ED, like so many others I have been following your training and carefully thought out philosophy. I wonder if you’d mind another update. I’m specifically curious about your progress when you ‘turned my brain off’ with your trainer. His advice seems contrary to your core training philosophy. You said you will ‘see how it goes.’ With your experience and knowledge, unless you are seeing positive progress maybe it’s time to trust yourself again? I’m also curious about your nutrition. Still eating PB while fasted? Since fat doesn’t seem to raise insulin this seems to be a great idea. Thanks if you choose to respond, though I understand if you don’t.
Hi imbubber, thanks for reaching out. In short, I have yet to turn my brain back on. I made a 6-month investment in working with this guy, and while I don’t want to fall into a sunk-cost trap, my current plan is to give him that time and see what he can do.
As far as my weight is concerned, it seems to have plateaued in the 206-207 range at an intake of roughly 10-11 cals/lb/d–not great by any means, but a modest improvement over where I was. We are planning to s-l-o-w-l-y raise them, in hopes of getting me into the 13-14 range (15 is probably unrealistic at this point). As for what I’m eating, it’s fairly standard BBing set-up: Lots of protein every day; higher cals/carbs on Training days, lower on Off days. He’s not a fan of the ‘PB only breakfast’ concept, and has me eating carbs in the AM on Training days (but not Off days). He assures me he’s had a lot of success with his methods, so I’m going to take a leap of faith and stick with it.
Re lifting: He is a John Meadows disciple (used to work for him as one of his ‘satellite trainers’), so I am enjoying the Meadows-style workouts very much. He just bumped me from training 4 days/week to 5, which is a welcome change (I go stir-crazy on Off days). And to his credit, he has been very cognizant of my myriad joint issues, and in that regard, has designed the workouts to be heavy on TUT/intensity without being heavy in terms of poundage–the sort of thing I def need now that I am on the back side of my lifting career.
How will it all turn out? Come back in ~4 months and I’ll let you know. Again, thanks for the bump.
Thanks for your response. I’ll look forward to future updates. I do have another question, if you don’t mind. I just read “How to Build a Muscular Midsection” in today’s T-nation and thought about your impressive ABS using very high rep crunches and hanging leg raises. Are these still a part of your program and, if so, how often? Thanks again.
Thanks man. As with so much else that I was doing, my trainer is not a fan of the super-high-rep type work I was doing. Has me doing abs 2x/week: 4 sets of leg raises, 4 sets of decline crunches, 25 reps/set.
And how is that working out for you so far? Is the change enough for you to notice results of any kind or is it still too soon to tell?
In fairness, I feel like I’m getting good ab stimulation this way. What I’ve lost is the LISS-type effect I used to get from the high-rep work. (My trainer is apparently not a fan of LISS, as he has me doing exactly none, whereas I’m doing HIIT 4x/week). As for the effect on my physique, I’m too gooey at the moment to tell. Our plan is to get a little leaner by December (family vacation to Costa Rica–>want to take my shirt off without being embarrassed), and downright head-turning lean by next summer (whether or not I’m still working with him).
You mentioned earlier that your LISS cardio had ‘gotten out of hand’. As an AARP eligible lifter myself, that has always done LISS cardio, I was hoping you might share some specifics. How many sessions per week? What was the duration of the sessions? etc.
**wishing you the best of luck increasing your calories!!
Thanks man. I thought I saw you at the last AARP meeting…
Re my stupid cardio episode: Initially (ie, prior to the cardio debacle), I seemed to have gotten caught in a metabolic spiral. My caloric needs were dropping; ie, my weight was slowly going up (and not in a good way) on a caloric intake that previously allowed me to maintain. So in response, I would cut cals a little. This would work for a while, but then…My weight would start creeping up again. So I would cut cals again. Lather, rinse, repeat. At this point I was doing an average amount of LISS–maybe an hour every other day or so.
Finally, as my frustration built from watching my cals get lower and lower, in a fit of childish pique I said ‘I’ll show you who’s boss!’, and began doing marathon sessions of LISS–alternating days of 3-5 hrs with ‘recovery days’ of 1-2 hours. I did this every day–no days off. I also lifted every other day. To make matters worse, I simultaneously ate a ridiculously low number of calories, usually between 1200 and 1600/d. Did I lose weight? You betcha. Did I feel like death warmed over? Yup. Did I look good? Nope–I looked scrawny and blurry (I presume my cortisol level was sky-high at this point, and that this was causing me to retain water bigly).
And not surprisingly, in the long run the combo of mega-LISS + very low cals did nothing but make my metabolism slow down even more. (It seems I’m not the boss after all, and Mr. Metabolism gets the last laugh.) Which brings me to today, slowly trying to coax my metabolism out of the hole I dug for it.
As an aside: When I was at my fittest, I was alternating lifting days with jogging (~1 hr) days. Unfortunately, a chronic Achilles heel issue may have ended my jogging career forever.
Thanks for sharing this, it’s informative to say the least. I often fall into the trap of not eating enough, over training, and entering dyel territory (actually, I feel like I live there).
I spent the Summer pretty much not lifting and not eating and dropped some weight and got scrawny and blurry. But, I’ve been back lifting and eating for a few weeks and things have come back pretty quickly, which is encouraging.
I think caloric restriction and hitting cardio too hard is a common pit fall for us AARPers.
This thread has me rethinking my recent decision to set up my game system in front of my exercise bike :-/
I dropped most of the cardio from my routine about a month ago and just started to add back in these 2-3 weekly sessions of SUPER low intensity bike riding for about an hour. I wonder if I would be better served just doing a few Tabata sessions every 20 minutes or so instead of an hour of SLISS (super low intensity steady state;-)
I never had a problem with 3 weekly 1-hr sessions. It was only when I went full retard that I crashed and burned.
That’s good to hear. It was mainly a way for me to feel less guilty for “just” playing video games… add a little cardio and make it seem productive I figured
Would suck to crash my metabolism in the process
Thanks for the reply ED.
One of the ‘Rules Of Thumb’ I was taught was to not allow calories to drop below 10 per lb. for any significant period of time [ex. the last week of a prep] with 15 being optimal for maintenance. Additionally; I’ve always performed 20-30 min. of cardio prior to any lifting session and have never ran routines with less than 5 days a week. Needless to say this approach has often been criticized, especially by fellow powerlifters during my competitive years. Looks like you were doing 20+ hrs of LISS per week on 1,200-1,600 calories per day…WOW. That’s marathon/Ironman type volume, without the re-fueling. Sounds like your on the mend, and I certainly wish you the best. I have no doubt you will overcome?
Cardio before lifting reminds me of running before sports practice. Old School. No water break!
Hi mboneill34, I personally have never tried intermittent fasting, so don’t have a well of experience to draw from. However, I had considerable success using intermittent fatting, which is what I call my use of small amounts of natty PB as a way to extend my carb/protein fast until intra/post-workout. So if I extrapolate from my experience, I imagine I would find IF effective. However, I also think I would find it miserable.
Wow. I thought maintaining 235lbs with 2k cals was bad (sit down job, 4-5 weight sessions, 3 cardio sessions per week), but that’s insane!
It’s almost like the human body and its energy balance feedback loops and ancient adaptations doesn’t care about how it looks without a shirt.
Good luck healing.
ED, do you post your training log on this site?
Hi imbubber, I don’t keep a log on this site (or any other).
How are things?