Thoughts: The whole eDiets interview reminded me that I still have a valid account over there despite an absence of several months. I checked out some of the EFL plan recipes again this week at my new lovely calorie count of 2000-2100, and lo and behold, most of them look pretty good. There is a tendency for the meals to be a bit higher in carb than the 40/40/20 ratio, but that’s fine, too, since I’m willing to go with anything between that and the 50/30/20 recommended by Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle and Eric Shrieves last week. I’ve been eating many of the same meals from my cutting menu and simply doubling portions on three meals a day to get up to my maintenance range, but I think this weekend I will print out a set of In2Nutrition and eDiets menus at the correct maintenance range and make myself a maintenance cookbook folder.
While I’m at it, I might have to create a bulking cookbook, too.
eDiets also has another great side benefit: there are support groups for every diet plan, various challenges, many interest groups (singles, 20s, 30s, moms, working women, etc.), and yes, one for fitness. I posted an injury-related question to the Fitness for You board last year after a freebie training session with one of the staff trainers at Gold’s left me with chronic nerve pain in my upper back/neck. The eDiets fitness expert, Raphael Calzadilla, gave me some very solid advice then, and after reading some of the other posts in the forum, I’ve come to trust his expertise on exercise-related matters.
So…to get yet another take on my bulking plan and goals, I posted my current nutrition plan, workout routine, stats, and January photos on the board to get an opinion on whether I should:
a) Raise my calories even higher than 2000-2200 to gain muscle,
b) Keep going with Max-OT or switch to another routine,
c) Do any particular exercises to reach my one pull-up goal.
The final verdict was that I should try to raise my calories by an additional 300 per day for 21 days if I planned to stick with Max-OT. That’s 2300-2500 calories a day. I don’t know how I’m going to manage that on my current meals; I am so stuffed some days that I can barely stand to look at meal 6. Most of my meals are high bulk with low calorie density because I’m still using my cutting menu recipes where feeling full on very few calories was paramount to my sanity. I think I’ll have to add in more calorie-dense foods like brown rice, WW pasta, nuts, sweet potatoes, and oatmeal, because I flat out can’t put away that much food volume a day without feeling like I’m about to give birth to an alien baby. A shift from the low rep/high weight Max-OT to a high volume/high frequency workout program was recommended, too, but then my calories would have to go up by 400-500 instead of 300.
To build up pull-up skills, he suggested focusing on the negative movement–having someone assist me to the up position, and then controlling the downward movement on my own. Four sets of six negative movements each twice a week. Now I just need to find someone to boost me up, LOL.
After almost two months of Max-OT bulking, I guess I’m due for a change in my workout routine. Starting Monday I’m going to incorporate the suggested changes from Eric Shrieves (PWO shake/new diet ratio) and Raphael Calzadilla (calorie range/workout) for the next 3-4 weeks and see where they take me before I go into another cut for the spring and summer.
I know it sounds crazy, but after this week of the un-hungries, I’m almost looking forward to dropping back down to 1700-1800 calories a day.
Nutrition (2000-2200 calorie maintenance/bulking menu – FREE MEAL)
1: 1.5 scoop Myopro whey, 1/2 c. (dry) oatmeal with cinnamon
2: 6 egg white/2 whole egg mega omelette with spinach; 1 slice Nature’s Own WW extra fiber bread with 1/2 T. SF apricot preserves and 1 t. Smart balance spread
3: 3/4 c. FF cottage cheese with 2/3 c. canned pumpkin
4: Still trying to gag down meal 3 (YUCK)
5: WW Kung Pao chicken with broccoli, 1.5 c. fruit salad
6: 2 scoops Edy’s peanut butter cup ice cream and 1/2 Grandma’s peanut butter cookie
Multivitamin with iron
Calcium 500 + D
1 T. flax seed oil
Calories eaten / deficit for yesterday = 1875 / -104 (target 0)
Water: 14 cups
Ratios: 47% carb / 31% protein / 22% fat
8:30 am Max-OT chest/shoulders/triceps
The Awful Truth:
1. Technically missed meal 4 due to inability to stuff down any more food after pumpkin CC debacle. Was not very hungry at all today!
1. Did skullcrushers with a 55 lb ez barbell.
2. Got to the grocery store!
1. Print out new menus/recipes.
2. Pick up some page dividers to separate cutting/maintenance/bulking recipes in my binder.