-A personal experience with nutrition and exercise-

Friday, April 30, 2010

Refinement and Resetting

So I was feeling extremely drained and tired this whole week. My sleep these last few weeks has been very light with waking 1-2 times each night to urinate. Then last night I couldn't even sleep because I was so hungry. After watching the Science Behind the Cycle Diet DVD this week I realized that these are signs of being in a super-compensatory state. Therefore tonight, I thought I would try a little refeed of types. I ordered a Pappa Johns' XL Cheese pizza. I ate the entire thing in about 1 hr. After finishing I felt a little full but other than that I felt great. I checked my blood sugar after 2 hrs of finishing and it was 105. It seems that my insulin sensitivity is pretty good. My vascularity right now is pretty impressive and I feel like I'm burnin' at 100 degrees.

I am finally getting my routine narrowed down and that is making me feel more confident. I feel that I am getting a little "skinny" and seem to have lost some size trying to get too lean. I am going to be taking a little break and when I come back I am going to go for a more traditional weight gaining cycle. I am going to be trying to consume 4500-5000 kcals a day(HED style) to try and regain muscle that was lost a while ago due to much under-eating. I am confident I will gain minimum fat as I have a few trick I am going to try. Early afternoon today I weighed 185 on the scale that I usually use(don't know exactly how accurate it is). My goal right is about 25 lbs I want to get back. I am going to keep a log going and will update my progress weekly.

I have lately been intrigued with bodyweight exercises and have been playing around with them. I was able to do 6 hand stand push-ups today. My goal is to get to 15+

EDIT: My waking/fasting blood glocuse the following morning was 85


  1. Interesting points when it comes to sleep. I would be interested to learn more about this "super compensatory" state as I have definitely experiences it a few times and was probably stuck in it fulltime while eating Paleo.

  2. Definitely gotta get the calories in. I'm not getting in as many calories as I would like and it's affecting my recovery time. Now I want to shoot to weighing 320 pounds. My sleeping patterns are horrible. If I could just get better sleep it would really help out. Right now I sleep for maybe 4-6 hours and then wake up and can't go back to sleep. I then get absolutely tired again a few hours later and sleep for 2 hours at a time 2-3 times during the sunny time of the day. Then I just feel groggy and weak. My workout today sucked but my body may not have been able to catch up from Wednesday's workout.

  3. Hi there,
    Before I start one question regarding your last post. You wrote:
    "I am definitely getting more separation in my physique and the scale tells me my weight is around 185-187, although Im not sure how accurate it is."
    Now bear with me, but not being a native speaker and such I'm not sure I understand what exactly that means. With "separation" do you mean something similar to gaining muscle definition, for example less fat/more muscle or what does that mean?

    Well, whatever. I kinda injured my back last week and guess I'll have to chew on that for another week at least, so I thought now would be a good time to actually think about something like an exercise routine and I hoped you peeps here could help me out.

    So, I've been doing some high-intensity training body by science style (5 exercises for 45-90, as slow as possible, once a week) for quite some time, but never got that great results. After that I've just been doing 2-3 compound exercises kinda loosely following the perfect rep guidelines (which is basically 6-8 sets of 3-5 reps as fast as possible with increasing wieght) and that definitely seemed to work better and I had some noticeable strength gains. For the last month or so, I haven't really been in the gym, due to time constrains and my recent injury. Have been doing some push-ups and pull-ups to not stay completely inactive, but nothing noteworthy.

    So, even though I've been doing strength training for almost two years, I still would consider myself a newbie and really don't know too much about that stuff. It kinda seems to me that high-intensity seems the way to go, but low-volume does not seem the best way for me (and probably most other people as well). So basically, what I am asking for are some suggestions/links for a basic programme to follow or some explanation what you guys are doing. Butr please keep in mind, that 3 times per week probably will be the maximum that I want to/can go to the gym.

  4. Pizza is actually a pretty powerful refeeding tool. I had lost quite a bit of weight in March and early April and noticed that my body temperature had slipped just a little, so I ate a half pizza with nearly a half gallon of milk from about 5pm to 7pm and had a body temperature increase of .8 degrees the following day to 98.2

  5. One problem I keep falling into is that when I consume 5000-7000 calories in a day I end up getting acid reflux. It sticks with me for a couple days and I lose all my appetite. I keep burping up some of the acid. That's a major problem I'm constantly having. Pepto Bismol just doesn't work.

  6. madMUHHH -

    Some people say it takes 5 days to completely recover from the previous routine. I read The New HIT by Dr. Ellington Darden and they talked about Sergio Olivia's HIT training. While he was on steroids he would only train about 20-30 minutes every 5 days. If you follow this you would likely go Mondays and Fridays every other week and Wednesdays every other week. Mike Mentzer and Bruce Lee did 3 days a week, every other day. Others theorize a person on steroids can work out every day of the week.

    Bruce Lee's training routine is right here:


    I've found a lot of good reviews of the P90X workout:


    Superslow is way too slow IMO. You should coordinate you rep speed with your breathing.

  7. madMuhhh:
    Separation is when you can see each muscle distinctly. This comes from isolation exercises and moderately low bodyfat. I think of the true definition as when you can see striations in the muscles and extremely low bodyfat.

    As for what kind of workout would be best, It would help if I knew your stats and what your goals were as far as do you want to gain strength or strength & size or just size. With that information I could help you put a general routine together.

  8. Chris, a supercompensation state is reached after you have been at a relative caloric deficit for extended period of time and are at a lower level of bodyfat. When you reach this point you will be able to eat A LOT of food through re-feeds while losing bodyfat and building/maintaining muscle.

  9. "As for what kind of workout would be best, It would help if I knew your stats and what your goals were as far as do you want to gain strength or strength & size or just size. With that information I could help you put a general routine together. "

    Hmm, okay, gonna try to give you a basic rundown, if I missed anything crucial, please tell me. So, I'm 18, male my height is 173cm (5.68feet) weighing around 60kg (132lbs).
    As far as strength stats go, I can't really tell you that much. Somewhere in the realm of 10-13 pull-ups, how many pull-ups I can do depends on the form, perhaps 40 with good form, I dunno. 3 rep maximum for deadlifts is at around 67,5kg and those are pretty much all the stregth numbers I have to offer, but I don't even know whether you are looking for that.

    Ok, about my goals. It definitely should be both strength and size, but hypertrophy is certainly the more important aspect. I'm looking for an overall athletic physique, not necessarily a body builder esque physique. If possible more muscular than the "hollywood look" but not too much. Can't think of a good reference right now, so I also can't dig out a good pic. I don't even know how far I can go with hypertrophy, as I am a rather small person and such, but my past exercise and nutritional habits certainly weren't the most ideal/dedicated, so I have no idea where I could actually get.

    There's not really too much weight to lose, though I've build up quite some fat around my legs/butt which I certainly would like to get rid of sooner or later. But still, muscle gain is much more important than fat loss (which of course doesn't mean that I would find it okay to also pack on some fat with that). My abs have gotten a little less visible since going HED and I certainly would like that to reverse itself a bit and get some bigger, well defined abs, but things definitely could be worse. Can't give you a specific body fat % goal, as I simply don't know what, Let's say a body fat percentage of 7% would even look like. I could also upload a picture of myself if that's deemed necessary/useful.

    Also, that supercompensation thing sounds super cool.^^ Is there anything specific you did to reach that?

  10. Looks like you are at a good starting point and it should be relatively easy to reach your goals.

    Are you able to get a good amount of rest each day?
    You have no problems eating adequate calories?

    With 3 days a week, would you be able to spread that out over the week line (Monday,Wednesday,Friday) or (Tuesday,Thursday,Saturday)?

    About the bodyfat, with the right type of training and with some diet tweaks I think I can get you too lean out while gaining muscle without much trouble. After you get back about answering those questions above I will put a little program together.

    The Supercompensation thing is what I am currently "studying". It is a plan by which you get your body into a 'needs state' and therefore excess calories goes to building muscle through hormonal signaling. It is sort of complicated to set-up but looks promising. I am probably going to try it out around September.

    I am also toying with the idea with incorporating Intermittent Fasting at some point akin to LeanGains.

  11. Riles,
    Looks like you are learning a lot and that is a good thing. But, you need to be careful with the pinballing back and forth to different training programs and diets. You will never make any progress if you do this, and it is the #1 mistake most trainees make. If I was you I would pick either a bulking diet or the cycle diet and stick with it for a minimum of a year before you even consider trying something else. If you are going to bulk, then you are going to have to get over the fear of putting on some fat, because it is going to happen. If you can't handle the fat gain psychologically, then do the cycle diet where you can still put on muscle, but don't have to worry about the fat gain.

  12. mmmmm... pizza... i ate a couple huge slices of new york style pizza lastnight... followed up with four micro brew pints.... I burned it all up instantly... Had a really good lifting session before all that. I have been kinda doing that... not eating much cause i just don't care... then all of a sudden i want to eat alot, so i eat a huge hamburger and a bunch of taters fried in coconut oil... or a huge pesto pizza. I need to get a glucose moniter one day to check my levels afters meals, after drinking beer, and my levels the next day after partying.... would be interesting.


  13. JT,
    I am pretty much committing myself to bulking up until I reach I size I am comfortable with. I am not going to focus on weight. I feel I need to add some more mass before I try to get lean via the cycle diet. I have some things I am going to try as I add mass that I am thinking may help with the fat gain, but in the end I am just going to accept whatever the outcome and cycle down later. I was looking at some of Scott's training stuff and I was wondering if this was a legitimate Scott Abel innervation training routine http://www.fortified-iron.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=24950&st=0&p=497325&#entry497325

  14. Troy, dude....the pizza was everything I was hoping it would be lol. It tasted amazing. What types of beer do you prefer? You need to get a blog going!

  15. Riles, That looks like it is legit to me. Just be sure to stick with it for at least 4 months before switching. Focus on feeling it in the muscle and don't worry about weight or counting reps. What is your plan for minimizing fat gain?

  16. Are you able to get a good amount of rest each day?
    More or less, yes. I also play tennis and now that the temps are getting warmer, I will be out on the cour a lot. However, tennis itself is not too exhausting, at least not at the level we play it. Apart from that, I think I'm getting some good rest, am sleeping enough and generally am rather relaxed.

    You have no problems eating adequate calories?
    Depending on what you mean with adequate calories. I have no problem with stuffing myself, don't know how much cals I'm consuming right now, but I think I am very well capable of consuming a great amount of cals for my weight.

    With 3 days a week, would you be able to spread that out over the week line (Monday,Wednesday,Friday) or (Tuesday,Thursday,Saturday)?
    Yes, mostly. Of course not every week, but in general, my schedule is flexible enough for that.

    After you get back about answering those questions above I will put a little program together.
    Alright, thank you for that. I really appreciate that. Daniel Holt also mailed me some suggestions which is basically the program he does - I could be wrong, but I think you know roughly what he does -so we'll see how that differs, which is more appealing to me and for what I'll ultimately settle.

    I am also toying with the idea with incorporating Intermittent Fasting at some point akin to LeanGains.
    Sounds very interesting. Be sure to keep us posted about the things you're doing. Really like your blog!

  17. You seem to have a more ectomorphic build plus you are active which is a great starting point.
    As far as weight training, here is a good starting point: Each workout should take between 1hr15 to 1hr30. Follow in the order I wrote.

    How to progress: On all exercises done 3x10-12, when you are able to do 15 reps on each set increase the weight.

    Workout 1 - Chest + Back

    BB or DB Bench Press 4x 12,10,8*,6 (first 2 sets moderate weight last 2 sets heavy as you can but not absolute failure) * The goal is to improve your 8 reps’ weight each week

    DB Flys 3x10-12
    DB Pullover 3x10-12

    +Take a 5 min rest

    Pull-up (hands pronated wide as you can comfortably reach) 3 sets of as many as you can
    Neutral Grip Cable Row 3x10-12

    *Every other week you can do Deadlifts 3x 8,8,6(Heavy) instead of Cable Row

    Workout 2 – Legs

    Bodyweight squats 3x20-25 (no weight, slow)
    +5 min Rest

    Squats 3x 15,12,10 (heavy as you can with good form)

    Leg extension Machine 3x15
    Leg curl Machine 3x15

    Workout 3 – Shoulders + Bi’s/Tri’s

    Press Behind the Neck 4x 12,10,8*,6(first 2 sets moderate weight last 2 sets heavy as you can but not absolute failure) * The goal is to improve your 8 reps’ weight each week
    DB Lateral Raise 3x10-12

    +5 min Rest

    Standing BB Curl 3x10-12
    Tricep Rope Extension 3x10-12

    Incline DB Curl 3x10-12
    Lying French Curl 3x10-12

    That should give you a really good start. If you have any questions, need videos for exercise examples, or exercise substitutions let me know.

  18. Keep rest times between sets to about 2 mins.

    Diet wise I would suggest eating 3 big meals with lots of carbs from potatoes or rice, a good serving of meat(red meat preferably but whatever is available is good), and keeping fat somewhat limited. This will help with keep fat gains minimal.

    I like to do a little ab work 6 days a week, like 5-10mins as many reps as a can do of crunches and leg raises.

  19. @ JT,
    While I am bulking I am trying to incorporate John Berardi's G-Flux principle to help with body composition.
    I am planning to do this gaining session until September (so like 5 solid months). I am thinking that I should be able to gain back my lost muscle mass in this amount of time and be able to hold it while a cut with the cycle diet.

  20. Riles, Are you planning on doing his food combining program of having protein/carb and protein/fat meals? If you plan on doing a real bulk for sustained weight gain, then 5 months is not long enough man! If you are only going to do 5 months then you would be better off just getting on the cycle diet or just a good solid bodybuilding diet and stick with it.

    Why are you having such a hard time maintaining weight? I am 3 inches shorter than you and we weigh the same, and I still feel like I need to get bigger, so I know how you feel.

  21. Riles,
    You should have Madmuhh do that Serge Nubret workout you posted. I would be really interested to see what kind of results that would produce in a beginner! Just need to make sure he doesn't get caught up in the HIT or superslow stuff that so many newbies waste time on.

  22. JT, I think I have turned into an ectomorph! My weight seems to have stabilized though at 185 thank god. When I first started working out i had my bodyfat tested (I know they aren't very accurate at all) and they said I had 195lb of LBM. Seriously though, I think I have been cutting for like 2 years. I was around 275 3 years ago I think. I lost down to 215ish super low carb 1800-2000 cals a day, no re-feeds.

  23. JT, I agree the Serge Nubret routine is what I did last year it works amazingly. I was going to have madmuhhh work up to because it is such high volume.

  24. Me and Riles are definitely different. Riles appears to be geared toward the high volume training path. My instructions are different too. I have two different versions of my plan. One is paleo which I have shown madMUHHH and the other is more for a non paleo person that involves cooked starches like potatoes, fat, rice, fish, and red meat. Unlike Riles I recommend taking in 50% of your calories as fat and I recommend more polyunsaturated fat in the intake. I'm also anal retentive about being precise with calories on a day to day basis.

  25. Dan,
    What works for you definitely doesn't work for me. Paleo dieting made me weak and ill, i didn't function well on a high fat diet, and avoiding poyunsaturated fats is the best thing I have done for my health. I also do better with high volume training.

    What have your results been like?

  26. Today I couldn't work out because a got a major cramp around my waist line when I bent over to put on my socks. I had a cramp in my left calf over the week end. I had been eating lots of mineral rich foods like full fat milk and coconut so I don't know why I'm cramping. I drank some what with baking soda added and that actually really helped. My best guess is I've been eating too much acid foods and the acidosis causes the cramping. Baking soda alkalizes the body. Don't know if it explains why I've felt dizzy, can't breathe as much oxygen I'd like, lose my flexibility, and feel dehydrated even though I drink lots of liquids. I've even been losing my strength. I feel better now than I have in weeks after drinking the baking soda water though. Any thoughts?

  27. I thought I'd also mention that my sleep has been horrible too, may also be caused by the acidosis.

    I'd have to know what kind of paleo diet you followed in order to better understand why you felt ill from it. High fat diets should be good as long as you eat the right types of fats. If you eat polyunsaturated fats in the right proportions you shouldn't have any problems with it. People take in way too much omega 6 and not enough omega 3. I personally have very strict guidelines I keep if I were to follow a paleo plan.

    I had started a HIT based routine in High School. I got my best results from it. I had gone from 235 pounds of body weight to 140 pounds of body weight the year before until I started the HIT routine. I wrestled for a couple months before I started the HIT routine. I had been doing track and weight lifting at the same time. I then gained 35 pounds of bodyweight back. Within 3 months my lifts were: max bench press 285 pounds, clean and jerk 200 pounds, squat 480 pounds, deadlift 550 pounds, arm curl 180 pounds, ran a 5 minute mile, sprinted incredibly fast, could rep 225 pounds 16 times all at 175 pounds of body weight. My muscle hypertrophy would have been far greater but I used explosive lifting too often without really going at a medium pace which bodybuilders generally do. I would start with a one rep max on all of my sets and then do two sets with a 20 rep max. Had I done a 12 rep max instead I would have gotten better muscle hypertrophy.

  28. You should have Madmuhh do that Serge Nubret workout you posted. I would be really interested to see what kind of results that would produce in a beginner!
    Just to clarify things. I certainly am a beginner in most aspects, but I've still been lifting weights in one form or another for a year. I'd still consider myself a newbie especially knowledge wise, though I am not a complete beginner. I just wanted to clarify that, just in case.

    "One is paleo which I have shown madMUHHH and the other is more for a non paleo person that involves cooked starches like potatoes, fat, rice, fish, and red meat."
    Oh, and about that. I still think the paleo-mindset has a lot of validity in many aspects, but my diet is not really paleo. I eat an huge amount of potatoes, rice and dairy products of any kind. Just to clear up any confusion, I'm totally fine with anything not "paleo".

    Well whatever, thanks for the workout plan Riles. I'll have to look at it more in depth, look at some exercises I don't know yet and stuff and I guess than I'll come up with a conclusion on what to do.

  29. madmuhh, most people are classified as a beginner until you have gained 15-20 lbs. I suggest that you stick with higher reps(10-15) and slowly increase the number of sets over time. I guarantee you will see muscle growth with this type of program and as you progress it is also a great fat burner.

  30. Alright. Just one question. What about rep speed? Am I aiming for maximal power output aka as fast as possible or how fast/slow should I perform the reps?

  31. I have found that a 1 second positive and a little longer negative of close to 2 seconds is best. You want to keep it at an even pace and really focus your mind on the muscle that is working. Keeping tension on that muscle is the key. You should feel the muscle fill with blood and become flushed and tight.

  32. Here's my update. My new 1 rep max for the bench press is 295 pounds. I think I can hit 315 pounds by the end of this week. I repped 265 3 times. I started the weighted squat today. I only did 135 pounds 4 times but that's because my knee joints need to get used to it again. I did a little stretching but I didn't do any of the other exercises other than hitting the weights. I skipped up the stairs at my gym.

  33. Riles, The routine you posted above for MadMUHHH looks great I will give it a try starting tomorrow. Will keep you updated...

  34. Hey, that's MY routine. Nah, just kidding with you.
    I dunno when I'll be able to get back into the gym. Thought I'd be fine by now so I did some short running (1km) but not my back is aching quite a lot again. Dang it! The fact that I think that I also have to cope with a lyme infection does not help either.
    Well, we'll see, keep us updated, Chris. Really would like to se how you do on it for the sake of comparison. What's your background regarding weight lifting and stuff?

  35. madMUHHH: As for my background in weight lifting I am 23 now I started weight lifting when I was 16 and did splits for a few years got to a decent size but always carried a layer of fat. Then I found CrossFit and Paleo and started doing more DeVany style workouts and sprints etc. That is what I have been doing for the past 2 years or so. So havent done any volume in a while..... Looking to add some more muscle for summer though as I am looking skinny/athletic at the moment.

    As for my body type I seem to lean towards a ectomorph with endomorphic fat gain tendencies so I look skinny but carry an extra layer of fat. The thing is I am recovering from pretty bad adrenal issues caused by Paleo diet (I e-mailed you a while back about your experiences) and I am recovering now eating HED, so I am looking to take it easy might start the workout plan with slightly less volume and taper upto the volume level RIles drew out.

  36. This comment has been removed by the author.

  37. Alright, I think I've recovered enough to finally get back intothe gym tomorrow. Look forward to trying out your routine. Just got a few questions about the chest exercises:
    Is it correct to assume that the DB Flys better should be done from a bench (have also seepeople do it form the floor, but bench sounds better to me)?

    And about that:
    *Every other week you can do Deadlifts 3x 8,8,6(Heavy) instead of Cable Row
    With heavy you only mean the last set of 6, am I correct?

  38. madmuhhh, Good to hear you are doing better.

    Yes, I like doing flys from a bench best.

    With the deadlifts, make the 8 reps moderately heavy and the 6 rep heavy as you can, yes.

  39. Oh and another question about the pullovers. There seem to be two variations of it. One with only the shoulders on the bench and one with the complete back on the bench. Are there any major differences, which kind of exercise is preferable?

  40. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHHimZFzGXY&feature=related This is my preferred technique (I call this technique "across the bench"). This allows you to work the latissimus as well as the serratus and upper pec. You should feel a good stretch, as you are lowering inhale as much air as you can.


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