Posts Tagged ‘FitFam’

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

Advertisements

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

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!

So here is my weekly update summary. Decided to get some structure to it so that makes it easier to track what I am actually doing at the different.

General Summary
I feel that I had a good week, kept myself on track throughout the week and decided to have a slight silent week on the social front which obviously always helps progress.
Main point to mention is that at the beginning of last week I started to question whether tracking my weight and aiming for a predetermined % of weight loss per week was the most adequate approach from a practical as well as mental perspective. So instead I decided to some what change my goal:
New goal:   Drop body fat, maintain muscle and strength – Slow decrease of average weekly weight
Daily 500 daily caloric deficit (+/- 15% below maintenance calories)
So I will still be tracking my weekly average weight and ensure that it is dropping however without having predetermined %s it won’t be playing in the back of my mind if a week’s average ends up not hitting a target weight. Besides as I have previously said I have no end date to this cut so I much prefer the slow and steady approach.
 
Diet, Nutrition and supplementation:
Last week I toyed with the idea of mixing up my daily calories and macros depending the activity level on the day. I have decided against this for now and I will keep my macros consistent day in day out for the time being. This might change over time if I find myself hitting a plateau.
On the whole nothing much to report on here as I had a decent week and met my goal of dropping my average weekly weight. Only deviations were provided by the fact that n the 15th of March I was way below my average for that week due to a social event which lead to other incidents and having had a slight up in calories on that day, the 16th of March I started slightly above the average.
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.
Training:
Currently keeping my training follows a simple split of:
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 (and I mean literally walk) or cleaning or something of that sort to just ensure there is some calorie expenditure as otherwise I will sit all day and actually my overall energy expenditure for the week will probably not put me on the required deficit.
The assistance movements on Power Days and most of my hypertrophy days routines don’t have an exact  preset exercises I follow as I like to change. At the moment I’m not incorporating any cardio sessions into my workout as I am still managing to see good progress.
20140323
Week ahead:
My initial plan is to stick to my current split in both the training program and diet front. Hoping to see some further progress on some of my lifts. Next week I am intending to start tracking my lifts on an excel spreadsheet so that I can share those with you as well. Got a few posts planned to release this week as well so keep an eye out for them. Also intending to start having some progress pics on here and potentially even some videos in the near future.
Also I do update my twitter and instagram quite constantly so if you want to follow my journey more closely you can find me @lausef
Also you can follow my food diary on MyFitnessPal by searching for me @lausef
Have a great start to the week everyone, get some PBs but most importantly have some fun and enjoy it!
Happy weekend everyone!

As I have previously mentioned I am still working on my blog’s format and content so thanks for bearing with me on this front.
As opposed to my daily workout routine comments, I will now be posting a weekly update here which I will cover all aspects of my week.
For today’s post I will keep it short and sweet. I had decided last week that I was going to start my cutting season – meaning that I am now officially seeking to lower my body fat to get in that much desired Summer shape. I have no deadline as to when I will be ending this cut and the main reason I for this cutting cycle being that I want to find out how I look with a lower body fat given my current muscle mass.
In terms of nutrition I will be approaching it with a flexible diet/ IIFYM 80% – 20% approach (more on this soon). Over this last week I kept my macros constant everyday using the workout day macros (picture below) with no change from training and resting days.
Starting this week I have decided to incorporate a slight change to this to include a slight lower maintenance calories for the non-workout days which therefore will mean slight lower Diet calories, I might also include a refeed day depending on how I feel during the week.
I am taking my weight most mornings in a fasted state as well to keep tracking this as my main objective is to lose 0.5% to 1% of bodyweight per week  (regarded as ideal in terms of losing fat and maintain muscle mas) I will however be primarily using the mirror to judge my progress.
The picture below shows the basis of I have workout my calories and macros as well as including my tracking of my weight and additional notes. I will break it down and explain more on another post soon!
Calories and Macros
Regarding my training schedule I am using a PHAT based programme scheduled by myself and fully utilizing RPE scales (again more on this soon). This week I have not done any cardio and I will only be introducing this as I see needed hopefully later on during the cycle. So this last week I did 5 gym sessions: 2 power days – lower and upper; 3 hypertrophy days – 2 upper and 1 lower.
I will be looking to not lower anymore the calories intake and avoid cardio as I have mentioned as I want to ensure that I only include this into my programme when I feel that my progress is becoming stagnant.
Anyway this will be all for today. I will be explaining more around my nutrition and diet soon but if you have questions meanwhile please feel free to fire them away. Also I will be posting progress pictures to share with you this journey I am on.
Hope you all have a great start to the week!
Live Healthy, Lift Heavy!

And finally… my current lifestyle. This the topic is ever so slightly vast as the title suggests so I will break it down two main periods of my life:

1. After graduating University in 2012 till around Jan 2014
2. Since arriving at Madrid – my current location therefore current lifestyle
At the end of each section I will provide a summary the following aspects work, diet, fitness and social.

To set the scene let´s go back to 2012 when I graduated from University, I was fortunate to land a job in a Graduate Scheme prior finishing my final year. In September of 2012 I started my graduate scheme in a Multinational Company in the UK.
This graduate scheme provided me a role in a sedentary job, working in front of a laptop around 8 – 10 hours a day throughout the week with weekends off. Truthfully I´m not a big fan of the whole corporate lifestyle specially when that requires to sit in an office the whole day. Luckily for me my job was quite flexible and allowed me to work from home quite often.
Also, as part of the scheme, I got to travel to different countries for a week every 3 months or so as well as driving and down the country to different office almost every other week.
During this time (which by the way comes to around 18 months in total) I managed to do a fair amount of learning in my spare time around the nutrition and different training protocols. Out of curiosity I tried all different sorts of diet and training programs during this period giving each at least 3 months.
In the social life aspect, I was lucky to be living with two of my best friends so that provided me a very good and healthy social life. Also had a fair amount of friends down at the gym and, although I was in there to workout, I still considered that as part of my social time. Obviously I still did the odd drinking here and there, probably going out and having slightly a few too many drinks 3 to 4 times a month.

A Thowback piture to a young me and the two best mates who I was lucky to be share a house with. (Picutre from 2008)

A Thowback piture to a young me and the two best mates who I was lucky to be share a house with. (Picutre from 2008)

Below I try to sum up and provide a general view of the different aspect of my life over the past 18 months or so:

Work – Sedentary job, work from home often and travelled ever so often

Diet – Tried a few different diets including stricter protocols Paleo, Keto and as well as Flexible Dieting a.k.a. IIFYM.

Fitness – Tried different workouts including DTP and 5/3/1 among others

Social – Lived with 2 of my best friends, went out probably 3 to 4 times a month and consumed a moderate amount of alcohol

Now onto the present day.
As part of my job, I have recently moved to Madrid where I will be based for around 6 months. I haven´t been here long but I have already noted a different general lifestyle and culture from what I was so used to.

Starting with the working life, unfortunately I don´t have the joy of flexible working so I am based in the office which has me commuting for around 45 minutes to the office and another 45 minutes back home. Most people here tend to start working slightly later, have long lunch breaks of an hour or more and subsequently leave the office later in the day. This ends up stretching a normal person´s day to doing everything ever so slightly later than what I was accustomed to in the UK.
Anyway, returning to the topic in hand – during the week my day tends to start at around 6:30 – 7:00 so that I get to work for around 8:30 latest; I then seek to leave anywhere between 5:30 – 6:30 work permitting obviously. My job is very sedentary and I am sat at my desk pretty much for almost all that time.
In terms of diet, I felt that the whole flexible diet/ IIFYM really suited my lifestyle at the back end of 2013 therefore I decided to keep adopting this for now. This has really provided great support as I try to adapt to all the changes to the other aspects of my life here in the Madrid.
Just like my nutrition I have kept my strength based programme with an element of flexibility to it. Unfortunately the gyms I visited around the place where I am living are very commercial and packed with cardio machines, however I did mange to find one with the equipment I need for my specific training.
Here in Madrid  I´ve got a lovely flat for myself and  I am living close to  to friends from  work. As I am here for only 6 months I want to make sure that I really enjoy my time here so there may be a few more social occasions than I had in the previous 18 months – especially given that I am living in a new place where I need to meet new people. This is where the whole flexibility aspect of my diet and training really supports my lifestyle – bearing in mind that this wouldn´t be my approach if I was seeking to do any physique or fitness competitions!

My flat in Madrid. It also a swimming pool , paddle court and a little "gym"

My flat in Madrid. It also has a swimming pool , paddle court and a little “gym”

My workplace, unfortunately I am in the office everyday. On the bright side, the weather is a whole better!

My workplace. Unfortunately I am in the office everyday but on the bright side, the weather is a whole better which definitely helps!

So here´s a summary of the different aspect of my lifestyle currently:
Work – Sedentary job at an office, working around 10 hours daily

Diet – Currently I have a macronutrient (Protein, Carbs & Fat) based diet so I am approaching this with flexibility however ensuring that I  eat micro nutrient dense foods (I will go more in depth into this soon and all my diet posts can be found on: https://lausefitness.wordpress.com/category/nutrition-and-diet/

Fitness – Just finished a first cycle of the  5/3/1 strength program created by Jim Wendler with hypertrophy also thrown into each of the sessions. I am potentially changing my schedule and you can follow the details of each of my workout on: https://lausefitness.wordpress.com/category/gym-routine-workouts/gym-workout-log/

Social – It´s been nearly a month and for the next 5 or so I will continue living  in Madrid. I am living close to a lot of my work colleagues and friends. As I am here on for only a determined period of time I and this is a once in a life time opportunity I will try looking to enjoy as much social time as I can within the months without compromising too much all other aspects of my lifestyle.

So here it is, a mini introduction to myself which I have broken down into three different parts. I hope you have enjoyed getting to know a little bit more about me and again if you have any questions please feel free to send them across.

It’s here guys, Friday has finally arrived and what else if not a cheeky arms day on a Friday!

So today as opposed to hitting my usual gym I decided to just pop around the corner from my flat where I have a few dumbbells, barbell and some elastic bands which was enough to get a really good arm workout. Anyway as I don’t have a pre-set schedule for Friday and due to the slight change to the usual friday routine I actually ended up not taking of which exercise I did. What did change though is that I included some supersets and drops sets, no particular reason to this apart from just adapting to the equipment I had available. So apologies for not posting today’s exact workout log.

Tomorrow is a rest day and next week I will be de-loading.

I have some exciting times ahead as I have officially decided that I am going to start properly cutting therefore starting on Sunday I will keep a closer control of my macros. Also will be adopting a slight new style of training. More on both topics soon!

Anyway it’s friday and I am off to go and enjoy myself with some friends for a few drinks. Will aim to have some work done to my blog this weekend so watch out this space!

Have a cracking start to the weekend everyone!