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Haz's Achievements


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  1. You can get a sick pack more easily at 165 than 145 as long as most of that extra weight is muscle. I know how you feel, because two years ago I was 220 and FAT, then I worked my ass off to get down to 145, and was stronger, but was (and still am) still lacking abdominal definition. However, at 155 now, I am slightly wider around the waist than I was at 145, but you can see my abs better now than when I was 145. But that damned lower belly pooch seemingly persists... Anyway my point is, abs are a combination of hypertrophied muscle and leanness. You seem to have done the bulk of the trimming down, so you just need to work those bad boys til they pop out like a mofo.
  2. Hi Jr. Sadly, many people try to go vegan and fail, then blame the lifestyle and become lifelong anti-vegans. So I am very pleased to hear that you are back on track and acting in accordance with your principles. Good on you, brotha. Now to answer your question... carbs are the construction workers. Without them, it doesn't matter how many building blocks (protein) you have, because the blocks will go to waste (body does not store amino acids after proteolysis). Contrarily, if you have a crap ton of workers but no building materials (protein) on-site, you will not have the raw ingredients to pack on. At any rate, fat makes this process harder by reducing insulin sensitivity, which prevents the workers from doing their job efficiently. But it provides good dense energy when eaten by itself as a snack (nuts, seeds, an avocado). Hope this helps.
  3. It sounds like you've got the basic ebb and flow of supplementation down. However, I would add an EFA supplement if you're not regularly eating plenty of seeds and nuts. Also, I would try to avoid taking tablets as much as possible, because 1) they are more expensive than powders, 2) they are harder to digest, 3) they usually contain more chemicals (i.e. binders like stearic acid or magnesium stearate... which may not be plant-sourced). An EXCELLENT product I recommend highly is MycoGreen powder, which is loaded with glyconutrients, EFAs, antioxidants, digestive enzymes, etc., and contains chlorella and spirulina too. Lastly, as I'm sure you already know, remember to hydrate especially plentifully when taking creatine.
  4. Welcome! I am confident that a whole food vegan diet will take you where you want to go with your body.
  5. I failed to consider where my chest would fit in with the 3-day split, but I think a "100 push-ups a day" requirement would take care of that. I can do 35 in one go without dying, and I don't really get sore from push ups like I would benching 185. So I will make every day a "chest day" in that sense, and stick to working arms, back, and legs once a week in the gym. I will hit my abs hard after my morning runs with crunches, side bends, weighted twists, and roll-outs. For arms I will focus on pull-ups for my biceps and various isolated extensions for my triceps. My triceps will already be getting hit pretty hard from the 100 push ups a day. For my back, I will focus on deadlifts, pull-overs, and reverse fly. For my legs, I will focus on squats, and use the balance board and leg press machine to strengthen my calves. Right now I'm unfortunately nursing a tendon issue with my left EHL due to getting back into running 5-6 miles a day too fast after a two month break. So I am going to approach this new regimen VERY slowly once my foot has healed. The type of non-motoric aerobic exercise that challenges and frustrates my coordination the most, yet also seems to benefit me the most per minute invested is kickboxing. I have a few kickboxing tapes that I will incorporate into my post-lifting routine once I get up and running again. Right now the main thing I'm focusing on is rest so that I can make the most improvement I can. and work out all the kinks in my program, over Spring Break in a couple of weeks. Thanks again for your help!
  6. Vegan Aspirant, I have been thinking the same thing lately. Since the weather is warming up here in Chicago, I will start going on 6-10 mile runs, and just the thought of lifting every day, with a beat-down, caloric-deficit-fighting body is unbearable. Ironically, when I decided to get slimmer, I mainly did the basic power-lifting stuff: bench press, shoulder press, deadlift, squats, rows, and pull-ups. Somewhere along the way I transitioned into more of an instinctual, visual aesthetics-based lifter... and now I've lost the instinctual part with my rigid split, and I no longer even sweat when I lift, so I'm not helping myself in the fat-burning department much. So I am going to take your advice 100%. I will do a 3-day split, on any which day depending on how I feel, as long as I give myself a day of rest in between lifting workouts. I will not keep written track of my sets (seems to kill my momentum) but I will focus on lifting heavier, with 6-12 rep ranges, and build up how much weight I'm pushing once I can do 3 sets of 12 comfortably. This should bring back my intensity and sweat. I will train my abs, and bust out sets of push-ups, more intermittently... occasionally between sets, after a run, before bed, as study breaks, etc. As I'm sure you know, it's hard to keep the vegan energy bottled in sometimes! The reduced time commitment to resistance-based exercise will free me up to get mean-lean as I much prefer getting well-defined abs to hypertrophied muscles. Thank you. Your advice is much appreciated!
  7. To me, it sounds like you have a classic malabsorption issue. Stuff isn't transforming into usable energy in your body, and is leading to bloating, indigestion, and distension. Protein will provide the building blocks for muscle, but remember, as protein is not stored for energy anywhere in the body, you lose whatever amount you can't absorb at any given time. Then it sits in your body and putrefies as your acidity rises to get it moving. To buffer the blood's acidity, your body leeches calcium from your bones and this is a recipe for disease. Combine protein with simple carbs (think fruit). This will cause a spike in your insulin levels which will drive the protein into your muscles. Doing this post-workout is the best as insulin sensitivity is high at this time due to the depleted glycogen stores in your muscles. As for calorie-dense foods, you could try adding lots of bananas or some avocados. Keep fruit on hand but to minimize conversion of sugar to fat, try to only eat it in the morning or after a workout. Also, don't discount the importance of leafy greens in a big salad, or a steamed kale/spinach bowl with quinoa, rice, or millet. I would also recommend cutting back on the nuts as too many are hard on the pancreas, and steering clear of processed, store-bought granola bars. Don't get so hung up on protein. Just make sure you are getting enough WHOLE food calories in. For your goals, it sounds like you will need about 2,700 plus lots of water if you don't already hydrate hydrate hydrate. Hope my advice helps. Haz
  8. Hey everyone. I am a new member here -- see my introduction if you'd like to learn more about me! Or watch the vid below: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDPQ7zQVrXw SO... I'd like some input on this training regimen that I've adopted to help me bust out of this plateau of mediocrity. Here is what I've done for the past week: 20-minute yoga stretch first thing in the morning followed by 1 hour aerobic exercise (running, cycling, elliptical). Then I have a protein drink and some fresh fruit. I eat a lot of steamed veggies, beans, and grains, big salads, grilled tofu, raw fruits, etc. I tried to go 100% raw but it was not a possibility for me, however I am HIGH raw. Anyway, I've got the nutrition under control and am definitely getting enough calories, protein (about 100 g/day), complex carbs, etc. I take a little bit of creatine, free form aminos, and I'm a novice herbalist who likes to try different herbs on myself for circulation and hormonal balance; I definitely have the "what goes in my mouth" part covered. After giving the eating a break for an hour or two while I study, I end my day with some gentle stretching and meditation. As far as lifting goes, I am NOT concerned with poundage. I really don't care how much I can lift. Been there, done that. What I'm after is a defined physique, meaning decent lean muscle mass and low body fat. I am a runner and I would like to look more like one. I am training for my first marathon this fall, so endurance is my athletic goal. I frankly could not bulk in any capacity while racking up 40-50 miles a week. Anyhow, I want to hear what you guys think of this 6-day split, which I will do in the evenings: Monday SHOULDERS Front cable raise Machine press Free weight press Band rotation Lateral raise Standing rotation CHEST Bench press Single arm Bench fly Machine press Single cable fly ABS Crunch machine DB twists Ball exchange Hanging leg raise Ball crunches Tuesday TRICEPS Cable pulldown Dip Overhead press Side crushers Kickbacks Push ups BICEPS Concentration curl Chin ups Preacher Hammer Wednesday ABS Crunch machine DB twists Ball exchange Hanging leg raise Ball crunches Standing rotation BACK Cable pullover DB pullover Reverse fly Pronated pull-ups Cable deadlift Hyper extensions Seated cable row Single arm DB row FOREARMS Wrist curl (Pronated/Supinated) Pron. cable curls Wrist rotation Thursday SHOULDERS Front cable raise Machine press Free weight press Band rotation Lateral raise Standing rotation CHEST Bench press Single arm Bench fly Machine press Single cable fly BICEPS Concentration Chin ups Preacher Hammer Friday THIGHS DB squat Leg press Leg extensions Leg curl machine Leg curl ball Band hip extension Band hip adduction Band lunge squats CALVES Balance board Calf raises Calf press TRICEPS Cable pulldown Dip Overhead press "Side crushers" Kickbacks Push ups Saturday BACK Cable pullover DB pullover Reverse fly Pronated pull-ups Cable deadlift Hyper extensions Seated cable row Single arm DB row ABS Crunch machine DB twists Ball exchange Hanging leg raise Ball crunches FOREARMS Wrist curl (P/S) Pron. cable curls Wrist rotation I know it seems like a lot of lifting to be doing in one week, and I am sore after the first week, but bear in mind that my sets are usually 18-24 reps and I'm not using a lot of weight. Whenever I take days off that I shouldn't, I feel more aches and pains than if I had just worked out and circulated my blood a little. I'm really wanting to know if you guys think I should switch any muscle groups around d/t any imbalances in the things I'm working together, or the recovery times for certain muscle groups. I know my chest recovers more slowly so I tried to space that out more. If you think I should condense my split to 3 or 4 days, and cross train in the evenings with kickboxing, more active yoga, dance-based chick aerobics, HIIT, etc., let me know. I have plenty of workout tapes and am open to that as well. Currently, I just do one of those on Sunday, my rest day. I think that I may eventually transition to less lifting and more aerobic-style exercise as my marathon date approaches, or I may just push harder with the running while maintaining strength once I've built a good lifting base with this split. Thanks if you made it this far and I hope to hear your thoughts soon. Peace, love and health, Haz
  9. Hey everyone. I'm Haz, a relatively new vegan (about half a year) who was vegetarian for 2 years prior. My veg*n journey resulted in going from a 36" waist at 215 lbs to currently hovering around 29" at 155 lbs. If I work out hard for a couple of weeks, I can get down to 150, and almost comfortable in 28" pants, but I seem to be hitting a mini-plateu there, and this plateau is the hardest one to pass yet. My goal is to become a maximum 28" around the waist and settle my weight around 140 with a defined, flexible runner's body. One interesting fact is that I am training to run in my first marathon this fall. Please check out the training section as I am about to post my 6-day split, nutrition, and training schedule. Peace.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDPQ7zQVrXw
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