T Nation

A Mountaineer's Meanderings

t-ransformation2018

#1

Hi All. It has been at least 15 years since I first discovered T-Nation. I don’t post on any other BB sites, and I haven’t posted here until now. That being said, I LURK like a mofo. Hi Robstein, Flip, JMaier, Alpha, ShadowPro, Activitiesguy, Colluci, littlesleeper, Yogi, MarkKO, Brickhead, Stu, Norse, Basement, ShreddedBaby (that, gentlemen, was a funny downfall), KSman, and BBB (just kidding), and anyone else whose posts I have devoured. Thanks for all the knowledge that is freely dropped here. I intend to use this space to share what I have gleaned from my personal experiments, and further refine my ever-evolving nutrition/training-plan.


May 2016

Aug 2017, lats flared as much as I could, relaxed abs

This first-post is gonna be a novel, because there is 30+ years of crap that I’ve learned, unlearned, relearned, then wanted to say here, but never did. I also feel that each person’s individual-history is the most valuable piece of the fitness-puzzle, so I’ll try to give you everything I’ve got; please bear with me.

A little about me: 36 YO male.
As of today (8/30/17): 6’2 193.5 lbs (morning, no bfast, post-BM). BF % is on the lower-side of the spectrum? I think that I suffer from some pretty sever dysmorphia, so at this point I have no idea if I am skinny, fat, big, small!?! Too much analysis can sometimes destroy your ability to see clearly. The thing that I DO know is that I FEEL better than ever before. I can outrun, out-lift, out-climb, and out-ski my “previous-self” 10x-over. My Mojo is at an all-time high. My sense of what I can accomplish is at an all-time high, and that might be the greatest benefit of all.

GOALS (in this order): cross-train to improve ski-mountaineering, increase the “oh-shit”/intimidation factor, increase mobility, maintain bodyweight, drop fat, get stronger.

A little about my history (lifting, drugs, booze, sports, etc)
Ex-fat kid. I, like everybody, wanted to look like Arnold (and thought I could…that bastard). I was chubbers from 4th grade until freshman year of college . I was ADD and prescribed ritalin for a few years; I think that this really F’d up my metabolism, as it killed my appetite, causing me to skip breakfast for YEARS. From 4-7th grade, all that I had (calorically speaking) between 7am-11am was a 12oz soda, maybe some starburst. I wore 44inch-waist pants in 9th grade.

I played HS football (tight end on a rushing-offense, a glorified OT) Senior year, and lifted with the team Junior and senior year. The HS lifting was a joke; I remember being told by a coach NOT to do squats or weighted-hypers because they would destroy my lower-back. (I remember thinking that it didn’t make much sense… don’t you work out to get stronger? Why would your lower back be any different?) It took 15 years to get that nonsense out of my skull.

My HS senior year I peaked at 245lbs (40" waist) while in the thick of the season. Being 1999, the only thing the coaches told us about nutrition was to take creatine, and NOT andro. So i dutifully mixed a tablespoon of creatine with my 20 oz powerade, to wash down my 2 slices of pepperoni pizza before practice, daily. This composed the entirety of my pre-workout nutrition during my football years.

I dropped down to about 200-210 lbs by the beginning of college, and maintained a beer-drinker’s physique for the subsequent 15 years(classic skinny-fat, 6’2 215-225 no visible abs BF: 25-30%?) with the help of stimulants (adderall, ephedrine, caffeine).

In college I used the gym for bro-workouts and basically just showed up to watch girls on the ellipticals. My diet and self-control surrounding my diet was probably the strongest link in the chain. I cut out soda completely in 2000; Mcdonalds, and all other fast food (checkers & chick-fil-a, much love), in 2004. Like many people here, I have whittled away at the things that I thought completed me, finding-out in the process what it is that really makes me whole.

In 2003 I got sick from eating a room-temp ham-sandwich, and when I came back to the world of the living, I had completely lost my way with regards to my routine, and I never really recovered. To this day I refer to this as the “proverbial ham sandwich.” About this time I watched my buddy, a skinny dude, put on 25 lbs of solid mass in 3 months, and go back to being a skinny guy 4 months later. Clearly orals (Dbol) are not the answer!

For a few years my weight meandered around… I would periodically cut-out fries from every 3rd meal to lose a few lbs and “tighten-up”. From 2005-2015, I made numerous tweaks to my “program”, meaning I would get in a groove of doing pullups every day, or do P90x until I puked a few times. The ONE thing that was ALWAYS inconsistent was my diet. I was convinced that a solid diet (sprinkled with a bit of hops, barley, grapes, and all their fermented derivatives) would be enough to give me the physique that I was after (to refresh your memory: Arnold.) I would say that I averaged 4-6 drinks per day (usually beer or wine) during my “nutrition-first” quest to greatness. My fitness levels have increased steadliy since moving to the PACNW; I now hike, ski, or climb as often as my schedule permits. Ski season lasts all year here if you are willing to work for it (and I do!)

Shit got serious a little over a year ago. Something about having the second child, the boy, that kicked my need to be… something else… into high gear.

In April 2016 I stopped drinking. Overnight. The first morning after not-drinking (for the first time in I DONT KNOW HOW LONG!) was life-changing. At that point I logged BACK in to my calorie-tracker app (unused since 2010) and started food logging. One of my proffesional-incarnations has been as a chef, so cooking in general, and eating everything off of a scale, came very easily to me. (My first day of food logging reveals some pretty crazy numbers: 190lbs 3773 kcal. 233 g protein, 210 g fat, 214 g carbs).
At this point I had begun construction of a retaining wall for my back-yard, which I viewed as an opportunity to get a ton of lifting done without having to get a gym membership. Within 2 months of beginning the food-tracking and the wall-project, I had gained 10 lbs and made big adjustments to my macros: 3000kcal, 335 P, 127 F, 137 C) Sprinkled in with the 3000cal days are a bunch of 4800-5500 kcal days when I was up on the hill. On mountain-days, my carbs go up to 350-450, fat and protein stay mostly stable.

May 2016------- I injured my shoulder seriously while doing yardwork. Dr evaluation said no complete tear, but damage to rotator cuff. SERIOUS impact to daily life, ie. picking up kids, etc.

June 2016 I increased to about 4k kcals, and maintained about 200lbs. Bought a weight bench and dumbells. Started on The Arnold 6 4x/week. Always start with Agile 8. I’ll have to look at my notebook, but I think I started MK677 about now. HUUUUUNNNNGRRRYYYYYYYY

July 2016------- I decreased to 3300 and dropped to 197ish. Shoulder finally feels good enough to work out!

August 2016— I increased volume and frequency of loaded-carries and began sprinting with the wall-blocks (uphill about 25 vert ft,). I also dropped kcals to 2900-3100, and started pulling back carbs on non-work days. my weight dropped to the mid-low 190s for the month.

Aug 18, 2016 --I was down to my lowest (Ever?..since 8th grade anyway) 189.5. Looking back at the pictures, I look like a bag of bones.

Sept 2016 -----Drank some wine and beer, upped cals to 3600-4000, weight was back up to 200+ on sept 24th.
At this point I started going as LOW on carbs as I could manage, by cutting out all direct carb sources, except on work days, with my goal being UNDER 100g/carbs/day. At the time, I believed erroneously that a lack of carbs would prevent fat from accumulating. I convinced myself that a full can of coconut cream as a base for my pre-bed shake was a recipe for gaining ONLY muscle.

Oct 19th 2016-- First day back on the Mountain since July, 5160 kcals, 431 P, 205 F, 392 C, 199 lbs, motion-tracker reports 3500 kcals burned for the day.

Nov 2016-------- Went to FL for 2 week vacation. First stop after airport was Costco, for food (salmon, chicken breast, sirloin, eggs, eggs, more eggs!). Injured my shoulder going for a PR (I hit it btw, 215x3 bench) on a hotel-gym machine. I have since learned that you NEVER go heavy on unfamiliar equipment; for me it is a recipe for disaster, as 2/3 injuries I have sustained happened away from home.

Feb 2017-------- 205 lbs, 3000-3600 kcals (depending on volume that day), 285 P, 175 F, 55 C.

March 2017----- Started “prep” for my april vacation… I looked at the date that I stepped on the cruise ship as my contest-date and attempted to peak that day. I used Albuterol (18mg/day, 3x day, for about 3 weeks), Ketofin (5mg at night), ephedrine (cycled on and off for a few weeks before and after Albuterol. Also used Clen, but I really felt the sides with it (nighttime leg cramps from hades).

April 2017 ------ First time in my life that I had a shirtless picture taken of me that I wasn’t embarrassed over. (will post pic soon, ala SB :wink: Weight on cruise went up to 210 briefly, due to glycogen retention (I think, because I put on 5 lbs while on the boat, but I still felt “tight”. At this point I shaved my chest for the first time, netting me another few horsepower, or whatever bodybuilders call it.

May 2017-------- Ephedrine post-vacation, and a strict diet brought me back down to 203-205 in short order. Mountaineering-season was in full-swing and I was getting out a lot too. Still trying to hit 100g carbs/day except days on the hill. Started trying to limit fats to around 100g/day. kCals @ 3200-3600.

June 2017------- Started another “prep”, with my date being 2nd week of July, to correspond with a family-beach-vacation. 1 week of Albuterol 15-18mg/day. 2 weeks ephedrine 60-90mg/day. dropped to 197-199 avg. morning weight.

July 2017-------- 36th Bday was the most in shape I have ever been. Spent My bday on the glacier with my bro and dad (Fellow FL Folk), showing them around crevasses and seracs. Everyone was winded except me. I love being fit. 196lbs.
Bought a TEXAS POWERBAR and 300lbs of weight plates. Up till now, I have been using DBs exclusively. This was not planned, but I think that it was a great way to train for the first year, as I was focused on form and technique instead of raw weight. Now that I have the Barbell, its SOOOOO easy to just weant to keep loading up more and give it a go. With the DB’s it was much more precise, requiring more stabilizers and supporting muscles. I try to keep the DB work equal to the barbell work now, but barbell is just so damn fun!

Aug 2017------- Increased Carbs to 200g/day, decreased fats to AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE, with goal being 75g, decreased kcals to 2850-3000. The scale has consistently been around 194. I haven’t had a drop of alcohol since July 12th.

TODAY, AUGUST 30th, 2017------- 193.5lbs, 2750kcals, 305P, 62 F, 225 carbs.

To be continued and updated with training numbers (forgot that notebook at home) and pics! Thanks to anyone who is interested.


Rob's 2017 Contest Prep Thread
#2

191lbs this AM. I calorie-restricted @2725 yesterday (down 250 from daily avg).

Feeling closer all the time.


#3

190 this morning. I let time get ahead of me yesterday and I skipped a meal. Had to add oats and rice flour to my prebed shake to compensate. Kcals yesterday were 2710 --285p/98f/165C–


#4

I set my alarm, waxed skis, molded boots (had a hotspot), packed the pack, gathered the gear… And proceeded to go back to sleep at 4am. I need more than 4-6 hrs sleep. These kids are killing me.


#5

I have been off MK677 for 1 week. I had been running it for 1.25yrs straight. My appetite: Is. Gone.

As a former fat guy, I never understood how people complained about not getting “all thier macros in”… I get it now. The struggle is real…


#6

191 this morning. Ate a large amount of pork rib chops last night, so my recorded calories are definitely an estimate. My best estimate for yesterday is:

Fats are a little higher than I intend. Carbs were oats (2 servings), Unsweetened Skyr (2 servings), zucchini (1 serving) and white potatoes (1 serving)

I had day A3 of the best damn program. I subbed conventional deadlift for reverse hypers/GHR. I had my wife form check-video a set of 5. It was ugly. I may stop DL until I get my leg strength and mobility increased.

Prepped a few days worth of chicken in the sous vide.

Had a good workout today, B3 of best damn. I started putting bands on my tower for cable-cross/pec-dec/tri-rope/lat-pulls. Love the difficulty at the finish, esp for cable cross.

Post workout meal:
Sous-vide elk chuck (6oz), 75g cold jasmine rice, and the rest of the plate in green-beans. Braise-reduction sauce.


#7

191 and a bit tighter on the lower abs this morning. quick shot of breakfast before I head to the farmers market(for more eggs!)… I’ll hop back on to rant and answer a few @'s later.


Flame-finished fried eggs (2 duck, 2 Hen); chicken sausage, peppers & onions, Ezekiel toast, steel cut oats.


#8

192 this morning. Love handles and chest looks a bit tighter to me. Worked out the past-7 days, except 1. 4 excercises/day. 3 sets of 10. Had to skip legs since last week due to incredibly sore legs… I ran about 10 40yd sprints, all-out, last week. Since then my quads have been so sore (deeeeeep-sore) that I was afraid I would shear a muscle in two if I tried to sprint again. I’m giving it another day or two and then it’s back on the sprints. Diet has been on-point. I’m trying to incorporate MOAR VEGGIES. My daily goals are:
100g or less fat.
280g protein.
Carbs spaced throughout the day.
Veggies at every meal.
Sauerkraut everyday.
At least 1 lb steamed broccoli.
At least 1/3 lb spinach
4-6 oz fish
6-8 oz red meat
1 oz nuts (Mac or mixed)


#9

189 this morning, down 3. I sweat like a mofo last night. Love handles are evaporating. Very pleased with progress since adding high carbs.


#10

I wanted to post a pic that highlights my progression. I bought these pants, AND THEY FIT, about 2.5 yrs ago. Thank you to everyone that contributes on T-nation, as I did it with YOUR HELP.

This is from about one year ago, about one month in to my progression:


#11

189 this morning, that’s been steady for at least a week. Love handles are still melting. I have dropped cals to an average of 2550/day. Macros are looking like: 270P, 85-95F, 175C. I am trying to incorporate more carbs, but they gum me up (I write this while taking my 3rd minuscule shite of the day). I’ve tried sweet potatoes, white pots, jasmine rice (cold or hot), oats, and Ezekiel bread… Everything just acts like glue in my belly. This time last year (on low-to-no-carbs) I was taking hippo-shits ( https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qih-_TROAkk).

i bought kodiak power-cakes mix to try to up the carbs one out of every three days. We shall see how that goes.

I cycled back-on the mk677 on Monday after a 2.5wk break. I almost threw up from hunger today. Holy hell this stuff makes you huuuuuungry.

I had the opportunity to work out with a good friend who has great technique on his DL and Squats: with his instructions I pulled 225x2. It’s pathetic, but it’s only the 20th time I have deadlifted in my life, and it felt a LOT better than my last 200lb+ attempt (that I videoed) which was all lower back. Today my Hammys are sore, so I think I am making progress.


#12

Great write up in your OP, seems like everything is really coming together. Looking solid & lean in these recent photos, excellent progress since your 2016 photos. You also seem very enthusiastic & confident in your path forward, nutrition & liting-wise. Add to that, the fact that you “feel your best” now at the age 36, keep it up!

As far as sprints go, hold back a bit. Stay away from 100% effort, in fact keep it at ~90% or below. You’re still recruiting a ton of IIx fibers and your body will adapt & improve. Even elite sprinters stay shy of 100% effort in much of their sprint training, and save that gear for meets where the risk vs reward is worth it. You’ll probably still have some soreness but, not nearly as much and the risk of strains & such is dramatically reduced. One mistake people make when getting back into sprints (or trying them for the first time) is going max effort and tightening up, try to be aggressive early then just stay relaxed after 10-20 yards. Relaxation is key to sprinting and running, allows you to get more work in too & eventually hold pace for longer. That’s my advice on that.

That hippo-shits video made me lol, never saw that before. Definitely wasn’t expecting that.

peace!!


#13

Thanks for the feedback. I’m headed out to train now, I will keep a bit in the tank this time. I’ve always been an “all-or-nothing” guy, so holding back is something I need to practice. :slightly_smiling_face:

Yeah that hippo vid made me, and my kids, laugh out loud too.

On an unrelated note: I stopped smoking cannabis recently, and have turned into a total piece of shit. I am agro-alpha to the extreme. I FTFO at least once a day, and my voice is changing from DI-style yelling. I saw alpha’s aggression-reduction/anger-management technique and may give it a go (sledgehammer strikes on an old tire), but if anyone has any other ideas: I’m all ears. Thinking about yoga (which I suck at, so naturally I hate it), meditation, or longer-runs… I’m in my off-season from the mountain right now, and I don’t think that’s doing my sanity any favors. But I can’t depend on trips to 11k to keep me sane either.


#14

Wow I watched a bunch of their Youtube videos, now I know somebody who has one!!!

And your transformation is inspiring!!!


#15

For sure! If you have any questions, I’m happy to share everything I know.

That is so cool. Thanks. It’s a long road, but worth every step. I would have never made it this far without the inspiration I find on this forum. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: thanks to all the posters and contributors on t-nation for your help. I can’t wait to see how far this can go.


#16

I just got back from harbor freight with my new 10lb sledge. I beat the crap out of a few motorcycle tires I had laying around. Thanks for the idea @Alpha! Great anger-management tool.


#17

II had a great workout last night; my brother came over and we got to train together. He has been my daily training partner since we started getting fit last year. He has gotten a girlfriend, well two actually, and has had very little time to train lately, so this was a treat. I hate lifting solo, especially getting under the bar for big lifts like squats and bench; Having someone around just seems intelligent. (Reminder: just got the barbell in July, these movements are new to me, previously I was using Dumbbells only)

Tried front squats for the first time, just one set 85x12, to get the feel of the movement. Like anything new: it’s awful and I’m terrible at it! I do like it better than rear squats because it feels safer solo, seems like I could dump the bar in a pinch without killing myself. I went for 245 rear squat, and couldn’t get parallel. I really envy the guys that have been squatting for 10+yrs. I did hit 205x5 with solid form.

Incline BB bench: 85x10, 135x6, 135x6+2+1
Front raises 10x10, 15x6, 15x6 mTor
Tri-rope push down 40x12, 90x5, 80x5, 70x6 (drop set)

Sleep has been awful lately. Kids both have a cold.
Food-prep game and diet has been on-point.

Last week I discovered an issue with my diet (aka a knucklehead move): I had manually entered a food into my tracker (siggi’s nonfat plain Skyr) and put it in as 450kcal/serving instead of the actual 150kcal/serving. I eat 2-3 servings daily. This means I was eating 700-1050kcals less than what I thought… Holy fuck. The upside is that since I have found my error, I am now at 2500/day average (down from 3100) and I don’t feel any worse for the wear. Funny mental-games we play.

I posted in @kleinhound log about gut bacteria and selectively killing them off (gut-biome-genocide/eugenics). I really believe it and feel like I am walking proof that if you can resist eating unhealthy foods for long-enough, you won’t crave them anymore. I haven’t eaten a French fry (chip!) in at least 18 months; all I can think about while writing this is a plate of Brussels sprouts! Pizza is a distant memory, the thought of which now honestly makes me feel queasy. I will, however, crave-seek-and-destroy a large salad with cold potatoes, peppers, onions, and meat.

I’m going to try making kodiak power-waffles this morning, and cutting most fats from my bfast. I’m going to eat my usual 4 eggs later in the day and see how the early boost of carbs treats me. Have an awesome day Tnation!


#18

That right there is the key to healthy living IMO


#19

Absolutely awesome, you are looking great! Thanks for posting to your log, just caught up. Definitely will be following along here!


#20

Thanks Rob, I appreciate it. I want to elaborate a bit more on my goals when I have a minute (kids, work, house, oh my!)

I am keeping a quick log of my temp (a la KSman) as I want to make sure my thyroid is kickin.

At wake (6:45): 98.2
9:30: 99.5, 99.2, 99.5
11: 99.0, 99.2
12:30: 97.9, 97.9, 98.4
2:30: 98.2, 98.4, 98.7
4:00 99.0, 99.1, 99.0

I’m headed to work, I’ve got two goals for the day: 45/35/20 (C/P/F) and 100 pull-ups

Oh! Best news in 4 months: S-N-O-W in the forecast!


If I get to ski fresh in sept, I will be one happy fatty.