Sports Nutrition

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Off topic – Career Path

My brother has been out of work for four months now and I can start to see him loosing hope. Although he has had offers for full time work he wants something that's part time. I've been there and it sucks.

I guess he is at a cross roads... does he find a job or head to school and try something new? Personally I've had this battle a couple times but it always comes down to.. "what do I want?"

We are both young.. I'm 22 and he's 19. We are smart, good looking but not wealthy so I would have to support myself while going to school. Sometimes you hear people say "I could do anything.." really I think this applies to me and my brother. I honestly know that we have limitless potential to do anything. The world is our oyster.

Here are some of my career paths I've been thinking about becoming an evil man #2, a layer, a physician, or maybe a biochemist.

Evil man #2 – You know when you watch a movie and you see the main evil dude who runs everything and he always has a man #2 doing the dirty work. I think I'd like to be this guy. Like in "Clear and Present Danger" where the main drug lord had his second in command as Felix. I'd like to be this guy. Basically I want someone to contact me and train me as an apprentice. Where else would you get this type of training? Do they have a course some place for "evil man #2" training? Really, I'm serious!

Layer – I love to argue. Even if I agree with something you're saying I'll probably twist it into something where I'm write and you're wrong. I know I could go far as a layer. But I can see down the road where I have a rape / abuse / molester case and I'm either the defense or prosecution attorney and I'm unable to get justice. Maybe I get the guy off.. Maybe I can't nail him but I know he did it. This is where I would probably take justice into my own hands.. And I can see where people would. This is why I don't think I can do it and stay out of trouble.

Physician – I think I'd be good but it takes major $$$ and time.

Biochemist – This stuff really interests me but it takes major $$$ and time. The reason I like this field is that you finish school and get a job at a major drug / research company. You pretty much have an unlimited budget for research and you devote your life to this. This seems like a really neat thing. And I'd like to do it.

What are your career plans and how can I become evil man #2?

Monday, May 31, 2004

Week #1 completed

I've been following my diet and workout regime to a T and it might sound funny but I can notice a difference already. It is probably just in my head but I actually look a little bigger.

Anyways I took some pictures / measurements to ensure that I have a visual / written record of where I was on week #1 so that I can compare them to week #16. I think I'm going to start tanning also to bring out the muscle definition a little more.

Anyways I'll keep you posted.

Cheers ;-)

Thursday, May 27, 2004

A little self-sacrifice

Tonight is my first roadblock on my way to building my custom body.. let me set the scene.. Calgary / Tampa bay – playoffs, finishing big project at work – open bar as reward, and that's about it.. But really.. Playoffs Hockey.. Open bar.. Come on!

This no drinking rule while working out is going to kill me never mind make my friends thinking I'm on drugs :)

I can't really complain all that much as last weekend was a long one and we decided to head out camping; we went out to Englishman river falls and I did an all out assault on my body through sleep deprivation, smoke inhalation, and non-stop drinking. I polished off 2 12 packs and a 26er in 3 days I know that doesn't sound like all that much but with that and a couple drinking games I'm still feeling the pain.

Anyways.. just so you know I'm sticking with my guns!

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

My three phase workout strategy

I've been searching the Internet for useful sources of information and I came across it is absolutely awesome. Basically he breaks down all aspects of nutrition / working out and even gives you some samples of what to try.

Here is what I'm going to be doing now that I've read his information and adapted it to myself.

Phase I – 8 week workout plan (done end of July)

Description: This is basically a 2 month marathon to get my main muscle groups into shape. I'll alter main workout plans twice a week focusing on chest, arms, legs, back, etc. Sounds simple but when I head to the gym I'm going to be doing about 8 different exercises or a full body workout to condition my muscle (and the smaller support muscles) to be prepares for phase II.

Phase II – 8 week workout plan (done end of September)

Description: Now that my muscles are fairly strong and the supporting muscles are ready I can start to target specific areas that I'd like to improve. You need to take a close look at yourself and figure out what you want. My goals are a larger upper chest, back, arms, and shoulders. I want to look thick.

Phase III – 1 to 2 month cycles

Description: I'm planning to cycle exercises and try different things to grow. I'll talk more about with when I've completed phase I and II.

I'll hopefully be posting some picture of what I look like now and the areas that I want to improve. This will be for reference so that I can look back and see the changes.

Thanks all ;-)

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

A Great BodyBuilding Resource

Anyone interested in diet / nutrition / bodybuilding / etc should really take a look at ExRx (Exercise Prescription) on the Net.

My main workout basically follows their 4 Day Split Workout outline.

A long road ahead...

In my quest to bulk up I've decided to stop drinking (wine, beer, hard stuff, etc). To tell you the truth I think it's going to be harder than actually putting on the pounds of muscle.

I'm a pretty social drinker and on weekends. Mostly we head down to the local drinking hole once or twice a week and then go to the bars on the weekends. I just feel funny ordering water or an orange juice when everyone else is having a good time.

Anyways I've created several diets that will allow me to have balanced carbohydrates, protein, and fat intake. I've created a meal outline and I'm heading to the grocery store today so that I can get on track.

Later tonight I'm heading to the gym.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Building your Custom Diet

First, you need to determine your appropriate calories, carbohydrates, protein, and fat intake levels given your goal. My goal is to add 20 pounds of lean muscle over the next 6 to 10 months.

You can determine your total calorie intake by checking out the Estimated Calorie Requirements Calculator. You provide various bits of information about your body type and your activity levels and it'll give you an estimate of what you need.

My daily calorie requirement is approximately 4,400.

The golden diet ratio should be 50 to 55% carbohydrates, 25 to 30% protein and 15 to 20% fat. For carbohydrates and protein you divide your daily total by 4 to get the grams. For fat you divide your daily total by 9 to get the grams. Converting to grams helps build a diet because almost all food labels use grams to show their compositions.

Breakdown of my 4,400 calories using the "golden" diet ration:

4,400 * 55% = 2,420 carbohydrates
2,420 / 4 = 605 grams of carbohydrates

4,400 * 25% = 1,100 protein
1,100 / 4 = 275 grams of protein

4,400 * 20% = 880 fat
880 / 9 = 98 grams of fat

Note: There are several other factors that I've taken into account based on my goal. First, you need approximately 1 gram of protein for each pound of body mass, about 200 in my case. Second, I need several thousand calories to simply maintain my current body bass and an additional 1,000 to add more mass. Obviously this could be drastically different given your goals and body type.

Building the Diet

Now that you've found your total daily calories, carbohydrates, protein, and fat intake levels you can start to find foods.

You should take a look at the "food pyramid" it's something the US Goverment puts out to show Americans how to eat properly.

It is pretty useful and you should take a look at how many servings should be in an example meal and what those servings should be.

Thanks all folks ;-)

Dieting with an extremely specific Goal

If you don't have an extremely specific goal in mind when trying to do something then how do you know when you've hit the target?

Basically you need to get extremely specific with what you want to achieve. For example, some people might think... I'd love to be skinny; well what is skinny? Does that mean losing 5, 10, 15+ pounds or does that mean you want to be 120 lbs total?

Here are my goals again:

  • Create a diet geared toward adding muscle

  • Create a schedule

  • Get motivated

  • Become 220 pounds of lean muscle (I'm currently 200) by January 2005

  • Have a six-pack by January 2005

  • Be able to bench press 200 pounds by January 2005

Why do I care?

If you're not extremely specific with what you want then it is easy to not hold yourself accountable! You also have to really want your goals and here is how...

Reverse motivation

I've run through Tony Robbins CD's a while ago and one thing that really stuck with me was "reverse motivation" (not sure if this is the correct name but I think it fits). Anyways the idea is that all goals are associated with pleasure or pain, period.

For example when I say "become 220 pounds of lean muscle", instantly I associate pain to this goal as I'm thinking about all the work that this is going to take. Hitting the gym 4-5 times a week, building a diet to support that weight gain, finding time, etc.

Tony's idea is that you need to train yourself to think about your goals differently. Imagine for a minute the pain of not achieving your goal. You need to think ahead to January (when I plan to be 220 lbs) and imagine how it would feel to not attain what you have worked for. You need to image the pain of not achieving this goal. If it does not really hurt then chances are your not going to follow through.

You need to create more associated pain to not completed your goal then it takes to actually do something. Think about how it makes you look, how your life would be better, how this, how that, etc. Make yourself get worked up about this idea of not being able to follow through!

My next post will have some sample "weight gaining" diets that I've custom build for my goals.

p.s. this "reverse motivation" does not only apply to working out but to everything. Thing about it for a couple minutes and review some of your goals and how it would feel to not achieve them.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Sources of Nutritional Information

When you first jump into the scene of bodybuilding / nutrition it seems (at least to me) that everyone is a self-proclaimed expert!

For the record, "I'm no expert!"

For example I went down to the local library to read up on bodybuilding / sports nutrition and pretty much every book you pick up is going to have something like this... "for the past 10+ years [insert authors name] has been a world renewed author of nutritional information and [insert title of book] has become the benchmark for all coaches, athletes, etc." Then most books go into something like "what you have read before is all wrong" and then proceeds to tell you their correct way.

It's pretty frustrating, to say the least!

However there are several very good books and one is "Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook, Third Edition".

Additionally, these books are also useful Power Eating, Supplements for Strength Power Athletes, and Diets Designed for Athletes.

One thing that I found with the Sports Nutrition Guidebook is that creating the diet is left up to you. To tell you the truth this is a pretty daunting task!

First you have to calculate what your average carbohydrate, protein and fat intake should be given your weight and what you want to achieve, in my case enough to add additional muscle. Second you need to build a diet around these criteria.

Think of it this way... Imagine for a minute you're a gardener, you have complete control over what your plants are growing in, eating, and breathing. From this you can build the finest, healthiest, best tasting produce. Maybe you even dabble in hydroponics and add some special fertilizers and monitor what works and what doesn't.

Similarly you have complete control when building a diet. You determine the best nutritional sources of carbohydrates, protein, and fat to achieve the best results, given your goal. You can add some supplements (a.k.a special fertilizers) and monitor the results. You have completed control and there is an abundance of information out there to help you.