosts recovery, helps solidify studying, etc), so I like to sleep 7-8 hours every night. I'll say 8 because usually it's takes me 30ish minutes to fall asleep. 8x7=56. 

Let's add in workouts! Each workout takes about 1 hour. I workout 3 days a week, plus 10 minutes of mobility everyday. (I'll say 6 days a week for simplicity). Total fitness work: 4 hours of my week. 

I also try to fit in 30 minutes of Bible time a day. (I'll do 6 days a week for simplicity and because I usually miss one a week anyway), so 3 hours a week.

I have some chores as well, but they usually intermixed with eating, so I'll combine these... I'd guess about 2-3 hours a day. I'll multiply but 2.5 as any average, and take round up because I eat a lot(3750-4500 calories a day): 2.5x7=17.5=18.

I also try to have friends, but time with them varies and most of it is spent on Sundays, so won't factor that in. I also like to spend a little time researching fitness stuff, to improve my knowlegde and skill, but that varies as well.

I like to take the Lord's day off of studying and working out, so that makes me have to cram more in my week days.

Last thing: driving: I drive about 45 minutes a day. Everyday. 0.75x7=5 (rounded down).

Now let's add it all together!
21+33+56+4+3+18+5=140. That's about 20 hours a day, 135/7=20. 24h-20=4 extra hours.

Now, let's factor in Sunday. 140-(8 hours of sleep+30 minutes of bible time+2.5 hours of eating/chores+0.75 hours of driving)= 128.25 hours. 128.25/6=21.4 (rounded). 24h-21.4h=2.6 extra hours.

You see, the point of this is not to brag how I'm so busy and you all should feel lame for not being busy. I actually have 2.6 hours of time I could waste, or spend productively on projects or spend on self maintenance, or prayer/relaxation or just talking with friends... everyday, not including Sundays. That's about 15.5 hours a week (not including Sunday). 

 Holy cow, what could you do with 15 hours of free time? A lot, right? What I'm trying to say is, even if you 're really busy, you probably have time do what you want to do. Just rid yourself of time drainers (aka: Facebook, YouTube, TV, etc)... Or limit them, a lot. I still have over 15 hours of theoretical 'free time', while I workout more than the average person, leave Sunday aside for friends and God, work a lot, sleep a lot, study a lot and eat a lot. 

So, what is your excuse? Why can't you workout? Why can't your read your Bible? Why can't you eat enough? Why can't you sleep enough? Why can't you study enough? It probably is not because you are too busy. You just waste your time on nonsense things. I know I do, and my grades have suffered from it... but I am still maintaining a B, because I revamped my studying and my priorities before I fell into a unsadisifying and depressing grade of C or below.

You're busy, but you got time. 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Weight Gain

I have always had trouble gaining any weight. I could gain 3-5 pounds, but stall out. It was annoying. That has changed. I gained 7 pounds in about 3 months. 4 of which were in the past month. Granted, there was a little fat gained, I'm sure most of it was muscle, due to my increases in strength.

How did I gain this weight? I'll tell you.

First, I ate a lot. No, I mean a lot. Some teenage guys think they eat a lot, but don't count calories. I counted my calories for a month once and found out I was only eating 2900-3200 calories a day. A calculator said I burned 3000-3500 a day. No wonder I couldn't gain weight, I thought I was eating more than I was burning, I was wrong. You claim you can't eat more? Just really eat a ton every meal! Some guys eat a ton on one meal, once I started eating a ton each meal, I noticed my gains came faster.

Sadly, some of us can't really eat enough to gain weight because we literally feel like barfing. Solution: drink 0.5-1 gallon of WHOLE milk everyday. This is what I do, because I now burn 3500-4000 calories a day. Drinking that much milk adds 1200-2400 calories to your daily intake. Pretty cool. A little fat gain will happen. Abs aren't even that cool, take a chill pill and drink your milk.

Oh, and don't you dare believe that you can have McDonalds, Buger King and Oreos and except to gain muscle. Eat healthy, eat a ton. Don't let eating healthy control your life. You don't need altra-organic food. You know what is healthy, now go eat a lot of it... oh, and make sure you're getting carbs, fat, protein and some micronutrients. Don't cut out any of them!

Second, I lifted. I lift 3 days a week. Full body workouts, big movements. Squats, dead lifts, overhead press, bench/weighted dips, rows and pull ups are ALL you need for gaining mass. I personally squat 2-3 days a week, deadlift 1-2 days a week, overhead press 1-2 days a week, dips 1-2 days a week, rows 2-3 days a week and pull ups 1 day a week. I mix up the reps and the weight... not the exercises. Stick to them! 

Thirdly, I cut back on conditioning and stress. Conditioning is important, but don't overkill it. My body couldn't handle hill sprints 2-3 days a week while working a manual labor job 30-35 hours a week. If you don't work a physically tasking job, sprints 2-3 days a week is fine. Maybe add in 3-7 hours of walking a week. I walk about 30, and gained weight.

For stress: just do what has to be done. Don't worry about what you can't control. 

Finally, I slept. When your work your body wicked hard, sleep is needed. Sadly, I could not always get 8 hours. College does that to ya. Try your best to get 7-9 hours. It helps you work, study and workout. Just make it a darn habit... sorry, but if you want better health and better gain, you're going to have to reduce your late night parties. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

German Hang

This is me holding a German Hang. It's an elbow prehab exercise for back levers, iron cross, planche and other high elbow stress exercises. It also stretches the pec minor, pec major and anterior deltoid. 

Warning: slowly work into this exercise. It's very stressful on the elbow joint (that's how it prepares it), and can put quite the stretch on your chest/deltoids if you are tight.

Have fun!

Cool. I didn't know how flexible my shoulders were!