My Body Transformation Part 4: Days 17-24

For Part 1 of this series, click here.

For Part 2 of this series, click here.

For Part 3 of this series, click here.

I’ll spare the dramatic day-by-day runthrough as there was nothing amazing about this week other than a few changes:

– rotated in Yin-Hance 1.0 as the insulin modulator and took out Insulin Plex 2.0
– was supposed to add in berries as a carb source with breakfast, which I only remembered to do 2-3 days the whole week. I’m so used to going no-carb that it was actually a challenge to put them back in.
– will be starting a new training cycle next week after only 2 weeks on the current program (more on this in a minute)

BioSignature results:

Scale weight – 160.0 to 159.5 (down 0.5lbs)
Bodyfat % – 12.3 to 12.2 (down 0.1%)
Lean body mass – down 140.3 to 140.0 (down 0.3lbs)

Now, I’m not too worried about the change in LBM, as it’s small enough to have been variance from food or water intake from the previous measurement. What I did find to be problematic was:

– Triceps up from 6.7 to 7.1
– Pec up from 4.4 to 5.0

Both of these would indicate overtraining/under-recovery. This would make sense, as the program I had been using for the last 2 weeks was geared toward hypertrophy and not fat loss, and it looks like I just burned out on it a little faster than expected (2 weeks instead of the prescribed 3 weeks). This was confirmed when my last workout (Friday) was absolute trash – all of my weights that had been steadily progressing just crapped out and everything went down. Fortunately it’s easy enough to correct those problems, and they should be back down by next week.

On the bright side, I can see some noticeable changes from where I was 3 weeks ago, with some increased definition through the abs and obliques:

My estimate is that it may take another 4-5 weeks to get under 10%, as my hormonal priority is no longer insulin (which is probably why the insulin supplement protocol I’m using has slowed down its effectiveness) but is now cortisol and xenoestrogens, which can take a few weeks to address.  More on this next time.

My Body Transformation Part 3: Days 9-16

For Part 1 of this series, click here.

For Part 2 of this series, click here.

Progress has continued through the second stage of the diet, helped partly by a change in the training program.

Day 9

The only change nutritionally has been swapping out the Fenuplex in my supplement protocol with Insulin Plex 2.0.  Other than that everything is the same.

Day 10

Noticed that if I go more than a day or two without a significant source of red meat, my appetite goes through the roof and I feel like I’m never full.  I’m making sure that I’m getting at least 16oz of red meat every few days.  I tried bison burgers from Whole Foods for the first time, which were fantastic.  I can see making a semi-regular trip to pick those up.

Day 11

Nothing big – Christine and the boys were out of town all weekend at my parents’ so I spent Sunday doing some busywork for the gym and getting caught up on some reading.

Day 12

Started a new block of training today, which looks like this:

Monday & Thursday

A-1 Cyclists Back Squats 4 sets: 10, 12, 15, 20 reps on 2010 tempo, rest interval 90 seconds
A-2 Glute/ham raises feet inward 4 sets x 6-8 reps on 40X0 tempo, rest interval 75 secondsB-1 Lunges 4 sets: 10, 12, 15, 20 reps on 20X0 tempo, rest interval 90 seconds
B-2 Romanian Deadlifts 4 sets x 10-12 reps on 4020 tempo, rest interval 75 seconds

C-1 Standing Calf Raises 3 sets: 12, 15, 20 reps on 1110 tempo, rest interval 60 seconds
C-2 low Cable Pull-ins 2 x 10-12 reps on 2020 tempo, rest interval 60 seconds

Tuesday & Friday

A-1 Incline Dumbbell Presses 4 sets: 8, 10, 12, 15, on 3010 tempo, rest interval 75 seconds
A-2 Close Grip Chin-ups 4 x 8-10 reps on 4010 tempo, rest interval 75 seconds

B-1 Decline Dumbbell Presses 3 x 10-12 reps on 3010 tempo, rest interval 75 seconds
B-2 One Arm Dumbbell Rows 3 x 8-10 reps on 4010 tempo, rest interval 75 seconds

C-1 Decline Pronating Dumbbell Triceps Extensions 3 x 10-12 reps on 3110 tempo, rest interval 75 seconds
C-2 Seated Off-set Dumbbell Curls 3 x 8-10 reps on 3010 tempo, rest interval 75 seconds

It lasts 3 weeks, so each of those workouts are done 6 times (2x/week).  Initial thoughts are that the leg day is absolutely awful, in a productive sort of way.

Day 13
Some more noticeable visual changes, especially through the legs and calves.

Day 14

Last day of eliminating all carbs but fibrous vegetables. No energy issues, although it was an off day from training.

Day 15

Instead of making the day a full-blown cheat day, I opted to just have a cheat meal with the kids at night – 3 slices of pizza. Not the most ideal cheat – it’s still recommended to avoid things like dairy and gluten with cheat meals because they’re very common food intolerances. A better choice would have been something like Chinese food – high in carbs but low in potential allergens.

I also started adding berries to breakfast on an as-desired basis, and will add in a new carb source every week after my measurements are taken, and as long as the numbers keep dropping, I’ll add in a new source to a new meal the following week. If it doesn’t go down, then I’ll take the carbs back out of that meal and recheck progress. It’s an easy way to figure out roughly how many carbs your body can tolerate without adding bodyfat.

Day 16

Weekly measurements:

Weight – 159.8 to 160.0 (up 0.2lbs)
Lean Body Mass – 138.5 to 140.3 (up 1.8lbs)
Bodyfat % – 13.3 to 12.3 (down 1.0%)

So even though scale weight didn’t change significantly, being up 1.8lbs of lean body mass means I lost about 1.6lbs of fat over the week as well.

Observations

Even though progress is a little slower than the first week, I’m still happy with the changes – being down 3.5% bodyfat in 2 weeks is pretty solid. The hope for next week is to be close to 11%. Based on my new BioSignature results, insulin resistance is no longer a large priority for me, so I won’t stay on the insulin protocol for any longer than the initial 32 day period. If everything stays the same as it is now, the next thing to attack is xenoestrogens in the blood, likely plastics from years of reheating food in Tupperware containers and pre-packaged plastic containers.

Reheating your food in these will make you fat. Unfortunate, but true.

My Body Transformation Part 2: Days 1-8

For Part 1 of this series, click here.

After the first 8 days I’ve made a few small adjustments to the original plan, but nothing major.  Overall I’m pleased with the progress and I think I will be happy with the end result.

Day 1

The first day got off to an interesting start – at about 11:45 in the morning, I got a phone call from my wife that she and my two boys had been in a car accident, and that they had totaled out their car.  Fortunately they were all ok with nobody seriously hurt,  but most of my day was spent helping with the aftermath.  My scheduled workout obviously was postponed, but I still managed to stay on-point with supplements and diet.

Chicken with olive oil, basil, parsley, oregano and thyme... it's been a staple in the diet so far.

Day 2

The low-carb stuff hadn’t been bothering me yet, I actually felt pretty energetic as I was still using coffee and high doses of omega-3 fats throughout the day to keep energy levels up.  My leg workout was very productive and each set actually improved on the week prior, with very little muscle soreness the following day.  I also cut out all of the usual carbs postworkout so my shake was just 40g whey protein, 15g glutamine, and 1tbsp Primal Greens (powdered greens, a “superfood”).

That evening I did have a cheat meal of Domino’s pizza, as Christine’s family was in town to do some wedding coordinating for her sister.  The intent was to have 1 cheat meal every 5-7 days, so I just planned to go at least another 5 days until the next cheat.  I also supplemented the cheat with the supplements outlined in this article to keep insulin levels from getting out of control.

 

Day 3

Trained a few clients Saturday morning and then did an upper body workout, and made some progress from the week prior.  I didn’t notice any negative effects from the cheat meal the night before but the extent of my food intake that day was limited to steak, chicken, several sticks of Ostrim, and various nuts and dark veggies.

Day 4

Probably the hardest day so far, since Sunday is usually spent at home with the family so there’s not much of  a schedule, which can make it more challenging to stay on task if I don’t plan ahead.  It wasn’t too bad though, since we just don’t keep any crap foods in the house so there’s no easy access.  Meal frequency was lower than usual at 4 total meals but meal composition was perfect.

Day 5

By this point I was starting to get used to using healthy fats for energy and was feeling great.  I usually need coffee by about 8-9am to make it through the second rush of clients for the morning, but did just fine on water.  And even though the bulk of my workout was 10 sets of front squats, I wasn’t completely trashed by the end.

Really, not completely trashed.

Day 6

Upper body workout, no dietary deviations.  Smooth sailing.

Day 7

Wednesday was an off day from training and was also a scheduled day for a cheat meal.  Had Christine check my suprailiac (love handle) pinch and it was down from a 15.8 to an 11 (this site is impacted by short-term carb intake).

After work Christine, the boys and I went to Whole Foods to stock up on meat and fish, and got turkey burgers, bison burgers, scallops, swordfish, shrimp skewers, mahi mahi, and a few other things I’m probably forgetting.  After that it was straight to Chipotle for my cheat meal – a burrito bowl with rice, black  beans, shredded pork (double meat), corn salsa and lettuce, plus a side of chips and tomato salsa.  Still “clean” – the idea is to still avoid inflammatory/allergic things like gluten and dairy.  It was just high carb.  (Side note – unless you’re at least under 15% for a male or 20% for a female, you don’t get a cheat meal for the first 14 days on this protocol).

Day 8

Got my measurements and progress pictures taken and am pleased with the results. Some notable results include:

Weight – 164.5 to 159.8 (down 4.7lbs)
Lean Body Mass – 138.5 to 138.5 (no change)
Bodyfat % – 15.8 to 13.3 (down 1.5%)

Observations

One thing that I would change if I were to do this over again would be to eliminate all cheat meals for the entire initial 14 day period.  I won’t be having a cheat meal of any kind until day 15.  Why?  Because it impacts fat storage around the sides very quickly – the afternoon before my cheat on Wednesday my side pinch was 11.0mm, and the following day it was up to 12.8mm.  Still down from 15.8mm where it started, but I wasn’t dying for a cheat meal when I had it, and ended up probably taking 1-2 days of progress away.

Look for Part 3 around Saturday or Sunday.

My Body Transformation Part 1: The Setup

The following is a breakdown of a 32-day protocol I am using to drop my bodyfat by about half to get lean for summer. While I hate the work involved in a diet, I also would rather get it over with. I got a little higher than I like to be while I was training for a powerlifting competition (up to 15.9% just prior to the meet), and should finish at around 8-10% by the time I’m finished.

Here are general run-throughs of the big 3 components of any physical transformation protocol – nutrition, training, and supplementation.

Nutrition
Arguably the most important component in dropping bodyfat, I’m following a strict Paleo diet. That means animal protein, nuts, and vegetables. Fruit is allowed on a conventional Paleo diet (more of a lifestyle change than a diet) but I don’t like to use it for fast fat loss unless somebody really, really needs it. Usually, if your bodyfat percentage is over 10%, you don’t. And yes, I did use the magic word – diet. I want to get this over with so I’m not making adjustments, I’m dieting. I am not, however, restricting calories, only food types. Calories are probably between 2,000 and 2,700 a day at a starting bodyweight of 164lbs. I’ll have one cheat meal every 4-5 days depending on how I feel throughout the 32 days, maybe less if I like how things are going.

Training
Training is focused around hypertrophy, or muscle growth. It is possible to add muscle and lose fat at the same time as long as calories aren’t extremely restricted. I’m using moderate reps (6-12), lots of sets, decent rest, and putting focus on maintaining consistent tempo. I’m about halfway through a 6-week block of training at the start, so training won’t change too much for the first 3 weeks, then I’ll make a few modifications the last 10-12 days. All of the workouts are designed by Charles Poliquin.

 

 

 

 

 

A good training program is part of, but not the only, answer.

 

 

 

Supplementation
While you don’t need supplements to get lean, I’m using them. For two reasons: 1) they help, and 2) I’m a wholesaler and don’t have to spend a ton on them. However, everything I listed below are things that 90% of people should be taking year-round, with the exception of the Insulinomics and Fenuplex.

Here is my daily supplement use (all supplements are from the Poliquin line, but there are other good brands you can substitute):

Breakfast
2 Multi Intense (multi-vitamin)
2 Ultra HCl 4.0 (Betaine HCl to aid in digestion)
1/2 tsp Omega 3 Liquid (liquid fish oil)
2 Insulinomics
2 Fenuplex

Both the Insulinomics and the Fenuplex are used to help increase insulin sensitivity and increase fat metabolism. The Fenuplex will get rotated with other similar products every 8 days.

Morning Snack
2 Ultra HCl 4.0
2 Omega 3 6:1 (fish oil capsules high in EPA to keep inflammation low)

Lunch
Same as breakfast

Afternoon Snack
Same as morning

Dinner
Same as breakfast and lunch plus:
4 Uber Mag Px (magnesium to aid in sleep quality)

Evening Snack
Same as morning and afternoon plus:
4 Uber Mag Px

I will post another update later this week – Day 8 is this Friday so I’ll have bodyfat comparisons and progress pics.