Tag Archives: results

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?

How I went from Fat to Fit in 10 Weeks

OK I have to agree that the title is a bit over the top. I wasn’t really ‘fat’ to start off with (just flabby with a broken elbow and wrist) and I’m not really ‘fit’ now… or at least not as fit as I’d like to be. That said I’ll try to list out what I ate and how I trained during the course of the past 2.5 months.

By the way, if you’re just tuning in, be sure to check out some background.

How and what did I eat?

  • I ate a 90% paleo/primal diet per guidelines from Mark Sisson/Robb Wolf and did Intermittent Fasting per the Leangains (Martin Berkhan) protocol. This had a huge part to play in the success of my leaning out. Richard Nikoley was another source of awesome information!
  • Total calories per day – Did not count. Best guess ~ 1500-2000 cals.
  • Number of meals – 2 (1-2pm and 8-9pm).
  • Protein ~ 150-180 grams per day.
  • Carbs – All from vegetables. At least 2 lbs of vegetables everyday.
  • FatsMostly saturated (coconut oil, coconut butter, coconut milk, butter/ghee etc.). Nuts were minimal.
  • I ate some form of protein ice cream/pudding/cake everyday (I’ve got about 10 delicious protein rich dessert recipes if anyone is interested).
  • Supplements: Fish oil, Multi-vitamin, Vitamin D3, Magnesium, Whey Protein
  • Beverages: 1 Cappuccino/coffee everyday. 4-5 liters of water everyday.
  • Cheat Meals: About every 10-14 days depending on when I started craving sugar.

What was my training like?

  • 5-6 days of training per week. Mostly 3-on-1-off schedule.
  • Strength training: 3-4 days/week (squats, deadlifts, presses, pull-ups, rows).
  • Conditioning: 3-4 days/week (tabata protocols, sprints, rowing, crossfit metcons).
  • Yoga: 2 days/week.
  • The longest distance I ran: 1 mile
  • The longest ‘cardio’ workout I did: 15 mins
  • Weekly routine: See sample below.

Monday:

  • Squats – 2-4 sets of 5 (AM)
  • Lower body assistance work (box jumps, front squats, step ups etc.) (AM)
  • 10-15 min Conditioning Workout (PM)

Tuesday:

  • Presses – 2-4 sets of 5 (AM)
  • Core work – planks, knees-to-elbows etc. (AM)
  • 10-15 min Conditioning Workout (PM)

Wednesday:

  • Yoga/Walking

Thursday:

  • Deadlifts – 2-3 sets of 5 (AM)
  • Dumbbell Rows – 3-5 sets of 6-10 (AM)
  • 5-10 min Conditioning Workout (PM)

Friday:

  • Bench Press – 3 sets of 5 (AM)
  • Weighted Pullups – 5 sets of 3 (AM)
  • Upper body assistance work (dips, towel pullups, rope climbs, ring pushups, dumbbell presses etc.) (AM)

Saturday:

  • 2 sessions of 10-15min Conditioning workouts (AM)

Sunday:

  • Yoga/Walking

Results:

  • Elbow fracture ~ 95% recovery
  • Wrist tendonitis ~ 90% recovery
  • Lower Body Strength – Maintained (I did lose some strength by week 7 but successfully regained it in the last 3 weeks).
  • Upper Body Strength – Maintained (I did lose some strength by week 7 but successfully regained it in the last 3 weeks).
  • Endurance – Considerable improvement
  • Range of Motion – Considerable improvement (Yoga works!)
  • Weight loss – Total 13 lbs in 10 weeks
  • Body Fat % – Visible improvement (See comparison pictures below)

Day 0                                                                            Day 70

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)

Goals for Oct ’10:

  • Set PR for 400 m and 1600 m sprints.
  • Set PR for 250 m and 500 m row.
  • Set PR for Weighted Pull-up, Max Bodyweight Pullups and Deadlift.
  • Grip/forearm training everyday.
  • Sept PR for Max plank hold time.

Next Update: Last week of October ’10

Peace out.

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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