Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bump in the Road, and then a Steep Cliff

Not even two weeks into this routine and I've ran into a few big hiccups. I didn't mention this with my run down of the first week of 5/3/1, but after my last set of squats that week I had this insanely odd headache that I've never experienced. I could feel my heart beat in the back of my skull, behind my left ear, and every beat was painful. This lasted roughly 10 minutes and would strike at every proceeding workout when I'd finish the final rough few reps. Obviously I've decided to take the safe route and take a break while I get some medical advice, but this isn't the only wall I've run into.

Of course when something goes wrong, it tends to get worse. To share a little bit of background info before I share the story, I workout in my garage with a simple bench, barbell, and free weights. So me being the most brilliant lifter who has ever lifted decide it's a great idea to drop my 280 lb deadlift at the end of my last set, and...



This guarantees a decently lengthy downtime regardless of a potential injury. Me being a broke college student can't afford a proper barbell, so I'll have to wait a month or two and scrap up some change for a cheap replacement. As for now the plan is to focus on what is in my control; I'm going run more frequently and see what I can do about body weight movements to keep myself maintained. Until next time...

-tlf

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

First week with 5/3/1

First week is over with my latest routine; I am finding myself more motivated than ever to put everything I got into every repetition. As suggested with the outline of the routine, I am using 90% of my 1 rep max for all the calculations for the first 4 weeks. I was first skeptical with the idea and believed I wouldn't be adequately challenged. But with this routine the last set of every day is a max effort, leaving me with more than enough carrots at the end of a stick. As I said before in my last post, I shall give the details on where I'm at and where I am going to aim to be at with time under pressure.

Weight/Height: 195lbs./5'11''
Body Fat: 15-17%

Bench Press 1RM: 255lbs.
Squat 1RM: 233lbs.
Deadlift 1RM: 328lbs.
Overhead Press 1RM: 159lbs.

When I look at my stats I always sigh at the ratio of my bench press versus my squat. As with my last routine I am taking it upon myself to get my legs to a respectable strength. I have only been squatting and deadlifting for the past 3 months, where as I have been doing some sort of chest work for the last year.

The goal I have in place for the next 3 to 4 months is to maintain, if not gain, my muscle mass and drop to around 180~lbs. I do feel my squat has the most room the grow, but that isn't my biggest concern for the time being. My diet is directed to achieve my first and main goal; I'm positive my squat will make the most progress regardless, but it isn't the focus.

I'll hopefully keep updating with progress every week, and if you wanted to read a detailed outline of the routine I mention the link is here:
http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/how_to_build_pure_strength

-tlf

Friday, September 2, 2011

Plan with Purpose

It's time for me to explain my mindset when putting the time in on my current workout regiment, and how someone goes about getting through their personal exercise routines. Currently I have 1 week remaining until I'm going to switch routines, which will bring an entire new set of expectations.

The first thing I did when deciding my current program was to layout what I wanted to have accomplished at its completion. In times past I would decide what workouts to do as I went, resulting in a real disorganization and loss of motivation when shit didn't happen instantly. Goals, in my opinion, are the driving force behind accomplishing anything, even when the goal is no where in sight. My goals that I set before deciding on my current routine was:

-Increased strength
-Corrected imbalances between my legs/back and chest/arms

It's a short list but it has clear long term objectives. This combined with continued short term goals is what I find most ideal. The program I chose was Starting Strength, which includes 5 fundamental compound movements and focuses heavily on squatting. From the research I had done this was a clear cut choice as it focused specifically on the goals I had in mind. I had full confidence in my program from the very beginning that no matter what happened week to week, the end result wouldn't disappoint.

Another major aspect to keeping focus throughout a workout routine is to track the progress. When I was several weeks into the program and had made poor improvements from the previous week, I couldn't feel bad about it knowing how much has already been improved. Simply continuing and completing a routine guarantees results. Whether the goals someone has is based on body fat, muscle mass, strength or whatever the case is, having all the numbers that represent progress towards the desired result keeps stress out of the whole equation.

I will make another post sometime soon with an outline of my next routine and goals/starting stats, all that good stuff. And hopefully log progress somewhat frequently.


-tlf

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Right to Death?

So the blog for today is going to be a story, which will require an answer that I'm not so sure I personally can answer.




I work for a print shop company, that will go unnamed, and there was a particular order that was placed just a few weeks ago that I was unaware of until the customer picked it up today. The product we were producing was a personalized plaque with a message on it. At first I thought there was some sort of typo when I saw the order after a co-worker brought it to my attention. It read something along the lines of

Mom I have not left you, I love you
Jane Doe
1/23/60 - 5/25/11

This looks awfully like something someone would have in memory of someone who is dead. Only the date of the death hasn't occurred yet. So when the customer arrives to pick up this order(the name on the plaque is the same name on the order form), she has her mother with her and my co-worker makes an attempt to bring this potential typo up to the customer. She quickly cut my co-worker off and requests not to have the finished product out of the bag. Also one other thing to note, the customer potentially had a disability and required crutches. Immediately after this happened I felt like shit, and continue to feel like shit. I don't know what I should do, if I should even do anything, whether I am assuming too much, or potentially invading someones privacy. The only other information I know about this person is an email address, which leaves me with a question I don't know how to answer.

Feel free to share your thoughts, or don't.

-tlf

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Why I don't Food Log

I don't log what food I eat, unless were talking about the content of the following blog! I have my own reasons and opinions as to why keeping track of all the macro-nutrients and exact log of the food I eat daily isn't necessary. One being the time sync that is involved with reading and tracking. Also doing a log almost seems like counting your steps while running. But while I say logging isn't required for reaching any sort of health or fitness goal, it is necessary to know the nutrients of what you eat. So this is where logging comes in with most people just to gain that knowledge of food they consume.

So for the blog of Thursday, May 19 2011 I am logging my food throughout the day! Before I get straight into it, this isn't a prime example by any means(I woke up at 11am today and first meal was at 12:30pm). My current diet varies depending on the workout I have on any particular day, so today is a heavy lifting chest day and this isn't the best I would like to eat during this type of day. It is what it is.

Meal 1: 12:30pm
4 egg whites, 2 whole eggs
3 sausage links
1 tbsp butter

36g fat
6g carb
45g protein
calories 550

Meal 2: 3:30pm
1 cup of oatmeal
~1 cup of skim milk
greek yogurt

6g fat
84g carb
31g protein
calories 530

workout here

Meal 3: 6:30
1 cup of skim milk
2 scoop protein powder
3 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp flax seed
hand full mix berries
pop tarts 

44.5g fat 
108g carb 
74g protein 
calories 1160

Meal 4: 8:30
5 turkey bacon strips
1 scoop protein powder in water
1/3 tbsp peanut butter

16g fat 
3g carb 
34g protein 
calories 325

Whole Day
102.5g fat 21%
201g carb 41%
184g protein 38%
calories 2565

To note I am 5'11" and 195 lbs.

As I said before this is in no way a prime example, literally zero vegetables and I ate pop tarts for a post-workout meal, reason being an over due visit to the grocery. This is also a good example as to why I don't do this on a regular basis; I can see myself one month down the road looking back on this and saying that I failed diet wise and become discouraged. Day to day diet isn't as important as consistent awareness of what you're body needs and work with what you got. Main idea is to not add any stress when your goal is health!

-tlf

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Introduction

First blog is going to be a basic introduction of myself and planned content to be posted. I have no writing experience, always interested in just writing subjects of interest but never have seemed to get vague ideas into written format.

I have recently in the past year gotten heavily into health and fitness, with most of my free time spent absorbing and practicing a healthy and active lifestyle, so I will talking a lot about nutrition, exercise and everything in between.

As well as health/fitness I get my fair share of current events, and I will probably share much more of my opinions on the matter more than I anticipate at the moment. I promise to be heavily opinionated on any and all issues politics.

Of course as a nerd I will also be talking about video games! I won't get into my history and experience with the topic right this moment but I assume I will talk about the few games I currently play in depth. Along with the more complex break down of games, I will also talk about upcoming games I actually look forward to and probably even more about those I don't care about (hate in fact).

That's it for my first post, my first post is unplanned at the moment but look forward to it within the week!


-tlf