As most know, my test levels have been hovering around the 200 mark since roughly the beginning of November. During that time my goal was to simply hold onto as much strength as possible. What actually happened was I got stronger on about half of my movements over the last 4 months.
Some of you may be scoffing and to be honest, I would have never expected it (and didn't) but 2 main things changed and were huge contributors:
1. I trained much harder
2. I ate more calories.
I had become complacent over the last year or so with my training. I found myself training hard but certainly not hard enough to really force any change and was simply enjoying not competing and holding onto my typical condition of being really lean and in pretty good shape. To be in really good shape, I have to keep my calories quite restricted as I don't prefer to do a lot of cardio.
After a year or so of staying quite lean with the lower calories, my body responded quite well to the increase in calories and even with a low test level, I was able to increase my strength. Now, I did not get larger but I did get stronger. I can only imagine what kind of progress I would have made, or could make, if my test levels were higher.
The diet that I have used for the last 4 months has remained relatively unchanged and has been structured like this:
Protein drink with nuts
Eggs, plain greek yogurt, berries, cheese
Potatoes cooked in coconut oil, grassfed beef, cheese
TRAIN - BCAAs with carbs in my workout water
Post-workout (Meal 4)
Repeat the potato, beef and cheese meal
Protein drink with nuts
On Sundays my meals were not typical Skiploading meals but they were higher in fat. An example of my last Sunday:
Pumpkin pancakes with butter and syrup, bacon, sausage, tater tots with ketchup
Gnocchi with sauce and baked french bread
Beau Jos Pizza from their smart menu (lower fat toppings made with feta and mozzarella cheese)
More of the same bfast (because you can never get enough bacon)
Low fat ice cream before bed
My body composition is NOT good, I admit it. I do not like not being crazy lean but I needed to get through to March and hold as much strength as possible. In March everything goes up a level and I am looking forward to killing workouts and growing again now that my blood is good. In this case, it was the right decision to sacrifice my condition to be able to improve instead of potentially waste away had I kept calories low and tried to stay lean for this phase.
I noticed you are including fats in your pre and post meals. Are you typically an advocate for separating fats from high insulin(natutal) periods, or are you just not worried about it at the moment?
You misspelled "tater".
I edited it to the correct spelling. Our son's name is Tate and we call him Tater, so it is beyond me how I managed to spell that incorrectly. :)
It appeared to me that your pre-workout consisted of potatos with coconut oil, cheese and red meat... then you have an intra-carb drink and then pop tarts post (don't know the macros on these but I thought they had some fats). I wasn't sure if you were usually hyper anal about separating your carbs and fats, a lot of the bb's I know do that. I typically don't even put coconut oil in my pre-workout oats because I figure the 60g dextrose I use intra might lead to it being stored. I'm OCD about minor details though. Not sure honestly if the mct's will be stored differently than other fats during an insulin surge. Was just hoping to pick your brain.