T Nation

Serge Storms - Shapeshifter

bodybuilding
nutrition

#141

Lifting - Monday Evening - 60 minutes

Jump rope, bodyweight movements, dancing with a 20lb dumbbell.

Holy shit, everything keeps getting easier with these bodyweight movements. Handstand balance gets easier with each pound lost. Pistol squats are way easier. I did a handstand into a headstand with a super slow negative today. It is fun to be light!

On the shred front, every day seems to bring out something cool. Today, for the first time EVER, my calves looked impressive. Not round like a bodybuilder’s bowling ball calves, but way better looking than a typical tennis or volleyball player. The reason they looked bigger? Because my thighs are so much smaller. For real. The definition in my quads and hamstrings, combined with my knee and ankle being naturally small without the cushion of fat, all adds up to my calves looking way better.

It also pisses me off a little that I’ve spent the majority of my adult life not being lean enough to have my legs look like this…it wouldn’t have been that hard to just maintain a lower body fat, but I never commited to it for long enough. Part of the reason is I could always still see a 4 pack and maintain a decent overall proportions at a fairly high body fat percentage.

On a related note, a comment about lighting and shadows and the difference between true body fat losses vs improvements in the appearance of muscle definition:

You know that perfect lighting and mirror and angle and pose that makes you look way more ripped? That’s not real, but it CAN be realized by staying the course with whatever got you to where you are. That image is you in about two or three more weeks in realistic lighting. It’s a sneak preview of the future you.

To use images in the mirror to monitor fat loss, I recommend finding the most unflattering light possible and taking pictures. This is especially important if you are thinking you are lean enough and considering increasing your intake or having a cheat day. Earlier in a diet, using the most flattering lighting can help provide motivation, so it may depend.

The reason is that muscle definition is an appearance thing, not just a body fat thing. Definition happens with shadows. Shadows with light. Refer to your closest mountain range for examples of how tho he change throughout the day.

So before you decide if it’s time for a cheat day, realize that your selfie-loving ass has lost touch with reality and you are no longer in a position to self-evaluate. Instead, do this: put on your tightest jeans, buttoned and zipped, with no shirt. Find the shittiest lighting you can. Take a selfie and post it to “Rate My Physique” and ask “clean bulk or mini-cut?”

You may want to pose while holding a shoe so we can all get a frame of reference. Otherwise, we will have no fucking idea what we are looking at.


#142

Not too much. Nephews, Work, Lifting, you know the drill. Glad to see you still kicking tail.


#143

Monday - 2300 calories
250g C
195g P
39g F

Monday - AM Bike Sprint Intervals
PM - Lift*

*Having trouble keeping track of everything I’m doing in the gym. Basically, I’m lifting like a madman right now - making a big push to get as much big lifting in as possible before I hit the road for some travel tomorrow through Friday.

I’m doing more traditional bodybuilding stuff, but I’m trying take it slow with the heavy stuff. I have some AC joint stuff, some elbow stuff…just a lot of “stuff” that I need to make sure I’m being careful with. My strength is way higher than what my tendons can handle. Lax ligaments are not a great match for heavy lifting - my joints get pulled and pushed out of place way too easily, so the smallest wobble can be a disaster for me.

When I was in my early thirties, I trashed both AC joints doing heavy incline DB presses that my muscles could handle but my joints could not. Took me out of the lifting game completely for a few years. God, those were bad times. I became a runner for a while. A runner.

Good news, though. Under ideal lighting, I am seeing separation between obliques and abs that goes all the way down instead of stopping at those lower two abs. The pad of fat is very, very slowly starting to shrink. I can’t be more than a week or two away. It’s a race between the lower two abs and hollowed-out cheeks right now.

I’ll be seeing a bunch of people I haven’t seen in a while this week. We will see what people say. Personally, I don’t think I’m anywhere close to looking gaunt or hollowed-out. I think my wife is just trying to fatten me up so I don’t look so good. It’s like an instinct that kicks in. You should have seen how fast she volunteered to make me a homemade personal pizza last night for a snack. She never does that.


#144

IMG_4686

Spiked up the carbs a bit yesterday because I feel a few low days are ahead where I’ll be stuck at meetings without access to my staple foods. Executing a proper carb spike is a higher level skill for me. Unless I’m locked-in like I am right now, usually a “cheat day” or higher-carb day means that I binged on Honey Nut Cheerios and retroactively proclaimed it was a high-carb day. This one was not that.

I am not a Tupperware guy. I don’t do the Sunday chicken and broccoli assembly line thing.

I enjoy challenging myself to adapt to my environment. Food is everywhere, I don’t need to bring it with me. Only exception lately is good beans. Those little bastards really come in handy for mindless or even mindful munching.

It helps that I can expense all expenses while traveling. So it’s no biggie to custom order a meathead bodybuilder meal with extra protein, and I don’t mind throwing away the English muffins on my egg white delights.


#145

That’s some funny shit. Does the mrs work out?

Blasphemy! How do you keep your fats so low?


#146

Yep. She is a certified barre instructor. She was into lifting more back in her 20s. I helped her build some really nice traps back then. Love traps on women.

Not sure if that was a real question or part of the sarcasm. Since I like to talk about how I keep my fats so low, I’ll assume it’s a question, even though it probably wasn’t:

I get a high percentage of my protein intake from protein powder. It’s a casein/whey/egg blend without much fat. That alone seems to keep my fat intake low, because I’m not getting it from tons of eggs and beef. The real food protein I do eat is probably 80% chicken breasts and 20% beef, turkey, or fish.

I don’t add mayo or dressings to anything. Cheese has also pretty much been limited to the occasional pizza night or maybe a bit of mozzerella in an egg white omelet.

I get most of my added fat from nuts n’ more protein peanut butter. So when I want to cut back even further, I just skip the PB or limit it to one 20g serving instead of two 32g servings. To be exact.

I have found it easy to adapt to a low-fat diet, but it happens over time. Probably better to go from cheeseburgers to leaner ground beef cheeseburgers to lean burgers without cheese, and then finally to fewer burgers and more chicken.

Also key is that I eat the protein powder as a sludge-like mixture instead of fully liquifying into a shake. Seems to stay in the stomach longer.


#147

Genuine curiosity on my part; I really did want to know about the fats.

I figured it had to have been protein powder. Alas, I cannot stomach protein powder at all, otherwise I’d happily get 50% of my daily protein from shakes.

It’s an absolute bitch not being able to drink protein shakes. If I were to try and keep my fats as low as yours I’d have to do the constant chicken breast thing, and that’d drive me insane.


#148

Uh-oh.

I had a delayed flight get moved back up today, so I ended up walking on the plane without eating the meal I had planned and without even having a chance to stop for something.

By the time I can get to some food, it will have been about nine hours since my last meal. And that was just a 200 calorie snack.

If you don’t hear from me for a few days, send help. I’ve probably gone into full ASS. Acute Sarcopenic Syndrome.

I’m going to take this opportunity to “sit in my hunger” and really get to know it. Examine it. Juggle it back and forth in my hands. Roll it around in my fingertips. Swish it around in my mouth.

[just found out I’ll be sitting in that hunger a while longer. We are on the plane but waiting out a mechanical issue]

To get me through this extended examination of emptiness, I will probably set a record for number of cups of coffee consumed on one flight.

It actually is pretty rare that I find myself in this situation. I don’t miss many meals. Not because I’m obsessed with getting a certain number of meals. I just eat all day long. Every day. So to go 8+ hours without eating is not normal for me. I’ve tried to play around with some 5/2 fasting schedules, but I’ve never lasted beyond about two hours before quitting.

Here we go.


#149

Stay strong Serge :sunglasses:


#150

Yeah, that must suck. Hmm. I’m assuming you’ve already been down the road with testing different options, but just in case…

Assuming Metabolic Drive doesn’t work for you, I would try Red Velvet Cake flavor from Trutein. Mix it with just enough skim milk to create a cookie-dough consistency, and then just eat it.

An alternative is to mix it with fat free plain Greek yogurt. I wonder if the insanely amazing non-protein powder taste of this particular flavor and the different consistency might work for you.


#151

Random training update, since I don’t log much detail on that.

I’ve been sneaking in high-rep finishers at the end of all my gym sessions lately. I’m using leg extensions, leg curls, lower back extensions (kind of a hybrid glute/ham raise), and the butt blaster glute machine.

These are mostly just ways of throwing more fuel on the fat loss fire as I make this final push. The good news is that I NEVER TRAIN LEGS except for daily pistol squats. So these finishers create both immediate metabolic stress, but because they are such a new stimulus, they are also causing some damage and remodeling, which obviously pulls from my energy resources.

As a result, my legs have been feeling more alive lately. Never painfully sore, because I never stopped doing athletic stuff, but they just feel like they’ve been worked and are always recovering. I like it.

Also, I’ve just been cranking up the overall amount of lifting I’m doing and starting to run out of body parts that are fresh enough to attack.


#152

The protein gods intervened.

Plane change. Plenty of time for a quadruple espresso and a stop for water, gum, and protein bars.

I went with the Powerbar Protein Plus bars. They only have 5g of fat. When it comes to bars, I have learned that none is best. It’s sad but true. Even some of the “cleaner” bars at less than 190 calories and 5g of fat are still too calorically dense, convenient, and rewarding. Protein sludge with fiber one cereal and some raw natural honey will yield better macros, higher quality, more appetite suppression, and less reward. It takes time to mix it all up, so it’s less likely that you’ll repeat the entire routine for a second serving. I have come to a place with those damn bars where I rarely eat less than two at a time.

By the way, conditions are “smokey” at our destination. That is not one you hear too often.


#153

"Think of your body as a sculpture. Determine where you want to add clay, and then hammer that region with exercises that activate it. If you don’t want more clay on a particular region, then avoid highly activating that area to the best of your abilities.

If you want to lose fat, engage in progressive overload, adhere to a sound nutritional plan, and judiciously do cardio."

-I agree


#154

IMG_4723

2130 calories

Hotel mirror and lighting gave me a different glimpse of where I’m at. I am really, really close.

Two more weeks.


#155

this log never ceases to amaze me.


#156

2200 calories
No lift
Seattle


#157

i want to do pistol squats and one arm push ups but dont know where to start.


#158

For pistols, try grabbing the low cable on a pulley machine to pull yourself up. More weight on the stack will give you more help. Decrease the weight over time as you get stronger. Do them daily and only do them until you hit a critical performance drop rather than trying to grind out reps. That might mean just doing a few each day, but this is how progression seems to work for these types of things. Patience and consistency.

1-arm push-ups, I’m not so sure how to help with. I progressed from regular push-ups right to no-arm push-ups, without ever trying 1-arm. But that involves a lot of anti-gravity physics beyond the scope of this log.


#159

thanks for the reply man, appreciate it.


#160

Well you are definitely the exception. Most people need to get 1 arms down pact before doing no-arm push-ups.

@Gorillakiv83
Try one-arm high Incline Push-ups. Kitchen bench should work ok. If that’s too tough than do a one arm negative with 2 arm concentric. Lower the Incline as you get stronger.