Today marks a detour.
So I managed to get down to about 210 lbs (from 265 back in August 2014). That’s pretty damn good. I cannot deny that what I see in the mirror now I’m happy with, but I’m not yet satisfied with. But after 9 months of fat-loss dieting and deprevation — because let’s be honest here, it’s all about depriving yourself — I’ve had enough. Mentally I’m tired of it. Emotionally I’m tired of it. Physically I am tired and just can’t take it any more. My body is actually starting to show signs of “no mas”. I’ve been quite dizzy the past few weeks; it comes and goes, but it’s slowly been getting worse and it’s been difficult for me to simply operate on a daily basis. I’m not prepping for a competition or anything, so there’s really no reason to continue to beat myself up — this is a marathon, not a sprint. So after some discussion with Nick we’re going to stop the fat-loss diet for a while. I’m going to take on a bulk-style diet, get my body happy again, get a little “good weight” back on me. After that goes on for a little while (maybe a couple months), then I’ll get back on the loser train to take another ride towards getting where I want to be in terms of fat loss. Don’t get me wrong, I’m quite happy with how things are today — to have my shirt hang down and not be poked-out because of a gut is a wonderful thing! But I know there’s maybe 10-20 lbs. more fat that I’d be happy to shed… but I just can’t keep going like this because I need to operate in a day. Extended break is needed.
With that then, it was good timing. Yesterday was a Mother’s Day brunch so I was just happy to eat and not care too much about the diet. And for supper I polished off 3/4 of an extra large deluxe pizza by myself. It sure felt good, and I feel a lot better this morning — only dizzy I got was post-Valsalva, so I know I’m not out of the woods yet in terms of glycogen replenishment, but certainly on my way.
I am going to start back on creatine too. I went off it because it causes some level of water-retention and I know that alone causes my bodyweight to fluctuate a lot; I didn’t want it to affect my weigh-ins so I went off it during the weight-loss. Plus I’d been on creatine straight for geez… many many months, so I felt no harm in taking a break. Will I go off it during the next cut? Remains to be seen.
With the diet change I knew I wanted to change my lifting even more to be more mass-building and bodybuilding oriented. That Paul Carter “Guaranteed Muscle Mass” seemed right up the alley for me. It allows me to continue to explore Paul’s programming philosophy, and it’s geared towards muscle mass (natch). I’m going to only make some small changes to the program. For example Paul says “weighted dips, 350-method” but I can’t even do enough bodyweight dips to exhaust the 350 method, so I’ll just do bodyweight dips 350-style. That’s not really a change to the program, per se, but it isn’t 100% as-written so…. 🙂 But one true change is that Paul has the program as a 3x week program but I’m going to make it 4x. Relative to how I’ve been lifting, each day is actually less volume than I normally do, so I thought it’d be interesting to modulate frequency to see how it goes for me. I’ve been doing pretty well with 4x week on a general upper/lower/upper/lower type of approach; plus that’s basically how 5/3/1 approaches things. And coupled with the diet well… I think 4x is worth a shot and an experiment for me. If it works out, great. If not, hopefully I learn something from it. But otherwise, I want to try the program as-written.
So with that, today I opted to figure out a few things. It works out well because Thu/Fri this week I won’t be making the gym due to some schedule issues, so using today to figure out some lower-body stuff and tomorrow to figure out some upper body stuff I think works out great. Then next week I can hit it.
Big thing I needed was to figure out some 1RM’s.
First up, Front Squat.
I did some warm-up sets and then just worked my way up with singles. I don’t believe I’ve ever lifted this much in a front squat, so a lot of what happened was just the novelty of having that much weight on a bar across my shoulders. It felt odd, but cool too. I worked up to 205 and felt good with that and called it off there. I could have done more but while I don’t believe Paul mentioned it in the article I do know he’s generally more about working with your everyday max (EDM) and so I think 205 makes for a good EDM right now. Then dropped back to do the AMRAP and 50% sets.
Next up, stiff-legged deadlifts.
I actually could see myself wanting to use straps here because grip was certainly my weak-point. But no, I’d rather get stronger there… it just feels weird mix-gripping on stiff-legs for some reason. But did the same thing. Worked up to a 1RM making sure to mind form… I’m good about just “bending over” to do this, but it really should be more about pushing my hips back to lower it and bringing my hips forward to raise it. Worked up to 335 and felt that was good enough… but I do know that stopped more out of grip than back/legs. Still, dropping down to the AMRAP set got some good work there.
Point is, these numbers are just good starting points. Over time they should increase nicely…. at least, so I hope now that I’m getting more food in me. 🙂
And that’s all I did today. Just figure it all out, get some starting numbers. Tomorrow I do the same with some upper body exercises.
Looking forward to this. It feels good to eat again and not feel like shit in the gym. 🙂
Based on Paul Carter’s “Guaranteed Muscle Mass” article.
- Front Squat
- bar x 5
- bar x 5
- 85 x 5
- 115 x 3
- 135 x 1
- 165 x 1
- 185 x 1
- 205 x 1
- 145 x 8 (AMRAP)
- 145 x 6 (50%)
- Stiff Legged Deadlift
- 135 x 5
- 185 x 3
- 225 x 1
- 275 x 1
- 315 x 1
- 335 x 1
- 235 x 12 (AMRAP)