THEME OF THE WEEK: #1- Deloading, #2- 24h Fast & #3- Cut Underway with Anti-Inflammatory Diet
#1 – Deload Week
I finished JUN-18 #HyperWorkouts eight week training block in Week 29, so it was a great time to take a few days out of the grind and recuperate mentally and physically.
The thing is, I LOVE training. Being in the gym is now a positive habit I build successful days around. So taking time out of training is hard to mentally sign up to. I went about 12 months straight previously without taking no more than 2 days off consecutively from strength training, and without realising I was digging myself into a hole. It was the inspiration behind researching and writing this article – Chronic Exercise & Life Fatigue –> GAS’d Out, Not Making Progress Or Stressed?.
Since then, Deload weeks have now become mandatory at the end of every 8-week #HyperWorkout Training block. I’ve also dialled down the want to train 6-7 times a week and pared that down to 4 days a week of intense strength training, with the option to slot in one extra moderate effort session. Honestly, doing less has reaped MORE results in terms of body response, strength, energy and generally being less fatigued.
Deload week it is! However, I can’t sit on my butt do nothing. I’d feel rubbish, and it just isn’t productive to veg out. Instead, these are the things I got up to over a 5 day Deload:
- 2x Forest Walks with my daughters – nature, sun, exploring, connecting, fair amount of calories
- Several games of Frisbee with the girls – I’m a big kid really
- Some Basketball solo practice – Nothing too crazy, mostly shot practice
- A Barbell Complex – RDLs, Barbell Rows, Cleans, OH Presses (light weight, 10mins max)
- Some Mobility Work – spent an hour in the gym working through some tight areas
- A little Gardening – It was bloody hot! Mostly watering and clearing things up
- A Power/Strength Interval Workout – Completed once. 30 degree heat! See below
The idea with the Power/Strength Interval WOD was simply to get some movements in that I wouldn’t normally practice much. I wanted to have an anabolic-oriented WOD, and had no interested in metabolic conditioning or aerobic work. That said, this was pretty gruelling, especially in the searing heat.
It was great to take a few days out, and give my body a break. It helped get really excited for the start of AUG-18 #HyperWorkouts Training Block.
#2 – 24 Hour Fast
To mark the start of the inevitable cut, I decided to do a 24 hour fast. I’d been eating ~4000 calories per day for 3-4 months straight, and whilst I love food, I relished the chance to give my digestive system a break.
And to be honest, it was a breeze. Had my last meal Sunday evening and held out until Monday’s dinner. No major dramas. I kept myself busy, knew I was in control, and knew that people voluntarily go several days without food. I could do one day!
There are a host of benefits to fasting periodically, mostly around helping kill off damaged/mutated cells and boost healthy cells. Plus, allowing your gut to take a little time out give more energy back to your mind and body, and a weird way. You can learn more about the benefits and process of Fasting in the below podcast.
#3- Cut Underway with Anti Inflammatory Diet
I’m now into my first week of cutting, where I’ve reduced my daily intake from 4,000 to 2,950 calories. It’s a big adjustment, but necessary if I want to as quickly as possible shed a little fat and return to my calorie surplus. Dropping 1000+ calories a day is pretty brutal, but I have strategies.
I worked out my target by knowing my TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) and taking off about 20%. You can approximate your TDEE by using This Calculator. I have the added benefit of tracking both food, activity and bodyweight, so I’ve been able to tweak the default TDEE to my actual body and metabolism.
In terms of how to stay within the new limit, I’m changing nothing other than quantity of food. I eat as per IIFYM+ Thrive Eating Approach, and follow the principles within Losing Body Fat For Good all of the time.
The approach that works for me is to dial down my lunch to something lighter, not have breakfast (other than pre/post workout shakes and a piece of fruit), and pare back my dark chocolate dessert. This allows me to have a 1000-1200kcal dinner, which for me is the most important meal from a psychic and fulfilment perspective.
You can check out the meals I’m eating all year round at the AdapNation Food Diary.
I’ve dropped 4-5 lbs in just under a week. That’s a combination of reduced bowel volume, a drop in overall glycogen and associated water, and a little fat. Mostly one off drop that will return as soon as I get back to maintenance calories. The scales definitely will slow down next week. The goal is to go from 202.8lbs to 188-190lbs as quickly as possible, hopefully within about 5-6 weeks, without losing muscle.
To do so, I need to keep my protein very high (1.2g/lbs bodyweight) and continue my intense strength training commitment. Also, continue to limit catabolic aerobic exercises. As you know, I follow the #HyperWorkouts Training Blocks, that you can find below. AUG-18 will be released next week.
Lastly, to make things EVEN harder, as a family we are doing a three week Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Simply, this is NO Gluten, NO Refined Sugar & NO Dairy whatsoever. The reason behind this diet is outlined well in the book Autoimmune Fix by Tom O’Bryan. In a nutshell, there is significant proof and scientific research supporting that these three food types are universally inflammatory to humans, albeit some people can seemingly tolerate them more than others.
Whilst we have no huge issues as a family, we do have some early stage autoimmune conditions, as well as some symptoms that suggest we have and/or are causing some inflammation in the body caused by food. It’s only three weeks. Once done, we’ll reintroduce bits and pieces and monitor our signs and symptoms, as well as overall vitality and mood.
It’s a stoic and incredibly hard thing to do, but just the commitment to the cause will reap rewards to the family in terms of knowledge, dealing with cravings and getting more creative in the kitchen.
I will say though, boy it’s almost impossible to avoid this stuff! Gluten is lurking in SO many prepared foods, as well as the obvious places. Dairy is of course dominate in sauces and cheeses, so they are out.
But worst of all, avoiding refined sugar is mission impossible. It literally is in every food that is made for supermarket shelves. The only viable way to do this is to eat whole foods almost exclusively. We do that already fro the most part, but there is so much we use to support whole food scratch cooking that contains sugar. Argh!!
I COULD NOT do this forever. That said, it has already given us a knew perspective and appreciation for quality foods and I suspect some alternatives we’ve found will stick long-term.
P.S. No sugar for kids is even worse! I HAD to gamify this process, which is working well so far…
Coming Up In Next Few Weeks
In terms of Fitness, Nutrition, Wellness and Body Goals, here’s my focus for the next few weeks:
- Continuing the Cut & Anti-Inflammatory Diet
- Filming and sharing the NEW AUG-18 #HyperWorkouts Training Block (& fable edition)
- Finishing Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk To Freedom Autobiography
- Playing with increasing Chest Volume on Rest days, to experiment with recovery/strength improvements
- Practicing some new cues, setup and lifting styles on my Conventional Deadlift (from Greg Nuckols)
I’ll let you know how I get on with an update every 2-3 weeks… 🙂
Follow Steve’s Body & Mind Progress Journal as it unfolds. Comment if you have questions, ideas or motivation to offer, and please keep me honest to the above.