Training log – so what IS next?

After looking back on 2013, now it’s time to look forward to 2014.

While I’m thrilled with hitting 1000# total and a 315/245/440 on my lifts, I’m not thrilled with all that it took to get there.

Gaining weight.

And not the good weight either.

I presently weigh 250#. It’s the most I’ve ever weighed in my life. I wish it was all muscle, but alas I’ve got a nice layer of flab over my entire body, and I’ve got a visible gut. I’m estimating 30% body fat, but that’s just based on some basic measurements and looking in the mirror comparing to some charts I’ve found online. Really, it doesn’t matter what the specifics are because the bottom line is…

I hate it.

I hate how it feels. I hate how it makes me feel. I hate the difficulties it brings. I hate that it stresses my body in ways that it doesn’t need stress. And yes, I hate how I look, even with clothing on, because I just do not like seeing that gut sticking out. I want my shirt to hang from my pecs, not rest on my tummy.

Yeah I know, I’m not all that bad compared to a lot of people. But this isn’t about them, this is about me. And this is not where I want to be. It was a means to an end, and I sure learned a lot in getting to this point. Now it’s time to learn more in going the other way.

So my next goal? Losing fat. Not weight, per se, because I really don’t want to lose muscle (tho I know I will). I want to drop fat.

Exactly how much? I don’t know. It’s not as much about scale weight as it is about how I look and how my clothing fits. I don’t need to get bodybuilder ripped or anything, typical pictures of someone with 12-15% body fat looks good to me. So doing some rough numbers, I figure 40# is a good number to initially target. Again, tho it really isn’t about the numbers, having numbers helps when figuring things out.

How To Get There

I tried Carb Back-Loading in the past, and I’ve also looked at Carb Nite Solution. I’ve read on things like the Renegade Diet, Anabolic Diet, Carb Cycling, Shelby Starnes’ stuff, various Paleo-things. You name it. I’ve looked at all sorts of things. And when you get down to it, it all tends to be similar enough: high protein, “high” fat, (almost) no carb. Stick with it for a while and it’ll work. Carbs are evil, protein and fat are not. Well, carbs aren’t totally evil, but for what I’m doing, carbs are what I do not want.

So what am I doing?

Well, I actually stumbled into Harry Selkow’s version of the caveman diet. It’s a pretty simple protocol. It’s 3, 2-week phases (6 weeks total). Breaks down like this:

Phase 1 – only food you can eat is food that has, or will have, a face (so meat and eggs). Can only drink water. No carbs, period.

Phase 2 – add dark green leafies (spinach, kale, dark romaine, chard, etc.).

Phase 3 – can add all the colors of veggies, and local seasonal fruit after 5 PM.

You don’t count calories. You just eat. If you’re hungry, eat until satisfied. Tho I will say, given some stuff I read from Shelby Starnes about doing very-low carb diets, it seems like if I want to target something, 300g protein and 100g fat per day is a reasonable place for someone like me to start. I do think I keep that somewhat in mind as I eat so I can ensure I am eating enough (even if I have to force it) but not eating too much. There’s more to it than that, but that’s the basic idea. It’s not only there to put you into the physical state of ketosis and get your body burning off that fat while keeping protein pretty high to avoid muscle loss (tho there will be some muscle and strength loss), but it’s also a huge mental component. There’s a discipline aspect, which is critical to any diet success.

And really, regardless of protocol, just about every ultra-low-carb diet starts out with this 7-14 day “recalibration” phase. There’s minor variation in what you do, but it’s all essentially the same. So, protocol doesn’t matter as much as just getting the carbs out and getting into ketosis.

Thing is, as you read this, I’ve already been on it. The day I deadlifted the 440 and got my 1000# total? I started immediately onto Selkow’s protocol. However, after 5 days on it, I had to change gears. In short, the complete lack of fiber becomes um… difficult. I’ve got some medical issues that ultimately all of this isn’t meshing with, so I had to stop for my health. But, all I did was change to CarbNite Solution.

Carb Nite Solution was the protocol I was originally considering, so I don’t feel all that horrible. And again, the first 10 days of CNS are all about ultra-low-carb, so I’m essentially on track. I can just add in fibrous veggies, which is a good thing! CNS has a lot of success stories, and I intend to be another one.

I will say, doing the no-carb thing isn’t as bad thing time around as it was some months ago. I know a lot more, I can manage hunger better, there are better recipes to work with, Wife’s changed a few dietary things herself which impacts what foods we have and eat around the house. And the biggest thing is I’m squarely motivated to drop the weight, which helps with the discipline part of things.

As for exercise, that won’t change much. I’m not going to be bumping up cardio or anything like that. I’m just going to keep lifting same as I have. I am still doing the math on things, but I’m considering resetting my weights (now that I have some true 1RM’s), recalculating all my percentages, and going from there. I mean, keep working hard, lifting as I have, but acknowledge I’m going to lose some strength. So if dropping my weights helps me be a little more in the “mass building” range, helps me get more reps which means more ability to focus on technique, and dovetails with the unavoidable strength loss well… yeah, that might be the way to go. Still figuring.

And will I report?

Yeah. I figure some logging of my progress will happen. Pictures? Well, I am taking pictures of myself, but I’m not sure I’ll share those. It feels a little too personal. So I’m not expecting to share pictures as I go along, but… I wouldn’t be surprised if when I got to the end I shared a “before” and “after”. 🙂

Other Goals?

The body recomp, the fat loss, that’s my main goal. Whatever it takes to get there. But I would expect I should be able to get there before the end of 2014. Frankly tho, I’d like to get there before spring/summer.

After that, we’ll see. I’m sure I’ll pick up on carbs some and try to rebuild my strength and muscle mass.

I keep having thoughts about competing in a powerlifting competition, but that isn’t something I’m counting on because I want my focus to be not on bar numbers but on scale numbers, y’know? Still, right now I’d have to lift in the 275# class. To lift in the 220# class would be nicer. 🙂 Yeah, that sorta sits as some motivation on this too. I just don’t want to focus too much on this thought tho, because I don’t want to have conflicting goals. The fat loss has to be my focus.

I want to look good in some tighter Under Armor t-shirts I have. I want my shirt to hang from my pecs, not rest on my belly. I want to have a flat enough stomach so I can carry AIWB. I want to drop weight that is doing nothing but adding stress to my ankle and knee joints. And hey, what positive effect will it have on my ability to do pull/chin-ups?

Onwards.

8 thoughts on “Training log – so what IS next?

  1. Hows the CNS thing working for you? I’m having issues with some of the other low-carb regimes I’ve tried and have mostly fallen off that wagon. I want to try again.

    • The jury is still out.

      It’s been hard.

      It’s been what? 5-6 weeks now? I’ve lost 10 lbs. But I am not sure how much is fat and how much may be other things. Too many variables in the mix, like not being able to squat/deadlift due to the ankle injury. I also lost like 5# at first, then stalled for a long time, and recently really picked up.

      I am still playing with things. I weigh about 240 now (6’3″ tall) and reckon another 20-30# will be good, at least, towards regaining the flat stomach (I don’t need to be bodybuilder ripped, just flat stomach so I can work on carrying AIWB). So I’m striving to get about 250g of protein and around 150g of fat a day, keeping carbs as close to zero as possible. I’ve found when I do this, things are working better. I think before I wasn’t getting quite enough and my body may have gone into starvation mode and wasn’t willing to sacrifice much. But since I upped things to make sure I got those macros in a day, upped my caffeine intake, more coconut oil… well, not sure what all may be helping, but it seems better.

      I also have pared back my CarbNite. I got crazy with it for a bit… I’d just gorge because I felt so deprived all week, I wanted to get a little (or a lot) of all the things I wanted. An apple here, an orange, a candy bar, rice, whatever gorgeous food Wife cooked, pizza, and just eat. And I probably consumed WAY too much. Now I have maybe a 4 hour window that I eat in, and I keep it moderate, tho I do splurge some and enjoy stuff… I’ll have some chocolate, some ice cream, but I just don’t feel a need to stuff everything in and make up for a week of not having it, y’know?

      I can look in the mirror, and I swear I’m losing stuff around my middle. I even felt my quads the other day and they felt “more chiseled” tho smaller… not sure if that’s fat loss or muscle loss from the lack of squatting and deadlifting, but I suspect some from the fat loss.

      So I am hopeful, and willing to press on.

      I think what’s helping is I’m finding some stuff to keep me sane. Zevia sodas seem to be alright and workable in the context of CarbNite (most other diet sodas are evil, because things like ace-k will still spike insulin). I am coming to appreciate stevia as a sweetener. Sucralose is alright too. Made this “pudding” concoction with tons of chocolate whey powder, some coconut cream, and a little sucralose. It winds up being like 55g protein, 12g fat, in a 100g serving… with a consistency like a carmel or something. It’s kinda funky, but it helps me satisfy my sweets craving, and works out right in line with the diet protocol. Almond-based stuff is useful too, tho you gotta still be careful for carbs.

      Kiefer also partnered with someone to make a recipe book. It’s not bad, tho some of the recipes need tweaking. Still, it’s a good guide to help you realize this doesn’t have to suck.

  2. Thank you Hsoi.

    I started a hardcore low carb but it was aggravating other issues with my heath. I need to lose closer to 75 or more pounds.

    (You should remember me. The Giant Ogre shooting the Para P14 at the last basic pistol 2/defensive pistol skills 1 class last Oct)

    I have got to get this under control. I want to be around for quite a while so I can annoy as many people as possible before I pass on to the next plane. And like you, I want a flat(er) belly. Not just to hide hardware…. 😀

    • I’ll say this. I went with CarbNite because the original design behind it was to institute dramatic weight loss in people with nothing more than dietary change — i.e. didn’t have to add in exercise. In fact, the diet is kinda geared towards NOT exercising, because you really don’t have the gas for it; but it can be done.

      I am finding, as we all know, there’s no easy fast path. Yes there’s lots of success stories out there of rapid loss, but all too often rapid loss just rebounds. It has to be a life change. I know this, but it’s often times hard to deal with it when shit’s getting harder every day. But I am getting used to this and it doesn’t feel so bad now compared to weeks ago. The helpful trick was finding ways to make it not suffering. Ah, here’s the eBook: http://transformingrecipes.com Some of the recipes come out a little interesting, but it could just be “my tastes” vs. the author. I always say do the recipe precisely as written the first time, then make adjustments, and to them we’ve made a few. But there’s some good stuff in here (and in the CarbNite book too), and yes it’s made it bearable. Plus, Google on “ultra low carb” and you can find lots of recipes out there. It really does help. The trick for me was overcoming sweet stuff and finding ways to deal with that, and that’s still a challenge, but it’s getting better.

      What you might want to consider is, are you a person that does better with gradual or sudden change? And it may vary from topic to topic. Like I couldn’t quit smoking gradually — I had to go cold turkey. I failed numerous times at cold turkey, but one day it stuck and I haven’t had a cigarette in like 15-16 years. But it had to be cold, no easing into it. All this diet stuff? I think if I really look at it, I have to consider myself a many time failure. I tried so many appoaches, so many things, and it never worked (tho “up day down day” did have one of the more dramatic helps, and really was one of the least impactful and diffcult to adopt from a lifestyle perspective — something to perhaps consider). But what’s different here is I have a clear and focused goal (no longer am I waffling with conflicting goals — my efforts aren’t on getting stronger, they are on getting leaner), and damnit I want to get there… the motivation is important. But on this, I would have to say it’s been an “ease into it”. Because I know if I went from eating how I used to eat years ago to how I eat now, and did that overnight? Forget it.. .it’d last a few days and I’d throw in the towel. But for some people, the sudden jolt is what they need.

      You said that low carb aggravated other issues, so that’s fine. Don’t do it. The more and more I read on dietary stuff, well… I find there’s no one magic solution, and most things tend to based on basic principles. And the fact there’s so much debate on stuff also means that either 1. it doesn’t matter, or 2. we have no clue (yet). Some day a “calorie is a calorie” and others say “a calorie isn’t a calorie”, and so yeah… either it doesn’t matter or we don’t really know, because there are people that get lean (or get big) based on the principle, and there are people that get lean (or get big) ignoring the principle. So what is it really? WEll, probably not the product or solution someone is hocking. 😉

      Low carb really isn’t all that great. There are effects of it, but if it’s good or not depends upon you. Like I cannot wait to get back on carbs because I work better with them. I think better, I’m less grumpy, and I’m stronger. What’s really helping me here is that it’s become calorie restriction, forcing my body to burn the stored fat. And in many ways, that’s really all it comes down to. So sometimes you just do something like cut out sodas but change nothing else… that should make a difference. Do not replace it with diet soda, because most artificial sweeteners will give your body the same hormonal responses as if you consumed sugar (e.g. ace-k spikes insulin). If you need a bubbly water fix, find alternatives and you may have to get creative… club soda? mineral water? stevia-based stuff? There’s solutions.

      And the other part is… you gotta be patient. I decided to give this until mid-summer. Granted I may tweak as I go along, but 1. Kiefer says to not do CarbNite more than 6 months at a stretch (you can do it repeatedly, just “take a break”), 2. if I don’t see adequate results in 6 months, then I’m doing something wrong. It’s hard to think in that long term when each day plods by, but yeah… didn’t put the fat on overnight, won’t take it off overnight — just that taking it off isn’t nearly as fun as it was to put it on. 🙂

      I think for me it came down to finally having the desire — the true desire — to get rid of this. Like smoking, I quit many times before it finally stuck. I think that’s the same case here. I don’t think I ever wanted to drop the fat bad enough. But it’s gotten to the point for me where I do, so… here I am. And damnit, I refuse to fail this time. I bought 2 Shaggy AWIB holsters — I’m not letting that go to waste! 🙂

      Sorry for rambling so much….. but I hope it helps.

  3. I’m still trying to sort out a satisfactory low carb regime. I was not aware drinks with ace-k would spike insulin like real sugar. Jeebus. What next? it makes you glow-in-the-dark too?

    Ugh.

    Anyhow, thank you for your insights.

    • That’s the word… at least, according to Kiefer.

      Apparently Stevia works fine. I’m finding myself becoming quite fond of it. If you need a soda fix, look at Zevia brand stuff. It’s not bad at all. I can’t stand “diet” soda, but Zevia I like. In fact, I have a “cream soda” to have with my lunch today. 🙂

      The horrible thing with the ace-k is that it’s in everything. Once you start reading labels and looking for it, you’ll be shocked to see how pervasive it is.

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