Back is feeling maybe 95% today, which is a big improvement! I'm really feeling like I can move pretty normally without any pain or stiffness.
Today I'm going to hit the gym, but not do any squats, which I'm going to lay off until at least Friday. Just overhead press (if that doesn't hurt, if it does I'll do bench press instead), and weighted pull-ups:
Overhead Press 3x5 @ 90 lbs OR Bench Press 3x5 @ 145 lbs (depending on pain)
Pull-ups 3x5 @ body weight + 5 lbs
Yesterday was pretty cool. I IFed breakfast (partly because I am running low on quick and easy food, need to go to the store), and got 3 double-meats protein style at In n Out for lunch, which was OK. But dinner was awesome. I threw a 2-lb. rack of spare ribs on a cookie sheet, and filled in all the rest of the space with baby broccoli. Coated everything in a little refined coconut oil, added some paprika, curry powder, black pepper, and garlic salt (sparingly), then baked it all at 375 in the oven for about a half hour.
Everything was delicious. I finished off the entire rack of ribs, and I was absolutely dripping delicious coconut oil and pig fat by the time I was done. It was glorious. There was not a bite of food left, just a grease slick on the cookie sheet and some gnawed bone and cartilage in the garbage.
I also received my copy of [I]The Gnoll Credo[/I] by J. Stanton and read it all last night (it's pretty short). It was definitely part of the impetus for my "gorge on flesh like a hyena" dinner. :D
Pretty good read, by the way: [url=http://gnolls.org]GNOLLS.ORG - Home of J. Stanton and The Gnoll Credo[/url]
So the past couple of days have been marginal at best.
Good news: my back is much improved, almost back to normal mobility and nearly pain/stiffness free. I'm working on increasing mobility in my hips, and drilling good squat form several times a day. My hope is that I will be able to get back to the gym tomorrow and do a full workout, at reduced weight. I'm going to start at 135 lbs in the squat and just raise it 5-10 lbs per workout, which will get me back to 165 in 3-6 workouts, or 1.5-3 weeks (I squat 2x weekly). The rapidity of my ramp-up depends on how I am feeling and how successfully I avoid injuring myself!
On the nutrition front, the past 2-3 days have been not so great. I've been starting a 16-8 fasting protocol a la Leangains, which has been going fine, no issues, except that I need to lower my coffee intake a little in the mornings when I am not eating. Drinking 2 mugs of black coffee on an empty stomach makes things move a little too quickly bowel-wise. Having to take a stinky, messy poo every morning is not my idea of a good time.
So Tuesday, I ate pretty well until dinner. I stopped at Trader Joe's on my way home from work and picked up some good stuff, then realized I had left my wallet at work when I got to the checkout line. So I had to drive 20 minutes back to work, get my wallet, then drive 20 minutes back toward home. I decided to blow off getting groceries and went to In n Out instead, where I proceeded to buy both fries and a chocolate shake with my burgers. Delicious, delicious mistake. Although actually the fries weren't as good as I remembered--maybe not enough salt or something, but it was still pretty damn good. I don't really regret that meal and I felt fine the next morning, which is my standard test for when I have really overindulged.
But then last night, my fiancee got back from her trip and we had some beer to celebrate. And I ended up having 3 instead of 1 (mysteriously, more beer seemed like a good idea at the time), and that [i]is[/i] making me feel a little off this morning. Too much gluten I think. My gut is a bit upset with me this morning.
Now that I think about it, there was no gluten in any of the sugary junk I ate on Tuesday, but there was plenty in the beer I'm sure. And even though I ate/drank way more sugar and starch in my Tuesday dinner, I felt fine by morning, whereas after drinking several gluten-containing beers, my stomach still hurts 12 hours later. Gluten is unpleasant stuff...
I haven't been getting enough walking in the last couple of days either. Tuesday I had an excuse since there was a dust storm (yet another lovely facet of the Phoenix experience) that made it unpleasant to even walk from my car to the house, and killed any desire I might have had to spend more than 2 minutes outside. And yesterday I was... um... busy, celebrating my fiancee's return from a 10-day trip to CA. So at least there was some good activity involved there. But tonight I definitely need to get a nice long walk in.
And tomorrow, I will pump some iron! I really enjoy lifting and I don't like being injured and away from the gym for a week.
Last night fiancee, dog and I went for a nice walk around to the park. Dinner was grass-fed burgers on a bed of greens, with a bit of bacon and some heirloom tomatoes cooked in the bacon fat, and a glass of red wine. Delicious. Got one patty left over for brunch today, too, as well as some boiled eggs.
This morning I skipped the coffee and went for green tea instead, which seems to be treating me better on an empty stomach. Coffee was giving me the trots when I skip breakfast.
Tonight I get to go back to the gym! My back is feeling all healed up. The workout tonight will be:
Back Squat 3x5 @ 135 pounds (a deload from 165, which was a deload from 185, in an effort to correct my form and save my lumbar. I'll be trying to add 10 lbs each workout until I reach my previous weight, but with better form this time)
Overhead Press 3x5 @ 90 lbs
Weighted Pull-ups 3x5 @ bodyweight+5 lbs
So I had my workout last night, which went fine in terms of not re-injuring myself. BUT I felt like a wet noodle! Squats went fine since I have de-loaded by 50 lbs, so I hit my target reps easily. But on the overhead press, I could only complete 3 reps at 90 lbs, and had to go down to 85, at which point I only got 5 and 4 for my last two sets. Lame. Pull-ups went OK, 5/5/4, so I will do that weight one more time before I progress. It ended up going:
Press: 90x1x3, 85x5/4
I suspect that I was working out semi-fasted and glycogen-depleted (I am in ketosis a lot of the time just out habit from the way I eat), which could explain why I crapped out so quickly. Also I had to take a week off to let my back heal, and maybe I just got out of the groove. I don't know, but I hope it's better on Monday. I'm adding a little bit of sweet potato into my workout-day meals to try and combat this lack of endurance.
Yesterday I had 1/4 pound grass-fed burger and 5 boiled eggs with some salad for lunch. Worked out about 6:30, then had some grass-fed ground beef (maybe 3/4 lb?) with baby broccoli and half a sweet potato. Yum. Dessert was a mixture of frozen berries, almonds, and crumbled-up 85% dark chocolate. Delicious, I'll be keeping that one in the mental recipe file for another time.
I picked up 40 lbs of grass-fed beef in a bulk box from the butcher downtown today! I've got roasts, stew meat, shoulder and sirloin steaks, short ribs, and ground beef filling up my freezer. I feel wealthy having that much delicious grass-fed meat all at once, but it cost less per pound than the mediocre-quality grass-fed ground beef you can get at Trader Joe's, $6.25/lb. Gotta love bulk discounts!
That's all frozen at the moment, got some thawing for tomorrow. Right now I think I'll make some fried eggs and salad to break my fast.
Saturday afternoon we had some friends over to hang out, then went to bed early when they left (like 8:30 lol). Sunday we got up nice and early and went to the hardware store to buy some materials to make a compost bin. We just used wire mesh and wired it into a cylinder 3 ft tall by about 2 ft across, and once that one fills up we have enough wire mesh to make 3 more, so we'll just keep adding as needed.
Got to try my grass-fed steak yesterday as well. I just pan-seared it with a bit of garlic salt and pepper. It was a bit tough, but very good flavor (it's shoulder steak so I'm not surprised it's a little chewy). I cut it into strips and used as a topping for a big-ass salad. I'm looking forward to trying the top sirloin that's in the freezer as I'm sure that will be a bit easier to chew and taste great. But I only got a couple pounds of it so I need to parcel it out. I also made some ground beef for dinner and had it with some greens and a sweet potato.
No breakfast again this morning, just a bit of coffee. I think my gut is getting accustomed to having coffee on an empty stomach, and I think putting some half and half in it helps too for some reason, because I haven't been having the same issues the past couple of days with loose movements.
Today is a lift day: squat, bench press, weighted chins. I have a sweet potato and plenty of leftover beef to eat a couple of hours ahead of lifting, so I shouldn't have a fatigue problem like last time I hope. I'm going to eat half my potato before I work out and half after with some more meat. The lift schedule today is:
Squat: 3x5 @ 145 lbs (still re-loading and improving my form)
Bench Press: 3x5 @ 145 lbs
Chin-ups: 3x5 @ body weight + 10 lbs
Oof! I had to get to work early today to help unload a 40' shipping container. Some of the equipment we sell comes in 150-lb boxes, and they have to be pushed down the length of the container, then lifted down from 5' off the ground, then carted into the warehouse. I think I got an LHT workout combined with HIIT this morning! My heart rate got way up there when I was pushing those boxes.
Still going to the gym later, though.
Good lunch! We all went out to Oregano's since we busted our asses this morning unloading the truck. Got a big-ass salad with ribeye in it. Delicious.
And now the lunch I packed for today can be saved for pre- and post-workout. Bonus.
Hi Uncephalized, I enjoy reading your journal and note that your lifts are pretty similar to mine in terms of weight. I hope that your back injury gets better soon.
With the squat, I recently realised that with my long legs, I need to lean forward a little more when I'm in the hole (at the bottom). This makes me use my glutes when I come out again and gives me more power. It also works my core my as I need to keep tight when I come back out. Previously, I was probably leaning too far back which meant I had to lift with my quads. Not sure if this makes sense but it helped me squat a bit heavier. I can squat about 180 lbs but currently working my way back up on a 5 x 5 pattern with strict form. My current goal is 180 5 x 5, eventually I'd like to be lifting 300 lbs.
Keep up the good work. JP.
Well my legs are probably on the shorter side for my height actually. My main problem was not keeping my low back rigid enough in the hole, which I'm fixing by deloading and retraining the movement at lower weight, as well as concentrating hard on breath control. So far I'm back up to 145 with no problems, whereas I did hefty damage at 165 before. Luckily it only took me a week to recover.
Last night felt really good. Hit all my targets for weight and reps:
Squat: 3x5 @ 145 lbs (up 10 lbs from deload weight)
Bench Press: 3x5 @ 145 lbs (up 5 lbs)
Chin-up: 3x5 @ body weight plus 10 lbs (up 5 lbs)
My next lift day (Friday) will be squat, overhead press, and dead lift. I'll be trying for 90 lbs again on the overhead since I failed utterly last time.
Today is walking, tomorrow is walking and sprints.
Fiancee made a pretty tasty beef stew yesterday, which was pretty nice to come home to after my workout. Plus now I [I]still[/I] have my lunch from yesterday to eat today. Double bonus. I love it when someone cooks for me, usually cooking is my job. But I've made it clear that if she expects to eat anything besides the monotonous diet that I cook because it's easy and convenient and doesn't make a lot of dishes, she'll have to make it herself or wait for the once in a blue moon that I actually feel like making something complicated.
Hey Uncephalized, I just read your journal from start to finish and wanted to drop a word of encouragement. We're both coming from a similar place with the family history of obesity, bad diet habits and the like, even the same approximate height and weight. So it's cool to read that you're also enjoying lifting and making progress. You're totally right to take the squats slow and fix your form. With decades ahead to progress and grow stronger, for now we should both be content to build a solid foundation. Grok on!
It's awesome that your fiancée is so supportive. That is a decisive advantage. Do you have a date for the wedding?