May 26, 2014

2014 Cut Plan

Alright, so here we go. So I've been happy with my cuts in previous years, and I've posted results from them showing they went well. But I always feel like I can improve on it, hence the massive amount of research I did this year.  Several factors influenced my choices and I covered them earlier.  The first and foremost of which was eating to match what I'm doing. Last year (and every year really) I usually alternated high-carb and low-fat days, without much thought as to which went where.  This makes no sense.  My usual days of low rep high weight type work isn't really depleting any glycogen, yet I would load up on carbs later in the evening, and barely any fat.  Again, not the end of the world, but wasn't really letting me progress.  Your body also needs fat for maintaining hormone levels, and while I don't recall anything specific to make me think I wasn't, there are a ton of health benefits from things like EVOO, Coconut Oil, and Red Palm Oil among others, and I was missing out on a lot of them several days per week.  Finally, your bodies' preference for using dietary fat to fuel metabolism played a factor as well, along with my hope was to avoid losing much, if any strength this cut (more on this in a moment).  

Having decided on that, I also didn't want a repeat of last year, when on my high-fat days I was probably close to 70g of polyunsaturated fats. Having read up and digested a great deal of information on the topic, which I summarized here for you.  I want to keep it closer to 15g-20g this time around (I didn't quite get there, but I'm in range; I'll get closer if I swap out soy milk which has a ton of polyunsats, with regular milk, if I ever find a good local source).  

Finally, as I noted, you don't need nearly as much protein as you think you do. I was somewhere between 225 and 250g per day last year, and a bunch of that was probably just getting converted to ammonia in my blood. No more of that.  I have it capped a little over 210 on my sprinting days which are brutal, and then around 185-190 on my other days.  Oh, and regarding fructose, I'm not that worried as my levels aren't that high this time around.  I was probably close to 60g last cut on my high-carb days, not repeating that. This time I'm in the mid 30s, which is fine considering most of it is post-workout, which negates a lot of the issues with it.  In the previous link I also talk about insulin sensitivity some, and note that between 100 and 200g carbs per day leads to the greatest amount of insulin sensitivity. 

OK, enough talk, here's what I'm going with this time around:

On my heavy days when I'm doing the low rep stuff I'll be getting about half my cals from fat, 25% from carbs, 25% protein, for the reasons stated above.  On sprinting days I knock the fat back a bit and up the carbs a good deal; by the end I'm depleting glycogen like crazy, especially on the 200s.  I also bump up the protein because of how much damage I'm inflicting on my posterior chain. On my 'light' day in the gym, which would be things between 5 and 8 rep sets, I'm going to be around 200g of carbs net, lower fat, and slightly higher protein since I'm inflicting a bit more muscle-trauma than on the heavy days.  Here's how things like PUFAs (and omega-3s & oemga-6s), and fructose shook out, as well as what my targets were for each day for macros:

I got pretty close to what I wanted, and will get closer on PUFAs when I switch off of soy milk.  Also, at the moment I'm at 1 oz. walnuts, no macadamia because I'm trying to find a cheaper source, they're expensive. 

One final note:  to speed up the cut I've cut the fat back from the levels here, I do either an avocado or the sweet potatoes on the heavy day, bringing me back to either 2200 or 2400 calories.  As I get closer to my goal weight/comp I'll bring both back in.  That's what I like about using so many oils here, if I need to cut back on calories later I can just reduce tablespoons of the stuff.  

The results so far? Good. Really good. I'm down from 230 to about 210-212 right now. I've barely lost any strength, maybe none even.  The shoulder tweaking prevented me from push pressing and snatching heavy for a while, but even there I haven't really lost a ton of strength.  Squat, deadlift, benching, rows, all of it feels good.  I look pretty good too, I'll post progress pictures soon.  Another few weeks I should be really close to where I want to be, and I'm going to start running Hot-Rox soon (more on that in another post). Alright, I've rambled enough. 

May 25, 2014 Sprinting

  • 100m: 1
  • 200m: 4(!)
  • 100m: 1
  • Total: 1000m

Wow. Not sure where the 4 200s came from. Was hoping for 2. Good speed on them too.  Didn't really slow down until the final 50 or so of the 4th.  Things are going well here, I think it's the nutrition I'm getting from this cut. I finally finished calculating some stuff last night, and will be posting it today. I know I keep saying that, but for real this time, I've got it all ready to go. 

Going to start broad jumping again soon, I'm down to about 210 right now, and it should be easier on my joints landing. 

May 23, 2014 Lower / Posterior Chain / Olympic Lifting

  • Deadlift: 405*1 445*1 475*1 - feeling flat
  • Hanging Power Snatch: 135*1 barely 135*3 135*3
  • Hanging Power Cleans: 135*6 135*6
  • Pull-Throughs: 170*10
  • Wide-Stance Anti-Rotational chops: 80*5

Feeling VERY flat here, I ate a bit too soon before the session I think.  BARELY got 475 on deadlifting, and on the HPS I almost missed that first 135 rep. Decided to just rep on HPCs to help my shoulder and just get some reps of something in.  Shoulder feels about 95% at this point, same with left elbow.  

May 22, 2014 Upper

  • Seated Press: 135*5 155*4 175*2
  • Sternum Pullups: 6,4,4
  • Incline Bench Paused Reps: 225*2 235*1 245*1
  • Landmine T-Bar Rows (not unilateral this time): 160*7 205*4 230*3
  • Suitcase Carries: 40*100 40*75

I should really be doing a row or pull of some sort first here, since Monday I do benching first. Just realized that as I'm typing now.  I did sternum pullups because I'm trying to ease back in on my left elbow and right shoulder, so I don't want to do anything weighted yet, but still wanted a challenge.  Same with the paused reps, the weight is lower so it's a tad easier. Also tried doing t-bar rows with a barbell, but not unilaterally for once. It was nice, but I felt it more in my rhomboids/mid back as opposed to lats.  Suitcase carries I tried picking up the pace a bit, not sure if I like it better or not. 

May 21, 2014 Dodgeball!

  • Dodgeball: 90 mins
Shoulder wasn't too bad, still about 90%.  Only let a few throws really rip, didn't feel too bad when I did. 

May 20, 2014 Lower

  • Squatting: 315*1 335*1 365*1 385*1
  • Front Squats: 225*2 250*2 275*1 300*1
  • Good Mornings: 225*1 250*1 265*1
  • Dead Bugs: 8, 8
Felt a bit slow on squats, especially from the lower portion.  Front Squats went fine though, same with good mornings and dead bugs. 

May 19, 2014 Upper

  • Bench Press: 235*3 255*3 270*3 285*1 300*1
  • Cable Rows: 200*3
  • T-Bar Rows: 135*3 160*2 160*2
  • Push press: 225*1 235*1
  • 1.5 Pullups: 5, 4
  • Landmine Laterals: 65*2 55*4
Good times, tested shoulder at first on benching and it felt fine, got to 300 which is nice.  I'm down to about 211, so down 20 lbs. and haven't really lost anything for strength.  Push Pressing felt good too.  Should be good to go on the shoulder from here out; It's at about 90%, so as long as I'm not dumb it should be fine. 

May 18, 2014 Sprinting

  • 200m: 1
  • 100m: 8
  • Total: 1000m

First 200 of the year, felt good. I'll try and get 2 next week, and then go from there. We shall see. This session went pretty good, not a ton of shin splints except the last 2 100s I ran, so that's getting better.

May 16, 2014 Lower / Posterior Chain / Olympic Lifting

  • Hanging Power Snatches: 135*3 145*3 150*1 155*1
  • Hanging Power Cleans: 155*3 175*2
  • Deadlift: 405*1 435*1 455*1
  • Dead Bugs: 8, 8

The form on the 155 hps was fairly trashy. Also being careful with the cleans since they hurt my shoulder more than anything. Didn't feel too bad here.  Otherwise good quick session, deloading on deadlifts this week. 

May 15, 2014 Upper

  • Seated Press: 95*4 115*4 135*4 155*3 175*1
  • Pullups: 65*3 65*2 65*2
  • Incline DB Bench: 70*5 85*5 100*4
  • BB Rows: 135*5 165*5 185*5 205*3
  • DB Reverse Laterals: 15*9
  • Suitcase Carries: 30*50 30*50 
Easing back into things with the pullups, also threw in DB bench instead to take it easier on my shoulder. BB work doesn't actively cause it pain, but it may be slowing down the recovery.  Also, on suitcase carries I wanted to focus on form. I find that sometimes I hold my torso perfectly, but my hips are skewed to compensate, which is not what you want. 

May 14, 2014 Sprinting

  • 100m: 6
  • 50m: 4
  • Total: 800m
Some pretty bad shin splints here.  No dodgeball tonight, Bruins are on and everyone's watching that. Wanted to get a good burn in anyway so I went with sprinting. Getting close to being where I want to on sprints.  Once I'm used to them again it's just a matter of the cut progressing to add speed. 

May 12, 2014 Upper / Heavy

  • Bench Press: 225*3 245*3 265*2 275*2 285*1
  • Unilateral T-Bar BB Rows: 135*4 150*3 165*3
  • Push Press: 225*1 235*1
  • T-Bar Rows: 135*3 145*3 155*3
  • Landmine Laterals: 45*5 45*6

Right shoulder still not 100%, left elbow too; but they're getting much better. Didn't push things too much here with the benching or push pressing.  

May 19, 2014

May 11, 2014 Sprinting

  • 100m: 10
  • 50m: 1
  • Total: 1050m
Had horrid shin splints the last couple 100s...gotta watch that.  Still not quite where I want to be speed wise, but obviously I'm still 15 lbs. heavier than I am at my 'fighting' weight. 

May 9, 2014 Posterior Chain

  • Deadlift: 405*1 435*1 455*1 485*1 505*1 520*X narrowly missed
  • Hanging Power Snatch: 135*1 145*1-tempting shoulder
  • WSARC: 80*5

520 deadlift was unexpected.  If I had known I would have that much juice this session I would've ramped differently and probably skipped the 505 attempt.  I'm happy my strength is still where it is right now, the cut is going well apparently.  On the HPS's my shoulder was getting cranky, so I decided to let it rest. 

May 7, 2014 Dodgeball!

  • Dodgeball: 85 minutes
all wrist throws, keeping shoulder nice and loose. 

May 6, 2014 Lower Body

  • Olympic Squats: 315*1 335*1 345*1
  • Front Squats: 245*1 265*1 285*1
  • Step-Ups: 65*4 75*3
  • Dead Bugs: 8, 8
Giving my shoulder a rest this week and going to do lower body stuff exclusively.  Tried some olympic squatting here. The front squats my form was ratcheted down, abs were sore after, in a good way.  Also loving step-ups.  May be my new go-to when I don't want to do good mornings, to give my back a break. Finished with dead bugs. I love the concentration it takes to keep the form on them.  Can't remember if I posted it before but here is an article on core training I read recently that influenced my latest round of exercises here. 

May 4, 2014 Sprinting / Broad Jumps

  • 100m: 8
  • Broad Jumps: 8'5" 8' 11", 8'1"
Was toasted by the time I got to the broad jumps.  Felt good though to get a full session in. 

May 4, 2014

May 3, 2014 Nutrition Update

I know I keep saying it, but I mean it this time, this week I'm going to post the cut I've been using.  Just wanted to work out a few kinks with it before I posted it. 

May 2, 2014 Lower / Heavy

  • Deadlift: 365*3 405*3 425*3
  • HPS: 95*3 115*3 135*2 135*1
  • Pull-Throughs: 80*6 110*8 130*8
  • Wide-Stance Anti-Rotational Chops: 80*5 90*3
Nice deload week on deadlifting. I actually like these because I can ratchet down on form.  Shoulder sore still, couldn't go high on the snatches. 

May 1, 2014 Upper / Heavy

  • Incline Bench Press: 225*3 245*1 255*1
  • Pendlay Rows: 165*3 185*3 205*2 215*1
  • Pullups: 70*2 70*1 70*1,1
  • DB Rows: 100*5 110*5 120*5
  • Suitcase Carries: 50lbs*50 steps 50*50
shoulder is just...awful.  Let this be a lesson to anyone reading this: If you think a minor injury is healed, test out the body part first before throwing yourself into something.  I'm probably going to skip upper body day this coming Monday and let this thing heal for real.  Shoulder hurt on pullups even.  I don't think it's anything major, just should have rested it more. 

April 30, 2014 Dodgeball!

  • Dodgeball: 90 minutes
oooof. My's on fire.  Probably should not have thrown as hard as I was, maybe even gone left handed, or 'shot-putted' the ball if I had to use my right. I can't explain how bad it hurts right now.  Not good times...I pissed off whatever was almost healed..ugh

April 29, 2014 Lower / Heavy

  • Squats: 315*2 355*1 385*1 405*X
  • Pin Squats: 315*1
  • Squats: 405*1
  • Front Squats: 225*2 245*2 265*1 275*1 295*1
  • Good Mornings: 225*1 250*1 265*1
  • Hip-Thrust: 135*4 225*3 275*2
  • Dead Bugs: 8, 7
I was pissed I missed 405, pin squatted 315 up, and put a 45 back on each side and got it.  Went heavy on front squats and good mornings as well.  Putting more weigh on the hip thrusts. Really enjoying dead bugs. Shoulder feels much better.  

April 28, 2014 Upper Body

  • Bench Press: 225*3 250*3 265*3 275*2 290*1 300*1 305*1
  • BB Rows: 185*3 205*3 225*2
  • Push Press: 185*2 205*1 225*1
  • Face-Pulls: 40*8 60*4
  • Unilateral Cable Reverse Laterals: 30*4 - r. shoulder
Cut is going well, not really losing any strength at all.  Right shoulder is feeling better, still not 100% , took it easy on the push presses. Tried to work around the shoulder where I could.  Was talking to someone, they said it actually sounds like a pec minor issue.  Also, benching went well. Went back to using an arch after doing it completely flat the last few weeks, definitely felt a power bump. yaaaay. 

April 27, 2014 Conditioning

  • Rowing (15 second sprints): 95m (on 6 diff again..ugh. Corrected to 10 on all subsequent attempts), 97, 100, 97, 95
  • DB Swings: 100*10 120*10 120*10
  • Battling Ropes: 50, 50
  • MB Slams: 20*10 r. shoulder
  • 31" plyo box jumps: 4, legs exhausted from swings

Raining again.  This went well, used a DB to do swings with since the KBs only go up to like 60 lbs. at my gym.  Right shoulder still a bit hurting, but getting better.