Today was a non-lifting day. I did my PACE cardio session. It was really difficult because I am still congested, so I got a little lightheaded during the workout. I kept going and hit my heart rate targets throughout the workout. About 5 weeks ago I started stretching 4 days a week. This static stretching routine has helped in some areas and not in others. I am sticking with it to loosen up my muscles.
As you all know, I strongly believe that the body attempts to adapt to everything you throw at it, be it exercise or nutrition. The body is an extremely complicated thing. The wave loading routine I'm doing, for instance, proves how quickly the body can adapt. By lifting heavy and then doing a 1 rep max set, you set off a neurologic adaptation that enables you to immediately lift more on the next heavy set. It is a pretty amazing thing.
Because of this adaptation, a trainee should do everything they can to avoid it. The only way to avoid adaptation is to mix things up. Progressive overload during training is one way to avoid adaptation. Some people even advocate lowering your weights after a certain period of time. They claim that by lowering the weights and slowly building back up, you increase what you are able to lift in the end. I've tried this and found it to work rather well. This is how I got my squat up over 300 pounds. I would plateau and drop my weight. I'd then work on building it back again. Eventually I would be over the top of the original plateau. It works.
Nutritional adaptation is no different. It is a rare person who can stick to the exact same nutritional program and continue to get good results. I am no different. I have noticed that I've been losing alot of lean body mass lately. This is a normal response to a cut phase, but I feel (as do the authors I've read) that it must be minimized in order to maximize fat loss. I recently re-read Championship Bodybuilding by Chris Aceto. Chris is one of my fat loss mentors (like Tom Venuto) and he is the nutritional advisor for Mr. Olympia, Jay Cutler (one of my idols). In this book Chris discusses “Hi-Lo Dieting for Endomorphs” (Championship Bodybuilding pp. 183-190). Chris states:
“Elevated insulin levels in the endomorph stimulate fat accumulation making fat loss difficullt even when calories are reduced.
Endomorphs, or anyone who has a higher amount of body fat releases more insulin than normal. This further adds to fat storage. For example, an individual with 30 pounds of of fat will release more insulin in response to eating a meal than another indivudual who carries only 10 pounds of fat.
The diet that works well for the endomorph trying to shed as much fat as possible or hoping to compete is the variable low carbohydrate diet. Lowering carbs controls the release of insulin enabling the fat burning system to take over and do its job.” (Championship Bodybuilding, pp. 183-184)
The basic suggestion Chris gives is very simple. First, he defines a moderate size body builder as anyone weighing less than 185 pounds and a large body builder as anyone weighing more than 185 pounds. For the moderate size body builder he recommends limiting carbs to 60 grams per day and for large body builders he recommends keeping carbs at 100 grams per day. For both body builder types he suggests a protein intake of 2 grams per pound of body weight. He gives the example of a 200 pound body builder. His suggestion is for this person to follow a 3 day cycle of 100 grams of carbs and 400 grams of protein. On the fourth day he suggests 400 grams of carbs and 200 grams of protein (2 grams of carbs per pound and 1 gram of protein per pound). As the results come in adjustments can be made by adding more days to the low carb cycle. As with most experts, Chris says that you can eat as much fibrous carbs as you'd like on the low carb days.
Chris gives tips for the variable low carb diet as follows:
“1) Start with 100 grams of carbs a day. Eat 50 grams in the morning at breakfast and another 50 after any training session.
2) Start with 3 consecutive low days, 100 grams of carbs per day. Upon reaching a road block, extend the low carb days to 5 straight days.
3) If you reach another road block, reduce your carbs to 30 grams for days 1-3 and return to 100 on days 4 and 5.
4) Include 1 to 2 tablespoons of muscle sparing MCT's on low carb days before training session.
5) Always include any type of carb on your high carb day. Fruit, fast acting carbs, bread and even frozen yogurt are perfectly f ine. The carbs consumed on this day will only boost the metabolic rate, retard potential muscle breakdown, and replenish severely depleted muscle glycogen. They will not cause you to get fatter!” (Championship Bodybuilding, p. 188)
I am going to give this system a go because it fits in very well with the carb depletion program I've been working. Thus, for the next 33 days (until my reveal) I will be shredding hard using this nutritional system. Yes, it is still a form of carb cycling, but carb cycling works. This is a similar system to Metabolic Surge. So many of you who have read Adam Waters' blog use or have used Metabolic Surge. Tom Venuto recommends re-feed days in his Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle book. This system is really not new. The key component is the carb restriction. To me, this system is a severe carb cycle, with 3 very low days and one very high day. The calories are kept the same, so this also forces the fat level down on the high day, which is exactly what Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle recommends. I feel that using this system will help me maintain the muscle mass I'm getting from my lifting, but it will help me to continue to burn fat.
|Week Begins 4/6/2008|
|M1 *||5:30 a.m.||3:30 a.m.||3:30 a.m.||3:30 a.m.||3:30 a.m.||3:30 a.m.||5:30 a.m.|
|M2 *||8:30 a.m.||6:30 a.m.||6:30 a.m.||6:30 a.m.||6:30 a.m.||6:30 a.m.||8:30 a.m.|
|M3 *||11:30 a.m.||9:30 a.m.||9:30 a.m.||9:30 a.m.||9:30 a.m.||9:30 a.m.||11:30 a.m.|
|M4 *||2:30 p.m.||12:30 p.m.||12:30 p.m.||12:30 p.m.||12:30 p.m.||12:30 p.m.||2:30 p.m.|
|M5 *||5:30 p.m.||3:30 p.m.||3:30 p.m.||3:30 p.m.||3:30 p.m.||3:30 p.m.||5:30 p.m.|
|M6 *||7:30 p.m.||6:30 p.m.||6:30 p.m.||6:30 p.m.||6:30 p.m.||6:30 p.m.||7:30 p.m.|
|Water *||264 oz||264 oz||264 oz||264 oz|
|Post-workout nutrition *||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Pre-sleep nutrition *||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Cals within 5% (+/-) *||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Mission 2 Total Complete||919||934||949||964||964||964||964|
|Mission 2 Total Possible||945||960||975||990||990||990||990|
|* = Counts towards total|
|Mission 2: Day 67 of 100|
|Meal/Training Plan: Real-time accountability|
|Day 67: April 9, 2008|
|3:30 a.m.||Meal 1: Protein shake with oatmeal, banana and yogurt|
|3:30 a.m.||Supplements: Animal Pak, Glucosamine Chondroiten, calcium, chromium, glutamine, BCAAs|
|4:00 a.m.||Workout: PACE cardio 30 minutes|
|5:00 a.m.||Supplements: Protein shake, BCAAs, glutamine|
|6:30 a.m.||Meal 2: Protein shake with banana and oatmeal, large salad and 3 glasses of water|
|9:30 a.m.||Meal 3: Chicken (6 oz), large salad and 3 glasses of water|
|12:30 p.m.||Meal 4: Chicken (6 oz), large salad and 3 glasses of water|
|3:30 p.m.||Meal 5: Tuna, large salad and 3 glasses of water|
|6:30 p.m.||Meal 6: Taco salad (lean beef and veggies only), 3 glasses of water|
|8:30 p.m.||Supplements: Casein protein shake, glutamine, calcium and 3 glasses of water|
|PACE Cardio||30 minutes|
Thought for the Day:
When you fall down, pick yourself back up. When you fall back, push ahead. When you fall out, get back in it. Never give up. Quitting is for losers.
Until tomorrow…GET BACK TO LIFTING!