Physical Culture / Primal Nutrition

Training Update – June

Lately I’ve been experiencing fantastic linear gains, experimenting with various new ideas.  I’ve leaned out consideribly following the Martin Berkhan LG style intermittent fasting protocol.

As I’ve explained before, I tried gaining mass the regular bodybuilder “bulk” method where you eat everything in sight.  I was eating 3,000 calories a day, which isn’t much for most people but for me is quite a bit more than I need.  I did indeed gain weight steadily, but a lot of it was fat.  Following the Leangains protocol has brought my waistline down from roughly 31″ to roughly 28.5″ and bodyweight from roughly 150 to 135.  Strength gains in the gym continued unabated and unslowed, leading me to believe this was entirely fat loss.

I’ve switched gears a bit and decided to make another run at mass gain.  I have been increasing my calories just enough to have a slight energy balance but not force feeding myself tons of kcals.  I’m still following the LG-style IF, since Martin’s bodybuilders appear to be able to maintain single digit bf percentages while putting on muscle.  In addition to increasing my calories, I’ve also resumed supplementation with creatine monohydrate, and I’ve begun the “Triple Your Testosterone” protocol from The 4-Hour Body.  4HB gets a lot of flack, but I think that’s mostly because people have an irrational emotional reaction to the author himself, Tim Ferriss.  The book is simply a collection of his own personal N=1 self experimentation.  Basically its what I do here on this blog, only he collected it in a book.  I would hope no one would get angry with me just because something that worked for me didn’t work for you?  It should also be noted that at all times I am, of course, fully Paleo.  Carbs are provided with white rice or root vegetables on workout days, except for a once-weekly cheat meal that may include gluten.  Actually it may include a lot of things…who cares, its once a week!

At the same time that I implemented the above dietary and supplementation changes, I also adopted a new tweak to my lifting schedule.  Way to isolate variables, eh?  I’m still following the basic, full body HIT protocol hitting the entire body every 4 days (essentially twice weekly), except I’ve left free weights behind and moved almost entirely to machines (with the exception of a couple exercises).  In this way, I can move quickly between exercises.  This allows me to do more work in less time and maximize the hormonal effect of the exercise.  I used to complete fewer exercises in roughly 45 minutes, and I’m now completing 9 to 10 exercises in 25-30 minutes.  These repetitions are done in the 8-12 rep range for upper body and the 15-20 rep range for the quads with a steady 3/3 cadence.

I can’t tell what caused it since I started all of these changes simultaneously, but the strength gains have been spectacular.  I increase the weight used just about every session and do not lose many, if any, reps.  I’ve actually managed to gain reps from one week to the next even when increasing the weights used.  The degree of strength adaption has been fantastic.  It should be noted that just recently I’ve adopted the Negative emphasized cadence that Drew Baye recommended in a recent blogpost (which I can’t link because his site appears to be down).  Its too soon to really report on strength increases, but the feeling is definitely there.  I’ve experienced a deep, lasting soreness in muscles that I’ve been regularly working.  It will be interesting to see how this develops.

The workouts (alternated every 4 days)

Workout A

  • Leg Press
  • Nautilus Pulldown
  • Nautlus OH Press
  • Dumbbell Row
  • Leg Curl
  • Pec Deck Fly
  • Hammer Strength Tricep
  • Wrist Curls
  • Reverse Wrist Curls
Workout B
  • Stiff Legged Deads
  • Chest Press
  • Nautilus Pullover
  • Leg Extension
  • Nautilus Lateral Raise
  • Seated Cable Row
  • Nautilus Preacher Curl
  • Calf Raise

6 thoughts on “Training Update – June

  1. Hey,

    Really dig the website. i’ve been following IF/leangains to lean out as well. I too am looking to gain mass. Some questions, do you tend to have all of your starchy carbs in the PWO meal or throughout the day? How many carbs do you eat on training days? I tend to go back to low carb except for a huge meal of potatoes and meat right after training.


    • Hey John,

      Thanks, I appreciate it!

      To be honest, I don’t really count. I aim to eat a total of about 1,000 cals in the PWO meal and have that primarily come from protein and carbs, but as far as what the percentage is between the two, I don’t really maintain it. In fact, once a week I use the PWO as a “free cheat meal.” I usually go get a gigantic burger and fries ONCE per week, and I find that doing that means that I have zero cravings for cheat meals the rest of the week.

      I used to go high carb the entire day on training days, but I don’t think its really necessary. I switched to eating a regular low carb meal for lunch and then some sort of starch and protein a couple of hours before training and then the huge carb+protein meal immediately PWO. For me at least, eating a really starchy meal too soon before working out leaves me sluggish. I think I’m overly used to fat metabolism for energy and I may not use carbohydrates as efficiently.

  2. That sounds great. Thanks for the thorough reply. I’ve experimented going high carb all day and found it works fine with just a huge high carb PWO meal. Coming from a low carb diet, I’m just used to eating that way.

    Are you doing the testosterone protocol exactly in the 4HB? I’ve been adding a couple of brazilnuts daily for the selenium and I take some cod liver oil occasionally. I’m hesitant to add a bunch of nuts into my diet. Any success so far?

    • I do most of it. I supplement Vitamin D3 (except on the days I get lots of natural sunlight), take six brazil nuts a day (3 in the AM, 3 in the PM), and take the cod oil. I DON’T take cold showers, and I don’t supplement with pastured butter, but I do cook with it.

      As far as if it works…I thought when I first started a noticed a little surge of man-type urges, haha. I honestly have no real objective way of knowing if its improving my testosterone numbers. I know my training performance and recovery are in a terrific place right now, but this could be due to any number of factors. Other than the brazil nuts though, all the other steps are things I would be taking anyway.

      I don’t stress too much about six Brazil nuts daily. To be honest I don’t snack…I either eat or don’t eat, so I never really eat any OTHER nuts. Grass-fed beef plus the cod liver oil means I’m not too worried about the Omega-6 in the nuts.

      • I think his final protocol included around 30 almonds/day too, for the vitamin e. I got my vitamin d levels checked and theyre above 50ng/mL so I stopped supplementing with that. I’d highly recommend you get yours tested soon in case it gets too high. I eat liver once a week for the vitamin A as well. I feel like my training is going well too. I’ve hit DL prs for the past few weeks in a row. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, I guess. Thanks to LG, when I eat, I eat big. Snacks are unappetizing now.

  3. I think the 30 almonds was the “I need a short-term testosterone surge for a night of lovemaking” protocol. The shorter protocol I outlined above was for daily use, haha. I may need to re-read to make sure.

    I’ll have to get tested. I tend to think I need to supplement since I have an office job and I’m darker-skinned owing to my Puerto Rican ethnicity. I’m overdue for a checkup, but since I never get sick I never really visit the doctor.

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