Tag Archives: tracking
Portion control, do you do it?
When we look at nutrition from a basic standpoint a lot of people simply eat too much and a major factor is not the food choice, oh no, it’s how much they eat at each sitting.
Here are 3 tips to help you improve your portion control:
1 – Buy Smaller Plates
In the modern world there seems to be the mindset of ‘bigger is better’ and while in some aspects this is good, when it comes to food on a plate it will do no favours for your waist line. Buying smaller plates will help you control how much you eat each meal.
2 – Hands On Measuring
This little gem is one of Precision Nutritions brain children, it allows each individual to create meals with specific portions based on their own hand size. Here is how it works:
*For each meal, ladies use one hand and men use two
– Protein = Hand or Fist
– Starchy Carbs = Clenched Fist
– Veg = Open Hand (Fingers and thumb together)
– Fats = Thumb Size
3 – Cook Only What You Need
Perhaps this sounds like common sense but you’d be surprised how many times we cook too much and then simply eat the extra to avoid wasting it, thus leading to excessive calories eaten and us feeling bloated and stuffed (we eat past the point of full/almost full). Try to get in to the habit of only cooking what you need, the old saying of “Eyes bigger than your belly.” comes to mind.
Bonus – Chew Your Food
This might sound like common sense but there are plenty of occasions where people don’t chew their food properly and simply sling it down their gullet. Making sure you chew your food for say 15+ times each mouthful will help you slow down your eating pace and help you listen to your body, thus knowing when you’re coming up to being almost full to full.
There you have it. Three simple tips to help you control your portion sizes and a bonus one to improve your mental connection with your individual Biofeedback.
Yesterday was a much needed rest day, I have been enjoying the rotating days of 3 one 1 off with a simple Pull-Push-Legs methodology. The intensity has been cycling nicely and the gains are a plenty (so far).
When it comes to training blocks I find for me 3 week blocks work well, then I take the total volume down notch (back to the second weeks volume of the last block) and build it back and past its previous 3 weeks high (kinda a 2 steps forwards 1 step back deal). I also find that I can only last about 3 weeks using certain rep schemes before I get bored, therefore I have a nice little change up while still making sure of correct total volume needs.
If you’re not sure what I mean by changing reps but keeping volume the same here is a quick example:
A second week of lets say 3×5 @ 150kg (2250kg total volume) turns in to starting week of 5×3 @ 155kg (2325kg total volume).
Depending on how I feel I may stay at that weight and build the reps to 5’s or simply increase the weight micro cycle to micro cycle (that is weekly training, or as I do 3 day mini block training). My trusty training log helps me see what’s going on and make adjustments accordingly.
I know I say this a lot, however it’s important so I will keep saying it… WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN! The reps, sets, weight, speed on the bar, tempo, form, how you felt psychologically, EVERYTHING! In the long run you will thank me.
Here is what I did today:
Deadlift – 10x1x190kg – 60 Seconds rest + BO x80% (152kg) x13
Row Supinated – 5x5x90kg
Pull Up 4xFail – 12,8,8,8 (really struggling as should still not right in dead hang, aim is for 50 rep total in 4 sets)
What is the total volume for all of this you ask. Well it’s 9006kg, meaning my next session will need to exceed this in some way shape or form. I am able to establish total volume by the following equation:
Sets X Reps X Weight = Total Volume.
Provided you’re doing more than you did before you will make progress, simple. In my next session I will Increase the weight on the DL/Row (not by much 2.5kg) and aim for more pull ups to increase the total volume.
I would like you to ask yourself what you did today and how do you plan (and track) your total volume? Follow day how will you progress next time.
What is written above is often one of the most forgotten parts of training. Some people will aimlessly lift and progress (they are doing this because of a combination of dumb luck and a desire to simply lift more than or do more reps than they did before, however this won’t last forever.). Unless you take the time to be meticulous you will struggle to get beyond a certain point, that’s a fact. If you don’t have the time or spare mental capacity to do this then i would highly recommend highrinmg a trainer/coach.
Now go and make some gains.
If at first you don’t succeed, look back through your training/nutrition diary and find out why.
Tracking your progress, be it for nutrition or training is a laborious task.
Seriously… It’s a proper pain in the face but a necessary one if you want to succeed.
It’s true there will be some people who don’t track a single thing and go mostly on feel and intuition, but you’re not ‘some people’ you’re you and if you’re reading my humble posts than you need to be tracking what you’re doing.
The key to progression is more often than not hidden in the numbers. Lets take strength training as the example, your number are going up and then they stall but because you’ve been tracking them you know your overall volume and total loading you’ve achieved so far (this allows you to plan a de-load and then start building up again to get past this current total load).
Okay, you might not be able to add more weight, or even more sets/reps for the moment but you could always increase your TUT (time under tension) provided you tracked your tempo (4-0-1-0 for example) you will be able to workout how much overall TUT you achieve each workout, thus allowing you the ability to increase it, meaning your overall volume is increased too.
Without all of your diligent tracking you will not know where you can improve your workouts, or what possible strategies you could use, but it it’s written down in front of you it means you can manipulate it to keep progressing.
Remember, progress isn’t only measured in one way.
The moral of this post is to try and help you form a good habit and start tracking what you’re doing. If you ran a business you wouldn’t guess what you were earning each year would you? No, I didn’t think so.
A Pen and Paper will be two of the most valuable tools in your journey, go out and buy them NOW!.
Over the past few days I have given all of you busy busy people out there the means to carve a body worth of a place on Mount Olympus, provided you are willing to put in the effort.
Today I will explain how you can track your progress and stay motivated in 6 easy steps:
1 – Buy a Training Diary to Track Strength. You will record your workouts, weights lifted and reps.
2 – Buy a Nutrition Diary or My Fitness Pal. You can track your macros/caloric needs each day.
3 – Take a Before Picture. This will help you see where you started.
4 – Take a Weekly Progress Picture. This will make for a nice montage when the time is right.
5 – Take an After Picture. This would be your last photo after a 6,8 or 12 week training phase.
6 – Compare Week 1 & Your Last Week. Enjoy your results and notice how much YOU have achieved.
Thats it. Tracking your progress is very simple. Just keep a diary or two and you will be able to see your numbers steadily climb in the weights you’re lifting, while you will watch your fat melt away.