Starting Week 2 of Extreme Focus Experiment (eat for joy template)

13 May

At this point I feel like this experiment should say, sponsored by Cocoon.  Since starting to use that product I sleep like a baby.  As you can see if you order Progenex products through our site you get 10% off.  In addition to that I run the Eat To Perform Science Lab and teach people how to most effectively use their metabolism to reach optimal body composition goals.  For more info on that click here.

One of the main reasons I wanted to do this challenge was to show people that the scale going up is a good thing.  It’s a sign of a healthy metabolism when the scale is going both up AND down.  I knew going into Mother’s Day that it was going to be an “Eat for Joy” day.  That’s right, DAY! Yesterday morning I woke up at 172.4 I believe, today I am 176.2.  My goal was to be over 175 so I think I pretty much nailed it.  The math on four pounds gained is 3500 calories x 4 pounds.  Did I eat 14,000 calories yesterday? Of course I didn’t so it clearly comes down to something else.  We used to talk about this a lot more but people freak out about less these days.  For every gram of carbohydrate you take in their is an accompanying amount of inflammation that your body holds to process those carbs.  It varies but a good number is 4:1, so if you said I ate 4,000 calories that gets us pretty close (though I didn’t eat just carbs).  In addition to the carbs there was a lot of salt, people tend to keep salt low when they are dieting but for athletes this can be a problem in a number of ways.  Keeping salt low for people that sweat and exert their bodies is a mistake.  Also, and maybe more importantly, salt aids the absorption in the small intestine of nutrients, especially carbs.  So if you really want to load those carbs up salt is the ticket.

Also it was a rest day.  Like an actual rest day, we did go on a leisurely hike with my family but other than that I pretty much focused on recovery and I feel great going into today’s lifting session.

I am going to make a second post about this but the people at Omegawave reached out to me before I could even try and return the strap (one of the nice things about having 185,000 fans is that people actually hear what you say).  Long story short I got it working, it was easy to do and there are some simple suggestions that I will put in the other post.  In terms of this reading it’s a bit incomplete because I wasn’t expecting it to work and I already had coffee in my system.


For those that haven’t been following I am using Wendler 5-3-1 and basically training one lift twice a week in addition to my Crossfit load (typically 3 other days).  Today I will be working up to 375 which I will basically do until my form starts to give.  That will go a long way as it relates to telling me how much I should be lifting going forward.  Currently I am training using 440 as my number.  If things go as planned I will be using 460 as my number as I begin my new cycle on Friday.  Now that it looks like I have the Omegawave working that should go a long way as it relates to helping me figure out whether or not I am recovered.

Pretty amped going into today’s lifting session.  Just FYI I do assistance work afterwards where I train with a 3 POOD Kettlebell in an attempt to work on glute activation.

Wish me luck.

Before you click the link for this video you should know that this is the explicit version.

Day 2

I am going to keep this short because I have a lot going on today.  Yesterday’s experience with 375 ten times was o’kay but things started to break down about rep 7 and at rep 9 my legs were toast and I got my back involved more than I would have liked.  One of the nice things about having one of the best strength coaches in the business on our staff is that I can pick here brain.  I am not sure everyone realizes that Julia Ladewski is an EliteFTS sponsored athlete along with some of the strongest people on the planet like this guy.

Marshall Johnson

Anyway, I suggested to Julia that I should bump things a bit because for pure strength you shouldn’t be able to lift a weight ten times.  Luckily she agreed with me.  So my percentages on Friday will be based off of 475, which I expect to hurt just a little bit.  I just think it’s better to lift heavier with great form than to lift lighter and compromise my range.  After all I am not trying to train for endurance it’s about strength.  I did technically do a “two-a-day” opting to just chill out after my big lifts.  I just did a short WOD 15 minute AMRAP, as many GHD situps as I could do, as many chinups as I could do and then a 400 meter run (or so, not totally sure).  Just a nice quick WOD right before the seminar last night.

Not quite sure if this will be a rest day or not, I will be using Omegawave as my guide but my reading this morning suggested it might be a good time to chill out.  Sometimes that changes throughout the day but a nice day of Ribeyes and Dr. Teal’s Epsom Salt baths works for me if that’s the cards I am dealt.

I may write a bit more later about the stack I have been using around my workouts but for now that’s it.

Incidentally my weight this morning was 173, so down 3.2 from yesterday morning which was the day after “Eating for Joy” most of the day on Mother’s Day.  I certainly did not eat at a deficit to accomplish this but I did have a mostly fat day (though I still ate probably in the neighborhood of 200g carbs).

Day 3 and 4

I didn’t update things from yesterday but I weighed 171 on the nose, this morning I weighed 173.4.  I can tell you that the 173.4 feels “more right”.  In terms of the mirror I look much bigger than normal with the biggest improvements coming from my lats and upper abs.  If you recall after Mother’s Day I went up to 176 before a big lifting day and I will be trying to get over 175 tomorrow morning in anticipation of tomorrow’s deadlifts.   This is the first training where my percentages have me training in the 400’s, so that’s a little scary and exciting all at the same time.

My Omegawave has been a great tool in this journey, the reading I got yesterday suggested I wasn’t “completely recovered”, I definitely felt a little drawn down and now that I am having some carbs pre-workout by the time I hit my workout I felt great.  The CEO of Vitargo sent me a study about Creatine and Carbs, I have taken Creatine and carbs in the past but literally not once have I ever taken them together pre-workout.  Now let me caution you when I say this next part because I am not saying that the Creatine and the Vitargo was the only factor, the fact is I am bigger and stronger, that said we did Clean and Jerks at 70%.  I did mine at 145 pounds and I had to check the weight a few times, it felt light, like I was just throwing it around.  Some of it is that my elbow is better from when I injured it doing Clean and Jerks, so that also was a factor.  Without question though the carbs and creatine pre-workout seemed favorable.  This was literally the first workout where I noticed my pre-workout drinking really being favorable.  We’ll see how much it helps tomorrow.

Also I just got my More Muscle in the mail from Progenex, I will hopefully be able to get to my supplement post at some point today.  Today is a rest day so I will be chilling out, catching up on some work and enjoying the weather.

Days 5, 6 and 7

This was slightly different from my normal supplement protocol.  If you are interested in what that looks like I did a write up here.

Technically I did Crossfit 3 times this week (I also did Hill Sprints on Tuesday which I don’t think I mentioned earlier, I will be doing that once a week all summer), I made up a WOD on Monday (worked out twice that day), Wednesday at noon and then Saturday we did “Helen”.  This morning I weighed 174 but I am a little bloated from an eating for joy day yesterday.  Technically I worked out twice yesterday.  I did “Helen” fasted and then continued my fast until 2pm.  Why would I do that you ask? Every family has traditions and one of ours is to go to Whitewater State Park in Southern Minnesota in May.  Certainly I could have been “diet guy” and brought a bunch of vegetables and meats.  Instead I decided to just blend in a bit more, so the extended fast was a bit of that adjustment.  Coming out of my fast I went for fibrous veggies for size, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots to fill up my stomach (I stopped eating at 9pm the night before, so in the end I fasted for 17 hours).  Next in line were Bratwursts (with a bun), in the end I think I had three and one hot dog.  In theory this helped my gorging on the “eat for joy” stuff.  That list included (all were relatively reasonable quantities):

White Cheddar popcorn with Salted Caramel popcorn

Cashew toffees

Cherry Sours

Kettle Potato Chips (cheddar and salt and pepper)

Andes Mint Cookies

And a couple of Clementine Izzy’s

Now I am not suggesting this is a formula you should try or I would even recommend but a lot of people have these kinds of days and so I want to provide at least one template on how to handle it.  Could I have eaten less or eaten differently, of course I could, I do that all the time a day like this only happens 2 to 3 times a year for me.  The reason I didn’t do that is because often you go through the grocery store and you see a lot of treats that you normally avoid.  I wanted to have a “blow out” day and just get it all out of my system.  That morning I weighed 173.4 and this morning I weighed 174.  I would say I did it about as good as you can, so today I will be having mostly fats and proteins to get all of this waste out of my body (I’ll probably fast as long as feels right).  I don’t feel bad, maybe a little bloated.  All those carbs (and nature, we went on about a 2 hour hike) certainly made the two hour drive more difficult.

When I got home I shook off the tired feeling and did my Wendler Bench Press work that I hadn’t found the time for during the week.  Since my protein was fairly low for the day I had two scoops of More Muscle and two scoops of recovery (wow does that combo taste good with just water, it’s like drinking a dark chocolate shake).  No cocoon needed on this night, I was knocked out.   Before bed I did have a Guava Goddess Synergy Drink and a good helping of Sunflower seeds while catching up on “Mindy Project” episodes and the new Anthony Bourdain show on CNN (the one on Canada is phenomenal).

I will be carbing up tonight based on feel  in anticipation of my second round of training with 475 pounds as my percentage basis.  I can tell you this, these weights feel heavy.  I got sloppy and got pulled forward in one of my early lifts on Friday and had to sit back in my heels a bit better.  For the 5+ level I did 365 seven times leaving a few in the tank.  Today (Sunday) is a rest day.  I feel great and expect to feel better tomorrow.  It’s nice to have gone two weeks injury free feeling great.

Also I Power Cleaned 135 pounds this week pretty easily.  So easily I had a fleeting thought to try more but it was after my big deadlifting session so I decided not to do that.  Louie Simmons refers to this as “training optimally” basically leaving something in the tank and mentally walking away with a win.  If I tried for 145 and missed for some reason I doubt I would have been as happy.  Knowing that I have a 135 pound power clean in the tank now sets me up a lot better for Isabel in the future (I have been able to do it as a split for some time).

skull kettlebell

This is a 1.5 pood Kettlebell

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