Training Update & Results – Sept to Nov ’10

For those of you who are relatively new to the blog and my training updates…

I started here at 158 lbs.

In 7 weeks I got to 148 lbs and much better body composition.

In 10 weeks I dropped to 145 lbs and reached a body composition I was comfortable with.

It’s been 2 months since my last results post and I wanted to give you guys a quick update on where I am. I know I talk too much… so I better be walking the talk right?

The effort…

Here is the scoop on what I’ve been eating and how I’ve been training for the last 8 weeks.

Diet:

  • Intermittent fasting (Leangains protocol) all the way! I get all my calories between ~1pm and ~9pm. I fast rest of the time. (Blog post on fasting coming up soon)
  • 80-85% real foods. I do some whey protein everyday. Cottage cheese rarely.
  • Weight training days: Moderate carb, low fat, moderate protein. Total calories ~ 2200-2500 (eyeballing); ~200 grams of protein.
  • Conditioning/Rest Days: Low carb, moderate fat, moderate protein. Total calories ~ 1700-2000 (eyeballing); ~ 200 grams of protein.
  • Cheat meals: Once in 2-3 weeks. (PS: When I cheat, the meal is anywhere from 2000-3000cals in one sitting.)
  • Supplements: Fish oil, Multi-vitamin, Vitamin D3, Magnesium, Whey Protein

Training:

  • I lift in a completely fasted state (15 hrs of fasting + 10gms BCAAs 10-15mins before lifting)
  • I did a modified version of Martin Berkhan’s fat loss template. Martin recommends some machine based exercises which I’m not a fan off and so those exercises were changed. Martin also recommends only walking on non-workout days. You can read more about Martin’s training methodology here at Richard’s Free The Animal.
  • 3 days a week of strength training. 40-50 min sessions. High intensity. Low volume.
  • I did some conditioning workouts aimed at improving work capacity. No crossfit type puking workouts. All my conditioning workouts were either moderate intensity and long (20-30 mins) or super high intensity and short (3-7 mins).
  • I also did a bunch of skill related training (handstands, max planks, planche training etc.)
  • Yoga once a week.
  • Also did an early AM running progression every morning for 3 weeks which helped me set a 5k PR by a huge margin. A blog post on that is coming up.

The results…

In my last update post I had mentioned the following as next steps and I stuck to them pretty well.

Next Steps:

  • End leaning cycle: I’m comfortable with this level of leanness. Chasing lower than current body fat levels requires that I make some diet and health related sacrifices which I am not willing to make right now. Continuing to lean out will also result in affecting my athletic performance negatively which is not desirable.
  • Focus on performance: Specifically strength, strength endurance and speed.
  • Maintain food quality. Increase food quantity. Add-in starchy vegetables post workout for faster recovery.
  • Increase training volume (probably a 5 x 5 protocol) and hit each major body part at least twice a week (HFT)

Body Composition Results:

  • Starting weight – 145-146 lbs. Current weight – 149-150 lbs.
  • Body fat – I don’t measure body fat % because it’s just a stupid number which is mostly very inaccurate and doesn’t mean anything unless you’re a competing bodybuilder and I’m certainly not. But from the comparison pictures, it looks like I have gained some size (the 3-5 lbs weight can) and lost fat. That’s pretty awesome considering the after picture was taken right after 3 days of sugar filled gluttony for thanksgiving.

Before: Sept 26th ’10                                   After: November 29th ’10

Strength Results:

Though my numbers are not mindbogglingly awesome they’re not too bad considering my bodyweight and lifting experience. The important thing is that I keep training and I’m confident I’ll put up some pretty impressive numbers with time.

  • Deadlift – 225 x 5 lbs to 275 x 5 lbs (22% improvement)
  • Back Squat – 165 x 5 lbs to 195 x 5 lbs (18% improvement)
  • Weighted Dips – BW+15 x 6  to BW+40 x 6 (19% improvement)
  • Weighted Pullups – BW+15 x 6 to BW+35 x 6 (16% improvement)
  • Bench Press – 125 x 6 lbs to 135 x 6 lbs (8% improvement) [Weak lift. Needs work.]
  • Shoulder Press – 80 x 6 lbs to 90 x 6 lbs (12.5% improvement) [Weak lift. Needs work.]

Endurance Results:

I didn’t do much endurance work in the last couple of months but…

  • I set a 5k PR @ 23:21 (previous best was 25:xx)
  • I set a 400m PR @ 76 seconds (previous best was 83 seconds)
  • I worked up to a max plank of 190 seconds (Got bored of doing it everyday and stopped. Will get on it again.)

Next Steps:

  • Continue strength progression. My squat needs some serious work. So lots of squatting coming up.
  • Stick to current diet.
  • Both my presses seem to have stalled (with very little improvement) and I can see I am starting to stall on the other lifts too. So I’m going to change my training program. Same lifts but different sequencing and slightly different set x rep. I’ll write more about this in the next update.
  • Train for 5 unbroken one arm push-ups.
  • Train for one arm pull-up.
  • Train for pistols a.k.a one legged squat.
  • Mobility work everyday.

My thoughts:

  • 50 lbs on the deadlift in 8 weeks with ~4 lbs BW increase and possible fat loss is bloody amazing! I’m super thrilled with this!
  • My pressing movements seem to be super weak while my pulling movements seem to progress fine. This could be a result of my broken elbow. I need to figure it out though.
  • Overall I’m around the Intermediate Zone according to strength standards which where I should be for my lifting experience. Consistency is the key!
  • A word about Martin – He talks like he knows everything. Thing is he does know everything he talks about.His training has worked wonders for me and others and I urge you to read his blog for some fantastic information.
  • Notice how I did a fat loss training protocol but gained size? It’s all about the diet people! Figure that out and you’re 90% there.

What did you do in the last couple of months that made you stronger… faster… leaner or just plain awesomer?

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4 responses to “Training Update & Results – Sept to Nov ’10

  1. Padma December 4, 2010 at 8:05 am

    Nice progress. I have started on leangains protocol in 10 weeks ago and I am not following strictly but I still lost 5 lbs. I am also training with kettlebells exclusively and I can honestly say that this combination is working for me. I am swinging with 30lb now up from 25 lb KB and I progressed from 20lb C&P to 25 lb C&P and an occasional 30lb Press. My goal is to get to 35lb C&Ps for reps. I look forward to your blogs and I enjoy reading them.

  2. Mahesh December 4, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    Great job Raj! Nice progress. Keep up the good work.
    I also fast intermittently and seems to work great for me so far. Skip my bfast and have lunch, post workout and dinner. my lifts have been improving. Endurance hasnt suffered much either. able to lift more than my body weight for the first time in my life :).

    Keep it up and keep it coming

  3. Sam December 5, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    Excellent progress mate. I’m going on a 12 week lean gains body recomp. I hope I can make the same gains you have made. How tall are you ?

  4. Pingback: Function > Looks « Harder. Better. Faster. Stronger.

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