For those of you who haven’t been following, I began a fat loss and training program on December 11, 2007 after having my bodyfat calculated at 16.75%. Around this same time, I contacted Justin Harris again to help with the process. For more information on this, click here
So, why am I doing this? I’ve been asked this several times already, and I don’t really have an answer. It seems I like to spend half the year training for pure strength, and the other half trying to get shredded. This just seems to work for me, and it keeps me motivated to train. I have to have something to train for, because I haven’t crossed the psychological bridge to “working out” just yet. I love to challenge myself with my training and I also feel, from a business perspective, that it keeps me closer to the end users of our products and website.
Current Training Plan:
My training has been 4 days per week on the following scheme:
Sunday: Chest and Biceps
Wednesday: AM – Hamstrings PM – Back and Calves
Thursday: AM – Shoulders PM – Triceps, abs
The volume has been high, with 4-5 movements for large body parts and 3-4 movements for smaller parts. The reps are in the 8-12 range, and nothing has been taken past failure. Over time the volume will drop and the intensity will come up.
This has been kept at 4 times per week for 20 minutes on LOW and MED carb days.
There have been no changes to the diet provided in the first update until this week.
The layout has been:
Sunday: Moderate carb
Monday: Low carb
Tuesday: Low carb
Wednesday: High carb
Thursday: High carb
Friday: Moderate carb
Saturday: Moderate carb
The result of the plan to this point has been a drop in bodyfat from 16.75% to 13.71%.
Part of the deal I made with Justin when this began was to be more detailed this time around, so here you go. This was my day….
I was awakened, via cell phone, by a call from a truck driver letting me know he was twenty minutes away from our weight room. I was told he would be there between 8:00 and 10:00. Normally with freight drivers this means you’ll be lucky if they get there before 3:00PM.
I dressed and left the house, only to spend the next two hours waiting for him to show up. As usual, he got lost twice. I’m used to this and know how freight companies work. Most of the time, it’s not the driver’s fault, so there’s no need to get upset. It’s just how these companies do business, and they’re all the same.
After the delivery was made – our Deluxe Smith Machine, made with Texas squat bar, band pegs, weight storage, texture coated posts, etc – I went back home to shower and get ready for the day.
As it turned out, my Meal 1 was still consumed at the same time as normal, but I was way behind on my emails (99% of my communication is via email). So, I answered as many as I could while eating breakfast. This is something I don’t like to do. I hate eating in front of a computer.
Meal 1: 9:30
50g of protein from ON 100% Egg Protein Rich Chocolate 2lbs.
100g carbs from Ezekiel Cereal
I then spent the next forty-five minutes answering emails and packing food and clothes for the day.
Meal 2: 10:15 (training shakes and training)
On my way to the gym I drank:
1 scoop whey isolate, 1 scoop Anatrop, 1.5 scoops waxy maize
Once I got there, I mixed:
1 scoop Anatrop and 1 scoop waxy maize to drink during the workout.
I figured I’d better put the new Smith Machine to the test, and started with seated front presses. These did not bother my shoulder much at all, which surprised me. I proceeded to do about 8 sets of 8-10 and finished with a drop set.
From there, I moved on to standing side raises for 4 sets of 12-15, Rickshaw shrugs for 4 sets of 8, 4 sets of rear delt machine work, 3 sets of front raises and some various shoulder movements using sledgehammers.
By 11:00AM, I was done and mixed up 1.5 scoops whey isolate, 1 scoop Anatrop and 3 scoops of waxy maize.
I then drove back home (I live 5 minutes away), showered, answered another eighteen emails and drove into work. On my way to work I returned a few phone calls that you couldn’t care less about and stopped off at Subway to pick up Meal 3. This was a turkey wrap with 4x turkey, lettuce, green peppers, cucumbers, and black pepper. Trust me, this is not as exciting as it sounds. In my bag I already had packed four slices of Ezekiel Bread to make up the difference. This meal (12:00PM) was around 50g protein and 100 grams carbs.
Pretty exciting day, no?
I spent the next few hours in the office doing office things.
No need to bore you with all the details of that, so I will move on.
At 3:30 (Meal 4) I had a 50 gram protein shake and 4 slices of Ezekiel bread. As you can see, I’m HUGE on meal prep.
At 4:30 (Meal 5) I repeated the pre-training shake process and drank this on the way to the gym.
Pre-workout: 1 scoop whey isolate, 1 scoop Anatrop, 1.5 scoops waxy maize
After I got to the gym I made this:
During workout: 1 scoop Anatrop, 1 scoop waxy maize
Close Grip JM Press with bands on Smith Machine (l had to use it): 6 sets of 8 with one strip set.
Chest-supported pushdowns with Fat Bar Straight Triceps Revolving Attachment: 5 sets of 10-12 reps
One Arm Band Pressdowns: 4 sets of 8-12
One Arm Crossover Extensions: 4 sets of 10-12
I finished with some light ab work.
After I got home (6:15), I drank 1.5 scoops whey isolate, 1 scoop Anatrop and 3 scoops waxy maize, then got in the shower and had Meal 6. This meal was 50g chicken breast with 75g rice. I spent the next couple of hours playing with my kids. I discovered I still suck just as bad at Super Mario World as I did when I was a kid. This was made worse when my 4-year-old made me look bad. I did regain my status, however, when it was story time and I knew more words than they did.
After the kids were put down (8:30pm), I cooked up 50g protein of egg whites and ate close to half a head of salted broccoli, then sat down to work for the night.
By 11:30PM, I finished a detailed marking analysis report on one of our target markets: powerlifting. This was a very cool project for me and I thought I hit the nail right on the head this time. These reports can get really complex, and sometimes the data analysis can skew what you are really trying to achieve. It is also very hard to be objective when you’re so close to the market. Thankfully, I have great bunch of advisors and associates who are very skilled and provide me with very detailed and objective forecasts. These reports are used to build better systems and services that help make us different from the rest.
I spent the next 45 minutes on project management reports and reading.
At 12:15AM, I slammed a 50g protein shake and called it a night.
While unconscious, I was awakened at 3:30AM by a puking kid. If I wake at night I will slam another shake, so I did.
Right now I’m sleeping through the night, but this normally changes the leaner I get. I have found for myself that I can’t sleep for crap when I am 16% and up. I awaken in fits where I can’t breathe and think I’m dying. I’m lucky to sleep for one hour straight, and I have a hell of a time falling back to sleep, so I live on Lunesta.
Between 12-15%, I sleep like a baby and could easily sleep ten hours if I wanted to (most of the time I get eight hours).
Around 10%, I only sleep 5-6 hours and always wake up halfway through. I slam a shake and fall right back to sleep again. I still sleep great, but there’s no way I could sleep eight hours.
I have NO idea why. It is just an observation I’ve made.
There have been some changes added this week. At this point there may be changes made every week, so watch my training log to stay up to date.
For this week I will have:
1 high day with a cheat meal as my last meal of the day
2 moderate days with half of all carbs being replaced with 1 cup of green beans
4 low days
Cardio will be bumped up to 30 minutes on all low and moderate days, and the intensity of each session will be increased.
For the rest of my training I will stay with the current split I’ve been using, but will take the first movement past failure on the last one or two sets.
Within the next few weeks I’ll add on more day per week. When this happens, four sets on all the other days will be pulled, and the intensity will be increased. Think of it this way: the total sets will stay the same for the week, but will happen on five days instead of four. I will then really start pushing the intensity up.
Justin Q and A
Here are some of the questions I have asked Justin since the last update.
Exactly how soon before training should I drink the pre-training
drink and why?
I drink it on the way to the gym. The nutrients in the pre-workout drink are designed around the low osmolality of waxy maize. What this means is that all the nutrients are pulled through the stomach to the small intestine very rapidly. There is no stomach distention or bloating. You can drink it DURING your first set and have no troubles. That’s the beauty of Anatrop and waxy maize. There are no stomach problems, so instead of slamming a post workout drink hoping to REPLACE nutrients after your workout, you’re actually already providing the correct nutrients for after the workout…BEFORE the workout.
How soon after training should I have the post-training drink? I do cardio after I train. Should I drink it between the two?
Take the drink immediately after cardio. You want to replenish nutrient levels in the muscle as soon as possible after training. Your body is low in muscle glycogen and most of the circulating blood aminos are going to be converted to glucose. This means that your body is craving nutrients. If there is little glycogen, and lowered levels of blood sugar and blood aminos, the body begins breaking down muscle tissue to provide those needs. Ingesting the drink as soon as possible after the workout provides as little lag time as possible when this is going on.
This is more important in the offseason. In the dieting phase, our nutrition is designed not to load blood nutrient levels, but to keep them steady. So, the low GI carbs, essential fatty acids, and whole food protein from the meals before your training will be broken down slowly. This means that you SHOULDN’T be overly deficient in blood aminos and blood sugar after your workout.
Wait until after cardio, though. The post-workout drink will flood your body with nutrients and raise insulin levels. Insulin blunts fat loss via an enzyme that shuttles fat to the mitochondria. When insulin is bound to a receptor, it tells that cell NOT to burn fat. We don’t want that while doing cardio.
In simple English, what is the waxy maize doing?
Preventing muscle loss and fueling muscle growth. In plain terms, it gets to the muscles faster. It doesn’t sit in the stomach. Instead, it goes directly to the bloodstream and directly to the muscles.
It’s a lower GI carb. People don’t understand why this is good. People know dextrose spikes insulin, and know that WAS good. The problem is that dextrose – or any sugar – DOES spike insulin WHEN it gets to the blood. But if it’s sitting in the stomach for twenty minutes before it gets to the bloodstream, what good is that? By that time, waxy maize has reached the blood, combined with water and sodium, and has been taken up to the muscle.
The body produces roughly the same amount of insulin for the amount of carbs you eat. If you have 100g of waxy maize, or 100g of dextrose, it doesn’t matter. The body produces the SAME amount of insulin. The dextrose insulin spike is higher, but that’s because it all rushes to the blood at the same time – well after the waxy maize has already been trickling into the blood stream for some time.
Can I replace the pre-training drink with a Monster drink on days where I
need a pick-me-up?
You can combine the pre-training drink with a SUGAR FREE Monster drink. Pre-workout energy drinks contain stimulants. They’re actually GOOD for fat burning, IF THEY HAVE NO SUGAR OR CARBS.
Caffeine works by blocking adenosine receptors. Adenosine is the body’s “sleepy” receptors. By blocking those, the body can’t create the “sleep.” So, there are more “wake wake” receptors active compared to “sleep sleep.”
Caffeine breaks down to about 85% paraxanthine. The xanthines are stimulants in their own right and have some unique properties. Additionally, one of the metabolites of caffeine is one of the “feel good” products of chocolate. All of this increases lipolysis, which in plain terms means that caffeine burns fat. It’s good when dieting.
But again, the energy drink has to be SUGAR FREE.
What about Gatorade on high days? It seems to fit the profile of
high carb, low fat and tons of sodium, correct?
The carbs are all monosaccharides, which are simple sugars. On pre-contest high days, I prefer complex carbs – mostly for hunger reasons. In the offseason, however, the goal is to eat carbs, minimize fat, and raise insulin. Insulin is raised all day so there really isn’t a major need to distinguish between simple carbs and complex carbs.
How can I cook Chicken so it doesn’t taste like hell?
Poach it. Cut it up, coat a pan with soy sauce and any other spices you like. Put the chicken in, then fill the pan with water until the chicken is covered. Cook on medium heat until the water is mostly cooked off. The chicken will be very moist.
Can I replace my post-training shake with the same amount of carbs
from sources like papaya, pineapple, oranges, grapes or Dr. Pepper?
This would not be all the time but could be used as a break from sucking on the shaker cup with the pink liquid. I wouldn’t do this if you want to be at your best. These aren’t bad, but they all contain fructose – and in the case of Dr. Pepper, high fructose corn syrup. I won’t go too in-depth about fructose, but it isn’t the most efficient carb source for restoring glycogen in the muscles.
Fructose can be stored as muscle glycogen, but it tends to go to restore liver glycogen first. There’s a reason waxy maize and certain carbs are used. It’s because they work better.
When you’re near 300 lbs in the offseason, it’s tough to maintain that muscle mass. At that point, the little things become more and more important to continue making gains. If you’re 135 lbs and 6’2”, the focus isn’t on the little things – it’s on getting some f-ing nutrients down.
What’s the deal with Metabotrop? You get me addicted and then pull
it away from me! Just kidding. I stocked up. When is the best time to take it, and why?
The loss of Metabotrop will be worth the wait. We’re bringing back the Metabotrop with the addition of another ingredient. We’re also coming out with a stimulant-free fat burner that you can take any time of the day, and as many times during the day as you want. We also have a VERY strong stimulant product coming out, and a neuro-enhancement stimulant as well.
So, the wait will be worth it.
The ingredients in the new product are designed to stimulate the release of fatty acids into the bloodstream while minimizing appetite. The best times to take it are first thing in the morning and either early afternoon or pre-workout later in the day. This provides a steady stream of thermogenesis and helps burn fat through the fatty acid release the product causes.
Should I take Anatrop before, during and after cardio on the days
I’m not training (cardio-only days)?
You can take it before and after cardio on any day. It is VERY anti-catabolic and will help prevent muscle loss during the cardio session. It does contain calories, though, and these need to be accounted for, but they’re calories specific to the mechanisms of muscle building/sparing. So yes, it will be quite beneficial to take it with cardio. I wouldn’t take it during cardio, as I like the cardio to be 100% about burning fat. Because of this, I would leave out any calorie sources during the cardio.
What exactly do you mean by “cheat meal?” Is this a healthy cheat? Is there a time limit to this?
If you’re eating junk, you’re shutting down fat burning. Even a mild “cheat” meal is going to be hypercaloric and switch the body from fat burning to nutrient storing, so you might as well go all the way. Load up on whatever you want. I’ve considered a whole large pizza an appetizer when close to a show.
The huge influx of calories will restore muscle glycogen (you may already be as much as 1,000 calories depleted there – that’s 1,000 calories worth of glucose you can almost eat freely), aid in shutting off hunger hormones (reducing appetite), restore any vitamin/mineral/nutrient deficiencies the limited food options may create, and boost your metabolism. The metabolic boost from the huge calorie intake will make the following day especially effective for fat burning.
Also remember that all the neurotransmitters in the brain that are derived from dietary nutrients (the mono-amines, dopamine, serotonin, nor-epinephrine and epinephrine) are all derived from L-tyrosine and L-tryptophan (for serotonin). Imbalances in these can cause forms of depression, fatigue, malaise, reduction in “predatory behavior,” and other things that you don’t want to deal with when dieting. The mega-influx of calories and protein offers the potential for better production of these neurotransmitters.
What’s is the deal with green beans? I gotta know. Thankfully, I like
them, and at least they’re not asparagus. Green beans for breakfast are not good. For this meal, can I use green peppers? I just can’t see a green bean egg white omelet, but hey – if that’s the deal, then I will do what I gotta do.
Green beans are a higher carbohydrate vegetable. When we reduce your “complex carbs” by 1/2 and add in those carbs from green beans you’re actually INCREASING your food volume. Green beans will take up more space than most other carbs on a calorie for calorie basis. They also have more fiber – which the body doesn’t really derive any caloric benefit from. So, even though the carb amount is the same, there is less effect on insulin and less “real” carbs.
Then, later on, we can replace the green beans with broccoli, asparagus, lettuce, cauliflower, spinach, or other very low calorie leafy vegetables and NOT DROP THE AMOUNT OF FOOD YOU’RE EATING at all, but drop the calories.
It’s a nice trick on the body. You end up eating a higher volume of food, all while dropping calories twice.
For more Q&A with Justin, click here.