Week #154 Update – Fuzzy Math?

There was no weight change this week.  BOOOO!!  But I know what happened.  I added a few more carb grams back into the menu when I added a 1/4 cup of quinoa to my lunches.  I felt bloated all week, so I’m fairly certain that food change caused water retention.  And it didn’t taste that great.  Quinoa is out.

This morning I proctored the SAT exam at school.  Pretty boring job.  To keep my mind occupied, I started playing with numbers from from Bodybugg data.  A few things to keep in mind as you check my math…

1) I’ve been logging my food for 3 years online.  I don’t skip anything.  It’s just how I eat now.  Eat and log.  If I don’t want to log it, I don’t eat it.

2) I’ve been eating clean for about 2.5 years.  Over the last few months, I’ve made substitutions for the last few questionable things still in my diet.  (i.e. fresh ground peanut butter and almond butter instead of jars off the shelf.  The last ‘unclean’ thing still in my diet is my sugar-free coffee creamer.  That’s scheduled to get dropped out in another week when school is out.)

3) The Bodybugg keeps track of my calories burned 24/7.  I wear the bugg all the time.  Even when I sleep.

According my my calculations, since March 17th, I should have lost 10.64 pounds based on the difference between the calories I’ve eaten and what I’ve burned.  I have actually only lost about 4 pounds.  I look leaner.  My clothes are looser.  I dropped two jean sizes.  There is some loose, wrinkly skin in places that used to be smooth and full – like the lower abdomen.  (Sweet!)

So it seems that I’ve lost 10 pounds of something and gained 6 pounds of something.  If I weren’t “me”, I’d think the math is correct and the pounds lost were fat and the pounds gained were a combination of muscle and water.  But my mind earned the math degree, not my body.  It has other things it’s dealing with – like hormones.  I lost a ton of muscle last summer/fall from cortisol run amok.

Next Tuesday, the body fat will be measured using a hydrostatic weighing – that’s supposed to be the most accurate measurement short of an autopsy.  That’s when I will find out exactly what I’ve gained and lost.

Assuming the best-case-scenario, the body fat percentage number would be around 20%.  That means I would have dropped about 5% bodyfat in 11 weeks.  There are 12 weeks left until the August 25th show.  To be stage ready in the next 12 weeks, I’d have to drop body fat twice as fast as I have been.  If the Madcow 5 x 5 has done it’s job, I should have more muscle, so the metabolism will be slightly faster.  I need to speed things up even more.

Soooo….what to do?  I think it might be time to carb cycle again. I will increase the number if HIIT cardio sessions from 3 to 5.  I’m going to keep the lifting the same for at least another week.  I love the Madcow and I hated the 3-day split the way I was doing it before. (“Hated” in the sense that I hate strawberry ice cream and prefer chocolate, but it’s all still ice cream, right?  ANY kind of lifting is fun.)

The plan has always been to stick with the Madcow until school was out.  My squat form is getting better and the weights are going up again, my bench is stronger, and my deads are stronger.  I did an assistance set of behind the neck lat pulldowns and surprised myself with the weight I used.  I haven’t done those in over a month and I pulled down weight behind my neck that I used to do for reps to the front.  Love the Madcow!!

It’s probably smart to wait and see what’s going on with body composition before I decide to make any changes to the lifting.  My back didn’t have enough recovery time on that 3-day split, so I’m not going to just pick that routine back up again.  It will need to be changed.  If it is just a matter of rest, there will be more of that available after school is out next week.  My back seems to be recovering just fine on the Madcow and it is working 3 times a week.  A lot less volume, though.  It gets 5 sets of 5 reps, 3 times a week instead of 10 sets of 10 reps, twice a week.  That’s 75 reps vs. 200 reps.  If I’m growing muscle with 75 reps and recovering better, that seems like a good deal, doesn’t it?

Lots of math in this post.  Yay MATH!!!

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10 Comments

Filed under Bodybuilding Journal, Nutrition, Workouts

10 responses to “Week #154 Update – Fuzzy Math?

  1. Que

    Yes there was a lot of math. Great post tho’. I’m kind of worried about my weigh in Tuesday. I’ve been drinking Milk an Apple Juice an I too felt bloated so I doubled up on my water. I’ve only been on my quest for one month but I don’t want to lose sight of my goal an I don’t want to gain any pounds. I cut part of the grass today an I was sweating like crazy, so hopefully that helped me burn some calories. You’re almost there, the best of luck to ya:)!!

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    • Thank you!! If you do gain, it’s probably water if you’re feeling it. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. As long as you don’t quit, you’ll succeed. I’m going to bump up my water, too.

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  2. I’m glad you’re enjoying the mc! I really loved it… So much in fact that I think I made a horrible mistake by leaving it… I hope it continues to treat you well. I too have a real fetish for flavored coffee creamer – if it’s anywhere near me it goes in my mouth!

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    • It’s been wonderful. I was so beat up by that 3-day split I was doing before. I’m very close to my PR’s now, which is why I don’t want to quit yet. A couple more weeks and I’ll be busting through. OK – I have to go read your last blog now. Why was it a mistake to switch?

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      • I just am not enjoying it as much I guess… It’s more of a 4 day split where each day is a different big lift followed with assistance work (high rep) for said exercise. I really like the rep scheme for the big lifts especially with the 5+, 3+ or 1+ based on week for the heaviest set – its a cool challenge. I prefer the feeling of full body workouts, though – I feel more accomplished when I mix big lifts together in each workout. If raw strength was my only goal, 5/3/1 would be great, but the desire to build muscle and lose body fat keep drawing me closer into wanting to be back on madcow – albeit brutal at times 🙂

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        • I’m a “one-part-a-day” kind of gal, so the Madcow is a weird way for me to train. But I love it. I never would have thought I could do squats three times a week. During the last workout, a veteran offered a couple of tips to improve my squat form. It was great. He suggested I elevate my heels on a small board, keep my head up even more, and push my hips through on the top of the movement like in a deadlift. I am cheating and added an extra workout for delts and arms on the day after the third Madcow lift each week. Those parts are really lagging and with 12 weeks left, I can’t sleep at night if I don’t put the love on them.

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          • I don’t blame you – I always throw in a little bit of juice to parts I feel falling behind no matter what program I’m following… I get anxious if anybody gets left out.
            I’m glad you got some good squat advice from someone who knows what they’re talking about – the only advice I get is “you’re gonna blow your knees out with that weight” and “wait… You want your butt to get bigger?” haha

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  3. I think it’s not the math that is fuzzy, but your body chemistry … the body is no bomb calorimeter simply burning the food, there are a lot of complex processes going on.

    I like that you are doing Mad Cow! Are you thinking about doing a PL meet after your show? I just always thought Madcow a powerlifting program … but then I don’t know anything about bodybuilding

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    • Hahahaha! Are you saying that a post-menopausal body chemistry is complex? Everyone around me is stumped by what my body does with it’s fuel. I’m sure it will all make sense as soon as I figure out the formula. I’m thinking there are logarithms and trig functions involved.

      When Martha84 wrote about the Madcow in her blog, it sounded like a PL routine to me, too. The link she gave me had a lot of required background reading. He made a pretty good case about how this training increases growth hormone, so it’s appropriate for anyone wanting to makes size gains and burn fat – which is exactly what I wanted to do.

      I was so beat up after 7-8 weeks on a 3-day split with heavy/light days, supersets, giant sets – although it worked well for gaining size. I just needed to make a change at that time because work was going to get predictable stressful. The Madcow was a completely opposite way to train for this last month while I finish up the school year. Next week, I’m giving final exams and then it’s graduation – get the Class of 2012 off and running into real life – then my time is a lot more flexible for a few weeks.

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