Serge Storms: Training Log

Once a week or so on the indoor trainer…just to mix up the cardio.

I was finding that too much bike was messing with my knees and keeping my arms and shoulders in a perpetual state of low-level fatigue. Since dialing it back, I feel a lot more explosive with all of my movements.

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Yesterday’s macro breakdown. Totaled up to about 2100 calories. I need to hit these kinds of numbers about 85% of the time for about 6-8 weeks to really dial myself into the weight and body fat percentage I’m looking to hit.

Here are my batting averages for the past few weeks.

Percentage of days achieving calorie goals:

Week 1: 43%
Week 2: 29%
Week 3: 75%
Week 4: 88%

So, it’s not really that shocking that I haven’t seen any significant drop in scale weight. I’ve seen some slight body comp improvements, but that’s probably because I’ve shifted more of my workout time to lifting and I’ve cleaned up my diet.

The big change for the past few days and continuing for the next few weeks - zero alcohol.

I’m noticing as I get older (mid-forties), dialing back the alcohol intake has more and more of an impact on my ability to quickly drop fat and gain a high level of control over my eating habits. I’ve dropped alcohol plenty of times…it’s never super easy, but I’ve been successful enough times to be able to do it without too much overthinking or ambivalence. I’m really looking forward to how I will look and feel about 3-4 weeks from now after I lock into this groove and start dropping my weight down into the mid 180’s. 185 and 195 are like night and day for me. Huge difference.

This morning, I had a great workout and was feeling energized and strong, even though yesterday I was feeling a little over-reached.

15 minutes on the stair mill. (I’m doing “Hustle up the Hancock” in February, so I’m logging some time on the stair mill so I don’t have to suffer through the 96 flights of stairs.

30 minutes of breakdance moves, hand stand work, pistol squats, push-ups, planks, ab work, and jump rope. I’ve been doing multiple sets of 100 double-unders lately…usually spread throughout the workout. That’s more than what I usually do, but because I’ve ditched the road bike, my capacity to push into higher intensities with the jump rope has increased significantly.

15 minutes on the recumbent bike - low RPM, high tension intervals. I know I just said that I ditched the road bike, but the recumbent bike for short-duration intervals doesn’t cause the same issues as the road bike.

The road bike has two major drawbacks: the high RPMs and high volume breaks my knees down over time. It’s different from the dull aches that I get from when tennis breaks down my knees. That knee pain is more of an arthritic pain. The bike causes issues with my ligaments…I think it’s because I have a lot of laxity, and there’s just something about the body positioning on a road bike that my knees don’t like. The second issue is that the road bike keeps my entire upper body in a perpetual state of weakness. The constant pressure on my wrists and through the shoulders and arms just adds up over time. I can feel it when I try to do hand stand work while I’m doing lots of miles on the bike. I just always feel dull and week and not explosive.

The recumbent bike allows me to adjust the seat so my legs don’t extend quite as much. Obviously, the upper body bears no weight at all, so it solves that issue. It’s really more like doing ultra-high rep leg extensions. Different kind of cardio than jumping rope. I can get my heart rate up to about 180 by doing 100 double-unders. It’s quick, easy, and fun.

Getting my heart rate up to 180 by doing low-RPM, high-tension pedaling on the recumbent bike is torture compared to jumping rope. But something about it feels right. You can feel like it’s really causing some adaptations, whereas with the jump rope, it’s just more of a pure cardio thing…especially once the legs and shoulders are conditioned enough to not be a limiting factor.

Nailed it.

Nice training log you have here Mr Serge.

I will be following.
Im interested in learning more about your breakdancing moves. That type of movement and “flowing” is something that I want to look into, but no idea how to start.

tweet

For me, I started with some sequences I used to put together as a breakdancer and just started doing them in slow motion. I added elements from capoeira, gymnastics, and yoga - even though I was never a master at any of those.

Monday 1850 calories

40/30/30 Macros

Weight: 191

No workout today - first day off in about 10 days.

Nailing my bikini-prep-level macros was NOT easy today. We were in a huge national meeting with multiple buffet meals and lots of chances to go off-plan. Cocktail reception, choice of restaurants for dinner, barely-tolerable co-workers, boring sessions…many factors that could make it easy to rationalize a few drinks. I had none and I stuck to my plan.

It wasn’t even a struggle at all, and THAT is the magic I wish I could bottle up and have at my disposal at all times. I love being “in the zone” when it comes to my ability to easily stick to my plan without any internal dialogue or struggle. It’s a skill that I’ve developed and improved over the years, but it still comes and goes. Finding that “switch” that puts me back into the zone is not always easy because bad habits, complacency, peer influence, and stress are always lurking.

This time around, my starting point was only about 8 pounds heavier than my ideal weight, so it’s not like I had “let myself go” too much. But it still took me a bunch of half-assed failed attempts to get back in the zone before I finally found the groove. It’s good to be back. It will get even better once I drop another few pounds and start getting closer to 185. That’s when the visual effects start to become rewarding and I start feeling that sense of commitment to protect my investment and keep the momentum going.
That level of leanness is as little as three weeks away, IF I do everything I’m currently doing: no alcohol is probably the most important factor because even moderate drinking takes me out of the optimal zone. I’m trying to keep calories in the 1800-2200 range, which leaves no room for empty calories if I want to avoid a runaway appetite.

Three weeks. Six pounds. It starts by getting through three more days of buffets, cocktail receptions, and big dinners. Damn you, Marriott bacon. The bacon at their breakfast buffet is always so damn good and crispy and greasy. Much easier to resist if there were no drinks the night before. I think even moderate alcohol intake disrupts the liver’s ability to pull usable energy out of your fat stores and results in cravings for bacon.

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Managed through another week of all-you-can-eat buffet meals and many-course dinners at very nice restaurants. I went heavy on the chicken breasts at the lunch buffet, was able to enjoy some awesome food at the dinners, and still kept myself at an everage If about 2500 calories/day.

Still at 191 right now, and still aiming for the 185 range.

I’m off work for the next week - staycation. I’m going to hit the gym twice a day a few times and I’m going to take advantage of having easy access to all of my healthy staple foods.

Today’s workout: 30 minutes total.

Handstand work
Cable work for arms, shoulders, back, chest
Jump rope intervals
Backspins
Windmills
1990s
Yoga flow power moves

Feeling very strong on the handstands today.

I judge this by how easy it is to push myself into a handstand without using momentum to kick myself up into position. Just bend over and do a handstand. It takes a lot of flexibility, balance, strength, and leverage. The more leverage and flexibility, the less strength is needed. I’m getting to a point where I can really slow the whole thing down, which takes a lot of strength no matter how flexible I am.
I have no idea why I am so committed to getting good at these gymnastics tricks. I don’t really plan these workouts or have specific goals…I just make it a habit to go through these sequences of movements and tricks every day, and it’s fun to keep getting better at something over time.

Just checking in, trusting all is well at your end @Serge_A_Storms and you’re still fit and firing!

It has been a while

I’ve been crushing it.

Had a super fun summer. Lifted every day, plus a ton of outside stuff. Spent a lot of time on my bike on the gravel trails. Hit a bazillion golf balls. Started to crank up the lifting in early fall.

Now I’m dialing-in my diet to get super lean again.

I’m on day 16 of that initiative.

Averaging about 2300 calories/day. 40/40/20 ish, maybe even lower than 20% fat.

Many days, I’m going even more aggressive than that.

I just know what it takes to get where I want to go, and I don’t really need to waste time getting there. Then I’ll shift my intake up towards the 2800-3000 range once I get there.

My workouts are awesome.

30 minutes of lifting. Usually 1-2 body parts/day. Chest/Shoulders/Arms/Back/repeat. Something like that.

15 minutes of “movement”. Breakdance moves, handstands, pistol squats, balancing moves, all kinds of good stuff.

15 minutes of jump rope. Singles to music at around 140bpm, and then I’ll take off the headphones and just crank out sets of 100 double-unders, usually 2-3 of those.

I might also throw in a 30 minute session on the spin bike at 200W, keeping the HR at around 130-140.

On weekends, I’ll do double sessions just to get more activity and lifting in.

Current weight is 197. Goal is going to depend on what I look like and feel like at 192. Will update then.

I’m always tweaking the diet, but that is helpful to keep me in the game mentally. If I’m consistently eating the right stuff and hitting my overall calorie target, I can use different macro ratios like different clubs in the golf bag.

When I’m really locked in, 40/40/20 C/P/F is a good baseline ration for me. On days that I can crush it, I’ll keep the fat lower and bump up either carbs or protein, depending on what’s available, how I”m feeling, etc.

A good example of an ideal day is:

Workout early morning - espresso only
Breakfast: 40g oats and 2 scoops of protein powder
Lunch 1: chicken breast and rice, fruit
Lunch 2: chicken breast and rice, fruit
Dinner: whatever we make, or restaurant. Limit alcohol to 1-2 units
If there’s room after dinner and I’m hungry, yogurt, fruit, protein powder,

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30 minutes upper back
Single arm high-cable rope face-pulls
Reverse fly machine
Mid-row machine
Pull-ups

28 minutes spin bike - 400 calories

Weight: 196lbs

Yesterdays macros: 45/45/10
1475 calories

Not a typo

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Welcome back, glad to read all is well!

Raven, good to see you’re still here, I’ll have to pop into your log and see what’s going down over there.

Thursday Workout
30 minutes Arms

  • single-arm DB curls 30lb
  • bent single arm hyper-supinated grip concentration curls 30lb
  • seated concentration curl machine partial reps (bottom range) on the “Techno Gym” machine
    ***anyone reading, if you ever see a “Techno Gym” machine of any kind, give it a try. The angles, the padding, and especially the shape and material of the handles on these things is AWESOME.
  • single arm overhead tricep extension 35 lbs
  • pull-ups - haven’t done these in years because golf and tennis elbow. I’m just getting back into them, so I did a bunch of slow partials and sets of 2-3 strict pull-ups, just trying to re-groove the full-body coordination and feel out any elbow pain sticking points throughout the range. This is one where slow-and-steady will be critical, otherwise my elbows will just go right back to where they were. Can’t have that.

15 minutes of “The Show”
-this is my flowing sequence of breakdance/capoeira/tai-chi/gymnastics/acro yoga type of movement with at least a few pistol squats and strict, no-momentum presses into handstands and then back down.

15 minutes of jump rope
-today I just focused on singles to the beat of 140bpm music, trying to minimize any breaks. I stopped a few times just for a few seconds each to drink water…otherwise this was pretty much 15 minutes of continuous jump rope where HR starts about around 115, but as I got deeper and deeper into the 15 minutes, I ended up at about 150 or so.

Weight today 197.0

Diet yesterday - 1750 calories, 40/40/20 macros.

I tried going with fruit-only for carbs throughout the day yesterday, just to see how it affected my appetite, energy, and water balance. I did have some non-fruit carbs later - beans, tortilla, and a small snifter-ish serving of liqueur. No conclusions there, I don’t think I felt much difference…maybe less energy and fullness around mid-morning. The fruit was basically 200g total blueberries and 200g total strawberries and 2 cuties. Satisfying while I’m eating it in the moment, but doesn’t really “stick”.

Today, I’ll play around with the opposite. I’m going with oatmeal and rice for my carbs today. If there is a difference, I think it’s how a day with more of those types of carbs makes me feel for the following morning workout. We will see.

Overall, this diet (or “aggressive mini-cut” if we want to talk like modern-day bros) couldn’t be going much better. I really only care about how hard it is to stick with it mentally, and it has been super super easy. I’m 17 days into it. Slower progress for the first two weeks, I’d say, but once the outer layer of fluff came off and the inner layer of bloat/inflammation subsided (from months/years of eating more of a standard-ish diet), the results in the mirror and on the scale really started picking up.

It’s the kind of thing where you’re just doing something normal like brushing your teeth and you notice that your forearm looks different. Or the less subtle, like a guy at work saying, “dude, what the f are you doing right now, you are looking ripped, how much did you lose?”

Probably only 10-ish pounds but I was right on that border where that 10 pounds makes a pretty big difference in the overall look.

17 days down, probably not many to go before I might intentionally nudge the calories back up to 2300-ish, which is still a deficit, but I’d rather start nudging upward while my fat loss momentum is still in high-gear, instead of waiting for a stall. Just intuitively follow what my body seems to want to do.

At my best, I was super lean at 192. I think I’ll end up right in that same spot, maybe even a bit heavier. It’s not like I just started lifting 17 days ago. I’ve been crushing very consistent, demanding, and in my opinion, effective workouts for years now, with just a few stretches of breaks during the peak summer months where I get so obsessed with the golf swing that everything else falls away.

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How’s Coleman?

After Irma, he hooked up with one of the emergency utility crews that came down from Virginia. He got stuck in one of their trucks and ended up back in Virginia when they returned. He got a job at one of the legal dispensaries, but they canned him after they caught him drinking all the Surp in the back room. Nobody knows where he is right now, but they think he’s in South Carolina somewhere trying to make bathtub Surp.

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Friday AM Workout: Shoulders, The Show, and Jump Rope

Shoulders - 35 minutes:

  1. Lateral raise machine - many, many sets at many angles with all kinds of special techniques
  2. Dumbbell raises in every direction with all kinds of advanced technical stuff - lots of reps and sets, if you can call it that. More like 3 songs - 3 sets of about 3.5 minutes each
  3. Machine Press - lots of sets, plenty of partials, lots of super-advanced hand positioning tricks that are extremely technical in nature and only that Hypertrophy coach guy with the YouTube videos could help us understand the magic that was going on.

Rehearsal for “The Show” - 10 minutes

Jump Rope - 15 minutes or so, pretty intense singles at 180bpm/RPM (that’s fast). A few sets of double-unders (100 each)

640 calories burned, AVG HR 114, Max 176 BPM

Thursday Diet: 2400 calories, 40/30/30 C/P/F

At 65 grams of fat, yesterday was the highest-fat day I’ve had in a while. We had a work dinner and the options were salmon, filet, or chicken.
I have a rule about eating chicken at restaurants. I don’t. I eat way too much chicken in life, there is no way I want it at a restaurant.
Went with salmon and about a third of someone’s filet mignon.
I’d love to get all dramatic and say that the full-fat meats restored the meaning of life for me the moment they hit my mouth, but nah. No big deal. When you’re as locked-in as I am right now, you really get a better understanding of mind over matter.

Weekly macro averages are working out to 40/40/20. 170g P, 170g C, 40g F. Not saying that’s sustainable or advisable for anyone else, but those numbers are absolute NAILS for me right now. In. The. Zone.

Weight 196.5

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Still crushing it with the same basic format.

40/20/20 macros
1 hour workout 7 days/week:
30-40 minutes of lifting - usually 1-2 body parts/day - pretty much bro-split style
10-15 minutes of stupid human tricks
15-30 minutes of either jump rope or bike cardio

Weight jumped up to 200 from 196, but I’m thinking it’s because I started taking creatine again and I’ve added some carbs and some EAA/casein hydrolysate to my pre-workout routine.

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Crushing Macro Targets

Just passed the magical 21 day mark, so now I’m officially crushing Macro Targets by habit.




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Very non-linear weight loss so far.

I don’t think it’s a horrible way to do it, but I also don’t think that these weekend calorie bumps and extra drinks, even when they aren’t all-out benders, but just a few restriction-free restaurant meals and a couple of extra cocktails…those aren’t helping.

And of course, this weekend we have a big event. Long-term, I like the setup of tightening up during the week and letting it fly on the weekend a bit. Shorter-term, I’m not sure I love interrupting the weight-loss/fat-loss “whoosh” effect right at the moment when it starts to kick in late in the week.

Plan for the next few days is to go super low and clean on the intake and ride out this whoosh until it flattens for a few days, and THEN bump back up to my standard deficit intake and macros (2,000 cals, 170ish g C and P, 45g F), which have been surprisingly easy to nail, even though those are pretty low numbers.

Workouts aren’t really worth logging the details.

I’ve been doing kind of a lift-lift-dance split. Arms day, shoulders day, bodyweight stupid human tricks day, repeat.

I used a wide range of lifting techniques/tempos/ranges/etc…mostly I go by feel and just do what works for good pumps and I tend to work on strength gains in the weakest part of the rep range a lot.

Of course, usually about 10-15 minutes of pretty intense jump rope work every day.

This weekend, since I’m trying to ride a whoosh, I’ll probably do some 500 calories burner sessions on the bike.

195 lbs. today, lowest so far. Goal was 187, then I was thinking 192, now I’m thinking 187.

Leanness indicators are all progressing nicely…kind of melting from the outside extremities and showing me how frustrating the quest for that elusive ultra-leanness on the lower abs and lower back will feel.

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It has been 31 days since I flipped the switch on the diet. I’ve pretty much nailed my target macros and calories about 90% of the time. 6/7 days.

Clothes fitting much better - shirts are way tighter on top, pants are way looser.

The scale isn’t moving much lately - I’m bouncing between 196-200.

I’ll probably tweak some macros around and crank up the intensity of my cardio sessions and see what happens. I don’t want to stretch this into a full-winter diet at a crawling pace. I’d rather throw everything at this now and just spend more time enjoying the destination instead of getting there. I don’t need to “save” a bunch of methods for when my metabolism shuts down or when I need to get into some crazy low competition-level bodyfat. I’m talking about getting to where most competitors are just getting into their contest prep - like weeks 10-12 ish out.

So, macros to something like P/C/F 35/25/40. Workouts to include more cardio at higher intensities, maybe even some met-con type of circuits to replace some of the lower-intensity stuff I’m doing in the gym outside of cardio/lifting - stuff to get the adrenaline response going, maybe more sets of double-unders with the rope. If I do all that for a month, I’ll be WAY closer to my leanness goal. I don’t see needing anything more than about 6 weeks of that until I’d start looking to lock into more of a long-term maintenance plan. (Shifting to more carbs and dialing back some of the cardio intensity, or maybe simply just adding calories until weight stabilizes)

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