The Man With The Plan

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Alright, since I’m well on my way to the goals I’ve posted for my squat, bench, and deads I’m going to post up some side goals for along the way.  At the beginning of each month I’ll get a video of my attempt at that months goal.  The month listed will be the month I train for the goal posted next to it.  My attempts at this goal will be filmed and posted at the beginning of the following month.

April – 1 Pistol Squat (each leg)
May – 315 x 1 box squat w/ full pause on box
June- 235 x 5 bench press with full pause on chest with each rep
July- BW+100 lbs chin up x 1
August- Bodyweight Snatch
September- Muscle Up x 5

For right now my training will be set up as it was before (M,T,T,F) but I’ll be squatting to a below parallel box with a full pause one every rep, wide grip bench (index fingers on rings) with a full pause on the chest each rep, and more single leg training. It’s nothing crazy, just a slight change up in two of my primary exercises and a variation in the assistance work. Over this year I plan on using primarily Wendlers 5/3/1 as a base program with some slight bastardization here and there. I’m going to experiment with some variations on the primary exercises to see how well they work.

As far as my diet goes I’m going to keep it mostly Paleo (I feel a ton better when I eat this way) and I’m going to experiment with a couple of weeks on the Lean Gains style of intermittent fasting to see where my bodyfat and performance in the gym go.  Still not much in the way of supplements aside from Vit D, acidophilous, and digestive enzymes.  My real goal right now is to slowly put on some lean mass while leaning out just a bit.  The days I lift most of my calories will after my training, the days I don’t train I’ll back my calories down a little.

Power Veggies

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 Nutritional Powerhouse!

Since I’ve been doing a version of the Warrior diet, I’ve tried to start each night with a nice big salad to help curb appetite just a little and to add some fiber.  Now that I’ve leaned to a more Paleo approach I’m still eating my salad, but I’m trying to make it as nutritious as possible without eating 6 pounds of vegetable matter each night.

My old salads were primarily the bagged variety for the most part with a small amount of ranch dressing (less then two tablespoons per giant bowl of salad).  Here is what they look like now (with explanations why I selected each one)-

Baby Spinach- Use this as my base. It’s got all the fiber of lettuce but it’s packed with vitamins and minerals.
Red/Yellow/Orange Peppers- The red are the most nutritious of the bell peppers and they have a slightly sweet flavor.
Red Cabbage- Cruciferous veggies are high in Indole-3-Carbinol which helps eliminate xenoestrogens from the body.
Cucumbers- Taste 😀
Litehouse Avocado/Jalpeno Blend- They do make this stuff with canola oil so I’ll try and make my own later but avocado has some great omega-3 fats and the addition jalapenos makes it a great dressing.
Sunflower Seeds- Taste and a small amount of omega-3 fats.  These also help filter out xenoestrogens I believe.
Hard Boiled Eggs- Fat, protein, flavor.  Nuff said.

Now you can eat whatever veggies you want but these are my choices for the most part.  This, however, is not my only veggie intake.  I will throw in some grilled asparagus or steamed broccoli when I feel the need/desire.  I try to vary my veggie intake but that salad is my basic go-to.

Before I hear from anyone saying that they hate veggies and take a multi so they don’t need to worry about it, remember this, you’ll never get a better absorbing vitamin/mineral complex in a pill form then you will from food.  Nature isn’t stupid. 

Also I’m definitely not going vegetarian or vegan either.  There are few things that make me happier then a plate full of grilled, dead animal on my plate :D. 

Quality vs. Quantity

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It drives me insane whenever I hear someone discussing diet or exercise and all they really talk about is the quantity of work they’re doing or food they’re eating.

“Eat less then 100g carbs per day”
“Do 5 sets of 15 on the chest machine if you want to get jacked!”
“I walk 2 miles every day”

The only marker for progression in those three statements is to increase or decrease calorie/carb consumption, sets/reps, and distance.  What if instead of counting one side of the equation (sets, reps, calories, distance) we include the other side as well (weight used, intensity, quality of food, and time the work was done in)?  In this instance the whole is truly greater then the sum of it’s parts.

For instance, you can’t even begin to compare the nutritional value of fresh meat, veggies, nuts, seeds, roots, and tubers to an equal number of calories from foods that are highly processed like conventional meets, breads, and pasta.  Unfortunately that’s all we focus on is the quantity of food consumed.

The same goes for training.  Whether it be for building size or losing weight, all people focus on is how much they did in a workout.  This is even more misleading then only focusing on the quantity of food consumed since exercise selection plays a major roll in body composition and strength changes.  The difference between a chest press on a machine and dips or a heavy bench press is astronomical.  The same goes when you compare a leg press or leg extension to a barbell back squat.

 No Comparison

The major difference when distinguishing the advantages of body weight and barbell exercises is the hormonal response as well as the addition of stabilizing muscles to the movement.  When using machines you isolate a single muscle or two and nearly eliminate any work done by stabilizing muscles.

For weight loss it’s absurd to only gauge work done by the length of time spent on the the treadmill or elliptical machine.  Depending on the intensity of your cardio sessions less is more. 

Bottom line is that if you want to change your body from a Fiesta to a Ferrari you need high quality fuel (food) and high quality upgrades (squats, deads, bench, etc).