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.
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 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.