T Nation

Dicscipline help

TT, I’ve been following your posts with TheBow and wondered if you could offer your help/advice to me as well (of course, anyone’s thoughts are welcome!). I’m 31, weight 210 at approx 26% bf (I have a FatTrack II and I’m still trying to get used to when to grab the sensor).

My first goal is to cut the BF down to at least the low teens. I have been following T-Dog 2.0, but what’s been happening is I’ll have a couple of good weeks followed by a couple of bad ones, in which I lose the willpower (almost always at night) and making the wrong food choices.

For supps, I started taking Hot Rox but I have to go easy…right now one pill a day is making my heart race! I have friends that are doing well with them so I want to give them a shot and slowly work up to the four pills/day. I also think Tribex would be a great choice for me, but right now money is a serious issue so I need to add things over time.

I started doing Berardi’s workout in issue #286. I chose it because I thought it would be fun (which it is), but also because I am completly new to cleans, snatches, i.e. olympic style moves, and thought I would benefit from them greatly. Right now I am working out 1st thing in the morning, but I may need to change that, at least temporarily, depending on if early hours of work dictates.

Getting cardio done has been a bit of a problem for me. I have serious shin splints and had surgery on then that hurt more than helped, so jogging (even jumping jacks) is something I can’t really do right now. When I get cash I want to get a cheap stationary bike (I work out at home). I was doing some walking but it’s getting difficult as foot after foot of snow is clogging the city streets (although shoveling has proved great cardio). I have read a lot about ART on this site and definitely want to try it, but I need money and good health insurance before I can pursue it. May days/nights are pretty sedentary so I do need to get smarter about this.

I definitely have imbalances physically that need to be addressed, but after tons of research on this site, I’m learning what they are and how to deal with them. I think my first step needs to be getting into the diet/lifestyle change rhythm, and then from there everything else will fall in place. Thanks in advance for tips/help!

Buddy, I just finished what you are going through. I just dropped from 26% BF down to about 12% (just starting to see my abs). If I can make a few reccos.

I found that I would slack in the diet dept when I wasn’t eating enough. Make sure you eat every few hours and drink lots of water. I found this kept me full and I didn’t crave high carb/crappy foods.

I hope you are tracking your food. I found Fitday such a valuable tool. I loved the challenge of keeping my macros inline. it was like a game and so rewarding when the numbers all line up and you see the weight coming off.

Stop taking Hot Rox until you get your diet inline. That stuff is expensive and no point wasting it until your diet is good.

Bottom line with discipline… you gotta want it.

Take pictures to document your progress… I wasn’t going to do this but here are my before and afters (still a work in progress so go easy).

http://f2.pg.photos.yahoo.com/jon_lax

Super, great post, and great progress! I’m going to explore the Fitday website. If I can make that progress over the next few months I’ll be very happy. Thanks again.

Shiggy

Couple things that would benifit in any of the forumn folk helping you would be telling us a few more details.

The current amount of k/cals that you are taking in, as well as the macro breakdown of the above.

This way we will know if a simple tweeking is needed or a complete overhaul.

Also an example of the foods/supps. that you consume on a typical training day and non training day.

As far as the cravings, their are a few supps. that you could take to help. Hot Rox does contain a few of the more reputable of these though, so it may be a matter of you just simply having to figure out how badly you want to succeed with your goals. No supplement is going to take the place of your own will power and desire to make a change. Surround yourself with people of like mind and dont have the foods that you find yourself cheating with on hand. It is much easier to say no if you actually have to go out and get the stuff.

As far as the cardio issue. Trugging through the snow is a great cardio workout. If you cant handle the weather then you can adapt just about anything to a cardio workout. Any activity that you can do to get your heart rate into the target zone. I have been known to do all types of weird stuff to just mix it up and keep it fresh and it can actually be quite amusing while doing it. How often do you see a grown man doing crab crawls throughout the house, then stepping up and down and over a box, only to move on and grab a dumbell and do some one leggeded GM’s, and ending the whole thing by jogging behind a vaccum cleaner(legs going much faster than the actual body)for 15 mnutes. You simply must use your imagination.

Anyway. If you could get the info I asked, it will be of great help to us. I will be glad to help in anyway I can and am sure TT will be along anytime now and will also find the additional info handy.

Phill

Shiggy, just scanning the replies quickly, I can see you’re getting some fabulous advice.

Discipline. As super* alluded to, if you’re not getting enough calories, your body will revolt, and you will find yourself eating everything in sight. It is a common occurence in BBs who take their body fat down ultra low. The body doesn’t know you’re dieting down; it thinks you’re starving and does everything it can to save your life.

Second, the reason most people break down at night is once again, just not enough calories during the day. We’re going to take a hard look at what you’re eating; P, C and F grams. If you track it, we’ll be able to make adjustments. The cool thing is that with most of the people I work with, hunger is just not an issue. One of my guys (273 pounds) called me up one day asking if he had to eat his sixth meal if he just wasn’t hungry. (The answer was yes. (grin))

So I guess my promise to you is that once we get things running right, you’re probably not going to be breaking down.

The advice about FitDay is excellent. You won’t have to do it for the rest of your life, but when you’re trying to break a plateau or overhaul your diet, it becomes a necessary/vital/critical tool to analyzing just what is going on.

Let me addres the HotRox and Tribex issue(s), though, before I get started.

Biotest is an awesome company. They have a money-back guarantee. If the racing heart thing is too much, give customer service a call, or forward them the text of the message you posted, and they’ll take care of you. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to talk to them. I’ve never heard of any problems with Tribex causing a person’s heart to race, and if stress and cortisol are high, T levels will be low. I think Tribex might be the better choice for you right here and now.

If you call, ask to speak to Mary or Haley, and tell 'em Tampa-Terry told you to give 'em a call and is causing problems again. (grin)

Let’s talk about cardio and why it’s important to what you want to achieve. When you diet, your metabolism starts to slow down. You start running colder and slower metabolically (in numerous ways you can’t see or feel). Cardio in conjunction with optimizing your diet is like a one-two punch. Cardio kicks your metabolism into overdrive. It causes you to run hotter and faster. It burns a few calories, yes, but for me the real benefit is that it kicks you into fat burning mode.

I understand the issues with the shin splints. But here’s what I do want you to do. I want you to search online for a < $49 heart rate monitor. Find the simplest cheapest one you can get. I want you to use it because you’re not going to have to work out as hard as you think.

To calculate MHR, subtract your age (31) from 220. Your MHR is 189. The cardio I’m going to want you doing is 65-75% of your MHR. In other words, I want you working out at between 123-142 bpm. Feel free to shovel all the snow you want between now and when you get your bike. Make mountains and move 'em if you have to round the yard. Consider a used bike. Check out eBay. Also consider an eliptical trainer. However you get your cardio, just keep it in the range I specified for 45 minutes prior to eating your first meal of the day.

Gotta do the cardio, though. Find a way that works, but make it happen. It’s part of the equation.

Okay, time to run the numbers. (Good thing I’m not a betting person, huh? (wink))

At 210 pounds and 26% BF you carry 155 pounds of LBM. I calculate protein and fat requirements off of LBM.

Protein requirement are 1.5g x LBM, a total of 233g of protein per day or 39g per meal. You need to record and memorize those numbers, Shiggy.

Fat requirements are generally between .4 and .5g x LBM. I’m going to go with 66g of fat per day, divided rougly equally between your P+F meals. Not all at one meal; divided between your P+F meals.

Carbs we’re going to stick with 70g on non-workout days and 100g on workout days (meaning days you lift).

Lets talk about sources.

Protein = lean cuts of meat; chicken breasts, ground beef, steak, shrimp, scallops, canned or fresh salmon, canned or fresh tuna, eggs, lamb, veal

Fat = flaxseed, flaxseed oil, fish oil, Udo’s choice, olive oil, satuarted fat found in the meat you eat, the fat in eggs, raw/not-roasted nuts, peanut butter.

Carbs

Category A = green veggie carbs = kale, collard greens, mustard greens, spinach, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, yellow squash, zucchini, green beans, asparagus

Category B = starchy carbs = oatmeal, sweet potatoes, yams, brown rice

Category C = junk food carbs, carbs in a box, cookies, donuts, cake, sweets, bread, pasta, pizza

Eating patterns are as follows:

Workout Days
AM FS Cardio, 45 minutes, 65-75% of MHR
Meal 1 P+F (40gP + 16gF)
Meal 2 P+F (40gP + 16gF)
Meal 3 P+F (40gP + 16gF)
Meal 4 P+F (40gP + 16gF)
Weightlifting Workout
Meal 5 P+C (25gP + 49gC) Liquid Surge
Meal 6 P+C (40gP + 40gC) Starchy Carbs

  • You still have 11g of carbs you can use in your first four meals for flavor; 2 cups of salad, spinach, mushrooms, onions, etc.

Non-Workout Days
AM FS Cardio, 45 minutes, 65-75% of MHR
Meal 1 P+F (40gP + 16gF)
Meal 2 P+F (40gP + 16gF)
Meal 3 P+F (40gP + 16gF)
Meal 4 P+C (40gP + 20gC) Green veggie
Meal 5 P+C (40gP + 20gC) Green veggie
Meal 6 P+C (40gP + 20gC) Green veggie

  • You still have 10g of carbs you can use in your first three meals for flavor; 2 cups of salad, spinach, mushrooms, onions, etc.

Okay, Shiggy. Re-read TheBow’s thread, read my recommendations to you, and hit me with your questions. (grin)

TT, you’re friggin awesome.

Hi Shiggy, Follow the advice given here and you won’t have an issue with cravings. There is alwyas the refeed as well :slight_smile:

Discipline is something you need to develop yourself but if you seriously and meticulously follw this for a month it will become a habit with no concious effort needed.

I remember during one of my searches that Dan McVicker posted a link to an article called “The Furnace”

http://www.mensclick.com/health_fitness/article/alternatives-to-running-for-fitness.php

I think it may address your shin splints and poor weather issue but you may need to investigate PWO nutrition as it looks very intense.

*Crude Language Disclaimer

First off, props to Shiggy for wanting to change his life, but someone has to say it. Just fucking do it. If it was easy, it wouldnt be so much fun.

I can sympathize with you that the determination can at times start to wane. I, myself, often have to trudge myself to the gym when my mind doesnt want to be there. I know, however, that once I get going the effects are going to feel soooo good and it will all be worth it.

People arent always going to be there to give you a personal pep rally so ultimately its up to you shiggy. You can do it. We are here to give you advice and support when you need it, but you can do it.

Personally, I can be one arrogant sumbitch on occasion and have found that staring at myself in the mirror helps. I can see improvements and areas to work on since I know my body best. I agree with super*, pictures will help you document your progress.

Good luck.

Hey, Thumper. In some cases you’re right; it’s just a case of sucking it up and doing what needs to be done. It would be an appropriate response made to me when I’ve slacked off my diet.
And I do know what you’re talking about. There are any number of people out there that want the the benefits, the look, the body, but they don’t want to work for it. They’re willing to pay for it – a “magic” pill? – but don’t make 'em sweat. “Nuh-uh! Not me,” they say.

But that’s not always the case. I have direct and indirect knowledge in this regard. The reason I put such detail and effort into my replies is that a diet can break down in so many ways if it’s not properly/correctly designed. There are brain chemistry components to dieting and cravings that can at time be overwhelmingly powerful. There are homonal and other physiological aspects as well. Just read Lyle McDonald’s “The Ultimate Diet 2.0,” an eBook for a glimpse of what goes on when you start dieting.

Looking just at the brain chemistry component, could you do what you do if you were depressed and lacked motivation? Working out, dieting – it doesn’t matter. You try, you fail, you try again? You see, the thing is that if you are suffering from depression, you’re not going to be e’t (rhymes with bet) up with motivation.

Motivation (or lack of it) and depression are sometimes directly (sometimes indirectly) linked to serotonin. A lack of serotonin causes us to crave carbs, sweets, alcohol, especially under stress. Luckily, 5-HTP can help correct those cravings. It also helps a person to sleep better and lifts mood. I’ve had people break down in tears when they admitted that they had cravings and I started asking about problems with sleep and depression. They’ve asked me, “How did you know?!?” All 3 are related and quickly fixed, in a matter of days, if there is in fact a serotonin deficiency. There’s still a will-power component, but 5-HTP can be a huge help in altering that aspect of brain chemistry.

It’s a complex issue, Thumper. I appreciate (and respect) your thoughts on the subject. I can tell that you were delivering a “Tough Love” message, not trying to knock anyone’s feet out from under them. Thank you for that.

Reading TT’s posts make me feel warm and fuzzy inside. So good.

Phaedrus

Burke, (laughing), thank you. Seriously, I’m just more long-winded than most. All the advice on this thread is world-class.

T-Bow, how’d you like the review? (wink & grin)

Shiggy, T-Bow brought up something I forgot. Refeeds. There’s a trick for doing 'em if they cause a breakdown in self-control. Since you get 6 hours to eat what you want, I’d recommend that you start your refeed at 6:00pm, ending it at midnight. Rules are to eat everything in sight, eat until you have a smile on your face, no food combining, no restraint, eat with abandon, eat until you lie moaning on the couch, no rules on food combining, eat all the F+C your heart desires.

How’s that for a run-on sentence? (grin)

What I want out of you is a Friday morning weigh-in, after you’ve hit the restroom, before you eat or drink anything. The refeed can be done on Friday, Saturday or Sunday evening. The thing is that refeeds are an extremely important part of the diet from a physiological perspective (not just psychological). Refeeds tell your body it’s not being starved to death. It upregulates thyroid production, increases leptin levels, helps balance hormone levels (T drops when dieting). It makes you run hot. Properly done, you’ll sweat. A refeed gives your metabolism a serious, much-needed kick in the butt.

And trust me on this one. Once we’ve got your diet dialed in, everything else, including your refeeds, will fall into place. You won’t experience the breakdowns you did in the past.

And really, visualize things for me for just a minute, Shiggy. Let’s say you had some serious lasagne, brownies and a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts on your 6-hour refeed. You go to sleep (actually, you fall into a quasi-diabetic coma (wink)) and wake up the next morning. You do your cardio. You eat your omelet, and you’re off and running. You just slept through all the cravings that a refeed tends to kick off in a lot of people.

Questions? (grin)

Guys, thanks for taking all this time for such great responses. I have a lot more homework to do, and I have to track down a heart monitor and a food scale. I was surprised that I couldn’t find one at two big chain grocery stores, but I know I’ll find one in about 30 seconds online, so I’ll just do that. TT, sounds like by your comments about the heart rate that I can do simple things around the house (i.e. walking around with 25 plates, step-ups, etc.) and get the cardio done.

Looking at all of your comments, I can already see two problems I’m having: one, not eating enough. I am eating frequently enough, but sometimes I’ll just have protein without any carbs or fat. The other problem is variety. TT, your list of proteins was huge, and just reading it was like a slap in the face…I don’t have to eat chicken four times a day. I think if I stock up on a big variety, and divide my foods properly, that will help a lot. So simple things I can do right away, and then sounds like I could order heart monitor/food scale pretty cheaply and hopefully I’ll have them in hand before next week. Thanks again and I’ll add to the post when I can purchase the needed tools and get things rolling!

Shiggy,

just saw you r probs with food scale and geart monitor.

1= For a scale that will work greta for food at a much lower price go to Office Max or another office supply store.

They are made by the same companies and have the same features, just without the retro new age kitchen look to them. They are more industrial looking. Not big or anything just rather plain. Work great though.

2= As for heart monitors. They have them on sale this month at Radio Shack. I think they were just under $40.

Hope that helped.

I try.
Phill

Gotta crash for bif flight now. Bye

Shiggy, I got my scale at Office Depot. Staples is good, too. $30. Get the cheapest digital postal scale you can get. It will weigh in grams and tenths of one ounce. Great precision. You put a plate on the scale, turn it on, and it will zero out with the plate weight, allowing you to throw your food on top and weigh just the food. Keeps the scale clean. A little trick. (grin)

Phill/TT: Excellent! Lucky for me, there is a plaza not too far away from me with a Staples and a Radio Shack right next to each other! Looks like I have an errand to run tomorrow…

Shiggy, Do it to the letter. Let no one or no thing turn you to the left or to the right, keep a laser like focus and you will make it! TT, knows what the deal is so just follow the advice to the T

Good Luck, As if Luck has anything to do with it, Huh Chris?

TT, you’re long winded with knowledge, others are just long winded.

Shiggy, I just saw something. Fat on non-workout days is a little low. Up the number so that you hit your 66g. You actually need 22g of fat if you’re dividing it between 3 meals.

Phaedrus, what a great time of year to be reading messages that make you feel warm and fuzzy. Even here in Florida, it’s cold!!! Heck, if I keep this up, you could turn down the thermostat. Just think of all the money you’d save! (grin)

Burke, great comeback! LOL! Okay, I won’t keep arguing with you. Thank you.

Shiggy

I would say good luck in your quest, but luck has nothing to do with it- use the knowledge you gain here and the motivation inside yourself to achieve your goals.

As far as the cardio goes, I would suggest creating some type of GPP (general physical preparedness) program for yourself. Some of the exercises you can use are: burpees, mountain climbers, jumping jacks, slalom jumps, star jumps, shuffle-splits, step-ups, dumbell clean and jerks, dumbell swings, dumbell snatch, dumbell iron cross, hindu squats, hindu push-ups, push-ups, bench dips, etc.

Some of these aren’t truly GPP exercises, but I just tried to give you a list of exercises you could do without any equiptment.

Choose some of the above exercises that won’t hurt your shin splints. Then do each exercise for 30 seconds, do all of them in a row, then repeat.

This is just another option for you. Hope this helps.

First of all good luck to you shiggy, from someone who’s been going through this process since this year’s start. Most of the advices you get there are great, and I don’t have much to add.
And TT - gr8 post as usual, with one exception - wouldn’t you wanna take the P+C meals earlier in the day, and the P+F mails later? AFAIK the carb sensitivity is greater in the mornings (and PWO of course). Besides, fat meals digest slower so you generally wanna consume them later in the day (specially before sleep). Am I missing something here?
D.