Calorie Cycling – Week 15

Previous Posts:

Check out the Intro post to get an idea of what this blog is about.

Week 14: I show off Basis Peak’s new manual activities with accompanying graphs.

Week 13: I have a new daily log to make tracking easier.

Week 12: I continue working towards my goals and realize how sodium is in everything.

Perspectives:

Domestic: Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton spar in their last debate before Tuesday’s crucial New York primary. They clashed over breaking up big banks, curbing gun violence, and the U.S. approach to Israel. Ted Cruz doubles down on his disparagement of “New York values.” House Speaker Paul Ryan says he will not be the Republican nominee in 2016. Candidates from both parties turn up the heat on the hunt for delegates, while Donald Trump says the primary rules are stacked against him. A task force finds the Chicago Police Department is plagued by racism. And Louisiana’s governor issues an order banning discrimination against LGBT state workers.

International: Syrian government forces clash with Islamist rebels near the city of Aleppo. The surge in violence comes as peace talks continue in Geneva, Switzerland. France says the partial cease fire is on the verge of collapse. At the Macedonia border, hundreds of migrants are tear-gassed as they try to leave Greece, where Pope Francis arrives for a visit tomorrow. In Brazil, the supreme court rejects President Dilma Roussef’s attempt to halt an impeachment process against her. And a new video shows some schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in Nigeria are still alive.

Courtesy of The Diane Rehm Show

Description of the Week:

Week 15 Daily Log

Some highlights from this week are visiting my parents for the weekend. The puppy also got spayed, so we had a quiet night to ourselves, but we actually missed him a bit.

Heart Rate, Sleep, and Energy Levels:

Week 15 HR_Sleep_Energy.png

Book of the Week:

This week I took a little break from my previous one and read Frank Miller’s Ronin. It was a nice little mental break. I haven’t actually read to many American comics mostly because it’s difficult to catch them from the very beginning, so a shorter graphic novel was nice. It was a different take on a dystopian future with machines gaining too much control, but it had an interesting mix of old with some demons and magic thrown in as well. A fun little read that I would recommend you checking out.

Workouts and Activity:

Week 15 Workout.png

Workout 1 - Apr 10

Apr 10: Weight lifting; One arm row, Bicep curls, Russian twists; Active for 30:40; Average heart rate of 94; Heart rate range of 82-118

Workout 2 - Apr 13

Apr 13: Weight lifting; Barbell squats, Calf raises; Active for 15:14; Average heart rate of 90; Heart rate range of 79-101

Workout 3 - Apr 14

Apr 14: Weight lifting; Incline chest press, Triceps extension, Sit-ups; Active for 22:56; Average heart rate of 102; Heart rate range of 80-112

Week 15 Activity.png

Body Composition and Measurements:

Week 15 Body Composition.png

Neck: 14 3/8 inches –

Shoulders: 43 3/4 inches 

Bust: 36 5/8 inches 

Chest: 34 5/8 inches 

Waist: 31 1/8 inches 

Hips: 36 5/8 inches

Thighs: 21 3/8 inches

Calves: 14 1/2 inches

Upper Arm: 11 3/8 inches

Forearms: 10 3/8 inches

Nutrition:

Week 15 Nutrition.png

This week I attempted to incorporate some calorie cycling to provide nutrients at key times, while trying to keep my fat storage to a minimum. To accomplish this I am still eating roughly 250 calories over maintenance on average. On days following workouts, I will increase my intake to 2950 calories assuming 3 workouts a week. On every other day I will eat at my maintenance of 2370.

Analysis:

My resting heart rate has a couple outliers this week. My morning RHR is significantly higher on Saturday and Thursday morning. It is always significantly lower on Monday and Wednesday morning. Overall my morning and evening RHR are increased for the week.

My activity based on heart rate is somewhat decreased from the previous week.

My total sleep is increased from the previous week but below my goal of 8 hours each night.  My amount of REM sleep is decreased but my deep sleep is increased. This is likely due to less disturbances at night. My deep sleep seems to be the most affected in that regard. I managed to get up at 8 am 3 out of 7 times this week, so still more work to do in that regard

I’m down on my steps for the week. Even below my weekly goal of 50,000. I did get in all my workouts for the day however, so that’s a positive.

My weight, lean mass, and my fat mass are all up from last week counteracting the down week I had.

My trending body measurements for this week are largely the same as the previous. Some are up and others are down, so I will just continue as is.

My calories deficit is increased from the previous week. This week I introduced calorie cycling without too much difficulty. I hit my sodium goal 5 out of 7 days. The only days I was off was when I visited my parents. Maybe I should let them know that that may be why their blood pressure is running a little high.

Modifications for Next Week:

I still have more work to do on being up at 8 am and asleep by midnight. That will be a continued goal for me.

I did see increases in lean mass this week and hopefully I will have limited increases in fat mass with calorie cycling, so I will keep that going for now.

I am considering signing up for a gym to have access to a power rack, so I can continue increasing the weight I am lifting safely.

Become a subscriber to get exclusive stuff that won’t be posted on my blog. As a bonus receive a free PDF, 5 Steps to Start Your Quantified Journey.

Activity Graphs – Week 14

Previous Posts:

Check out the Intro post to get an idea of what this blog is about.

Week 13: I have a new daily log to make tracking easier.

Week 12: I continue working towards my goals and realize how sodium is in everything.

Week 11:  I rework my format and focus in more on my nutrition.

Perspectives:

Domestic: The Democratic presidential race got more contentious this week as Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders clashed over their presidential qualifications and subway tokens. After upsetting Donald Trump in the Wisconsin primary, Ted Cruz faces a hostile reception in New York. The Republican establishment meets to discuss strategies of a possible contested convention. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is dragged into the Senate fight over President Obama’s nominee to the high court. Mississippi and North Carolina face a backlash over recent laws seen as discriminating against the L.G.B.T. community. And the U.S. sets tougher rules on corporate taxation.

International: The fallout from the Panama Papers continues as Iceland’s prime minister steps aside and Russian president Vladimir Putin calls the leak a western plot. Asylum applications surge in Greece as the EU begins deporting migrants to Turkey. Pope Francis pushes the church to adopt a more welcoming tone toward single parents, unmarried couples and gay people, and signals a path to communion for the divorced. Cases of meningitis and encephalitis are diagnosed in patients infected with the Zika virus. And impeachment proceedings against both the Brazilian president and vice president raise the possibility of new elections.

Courtesy of The Diane Rehm Show

Description of the Week:

Week 14 Daily Log

Some highlights from this week are planning a trip towards the end of this month as a little getaway for me and the wife. On the 2nd I had to get a new laptop charge cable because the pup gets bored when left alone for too long. I also had some sinus problems towards the end of the week, but luckily they resolved in a couple of days.

Heart Rate, Sleep, and Energy Levels:

Week 14 HR_Sleep_Energy

Book of the Week:

This week I started reading The Next Species: The Future of Evolution in the Aftermath of Man by Michael Tennesen. It seems to be focused on giving an outline of previous mass extinctions to segue into the idea that we are nearing another mass extinction. I would assume to next species part to refer to what outcomes we might encounter as a result.

Workouts and Activity:

Week 14 Workout.png

Workout 1 - Apr 3

Apr 3: Weight lifting; One arm row, Bicep curls, Russian twists; Active for 38:45; Average heart rate of 91; Heart rate range of 66-101

Workout 2 - Apr 6

Apr 6: Weight lifting; Barbell squats, Calf raises; Active for 17:00; Average heart rate of 103; Heart rate range of 80-120

Workout 3 - Apr 7

Apr 7: Weight lifting; Incline chest press, Triceps extension, Sit-ups; Active for 29:15; Average heart rate of 102; Heart rate range of 79-118

Week 14 Activity.png

I modified the way that I display my resistance training results to focus in on estimated 1 rep max as my primary metric for monitoring my change in strength. With this in mind, I am now taking the average of 1 rep maxes from each set to calculate the value that you see there. I am not sure if I should include some additional multiplier to account for the fact that I am doing multiple sets.

With the Basis Peak’s newest update, you can now manually track activities without having to use Google Fit, though I still like some of the values presented. I included my activity graphs for my workouts this week. You can actually see spikes every time I do a set, which is pretty cool.

Body Composition and Measurements:

Week 14 Body Composition

Neck: 14 3/8 inches –

Shoulders: 43 7/8 inches 

Bust: 37 1/8 inches

Chest: 35 1/8 inches 

Waist: 31 1/8 inches 

Hips: 36 5/8 inches

Thighs: 21 1/4 inches ↓

Calves: 14 1/2 inches

Upper Arm: 11 1/4 inches

Forearms: 10 3/8 inches

Nutrition:

Week 14 Nutrition

Analysis:

My resting heart rate has a couple outliers this week. My evening RHR is significantly lower on Sunday night. I guess I had a relaxing weekend? And you see that my morning RHR is significantly higher. Maybe following my workout from the previous evening? Overall my morning and evening RHR are decreased for the week.

My activity based on heart rate is largely the same as the previous week.

My total sleep is increased from the previous week but below my goal of 8 hours each night.  My amount of REM sleep is increased but my deep sleep is decreased. Likely this is due to more disturbances this week from the pup. I managed to get up at or before 8 am three times this week, but as you can see my energy level is the morning is lower than the previous week, so it is still a bit of a struggle. On average I am going to bed close to 1 am, so I need to definitely get that earlier.

Most of the days this week I met my step goals except for one, but my average is still pretty good. My 1 rep max continues to go up for most exercises are well.

My weight, lean mass, and my fat mass are all down from last week. There is definitely a good bit of variation in these measurements even when taking a weekly average. At this point I will continue my currently intake. I hope that there is just a lag period before one sees an actual lean mass increase.

My trending body measurements for this week are largely the same as the previous. Progress here is slower than one would hope for as always, but I see it as a ramping up process as I get my nutrition and workouts dialed in.

My calories deficit is increased from the previous week which still resulted in an average weight loss. Hopefully it’s due to some natural fluctuations. I hit my sodium goal 6 out of 7 days which I would call a win. I think this should be relatively sustainable now that I am more mindful of what food preparations to watch out for.

Modifications for Next Week:

I will continue trying to be up at 8 am and to accomplish that I will be aiming to be asleep by midnight. So the same as last week. Obviously this one has been harder than some of my previous goals because I tend to be a night owl.

I am going to give calorie cycling a try to see if I can specifically promote lean mass increase while limiting fat mass gain. This involves eating more after workouts and less on those days that I am not working out.

Become a subscriber to get exclusive stuff that won’t be posted on my blog. As a bonus receive a free PDF, 5 Steps to Start Your Quantified Journey.

New Daily Log – Week 13

Previous Posts:

Check out the Intro post to get an idea of what this blog is about.

Week 12: I continue working towards my goals and realize how sodium is in everything.

Week 11:  I rework my format and focus in more on my nutrition.

Week 10: I take a top level view of my nutrition.

Perspectives:

Domestic: Anger erupts over legislation being called anti-LGBT in North Carolina, Mississippi and elsewhere. The Supreme Court deadlocks on a union dues case, delivering a major victory to organized labor. And the Court hints it’s seeking to avoid a 4-4 split in the case of the Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate. A tough week for Donald Trump, who caused outrage with comments on abortion, and trails Ted Cruz in the polls ahead of the Wisconsin primary on Tuesday. And the FBI unlocks the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters, ending a legal battle with Apple.

International: President Obama hosts a nuclear security summit in Washington with world leaders from more than 50 nations. One goal is to strengthen ways to keep nuclear material out of the hands of terrorists. North Korea apparently fires another short-range missile into the sea – just after a meeting between President Obama and the presidents of South Korea and Japan. Pakistan makes hundreds of arrests in the Easter bombing at a park and playground that killed dozens. And in Myanmar, a new era begins as the nation swears in its first democratically elected president after more than half a century of military rule.

Courtesy of The Diane Rehm Show

Description of the Week:

Week 13 Daily Log

Some highlights from this week are going to a trampoline park and bubble tea on the 25th;  and on the 26th and 27th we visited my in-laws for Easter weekend.

This week I wanted to rework this section to better visualize things that happen on a fairly regular basis and I will individually note anything that was different or stood out. Most things are a simple check for if they happened or not. Additionally for meals I’m making note of whether it’s a meal that I prepared or something I ate out. This should make analysis in the future a bit easier.

Heart Rate, Sleep, and Energy Levels:

Week 13 HR_Sleep_Energy

Book of the Week:

This week I finished up The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau, which was recommended to me by Brooke of Simultaneously Editing. Feel free to recommend any books you think might be worth a read.

Some takeaways. The best thing to do is just get start with an idea. You won’t really know if anyone is interested until you actually try to sell it. You don’t need to necessarily invest lots of money to get started. In the age of the internet, reaching people has never been easier. Lastly, once you find a convergence between something you like to do and something people are willing to pay for, go for it!

Workouts and Activity:

Week 13 Workout

Mar 25: Gymnastics; Active for 1:01:43; Average heart rate of 120; Heart rate range of 72-149

Mar 28: Weight lifting; One arm row, Bicep curls, Russian twists; Active for 33:28; Average heart rate of 92; Heart rate range of 70-117

Mar 29: Weight lifting; Barbell squats, Calf raises; Active for 19:49; Average heart rate of 96; Heart rate range of 84-111

Mar 31: Weight lifting; Incline chest press, Triceps extension, Sit-ups; Active for 34:23; Average heart rate of 92; Heart rate range of 68-107

Week 13 Activity

Body Composition and Measurements:

Week 13 Body Composition

Neck: 14 3/8 inches –

Shoulders: 43 7/8 inches 

Bust: 37 1/8 inches

Chest: 35 1/8 inches 

Waist: 31 1/8 inches 

Hips: 36 5/8 inches

Thighs: 21 1/4 inches ↓

Calves: 14 1/2 inches

Upper Arm: 11 1/4 inches

Forearms: 10 3/8 inches

Nutrition:

Week 13 Nutrition.png

Analysis:

My resting heart rate is pretty steady for the week with no outliers. It is increased from the previous week though. Maybe some of the workouts and less sleep are taking their toll.

I seem to have less total activity this week based on my heart rate though more of it in some of the higher ranges.

My total sleep is decreased from the previous week and below my goal of 8 hours each night.  My average sleep quality is decreased as well. I am not so great at waking up at 8 am because my energy level is still lower than I would like at that point. Mainly it’s from being up later in the evening than I would like.

I met my step goals for the week and my number of workouts for the week. My 1 rep max continues to go up for most exercises are well. Biceps and triceps are the toughest for me to see increases for.

My weight, lean mass, and my fat mass are all up from last week. I would prefer for the lather to not be increased but I do expect that it will be slightly higher while I’m trying to increase my overall mass.

My trending body measurements for this week are largely the same as the previous. After monitoring this for over a month. I have come to see that progress here is fairly slow and measurements can result in a fair amount of variation. Strength measured by  response to weight training is a more immediate indication of underlying changes.

My calories deficit is increased from the previous week which seems to have resulted in some lean mass gain. I did better with my sodium this week. I hit my goal 3 out of 7 days which is better than 0 out of 7 last week. There is still some work to do, but at least my average for the week is closer to what is recommended.

Modifications for Next Week:

I will continue trying to be up at 8 am and to accomplish that I will be aiming to be asleep by midnight.

I will continue trying to reduce my sodium to at least be below 2300 mg on average even if I may not hit it everyday.

Become a subscriber to get exclusive stuff that won’t be posted on my blog. As a bonus receive a free PDF, 5 Steps to Start Your Quantified Journey.

Sodium is in Everything – Week 12

Previous Posts:

Check out the Intro post to get an idea of what this blog is about.

Week 11:  I rework my format and focus in more on my nutrition.

Week 10: I take a top level view of my nutrition.

Week 9: I include a little bit of world perspective as a backdrop for what is going on in my life.

Perspectives:

Domestic: The U.S. reacts to terrorists attacks in Brussels. Congressional leaders call for stepped-up airport security. And while all the presidential candidates condemned the attacks, individual responses range from tightening borders and visa systems to heightened monitoring of Muslim neighborhoods. Many Americans wait in long lines to vote in so-called “Western Tuesday” contests in Utah, Idaho, and Arizona. Republican party leaders map a strategy to deny Donald Trump the GOP nomination. Joe Biden repudiates the Republican-dubbed “Biden rule” to blockade Supreme Court nominees in an election year. And reaction at home to President Obama’s historic visit to Cuba.

International: Belgium detains at least six people after the terror attacks in Brussels. Officials confirm 31 people, including two Americans, were killed in the attacks. The Belgian government acknowledges high level counter-terrorism failings. Secretary of State Kerry says the Islamic State is lashing out in Europe because its base in the Middle East is eroding. Syrian troops battle Islamic State militants in an effort to retake the ancient city of Palmyra. A UN tribunal convicts a former Bosnian Serb leader of genocide. And president Obama makes a historic trip to Cuba.

Courtesy of The Diane Rehm Show

Description of the Week:

Mar 18: Had work today broken up by having lunch at home and taking the pup to the dog park. After work we grabbed some dinner out. We came home to relax and spent the rest of the night in. A little bit of reading before bed.

Mar 19: Decided to check out a few estate sales this morning as something to do. Also went to an antique mall, out for lunch, the dog park, and a few other places. Dinner at home with a terribly delicious dessert. I probably won’t be having any of those anytime soon. Finished the evening up with a walk and some reading.

Mar 20: Did some yard work around the house in the morning after breakfast. Had some lunch and took a little break by going to the dog park. Came back and finished things up around the house. Got some groceries for the week. Had dinner and worked out after. Ended the night with some Netflix and reading.

Mar 21: Had a normal day at work. Came home to have some dinner. A few errands in the evening including picking up some new books and getting some additionally weights since I am continuing to make progress there. Did a workout session, had our evening walk, and finished up with some reading.

Mar 22: Went to the dentist before work and got the all clear! A couple of meetings at work to round out the day. After dinner, we got a bench for our front porch, which the neighbor’s cat promptly decided was her home. Oh well at least someone will be using it for sure. Played some games in the evening, took our walk, and read before bed.

Mar 23: Had a regular work day. After dinner, went out looking for lower sodium cooking ingredients. Worked out in the evening, went for a nice walk, and read some.

Mar 24: Measured my weight in the morning. Another normal day at work followed by walking around the mall some after dinner. A pretty relaxing evening with a walk and some reading. Took my tape measurements in the evening.

Heart Rate, Sleep, and Energy Levels:

Week 12 HR_Sleep_Energy

Book of the Week:

This week I started The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau, which was recommended to me by Brooke of Simultaneously Editing. Feel free to recommend any books you think might be worth a read.

This book seems to be fairly actionable. It is broken up into 3 parts: stories of successful entrepreneurs, beginning steps to get started, and then ways to grow past that. Some things are new and some things I’ve heard before, but overall it has been a pretty enjoyable read so far. It’s always exciting to see what kind of various things people are having success with.

Workouts and Activity:

Week 12 Workout

Mar 20: Weight lifting; One arm row, Bicep curls, Russian twists; Active for 32:58; Average heart rate of 94; Heart rate range of 76-113

Mar 21: Weight lifting; Barbell squats, Calf raises; Active for 14:54; Average heart rate of 100; Heart rate range of 71-119

Mar 23: Weight lifting; Incline chest press, Triceps extension, Sit-ups; Active for 22:35; Average heart rate of 93; Heart rate range of 75-110

Week 12 Activity

Body Composition and Measurements:

Week 12 Body Composition

Neck: 14 3/8 inches –

Shoulders: 44 1/4 inches 

Bust: 37 1/8 inches 

Chest: 34 7/8 inches 

Waist: 31 1/4 inches 

Hips: 36 5/8 inches

Thighs: 21 3/8 inches 

Calves: 14 1/2 inches

Upper Arm: 11 1/4 inches 

Forearms: 10 3/8 inches

Nutrition:

Week 12 Nutrition

Analysis:

My resting heart rate is pretty steady for the week with no outliers. I don’t expect it to be decreasing any currently as I am not focusing on that, but I am glad not to see any spikes.

I seem to have more activity this week based on my heart rate though mostly in the lower range.

My total sleep is largely increased from the previous week and actually above my goal of 8 hours each night.  My average sleep quality is great this week with both REM and deep sleep in my preferred ranges. I need to work on being more consistent about when I go to sleep though. I would also like to push my waking time earlier, so consistency will be key there. I will start to measure my morning energy levels based on how I feel at 8 am rather than when I wake up.

I met my step goals for the week and my number of workouts for the week. I either increased weight or repetitions for every exercise this week, which is mostly reflected in my calculated 1 rep max. That might be the best simple indicator to look at.

My weight and lean mass are down from the previous week, but my fat mass is up. Will continue tracking to see if that is a continuing trend. Some variation is to be expected.

My body measurements on the other hand, seem to be on the increase. All except my upper arm though. I might have to start doing a trending measurement here as well to try and limit some of the variation I see.

My calories in versus calories out is definitely increased from the previous week though I am not seeing the weight increase that I want yet. I will continue at this current level for another week and see if there is any sort of lag effect. What a week for sodium though. I didn’t hit my goal even once this week.

Sodium is in Everything:

I might touch on some tips on how to reduce your intake in a separate post, but I thought I would touch on at least a few things here. Pretty much anything that has been processed in some way has sodium. Even foods that would be considered healthy in most other senses, such as milk, whey protein powder, and whole grain bread. When you are restricting calories it is a little easier, but when you are trying to actually increase your calorie intake, every little bit quickly adds up.

Modifications for Next Week:

Starting next week you will probably see my morning energy levels a little lower as I will be recording them relative to 8 am in an attempt to start waking up earlier.

I will start evaluating my body measurements on a rolling monthly average. Hopefully this should reduce some of the variation without requiring me to do more frequent measurements.

I will continue with my same level of intake in terms of calories and now that I have a better handle on what to watch out for in regards to sodium I should better be able to hit my goal for next week.

Feedback from You:

Have you ever tried to restrict your sodium? How easy or difficult did you find it? Any good tips for staying under your limit?

Become a subscriber to get exclusive stuff that won’t be posted on my blog. As a bonus receive a free PDF, 5 Steps to Start Your Quantified Journey.

Reworking the Format – Week 11

Previous Posts:

Check out the Intro post to get an idea of what this blog is about.

Week 10: I take a top level view of my nutrition.

Week 9: I include a little bit of world perspective as a backdrop for what is going on in my life.

Week 8: I focus in on establishing standards for my data for my continued comparisons and improvements.

Perspectives:

Domestic: President Obama names Merrick Garland as his nominee to the Supreme Court. But Senate Republicans refuse to meet with the appeals court judge as he began making rounds on Capitol Hill. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton solidify their leads in the latest round of state presidential primaries. Trump warns Republican party leaders not to try to block his path to the nomination. Bernie Sanders prepares for the long haul despite news that President Obama thinks the Democratic party should soon unite behind a single candidate to replace him. And lawmakers call on Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and EPA administrator Gina McCarthy to resign over the Flint water crisis.

International: North Korea fires two ballistic missiles into the sea, flouting U.N. resolutions. It also sentences an American student to 15 years’ hard labor. Russia says it will continue to provide military and intelligence assistance to the Syrian regime. This follows Russia’s surprise decision to withdraw its military forces from Syria. The European Union works on a plan to send thousands of migrants back to Turkey. Secretary of State Kerry says the militant group ISIS is committing genocide against Christians, Yazidis and shiite Muslims. And Brazil’s government corruption scandal heats up.

Description of the Week:

Mar 11: It was a nice work day broken up by some lunch out and a stroll around the park. Got some dinner at home and relaxed for the rest of the evening with some Netflix, an evening walk, and reading.

Mar 12: Lounged around a bit after waking up. Had breakfast. Went for a hike with the wife and puppy. Ate out for lunch. Ran a few errands and had to stop by work. Ate out for dinner. Read some before bed.

Mar 13: Daylight savings time this weekend, which already means one less hour in the day. But the puppy is also losing teeth so he was up early because of that. Luckily we were able to get him back to sleep for a few more hours. After breakfast we cleaned the basement some and started setting up a little workout area down there. Grab some lunch out and went to the dog park. Had dinner at home. Had to stop by work for a bit. Then an evening walk and reading before bed.

Mar 14: Picked a bad day to wake up early for some car work, but it was time to get the timing belt and water pump replaced. Went to work. Dropped by the house for some lunch and to walk the dog. Picked up my car. Finished up late at work, so we got some dinner out. Got our groceries for the week. Worked out, took our evening walk, and read before bed.

Mar 15: Lounged a bit in the morning before heading to work. Had a meeting a work. Managed to make it to the dog park after work since we have an extra hour of sunlight later in the day now. After dinner, I worked out and helped the wife out with some of her work. We took an evening walk and read before bed.

Mar 16: Had a normal day at work. Got some fish from a great fishmonger for dinner and treated ourselves to some popsicles along the way. Walk the dog for a bit before dinner. Worked up after dinner, took an evening walk, and was up late helping out the wife. Read a bit before bed still.

Mar 17: Walked the dog in the morning since the wife was still recuperating from the late night. Had a normal day at work. Relaxed for the evening with some dinner in, Netflix, an evening walk, and reading.

Heart Rate, Sleep, and Energy Levels:

Week 11 HR_Sleep_Energy

I have reworked this section to focus on overall well-being, which includes my heart rate, sleep, and energy levels. Additionally I am examining what times I go to sleep and wake up to see if large inconsistencies in that result in alterations in my heart rate and energy level.

Book of the Week:

This week I finished The Brain Electric: The Dramatic High-Tech Race to Merge Minds and Machines by Malcolm Gay. It took me a while to get through it, but I do have a few take-aways from it. The first is that tools actually become an augmentation with continued use. One’s neurons actually rewire themselves to consider that tool as basically part of themselves. And the second is that the brain seems to recognize objects by the interactions that the body can have with it and we actually build mindfulness from this with the help of mirror neurons which essentially try to predict what sort of action someone might take.

Always interesting to learn new things about the brain and body in general though it’s hard for me to say exactly what I will do with that information. This book is still a relatively interesting read if you enjoy neuroscience and neuroprostheses.

Workouts and Activity:

Week 11 Workout

Mar 14: Weight lifting; One arm row, Bicep curls, Russian twists; Active for 28:21; Average heart rate of 102; Heart rate range of 78-130

Mar 15: Weight lifting; Barbell squats, Calf raises; Active for 18:14; Average heart rate of 96; Heart rate range of 73-114

Mar 16: Weight lifting; Incline chest press, Triceps extension, Sit-ups; Active for 24:18; Average heart rate of 98; Heart rate range of 71-116

Week 11 Activity

In this section I am grouping my strength workout and step data. I think displaying my strength training in this way will make my changes from week to week more obvious. I am now using Jefit to log both my workout sets and my body composition. I am still continuing to use Google Fit to monitor my heart rate during the workouts.

Body Composition and Measurements:

Week 11 Body Composition

Neck: 14 3/8 inches

Shoulders: 43 3/4 inches 

Bust: 36 5/8 inches 

Chest: 34 3/8 inches 

Waist: 30 3/4 inches

Hips: 36 5/8 inches

Thighs: 21 1/4 inches

Calves: 14 1/2 inches

Upper Arm: 11 3/8 inches 

Forearms: 10 3/8 inches

This week I am also including a neck measurement as it seems to be commonly done though I do not expect to focus on that. I want to comment on two values specifically: bust and chest. They are both significantly down. I believe this is largely due to incorrectly measuring it previously. For it to be consistently measured, I need to be relaxed and not flexing, so I will watch for that more closely moving forward.

Nutrition:

Week 11 Nutrition

In this section I have added in calories burned as measured by my Basis Peak and calculated a calorie deficit for the day.

Analysis:

My resting heart rate for this week is largely unchanged as compared to last week. The only outlier I have is for my evening rest heart rate on the evening of the 14th which I chart as being on the 15th, as that’s when its potential effect sound be, but there’s not much to suggest why that would be the case aside from me working out.

I spent less time in my lower heart rate zones this week, but did have an increase in the time spent in the aerobic area. This does not necessarily seem to be linked, however, to my workout days.

My total sleep is slightly increased from the previous week but I am still under my goal of 8 hours each night.  My average sleep quality is about the same as the previous week and I appear to have less fluctuations. On the 14th, my deep sleep is lower than I would like it, but this is probably due to a combination of less sleep and waking up earlier than usual. This has an effect on my morning energy level, but I seem to improve by the afternoon. Overall my energy level is lower for the week without clear reasons for more days. Except less sleep seems to increase the likelihood of lower energy levels in the morning.

I met my step goals for the week and largely exceeded it. I plan to continue at this level while continuing to work on my strength goals. I also met my number of workouts for the week again and hope to continue that. I either increased weight or repetitions for every exercise this week, so it appears that I am continuing to get stronger though it’s hard to say at what rate.

My weight, fat mass, and lean mass are all down from the previous week. Normally this would be good aside from the lean mass, but ultimately I am trying to gain muscle so this is a trend I would like to reverse.

You can see this reversal in my body measurements as well, where most of my measurements are either slightly decreased or basically the same.

I believe that my nutrition is that biggest player in this regard. Theoretically to gain 0.5 lb/week, I need to consume about 250 calories more than I burn in a day. I was above 0 but below this level and seem to have lost weight rather than gaining it. I plan to make sure that I am getting a sufficient amount of calories each day. My macronutrient composition is largely unchanged from the previous week, but I am not too concerned about that at the moment. My first goal to tackle is my sodium intake. My weekly average is about where I would like it, but I have several individual days where I got over 2300 mg/day which is the maximum recommended amount.

Modifications for Next Week:

My planned modifications for the next week are solely in the area of nutrition. I want to make sure that I am consuming at least an additional 250 calories/day to see if that will be enough to see the gain I want.

My second planned modification is to limit my sodium intake to 2300 mg/day. The easiest way to do this is to not eat out. But since I am not a fan of restricting myself to an extreme level, I won’t eliminate that entirely at this point if I don’t need to. Rather I will just choose lower sodium options which tend to be healthier in general.

Feedback from You:

We’re now almost a quarter of the way into the year. How are your resolutions and goals that you made in January coming along? Reach out and let me know whether good or bad!

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