Thursday, 9 September 2010

Chins, Dumbbell Rows & Way too Much Fat

Location: Woodcock Sports Centre, Aston University
Day:6.50 - Thursday - 9th September

Chin Ups (2 x 5 weighted @15kg, 1 x 4 @15kg, 1 x 4 @10kg, 1 x 5 @bodyweight)
One-Arm Bent Over Row (1 x 10 @26kg, 2 x 10 @24kg)

45 - 60 seconds rest between sets.

5-minute mobility workout, based on this video, which I originally found on Conditioning Research.

Total Time: 25 minutes

Nutrition (low carb today, having decided to only have one high carb workout day per week for my Leangains experiment):

20 minutes before: 10g BCAA
1 hour after: 10g BCAA

Lunch (12:10pm) -
6 organic eggs, 2 tins of sardines, coconut cream

Dinner (6:30) -
free-range pork chops, butternut squash, shredded onion & cabbage, all fried in coconut oil + 10g of BCAA I forgot to drink earlier

Lack of Chin Up Progress: After making progress on Tuesday with chest, I was a little disappointed not to see the same gains on chin ups today. However, I think the following perspectives are important:
  1. In reality, I managed one whole rep more than 2 weeks ago (4 instead of 3 on the 4th set)
  2. This is an exercise where form makes a big difference, and I have a habit of becoming more strict, the more I want to make gains. As though I am afraid of cheating. I was being pretty strict today.
  3. I am wondering whether the close-grip upright rows I have typically been doing 2 days before the chin ups is sabotaging my biceps. Next week I may opt for a wider grip, or alternatively, a less bicep-intensive exercise.
Eschewing Deadlift: You have no idea how much effort it took this morning to avoid doing any deadlift. I had decided to do just a single set of 5 at 110kg; but in the end it seemed like a lot of effort setting up the bar, and I realised it was the right thing to do considering Saturday's 6-hour fell race.

Easy-Hard Approach. The idea of doing easy-hard-easy-hard etc based on this week's chest success may not work at the session level. In other words, I may need to alternate effort level on individual exercises and body parts. For example, I may take deadlift close to failure next week, having skipped it this week, but take it easy on chins and chest, since I worked them hard this week.

Leg Recovery: I drove to work for the 4th consecutive day today and used the lift/elevator all day. My legs still hurt after Saturday, but they feel stronger. I have 48 hours before the 18m 8500' Peris Horseshoe. I might be okay.

Mobility and Stretching: The mobility exercises are great. I pretty much gave up on stretching when I realised it was the main source of my injuries and there was little evidence for its benefits. I need to create a page about stretching and mobility. Chris at Conditioning Research has done a lot of excellent posts on the subject, so I will no doubt be drawing on some of his resources.

Food: I ate WAY too many calories tonight. Those pork chops had huge rinds and the veg was soaked with coconut oil. I will probably fast tomorrow again, depending on how I feel, but I am conscious that big, high fat evening meals are not what Martin at Leangains recommends.


Katelyn said...

I eat high fat, huge evening meals, but I do Warrior Diet instead of Martin's IF (love his blog though) and I'm Zero Carb. I find this works great for lifting and doing some fasted cardio, etc. I sit at 15-16% BF at 104lbs. for a female, 5'4". I put on 4 lbs. of muscle since January (calliper method by a trainer) eating this way. I never carb refeed either, just have calorie cycling.

Kevin Costello said...


Recently discovered your two blogs and I’m trying to read as much as can - I’ve already been thru hundreds of posts.

I’m new to paleo, about 10 weeks in, and I‘m struggling with meal planning, so your food entries and pictures are invaluable.

Couple of questions:
1. I’m really intrigued by your breakfast of champion recipe:

the recipe says 100 ml of coconut cream, but you show a can of coconut milk - could you elaborate? [Many of your meal posts/pictures reference coconut cream, which I had assumed to be a separate coconut product that I hadn’t run across yet.] Are you just scooping out the solid portion from the top half of the can? Do you just toss the rest of the can’s contents? I’ve been trying out a lot of different coconut milk brands and I notice that some seem to separate out better than others. Refrigerating the can seems to make for better separation.

2. from a recent post, this curry and paleo pudding looks awesome:
could you share the recipe?

Thanks for sharing all this stuff - I’d be lost without it.

Kevin Costello

Methuselah said...

Katelyn - that's pretty much how I normally operate, except that I am usually v.low carb rather than zero. My calorie cycling was more instinctive than planned, because I would just get very hungry after a lower cal weel, then overeat on one day. I think the approach you are describing is a good one and will probably return to something similar after this experiment.

Kevin - thanks for reading. In fact it's coconut milk I mean. It's just that the 'creaminess' of coconut milk tends to vary, and I choose the thicker versions, so I always think of it as cream. But yes, I DO scoop out the solid part from the can. You will find that leaving the cans to settle for a few weeks in the fridge will make this possible. You can get some really thick stuff from some brands.

The Paleo pudding was an experiment, but I have been meaning to post a video of it. It was not sweet enough. Give me a few weeks to get it right and I'll post a video.

Well done for doing 10 weeks. Are you feeling better?