T Nation

Pgy3 Winter Training

I wanted to start a training log on here to keep me honest while I’m trying to get into shape.

I’m a third year medical resident in a five year training program. I work about 100 hrs a week often at weird hours and I frequently shift back and forth between working night shifts day shifts and occasionally 24+ hour shifts.

I’m also an orthodox Jew which carries with it a whole host of restrictions that tend to make training more difficult. this includes only being able to consume kosher food, protein powders/ supplements. It also means that I don’t train on the sabbath. Culturally, it means that EVERY friday night and saturday I am at the equivalent of a thanksgivign meal (not an exageration). We are talking wine, multiple animals that were alive at one point and more side dishes and desserts than is healthy for anyone.

I’ve been able to stave off complete obesity so far in my training but I’m sick of seeing pounds go up on the scale and not on my squat over the past few years. I’ve managed to keep some degree of training going throughout residency and found that certain things are just not tenable. Lifting heavy more than twice a week leaves me too drained to think clearly when I’m working 12 hour shifts in the ER. Long training sessions are also out if I want a minimum of 6 hours of sleep a night. Food prep is key but unfortunately I’m also a bit of a foodie and I like celebrating the end of difficult rotations with fancy dinners out.

The plan for this current cycle is as follows:
Diet: 3 meals a day with a snack, nothing crazy something that was alive at one point with something that grew from the ground and is not a potato.
for snack i like alternating between almonds and protein shakes. Overall goal is 1gprotein / lb body weight and <100g carbs / day

Workout: I’ve been having some success with doing 5/3/1 2x week. I’m well aware it is not an ideal training program for that frequency, so far the numbers have been going up, If anyone has other suggestions I’m more than open to hearing them.

On my other days i’ve been doing short 20-30 min conditioning workouts at home mixed up between bag work, sprints on a treadmill and a kettle bell.

Ideally, I’d like to get back to a weight below 160 have my squat above 300 and my bench over 225. I know that these are not concrete enough goals and may not be realistically acheivable given all the above limitations.

Right now I would like to manage 3 months straight of lifting 2x per week, conditioning 3x week, and 95% adherence to diet.

I will post a daily food and workout log.
I will post a weekly weigh in and measurements
If the pounds stop going up on the bar or down on the scale I will be on here to ask for advice.

measurements and weight to come starting tomorrow

multiple animals that were alive at one point

I mean, I would hope they were.

Sounds like a hellish amount of work, good luck.

You may find it easier to ignore scale weight and instead just look good and get as strong as you can. That way you can eat to add muscle, and your shabbat dinner can work as growth fuel.

I think you’d be hard pushed to find something that’ll work better in your situation. The important thing is that you’re on a good program and that you are consistent. A year at two days a week, week in week out will be far better than a month or two of four days a week followed by a month of nothing because you get beat up.

Plus, once you have more time it’ll be very simple to transition to thrice a week or four times a week.

I’d recommend avoiding nuts. Honestly, they’re yummy but are pretty high calorie for relatively little benefit. My go to is oatmeal with whey.

Also, is there a particular reason you’re set on under 100 g of carbs per day? Unless you’re over 30% bodyfat I’m not convinced low carb is such a body composition panacea as some people think (including me until recently). I’ve had significantly better results limiting my fat intake, plus carbs do have a big effect on recovery.

You may find 1 gram protein/lb bodyweight, 20% of daily calories from fat and the rest from carbs works better, and is more workable.

Personally, I’d switch that around. Especially if you choose the look good and get strong approach. You could have a day each for squat or deadlift, bench and press. Or squat, deadlift and bench or press, although you mentioned you’ve had recovery issues with your schedule so two upper body days will likely be easier to recover from and that also will let you really annihilate your lower body day.

I don’t think this is an issue. You’re a foodie not a junk foodie. I like good food too, and my experience has generally been that good food is nowhere near as detrimental as you may think. Look, if you hit your nutrition targets most of the time, a fancy meal once a month or so won’t do any harm at all.

Ok day 1.

i weighed in today at 183. I figure to keep things consistent i will keep thursday afternoon/nights as my weigh in day. tomorrow I’m gonna actually buy a tape measure and take some measurements as well, those i’ll check q2 weeks.

Breakfast: greek yogurt

Lunch: ( left overs) flounder with roated peppers and chickpeas

Dinner: prepared but not eaten yet (left overs) rib eye roast with green beans

deadlift 215x3 245x3 275x3+ (5)
overhead press 90x3 105x3 115x3+ (10)
Assistance work:
3 sets
A1 40lb db oh press x10
A2 b/w pull ups x5
A3 RDL 155 x10
1 min rest

Breakfast: protein shake, almonds

Lunch: ( left overs) flounder with roated peppers and chickpeas (again)

Dinner: (Sabbath ) 1 ritual glass red wine, 1 slice home baked challah, chicken soup broth, 3 slice lamb roast, asparagus. tea

Workout: 10 min conditioning
2 min: bag work
30 sec break
2 min: 5 pushups, 15 kb swings (50lb) : x3
30 sec break

Sabbaths are definitely the roughest part about trying to get into shape, there is almost no time on Fridays to work out and it seems almost impossible to keep to solid meals with the structure of the day revolving around synagogue and meals. My strategy is just to use the ritual bread and wine as pseudo cheats and basically avoid anything else made from wheat. Dessert is easy enough for me to avoid by having tea

Breakfast: prayer
Lunch: 3 pieces pickled herring, 1 shot bourbon, 1 slice bread , 1 bowl meat stew
Dinner: edamame and raw fish

Workout: 30 min conditioning
2 min: bag work
30 sec break
2 min: 5 pushups, 15 kb swings (50lb) : x3
30 sec break

So moving on to Sabbath day, breakfast is basically out for the day, we usually just end up eating an early large lunch. Continuing with my strategy of minimizing damage 1 ritual shot of bourbon and 1 slice of bread for obligation and then “normal“ Sabbath food. Its entirely possible to have the rest of the meals be diet appropriate. My excuse for the stew is as follows: 1) its literally meat beans and potatoes with spices- not the cleanest food but carb wise its still registering fairly low- certainly a cheat but not on the same level as pizza 2) psychologically it helps a lot to be able to have home comfort food and there is a strong cultural association with eating meat stew on Saturday. If it turns out to be the thing that halts my progress, then ill be forced to cut it out. Generally, I prefer to get stricter with diet and exercise as time goes on rather then starting strict and gradually slacking. I have some theories as to why this works for me but I’m curious if anyone has different experiences.


Breakfast: 3 egg omeltte with spinach and feta

Lunch: chicken soup

Dinner: chicken and rice

Workout: off


Break fast: greek yogurt

Lunch: only ate ½ (? Spoiled) fish with peppers

Post work out: protein shake

Dinner: roast beef with green beans

Work out:

A) Squat:
245 x1+ (3)
b) bench
185x1+ (5)

Assistance x3
C1)55lb db bp x10
C2) b/w pull upsx5
I was going to do 145 lb squats x10 but my knee started hurting and frankly it wasn’t worth risking an injury to blast assistance work, id rather pkay it safe and keep consistently lifting. Today was end of this 5/3/1 cycle, b/c of the low frequency at which I train and the relatively light weight I’ve been using I would not plan on doing a deload week. However, I have a 2 week vacation coming up and am going to be doing a lot of traveling, more on how I plan to handle that soon. Day of atonement fast starts tomorrow night, I’ll be eating a fairly large meal tomorrow night to help me get through whole 26 hours of praying w/o eating ro drinking. Hoping to end with a net positive effect on body comp so I’ll try not to over due it. More on that tomorrow