I thought I had it all figured out. I had the perfect holiday plan. I was going to be visiting family for a couple of days, so I thought I would just embrace the holidays. Feasting here I come! Nothing too crazy but weight gain was to be expected along with a big ole smile!
I expected to gain about five pounds of water weight. My body easily gains water weight when eating sweets. No biggie, I would lose that weight within five days of eating like I normally eat.
January 1, 2015 I stepped on the scale and got a shock to see my body weight up at 220 lbs!
CURSE YOU HOLIDAY SEASON!!! YOU GOT ME AGAIN!!!!!
It was time to get back to work! Here’s what I did for the first three quarters of 2015.
Start Weight: 220 lbs
I was on a major sugar high! The sweet stuff was my crack and all I wanted was more. It took a few weeks to finally kick my sugar habit!
I slowly started to get back into my normal routine throughout January. I expected to be around 210 lbs not 220 lbs in January. So I had my work cut out for me.
I had been reading about Vince Gironda style workouts and wanted to see if his methods worked. Vince Gironda was one of the original bodybuilding gurus. His plans involved isolating each muscle with one-two major exercises at a quick pace. No more then twenty seconds of rest.
I looked forward to the challenge. The only thing that sucked is during the early weeks of January; the gym is of course PACKED! There are too many people claiming their New Years Resolution. I try not to judge, but I make sure I see whom the new faces are. If they are still there by March, I know they are serious!
Start Weight: 203
Yup! You read that right. I had gotten down to 203 lbs. When I eat right amazing things happen. That’s why I preach that your diet is the key to losing weight. I was eating about 1,900 calories a night during that time frame. Here’s what a meal looked like.
All I did was reduce the sweets down to about one cheat meal a week. Nothing too complicated; just good nutritional discipline. I was still following the same workout routine as well.
Vince’s program had me lifting weights six days a week. The days were broke down as:
Sunday: Chest, Back, and Shoulders
Monday: Biceps, Triceps, and Forearms
Tuesdays: Legs, Calves
Wednesday: Chest, Back, and Shoulders
Thursday: Biceps, Triceps, and Forearms
Friday: Legs, Calves
Each day lasted under 20 minutes due to the short rest periods. I also did not do any type of conditioning. The pace of the workout was all the conditioning you needed. Less than 20 seconds of rest is VERY exhaustive
Start Weight: 203
I eventually got down to 200 lbs the second week of March. I had been following Vince’s 8 sets of 8 routine with much success in January-February. Now it was time to switch up my workout plan.
I decided to go to a more traditional style bodybuilding template. Instead of hitting the muscle groups twice a week, I would be hitting them once a week. So my Four Day routine looked like:
Monday: Chest & Biceps
Tuesday: Back & Abs
Thursday: Shoulders, Triceps & Abs
Friday: Quads, Hamstrings & Calves
The rest tempo varied depending on the lift I was doing. Some exercises had 30 seconds rest while others had about 3-5 minutes of rest. Due to me being so light, I figured it was time to concentrate on building some muscle at this point in the year.
Start Weight: 212 lbs
I wish I could say that I gained 12 pounds of muscle but I did not. I think I got to ahead of myself. When I look back at my journals, I see I stopped recording what I was eating. In the previous months, I had always kept track of my eating. Not everyday, but at least a few times a week.
It’s amazing how something as simple as writing down what you eat keeps you in check. During the last couple weeks of March, I don’t have ANYTHING written down for March. I’m assuming that I ate too many foods I shouldn’t have been eating.
I continued with my Four Day workout routine. Only change I made was switching one body part exercise with another. No conditioning was done, just lifting weights.
Start Weight: 209
I noticed how my weight seemed to halt around 208-215 lbs. I determined that I needed to switch up the plan. I started a fat loss workout routine.
This required weight lifting three-four times a week. Each of those days would also have an additional conditioning session. It seemed like a good change of pace from me just focusing exclusively on lifting weights.
Start Weight: 210
I start measuring my weight loss more often, so you can see the steep curve during this month. Most months of me eating right look like this.
At the end of the month, I switched my diet up just to see what would happen. I started to eat more like a professional bodybuilder preparing to go on stage. It was a seven day experiment before I went on a mini vacation.
I got the weight to drop down while doing it, but I personally was not a fan. Remember how I got down to 200 lbs back in March. That was much easier because it came naturally and was not forced.
Start Weight: 200
Those final weeks of prepping like I was going on a bodybuilding stage got me to 200 lbs before I went on a mini-vacation. Once back, I started another new exercise program. I started doing full body exercises, 3x a week. It was a cross between Vince Gironda’s system and a typical bodybuilding template. The weights would be lifted at a fast tempo with no additional conditioning.
Start Weight: 203
During these summer months, I wish I could say that I was 100% focused on my diet. But I was more like 75% focused. For me to see results, I need to eat according to my diet 90% of the time. When I do that I continue to achieve results.
August is an example of a month in which I was working out, but just not quite going that extra mile to go in the direction I wanted. Thus I kind of just stalled. Not good but not bad either.
Start Weight: 205
I decided to go back to a Vince Gironda style workout. Lose fat and build muscle at the same time the workout claims. This particular workout was called A Muscle Has Four Sides. This would require me to do the same six days a week workout schedule but TWICE in one day.
It appears intimidating but you actually spend about 40 minutes total at the gym each workout day. Brutal on paper but very effective at getting your in and out of the gym with muscles to pop.
I got all the way down to 202 lbs during this month. My eating was still on track. Not quite 90% but better than my summer months.
Start Weight: 205
At the end of September, I got down to 202 lbs before going on a mini-binge. I say mini binge because I ate some sort of pastry and/or ice cream every day. One good Oktoberfest cheat day turned into almost of week of continuing to eat sweets.
I knew I would be going on a international business/vacation trip at the beginning of October, so I gave myself some leeway in not being as strict. The real test will begin once I start the trip. Hopefully I will not go overboard and come back around 207 lbs (or lighter!)
Once the trip is over, the real test will begin. In a previous article, I mentioned how my goal for 2015 was to lose 15 lbs of fat. For me, that means I need to get around 195 lbs. I figured that going from 220 lbs at the beginning of the year to 195 at the end would mean that I had lose about 15 lbs of fat.
So I have three more months to get that goal accomplished. Think I can do it? Will I learn from my past months? Will I repeat seasonal cravings from my past?
Tune in to this blog to find out!