Thursday, June 28, 2018

Additions to my Kit

As with all of my "stuff", my headband and wrist bands got stuffed away somewhere and I can't find them.  Such is life, I bought some lightweight, moisture wicking headbands on Amazon.

I also have decided that my Apple watch is great for heart rate monitoring at a basic level, but that if I want an accurate read I'm going to have to use my Wahoo Tickr chest strap and it needed a new battery.  There are times when I'm absolutely hammered during an HIIT workout and I just dont see it on the watch because of how quickly I'm spiking things, whereas a steady walk uphill will register with a higher heart rate simply because it's sustained over a longer period of time.

At my age, there isnt much room between a nice walking pump and my recommended max heart rate (220-50=170) and the last thing I want to do is be crushing 170+ with any regularity right now.

I also picked up a new pair of trainers during my "break".  Nike Free's.  I like them well enough, but I think next time I'm going to go with one of the Crossfit type multi purpose shoes.  I should have these worn out by Christmas.

Last but not least, and not yet on my radar is another set of 45lb plates.  I'm regularly working with weights over 225lbs and sometimes over 315 lbs and it's just a pain to be cobbling that together with 35's and 25's.

If I can get back in the swing of things like I want, I should be on track for a store bought squat rack by Christmas.  Titan T3 with Incline bench to be specific.  lol

First Things First

This is an interesting graphic that I stole/reproduced.  Far too many people are obsessed with the upper levels of this pyramid without having a lock on or even an understanding of the foundational layers.

Energy Balance: Are you eating the right amount of food?  Enough to fuel workouts? At or near maintenance to keep your fat in check? Below maintenance for limited periods to promote fat loss?  Do you even know what maintenance is FOR YOU or if you hit it on any given day?

Macronutrients: Assuming you are in Energy Balance, do you get enough protein? Do you eat enough carbs to fuel your activities?  Enough fats to stay healthy and sane hormonally?  Are you slavishly following trendy diets which eliminate entire macronutrients or which are based on 50 year old science that has been recently debunked/moderated?

Micronutrients: Assuming you are in Energy Balance and are getting the correct ratio of Macronutrients, do you eat a wide variety of whole foods including lots of colorful vegetables?  Do you get enough fiber to support a healthy microbiome? Are fermented foods part of your diet at least weekly?

Nutrient timing: Assuming your diet is in balance, composed of the correct ratio of macronutrients, and contains a wide and complete mix of micronutrients, are you ingesting the most beneficial and energy appropriate foods before, during, and after your workouts? 

Supplements: Given a thorough understanding of all of the above, are you intelligently filling in any gaps which may exist with proven nutritional supplements?

If you're fat, tired, and not making gains in the gym, do you really think a protein shake and creatine are going to help?

I would also argue there's a layer missing in between nutrient timing and supplements, which to me is where you shift from food to pharmaceutical intervention so to speak.  "Recovery".  Are you keeping an eye on mobility (especially as you age)? Are you sleeping enough? If you are otherwise active, are your recognizing that day to day activity and recreational pursuits can start to impact your performance in the gym and vice versa?

Gotta draw the line somewhere

And for me that line is at 100F.  Fuck this heat.  Plus I'm sore AF this morning from yesterday's squats so I'm just calling it for the day.

We'll resume our regularly scheduled exercise routines on Saturday morning.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Aaaaand We're Back

Six weeks off by my calculations (+/-)

I kept really busy these last few weeks with graduation and switching jobs.  All of my routines got smashed of course, and I had a child return home who dumped her life in my gym so that didnt help.

I earmarked this week for getting back in the saddle and got slightly derailed with a 4 hours of sleep episode on Sunday night.  I'm not saying it was easy to get up today either, but my wife was starting to ask if I was ok ("you look tired") so exercise is the Rx.

I did a set of 20 squats and my standard 2.5 mile walk this morning, with another 1.5 abridged lunchtime walk.  I'll round that out with an evening walk if I can will myself to do it later on.  It'll be WAY too hot out at 5 or 6pm.

Tomorrow I'll do complexes instead of squats and I'll alternate thusly for the rest of the summer just to keep the focus on metabolic and conditioning training.

I've been keeping diet relatively sharp, but not weighing in.  I'm still on the same belt hole I was on before, but I'm starting to notice some extra flab.  I'm probably around 250 again, not that I was really firmly down at 245 before anyway.

I am back on my standard high protein ~2500 calorie plan and am really having to force feed to get that much food down.  I'll weigh in starting on Monday and give myself this week to stabilize a bit before I get the bad news.  lol.

Basically it's eggs and chicken with spinach for breakfast, shake and bar for morning snack, chicken and veggies for lunch, yogurt w/ protein powder for afternoon snack, and a standard family dinner but what I'd call a pre-adolescent child's portion.

As always...the big challenge is alcohol.  My wife finally got her promotion officially and we pretty much blew the lid off for a solid week.  4th of July is this Wednesday, so that wont help either.

I'm not on a time table, and I think I'm about to turn a corner with regards to the level of intensity I can bring to all of this.  So much else about my life is pointed in the right direction now, that I think I can really focus on leveling up on this.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Holding Steady

No change from yesterday.  Same exact diet.  Perhaps the phase of the moon contributes somehow.  lol

I am unconcerned.  Got a bunch of caulk and paint done last night and basically concluded the handyman phase of Grad Prep.  I've got a social thing tonight with some old work buddies, and I'm going to try to do a Tools and Materials roundup BEFORE I go out.  I know I wont want to after I get back.

Mia is on the road headed this way from Montgomery AL and should be here late tonight.  16 hours on the road according to Gmaps.  Still though...I'd much rather have her wake up here tomorrow and get to spend some time with her.

With a little luck, and an uninterrupted hour, I should be able to get the gym back into shape either tonight or tomorrow.  I'd REALLY like to resume my normal routines on Monday.

My plan is to repeat the last full week I completed, so that will mean a step down in weight all the way around and then work back up to where I was.  It's only a week's work, but I think it will pay dividends.  Basically I'll be doing work set with my last warm up weights, so it should all be smooth and solid.

Thursday, May 17, 2018


Wooo!!  That feels good.  239.2 Simple, clean, precise eating for a couple of days in a row is all it takes to move the needle.

1782 calories with 237 protein and under 100 carbs and fats.  That is lean AND mean.

Almost certainly zero activity for me today beyond the weekend warrior, home improvement type.  My hopes of cleaning up the gym were dashed by an impromptu toilet repair last night.  Such is life, it needed to be done.

Thirsty Thursday has been postponed this week to Friday to facilitate a celebration with my team from Payless and even then it will have to be somewhat abridged because I can't afford any hangover time right now.

So...looking forward to several more days of sustained weight loss even considering the graduation and visiting family etc this weekend.  Dare I speculate?  Maybe I could see a 236 by the end of the weekend.  I dont know how much fat loss was being obscured by my pasta driven water retention, but you never know.

I'm a little behind schedule but anything south of 238 will be a mark in the win column.  I may even moderate just a bit next week instead of going all the way back to Maintenance just to keep this ball rolling.  It's not like I've been in deficit for 14 straight days. arbitrary as they are, milestones are great.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Getting Restless

Definitely got my ass in gear this morning and got a real walk in.  No progress on reclaiming my gym last night, but I should be able to tonight.  By the time I got the new batch of trim primed and painted I wasnt up for anything else.  Besides, this week's Westworld was calling me.

240.4 lbs this morning after a single controlled day that was capped with a Protein + Vegetables dinner.  Water weight is real.

Assuming I have a gym available to me, I might just get in a set of Complexes tomorrow and my normal walk and just reclaim my initiative.  Friday I would simply get in there and repeat my last workout and start clean next week.

Speaking of next week, I'll be traveling to Des Moines on business and will have to do some sort of bodyweight/walking stuff to get by.  It's all good though...4 hour drive to get there and it's "new country" for me so lots of new sights and people and that always energizes me.

Bottom  line is I wont be really able to get back on the tick tock cadence in the gym until the week of the 28th.  Until then, any workouts will be "status quo" and not moving the needle on weight/volume.