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    Blodg Updates, Anecdotes, and Fitness by the Numbers

    I thought I would start a journal so that I can give occasional updates here instead of always making new threads in the main O35 section. I want to talk about plans, progress and occasional workouts but am not going to use this to log every training session.

    A quick background for those that don't know:
    - Currently 51 years old
    - I worked out for a couple years way back in high school and stayed in decent shape in my 20's. Throughout most of my 30's and all of my 40's I was overweight and out of shape.
    - My blood pressure and cholesterol were climbing so two years ago at 49 I decided to make a serious effort to get healthy.
    - So I have been exercising now for just over 2 years, the first year was mostly cardio with lifting on a couple machines and the 2nd year was mostly lifting weights with a little cardio.
    - After 22 months I finally met my fat loss goal in Oct 2018. I had changed my goal weight several times and ended up losing a total of 65 lbs and 11 inches on my waist. After maintaining for a few weeks I am now about 3 months into my first ever planned gaining phase.

    I described my weight loss journey in this youtube video:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shFevG6T5_4

    And here is a before and after of what I looked like for the last 20 years and then at the end of my cut in Oct 2018:
    Bodybuilding is much more than an hour in the gym a few days a week---it's a lifestyle that changes all your perceptions about how to live, eat, and rest. It feeds the mind as much (and sometimes more so) than the body.
    ~Originally posted by ironwill2008
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    Registered User tblodg15's Avatar
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    OK time for some updates!

    Full Body for the first time
    After always running splits when I lifted for 2 years back in HS and when starting back up 2 years ago I recently decided to give full body a try. I am doing full body at home on Mon-Wed-Fri with cardio and abs on Sat morning at the YMCA. Tonight I will finish up my 2nd week and of course it is too early to tell if I am going to like it or make progress long term but so far so good. One thing is that my workouts are taking a little longer - on upper/lower my workouts were taking an hour on average and now they are taking about 1 hour and 15 min. After some thought it makes sense because now I am taking basically the same volume over 4 days and doing it in 3 days. But even though they are taking longer each day I have a whole extra day off!

    I was hesitant to switch because I did feel I was making good progress with body comp on the upper-lower split that I was using for the last 6 months. But a couple things that encouraged me to try full body:
    - my son will be starting HS baseball soon and with games almost every day it was going to be very difficult to lift 4 days per week plus a 5th day for cardio as I had been doing. Of course I could get up at 3:30A like some of the guys on here but I barely get 6.5 hours of sleep a night getting up at my normal 5:20A. I am not a morning person but really I just think sleep, especially when lifting and trying to build muscle, is not something that I should sacrifice.
    - Before the upper-lower split the last 6 months I was using a push-pull-legs split that only had me hitting each muscle group 1.5 times per week. At the time I truly thought I needed the additional recovery at my age but I saw better progress when I went to 2X per week, so why not try 3X and if I don't like it I can always go back!
    - Lastly I like the idea of maybe some benefit to 3X per week frequency but at the same time getting an extra day off per week for recovery! Even when baseball and my daughters softball is over and our crazy hectic time of the year slows down it will still be nice to have an extra day for yard work or just family time. But I do truly enjoy my workout sessions so I could see maybe cycling back and forth occasionally between full body 3 days and upper-lower 4 days per week.
    Last edited by tblodg15; 02-08-2019 at 11:03 AM.
    Bodybuilding is much more than an hour in the gym a few days a week---it's a lifestyle that changes all your perceptions about how to live, eat, and rest. It feeds the mind as much (and sometimes more so) than the body.
    ~Originally posted by ironwill2008
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    I've read your posts and seen your transformation in the main O35 area. Great job!!!

    I'll be following along, and regarding your "first ever planned gaining phase," from experience I would say "easy does it." Most gain way to fast. Gaining anything faster than 2 lbs per month will likely result in too much fat gained to too little muscle IMO. And summer is just 3-4 months away
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    Gone from grandad to Grand Master! Wonderful transformation!

    I've followed your other posts on this forum, and you've shown a lot of wisdom and good judgement. I'm looking forward to following your chronicle.


    3-day full body has been very good for me. At 63, the recovery is fine, especially given that there are two full days between the end of the previous week and the beginning of the next. I accumulate fatigue during the week, but it's gone by the next.

    Whichever method you choose, I'm sure you'll choose well!
    I'm out, standing in my field.

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    Registered User tblodg15's Avatar
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    Friday 2/8/19 morning weight - 170.0, weekly average - 171.1

    This gaining phase is going well and I have been constantly adjusting my calories to hit my weekly average target weight. This graph shows my weekly average versus my target weight since I started and projected into another cut for this summer and gaining phase next fall.


    My average weight for years was 225 and I had been down close to 200 pounds twice in the last 15 years but always fell off the diet and immediately gained it right back. You can see on my graph that I started regressing in the fall of 2017 until I told myself "not this time" and made a new commitment to be more strict and I started tracking calories and macros and have been on target ever since.

    I have been feeling pretty comfortable here lately around 170 pounds and I think if I wasn't cutting for summer or purposely gaining to try and add muscle I think my normal walk around weight would be in the low 170's at 5'7". My body fat is probably 15-16% so I have a little fat around the waist and love handles but my face is still a little sunken so I wouldn't want to maintain at much lower.
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    Last edited by tblodg15; 02-08-2019 at 11:15 AM.
    Bodybuilding is much more than an hour in the gym a few days a week---it's a lifestyle that changes all your perceptions about how to live, eat, and rest. It feeds the mind as much (and sometimes more so) than the body.
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    Originally Posted by Payton1221 View Post

    I'll be following along, and regarding your "first ever planned gaining phase," from experience I would say "easy does it." Most gain way to fast. Gaining anything faster than 2 lbs per month will likely result in too much fat gained to too little muscle IMO. And summer is just 3-4 months away
    Thanks for the advice and believe me I was worried about gaining weight on purpose after 2 years of losing weight. I have been trying to take it slow and my target is .4 lbs per week for 1.6 lbs per month. You can see on my graph I got ahead of that a few times so I dropped the calories back a bit for the next few weeks to make sure I wasn't gaining too fast. I was worried that I might just gain the fat right back that I just loss but I can say that I am definitely gaining as much or slightly more muscle than I am fat. Tomorrow I am due to measure my skinfolds again and maybe I will give an update here but so far my skinfold measurements are several mm smaller at 170 now than they were at 170 on the way down which makes me very relieved.

    I know I won't do these gaining and cutting phases for very long but I figured I would give it a try and always figured if I ended up near the same LBM after I go up and back down then I will just work more on maintaining but so far it appears to be working.
    Bodybuilding is much more than an hour in the gym a few days a week---it's a lifestyle that changes all your perceptions about how to live, eat, and rest. It feeds the mind as much (and sometimes more so) than the body.
    ~Originally posted by ironwill2008
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    Originally Posted by tblodg15 View Post
    Tomorrow I am due to measure my skinfolds again and maybe I will give an update here but so far my skinfold measurements are several mm smaller at 170 now than they were at 170 on the way down which makes me very relieved.
    How tall are you?
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    Originally Posted by Payton1221 View Post
    How tall are you?
    5 foot 7
    Bodybuilding is much more than an hour in the gym a few days a week---it's a lifestyle that changes all your perceptions about how to live, eat, and rest. It feeds the mind as much (and sometimes more so) than the body.
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    Originally Posted by tblodg15 View Post
    5 foot 7
    You're carrying a quality amount of muscle. Job well done.

    So I either need to pick-up another 15 lbs of muscle or keep what I have while shrinking 3"
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    Originally Posted by Payton1221 View Post
    You're carrying a quality amount of muscle. Job well done.

    So I either need to pick-up another 15 lbs of muscle or keep what I have while shrinking 3"
    Thanks man, I have always been naturally stocky and just needed to drop the excess fat. And ha, you don’t want to be any shorter I guarantee that!
    Bodybuilding is much more than an hour in the gym a few days a week---it's a lifestyle that changes all your perceptions about how to live, eat, and rest. It feeds the mind as much (and sometimes more so) than the body.
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    Originally Posted by ElrondHubbard View Post
    Gone from grandad to Grand Master! Wonderful transformation!
    Not a literal granddad yet. I have 3 teenagers at home, and my oldest son is 25 but no kids or wife for him yet.

    Thanks for the encouragement and I enjoy reading and getting some inspiration from your journal.
    Bodybuilding is much more than an hour in the gym a few days a week---it's a lifestyle that changes all your perceptions about how to live, eat, and rest. It feeds the mind as much (and sometimes more so) than the body.
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    2/9/19 Morning weight 170.4

    Went to YMCA for 35 minutes of cardio on an elliptical. Also did 3 sets of cable crunches for abs and 3 sets of face pulls.

    Yesterday completed week 2 of full body and will continue to ramp up the weights and reps next week. Will also add a couple sets next week and then decide if the following week 4 should be a deload or push for another week.

    I measured skinfolds today to get a body fat estimate. The calipers seem to underestimate my true % and my bioimpedance scale seems to overestimate so I document both and take the average. Of course the actual number is an estimate and alone it doesn’t mean a lot but I think it’s in the ballpark and the average came out to 15.6% today. I don’t worry about the actual number much but the trends can indicate if I am losing or gaining body fat and the lowest average I have had was 14.9% on the day of my progress pics at the end of my cut in October.

    More than the percentage I do think the actual caliper measurements tell a lot. If they are going up or down then regardless of the percentage I am losing or gaining subcutaneous fat! Of course the calipers don’t measure visceral fat but the scale seems to do that well as the scale % correlates closely with my waist circumference.

    The caliper fold measurement at my lower abdomen is up about 1mm from the end of my cut but the chest and thigh measurements have not increased yet during this gaining phase. I also document a couple other locations that are not used in the Jackson-Pollack calculation just for reference.

    Day off on Sunday and then back at it on Monday. I have my annual blood screening at work on Tuesday and will be real curious to get my cholesterol results and see how they compare to last year. Last year at this time I was 190 lbs for the blood screening and my numbers had dropped a good amount from 212 lbs the year before. One potential drawback this year is that I am in a calorie surplus with only 1 day of cardio per week where last year I was cutting and doing 3 days of cardio per week. But being down another 20 lbs and another whole year of exercise I expect the cholesterol numbers to drop again.
    Bodybuilding is much more than an hour in the gym a few days a week---it's a lifestyle that changes all your perceptions about how to live, eat, and rest. It feeds the mind as much (and sometimes more so) than the body.
    ~Originally posted by ironwill2008
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    Originally Posted by tblodg15 View Post
    I measured skinfolds today to get a body fat estimate. The calipers seem to underestimate my true % and my bioimpedance scale seems to overestimate so I document both and take the average. Of course the actual number is an estimate and alone it doesn’t mean a lot but I think it’s in the ballpark and the average came out to 15.6% today. I don’t worry about the actual number much but the trends can indicate if I am losing or gaining body fat and the lowest average I have had was 14.9% on the day of my progress pics at the end of my cut in October.
    If you want one more metric to use as a benchmark , have you ever looked at the Navy formula for bodyfat? That's one that typically gives fairly accurate results. There are many calculators on the internet, but here's one: http://fitness.bizcalcs.com/Calculat...=Body-Fat-Navy

    I'm curious how you interpret your results too. Right or wrong, I've been putting the most emphasis in the Total/HDL ratio where 5 = average risk and lower is better.
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    Originally Posted by Payton1221 View Post
    If you want one more metric to use as a benchmark , have you ever looked at the Navy formula for bodyfat? That's one that typically gives fairly accurate results. There are many calculators on the internet, but here's one: http://fitness.bizcalcs.com/Calculat...=Body-Fat-Navy

    I'm curious how you interpret your results too. Right or wrong, I've been putting the most emphasis in the Total/HDL ratio where 5 = average risk and lower is better.
    That one WAY underestimates my fat levels, I'd guess by about 4%. I take an average of that and about 3 others, and I still come out too low compared to the mirror view.

    As long as you're consistent, though, at least it should track increases and decreases well.
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    Well I drove to my blood screening today and it was cancelled! My kids school was delayed so I guess it was for weather?

    Disappointed for a couple reasons: since I am in a gaining phase I was thinking the extra calories in theory could show up as triglycerides so I adjusted my calories all week to maintain. I weighed in at 170.6 this morning which was exactly the same for 3 days in a row which never happens. I was 170.8 last Wed so I pretty much nailed my one week maintenance plan LOL. Oh well not a big deal but I could have continued my surplus. Mainly disappointed because I want to see my numbers and I don't know when it will be rescheduled. The main reason I started this fitness journey 25 months ago was to improve my blood pressure and cholesterol. I can measure my blood pressure fairly easy but only get 1 time a year to see how my cholesterol is progressing.

    I have all the numbers from over the years but just looking at the ratio of total chol/HDL I have been well above the target of 5.0 the last 10 years. It dropped at 45 years-old when I lost 20 lbs but I immediately gained the weight back. There has been a nice downward trend the last 3 years since I started eating healthier and exercising. It was 3.8 last year and I am down another 20 lbs so estimating to be around 3.5 or lower. It was bad for so long and that's why I am excited to check my progress but guess I just have to wait to find out now...
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    Completed Mondays workout after work yesterday highlighted by bench press and squats.

    My bench press has felt a little weak the last few sessions. Other than natural variation I wonder if it could be due to:
    - most likely because I have had a mild head cold the last few weeks and maybe that is it.
    - but I am also in just the 3rd week of a new full body routine. I have a heavy, medium, and light days but maybe my body needs time to adjust to the new 3x per week frequency?
    - about the time I came down with the cold I had just done an amrap test and took a 10 day deload before the test. I did work out twice in those 10 days but they were light deload type of workouts and in hindsight I think that was probably too long and maybe I actually lost some strength. Next time I will try 5 or 7 days as I continue to learn this workout stuff. Reading online it seems most guys rest 7 or 10 days before a meet for squats and deadlifts but for bench press some guys only rest 3 to 5 days.
    Bodybuilding is much more than an hour in the gym a few days a week---it's a lifestyle that changes all your perceptions about how to live, eat, and rest. It feeds the mind as much (and sometimes more so) than the body.
    ~Originally posted by ironwill2008
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    Originally Posted by tblodg15 View Post
    Well I drove to my blood screening today and it was cancelled!
    Free is obviously best, but if you ever want to know badly enough you can pay to have the test conducted yourself: https://www.privatemdlabs.com/lp/cho...ol-testing.php

    That's a good trend on your cholesterol number, i.e., it's gotten better since age 48. Obviously genetics play a big factor, but outside of that, everyone can improve their personal predisposition by losing weight (which you've done), exercising (which you do), and minimizing sugars and opting for more fruits and vegetables. I eat a fair amount of 90/10 hamburger and eggs too which don't seem to negatively affect my lipids but I understand that for a minority of people (~20% IIRC), cholesterol intake does affect lipids.

    Oh, and unless your son has a strict coach, I'm fairly certain you can expect a 16 year old male to sacrifice depth for weight on the bar You should see my son's pull-ups. He can only get about 8-9 and I don't think he can get one from a dead hang position
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    Originally Posted by tblodg15 View Post
    I described my weight loss journey in this youtube video:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shFevG6T5_4

    And here is a before and after of what I looked like for the last 20 years and then at the end of my cut in Oct 2018:
    Incredibly Ripped, and you have so many years ahead. Please keep sharing your secret with us, brother!!
    ⭐ Samurai Break: 140kg(308lb) Failed Bench Press Recovery Video:
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    Originally Posted by tblodg15 View Post
    Completed Mondays workout after work yesterday highlighted by bench press and squats.

    My bench press has felt a little weak the last few sessions. Other than natural variation I wonder if it could be due to:
    - most likely because I have had a mild head cold the last few weeks and maybe that is it.
    - but I am also in just the 3rd week of a new full body routine. I have a heavy, medium, and light days but maybe my body needs time to adjust to the new 3x per week frequency?
    - about the time I came down with the cold I had just done an amrap test and took a 10 day deload before the test. I did work out twice in those 10 days but they were light deload type of workouts and in hindsight I think that was probably too long and maybe I actually lost some strength. Next time I will try 5 or 7 days as I continue to learn this workout stuff. Reading online it seems most guys rest 7 or 10 days before a meet for squats and deadlifts but for bench press some guys only rest 3 to 5 days.
    The head cold can have a bigger effect than you might expect, especially if there’s any sinus involvement.

    I’m not sure what you mean about the rest period before an AMRAP test. Ten days does seem long, but so would any interval longer than your normal recovery time between workouts. Part of it, I think, depends on how much training you have done leading up to the test. If you’ve accumulated a lot of fatigue, which training for a meet might involve, a longer recovery period might work. If you’re trying to establish a baseline to map your future progression, it’s not so important.

    Age may also play a role. I’ve noticed that as I age, the line between too much recovery and not enough becomes narrower. My strength drops quickly if I don’t keep it up, but recovery is slower than I would like. Still, a three day full body program is probably the best choice for that. For bench and squat, it’s a medium-light-heavy sequence for me, which gives me two full days of recovery on one end, and a recovery-friendly light day in the middle.

    Either way, I think once your head cold sorts itself out and you get into a rhythm, you’ll do well.
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    Originally Posted by Samraiwise View Post
    Incredibly Ripped, and you have so many years ahead. Please keep sharing your secret with us, brother!!
    Thank you Kaz! I have stopped in your journal a few different times and those weighted pull-ups are impressive! I also found it interesting how you have been using the same bench for years and how you need to rearrange your workout area every time you exercise.
    Bodybuilding is much more than an hour in the gym a few days a week---it's a lifestyle that changes all your perceptions about how to live, eat, and rest. It feeds the mind as much (and sometimes more so) than the body.
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    Originally Posted by ElrondHubbard View Post
    I’m not sure what you mean about the rest period before an AMRAP test. Ten days does seem long, but so would any interval longer than your normal recovery time between workouts. Part of it, I think, depends on how much training you have done leading up to the test. If you’ve accumulated a lot of fatigue, which training for a meet might involve, a longer recovery period might work. If you’re trying to establish a baseline to map your future progression, it’s not so important.
    I wanted to test my strength with a weight I thought that I could get 5 reps on. I rarely take sets all the way to failure but as I was ramping up the weight toward the end of my training block I was close to failure and the heavier weight made me sore (and I rarely get sore). So after my last heavy bench session I purposely took a 10 day deload before my test to make sure all built-up fatigue was dissipated. I had googled how long guys rest before power lifting meets and the consensus was 7 - 10 days. Like I already said, in hindsight that was too long. Probably partly because of my age and also because power lifters are testing true 1 rep maxes with singles, doubles, and triples leading up to it and with me doing sets of 4 or 5 at the heaviest I should not have had as much fatigue to get rid of as a power lifter. Oh well, like I said I am learning this whole lifting thing as I go I felt strong on the day of my test, it was the following week when I dropped the weights back down and it has felt heavier than it should since then.

    I ended up getting 225 for 5 reps which calculates to an estimated 1 rep max of 262 lbs. That estimate could be off and who knows if I could actually do that much but who cares? I am good with shooting for 5 rep maxes and don't ever plan on doing true singles or even doubles or triples. And really I have not focused on strength much at all but while I am in a calorie surplus and I figured now is the time to see how much strength I can add so I have been doing sets in the 4 - 6 rep range. The strength is increasing but it is slow, my amrap previous test was done 4 months before that and 205 x 7 calculates out to an estimated max of 251. So I gained about 11 lbs in 4 months so slow but at least it is going up! But right now 3 sets of 200 x 6 are feeling heavy and I don't think I could come even close to 225 x 5. But I have another 9 or 10 weeks before I will test again before I start my cut so I have time to build it back up. Or at least we will see haha.

    And thanks for the insight El, I have seen you mention in your journal how felt like you lose strength even on a regular deload. My normal heavy bench day is on Monday so moving forward before a test I will just take a deload workout on Wed and Fri and do my test the following Monday which would be my next normal heavy day anyways.
    Last edited by tblodg15; 02-14-2019 at 02:10 PM.
    Bodybuilding is much more than an hour in the gym a few days a week---it's a lifestyle that changes all your perceptions about how to live, eat, and rest. It feeds the mind as much (and sometimes more so) than the body.
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    Originally Posted by tblodg15 View Post
    I wanted to test my strength with a weight I thought that I could get 5 reps on. I rarely take sets all the way to failure but as I was ramping up the weight toward the end of my training block I was close to failure and the heavier weight made me sore (and I rarely get sore). So after my last heavy bench session I purposely took a 10 day deload before my test to make sure all built-up fatigue was dissipated. I had googled how long guys rest before power lifting meets and the consensus was 7 - 10 days. Like I already said, in hindsight that was too long. Probably partly because of my age and also because power lifters are testing true 1 rep maxes with singles, doubles, and triples leading up to it and with me doing sets of 4 or 5 at the heaviest I should not have had as much fatigue to get rid of as a power lifter. Oh well, like I said I am learning this whole lifting thing as I go I felt strong on the day of my test, it was the following week when I dropped the weights back down and it has felt heavier than it should since then.

    I ended up getting 225 for 5 reps which calculates to an estimated 1 rep max of 262 lbs. That estimate could be off and who knows if I could actually do that much but who cares? I am good with shooting for 5 rep maxes and don't ever plan on doing true singles or even doubles or triples. And really I have not focused on strength much at all but while I am in a calorie surplus and I figured now is the time to see how much strength I can add so I have been doing sets in the 4 - 6 rep range. The strength is increasing but it is slow, my amrap previous test was done 4 months before that and 205 x 7 calculates out to an estimated max of 251. So I gained about 11 lbs in 4 months so slow but at least it is going up! But right now 3 sets of 200 x 6 are feeling heavy and I don't think I could come even close to 225 x 5. But I have another 9 or 10 weeks before I will test again before I start my cut so I have time to build it back up. Or at least we will see haha.

    And thanks for the insight El, I have seen you mention in your journal how felt like you lose strength even on a regular deload. My normal heavy bench day is on Monday so moving forward before a test I will just take a deload workout on Wed and Fri and do my test the following Monday which would be my next normal heavy day anyways.
    You'll do it! 225x5 on bench is a distant dream for me, it might happen right about the time I actually become dictator. Your advantage is that you've done it before. I have no doubt you'll do it again, and then go beyond.
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    Originally Posted by ElrondHubbard View Post
    You'll do it! 225x5 on bench is a distant dream for me, it might happen right about the time I actually become dictator. Your advantage is that you've done it before. I have no doubt you'll do it again, and then go beyond.
    225x5 is actually a personal best for me. I am pretty sure the best I did for reps back in high school was 225x4, but I did max 260 back then at a weight of 155 so I was happy to bench over 100 pounds above my body weight.

    My bench and squat are both really close now to the max weights I was lifting in high school (but at a current weight of 171). I only lifted for a few months a couple different times between high school and 49 years old. So my glory days I was only 17 or at most 18 years old
    Bodybuilding is much more than an hour in the gym a few days a week---it's a lifestyle that changes all your perceptions about how to live, eat, and rest. It feeds the mind as much (and sometimes more so) than the body.
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    Sat 2/16/19 morning weight - 171.6, weekly average - 171.3

    Finished my 3rd week of new full body routine yesterday and went to YMCA this morning for cardio on elliptical. Did 35 minutes with max heart rate of 160. After cardio I did 3 sets of cable crunches and 4 sets of face pulls. I mainly do those just to make use of the machines since I am at the Y anyways (so it also saves a little time from one of my weekday workouts).

    Sunday off and then next week I am going to do a taper. To me a taper is different than a deload because I am reducing volume by dropping a set off each exercise and dropping a couple reps from my last workout. So it’s about 2/3 of the volume but the intensity remains instead of dropping the weights way down to 60% of normal like I do during a deload. Hopefully this slight reduction of volume leaves everything fresh to keep ramping the weights up the following 3 weeks.

    Skinfold measurements this morning show that my lower abdomen is definitely trending up. This is my first gaining phase and of course I expected my body fat to increase now that I am in a calorie surplus. What I didn’t expect is that all my skin folds kept dropping for the first 4 or 5 weeks into the surplus. After that the lower abdomen has been increasing slowly but the chest, thigh, and upper abdomen have not increased much if any. The only area going up is the lower abdomen and love handle which I guess makes sense that those would increase first since they are the last to go. Anyways, it looks the lower abdomen is starting to increase at a faster rate so I think I am only going up another 3 or 4 lbs to about 175. Originally I was thinking maybe 176-178 max but the fat increase appears to be starting to “spill over to the subcutaneous fat” as induced_drag worded it. At 175 I will only have 10 lbs to lose to be lean for summer, that sounds like nothing after cutting for a year and-a-half.

    I started this gaining phase late since my cut didn’t end until Oct but next winter I will start the surplus at the end of summer and will have more time and will take it slow.
    Bodybuilding is much more than an hour in the gym a few days a week---it's a lifestyle that changes all your perceptions about how to live, eat, and rest. It feeds the mind as much (and sometimes more so) than the body.
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    Originally Posted by tblodg15 View Post
    Sat 2/16/19 morning weight - 171.6, weekly average - 171.3

    Finished my 3rd week of new full body routine yesterday and went to YMCA this morning for cardio on elliptical. Did 35 minutes with max heart rate of 160. After cardio I did 3 sets of cable crunches and 4 sets of face pulls. I mainly do those just to make use of the machines since I am at the Y anyways (so it also saves a little time from one of my weekday workouts).

    Sunday off and then next week I am going to do a taper. To me a taper is different than a deload because I am reducing volume by dropping a set off each exercise and dropping a couple reps from my last workout. So it’s about 2/3 of the volume but the intensity remains instead of dropping the weights way down to 60% of normal like I do during a deload. Hopefully this slight reduction of volume leaves everything fresh to keep ramping the weights up the following 3 weeks.

    Skinfold measurements this morning show that my lower abdomen is definitely trending up. This is my first gaining phase and of course I expected my body fat to increase now that I am in a calorie surplus. What I didn’t expect is that all my skin folds kept dropping for the first 4 or 5 weeks into the surplus. After that the lower abdomen has been increasing slowly but the chest, thigh, and upper abdomen have not increased much if any. The only area going up is the lower abdomen and love handle which I guess makes sense that those would increase first since they are the last to go. Anyways, it looks the lower abdomen is starting to increase at a faster rate so I think I am only going up another 3 or 4 lbs to about 175. Originally I was thinking maybe 176-178 max but the fat increase appears to be starting to “spill over to the subcutaneous fat” as induced_drag worded it. At 175 I will only have 10 lbs to lose to be lean for summer, that sounds like nothing after cutting for a year and-a-half.

    I started this gaining phase late since my cut didn’t end until Oct but next winter I will start the surplus at the end of summer and will have more time and will take it slow.
    Looks like we'll have a similar schedule going. I'll be starting my summer cut in the first week of March, and I'll be wanting to lose between 10 and 15 pounds, getting myself down to roughly 165. Then another slow bulk in the fall. And I'm doing a similar volume deload to yours as well. It'll be an interesting parallel adventure!

    And actually, your "glory days" weren't 17 and 18 -- they're still ahead of you!
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    Originally Posted by ElrondHubbard View Post

    And actually, your "glory days" weren't 17 and 18 -- they're still ahead of you!
    Thanks, I like that thought. The truth is other than some stiffness I feel as good physically as I did in my 20’s so maybe you are right!

    Originally Posted by ElrondHubbard View Post
    And I'm doing a similar volume deload to yours as well. It'll be an interesting parallel adventure!
    Great, let’s do it together!

    I am curious, how do you execute your deloads? Do you do a week of 50-60% of your normal weights and do the same number of sets/reps?

    Edit- and how often are your deloads?
    Last edited by tblodg15; 02-19-2019 at 10:33 AM.
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    I am now into my 4th month of this gaining phase and I am starting to get tired of eating LOL. And being overweight for many years I feel that is a good sign, actually a very good thing. I knew I had changed my lifestyle when I got serious about diet and exercise over 2 years ago but I think this gaining phase is helping to confirm that. My metabolism is still recovering from almost 2 years of a calorie deficit. So as my TDEE goes up slowly over time I am having to eat more in order to continue to gain weight. Now I am still not eating a lot compared to many guys and am up to a target of 2,600 calories per day on average. But after eating 2,000 or less for a long time I am constantly full. I am almost having to force myself to eat when I am not hungry. I eat probably 70-80% whole foods so I am eating 20-30% enjoyable foods but still full all the time. Protein is very filling to me and consuming 30-40 grams about every meal leaves me full constantly.

    I know many other guys have ran into this so it isn’t surprising. The reason it is a good thing is that if I just ate until I was satisfied and stick with 70-80% whole foods I would be real close to maintaining in the low 170’s with body fat in the mid teens. If that truly is my new “settling point” as it seems to be then I am very happy after being over 220 lbs for 15+ years.

    Yes I know I could eat more junk type of food and easily get those calories but I enjoy healthy choices like fruits and vegetables. When I was 220+ I ate mostly processed or junk food with almost no fruits and vegetables and I do not miss it a bit.
    Bodybuilding is much more than an hour in the gym a few days a week---it's a lifestyle that changes all your perceptions about how to live, eat, and rest. It feeds the mind as much (and sometimes more so) than the body.
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    One other update related to nutrition. I am getting a kick out of this as I am thinking about it so hopefully you guys do.

    One major change I made when I decided to get serious about diet and exercise was to pack my lunch instead of eating fast food every day. So of course that is a good thing and I have always like tuna fish so almost every day I bring tuna salad. So I have been eating tuna 4 or 5 days a week for over 2 years. And then I read about mercury poisoning! So a couple weeks ago I decided to take a break from eating tuna. I am going to stop completely for a month or so and then bring tuna 2 or 3 days a week instead of every day.

    Do I think I actually have mercury poisoning? No. Do I feel better taking a break from eat tuna and then eating a little less often? Yes.

    One symptom is a tingling or numbness and I definitely get that more than I ever have. But I am guessing that is more likely from circulatory changes due to age? Either way I am packing chicken most every day for a while and then will rotate between chicken and tuna.
    Bodybuilding is much more than an hour in the gym a few days a week---it's a lifestyle that changes all your perceptions about how to live, eat, and rest. It feeds the mind as much (and sometimes more so) than the body.
    ~Originally posted by ironwill2008
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  29. #29
    Registered User tblodg15's Avatar
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    Fitness by the numbers

    I have mentioned before how my first year of exercise I focused mainly on cardio with a little lifting and then in my 2nd year I shifted to mostly lifting and a little cardio.

    I track everything in a spreadsheet so I went through and created some formulas to calculate the average minutes per week I spent doing cardio and the average sets of lifting per week. I then summarized these weekly averages by month and created some graphs. Of course I am sure I find this more interesting than anyone else will but here are my graphs:


    The cardio minutes were really dropping off throughout 2017 but not by design. I had lost about 30 lbs but was actually starting to gain weight back and looking at this graph I can partly see why. In Nov of 2017 I made a new commitment to lose the weight and increased both my cardio and lifting. The cardio also dropped off in 2018 during the spring/summer when I am coaching softball and baseball but then I picked it back up in Aug, Sep, and Oct before I took my progress pics in Oct. The average number of lifting sets per week has remained pretty consistent in 2018 although I am training with better programming over the last 6-8 months. You can see in Jun of 2018 my lift sets were low and that is the only time I missed a workout in all of 2018 due to coaching and a water heater problem that I had to attend to.
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    Bodybuilding is much more than an hour in the gym a few days a week---it's a lifestyle that changes all your perceptions about how to live, eat, and rest. It feeds the mind as much (and sometimes more so) than the body.
    ~Originally posted by ironwill2008
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  30. #30
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    Originally Posted by tblodg15 View Post
    . . . So I have been eating tuna 4 or 5 days a week for over 2 years. And then I read about mercury poisoning! So a couple weeks ago I decided to take a break from eating tuna. I am going to stop completely for a month or so and then bring tuna 2 or 3 days a week instead of every day.
    I tried to post this earlier, but I bb.com wouldn't let (it said the "page was asleep" or something like that). I too used to eat a bunch of tuna: two cans every Mon through Fri! Someone told me about the mercury issue, and I replaced it with a 12.5 oz can of chicken breast that I currently eat with Cheez-its. I've eaten it with crackers and pork rinds too.

    Regarding your cardio graph, that's minutes PER WEEK? I happen to have a mode of cardio that I enjoy and that's riding my bike so perhaps I do more cardio than others (but I do limit my rides to less than an hour in hopes that it won't interfere too much with my primary goal and that's looking like I lift).
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