Day 83 of 90: German Volume Training

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When beginning to lift many people can be confused by the amount of reps and sets to be done and whilst it depends on your goals I normally hit 3 sets but I often use Saturday as a bit of an experiment. A day when I can mix it up.

This Saturday I went a lot lighter than I normally would and went for 10 reps and 10 sets of each exercise, something known as German Volume Training. GVT is a way of shocking the muscles and has been known as one of the quickest ways to put on muscle mass and shed body fat do simultaneously. Added to this, is the fact, that GVT saves time moving around the gym or adjusting benches. So why not so some of your own research on it and give it a try?

TODAY’S FOOD LOG – Bulking Phase
Snack: bowl of muesli and a banana
Pre-Workout: pepperoni and chorizo omelette
Post-Workout: all-in-one shake
Breakfast: almond and honey porridge
Snack 1: big bowl of plain popcorn
Snack 2: a plum
Lunch: tin of tuna, 2 boiled eggs, rice, pepperoni and salad with homemade bread followed with a fruit salad.

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Dinner: Korean seafood curry with rice

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Desert: 2 slices of homemade bread with peanut butter and honey
Evening Shake: whey
Snack 1: a bowl of muesli
Snack 2: pepperoni and cheese sandwich with homemade bread
Snack 3: tangerine
Treat: 2 little chocolates (I thought I was bulking so why not a big cut after tommorow)

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Day 70 of 90: 24/7 – The Rise of the 24hr Gyms

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I’m a member of a 24hr library, shop at a 24hr supermarket (though to be honest, I seldom make use of the opening hours) and am now a member of a 24hr gym. Having said all of this, there is no doubt that the upheaval of moving from one gym to another can be a little disorientating – not to mention the loss of friends, however, the opening hours mean that I cannot only train longer and have access to more kit but it means that regardless of the busyness of my schedule I will still be able to train even at unusual hours. This is particularly important as I move towards the final 20 days of logging my training. I mean today it meant that rather than training from 7am-8:15am I was able to train from 6.30am-8.15am, something that I plan doing more regularly. So if time constraints are hindering your gains then maybe you need to up your training time, one way of doing that is by looking to join a 24hr gym like me.

FOOD LOG
Pre-Workout: a banana with a tablespoon of honey and peanut butter
Post-Workout: all-in-one shake
Breakfast: porridge, banana and mixed nuts
Snack 1: tangerine
Snack 2: grilled mackerel
Lunch: tomato soup, boil ham and veg and apple strudel and custard (tried to say no but it was forced on me – hence why I need to up my training)
Snack 1: boiled egg
Snack 2: a tablespoon of peanut butter
Dinner: a low fat mozzarella salad with mackerel (in tomato sauce) and tuna
Desert: 3 figs with a drizzle of honey
Snack: a kiwi
Evening Shake: whey

Day 68/69 of 90: Different Muscle Types

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Whilst endurance sports like long distance running focuses on type 1 (slow twitch) muscle development for endurance and weight lifting focuses on type 2 (fast twitch) muscle development for power, overall fitness should incorporate both of these systems. This is something I have neglected of late, type 1 that is, it is for this reason I went boxing yesterday.

Boxing is a fantastic sport that tries to tread the middle path by offering bodyweight exercises and the heavy bag for power with circuits and pad work (among other things) for endurance. But regardless, of how you do it, you need to consider both aspects. For me this means more light weights with loads of reps and some lengthy cardio sessions on top of my standard weights routine (which will remain the core of my training). It is important to keep my calories high too though, to stop potential muscle loss – the pitfall of overtraining. 

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YESTERDAY’S FOOD LOG
Pre-Workout: a boiled egg
Post-Workout: all-in-one
Breakfast: porridge, mixed nuts, dates and a banana
Snack 1: beef jerky
Snack 2: chicken breast and tomato
Lunch:  chicken breast, mushroom, broccoli and cottage cheese
Snack: a tablespoon of peanut butter
Dinner: goat cheese tarts and salad
Snack: 2 tangerines
Evening shake: whey

TODAY’S FOOD LOG
Pre-Workout: a tablespoon of peanut butter and honey
Post-Workout: all-in-one
Breakfast: porridge, mixed nuts, and a banana
Snack 1: a boiled egg
Snack 2: a tablespoon of peanut butter
Lunch:  chicken breast, mushroom, broccoli and cottage cheese
Snack 1: half a mackeral
Snack 2: a tablespoon of peanut butter
Dinner: egg, spinach and goat cheese cups with salad and mackeral followed by pineapple

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Evening shake: whey

Day 64 of 90: BIG eats – Getting in Shape Does Not Mean Starving Yourself

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When I first began working out I used to think that to get in shape meant drastically cutting my food intake. This, however, is a myth which is not only damaging to moral but leaves you feeling constantly hungry, slows down your metabolism and reduces your ability to gain or maintain muscle (muscle is an active tissue which burns more calories even when your doing nothing and gives you body tone). So, instead of just recording my food log, I thought I would go through a typical meal giving some of the nutritional benefits for eating what I was eating.

Lunch: beef cubes, broccoli, tomato, mushroom (all of the aforementioned were oven cooked), cottage cheese and chilli.

Lean Beef: Whilst, many people try to avoid red meat, lean red meat can be filled with nutritional goodness (except if you deep-fat-fry it, of course – interestingly enough, unhealthy preparation and the fat content of beef burgers is usually why beef gets such a bad press).

Beef contains vitamin B and zinc which is great for the production of muscle-building testosterone, iron (iron deficiency can cause a lack of energy and anaemia), protein for muscle and regardless of the animal’s diet contains a similar fat profile. This means that although, you might want to go for free-range, organic, grass-feed beef it makes little nutritional difference which is great, particularly when you are unable to find out the source.

Broccoli/Mushroom and Tomato: All of these food are superfoods in their own right. Between them they are high in fibre (which helps with weight loss), packed with protein (for muscle), maintain blood sugar (to stop tiredness), suppress hunger, detoxify the body, aid with bone health, boost the immune system and help your body use oxygen efficiently. Not to mention their so low in calories that you can eat any amount at every meal – if you want to, that is.

Chilli: Honestly, I just add it for flavour but again it relieves stress (weight training can physiologically increase stress levels), boosts you metabolism (meaning you’ll burn food faster) and helps with blood circulation (vital when training) – the vitamin c also, helps boost your immunity to disease that’s why you never find an Indian with a cold (ok that part might not be true).

Cottage cheese (low fat variety): Not only is this stuff versatile (you can use it with sweet or savoury dishes) it is packed with protein (for muscle), calcium (for bones) and phosphorus (for energy).

So, as you can see, good healthy lean foods aid your healthy lifestyle not hinder it.

TODAY’S FOOD LOG
Pre-Workout: a boiled egg
Post-Workout: all-in-one shake
Breakfast: porridge and mixed nuts followed by a tablespoon of peanut butter
Snack: a grapefruit
Lunch: as above and a tablespoon of peanut butter
Snack: a boiled egg
Dinner: chicken and vegetable soup
Smoothie: nectarine abs mixed berries
Snack: a tablespoon of peanut butter
Evening Shake: whey and milk

Note: since I have reduced muscle mass, I have decided to stop intermittent fasting and have now begun having a pre-workout snack.

Day 31 of 90 Mixing it Up a Little

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One of the issues with training 7 days a week is that your body quickly becomes used to routines and your mind quickly gets bored.  That is why I use Saturdays to experiment with different sets and reps, new exercises and today I even used the power plate.  Now I have got to be honest I was a little bit apprehensive when I first used it.  However, after an hour and a half of weights I thought it was either the plates or some mat work.  So I spoke to one of the instructors and do you know what I discovered?  That it was actually really good and had my abs burning like I have never felt in a while.  Check out the video and if your gym has got one give it a go and remember…”mix it up a little,” who knows you might break up the monotony and/or find something that works for you.

PS here’s my ice bucket challenge, if you wanna give just watch the video https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=47WDpO31w9Q

 

TODAY’S FOOD LOG [no food from 7pm  yesterday – after workout]

Post-Workout: all-in-one shake with banana

Breakfast: oats, with apricot, mixed seeds and goji berries followed by a poached egg

Snack 1: beef biltong (its like jerky)

Snack 2: peach

Lunch: lamb and vegetable chilli with a low calorie healthy naan bread (try not to have carbs after lunch if your looking for lean muscle, the only exception might be if your doing a heavy training session – you need the carbs for building muscle)

Snack 1: 2 tablespoons of peanut butter

Snack 2: sheet of seaweed and some mixed seeds

Snack 3: red apple

Dinner: chicken breast in a lemon, tomato and chilli sauce with salad

Evening Shake: whey protein with milk

Snack 1: 1 tablespoon of peanut butter

Snack 2: 2 tangerines

Day 14 of 90 (Training and Nutrition Log)

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I don’t know if you knew this but some streets that are built don’t have a number 13 because some people will not live in a house which they deem unlucky. That isn’t the reason why day 13 is missing on my training log it’s just that I bombed out so bad I would rather forget it.

It entailed 45 mins light swim, with my nephew, ice cream sundaes and loads of sweets…plus plenty of carbs. While I’d normally advise against the cheat day, a cheat meal is fine btw, I’m just classing it as that. Today was much better though but because of looming deadlines I’m going to have to limit my evening sessions or possibly get running just to make up the training….Ok here’s today’s food log:

Breakfast: porridge, honey, mixed nuts, flaxseed and goji berries.

Pre-workout: whey protein shake (I’d normally h

it an all-in-one post- workout but I thought my nephew was swimming this morning – he wasn’t 😴)

Snack: a tangerine and an apple

Lunch: 2 chicken breasts, poached egg, salad, cottage cheese and chilli.

Snack: brazil nuts

Dinner: lean chilli, salad and parmesan cheese

Snack: whey shake with almond milk and some brazil nuts

*no food after 6pm

Day 12 of 90 (Training and Nutrition Log)

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So what happens when in your training you have a bunch of set-backs?

As in my nutrition was pants, that I have a looming deadline for my master’s degree, I’m babysitting my nephew (and dog sitting too – my wife’s great idea about bringing his dog) and going away for a few days where I will probably be without a gym and will have little to no control over the food I eat. Small things really but it is little things like this that can damage our routines.

Well I guess it can go one of two ways I can make excuses like the people I see at the gym that max out on every training session but then stop coming after a week or two because they have some “legitimate” excuse but never end up coming back or I can make the best of the situation and keep going. If anything I’ve come to learn that greater gains can be made from a long period of progressively more difficult work than short bursts of intense effort. Set-backs aside, I know which option I’m going for. Anyway let’s look at the nutrition:

Breakfast: porridge with mixed nuts, coconut, honey, flaxseed and goji berry.

Snack: poached egg and tuna wholemeal sandwich with chilli sauce.

Lunch: 2 chicken thighs, salad and cottage cheese

Snack 1: banana and pineapple

Snack 2: teaspoon of peanut butter

Dinner: sushi and oriental chicken and noodle soup

(Ok I know I should be avoiding carbs after 6 but this is nothing check the rest of the day out, hence the bad day)

*Desert: Chinese green tea ice cream with a chocolate éclair

*Snack: Greek yogurt with honey and mixed but and 4 cookies

That’s a whole lot of food for such little training but I’m glad I’m logging it or I would never have realised it.

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Going to see if I can get him in the pool for 7am.