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All stagnancy and no progress makes Velocity a frustrated dude

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  • All stagnancy and no progress makes Velocity a frustrated dude

    Well, maybe I'm being a bit harsh on myself. There's probably been some progress, just not really in the areas I want. I'm trying to not sound too petulant here because I know some people would give a limb or two just to be in my position right now. I should note that my current state has been lasting for a few months now.

    Long story short, I'm frustrated. Annoyed is probably a good word to use as well. About what, you ask? Well, I've gotten to the point where I'm fairly certain that there are just a few pounds to go before I hit the mark where the abdominals are uncovered. This is frustrating for me because as far back as I remember, I've never had that. (I never did sports or such in high school, and my fitness/health interest only began about three years ago.)

    Been almost full-bore PB nutrition since... oh, mid-July, I guess? Look at my profile to see when I registered for a good idea. The only hiccough was when I went home for three weeks at Christmas, but even then I fell easily into 80/20. (My version of "hiccough" is that, because when I'm on my own, I'm virtually 100% PB.) Daily food intake is meat, eggs, veggies, oils (coconut and/or EVO), some spices, and the occasional fruit (right now, strawberries in limited quantities). Cheating for me is a whole butternut squash with butter and cinnamon or one of the desserts found on this site or elsewhere (misathemeb's "cuffins" are a favorite, but only are made at most, once a month).

    I'm starting to follow the Leangains protocol; I'd given it a small whirl most of the time I was at my parents' home but now I'm starting it back up again to see if it helps. I'm fiddling with the idea of trying ketosis for a month to try and slice off the last few pounds of fat needed to see the sixer, but don't quite know really how to implement it. (I have to see examples of what people in keto actually eat in a given day.)

    Today, following LG, and with a late-afternoon training, I've eaten thus far (start around 12:30PM):
    -- BAS of lettuce, endive, red cabbage, broccoli, ~1.5T EVOO, ~1.5T balsamic vinegar, sprinkle rosemary, 3/4 lb. ground beef
    -- ~1 lb. beef roast, and am currently munching on lettuce waiting for some strawberries to thaw so that I can mix them with coconut milk (about 1/2 cup? maybe a bit less) and coconut flakes or coconut flour; might throw in some canned pumpkin (1/2 cup?) as well, with cinnamon
    -- More to be eaten later.

    Been on the fitness train for about three years now, cycling among a few different protocols -- the few most recent have been Jason Ferruggia's MGS (my university senior year), SimpleFit, ZombieFit, and now I've hitched my wagon to Coach Sommer's Building the Gymnastic Body. Doing four weekly WODs, with a fifth day added of either sprints or playing sports (football mainly, but may join in with roommate playing basketball). I also try to walk 3 miles a day; just walking to/from class once a day equates to nearly two miles. Probably on a weekly basis I walk a total of 15-20 miles.

    Considering my age (22), activity level (high; you just read about it), and approximate weight (can't remember the last time I weighed myself; might've been around 185?), I've been ingesting about 3,000 calories/day (give or take). My brain says that's a bit low, but it's also telling me the old story of sensible calorie restriction (500 below maintenance /day) + time = fat loss.

    Gwar. Any help? Oh, BTW, here's me... minus any facial features. And no I'm not trying to flex.

    Last edited by Velocity; 01-25-2011, 05:05 PM.
    Are you a college student, trying to navigate college while being Primal? Do you know any other PB college students on a tight budget? Heck, for that matter, are YOU trying to live Primal on a budget? Enroll at Primal University!

    For after all what is man in nature? A nothing in relation to infinity, all in relation to nothing, a central point between nothing and all and infinitely far from understanding either.
    -- Blaise Pascal

  • #2
    dude, chill.

    it's been 6 months, and you are working on it. don't worry about it, it will come. could be that you work out too much, could be the quality of your sleep. could be that you're being obsessive.

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    • #3
      cheat day or week throw your body off balance
      Starting Date: Dec 18, 2010
      Starting Weight: 294 pounds
      Current Weight: 235 pounds
      Goal Weight: 195 pounds

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      • #4
        sounds like you're a model PBer. you could definitely use some of the advice above...a primal carb refeed (sweet potatoes) might really kick up your leptin levels a bit, and having some more patience is a good idea...it can take some time to cut your body fat to lower levels than you're at.

        if you want to try and speed things up, you might try going very low carb for a while (particularly after a carb refeed)--maybe a few weeks--and see if that helps. taking a look at leangains is good too for fasting tips.

        a workout change might help too. try getting under the bar.

        in my opinion, though, you're looking pretty good, and if you keep doing what you're doing you'll be there in no time.
        http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread60178.html

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        • #5
          Originally posted by zoebird View Post
          dude, chill.

          it's been 6 months, and you are working on it. don't worry about it, it will come. could be that you work out too much, could be the quality of your sleep. could be that you're being obsessive.
          What she said.

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          • #6
            Thanks for the answers. I'll try to relax about it but it's something I've yet to achieve (ever) so forgive me if I'm a little impatient...

            Originally posted by zoebird View Post
            could be that you work out too much, could be the quality of your sleep. could be that you're being obsessive.
            The first crossed my mind. The third also has crossed my mind. Many times. I know I get a bit obsessive about things; I'm just a titch frustrated due to the fact that I know I'm close but haven't yet been able to cross that threshold and it's one I've not crossed in the past. (I tend to be rather dogged when it comes to meeting a challenge.) It doesn't help that, again, I've essentially been walking up the down escalator... -_-

            I'll consider cutting back on my training but it'll take some time to get through the mindset of needing to train several (i.e. 4+) days per week. It's been that way for me since I started into the fitness 'world' so naturally the re-wiring will take a bit.

            The second part, I'm not too fussed. I get plenty of sleep, 7-8 hours per night and the occasional mid-day nap if the need arises (which isn't too often, about once a week if that).

            Originally posted by primalrob View Post
            sounds like you're a model PBer. you could definitely use some of the advice above...a primal carb refeed (sweet potatoes) might really kick up your leptin levels a bit, and having some more patience is a good idea...it can take some time to cut your body fat to lower levels than you're at.

            if you want to try and speed things up, you might try going very low carb for a while (particularly after a carb refeed)--maybe a few weeks--and see if that helps. taking a look at leangains is good too for fasting tips.

            a workout change might help too. try getting under the bar.

            in my opinion, though, you're looking pretty good, and if you keep doing what you're doing you'll be there in no time.
            What, an entire butternut squash once a week (weighing in ~2-2.5 lbs) ain't enough for a re-feed? :P Looking up the info it's about 350-400 calories, 100-120ish grams carbs. Would need more for a re-feed though... those usually fall into the what, 3-400 category total for a day?

            Again, I'm intrigued by the ketosis idea, but having an example of what people actually eat would be helpful. I've seen conflicting accounts - either under 50 g. total carbs or 50 g. net carbs... So resolving that would be nice. It's a ton of greens, that much I know; I get those already.

            No can do on the gym part. I train from home and am trying to save money (grad student, you know ). I only started this protocol about a month ago.
            Are you a college student, trying to navigate college while being Primal? Do you know any other PB college students on a tight budget? Heck, for that matter, are YOU trying to live Primal on a budget? Enroll at Primal University!

            For after all what is man in nature? A nothing in relation to infinity, all in relation to nothing, a central point between nothing and all and infinitely far from understanding either.
            -- Blaise Pascal

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            • #7
              Read my journals, if you wish. Was 2.5 months 99% Primal and not dropping anything other than water weight.

              Have been vlc ~ 20 net carbs for last 2 weeks...moving now into lc (30 grams net carbs per day.) I am finally dropping the last bit of belly fat by dropping the carbs and keeping an eye on my calories (making sure I am in deficit.) Apart from keto-adapting, I am not feeling like I am "dieting" at all.

              I don't know if a carb re-feed is really necessary until you go vlc for a few weeks and then see if you are losing or not.

              3,000 calories seems high to me if you really want to lose the fat. My husband at 6', 175lbs eats ~2000-2500 calories--and has visible abs--but he is much older than you!

              Dropping some of the workouts (just 2 x per week, plus sprints and walking), would probably help a lot.
              Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
              Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
              Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article

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              • #8
                I agree the total calorie input sounded a bit high, but then we must all undo our paradigm that calories in = calories out! It's what we eat that counts.

                Just reading Gary Taubes new book Why We Get Fat (having previously read GCBC) very readable and worth it even if you've already read the other - is a good reminder. The quantity of meat sounds quite high. When Mark was on line a while back for a live broadcast I asked him about protein intake as if you go too high you end up with a metabolism generating more insulin response than you imagine.

                I've come off 10 years of high load endurance training as an iron athlete and totally get where you are coming from about frequency of training and getting your head around doing less - but less really is more. If you do too much you'll find your body has insufficient time to repair, I'm finding two fasted heavy weights sessions a week is fine and then don't refuel for an hour or so after and then with a snack rather than a big meal. In fact I'm just taking a few days out this week having found myself doing too much again; it kind of snuck up on me - old habits die hard I guess and I'm an obsessive too!

                Also don't forget that physical exertion triggers the brain to want to refuel but equally creating a caloric deficit triggers a response to become less active. It is a balancing act to find where you 'sit' so to speak. And that point will vary according to outside factors as well - college stress, exams, deadlines etc. This might be where you are missing a trick - if you have non-training stress it will still trigger the cortisol etc and affect the body like training - this is a quick way to get overtrained without doing lots of gym hours! I learned that the hard way when I trained through and raced Iron distance during a really stressful period when my teenage daughter disappeared. Don't underestimate the stress factor.
                Seeking the natural way in a modern world ...

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                • #9
                  Hey Velocity,

                  I eat VLC 6 days out of 7. My diet looks something like this...

                  Breakfast: Lamb/bacon/steak fried up with a boatload of kale in coconut oil
                  Lunch: BAS with greens, cucumber, olives, onion and either fatty fish or chicken thighs
                  Dinner: Steak or lamb chops or salmon with either another green salad or some broccoli

                  Things I don't eat that you do... Pumpkin, squash and coconut flour. I also use coconut cream rather than coconut milk, it has way less carbs.

                  Not saying VLC is what you need to do btw, but you asked for a look at a VLC menu and here 'tis
                  My Journal

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                  • #10
                    I agree the total calorie input sounded a bit high, but then we must all undo our paradigm that calories in = calories out! It's what we eat that counts.
                    No question about the type of calories determining metabolism. And he still needs a calorie deficit for his body to use his fat stores. Many ways to achieve a calorie deficit, vlc being one of them.
                    Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
                    Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
                    Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Velocity View Post
                      The first crossed my mind. The third also has crossed my mind. Many times. I know I get a bit obsessive about things; I'm just a titch frustrated due to the fact that I know I'm close but haven't yet been able to cross that threshold and it's one I've not crossed in the past. (I tend to be rather dogged when it comes to meeting a challenge.) It doesn't help that, again, I've essentially been walking up the down escalator... -_-

                      I'll consider cutting back on my training but it'll take some time to get through the mindset of needing to train several (i.e. 4+) days per week. It's been that way for me since I started into the fitness 'world' so naturally the re-wiring will take a bit.

                      The second part, I'm not too fussed. I get plenty of sleep, 7-8 hours per night and the occasional mid-day nap if the need arises (which isn't too often, about once a week if that).


                      What, an entire butternut squash once a week (weighing in ~2-2.5 lbs) ain't enough for a re-feed? :P Looking up the info it's about 350-400 calories, 100-120ish grams carbs. Would need more for a re-feed though... those usually fall into the what, 3-400 category total for a day?

                      Again, I'm intrigued by the ketosis idea, but having an example of what people actually eat would be helpful. I've seen conflicting accounts - either under 50 g. total carbs or 50 g. net carbs... So resolving that would be nice. It's a ton of greens, that much I know; I get those already.

                      No can do on the gym part. I train from home and am trying to save money (grad student, you know ). I only started this protocol about a month ago.
                      yes indeed, carb refeeds are a ridiculously high amount of carbs - anywhere between 400-700 g in a day, regular amount of protein, and very little fat [THAT is key]. it is not very tasty. mark has a post on it somewhere.

                      re: ketosis - once it's established, it's pretty easy to stay there, IMO. in my n=1 world, i did not find ketosis enjoyable. initially, keep your carbs under 20 [that's total], then you can slowly increase that to see where your limit is. hell, i've eaten a banana before and stayed in ketosis. a quick way of getting into ketosis is eating 5 servings of macadamia nuts a day for 3 days. yeah, that sucks too.

                      lyle mcdonald's rapid fat loss handbook has a variation of the carb refeed, but it is a week long process and is also very painful.

                      other tricks:
                      PSMF [protein sparing modified fast] a couple times a week - where you eat a bit above your protein needs and eliminate BOTH carbs AND fat for the day - so you're pretty much eating white meat all day. not as painful because hey, meat. both martin and lyle touch on this one. a quick google search turns up a bunch of good info.

                      and from a totally different perspective, a suggestion from dr. davis:

                      http://heartscanblog.blogspot.com/20...tbe-super.html
                      sigpic

                      HANDS OFF MY BACON :: my primal journal

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                      • #12
                        Just reading through all these again and what suddenly struck me ... what would Grok be doing ... I really don't think he'd be varying so wildly with refeeds and all the rest.

                        How about just reducing the overall amount you are eating and keeping it around the 40 - 50 g carb a day average and dropping some of the training. I would think your body would welcome the rest!

                        AND a biggy here, you are stressing about this, stress releases hormones that interfere with other hormones etc, etc!

                        Chill out man!
                        Seeking the natural way in a modern world ...

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                        • #13
                          I totally get where you're coming from, when you've never had visible abs and they seem to be so close it's only natural to just want to be there. However, you have to know that once you're there.... what happens? have to maintain, so get used to eating the way you probably would when you're a bit lower in BF and start sensibly reducing your calories. Keep up the protein and fat.

                          Your diet to me looks fine, you could cut back a tiny bit on the calories, maybe ease up on some of the oils? those are the biggest culprits in adding fat calories.

                          Also, I like to incorporate a lot of gymnastics style training to my workouts, but you still have to hit the basics and hit them hard. I really SUCK at structuring workouts or routines, I'm just not a fan, but this is kind of what a week of training looks like for me:

                          - Heavy weighted bodywork once or twice a week. Averages out to once a week, I focus on: pull ups (or chin ups, I usually do both) dips and squats. I don't go to a gym and don't have a barbell. I just try to pick something heavy up, and put on a weighted backpack and do some squats.
                          -- Pull ups: First set, 50lbs added weight (brings the total close to 200lbs since I weight roughly 150lbs) for 6-7 reps, rest a minute or so.
                          -- second set: drop the weight to 30lbs, max out on reps without having to struggle too hard for the last one, currently that's about 10-12 reps
                          -- last set: strictly bodyweight, max reps as well, tends to be 12-15 on good days, but I'm usually pretty fatigued at this point. Also, you can work lower rep ranges, but I'm working towards increasing my un-weighted reps.

                          Same concept for dips, but reps go as follows:

                          50lbs added weight: max 3 (shoulders need work), 30lbs: about 10, bodyweight only: close to 20, more if I rest longer.

                          Squats I admittedly hate but I do them so as to not completely ignore leg work, 70lbs added weight: 10-15, and I don't decrease weight on squats since I really don't care to do 20something squats. I like squats to be heavy and brief, not light and never ending. I sometimes do pistol squats instead, also for short reps of up to 5 or so, once I get stronger I do want to get my pistol squats to around 15-20 reps per leg.

                          The point in this is, I strongly believe in the potential of heavy work to aid in fat loss. I've been following coach Sommer's planche and front lever tutorial (available for free at dragondoor.com) and I love the progressions and work on them daily, BUT I don't believe they count metabolically the same way that a good proper weighted workout does.

                          So, if you're not currently training with high resistance, it's something to look into. I'm perfectly aware that you can do this just on bodyweight by working on single arm/leg work (thus increasing resistance by removing leverage without having to add outside weight) but I love the drained feeling of a proper weighted workout and haven't achieved that working on single hand work, and also, it really does a number on your joints and tendons especially on the elbows, so I only do that maybe once a week or once every two weeks.

                          So that's one day, the rest of the week I do "fun" stuff, I work on my planche and front lever progressions, I work on handstands, I do handstand push ups through the day just a couple of reps every now and then, some days none, other days a lot. I have a pull up bar on my door frame and I do some reps eeeeevery day, just can't go without it. I can't honestly tell you if this is good or bad, but my reps keep increasing and I never feel sore so I just assume it's not doing any harm. Push ups, core work, etc. I just do it as I feel like it. Different static holds, L-sits, etc. Grip training (pull ups with a towel either wrapped around the bar to make it harder to grip, or actually holding on to a dangling towel and doing pull ups that way.

                          So my training is only structured once or twice a week when I add outside resistance, the rest of the time it's rather improvised, it's simply the way I like to train, I'm sure there's more benefits to be reaped from a structured program, but I keep seeing progress and losing BF (even despite my admittedly atrocious eating habits, despite my efforts to keep my meals primal, I have a bad snacking habit) I fast daily and eat from 1-9pm usually two meals a day monday-friday, on the weekends I do have breakfast. I have not been sprinting, I should, but instead I've been super-setting, hitting different exercises with minimal rest, really gets the heart rate up and at the same time allows me to work on muscle endurance as I'm trying to increase my overall reps in different exercises. A typical superset can be: X number of push ups, X number of chin ups, X number of squats (basics!) rest 30 seconds to a minute and do it again for 3-5 rounds. I do that maybe twice a week when I've the time and desire, since it can be pretty grueling.

                          The toughest exercise of all though, is patience. You're doing everything right, so just give it some time. I only offered up the heavy training advice in case you're not currently doing too much of it, not because I think that's the key to it all.

                          Oh, and what's 5/3/1 ?? is that a rep range or something?
                          Last edited by iniQuity; 01-27-2011, 09:25 AM. Reason: more (boring) details
                          I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by iniQuity View Post
                            Oh, and what's 5/3/1 ?? is that a rep range or something?
                            http://theswole.com/swole/531-jim-we...y-of-strength/
                            sigpic

                            HANDS OFF MY BACON :: my primal journal

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                            • #15
                              Art De Vany loves heavy weights and 15/8/4 principle ... 15 reps so burn is at 13 ish, then heavier weight to get burn at 6-7 then heavy, heavy so the 4th is all you can do, then move to next bit of body! Simples, and very effective for fat burning.
                              Seeking the natural way in a modern world ...

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