Archive for the ‘2013 Archive’ Category

Today’s post is simply regarding diet which is highly regarded as the key element in achieving your goals in the fitness industry.

Before I go on let me begin by saying that I’m no expert in nutrition or fitness and what I do is based on the many articles I’ve read, videos I’ve watched by industry experts and personal experiences based on  trial and errors. So although I am sharing with you my journey and I am willing to reply to any questions you may have, I strongly recommend seeking professional advice from industry experts if you really want to develop a better insight.

My current aim is to keep losing body fat over the coming weeks whilst maintain as much muscle size as I can. For those who have read my recent posts you will be aware that I have initiated a new style of dieting known as IIFYM, Freestyle or Flexible Diet. In a nutshell this diet sways away from the old boring rigid fitness diets very commonly associated to eating “clean” and around the clock (every 3 hours); and it favours a more rounded approach allowing one to eat whatever they like and with a less time rigid approach as long as it fits within the macros.

The absolute fundamental is to have a clear goal in mind, being it losing or gaining weight; work out the calories you require to achieve this and from that draw Macro Nutrients requirements. Macro Nutrients or Macros are what make up the calories in foods and the key ones to bear in mind are:

Protein – 1g = 4 calories

Carbs – 1g = 4 calories

Fat – 1g = 9 calories

For the purpose of this diet I will also be taking into account Fiber (many times regarded as Micro Nutrient) and to a certain level Alcohol (which are just empty calories).

There are a few complex as well as simple ways of calculating your maintenance calories. Based on a personal preference and experience I choose to use Layne Norton’s method (explained in: http://www.simplyshredded.com/layne-norton-the-most-effective-cutting-diet.html). Whilst I calculate my calories through Layne’s method, I have use the following video to help me work out my macros by Team3DMJ: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mic4IELz61w. If you’d like me to expand or you are interested in finding more about this please feel free to drop me a message.

So I am currently sitting at an average weight of 79.4kg and I’ve already managed to drop around 2kg in 2 weeks since returning from holidays. This transformation was done with minimal cardio and only 4 gym sessions a week. My calories and macros for the past couple of weeks have been based on a weight of 82kg, which worked as:

Maintenance Calories = 15 x 180lbs = 2700 cals

Caloric Deficit Diet = 2700 – 500 = 2200 calories

Protein – 1.25g per pound of bodyweight: 220g – 230g

Fat – around 20% of total daily calories: 44g – 54g

Carbs – remaining calories: 210g – 220g

Fibre – Minimum 25g Maximum 20% of Carbs intake

My approach to this diet as you can see is laid back allowing for a range of grams for each macro. What I do attempt to ensure that I maintain the protein intake quite precise and then offload any differences between fats and carbs. My aim is to drop anywhere between 0.5% up to 1% of bodyweight per week hopefully allowing me to lose fat whilst maintaining muscle. My intention is to not go under the 2200 calories as I start finding myself lacking energy throughout the day if I lower my calories to that extreme. So something key to bear in mind when losing weight is that it’s all about the calories in versus the calories out. If I find that my average bodyweight for the week hasn’t gone down then I will increase my physical activity to offload this but more on this later.

I know it sounds like a long winded process having to track your calories and macros each day but I have recently started using a great website which also an app for smartphones called: MyFitnessPal. If you want to follow my diet closely you will be able to do so on the daily basis on: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/food/diary/lausef

So far over the past couple of weeks I have manage to already progress slightly despite still my little effort in the gym as I have been concentrating more on a rehab style of workouts. Below on the left side is the picture of me two weeks ago, when I returned from holidays, after my first workout whilst on the right is me last Thursday. Bear in mind that between one picture and the other I only actually did two cardio sessions and 8 weight lifting sessions.

2 Weeks Transformation

So returning back to the IIFYM diet and its flexible approach. Now don’t get me wrong, just because it means that I can eat Ice-creams, pizzas, cheese, crisps and many other “junk” foods I most definite do not encourage doing this! I think it’s key to keep a balanced diet which consist of eating healthy (so I still eat my veggies and fruits every day!) whilst still allowing myself to enjoy treats such as Pop-Tarts, Nutella and any other delicious foods.

So far my experience is the past two week with this diet has been absolutely great! In the past due to the rigidness of my diet I had to limit a lot of my social activities as well as I found myself wanting to binge eat quite often. Whilst with this new diet I feel that I have progressed in the gym, I haven’t had any urges to eat more calories than the daily required and it has allowed me to have a more active social life which has a definitely had a positive impact in my mood. I will keep you updated regarding any changes to my diet in the coming weeks and I will also post some picture to prove to you that I am really eating all these foods I claim to be eating; and with a bit of luck and a lot of determination I will hopefully show you a great progress over the coming weeks.

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

Following on from my previous post, I want to emphasize how disappointed I am with myself regarding my lack of commitment to the blog. I have no good reason to not have shared more about the preparation I undertook before Turkey – apart from my laziness and lack of commitment. Having said that you live to learn every day and I am hopeful that, as I embark on this new journey, I will be able to share more about all aspects of my new lifestyle.

As one journey ends a new begins!

If you have read my latest post, you probably are aware that I am currently not in the greatest shape I have been in the past few years. Having given myself 2 weeks off physically I feel that my body is rested and ready to go at it again however those 2 weeks off did have some negative spill over effects.  I’m referring to psychological effects which came in the form of frustration and disgust with the shape I had let myself get to. In the picture below, from the left to the right, it gives a general idea of the 2 week (negative) transformation I went through.

 2 Week Transformation

Let me take this opportunity to correct myself and apologise to someone (that person knows who they are) as on my previous post I mentioned that I almost had a breakdown on a Sunday. That actually occurred on the Saturday and was predominately as a consequence of me allowing my own judgement of the photo above on the right get the best of me.

Since then my life as somewhat returned to its normal, going back to work and managing to have a few gym sessions in which I have concentrated predominately on a rehab style of workouts meaning very low intensity and moderate volume. I feel that in a week my body has already somewhat changed since a week ago and starting tomorrow I am looking to really engage and start my new routine. Below is a picture which was actually taken on the Monday – my first day back in the gym ( I will be using this photo as a reference point to track my transformation over the coming weeks):

photo

I want to keep this post a short introduction of what is changing in my lifestyle as I will be posting a more detailed view over the coming weeks. Two major factors that to really consider this journey are: Diet and Training.

Over the past couple of years I have kept myself on strict diets always really cautious of what foods I ate and when I ate these. However in this new lifestyle I am adopting, the title speaks for itself; I will be adopting more of a freestyle diet in which I will follow this new trend in the bodybuilding world known as IIFYM. In this flexible diet I will not have to eat around the clock nor will I have to prepare so thoroughly my meals. I will be allowed to eat all sorts of food including the so called “junk” foods i.e. Ice-Cream, Pop-Tarts, Nutella and many others; as long as they fit within my daily allowances however there is a but to all of this but I will post more details around this on a later date. Meanwhile if you want to find out yourself more about the diet just google: IIFYM or visit the following webpage specially dedicated to this – http://iifym.com/.

To track my daily intake I will be using a great website – MyFitnessPal (also an App on smartphones) ; and if you want to find out what my meals look like on the daily basis please feel free to check out the following: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/food/diary/lausef

In terms of training, I have decided to adopt a more strength based training in which will only see me in the gym 4 times a week to do lift weights as opposed to the 5 or 6 times I use to go. I will be concentrating highly on my dynamic stretching and conditioning work whilst including cardio into my weekly routines depending on my weight and body composition. My training will be based on a routine called 5/3/1 created by Jim Wendler which I am hoping will enable to gain strength and put on muscle size whilst still losing body fat.

My main objective with this new lifestyle is to actually have a more active social life with a much less rigid routine allowing me to actually enjoy myself more. In the past what I had been doing had been slowly allowing to improve on a constant basis so this change may  actually prove to not yield the results I am seeking for however you never know until you try it. Over the coming weeks I will be posting more and more around the thing I eat, the way I train, my supplementation and many other things – I want to be as open as I can to really demonstrate that one can hopefully achieve a decent body whilst still enjoying all other aspects of life.

What would you attempt to do if you knew you would not fail?” Robert Schuller

…the end of a journey…

Posted: 23 July 2013 in 2013 Archive

Hi everyone, firstly let me say that I am truly disappointed with myself due to the fact that I wasn’t able to keep up with the blogging whilst I went through this short journey preparing for my holidays.

Nevertheless I am back and I am just about to embark onto a new longer challenge/ journey which I intend to share with you more frequently! The posts will be more focused on the following topics: what I am doing in the gym, what my diet is like and how my body is progressing. In this journey I will be adopting a slightly changed lifestyle but more on that on my next post.

Getting back to the post in hand, despite having been fully committed and trained really hard to try and get in a great shape I felt that I fell short of my goal. Despite not reaching my end aim, I feel there are plenty of positive take-aways. I have learnt more about my body in terms of how it responds to different training styles and to a very specific type of diet. Below is a picture compile a few snaps of the day that I went on holidays:


Holiday 1
For me these couple of weeks off (from both gym and strict diet) were going to be met with the complete opposite of what one could describe as a healthy lifestyle. As I went to Turkey to have a good time and relax I made sure that this was fully accomplished and so I ensure that I enjoyed it to the fullest by consuming great amount food and drinks (obviously including alcohol). Goes without saying that this had an immediate impact on my body which can be seen below on a pic taken around 5 days after the ones above:

Holiday 2
Since this picture above I have put on more fat as I went from Turkey to Germany for work purposes. Here, even though I did not consumer any alcohol, I still ate a ridiculous amounts of food.

For those interested, off the top of my head, on the build up to get in the shape of those first pictures I was consuming around 2300 calories per day with a very strict and calculated diet with a set amount of cardio and weight training. From that I went to consuming around 3500 calories per day, with alcohol on top and no physical exercise.

So how does all of this translate into most people’s lives? Well obviously what I did wasn’t healthy nor would I recommended such extreme transition to anyone– in all honesty just this Sunday I almost had a breakdown because of how crap I felt about myself and my body. Having said all that there is a big but and that is that I firmly believe that every now and then it is important to make sure that one gives themselves a break from what they know and are used to in order to be able to clear their minds. These two weeks off have allowed me to find a new font of motivation (I will write more about this topic later on) and a new challenge. So all in all, despite not feeling great about my current shape and lifestyle over the last couple of weeks, I feel that this was a much needed break and I have returned more motivated than ever before to keep improving myself!

“Never be satisfied with what you achieve, because it all pales in comparison with what you are capable of doing in the future.” Rabbi Nochem Kaplan

Here we go, my first blog entry is here! I’m literally 5 weeks away from heading over to Turkey for a week for what will hopefully be a sunny and relaxing holiday with some of my best friends which will be followed by some work travel to Germany the following week.

In those couple of weeks I will be aiming to lay off the gym completely and just rest BUT during these coming 5 weeks I will really try to step up a notch on my gym antics to try and get in my best shape yet.

Let’s consider these 5 weeks the first little fitness journey which I will share with you and over these coming weeks I will be looking to give you an insight into the kind of things I will be doing in the gym, with regards to my diet and about my general lifestyle. I would not recommend anyone copying exactly what I do as we are all different and the things I will be doing is what I found work best for me.

In general my goal in life is to keep on improving myself in all aspects each day to become a more accomplished individual however for this little journey I have a very specific aim and that is to try and beat what I believe to have been my best condition yet last year (picture below).

July 2012

With this objective in mind, today I wanted to start off by highlight one of the key foundations which should hopefully help me to really go after that goal and that is: Planning. Now I believe that planning is not only key for my fitness life but for my life in general and having said that I would say that this is probably one of, if not, the most important elements to achieve any objectives in life.

Having said all that I have decided to plan out my next 5 weeks in terms of gym and diet which lead me to create the following calendar:

Capture

This calendar will ensure that I keep myself motivated (another key element I will be discussing later in the blog) and on track to reach my goal. As you can see from now until I go away I have planned my workouts as well as the meals I will be having on determined days – more details on my workouts and meals will be shared later on.

Now I know it’s hard to plan out exactly my daily activities from now until my holidays, especially given working and social life deviation – i.e. I have a best friend’s birthday coming up and I sure will be drinking and dancing away on that night. All that said, this calendar will still serve as a great guideline of what I’m expecting of myself on the daily basis and I will try to stick to it as much as I can.

A question I get frequently asked is: how do I manage to have a corporate job and still find time to workout twice a day?

My answer to that is very simple: if you love what you do you will find time for it! A day has 24 hours, my daily job should take up to a maximum of 10 hours of my day leaving me with 14 hours; I seek to sleep anywhere from 6 to 8 hours each night (say I go for the latter one) – leaving me with 6 hours. Now these 6 hours is really where planning becomes key. In all honesty I am lucky to say that the social aspect of my life is pretty good as I live with two of my best friends, work with great colleagues and know quite a few people at my gym hence my home, working and gym time can all be considered to have somewhat of a social factor attached them; but of course I still like having my own personal time and I do try to take at least an hour each day to just myself. For those who have a long commute each day of 2 hours this will obviously impact your own time reducing it 4 hours but there is a very simple way to tackle this issue – just ensure that this commuting time is enjoyable and include it as part of your social or personal time. So if I was to breakdown a typical day in my life into the different times I would it would look something along the lines of:

Sleeping – Upto 8 hours

Working – Upto 10 hours

Gym – Upto 3 hours

Personal – 1 hour

Social – 2 hours [Although I believe that this is actually also included into the first three categories]

So this is my first entry to the blog, I hope you have enjoyed it. Over the coming weeks I will be sharing with you more specific details about gym, workouts, diet and other aspects of my journey. Meanwhile if you want to ask me anything or that would be a specific topic you’d like me to cover please contact me on my Twitter or email me on carlos89@hotmail.co.uk

As I finish this entry I’d like to leave you with some food for thought by quoting Robert Collier:

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”