Weekend Update: Lots of DOMS

So, there is a points challenge going on in the weight loss group on fitocracy. To help boost my numbers, after my normal Friday workout later that night, I also did a lot more upper body work at home (I’m still working on a good set of challenging lower body home exercises). Anyway, about 18 hours later, delayed onset muscle soreness set in and has been going strong since.

Anyway, it is update time. Strength-wise, I’ll be using what I hit in my RPT style workouts. I mention this because my bench and deadlift numbers will be less than what I achieved in the powerlifting meet. I think my nervous twitching (and performance) that day were probably aided by adrenaline from being excited and butterflies, etc. Though, I’ve also been a lot more sore for the past week, especially my lower back so it could be that once I’m “fully” recovered, we’ll see a jump in my lifts that takes me past my meet performance.

I’m writing this post before uploading my bi-weekly video, so I’ll update it later once that is ready. Strength stats will be from two weeks ago to now.

  • Bench press: 195×2 -> 205×1
  • Squat:             290×2 -> 305×2
  • Deadlift:         375×1 -> 405×1
  • Chinup:          +50×5 -> +50×7

Composition-wise, I’ve gained some weight. Could be just muscle, but the bodyfat analyzer on my scale says my bodyfat is up from about 19.8% to 20.2%. I got the digital bodyfat caliper that I ordered. According to it (and my inexperienced measurements, though I did watch videos and repeat them about 20 times), my bodyfat is between 8% and 11%. Though that seems like an underestimate based on my abs and legs – I’d expect more definition were I actually at those numbers. While my scale is likely higher than my actual bodyfat as well, I’ll continue using it for tracking purposes though I’ve started logging both anyway.

Along with my caliper is a retractable type tape measure. This will help me get slightly more accurate readings for my different measurements (it seems like either I’ve been slightly under reading my waist/belly measurements or that’s where some of my weight gain went to this week).

So, to switch things up over the next two weeks, I’m going to stay at the same point macronutrient-wise and workout-wise, but now add 15 minutes of sprints to the end of my workout. If in fact, my bodyfat is closer to 11% than it is 19%, it could be why making forward progress from this point has been tough. From what I’ve read, you really need to be strict and consistent to get bodyfat down from around 12% to single digits. So, I’ll give this two weeks, then depending on how that goes, may need to rework my macronutrient calculations or shift focus from strength building to pure weight loss (At this point, even if every lb of weight lost is 50% muscle, I’d still see a pretty nice change definition and bodyfat wise. I just want to forestall having to go that route to drop fat then work rebuilding the muscle).

Powerlifting Meet Results

I won 2nd place in the open raw 198lb weight class for the deadlift.

So, I’d been prepping for a powerlifting meet that took place on March 10th. My goals for the meet were to be able to bench 200lbs and deadlift 400lbs. I’d also wanted to be able to squat 300lbs, though squats were not one of the lifts at this meet. Well, I not only met my goals, I feel I handily exceeded them. Bench-wise, I’ve got a lot of improvement to do to be competitive raw at my current weight class. Deadlift-wise, just adding 50-70lbs to my current top lift greatly improves my competitiveness. I plan on participating in another meet in April, likely in the same weight class. My goals are to be able to bench 250lbs, squat 330lbs, and deadlift 475lbs by that meet (also bench and deadlift only). Even better, this one has cash prizes!

Anyway, I’ve got video of my lifts. First the bench press:

I’ve put up video of my lifts. Bench presses (200lbs, 210lbs, 225lbs*):

  1. http://youtu.be/vPFmgSdvcmU
  2. http://youtu.be/KVEz0kDcbyM
  3. http://youtu.be/nJJzm2MOCjA

Deadlifts (400lbs, 410lbs, 420lbs):

  1. http://youtu.be/pB1ydRxqwBQ
  2. http://youtu.be/CJlVASHLZkk
  3. http://youtu.be/KOJXtAmefkE

Since I hit all three of my deadlifts, I was able to go for a fourth, which I achieved at 430lbs. However, video of my fourth deadlift is not available due to operator error with my phone.

 

Weekend Update Anew

So I’ve put up a new video which pretty much details my progress though I’ll summarize a bit here.

As I mentioned, I’ll be updating my macronutrient values to reflect the updated activity multiplier. After some thought, I’ve decided to use an activity multiplier of 1.375 instead of 1.5. Also, I’m using Andy Morgan’s cut ratio of +10/-35 for my training day / rest day split though one way to update this in the future is to switch to a more drastic level of -10/-30 which is actually closer to what I was doing but gives me more calories on my rest days while maintaining almost the same weekly deficit. My goal is by this Saturday (the powerlifting meet) to be deadlifting 400lbs, squatting 300lbs, and benching 200lbs. I’m pretty confident that all of those targets are reachable.

Strength recap, numbers are two weeks ago -> last week -> now:

  • Bench press: 185×5 -> 190×2 -> 195×2
  • Squat: 275×3 -> 275×5 -> 290×2
  • Deadlift: 340×2 -> 340×4 -> 375×1
  • Chinup: +30×7 -> +40×7 -> +50×5

I’m pretty happy with the strength increase though I’d really like to see renewed fat loss. I’m going to try my updated macros for two weeks. If it goes well, then I can stick with it through the rest of March. Otherwise, I’ll need to start figuring out ways to tip the scales back towards burning fat (I’m thinking of starting EC supplementation – but will hold off on this till after the powerlifting meet).

Keep Chugging Along!

I only noticed today that using the new post feature from the main wordpress page apparently resulted in a new post being published everytime it decided to autosave my composition. Sorry for any confusion 3.4.2012.1808EST.

As if my day couldn’t get any better. So, over the past few weeks, all sorts of goodness has been happening to me. I change my diet and my strength keeps increasing. I regain my desire and motivation for my research work and now feel back on track to graduating not only this year, but within a few months (sometime this summer).

One issue has been finances. Still living on a student’s salary and my fellowship was due to run out in April. So that meant for the summer while finishing up my dissertation, unless I started working full-time in the area, I would be unpaid. And unfortunately things for me don’t readily lend themselves to saving for a rainy day. I could probably manage a month being unpaid. Two or three and it gets really hairy.

So, imagine my surprise and delight to find an email this afternoon from the fellowship organization saying that after reviewing things, they’ve decided to extend support for a few students, me included, for another 3 months. Not that big a deal, I won’t have tuition to pay during the summer. BUT, in addition to paying my stipend for May and June, they will also in the last paycheck thrown in stipend amounts to cover July and August!

You have no idea how much peace of mind this gives me. Instead of having to worry about how to supplement my income and cut down even more expenses so I could stretch things out while I finish with school, I am freed from actively worrying about that issue. I remember how three years ago dealing with financial concerns pretty much shut me down for several months. I had enough to deal with classes (still taking them at the time) but nothing in the tank for research or anything else in my life. My non-school related life and relationships really suffered.