Saturday, August 9, 2008

Test Day

Saturday my body weight hit 158 as planned. I went for my test day:

1. 1/3 BW Kettlebell Press - Got it, but it felt hard
2. 1/3 BW Bottoms Up Press - Missed it many times, irritating
3. 1/3 BW Double Front Squat - Got it for a double, relatively easy
4. 1/2 BW Snatch - Did not test, decided I was too weak today
5. L-sit - Still cannot do one on the floor, can do it on a pair of kettlebells
6. Pistol - Not even close
7. Handstand - I can kick up there, but promptly lose it

In all, I missed 2 out of my 4 planned goals for the day. The press and squat were anti-climatic, as I have been capable of the weights for a long time. The bottoms up press really ticked me off, as that has been relatively easy in the past. I was looking forward to the snatch, but my strength was waaay down today. I had no business trying to put 80lbs overhead.

The body weight exercises were interesting. I am the lightest I have been since winter of 2001, and am down 90lbs from my peak weight. Still, I missed all three goals. I think the L-sit is relatively close and will come with a few weeks of focused training. The pistol seems as far away as ever. I have no idea how long the handstand will take, but suspect it is a practice rather than strength issue.

Overall I am not terribly pleased with the results of my nutritional approach for the last two weeks. I tanked out last week, got extremely sore, missed workouts, and lost a significant amount of strength.  All of that points to insufficient recovery, which makes me think I need to eat more and cut less aggressively. I dropped 4-5lbs and an inch off my waist in the two week time span. More than 1lb per week is excessive for me at this point.

Rather than throw everything out, I am going to tweak the plan. Here's what worked and what needs to change:

1. The core food plan is solid, I just need more of it. I will add a granola bar to my work food and shift the lettuce I usually eat at work to dinner time, where I can add shredded cheese to it. This should net me an extra 400 calories a day.

2. I am going to continue bringing my own food to our twice weekly work lunches, eating only the free salads. We get the same food from the same four places every week. Sure for free food it's great, but I would never go out to lunch for a vegetable sandwich, chips, and a giant cookie. The key here is to remember my food!

3. A gourmet salad (spring mix, berries, nuts, crumbled cheese, roll) with an iced tea costs 8-10 bucks at most places. I had a mental barrier over the price, but have managed to get over it. Doing so allows me to eat out as frequently as I like, without the negatives for my training goals. I'll keep this one long term, I am sure.

4. The exercises I do at the gym lack balance, and the environment sucks. A blend of kettlebells, barbells, and grip work is just better than barbells alone. The integrity of my joints, my conditioning, my posture, and my intensity have all suffered since I started at the 5 Seasons. The obvious solution is to return to training at home, but it would need to be after work, making compliance much harder. I lack an answer, but the problem is noted.

5. I am going to eat out twice per weekend, instead of once.

I plan to test again on 8/23. My goal is to weigh 158 and hit at least 2 of the 5 tests I missed.