General Summary:

As previously mentioned I am trying to make my blog as reader friendly as possible so in an attempt to do so my weekly updates will be much shorter and sweet starting from now with all other general posts coming throughout the week under other categories. I will also look to include more progress photos and videos.

With regards to last week, it was time to get back to the grind I decided to step it up a notch and start trying to tighten up my condition.

I was slightly unorganized last week in terms of my schedule which doesn’t suit me as I tend to get slightly nervy and stressed when I find that my plan is not laid out ahead of time. Nonetheless, I had a general sense of what I wanted to achieve last week and I put it into motion.

Below is the usual weekly overview of my weight and workouts, this image will be changed next week and I will expand on why in a later post when I breakdown my current diet.

 

 

Weekly Update

Weekly Update

Diet, Nutrition and supplementation:

Main change in my diet was the slight decrease of fats and slight increase of carbs. Throughout the week I aimed for my diet macros (P: 215g , F: 60g, C: 235g) with only one day where my macros were slightly tweaked as I ate out where I didn’t track my meal.

With regards to supplementation – oh my did I miss my coffee the week before! So glad to have started drinking coffee again, not only because of its benefits in regards to energy and focus but also for the taste! I’ve also included again my other performance supplements into the stack.

Health supplements – MultiVitamins, Fish Oil, Vitamin D

Performance supplements – BCAAs, Creatine, Beta-alanine, Citruline Malate, Caffeine

Whey Isolate also forms part of my stack however I see this as more of a diet related supplement.

Training:

My training programme changed as I came off my deload week and also decided it was time to step up a notch. In attempt to keep my strength throughout this cutting I have decided to start again the Jim Wendler 5/3/1 programme with a bodybuilding training style twist to it. I will break it down in a post how I have adapted this into my needs. With regards to my workouts I had 5 workouts in the week with 2 cardio sessions (1 HIIT with Kettlebell work, 1 LISS on treadmill).

Week ahead:

Lucky me I’ve got both Thursday and Friday off so I will be having myself a long weekend and hopefully this will allow me to get some personal bests in the gym but we will see.

Anyway my plans for this week is to have a more structured plan of attack to my workouts and give you a general update on my current diet approach.

I have also recently purchased a Polar watch to be able to track my calories burnt and heart rate during the workout – more on this to come soon.

Weekly Motivation:

Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination.” Fitzhugh Dodson

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General Summary:

Firstly let me wish you all a very Happy Easter, hope you all had a great time with the loved ones and enjoyed yourselves.

I myself had a very positive and relaxed week which I took the opportunity of the few days off work to schedule in a de-load week.

As I had suggested last week, I scheduled in my first de-load week since I’ve started my cutting which consisted of a de-load inside the gym as well as outside it. At times I struggle with de-load weeks as I find a lack of motivation to go to the gym and not push myself to the limits which than impacts my commitments outside the gym i.e. my diet; however last week I found myself on top of it and really motivated to face the de-load.

Given that my week was of a lighter touch than usual I won’t go into the usual details breakdown. As you are able to see below, I technically only had 3 deload workouts in the week on the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I then decided to take 3 days completely off with hardly any energy expenditure. In terms of my diet, I kept the same macros that I have used for past weeks and completely de-loaded off my performance supplements (including not having any caffeine apart from a green tea here and there).

I have excluded yesterday – Sunday the 20th of April; from last week because I actually started my new training cycle on that day for convenience purpose and will include it in my next weekly update. However for future updates (after next week’s), I will start the week on a Monday and ending on a Sunday for the weekly update purpose.

I also decided to not focus too much on my weigh ins throughout the week as I knew that the reading may have been slightly above average due to lack of energy expenditure. This could have potentially lead to negative thoughts.

Remember it was a de-load week of everything – including all the stress built up!

 

Weekly Update

Weekly Update

Week ahead:

So my week ahead actually started yesterday with the first training session of my new routine. I felt fresh in every aspect and really relinquishing the opportunity to push myself further! I have taken last week to re-assess my progress so far and to re-think my approach.

Having done this I have decided that I want to really push further now and improve my conditioning further and slightly quicker. Therefore I will now start including some HIIT as well as LISS conditioning work into my weeks schedule. I have also decided to slightly change my macros for the foreseeable future and start including re-feeds.

I will breakdown my new diet and training approach on a post later this week.

Also I mentioned in my post about The Importance Setting Motivation Driving Goals; which you can find here: https://lausefitness.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/the-importance-setting-motivation-driving-goals/ ; that I failed to include target dates for my original goal so I decided that last week was the first check point. I will therefore hereby announce that my next checkpoint will be May 31st (in 6 week time). Until then I will stick to my new diet and training approach, unless of course I start seeing regressive progress in which case I will address it asap.

Weekly Motivation:

“Goals are dreams with deadlines.” Diana Scharf Hunt

General Summary:

On the back of doing some thinking around convenience and suitability for my weekly update I’ve decided that Monday will be a more suited weekly day to post my weekly update, reason being twofold:

  1. I will change my the starting day of my average weekly weigh to the Monday as opposed to the current Sunday therefore noting that Monday is the start of a new week
  2. I have found that posting my weekly summary on a Monday is a great way to start the working week give me that extra bit of motivation to start the week and take steps towards my goal- the caption below pretty much sums up how I feel every Monday!
Motivation Monday

Motivation Monday

 

Following on from my mid-week post: The Importance Setting Motivation Driving Goals; I did have a slight regressive week in terms of progress last week mainly due to my less composed approach to diet. I put this down to mainly accumulating all my negativity of the week prior and letting it all out on a uncontrolled re-feed day on the Saturday of that week. Therefore, as to avoid demotivation, I decided to not weigh myself Sunday as well as Wednesday as my diet the day priors to those weren’t exactly in line with my expectation.

Having said all that, I did start each and every day of the week with on thought which was POSITIVITY – which I found truly helped me putting behind the week prior. Obviously had a slight setback for the week but nonetheless I feel that it has only motivate me to come back stronger!

Weekly Update

Diet, Nutrition and supplementation:

Current Macros

Current Macros

So my macros were meant to have remained unchanged throughout the week, sticking my original numbers. However as I have mentioned above the Saturday prior was not great and I let myself indulge with no control and I also did slightly change my macros on the Wednesday – no real reason behind this, just felt like increasing fats and reducing carbs on the day.

Apart from the Saturday priori (which by the way is not part of that week´s weigh in however it does have an effect on my weigh throughout the week) and the Wednesday I had a decent week as I manage to hit the macros within the 5g range for each.

In terms of my supplementation here is the list:

Health supplements – MultiVitamins, Fish Oil, Vitamin D,

Performance supplements – BCAAs, Creatine, Beta-alanine, Citruline Malate, Caffeine

Whey Isolate also forms part of my stack however I see this as more of a diet related supplement.

Training:

Repeated the formula from the previous week with the main highlight for the week being finally joining the 200kg Deadlift club! Managed a modest 3 reps on the 200kg deadlift. Here is the break down of my workout sessions not in order:

1 upper power day –using RPE scales and %s of my predicted rep max

2 half power half hypertrhophy lower body days – 1 focus on hamstrings (deadlift) and another focus on quads (squats)

2 upper body hypertrophy days – split into: 1 day back and tris, 1 day legs and 1 day chest, shoulders and biceps.

2 rest days – with some light cardio and stretching to get some energy expenditure as well as some blood circulation to assist on recovery

Week ahead:

So it’s the week of Easter weekend coming up and this has coincided with me taking a step back and re-evaluating where I am and how my progress is coming along. With this in mind I have decided to take a de-load week both inside and outside the gym.

So inside the gym I will be doing a little less intense and heavy workout, working more on form and mobility whilst adding some more volume work to ensure that I am still growing.

My de-load outside the gym consists of de-loading of all performance supplementation I take which I always find a struggle especially with having to de-load from coffee as I love the taste of coffee! Nonetheless I feel that it is really helpful to now and then just allowing yourself a “detox” week. I will still however be sticking to my macro counting diet and although I will be eliminating caffeine from diet I will still get a small kick from drinking green tea.

I will be using this week to re-assess all aspects of my progress including diet and gym approach. I will share my thoughts and plans on a post later in the week.

Hope you all have a motivated start to the week and keep it up throughout the week and remember that the Easter Weekend is upon!

Weekly Motivation Statement:

“Progress has little to do with speed, but much to do with direction.” Unknown

So I’m sitting here on a Thursday evening, watching football whilst indulging in my post-workout meal after a killer shoulder, chest and bicep session; and I can’t help but assess the progress and failures over the past couple of weeks

I can honestly say that once I get inside the gym my focus has been spot on and I’ve been progressing nicely and getting some new personal bests.

However it is what I am doing outside the gym that concerns me most, especially in the two main areas I wanted to focus on: diet and mobility work.

Over these last two weeks I’ve had a couple of days where my diet has not gone according to plan, that’s not to say that it has been absolutely appalling but it has for sure impacted my progress towards my goal. Also another personal goal of mine is to work on my mobility and flexibility which, just like my diet, I have my good and bad days.

In my mind I can’t help but find excuses for these deviations i.e. I’m feeling slightly tired or ill so I’ll have extra calories, I need to rest instead of stretch so I won’t bother, I will have a heavy gym session tomorrow so those extra calories can be put to good use then… and all other sorts of excuses. But as I dive deeper into my thoughts I find that this lack of composure has a great deal to do with my motivation levels.

If you have followed my journey thus far you will be aware that I am currently on a cutting/shredding phase in an attempt strip layers of fat with as much limited impact as possible in relation to muscle loss.

So in a very simple tagline my goal is: lose body fat in a slow and steady process.

Now it seems I have got a conceivable goal to work towards and I know how I will get there (in my instance through the training and diet)- so I have a direction to follow and I know where I want to get to. Till here it’s all very well and dandy and my motivation should be there as I work towards achieving something. So this is where I have found myself asking why am I slacking on some aspects of my journey?

Well in this post I want to share with you my view into goal setting and its effect on motivation. There is a lot of literature out there which underlines the pure fact that motivation is key to achieving goals. While this may stand true there’s also a reverse relationship which many times may be overlooked. What I mean by this reverse relationship is the mere fact that the goals you set yourself should in fact also support your motivation levels.

I strongly believe that when setting any goals in life (not just fitness!); they should drive a hunger within therefore creating an elevated level of motivation whilst you are on your journey.

Through my experience I have found that the presence of three elements are fundamental when ensuring that the goal setting is of a motivation driving effect, these being:

  1. Achievable – A goal should be ambitious yet attainable as well as traceable. This way you should be able to track your journey along the way and you know that you will be able to measure the achievement at the end
  2. Adaptable – Many times there are factors in life that you will not be able to control therefore ensuring that goals are adaptable will be important as it will allow you to adapt your goals to your life priorities
  3. Have a target dates – Some people work well under pressure, others prefer the freedom of a non-pressured environment; setting target dates doesn’t mean that they have to be target dates for you to reach those goals but they can be of a goal reassessment nature in which you look back at your journey thus far and re-assess changes that may be needed to continue on the right path – unless these are dates that you really have to deliver something i.e. stepping on stage to compete, delivering a work project

In this instance I’d like to recall on my current fitness goal and its effect on my motivation. As I have mentioned I’ve had two weeks where at times my motivation has not been all that great which has impacted my work outside the gym.

Assessing my fitness goal across the three elements mentioned above I’d say that my goal is both achievable and adaptable, however the pure fact that I have set no target dates I have seen my journey impacted. Let’s take a look at the diet factor as this has a direct impact in my goal. With no target date in the back of my mind I know that I have no pressure of achieving it so, whilst during the day and in the gym I am highly motivated as my mind if highly occupied with the thoughts of achieving that goal, the true challenge comes when I am more passive and just sat around watching TV or reading – reason being that my mind will start gathering thoughts around the fact that I have no target dates therefore no pressure and it will start formulating all sorts of excuses to binge eat i.e. next day I will make use of the extra calories in the gym, I am feeling slightly under the weather so extra calories will help…and many others (repeating myself here).

With this specific case it so happens that the element missing is the target dates however the same would stand true if the goal was missing one of the other elements whilst still meeting the other two, so for the goal set to be of a motivation driving nature I believe it needs to tick 3/3 elements mentioned above. So my current goal obviously is lacking in one substance and I will therefore be re-assessing my goal this weekend which I will post on my weekly update.

I hope this makes sense to you and you will find it useful. If you have experienced similar or completely different cases and would like to share please do get in touch. Again this is my personal take on it and it’s purely based on my own views.

General Summary:

My aim to have this post up on the Saturday didn’t materialize in the end, I can find all sorts of excuses however in the end it was all down to me and my slight lack of motivation for the week. This was one of my two negative outcomes for the week, the other being my binge eating/unscheduled re-feed; which took place on my rest day Saturday.

Yes I can find comfort in the fact that I am dieting to get shredded and lean this year with no exact target end date however this is no real excuse and it will only affect me.

I did find that I had a rather negative week having started each day with a slight negative mind-set. After all we are all human being and prone to mistakes and negativity here and there.

I am sure to see the negativity from my last week have a toll on this week but nonetheless I will keep in mind that one step back might just trigger a stronger leap forward.

Weekly Update

Weekly Update

My average weekly weight actually went up on previous week so I will keep an eye out on that and potentially looking for slight changes to my workouts and energy expenditure in the near future.

 

Diet, Nutrition and supplementation:

Current Macros

Current Macros

Throughout the week I stuck with same macros as the previous weeks with the same 80-20 flexibility approach to my diet. There was no reason I should have been feeling lethargic during the week as I believe that I am still on a low calorie deficit in relation to my energy expenditure however I did feel negativity throughout the week.

Again I had no real issue hitting those macros during the week within a 5g range of each however my low point for the week was the Saturday as aforementioned where I binged ate and didn’t track exact calories but they were at the region of around 3000cals or more on the day where my energy expenditure was next to none.

In terms of supplementation the current supplements I take I deem them to fall into two categories:

Healthy benefits – MultiVitamins, Fish Oil, Vitamin D,

Performance benefits – BCAAs, Creatine, Beta-alanine, Citruline Malate

Whey Isolate also forms part of my stack however I see this as more of a diet related supplement.

Training:

One minor change to my training this week came in the form of how I am targeting legs. You may recall that previously I have been doing 2 leg sessions a week one specific for power and one for hypertrophy. I decided to change this around and do both power and hypertrophy on the same day however dividing in to a more focused hamstring session and one to quads.

So here’s a snapshot of my sessions over the week:

1 upper power day – both using RPE scales and %s of my predicted rep max. I want to try and maintain my strength as much as possible during this cut and even increase if at all possible.

2 half power half hypertrhophy lower body days – 1 focus on hamstrings (deadlift) and another focus on quads (squats)

2 upper body hypertrophy days – split into: 1 day back and tris, 1 day legs and 1 day chest, shoulders and biceps.

2 rest days – with some light cardio and stretching to get some energy expenditure as well as some blood circulation to assist on recovery

I currently record everything I do on a logbook in the old fashioned pen and paper method however I am aiming to start sharing more details of each session on here in the near future in my weekly updates which means potentially tracking it on a spreadsheet!

Week ahead:

The Saturday binge/ re-feed will for sure take its toll on my weekly average weight this week so in all honesty I will be content if I reach around the same average weight for the week. I started the week strong and had a great session on Sunday on the back of all the energy accumulated from the Saturday feeding and I shall hope that it continues throughout the week. My diet will remain the same as previous weeks and my training for this week shall remain the same as the last however I may implement some changes in the following week.

My main objective for the week is more of a mental aspect than anything else and that is to ensure a positive approach to everything I do throughout the week!

General Summary:

Another week gone and more progress made. Felt fairly motivated throughout the week however encountered slight setback over the weekend. My average weight for the week again reduced over the previous week and I felt that my strength is still there or even improving which is positive.

My only negative annotation for this week was Saturday where it was a scheduled rest day however it also ended up being a not scheduled refeed day where I didn’t fully track my macros for the day. I went out Friday night into the early hours of Saturday and even though I only very few drinks I felt slightly under the weather on Saturday, perhaps mainly due to the lack of sleep, and towards the end of the day I ended up binging. Still these sorts of excuses won’t get me to where I want to get and although the damage was limited I know that I cannot afford these!

Anyway now that I have admitted to guilt, I shall start the week strong and ensure I make full use of those extra calories consumed.

.Here’s a recent post on my Instagram account of my latest progress photo (yes… a selfie), still a long way to go in this cutting but ever slight improvement on previous weeks conditions:

Captura

Diet, Nutrition and supplementation:

Current Macros

Current Macros

Main highlight – which in fact is a low point; for the week was the unscheduled refeed on Saturday. Otherwise I have kept my diet and nutrition pretty structured around the macros stated above hitting the number within 5g range of each macro nutrient.

As energy levels are good and average weight for the week – 175.5lbs/ 79.6kg was below than previous week I will be sticking to these macros for the foreseeable future.

In terms of supplementation the current supplements I am taking are: MultiVitamins, Fish Oil, Vitamin D, BCAAs, Creatine and Whey Isolate when needed for macros.

Something I haven’t mention is that until recently I’ve been a great fan of taking all sort of pre-workout (i.e. BSN No-Xplode; ON Platinum-Pre; Hemo-Rage and so on) as I had become slightly addicted to these and felt that I couldn´t get a good workout in if I didn’t take them before. However just over a month ago I decided to stop this addiction and go back to basics hence why I now mix my own pre-workout mix based on the most proven ingredients.

So in addition to my BCAAs I’ve also added Citruline Malate and Beta-Alanine to my stack which I take pre-workout for its performance enhancing ability. Also I am a big fan of coffee! Caffeine is known to be a great anti-oxidant with many proven added health benefits taken in moderation obviously. So this effect I aim to have a maximum of two cups a day, one in the morning and another 30 minutes to an hour pre-workout for that extra bit focus. I still occasionally have other energy drinks and will use these pre-workout at times that I feel that a coffee may just not be enough for that day.

Training:

Training Split:

1 lower power day, 1 upper power day – both using RPE scales and %s of my predicted rep max. I want to try and maintain my strength as much as possible during this cut and even increase if at all possible.

3 hypertrophy days – split into: 1 day back and tris, 1 day legs and 1 day chest, shoulders and biceps.

2 days rest – doing some sort of activity i.e. walking on a treadmill for 20 minutes

This week was no different to the previous week in terms of workouts. Only differing factor may have come on the Saturday where my energy expenditure was not as high as the previous week as the only activity I did was some walking as I spent most of the day just sitting and watching sports.

Weekly Update

Weekly Update

Week ahead:

I am already a day late for the weekly update and my aim to actually change my weekly updates post to the Saturday as opposed to the current Sunday which make this post two days late. Anyway this week I plan to stick to my current program and avoid any binging or unplanned re-feed days. Nothing in specific to highlight of the week ahead but only hardwork and focus needed for yet another productive week!

Here is my official first post about diet and nutrition!
Today´s post is more of an introduction into this category by means of which I want to outline my main objective of future posts in this category as well as highlight some of my inspirations and sources.
Let´s start with the word “diet” .
If you type “diet” into google the first few pages you will stumble across will be predominately surround diet for weight loss, but does that mean that diet is only something done by people who want to lose weight? The answer here is a definite no.
In today´s society when people use the word “diet” the assumption is that it is being used in an attempt to lose weight. But let´s have a look at the definitions given by http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/diet:
noun

1.food and drink considered in terms of its qualities, composition, and its effects on health: Milk is a wholesome article of diet.
2.a particular selection of food, especially as designed or prescribed to improve a person’s physical condition or to prevent or treat a disease: a diet low in sugar.
3.such a selection or a limitation on the amount a person eats for reducing weight: No pie for me, I’m on a diet.
4.the foods eaten, as by a particular person or group: The native diet consists of fish and fruit.
5.food or feed habitually eaten or provided: The rabbits were fed a diet of carrots and lettuce.
So in any of my future mentions of the word diet I will be referring to either points 3 or 5 mentioned above and not to a specific weight losing protocol.
Right, now that I got that off my chest let´s move on.
So in terms of what you can expect to read on here will be generic posts in which I will share with you some of my learnings around said topics where I attempt to use simple language and make it as straight forward possible for everyone to understand.
I feel that is only right that I also mention what not to expect and that is, do not expect the real science and biology in depth of the how and why everything works.
Since setting out an ambition of achieving a certain built for my body I devoted a good amount of time learning about how one can use diet and nutrition to achieve this. I am a true believe that there is no better way to learn than putting theory into practice and over the past couple of years I have attempted some of the fitness industry diet fads (i.e. 6-7 meals a day, clean eating, Flexible Diet, Paleo diet, etc).
More recently I posted around my experience regarding Flexible Diet or IIFFYM (if it fits your macros), to read that post you can find it here: https://lausefitness.wordpress.com/2013/08/04/freestyle-diet-intro-calories-macros/
Now my standpoint with regards to diet is that no one extreme of the diet is the right approach for healthy and happy lifestyle but yet I do see benefits of adopting such extremes when individuals of determined goals.
In terms of my sources, in my flexible diet post post I mentioned 2 sources which I personally consider to give one of the fitness industry´s best diet advice when it comes down to achieving your goals. Both, Dr Layne Norton and team 3DMJ, have great articles and videos surrounding this subject and a lot of my learnings in this area originated from them. If your goal is fitness orientated and you are just like me and prefer to do your own research and learn about the subject than I strongly recommend you google both of them and have a look at all the great info they´ve made available.
Since my original experience with flexible diet I took back a step and decided to start learning more around the basics of nutrition and to this effect I stumbled across an absolute amazing podcast series which has provided me with even further insight into dieting and the general lifestyle. All credit in this instance has to go out to Ben Coomber who´s podcast is truly insightful and inspirational. I would really recommend you giving it a listen regardless whether your goals are fitness or non fitness related, as he touches upon a great deal of general lifestyle and how nutrition may support on you along the way to your end goal.
By listening to Ben´s podcast it allowed me to relate diet and nutrition more to other non fitness related goals it therefore removing myself from a preset mindset – utilising diet and nutrition only for fitness purposes. In past this mindset had been a big obstacle for me to talk about the topic with other people who didn’t have the same mindset however I do feel now that I am in a better position to do so and even provide some advice.
Anyway, Ben if you by any chance you are reading this I just want to say a big thank you for all the great information you put out there.
I’ve also recently started catching up on Phil Learney´s podcasts, yet another one of the fitness industry´s expert and in his podcasts he also shares some great knowledge around nutrition as well as training.
All these people I have mentioned are people in the industry that I look up to and if you really are enticed by it then I would strongly suggest researching them as these are the people that walk the talk and live what they preach!
As I´ve mentioned I am by no means an expert  but I am looking to learn everyday so you see something you don´t quite understand or even disagree with please make sure to get in touch as I am looking to learn – “Knowledge is Power” (Sir Francis Bacon).
In my next diet and nutrition post  I will be going into a bit more detail around my current 80-20 approach to flexible diet. Until then if you want to follow my current journey I am posting weekly updates on Sundays (going a date late this week) and you will be able to find it on: https://lausefitness.wordpress.com/category/weekly-update/
Till next time!