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Saturday, June 11. 2016
My fitness trainer is no musclehead. It's his second career, following his passion. Yes he is strong and athletic, but he knows physiology and anatomy as well as any civilian and loves learning as much as he can.
He has now instructed me to gain 5-10 lbs over the next 4 months with a correct balance of carb+extra protein+fats.
I may be abnormal, but in recent years - maybe since turning 50 - my appetite has decreased, and decreased even more since I have been working out hard almost daily. He says my current diet is not sufficient to get me through the physical demands he is now putting on me with the weights and calisthenics. He plans to push the heck out of me this year with his daily grind claiming that, after one year, I am experienced enough to work really hard. He is not kidding. It is now brutal beyond my imagining and highly unpleasant. But I can do it, mostly. No pain, no gain. Loud grunts of agony and exertion.
The strong lifts - barbell squats, deadlifts, bench, etc. just kill me at these current weights. He keeps a record of what I do, and ups it every week mostly in weight, not reps. As they say, tho - if you want a 200 lb dead to feel light, do 225. Otherwise, 200 will always feel heavy.
I will grant that my muscles and overall strength, and my endurance, have improved dramatically, as well as the shape of my old cadaver. Same with Mrs. BD. However, my recovery time for a hard (ie weights or calis, not my cardio) workout is about 48-72 hrs. I know, because I am afflicted with DOMS. The consequence is that you never get to feel as good as you deserve to because you always feel sore or weak with fatigue from a day or two before. Sheesh - where is the pay-off? Vacation?
Since I often have to force myself to eat a meal and can rarely if ever clean a plate of food, I told him that this challenge will be as difficult for me as it would be for someone who was charged to lose 10 lbs. BTW, I am not scrawny at all but I do not carry much fat and my belly is cut, as they say.
We agreed that wine is an appetite-stimulant and I should try that with supper. Although I love a good wine, I usually only have wine with meals in restaurants and parties.
Any suggestions? I definitely need to add a second protein shake daily. Another thought was to try McDonald's or Wendy's for lunch for a while. A Big Mac with a small fries is probably a perfect balanced diet. Or a glass of milk, and maybe some ice cream at night. I like Subway, but they don't put in enough meat.
Another trouble is that midday food makes me drowsy for an hour so I can't really eat carbs at lunch. I don't know how other people do that and keep their functional edge. I don't know how anybody can eat breakfast either, beyond 2 coffees. Who wants food in the morning? Gross. Morning is for coffee. I will try to force down a protein shake or protein smoothie to be a cooperative client, but I don't want it. Breakfast is for children.
If I can gain 1/2 lb of muscle per month, that would be remarkable but probably unattainable. I would not enjoy that in adipose tissue. I am not anorcetic, but I just think fatty tissue is gross and definitely not sexy.
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Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but....
You probably will NOT gain 10 pounds of muscle in 3 months at age 50+ unless you are taking anabolic steroids or hGH (PERIOD).
Most twenty somethings cannot gain 10 pounds of muscle in a year - especially if they are adding all the cardio you do and you've already self-identified as being one who's genetic are not favorable towards rapidly adding muscle. 5 or 10 pounds of muscle doesn't sound like much, but it really is if we are talking about gaining muscle versus muscle plus fat - which ends up being mostly fat gains for most people. If you add 5 pounds of muscle in a year at your age, you should be happy.
I agree. I think his challenge to me is really to up my food intake.
May I suggest:
1 - Muscle Milk (has more calories than some other brands and actually tastes good).
2 - If you're already using Brand A protein powder to supplement one feeding, use a different brand for a second "dose" at a different time - even the good tasting ones get old after awhile.
3 - "The Elvis" - a pan fried (in butter) peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwich (with mayo of course).
You're fortunate in your challenges. I could never keep on weight during football season (neither college nor high school). 25 years later it is a different story.
A good IPA always seems to stimulate my appetite. The serious powerlifters at the gym used to say that to gain weight, first eat the good nutrition, then eat some comparative junk, so you are probably on the right track with the Big Mac & fries approach. I had good success with the "Body for Life" nutrition plan. With your appetite, you would probably gain weight on it. I know people who did.
I appreciate your posts on fitness. They've helped inspire me to get in better shape, and I've stuck with a more structured weight regime for a couple of month.
You lucky bastard. I'm on a downward curve with over 100lbs to go. It's been great to read your posts on fitness. I'm pushing 50 myself and reading your posts helped me believe it was still possible to turn things around. I was recently diagnosed with severe insulin resistance, so I was one good illness away from insulin dependence should my pancreas decide it's done enough for my lazy ass. That finally got me from daydreaming about being fit to actually doing something. I found a great trainer who emphasize core strength and free weights combined with burst cardio. I'm down 20lbs or so and just 6 weeks of biweekly training sessions have moved me firmly from the marshmallow category into the cooked pasta hardness level. ;-) All those bullshit back aches and pains I was experiencing flew the coop after the first week. I'm sleeping better, my clothes are falling off, and the Mrs. is appreciative if my increasing fitness... I've a long way to go to get to any real level of fitness, but I can see the destination from where I'm standing and it seems that I just might be able to reach it.
You can do it! I've just passed the 75-lb. weight-loss mark and have shrunk my BMI from over 40 to a bit over 28; a normal weight range is now within shouting distance. It was creeping insulin resistance that scared me into it, too, but now that I've come this far, the rewards are so much more than better blood tests. My whole life has turned around and I feel great. Looking better isn't chopped liver, either.
You should try Soylent. 400 cals a bottle, well balanced. costs about $2.40 a meal. Neutral taste profile. I felt it a bit when I first started but now it doesn't weigh on me at all.
I have a similar physiology to you. Here's what I find that helps me:
Breakfast - I used to be just coffee for ever. Now I also eat a large bowl of greek yoghurt, the high fat kind. A handful of blueberries thrown in is nice as well.
Lunch - You need fat and protein. A chicken breast or a pork chop or a lamb chump chop. Salt it and lightly cover in olive oil. Then brown it once on each side and then into the oven at 190 Celsius. For the pork normally 15 minutes is enough, chicken a bit more time. I prepare some Italian salsa verde every few days which is lovely on top and keeps in the fridge. After the protein I then have some soup which I've prepared in advance. Half a glass of red wine with this as well is standard for me, but then I lived in Italy for 10 years so I learned their ways. I find that the wine inhibits the midday drowsiness that you mention. But just a small glass, maybe 100ml.
The key to lunch is small dishes but a few of them. Don't try to have one big plate of pasta, for example. A small serve of pasta or risotto works well together with the above combinations.
Finally, and I think that this is most important for getting food down - don't rush it. Enjoy your food. Don't do anything else while you're eating, particularly like watching television. Concentrate on cutting that pork chop, then experience the taste when combined with the sauce and the red wine. This may sound silly but it is another thing that I learned from the Italians. Meal time is for eating and talking.
I forgot to add - I was a professional whitewater rafting guide for 15 years. I quickly learned that some sandwiches at lunch were not going to cut it. The Italian guides taught me the proper way to have lunch as I outlined above. When it was so busy that we didn't have time for a sit-down meal we all carried tins of tuna. Fat and protein.
I never cared for breakfast either, even as a child. But as I've aged, I do want something in the morning. Avocado makes a wonderful breakfast. Just eat it right out of the skin with a small spoon and a little salt. I also like a peppered banana. The strong odor of the banana peel overpowers the delicate flavor of the banana, so peel it completely, and slice it up on a small plate. Grind fresh black pepper over it. Buttered toast, avocado and banana are a delicious breakfast---non fussy---and it sticks with you. And of course black, black coffee.
Regarding DOMS, I found that I always had it when I lifted hard (as in, I'm scared of the barbell hard.) However, for a while I used Dan John's Easy Strength method, and I was never sore on that program, yet slowly got stronger. I didn't get bigger, but I wasn't trying. I just wanted to get stronger and to be able to function normally day-to-day. You can read about it at this link:
I am 61, a NASM personal trainer, and former competitive powerlifter. It sounds like you have a great trainer. He must love the fact that you are compliant. I have several clients that are right at 60 yr old. They have had success with eating fried avocados in butter, 2 eggs, and a small handful of berries to get their day started. They also eat a protein cookie for a snack.
Quest (brand) protein is an excellent source to use in cooking with protein powders.
For myself, I have followed a ketogenic diet endorsed by Dr Sarah Hallberg. She has several Ted talks on YouTube. I went from a sugar fueled body ( too many carbs) to a fat fueled body.
I have increased muscle mass by 5 percent in 2 years. My BMI is 20. My HDL went from 75 to 92 when I limited my sugar and carb intake.
The goals that I have with my clients are always about their blood lab tests as well.
Bird dog, any chance that you need some counseling on body shape acceptance? If you're naturally skinny, why force your body into a shape it cannot be? There are no doubt benefits to weight lifting particularly for the middle aged trying to put off old age. But who needs to be a competitive power lifter?