Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I'm currently doing a Performance Menu cycle to improve my Olympic lifting and my overall strength. So far, it's going quite well. Since committing to the O-lifts, my snatch has increased by roughly 60# and my clean & jerk by about 40#. My technique in both is much better (although they still need a lot of work). My squat numbers have also improved significantly. Drew will tell you one simple thing about me: I'm obsessed with strength. Still, I don't care how much you curl or leg press. Tell me you can deadlift 500, snatch over your bodyweight, and squat like it's your religion, then you'll have my complete attention. I'm not bashing metcon workouts like Fran or Helen or Fight Gone Bad or Cindy. But if you can improve your strength drastically, metcon improvements will only be easier to come by.

"The only aspect of conditioning that really will never have a negative effect on any others is maximal strength development. Maximal strength development will have a positive effect on almost every component of fitness, except maybe flexibility." -Dave Tate

Still, no matter how many lifts I do in a day, a week, or month, I need to ensure that I am consuming enough (good, quality) calories to build muscle mass. I'm not trying to put on weight. I'm not trying to gain "mass". I want to be stronger. I want (need) to build more muscle. With that, weight and mass will come, but moving more weight is all that matters to me. I've finally realized that I need be eating significantly more food to put on muscle, aid in protein synthesis, and improve my recovery after hard workouts. I'm just as committed to eating as I am to lifting. Here's what I ate yesterday...

Meal 1: Bowl of beef chili with sliced chicken breast added
Meal 2: Three eggs and three strips of bacon covered in syrup, six capsules of fish oil
Meal 3: Two slices of roast beef, half a large yam covered in olive oil, post-workout shake (two scoops of whey protein, one banana, one scoop of iso-leucine, half can of coconut milk, whole milk), seven capsules of fish oil
Meal 4: Steak, asparagus, two glasses of chocolate milk, spoonful of peanut butter, five capsules of fish oil
Meal 5: Three strips of bacon, three slices of roast beef, chocolate milk, more fish oil

I have no idea how many calories this equates to, but needless to say, I was in pain after some of these meals. And that's what it's going to take for me to build muscle. This might not be the case for others, but since high school, I've probably only put on 17 pounds of muscle. Not nearly enough. Also, most of the choices above are still pretty healthy. The syrup was just a quick way to add more calories. All told, I took roughly 20 capsules of fish oil as well.

By no means am I bragging about how much I'm eating. Hell, I'm slightly disgusted with myself. But if it's going to help me get stronger, I'll do what I have to. Start taking a look at what you're eating everyday. Is it enough? Is it too much? Is it benefiting your workouts? Assess your diet, make changes, train hard, sleep well, get strong.


Drew said...

I've been doing pretty well with the "quality over quantity" rule for the past few weeks--with the exception of this weekend where I consumed enough beers to kill a family of Humpback Whales.

Quality food, even in amounts that Dr. Sears and the Zone would disagree with, is huge in feeling better, getting better workouts, and being more healthy overall.

I've found that I don't get tired during the day at work (on most days. there are still those nights that I go to bed at 1:30 and get up at 5:30 where I'm 90% asleep all day at my desk) when I eat quality food--i.e. some fruit, almonds, eggs, etc. for breakfast, lots of water throughout the day, big ass salad with chicken, ham, cheese, hard boiled eggs, broccoli, onions, mushrooms, sunflower seeds, and dressing for lunch with an apple or some kind of fruit, and a solid dinner of chicken/steak and veggies. I used to NEED the coffee in the afternoon to stay awake. Now I typically only get one once a week and the other times I just walk down there with the people from my office to get out of my GD cube...

That's the key fellas.

And, like Q said about squatting as a religion--if you think you need therapy or are looking to find Jesus--put as much weight as you can on a bar and squat her to full depth. I guarantee you find one, if not both.

Q said...

Best quote to finish a sentence ever.

Drew said...

thought you'd like that, Q...

dp said...

I've been trying to eat zone recently and have settled on a 15 block diet that looks like this

Breakfast - 2 eggs/1 slice cheese/fruit or english muffin/almonds or peanut butter/1 cup milk (4 block meal)- coffee no sugar/3 fish oil pills

Lunch - 4 oz. deli turkey/2 apples/almonds (4 block meal)

snack - 1 cup milk/almonds (1 block)

Dinner - 4-5 oz. meat/1 bag frozen vegetables/almonds or olive oil for taste/2 fish oil pills (4 blocks)

snack (post-WOD) - 2 cups milk/almonds (2 blocks)

I definitely feel much better and have more energy (especially during the afternoon at work) when I eat clean like this. I also have alot less hip discomfort since I've been taking fish oil, which has been the best result of all of this for me.

Anyway, just my take on all this and because Q wanted some comments.