I’ve been working a lot lately. I mean, typical working hours, but it takes a lot out of you. You put in an eight hour day, sometimes 9 or 10 or 12 or whenever you’re done your work and caught up on deadlines, then you commute home and if there isn’t traffic, you make it back within a half hour. Then you lift for an hour or so. Then you eat a meal. Then you have four hours to “relax” or unwind, or reflect… what a joke! There’s no real time to do anything. I read for about fifteen minutes and my mind starts blurring. I need to focus on goals. I plan on moving to NYC by February, do or die. That gives me 6 months to find a job, an apartment, and save a good chunk of change to afford the move, if the company doesn’t pay for it. If I can’t find a good, solid job, I’m moving anyway, so I better have enough saved to allow me to live in NYC and afford their exorbitant rent.
I’ve been working out consistently lately. Five days a week, rest days, intense days, lazy days. But always on a routine, and always eating healthy. Never miss a day. And if I must, I always make it up. I weigh 200lbs at the moment at around 12% bf, and my body strength and size are the greatest they’ve ever been, which is great.
I have a new philosophy regarding working out. I’ve been lifting since about the 6th grade when I told my dad I needed to get bigger so older kids wouldn’t pick on me. We worked out in our pretty impressive basement gym for a good majority of my sixth and seventh grade around 5:30am every morning before school, then he began taking me to Billy Manzo’s gym at the same time.
Anyway, allow me to ramble a bit: I believe that if you want to gain muscle, you need to eat like a Neanderthal and lift like a cave man. What I mean is that you just need to eat tons of whole foods, solid fresh meats and all the grassy and leafy stuff, and lift heavy weights. Graze throughout the day. When you get in the gym, just lift the weight. Lift heavy, and lift often. Pretend you’re moving stones. Just lift the weights up, and then set them down. Practice good form, but don’t go crazy. And don’t go to failure every time you step in the gym. Save it for every third workout or so. Just lift heavy weight you can lift for two or four or six times, no more. It’s not a race. It’s strength training. Do that for a ton of sets every other day for your body, and pretty soon you’ll be strong. When you’re strong, you can up the reps and start going to failure.
My philosophy is this: you need to strengthen your Central Nervous System (CNS) in order to grow muscle. Your CNS stimulates muscle contraction. When you lift heavy weight, more of your CNS is taxed at once, and more muscle fibers are firing, with each one like an on switch. The heavier the weight, the more fibers are on, and the more stimulation is occurring, and stimulation is KEY to muscle growth. If you have a weak CNS, your CNS will fail before your muscles do, and you won’t be stimulating as many. So lift heavy, stimulate as many as possible, strengthen those connections. It’s all about mind-body. What you don’t stimulate doesn’t get worked out. Once you fortify the CNS you’ll be able to up the reps to eight to twelve to fifteen, and your muscles will explode. You’ll be able to push past failure and destroy the muscle fibers before the CNS is totally taxed and fatigued. Make sense?
You’re body adapts to whatever stress you throw at it, so don’t get consumed with the same workout, the same routine, the same exercises, the same old stuff. The only habit you need to get into is going to the gym and lifting heavy weight. Other than that, you shouldn’t get into any habits. You’re body wants to reach an equilibrium. Don’t let it. Change it up. Stop doing exercises for a week or two. Do lighter weight, do heavier weight, do it slow, do it fast. Just make sure you’re stimulating the muscles, and NOT going to failure. Be a little lazy. I mean, don’t leave the gym totally exhausted. Leave just under exhausted. The muscles will grow. It’s all about fast twitch muscles, they’re the big ones, and they’re anaerobic, so make sure you’re not detracting energy away from the muscles and towards your cardio.
And eat protein and carbs 30 min. before your workout, and tons of protein and carbs immediately after. Not till you feel like puking, but just enough to feed the muscles and replenish nutrients. Eat breakfast because your body is recovering from eight hours of starvation. . Eat dinner because your body repairs itself while you sleep. That’s where most growth occurs, so make sure you have plenty of protein, good fats, complex carbs, and nutrients for your last meal.
Anyway. Here is a summary of my current diet routine:
Daily Meal Regime
8:30am Meal 1: Raw eggs: 4 whole, 4 whites. 2 scoops of weight gainers, 1 scoop protein. 2 cups of coffee
12:00pm Meal 2: 2 cans of tuna, 2 tbsps. Mayo, 1 can of black beans, 1 potato w/ 2 tbsp. sour cream OR 1 sweet potato. 2 cups of coffee
5:30pm Pre-workout Meal 3: 2 scoop protein, 1 scoop protein, vitamins, supplements
6:30pm Gym: 45 min – 90 min. Alternate weeks of 3 “low-rep strength workouts” to 1 “high-rep muscle building workout”
8:00pm Meal 4, Post-workout meal: Raw eggs: 4 whole, 4 white, 2 scoops weight gainer, 1 scoop protein.
5A: 1x 8oz. chicken breast OR 10oz steak OR 6oz salmon. 1X 32oz Kale or Spinach salad w/ ½ bell pepper, ½ carton of grape tomatoes, 2 carrots, 1 cup broccoli, dressed w/ extra virgin olive oil, balsamic, parmesan.
5B: 1x 8oz. chicken breast OR 10oz steak OR 6oz salmon. 1x 12oz side salad dressed w/ extra virgin olive oil, balsamic, parmesan. 1 potato, 2 tbsps. sour cream, 2 bacon strips OR 1 sweet potato, 3 tbsps. Peanut butter
Cottage Cheese, Canned Pumpkin, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
Peanut butter and honey
Almonds and nuts