Day 56 – Back To The Drawing Board

Sunday morning.  Off day from the weight room & also weigh-in day.

My expectation going into the weigh-in this morning was to have gained at least 1-2 pounds this week. I based this on the following factors:

  • In comparison to last week, I increased my caloric intake on the 4 days that I lifted weights.
  • I also had a bit more calories on non-lifting days than I did last week.
  • Some of the additional calories were in the form of Casein Protein & Almond Milk drink prior to bed.
  • I looked bigger & noticed more definition in my shoulders & upper chest this week. I verified it this morning – I measured in having gained nearly an inch on my chest & a 1/2 inch on my shoulder measurement in the last week.
  • I also had a cheat meal Friday night that consisted of nearly half of an 18 inch Luca Pizza!
  • My pattern of 1 week of weight loss followed by 2 weeks of weight gain had held steady for the prior 6 week cycle. I was due for a rebound gain week after having dropped some fat last week.

So, when I stepped on the scale & I was 0.2 pounds lighter this week than last week I was left scratching my head.  All of those factors listed above should have resulted in me having gained some weight on the scale.  But that wasn’t the case.

First thing I did after taking some more measurements was to look back over my meals from the last week.

I have structured my meal plans in an effort to help the number on the scale nudge upwards.  After all, I’m attempting to add as much mass as possible over the next couple of weeks before I really hone in on a fat-burning phase & get rid of a little bit of abdominal fat.

I noticed that I pretty much hit my desired macronutrient profile each day this week.  I was a little bit under on calories Friday but I saved up a bunch for the cheat meal that day as to minimize the damage.  Other than that I was good.

I could have chosen to be disappointed.  In a sense, I had failed in my mission this week of  nudging that scale upwards.   But I wasn’t upset.

There were visible signs of progress all around:

I knew that I had shed a little bit of fat this week because my jeans were looser in the waist.  I had to use a belt for one pair in particular.

I also know from my increased chest/shoulder measurements & slight decrease in body fat % that I was able to add a bit of muscle this week.  Shirts that were loose-fitting a few weeks ago are getting tighter in the arms, chest & shoulders.  Jeans are getting looser in the waist but tighter in the seat & thigh area.

Visible, measurable progress!

So all things being considered, I am happy with how the week went.

But, I’m not “satisfied”.  Not by a long shot.  Despite the success from the past week, I know that I can do an even better job in the upcoming weeks.

A better job of eating clean & eating more food on lifting days.  A better job of adhering to my ab routines (that’s another blog post for another day).  A better job of increasing the intensity in the weight room from session to session.  A better job of sharing ideas & thoughts on this blog.

Part of being better about my training & nutrition is to have taken the time last evening to map out my strategy for the next 5 weeks of this contest.

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This is a rough draft of what will eventually be my next 5 week training block.  This rough draft is what I will use to design my workout logs.

As you can see, it’s sloppy.  I was writing at a fast pace as the ideas were flowing to me so I didn’t use my best handwriting.

I also changed my thinking a few times on a few things as the entire program started to come together.  Hence the large number of cross-outs & scribbles.

But with a little work, that same sloppy looking sheet will be transformed into something like this:

Screen shot 2013-03-03 at 11.31.59 AM

JG Upper Body Density Workout Log  (Click for an expanded version)

This is my workout log for my Upper Body Density workout I will be utilizing over the next 5 weeks.

By this evening, I will have completed the remaining workout logs for the other training days in this program.

I will also have updated meal plans ready to go for next week as well.  High carbs on lifting days, lower carbs on HIIT & off days.  Large amount of proteins each day. Decent amount of healthy fats as well.

These meal plans often start the same way the workout logs do.  Sloppy & informal, but a starting point.  From there, a little bit of work & fine tuning will turn them into a document that will help me along the way.

It is vital to take the time to map out your course.  Sure, it takes some time but it is worth it.

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