Tag Archives: strength training

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.


Going Paleo

10 Oct

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Luckily, I’ve only been lazy keeping a blog, and not my workouts!

A lot has happened for me health wise. In the last few months, I discovered the Paleo diet. I also changed my workout routine. I’m not a guy who jumps onto hot new fads typically, but after reading Robb Wolf’s book, The Paleo Solution, and giving this style of eating a try, I was hooked!

I won’t get into a detailed explanation of Paleo eating here. It is essentially eating a diet of single ingredient whole foods, like our prehistoric ancestors ate. It includes lots of meats, vegetables, fruits, tubers, and nuts. It avoids ALL processed foods of any kind, dairy, wheat, soy, and legumes. Read Robb Wolf’s book for more specifics.

I’m doing Paleo because I’m looking, and feeling AMAZING! My experience has been that it takes about a week to adjust — at first, you feel a bit cranky from wheat withdrawal, coupled with trying to figure out what foods to eat. After that first week, you notice normal body “bloat” start to vanish. During weeks two and three, I felt like was losing body fat on a daily basis, especially around the waist. My weight, and body fat, got to the lowest level it had ever been after sticking to a very hardcore paleo regiment for about 30 days. Also, after the first week or so, I noticed that not only did my energy levels improve, they stayed very steady throughout the day. No highs and lows anymore… no crashing feeling during the afternoon. Over the last few months I’ve been on and off Paleo, but as of Sunday, October 6, 2013, I’m all Paleo, all the time. Our son was born so things got hectic, and I also experimented by reintroducing non paleo foods, mainly wheat, to test their impact. Immediately felt bloated, had erratic energy, and just didn’t feel my best.

My workouts have also changed. I’m seven weeks into a classic 5×5 strength building routine. I just haven’t felt “strong” enough for my liking, so I picked this program to help me with that. The workout uses compound lifts, heavy progressive weight loading, for five sets of five reps. I’ve been thrilled with the workout so far, having added weights to my lifts every week. My plan is to keep going with eating Paleo, and adding weights until I really plateau… if it ain’t broke….

Finally, I’ve hired an online fitness “coach” to help me along. I had a Skype chat on Monday for an hour to go over my current status, goals, etc. She endorsed Paleo, and my 5×5 routine with enthusiasm. I’m planning to do a monthly check in with her to see how I’m progressing. Knowing I have to face her will also keep me accountable!

Finally, it’s hard to do, but I’m posting an “accountability photo” here so I can compare every thirty days. My goal is to be stronger, and have six pack abs, by June 2014!