Friday, September 21, 2012

Intermittent Fasting report

So far it's been about a month since I've started the IF regimen.  I don't think I've eaten outside of an eight hour eating window since I started, but my eating choices have definitely been suspect.  Part of it is I find myself adopting the mentality of a powerlifter, where all food is good food. That mentality partially comes from me trying to get in 200g of protein a day.  Part of it is trying to get some more carbs in with that protein right after my workout to help with muscle growth.  It allows me to give myself the green light to eat things like frozen yogurt after a heavy squat day.

The thing is, this is not helping me get a six pack.  When I don't try to cram 200g of protein into my mouth and eat clean I can see dramatic results in my abs in a couple of days.  But then I start thinking that I'm going to get puny and weak.  So what I need to do is figure out some nice clean meals that are packed with protein.  One of my new favorite meals is swordfish.  I can easily eat a pound of the stuff, and that's about 90g of protein right there.  Add in some sweet potatoes and boom there ya go. I just haven't had the opportunity to eat that yet, at least not as a post workout meal.

So basically I just need to get my shit together.  I will be eating Swordfish, Tuna, and sweet potatoes after workouts.  Lean gains protocol is to have like 60% of your daily calories post workout (if you're working out later in the day) and like 80% of it on the first meal of the day on rest days.  I will focus on these big meals, and I'll eat the small meals whenever I'm hungry (have been trying to force these a little in an effort to get the protein).

...I think one reason the eight hour feeding window is effective is that it naturally restricts your calories, however since I'm trying to get in 200g of protein I think you'd be surprised at how much I can eat in one sitting, probably one reason why I was a chubby child growing up.

Anyway, despite my frozen yogurt and other unhealthy things I've eaten this week, I'd say that I am definitely leaning out and am starting to see four-pack.  ...It's kind of sad because I know in quite a few forums having a four-pack will grant me newb status.

Anywho, I'm now going to go a whole week without pizza, cheeseburger, or frozen yogurt.  ...It is strange because before going IF I would go weeks without breaking paleo, but now that I'm doing IF I feel like I can now eat whatever I like.  However, that doesn't seem possible for me.  Regardless, I am seeing gains, and can't wait to actually have a real, honest to God six-pack.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Hip Update: More Then One Tear?

I can do this without
a problem

Ok so it’s been a while since I’ve talked about my hip.  I’ve been emailing back and forth with Dr. Hauser’s office, and I think I’ve figured something out.  My current status is that with any external rotation I can flex my hip as much as I want to without a catching sensation.  This is awesome, because external rotation is what is used with squats and whatnot.  Also, this didn’t used to be the case.  It used to be that some hip flexion with external rotation would cause a catching sensation in my hip.  So the fact that this no longer happens is strong, strong evidence that the labrum is healing nicely.  This also explains why I can squat without any kind of noise/catching/clicking from my hip, because those exercises involve external rotation. 

However, if I start to do anything more than mild hip flexion with internal rotation I will get that catching sensation. Every time. Guaranteed.  This might indicate (Dr. Hauser needs to check this out himself in person to be sure) that there is another tear, one that has not been addressed. This actually gives me great hope.

This is about as high as I
can go without fear of
my hip catching.
One thing that I learned through this email discussion is that Dr. Hauser only had the external rotation diagnosis.  The fact that he was only working on the external rotation part gives me a lot of hope because perhaps there is another tear or damage to the labrum that he hasn’t been treating.  This is good news because since I’ve responded so well to the treatment so far, and if there has been another issue unaddressed, then perhaps one day I can move my hip with any rotation I damn well please and not have to worry about aggravating a tear in my labrum.

I have also noticed that the muscles that are painful/tight in the hip are different now.  Or at least, they have stayed tight while others have loosened up some.  It used to be my illiopsoas was piano wire tight, but now it is much more relaxed, and I barely do any massage work on it.  Now I find myself focusing on my hip adductors and maybe some hamstring, like I’m sitting on the lacrosse ball now instead of lying on top of it.  As I think about it those muscles were always tight as well, just not as tight as the psoas (they were the chorus, the psoas was the star).  Now that the psoas doesn’t feel like it has to do all the work anymore and is relaxing, the discomfort from these other muscles tightening is coming to the foreground.  …It would also make sense to me that if the tear/damage is in the internal side of the hip joint the adductors and hamstring would be the ones tightening up to protect it.

I actually have about $750 left in my flex spending account right now.  That will cover one more treatment this year, so my thought is to pay Dr. Hauser a visit during Christmas break, provided I still have that money sitting there, waiting to be spent.  If it’s used up by then no biggie I can wait, but it would be nice to see him sooner than later.

This really has given me hope, that perhaps the end is truly in sight.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

First week of Barbell course done.

So it’s been two sessions of a barbell course offered by Crossfit Durham. I’m going to go for linear progressions, and then after that switch to 3/5/1. I will post the current program later, I forgot to write the whole thing down. 

The first day was a bit humbling, none of the weight I’m working out with is impressive.  The idea is I do 3 sets of 5 reps, and warm up to that with lighter weight/higher reps.  Ryan, the coach, wanted me to start light, if I slow down to fight through the rep at all it’s too much to start with, so this is what my second day looked like:

Squat (140 x 5) x3
Press (70 x 5) x3
(bwt rows x 8) x 3

On Wednesday I tried my hand at the high bar back squat, being that I like the front squat so much I wanted to be as close to that as possible.  However, it seems that the high bar squat bothered my hip ever the slightest, so on Friday I tried my hand at the low bar back squat.  That seemed to feel much better throughout, so I’m going to stick with that.  I am not going to see Dr. Hauser again until January, so I’m going to play it safe and not do any Oly lifting or front bar squatting.  It’s going to be all power lifting baby. …I’m going to miss Oly lifting

If you notice Ryan has us doing bwt rows (they’re the inverse of a push up, basically). I asked why we’re going for higher reps of bwt rows (the goal is to do 3 sets of 12 reps, then you make it harder on yourself by lowering the bar and make yourself more horizontal) instead of doing lower reps with weighted chins.  He told me one reason was because no one could do chins, let alone weighted chins.  I told him I could do 5 chins with a 45# plate, so he is now going to add that into the mix (yay!).  I’m pretty excited to see where this will take me.

Concerning the intermittent fasting, still going strong and once I left the fried chicken alone all seems to be doing well.  After a week or so of dropping the fried chicken I am starting to see a six pack, but only in certain light.  I cannot wait for the day when I can see my abs in their full glory in any lighting and at this rate anything is possible.  My eating window is 1:30-9:30pm now because I lift weights at 6-7:30 and I want to give myself time to eat a lot after lifting.  I am trying to make breakfast and lunch small so I can just destroy dinner, and so far it seems to be working.  It’s been hard trying to eat 200g of protein a day, and I don’t think I’ve made it yet.  I could easily get away with it if I were doing whey protein, but I’m trying to not use that as a crutch.  Friday I drank Chocolate milk right after lifting, but I think the dairy wasn’t the best idea for me.  I’m going to try a muscle milk and see how that goes.  After that I’m going to have a 12 oz steak, so that’s about 84 grams of protein.  I think if I really do want to build muscle I’m going to have to step up and start eating more after I lift, we’ll see what I can handle.

Am very glad that I’ve found that I can back squat and not have it affect my hip, I have asked Dr. Hauser for his opinion on what’s going on, why my hip still catches at certain point. So far I haven’t heard anything but will report back when I do.

Monday, September 10, 2012

IF + Fried Chicken = Softness

Ok, so I’ve been doing intermittent fasting (IF) for like two weeks now.  I was working out at the apartment fitness center for a lot of the time, and I was also eating quite a bit of frozen yogurt and other carbs and to be honest I thought I was looking more and more ripped. Then I finally was able to start lifting heavy at the Duke gym and realized I was eating maybe 150g protein when I should be eating at least 200g.  That made me think “ok, I need to start eating a whole lot more now” and started having 3-piece chicken dinners from Bojangles (roughly 100g protein) after squat day.  I was really focusing on trying to cram a whole lot of food into that eight hour eating window.  Well, as a result I’ve noticed that I’m looking a lot softer over the past couple of days.  Maybe fried chicken wasn’t the way to go. 

Or maybe it was.  I have to wonder if all that food has helped me get stronger, if not a little softer.  Perhaps I should go through a bit of a massing phase. I have decided to join Crossfit Durham's barbell course, and it would lend itself to getting bulky.  I know now that it is actually possible for me to get at least close to a six pack, so it's not like I'll be giving up on my dreams.  I know this is completely normal but every time I go into a cutting phase I’m suddenly concerned about losing strength and every time I go into a massing phase I then get unhappy about seeing my "abs" go away.

Regardless, I think if I start eating a lot cleaner sources of protein I can probably see some strength gains while losing fat (I consider myself to be in the newb stage here, where everything is possible).  So no more fried chicken.

So right now I’ve figured out how much protein is in each of the meals that I usually make, and I’ve figured out that if I work at it 200g shouldn’t be too hard.  Thing is, I’m not sure how many carbs I should be taking in.  Leangains talks about having a lot of carbs after your workout, but I’m not sure how many a lot is.  With the current fasted training set up I’m doing, I need to eat a huge meal after my workout.  Today I had a .75# steak and two sweet potatoes.  That’s about  90g of protein and about 60g of carbs, respectively.  I have no idea if that’s enough carbs but six hours later and I’m still really, really full.  …I imagine that it’s not enough because in one of his blog posts Martin makes the comment he used to have a box of cereal as his post workout meal.  Damn that’s a lot of carbs.

This past couple of weeks I’ve been working out at noon without having eaten anything, but now that I’m attending the barbell class I’ll be working out in the PM.  According to the lean gains guide I’ll be eating about 50% of my calories before in two meals and then the other half will be in the post-workout meal.  Should be interesting to see how this works out.

I’m going to have to figure out where I want to go, so I can ask the barbell coach how to get there.  I’m thinking I’ll take this opportunity to work on mass/strength, and then go through a cutting phase.  From what I understand with IF it won’t be that that different.  We’ll see.

I’m also excited to get on a new weight training program.  I’d like to learn about 3/5/1 and starting strength.  I hear both of those being thrown around online, but I still don’t understand them (esp. SS) enough to actually implement them.  Can’t wait until Wednesday.