Cutting: Week 1

DAY 1

So today is my first day working with the programme I received from Paul Revelia. It’s a Sunday and I had the day to myself so decided to give myself a headstart and went to the gym this morning. I was training Upper Body Power, which involved training chest, shoulders, back, and arms, but using a combination of low reps and heavy weights, with moderate weights and reps. To give Paul visibility on what i’m doing I decided to log my workouts down on a Google doc and share it with him. I’ve done the same with My Fitness Pal. So he can see how i’m training and what i’m eating.

Before I left for the gym, I weighed myself (169.8lbs), measured my waist (34″), and took a set of new pictures of myself.

I spread my meals out as follows:

  • 9.30am: Pre workout meal
  • 11.40am: Post workout shake + BCAAs
  • 1.30pm: Lunch –  tin of low sugar baked beans with two chicken lime and coconut chicken breasts
  • 3.3opm: BCAAs
  • 6.30pm: Dinner – steamed mixed veg with two chicken breasts and two boiled eggs
  • 8.30pm: BCAAs
  • 11pm: Protein shake

I also had 2x creatine capsules 30mins before and after my workout. Getting used to the new supplements will take a few days. Because I went to the gym later than usual my whole schedule was running about 3hrs behind. In addition, I should have probably had 2 servings of protein after my workout instead of 1, which would have helped me hit my numbers earlier in the day. So today i’m not taking the Core Alpha. To take it in the evening you have to wait 2hrs after a meal, which for today would mean i’d have to stay up until 1am. Tomorrow should be better as i’m planning on getting up at 6am and the day should work out a lot smoother.

My calories for today are 1763 calories, with a macro split of 193:144:43. I find that I start to feel a little lethargic and weak after 5hrs without a meal, but its early days yet and hopefully my body will adjust to the new routine.

DAY 2

Legs session this morning, the first time in probably 10 years that i’ve trained legs, and I actually enjoyed it! I’m looking forward to doing it again and seeing how much heavier I can go, especially on the squats. So far, i’ve managed to take all my supplements, but I did struggle to finish my breakfast as I was a little full after 2 servings of protein. I’m heading back to the gym later this afternoon for my interval cardio session. I wonder how my legs will feel in a couple days time!

I’m going to pop to the shops later to get some deep heat. For the past couple weeks since I started PHAT training, my left pectoral muscle hasn’t felt 100%, like it’s been sprained or something. I want to get it back to full capacity as soon as possible.

Today’s meal timings are as follows:

  • 6.30am: Pre workout meal (2x bananas)
  • 8.30am: Post workout shake (2x scoops)
  • 10am: Breakfast
  • 12.30pm: BCAAs
  • 3.30pm: Lunch
  • 5.30pm: BCAAs
  • 8.30pm: Dinner

This will be my typical routine Monday to Friday. I managed to get something for the muscle sprain in my chest. I’m hoping it can work a small miracle and make the discomfort disappear completely before my next chest workout.

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Cardio this afternoon was tough. I went back to the gym around 2pm to do a 25mins interval session, and it felt a lot more challenging than the last I did it. I may try and go a little earlier next time so that i’ve got a bit more energy in the tank. But other than that, it’s been a pretty good day today. My legs (particularly my glutes) are already feeling a little sore from this morning’s workout, so i’m stretching every few hours. I’m ending the day on 1714 calories and a macro split of 191:137:45.

DAY 3

So I thought today being just abs and cardio i’d have a lot more energy and would find cardio easier. Nope! Even though it’s not a particularly long session, sprinting for 30 seconds really takes it out of you! For breakfast I had scrambled eggs with a slice of toast and mackerel fillet. I should have checked My Fitness Pal on the nutritional info first – mackerel is so high in fat! I’ve almost hit my number for fats and it’s not even 10am!

Today was tough. All because of that high fat breakfast, the knock-on effect was that I had such limited options with what I could eat for lunch and dinner. Also, I keep forgetting to take the probiotic tablets before meals! Anyway, here’s what I had for lunch. I went to Tesco and bought some rotisserie chicken (took the skin off) and some Moroccan couscous.

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For dinner, I was trying to find what I could eat that would be very low in fat, very high in protein, and moderate carbs. It actually took me a good 10-15mins playing around in My Fitness Pal with different foods, and different quantities, until I found something that was reasonable. In the end, I settled for this yoghurt with 2 scoops of protein, mixed together. The yoghurt is actually quite handy as it contains no fat whatsoever, not even a single gram, but it’s high in protein.

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In fact, I am finding that on an eating programme such as this where you are restricting your calorie intake and your meal frequency, it does help to have certain foods on hand that are high in protein but low/no fat, or high in carbs  but low/no fat.

So the lesson of the day is that breakfast is the most important macros meal of the day. Keep it high in protein, get your carbs in for your insulin response post workout (55g for me), and keep the fat really low. Today my intake was 1725 calories, split into 196:124:51.

DAY 4

2 nights of crap sleep (due to the heat and noisy neighbours) caught up to me this morning. I really felt tired when I got up this morning and really didn’t feel like going to the gym. I went anyway and it was a chest and back session. I think if I was better rested I could have probably pushed harder and gone for slightly heavier weights. I felt so exhausted during the workout, the thought of coming back for cardio was a mental challenge, but it’s got to be done.

I’m taking my BCAAs around 12pm and planning to go to the gym around 12.30pm to get the cardio out the way. On a more positive note, i’ve had a much better start to the day nutrition-wise. After my pre and post workout meals and breakfast, my macros are 93:99:7. I’m going to make today my ‘refeed’ day, so my target will be 170:300:50.

So i’m back from my cardio session. I got to the gym around 12.30pm and all the treadmills were taken as there was a class going on, so I decided to use the bike instead and really enjoyed it. I think i’ll use the bikes instead from now on. I’m not sure whether it was the BCAAs that I had shortly before, or the workout itself, but I feel a lot better now. A lot more energetic.

I read today that the whole point of a refeed day is to give your body a reboot of Leptin, hence the higher carbs. But fructose doesn’t have any effect on Leptin, which would mean eating fruit and fruit juices won’t give you the desired effect during a refeed day. So this evening I figured instead of having another apple juice I had a bottle of Lucozade with my dinner, which is primarily glucose. The other thing I discovered is that bagels are great! They’re high in carbs but really low in fat:

20140723_202442 20140723_202551

I picked up two packs of these, the plain one above, which I can use with savoury stuff, and a cinnamon and raisin one which will go well with sweet stuff or just by itself. These will also be great to have for breakfast after a workout. My intake for today is 2368 calories, and my macro split is 175:291:40. Bear in mind it was meant to be 170:300:50, so not too bad.

DAY 5

Today I trained legs and abs in the morning, then decided to get my final cardio session out the way and went back at lunchtime to do a 30mins cycle. I really like the bike now, i’ve never used a stationary bike in the gym until now, but I find that it’s more enjoyable than the treadmill and cross trainer. In the 30mins I managed to cover a distance of 12.29km. I ended the day on 1735 calories (204:145:35).

DAY 6

I’ve not slept great all week. Initially I just thought it was because of the new noisy neighbours downstairs, but now I realise it must be the Core Alpha that i’m taking before bed. I’ve noticed that I keep waking up around 1am, which is approximately 3 hours after I take them, so it must be whatever sort of stimulant in them that is stirring me out of my sleep. I remember the same thing used to happen to me when I used to use Hydroxycut years ago.

So today I trained shoulders and arms this morning. It’s a slightly shorter workout than the others so I was able to be out of the gym a little earlier than usual and get breakfast in by 8.45am. I decided seeing as it’s Friday I can stay up a little later, so i’d try and space my meals out a little further. I had lunch at 2.30pm, two chicken breasts + salad.

PS – I found the video in which Layne Norton talks about how much protein can be utilised for muscle growth in one sitting. You can check it out here.

I had dinner just before 9pm, ending the day on 1721 calories (189:136:42). Something I learned today is that most of my carbs are deliberately front-weighted to be taken just before and after my workout in the morning. For lunch and dinner I won’t have many carbs left so salads and mixed veg are good to have with chicken.

DAY 7

Rest day, no cardio, no weights. But i’ve still got to be disciplined and eat within my macro numbers. For a non-training day this is 190:110:45. The only real change is that the carbs are 30g lower. I’ve managed to do this more or less and i’m ending the day on 1630 calories (196:109:43). I had creatine with my breakfast in the morning and had 5g of BCAAs between meals (early afternoon and late afternoon).

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