Project Results

This project went on for 4 weeks. I enjoyed the lower rep workouts, but once I started increasing the reps my body didn’t respond well.

A key takeaway for the project is that I enjoy heavy, lower-rep, full-body workouts. And I need to take some action to fix my back. For now, I will continue on with my lower rep workouts.

Eating my one meal a day seems to help with recovery. Also, my body recovered very well on the plant-based diet. Having the nutrition component planned out was very beneficial.

Experiment for future:

  • Daily core/back exercises to prevent back injuries
  • Free-running exercise: only return to the gym after resting heart rate has recovered down to RHR 61 or 62.

Problems

#1 Cyclical results: grow and shrink
#2 How to deal with motivation once physical goals are met

Desired Results

  • Weekly workout routine which keeps me at optimal range of fitness
  • Mentally I am strong and able to maintain fitness level
  • Balance high energy levels and workout recovery

Day-to-Day Maintenance

  • Go to gym 3 days per week

Timeline

Weeks 1 -4 ( Oct 18  – Nov 14)

  • Starting with bulking cycle at 3182 calories
  • Weight started at: 166 lbs
  • Resting heart rate immediately increased. Three days after starting it increased from 62 to 67.
  • Oct 23, 2017 – Finished first week of cycle. Good so far. Stronger than I thought I would be for the heavy lifts. After the first two week cycle, note my top lifts for each exercise.
  • Oct 24, 2017 – Started Sleep Project today. This may affect recovery and how I feel.
  • Oct 30, 2017 – Finished first 2 weeks of strength building cycle. Max lbs which hit 30s: Squat 225, Barbell Shrugs 185, Incline Barbell Bench 60, Incline Raise Back 20, Barbell Curl 80. Side Raises 90, Deadlift 225, Pec Deck 190, Dumbbell Shoulder Press 60, Dips, Lunges 120 total, Calf Machine Standing 400, Barbell Bench 70, Seated Rear Lateral Raise 20, Wide Grip Pull Down 70, Concentration Curl 30, Leg Press 450, Ab Curl Machine 50. My weight: 167 lbs.
  • Nov 1, 2017 – My weight: 169 lbs.
  • Nov 14, 2017 – I pulled my back a few days ago. I think I need to see a physiotherapist to find out how to stop ongoing back problems.

Mental Game

Philosophy: focus is low body fat and muscular between 172-176. Goal is to reach a point where my body needs minimal rest, where it isn’t constantly broken down.

Motivation:

Biggest issue is going to be maintaining motivation once ideal composition is hit. The solution may be working on vascularity or muscle symmetry. Actually, it may be setting up practice schedules. For instance, mind-muscle connections. Working a slightly different plane. Changing breathing up.

Benefits of Fitness/Exercise

  • Reduce risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Improves cholestrol levels
  • Reduces risk of some cancers
  • Helps to increase muscle mass and strength
  • Strengthens bones
  • Helps to keep thinking, learning and judgement skills sharp
  • Reduces risk of depression
  • Increases chance of living longer
  • Reduces stress
  • Creates new brain cells (neurogenesis)
  • Increases BDNF levels (important in decision making, higher thinking, and learning)
  • Increases size of hippocampus and improves memory
  • Increases energy
  • Increases creativity independent of mood

Fallback Plan

Go back to 3 day split.

The Circle + 80/20

  • Experience: working out, Food Project, Website Project
  • Other: gym membership, Cycles created with built in variations

Behind-the-scenes

Leverage points: moving daily, hitting all muscle groups with exercise, targeting lagging muscles

Exercises are not done to failure. Do 3 sets of each exercise. Start with a different major muscle group each day.

Cycle 1

9 week cycle: 2 weeks 1-5 reps (6s-30s), 4 weeks 6-9 reps (36s-54s), 2 weeks 10-14 reps (60s-84s), 1 week off

Day 1: Barbell bench, seated rear lateral raise, wide grip pull down, concentration curl, leg press, abs

Day 2: Deadlift, pec dec, dumbbell shoulder press, dips, lunge, calf

Day 3: Squat, barbell shrugs, incline barbell, incline raise, barbell curl, side raises

When I hit the highest number in the rep range, increase weight. Basic rule: first two sets have to be within the target rep range.

Cycle 2

9 week cycle:

Day 1:

Day 2:

Day 3:

2 cycles of slow bulking (18-20 cals per pound of bodyweight, not gaining much fat while doing it)

1 cycle of cutting

Each slightly different angle/plane.

Supplements: creatine has been shown to improve mental performance. Especially in vegans. Once my food project is finished, test creatine as a supplement. May also reduce fatigue.

One cycle has a week of dropsets, and another has supersets

Muscle protein synthetic rate is elevated by 50% at 4 hours after heavy resistance training and by 109% at 24 hrs following training. By 36 hours it is almost back to baseline.

10+ sets per muscle group produces most gains at 9.8%. Minimum of 5 sets produces hypertrophic gain of 5.4%

Practice Schedule: Review each after.

  • Focus on really hitting the peak contraction for 1 second
  • Practice mental toughness: Use a fitness mantra, picture muscle filling up with protein, command muscles to grow (current)
  • Practice lowering heart rate between sets
  • Proprioceptive training: focus on muscle but do not look at it.
  • Test: Do all reps in my mind and hit target in my mind before starting.