Every month I post a log of my training so I can be held accountable for my Body Composition, Training, and Diet. 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.
October 2017 was an interesting month in terms of training. Returning from a month of traveling and injuries, it was certainly nice to be back into the swing of things (literally, in some cases). However, with my wedding date coming closer and closer, it became difficult to find the time and motivation to train as regularly as I’d have liked.
Despite that, I still managed to make progress in my Body Composition. This was, in large part, thanks to a shift in my diet to occasionally introduce large amounts of carbohydrates.
Looking forward, training may be sporadic in November, but, even with the wedding (and holidays), I hope to keep my body composition moving in the right direction.
Body Composition Averages
October consisted of a return to weight loss as my body composition numbers were once again moving in the right direction. Weight, Body Fat, and Waistline all not only decreased from the uptick from September but saw some improvement since the month prior, August, as well.
This is likely the result of a shift towards a phase change diet in October. During the month, I began introducing weekly carbohydrate refeeds to account for the more frequent training sessions. This increase in carbohydrate intake also likely contributed to the increased water retention for the month. Likewise, training sessions near the refeeds included (subjective) increases in power output and recovery.
Weight: 208.33 lbs.
Weight Delta: -0.64 lbs.
Body Fat: 13.71%*
Body Fat Delta: -0.40%
Water Delta: +0.49%
Waist: 32.98 inches
Waist Delta: -0.06 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 Training Structure
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. Start thing off with a general Warm Up, and you’ve got yourself a quality plan.
Starting in October, my the structure of my training was modified slightly to shift away from specific, snatch-related goals, towards more general physical fitness. In general, the new structure includes more frequent, but less intense session to better meet my changing needs.
Each training session consists of a Warm Up done in the morning, Strength work completed in the afternoon, and Conditioning in the evening followed immediately by Recovery.
As a result of my new training structure, benchmarks, rather than high scores, were set.
Warm Ups consist primarily of Kettlebell Goblet Squats followed by general stretching and mobility work. Goblet Squats are performed for five sets of five repetitions with a long pause at the bottom on the fifth rep.
Kettlebell Turkish Getups and Kettlebell Bent Presses are my main strength movements. For the Turkish getup, five sets are performed in each session, switching sides after each rep is completed. A similar structure is applied to the Bent Press, but with eight total sets. Progress is made by increasing the number of sets in a session, up to seven sets for the Turkish Getup and ten sets for the Bent Press. Once these maximums are achieved comfortably for several session, the size of the kettlebell is increased. Each strength session alternates between Heavy, Light, and Medium days to remain fresh and avoid over-training. Conditioning sessions utilize the same kettlebell weight as the strength session.
The Kettlebell Swing is my main conditioning tool. During swing sessions, I perform 10 two-handed swing repetitions every minute and rest for the remainder of the minute. Progress is measured by the total amount of time/reps in a session, eventually increasing the kettlebell size after reaching 15 minutes/sets.
The Cook Drill is used as a recovery day following conditioning and strength sessions. A snatch-size kettlebell mirroring the weight of the Strength session is used for the duration of the most recent swing session. At no time is the kettlebell dropped during the drill.
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. In general, I eat nutrient dense foods leaning towards a lower carbohydrate intake while practicing Intermittent Fasting.
In October, I transitioned into a Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (more details to follow) that included regular carbohydrate refeeds to restore muscle glycogen. I seemed to respond well to the dietary change, seeing both improvements in body composition and subjective well-being during and after training.
As a result, I’ll continue tinkering with this phase shift diet in the future and, hopefully, better optimize my diet to meet my personal (and ever-changing) needs.
Full Training Log
In terms of body composition, my goal is to continue the pace I set in October. Generally speaking, half a pound is a reasonable expectation for weight loss each month and should limit some of the negative effects of rapid drops in weight.
Likewise, a continued shrinking of my waistline is equally, if not more, important. I’ve noticed a difference in the way my clothes have fit of late. Specifically, I’m able to comfortably fit into pants that, for months, were uncomfortably tight. This change has improved not only the depth of my wardrobe but also my confidence. Continuing down this path is the goal for November.
In the upcoming month, I’d like to focus on training regularity over any specific performance markers. Settling into a new life, I’ll need to find a sustainable training plan that fits with a changing schedule.
As such, my goals aren’t tied to any specific lifts. Instead, my goal is to train more days than not in November, despite the numerous interruptions to my regular routine.
With a week away for my honeymoon and the upcoming November holidays, staying on track with my diet may be difficult. That said, regular carb refeeds offer increased flexibility compared to my previous, rigid low-carbohydrate diet. Now, the occasional indulgence not only doesn’t take me too far off track but is also a part of the game plan.