7 Week Results

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?

Diet:

  • 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

Training:

  • 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)

Results:

  • 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.

Conclusion:

  • 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.

Adios.

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12 responses to “7 Week Results

  1. Pooja September 11, 2010 at 10:46 am

    I liked this post because of the injury aspect you focused on. I had a rotator cuff injury while doing push-ups in the p90x regime, and now I pretty much cannot do push-ups, triceps or any arm exercises comfortably. I do only cardio intervals (so basically not in p90x anymore) everyday, and it’s been almost 3 weeks. Looking to get back to p90x again once the injury is completely healed.
    Also, you mentioned in this article about strength loss. Can you tell me how you measured or realized you lost strength?

    • RG September 11, 2010 at 11:01 am

      Strength loss is measured by performance in the gym i.e the amount of weight I lift. I used low-bar squats and deadlifts as a measure since any loss in performance in bench/shoulder press would be directly related to the elbow injury.

      When you’re injured you HAVE TO rest. Most injuries (especially in beginners) is due to overuse and insufficient recovery/stretching. Rest the joint for another week or two. Fish oil is your best friend and will help you recover twice as fast. I’ll bet my last dollar on that. As a matter of fact I had a similar rotator cuff injury when I was on week 9 of p90x. Of course rest, ice and fish oil did the magic.

      Keep ‘bringing it’… and please train smart. The goal is to be fit for a long time to come. Goodluck!

      • Pooja September 11, 2010 at 11:45 am

        You are right, the injury was due to not stretching (the one time I decided not to, of course I got injured!) Fish oil sounds like a good idea, I think I will try that. Thanks Raj!

  2. Mahesh September 11, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Nice Post Raj!
    Good to see that you have recovered from your injury. Getting injured is very frustrating especially when you have set some goals.. But as you have rightly said its a never ending goal. Good progress.
    I remember having injured my wrists sometime ago while doing the 100 burpees workout.. wasnt able to do bench/presses/pushups.. rest was the key.. and multivitamins, codliver oil helped me to recover faster.. remember talking to you and you suggested having fish oil.. I used to have as a kid but somehow stopped having..
    Anyway good job and enjoy being healthy!
    Best

  3. mak john September 11, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    very very thanks about this informationbecause fat loos topics become high recommended

  4. Arun September 14, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    I still can’t believe this. Incredible effort da and that too in 2 months, that’s awesome…

    • RG September 14, 2010 at 5:55 pm

      These are very achievable results. Stick to a well rounded training program and eat clean… you’ll see yourself there within a couple of months.

      • Arun September 15, 2010 at 7:20 am

        Have you written about the importance/unimportance of a physical trainer to help with a well rounded training program as well as dieting consulatation?

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