Charles is here on a weekly basis to help you cut through the B.S. and get some real perspective regarding health and training. Please post feedback or questions to Charles directly in the comments below this article.
 
If you’re new to the practice of tracking your nutrition, the idea of weighing, measuring, documenting, and journaling everything you put in your mouth can seem obsessive, stressful, and time-consuming. These feelings beg the question: is food tracking even necessary? Because if it’s not, let’s not go there at all, right?
 
Many popular diets and nutrition strategies like Ornish, paleo, vegetarianism, Atkins, the Mediterranean Diet, and intermittent fasting don’t require tracking. Despite that, each of these diet plans features an underlying mechanism that leads most people to eat less than they otherwise would and therefore lose weight. This can be the result of removing large categories of food sources such as in Atkins or vegetarian diets, or restricting the times where you’re allowed to eat, as in the various brands of intermittent fasting.
 
All else being equal, when you consume less energy than you burn on a consistent basis, you’ll get leaner. 
measuring food
Weighing and measuring everything that goes in your mouth sounds exhausting. But is it necessary? [Photo courtesy Pixabay]
 

To Track or Not to Track

To answer the question I posed above, if you’ve lost weight and maintained that loss using one of those diets, then no, you don’t need to track. 
 
But if you’re not one of those people, then you do need to track - at least for now. It’s the most logical step to take. The purpose of that fat you’re trying to lose is to serve as a fuel source during times of famine. To lose unwanted body fat, you need to create an artificial famine. You might be able to do that without tracking, but it will help eliminate the uncertainty from the equation.
 
When it comes to eating for fat loss, you have two choices:
 
  1. Pick a diet that doesn’t require you to track but nudges you to eat less through one trick or another.
  2. Track and monitor how many calories you eat and then eat whatever you like. You can’t eat as much as you’d like, but your food variety doesn't necessarily have to be limited.
 
Consider yourself lucky if you’re one of those people who can maintain your desired bodyweight without tracking what you eat. But if you’re not, please come back next week, because I’m going to show you how easy and effective food tracking can be. I promise, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
 

This Week’s Training:

Volume: 80,027lb (Last Week: 54,406lb)
 
Significant Lifts:
  • Low Bar Squat: 285lb x 5
  • Competition Bench Press: 225lb x 3
  • Deadlift: 445lb x 6
  • Flat Dumbbell Bench Press: 200lb x 8
 
This was the fourth and final week of this training cycle, and I consider it to be an overall success. Next up is a six-week hypertrophy phase, and then two, five-week strength phases before a peaking cycle that will take me right up to a meet that I’ve got my eye on in mid-October.
 
The highlight of this week was a lifetime rep record PR on the deadlift: 445x6 (there’s a video below). Also check out the insane (for me) volume on Monday’s lower body session. I never did volume like that when I was younger, but better late than never.

Monday, May 23, 2016

 
Bodyweight: 197lb
Volume: 22,315lb
 
Goblet Squat
  • Set 1: 25lb × 10
  • Set 2: 40lb × 10
  • Set 3: 62lb × 10
 
Low Bar Squat
  • Set 1: 45lb × 5
  • Set 2: 95lb × 5
  • Set 3: 135lb × 5
  • Set 4: 185lb × 5
  • Set 5: 225lb × 4
  • Set 6: 265lb × 1
  • Set 7: 285lb × 5
  • Set 8: 285lb × 5
  • Set 9: 285lb × 5
  • Set 10: 285lb × 5
  • Set 11: 285lb × 5
  • Set 12: 285lb × 5
 
Hack Squat
  • Set 1: 90lb × 8
  • Set 2: 140lb × 6
  • Set 3: 180lb × 2
  • Set 4: 225lb × 5
  • Set 5: 225lb × 5
  • Set 6: 225lb × 5
  • Set 7: 225lb × 5
 
Deadlift
  • Set 1: 135lb × 3
  • Set 2: 225lb × 1
  • Set 3: 330lb × 3
  • Set 4: 330lb × 3
 
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
 
Bodyweight: 197.4lb
Volume: 14,241lb
 
Paused Competition Bench Press
  • Set 1: 45lb × 10
  • Set 2: 95lb × 8
  • Set 3: 135lb × 6
  • Set 4: 185lb × 4
  • Set 5: 205lb × 1
  • Set 6: 225lb × 3
  • Set 7: 225lb × 3
  • Set 8: 225lb × 2
  • Set 9: 225lb × 2
  • Set 10: 225lb × 2
  • Set 11: 225lb × 2
 
Military Press
  • Set 1: 45lb × 5
  • Set 2: 65lb × 5
  • Set 3: 85lb × 5
  • Set 4: 100lb × 2
  • Set 5: 110lb × 5
  • Set 6: 110lb × 5
  • Set 7: 110lb × 5
  • Set 8: 110lb × 5
  • Set 9: 110lb × 5
 
Pull Up
  • Set 1: 3 reps
  • Set 2: +30lb × 4
  • Set 3: +30lb × 4
  • Set 4: +30lb × 4
 
EZ Bar Curl
  • Set 1: 45lb × 8
  • Set 2: 65lb × 8
 
Thursday, May 26, 2016
 
Bodyweight: 196.2lb
Volume: 24,393lb
 
Goblet Squat
  • Set 1: 10lb × 10
  • Set 2: 32lb × 10
  • Set 3: 32lb × 10
 
Deadlift
  • Set 1: 135lb × 5
  • Set 2: 185lb × 5
  • Set 3: 225lb × 5
  • Set 4: 275lb × 5
  • Set 5: 315lb × 3
  • Set 6: 365lb × 2
  • Set 7: 405lb × 1
  • Set 8: 445lb × 6 (Video Below)
  • Set 9: 445lb × 1
 
 
High Bar Squat
  • Set 1: 45lb × 8
  • Set 2: 95lb × 6
  • Set 3: 135lb × 4
  • Set 4: 185lb × 2
  • Set 5: 225lb × 1
  • Set 6: 265lb × 3
  • Set 7: 265lb × 3
  • Set 8: 265lb × 3
 
45° Back Extension
  • Set 1: +150lb × 8
  • Set 2: +150lb × 8
  • Set 3: +150lb × 8
 
Seated Calf Raise
  • Set 1: 100lb × 8
  • Set 2: 100lb × 8
 
Friday, May 27, 2016
 
Bodyweight: 197.6lb
Volume: 17,000lb
 
Bench Press (Dumbbell)
  • Set 1: 100lb × 10
  • Set 2: 140lb × 8
  • Set 3: 180lb × 5
  • Set 4: 200lb × 8 (Video Below)
  • Set 5: 200lb × 5
  • Set 6: 200lb × 6
 
 
Close Grip Bench Press
  • Set 1: 45lb × 5
  • Set 2: 95lb × 5
  • Set 3: 135lb × 5
  • Set 4: 165lb × 1
  • Set 5: 180lb × 6
  • Set 6: 180lb × 6
  • Set 7: 180lb × 6
 
Seated Row
  • Set 1: 135lb × 8
  • Set 2: 180lb × 8
  • Set 3: 180lb × 8
  • Set 4: 180lb × 8
 
How much to eat is one thing, but when should you be eating?
Topic: