Opinions please on my Week 1

  • I'd like to get some opinions on my first week's meals and exercise to see if I need to change anything.

    The biggest hurdle for me during this challenge is portion control - not just knowing what's too much, but which food is good and what is bad in the portions I do have.  With that in mind, here's an example of what my first week's meals looked like when paired with my workouts.  For my workouts, I am positively hitting my 10s - I struggle hard to lift the last 4 or 5 reps on the 12s, needing to pause for a second or three before beginning the movement.  I'm absolutely going to muscle failure, and on those exercises where I misjudged the weight I add reps until I reach muscle failure.

    My stats: 5'9" tall, 205 lb, 30.8% BMI, 38" waist measured 1" above illiac crest.  My body type is midway between endomorph and mesomorph.

    My goals: lean and strong - I want to pack on lean muscle, not bulk, and I want to be toned enough to see the six-pack I know is under there, and regain my ability to haul a 70-lb backpack up and down mountains for a week while daily swinging an axe build a fire, make a shelter, etc.

    First Week's Meals

    Meal 1:  7am - EAS 100% whey powder and a banana right after working out

    Meal 2: 9 - 10 AM - 2 breakfast burritos using 2 whole eggs, scrambled with 1/2 cup frozen veggies (bell peppers, olives, mushrooms, tomatoes), low-fat mozarella, 2 teaspoons chunky salsa, 2 flour tortillas (soft-taco size).  Scrambled in a very small amount of coconut oil to grease the pan

    Meal 3: 11 am - noon - Grilled turkey breast sandwich on whole wheat with tomato, lettuce and mustard

    Meal 4: 2 - 3 pm - 1/2 cup mixed almonds, walnuts, pistachios and dried fruit (cranberries, pineapple, passionfruit), 1 1/2 cup pineapple in own juice

    Meal 5: 5 - 5:30 pm - Spouse cooks - sample meals: 2 Chicken soft tacos (grilled chicken, lettuce, tomato, olives, salsa, whole-wheat tortillas), or grilled turkey sausage with veggie-based pasta and peas

    Meal 6: 7:30 - 8:30 pm - 1 cup cottage cheese, 1 cup fruit (usually pineapple or mandarin wedges)

    First Week Exercise Regimen


    Chest - Dumbell Bench Press (20sx12, 25sx10, 30sx8, 35sx6, 25sx12), Dumbell Fly (20sx12)

    Shoulders - Seated dumbell Press (20sx12, 20sx10, 20sx8, 20sx6, 15sx12), Front Raise (15sx12)

    Back - One Arm Row (10x12, 20x10, 25x8, 30x6, 25x12), Lat Pulldown (85x12)

    Triceps - Cable Pushdown (50x12, 55x10, 60x12, 65x6, 50x12), Laying Barbell Tri Extension (50x12)

    Biceps - Barbell Curl (20x12, 20x10, 30x8, 30x6, 10x12), Reverse Grip Barbell Curl (bar x12)


    Cardio - Interval laps on 1/8 mile track (one lap fast, one lap slow, one lap fast), hit 9 or 10 on each fast lap running at about a 60-second pace for the lap (8-minute mile pace), maintain slower speed on slow laps, 20 minutes total


    Quads - Barbell Squats (first time doing this exercise) (50x12, 70x10, 90x8, 100x6, 50x12), Leg Press Machine (140x12)

    Hamstrings - Dumbell Lunges (20sx12, 10sx10, 10sx8, 10sx6, none x12), Standing Leg Curls (10x 25 - made up for light weight with high reps)

    Calves - Seated Calf Raises (first time, misjudged weight) - (20x12, 20x12, 50x12, 70x10, 70x20), Standing Heel Raises (none x20)

    Abs - Floor Crunches (0x12, 0x10, 25x8, 25x6, 25x20), Oblique Floor Crunches (0x50 each side)


    Cardio - Eliptical machine.  Hit 9 at 5 min, 10 at 8 min, 10 at 11 min, 10 at 14 min, 10 for min 17 and 18.


    Chest - Dumbell Bench Press (25sx12, 30sx10, 35sx8, 40sx6, 25sx12), Dumbell Flies (15sx12)

    Shoulders - Seated Dumbell Press (15sx12, 15sx10, 20sx8, 20sx6, 15sx12), Front Raises (10sx12)

    Back - One Arm Row (20x12, 25x10, 30x8, 35x6, 20x12), Lat Pulldown (85x12)

    Triceps - Cable Pushdown (40x12, 45x10, 45x10, 45x6, 30x12), Seated Tri Press (25x12)

    Biceps - Barbell Curl (20x12, 20x10, 25x10, 30x6, 10x12), Reverse Grip Barbell Curl (bar x12)


    Cardio - Ran intervals around the 1/8 mile track as before: one lap slow, one lap fast, one lap slow, fast laps are about 60 seconds per lap (8-minute mile pace).  Hitting 9 or 10 on each fast lap. 

  • With regards to your meal plan, I always suggest getting in complex carbs during your first two meals (breakfast and lunch), and no complex carbs at dinner or anytime thereafter --- green vegetables (except peas) are acceptable.  For you that would mean skipping fast-acting carbs such as your flour tortillas and replacing with oatmeal, more specifically steel-cut oats --- the 3-5 minute microwave brands taste almost as good as the 25-minute type.

    If you insist on working out in the morning (evening has been proven to provide greater results), then you need to consume some type of lean protein and a fast-acting carb prior to the workout; this will aid in your lifts, your caloric burn and keep your body from eating at your lean muscle tissue.  I also suggest having a shake upon waking to halt catabolism even if you are not working out in the morning unless you're eating breakfast within the first hour.  As for your banana, I always tell my clients to stay away from bananas until after breakfast due to the fact that they are so high on the glycemic index especially the good ripe ones) --- eat 1/2 apple instead, and after breakfast also.

    Your workout looks good, but if you're wanting to gain more muscle and keep the caloric burn in the maximum range, then you will need to add some heavier weight to your lifts --- not now, but soon.

    Since you enjoy running, sprints are the BEST cardio exercise in which to shred fat.  Start with just one or two and work your way up to the 4-6 range.  Begin by sprinting as fast as your can (8-minute mile will work for now) for 30-seconds (no more, no less), and then rest for 4-minutes --- yes, 4-minutes.  Within no time you will be shredding fat and people will be wanting to know how!

    Remember to get a doctors approval/opinion before beginning any type of diet and/or exercise plan.

    Good luck and I'll see you on the other side!

    2011 Men's Body-for-LIFE Champion "endure... inspire... body for life!"


    If all of these meals are food that you are actually looking forward to eating, than overall this is a very solid plan. It shows you are focused to succeed. If there is anything in here that you don’t like, but think you should be eating it, then I would replace it with something you enjoy eating that is equally as healthy. If you force yourself to eat foods you don’t want to eat, then it is almost impossible to succeed.

    Then other thing I would suggest is that you add in a plan for snacks when you get munchies. Make sure you have plenty of healthy things you can go to when you need an extra something. I enjoy having carrots, celery, baby tomatoes, and apples on hand.

    You have done all the pre-work, now stick your plan. I look forward to seeing you progress. Your results will be amazing in just 12 short weeks.  

  • Aitrus ~

    I'm in total agreement with DrivenToSucceed2011 about better carb choices. You've got flour tortilla, which isn't really authorized x2, and wheat bread once. Even if wheat tortilla, you now have 3 bread products, and Bill was hesitant to authorize at all. I sure hope you like sweet potato!

    And yes, adding in another shake will make it much easier. I love protein shakes.

    Meal 2 doesn't have enough protein. 2 eggs is only 12 grams, assuming large eggs. Add 3-4 whites to that.
    Meal 4 is is completely missing a protein. Also, dried fruit is just too sugary. 1.5 cups of pineapple is a lot. How about having an apple about the size of your hand as your carb and adding in a protein?

    I would suggest sticking to the BFL cardio plan. There's no need for you to figure out your own method.

    You can absolutely do this!  I am sure of it.  Keep coming back.  Keep with it.  

    Jessica Mighty Max ~ 2013 Body-for-LIFE Champion ~ Champion is a VERB!

  • Thanks for the advice, guys.  It’s much appreciated.  Forgive me if it seems like I have a lot of questions, but there’s a reason for it. 

    In late 2005 I was in the best shape of my life – I had just finished an intense 6-month training regimen in the military, which included lots of running, pushups, physical labor (chopping wood, making survival shelters, living in the woods 24-7 for weeks on end, carrying 70-lb backpacks up and down mountains, etc).  During that time I got plenty of exercise, but my diet absolutely sucked, so I still had a spare tire.  All my classmates were lean, cut and strong, but I wasn’t.  When I came back from a field trip of 2-3 weeks, I would binge on A&W burgers, chili cheese fries, chili dogs, Oreos and milk, and more during the week in preparation for the next 2-3 week trip.  I should have been lean and strong, but I wasn’t because of my diet.

    I know 100% that I can make it through the 12 weeks – there’s no doubt in my mind.  The 6 months of training was magnitudes harder than this is going to be, so my motivation and my “Don’t Stop, Never Quit” attitude will serve me well.  “It’ll only hurt for a little while” and “It’s ok to slow down, just don’t stop” were my mantras for 6 months, so enduring the good pain, suffering through soreness and maintaining dedication isn’t an issue.  It’s my understanding of the finer points that needs addressing.

    Let me clear up a misunderstanding first: I should have typed in “whole wheat” instead of “flour” for my tortillas.  All my tortillas are soft-taco size whole wheat tortillas that have 27g of carbs / tortilla per the package.

    Driven -

    Your expertise can’t be denied, but I’m still unclear on a couple of things.  I hope you don’t mind clearing them up for me.  First, I understood that the ideal portion sizes are to be a fist-size of carbs and a palm-size of protein, plus veggies with at least 2 – 3 meals.  I can hold two jumbo-size eggs in my palm, so I thought that this would be an appropriate serving size.  You’re advising that I have more?

    Breakfast – so should my first meal be before or after my 6am workout?  Or are you saying that I should just eat a few bites of something, such as my scrambled eggs, before heading out the door to the gym?  I was under the impression that if one wanted to lose body fat that he or she should refrain from eating before working out in order to encourage the body to pull from fat stores instead of what’s in the stomach to fuel the exercise session.  I wake up at around 5, cook my eggs and head to the gym for a 6am workout.  I’m done by 6:45 – 7 and have the drink in the locker room.  That’s been my first meal until now.

    Bananas…ok, no more bananas right after working out.  I’ll add them to Meal 4 instead, or remove them entirely.  But what should I eat with the protein drink (150 calories, 26g protein, 7g carb) to get an ideal carb/protein balance?  Your suggestion of ½ an apple seems low, but maybe I’m mistaken.  I can also add honeydew, cantaloupe or grapes if those are better alternatives.

    Weights – Ok, I’ll start adding more weight.  The workout will take longer due to slowing down of the reps at the end of the sets, but I can do that.

    Me enjoy running?  Hah – you’re a funny guy.  I'd rather do cardio on the elliptical or rowing machines.  No, I run because I have to.  I’m in the Air National Guard now (was on Active Duty in 2005), and running is part of the PT test.  My run time really sucks right now, and I need to get that up to par – 14 minutes for a mile and a half is the absolute slowest I can go.  I’m aiming for a 12-minute mile and a half.  11:30 is my record, and that was in 2005.

    Doctor’s clearance – good to go.

    Dan -

    Yes, all the food is stuff I like.  All the things you suggested I enjoy.  Today I have cucumbers on hand.  I'm not a big fast foodie, although I am partial to Taco Bell and Carl's Jr on occasion.  My portions have just always been way to big.

    MM –

    I’ve read your story.  Yours and mine are similar – a roller coaster of ups and downs.  Thanks for your support.

    Sweet potato isn’t something I like.  The carbs from the book that I do like are potato (mostly white potatoes), wild rice, oatmeal, beans (black, kidney and garbanzo), corn, all fruit except grapefruit and blackberries, yogurt, whole wheat breads / tortilla / pita bread. 

    Eggs – Again, I was basing my portion size off of the whole “no bigger than your palm” method.

    Meal 4 – I understood that nuts were a plant protein, so I ate between ½ and 1 cup of almonds, cashews and walnuts along with dried cranberries and raisins.  Was I wrong?  I can do shredded chicken in hummus and whole wheat crackers if that’s a better plan.  Or even a salad with chicken chunks, kidney beans, tomatoes, onions and cucumbers.

    Again, thanks for your help, guys.

  • Aitrus,

    I have read numerous articles and books on timing of when to eat when it comes to exercise.  All of them are written by PRO's.  Some say exercise fasted, in the am, some say exercise in the afternoon when you have had some substance for energy, and some even talk about working out in the early to mid evenings.  Is anyone of them wrong?  NOPE!!  Do what works for you.  I found that I lost more weight working out fasted, and you really want to do that on cardio days for sure!  What works for DrivenToSucceed2011 may not be what you need in your program and I am sure he would agree to that.  One thing I have learned is that if you change to fit what others are telling you and then you either don't like it, can't find time, or anything else that might discourage you, you will end up not doing what needs to be done!  

    I enjoy working out in the early mornings.  I too start working out at 5:45 am....before I eat!  I also eat my last meal around 8 or 9pm with a protein shake just before I go to bed....I bet I have enough to get me through my workouts.  

    When it comes to what to eat, follow the BFL book.  You will not go wrong with that!

    Good Luck and keep on going...it can only get better!!!!

    Tis better to look UP in the mirror to be inspired than to look DOWN at the scale and lose your desire!! - SEM

  • Aitrus ~

    We're all in your corner, cheering you along!  

    I don't love sweet potatoes, either, to be honest.  I've learned to deal... add in some cinnamon.  Anyway, baby red or plain russet potatoes are fine, too.  I think potatoes have an unfair bad name.  I'd do potato, steel cut oats, and maybe a good quality long grain rice as your complex.  Black beans I've been known to have as a carb, and fruit, of course.  I really think you'll feel and do better once you ditch all that bread.  Sometimes is okay, and if I do, it's Ezekial for me, but that's a lot of it you're having.  I don't do any wheat pasta, or anything like that.  I'm just learning to reject all things processed, but that's my deal.  I don't want to stray from the book.  

    Yeah... I don't do palm/fist for that very reason.  I go by grams of carb and protein per day.  I do 1-2 whole, depending on my fat intake for that day, plus 2-3 whites, and I'd imagine at 5' that I'm smaller than you.  

    Nuts, for this purpose, are a fat.  They have protein, though much more fat.  To get in enough protein from them you'd have to have such a disproportionate amount of fat that you couldn't eat that much.  Nothing wrong with some as a fat, but not as your protein source.  Raisins are sugary.  Ditch the whole wheat crackers!  You'd be better off with the tortilla than the crackers.  How about that chicken in a lettuce wrap, with a piece of fruit on the side?  Your salad sounds yummy.  I love chicken and black beans with some veggies.  Yummy! 

    Oh, I know I can be nit picky.  Please don't think I'm picking on you.  You are free to take and leave whatever you'd like.  I'm just genuinely hoping for your best and want to support you in anyway that I can.  

    Jessica Mighty Max ~ 2013 Body-for-LIFE Champion ~ Champion is a VERB!

  • Aitrus,

     Read the original BFL book and go by it for your entire 12-week challenge.  That book has helped more people find success through BFL than all of the helpful souls on this board (myself included) put together.  Don't over-think it.  BFL works as written.  Give it all you have, hit your 10's, eat clean 6 days a week and enjoy the results.

    Best of luck!

  • I will try to clear up the follow up questions that you posed to me as best I can.

    While using the 'fist' and 'palm' method is a great and easy to use tool that should be used as everyone in the beginning, as Jessica - Mighty Max put it, you will ultimately need to adapt and use a more exact method of measurement - grams of protein, carbs and fat taken in daily.  Remember, in order to lose any weight outside of water weight, you will have to create a caloric deficit.  This doesn't mean that we necessarily have to eat less, I prefer to look at it as an opportunity to increase my cardio output --- through weight training.  You, me and everyone else on the planet will have to burn 3500 calories in order to lose a single pound of fat!  If fasting works for you and you feel strong and not weak, then keep it up, but remember, when your body gets hungry, it goes into starvation mode and it will ALWAYS eat lean muscle tissue before fat, simply because it thinks its starving and wants to store the fat.

    I do suggest increasing the number of eggs to at least four.  Remember, while whole eggs affect your good cholesterol, egg white have fewer calories, so at this time, I would suggest having three egg whites and one whole egg.

    With regards to fruit, most fruits are acceptable as snacks, but the apple (one-half per snack or meal) has plenty of fiber, its low in sugar (Glycemic) and an overall good choice.

    Please understand, once you lose the weight in which you desire and build the lean (or bulk) muscle that comes with this program, your body will automatically become a furnace, and once that furnace is revved up it becomes unstoppable.  So eat as clean as you can for these 12-weeks, and afterwards you can adapt you meal plan to something that's more you.

    Although I am not a PRO, I did chose to continue my fitness path after my success with Body-for-LIFE; I now own my own studio (www.BeFitForLife.co) and I would be doing my clients an injustice if I didn't keep up with every article on health as it relates to health and exercise.  When I began first training, I read Bill's book like most everyone, and I followed his advise with regards to fasting prior to getting cardio, but a few weeks in I did more research and I chose a different path.  As Squid put it, you should do what works for you, but remember, It is called a workout because it requires effort and from time to time you will face adversity.  If you truly have the desire to do what you say you desire, then nothing, I mean absolutely nothing will discourage you from achieving that which you desire.

    In my training I provide my clients with meal plans, and you should see what I have to deal with --- I don't like this or that and I can't eat this or that, therefore I will make changes where I can, but inevitably, if they truly have the desire they will follow my plan to the "T".

    I realize that you don't like sweet potatoes, but during this 12-weeks, please avoid ALL other types of potatoes (except for cheat day).  Beans, especially Black Beans are very good carb choices, and brown rice versus other types.   Unsalted Almonds (Sam's Club great price) is your best choice for nuts, and these fats are good for your testosterone.

    I hope this helps!  Keep reading other BFL posts, and if I can be of any assistance, please don't hesitate to ask.

    As for running, I just thought that you enjoyed it, and I was giving you the keys to immediate success.  Although I enjoy a treadmill for my cardio, sprints kick my butt.  Needless to say, I don't get more than two.

    2011 Men's Body-for-LIFE Champion "endure... inspire... body for life!"

  • Wow...I was honestly not expecting the warm advice and support I've received on here.  You guys are something else!

    There's a lot of great info here, and definitely gives me something to ponder.  I'll try out different things and see what works for me vs. what doesn't.  I'm the kind of guy who's not afraid to ask for directions or read the instructions.  I find it saves a lot of headache to sacrifice the ego now and then if it's done right.  I'm not looking to follow somebody else's mantra to the T, but I do like to know what's been tried and true and known to work.  I'll take what works for me and leave what doesn't.  There's more than one way to skin this cat.

    - BFl book - Ordered and on the way.

    - Eating in the morning before weights but not before cardio makes sense on both fronts and for the reasons stated - I'll give it a try and see how it goes.

    - Sweet potato - there's tastier alternatives like beans and such, but I won't turn it down if offered or if there's nothing better available.

    - Complex carbs only in the morning - difficult.  My wife cooks, and while she's not opposed to eating healthier, she is opposed to going completely clean.  She also has a picky 6-year old and 10-year old to consider as well, so the veggie-based pasta will likely stay.  I can, however, cut complex carbs to a single meal after lunch.

    - Nuts - In moderation, and for the fats only if anything.

    - Wheat crackers - Man, I love those things!  Ok, no more wheat crackers, then.  Free day food to go with the hummus.

    - Pineapple - I love it and don't have a problem eating a ton of it at a sitting.  Keep it, but mix in other fruits as well.

    - Counting exact carbs and protein numbers - I'm guessing that this is addressed in the BFL book as to what I need for my body and goals, as well as what foods contain what amounts.

    I guess that what I'm kind of looking for is what the differences would be for somebody who's looking to be lean and toned vs lean and strong vs drop lots of weight without consideration to strength vs pure mass and power.  What would be the differences between what diet and exercise looks like for each goal?

  • What is it you are looking for?  For mass, strength and power....you need to eat clean yet eat a lot.  For mass, you can workout with weights that wont kill you, just have to follow a different style of routine.  ie...say for curls - find any weight that you max out at 15 reps.  Now, do that weight for 4sets of 10reps with 30sec rest period between sets If you completed the last set of 10 reps..you need to move up in weight the next time around.  It's called 4X Mass, which for me and bad joints...this is how I do most of my workouts.  

    Read my thread where I did a super torque workout on my arms back on Monday...here it is wed and the are still feeling it...lol.  

    For Strength, you lift more weight for fewer reps, but sometimes more sets.  

    For lean and tone, you cut down your calorie intake, do more cardio, and lift the way the BFL is written...that is the best way to lean out and tone up....that is what worked for me back in 2001...and the beginning of this yr!

    I may be wrong on some of this...but again..it's what works for ME.

    Tis better to look UP in the mirror to be inspired than to look DOWN at the scale and lose your desire!! - SEM

  • Aitrus ~

    Ask all the questions you need!  We've all been there, and are all on our own respective journeys.  

    Remember that if you are going to do the whole wheat tortillas, that it's 1 that is a portion.  That's another example where the fist fails us.  I would do no more than one bread product a day and ideally, no more than 3 per week.  2 jumbo eggs are only 12 grams of protein, and that's just not enough for you.  Now the palm has failed us.  Those darn hands!  I agree with Driven on his suggestion for how much. 

    Eating before working out is a hot topic.  The BFL plan is written to do HIIT on an empty stomach, though never mentions strength training.  Most find they have a better workout with higher weights if they have something 1st.  You can go either way on that and find people to strongly argue both points.  It's also okay to have 1/2 your meal pre and then 1/2 post.  Just make sure to have a quality protein right after.  I will only do shakes right after strength training.  You wait the hour after HIIT, not lifting.  I tend to do my strength training just before meal 2.  So I have my 1st and then an hour later go to the gym, workout, and then immediately after have meal 2. 

    I don't want to muddy anything so I'm curious about DrivenToSucceed2011's opinion on this, but I think the time for a banana IS after working out, and because of the higher GI.  The insulin spike is how the muscles prepare to take in that protein.  As to the apple... a fruit I love and think is great for BFL... the size of it depends on you.  I eat only organic apples, which tend to be smaller, but if you buy those huge ones then it's different.  Just realize that even though apples are good, not if you have too much.  It's funny.  Mike Harris used to post that he had 1/2 an apple.  The next thing you know everyone was saying it.  (not suggesting why Driven said it)  It was funny because Mike was a smaller man in stature and I happen to know he bought organic produce at the local cooperative.  Maybe they had different needs. 

    Absolutely read BFL and do so cover to cover.  Remember that it was intentionally "dumbed down", which is not to belittle the program that I think literally saved my life.  Bill's original program was followed by body builders and he wanted to make it more simple for the masses and there's not a darn thing wrong with that. That's when he wrote the book.  I learned about the grams method from EAS, and during the Bill Phillips days.  It's something they were saying goes with BFL, so remember that by the book BFL works, but no where in BFL does he claim you aren't allowed to enhance your understandings and fine tune.  Now also remember that BFL works in proportion to how you work BFL.  Someone doing "by the book" and eating a lot of breads, following palm/fist without realizing how often those guides aren't helpful, using sauces, making recipes from EFL, etc will get good results.  Please hear me.  You will lose fat.  You will get in better shape doing a by the book BFL and just not over-thinking it.  You can also do BFL by the book and be more strict, using only the best food choices, being super intense at the gym, and making sure you know your intake... and why.  I say why because if 2 eggs are 12g of protein, but it's clear that Bill Phillips meant for a woman to have about 25g per meal and a man 30g (averages... your numbers might vary) then why argue palm/fist?  Will 2 eggs versus adding whites hurt you and make you not lose fat.  Of course not!  Though I believe having the whites in addition will help curb hunger, better feed your muscles, and keep you more steady until your next feeding.  I'm not suggesting things that aren't by the book, because I followed the book precisely for my 3 challenges.  Seriously... I am a HUGE proponent of BFL by the book.  and for the 1st contest... only by the book... no tweaks.  It's just a matter of intensity.  I wanted amazing, which is very different from just good.  You know what?  There's NOTHING wrong with good.  My actions needed to match my goals.  It's okay for someone to have a goal of losing fat, getting in better shape and getting back their health, but not rocking it like there's no tomorrow.  It doesn't make me better that I'm more hardcore.  I just can't more strongly advise you and everyone to have actions congruous with your goals.  

    Now I don't know if I agree with Driven on potatoes, though respect his depth of knowledge.  The issue with them isn't the potato itself, as far as I can see.  It's that people don't realize how little potato it takes to make a portion.  Also, I work from home and have my potato with Meal 2, which is different from most who have it past 5pm.  And I don't use condiments.  I use dry seasonings and sometimes a genuine tad of olive oil.  I'm not sure if that changes his thinking, but I'm curious, DriventoSucceed2011.

    I know your wife does the cooking, but I assume you're allowed in the kitchen?  I say that tongue and cheek, of course.  Make a big batch of steel cut oats.  Portion out.  Have for the week.   Your wife not wanting to give certain things up is reasonable.  Is not your wife doing the BFL contest. 

    Sorry about the wheat crackers, buddy.  Have the hummus on free day, too.  :)
    You're not going to like this... pineapple is higher than sugar than bananas.  In general, the island fruits are more sugary.  You know what?  I had a 1/2 of a banana many a times in my last contest.  It's like potatoes though, in that most have too much.  If I had to pick one fruit, calorie for calorie that is the best of them, then I'd go with wild picked organic blueberries.  Seriously.  good stuff there!  but I wasn't exclusive to them.

    Counting proteins and carbs isn't addressed in the book, for the reasons I discussed above.  I can send you more on that, though it's simply taking your scale weight and for each pound, 1 gram of carb and 1 gram of protein per day.  The "average" woman, whatever that means, is 150 pounds.  150/6 (six meals per day) = 25 grams per meal of each.  The original Myoplex Lite (more for women) was precisely 25g of protein and carb.  3.5 oz of chicken is about 25 grams of protein. It really does end up falling into place.  And you don't need it with everything.  It's just good to know for those things where you're not sure because their volume changes, like eggs, and on things like rice. 

    I am going to respectfully disagree with squid for the purpose of your 1st BFL Contest.  For that, please do by the book.  I'm not saying Squid is wrong.  To be honest, I wouldn't know on that.  Tweaks and adaptations are for later.  Mike Harris used to say that if you modify BFL, you get modified results.  It's hard to troubleshoot when the plan shifts.

    Keep coming back, PLEASE.  and PLEASE don't be overwhelmed by us.... okay... ME.  You can do this and if you didn't call your fist amount "right" then who cares?  Progress is progress.  If you can be a freakin' Marine then you can do this! 

    Jessica Mighty Max ~ 2013 Body-for-LIFE Champion ~ Champion is a VERB!

  • lol..thanks Jessica...lol.  I was just answering his very last question.  And I did ask what it was he was looking for.  Both times that I followed BFL I got toned, so I had to find something else and through research, what I described is what works for me on putting on mass.  Like I said... what are you looking for?

    Like Jessica says, for the FIRST TIME, follow the BFL PLan and then go from there!

    Tis better to look UP in the mirror to be inspired than to look DOWN at the scale and lose your desire!! - SEM

  • You've gotten a lot of great advice from both squid and Jessica here and I believe that if you are indeed passionate about getting into the best shape of your life, then take their advice and put it to good use.

    Perhaps I led you to believe that I am anti-banana or anti-potato, and I'm not.  Both of these are great foods, and have amazing nutritional benefits.  As for the banana vs. the apple, a banana is 53 (medium) on the GI and a small apple (1/2 a large --- I believe that I read this in Bill's book and that's why I've always chosen to eat 1/2) is 36 on the GI.  If you love bananas, then by all means enjoy them, but chose the right time to do so.

    As for potatoes, these are incredibly good for you vegetables, but they can also be bad for you in the weight-loss stage of your program.  A baked potato is 83 (high --- without condiments) on the GI while a boiled potato is only 54 (medium) on the GI.  Again, if you love them, eat them, but limit your consumption to the first or second meal of the day and do so only a few times a week if you must.

    I found the following article and I believe that it will put the post-workout carb issue to rest.  Two great choices for your post workout carb might be Maltodextrin (found in some EAS proteins and my favorite Pixy Stix and Sweet Tarts --- yes approved) or Vitargo.  Once again, this could be a very good time for a banana, but it might not provide enough simple carbs to get the job done on its own.

    Here's the article:

    As many of you know, there are really only two times of the day to take in simple carbohydrates: first thing in the morning and after your workout.

    First thing in the morning because you are coming off a "fast" - which is how long you slept the night before. So, at that time you want a simple carbohydrate source and a quick digesting protein source. Now, if you plan on doing morning cardio, skip the carbs and have a small protein shake, then when you do your cardio you will be burning mostly fat for fuel. When you're done, have your carbs and protein.

    After the workout is the other time to take in simple carbs: this is critical because it starts the whole recovery/muscle growth process. Following a hard workout, your body is severely depleted of glycogen and glucose.

    During the workout hard working muscles use glucose (usable energy) and glycogen (stored energy) for energy. As such, there is a point at which blood glucose levels (available energy) and glycogen levels (stored energy) get so low that intense exercise can't continue. There just isn't enough available energy for your muscles to use.

    So what happens is that the hormone cortisol is secreted, this is your body's "stress" hormone and it has very catabolic effects. What cortisol does is eat up muscle tissue for protein and convert it into glucose. A process called gluconeogenesis ensues, producing glucose from these amino acids in the liver. The net result is a loss of muscle tissue.

    The post-workout shake prevents this. It also allows insulin to be released, this is, as most of you know, one of several anabolic hormones in the body (if you are a natural trainer especially, you want to maximize the release of all your body's anabolic hormones through all available methods).

    So, whey protein is your best protein source at this time because it is absorbed quickly, what is the best carbohydrate source? Well, we want a high glycemic carbohydrate source. This term refers to carbs that are high on the glycemic index (70 and above rates as high).

    The Glycemic Index is a measure of how quickly a food raises blood sugar and hence insulin levels. Normally, it is best to eat lower glycemic foods so as not to initiate an insulin spike (55 and under rates as low). But post-workout, the exact opposite is true.

    It is critical to get the carbs (and protein) to the muscle cells as fast as possible. As well, the elevated insulin levels will help to drive nutrients into the muscle cells. And again, high-glycemic carbs are best for this purpose.

    Hope this helps!

    2011 Men's Body-for-LIFE Champion "endure... inspire... body for life!"

  • Tons of info to take in, guys.  Not overwhelmed at all, MM.   And thanks for the article, Driven.  So the conclusion is that I need to absolutely keep the post-workout drink, but I need to add a healthy carb ot the mix.  Pixy Stix are approved?  Wow, never would've guessed.

    Squid - I'm looking for lean and strong, not bulky and strong.  So the BFl workout should do the trick if I do my part with the effort and diet.

    MM - I started adding shredded chicken to my eggs for the protein.  This adds volume to the meals, but from what I'm gathering it's not volume, but the content of the volume that matters.  Thus, more protein is needed.  And I can cut back on the tortillas to one and add some fruit.

    By your formula, I should be eating around 33 grams of both carbs and protein at each meal since I'm 200 lb.  That's a lot of food to be packing away.  So more of both carbs and protein is in order, methinks.  I just need to make sure it's the right ones.