Monday, January 14, 2013

The Method of My Madness

So one of my old coworkers asked me recently how I was going about all this health stuff recently. I realized that while I've said quite a bit about what I'm going to do I haven't said anything about how I'm going to do it. So in case I do end up being pretty successful, maybe you might want to try the same thing?

So my goal is to increase strength (muscle mass) while reducing body fat. I have no goal weight. Whatever it lands on so long as I am 10% or less bodyfat and can hit my strength goals is fine with me. My methods right now aren't too far from what I was doing last year, but I have made alterations.

If you don't want all the details, scroll down to The Basics for the short and sweet summary.

First, diet...
I'm eating a predominantly "Paleo" diet. For me, that means more natural food (organic when I can afford it) and less processed food (prepackaged dinners, meals in a can, carb heavy foods like breads and pasta, etc.). I'm high on protein (I eat a lot of beef, chicken, pork, and fish) and the good kinds of fat (all natural bacon, whole milk, organic butter, coconut milk, etc.). I eat a lot of veggies and some fruit. I have a higher veggie intake than fruit (2-3 kinds of veggies at each meal vs one fruit serving). I always eat about two servings worth of any food I'm eating at each sit down.

I try to hit 2000+ calories every day which is tough on this kind of diet. I eat a lot! The idea here is not limiting food, just being picky on what's going in. Technically my BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), the amount of calories you burn daily just by living, is around 2500 calories. I easily push 3000 on workout days. The trick here is consuming enough grams of protein so that I build and regenerate muscle after a workout. Clearly, from my last blog post, I'm not consuming enough protein. My body burned muscle for the calories it needed.

I also do IF: Intermittent Fasting. I "fast" 16 hours a day and then consume all of my caloric needs in an eight hour window. I usually eat around noon and stop around 8 PM. This is nice because I don't have to worry about eating breakfast anymore. No hunger pains, either. It feels pretty natural.

Now to keep sane, I make sure I have one cheat day per week, usually on Saturdays. This is when I can consume whatever I want and however much I want. I usually gain 2-3 pounds, but my body sheds this in a couple of days. It keeps my metabolism confused and from getting into a hibernation/starvation rythym.

Second, exercise...

I work out 3 times a week: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Rest days are Tuesday and Thursday. I run once on the weekend for a minimum of three miles, usually Saturday or Sunday. I'd like to start going to Krav Maga lessons once a week, most likely on a Tuesday or Thursday. I'm also going to have a weekly Kinect session where I play something like "Dance Central" or "Your Shape"; something fun and active. I'd do this on a "rest" day so that almost every day of every week I'm doing something active aside from walking.

My workouts are focused on strength training. Man (or woman) cannot live by cardio alone. Free weights are the best equipment in the gym. Workouts right now consist of some combination of bench press, squats, dead lifts, clean and press, push-up, pull-up, wrist curls, and overhead press. My upper body is my main focus in these workouts. I usually do 8-12 reps for around 5 sets. End set is usually start to failure. Max weight possible for those amount of reps. 1 set here and there on maximum reps possible at max weight.

The Basics

  1. Meta-Paleo diet: organic, natural, high protein, no processed food (breads/grains, prepackaged meals, sugars, etc.), lots of veggies.
  2. IF: Intermittent Fasting. 16 hour fast followed by 8 hours of consumption.
  3. One cheat day a week. Eat anything I want and however much I want. ANYTHING
  1. M, W, F workouts. T, Tr rest days. Stay active every day (even if it's a short run or playing outdoors, fitness video game, etc.)
  2. Strength training. Cardio is for the birds. Dumbbells, barbells and bodyweight.
  3. 40-60 Minute workouts. 30-45 minutes if you have heavier equipment.
  4. 8-12 rep sets, ~5 sets.
Answer your questions? Here are some helpful links to find out more about the science, reasoning, etc.

Logging workouts: (follow me! search for: Colander)
Paleo Diet:
Intermittent Fasting:

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