I am now about 8 weeks into my 24-week blast phase and though my condition came back quickly and is pretty good right now, I am not overly excited about the lack of strength gains made during the first 8 weeks.  I do, however, feel that I have been making pretty good progress, otherwise.  How so, if strength isn't climbing?

I am mixing up my exercise sequences and not focussing as much on simply ramming more reps or weight.  I have added more intensity techniques — specifically, I am doing a drop set usually on my last set of each exercise for back, shoulders and chest (not so much for arms or legs).  My back is improving but slowly.  However, my back is easily my weakest body part so improving it after 35 years of training I still consider a positive.

Due to the gains not being as good as I think they can be, I have decided to push my calories up.  Most of you will be aware that I have complained about struggling to get my scale weight up over 227-228 and because I am pretty lean, I feel like increasing calories and giving up just a little bit of condition would help with recovery and better muscle growth.  

I am not comfortable pushing my calories higher on training days, primarily because I feel I am at my max food intake prior to training.  I get 3 meals in me between the time I get up and the time I go to the gym and there just isn't any more room for more food during this time.

When I come home, I have time to still get 3 meals in me before bed but the only place I would be comfortable adding calories would be in my last meal prior to bed.  I would prefer not to do that, instead opting to do something else that I feel will be more productive.

Right now I train M/T/Th/F and on those days, my diet is set up below and please understand that if you follow this diet it will not work well for you because it is specifically set up for me, based on MY needs metabolically and for my training volume and recovery ability:

meal 1

50g of protein from TEAM SKIP protein

16g of fat from pistachio, cashew or peanut butter

40g of carbs from oatmeal

2 hours later

50g of carbs from sweet potatoes

50g of protein from chicken breast

1 slice of cheese for added fat and some protein


2.5 hours later (about an hour before training)

2 cups of non-fat, unsweetened greek yogurt

1 cup of cherries, pineapple or peaches

1 tbsp. pistachio, cashew or peanut butter

TRAIN (15g of EAAs and 50g of carbs from potato, rice and waxy maize powder)


50g of protein from TEAM SKIP protein

2 cups of rice chex cereal

3 hours later

same as meal 2

3 hours later

50g protein from TEAM SKIP protein

16g of fat from pistachio, cashew or peanut butter

Saturdays are a high-carb day:

meal 1, 3 and 5 are meals from Spatch (a local peri-chicken restaurant that focuses on healthy meals/bowls):


southwest bowl:

brown rice

black beans

small amount of vegetables

grilled pineapple


feta cheese

medium-hot peri-peri sauce

triple chicken (about 55-60g of protein)

I do not have measurements for these bowls other than to say I am quite full after each one of these meals.  I struggle to get the last few bites down so there is no way I can eat many more than this for these meals.  However, because they are so clean, I am hungry again when it is time to get a protein drink and 16g of fat again in about 2.5 to 3 hours.

I alternate these southwest bowls with a protein drink and 16g of fat from nuts, all day until bedtime.

On Sundays I Skipload.  Because I am in a caloric surplus right now and Skiploads are only done based on hunger, I do not force food on my Skipload days but instead get nice and full and that's it.  For reference, I am probably more full after the southwest bowls than I am after a Skipload meal but the southwest bowls "clear" faster because the fat is lower than my skipload meals.

I do a skipload meal 3 times on Sundays with 2 protein drinks (without added fats) for a total of only 5 meals but the calories are higher than the high-carb days using the southwest bowls.

A typical Skipload day of 3 meals would look like this:

1. breakfast of french toast or pancakes (usually only one plate instead of two when I am depleted from dieting) and another plate consisting of a couple eggs, toast, hashbrowns and sometimes a couple sausage links.

protein drink

2. Gourmet burger and tator tots

protein drink

3. Gourmet chicken thigh sandwich with coleslaw and 1 ear of street corn

4-5 slices of a dry-crust pizza with vegetable toppings like mushrooms, peppers, onions, etc..

This diet has not allowed me to push my weight over 227-228 so I made the change this week to repeat my Saturday southwest Spatch bowls on Wednesdays, as well.  This way, I train for 2 days and then do a high-carb day on Wednesday.  I then train again Thursday and Friday and do another high-carb day on Saturday followed by a Skipload on Sunday.

I am quite confident that this is going to be a good adjustment that will allow me to not only push my weight higher but to also maintain most, if not all, of my current condition.  It should also fuel my workouts better for Thursdays and Fridays and because I train legs on Fridays, I anticipate that I will see better leg session numbers, as well.

I hope to report next week in my Coach Log that my leg numbers were up and my scale weight is up, as well. BAMF_Banner home