I suppose that change is normal for these type of life altering decisions. You can’t just make one decision or choice and stick with it forever. Sometimes your body changes, sometimes things don’t work right, sometimes you just get tired of doing something. There are lots of reasons to make changes despite how often it may seem to happen.
My change is coming because not too long ago I decided to start eating at a bigger deficit. I think I still have enough weight to lose that it isn’t a big deal if I try to cut 2-3 pounds per week. But I have noticed lately that I am a bit more dizzy when standing up quickly (and I don’t mean Dizzy from Guilty Gear), sometimes I feel weak when I know that I shouldn’t and I have been tracking my “net” calorie consumption and there are times when I am netting only a few hundred calories per day.
It’s not like this should be news to me but sometimes I have to keep myself in check. I know that I should be netting more than 800 calories per day (let alone 400 or 500 calories per day) but sometimes I just want to lose the weight so bad that I am willing to sacrifice doing it right for doing it fast. And then doing it fast doesn’t work right and I feel like it isn’t worth it that I give up and just start eating like crap again and being lazy.
Maybe that’s a little dramatic but that is often what happens. It’s amazing how simple and yet how difficult it is to actually do this. It is so incredibly easy to gain weight that you think it should be just as easy to lose it. All I have to do is eat more calories than I burn and I gain weight. That’s it… there is no crazy science to it. But in order to lose weight you have to eat less than you burn in a day. But you can’t eat TOO few calories or your body doesn’t treat your energy correctly. Starvation mode (it is argued) doesn’t exist, but you still can damage your body by eating too little. Your body will start eating your muscle instead of fat in order to gain energy, for example. That’s not something I want. I don’t want to be “skinny fat” or a soft, weak guy when I get to my goal.
So I am once again changing, once again eating more than I have been. I won’t be swapping to eat donuts and stuff like I was before just because I can fit them in my calories and macros, but I will be consuming more than I have been lately. Whether it be adding snacks and having more nuts or something, or if it is adding more to my meals. Either way, I’ll be trying to get closer to a normal net calorie consumption.
That’s not the only change I am making either. I said after Monday that I may be changing my circuit training program and I’ve decided to do just that. But I won’t be changing it to another circuit training program… I will actually be going back to a heavy lifting program. The reason I have made this decision is because of some information I read (that I read long ago but basically ignored) that talked about the only way to maintain muscle mass is by doing heavy strength training or tension oriented weight training. What I am doing now (circuit training) is called metabolic weight training. Metabolic weight training is where you do fast, light reps with little rest. It causes glycogen depletion that helps with fat loss and is very similar to HIIT that you can do. The problem is that it when you reduce the weight you lift, increase the reps and reduce the rest time you basically cut off the signal that tells your body to build (or maintain when dieting) muscle. That means that your muscles get smaller. You may tone, you may lose weight, but you lose muscle mass along with that.
There are those that will argue that they are gaining muscle while dieting. This is ONLY true if you are a new person in the weight training area and only when you start. Most people who make this argument notice their muscles are more visible and more toned. That is because you are losing the fat and toning the muscle. But you aren’t actually building the muscle. When you diet without proper strength training you WILL lose lean body mass. That is what I want to prevent.
But at the same time, I don’t want to give up my metabolic burns. I want to burn calories and I want to work on my cardio conditioning. It is important to me to run, it is important to me to have stamina and it is important for me to burn those calories and burn that fat.
There are many different options. It can involve heavy training on one day and metabolic training on another but this is generally reserved for those who can recover from 4 workouts per week. I’m already doing karate in addition to this extra stuff so I don’t really want to go down that road. Another option is very specific to those trying to build mass and is very diet specific where you do metabolic exercise on Monday and Tuesday and then full body tension on Thursday and full body power on Saturday. This revolves around carb loading on Friday and all this other crazy stuff that I’m not ready to get into.
The last option I found is essentially what I was doing a while ago where you work on heavy lifting for 30-40 minutes and then follow that up immediately with metabolic exercise. This is perfect as it can be done 3 times per week (M-W-F) which is what I do anyway and give you both the strength training and the metabolic burn.
Now the big concern is finding the right workout. Stronglifts 5×5 is always one that I can fall back on but I obviously need to include more lifts than just this. I know that bench, squats, deadlifts, rows and overhead press are very important core lifts, but I think I will add more to it if I choose this route. I could also choose to work upper body/lower body in alternating days or work specific areas (chest/delts/triceps on Monday, legs/abs on Wednesday and back/biceps on Friday for example).
Finally, my quick-xercises may be out the window and running in the morning might also be something I eliminate or cut back on. When I decided to do all of this it is because I was researching people training for the kumite and soldiers going for their Ranger tag or sniper tag. I completely left out the part where all of these people are already in insane shape before they start training like animals. Unfortunately, I am not in insane shape so I obviously can’t compete with their training regimen at this time. I am cutting back to some more realistic exercise days. Maybe it will be running on my karate days, maybe it will be I only run on the weekend… I don’t know yet.
Why am I typing all of this if I don’t know yet? Well, it’s my blog and I can, that’s why.
Anyway, Tuesday was a normal Tuesday as in it was busy at work, busy after work (replacing doorknobs, eating, getting ready for karate, getting things ready for Wednesday) and busy at karate. We had a fairly small group so there was plenty of room to work on the heavy bags and that’s what we did. Minimal contact (only a few strikes while doing situps), worked on stretching, worked on techniques, pretty much a perfect night of karate.
If only the rest of the day could be so perfect.
Breakfast – 3 eggs with garlic powder and cheese
Snacks – Trail mix and a peanut butter cookie
Lunch – Chicken quesadillas
Dinner – Ground turkey wraps
Dessert – Cracklin’ Oat Bran with barley nuggets and almond milk
An hour+ of walking at work
2 hours of kyukoshin karate