Tag Archives: gluten free

Mass Building One Month Progress

7 Nov

A month ago I switched over to a mass building focused workout plan. I’m doing it while: 1) eating paleo, 2) taking creatine and BCAA supplements, and 3) a high quality whey shake. For the last month, I have not been counting calories, but rather relying on my paleo diet regulated hormones to tell me to eat when I’m hungry. It turns out, I’m eating a TON! I’m going to track calories for the next week or so to get a benchmark, but I’d guess I’m 2900-3500 calories a day. I’m also guessing my macronutrients are around 20% carbs, 40% protein, 40% fat.

My workout is based on volume training. Lower weights, for high rep/set counts. My split consists of Chest & Back, Legs & Abs, Arms & Shoulders. My workouts are about an hour each with the bulk of the workout being a push-pull alternating superset, with ten reps and ten sets. For example, my chest routine is a flat bench, followed by machine row. 90 second rest periods, for the ten set rotation. I then finish off with 3 sets of 12 reps incline dumbbell flies and lat pull downs.

Here is my 30 day progress:

Day 1

Day 1

Day 30

Day 30

A bit of visual progress perhaps… I’ve noticed that I’m adding muscle for sure. My arms and chest are definitely “thicker” looking and feeling. I’ve also noticed a difference in my glutes, quads and hamstrings.

My plan is to keep at this mass building through Christmas.


Volume Training for serious MASS

5 Nov

A couple weeks ago, I switched up my routine to a volume based training style. The goal is to try and add as much muscle size as I can between now and Christmas. Week 4 is about to start, and so far the results are great!

Volume training is basically a method which uses higher rep and set ranges, but with lower weights. The tempo of the move you are doing is also very important in this style. Slower, more methodical movements with good form are essential. “Time under tension” is an advanced and time honored body building technique. Even with less weight, slower, full range of motion moves stimulate the muscle and promote growth.

My particular routine is a 3 day split — Chest and Back, Legs and Abs, Arms and Shoulders. Each day has a top superset with 10 sets of 10 reps in each set. For example, Chest and Back is a bench press, followed by machine row, with 90 second breaks in between. The cadence is a 4 second lowering of the weight, followed by an explosive, but controlled, move up with the weight. I definitely had to lighten the weight significantly due to the increased difficulty of slower reps… not to mention having to do 100 of each move total! After the main superset, I finish up with 3 sets of 12 reps with two supporting moves. In the chest workout, it’s incline dumbbell flies and lateral pull downs.

In just a few weeks, I’ve already noticed an increase in muscle size! My plan is to keep going with this program through Christmas.

Special note – I am using creatine and Promasil whey shakes during this mass building phase. I’m also eating paleo/primal. My only deviation from paleo is that I use milk once a day in a post workout shake. I’m not counting calories, but just eating when I’m hungry… which turns out to be every 2-3 hours! I haven’t been using the scale, but rather just visually looking at muscle growth and weights used. As long as I look good, and I’m steadily increasing weights, I’m happy for now. After the holidays, I plan on a strict 3 month “cutting” program.

The “Gluten Free” Myth

24 Oct

When my family and I started eating paleo, I checked out the “gluten free” section of my fancy grocery store. While I knew that paleo is largely about eating natural, single ingredient whole foods, I figured that there must be some goodies tucked away in the “healthy” gluten free section of the grocery store. I was WRONG!

As I picked up a variety of gluten free products (breads, cookies, cereal, pastas, etc.), and read the ingredients, I quickly found out that wheat and gluten were just replaced with another type of filler ingredient. A processed food is a processed food — take out the wheat, and the food companies simply replace it with soy, rice, potato starch, or some other undesirable item.

The up side to my grocery store misfortune was unexpected. When I got home and told my wife what I discovered, we decided to start making our own high quality snacks and paleo-friendly recipes together. We now make large batches of paleo cookies, dinner recipes, nut bars, and other tasty treats using quality whole food ingredients. We make large batches and use our vacuum sealer to freeze things for later use. We get the kids involved too. My girls, ages 5 and 7, help to measure, stir, and add ingredients to our paleo concoctions. We have turned our healthy eating food prep into quality family time! Instead of taking the easy route and buying processed foods in a box, we are now all living healthier, and happier together!