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 Post subject: Need advice, feeling like i'm regressing/losing direction
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:29 am 
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Finch

Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:17 am
Posts: 4
Hello,

I want to start off by giving an idea of my stats and my goals, and then explain what i've been doing. I'm hoping someone here sees a trend or can give me some guidance because I feel like I'm slowly losing my direction and my mental and physical health. I apologize beforehand if this post is all over the place - I'm really struggling to get my thoughts together, so please bear with me.

Stats:

    5'11"
    198 lbs
    22 years old
    around 13% bf
    vegan for 1 year
    working out for 3 years

Recent exercises and current max weights for an idea of what I do:

    Leg Press 810x8
    Overhead Press 150x5
    Shrug 450x15
    Calf Raise 630x7
    Decline Press 225x8

I focus mainly on volume training, trying to increase the amount that I lift each month, and I also try to go for low reps and high weight. Since January, heres what I have done:

    Jan: 361,630 over 19 days
    Feb: 313,762 over 14 days
    Mar: 349,460 over 16 days
    Apr: 574,565 over 17 days (so far)

Aside from lifting, I also use a recumbent bike to do cardio, which I normally do 7 days a week for about 30-60 minutes a day at 13 of 15 resistance, burning 350-800 calories as indicated by the machine. I also lift at home when i'm just hanging out, but I normally don't record that. I really only rest when I'm hanging out with my girlfriend.

In the past month, I've also increased my alcohol consumption to around 1-2 bottles of wine a week, which I'm working to cut out (I know this has an effect on body fat).

I normally sleep 6.5-7.5 hours a night, go to bed at 9:30-10:30, wake up 4:30-5:30. This month I've been staying up much later on fridays and saturdays, but I'm still getting 6.5-7.5 hours of sleep.

This past month, I really focused my efforts and put everything I had into working out. I've been trying to go off some of the same principles as Arnold because he is my main idol. But I'm seeing the following things:

    Difficulty figuring out when I'm hungry, feel like I'm not sure if I'm eating correctly (enough, too little, too much)
    Increased body fat in midsection
    A decrease in abdominal visibility and tactile definition
    A perceived decrease in muscular strength in my chest and in compound exercises
    A marked increase in strength in my calves and neck
    Perceiving clothes fitting looser than normal
    Tiredness and an inability to concentrate
    A lack of motivation for cleaning my apartment or keeping my things in order
    A feeling that if i'm not working out I'm wasting my time
    A decrease in social interaction with people outside of my girlfriend and my parents
    A more frequent runny nose than I'm used to

I'd really like to increase the intensity of my workouts and cut down on how many of them I am doing, but I struggle with feeling like I'm wasting my time if I'm not lifting. It's all I think about and I want to be able to focus on more than just that, but I just can't. I'm stuck in a mindset that the more that I work out, the better results I'll see. I really just want to cut my fat back down and feel better about myself, as I really want to be able to see the abs I've worked so damn hard to build. I have a really hard time seeing what I look like compared to anybody, and I feel like I'm not making the progress visually that I would like to make, but I can't be sure of that. I normally just use how I feel my clothes fit to determine if I'm making progress.

Another interesting note: I moved out of my parents' house in February, and I feel like I've been struggling with my eating since then. Not cravings - it's more like I'm trying to figure out what to eat to get enough calories, and it normally ends up being tofu or other dense foods.

I use Gym Buddy to record my workouts, so it's possible for me to provide all of my workouts for any given month or for all of them. I just really need some assistance as I don't feel like I'm doing well right now mentally. And I can see myself gaining weight and I hate it, and I feel like nothing I do is changing it.

Thanks for reading.

Jake


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 Post subject: Re: Need advice, feeling like i'm regressing/losing directio
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:48 am 
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Elephant
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Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:10 am
Posts: 2138
Location: New Jersey, USA
You are right about the alcohol, but i know how hard it can be to cut out. But honestly 2 bottles of wine a week isn't too terrible. You should plan on decreasing it though especially as you get older. IT will be harder on your body. also alcohol is a depressant and may be contributing to your lack of motivation. and lifting sucks the day after you drink and will surely hamper your feats at the gym.
Make sure you are hydrated. One gallon of water day, key for muscle hydration growth and fat loss.
You may be eating the wrong things and not enough. Please provide a detailed list of your foods, timing, and macro levels for an average day....
I understand about your motivation. I suffer from the same thing...but at the same time I'm sticking to a really strict cutting diet and seeing great results. The fatigue and hunger limit me from doing really much else besides working out and work. I just turn on the netflix or hulu and night and zone out, which is not something I want to do for the rest of my life but for now its ok.
the split my trainer gave me and gives everyone is:
1. Back and hams.
2. Chest and biceps
3. Legs and abs
4. shoulders and tris
5. cardio and abs.
6. rest
start over.
if you are going for size you could just do a four day split and not worry about the cardio, and take more days off.
as far as volume is concerned, rotate it. one week for for high reps, the next week lower. you cant do the same thing over and over and expect your body to keep growing, it just adapts and gets easier and the results are less. it's the same idea with fat loss, that's why i have to keep increasing my cardio and making it harder, and decrease food...so again we are going for different goals but the same principles apply.
i would highly recommend compound movements with free weights to start each of your workout days - so back would be deadlift and barbell rows, chest would be bench, legs squats, shoulders military press. then towards the end you could use machines to really fatigue the muscles. but the compounds are key and the only way to really gauge your strength.

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 Post subject: Re: Need advice, feeling like i'm regressing/losing directio
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:12 am 
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Finch

Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:17 am
Posts: 4
I appreciate your reply. To answer to the food question:

My normal food/agenda for a day is something like this:

    4:30-5:30 am:
    Protein shake with unsweetend soymilk
    clif bar or banana with peanut butter

    Gym or Cardio then Gym

    8:30 am:
    whole wheat bagel

    10:30 am:
    clif bar or something similar

    12:00 pm:
    Large wrap with roasted vegetables, spinach, guacamole, and lettuce

    2:30 pm:
    Clif bar, some vegetables, some crackers, or some edamame

    4:30 pm:
    Protein shake, some frozen falafel or vegetables
    Clif bar

    Gym

    7:00 pm:
    Two of the following:
    Protein shake, some more frozen falafel or vegetables
    Some crackers and hummus or salsa
    Sometimes up to 1lb of Tofu
    A tablespoon or two of natural peanut butter
    Clif bar

    Cardio or Extra Sets depending on what i did in the gym that afternoon (e.g. lateral raise/bent over raise supersets)

    9:00 pm:
    Sometimes some more crackers
    Sometimes some more peanut butter, although i try not to do that
Macro is probably 20/40/40 if I had to take a guess, I'm not measuring it closely. I know this is rough, but I haven't been doing a good job of keeping a record of what I'm eating.

Cardio or Extra Sets continued

9:30-10:30:
Bed

I'd take a guess that I'm eating too much sugar and processed food, but it's difficult as a 22 year old just starting to live on his own to cook meals all the time. This weight started when I left my house, where my mom or dad was making dinner almost every night and I wasn't eating like crap. And I'm nervous that I'm not going to get enough calories to grow, because I want my muscle to grow. But maybe I'm eating too much because I'm looking heavier but not gaining pounds on the scale. For a comparison, I was 198 in february, too, and I had more visibility of my abs then I do now, but I wasn't able to lift what I can now.

Let me know if I can provide anything else.

Jake


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 Post subject: Re: Need advice, feeling like i'm regressing/losing directio
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:25 am 
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Elephant
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Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:06 pm
Posts: 2025
Location: Lee's Summit,MO
Beans are a great go to. Soak them overnight, rinse them off in the morning and put them in the slow cooker with water, bay leave, onion and garlic and let cook all day on low. Pull out the bay leaf, onion and garlic and store the beans. They are great mashed up, on a salad, served over rice. Beans are inexpensive food source :)

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I do because I can. I can because I want to. I want to because you said I couldn't.

I don't make excuses... I make results

If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you


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 Post subject: Re: Need advice, feeling like i'm regressing/losing directio
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:18 am 
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Elephant
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Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:10 am
Posts: 2138
Location: New Jersey, USA
Record your exact macros. Like, 300 carbs a day, 150 protein, 70 fat, or wahtever it is....
and yes clean up the diet, distribute the protein more evenly. there are two meals you get very little.
minimize clif bars, crackers, and that bagel....
you work out three times a day? extra sets dont sound that high quality, workout once a day make it high quality with the compounds and then let your muscles rest!

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Darth Vader from Sandlot once said, "Heroes get remembered, but legends never die." Then he later died.
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 Post subject: Re: Need advice, feeling like i'm regressing/losing directio
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:54 am 
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Finch

Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:17 am
Posts: 4
jungleinthefrunk wrote:
Record your exact macros. Like, 300 carbs a day, 150 protein, 70 fat, or wahtever it is....
and yes clean up the diet, distribute the protein more evenly. there are two meals you get very little.
minimize clif bars, crackers, and that bagel....
you work out three times a day? extra sets dont sound that high quality, workout once a day make it high quality with the compounds and then let your muscles rest!


Synny667 wrote:
Beans are a great go to. Soak them overnight, rinse them off in the morning and put them in the slow cooker with water, bay leave, onion and garlic and let cook all day on low. Pull out the bay leaf, onion and garlic and store the beans. They are great mashed up, on a salad, served over rice. Beans are inexpensive food source :)



I'll do that. If I take all of that out, I'm losing most of my carbs. I guess I'll replace it with quinoa or something like that. And i'm changing to start doing compounds first. Also, beans are a great idea for more calories, although I'm not sure if my girlfriend will appreciate that ; )

Thanks.

Jake


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 Post subject: Re: Need advice, feeling like i'm regressing/losing directio
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:04 pm 
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Elephant
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Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:06 pm
Posts: 2025
Location: Lee's Summit,MO
You can add nori while the beans are cooking it helps with the gas and if you see bubbles in the slow cooker gently scoop them out. Rinsing the beans after soaking and cooking helps cut back on the gas. All else fails take beano :)

_________________
I do because I can. I can because I want to. I want to because you said I couldn't.

I don't make excuses... I make results

If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you


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 Post subject: Re: Need advice, feeling like i'm regressing/losing directio
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:05 pm 
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Finch

Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:17 am
Posts: 4
I like that idea! I will do all of these things. I never thought of scooping out bubbles.


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 Post subject: Re: Need advice, feeling like i'm regressing/losing directio
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:11 pm 
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Elephant
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Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:06 pm
Posts: 2025
Location: Lee's Summit,MO
The bubbles/foam usa the has being released from the bean is what I was told.

_________________
I do because I can. I can because I want to. I want to because you said I couldn't.

I don't make excuses... I make results

If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you


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 Post subject: Re: Need advice, feeling like i'm regressing/losing directio
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:22 pm 
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Manatee
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Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:57 am
Posts: 377
Location: Vancouver, Canada
I'm not an expert - but looking at your diet, I would guess you need to add some fruit (vitamin c) to help with iron absorption (altho wine may help with this too). You could easily add fruit to a protein shake. Also you may want to throw some flax and chia seeds into your shakes for omega 3. I think the clif bars are not so healthy (and they are super expensive) .. they are an easy protein snack so I can see the appeal but I would limit it to one a day.

Assuming you are taking b12 too.

Once your diet is in order to support your training, make sure you are not overtraining. I didn't really understand all the numbers you posted but someone mentioned you are working out more than once a day .. more is not always better and too much can actually slow down your results.

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If it's important to you, you'll find a way. If it isn't, you'll find an excuse.


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