Saturday, March 21, 2009

High Intensity Training

Over the last few days I have been reading up on HIT. The idea is to perform minimum reps to failure with extremely high intensity and to give sufficient time for recovery between workouts.

Some very famous people have been proponents of this stuff, think Arthur Jones and Ellen Darrington(sp?), etc. However, most of the stuff I am reading is by the ‘Body By Science’ guys. So far, I’m intrigued. I’ll be trying some of this stuff and posting on progress…

Like to stay hungry, Like to eat a lot

Conflict? Hardly.

Staying Hungry. You know the feeling you get when you haven’t eaten anything for a long time – that grumbling in your tummy, the unusually sharp senses, I love it. It makes me happy, it keep keeps me alert and active, if I work out in this state – I can lift heavier than normal. It takes a couple of days of practice before I stop feeling the anxiety and actually start enjoying it.

Eating a Lot. Nothing like a ‘hayooge’ meal. Nothing. Your stomach is full, you feel content and best of all, you sleep like a baby. This feels even better when you have it when you are really hungry and craving food. Which brings us to…

The Conclusion. You can experience the joy of both (eat your cake and not eat it as well). You can also experience all the health benefits of calorie restriction (the fasting period) and the anabolic (that's a fancy word for muscle building) effects of over feeding. Sweet!winwin

Weird Science: Why we get fat…

Some interesting theories on why more people get fat now as opposed to earlier days.freezing

Processed Foods: If you look at the ingredients of some common place food items, you realize that they are full of all sorts of chemicals. Now most of these are not naturally occurring and the body probably doesn't know how to react to them. What it ends up doing is responding to the alien substances by treating them as toxins and storing them fat (most toxins are stored in adipose fat tissue).

Sugar: High fructose content => massive insulin response => storage  of calories as fat.

Wheat: Also a mild toxin for the body. Causes mal-absorption of essential micronutrients. When the body is not getting enough nutrients, it needs to eat more, resulting in a caloric surplus.

Quality of Food: The nutrient content of fruits/vegetables is 50% less then even 30 years ago. Feedlot meat is known to be raised with hormones, anti-biotics and an unnatural diet. What this means is that the nutritional value is not the same and perhaps we have to eat more in order to receive the same quality of nutrition.

Room Temperature: In the modern world most of us are indoors most of the time where the temperature is usually a comfy 23-25 degrees (that's 68F). If the temperature were higher or lower your body have to work harder to cool or heat itself respectively. When we stay indoors and dont expose ourselves to the natural extremes of temperature our bodies expend less energy, resulting in storage and hence fat gain.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is something I've been trying to lean out recently. Amazing results!

I've been following the Fast-5 approach. I eat nothing during the day time, other than a couple of celery sticks some days. At night I go crazy, no hold barred (still little to no bread/rice though). I keep eating till I am not hungry. The first couple of days I ate till I was stuffed, but I think my hunger has been regulated to where I only eat till I need to.

I sleep VERY well. Energy levels were low initially, but they are great now. The most surprising thing is that my workouts have not suffered in the least bit. In fact, I've made some strength gains.

I'm kinda holding on posting the results until I give it a fair run (I want to make sure I don't lose any muscle mass over an extended period), but I am impressed.

If you want to try it out for yourself, look through the Fast-5 website. Their e-book is free for download and contains some really useful information.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

How I plan to cut

My plan
- Continue working out 3 days a week.
- Increase weights every 3 workouts instead of every workout.
- Start the fast-5 regimen (don't eat during the day except celery, water, parsley, etc.).
- Eat clean at night.
- Get off the protein powders. I liked the shakes and everything, but my digestive system never felt right with the powder. I'm going to switch to natural unprocessed meat instead.
- Load up on fish oil.

If all goes right, I should be able to keep my hard earned muscle while losing some fat - let's see how this goes...

Bulking Experiment Results

So I went heavy on my workouts this past month and a half. Tried to eat as clean as I could, with a number of exceptions :\

Bodyweight: 170lbs > 180lbs
Deadlifts (for 24 reps): 135 > 225
Dips(for 15 reps): bw +15 > bw +50
DB Bench Press(for 3x15): 65lb dbs > 75lb dbs

Left shoulder got injured during a set of db bench presses

Take Aways
- If your form is going bad discontinue the set right away!
- Working out fasted is awesome in terms of growth. No difference in gains if I didn't have something Post workout...
- Deadlifting barefoot is great, I cant believe I never tried it before.

Whats next?
- Going to cut. Need to lose some flub.
- Work on grip strength. Deadlift weight was being held back by grip giving out.
- Recuperate shoulder. No overhead lifting/dips. Lots of pushups with added weight.