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  1. #61
    summer recomp/maintenance 66jzmstr's Avatar
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    PAUSING THE CUT - HALF WAY THERE

    Weekly Progress
    Starting Weight: 218.4
    Week 1 Average: 214.4
    Week 2 Average: 211.7
    Week 3 Average: 208.4
    Week 4 Average: 207.3
    Week 5 Average: 206.3
    Week 6 Average: 204.7
    Week 6½ Average: 202.6

    Today's weight: 202.0

    Here's where I was October 5th, six and a half weeks ago at 218.4lbs



    Here's where I'm at this morning, November 20th, at 202.0lbs


    Reflections Thus Far
    * You always have more fat to lose than you think. I learned this from my first cut nine or ten years ago, but the realization never sinks in until you see yourself in the mirror and don't find the visual difference all that striking. My waist isn't quite as wide in the current photo, so there's a *slight* taper. (Emphasis on "slight.") If someone said, you'll lose 16.4lbs in 6.5 weeks, I'd think I'd look pretty lean. Not yet! I honestly don't see too much difference between the two photos, even though my midsection is leaner and my go-to, once-snug work pants are nearly falling off my hips, unlike before. Perhaps I should've taken some profile shots sideways, as my gut doesn't jut out as far as before. Either way, this really hammers home the importance of taking a starting photo, taking progress photos, AND putting them side by side to help myself realize that I havemade progress, even if I'm still nowhere near the leanness I want yet. (Side note - I'm horrible at taking selfies. I swear I look better when not holding up a damn camera! lol)
    * Strength has maintained or improved in all lifts, save OHP, and I chalk that up to an inflamed infraspinatus tendon in my left shoulder.
    * Experience counts for a lot: I'm nine years older, I'm far less active teaching from in front of a computer instead of pacing in front of a class, I'm cutting now over summer when I enjoy a halved workload and better weather and often go outdoors in Seattle. All that said, it wasn't that hard to hit my calories and macros day in and day out, save one birthday dinner for this now 43 year-old whippersnapper. Experience helps.
    * Leangains is simple, and it works. A lot of diets work, and sure - different diets work for different people, but for me, few of them are sustainable. Leangains comes pretty easy to me, and it doesn't feel like a chore. Although I won't keep a deep deficit or my minimum of 50% of calories from protein on this hiatus/pause, I can implement a lot of the tenets of Leangains to stay lean even when not on a strict diet.
    * Counting calories isn't fun, but it's by no means difficult. I'm planning on counting over this hiatus, even when I drink beer.
    * In the past, I've "rationalized" (heavy air quotes here) slightly overeating for the day as failure, opening the floodgates to a full on binge that day. It never happened once in these six and half weeks, but I need to make sure it doesn't happen during this maintenance/paused phase, especially if I've had a couple beers, which can wash away inhibitions.
    * I love craft beer, and it's been nearly seven weeks since I've had any sort of alcohol, but I will not partake with the frequency or volume I had before. My cravings for it were minimal to non-existent during the cut, which has been nice.
    * Until gyms reopen (i.e. my only access to barbells and iron), I'll stay around 2600 calories a day, which is about 150 calories under my maintenance, even when recalculating at my current bodyweight.
    * Until I can get back under the bar, I'll work out Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, doing a bodyweight superset ladder routine, wind sprints on the empty field at the elementary school, and a circuit of exercise band movements, respectively. (Some more details can be found two posts above this.)

    In short, the break will be nice, but it will not be an excuse to cut loose and devolve into bacchanal debauchery of beer and snacks. I will not log my days here during this hiatus/pause on my cut, but I'll check in from time to time. Don't hesitate to leave a message here, but please know my replies won't be immediate for that reason. Either way, see you all here when my gyms reopen.
    Last edited by 66jzmstr; 11-20-2020 at 07:41 AM. Reason: Corrected my weight for 6½ week average
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  2. #62
    Registered User Ondle's Avatar
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    Bro had no idea you had a log! I refer back to your original one time to time lmao. Keep killin it man.

    Edit: went through your log. I actually have martins new book and going through your log I’m actually considering following it myself. Will go through the book over these next few days and start Monday.
    Last edited by Ondle; 11-25-2020 at 11:32 PM.
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  3. #63
    summer recomp/maintenance 66jzmstr's Avatar
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    Concluding My Second Leangains Cut

    CONCLUDING MY SECOND LEANGAINS CUT

    I resumed my cut on February 22nd. Three and a half months later, here I am. I'll include a summary below, but more can be found in the attached Word file (if that feature works - fingers crossed). Fair warning: The Word file is over 50 pages long and is currently in the approval process by the FDA as an insomnia medication. (A far more helpful read would be Martin Berkhan's "The Leangains Method," which I followed for this cut.) The details in the Word file detail the second portion (i.e., three and a half months of my cut), but the first photo below is prior to the the first half of my cut in early October. The photo of my progress after my initial seven weeks is a few posts above, but it wasn't all that different despite the 17lbs lost, most likely because the bulk of that was visceral fat loss as opposed to subcutaneous.

    Here's where I was, October 5th, at 218.4lbs


    Here's where I'm at this morning, June 10th, at 181.2lbs


    Second Half of My Cut (i.e., late February to mid-June)
    Weekly Progress
    Starting Weight: 209.6
    Week 1 Average: 206.3
    Week 2 Average: 203.6
    Week 3 Average: 201.8
    Week 4 Average: 200.2
    Week 5 Average: 198.8
    Week 6 Average: 197.8
    Week 7 Average: 196.8
    Week 8 Average: 195.3
    Week 9 Average: 193.7
    Week 10 Average: 192.1
    Week 11 Average: 190.7
    Week 12 Average: 189.2
    Week 13 Average: 188.2
    Week 14 Average: 187.5
    Week 15 Average: 184.3
    Week 15½ Average: 182.3

    Reflections
    I’ve learned three things on this cut: 1) I can do this, even at a decade older and with child now, 2) you always have more fat to lose than you originally thought, and 3) the best road to good health and staying lean is never getting fat in the first place.

    I look in the mirror, and I’m happy. Of course, I want to be leaner. And bigger. And stronger, etc. However, I’m good with where I’m at now. I look back at my original photo when I was 218.4lbs and almost gasp at how pudgy I let myself get. It sounds corny, but I honestly need to keep that photo handy to remind myself of what not to become again.

    My wife started to adapt and adopt a few of my habits on this cut. The best part is I never egged her on, bragged, or rubbed it in, so her change in behavior has been on her own volition. My dad asked me to place an order of Trutein for him, as he wants to lean out again as well. I don’t credit for either of these changes, but I’d like to think I have been a positive influence. My daughter, still 7, mentions my “muscles,” which I get a kick out of. More importantly though, I hope she sees my dedication and perseverance, and in turn develops those traits, which she already has a good start on.

    Moving forward, I want to make my current weight – or a few pounds more after the water weight, stomach content, and muscle glycogen stores come back – my ‘new normal’ for the summer. I might end the summer with a mini-cut depending on how I feel and how I look in the mirror. I then aim to do Martin’s Patreon Bulk through fall and winter. I will nurse my lower back injuries, which aren’t serious but definitely inhibited progress about half way through this cut.

    What about craft beer – my love and nemesis? Going totally dry forever is out of the question. But the alternative doesn’t need to mean $300 FOMO beer hunts through Seattle, slamming four tallboys every weeknight until great beer becomes ho-hum, and probably drinking more alcohol than nearly anyone in the process. I will still enjoy beer, but it will be more enjoyable if I keep all my drinking social: family gatherings, happy hour with coworkers, and beers with Rob and other friends.

    Coming off my diet, I have to stop myself from thinking, “No more calorie-counting!” That seems like an open door to resuming my worst habits. It’s wrong, too: I’ll continue keeping a general tally, sometimes in my head, sometimes via MFP. However, ending this diet will be an end to months of calorie deficits as well as monitored, super-high protein targets (super high for me, at least). I look forward to making better choices in the kitchen and at the grocery store. It is easy to get amped for a set of heavy deadlifts, but it’s not easy – or even cool? – to get stoked for better choices in the kitchen or supermarket. It’s a challenge I’m up for, though. I look forward to a new, healthier normal of eating and living.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by 66jzmstr; 06-10-2021 at 11:10 PM.
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