Nutrition

30 Days to Failure


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By Nate Winkler

Aren’t we after actual, lasting results, and not a one time emotional spree to the grocery store or stair climber? In the last part of 2010 I was researching and experimenting on myself with a couple of dietary tweaks, and it was producing some great results. Like I advise many of our clients at Juggernaut to do, I am going to a make a 30 day plan, and take you through my reasoning and results, day 1 through 30.  Because if you fail to plan, plan to fail.

The Reasoning:

I am a firm believer that each individual is different, and the food that each person consumes has a different chemical (hormonal) response within their body.  Because of this, different body types operate more efficiently and look better by adjusting the percentage of Carbohydrates and Fats that comprise their daily caloric intake.   There are three major body types shown below, identifying your body type and aligning your energy demands/body composition goals with what is already known will make your planning much easier and more successful.

Identifying what body type and bone structure you are will guide you in macronutrient needs, Endomorphs operate better on fats than their ectomorphic counterparts.
Identifying what body type and bone structure you are will guide you in macronutrient needs, Endomorphs operate better on fats than their ectomorphic counterparts.

As, much as I would like to believe I’m a mesomorph, I’m not. I tried to restrict the majority of my carbohydrate intake to the evening hours, having eggs and spinach for breakfast, low carb whey protein mid morning, low carb lunch, and so on, until dinner where I would binge on carbohydrates.  The cravings in between (and there were a lot) were quieted by almonds and other nuts. I got lean, but my mid day work productivity and muscle bulk diminished, and about 30 minutes after dinner I would turn into a water retaining zombie.  I wasn’t giving my body what it needed and it was eating itself.  My testosterone was also extremely low after eating like this for about 6-8 weeks; no extra energy or ‘interest’ on that realm (qualitative measurements, but you know when you’re low).

My body type is ectomorphic (Far Left in the diagram above), this is where I started making positive gains and you should too when evaluating your diet.  Ectomorphs need more, and function better with higher amounts of carbohydrates than endomorphs. Suggested carbohydrate daily intake should comprise 55% of ectomorphic diets, and 25% of endomorphic diets, just to give you an idea of how different these body types are fundamentally fueled.

Eating for My Body Type, Getting a Testosterone Boost

Upon noticing these effects, I made a change.  I increased my carbohydrate intake throughout the day, and replaced my dietary fat through increased fish oil consumption (10-12 grams daily).  My midmorning shake was accompanied by Oat Muscle a Protein Factory.com product (approximately 80 grams of carbs) and a Greens Mix.  My vegetable intake at lunch was replaced by 1 ½ cups of brown rice.  My mid afternoon protein shake was low carb, and accompanied by two pieces of fruit.  Dinner was only high carb, if training occurred late in the day.  The result after a few weeks, I was much more lean, my strength had greatly increased, as well as my testosterone levels.  Just to confirm that my assumptions were correct, I had my blood tested and my serum testosterone levels were 835 ng/dL (the range for this particular measurement is 249-836 ng/dL)!  With this experience and knowledge, this is what my plan for the month of January will be moving forward:

THE PLAN:

TRAINING:

Sunday: Hill Sprints, 8-10 40-meter sprints with 120 seconds rest

Monday: OFF (Monday is a busy day work wise, remember the plan needs to be realistic)

Tuesday: Pressing Exercises (bench, military, squat, etc.)

Wednesday: OFF

Thursday: Pulling Exercises (jump, dead lift, pull ups, etc)

Friday: Lower Body recovery, 15 minutes stretching and sled pulling

Saturday: Interval Training, 3×5 Minute Circuits (20 seconds work, 10-seconds rest)

NUTRITION:

Each day will have very similar meal and macronutrient make up.  Breakfast will comprise of 6 eggs, 1 cup spinach and 3 turkey meatballs.  Morning supplementation will include 6, 1 gram Fish Oil capsules, 2,000 IU Vitamin D, Alpha Lipoic Acid, and 2 MegaFood Capsules.

Try to get your daily fats, nutrients, and vitamin D through their natural sources.  If you can’t, supplement your diet with the isolated versions.
Try to get your daily fats, nutrients, and vitamin D through their natural sources. If you can’t, supplement your diet with the isolated versions.

Mid morning protein shake will have 2 tbsp. organic peanut butter, 80 grams of carbohydrates from fruit, 2 scoops whey protein, and greens mix.  Lunch will have a large rice or sweet potato serving with 8-12 ounces of animal meat.  Mid Afternoon meal will include the before mentioned protein shake, and 2 pieces of fruit (apple, banana, or blueberries are my favorite because they are quick).  Dinner will be 10-12 ounces of lean organic meat, with a large serving of steamed vegetables or spinach salad.  On training days the only change is, post workout carbohydrate consumption will be 300 or more grams 4 to 6 hours post workout.  Wednesdays will be a low carb, fat burning day.

RESULTS: Day 30

The Good: Nutrition, Food Preparation

The month of January brought on some enlightening realizations as I move forward.  As always, you do thing and there are aspects you like, and hate. My macronutrient intake and nutrition design overall was great.  Preparing my breakfast and packing my food for the day never took longer than 10 minutes.

Preparing my food in bulk also reduced my weekly expense on food, keeping me on budget, which is huge right now.  Mentally, I have been able to focus very well.  Rarely in the afternoon did I ever notice drowsiness or fatigue.  A huge indicator that my nutrition status is nearly 75% of the people I’ve been around this month. Many of them have been sick at some point, and I never felt any sickness at all.  The efficacy of my supplementation, apart from muscle building and repair became very apparent.  Having a strong immune system supported by nutrition and supplements is crucial in keeping you healthy.

The Bad: Going Organic, Think Again

The thought behind eating organic meats and other foods is very noble.  I read numerous research articles about grass fed animal fats and pesticide free broccoli, and decided 2011 would be the year that I made the switch.  I began to dig deeper into the organic food facts and saw and tasted little difference in quality from my regular anti-biotic, hormone free products.  I interviewed a farmer, who will remain unnamed, back home in North Carolina, who has been growing, distributing, and selling crops for decades, a large amount of them organic in recent years. He said that the crops the organic farmer buys from him receive no special attention, and every plant must be sprayed at some point or risk loosing the entire crop.  He also made the point that the ‘organic seal’ that food receives is really up to the discretion of inspectors, and how is it possible for an inspection of every piece of produce coming from every farm across America? It’s not.

It isn’t just produce either, chickens left to roam will eat much more detestable things for food.

than grain (animal waste).  Organic food carriers like to paint the picture of small town, caring farmers to the American public. Don’t be so naive to think that an industry that reached $26.6 Billion in sales in 2009 doesn’t have their share of Wall Street businessmen calling the shots rather than honest guys in overalls.   This isn’t a rant against organic food, buying organic food is fine, just don’t view it as a necessity.  I buy a dozen eggs from drug free hens ($1.97), hormone free chicken breasts ($4.00/lb) and ground beef for cheaper than organic, without sacrificing much quality at all.  If you have the money, be my guest, if you are on a budget, spring for the drug free animal products.

The Ugly: Max Effort Without Proper Training Volume

This one is simple, but is not fun to admit, my final week max effort lifts crushed me.  The bench got stuck and my dead lift felt like I was trying to pull a submarine out of the ocean.  This is due to a lack of training load with both my main lifts and accessory movements.  I had to stop playing college basketball due to back surgery and in recent months my back was giving me trouble, so I dropped my squat volume to 5×2 sets per week and moved my squatting to a more traditional power lifting stance.  This took my lower lumbar vertebrae (the site of my injury) out of the equation and my back felt great by the end of the month.  However, my strength didn’t exactly go through the roof.   Lifting only twice per week and trying to get everything done in an hour and back to work didn’t allow for proper training.

My partner at Juggernaut, Chad Smith, talks about the concept of training volume and central nervous system fatigue relative to an athlete’s ability.  Usain Bolt, world record holder in the 100m (9.58 seconds) needs to perform much fewer repetitions of sprints in order to improve than an athlete that runs an 11.20.  Obviously, based on the results of my lifts this month, 3×3 on the dead lift and bench the week prior to my max effort lifts did not increase my strength, or work capacity enough to increase my maximal strength.  If you go through a wave of training and don’t get stronger, access where you made errors and correct them moving forward.  Failing on a lift is bad enough, but accepting it is not.

Learn and Get On With It

I plan to add a third day of heavy training and break the upper body pressing and lower body pressing day into two separate sessions.  Now the weakest point of my back has been strengthened, I’m going to do the Juggernaut Method squatting waves to rebuild my work capacity.  Everyone else is getting strong as hell on this method, I figure, why not give them some company.  I’m going to drop the interval-training day and focus on being explosive only, remember you can only serve one master.

For my nutrition, I will begin to differentiate my daily diet by carb cycling.  Eating the same meals and food servings months on end helps you as much as doing the same lifting routine months on end.  I’m going to have 4 high carb days, 1 medium day and 2 low carb days per week.

Making Your Plan

First, determine what YOUR goals are.  Then decide what body type you are and what the best macronutrient strategy for your type is. If you are 20 or more lbs. over weight, lose that weight first through interval training and dieting. Things will go much better for you when your aren’t having to mobilize 30-50 lbs. of body fat every time you move.  If you want to be explosive, you need glycogen a.k.a. carbs to fuel these activities. If you are only wanting to improve your body composition between 5 -10%, carb cycling effectively while training explosively will accomplish this.  You don’t need Bodybuilder X’s secret formula to meet your goals, just start cooking all your meals and training hard every session. It’s that simple. Find two more hours each week you can put into food preparation and training.  You have it, trust me.  Achieving your goals are only a matter of committing, 30 days at a time.

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