Thursday, August 18, 2011

An Exercise in Mental Discipline

Ok....This week I will use the very last page of Jenny's LG Training Log - Volume I. I started back in early January and my log outlines what started as a convoluted journey full of twists and turns as I experimented with different routines and pushed to find my limits and has since straightened out to a nice, consistent routine of compound movements and heavy weight, low volume sessions with a few supplementary exercises added in at different points to help round out my weaknesses.

So, the other night, I was thumbing through the numbers to see just how far I've come. The first picture here was of my log about three weeks after I started fasting and was trying to settle into a routine. It was also the beginning of my deadlifts which were very low - not because I couldn't lift more, but because I wanted to ensure I didn't hurt myself while I was feeling out my limits.

The second photo (right) was taken just the other day. You'll see that my deads went from 115 x 5 in January to 200 lbs x 2.5 in August. (The half was me being honest about not being able to stand up straight the third rep). My chins also went from barely being able to do a few with no weight added to doing 4 with 25 extra lbs. I realize my volume is too high, but I am still happy with my results to this point.

Now...why am I still "fat." Well, first, many would argue that I am fat at all. I'm down to 115 lbs and have made massive strength gains indicating that I have packed on a fair amount of muscle since starting this training program and fasting lifestyle. My goal is not to just look "trim", however, my goal is to be LEAN. I don't want to be show-ready (10% BF), but am seeking whatever bodyfat level will show my 6-pack. As of now, I don't know what that will be.

My crappy Tanita BF scale is still telling me I'm around 25-26% BF - Since I am still soft and have many areas which are squishy, I'm inclined to believe it's close to the truth. And, of course, my abs still elude me. I think they've grown too attached to the inch of insulation that's been keeping them safe and warm.

Anyway, after conversing with a LG friend (Thanks, Scott Black), I've decided to take on the mother of all "crash diets" to strip off bodyfat. It's called the Protein Sparing Modified Fast and I will be testing the limits of my mental discipline for the next 12 days (well, 11 as of today) as I eat 1.5 g of LEAN protein per pound of bodyweight (approx 175g protein daily) and unlimited leafy green and cruciferous veggies. Only trace fats and carbs. This will put me in a pretty sizeable calorie deficit and, hopefully, my body will go into in serious fat-burning mode. I'll be hungry as ever as this will no doubt send my leptin (hunger hormone) through the roof. But, if it works and I notice changes in a couple of weeks, I will probably do it again after a brief respite to reset my leptin. If you want to get a general overview, Protein Sparing Modified Fast is explained in this guy's blog.

Many people who try this for the first time (including the guy who's blog I just linked to), don't make it for the full 12 days without a carb/fat refeed of some sort. I am blogging about my experience in an effort to keep me on the straight-and-narrow. I will also take some "before" pics tonight and post with "after" pics and measurements in two weeks to see if the diet accomplished anything.

Day 1 was yesterday. This is what I ate:
  • 8 oz skinless chicken (50g protein)
  • 8 oz flank steak (48g protein)
  • 8 oz grilled shrimp (34g protein)
  • 2-scoop casein shake with water and splash of unsweetened almond milk (48g protein)
  • Piles of sauteed cabbage and cooked cauliflower for fiber and regularity...
  • **5 grams fish oil (with EPA, DHA and other Essential Fatty Acids)

This totals approximately 180g protein for the day and about 16 g of fat with a ton of fiber and trace carbs from the veggies.

Day 2 -
Today for lunch I will be eating 8 oz of skinless chicken, a pile of cabbage and broccoli and almost 1 cup of cooked egg whites with Splenda and cinnamon = about 70g protein and only trace fats and carbs - a good start to the day.

Dinner will be 8 oz of boneless pork ribs (48g protein, 10g fat), more cabbage; and my bedtime snack will likely be protein fluff or another 2-scoop casein shake. It's pretty good with water when you use two scoops because of the thickness...All of that should get me close to 170g+ protein for the day...and so it goes for another 10 days.

Stay tuned to see if I'm able to beat my cravings and ignore my hunger while I seek to uncover the awesome six pack that I just know is there waiting to be seen.

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