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February 10, 2017

Thank God It's GAINZZZDay

A few items before I get to brag about hitting my (waypoint) goal.

On Fasting: This YouTube channel, "What I've Learned," seems pretty good. This video on fasting, specifically the One Meal a Day (OMAD) style fasting, is very good. I accidentally started doing One Meal a Day before I watched this video; after watching it, I decided to make OMAD my goal. Sure, there may be some days where I get hungry and need a second meal early or later, but I'm going to try OMAD.

I've been doing it for six days now and I feel just fine. Not particularly hungry. As you're in a fasted state for 23 or 24 hours or so, that's a lot of fat-burning time. My ketosis is generally always on and gets very dark as the day goes on. (And then gets dark again shortly after eating.) Bodyfat seems to be visibly diminishing.

The Hodge Brothers, the spiritual godfathers of the GAINZZZ movement, point out that while they had GAINZZZ on the 16 hours fasted/8 hour eating window plan, the fat "fell off in the street" as they were walking on the 20 hours fasted/four hours eating plan. They recommend stopping eating earlier in the day (around 5) and "going to bed hungry."

On When to Eat. I suspected that I was taking too much protein powder and that that was stopping my GAINZZZ. (My weight lozz GAINZZZ, I mean.) The Hodge Brothers also talk about this. I bought into the Protein Powder Industry Propaganda that I had to get protein into my body almost immediately after a workout for maximum GAINZZZ, or else my muscle growth would be stunted and my body might even eat already-build muscle for energy. (Catabolism, it's called -- muscle-eating.)

But here's the thing: Insulin is actually an antagonist of human growth hormone and reduces HGH's effects in the body. So, after a workout, you've stimulated your HGH. But if you almost immediately eat and spike your insulin, that does two things: it blunts the HGH's effect on muscle growth, and it also turns off all that fat-burning ketosis you've got going on.

The Hodge Twins (content warning for language) ">talk about that here.

They also (content warning for language) recommend waiting an hour or two post-workout for that stupid protein shake, or better yet, just a protein-rich meal. (Also, you can eat an hour or two pre-workout rather than having to eat afterwards.)

Somewhere in there they mention going to bed hungry (last meal at 5 will do that), because HGH is produced by the body during sleep so you want your insulin levels as low as possible during that phase.

When I stopped taking the protein shakes post-workout, my long, long stall stopped and I started losing fat again.

On Posture. I've got crap posture and not only does it make me look like crap, but it causes injuries (because poor posture means your stabilizing/core muscles are weak and imbalanced, with too much pull on one side (usually your front) and too little pull on the other (usually your back), resulting in a hunched-over spine and forward-rounded shoulders.

This guy at "Kinobody" has a video with a couple of simple and easy exercises for improving posture. No weight needed -- just a wall to stand against.

If you're weightlifting, this guy "AlphaDestiny" recommends some weightlifting exercises that will improve back strength and thus posture.

I've been doing the weightless exercises for a few days. Might be a placebo, but I think I feel my neck standing up a little straighter. I haven't tried the weight exercises yet.

On Planks. I've recommended planks before as a very-scalable exercise for your abs, back, and core that works for beginners and can be made harder (including with weights) for people who find planks too easy.

BTW, this might not be obvious, but planks are chiefly about the abs. The abs have to lock in place to keep the back straight and the hips elevated. If you don't like crunches or sit ups, planks are good alternative exercise for ab-work.

Incidentally, I think they may be better for abs in the way people want their abs trained. Crunches are for explosive contraction. But most people would like to just have abs strong enough, with enough endurance, to keep their gut tight and tucked in most of the day.

It seems to me that planks, being a pose-and-hold endurance exercise, are better suited for training abs that way than crunches are.

Here's the basic plank.

Here are some hot chicks doing a three minute plank session with stuff like leg lifts and spiderman crawls. It's a three minute routine -- it looks tough for beginners. But it looks like it would do some good. One day I will try this.

Today is not that day. And the weekend looks tough too.

If you get really strong in the core, then regular planks will stop doing you much good, and you'll have to be holding the pose for a long boring time to boot. Weightlifters recommend doing weighted planks -- throwing a plate (or any other weight) on the small of your back.

I wasn't sure how the hell you could put a plate on your back without someone to load it for you (and good luck with that), but this guy shows you an easy safe technique for doing so.

On Making Goal. Well, after being stuck between 180 and 175 for months --and I do mean months -- I finally broke my 180 pound resistance point and have been down at 170 (or even 169) for five days running.


I think my stall was due to the protein powder disaster as well as eating immediately after hard workouts instead of letting that sweet, sweet ketosis chomp through my fat cells like PacMan burrowing through the maze.

So here's the FitBit chart of my most recent fat loss.

A few points: First, notice that the weight loss is pretty smooth, consistent, and dramatic for the first few months. That was before I started this thread.

As I reached what I knew was a serious resistance point -- I almost always have either stopped losing weight, or have lost interest in losing weight --at 180 pounds, I started this thread to try to get myself past that point. And as you can see, from October to January -- a long long stretch -- I was in many stalls, a few spikes in weight (what the hell happened in early January? I have no idea), and then some small weight loss.

This is visual confirmation of why I've been so whiny about my GAINZZZ for so long. After having lost 20 pounds pretty easily, I started losing much, much more slowly.

By the way, I started this thread because I had lost a bunch of weight in 2015, too, but then stopped at, get this, 180 pounds, and then started packing on weight over a course of months to get right back to a very unhealthy, flat-out fat 204.

This is why I say the first 20 pounds are gimmes. They're almost automatic (unless you're in low bodyfat percentages already). You can see in these graphs how quickly the first 20 comes off.

In this longer duration chart, you can see not only when I stopped losing weight, but when I became so disinterested in fitness that I stopped weighing myself altogether. That rising line of weight gain is smooth and straight because there actually were no weighings at all between when I stopped the last fitness kick and started this new one.

I kinda knew what the scale would show, and so I didn't even want to see it.

I've lost 20+ pounds as an adult four times, and three out of those four times, I stopped at right around 180. (Or 178.) One time, when I was working out ridiculously and eating very little, I got it down to like 168, but that was really going at an unsustainable pace that I could not keep up. And did not keep up.

Anyway, two points then:

1. Mindfulness. Stay mindful of your goals and your progress, even if you're frustrated as hell, and even if you don't really want to even know. Know it anyway. What gets measured gets improved.

2. Staying Power. Which is the whole reason I started this thread. Stay with it. There's no point to a 2 month fitness kick. The positive effects of a 2 month fitness kick will vanish in 2 more months.

You kinda gotta stay on it for a year or two, and maybe forever.

Having made my first goal, I'm changing my own goals now. I'm going to set my new weight target at 165 (which was my original target before I changed it because it seemed too impossible).

But I'm not going to worry about weight per se all that much. I'm shifting emphasis to body recomposition -- muscle GAINZZZ, bitchez. Real GAINZZZ. Not this losing-weight stuff.

I still have a lot of fat to lose, but I'm going to try to lose it by putting on muscle (while not eating so much as to gain too much fat).

My main fat-goal stat is going to be bodyfat percentage now, even though the tools I have for measuring it are pretty inaccurate. I've lost (per these inaccurate tools) something like 10% body fat, and I'd sure like to lose another 6-10%.

So:

Tell me about your GAINZZZ, brahs!

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posted by Ace at 04:25 PM

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