The Pinnacle of Success Starts With Knowledge

Sunday December 18th, 2016 marks the end of my second round of weight training utilizing the Bigger Leaner Stronger book’s recommendations. Before I started SwollBro.com as my accountabilibuddy, I purchased this book back in April. I took a week from whatever lame, ineffective routines and sloppy dieting riddled my body into its current state, to read this book.

It’s been great! When I first took a reading of my lean body mass, and body fat percentage, my body fat percentage quartered my weight. I needed the knowledge and push in the right direction. While I had a great base for making it to the gym every day, what I lacked was routine of diet. Through many of my experiences now where I wouldn’t hesitate to reach for a beer, my considerations for the calories and the macro-nutrients from the foods my body is absorbing today has changed significantly from the previous six months.

The Sources of Knowledge

Muscle Magazine, US Weekly, crash dieting, “Drop 67lbs in 3 Months!”, these were all magazines and headlines as I stood in the checkout aisle with my wife and two daughters. I couldn’t help but think all those magazines are a cesspool of misinformation and riding on guilty feelings. The “Drop 67lbs in 3 Months!” headline stood out to me the most for a number of reasons:

  1. Do you actually have 67lbs to lose?
  2. Are you starving yourself on this diet, crashing your metabolism?
  3. What are the chances this person, after losing 67lbs, regains it?
  4. If these are the sources of true diet and fitness, why does this need to come out every week or month? I understand not every body type is the same, but some basic guidelines should apply across the board to anyone. If you’re looking at one of these magazines, stop immediately. They are built on guilty feelings and poor advice.

While I wouldn’t normally find any celebrity advice worthwhile, Chris Pratt’s body transformation and candid response on his results are worth a listen.

What, you mean Chris Pratt admits that moving your body, feeding yourself properly would lead to results to which the body would respond. MOST IMPORTANTLY, his results were in EIGHT MONTHS. If you’re struggling, or THINK you’re struggling, remember these things take time and consistency.

Routine Into Habit

After hearing Chris Pratt’s story, I knew consistency was going to be my best friend as it came to turning my routines into habit. Also what I found refreshing, he wasn’t bullshitting about timelines for results. Creating the plan was absolutely necessary on turning these items into my habits. I created a couple of actionable items. Below are mine that I put into spreadsheets.

  1. Create Macro Based Diet of Foods I Like
  2. Generate a High Weight Low Rep Program

Overall, creating actionable items and having a plan will help you significantly no matter what you’re trying to accomplish. Plan out your day for tomorrow and you may find yourself accomplishing your goals more often.

Starting Numbers Week 7

Last Week

  • Weight – 171lbs
  • BF% – 17.6%
  • Muscle Mass – 42.6%

This week I worked on deloading so my lifts were light enough to push through to ten reps.

Deload Results

Monday – Shoulders/Back
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Standing Military Press 95 x 10 95 x 8 95 x 9
Front Raise 25 x 10 30 x 10 30 x 10
Lateral Raise 20 x 10 20 x 10 20 x 10
Weighted Underhand Pullup 0 x 10 25 x 10 25 x 10
Dumbell Row 60 x 10 65 x 10 70 x 10
Shrugs 205 x 10 215 x 10 215 x 10
Tuesday – Legs
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Squat* 185 x 10 195 x 10 195 x 10
Deadlift 155 x 10 185 x 10 185 x 10
Bulgarian Split Squat 70 x 10 70 x 10 70 x 10
HIIT 20:00
Wednesday – Bis\Abs
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Standing Barbell Curl 75 x 10 85 x 10 85 x 10
Incline Dumbbell Curl 35 x 10 35 x 10 35 x 10
Hammer Bar Curl 65 x 10 75 x 10 75 x 10
HIIT 20:00 Intervals on the Elliptical
Thursday – Chest/Tris
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Incline Bench 145 x 10 155 x 10 155 x 10
Flat Bench 155 x 10 165 x 10 155 x 10
Skull Crushers 65 x 10 75 x 10 75 x 10
Dips – Chest Version 25 x 10 25 x 7 0 x 10
Close Grip Bench Press 135 x 8 135 x 8 135 x 10
Cable Tri Press* 105 x 10 125 x 10 125 x 10
Friday
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Ab Circuit* 15 20 25
* Ab circuit consists of ab roller, medicine ball twists, and crunches.
Calf Circuit 135 x 18 135 x 18 135 x 18
HIIT: 25 minute Sprints @ 15sec sprints @ 45sec moderate

The Last Fourteen Weeks

Over the last fourteen weeks, I’ve felt more energy and better equipped to meet my goals with the knowledge I’ve taken in from the plan set in Bigger Leaner Stronger. Below are a couple of pictures from July until now.


July 2016

December 2016

Final Measurements

  • Weight – 169.6lbs
  • BF% – 17%
  • Muscle Mass – 42.9%

More HIIT Training

As week six started on Monday, I found myself up early shoveling snow as Michigan weather decided to turn this week and dump three inches of snow across the region. While I try to plan to go to bed a bit earlier for these occasions, rarely do I go back to sleep after my alarm sounds. Wednesday, the weather people predicted more of the fuzzy fluffy chilled rain. Again, I was up before 6am anticipating a morning of shoveling. Friday blanketed the area with more snow calling for another early rise as the region suffered from Heikki Lunta’s wrath. It has continued to snow, 10″ plus today.

With the early rises, I tried to add some more HIIT training into the end of my workouts, twenty minutes each time. With the amount of movement between shoveling and HIIT, I felt as if I was getting the necessary amount of movement heading to the correct direction of meeting my goals for the week.

More Mistakes

I haven’t faltered much in respect to alcohol consumption, but my diet hasn’t been close enough to my macros as they should be. Friday, really wanting a cheat meal, I decided that having BW3 wings for dinner was a good idea. I will do my best this coming week to better fit my macro goals, even though home baked Christmas cookies find themselves present in my house.

Round 2 – Week 6 – Starting Numbers

Last Week Results

  • Weight – 171.6lbs
  • BF% – 17.6%
  • Muscle Mass – 42.6%

Round 2 – Week 6 – Workout

Monday – Shoulders/Back
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Standing Military Press 135 x 4 125 x 6 125 x 4
Front Raise 35 x 6 35 x 6 35 x 6
Lateral Raise 25 x 6 25 x 6 25 x 6
Weighted Underhand Pullup 65 x56 65 x 4 65 x 4
Dumbell Row 95 x 6 95 x 6 95 x 6
Shrugs 235 x 6 245 x 6 245 x 6
Tuesday – Legs
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Squat* 245 x 6 245 x 4 245 x 6
Deadlift 275 x 3 275 x 6 285 x 6
Bulgarian Split Squat 110 x 6 110 x 6 110 x 6
HIIT 7:00 – I was pretty gassed after my leg workout.
Wednesday – Bis\Abs
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Standing Barbell Curl 105 x 5 105 x 4 105 x 4
Incline Dumbbell Curl 45 x 6 45 x 6 45 x 6
Hammer Bar Curl 105 x 4 105 x 6 105 x 3
HIIT 20:00 Intervals on the Elliptical
Thursday – Chest/Tris
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Incline Bench 185 x 6 185 x 5 185 x 5
Flat Bench 205 x 4 195 x 5 195 x 4
Skull Crushers 85 x 8 85 x 8 85 x 8
Dips – Chest Version 65 x 6 65 x 4 65 x 3
Close Grip Bench Press 165 x 4 155 x 6 155 x 5
Cable Tri Press* 85 x 8 85 x 8 85 x 7
Friday
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Ab Circuit* 15 20 25
* Ab circuit consists of ab roller, medicine ball twists, and crunches.
Calf Circuit 135 x 18 135 x 18 135 x 18
HIIT: 20 minute Box Jumps @ 15sec sprints @ 45sec moderate
Sunday

The streak of No-Hockey-Sunday continued as Michigan weather dumped 10 inches of snow on the region. Without reading all of my Facebook Messenger messages from my team, I drove across town in snow covered roads at a max speed of 30mph.

After Moving Move

Measurements

  • Weight – 171lbs
  • BF% – 17.6%
  • Muscle Mass – 42.6%

Thanks for reading!
#getswollbro

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Post Thanksgiving – Moving More

As Monday rolled around as I typically check my measurements, disappointment rolled over me as I stepped on the scale and saw my results. So this time around, I decided getting on the elliptical in the morning, getting my cardio in for the day, was a step in the right direction. Also removing the Gatorade Protein bar would hopefully help. So this week, my concentration was dieting and moving more.

Round 2 – Week 5 – Starting Numbers

Last Week Results

  • Weight – 172lbs
  • BF% – 17.6%
  • Muscle Mass – 42.6%

Round 2 – Week 5 – Workout

Monday – Shoulders/Back
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Standing Military Press 125 x 6 125 x 5 125 x 4
Front Raise 35 x 6 35 x 6 35 x 6
Lateral Raise 20 x 8 20 x 8 20 x 8
Weighted Underhand Pullup 60 x 6 60 x 6 60 x 5
Dumbell Row 90 x 6 90 x 6 90 x 6
Shrugs 225 x 6 235 x 6 235 x 6
20:00 Intervals on the Elliptical
Tuesday – Legs
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Squat* 225 x 6 245 x 6 245 x 4
Deadlift 275 x 3 275 x 6 275 x 6
Bulgarian Split Squat 100 x 6 100 x 6 100 x 6
Single Leg Standing Calf Raise* 40 x 8 40 x 8 40 x 8
Seated Calf Raise* 100 x 10 100 x 10 100 x 10
*Calf Raises were done in circuit
Wednesday – Bis\Abs
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Standing Barbell Curl 105 x 5 105 x 5 105 x 5
Incline Dumbbell Curl 45 x 6 45 x 6 45 x 6
Hammer Bar Curl 105 x 6 105 x 5 105 x 5
HIIT 20:00 Intervals on the Elliptical
Thursday – Chest/Tris
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Incline Bench 185 x 6 185 x 6 195 x 4
Flat Bench 205 x 4 205 x 4 205 x 4
Skull Crushers 85 x 8 85 x 8 85 x 8
Dips – Chest Version 65 x 6 65 x 5 65 x 4
Close Grip Bench Press 165 x 5 165 x 5 165 x 4
Cable Tri Press* 80 x 10 85 x 7 85 x 7
Friday
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Ab Circuit* 15 20 25
* Ab circuit consists of ab roller, medicine ball twists, and crunches.
HIIT: 20 minute sprints @ 15sec sprints @ 45sec moderate
Saturday – HIIT

25 minute sprints @ 15sec sprint @ 45sec moderate – 3.5 miles

Here I am, after 25 minutes of HIIT:
post HIIT training

After Moving Move

Measurements

  • Weight – 171.6lbs
  • BF% – 17.6%
  • Muscle Mass – 42.6%

Thanks for reading!
#getswollbro

If you’ve enjoyed my post, be sure to sign up for the newsletter for further posts.

Thanksgiving a Time for Gluttony

So I have fell off of the diet wagon as Thanksgiving rolled around. I figure a cheat meal within the week probably didn’t hurt me too much in the long run. I wasn’t exactly watching what I was eating and probably was a bit higher in some macros than others. Not to mention, the champagne that I consumed with family members and then making a late run at Meijer to consume crab rangoons, fried rice, and some pot stickers left me feeling full.

Luckily that was only one day in the week, and I’m happy I spent time with family and let loose for a bit. I immediately got back to my macro dieting as prescribed by my program the following day.

Round 2 – Week 4 – Starting Numbers

Last Week Results

  • Weight – 171.6lbs
  • BF% – 17.6%
  • Muscle Mass – 42.5%

Round 2 – Week 4 – Workout

Monday – Shoulders/Back
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Standing Military Press 125 x 5 125 x 4 125 x 4
Front Raise 30 x 6 35 x 6 35 x 6
Lateral Raise 25 x 6 25 x 6 25 x 6
Weighted Underhand Pullup 65 x 6 65 x 5 65 x 5
Dumbell Row 90 x 6 90 x 6 90 x 6
Shrugs 225 x 6 225 x 6 225 x 6
Tuesday – Legs
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Squat* 245 x 6 135 x 10 185 x 6
* I did more squats up to about 205 to get the form correct.
Deadlift 265 x 6 265 x 6 275 x 6
Bulgarian Split Squat 100 x 6 100 x 6 100 x 6
Standing Barbel Calf Raise* 135 x 18 135 x 18 135 x 18
Wednesday – Bis\Abs
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Standing Barbell Curl 105 x 6 105 x 6 105 x 6
Incline Dumbbell Curl 45 x 5 40 x 6 40 x 6
Hammer Bar Curl 90 x 6 100 x 6 110 x 5
Ab Circuit** 15 reps 20 reps 25 reps
HIIT Skipped – I was getting lazy this week.

** Ab Circuit consists of ab roller, medicine ball twist, and crunches

Thursday – Chest/Tris
Exercise Set 1 Set 2 Set 3
Incline Bench 175 x 6 185 x 6 195 x 5
Flat Bench 205 x 5 205 x 5 205 x 3
Skull Crushers 65 x 10 75 x 10 85 x 8
Dips – Chest Version 65 x 5 65 x 5 65 x 4
Close Grip Bench Press 155 x 6 165 x 5 165 x 5
Cable Tri Press* 65 x 10 125 x 6 125 x 6
* Since I was at a different location for this workout, I’m always under the feeling that the pulleys for these weights differ.
Saturday – HIIT

16 minutes on the Elliptical

Sunday

Drop-in hockey on Sunday where a total of four people showed with no goalie.

Moving Slightly in the Wrong Direction

Measurements

  • Weight – 172lbs
  • BF% – 17.6%
  • Muscle Mass – 42.6%

I’m up .6lbs this week, which my goal is to lose 0.5lbs per week. I’m not deterred whatsoever, but I know I’ll need to make some changes in the following week to achieve 171.5 lbs. Since time is always a constraint, I’ve decided for the days I do calves and abs I’m moving to Friday. This gives me adequate time to get in about 20 minutes of cardio those days. I’m also going to forego my Gatorade protein bar and see where this gets me.

Thanks for reading!
#getswollbro

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