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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 6:46 am 
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Re your bench: 5x170, 7x170? Heck, I don't know if I have a 170 single in me these days! You've really build this lift.


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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 8:37 am 
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Thanks Andy. I really have. Considering that 1 x 165 was a huge PR when I started at DeFranco's in 2008, doing 5 x 170 on my own (no handoff, even) is impressive. But I really thought I hadn't taken 170 for any reps at all. Had I known, I'd have loaded 175 and gone for it; even if I only got 4 reps that would have been a 1-rep PR. Instead I went a little conservative, knocked out some good reps, and then got home to find it wasn't nearly as good as before. That's galling.

My weakness on the incline bench bothered me too. I've knocked off 6 x 55, so 8 x 45 is really uninspiring. And I'd feel psychologically better going into a tournament thinking "I'm as strong as I've been in my whole life!" and not "This ill-conceived plan knocked off 3% body fat but also knocked off 5% of my strength!"


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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 9:16 pm 
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Insert <here> the standard "you can't lift your best every day and just because one day is a little off doesn't mean you are losing ground" lecture.

I can't imagine that you've done anything that has taken 5% or anywhere near that off your strength. In fact, I'm pretty sure that the first option ("I'm the strongest I've ever been in my lift") is the true one. And what "ill-conceived plan"? Your dietary manipulations? I assume that you have it planned so that you will be increasing your calories while still making your desired weight class, so you should be fine. You are certainly the muscularly-strongest that you've been since I've been following your progress. Now just make sure that you are in optimal metabolic preparedness, and you'll rip at the tournament.

So, in Grappler's Quest, it's grappling only? No punching or kicking? Do you start on the floor?


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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 7:10 am 
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Jungledoc wrote:
Insert <here> the standard "you can't lift your best every day and just because one day is a little off doesn't mean you are losing ground" lecture.


Okay, same back to you on that 3 x 290.

Jungledoc wrote:
I can't imagine that you've done anything that has taken 5% or anywhere near that off your strength. In fact, I'm pretty sure that the first option ("I'm the strongest I've ever been in my life") is the true one.


It probably is, but I'm not pushing around the weights like I was only a short time ago. So I don't feel stronger. 155 isn't popping up like an empty bar lately, it feels like it has heft. 60 pound dumbbells are too heavy to press as assistance work. Stuff like that.

My full-body lifts are still okay - I'm swinging and snatching heavier than before. I'm jumping well. My pullups are going up fast (but I lost 10 pounds, so they should). But still, the psychological impact of the weight feeling heavy is not good.

Jungledoc wrote:
And what "ill-conceived plan"? Your dietary manipulations? I assume that you have it planned so that you will be increasing your calories while still making your desired weight class, so you should be fine. You are certainly the muscularly-strongest that you've been since I've been following your progress. Now just make sure that you are in optimal metabolic preparedness, and you'll rip at the tournament.


Yeah, my diet. I'd have done it less harsh, less strict, if I knew I'd lost some strength in the process. That's annoying since it's so hard for me to gain and hold muscle. It's a daily war to stay strong and not lean out too much.

Thanks for the words, though, I know I'm just getting hard on myself because it's closing in on my tournament.

As for ripping, well, last year it was Men's Beginner's and Executive (30+) Beginner's Middleweight (179.9). I cut from 190~ to fight there (and then got stuck at 180 or so for months). This year it's Men's Intermediate and Executive (30+) Advanced Middleweight (179.9). I'm around 178 right now, so yeah, I'm increasing my calories. I'm hoping to coast in around 183 the Thursday before, and then just cut water and eat a little less on Friday to skate in at 179.9 on the nose. But my opponents will be much more experienced than last year, and the 30+ division is "and up" so theoretically my coach could just enter that. I'm challenging myself to take on the best guys in my age group in the room and see how I do. I expect to get flattened if I draw a hard guy in round one.

Jungledoc wrote:
So, in Grappler's Quest, it's grappling only? No punching or kicking? Do you start on the floor?


Only grappling, no striking. You start standing. Here are the rules:

http://www.grapplersquest.com/event-rules


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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 7:45 am 
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So as you can see from my log, I've decided not to do another 5/3/1 cycle going into my competition. I'm doing higher-rep work across the board, in a higher volume, aiming to get just a little more strength-endurance.

I've coupled this with a slight increase in calories in my diet. What I've been doing so far is a simplified version of carb cycling. I decided to basically eat like a fat guy trying to lose weight on non-workout days, and like a skinny guy trying to do a slow but steady gain on workout days.

Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday are low-carb days. I eat a 30/10/60 split of P:C:F. Calories are right around 2500, which is a bit below maintenance for me. The low carbs are further enhanced by taking extra fish oil and CLA during the day, and getting almost half of them from fiber, and I drink more caffeinated coffee and green tea. I add a multi and more supplemental vitamins to ensure I hit all my micronutrient needs. My Peri- and Post- workout drinks are just BCAAs and
Creatine, and if I don't work out I just drink one of those during the day.

Monday, Thursday, and Saturday are high carb days. I took my low-carb day and added a 25g/50g protein/dextrose & maltodextrin shake peri-workout and another post-workout. Then I added a bunch more carbs. This brings me to around 4200 kcals a day or so, roughly 30:40:30 P/C/F. I try to get as many of those carbs as I can from fruit and veggies, but I don't stint on the starchy carbs either - I just make them whole grain or sprouted grain carbs (Ezekiel bread, Barilla Plus pasta, steel-cut oats). I make sure to lift hard on these days to benefit from the increased carb uptake.

I have no cheat days or planned cheat meals in this diet. This allows me to throw one in whenever I need to, because I'm well over 90% compliant overall. Still, if I eat out on low-carb days I eat low-carb.

I found that the traditional "as little fat as possible" carb-up days in carb cycling were hard for me. I didn't enjoy the meals at all, I felt more of a carb crash after meals, and I had trouble reaching my calorie amounts with whole foods. The 30/40/30 split has been easy enough and I feel good on it.

The upsides to this diet are that Christmas comes 3x a week - I wake up and have oatmeal with fruit, I get to have toast with butter, PBJ sandwiches, etc. I can basically just add carbs to any low-carb day's meal, so it's not a hassle keeping "low carb" foods and "high carb" foods or having leftovers that can't get eaten for days. I don't feel the least bit deprived although it's still annoying counting my macros for each meal.

My weight has been slowly, slowly creeping up, but my body fat has trailed the overall gain. I'm feeling healthy and good, and instead of looking starved and lean like after my 3-week low carb startup I look fully and healthier, yet still muscular. More importantly, my energy levels are pretty close to where they are when I'm not cycling carbs at all. My strength seems to have rebounded but I haven't done max effort recently (too close to the fight to do a lot of that) so it's hard to tell.

I'm on-track for my goal of coming in just out of my weight class, cutting water and some food the day before, and then coasting in to 179.9 (with a 1-pound clothes allowance, that's 180.9 really) without needing to really cut-and-eat to get energy back. I won't even need to cycle off creatine, allowing me to keep more water in my system and have more endurance. If I start getting too heavy, I'll just mildly cut back my food on each day, getting less of a jump on high-carb days and a little less food on low-carb days.


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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 8:28 am 
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Peter, I think that method of carb cycling is smart. There's no reason to cut protein or fat on carb-up days. Grouping your carbs before and around your workout gets the max value from them and you're not disrupting your normal eating plan. Good luck with your fight.


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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 6:16 pm 
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Thanks Stu. I'll do my best.

I actually evenly spread out the carbs, but there is an extra 100g right now peri- and post-workout. I may up that in the future but for now that seems to be enough. The next two meals feature another 130-150g, so I feel like that's helping. I re-fill some glycogen stores with breakfast and my 2nd and 3rd meals, and then workout, drink more carbs, and have two more meals to take advantage of the insulin spike to build some muscle. Seems to be working, and the low-carb days keep me lean.


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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 6:15 pm 
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I saw this Pete. Don't do mushrooms before you train:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1282647/American-cage-fighter-rips-beating-heart-training-partner-fearing-possessed-devil.html


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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 10:15 pm 
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Thanks man. I always knew mushrooms were evil.


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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 10:27 pm 
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I'm leaving them out of MY shake from now on!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:38 am 
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Jungledoc wrote:
I'm leaving them out of MY shake from now on!


Well, you should be fine, doc. You don't fight cages for a living like that guy in the article.

Heck, neither do I!

Still, I'm going to have to ask my coach how exactly I rip out someone's still-beating heart and show it to them. I can't see how I'll get much practice, but you know, just in case I pick up a bad pack of portabellas, I'd at least know the technique! :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:58 am 
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hoosegow wrote:


Woah! Last time I did mushrooms I just watched Elvis DVDs and giggled. I don't reckon that'd really help your MMA either but at least you don't go to jail


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:46 pm 
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pdellorto wrote:
Jungledoc wrote:
I'm leaving them out of MY shake from now on!


Well, you should be fine, doc. You don't fight cages for a living like that guy in the article.

Heck, neither do I!

Still, I'm going to have to ask my coach how exactly I rip out someone's still-beating heart and show it to them. I can't see how I'll get much practice, but you know, just in case I pick up a bad pack of portabellas, I'd at least know the technique! :wink:
The story said something about cutting the chest open with a knife. I'm not sure that there was much "technique" involved!


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:29 am 
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Jungledoc wrote:
The story said something about cutting the chest open with a knife. I'm not sure that there was much "technique" involved!


My coach teaches knife techniques in private classes. And occasionally in the "normal" classes if we ask nicely. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:30 am 
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It's hard to not work out this week. I'm going to do my best to keep to light cardio, foam rolling, band warmup-type exercises, and stretching. But you never feel like you did enough.


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