The name of the game is testosterone. It builds muscle mass, burns fat, increases bone density and virility, and stabilizes blood pressure (at physiologic levels). How to increase it? Like we’ve found out in older posts, the answer is 1) sleep, 2) eat a lot of saturated fat, and 3) do brief intense exercise. Wellp, sometimes life gets in the way, and last week was one of those weeks for me. I averaged about 6.5 hours of sleep per night (my worst weekly average in the past 3 months), and have been putting in 12-hour days at the hospital including weekends, only poking my head out to run to the gym or throw some stuff into the crockpot for a (gasp!) 9pm dinner.
By the way, 2 cans coconut milk, 1 pint chicken stock, 1 lb chopped spinach, and 1 tbsp green curry paste? Whoa daddy. Cook it on low for 6 hours, add chicken breast or rice or both, and you’re set.
So, sleep. I’m not getting enough of it. What has it been doing to me? Well, my body fat’s crept up to about 17.5-18% and I’m stalling on a couple of my lifts. Squats especially, on which my 3rd set at 255lbs was a nightmare for 3 sessions in a row. Around the 3rd or 4th rep, I’d start seeing stars and feel my back round and my weight creep dangerously over my toes. Yick. So I’m backtracking to 230lbs, a 10% drop as recommended by Mark Rippetoe, and going back at it, focusing on eating a lot more and getting full range of motion – ass to grass, as it were.
Deadlifts, same thing. I’m on my last stand with 405, after getting an ugly 5 reps at 400 two weeks ago before my California vacation. Oddly enough, my two *worst* lifts historically have been the easiest to bump up. I’m shooting for 195x3x5 on the bench press and 140x5x3 on the power clean this week. What strange universe is this?
My plan is to stick with CrossFit Football for the rest of the year and no longer. Of course, this means committing to it in all ways, including eating a hell of a lot more and not worrying about creeping above 200 lbs or 20% body fat. I can take care of that in January/February. I’ve barely put on a pound of muscle in the past 3 weeks, and that just won’t do. At least I’m getting stronger on some lifts. This is a pretty good Mark’s Daily Apple link on body image and functionality.
Alright, I’ve been all over the place with this post. Next time: my weightlifting charts. How much strength I’ve built, and what I can expect for the next 3 months. What to do when you stall on the Starting Strength / CF Football program.