Every month I post a log of my training so I can be held accountable for my Body Composition, Training, Diet, and Sleep. Doing so also gives readers the opportunity to follow my progress from month to month. Logs are meant to be insightful and inspiring, rather than boastful or arrogant.
Another month of steady progress! August 2017 proved to be a consistent month in terms of training. As a result, I was able to get closer to my long term goals with regard to both body composition and performance. Body composition improved even beyond the ambitious goal I had set at the end of July. August also included a return to snatching a 32kg kettlebell and performing Turkish get-ups with a 48kg kettlebell.
Diet, as well, was well-controlled for the majority of August but indulgences became somewhat problematic at the end of the month.
Sleep was once again an issue in August and continues to need improvement. As I continue spending time developing this site, sleep tends to be the first aspect of my life suffer. In the future, I need to prioritize a full night of sleep.
Body Composition Averages
My goal for August was to maintain an average body weight below 209.5 pounds. Always the overachiever, I managed to extend a full pound beyond this mark. While my goal is to shed a few excess pounds, the pace two pounds per month is probably excessive. Coming up, I’d prefer to slow this down a bit, at only a half a pound or so each month.
Along with my weight, both my waistline and body fat continues to shrink. Both of these (the former especially) are far better markers for progress than body weight.
Weight: 208.5 lbs.
Weight Delta: -2.05 lbs.
Body Fat: 13.65%*
Body Fat Delta: -0.87%
Water Delta: +0.55%
Waist: 33 inches
Waist Delta: -0.26 inches
*Body Fat and Water percentages are measured with a Bioelectrical Impedance Scale which, while convenient, can be inaccurate. Numbers here are meant to provide estimates and should not be considered precise values.
New High Scores
Slow, incremental progress is critical for any successful training plan. Mine is no different, and every month I plan to improve upon three foundational components of fitness: Conditioning, Strength, and Recovery.
My sudden drop in weight did affect performance negatively, including a concerning session that required me to stop halfway through and took several extra minutes of recovery.
This did not, however, prevent me from reaching the goals I had set for the month as a whole. I am once again snatching a 32kg kettlebell and performing Turkish get-ups with a 48kg ‘bell. Snatches are far more explosive than they’ve been in previous attempts with a kettlebell of this size. Getups, as well, feel much more stable and less hurried with a 48kg kettlebell than they have in the past.
Overall, I’m enjoying shorter sessions that come along with a new training cycle. The duration of the snatch sessions, especially, was becoming taxing as I closed in on the 30-minute mark in the middle of the month.
The Kettlebell Snatch is my main conditioning tool. During snatch sessions, I perform 5 repetitions every minute and rest for the remainder of the minute, At the start of each minute, the kettlebell switches hands. Progress is measured by the total amount of time/reps in a session, eventually increasing the kettlebell size after reaching 30 minutes/sets.
Kettlebell Turkish Getups, sometimes paired with a Bent Press and/or Windmill, are my main strength movement. Five sets are performed in each session, switching sides after each rep is completed. Progress is made by chaining additional movements together and increasing the weight of the kettlebell. Each strength session alternates between Heavy and Light to remain fresh and avoid over-training.
The Cook Drill is used as a recovery day following conditioning and strength sessions. A snatch-size kettlebell is used for half the duration of the most recent snatch session. At no time is the kettlebell dropped during the drill.
Snatch: 16 minutes (80 total reps) with a 32kg kettlebell.
Turkish Getup: 3 Turkish Getups (each arm) chained into a Bent Press with a 48kg kettlebell.
Cook Drill: 7 minutes with a 32kg kettlebell.
I don’t track calories, so there aren’t any hard numbers to report here. However, body composition improvements are the result of nutrition more than anything else. As such, progress in body composition can be used as a proxy for diet.
My continued progress in improving my body composition suggests that my recent travels haven’t affected my diet. In general, I eat nutrient dense foods leaning towards a lower carbohydrate intake while practicing Intermittent Fasting.
In August, I was likely under eating at the beginning of the month, resulting in rapid weight loss. Later in the month, I may have overcompensated for this by overindulging (in peanut butter, especially) a bit.
Sleep was once again suboptimal in August. To measure my night time habits, I’ve continued using Sleep as Android. This app monitors sleep and generates reports on Duration, Deep Sleep Percentage, and a self-assessed Rating of sleep on a 1 to 5 scale.
Deep Sleep Percentage and subjective Rating both increased from July, but overall Duration has declined. In part, this was due to an outlier night of very little sleep while working on the Hearthstone Wild Legendary Card Tier List. This one night, however, was not enough to skew the average. Even without including it, my average duration of sleep was below the target of 8 hours I had set in July.
Deep Sleep: 54.18%
Full Training Log
For September, I plan to rein in my weight loss a little, targeting a body weight of 208 pounds. Half a pound is a far more reasonable monthly target than the two pounds I dropped in August.
Since I started this site, Performance has been on a steady incline. In coming months, I’d like to work in additional movements to my daily kettlebell practice. Specifically, the Press, Goblet Squat, and Bent Over Row can help inject some balance into my training. While including each of these drills into my sessions is important, I’m not as concerned with my numbers as I am practicing the movements.
My priority will continue to be on slowly improving my Snatch, Turkish Getup, and Cook Drill.
Moving forward, I need to find a bit better balance in the amount of food I consume to avoid fluctuations in weight. August started out strong before I went a bit overboard in the middle of the month, followed by a bit of overcompensation. In September, I need to eat to my goals of steady weight loss instead of seeking abrupt changes in body composition.
In September, it is critical that I make sleep a bigger priority than it has been in the past few months. As I become busier, this will be a challenge, but one I need to take on. Increasing Sleep Duration to a minimum of 8 hours each night is my goal in upcoming months.