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About BiggsTheGoalie

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  • Birthday 10/11/1977

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  • Squat PR
  • Press PR
    245 Bench, 190 OHP
  • Deadlift PR
  1. Carbs

    Out of curiosity - what are your thoughts/experience between the two?
  2. Carbs

    Yep - been a while since I've posted, but figured I'd see what everyone does with carbs. I know there's a lot of hype out there with regards to low-carbing it, and I generally have been eating a low-ish carb diet, to the point where I went full Keto last year for about 5 weeks. Here are my personal thoughts based on my personal experience. I'm curious to hear others' stories on their general thoughts on carbs, and if they eat/supplement them at all, how they "think" or "feel" it works for them. I'll keep this somewhat brief, but hopefully it'll help someone out there. The low: a Ketogenic diet. I kept to 20-25g carbs per day for a little over a month. Tested with Ketostix (available at most healthcare stores pretty cheaply). Pros: after the first couple of weeks, I felt amazing. High energy levels, general good mood. I lost ~7 lbs during this period, likely attributable to some water weight and (I feel) mostly fat. Strength was maintained, so while there may have been some loss of muscle, it should have been minimal. You can (almost) eat whatever you want, as long as it's fats/protein. I set my diet up to coincide with ~1g/lb. of body weight, filled in the rest with fats and then minimal carbs (~200-250g protein, 150-200g fat, 20-30g carbs). Lots of meat and butter! I found it difficult to always consume that much fat in a day...and it does limit your food choices somewhat...but what's left is delicious! Cons: playing hockey SUCKED. The first 5 mins or so was great, but then energy levels pretty much crashed. I would assume this would apply to any exercise/sport that had any sort of sustained exertion level. I didn't feel bad, per se, just all my explosiveness for movements was drained. It was like fighting my body to do what I wanted it to do. No carbs (duh). Overall: if I didn't play any sports, I would do this again in a heartbeat. I'm not sure how it would work for strength gain, but my guess is once you're more or less adapted to the diet, it would be slow but steady. The weight loss and overall mood were terrific. Since I do plan on continuing playing sports, and since I plan on trying NOT to complete suck at them due to no energy, this wasn't a good long-term option for me. The moderate: this is more or less what I currently do. Overall, I'm more concerned with total calorie intake vs. a specific macro breakdown. My diet is still more protein/fat-oriented, but my carb intake is likely more in the 100-200g/day range most days. Contrary to Keto, I don't shy away completely from most carbs. Pros: pretty simple diet to maintain as long as you track (or at least somewhat aware of) your calorie intake. For strength-training and sports, a good daily dose of protein is essential, and a moderate carb intake helps keep energy levels sustained throughout the day (Keto did this too, but see note above about sustained exertion). Your food options are more open (obviously). Works well for moderate sports/exercise exertion. Cons: I find this type of diet more difficult to lose weight on overall. Your energy levels for sports can sort of vary based on variable calorie/carb intake throughout the day. What I've found works best for me: I'm still doing a little bit of experimentation right now, but the Keto diet was unsustainable with going to the gym 4 days/week and skating 2-3 times/week. I've been maintaining a regular moderate/lowish-carb diet for the last year now. I do have some periods where lifting and hockey can get pretty intense, and I've found that even a moderate-carb diet I tend to get tired out more quickly than I'd like. What I've experimented with: Extra calories: eat more, pretty straightforward. What I've found is that without being aware of what additional food you're eating (and its specific macros), this is almost a surefire way to not improve your athletic performance and gain weight. This should vary depending on your activity levels and types of activities, but for me, it does not work well: I've gained ~10 lbs. in ~6-8 weeks, with little improvement noted in my overall feeling with lifting or hockey. Definitely not something I would ever recommend to anyone, due to my experience. It may work well for bulking for some, but my feeling is that you'll simply be adding weight to your body, with little additional gain on the bar or performance. Extra Carbs: this one, for me, has been highly variable, depending on the type of carb I'm using. Food seems to work pretty well, but I'm looking to be much more specific with what I'm taking in to avoid extra fat/protein and calories, so I've been trying out different straight-up carb supplements. Waxy Maize: I went through a tub of this earlier this year, due to all the hype I'd been reading online (and on the tubs!). Waxy Maize Starch (WMS) was the perfect carb supplement to fuel all your workouts. My result was, unfortunately, more along the lines of what I've been reading lately (more to come on that below): essentially none. I used this towards the end of my Keto period around my workouts and truly noticed very little difference. I don't want to say that it won't work for everyone/anyone, but my recent reading/research tells me that WMS is borderline useless as a part of any diet. There's good reading here: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/waxy_maize_starch_myth.htm Maltodextrin: this is a tried and true carb supplement with some actual backing to it. If you read the article linked above, WMS performed about the same or markedly worse than maltodextrin in every measurable way. I'm almost through my tub of maltodextrin, and my experience has been that it's definitely helpful in keeping up energy levels. After some research, I've found a lot of people use a combination of maltodextrin and a "simpler" sugar/starch like dextrose as a carb supplement. It's tried and true (though I haven't tried it myself). If you're looking for an easy, cheap way to supplement carbs, this would likely be the way to go. It's a good way to boost your energy without adding a lot of food/calories to your diet. Assuming the rest of your diet is in order, this should work well for most. Vitargo: uh...what? This was my initial first reaction. I feel like I'm pretty up to date on a lot of supplement news/lingo, but I'd never heard of this stuff before. A few posts on bodybuilding.com led me to find out that apparently all the "WMS" studies and results were actually based on (stolen from?) studies done on Vitargo. Hmmm...interesting. Usually I'm fairly skeptical of a lot of supplement claims, but this one actually had lots of good reviews and studies backing it up. From what I've read, the process that the original Vitargo was formed through was very, very similar to how WMS was produced, yet different enough that the actual outcome were two very different carbohydrates. So I did some further online research and found out the following: Vitargo is only produced by one manufacturer in Europe somewhere. First red flag, right? There are only 1-2 companies in the US that co-brand it...so it's not widely available like a lot of other carb supps. Hmmm...red flag #2. Regardless, reviews online were pretty much uniformly great on this stuff. Okay...if the WMS hype should actually be attributed to Vitargo, it would make sense then that manufacturers would try to increase their profits with a cheaper substitute that's manufactured by multiple companies and is more widely (cheaply) available. So, fine, I'll give this stuff a whirl...if I can find it. As far as I could find...there's ONE current company that distributes Vitargo (RegenR8)...and one that is discontinued. So there's not many options out there. As luck would have it, Vitamin Shoppe carries this brand, and my local store had "limited inventory" according to their website. Good enough for me...so I went to check it out. Turns out they had 2 tubs left. Let me get this out first: at first glance, this stuff is NOT cheap. The tub I grabbed was normally about $60, for 18 servings. Quick math says that's a lot to payt for starch! More detailed math says for me, it's a much better value: a serving is ~70g of Vitargo. I normally split ~25g maltodetrin in my pre-workout and intra-workout drinks. So, using the same amount, 18 "servings" quickly became 50 servings...and since it was 50% off, about $0.50 per serving. I can deal with that. So I grabbed a tub and went on my merry way. I first used some this past Tuesday. It was deadlift day. I recently backed off a lot of my lifts as I had surgery in August to remove part of my fractured hamate bone in my right wrist. My previous PR was 420x1. Since breaking it and the surgery (and subsequent 8 weeks of not lifting anything, to go along with rehab time for a few week), I'd de-loaded my deadlift to the mid-200s rather than try to do too much too quickly. Tuesday was my light day of the 5/3/1/ program I'm running, and it was set for 285 on the top end. Let me say this first, and I'm sure most of you experience the same thing: deadlift day is awesome, but it leaves me drained, sweating and ready for a nap afterwards. I lift in the mornings before work, and by the time I get to work, my metabolism is amped up, I've got a nice constant sweat going on for an hour or so, and overall I'm just drained. To add to that, I usually DL on Tuesday mornings, then we have an hour-long practice on Wednesday nights, during which about halfway through I'm normally feeling those DLs pretty well. This Tuesday was almost a complete turnaround. Energy levels during my workout were through the roof. I think I rested for no more than 1-2 minutes between any sets (normally 3-5 mins). I ran through my deadlift workout in about 30 mins total. Okay, no big deal since I was about 67% of what my theoretical max is. Well, that may be true...but I felt so good on Tuesday morning, I added the following: 315x2, 335x2, 355x2. All felt relatively easy, but I didn't want to overdo it still. In addition to that, by the time I got to work...as opposed to normally being drained, I was flush with energy, and it maintained it throughout the day. Seriously...what the hell is this stuff??? Hockey practice last night lasted for about 1hour, 15 mins. I felt great. No soreness, not tired (aside from what I should be after that long). It was our latest practice this year last night (9:15pm-10:30pm). I got home around 11pm, went to bed and was likely asleep by midnight. Got up this morning at 5am and hit the gym (bench). I will say I did try one of the carb sample packs I got from our local nutrition store (Allmax Carbion cherry limeade...which was delicious!), so that likely didn't hurt anything either. If anyone recalls, bench is typically my weakest lift due to nagging shoulder issues, but I did some PT a couple years ago and it's slowly been coming along. My 1RM has been 245 lbs. to date (for reference, I've done 195 lbs. on OHP...so in theory my bench *should* be higher). I've been working on bulking up my biceps/triceps/forearms the last few weeks, so that's definitely been helping. I did 195x7 last week (personal record) and was sort of dreading bench this week after a good showing last week. It was only 185, but how my bench "feels" varies week to week. Happy to say, on little sleep, after a hard late-night practice...I put up 185x10 this morning. I'm sold on Vitargo as a carb supplement. I'm typing this up right now...on 5 hours of sleep, and feel like I slept for twice that last night. Like a baby. So, this post got way longer than I originally intended. I did a quick search on Vitargo on the forums and found one random reference in someone's log. I'm holding off final judgement for a longer time period, but my quick review is that this stuff is simply amazing. A small amount I feel has been fueling my workout/day twice this week. I'm hoping it will allow me to drop some extra weight again vs. a higher food intake. I have absolutely NO connection to this stuff in any way...it really just does seem to actually work as advertised (maybe better?), so I wanted to share that with the group to go along with my self-experimentation results.
  3. Modified 5/3/1 And Ketogenic Diet

    Okay, so I've kind of fallen off the bandwagon here with regards to a strict keto diet. There's some definite benefits to it: I felt terrific after the first few days. But, anything intense kind of sucks. The pre-workout carbs definitely helped, so that's a learning experience. Lifting on the diet isn't truly that difficult, if you understand your limitations and fight the urge to do "more work". Keep the weights high, the reps low and enjoy the short workout. For sports...it kind of sucks. By kind of I mean completely and don't expect to really last any longer than 10-15 mins without needing some sort of break. So, long story short: still trying to lose weight, but focusing less on keto and more on calorie restriction. One thing I will say is that it really did help set a sort of baseline for food intake. I still am eating low carb most of the time (1-(rarely) 2 cheat days per week. Today marks exactly 1 month, and I can sort of happily say I'm down to 219.5 lbs. as of this morning, so a decent 4.5 lb. weight loss. I don't feel like I've lost much lean mass, since my lifts are still pretty decent. Quick update on this past week, which was a rest after a light week: Squat 280x4, 250x5 Bench 200x6, 180x8 Deadlift 325x4, 295x6 I feel like I can lift more than these weights, I just get tired out more quickly. I'd still say my carb intake is normally under 100g/day most days, but with protein intake I'd doubt I'm in anything other than a low state of keto. Still, feel pretty good and this is the lightest I've been in quite a while. Ultimately I'd like to target 200 lbs...but that's a long way to go. Hockey ends in about 4-5 weeks, at which point baseball begins. Since baseball/softball is really a lot less intense than hockey (more short burst, like lifting), I may give the hardcore keto a whirl again to try and drop a few more lbs. In the meantime, I'm pretty happy with the results and will continue to eat like I am and hopefully slowly whittle it down a little more. I've got a slight (in the proper lighting, with a little effort) 6-pack beginning to show...which would be a first ever for me!
  4. Modified 5/3/1 And Ketogenic Diet

    Totals from yesterday: 1,721 calories 117g fat 68g carbs (I think this is inflated since I used a generic guac number, might be 10-15g lower) 108g protein Light day yesterday, which was odd...I also went up a pound or so? Hmmm... Squats this morning: 225x5 255x3 285x3 255x4 Did bicep curls, nothing interesting (105x5 on the top end).
  5. Modified 5/3/1 And Ketogenic Diet

    Just got done watching Canada win gold again. Weeeee!! We had a game last night, backed up so not much work but I took some maltodextrin before both lifting and hockey (25g each time) to see if it helped. I'm not sure if it was the carbs pre living or pre game, but it felt a LOT better for warmups than how I started feeling at practice Wednesday night. Totals for the day: 2249 cals (seems really low) 164g fat 92g carbs 92g protein Keep in mind 50g of those carbs were immediately pre exercise. Tested with ketostix (generic) yesterday mid afternoon and got my highest reading yet, somewhere between 25 and 40. I'll text again in a little bit to verify how those extra carbs affected my state of ketosis. I also celebrated our win last night with a beer lol. Miller lite, so only 3.2g of carbs. Results so far one week in: weighed in at 220.2 this morning, -3.7 lbs. We have a game tonight... Men's league so I'll be playing the full hour. Curious to see how I feel for that compared to practice. It will really be the test.
  6. Modified 5/3/1 And Ketogenic Diet

    Yesterday's totals: 2,391 calories 198g fat 20g carbs 141g protein Lifted this morning: Deadlift: 330x3; 295x5 OHP: 160x4, 145x6
  7. Modified 5/3/1 And Ketogenic Diet

    Yep, that's all in line with what I've been reading the last couple of weeks! Definitely appreciate the input though, it's nice to get insights and suggestions. I hope the pre-hockey carbs will help.
  8. Are You Familiar With This 5/3/1 Program Generator?

    The feeling I get reading people's posts online is that OHP is a much more difficult lift than bench. You might be similar to me though - I have shoulder issues that are aggravated by bench (max 245) but do much better on OHP (max 190). Most people I've seen that push 190 on OHP are closer to 300 lbs. or more on bench...
  9. Modified 5/3/1 And Ketogenic Diet

    Art - my energy overall is definitely up. I do notice anything that is more than simply walking around or doing basic activities the muscles tire more quickly. For example - going up stairs. First 2-3 are fine (I tend to hop up the stairs) whereas the last few after that require more effort. At hockey Weds night, I could make 1-2 movements/saves and after that my legs were ready to give out.I found myself moving less to conserve energy. It's kind of weird and hard to explain, but does that make sense? I'm thinking about upping my creatine intake and introducing some carbs right before hockey per Lyle McDonald's guidelines of ~50g carbs 30 mins prior. It's supposed to help re-synthesize glucose and improve uptake into your muscles more than post-workout carbs do. We have a game Friday night (I'm backing up so likely won't need to play but will have to put in 5-8 minutes worth of warmup work). We'll see how that goes and if I can notice an improvement. One other thing, and it seems to vary by person - I'm burning up most days. I attribute this to fat mobilization (I hope!). Bottom line, 4 days in and I'm down 1.4 lbs. so far, despite trying to stuff my face as much as I can! Totals from yesterday: 2,503 cals 181g fat 50g carbs (I treated myself to 3 chips w/salsa last night when we went out for Mexican!) 163g protein I'm starting to wonder if my protein intake is maybe too high...feels weird typing that out. I did also pop a couple yohimbe caplets this morning. Since it's supposed to assist your body in mobilizing fat stores, I would think it should work while eating a ketogenic diet regardless of when you take it. I seem to recall that in general you're supposed to take it on an empty stomach as any sort of insulin spike in your bloodstream essentially renders it useless.
  10. Modified 5/3/1 And Ketogenic Diet

    Yesterday's totals: 3,407 calories 268g fat 37g carsb 205g protein Big day. Played hockey last night for an hour (goalie, obviously). Felt terrible! Slow reaction times, got tired quickly. I'll have to maybe take Frota's advice and look into a more targeted or cyclical keto diet. I had wanted to allow my body a couple weeks to adapt to get in a rhythm, but this is pretty terrible. Overall I feel fine though. Lifted this morning (bench/row): Bench: 155x5 180x3 200x5 180x9 Row (Pendlay): 135x3 155x5 175x3 185x5
  11. Modified 5/3/1 And Ketogenic Diet

    Art - I normally can. It might be a doubling-up function of fasting through most of the morning (minus a Bulletproof coffee) and eating a lot more fat than I'm used to. For lunch yesterday, here's what my meal looked like: 3 pieces (maybe 1/3 lb.?) of chicken thigh (skinless/boneless...because I'm too lazy to remove bones myself) Tbsp Buffalo Wild Wings garlic parmesan sauce 5-6 spears of asparagus (with butter, salt, pepper) 1/2c 2% cottage cheese 10 grape tomatoes This is nowhere near what I can normally consume, but I was stuffed to the point of feeling slightly sick at that point. Not my norm for sure. I did forget the Glycer-grow I take with an AM workout as well, so there's likely another 8-9g of fat at 50 cals...but still well below what I would consider maintenance. Dinner last night was a burger (no bun, ~1/3 lb) with cheddar, bacon and an egg (yum!) preceded by a side salad with ranch dressing. I'm still full from that it seems like! A bit of good/interesting news - I did register at the lowest reading on the Ketostix (generic Walgreen's brand) last night...so something is happening. Still waiting for that true sluggishness to hit. I'm definitely thinking about carbs a LOT! Tonight should be interesting as we've got hockey practice at 8pm for an hour. We'll see how it goes I guess.
  12. Modified 5/3/1 And Ketogenic Diet

    Final tally for today: 1600 calories 113g fat 107g protein 27g carbs Doesn't seem like a lot, but I'm surprisingly not hungry at all and have felt stuffed most of the day. Weird...
  13. Modified 5/3/1 And Ketogenic Diet

    ...which is why I've dropped most work sets to 1-5 reps at most. This morning wasn't terrible...yet. What I'm going to end up struggling with I think is getting enough calories from fat to keep me going. Yesterday I felt like I absolutely gorged myself...at 2,200 calories. So far today I'm feeling full beyond belief, but only have taken in 432 cals (estimated): 21g fat, 46g protein, 13g carbs. What's worse is we're going to a movie tonight...must...resist...popcorn! Squats this morning: 215x5 245x3 275x2 245x4 So, guess I should mention I've been sort of doing Martin Berkhan's reverse pyramid as well as the modified 5/3/1. So, yeah, pretty much made it all up. Dip machine: Stack (330 lbs. plates?) x5 x5 x13 Done.
  14. Modified 5/3/1 And Ketogenic Diet

    About to find out if it's a good plan or a bad plan.
  15. Modified 5/3/1 And Ketogenic Diet

    Decided I want to give keto a whirl to see if it works for me. today was the first day, but i'm expecting the next few days to be more eventful, as I carbed up pretty good yesterday. I have a hockey game tonight and will hit the gym in the morning. I've switched over to a 5/3/1 program where I do sets of 5/3/AMRAP (lower body lifts I do no more than 3, upper body whatever). I've found that lifting 3 times per week coupled with skating 2-3 times per week was really hurting my recovery. I know Wendler promotes strength at just about any cost, but with playing as many sports as I do I've realized that I need to dial it back somewhat as putting on a bunch of weight isn't conducive to my other activities. So, a few things I've noticed today: Energy seems pretty normal (attributing that to a high-carb day yesterday) Hunger is pretty low (lots of fat today!) I did pick up some keto sticks today as well to track my levels. From what I've been reading while they're not the most accurate way to measure, for $15 it was a cheap investment. First measurement today was zero (no surprise). Macros/calories for the day: Calories: 2202 Fat: 172g Protein: 114g Carbs: 43g ~35g of the carbs were from berries (dessert!). Starting weight today: 224 lbs. I'm around 5'11". 225 generally, so it will be interesting to see how things go. I'm beginning each day with a Bulletproof coffee, which really does do a good job of keeping hunger at bay while starting your morning off right. Ideally I'd like to get down to around 200 lbs. and not lose any strength. I'm not sure if that's possible or not, but I'm about to find out. I'm hoping that if my intake and exercise/lifting levels keep similar to where they are, I should be able to accomplish my goal in 3-4 months. More to come, wish me luck! Current lifting stats (max, though for some it's been a while since I really attempted to lift this much): Squat: 365 lbs. Deadlift: 420 lbs. Bench: 245 lbs. OHP: 190 lbs.