Back to Basics

Discussion in 'Training Logs' started by Totentanz, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. Renky

    Renky Member

    BMI - Ha, ha... Yeah, you cannot use this if you are a bodybuilder. I checked it out for kicks once and it had me as obese :)

    Ultimately it is up to you what you do with training and your body weight, but I just wanted to share that I believe these kind of weight fluctuations are hard on the body and you are rolling the dice on this.

    I do wish you well though and hope you reach your goals.
  2. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ultimate plan is to get a home gym setup again. It will not be any earlier than a year from now, as the place I am in currently does not have a basement or a garage, and it is only four bedrooms - counting my wife and kids, there are seven of us in the house so I can't justify using one of the bedrooms as my gym just yet. But I will be moving in July of next year and hope to find something with more space, then slowly start amassing equipment again. So we shall see.

    Forgot to mention that I'm going on a vacation starting this Sunday. I'll be gone for seven days. There is a gym where I will be staying but I'm undecided whether to just take the week off. There isn't much point in calling it an SD since I will be walking a ton, swimming, etc the whole week. Let's call it a deload, and I'll just keep any workouts I do end up doing on the easier side. Assuming I even end up with the time and/or inclination to do them.

    Might as well reset my routine when I get back too.
  3. mickc1965

    mickc1965 Well-Known Member

    Enjoy your holiday, I have been back 12 days and it already seems a long time ago!!
    Totentanz likes this.
  4. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Updating this is too much work for me to focus on apparently. So basically what I have been doing is cycling between short periods of cutting and bulking just to see what happens. I don't have anything better to do and I get sick of eating, so it works for me. The worry was that I would just get fat and lose strength. Overall, I've been slowly gaining weight and lifts have all been increasing steadily, but bodyfat % seems to be staying pretty much the same at around the 13% mark. I've recently had to start upgrading to XXL shirts instead of XL shirts, so I guess it's working out for me.

    Had a 'fun' discussion with a guy at the gym a while ago. I was squatting 405 and he was watching. Once my set is over, he starts asking me about my routine, etc, and eventually gets into talking about 'Why would you want to get bigger, bro? Women like the Zac Efron look, not the Rock.' I had to take a deep breath before replying. I said something like why would I give two shits what women think is ideal and I suggested that rather than trying to look like Zac Efron, he maybe work on improving his sense of humor or his personality, unless all he's trying to do is get more one time hook-ups on Tinder.
    I don't think he appreciated my advice but he hasn't interrupted my squats since then.
    Browner, Jester and Lol like this.
  5. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    Very good to hear you are still repping with 405. I will get there too.
    Also, excellent training advice given. You should've charged for those nuggets of wisdom.
    Are you still planning on getting a home gym set up?
    How long have your short periods of cutting and bulking been? About a month of each? Any maintenance/transition time or a quick switch?
  6. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    I definitely want to get a home gym setup but it's looking like it won't be until mid 2017. I've debated renting a storage unit and starting the process of amassing equipment now, but haven't found any deals that would be worth it. Still kicking myself for getting rid of my power rack I used to own.

    I'm actually playing it fairly loose with my dieting. When I get sick of eating, I switch to a cut and when I tire of that, I switch back to a bulk. I've been going 2-4 weeks of bulking then 1-2 weeks of cutting. Pretty much just swapping back and forth without any real maintenance phases to break it up. Since I sit at a desk all day at work now, it only takes fairly small changes to my diet in order to switch between the two. Basically, all I do when cutting is eliminate breakfast and only eat a small lunch at work, then eat dinner with the family as I normally would, with just a small protein shake before bed added when I'm cutting.
    Then to make it a bulk, I eat breakfast again prior to my workouts, drink a protein shake during both of my breaks at work, as well as eating a larger lunch. I don't take a protein shake before bed during the bulks.

    The loads don't move much during the cutting phases and I trim volume back a bit, but then they start climbing again when I increase the calories. The whole thing is unconventional, I know, and I can't say it would work well for anyone else. I have always had a fairly easy time dropping weight without losing much, so I'm sure that is a big part of it. It's worth mentioning that I counted calories for the better part of a decade and though I don't track everything meticulously now, I still have a good idea of where the calorie counts end up each day. Cutting phases end up right around 12 cals per lb of bodyweight and bulks are around 17 cals per lb. Also worth noting that I'm not actually getting leaner over time, I'm just not getting fatter. As bodyfat percentage seems to be holding steady, that would suggest that I'm actually putting on fat just not a whole lot.
    Lol likes this.
  7. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Didn't sleep last night. At all. The night before, I only got 3 hours according to my fitbit. I've noticed that it will count it as sleeping if I am laying down but awake, so I fear my sleep is probably worse than it reports. Anyway, it's not a big deal. I can function on little or no sleep, but I obviously skipped my workout today. Anyone have any input? I've tried melatonin of varying dosages and I keep sleeping pills in the house, but they don't work for me anymore. The recommended dosage for those is one pill, but I've taken up to three pills - all they do is make me feel more tired physically but they don't shut my brain down so that I can actually cross the threshold over to sleep.

    Some history: I've battled bouts of insomnia my whole life. Thinking about asking my doctor for some kind of medical assistance. She thought that previously it was due to stress at my job, but since I left that career for one that has almost no stress, that can't be the issue. What happens is that my brain won't shut off at night, and since the meds for my ADHD are pretty much cleared out of my system by then, I have nothing helping quiet my thoughts. I might try taking one of those pills before bed tonight to see what happens. The stuff I take is a stimulant but they actually make me somewhat drowsy when I'm on them, and I've managed to take naps shortly after my morning pill once in a while. So it might be worth a shot.
    But anyone have any experience with medical assistance for sleeping? I need to get this problem taken care of, but I'm leery of the side effects of the medications I've read about.
  8. mickc1965

    mickc1965 Well-Known Member

    I assume that you are not having caffeine after say 3pm?
  9. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    That is correct. The only caffeine I do get is tea in the morning occasionally. I don't drink coffee.

    Might be worth noting that I tend to avoid caffeine because it makes me feel sleepy.
  10. leonardopm

    leonardopm Member

    Did you ever try to suppress blue light at night?

    There are studies showing that exposure to blue radiation at night impairs sleeping by leading the brain to believe is daytime etc.

    That's the reason why newer iPhones have a night mode in which they block blue light. I also have seen special goggles on the web for this purpose. They're cheap, maybe it worth a try.
  11. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    Have you ever tried any cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia?
    I had to help my father through his insominia last year when he was recovering from heart surgery that went wrong.
    He had been a poor sleeper for at least 30 years but the emergency surgery sent his mind into "I'm not sleeping in case they kill me again" mode. He was convinced he wasn't sleeping at all.
    Ended up going to a CB therapist and getting him on a course which helped him set up good sleep habits. It required that other family members play their part to ensure that no naps were taken during the day etc. My dad found it quite a difficult process: at one stage he was convinced I was trying to kill him. But, in the end, it worked a treat.

    There's a reasonable description of CBT-I here:

    If you've never tried it, it might be worth a shot.
  12. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    I read through that link and it does seem like something worth trying out. Not sure if it is something that I could actually find an affordable therapist for with my insurance, but I should be able to at least do some things on my own. I'll do some more digging on that once I get home from work.

    Yep, I have a filter on my phone that enables automatically a few hours before the time I try to go to bed. I also restrict myself from electronic usage within two hours of bedtime. Rather than do anything like that at night, I read a book or something. Doesn't seem to make much of a difference for me.
  13. leonardopm

    leonardopm Member

    You are a machine. The bodybuilding articles around recommend at least 6 hours of sleep a day to grow and your gains don't seem to suffer with the sleep depriving.

    Are you taking regular SDs? And deloads?

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  14. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    As far as I can tell, sleep deprivation itself doesn't seem to hurt your gains that much as long as you make a conscious effort to get adequate nutrition and rest enough when you aren't sleeping. Obv we all know that some important things happen during sleep related to growth, but I don't think insomnia will impact body composition as much as say not lifting weights like a typical person or eating a terrible diet. I usually try to make sure I get some extra calories on days I didn't sleep, and keep protein high.

    I don't usually lift at all if I get less then 3 hours of sleep. No point, and I think lifting is counterproductive in those cases. A good night for me is anything more than 5 hours. I have a fitbit that tracks sleep and use that as a guide. Obviously, I know there are some deeper issues. For example, my sleep activity will show me being restless 50 times or more each night. But I've been dealing with this since I was a teen, maybe earlier but the earliest I can clearly remember any sleepless nights is during my teens. So I'm used to it, even if it is annoying. For example, my fitbit says that I only got 1 hour 42 minutes of sleep last night, but I'm here at work operating as normal... more or less.

    I don't take regular SDs, just whenever I feel like I need one. Or if I have a particularly bad week for sleep, I may take that entire week off. Don't deload necessarily either, but if I have more than a few days off in a row, I will back cycle a bit and build back up to previous loads.
  15. mickc1965

    mickc1965 Well-Known Member

    What do you have the sleep sensitivity set to? When I set it to 'sensitive' I to seem to be restless all night so now it's set as 'normal'.
  16. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah I have mine set to normal... it actually over-estimates how much I sleep. There are times when I am lying awake but not moving and it thinks I'm asleep.

    Interestingly enough, has a genetics report about sleep and it says I'm likely to move around a lot in my sleep and wake easily.
  17. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    Where dat dere desliftnst my brother?
  18. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    I'm ashamed to admit that I haven't been...

    Next week, the wife is going to Florida for the week for her sister's wedding and taking our youngest two with her. I will be off work the whole week aside from Saturday and since my other three kids are in school all day, I'll have nothing to do. Plan to go in during the days when I'm bored and do some maxing out on bench, squat, etc, and hopefully some deadlifting. Hopefully I'll have a new total to report.
    Lol likes this.
  19. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Benched 315 for 10 reps x 2 sets the other day. I guess my 1 RM is probably higher than 315 now.
    Lol likes this.
  20. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    That's rather awesome. I do hope you get a chance to do a PL meet sometime next year. I think you would do rather well.
    Bench seems to be a weakness for most club-level lifters. I thought it was my weakest lift too so I was rather surprised when I out-benched a bunch of younger guys who squatted and deadlifted a fair bit more than me at the meet back in October.
    Have you any idea what your 1RM bench is now? I'm thinking you might get 400 or even more.

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