7 Week Results
September 11, 2010
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Before I start this post, a big thank you to Lyle McDonald, Mark Sisson, Robb Wolf and Martin Berkhan. I have learnt so much from these guys I have to literally pay them tuition!
On the 12th of July I wrote a blog post titled ‘Time To Walk The Talk’. This is a follow up post to that. If you haven’t read that post already please do so before reading this post.
So for the last 6-7 weeks I have been trying to lean out. I generally don’t like focussing on aesthetics and prefer going by how I feel in general, sleep at night and perform during the day. But this time was a little different. Here’s why.
I went on a strength gain cycle for 5-6 weeks. All was well and I was gaining strength as expected until June 16th happened. I had a stupid fall while doing box jumps as a part of a conditioning workout and I ended up fracturing my left elbow and straining my left wrist pretty badly. This put me in a bad spot because I had to rest my arm on a sling for 2-3 weeks and couldn’t do any proper/intense workouts. I realized I was starting to losing the strength I had just gained and the fat I gained along with the strength ain’t going nowhere! Well.. now I was just a fat guy who didn’t work out! Painful flashback!
The injury kept me from working out for about a week and then I was back on. I did exercises I could do without hurting the fractured arm. Thanks to solid nutrition and swigs of fish oil I recovered a lot quicker than I (or the doctor) expected. In like 3 weeks I was able do pull-ups again though it took me close to 5 weeks to do comfortable pushups.
What did I do for these 7 weeks?
- I ate a super clean diet filled with real foods. 95% Grade A foods. Click here for more information.
- I had cheat meals every 2 weeks. I planned them, worked towards them and destroyed them when the time came. FYI – I had 3 huge cheat days and one all out 3-day vacation in Hawaii during these 6 weeks.
- I did not count calories but I’m pretty sure I was somewhere in the 1500-1800 calorie range with ~ 40-60 gms of carbs and 150 gms protein per day. Rest of the calories coming from fat (and yes… lots of saturated fat too!)
- I ate 2 meals a day. My first meal was lunch. Yep I ate no breakfast. Why? Intermittent Fasting Leangains approach. Martin Berkhan is dope and here is all the information you need.
- Everyday Supplements: 1 Multi-vitamin, 3-4 gms EPA/DHA (fish oil), Whey Protein (as required)
- Liquids: 2-4 liters of water depending on thirst, black coffee pretty much everyday
- 3 days of lifting per week (squats, deadlifts, presses, weighted pull-ups, dumbbell rows)
- 1-2 days of high intensity metabolic conditioning < 20 min duration (sprints, jumps, crossfit metcons, tabata protocol workouts etc.)
- 1 day of ‘not for time’ workouts ~40 mins in duration.
- 45-60 mins walking everyday (morning walk/stretch, lunch break walk, evening walk, dog walk and post dinner walk)
- I felt awesome throughout the 6 week period. No hunger pangs or drop in blood sugar. High energy throughout the day. Very deep sleep at night. Great focus during the day.
- Strength losses occurred. I would say most of the strength loss was due to the injury (and inactivity therefore) and some of it was due to the drop in calories.
- Awesome endurance gains! Basal Heart Rate dropped from 62-4bpm to 46-48bpm. Metcons had a 30% improvement with respect to time. 400m sprint times also improved.
- I don’t have blood work done yet, but will update you guys when I have it done which will be very soon.
- Weight loss: 10 lbs in 6 weeks. Mostly fat loss. Body composition improved. Starting weight – 158 lbs. Current weight 148 lbs.
- Photo evidence below.
PS: I generally run leaner in the morning and so the first picture (left) was taken first thing in the AM. Basically I tried everything to look less gross in the before picture (left). Didn’t help too much I guess. The second picture was clicked this evening.
- Like I had promised – I loved every single meal I ate and never compromised taste for health or health for taste. Cheat/carb-load days were even more special!
- I did not let this leaning out cycle stop me from going on a vacation (which was nothing short of fantastic!)
- I will continue this for another 4 weeks or so but, now that my elbow has recovered, I will focus primarily on performance.
- I will get back to not worrying too much about aesthetics and focus on how I feel and function. (I like the my level of leanness right now because this body fat level generally helps me perform strength, endurance and yoga workouts comfortably. Any lower and I feel like dog poop all day… any higher and I look pudgy. No choice but to work with the genetic cards that we’re dealt!)
- Considering the injury and the 2-3 week time off after the strength (and fat) gain cycle, this wasn’t a bad leaning out cycle. I lost about 1.5 lbs per week consistently. I’m not thrilled about the strength losses but it is what it is. Like I said in the July 12th post – “I will realize that my elbow has not completely healed and choose exercises and/or scale loads accordingly”.
Remember… it’s not enough that you train hard… you’ve got to train smart!
I will update you guys once again in about 4 weeks.