Thursday, August 22, 2013

What I've Been Up to Since March (Part 2)


I mentioned in my previous post that I've made some changes to the way I eat and how I train.  These changes resulted from a whole lot of reading.  I wasn't unhappy with the progress I was making, but I wanted to learn more about my body.  I wanted to make progress because of intentional and deliberate actions...not just trial and error.  As my goals change I find myself searching for more information...trying to make changes to keep making progress.  As I've mentioned before I am not a trainer, a doctor, a nutritionist or any other expert.  I do, however, believe that it's vitally important to understand how my body works.  In the past I made the mistake of taking news blurbs and magazine headlines to heart.  I bought into all kinds of fads and "miracle workouts", but none of them worked for me.  I feel like I am building a base of knowledge now that will help me weed out the facts from the fiction.  At the same time I am learning what works for MY body and what doesn't.

The changes I've made training-wise have increased the intensity of all of my workouts.  I've been lifting heavier, changing my set/rep schemes and really challenging myself in my lifting workouts.  I stumbled on some articles by Dr. Layne Norton (aka Biolayne) and found a wealth of information there that I was able to apply to my training.  I also watched his vlogs and listened to the iTunes podcasts of Muscle College Radio.  The biggest thing I have learned from Dr. Norton (who is a natural bodybuilder with a PhD in Nutritional Sciences) is to take responsibility for my own fitness and nutrition.  I won't ever jump on a bandwagon again just because "so and so" says it's the best/only/fastest way.  I also learned that I wasn't really doing HIIT cardio.  I was doing intervals, but I had no idea what "intense" was.  Don't get me wrong....those 45-60 minute cardio sessions were challenging, but they weren't true HIIT.  True HIIT involves all out maximum effort...and that's not something you can keep up for an hour.  For the past three weeks I've been doing two 15 minute cardio sessions a week.  I've followed Dr. Norton's "Best Damn Cardio Humanly Possible in 15 Minutes" workout.  If you'd like to learn more about the workout and the benefits of high intensity cardio vs. steady state cardio I highly recommend his article on Schwarzenegger.com

As far as nutrition goes, I am eating a lot of the same things that I always have.  The main change is that I am keeping track of my fiber intake and my macronutrients (proteins, carbs & fats).  I feel like by eating "clean" (avoiding processed foods and eating lots of fruits, veggies & lean proteins) I was able to lose weight and feel better than I had in years.  Now I am just fine tuning what I eat to make sure that I am getting the right balance of protein, carbs, fats and fiber each day.  I'm up to eating about 2500 calories a day, and will probably need to increase that as I increase the intensity of my training.  A quick google search for "Macronutrients" will turn up a ton of information.  A good place to start is the IIFYM.com.  This will give you a starting point based on your goals.

So now you know what I've been up to!  I promise my next post will be a yummy recipe ;)


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